Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Week 6 of Porch Painting Project

Week 6 of the seemingly endless porch painting project has begun. This wonderful home is over 100 years old and has many imperfections. The list of things that I love is much longer than those imperfections!
I have often wondered about the hands that built this house. What were the hopes and dreams of the first family that lived here? How many times have mothers walked across these floors holding sleeping or fretful babies? What did the furniture look like? Many more questions come to mind.
The exposed wood gives the home an appearance that it hasn't been loved for some time. The wood is aged and lovely to me.
The door hinges that now need replacing and the shutters that will be painted aid the neglected look.
There is beauty here. That beauty is reflected in the window.  Summer's greenery is on display for those willing to look. The grain of the exposed wood is lovely as well.
The time will come that the porch will be finished. My furniture will go back into place. My porch will once again be a place that we enjoy.
I am anxious, it will not happen soon enough,
I miss quiet mornings with coffee on the porch, alone with my thoughts and a barn cat in my lap. It is a time to enjoy this south Georgia world greeting the new day.
Until then, I wait patiently, or rather impatiently now. There is progress.
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I am ready to put things back in order. I wonder if the porch will be finished this summer? Until then, I plan how I want the porch to look this fall. The end of this project can't come fast enough for me!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Rolling In Clover

This is the first article that I wrote for my column. We still had Clover then. Clover has been gone for a year now, I haven't stopped missing her yet! Ruby Tuesday lives in Clover's pen now. Amazing is not a big enough word for Clover. Ruby has some big hoof prints to fill, but manages to fill them in her own unique and amazing way. 
There are things in this life that should not work, because the odds are against it. The relationship between my husband and me should not work, but it does. There was no reason for our relationship to work. We are so completely opposite, as are our backgrounds, but it does, it works. This life that we dreamed about together should not work, and it is filled with the unexpected, and more than our share of difficulties, but it does, it works for us. Nor should the relationship between myself, and a stubborn,  infuriating, cantankerous, gentle, loving, and amazing goat, but it does, it works. It works in amazing and unbelievable ways; each day is filled with new discoveries and adventures.
We talked about this way of life before we were married; we wanted the same things, except that my husband was not so sure about the goat. The goat was my idea because I have always wanted a goat. I blame both of my parents for this, as I inherited my love for animals from both of them, so you see the desire and acquisition of this goat is not completely my fault. I also told him that I wanted a cow and a Mimosa tree, there is not Mimosa tree in my yard, and the cow well that hasn’t happened either. Not yet anyway.
Clover came to live with us a little over 2 years ago. Her name had been picked out long before we got her. Clover was the name that I decided upon years ago. During this time, my husband had not agreed to the idea of a goat yet. The original plan was to get 2 Does; their names were to be Crimson and Clover. Crimson will have to wait. Little did I know how my life would change with the addition of Clover.
We bought her from Bruce, and he asked us how we would carry her home. Bruce put her in the cab of the truck at my request; I climbed up into the cab and pulled her to me.  As Kevin drove us home, Clover did not make a sound. She looked out of the window and up at me and sniffed my face. That was the moment that she won my heart! Looking at this creature, I saw that she had eyelashes. She has eyelashes!
Clover’s pen was ready for her, so Kevin picked her up and carefully set her down – I was watching. She was not happy, Clover missed her family immediately. I called Bruce and asked what we should do. Bruce told us to just give her a little lettuce, a banana or an apple. It didn’t work; she didn’t want her feed or handfuls of ground corn either. My heart was breaking because she was not happy. We made a trip to the store to buy animal cookies, and it worked. Clover likes cookies! That was the moment that I won her heart. There are these events that occur in life, when you know that your life has just changed forever, and this was one of those events. I had no idea of the journey that lay ahead for us, the lessons that I would learn, or how the addition of this silly goat would change my life forever.
Wanting Clover to become friendly with me, I walked into her pen with a bucket and sat down with a handful of cookies. If I had any intention of milking her, she needed to become comfortable with my touch. She had already accepted that I brought her treats, and approached me gently and easily. Touching her was easy, and it didn’t take long for Clover to touch me first. Now, Clover will jump for joy when I enter her pen, and then she runs to me and rubs against me. Clover’s fondness for me is evident. Understanding that this is a goat with horns, my safety has to be considered. Clover could knock me down and finally have the opportunity that she has been waiting for, Clover tries to climb on me and if I am sitting down, she wants to sit in my lap. Clover could knock me down and then I would find myself rolling in Clover.

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Week's Random 5

This has been a busy week! It is difficult to choose just 5!
1. I found my rings!!!!! I found them last night. They were on my dresser and had gotten pushed underneath a handkerchief that is on the dresser. I have turned every room in this house upside down looking for them with the exception of the bedroom. These rings may not be fabulous or fancy to anyone else, but they are mine. They may never leave my hand again!!!
2. Week 5 of the porch painting project brought actual painting! They were able to begin painting yesterday. It is sunny today and they are working as I write this. I am now anxious for it to be finished.
3. Made a decision about my corner shelf this week. Recently I painted the dated shelf. It had a door on the bottom with a heart cut out on it. We are going to cut a square in it and cover it with chicken wire. DH has promised to do it this weekend, hmmm.......
4. My rooster was attacked this last week. I didn't know if he would be okay. I doctored his face. That is the dark blue that you see on his face. It is called Blu Kote and it stains. I have finally wore it off of my skin.
The rooster has an unlikely friend, her name is Jackie. The rooster is doing fine now. He has finally opened the left eye and is able to see. The right eye may not be okay though. I was afraid that he would not be able to see at all and am glad that he has at least one eye now.
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5. Lizzie had her surgery this past week and she is doing fine! I missed her when she wasn't here and was glad to have her home. Her life will be so much better now! No more yowling to go outside and attempts to sneak out. No more potential boyfriends!!!  When she does go outside she can enjoy being Lizzie and do the things that cats enjoy. Nap in the sun, chase a butterfly and monitor the animals.

Linking to A Rural Journal for Random 5 Friday

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Compassion for Others

Animals sometimes show the most amazing amount of compassion for others. They can also be so mean to each other.
Last week my young rooster was attacked. I found him wedged behind the laying boxes. He had been trying to get away from his attacker(s). The attack had evidently just happened. If only I had gone out there a few minutes sooner, then I could have prevented the attack. I picked him up and carried him out of the pen.
I washed the blood from his face and doctored the places. I am afraid that he may have lost his vision in both eyes. As I was cleaning his face, Jackie, a barn cat, came to see what was going on. She rubbed against him gently.
Jackie gently sniffed his face. She knew that he had been hurt. The rooster did not complain, but sat still while Jackie purred and rubbed against him. Jackie mewed softly as if she were trying to comfort him.
The rooster was not afraid of Jackie. Everyday I take the rooster out of his cage and sit with him outside a few times during the day. I let him walk around. If he will be blind, then he will need to learn how to live as a blind rooster. I stay with him the entire time and he listens to the sound of my voice. That sound tells him where I am. He will walk away from me only if Jackie is with him. Otherwise, he stays as close to me as he can get. Jackie guides him where he walks. Jackie showed a remarkable amount of compassion for this rooster, in spite of the fact that his own kind attacked and tried to kill him. Normally my cats ignore the chickens. If they are getting too close, the cats will get up and move away from the chickens. They are not enemies, they are not friends, but have decided to exist together here.
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The rooster seems to be able to tell the difference between lightness and darkness. Perhaps his eyes will heal in time. Until then, Jackie will help him.

We bought him as a chick from Tractor Supply, The chicks were supposed to be sexed. Somehow they missed this one. He is a Rhode Island Red, I wasn't sure that I wanted to keep him when I found out he was a rooster. Guess that he will be staying now though!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wise Old Sayings

This past week, I was talking to a precious family friend. We always have good conversations because we have so much in common. We were talking about the sayings that we had heard in our lifetimes. There were many that we shared. These sayings have meaning and more wisdom than young people realize.
My Granddaddy had many and I loved hearing them. One of his favorites was “a little bird doesn’t fly so high that it doesn’t need to come down for water”. I always liked that one; it means we are all the same, no matter how highfalutin we may think we are.
Our friend has said “that just takes the rag off the bush”, or as my Mama says, “that just beats all”. We should remember that “what you pass to the left will come back to you from the right”, there is wisdom in that too. We should make sure that we are passing good things to our left!
“A dog that brings a bone carries a bone” is another favorite. That means that if someone is anxious to bring gossip to you, that person will gossip about you to someone else. Granddaddy said “that’s too much sugar for a nickel” many times, meaning that it is a bit more than you bargained for.
There were those sayings about the weather such as “wind out of the east isn’t good for man or beast” and “morning rain is like an old lady’s dance, soon over”. A childhood friend’s Big Mama said “more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of racking chairs” many times. I laughed the first time that I heard that one.  My husband says “that dog will not hunt”.  Mama always said “I’ll be John Brown”. I always wondered as a child, who he was and why Mama wanted to be him.
We have all heard and said these things many times as southerners. They are such a part of our everyday language that we often do not realize how many we use. These colorful sayings often say it better than just plain words.  If you are “not from around here” you may not understand these bits of wisdom. If you don’t understand, we will explain it to you “directly”. Don’t be “bowed up like a Halloween cat”, these sayings are “handier than a pocket on a shirt”.

Friday, July 19, 2013

This Week's 5 Facts

My Random 5 for this week. This is what has been happening in my world this week.
1.Week 4 of having the porch "painted". The porch hasn't been painted yet.
2. The Crepe Myrtle's are finally blooming and they are lovely! The tree is loaded with blooms.
3. Lizzie has a date next week for her "special surgery". I know that it will make her life better, but I always feel so sorry for them when they come home from surgery. She will get lots of T.L.C.
4. Little Peep has her own flock now! She has a young Golden Sex Link and a Red with her. We will see how it goes.
5. I lost my wedding rings this week. I have looked everywhere for them, my heart is broken and I am afraid that I will not find them.
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A Rural Journal for Random 5 Friday

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Respectable Once Again

This post comes with a confession. I took part in the "country decorating" movement in the 80's. Yes I did, (hanging head in shame) but my friends did too. They are just not admitting it. Blue and mauve, hearts, geese, hats with flowers on them and floppy eared bunnies. Yep, those things were in my home.
I held onto a few things that I loved, even though they are dated. This corner cabinet was one of those things. My friend V gave it to me after she was finished with it, I used it for awhile, my aunt used it, my daughter used it and now it is in my house again. I decided it was past time for an update.
I dragged her outside and gave her a good scrubbing and a fresh coat of paint. The door was removed for painting, the heart cut out makes it look a bit, okay a lot dated don't you think?
I painted the outside white and the inside a pale yellow.
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This cabinet is now respectable again and holds a few of my blue and white pieces. It was hard to get pictures, the weather has not been cooperative.

The door may remain off. There is the issue of the heart cut out, patching the hole is an option. My concern is that it will not look right. What would you do? Leave the door off, repair the cut out, or just paint it and put the door back on?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Painting the Porch

The porch is getting a much needed painting! The work has begun of scraping and cleaning to prepare the porch.
This needed doing. I have looked at the porch for the past 3 years and thought about how much it needed doing. Then I would say to myself, "it's too hot for that right now" or "it's too cold for that right now" or wet or dry or I am too busy. You get the picture. There was also the idea that if I painted the floor, then the railings would need it and you certainly can't do that without painting the ceiling and the shutters too! This is also a 2 story house. Enough said?
The work began 4 weeks ago. I was excited! The porch would look so good for the fourth of July! Rain however prevents work from progressing. The Border Grass looks good though.
The gentleman doing the work has scraped and cleaned as he could. Did I mention rain?
I am not complaining, really, well sorta, maybe, kinda, okay, just a little bit, but not too much. We don't want it to go away and stay away. I remember what happened last year with our water!
The colors have been chosen and the painter has looked carefully at our door and the vintage hardware. The ceiling will be blue, not a Haint Blue, but a lovely shade of pale sky blue. We debated on the exact color of blue and finally settled on one that I love. More on that later.
Looking at my furniture and thinking about the way my porch will look, I realize that it needs a makeover too! My shabby, rusty furniture looked great with my desperately needs painting porch.
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The porch furniture will get a fresh coat of paint. I am playing around with the idea of a theme. The former owner of this house, "Miss" Birdie loved daffodils and I am thinking of giving her a nod with a bench that will have daffodils painted on it and perhaps a verse from a nursery rhyme. There is the idea for a sign floating around in my head too. Just hoping that I have as much energy as I have ideas!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Duck Days

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Murphy enjoying the mud

This may come as a surprise to you, but there is rain in the forecast. It is raining as I type this and my ferns are happy. I am not complaining, I understand the importance of rain, most especially to the farmers of this area. Their livelihood often depends on sufficient rainfall. Rainfall is important to all of us, no matter what our jobs are.

The dog days of summer have begun and Southerners, especially those of us here in the middle/south Georgia area, know all about those dreadfully hot and uncomfortable days. This year has been different, and again I am not complaining. The lack of 100 degree and above temperatures does not bother me in the least; as a matter of fact I have enjoyed and appreciated it!

My ducks have appreciated the rain. They would probably dance if they knew how, and no I don’t plan to teach them to dance. This made me wonder about this year’s dog days; perhaps we should consider calling them duck days instead. My ducks would approve of that.

Murphy and Burt have enjoyed every rainy day. Their pool is full, their baths are long and drawn out, and the water temperature is just right. There is much happiness in the duck pen these days. Gertie goose is happy also. She is happy to play in the rain as well. I enjoy hearing their happy sounds when it rains.

Are they talking to each other and what are they saying? Could they be telling each other how happy they are to see the rain? Are they happy because they can play in the mud and then take a bath? Maybe they are laughing at our ridiculous cat Boll Weevil because he sits in the rain getting soaking wet, or are they laughing at our cat Spud because he doesn’t like to get wet. I will probably never know what these three are saying to each other, but it is fun to imagine.

It is my suspicion that should the meteorologist forecast something different, he would have some explaining to do. Gertie would have a few things to say or pinch to him. It is easy to imagine the conversation that these three would have then. For now, we will enjoy or endure, depending on your view, the duck days of summer, and appreciate the benefits of those duck days.

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Random 5 Friday

We had an early morning rain. The temperature is in the mid 70's and now a gentle breeze is blowing. This is a morning that I am grateful for!

I am sharing 5 random facts this morning.
1. It is supposed to rain some more this weekend. This is the first year that we have not had a deficit in what seems like forever. Last year our well was on the verge of being a bit iffy, so I am not complaining!
2. The flowers are happy this morning. The former yard, now a jungle needs a tractor, not a mower.
3. The figs are not ready yet. I will make fig preserves this year since I didn't make them last year.
4. Old fashioned Lantana makes me smile, it reminds me of my childhood.
5. Ruby Tuesday makes me smile too! How can you not love a face like that?

A Rural Journal for Random 5 Friday 

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Musing - A Thief

Atticus was caught this week, performing more of his special brand of mischief. Mysteriously, the items in my purse have been scattered outside of and around my purse on a regular basis. Some items have been missing and found in odd places. These items were removed by a certain feline. Atticus was caught this week red handed, or red pawed rather.
Walking into the room, I found him standing in the middle of my purse. Atticus simply stood there surrounded by the chewing gum, comb, glasses, compact and various items that were once inside of my purse. There is no picture of this moment sadly. It was one of those moments you know that not a single person would believe unless they saw the evidence.
Atticus contemplated his options. Honey was in her bed sleeping, he couldn’t blame her. My favorite lipstick rolled away from the crime scene and my glasses were outside of the case. The house fell silent and the air was heavy with contemplation. Time seemed to stand still for a few moments. Atticus remained frozen. What should he do now?  Running away from the crime scene could be considered an admission of guilt. Standing in place would result in a verbal scolding that he would be forced to ignore. Playing pitiful might be his best option.
Atticus looked up at me pitifully and emitted the sound of an injured kitten. This was the sound of a kitten that has been hurt and desperately needs to be saved and loved. His tail twitched slightly, and his head turned a bit, testing me to see if I bought his ridiculous attempt to escape trouble. Atticus realized that he had forgotten to brush against my legs and approached me.
It was now my turn to contemplate what should be done; a decision should be made quickly! A verbal scolding was in order. Atticus stopped and looked at me, as the scolding began, then turned walking toward the water dish; he took a drink and headed for the big comfy chair to enjoy a nap. He had chosen to ignore my scolding, as usual.
There was no help for my favorite lipstick, and the dining room rug is stained in a small place. Atticus however rests comfortably. His conscience does not bother him. Atticus was simply looking for a new toy, and for that he feels no guilt. A new location for my purse has been secured to prevent further mischief.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Reggie Mac

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My name is Reggie Mac. I was named after an accountant on an 80's sitcom. I have no plans to go to Bimini, and I am not buying a circus! Suzanne would like me better than the Reggie I was named after anyway. I know she would like me better than that pig, Noel!
I am only a few months old, I had my "special surgery" 2 weeks ago today, but I don't want to talk about it. I don't understand why they did that to me. They said that they were taking me to get "fixed". I didn't think that there was anything wrong with me that needed fixing. The only thing I know is that I was happy and I knew that one day soon, I would really start to like the girls in a different way. I would want to travel the world and meet lots of girls. Now for some unexplained reason, I just don't want to do that anymore.
It makes me sad to think about it, but then I get ready for a nap and I forget to be sad. I had plans to travel one day, not to Bimini though. I guess that I will just stay here now. I sleep a good bit, like Atticus does, but I have a special chair in the kitchen. When I sit there no one can see me, and I get to sleep for a long time.
I am happy though. I eat and play and sleep, that is enough to make me happy. My life is good. I am a handsome fellow and I am really sweet too, but I guess that you could tell that my looking at my picture.
That is all for now. I will come back later and tell you more about me. I am tired and ready for a nap. It is a lot of work making sure that I get my 20 hours of sleep in everyday!