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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Random Ramblings

Yesterday Bella and I decided to leave life behind for a bit and ramble.  We headed off down the hill to the creek bottoms to see what we could see.

As we walked along the tree line the sporadic crash of bounding white tails startled us.  But we were both too wise to give chase; those waving white tails let us know we'd be out-bounded in no time.

In winter it seems eerie down in the pastures, abandoned.  The wind sighs across the field, and Bella chases field mice through their grassy tunnels, her butt up in the air, tail wagging.  Her joy in the simple pleasures of life always make me smile.  For all that I did not want a dog, I have learned through her to enjoy the tranquility of the moment. 

The bone-white upper limbs of the sycamore ghost over the meadow; seeming to float through the leafless wood.  Winter is their time to glow, to outshine their companions.  And I think that no matter how stark and haunted life should become, perhaps there will always be a gleam of hope if I search for it. 




Bella and I kept an eye out for coyote, turkeys...or perhaps the neighbor's Great White Pyrenees....but all was still, silent...

Except for the crows.  They shatter the silence with their banter and fuss.  But we pay them no mind; they are the background noise that complements the silence.

Bella and I amble down the dry Four Mile Creek bed; awash with fallen leaves.  Along the bank the waters have washed out fascinating root formations.  Tree toes writhing as they vainly clutch eroding terra firma. 



On some tree trunks, 10-12 feet above the creek bottom, there are slowly healing scars from past flooding. 



Bella does not understand why I stop and mess with that little black box so often.  She comes over and asks what's going on and urges a change of scenery.



So we walk on down to visit Fluffy.  She is still hanging out, but keeps turning darker as time goes along.  The fresh white outlining her right eye socket and nose speak of forest denizens seeking calcium. I cannot resist giving her speckled cranium a pat as we pass by.  Fluffy was the only cow who'd let me scratch her behind her ears.  I still miss her. 

There is a nest inside her skull, it's hard to see and harder to photograph, but it calls to mind the cycle of life; life so often comes from death.  And even as we live from day to day, I think that sometimes to be satisfied tomorrow we must let something from yesterday die off to allow before a new thing can take up residence in our life. 



After ambling around a bit more we head back up the hill to confront real life again, refreshed and ready to face the holiday craziness.

(My thanks:  a dog to watch having a good time, woods to walk in, a good life to go back to.)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

No pictures for this one; just random thoughts. 

Monday evening my bro Dan drove up for about a 36 hr visit.  He still had to work, remotely w/ his computer and cell phone, but we got in a good visit.  It was good to see him though he couldn't stay for Turkey Day today.

All seven of us (Gary, Ellen, myself and the 3 in-laws) hied ourselves over to my mom's place for Thanksgiving, various ones of us toting bits and pieces of the meal. SIL gets a free turkey from work, so she fixes the turkey, plus dressing and dessert. And a tray of cranberry sauce.

 Aunt-in-law always -for every get-together-fixes a big pot of pinto beans w/ham; cooked on her wood stove.  It might seem strange to have pinto beans for the holidays; but they are delish.  She always gives us the leftovers because she knows how much Gary loves them.  I usually put half of them in the freezer for later on.  Anyway, she also brought lemonade and mixed veggies.

I did home-made mashed taters, gravy from cans that Elna sent over, deviled eggs, and two low-carb desserts; a German Walnut cake and a low-carb pumpkin cheese cake, both of which were very good. Oh and some real whipped whipping cream to go along with them.  That was a hit. 

We listened to my mom's same 2 or three stories of growing up and her trip to Georgia back when she was 15 yrs old; which would have been back in 1944. 

Ellen and I have them mostly memorized because she frequently shares th on Sundays when we are over there for dinner after church.  AND she shares it most every time duringem the ladies meetings at church once per month.Here is basically what she says;

"Oooo...I had and aunt 6 months older than I was, and an uncle who was one month younger.  So I was never the eagerly awaited anticipated first grandchild."

Then she laughs,

Then she goes on to tell her story about how she, her sister, and her uncle went on a trip to Georgia back when they were 15 yrs old.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Random Photos

Here are a few shots of various scenes around the dairy here.  I haven't posted many pictures lately on here so here goes.

Back in October.  This hickory to the east of the milk barn likes to put on a fall show; especially in the evenings as in this shot.



Fall means cooler weather; so off we go to get firewood.  Here is the dairy farmer himself, ripping into this limb. 

This sycamore fascinated me with its wet bright green trunk; the peeled white part sets it off.  Plus the smaller limb growing straight up looks like a separate tree in the background.


In October I found this box turtle fairly freshly dead; just lying on the ground by a stump.  I took it and wedged it into the fork of this tree.  About 4 or 5 days later the shell was back on the ground and quite empty except for a few tiny bones.  I picked it up and wedged it back in to place. 

Heifers happily eating their breakfast. 





Finally; Bella, the happy dairy doggy!
This appears to be a Native American marker tree; but surely it's not old enough to be sitch.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Back Again

Our old laptop crashed a month or so ago and this new laptop wouldn't let me log into Google.  Then when I figured out what I needed to do (clear the history) and did it, Google itself wouldn't let me log in.  For some reason, way back when I created this account I was trying to be all stealthy and private and didn't use a real name for the account.  So I have no idea what my name actually is on this blog. 

*sigh*

But after much finagling around I figured out the email I use for this blog and the log in.  Those two have been inscribed in permanent ink in a place I will see frequently; lest I forget it again, or the computer or laptop crash again. 

So now that I have access I shall attempt to remember stories and happenings and enter them here forthwith.

Yes, I shall.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Summer's Lease

September sighs
A cooler breath
And summer's verdure dims,



September shifts
Drowsy, relaxed,
Like insect-laced leaves
Languid on limbs



Summer's grip eases
Releases early gems
To gleam on paths


To glow in clear pools
Of the Faerie Spring

To blanket secret woods
Where sleepy spells drift
and sway between the shadows

September shrills
With crickets' farewell to
Steamy nights


Summer stills
In September,
The Faerie Spring
Is almost dry
September sways
And sweeps summer's
Harvest

From branch to
Forest floor






To become Spring's
Promise









Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bye Deuce

We sold all the of puppies.

 And even Deuce.


I sorta miss Deuce.  We had him about days less than a full year.  I feel like I failed him; but we just don't have the time to train the dogs and he was starting to be aggressive toward Bella.  Like he was jealous of her and/or didn't have patience with her air-headedness.  I'd have them out on leashes and he'd just up and attack her for no reason.

Anyway; he went to a family with two kids so he will get all the attention.  He was just eating it up when they were here to pick him up.

But now we are back down to just Bella.

And now just Bella and I go on our rambling walks again; free from any aggravating males.  Bella loves to chase squirrels; Deuce never tolerated that. 



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bucket Head

Last Tuesday, the 5th, Gary got this bizarre call from the in-laws down the road. 

"Come down here and see what you can do, there's a calf with a bucket on her head!"

Gary came up to the house from the barn to ask me to go see about her. 

So I did.

Um, yes.  There she was in the field next to the in-laws place; with a bucket on her head in very truth.





How in heaven's name did she get a bucket on her head?

Well you may ask. 

We only have a faint idea of where said bucket came from.

Many years ago, like maybe 7-9 yrs, we had a calf out in that pasture that had some sort of problem.  I vaguely remember toting water or feed to her in bucket.  All I can figure is that one of those water buckets must have been abandoned out there. 

Heifer 231 found it and apparently did more exploring than was strictly necessary.  She could see a bit over the rim if she held her head just right so she wasn't easy to approach. But I followed her round and round a few times and managed to get hold of the top edge of the bucket.  She jerked away of course, and since the bucket was super brittle it split it in several places lengthwise.

She ran into a tree and split it a bit more; but then she holed up in a thicket and I couldn't get to her.  So, as it was getting dark, I just left her there.

By the next morning she was free!  I was very thankful of that, too!

The dairy fun never ends!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Our Trip to Totality

August 21, 2017 was the Great American Eclipse.

We kept Ellen home from school.  Gary and I, my mother in law, sister in law and Gary's aunt all packed lunches and headed up north to the totality zone.

It was fun.

The drive there was super easy; no traffic to contend with whatsoever.  We took the back roads, past acres and acres of corn and soybean fields.  Turned off of 64 at Cole Camp; went through that lovely little town.  Ended up in Pilot Grove.  We found their little city park and joined quite a few others there:


It was like a big impromptu festival.  We all used the special eclipse glasses Gary had ordered months ago.  He got a 10 pack for like 2.60 something. 






We set up our chairs, got out our lunches and waited.

And waited.


Eventually the light got a bit dimmer and the temps dropped almost imperceptibly.



The crickets and night bugs started chirping and creaking.  The street lights came on there in the park.
And at the moment of totality everyone started cheering.  It was a party atmosphere.

Then, after a bit over 2 minutes; it was over.  The light gradually came back, the bewildered night bugs and crickets simmered down...and everyone started packing up to go home.

Getting home was the major headache.  We decided to go the straight, supposedly faster route home; through Sedalia.

Bad choice.

Everyone else had decided the same thing.

It took awhile, but we made it home.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing here in Missouri.  But the next total eclipse will be in just 7 years, in 2024, across Texas for one state.  I doubt we will get to go down there; it's in April and Ellen will be a junior in high school!  EEK!


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Then There Was One...

Bella had three pups, we registered them.  To register them you have to give them names, so from top to bottom: Jip, Bailey and Mick. 

I named the two males; Gyp and Mick.  Ellen came up with the spelling of Jip, so that's what we sent in.  Ellen named Bailey. 

In any case yesterday Jip went to live with a friendly paunchy bachelor-type dude in his late 40s or early 50s maybe.  He lived north of Clinton, Missouri. 

Today Bailey went to live with a family in Springfield, MO.  A lady had called and said they'd come see her today and when two little blond girls got out of the SUV I figured Bailey will likely have a good life.  They were gaga over the pup and the dad seemed really patient with the dogs and the little girls. 

But that leaves just little Mick.  Poor little feller; I hope someone takes him to a good home. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Surprises

Good surprises are fun. 

Sometimes you really want something for a long time.

You try to make it happen, but for one reason or another it fizzles out. 

So you don't bother trying any more, you just sit back and wish.

And think how great it would be if you had this thing. 

Occasionally you peruse catalogs and consider buying it, but then you rationalize it away:
......too frivolous
......no room to put it
......likely it would die anyway of
......disease or some varmint

So you close the catalog and toss it. 

Then one day, last summer some time in fact, someone (the husband in fact) notices something and says; "Looks like you have a tree growing there. Might be some sort of fruit tree."

And he adds in his Eeyore way; "Probably be from a hybrid and won't produce anything."

So you forget it. 

But then a year later in March you see something:





No, actually not the photo-bomber in the background.  Ha ha...

You see pink blossoms.

Pink blossoms on your sterile fruit tree.

And you wonder and wonder what kind of fruit tree you have.

Then it comes a killing frost.

So you give up hope.

And forget about it again.

And THEN in June you see it...THEM:

A PEACH!

A real LIVE PEACH!

And you count and find out there are SEVEN real live fuzzy peaches on your very own fuzzy surprise fertile peach tree!

YAY!

They are really good too.  I think a varmint got one.

It's a miracle that the varmints didn't get them all.  But we enjoyed the few we got.

(Thanks: It's fun to get wonderful surprises like a fruit tree you have always wanted but never had before.  Life is a miracle and God still is a miracle worker. )











Sunday, June 18, 2017

Puppies!


For the past month I have neglected to record that the TDIDW (the dog I didn't want) had 4 puppies on May 11th of this year.  She and Deuce finally got 'er done.  Unfortunately the runt didn't survive; so we have 2 males and one female we are trying to sell as registered for $220 each.

To me this seems a crazy amount to pay for a dog; but after doing a search on the WWW it is actually amazingly cheap.  We paid $111 for Bella (the $11) was to get her registered with the ABCA (American Border Collie Association).  But on some Border Collie sites people are asking up to $1600 per pup!  Whew!

We have had 2 inquiries on them, and though we answered them so far no one has taken us up and actually come to see the pups.  I hope we can get rid of them.  It is already a pain trying to clean up after 5 dogs!  And they have little doodles still! 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Childhood and Sunlight

Childhood and sunlight,
both elusive and
ephemeral
Flicker between the leaves
Dance on the water

Shine bright in the treetops


Both grow dim with
The passage of time

But if you search
Peering down leaf-strewn
ravines
With the eyes of youth


You may find echoes of childhood
Still wading barefoot
In clear waters


Where childhood and sunlight meet once again
To float free


Or shine on the mossy rocks and feathery ferns


Of a Faerie Spring.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Walk After a Flood

It has rained almost non-stop here for the past 3 days; just one storm after another sailing by overhead.  The flooding in part of Missouri south of us has been horrendous and a few lives have been lost.  Notably a lady attempted to drive over a water-covered bridge and was swept away.  Somehow she managed to get rescued, but 2 small children in the car were swept away.  So needless, so tragic.

The Niangua River here, close to us, flooded badly again.  Not as badly as last year; I don't think it got over the Windyville bridge, but very, VERY close to it.  Neighbors across the river had their basement flooded again.  EEK!

So anyway, after a few days of laying up in their doggy houses I figured Bella and Deuce would like a long walk.  Ellen and I took them down to the creek to see what we could see.

First off at the bottom of the hill they found this:

Some sort of snapping turtle.  They didn't bother him too much; seemed to instinctively know not to mess with him.

There were still large areas of water all over in the creek bottoms.  Deuce had to try most of them out by lying down and squidging around in them.  LOL  Such fun.


Here's a funny pair of pics:  The dogs waded fearlessly into the rushing creek waters.  It looks quite calm in the pic, but it was really running through super high, super fast.  Ellen is watching and almost freaking out because she's afraid they'll get washed away. 

Then in the next pic, they have again instinctively sensed the danger, headed out of the water and toward her to see what her problem is, she is warning them off, "Don't jump on me!"






You can see a ways away from the creek what it leaves behind; every tree and clump of grass has a pile of debris behind it.  



This flood seems to have left quite a bit of debris; leaves and limbs and whatnot.

Last but not least:

Fluffy survived another flood.