Thursday, April 27, 2006

Will you just look at this. Darm peeping Toms!!! That will show him to go peeking through my windows. I'll let him eat bugs for a few weeks and then i will turn him into a human again ;)

The corn is up a week early. I was sooo excited to see it. Its been raining off and on since Wednesday night and everything is bursting with green color.

I went garage saling yesterday to find stuff to sell on Ebay. I came home with a knot board I bought for 50 cents, a candle I planned to keep, 2 pairs of shorts I bought for 50 cents and a pair of pretty resin picture frames. B ear took one look at the knot board and said were keeping this, grabbed it and before I could argue was hanging it in the bathroom with the nautical theme. I used to buy a lot of stuff to sell on Ebay and he would always pick through it and say, “Were keeping this right.” I found another rustic picture frame yesterday and a nice decorative lantern.

Bear and I have also decided its time to start digging the foundation by hand again. We haven’t been able to come up with the money to have it dug by machine and as time passes I grow more and more anxious to see something happening back there. Our friend Squirrel is still going to bring his tractor down and finish moving the dirt away from the sides so we can make it wider.
Bear is going to apply for a job at Lowe’s for the summer also. With gas prices rising yet again he feels more comfortable having a job that does not require a lot of travel and Lowe’s pays really well. Plus it’s a good opportunity to snag cast offs. They have rules in place that say you can’t take anything they throw away, but they do sell items that are mildly damaged at a major discount. My sister got a beautiful Armour like that for 25 bucks because there was a little bit of a water stain on the back panel. I am obviously not after furniture though. The kitchen in dome #1 will need a stove and a sink and cabinets (although I was hoping pair would make them out of locally milled Cedar from that guy on Pine Twist road who does it as a hobby) . Were going to need a lot of windows also.

I am also job hunting. I finally went down to the adult education center and signed up for those computer classes I have been meaning to take. They include classes for programs like Word, Excel, and Internet Networking. Not knowing those programs is what’s keeping me from getting a job here in town (other than working in a nasty factory). The sad thing is he starting pay at Lowe’s is 20 cents more than I am making after being at the job I have now for a year and a half. I thought about going to work there myself but I am afraid there may be too much formaldehyde in the building.
We had people come to visit today. Our friend Roddy came down from Fort Smith and brought his son. His son’s mother flew in from Oregon to spend the week with him. We all went to The Supper Club to they could sing Karaoke.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Omg i can say yes to 90 percent on these

You Know You're From Arkansas When...

"Vacation" means goin' through Harrison on the way to Branson.

Down South, to you, means Louisiana.

You have no problem spelling or pronouncin' Ouachita or Possum Grape.

You know what Toad Suck and Booger Holler are.

Your idea of a really great tenderloin is when the meat is twice as big as the bun and comes with cole slaw on top.

You say catty-wampus and tumped over.

You know the difference between a deer dog, a duck dog and a coon dog by the way they bark.

Pulaski County is considered a foreign or exotic place.

You consider being a "Beef Queen" an honor.

You faithfully drink Pepsi, Mt. Dew, or Dr. Pepper everyday of your life.

You know what a "cow drop" is.

You have your own secret bbq sauce.

You know how to snipe hunt.

You or your neighbors have more hunting dogs than you have family members.

You visit the Arkansas State Fair mainly to see your neighbor's prize chicken.

You've been invited to or had a bunkin' party.

You abhor homosexuality, but love "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

You'd rather be No. 1 in football than No. 1 in education.

You think that recycling means riding your bike down the same old path.

You think orange barrels are really part of the interstate system.

When the forecast calls for an inch of snow, you run out with all the other crazies to stand in line for three hours to buy a month's worth of groceries.

You drink sweet iced tea out of a sports bottle.

Your traditional Thanksgiving dinner is a deep-fried turkey.

You call a shopping cart a buggy.

You see "No Hunting" signs are riddled with bullet holes.

You think "Animal House" is the training film for incoming athletes at the University of Arkansas

The three food groups are Velveeta, pork rinds and a six-pack.

Everyone you think of as a "liberal" is either Methodist or Catholic.

You think that Bill Clinton is a lyin', cheatin' sumbitch, but you'd still vote for him again in a heartbeat because he's OUR lyin' cheatin' sumbitch.

You've "offered" someone an "ass-whoopin'. " (

When you give directions they include "over yonder," "down the road a piece," and "right near."

You're not commitment-phobic: you love God, guns and football.

You'd rather have a Budweiser beer museum than a presidential library.

You think pinto beans are nekkid without hamhocks, cornbread and buttermilk.

Sweet milk and torn up biscuits in a glass is your favorite dessert.

You think bagels are nothing but a cruel doughnut joke invented by some Yankee!

You eat at Senor Tequila's for atmosphere and Lolita's Tex-Mex for salsa.

You say, "I voted for Clinton to get him out of the state."

You own three cars and one license plate.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Arkansas.

And now for my own secret barbacue sauce recipie

Lucynda’s Southern, Honey, Brown Sugar, Barbecue Sauce

2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped

2 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of ketchup

¾ cup of chili sauce

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup of honey

2 tbsp prepared mustard

2 tbsp worcestershire sauce

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp powdered celery seed

¼ tsp hot pepper sauce

Sauté garlic in butter for 1 minute; add all other ingredients, blend, heat, and use.

I have 34 nasturtium seedlings. If they all survive I will have more than enough seeds to make capers and have plenty to plant next year.

I was walking around the goldfish pond and rock wall this morning and a lot of what I am seeing will need to be thinned or cut back after blooming. Some things will need aggressive thinning or cutting back. But that ok because what ever I thin can be moved to creepy trail and some cuttings can be rooted. I’ve already put a long of things back there.

As it turns out my dog was not scarred of the fireworks after all. He was displaying signs of hip dysplasia . He is 6 years old and the life expectancy for his breed is 5 to 10 years. I started giving him aspirin for the pain and some vitamins and running over what else I could do in my head. I don’t know much about treating animals. I really need to get some books and research the subject. I’ve studied herbal medicine for my family aggressively, but not for animals.

After thinking about it I decided to try giving him chicken cartilage (unflavored gelatin). That’s what you give to humans who are having problems with their joints so why wouldn’t it work for dogs.

5 days later he seems to have recovered well. He greeted me at my car door last night. Poor guy was in agony for a few days. All he would do is lay around and whimper. He refused to eat or drink unless we put the bowl directly under his head and it took two of us to get him down the steps to go potty. The steps gave him a lot of trouble. But he is back to his old self now. I’m going to continue to give him chicken cartilage daily from now on since hip desplasia is degenerative.

On my way out the door this morning I heard him cry painfully. He hurt his hip again trying to chase a rabbit .

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I swear I am going to beat that girl within an inch of her life

Here fishy fishy fishy.
Evening primrose

Dianthus in a pot
IrisMouse BROKE Coyotes finger this weekend. That girl and her attitude are getting ridiculous. It started as I pulled laundry off the line. I put the kids clothes in one pile and make them take turns sorting it. Well is was coyotes turn and he took Mouses clothes into her room. She got mad, screamed at him, and slammed the door in his face. Unfortunately his middle finger was in the way. The tip of it was broken. Bear popped it back into place and put a finger splint on it and I gave him a strong cup of hot willow tea and ordered him onto the couch with an ice pack. What really pissed me off is that she wasn't even sorry. She kept insisting it was his fault for having his hand in HER doorway anyway. Bear was just going to send her to her room for the night but oooh nooo, not on your life is she getting away with it that easily. I have a pile of rocks in the back yard that we pulled out of the vegetable garden when we plowed it. Her task was to move that pile of rocks to the wall in front of the house . . . One at a time . . . Even the little ones have to be carried one at a time. That's an uphill
walk. 4 days later she is still working on it.

My poor dog is traumatized. Most of you may remember back in the winter someone shot my dog. It was just a pellet gun, but enough to make him sore for several days and afraid to leave the house. Well our friend Kathy cleaned out her garage yesterday and found some fireworks. She gave them to us and the kids shot off a few last night. It’s been my experience most dogs are a little afraid of fireworks anyway, but we came into the house and poor Commodore was hiding in the bathroom. He walked out slowly with his head hanging low. I finally got him to lie down so we could go to sleep, but he whined and cried all night long. I think he was having nightmares. I had forgotten about the whole thing and went garage saling this morning, but when I came home Commodore was standing in the kitchen. He whined when I walked in the door and pushed his head between my legs. I figured he probably had to pee since he had been in the house since last night. I had to take him by the collar to get him to go outside though. He whined and cried a little but finally went out. He went to the bathroom and then walked under the house and lay down. He’s still there.

I think I am loosing weight again. For the past 3 weeks I have been leaving the house early and going to a wild life preserve that’s in the middle of town to walk. The ground there is level and the trails are gravel and mulch and wind through a swamp with all kinds of wildlife in them. There are 3 trails to walk on. A 1 mile, 2 mile, and 3 mile. I can walk the 1 mile in 18 minutes and that’s the one I walk on before work. On my days off I take the two mile. I’m usually blown up like a water balloon this time of month and all of my clothes get uncomfortably tight, but not this time. I’m curious to see how baggy everything is when my monthly is over with and I deflate like a balloon. I’ve lost weight by just walking before. When we lived in the townhouse I used to take Commodore for long walks in the morning and I got back down to a size 8 again. Then the kids got out of school and I had to quit. It wasn’t worth listening to them argue the entire time we were walking.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

more planting

Its early Sunday morning. The windows are open and a chilly air is circulating through the house. I have on winter pajamas because the nights are still cold and there is a plaid throw wrapped around my waist. It keeps my legs warm. Sunlight is slanting softly through trees with budding leaves on them

I am going to have to move my cold frame away from the wall of the house. Its 11am and the sunlight has just now reached it. This could be why my tomatoes are growing so slowly. My melons and pumpkins are in the ground and although they still look a little spindly there not getting any worse. It also seems that my corn does not like coffee grounds. The older leaves on the plants have yellowed and shriveled and although the plant is putting out newer healthy leaves they look terrible. I told bear yesterday we must get the plowed section in the back yard finished TODAY. I want that corn in the ground, not in an egg carton. The tomatoes can wait a bit; I will need to put up some type of fence to support them as they grow anyway. I don’t have enough room to let them sprawl on the ground. If we have enough room and I’m hoping we do I would like to plant the lettuce I have in containers and the spaghetti squash back there also. The lettuce I started early in the year is getting close to harvesting.

By the way, the gourds I planted at the top of the hill by the fence are finally coming up.
I have been doing some planting on Creepy trail lately also. I’ve added the striated Hostas my mother gave me and thinned out my orange ditch lilies and added those. I also planted some invasive sedum near a cedar stump in the middle of the trail and some goldilocks sedum. I’ve also planted garlic bulbs, a species of Allium with a curling stalk, evening primrose, woodland strawberries, Shasta daisy, flowering tobacco, and Toadflax (butter and eggs).

I really need to come up with a better name for my new place than “Creepy trail” or “Creepy Hill”

There are dandelion blossoms everywhere. I should make some of that dandelion syrup.


I got up at 7:30 this morning and started my work immediately. I watered everything that needed to be watered and check the lettuce I transplanted into the garden Sunday. This is the same lettuce I began planting in pots indoors in February and have been staggering ever since. I have staggered 4 sets of seeds and they’re all in the garden. The lettuce only took up 1 ½ short rows leaving me with half a row empty so I planted the beets in it. I had just enough room. I pulled the spaghetti squash out of is pots and re-read the instructions on the package. It said to plant them in 2’s and 3’s 2 to 3 feet apart. I ended up with 3 sets of 2 and 1 set of 3, which once again leaves me with half of an empty short row. Now for the corn. I killed my early starts. I planted them in a paper egg carton, which obviously falls apart when it gets wet so I put it into an old littler box that didn’t have holes for drainage. This wasn’t a problem until recent storms began. The box was flooded while I was at work and bear did not know to empty it. I came home at 10pm and poured the water out, but it stormed again that night and flooded it again. The corn was submerged in 2 inches of water for nearly 24 hours and began turning yellow on me after that. So this morning I pulled out the packet of seeds and counted them. There were 110 left. I planted all 110 seeds in two long rows. Dad says I can expect from 1 to 3 ears of corn per plant. That’s a lot of corn if they all come up.

I am now left with Bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and watermelons to plant. After measuring my garden I think I can plant all of the tomatoes and all of the cucumbers in the section bear plowed with everything else. As long as everything is staked anyway. There are some gourds I started on the deck also and the herbs I started over the weekend. The herbs are just now sprouting and will go in the rose garden. I was going to plant tomatoes there but I decided that the basil did so well in that spot that I would plant the rest of the annual herbs there as well. The gourds will go along another sunny section of fence.

Our neighbor Chuck brought over some hybrid Muscudine cuttings for us to root as a thank-you for giving him the cucumber plants. These hybrids are not supposed to be tough skinned like the wild ones. Bear is itching to try Muscudine wine. I still desperately want some golden raspberries, fruit trees, and blueberry bushes.

Friday, April 07, 2006

California Poppies, my favorite


It’s raining again. I haven’t seen the forecast so I don’t know for how long. The way the sky is lightening up on the eastern horizon it may just be for this morning.

The rain is a good thing today, even though I hung laundry on the line yesterday evening (its just the kids clothes, and there all darks, if they get mud on them I can just brush it off when it dries). I planted those melon plants and pumpkin plants yesterday and the lack of sunlight and the added water will help them harden up in their new location.

Bear left the top off the Rav again though. He had to get out of bed at 6:30am and run outside into the cold rain and put it on. I’ve told him several times he needs to quit leaving it off at night. This is Arkansas, the weather changes fast here.

The melons, although they looked very unhappy in there containers and didn’t appear to be growing (other than trying to produce buds to soon) were nearly root bound despite the fact that I transplanted them into larger containers two weeks ago. The pumpkins on the other hand have been in the same container since I started them from seeds (nearly two months) and despite regular fertilizing they were not root bound. Although they sprouted happily they have not done well since I took them out of the plastic bag and stuck them in dirt. I’ve never had good luck with pumpkins; I don’t think these will be any different.

My Uncle Troy gave my parents a species of Brandywine tomato (my dads favorite to grow) that is pink. It was basically a coffee can with some seeds sprinkled in it. They pulled the plants out Saturday and separated them and discovered that there were 75 seedlings. Hahahaha, And I thought 50 were too many. I bet the 100 tomato plant lady is not even batting an eyelash at those numbers.

It’s ok to have too much though. I can always give away what we can’t use.


My neighbor with the heart condition is going to grow a full garden this year after all. Bear said he was outside plowing the ground yesterday. His son is going to help him. The exercise will be good for both of them. I’m going to give him some of my cucumber plants. 36 plants are way to many, and I won’t have room for them. I think I will also give him a six-pack of tomato plants if he hasn’t bought any already. That will be a six-pack to Sheri and six-pack to Chuck. And will leave me with roughly 24 red tomato plants. I’ll have to look at my yellow pear tomatoes again and see how many I can give up. I think I have 12 plants. I probably only need 4 at the most. Since I was just going to grow those to eat fresh. I am keeping all of the corn and all of the bell pepper plants.

My mother told me Tuesday she has ordered some more ornamental grass and when it arrives she wants me to come over and plant it for her. When I asked why she said, “Because I planted the same grass last year and it died. I know if you plant it it’s going to live. Everything else you plant does.” There is a movie I am sometimes reminded of. Its called Fern Gully. There are fairies in the movie that “help” things grow. There is a scene where the fairy holds a seed in her hand and it sprouts instantly. I feel kind of like that sometimes. When I hold a seed in my hand I can feel the life inside of it.

On an interesting note I took an IQ test online Tuesday and scored 121. According to what I read that’s a very high score. I told some people at work about it and wouldn’t you know if the first thing that comes out of their mouth “Why don’t you go to school and get a better job?” After thinking about it for a while I came up with a better reason than “I really don’t want to work that hard”. I decided that it must be because I have the brains to realize that I don’t need a job that pays me more money to be happy. I need my family, my home in the woods, my friends, and to live at peace with the world around me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Lots of pictures this week

A small section of my garden, near the pond and under the willow.
Dogwoods in bloom
More creeping Phlox.
California Poppies, these will bloom today.

After a long dull week I went to work Saturday feeling pretty bitter and sinicle. I brought a southern living magazine with me and flipped through it looking at recipes and southern destinations for weekend travel. I sat there taking phone call after phone call realizing that that last time Bear and I went anywhere over night was when we went to Ohio to visit his family back in the summer of 2000.

I struggled through my 6-hour shift, turned my cell phone back on, and walked out to my car. I was just pulling out of the parking lot when my phone rang. It was Bear. He said, “I hope you don’t have any plans for this afternoon because I made some for us.” He wouldn’t tell me what,
When I got home he had the Rav-4 loaded up with two ice chests a bag of condiments and skillets and our feather bed, comforter and pillows. “Doug and Jennifer called while you were gone. They have a camp site up at Piney Bay and want us to join them tonight.”

I swear that man can read my mind sometimes. He borrowed a big huge tent from a neighbor and we stopped at the grocery store on the way up and bought some stuff to grill with. This is us approaching the park. Notice how nice and sunny it looks in this picture.

I got there and Jennifer was trying to build a fire to cook hamburgers on. “Do you know how to build a fire and keep it lit?” she asked. Do I know how to build a fire?? Hahahaha. I went into the woods and gathered kindling (slim pickings in a camp ground). I also added dried oak leaves and pine needles and we got a really good blaze going. They dropped a heavy metal grill over the top of it and she made the best damn hamburgers I have ever had. She cooked them in a skillet and added margarita mix to them while they cooked. I’ve never seen that done but I sure as heck won’t forget it.

If you haven't noticed yet it appears to be getting darker and darker in each picture. This is not because it was nearing the end of the day.

Then a storm rolled in. There were reports on the radio of 3-inch hail and a wall cloud reported in Clarksville. All we got was rain. Even the wind missed us. The rain passed and Jennifer and I rebuilt the fire using wet kindling and wet wood and the hot coals left from the one we had built before. We sat around the fire and drank white Russians for hours and walked to the bathroom a few times. Jennifer had a problem going to the bathroom in the woods for some reason. We also enjoyed the lightening as the storm that had drenched us moved slowly eastward.

We slept on a damp bed. It rained on us again during the night and I had to get Bear to go outside and pull the rain cover back over the tent. At dawn we woke to discover that during the night we had burned up all of the firewood that Doug and Jennifer had brought with them which meant we had no way to cook breakfast. We drove back to our place and cooked it on the stove.

You know, its funny. I get out of bed every morning with a sore back and very little sleep, but sleeping on the hard ground didn’t leave me sore at all. Not only was I not sore but I slept like a rock!!!. Bear didn’t snore as bad as he usually does either.

Monday morning I got to work and went into the break room to put my lunch in the fridge and there is a woman in there yelling at her husband on the phone. It seems one of her friends walked into work today, tapped her on the shoulder and said “I slept with your husband this morning.” I went to use the bathroom before I sat at my desk and there was a girl on a cell phone in there crying her eyes out. I heard her say “I can’t believe you slept with my sister.”

I got home that evening and Bear started telling me about the drama of his day. It seems our friend Trina (she is the one with the daughter that watered my cats) was working on their computer this weekend and ran across a history file from Yahoo. She found 4 separate files where her husband was having cyber sex on camera with 4 different women, and two of them live here in Russellville. She confronted him about it and he told her point blank “What’s it going to take to get you the leave Trina?” They have a child together. She took both of her kids and went to her mothers place, but her mother doesn’t have electricity or gas and her children will get taken away if she tries to stay there so she filed for emergency housing relief.

Jennifer and Doug also broke up Monday (the Jennifer and Doug we went camping with this weekend). But I think that was probably Doug’s fault. She just went through a messy divorce and we told him he was pushing her to hard about commitment.

Bear also got a call from Dominic Monday. He took our ex friend Joan out (the pill popper who came into our house when we weren’t here and took the pain Medicine Bear got after the stove electrocuted him). She was working in a restaurant where he and Bear were having lunch at and he asked Bear to introduce him. We warned him she had problems. He started talking to her on the phone and decided to take her to Eureka Springs for the weekend. He said he bought a big bottle of Crown Royal and she drank the whole thing on the way up there. He said the entire time they were there she never stopped drinking. He’s not going to call her again. We told him she was trouble.

Bear and I just looked at each other and laughed. “Isn’t it nice to not have all of that drama in our lives?” he said.

I bought some more packages of herbs last night. I bought Parsley, Dill, Florence Fennel, and another package of Spearmint. I also bought Nasturtium seeds, which I nearly forgot to plant. Capers are pickled Nasturtium seeds and I use capers when I make homemade tarter sauce (among other sauces). Nasturtium flowers are also edible and are lovely in salads. I started everything but the Spearmint. After sowing it directly and not having any luck I am going to wait and plant it in Sterile soil so I can make sure any sprouts I see are in fact what I planted. Its interesting in each of the packages of herb seeds I bought I have enough seeds to last a couple of plantings, but not in the spearmint package. Maybe its because the others are annuals and spearmint is perennial.

I’m not sure if those mammoth pumpkins I planted are going to be any good. They are short and stubby with small leaves that keep turning yellow no matter how much I fertilize them. Maybe they will improve when I get them out of the containers today. Everything else is doing well though. The corn is nearly ready to plant and the cucumbers ARE ready to plant. The Spaghetti Squash is acting like I gave it steroids and the Beets are looking very nice to. I have counted 65 bell pepper plants; well over the 50 mark I was shooting for. I bet I have enough bell peppers for roasting this year!! I have a bed planned for the beets. I am going to plant Mullein next to it (a waste land, bi-annual weed with furry silvery leaves that are an excellent tonic and another good remedy for colds).

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