Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday Six

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Weekender, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal at Patrick's so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. PC or Mac? (You must choose one or the other.) I've never even been near a Mac, so PC, of course.

2. How much do you like one over the other, and what's the main reason? PC. I like familiar things, and I hate change.

3. What would be easier to do without for a week: your cell phone, your television, or your computer? It's simple to answer this one. I'd do without food for a week before willingly doing without my computer! Easiest to give up would be my cell phone; I rarely use it.

4. Take the quiz: Are You a Computer Geek?

My computer geek score is greater than 12% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

5. What things do you feel more addicted to than your computer? Absolutely nothing. My computer addiction exceeds all others.

6. If your computer has to go in for service and you're without it for a week, and you have the chance to log on at a different computer, which are you most likely to do first: check news headlines, check email, or update your blog? Hmmm, it's pretty much a tossup between email and updating my blog. I can get the news anywhere.

Win a Dyson!

You can win a Dyson sweeper! Free! You know you want one.

Just go over to Five Minutes For Mom and sign up. It's all you have to do.

And do it by April 4.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Cliff's heart surgery

We're approaching the one-year anniversary of Cliff's four-way bypass open heart surgery. Our lives will never be the same as before. Trust me on this.

We already realized our time on earth was short, but this confirmed it. We had already agreed between us that time is more precious than money. But we didn't really know it in our bones until the fateful day of Cliff's surgery.

Cliff never works overtime now when it's offered. Even though he'd be making over $30 an hour. Because money isn't that important. If he suggests that he might work overtime, I remind him, "You'll be sorry". And he agrees, once again, that time is more important than money.

I do everything in my power to keep his diet healthy. In fact, at our last visit to his cardiologist we were asked why he was losing weight.

"Weight watchers?" the nurse asked.

"Nope," I answered, pointing to myself. "Me watcher."

"Then I wish you'd come and help some of our other patients," she said, smiling.

And she told me about one lady, living alone, who had her heart bypass a year ago.

"She's worse now than she was before surgery," the nurse said. "She lives alone and won't walk, and has basically given up."

She and the doctor shared with us how most patients refuse to quit smoking, refuse to exercise, and refuse to eat properly.

Cliff and I walk a half-hour every day in the pasture. He works out in the weight room at work, on his break-time. He is determined to stay healthy. And I'm determined to keep him that way, as long as I can.

I am now so thankful that I insisted we re-finance the place so he could build his shop, because that's where he spends most of his time when he isn't working or sleeping; he loves it.

I'm so thankful that I insisted he get XM radio, although he didn't have a clue what it was when I suggested it. Because now he can listen exclusively to the kind of music he enjoys (with no commercials), and he loves every minute of it. (And I'm thankful that our son helped me figure out how to get it.)

I'm thankful that I urged him to buy that Honda Gold Wing he wanted so badly, because it was such a big incentive in his recovery... and the number one reason he started working out after his surgery. He wanted to have the strength to handle it again.

I'm glad I talked him into trying a different, more expensive type of hearing aid. Because now he isn't left out of conversations, and he isn't treated as though he's retarded just because he can't hear.

I want you all to remember than life is short. If you can help someone you love achieve their dreams and pursue happiness, do it now. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed.

If you'd like to see the start of Cliff's heart surgery adventure, click HERE. If you want to go through the whole operation and aftermath, just click on the upper right-hand portion of the entry where it says "Wednesday, April 19", then to the next post and the next until you've seen it all. As far as I'm concerned, it's a story of God's grace.

And a wakeup call.

Thank you, readers, for your suggestions

I'm not crafty. I don't sew or quilt, and don't want to learn.

But thanks to
Robbie's comment in this entry about old hankies, I've pretty much decided what to do with my mom's (and Grandma's) old hankies!

Check out this website and see what you think: Primrose Design.

She'll make me some pillows, and keep the rest of the hankies for her future projects... allowing for the trade in the price she gives me.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


So this morning, I was reading Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and she had three closeup shots in her entry. She asked her readers to choose a favorite. I didn't like any of them, and told her so in a comment. I did tell her, however, in that comment, that she had inspired me with her close-up pictures of horses' eyes. And left a link with my comment to this entry.

I can't believe that I got at least 80 hits to my journal today straight from Ree's blog.


That's how good her blog is... that many people read her comments; and many of them came here. If you haven't met Ree yet, I strongly advise you to check her out.

That's Ree's Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. In case you didn't catch it in the first line of this entry.

She keeps it real. That's probably why she has about 2,000 readers, and gets, like, 200 comments per entry.

Don't worry about the crummy entry she did today, unless you like reading comments. Because the comments are the best part in this case. (Sorry Ree, I'm only half-way kidding; I never claimed to have the eye of an artist.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I've been tagged!

I’ve been tagged by Neila, of Blog That Mommy. She’s outrageous, she’s funny. She reminds me a lot of my friend Tracy, with whom I used to ride to work. Only Tracy wasn’t a Passion Party consultant. But it sounds like something she might enjoy doing.

For this meme , you list seven songs or CDs that you have listened to lately and then tag seven people.

This one’s so easy, I won’t feel too guilty tagging folks with it.

“We Shall Overcome” sung by Pete Seeger
“We’ll Meet Again” sung by Johnny Cash
“I’ll Take My Sorrow Straight” written and sung by Iris Dement
“Does Jesus Care” sung by the 300 Member Dallas Christian Adult Concert Choir
“Custer Died For Your Sins” written and sung by Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman
“White Winos” written and sung by Loudon Wainwright III
“To Beat The Devil” written and sung by Kris Kristofferson, to which I include the lyrics because parts of it ring so true:

If you waste your time a-talking to the people who don't listen
to the things that you are saying who do you think's going to hear?
And if you should die explaining how the things that they complain about
are things they could be changing, who d'you think's goin' to care?

There were other lonely singers in a world turned deaf and blind who
were crucified for what they tried to show,
And their voices have been scattered by the swirling winds of time,
'cause the truth remains that no-one wants to know!

[Voice: Well, the old man was a stranger, but I'd heard his song before;
back when failure had me locked out on the wrong side of the door;
when no one stood behind me but my shadow on the floor and lonesome was more
than a state of mind. You see, the devil haunts a hungry man; if you
don't want to join him you've got to beat him. I ain't sayin' I beat the
devil, but I drank his beer for nothing, and then I stole his song!]

And you still can hear me singing to the people who don't listen
to the things that I am saying, praying someone's going to hear;
And I guess I'll die explaining how the things that they complain about
are things they could be changing, hoping someone's goin' to care.

I was born a lonely singer and I'm bound to die the same
But I've got to feed the hunger in my soul;
And if I never have a nickel I won't ever die of shame
'cause I don't believe that no one wants to know!

I tag Toonguy, Celeste, my son Jim, my daughter Rachel, Amy, Faye, and Jackie.
That list of people is as varied as my list of songs.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: My gentle horse's eye

For more Wordless Wednesday entries, go HERE.

(To answer your questions from the comment section: Yes, my horse is that tame. And yes, I was that close.)

round pen pictures

Stopping to turn in the other direction

When I drop my arm and the whip, she turns toward me. When I start walking, she follows.

Monday, March 26, 2007

What do you do with old hankies?

My mom kept everything. Old letters, photographs of people I've never seen in my life. And handkerchiefs.What you see here is a grocery sack 2/3 full of very old, ladies' hankies. When Mother decided to go to the rest home, she gave me these, saying, "Some of these are really old. Some are mine, some were Mom's."

What do you do with old handkerchiefs that your mother and grandmother blew their noses in, and with which, perhaps, they dabbed at their tears?

Nobody in my mom's family has been interested in them, so far; if they had been, they'd be welcome to them.

They're wasted on me. Maybe if I were good at crafts I'd do something with them. But I'm not.

There must be 200 of them.

I looked on Ebay, and I see there is a demand for old hankies that are in "like-new" condition. But many of these are very well-used and worn. There's one with the state of Missouri on it, and one rather shaped like a star. Many are crocheted around the edges, and I can't help wondering if my maternal Grandma did the crocheting.

Does anybody have ideas? Because if I don't get some sort of guidance in the next month, I guess I'll offer the lot of them on Ebay. I hate to just throw them away, because they obviously meant a lot to my mother.

Libby in the round pen

I mentioned in a recent entry that Cliff watched me working Libby in the round pen and pointed out things I was doing wrong. Somebody asked in my comment section what, in particular, I was doing wrong.

Well folks, almost everything! Because one of the websites I used for instruction said to use a rope to get the horse going and keep her going, tossing it toward her or twirling it; and also because I don't have a lunge whip yet... I used Libby's lead rope. Cliff pointed out that I should have been aiming it at her back end, and I was aiming it more at her side. This confused her.

You need to know that I'm very uncoordinated, and my reaction time is slow. So part of the time the rope didn't go where I intended. One time while Cliff was watching, Libby turned her butt toward me and kicked out. I was in no danger, because she was at a distance. But Cliff reminded me that I cannot allow her ever to turn her backside toward me. He is not a horse trainer, but he's watched a lot of Clinton Anderson and other shows on RFD.

Yesterday I watched Adam lunge his horse, Tude, and got some much-needed advice.

Today I took Libby to the round pen; this time I borrowed Adam's lunge whip. It's much easier to keep it at her rear end then the rope was. By the way, there is no "whipping" done. I just more-or-less wave it behind her and she goes.

Adam had explained to me how to get her to change directions, and it worked every single time. The instant I would drop the whip to my side, she would stop, face me, and come to me. The whole session was a total success. And it didn't work me nearly as hard as my previous attempts.

Can you tell I'm happy?


I spent lots of time outside yesterday, including some time in the woods, both at my cabin, and in clearing a new path to the bottom of one of our "hollers". The hillside is steep, I got tired, and I sat down to work on the brambles and brush.

When I got back to the house, I felt something crawling on my arm... it was a tick! At least he was crawling, rather than buried into my skin. But this was a warning to me to check for others.

Two years ago, I was bitten by a deer tick, and developed "bulls-eye rash" that is characteristic of Lyme Disease around the bite, as you can see by the above picture; the red area was six to eight inches across. The doctor gave me a round of antibiotics (testing for Lyme really doesn't work immediately following a tick bite).

This morning before getting dressed, I had Cliff look my backside over (a job he never seems to mind, for some reason). Sure enough, there was one on my upper back in about the same spot the above rash was found, feasting on my blood. I examined it closely and found it to be a female "wood tick" or "dog tick" (Click HERE to see what different varieties look like). Whew. I simply have to start wearing insect repellent.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Oh Shenandoah.... I long to hear you

Away, you rolling river.
Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you.
Away, I'm bound away...
Across the wide Missouri.

(as always, click on the picture to see it larger.)

I'm back

Yes, I did have a successful Shutdown Day, thank you very much.

One of Cliff's aunts and her son were visiting Cliff's brother, so we went over for a brief visit, and ended up eating lunch there. Because it was a lovely day, we went for a motorcycle ride when we got home. Then I worked with Libby in the round pen; Cliff watched, and pointed out some things I was doing wrong.

No day is complete without a ride on Blue, so I spent an hour on back roads with him, and found adventure. Who'd expect to find a firetruck and a cop down on the river bottom where nobody lives? Actually, I was expecting it, since I met an ambulance on the way down.

Jessica was here later to tend to her mare, and she knew about the accident, since she and Adam ride four-wheelers in the river bottoms often, with their friends. She said the injured fellow wasn't too seriously hurt... perhaps broke a hand, and banged up his head some.

Friday, March 23, 2007

a cute training video from Youtube

Reading Kansas City blogs, I found the link to this Japanese training video to help potty-train toddlers. The granddaughters and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you do, too.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Shutdown Day

I don't plan on posting here this coming Saturday. It's Shutdown Day, an experiment to see how many people are willing to leave their computers off for 24 hours.

Wish me luck! If you're interested, you'll find the information HERE.

A meme from Shaz

Thanks to Shaz, who tagged me for this meme, I wasted another half-hour at the computer today.

Three Things That Scare Me:
riding a motorcycle
a horse that rears or bucks

Three People Who Make Me Laugh:
my husband, Cliff
Ree, of “Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
My friend Virginia, in Tennessee

Three Things I Love: (I didn't include people here because it says "things")
My cabin
my pets

Three Things I Hate:
child molesters
moles that mess up my yard and garden

Three Things I Don't Understand:
Why anyone thinks I should show on their buddy list, when they won’t let themselves show on mine
Why our troops are in Iraq, when things are only getting progressively worse with our presence there
Why anyone would have three or more dogs, and turn them loose to roam the neighborhood, chase other people's cats, kill chickens... you get the picture.

Three Things On My Desk:
my checkbook
my digital camera
a Loudon Wainwright III CD

Three Things I'm Doing Right Now:
this meme
trying to explain to my dog that it’s raining, so we can’t go for our walk
thinking I should get out of my jammies and into my jeans

Three Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
Visit Wyoming
Visit New Zealand
Get out of debt

Three Things I Can Do:
Chord on the guitar
write an occasional poem or song
make home-made noodles

Three Things I Can't Do:
actually PLAY the guitar
take long hikes (bad knees)

Three Things I Think You Should Listen To:
Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech
Peter, Paul and Mary singing "Blowing in the Wind" (the video was removed from Youtube due to copyright infringement)
your gut feelings (intuition)

Three Things You Should Never Listen To:
gossip (but I confess I do; nobody said I was perfect)
the news (although that’s covered by the other two)

Three Things I'd Like To Learn:
to speak Spanish
to ground-break horses properly
how to make a dog behave

Three Favourite Foods:
Pizza Hut Super Supreme Pan Pizza
apple pie and ice cream
Mexican food

Three Shows I Watched As A Kid:
The Lone Ranger
Howdy Doody
Pinky Lee

Three Wonderful People to Inflict My Meme On:
my daughter, Rachel
Celeste in Georgia
Melanie in Oregon

and YOU, whoever you are, if you think it would be fun.

All good things come to an end

The face of my little town has changed, lately. Some fellow bought one whole block, and part of another, as a place to set up his business, which is some sort of software/computer-geek enterprise, I hear. He has taken buildings over a century old and put new fronts on them, at times blocking half the road through town with construction.

This could be a good thing for my town, I suppose. Perhaps there will be local jobs to be had. But it's disaster for me.

Why, you ask?

This guy bought my beautician's building, which served as both home and business for her. He paid her such a good price that she's out of the hair business and relocating into a nice, almost-new, roomy house in a bigger town to the south.

Any beautician can handle my hair. It's naturally curly, and all I need is four to six haircuts a year. Cut the same length all over. No problem.

But Connie could squeeze me in at a minute's notice, which is a good thing for someone who puts off making appointments until the last possible moment. And she's only a couple miles away; I've been known to walk there, on nice days.

And the best thing of all, she's fast. She could have my hair cut in ten minutes, flat.

Tuesday, I had Cliff stop by; I was going to see if I could get one last haircut at Connie's. A sign on the door said, "Closed". So I came home and tried to call. The number has been disconnected.

There's another lady with a beauty shop in town, and I suppose she'll get my business. But it isn't going to be the same.

I hate change.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Explanation is in the first comment. To see more Wordless Wednesdays, go HERE.

Libby in the round pen

Although it was sprinkling, I decided to see what I could do with Libby in the round pen; I really didn't expect things to go very well, but I decided to follow the old adage, "Do something, lest ye do nothing".

I read a couple of articles on the Internet several times over. One by
Julie Goodnight, a very helpful one HERE, and some others.

Once my filly and I were in the round pen, I began swinging a rope in Libby's direction, pointing in the direction I wanted her to go (telling myself, "Yeah, sure... she's going to know what I mean when I point.") and after a couple of false starts and wrong tries, she was soon going around and around... just like she was supposed to do!

And by about the third time of me dropping my pointing arm and my rope and saying whoa, she realized she was supposed to stop. After another round or two, she not only stopped at my signal, but she turned toward me, paused, and then slowly approached me to get her praise for a job well done.

I'm speechless!

I only took her in one direction today. It began raining harder, and besides, I like to end things on a positive note.

What a horse.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back home again....

Anytime I've been away from home, when I'm finally headed back where I belong I hear this man singing this song. His life ended too soon; he loved Colorado even more than I do.

Check out this Youtube entry.

And then I remember that Johnny Cash is dead, and Waylon is dead. And I realize we're all dying.

But hey, it will be good when we're all back home again.

The friends who didn't quite understand me will eventually figure me out. And realize I loved them, after all.

Does anyone else use Yahoo for e-mail?

OK, I like to use Yahoo for e-mail because if I change providers, it doesn't matter; I don't have to inform everybody of my new email. My Yahoo address stays the same.

But dang it, when I go to, I'm subjected every day to photos I'd rather not see. No, I'm not that prim and proper. But I'd prefer not to look at women's behinds, when they are wearing a thong. I just want to read my mail.

Can't they just give me cute pictures of dogs, cats, and horses?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Sunday Seven

Name the last seven specific items that you purchased at the grocery store.

Either answer the question in a comment at Patrick's Weekender, or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment at Patrick's Weekender. (To be considered "first to play," a link must be to the specific entry in which you answered the question.)

1. bananas. We always buy them, every week. Cliff and I mix them in our daily oatmeal, and the granddaughters love them as snacks.
2. ground beef . I was making chili, after all.
3. half-and-half... for the potato soup I planned to make for my daughter.
4. golden delicious apples... for the apple pie my daughter requested for her birthday dinner.
5. Caffeine free Diet Coke, because it was on sale and that's what Cliff drinks.
6. ice cream... for the apple pie I was going to bake.
7. Mini-spooners and some other Malt-O-Meal cheapo chocolate-flavored cereal the granddaughters like.

Hey Patrick, this was easy. You could have asked for 50 items and I'd have been able to do it.

I'm pathetic

My dog, Mandy, died on the highway over a year ago. I have Sadie now, and I love her dearly.

So why do I still go looking for Mandy?

I find myself searching for her at Wayside Waifs every few days. Which is really stupid, since she's buried on the back of our place.

This morning I found her replica. It gave me cold chills, and made me want to go get that puppy now!

Except of course, it wouldn't be Mandy. She wouldn't do the same things Mandy did, or act like her. And I'd always be expecting that, which would be unfair to her.

Yeah, I'm pathetic. And no, we're not going to go get her.

On the left is the real Mandy as a puppy. On the right is her (almost) lookalike, the one I found today.

Spring must be here (and other short stories)

Sadie and I went for a walk in the woods today; she's so grateful when we go back there where she can run free.

We played her favorite game... Stick.

Over and over.

Oh yeah, by the way... our alfalfa is already growing like crazy! Let there be hay.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Family food customs

I asked my daughter what she wanted me to fix for her birthday dinner, and wasn't at all surprised when she said, "potato soup". It's something she's loved since she was an infant. One would almost think it's genetic, because Cliff and all his siblings are crazy about it, too, as were his parents. Years ago I started putting parsley flakes, celery, and tiny bits of carrot in my potato soup, just so it wouldn't resemble wallpaper paste so much. I've always used cream or half-and-half to make it; for years we had Jersey cows, so cream was easy to come by.

I like it fine, but it isn't what I'd choose for my birthday dinner. Rachel asked me to fix chili too, I think for those who don't care for potato soup.

And for dessert, she wanted apple pie. Rather than bake two pies, I made a cobbler (it's just a rectangular pie, I told the granddaughters).

And I made corn bread to go with the potato soup. That got me thinking about different family food customs.

My mother didn't make corn bread with potato soup; we used saltine crackers, thank you very much. If Mother made corn bread, that was our whole meal: corn bread and milk... and maybe for dessert, a piece of corn bread with molasses or honey over it. But when I married Cliff, I had to adapt to the peculiar custom of having corn bread with our potato soup.

While making dinner, I started thinking about the way I make my pies and cobblers. The fingerprint indentations around the edges look that way because that's how my mom did it. And the designs on top are hers, too. I simply never thought of making any other sort of markings on pies.

I'm just musing today. Don't mind me.

Friday, March 16, 2007

We could have been headed to Branson right now...

Branson, Missouri, is one of those places people either love or hate. I'll admit it's terrible commercialized, but for a cheap getaway, I love it. Especially since we got the motorcycle, because a three-and-a-half-hour bike ride is perfect, really. Most of the way, it's a ride on uncrowded roads.

Motels and resorts are cheap there because they overbuilt, years ago. So if it's nice weather, we can hop on the Gold Wing, head to Arkansas, and enjoy beautiful scenery for only the price of gasoline (yes, I realize that's gotten pretty significant these days, but still...) and about $50 a night for a place to sleep.

Oh, and we love the older country music, fifties through eighties; that's all Cliff listens to on his XM radio. Guess where half the singers from that era live and perform now? Yes, Branson! Here's me with Moe Bandy. I was wearing my George Jones T-shirt that night, and Moe asked me where I'd seen "the Possum".

Anyway: My daughter took time off work to spend spring break (today through Monday) with her daughters, who usually come here after school. This gave us an opportunity for a four-day weekend, and we decided some time back that if it turned out to be good motorcycle weather, we'd go to Branson.

It wasn't to be: the weather guessers say we'll have a high around 50 today and tomorrow, with possible rain tomorrow. Cliff offered to take me in the car, but this time of year I can't see the point. The dogwoods wouldn't be blooming nor the hills turned green. All we'd do would be spend money we should be saving for our trip to Colorado this summer!

The cheapest music shows at Branson cost $25 per person, and my favorite attraction, Dixie Stampede, is over $50 each (but it includes dinner).

Besides, it's just more fun on the Honda.

So we'll wait for another window of opportunity. Meanwhile, I can ride my horse almost any time during this long weekend, which is a wonderful little getaway and costs me nothing. Sunday the temperatures are supposed to be in the 60's, warm enough for an enjoyable motorcycle ride.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The wisdom of Solomon couldn't fix this problem

One of the most controversial issues in the equine world lately is that of horse slaughter. Many horse-lovers are fighting to ban it totally. I respect their opinions and appreciate their love for horses; but I see nothing but trouble, if slaughter is totally done away with. In Kentucky, people are already turning horses loose in the old strip-mine areas. They are left to fend for themselves, or starve. For more about this problem, read HERE. This article mentions that sending horses to the glue factory is no longer an option, because glues are made of synthetics these days.

I love my horse. If Cliff and I are able to stay here in the country long enough, I intend for Blue to live out his days here with us. If he gets to the point where he has no quality of life, Cliff will painlessly put him to sleep for me. Cliff worked in a butcher shop for years, and he knows how to give an animal a quick death with a well-placed bullet.

I had, during brief losses of mental lucidity, talked about someday breeding my filly, Libby, to a jackass so I'd have a mule to play with. After reading about the glut of horses on the market, I hereby swear in front of the whole world that I won't breed Libby, ever. That would be as irresponsible as letting an un-neutered female dog roam the neighborhood. And believe me, here in the country I've seen plenty of that.

Isn't she pretty?

I've been ponying her a lot lately with a saddle on her back, and she's thriving on it. I originally thought she'd be a big horse. I don't think so now. The best Cliff and I could figure, she is 13.2 hands, and she's two years old next month. She'll do well to make 14 hands, I think.

Yesterday I sat briefly on her, in the saddle. She reacted not at all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cliff's other new projects

I don't know about you, but I sometimes wonder how Cliff finds time to go to work, he has so many projects. Well actually, sometimes he doesn't. He played hooky yesterday.

This is a round pen he's building, for training horses. I'm not real confident that I'll know how to make Libby perform properly in it, but Adam and Jessica are elated about this addition! You'd have thought they'd won the lottery when they saw what Cliff was doing. Adam is going to contribute the sand that is needed, for proper footing for the horses.

This trailer belongs to a friend. Cliff is going to see if our car can comfortably pull it with two big motorcycles on board. If so, he'll do a little customizing, and when we go to Colorado this summer with Cliff's sister and her husband, we'll take our Honda and their Harley. Once we arrive at our destination, we'll park the car and ride the motorcycles.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cliff's garden

I mentioned in a previous entry that Cliff has decided to have a small garden: just enough to have some fresh vegetables for the table. Today that little plan started to become reality.

I found him tilling, and I volunteered to take over that part of the job.

So Cliff started raking.

And hoeing.

And planting.

While I tilled.

He took time out to spray fruit trees.

Then took over on the tiller so I could come inside and fix dinner.

Would you call that a "small" garden? Me neither.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

motorcycle ride

Cliff and I figured the temperatures were right for a long motorcycle ride today. We discussed destinations, and Cliff mentioned my cousin Gerald. That was OK by me. Headed up the road later, he said to me, "So, where do you want to go?"

"I thought we were going to see Gerald," I answered.

"We can; I just thought I'd ask."

"Well you know, I have a couple of aunts in Bethany I don't see often."

"OK," Cliff says. "We can go there."

So that was our destination. On the way, though, we passed through a town where a friend and co-worker of Cliff's lives. Don has been off work for some time, having had some sort of surgery. Cliff wondered if we should stop by; I said, "Why not?"

Now you'd have to meet Don to really understand how much he belongs in the early 1800's on the frontier. This man lives to hunt, trap, and fish. He doesn't just talk about it, like so many men: He gets out there and does it daily, when his job isn't cutting in on the action.
These two guys have worked at five different places of employment together. Don's son, John Daniel, got his middle name from Cliff.

Don and John have all sorts of dogs for different occasions: Rabbit dogs...

a squirrel dog who, when they turned him out of his cage, was too fast for me to photograph;

a twelve-year-old coon hound...

Not to mention another younger coon hound, and the Chow they picked up along a roadside as a pup that serves as the family pet, and isn't usually in a cage.
So we had a nice little visit there before we got back on the road north to visit the aunts.

Here's Aunt Mary, my mom's youngest brother's wife, who is still stoically living alone in her own house.

I spent many happy hours as a child at Uncle Leo's and Aunt Mary's farm. One of her grandchildren, John, was visiting today.

Then to the nursing home to say hello to Aunt Gladys, my dad's only sister, and the only remaining sibling. She is in the same nursing home where my mother stayed until her death. She's blind, and I put her hand on my leather chaps so she could feel them. She sang me a song from long ago about leather breeches, and then we talked about all the silly little dirty songs my dad used to sing.

Both these ladies are so very fragile; visiting them makes me aware of the fact that I'm not so far behind them. I realize one day I will be like they are now, unless fate hastens my death.

It was another good day, well spent.

One notable thing: it was cloudy here at home all day; 100 miles to the north, where we were, the sun was shining. That's one way to get a sunny day: Just ride to it.

Patrick's Saturday Six

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Weekender, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal at Patrick's, so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. What's the craziest thing you can imagine yourself actually doing? Hiking down into the Grand Canyon. Hey, with knees like mine, that's plenty crazy!

2. What sport or pastime do you think someone would almost have to be crazy to attempt? Skydiving or bungee-jumping.

3. How likely would you be to do that? No way would I do it!

4. Take the quiz: How insane are you?
"You are 20% insane. you are completely normal." Yeah, right. Whatever.

5. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most stupid, how stupid would you rate that quiz? 9, but only because I have seen stupider ones in my time.

6. What do you really use your computer for? Surfing; finding both useful and useless information; buying stuff from Ebay, Circuit City, and other sources; paying some bills; keeping my checkbook balanced; sharing my life through my blogs and journals; and reading blogs. Dang, no wonder I go nuts if my computer or Internet connection isn't working!