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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sometimes I Forget...

A beer tab
Was my first ring
And we camped
Out in the rain.

He courted me
On train bridges
In leaky boats and
On mountainsides.
He made me laugh
I loved his eyes
We heard the same music
We believed.

Non-traditional courtship
Won me
Love is not always
Diamonds and flowers.

For me
It's found rocks,
Little boy candy bars
And old broken glass.

For him
It's back rubs,
Pineapple upside-down cake,
And fish bait.

Knowing together
There is nothing
We cannot do
Is love.

When you know
All the tomorrows
Are just for you
That is love.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fall In The Valley

Autumn has arrived
but don't tell the flowers.
They think it's spring.
The trees know it's not.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spying On The Tractor Man...

The secret photographer, Marcy
spies on Tractor Man for me
She reports the damage
but keeps an eye out
in case he gets into trouble. 
Really not able to do much
he doesn't give up.
Marcy, not well either,
keeps sharing the evidence.
Thanks, Marcy, for all you do.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Strange Waking Thoughts...

Do we travel when we sleep?  Do our minds help us solve our daily problems with parables?  Is there another force at work while we sleep?

I used to keep a tablet by my bed for waking thoughts.

I stopped for some reason.  I would have a dream and think, wow, how strange, I will remember that but no matter how much I tried to corral it later, I couldn't.  I began leaving the tablet again this week.

Okay, here's your chance to be creative, interpretative  what ever you want to call it.  What is the message in these words I wrote and did not remember later?

My morning eyes
before day's light
Is it real
Is it Real Now
or when
the sleep
in my eyes
to be

That's it.  Just the way it landed on the tablet.  I don't remember writing it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Red Chair at The Mag

Meet the challenge at Magpie Tales.
Enjoy visiting the entries.
Also check out Tess's poetry book on her blog.

The empty house could speak.
You only had to listen.
Oh, the tales it told
Of happy times
Of people grown old.

The windows removed
And broken
They found her in the chair
They put her in a "home"
Cause all she did was stare.

The world inside her head
Still lived
Though no expression clear
Wetness on red velvet
No one saw the tears.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Week Past

During the week several times Hubby came to me to see if I heard pecking on the windows. Though this was something each of us has playfully done in the past, no one was playing this night.   I said, "No, I didn't hear anything.  If there's something the dogs will bark."

This incident happened several times through the past week. Each time Hubby would locate me... suspicious man! Two nights I heard voices outside, male voices arguing.  Couldn't understand the words but did get the tone and emotion of the conversation.  The voices were once at the front and once at the side of the house.  I would look but saw nothing.  I also checked to make sure it wasn't some strange valley echo from Hubby's tv.  I said nothing because the dogs weren't barking.

Last night with the moon brighter I decided to check outside now and then just to satisfy my curiosity.  My nephew, sister, grandson and I separately have seen figures in the past    I have three large windows on each side of the room I am in.  Seeing some movement I changed my body angle to aid my view.

One by one the dogs began to bark not a people bark but a bark nonetheless..

There was a bright light shining through the North windows.  I realized I didn't really want to see what was there. It had been a long day.

I pulled the curtains closed and turned the tv volume up and wrapped the dark around me.

Invasion Of The Hoarfrost...

Once again it's the time of year Nature's weaves magic.
The moisture in some plants is frozen and creeps outside for room.
The beauty of hoar frost leaves me speechless.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Celebrate the beauty of milk weed seeds
and liken them to family
No matter the distance the winds of life carry you
we remain family
We share the same Creator
Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Susie Homemaker...

has possessed my body and is trying to turn me into a cook.  Help!  She must be exorcised!!!
Bought this book years ago for Hubby.
We truly enjoyed watching Justin Wilson cook on tv.
Hubby never used it.
I on the other hand found a favorite bread recipe.
Used to make bread a lot.
I haven't forgotten how.
I did forget how to make the loaves equal.
Not one person complained.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fred's Fish House...

The day of errands we ran many places.  The one Hubby enjoyed most was Tractor Supply and Fred's Fish
House.  This was Fred's decor.  I do believe I embarrassed him by taking pictures.  He hasn't run around with me much lately.
Many may have enjoyed this but I am glad the turkey was not hanging over my plate.  It is stuffed after all.

Hubby had the fish with potato and beans.  I had frog legs and fried green tomatoes.  Nope, they did not know how to cook any of what I had.  Covered with Chicken Fried Steak batter and then cooked.  Ugh!  I ate one tomato, didn't touch my frog legs and boxed it up for home.

With the CFS batter removed they were quite a tasty dish for my supper, so lunch out became my dinner in.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Breasts!

You are forty-six today
I am fifty-eight
For forty-six years I hid you
Today we celebrate.

You entered my life
Around the age of twelve
Oh, how you made it
A total living hell.

From the "budding" to "perky"
You were never welcome here
I could no longer climb trees as well
And a shirt I had to wear.

Bosom, ta-ta's, boobs or tits
All the names they call you
Not one
Seemed to fit.

I finally knew
As every lady should
I called you breasts
You made my sweaters look good.

No longer at attention
You've not fared as well as me
Unless confined within a bra
You tend to swing free.

Today we celebrate
I know you are low
But perk up, my beauties!
We've many years to go.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Mag: The Squall

It's time again!  The week doesn't move fast enough to get to Magpie Tales' challenge.  I love these!  No restrictions except keep it short and clean.  Sign up and give it go.
Squall, 1986, by Andrew Wyeth
 Clearing skies,
The squall had passed.
Coats empty now
Dripped and waited.
Watching the path
One, two, three
The empty pegs cried
Watching the sea.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cooking With Family...A Writing Prompt

The prompt this week is, "So this is a cook off for the inheritance?   Is that what you're saying?" 
Number of words: Up to 114 (including the 114 words of the prompt).
Style of writing: Any
Keep it clean and let your imagination soar.

I did it, Jenny, 114 exactly!  Happy Thanksgiving!


When the terms of the will were read aloud in the stuffy lawyer’s office we discovered Aunt Sally still tortured us even in death. To verify I asked, “So this is a cook off for the inheritance? Is that what you’re trying to say?”

On Thursday Aunt Sally’s personal chef would judge.

We worked tirelessly to come up with a winning recipe.  Thursday arrived. The chef tasted each dish showing no expression.

“This dish, Grave Rewards, wins. Full flavored, tender with an intriguing taste I can’t quite identify.”

The winner claiming the inheritance refused to reveal the secret.

Sour in life but sweet in the pot Aunt Sally had helped me win.   Sweet revenge.

Well, I'm Not Dead...

just sore, bruised, saw-dusted and spider-webbed.  My left ankle is swollen and my right knee doesn't want to work but I am closer to being  finished with this second room.
One thing I've learned is I'm not Bob The Builder happily whistling about his work while his smiling equipment cheerfully helps.  Nope, not Bob The Builder. My equipment is not smiling and I'm lucky if it works at all.

This is a small room less than fourteen week square but it has been my curse for almost two weeks now.  The plum room was a piece of cake.  This room has not been.  The floors were just good enough to give me problems removing them.
The floor joists have 16 inches on center perfectly every time.  Many times that was all that saved me from falling through.  My hips are wider than sixteen inches.  I would hang and just bob there like a fishing cork on water.

I've also learned I do not want a second job as a high wire artist nor as a balance beam Olympian.  I have little boards laid cross the  2 x 6's and travel carefully hauling the old wood to my pile on the front porch.  There is no simple, easy way to do this.  I just must get it done.

Hubby comes in and watches me, offers advice and tools but turns and leaves again.

Never fear. I shall persevere and complete my task, although not in a timely manner,  it will be completed.  I shall cheer and rejoice in the completed room.

Much like the forgotten pain of childbirth this pain will soon be forgotten.  I'll have another project in the works as soon as the swelling goes down.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Ever do silly things just for the hell of it?  Well, I do and I had fun in the doing.  You may look and ask, What the heck is that?  I would too.  This is the new spot for the computer.  I painted the wall, took almost all day rewiring, fastening the surge protector, the modem and the wireless thingy to the wall.
I had my computer on a wonderful old library table that I bought for $40 twenty-plus years ago.  I love this table and had used it for a desk until the purchase of a computer.  It was being abused in that role.  Now I have a skinny computer and skinny wooden table maybe I can use the desk for its intended purpose once again.

The fox lamp is temporarily hiding (not completely) my wires.  Need to figure out some thing cutesy here because the wires head every direction.  That's a problem for another day. The printer and computer now sets atop a $15 long skinny table I bought last month. Perfect height, small profile and holds what I need BUT it has no drawer.  I painted it Cyber Green like the walls.  Cyber Green is one of those almost a colors.  It's almost a yellow and almost a green. It does compliment my Jack Horner's Plum room.  These are the two colors I used on my checker board table...another side tracking fun for me project.
Introducing my new drawer for my computer table...taa daa!   A scrap of plywood, slightly L-shaped,  spottily painted holds my pens, my glasses, my chalk, my eraser and my paper.  I just reach up and get what I need.  Who needs a drawer?  A nice drawer would hide all this unsightly mess but I don't have one.

The circle that holds my paper is a mosaic covered coffee can which has seen it's better days.  It began as a  coffee can then graduated to decorated flower pot and was sitting useless. Now it holds my paper.  The yellow is a cap from a can of ExpandaFoam and the two square boxes are tea containers.  The small one has the lid attached to the board and you just pull the can off to access what is inside.

I've established I'm strange so bear with me.  A old light switch plate and extra lid and some little plastic something were attached after being painted purple (Now why would I have a can of purple paint?) and a small chime is hanging from that.  The strange white item attached to the top is an old phone jack I had just replaced with a drink ring attached.  The two clear bottles hold marbles and glass fish.  The lid is screwed to the board and the bottles can be removed and the items rearranged. I found two pieces of an old barrel stave and have made a shelf for my valuable Breyer Horse.  I wanted the light to reflect more off the bottles but, hey, this is just a prototype.

This is where the fun comes in, opening a flood gate of ideas.  This piece may not stay here long but it was an idea born to fruition and that produced different and improved ideas.

I had fun!  I have a functional piece of s**t  made completely from recycled things and have new modified models in my head to work on.  It's sometimes crazy being me but I can guarantee I'm never bored.

Have a Gail weekend and create something strange.  Enjoy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Texas Dumplings!

TexWisGirl and I were yakking.  She mentioned Red-Headed Dumplings and that got my curiosity going.  I have made dumplings my whole life but I never met any red-headed ones.  So I ask which is the only way you find out an answer during a conversation.  Why are they called Red-Headed?  Simple answer, Because they are red.  Not satisfied with that I had to know WHY they were red.  From cooking...Okay.  I know she was patient with my questions.  I guess she figured me being from Arkansas she might have to draw me a picture.  Instead of drawing me a picture, she send me a copy of her Mamma's very own hand-written recipe. Pay-dirt!!!! 
TWG said her mom was requested to make these for any family gathering.  That's why the recipe makes so many.  You can also make them and freeze them. If you're as excited as I was you will want to save a copy of this.  My dumplings have always just basically been biscuit dough, seasoned and dropped into my meat and broth pot.  I have had flat dumplings in the far South of Georgia but I have never had Red-Headed dumplings...until today.
As you can see, they have earned their name.  This recipe above for a big batch so I just cut up some bread, added an egg, a little milk, a dash of salt and the secret ingredient...NUTMEG.
Then you deep fry them.
Here are my pitifully pale dumplings cooking in my deer broth.
And here's a steaming spoon full of deer meat and dumplings.
Then I threw my fried Texas Dumplings in, kinda added some color to the pot.
See...pale and color!
Hubby and I ate lunch.
This bowl is going to Marcy's.
I have enough for supper.
In fact, Hubby has already had a second bowl.
Thank you, Theresa and Theresa's Mom for the great recipe.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Frost and Freeze...

 Freezing temperatures made the leaves fall like rain.  I knew after our good rain, the cold would come but that doesn't mean I have to like it.  I did like the rain.
I ran outside in sock feet just after the sun topped the mountain.  I tried to capture the leaves falling like rain but I had little luck.  Sometimes you're just meant to witness the wonder of Mother Nature first hand.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


 I believe making corn bread is an art.  I'm not bragging just saying if you use the mix alone you're not making cornbread.  This is my tiny skillet, had it for years.  It is a cornbread only pan and God protect anyone who dares to use my skillet for anything else!
I do begin with the mix, preferably Aunt Jemima's Buttermilk Cornbread Mix.  I  add a few more things than it calls for in this mix.  I add flour, sugar, and my own buttermilk. I get my skillet popping hot, swish my oil around, pour that in the cornbread, mix again and pour into my sizzling hot iron skillet.  Bake.

I love cornbread with my turnips and soups.  I'll eat a good piece of cornbread with anything.  If there's any left, I bag it for the freezer.  It comes in handy for dressing and bird feed.  Either way it's not wasted.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Easy Path To Getting Bread...

This title could go many ways but I'm taking the subject to bread makers.  Add the ingredients, it mixes, it kneads, it rests, kneads and rises and bakes.  Now the question is...which one?

I come from a long line of bread makers.  I love to work the dough, I love the feel of it, the smell as it rises, the smell when it bakes.  I love every part of it except the time it takes to do it.

I also love the fact Almanzo Wilder built a bread ledge for Laura Ingalls Wilder to over look the apple orchard while she made bread in their tiny house is Mansfield Missouri.  They moved here in 1894 with their daughter, Rose Wilder.  Both mom and daughter became authors...and they knew how to make bread.  Their house is a museum in Mansfield.  If you are familiar with Little House On The Prairie you may be excited that Pa's fiddle still resides in this museum.

When I was younger and exuberant about home making, I made a lot of yeast bread.  It was just part of what I did.  I have a very old recipe I use of Mom's that is older than me.  Sixty hour weeks at a paying job, parenting, house keeping and a few other things disrupted my bread making career but on these cool fall days I long for the smell again, the texture of homemade bread.

Mom's recipe comes for The Modern Family Cook Book by Meta Given.  This was first printed in 1942.  The one we have is a second printing in 1943 with a war time supplement in the back.  It has 941 pages with a few missing from the silverfish invasion before I was born.
Mom knew my love of bread making and shared a favorite recipe of hers.  I began mass production it was such a hit with family members that had no time to make bread.

Tonight I turn to page 332 and find it marked with a bobby pin.  My favorite bread of all time Schnecken!
When I decided to make this after the family sampled a few batches, Marcy would volunteer to babysit and a friend volunteered to help.  It was a day long operation.  I had dish pans full of yeast bread rising, dough punched down waiting for their second rising and rolls beginning to take shape.  I believe this recipe is the origin of the wonderful Sticky Bun.  Pecans, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, oh, the flavors in this roll!

One day my friend and I made 12 dozen rolls.  My father-in-law would take them in his lunch box on the railroad.  His wife would wrap each roll, which were huge, in aluminum foil and freeze them.  By lunch time, the roll was thawed and as warm as just out of the oven.  We all loved them and I baked many times sharing with family and friends who had no time to bake.  When Schnecken Rolls were mentioned, we had more company than normal.  The word was out.

I guess I said all that to say this:  What is the best bread machine?  I have googled, binged, and searched for hours (I had time to make a batch!) and compared. I don't know any more than I did.  I want a machine that can mix and cook a variety of breads but also one that allows me to remove the dough before it cooks so I can make Schnecken once again.  Quicker, easier.  Since I am retired I have the time...right!

Help!  I need advice on which machine would fit my needs without breaking the bank.  I'll give you my wonderful Schnecken  recipe and you can make bake them as three generations of this family has done.

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