What is a "tiehacker"?

"Tiehacker" is a term originating in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri. It referred to a class of people from WAY back in the hills that made a living cutting trees into ties for the railroad. I first heard the term from my wife shortly after we married. I had been working outside all day and was dirty and stinky. She had learned it from her father, and thought it just meant "a bum". Never having heard it before, I looked it up. Although I am not really a bum, I thought it was interesting, and I do have a life-long love affair going with the Ozark hills, so ... there you have it!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I'm back to writing again!

I know, I know. It has been awhile. Sorry about that.

The Debster and I have both been dealing with health issues. Working full time plus taking care of the Debster, the house, and the animals has really eaten into my time.

After going to the trouble of staking out the edges of my garden, and renting a small tiller to get it ready, I wound up planting .... absolutely nothing. My feet, legs, and back have just been too sore to allow the labor involved in the garden. I have even been paying my nephew to keep the grass cut for me.

Thyroid disease finally claimed the life of one of our cats. We had two, named Cow and Bull. Brother and sister. Cow was black and white; her uncanny resemblance to the Holstein breed engendered her name, and Bull's name followed sort of logically. He is coal black. We buried Cow in the Debster's mother's back yard, where so many of the extended family pets are buried. She was a sweet thing, as cats go, and is sorely missed. 

One unforeseen result of Cow's death is the total transformation of Bull's temperament. He had always been a bit on the arrogant and stand-offish side, just a little abusive of his shy, retiring sister, and not very friendly to most people, even close family. But within a few days of Cow's death, Bull became an altogether different animal. He now sticks close to us, often sleeping with, or even on top of, me or Deb. He hangs out in the same room with us. He has even, recently, begun playing with Daisy. At least, I think he's playing. Or maybe she is driving him nuts and he is just too old to really put serious effort into tearing her apart. Whichever one it is, they both seem to be enjoying themselves.

The Debster had knee replacement surgery a few weeks ago. After a few days in the hospital and couple weeks at a rehab center, she came home Friday, on the Fourth. I don't know who was happiest to have her home. Deb, me, or the critters. Chelsea had been pacing the house two or three times a day, searching for her "Mommy", and then coming to me with a little whimper because she couldn't find her. So she is happy. Stempey and Daisy have their favorite lap to nap on again. Bull has his favorite belly to sleep on at night again. And I have my wife back! Until she is fully healed and ambulatory, my own work load will be a lot heavier, as I handle all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and so forth the next few weeks. But it sure is worth it! You just never know how much you'll miss someone until they are actually gone for awhile.

Well, I gotta go for now. Need to get a brunch put together for us, and the laundry has piled up a little. 

Until next time
God bless!


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