Stories and Fiction • His and Hers. Mag Drills.

February 17, 2017 rj5156 0

His and Hers. Mag drills.


Brian is very sensitive to size issues. Fit is a big deal for both of us. It is at least as difficult for him to find things that are scaled to his size, he IS an order of magnitude bigger than anyone else I know, and always has been. He looks like a draft horse in a herd of ponies.

Here he’s made me an extension for my chuck key. He’s working on an extension for the handle too. He enjoys doing it so much that I just say “thank you”.


All set up at MY comfy work height.


Brian sure knows how to spoil this girl. It’s always been hard for me to accept help. I have learned over the years to thank Brian prettily for this kind of thing. I know how much it means to me when there is some little thing I can actually do for him. We’re both pretty independent and self-sufficient but marriage is about doing nice things for each other at its’ best – and we do want the best of it.

Feeling loved and cherished:) I hope you all get regular doses of this, in whatever form matters most to YOU!

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:23 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

Nova. The Origami Revolution. Not everyone sees the world the same way. Obviously this is cause for great celebration!!!

Once I see the world through another’s perspective, my own can never again be quite the same. Naturally I LOVE the process. No matter what the process does. If I open my mind to the possibility of foreign perspectives it often rewards me by blooming in new ways, bearing good if different fruits, when I seek solutions to seemingly unrelated challenges, sometimes years later.

Just WOW! We were astonished and engaged. I may watch this one over and over and over.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:18 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

Trying out the baby pans. Yes, the burner is on. And it NEEDS to be that low even though the little redneck double-boiler is sitting on a wide-mouth mason jar ring on the burner.


A brownie cake with cream cheese icing. Chocolate dipped berries were a little over the top but added a lot. It WAS valentine’s day even if we forgot;)


NOTE! It says right on the toy stainless pans NOT to use them on the stove or in the oven! I blew that off, bought them to use. Easy to cook thin stainless. Ya’ll know how I know this;) VERY low heat was fine. No heat affected discoloration. Not recommending this, just sharing what we’re doing.

I did check the pans with a very strong magnet. It was attracted some but did not stick. Pretty good grade of material in them. With proper heat levels they should last a lifetime.

This explains what happens when stainless is overheated if you really want to know: … kts&NM=239

The takeaway is that the structure and composition of the metal is changed and becomes vulnerable to corrosion.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:47 pm


Stories and Fiction • Ginger Bug Starter

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

Ginger Bug Starter.

1/2 cup each fresh grated ginger root, sugar, Kevita sparkling probiotic drink from Walmart. Fresh ginger tea on right. I like a little lemon in it.


I use a coffee filter with a jar ring over it, to keep it clean.


A day later: We have bubbles! Should pick up speed fast. I added 1/4 cup each of grated fresh ginger, sugar and filtered water just now. If I can remember to stir it 3-4 times a day it goes faster.


It needs fed. Equal amounts fresh grated ginger and sugar each day. A tablespoon of each per day works for us. Once it is working and bubbling, 1/2 cup of ginger bug per quart of juice or tea to make carbonated drinks. We like it in apple cider! Just dump it in a generously sized container and put a towel over the top, set it in a warm spot, out of direct sunlight.

Let work at room temp until you like the taste. Pour in 2-liter plastic bottle. Cap tightly. Leave at room temp overnight.

Refrigerate next day. Squeeze bottle often. When it is hard, rock gently to distribute carbon dioxide bubbles, open carefully and drink! Burp pressure if not drinking fast enough to prevent over-pressure.

We are trying the Kevita as a starter to get it going faster. Updates as they happen!

Need to order the pressure relief valves for those soft drink syrup canisters I guess. I don’t care if it is carbonated, just looking for an easy way to drink some probiotics that tastes good. Brian likes the carbonation so I bet he will take care of modifying the containers to suit. Pics of that as he does it, whenever he gets to it.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:40 pm


Stories and Fiction • Fresh cranberry ferment

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

Fresh cranberry ferment.
4 cups fresh cranberries
3 cinnamon sticks
6 slices fresh ginger
1 tablespoon whole cloves


Using a half gallon jar for this. Put above in jar. Combined 1 tablespoon pink Himalayan salt, 1/2 teaspoon fermento powder (buttermilk powder works too), 4 cups water. Stirred and poured in jar.


Put a bread bag in the jar. Added a teaspoon of salt in case it leaks. Poured water in bag to about half full. Used rubber spatula to tuck everything under the bag. Topped off water to just below jar rim.


Put a ziplock over the top. Secured with rubber band around jar top. Set in a bowl. It will spew some first few days. I just wipe it out. We will start tasting after 2-3 days. Tuck it in the fridge when we like it. 7 days is suggested.

Recipe a modification of one given in “Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten & Christopher Shockey.


(1 day later). Hard to see but we have bubbles! Lots of them too, though they are very small.


Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:23 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

Had a hard time finding a picture of the slip scoop rig. The pic on the page linked below shows how it is hitched up. … scoop.html

One of the kids would lead the horse, who kept an ear back for Dad’s instructions and understood them full well. The kids kept the horse focused on the job and not the barn nearby;) Dad held the handles of the slip scoop, which requires a half-crouching crab walk as the horse pulls. Lifting the handles slants the blade, a fairly sharp edged affair on the scoop and pitches the cutting edge into the dirt. It WANTS to go right on over and muscling it DOWN as it goes is an astonishing amount of hard labor.

Once the scoop is filled or the hump is cut, the handles are forced down hard to lift the front out of the dirt. Ours had runners on the bottom. The handles had to be held down as the filled scoop was dragged to the dumping location. With some finesse and much help from the horse, the scoop is dragged onto the dirt pile or low spot, and the handles are lifted to dump the load of dirt. Takes a pretty long hitch to keep it from smacking the horse in the heels when it is flipped upside down.

Universally unpopular job with our horses. Dad didn’t love it either, it’s dangerous and grueling. Nobody brought their sweetest disposition to the slip-scoop, the horses laid their ears back at the sight of it and we sighed long-suffering sighs along with them.

It’s not like plowing, discing or dragging logs, where you get it going and momentum helps keep it going. The blade hits rocks and hard spots and it’s a jolting, stop-and-go piece of work for everyone involved.

Miserable work. We did a lot of it over the years. It gets the job done and we had a lot of places that ONLY a horse would fit. They stepped over things, worked around stuff and knew EXACTLY where their load was at all times.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:44 pm

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Excerpt from Patience / Machinist book, my comments

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

My comments:

In the end we built one of those flipping fence sections over the creek to help hold debris back and let water past. These need maintenance of course. Clear them out when it quits raining and the water goes down or pay for it later. I have not been there in years now. May take a little field trip and see if the bridge is still there.

If it’s been cared for with the respect it deserves, brush and debris has been kept from clogging it up, and occasional fill and tamping as needed where water WILL wear away around and under anything, it should be in fine shape to this day. Be interesting to see.

This was typical of my childhood. My folks bought a three story brick house when I was just old enough to remember, that’s where the pictures of Beep and I with that toolbox were taken. They ripped up the floors and replaced huge joists as needed, then put new floors back down.

They dropped some of the really high ceilings. Repaired the ancient fireplace and laid in bookcases on either side of it. There was plumbing and brick work building a nice concrete patio with openings left for drainage. Tuck pointing to fix the old exterior, work on the garage, shovel work in the yard to fix issues with the septic system resulting from bad work from the original build.

Not sure how much help I actually was at that time, but I was given helpful things I could do and I FELT like I was helping;)

We moved to a home on a half-acre and built a chicken house and a shed, put in a garden and planted an orchard. I WAS a lot of help by this time. They sold that place to move to this area. We did extensive repair on the huge old barn, jacking it up and replacing sections of the huge old hand-hewn beams. Built that bridge. Beep and I spent a good part of our free time unloading the smaller rocks and we were involved at a sweat-inducing level in every project at this point.

We built a large shop, one concrete mixer load at a time pouring the floor after serious slip scoop work with a horse helping, to make a level spot to put it. Built on to the house, pouring yet more concrete, one mixer load at a time, laying block walls and going up from there.

We took that HUGE barn down and salvaged ALL the material, one sheet of roofing and one board at a time. We built a much nicer barn, nearly as big as the one we took down. We did have the concrete poured for that one, the new barn was a concrete basement with a wood building above and a tin roof on top.

Major improvement because we could drive to the top and stack hay instead of having to pitch it in the loft! We poured the stalls and finished it out ourselves of course, once the walls and foundation were poured.

When Dad was finally released he started work re-building the shop. Mom and I had been buying equipment and using cut pipes levered under it to roll it into the basement, planting fruit and cedar trees and generally busting our butts to get as much done as possible toward future plans.

We did have the concrete poured for the shop floor, an amazing amount of work since it required building a basement and filling that in to find purchase for a foundation on a steep slope. We re-shaped the whole driveway, put in a lot of quality time with a pick and shovel, poured steps and a long section of retaining walls and back filled everywhere, much of it with a shovel.

We built the fab shop building using scrounged materials for the most part, someplace I’ve got pictures of all that. We built a shed, terraced the yard into three large gardens. Built a sunroom on the end of the house, again having the concrete poured and doing all the rest ourselves. I worked part-time, went to school full-time and sweated and bled for everything we accomplished there, instead of sleeping.

When we did family projects, we really DID things! I found very little in common with most of my peers.

Either they didn’t believe me or they were horrified. Honestly, I didn’t try very hard to meet them halfway. I did fare better socially with the Amish children, we had a lot more in common. I was living in my own little world and loving it. It was for me, a magical childhood. I keep saying this because it is so true. There was NOTHING we could not do!

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:32 am


Stories and Fiction • Excerpt from Patience / Machinist book

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

This is a chapter from “A Little More Common Sense”, scenes from my childhood from a totally different perspective.

With a ton of stone in the bed for traction, I tried using the four-wheel drive truck and its’ snowplow to bulldoze dirt. We needed an embankment on the upstream side, and we need it fast, but the snowplow refused to dig in the hard dirt.

Undaunted, I persuaded the ancient tractor to start, and began to drag the farm disc cultivator ’round and ’round the creek bed above the bridge. A few trips loosened the dirt all over a half acre about three inches deep. The snowplow pushed the loose dirt easily, and I soon had satisfying mounds of dirt piled against the retaining walls.

A full weekend of this dizzying work created an earth dike four feet high and a hundred feet long, extending from the bridge in both directions to high ground. It was raining while I finished, and continued to rain for two weeks. The dike turned to soft mud and settled a lot.

Stone-hauling continued every evening in the icy fall rain. The dike leaked in places, keeping us busy plugging holes with chunks of stone, but the dike held. The half acre bowl-shaped depression wed dub on the upper side of the bridge was now a lake.

More stone raised the level of the dike and covered the mud to keep it from washing away if the water spilled over the top. The rain stopped, and the lake subsided. There was a foot deep pool in the lane on the unfinished house side, but it was passable with two feet of solid stone fill beneath.

Gradually, the stone-hauling raised the lane above water level. The lane was passable in the car now, and got better with every load. Winter came and all work halted. The pool was frozen solid, so we traveled in and out easily, although carefully on the ice.

With spring came the acid test for the new bridge. Spring rains were always heavier than fall rains, and lasted longer. The spring of 1970 was wetter than normal. Ordinary drizzles lasted for weeks, saturating the soil so every drop that fell ran racing down the steep hills to our creek.

In late March, four inches of rain fell in one afternoon, in a matter of two hours. When I drove in from work, water was level with the top of our dike, and two streams were pouring from the culverts. Water as trickling over the top in places.

I put on tall boots and went to check it out. There didn’t seem to be nearly enough water coming out of the culverts, considering that they were submerged on the upper end. Some poking with a stick dislodged limbs and leaves that clogged the culverts, but there was still comparatively little flow through them.

Further prodding disclosed something else blocking the culverts. Water was beginning to run over the dike in a small stream and cutting a trench as it went.

There was no choice but to climb down into the frigid water. Some groping in the muddy yellow water found the problem; a small cedar tree had washed down the creek and lodged crossways in front of the culverts. Finding was one thing, removing was something else. The surging current held the tree against the concrete with tremendous force. I pulled hard with both hands and bent with my nose almost in the water to reach for a better grip when the tree dislodged upward. The other end was directly in front of a culvert, so the current grabbed it and tore it from my grip.

It turned and was sucked endwise into the near culvert, which in the process pulled me off balance to fall almost into the current. One foot went in front of the surging opening to catch myself, and was instantly swept into the culvert. I grabbed onto the bridge railing posts and pulled myself up and out of the water, safe and sound, but minus one boot.

Once I had clambered onto the bridge, the bare foot was more comfortable than the other one, which was soaking in a bootfull of icy creek water. Wet all over, I sat down to pull off the other boot and survey the damage. Water was roaring along happily through the culverts now. I noticed the cedar tree bobbing along a couple hundred yards downstream.

The water level had ebbed somewhat. It was no longer running over the dike, but I slogged over to the breach and kicked a couple big rocks in the new trench anyway to stop any chance of more damage. Surely, this rain was the worst test the bridge would ever see. The dike held. The roadbed was intact. It looked like we’d finally won. I sloshed my way to the house, to get dry and warm, not feeling too victorious.

You couldn’t really win against nature, I thought. The best you could hope for was an armed truce. I felt the lack of ultimate victory and the relentlessness of weather and nature. Ten, twenty, or a hundred years from now, the creek would eat away at our bridge and eventually win again. But for now, we had our small victory. The bridge would serve us well for as long as we were likely to need it. That would have to be enough.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:30 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

This is a chapter from “A Little More Common Sense”, scenes from my childhood from a totally different perspective.

My note:

Connie did much of the labor pulling a slip- scoop to sculpt the stream bed, she was the slower and larger horse in the draft team, better suited to the job. This is back-breaking labor for the person running the scoop as the horse pulls it, and not entirely safe either. Kids led the horse and our three-way communication system between horse, slip-scoop operator and kid got lots of practice. We were ALL glad when that was done.

Much labor for all the family went into collecting large stones to throw in as we would pour concrete, to save money by reducing the amount of concrete required.

Pouring concrete is always something of a panic operation. Any mistakes will solidify into stone in a few hours. We had all the necessities on had though, lots of rocks, an armload of scrap iron, old wire and other junk we could dispose of in the wet cement, along with plenty of helpers to shovel concrete into the corners and then plug any leaks with old newspaper. It all went well, but the ready-mix driver got the last of what money we could afford to spend right at the moment.

We were now pretty broke, and we had a four foot high by fourteen foot wide wall of cement blocking the lane. We still had to build sloping approaches to the bridge before we could cross it with a vehicle. We parked the car and pickup in the pasture across the creek. It looked like we would be walking the last hundred yards to the house for some time to come. Not a good prospect at all. We were just beginning on this project.

Retaining walls for the approaches came next. With our bank account shot, we built concrete forms out of scrap lumber. We mixed our own concrete in a small hand mixer, a quarter-yard at a time, which occupied several weeks. The faithful junkyard supplied reinforcing steel, and pipes to use for railing posts. It only took a month of drudgery to have four retaining walls, arranged like a letter “H”, extending from the central mass where the culverts were. All we had to do was fill in between them, and we could drive to the house again!

I knew or sandy soil would not do for filling. It soaked up water like a sponge and would become a huge mud pit, then freeze in winter to expand and break down the retaining walls. We needed stone for fill, massive amounts of it, and it was free for the taking at the stone mills near the town where I worked. I would simply haul some home each day as I came home from work.

The first pickup load was discouragingly small, compared to the amount we needed. Stone is HEAVY! Our heavy-duty pickup could haul about three tons a day. The roadbed was fourteen feet wide, and four feet of fill was needed at the creek, tapering off to nothing about sixty yards away.

My calculator said it would take over a hundred loads to fill that gaping hole! And then ANOTHER hundred loads on the OTHER side of the bridge! My heart sank, but I began to haul stone in earnest. Five evenings a week we unloaded chunks of limestone into the hole. On Saturdays, I splurged and bought three tons of fine crushed limestone at the quarry to fill in the cracks between pieces, then more chunks the next week. The weeks stretched into months.

When frost was in the air and leaves were beginning to fall, I was sure I’d hauled enough stone to build the pyramids all over again. I began to sympathize with the Hebrew slaves in Egypt, but the road still lacked a foot of being high enough to cross the bridge yet. We were getting real tired of carrying groceries that last hundred yards to the house each week, across the still impassable bridge. We were even more tired of hauling and laying stones. Fall rains weren’t far away, and we were less than half done. A heavy rain could be disastrous, cutting around the unfinished bridge.

Redoubled efforts created a stone ramp that allowed us to begin fill on the second side. The weather was more threatening by the time we could FINALLY get the truck over the rough fill and to the house. It began to rain sporadically. It was time for serious efforts.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:28 am


Stories and Fiction • Excerpt from Patience / Machinist book

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

This is a chapter from “A Little More Common Sense”, scenes from my childhood from a totally different perspective.

Pics Dad included in the manuscript in this chapter.

Really cruddy photo of a photocopy. This is a very old picture and I’m having trouble orienting myself in it. Maybe Beep or Kg can help here? Suspect the original photo will clear it all up if I can find it. Think it is taken from the circle drive with the house behind us and to the left. Corn-crib to the right, just in front of the car.

The vehicle in the driveway coming toward us is crossing the bridge, coming toward the house. Original barn on the right, just out of the picture? Maybe? Bet it was taken when folks were coming over for a shooting afternoon? We didn’t have that much company for anything else and most of the vehicles shown are parked in our overflow area?


A rough sketch of the project.


Link to larger copy of above image. … u.jpg.html

JULY, 1978

Building A Bridge

Keeping our driveway usable was an outrageous problem. In springtime, the seasonal rains not only flooded the lane, but they also washed tons of expensive gravel downstream. This left a young canyon across the driveway that grew deeper after each rain until it reached bedrock.

Since the dry weather arrived, we had thrown rocks into the chasm until it was passable, but a single heavy rain had swept it all away. The washout was about 5 or 5 feet wide now, and over a foot deep, as I began to seriously consider the problem. IT would take more than even a heavily constructed wooden bridge to cope with these flash floods.

The engineer in me was determined to solve this. Out came my calculator. Forty three thousand square feet per acre, times 200 acres of drainage is a lot of area. A single inch of rain would put almost three quarters of a million cubic feet of water down our creek! Six million gallons! And it came down the creek at break neck speed over a period of about an hour. That’s roughly the contents of 32 Olympic-size swimming pools.

No wonder the neighbors told tales of many homebuilt bridges here that had all washed away. The probable cost of a really big, solid masonry bridge loomed in my mind as utterly ridiculous. I began to understand why the farm had been so cheap to buy. Just how stupid had I been to get myself into this, I wondered?

I walked back upstream to where two branches merged to form our creek. The smaller one we’d filled with brush and tree limbs as we cut fire wood and logs for farm lumber. Most of it was full now, but this only slowed down the water. We needed a dam to shut off this smaller stream and thus reduce the amount of water downstream where the new bridge would be.

Within a matter of days, our neighbor had hired a bulldozer to grade his farm lanes, so we took advantage of the chance to have a dam built that corked the small stream. The small pond we created would provide extra water for livestock in dry years, eliminating the tiresome chore of carrying water in buckets.

The main stream, however, was still capable of raging over the lane with about two-thirds of its’ original strength. Recent rains showed that the bridge must allow a stream about a foot deep and up to eight feet wide to pass. We knew from experience that it could be three or four times that big for short periods of heavy rains.

Our solution was decided when I discovered a pair of 30 inch diameter metal culverts at my favorite shopping center – the local junkyard. Some noisy work with a sledge hammer removed most of the worst dents. After trimming with an acetylene torch, we had a matched pair fourteen feet long. The next problem was how to keep them from washing away? Lots of concrete should do it.

They had to be carefully placed in the stream bed, so a horse was best for the job. Daisy complained about the noisy trip down the gravel lane, but did a perfect job of placing them in the washout that had stopped traffic. A couple weeks of spare time work got the stream bed straight and level, and concrete forms around the culverts.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:26 am


Stories and Fiction • Excerpt from Patience / Machinist book

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

Here’s a short and sweet section from Clank! by Patience (aka Machinist). It fits so well with the bullies we have been talking about I thought I’d post it.


Power. It is an elusive intangible that everyone recognizes. To many, power is the obvious answer to the insecurities of life’s hazards. There is a thin line of respectability between the corporate chieftain wielding power over the livelihoods of his stockholders and employees with the stroke of a pen, and the gangland crime boss who orders robberies or lives to be terminated.

Both have succumbed to the seductive lure of power as a way of life, to have others do their bidding, and force their will on lesser beings. One we respect, the other we fear and hate, yet both are playing by almost the same rules.

Very often, the difference between them is lost when a corporate ruler decides to move his enterprise to a foreign country for more profit, destroying whole towns and wounding cities in the process. Or, when a public official abuses the trust of his office by corrupt practices to assure his re-election, or line his pockets, many lesser folk suffer. In the case of some large labor unions, the line between legal power and criminality is almost impossible to find.

Addictive drugs are regulated in most of the world, but power is only subject to the law of the jungle, and power is surely the most addictive drug of all. We don’t get concerned PERSONALLY, most of us, because we don’t have any power to worry about, do we?

The most compelling and far-reaching power I know of, is the influence every parent has in shaping the life of his child. And this power, we wield with impunity, subject to virtually no sanctions at all.

Those who fail as parents can always use time-honored denial as an out, saddling the child and “society” with responsibility for the parent’s own mistakes in shaping his offspring. True, we each bear the responsibility for our own behavior. What we need to explore is where that responsibility begins.

Crime and punishment has gone through phases of emphasis from bestial viciousness, to ridiculous laxity. It has endured many fads: re: education, torture, exorcism (Inquisition) and mutilation, imprisonment, rehabilitation, and now warehousing.

None of these have been successful in ridding us of crime; that much is obvious. Despite the failure, we have learned a lot. Although experts and statistics are probably most used by liars, they do agree with society, that crime and criminals are inescapably linked to certain conditions of life: economic hardship, and decayed morality.

It isn’t one or the other, it is both, and the pivot point of both issues is family life, and the child’s experience in his family. Manipulation, inducement, force or other motivators are the same, whether used in the boardroom, in court, in a dark alley, or in the dining room, trying to convince Junior to eat his spinach.

When we motivate a child by the use of forcible power, we are teaching him to use force to get his own way when he grows up.

WE did it.

POGO: We have seen the enemy, and he is us!

My notes:

Obviously this was written long before our current drug-riddled problems came to their present state. I enjoyed this one. Hope you do too:)

I am mystified by the last sentence. No idea what “POGO” stands for but I left it in.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:21 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 16, 2017 rj5156 0

Guess the last one wasn’t my most positive offering… I get happy if it looks like I might be able to step off the tracks when a train is coming!

After years of searching I found my friends from my first duty station in the Air Force. Even found my wonderful roomie! Wow. Better yet, I found them all well and happy:)

Been chatting with them. I do NOT do chat but there is a lot to catch up on and our phone service is dismal on a good day and just drops if I touch it. Brian must be more conductive. He can make calls!

Cool pics piling up. See if I can get them uploaded and posted tomorrow.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:03 pm

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 14, 2017 rj5156 0

Grain and farmers in trouble.

We have already lost a lot in world grain markets because other countries are not interested in GMO crops. I posted some time back about a huge lawsuit about China rejecting grain arriving in harbors because it was GMO. Farmers sued because they had been gauranteed a market for the crop if I recall thhe details. Not seeing any news that has been settled and it started in 2013. Link about that below.

Mexico may not buy our corn if hostile policies are initiated: … index.html

China rejects corn crop due to unapproved GMO content, lawsuit against seed company: … st-farmers

Grain is a lot of work to grow without modern equipment. Can’t just plant a row of wheat. Farm economics are tied to the food we like to eat.

A friend on one of our forums obseved that milk prices, as paid to dairy farmers, have not gone up in 50 years. We are not accstomed to paying what milk is actually worth and will not like it if we are forced to either.

Lot of small farms have been lost. Looks like the ever-bigger, industrilized farming practices are in trouble now. I have posted before about how nobody wants our GMO crops and farmes often cannot even get non-GMO seeds and the products needed to grow them.

This is all interrelated and directly connected to the food on our plates. Might be time to buy some bulk grain and pack it in inert gas. Looks like a cushion against uncertainty and turmoil in grain production and markets mid-term might be a very good idea.

Might also plant a little corn. Non-GMO, bee and butterfly friendly stuff. It is a challenge to keep it from being contaminated by any GMO corn in the area.

Article describing the economic woes of farming today: … crash-2017

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:32 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 14, 2017 rj5156 0

I am watching “Accidental Courtesy”, by Independant Lens. Why are they hitting me? asks the black gentleman, Darryl Davis, as a child. “There are people who simply do not like you, for no other reason than the color of your skin.” his parents replied. “…it was incomprehensible to me.” He says now.

That child grew up to become a remarkable human being. Paraphrasing here, now he says that “If you allow someone whose views oppose your own to express those views, chances are they will return the courtesy.” He seeks out clan members and befriends them. He asks them “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” “Exactly what DO you belive?”

He asks them a lot of questions like “Could I join?” and then, of course, “Why not?” He talks with them about music. He finds common ground. He asks questions about their beliefs and in great detail.

He is astonishingly well aware of the small details of their beliefs. He listens. He disagrees with their viewpoint while steadfastly respecting their humanity. He announces that he considers them his friend. He maintains the friendships over years, socaizes with them.

He has a staggering collection of clan robes, given to him by these friends, when they leave the clan. Says one day he will open a museum. That it is important to claim our history. Not all of them leave. He perserveres with steadfast friendship without burdening it with expectations. He just keeps humanizing himself to them and is happy to do this.

He is changing the world. This is almost more than I can take in but I think my world view may be forever altered.

Just before the fire I had planned to invite some local business owners I have failed to communicate with, about why I do not send work to business owners who violate Equal Opportunity laws, out to lunch, just to talk and visit in a public place where I could know I was physically safe. I wonder what my little world – and yours – might look like today if our lives had not been upended, and I had tried that.

I have lately been thinking about this again. Considering if I am in good enough shape to do it well, if I have done enough of the work dealing with the astonishing chain of losses and traumas in our lives the past couple years. Wondering if there was any point, if it is worth the effort.

I FEEL what this man says about his experiences. I can sure relate. I am looking through this man’s perspective as he says “What would you say to people like me, who would say to people like you ….. Where is the place for me in this?” How well he puts it.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:08 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 13, 2017 rj5156 0

We went gun shopping yesterday. I talked about that in the gun topic, started a thread on the Taurus Judge.

Now we are exhausted! Stopped at Toys R Us. Got me some toys! I might be grown up enough to like playing house now? It says not to use these stainless pans on the stove. I do not follow silly instructions. The center standing pilot on our gas stove is perfect for these. I won’t overheat them.

We do not have a microwave at home. These are perfect to melt a couple tablespoons of butter, warm a little sauce for dessert, do a half cup of herb infused oil, I could go on but I won’t. We had the silicon spatulas and the 2 1/2 cup stainless measuring cup on the bottom shelf already.

I am actually replacing a ragtag collection of really cruddy and old aluminum baby pans I used for such things for years. I’ve missed them but was adamant about getting rid of the aluminum. VERY pleased to have the functionality back!

The candle lantern would make coffee with these in a pinch, I am sure. Bet I could just use the rack they store on to do that. We already had the rolling pin, silicon spatulas, and the 2 1/2 cup stainless measuring cup shown beside the pans on the rack.





I thought this was too perfect!


Packaging shot.


$20 for the set at Toys R Us. I would have gotten Syd a set too, but they only had one. Stainless toys are fine for her and I do think this set would hold up to her attentions too. We’ll check back and pick up another set for the neglected cockatoo.

Brian suggested that camping pans might fill a niche too. He’s got some in packs with the little stoves and such, which is a fine place for them. He did say that the titanium pans have to be watched closely! I like my stainless, I’ll keep an eye out and see if there is anything in-between the bitty ones and our small saucepan. We are a little bit strange about LOVING to have just exactly the right size for the job.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:39 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 13, 2017 rj5156 0

A candle lantern. Who knew!? Spring loaded candle, 9 hour burn time. Glass chimney. Optional reflectors available. Bet it would make coffee and other important things using that baby pan set (pics next) on a stand over it. Double duty?! We’ll try it.

I’ve looked into it. A “candlier” that uses three candles is also available. I find an oil insert for it but it is not currently available. We have kerosene lanterns so that’s not an enticing option to me but I do see it could be convenient.


I had never seen these. Brian says he’s got a few tucked into packs. Recall he had MY pack all loaded up and ready for me before we even got married, It’s a marvel of well-considered solutions for needs and comfort, and I really need to haul it around some so I could if I needed to. I see the utility for sure. Think I want the optional reflectors, they are not very expensive. Around $3 for a side reflector and $9 for a two-piece top reflector that comes apart to store.


Packaging shot.


Looks like Walmart carries these, I got this one for $20 at Bass Pro yesterday when we were looking at handguns. Picked up two packs of 9-hour candles for it, about $5 for three candles. Walmart is quite a bit cheaper on the candles, I’ll order some and tuck them back. Think I’d like at least one more of the candle lanterns to keep around the house. … n/27653616

Yeah. I just think they are cute. I have absolutely no need for these whatsoever. We’ve got coleman lanterns that use the liquid fuel, traditional kerosene lamps (and the non-smelly fuel) a BIG kerosene light that works like the pump up coleman only it uses kerosene, several sizes of hand-crank lights and solar lights. Never have too many light-making devices though, right?

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:15 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 13, 2017 rj5156 0

Brian had a go at making biscuits.


He put on quite a spread! Syd was excited about it as soon as he opened the bacon. It is hard for cockatoos to wait… We heard a lot about bacon from Syd while it cooked.


Dad started that. I never gave her bacon. It is a LOT harder to stop this than it was not to start it. He fed her anything she wanted and as much of it as she could hold. Must be a grandparent thing. He could not resist when she begged for stuff by name! Softie at heart.


Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:00 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 13, 2017 rj5156 0

Gotta try this. Peltier module on a rocket stove made from tin cans – to charge cell phones. Wow. A rainy-day charger! Solar only works when the sun is shining. These are pretty pricey. I’d like to try making one of course. We have a peltier fan on the wood stove. It goes and goes and goes. Moves a lot of air too!

I’ll make a tin can rocket stove since I want to anyhow. Then experiment a little. I’ve wanted to do a picture series of a rocket stove build anyone can do with common hand tools and I want a small rocket stove to play with.

The peltier modules work on the temperature DIFFERENCE. That’s not quite as simple as it looks in the pretty picture below. Got good feedback on these on facebook, friends report they work, and others observe they are not real efficient. Most things that are trying to do more than one thing are not.

Some use water to cool one side. Think the designs I have seen show room for improvement. Honestly solar, wind and hand or foot powered are probably more practical. Just fun stuff on this one. Appeals to my utilitarian nature. Nice if we could benefit twice from a tool! … at-220628/


Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:55 pm

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Welding and prep?!

February 11, 2017 rj5156 0

We know what we are doing day-to-day is not what most folks think of when they talk about welding… Good news, an old family friend has asked if we might help him start Mig welding with his old, but new to him Lincoln welder. Looks to be a solid old machine. I prefer them to any of the new ones myself. Be warm weather before he wants to do that, but it’s just around the corner.

I’ll ask nicely and I’m sure he’ll be fine with me taking pictures as we go, to share. We’ll walk through the machine, how it works, how to keep it working, little tips and tricks we’ve learned the hard way. He happens to have a gas-shielded setup but everything we’ll look at will apply to flux-core too. I’m looking forward to visiting with him, and his lovely wife.

Couple things we talked about already, I suggested he run a search for the manuals, he looked online and found the operator and technical manuals for his machine, and downloaded those. I imagine he’ll print those out.

I did tell him about nozzle dip, it’s a commercial product that helps keep the tip cleaner. Dad used bacon grease. Smell it for miles. It worked. Lard probably would be better. Dad DID clean his grease of course. Knowing the preferred way, and what works is always good.

I remarked that when I started I stuck the mig wire right to the tip. I’m still good at that. Nozzle dip helps with this. The tip can be saved by breaking as much wire as possible off, have to take it all apart to cut it loose from the inside, then file the outside gently until it’s flush.

Those little cleaner sets with round files that fold out, used for cleaning gas welding tips do a fine job of poking the last bit of wire out of the hole. Smoosh it in the in the nozzle dip deep enough that the inner part that the wire feeds through gets dunked, and go again.

A wire cleaning felt pad and the solution intended for it saves all kinds of trouble later. Keep the wire clean as we go and we aren’t yanking the liner out of the feed line and trying to resurrect it when we need it to work NOW! Both the solution and the felt pad were shown here:…/dp/B008S1SQ9U

Just clip the felt on the wire between where it comes out of the spool and the tensioner / feed rollers. Dribble a little solution on it once in a while. Change the pad sometimes if it’s cruddy. Clean wire welds nicer too. We just get it from our local supplier, Indiana Oxygen, in Seymour but it looks like walmart carries it at least online.

If you are really interested, the metal cored wire is sweet. Here’s an article about it that covers it much better than I can:…tal-cored-wire

All introduction level stuff, which IS the place to start. Not claiming any particular expertise here, just talking about what we find works.

Our friend was concerned it would be hard to learn. In our experience most folks are making good solid welds in an hour or less. They can put a lot more time in and keep making prettier welds, but that level of effort is not appropriate or needed for most things.

Seems to come a LOT easier to those who can write cursive. Another unforeseen outcome of eliminating that from our school curriculum. Sigh.

I happen to think welding would be a GREAT prep. We have enough solar panels to run a small unit direct on a decent day and everything we’d need to get it together. I’ve looked at it and we could do more of course but I don’t see much need for it in ordinary situations.

If everything went to … well … you know it’s looking a little dicey out there, the ability to do welding repair would be a pretty hot business. Pun intended

So we’ll keep posting about whatever we’re making and I’ll soon be better situated to start posting a lot more practical stuff for the level most folks actually need to do. I’m pretty excited about that! Something to look forward to and someone to share it with. Our definition of happiness.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:00 pm

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Welding and prep?!

February 11, 2017 rj5156 0

I know I post a lot of stuff about fabrication that doesn’t seem to relate to preparing at all. I’m not really talking about welding here though. I am trying to show everyone, with pictures that tell so much more than words, about processes.

I use that word a lot. We can’t seem to help but look for a better way to do something, try to find tricks that streamline a process, make a job easier. We try to show our little assembly lines and how we use overlapping or shared work spaces to get a lot out of a very small area.

We have to see things to imagine them. We were lucky and saw a lot of this stuff all our lives. It’s ALL making stuff to us of course.

There is much fertile ground for cross-pollination too. You might be working with wood but many of the same principles and tools and processes we use still apply. Lot of our layout might help the sewing crowd.

We talk about using tools across applications, like that cutting mat with a grid, to lay parts on to make a CAD me used to enlarge any flat pattern. We always hope something we share will be useful to others and we know it need not apply directly to be useful. Most of what we know about making cupcakes in mold pans would work for pouring plaster casts.

We think that looking at tasks that need done from this perspective is one of the most important preps we can make. But of course we aren’t preppers Just trying to live like Grandma.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:56 pm

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

One last shot. The welder of course, in his new welding helmet. He LOVES it! Something about Star Wars characters…? Says it is so much lighter and cooler he cannot quite believe it.


He went down about noon today. Crawled off to bed after an hour asleep on the couch. Muttering something about how he does not WANT to be sick!

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:58 pm

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

Setup shot.


Close-up of the clamps at the joint. The triangle deal is something Brian made because he needed something that looked like that. He’s got them in three sizes and machined them true once he welded them. Didn’t have to remove much and the metal itself wasn’t perfect to begin with.


Holding it all together at the base. We use woodworking clamps a lot for longer reaches. Weld sequence still matters to prevent warpage but getting hold of stuff always helps!


Setting up to position the top plate. We have an astonishing collection of shims. We use machinist’s blocks for fit-up and tacking if something is really critical. Then you KNOW it’s right.


Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:33 pm


Stories and Fiction • Stainless Steel Tube Welding

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

I actually think that dealing with difficult situations and people is an EXCELLENT topic in any preparedness discussion and probably rates it’s own thread. Gets to be a drag though. I generally avoid those trying souls like the plague and avoid any contact with them at all if I possibly can. Takes a lot to motivate me to put up with the irritation. I’ve quit a job or two because it was not worth the nuisance factor to me.

On to better things. I posted a link to a local news article some time ago about the machine these guards are for. Can’t even recall how many we have done now, last couple were done in our shop and I was involved in that. Fun stuff like using a hole saw in the milling machine to make the fishmouth in the tubes. Can’t say I mind giving THAT job up right now.

Yeah. There are several easier ways, but not on a Sunday working with what we had on hand because nobody else wants to do short-notice stuff and everybody seems to hate stainless.

I’ll start with the machine the guards go on. This one is made to handle barrels.


Trying a different sequence, here are the finished units and then we’ll start from the beginning with the build. I’d be interested to hear what you think about the sequencing this round, better? Worse?


Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:05 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

I have been doing this because there are a number of people in my life right now who REALLY need help dealing with bullies. By using myself as an example I hope they won’t feel like I’m singling them out. I am sharing here because I know the problem is not limited to my little world – it is everywhere. Not done with it yet, but I’m done with it for now!

Something to rinse off any residue from the previous series of posts;) Syd enjoying a shower in North Carolina, years ago. Note her wings were clipped back then – VERY important safety feature for birds who might fly away. Lot of responsibility too. Once we clip a bird’s wings, we are responsible for extra vigilance to keep them safe. I never clipped her too short to fly short distances by the way.


Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:36 am


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

3 of 3. Closet bullies and how to “out” them.

People hide behind the anonymity of the internet. I have always gotten flamed on technical forums when I show my gender. I do not get this if I keep my gender private. So I’ve had experience dealing with trolls on forums too.

I posted here about a really interesting job Brian did quite some time ago, actually took dictation for him and shared it. You may recall that “Hillbillyman” apparently took offense and started flaming and just wouldn’t stop. Sent me nasty messages, posted trash on my thread.

I view this as sport and entertainment. There’s a link to the whole exchange below if you missed it, but here are the highlights:

I emailed a moderator with links, copies and specific complaints:

This is getting to be less fun for me to share what we are experiencing and learning here on American Preppers Network. I enjoy membership in forums where this doesn’t happen. I only posted here because we thought a bigger forum might help others with off-grid issues.

I’ve got a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of thing and usually just leave a forum if it occurs.

I don’t think that “ignoring” this kind of thing is working though it seems to be standard policy on many internet boards. “Stalking” posters from one board to another is apparently a growing problem on the internet.
I’d like to observe that Hillbillyman has missed the content – and context – of the welding tale altogether and only used it as a springboard to attack me in public with issues that aren’t even relevant.

I am beginning to get interested in obtaining the IP address this harassment is coming from so I can take legal action against the perpetrator if it continues.

This is bullying in the modern-age. We get what we put up with. So far ignoring it has gotten me more of it.

I posted ALL of it publicly on my page and added this:

How to ignore a member:
user control panel > friends and foes tab > manage foes > add new foe > submit
Ahhhh. That’s better. We work very hard to live peacefully, quietly and productively.
Now. It’s not free to be hateful to me.
I added one to hillbillyman’s negative karma with a link to his reply in this section for the reason. Pretty much self-explanatory I’d say.
How to report a member:
I clicked the red exclamation point by the topic subject heading, (between “quote” and “edit”) to “report this post”.
I selected “The reported message does not fit into any other category, please use the further information field” from the drop-down menu for “reason”.
I included the following in the message field for “further information” in the report:
I think that being hateful for the sake of it is uncalled for. I hope I understood the rules I read and agreed to when I signed up on this forum to mean this is inappropriate here.
If I misunderstood and this is an acceptable post here I will promptly delete all my posts and go someplace where this kind of nastiness isn’t allowed…
Can’t say I envy you the job you do, but I sure appreciate that you are there to evaluate my complaint, however you decide to deal with it.

If you’re entertained by it, the fun starts about halfway down the page. The guy used a pic of Fred Flintstone for his user id, those are on the right hand side. I posted all his “private messages” publicly in my thread so you can see those, and the moderator comments too.

Note that I did post a couple times after a few months about letting Hillbillyman come back to the forum if he could behave. Apparently everyone was tired of him? There were no comments or takers. I was not trying to get him banned but he sure needed to stop with me!

I’d still be fine with letting him come back and participate, he did contribute a lot, provided he could behave a little better.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:26 am


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

2 of 3. Closet bullies and how to “out” them:

I have even run into a closet bully on facebook. I almost always favor a direct approach but I tried something different this time and it worked beautifully.

I’ve included a screen shot of a message I got from the dude. I backtracked him. Found his old account on Backwoods home where he is banned. Linked him by his dog, Gizmo, his location, and interests. Found out he knew Dad there – so he knew full well he was kicking me when I was down – or thought so anyway.

I do know our posts draw a LOT of traffic. If all those folks are laughing, that’s great! We have never gotten many replies on internet forums. That’d be normal for us. So the dig didn’t hit anything for me.

I thought about it a very long time. Then I started joining his groups on facebook. ALL of them. Sometimes I participate. I use the same icon so he will KNOW it is me. I never said a word. I just watched.

Saved a list of his friends with links in case he decides to block me, so I can send friend requests and ask them to call him off if he is ever a problem again. Like, his MOM and bestie. I have not heard a thing from him since.

Bet he did not like seeing me everyplace he went but he sure kept it to himself from then on. He has since made his friends list private, looks like. Glad I saved it.

Note I did not “block” or “report” him. It’s easy to work around that, just sign up with a new account. I’d rather know who he is and where he lives / works, and what he is doing.

Here’s his page, link taken from his nasty “private” message to me, he looks pretty normal, doesn’t he? I have to say I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to share ways to deal with this kind of thing.

Links to the troll’s interactions with Dad below. Mostly he behaved well in public posts, I know because I read them. Thus he was banned for his sniping at folks in private messages. He probably signed right back up with a new account but I didn’t find it. Bet he didn’t include personal information that would identify him and get him kicked right back off. … stcount=58 … stcount=59 … stcount=60

He did have a few issues in public: … post232234

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:13 am


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

1 of 3. Closet bullies and how to “out” them:

I worked doing customer service by phone here in town years back. Sometimes people I didn’t even know called and HOWLED at me about something I had no control over. I was not disturbed by this. I just put them on speakerphone, turned the volume all the way up and addressed them by name often.

Small town. Often the people who came into the place I worked actually KNEW these howler monkeys on the phone. This generally caused a lot of discussion and laughter – which came through on speakerphone of course. Even people who did not know them often commented on the behavior. AND they would remember how that person behaved when they thought no one was looking.

I almost never had a repeat problem. These folks don’t want help. They just want to abuse someone who cannot easily defend themselves. It is NEVER free to start with me. Putting them on speakerphone sure changed the dynamics. Once they realized they were not hiding and beating someone up for free – they hung up.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:10 am


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

Closet bullies and why I bother to “out” them.

I learned about bullies in public school. I’ve spoken of this before but if you missed it, I was never like the other children. Worse, I have never cared about that.

I paid for this. I was physically attacked, my glasses were stolen, I was pushed down stairs, stabbed a number of times with sharp pencils, my projects were broken, it went on and on and on. The adults in charge absolutely failed to help me be physically safe when I begged them to help me – and those same adults kicked me out when I finally defended my person from harm.

I’ve had all of that I EVER intend to take. Thinking about trying the “freeze away” on the black holes I still carry on my back, arms and stomach from being stabbed with pencils. Be nice if I didn’t have to wear visible signs of those years of abuse for the rest of my life.

I never cared what they said. I ALWAYS made sure they paid for what they did – if I could figure out who did it. Got a special place in my heart for the closet bullies and I enjoy “outing” them very much;)

I did a series of three posts on this topic, they’re next.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:07 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

2 of 2. A difficult situation from two perspectives.

It is noteworthy that I never even considered the other side of this situation until just now. I DO live in my own little world, and that all happened long before I learned to try to understand the other point of view…

This supervisor had a lot more years in the military than I did. He’d been promoted from DOING the job, into management of others, as is the military way. We happened to have a unusually high-ranking shop chief when he transferred in to our base, so this guy was sent out to do work in the shop after years of supervising.

I would imagine procedures had changed and he didn’t realize it. He likely had some heartburn over his own “demotion”.

He walks in the door and sees one of three females in the entire maintenance branch, doing stuff that is not in accordance with what HE remembers from his day. He does not have any idea of my background.
He has been saddled with those new troops with absolutely no background whatsoever too, and I was only almost a year into the job. Most of those kids who never held a hammer (or a mop and broom) before they joined the military had to be shown EVERYTHING and it took a very long time to get productive work out of them.

Lot of females played on their gender, got cushy little assignments typing up reports and liked it that way. Many I saw used their gender as an excuse to slack off, do poor quality work and actively incited strife in the manner of 12 year old girls.

I looked about 12 myself. I HAD performed exceptionally well and I was rewarded with the most interesting (and hardest) repairs because I could be counted on to do them very well, and I ASKED for them.

Looking back, I can only imagine how it appeared to him when he walked in the door and saw me doing complex jobs that were generally given to much higher ranking, and more experienced troops. We were assigned to each other, he DID have a lot of technical experience and I WAS the most promising of the new troops.

He wasn’t just my shift supervisor on second shift, he was officially my “trainer” and he took that seriously, without bothering to ask about my background.

I see that my attitude initially must have been as exasperating for him as his was for me.

HIS ability to overcome his preconceptions and SEE me was exceptional. This didn’t turn around just because of me. In the end, I think he nominated me for early promotion, and I know I helped others understand his management style and appreciate his strengths more too.

I am glad I decided to share this. There was more for me to learn here and it feels pretty good right now.

I have actually looked for this guy, and my roommate from the previous post. Even signed up with One of these days I might just get to thank them.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:27 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

1 of 2. A difficult situation from two perspectives.

Think I’ll share about how I learned to deal with bullies. I had a supervisor in the military very early in my enlistment who was just a TANK. Critical and negative too. I’d had a couple prizes for supervisors already and it sure was discouraging.

Nothing I did suited this one. He seemed to spend all his time looming over me, telling me how to do every little thing. Especially irritating, he would give me direct orders to do things I KNEW were not in accordance with technical procedures.

I felt like he was treating me like a child. I was angry and sullen. Frustrated and miserable. I was scared too, because if I did some job wrong because he told me I had to, it was MY butt on the line and it would be my word against his.

I had a wonderful roommate who offered me good ideas, not just comfort. We prayed on it. I tried to bring MY personal best to the situations.

I learned to get to work early so I could go dig out the technical manuals BEFORE this supervisor arrived. Since I was in charge of updating these manuals I was very familiar with them. I happen to enjoy reading that kind of thing.

I started going to find him and showing him the procedure for the job in the manual, asking questions to clarify that I understood what it meant. I kept notes so I “wouldn’t forget” and any time he wanted me to deviate from a specified procedure I asked HIM to write it in my notebook, “so I would be able to refer back to it.”

The transformation took a little while, but improvements happened right off. I can bore anyone to death with my love of every little detail of something technical and quickly found I was left to do the job undisturbed.

I went looking for him fairly often to have him “check my work”. He soon tired of this and was less available, he found things to do far away from me;)

As my frustration eased, I noticed how stressed and tired he looked. I started asking about HIS family, how his day was going. I began to see that the things that irritated me the most about him could be very useful when applied properly.

I made suggestions about our tool crib, a disorganized mess. I just love little mindless tasks like sorting mixed nuts and bolts, and organizing tools I use.

He took that ball and ran with it. He put ME in charge of the project! I continued to check in often with him because I was learning to value his input. I thanked him sincerely for his help.

He introduced me to his wife. He brought me tapes of music he thought I might enjoy. He started to relax and found a sense of humor to share and I enjoyed it tremendously.

In less than six months – we were FRIENDS and I was just amazed how much I liked him. He gave me a lot. I still pray for him.

The work habits I developed under this supervisor carried me a long ways really fast. I kept the technical manual open to the job I was doing from then on. I maintained that notebook and went through a lot of them over the years. He helped me be a far better technician in that and any trade I have ever done since.

I have never forgotten that the difficult person is almost always only as difficult as I am either. I might have to work at it to get through my emotional response but I do that and I have a lot of friends to show for it.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:22 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

I see bullies called “bulldozers” and “steamrollers” in books and articles on the topic. So far I’ve only talked about how to stop them if they are verbally abusive. But sometimes we have to work with them. When we need their cooperation and they are not being abusive, different tactics are needed. It is first necessary to consider the situation.

When we feel like we are being bullied, there is always a chance we are just not being assertive. Most folks aren’t. We might also be dealing with an enthusiast. I can sure get going on something I feel strongly about or enjoy a lot.

I watch me pretty closely and try to catch me if I am going on and on and on until someone’s eyes are glazing over. Not everyone is as interested in my hobbies as I am;) I try to remember that conversation is about taking turns! Those who know me well and love me will remind me of this when I get carried away. I appreciate this!

When we need cooperation from someone like this, if we are patient, they generally run out of steam. They have things to say on the topic and if we let them go on a bit, once they get them all out, they usually stop. Open-mindedness is not often their strong point – and this can be all of us depending on the topic and situation.

If they are angry and aggressive it is important not to be passive. Once they run down, it’s a fine move to start with any good points they raised, offering praise. If they are standing, it helps if they can be seated. Face your body toward them with open language, not folded arms and all hunched up. Asking questions is useful too, get their pressure off.

Then add what your opinion / need is. Call them by name and do NOT allow them to interrupt. Make eye contact. Turn your body toward them. Stand up.
“_____ I think your ideas about how we can collect overdue membership fees by publishing a list of unpaid memberships in our newsletter could solve our ptoblrms (or: help Mom get some help by getting her an emergency device she can wear) AND I BELIEVE WE NEED TO GET OTHERS ON BOARD WITH THIS FIRST BY _______.”

Note the AND. This is crucial. “but” is something they view as disagreement and will likely use to take offense and escalate. “and” often diffuses them. Now we’re allies, not adversaries.
If they try to interrupt, move in a little and say “Their name here, you are interrupting me. Please hear me out so you understand what I am trying to contribute before you jump in with your thoughts.” and keep right on going.

Keep it goal oriented. “Let’s remember we’re trying to _____ here.”
If they get too angry to make progress, “I can see you feel really strongly about this. I think we will make more progress toward _____ if we let this cool and come back to it later.” Offer a time frame. “I’m going to lunch now. I’ll check back after I get back and see if we can get back to work on _____.” or “I’ll just go finish up that _____ and then check back with you about working on _____.”

If they are verbally abusive, I covered that before but I say “STOP!” hold up my hand in the stop signal, and state calmly and loudly, projecting my voice: “This is not productive. You are verbally abusing me and I am not available for abuse. I am leaving now. Let me know when you are calmed down and able to discuss this constructively.”

I walk out, get in my vehicle and LEAVE, making myself unavailable for the rest of that day at least. In a situation where I need to work with a bully I might add “If you have a problem with me you need to tell me calmly and privately what the problem is, how I can fix it and avoid doing it again.”

Yes. I’ll do this at work if just leaving the area doesn’t work, but I made a habit of telling any new supervisor that it is not necessary to holler at me and I will leave if they do. I tell them that I come to work to do a good job and want constructive feedback – and I ask for it often too. “Is there anything I can do better with?”

Bullies usually learned the behavior by BEING bullied. I think they are insecure? Sincere compliments on their good points seem to go a long way. They seem to view life as a series of battles with people who do not understand them.

Changing how we interact with them can transform them into someone who does not just respect us but someone who LIKES us. This can be unnerving but it is very important to watch for signs they are interested in being friends and take care not to reject any olive branches they offer, no matter how prickly it is. Don’t be surprised if you end up liking them very much.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:20 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

I’ll not get into it here but whenever I take on a project of this magnitude there is always a reason. I want to save this post I made on facebook to include in my relationship series.

Thinking about tagging our young friends with that series, maybe one a week, and asking them to “grade” my work. I wrote it for them, after all.

Here’s the post:

I saw a post about loving someone so much that you love them even when they break your heart. I thought ” THAT is what being a parent is like.” This is how parents love their children.

Our partners are not our children. Partners need to behave with integrity and dignity, to earn our love and trust by treating us with kindness, honesty and fairness to be honored with sharing our lives – not break it and ask us to parent them.

That is all.

I commented on the post later, to push it up to the top on my friends pages:

I probably should have let this one lie. I am not known for my ability to do this… I do see that I can be the difficult person I have been talking about;) I was going to save that for when my own type tendencies came up but decided I might as well claim it now. I won’t let me off the hook later either.

My motives are always good in my view. I generally only get difficult when I REALLY love someone, because I care. I have been told it can be a challenge to be loved by me.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:08 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

Difficult people. A personal example. True story.

Years ago I dated a nice young man for a good while, between six months and a year. I was shopping for some goodies to take with me, on my way to go see him one day. I called him from a pay phone in the grocery parking lot to see if there was anything I might pick up for him. (this dates me, doesn’t it!!) As soon as heard my voice he started HARANGUING me!

I was no good. Nothing I had ever done was right. I was wrong about every thought I ever had – and I was BAD because I was wrong! On and on and on. I held the phone away from my ear and just looked at it in astonishment! I wondered how long he might go on, when he would stop! After perhaps five minutes of this, non-stop, I quietly replaced the phone on the hook.

I went into the grocery and got me some nice snacks. Then I took me fishing. My tackle box lived in my trunk, with a tent, cooler and basic supplies. I had a lovely afternoon with my dog.

I never called him again. I did not take his calls. I abandoned the little items I had left at his place. I left a change of clothes including a nice pair of jeans and a favorite sweater I had stashed there so we could clean up and go out if we had been working at his place, among other things.

I knew he had been under a lot of stress, had some major life events to deal with. I decided in an instant that this was NO EXCUSE for his treatment of me. I counted my lucky stars in learning that he scored highly for abuser potential from a safe distance, and I stayed very far away.

I cannot say I grieved for him. I only grieved for investing time in someone who thought he could treat me like that. Can’t help stupid. I try not to be stupid.

I was much younger then. I DID FEEL IT and heavily. It took me a good while to quit crying, sitting in my car in the parking lot. It really was horrible. Even KNOWING I had not deserved it, it hurt for some time anyway.

I did run in to him once, years later. He was with someone I also knew, and they spoke to me. Since there was a witness, I did not turn and run. I was polite, but I just had to GO, couldn’t be late for my appointment! (Which was getting very, very far away.) Never know if animosity is smoldering, no point in stirring it up.

I work hard to hold myself to very high standards for honesty and fairness. I figure anyone who would abuse me has forfeited their rights to this and my safety is most important. My comfort matters too. I am fine with saying whatever I need to in order to get me out of a bad situation. Might be a hypocrite but I’m comfortable with that.

I have always hung up, even if it was a relationship I couldn’t avoid. I tell them they can call back when they calm down, I won’t take their calls until tomorrow, and hang up immediately. Once is often enough;) I walk right out the door, get in my car and leave in person. This is the biggest reason that I NEVER go places with other people in their car. Brian can be counted on to get me out of there so I love going places with him.

I am widely considered “difficult”, “strange”, “cold”, “unfeeling” and so on by people who do not behave well enough for their opinion of me to matter to me.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:36 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

Breaking cycles:

Difficult people have patterns of bad behavior. Back to the bullies.
They raise their voices. They put others down. They call people names. This is all disrespect and verbal abuse.

As soon as that nonsense starts, even if it is my boss (and it has been when I was far younger) I say “STOP!” and hold my hand up. I do not let them run over me.

I say “This is not solving anything. You are too upset to talk about this. If I have done something wrong, you need to tell me privately and calmly what I did, why it is a problem and how I can do better. Anything else is abuse and I am not available for abuse. I am leaving now. Let me know when you are calm enough to deal constructively with this.”

And I walk out. I raise my voice so EVERYONE in a building can hear me but I offer no disrespect and I do not back down. I go do something I enjoy. I make myself totally unavailable for at least the rest of that day.

If I am not invested, I leave out the part about resolution and just call it as verbal abuse, stating that I respect myself too much to be available for abuse of any kind. I project my voice too. If I have to say these things, I say them such that they will carry. I want everyone present to have the opportunity to learn it will not be fun to start with me.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:32 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

Types of difficult people and ways to deal with them.

Take the hardest one first. Bullies. They do it because it works. They get in our space, crowd us and shower us with aggressive words. Lot of them use physical aggression too, grab our arm and squeeze hard to intimidate us into agreeing with them.

They talk in a never-ending stream, unless they are demanding agreement from us. Pushy, grabby, they monopolize the conversation. Lot of them want to control us too. They bully wants to make us do what THEY want.

It took me a while with this one but I practiced in front of a mirror. “OH no!” Lot can be said with a word or two, using body language, facial expressions and crowding right back into their space. Stand tall and face your entire body toward them. Step in. Flex your body muscles. Make eye-contact and HOLD it. Speak forcefully.

Practice with someone who is not intimidating. Remember, they are not likely to hit you;) If you’re worried about that, it’s a safety issue and it’s time to hit the door.

Offer no explanations. Variations on the “NO!” theme to use when they try to run over the first one. “There is just NO way!” “NO! I can’t possibly fit that in.” “NO! I can’t do that.”

They won’t want to “hear” this. Leaving is a good move, saying “Ohhhhhhh NO!” on the way out the door. This is not very rewarding for a bully. They can most always be counted on to try different tactics next.
“Everyone else ______”
“You ‘should’ ______”
“You know I can’t _____ without your _____”

Bullies do not even start with people they respect. Standing up to them a few times teaches them to respect that you won’t be pushed around. They often have hidden talents as manipulators, may try bribery, emotional blackmail or even threats next. If examined closely, none of it is rational – or YOUR problem / fault. Don’t go for it. You are teaching them something, not engaging on an issue.

This is a pretty simple example but it is a fine place to start practicing. You can do it with KIDS when they start that nonsense! I KNOW you can do this:) Just imagine the bully as the two-year-old they are behaving like and speak with the confidence you show a child that is out of line.

After a few rounds, you’ll notice they look at you funny. The relationship dynamics are changing and they don’t know what to make of it. If you really want to talk about what is happening in a relationship, THIS is the time to do it. Better still if they ask.

Be ready to say whatever you think needs to be said. Don’t think you have to answer at THEIR convenience either. “I will take a little time to get my thoughts in order and get back to you on this. I want to bring my personal best and I’m not prepared to discuss this right now.” is always acceptable.

“I see that you get a lot of people to get things done and I admire that, but I am so uncomfortable spending time with you because you are always pushing me to get something YOU want. You don’t even notice I am already overwhelmed and I could use some support from you. I feel like you don’t even see me. I know you really care about what you are trying to get done and I think that is great but I just don’t have anything to spare right now.”

Notice I am trying to use a “sandwich” here, acknowledging the good points in someone’s character and putting my FEELINGS in between a couple statements about their better points. Insert the specific behavior you dislike as appropriate.

I only do this when someone matters to me. If I have no investment in someone I might still say something like:
“I am leaving / hanging up now because it is so uncomfortable for me to spend time with people who only want things from me but have nothing to offer in return. Only so much time in a day and I spend mine with people who have something to give back too.”

I might not too. I might just walk out. I’m like that. I do feel that saying something could be helpful to others that have to deal with the person I am not willing to put up with.

Lot of the little quotes I offered can be tailored a bit to fit many different situations. Practice, practice, practice. Recall your high school drama class and put some feeling into it. Get that full-length mirror out or better yet, video yourself say three times through and then watch it to see which points you did best on and how to improve any you aren’t happy with. Consider it a presentation not a dialogue.

Accept no interruptions and obtain agreement beforehand about this. “I want you to hear me out on something. I want to finish without you interrupting with questions or comments. I do want to hear what you think – but only after you hear what I want to share and think about it yourself first.”

Putting it in writing is good too. I always ask that they not even reply for at least a day or two because I want them to THINK about it first. I say that I have given them the honor of my best effort and want nothing less in return.

The hard-core bullies almost never respect my physical boundaries and it is hardest for me personally to get past their grabbing me, pushing me and so on as they try to “make” me do something. I have to get that one out of the way first and it is very difficult for me to overcome my emotional response to this violation.

These bullies are generally trying to TAKE something from me. My time, my energy, my attention, my stuff. They often violate multiple boundaries all at once. They disrespect me, they try to devalue my time, resources and person.

The boundary discussion is pointless with them. They are only able to take small steps in behavior modification in my experience. I do this by leaving when they behave badly and saying so, and complimenting improvements over time.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:25 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 10, 2017 rj5156 0

The list of Fundamental Human Rights look like a great beginning of the series about dealing with difficult people and boundaries. In an earlier post I talked about different kinds of boundaries, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and so on. I used myself as an example in a situation I am still working on and most of you are familiar with to introduce the topic but we need a “quick reference” to help us get started. The list is a reference we can use when we are not enjoying interacting with someone.

When we feel uncomfortable, upset, or angry with someone, they are generally violating our boundaries in some way. We must identify our boundaries before we can set limits for what we will put up with from others and begin working to improve the relationship.

The article the list was taken from is definitely worth reading. … nal-people

It talks about fundamental human rights and includes the rights to: being treated with respect, expressing what we think, how we feel and what we want, setting our own priorities, saying no, getting what we pay for, having differences of opinion, and protecting ourselves from harm.

There are several broad points involved in dealing with difficult people:

We need to remove our ego from interactions because it was never about us anyhow.

“Don’t take anything personally…What others say and do is a projection of their own reality…When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
— Miguel Angel Ruiz

We need to look within ourselves to try to learn WHY we are engaging emotionally (and suffering) on something that another person is trying to foist upon us. If we’re human, we’ll find we bring our own issues. By sorting these out, we actually BENEFIT from dealing with folks we find difficult.

We can try to understand where others are coming from. There is a reason they behave as they do, and usually it comes down to the fact it has worked for them. The bully gets what they want. Most of them learn this from BEING bullied. Once we know a little bit about them, we often find some compassion for them. This helps us keep our cool so we can be effective – and maybe even helpful to the difficult person.

People can learn. I have yet to meet anyone who has failed to learn over time how to treat me. This does not always mean they like me but I don’t need approval and especially from people who would treat me badly!

I reward good behavior and ignore or confront bad behavior, depending on the situation and how much it matters to me. HOW I confront it varies with the person. Understanding the common types of difficult people and what THEY need helps enormously here.

This one is a pretty big piece of bubble gum and I’ll be working on it over time. I am still trying to stand back far enough to see the issues as a whole but am taking them individually here. Conflict resolution will need to be brought in too.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:13 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 8, 2017 rj5156 0

Can’t believe I am STILL sick. Finally thought to ask Brian to pick up some more fresh ginger. We’d run out and I’ve just been so tired and doing things to keep my mind off how bad I feel. It is hardest to remember to take care of ourselves and feel like doing it when we most need to. Fresh grated ginger brewed into a tea has kicked everything I’ve come down with since I started using it.

Shame on me. I am getting about what I deserve for neglecting the battle too. It always gets worse before it gets better, as the bad guys start dieing off and spewing toxins. Felt really wretched for some time after I got started back on the tea yesterday, but I’m feeling quite a bit better already today and my fever is down under 100.

Life goes on no matter how we feel. Laundry dishes and trash, I’ve managed to keep up at least fairly well with everything but the laundry. I am into day two with it now and likely have two more days of it. Brian’s got 10 sets of new work clothes, his pants weigh 5 pounds a pair and I think the shirts go 3 pounds. Two pair of pants is a load!

They need soaked, pre-washed, and run through a full cycle. A second rinse does help too but I’m so far behind I’m skipping that. Could be worse. I could have had to drag out and work while I felt dreadful. So thankful I haven’t had to do that in a while. Doing tidy-up stuff. Cleaning dog hair out from under stuff, pickup around the house, all the things that haven’t been getting done while I’ve been down.

I knew when I started using a flash drive for backup that it was going to take me a while to form new habits about how I save stuff. Using two different computers has caused some problems for me too, keeping two different documents with Dad’s work all in sync on two computers AND a flash drive. Been working on that and I’ve got it all tidied up. Think I might just use the notebook for the project and eliminate one complication.

I’ve got some REALLY cool toys that I haven’t had a chance to play with and keep hoping I’ll feel well enough to drag them out. Picked up quite a bit of material to make scrubbies from the nylon netting and tulle, on sale at JoAnn’s fabric and I have the mat and rotary cutter to make it easy to cut it in strips.

Also got a very small sewing machine on sale at Walmart I want to try out. I think about setting something up and go sweep the floor and then I sit down and hold my head a while. Then I work on typing stuff up on one of my projects since it’s pretty easy, and find I’m ready for a nap. Sigh.

Our home is really small. That means set up for any project. I like to work on the table facing the North window but I’m closing in on vacuum sealing dry goods and the machine is right in the middle of the table, where I need it – and I can’t MOVE it myself. I can work on the kitchen table of course, but then I need to clear it off in time for our evening meal and it’s just been more than I care to start knowing how fast I’m tiring out.

I have decided that it makes a fine science experiment. I’ve proven conclusively to my own satisfaction that fresh ginger root does cure colds and flu. It’s quick and easy, and readily available. We hope to try growing some this year. Someplace in Kentucky there is a farm having good success with it. Needs a long growing season, might mean using something to cover it. Got a couple ideas for that.

Meanwhile, my to-do list is growing daily and I’m just reminding myself that none of it is life-threatening. It will certainly be there when I feel well enough to get back to it. I’m taking it pretty well. Glad I’ve had things to keep my mind occupied. I generally keep on pushing and overdo it so having a project that does NOT involve physical work helps a lot.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:30 pm

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 7, 2017 rj5156 0

I am working on a series on difficult people and personal boundaries. I do think I’m doing a MUCH better job this round, I’ve tried before and felt I could do better.

Difficult people. We all get some. They might criticize every move we make, argue with us about how we feel and what we do. Some are ALWAYS late. VERY late. “That’s just how I am!” They announce cheerfully. Not everyone has outgrown kindergarten stuff, pushy, grabby, self-centered to the point of bullying others relentlessly, taking their stuff, using destructive behavior when they are not the center of attention.

There are game-players who manipulate, badmouth, play on our guilt and insecurities. Some people are aggressive, talk non-stop, want to control others. Others are clingers, insecure, want someone to do everything and make all decisions for them – and then they can be mad at someone else if their life doesn’t go as they’d like.

Passive-aggressive is another, all nice and sweet on the surface, non-confrontational, won’t say a word if someone is standing on their foot – instead they’ll stab at them viciously in other ways calculated to hit where it hurts most, while saying “Oh, I didn’t mean it THAT way! You’re just so insecure.” when called on it. I could go on but you know what I’m talking about.

There is some level of dysfunction in any interaction. We all bring our own experiences and expectations and it is probably impossible to get past all of that. But I’m talking about those people we hide from when we see them coming, or cringe away from in situations where we cannot get away from them.

They violate our boundaries. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. We just react and feel bad when we run into it. But others can only “get our goat” if we make it available to them! Boundaries mean keeping our “goat” comfortable and happy out in the pasture, unavailable to those who would provoke us, intentionally or not. Boundaries are deeply personal, complex and generally different based on situations. But what are they?

I am going to offer myself up as an example because it’s easier to show boundaries than it is to talk about them. You can begin identifying your own by thinking about the categories I place my boundary example in, and noticing when you feel uncomfortable in an interaction.

My Mom can hug me any time she wants. The guy I JUST met, who works in a shop I want to hire to do work for us? OH NO!!! My friends, well, I’m trying to do better with that one because so many people need more physical contact than I do. This is a physical boundary.

It might slide over into a material boundary as I feel like I OWN myself, though this one usually applies to our stuff. ie. is it ok to hit me up for a loan when I work VERY hard for the money I have – and I know you won’t pay me back? (nope, and I’ll say so too.) If some strange guy grabs me and hugs me we’re getting into sexual boundaries too.

How I FEEL about a situation where some creep I never even met before is suddenly grabbing me to give me a “friendly” hug is an emotional boundary. Since I work hard to take responsibility for how I feel, and I figure what I think is what determines how I feel, this one is pretty easy for me, usually. We’re getting into mental boundaries here, responsibility for what we think.

Setting emotional boundaries such as “I respect myself and honor my comfort levels.” physical boundaries like “I choose to defend my personal space from people who violate it when appropriate.” is a good start. The rest of this one involves taking responsibility for what I think about THEM too. “What a jerk! I bet his Mom didn’t even love HIM.” isn’t constructive and probably isn’t true either.

Do I feel guilty or somehow responsible for attracting someone elses’ poor behavior? “I must have encouraged them somehow in the way I dress or behave.”? NO, I don’t, but a lot of people do. It is, after all, far easier to cope with a world that we think we have some measure of control of. If there is nothing I can do to prevent this, the world is not something I can control. Gotta accept that one and learn instead how to deal with it constructively. Think about how we think about it.

Fact is, this person’s behavior is not about me. If they even SAW me they would notice that I am backing up and trying hard to get away. So it is about them. I can wonder where they got the idea this is OK. Maybe they are really insecure and needy. Maybe there isn’t anyone in their life who is physically affectionate with them.” Or maybe they are a porn addict that has learned some really un-helpful attitudes about my gender.

The effort of considering that there might be a perspective I could be compassionate about helps ME. Keeps my blood pressure down and helps me try saying helpful things like “Let go of me! I don’t like to be touched and I need a LOT of personal space. You’re violating me.” followed by “Get OFF me or I am going to scream bloody murder!” (never mention violence, that’s a dish best served as a surprise.) instead of mopping the floor with them right off, just because I can. It keeps me calm enough to THINK instead of reacting. This is in keeping with my spiritual boundaries, my personal relationship with my Savior and my God.

We always feel better when we have secure, well-considered boundaries and share them with others in a way that insures they will respect our boundaries. Note that the situation I described remains a dismal, no-winner in my life. I have yet to come out of the situation I described and even salvage a working relationship, much less a friendship. People who violate my person are not interested in my perspective, they are takers. I am FINE with this. I value myself. Sacrificing my values for anything leaves me feeling bad and I want most of all to be a person I am proud of and feel good about.

Edit to add: It is noteworthy that I have not yet encountered a situation besides the one I described above where I was unable to work with someone, no matter how trying I might find them to begin with. Indeed, the people who “rub us the wrong way” often have much to teach us and I have ended up friends with everyone I viewed as a challenge when I first encountered them, those described above excepted.

Think I will look at kinds of difficult people next, they tend to fall into distinct categories and since we KNOW what to expect from them after a few encounters, we can easily prepare to deal more effectively with them – if we HAVE to deal with them. Honestly, I don’t usually bother if it can be avoided at all.

When I just can’t avoid them, I have a whole list of things I practice in front of a mirror and with Brian to trot out for their benefit. Yes. Really. It’s about taking control of MY role in the situation in the nicest way possible so that I don’t open my mouth and unload what I REALLY think;) That would violate my spiritual boundaries.

This is in-work but I think it is getting close?

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:04 pm

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 6, 2017 rj5156 0

Brian: “You know how you cut very cold butter into flour with a pastry knife to make flaky biscuits and stuff?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Brian: “I wonder if we could freeze butter, grate it and then keep it like that in the freezer. Then we could just measure it out, mix it up and bake it!”

Me: ” I like how you think!”

Brian: “Well, I love to cook nummy stuff but I want it to be as quick and convenient as possible. When I retire I plan to spend my time COOKING! I want to build a wood-fired, outdoor oven. Get up, light a fire and bake fresh biscuits for breakfast every morning…”

And we are off! Talking about oven designs we have seen, the virtues of a covered area over the oven opening, how we might incorporate it into our summer / canning kitchen.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:08 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 6, 2017 rj5156 0

Lots of cheese, layer of rice, strained chili so it won’t be sloppy. Brian made it fairly dry to begin with so it came out about right when it was all done.


Wrapped them in foil, oven-ready breakfast for Brian! Yeah. He WILL eat chili-cheese burritos for breakfast. Takes about 15 minutes in the gas oven. He pops one in when he starts his coffee in the mornings and it’s hot and ready by the time he is. Nice to eat on the go too.


We gave these to Syd for Christmas. She threw them ALL out on the floor, one at a time. I picked them up, washed them,


and gave them back. Surprised they aren’t damaged worse. Syd is really hard on toys.


Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:05 am

No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

February 6, 2017 rj5156 0

We like enchilada sauce in chili! “Chili is something you ‘build’.” according to Brian. He started with fresh chorizo, lean ground beef and leftover sliced roast beef. He adores Bragg’s Liquid Aminos in soups, roasts, stews and chili. We have not forgotten how good the achiote paste was in our last batch. We like enchilada sauce instead of tomato sauce for chili. Brian is going someplace with this. It involves breakfast.


Pretty much filled the 7 quart dutch oven.


Made some room in the pot. It wass fabulous already and chili just keeps getting better.


Basmatti rice with LOTS of achiote paste. 2 cups of dry rice, 4 cups water, about a tablespoon of achiote paste.


Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:54 am