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

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Shooting while driving can be as dangerous as using a cell phone...I just can't help myself.  It's another of my terrible habits.  Prisoner Transport was following too closely
There has been a traffic light on Norfork Dam for almost two years.  I believe they may be building something inside to meet the minimum flow requirements for the trout in the river below.  How long does it take to put a cork in a dam?
Continued to have showers off and on all day.  We got damp sometimes but it felt good.  Temps were in the eighties and we were working hard.  We welcomed any breeze as we were packing boxes and reorganizing. 
This is one unit.  I almost forgot to take a before picture.  My Irish complexion shows when I'm extremely hot.  Dressed in work clothes and fighting our time schedule I allowed Toni to take a picture.  That was a mistake!
So I got even!  Toni is carefully packing glass things.  I was so tired I was like a bull in a china closet.  Thank goodness I haven't broken anything...yet.

I missed the funniest picture of all.  We met a Game and Fish truck in town dragging a gas pump nozzle and hose.  Three cars later was the police.  Who knows what his excuse was but I've never seen that before except in movies.  I believe they have an auto shut off now so the gas station doesn't explode.

We packed every nook and cranny in both vehicles, my PT and Toni's Blazer.  It rained a lot so it was not an open truck day.  We  both rearranged for the side mirrors to have a clear view.  Know what I forgot?  I have a standard transmission.  I forgot to leave ample room to shift so I was going under a box and sideways to shift.  I'll not do that again!
The lights over the dam reminded me of the old black and white movie War of the Worlds.

Today we do it again.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sir Loin One...Dennis Zero

Farming or ranching is not for candy asses.  You who have experienced this know what I'm talking about.  It is a farm law that the worst thing that can happen is usually what happens.
Sir Loin before he was fattened.

Sir Loin, the fattening calf, is in a pen of his own.  The cows are in summer pasture.  He has constant fresh water and a feeder so he never has any wants.  I believe he does get bored because cattle are herd creatures.

They say, Never name what you are going to eat.  We did.  Marcy hand picked her grasses from flower beds and feed the poor baby.  Dennis mows clover in the orchard to haul to Sir Loin.  The little bull is spoiled rotten food wise and other wise.

Sir Loin has become a people bovine.  When Marcy or Den are close, he yells for them to bring fresh clover although he has a constant supply of all needed things including hay.

Bonnie, our pit bull, plays tag with him.  They have grown very close and even lick each other a lot.

We THOUGHT Sir Loin was a gentleman.  That thought can kill you with cattle.

Sir Loin is probably topping nine hundred pounds.  Den weighs much less.

The gate had blown shut where Sir's shelter was.  Den's thought was to go in the large corral and open that gate to improve Sir's comfort and tie it back so this would not happen again.

Sir Loin had other thoughts.

Den was in position and pulling the gate to the fence.  Sir thought he had a playing companion.  When you weight nine hundred pounds you pretty much can do what you want to do.

Sir came running at a mad gallop to play like he does with Bonnie.  Den stepped behind the gate just in time.
Sir Loin knows how to use his head.  He repeatedly butted the gate and the fence with Den caught inbetween.

Den can't move.  He can't climb.  He's trapped.  All he has with him is a 380 and that wouldn't pistol whip an ant much less a playful bovine.

Den did mention he thought of shooting him.

The temps yesterday even with rain were in the eighties.  Luckily Andrew came home from school and distracted The Beast while Den was able to climb the fence and get out.

I missed it all.  I was hauling a car load of items to the shop.

When I returned there is an ashen Den setting in his recliner and he tells me his tale.  He is a far better story teller than I and he had me wondering if the calf still stood.  His punch line for me was, "I shot the SOB" After my mouth dropped open, Den smiled and assured me Sir Loin was still living for his June 9th date with the butcher.

Den doesn't think Sir is so cute anymore.

I did ask if he would show me what happens so I could film it.

I won't tell you what his answer was.

There will be no guilt when we eat this calf and Den escaped unscathed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thrift Store

Walk away
That their
Are ageless

Here in Arkansas

(Song of Arkansas songwriting Contest Submission)

How did I miss this opportunity to flex my musical muscles?  I liked this one because the first verse is a doppelganger of my rearing.

For other submissions and the winner visit here.

Y'all come!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Zander for Two Shoes In Texas

My contribution for Two Shoes In Texas ...a weekly prompt.
How we walk through life is our choice.  May we all choose the right path.  With a new walk you transition onto your next path this proud grandma wishes you the best.

Today and always may you be a winner!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Open Link

"Tyger, tyger, burning bright"*
When did  you become
My only light?
Days are dark
As deepest night.

"Tyger, tyger, burning bright"*
Throw me your light
So I may swim free
From drowning
In mediocrity.

*The Tyger by William Blake
for Open Link Monday at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

The Anchor...

Visiting Lillie McFerrin this week for Five Sentence Fiction
We had been fishing for a while when he just wasn't there anymore. Try explaining your way out of that jam to the cops!  Above all else...deny, deny, deny!  They dragged the river but with no sign of foul play or a body they let me go. Glad no one checked my anchor.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Magpie Tales The Thrift Shop

On Finding Stumpy

I just can't help it
I never throw away
A piece that might be handy
In dozens of other ways

Oh, the treasure one can find
If you only stop to look
And take a little time

In one place such as this
I discovered  "Stumpy"
I could not resist

Minus one hand
Missing some toes
He had a new fan

Sitting in my ferns
He smiles a lot
No concern for what he hasn't
Just proud of what he's got
Writing prompt from Tess Kincaid

Dirt Poor

Dirt poor and stuck
Looking hard to find the treat
Of living well
Just making ends meet

Mice and rocking chairs squeak
Anchored far from North
With a need to survey
Our condition to sally forth

A meeting's called
Report read
Watching your mate
What's in their head

"The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down"
"Take what you need and leave the rest"
We lost more than face
When they took the very best

Old wounds heal slowly
But slow healing is best
Your heart flutters
Civil War was/is a mess

We smile
As the pigeons fly
They're good to eat
We still get by.

Dirt Poor and stuck
We show no defeat
There's pride in our work
Every day of the week

The Sunday Whirl prompt along with Imaginary Garden With Real Toads combined using Challenge #2: "Dirt Farmer" Imagined by Marian 

Thank you both for tempting me to "push the envelope."

Saturday, May 24, 2014


My husband's cousin ate his cake only in pinto beans.

Mother loved buttermilk and cornbread.

I prefer warm cake in cold sweet milk with icing.  Lots of icing.

That's why I could be a stunt/body double for Humpty Dumpty. Rolling with the fall because I'm not a fragile egg.

I discovered a music man, Warren Zevon.  His words touched me. Almost in the same instant I discovered his life I discovered his death.

I cried.

When asked if there's one thing he could share about life and death  "...enjoy every sandwich..."  

So should we all.

A rebel with friends like Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Billy Bob Thornton, just to mention a few, he was on this earth for fifty-seven years.

I will miss Warren Zevon even though I've known him a few short hours.

VH1 has a forty-seven minute documentary of his life and his contribution to music.

Many of you may know him through Werewolves of London.  I became aware of his music from Criminal Minds' Keep Me In Your Heart For A While.

Enjoy the music.  Too many good ones no longer sing.

When Zevon was faced with a medical death sentence he raced to record one last album.  He is/was a straight shooting, get to the point. tell it like it is musical artist.  This link should be listened to with caution.

I just thought, Damn, another honest man is gone.

"Enjoy every sandwich."

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Back Forty and Weekly News...

Marcy and I ate out on doctor day.
Our nephew, Toni, met us at the doctor's office.
Stormi, Toni's daughter joined Aunt Marcy (cancer free), Toni and me for lunch.
Zander, my youngest grandson, graduated Kindergarten the 22nd. He's headed to Big School for Big Kids.

Hubby found me an amazing rock and delivered it to my water/rock garden.  That guy knows the way to my heart!

Bonnie, the pit bull and Sir Loin, the meat giver, have become fast friends.  They are now exchanging licks! They say never name an animal you are going to eat but, alas, we did.  Marcy carries him fresh clover and we all pet this bull calf.  I will remember to thank Sir Loin for his gift to us when I bite into that first meat.

My other sister, Beverly, and I keep on working every day at the shop. The farm keeps us busy, too.   I wondered what happened to retirement??

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rain at Poetry Jam...

All the wet weather springs
Join the creek
And make it bigger

The force of wild rain
Roars through the valley
Carrying trees

The water gate
Holds nothing now
Except the memory
And debris
Of high water

I am grateful
My ancestors
Built on high ground

For Poetry Jam Rain

Three, Uh, All The Kittens...

Have lost their mittens or did they?  They are enjoying their milk even if they received no pie.

Three mothers have joined together to have their kittens.  I think one mother knew she was going to die and did this on purpose.  After all, even the cats have read it takes a village.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Herculean Task of Multi-Prompts

Edward Hopper, 1922 

and for the daunting task of form

Plastic people with alabaster skin
Walk the mine fields seeking disaster
Longing for chaos they will never win

Graphics limited only by the wind
High altitudes greatly enforce the thrill
Walk the mine fields seeking disaster

Force the climbing crowds to pick Asters
While buttered bread falls from picnic baskets
High altitudes greatly enforce the thrill

During the climb need something just ask it
These actions and words have no worth know this
While buttered bread falls from picnic baskets

Sad face with attitudes too bad mask it
Climb fast climb free stealing a kiss from me
While buttered bread falls from picnic baskets

Plastic people with alabaster skin
These actions and words have no worth know this
Longing for chaos they will never win
While buttered bread falls from picnic baskets

Oh, boy, I just felt like I was in school again.  Whose big idea was it to combine three prompts?? Mine!  I have used The Mag's picture prompt, Sunday Whirl's words (underlined) and have tried my hardest to write this nonsensical poem in the Terzanelle style that was our prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.   

I must get out more because this combined challenge was too much fun!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Friend...

Should be like a long lost football
You can hug it tightly
To let them know they've been missed
Maybe even drool with happiness
because you haven't seen them in so long.
It's okay
A friend
Knows the joy

They are content 
With the holding
not appalled
by your drools.

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Stopping Spot

I usually only get to tv after dark.  With spring coming and going fast I rarely get to sit at all.  Some nights it is ten o'clock before I get this far.  Feet up with ice tea AND Dr Pepper.  I am living high on the hog.

May the weekend bring just what you've wished.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Snake Bridgade

Warm weather brings the snakes out to eat bugs and more.
The Farm Pack found a snake.  
Perfect timing for a little training for Bonnie.
Bonnie has never met a snake but 
she had a good time anyway.
Now that she has smelled snake parts
she has delivered two turtles and one lizard
to my back door.
Gonna have to fine tune that training.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Plants That Feed Us...

In spring we turn to greens for that first taste.  We pick Poke salad (Sallet), Doc, Lamb's Quarters, and Prickly Lettuce.
Poke salad (sallet and a half dozen other names) is easy to find by the old stalks of season before.
The younger and smaller the better.
Poke should be parboiled but the younger the plant 
the less this is needed.
Dandelions are great to add to this green mix.
Wild clovers are edible too.
All are delicious together and better eaten while young and small. 
When you get your belly and jars full of spring greens
The black berries will be ready.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wasp On Steroids

Imagine my delight when this insect was in my room.
So handsome he gave me the chills.
Over two inches long I knew the wasp has been taking steroids.
He displayed his stinger with pride! 
Looks kinda like a hornet or ground wasp but also looks like this guy in the third picture to me.  A very deadly Asian Hornet has a doppelganger in Arkansas.   I did not prod nor poke nor pester this one.  It was the biggest wasp like insect I've ever seen.  Called in my hero to dispatch said wasp on steroids.  I was armed with fly swats but Andrew went right for the wasp spray.  Since I'm allergic we were taking no chances. 
I know it supposed to be "Live and let be" but I enjoyed his after picture much better than his before. Certainly hope his family doesn't know what I did or it will be worse than the Hatfield's and McCoy's.  
There will be war!
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