Friday, July 21, 2006

Yard Work

Okay so it's like this: my grandpa wants to spend the rest of his life mowing grass. My grandparents had a couple of wooded acres in the back of their house. and about 2 mouths ago my grandpa decided that he wanted it all cleared out and to have a huge, sparsely wooded back yard. All well and good. However when the guys they hired to clear it out where done there was still no way they where going to get a lawn mower back there, there where way too many sticks and rocks and stuff, not to mention many unsightly vines in the trees. So the long and the short of it is that we have spent several days this past week in McComb helping to remedy that problem. Which brings us to the latest Brillant Merisha story.

In the afore mentioned yard there is a rather scrawny tree. Apparently when a neighboring tree was cut down one of it's branches was caught in it, so now there is a sad looking tree with a dead branch dangling just above reach and it has been driving us nuts all week. This morning my grandparents where out and Mom, Robin and I started bright and early. Mom had spent a while trying to coax this branch down with a limb cutter, you know, the kind that extends about 15 feet or so. The problem was that she could not get quite high enough to get a grip on the branch. So, Robin and I, being the helpful daughters we are, decided to, um, "help" her. The place that see really needed to latch onto was about 12 feet out of reach. Being the most apt tree climber in the family, I (with Robin's help) proceeded up the tree and they handed the limb cutter up to me. I decided to cut the limb that was holding that annoying branch up.

I'm standing in the tree trying to operate the limb cutter, I get it in position, and pull the rope that is supposed to move the blade to cut the limb.

As you may know, I'm not the strongest person the the world, and add to that that I was trying to balance in a tree, I could not get that branch to cut for love for money. Not only that, but it had cut just enough that it would not come down. It was stuck. Well, than I have bright idea number two, namely, tie a cord to the cord that I was pulling and give it to those on the ground who will not have to worry about breaking their necks if they get a little off balence. The cord broke.

By this time we are on a time limit. My grandparents are on the way home, and we don't want to give them a heart attack at our rather dangerous antics in the tree, nor do we wish to actually admit that we got their brand new limb cutter stuck in the tree, 12 feet off the ground, and can't get it down. When they drove up I jumped out of the tree and we all pretended that there was not a red limb cutter hanging over our heads and came of to the house for lunch.

After lunch Robin and I decided to use a mallet to try to loosen it and get it down. The first attempt was unsuccessful. The sledge hammer we brought had a handle about 3 feet limb and weighed a ton. So now I'm in the tree, swinging a ten pound sledge hammer, trying to knock loose the tree cutter. I succeeded in hitting myself in the eye with the cumbersome handle. At this point I became mad, and was trying to figure out what I was going to tell the people at the emergency room if my eye was really injured. It was not however, so Robin went in search of something smaller and came back with a rubber mallet that did the job in about three seconds. I am happy to report that limb cutter is in the shed where it belongs, and I am still in one piece.

The limb that caused all the commotion in the first place, however, is still there. I guess you can't win them all.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

And so it began....

After all the signers had signed what could have easly been their death warrent someone is said to have commented "Well, we must all hang together now" to which Ben Franklin replied "We must hang together gentlemen, or we shall assuredly hang separately"

Happy 4th of July, y'all.