Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Great Southern Outdoors

While the north is still shoveling out from under all that snow, the South is enjoying spring like weather with temperatures in the 60's and 70's and a light rain to keep things wet. ( I guess keeping things wet is important in the south.)

In the winter, we spend a lot of time indoors.  Even though the South is always portrayed as being a hot place, we get our share of cold days and on such cold days, we stay indoors. Thus with the coming spring, we look forward to doing things OUT of doors.  Well, most people do. 

When it comes to doing things out in the out of doors, I'm an indoor person. Oh don't misunderstand me.  I love to be out on a cool day, mowing the lawn, or relaxing in the lounge chair with a delicious beverage at hand, watching the squirrels do what ever it is that squirrels do.  Growing up I spent a lot of time even camping in the outdoors, hiking, climbing and watching the birds do whatever it is that birds do.  

The problem is the weather isn't like that all the time. Now, I'm not going to get into the big debate of whether there is a climate change or not, I'm just saying that in the winter, I hate being out in the cold.  (As a youngster, my brothers and I would build snowmen in our shirt sleeves. Go figure...)  But at the same time I hate being out in the heat.  Even as a youngster, I hated the heat.  

It probably is due somewhat to the fact that I am fair of skin, related to that most maligned of types: the red headed, freckled skinned ginger.  My whole family has red hair (ok, now it's grey, but when I was younger, it was red.  Trust me on this here...) Standing in the sun - heck, just looking at a picture of the sun could get me a major sunburn. It didn't take a rocket scientist to prove to me the connection of being outdoors and getting sunburns.  

It might work here in the south, with all that heavy vegetation to be out in the out of doors, moving from shady spot to shady spot, but I have to admit, I hate stepping out into the heavy humidity.  Most southerners live in this humidity and seem to be acclimated to it.  (It's probably something in their genes.) Me, I step out of the house, and I'm covered in enough moisture to add 5 pounds to my clothes and make my skin so slick that my pants are falling down.  Pretty soon I'm breathing like a long distance runner (and sweating like one, too) And that's only after 5 minutes.  No, not fun.  

So, along with the delightful 10 minutes of spring like weather, I enjoy that part of the south which is unsung. Air Conditioning. Sitting by the window with a cool beverage, watching the southerners do what ever it is that southerners do in this heat and humidity, I tip my hat and my glass to them.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Plastic Project - Intro

The winter has started melting away and with the coming spring there are not only flowers and fresh buds aplenty, but also a chilling amount of things to do around the abode.  Not only is the "Big Rebuild" still waiting on me, but the number of "Honey-do Projects" seems to grow with every passing year - both inside and outside.

This year will see the addition of an important project and one that I've been planing for some time. This particular project I have nicknamed "The Plastic Project." I can just feel the excitement as you all wonder what on earth this project can be!  

My father in law owned several acres out in the Arkansas wilderness. (No, I'm not digressing again, stick with me here...) He understood that you needed things kept sealed up to keep the moisture out. His main item for this task was a five pound coffee can with a plastic lid.  He had so many of these spread across his house, barn and sheds that when he passed they thought of putting his ashes in one. The man understood the Southern Humidity Index and it's effect on tools and hardware.  

I don't drink that much coffee but I also need to put my hardware and tools into something that will keep the moisture out.   What I do have, is a bunch of plastic containers.  Over the past year or so, I've collected together a large number of empty plastic jars, boxes and, yes, coffee cans for the express purpose of sealing up my hardware and  junk  sundries in the shed to protect them from the onslaught of southern weather.  (Hence the name, Plastic Project.) 

Over more than a few blog posts, I'm going to show how I will use these to seal up my junk important stuff.  I will also point out where one might also find and collect the needed containers for such a project.  Like the above.  The Local Charity Thrift Store.  In this case, you can see all manner of plastic storage made for food, or whatever.  Cheap, too.

So, if you've got a  place like mine, messed up and full of moisture.  Follow along as I organize and plasticize my junk  important stuff.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

TV or Not TV

Several times, early in the morning, on my way to work, I've come across this truck.  The multitudes of equipment are recognizable to me as those myriad of cables and supports and extraneous things needed to film a TV Show. I've never really given it much thought until I had to make a trip into the back area of the ground floor of our building.  

I turned the corner and there was a sign: 

Now, this could easily have been pointing to a matched pair of earrings, or perhaps a nice china tea set (yeah, right...) but since it was pointing to the back elevator (and no jewelry to be found) it could only mean a set as in film set.  Where they film things.  Like TV Shows.  AND, since there just happens to be a popular TV Show being filmed right here in Nashville, it didn't take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that the above show was being shot right there in our building. I asked around, and apparently they shoot in our building on a regular basis. (I'm real wide awake at work, it seems!) 

All this time, I'd been in the same building with famous people.  Ok, so it's not as close as the day I met Snowbird, but it's still pretty exciting.  In my  gossipy research I discovered that  they also have shot across the street at the Hermitage Hotel both inside and out.  (No, you won't see me in the background of any of those shots.  Security is pretty tough.)

It's just a  bit of exra fun, here in the Mid South. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

More Snow and Ice In the South

Today's blog is a bit late.  I'd planned on finalizing a nice post when I got up, but then they closed our office due to the impending snow.  And snow it did!  At least 2 inches on our estate, more in some places and less in others. 

It always amazes me to see snow.  Oh wait, I hear you, "Marv, you grew up in Colorado, surely you've seen enough snow in your life for it to be less important!"  to which I respond, "Don't call me Shirley!" (I'll wait while you get that joke.) 

What I mean is that snow in the SOUTH always surprises me, even when they predict it.  It sort of takes me back to my childhood, waking up, looking out at the snow, and knowing that they won't be closing school anytime soon. Snow in Colorado is not as big a deal as it is in the South. 

Snow in the south starts out as rain.  Then it gets cold, so the rain freezes.  Then it snows.  So, we end up with this frozen icy under layer that makes everything slick.  This means no driving, careful walking and most assuredly, no dancing out on the sidewalks.  

Growing up in a snowy clime means I know snow. Me and snow, we're old adversaries.  I have 2 winter coats, 2 pair of gloves and mittens (made just for snow) along with both rain boots and snow boots to which I attach a set of walking treads. I have a collection of warm woolen and cotton sweaters and special thermal underwear all designed to keep me warm in the snow. 

Even with all that gear, I loathe the snow.  I see that white shite (see what I did there?) and I just know what it's going to take.  I have to put on layers.  Undergarments, heavy clothes, and a sweater to start. When it's time to go out, I have my heavy coat, scarf, wool hat, put the hood up on the coat and then I have to sit down and put on the boots, add the treads and carefully head to the door. (Careful not to scratch the floor with my metal treads!) 

Outside, there's shoveling the walk and then putting down the salt.  Whew.  Now, the car. While it warms up, I de-snow the car, scrape the windows (that can take for-freaking-ever!) and check the headlights.  After all that, I'm ready for a nap! AND that's why I hate seeing snow of any kind.  

Weather notwithstanding, the south is a nice place to live...when it's not snowing....or sleeting....or raining.