Category Archives: crafting

A Boy’s Toys – – –

Jack just scrapes over the line with his Wednesday guest post – –

Like most people I have recurring dreams and in one of mine I still have all the cars I owned in my youth but can’t remember where I parked them around my home town of Dunfermline. As long as I can find one I can get to work but where are the others?

So that’s a good excuse to describe these cars in the order that I owned them –

The first was a 1938 Austin ‘Big 12’ which I bought from a workmate in a share with a couple of friends in the late 1950s. It lasted until the tubes started poking through the tires and the muffler fell apart. I was playing banjo in a New Orleans style jazz band so it had a musical send off on its last trip!

The second was an Austin Mini that had seen better days – full of rust and didn’t last long.

The third was when I hitch hiked to Bedford in England and then shared with friends – a 1935 Austin 7. It had cable brakes that never worked but it brought us back to Scotland eventually with smoke coming out around the gearstick every time we climbed a hill!

Fourth was another mini and this time the van version and in better condition so it lasted longer.

Then I got a Morris Minor – the British equivalent of the Volkswagen, that predated the Mini. My main memory is having the cylinder head out and on the kitchen table while I re-ground the valves!

After that a Triumph Spitfire that had the infamous transverse rear spring which produced my first ‘near death experience’. Wet leaves on the road which resulted in cartwheeling down the road from front to side to rear etc. I still have a scar on my forehead from the rear view mirror!

Following that came the most famous one – my 1962 MGB Roadster which was sold to a friend and eventually back to me again to grace the roads of America.

These were the early ones and were followed by a Maxi, a Wolseley 1800 and numerous Saabs.

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, crafting, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

The Chicken or the Egg?

Jack getting his guest post in on time is a rare event – – –

Some regular readers will know that we have chickens free-ranging in our backyard, four to be precise. Two (Thelma and Louise) came in March and settled in easily, exploring their new surroundings and quickly began laying an egg each per day.

Then, more recently we received another two – retired government workers! They had been employed to track any evidence of West Nile Virus by having their blood tested regularly. After their stint is finished these chickens are re-homed to people who must promise not to eat them. They quickly settled in as well and within days had become good buddies with the original two. We christened one of the newbies ‘Elissa Hirple’ because she was limping when she came and the other one ‘Kathy’. But we didn’t see any eggs from them! (Also Ms. Hirple overcame her limp.)

Being novice chicken owners we did some research on their laying and found that it’s related to the amount of daylight they experience. When the days get shorter and darker they are likely to stop and about a week ago that seemed to have happened. I stopped seeing eggs in the usual corner of the coop I’d converted from an old outhouse.

When we stopped seeing the usual two per day we resigned ourselves to not getting any until Spring. When we were getting eggs regularly, Wendy preserved a couple dozen using a method involving pickling lime called ‘glassing.’

I still checked each day just in case they might provide an occasional egg, but nothing, and we began to talk about when we would break into the glassed eggs. Then yesterday as I refilled their food and water, I happened to look in a different corner of the coop and to my astonishment there were fifteen eggs. So they hadn’t stopped at all and it is almost certain that either Elissa or Kathy joined the production line!

So we now have two large containers of glassed eggs sitting on the counter, and we are still enjoying three-egg days.

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Filed under animal rescue, between books, crafting, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch