Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A little bonus for walking the dog

I've been trying to take Gabe to the pasture for his run before the daily thaw starts, because I hate having to clean him up when he's been in the mud.  The stickers he gets in his fur are bad enough, and that's something that can't be avoided.  I'm willing to take one for the team if I must, though, because Gabe is so happy when he can go for a run.  This morning I looked at the hourly forecast around 8 AM and saw it was already 29 degrees, which meant I didn't have much time before it got muddy.  We were just starting out when I happened to look down as I was passing by the cottonwood tree and saw an arrowhead.  It was right there on top of the frozen ground; I had to work at getting it unstuck, but here it is. 
It's always a fun to find something like this when you aren't expecting it.  The previous owner of this part of our property plowed a lot of the ground up behind where our house sits and planted corn.  When he first plowed it, he let a co-worker come and hunt for artifacts, and that guy found a treasure trove of them.  Most of the arrowheads I find are chipped or broken.  

Oh yes, and even though I was walking on solidly frozen ground for the duration of my walk, Gabe managed to find some mud somewhere when he was out of sight.  Probably down in the biggest canyon on the place, since he insists on running down there every time we're back there.  
It's a long way down there

It worries me to death when Gabe gets so far out of my sight, but because it makes him happy, I continue to take the risk.  I wish he'd come when I call, though, the spoiled little scoundrel.  Most of the snow is gone on high ground, but it's colder down in the wooded valley.  So you wouldn't think Gabe would come out of there muddy, would you?  I imagine he's discovered the spring at the back of the place, and gets muddy when he's getting a drink.  It's always muddy around the spring.  You won't see me going down there these days.  It's a long, hard climb back to the top.
I've been looking back at the various versions I've done of "where I'm from".  You'll find my favorite version HERE.  


Sunday, December 09, 2018

The journey from overalls to jeans

Cliff has worn overalls exclusively for several years, even to church when he was attending; I'm OK with that, because overalls, he says, are the only thing he finds comfortable.  At our ages, I believe one should seek all the comfort he can find.  I'm not a dress-up person either.  

He only liked the Big Smith brand, though:  He doesn't like the galluses on Carhartts.  He doesn't like the pocket flaps on Keys.  The bib is too wide on other kinds.  Try as he might, he couldn't find anything that was just right for him.  The workmanship slipped considerably on Big Smith overalls, but he refused to consider anything else.  "Jeans," he said, "aren't made for men with big bellies."

And then the Big Smith brand disappeared.  Walmart no longer had them.  For a period of several months, they were nowhere to be found.  Cliff's overalls faded with passing time.  Every time we'd go into Orscheln's or other farm-related stores, we'd check for the overalls.  I made him try on various brands we'd never heard of, but we were wasting our time.  I couldn't help wondering if he'd end up staying home in his underwear all the time, once his remaining overalls were past wearing.  He was standing his ground, and would rather fight than switch.

Recently we stopped by Feldman's for something and, as usual, checked the overall aisle.  Lo and behold, there were Big Smiths on the shelves!  We got the only pair in his size and went home rejoicing, even though they were the pre-faded kind Cliff hates.  However, they didn't seem to be sized right.  When we went back to Feldman's I had an informative conversation with the checkout lady, who told me Walls bought the Big Smith brand.  I mentioned the sizing on the pair we bought, and she wasn't surprised.  Another Big Smith addict had come in and bought ten pairs, all the same size, and only two pairs fit him; he returned the others.  

The other day Cliff initiated a conversation that started with funerals:  He didn't have anything fit to wear to a funeral (or anywhere else, in my opinion) and thought he'd better buy some pants.  At our age, one needs to be prepared for funerals, because people in our age range and older are dying like flies.  On our next visit to Walmart, he tried on some slacks that he figured he could stand to wear for a couple of hours.  As we headed home, he decried the lack of comfortable clothing.  I reminded him of our motorcycle days:  From what I understood back then, a man has to be careful what sort of jeans he wears when he's driving a motorcycle.  It's a guy thing that I won't get into here.  Use your imagination.  Anyway, nothing was comfortable for him on the Honda.  When we went to Kleinschmidts at Higginsville to get Cliff some work boots, I suggested he try on some jeans while we were there.  That's an expensive place to shop, but if something fits properly, it might be worth the cost.  I'm not sure how we managed, but he found some that worked for him, and he wore them a lot.  

He doesn't even remember any of this: not the jeans, not buying them at Kleinschmidts... nothing.  I told him how comfortable they seemed to be when he was wearing them.  He took the bait, and yesterday we went to Higginsville.  I had a problem, though:  I didn't remember the brand, and that huge store carries dozens of brands.  I told him I remembered it being a common brand, possibly Lee, but the jeans weren't a style you'd find at Walmart.  "I remember some country singer was sponsoring them, and his picture was on the label," I said.  "It was some singer like Garth Brooks that everybody likes, but it wasn't him, some laid-back guy that isn't flashy or anything."

"George Strait?" he suggested.  "Yes!!!  That's the one!"

But what are the chances he's still sponsoring them, I thought to myself.  

Thanks to George Strait, we found those jeans, cowboy cut Wranglers.  George is still sponsoring them.  This all made me remember why I had him try them in the first place.  It was back when Pioneer Woman had a regular blog where she displayed pictures of her husband and kids and told funny stories and answered my emails and sent me free copies of her first three books.  

The blog is still there, but they scrubbed it clean once she became a famous brand; many of the wonderful stories are gone.  (Sorry I digress, but this is how my mind works.)  

Anyway, PW was always showing pictures of her husband Ladd from the back (it wasn't a bad view), so I knew he wore Wranglers.    When I saw the words "cowboy cut", I figured hey... if they're good enough for riding horses, they ought to work for a motorcycle ride.  

Can you remember your thought processes from twelve years ago?  Ha!  I can.

Cliff tried them on yesterday and instantly knew they were perfect.  I'm so happy I have enough memory left to have a few helpful recollections.

Happily yours,

P.S.  If you were wondering why Ree mentioned a tattoo when she autographed my book, I once sent her a photoshopped picture a friend did for laughs.