Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good bye 2009

It's been a heck of a year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I resolve to be irresolute

New Year's resolutions are not very interesting, except to the person who is making them.  So if you don't want to read any further I'll understand.
After about a second's thought mine are going to be:  Try to be a better friend. Try to be more understanding of others.  Realize that there are some things (people) that are not going to change.  Implement my plan for me.  Spend more time with my kids & grandkids.  Learn something new each day. Move on.  Enjoy at least one small thing each day.  Some of these are feasable, some not so much, but trying is the important thing, right? 
If you've read this far I want to wish you a New Year full of wonder & joy! 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice

Thursday, December 17, 2009

These boots are made for stomping!

My theory is: If your going to be a muck shoveling puddle stomper you should do it with a pair of boots your Gran painted for you, and Laughter. Hope your enjoying them Miss J. As soon as I get my pair finished we are going on a puddle stomping holiday...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

a forever flannel Granny

Christmas time is here and I'm not ready, again. The tree is up with lights, no ornaments. Wreath has been hung on the front door, without bells. Gus is wearing his Christmas kerchief, oh, there it goes, guess he wasn't into it after all. Chicken castle is finished, but they won't roost in it, preferring the branches of their tree. If it gets any colder we'll have Chick on a Stick for Christmas.
I did manage to re-grout the entire firebox of the fireplace today, so maybe a warming fire as soon as it cures. The emergency, err, Christmas candles are lit.
The spirit has not come over me, yet. I'm trying to make all the presents, but only have them half finished. Have you ever tried to knit and sew at the same time?
Things are so very expensive, and all the commercialism is depressing. Then Himself says that they are going to be laid off work the last two weeks of the year, possibly longer. Come on spirit I need you now. What are the words to that song, aah yes, "sounds like life to me"!
What I really wanted to tell you about was my flannel Granny. I have such great memories of my Granny. She introduced me to Shakespearean theater, the train, the mountain cabin, books, milk cows, books, mules, and the opera in SF.
Every Christmas she got each of us grand kids a pair of flannel jammies. They were homemade when we were little, and always of the best flannel to be had. As we got older they were often store bought but still of that wonderfully thick material. We weren't always appreciative of our flannel jammies, mostly because we knew what was in our boxes on Christmas Day. No surprises there. But the thing is, out of all the presents we have gotten over the years, Granny's flannel jammie presents, are the ones that we all remember. Even after all this time, get the cousins together and the flannel jammies from Granny stories are sure to come up, with laughter to follow. Thanks Granny, miss you, love you, flannel forever.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Basement Bingo

Bingo was the vice of choice for the Cowman's maternal grandmother. She was a lovely elder, who had the "sight" and could drink you under the table any day of the week. When she moved closer to family so we could keep a caring eye on her, the vice came with her.

My volunteering to be the one to take her to weekly bingo in the church basement seemed at the time, a kind thing to do. How much would it take for me to drive in from the ranch, pick her up, and take her for a few hours of bingo? In my inexperience I hadn't realized how serious the whole thing was to her.

She always met me at her apartment door, nicely dressed, carrying a cane, and a huge handbag. The huge handbag contained several sweet little ol lady hankies, her bingo money, a dozen or more brightly colored marker dabbers, her special cushion, a wallet for identification, her smokes, a propane fire stick lighter, her mace, her loaded pistol, and her flask. Most of these items were not allowed in the church basement, but she said that was between her and her God!

She would hustle into the basement while I was parking the pickup, and was usually settling in by the time I got down stairs. There was a whole lot of prep before the bingo games started. A certain place to sit, a certain order to the placement of all her paraphernalia and a few comments to the other elders (usually of a derogatory nature).

One particular evening she commented to me that she had just about had it with the ol crone setting next to her. Thinking to divert her attention I asked if she had spoken to an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair that she had previously seemed to be fond of. "No, and don't be trying to change the subject." Having put me in my place, she continued her game.

Things got a bit worse when the ol crone won the next game, Gran thinking she had bingoed first. The elder gentleman wheeled over to congratulate the ol crone. He no sooner got the words out of his wizened mouth than Gran was on him like a bad rash. She took to him with her cane, at the same time trying to keep up with the dobbing of her multiple bingo cards, and giving the ol crone what for. After I pulled her off the elder gentleman, righted his wheelchair, picked up all her paraphernalia, apologized all around, and hustled her towards the door, the sirens sounded. She had set off the fire alarms with her smokes.

I got a call from the Priest a few days later, the Cowman's gran was banned from bingo, and would be expected at confession and mass, frequently. Good luck on that one, Father!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

wall chicks

Chicken Wrangling

a stacked chicken
batty barred rock

Just a few of the chicks I made from a basic pattern in a Country Threads quilt book. Altered the design a little and put them in homemade barnwood frames.

Friday, October 30, 2009

No Bull

One fine day for working cattle, the Cowman loaded up the horses and I to move some bulls on the other ranch. He was riding his favorite bay, Seco and I was on the aptly named Whitey. Whitey was an excellent corral horse, but was a really rough ride in the field. Who every got him for the long days afield referred to him as the kidney killer.
The boss had been on a fishing trip to Texas and ended up buying a load of Brahma bulls. They arrived in due time, and went to it, but were a bugger to work. If you got them the tiniest bit hot they blew up on you. Or they just blew up for no reason at all.

  The Cowman sent Whitey and I way around to bring in the bulls from the far corner. I gathered a bunch and pushed them into the corrals, then circled back to pickup the one that had slipped away from me. He had decided that he liked it were he was and didn't plan on moving anytime soon. Thinking to trick him into seeing it my way, I picked up a few cows on the way back to him. The cows were showing him a little interest so he went with the flow for a while. About a half mile from the corrals he decided not a step further was he going.

Off in the distance I see the Cowman waving at me to get it in gear, we had a lot more cattle to gather. The bull wasn't seeing it that way. I tried the cow trick again, but no. As I sat atop Whitey eyeing that son-of-a it occurred to me that he was red eyeing us back. He had decided that he didn't want us there. He charged Whitey, who spun at the last minute, and the bull went whizzing by. He was a big bull and fast, he kept trying. The more he missed the madder he got. Once he came so close to nailing Whitey and busting my leg in the process that he blew snot all over us. Enough already.
The Cowman finally seeing that I was making no headway rode over to see what was going on. Now the bull was trying to take him. Big mistake, after the third time he tried to dump him off his favorite bay, the Cowman pulled out his shotgun and waited. Sure enough the next time that crazy bull tried to take him he got a face full of bird shot. Stepping back the Brahma shook his head, looked around with his now one good eye, and took off for the corrals at a fair clip. Whitey and I could have told him, don't mess with a Cowman, but some just learn the hard way.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

gopher stomp'n

Tis the season for the Cali gopher stomp'n scarecrow women.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Compadre

This is my Fergus, just call him "Gus". Actually it doesn't much matter what you call him, he won't come unless he wants too. He is 3.5 months old and a holy terror.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mall on the Mountain

I've returned home from a quick trip to my brother's in Ideeho. It had been a long time since I had gotten to see my nephews, their wives, and little ones, so off I flew.
Flying is one of my favorite things, preferably via Heli, but a fixed wing will do in a pinch. Airports, lines, strange seatmates, not so much.
After getting to spend an afternoon and dinner with the kids, we drove up the mountains to my brother's home. Getting in after dark is always kind of disorienting, and this time was no different.
I was given the run of the house & town the next day, as both brother & wife had to go down the mountain to their jobs. I took a few pictures, walked all around town, and chatted up the locals that I happened onto. When my brother got home he asked what the plan was for the next day. "Haven't made any," I said. He said he was going to the Mall on the Mountain, and I could go along if I wanted. Well I'm not big on shopping or malls but I said I would go just to spend the time in his company. He said he usually finds a little something to his liking when he goes, so the plan was made.
Early the next morning after a huge breakfast, my sister-in-law is one of those fantastic cooks, we jumped in the ol suburban and headed off. He drove up the mountain, past the high school, past the large forest service complex, and onto a nice road. There were a fair number of others going up the mountain as well. When we got to the Mall on the Mountain parking was an adventure. We finally found a good parking place and started our shopping. After scouting the goods for a bargain, I found a gem of a heavy duty fire pit complete with footrest and spark screen. The price was right, so we loaded it up and away we went.
On the way home we scouted for elk, checked out the progress on the reforestation of a recent burn, and told each other how much we wished we lived closer, and other things.
When we got back to the house, we proudly showed my bargain to my sis-in-law. Who promptly said that she would have the guys at work crate it up and she would ship it to my home. She didn't really seem overly impressed with my shopping skills. My brother said it was a gem and every time he built a fire in it he would be reminded of me. How sweet is that!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mudd Pie sigh...

It is too hot, 100+ today. In another time, on another day, when I was expecting the second baby and living on the home ranch, it was a very hot day.
 After packing a lunch for the Cowman and I, we headed to one of the ranch's large reservoirs. Bumping along in the old ranch pickup, over hill and draw, did nothing to make me feel better. Getting to the water seemed to take longer than usual. My feet where swollen, my back ached, and my mood was just plain cranky.
The Cowman decided to right the little boat and paddle out to the middle of the spring fed reservoir. After dispatching a little rattler that had thought to shade up under the boat, he pushed off and away he went. More to escape my crankiness than anything, I think.
As I was spreading the old blanket and sorting out the lunch, I noticed that a dozen or so cows had come down to drink. They took no notice of me, as I must have looked just like another member of the cow herd with that huge belly. They proceeded to wade out into the water and slowly drink. Then they seemed to just stand there and sigh. As I listened to their soft sighs, they seemed so at peace with their world. Getting up, removing my boots, and walking down to where they were was an effort. That first step into the cool water was heaven, the next couple steps brought me even with the rest of the girls.
Cool water and mudd on my swollen feet, heaven. I stood there and sighed...

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm waiting...

My mother-in-love was a wonderful lady. She had so many interesting adventures. Like raising seven children, being a rancher's wife, a nurse, a talented crafter, a mother-in-love and much more.
There was the time she went on a rigorous mountain hiking trip with three of her best friends. As they went along the ridge top they admired the view, and listened to the gurgle of the stream far below. Chatting and gossiping like a happy flock of crows on they trekked. After some distance they decide to take a break and sat down to have a cool drink from their canteens. Each in turn took a big swig, and gasping, swallowed. It was then they discovered, not a one of them had brought water. Each and everyone of them had filled her canteen with vodka.
Then there was the time she was concerned about a friend drinking and driving so she chained the friend's car to one of the trees beside her house. As time went by that evening we kind of forgot about the chained car. When the friend left we heard this terrible thunk, screech! Upon rushing to the windows we viewed the friend making a great effort to leave, repeatedly she took a run at leaving with her car hitting the end of that chain, thunk, tires spinning, screech, thunk, screech.
There was the time I had a bad chest cold. Being the nurse she was she took charge. Slathered stuff on my chest, threw a towel over it, and told me to get some rest. She would take care of everything. When the burning sensation started I screamed, she rushed in and said it would be fine, then lifted the towel. "Oh My God" she said, "I've burned your chest." I healed but never again did I get her famous mustard plaster.
There was the time on the houseboat at the lake, there was the time at the cattleman's dinner, there was the time at the home ranch BBQ, there were a lot of times.
So when her final mass had been said, and we had all gathered out front to await her final journey, it was fitting that my slip would fall to the ground at my feet in front of half the town and all the family. Stepping out of the slip, and stuffing it in my purse, I started to laugh. She could always do me one better, I'm waiting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Altered Mantra

I have been trying of late to think in a very positive manner. This so that I can get through my classes and on to a new job. A much needed new job. "I can do this" has been my mantra. It has served me well until: late last night after a three hour class, I went and filled the ol' suv with gas, deposited a check in the bank's drive up window and decided to stop by the drugstore to pickup a few necessaries. Parking right at the front door, I went inside, cruised the store for a while, got a few things, and checked out. Returning to the ol'suv, I noticed that the door was locked. Now the windows were down, as it was a warm night, so the door lock being down was odd. That's when I noticed that my briefcase was missing from the front seat. Damn and Blast, some lowlife scumbag stole my briefcase. I'm sure they probably thought there was a computer inside, which thank goodness there wasn't. But still it did contain two VERY expensive textbooks, CD's for texts, a flash drive, a binder with class notes, tests, flash cards, new highlighters, and my very favorite new mechanical pencil. Damn and Blast. My new mantra may have to be altered.

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Your Not Stella"

Living with Himself these many years has been an adventure.
You see Himself is a type A diabetic. He's lived with it since he was 10, against the odds. Often he has a low blood sugar reaction, and that usually at night.
One night, kids tucked in, ranch chores done, he went off to bed, and proceeded to have a bad reaction. 
Now we lived outside a small rural town, everyone pretty much knew everyone else. So, when I called 911, three of the four volunteer firemen that came, worked with me at the school district. The two EMT's that came knew Himself from past encounters. The two county mounties that showed up were having a slow night and knew us, when they heard the call on the radio. 
Now you've got eight guys, our kids, myself and Himself all in our bedroom. I'm in the middle of the bed trying to get glucose gel down Himself, while our audience is considering the best course of action. 
 When suddenly Himself opens his eyes, gives me a startled look and loudly says "Where's Stella?", "right here babe" cause I'd agree to most anything to keep him alive, where upon Himself glares a me and says, "Your Not Stella". 
 I look around in the total silence that follows his proclamation, to find ten faces staring back at me. Because you see they all know I'm Not Stella, too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not So Bright

Sixty+ can't be too old to start down a new career path, do you think. Being given unrequested early "retirement" from my job, and finding it not living friendly to be unemployed, I'm back at college. Scary that. The following is a sign of how things are going, and classes haven't even started yet. I was in the registrar's office enrolling, and told the registrar I needed to put on my goggles to read the forms. As I was digging thru my purse, she looked at me rather funny, and said "but their on top of your head." "Oh no, I said, those are my sunglasses." She said "I think they are your reading goggles." and darned if they weren't.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Call me Lonesome

It is too hot to even think around here. There is a long list of chores that need doing, too hot. Guess I will drag out the little purple wading pool, filler up, and then the dogs, chickens, myself, and who ever else is interested can have a pool party. No diving. Snorkel at your own risk. It's strictly BYOB.

Does your vehicle have a name? Seems I've always named our pickups & cars and given them a gender. There was the time I had Rice Rocket, for his oriental origins. Then I had Whitey,(a white pickup). He was ranch raised and did not like to go to town. The Bomber, (a big ol yellow station wagon). Do they make station wagons anymore? Cow Hauler,(the only New pickup we ever had), I hauled sooo many cows with that thing. Cow Hauler, always knew his way home. Butt Burner, had black leather with metal buckles on the seats, not a good choice for somewhere that gets 110 in the summer. Granny, was given to me by my mother-in-love and was a dear. She just sort of lost her will to live after the second engine transplant. And now Bessie, who came to me used, but still has served me well these many years. My ex-Brit neighbor has a pickup named, Henry, he's a dependable ol fellow. What say you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Missing in Action

I cannot find it, I have looked everywhere I can think of, in the frig, in the hall closet, under the desk. I've even looked in the hen house. Called my brother, e-mailed my crazy Brit neighbor, texted my friend, they haven't seen it either. Searched in the emergency kit in the ol' suv. Not there, where in heck is it? Maybe it's in the box of pictures, the craft box, the box of rocks, nope not there either. This is driving me round the bend, I miss it, I need it. If you find my sense of humor please, please send it back to me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Homeland Security

There we were, all six of us, Little B's wheel chair, and twelve suit cases stuffed into the rental mini van. Heading out from El Paso across the badlands of New Mexico on our way to Tuscon. "Isn't this fun?" No" came an answer from somewhere in the far back. "I have Issues" said the little voice. I must admit after you have seen one coyote, and thousands of cacti, you've pretty much seen them all.

My Sean had been driving the groaning mini van for sometime, when we spotted the border patrol. I waved at them as we started thru the check point. Just as we got even with them, Sean unintentional pressed a button and the windshield wipers came on, water squirting everywhere, and the wipers going like mad. He couldn't find the off button. I'm pretty sure the border patrol officers were laughing at us. As was I. (Because the same thing had happened to Marymine on our Chicago trip. Everytime she stopped the washers came on, and drenched anyone near us. If I remember correctly, we are now banned from the rental return area at o'hare.) We seem to have our own form of homeland security.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

Having flown home on broomstick airways, I've been busy trying to catch up on the garden, the hens, the laundry, cleaning house, working on the deck, etc.
It was great to spend time with Sean & his Girls. Two weeks of non stop travel. Flying and driving hither and yon: five states, museums, cave, critters, old towns, mountains, trees, drag (car) races, cake deco class, swimming pools, hiking, seafood, wine, pedicure, & a twinkie wax. Take a slow calming breath.
We all have issues as the little grand girls like to say. I'm a real stickler for wearing seat belts. So the girls were quick to tell anyone who might care to know: "our granny has seat belt issues". "Darn right she does, we're not moving til your all buckled in." Sean's youngest, Little B, has CP and was in the hotel pool being dragged thru the water by another child. Just as I was about to put a stop to it, she hollers out to the offender, "stop that, I Have Breathing Issues."

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Away with you

I'm so ready to be away. It has been a very long time since I've gotten to see My Sean & his girls. They have sent me the ticket to fly up and spend two weeks with them.
Getting everything ready to leave in the care of Himself has been a stretch. I have had to make a great many lists for him, and I abhor making lists for others.
My Sean and the girls have sent an itinerary that would make a weaker granny shudder. Two whole weeks on the move every minute, with lots of travel, luggage, people I haven't yet met, places I've never been before. YeeHaa, bring it on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grazing rights

Having escaped the house corral, she snuck into the garden. Ah, the smell of grass and pine and dirt. I'll just check on the ol hens, thought she. Navigating thru the veggies, she spied a lovely bit of lettuce, munch, munch. Humm, on to the spring onions, just a few. Swooning thru the Italian parsley on she went. These little carrots are mighty tasty. A few nasturtium leaves will add the pepper. Onward with a pinch of thyme. A handful of sugar snow peas, well maybe just a few more. Munch, munch, those Swiss chards are fine. A glint of red, the strawberries oh my, berry delicious. Having gathered the eggs, she returned to the house corral to tell Himself that she didn't really want much dinner, and those darn ol hens are eating us out of home and hearth.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Death & The Non-profit

It is with a great deal of sadness that I post this missive. There have been three, yes I said 3, deaths in cowcamp during the past week.
Now it may not be of concern to others but to the Cowman & I it is heart breaking. 

First to go was the guy that we depend on to provide air movement in the house, Cecil ceiling fan. After a thorough autopsy, we still don't know what was the cause of his demise. He was so young. While we were still reeling from his passing, the heart of Fred the freezer flat lined. He was elderly, and had a good long life, but still it was hard to see him go. Having shed all our thawed tears, we sat down at the picnic table in the backyard to make all the arrangements. Just then with a small burp, a low rumble, and a big belch of smoke Walter water heater told us that we had to shut off his gas supply and extinguish his flame. He was history. 
We have combined the services for those who have to travel to attend. Those wishing to contribute to the memorial fund set up in their honor can send them c/o Cowcamp. Donations are currently not tax deductible as cowcamp is not considered a non-profit. We will be appealing our status, sure looks non-profit from here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

That time of year...

My doc says I'm way past due, and I have now been scheduled for a pap test and mammogram. You can see by my picture from the last time I had these tests, how I feel about it.

photo by PW

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunshine Wash & Dry

Early on we lived in the old bunkhouse at the home ranch. I had small children, a very old washing machine, and a defunct hot walker for a clothes line.  The Cowman announced that he was going to sell some of his dry cows at the local livestock auction yard, and would be getting us a new washer & dryer. (The aftereffects of his washing a load of horse blankets in my washer instead of taking them to the laundromat in town might have influenced his decision.) 
Upon his return, I hear his pickup flying over the last cattle guard, goose neck trailer swaying, & dogs barking. Yes, my hero has returned home with a new washer & dryer. He steps out of the pickup, walks to the back of the stock trailer, and, Wait a darn Minute, that is not a washer & dryer in the back. It is one of the ugliest, tallest, nastiest looking horses I've ever seen. 
"Now honey, I was going to buy the washer & dryer, but, I can really cover some ground on this guy."
There are rules we live by: One, never under any circumstances buy a horse from a sale barn. Two, if you do suddenly become the owner of such a horse, do not bring it to the headquarters, tuck it away at the other end of the ranch. Three, if your really thinking, return it to the sale barn asap. The Cowman, having forgotten the rules, did none of them.
All he did was say, "the auctioneer said a 10 year old girl has been riding him, so he must be gentle, look how tall & long he is, he will be able to cover the ground, and he even has a little cow sense." 
After the dust settled on the discussion that followed, "Sunshine Wash & Dry" was given a bath, a grooming and installed in the horse barn. Where he was promptly nipped to the bottom of the pecking order in the horse herd. They weren't any fonder of him than I was.
A week later the Cowman decides it's time to move some yearlings to another pasture on Sunshine Wash & Dry. Around lunchtime I'm starting to get a bit worried as he should have been back sometime ago. Just then the Cowman walks in the back door, a little worse for wear: scratches, cuts, bruises, mashed hat, torn chinks, & shirt. He proceeds to walk thru to the gun case, unlocks it, pulls out the 348, and starts hunting shells. "That damn horse just bucked me off into the barbwire & railroad tie cross braces at the second cattle guard, and I'm going to put him out of his misery." 
"Wow, he must be really crippled up for you to have to put him down?" 
"No, he's fine, down at the horse barn, he ran off and left me to walk the two miles home." Ol Sunshine Wash & Dry was forgiven for his lack of cowboy etiquette and allowed to stay on, but the end was in the making. 
A while later the Cowman was down at the horse barn putting that horse thru his paces for the viewing pleasure of a friend. Here comes the friend trotting up to the bunkhouse, "You better come quick, when the Cowman comes to, if nothing of his is broken, he's going to be damn lucky." As we are hot footing it down to the horse barn the Cowman's friend relays the turn of events. All was going good: nice figure eight patterns, nice straight runs, fair sliding stops, fair quarter turns, then the Cowman had ol Sunshine Wash & Dry do another pattern and for some reason all hell broke loose. 
"I've never seen a horse buck so high," said the friend, "and I've never ever seen a cowboy go so high, straight up, and come straight back down, head first with his arms tucked neatly at his sides. It was something to see."
A few days later "Sunshine Wash & Dry" was gone, and not spoken of again. That spring we saw him at the BIG RODEO in the saddle bronc string, he'd changed his name, but we will always think of him as "Sunshine Wash & Dry".

Friday, April 10, 2009

Eggs Away

One Easter we decided to fore go the usual Easter egg hunt. My son-in-law had completed his pilot's training not long before the big day. The idea was to drop the eggs from his small plane into the alfalfa field beside their house. Everyone gathered in the field to await the grand arrival. All that is except my Dad, who having been a fighter pilot as a young man, stayed under cover of the porch. Not the rest of us. As we watched the little plane made a dry run. YeeHaw, this is going to be fun. He starts at the end of the long field and comes right at us, wags his wings, and starts dropping eggs. Even Elders can sure run thru the alfalfa when walloped by a brightly colored Easter egg from on high. The next pass it was only the grand-kids, myself, and the dogs out there laughing our heads off as we dodged egg bombs. Oh, did I tell you he was flying that little puddle jumper in a Easter Bunny outfit. C, your the best flying Easter Bunny ever.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Survival Bookmobile

I have been on the road a lot of late what with all of Himself's various doc & therapy appts. That said, it's a darn good thing that I have a small library of books in my ol SUV. Just drop Himself at the entrance, pull into a nice out of the way space, roll down the windows, and read.
At the moment it's: The Best New British Mysteries, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Stormy Weather, Opera 101, Letters of a Woman Homesteader, & the Lilac Bus. Oh, and one on chicken wrangling, and one on ornamental and useful plants from around the world. There is an emergency kit box in there as well, with a book or two in it. I had to toss the tire chains to fit them in. I wouldn't think of trying to survive without books.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Close to the Heart of the Matter

What fun to see the grands, if only part of them, and only for a few hours. That tall handsome young corpsman will be returning to duty in a few days. He has continued being a kind caring adult. He was the first of many grandbabies, as was his mother before him, so there is a very special place in his granny's heart for him. I was there at his birth, and a thousand other events over the years. I've Loved watching his life story unfold. Be proud Marymine, be very proud!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cluckling Notes

Spring is here, the girls (hens) are going around snipping grass here, catching a bug there, and laying eggs. Eggs, eggs, eggs everywhere, my refrig is full to over flowing. I've cooked as many egg dishes as I can think of, and resorted to sneaking over to the neighbors to leave eggs on their doorstep. Run home and reload. I love range eggs, they have such beautiful bright yellow yolks, and just taste better than battery eggs. With the garden starting to produce, there are a lot of radish, lettuce, and chard trimmings to feed the girls. They see me coming and setup a frenzy of cackling. Happy chatter while I work in the garden. Strawberries are blooming, and have netted them to keep them safe from the girls & other birds. Jays have been busy planting oak seeds, which are sprouting everywhere. The bluebird couple are back, and building a new nest in the box I put up at the edge of the garden. Frogs are singing like tenors on testosterone down at the little creek. The wild turkeys are strutting their stuff as they pass thru the back yard. Counted 35 head in the last flock to come by. Two big doe's were here last evening, checking out the fence that I had to put around the garden. When there was no fence they just ate everything, usually just before it was ready for harvest.
Cowcamp Fast Breakfast Smoothie: 3 heaping tablespoons frozen orange juice, 3 raw eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk. Put all ingredients in big glass, whip with handheld blender. Drink up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

water is music recipe

add rain, until the ponds & lakes are full

a pinch of lightning to see the way

a dash of thunder booming off the mountains

a bit more rain

a big dollop of sunshine

several fat worms a wriggling for the wild hen farm chiks

a small frog a croaking

blue jays a plenty

pine cones a thunking

garden sprouts

essence of green grass

soft sound of mamma cow calling her baby home

Sunday, February 8, 2009

art heart salad

1 pkg chicken rice-a-roni, cooked per directions
2 cups cooked rice, cold
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
2 jars artichoke hearts, chopped up, add oil from 1 jar to rice
8 pimento stuffed olives, chopped
1 can mushrooms, chopped
1/4 tsp curry powder
1 can shrimp
1 cup mayonnaise
salt & pepper to taste

fold all ingredients together and chill. serve on bed of lettuce.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Manners are a big deal to me. When my children were young they learned manners and respect, sometimes it was an easy lesson,other times not. They have taught the same to their children. Often today respect is not around much. Example: I recently went to a grand's school awards assembly. not near enough seating (poor planning on the admins part & could have been easily solved). There were a fair number of men and boys setting and not one offered his seat up. Now I may not look like the granny of seven, or need to be setting, but there were others that did. Come on grannies, speak up. I did to the gang tat Hispanic guy playing with his cell phone who was seated right beside where i stood.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Line a 9 x 13 pan with 6 or more slices of uncooked bacon,
pour 1 cup uncooked rice over the bacon. On top of the rice put uncooked chicken pieces, skin on. Salt & pepper the chicken, and sprinkle a little paprika over it.
Whisk together 1 can cream of chicken soup and 1 cup water, adding a little bit of garlic salt, a pinch of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of parsley flakes. Pour over the chicken pieces and cover with heavy foil.
Cook at 300 degrees for two hours, with no peeking. Serve

* Recipe from "Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook" by Jill Conner Browne

Monday, January 5, 2009

Not what I had in Mind

Have come down with the chest cold from hell. Read somewhere that if you slathered Vick's on your feet, put on the fluffy cotton socks, you would breathe easier. So far, all that's happened is I smell like one of the guys in the ol folks home, and that stuff doesn't wash off, sheee-it*... (*borrowed from Nellie)

Called Marymine today and backed out of helping there this week. Darn, I know she can use the help.

Trying to get the Christmas stuff put away. Covering the big tree so I can stow it in the garage has been a challenge, it had me down on the floor a few times, but I managed to fight my way out. And, who thought up the torture of wrapping 6,000 strings of lights on those wrapping paper card board center things. I say throw them in the container, and let them sort themselves out, or not.

Geez, I just read this post and there appears to be a very high probability that I need to get out a bit more.

Cough, cough, cough, sorry, don't know if its this cold, or the fumes from my poor feet..