The Transformation is Complete! From Prince of Larchmont to Cattle Farmer in Mississippi

When you own not only a truck but a tractor, too, you are a full fledged Mississippian.

In a little quirk of irony the tractor I ordered arrived on my birthday so that makes it the biggest birthday present I have ever gotten.

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I already have almost 50 hours on my Kubota.  The good news is that no animate or inanimate objects have been hurt, yet.

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My Brooklyn Girl Has a New Hunting First

The early days of hunting season are set aside for archers and ‘primitive’ gun (guns that need to be reloaded after each shot) folks as it is done at much closer range than with most rifle shots so they give more time during hunting season to those who are willing to do it the old fashioned way.  When I got into hunting some almost 20 years ago I bought a muzzle loader from a neighbor back in NH and just the other year I bought a crossbow to go hunting with my older son who has switched exclusively to archery hunting. Now that my wife hunts, we can both hunt as one of us uses the muzzle loader and the other the crossbow. However, she had not gotten anything with either until just recently.

It was very quiet the evening of November 10th until 5:15 when I heard a shot that had to be Pat’s as she was using my muzzle loader. With reception so bad in the low spots I didn’t really expect to get a text from her so I waited until 5:30 (it being ½ hour after sunset which is the end of legal hunting) and then headed out and over to the Tin Can where she was sitting.  It is her favorite spot and is where she got her first deer the other year.

Pat had taken a shot at the biggest of 4 deer that came out after fortunately remembering that while she had put in the primer cap she had forgotten to load the powder and sabot and had rammed the load into place just before the deer came out and thus had taken a successful shot at about 30 yards.

Unlike the other deer she has shot, this one didn’t just fall down. She had been surprised by the amount of smoke and flame that came out of the muzzle and had to guess where the deer had been while the smoke cleared.  So in the time it had taken me to get over to her she had found the beginning of the blood trail. She waited for me to go into the woods to track the deer. We used orange tape to mark the trail and only had to go in about 30 yards when Pat’s deer had finally dropped. While under a 100 pounds it was a long way, comparatively, to get back to the camp. Our call for assistance to Dan our son and Hugh Leigh was responded to quickly and once the deer was loaded up off we went to Milner’s which does the processing of the deer into venison.

When she tells the story of her first deer of the season people are amused until they understand she did it with a muzzle loader which she loaded herself and then they give her the credit she is due for taking a deer with just one shot.

The Prince and “Big Red”

Truth be told, I never thought I would own a truck but we live in strange times.  Circumstances presented me a way to buy a truck at a very good price and our trusty Explorer has been suffering from terminal rust due to the salted roads of New England and from launching boats in the salt water when we owned a sail boat.

The truck did need a new engine but almost everything is less expensive here then in other parts of the country so I decided to go for it.

It is a Nissan Titan Chrome V-8 with a crew cab and short bed but for one’s first truck it is  mighty nice.  I have splurged for the dogs sake and gotten an all weather pad for the truck bed so they don’t slip and slide around while we are out cruising. I also was able to finally use a prize from a golf event to pay for the pad.

This picture also features a friend of ours from NH who now lives in SC who had been finishing up a long distance road trip where he picked up a cowboy hat along the way which complements mine as it is only fitting that I had my cattle farmer garb on for the picture with my truck.

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The Golf Coach and the First Football Game of the Season

As the golf coach I have come to realize that I have certain ‘obligations’ at Benton Academy.  The biggest is that the coaches for all sports go to the first football game of the season to support the student athletes who almost all are multi sported. As the first game was last night, August 18th, I put on my Raider red golf team shirt and went to the game.

As coach I don’t have to pay for admission and the ladies at the entrance all smiled and welcomed “Coach” Clay (which you may remember makes my wife smile as she never expected anyone, let alone a whole school of people to call the word coach and my name together).

It was a hot, muggy night with thankfully a gentle breeze to cool things off that had a rain storm of nearly a ½ inch of rain that afternoon, resulting with the ground which was already saturated with recent rains a soggy mess.  We arrived with the game having just started and already most of the players were covered with dirty brown water and mud.  One mother suggested to her daughter whose son was in the game to take him to the car wash after the game before letting him in their house.

We sat up in the stands next to our lawyer, who is 70+ and his friend of the same age.  So with him and his friend both well-known and my red shirt and finally my wife who seemingly knows even more people than even our lawyer, there was scarcely a man, woman or child we didn’t know.

But, back to the game! I love muddy fields as that is how the game should really be played, plus it reduces the chance of injury. However, it does make fumbles and turnovers a much bigger possibility and that was true last night.  Fortunately for Benton, they were the better team and the score was 34 to 0 by half time.  With my obligation fulfilled, and after a full day of running errands down in the city of Jackson, the “coach” called it a night.

The Globe Trotting Prince

In checking my ‘stats’ the other week I was pleasantly surprised to see that so far in 2017 I have people in eight different countries outside the US finding things to look at on my blog.

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The two that I can determine pull them in are “The Cotton Bolls are in Bloom” and “Wasp Feng Shui”

Maybe I’ll become a handyman!

I have always been willing to try home projects but with a new home there are lots of touches that need to be done now that we have been here for over two years.  With a front porch and a patio a ceiling fan seemed to be in order for at least one of the spots.  Finally a decision was made with the setting sun being the final input. Our patio faces west so in the evening it gets the sun as the front porch has a southeast exposure.

The instructions looked straight forward enough so I thought I would give it a go. My success rate with electrical projects has gone up over the years as it used to be 50% at which point I would call in an electrician.  It is now up to about 80% unlike my plumbing project success that still hovers in the 50% range.

Things went okay in the beginning until it was time to start putting the fixture up. It turns out the patio ceiling is actually the vinyl siding panels attached to a 2 by 4 wood frame.  They cut a very small hole in the siding to put up the existing light fixture but I knew the ceiling boxes were wired for ceiling fans.  That meant I had to widen the hole to attach the fan to the electrical box.  I used pruning shears to cut through the vinyl siding but hit a snag when I ran into two pieces of siding that were overlapped.  After two hours and the noon time sun starting to come around towards the patio I gave up for the day.

Patio before fan picture

The next day I made good progress and started to put the fan up.  New problems popped up with missing screws, the hole needing to be further enlarged, etc. Finally I got the fan up only to find I had used something I didn’t need for a flush mounting of the fan. At the end of the 2nd hour I decided to stop for the day after finding out that as close as I was to having it up I was one screw short of completion.

The third day I decided against calling an electrician and gave it one more effort and sort of forced a solution but actually had the fan work. Now all I had to do was put on the light.  The fourth day I got the light fixture on and realized it only took 6 and ½ hours.

Patio after fan put up

On the Road Again – British style

My MG-B has been taking a hiatus for the better part of the year so far due to a small mistake on my part while trying to make an adjustment on the parking brake.  I forgot to turn the ignition off and the fuel pump was working away all night.  It turns out that did the poor girl in and I found out I needed a new fuel pump before I could go anywhere.

Not being the most mechanical of men, I put off the task until I had an offer to help put the new one in from a friend of Hugh Leigh’s, Paul Nolan.  I took advantage off a rainy day when I knew he wouldn’t be out with his bulldozer working in the fields.  The chore went fairly quickly and I got some great stories out of Paul about farm accidents and one about a man who apparently had a heart attack and was declared dead by the EMT’s and put in a body bag but left for the corner to come before being moved from the kitchen floor where he had fallen. As family started to come to console the wife / mother, a grandchild went to his grandmother and said “Poppy wants his dinner”.  When the boy’s father went into the kitchen he simply saw the body bag lying still. He called out, “Dad, are you alive?” The reply from the body bag was ” Get me out of this dang’ed dark place and get me some dinner!”  I said to Paul, “Well, this being Mississippi everyone had brought food over so at least he had a good dinner!”

With the rain storms just coming and coming, I only got out this morning to give it a test drive.  Good to be back on the road!