Filling in the blanks

It never really warmed up yesterday. Though there was no serious threat of rain, cloudy skies persisted over The Mountain ’til late in the afternoon. Flannel shirts, plus those indispensable cool-weather vests we picked up in Polson many months ago, kept us comfortable.

But it was a wonderful spring day.

At the homesite we picked around the spoils, indulging our amateur interest in geology, and we checked progress on the septic system. It’s not quite done, but all that’s really left to do is pushing dirt over a few lines. Our backhoe guy stabilized the distribution box by encasing it in Quikrete, and he’d left it uncovered so that could cure before it’s buried.

I texted our foundation contractor and gave him the green light to proceed. He called this afternoon — work resumes tomorrow morning.

Deb and I are diggin’ (pardon the expression) how the area between the road and the driveway is turning out. Thinning the trees has opened up possibilities as well as space — I fancy it a better spot for our woodshed, while Deb envisions a fire ring with a seating area. It’ll all depend on how much the rubble intrudes when it’s pushed off the downhill side of the driveway.

“Dancing Tree” seemed like the right place to spend the rest of our Easter Sunday. It’s familiar, it’s perfect, and it’s one of the spots we want to develop as time goes by. We parked the buggy, set out chairs and cooler, turned loose the puppy and settled.

Other than enjoying the nosh that Deb had lovingly prepared, we had no specific plans.

Smudge was, well, Smudge — perhaps friskier and more bullheaded than usual on the eve of her turning six months old. A highlight of our lunch was an Arkansas Black apple that we’d let age a good long while in the fridge. It was firm, with just the right amount of sweetness to accompany the cheeses and summer sausage Deb had packed.

Each of us got up from our chairs occasionally, exploring, noticing, reveling in solace and cool air. After my first stroll, I exchanged my walking stick for a pair of loppers and headed out again.

Ever since spring sprung on The Mountain, the Ranger trail has been closing in on us. Some of it was new growth, some of it casualties of snow and ice, all of it smacking the windshield and dragging the cab every time we ran up to the summit. When I rolled the buggy out of the shed yesterday morning, I found a tangle of vines wrapped around the front axle like so much concertina wire.

We’d addressed the overgrowth when we returned last summer, and it was time to tackle the chore again. I spent the better part of an hour walking the cut, methodically snipping and clipping and light-felling whatever was in the way. Trudging back up from the road, I checked my work and caught what I’d missed on the downhill pass.

I had to leave several of the larger intruders standing. Soon we’ll bring back a saw to dispatch those.

The best part of our Easter Day at Dancing Tree, as far as I’m concerned, was discovering a new vista. I’d been kicking around the perimeter of the site, searching for a proper location to build a fire ring. Standing a few vertical feet above where the Ranger was parked, I looked toward the west and caught a view of the long valley 350 feet below.

I called Deb over to share what I’d found. We agreed that as often as we visit this spot, it’s a sight we want to enjoy even when leaves are on the trees. That’ll take work with both chainsaw and pole saw, but it looks like it can be done.

We’d just left The Mountain, headed for Harrison, when I realized that I hadn’t grabbed a cold drink for the road. I pulled off at the Crooked Creek access in Yellville, next to the city park, so that we could rummage in the cooler stowed in the back seat.

This was another AGFC access to the creek that we’ve passed by hundreds of times but hadn’t yet visited. We took the opportunity yesterday to walk down the boat launch, take in the scene and introduce Smudge to something new — sand. (She tried to eat it.)

The rest of the drive featured light traffic and dramatic skies.

This morning, Deb tried to shave down Dipstick, a semi-annual ordeal that I want no part of. My role is to sit outside with Scout and Smudge and try to keep them from barking at everything that walked, drove or flew by.

Even stoned, thanks to a healthy dose of sedation, ‘Stick (the incorrigible little bastard) was totally unmanageable today. Deb waved the white flag after tidying up his face a bit.

Sweet as he is most of the time, his reaction to the clippers was neither shocking nor entirely unexpected. Now we’ll have to go to Plan B.

Thing is, we don’t have a Plan B.


Once again, today brings news of another mass murder, this time in Louisville, Kentucky. As I write this, the death toll is four. Another nine, including two cops, reportedly were injured. The murderer is dead.

A witness said that the perp carried out the massacre with a “long assault rifle.” Y’know, for a class of firearms which statistics show only rarely are used to commit such crimes — despite being the best-selling platform in America — ARs, AKs and the like sure do turn up a lot when progressives are making another play to ban them.

I won’t go full-conspiracy on you, but honestly I don’t know what to make of that. I find it disturbing, and I can’t dismiss the possibility that it’s more than coincidence.

The headline of a Fox News alert on the incident included the quote, “Their blood’s on me.” It was too much to hope, I know, that the words had been spoken by the state’s Democrat governor, or the city’s Democrat mayor, accepting proper responsibility (as all progressives must) for carnage that results from infringing on citizens’ birthright to keep and bear arms.

The quote came from a person who’d been sitting in a conference room next to someone who was shot. “Their blood’s on me.”

Evil walks this world. It walked into a bank building in Louisville this morning. Evil can’t be stopped by disarming good, but that — along with imposing reparations, perpetuating the myth of more than two sexes, inflaming racist violence, murdering babies, insisting that social workers can do the job of cops, and dismantling the greatest country the world has ever known — is what it means to be a progressive.

Hey, maybe that’s you. Maybe you’re good with all that shit. Ok, fine.

But since progressivism is inconsistent with American values, perhaps you’d be happier somewhere else. I hear Canada’s nice, and it’s a short trip. And as long as Kid Turdeau is running the rigged game up there, you can live out your progressive fantasies without pesky things like the US Constitution.

Then again, that’d be one helluva lotta paperwork, and the food sucks almost as hard as the winters. If you want to leave America without the hassle of an international move, may I suggest San Francisco? Better yet, Chicago — y’know, the city that kicked out one failed “woke” mayor only to replace her with a carbon copy (no pun intended).

To my right-thinking friends, know this: The enemies of Liberty are winning. The poison of progressivism has made America unrecognizable, as they undo what’s good and “reimagine” our country in their putrid image.

They hate us, and they have no qualms killing us to get what they want, because in principle and in practice, the Left is a cult of death. Our blood’s on them.

Today I’m posting from Ozarkansas, a locale removed and largely isolated from the bullshit. This state is not woke. We have the best (fewest) gun laws in America. We have men and we have women, and neither has to consult a biologist to recognize the difference.

It’s a culture valuing Life, Liberty and Property, in no particular need of being “reimagined.” We eat and drink what we like, whether or not it’s “good for us,” and we drive trucks (mostly) that burn dead dinosaurs and belch black smoke.

The only “reparations” we bother with are neighbors helping neighbors rebuild after a fire or a tornado — and we do that without cussin’ “climate change.”

We have no fondness for politics or politicians. That said, if you take ten of us to the polls on Election Day, likely seven of us (or more) will vote straight-ticket Republican.

We say the Pledge of Allegiance and we sing the Star-Spangled Banner. Though we don’t much like the federal government, we love our country.

Of course, we do have our share of miscreants, misfits and misguided militants, hair dyed fruity colors, bodies punctured and adorned to impress people who aren’t the least bit impressed. Those folks know enough, most of ’em, to keep to themselves.

Whether it’s ignorant kids or grownups who don’t know no better, the rest of us live and leave ’em be.

Someday, Woke Nation may make a move on Ozarkansas. I suppose progressives might try parking their irredeemable asses, en masse, where they’re not welcome.

I suspect it wouldn’t go well for them. But I know that I’d love to have the popcorn concession.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB