Category Archives: Ponderings

The Oldest Younger Brother’s Visit

At the end of June, my Oldest Younger Brother sent me a text and told me he and his family were coming to visit at the end of July.

To say I was nervous and anxious would be an understatement.

This is the first time he’s been to see me in Arkansas since either 1999 or 2000. And the first time married and with children. For either of us, technically. And the last time I saw any of them was in June 2011.

Visiting with my family tends to make me feel that way. I’m not sure why, but it just does. I’m 41-years-old, but I still feel like a little kid when it comes to my family.

They arrived Sunday evening. The Husbear barbequed some chicken, burgers, and hot dogs. We spent the evening talking and catching fireflies with my nephew and niece.

Catching fireflies...
Catching fireflies…

Monday we woke up and headed over to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge outside of Eureka Springs. The Husbear and I had never been there before, and we’ve heard a lot about their rescues over time in the news. We apparently picked the wrong time of day to go, as most of the animals were napping. But it was still a nice place.

The staging made me giggle...
The staging made me giggle…

After that, we headed over to Beaver Dam and Beaver Lake. The kiddos wanted to swim, so we stopped at one of the many parks around the lake and the family cooled off in the water for a while.

Beaver Dam
Beaver Dam
The Oldest Younger Brother's family.
The Oldest Younger Brother’s family.
Beaver Lake
Beaver Lake

After that, we headed back to our home and ate dinner and talked.

Tuesday we got up and around. While the Husbear cut and colored the sister-in-law’s hair, Oldest Younger Brother and the kids and I headed over to Memorial Park in Bentonville. We rode around on their bicycles and had lunch.

Mobius playground...
Mobius playground…

Then we all headed back to house where they packed up and headed out.

Myself and my brother.
Myself and my brother.
Myself, the Husbear, and the Sister-in-Law...
Myself, the Husbear, and the Sister-in-Law…

It was a good visit overall. I enjoyed seeing my brother again, and spending some time with my niece and nephew. But it’s definitely been a long time since the Husbear and I had small children in the house, so that left us a little… tired.

I’m exhausted now. And need a beverage. Or three.

Until next time...
Erik

Sparkly Punky Ducky

I arrived at the studio with a UPS failed delivery sticker on the door from yesterday (Monday). Which is odd, because our UPS guy knows we’re not open on Mondays.

So, a new UPS guy shows up. I sign for the package. And I thought maybe it was some jewelry that was back-ordered for the studio. However, I didn’t recognize the sender name or address. Hmm…

Ooo... a package!
Ooo… a package!

But wait, it’s all festive on the inside. Not the normal packing peanuts I’m used to.

It's TARDIS blue on the inside...
It’s TARDIS blue on the inside…
And a blue box.
And a blue box.

Emblazoned on top of the box is a big “SWAROVSKI” logo.

OMG.
OMG.

Holy cow. What’s this about? I’ve never received anything so fancy looking before on the outside. This has to be a joke, right?

So much excitement!
So much excitement!

The box contains so much…

Awesome ducky!
Awesome ducky!

…shiny duckyness!

So shiny...
So shiny…
So pretty...
So pretty…

But why me? And who is this from?

A note!
A note!
The most fabulous ducky I have ever received!
The most fabulous ducky I have ever received!

Thank you so very much, Calvin! I am greatly honored and appreciative for both the wonderful comments about my blog, and the gorgeous ducky! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I owe you a great big, ginormous hug when we get to meet in person!

Until next time...
Erik

Ye Olde Barn Raising, Part I

For those of you in project management or have to work on projects to begin with, do you know sometimes how mid-project you find out you need to do another project so you can complete your project?

Well, that happened with the never-ending Master Bathroom project.

Let’s just say I’ve run out of places to put my tools…

The current state of the Master Bathroom...
The current state of the Master Bathroom…

And the Master Closet...
And the Master Closet…

I have no place to store the tools I’m using! We don’t have a garage or other storage shed. There’s the fowl barn, but it’s dirty and open, and the last round of tools I had up there were pretty much ruined either by the birds or the weather.

So the Husbear decided I needed to have my own barn. To put all the tools in. Because he’s tired of them in the house.

This is our anniversary week when we usually go driving around somewhere in the USA. But this year we decided we should stay home and work on the home, as we’ve been pouring all our energy and money into his salon and my tattoo studio this year remodeling both.

So Monday I started digging, measuring, leveling out, and installing the foundation blocks. I only got a little over half the pillars installed that day:

Foundation going in...
Foundation going in…

It was hot and humid, and I hadn’t done that much manual labor in ages. Plus digging through the Arkansas ground (aka ROCKS) takes a lot of energy.

Tuesday I woke up really early after a night of Beveraging and being out late. Like 5AM early. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I waited for it to get light enough so I could work outside. I finished the foundation, and waited on Lowe’s to deliver the lumber we ordered.

Once the wood got there, I started installing the floor framing. Which took no time at all.

The floor framing...
The floor framing…

I didn’t expect to get that much done so quickly, so the Husbear and I headed back to Lowe’s to pick up the floor sheathing. I had time, so I may as well get to work on it.

Starting floor sheathing...
Starting floor sheathing…

I was finally done. Or my body was. Plus the Husbear and I wanted to go out to eat dinner for our anniversary.

Today I woke up way late. My body was tired. I got to work on the last of the floor sheathing, and got it all installed today.

Flooring complete!
Flooring complete!

And that’s it for today. At least as far as my barn goes. We head out of town tomorrow, so I’ll pick back up on it and start the wall framing next weekend, hopefully.

Until next time...
Erik

Dilemma, Part II

A follow-up to the Dilemma post I did last Friday.

After considering everything my close circle and those of you who commented or messaged me had to say, I decided to call the client before the appointment this Saturday. After several attempts over several days of trying to reach him (apparently his cell phone was “disconnected”), I finally reached his voicemail Tuesday evening. I didn’t really want to leave a message as I wanted to talk to him live, but I did. I essentially told him that I’d tattoo him, but he had a few tattoos I didn’t feel comfortable with tattooing unless he wanted to cover those up with new tattoos. I asked him to call back so I could speak with him in person.

Which he did today/Wednesday.

I re-relayed to him essentially what I left on the voicemail. He said he didn’t want to cover the tattoos as they represented his personal convictions, and said he would find another tattoooist. To which I actually offered him a couple names of tattooists in another town who I thought might be more… willing… to tattoo him. He was pleasant enough in our conversation, and didn’t act angry or shocked at all.

Thank you to those of you who commented and messaged me. It was a great help to me to hear both similar and other viewpoints, and to think about things I hadn’t considered.

Until next time...
Erik

Dilemma

I have a weird–what I feel to be moral–dilemma that I need y’all’s thoughts on.

And I’m guessing that by the fact that I am asking this question I probably know what my answer should be.

But, here goes.

I’m certain I’ve had other clients in the past who I didn’t agree with ideologically. But they weren’t wearing their beliefs on their skin. That I saw. Or at least they weren’t displaying them.

A client came in yesterday who wants me to redo and add to his sleeves and chest. So we are talking easily 30 or 40 hours of work.

This client is… different.

He has a large red swastika on his chest, and several other white supremacist tattoos in various places on his arms that I recognize. Very visible, as he came in wearing a white tank top.

He hasn’t said anything about covering up those tattoos with new tattoos, so I’m assuming he’s an “active” racist. Which is where my dilemma is: Have I judged him based on those? And tell him I can’t tattoo him because of those and my beliefs? Or do I ask him if those still mean something to him, and if so I can’t tattoo him, and tell him why?

Until next time...
Erik