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THE THANKFUL TURKEY

 

 

   ~ A GUEST HOLIDAY STORY ~ 

 

“WHEW!” gasped Terrence. “I  made it!” Another Thanksgiving has moved on.

He gazed around Strongbow’s Turkey Farm. “There’s Mack, and Lou . . .  Carl . . . Robert.” Near the back fence, he saw “Larry . . . Scott . . .Paul. And, there’s Brian and Harold.”

Terrence asked, “GOBBLE? How are you doing, guys?”

Under a clump of low-flung trees, “Buck. . .Jim. . .Nathan.  GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE. Good to see you.”

Terrence peered in the direction of a long row of feeders. That’s where he could always find Stan, Sam and Steve. The three Turks!

“GOBBLE GOBBLE, GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE. No use to really look,” he muttered to himself.

“GOBBLE. They’re all gone.” A tear crept from his eye, onto his bright red comb.

After living five years on the famous Valparaiso, Indiana, farm, he knew how fortunate he was. To still be there. Alive.

Not fully dressed (de-feathered). Wrapped tightly in that special plastic cover, and laid inside one of the huge freezer rooms in the “processing” building.

Waiting to be carried across the road to Strongbow’s award-winning restaurant. Then, placed in Chef Louis’s hands for roasting. Or, sold to a private customer. For home cooking!

GOBBLE! GOBBLE! A shiver ran through his body. All the way down to his knobby knees.

He stared across U. S. Highway 30. He could see the lit windows of Strongbow Turkey Inn.1

He saw Chef Louis and his assistant, Alphonso, moving around. “What are they doing? Thanksgiving has passed.”

Truthfully? Terrence knew.  After Thanksgiving, much work had to be done.

The dining rooms in the restaurant and Inn would still fill with people (diners). Traveling families stopping for a fine meal. Local people, celebrating late because of working on the holiday. Regular patrons and small groups, that ate a fine meal there every chance they got.

Terrence knew Chef Louis, by sight and voice. Often, the popular chef visited the fields where the Broad-breasted Bronze Turkeys grazed. Where they huddled closely together.

Sometimes, he brought Alphonso or Marie with him. Much of the time, he came alone. Talking with the turkeys as he wandered among them.

 

 

 

 

Whenever Chef Louis came by, Milan, the keeper, came out and walked along with him. Chef Louis did a lot of pointing. And, Milan said, “Yes! Perfect.”

“Good,” said the Chef, nodding his head up and down.

Weekends were always quiet on the farm.  Especially, after a holiday.

Milan was gone with his family. Chef Louis, Alphonso, and Marie kept busy in the Inn across the road.

“GOBBLE! GOBBLE! GOBBLE! We can relax.” The turkeys reassured each other.

Unlike the other turkeys that came and went at the farm, Terrence never had to worry about such things. For that, he had become most grateful.

You see, he was no longer a young turkey. The turkey had passed his “prime.” A long time ago.

In fact, Terrence had become what some folks – what Chef Louis and Mr. Adams, a co-owner – called a “mascot.”

 

Strongbow’s Mascot.”

 

That meant he would never have to worry about losing all of his feathers, and staying in a freezer room. Until you know who – his Holy maker – came along, and did you know what!

He never had to worry about being roasted in a hot oven. Cut apart and sliced up. And served on a huge platter, or on beautiful China dinner plates. To complete strangers.

Terrence gazed in wonder at the night sky. It had turned a plush, velvet deep blue. Luminous and mystifying. Filled with stars that shone brightly. Winking and blinking.

And, the moon: the color of white corn. Lighting up the field in glorious splendor.

He crouched down by a peony bush and lowered his head.

 

“Thank you, God,”  he prayed, “for sparing me all these years. For giving me this fine home, and corn and grain to eat. And so many fine friends and neighbors.

“Thank you for Chef Louis and Alphonso, and Marie. Milan, too.” He paused.

“Please bless my old friends that have moved on. And bless others with their robust meat and savory flavor.

“May we all give thanks, Heavenly Father. For your love and care. Amen.”

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terrence slept. Thankful as any old turkey could be!

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1. Terrence” is a fictional turkey. Strongbow Turkey Inn and its farm were very real. Sadly, the restaurant, bakery and Bow Bar were closed on March 29 of 2015. Catering, holiday buffets and special events continue to be available. Since 2013, Strongbow’s owner has been Luke Oil Company, Hobart, Indiana.

2. Copyright © 2017. Sandra Stepler Hajtovik. All rights reserved. From: Table of Thanks and The Thankful Turkey, Copyright © 2016. SSH Communications. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paintshop Policies and Practices, Part 1: Communications

A former U. S. official’s unprofessional, and potentially unlawful, use of personal electronic devices and addresses for official/ business purposes should remind everyone else to watch their steps.

In all areas of life, including our work lives, certain communication rules must be followed. And certain precautions must be taken to protect the privacy and integrity of all data and information placed into our hands. And, under our watch.

Five Polices to Keep Your Communications Static-Clear, Squeaky Clean

1. Use only company/employer-issued mobile and electronic devices to conduct and carry out all work-related communications via electronic means.

Example: Politely turn down a chief engineer’s request to use your personal cell phone
for work-time communications and texting.

Note: Many companies do not allow staff members to use their cell phones at work, except during breaks. For emergency use, you need authorization from your supervisor, or someone else in management.

2. Use only company/employer-authorized e-mail addresses, social networking pages, web sites, blog sites, etc. to send, exchange, and receive work-related communications, data, records, etc.

Example: Your personal-professional electronic media sites such as LinkedIn.com, Indeed.com, wordpress.com (or .org), Facebook.com are hands-off for work-related/company/employer purposes.

3. Even during off-hours, keep all work/business and personal communications activities, including electronic, separate from each other.

Example: Insist that your employer furnish and expense out any work cell phone, I-Pad, tablet, notebook, and other devices that you need to use during off-hours.

4. With your employer, set up authorized and secured the electronic devices, websites, e-mail accounts and addresses, fax numbers, blog sites, etc. that you need to conduct their business whenever and wherever you need to do so.

Example: Even on vacation, reserve the use of personal electronic devices, sites, pages, links, etc. for your personal use. No exceptions!

5. Do your Paintshop scheduling, estimating, ordering, invoicing, phoning, texting, faxing, messaging, project managing, banking, recordkeeping, etc. on company/employer-owned or leased devices only.

Example: Technically, any paintshop device must be checked-in and stored at your department, or other designated spot, each time that your shift ends. This includes credit and debit cards.

Five Practices to Protect Your Job-and your Reputation

1. Don’t share or publicize your access codes and passwords for any mobile or electronic device that you use for your work.

Example: Even if your boss and/or teammates need to use your device(s) when you’re off duty, make certain the devices are set up so your boss and each teammate has his or her own access code and password. No exception!

2. To limit another’s access to your inputs and content, have your employer install security programs on all devices that you use.

Example: If no one else needs to use certain data, files, schematics, estimates/comps, paint requisitions, etc., still see that your boss sets up every device that you use as company-secured property.

3. Only take work home after or off your shift if (a) you have authorization to do so; (b) you have left an identical set of materials at work; and, (c) you have the work stored on a company-owned/leased device with tight security protection. And backup.

Example: Any materials removed from your place of employment are considered 100 percent company-owned property. Even if and when removed temporarily.

4. Follow a full transparency practice when performing any work-related communication task, project, transmission, etc. – whether oral, written, fax, computer, IPad, mobile phone, audio-visual, etc.

Example: Be ready and able to share and justify any part or aspect of any work-related communication that you handle, generate, transmit, receive, etc. Regardless how brief, incidental or unimportant it may seem to you, or another person.

5. Say, write, ext, post, record, tape, film, or notate nothing that you do not want to, and/or cannot explain to more than one other person. A teammate that has your back, for instance.

Example: Holding yourself accountable first helps you approach all work-related communications with an honest and accountable commitment to others. Also to both short-term objectives and long-term goals, the bigger picture, and the greater mission.

A painter’s job description requires that he or she put himself or herself out there on a regular basis. It also requires that the painter communicate in ways that matter, and that will stand up to scrutiny.

Closing note: Working with different contractors/employers, professionals and tradespersons, crews/teams, vendors/suppliers, and, customers/clients is great. And, the opportunity can provide any professional painter and decorator with benefits that are priceless, transferable, and timeless.

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Be able and willing to justify all work-related communications to anyone.
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Thank you for serving others, and for accepting this link to “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Upcoming Paintshop Posts: November and December 2017

1. Paintshop Software Programs, Aids, Apps, etc.
– Including sources for information

2. Paintshop Policies and Practices: Reporting Problems

A. Problems with products and materials
B. Problems with tools and equipment
C. Problems with theft and/or property damage
D. Problems with teammates related to your job description

3. Painter’s World: How Job Descriptions Have Changed

A. New key words and phrases, and what they mean
B. What term “must be able to do other things” really means
C. Job titles used today
D. Other skills and abilities that painters are expected to have today

4. Paintshop: New Construction Materials that Affect Painter’s Job

A. Examples of new materials used in hotels, commercial buildings, etc.

1) Types of painting and finishing products these new materials require
2) Types of painting tools and equipment needed to apply them

B. Examples of new materials used in residential and commercial-residential buildings
1) Types of painting and finishing products these new materials require
2) Types of painting tools and equipment needed to apply them

5. Paintshop: Techniques and Methods that Painters Need Today to Work on Newer Construction

6. Painter’s World: Painting and Decorating for the Disabled or Handicapped Person

A. What colors work better for the disabled person’s environment
B. What textures work better – and which to avoid
C. What patterns work better – and which to avoid
D. What wallcoverings work better – and which to avoid
E. Why above recommendations or choices are better.
F. Which recommendations actually benefit disabled person – and how, and when.

Happy – and Safe – Halloween!
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Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

TORNADOES

IN 1946…

At age four, my mother watched a “swirling, dirty gray” funnel approach her at the kitchen window, then lift from the ground. A while later, her father stood outside the farm house. He followed the path that the tornado had taken after lifting.

Directly above that window, the funnel tore off over one-half of the roof shingles. It ripped out red bricks from the chimney. Inside, it popped sections of plaster from the ceilings and walls in every room. Not only behind painted but also wallpapered walls.

The tornado had just missed the family inside the house. But, the “big wind” had pushed in the walls. Then it toppled the big red barn, killing four horses.

In 1993, my grandfather told me that he never figured out where the Billy goat had hidden that day. But, he was the only larger animal spared.

IN 1971…

At age eight, I stood at my third-grade classroom’s span of huge windows, and watched. “Look, Mrs. D., a BIG gray cloud.”

Then, the school’s muffled alarm went off. My teacher shouted, “Hurry, everyone into the hall!” And, next came a deafening and strong WHOOSH! Like a real powerful vacuum cleaner.

The country school was spared, except for windows blown out of four of the classrooms that stood in the tornado’s path.

By the way, from our family’s home located a little southwest of the school, my mother saw the funnel heading for my elementary school. And she phoned the school principal.

IN THE LATE 1980s…

My father had just filled his roller with more paint. A supervisor at the Lever Brothers plant shouted, “Hit the floor, everyone!”

And total chaos hit next. Toppling cases of liquid Wisk laundry detergent. Bottles of Snuggles fabric softener flying and swaying through the air. Steel equipment ripped apart.

It took a while until our company got the call that we painters could return to finish the “safety” paint job. In fact, the project was greatly expanded, because of the major repairs and reconstruction after the tornado struck. Our paint job at the plant got extended over three months.

On September  of 2017…

Decorative painter Jonathan, a friend at Melbourne Beach, secured his one-man paintshop. He hunkered down for Category 3-4 Hurricane Irma’s arrival during the next day.

He’d lived through a number of other major hurricanes and tropical storms. He wasn’t worried. But from experience, he was cautious.

What he had never faced was a tornado.

“I’ll see that twisting and hear that locomotive the rest of my life,” he said on the phone. “My shop is in shambles. All my brushes, paints, templates, etc? Fine.” The 55-year old native of Los Angeles County sounded very shaken. A guy that grew up along the San Andreas Fault Line.

IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE MIDWEST…

Tornadoes are common and frequent.

“We batten down the hatches,” said aeronautical inventor and industrialist George Manis in July of 1960. He’d arrived home minutes before a set of tornadoes whipped across Lake Wawasee.
But too late to help his wife, Mary, and my mother secure the boats tied up at the piers, and move the heavy wrought iron patio furniture.

“Those lakefront homes were all well-built,” my mother said last week. “They were made to withstand tornadoes, as well as the brutal winter snow and ice storms.”

IN THE SOUTHEAST…

Tornadoes are often spawned from tropical storms or hurricanes. Sometimes by electrically-charged lightning storms.

Wherever they occur with some regularity, the residents have learned to heed the warnings. They pay attention. They try to secure outdoor furniture, vehicles, boats, etc. They pack up. They move near a sturdy inside wall.

SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE WITH TORNADOES…

My mother noted that, like those homes hit in Indiana years ago, the ones heavily damaged this month in Central Florida will require major repairs inside and out. “Some reconstruction and restoration.”

Agreed! Many of the Florida properties will also require toxic mold remediation before any repairs can be made. Before any reconstruction and restoration can take place. Before any painter can take a brush, roller or spray gun and apply a beautiful new finish to any surface.

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Both tornadoes and hurricanes can leave behind irreparable damages,
irreplaceable losses, and unforgettable memories.
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Stay storm safe and smart. And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness Tips, Part 1: Be Advised, Be Aware

The people along the east-southeast coastline of Texas are still in shock. Unable to begun their recovery from Category 4 Hurricane Harvey’s direct hit less than two weeks ago. Unable to calculate their devastating losses.

 

Floridians, on the other hand, just went into their shock-mode on Monday, September 11. (Yes, exactly sixteen years after that September 11.)  Hurricane Irma had hit Florida.

 

One week earlier – Tuesday, September 5, everyone in all 73-76 counties had been put on high alert by Governor Rick Scott. The National Hurricane Center in Miami had rated Hurricane Irma a Category 4-5. It would arrive in Florida some time between September 8 and 10.

 

MOVING FORWARD…

 

It did not matter which coast the hurricane hit. The state is narrow enough, and Irma’s diameter and circumference were massive enough that, peripherally, it would paralyze a large part of the state.

 

Between September 8 and 10-11, Hurricane Irma hit every coast of Florida. And, it has paralyzed every county in Florida.

 

Until the hurricane actually hit The Keys, my sister in Southeast Broward County sat in Irma’s direct path. I was concerned, but not worried.

 

Before the hurricane reached Puerto Rico, Donna went into high gear. She activated a system that she developed in 1992, as Andrew approached. She is a veteran preparer for and survivor of Category 3, 4, and 5 hurricanes.

 

A lot of people were counting on her to jump right in. She’s responsible for a lot of stores and a lot of workers, and to some extent, the welfare of the workers’ families. She’s answerable to the leaders of an international corporation that had just lost a lot of stores in Southeast Texas.

 

When it comes to major hurricanes, I tend to listen to my sister more than anyone else. I knew that her advice would come in handy. Hurricane Irma was described as much bigger, much more dangerous than even Andrew had been.

 

A week ago, I had four big hurricanes under my belt. Until September 9, only the peripherals of hurricane number five – Irma – were supposed to skirt the Orlando area.

 

I was finishing this blog

 

REFLECTING ON AND RELATING TO TROPICAL STORMS

 

I was working at Seralago Hotel and Suites, Kissimmee, when two severe tropical storms caused cyclone-like whip-lashing winds, torrential rains and hundreds of land-hugging tornadoes.

 

Between August 19 and 21 of 2008, Tropical Storm Fay repeatedly plummeted the area. On June 23 and 24, 2012, Tropical Storm Debby pounced on the area with vengeance.

 

At the hotel, we took the threat of every potential Florida-bound hurricane and every tropical storm very seriously. Our two top priorities were (1) our guests and staff and (2) the structural areas being used for shelter.

 

The storms in both 2008 and 2012 left behind extensive wind and rain damage to the exteriors of buildings and around the grounds. It caused heavy water damage to many guest rooms; the main lobby, kitchen and food court, and public restrooms; and conference center. Also, it damaged both indoor and outdoor recreation areas including both swimming pools and the gazebo. It ravaged our beautiful gardens, nature sanctuary, and walkways. It uprooted flowering shrubs, bushes, trees, and vines indigenous to Florida Tropics – and the Caribbean.

 

Every person and pet on the property made it fine.

 

Everyone there helped it come out better than worse. Management, especially department directors and supervisors, pulled together. They led the staff of over 100 in disaster preparedness, survival and recovery that saved many lives, and the property. They followed a plan, somewhat similar to the one that my sister created.

 

Major hurricanes – major disasters – deserve our full attention from preparation-to-recovery. They warrant our participation. They require our joint commitment to see things through.

 

“This is going to be a very long haul,” said a long-time resident of Lake Jackson, right after Hurricane Harvey plummeted Southeast Texas. An old classmate of my mother, the man choked as he talked on a mobile phone. He and his wife were returning early from their summer home in New Mexico.

 

SEE THESE FOLLOW-UP POSTS:

 

Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 2: “THE DIRTY SIDE OF THE STORM”

 

Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 3: In the Paintshop

 

Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 4: Creating a Make-Shift Shelter

 

Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 5: Packing for Riding Out Storm

 

Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 6: Securing Inside of Your Home

 

 THE BOTTOM LINE: First protect lives, Second protect valuables. Third, if there’s any time left, protect whatever else really matters, most essential things first.

 

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Major disasters swoop in, then leave. People and pets are meant to stick around awhile.

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Stay alert, smart and safe. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

WHY PAINT?

Artist Bob Ross used to say, “Painting should not be agony.”

I agree.

Over the years, I’ve met and/ or worked with construction industry painters that fit into one of these categories:

1. Some painters loved what they were doing; and it showed in their work, and their attitude about life.

Example: “Bob, the Painter,” my father, smiled a lot on the job. And often he stopped to admire others’ workmanship… to watch a bird in a nearby tree…to double check his own work.

2. Some painters, overall, liked to paint, and seemed to be fine with the likelihood that they’d be doing it for years in the future.

Example: Jesse hummed on the job… drank, and tried to share, cantaloupe juice made by his wife… took on any task that needed to be done.

3. Some painters liked to paint and did a good job; but they wanted to do something else career-wise, and to earn a living.

Example: Larry and Wayne wanted much more independence than a foreman painter had. So both went into contracting, and demonstrated that they were okay with the added responsibility that entrepreneurship required.

4. Some painters really didn’t like to paint; but they lacked the will, nerve and resources to try anything else.

Example: “W” dreamed of doing something where he could visit more with others on the job, and get paid for it. But, he had no real support system in the U. S. to help him try something new.

5. Then there were a few painters that had an intense dislike for painting, and much associated with the trade. And, increasingly, they demonstrated their disdain and discomfort.

Example: W.R. complained about everything, it seemed. He showed up intoxicated… violated safety rules…put crew members at risk…misused products.

What each of those painters knew about their jobs was complemented, or contradicted, by their respective attitudes about painting, and their own lives.

Which painter would you like to work with on a regular basis?

Into which category do you think that others might place you?

Into which category do you believe that you really fit?

Something to think about, right?

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Whatever you do for a living, including painting, give it your 100 percent at least 85 percent of the time. The remaining 15 percent? Take a good look at how you’re doing, and why.
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting It: An Author’s Painter – and Movie Sets

An author’s greatest reward can be seeing one of his or her novels reach the big screen.

A handful of novelists have had more than three of their works turned into a full-feature film.
Few of these novelists write the screenplay version of their novels. More of them do, these days, serve as technical consultants during the filming of their stories.

Earlier this year, one of these prolific authors of popular film stories got his house painter and decorator a job as a painter on the set of a movie.

Let’s call him “Joel.” The man mixed and matched the paints. Then he painted the movie set’s exterior buildings, store fronts and related areas; also the interiors of many sets. It was meant to be a very temporary gig.

Three-and-a-half weeks into the project, the construction crew’s lead painter was in an accident, and couldn’t work. “Joel,” the temporary set painter, who was a seasoned commercial painter and decorator, was put into the lead job.

At the end of filming, the author came along. He offered the temporary painter a full-time, steady job as a movie set painter. Particularly the sets of the author’s film projects. And, this author always tends to have one of his novels heading for or already on a movie set somewhere.

“It was a lot of fun,” my old painter friend told me while visiting in Florida in early July. “Being around all that action… some great actors… very talented, skilled craftspersons and artisans. That was great.”

The man’s eyes dropped to the paint color chips in my hand. And the two, 5-gallon buckets of paint at my feet.

“This,” he pointed around the paint store, “is me.” Then, he grabbed one of the heavy paint buckets and walked out to my ‘87 Chevy Blazer. The subject of movie-set painting closed!

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The mark of a real pro is often the little things that he does, and the big decisions he makes, along his way.
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Thanks to all readers and followers – visible and hidden – of “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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