Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday Six

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Weekender, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. You're arranging to move. If money were no object, would you hire movers to come in and pack your belongings as well as drive them, or would you prefer to do the packing yourself?  I'd hire movers.

2. Of the new shows that have premiered so far this season, which were you most looking forward to seeing?  New shows?  I'm just now discovering Grey's Anatomy, for pete's sake.  And I just started watching CSI six months ago.

3. Did the show live up to your expectations?  N/A

4. Take the quiz: What type of lunatic are you?

5. What habit of yours would you say is the craziest?  Getting up at 4 AM or thereabouts, when there's no need.  I wish I knew why I wake up so early and can't go back to sleep.

6. What do you own more of: VHS Tapes, CDs, DVDs or Books?  CDs

Friday, September 29, 2006

The hay is in the barn.

Cliff baling hay

Well, our hay turned out to be of excellent quality, despite the extra time it had to lay in the field.  For those of you who never saw a hay-baler at work, if you have high-speed Internet, here's a movie of Cliff baling.

And this time, it was only me and Cliff doing the work; actually, mostly Cliff, because I simply drove the tractor.  It's a good thing he's been working out.

Hay there...

Cliff did rake the alfalfa Wednesday, and it did rain about 1/10 of an inch Wednesday night, preventing us from baling it yesterday.  The hay, at this point, can probably be salvaged.  He plans to rake it again so that the wet part on the bottom will be on top and have a chance to dry.  Once dry, it can be baled.

As always, his problem is that he has a job, and leaves here at 2:30 PM.  This is usually about the time of day that hay is ready to bale.  We found out he does have a couple more days he can take off without notice, at work.  So he has that option if he must, although he hates to leave them stranded at end-of-month, their busiest time.

We are strongly considering riding the motorcycle to the Branson area this weekend, but haven't decided 100% on this. 

My friend Lona, who I mentioned in a previous entry, still needs all the prayers she can get.  She had a portion of her colon removed; also, her only kidney is not doing its job as it should.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm glad we don't farm for a living

Cliff mowed the alfalfa Sunday afternoon.  After hay has been mown (mowed?), it has to just lay there to dry out and cure for two or three days.  Once it's sufficiently dry (and there's a fine line here between too damp and too dry) it has to be raked.  In hot summer weather, usually the hay is ready to be baled within two or three hours of raking.  If alfalfa hay is allowed to get too dry, the leaves fall off when it's raked; the leaves are where the most valuable nutrients are found.

But rain can enter the picture and change things in so many ways:  for instance, if it rains while the hay is laying on the ground curing, and then the skies clear up for a couple of days, sometimes you can salvage alfalfa hay.  The quality isn't the best, but it's still good hay.  If the hay is raked and then rains come, the picture isn't so bright.  Most often, that hay is tossed into a convenient ditch.

So Cliff had to make a decision this morning.  The hay seemed ready to rake, but there's possible rain coming tonight.  Should he leave it alone so that if it does rain, we might get some second-class hay?  Or should he rake it and hope we don't get the rain?  It's cool today, and going to be cooler.  That doesn't make for fast hay-curing. 

Now, if he didn't have to go to work this afternoon, he'd no doubt be able to bale before the storms.  However, he can't take any more vacation days off this year without prior notice.

So all we can do is hope the rains don't materialize.  Thank God we don't make our living at this!

(Oh, about the book I chose to read first:  Vital Signs, by Robin Cook.  It already holds me captive.) 

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

So, which book shall I read first?

On the way home from Church Sunday, we stopped at a garage sale.  We picked up a dog carrier for $5, and were about to leave when I saw boxes of paperbacks... 25 cents each, or six for $1.  So I quickly got a buck's worth.  Now, which one shall I start with?

a special Internet friend

Back in 1998, in the days of the old Christian Senior chat room, I met Lona.  She was the first "Internet" person I truly trusted, and I felt I knew her before I ever met her face to face. 

Lona is opposite me in many ways:  She's outgoing, has dozens (probably  hundreds) of friends, is active in her church, plays bridge every week, and has been to many exotic places with her late husband.  She still does plenty of traveling with friends and family.

In the real world, the two of us would never have met, even if we had we lived in the same area; we move in totally different types of circles.

But in the Internet world, we have discovered things in common:  we're both only children (although I have an older half-sister... but I was raised like an only child); we both have naturally curly hair (for a long time we laughed at how we seemed to get our hair cut during the same week); we have some childhood similarities in our church upbringing; and many of our politics, values and beliefs are the same.

So much the same that, back when we spent hours in that chat room, she and I would type the same opinion almost word for word, and enter it into the room at the same time.  Lona said we were twin sisters, only she just happened to be a few years older than I.

I've spent the night at her house.  I've ridden shotgun in her Town Car when it was brand new, going to a chat room get-together in North Carolina, and I've flown with her to Virginia to spend a few days with our friend Sue.

So for some eight years now, Lona has been on my buddy list.  We don't instant message that often, since I hate IMs.  We don't visit on the phone because I don't enjoy talking on the phone.  But if she's at home, her name is usually there with the "away" message up, and it's a comfort to see her where she belongs.  When she leaves for any length of time, or when she retires for the night, her name blinks off my list.

Yesterday morning I sent her an e-mail asking a question.  Her name was on, so I expected an answer soon.  This morning her name was still there, but my e-mail had not been answered.

I located a mutual friend of mine and Lona's, Cindy, in a public AOL room, and went there to ask her if she had heard anything from our friend.  She had not, but said she'd call and check on her.  Now, Lona has three daughters who call her daily, not to mention her many friends nearby; so I wasn't concerned that she was ill and alone.  I just knew something wasn't right.

Cindy found out Lona went to the hospital Sunday and is now back home, "sick with an inflamed colon, and in much pain".

If anybody ever deserved prayers, it's my friend Lona.  So I'm requesting prayers and good thoughts sent her way.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday Photo Shoot

Time to get equine for this week's photo shoot, from Blogfather John Scalzi:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Horses are nice. Show us a horse picture you've taken. It can be new, or one from your files. It just needs to have a horse in it. Donkeys, mules, ponies, zebras, and quagga are also acceptable, and I'll be impressed if you have a picture of a quagga in your files, being that they've been extinct for 125 years and all.

I had ideas for having Cliff take a new picture of me and Blue today, but then I remembered this shot he took two years ago, of Blue giving the camera the raspberry, and granddaughter Natalie posing with him.

Play along, and be sure to leave a link to your individual entry, at John Scalzi's blog.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Yeah, it's my youngest granddaughter...

If it works, it works. :

You simply HAVE to read this entry in my son's journal.

The Sunday Seven

Name up to seven magazines that you either have subscribed to, currently subscribe to, or would subscribe to if money were no object.

1.  Readers' Digest, because it fits in a purse and is great for those times when you need something to pass the time.

2.  Antique Power, Cliff's favorite old-tractor magazine.

Those are all we currently subscribe to, so the rest will be magazines we've had in the past.

3.  Redbook

4.  Ladies Home Journal

5.  Consumer Reports (we still subscribe to it online)

6.  Red Power (forFarmall collectors)

7.  Green Magazine (for John Deere collectors)

The Internet pretty much replaced magazines for me.

If you want to play, be sure and leave the link to your entry at Patrick's Weekender.


The Saturday Six from Patrick

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Weekender, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal at Patrick's blog, so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. You find out that you've just gotten a new job in a different state. Which room of your home will be the most difficult to get packed and why?  The room upstairs I use the way most people would use an attic... the "junk room".  It would be difficult to pack because most of it really ought to be tossed out, but so much of it has sentimental value that I just can't.

2. Which room is most likely to contain the greatest number of items that you should throw away, but haven't, yet?  I think I just answered this in question number 1.

3. What is your single greatest strength and single greatest weakness if you were to enter the dating scene tomorrow?  I don't think I have any strengths when it comes to dating.  That's probably why I did so little dating before I met Cliff. 

4. Take the quiz: What are your dating strengths and weaknesses?

Dating Strengths Dating Weaknesses
1. Open-Mindedness - 72.7%
2. Spirituality - 69.2%
3. Varied Interests - 57.1%
4. Adventurousness - 50%
1. Pessimism - 66.7%
2. Selfishness - 63.6%
3. Insecurity - 61.5%
4. Shyness - 58.3%
5. Appearance - 55.6%

5. What's the biggest surprise from this quiz's findings?  What surprises me is that I didn't get a big fat zero on the "strengths" part.

6. Would you ever go out on a blind date with someone you'd met online if you'd never talked to them through any other method than email?  I don't think so, but this is one of those things where you don't really know what you'd do until you are placed in the situation.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

in bed

While researching rural life more than 20 years ago, Paul C. Rosenblatt took his 12-year-old son with him to interview farm families in the Midwest. Father and son stayed in a farmhouse and had to share a bed.

“It was terrible,” said Dr. Rosenblatt, a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, because his son thrashed and turned so much that “his feet were in my face all night.”

Tired and bedraggled the next day, he recalled thinking about how challenging it can be to adapt to sleeping with another person.

In more recent research — on grief — Dr. Rosenblatt interviewed couples whose children had died.

“They quite often would tell me that they dealt with their grief by holding each other and talking together in bed at night,” he said. “It seemed that I kept being reminded of how sharing a bed impacts our lives and sense of well-being.”

And yet, no one had really studied it, perhaps because sharing a bed is so mundane, Dr. Rosenblatt said. So he wrote “Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing,” published this summer by State University of New York Press.

“It’s not a self-help book,” he said, but an examination of some of the common and often humorous issues couples face when sharing a bed, including spooning, sheet-stealing and snoring.

“My hope is that the book will influence the world of sleep research so sleep is no longer viewed as an individual phenomenon,” Dr. Rosenblatt said.

There are thousands of studies on sleep and even more on marriage and relationships, but only a handful on couples sleeping together.

The National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit group in Washington that supports education and research on sleep and sleep disorders, estimates that 61 percent of Americans share their bed with a significant other. And while the very presence of another person in bed increases the chance of sleep disruption, 62 percent of those polled in the foundation’s annual sleep study said they preferred to bed down with their partner.

In researching his book, Dr. Rosenblatt said even though many couples said they slept better alone, they still shared a bed. “When I asked why, they looked at me as if I’d asked them why they keep breathing,” he said.

For “Two in a Bed,” Dr. Rosenblatt interviewed 42 couples. Most of them were married heterosexual couples but some were unmarried hetero- or homosexual couples. Intimacy and comfort were the primary reasons couples gave for sleeping together.

“Some mentioned sex, but not a lot,” Dr. Rosenblatt said. Most reported that the bed is where they talked. “The bed is where they found privacy and were able to leave behind the distractions and separate interests that keep them apart during the day. There’s also something about late night that allowed them to open up and connect.”

Several interviewees reported that difficulty sleeping together or sleeping apart had led to the dissolution of previous marriages, and that sleeping together was essential to maintaining their relationships. Dr. Rosenblatt found that it might also save lives.

“It surprised me how many people thought they were alive today because they shared a bed,” Dr. Rosenblatt said.

For example, he said a woman’s seizure was noticed immediately by her husband with whom she spooned every night. Similar stories came from couples where one partner had a heart attack, stroke or went into diabetic shock.

The couples Dr. Rosenblatt interviewed described how they had had to adjust to sleeping with their partner. Many reported conflicts over bedroom temperature, where to locate the bed and how to make the bed. Watching television, reading and eating in bed were other contentious issues, as was sleeping in the nude. There were quarrels over the alarm clock and whether to allow children or pets into the bed.

“Each couple had to do a lot of problem solving to work out their systems for sleeping together,” Dr. Rosenblatt said. These systems, he said, usually became comforting routines of how couples prepared for bed, got into bed, behaved once in the bed, fell asleep and woke up.

The subjects he interviewed invariably had their own side of the bed, and responsibilities like putting out the cat or opening the windows before turning in. They usually had rituals like watching the television news before lights out or snuggling before falling to sleep. And they often had signals for when they wanted affection, wanted to talk or wanted to be left alone.

“How they arrived at these systems could be said to mirror their relationships,” said Dr. Rosenblatt. The most successful systems were those formed out of compromise and sensitivity to the other’s needs.

“The issues change over time,” Dr. Rosenblatt said.

Whereas a woman might have always been cold at night when she was younger, she might feel like a furnace from menopausal hot flashes as she grows older. Prostate problems might cause a man to get up more often in the night to use the bathroom. Illness and injury might prevent people from sleeping entwined with each other.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, those interviewed said dealing with a partner’s snoring and insomnia profoundly affected the couple’s sleep dynamic.

“These are all things that no one teaches you how to cope with,” said Neil B. Kavey, a psychiatrist and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. “There’s no counseling in this regard, but there should be.”

Sleep centers are primarily concerned with treating disorders and don’t address the impact one partner has on the other. Whatever the cause of unrest, “sleep deprivation has consequences,” Dr. Kavey said. Those include impaired cognitive ability and irritability.

Though Dr. Rosenblatt has written five other books and scores of scholarly essays and papers, he said his book on couples’ sleep has gotten by far the most attention from the news media and fellow academics.

“I think it’s because it’s something most people have struggled with and can relate to,” Dr. Rosenblatt said. “And even though we may take sleeping with our partner for granted, it’s through these kinds of shared social systems that we build and nurture our relationships, and perhaps uncover the underlying meaning of our lives.”

Many of these points touch home here, especially this:  " Most reported that the bed is where they talked. 'The bed is where they found privacy and were able to leave behind the distractions and separate interests that keep them apart during the day. There’s also something about late night that allowed them to open up and connect.'”  Because Cliff and I have had most of our serious discussions in bed, I can relate.  When you have children in the house, when else are you going to discuss your dreams, plans, hopes, and bills, except in bed?

Here's the website where I obtained all this:  New York Times

things we've seen on our little road trips

Cliff has missed three Fridays straight, at work.  After all, when the weather is right for motorcycle riding, what can you expect?  He says I'm turning him into a bum, but all I did was mention what a nice, sunny day it was.

So yesterday afternoon after Cliff called into work to tell them he wouldn't be in, we headed north to Cameron, Missouri, to see a cousin of mine.

Gerald restores classic cars, and has at least a half-dozen of them waiting in the wings; he's in his 70's, and I seriously wonder if he'll live long enough to do them all... he's such a perfectionist! 

That pickup he invented will be next, once he finishes his current project.  When he talks about it, his eyes light up, and you can tell that's the one that has his heart.

This morning it was raining, but AOL weather assured us the clouds would move out.  While it was raining Cliff and I did our little dumbell workout.  By the time we were done with that, we were able to go for our walk, and after one more weather-check, we went for another road trip.  Ain't life grand?

A small tractor show at Chilhowee, Missouri, one we'd never visited, was our destination.

Great fun.  Great day.  Lots of smiles.

Tagged by Carlene

Carlene tagged me with this, so here goes.  My main problem is choosing WHICH wierd things I want to list, because I'm pretty weird in general.  I have to list six weird things about me.

1.  I may seem gregarious online, but I'm pretty much of a lone ranger in real life.

2.  I have never had a driver's license, and don't want one.

3.  I'm a slob.  I'm a clutterbug.  In fact, I'm downright lazy!

4.  I have no interest in fashion, and have only one pair of shoes I could wear with a dress (assuming I ever wore a dress).

5.  I've always wished I were an Indian... even now, as a 62-year-old grandma.

6.  I like to sleep in a cabin in the pasture with my dog.

Friday, September 22, 2006

God does talk to me sometimes

Yesterday, as I mentioned before in my journal, my dog Sadie got away from me.

Actually, I turned her loose.  I didn't know Buddy was nearby, or I'd have kept her on her leash.  She followed him into the woods and totally ignored my calls.  Buddy showed up later without her.

For almost an hour, I called for her, shouting her name over and over.  I would come to the house to see if she had returned without me; then I'd go back into the pasture, still calling for her.

While she was missing, I felt, more than heard, God speaking.

"Now you know how I feel," He said, "when I call to you again and again, and you go on your merry way as though I weren't here."

I'm glad God still speaks to me.

journals that make me think

Back before the big J-Land breakup, before so many bloggers left for new territory, one of the first journals I discovered was Un-common Sense, a somewhat political blog where Armand shared his opinions and insights. 

Armand moved to Blogspot, and I subscribed to his new journal.  Then he disappeared for a long time... a year, perhaps?... while he was in Iraq, I believe it was, doing Lord only knows what.

Well, he's back and blogging again.  You'll find him here.  I think perhaps many of his old readers lost him after the J-land walkout.

Don't forget Patrick's Place, either.  He's in the middle of a move and a job change at present, but he still has a journal, and he still is capable of making me think outside my little box.

As a Christian who can sometimes use a little prodding to get back on the right track, I watch for new entries over at the Peach Pages.  You go, girl.

Finally, there's the one journal that is able to make me think and laugh all at the same time.  Mrs. Linklater, nobody does it like you.

I don't participate in the Vivi's, although I have nothing against them.  But if I were giving out awards, these are the folks who would receive them.  Of course, then there's that little matter of figuring out what category each one goes into.  I hate having to put people in pigeon-holes.

Oh, and two of them wouldn't be eligible, because their journals aren't on AOL.

So, I'm watching the awards to see what happens.  With any luck, I'll find some interesting new blogs as a result of the awards.

I shall, however, abstain from categorizing or voting.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

a meme

My dog, Sadie, got away from me when I was walking in the pasture this afternoon, and was gone for an hour or so.  I searched for an hour (in the rain) calling and calling.  I came back to the house, and just as I was asking the mailman if he'd seen any dead dogs on the highway, here Sadie came from the direction of the pasture, tongue hanging out, breathing hard and smiling at me as if to say, "Boy, that was fun!"
Once I got her (and myself) settled down, I checked my e-mail and found this, and decided to share it; hopefully it will calm me down.  I tag anybody who wants to play along.
Four jobs I have had in my life:

    1.  order filler
    2.  putting together wiring harnesses for Whitaker Cable
    3.  Building railroad signal devices
    4.  grading and packing apples at an orchard

Four places I have lived:

    1.  Guss, Iowa  (try and find THAT on a map)
    2.  Eagleville, Missouri
    3.  Kansas City, Missouri
    4.  Blue Springs, Missouri

Four TV shows I love to watch:

    1.  CSI
    2.  Grey's Anatomy
    3.  CBS Sunday Morning
    4.  All In The Family reruns

Four Movies I have watched over and over:

    1. "It's A Wonderful Life"
    2. "Little Big Man" 
    3. "Christine" 
    4. "Dear America... Letters Home From Vietnam"
  This was a PBS special years ago, but I have it on DVD; perhaps it doesn't count as a movie.  If it doesn't, then let's say "Apocolypse Now". 

Four Places I have been on vacation:

    1.  Rocky Mountains
    2.  Washington, DC
    3.  Kentucky and Tennessee
    4.  Mission, Texas

Four of my favorite foods:

    1.  Pizza
    2.  ice cream
    3.  hot roast beef sandwiches
    4.  home-made apple pie

Four places I would rather be right now:

    1.  Colorado, anywhere in the mountains
    2.  Branson, Mo
    3.  Washington, DC
    4.  Waverly Hall, Georgia
P.S.  I don't want to LIVE at all of these places, but would love to visit them.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

my blood pressure is falling!

Yes, you read it right:  My blood pressure, which has been pushing 140/80 for the last couple of years, is back down around 120/60 now, where it used to run when I was in my 20's. 

I usually put this sort of entry in my boring health journal, but I thought maybe this would help somebody.

My blood pressure has lowered since Cliff came home from his open-heart surgery.  Why?

Well, most of the weight I've lost was already off before then, so that isn't it.

I was already walking a half-hour a day, although I've increased that, now that the weather is cooler.  Most days I take two half-hour walks.  Plus, since Cliff began doing fifteen to twenty minutes daily of calisthenics and light weight-lifting, I've joined him in that activity.

I use only olive oil.  Once the current bottle is empty, I'm going to virgin olive oil.  Let's see how low my BP can go!

I'm eating one ounce of nuts a day... currently almonds, but sometimes it's Planters unsalted mixed nuts  Next time it may be walnuts.  This adds almost 200 calories to my calorie tally each day, but I've read too much about the benefits to give them up now.

We have at least two meatless days each week, and at least one "fish" day.  Talapia is our fish of choice, but I sometimes mix canned tuna (packed in water) with a salad.

We have lots of sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, cooked cabbage and spinach.  I use frozen veggies and add no salt.

The only caffeine we have is in our coffee in the mornings.  The rest of the time, it's de-caf Diet Coke, tea, and coffee.

I buy no-salt-added canned goods such as tomato sauce, tomatoes and ketchup.  Since I've not been able to find a low-sodium spaghetti sauce on the grocery shelves, I make my own, from scratch.

Oh yes, we do eat out at least once a week, but we are careful about portions.

I wonder if it's any one of these things that lowered my blood pressure 20 points, or the combination?

Opinions, anyone?

I've heard so many nay-sayers who pooh-pooh the idea of limiting salt and cholesterol and caffeine; trouble is, none of them are very healthy!  Meanwhile, my blood pressure says something is working; my efforts seem to be paying off.  I made all these changes for Cliff's benefit... but I'm reaping a harvest of my own.

One more entry on the WC tractor

This is what the WC looked like the day we picked it up at Uncle Leo's farm (that's him in the picture).

This is the "donor tractor" that Cliff used for parts.  To be honest, there may be more of  this one in the finished product than of Uncle Leo's Allis, but his parts tractor was what started it all.

You see, this all came about when Cliff and I were into restored tractors in a big way, going to all the shows, reading all the magazines.  We atttended a family gathering at my uncle's place, and took a stroll to the barn.  Peeking in, we saw that old skeleton of a tractor inside, and I said, "Does it run?"

Uncle Leo gave it to us later, and Cliff indeed got the thing started in record time.  It wasn't running well, mind you... but it was running.

There's truly something magical about seeing something that old, something that has been given up for dead, come to life again.

a story about my Monday Photo Shoot entry

In order to participate in the Monday Photo Shoot, I had to Google a color wheel to find out exactly what colors are opposites; seeing orange and blue were contrasting colors, I immediately thought "Allis Chalmers orange, blue skies".

So, I told Cliff about the assignment as he was getting ready to head to the shop.  He was less than impressed with the idea, since the WC was in the wing of the shop behind two other tractors.

"Besides," he informed me, "it's filthy.  I'd have to wash it."

"Cliff, nobody will notice that it's dirty."

"Yes they would, it's really bad."

"OK then, how about a red Farmall in front of green trees?"

But next time I looked out, there he was washing the WC.  Just for J-land!  I guess he cares about everyone's opinions of his housekeeping!

Even as we were taking shots of the tractor, clouds were gathering so that it was hard to get a solid blue sky in the background; you can see them in the far background of picture # 1.  Now the whole sky is gray.

Monday Photo Shoot

This week's photo shoot will be a study in opposites:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Post a picture that focuses on the contrast between two opposing colors. What colors are opposites? Green and red are opposites, as are blue and yellow, and orange and purple. So a picture that has something purple in front of something orange would work, or a picture that features blue and yellow in alternating stripes. The subject of the pictures could be anything you like -- but there have to be opposing colors in there.

Okie-dokie, how about an orange, 1938 WC Allis Chalmers tractor against a blue sky?

Join in, folks.  You may have to google a color wheel like I did, to find out exactly what colors contrast.  And when you've taken your picture and done an entry, be sure and share it over at John Scalzi's place.


Monday, September 18, 2006

odds and ends from the past few days

The corn harvest is in full swing, which means Blue and I can ride in the fields where the crops have been gotten out.  No rocks or gravel here to tear up his unshod feet.  It'll be awhile before the soybean harvest, but there's plenty of room to ride with so much of the corn crop laid by.

I've ridden Blue at least an hour a day for several days, mainly in our pasture.  The weather has been ideal, with crisp mornings and daytime highs in the 70's.  We got less than 1/4 inch of rain Sunday, which was enough to do the grass some good.

Friday was so perfect that I talked Cliff into taking a vacation day, and we went riding on the Gold Wing.  We found several garage sales, but saw nothing we were interested in buying.  Saturday we went for another spin, stopping at a Wal Mart for some oil, and then to Orscheln's, a farm store.  I got a big bag of horse treats, which Cliff had to strap onto the motorcycle.  With the loot we bought at two stores, every compartment in the bike was full.  We didn't ride long, because the wind was making it rather unpleasant, buffeting us about.

These days are unbelievable, but I think I hear the strains of "September Song" in the back of my mind, and that makes me a little sad.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Reading to Cliff

Cliff isn't especially fond of travel.  One reason he cites is that, since I don't drive, he doesn't get a break from the monotony of keeping the car sailing smoothly along the Interstates.

Several years ago we'd been to a huge tractor show at Rollag, Minnesota.  Heading home, Cliff mentioned how he was dreading our return trip, and I got an idea.

"I bought a book at the show,"  I reminded him.  'Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them'.  How about if I read it to you while we're on the way home?"

Little did  I know I had discovered a miracle cure for boredom on the road, for both of us.

So these days, the first thing I look for at garage sales is the table piled with twenty-five-cent paperbacks.  John Grisham and James Patterson books are particular favorites  We enjoy Sue Grafton occasionally, too... the lady who names her books in alphabetical order, and isn't obsessed with romance. 

I steer away from love stories, so that eliminates most garage-sale books.  After all, I'm reading for a man, and what man is going to enjoy a sappy old romance?  Besides, they're all so predictable.  I can read the first chapter, watch for a man and woman who can't stand each other, and know they will fall in love by the end of the story.

We were heading home from Colorado in July, and I was reading a book I'd purchased on our train ride... "The History of the Durango-Silverton Railroad".  It had some interesting facts, but it was obviously putting Cliff to sleep:  not a good thing to happen to one's chauffeur.

I had tossed a book in at home, at the beginning of our trip, with the intentions of having something to read for myself, evenings in the motel.  It was obviously a "women's book", a love story.  But it was all I had at the time.

I explained to Cliff he'd probably hate it and so would I, but he needed to wake up, and I didn't have anything else to read.

The book is Nora Roberts' "Montana Sky", from 1997.

As I expected, the romance part of the book was predictable:  Cliff and I figured out, early on, what man each of three sisters would end up with. 

To my surprise, though, the story has held our attention.  Ms. Roberts does a good job of painting a personality, and sprinkles lots of laughs throughout the book.  And Cliff seems to enjoy the spicy love scenes scattered throughout the story, maybe a little too much!

The author has given us a couple of laughs I'm sure she has no idea about, but they certainly brought down the house (or car?) for us country bumpkins.  I'll give a couple of examples.

One of the city sisters, forced to spend a year on a Montana ranch, has been given the job of gathering eggs in the hen-house.  And where is she finding the eggs?  On the roost!  Cliff and I found this so hilarious, because we figured anybody would know that the roost is where the hens "roost" at night.  It's where they perch, something the size of a small branch or maybe a rake-handle, that their toes can curl around.  So we pictured a hen trying to balance an egg on something like that.  Oh, and usually there is at least two inches of chicken-poop under the roost.  Come on, Nora... they lay eggs in their NESTS!!!

Example number two:  There's a villain in the story mutilating cats, cattle, and even a human.  Now this is a ranch we're talking about, not a little homestead where the cattle are pets.  The man selects a steer for mutilating; he lures it with a bucket of feed; he puts a halter on it; and he leads it to the location of his choosing.

First, no steer on a ranch is going to walk up to anyone, I don't care how much feed they have.  Second, even if he did, the minute you moved toward him with a halter, he'd be gone.  Third, if by some miracle you did get a halter on him, his first reaction would be to pull against it, and you'd better hang on for dear life.

Well, at least the story has held our interest.  We're over three-quarters through it... maybe in another couple of months we'll actually finish it, although it's slow going when the only place you travel is  to the grocery store. 


Friday, September 15, 2006

Songs my parents used to sing

When we'd travel in the automobile... Mother, Daddy and me... Daddy was likely to break into song at any moment.  Often when he did, my mom would join in.  They weren't great singers, by any means, but they could carry a tune just fine.  Sometimes when I'm in a reflective mood, I can almost hear them singing those old country songs.

Some were love songs, and my parents would look suggestively at one another while singing.  For instance, "I Love You A Bushel And A Peck", and "I Love You Because".

Daddy seemed to find special joy in singing "Lay That Pistol Down Babe".  I don't recall hearing anybody but my parents sing that song, but I just googled the words and realize why he smiled  as he sang it, because it has some pretty funny lyrics:

Oh, drinkin' beer in a cabaret
Was I havin' fun
Until one night she caught me right
And now I'm on the run

   Oh, lay that pistol down, babe
   Lay that pistol down
   Pistol packin' mama
   Lay that pistol down

Oh, I see you every night, Bing
And I'll woo you every day
I'll be your regular mama
And I'll put that gun away

   Oh, lay that pistol down, babe
   Lay that pistol down
   Pistol packin' mama
   Lay that thing down before it goes off and hurts somebody

Oh, she kicked out my windshield
And she hit me over the head
She cussed and cried and said I'd lied
And she wished that I was dead

Since my parents listened mostly to hillbilly music, that means their repertoire included cheating songs, and songs about being jilted, like "Slippin' Around" and "I'm Throwing Rice at the Girl That I Love". 

We were a Church-going family, so hymns were commonly  heard in our house and vehicle.  Mother regularly listened to the Blackwood Brothers Gospel quartet on the radio.  That might be where my parents learned these numbers:  "Life's Railway To Heaven," and "Royal Telephone".  That last one was a particular favorite, since we lived in the telephone office and were "central", which in the song is "never busy, always on the line."

Wow.  I'm glad my parents liked to sing!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

around our 43 acres

Sadie and I had an interesting experience a while ago; I went out for my second walk once the movie was over that I was watching (Cellular) and, of course, took my dog.  We just went through the second gate and practically ran into a coyote.  Well, Sadie was unleashed, and she was off like a shot!  I almost thought she was going to be able to catch that coyote, and I can't imagine what she would have done with him if she had.  If I'd taken my camera,  I'd have had an interesting video to post.

Why is it that I can never get things like that on video?  And when will I ever learn to slip the camera in my pocket when I'm going walking?

weekend assignment

Weekend Assignment #129: It Just Doesn't Make Sense!
Weekend Assignment #129: Write about something that makes absolutely no sense to you, or that you find almost impossibly ironic. This covers a lot of ground so let me make it simpler: Write about something you just don't get. You've rolled it around in your brain, you've thought about it, and it just doesn't add up. Yeah. Tell us about that thing. From the enduring popularity of talentless celebrities to people who put mayonnaise on their french fries (yes, I'm looking at you, Belgium), there's got to be something out there that makes you go, "huh?" Or, for the kids, something that makes you go "WTF?"
For obvious reasons to those of you who read this earlier, I am changing the answer I first put here to something harmless, having already earned a reputation as the neighborhood witch.
I know dental school must cost a fortune, and perhaps dentists have to charge those outrageous fees; but why can't something be done to make dental work more affordable, at least for kids?  I wish the government could somehow make it mandatory that all children have access to necessary dental work.  Oh yes, I realize that even if it were free, there are parents who would still let their kids' teeth rot in their heads.  
Cliff and I were pretty poor, and sometimes I let my own teeth go, but we somehow came up with the money for our children's dentists.  Not for braces, mind you... but for fillings and such.  It's just a shame it has to be so expensive.
Extra Credit: There's a song playing in your head right now. Tell us what it is.

I dare you to listen to this one and NOT get it stuck in your head!

The Beatles

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace
Molly is the singer in a band
Desmond say to Molly, girl I like you face
And Molly says this as she takes him by the hand

Obladi, oblada,
Life goes on, bra
La la how the life goes on
Obladi, oblada
Life goes on, bra
La la how the life goes on

Desmond take a trolley to the jewelers store
Buys a twenty carat golden ring, (rin-ring)
Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door
And as he gives it to her she begins to sing (sin-sing)

Obladi, obla-a
Life goes on, bra
La la how the life goes on
Obladi, oblada
Life goes on, bra
La la how the life goes on

Yeah, In a couple of years they
have built a home sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard
of Desmond and Molly Jones

Happy ever after in the market place
Desmond lets the children lend a hand
Molly stays at home and does her pretty face
And in the evening she's a singer with the band

Obladi, oblada
Life goes on, bra
La la how the life goes on
Obladi, oblada
Life goes on, bra
La la how the life goes on

Happy ever after in the market place
Molly lets the children lend a hand
Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face
And in the evening she's a singer with the band

Obladi, oblada
Life goes on, bra
La la how the life goes on
Obladi, oblada
Life goes on, bra
La la how the life goes on
And if you want some fun
take Obladi blada

Come on, I know there's something you'd like to contribute to this.  Think about it, then leave the link to your entry at By The Way.

about my previous post

My fit of anger had to do with gates being left un-fastened, and barn doors being left open.  If horses get out and cause a wreck, Cliff and I are responsible for damage.  If a horse gets into the barn and into the grain, it might founder, and two of the horses here are not mine.

I think I've gotten my point across to the whole neighborhood.  We'll see.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I went postal tonight

Yes, I did.  But I can't talk about it in a public forum.  Sometimes you just have to put your foot down.  (No, it didn't involve any relatives.)

I feel so much better.  And I didn't even shoot anyone.

And all the neighbors now have something new to talk about.  Yep, I raised my voice.

Ride with me!


I went for a leisurely, two-hour ride this morning; as always, I took my camera along.  About halfway through the session, it occurred to me that those of you who never get to ride a horse might enjoy accompanying me, so I started making a video.  Now, if you have a good ear for music, you might want to turn the sound down when I start singing to myself... but that's what I DO when I'm riding.  The wind noise gets pretty bad at one point, too.

I wish I could have been quick enough with the camera to have caught the two deer we surprised that were lying down in a soybean field, hidden.  When I decided to call Cliff on the cell phone to see how it would work from the levee, my voice scared them into action... which almost scared Blue into action, too.  I practically dropped my phone when he jumped sideways.

It was a funny moment.

Sadie is behaving better

I don't know where my dog, Sadie, spent her first year or so of life, because we adopted her at Wayside Waifs.  I'm sure somebody treated her well, because she loves people.  I have an idea she might have escaped from a house or yard and run away, because she is very hyper, and one of her worst faults has been that if she gets loose, she runs away and will not come back when I call her.

There has been some improvement in that behaviour.

Cliff and I take a daily walk in the pasture; Sadie more or less stayed in our vicinity unless Buddy, the neighbor dog, showed up:  then he'd lead her away, and all I could do was pray she'd show up again, because call as I might, she wouldn't come.  So I began keeping her on a leash when we walked.

Lately I've given her the chance to redeem herself, and she has actually started coming when I call, both in the yard and in the pasture.  There are exceptions, for instance if a new dog shows up.  She can't resist meeting new dogs.  On Labor Day we headed out to the pasture and, too late, I saw a couple of beagles in the distance.  Sadie saw them too, and ran after them.  The chase was on, and all three dogs disappeared in the woods, with Sadie turning a deaf ear to my calls.  Since I had never seen these dogs before, I had no idea where they might lead my pet... but I had visions of her running across the highway and dying in the same manner as my last dog, Mandy.

So you can imagine my joy when, about five minutes later, Sadie rejoined us.  Hey, it's an improvement, because in the past she would not have given up that chase until she was well acquainted with the new dogs.

Yesterday Buddy came bounding across the pasture; Sadie started into the woods in hot pursuit, but when I called, she abandoned him and rejoined me.

She is also trying very hard not to jump on people; she still gets excited when she sees certain folks (I don't know what it is about my son-in-law, Kevin, and my grandson, Brett, but they send her into a frenzy), but you can tell she is doing her level best to keep all four feet on the ground.

So, she's improving in many ways.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

While watching the credits on CSI....

I don't usually pay attention to the credits at the end of TV programs (of course, I watch very little TV).  Somehow this evening, watching CSI credits, I happened to notice a familiar last name... Berman.  The Executive Story producer's name is Josh Berman

The name "Berman" rang a bell.  Back in 1959, I was fifteen years old.  I did without lunch at school so I could buy record albums from Columbia Record Club.

One album I purchased with my saved lunch money was "Inside Shelley Berman".

Oh my goodness, that man was hilarious!  Sometimes he'd appear on the Jack Paar Show, which I often stayed up too late watching, on school nights.

I watched "Meet the Fockers" recently and didn't have a clue until this evening that Shelley Berman was in it, playing the part of Judge Ira.  I didn't even know the man was still alive.  And he's been on Grey's Anatomy and Friends, and lots of other popular television shows.

So I did a Google, typing in Shelley Berman and Josh Berman:  Turns out Shelley adopted a son, Josh. 

Surely it's his son, Josh, who is producing CSI.

Now I must go to and see if there are any CDs of Shelley's old routines.

You know you're getting old when the credits of a television show send you tripping down memory lane.

A final note:  I guess this Josh is not Shelley's son, because here's what I found on another search:  "Then in 1975 the family got news that dwarfed Berman's professional struggles: Josh was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Within 18 months, at age 12, he was gone. 'I had him studying for his bar mitzvah until he couldn't stand it anymore, because I wanted him to live to the very last minute,' Berman recalls. According to Gerald Nachman's book Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s (Pantheon, 2003), Berman gave an interview a month after Josh's death. 'I've been taught a profound lesson," he said then. "the future is a breaker of promises.'"

Monday Photo Shoot

Here's the weekly assignment John Scalzi has given:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Get a picture of someone in profile. Could be you, a family member, a friend, a pet -- just as long as we see their face, from the side.

Heeeeeere's Sadie, watching a dog in our yard from the bedroom window.

If you play along, be sure to leave a link to your entry at By The Way.

A fun-filled three days

Cliff took a vacation day Friday:  We'd planned to go to the Harley open house early, but that was just going to be too much of a whirlwind day, so we skipped it.  We went to my daughters' girls Grandparents' Day festivities at school shortly after noon; I could kick myself for not taking my camera along.

Then we went for a scenic motorcycle ride through Arrow Rock to Boonville and spent a little over an hour at the tractor show.  We stayed off the Interstate as much as possible both going and coming, and it was a nice ride.

Saturday we had planned to ride to Cliff's family fish-fry on the motorcycle, with his sister and her husband.  But rain threatened, so we took the car instead.  It was a nice, comfortable day, and I got to know some of Cliff's cousins and second-cousins better.  Last year we had all toured Ron's house, under construction at the time; and I was anxious to see how it was shaping up; they aren't living in it full-time yet.  The balcony level is for grandchildren, when they come to visit.

Sunday afternoon Cliff's brother Phil and his wife had a surprise anniversary party thrown by their kids that we attended, and we saw many of the same folks we'd seen the previous day at the reunion.

Wow, what a run-around weekend we had!


Monday, September 11, 2006

My moment of silence is over

Well, almost everything that could have gone wrong with the 2,996 Project did.  The man who initiated it all had his computer crash, three days ago, with all the programs he needed to orchastrate the Project.  Then he got sick.

And today, his server bandwidth got too much traffic and they kicked him off.

Well, it was a valiant effort, and I salute him.  I'm personally glad I took part, and got to know one individual lost at the WTC, just a little bit.

I have to tell you, when the towers were burning and crumbling and the victims were perishing five years ago, I didn't watch.  I just couldn't.

This year, I finally watched some of the footage, and it was still difficult, even this far removed.

It would be one thing to realize your loved one had died unexpectedly... but how would it feel knowing he died scared and suffering, unable to breathe, perhaps crushed or burning?

I have plenty of things to enter in my journal, but right now I'm just catching my breath from the horror I've seen in the past twenty-four hours, watching films of things I couldn't bear to watch five years ago.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

I remember Christopher Sullivan...

Chris Sullivan sounds like an ordinary, very contented, man.

He married his high-school sweetheart, and they had two sons: Sean, aged six back in 2001, when September 11 rolled around, and Brian, aged four at the time.

Lieutenant Sullivan, 39, was a firefighter at Ladder 11 and Engine 214 in Brooklyn. A big man at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Sullivan wore a flat-top haircut and carried a muscular build from years of weight lifting.

"The main thing about him was that he was an excellent father," his wife said. "He'd come home after working 24 hours and the boys would want to play, and he played. He took them hiking and camping. He also did everything at home, from cooking to cleaning. We were a real team. The kids didn't have their Dad long, but they got a lot from him"

"Chris had a heart of gold, but no one pushed him around," said his dad, "which made him perfect for firefighting. He loved his job so much. We really respected the men he worked with."

Chris' brother, Robert, said Chris will be remembered as an all-around family man who cooked and cared for his sons on days he didn't have to go to the firehouse and for his positive outlook, strong faith in God and penchant for practical jokes. "Every day, he lived life to the fullest," Robert Sullivan said. "You couldn't rattle the guy that easy. He was just easygoing and enjoyed things." Robert said his brother would have been philosophical about death and the days ahead. "I think he would say we shouldn't worry about the guys who died, that God would take care of them," he added. "He would say that we need to focus on the country, stick together and do what's right."

"When all is said and done, if my brother had to do that again, he would," said Robert. "That's the kind of guy he was."

Chris was last seen September 11 racing up the stairs inside One World Trade Center with members of Engine Co. 214 to help evacuate those still inside. He is believed to have perished when the tower collapsed.

Chris had decided to grow pumpkins for the first time in 2001, and his family used the resulting produce to make pumpkin bread on Thanksgiving.

What a gaping hole was left in so many lives when Chris was taken from this world in the World Trade Center disaster. Indeed, what a loss to the world, to have someone like this man die at so young an age.

2,996 project

Thursday, September 7, 2006

My son-in-law, Kevin

I keep thinking my daughter will post an entry letting us all know how Kevin is doing; he came home this afternoon.

Meanwhile, let me tell you a little about him.

Kevin is a master of trivia.  If you want to know who starred in a movie, chances are, Kevin knows.  If you wonder who sang a certain song, he probably can tell you.  He has an amazing memory which, thank God, his daughter Monica (who strongly resembles him) has inherited.

He and I enjoy Janis Joplin together.

When I discovered a folk singer named Loudon Wainwright III, Kevin told me who he was, and that he had appeared on some episodes of M.A.S.H., and actually wrote the theme song for that show.

Seldom do I ask him about someone famous that he doesn't know the answer.

Kevin rocks.  Continue praying for him. 

And hey, Rachel... isn't it time for an update?

Weekend Assignment #128... Five Years On

Weekend Assignment #128: Share your thoughts about 9/11. You can remember back on what you were doing on the day or give some thought to how we think about it today. Thoughts personal, political or philosophical are all up for consideration. Tell us all what you think about when you think about September 11, 2001.

No extra credit this week; thinking about 9/11 should be enough to keep us all occupied. Write it up in your Journal or Blog, and then come back here and leave a link, so we can all share our thoughts together.

I was working at Kohls' Distribution Center; Cliff and I had spent the previous weekend, I believe, with one of my dearest on-line friends, Lona.  As I worked, I thought back over the trip to Arkansas, and remembered that my friend had plans to fly to visit a daughter on that day.  I vividly recall praying for her safety, and smiling to myself at what a good friend she was.  It was a sunny, lovely autumn day, one of those days so perfect that it hurt.

My assistant supervisor approached me, a lovely young speciman of beefcake with (they tell me) pierced nipples... but I digress...

Aaron came around telling us all that an airplane had crashed into the New York World Trade Center.

Well, bad accidents happen, and I didn't think a lot about it except that I knew it was a tragedy.

But then while my co-workers and I were on break, all of us saw, on television, the other tower collapse, and we heard about an airplane crashing in a field, and something about the Pentagon.

My first thought was, "Oh dear, Lona is flying today!"

As it happened, Lona did get stranded in Texas for awhile, but otherwise she was safe.

When I got home, I heard one of my neighbors had gone a bit crazy and threatened his family (he's no longer a neighbor, or I wouldn't be blogging this).

It was just a bad day in general.

That's how I remember September 11, 2001.  The next year, I wrote a poem about it:

                                      September 10, 2002

Our dreams of peace were shattered on a clear September day
When confiscated airplanes stole our innocence away.
Our prayers and ceremonies won’t undo the damage done,
But I hope all of us have learned some things from nine-one-one.

 I’ve seen the face of terror, and I have just this to say:
Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed; we only have today.
Be kind to those around you.  Live and love, and have some fun…
That’s all a part of lessons I have learned from nine-one-one.

I want to hate the terrorists who did those awful deeds,
And yet, the Bible keeps insisting love is what they need:
Lord, help me forgive them for the awful deeds they’ve done.
Forgiveness is a lesson that I learned from nine-one-one.

This year, we’ve done some extra things.  I bought a new guitar.
We’ve taken some vacations.  I have traveled near and far.
I seen some country concerts:  life is sweet, and too soon done,
And I intend to live it!  I learned that from nine-one-one.

I’ve seen the face of strangers who would risk their lives for me:
I watched them last September, right on nation-wide TV.
I thank God for their courage: that can never be undone:
Thanksgiving is another lesson learned from nine-one-one.

They say that nothing we go through is totally a loss,
Although a lot of lessons have been bought at dreadful cost.
If we’ll just hold our heads up, then our victory’s begun,
And day-by-day, we’ll see more lessons learned from nine-one-one.

If you'd like to share your memories of that dreadful day, be sure and leave a link to your entry HERE at John Scalzi's blog.

Best-laid plans oft go astray

In August, Cliff and I started planning this weekend that's coming up.  He'd take a vacation day Friday (tomorrow) and we'd go to the Harley-Davidson open house.  Then on Saturday, we'd go to Boonville to their yearly tractor show.  This year they feature our favorite old tractors, Allis Chalmers.  When Allis Chalmers tractors gather in great numbers, such an event is called "The Gathering of the Orange".

My daughter told me at the start of school that Grandparents' Day once again conflicted with Harley open house.  Well, the girls won't be having too many more Grandparents' days, so of course we're going, especially since we missed it last year.  We're to be at school, I believe, at 12:30.

So we decided to spend most of Saturday at the Harley open house.  We'd made our decisions, given up the tractor show, and were content. 

Message board friends at the other side of the state made plans to attend the Harley function, and we were going to arrange to meet face to face.

A few days ago, Cliff told me his mom's family reunion would be in two weeks, and he'd told his brother we'd go.  That sounded fine to me.  Until earlier this week when I realized that was our Harley day!

Well, Cliff said, at least we can make a quick stop at Boonville on the way to the family fish fry at Lake of the Ozarks.  We might even ride the motorcycle. 

I tried to hide my keen disappointment at not being able to meet my message board friends, who are coming on Saturday.

Today Cliff figured out a way to have our cake and eat it too.  He's taking a vacation day tomorrow.  I won't have the granddaughters before and after school because their mom is taking off work to be home with their dad, just home from the hospital. 

Here's the plan:

We hit the road early in the morning and head to Platte City to the Harley-Davidson plant.  The gates open at 9 AM, but we'll try to get there and get in line earlier.  At 11 or so, we'll head back home and get to the school for Grandparents' day.  That done, we'll take the motorcycle down to Boonville, make a quick tour of the tractor show, and head back home.  Saturday morning we'll go to the reunion; if there's no threat of rain, we'll take the motorcycle and ride along with Cliff's sister and her husband.

Gee, I'm tired just writing this.  It covers everything we wanted to do, except one thing:  we won't get to meet ole Vern and Hollie, because they're going to be at the Harley-Davidson plant on Saturday, and we'll be there Friday.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

the last of the Old Thresher Reunion pictures

In picture number 7, look at the wringer washing machine in front and to the right of the refrigerator:  I was still using one of those in the early 70's.  By choice!  Sometime around 1980, I was going to try and go back to using one of those, but by then I was too liberated, and all that work just wasn't worth it any more.

I got a call from Rachel, and she still hasn't seen Kevin; the nurse said they are having a problem controlling his pain just now, so a few more prayers wouldn't hurt.

An old Indian joke

An old Indian chief sat in his hut on the reservation, smoking a ceremonial pipe and eyeing two US government officials sent to interview him.

"Chief Two Eagles," asked one official, "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his material wealth. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done."

The chief nodded that it was so.

The official continued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"

The chief stared at the government officials for over a minute and then calmly replied, "When white man found the land, Indians were running it. No taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, women did all the work,
medicine man free, Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing, all night having sex."

Then the chief leaned back and smiled, "White man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that!"

Kevin is out of surgery

My son-in-law, Kevin, was supposed to go into surgery around 1 PM today.  It was closer to 3 when they actually took him in.  It went faster than I figured:  Rachel just called at 4:45 to tell me it's over, and the doctor said everything went well.  His mom and Rachel can see him in about twenty minutes.

Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts.  I'll let Rachel share the details when she's home.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

I love simple songs

I like many kinds of music; but I suppose the recordings I love most are those that feature only the artist and a guitar... or the artist and any one instrument. 

That's why I love the American Recordings that Johnny Cash did before he died.  Just him and his guitar.

That's why I enjoy listening to Rich Mullins on his "Jesus Record", the one he did in an old abandoned Church, just before he died in a tragic automobile wreck.

My Deliverer

Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker
Exodus 2:23, Exodus 3:8, Second Samuel 22:1-7
Psalm 40:16-17, Psalm 70, Isaiah 53:5
Matthew 2:13-21, Luke 4:18-19, Revelation 6:13
Joseph took his wife and her child and they went to Africa
To escape the rage of a deadly king
There along the banks of the Nile, Jesus listened to the song
That the captive children used to sing
They were singin'

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

Through a dry and thirsty land, water from the Kenyon heights
Pours itself out of Lake Sangra's broken heart
There in the Sahara winds Jesus heard the whole world cry
For the healing that would flow from His own scars
The world was singing

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
He will never break His promise - He has written it upon the sky
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
I will never doubt His promise though I doubt my heart, I doubt my eyes
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
He will never break His promise though the stars should break faith with the sky
My Deliverer is coming - myDeliverer is standing by

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

My Deliverer is coming

And the Native American songs as done by Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman.  Oh yeah, when I'm spending the night at my cabin, that's what I want to hear.

That's the reason I love American folk music by Iris Dement, just plain and simple:  Iris playing piano or guitar, as though she were sitting in my living room.


And Burl Ives.

And the early Bob Dylan songs, like this:

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, n how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, n how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before theyre forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, n how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, n how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before its washed to the sea?
Yes, n how many years can some people exist
Before theyre allowed to be free?
Yes, n how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretendinghe just doesnt see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

If they can make me feel they are right here at my house, singing to me, and with me, I love them all.  That sort of music is my inspiration.

What about Kris Kristofferson

verse 1:
why me lord?
what have i ever done,
to deserve even one,
of the pleasure i've known,
tell me lord,
what did i ever do,
that was worth lovin' you,
for the kindness you've shown,

lord help me Jesus,
i've wasted it so help me Jesus,
i know what i am,
but now that i know,
that i needed you so help me Jesus,
my souls in your hand,

verse 2:
try me lord,
if you think there's a way,
i can try to repay,
all i've takin' from you,
maybe lord,
i can show someone else,
what i've been through myself,
on my way back to you,

chorus (x2)

and this one:

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin' for a train
And I's feelin' near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained
It rode us all the way into New Orleans
I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana
I's playin' soft while Bobby sang the blues, yeah
Windshield wipers slappin' time, I's holdin' Bobby's hand in mine
We sang every song that driver knew, yeah

  Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
  Nothin' don't mean nothin' hon' if it ain't free, no no
  And feelin' good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
  You know, feelin' good was good enough for me
  Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

From the Kentucky coal mine to the California sun
There Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Yeah, Bobby baby kept me from the cold
One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away
He's lookin' for that home and I hope he finds it
But I'd trade all o' my tomorrows for one single yesterday
To be holdin' Bobby's body next to mine

 Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
  Nothin', that's all that Bobby left me, yeah
  But if feelin' good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
  Hey, feelin' good was good enough for me, mm-hmm
  Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

La-da-da  La-da-da-da  La-da-da da-da da-da
La-da-da da-la-da la-da, Bobby McGee, yeah
La-da-la-da-la-da  La-da-la-da-da
La-da-la-da-la-la, Bobby McGee, yeah
La-da-da  La-da-da La da-da La da-da
La-da-da La da-da La da-da
Hey, my Bobby, Lord, my Bobby McGee, yeah
Lo-da-lo  da-la-lo-da-la
Lo-da-la-lo  da-la-lo la-la-lo la-la-lo la-la
Hey, my Bobby, Lord, my Bobby McGee, yeah

Lord, I call him my lover, call him my man
I said I call him my lover, did the best I can, c'mon
Hey now Bobby now, hey now Bobby McGee, yeah
La-da la-da la-da la-da la-da la-da la-da la-la
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, Lord!

Write on!


a few more scenes from Old Threshers' Reunion

Notice the picture of the Model T, and compare it to the one in this entry.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Monday photo shoot

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Capture something in silhouette. Faces, bodies, trees, buildings -- whatever is attractively shadowed is up for consideration.

Well, I have to admit that I got a bit teary-eyed going through the shots I took on our Colorado vacation to find a qualifying entry.  But here you are, John.

Folks, if you want to participate, be sure and leave the link to your specific entry at "By The Way".... which is Blogfather John's blog.