Ruminants, Ice Cream, And Welding Feet

I often send cryptic reminders to myself when I think of a blog topic but don’t have time to write the whole post.  Usually a few words are enough to jog my memory, but when I discovered this email on my laptop a few days ago, I was confounded:

“Ruminants.  And ice cream.  Welding feet.”

All-righty, then.

I do actually remember sending the email; but beyond that I don’t have a clue.  It must have been something so weird that my brain discarded it in self-defence.

I guess I’ll never know, but at least “welding feet” still makes sense (to me, at least).  ’Cause you never know how foolish you’re willing to look until you’ve shuffled around wearing welding gloves on your feet.

(Note:  I’d like to emphasize that it wasn’t my fault – I didn’t know I was going to be welding.)

Hubby’s uncle Bert had offered to fabricate a trellis for us, so I drew up the plans and we went over to his workshop.  I planned to hang over Bert’s shoulder and watch the master at work, so I had worn jeans and a denim jacket and brought a welding helmet and gloves.  But when he offered the stinger to me, the learning opportunity was too good to pass up.

Everything was going fine… (that is to say, I sucked just as badly as when I first tried welding as a teenager) …until I felt a sizzle on my toes.  And then another.  And another, until I was doing a funky little soft-shoe shuffle in an attempt to avoid the pain.

Yep, I had worn nylon running shoes instead of my usual boots (see “not my fault” above) and specks of red-hot slag were burning through my shoes and socks and toasting my toes.  But I wasn’t about to abandon my educational opportunity, so that’s how I ended up shambling around with welding gloves on my feet like some deranged leather-toed waterfowl.

My welding didn’t improve much, but at least the trellis is solid and I had fun revisiting another long-abandoned skill!

And best of all, there’s no photographic evidence of my latest goofball performance.  Instead, here’s the almost-finished product:

We still have to clean it up, attach the decorative panels (they’re only laid in place in the photo), and paint it. Then it’ll support our peach tree in an espalier-type setup against the garage wall.

Any oddball activities in your life this week?

28 thoughts on “Ruminants, Ice Cream, And Welding Feet

  1. Pingback: What Were They Thinking? | Diane Henders

  2. I beg to differ, madame! Welding is *not* and oddball activity! Many of the practitioners of that activity certainly fall into that category, of course, but the activity itself is practically mundane!

    I’ve seen students set themselves on fire in welding class, and *that* after I’d warned them to trim the ‘stringies’ off their jeans. You know, the worn, frazzled places at knees, cuffs, and, well, everywhere else, usually.

    Cotton is the preferred material for welding attire, but not if it’s frazzled. I refer to those places as ‘fuses.’ Just an FYI, you understand.

    For welding, synthetic fabrics are basically an instrument of the devil. Think of them as rocket fuel without an oxidizer. No kidding, hybrid rocket motors will burn any sort of plastic material with nitrous oxide as the oxidizer. Kinda scary, huh? Thus, when welding, wear cotton. But without stringies or frazzles. One enthusiastic episode with a fire extinguisher generally is reminder enough.

    Another thing students find out early is that welding hurts. Hot splashes and spatters of molten metal are the first indicators. Deep, painful ‘sunburn’ that lasts for days generally is the second. I know these things. I am wise in these matters. I oughta be; I carry a lot of scars from both. (And I’m pleading ‘circumstances,’ not ‘being a slow learner.’ Well, most days. Just sayin’…)

    I learned early to wear lace-up boots instead of the pull-on kind. Lace-ups leave minimum room between the boot and skin for hot sparks to enter. The other kind, well, they are both magnets and funnels, if you see what I mean.

    Shirt tails out and sleeves rolled down when welding. Shirts tucked in and sleeves rolled up when doing machine shop work. Also, wear crew-neck t-shirts when welding, not the v-neck kind. You want to protect the little triangle of skin between your shirt collar and your welding hood.

    And there are a couple of thousand other ‘hard and fast’ rules as well. Just ask any grizzled old veteran welder. Of course, they’ll all be different and usually contradictory, but that’s another matter altogether. Again, I am wise in these matters. Or at least contrary. Perhaps history will decide.


  3. Whew – I was picturing you welding your feet together. Although I do know that’s not how welding works, as my father ran a garage when I was a kid and I have the general idea of heat source, item to be welded, and welding rods 🙂 I love your trellis – and Michelle’s description of it as house jewelry – I hope we get a picture after you have it in place!


    • Thanks, @jenny_o! There’s a lot of cleanup and painting to be done before it’s ready to be installed, and I’ll try to remember to post a photo of the finished project. (I’ll be more likely to post about it if something goes sideways in the process… which seems entirely too possible given my track record!)


  4. You remembered the cryptic message that caught my attention, and thank goodness for that! I would have driven myself a little crazy trying to figure it out. Lmao! But I do that “leave myself a clue” thing a lot too! I always think it is soooo obvious at the time that I couldn’t possibly fail to recall that train of thought. Wrong. And if it’s something I think of in the middle of the night….I’ll be lucky to read my handwriting the next morning.
    But back to the welding, I’m glad you enjoy it because you can have it! Anything that sends sparks flying, or globs if molten metal oozing is not going to be on my list of a good time. So I applaud your girl power from my hiding spot in the corner. ~snicker. I really like the design you came up with for your trellis. it’s like house jewelry.
    I was suppose to be enjoying one of those painting while intoxicated classes, but they cancelled my chosen project for the second time. I think it’s a sign. Maybe I’ll try that windshield wiper motor project, not while intoxicated, hahaha!
    Have a great week!


    • Thanks, Michelle! I love those “painting while intoxicated” classes – they’re great fun. Even if I don’t come home with a painting I like, at least I’ve enjoyed an evening with friends and drinks. What they really need is a taxi service to and from the venue so if the painting isn’t going well we can drown our sorrows thoroughly. 😉

      You have a great week, too!


  5. My welding skills might be as good as yours if the stars are aligned. If I need it to be properly done I have someone talented do it. On the other hand, I was on vacation last week and didn’t gain any weight, but still had fun! How odd is that?


    • That’s shocking! How on earth did you manage it? I just got back from a week’s vacation and discovered that somebody had shrunk all my pants. I blame Hubby. 😉

      And I’m right there with you on the welding skills. Bert did all the important joints that made everything align, and I only did the non-critical stuff. It worked out much better that way.


  6. Does connecting a windshield wiper motor to a deep cycle marine battery, which will then be connected to a bar, attached to a ship’s wheel on a stand, with a pirate skeleton also on said stand and his hands are attached to the wheel so that when said motor runs, the wheel turns side to side, making the skeleton pirate look like he’s ‘steering’ a ship count?


    • That absolutely counts – what a brilliant idea! I can tell that your house will be the one getting drive-bys so people can check out your fabulous Halloween display. Hope you’re well-stocked with candy for all the ghosties and ghoulies! 🙂


      • I wish I could say it’s an original, but we shamelessly stole it from a gazillion other brilliant folks on YouTube. Maybe next year we’ll paint a sheet with the backdrop of a ship for authenticity and add a smoke machine!!

        Liked by 1 person

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