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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Paranormal or Just Weird?

Mother had a gift.  It was not something she was thrilled to own.  Mom had a way of seeing...seeing the future, foreseeing an event.  She had no name for it, used it when it helped, ignored it for entertainment.  Most people did not know she had it.  Mom claimed it must have come from her Cherokee side. 

I had hoped I inherited something from her other than her allergies.  I surely did not get her beautiful black hair and dark eyes.  I have the cheekbones.  I have the ability to tan.  I thought that was it, oh, and I have her little toes.  Things have happened through the years that make me rethink this.
I visited Savannah, Georgia, which is and shall remain one of my favorite places.  We visited many places but today is about Fort Pulaski.
Rich with history, this fort was our last stop of the day.  We toured the fort, the moats, the captain's quarters, the top of the fort, and the barrack's.  I was in a wonderful mood, with a good friend and having the time of my life. 

Upon entering the barracks, which had served as a prison (did not know this until later), I became filled with despair, starving, scared, cold, wishing I had never come, wanted to go home, any bad feeling you can have hit me like a sledge hammer. I walked slow and touched the walls and the feelings intensified.  What is this?  What is wrong with me? 

I left the area to go top side of the fort wall.  The feelings left!  Went back through again to be sure and these strange emotions hit again.  I said nothing.  On our way out, we could leave by a circular stairwell.  Belinda started down the stairs, I put one foot in and was so overwhelmed that I had to sit. I said I cannot go this way, meet you in the yard.

Later, when reading a book of Savannah history, I discovered these two places had also affected the author the same way. I was not giving any credit to the paranormal, just to my tiredness and desire to go home.  I thought, wow, this was me!  The stairwell had been the place of a suicide and the barracks had been full of Civil War prisoners.

I did not think of this much, just in passing, like the way you would be in awe of a beautiful sunset.

I thought of it again in Fort Smith when I visited Hell On The Border, the infamous jail.  I sat quietly testing my feelings, strange, I know.  I listened to the reenactment over the speakers and felt nothing.  I touched the floor, again, nothing. I walked around laying my hands on beams and walls and still nothing.  The last wall I touched was sensational.  Feelings of despair and deadly anger washed over me.  What is this?  So I touched everything again and the final wall produced the same results.

I toured the whole ground, felt nothing but was emmersed in the history of the place.  The commissary was next.  I walked in and stood where I imagined the people would stand to receive their supplies.  Emotions hit me again, but this time, they were good, hopeful, happy emotions.

I walked and enjoyed the whole park at Fort Smith.  I talked to the park ranger.  I said the jail does not have the original floor.  He asked how do you know?  I said simply, I felt it.  I said only one wall is original and he said which one, I told him and he said I can't believe you know that, nothing is posted.  The floors had to be replaced with the sidewalk stone from the city and the walls were rebuilt to look old during the renovation, only one wall was from the original jail.  He asks if I had been to the commissary and I said yes, it is all original and he confirmed, that was the only building completely original.

I visited the Brothel in Fort Smith too.  No emotional hits, except when I descended the staircase.  I felt very beautiful as if all eyes were on me and very happy.  When talking to the ladies there, I learned the staircase was from the original brothel.

Paranormal?  Sensitive?  Nutcase?  You decide.

I may have something to thank Mama for besides my Cherokee cheekbones.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Going Back

Looking back, I can see I have always had sun grins.  Funny how you notice things like that.  The first picture is my first dog, Helen and Mom.  The top picture is me.  The third is me and some one I don't remember.

Helen was given to me by Helen, therefore, her name.  Mom said we got into trouble one day for pulling all the tissues out of the box.  I was putting them back in and Helen was helping too.  She would carry one over and stuff it in the box opening with her nose.  I wonder if Mom used those tissues after that?

I was in trouble again, who me, I never did anything wrong to get into trouble!  I think it was playing in the clay with my good clothes on, Mom was coming after me with a switch.  Helen stood between me and Mom and growled!  Mom was so shocked that I missed that whipping.

Helen lived to about sixteen.  She was worn out.  Sometimes, Helen would cry when she moved.  I was home alone, when she started crying again.  It was awful. 

I called the neighbor and asked will you shoot my dog?  Terry came and he was shocked when I handed him a gun.  He said I thought you wanted me to give it a shot.  No, I said, Helen is suffering and I can't stand it any more.  Can you put her down? 

I had already dug a grave in the barn lot and found something to wrap her in.  I told Terry I had taken her out there and said my goodbyes.  If you can wrap her and just throw enough dirt over her so I can't see, I can finish.

Of course, the tears are rolling.  I cover my head with a pillow and never heard the shot.  Terry came back, handed me the gun and said it's over, Gail.  She went easy.  I hugged him with tears flooding and went to the barn lot and cried on Helen's grave until Mom and Dad came home.

I told them. I know they were proud, although they never said a word. Dad's hand on my shoulder and Mom's sad eyes said it all.  Helen was not suffering any more.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done,  making that decision.

NOTE:  I know this may sound harsh to some but the times were different.  You only used a vet if it was an animal that made you money, like a work horse or a cow.  Dogs were special but they only got rabies shots.  If your dog died, you got another one and life went on.  After all, it was just a dog.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Going to work this morning
Letting Yoda out to potty
It snowed all day.
It is still snowing.
Looks like a buffler...uh, buffalo
Still snowing.
This is Arkansas.
  Last I checked this is supposed to be a southern state.

A Past Me

Many people have been posting old photos from their personal history.  I have enjoyed that so much I am going to follow suite.  I have no idea how old I am here but not the age I am now.  These were those darn paper/finger ringlets Mom always had to put me in.  You can also tell I loved to have my picture taken.
I could not get my scanner to work and am not digging out all the cords to see what is connected wrong.  These are pictures of me on the top.  Marcy, Bev and me on the bottom.

Even in these young pictures, you could tell I wanted to be a boy...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Been Grabbling?

Meet the Ledfords.  Mary, Pete, Ray and Uncle Crit.  The second photo is Uncle Crit and Granny Pruett, brother and sister.

Uncle Crit and Aunt Lou settled in Stone County Arkansas.  They lived in Herpel, close to Mountain View.  Herpel is about as far in the sticks you can get before White River.

We would visit on weekends, now and then.  Aunt Lou died before I can remember and Uncle Crit lived with his children on their farm place.  We always had fun at Uncle Crit's, there were thousands of things to do.  There was Blue Hole to swim in, you could hunt for arrowheads and sometimes, when the mood hit them, you got to go grappling.

"Grabbling" has also been called noodling and tickling.  I am not talking dirty here...this is a bonafide way to catch fish!

Pete and Ray said I have a hankerin' for some fresh fish.  Let's go grappling.  I agree because anything to do with these gentlemen was loads of fun.

We gathered a stringer and everyone  is grinning. (There is a difference between a smile and a grin. Smiling is when your happy.  Grinning is when you are happy to be up to something)  I had no idea what was in store for me!

We hit the creek looking for some good fishing spots.  I am still confused that we have no fishing poles and only a string.  We arrive at some spot that looked good to the men.  Yep, pulled an fifteen pounder outta here last spring, spot looks good for bedding, now block the hole girl...uh, WHAT? 

Dad and Uncle Crit were quiet as Ray and Pete told me my job.  They explained, when they found a good spot, I would lay down in the water, block all escape routes with my body, arms and legs and Ray or Pete would reach in and get a fish.  Simple, right?

To hear Pete and Ray tell it, it was a cake walk.  As I was curling my body around a submersed rock, blocking holes with every body part I had, while holding onto the rock because the current was strong.  I hear quiet Pete speak up, Now, girl, you may feel a little bump now and then but don't let 'em through.  We're having fish for supper.  I looked, they are all grinning now.  I am trying to think, is there snipe fishing too?

Ray says, that's good girl and hold it, hold it  as he reached to his shoulder under the rock and feels around.  He pulls out a catfish!  My Dad or Uncle Crit put in on the stringer.  Ray reaches in again and pulls out a bass by the gills.  Add that to the stringer.

We're getting a pretty good string of fish and I am having fun.  So far, so good.  I came to swim and this was better, but I still can't figure out the grinning...grinning runs in both sides of my family.

Dad and Uncle Crit are staying in the shallow water.  I now have to carry the stringer. I am not very old but I drag those fish through the water like I had done it all my life. 

Approaching another deep hole, Pete says, oughta be some big uns in there.  Block it, girl.  So I curl and fill all holes and hang onto the rock and the stringer.  Jackpot!  Pete and Ray are pulling those fish out.  The fish are bumping into my belly like cows trying to get to the feed bucket.  This is a little spooky.  I can't see what's bumping my body and have only Ray or Pete to assure me all is well...and they are still grinning.

Ray pulled out a cotton mouth snake, holds it up and says, ah, hell, we can't eat that and slings it over my head into the water behind me.  Yes, he is still grinning!

At this point, the block was gone, all arms, legs, feet, torso and any other part of my body were on dry land.  Not that I am afraid of snakes but I knew cotton mouths were poison.  I look and everyone is grinning bigger.  So this was the plan all the time!

We walked back down the creek with me dragging a stringer full of fresh fish, getting heavier by the moment.  I over hear bits of conversation, because the men are on high ground and I was in the water keeping the fish fresh. I heard, shoulda seen her eyes, with a round of laughter.  Never seen anybody leave the water so fast, hee-hee.  Should put a saddle on that girl and win a race. 

I learned one very important lesson that day.  If Pete and Ray ask me to go hunting, I ain't going!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not As Innocent As They Look

Sweet bovine face, right!
  They are not as sweet as they look.

For years we did not have a milk cow because we were on the road, working construction with Dad.  Mom and Dad had them in earlier years but by the time I came along, things had changed a little.

Our first milk cow, that I can remember, was Patsy.  She was a sweety pie.  We bought her from a blind lady, Annie Battles, that had trained her from a baby.  All you had to do was hold out her halter and Patsy would put her head in it and could be led anywhere. Patsy was a mix of milking breeds with a little Angus thrown in and was a lovely chocolate color.

Number one rule, that I chose to ignore, was don't ride the cattle.  If the milk cow is upset, she doesn't give as much milk.  If a steer is ridden, he loses weight.

Patsy was my confidence builder.  I would bring her from pasture each morning and night to milk.  She gave lots of milk and supplied all our family with sweet milk, butter and buttermilk with curd for the chickens and pig.  Patsy even produced enough that we had a truck pick up a can of milk every other day.  That girl was a milker!

Where we fed her was just below the opening in the loft.  There was a ladder up to the loft, you climbed up, busted a square bale and dropped some down for her.  Come back down and continue with the chore of milking.  I never became the expert at milking that Mom and Dad were.  They had milked many cows in their life time.  This was my first and became my last.

I soon lost my job as milking since I could not coax the volume of milk that Mom and Dad could.  I was demoted to the cow herder and feeder. 

I discovered, as any child does if left at something long enough, how to make life more fun.  There was a big beam close to the ladder that you could swing down on and reach the ground quicker.  I also discovered that if I would swing harder, I could straddle the cow.  Patsy did not mind, but there were complaints that some days her milk production varied oddly.  I never told and neither did Patsy, but I did stop riding her.

Not long after that, Patsy had a calf, and I, for the life of me, cannot remember his name. Not important, the important thing is to remember the rules...Don't ride the cattle.

He was cut very young and was a yard dog headed for the freezer.  We were very good friends.  He was confined to a lot with grass and feed.  As I mentioned, yard dog!  You could scratch him all over, pet him, do just about anything and he was good with that.

I had been to rodeos and always admired the bull riders. I am probably seven years old during this time.  I have and have always had an active mind.  You may have already guessed...I am gonna ride!  Forget that rule, no one will ever know, hop on and ride!  He's gentle, he's loving, I have ridden his mama, why not him?

I would like to point out a cow has nothing to hold onto.  Those bull riders had rigging, something I had not thought about...hey, I am only seven, can't think of everything.

I straddled that boy and settled my seat and I swear that is the last thing I remember until I was looking up from the ground with this big steer standing over me as if to say, you crossed the line, ole girl.  He nuzzled me.  Thank goodness, he did not stomp me, how would I ever explain that?

No confessions from me but I suspect Dad was watching because later at supper, he asked, "You do know that you can't ride the steer, don't you?"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Cardinal Day

To the doctor I went, all the way to Batesville, with two cameras and did not take one picture...see how pains effects you.

I had an "appointment" at eleven but I believe I was a work-in.  Normally I can sit anywhere, read and leave that room to get lost in the book.  Not today, I had chosen a book I had already read and then did not realize until I was into forty pages.  That's bad. Every one's visiting does not bother me, normally, but today was not normal.  I know the life history of at least three, no four visitors, not from them talking to me, but by them broadcasting into the lobby in very loud voices.  It was that pain again.

I finally got called back and was delighted I had not gained any weight, who cares if my side is falling off, if noises are echoing in my head, and I am in severe pain.  Everything is wonderful when the scales say the same thing as three months ago.

I had already made some conclusions of my own.  It was not my kidney because I had no other symptoms, it was a pulled muscle because an ice pack deadened it, and was feeling a little better since I had remembered to take some ibupropen.  Now, who knows why I did not take a pain killer the past two weeks?  I just thought it was my kidney and I did not want to give it more poison.  I know why I was in the valley, because I was in PAIN!  When all these dots connected, I felt a little better.

Doc comes in and I must say, I love this man!  He is also on the SWAT team and has this wonderful vehicle all decked out in light and sirens, the whole bit. When I was in the hospital, he apologized for being late to check on me because he had a SWAT call.

First he asked what was wrong, felt my back while I walked.  Asked me for other symptoms, like is there radiating pain, pain with urination, blah, blah.

Doc's conclusion is pulled muscle.  He also said my job was killing me, I was tough and pretty healthy (hefty?) and just a tad stubborn, like when he worked three weeks with a broken leg.  Couldn't figure out how he did it and kept working, just didn't feel right. Remembered he jumped a fence and finally went to a doc, it was broken.

He says you need off six weeks to heal a muscle this bad, but you already have had three weeks so if I could tell you what to do, I would say, stay off work three weeks, don't lift and rest.  WELL, y'all probably know how I answered that, I can't take off, I don't have help, I can call and see if someone can work.  Doc says make your calls, so I did and only have relief tomorrow and Thursday.  That is more than I had so Doc writes a slip for that.  If it doesn't improve, come back and the postal service will have to do without you!

So Doc gave me two muscle relaxers, one for work and one for nights.  Don't know which is which so will have to experiment the next two days and see which one knocks me out and go from there.

Here's the really bad part...who, in their right mind, would take this as a day off to shop?  Nobody!  The key words are "right mind".  I, forever the dummy, head to Walmart.  I am on a mission.  Do this and go to Tractor Supply to see if they have new boots.

I am telling you right now, I barely made it out of WalMart. By the time I loaded dog food, potatoes and DPs, I could barely move.  When I got to checkout, I was squatting in the floor in front of my buggy to relieve the pain.  Just because I went to the doc, doesn't mean I am healed.  Doc is good but not that good.

I had wonderful plans, I was going to eat out, shop for boots, maybe look at some other things.  Crazy Ginch!  I dragged a DP out of the Walmart freezer and headed home.

I can't wait for an unloader so I have to carry almost all of this in, freezer stuff, you know.  I left the heavy things for Andrew.  Then I ball up to wait for the sweet promise of muscle relaxers.

Den comes in with meds so I just pick one, don't care if it night time or day time one.  I must have relief!  Again, stupid me had taken nothing to dull the pain.

Relief, sweet relief!  I chose one that did not put me to sleep and here I am.  Not completely pain free, but pain dulled and typing.  Relieved it is only a muscle spasm in a strained muscle, I have named it, now I can defeat it.

A Week Of Skies

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Tale of My Discontent

Even in their threat the clouds hold beauty

and dumped their floods again.

Poor TP got a ragged haircut but is quite delighted with it.
Now we must do the face so she can see.

This was my weekend with amps.

That was not all.  I have had a pain in my lower left of my back (for over a week)  and have wondered if my kidney is dying or if I have pulled a muscle.  The weekend house had three boys Friday night, two boys Saturday night and a mixed crowd on Sunday while I dealt with pain.

I do not mind company but while in pain, it is hard to interact, difficult to sleep, difficult to walk and even sit.  I ice packed it Sunday and that seemed to help so I guess my kidney is going to live and I am voting for a pulled muscle.

I worked today and by early morning, I was almost crying.  Have an appointment with a doc tomorrow so we will see.

I did have the revelation that pain makes me depressed, so there was my valley!  I have been eating ibupropen all day so there is some relief.

It  did not help any when I came in from work and got a report (more like an attack from my husband) that my foster dog had a calf by the leg and was active in a chicken killing.  I am doing a great job with this dog!  Have requested she be removed and have had no response.

I am thinking of selling some of my horses since I do not seem to find the time to work with them.

I have a pile of tax papers waiting on me to compile for my accountant. My computer crashed and it took me hours to get it back.

Now wasn't this weekend enough to depress the Pope?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Through Marcy's Eyes....

Foggy sunrise,

fungi and frost,

frosty mulch,

and an ancient grape vine,
all through Marcy's eyes.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Seven Hundred...

A mirror image of me and Zander

I googled seven hundred and no magical information was found, but it feels magic to me.

Here's the seven hundreth post with no significance attached.  I began blogging September 8, 2008 just because my sister, Beverly said, you need to blog.

Sometimes I am funny, sometimes I am gloomy but almost always, I am here.  I have met some wonderful people, kept some, lost some, gained some...I do not know what draws them nor what makes them leave.

I know y'all have helped me through my valleys of life and celebrated with me on the mountain tops.

I hope that my words bring you joy, maybe some laughter but most of all, let you know that you are never alone in this world.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Fun Than A Barbie Doll...


You can comb and style his hair.

Yoda was not injured during this filming.

I think he was embarrassed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wild Weekend

Didn't know how badly I needed one until I finally had it.  The weekend was wonderful.  I worked Saturday but after work, the wild started.  Magic is wondering what those crazy people are up to now.

Even the cows walked away!

Maggie didn't mind, she's a little wild too.

Zander and Aunt Bevy

Maria and her sons, Andrew and Zander

Maggie, Andrew, Hubby
I am ready for another one, just like this!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby Bovines And Winter Woolies

It was fifty-seven degrees in our beautiful corner of Arkansas Monday.  Made me go outside, not to work, Lord knows, there is plenty of work, but to just look.

We had a new baby girl, Mom and she are doing fine.

Here is our last bull, out of our only white face Gelbvieh.
What is the map on his forehead?
I am hoping it is a sign of good fortune.

New little bull, cow, and a spring heifer here.
All dressed in their winter woolies.
Were you expecting sheep?
Happy Birthday, Robert E. Lee and to my daughter, Melissa!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bale Jumping Hay Day

Maggie, Melissa, and Jake

Melissa and Zander

Gen, Jake and Andrew

My grandsons:  Jake, Andrew and Zander

Zander and Aunt Marcy, my sister

I rescued Jake from Papa

We jumped and ran

Saved Jake again from Papa.

Tried to take a family photo.
Daughters Melissa and Maria and the grandsons.

Rescued Jake again!

It was a magnificent day!  The skies were clear, the air was warm and our hearts were full.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...