my POETRY | ANNI'S BOOK CRITIQUES | my ART | my BIRD photography | MLB | NFL | hurricanes



Got a good reason For taking the easy way out




Projects, Books, Sketching, Birds

I'm keeping busy these days...

PROJECT I

I'll begin with this. This is an antique to be sure...stored in our garage.  It's a Remington Rand typewriter [circa 1939-40]. On this machine, I learned to type. Years and years ago. There are two key buttons missing, the period and the 't'. Wiping off the webs and gunk [yes, it was covered with a plastic bag, but still, somehow, the spiders and such got in], I took it in the house and tore it apart piece by piece.  From the inside out I used rubbing alcohol on the key levers behind the keyboard cap. Tore off the paper cylinder, scrubbed underneath the entire mechanism and put it back together. During the cleaning process and having it torn apart, I found the 'writer's serial number. Doing it all, I remembered, eventually, what I was doing and got it all in working order. And believe it or not....the ribbon [never used for at least 20-25 years] still works!! I now have it inside, and it's a bit more 'protected' from the elements of life in the garage. My sister and I purchased this together back in the early 1960s from the public library that was auctioning off their inventory. We both spent $1.00!!! Now-a-days, a keyboard/computer is doing good if it lasts 5 years. They just don't build things like this anymore. Is Remington Rand still a company?  No....but you can read its history here. Will have to someday check online to see if there is a company that has interchangeable key buttons that'll fit this one.


PROJECT II

In his teen years, before the Navy, Bud worked at a slaughter house. People would bring in their hogs, cattle, sheep for Bud and his boss to age, cut, and wrap the meat. Sometimes, after this, they'd smoke and cure or make sausages. Anyway, this all took place in the late 50's/early 60s. One time, a couple brought in a Swiss Charolais Bull. Bud wanted the horns!! For many-a-years over the near 5 decades we've been married, he'd regale the story to those of us who'd listen. I know the story pretty much by heart by now. Eventually, those horns were his! He mounted it on the carport in Colorado. Of course he took 'em down when we retired and they went with us to Tucson....then came here, to Texas. And, in the garage they hung on a wall! Cleaning it all out this past month, Bud said: "The horn covering is loose, and bubbled in the back and split near the bone...might as well throw 'em out." I said: "No way!! I'll clean 'em, fix 'em and we'll get them in the house along with your saddle you just cleaned!" They'll be as good as new.



  • Day 1 - cleaning them





  • Day 2 - Shopping


  • I thought of going to a taxidermist here in town to see if they had any scrap cowhide [before tanning - with hair], but I nixed the idea. Instead I remained awake late one night....thinking. I came up with a solution and the next day I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a half yard of dense black felt. Not the 'finished' kind, but the felt with lots of nap....resembling untanned cowhide. After that was measured and cut, I went to the jewelry aisle and found what I wanted! Two gold skulls with horns, and brown leather cord. After I got home I tested to get the 'feel' and what it'd look like, by covering the bone/skull section. Not bad. In my mind I wanted a western/cowboy theme going....to edge the black faux hide, I planned on using blue denim. Denim...what best describes a cattle rancher, but the sturdy suit of the day...denim/jeans!!



  • Day 3 - Finishing





  • After three days working on it, cleaning, measuring, testing, cutting, polishing, I finished, then, mounted it on a pedestal and placed it on the fireplace mantel...



    PROJECT III

    This one is self-explanatory. Many have asked if I just draw a picture by memory...no, I have to have a 'model' to guide me. And no, I've never taken art lessons other than long ago when I signed up with the elective of ART for one semester in high school...
    My most recent sketch [a favorite owl of mine - I love the shaggy 'mop head' look of this Barred Owl when I spot them in a tree; real time]


    PROJECT IV - Book Reading

    I finished reading a good book. Yep, more or less politics! It is about a man who worked for the Secret Service during three presidential terms. George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. The book: "Crisis of Character" [published 2016]. Of course the book dust jacket and the photo piqued my interest right away. I remember vividly the Clinton era in the white house. Scandal after scandal. I was happy as a pig in a mud hole when the Bush family dynasty took office once again after that fiasco. Over the years with his SS position, protecting the president and his family, there seemed to be quite a stark difference in characters! Comparing the elder Bush family [congenial to ALL who protected them] and then....the Clinton's [who never once appreciated those that kept them from harm - in fact belittling them whenever the opportunity arose]. From the broken vase and Billy's black eye from Hillary - the loud bickering heard on the 2nd floor [the 'residence' area], the sex scandals, the Blue Dress of Monica Lewinsky, the SS catching Billy in act with Mondale's daughter....the perjury of said Bill Clinton, the impeachment...more and more eye opening [or memories of] disdain for the average American from that term. The world conflicts and lying from once Senator H. R. Clinton and her volatile split personality, 9/11 and Mr. Byrne [the author] eventually taking a position with the FAMS [Federal Air Marshall Services] and retirement. The book was fun - reading about Barbara Bush and President Bush...horrid during the Clinton reign...and the sadness with what the country had to deal with with terrorism and 9/11 with George Walker Bush. More or less, the book was a 'tell all' story of his job protecting our legacy; to put his life on the line to keep our president alive.  That and other protective details such as semen in the white house towels, etc. The author's last published words [tho it was, remember, 2016 and the presidential election was still in existence between HRC and DJT]...
      ...The bottom line: My job in the 1990s was to lay down my life for the presidency. My obligation today is to raise my voice; to help safeguard the presidency from Bill and Hillary Clinton--to remind readers like you of what happened back then. We all remember what a Clinton White House was like...If we board that time machine for a return trip -- it's our fault"

    Of course, we didn't. Who knows what the future will be with hate mongers who kindle hatred, enmity, or prejudice in others as we've all seen today since the election? I read an article online that there has been a record defecting of the American Citizenship....it was a bit misleading tho....I thought it was a current record...but it was during OBAMA's administration!!  The media has a lot to do with the blame here on the country's anger!!  So many lies, so much bias. [with the media]

    I bought several books that day at Barnes n Noble. Another on Hillary, one on Fannin [Texas Revolution], one on Hitler's era and more. I'm having a jolly time keeping my New Year's promise to read more books!!


    PROJECT v - for you!
    Can You See 'em now?



    Let me highlight where you should look...



    ...okay, moving in a bit closer, and two different angles...
    now I bet you can see 'em, right?



    Yep...two birds on one limb! By the time I got to the back side of the tree via the trail, they had moved closer together!! I zoomed in. Awwww, true love.
    HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY


    CRESTED CARACARAS





    34 comments :

    1. I love that owl. and your artistic talent allowed you to make those horns into a beautiful mantle piece. I am impressed with what you did with them.. I am doing projects to but mine are all household cleaning related. I am on a roll purging and cleaning but only a couple hours a day so may never get finished. I missed a couple of days due to a death in the family

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      1. Sorry about the family's loss.
        But, in any case, thanks for the compliments this morning Sandra.

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    2. You are the best at anything you do. Wonderful presentation filled with so much creative talent. They missed me when they handed it out. I am familiar with the typewriter. Would not know how to use it now. Have problems even with my computer.

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      1. I was amazed at how hard you have to push down on the keys to have the letter hit the paper. Forgotten, I should say.

        Thanks LV

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    3. Thinking out of the box is your highlighted feature this time! Great job on the horns AND spotting the lovebirds. Your versatility and multiple skills amaze me.

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      1. I'm always one to 'think' outside the box. lol
        Thanks Ms. G

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    4. What a good job on the restoration of the typewriter and the horns! Sometimes I wish I had a typewriter for filling out forms and adressing envelopes.
      Caracaras as lovebirds, who would have guessed!! LOL!!
      I'm reading the new book on President Eisenhower by Bret Baier, Three Days in January. Excellent book about a truly great man. IMHO.

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      1. I'll have to look for that book...is it newly published. I'll google for it.

        Thanks Florence

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    5. My typewriter was a smith corona. No idea where that ended up. You are very talented not only with your drawing but with restoration. Love what you did with the horns, I bet your husband loved them also. That book looks interesting I will have to read it. Hugs, lJ

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      1. I remember those 'writers also.
        The book is a page turner...interesting what the S S does for those people!! Thanks.

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    6. You have excellent vision! I could not see them till the next to last picture. Wow, it is an awesome picture of two exotic birds, maybe they mate for life? Your horn project is unbelievable! They came out GORGEOUS!! I don't much like horns, but these I DO, these are the first I have seen that are truly beautiful!!! You have such an artistic eye! Did you ever take art classes or do professional art? You can look at something, and just SEE what should be done. That is a real gift. Love your new header! Your owl is perfect! You make him come alive on the page!!! I bet if you put together a book of your nature sketches, it would really sell! I could live in Barnes & Noble.

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      1. Thanks Ginny....Bud likes B&N too....I find a book and then go sit at one of the tables in Starbucks and read while he peruses the shelves.

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    7. There's a little bit of everything here today. The horns look great. You did an awesome job with those.
      I have an old manual typewriter that belonged to my dad. The ribbon is all dried out though. Other than that it's in pretty good shape

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      1. How cool! I know ribbon spool can be purchased.

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    8. What a fun post!

      I learned to type on a typewriter like that. I guess that indicates that I'm pretty old, too. ;) I remember how hard I had to be able to "hit" the keys to get it to work.

      Your steer horns project turned out very well. Nice!

      And, I saw an interview with the author of "Crisis of Character." What a unique perspective he had of the three administrations. I believe we have the digital version of the book. I'll have to pull it up and read it.

      Again, great post!

      Hugs,
      Lois

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      1. In my opinion the book is well worth the time it takes to read it.
        And....thanks Lois.

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    9. I learned on a typewriter just like that! Ha! Didn't last long though!

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      1. the typing or the typewriter?

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    10. I took typing on a typewriter just like that too. I even remember my typing teacher. I bet Bud is glad you didn't let him throw the horns away. You did a good job. I decorate my yard with horns from John's cows over the years. I was amazed at how many people think only bulls have horns.

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      1. Mr. Wood was my typing teacher...short, glasses....yep, I remember mine too. LOL

        Thanks Paula. I'd like to see some of your horn/yard work.

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    11. You are quite the busy retired person. I love the typewriter and horn projects. Lots of perseverance that you have.

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      1. I do try to stay active in some way or another. Thanks Yogi.

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    12. Wow - you have been busy! I'm impressed with your projects. The horns turned out so good, and so did your drawing, but they always do. You are so talented!
      The book sounds very interesting!

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      1. Thanks Mari....yep, it was one of the best 'political' books I've read in a long time.

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    13. You are one of the busiest people I know, and you constantly update the looks of your blog as well. I get tired just thinking about keeping up with you! :-)

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      1. You too keep active with your hikes!

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    14. Great job on the horns...love the birds. I have thought about reading that book before...

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      1. It's a good book. Thanks Rose.

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    15. I knew that there would be a project I could join in with in the end - and there it was, at the end! What great birds!

      Cheers - Stewart M - New Delhi, India (!)

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      1. Glad you stopped by Stewart. Could you find 'em sooner than the close-ups?

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    16. I came by to say Happy Valentine's Day to a heart sister. I like seeing what you're up to, Anni. Busy, busy as usual. I'm trying to remain upbeat in our current climate of rage and judgement. I'll bundle up soon and go for my 5 mile walk - not above freezing yet, but the sun is out and the ski is blue. Stay well!

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      1. Thanks Barb...it's good to see you're here with me today! Hope you're doing well. I think of you often.

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    17. the media is a BIG problem! enjoy your reading.
      love the two birds, what an awesome capture. hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

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