Monday, September 29, 2008

I Actually Had to Work Today

I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I sure hope it's the right one!

Hopefully I can get these cranky tax returns in the mail to the client tomorrow and be all done!

After that there's my home office that needs tackling. I'm thinking about it, KNOW, without a doubt that it needs doing; I might take a couple of naps tomorrow instead. Procrastination is my middle name.I walked around the yard for a few minutes right before the sun started it's final slide below the horizon, and took a couple of pictures. My autumn sunflowers are starting to peek out a bit; in a few days they will be busting out all over with blooms.

The other photo is the heart of one of my red roses. You can click the photos to see a larger view.

Now it's time to herd Zach towards the shower so I'd better get outta here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sometimes I Do Stupid Stuff

Actually, more often than not I do totally stupid stuff, but since that menopause biddy has been living in my body, I have managed to top the stupid stuff charts.

I mentioned in a previous post about dangling my booms over that pot of steaming greens while reaching for something in the cabinet and burning one of them. That was pretty stupid, right? Well, my stupid streak continues.

I also washed a paper towel that James had left in the pocket of his work pants which resulted in quite a bit of cussin' and carryin' on while I was trying to get all those teeny pieces of soggy paper out of the washer. I'm still finding some in the dryer a day later.

Then, as I tried to sit in the floor in front of a bookshelf to pick up a pile of papers and books that Zach had left in the floor in front of it, I skinned my shin on one of his text books. Now I have matching scrapes on both shins except that one is horizontal, the other vertical. I don't even know where the second one came from.

Today I decided to toss 2 little 10 in. pillows into a load of wash. They're cotton, the kind you toss on your bed, sofa, or in a chair. They looked washable to me. The kids had spilled and dribbled all manner of stuff on them so it was either wash 'em, or throw 'em away.

It ended up I did both cause one of them, sprung a leak. I'm not sure how they got those 5 million little fluffy pieces of shredded foam into those little 10 inch pillows, but I know now how easy they come out.

All in my washer.

All over 3 shirts, 1 pair of jeans, and 2 pot holders.

I shook, and shook, and shook, the clothes before putting them into the dryer but I betcha there will still be some of that stuff in the dryer lint catcher. Then I had to sweep the floor.

Somebody just shoot me.

Happy Birthday Jaylen!

Jaylen turned 7 years old yesterday! We remembered to call her, text her, and send her photos over the phone, but I didn't get a chance to come back in here to say Happy Birthday to her on my blog.

She also hasn't gotten the new outfit Nanaw sent her cause of the DingDongs that work out of our local, tiny town post office.

Ask me about that next time ya wanna hear a rant.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I've been Tagged

Ha! Thanks Miz Donna, I didn't want to work on that tax return just yet. :-)

7 Things I Plan To Do Before I Die

1. See my children become financially WISE
(I may have to wait on this from my grandchildren)

2. Clean and tidy every room in my house (or have it done)

3. See the western United States

4. Take the ultimate photograph of the moon

5. Get out of debt

6. Drive down through all of the Florida Keys

7. Convince my husband that I'm serious about creamation and NO funeral!

7 Things I Do Now

1. Be constantly entertained by things my grandchildren say or do

2. Blog, when I can think of something to blog about

3. Be disorganized

4. Help and monitor Zach with homework, argue with Zach about cleaning his room, picking up his clothes, cleaning up his messes.

5. Take photos, many, many, many, photos.

6. Cry while watching an especially sad LifeTime movie

7. Cook

7 Things I Can't Do

1. Roll my tongue

2. Work in the garden much any more

3. Make sweets

4. Sleep for more than a few hours at a time at night

5. Shop for anything without getting tired and frustrated

6. Understand how people can want something for nothing

7. Take another long flight

7 Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex

1. Sense of humor

2. The ability to admit when they're wrong

3. smile

4. Security

5. Intellegence

6. Compassion

7. Loves people

7 Things That I Say Most Often

1. Dammit Zach!

2. I love you a bushel and a peck

3. Hush

4. Well shit!

5. Who's that knocking at my door? (I sing that every time I see Jillian coming up on the porch)

6. What was I saying?

7. Get in there and CLEAN your room!

7 Celebrities That I Admire

1. John F. Kennedy (deceased but still alive in the heart of America)

2. Margaret Thatcher

3. Alan Shepard, astronaut

4. Mae West (she was a sensual woman who wasn't afraid to be at a time when it wasn't acceptable)

5. Jimmy Carter

6. Rudolph Giuliani

7. Anne Frank

7 Favorite Foods

1. Kung Pao Chicken

2. Cornbread

3. Cold spam sandwiches (don't laugh)

4. Liver & onions

5. Egg custard

6. home made soup

7. Nacho stuffed baked potatoes

7 People Who Need To Do This

1. Pea

2. louise

3. Mary lou

4. Cindra

5. Jazzi

6. Jerri

7. Brent

I'm having a really rocky, menopausey, day today. My insides feel like a bowl of jello, my right "boom" pains from being too near the steam from that pot of greens yesterday, and I feel as though I will blow at the least bit of provocation. Y'all pray that everyone around here lays low and tiptoes gently.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fire Ants and Turnip Greens (not together of course)

Turnip greens
cornbread dressing
(I didn't take the above pictures, I googled them.)

We went out and picked a mess of greens from the garden early this afternoon. We came in with a small basket full of young, mixed, turnip, radish, and mustard greens. I let them soak awhile before washing them, then threw 'em into my big stock pot with a couple pints of water, salt, and a little fatback for seasoning. Being young and tender, it didn't take them very long at all to wilt down for some mighty fine eatin'.

I also made some chicken and fine southern cornbread dressing (those living above the Mason-Dixon line might call it stuffing).

I did a little experimenting with the chick and dressing this time though, I made the whole kit and caboodle in my electric skillet. It turned out really well and I didn't have to heat up the kitchen with a hot oven.

(click photo to enlarge)
Here's a close-up of Miss Beans riding on the combine yesterday. PopPop said she didn't miss a thing during her ride and loved every minute of it.

Small fire ant mound (click to enlarge)

The farm down there is being overrun with fire ant condos. James usually digs in their mounds a bit, then burns them when he has time because they're devilishly mean little creatures. One of the workers unknowingly stood on a mound one day and they absolutely covered the lower part of his body, stinging the entire time. James said Guadalupe came out of his clothes and boots that day, right there on the turn row, and didn't care WHO saw his business.

A gently disturbed fire ant mound. (click)
James knocked the very top off of the mound to show us how quickly these little devils will swarm and attack. In seconds there were millions of them pouring out of the mound.

Fire ants stings aren't normally lethal to humans unless they're allergic to them, but they're at least as painful as a wasp or bee sting. They have been known to overcome other insects and small animals and sting them to death.

We made the Beans stay in the truck in her car seat so she wouldn't get close.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

SkyWatch Friday #11

It's that time again! The kind folks over at SkyWatch are hosting another SkyWatch Friday. For loads more fantastic sky shots, go by and visit them.

We went down to the farm my husband manages today to watch them harvest some of the soybeans. Jillian had her first ride on a combine with PopPop so she was excited. It was around noon so the sky looked really washed out in this photo.

These are some of the storm clouds that rolled through from Hurricane Ike.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good Ole Boy Farming

The sharecropping system of farm tenancy was once common in Arkansas and other areas of the United States. In the United States the institution arose at the end of the Civil War out of the plantation system. Many planters had ample land but little money for wages. At the same time most of the former slaves were uneducated and impoverished. The solution was the sharecropping system, which continued the workers in the routine of cotton cultivation under rigid supervision. Economic features of the system were gradually extended to poor white farmers. The cropper brought to the farm only his own and his family's labor. Most other requirements—land, animals, equipment, and seed—were provided by the landlord, who generally also advanced credit to meet the living expenses of the cropper family. Most croppers worked under the close direction of the landlord, and he marketed the crop and kept accounts. Normally in return for their work they received a share (usually half) of the money realized. From this share was deducted the debt to the landlord. High interest charges, emphasis on production of a single cash crop, slipshod accounting, and chronic cropper irresponsibility were among the abuses of the system. Farm mechanization and a marked reduction in cotton acreage have virtually put an end to the system

The sharecropper always seemed to be a few dollars short of what he owed the landowner, so he invariably began the new year with a deficit. As that deficit grew, he found it impossible to escape from his situation by legal means.

My husband's parents were sharecroppers but the deal they had with the landowner, who was also their employer for other farm work they did for him, was that they farmed the land and gave the owner a fourth rent. They farmed 40 acres of land that belonged the the farm owner ; their family provided all of the labor. The owner paid for all of the seeds, provided the equipment, and fuel to plant, cultivate, and harvest the crop. After the crops were sold, the owner took out the expenses for all of that, and then took a 4th of the funds that were left.

What was left wasn't enough to support their family so they also worked for the farm owner on a daily basis for wages that only amounted to about $1.00 an hour up until my FIL retired in the mid-90's. They stopped sharecropping earlier than that though because their sons grew up, found other jobs, and they didn't have the labor they needed to farm anymore.

Such was life here in the Mississippi river delta in Arkansas back then (and even now); you worked as hard, and for as long as you could, just to be able to feed your family and keep a roof over their heads.

Both of James's grandfathers were also farmers, and both were quite successful at it during the times that they were alive and farming. His mother's father died back in the 1940's because he tried to throw a wrench into the "good ole boy" system that goes on down here from way back when there were huge plantation and slave owners.

His grandfather saw how badly the big farm owners were treating the small farmers when it came to paying them for their cotton crops. These "big" owners not only owned the general stores where all the farmers bought their seed, and supplies, but they also owned the gins where the cotton was ginned and very often sold. What it amounted to, was these "big" owners were not giving a fair price for the cotton, or for the ginning, nor asking fair prices for the supplies. The small farmer usually owed the big farm owner every penny made from the crop, plus some, after the big farm owners had tallied up everything to their advantage. So his grandfather started buying the cotton from all of the small farmers for a fair price and taking it to other gins, then selling it in Memphis where he'd get a little extra for it so that everyone made a profit.

This didn't sit well with the good ole boys; not one little bit, so one day when his grandfather was leaving one of the little country stores in Lexa, one of the deputies at the time started an argument with him and shot him. His grandfather died on the front porch of that little country store, with a doll in his pocket that he had been planning to take home to one of his daughters.

The deputy claimed it was self defense, that his grandfather was drunk and had struck him. Of course the deputy's livelyhood came from deep within the big farmers pockets so the investigation was short and sweet, and no charges were filed.

The "good ole boy" mentality is still alive and well here in our part of the Mississippi River delta but I wonder how much longer it can continue. The labor pool future is looking mighty slim for the big farmers now, cause the technology that it takes to stay in farming these days is going to take a much higher paid, and better educated, labor force to do the work. And after taking a look around, there just ain't much of that.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Over many days

(click to enlarge)

Zach's 5 week report from school. Didn't he do great? Now, if he'll just keep trying and hold on to these grades for 4 more weeks till the end of the first quarter. I'm SO proud of him!!!

Jerri took this picture of the Chick. She had 100/A+ s in every subject on her 5 week report. We're mighty proud of her too!

Krysten has a birthday on Tuesday, she'll be 10 years old. We went to her party yesterday for some delicious ice-cream and cake (I haven't down loaded those photos yet). She looks pretty rough in this picture cause she was home sick with a stomach virus one day last week. Jerri was sweet enough to go pick her up from school for me and stayed with us all day to help.

Here's the Beans again, Jerri took this picture of her wearing the fairy costume she'd made. Isn't it just the sweetest thing? Don't let the looks fool you though, the other day I was sitting at the table watching Jerri do some craft work and Beans wanted to sit in my lap. I told her there wasn't enough room, so she grunted and wiggled her way into my lap anyway while remarking,
"Ya little fat girl!"

Then, later on, once the other girls were home from school, they were all playing nicely behind the recliner when we heard, "I pooted, I pooted, 'mell it?" then a chorus of Ohhhhh No Beans, quit fanning your butt!"

On Saturday those Bamma Crismson Tide players gave our Razorbacks the whoopin of their lives! It was a sad, sad, game to watch.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brenda Photo Challenge - Changing Seasons

Miz Amanda over at Pennys and Pounds is our hostess for this challenge and she chose Changing Seasons as our challenge title. Thank you Miz Amanda!

This was a hard one for me cause I live in Arkansas and it's usually late October or early November before things really begin to look like anything other than sultry summer.

I took this photo last week on my way to town. You can see the milo is ready for the combine in the lower part of it. So that is a sign that Fall is near, the crops are ready for harvest.

Other season changes are the clouds of dust made by the combines as they harvest soybeans; not that there isn't dust most of the time anyway on this gravel road that I live on.

I took this photo last November when we spent a fishing day down on Old Town Lake. It's located only about 13 miles south of us, so it's nice and close for drowning a worm on a hook. I love the cypress trees that are scattered all over this ox-bow lake and especially love the burnt orange colors they display in the Fall.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Your Prayers

Miz Sally's grandson, Ben, was killed recently in an accident. I am so very sad for what she and her family must be going through right now. I hope she knows that we love her and are keeping her and and her family in our prayers.

An ear to listen
A hand to hold
A heart to share
A friend who cares

We love you Miz Sally.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bugs and Blooms

It was such a cool and lovely day yesterday that I wandered outdoors with my camera for a bit.

It's lovely outdoors today too but I think I'll go back to bed for a bit before I go out to see it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What to Do

It's September, presidential elections are in November, and I have no idea who I'll cast my vote for this time.

I lean towards Obama because he promises to calm the health care crisis and make health care affordable to each and every American, but I'm also afraid of him because someone, or some group of someones, is surely pouring a lot of money into his coffers and I have to wonder, who, and for what reason? I also wonder where this realively unknown young man came from all of a sudden, and what, or who does he really stand for?

I can't vote for McCain because that fella has no idea of the struggles a middle-class family must go through in order to just have the necessities in life (food, clothing, and a roof over their heads). He also plans to restructure health care by taxing employer-paid health insurance premiums and giving folks a tax credit to offset it. If you're at all savvy about taxes, and the profit greedy insurance companies, you'll know that his plan will add even more Americans to the group of uninsured.

I just don't want to vote this go-round.

I don't.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some Girl Photos

The Chick wearing her lipstick. She's learned a new song in school,

"My country tiffany,
sweet land of liberty,
of the I seize!"

I sure hope Jerri has a little book that she's writing this stuff down in cause you can never have enough good stuff to embarrass them with when they're teenagers. :-)
A photo of our city girls, Jordan and Jaylen, that I copied from my daughter Trisha's My Space page. They are growing up so fast and getting prettier every day! Trish called last week to tell me they had their mid-term reports and they both had an A in every subject. Way to go Jordan and Jaylen!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm losing my manners

Ask me do I care.

Nope, especially not lately.

Even little things are really getting to me and it's becoming harder and harder for me to ignore my God given ability to release a little steam by using quite a bit sarcasm.

While trying to get supper done and laid out the other night, for a serve-your-own-damned-self kind of meal, James walked into the kitchen, looked around, and said,

"Did you slice up any tomatoes to go with supper?"

I, not being in the mood for conversation with a man who's first words as he comes in the door are, "What's for supper?" said, "Nope".

He said, "Yes you did, there they are."

I said, "Then why did you ask?"

I heard Jerri snickering over by the fridge and told her, "You'll learn, you've got to take your jabs where you can."

Then, early this evening, I'm at the Kwik stop/gas station that's about 5 miles away to take Zach to meet Jerri and Bubbie so he can go to the football game with them, and I had pulled into a parking place facing the side of the building, then ran inside to get a couple of things. When I came out there were 2 cars parked behind me. One was empty but after a minute or so, the driver of that car came out and moved. The other car had a young lady sitting in it who was looking in the mirror, flipping her hairdo, acting like she had all the time in the world. Being already p'od about what idiots they were for parking there, I waited for a few minutes before I completely lost my manners, then I got out of my truck and walked over to ask her if she was planning to spend the night there.

She said, " Huh?" I said, "Kindly move the beauty treatments out of my way so I can go home tonight."

So, she did.

I backed out of the parking spot, and the only clear way out of the parking lot was blocked by some ASS in a big ol Yukon who had not parked but was sitting there, in the way, waiting for someone who was inside.

So I sat there passing the time by making faces at them and occasionally waving this funny little wave using only one finger on my right hand. I don't reckon they were paying me much attention, I'm not sporting a black eye or anything.

I wonder if they make a pill to calm these sarcastic urge? My grandmother would not be proud.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

SkyWatch # 9

A shot of the moon at around sundown on Monday evening. Some day I'm going to do a super-duper moon shot, it's on my list of things to do.

Flags above the food vendors at the fair on Friday. The sky was still gray and dreary with remnants of Gustav.
Click the link above to see wonderful sky shots from around the world. Happy Sky watching!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Serious Shopper

Before I left yesterday Jerri called and told me she and Beans were coming to do some cleaning for me so I took Beans with me to do all those dreaded errands. She was polite to the fellas at the improvement district while I paid the bills for them, she kept us all entertained at the bank drive-thru by trying to convince me to "get outta da truck Nanaw and catch them bugs on the wall", she got a little antsy when we had to stop at another bank, and then pulled in to the station to get gas. But then we got to her favorite part of the trip, we went to Wal Mart to pick up the milk, bread, tea, bird, and hummer food.

$153 dollars later we emerged.

That child LOVES to shop and unlike most kids who head for the toy department, she's a serious grocery shopper.

We came home with a huge pizza, yogart in a tube, two different kinds of the snackable thingies, some party favor watches with candy in them, malted milk balls, chocolate milk, bananas,,,I forgot what all else,

and a baby pumkin.

When I asked her if she was going to let her momma paint and decorate the pumkin, she told me in no uncertain terms, "Nope, I'm gonna eat it!"

We would have come home with even more stuff but I told her "No" three times which resulted in some little tantrums. The third tantrum ended when Nanaw spatted her butt, just once, but we made it to the check-out after that one.

When she got home and went out with Jerri to help bring in some of the bags, she told Jerri, "I'm not gonna talk about what Nanaw did to me in Wal Mart."

We made it to tae kwon do last night and had to turn around and come back home. Zach had a headache and stomach ache and wasn't feeling real sporty. He felt a lot better this morning though.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I don't want to

Since I didn't go yesterday to pay the bills for the improvement district, I must go today to get that little chore over with.

And do their banking.Then I must drive into town to replenish my hummingbird food. There are 6 of those little beggars around the feeders, dive bombing each other for their turn to sip up some nourishment before they fly south for the winter. I've even used up all my sugar making sugar water to try to fill them up.We're also out of milk, and bread, and tea, and I need to buy some more bird food for Odie.
I don't want to get dressed, I don't want to go to town, I don't want to leave my house. I feel like this more and more lately.

What makes it worse is , after Zach gets home from school, works on his homework for an hour or so, I'll have to leave again to drive to town to take him to tae kwon do class. I don't want to do that either.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Lotsa Stuff

I'm not quite sure what Jerri was yelling here, something about KILL,,, POISON,,, something.

Beans and Jerri came by Friday morning to drink coffee with Nanaw on their way to the Fair for pre-school day and after Beans asked me if I would "go to da fair wif me and watch me ride da rides", I decided to go with them.

I wanted to go anyway to see if our photos got any ribbons. They all got blue ribbons, Zach's too, but no Best of Show this year. We'll just have to work harder on that for next year.

Beans loved the rides, but her Momma wasn't too happy with the one she had to ride on with her.

After we'd done the fair, we stopped and bought the fixings for frito pies and went home and had some while Beans told PopPop all about the fair.

On Saturday I mostly vegged out all morning and had a load of laughs when Special K called me from up there in Alberta, but soon it was time to get out of my pjs and wear clothes so we could go see the Chick and Beans in the pageant at the fair.

Our Beans didn't get a crown and sash but that didn't matter cause she's always a winner in our hearts. The Chick was 2nd runner up and wore her crown proudly on stage but was quick to hand it over when the pageant was over cause she was ready to go on the rides.

This afternoon Jami, Keith, Krysten, and MeriKate came over to eat a bowl of soup with us. Later on James, Jerri, the chicklets, and Abby came by for a little while.

It was a really nice weekend and now Nanaw is all tired out and will soon be ready for the bed. Morning comes early but with it comes the school bus! Yeeeehaaaaaaa!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Brenda Photo Challenge, Things With Wings

My first shot is a double wing one. There's one of the little hummers and you can see a pesky little wasp on the feeder.

Little yellow butterfly sipping from a rose moss bloom.

This bad boy landed on my windshield while I when I stopped to check for critters to snap at the drainage ditch down the road from my house. Even through a dirty windshield, you can tell he's a stinger.

Here's Odie. I had to snap this with flash and in a hurry cause it seems that he's camera shy. The flash washed out his lovely green feathers. I'll keep trying to get a better shot of him since he's going to have to get over his fear of the camera while living in this house.

Shannon is our hostess for this challenge and she's chosen Things With Wings for the topic. You can go over to the challenge blog that Miz Donna was nice enough to do for us and click the comments for links to all the other participants. Go see em, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Blowing Rain, and Odie

Gustav is throwing a bit of rain and wind in our direction (I'm a half a hair north and a hair west of Helena on the image down there), enough that we've had to do a find and recover a couple of times, of the hummingbird feeders on the deck. Apparently, a little rain doesn't keep those little fellas from wanting to sip up the nectar throughout the day.

We're also under a tornado watch this evening and I sure hope nothing develops, I'm too tired to run to take cover.

Hubby co-manages an 18,000, or so, acre portion of a cotton/soybean/corn/rice farm (on which there is not a stalk of cotton this year) so all this rain and breeziness is not doing the crops much good, especially the corn and rice. He mentioned that quite a bit of rice is falling so that will make it pretty difficult for the combines to reach it all during the harvest. It's worrisome for sure cause if the farm owner doesn't make money, there won't be any raises around here in the foreseeable future.

This afternoon Jami noticed an ad in the Forrest City paper that offered a Quaker Parrot for sale, with cage, for $150. I hummed and hawed over it for a few minutes then told her to go ahead and call the number on the ad and see where the owners were located at least. Turns out they're only about 25 miles or so north of here so I'm going tomorrow to pick up Odie, the Quaker Parrot. The picture below is not Odie but from what I've read, most Quakers are green so I expect he'll look similar to the photo. They are about 11 inches in height/length (how do you measure birds?).

I had almost decided not to get another bird after Ya-Ya died, but I really do miss his noisy company, and this bird won't be a year old until January, so maybe he's young enough that he'll adjust to a new household fairly quickly.

I'm still feeling puny with a sore throat but I do get some relief with alternating ibupro and tylenol so it's not all bad.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I woke up yesterday with swollen tonsils and fever. I feel like warmed over buzzard brains.