Archive for August, 2011

Getting Ready for Whatever Comes His Way

Son called me tonight. He said he was done with bills and payments forever. He has simplified his life down to the bare essentials over the past year. He uses fans for cooling and sits outside in his yard under a big oak tree until 9 p.m. He rarely watches television. He has a cell phone but no land line and no internet connection. He is making payments on his land. He owns his truck and all his tools. He gardens. He paid his electric bill for the past four months. It came to $115.

As part of his done with payments forever resolve, the next thing that he wants to get rid of is the electrical bill. He wants to generate his own. He wants to fire the grocery store, too. He talked to me about me keeping a cow or two, but I ain’t got the time. (If I had the time, I wouldn’t have the money. Cows are expensive!) He’s going to keep hogs and chickens, and discussed building their accomodations with me, something that is in my field of expertise.

We talked about all sorts of mother/son things. Alliances among the neighbors for common defense. Denial of access to outsiders. Perimeter defense. Who could be counted on and who would be dead weight. I didn’t think he had a good defensive position, and he told me how he intended to improve it. Hmmmmm.

I’ve tasked him to build me a bicycle-powered pump to raise water from the well on account of my shoulder might get all worn out on one of those manual pumps if the electricity is out for an extended period of time.

We used to be able to go through the summer without A/C, too. In fact, I had to wear a sweater to go inside a grocery store on a hot day. That was before hot flashes (grin). Now SwampMan needs his BiPAP machine for sleep apnea and a double knee replacement. I need that A/C, damnit!


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Would Obama Try To Appear All Leaderly If a Cat. 1 Hurricane Hit Florida?

How about if a barely hurricane hit Georgia? Or Alabama? Or Mississippi? Or TEXAS? I suspect the short answer would be “no”. The long answer would be “HELL, no!”. And if it were a tropical storm?

So where was Obama at FEMA when the midwest was having massive flooding? Where was Obama when all those people in the south were killed by tornadoes?

Guess we know where Obama is President of. He’s president of New England. That’s just FINE with me because I don’t want to have to claim the bastard.

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Why I’m a Light Sleeper

After our beloved Doberman died, I went out one morning and found most of my pregnant ewes dead or dying, victims of dogs that had come in the night and torn the throats and guts and wombs with fetal lambs out of my ewes. The nonpregnant older ewes and young, unbred ewes survived, along with the rams. The dogs came back when they (sheep) were locked up in the barn. The dogs (black labs) climbed over the 4′ tall gate. There was no question of their guilt, because there was a sheep inside with intestines torn out. I had thousands of dollars worth of dead sheep because I’d slept at night.

I’ve also lost most of my chickens and ducks to night predators because of sleeping at night. I think that that is the reason that I’ve developed a sleeping disorder in which I can’t sleep more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. I need to take medication in order to sleep as much as six hours.

Last night, though, I was really tired. Maybe it was because I’ve gotten hardly any sleep during the week. Maybe it was the combination of headache and joint pain and storm out in the Atlantic, but I went to sleep and slept *very* soundly for eight whole hours. I still woke with a headache, but I had slept!

Then I went outside and found that two (unpenned) bantam hens with chicks out at SwampMan’s barn had been dinner to a night prowler, most likely a fox. Two chicks, one from each hen, were all that were left of two large broods. I’m sure the dog was raising a fuss because one of the hens *almost* made it to the fence to the protection of Puppy, but the sad little pile of feathers showed she was about 5′ short. Unfortunately, I slept through it.

*sigh* Guess I won’t be sleeping much tonight, because the predator will keep coming back until I’m out of poultry or I kill it.

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I Have a New Definition of HELL

I’m nursing a bad headache this morning and have a new definition of hell. Nope, I didn’t spend an evening of debauchery and have the after morning head to prove it. I chaperoned a middle school dance. Voluntarily, because nobody else would do it. Now I know why.

The music was deafening. My ears are still ringing. The deep BOOOMP! BOOMP! BOOMP! of the music was slightly nauseating. The room was darkened except for the colored lights flickering about the room, and the younguns wanted to huddle in the corners with their significant others when they weren’t dancing like dogs humping. My job, such as it was, was to wander through and destroy the romantic mood. Bwahahahahahaha. Finally, a job I’m good at!

I told my daughter that in a few years, her little newborn precious baby girl, too, would be dancing like a wannabe pole dancer/adult film star at the school dance. She said “I don’t THINK so!” There were a few parents who came in and seriously cramped their kids’ style. I think that the world would be a lot better off if more parents looked in at what their kids were up to. I’m afraid that a lot of their parents would think it is normal because they spend a lot of their time at clubs where the music is loud and nauseating and they dance like porn stars themselves.

I remember the dances in middle school when I was there. I imagine we looked like we were having seizures when we danced. We wouldn’t have dared any simulated sex acts on the dance floor, though.

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SwampMan’s Birthday

Thursday is SwampMan’s birthday. He will be 50 something. Heh.

He asked me if I’d managed to put a lil’ money aside for taking him out to a restaurant Thursday evening. (Thursday is fajita night for us at the local Mexican restaurant. At least, it used to be. We haven’t been able to afford it lately.) Of course I did! I might not have enough money for gas to get to work Monday but, by golly, he’s gonna get his fajitas on his birthday.

Right after I get that melanoma thing (their words, not mine) taken off my back. Ewwww. When they asked if Thursday was good for me, I said “sure”. It isn’t like any particular day is better than another to get things cut off of me and sent off for biopsy. I didn’t consult my horoscope for propitious days and I’m not even actually sure what my sign is now that they’ve changed. It would be great if those magazine and newspaper horoscopes had sections like “if you used to be an Aquarian and now you’re something else but aren’t sure what, schedule excision and biopsies for Thursday. That way, if you get bad news or the pain is more than you bargained for when you said you don’ need no steenkin painkillers and threw away the prescription, you can always go out for some liquid anesthesia after work on Friday.”

Oh, dang, how’d it get to be this late already? Time for me to take a shower and get ready for tomorrow. I’m feeling a little queasy. Don’t know if it’s nerves, or the fact that vomiting and diarrhea is going around among the students at school. They blamed it on the cafeteria, but I dunno.

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Cleaning Out the Feed Bags

The feed bags usually get burned or recycled but, with the drought in the spring and early summer, we couldn’t burn anything. I just kinda tossed the feed bags to the side to deal with when I could.

Last weekend, I decided to deal with those pesky feed bags. I started sorting them (paper or plastic) so that I could decide whether they could be mulched or used as weed barriers in the garden (paper), used for various things around the place (the woven plastic bags), or burned. I was sorting my butt off when I lifted up a feed bag near the bottom of the stack and startled a very large coiled snake underneath it. I put that feed bag right back down on that snake, leaving just enough of an opening to where I could see a big ol’ loop o’ snake so I’d know if he was sneakin’ up on me. My enthusiasm for cleaning up the feed bags was a lot lower than it had been previously. It wasn’t a dangerous snake, just a very large rat snake who had probably been in an ideal position to snatch him up a nice, juicy fat rat scavenging through the ol’ feed bags at night.

I turned around to look at the sky to decide how much time I had left before the rain began. Hmmmmmm. Not much. I turned back around, glanced at visible loop of snake, and started to move the metal garbage cans full of feed back into place and almost stepped on snake’s head. We both had an “eeeeeeek” moment when that happened. I’d forgotten just how big that ol’ snake was, and that even though I could see loop of snake protruding out from under the feed bag, there was enough spare snake for that head and another 4 feet of body to be laying across my walking space. Time to go in for a drink.

When I went back out, there was no loop of snake to be seen. Dang. I HATE when that happens. I looked at the piles of bags and wondered under which one the snake was lurking. I suppose I could have gotten a shovel or pitchfork to move those bags so I wouldn’t have to chance grabbing snake who would be less than enthusiastic about THAT, but then I might have harmed it. While I was standing there looking at the piles of bags trying to psychically divine under which one the snake was lurking, it started raining. All over the bags. *sigh*

I finished sorting and bagging them this weekend. All except the ones that the skink was hiding under. Didn’t want the ducks to get him.

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SwampMan’s Storm Sense Will Be Tested

I was picking up some downed limbs from the thunderstorm last week today when SwampMan asked what I was doing.

“I figured I’d pile up these limbs and, if I get a chance, burn some of ’em before Irene comes through.” I hated to do it, though. I’d planned to use ’em for some artsy craftsy type stuff like pen making or wood carving when I resign but, if this is an active hurricane season, I should have all SORTS of raw material to work with. Hopefully some of that raw material won’t have squished the house.

“Oh, well, I’m not a bit worried about Irene. My storm sense tells me that it ain’t gonna amount to nothin’!” announced SwampMan confidently.

“Are you sure that ain’t your lazy sense, since you did NOT want to be cutting plywood this weekend?”

“No, I have a sense about these things.”

I’d be more comforted if SwampMan wasn’t surprised every time it rained. “What the HELL is THIS?” he’ll exclaim when torrential rain is falling outta the sky. “The weather forecast never said it was gonna rain!”

“When did you last even watch a weather forecast?”

“Sometime this week. I think.”

“Unh hunh. And the black clouds in the sky didn’t give you a clue?”

Guess we’ll see if SwampMan’s unfailing weather sense is going to be right by the end of the week.

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Potato Salad

Mom made potato salad (among other things) for lunch today. You would think that, being mother and daughter, we would make things alike. That would be wrong.

“Is that sugar I taste in your potato salad?” I asked. Mom admitted that, yes, she DID add a touch of sugar to her potato salad. She tosses her boiled eggs into the food processor and turns them into teeny little egg pieces that are mixed with Miracle Whip. Other ingredients are chopped green pepper, green onions, salt, and celery seeds.

My potato salad is completely different. It contains mayonnaise (Hellmann’s if I’ve got it), NOT Miracle Whip. No bell pepper. No celery seeds. No sugar. My eggs are sliced. It has a lil’ touch of spicy brown mustard. Lots of apple cider vinegar. Lots of onions. Some chopped celery if I have it on hand. Crispy fried chopped bacon and a lot of it.

I wonder if there are actual people out there that follow potato salad recipes and make it the same way twice?

Mom said that her neighbor brings her food from church gatherings that Mom is no longer able to attend. The lady brought over some potato salad and raved about how good it was. Mom was NOT impressed. “It had NO flavor, and the potatoes were mooshy.”

“Ewwwwwww”, I sympathized. “How’d that happen?”

“I think they peeled the potatoes before boiling them!” Mom said.

“Hunh. I didn’t know anybody did that.” We sat silently for a moment wondering about people that liked mooshy potato salad. Ewwwwww.

“What I can’t figure out”, Mom continued, puzzled, “is why my friend thought it was so good! Maybe something is wrong with my tastebuds.”

“Momma!” I said sharply. “Isn’t your friend a Yankee?”

“Well, yes!” said Mom. “But what does that have to do with it?”

“She wouldn’t know what food was supposed to taste like!”

That cheered Mom up considerably. Her friend didn’t have impaired taste buds, she just didn’t know any better.

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Escapist Movies

When I got back from Mom’s tonight, I watched Open Range with SwampMan. I dunno why. I rarely watch movies. Guess I just needed the distraction. Then it was Buffy the Vampire Slayers. Now 2 Fast 2 Furious is on.

Guess I better go out and feed the horse, sheep, dogs and cats before I do any more escapism, hunh?

*groan* I need to do some ironing to get ready for next week on account of I’m a professional. Riiiiight.

I feel like I’m one person at work being the happy team player (ha!), another person with Mom who is so grateful for whatever little crumbs of visiting I can do with her and whatever little help I can be, another with my poor husband who is *very* sadly neglected, and wondering if I’ll have anything left over for the kids and grandkids. If I ever get to see them. It’s only been ONE FREAKIN’ WEEK!

And there’s a hurricane coming.

Anybody want to take bets on how long it will be before I throw in the towel, so to speak, and go on family leave or resign completely?

Or I could watch Zombie Strippers…..

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End of the Week!

Whew! Made it through an entire first week of school intact!

Blog updates will probably be pretty sporadic for the next couple of weeks. When I get off work, I need to pick up groceries and other things for our house and Mom’s house, feed as needed for the animals, run up to Mom’s as needed, and do a couple hours of farm chores when I get back.

I really need to figure out a better system for the chickens. I spend an hour to an hour and a half per day moving my pastured poultry pens. (By moving, I mean moving to fresh grass, refilling the waterers, topping off the feed, and gathering eggs.) The sheep, at this point, are caring for themselves on pasture, and the horse as well. Yay, rain! Tropical wave 97L has the potential to do considerable damage to Florida as a hurricane in @ a week, so I better figure out what to do with all those pastured poultry when it does! I reckon I’ll put ’em in the stationary chicken house but it’s gonna be *very* crowded.

Daughter, if you’re reading this, y’all might want to start your storm preparations. The time to buy batteries and canned goods and extra diapers is now. I hope I’ll be home tonight early enough to give you a call.

Yikes, getting late! I need to run outside and feed the critters, throw some laundry in the washer, burn the feed sacks, go to the feed store, and run up to mom’s house to provide muscle for the chores that she needs me to do, which will take the rest of the day.

Y’all have a good weekend!

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