Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Today I am skipping any talk of homesteading, misc happenings, family, etc. I have something else to say. It's something very important to me, and though some may not agree with my viewpoint on it, I frankly don't care. Sorry to be so blunt, but it's just the way it is. Understand when you've been here.

Today was a special day that's been waiting on the sidelines for 22 years. Today the state of Ohio executed Richard Cooey. That fat, whining, coward of a man finally got his just rewards.
Why does this mean so much to me? Look at the photo to the left and meet Wendy Offredo. I knew Wendy, we worked together. We weren't best friends, buddies, or pals, but friends and co-workers. It was 1986, and Wendy, same as me at the time, was 21 years old. We worked together at a Woolworth store at a shopping mall. Wendy was a beautiful girl, and worked 2 jobs to put herself through school.
Wendy and her friend, Dawn McCreery, were going home from Wendy's second job at Brown Derby, (where they both worked), when Cooey and his friends threw a large rock off a highway overpass, hitting her car. (and by rock, I mean bowling ball size) They drove around, posed as "good citizens", and offered help. The girls got a ride from them to a pay phone, and Cooey himself spoke to Wendy's mother over the phone, promising to bring them home safely after such an awful accident. Instead, Cooey and his friends drove the girls to a secluded area, and repeatedly raped them, beat them, and eventually murdered them both. He left those young girls there in the woods like garbage without a care in the world.
Wendy was scheduled to work that next day, and we got the call early in the morning before the store opened. I wish I could remember for sure, but I believe it was her own mother that called with the news. Let me say, there wasn't a dry eye in the store. Everyone loved Wendy, you coouldn't help it. She was always friendly, always at work on time, always smiling, and never complained about customers at the service desk where she worked every day. Most of the store employees sat downstairs in the break room, comforting each other, and trying to figure out WHY.
It's been 22 years since that day. 22 long years for Wendy and Dawn's families to get this closure. 22 years of waiting for the excuses to stop. Excuses like his last one, that he was "too fat" to execute...that his veins would be hard to find. I won't go into a rant about our prison system and how prisoners should do physical labor, but I still really want to know how someone gets so heavy in there....he blamed solitary confinement and prison food.
But now it's finally over. At 10:28 this morning, Cooey was declared dead by lethal injection. I'm not a religious man by any means, but if there is a hell, I truly hope he is burning....................................................................................finally.

latest on the home front...

Yesterday was a rotten day at work for the most part....fabricating pipe on the 1st floor, carrying it to the 3rd,through a 2x4 acess door, into the attic, across the trusses, and hanging it. Get another measurement, repeat process, ughh. The pipe threader decided to die before lunch and we had to wait for another one. Hopefully today goes better!!
After work, I came home, took all my tools out of my uncles truck, and returned it to him. He needed it back to haul some more free firewood and get a load of manure for the areas of his place he is working on. He's 73 years old, and has been spending the past 2 weeks moving and leveling dirt with his Massey loader and the neighbors bulldozer. (must be nice having a neighbor who owns a BIG tool/equiptment rental business!) Slowly but surely, he's leveling out about 5 of his 8 acres. Why at 73 years old? Because he knows we'll farm it when we "take over" as he puts it. He told me all about the trees he wants to take down next year, again, "in case you and Lisa want to build a barn there for horses". Sometimes it makes me happy to see that he understands what we do and supports it, but at other times, it makes me sad thinking that he's preparing his place for when he passes away. I suppose I shoould be flattered that he trusts us to take care of the place, but I still feel somewhat guilty about it. Depending on the work schedule, I'll be over there 1 day this weekend to help him. He was pushing around piles and found 2 HUGE chunks of rotten tree trunk that need moved. Of course they're on the edge of the side thats already finished, so he can't go on that side and push them back. We'll have to roll em over a chain and pull them to a spot to be buried. I'll make time for that in between working on Lisa's Saturn, working on the never ending woodpile here, raking leaves for the compost pile, winterizing the small tractor and tiller, general cleanup, hauling empty canning jars from the basement to the kitchen, visiting my parents, hanging mirrors and towel bars at Holly's new house, hanging the new feed hopper, and.....................damn I'm busy lol.

This weekend Lisa plans to start canning large amounts of chicken soup. She made the stock already and it's in the freezer, so it shouldn't take long. I want to do chili next, but since I'm the only one that eats it, it can wait. We're hoping to take some of this overtime and visit a good meat market soon too, and can some meat rather than freeze it all since we have that pressure canner now. I'll just call all of this "convienence" food for us. It's far easier to open a jar than thaw something out, especially with our normally packed schedules, and it sure beats anything store bought from a can. Between gifts from my mother, my uncles yard sale find, and a pile I found in the basement (no where near where I would have ever thought to look), we have about 7 or 8 dozen canning jars. Neither of us like to see empty jars, so we'll fill 'em with anything we can.

Things will start to wind down soon, and we can start other projects. Lisa can make a try at cheesemaking, and make another batch of candles. I can finish this room and get her sewing room put back together. After the snow starts to fall, I want to re-do the laundry room. I'll be re-routing some plumbing for a future double basin washtub and wringer, plus putting the electric washer and dryer on the same side of the room rather than opposite sides like they are now. I want to make a hanging clothes rack similar to the one we see at Lehmans too. I hate having to use the dryer all winter long. The walls are bare concrete block, so I'll mount studs and drywall the whole room, add a drywall ceiling, and remake a door to the pump room. Ahhh the joys of being a homeowner and homesteader.....the list never ends.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend off

I took this weekend off to get some things done around here. I could have worked overtime all weekend, but the weather was going to be nice, and I had to play catch-up after working 2 weeks straight.
I managed to get more of the woodpile cut up and stacked, and then found more thanks to another fallen apple tree. I'll try to get that cut up later this week. I picked the last of the jabeneros and green peppers so Lisa could make more jelly and stuffed peppers, then went ahead and pulled the plants. There weren't many Hungarian Hots left, but I picked them anyway for pickling, and pulled those as well. I took out the last of the onions, beets, turnips, and kalarabi to go inside, and pulled the last of the tomato plants too. Nothing left out there now but carrots, some greens, and the hilled potato's.

Rather than do it all by hand, I put the blade on the International, and started leveling out the raised beds since next year I plan to reverse the direction they were this year. I'm pushing soil around nice and slow, and hear this strange engine noise behind me....lol....there's the little boy from next door, following me around the dirt on his little 50cc 4 wheeler. I got a good laugh at it, then decided to let him have some fun. I took the blade and pushed some soil into little dips and hills...his own little off road racetrack. He was having a ball. Next thing ya know, here comes his dad, laughing and encouraging him to hit the dips like a jump, and his younger brother on an electric 4 wheeler trying to keep up. The neighbor walked over with his grandaughter, who just got her own little 4 wheeler for her birthday, and she lasted about a minute before she ran over and had her dad go home for hers so she could play. It wasn't long before I had 3 kids running in circles around the garden, and parents, grandparents, and aunts all standing around laughing and taking pictures. I dug out a hole about 3 feet wide by 6 inches deep then let the hose run, hehe, their own little mud pit. 3 kids, covered in mud, laughing like mad...it was fun watching them. There were plenty of pictures taken and I'll have to have someone e-mail them to me so I can post a few. They ran around that little track for a good 2 hours straight before they all had to go home to eat dinner. We hosed off the mud covered 4 wheelers and 3 pairs of seriously mud packed feet and off they went. It wasn't much of a productive 2 hours, but we all had fun.

Today is the big housewarming party, so not much will get done here. I can't wait for the reactions of everyone on Holly's first house. Hopefully they're all as proud of her as we are. It starts at 2, and Lisa is already there helping to get all the food ready. I'll be heading there soon after I finish a few things that need done.

Speaking of which.....I better un-glue myself from this chair and head outside.

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