Birthday Presents

      68 Comments on Birthday Presents

My, how our desires change as we get older.  If you’d asked me 20 years ago what I’d want for my 54th birthday, I’m pretty sure a chainsaw wouldn’t have been on the short list.

But that’s what I bought myself today:  a 20-inch Stihl chainsaw, protective chaps, protective helmet with face guard, and a Stihl weed-whacker with a blade attachment that will bring down the briar patches I’ve hated since we moved in.   I’m ridiculously happy to own these shiny new tools.  (So is Chareva, and it’s not even her birthday.)

Now I’m off to play a birthday round of disc golf.  I wish Jimmy and Christine Moore were still here to make it a competition, but it’ll be fun anyway.

One more year, and I’m a senior citizen.


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68 thoughts on “Birthday Presents

  1. Lynda

    Happy Birthday!! One question… you are a senior citizen at 55 in US? It is 65 here in New Zealand. 55 seems awfully young but then maybe due to the bad health of the nation it is appropriate.

    I depends on who’s defining you. For Medicare, you’re a senior citizen at 65. For insurance discounts, restaurant discounts, etc., you’re a senior citizen at 55.

  2. Amy G

    Happy happy birthday!! My husband got a chainsaw, chaps, and helmet with face guard and ear protection for his birthday, too, a couple of weeks ago. Must be the paleo homesteader birthday present of choice this year! 😀

  3. Kathy

    My husband got a Stihl weed whacker (the kind where you can change the ends for other tasks, is that what you got?) for his 66th birthday last month.

    We’re not homesteaders (yet), but it seems we’re starting on the tools.

    That’s right. It has a whacky-stringy-thing attachment and a blade attachment.

  4. Marilyn

    “One more year, and I’m a senior citizen.” I well remember the day I drove past a building going up, with a sign outside reading “55 and better.” Huh? I was 55 at the time, but figured I was just early middle age.

    I hope I’m just now at middle age myself.

  5. Heidi P.

    This post really deserves some pictures!

    I’ll take some of me using my toys later. Right now they’re all in the garage.

  6. Becky

    Paleo Homesteader. New blog idea! Happy Birthday. You know you’re old when you start buying your own presents. I do it all the time now.

    That means I was old a long time ago.

  7. Marilyn

    Happy Birthday! Is Chareva womping up a fabulous low carb cake?

    Nope, on my birthday I go crazy and have pizza and beer.

  8. Lynda

    Happy Birthday!! One question… you are a senior citizen at 55 in US? It is 65 here in New Zealand. 55 seems awfully young but then maybe due to the bad health of the nation it is appropriate.

    I depends on who’s defining you. For Medicare, you’re a senior citizen at 65. For insurance discounts, restaurant discounts, etc., you’re a senior citizen at 55.

  9. Amy G

    Happy happy birthday!! My husband got a chainsaw, chaps, and helmet with face guard and ear protection for his birthday, too, a couple of weeks ago. Must be the paleo homesteader birthday present of choice this year! 😀

  10. Kathy

    My husband got a Stihl weed whacker (the kind where you can change the ends for other tasks, is that what you got?) for his 66th birthday last month.

    We’re not homesteaders (yet), but it seems we’re starting on the tools.

    That’s right. It has a whacky-stringy-thing attachment and a blade attachment.

  11. Marilyn

    “One more year, and I’m a senior citizen.” I well remember the day I drove past a building going up, with a sign outside reading “55 and better.” Huh? I was 55 at the time, but figured I was just early middle age.

    I hope I’m just now at middle age myself.

  12. Heidi P.

    This post really deserves some pictures!

    I’ll take some of me using my toys later. Right now they’re all in the garage.

  13. Becky

    Paleo Homesteader. New blog idea! Happy Birthday. You know you’re old when you start buying your own presents. I do it all the time now.

    That means I was old a long time ago.

  14. Marilyn

    @ Becky: No, you’re not old when you buy your own presents; you’re old when neither you nor your spouse wants anything because you’re trying to get rid of stuff. 🙂

    Tom, enjoy your pizza and beer. Sounds wonderful!

  15. mezzo

    Why – then I have been a senior citizen for almost two year without having the slightest inkling about it. Big fat grin. And I must have been old for a good long time because I always buy myself presents (bigger, fatter grin). So – best birthday wishes from one undefinable citizen to the next!

  16. Marilyn

    Happy Birthday! Is Chareva womping up a fabulous low carb cake?

    Nope, on my birthday I go crazy and have pizza and beer.

  17. oliviascotland

    Happy Birthday! I hope that you enjoy the chainsaw – I give my husband one 3 years ago for Christmas, and it sees a lot of use as our house is heated by solid fuel!

  18. Marilyn

    @ Becky: No, you’re not old when you buy your own presents; you’re old when neither you nor your spouse wants anything because you’re trying to get rid of stuff. 🙂

    Tom, enjoy your pizza and beer. Sounds wonderful!

  19. Lobstah

    Congrats on the gear. Prepare to get hopelessly addicted to wood…as in cutting, splitting, stacking, restacking, carrying, restacking, and finally, burning 🙂 Few things are as satisfying as standing back and looking at what you’ve done, be it cutting or splitting or stacking.
    Don’t forget to pick up one of the magnetic stack thermometers for your stove…very important for maintaining efficiency in the stove and reducing buildups. Another woodstove safety item that frequently gets overlooked is a small item that looks like a flare. It’s function is to put out chimney fires. You may never have one, and I hope you don’t, but if you do, you’ll be mighty glad you have one of these on hand. I think they’re about $10 (been awhile since I bought one), but they are a “must have” in my mind. I used to put mine right beside the fire extinguisher that’s close to the stove.

    Good idea.

  20. mezzo

    Why – then I have been a senior citizen for almost two year without having the slightest inkling about it. Big fat grin. And I must have been old for a good long time because I always buy myself presents (bigger, fatter grin). So – best birthday wishes from one undefinable citizen to the next!

  21. oliviascotland

    Happy Birthday! I hope that you enjoy the chainsaw – I give my husband one 3 years ago for Christmas, and it sees a lot of use as our house is heated by solid fuel!

  22. Don in Arkansas

    Just a suggestion from a frequent chain saw user. Go get another one. Cheaper, less powerful maybe but there will (trust me) come a time(s) when your chain saw will get jammed in a log and sometimes the only way to get it out is to cut it out. At least have some wedges and a big-ass hammer to open up the cut. Get you a 9 pound splitting maul to split your firewood and in a few weeks you’ll be adding 50 yards to your frisbee ‘tee shot’.

    With the weight training, I think I’ve about reached my potential on the driving distance. A second chainsaw wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  23. Liz

    Pizza, beer, cake–is there another way to spend a birthday?! Honestly though, I bet you feel light years better at 54 than you did at 34. Senior citizen, indeed! 🙂

    I do. I enjoyed the pizza and beer, but no cake for me. Cake hasn’t appealed to me in years.

  24. Ed Terry

    I turned 55 this year and have set a couple of family records: 1) no heart attack and 2) no stroke. 55 is not much different from 50 although my recovery time from intense exercise and increased a bit. One thing I’m also very grateful for is that I regained the ability to perform critical analysis of scientific information.

    Congrats on breaking those records.

  25. Paul B.

    54?!?! I’ve only read about people that old…

    Not sure how sensitive you are regarding age… but you may wish to think of it this way:

    You’re not necessarily 54, you are 49 with five years of experience. Seriously, if I wanted to hire a 49 year old, do I want one with no experience or FIVE YEARS of experience. If you wish to market yourself with even more experience… choose an age like 42. You have 12 years of experience at being 42!

    I’m not at all sensitive about age. I feel better at 54 than I did at 34, I’m leaner and stronger, and in those 20 years I’ve acquired an awesome wife, two adorable daughters and a mini-farm in an area I love. Life is good.

    Happy Birthday.

  26. Firebird

    I will eat a large cheese omelette with a side of steak in your honor.

    I am honored.

  27. FrankG

    Happy Birthday Tom!

    For the chainsaw, be sure to learn how to effectively sharpen the teeth… it makes all the difference in the world :-0

    Makes me think about the lumberjack who consistently fails to meet his quota, until one day, in desperation, the foreman joins him out in the woods. The foreman takes the chainsaw and pulls the starter… at which the lumberjack jumps back with a gasp… “what’s that noise?!?”

    Enjoy!

    LOL.

  28. Lobstah

    Congrats on the gear. Prepare to get hopelessly addicted to wood…as in cutting, splitting, stacking, restacking, carrying, restacking, and finally, burning 🙂 Few things are as satisfying as standing back and looking at what you’ve done, be it cutting or splitting or stacking.
    Don’t forget to pick up one of the magnetic stack thermometers for your stove…very important for maintaining efficiency in the stove and reducing buildups. Another woodstove safety item that frequently gets overlooked is a small item that looks like a flare. It’s function is to put out chimney fires. You may never have one, and I hope you don’t, but if you do, you’ll be mighty glad you have one of these on hand. I think they’re about $10 (been awhile since I bought one), but they are a “must have” in my mind. I used to put mine right beside the fire extinguisher that’s close to the stove.

    Good idea.

  29. Spork

    You won’t be sorry you paid a tad extra for the Stihl. I went through at least 2 Poulans and countless number of cheapo weed whackers before I smartened up. Worth the extra cash!

    Happy birthday.

    Cheap tools and cheap furniture don’t last.

  30. Don in Arkansas

    Just a suggestion from a frequent chain saw user. Go get another one. Cheaper, less powerful maybe but there will (trust me) come a time(s) when your chain saw will get jammed in a log and sometimes the only way to get it out is to cut it out. At least have some wedges and a big-ass hammer to open up the cut. Get you a 9 pound splitting maul to split your firewood and in a few weeks you’ll be adding 50 yards to your frisbee ‘tee shot’.

    With the weight training, I think I’ve about reached my potential on the driving distance. A second chainsaw wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  31. Liz

    Pizza, beer, cake–is there another way to spend a birthday?! Honestly though, I bet you feel light years better at 54 than you did at 34. Senior citizen, indeed! 🙂

    I do. I enjoyed the pizza and beer, but no cake for me. Cake hasn’t appealed to me in years.

  32. Ed Terry

    I turned 55 this year and have set a couple of family records: 1) no heart attack and 2) no stroke. 55 is not much different from 50 although my recovery time from intense exercise and increased a bit. One thing I’m also very grateful for is that I regained the ability to perform critical analysis of scientific information.

    Congrats on breaking those records.

  33. TJ Huber

    Happy Birthday!
    For everybody’s sake, be careful!. The blade attachments sound like a lot of fun in the store, but they require an amazing amount of control and power to maneuver correctly. NEVER let anybody near you while you are working with it. These things have a way of jumping. No, I am not kidding.

    The guy at the Stihl dealership warned me those blades can get caught and yank the weed-whack around in your hands. I’ll keep the wife and kids away and wear my protective gear.

  34. Paul B.

    54?!?! I’ve only read about people that old…

    Not sure how sensitive you are regarding age… but you may wish to think of it this way:

    You’re not necessarily 54, you are 49 with five years of experience. Seriously, if I wanted to hire a 49 year old, do I want one with no experience or FIVE YEARS of experience. If you wish to market yourself with even more experience… choose an age like 42. You have 12 years of experience at being 42!

    I’m not at all sensitive about age. I feel better at 54 than I did at 34, I’m leaner and stronger, and in those 20 years I’ve acquired an awesome wife, two adorable daughters and a mini-farm in an area I love. Life is good.

    Happy Birthday.

  35. FrankG

    Happy Birthday Tom!

    For the chainsaw, be sure to learn how to effectively sharpen the teeth… it makes all the difference in the world :-0

    Makes me think about the lumberjack who consistently fails to meet his quota, until one day, in desperation, the foreman joins him out in the woods. The foreman takes the chainsaw and pulls the starter… at which the lumberjack jumps back with a gasp… “what’s that noise?!?”

    Enjoy!

    LOL.

  36. Marilyn

    Happy Birthday, Tom! And welcome to almost-geezer-dom! 🙂 My husband and I knew we were grownups when a trip to Sears for tools became more exciting than almost any other type of shopping…. and that was many years ago! We sold all our gardening stuff before we moved to AZ 8 years ago, thinking that without a lawn, we’d never need it again – but we’ve been slowly repurchasing trimmers, clippers, and just last month, a nice new electric chainsaw! (we’re only on 1/2 acre so we don’t need gas-powered). Chop On!! XO – M

    Wait until I get a log-splitter … then I will be in hog heaven.

  37. Spork

    You won’t be sorry you paid a tad extra for the Stihl. I went through at least 2 Poulans and countless number of cheapo weed whackers before I smartened up. Worth the extra cash!

    Happy birthday.

    Cheap tools and cheap furniture don’t last.

  38. Kim

    Just don’t ever join AARP. It’s a Leftist organization that struck a backroom deal with Obamacare. Besides, there’s other alternatives now.

    I swore I’d never join AARP even before they got in bed with Obama. They’ve become advocates for mo’ better government, never mind the ticking debt bomb.

  39. Rob Thomas

    Happy Birthday Tom! We moved to a rural area about the same time as you and I cannot describe my elation at all powered yard tool acquisitions. It’s very strange because I couldn’t have cared less on our tiny little lot in California. But on 5 acres in Washington; give me some tools!

    I could’ve cut our “lawn” in California with scissors.

  40. TJ Huber

    Happy Birthday!
    For everybody’s sake, be careful!. The blade attachments sound like a lot of fun in the store, but they require an amazing amount of control and power to maneuver correctly. NEVER let anybody near you while you are working with it. These things have a way of jumping. No, I am not kidding.

    The guy at the Stihl dealership warned me those blades can get caught and yank the weed-whack around in your hands. I’ll keep the wife and kids away and wear my protective gear.

  41. Marilyn

    Happy Birthday, Tom! And welcome to almost-geezer-dom! 🙂 My husband and I knew we were grownups when a trip to Sears for tools became more exciting than almost any other type of shopping…. and that was many years ago! We sold all our gardening stuff before we moved to AZ 8 years ago, thinking that without a lawn, we’d never need it again – but we’ve been slowly repurchasing trimmers, clippers, and just last month, a nice new electric chainsaw! (we’re only on 1/2 acre so we don’t need gas-powered). Chop On!! XO – M

    Wait until I get a log-splitter … then I will be in hog heaven.

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