Saturday, October 29, 2005

Peanut M & M's and Coffee



I
was
here.








Years ago, when I was desperately trying to get on with the National Park Service, I volunteered for a whole winter in the Oconaluftee district of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Volunteered...for free...no pay...gratis.

The deal was I would do non-law enforcement Ranger stuff like trail patrols, meet and greet, whatever the tiny Ranger staff needed done. I would do this for at least 40 hours a week and the NPS would let me live in the seasonal ranger housing behind the visitor center and even pay for my electricity. I had just finished a Seasonal Ranger Law Enforcement course at Southwestern Tech in nearby Sylva, NC and I was gung ho.

It was quite an adventurous winter with poachers, a high speed chase through Cherokee, learning to drive in snow (mostly sideways), long snowy hikes, frozen vomit on the side of a car (don't ask), and a host of other experiences.

I only mention this time in the Smoky's because it was there that I learned that you can go forever on a pack of Peanut M & M's and some coffee. Maybe (duh) it's the combination of protein, fat, sugar, and caffeine, but this mixture seems to be almost magical in it's ability to refuel...which is what I am doing now after a day picking up more remodeling supplies.

It's 7:25 pm and when I hit "publish" on this little post, I'm going to resume installing the laminate flooring up in Emma's room. When that is done, I'm heading back down to the "computer" room, which will become Junior's room and slap on the second coat of the dark, dark blue that he picked out.

Then, if I can stand it...I am going to stain some of those pine paneling boards I brought home today. At some point I will crash, too tired to drink the Brahma chilling in the fridge. It's calling me now, but I will be strong.

Pass the M & M's please. Posted by Picasa

7 comments:

pablo said...

When people say "don't ask" doesn't that mean that they want you to ask about what is not being revealed?

As for me, three projects like that would require three separate weekends along with the M&Ms.

Today, the usual morning surfing. Then I plan to regroute the shower stall (just a part of it actually). And finally, L and I will go to a local art museum where we will stroll the galleries, perhaps have lunch, and buy a catalog of the permanent collection for #1 Daughter's collection.

swamp4me said...

In state parks we do both the law enforcement and the non-law enforcement stuff -- interpreters with side arms!
Hunting season is in full swing and we have miles of boundary to patrol -- I'll pass the word on about the magical peanut m&m/coffee combination ;)

swamp4me said...

Oh, and you and Pablo are obviously over-achievers and are just trying to make me feel bad about the fact that I started painting my bedroom a couple (okay, it has actually been 3 years) and have yet to finish...
:D

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
That is true, but I really meant, "don't expect an explanation, it's too embarrassing". (hops were involved) I was just trying to show it was quite a winter of learning for me...
Art gallery...hmmm, my L and I could do that too...where is that gallery? Oh, that must be the truck selling velvet Elvis's next to the feed store. I don't know if he publishes a catalog though...

Swamp,
I did both too. I carried pistol, cuffs, and Petersons Guide To Birds in my briefcase on the daily commute. That versatility is what makes Rangers such fascinating people. Be careful out there.

3 years to paint a room, well Rome wasn't built (or painted) in a day!

roger said...

all right. a memoir and a remodel update all in one post.

there was a period of my life when i did quite a lot of salvaging, read deconstruction, of semi-large buildings fueled (me, not the building) by beer and store-bought chocolate chip cookies. that was long ago.

Floridacracker said...

DPR,
Now that combination would have me heading for the couch. Toll house cookies are my favorite cookie...made by mom of course.

Hick said...

I would like to know where in the heck Pablo goes surfing in his neck of the woods?

heh!

We've got a half-finished washer/dryer cabinet, a half-finished glass shelf cabinet in the living room and half-finished cushions that need recovering (I just draped the fabric around them to make it look like they were done.) We have yet to start our master bedroom and now I want to remodel our kitchen. At this rate I will never have time to write the great American novel.