Nestled within the Seven Valley region of Southwest Missouri, lies the home that was voted to be called An Dun.
It’s a work in progress. We’re still unpacking in fact, a slow and tedious process with our work and school schedules.
Since procuring the home place, we have painted the entire interior of the house. I have also discovered a lot of water damage that I have been working feverishly to repair. New doors. New carpet. New fridge.
When we first moved to southwest Missouri, I was exploring the backside of our property and came across huge boulders, the size of vehicles. At least one set that runs along the ridge that we live on, is almost the length if not surpassing the weight of, my home. Combined with the inability of grass to grow (but weeds can, hey they’re green!) in the amazingly rocky soil we named our home An Creagan, a Gaelic word that means “Rocky Place” or “Stony Place”.
We are looking to buy a home, and we have made an offer on it. We feel comfortable in saying it will be accepted. For us a home needs a good name, something that its residents can be proud of, to lay claim to it. It helps to instill a since of pride and ownership. It doesn’t have to be plastered on the outside or raised over the drive, but can be just something to reference between us and friends. It gives a home a personality. Many folks I have met through the years call their places The Ponderossa, or simply The Home Place. One being from a old west television show and the other just country simplicity. But we all identify to the word “Home”, we just give Home a less common name, if that makes sense.
The new one differs only in a few ways from our current place. For one its not a mobile home but a real house. It’s also not as high up. It is on a hill top, but you have to go down in to the valley interior, and it’s actually on a knoll in the center of the valley that An Creagan over look’s. So it has elevation, but the ridges come up around it blocking the view that my current home has. It’s on a grassy and tree lined knoll between the ridges.
Also it has no great stone boulders on the property. And while the dirt is certainly as rocky, the previous owners of the house spent a good deal of money on topsoil so that it has good rich earth surrounding the place.
I am considering naming this place something else, should all go well and we manage to obtain it. We will be retaining An Creagan and moving my mother in to it (supplying her a home as every good son should) so it feels wrong to strip a name from a place that has so gallantly held it for so long.
For the new place, as it is centered in the valley I am considering a few names but none have leaped out at me.Then i figured I’d let ya’ll do some picking for me.
In Gaelic there literally dozens of words for Hills, and grove and those words are combined to form descriptions of specific places. So a bhuidhe or yellow and neach or that place becomes buidheanach or yellow place. But typically names don’t stop there. They usually designate further quantifiers like shape, size, and other descriptors giving it three words or more. A hill might also get named after a famous soldier – saighdear
Here’s a few examples and let me know of any you like or come up with your own:
Daire or Oak grove, as the new house has several live oaks surrounding it.
Cnoc da Darach or Hill of Oak
Cnoc sa Poll or Mountain in the hole (Since the house is on a hill top, thats in the Valley’s lower regions)
Saighdearcaillte or Lost Soldier
Saighdiúirí An chuid eile or Soldiers Rest
If you don’t like these dig around. There a few resources on the internet and Google translate isn’t bad. Or hell just drop a comment and I’ll translate it for you. My Gaelic isn’t phenomenal but its passable.
One thing I am big on with my daughter is leading by example.
I understand that at some point in her life she will get her hands on enough booze to turn me green. I acknowledge the fact that there will be things she will attempt that I will not approve of. So what I attempt to do is show her that life can be accomplished without these things and the ones I do partake in I always do to moderation in front of her.
One the items I stress are promises. I give them sparingly and make a point of explaining to her to not make promises that she can not keep. This weekend I am fulfilling one of my promises.
A long time ago I was a IT Mercenary. That was my joke.
I worked for anyone, for the highest bidder. Took all sorts of zany contract work. It’s one my reason my background is so wide. The downside is I could literally have 13 employers in a year. Thats no joke. My wife and I’s accountant used to charge us $25 extra just because of the amount of paperwork he had to slog through to get ours done, between the W2′s, expenses, gas, mileage, equipment, etc it just took forever. We didn’t complain.
The only complaint we had was I had no benefits, no retirement, and my work was literally feast or famine. I would go months without a job and unemployment only goes so far.
With this constant in and out of work, our bills suffered. My credit rating was just above a joke, but its somewhat better now. We have been able to afford things that we weren’t able to before, like my daughters school, and even going out to eat.
My wife has the steady job. Almost 10 years with her company. Her’s was the steady income while I played the telecom, tower and cable monkey going across the country.
Today that changed. On March 9 her job will be eliminated. They are going to do what they can too move people around in to other jobs, and she can fall back in to a hourly position easily, however she’ll take a very sizable cut in pay….over $400 per month. She’s not the only one. Most of the supervisors and management team in her location are being downsized.
We’re told that they will all be individually briefed, and moves will try to be made. Thats nice and all, but we’ll be preparing for the worst just to be safe. We can’t afford that kind of a pay cut, frankly.
And unfortunately that puts us in a quandary. I just started school again, and while I can cover a lot of our bills I can not cover them all. Not to mention the large quantity of competition for jobs these days.
A lot of things will be changing. There’s a good chance I will have to move my daughter to a different school, and that could cause not only problems for her but logistical issues for my wife and I as well.
As a boy things were pretty rough at times. Before we moved down to Taylorsville, GA our family home was a 2 room cabin in the hills of Big Creek. Our running water was a spring out front, our heat was a pot bellied wood stove, our bath a 50 gallon washtub and a bathroom that was as big as all out doors.
The military was a slice of heaven to me.
You learn to adapt. I don’t begrudge those things above, in fact in someways I miss them. I miss the cold mornings warmed by a cup of coffee listening to nothing but the trees and naught but Charles Dickens to keep me company. I miss the simplicity, and the quiet. I miss the peace. We were “off the grid” before there came to be such a concept. In those days “off the grid” just meant “poor”, but you couldn’t tell us that.
I spent the evenings after home work lost in Robinson Crusoe, As I Lay Dying, and Go Down, Moses. You didn’t need electricity for books.
In many ways I have often considered that song to be a story of me. The cabin is gone now, my father has built his own house on the property. It’s been a long hard road for us. Trials and tribulations. I have a education I thought I would never get, and I am still traveling that road. My daughter does not lack for things to have, and truth be told is probably spoiled.
I have a few regrets, who doesn’t? Some dreams lost to the wayside. I have made many mistakes in my youth, as we all do.
So it goes c’sera sera, or as my grandfather would say: De reir a cheile a thogtar na caisleain. It takes time to build castles.
The year is almost over and the new year solstice will be celebrated, as it should be with friends. Consider me with you in spirit. Try to think of the good things that have came your way, find grace in the things you could not change. Most of all have a Happy New Year, from all of us at Registered Evil. We are thankful to have you, dear readers, among our friends.
Hello, this is the long lost soul. I have been a stranger here, but I finally have a chance to breathe.
A lot has happened in my absence, and here is a brief update.
First and foremost, my son started walking, and forced me to lock all the cabinets in the house, as he appears to be a little terror already. Another thing he has started doing is shaking his head no…I wonder where he got that one from.
Another new event is the introduction of yard work to my weekends. For the first year of our marriage, we lived in an apartment, and there was no outdoor maintenance there. Now that we are in a house, and the landlord said to me “Do whatever you want to with it, make it your own, paint walls, take down doors, and rip up shrubs if you want, we dont care…” Yea, I have done all of that, even remodeled the kitchen a bit
With that said, I have taken out all of the shrubs, and tiny trees that were making the front yard look like a bit of a jungle, and constructed 14′ flower beds on both sides of the porch, and the wife and I have planted about 40 flowers in there.
One of the most noteworthy ventures of late, is that I have quit smoking cigarettes yet again, and have repleced them with fine cigars. The little one is starting to mimic everything I do, and I dont want that to be one of the things that he starts because he saw me doing it.
Aside from all that, I have been extremely busy at work, as I have made the move to an IT position in my growing company, it keeps me very busy.
Since somebody sent me an E-mail, which went to my phone, which woke me up from my sleep, which requested my chicken soup recipe because I posted on Facebook that I was making some, I figured what the hell. I don’t have to be a total waste of flesh today and a lot of other folks are sick and this my cure-all.
Peer pressure has never been something that I could be accused of succumbing to. I smoke cigars. I drive a 4×4 SUV. I drink beer, I chew tobacco. I wear cowboy boots, cowboy hats and am more often given puns on Grizzly Adams jokes and redneck references.
As I have grown older I have found myself making, for lack of a better word, green decisions, however.
I’m not sure when I made this change.
A recent conversation with V00d3w is what spurred my questioning of how I make decisions, and I wondered when this change took place.
(I wrote a similar story at Techography a number of years ago. Unfortunately the database back up does not have it so we presume it must have been lost when our then hosts Database crashed back in 2003. I have done my best to recreate the story here. Sadly memories fade over time, even a memory as strong as I feel mine is. I hope I did the original story justice as it was well received at the time.- BS)
Lloyd C. Bain. My Great grandfather. Taken around 1976
When I was a boy, my great grandfather took me to get a Christmas tree.
My mothers grandfather was a big man, even by todays standards. Standing over 6ft 8 inches tall, the former bulldozer driver was a product of the North Georgia Mountains and the Depression. He once frightened one of my mothers suiters so badly by merely shaking his hand the boy would not speak to her until after they graduated and she had moved out. That was almost 4 years later. I recall his hands being the size of a dinner plate nearly, and though I was very small at the time, compared to even most adults, including my own father he was a mountain of a man.
He lived in Blue Ridge Georgia, until that faithful day in 1988 when he left this world, at the age of 97. It took 8 men to carry his coffin. He was a lean, strong, sturdy rock of a man. I miss him dearly. He was my mothers hero, and mine as well at a young age.
Today when a person speaks of hunting a Christmas tree they go to a farm, where numerous trees are gathered and bound, cut and leaned against a fence.
At home we went walking in the woods, looking for a suitable evergreen, be it pine, cedar or even hemlock.
And so it was on this particular day, the season of the last Christmas I would spend with my great grandfather of whose name I bear as my own middle, he summoned me to his side for us to capture a tree for the family.
When I was 12 he walked in to our cabin with an Ovation guitar, and a gallon of Canadian Mist whiskey. He took the bottle cap off and flung it in to the night and with a trademark smile said “Lets play some music, fella’s!”
I have never forgotten that.
He was my Aunt Betty’s husband. A joyful, fun loving man who had a love for life and music I have never seen in another person in my years. Always quick to smile, shake hands, offer help, advice a comfort.
He would play, my Aunt Betty would sing in one of the most haunting voice I can recall.
He almost collapsed when at my Aunt Betty’s funeral. I cried, as much because I had never seen him cry before in my life, as for her loss.
He pulled me aside one day after a playing and told me “Son you have a gift, that none of us have. you can do anything with your hands your music. Keep at it, I have no doubts we’ll see you at the Opry.”
The way I ended up there is not the way he thought, or I thought. My ability was not as good as i or he thought, but I never had the courage to tell him that because I believe it might have broke his heart if I told him I had given up that dream. He always knew, we just never spoke of it.
He had a stroke a few years ago. He was losing himself in his body. He was not the man I or anyone else.
His service will be held at the church my grandfather was honored at, interred in the same graveyard as the others of my family, in a building my family built.
The ties that bond in Northern Georgia are strong, and deep.
He was one of the few people I visited every time I went home, without fail. I loved him. My fathers compatriot, my inspiration, a man who would give you the shirt off his back and then play you a tune.
Today my world is a little less bright, as one of the brightest souls in my world has went out.
And once again the damn Road keeps me from going home, and my heart cracks a little more.
Mr. Charles B. Marshall age 74 of Stover Mtn View, Ellijay died Tuesday November 30, 2010.
Mr. Marshall was born on October 7, 1936 in Middlesboro, KY. He is the son of the late Charles Berwin Marshall & Mamie Lucas Marshall. He is preceded in death by his wife Betty Stanley Marshall. He was a warehouse manager and a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Survivors include: Sons and daughters-in-law: Kenny and Joyice Marshall, Waleska, Danny and Beckie Marshall, Ellijay, Ronnie and Anne Marshall, Ellijay; Sister: Jean Ann Cantwell, Johnson City, TX; Brother: Bill Marshall, Wichita Falls, TX; Grandchildren: Lance and Levi Marshall, Tiffany Reichert, Bethany Marrott.
Funeral services will be held Saturday December 4, 2010 at 2pm from the Pisgah Church of Christ. Interment will be held in the Pisgah Church of Christ Cemetery with military rites by the North Georgia Honor Guard. The family will meet with friends Friday Dec.3 from 3 until 8pm at the funeral home.
Flowers are accepted or donations may be made to the Pisgah Church of Christ cemetery fund in memory of Mr. Marshall.
I know most folks like to sit back and smoke their cigars.
Yukon Blend Coffee with a shot of Jameson. Gurkha Cuban Legacy in Churchill
I like to walk.
Was a nice brisk cool morning yesterday, great weather for my traveling companions: a Gurkha Cuban Legacy and Yukon Blend coffee with a shot of Jameson.
Here’s a little photo-essay attempt with some random thoughts.
Feel free to click any of the images for a bigger version. Enjoy the walk, sorry if my mind tends to venture in to strange places. its just the way I am.
“We can’t hold back the hands of time, its just something we got to do.”
Critters first day was Monday. The morning was….interesting. She was all excited until she realized her mother and I would not be staying with her the entire day. Then we piled in to the gym. Here too, a problem arose. Critter is much like me, in not enjoying being amongst crowds. So there she sat in the middle of the gym with her hands over her ears, and head burrowed to block the noise. So of course you can guess what happened when the the Principal fired up the PA system.
I never thought I would be celebrating Fathers Day as a father. This weekend, I got to spend the entire weekend with my son, Gavin, as my wife had to work both days. Saturday was a good day, my sister and mother came over to visit, and brought me some lunch. Gavin was a bit fussy because he now has 2 teeth, and is still working on more. Sunday was a great day, I am very proud to be a father. My little buddy and I went to my parents/sisters house and had brunch, (that’s a fancy way of saying “late breakfast”), we had a great time.
Gavin was such a good boy! He smiled and laughed so much. That in itself is the best Fathers Day present I could ever ask for. He played with his cousin (she is about a year and a half now) and with his Grandma, and Grandpa Sanders, and his Aunt and Uncle. He really is the best baby.
After that, I took him to the mall so we could pick up his other grandpa’s Fathers Day gift. All the people in the mall that we passed just looked, and smiled at him, and of course, he smiled back.
When my wife got off work, we came home to wrap the gifts for my wife’s father, then went to their house, had dinner, and opened presents. He started getting a bit fussy (as he does in the evenings) but his “Grampa” quickly calmed him down. He had such big smiles when he saw them!
All in all, it was a great first Fathers Day, full of memories. I am such a lucky Dad…
June 5th, 2009….ont of the happiest days of my life. My wife and I moved in together about a month before this day, and soon after we were engaged, we learned that we were going to have a baby.
This past weekend was our first anniversary, and we let her parents watch Gavin while we had a day to ourselves. It started out with lunch at Zaxby’s, nothing fancy, but we needed a bite. Then it was off to the hair salon, and we both got new hair cuts, (I was lookin a bit mangy as I have been growing out my buzz cut for just such a situation). After that, we went to purchase our tickets for a movie we had been planning to see, and we were off to the nail salon. My wife got her nails done, and her eyebrows waxed. She was very excited about this. After the nail salon, we saw a movie, then went to dinner.
This is where it gets fun:
When I had proposed to her, I did it in the back, left hand side of Outback Steakhouse. So we went back to the same Outback. There we were, waiting to be brought back to our table, and the guy led us first to the left, and then to the back, and then right to the table in which I had proposed!!!
Needless to say, my wife cried, and we both reminisced, and had a great time.
Well, its official, I am no spring chicken anymore. I used to think that I was some sort of super hero, or at least an immortal of sorts. Nay. I am an overweight, grey-haired (well, partially), mid 30′s male.
May, 2010 will forever be referred to by me as “Hell Month”. Let me explain: My family, my sisters family, and my parents ALL moved to different houses last month. We did it all in about 3 weeks. This was not fun, but all in all, I think we did a pretty fair job of it. But when all was said and done, my body decided to take a dive. Memorial Day, I got up, and I still had to go to my wife and I’s old apartment, and do the final cleaning, but my body said “the hell you are!” and proceeded to make me vomit 5 times in less that an hour and a half. This was very unpleasant, as I haven’t vomited in some years. When I first woke up that day, the room was spinning so fast, that I thought I was on one of those teapot rides, and I knew something was wrong.
Apparently, what happened was simple: I am just too old to be doing as much as I did this past month, and I am not a young man anymore. What is funny about it is, I didn’t get the memo that said “don’t over exert yourself!” I always thought I would be fine until I started getting the AARP pamphlets in the mail, unfortunately, I was wrong.
The good news? Everything got finished. It’s done. And I am not planning on moving for at least 4 years…thats the time I estimate my body will need to recover from this move.
Ben Shaw is a former infantryman turned photojournalist.
He knows what it is like to be both a civilian in a war zone and a combat trooper.
Beyond the romance of wounded soldiers with gentle eyes, past the mystique of hard core adventurers who live for the thrill of battle and the conquest of the enemy, or the age old stories of officers and gentlemen is the trip home.
That flight on the big iron bird that, if your lucky, return you to the arms of someone you love. Anf if not it returns you to home sweet home.
If you are just coming out of a combat zone (specifically from combat arms), you are about to encounter a wave of emotions, thoughts and dreams for which we are all unprepared. Some of them will make perfect sense considering the environment you just left, but most will bother you. A few may even scare you. While virtually none of the generalizations listed below help overcome these sensations, perhaps knowing about them in advance will help eliminate confusion or the feeling that you’ve lost control. At the very least, take some comfort knowing that you’re not the only one who has encountered this. Millions before you have, and future generations will as well.
Without a doubt the most accurate portrayal of what it’s like when you first come home.
It seems like yesterday…….. I was fresh out of the rehab center, living with a fellow recovering addict in an apartment in Cartersville, Ga. Not long after that, my girlfriend and I moved in together.
In just one years time, we have gotten married (one of the happiest days of my life), I have been promoted in the corporation that I work at (making us very much financially independent), we have a 4 month old baby boy (another of the happiest days in my life), and finally, to close the book on the first chapter of our life: we have moved from our 2 bedroom apartment into a much larger house.
Gavin - about 3 months old.
It was a bit sad to move from the place that started our new life together, but at the same time it opened up so much opportunity, and growth for our family. Gavin is such a good baby, and he will no doubt thrive in his new environment. We plan to be there at least 3 years, and we have an enormous yard for him to play in.
Gavin - 4 months old - he fell asleep playing on his mat.
We have been truly blessed….. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect life than we have now, and I thank God every day for giving me the strength to go on after so much adversity in my life. I wake up every day next to my beautiful wife, and go see my sleeping baby in the next room, and I can’t help but know that everything will be alright.
To those of you out there that struggle with drug/alcohol abuse, I tell you this as the worst kind of both: There is hope, don’t give up, no matter how bad you think your life is, I promise you, mine was as bad, and in most cases, very much worse. Keep your head up, and only look forward. Life is a great adventure, choose the right path, and good things are bound to happen, I’m living proof……