The Hat

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

I received this hat as a Christmas present a few years ago. I thought it was the dumbest hat ever. The earflaps? Man, what a dork. I put those down and immediately make the “L” on my forehead.

And the lights on the bill? What’s up with that. And camo?? I don’t do camo. I don’t own anything camo.

But ya know…. It’s come in handy. Cold as it’s been, those ear flaps are invaluable.

And the lights, well, that saves me from holding the flashlight in my mouth. Because sometimes I drop it in the chicken pen and then I do actually hesitate for a couple seconds before I put It back in my mouth figuring a little dirt never hurt anyone. But that hat. I groan everytime I put it on and I’m thankful that it keeps my ears warm.

In his book, “Semi True”, Russ Ringsak says, “I couldn’t blame nature for trying to murder me but I wished she wasn’t in such a hurry.” Yeah, really. Does it have to be this cold?

You know it’s cold when I get this many water bucket stumps piled up.

I’ve got a small outside water tank with a tank heater in it. I put the frozen water buckets in there while I put out corn (which is supposed to be for the chickens and ducks, but seems in the winter, only the turkeys and deer find it.) After doing the corn, I can just dump out the ice from the buckets, refill, and take back to the chickens. They don’t actually drink much. The 50 chickens drink maybe a gallon per day.

Meanwhile, my ducks that won’t come eat this corn, some of them, the ‘wild’ ones, are down in the pond.

I know it’s cold when the pond gets ice on the edges. The water comes from springs, through the pipe, under the ice at the top of the picture.

Although since the hawk got a duck in the pond last week, I don’t put corn out there anymore. And the ducks aren’t that interested in going over there anyway.

This is Humphrey being curious about the hawk. Humphrey is very curious about everything.

Ever gotten a gift you don’t like yet still find valuable?

36 thoughts on “The Hat”

  1. hey ben camo? ear flaps? your chick slaying days are over

    chickens and corn and ice chunks a day at the farm

    great picture of humphrey and the hawk

    i have hats of many shapes and sizes so many that when it’s time to put one on it’s a matter of grabbing what’s there. i have a big tupperware box for mittens and hats and scarves to be stored in during the off months but when the season tools around i think the top pair of gloves get lifted and the box goes back on the shelf once i dumped it out and looked at all the contents finding my favorite ear flap elmer duds in faux shearling and 8 scarves my daughter knit me i found 10 years ago the itchy will hats were not ok and i stopped wearing them. now my neck goes crazy with will scarves even cheap cashmere is an irritant. but if i keep my shirt collar between me and the scarf i’m ok on -20 night walks with the dogs i’ll put up with the itch. my wife is excellent at remembering who gave us a gift and pulling it out when they are coming over thanks so much for the nutcracker with an am/fm radio in it. we use it all the time and those his and hers potholders, they’re so cute don’t want to be mocking gifts but camo… really?

    tim jones


    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve mentioned before that my friend, Helen, rewards my chicken and cat sitting with gifts, often expensive ones that I don’t particularly care for. This year we passed off two of them at vs’ solstice party.

    A couple of days ago, I found in one of my drawers, a gift she gave me several years ago, a hand felted scarf. It’s probably warm, and no doubt expensive, but I’ve never used it because it’s too fussy, not my style at all. Now that I think about it, perhaps her gifts are a subtle way of telling me that she thinks I need some sprucing up. I’m pretty sure, though, that I’m not the only baboon who can appreciate that something can look fabulous on somebody else, but that I would not feel at home in it. There’s a reason I’m called Plain Jane.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I can’t think of any gift I received that I didn’t really like in any way. Although my dear mother who loved shopping at thrift stores, would find all kinds of clothes for my 5 sisters and me. She knew all our sizes, favorite colors and styles. Usually she found quite nice stuff and she had a good eye, but there were definitely occasional clinkers. Her reason for buying ‘odd’ items was usually “it was too cheap to leave behind”.
    Of course, I would dutifully thank her and bring it home, where it would sit in my closet until I had the heart to dispose of it to another thrift store.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My ex-mother-in-law was also a thrift store shopper. Once after wasband and I were married, she sent a package of shirts that she had found for him, two of which had embroidered initials on the pockets. Not his initials however.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. I think those two shirts were a bit much even for him. I don’t believe he ever wore them although I also don’t remember him throwing them out at any point.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. My paternal grandmother bought clothes for my dad at garage sales. She did this well into her 90’s. Dad wore some of them. My mom usually just tossed them.

    We received a picnic set for our wedding in the shape of a ball. It separated into two large bowls with plates and cups nestled inside. I don’t think we ever used it for picnics, but the two bowls made for dandy pet feeding and watering containers.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That reminds me, we received two wedding gifts we didn’t like. One was a set of ceramic canisters with an awful glaze. That was a gift from a Danish girlfriend of mine. Ingelise meant well, but our tastes were not in alignment. They still aren’t, but now she lives in Boston, so no longer an issue.

      The other gift, which we received from an ex-boyfriend of mine, was an old, tarnished, ornate brass floor lamp. Ugly as sin. It needed to be rewired, didn’t have a shade and wasn’t wrapped. Not even a bow on it.

      The year following the wedding, we decided to have a garage sale, and both the lamp and the canisters were tagged nd set out for sale. Early the morning of the sale, who, but Ingelise, comes cruising by the garage facing the alley in the back of the house in her car. (Ingelise lived in Minneapolis, so I must have mentioned to her in a phone conversation that I was having a sale. We certainly weren’t expecting her to come). Hans and I scurried like mad to hide the canisters while she was looking for a place to park her car so she wouldn’t see that were trying to get rid of her wedding present. That was a close call.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, of course, and as I recall we sold them – and the lamp, too. We were just talking about the lamp a couple of days ago, as we had just learned that the ex-boyfriend had just died. To think that his legacy in this household is that lamp! Sad.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t get many gifts, especially recently (for example, we forwent gifts for adults this christmas and just went for gifts for kids 6 and under, so no gifts for me) so I’m trying to delve into the deep, dark past to remember a good example of this. As a kid, gifts from my dad’s parents were exceedingly lame – probably on the underwear and socks level – so if I really did get socks and underwear from them (I honestly don’t remember), they would be in the category of “not liked but useful.”

    I have little patience with getting gifts that I don’t like so I am happy that I don’t get many presents. I try to let people know what I want so I don’t end up with something I dislike. For example, the “kids” and I use an online wishlist where we can list things we’re wanting. I have 4 things on my list for my upcoming birthday and I made it very clear that the Minnesota State Park permit is #1. If I get nothing else, I will be happy to get that (and woe is them if they don’t get me that). I had a grand time visiting several state parks last year and hope I can visit even more this year.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the online wish list is pretty clever. If you have a number of people buying, you can even indicate which item you’ve purchased so other people won’t buy duplicates…but the recipient won’t see what has been purchased so they can still be (sort of) surprised.

        I got the State Park permit for christmas last year and it was the best gift ever.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Husband doesn’t really DO gifts much, and my sis knows this by now but buys him SOMEthing anyway. One year early on she gave him a very nice LL Bean wool blanket with polar bears in blue and white, the size of a throw, that we still have… Come to think of it, it might be on Mom’s bed right now, but I won’t let it get away too far.

    In one book group, we got in the habit of bringing back a little something for each other from any of our travels. At first I balked at this, as
    we were traveling quite a lot and I’m always trying to hold down my collections of things… But when I downsized before the big move, I purposely kept one of these items from each friend, and think of them whenever I come upon the little gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Even after reflection, I don’t recall a gift I disliked. I got a truly ugly vegetable plate for a wedding gift from a friend who scarcely knew me. I treasured that plate just because it was a reminder of a lady I never wanted to forget and whose gift was so unexpected.

    The most memorable gift of my life was a Donald Duck comic book my parents gave me when I was ten. It wasn’t my birthday or any special day, but they bought it on a whim because they remembered I liked those comic books. I thanked them and went upstairs to read it. One of the stories featured Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pool filled with money.

    Out of my parents’ sight, I burst into tears. I owned four comic books, and yet they had the bad luck to give me a duplicate of one I already had. I didn’t weep because the gift was a disappointment. The fact I already had that comic made it easier to see the affection behind the gift. And I wept because somehow the gift was evidence that, while loving me, there was much about me they could never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. To the best of my knowledge, my MIL never received a gift she liked. Every gift we ever gave her was returned, exchanged, or sold unused in its original packaging, at the estate sale that was held when she moved from her home to an apartment after her husband died. One year I bought her a sweatshirt with a loon motif at an after Christmas sale at Bachman’s. I knew she’d love it. When I gave it to her the next Christmas, she deemed it too large and asked for the receipt so she could exchange it. I had to tell her I’d had it for a year and had no receipt. She never wore it, even though it really wasn’t that huge, and for heaven’s sake, it was a sweatshirt; how precise a fit do you need? Her husband, after years of trying to find acceptable gifts for her, eventually just bought what she told him to get. She was impossible to please with a gift, although she did expect to get them.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My sister gave me a bread maker one year, and I hadn’t really wanted a bread maker. I do know how to make bread without one. I also used to buy frozen bread dough and bake my own bread that way when I wanted a shortcut.

    I have a small kitchen, so the first dilemma was where to put the bread maker. It had a short cord and everywhere I put it there didn’t seem to be an outlet close enough, so it had to have an extension cord.

    Another objection to it was that the bread maker has a little spike in the bottom of the pan that becomes embedded in the loaf of bread and makes it difficult to free the loaf from the pan.

    Eventually I decided the best strategy was to just use the bread maker to make the dough, and then put the dough into a separate pan and bake it that way. So now I only use it on the dough cycle. But I discovered I really like to make bread dough that way. It keeps the dough at a very consistent temperature that is ideal for the yeast. And I have a spot for the bread maker next to the refrigerator, with an extension cord that goes behind the refrigerator and a rocker switch that turns the breadmaker on and off. So it worked out. I had my doubts at first, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right!
      It looks like Joseph has little tiny black eyes, but those are the lights on the hat. The sunglasses hide Joseph’s eyes.


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