Nick’s Blog

Four-Legged Compass

 Posted by at 12:57 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 202023

Some of you may think I spend my life writing mystery novels and playing on my tractor, but that’s far from the truth. I’m a multifaceted person who is interested in all kinds of things, believe it or not. I’m always finding some weird rabbit hole to go down when I’m browsing online, and sometimes I even work those kind of things into a story. I’m just not sure how to make this latest bit of trivia fit into a Big Lake book.

By now you’re all familiar with Alli, my Velcro German shepherd. I call her that because just like Velcro, from the day we brought her home in early June, she’s been stuck to my side. That’s a common trait of German shepherds. While they love and protect their entire family, both two legged and four legged, they always seem to hone in on one person who becomes pretty much the center of their world. I’m thrilled it’s me, though sometimes I do get tired of tripping over her every time I turn around, and I would really like to go to the bathroom all by myself someday.

As I said, German shepherds love all their family. Alli is particularly fond of Mai Lyn, one of Terry’s kittens. Well, I guess she’s almost a cat now, but she is still a mischievous little ball of fur. And even though Alli is a giant compared to her, they get along very well. Mai Lyn will lie on Terry’s lap or the footrest of her recliner and Alli will lick her face, hug her with her paw, and they will cuddle. How cute is that?

Speaking of going to the bathroom (yes I’m really going to talk about that this early in the morning), I don’t just have a dog. As it turns out, I also have a four-legged compass. I learned this in one of those rabbit holes I went down into the other day. According to an article on PBS NewsHour, a study published in the journal Frontiers in Zoology reveals that dogs seem to have some kind of built-in directional ability and use the Earth’s magnetic fields when they’re going potty. The article says not only that, but that dog’s do so on a north-south axis. According to the two-year study, involving 70 dogs made up of over 35 breeds, researchers found that given a choice, dogs preferred to “excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis, avoiding east-west altogether.” Of course, I had to watch Alli carefully for a few days to see it it’s true, and it seems to be. So there you go, you don’t need a GPS, just Fido.

In other news, for the first time in weeks Terry felt up to going to town yesterday, so that’s what we did, and got quite a bit accomplished. We stopped at Lowe’s and bought a couple of extra chairs for the deck, two pairs of work gloves for me because if I’m not losing them Alli is running off with them and eventually bringing them back, as well as a couple of other things. Then we went to Tuscaloosa Tractor and I ordered the adjuster arm I need for my tractor ‘s three-point hitch. Since it won’t be in until later in the week, I stopped Tractor Supply and picked up something else that might work for a while so Travis and I can work on the range backstop today. We also went to the Shrimp Basket for an early dinner, and then went to Publix to stock up on groceries for the next couple of weeks.

By the time we got home Terry was feeling rather tired from so much activity, so once the groceries were put away we relaxed in our recliners for the rest of the evening.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. We saw this on an SUV in Tuscaloosa yesterday. I guess if you don’t have a stick family to brag about, you just have to make do.

Thought For The Day – Some days, you’re the pigeon, some days you’re the statue. Just live with it.

Range Backstop Day 1

 Posted by at 12:30 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 192023

Our son Travis and I have been looking forward to getting the shooting range set up, and yesterday was the first day of working on the project. While some people just depend on the heavy woods around here to serve as a backstop, and we have hundreds of acres of forest behind our property, I […]

Feeling Better

 Posted by at 12:25 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 182023

Thank you to everyone who has asked how Terry is feeling. After three weeks of being miserable, it seems the last round of meds is helping and she is feeling quite a bit better. She still gets fatigued easily and is fretting because she doesn’t have the energy to do everything she wants to get […]

Sep 172023

I’ve only been stung by bees a couple of times in my life but I don’t remember it as being a pleasant experience. So I’m sure being stung by a killer bee, or worse yet, a swarm of them, wouldn’t be much fun either. So why does the little town of Hidalgo, Texas have a […]

Mr. Fixit

 Posted by at 12:30 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 162023

Yesterday morning started with a visit from a man named Wayne and his lady friend Anita, who came to pick up the old sheet metal from the barn roof and any other metal I had laying around to take to a recycler. They had a utility trailer, but were able to bend the long sheets […]

Sep 152023

You can step back into the past and experience the South’s rural heritage at Horne Creek Living Historical Farm in North Carolina. Once the Hauser family farm, Horne Creek Farm is now a North Carolina State Historic Site, providing visitors a look at farm life in North Carolina’s northwestern Piedmont region in the early 1900s, […]

Busted Their Butts

 Posted by at 12:45 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 142023

Our son Travis and his wife Geli are two of the hardest working people around, there’s no question about that. They came over yesterday morning to help me load the pile of debris from the barn into the rented dumpster, and I think we all expected it to take a couple of days. But when […]

Sep 132023

A couple of times in the last few days Terry has said she feels almost halfway human again, but then she seems to relapse. Monday night she had another fever and when it broke sometime in the middle of the night the sheets were wet from her sweating. Tomorrow makes three weeks of this and […]

Sep 122023

Ever since I had Scott and Alan Banks from Banks Construction LLC tear down the back part of the barn last month, which was falling in and beyond repair, I have been waiting for it to cool down enough to get a dumpster out here to load all of the debris into to be hauled […]

Jamming In The Woods

 Posted by at 12:55 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 112023

Yesterday I decided to take a break from the dead grass problem and concentrate on clearing up some of the downed tree limbs around our property that resulted from a strong storm a couple of months ago. This would be my first time using the Earthquake 33968 K32 wood chipper/shredder I ordered from Amazon back […]

Too Much Grass

 Posted by at 12:45 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 102023

I know there are plenty of potheads would who would tell me there’s no such thing as having too much grass, but I’m not a pothead and that’s not the kind of grass I’m talking about. I am referring to all of the dried out mowed grass all over our pastures and yard. And trust […]

Sep 082023

On a lonely windswept hilltop a couple of miles east of Superior, Arizona, we came across the grave of one of the Old West’s more tragic figures, a scorned woman named Mattie Blaylock Earp. Born Celia Ann Blaylock in Wisconsin in 1850, and raised on a farm in Iowa, accounts of the day describe Mattie […]

Gearing Up For More

 Posted by at 1:06 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 072023

Much of yesterday was spent gearing up for more projects around the house and property. I started out with a call to a company called Bin There Dump That to arrange for a 20 yard dumpster to be dropped off next to the barn on Monday. The company will pick it up in a week, […]

Elder Abuse?

 Posted by at 12:30 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 062023

I have no idea how it happened, but when Travis was here helping me tear down the stalls in the barn on Monday we stopped and went up to the house to get something cold to drink and Terry asked how I got a shiner on my eye. I honestly don’t know. Nothing hit me […]

Barn Project Part 2

 Posted by at 12:50 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 052023

As I wrote in a post titled Barn Project Part One last month, the front part of our barn was divided into three horse stalls and then an open bay in the center, with two freestanding rooms off to one side. That bay was crowded with implements for my Kubota tractor to the point where, […]

On To Another Project

 Posted by at 12:57 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 042023

I spent a couple of hours yesterday removing the shredded deer fence that didn’t stand up to the elements and pulling up the last of the T-posts from around the fruit trees. All but two of them came out fairly easily, but those two that didn’t were darned difficult! It took a lot of pushing […]

More Tractor Time

 Posted by at 12:57 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 032023

Though our grass really needed it, I was disappointed that it rained all day Friday because I wanted to take advantage of the slightly cooler weather to get a lot of work done outside. But as it turns out, Mother Nature never consults with me ahead of time. However, yesterday turned out to be a […]

Saturday Q&A

 Posted by at 12:45 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 022023

I’m back with more questions from blog readers about RVing, my writing activities, what’s happening in our lives since we hung up the keys, and all kinds of other things. While I try to answer all questions individually, I also share some here occasionally. Q. In a blog last week you talked about carrying a […]

All Clear

 Posted by at 1:24 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 012023

Anybody who’s ever had a colonoscopy knows that the prep is so much worse than the actual procedure. Terry had already been sick for a week, and going through that sure didn’t add to her comfort level. But she’s a trooper and she got through it yesterday morning, getting a report including photos that all […]