Archive for October 18, 2008

Is Your Neck Still Sick?

I answered my phone this morning.

“Meemaw, are you all better yet?” inquired the anxious voice of my oldest grandson, a strapping 4-year-old lad.

“I’m still a little bit sick”, I cautiously replied.

“Well, can I come over anyway?” It seems that mommy had administered a well-deserved spanking to her oldest son, and grandson thinks that it might be a good idea to get out of Dodge for awhile.

“Yes, you can come over and spend the night”, I answered.

The question reminded me of a kindergarten student earlier this week on the playground who asked me “Is your neck still sick?” when he heard my croaking, breaking laryngitis-stricken voice. He then proceeded to tell me the story of a relative that had sustained a neck injury, and then “they put him in a coffin, and stuck him in the ground, and dumped dirt on him, and then he changed into an angel and is flying all around heaven.” I assured him that, although my neck was still sick, I hadn’t been fitted for wings just yet.

Diets officially go out the window when grandchildren come to visit. I have all the fixings for caramel apples and we’ll dip pretzels into melted chocolate, too. Party time!

Update:

Little boys were still running around the house on a (probably) sugar-induced high this evening at 10 p.m. I told Mommy that I thought it was waaaaaaay past their bedtime.

“They were up until way late last night, Mom, but it doesn’t matter how much I spank Jacob, he just screams and screams and refuses to go to bed, and wakes Dylan up, and then he’s screaming too, and he’s cutting molars as well. It’s terrible!”

Uh hunh.

“Come here, Dylan!” I plucked him out of his Mommy’s arms as he knew what that tone of voice meant and was clinging to Mommy for dear life. “It is time for you to go to sleep!”

He started to cry as I carried him out. “Uh uh, Meemaw doesn’t want to hear any of that nonsense. Lay down and go to sleep now.” I gave him his sleep kitty and patted him on the back. He glared up balefully at me from the pallet on the floor, but did not offer to get up. I walked out of the room.

Jacob was very happy little brother was in bed, because now he had Meemaw’s undivided attention. “Meemaw, I want some bunny milk!” (Nestle’s Quik.)

“Yes, I’ll make your bunny milk, and then it is time for you to go to bed, too, young man.” He tried fluttering his eyelashes at me and forcing out tears, but Meemaw just looked at him, and he gave it up as a lost effort. After all, Meemaw is a higher authority than even Mommy.

I tucked Jacob in without incident, and Dylan sat up. I pointed at the pallet, and he lay back down. After some giggling, I went back in and sat on the pallet between them, at which point they surrendered to the inevitable, closed their eyes, and went to sleep. I never raised my voice, and I never offered any violence to their small persons.

Mommy is exhausted and went to bed shortly after the boys went to sleep. I hope she gets a good night’s sleep, but I’m going to snooze nearby in the La-Z-Boy in case I hear a little voice start to cry in the wee hours of the morning.

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Those Tricky 3-Letter Words

Who can count that high? I teach developmentally-delayed children who mostly have the difference between three and four internalized. If I asked them to count the letters in JOB and JOBS, they would be able to. It is very sad that a Senator who seems incensed at the idea of a plumber making enough money to live in his neighborhood cannot.

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Arkansas Farmer Named Southeastern Farmer of the Year

Story by Pam Golden, Southern Farmer:

October 14, 2008

For Brian Kirksey, staying on the farm was a matter of survival.

On Tuesday, it became a testament to success.

Kirksey, a fourth-generation Arkansas farmer, was named the 19th Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year during the Willie B. Withers Luncheon at the Moultrie, Ga., exposition on Tuesday, a pinnacle of success for southern farmers.

Kirksey was chosen from a field of 10 candidates representing Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

“We wanted to stay on farm so bad we had to come up with the ingenuity to stay there,” Kirksey said after winning the award.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue called the 10 candidates and those who won in previous years the “high-cotton league”.

Agricultural producers, Perdue said, are integral to the country’s economic recovery.

“It’s people like farmers and producers and people who make goods who will be the foundation of the rock,” Perdue said.

John Burt East, chairman of Southern States Cooperative and a former Alabama Farmer of the Year, lauded the passion displayed by farmers of the year.

“Passion is a part of leadership and it’s clear you all are leaders in your respective communities,” Burt said.

Swisher International, through its Swisher Sweets cigar brand, and the Sunbelt Expo sponsored the Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award for the 19th consecutive year. Swisher has contributed some $724,000 in cash awards and other honors since the award was initiated in 1990.

The winner of the Southeastern competition will receive $14,000, the use of a Massey-Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey-Ferguson North America, a custom made Canvasback gun safe from Misty Morn Safe Co., and another $500 gift certificate from the Southern States cooperative. Also, Williamson-Dickie provides another jacket, a $500 gift certificate and $500 in cash to the overall winner.

Each state winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo award received a $2,500 cash award and an expense paid trip to the Sunbelt Expo from Swisher International, a jacket and a $200 gift certificate from the Williamson-Dickie Company, and a $500 gift certificate from Southern States.

Kirksey of Amity, Ark., called his operation a “survival farm”. His family found a way to stay on the farm by growing nursery plants for the wholesale market. In addition, he raises cattle, hay and timber 305 acres.

His 20 greenhouses cover about 70,000 square feet of space. “We created a business in the middle of nowhere,” Kirksey said. “We sell to customers in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. We do our own trucking and deliver directly to our customers.”

Kirksey started in 1985 with two greenhouses, and grew 60,000 cuttings the first year.

“That started us in liner production,” he says. Liners are trays of young plants grown for sale to wholesalers or retailers who then grow them to larger sizes before selling to consumers.

After building his own greenhouses, Kirksey started building greenhouses for others. “We have built more than 500 greenhouses in a three-state area, and this sideline created capital we used to buy land and cattle,” he adds.

In addition, Kirksey works part time as manager of Alpine Water Association. His Spring Creek Farms provides backhoe services to the water utility. Kirksey is active in many organizations, including the South Central Rural Electric Co-op, Clark County Soil Conservation District, Farm Credit advisory board, Caddo River Consortium, Clark County Cattlemen’s Association, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, Arkansas Green Industry, Arkansas Rural Water Association, Arkansas State Plumbing Association and Arkansas Farm Bureau.

Kirksey and his wife Nan have two children: daughter Kathryn, 19, attends Henderson State University and John Brian, 13, is in eighth grade. Both have raised and shown market steers.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Kirksey for showing the ingenuity and perseverance to become successful farmers and building on their success by branching off ancillary enterprises.

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Why He Served

From Boston.com: The following is a blog entry written on Aug. 30, 2008, by Army Specialist Stephen Fortunato, who was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was riding in was blown up by an improvised explosive device. This entry was forwarded to the Globe by his mother, Elizabeth “Betty” Crawford.

If I may …

I’d like to say something….Just to get it out there so it is clear.
To all the pampered and protected Americans who feel it is their duty to inform me that I am not fighting for their freedom, and that i am a pawn in Bush’s agenda of greed and oil acquisition: Noted, and [expletive deleted] You.

I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the “war on terrorism.” i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.
I am doing my part in fighting a very real enemy of the United States, i.e. Taliban, Al Qaida, and various other radical sects of Islam that have declared war on our way of life. Unless you believe the events of 9/11 were the result of a government conspiracy, which by the way would make you a MORON, there is no reasonable argument you can make against there being a true and dangerous threat that needs to be dealt with. i don’t care if there are corporations leaching off the war effort to make money, and i don’t care if you don’t think our freedom within America’s borders is actually at stake. i just want to kill those who would harm my family and friends. it is that simple. Even if this is just a war for profit or to assert America’s power, so what? Someone has to be on top and I want it to be us. There’s nothing wrong with wishing prosperity for your side.

I am a proud American. i believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however i want to, and believe me, i have seen what the alternative of that looks like. i also believe that our big scary government does way more than it has to to help complete [expletive deleted]-ups get back on their feet, a stark comparison to places where leaders just line their own pockets with gold while allowing the people who gave them their power and privilage to starve. I have chosen my corner. I back my country, and am proud to defend it against aggressors. Also, if you dare accuse us of being inhumane, or overly aggressive because we have rolled into someone else’s country and blown some [expletive deleted] up and shot some people, let me remind you of just how inhumane we COULD be in defending ourselves. Let me remind you that we have a warhead that drops multiple bomblets from the stratosphere which upon impact, would turn all the sand in Iraq to glass, and reduce every living thing there to dust. Do we use it? No. Instead we use the most humane weapon ever devised: the American soldier. We send our bravest (and perhaps admitably craziest) men and women into enemy territory, into harms way, to root out those whom we are after and do our best to leave innocent lives unscathed.

…One last thing…a proposal. i know it has been stated time and time again but i just think it is worthy of reiteration. If you find yourself completely disgusted with the way America is being ran, and how we handle things on the global stage, you can leave. Isn’t that amazing? No one will stop you! If you are an anarchist, there are places you can go where there is no government to tell you anything. That’s right…you are left solely to your own devices and you can handle the men who show up at your door with AKs in any way that you see fit. Just don’t try good old American debate tactics on them because you will most likely end up bound and blind-folded, to have your head chopped off on the internet so your parents can see it. However if you insist on staying here and taking advantage of privilages such as free speach and WIC, keep the counter-productive [expletive deleted] to a minimum while the grown ups figure out how to handle this god-awful mess in the middle east.

Godspeed, Specialist Fortunato.

Hat tip Bonz at GCP Forum.

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Vote Theft, ACORN Style

From the New York Post:

More than a dozen states are looking into the registration efforts of the pro-Obama organization – and hundreds of thousands of suspicious or outright fraudulent voter sign-ups have been unearthed.

This, at a time when the radical ACORN reportedly has finally decided to jettison its founder, after the fact that his brother embezzled $1 million from the group (which then tried to cover up the fact) came to light.

Unfortunately, not all the news about ACORN is encouraging.

In Ohio, where state election officials have called in local prosecutors to look into evidence of pervasive fraud in connection with the group, efforts to make it easier to challenge suspicious registrations yesterday were dealt a serious setback.

The US Supreme Court overturned a 10-6 ruling by the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals that ordered Ohio’s Democratic secretary of state to provide county officials with the names of new registrants who did not match government databases.

Reports indicated that as many as 200,000 of the 660,000 voters registered this year, largely by ACORN, were suspicious.

The state’s GOP said providing the information locally would allow challenges at the polls and require voters whose registration could not immediately be verified to cast provisional ballots.

But that’s not going to happen – and in what was the key battleground state in the last election.

Score one for ACORN – and for Barack Obama.

Well, Barack Obama HIRED them. Barack Obama TRAINED them. He knew what they were all about.

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