Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Courageous - A quick movie review

After hearing good things about the movie, I recently settled in and watched Courageous.  This is the latest in a line of inspirational movies from Sherwood Pictures.  The acting in these movies isn't going to win any academy awards, but the story lines are strong and the messages are enjoyable and grounded in Scripture.

As I watched I thought about my personal philosophy as a father and reflected on some things that I can do better.  It was a healthy exercise.  It reminded me of my duty and refreshed me spiritually.  Come on Alex..... a movie?  Really?  Yeah... really.  It was THAT good.  This is coming from a guy whose top 5 movie list includes Smokey and the Bandit and Back to the Future.

I don't want to spoil the movie, but if you're a Father, check out Courageous.  You and your family will be glad you did.

Y'all take it easy,


Monday, January 30, 2012

Use It Up, Wear It Out

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  It's a mantra from the Depression era that I have come to embrace over the last couple of years.  No so much because I'm a tree hugger, but because I'm a tightwad and even us evil right-wingers don't like to see trash and waste.  Shout to reader, Lindsey, who a while back suggested that I give some tips and tricks about self sufficiency and how I manage money...with a Back 'er Down twist.  Lindsey has a great blog too by the way, you should check it out.  The following is a quick tour of a few of the items that I've reused in interesting ways.

This is my potato drying rack and storage facility.  It's suspended from the rafters in my shop using chain that I found at the dump.  The framework for this beauty is the base of a crib.  Our youngest son transitioned to a bed last spring and the crib wasn't really fit for use by another family, so I butchered it and made this.  I do have a few bucks in the screen that lines the bottom.

Coke crates are great for carrying things.  I particularly love using them in the garden because dirt can fall out of the holes in the bottom.  I also like to wash veggies in these as the water and dirt sifts right out of the bottom.  I guess that technically this crate is property of Coca Cola.  Shhhhhh.  I honestly don't remember how I got it.

I love a bucket!  I have a lot of pickle buckets and a few like the one pictured which had hydraulic fluid in it. I use buckets as containers, seats, planters, scoops and a bunch of other things that I'm not remembering right now.  They're really great to put under the tongue of light trailers to keep them out of the dirt.

This is one of my more interesting reuses.  The crates are store bought, but the framework is the body of an old creeper that I had lying around.  Two of the wheels had messed up, so it wasn't really useful to me anymore.  Compound that with the fact that new casters cost about as much as a new creeper and it was destined for a better use.  I trimmed it up, drilled a few holes and used angle iron down the front for stability.  Fortunately I was able to tie into existing holes and mounting brackets on the golf cart.  This front rack has been a really useful addition.

I probably have a container fetish.  Coffee cans are a weakness.  I use them all the time for organizing nuts, bolts, washers, small parts, etc.  I have also used them as planters and we event use one as a dog food scoop right now.  However, you see the picture above of seven cans that are currently not in use.  That number has recently grown to 15.  Might be time to stop with the coffee cans ;)

This is an old cast iron washpot that belonged to my grandparents.  I really couldn't think of a practical use for it, but I couldn't bring myself to toss it.  So as it sits with much historical value, it also doubles as a container for fat-lighter splinters.  Note the bricks too...... left over from the construction of our home.  I'll use them one day, LOL

So that's a quick tour of some of my reuses.  I also reuse burnt motor oil, dryer lint, coat hangers, bent-re-straightened nails and wire.  I'm a tightwad.  I consider it a virtue.  How about you?  What do you reuse?  I'd love to hear new ideas.

Y'all take it easy,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm Baaaaack!

Some might call it hiatus.  Some might call it a time warp.  Some may call it laziness.  Either way, I've not been blogging for a while.  I've been MIA for a little over 5 months to be exact.  What happened?  I broke pretty much every rule that I set for myself when I started blogging on this particular topic a year and a half ago.  Maybe that's not fair to say.  I have remained relative good at embracing the idea of living below my means, not trying to keep up with the Jones and putting the family first.  The whole stress thing.....ehhh.... not so much.

I took a new job which I have really enjoyed very much.  It was a change though.  A little more intense with a little more of a learning curve and some more lofty expectations.  That's cool though.  I'm always up for a challenge.  In my last entry, eons ago, I mentioned that I was closing in on a campaign in which I had set some pretty lofty goals.  Naturally, I stressed about it, but we ended up surpassing the goal.  I will say this....... it was a dynamite team of volunteers that was truly responsible.  The stars aligned in a magical way and we rocked the mic.  The next stress du jour will be repeating it and/or surpassing it next year, LOL

What about other stuff?  Well, we got a dog for the kids.  We're proud owners of the sorriest hunting Beagle that you'll ever see.  Perfect for us as we'll never run him.  He is the perfect companion for the kids.  I'm glad we made that decision.  I bought a 1974 International Scout.  This is the perfect vehicle for a "Back 'er Down" mindset.  It doesn't get up to speed very fast at all; it tops out somewhere around 60mph and I spend copious amounts of time working on it.  If we hadn't gotten the Beagle, the Scout would have become our family mascot.  We sub-soiled and plowed the area for the garden.  I'm once again going all-in this year.  I hope to have better results with the tomatoes this year.  Maybe we won't go from 70 degree days straight to 100 degree days with no rain this year.  A new twist....... I'm considering buying a dehydrator this year and cutting my teeth on that method of veggie preservation.

I recently started another blog too.  During a recent two hour drive home I began thinking of interesting ways and topics about which to write.  As I've shared with you before, I enjoy writing as if I were talking to someone.  I had an idea of writing about random topics and providing "Top 5" lists.  Where would I get material, I wondered?  It hit me wen I heard abut the Wikipedia blackout protest of SOPA.  You can search any date on Wikipedia and get a wealth of information from births and deaths to major events.  I figured I could pick my favorite nugget, write down the first thing that came to my mind and write a top 5 list that would be related to those items.  So at that point, along a boring Georgia Interstate was born:  In Honor Of This Momentous Occasion.  Check it out if you have a minute.  My #1 goal for that blog is to keep it as unpredictable as possible.  We'll see how that works out.  I'm going to do my best to getting back into the writing groove by penning something for both blogs at least once a week.  Help me y'all!  Help keep me on track!

Y'all take it easy,