Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Tough enough to skate on"

That used to be the slogan of Varathane wood finish.  I thought it was kinda neat slogan with the Miss Varathane gal on top of the can.  I could only find one picture on the internet:

Nowadays the cans are boring, since they were bought out by RustOleum company.  Nothing is said about it's suitability for skating......I don't know if the product is still made the same or not, but we sure need something at least tough enough to skate on.  Now if their slogan was "tough enough for toddler abuse" I would be very impressed.  The thought just occurred to me....I better not mention anything about skating and kitchen table to Fenton....he may want to test out this theory.

I made our kitchen table right before we got married 6 years ago, and the polyurethane was worn through in spots.  I  know I did not use Varathane, and I only used 2 coats which was not enough anyway.  I think I used Minwax brand poly coating.  So I thought while we were gone would be a good time to con my Grandpa into refinishing it for us.  He has been needing some projects to stay busy, so I started him off with a fresh coat, then took off to Dallas with orders for 2-3 more coats.  He put 3 more coats on while we were gone.  THANKS Papaw!  Looks great.

The day before we left, and when we got back we had to eat at the kiddie table........ q:-(  Until I could pick up the grown-ups table.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ode to a four wheeler.

Oh my little red Suzuki,
I consider myself so lucky.

You are like my little pack-mule.
Could I live without this tool?

Farming is so Diverse these days,
You are abused in so many ways.

Strong back, heavy lifter,
Chasing cattle, nothing is swifter.

A deep water-filled muddy ditch?
This rig will not even flinch.

Tools, insulators, building fence in the heat,
A little gasoline is all this horse will eat.

A poem for a four wheeler? Yep it's strange.
But I would be lost without it, here on the range.

I've been dealing with my regular March Madness of taking up electric fence.  I call it March Madness because it always comes around in March and sometimes there is a lot to roll up.  This year with the drought not so much to take up.  Farmers tend to load their equipment to the max and I do the same with this little four wheeler.  It helps having Daniel to hold the posts on.  But seriously I am thankful for four wheelers.  They make farming so much easier.  Instead of walking behind a pickup putting up fence, just throw the posts on the rack and ride around.  Need to go out to the barn or down the road a ways to check on the crops?  Take the four wheeler.  Saved me thousands of steps.

Running that wire roller makes me think of the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard behind the curtain pulling levers and spinning wheels.

As some of you know I have been sending out a little mid-week email for our congregation.  I wanted to share this week's thoughts I included.

Daniel has already gotten his new bike muddy. He got this brand new bicycle at Christmas and look at it now.  But the only reason he has waited this long to get it muddy is because we have not had mud until now to ride in!  I believe if he could have found a mud puddle at Christmas, this would be old news.  

The sight of the muddy bike made me think about another little boy I knew about 30 years ago.  I seem to remember him doing the same thing, except with a second-hand Schwinn bought at a flea market.  He would cut ruts and ride it until it packed mud under the fenders so tight the wheels would drag and almost not turn anymore.  He would then proceed to wash it all off with the garden hose so he could do it again the next day.  If the riding conditions were pleasantly muddy enough that is. 

I was wondering why was it this boy would do this to his bike?  For one thing I have learned through all my years of observing the human race, nothing is attracted to mud more than boys.  It begins when they are 14 months old and toddle over and sit right down in a mud puddle, to when they are in high school and take pride in how much mud falls off their pickups in the school parking lot.  

I realized the little boy with the Schwinn trying to throw "rooster tails" spinning the back wheel had some extra inspiration.  You see his Daddy did the same thing as an adult for years.  When we had rain or sloppy snow he would slog through 90 miles of muddy roads, while sawing at the steering wheel, reaching, lifting, shifting gears constantly, getting stuck from time to time, missing lunch, cutting ruts until mud packed under the fenders so tight the wheels would almost not turn anymore.  Then he would come home late in the afternoon or evening, drag out the power washer and spend an hour washing the mud off, so he could do it again the next day.  He even poured a special pad of concrete dedicated just for this task!

What are the spiritual applications to all these nostalgic thoughts?  I don't really know other than it makes me realize that so much of the irritations in life are just not worth getting angry about.  No it is not good for the new bike to get muddy.  Probably it would be better if he learned mud and water wear it out faster.  And a lot of the mud ends up coming in the house after a day of mud busting.  But the old Schwinn is still in working order, the other boy grew up fairly well adjusted I believe, and the world didn't end.  I don't remember his parents getting really mad about the muddy bike, possibly just annoyed.  So maybe I shouldn't get angry and Daniel.  

Some things in life are just not worth getting mad about.  I wish I could learn to apply that more broadly in my life.  And I wish others could learn it too.  Just think if little personality conflicts, accidents, shortcomings of others didn't make us mad.  Think of how liberating that would be.  Freedom, instead of in the bondage or our emotions.  Instead of being worked up in an emotional state of constant irritation and rage, we enjoy life to it's fullest.

Proverbs 14:29
He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.

Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.

Proverbs 16:32
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

Proverbs 19:11
A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

Proverbs 19:19
A man of great anger will bear the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.

Proverbs 22:24
Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man,

Proverbs 27:4
Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, But who can stand before jealousy?

Proverbs 29:8
Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger.

Proverbs 29:22
An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

Proverbs 30:33
For the churning of milk produces butter, And pressing the nose brings forth blood; So the churning of anger produces strife.

Ecclesiastes 7:9
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.

Ecclesiastes 11:10
So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.