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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Holiday...

The gathering  after the harvest had morphed into a secular event.  Most were immune to the splendor unable to appreciate the plain beauty of the scattered leafs across the valley.

Outside "far from the madding crowd" I gaze reverently at the beauty around me.  The breeze touches my skin on it's way to rattle the remaining leafs, pulling them from their summer home.

In awe I wonder how anyone could be bent out of shape on a day with infinite gifts to give.

Double Barrel Challenge

Bond of Union, 1956, by M. C. Escher 

The Bond of Union 
plays in young minds
toying with  
what they see 
what it could be
never clearly seeing 
what it is
nor can be

Trying to meet the challenge from Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads combined with Tess's prompt at Magpie Tales

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How To Make A Woman From Scratch

Mix thoroughly equal portions of Joan of Arc, Etta James, Georgia O'Keeffe,  Sara Conner, Scarlet O'Hara, Emily Dickinson and Laura Ingalls Wilder with a dash of Mother Teresa, Katherine Hepburn and Belle Starr.

Stir well while adding a sense of adventure, a quirky personality, and a great sense of humor.

Top with equal amounts of wisdom and honesty and integrity.

Sprinkle generously with a love of life and all creatures.  Season liberally with laughter.

Ability to feed all the quiet voices of  humanity's soul.  Can be served at any temperature as a main dish or dessert.

**Wishing I could find these ingredients!  For Poetry Jam, HOW TO

Happy Thanksgiving.

It's Not Every Day You Turn Sixty...

Just November 19th for me.  Yep, the big six o.  Hubby woke up and said, If you go to Walmart with me, I'll buy you lunch for your birthday.  How can I turn down a romantic invitation like that?

It's early so Walmart should be okay.  We head to the Walmart in Mountain Home. There are two or three closer but none of those towns have Salvation Army.  That was my first birthday stop.  I bought a wallet and a beautiful three tier basket for fruit and didn't even burn a ten-spot.

Next stop Walmart.  Wasn't so lucky there but hubby's paying so I bought two new skillets and a cutting board.  I don't get out much.

Visited with my nephew, Jason, and saw an old friend I haven't seen in years. My guess is if you stay at Walmart long enough you might see every one you know.

Bonnie needs a new collar, I hear.  Okay, what kind?  A big one.  Okay.  I search through the collars and find the x-large.  I hear, Bonnie likes blue.  Okay, how do you know Bonnie likes blue?  I just do. She won't wear another color.  She likes blue.  Okay, so my newly turned-sixty body is squatted digging through all the blooming collars looking for a blue one.  I'm not balanced very well.  Hubby has the cart to lean on so he's steady to give directions.  I, on the other hand, am having trouble finding a BIG BLUE collar and breathing and keeping my balance.  Each one I show him has to be adjusted to Bonnie's size so he knows it will fit.  Decision made.  Blue collar in the cart.
This was the next part of  my present...another job.
Hubby says he is replacing outlets
but I know who'll be doing it.
And you thought Mel's Diner was just on tv!
Had a great birthday lunch with Hubby and nephew, Toni.
I can't go to Mountain Home without checking out the gun shops, that's right, I dream of gun shops. I wait in the truck while Hubby finds some shells "we need". Notice the big rock out front?
You know I had to get a closer look!
My best birthday surprise is when he turns toward the town of Norfork, Arkansas and The Terrapin Trading Company!!!  Hubby asked if I had my rocks with me.  Yes.  He parks here and walks to the gun shop next door while I'm allowed to go wild. 

The owner knows my name!!!  The dog doesn't bark, she knows me.  Maybe Hubby should not have "allowed" me free rein in here, my favorite store.  I pulled out my little sack of carefully chosen stones and we talk design.  That's right.  The owners make silver jewelry.  I gave him some of my extra stones and he gave me a "pocket rock" of labradorite.  

I've already received the call.  My pieces are ready!

Not a bad birthday for a gray haired over weight sixty year old lady that doesn't bend as well as I used to...now I must get to these outlets. They won't install themselves.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Dream Of Men

in jeans and pick up trucks
with crow's feet and smiles
etched forever in their faces

I dream of men
                                who say "ma'am",
                              "thank you kindly"
                                       and "howdy"
                            as they lift their hat

I dream of men
                    with heads full of dreams
                           and eyes full of hope
                         men that slap their hat
                          against their pants leg
                   to leave some dust outside

I dream of men
                         who whisper to horses,        
                                               and ladies

I dream of men
                      who always carry a lariat,
                         a gun, a knife, lollipops,
                       and a willingness to help
                             in their pickup trucks

I dream of men
                        who know how to work,
                              laugh, love, and live
            with every ounce of themselves
  leaving no doubt you are the only one
                                       in their dreams

For Imaginary Garden with Real Toads' Open Link
and Poetry Pantry

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Project Finished?

Ye gads! What a mess!
Can't blame it on anyone but me.
 I began with this piece which has been my bread table, 
my grinder table or 
whatever I decided to use it for table
 I attached wheels where I can roll anywhere
The rusted washers won't matter, 
they will be painted and hidden.
Used a two by four block
to attach the wheels since the main frame was only an inch
You can see by the orbs family was helping
or it could be sawdust on my camera?
My dry run.
This will be renamed an "island"
but it floats so I could call it a boat.
I have simply added a shelf on the top
and a shelf to extend the existing shelf on the bottom.
 Leveled, sanded, screwed, painted
and not quite loaded.
I'm calling it finished...
and y'all thought I was creating something wonderful!

Out of Pocket...Sunday's Update

11/23/2014  Arrived today shortly after Maria's procedure.  Finally talked to the weekend doctor.  It is Maria's talus bone that received the bad break.  You can read about it here.  Not the best one to break if you could choose.  Thank you for your continued prayers for healing. In 48 hours they will clean and hopefully close the sight this time.

11/22/2014  More reconstructive surgery scheduled for tomorrow.   Don't know how many more...I'm in the dark.

****11/21/2014  Screws were added to Maria's wires, The medication has finally been adjusted to fit the pain.  It's gonna be a long haul.

Zander has been doing a lot of role playing with his toys and had difficulty sleeping. He is much improved. He has been with me two nights and three days.  His dad has him now.

Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.  I may not be able to reply to all but I could feel the prayers around them. Blessings to all.

***11/20/2014  I have Zander here with us.  He's seems to be fairing well.  The bruises are fading amazingly quick.  I can't do a thing without him with me so we kept him home from school today.

Last night's surgery was just to stabilize her ankle, I think. They put in, installed, welded...I don't know the correct term...a plate last night and repaired and stopped bleeding.  She did have trouble with the anesthesia last night. Maria has her second surgery in the morning to remove tissue and see exactly what they need to do.   Just a word from this and that nurse and from Maria who is in severe pain because they're not comfortable with over medication. Hubby has been the trooper, asking the staff, getting Maria what she's needs.  While I wait for news and keep Zander entertained.

I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers and ask you to please continue.  I will try and update here. I will answer comments and thank each of you personally as time allows.

11/19/2014  Youngest daughter was in car wreck with youngest grandson.  Zander is being kept over night.  Maria is going in for ankle surgery tonight, pins and all that stuff.

Say a prayer please.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Have A Project...

Those who know me will know I will be obsessed.  I was going to feel sorry for myself and curl into a fetal position and wallow in self pity.  I decided I can choose to make a big deal of the unexpectedly horrible weather or I can take advantage of it. I worked inside.
Here's my saw horse substitute
with my wood
and my saw.
Bare feet in the saw dust.
Remember the measure twice cut once rule?  Well it did not work for me.  I measured many times and cut many times and even had to shave the edge.  I had a ball!!!

I tried to keep up with the saw dust.  Rolled some rugs out of the way and went to work. I used a green pencil to make my marks just because that is the one I found.
I misplaced my pencil often.
Searching for the screws changed my path. 
I sorted and I won't have to dig next time.
I side tracked and added an antique purex jug to dust.
Chose some more brown bottles recently excavated
to top the old school desk.
What did I build?
That's another post
and a half day away.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"We Ain't Ashes"

said Daryl.  And the suspense of The Walking Dead keeps reeling me in with only two shows left in this season.  Let's get on with it!!!  I NEED to know.

I raked some leafs to deepen the dogs' bed in the tool shed and covered that with a warm blanket.  I fed the dogs and retired to the couch.  I decided to veg out since it was unseasonably cold.  From the history channel (which I thought safe) I immediately learned there were six major catastrophic apocalyptic events with Earth's name on them.

I'm hoping it is a zombie apocalypse, if anything.  Thanks to The Walking Dead I do know what to do.
In the mean time I'm hibernating.
See you in the spring!

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Geesely Invasion

Last night the valley filled with a noise that was so loud, I didn't recognize it for a bit. First I thought the frogs were hollering for rain.  I walked outside in the dark. Never in my lifetime have I heard so many geese so close.  Either the weather front was holding them close to the ground or they all decided to go further south at the same time.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

They's Two Kins of Truth

The Lord's truth and the people's truth and most times ain't the same. Comes a time the Lord's truth just bubbles up and runs over into the people's truth and every one pays.

Lillie May kept a journal.  It was just an calendar with the back pages blank but, Lordy, did that girl write!  She'd jot down things like how Pearl's boy had blue eyes and red hair when thar ain't been nothing but brown eyes in that family for six generations.  She wondered why the parson's buggy was in the cedar glade every time the Widow Smith was at the cemetery.  Little things caught her attention like that and she wrote 'em down.  I tod h'er not to, wern't none of our bidness and could get us in big trouble.  She laughed cause no one knew she wrote this stuff  exceptin' me and 'er. She wanted to know why Aunt Nettie's brother didn't come around no more since the girls took to bed with fits and had to stay inside.  They's well now but it was odd when their favorite uncle didna came to see 'em anymore sick or well.

Lillie May tole me it had to be writ.  That the truth would come out one of these days and she'd have an answer to 'er questions.  I tod 'er to let it be.  As chilun we was taught to be seen not heard but when older people gotta talkin' sometimes they dina see us younguns. Lillie May got to thinkin' and she writ a lot.

We all wondered when Elizabeth Ann up and moved to 'er aunt's house far away.  We'd always thought 'er and Richard would be married for shore.  We's a mining town and most peoples work there except the few that work in the mercantile, livery and the bank.  Richard was a promising husband prospect and one up on the minin' family Elizabeth Ann came from.

Sometime we just don't know how ner why things turn out.

I ne'er thought Lillie May would kill 'erself but she did. Jumped into a mine shaft on True Mountain. I heared tell it was over fifty feet deep 'for it turned. Since it wern't a workin' mine they buried her there.  Maybe all that wondering just got to 'er so bad she put an end to it.

The truth showed itself when someun showed a calendar page where Lillie May writ...I ain't able to carry on no more.

What's they dina know was I hid the old calendar so's no body could fin it.  I'd take it to the sheriff but he's been hangin' at the diner with Charles Floyd's wife and I ain't takin' no chances.  No, sirree, not me.

I stand careful at the edge throwin' wild flowers to my friend.  I say the truth will come out, Lillie May, the truth'll come out.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Electronically Erratic!

I rewired an old lamp this week, sewed on some missing buttons and patched some clothing.  I can build fence, buck hay bales, fix some plumbing leaks, doctor my own animals and a varied amount of other things...especially when it involves playing with power tools.
I can operate a camera on automatic
to show how much Bonnie has grown
and how much she dislikes sitting like this...
but give me an programming problem or a hardware techie problem I'm like a fish outta water.  I've had a few friends direct me how to fix this and that and they've saved me. On my own I am lost.

I've always been one who likes to know the reason WHY something works or WHY I have to do it a certain way.  In my mind if there is a reason, I can do it.  This frustrated my parents, my teachers, my employees and still frustrates the people I'm around.  For some helpless reason I can't fix electronics unless I know why it has to be done that way and I don't have a clue.

Since lightning hit our phone I've lost my wireless extender signal to my quiet room.  I have the phone company wireless that grabbed my Netgear that piggy backed my D-Link.  When the phone company "helped" me get back on line, they did something that keeps my Netgear from "seeing" the network...I think I'm using the correct terms. I've done a reset on Netgear.  The computer will "see" the phone company router and will "see" the Netgear but not at the same time!!!

I've poured over pages of directions and nothing made sense to me at all.  Those of you who can read direction manuals as easily as See Spot Run, I applaud you.  When someone says, oh, just do this or that and you'll be fine.  NO, I won't.  I don't get it!!!

So I sit in the art/craft/sewing/creating area with Xbox pounding on my right and Gunsmoke or Bat Masterson booming behind me...through walls.  I need my quiet room!!!  

I guess I can pay a Geek fee to get my peaceful spot back.  After all I did save that much by doing my own plumbing this week.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Painting On Cardboard

I paint
with freedom
no choices
by me
I have witnessed
outside of myself
For a writing/painting prompt at dVerse~Poets Pub.

Discovered A Leak

that had been leaking a while.  Hubby, not only is not a carpenter, he is also not a plumber so we have to make do.  Beware the uglies...
We are both up in years and not as small as we used to be so a problem like this can be daunting. This is under my bathroom sink I'm ashamed to confess. It was artfully hidden by baskets of supplies until the water had reached the front. The water caused the paint to flake. I removed everything and just sat an ice cream bucket under the drain until I had time and the ability to look at the problem.  

First I had to find the leak.  None of the joints were the problem but I found this funky piece...have no idea what it's called but it was the problem.  When this piece was not in place, it leaked. If I removed it there was a big hole in the drain pipe.
Notice the piece sticking out on the left of the drain contraption.  I thought on that a while.  Then I remembered GORILLA GLUE!
This type of glue expands when it dries.  Not good for some wood projects but maybe, just maybe, it was the solution.
Forgive my poor photography skills.  I was having trouble fitting under the sink, using a flash light, gluing and taking pictures. My brilliant idea was if the glue expands why not try it on the part where the leak is...I'm creative when it comes to an out of the box solution!  Glue applied.  Thingy stuck back in hole.  Problem solved!!! No leak.  Hot dog, I'm on a roll.
Cleaned, sanded, painted and done, done and done.  Donations for a real plumber can be sent to...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Way To My Heart...

Rumor has it that male penguins win their females by presenting a stone or pebble or rock.  Does that make Hubby and me penguins or bird brains?

Whether it's a stone, a pebble or a rock big enough to tip the tractor Hubby knows what makes me weak in the knees. When I receive a gift like this I remember why I married this simply complicated man.
This is one he could not bring to me but he can take me to see them.  There's just something wonderful about knowing he thinks of me every time he sees a rock.  We have lots of rocks, so I'm thought of often and that makes me very happy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beating The Weather

There are always last minute things you think you need to do before a cold front arrives.  Storing water hoses, wrapping faucets, winterizing items you KNOW you're not using until spring...the list goes on forever.

Monday when it was summer, we worked in short sleeves and high seventy degrees.  A south wind attacked the valley the entire day.
The water gardens were deleafed and topped off.  The Koi in this and the perch in my other garden will survive the freezing temperatures just fine.  I place a board or small post in the ponds to keep an air hole for the ammonia to escape.  It also makes it easier to crack the ice without harming the fish. I'm sure there are more leafs today. I will make my rounds with a net and remove as many as I can. The leafs containing tannin will make the water brown and my Koi do not thrive in that.
The boat has been tarped and winterized.  It's in the pasture because the barn will be filled with other working machines and the boat shed has been reassigned as the truck garage for winter.
All hands on board for a full clean up.  Of course with pecan trees in the yard clean up is an ongoing event.  

The chickens and all the animals have fresh deep hay beds.  Tools are in their respective spots, mowers winterized, and anti-freeze added to vehicles. 
The crew headed to our main spring.  This is the source of our home water.  Conveniently it is pumped to the houses.  We no longer have to carry water like we once did many years ago.  The spring needs its last "cleaning" for the winter.
Here Andrew is post hole digging the sand out of the rock "barrel".  Placing the sand in the tractor bucket is far easier than carrying it away in a bucket the way we have done it.  Through time the sand builds up but the pump is submersed yet suspended above the bottom.  We lower the level of the sand so we don't have to do this on a cold day. 

The pipe from the barrel to the pump is insulated and covered for winter after all the grass is cut, the water cress removed and the spring is given a general stir up to move clippings etc on down the creek.

When the family first moved here they capped a wooden barrel over the spring source and water would fill up the barrel and fall into the creek.  Dad remembered helping his dad build the rock surround when he was very young.  One year when I was cleaning the spring I found old barrel staves in the very bottom, a piece of history in my hands.
The right equipment makes the job far easier than it was.  Andrew is practicing being a worker by leaning on the handles.  The spring is clear and fresh in a short time. The pump is turned on and like magic water is in every faucet again.

In the past a spring cleaning day was an event attended by all members of the family.  Mom cooked while we all got down and dirty in the spring branch, pulling cress, cutting grass, moving the sand on down the stream while capturing crawdads for fishing in the evening. Yep, an all day event for six to twelve people is now a four hour job for three.  I ran the camera and did some straw bossing, so make that two.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Old Mining Equipment

Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park
connecting with Rubbish by Roan

To All Veterans...

I honor and respect all who have served and are serving.  A veteran taught me that.  It's still with me as the man who taught me is always in my heart.  His honor, his respect, his honesty, his patriotism was an attribute I wish more citizens had.  I am proud to say he was my father.
Thanks, Dad!
Thanks to all who have served and are serving.
May God bless you every one.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Best Soap EVER!

Sprout 'n' Wings Farm is  a fantastic blog to visit.  You'll find lots of ideas for creating and handy farm tips along with some great tales.

And that is how I find  Sisters Five that make all kinds of to-die-for natural products.

I am a fan.  By gifting a few things I've purchased from the Sisters I've spoiled many members of my family.  I love their Oatmeal soap (unscented) which is very handy in Poison Oak country.  I get squeaky clean, it doesn't dry your skin and you have a choice of many scents.

I'm asked by family members, Do you have any of that good soap?  So I have a stash and every one helps themselves.

Ran out of Five Sisters soap.  Ordered and it took a very few days to receive my order (shipping is super speedy).  It's going fast.

If you're seeking some nice natural stocking stuffers they have lotions, soaps, body butter and lip balms.

What's makes it so special?  Goat's milk and a touch of love I think. Drop by and visit Michaele.

I received nothing for this post.  Already had the great soap and a friendship.  What more could a body want or need?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mother Nature's Surprises

Super Tuesday tornado outbreak in February 2008 was strong and long lived.  We had roof damage, lost half of our barn (no insurance) and many, many trees. We were lucky.

The neighborhood just over the rise had one person killed and several homes destroyed along with life stock.  The small town of Zion, six miles away,  had one death and the same destructive result.
Here are two pictures from Zion.  I would like to repeat how lucky this county was. Being in a rural area most damage was in sparsely populated areas.

Hubby was Emergency Manager and was out for 36 hours straight  (and for weeks afterwards), organizing, rescuing, and working.  The people were wonderful.  Every one was out with chain saws clearing trails, checking on their neighbors and feeding the people. I was counting cows and calming the horses when a ATV appeared through another pasture to check on us.  I still don't know to this day who it was!

The tornado keeps on giving.  This is one of the large pecan trees.  About twenty feet off the ground we have found a brake cable, we think.  The recent constant winds must have dislodged it and dropped it down where we could see.
Another surprise from Mother Nature is the broken bottle I found as I was cutting down Virginia Creeper from the side of the same tree.  The root had grown through a buried bottle. The mouth of the bottle still was attached to the root.
Mother Nature and man leaves us many surprises,
good and bad.
Here's my most recent find left behind from the previous occupants.

Mother Nature has many secrets.
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