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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


I Like Dogs!

You may remember when Ki-Anne joined the family as an abandoned pup.  Ki took a few days to name herself and it was full steam ahead.  Never knew what she was, just a blessing I thought.  Then, due to my over site, she was bred before I had her spayed.  Bad me, but then we kept Junior and found good homes for the others.

After Marcy's ENT check up ("Come back in five years, cancer free!") we went to Salvation Army.  Always an outing we enjoy.

Walking by the second shelf a man asked me "Are you familiar with Mountain Curs?"  I answered, yes and the flood gates open.  I saw pictures of his pups, heard tales of all his dogs, and then we moved on to Bowie Knives (He was a blade smith), his son's military service, The Alamo and back to Mountain Curs again.

I ran through the store quickly and apologized to Marcy for taking so long.  Not a problem, gave her time to see every thing.

First I wondered...do I smell like a dog?  How did the man know I was a dog lover?  Had he asked every one that came in the same question?  It was an enjoyable educational day.

I remember reading the Compton's Encyclopedia and studying each breed of dog. Trouble was they showed only AKC.  I now have books on multiple dog breeds.  Call me weird, I like dogs.  I wanted to be a vet. Life happens so now I just have an eerie fascination with all animals along with an obsessive thirst for learning...and I love dogs.

I think I have discovered the mysterious breed in the lineage of Ki-Anne and Junior.  The facts fit!  How could I be so unaware?  Being a Mountain Cur (UKC breed and mainly an American dog)  is what makes both of these dogs a valuable farm pair.  They are the main poison snake committee, the watchers of the family yet always ready for a "Good dog!" or a pat on the head.

This fits the pair to a T.  http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/mountaincur.htm  I thoroughly enjoyed the temperament, origin, and description of the breed.

This link http://aboutdogmountaincur.blogspot.com/2013/01/basics-of-mountain-cur-training.html has an almost twin to Ki-Anne.

Now I know why she named herself after a hot pepper.  Ki-Anne, my undaunting, protective, intelligent, loving, useful farm dog.  It was a lucky day indeed when she was carried into my place of business.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Enter Their Realm

and you pay an admission price
Where there are ants
there are ant eaters
many ant eaters
When I finished clearing what I thought needed clearing I built a sanctuary in the same area with all their occupation requirements. Bon appetit, my precious bug eaters.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cavorting Water Bugs

create watery illusions with faces.
Colors and images 
you might not see magically appear
when you allow the camera to record
what is really there.
Water skaters
and water bugs
paint in water
seeming to favor circles.
Nature...the ultimate artist.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This Rock

is much larger than it looks and is part of a large limestone shelf behind the garden.  Just below a spring runs as the first full time source of live water that begins our creek.  The main springs join in further down.

The ledge is over grown now.  There are four to five rocks that I'm sure used to be one thousands of years ago but time and climate and other sources divided them.  They lay thick and solid almost touching but never moving...not in my life time.

Today I wanted to climb and touch them but along with briers, honeysuckle and Virginia Creeper there was also a fine crop of Poison Ivy so I didn't.  I stood at creek level and remembered.

I remembered the ongoing adventures my dad and all the grandchildren had here.  One rock sounds hollow when tapped with a hammer or a rock.  This sound was the beginning of The Treasure Hunt.

It was a sight to see...Dad leading a row of stair step grand children, each carrying their tool of choice, through the garden and down the bank to endless adventures.

The cracks around the hollow rock, filled with nature's debris,  were emptied with sand shovels, picks, tiny hands and patience.  Much laughter was always heard and many stories told with no limits to their imagination regarding what they might find.

When they grew tired Dad and the ducklings shouldered their tools and returned home to feed and rest.

The bottom edge was never reached but the digging never stopped. A day at the farm usually meant a treasure hunt with Grandpa Pete.  The digging crew grew smaller but they now had their own stories to add.

The children grew older and went their own way.

One day I came to visit and Dad was digging alone remembering.  The grandchildren will never forget.

Damsel Fly

My favorite out of focus picture for the week. 
I would like to paint this on canvas. 
Must be their happy season
 They are plentiful
 and very busy.
Damsel fly then they fall
Maybe this Leopard Frog has a taste for Flied Meat!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Up A Creek

With sunshine and shadows we checked out the creek.  Actually this would be called a branch.  It carries the over flow from one pond and is feed by wet weather springs along the way.  As the weather turns dry the levels lower but the beauty remains.
Junior with reflection and Ki-Anne explores the opposite bank.
I ditch the shoes to feel the power from the ground and the water.
Difficult to read JR's mind
but I know Lil is considering this log for it's possibilities of becoming her stick.
The water slows but the moss still grows
A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House says, "God's Creek was a pretty place that held noise within its closeness like a voice in a cupped hand."  I listened to the beauty in the noise and though our creek or branch has no name, it is plainly God's Creek.
The water bugs danced in celebration.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Catching Up

seems to be something I'm not doing very well lately.  I did, finally in the month of June, change the top bed cover to something lighter.
I've almost finished with painting the outside of the house.  The paper wasps have delayed me.  I painted one as it emerged from a crack between wood and rock at the top of the chimney.  It fell but another followed it. I decided to stop painting until I get wasp spray. I'm allergic or I would just try and work around them.  

Between the rains and up and down the ladder, I've weeded and picked up limbs and moved rocks from the water garden so I could fit the ladder next to the house.  I've become braver and more trusting of my ladder placement judgement.  I have very few spots left to paint, just the trim.  Almost done!!!  The high spots will be done from the tractor bucket.  All with a two inch brush, too.  I'm kinda proud of my work.
It is hot and dry now.  A couple of afternoons were triple digits. Some that weren't felt that way with the humidity.  My painting follows the shade and in between I've picked cucumbers and onions, sprayed the hungry bugs with hot pepper/mint/Dawn tea, and moved things from my sister's house she sold.  Along with my regular "chores" I've stayed busy.

The old doe with a fawn thinks the garden is hers.  She likes the bean tops and the lettuce best.  The dogs were keeping her out but she convinced them to stay away the day they sniffed out her fawn.  The deer gave them a good stomping.  No one was harmed but the dogs let her graze in the garden now.

I've mentioned Pit Vipers or poisonous snakes have a smell.  Well, let me tell you something (the way Mom always started a wild story) I've been smelling something strange in our tool closet.  Told Hubby we either had a Copperhead or a skunk under the floor.  He said, Naw, the dogs would have gotten either.  They did one day...tore up jack shit as some would say.  I couldn't tell what was going on.  Had to take a piece of siding off to see under the floor.  There it was...a monster of a Cottonmouth snake.  The dogs did good.  Sad part is I think it got one of my Koi....and to think I've been moving those rocks, digging around, standing barefooted, never having my mind on a poisonous WATER snake.  Well, I'm thinking and watching now!

At night when I sit with ice packs on aching muscles and joints I try to read.  My latest book was A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House. I would like to share a line that struck a chord with me "That's all anybody can ask for, if you think about it-to have somebody love you and depend on you and take care of you when you're sick, and mourn over your casket when you die."

So, just like a letter from home, I've caught up through the times I've failed to post.

Happy Father's Day and may the rest of June be wonderful to you.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Country Grandpa

In 1988 there was a contest for country grandpas in the Country Magazine.  My daughters wanted to tell a story about Grandpa Pete, my dad, so they did with a little help from me.
The introduction to a double page of winning grandpas from all over the nation.
The girls were so excited to give Grandpa a copy of the magazine.  He received some congratulatory letters and one said how wonderful it was to have someone from Arkansas in a national magazine.

One thing wrong...they were sledding not skiing.  Those folks weren't so country after all.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Moss Walk

We followed the sandy road
Lil wanted to play stick
Ki-Anne made splashes again and again.
Checked the May Apple crop
and traveled through the old orchard that was a hundred years or more.
The walk was up hill and hot.
Lil found a treasure...a water hole behind a terrace doing its job.
The trapped rain water felt so good and cool
even prissy Lizzy had a sit down.
I gathered moss,
with low environmental impact, 
 to add to my water garden.
It makes an amazing natural filter
and it grows! 
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