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

Friday, September 30, 2011

What We've Been Doing...

Hubby worked on the hot water heater today...yep, another story.  Well, let me tell you something.  I thought, simple job, right?  What was I thinking?  When he called and said, been working on this all morning, had to use a grinder.  Hot water heater and grinder, together,  just doesn't seem safe. 

I am so grateful the basement is not finished...he couldn't get the water to drain out the hose, you guessed it, he drained it in the floor.  This man causes me more work than five children would.  I'm not looking tonight!

Calls me at work, says it's not working.  Calls me again and said, it's working, I just crossed the wires.  Calls me again and said he fixed the water pressure...he left the horse water on all night.  Solution to the pressure problem...turn off the outside faucet!  AND the tractor is running!
What Beverly's been doing,
and Marcy
 and Hubby and me with Bev,
and Maria and Melissa, my darling daughters.
We all have been working
to organize
and price
and turn our chaos into a classic sale.
Tomorrow at daylight Marcy and I open.
Think we have enough stuff?
I have been helping Bev every night
after work.
I promise to catch up with all of you soon.

Okay, Mr Sick Man, GO TO YOUR ROOM!

You are bugging me!!!
In a nutshell, you know Hubby is not working at a paying job, has had four surgeries within four months, and is still having problems.  AND, you also know I have said there are certain terms or phrases we use to begin a tall tale...and one is WELL, LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING!

Well, let me tell you something...I am working (since someone has to) and call to check on poor Hubby since he is so sickly.  No answer, well, you know what I thought.  Don't panic, call his cell phone.  Hubby answers, I inquire politely about his health.  He's feeling better and is out on the tractor. 

Then he tells me he's kinda stuck...in the edge of the pond.  I say, okay, I have lived with this man long enough to not ask questions.  I said, wait til I get home and I will help.  Nope, he says, I am jacking it up with rocks and I can get it out.  I let him try and I continue to work.

Phone call twenty minutes later, Uh, I need a tow truck...


I am in the pond.

You're kidding me, right?


So call a tow truck. Don't call me!  Is it under water?


The deep end?


Is the engine under water???


Then call a tow truck!!!!!!!!!!

This the very tractor I dropped the insurance on because it was paid for!!!  I wait and get no call.  I call again and ask if the tow truck is there and is the tractor out?  We're working on it, he calmly says.

No calls again, I mean, lay an egg like that and leave me?  So, I give him time to do what ever it takes to get a tractor out of a pond with a tow truck and I call again.  I ask, how bad is it?  He says no water in the oil. We drained that and left the plugs out.  There was water in the injector thingies (my words, not his) but we drained that and the tow guy said, stay away from the tractor for a few days (no kidding!!) and it should be alright.

Okay, I'm not asking what he was doing nor how it happened.  I know I will hear it all in his own time.  He said, I did the stupidest thing I've ever done today...no kidding? 

Hubby said, I checked the cattle, trimmed some posts, and was sitting, watching for snakes and coyotes, started the tractor and drove into the pond!!!!   Here's your sign!!!!

He's grounded!!! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday's Things In A Row

Chestnuts and burs in the grass,
rows or bunches, you may ask.
Gossamer strains from a spider's rear
make beautiful rows throughout the year.
Flower buds trying to beat the frost,
gonna bloom, no matter the cost.
Tracks on tracks make it very clear,
first the tractor, then the deer.

My rows are finished, I am done.
Stop by Pat's and join the fun.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spider Web

with jewels.

Today Hubby goes back to the doctor...by himself.  I have no one to work in my place so I can't go.  Oh, well, glad the post office is still open...gotta pay those doctor bills.

He is having some trouble breathing (daughters, don't panic...he is the same) and thinks he may have more blockage.  He is scared (but would never admit that) and is cranky because he doesn't know how to handle scared.  He's seen the nose and throat guy and that doc sees nothing but acid reflux, his regular doctor says his pneumonia is gone but there is still some fluid in his lungs...so he has fluid pills. Hubby thinks he has a clot, I think he doesn't do the right kind of exercise and smokes too much.  Arggg...wish they would fix him!

Think of him today...thank you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


If we did not compare, would we be more content?  Yes, and hopefully more aware and grateful for what we do have. Envy is a demon but sometimes, it is a motivator.

I speak of comparisons because I am guilty. My house is not Martha Stewart's but I do own this one. My car is old, but it does run. I could list forever the things I envy...and that saddens me when I have so many things for which to be grateful.

I am reminded of a friend, a Veteran who had no legs. It was a beautiful, warm summer's evening as we gathered on the deck with cold drinks to talk. Hubby was complaining about his ingrown toe nail. Our friend politely listened and said, "Do you know how much I would give for an ingrown toenail?"

Sometimes, we just need to be grateful, simply grateful.

Foggy Morning

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why I Am Afraid To Ride...

I think! 

My experiences with horses as a young person were few and far between.  We never had horses, unlike other branches of the family, because "tractors don't eat when they're not working" as my Dad loved to say.

Two of my best friend had horses, I know, now, that they had problems (not my friends, the horses).  My friends had no trouble.  I was not so brave.  I have been raked off by a tree limb at a dead run.  I have been dumped in a briar patch.  I have been riding while running into a barn.  I have ridden a horse with the saddle slipping at a dead run and held on until it stopped...by this time I was hanging under the horses's neck.   I have ridden a horse that rolled in a pond. The only time I had any luck with horses was riding double during the horse events in the county.

My uncle decided since I looked like my cousin we would show matched horses and dress alike for the horse shows.  I knew nothing about horses, Kathy had been riding since birth.  I was yelled at, told sit up, don't do this, don't do that...the horse and I were doing fine but I was not show quality.  Dad said if I wasn't having fun, maybe I shouldn't do it...so I stopped.

As an adult, my best ride was on a cutting horse, while I was pregnant, herding cattle.  It was a good cutting horse and basically all I had to do was hang on.  Now, that was a ride!!!  I loved it.

Two years ago, I rode with a friend.  She rode her mule, I rode her spare horse.  Gentle as a lamb but did not want to cross the creek.  I felt incompetent and, I think, I relayed that to the horse.  My friend finally rode back across and led my horse through the creek.  I just don't understand the language between a horse and a rider.

I have ridden Charme and she wanted to return to the herd.  I have ridden Magic.  Both did well, I am the one with the lack of training. 

I have a round pen and do not even ride there.  I will brush and lead and lunge and love but the riding scares me!  I am a control freak and I just know when I'm on top of a horse I'm not in control!!!

I probably shouldn't even own horses but the love of them has been with me for a life time.

I am at a loss at what to do.  Just keep loving them, I guess.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Charme, My Doll

arrives for a breakfast of fresh corn husks.
Charme is the horse the grandchildren ride.
She will not move a step until they are perfectly balanced.
Why do I not saddle this wonderfully gentle Haflinger
and ride to my heart's content?
Some day...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Garden Continues...

to pass inspection.

X Marks The Spot...

where a crazy women lives!  I was sitting here looking at the screen, waiting for the words to magically appear and I see a bug.  It was tiny so I ignored it for a while.  It's movement began to bother me so I reached up to end my botherment.   This teeny-tiny, itsty-bitsy bug is behind my screen!!!  Now, how in the world is that possible???  How can a bug be in my computer screen on top of my writing??

Oh, well, will move on since I can't highlight or delete him.

I was just thinking of how the tiniest thing we do, can affect people for a life time...and my story begins.

My mother's brother was a big man and he begat a son.  James was my age and, (I'm sorry, James), he was a wimp.  Always trying to out run me, out climb me, out wrestle me...you name it.  I was a tomboy so he didn't stand a chance.  I didn't know he lived in town or that his father was rarely home or that when he was, he drank and made fun of James.  All I saw was a pest.

I was never mean but tried to avoid him like the plague.  Always pestering me, always challenging me.  How many times do I have to beat you before you decide to give up???

Well, one day I was fed up.  The adults were gone or I would have been skinned alive!  I called James a girl and proceeded to put one of my dresses on him.  He didn't stand a chance...then I took a picture...he cried.

I had won...but the victory was not sweet.

Years later, James tracked me down with his children in tow.  He talked about that day, and how it ate at him.  He was successful but never grew very big (I could still whip him, if I had wanted)  Between his father's abuse and MINE, he was driven to succeed, despite his size.

I kinda feel bad but knowing what I know now, I am afraid I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Forgive me, James has.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Driving In My Car

is pretty easy.  It's the only one I drive.  I don't even know what year it is, had it too long.  It's a PT Cruiser with a five speed.  There's comfort in driving a vehicle you're used to, makes all the difference in the world.

Thursday I had the misfortune honor of driving Hubby's big bad Silverrado.  First it is several feet off the ground or it feels like it anyway.  This piece of junk wonderful vehicle engineering was a pleasure to drive.  After climbing aboard, I start the engine...security light, change oil light, and low fluid lights come on.  Wait a minute, now they're gone and just the seat belt light is on.

The glass is all shaded and I feel like I'm in a cave.  Skoot the seat up to the dash so I can reach the pedals, and take off.  This truck is a short wheel base and I feel like I am riding a bucking bronco...the horse kind, not the Ford kind.  I reach the highway and things smooth out a little.  People are passing me and I look down, forty miles a hour!  I speed up then I look again and I'm going sixty!

No one's waving because they can't see me.  I thought this heavy tint was illegal??

The reason I was being punished allowed to drive the truck was it's a gas hog...no kidding.  Grandson had a football game about three hours away so my car followed the bus. 

It felt good to get a few calls, asking Where's the dash light?  Where's the wipers?  I knew I was not the only one having a miserable fun time driving a different vehicle.

Vehicles of supporters follow the bus because no one knows where they were going.  Hubby calls and four cars had to stop and relieve rest themselves.  Thank goodness, one man had a GPS and the game train got back on the road.

I am safely parked, keys removed because the blooming doors lock automatically!  I am not moving an inch, in for the evening.  I wish I could say the same for my car.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday's Things In A Row...

From the mountains of Alaska,
to the garden At The Farm,
things line up naturally,
even in the barn.

and join in the fun.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dark Secrets

Yesterday I talked about the box car gaming and the occasional brawls that broke out among the group of gamers in the small sand town of Guion.

One involved my uncle and Hubby's dad and uncle.  In the early fifties, about, I would guess, the games were still going on.  We had a boot-legger across the river and there was always someone that had some moonshine.

I never heard what started the fight but it ended in the cornfield along the tracks.  My uncle was injured and died later from blood poisoning.  Hubby's relatives were tried for his death...not guilty.

This caused quite the stir when Hubby and I started dating...but they calmed down, eventually.

When I first met Hubby's aunt, I stood partially behind him.  His aunt said, "Get out from behind him, you're acting like the Ledfords!"  I proudly stepped out and informed her my grandmother was a Ledford and I was proud of it...so now, two strikes against me!

Mom tried to tell me we were kin...but we weren't. My dead uncle's wife was Hubby's cousin.  Mother was teasing because we were only related by marriage.  I always teased my girls about them being inbred...I know, I'm awful.

Now that I have reinforced the belief about Arkansas hillbillies, I will add the funniest comment, I think, Mom ever said.  She was talking about two sisters that lived in Guion and said,  "They would go down the river road with anybody that had a mule!"

Any questions?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Hubby's Town...

Guion, Arkansas was the town where Hubby grew up.  It wasn't the town it used to be but it still had two stores and two sand businesses.  Guion is a sand mining town.
It was quite busy in the early days.  The railroad came through town and it was the only way to travel for many. On the edge of White River, you could drive twelve miles on gravel to reach a main highway. Years later, they had a ferry to cross the river, now they have a bridge.

When the mines opened, payday was on Friday as in most jobs.  Behind the tracks and the depot, many games of craps were played, much liquor drunk and a few brawls broke out every weekend. 

Come Monday morning, for some families, there was nothing left of the paycheck to feed the family.  The wives got together and visited the wife of the owner.  Ms. Mertie, as she was known to every one, solved the problem.  Paydays would now be on Wednesday and since the men had to work on Thursday, there were no drunken games.  This enabled the woman to buy what the family needed before party time behind the box cars.

Payday for the existing mine today is still Wednesday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cats Eye Marbles

When I was a child, marbles was one of my favorite games.  It could be played alone or with a group.  It was a popular game in the school yard.  You could play keepsie, where the player gets to keep the marble they hit...I never chanced loosing mine.  They were too beautiful to gamble away during a game.

I had a favorite shooter which was larger than my other marbles.  Dad had given it to me from his childhood.  It was a very plain, perfectly round stone marble and someone had given it to him.  I still have it and have no idea how old it is.  My favorites small marbles were the cats eyes...in many different colors.

Our main game was four holes in the dirt with a center hole.  The goal was to shoot into, hoping to knock out the other guy's marble with out getting knocked out yourself.  You "knuckled down" to play, using your thumb to "shoot" the marble. The first one to make it to the last hole without being knocked out was the winner.

I know this doesn't sound like much fun but oh, it was.  I could play for hours in our driveway alone.  I prized my marbles and never traded.

In the fourth grade our teacher gave us each a marble and we lined them up in front of the heater.  As they got hot, she dropped the marbles into cold water.  We were given a beautifully cracked, yet intact, marble as a souvenir.

Certainly doesn't hold a light to video games but for us it was the cat's meow.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Raining...

it's pouring,
the old man is snoring!
Really he has been snoring, off and on all day while I buzzed around him doing laundry, picking up, and cleaning the kitchen...then I left him!  Just hopped in my car and left his butt in the recliner. 

I had a mission. 

All those boxes we've been packing and hauling, all that thinning we've been doing is finally getting closer to being sold.  My two daughters, Bev and I unpacked, priced, placed on shelves and emptied lots of boxes.  Hopefully, we will be ready to open our doors the weekend of the City Wide Yard Sale.  We are not putting it all out at once, just filling the shelves and as they empty, we will fill them again.  Can't even tell anything is missing from my house except for the pile of boxes.  Bev says this is just the first round from our houses.  We will come through and thin some more.  We are all tired of our life being ruled by things.  I can hope the things I part with will bring someone else the pleasure they have brought me.

I knew the rain was coming yesterday...we ALL ached and hurt and moaned and groaned.  The rains came and we smiled.  Oh, Texas, I would share if I could.   We were dry.  This morning we got an inch and it rained again.  We are truly blessed.


Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste
that they hurry past it.
Soren Keierkegaard
Today, I wish you pleasure in your surroundings.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shelling Peas With Aunt Marcy...

can be lots of fun.
It takes lots of concentration,
can be a group activity,
or be done alone,
with lots of breaks.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ki-Anne, A Hot Pepper Fix

Betcha been wonderin' where Ki's been.
She wasn't kicked off the farm by a cow...
She was here.
and here,
and here,
and here.
Ki found a terrapin.
This is her sad dog face when I tell her, no.
She played a little stick keep away
and chase with Zander...
all in one afternoon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday's Things In A Row

When there's moisture,
fungi grows,
row after row
after row.
Poppin' up to surprise,
lining up before our eyes.
My favorite row will always be,
my horses lined up just for me.

Happy Thursday's Things In A Row!
Visit Pat. She started this, ya know.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Music Man!

Mr. self-taught guitar player and football running back is fifteen today!  Hard to believe Andrew, my oldest grandson,  is a young man.  Just yesterday, we were jumping on my bed together and doing mid-air tricks.  Andrew can still do that but this old lady can barely get on the bed much less jump any more.

Before his birthday, Andrew fractured two fingers so I have heard no picking nor watched a ball game.  Here's wishing him a speedy recovery so he can do the things he loves and a very, very Happy Birthday. 

Tonight, his gift is dining in the place of his choice and a trip to the music store and Wal Mart.  My card will be smoking!!!

UPDATE:  The night was a success.  Andrew chose new guitar strings, some music, a video game, an Arkansas Razorback pillow, and we ate Chinese.

Thank you all for your kind wishes for a Happy Birthday and speedy healing.
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