LJR Enterprises

Our homestead, Our links

Month: February, 2006

Inside Out

by Scott Smith

It’s interesting to me the way the outside world creeps into my house. I’m not talking about the “evil television,” or the influences of my childrens’ “evil classmates.” I’m talking about EVIL, spawn of Satan straight from the lake of fire… cockleburrs. They come into the house on shoes, dogs, coats, sweaters, mittens, scarves, hats, socks, underwear, trucks, buses, airplanes, trains and I think I saw a couple of them riding in on Segways. Madeleine complained just yesterday that after she picked all of the burrs off of her pink, Converse high top shoelaces outside, she came inside the house only to get more burrs on her shoelaces! So, we did the only reasonable thing there is to do. We took a full sized axe and walked around the property hacking gleefully at the cockleburrs and piling them up. Next week we are going to have a bon fire of cockleburrs and dance around it naked.



A good walk

by Scott Smith

What is it about a moon-lit walk?

Tonight, Robinson and I walked the dogs around the property. Nothing new. Today’s snow covered most of the bare spots. The moon was bright and the wind still and very little cold to deal with.

Meg behaved herself with the help of her Halti. Jack was his reasonable self but on a leash. If Meg’s leashed and Jack was free, Jack would insist on wrestling.

What was it about tonight? I couldn’t really say. I just liked it. I appreciated it more than I normally do. Maybe it was the thought I had today: I’ll be buried a few miles from here. I am fairly sure the Hickory Corners house will be my last stop.

Currently, I spend Monday night and Thursday night at Robinson’s father and step-mother’s house. My one-way drive to work is almost a 140 miles. Ever since moving to Hickory Corners, I hadn’t felt at home anywhere. I couldn’t let go of the next drive and staying over-night in St. John, Indiana. I wasn’t living in the moment; I didn’t appreciate my time at home.

Gapingvoid.com has been a regular stop for me. Hugh’s ‘How to be Creative‘ chapter, The Sex & Cash Theory, may explain a little of my attitude change.

7. Keep your day job.

I aÂ’m not just saying that for the usual reason i.e. because I think your idea will fail. I aÂ’m saying it because to suddenly quit one’Â’s job in a big ol’ creative drama-queen moment is always, always, always in direct conflict with what I call “The Sex & Cash Theory”.

Perhaps I have come to terms with the idea that I may start-up a dozen companies, I may write several books, but I may never be able to give-up my day job. And you know, that’s okay. Really.


Suck it up Sally

by Scott Smith

When I was a kid I took riding lessons. There were times when I was pretty good at it in an amateurish sort of way, but frequently I was terrified of the things I was being instructed to do (make the horse jump over that really big fence then turn quickly and make the horse jump over that other really big fence). Often I did these things only because I was more afraid of the man who was telling me to do these things than I was of the actual things. I didn’t stick with it past that great teenage rite of passage, the driver’s license.

My daughter has the horse bug now. She loves it and I have been taking her to her lessons for about three years now. The funny thing about riding is that I don’t think that a person who has the bug ever really gets it out of their system. So, if you hang around a barn long enough (say, three years) eventually you are going to have an overwhelming desire to get back in the saddle. I had been having stretches of time where I would dream of riding every night for weeks. In my dreams I picked up where I left off, feeling light and in control in the saddle. The strength in my legs and back hadn’t left me from lack of use and I was graceful and lovely. So, I gave into that desire that never quite leaves the horsestruck girl last Monday.

While I had been thinking about taking up riding for months, my return was a spur of the moment decision (no pun intended). My son had also been taking lessons and has decided that it’s not really his thing, at least for right now, so I took his place. I carefully brushed and tacked up that old lesson horse and as I led him to the mounting block, trying to calculate the number of years it had been since I had last ridden with any regularity I thought, “WHAT are you thinking????” But, it was too late to back out, so I got up in that saddle, took the reins in hand and tried desperately to make my body do what I was sure it should remember, you know, like riding a bike. I kept up as best I could and as I circled the arena I felt neither light nor in control. “Graceful” and “lovely” were not words that came to mind when trying to describe how I was feeling. Unfortunately, no matter how I begged, my legs could not summon the strength to keep my seat bones from banging into that broken down saddle and it’s tree left it’s mark.

Today, after a week of stretching and whining, I can finally walk without pain. Tomorrow I will get back up in that saddle and do it again because… It’s too late to back out now.

Painting offers Relief

by Scott Smith

Everyone needs a hobby, right? They offer relaxation, an outlet for creativity, and a sense of self outside the obligations of everyday life. My hobby seems to be setting up situations that cause me stress so that I can later relieve that stress by removing whatever little “gift” I’ve left for myself. This week I finished a paint job in the kitchen that had been staring me in the face for weeks, maybe months, and started another in the hallway. Before that it was the sofa table that took far too long to stain and varnish. There is a bolt of fabric standing in the corner waiting to be turned into a curtain, countless yards of other fabric waiting to be given shape, Coleman’s new bed waiting to be stained and varnished and I’m sure there are many more odds and ends that I can’t bring to mind at the moment. But, back to the painting project…

The hallway project would probably more fairly be described as an extension of the kitchen project (which is an extension of the living room project) but it remains to be seen whether or not I will wait until I’m stressed by the unfinished coat of greener-than-I-expected paint to finish it or if I will climb up on my little step ladder this afternoon to complete my task. While I wonder about that I also wonder this: if I finish the job before I’m stressed about it, will it give me the same sense of satisfaction? Perhaps an experiment is in order.

Update 2/6/06: The paint job is still not completed and my laundry is, once again, out of control.