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December 12th, 2008

09:34 am:

I cannot concentrate. I cannot get something off my mind and I think maybe if I post it and get it out I will then be able to put it behind me and stop thinking about it.


A few weeks ago I went by the animal shelter to look, well I just had this gut feeling there was something over there that needed me. Like the day I got Cletus, I just stopped to look because I was pulled there that day and then there he was and stole my heart. So a few weeks ago, there I was at the shelter again. I walked slowly through the cage area and said “oh how adorable” a million times, petting puppies, old dogs, scared dogs, ugly dogs, etc. As I made my way down the cages I heard this huge, loud bark constantly…almost deafening. Then as I came to his cage, there he was. A Saint Bernard mix. He stood so tall with his shoulders the level of my ribs. His head even with my chest. “Oh my goodness you are just a big boy huh?” and then he jumped up on the cage door and wagged his tail, licked my hands and looked DOWN to me with these beautiful eyes that just melted my heart.


I wanted to be in that cage with him. I wanted to lay down and put my head on his chest and kiss the corner of his mouth. Logic thinking took over and I kept telling myself, no…he may hurt Perrin. Not intentionally, but good grief if he ever jumped on him he could break a rib! So I made myself say no. I went back to him several times and walked out with a tear in my eye.


Now, here I am, weeks later. I don’t even know if he is still there. I worry about him because he is so huge and no one wants a huge dog. I am afraid he will die before Christmas. I cannot get him off my mind and it is just killing me. I get tears in my eyes thinking about him.


I don’t know what to do!

09:00 am:

Wow…it has rained like a LOT! 4-5 inches where I live. What does this mean in my little neck of the woods? Well, both culverts washed out. Yeah that was read correctly, BOTH of them. SO if it ever does stop raining and clear up, we have two culverts to fix now. The driveway is one long mud puddle, like a 1200 foot long mud puddle. The good news is, the pond is OVER full , the Spring is running like you would not believe, we have about 400 gallons or so of water for use, this rain will be good to start the summer out with next year and….I get to walk back and forth to and from the car on the other side of the property every day! It was cold this morning with ice all over the ground. As we started out walking to the car, the grass crunched under our feet and the moon was shining so brightly that we had no trouble seeing the details of ice crystals hanging from the small shrubs and plants along the way. It was beautiful.


I am thankful this is Friday. I am looking forward to this weekend so much. I did more crocheting last night. We had a long visit with Hazel as well, before we headed home. She asked me to take her to her sisters in Marietta, GA on the 20th so she can spend a week with her. She wants to be with her at Christmas. I told her I would be glad to do that so we made plans to leave out mid morning and have lunch along the way. Tomorrow Chris and I will head to Nashville in the early morning to get out shopping done. I would do it closer to home, but there is a certain thing I want to get for the person I have to buy for at work and the only place I can get it is at the Earthbound Store at Opry Mills. Sunday, I plan to just quilt, crochet and knit. I guess I will can some meat while I do all that as well.


Today begins the busy part of this month for me. Meetings the first of next week, reports to get out as the deadline draws near, 3 parties next week then off work until the 2nd. I also got a king size piece of foam mattress to wrap around Lakota since this is her annual “I think I will break a bone in my body” time. I figure if we wrap her in foam until New Years she will be fine for another year! (*only halfway kidding lol)


I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. BE THANKFUL! Even if what you have is slowly dwindling away, be grateful you have something. So many have much less. These are hard times, but we will all make it through and become stronger with the experience.

December 11th, 2008

10:16 am:

So it has continued to rain, lots of rain, like 3-5 inches of rain. We certainly have enough water to last us for awhile. LOL We will be parking up on the hill and walking to the house until we can get gravel delivered to the driveway. In order to do that, the driveway has to be dry enough for the trucks to make it up and back. That may be awhile since we have inches and inches of rain soaked into the ground right now and no sight of when it may start drying out. BUT….as sick as it sounds, I am really enjoying my before daylight walks to the car in the rain. I also enjoy walking back to the house in the rain. I think that maybe I will continue that even after things are fixed. It has honestly been very nice.


I have been busy crocheting and knitting and trying to finish up some Yule gifts. I am WAY late in mailing some gifts out and worry they will not get there in time. Oh well…I guess we will see. If they are late…sorry. It will be a New Year Gift instead of Yule.


We had dinner with Amanda yesterday and made the Yule dinner plans. Dinner at 4pm Christmas Eve, Shannon is cooking a turkey, I am cooking deer chops, mashed potatoes (with the brown things especially for Lakota) and chicken/dressing. Everyone else brings one covered dish and one dessert. Oh and Shannon….Amanda is bringing….you guessed it….Mac N Cheese and Banana Pudding. Michael has to work, but hopefully we can convince him to come later with Adrian. Christmas morning everyone will send time doing the Santa thing with the kids (the cats and Cletus for me and Chris). THEN…. We are all meeting at the Chinese Restaurant in Cleveland at 5pm Christmas Day for Lakota’s birthday party! OMG….she will be 10 years old that day.


I guess me and Chris are going to Nashville on Saturday. This time it will be just me and him, so we can finish up some shopping. AND…. I will get my Yule Cards mailed out by the weekend so expect them soon!

December 10th, 2008

11:05 am:

Well the interview with the newspaper went well yesterday I THINK. We will see when the story comes out. I know that reporters can sometimes get things twisted and not exactly like you say them because they take a three hour interview and just jot down key word notes and all, I so could not be a reporter, they have to take those key words and write a whole story about them. Perrin was unreal during the interview. He was very desperate for attention and the only picture he agreed to was one of him coming from the outhouse. LOL Oh well, when it is in print, I shall share with everyone.


So it rained last night. It is very interesting, rain on our homestead. We have a driveway that is oh at least 1200 feet maybe more. It goes through 4 fields and crosses 2 branches. The culverts on not the best in the world either. AND…on top of all that….there is no gravel. So when it rains, we get mud and lots of it. Since Winter began, we make a slippery ride up our driveway every day. Lately, that ride has been getting more treacherous with several moments of sliding sideways and spinning tires. So last night I had a brain storm. When we got home about 10pm I told Chris I was going to park up in the first field and we would walk up to the house. That way, this morning after all the rain, we would not have a dangerous drive to the road. So we did. Of course it was already sprinkling. We had a nice walk up to the house though. The rain started pouring shortly after. It was actually very nice outside and I sat in the rocker on the porch for a long time before making myself go get in bed. Shortly after midnight a strong storm came through. I was surprised to discover that Chris and Cletus both slept right through it. I fell back to sleep and woke up again right before 4am with high winds and horrendous rain. The lightening was constant and once again, my two buddies slept peacefully through the storm. It lasted for a very long time and I laid quietly in bed waiting to see if the house creaked or made any sign of bending to the high winds. Apparently there were gusts over 30 miles an hour and I am proud to say, the house stood firm and did not make a sound, other than the rain pounding the tin roof.


I figured that it would stop by 6am but not a chance. We woke up, put my work clothes in a garbage bag, put on our hiking boots and made our way through the mud and rain to the car. About half way, we remembered that we had left poor Cletus locked up in the house. Chris went back to let him out and I have to say I must be totally nuts because the walk in that pouring rain this morning, in the dark, was just lovely! Soon Cletus was by my side and we discovered the 1st culvert (Turkey Crossing) was flooded out. We made our way through the water and on to the car. I told Cletus to go home and he looked so pitiful it broke my heart. So Chris got in the back seat, took his coat off and got Cletus inside on the coat and he went to Vickey’s with us. They are gone for 2 weeks and Chris is spending the day at their house with Perrin so he can get some things done on the internet today. When we got there, Cletus was firmly placed on the back porch and forbidden to enter the house and there he remained the rest of the day! (Not really but I wrote that because Vickey reads this journal and she can stop reading at this point and I will tell everyone else what happened…bye Vickey) So…


We get to Vickey’s and it is still pouring rain and Cletus is filthy. So Chris went straight to the bathroom and ran a bath and I kept Cletus in one place not moving until the bath was ready. He did NOT want to get that bath but he had no choice. So he got a good hot morning bath and my goodness he smelled so much better like green apples instead of chicken shit. Then I made him lay in the floor on something of mine until he dried off. So now he will be stuck there with Chris and Perrin until I get home from work to pick them up and take them home. (OK Vickey, you can start reading this again…lol)


This morning I turned the TV on for Perrin and there was as special biography on Fred Rogers. Now those of you who know me know that I simply adore Mr. Rodgers and love him so much. It broke my heart when he died, because he was like my secret best friend. He had to be one of the most special people this world has ever had the pleasure of knowing. So anyway, I get to watching this thing and get all teary eyed. Did you know that when he had grandchildren, he loved them so much that he went to their home every single night and read a book to them and tucked them into bed. Can you imagine how honored you would be to have him for a Papaw? I had to leave for work and could not watch the entire biography and I swear I almost went into work late I wanted to see it so badly. He is certainly one of my top 3 lifetime heroes!


In other news, I love Chris so much. I mean seriously, how many men would give up all things modern to live like I dreamed of living, never complain about it and get up at 6am to walk through mud to the car? And be happy about it? He is really a good man and we compliment each other well. I am fortunate that I have him in my life.


My goal for the week? Stay dry, enjoy my daily mud walks, knit more scarves and maybe finish a crocheted blanket I am working on for a friend.

December 9th, 2008

08:51 am:

I am nervous about the interview with the reporter today. So nervous that I caught myself double checking things through the Mayor’s Office in regards to our house. Someone this morning told me I better have my building permit handy to show the reporter. I freaked because I was with the understanding there was not a permit needed. So I called the Mayor’s Office and verified and I was right, there are no zoning laws in the county and no building permit is needed. I double checked about the outhouse as well and was told again that it is perfectly legal as long as it does not drain onto anyone else’s property or a water source. So….we are good. Just jitters I guess. I will be leaving in about 2 hours to go home and do this thing and then come back to work. I have done stories for the paper before, with my environmental group and when I worked for the Forest Service, so I am unsure why I am so nervous about this one. I guess because I know my home is not some big fancy new, perfectly decorated house like most other homes that they show in the paper. It is just a one room home but I love it so much. However, just because I adore it does not mean everyone else in this county won’t look at it and think we are nuts. But, I guess we are kinda nuts to live like this and that is why they want to do the story. But we are not like radical or anything, we are doing it for no other reason than we just simply want to. Ah….I need to stop thinking. I have never been one to care so much what people think about me, but I certainly don’t want people to get the wrong impression with this story and think we are like inbred hillbillies with low IQ’s. I mean well there was inbreeding in the family long ago, but not in the last like hundred years or so and well, we do fit the definition of “Hillbilly” but we certainly do not have low IQ’s, I mean I have a MENSA IQ! Oh well…enough rambling, it will turn out fine….really….it will!

December 8th, 2008

03:05 pm: This is just funny! Had to laugh!

09:33 am:

We had yet another great weekend, but oh my dear Goddess it was a cold one! Friday when I got off work, I headed to Amanda’s to pick up Chris and Perrin. Amanda arrived and we all went to Cleveland to shop. We spent a LOT of time at Hobby Lobby. Chris got things I cannot mention here because Lakota reads this. After spending forever there, Perrin was so tired and we decided to have dinner at Chili’s. We got home rather late. The house was cold because Chris was gone all day and there was no fire. It was so nice when it finally warmed up and we could snuggle in bed.


Saturday morning we got up, got chores done and headed out to do Yule shopping. Once again we found ourselves at Hobby Lobby. I managed to find a gift for someone there and lots of yard that was on sale. We left there and went to Burke’s Outlet to get more gifts and I found myself a nice sweater and a super cool skirt for really cheap! Both were just 17 bucks! At that point I told Chris to keep reminding me that we were shopping for other people. We had lunch and watched a little boy from Canada spill his milk all over his grandmother. We keep coupons with us at all times for free ice cream, milk, juice, apple dippers and such and hand them out to kids randomly in public.  I gave the child two coupons for milk at McD’s, two in case he spills his first one! Then a little girl beside us was turning 11 and was having lunch with her Mom and 2 sisters. I gave her one for free ice cream and before she left she gave me a hug and told me thank you. We then went to another store and I bought more yarn, actually it is not my fault this time. Chris bought the yarn for me. He encouraged me to pick out 20 skeins and he bought them, along with 9 stockings to hang for all the cats and Cletus. I figured since I was not accomplishing much in the way of gifts for others, we should just go to Lowe’s and buy our tree. So we headed there and picked out a beautiful tree. This nice man wrapped it for us and then helped us tie it to the top of the car. When we got home, we got it up in the stand, gave it a drink of water and I even put the lights on it. Mind you the lights run off of batteries and we cannot leave them on. We are saving the juice for picture taking for Yule cards next year and then we will turn them all on Yule and leave them on until the batteries die. We got a few decorations on the tree. We strung gum drops, marshmallows, beads and candy and put that on the tree. Chris found my Mam-maws red ball ornaments and the dove I got from her funeral flowers. I put those out every year, even when I had no tree, I hung them up in the house. We still have a lot of decorating to do, as we are making the ornaments, but I snapped a pic anyway. I finished the evening knitting a scarf and spending time with Vickey and Norm, as they were leaving Sunday for Florida.


Sunday morning arrived and we were almost out of lamp oil. We headed into town and picked up a gallon of oil and had breakfast. We told Vickey and Norm bye and they left out about 10am or so for Florida. They are spending 2 weeks with Chris’ brother and Vickey’s sister. We went on home and cleaned house, I finished the scarf and then crocheted a hat to match it. I then started another scarf and worked on that in between cleaning, moving things and decorating the tree more. We had a great day yesterday. When it got dark we went down to check on things at Vickey and Norm’s house and I knitted more. The fire was still going when we got home, but it was cold. The good thing is, Chris emits a tremendous amount of body heat for him to be so scrawny! I am so anxious for him to get in bed at night because I can utilize every bent part of his body to stick one of my body parts into and get them warm. Behind his knees is the perfect place for my super cold feet. LOL Last night we somehow ended up with a bed full of cats. I could not figure out who all was where so I grabbed my cell phone and used it as a light to discover, Cutie at my head, Flat Cat at my butt, Tree Cat at my feet, Azrael on top of me and Butter on the corner of the bed. So last night was spent listening to various purrs, sneezes, licking, growling (Cutie is not fond of her outside neighbors sometimes) and at times throughout the night I heard lots of crunching by the food bowl.


I would have loved to stay in bed and cuddle this morning. It remained cold all weekend and on Saturday, the ice in the driveway never melted. But I had my oatmeal with Perrin in my lap, it was good to get hugs from him this morning. Then I headed out to work. In other news, Tim left for Wisconsin last night on the company jet and Lakota did not take it too well. She don’t like the thought if her Daddy leaving for a week. He will be home before you know it though. Vickey and Norm were in Warner Robbins, GA for the night and seemed pleased with their trip so far. We are ready for the reporter to show up tomorrow for the story. I am a little nervous about it, but everyone says it will be fun…guess we will see. Have a great Monday everyone!

Getting the tree wrapped

Strapping it to the car

Ready to go

Starting the decoration

December 4th, 2008

01:18 pm: Testing Photobucket's slide show feature


Sorry if this confuses my F-list or does not come out right, but if you have time, please let me know if the embedded one works for you and which you prefer on your f-list. Feedback is appreciated as I rarely do slideshows, but decided to play around with this one today.

12:39 pm: I just got to leave work, still getting paid, and take my loverly man and my darling grandson out to lunch. I stayed gone for over an hour, we ate Mexican food and had a wonderful time. That has been the highlight of my day!

Oh and Perrin is just adorable. He kissed me bye and even thanked me for lunch.

Ah...if they could just stay little and cute forever......

December 3rd, 2008

09:49 am:

Yesterday morning before I left for work, I put a pot of leather britches on the heater. I put some potatoes in it and some country ham pieces. When I got home from work, the house smelled wonderful! We went out back and put the back soffit up. I hammered another finger…yay….that makes two in just 4 days. My thumb is slowly turning a nice purple color. We got the soffit up though and I put some creamed corn on the heater and started cooking some nice slices of country ham. Just as dark arrived, everything was done and on the table. A few oil lamps lit the table enough for us to eat. We had great conversation and a very good meal. Cletus, Cutie and Azrael finished off the fat trimmings from the ham and I got some of the earthy beans and potatoes to take down to Hazel. She said she had not thought about leather britches since she was a child. In my opinion, they could have cooked a bit longer, but they were very good. So I left the rest on the heater last night and this morning I added another potato to it. They will be delicious for supper again tonight. We stopped by to visit Vickey and Norm after leaving Hazel’s. I did a bit of crocheting. Some day I might actually finish Lakota’s Yule present. When we got back home we added wood to the fire and got snuggled up in bed. It was a peaceful night at my house. About 4am I discovered Chris putting a log on the fire, Azrael asleep on my back and Cutie under the cover asleep at my side. Me and Chris talked about Brokeback Mountain and Little Red Corvettes until he fell back to sleep. I slipped out of bed early and went outside to get more ham and cold water. A nice ham sandwich for breakfast and then Perrin arrived. When he hugs me bye of a morning and Chris gives me my go to work kiss, life always seems to feel so right.

Leather Britches cooking on the heater

What supper looks like to us

What supper looks like with a camera flash

Behold! Some of the bookcases...otherwise known as the closet wall

The livingroom area of the floor...DONE! We are about 1/3 through with
the flooring

Azrael makes herself at home on Mam-maws table....actually she is watching Chris through the window as he works on the soffit.

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