Gourd is the name given to the hollowed arid covering of the fruit in the Cururbitaceae family. This native curious looking African plant may just be the oldest plant domesticated by two legged mortals. The uniquely peculiar pumpkins were said to be the inspiration for the shape of current contemporary clay pottery. Ha, say that quickly three times! The dried fruit can be used for bowls, bottles and instruments both stringed and drums that are typically found in the Caribbean. Birdhouse gourds can be seen scattered all over the USA accommodating the lodging requirements of the royal Purple Martins. To this young Ozarks farm chicklett a nice crop of gourds only meant money in the bank!
My Granny and Pappy's farm was a short distance from ours so I spent many hours there. Being a most inquisitive child, Mama would frequently say if I asked just one more question she'd go completely nuts and be put in a straitjacket. Soon after such statements I'd be carted off to spend some 'quality' time with Granny Walden. One of my daddy's twin brothers was a bona~fide eternal bachelor who lived in the old farmhouse with my grandparents. Uncle Wilford was the more serious family man and Uncle Wilbert was the joke lovin' prankster of the two. They looked enough alike that I often said I had two Uncle Wilberts 'cause they'd have this perplexed three year old mixed up more than a movin' truckload of cement.
Toward the end of growin' season I was admiring the wonderful shapes and colors of Granny's gourds reaching up toward the heavens clinging to her white picket trellis. That's when Uncle Wilbert approached this gullible juvenile gal announcing that, "ya know,them gourds grow money inside 'em." Even though I always was and am an easy mark, I AM from the Show~Me~State and I desired, requested and demanded proof stomping my tiny feet and jumpin' up and down with excitement of a pirate who has just found a treasure. Uncle Wilbert slowly pulled out his trusty pocket knife that castrated calves, scraped manure from his boots then used to split a candy bar and gently carved the gourd in his hand revealing a bright shinny nickel. Ahhh, there is was shinnin' in the sun! I felt the spark in my big browns, my heart pounded with excitement as I developed my plan. Granny thought nothin' about my questions concerning harvesting and preparing gourd seeds or even the inquisition of planting the dried embryos. Heck, the woman was a saint and even helped me harvest and dry the seeds at her house. This just may have been the beginning of my OCFD (Obsessive Compulsive Flower Disorder).
Spring had arrived and I carefully planted my cash crop around the foundation of our large back porch using my trusty blue plastic shovel. Mama thought nothin' of my enterprising bustle as I was always diggin' in something. Later that spring Mama and I boarded the Santa Fe Red-nose train for our annual trip to visit my maternal grandmother in Albuquerque for several weeks. I can still vividly remember that astounded flabbergasted look on Mama' face upon our arrival home. The home we could barely enter due to the vines that were carefully strung up and secured to the porch roof by Daddy who was under the impression Mama must of planted 'em. The vines that were goin' to supply this youngen' with enough nickels to fulfill any farm chicklet's dreams. Fort Knox eat your heart out! I'd never need to ask Daddy for a nickel to buy a candy bar or bottle of cream soda again. Mama would not be bothered by my request for more change for the nickelodeon (early jukebox) to feed my love of a good song. Yes, this self sufficient industrious child could pick the number one hit song in 1955 and sing along with Teresa Brewer, "put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon, all I want is lovin' you and music, music, music!!!"
Mario, sometimes referred to as Jumpman, is an Italian Plumber who lives in a Mushroom Kingdom battling Bowser who has captured the royal Princess Peach. While the Mario Brothers are investigating the perplexing sewers of New York dodging varmints like the Koopa Troopas they run on, jump over and slide through smelly slimy sewer pipe to rescue the fair maiden from the hands of the evil vixen. Oh, how much easier this task would of been if only they had learned to climb like a Capuchin monkey!
Born without a prehensile tail this little fella would have been a great cast for the movie Cliffhanger or Mission Impossible II. He's the one needs no harness or rope to climb straight up a wall like a long legged arachnid. Ya'll know that commercial where the parents lose the boy and he's spread out on the ceiling of their hallway as they look up and say, "we have a climber?" That's our boy! He once scaled from his bedroom at the far end of the house to the living room at the other without touching the floor strategically maneuvering corners and doors like a skilled mountain climber landing on target in my lap. The lad can shinny up a tree faster than a 'coon with a Redbone Coonhound hot on it's trail. He'd give an orangutan a run for it's money. While visiting Texas my sis was in charge of the children as she was taking a head count,"1...2...3...oops, I'm missing one." I giggled as she was tellin' her story and said, "I bet it was Joel, if ya lose Joel all ya have to do is look up." Sure enough the little repeller was up high in a tree givin' my sis a heart attack!
Joel, Hebrew Yo'el~~"Yahwel is El," is interpreted as Jehovah is God. Michael is a given name that comes from the Hebrew Mikael meaning who is like God. Joel Michael celebrated the big '1-0' in December. He has been a shining light to our family. The kids got personality! Not only can he climb but he could challenge Bob the Builder using his creative construction skills. The tenderhearted dude loves the Lord and the life he is full of. He is a master at the game of chess and is also a little prankster. This rockin' grandma is putty in his hands and he holds my heart. To most of my grandkiddos I would say, "just call me if you need me," but not to Mr. Joel. I would use the phrase out of the 1970 hit song of Tony Orlando and Dawn and say, "knock three times on the ceiling if you want me!!!"
It was a time of raging turmoil and yet a time of unclouded innocence. Young men were being summoned from their familiar surroundings to fight a bloody conflict (war) in Vietnam. The bells rang out as the Dow closed above a thousand for the very first time. Even though cars were lining up at the pumps and the oil crises had made OAPEC a household word, we could still fill up the 1965 Pontiac GTO for .385 cents a gallon. Tony Orlando and Dawn were tying a Yellow Ribbon 'round the Old Oak Tree while Elvis performed his final farewell concert in Hawaii. Sherman Hemsley made his first appearance on All In the Family just a movin' on up and Police Story made its television debut. The Miami Dolphins had finished a perfect 17-0 winning the Superbowl. A kitchen could be well stocked for under ten dollars a week purchasing apples for 59 cents a pound, Ajax cleaner for 15 cents, four rolls of toilet tissue for 13 cents and ground round for 79 cents a pound. This sheltered Ozarks farm chick had packed her bags two years before leaving Tinytown behind to go to college and find herself. One warm October evening I went on my first and last blind date. It felt like I had been hit in the gut by the helmet of NFL's star quarterback runnin' full force with the ball as I walked down the stairs of the Phi Mu Sorority house. Hold me back mama~~somebody grab the paddles and shock me 'cause this boy took my breath away!
He could be heard by his Frat brothers broadcasting, "I'm in love" walking into the Alpha Gamma Sigma house after our first date. My sorority sisters surrounded me with enthusiastic remarks like, "boy he really likes you," and " he didn't let go of you one time at the dance." Yes, I guess it was thoroughly evident that I was as twitterpated as a Disney character in his presence. His basilisk gaze made me week in the knees, put my head in a whirl and sent this chick walkin' on air. Evident to everyone except 'The Parents.' My mothers first response was, "I sent you to college to meet a doctor or a lawyer and what do ya bring home....another farmer." Daddy remarked, "well in my mind, anyone with hair that long has to squat to pee!" Yes, his hair touched his earlobes! Oh, how they wanted his number to come up in the draft. My future mother-in-law was NOT gonna sign for her twenty year old son to marry, besides she always wanted her boys to marry hometown girls. The saving grace was that my future father-in-law saw how very smitten we were and besides after raising three boys I think he kinda liked the idea of having a daughter. He loved to tease and I could take it, stir it up and serve it right back at him on a warm silver platter, with that I stole his heart.
On the sixth day of January, nineteen hundred and seventy three the day I dreamed of all my life had arrived. Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding day. I was no different besides I had just been a bridesmaid in such a wedding the week before when the temperature was a balmy seventy degrees. During the rehearsal dinner a horrific Ozark's ice storm set in covering the earth with a solid sheet of glossy ice slicker than snot on a glass door knob. My husbands brother, the best man, drove all night at a snails pace from Searcy, Arkansas picking up his parents and grandmother along the way forging ahead to the wedding. It was not the day I had visualized but it was my day and I was about to marry the man of my dreams so I was determined to make the best of it. Things went array, the florist from a nearby town delivered the wrong flowers intended for another wedding at a different location. In a calm manner,(cryin', screaming and stomping of feet),this was corrected in the nick of time. The little ring barer stepped on my train rippin' it off at the waist. Thank God for safety pins. The photographer booked did not bother to travel the sixty miles of icy roads, or pick up a phone. We just requested the guest to take loads of pictures with their Kodak Brownies. The Stockton Christian Church was filled with the correct flowers, wonderful friends and loving family to share our day. This moon~eyed chick had just said," I do", to the love of her life so it was a perfect day. It was my perfect day!
After a beautiful reception we headed to Branson to begin our life together. In 1973 Branson consisted of the Presely's and Baldknobbers variety shows and Silver Dollar City, all closed for the winter months. Lovestruck people just don't think well. The couple hotels there stayed open where a blizzard snowed us in the Holiday Inn for three days. From there we went to Little Rock and swung by Searcy to visit the brother-in-law and his wife where their Shitshu peed on our bed. Yep, their Honey~ mooned our bed! Slippin' and slidin' all the way, we made it back to the Ponderosa where we still forever sing about our thirty seven years together and how it's "Just an Old Fashion Love Song!"
Ya'll want me to hedge some stocks on Wall Street for your future stability? How about picking the winning pony at Churchill Downs or if oat munchin' equestrians aren't your thing how about a winning champion Greyhound at the Island Hotel Casino Racetrack? Doggone~it, I could be persuaded to make a wager at the Roulette tables in Vegas or close my big browns and toss some numbers for the Lottery your way. Attention: The Superbowl is comin' up folks so... call me don't be afraid to just call me! Sorry, it doesn't take much to make me break out in song. Heck, I'll even name your firstborn!!! Hi, my name is Nezzy and I do not have a gambling addiction but I sure have been one charmed farm chick lately.
Ahhh roses, this Ozarks gal just adores them. The rose is a perennial flower named from the French word Rosa. There are over one hundred species and are noted for their astounding beauty and fragrant aroma. I know, I have thirty eight of the bloomin' beauties with their sharp prickles and oval shaped leaflets adorning the gardens of the Ponderosa. They produce an edible fruit late in the growin' season called rose hips. These are used to create essential oils, rose water for Asian cuisine and French rose syrup used to make scones and marshmallows. These hips can also be used to make jams, jellies and tea. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C. I've photographed many roses but never ever did I capture anything like the incredible sugar laced rose Gail photographed one frosty Arkansas morning. That is frost around the peddle edges and Gail snapped it reproducing it on the exquisite note cards I won at her giveaway along with The Way for Cowboys New Testament Bible filled with amazing cowboy pictures and fascinating commentary.
Gail, At The Farm is a farmers daughter who returned to life on the family farm. She's an outdoor farm chick who loves horses and critters of all shapes and sizes. She has a wonderfully unique since of humor and as I have found out lately, she can be quite the little trickster. The girl knows how to get even! Gail has an eye for finding beauty in the unusual and capturing her treasure in captivating photos. Ya'll can view fabulous fungi, the rugged edges in dry cracked earth, shimmering ice clinging for dear life onto twigs. You can meet her clan of chickens, cats, dogs and horses who live together as the best of buds. Gail has a heart of gold. She plays Mom to foster dogs until she can place them in a good homes. She also has a full time job where she might have some incite on goin' postal. If you haven't visited Gail and her very interesting blog I strongly suggest you do so...NOW!!! I promise she will not disappoint.
So while I sit chillin' in the cold icy tundra on the Pondersoa, I'm open to helpin' ya'll out. Meanwhile, I may go find another giveaway 'cause this lucky Ozarks chick might be singing as Britney Spears sang in her 2000 hit song, "Oops,I Did It Again!"
The dingy aquatic webbed footed diver tagged 'the loon' is found in North America, Europe, Asia and debatably Africa. The word loon is sometimes associated with one being a little kooky or just plain loony. Folklore had dubbed this loony description as havin' uncontrolled madness from the lunar phases of the moon where the deranged word lunatic was born. She promised me as her "Loony Winner" I could be as loony as she is. This would mean there are two chicks runnin' free from straight jackets who are erratically crazy, maniacally spinnin' around the bend being foolishly outrageous. This Ozarks farm chick likes to think we are just a couple of deliriously unique gals.
Connie at the Far Side of Fifty is just the sweetest fun lovin' gal ya'd ever hope to meet. This Northern Boonie gal and the Far Guy have two daughters and five perfect grandchildren. She has a diverse blog where you can meet Chance, a lively photogenic Border Collie and view wonderful photos from the past and present. Let her take ya'll down memory lane as she draws you into the heritage of her wonderful stories. Connie shares my love of beautiful flowers (OCFD:obsessive compulsive flower disorder) and great tunes from the oldies. I also have to agree with her that Sean Connery is one class act.
Together Connie and the Far Guy make these beautiful ornaments. Connie designs the ornament and Far Guy cuts out the diamond shape. Connie then burns the outline and applies the paint makin' each and every one distinctively different. Then a name or message is burned on the back followed by a finishing process that would draw the attention of Basset furniture designers. There is definitely a duo effort crafted into each and every charming original ornament.
Ray Charles sang in the 1967 tune 'Here We Go Again', "That there's no way to win," does not hold true with this chick. Au Contraire Mon Frair, I've been livin' in Giveaway Heaven! I not only won one of these splendid ornaments, I am blessed with the message on the back from my dear blog-sister that I can cherish year after year. As I was ripin' into the package pulling out the note card containing a sweet Christmas wish, the 'Loony Ornament' and the beautiful copper hook I found myself singing, "HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!"
I am a fun loving farm wife.
A modern mother and a gleeful gardening Grandma of eight.An A-type personality with an artful flair.
A primpy person who can also sling manure with the best of 'em.
I am a unique creative creature of God.
I am blessed!!!