Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Fun Never Ends

Everyday brings new excitement around here. Our baby chicks are doing good. Except that we lost one last night. I found it in the nest, but another must have hatched overnight and there are two at this moment pecking their way into the world. I picked up one of the cracked eggs and it peeped at me. We should be up to 8 babies by this afternoon. Walking back from the chicken house I noticed something black wrapped around the post of my garden. My first thought was something Rex had put there, but the closer I got I noticed it was a snake. He watched me carefully. Commander patiently waited for his breakfast while I took pictures.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

We Have Babies!

We have one chicken who has gone broody. We've been putting eggs under her for the past several weeks and wondering if she would keep them warm enough to hatch. She did! Our first baby chick.

Friday, July 3, 2009


During these hard economic times it's important to wheelerpool whenever possible.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Office

I am taking 7 college hours online this summer. The session is over next week. It has been hard at times, juggling school work and other summer time activities but overall good. A great way to scratch off a few more hours from the comforts of home. I find it hard to concentrate on assignments and papers from inside the house. Too many distractions. There have been a few days when I pack up and head to the creek to study, but most often I go to the porch. Kunta Kinte (Toby) seems to be enjoying summer too. I think he stays up all night (hunting, roaming, whatever cats do) because he sleeps most of the day. And often in precarious positions. I had to stop my studying to take this picture.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Can't Swim Here"

Blake and I headed out yesterday afternoon about 4:30. The thermometer read 95.9F. We hit the first garden just as the row of green beans was safely within the boundary of the shade. We picked and weeded and worked up a pretty good sweat. Two rows of okra were waiting to be weeded at our other garden spot, but first we had to cool off. So we rode to the swimming hole just past the garden fence. It's a nice part of the Little Mulberry. Where the creek slows and widens and tall trees stand close to the bank on both sides casting shade and giving it a secluded feeling. The water was perfect. I didn't have the usual cringe when it rose up my body. But it just wasn't deep enough, coming just below my waist. So we started to wade up creek in search for deeper waters.

It is a habit of mine to keep my eyes on the banks while we swim. As a youth and an adult I've swam in waters that creatures call home. And I've seen my share of snakes. I know when the temperature rises and we head to the water to cool off, so do they. As I made another scan of the far bank near a group of roots I noticed one moving. I stood up for a better look. I could see two raised sections of her body behind her proudly raised head. I knew this wasn't the usual water snake we encounter. She was swimming swiftly back and forth out in front of the jumbled roots, protecting her home. Her body was thick and she rode on the water, head held high. She must have decided her presence wasn't threatening enough to deter her intruders because she changed course and turned towards me. That's a scary sight. Standing in high waist water and looking at the head of a snake straight on. Not a standing view from 5 feet, but from maybe 2. Her body flashing on one side and then the other. The lighter under skin of her head and body contrasting against the dark shaded water. Where was Blake you wonder? Between the snake and me. I grabbed his arm and pulled him to the other side of and me. Our closest retreat to land would have had us scrambling up the side of a bushy bank. I made a split second decision not to attempt that and began pushing through the water as fast as I could back down stream and toward where we first entered. As the water shallowed and I was able to move faster I looked back to find our pursuer. She wasn't there. She had gone back to her post and was again swimming back and forth in front of her home. She had succeeded. A momma protecting her home and babies, just like me.

As expected we weren't getting back in the water there. So we went to one of our usual swimming places, where the water is swifter and has frequent visitors.

Then on to garden #2. Art helped us hoe our two rows of okra. We worked up another good sweat. We stopped in the creek again on our way home to rinse off.

After talking with my brother and doing a little research on snakes, I confirmed my origianl identification of our snake. A water moccasin. They ride high in the water and are known to stand their ground.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Has Begun

For months you prepare. Tilling, planting, building fences. You think about the day when the little seeds you are dropping in the dirt will be producing food you can eat. You check the progress daily: "The corn is comin' up", "There's blooms on the green beans", "We have two baby squash!" You can hardly contain your excitement. Your friends and family who don't garden grow tired of hearing about the progress. And before you know it...

Saturday: Pick green beans, cucumbers, squash
Sunday: Pick green beans, can green beans, pickle cucumbers
Monday: Pick green beans, cucumbers, squash
Tuesday: Pick green beans, can green beans, pickle cucumbers
Wednesday: Pick green beans, cucumbers, squash
Thursday: Pick green beans, can green beans...Who's idea was this anyway?!?

Friday, June 19, 2009


Rex bought this bike for my birthday 3 years ago. I had a good run for several months, riding daily through our hills. Now that's a workout. But the newness wore off, as usual, and my bike has sat (hung) unused for well over a year. There were times when I wanted to ride it to a neighbor's or to the garden but I had no way of carrying anything. Yesterday I decided to splurge and buy a basket. I could hardly wait to get it mounted and full of garden veggies. Rex and I had it on by late afternoon and I was off to the garden. Going was great. I also bought an odometer and I marveled at my quick speed, 16, 17, 20 mph. Down to the garden I sped. I picked the few cucumbers, squash, and carrots that were ready. Even though the garden was shaded I still worked up a good sweat in the heat. I decided I needed to cool off at the creek before heading home. Not wanting to soak my clothes I just splashed water on my face and neck. Regret. Riding home was very different. 12, 6, 4 mph. Up I climbed back to the house. By the time I reached our drive I was exhausted and had a throbbing headache. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it up the hill, but stopping to rest didn't seem to offer any respite from the heat. There wasn't any breeze. I needed water, to drink and to run over my head. So I put one foot in front of the other and slowly walked up our hill, our Mountain, our MT. EVEREST! I made it, went straight for the water hose and drenched myself. I think I learned my lesson.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Season

Have you ever had a busy season in your life? I am in one now. I think I might be emerging. Having time to blog is a sign. To start back (hopefully) I thought I'd give a quick update around the homeplace. My mother has taken on the cabin bathroom as a project. It has never had indoor plumbing and our guests have had to either use the outhouse (seen through the above window) or walk over to our house. As our home is still not finished, adding a bathroom to the cabin was pretty far down on our list. But this spring Mom decided it was time. It has been functioning for the past few months. After last weekend and the hours of work Mom and Larry put into it, only a few touches remain.

As I walked around yesterday afternoon with my camera in hand, it has been a while, I snapped a few pictures.
Why this site caught my attention, I do not know. It just looked very "country" to me. This is our BB gun we keep ready and loaded on the porch to shoot the chickens when they decide to venture up. Don't worry they aren't hurt, just scared. They have learned the click of a BB being loaded and the pump of the lever. They take off before you can even raise the gun to your eye. I'm smarter. I leave it ready to shoot.
My husband. Bless his heart. He has an eye for junk. We have a collection of rusted antiques (that's a nice way of saying junk). Two wagon wheels, an old grass cutter, a tractor seat, I don't understand the affinity for unusable items.
Blending two different personalities to create a unique one.
And the two shall become one.

I wonder who the rusty old wagon wheel is? and who gets to be the flower? Hmmm?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

this is savannah

We were coming home from school when we saw Mom on the road, she was stopped. Then our bus driver let us off. We saw the cat in the car sticking his head out. So when we got in the car we saw he was climbing all over the place . After a while the cat made a funny sound. Then Mom opened the window and the cat came over and tried to get out. Mom gave him to me and put her window to where he could not get out. He went back over to Mom and put his front paws up on the window. I quickly got the camera out and took a picture. After a little while we started playing with him. When we got home he was so happy to get out.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

this is savannah

This is Dad coming in from working. He has been sick for about two days, but he is back out in his Jeep going to the neighbors to help with the garden. He asked if we wanted to come with him mom said she was not up for it. so we stayed .and now mom is the one sleeping.

Spring Break

Momma's Spring Break.

this is savannah's spring break

This is our spring break. I am under the umbrella and Blake is on the cot. Commander is in the back ground. Toby is on the cot with Blake. After a while we saw some leaves come from the ground it looked as if they were a small tornado.

this is savannah what i did this mornig

This morning I cooked waffles. and I burnt my elbow.It was not easy to cook waffles because Blake wanted me to play with him so I was cooking and playing at the same time. but I was too rambunctious and that is how I burnt myself .But we are all calm.the nice calm fire is going.and Blake is playing with his dominoes quietly dad is playing on the computer and mom is taking a shower .

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

this is savannah what i did today

Today my mom cleaned my room. She also rearranged my room and we went to the Oark store and had some hamburgers my sister came to with her baby. Silas and Blake were playing with his play guns I was playing like the bad guy so they could shoot me Silas would start laughing when Blake shoot me

Monday, February 2, 2009


We were very fortunate this past week. There were a few icicles, a few mornings with slick roads and we lost power for about a day and a half. Many are still without power. The above picture is of the Little Mulberry a few miles down the road. Notice the ice line on the mountain behind. We were just a few hundred feet shy of the ice.

To get to town from our home the road climbs up and over a mountain, I wish I knew the elevation, locally known as Yarbrough Mountain. Thankfully the roads were clear of ice, but the trees told a different story. It was quite a sight.
The power lines had icicles 3 and 4 inches long. Not quite as impressive as some I've seen on the news but pretty cool for this south Texas girl.
The sound of this sight was the sound of a gentle constant rain. As the ice was melting it dripped and occasionally dropped large chunks that hit the road and car. We all screamed and giggled when we would get nailed by an ice bomb.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Conclusion

All three arrived safely this afternoon at 5:00 (Rex, Buddy, and the car). They drove for 12 hours yesterday and stayed overnight in Knoxville, TN. Today was a 10 1/2 hour drive to the Little Mulberry. So now we know how long it would take if ever we wanted to take off and drive to the Big City. I think I'll fly.

I was corrected today about "The Sequel." This is the third Ebay cross country trip for the guys. The true sequel took place a year or two following the original. It too was for a sailboat. It's location was Ohio. I believe the sailboat still lives at Buddy's.

I love my car! It is truly in good condition. The kids and I took it for a test drive after the guys crawled out from behind the wheel. They were stiff and red-eyed. Here they are resting after a home cooked pork chop supper. They were asleep at 7:30.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rex and Buddy's Ebay Adventure: The Sequel

The original Ebay Adventure took place 5 years ago. Rex and Buddy drove from Texas to Oregon to claim a sailboat Buddy "won" on Ebay. The result was a dissapointment. The merchandise didn't live up to their expectations, and so they returned emptyhanded. But with a great story to tell.
The Sequel began this weekend. We bought, or made a commitment to buy, a Rav 4 located in NYC. The drive was farther than we had planned but the deal was too good to be true. I know, I know, if something is too good to be true, it probably isn't. We did it anyway. Much to my dismay the obvious choice for fetcher was Rex. I had to stay, and who else to join the fetch than Buddy. So Rex and Buddy left the mountain Tuesday afternoon in front of the ice storm headed our way. Thankfully their flight left on time Wednesday morning out of Little Rock. However there were delays in transit and they arrived in NYC 12 hours late. I waited for the phone call this morning to let me know if the car was a real deal. And the official/initial report is, it is. Rex called at 10am central time. He and Buddy were in the car, well pleased, and on their way out of NYC. Buddy is driving and his TomTom is navigating. I'll keep you updated....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Freshman

Yep, that's me...a freshman. I am officially in my second week of school. It is so much more fun this time. I love being the oldest in my class. I love watching the young kids walk around in their stylish clothes and matching hair styles. I love being mistaken for a professor (when I wear my pearls). And I love that the class work isn't as challenging as I remember it. My most difficult class is Algebra, and so far I am able to keep up.

I am working very hard at impersonating my professors and teachers for my family and friends. What interesting characters they are. This also makes me wonder how my future students will impersonate me. I think I can take it.

I am not working very hard at homework. Up to now my only class that gives regular homework is Algebra. Which brings me to the muffins, or as we call them, fuffins (Savannah's word for them when she was little).

I am bored! This staying at home by myself is not for me. With the kids in school the house is so quiet. What was I to do? Homework was done, taxes were done, my to do list was all scratched out. I decided it was time to start going through all the frozen fruit from last year. It won't be long before it's time to start picking again, and I can't wait. I missed gardening last year because we spent the growing season in Ireland. We were able to get spring produce. The blueberries for the muffins were picked by Savannah and I at a local farm and the fuffins are yummy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hiking Around

Friday I spent the day with my neighbor enjoying my last day of "retirement" (before I become a full time college student on Monday). We drove north to hike down to the King's River Falls area. Our first stop was Spokeplant school. This is one of the few one room schools around here still standing. Our 81 year old neighbor has some great stories about going to school here. It's sad to see the schools falling. Maybe one day someone will restore them and find a use for them.

We enjoyed the smooth ride of pavement for about 50 feet when we crossed over highway 16. Back on dirt, we met some curious cows. They stared and stood their ground.
The trail down to the falls has been newly constructed. It's a beautiful hike along King's River and the falls are a treat at the end. We had our lunch listening to the water. I dreamed of diving off the rock into the pool below, but I'll save that for a warm summer's day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Belated Christmas

After all the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season I can look back and honestly say, "I had fun." I do normally forget to enjoy the time and let the worries and stresses get to me. We had a fairly quiet Christmas. Our Eve and Day were spent here at home, just us, with a quick trip to town to visit Rex's parents. The day after we drove north to celebrate with his daughters and families. The following day we began to fill our home, as is the norm around here on the holidays. We had a full house for the next week, our population was at 12, with one bathroom. But we all survived and had fun. I wish I had pictures of the 3rd annual New Year's Eve pig roast, it was a great party. Full of music, laughs, and of course pig. My brother designed shirts for the event. Aren't they cool? (One day I will sit down with enough patience and figure out how to arrange pictures correctly on Blogger, for now please forgive my unorganized placement of my pictures.)