Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sign of the Day

Farm kid in the Marine Corps

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine
Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up
quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6
a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all
you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No
hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay.
Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water. Breakfast is
strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but
kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and
other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the
two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you
until noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys
can't walk much.

We go on 'route marches,' which the platoon sergeant says are long walks
to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different.
A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city
guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is
like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown.
They don't bother you none.
This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals
for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a
chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the
Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable
and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges They come in boxes.
Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to
wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they
break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home.
I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over
in Silver Lake . I only beat him once... He joined up the same time as
me, but I'm only 5'6' and 130 pounds and he's 6'8' and near 300 pounds

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers
get onto this set-up and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sign of the Day

Good Morning Missouri!

What? I don't have enough money to buy any more vowels?
When was the last time you saw a Missourian on Wheel of Fortune? Well, now you know why!
Job Opening: Profeshunel pruf-reeder, apply at lokul TV stashun.
By the way, it is spelled lieutenant.
Welcome to our local news.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Here birdie birdie birdie

I have this cute little plate-like bird feeder attached to one corner of our deck so we can look out of our window to see the little birds eat and play. We have had flocks of English blue birds, finches, chickadees, larks, bluejays, sparrows and even a few cardinals visit the feeder. It is fun to watch the birds hop around and feed. We even had a squabble among four blue birds the other evening. They finally worked it out and all ate peacefully at the feeder. The birds really seem to enjoy the seed and I have to refill the plate about every other day. Just yesterday I put an extra-heaping serving out for the hungry little guys.
This morning I was walking around the backyard and just happened to glance up and see...
We've been wondering if Fluffy has been putting on a bit more weight lately.

Sign of the Day

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Did you know...

...that when a big black snake down by the pond swallows a frog, you can still hear the frog "ribbet-ing" in the snake's stomach?

Sign of the Day

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Welcome Little Elvis!

Shirley had her calf today! :)

Sign of the Day

It was a warm and sunny afternoon...

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
Carl Jung

Lone cow on the hill

flash 051

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sign of the Day

I don't like being part of a weather phenomenon -or- Welcome to this morning's Derecho

I woke up a little early this morning. Ah, Friday! A nice deep breath, wiggle a little bit, snuggle the soft comforter a little closer around my face and eventually peek an eye open.
Huh. The light looks a little funny this morning. Must just be really early.
They did say on the news last night that we'd have some thunderstorms moving in this morning.
Two eyes open now.
The light really is an odd color.!

Let me roll over and take a look out the window...
Really green sky.
Tornado weather.
Ever have one of "those" mornings?

Well, the lightning flashed and the thunder crashed and the storm was on.
I could hear Seth out russling around in the living room. He loves thunderstorms.
More lightning flashes. One must have been really close, the thunderclap shook the house.
Time for breakfast!
The morning weather report is showing lots of the orange and red colors around us (which means lots of rain or more intense parts of the storm--for those of you {Californians} who never get to see much rain on the weather radar).
Time to get the rest of the kids up!
The weather guy is telling us that we'll have severe thunderstorms but the biggest threat with this will be hail. No mention of tornadoes. Stupid green sky, what does it know?!
So the kids start getting ready for school. Even the oatmeal looked a little green this morning. It has raisins in it. You like raisins.
I glance out the windows and the sky to our Southwest is a very ominous black. Oh boy, here it comes. The wind picks up, the rain pours and there are lots of rowdy lightning and thunder.

Gunny the cat had to come inside to eat his breakfast this morning.
We watch the radar and a nice pink splot (for you weather radar retards out there, pink is worse than orange and red!) over us.
Well, as soon as this passes we should be in the clear and we'll head out to school.

The kids think it would be better to just skip school today.

The storm eases up a bit so I load the kids in the flaming minivan of death (not just ANY minivan can make it through these storms ya know). We start out. Our driveway is a river. Cool! We get to do some white-water rafting on the way to school this morning!
We get to the bottom of the driveway and there's a nice little lake between the highway and us. Good thing I know the level of the road so I can judge that the water is still shallow enough to cross, right?
Off to school we go!
The ditches on either side of the road (the ditches are about 5-6 feet deep) are completely full and running rivers. A little water is coming up on the sides of the road but being the good little country girl that I am, I've given up my Californian-coming-through-regardless-of-the-weather driving and slow down.
So far so good.
We get up to the next highway and start into town. Oooooh, looks like town is having more of a storm than us! Yippee!
The day turns to night, the downpour increases and the wind is pushing on the car like nothing else. We slow down even more and watch the road closely following each little dash we see in the middle of the road because that's all we can see.
We made it to the school! *WHEW!*
Get rid of the kids (you didn't think I was actually taking them to school because I was concerned about their education did you?!) and start out of the driveway. Hmmm.... you know, I really can't see. I notice a lot of cars just parked in the driveway with people waiting out the storm so I figure I'll be smart like them and park.
I turn on the radio.
No music, they've turned over to the local weather guy (remember Mr. "all hail, no tornadoes"?) so he can announce all the tornado warnings going off.
Oh, that's fun.
Also, there's this huge line of crazy-strong winds coming at us (called a derecho). It is at this point that I look around and realize the parking lot is surrounded by big, huge, tall trees. Oh, this would be why all these leaves and little twigs are falling all over my car. Huh, that tree is leaning way over. Cool! Oh.
Now a spotter somewhere outside of Springfield is talking about seeing trees snapped off. Not uprooted mind you, but snapped off. Like a toothpick. Now he sees a flag pole bent in half...
Yep, time to not be here in this parking lot.
I ease out onto the road (where nobody is driving because most people out here tend to not drive when you can't see beyond the front of your car). I figured I'd go down the street to the grocery store parking lot. They don't have any trees.
Dang, we shouldn't have taken the Playstation out of the car, I could use something to do while I'm sitting here waiting to die!
It's starting to flood up by the front of the store. Wow! I sit and watch as this lake of water gets bigger and bigger and is coming my way. A man comes out of the grocery store and gets in his truck (parked next to the store) and starts to make his way through the lake. The water is up over his tires. He makes it through and parks up past me. And the water keeps creeping towards me.
O.k., maybe this isn't such a good place either!
Off I go again! Back out on the highway, I notice the water is more up on the road than it had been when I'd last passed this way. Go slow. At least there aren't a bunch of good ol' boys running around playing splash-tag in their pick up trucks.
I notice a tree uprooted at the church. I get to my highway and there's a tree down across it but there's just enough room for me to scoot by. I make it all the way along the highway and get to the hill that goes down to where my driveway turns off. Yippeee! I'm home!
I come to the top of the hill and....wait for it.....there's a HUGE lake, no, scratch that, a HUGE RIVER where the highway and my driveway are supposed to be. Huh. And I didn't bring my fishin' rod either.
I go down the hill and stop at the water's edge.
I notice a truck coming down the hill behind me. He pulls over next to me and I see it is the guy who lives across the highway. He rolls down his window and the heads of his two teenaged sons pop out. Three big grins shine at me. (if you hadn't already figure this out, there ain't a lot to do out here, it doesn't take much to entertain us) My neighbor tells me he's going to try it and then he'll wait and watch for me. If I get stuck, he tells me, they'll get me out. So off he goes.
How come nobody has ever told me that one of the things people do for entertainment out here is drive around and see if they can get Californians to do Stupid Californian tricks?!
O.k., I can do this, the flaming minivan of death can do off I go. Oh boy! And here I am all by myself, I don't even have anyone that I can yell "here, hold my beer and watch this!" to. Ugh.
Wait a minute. I'm on the other side! I did it! I MADE IT!!!!!! Whooo hooo!!!!!
Oh, yeah, well, I knew I could do it all along of course. Why would I try something like that if I wasn't absolutely sure I could do it?!
I look up and see my neighbor's two sons plastered to the back window of their truck. This is when I realize the whole "Stupid Californian tricks" thing.
Up my driveway I go. Home sweet home!
I walk in to a phone ringing away. Hello happy phone! I'm alive! I'M ALIVE!! And there's my husband on the other end of the line, stress cracking his voice. Apparently he had been trying to call to check on me but the storm must have killed my cell phone signal. I start to tell Jason about the flood on the highway when he informs me that he knows all about it: "I was behind you!!!" I'm told.
I guess I did have an audience afterall.
Shoot! I should have invited him into the van with me, then I would have had someone to yell "Here, hold my beer and watch this!" to.
Jason informs me that he didn't cross the water but turned around after he had watched me cross. Wow I sure did marry a smart man! How did I end up with such a smart man! I do love him so much!
And, we're not even going to talk about the moment I realized the house door was standing open and how my living room is drenched!!!
Oh, so the derecho thing. We had these gnarly winds hit that had the velocity of an EF1 tornado but were sustained for about a half an hour. We were lucky that we didn't have any damage up here (the barn still stands!) but I did see a lot of trees down and there are reports of trees down, windows blown out, and powerlines down in Kansas and around here. They tried to pinpoint some tornadoes but because of the crazy winds, they really couldn't get a handle on them with the radar. Spotters were out and did report tornadoes on the ground and they are now working to figure out how many and what was tornadoes and what was straight-line winds and what kind of mess there is to clean up.
The sun is out now and it looks to be a pretty day. I'm off to go plant my spagetti squash and my blue pumpkins!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Blobby the Sumo Toad

I found this well-fed little toad while trimming around my peonies. He didn't even try to jump away when I reached for him. Joe named him Blobby. He almost got named Twinkie. Joe claims he was talking to the toad and all the toad would say is "Give me a Twinkie!"


Sign of the Day

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sign of the day

How to make Turtle Soup

Step 1: Go down to the pond and look for a turtle.

Step 2: Get yer gun. (Now, mind you, not just any gun will do here: say, for instance, you decide to take your little .38 caliber with you and you shoot the turtle in the head a couple of times, he's just gonna crawl away. For this recipe you gotta get yer good gun.)

Step 3: Bring the turtle up to the house, hold 'im up and smile real purdy like for ma's camera.

Step 4: Let the lil'uns get a look at what a monster the critter is so they can be impressed with big, strong pa.

Step 5: Get a pot.

Step 6: Skin 'im out and cook 'im up!