Sunday, November 18, 2007


Thanksgiving is upon us. Mom and Dad will be coming over here for turkey day dinner. Luke and Rebecca will join my ex's family at my ex Mother-in-Law's lake house up in East Texas. We will be having fried Turkey. I confess, I won't be frying it, but Popeye's Fried Chicken will be doing the greasy deed. I have all the utensils and burner to fry my own, but with working nights and just having a half of day to get some sleep and also prepare a meal, the frying job is farmed out. To me, fried turkey's white meat is not as dry as oven baked turkeys. The dark meat seems to taste a little different also. Given my choice, I will take a fried turkey over oven baked turkey any day. Dad used to smoke our turkeys in an electric smoker when I was younger, so Mom did not get to bake any oven turkeys that I can remember. One thing that bugs me is my Mom never wrote down my Grandma's corn bread stuffing recipe. I get frustrated each year trying to duplicate it, but I have not got it right yet. One year I bought blue berry corn bread mix by mistake. Now that was a different taste!

The weather was nice enough and I was rested enough to dig up a large oak stump with the Mahindra before sundown. I had thought about working the stump when I got home from night shift, but realized being sleepy and running a tractor is not wise. This stump was right in the way of the culvert I put in this summer. Up til now, I have been driving around it. Anyway, this stump had three folds that tapered down to the ground and into large feeder roots. I ripped one out and repositioned the 6520 to attack the next one. This one was stronger and larger. I got the backhoe's bucket curled under it as I noticed the whole stump lifting up. Since this tree was cut down over three years ago, I figured the tap root was rotted away. So back to the task at hand, the backhoe couldn't move after I curled the bucket under the root. It lifted the stump up just enough to have too much weight on it to uncurled the bucket. So here I was with my backhoe bucket stuck under a large root. I was already running full rpm, so I had all the power I was going to get. The only thing I could think of was to raise the stabilizers and move the tractor, while jerking the stump. I put the Big Red Beast in low 1st and gave the stump a tug. I didn't move it much, but the backhoe started to straighten out from the position I left it. So I went back to the hoe and I got the bucket uncurled and away from that backhoe eating stump. When I attacked the last large feeder root, the whole stump moved again. This time I got the best of it and the whole stump came up and over when I retracted the backhoe's dipperstick. A little loader bucket work to fill in the hole and replace the top soil and I was ready for supper. As it was almost dark, I parked the Mahindra in the barn, meaning to wash it Saturday. But I slept late on Saturday and woke up to a lazy day. I didn't leave the TV all day.

I did get a call from Rebecca Saturday afternoon. She was sobbing and saying she was at the emergency animal hospital with Puddles. Puddles is the name of her new kitty. Two days ago she had the vet give him a shot. Now he was in bad shape. Rebecca was asking between sobs what should she do. Oh my, I thought. I explained that little animals getting shots can be too weak for the shot and not recover. She was telling me the animal hospital wanted $300-500 to work on the cat. She called back and said the hospital staff wanted to put Puddles to sleep. So Rebecca has no kitty and is not wanting one anytime soon.

Work has been good. The humidity is lower and it feels better. We worked Sunday night to have off Wednesday night. So we have a 5 day weekend. But I bid two weeks vacation after Thanksgiving, so I am off for 19 days. It is Thanksgiving day now and I am taking a short break while the turkey warms up. A blue norther' came through last night and dropped the temperature about 40 degrees. Now the sky is cloudless and the temperature is climbing past 40 degrees now. Today is beautiful, but the rest of the weekend is suppose to be wet and cold. Oh well, sounds like good mall shopping weather! Rebecca came through last night on her way to her Mawmaw's lake house. It was good to see her, as it has been almost 3 months since I saw her. Luke left this morning for the lake house, wearing his Cowboy hat and boots. He will be back tonight, as he works tomorrow. He works for a family themed country clothing store, so he gets his boots and hats at a big discount. I love shopping there also, but it seems my size cloths go fast. Anyway, have a Happy Thanksgiving and check back later to hear what is going on with Booger, the Big Red Beast and I.
hugs, Brandi

Friday, November 9, 2007

Back on Schedule

What a relief. Wednesday afternoon I was told I could go back to work. As my Union's Airline Representative stated............there were too many inconsistencies for the company to keep you from working. I went back to work last night and got a warm welcome back. It was an easy night, but I was exhausted when I got home. As it was the last night of the work week, I managed to sleep for 3 hours today and then got up to work outside. I have been wanting to get outside and do more. But I haven't wanted to burn more diesel in the 6520 when I wasn't sure when I would get back to work. But I did get on the Mahindra today and condensed the burn pile for the final burn. Between it being dry and dusty and the ash of the burnt wood, the Big Red Beast needed a bath at the end of the day. After getting myself rinsed off and the Mahindra washed off, I saw that my neighbor had fires on two sides of their fence. I wasn't sure if they were there, so I drove over and saw that Von had two fires of dead wood and leaves burning. He came up to the fence and mentioned he would finish the fence on our property line when I was done with the dirt work and tree removal of that fence line. I then told him I was done, unless he wanted more trees cleared off of his side. So I guess in a week or two that fence will go in.

Sunday is here and almost gone. Where did this weekend go? Yesterday two of my friends and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival. We usually dress up in period gowns or pirate outfits, but it was too hot and humid. I was also running short on sleep as Luke kept me up too late watching movies. So it was jeans and moccasins for the day. I had a few hard ciders and started feeling better. I found the hammered pewter mug I have been looking for and bought it. So when we go back in two weeks, I can drink hard cider out of it, then hang it on my belt. Depending on the weather, I will either be a Spanish Contessa (yes, with blond hair) or a pirate. I also bought a pirate cutlass, as the sword I have is too long to fit the authentic pirate look. Today I ordered, online, a red female pirate blouse that should be here this week. I have over the knee black leather boots to go with all this, so I should make a nice looking pirate. I will wear my Spanish Court gown only if it is really cold, as it is made out of wool and a burlap (yes, like old feed sacks) material. It is really heavy, but comfortable. Most of my friends like to see the shows and acts while at the Festival. But the friend I am going with in two weeks likes to hang out at the Sea Devil Tavern with me. It is a rowdy, rough looking place and I have a lot of fun there drinking hard cider or mead and acting the part with everyone else.

Rebecca's fish died this last week. Bless her heart, she put it in the toilet bowl to have a short funeral service for it and she poured all the water from the fish bowl in with the fish. Yes, the extra water caused the toilet to flush before she could gather her thoughts. It is really hard to cheer someone up over the phone that just lost a pet. Now she wants to get a kitty. She had me hook. line, and sinker. I think a kitty would be nice for her, but she needed a $200 pet deposit. So I transferred the cash to her account, only to find out the next day she needs $100 more to get the kitty from the animal shelter and buy supplies. I asked what happened to the free kitty? Wow, how do kids know you have some cash saved and want to tap into it?
Mom and Dad came over today. They stayed longer than usual as they were watching Luke and I play Worms on his PlayStation. It is a silly video game where worm like soldiers hurl all kinds of weapons at each other. There is even a flying hippo. The hippo is fun to fly, but I usually get upside down and crash it before hitting Luke's worms. This always provokes him to say something funny about my skills of playing the game. Phoebe and Sneaky were out also and Phoebe kept coming over to sniff Dad's lap as I had laid a raisin on his leg for her to eat. Dad calls her a cat. Mom loves to watch them play, so I put some raisins on the arm of her chair for Sneaky to eat. This goes on and on as my fuzzies never get tired of raisins and it puts smiles on Mom and Dad's faces. Well, I had better get to bed now. Check out the new pics I uploaded and come back soon to read more.
hugs, Brandi

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Little Progress

Last week was really interesting. I found out my Fit for Duty report had a typographical error in my favor. Sounds like the making of a lawsuit doesn't it. My Union's Airline Rep received an amended report and sent a copy to SWA. I heard Friday afternoon it will be Tuesday before we get a reply. I got an offer from the corporate jet company 10 minutes from my house. Just two days after I dropped off a resume, the Director of Maintenance called to set up an interview. He gave me until last Friday to decide if I wanted a position as a Lead Mechanic. I decided to decline the offer and told him all about SWA when I talked to him on Friday. He told me Lead Mechanics don't grown on trees and to call him if my situation with SWA changes. So I have an "out" if SWA continues to treat me wrong. He was inquiring about how much money I spent driving to and from work. I told him I around $400 a month and made a comment about diesel fuel prices. He then said if I came to work there, I could become a dog. I asked.....DOG? He told me it stands for Diesel Owners Group. The company has unlimited fuel that is sumped out of the jets and can not be reused. The employees with diesel vehicles use it. So he takes what he needs and adds additives. He hasn't bought diesel in four years. Just another fringe benefit!

Yesterday afternoon I decided to burn the large pile of stumps I had accumulated. While the fire was getting going, I gave the 6520 her needed grease job. While greasing the hydraulic pump pulley, I noticed the fan belt was a little loose. I drug out my metric tools and in a few minutes had it adjusted. Booger came up and wanted some attention, so I tried to get him to pose for a few photos. Luke came out to snap a few pictures and then he was gone. Luke gives me a hand when I need him, but usually he is inside doing his gaming thing. He is going to be a computer game programmer, so I don't hassle him about not helping me more. The fire had burned down enough to work it a little, so I deployed the backhoe's thumb to carefully position and drop the stumps and logs in the flame. This is dirty stinky work, as the backhoe bucket and thumb still picks up ash and dirt, which envelopes me and the Mahindra with a change of wind. But I still have to pick up the small roots and unburnt wood by hand to feed the fire in between pushing the pile smaller with the loader bucket. I worked the burn pile until dusk. I did manage to get a few photos of the of the burn pile, Booger, and the Big Red Beast. Check out the photos I uploaded. Anyway, the fire was glowing well by dusk and gave off an eerie Halloween glow.

Right after the photo session at dusk, I gave the Big Red Beast her needed rinse off. After the rinse off I swapped out the 6520's valve stem caps. My Mahindra salesman and friend at Top Flight Equipment, gave them to me. They were pink, so guess he could not sale them. I painted them Mahindra Red. Just another way to accessorize the Big Red Beast.

Tuesday evening Dad called and told me he was taking Mom to the Emergency Room because she was dizzy. Bless her heart, I knew it was nothing. I told Dad to call from the ER. He forgot to do that. Around 11:00 I called to see if they were still there. They were. I drove down to find Mom getting a EKG and Dad just sitting and waiting. Mom was ready to leave and go to Jack in the Box! The doctor didn't find anything wrong. My Grandma would do the same thing. She could worry herself sick. I waited around to make sure Dad drove home okay. Imagine my surprise when he drove better at 1:30 in the morning then during the day!

Rebecca sent me 4 different Graduation photo poses and asked which I thought best. We went through this two weeks ago, but none turned out to her liking. She called the other night asking how to clean the windshield on her truck above the windshield wipers. She stated the car wash doesn't do that area well. I laughed and told her to find a drive through car wash that has a courtesy brush and bucket of soapy water and explained what all to scrub. She then commented she is too short. I then said to take the truck to a full service wash. I hung up upon hearing her favorite saying...........I'm gonna charge it. Stop back later to hear more about Me, Booger, and the Big Red Beast.

hugs, Brandi