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Monday, May 31, 2010

A New Shot of Ellen

Ellen's Missouri aunt made her a dress. She got the pattern from a co-worker, thought it was adorable, and made it for Ellen. It is so cute, but she had quite the time with it.

For one thing...the MAIN thing...Ellen wasn't cooperative in the "let me measure you" department. So Auntie had to just make a guess at the size. The first time it was too little. The second time it was a tad too big, but I put it on Ellen while they were here so Auntie was able to measure it a bit better. So now it fits just right...for a few months anyway.

The shoulder straps are unique in that they are just that; straps. You pull them through button holes in the top front and then knot so they can't be pulled back through.

It made quite the sensation among the ladies at church yesterday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

True Gumption

gumption/gump'shen/1 initiative, resourcefulness; 2 courage

Her story isn't all that unusual, I suppose. There are thousands who go through it, for one reason or another, and they face it with the same determination and courage. But here in our corner of the world her story touched us all.

Last June a lady at our church had to have the lower part of her left leg amputated below the knee. To a woman who is active and athletic this was devastating, as you might expect. But what was remarkable was that through the devastation, through the agony of loss and the pain of recovery...two things remained steady; faith and gumption. Faith that God had a purpose for her life, faith that He was still with her and would see her though. The courage and gumption to start over again, to make the best of what life had handed her and not complain about it. This was an inspiration to all of us.

Last summer she said she wasn't going to be able to play at the church softball games, but that she would next year.

Next year has arrived....

We salute you Meri! You are an inspiration.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Sylvan Saturday

Every once-in-awhile a day comes along that calls out for a walk in the woods. The weather is perfect; sunny, breezy, not too hot, not too cold...just perfect. Not to mention the cows were pastured in the upper fields.

So I loaded Ellen up on the 4-wheeler and off we went down to the creek bottoms again.

The creek was a little bit lower than on our last walk, so after we spent some time annoying the eensy-weensy schools of fish with our rock throwing, and chasing the little peeper frogs around I decided to go to ford the creek and check out the other side.

We went all the way up to the top of the ridge behind us. When I type it out like this it all sounds fast, but keep in mind this is on some 100 acres of wooded land here, so the ride is rather bumpy in some of the pastures, and going through the wooded areas you have to dodge fallen branches (or limbs, rather...a branch in this part of the country is actually a body of water.)

On this other ridge we find the old homestead. The original homestead of hubby's great grandfather (I think there's only one great in there. His dad was actually born in 1919.)

This picture is of the house, in the center, chicken shed to the right, and a well house on the left, I believe. I didn't get a shot of the whole barn this time. Though I have blogged on this before a couple years ago, so there are pics of the barn in that post. (Note the picturesque turkey vulture sailing overhead.)

Here is a shot of the house below. This house, no running water and no electricity, was actually lived in up until 1968 by a pair of sisters whose family had bought the property from hubby's grandmother way back when. (Hubby subsequently purchased the place back some time after he'd established the dairy.)

To me there is always a deep sense of poignancy about the place. There is wallpaper coming off in tatters and old magazines scattered around upstairs and on the stairs. There are canning jars and rusted chains scattered around outside. In early spring the daffodils the ladies planted spring up and bloom all around. I found a 3-pronged pitchfork up there and brought it back down here. This type of pitchfork is uncommon now, hubby says folks hammered them down and used them for gigging. I need to get a handle for it though.

And looking into the barn I think about how much time and effort the builder put into making it. If you look close at the logs you can see that each log is hand-hewn and placed with care. Huge rocks were hauled from the creek bottoms to use at the bottoms of the walls. Notches were hacked into the logs used as rafters. Corral doors were hung with care as well. Here's a pic of the inside. You can't see it in this particular picture, but up on the rafters are still the tatters of cornstalks from the last harvest back in the mid-60s probably.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Too much sugar

Blogger and I have some issues here. I have tried to blog but it keeps kicking me out. Argh!

Anyway. There's not too much exciting going on to blog about, though I have a list of things I want to put down. (no time for all of it now.)

But thanks to everyone who answered about the rag on the bush question.

Now. How about the saying: "Too much sugar for a cent." Hubby and I have our own ideas of what this might mean. When I Googled it all I came up with was a book by that name. I wasn't of a mind to purchase it, so I am still clueless.

Have fun.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Taking the rag off the bush

Here's another saying to add to my list.

Whenever Ellen is throwing one of her down-in-the-floor-kicking-and-screaming fits, hubby says; "She's really taking the rag off the bush."


You tell me what that's supposed to mean.

I guess it's just an old Ozarks saying that made sense a hundred years ago.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Own Hillbilly Joke

Q: How do you know when you've become a true hillbilly?

A: When you bring a coon in a live trap to church.

Here's the story:

One of the guys at church...I will call him RR for convenience sake, is a rabid raccoon hunter. He has coon dogs and all the spotlights and gear and whatnot. Several months ago during coon season he went coon hunting over at the neighbor's place across the river but I don't think the dogs even found a coon to chase.

Hubby told him that we have LOTS of coons, so over the course of the past few months RR has been over coon hunting several times. We do have PLENTY of them. However, apparently we breed pretty clever coons because he and his buddies have never been able to tree a coon on our place. They head straight to their den trees and that's the end of that.

He has even come over the past couple of weeks in the off season. Now he loves to coon hunt and says he needs to train one of his dogs, but I think he is mostly bound and determined not to be defeated by our coons. haha...

However, even in off season he has been unable to tree a coon. So on Wednesday he brought a live trap and a PB&J sandwich and asked if we'd trap him one to use to train his dog with. I laughed and took it home and set it. Hubby didn't really want anything to do with it.

Well, the coon or coons ate the bait, said thanks (I suppose) and took off, leaving an empty trap.

Next night I tried again. Same thing.

Then RR and his son came back last night and set the trap yet again. BINGO! Got one. So hubby tossed it in back of the truck and I hauled it to church. (We go early for Sunday School, hubby comes later for regular church service.) RR puts it on a tarp in the back of their fancy vehicle.

What is so funny to me is the fact that after all this time of trying the only thing he can catch is a one-eyed coon in a live trap.

Well, maybe he can train this dog to actually be able to tree something for him.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Tough Somebody's Life"

Who's life have you toughed today?

Ha ha.

Have you ever read any of those church bulletin bloopers? Like: "Bless someone today, say hell to someone you don't know." Along those lines?

Well, last Sunday our church bulletin advised:

"Have a blessed day and tough somebody's life today as hopefully God has toughed yours."

The author of the above line did not catch the blooper until she'd finished copying and folding them. She gave us all a laugh, and she is gracious enough to laugh along.

(Obviously she meant to say "touch" instead.)