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...............Two Chicks On A Farm......Our New Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. ************ ~William Hazlitt

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. 

Day 1
Hi, ya'll.  I know it's been a bit since I last posted.  The brain frying Oklahoma weather seems to have already taken a toll on me and summer just began a week ago.  The animals are just trying to survive, too.  They are all mad cause I woke them up for a photo op.
Sophie was sleeping on a basket in the window.

Maggie woke up really grumpy!

Molly said "Will you just leave me alone and let me sleep?"

I have a rule of thumb for visiting doctors:  if I have less than three things wrong with me (or the problem has bothered me less than two years), I don't go.  Period.  End of statement.  Well, the count is well above three so I have a doctor's appointment today at 2:45 p.m.(all the morning appointments were taken so I have to venture out in the heat this afternoon, yuck). Think I'll treat myself to a milkshake after the trauma of a doctor's visit (any excuse will do when it comes to ice cream).  I know ya'll are tired of hearing me whine about being sick but it is what it is!

I just wanted to take a simple bathroom break.  How often does a catastrophe start with one simple task? One bathroom is flooded, the other has "stuff" backed up in the bathtub and my living room is flooded.  I'm sick ya'll!  I shouldn't have to deal with cleaning up recycled pooh!  Just shoot me now!  I want to curl up in the bed and be a sick person not the repair and maintenance crew today!  If we rented our residence, I could call the landlord but when you are a frugal homeowner you are the maintenance man and the cleaning crew and the do it yourself repair person.  Just shoot me now! However, adversity brings out the most creative in me.  Plus I can read instructions on how to repair most things.  Thank God for good language skills. 

One full bottle of Liquid Plumber later and  with one foot on the bathtub stopper, the other foot in front of the toilet bowl and stretched out like taffy (thanks to yoga I can do this) to reach the toilet bowl (this is not a technique I read about but I had to be creative since there is just one of me), I have plunged my brains out to no avail.  This issue is way above my skill level.  Guess I'll have to take a bath in the wadding pool in the front yard.  Just shoot me now!  Anything requiring water or drainage has come to a complete hault til I can meditate (changed to Pepsi and with Bronchitis, a cigarette is out of the question).

Day 2
It now takes me two days to do what I used to do in one hour.  I went to the doctor yesterday and found out I have sinusitis, bronchitis and two other itis's (no, I'm not going to tell you what the other two are.  it's personal).  Let's just say I don't feel so great.  The total cost was around $150.00.  Just shoot me now!

Now, back to my plumbing problems (not my personal plumbing problems but the whole house plumbing problems).    Need to call in a professional (me thinks I have tree roots in the lines and no clean out line). My plumber of many years had retired and the next one I called wouldn't even respond to the two desperate messages I left on his answering machine (probably thought I was a crazy lady).  In my next life, I'm coming back as a plumber.  Expensive, unavailable and sets their own hours.  Brother Danny (my, when I go to church, minister) gave me the name of a great plumber today.  When I called, they said they would be out first thing in the morning.  Thank You, Lord!  Finally, instead of unreturned phone messages, I talked to a real person (he understood my pain and was very nice on the phone).  Hold off on the shooting me to let me see how expensive this will be.

In the meantime, my friend Charlie the Barber left me cucumbers and squash at the little store.  The cucumbers are just crying out for home canning as pickles.  Country folk don't get sick days and one must seize the moment when it comes to fresh picked veggies. Simple Living is planning for the future.
I see pickles in my future!
O.K.  I hate to admit it but I have become fascinated by the complexity of the most talked about criminal trial in recent American history.  It is my humble opinion that we will never know the exact details of how Caylee Marie Anthony died because this mystery is surrounded by far too many lies, changing stories, and enough forensic testimony to sink a battleship. I am a reasonable person and I have drawn my own conclusions.  There is one fact that remains after all is said and done:  a beautiful, loving child is now in the presence of our Heavenly Father who knows all things.  This link is a live feed from the courtroom.  Perhaps you can figure it out.  The prosecution is presenting their rebuttal tomorrow. Orlando Sentinel

O.K. Blah, blah, blah.  I'm shutting up now.  I know you're tired of listening to me.  See you another day.
Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.
 ~Francis Bacon

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"The little things? The little moments? They aren't little." ******* John Zabat-Zinn

"The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple."
Doris Janzen Longacre

Good Morning from Harmony Acres!  It's been a tough week, ya'll.  Last weekend, one of my customers at the little store dropped a bug (tummy virus) on me.  So, that slowed me down for a couple of days ( I was still able to mow the yard a little at a time) and then:  I woke up yesterday morning with my left eye swollen shut for no reason.  It's even worse this morning!  I look like a troll!  A troll, I tell ya. A one eyed cyclops! (unfortunately, no magical powers came with this transformation).  A.......One Eyed Flying Purple People Eater? I don't know what but it ain't pretty! 
O.K. that's enough whining about my personal trials and tribulations.  Here's what else is going on around here.

Last Sunday, Nick (another country neighbor) brought me some of the first fruits of his garden.  What a treat!  I have cooked a lot of them this week.  You have never really tasted veggies until you've had them fresh picked from the garden.  Simple Living at it's very tastiest.
Summer Squash, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers,
Banana Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers.
I took the summer squash, banana peppers, some red onions (gift from another neighbor), added some potatoes and fried (yes, I fried.  Beck was not all that pleased) these in my favorite skillet (Calphalon).  It was heaven to a fat deprived person like me.  I served it with a hamburger pattie and a salad.  I was a happy girl!

Then I took the green bell peppers and added yellow and red bell peppers to it for this delicious bread recipe (Bell Pepper Muffins page 58)  from Taste of Home Guilt Free Cooking (a cookbook I borrowed from Becky).  You talk about mouthing watering yummy!

Look for this recipe coming soon on Becky Cooks Lightly.
On a totally different subject:  the boys (blue-heeler pups) are growing like crazy (almost as big as their momma) and are learning all kinds of new (but not nice) tricks. They must plot on me all day and night to get me good.  The latest incident was as follows:

I went out to pen them up for the night.  Pickle starting nipping at my bad ankle.  When I bent over to push him away, Mischief grabbed the seat of my pants and pulled them down around my ankles (naked as a jaybird from the waist down. I mooned the whole neighborhood).  Then I leaned over trying to pull up my pants and they grabbed the ponytail holder in my hair and pulled it out.  So, here I am, fully exposed, trying to push the hair out of my face so I can see and pull my pants up so no one else can see.  What a couple of lovable, funny terrors!
Five and a half months old and still growing.
We have a simple living creed around here "Do No Harm" (except for snakes, spiders, wasp and other creepy crawly things.  It's get them before they get me).  Pushka has never grasped this concept.  He is determined to give me a heart attack.
I was hysterical! I thought I had murdered him!
He was just sleeping under the lawn mower.

"With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy."
Lope de Vega 

Thank you for stopping by today.  I enjoy our little visits.  Simple Living isn't for everyone but it is the piece of the puzzle that has been missing from my life.  Harmony Acres did not happen over night but it did  happen.  I'm praying that each of you will find that special place where harmony, peace and balance can heal the wounds inflicted by life.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dad.........On The Wings Of Angels, I Send You My Love

James William Barnett (Short)
Dec. 28, 1918 to Feb. 3, 1978
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ...

My Dad would be confounded by this world if he were still on this earth. Wall Street greed, unethical bank practices,  morally bankrupt individuals (Bernie Madoff), the Internet (he would say "What is that?"), global warming (he would say "What is that?"), huge credit card debt (he would say "how could anyone owe that much") and a generation believing that they are entitled to everything without laboring for it.

My Dad believed a man's word  was his bond and his pledge (a handshake was a sufficient contract) .  He would not understand the need for pages and pages of signed, notarized papers to make a person do the right thing.  He was a man of his word who firmly believed you worked for what you got (old-fashioned, yes.  a lost art, if you ask me).  His creed could have been "Without labor, nothing prospers"'  Sophocles said it first but Dad lived it. 
Dad loved the new coat he got for Christmas.
Dad was funny, honest, hard working (physical labor), compassionate and the most loving parent and grandparent anyone could ask for (unconditional love no matter how bad you messed up).  He was known by many names.  "Short (nickname everyone used because he wasn't very tall), Husband, Dad, Pa, Business Owner and Homeowner".  His focus in life was his family and making a better life for them by hard work (he would rather eat water gravy than take charity).  I lovingly recall his weather-beaten face (hours of working outside in the elements) and  unquenchabel spirit (he inspires me still). He was living the American Dream.

Dad, Mom and Pug Ugly (dog).
Dad was deeply suntanned from his many hours of labor in the hot sun.
In a few months I will be 58 years old.  The same age Dad was when Cancer stole him from us and denied us the privilege of growing old with him.  Time has eased the pain but the wound of loss is forever in my soul.  Tears come at unexpected moments, the raw emotion is triggered  by any number of small reminders.

Even though I miss his physical presence (more than I can tell you), he is still with me in many other ways.  The things he taught us are with me everyday.  Dad taught me how to drive a stick shift truck in the hayfield (if you can drive a stick shift, you can drive anything); Jimmy, my oldest nephew, wasn't much taller than the tail gate on the truck but he would drag the square bales to the truck and Dad would help load and then stack them. Ricky and Richard (my other two nephews) were very young but Dad gave them some lessons too.
Dad and grandson, Richard,  at Christmas time.
Becky was a few months shy of her fifth birthday when Dad left (told her the angels took him to Heaven).  Those handful of years were so very special to both Dad and Beck.  She tottled around after him everywhere he went.   She used to sit on the side of his sickbed and sing songs to him. I can still hear her childish voice singing  "I shall not be, I shall not be moved, just like a tree planted by the water, I shall not be moved". 
Becky and Dad in the garden.
Joyce, my sister, adored him.  She has said to me many times "he was someone I could lean-on in times of trouble "(I agree.  Lord knows I had troubles when I was younger).  Dad was our rock.

David is Dad's only son.  There was a very special bond there that only father's and son's can have.  Since Dad left us, David has been the  person I could lean-on no matter how bad I messed up.  Dad left a lasting legacy in his children and grandchildren.  We can only strive to be the kind of person he was.  He set the bar very high for us.

Dad and Brother Dave.(eternally bonded)
Father's Day is a day set aside by retail business to make a lot of sales.  However, the real reason for the day is to tell your Dad how very special he is and to cherish the time you have with him.  Never miss an opportunity to say "I love you Dad".

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.*********** Elsa Schiaparelli

Things A True Southern Knows:
True Southerners know instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. (If the trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'.)

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 on the freeway - you just say, "Bless her heart" and go your way.

You should never loan your tools, pick-up, or gun to nobody

Good Morning from Harmony Acres!  I woke up this morning to the sound of rolling thunder.  Peeking out my window, the sight of lightning splitting the sky drove me from my bed to check the weather to see if we were in for a bad time or not (living in tornado alley makes me a little skittish).  Today, it was the not.  Pouring rain met me as I stepped out to the front porch.  Good news for the garden and other plants and trees.  Bad news for inside dogs needing to go outside to wee-wee.  Bad news for Becky having to drive to work in another rainstorm.
Maggie is conflicted:  Needs to wee-wee.  Scared of storms.
Oh, almost forgot to tell you this! Last night I made Spring Strawberry Dumplings from  Becky's blog.  Oh, my gosh ya'll!   I had never made this recipe before but I will certainly make it again.  Satisfied my sweet tooth.  I devoured it like it was the last taste of sugar on earth.  Becky keeps preaching moderation but I was totally out of control! 

Spring Strawberry dumplings!  Ain't that just the berries?
Now, ya'll know I'm from the south and we know how to cook and eat (I have to keep reminding myself that fat is not my friend).  I found this list of favorite southern recipes I would like to share with you.  My personal favorite is Fried Green Tomatoes (could eat 5lbs. by myself). I'm sure none of these are in the new healthy eating recipe and lifestyle book "Just Tell Me What To Eat, The Delicious 6-Week Weight Loss Plan for the Real World " (you can read Becky's book review at Becky Cooks Lightly Book Review).

1. Southern Style Cornbread    A typical Southern cornbread, which is almost an essential to serve alongside greens, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, and chili. Or, use all or part of this cornbread to make a great cornbread dressing for the holidays.


2. Fried Green Tomatoes   This is a classic no-frills cornmeal-coated version, and there are links to other battered fried green tomatoes below the recipe. Delicious!      Top Picks


3. Classic Macaroni and Cheese   This has to be everyone's favorite comfort food, served as a main dish or side dish.   Top Picks


4. Fresh Peach Cobbler   Definitely a major star on the Southern dessert table, this cobbler is made with fresh peaches and a buttery crust.   Top Picks


5. Fried Chicken With Cream Gravy  If your fried chicken isn't quite there yet, practice (or rehearsals) makes perfect. Here's an old-fashioned Southern fried chicken recipe with a milk gravy.   Top Picks


6. Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding   Bread pudding is such wonderful comfort food, with a caramel, vanilla, or whisky sauce. If bread pudding is on the menu at a restaurant, it's always my first choice.      Top Picks


7. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork   An easy slow-cooked version of tender pulled pork shoulder for sandwiches. Delicious served with a topping of coleslaw and baked beans on the side. Top Picks


8. Seven Layer Salad  This delicious salad, made with lettuce, had-cooked eggs, peas, bacon, cheese, mayonnaise, and other ingredients, almost always shows up at our family dinners.


9. Sandy's Chicken and Dumplings  One of the South's favorite one-dish meals, this is a favorite recipe from our forum.   Top Picks


10. Grandma's Meat Loaf   A classic homemade meatloaf recipe, made with oats, made with lean ground beef, chili sauce, oats, and other ingredients and seasonings.

Thank you for stopping by today.  Y'heah?: 
A redundant expression tacked onto the end of sentences by Southerners. "Y'all come back soon, y'heah?"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Idle Hands Are The Devil's Workshop

The idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest,
for he has not earned it.
John Lubbock
Hi Ya'll.  Don't think I have been idle just because I haven't posted for a couple of days.  Let me give you a snapshot of what's been going on.

Moved furniture in every room trying to reorganize (hate it when stuff just falls on me when I walk by. a sure sign of too much stuff that is just stuff with no real purpose).  I am buying a  small chest type freezer (it has a purpose) to store our homegrown veggies in.  In a small home, to move one thing, you have to move everything!  I cooked and froze potatoes, onions and homemade dog treats so the  freezer on the fridge is full and I still have other things to put up.
Becky created this lovely vegetarian pizza.
I supplied the homegrown veggies for it.
Look for this upcoming recipe on Becky Cooks Lightly.
Pushka went missing for two days.  I was so upset!
Becky drove all over the neighborhood searching!
He finally came home all skinny and remorseful.
Yesterday, I had to go into Muskogee (ya'll know how bad I hate that).  I stopped at the feedstore for dog food for the boys and a flea collar for Gypsy.  
K-Mart for tons of pet and household supplies.  Pedigree can dog food was on sale for .65 but they only had 23 cans in store (like that's going to last long around here) so I got a rain cheque for 4 cases. Yes, you can do that. Just ask. (Also, the other night I stopped at a drive through Mexican Food place and when I got home part of my order was missing.  Called them to voice my frustration. Yes, you can do that.  Got rain cheque  for free platter plus my 3 missing cheesecake items. Told you not to make me mad)
Then I was off to Sav-A-Lot to restock our pantry.
Can vegetables will do until I can preserve our own.
Nothing taste as wonderful as fresh garden veggies.
But today is a new day and I have much to do before it becomes fry your brains hot.  A storm blew through last night and took out the greenhouse.  The plants are still fine but the covering is tattered and torn.  Oh, well.  I'll just fix it.  No time to get into mischief around here. There is always plenty of work to do in the country.  Those who say the country is relaxing, obviously don't live there.  
Greenhouse with a sunroof?

You put it up, the storms take it down!

Red, Green and Yellow Bell Peppers,
Eggplant and Zucchini Squash  ready for planting.
No, it is not too late.  Why not? Because I said so.
The onions hanging in background were a gift from a neighbor. 

 Nothing good comes from boredom. It's said that idle hands are the devil's workshop, an old saying dating at least as far back as Chaucer in the twelfth century who called idle hands the devil's tools. (can't argue with that logic)

Some parts of my yard require a push mower (inside the greenhouse for instance).  However; my push mower had to go home with Brother Dave for some rest and relaxation. I fouled (fowled?) out the plug he said.  Now, wait a minute! I fouled out the plug sounds like an accusation to me.  I don't even know what that means but I must have done something wrong (imagine that).  Did I hit it, spit on it, leave it out in the rain, use it too much? What? What did I do wrong?  And why is it always my fault?  Everyone knows stuff just happens! 
O.K. All the plants are back in place now.

The greenhouse is now an open air market!  Stuff Happens, ya'll!
The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude. ~
share this Busy saying     Voltaire
Read more: http://www.finestquotes.com/quote_with-keyword-Busy-page-0.htm#ixzz1PMWh7Xkk

Sunday, June 12, 2011

While I Was Worrying About My Lungs, Nicotine Hijacked My Brain! That Ain't Right!

Nicotine patches are great.  Stick one over each eye and you can't find your cigarettes. 
~Author Unknown
Well, I've made my contribution for the week to the global economy by spending my earnings on fuel for cars (does anyone even like the big oil companies?) and tobacco for the money hungry, could care less if you get cancer (wouldn't tell us it causes cancer until they were outed  by secret memos & sued) companies that employ thousands of people.  Folks, I take full responsibility for my addiction.  I like to smoke (can't tell you why. it is a mystery to me).  I make no excuses or apologies.  It is what it is.
Out of over 4,000 chemicals that result from the chemical reactions of smoking of cigarettes,
about 400 of the 600 government-allowed ingredients are known to be toxic and 69 of these are carcinogens.

In my feeble attempts to stop smoking, I have tried patches, hypnosis and cold turkey (talk about the psycho in me coming out.  it was just plain scary.  scared myself. scared others).  I know addiction begins in the brain and the body follows.  I also know that there is nothing more annoying than those people who used to smoke trying to tell me what I ought to do.  Guys, I'm not stupid!  I'm an addict.  So, there.  I've said it.  Now leave me alone.  It is what it is.
Most of us became hooked while children or teens. What none of us knew prior to that first hit of nicotine was how extremely addictive smoking it was. Roughly 26% of us started losing control over continued smoking after just 3 to 4 cigarettes, rising to 44% after smoking 5 to 9.

What we didn't then know was that within ten seconds of that very first puff, that up to 50% of our brain's dopamine pathway acetylcholine receptors would become occupied by nicotine, or that prior to finishing that first cigarette that nicotine would saturate almost all of them.
Nicotinic receptor saturation
I am not impressed by the big tobacco companies trying to play nice now and help me (The Judas Kiss).  Treacherous, I tell you.  Treacherous!  Forced to do the right thing is not my idea of integrity and morality.  That also goes for the oil companies spilling toxins all over the planet;  hurting life giving water sources, plants, animals, humans and the local economy.  Ya'll, the truth will set you free.  You ought to try it sometimes.  O.K. I'm through now.  Well, maybe not!   If I've offended anyone,  kiss my grits!  It is what it is!
Tobacco is a dirty weed.  I like it.
It satisfies no normal need.  I like it.
It makes you thin, it makes you lean,
It takes the hair right off your bean
It's the worst darn stuff I've ever seen.
I like it.
~Graham Lee Hemminger, Tobacco

Doing the research for this article has helped me to see the light, again.  Perhaps it is time to reconsider my decision to smoke.  Don't think I'm doing it just because I'm scared, maybe I should quit smoking because........... 

I'm mad!  Every time I read an article about the duplicity and deception of the tobacco companies or watch the movie "The Insider" (based on a true story of a man--Jeffrey Wigand-- with integrity vs. parasite tobacco company making a lot of money off making people deathly ill), I get really, really mad!  The thought of them assisting me to become addicted without giving me the information I needed to make an informed decision and then making a gazzillon dollars off of people like me makes me absolutely livid (you don't want me to become livid because when I do, I write letters and file complaints).  How dare they?  Well, here's to trying to quit one more time!  Big Tobacco--kiss my grits!  It is what it is!

Research suggests that the average quitter experiences a maximum of 6 crave episodes per day on the third day of recovery, declining to about 1.4 per day by day ten. If each crave is less than 3 minutes and the average quitter experiences a maximum of 6 on their most challenging day, can you handle 18 minutes of challenge?
quit smoking crave chart

In the past, I have tried to stop smoking because I was backed into a corner (asthma, chronic bronchial infections and the huge increase in the cost of smoking).  The emotional approach, if you will.  This time I will use logic and scientific studies to improve my chances of quiting.  Knowing what is going on when I have a craving will help me to fight the enemy within.   It won't be pretty but I'm am willing to give it another try.  Wish me luck and pray for me to succeed and Becky to maintain her sanity while I'm trying.  It is what it is!

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Meditation is the soul's perspective glass."......................... Owen Feltham

Meditation is like farming..... " the right soil is required to grow anything, nothing will grow if the soil is polluted by striving or pushing too hard".
Jon Kabt-Zinn

Good Morning Ya'll.  It is a wonderfully cool and cloudy day with a light refreshing breeze blowing.  A perfect time to take a stroll around the property.  I have known for many years the unmistakable link between mind and body.  If my mind is a wreck, my body follows the trend.  Therefore; the importance of a balance between the two is vital for quality of life.  Meditation is an inexpensive and proven method to achieve this balance.  One of the ways I soothe my soul is working in my vegetable and flower gardens.
First baby cucumber of the year.

The fruits of my labor!  Baby Tomatoes!
So, it comes as no surprise to me that a study at the University of Massachusetts found that  mindfulness therapy  can relieve the symptoms of Menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness and on and on and on).  This is a quote from the article concerning Hormone Replacement (this has never been something I used and here is why):
About 40 percent of menopausal women suffer from hot flashes and night sweats, which undermine their quality of life, the researchers noted. But since hormone replacement therapy has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer and stroke, Carmody observed that "not only are women looking for alternative treatments, it is an NIH (National Institutes of Health) priority to find behavioral treatments."

Sometimes a change of scenery is a treat so we drive the 10 miles into Muskogee to visit Honor Heights Park.  This is a lovely place with lots of walking paths, a duck pond (about a mile walk just around the duck pond (paddle boats for those not afraid of the water, me--I can't swim--sad I know) and a variety of plant life and trees.

Another article I found (Leave Stress Behind with Mindful Walking) gives some clues how to achieve this relaxing state of mind:
Here is a simple mindful walking exercise you can practice whenever you need it:
1. While walking, pay attention to your breathing. Use this focus on the breath as an anchor to stabilize your attention.
2. Next, allow yourself to notice any sights, sounds, or physical sensations that may come up as you walk. Rest your awareness for a moment on that sight, sound, or sensation, then return your awareness to your breathing.
3. If persistent thoughts distract you from your mindful awareness, simply notice them, then return your awareness to your breathing.

Meditation ain't hard ya'll.  Just take the trash out (mentally) and relax, enjoy and heal thyself.

I found this really funny you tube video while browsing and thought you might enjoy a musical tour of Muskogee.  I loved it.  Laughed til my sides hurt

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. ~Andy Rooney

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader.  He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Good Morning from Harmony Acres!  We are all doing just fine, now.  There have been a few setbacks lately:  peach tree died, my ankle healing much too slowing, Becky sick over the weekend, little store busier than usual (once again, I limped home on the bad ankle and retired to my recliner) and grass three feet tall in some places (what a nightmare).   So today, I play catch-up on outside work til my brain frys. 
The gift:  onions & broccoli from neighbor. 
What a great place to live!
There is a very heavy dew this morning which will delay my yard mowing a little while.  We have gone from the Spring rainy season to fry an egg on the sidewalk summer-like weather (like I need this when I live in my own personal constant burning, scortching, smothering summer hell year round. it happens to women of a certain age. gee, thanks, mother nature).  Ah......the joy of living in Oklahoma!  The cost of living is one of the lowest but the Summer temperatures are some of the highest (O.K. Texas beats us there again). 

There is so much to do today, I barely know where to start!  How about meditation (drink coffee and smoke cigarette on front porch with a cat wrapped around my sore ankle)? When in doubt, meditate!  Gracie (black outside cat) has been missing for a few days.  Hope she returns soon.  Really like her.  She is so sweet (unlike a lot of people I used to know). 

My friends at Hubler Vet Clinic are doing a home visit today.  We don't refer to it as a "farm call" because it is more like family dropping by and besides, We don't have a farm.  What we do have is "Dr. Doolittle on Steriods".  (the movie you know. He and the animals talk to each other).  The blue heeler pups (the Boys) need their follow-up Parvo and Rabies shots. This is going to be fun. Not!  They are way too big to crate and put in a car now (I don't know exactly what's in that high dollar dry food I'm feeding them but they are strong enough to knock me to the ground if I'm not firm with them). 
Berta and Stacey making a "house call" for the boys.

Berta trying to be friends with the Pickle.
Maybe, Maybe Not.

Pickle looks on as Berta goes the extra mile to be friends with Mischief (hiding behind house).
 We have never had outside dogs, so the boys have proven to be a challenge for me.  Their mom (Gypsy) is in heat again (that Hussy!) so I can't get her spayed for a month (the fun never ends around here).  Gyps and I have a special bond.  She was a stray and I loved her unconditionally and she now is my devoted friend.  I tell her all my troubles (I whine) and she listens without judging. 
Gypsy trust me and I trust her.  Perfect match.
All the male dogs in the neighborhood now stop by to see if she is interested (she had better keep her tail down).  It is total chaos!  I need a retreat from my retreat!  But instead I will go scoop poop in their pen.  Mow the yard.  Pick up junk out of the yard and head for the house before the heat gets me. 
Anti-social big ole mama's boys.
They could destroy an armored tank.
Terrors, I tell you!  Terrors! Big T.
Thank you for stopping by today to sit a spell and visit.  Hope to see you again soon.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive. 
~Gilda Radner

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Food Pyramid 2011......and it still doesn't have chocolate in it!

It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat. 

Hi ya'll.  It's another hot, humid Oklahoma day (it's not the 100+ degree temperature that will get you around here, it's the humidity).   Each day brings a new challenge when you live in the country.  Most folks around here grew up in the country so the things they just know and can do with ease can send me on a scavenger hunt for an answer (for example, when to plant vegetables, what is the best time of day to water plants, how to get rid of gophers, how to get honey out of a hive without being stung, how to syphon  gas out of a gas tank. oops wasn't suppose to ask that one, was I?)

How did we  live before we had cell phones (we had landlines), Internet (we used real books), microwave ovens (we used wood burning stoves), fast food restaurants (the kitchen was the heart of the home) or the food pyramid (ahhh! the good ole days.  Everything was cooked in grease, bacon fat or tons of butter)?  It's a mystery to me that Mom and Dad had none of these things and they did just fine.  Go Figure!
My latest attempt at healthy cooking. 
The Dinner Doctor's Meatless Mushroom Galette & Fresh Green Salad.
Where's the beef?
 Speaking of  Food Pyramids, they changed it again (not that it really matters to me cause I've managed to ignore it since they first created it).  I don't think they've figured out if it don't have chocolate as a daily requirement, people won't use it even if they wrap it up in black lace and put a bow on it.

A sample plate of the new food icon My Plat, is unveiled ... Susan Walsh / AP
Media (1 of 9) Food pyramid is out,
MyPlate is in
I told ya.  No Chocolate.  What a shame!
Becky does everything she can to keep me healthy but it's a hard fought battle for her (I'm sure she is getting jewels in her heavenly crown for this nightmarish attempt to reform me).  When I was growing up, Dad would take his glass gallon jars to the local dairy and buy milk.  The next day, I would scoop the cream off the top and have a bowl of cereal.  Mmmmm  mmmmmm good!  She even found tools at amazon.com to encourage me to eat better.  Take a look at this!  Math was never my thang.  So precise measurements bore me but this is so easy.  Just fill her up and eat till it's all gone and then go to bed hungry and raid the fridge in the middle of the night.  A gal's got to have a plan. 

Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor or other to be a deadly poison, and everything I don't eat has been proved to be indispensable for life.  But I go marching on. 
~George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Narcissistic, manicured, pedicured ladies need not apply!

"Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires."
-  Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching 
Living in the country and loving it, isn't for everyone.  It takes a special kind of single woman to even attempt this lifestyle.  If you are afraid of chipping a nail, smashing your toe or spending all you time caring for critters, do yourself a favor and just stay in the city (unless you are rich enough to hire lots of help, but then you are not really a country girl). Having a rural address and country living are not the same thing. Narcissistic, manicured, pedicured ladies need not apply! 
Directions to our house: 
Turn right at yellow 5 gallon bucket;
 drive to the end of the road and then drive some more
till you see the dead peach tree and lots of critters.
 I have had my hands in more yucky stuff than I ever imaged even existed!  Donkey pooh, doggie pooh, well used cat litter boxes, poison ivy, poison oak, ant granules, snake granules, flea dip.......the list goes on and on. (one time Brother Dave had me help him pull a calf, up to my elbow in a cow's you know what).  And after all the rain we have had, with almost no proper drainage in Keefeton, OK.(our county commissioner must not know where we are: perhaps I should write him a letter and send him a map); the mosquitoes are the size of a small battleship. 

But if you can survive it, the payoff is huge! A tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride. Simple Living will give you a sense of satisfaction that you cannot find working in the city. 

Yada, yada, yada! Yeah, I know, I talk too much.  Anyway, here are some updates on what's happening at Harmony Acres. 
For the first time ever, my tomato plants look as though I might actually have a tomato crop.
The cucumber plants need to be thinned out but they are doing great.
One of the peach trees (even after I sprayed it) is at deaths door from too much rain and other mysterious things attacking it.

The other peach tree is doing great! Go figure! 
Since the storm blew over the willow tree
 and took out the meditation garden,
the plants are residing in a bucket
waiting for me to find a new home for them.
That's all for today folks.  I got plants to repot, a meditation garden to relocate, furniture to move in the house, yard to mow, critters   to feed and water........you get the idea. (Oh, by the way, my ankle is healing slowly but healing. Thank you for asking.) Very little time to meditate today(smoke cigarette and drink coffee on front porch with two cats wrapped around my ankles).  Ya'll have a good day and I'll talk to you later.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost
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