Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cleaning House

Saturday was house cleaning day here at the cabin. Brought the vacuum cleaner from home and, with my good friend's help, moved couch, sofa, chairs, etc so we could give the floor a much needed cleaning. It's amazing how much better it looks since the one ka-zillion bugs and wasps have been sucked out of the windows and floors! Also we re-arranged the furniture, took down a picture of an old "out-house" and hung my cow horns on the wall in it's place over the heater. Additionally we moved two other pictures and re-hung them in new places. Next we will start the bed-room...but this time the cord was not long enough to reach te bedroom. No. There is not a 120V plug in there. But there will be. Story of my life - power is not available where you need it ... so re-wire ... move the power closer to where the need is greatest.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Generator Is Working!

During our January 1st outing we had to work inside the cabin without the aid of electric lights due to the fact that the solar panel had not sufficiently charged the 5 Lucent batteries which provide power for the 750 watt inverter. In winter there is simply not enough sun to keep a full charge, so after about two hours the lights went out. I knew then that I JUST HAD to have a small generator so the batteries could be re-charged. One of our visitors runs a business where he sells and services new and used small engines and he told me he would give me a special break on the price. Therefore on Tuesday I drove over to his shop and purchased a new Snapper, 3500 watt, generator. When we arrived Barry Goodner (owner of the shop) had already filled it with oil, so we filled it with fuel, and there in the shop it cranked on the first pull of the rope.

Putting it into the pick-up required two men. It is a bit heavier than I wished for -- but the work it does is well worth it. Now I'll have to rig up a couple of "two-by's" for a ramp so that I can load and unload it alone.

Somehow between the time I picked it up and the time I arrived home it got turned over and spilled gasoline all over the back of the truck. Arrrgh! However, I was able to straighten it up, re-fill the tank, tie it with a bungee cord so as to prevent tip-over again and get it here to the cabin. Yesterday we tried it for the fist time at the cabin. It cranked on the first pull of the rope. What a sweet sound to my ears. My emotions soared as I plugged in the machine to the electrical system and all three 100 watt lights came on. The small apartment sized refrigerator was handled easily. "Hmmm..." I thought. Now Ican run power tools like skil saw, drill, etc. for making some repairs here and there...and can finally get the floors vacuumed!

Ed, and Rick and I sat inside enjoying the lights, pickin' and grinnin' and tellin' tall tales for the full break-in time on the generator. We also opened cans and heated up some chili and some noodle soup. I did not make coffee -- but drank Postum instead. I've lost my taste for coffee and that's a shame. What's a cabin without the smell of coffee?

Friday, January 4, 2008


Seven of my African friends and ten friends from Tennessee joined me at the cabin for New Year's Day! Ed Williams brought his accordion and my brother Lowell brought his new Christmas present, a Fender "Starcaster" guitar. Well, I think "Starcaster" is the right name. We had a wonderful time of singing traditional southern gospel, interspersed with a few African choruses.

For a 10:30a.m. brunch we had grits with bacon and eggs, sausage, gravy, biscuits, "Sand Mountain" syrup, coffee and hot tea. This was all served up in royal style on royal paper plates! Also, my son-in-law, Curtis, cooked hot dogs and chicken on his new portable gas grill. (The dogs were great Curtis! Sorry - but I was too stuffed to try the chicken.)

After brunch for those who were still hungry we had made a dutch oven full of chili which stayed in the fire a little too long - but that did not seem to deter everyone from eating. It only took me an hour to scrape the burnt mess out of the bottom of that pot! My personal thanks to my friend Ed Williams for doing more than his share of cooking and cleaning up. Thanks to Mike, Ed's son, for cooking the three pounds of bacon. Also to my sons-in-law, Curtis and Rick Durham for their cooking skills and their helpfulness with the clean-up. I must add a big Thank You to God for making it possible for us to have this place to relax.

And I must tell you about the African's reaction to guns. At first about half of thm did not want to shoot any gun at all. Peraps that is because I started them out first with the .30 calibre Marlin. When they heard the loud report of the first shot ringing in their ears they all jumped back, with that wide scary eyed look and began to protest the noise. But then when I changed to the .22 and demonstrated the ease with which it can be shot they all finally joined in. Some even liked it...and one loved it! Wish all of you could have been with us.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you!