a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm In The Can

After all our wonderful blessings, I feel guilty about fussing but here goes...Maybe if I say it out loud and get some suggestions from y'all, I can get my s--- together and straighten up.

Most time not spent at my paying job is spent outside trying to get this farm back together after the tornado and years of neglect.

Yesterday, my clothes dryer died and the washer was in its last throes. Tired of repairing it, we loaded up and headed to Sears. I walked in and said I want the best bargain, least buttons and largest capacity you have. Ten minutes later, we were loading up. Hubby said that is the way I like to shop.

Next stop was farm supply, only for a strap to tie the W/D in since Den was not comfortable with the tie he had. We went in for one tie down thingy. It took forever. First we had to look at all of them, read all of them, then wander around to see if there were anymore. Got to check out and Den asked about chainsaw chains and found they made them in the store. So he heads to the back AGAIN. I sidestep into the horse area...now most of you, knowing me, would look for me there. I mean, think if there was one place in a farm supply store that I would most likely be, most of you would pick horse stuff, right? Not my hubby, after a long wait, I peeked out of the horse corner and saw him going up and down the isles looking. I stepped out and he mouthed, I've been looking for you...well, if you knew your wife of thirty-six years, you would know she is in the horse section. Not even to mention, the last three trips to farm supply, he ran me out of the horse section.

We headed home, unhooked the old, rehooked the new. The old ones are still here in the room.
That was not even what I was going to gripe about!

I need inspiration to get my inside life in order.

I have a beautiful red cedar picnic table that Daddy made. It is just outside the dining room for overflow and serves a dual purpose as a folding table for laundry. It is full of folded piles of clothes.

My kitchen, which has been the deer jerky factory for days, is butt deep in dishes and mess. There is enough dirt in the floor to grow a good sized garden. I have named my spiders. Hate to get rid of them, they keep the mice down.

My bathrooms are growing mushrooms.

My dining room table is the catch all and is piled to the ceiling.

My sheets were changed sometime after Halloween.
...And here's the scary part...I DO NOT CARE!

Help, I need inspiration, I need direction, I need a maid!

I used to be superwoman but at fifty-four that seems to be fading. With a full time job and spending all my daylight hours outside, I have no inclination to attack the inside.

Comments please, millions of them, I need help or my family may perish in a avalanche of filth.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


First I want to thank everyone for helping me end ...slow down...the hoarfrost argument. Den is still commenting and I just ignore him 'cuz I know I'm right! I did get another interesting name to throw in the pot for this lovely wonder of nature. DesertHen has shared the name of pogonip frost which is a very interesting name.

Carla had asked if we had much snow in Arkansas. Not much snow here. One year we had eighteen inches and stopped most people from moving at all. I like the kind that comes on Friday and has melted by Monday morning.

This award is for everyone who reads my ramblings. Everyone who comments and actually makes me feel like I am being heard.
Something or Someone has sent me here. If you asked me, do you want to blog, a few months ago, I would have said nonsense, I do not have the time nor the want to. Why would I blog???
I have met so many wonderful, humorous, delightful, kind, and caring people since I began.
I have learned, been encouraged, been supported and have been cheered.
I hope that I have entertained you. I hope some things I've said made a difference. I hope that I have made you smile...and sometimes, made you teary-eyed. If I have touched your heart in any way or just let you know you are not alone, this award is for you.
Thank you. Your welcome here anytime!

Always Working At The Farm

Job for a day...almost all day! Just think if we had to do it by hand. We needed access to the garden without going around the spring and all the way back down. After looking through what we had on hand, we decided to use some old concrete culverts Dad had collected and saved through his years on road construction.
Den's tractor is light and he would be working downhill into a ditch with all the weight on front so he hooked Dad's old disc to counter the weight.

This spring branch we are working on was first hand dug by Dad. He had a system set up to divert the spring water to the pond or pasture when needed. Through the years we have widened and deepened this diverted branch and made it the main branch. It now feeds into the pond and then runs over into the creek.
After chaining two and hauling from the barn, we have to decide the best placement.

The boss (me) is making sure they are aligned because the real boss can't see cause the bucket's in the way.

Later the finished project with four culverts hooked together. The water is still muddy but will be clear soon. Now we can drive into the garden from either side. We have also made it easier to siphon and irrigate the garden.

How's that for boring?

Friday, November 28, 2008

This N That

Cousin Jake checking out Evan Zander and Dad. When asked if he wanted to hold his cousin, he said I'm not holding that little rat!
Jake Lee and Andrew Keagan enjoying the beautiful Thanksgiving weather we had. Andrew and Evan, brothers, are Maria's children and Jake is Melissa's. Now I have shown off my grand children, on to other business.

My sister, Marcy, takes all the wonderful photos. She also cooked the wonderful Thanksgiving spread all by herself! Marcy is a retired school teacher and is enjoying her retirement by doing all the things she loves to do...like playing in the dirt.

Beverly, of course, is the workaholic. I do not think I have a picture of her not working. If you will peek behind her you will see me testing the chairs that I brought from the porch. Working hard aren't I?

Marcy, with her talent of finding the unusual pictures along with the beauty, found a nest of dogs on this cold morning. There are four here. They are in their place filled with hay. Top left starting is Cutter, Squigy, Buddy and TP.
I could fill this post with many more pictures but I have decided to save some for another post. Our Thanksgiving was good, surrounded by family and, thanks to Marcy, we all had more than we could eat.
Here's your day was as wonderful as ours!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hoarfrost or Rabbit Frost...

I need a vote here. I am not talking dirty, just arguing with my hubby over something unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Den so loves it when he pushes my buttons!
My sister, Marcy, took some beautiful pictures of what we had always known as and called hoarfrost.
Certain times during cold weather, the conditions are just right for frost to form on objects. These can take many creative and wonderful forms, after all, the best artist is nature.
I was showing Den these pictures and he begins to argue that it is rabbit frost. He said the old timers called it rabbit frost because it told when it was safe to eat wild rabbits. I told him my parents and grandparents and every one I knew in the "old timer" category called it hoarfrost.
I proceed to google it and what did I find?? All kinds of wonderful pictures of HOARFROST but not a trace of rabbit frost anywhere.

I don't know about your guys but mine does not like to admit he is wrong. Google was not enough proof for him. So please raise your voices and let the women be heard. If I am wrong, I will admit it.

What do you call it? Help me out here...PLEASE, I need to win one!

Happy Eat All You Can Day!

I have read many wonderful writings about being thankful. I agree.

I just want to say I am thankful for everything, good and bad. The things we experience make us the person we are and will become. We are ever changing and are affected by each thing in our life...from the fuzzy dog we saw on a sidewalk to the clerk that took the extra time to smile.

Sometimes my posts are sentimental, sometimes they are silly and sometimes, but rarely, they are normal.

This day brings to mind our soldiers, and how many cannot be with family. I think of the homeless and how I would love to share my bounty. I think of people who are not enjoying family and friends today. I think of people alone.

I am truly blessed.

I would like to send up a prayer to all those mentioned and many I have missed. Not just for today but for the rest of their lives...May they forever be blessed and have God by their side.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Painting With Grandpa

Set scene: My father with Alzheimer's, my afternoon to sit with him, summer day, shade of the pecan tree, beautiful weather, I decided we would paint.

Hands that had never painted
Contrasted with the white empty canvas.
A dish of colors in one, a brush in the other
Eighty-five- year-old hands
Danced with sunshine and shadow.

Colors trailed across the canvas
Speaking volumes
Hands taking their work to heart
Like the man had always done.

With smiling Irish eyes, he said
"...never been a painter."
Answering yes,
To "Are you having fun?"
He painted more.

We were lost in a world of colors,
We traveled into the canvas
Neither asking where the other had been.
We left our dreams to dry
Going inside to eat ice cream.

I still have the painting Dad did that afternoon in a place of honor. The poem is attached.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Sharon has been so sweet to tag me. I have been requested to list six things about me y'all don't know. Since I have spilled my guts so many times, it will be hard to find something you don't know.

#1 Link to the person that tagged you.

#2 Post the rules.

#3 List six random things (deep dark secrets) we don't know about you!

#4 Tag six other lucky people.

#5 Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

#6 Let the tagger know when your site is up.

Now for SIX things you do not know about me!!!

#1 I drive a PT Cruiser with a stick...I prefer a truck but I can stuff lots of stuff in this PT.

#2 I wanted to be a vet but I did not want Dad and Mom to pay a third daughter through college.

#3 I am terrified of scorpions (and I am a Scorpio). You could run me a hundred miles with just one in a jar. I think this goes back to when I was stung as a child.

#4 I am not afraid of snakes. I do respect the poison ones. As a child, I was given a corn crib in the barn so I could keep my pets out of the house. I had snakes and spiders.

#5 My husband showed me to his parents as I was bringing the milk cow in and told them he was going to marry me. This was before we dated!

#6 Lost a snake in the house once and never told Mom!

Now, guess who gets lucky!

EVERY ONE...if you want to do it.
I am still just learning and could not get the tags to work!

Breyer Horse Insanity

The story below was when I was in grade school (during the Civil War). I watched and said If I ever had a Breyer horse, I would set it on a shelf and never put it in the dirt. About twenty years ago I found my first Breyer horse at a flea market. Now at fifty-four the insanity continues. Isn't it funny how childhood events affect our whole life?

1959 IN THE DITCH written 5/25/2004

Unless actively taught a child of five has no perception of rich and poor. I now know I was "poor". I was not hungry, I was loved and I was allowed to dream.

First grade was an adventure. We were all equal. We played and we laughed and we shared. We were safe inside this ideal that we were the same.

Then the new girl came.

In a white dress with blue ribbons and blond hair, she walked into our room and nothing was ever the same.

From California to Arkansas, her origin seemed as far away as the moon. Her customs were also as foreign as the aliens we imagined in the lunar landscape.

Each noon, armed with only our imagination we gathered to play in The Ditch( it's always been there between the school and the ball field.  You could play without the teachers watching). Hide and Seek ranked high on our list of favorite games, followed by Cowboy and Indians, War and House.

When the new girl came, she brought toys. Toys like we had only dreamed. Beautiful dolls with eyes like hers and shiny Breyer Horses that deserved to be worshipped from a place of honor.

The new girl proudly added these to our play. The beautiful clean baby doll was laid in the make-shift bed of sticks and the Breyer horses were galloped through the dust.

We laughed and we played and we shared...but it was different now.

The new girl had taken our innocence...not on purpose...but her eagerness to share her possessions had forever highlighted the fact we had none and likely never could.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Dreaming Porch

Three generations live on the family farm in different dwellings but we all drift to the dreaming porch.

Centrally located with a wonderful swing and plenty of room for all, the dreaming porch's screen frames the valley.

From here we may watch horses or cattle grazing, the creek rolling with recent rains, the sunrise, children playing or dogs being dogs.

The changing scene also remains the same, reminding us the land is a constant and WE are the changing ones, the dreaming ones.

Whether it is sunrise coffee with sisters or solitary swinging, it is always a place to unwind and to be grateful for all our blessings.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pay It Forward...

Several days ago, I won a contest at Tiff's . In my eternal loopiness, I had forgotten. Imagine the wonderful surprise today when I got mail! Tiff, thanks for the wonderful gifts, now I will try to remember your directions.

Oh, and by the way, Tiff, this was the perfect day that I needed that little something to say I am not alone out here. Thank you, thank you!

The title has given you a clue. The only catch to my gift surprise is that I must, that's right, PAY IT FORWARD. So here's your chance to get lucky. The prize may be anything, except for the lovely vase I just broke...accidentally.

The first three who make a comment and send me their mailing address will receive a gift from me.

Only one rule, (Don't you always love strings?) you have to play the game on your site.

Good luck and may your day be filled with the people you love.

Things You May Not Know About Me

I have enjoyed discovering new facets of each person I follow.
Now is the time to reveal my ugly secrets.

I had rather be outside than inside.
I love horses and have two styles of saddles. The Australian is easier for me to lift and my husband prefers the Western. (Yes, that is dust!)

I love to write and paint. I am not very good at either but that does not take the joy out of doing it.

I collect Bryer horses. Someday I will tell you the story behind that weirdness.
I love some western art.
I do not like to clean house.
And if you didn't know, my darkest secret...I have a strange sense of humor.

Now that you know the real me, will you come back?? I surely hope so.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Some babies did not make it, I discovered 48 years after my birth.

My parents married at the end of the second War To End All Wars. My father was there from the beginning to end and was hungry for family life. My mother was in love with the uniform.

At eighteen, Mom was dreaming of a family. At twenty-eight, Dad was eager to comply.

The family came...three girls in eight years. I always wondered about our age difference but never asked.

We are grown now. Mom is gone and we have since lost Dad to Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's is not pretty but it has a way of breaking secret oaths.

There were others. My sisters and I had siblings that we knew nothing about.

As Dad cried reliving the past, my sisters and I understood. We named the grief we had glimpsed in our parents' eyes.

Our siblings, bundled in hand made quilts, were each laid quietly to rest where we never plowed. They were never named and never mentioned.

It was the way of the times.

Today I bring flowers and say "Hello, I am your little sister."

The Fair

We washed, clipped, brushed
'Til our bodies said, "No more"!
We walked and trotted
And tried to stand still
We declared them ready.

Colors matched horses with handlers
You could smell the tension
Over our minted breaths
Numbers were called
And we walked to public death.

Quaking inside
The training overcame
While we romanced the judge
The horses smiled
And we picked up our feet.

The microphone echoed
We held our breath
Numbers floating on air
Turned into blue and purple ribbons
that said we were the best!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blutson ENTPOR...

EINPER, POTYER...I know these are just random letters but I have fun reading the word verifications. Do you ever pay attention to them or just type them without READING them? There are some interesting words in that seldom noticed land of word verification. I, then, having nothing better to entertain me, make up definitions. Example: POTYER is your private bath. LEMIZE is a day in which you just lay around, kinda lazy. KLOLPE is the sound a horses' hooves make. MALNIPI is when you clip the wrong bush.
Isn't this fun?
Next time you sign in to post a comment, just notice...it's never just letters!
Hope everyone has a fire tonight to warm your family and warm your heart.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whacky Wednesday

No Princess in not dead! She just looks that way...she is napping. I guess you can tell by her belly, she eats well. Yes, well...she eats everything. She eats dog food, cat food, chicken food, cattle food, and everything that does not move out of her way. I even caught her in my arrow head chip bowl eating flint chips!

See how well the cats blend into the surroundings...if my husband had not seen that picture, he would have never know. Good news for each of you who have read my cat story! You each have been awarded a cat. I just need your mailing address.

The next giveaway I have is roosters...pick a color. My sister allows her extra roosters to run loose (cats do not bother them, in fact they eat together). Marcy lets her hens set when they will and they are as fertile as the cats!
One lonely violet hiding from all the flower eating critters.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Too Early Tuesday...

What can I say? I was up too early this morning. About half way through the day I realized it was not Skywatch Tuesday but actually Skywatch Friday. I guess I finally got something done early!
I may call this Wacky Wednesday but it still Tuesday so Too Early Tuesday will have to do.
This is on the dirt road going to our farm.
My day was normal as it could be since I do go out into the public. Don't get me wrong, I love my job or I would not have stayed with it for thirty-four years. It's just every once in a while, there's that one that just makes your day. Need I say more?
I am now counting cats. They are mostly the same color and my husband thought he was seeing the same few over and over. When Den saw this picture on Marcy's porch, he said...never mind, I will not quote what he said. Any way is my near future I must schedule a cat visit to the vet and see if we can't slow this down a little. Cats are good on a farm. They catch rats, mice and other assorted varmints that we really do not want.


but only 1:25AM.

I woke wondering if there may be comments on my strange ramblings. I came to check. I have so many sweet comments that I was thrilled. Thank you for coming back again.

I believe this is sky watch Tuesday so here goes...after that, maybe I can sleep.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Equine Confusion


Mother Charme and son Broken Arrow are checking out this strange new can. It tastes good but it takes them a while to decide they have to lick it, not bite it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Dreamed...

The tide of people ebbed and flowed around me as I slept. I did not want to wake. It affected nothing...my sleeping. Life continued, no different without me.
From Dreams to waking and back again I traveled.
I dreamed of suspended Elders deciding my fate while they swam in crystal waters. I dreamed of cooking masterpieces and managing a better life. I dreamed of dreaming and I dreamed of waking. I dreamed of altering my job and I dreamed of altering my path. I dreamed of everything and I dreamed of nothing.
As my body battled the illness, my mind battled the enemy. I slept. I was unable to say my brow was checked, unable to say that I was counted absent or even if I was counted at all.
I slept riding a decision like a bull at a rodeo. Eight seconds to the whistle but I could not make it. The decision was close but, like the bull, it changed directions too quickly for me to hold firmly and I never made it to the whistle.
I slept waking only to take liquid in and let liquid out. Life moved on without me and I wondered if it even mattered.
The time had come to decide...to take my medicine like a man or run, to grab the bull by the horns, to lay in the bed I had made or get over it.
But I slept. I slept and I tried not to dream.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

From My Imagination

Father Sky promised rain. His promises were empty like the clouds that moved across Him. Rain was but a fading memory and a dim hope. Winter babies, soon to walk, had never felt the rain. It was only a story told by the elders when the small ones could not sleep.

The People had gathered to water when the rains no longer came. This was not their always home. In a vision, a wise woman was shown this valley. By the signs, she led them here.
The valley, invisible from any distance, was nestled at the base of a stony hill. The other three sides gently sloped into the hidden valley fed by three springs. The trees on all four sides stood guarding the secret they had sheltered for untold years. In the shallow bowl of the valley the green grasses waved and animals came to feed and drink.
Mother Earth had brought them here, if not to prosper, at least to survive. They gave thanks to the spirits of the animals that fed them. Careful to use only what they needed, plants were left to resupply. Mother Earth cared for them. They honored Her with respect.
The People stayed.
They played. They hunted.
They fished. They laughed.
They lived.
And the rains came and Mother Earth smiled.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brothel Open For Business

Earlier this summer, my hubby and I were fortunate to have a business meeting in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Well, he had the meeting, I toured the town.
Fort Smith's Miss Laura's is the only brothel entered into the historic registry. It is now operating as the tourist center. I toured the Belle Grove Historic District. I saw many "painted ladies" as they called the old historic houses. It was a pure delight to stroll the streets, some brick, and see all these old houses in various stages of restoration.
Fort Smith is also the home of Hanging Judge Isaac Parker. I toured the gallows,the courtrooms and the jails. The thing that was most unusal to me were spitoons built into the witness box and at each end of the jurors box. Amazing the things you notice.

The joining of the Arkansas and another river was also part of the Trail of Tears. The Native Americans stopped here to get their army issue of one rifle, one blanket, one barrel of flour and something else I forgot.

I loved this little house and snapped a picture because it was so quaint.
There were beautiful churches with stained glass windows.
Fort Smith Historic District is still recovering from the tornado that almost wiped it out a few years ago. There are museums and many things I enjoyed visiting.

Was searching something to share, my late summer vacation won.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Spiders Tonight

I am going share another beautiful picture taken by Marcy.
I am not going to complain about work, I have a job.
I am not going to complain about dirty dishes, I have food.
I am not going to complain about dirty laundry, I have clothes.
I am not going to complain about cleaning house, I have a home.

I do not remember where I read this but it has stuck in my head. I complained when I had no shoes then met a man who had no feet. That may not be exact but it's close.

I guess today is my Thankful Day...no spiders tonight.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


When I was growing up, I knew I was in trouble when I heard my whole name...well, DENNIS PAUL!!!!
My hubby caught a tarantula and was chasing Andrew with it. (Andrew has been trained to fear spiders by his mother). I guess you can imagine what broke loose around here.
The gremlins had been at my computer so I was TRYING to fix it. I heard screams of Nana, Nana.
As you can imagine with computer trouble, the day after a holiday, my lovely boss, and then screaming, yelling, laughing, running and more laughing, I almost lost it. I marched into the middle of the trouble, took the tarantula and dumped him outdoors.
That didn't solve the problem. My hubby is laughing and saying, I wish I had you on tape when you stomped in and got that spider! Andrew is upset cause I let Papa's spider loose. I said did you like being tortured with it? No, but still pouting.
So I grab a flashlight, find the d--- spider and bring it back in.
Now, no one is happy with that either. Den says I told you to let it go, Andrew says, I said you didn't have to catch it. So I give the bucket with the spider to Den and get back on the computer.
The commotion starts again! Den has told Andrew it is loose in his room cause I left the lid off the bucket. Den is laughing at Andrew so hard he can't stand! Then I say DENNIS PAUL and he knows he has gone far enough. Den admits he let the spider go outside much to Andrew's relief. I go back to the computer, hot, aggravated and still working...and I hear laughter!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Flowers For Sharon...

I have a friend in North Carolina who is ill.
I would like everyone who does, to pray for her.
Sharon is a wonderful lady.
Please send her some words of encouragement.
Thank you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Creative Attempt

I wanted to do something original to my porch...someone suggested coyote fencing. Did not really do my homework, just saw a picture and said I can do that.

Well, let me tell you, it is not as easy as it looks! I gathered wonderful branches and sticks and sawed and placed and caught them as they fell. I rethought, rewired and weaved.
I had fixed the actual porch sides by using old barn boards. Now I had to do the handrail to make one side animal proof.
I have decided to let it set awhile and see if I even like it tomorrow. I have to make a gate and one more side. Help!!!
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