Folks, this chick's wore down like a professional beggar's old shoe. Hubs was tellin' everyone we were goin' on vacation and yes, we did get away from the wild~eyed cattle and off the Ponderosa for a whole week. This is Venus vs. Mars baby and I'm callin' it a "work'cation". That's my final answer and I'm stickin' to it! We just returned from our long trip to Brownsville, Texas to visit my sweet Mama. Don't get me wrong, we go with full intentions of fixin' up and helpin' out as much as we can but I've had the energy of a smashed bug since we returned. Late summer the grandkiddos (I call the Fab~Four) got to make their own little journey to Camp Grandma.
Since the Ponderosa is truly over yonder and in the edge of nothin', we have to make our own entertainment. Ya know how you have good intentions of gettin' pictures of everything you've planned to do and then it hits ya the last day of Camp that you've been too stinkin' busy to pick up a camera, little lone take pictures??? Yeah~ me too... so all I've got to show ya'll is the lonely last day of Camp Grandma!
We went rock climbin'. This is Ethan the clone of his father, Geek Son. This kid is has always been old for his age and knows more than a Philadelphia lawyer. He's generally the first to pull out the leftover fireworks as he loves to have a 'blast' as much as his Rockin' Grandma does. He has a great attitude that spreads just like Kudzu!!!
We hunted for arrowheads and reptiles in the creek bed. Joel is our mad scientist and agile climber. He's always been able to climb up anything slicker than a harpooned hippo on a wet banana tree. If we ever lose Joel we've learned just to look up. He looks like my Dad and also portrays his prankster personality. When I'm missin' my Daddy all I have to do is look at this face and he flashes me the same familiar smile I grew up with.
We collected beautiful rocks. Some we're oddly shaped while others glittered in the beautiful summer sunlight. Little Miss Laura Ingalls...oops...I mean, Little Miss Sarah won the "Most Accidents Award" at Camp Grandma. I swear, this one could get hurt in a padded rubber room! She was injured so often, she'd look like she was gonna start cryin' like a pine knot in a sawmill then we'd look at each other and start laughin'. Cracked me up! Good thing she's tougher than a hungry one eared alley cat yet as sweet as southern tea!
We picked beautiful wildflowers. Prettier than a box full of speckled pups, (Mini~Me) Miss Honor shares my love (sick obsession) of flowers. Durin' Camp Grandma she dissected flower petals and covered my entire deck with a mass of brilliant color. (Sorry, no pics...I was busy feedin' the masses.) She's an artistic little soul with a heart as big as Texas and truly believes that she's a royal princess. Watchin' her is like peerin' through the lookin' glass at my little girl self.
We hiked many miles but someone with tired little feet thumbed a ride to hitchhike the rest of the way home with the help of big brother. Some people are just as cute as the dickens and know how to use it.
It was hotter than a mess of collard greens on the back of Granny Walden's old wood cook stove that week so there was lots of swimmin' where Honor lost her fear of the water. She sure gave the 'boys' a run for their money!!!
I had trouble keepin' the Toothless Wonder's water wings on her. She wanted to fearlessly swim across the pool without 'em. We struck up a bargain where she wore the wings the first half of the swim then she let Grandma Muzzie stick close by the last half. See that florescent lime green mat floatin' in the background? 'Doesn't float so good anymore. Heehehhee!!!
Look out Ester Williams, we performed synchronized Olympic water maneuvers with grace, style and attitude baby!!! We ate things like Frog Eyes, Shriveled Bat Wings with Possum Poop, Sugar Coated Moths and Slimy Blood Worms. We never, ever eat 'regular' food at Camp Grandmas. 'Wouldn't be prudent!
When we tired of hikin', climbin', swimin' and smashin' giant boulders we still had the energy to battle Galactic beings and conquer the universe. They do have the genes of that caped wonder 'Super Nezzy', ya know?
Most of all we had loads of smiles and heaps of fun. "Over the River and Through the Woods" was originally written as a Thanksgiving poem in 1844 by Lydia Maria Child from her childhood memories of visitin' her own grandparents home. It wasn't 'till 1951 the Andrews Sisters and Danny Kaye put it to music as the song we know today. I pray the memories made at Camp Grandma will make my grandkiddos sing happily forevermore, "Over the River and Through the Woods" to Grandmothers house we go!!!!
Charmin' as a long shot candidate on Election Eve, Angel has had a horrifically difficult year . August 2010 this beautiful gal had a tumor removed from the base of her brain-steam and was diagnosed with Medullobastoma .She was lifted with God's love and masses of prayers as she seized the moon with her teeth and beat the cancer odds. I have to tell ya'll my heart was heavy the day she told me she was tired of the fight. Her bony body was unsteadily frail and she was so stinkin' skinny she'd need to run around in the shower to get wet. Doctors found puttin' weight on our Earth Angel was kinda like tryin' to put a dress on a worm. I'm pleased to say that Angel had her last souped up mega blast of chemo in September. Three weeks later it hit her like a ton of bricks when she lost her hair...again! She tells me it's difficult to remember a time before she had cancer. It's been all consuming for her.
Angel Dawn is now a full fledged seventh grader attendin' Tiny Town Middle School. Her favorite part of school is lunch (the girl does love to eat) and gettin' to participate in PE with her friends. The spunky little doll says havin' cancer has made her trust others, especially her family. Like any teen she loves the music of Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne and Zach Brown. Although she still adores purple, she's quite smitten with blues and greens too. Angel is ecstatic that she's able to go outside and do 'normal' things like pick up walnuts and play with her animals. I saw the old twinkle return in her eye when she boasted "I jumped this week!" I have observed that she has become more self~confident and outgoin' through her illness.
Today she is stronger and has plumped up a bit. Isn't she prettier than the precious perfectly spotless lamb of Passover??? Ya gotta love that smile! She occasionally misses her friends at the hospital but doesn't miss the needles one bit. Angel returns to the hospital monthly to have her port flushed and every three months for a cancer recheck.
The girl's as happy as a hog in slop when she's in the presence of animals. She wants to be a Veterinarian or Board Animals when she grows up. Her current menagerie consists of six goats, five cats, twenty chickens, four callin' geese (forgive me, I have not self~control), five ducks, twenty~eight rabbits and the gerbils are multiplyin' to rapidly to count. Eat that Dr. Doolittle!!!
Amy Grant sings "God only knows the times my life was threatened just today." This Ozark Farm Chick must confess that watchin' Angel fight her battle tried my faith to the max this summer. The 1984 song that won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Vocal Performance states, "If your asking me what's protecting me, then you're gonna hear me say: ' Got His angels watching over me, every move I make." Angel Dawn can belt out first hand that He's got His "Angels Watching Over Me!!!"
Please read Angels amazin' story here (Pretty Little Angel Eyes) and here (Earth Angel).
*Angel is a neighbor of the Ponderosa. She is also one of my Sunday School students and a member of my Kid's Church. Would ya'll join with me in prayer that she remains cancer free?
Her name could have easily been Hatchet, Buzz Saw or Wood Chopper but 'round here she's known as Pepper. This little Blue Heeler is wound tighter than a new girdle and has the jaw force to gnaw through most anything. Bred in Queensland, Australia, these popular ranch dogs are cultivated to herd wild~eyed cattle by 'nippin' at their heels. That's how she came to acquire her second name, Nipper. She joined the Ponderosa early this spring where she practiced her 'nipper' skills on this Ozark Farm Chick's naked heels. Now, that's about as cozy as wearin' barbwire panties. Ya'll should of seen the back of my heels! Ouch!!!
I do declare, trainin' Pepper Nipper not to jump on others or chase cars is goin' slower than a bread wagon on biscuit wheels down a dirt road. When this little prunin' expert sees cars or bodies she's off slicker than a chased greased hog on a downhill run. I swear she was more obedient as an itty~bitty puppy than she is now. She's gotta be in those rebellious 'teen' years.
Pepper has cluttered my otherwise immaculate yard 'cause anything she can drag, carry or kill ends up smack in the middle of it. She could chew the north end off a south bound polecat (skunk) or most anything else. She has pulled the drain tubing outta the bottom of my car, eaten the corners off the house, bedded down in my daylilies and massacred a forest of cannas. 'Chews 'em off right at the base folks and hollers, "timber"! The other day I was workin' in my rose garden when she nipped off all open blooms off slicker than a schoolmarm's leg. Hubs tried to convenience me our little Nipper was just helpin' deadhead and truly wasn't out to slaughter my beautiful gardens. Nope, this chick's not buyin' it! It's a conspiracy...she's disserverin' my efforts.
Puttin' all her trouble aside, Pepper Nipper is as smart as they come and very affectionate. She's always at my side (or on my heels) and will forever be my protector 'cause she's loyal that way. The song written and sang by Paul Anka for his girlfriend Annette Funicello (yep, they were really datin') hit the Billboard Hot 100 single chart in 1960. Donny Osmond's 1972 version is the more familiar adaption we all know and love today. Although Pepper tries my patience to the max and back again, I've definitely found myself fallin deep into this "Puppy Love"!!!
Barren as a freshly spaded female dog, this ginormous hole in the ground sat empty and lifeless a good part of the summer. We had just enjoyed a wonderful Ozark shower before the bulldozer was summoned thinkin' it would make for an easy dig. Mr. Burly Tobacco Spittin' Dozer Man uncovered earth that was drier that lizzard spit on a hot rock only an inch below the surface. The in-ground silo was dug just awaitin' some form of life.
Meanwhile, down in the bottom land there was activity takin' place. Hubs had planted a couple of the fields in dwarf sorghum this year. Yep folks, ya heard me right, this stuff was "dwarf". Can ya imagine if we planted the "giant" stuff? In spite of spring floods, tornadoes and summer drought this species of heavy headed grass yielded a whoppin' 311 tons. Woohoo baby, the cows are gonna eat high on the hog this winter just like my hunka'~ hunka' burnin' love who's outstandin' in his field! I love this man!!!
The chopper ate it's way through the fields like a hungry 'coon knawin' on a juicy ear of corn fillin' up one truck's appetite after another. We chopped our sorghum into silage (livestock feed) but with over thirty varieties it abounds in uses. It can be used to make syrup, molasses, fodder, alcoholic beverages, feed grain and seed. The trucks ran hard fillin' up our big barren hole in the ground where it suddenly took on a hue as green a gourd guts.
Tractors packed the green morsels down as tight as a camel's derriere in a sand storm while the trucks continued pilin' more in. The heat of the product began to radiate the sweetest smell arisin' from the once comatose cavern. New life grew as nature's enzymes worked hard to produce a priceless commodity. The choppin' crew said, "we ain't never seen a crop like this before!" Our phones began ringin' almost immediately with farmers wanting to book and purchase the quality livestock feed. Ya'll gotta remember...it's Tiny Town...word travels faster than an hyperactive auctioneer high on coffee can holler, "sold!"
I got to thinkin' that big old hole in the ground is kinda like a life without God, empty, barren and unproductive. Then ya plant the love of the Lord in our hearts and it simply makes us priceless children of God. Now, ya'll gotta love that transformation more than fresh molasses drippin' off a homemade biscuit. My Mini~Me asked Jesus into her heart a little over a year ago and kept it to herself for awhile 'cause she didn't want to hurt her daddy's feelings. She thought he might feel bad 'cause she now had a Second Daddy~God the Father. Doesn't that just melt your pea~pickin' hearts?
This summer Miss Honor decided to take a stand and be baptized, her public obedient declaration that she has decided to follow Jesus. Our little princess is not barren. The Temptations said it well when they sang,"like the rose bud blooming in the warmth of the summer sun," in the song written by Smokey Robinson back in 1965. I'm just pleased as punch to say that little Honor's faith, walk and relationship with God..." It's Growing!!!"
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!!!