The Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny showed up this morning, leaving a large basket on our porch. I reckon it was from one of our students as it seems to be composed rolls of paper towels, garbage bags, dog treats & toys, and a book on hounds. I haven’t opened it yet as Marsha is out of town visiting family and I thought she might like to do the honors. Our students are pretty cool… and thoughtful. Or at the very least the Easter Bunny is cool and thoughtful.

So I was left alone for the long weekend. And I find that the rhythms of my life haven’t changed much, being alone and in charge and what not. I finished up my courses for Tyler TX next month and got them off to my USDAA course reviewer. I also reviewed a couple suites of courses for the TDAA… and have more to do.

I also did some editing of the CWAGS rules for agility. We’re just about done and will probably make the announcement in the next week or so. We’ll need judge and so forth. CWAGS agility is based on the JFF model and so shall have remarkable similarities to the TDAA which was also based on JFF.

Red Green Would Be Proud of Me!

I sat down the other day to write down a list of things that I have to do in order to prioritize them and get a grip. By the time I was done I had over two pages. List making can be a daunting but necessary task. In about six weeks my schedule is so intense and exciting that I really won’t have time for much of anything but the schedule itself (camps and seminars and so forth). So I gotta figure a way to get my list done… in six weeks. Lord save me!

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So this morning I went out and did something that wasn’t even on my list. I made a trellis for my snap peas. You can barely make out the young plants pushing up through the soil. I’ve never actually grown snap peas before, so I have little idea of how tall should be the trellis. I think I have it covered. The real difficulty of this arrangement is that my boy Ringer the fruit and vegetable dog will be sticking his head through the fence (that’s the dog yard on the other side) to eat my peas as soon as they make themselves evident.

Oh, I say Red Green would be proud of me. You know I started putting together this trellis by wiring the sticks together. I found it time consuming and injurious to my fingers. So I got me a roll of duct tape and pulled away thin strips of it to do my binding. The job went much faster. My older brother Travis would give me that old sarcastic line… “Any job worth doing is worth doing half-assed!”

100 Year Old Oak

The trellis for my snap peas comes from scrap lumber. A fella down in Watertown tore down a 100 year old house last year and made a deal with me for the lumber. I used up the 1” wood pretty quick on the wainscot project in the training building. And so now I am left with posts and 2̎”x 4”s and that sort of thing.

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This is the “nail pull” pile. That means I have to pull the nails out of all the wood before it is usable. I have a stack about three times this big of wood that’s already had the nails pulled out of it. So I have quite a supply of lumber. Believe you me moving this pile is on my TO DO list. It’s a considerable eye-sore in plain sight of the training building in an area that frankly should be a beautiful green space.

After using up all my 1” lumber I started ripping the 2” x 4”s and larger posts. And this is the old cut lumber that measures true and not a 1/2” smaller on side like today’s lumber. A lot of the nails are old railroad spike square nails.

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When I rip these old boards it exposes an oak of considerable beauty. Here’s a section of my wainscot that was milled entirely on my table saw. You know a hundred years ago they cut trees for routine construction that would be impossible to buy today. These days you get that fast growing pine with the rings about a half inch apart that tends to be as soft as butter and inclined to warp like a French fry.

This old wood comes from slow growing trees with rings a millimeter apart that are hard as can be. To nail them up I have to pre-drill the nail hole and oil the nail. Otherwise I’ll be bending three nails to every one that I get in. This wood will be here a hundred years after I’m gone.

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I like using up wood scraps to be sure. Here’s the vermiposter that I built a couple months ago. Much to the delight of our garbage man… all of our dog poop goes into this thing, along with kitchen scraps, and lawn debris. I’ve also put into it layers of peat moss and horse manure to make it a suitable ecosystem. I bought a few pounds of Canadian worms that are tolerant to the heat generated by compost who will hasten the process of turning the waste. And oh by the way, the front lower panel is removable. I expect by about mid July to be able to avail myself to a ready supply of fishing worms.

I might have to build a second Vermiposting tower. This one is 1/3 full already.

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It was just delightful to be chatty with ya’ll. I still have some work to do today so I’d better get about it. There’s an auction for 72 DVD movies ending on eBay in about 15 minutes and I need to go see if I can compete with the bid-bots and actually win it. I’ll chat some more tomorrow.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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One Response to “The Easter Bunny”

  1. mike foley Says:

    Okay, let’s get you a Nail Jack for that wood pile, to get those nails out quickly and easily. It’s a brand new pliers like tool with built in fulcrum. Email me your address and I’ll send you one for free.

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