Clean up your plates
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.
Ol’ Hyde Chowe is one of my new friends at the official Saffordville Gentle Men’s Club, better and unofficially known as the Old Geezers’ or Old Boars’ Breakfast Club. This morning at breakfast Hyde wuz helping with the cleanup crew when the subject arose about how little food our group wastes.
By and large, we clean up our plates pretty well. And, if we cook too much for the crowd that shows up, if at all possible, we save it as rechauffe — that’s the French word for “left-overs” because we’re a pretty high falutin’ group — and use it the next week. What little food that’s scraped off the plates, I take home and feed my chickens. So, the group’s pretty frugal with food.
But, I digress. As we cleaned up, ol’ Hyde said that when he was a little kid, he and his brother ate a lot of meals at their busy grandmother’s home. And, back in those days, kids had no choice in meal or food selection. You were expected to eat the food that your respected elders put on the table — or you went hungry until the next meal.
Hyde said that grandmother often filled the brothers’ plates with too much food, or some portion they didn’t like to eat. So, in that case, the brothers came up with a new plan. When grandma was busy cleaning or doing other household chores, they silently slid their plates of uneaten food under the refrigerator and told grandma they’d washed their plates and put them in the cupboard.
For the first week, that plan worked, Hyde said. But, the second week, it didn’t. When the hidden food began to stink and draw flies, grandma found it — and she really put up a stink to her wayward grandsons.
“We never hid our plates of food from her again,” Hyde concluded his story.
I’ve known for several years that the sad day was dawning when I could physically no longer hunt game birds with my beloved Brittany bird dogs, which I’ve hunted and raised since 1965. Well, I’ve decided that day has come. Impaired balance and a balky knee brought about the sad decision.
So, I’m going to give it up and not sorely (pun intended) because of physical inability. My current Brittany, Mandy, will be my final bird dog and she loves to hunt so much that my conscience won’t let me keep her just for a pet. She’s only 4 years old and she’s bred to hunt. She loves to hunt. So, she deserves to hunt. And I’m going to do my very best to find her a new owner who will hunt her a lot more than I can.
So, if I don’t have a bird dog, there’s no use in keeping all the other “bird dog stuff” in my possession. (Here’s where I switch into full advertising for sale mode). The list of “hunting stuff” I’m selling includes:
• AKC registered Brittany, “Jokerline Scootin’ Mandy,” female, whelped 5-11-2015, linebred on National Champion Tequila’s Joker. Mandy hunts hard and long, has a good nose and handles well to a whistle. She has hunted wild quail and doves, but hasn’t had pheasant opportunity. She points hard and is steady to point, but not to shot. She hunts dead, but doesn’t retrieve well and will chase deer and rabbits. Her hunting habits were spoiled a bit by hunting hundreds of pen-raised quail. Mandy has a loveable personality, but she’s probably wired too tightly for a house dog. Price: Cost me $600 as a puppy, but price negotiable, depending on situation.
• SportDog electric training collar, like new, case and manuals. Price: $100
• An off-the-ground kennel with floor of six Soft Touch Pig Pads. They can be configured for 1, 2, 3, or six kennels. The kennels are perfect for minimizing dog parasites and preventing foot and pastern problems. I’ve used the floors for more than 40 years and they are still about good as new when they cost $100 each. Much of the treated lumber in the kennel can be salvaged and go along with it for a re-build. Four plastic kennel barrels are in the package, too. Sale price: $300.
• A two-wheel metal dog trailer with compartments for four dogs, with gear storage under the hinged top. Made of plywood covered with galvanized flat metal. This trailer wuz built by my son-in-law and given to me. It still works and pulls well, but it weathered a severe beating in a hail storm years ago, so the top looks rough. It’s been stored in a shed unused for eight years. Price: $300
• A game bird hooped-wire fly-pen, 10 x 8 x 30. Can hold up to 300 quail. Must be torn down and reassembled. Price: $200
• Four-dog aluminum dog box; two-dog stainless steel dog box; two-dog plastic dog box; Assortment of leashes, collars, stake-out chain, Price: $200
• Ford F250 pickup, gray, 1990, big straight six-cylinder engine that purrs, plain Jane interior, bed liner. Best thing about this pickup is guaranteed mileage of fewer than 110,000 miles. Body is a dented rust bucket from Iowa salty-road winters. straight tranny with manual four on the floor, four wheel drive. Lockout hubs. Had $350 brake overhaul in 2018. Cruise control works. Air conditioning not working now, but worked with last recharge of freon three years ago. Worn 10-ply tires. Would ride smoother with new shocks. Pickup has spent 90% of its life in garage. This rig will pull all the above “hunting gear” — just not in style! Would make a cheap “beater” farm pickup or feed truck. Price: $1,500.
If interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on my cell phone at (620) 344-1350.
It makes me melancholy to give up bird hunting because it’s been one of the highlights of my life — combining good dogs and better friends. But all good trails must come to an end sometime. That’s life!
I’ll end up this week with a few words of wisdom about marriage:
“Always read your wife’s horoscope every morning to see what kind of day you’ll have.”
“If your wife asks you to remind her of stuff, she does it so she can blame you if she forgets something.”
Have a good ‘un. ❖