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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........



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Here comes the rain. AGAIN.

As unbelievable as it may sound, we are gearing up for what looks to be 9 days of rain.
I am not so sure I like this!   The silver lining here is once again, that the kitchen roof is FINISHED!
We are very fortunate to have James and Chris helping us out on these jobs around the house.
  I hope they know how much they are appreciated.

Our new neighbors, on Sunflower Lane, are feeling the same appreciation towards the new friends they are making here in the area.
They tell me often how much they appreciate all the help they are getting.  After two ( what must have been very long) weeks without it, their power was turned on today. 
Actually,  the power company hooked up the pole on Monday. It was a matter of hooking the cabin to the pole box that was a problem.I don't usually like to mess with the big hook up of power. I can do the inside work just fine, but don't care to mess with anything near the outside pole. Besides I've already had big hair. Do I need to remind you of the 80's? 


So, back to the power problem........... "Hey, Jerry!"

The same good ol' boy that showed up with a big back hoe to help get the cabin up the road, was there today to help with the power problem. He even supplied the wiring needed!
Thanks Jerry, you're a heck of a guy!


Now to some serious business...
I suppose enough time has passed since killing the old hen, that now, I can speak of it.
To say it was not pretty, would be a definite understatement. I will be sure to use a block to chop the poor things head off next time.  The hillbilly showing us  how he cleans them just had it dangling  from his hands and took a few chops with the butcher knife. O.K., several chops.  
That kid was slinging chicken guts all over the back yard and the dogs were loving it!  Strange it is, to see the wings of a chicken flying without the bird attached!
Yes, I do believe I will approach it a little better next time.
On  my own.
Once we got the head (and those pitiful eyes), and the feet out of the way, I knew what to expect. I've had my hand shoved far up enough turkeys at Classic Event's to have a pretty good feel for it



While we are talking about poultry, I should mention the two ducks we've been raising for a few weeks now.
Them critters grow up fast! In the last week they are more than double their original size. They love when I fill the water and drink and play when it is being poured into the bowl. They've started to respond to my sounds when I come in to feed and water them. I did the same with them as I did with my first batch of chickens, told the lady working at  http://www.cacklehatchery.com/ to just pick me out two that would be pretty.
If you ever need chickens, ducks or peafowl , these are the people to see.
Tell them I sent you.
It won't help because they won't know me, but do it anyway.

I would like to send out a big hillbilly congrats to Mark's nephew, Leo. He is the father of twins today.
A boy and a girl. 
I was sure to let Mark know how old he had become because he was now a GREAT-Uncle. But then he reminded me that I held that title well before he did. 
Damn it!!.

He got a laugh a few weeks ago upon hearing what one of his sisters was suggesting for names for the babies.
Ready for it?
Denise, and .......................... (drum roll)......................... Danephew.
Congrats Leo and family!  Great news!

Tomorrow's plans include a bit of gardening in the morning and then try to get on track with the laundry. 
Such fun isn't it?

Oh, the life of this country boy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lessons in Karma

I have long held to the belief that whatever energy you put out into the world around you is going to be the same energy that you, in turn, receive.
That was especially true this past week.

 At the start of this week I found myself working the soil and putting in a garden. 
I love to garden, more than I had ever realized, and to reap the rewards of a bit of hard work at the end of the season.
Our friends Jerry and Linda have a wonderful farm less than two miles from us here at Origanna Woods.  That's part of it above.
The garden  soil has been turned and properly fertilized with an abundance of  beautiful manure. ( yes, beautiful)
It's  a bit odd to be standing beside three piles of shit that are taller that yourself!
These two nice folks have so many other projects going on that they hardly had the time to even consider planting. 
Let me help! 
Keeping in mind, this is the same Jerry who got a call from us last week, a call of desperation. Our new neighbors were here and had no way of getting their cabin up the hill or leveled in place. Jerry was there in less than a half hour with a back hoe, clearing and widening the road and then pulling the semi and attached cabin up the hill. 
Needless to say, when I heard he wanted a garden but lacked the ability to put one in place, I jumped at the chance to return the favor. After a little conversation and  'careful' planning, we were ready to get to work. With the amount of room to fill, it was obvious there would be much left over garden space.

We managed to come to the conclusion that any extra harvest would be shared by people we knew that really needed the food. Share the bounty. Thirty tomato plants is a lot, especially seeing as we were only planting for a total of 4 people at the start of the project.

This is the long view of the garden. We've managed to plant 32 rows of veggies so far. 
Ok, fruit and veggies if you want to get technical about it!
The KARMA comes into play here because of the work I put in at Abundant Acres, I was given the tomato and pepper plants.  
Batting a thousand so far.
FREE veggies for the year??
SWEET!

This is Mr. Steve Kelly, one of our neighbors on the hill. He is pointing out some of the crop damage due to the hail storm we had yesterday. Only a few broken plants, but they should survive! He's quite proud of the hat he's wearing because it holds one of the tail feathers from my rooster. The same rooster that chases him when he comes to the house! The same rooster that makes him scream like a little girl!
I think he believes it's a trophy of sorts.

 This is the same neighbor I am helping with the wind chimes that we've put on Ebay.

Here's a couple to look at....



Aren't they just full of rustic charm?
Steve's late mother had obviously been prepared to make wind chimes for years judging by the amount of prepped bottles and rings that we've found. It's just going to be a matter of us piecing them all together.
It would be great to sell these so he has a bit of extra income. Check em out!
Mid-week Steve and I went to help the cabin neighbors by cutting out some windows in their stuffy unventilated home.  They seem to be constantly surprised by the amount of help they receive from people they've known less than two weeks.
Again, it's what you put out there......
KARMA also visited the next day while I was working at Gracie's Market. A neighbor from the other side of the hill that I've not really talked to very  much, showed up and asked if I knew anybody that could use a FREE wood chipper and a FREE lawnmower. I excitedly showed him to my van and we loaded them up! Once we got them home and filled the oil they fired right up! SWEET!
Thank you KARMA!
Time to end this one, looking forward to what tomorrow brings.
Later,
J

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The word of the day is ................ WORRY


I was worrying that our kitchen roof would hold under the relentless rain, please,  just for a few more days. 
Worrying that my hometown would not get flooded by the raging Mississippi River. 
Worrying that our new neighbors would not be able to get their new cabin up the road.
Worry,worry, worry. 
Worry that worry looked wrong so I had to double check my spelling! 
Worrying about the side effects of worrying even.

 I really started to get concerned when my Dad called me this afternoon, and it's always great to hear his voice. Especially if it's my birthday, and he's on the other end of the line singing Happy Birthday to me in that strong Barnett baritone voice. Today was different, he was calling  to let me know that the Mississippi river was at an elevation of 49 1/2 feet.  The top of the seawall is at 50 feet.  My hometown is just on the other side of this seawall. And, it's still raining there. Things were being packed up for safety,  and Mom was planning on leaving town  on Wednesday, but my Dad decided he was going to wait until a  mandatory evacuation was announced before he leaves.
It scares me to death to think that after all the bad things that have happened in Caruthersville over the past few years that now is the time to prepare for another  possible small-town disaster
. I still find myself, on occasion, watching this video on youtube that shows the destruction the tornado ravaged on the town just a few years ago.
I am keeping the family,  the friends, the spirit of Caruthersville in my prayers for a few days. Let's hope for the best.

Considering what these families in the Bootheel  are dealing with, it seems to  make my worries of our leaky roof now seem very trivial.
I've been worried about a few cookbooks, yet my parents and hometown neighbors are worried about their homes and safety. 
One thing that I have learned from all this is that the residents of Caruthersville are strong and will overcome any obstacle placed before them.

Back here, in the Origanna Woods, our plan of getting a project done each week is rapidly falling behind schedule. 
One thing leads to another, and before you know it the week is over.Projects untouched.
Between Gracie's market and the few hours of time spent at Abundant Acres, I've managed to push aside some of the things needing to be done here.
  I hope to change that around tomorrow.

The woods got a bit of a boost in the population over the weekend. We were happy to welcome our new neighbors to Sunflower Lane. 
It was only a matter of getting the 40 foot cabin up the treacherous hill that is in the heart of the lane, not to mention getting it around the sharp right hand curve at the top of the hill.
Six hillbillies,  three Amish (?) gentlemen, 2 chainsaws, a backhoe    ( NOT to be confused with my lovely drag friend Maxine, who is fondly referred to as  a black ho), and several hours later, they were able to accomplish this crazy chore!
The new folks seem to be profoundly grateful for the assistance from strangers that helped in getting their home settled. That's just the way it is on the hill.
That's just the way it is!
I believe that seeing the end of this day quickly approaching is a true blessing............ I believe that it's time to call it a night and turn in. I can see that  "PIG" already has a nice warm spot and is settled in, now to go move him out of my bed!
I have hope for  a better tomorrow, and can't wait to see what the day brings. 

till next time....
j