Last weekend we drove from my in-laws’ place north to Vienna, Missouri to visit their youngest daughter and her family and to celebrate grandfather’s and grandson’s birthdays. It was a beautiful day and much too nice to be inside sitting around watching television. (I remembered why I don’t care much for television programming as well. The sports were OK; but the remainder — not so much.)
The field their place overlooks was clear and I thought a walk would be good for both the Girl and me. So I asked permission to walk down to the end of the field and look around. Permission received, the Girl and I headed off to the chagrin of the other dogs in their pen.
I puttered around the deer stand a few minutes, the Girl making happy sounds behind me. I wanted an image of the stand and of their place before we headed back for supper and celebration. As I finished my last capture, I discovered why the Girl was making happy sounds… she found something to roll in. She trotted over to me, looking quite proud of her self, grinning and laughing.
“What have you gotten into????”
She looked at me, still grinning.
“#$%%@!!!@ Ki? You stink!”
She was no longer grinning. But I couldn’t hold the anger long and her joy was contagious.
“Alright then… you get a bath and you’re not going to like it.” And with that we headed back to the house. I acquired soap, a towel, and the help of my nephew. He held her collar while I wet her down and washed her. She started to shake a couple of times.
“If you control her head, she can’t shake,” I told nephew.
Clean but wet, I toweled her off a couple of times so she wouldn’t get cold. Her collar went into the trash. I had intended to replace it anyway.
Supper and celebration were fun and appropriate. The Girl smelled pretty good as well. FiL and I stopped at Wally-World on the way home to buy a couple of cheap collars, one to wear and a spare in case the first failed.
After a couple months of absence from my space, I decided to post something. I was away from home last month and am still traveling. But I’ll be home soon. It will be a good thing.
Travel took me to the east coast for a project meeting. The meeting went well enough, I think. There was a lot of intrigue, or so it seems, in the project panel. There were definitely undercurrents I did not understand. I think I still do not understand them.
But, the meeting was completed. I spent some time with Daughter and her family. I worked on two proposals and one statement of qualifications. I have paying work to do.
Now I’ll go see Wife’s family for a couple of days. Then I’ll head home through Denver to see Older Son and DiL. That will be good, too.
One of the things I like about my current life is that there is generally no reason why I cannot have a nap in the afternoon. On these sunny winter afternoons, the sun shines through the bedroom window onto the bed. The Girl loves to sun herself. After a long walk this morning (and a short night last night), I decided a nap would be good.
So, we snuggled for an hour or so, the warm sun on us both. The simple comforts of the warm sun and my best friend are so rich.
I posted an in-process image on my Instagram account yesterday. That image is of the section of the Estie with a new ink sack attached with some fountain pen shellac and drying.
The backstory (such as it is) is that I pulled my favorite old Esterbrook J-Series fountain pen from storage. I think it was my very first vintage Esterbrook. The cap and the body are slightly mis-matched. That is, the cap color is slightly different than the body color. My expectation is that someone down the line either mixed caps or a restorer pulled a matched up a set to make a whole pen from part-pens.
Regardless, when I received the pen, I renewed the ink sack (my very first Esterbrook restore) and added a brand-new 9556 Master Series nib unit. It’s classified as a fine-firm nib. In my experience, all of the Esterbrook nibs are nails. (Heh…)
When I decided to ink the pen yesterday, I dropped the nib into my bottle of Noodler’s Zhivago, a green-black ink that is bulletproof. The fill lever would not activate. So, I knew the pen needed service. I wicked the ink from the nib and set it aside.
After lunch I pulled out my tools and parts kit and started sorting through those items. It’s been nearly two years since I sorted through my pen kit. That was a kind of trip of itself. I mentally inventoried the parts and tools and found what I needed — a fresh Size 16 ink sack, my X-Acto knife (and blades), and the sack shellac.
I pulled the section from the body, with a little heat to loosen things up. The old sack broke apart in my fingers — ossified. It was, indeed, time for a new ink sack.
Back at my worktable, I removed the remaining parts of the old sack that clung to the section, scraping a little with a fingernail and my X-Acto knife. That done, I fitted and trimmed the new sack, shellaced the section, and attached the new sack. The assembly was then set aside to cure.
After an hour of puttering with other things, the shellac was dry enough to reassemble the pen. I dipped the fresh ink sack into pure talcum powder to lubricate it during operation of the fill mechanism. I lined up the nib unit and fill lever and pressed the section back into the body of the pen.
A function check followed and then the thumbs-up that all was well. I filled the renewed fountain pen with Zhivago and did some test writing. For an inexpensive pen (they cost a couple bucks new with the better nib units — now they’re about twenty bucks on ebay) it writes very well. The nib is wet and smooth.
I remembered why this inexpensive little vintage pen is one of my favorites. Like me, it’s a bit of a mashup of bits and pieces. But it’s functional and reliable.
So I noticed this morning that I have not written in a couple of weeks. That happens when I get busy with other things.
The weather is poor. This morning it is snowing. I think there is almost six inches of new snow on the ground. It rained, spit snow, and showed a little sun yesterday. There was enough sun to encourage me to get out for a bit and walk. But everything is so wet. The ground is saturated and any new rain will be runoff with little abstraction.
I thought the Carson River might make flood stage. I think it came in just a little less, with a peak discharge of about 9,000 cfs on Monday. I have photographs of the river near River Park and near Mexican Dam. I think I will post them and post-date them to their proper dates.
It is the new year. Happy New Year, friends. I pray your celebrations were safe and enjoyable. I know that I saw the new year in via my normal fashion… snoozing with my dog. Heh…
Life is good. I have more to write and more photographs to make and share.
With all of the snow and rain, I really expected there to be a chance for a significant flood on the Carson River. There was plenty of nuisance flooding in Carson City, with crews out dealing with some minor damage to a few facilities.
On Monday, the Girl and I drove out Sierra View, the road on the east side of Carson River. I wanted a look at Mexican Dam. The west side was “closed,” although I saw some hikers out and about on Silver Saddle Ranch. But, being the lawful type that I am, I eschewed parking outside the ranch and walking in because the gate was closed and posted.
Still, the view was pretty good. The discharge when I made the capture was about 9,000 cfs. That’s not a big flood, but is substantially greater than the normal spring runoff.
Before the storms arrived, the Girl and I had a chance to walk one of our favorite Riverview Park loops. I knew that weather was coming and wanted to get a good hike in before it arrived. We also met a prepper along the way and had an interesting conversation. His dog was a hoot — she would bark at overflying geese and aircraft.
The Girl is finishing up her treat. After walkies, I put a little peanut butter in her Kong toy and gave it to her. Merry Christmas, Ki! We’ll have a play in a bit, once I get my pumpkin pie in the oven. When the pie is done, then I can put the turkey breast in to roast for dinner later today.
My best friend and my youngest son will come over this afternoon to celebrate Christmas. It will be a good celebration and an excellent way to remember the birth of the Christ child. Wife would approve, I believe.
The capture is from walkies this morning. We got out a little late, given that it is very cold this morning — about 10F. That’s our coldest for this year to date and I didn’t want to get the Girl out in that until the sun was up. The sun shone this morning and that made the walk a wonderful time. The warm sunlight and the brisk air felt good. They certainly made for a very frisky Girl!
We met one of our doggie-friends at the old State School, Andy and Hercules. Hercules loves the cold air and will play a little bit, before walking over to me to lean on my leg for scratchies. We visited a few minutes before Andy and Hercules departed for other things. Ki and I finished our walk, had a bit of play, and then settled in for the day.
On the way home I reflected a bit on my life. It’s certainly different than it was and far different from what I expected a few years ago. Yet, I find myself happy with my life and enjoying the time to putter and spend with the Girl. I love my walks, our plays, and my project work. These are enough and I’m thankful and joyful.
I’ll get started cooking in a few minutes. I will finish my coffee first and then get on with it. There isn’t too much to do, really. The turkey is easy and none of the other dishes are difficult either. Perhaps Young Son will arrive in time to peel potatoes. Heh…
I woke early this morning, thinking about some record keeping that needed to be done. So, I rose, made some coffee, and sat down at the computer for a few minutes. Of course, the Girl rolled out and needed to go out, so I took care of her. She ran back indoors after taking care of business, then looked over her shoulder at me as she jumped back into the bed. She seemed to be saying “Are you going to come back to bed?”
I gave her a pat and returned to my computer work. It was done soon enough, so I elected to take a nap before we started the day. (This would be about 0530 hours this morning.) She was snuggled into her little bed, which I had repaired yesterday. The seam came undone (again), so I sewed it back closed. This time I hope that I got the stop knot tied a bit better. Regardless, the seam no longer leaks stuffing and I can always resew if I need to.
In any event, I crawled back into the rack and looked at her, looking over the edge of her little bed at me. I patted the bed next to me, “Come snuggle!” I had to ask twice, but she rose, circled once, and plopped next to me tight. I draped the quilt over us and settled in.
I love that warm next to me. She is very snuggly, especially when the weather turns cold. She likes to have some part touching me when she sleeps anyway. It might be her back or her haunches, but she likes that physical contact while we sleep.
The Girl began snoring before I drifted off… it’s a pleasant sound…
I woke for the second time about 0700 hours, rolled over, patted the Girl a few times, and rose. I woke thinking that biscuits and gravy sounded real good and that I might celebrate Christmas Eve by treating myself to breakfast out. It took me a few minutes to gather myself together — and prepare for walkies after breakfast. So I collected our things and we loaded out.
There was a scattering of snow from the storms that blew over last night and the clouds threatened more snow for the day. That’s all good. We need the snow and it is not bitterly cold, so walkies in snow would be fine.
Breakfast was a treat. I saved back some of my hamburger patty for the Girl (with a bit of gravy as well), enjoyed my coffee, and read some of the news. I was saddened to read that Carrie Fisher is ill after suffering a cardiac event on the flight from England to the States. I hope she recovers. It’s not wasted on me that she’s 60-something-years old. That’s a little close to home.
After breakfast, we loaded up and drove out to Riverview Park. I decided to walk part of that loop this morning. I wanted a nice outing and wanted the Girl to have a good, long walk. Tomorrow I’ll be busy cooking and might not have as much opportunity to get her out.
I met a funny dog there at the staging area. He was standoffish until he figured out I’ll throw a stick for him. So, we played while his handler talking on the phone. Then the Girl and I started on our walk.
The sun was shining on the mountains north of Carson City, but the battery in my compact camera was low (and cold) so I couldn’t get a decent shot. The wind was a little sharp, but I had enough layers on. The Girl had her cover on and is less exposed to the wind. She’s fine anyway as long as she’s moving. And, moving she was!
I heard a group of coyotes calling in the sagebrush. They would bark a little and then howl. I like the sound but was a little wary because there weren’t more than a hundred yards out. I didn’t want the Girl to get into the middle of them.
But, they never showed themselves.
As I walked along I visited with other walkers. I was reminded how good life is. I love to be able to get out to walk, visit with others, play with my dog, enjoy watching her run from sagebrush to sagebrush, sniffing and marking. I sing a bit when we’re out and about. I’m grateful, not just for the season, but for the gift of life. I’m thankful for warm summer days and gray winter days, with a bit of snow on the ground and the wind spitting snowflakes. I’m amused by the calls of coyotes floating on the wind, drifting over the sagebrush to tease me. And I’m thankful for my best friend who loves to run, to play, to eat, and to snuggle.
I’ll spend some time thanking God for the birth of the Christ Child, which we’ll celebrate tomorrow. That Gift is, perhaps, the most wondrous of all.