Monday, December 22, 2008

For Everyone, this Christmas Season

Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) was born on June 15, 1779 in New York City.
He wrote the following "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" (1822) as a Christmas gift for his six children. Moore wrote the poem in 1822, and it was first published on December 23, 1823, in the Troy Sentinel. He wrote and signed an 1860 copy for an acquaintance that was sold at auction in 2006 for $280,000 Three other copies in his writing are known to exist, but those are in museum collections.
The following with pictures is from a published 1962 copy.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap—

When out on the lawn there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On Comet!, on Cupid!, on Donder and Blitzen!—
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So, up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys—and St. Nicholas too.
And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack;
His eyes how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little month was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump—a right jolly old elf;
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle;
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's almost here!

Christmas is almost here and I've spent two weeks getting ready for it!

I've got lots of family coming for a Christmas dinner (after xmas of course, the 27th to be exact) and the Christmas spirit has hit this house. I've decorated for days, done my shopping, wrapped my gifts and I'm about as ready as I can get. (Not true..I still have a few more things to get done.)

So, this post is to wish everyone a VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY's some pics of the decorations...ENJOY!

Join me next time....down on the farm!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Winter Visit highlights!

My time is almost up

And in just a few days I'll be heading back to South Carolina, where I SWEAR to you it's colder then it is here in upstate NY! At any rate, I've had a wonderful visit with my son Niel and his wife Ashley and to add to the pleasure of course, their new baby girl, Ciannon.

I did get a chance to 'mess' with my son.., let's just say...I messed up his peanut butter 'chi'..LOL..

(he don't know it, but I'll probably sneak and do it again before I leave!)

Sometimes, messin' with your the most fun part of parenthood!! Ahh well, time they learned that on their own.

I'm off to the more southern climes on Friday and leave the new mom and dad to learn all the little secret things about thier daughter . I wish them the best of luck, lots of happy faces and many smiles that being a parent can bring.

Join me soon..back the farm!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Visit Northville with me!

Welcome to NORTHVILLE!

As you know, I've been in Northville NY for the past week and 1/2 so I thought I'd share some pictures with you. Ashley, my DIL and I went walking a few days before Ciannon was born and I took along the camera. It snowed a few days after, so unfortunately they are not snow pics! Maybe next time. Enjoy the pics and the quaint village...and visit Northville with me!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Well, as you can see above..we had a White Thanksgiving!! That's not all we had. We had a new permanent little visitor for Thanksgiving and I do believe she'll be sticking around for many more Thanksgivings! Our newest and second grandchild, Miss Ciannon Bailey was born Wednesday afternoon. She is doing fine and so is Mom & Dad. They've spent their Thanksgiving day together as a family at the hospital today and will be home tomorrow.

Here's a pic of the little one. There are more pictures and her story on "Ciannons Page." You can find the permanent link to the left. ENJOY!

As you know, I'm still in New York and will get to spend about a week with Ciannon before I have to return to South Carolina.
I've truly enjoyed the visit, the snow and the cold weather! (about as much as I did last year when we visited!)

Ciannon will have many more visitors over the next month, she has a large extended family..from all over. Many in South Carolina and Virginia, even all the way out to California and everyone is anxious to see her.

Our plans are to celebrate our Thanksgiving on Saturday, after everyone gets home and things are 'settled' a bit more. It's all good as long as their is turkey and all the 'trimming's that go with a Thanksgiving dinner.

I hope everyone who visits had a wonderful Thanksgiving and shared it with everyone you wished to. Till next time!

Saturday, November 22, 2008 it's cold outside!

Hi all..
That big jet in the sky flew me away to the land of 'cold!" (well, one was big, the other..not so much!)
I arrived at my son and DIL's house on Monday night, we celebrated Niel's birthday the day after and now we sit in wait for the newest member of our family to arrive. DIL, Ashley was due yesterday and so far of course, no baby yet, but we sure do hope soon.

The average daytime temp here in upper NY is about 30..nighttime, I said it's cold outside!

We've taken the week easy for the most part, played "rock band 2' (a video game), cooked, taken walks and done a little shopping since Monday, but nothing exciting. Just waiting.

I'll be boarding that bird in the sky to return to the land of the south on Dec.5, so we have a little time yet in hopes that the little one will make her grand entrance.

As Ashley has said, "she's keeping her fans waiting" ..and that she is.

Till next time!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some of those 'pics' I promised!

Ok..I promised to post some pictures of a few of those items that I finished lately..craft wise for the most part. SO here ya go...

First..the stitchery. I got the stitching part finished months ago it seems, but just had not framed it. I finally pulled out the box of random frames the other day and found this wooden one. It was really scratched up and not looking good at all, so I dry brushed some black paint directly on top, leaving a bit of the wood showing through in places.

Same thing goes with this jar here. I finished the stitching many moons ago but finally sat to getting the 'ufo's finished, and so here it is. No, I did not 'prim' it..I'm not sure I like that 'prim aged' look on the jars. It really holds the flour I use in the house and sits out in view all the time. I MAY sew a running stich around the top cover and fray the edges before I'm completly happy with it. The jar itself is an empty gallon pickle jar. A five pound bag of flour fits in it just perfectly.

The bottles you see in the next photo, beside the flour jar are homemade bottles of Vanilla. Yep, that's right..vanilla. I purchased the beans a while back, have kept them in an airtight container and decided to prepare some 'vanilla' extract for some Christmas gifts this year. How do you do it? Simple..get some of the best highest in 'proof' grain alcohol you can buy. (Everclear or a bottle of simple 'grain alcohol' which they do sell at the liquor stores). Toss in one or two vanilla beans (it really only takes one, but I use two..will explain why later in the post) and let the mixture sit till it turns a lovely amber/brown color. You'll have to shake it once in a while. Once the beans get 'wet through' you can pour the contents into a bowl, take each bean, split it and scrape out the insides putting it all back into the bottle and returning the alcohol to the bottle as well. It will be a stronger vanilla that way. I just started out with these bottles of vanilla a few days back and you can already see the beautiful amber color starting to come out. on to the 'rag quilt' that I began many moons ago too. I set myself to finish this project and I did. Mind you, I'm still 'fraying' the edges when I find one I haven't done. I will wash it one more time when I can't find any 'unfrayed edges'. It's easy to fray the edges (well..sort of) because I simply go at it when I'm covered with the gem at night while we are watching a movie. It's bold in it's colors, but I wanted something that 'stood out'. The back and matching squares on the front are a Celtic Tartan that once washed almost feels like flannel. VERY heavy and VERY warm on these cold evenings.

And finally a few of the village houses that I had the time to paint a week or so back. I buy them unpainted (ceramic bisque) and go about painting them to the colors I choose. I add shadows and such with a black paint wash, then 'age' them somewhat with a dry brush technique in white. I have about 5 more to go before I'll have enough to 'create' a village look. I still have to buy the 'lights' to put up inside them, but those are easily gotten. I forgot to put something next to the houses so you could see their size, but the house is about 5'' high at it's tallest point, and about 6-6 1/2'' in length. I love painting these little guys and at one time had a full village with the train to go round them. Since I lost those in a house fire several years back, I'm beginning to remake my village. (I've got grandkids coming along ya know!) This isnt' the best of pictures, but as I paint more of them I'll try to get more pictures posted of the whole village as I go along.
Now, to why I use two vanilla beans per bottle of alcohol. When the bean has been split and scraped, putting all the goodness back into the alcohol (bean, scrapings and all) it makes the vanilla stronger and darker. Once I get it to that point, I can split what I have..doubling my amount. Here's how: Buy another bottle of alcohol and get an extra empty bottle out. Pour 1/2 of the 'extract' already made into the empty bottle, adding 1 of the beans in the current bottle to the new bottle. Fill up both bottles with the new alcohol you just bought, cap, shake and wait another two weeks. You've doubled your amount with 2 vanilla beans. When each bottle gets to about 1/2 empty, simply add more alcohol and wait a little bit and you'll have vanilla again. You can do this several times before the vanilla bean finally 'gives up the ghost'. Keep it stored right (cool dark), you'll just about have a never ending supply of vanilla...or some for gift giving! :)
Well, I hope you've enjoyed seeing the 'UFO's finished up as much as *I* have!'s good to feel a sense of 'finished' accomplishment when you can finally end a project that you have put off completing!

So, what are all YOUR Ufo's??

Enjoy the Holidays!!

Sage (The Hedgewife)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sage's Adventures with Badge #407

As most of you who visit the blog know, every week (usually) I do ride alongs with the local law enforcement Badge #407 aka Buckwild (my nephew Tony).

During my ride alongs over the past month, I've met many Police Officers from County, City and even State Patrol. A finer group of companions you could not ask for.

These Officers share amongst themselves a true brotherhood of the badge.
They share it with the ride alongs too. I am included in their conversations, their adventures and even their tragedy.

It's like any other job, in the good the bad and the ugly as far as 'jobs' go, but what is unlike any other job, is the danger these Officers are in every day.
Their life is on the line by simply stepping out of their vehicle or even driving home. From the simple traffic stop, to the drive thru window to grab a bite to eat, Police Officers are always a target.
At any point and time, anyone with a 'personal cause' can take aim.
Just think about that for a moment...being an Officer of the Law is a job that makes you a target every minute of every day.

Therefore..I salute every Police Officer out there, who voluntarily puts his life on the line and makes himself a target every day to 'walk that thin blue line' for me.

I said earlier, as with any job there is good bad and ugly. Trust me when I tell you, the good..or comedy is on the list of things an officer will do during a shift in order to possibly 'break up' that constant thought of being a target and the tenseness this job brings. Whether it's over the radio with each other or the dispatchers on duty, laughter will play a part of their shift.

Case in point:
The first call of the shift came in; a group of people trying to cause a fight at one of the local apartment buildings. They had fled the scene and a description of the vehicle was given. Just so happens, we were on the way and saw them coming toward us. We flipped the patrol car around and 'caught' them at a local gas station.

To make a long story short, the driver was not the owner of the vehicle (it belonged to his fiance' who was on her way into town) and he was driving on a suspended license. He was quickly arrested and given the option of 'towing the vehicle or having someone else with him drive it home'. He took option two.

After depositing said offender at the local 'big house' we get back out on the road again, and within 5 minutes a call comes from dispatch, that the fiance is in town and would like to meet with Tony to discuss where her vehicle might be. (not like we know, but she is clueless as well)

Now, a couple of things you need to know here. All correspondence via an Officer over the radio starts with a badge number so the dispatchers can tell who they are talking to. Most times, in return, the dispatcher will begin or end their end of the conversation with the same badge number, so the officer knows dispatch is talking to them. Got that??

The rest of the conversation between Tony ..badge 407 and dispatch goes something like this:

Badge 407 gets on the radio and says (chkkk).."407 to dispatch"..(chkkk)
Dispatch; (chkkk) "go ahead 407" (chkkk)
407: (chkk)...'have her meet me at the police station I'll be there in five"....(chkk).
(chhkk..) "10-4, 407'(chkkk)
(A minute passes)
(chkkk)'407 to dispatch, what is she driving'? (chkk)
(chkk) "a black nissan 407' (chkkk)
(chkkk)"10-4 dispatch, you can tell her I'll be driving a black Crown Vic with a gold star on the side" (chkkk)
(chkkk)....(silence)...(chkkk)...(chkkk) can here the undertones of a chuckle trying VERY hard to be contained...'10-4 407' (chuckle..chkk)

Now..this may not SEEM funny in the written word..but when your stuck in a car..and you can hear the very muffled, very controlled, very contained about ready to burst laugh on the other end of that radio..and not to mention what Tony said..I bout died!! I was rolling..(if you can roll in a police car)..I was doing it!

EVERY time that dispatcher spoke with badge 407 for the next 5 minutes, she was trying to contain that chuckle.
I found great amusement in this. Am I easily entertained?

Now, since I've been doing the ride alongs, and Tony has switched to the night shift, I don't get the pictures I used to. HOWEVER..there was always a certain 'lightness' I tried to keep in the pictures I did take.
I had the opportunity to take pictures tonight, but I refused. I do try to keep Sagewood semi family oriented and the pictures that I could have gotten tonight were NOT something a 'family' would want to see.
BUT..I'm here to "TELL" you what I saw.

The last call of our night just happened to be right down the road from where I live. Not a mile from my house. My road is not a straight road, there are several curves on it that are very dangerous.
A young man who had been drinking heavily was driving home in his truck on that same curvy road.
Alcohol impairs everything about you. From the decision to drive, to driving fast, to driving too fast and to the speed in which you THINK you are making adjustments for what your eyes are seeing.
He had to be cut out of his truck and airlifted to the hospital. I'm not sure of his age, but he wasn't very old..still young. Did he survive? Yes. Thanks to the EMT's and the fire-department who came to the scene and did what they had to do to save his life.

What was left of his truck was unimaginable. There wasn't much. I'm not sure how he was saved, but saved he was. (at last check) I'm totally in awe of how a body can go through the mangled wreck I seen tonight and still come out alive. I can only hope that this very hard learned lesson is one that will sink in.

Ladies and Gentlemen..alcohol and vehicles do not mix. EVER!
If you're drinking, stay home.
If you're not at home, call a cab, catch a bus or give your keys to someone who has not been drinking.
Take along a DD.
Do whatever you have to do to have your fun and still go home, instead of being airlifted to a hospital.
I can guarantee you it will be a much safer bet and a much less painful ride.
You will see no pictures of what I saw. What I said has been enough.

Till next time..
See you down on the farm!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's that time again..

Yep, it's that time again when we are to be bombarded by the commercialism of the holidays.

Don't you just hate it?

I go into the stores (not very often) but already, they are pushing Christmas so hard it's not even funny, and Thanksgiving has not even happened yet! Of course, in all truth, they were putting out Christmas stuff before Halloween was over! (GASP!)

I truly hate the commercialism of the Holidays! The market pushes and urges you to buy what you don't need, or anyone else needs, just to 'fill that spot' for a Christmas gift for someone you may or may not normally buy for! What in the world are we thinking!?

What happened to the simpler times when gift giving meant something?
Money that's what. People saw Christmas as a time to make money.
Not only that, people worked all year to make more money so they no longer had time to 'make that gift' they had to buy it! And boy do they buy it! Anything and everything with a tag. Sometimes the more it costs the more they think it's worth something.
It's not.

I'm not a scrooge, don't get me wrong. I love the holidays, for what they are or what they should be. Celebrations, gathering times, family. Not this monster of 'consumerism' that has been created.
BUY BUY BUY, that's all we hear for months before the event!

I'd much rather have my children and family be able to visit, along with the new grandbabies and enjoy a simple dinner round the table, loaded with home baked and prepared foods, lots of laughter and a willingness to linger there simply for the conversation and the togetherness of family and friends.
How novel.
I will say that over the past several years our family has done our level best to cut out much of the commercialism and overspending within our own 'tree'. Our rules for Christmas? If it can't be a homemade gift, it cannot be more the a $20 spendature.
Most times, the gifts are homemade and well thought out. Most times, we love them more then anything that could be 'bought and sold' at the local five and dime!

So let's be honest here..are you going to go into the 'great debt' for your holiday season this year? If so, I have one question for you...WHY?

Here's the challenge..and it's for this year and next.
Do you level best to reduce your holiday spending by 1/2 this year. Try, try and try again. If you can't manage 1/2, then at least some. Send baked goods, home canned goods, hand crafted treasures or simply a card that says what you mean.
And for the following year, of 2009, keep your eyes open and Christmas in the back of your mind all year. Shop wisely and see if you can get by with less for the holidays. Put a limit on your 'per person' spending. Make what you can, think outside of the commercialism box and reduce your spending by 1/2 for 2009.

It's time we show the 'big boys' out there that we Hedgewives are taking back the Holidays and what they mean to us.

And with that said :
Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Turn, turn, turn

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves fall from their trees, it seems a time for 'drawing' in. A settling down for that long winters nap if you will.

I love the fall. The way the leaves look on the ground, the cool nights and mild days. Makes me want to get outside sometimes and play like I did as a child.

Way back when, fall was a time for the last minute things to prepare for winter. The final harvest was gathered in, put up, set aside and preps were made for the sleep of winter. I guess we are doing that here.
We've been catching sales and buying extra, I'm still reaping the last of the garden harvest with bell peppers and banana peppers. The gourds are hanging and the sweet potatoes are almost ready to be dug.
I've put up pears recently, and still have more to do. It's a tiring, long process with the peeling and the cutting and the coring, but I LOVE to look at the end result. It's a good feeling looking at the larder and seeing mostly home canned products instead of store purchased ones.

I've dried some hot peppers this year, and they hang on the peg in the dinning room. They look very nice as well as knowing, should I need a hot pepper..I've got it! (not that I use that many of them and I've probably got enough for the next 4 years or better, but even so, I like the way they look!)

I think the final harvest of bell peppers and bananas I get, I'm going to dry. In the oven. Dried foods do take up less space for sure. I've dried blueberries and figs and chilli peppers before, so it's time to give something else a try.
I remember a time, sitting on my grandmothers (we called her mamaw) porch and literally stringing beans. We'd take each green bean and run a needle and thread through it till there were long ropes of green beans. She'd hang each rope on a nail on the back porch so the sun shone on them each day till they were dried and shriveled. Some people call them 'leather britches' me, they were just sun dried beans.

So tell does your larder look? When the trees go bare, the larder should be full! Want to learn more about 'larders and 'thrawls'..take a look here:

I guess most people don't think about the larder and harvest season anymore. The stores are too easy to get to now-a-days. If you run out of something, you simply run down to the local market and get it, but back in the day, that was not the case. You had to prepare for every season you had and the summer and fall seasons were a big time to prepare to keep you in food for winter and spring, till the next garden could be planted and produce started coming in.

Ahhh, the seasons, they do turn as does the times. Convience is the 'larder' of today. It's a shame too. I truly think people were closer when we lived closer to the earth. We had a dependence on the earth and each other that you can't find on a grocery shelf today.

Till next time..

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's been a while

But I sure have been busy!!
Let me catch you up.

First of all, I had several 'gigs' in the past month, a Bar Mitzvah and an annual fall party to do. In between all those, I just happened to have a vile evil demon that had to be exorcised...otherwise known as a 'gallbladder'. IT was happily exorcised on Sept 29th. WHEW!

After a few days recovering from that I started immediately on my latest project. The new baby quilt for the upcoming grandaughter Kaylee Ciannon (pronounced Shannon). She's due to arrive in this world on Nov 21. Sooo on Saturday October the 4th I began cutting out and sewing the top together. (I know, late start and all that), but finished getting the top together that night, 7pm.

The next day, the daughter and I laid it out, sandwiched the backing and the batting together with it and basted it all together. On Monday I got it on the frame. Here it is.


Now, I did not work on this every day, nor for many hours in each day. When I did work on it, I worked about 2 hours or more, but fit the quilting time in between all the other things I had to do around here..such as..PEARS!
It's still pear season here and I had a 5 gallon bucket full of them that had to be canned up. So that's just what I did several days: Here is some of the finished project!

...Now, remember, in between all this I'm still recouping from surgery, doing two gigs and quilting (along with all those other mundane daily chores!) OH yeah..and I had another 'ride along' with the local law inforcement too! Wanna know the top speed we hit..well, let's just say we took the car to it's highest..130. I don't think I EVER want to go any faster in my life! (OOOHHMYYWORD!)

All quilts have a history and this one, even though it's new is no different. So, here's the history. Since my son and daughter in law have decided to give their first born daughter an Irish name I decided that a "Irish Chain' pattern was the ticket for this quilt. So, the center is the Irish Chain. Most Irish Chain patterns however, only use two colors but they are doing the baby's room in a theme of a 'celestial fantasy' if you will. Stars, moons, dragons and the like as well as the babies room being purple. So I decided on three different colors for the Irish Chain. The star material, the purple and the black. Since they live in upstate NY where there are many Amish families and I was already using some of the classic Amish quilt colors, (purple and black) I decided that the outer edges would be similar to the patterns you see on the Amish quilts. Thus the final result you see here. A Celestial Amish Irish Chain! What a mouthful!
Anyway, without further ado, let me show you the finished product of the quilt above. I finished quilting it, took it off the frame, snipped all the 'tails' of thread, bound it and washed it last night.
It's ready to roll and to keep little Kaylee warm when she arrives. (and since she will be living in upstate NY..I'm SURE she'll need it!)

Well, there ya go! Finished, washed and ready to be packed up and shipped to NY! Which, by the way, I will be going to NY to hopefully see Kaylee come into this world. My plane arrives on Nov 17..I'm cutting it close I know, but we're going to hope for the best!

Till next time..see ya..
down on the farm!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On Patrol!

A Day in the Life with Badge #407.

Tuesday has come and gone and again, I had my 'ride along' with the local law inforcement!

At 7 a.m Tony arrived in my driveway and blew the horn. He was ready to roll. I got in the car and of course, we were headed down to 'Bristol' once again to go fishin!

There were a few State Patrol boys playing in the sandbox as well, so we knew it may be harder to catch a bite, but as normal, it wasn't long before the line was snagged!

Here's our first catch of the day. The sun just up, the day had begun.
After pulling a few here and there on the 'Bristol' course, Tony said ..."Let's roll down to Talladega, Bristol is the small race track posted 35mph, Talladaga is the long track posted speed: 50mph, just east of Bristol". So away we went.
Now, you can pull speeders one at a time all day long, but if you're like Tony, he'll catch more fish on the same line then anyone I know! We were crusin on 'Talladega' when the radar hit on three cars, all following close to each other, the radar blinked in a bright red..reading 67 MPH. "WOW..three of which one are you going to get?" Tony got all three!

He flipped the car around, got up behind the three cars, the back two pulled over to let him by as he cruised up behind car #1. When he motioned for car #1 to pull off, he kept his car in the road, brought it to a stop with sirens going and lights flashing, jumped out of the car and with a wave of his finger, pointed and motioned the next two vehicles over. They pulled in behind car #1. Tony backed the patrol car up till he was behind all three vehicles and pulled over to the side of the road behind the last vehicle.

Three fish, one line!
When I snapped the picture, I could only get 'two' of the cars in the photo, but trust me, there are three vehicles pulled over here. I watched as Tony went to each car individually, gathering the pertinent information..'license and registration please' and he came back to the patrol car and began the process. As we sat there writing up the tickets, one of the State Patrols drove by and came over the radio asking "407...Do you have a permit for that parade!?" Cops do have a sense of humor, never fear!

I had watched Tony for several days now and noticed that each time he walked past a car, he always put his hand, palm as flat as he could, on the back of each vehicle. I finally asked him "Tony, why do you touch the back of each vehicle you pull over?" The answer he gave me surprised me.
"I touch each vehicle so that my fingerprints are on it. Should something happen to me at this call, then there is evidence." Wow..I had no clue! He said they are trained to do that, and many do and just as many don't. (something new I learned today!)

We gave out many tickets this day, and our day was coming to a close when a call came in about a 'vehicle' fire in our area...Dispatch called again to add 'there are weapons and ammunition in the vehicle.' Tony whipped the car around and away we went, down backroads, curvy and straight gaining speed the whole way.
Oh yeah, here's another thing I learned today. When you're going 125mph..your ears WILL lay back and if you turn your head to the side, you can't focus on ANYTHING! OHMYGAWD! Oh yeah, you know those yellow signs that say 'curve ahead max safe speed 45'? Pfffft! Try them at 90! No..wait, don't try them at 90. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!...I will say Tony has been trained to drive how he drives and he's never wrecked his vehicle.

We arrive on the scene, and here is what we see.

Oh yeah..on FIRE!!!

Tony gets out of the car, assesses the situation, moves everyone back and waits for the firetrucks to arrive. When the first fire truck pulls up, Tony strips his protective vest and prepares for the 'fight ahead'.

Oh yeah, just so you know, Tony was a firefighter for 10 years before becoming a police officer. Fighting fires is something he started many years ago as a volunteer first when he was in his early 20's.

Pulling a hose is not new to Tony.
The first truck arrives and without pausing one moment, Tony begins 'pullin' the hose. Once in position he yelled for the water and the fight was on!

He fought with the fire for about 20 minutes while the firemen were getting their gear on.

With this being a vehicle fire, one always has to be concerned with gas and any other items of a combustionable nature. Once he got the major flames under control, he slipped up closer to the truck to give it some needed close up attention, and a blast of cold water!

The fire now getting under control on the truck, some of the area grass had caught and was spreading. By this time the firefighters had their gear on and were ready to take over the fight. Firefighting is hot tiring work. There is a lot of pressure behind that hose. It can take a man down if he's not ready for it! With the firemen ready, Tony handed over the hose and let them go at their job. His fight was over.

When the paper work, the details and phone calls made and finshed up, our day was done.
WHEW! Never knew that cops do it all did ya? Well, not all of them do, but this one does.

Tony's philosophy "Police; City and/or County, Fire & Rescue, EMT all of us..we are all the same team and should work together on all of it, so I do my best. I'm a deputy, there should be nothing I'm not willing to give a hand in to help."

Ride along with me next time "ON PATROL"..

Wow..never would have thought you could visit the farm and see such things did ya?? LOL...well, the excitment never ends around here one way or another! Come back and visit never know what we'll get into ...down on the farm.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Ride along adventure

It finally happened! I have been wanting to do a 'ride along' with the PO PO for a long time. For whatever reasons, it's been a long time coming but finally last Thursday was the day!
Tony picked me up in the patrol car at about 4pm. He was working from 3 to midnight and I was invited to 'ride along' for a little 'police adventure'!
I packed my fanny pack with my phone, my camera, my ID and my bank card and away I went!

First though........'here's the rules!'
As I entered the car that's what I heard "Here's the rules".
1. This car is your best friend
2. You can't get out of the car
3. If anything happens to me, you pick up this mic and tell them.
4. This car is your best friend. (I's a repeat, but that's the way it was told to me!)
5. Put your seat belt on (I knew then, I was in trouble!)

And away we went!

"We're going down to Bristol", Tony said. I kinda looked confused for a moment and am thinkin'..what like 'Bristol Va/Tenn'?? Tony said "Yeah, like Bristol the racetrack! They are speed demons down on 17 going into Charleston, they think it's the Bristol speedway!"

It took us about 15-20 minutes to get to that area (Colleton County is a very very large county) and within minutes we had our first speeder of the day.

"This is like fishin'" I said to Tony.
"Yeah, the difference is, I KNOW I'm gonna catch something!" he replied.
He had got our first 'fish' on the radar doing 59 in a 35, a little red 'cooper'...cute cars by the way.

We just get back out on the highway and lo and behold another bite! This time, a black SUV. We had a problem though, the traffic suddenly became cramped..and bottle necked. Here we are speeding away to catch the SUV and the traffic stops, dead in front of us. The cars are all pulling over and Tony keeps edging up to the front. To our left, in the oncoming traffic lane, this is what we see. Except, no one was standing there..the accident had just happened.

Tony rolled up beside the SUV, rolled MY window down and the SUV rolled theirs down. He pointed a finger and said "SLOW IT DOWN!" The lady inside nodded as she stared at the mess of truck beside her.
At this point, Tony whipped the car around and pulled up behind the big rig. The one still in the road was loaded with 40,000 lbs of paper.
The one he hit in the rear, was loaded with beer. Here's where that one ended up.

It was rainy day and well, I guess either someone wasn't paying attention or someone had to brake too fast too soon, but however it happened, the paper loaded truck hit the beer loaded truck in the rear and sent it flying into the trees.

Our blue lights flashing, Tony made the call on the radio to get what he needed for the accident.

This time, I WAS allowed out of the car and I'm sure there were plenty of pissed off people on Hwy 17 that day. It happened just as the traffic was getting heavy with people returning home from work. I bet every cell phone in the area was going off that day saying stuff like "you better order pizza, I'm gonna be here a while!"
Traffic was let through, lane at a time until the wrecker arrived and ladies and gents, this was no ordinary wrecker. This wrecker had to be a big boy in order to 'haul' this load outta the woods and off the road!

Ahh there's the wrecker!

Now, I know that pictures do not show things in reality a lot of times, because this wrecker is a monster! It's HUGE! They ended up sending two, the blue one below (the Monster) and another red one, a bit smaller.

It takes some doing to get a big rig loaded with many many pounds out of the woods. The first truck (the one in the road) was hauled off pretty quickly, and as they could, the officers let traffic through. But when it came time to haul the one out of the woods, traffic had to be stopped either way for an extended length of time. You can't just 'pull a truck' out in a snap, it has to be done, slow and steady, at least with this one it did or it would have flipped over. Then everyone would have been way late for not just dinner, but breakfast too!

..He was in there good and the front of that truck got real acquainted with the bottom of those trees! It's a slow and steady process, but with the truck finally freed, the wrecker drove around front and hauled it off. With the accident cleared we were back on the road. The total time it took to get this accident cleared up was 2 hours or better, so we headed straight for dinner since it was almost 7pm.
We ate at the local seafood place and watched the 'Bristol speeders' go by as we were eating. Once we got back out there, it wasn't long at all before the next fish took a bite!
After "Bristol Fishin' a little while we went up on I-95 and Tony began teaching me what they look for when it comes to finding 'drugs and such'. I learned a lot. (and will learn even more next week!)
We caught one speeder on 95 and let me tell you..when you have to catch up to someone doing close to the 90's and you're in a parked position is not a trip you can take slowly! When Tony pulled out of the median, he turned on his headlights and floored it. The last time I looked at the speedometer it was reading 122!! OHMYWORD!
We went on several other calls that night. One chasing down three men who had pulled guns on people (one was caught) and even a 'disturbance' at the local McDonalds.
My evening was coming to a close, it's almost 11:30 and Tony begins heading on the road near my home. I was wide awake and ready to go all night, but alas, even a cop gets to have some 'off duty' time I suppose.
The entire night was an absolute blast and I can't wait to do it again! I get to do a ride along with Tony next Tuesday (if all goes as planned) so that I can see some 'daylight' work and be taught a little more about 'what to look for' and such. Join me next week as I go on my 'PO PO Patrol Adventure!"