Ted’s essays

life in the clouds

Driving into town I was impressed that thick snow slop on the road was pulling our Subaru every which-away. The 45mph I felt safe was apparently identical to what the snowplow a quarter mile back was doing. I took a side road, hung a U-turn, then pulled onto the highway behind the plow. AH YES, much more stable with most of the snow pushed off the road. Missy was impressed that I was clever enough to put the snowplow to work for us. Yeah, I smiled to myself, that isn’t normal, is it? I resumed matching snow plow speed with our quarter mile separation now having him in front. A few car lengths behind the plow was a delivery van […]

trombone misuse

With our mud room added on, I needed a way to let guests announce their arrival. Knocking on the old front door wasn’t going to work if they couldn’t get to it. I theorized a ship’s bell might turn the trick. I found a new one on the Internet, but found a bigger, older, heavier one that I lusted after as I suspected it might be heavier, louder and cooler… probably having served a long and full life on an actual SHIP. It was missing its clapper, but I knew I could figure something out. There was A LOT of elbow grease into it before it looked at all okay. But I wasn’t turning up a solid piece of brass […]

household products recipes

1. DIY Dishwashing Detergent ablossominglife.com 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda (or baking soda will work, as well), 1/2 cup citric acid, and 1/2 cup of kosher salt as a scrubbing agent. Use vinegar as your rinsing agent. 2. DIY Shaving Cream foodformyfamily.com Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil are the ingredients you’ll need to make this natural shaving cream. Get the full directions here. 3. DIY Bug Spray littlestonehouse.com Add distilled water, witch hazel, and citronella oil to a spray bottle. Get the full directions here. 4. DIY Swiffer WetJet Solution onegoodthingbyjillee.com 5. DIY Foaming Hand Wash chiotsrun.com The secret is in the pump, not the soap, so never throw out an […]

dueling doorbells

Enclosing the porch created a notification problem. Our guests could no longer knock on the door to the main house without entering the mud room. I thought I could answer it with the ship’s bell on the porch. We could barely hear it inside – a downside to well-insulated 2×6 construction, if there is such a thing. The Fixer invented this brand-new solution. I call it “a doorbell”. Works GREAT! Somehow people automatically understand how to operate it. I didn’t even have to publish instructions.

post card from Conner

It is a different world when the snow keeps on coming and we don’t have to go anywhere. We can just relax, smile and enjoy our snug little cabin. Better still, the storm is expected to be past by the time we do have places to go and people to see. We are seeing snow like our winter on the other side of the mountains in Grangeville. Certainly no shortage of moisture in our mountains this year.   Conner, Montana 7 Day Forecast Lat: 45.93N, Lon: 114.12W Wx Zone: MTZ005 ICAO Used: KSMN Current Conditions Updated: 9:15 AM MST SUN FEB 23 2014 Sun, Moon & Time Information Mostly Cloudy Temp: 25°F °F = °C Enter temp. to convert. Humidity: […]

create your own website

Building and operating your own website is easier now than ever. The tools continue to evolve in power and in their accessibility to the non-geek market. There are a few ‘secret handshakes’ and tricky bits to getting started, but in four easy lessons, I can have you comfortably running a website of your own, on your own. The classes are every Thursday in March from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the Darby Library meeting room. There are currently FOUR students excited about taking the class, but Darby Adult Education requires a minimum of SEVEN to make it go. These four future webmasters need company. Student fees are $16 regular and $8 Senior. Domain purchase online on the first day of […]

Montana Gray Penguin

Our Penguin is hanging around Our river regularly now. He’s cute and fascinating to me. I looked him up again today: 6″-8″ tall – that’s just a handful of bird bouncing and dipping up and down on the ice before diving in to scavenge underwater-dwelling invertebrates. That water has to be around 32.001 degrees Fahrenheit, and much worse in my imagination is popping out wet into the below-freezing air. Somehow it works. Interestingly, he’s officially known as Cinclus mexicanus . You would think his common name would be somewhat related – like Montana Gray Penguin … or Mexican Dipper. But NO, it is commonly called American Dipper and ranges from Panama to the top of Alaska and pretty much […]

postcard from Conner Feb 17th

Heading in to Darby from Conner today, we passed this herd of elk. From the photo I counted 67 elk, but could easily be off by quite a bit either way. Regardless, they are beautiful. It is great that there are some good, strong herds here.

Star Spangled Banner – wonderful 2nd verse

My favorite rendition of The Star Spangled Banner is a recording I have from the 560th Air Force Band of the Washington Air National Guard. I think I tripped over this in a thrift store and would love to find a source for more of their work – or even some of this to share. Give a listen to this Star Spangled Banner and, if you are at all like me in this, be awed and thrilled by the second verse – it just gives me tingles. I am in an elite group of people who have a copy of Skyward, A Musical Journey The 560th Air Force Band And you lucky devils can hear my favorite song on it […]

Feb 9th postcard from Conner

radio goes to high school

I am a member of ARRL as far and away amateur radio’s best representation in the political world – a very important consideration to me. I appreciate many other things ARRL does, not the least of which is send me an excellent monthly magazine devoted entirely to radio. The February 2014 issue has a great article about an individual who created an exciting, successful radio group in a Long Beach, California high school. Whatever magic Devon Day KF6KEE has and is using should be looked at by anyone interested in reaching and inspiring the next generation of amateur radio operators. Many of us talk about it, but this retired English teacher has been doing something wonderful for 13 years now. […]

real strength

15 Things That Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do Wellness • Paul Hudson • There is a particular aspect of mental strength that is the deciding factor of whether or not you will have a good life. There are many levels to mental strength and all are needed to be successful and happy. The one particular area of mental strength that has the greatest impact is that of emotional strength. Emotions are, of course, a part of our psyche, yet nevertheless, can be distinguished from the remainder of mental qualities because they most directly influence our physical body. They affect the way our body functions and they drive every single one of our actions. Without emotion, we would have no […]