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Country Living

We moved out to our Little Trailer House on the Prairie on March 15th.  Less than 4 weeks ago.  In this short time, there are a few lessons I’ve learned. 

First off, there ain’t no rest out here. 

Yes it’s pretty peaceful, no one comes to my door selling magazines, and Toby, the dang barking dog next door, is no longer my problem.  But mind you, I’m not laid up in a hammock reading a book each evening listening to the wind rustle through the prairie grasses either.

During the early part of February, when I was still living in town, it snowed enough for our school district to cancel school.  Since I’m a mean, old school teacher, I got the day off.  I posted on facebook something to the effect of “Snow day, Now what can I do?”

Friends chimed in with many suggestions and then along came my dad with a remark of, “Get any snow out that way ang?”  Of course, my answer dripped with sarcasm.  He chided me for being sarcastic, my sister said I was the mean daughter, and then he said the following to my sister: 

“I hope she gets a whole plethora of animals, then she’ll have plenty to do.  I’ve been up since 0400, slopping hogs, milking and getting in wood and water.” 

Of course that was bologna.  More than likely he’d been laying with his head at the foot of the bed, on his belly, propped up on one elbow watching TV and reading a book at the same time.  That’s how he rolled. 

But oh boy, he was right about having plenty to do.  I don’t even have a plethora of animals, but each day they gotta eat.  I gotta change their water, put out feed for the horses and dogs, change the straw in the chicken box, take the chickies out for exercise, walk the dogs, and chase the horses out of the yard. 

By the time I tend to all the stock, I can barely feed my husband and myself.  Maybe I’ll lose a few pounds. One can only hope.

Second lesson:  Internet service sucks.  We can’t get DSL or cable out here, so our only option is satellite or dial up.  We opted for satellite with their lightning speed advertisement.  What a pile of horse hockey.  

Lesson #3:  I know absolutely nothing about water wells and septic tanks.  I’ve got questions.  How do I know when the septic tank is full?  Gross, I know, but an important piece of information to learn. 

Lesson #4:  I am losing the battle with dust.  Should I wave my white flag now? 

Fifth lesson:  Despite these tiny, itsy-bitsy, miniscule issues, I am super happy here.  We have room to run and sunsets to watch. We can do almost anything we want. 

At my garage sale the other day, Ashy’s Slip n’ Slide didn’t sell.

Me:  I guess we’ll take it out to The Place with us.

Her:  Yea!!  We can even do it naked!

Alrighty then.

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My Time Spent on Top of the “Freshly Pressed” Mountain

One of my posts was freshly pressed on Tuesday, and I was happier than a puppy with two tails.   There wasn’t anything that could steal the lollipops and sunshine from my day. I was sliding down rainbows and hugging strangers.  I didn’t really understand what it meant to be freshly pressed, and what I did know was due to my blogging friend Brad over at www.blockader.wordpress.com  who was freshly pressed a couple of weeks ago and got a bazillion hits on his blog. 

For others who may not know, each day wordpress chooses about 11 blogs to feature and puts them on their homepage.  So for about 24 hours, it’s like your blog is on the billboard of the world-wide web.  Which makes for pretty good advertising.

My blog was also the featured post on the postaday challenge page.

The number of page views on my site for the day skyrocketed.  Granted, I didn’t get nearly as many as other freshly pressed bloggers, but I’m not complaining.  I got many subscribers, many wonderful comments, and lots of look-sees, and found lots of great blogs to read for myself.

The whole day I just kept repeating how happy I was.  So very happy.  Happy, happy, happy.

I was obsessed.  I woke up in the night and snuck my phone under the covers to check my blog stats.  I was like the boy who’s supposed to be sleeping, but instead is looking at a dirty magazine with a flash light under the covers.  The whole time the thought of my husband waking up and catching me made it even more riskier.  Yes, I live on the edge.  I’m a wild one.

I relished the entire day, and never thought once about the ‘morrow.

And then the sun rose and a new day dawned.

And WordPress chose 10 different blogs to be freshly pressed.

And just like that, in the blinking of an eye, I was replaced.

Thrown out with yesterday’s slop.

 As exhilirating as it was to watch my little bloggie towers soar, it wasn’t enjoyable to watch them shrink back to their measly beginnings.

I became blue.

My moment of basking was over. 

My fifteen minutes of fame.

My mountain top experience.

It was wonderful while it lasted. 

 But last, it did not.

I’m thankful for the experience.  I don’t know why my post on an antiquated green canister was chosen, or how it was chosen.  But the feeling I experienced for the recognition of a piece of my heart-felt writing  is indescribable. 

And I’m convinced, now even more than ever, that I want to write.

I want to keep going, keep writing, even on hard days, long days, empty days.

I want to write words that touch people, that stir their emotion, that floods their memories.

I want to write for you.

And you,

and you,

and you.

Thanks for reading.

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Gangsta’ Cowboy

My husband J-Dub has a side not many people know.

To the outside observer he appears  to be a polite, hardworking, rugged,  no-nonsense cowboy.

But underneath his dirty, black hat lies a light-hearted wit.

I had a good day today and decided to text my darling to share my good news.

Here’s my text to him.

 And I received a prompt reply:

Yo, yo, yo, did Snoop Dogg steal my husband’s flip phone or what? 

I guess he and Snoop Dogg are tight, G.

Snoop D-O-double Gizzle is off the hizzle for shizzle, and anybody that disagrees is a lil’ bizzle.

Or something.

Forgive me, I know not what I speak. 

Fo’ shizzle nizzle.

Snoop Dogg's Black Cowboy Hat 

And yee-haw.

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Prosperity and pee-pee

Have you seen the new movie Lottery Ticket?

I haven’t.  And don’t laugh, but I want to.  I’m sure it will be dumb, dumb, dumb, and I will be filled with movie remorse like I always am when I pick out bad movies, which I always do.   It’s a gift of mine.

In case you haven’t heard of the movie, here’s the trailer for it.

 I’d like to think that if I won the lottery I would have a tad bit of self-restraint and not go spending my money like a wild boar hog. 

A few days back,  it was flying around the rumor mill here in my little town that someone won a million dollar scratch-off from the gas station at the Walmarts.  Then lo and behold, it was confirmed on the news.  The fellow chose not to have his name released.  Which makes him a pretty fart smeller. 

I remember watching a documentary of lotto winners and what happened to them after the madness of the moment.  The ones on this documentary are all dirt broke today.  Poor people just don’t know what to do when handed a wind-fall like a lottery win.  They start  buying boats, houses, cars, jets, taking trips, drinking fancy wines.  And then they must deal with all the people who come out of the woodwork with their hands out.  Before they know it, they’re back to being broke and often times in more debt than before they won. 

Which reminds me of my dogs. 

This is Drew Miller on the left, named by my niece after one of her pre-school friends.

The one on the right  is Grace.

I like this picture because it just shows the guilt on their faces.  They’re always guilty of something.

They are probably the two stupidest animals on the planet.  They are “outside” dogs, and for good reason.  They’re  hairy and hyper.  I would like to think they’re house-broke, but last night they proved me wrong.  When the weather gets downright brutal, we let them come in.  Drew cannot really be trusted, (he’s a chewer) so we shut him up in the bathroom.  Grace is more trustworthy and obedient, so she sleeps in the closet, by choice.  The last time they came in, my husband, J-Dub found dog dookey in the living room the next morning.  It belonged to Grace we know, since Drew was locked up in the bathroom.

Last night, we let them in again, and Grace went and peed right behind Jason’s chair where she had laid claim as her potty spot from the last cold snap.  As soon as Drew got a whiff of that, he hiked his leg and peed right on my husband’s recliner.  He didn’t even try to sneak.  He just out and out peed on the chair.  Right before his eyes.

Needless to say, I figure they got pretty chilly last night.

My husband’s famous words, “They can’t handle prosperity.”

Just like a poor boy with a winning lotto ticket.

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The Kitchen Sink

When I was a little girl I was walking on my kitchen countertops.  I was too old to be doing such tom foolery, but my age has never really stopped me in any of my acts of tom foolery.   Our kitchen on Seminole Lane was a U-shaped orange kitchen in every sense of the word.  Orange countertops, orange linoleum, orange canisters, orange, orange, orange.    I had a method of walking on the countertops.  If you imagine an upside down U, I started at the bottom, next to the refrigerator, made the turn at the top of the upside down U, then I’d step on the center of the stovetop, make the turn to the last leg of the U, walk the dangerously narrow ledge in front of the sink, down to the end of the countertop and then reverse it.  Perhaps it would help if I drew you a picture since that was really hard to describe.

While I paraded across the formica, I imagined the floor was a pool of bubbling, gurgling hot lava and I kept my footing sure.  Then the lava morphed into a swamp of murky water with snapping crocodiles leaping at my pinkie toes and I focused on my mission. 

I became a bit over-confident.   Being the expert countertop walker that I was, I needed to up the ante.   Maybe not look down.  Maybe not use the upper cabinets to steady my hand as I traversed the course of the countertops.   I was a tight rope walker, thrilling my fans below as the gasped at my speed.  Then I was a gymnast on the balance beam, leaping, the regaining my balance before my big finish. 

 I was at the very treacherous narrow ledge of the sink.  I was making my way across as I had numerous times before, when suddenly I began to lose my balance.  I couldn’t fall into the mire of snapping crocodiles or fall from the balance beam and disappoint my audience, so I went for it, taking a huge step to clear the sink and grab hold of the cabinets for security, when suddenly I felt my bare foot sink into a mushy, sticky, blackberry cobbler sitting on the counter next to the sink.

I don’t remember the rest.  I’ve tried purposely to forget.

Something to the effect that my sister and dad laughed mercilessly at my misfortune, and like bullies in a school yard they began chanting, “Cobbler foot, cobbler foot, Angel is a cobbler foot”  until I cried like a baby.  Then they continued.

I have never walked the countertops since.  But it hasn’t stopped me from loving cobbler.

So I stand corrected.  I do have a nickname.  Thank goodness, it didn’t stick (no pun intended).

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This Is What I Get For Bragging

“He who toots his own horn, the same shall not be tooted.”
That’s what my Grannie used to say.
Translation:  Quit Bragging.

Recently I blogged about my tough fish.  If you didn’t read it, you can read about it here.  I blogged about how they survived a freezing cold spell.  About how they were strong genetic creatures.  About how big and fat and juicy they were.

Well.
Folks.
Now they are dead.
Both of them.

One fish,
two fish,
both fish,
are dead fish.

They survived a freezing spell, only to be poisoned by me.
I changed their food, they wouldn’t eat, the water got all cloudy, and they floated to the top.

I’m grieving.
I know they are just fish, but good grief, my heart is sad anyway.

Sorry, no pictures are available for this post.  I didn’t want to remember how they looked with their big glazed-over fish eyeballs staring at me.
Or their beautiful fanned out tails lying limp in the water.
Or their small fish mouths gaping open.
Or their bulging bellies bobbing in the water.

Okay that’s enough of that.

Good-bye.
I’m going to find a grief support group now.