I hope this works….

If you don't experiment, you don't learn.

Guest post from Edward J. Knight

What do you get when you drop a piano down a mineshaft?

A flat miner.



Today has been interesting. It started with me not getting up with my alarm—nothing bad, since my alarm is set rather early. I managed to get up with plenty of time to get my day started, and yet I still forgot to grab my ID on the way out. I realized this once I reached the main gate, and since I wasn’t there earlier, I didn’t have time to go home and grab it.

‘Well, crap,’ thought I.

I ended up coercing the necessary people to be able to make it to my ship. ‘Hell with it,’ thought I. ‘I don’t have to go anywhere today. I can just stay on ship until leaving time, then I’m at home where my ID is.’

At morning quarters: “You’ve got a dental appointment today.”

‘Well, crap,’ thought I.

Fortunately, the appointment was after lunch. I decided that I was going to skip food and just go home, pick up my ID, and return in time for dental. Lunch came, I rolled out, and made it to my front door before I realized I’d forgotten to grab my key.

‘Well, crap,’ thought I.

My lockpicks were on ship with my keys, so they were of no help. All my windows were locked—this I knew—except for one. My bathroom window is open, but it is sandwiched between the house and a tall fence. A tight fit, to be sure, but I figured I could make it. It was time to break into my house. I parked my bike and squeezed into the gap, shuffling sideways under jutting windowsills and over pipes. I reached the window…and it had bars over it.

‘Well, crap,’ thought I.

I quickly assessed the situation; there had to be a way to remove these bars. This was, after all, the only open window I had. Searching, I found a screw. Since I still had my uniform on, I still had my multi-tool, so I got to work undoing this screw. Once out…the bars still didn’t move.

I’m going to take a moment and describe the construction of these bars, something that I slowly discovered while trying to circumvent them. This is so you may follow along. Above and below the window are two metal supports sitting out maybe three inches. These work as rails, and the bars themselves slide on (like a sliding glass door) and are secured with screws. After popping off an endcap, I notice the sliding nature and immediately search for more screws. Finding them, I take them all out. The bars still don’t slide.

I purse my lips. Reaching up, I try to take off the endcap on the upper rail, but it won’t budge. Soon, I feel a screw—on top, right under a jutting ledge, meaning that my screwstick won’t fit up there. The endcap won’t come off, and I can’t slide the bars off.

‘Well, crap,’ thought I.

Wait! Can I pop the bars off the bottom track and swing them out? Yes!

Victory! Now, can I fit? I swing them as far as they can go, which isn’t far before they hit the fence. …yes, I can probably fit. Of course, I’m still sandwiched between the house and a fence, there are no large stones or good footholds nearby, the window opening is fairly skinny, there are no good handholds within reach on the other side, and the windowsill is at my chest, but why focus on the negative? After getting my uniform top caught and realizing that my boots are hindering me, I take them all off and throw them inside.

Now I can’t back out. Bare feet should give my a better grip on the wall, and without the blouse in my way I shouldn’t get caught on the corners of the bars. And yet…I just can’t seem to get any headway. I can’t leave—I must overcome. I must…

Off to the side of the window, too far to be used as an effective foothold, is the only thing that I consider strong enough to try my weight. I ended up grabbing that with my hand and pushing up, putting my feet on the windowsill, and—now that I had the extra height—grabbing the top of the fence. I then used the fence to shimmy myself feet-first into the window.


I felt pretty good about that—only took a half-hour. I washed my feet, grabbed my ID, enjoyed myself a moment, then headed to my appointment.

The rest of the day was par for the course.

All in all, I had fun. I mean, how often do you honestly get to test your ninja skills?

~The Horen

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It’s Spring…..Maybe….

Wow.  The Hoop House worked!  Last fall, on the advice of a dear friend, I made a simple hoop house out of PVC pipe, black irrigation pipe,  heavy duty gardening cloth, 3 mil plastic and some outside decorator lights that another dear friend found for me when I needed a way to keep the hoop house warm during cold spells.  Please note that the pictures are HUGE.  I didn’t plan it that way.  I don’t know what happened.  


immmmm, that picture was supposed to be smaller……BUT, that is a pic of my hoop house.  You can see the black irrigation pipe that is held in place with short lengths of ½ inch PVC pipe at each end. There are four of them with wooden lathe that runs along the top and helps hold it together.  The heavy duty garden cloth is closest to the plants and the plastic is on top and the black plastic bags are filled with leaves and were used to help insulate the house.  I just stuck them around the outside.  The cloth and plastic ends are long enough that I can twist them shut.

On to more pics!  CHIVES!  



Why are these pics so big?   Anyway, It looks like the Chives, Parsley, Oregano and Thyme made it through the winter.  I don’t know about the Rosemary.  It is all brown, so I didn’t take a picture of it.  It was three years old too.  I kept it in the house last winter.  We shall see.

So now I know that it works, I will probably make some more this year unless we move.  Even if we move, I shall make some more. All the stuff I used in this house was recycled, so I want to continue the trend.  It is easy when you are married to my dear hubby.  He is a pack rat of the highest order.  A couple of years ago, I wanted to make a potting bench/table thingy in my greenhouse, so I raided our shed and found an old wooden box that used to hold electrical equipment.  it was about 4 x 4 ft x 10 inches deep.  I turned it on end, made some shelves across the middle and nailed a few boards across the top that stuck out over the edge.  Voila!  A place to potter with pots. I think that box had been in that shed for about 10 years.  Sometimes I think he takes it to extremes tho.  His Garage Mahal is filled to the brim with stuff we don’t use….but will come in handy someday for someone else.  When I throw out something or give it away, he says, “You’ll wish you hadn’t done that.”  And he is right.  Usually within a month, there will be a need for what I just gave away.  Unless it is clothes.  He never says anything about my giving away clothes to the Goodwill. He does pay attention to the number of shoes I own tho, and will comment on that fact. “Don’t you think you have enough shoes?”  “What” I say crossly.  “I need shoes for work, gardening, hiking, running and church.” I point to a pair of shoes he bought and only wore once, because he bought cheap shoes.  They are sitting on a pile of boxes in the garage. “What about you? At least I wear the shoes I buy.”  He grins and we are “even” until the next go-around.  I don’t keep track of these exchanges.  Really.