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Monday, January 30, 2012

Been a while....

Six months has flown by very quickly!
In the time that has passed since my last post we have expanded the pet population on the farm exponentially.
And for some reason they are ALL pregnant!
Our first new addition was our beautiful Buckskin Quarter horse, "Queen".
We expect that she was foaled with a dapple grey quarter horse.

This is her taking advantage of the new stable we were building for her. She was inside before we even got the roof on!
Above you can see the beginning of the stable. We were able to get a hold of some AMAZING 100 year old barn siding to build with. So the only cost to us was the roofing material.
We've since expanded the occupancy of said stable by 2. We purchased two knocked up goats that should be springing forth the fruit of the loins very soon!
Of course to follow along at the house and match the other four-legged creatures, one goat is black and one is white.
We claimed one of the back corners of the stable and used reclaimed wooden pallets and   a bit of fencing left over from a previous project, we made a rather impressive goat pen.
Then we made it two stories!
By building up we were able to double their sleeping space and not use up any more area that Queen occupied. I had an old headboard frame that I used mainly as extra security for the goat on the top 'floor'. It really seems to work for the two, Georgia and Wheezy.
Georgia spends most of her day above and lounging on grains and hay, while Wheeza is really curious about what is going on around the yard.
I've caught, more that once, Queen snoozing with her head right next to the goat pen.
Single story above and double below.
It was as simple as cutting a new hole in the back side of the stable and supplying a ramp for access. 
The goats are allowed to run the yard sometimes while we are outside, but I think they are staying closer to the nest the days.
Mark decided that we should indeed adopt this poor French bulldog, Anna-Banana, from this nice lady whos stopped by to "say hello."
Anna-Banana had two puppies  about two weeks ago.
I will be sure to show some photos of the little ones soon.
We've also been very productive around the house lately. Drywall in my bedroom as well as trimming out the fireplace and windows with more of the repurposed barn wood. (FREE)
It's making my bedroom finally feel like the comfy cozy place that it should be.
AHHHHH.
After all of this we have also slightly rearranged the set-up in the kitchen. 
After working with the single bowl sink that we had installed 15 years ago as a camp sink, we finally came across a porcelain double sink.  If you look closely behind the
go-cart which we purchased a few months back , you can see the sink where we found it. Propped up against the old barn.
So we now have an 8 foot long dish, prep area under our three windows looking out at the side yard where the animals are.
Along with the new go-cart we also purchased a 1940 Ford tractor. And we LOVE it!
It's done everything we've asked of us, and never thrown us off.
Unlike Queen.
Off to more projects...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Farmer's Market 101

 Believe it or not, we all managed to be awake and on the road to the local Farmer's Market in Lebanon, Mo. 
I will tell you that Brandon was certainly ready for a nap as Noon rolled around.
Above in the first picture, we are setting up our new canopy that we purchased at Wal-Mart. I know, I know......
 This picture shows the Market just starting to wake up. We had the pleasure of meeting a local celebrity while we were there.  The Market Lady was there filming a segment for a local news broadcast.
You can find info on her here www.themarketlady.com

She goes to different Market's and prepares recipes from the produce available. If I am being honest about it, she could have done a bit more with the zucchini  salad.
 The good thing about doing this Market was that it was a perfect way to get our feet wet!
Everybody that walked by the booth had a smile on their faces.
Lot's of compliments came our way as well, and promises that if we came back the following week that we would have more customers.
Here's to next week!!

This is Brandon.  He's just so busy minding the store that he doesn't have time to smile!

We all had a blast and can see this being a regular outlet for us.
We met many nice people and make lots of connections which means we got all the dirt on all the vendors!

That would be all for today!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Queens. What a DRAG.

This evening after we'd celebrated Brandon's 3? birthday, put a shiny BRIGHT coat of YELLOW   paint on (most) of the front of the house, and worked our way past some serious cake eating puffiness, Mark decided to  youtube some video's.
The video he got stuck on was I put a spell on you.  As performed by the amazing artist Screaming Jay Hawkins.

As conversations sometimes go in this house , this one wound up being about Drag Queens.
Mark was remembering a nice old queen that went by La Jessica.
Now La Jessica would perform a version of this song that was so much fun it wouldn't matter if you were a Nazarene minister, or a Sunday Sinner,  you would have danced your damned ass off!





I know that MOST of you have not had the pleasure of befriending these lovely creatures, these heroes in high heels, these ladies of the leotards..
I also understand that most of you like to make fun of these friendly folks that look like their panties may indeed have an EXTRA cotton lining. Or two.

No need, we do that enough of that ourselves! 

While working at the local gay bar in Champaign during the 80's,    I was lucky to see many great ( and some very puke in your hand worthy) performances.
Of course on some nights at C-St, the bouncer may have been a large man in a wheel chair. Dressed with an empty refrigerator  box painted as a house resting over the top of him. With nothing sticking out but his feet at the bottom, wearing of course the Witches socks from the WIZARD OF OZ. It worked great because he'd (of course) cut out windows ( with curtains) and he could look out the window to card you. Legal age was 18 to get into the club. But, I think a FEW snuck in early!

Drag Queens are Drag Queens.
EVERY ONE is DIFFERENT!

It didn't matter if it was the one and only Maggie DeVille who was certain that  'she' did the best 
Annie Lennox  impersonation in  the state.  Any state, name a state.
I knew that at the end of the night when the Mag's was doing her last number that the wig was gonna fly. 

And fly it did.  And so did the crowd. Right into a big gay tizzy!!!

It also didn't matter that just after I BURST OUT of the closet ( it wasn't  difficult, the door was thin)  the first person to hit on me and take me to his place was (unknown to me at the time) a Drag Queen.
One of my all time faves then and now. 
Ladies and gentlemen............. The One, The Only, Mona Montclair.
Diva Extraordinaire.
At least that's what you better call her until she gets to know you better.  The first ten years are the hardest!
Mona and I wound up giggling too much to bump uglies.
Something tells me that is why we still have a terrific friendship after 24 years.
 
Yes, that's right in Drag Math 101 that makes Mona 19.
Off stage, Mona and her partner George are just an average gay couple.
Only they've been together over 20 years.
Well done BITCHES!

I would also like to take a moment to remember a few of the other funny friends I've made. The names may have slipped my mind, but the visions were BURNED PERMANENTLY into my retinas.

The father  and son Drag Queens. 
They were both so sweet  to me while I was working at C-St. And besides, I'd be nice to mule's ass if it'd get me a dollar tip.
Where else could you see a Drag Queen Dad  with a wooden leg being helped up the stairs by his Drag Queen  son. Because Dad........... Mom? ........Dad? Whoever. 
Because the older Drag Queen was too drunk to hop up the stairs.
Sweet Pauline's  Pearls!

Maybe we could talk about the Drag Queen  that was  so sure the crowd was going to hate 'her' when she came on stage and so nervous, that she threw up in her hand. But that didn't stop that little princess.
She flung that goop onto the mirror behind the dance floor and kept on going.
That's the SPIRIT!

Now, go clean your puke off the glass.
Dirty little girl!
And you  wonder why nobody wants to come and kiss your puke smelling face or give you a dollar?
 Please!

The costumes were really a fantastical,  fun, beautiful, scary, amazing part of every show. 
It was dumbfounding  what  the Late Great
Terri Hammrick could do with a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket, a hot glue gun, and a few sequins.

Or what the Late Great , One and Only,
Ruby Falls could do with a feather boa. Or where he could put it!
"Ruby" and I shared the same birthday's, 
Valentines Day.
One year Ruby made the whole bar sing Happy Birthday to the two us. Of course it was during a Valentine's Day Drag Show.

I won't soon forget being serenaded by the  largest crowd of welcoming, , non-judging, equal minded, 
free spirited, awe inspiring, love giving, EQUAL people in my life.
 I suppose I should end my stroll down memory Drag lane for now.

Don't think that I've forgotten for one second about you silly lesbians getting all dressed up in men's clothes and pretending to be KENNY ROGERS. Because I haven't.
I should remember to tell you the story about my Aunt Glenda. She wasn't a Drag Queen by any means, but quite possibly she could have been a Good Witch.
She did however have a wooden leg.
Til next time............ get your DIVA on!

































Friday, June 10, 2011

Aunt Opal's Pickles....... they were the DILL!

It's funny how something as simple as opening a jar of pickles is like opening a world of  memories.
The smell of the garlic, the dill and those DELICIOUS home made pickles.
The memories of being at my Great Aunt Opal's on any of the numerous occasions, and never heading home without at least one (more) pickle.
I remember the summer kitchen and the families working on canning in the fantastic Bootheel heat.
I know now that it was more about the time spent together than it was about getting the pantry full of canned goods. I do know that Aunt Opal's pantry was always full.
Unfortunately all I remember are those damned pickles!!!
When I had first moved to Illinois and would make a weekend trip home, Aunt Op-Op (thanks Matty) would always send me out the door with at least two jars of goodness! I would like to think that during all those trips and all those pickles that I had shared them with Mark at least once.
But I sure can't guarantee it!
I really need to get  in touch with some of the family and try to get her recipe.
Not that my canning could ever compare to hers!

We can't speak of dear Opal and not mention her husband, Roy.
He had a great Baritone voice that you were sure even the Lord heard on Sunday mornings!
I believe it was in the 5th grade, in Caruthersville, that we had to write a report about one of our relatives. I chose Uncle Roy and the story that he told of his time during the war.
About how one of his comrades had stepped on a mine while they were running into a field.
That may have been the first A+  that I ever received on a homework assignment.
I need to check with Mom and Dad and see if they still have the report that I did.
Something tells me they might.
I suppose I should go now and clean the pickle juice off the keyboard.
Aunt Opal and Uncle Roy Gill, you were thought of today. And missed often.
Because of you, we know where the GREAT comes from.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Miss Charlotte's Well


Let me introduce you again to Miss Charlotte...........


She is a sweet, loving neighbor and friend.  Miss Charlotte just celebrated her 73rd birthday recently.
After a bit of consideration, I've decided to use the donate button recently added to my site to gather collections for a WELL for Charlotte.
Can you imagine living without running water for 73 years? Me either.  She has never had a home with running water in her life.
 Think about it, she has to haul water for laundry, haul water for drinking, haul water for bathing, and for dishes. It is a lot of work for a little lady to handle.
Sure, I would love to get OUR well dug and give us running water too.  But, I am still relatively young and able bodied, I can manage a bit longer.
Get the word out, let your friends know how to help. Send a link to this page to everyone you know.  I would love to raise a mere $7500.00 for this project. That would be enough to have a WELL dug for Charlotte and to have the plumbing done as well. Who knows, it may even be enough to add the shower.
It may seem that this is a big request, and it IS. Believe me, this is a special person that could really benefit from our BIG HEARTS.
Please, give what you can. Every little bit helps. You have no idea how hard we can squeeze a dime!
I can't wait to surprise her when  we accomplish this! Because I know we will.
I'm going to try to figure how how to show our progress and will keep everyone informed. If you have any ideas on how to add a progress graph ( for free ) to the site, please message me.
Thanks again for your help. Thanks for your giving.
Jon

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hello and Howdy!

Another week seems to have flown by already!!
But, we did survive the storms and all the rain that came our way. And believe me, to borrow an expression from my friend Kathy, we had a shit ton of rain!
The good news was that we didn't have a single leak (therefore, a single bucket) in the kitchen. So, we must have done something right. I  do love it when that happens .

Steve and I have continued to make and see wind chimes. Our first week on EBay and we sold 5, off of the website we've sold one. I need to spend this next week focusing on putting more items on there.
Here is my shameless plug..........   www.hillbillyhandcrafted.com

It is so interesting to me that not only do people read my blog, and seem to be amused by some of the things I say, but that I can be creative and make money from it!
Who knew?!
You may have noticed the new "DONATE'  button I've added to my site. I believe this will be called the WELL FUND.
I got the idea by listening to my readers. ( MY readers, BUHAHAHA) and by doing a bit of searching online. Thank goodness for  Internet in the woods.  I'd be lost without it.

Gracie's market seems to have been sold, good news for Emily. I do believe that sweet lady is ready for a new chapter in her life. Been there done that. Best of wishes to her in her new endeavors.
Of course, all the hillbilly's are worried that the new owners won't keep the famous table out back for folk's to sit and visit, but I don't think they should worry, better they hang out here and socialize than be out getting into trouble!

You would Not believe the things you hear come out of people's mouths at that table either.
Yesterday, for instance, a young man was talking to his buddy about www.youtube.com and the videos you can find on there. Like the one's with the cows being hit by trains. YIKES. The young kid then said that he had a video of himself on there. "Really, what for?"
I stupidly asked.  "Well, for putting deer balls in my mouth" he told me.   Once I gathered myself I asked again " WHY?"
" But I got paid $120 dollars for it."
Quietly I leaned over to Mark and said,
" Can I see your wallet?"

Last summer at the same table a rough looking lady showed up a 'little' drunk.  Mind you, I'd not been here for long and still didn't know too many people.  After 5 minutes at the table, she was more than comfortable enough to show off her new tattoo of a fire flame. The problem was the location of this tattoo. Right, and I mean right, above her vejayjay.  Well, first time in over twenty years I'd been that close to one without breaking out in gay hives.
Admiring the art work i was curious if it was the flame or the cooter that was crooked and should it be a bumpy flame or was that razor burn?  She didn't seem to care for my disinterest and quickly zipped up!
Lawrdy, I love the table!

We are anxious about Brandon's arrival in a couple of days. It's going to be a long drive for him in the U-Haul with his car in tow. Say a wee prayer for his safe travels. I know his mama, Pam will miss him, but that means she will visit also.  See you soon Pam!
I feel a Memorial Day BBQ coming on! Maybe a swim in the river now that the storms are gone for a little while.

Thanks for checking out my blog, it's really appreciated. I hope it wasn't too 'naughty' for you today.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rubber Ducky and other little birds

Here we are beginning another wet week here in the woods.
I suppose I shouldn't complain, we were warned.
I am thankful that the storms of yesterday decided to break away from our area. A saddened by the devastation in Joplin.

Even with the rains, we have managed to be productive and not wallow too much in the muck. Not like our little ducklings, they seem to be loving the rain when we put them in their new 'growing up box' outside. 
  The living room and dining room are a little better organized, the upstairs is coming together and the dishes are mostly done.
 I've made several wind chimes this week and posted them on Ebay. I've also managed to do a little more work on the website I'm trying to get together. 
www.hillbillyhandcrafted.com
 Slow and steady it goes. Stay the course....



Our porch is getting rather full by our staying the course.  At last count ,there were over 20 chimes put together. We are looking forward to heading to a few markets and such this summer.  Our goal is to have at least 60 completed in the next month.
 Keep your fingers crossed.
Here are a few of my favorite  chimes so far.....


I enjoy sitting around with Steve and talking crap while we put these together. It's easy to pass the time on the porch doing a little work. And talking smack!

While down at Gracie's this week putting in a few hours, I had a fella tell me ' a little bird told him I was queer". I told him that he must have been watching Big Bird on Sesame street, because that shit was elementary........
He said he was surprised, but respected it. I guess some of these ol' boys have moved into the 21st century after all.


We're all looking forward to seeing "little " Steve coming home tomorrow. Hope all is well with him........