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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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Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 2: “The Dirty Side of the Storm”

The dirty side of a Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane is where your local meteorologists wish you weren’t going to be.

 

1. What is it?

A. Area behind the hurricane’s eye, or core.

B. Area where the worst after-effects will be felt.

C. Area where the extent of the worst effects are so unpredictable and dangerous.

 

2. What are the qualifications for an area to be named “the dirty side?”

A. Area has wider and longer bands of severe weather elements – eg. reaching far from core.

B. Area has very forceful bands of sustaining severe elements – eg. whipping wind gusts.

C. Area has deeper bands that can cause other severe conditions – eg. return tornado funnels.

 

3. What severe problems will you see?

A. Worst, most viscous winds.

B. Tornado funnels that keep rotating, lifting up, and dropping to the ground again.

C. Torrential, beating rains.

D. No visibility

 

4. How can you avoid these problems?

A. Stay out of the hurricane’s path. Evacuate in time.

B. Heed the warnings. Obey the laws and curfews put into effect.

C. Stay out of the area until emergency operations say it’s safe to return.

D. If you can’t leave, promptly secure the space in which you will be taking cover.

 

5. What if you can’t leave?

A. Find the most secure inside-walled, windowless place to hide – eg. closet, room, hallway.

B. Put only what you need to survive for at least five days in that space.

C. Get into that space way before the core/eye approaches.

D. Do not leave that space until the hurricane has completely left.

E. WARNING: Lulls are common; they don’t mean the hurricane has left, the danger is over.

 

By the way, I heard two national network meteorologists state that, when the cone or eye shrinks, the surrounding bands will trigger the worst effects.

 

CLOSING THOUGHT: The “dirty side” of any natural disaster forces us to act, to prioritize, and to accept that we humans are not who holds the real power.

 

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Respect any natural disaster that comes your way;

it’s there to teach you, and I, something!

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I hope that you, and those you care about, are safe. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

Volunteering Your Painting and Decorating Skills, Part II: Options and Action

When it comes to volunteering our painting skills, we may overlook the needs that exist in our own community or neighborhood. Two large categories below:

1. Steer your skills where they can matter the most at this time.
Examples:
A. Local low budget nursing home unable to afford staff painter.
B. Local public school severely hurt by sharp budget cuts.
C. Local free medical clinic.
D. Local small church or church school.
E. Low income or fixed income neighborhood.
F. Family that’s been uprooted by severe medical bills, or death of main breadwinner.

2. Consider discreetly volunteering your skills for persons that you know.
Examples:
A. Relative or friend.
B. Elderly or disabled neighbor.
C. Your church pastor and family.
D. Members of church family.

Also, we may not know how to go about finding these needs in our own back yards. Two ideas:

1. To locate a local needy person or family, check with your pastor or one of a nearby smaller parish.
TIPS: Some churches only accept volunteer work through their own parishioners. Also, people have their pride. Offer help only to persons or families willing to accept to accept it.

2. To find a local low-income church, organization, facility, school or group, I suggest that you write a brief letter offering your painting skills labor-free. Include the following information:

A. summary of your experience
B. work you’re available to do, including days, no. of hours, morning or afternoon.
C. availability: 1 time, temporary for 3 months 1 year, etc.
D. statement about who buys and who pays for needed supplies – eg. paint, caulking tubes
fillers, sandpapers, paint thinner.
E. statement about when supplies would need to be purchased.
F. statement about your limits – eg. interior work, environmental conditions, hazardous conditions, tools
and equipment.

A FEW TIPS ABOUT DOING THE VOLUNTEER PAINTING JOB

1. Aim to leave behind a finished job as good as you do in your paid painting job.
2. Follow standard and exceptional policies, procedures, and techniques that you normally follow.
3. Be neat, thorough and friendly.
4. Respect all the health and safety rules that you would normally follow.
5. Be professional on your volunteer job, too.
6. Respect the rules that apply to your work for the person, family, organization, group, etc.
7. Maintain your pre-set volunteering parameters. Do not volunteer to do more than you have
offered or agreed upon, at least the first time that you help out that person or group. Even
one extra room, area or park bench can require more time than you have available.
8. Be honest.
9. Set and keep to a schedule. Cancel or change work dates and times only if necessary. And,
give prompt notice.

MY VIEW: I want to do my best. And, I want beneficiaries to want me to come back and help them again.

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When a painter volunteers, he or she adds special strokes of hope into the lives of others.
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Changes and Advancements in Hotel/Facility Painting, Part 3: Supplies, Tools and Equipment

Introduction

 
The standard types of painting tools and equipment will always be in use, as long as the paint products go unchanged in how they are applied. Paint spray equipment applications are not to be replaced. They are only approved upon by making subtle changes to spray guns and paint pumping systems.

When it relates to the roller cover, its design is continually being re-examined for ways to improve its performance, primarily with new materials. Widely used tools and equipment are difficult to replace. Changes in supplies mean costly changes to a system which is already operating efficiently.

 

  1. Changes and Advancements in Supplies:

A. Abrasives, caulking, patching compounds, masking materials, and other items. Changes: meet the demands of structural components and newer surfaces, also environmental changes.

B. Sanding products produced for wet or dry use. Option: Abrasives affixed to a sponge type substrate, allowing greater flexibility.

C. Caulking produced as waterborne and siliconized. Advantages: Resist cracking, and provide waterproofing, while allowing the surface to be painted.

D. Patching compounds that dry faster and harder. Advantages: sand easier, allow painting sooner.

E. Masking tapes designed to be left on the surface longer. Advantages: Do not pull the surface loose, and make re-taping unnecessary.

 

Comments about Supplies:

Commonly used supplies have advanced little. They tend to fulfill the need, in an efficient manner, for which they have been designed.

The quality of supplies must not be overlooked. They are your aid in producing a quality painting or finishing job. They sure can make it easier. By the way, a poorly adhering masking tape is not going to do you any favors.

 

  1. Changes and Advancements in Tools:

A. More paint brushes designed for applying multiple types of coating. Brush hairs are a composite of nylon, polyester, olefin, and other synthetic fibers.

B. Roller frames designed to reduce the friction of the roller covers. Added feature: control the covers from slipping off of the roller frames.

C. Roller covers, with new developments in nap composition. Advantages: Optimal nap composition which lasts longer, and is durable with various coatings.

D. Advancements that consider the ergonomics of a tool’s use. Example: Joint knife, which must be very strong and flexible. It must provide an excellent grip and balance for effective use.

 

Comments about Tools:

Advancements in tools are needed, especially when a product or material has no way of being applied. A tool must be designed, tested, fabricated, and marketed to industry, business and public consumers.

 

  1. Changes and Advancements in Equipment:

 A. Fine finishing, hand-held and airless portable spray system. Designed for ease of use by the professional painter and finisher. Homeowner/general consumer models: easier to operate, clean, and maintain.

B. Masking machines that are easy to manipulate in taping procedures. Normally for commercial, residential and automotive painting.

C. Spray pumps designed for easier use by the homeowner/general consumer market. Features: lighter weight, easy to set up, simple to clean up. Pressure fluid: maintained electronically.

 

Comments about Equipment:

Changes in equipment occur when use and testing point to an area of design which can be improved. I consider advancements, something which really alters the marketing of a piece of equipment.
What marks a more advanced piece of equipment? Some key features: greater performance, more energy efficient, more ergonomics, and increased durability.

 

Closing Comments about Painting Supplies, Tools and Equipment:

A successful painting project requires that all intended and needed supplies, tools and equipment are available, reliable and qualitative. Consistently, they must help the painter to (1) produce above-standard workmanship, (2) achieve satisfactory-plus results, and (3) ensure cost-effective durability.

 

PAINTER’S TIPS: Wisely choose each supply, tool and piece of equipment. Then, care and maintain each one properly. Maximize its potential usefulness and effectiveness on future projects, work orders and tasks. You’ll be glad that you did.

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Even the most advanced supply, tool, or piece of equipment is only as effective as the painter using it.

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2014, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s World: What You May Not Know About Black Mold

Never believe something cannot harm you just because you can’t see it. Just as a virus or bacteria can cause an infection, Black Mold fungi, offers its own type of threat to your health.

 

Basically, anything which is microscopic and exhibits the definition of being alive supports its own defense mechanism. And that’s against us.

 

Black Mold, or other similar fungi, produces spores which are unseen to the naked eye. During the stages of their metabolism, they produce by-products which are often toxic. These toxins interfere with the normal metabolism and respiration of humans.

 

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT BLACK MOLD

 

I didn’t know much about Fungi, Black Mold, Myotoxins, etc. until I started looking into it further. The following is a list of three of the most dangerous effects from mold exposure:

 

1. Mold inhalation – Decreased hemoglobin red blood cell concentration, lowered blood gas concentration, anemia, and bronchial and/or sinus inflammation and infection.

 Symptoms: Dizziness, muscle spasms-tremors, headaches, stressed breathing, clamped oxygen supply, runny nose, burning eyes, confusion, and blurred vision.

 

2. Mold Skin Contact AbsorptionAnemia, change in basal respiration rate, lowered blood gas concentration, subcutaneous pustules, lesions, and widespread rash.

Symptoms: Skin irritation, itching, burning, dizziness.

 

3. Long-Term Effects (most important) -Prolonged exposure that often causes an irreversible anemic health condition. Stem cell differentiation development within the bone marrow that’s affected by cases severe mold exposure. Change in the Hemostasis of hemoglobin/red cell relationship is altered.

***Secondary effects – Permanent respiratory illnesses such as chronic and/or acute Sinusitis, Bronchitis, Asthma, and Sinus tract cysts; irritation and/or inflammation of the mucus membranes. Also partial obstruction of the airway. Because of past exposure, susceptibility to allergic reactions from common dust and pollen.

 

HEALTH PREVENTION OF MOLD EXPOSURE

 

1. When cleaning: Wear protective suit, gloves and head covering; also proper respiratory equipment such as a charcoal, organic vapor respirator, or a self-contained, fresh air supply system. Note: Dust mask is totally inadequate.

2. If infestation is invasive: Use garden sprayer with 50/50 bleach-water, or peroxide solution. Spray infected area. Promptly remove yourself from the area until the solution has degraded the mold. Then you may clean and remove by hand what is left. When the removal of mold is completed, rinse entire area with fresh water – either by hand or with a garden sprayer.

3. Ventilate! Ventilate! Ventilate! In the area where you’re working, always provide adequate ventilation when spraying bleach or similar toxic chemicals. Open windows. And use circulating fans. The cleaning process will be much safer, and go much smoother.

 

IF AND WHEN YOU’RE EXPOSED TO MOLD…

 

1. Seek a clean, fresh air environment as soon as possible. Go outside if necessary.

2. Get help now! Someone needs to assist you and call “Emergency 911” and “Poison Control” – your chief engineer,  security director, member of management, teammate.

3. If you suffer a rash or burn of any kind, use a baking soda/water solution, calamine lotion, or a hygienic glycerol soap to help reduce skin irritation.

4. In severe cases, it may be necessary to get a steroid injection. This depends on whether or not your entire body is affected.

 

IN THE CASE OF MOLD EXPOSURE…

…what you don’t know will hurt you.

 

1. I developed both chronic and acute sinusitis from daily exposure to massive amounts of toxic levels of mold plus the toxic cleaning agents, over a period of six years.

2. On a daily basis, I took the proper precautions. I used the products and safety tools and equipment provided and authorized by the chief engineer, and property management and owners.

3. But the amount of mold was too great, for too long of a time.  According to health and environmental specialists, “a person could not have come out of it without suffering ill effects.”

4. The physicians have said I was fortunate. A strong majority of persons develop Asthma. In addition, a large number are also diagnosed, eventually, with Sinus and Bronchial Cancer, and/or Lung Cancer.

 

WHEN TREATING MOLD…

Whether at home or on the job, take your time. And work safely.

Take care of yourself and the others around you.

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Everyone wants to go home at the end of the day!

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s World: MEET ZACHARY

A True Hotel Holiday Tale…

 

At first, I thought the teen might have had a problem with depression. He sat on a nearby bench, doubled over. Just staring into the ground.

 

But depression turned out not to be what was weighing down this kid.

 

His name was Zachary. He was visiting Walt Disney World with his parents and grandparents. It was his nineteenth birthday. And evidently, one year ago, on December 24, he’d lost his little brother, Matt, to brain cancer.

 

“Matty was only nine,” the teenage guest told me.

 

We continued to chat as I clear-coated the span of wood railing.  Zachary said that his only sibling had had “a rough time” from the start.

 

“Matty was born with a hole in his heart.” Then the child was only five when he started to complain of “feeling whoozie” and “having pain inside” his head.

 

Zachary said that he felt guilty for being alive. And, with no problems at all.

 

Eventually, I ran out of railing to finish coat. And, I needed to move on to the next project on my list.

 

That afternoon, Zachary showed up again. I was repainting a large built-in seat in a rest area. The teen watched intently. He appeared to be much calmer.

 

“How do you do that?” he asked.

 

“Do what?”

 

“Maneuver that brush that way? Really radical.”

 

“Radical? Like in…?” I asked.

 

“Like in neat. Cool.” He hesitated. “I’d like to learn how to do that.”

 

“Step up. I’d be glad to show you.”

 

It was completely against policy. Letting a hotel guest be in a “fresh paint zone.” Letting a guest – a kid – handle any of our word tools, or use any paint product.

 

Probably, I could have gotten fired on the spot if my chief engineer would have come along. But, this kid – practically an adult – reminded me of someone else when he’d been grieving. Me – for my father.

 

Zachary stepped forward. I handed him a second two-inch angled paint brush, dipped in a little Forest Green paint.

 

“Closely watch my hand. It’s all in the wrist.”

 

The teen guest watched, then tried to mimic my wrist-hand movement. On the third try, he got the basic idea. A smile of satisfaction crossed his face.

 

“Matty loved to paint. I bought him an artist kit – you know, one of those sets in a metal box? The Christmas before… His last Christmas with us.”

 

The teen’s look dropped again. Like when I first spotted him that morning. I needed to do – to say – something.

 

“When my dad died suddenly, I thought I’d never paint again.” I told Zachary that my dad and I had worked together. “That made it extra hard,” I acknowledged.

 

I told the teen how one day I looked at Dad’s brushes. I picked up one of them. “And, you know what? That heavy feeling in my heart? It just sort of got a little better.”

 

The teen guest looked at me. He handed my brush back. And, he started to walk away. He turned back.

 

“I just remembered: I brought Matty’s artist kit along in my luggage.”

 

Zachary was going to be all right. At least for now, perhaps he had a way to make some sense of the whole thing. And, be able to enjoy the holidays with his parents, and grandparents – in their eighties.

 

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Take note. Heads up. Every guest… every coworker… could use a little boost.

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A year’s worth of thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Them: Hostels for Youth and Young Adults

In January of 2017, I will, for the first time, meet a third cousin from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Frederich III is a professeur of microbiologie. He and five others have been invited to the United States to present papers on the impact of environmental changes upon our health.

 

Fred has two sons. They operate a large guest hostel located in a coastal city.

 

They employ a painter part-time. One of his jobs involves supervising youth and young adult “stay-overs,” who want to earn part of their room rates by doing some painting at the hostel.

 

Few of these young people have ever picked up a paint brush. Except, perhaps, an artist brush. So they do not know their capabilities in this area. Until they put a brush in one of their hands.

 

To make their possibly first painting experience a positive one, the hostel painter works them in pairs. Then, he lets them select, from a duty list, the small painting project they want to take on.

 

Most projects involve interior surfaces and areas. Repainting of the drywall parts of the ceilings, supported by huge rough-sawn beams. Filling, sanding and re-varnishing of the paneled walls in most sleeping rooms. Patching, sanding and refinishing of the hardwood floors, located throughout structure.

 

One of the biggest challenges is the repainting or refinishing of all surfaces in all public areas and “pass-through” corridors, as well as the miles and miles of dark oak stairs, railings, banisters, and trims. There’s a steady flow of traffic in and out of every area – 24 hours, seven days a week.

 

To help solve that problem and make it easier for the young guests to get the painting done, Fred’s boys developed a rotation system. Different two-person crews would be available to do painting at different times of the day or night. Translation: whenever a room or area became vacant for even a few hours.

 

Considering that most of the persons doing the work are novices – new to the craft, Fred says it’s been amazing to see how effective the system works. And, how qualitative the painting results have been.

 

“What about the outside?” I e-mailed Fred.

 

He said that the colder climate limits the exterior work that these young people are able to do. A few always come along, willing to put up with the elements while beautifying the outside of the building.

 

Four questions that will be answered later this month, with the help of the co-owners of the hostel.

 

1. How do the products used differ from those used in the U.S.?

2. How do the techniques or methods differ?

3. How do the average costs differ from those incurred in the U.S.?

4. How do the youth and young adult “painters” feel about the results they produce?

 

Fred, a silent partner in the hostel enterprise, already responded to Question 4. “They’re in surprise. Also, they express gratefulness for making some money to help pay for traveling expenses…”

 

Employing young hostel guests is not a new concept. Hostel operators around the world have,, for many years, employed them to work in the kitchen, restaurant/dining area and laundry. Employing them to handle repair and painting tasks and work orders is a newer pursuit.

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Travelers at any age can work their way to their destinations.

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Travel safe, travel well. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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