Punch it Margret

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The picture was a couple of winters ago.  That year we had around 154 inches of snow, or so we’ve been told.  I hate snow but I have to admit it was an awesome year.  At the time, I was not working for the Bird House.  I was helping Mr. M deliver mail.  Unfortunately, no amount of snow can stop the mail so we bundled up and left for work.  It was not long before we pulled up to a set of mailbox units.  I jumped out and put the mail into the respective boxes,  jumped back in the warm truck and make the comment of  how pretty this area was.  This is when I made a fatal error.  I asked, “What is up there?”  He says, “Let me show you.”  Mr. M is always excited to show me where he grew up.  So with a kooky smile, we were off.

We have a 4×4 so trudging around in the snow is not that big of a deal unless it is 4 feet high….which is was.  The area of interest was up a very steep hill and back in the forest.  Little did we know that the 4 feet of snow would soon turn into 6 feet. He kept fighting with the snow trying to get further back in the forest until we ran up a snowbank and that was that.  M gets out of the truck to assess the situation. We are stuck on a narrow road with a steep drop off on the passenger side…that would be my side.  Before we got stuck he was attempting to turn a corner so the truck was heading away from the cliff.   He tries pushing the rear of our 2 ton 4 wheel drive truck in a circle so we could drive out.  And as logic would dictate, it did not work.    He then tells me to get behind the wheel.  He says to put it in reverse and give it gas when he says go.  He then walks to the front of the truck and puts his shoulder into the grill and yells go.  I yelled back, “Are you crazy?  I will run over you for sure!”  All I could see was me backing over the edge and taking Mr. M over with me.   He practically screams at me, “JUST Punch it!”  I was instantly upset.  I slammed it into gear and I punched it!  Thank the lord above it did not work because I put it into gear alright, but I put it in DRIVE and he was in front of the truck pushing!  As soon as I realized what I did I felt like I was going to pee my pants.  I could have killed him and I was not going to let that information slip my lips.  I quickly put it in reverse and tried it again.  By now he is looking at me with disgust and wondering how in the world we are going to get out of this situation to finish our mail route.  The rest of the story is a little fuzzy but in the end we did indeed get out of the snowbank and turned around with Mr. M in one piece.

Contrary to what you may be thinking,  I did not do it on purpose just to prove how right I was.  Truly, I was in a daze and not thinking.  Between him pushing with all he had and the icy snow, my inability to run him over , did not cost him his life… this time.

Ruthie

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You Want Thighs With That?

Back in 2010, I went to Memphis for a couple of months. My son had just been diagnosed with cancer and my mom was dying. I went to help take care of them both and keep my grandbabies for the summer. One day while visiting mom…..

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“Honey could you go get me some chicken livers? I have had a craving for them for the last three days.” mom said while drinking her coffee.

” Do I have to cook them or is there a special restaurant you buy them at?” I asked with reluctance in my voice. I hated using her stove.

“Down at the market is where I usually buy them. Back in the deli.” she says.

Cool, I didn’t have to monkey around with that stove from the 1800’s. I hated cooking on her stove and frying liver was the worst. I love to eat them I just hate to cook them. As I was heading to the deli, she adds to her order.

“Could you get some toilet paper, soap, milk and have them add some taters on that liver order.”

“Sure mom.” I call out as I race to the door. I knew my mom. If I hung around I would have a list a mile long and be going all over Memphis picking up this and that. Things not really needed but she felt compelled to get.

With grands in tow I headed to the deli. I get to the counter and a 20 something, beautiful blonde, blue eyed, gorgeous smile, little girl asked me,”May I help you?” with that familiar southern drawl I grew up with.

I asked if they had chicken livers today. She pointed at the food in the hot deli case between us and says

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“Why, yea-us we do.” and points to the livers in the corner. The case was full of southern fried goodies from fish to twinkies. She informed me that I could get chicken livers and two thighs for $3.99. I said okay thinking that I might have one for lunch. After second thought, I changed my mind and ask to change my order back to just livers and to skip the thighs. She looked at me with a confused faced and asked, “Where did you get thighs from?”

“From you.” I said. Now she is extremely perplexed and at a loss for words. I repeated her words back to her verbatim. “You can get chicken livers and two thighs for $3.99?” She started to laugh so hard she almost dropped the prongs.

Then she says, “No, s-i-d-e-s.” which she spelled slowly, “sides” she repeated in her southern drawl. Of course, that made sense. I mean that is a huge meal for $3.99.

“That will be fine.” I say looking around sheepishly to see who, if any one, was watching this interaction. Lucky for me only about a dozen people were in hearing range. I quickly move down to the veggies. As I was peering in to the food case for the “SIDES”, I found the potatoes and something else that caught my eye. It was a strange type of pea brownish red in color with snap beans surrounded by little tom tom tomatoes. I looked up to her cheerful face and asked her, “What is that?”

“That is what I was talking about the sssiiidddeeesss.” she said with a long and drawn out pronunciation of the word, as if I were deaf or from a foreign planet.

I said, “No what is it?”

Again she says, ” A SIDE” this time with a much sharper tone in her voice.

At this point, I am laughing so hard I can’t talk. I finally get out the words, “What kind of vegetable is it?”

“Oh that is just peas, honey.” she says.

As I drove back to mom’s, I came to the conclusion that even though I have one of the thickest southern accents in the little village I call home, I apparently have lost my ability to decipher the southern dialect. O mama.

Rest in peace mama. Your laughter was the greatest gift you ever gave me.  February 18, 1936 – September 7, 2010

Until next time,

Birdie

I have taken on another job.  I will be posting but  it will only be on Mondays until I can rearrange my life’s schedule again. I will for sure be reading your post.  You guys are one of the few things that brightens my days.  You may only see a -like– icon but know that I am either laughing, crying or saying hmmmm while reading you.  Wish me luck on this adventure.   I can never turn down an opportunity even if it is down a long and unknown road.

A Beautiful Christmas Eve Morn

We have had quite the winter’s storm these last two days.  I snapped this as I pulled into work.  It was an awesome moment in the quietness of the morning.

Then I got this one as it was shining behind the Church steeple

If you are interested I also posted the Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

at

Life is a bowl of Photos

I wish I knew how to use Photoshop.  Could you imagine how wonderful these shots and the Challenge Photos could look with just a little enhancement?

Tomorrows the big day!  I have asked Santa for a better new year.  I sure hope I, WE, get it.

note:  After I got home I tweaked the above photo if you care to see click here.

aMusing Mondays: Raven part Daux or My Wife Has Lost Her Mind

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FYI: My Wife Has Lost Her Mind was Hubs suggestion for this entry when I posted this on the webcam last summer.

The first year I lived here, I was seeing things that this city girl had never been exposed to. For example, mountain lions, bears, and horny toad lizards were just a few of the unusual things I was privy to see. Each time I saw something new, I would call my husband and tell him my experience with the new and exciting discovery. It was not until I started seeing things that were not normally in this area that my husband started to doubt my sanity. One day on the way to work, I swear I saw a wolf. Husband said it was a coyote. I said I know the difference between a wolf and a coyote. He said I was wrong and went on back to what he was doing. A few months later a news cast mentioned that the Mexican Gray Wolf had been spotted in the south central/east areas of New Mexico.  That is in our area.

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Next, I was going down to Walmart and saw a roadrunner by the ski area. Called husband again to tell him what I saw. He said at 9,000 ft in the winter snow, no less, you would not find a roadrunner. But yet there was that dang roadrunner crossing the highway. I was determined to prove to my husband I was not going crazy. I followed the car in front of me all the way down the mountain clear to the next town. I followed him until he parked in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. I jumped out of my car, rushed him and asked him if he saw what I think I saw crossing the hwy at the ski area.

“You mean that Roadrunner?” he asked with eyes as big as cantaloups.

“Hold it right there.”, I said excitedly.  I quickly called husband and said…

“Hold on I have someone here that saw the same thing I saw”

I shoved my cell at  the poor fellow that I had just accosted and asked him to tell my husband, who thinks I am going crazy, what he saw. The poor fellow was so nice he says “Hello?”. For a minute there, I think he thought I was crazy too. He did tell Hubs there was a roadrunner at the ski area in the snow. Then he gave me my phone back and backed away slowly. He did not turn his back to me until 20 ft. before the automatic doors. Yep, I think it is safe to say he thought I was crazy too.

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Then one day, I was headed down the mountain again. I got to the bottom and noticed a junk shop. You know the kind, junk everywhere and everything for sale. I was walking up to the door and noticed a dog. I leaned over to pat him and heard…”Hello” ” Whatca gona buy?” I look around and see NO ONE but the dog. The dog was just laying in the sun. His tail wagging and tongue hanging out. DANG! maybe I am going crazy. About that time, I heard, “Go on in.” This time I really start to look around. I am looking for anyone, for a speaker system or one of those rock speakers…you know the kind they put around the pool to deliver music to all that are swimming. NOTHING! I slowly go inside. All at once I notice a bird, a BIG bird. It was a crow. The biggest crow on the face of the earth. I get inside and decide to take my chances. I ask the guy inside if he knew he had a talking crow…A BIG TALKING CROW. He said yes but it was not a crow. He tells me it is a Common Raven. Turns out he found it years ago when it fell out of its nest. He could not bare to leave it to the elements so he brought it home and raised it. Somewhere along the way it started to pick up words. He said it knew about 50 plus word to date. I thought, OH BOY, what will husband think of this?   I decided to not say anything until I got home. I later told Hubs, in an eerie whisper 😉 ,  “A Raven spoke to me today.” Man oh Man, that was it for him. He thought I really had lost my mind. I explained the whole thing, but I am not sure he believed me. And after that, I decided to not tell him my further discoveries.

Who knew a Raven could speak? NOT THIS CITY GIRL!

Until next aMusing Monday

aMusing Mondays: This Ain’t Yo Mama’s Dance

I write for the webcam in our little village.  This story was one I wrote back in the peak of our dry season and posted for the webcam blog.  Originally, it was called The Dance but I thought I would shake it up a bit with a different title.

I can not tell you how long it has been since we have had rain. Days would be an understatement it is more like nine months. I remember a few years ago, back around 2006, we had a pretty good dry spell too. A handful of us gals decided to try a rain dance. We had a designated time, we decided to do it in our own back yards and…. we were  to do it naked!.

WHY???

I don’t know but that was the deal. You had to follow these decisions to the T or, as I was told, “To the T or don’t do the dance at all.”  We were convinced it would only work if we all did it and followed the criteria to the letter. The dance was not choreographed nor rehearsed. You might say we decided  to do an interpretative dance. I remember thinking, “What the heck am I DOING?”, while I was stomping my feet and throwing my hands in the air.  My normally covered places were now exposed and wiggling in the wind.  My arms were waving and I was chanting, “Come on, come on and make it rain!”, over and over and over again. I felt so foolish.   My dogs thought I had lost my mind but they liked it. They were running in circles chasing each other in the dark of night and barking up a storm. Thank goodness my neighbors were gone. The whole time I was wondering if everybody else was doing it or if any moment they were going to jump out and punk me. The one thing we did not decide was how long we were to do this naked rain dance. After what felt like LONG ENOUGH, I grabbed my robe and ran inside, dogs in tow. A few days later the rain came. It rained and rained. It rained so much that parts of the mountain flooded. In fact, I had a rather large river running through my front yard even parts of the highway had to be closed because of the run off. It was strange to say the least. That following winter was a good snowy winter as well. I would have to say that the nude rain danced worked.

Now here we are again. No rain in sight and nothing on the radar. One of the original organizers called the other night and stated we need another rain dance. Same rules as last time…and to be followed to the T or it just won’t work. Last night at 9:00 p.m. I tipped toed out the back door. My dogs were not invited this year because my neighbors were here most of the week and I was not sure if they had left yet. I preferred no one witness this crazy woman trying to do her part for all her forest neighbors. Nine o’clock struck and I began to dance as before. Right as I started, I heard an eerie  noise creep up behind me. I could not see a thing because my eyes had not had a chance to adjust to the moonless night.  All I could think of was a coyote or bear or some other kind of wild animal breathing on my bare legs! That crazy thought soon became a reality.  Not only could I feel it, I could hear its steady breathe…in out…in out.   I stood there frozen, naked and night blinded.  I gave myself a minute to adjust to the darkness then slowly turned around.

MY DOGS!

My dogs had slipped out through the dog door and were waiting for their dance invitation, which I was happy to give after I made sure my neighbors were gone. Those little happy brown eyes and wagging tails were just so cute I just could not refuse them. We started slowly then worked our way up to a full-fledged rain dance! The dogs were in heaven running in circles and barking. We were having a pretty good time. It felt oddly freeing and if it paid off like last time very rewarding. I felt no embarrassment in the cloak of darkness and no one else was around… until look up to see Hubs shadow moving toward the window. Oh no, he is going to think I have lost my mind, again. He knew that us girls were going to do a rain dance but he had no idea that we were doing it naked. In all our dancing fun, the dogs and I had worked our way up the hill and out further in the field than I had planned. I had not noticed that until I had to race for my robe by the door. I had to get to it before he turned ON the Porch Light! I believe my dogs thought this was a race to end all races. Mutt must have felt I was winning because she moved her body right in front of mine and over I went like a slinky down the stairs, or in my case down the hill.  Ouch! I had to have rolled and bounced because I was on my feet in a split second and in full stride.  Thank God for padded cabooses.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Finally I get to my robe, compose myself, pulled the sticks out of my hair and walked in as if nothing happened. When I walked in, Hubs asked, “Did you do your dance at 9:00?” “Yes”, I said then went to wash my wounds. While tending to my skint knees, I ‘decided’ if called upon next year I will  pass on the dance. I think I better leave that to the younger braver ones.  I just hope that this year’s effort will bring the rain again.

Until next time

update: 1 week after our dance it RAINED.

aMusing Mondays: A Wicked Sense of Humor

 

When we moved here years ago I was totally shocked at the size of these birds up here. I thought they were giant crows that were involved in some type of nuclear fall out. I can only guess their weight but I would guesstimate an average of 20 lbs…some larger some smaller but all huge! I was told later on they were Common Ravens. Shoot, there is NOTHING common about those birds as far as I am concerned. In the last few years I have come to believe the Common Raven must have a sense of humor. Last winter, one Raven that hangs out at the top of my backyard Pines got a big chuckle when he witnessed my dogs’ surprise of the first snow of 2010.

Every morning my dogs have a ritual, which consists of, CAN’T WAIT TO GET OUT THE DOOR AND BARK MY BRAINS OUT! Pacing, pacing can’t wait. They run as FAST as they can, down a 45ft porch and jump off the end with an attitude that should scare even the meanest of squirrels! Then turn with a puffed out chest to look at the door to see if anyone was watching. They are proud beasts, my Mutt and Jeff.

This morning was a tad bit different. Can’t wait, Can’t wait! (the same) Ready set GO (the same)….run, run, run (the same)… the little one (7 lbs Jeff) gets to the end of the porch first but things are DIFFERENT! White stuff.  EVERYWHERE! He puts on the brakes right as he gets to the end of the porch…..PLONK! He flew off alright but not in the manner he was accustomed to. Pride was…………GONE.

The BIG one (70+ lb, Mutt) was hot on his trail. There was no way that little one was going to beat her. Her mind quickly changed as she watched him fly then land hard in the snow. She tried with everything she had to stop. Too late, the snow and ice started about 15 ft from the end and she was already in it. BRAKE, BRAKE, BRAKE, you could just see her mind yelling it and her eyes pleading it. She did manage to slow down a little bit before the big finish, which lead to an agonizing slow motion crash. She felt ever step she hit as she was going down. The little one watched at first with horror and moved out of the way before she squished him. Then he appeared to be basking in pure joy of  seeing the big dog epically fail. Both of them got up. No barking, no looking back with pride……..they did their business and came back to their nice warm beds to lick their proverbial wounds.

After witnessing this comic relief, I walked back to the den.  It is then I noticed there was not only the one Raven at the top of the tree, there were now about five or six Ravens clucking and chuckling like little hens. I guess the one at the top called for the others to watch the morning entertainment. Yep, I think the Common Ravens have a wicked sense of humor.

Note: To all concerned, it is 8:10 on Sunday night.  I have this scheduled for publish on Monday .  So far so good. My tummy ache went away, no headache and everyone in the house is doing well.  I think I am in the clear….we are in the clear.    On a serious note,  I really was scared and I do appreciate any prays that were prayed for us.  That was some pretty heavy guilt.  Thank you my friends

Buckle Up Buttercup Its Gona Get Ruff

Oh my gosh, I must be dying.  I found paired up socks in the laundry, my paired up personal socks in the laundry room.  You may not think this is a big deal but let me tell you IT IS A BIG DEAL, especially today.

It all started yesterday.  I cooked the best fried catfish ever, accompanied with crock pot white beans that had simmered all day long, hush puppy corn bread (like hush puppies but shaped like square cornbread).  I think the secret to a most awesome tasting catfish was the garlic olive oil I had made days earlier.  Oh my goodness, the aroma was divine.  I had never made infused oil before and had no recipe I just had a thought.  (that may be my famous last words)  I only put one clove of mashed garlic in, sat it near the stove and in four or five days it produced something out of this world.

The next day I decided I wanted all my girls (BFF’s) to have this too.  I thought why stop with garlic oil?  I will send a set of three oils.  I found awesome little empty wine bottles and cute little tops that would be perfect for giving.   I jumped on the internet to see what would go into an italian infused cooking oil.  And that is when one of the worst days of my culinary life started falling apart.  Spread across the screen in big bold letters were the words: NEVER, NEVER TRY TO INFUSE OIL WITH FRESH GARLIC N-E-V-E-R!

Wha?? But it taste so fringing good and so easy to do.  I read further to find out why..why could I not do it?  Instantly after reading the article,  my head starts pounding, my stomach is churning,  I break out in a cold sweet,  nausea digs its heels in; I am certain I am going to  become a vegetable with a droopy eye, slurred speech, and paralyzed possibly on a ventilator.  To put it mildly,  I WAS FREAKING OUT.  I called our local doc.  ANSWER MACHINE.  I called my son at ST Jude Hospital in Memphis.  I tell him to ask a doctor about it.  He says, “Mom you will be okay.  I got to go back to work.”  I called Hubs….silence. I started  SCREAMING.  It turns out he accidentally hit mute.  He gets back on and says, “You are okay just relax.”  Nothing they could say would console me. NOTHING.

You see garlic is of course from the earth.  All earth grown food has the capacity to give you botulism if not washed and prepare correctly.  Also, botulism grows at an outstanding rate when no oxygen is available.  Oil and air don’t mix.  There is no air in oil.  A colossal breeding ground for  the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  ARRRFFF!  It said it multiplies faster when left out of the refrigerator.  It had been 4 or 5 days sitting beside the STOVE.  OMG I am going to die.  WAIT!  Everyone ate the fish!  I HAVE KILLED MY FAMILY!  OMGosh.  I got all weak inside.  I felt a fainting coming on. When will our inevitable death from mommy’s garlic concoction kill us all?  Symptoms could start as quick as 6 hours or take as long as 96.   Oh great, that is just frigin’ great, a slow death.

I head home from work and straight to the bathroom.  By the way, that is where I spent most of my working hours too.  I am convinced I have Botulism.  “Do I have a fever?”  I ask Hubs every 10 mins.  I run from one end of the house to the other checking for fevers or upset tummies from the rest of my family. Oh Lord help me. Help US.

Hubs is being very understanding and patient with me.  Patient with me?  What in the world is going on?  Are we dying  and Hubs does not have the heart to speak the words?  Does he not want me to know? This is so unlike him to be so, so  genuinely caring and understanding.  I fall asleep with the thermometer in my mouth.

Fast forward to this morning.  Hubs wakes me and ask how I feel.  I tell him my tummy is still a little queasy but no headache and I think my brain has rebooted to normal but I am still worried.  I ask him how he is.  He says fine.  He leaves early for work and I get ready too.   And that is when I see my socks.  All nicely folded.  Hubs Folded My Socks.

Back in 1991 Hubs and I had a few heated words regarding his socks.  It seems I put a black and a navy sock together and he wore them to work.  It pissed him off so bad he came home with the Yells.  I promised him I would never and I mean never put two different colored socks together again.  And I have never put two different sock together ever again to this day; because I STOP doing his laundry.  I never put anything up or together again.  And with that Hubs told me he was never doing my wash either.  In fact, I would have to be dying for him to even consider ever again doing my laundry or putting my socks together. And up until today he never has.

There it is folks.  I am dying because the Hubs folded my socks.  If I am lucky I still have 3 more days.

This my friends is a TRUE story.  There is no way to just make this crap up so laugh if you may. But please pull out that prayer chain people and put us on it.

Whacked out Wednesdays: Mooooove on Buddy!

I sort of hate to write on Wednesdays because that is my ‘can you believe it day’ or ‘vent day’ or ‘ whacked out day’  whatever you want to call it it seems so unbecoming of me.  But I must face facts, I am only human and I get peeved just as easily and as often as the next human so here is my vent Surprise of the week.   Here’s to hoping I have very few Wednesday post.

There were a couple of reasons I moved to the mountain. One- it is my hubs home and two- I wanted a great place to raise my child. One added bonus that I did not even consider was the anger free commute to work. In the city it was always stop go, stop go accompanied by several angry honks followed by a few shout outs (the obscene type of course) and on more than one occasion the birdy salutes would fly towards me left and right. The bad thing is I had nothing to do with the traffic jams 20% of the time, but I got the salutes anyway.

I had compulsive dorfenbergerthalamus when I was living in the city. It was only heightened by the fact that I knew I would be stuck in traffic and I HAD to be at work before anyone else. I don’t know why… I just did.  I had been cursed with it since High School but now those days are slowly fading. People up here live on mountain time. There is nothing, NOTHING, that opens before 10:00 even if there is a line to get in… restaurants, bar (notice no ‘s’ on the end of bar) and gas station excluded. The streets fold up at 5:pm sharp, except restaurants (they close at 7:pm), bar (closes whenever) and THE only gas station (open 24 hours). Heck, we don’t even have a traffic light of any kind we have yield signs at least that is what most people think our stop signs are. There is very little action in this town so you could imagine my surprise when on my way to a girls day out hiking trip I ran into trouble.

It was early afternoon and we decided our hike would be at Bluff Springs. Bluff Springs is about 45 minutes out of town way back in the mountain. It is beautiful back there. No sounds only nature at its best. We turn off the highway and start the long trek toward our destination. We did not get far when I heard honking and the occasional shout outs. I found myself in a TRAFFIC JAM out in the middle of nowhere. I could count at least 9 cars on my end and more behind me. Who knew this road got so much traffic? I could barely make out the oncoming cars on the uphill side of the road. What in the world could have happened? A wreck. It had to be a wreck. I mean what else would it be on a dirt road with a speed limit of 10 miles per hour? Oh well, stranger things have happened. My dorfenbergerthalamus urges were at bay. I mean the first three cars ahead of me were my hiking buddy’s so there was no reason to be in a hurry. I waited. More and more time passed and we still sat there. WHAT IN THE WORLD? The city girl in me wanted to get out and walk the half mile or so to find out but I sat tight. Finally we started to move. Hallelujah! Slowly we inched up. As I turned the bend, I saw what was jamming up my day. Round up, yep, a round up was happening right on the road. Cows were everywhere. OMGosh only in New Mexico!

The back road I was on. See what I mean? Who would ever expect a traffic jam on this road?

As I turned the bend this is what I saw. A friging cow convention. COWS

Finally a break in the herd.

Spooky, aren’t cows a little unpredictable?

AY CARAMBA! What big horns you have.

Hey! how did that get in there????

Ahh! This is more like it. A few of my hiking buddies.  As you can see, we had a few little ones with us. All in all, we ended with a great hike and a story.