I love reenactments...always have, always will. One day I would like to be a reenactor myself...
Regardless, the main reason we attended the Battle of Bowlegs Creek reenactment on Saturday was for me to gather more facts/data/interesting stories. We met a gentleman who knew quite a bit about Captain Hendry; he is also a great-great nephew of Confederate General A.P. Hill!! Now that's just plain cool.
The added info was broad and varied...but I won't go into that all right now. In fact, I might need to grab my notebook to jog my memory. I already added some stuff to my 'narration'. One of the most interesting things though was how Hendry used the terrain. He'd lead the Yanks on a chase...towards a swamp. Upon reaching the swamp, he'd turn aside and the Federal troops would plow into the swamp. We have gators...so when it is said that Hendry let the swamp eat them, it brings to life the terror that must have fallen on those blue-coated soldiers...
Also, the aforesaid gentleman told us that Hendry preferred a La Mat revolver. I'd heard the name before but had no mental picture of what it looked like. Apparently, it chambers nine .41 caliber bullets and one 20 gauge---which had it's own separate barrel.
I thought this wa a neat pictures because you can see this particular reenactor spitting out the top of his paper cartridge.
Since this was a battle fought between the Cow Cavalry and the Florida Rangers (Union), rather than infantry, the troops would have been cavalry...on horses. There wasn't a single horse at the reenactment :) Anyway, it was still fun and noisey. Particuarly the cannon--which I seriously doubt would have even been part of the engagement.
For more pictures, check out the Photos' page...I have a fairly nice selection :)
Really, I just used the 'my way' because it rhymes; and as anyone who knows me could tell you, when I make a rhyme I get so proud of myself :) Rhyming just doesn't flow from me like it does from Daddy and Katie.
Anyway, promptly after breakfast I hopped in the car and went to feed Snip. After coming home I practiced my guitar...before or after I scanned CF.org real quick, I can't remember. Therapy was cancelled today because Laurie is sick (poor thing...she works harder than anyone else), so I made sure I did my home regimen throughly. While icing my wrist, I emptied the dishwasher. Once I was done with that I loaded it and washed up the dishes that don't go in the dishwasher (i.e. the stainless mixing bowls and the food processer.) I am doing more everyday stuff with my wrist and less therapy. Then came lunch! The second of my three favorite meals of the day :) *heehee*
While drinking our post-lunch coffee, Katherine and I were looking at a yearbook (again!) sent by a certain person (you know who you are) and kept exclaiming on how tall so-and-so has gotten, "she's really turned out pretty", and "What did she do to her beautiful hair!??!" [Excuse me, my friends, if this seems silly to you, but some of my readers will understand and hopefully laugh.]
Then Mama, Savannah, and I poked stuff in the car and roared off to town. First stop, the Court house. The Florida primary is offically next Tuesday, but we took advantage of the proffered early voting and went ahead and cast our ballots. This is my first primary in my first Presidential election.
From there we stopped by the grocery store, then went on over to Granddaddy's. Mama and I cleaned his bedroom and I heard that I am not a very good duster. (Guilty as charged. Dusting and I are not friends :) ) Anyway, it feels better and looks somewhat better. I also swept the kitchen and spot mopped it. I was taking something out to the car as Daddy and Granddaddy pulled in (Granddad had an eye appointment). At the exact same time, one of the cows, an old one by the name of 'Blah' was voicing her desire for pellets. You only have to listen to this animal's voice once to understand the name.
Shortly thereafter, Mama, Daddy, and I headed out to feed the cows. Well, really, I just went along for the ride. I did grab the gate. As we bounced out the cows gathered round "Maah...Mooo...Mee...Blahh" [depends on which one is talking...some of them have very distinctive voices]. "Come along, babies!" (And yes, we call cows babies...I am unashamed, Granddaddy calls them that!) About the time Daddy was finished dumping out the second 50 lb sack of feed, I noticed something. "Hey, Daddy! There's somebody else's bull!" That started it.
We crept up on him (as much as you can in a noisy truck) and found the hole he'd come in. Of course, bulls are dumb enough not to see the hole that they came through. So Daddy had to go ahead and cut the remaining two wires before charging the animal through. During this time, Napoleon Jr. (Granddaddy's young hot-blooded Charolais bull [by the way, that is pronounced 'char-lay'...it's French, obviously], was pawing dirt and making the squeaky noises that bulls do (it really is ridiculous the sounds that come out of those big, tough animals...definitely shows that God has a sense of humor). The cows on both sides of the fence were excited...and bawling. Then Granddaddy's black bull (he doesn't have a name) came up on the challenge. Daddy told me, "Go charge him like you are going to kill him!" Well, it's a bit scary at first thought; charging a bull that could easily kill you if he had a mind to. However, these animals for the most part are so stupid (thank the Lord!) that they don't realize that you can't really hurt them. So I took off towards him (and I was not wearing shoes that are good for running--particularly in a pasture full of divits and cow manure--I neither fell down nor twisted my ankle, by the way), and as I got closer started hollering like a, well, like a squeaky girl puting on her "boss voice" (I'd be curious to see what it really sounds like?) He stared at me for a minute then turned and ran off. Mama and I ran off a few cows too (she followed them up farther than I did). A little bit later I took off after both bulls yelling something akin to, "Git out of here!" They decided to stay away that time.
The fence got repaired and a new post put in. It is pretty plain to see that 'our' bulls (probably Napoleon Jr.) were the instigators in the incident. There are bull holes developing along the fence row on our side of the fence...
Well, it is getting late and I have been really rambly here :) (Hey, that's why the name is "Racheal's Ramblings", right?) There is a big possiblity that I may not blog tomorrow as we are going to a reenactment! More about that at a later date...
I finally got around to getting the pictures from last weekend...
Savannah and I on a trailer ride.
That's me between the cabbage trees; off to check targets.
That last one is just a random picture of me...it has nothing to do with long-distance rifle shooting.
Yes, my friends, I would like to introduce you to a new website! Sparks of Reformation Productions
has officially launched it's website! It's in it's baby stages at this point so bear with me as I flesh it out some. I really don't suppose I can do much until I get farther along with my documentary. Feel free to give criticism...I'll listen even if I don't adopt sugguestions :)
Ah, yes...the sound of big guns. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Daddy and an old friend of his, Dan, have been planning to do some long range shooting. Today just happened to be the day.
We ate lunch and ran out the door as soon as I got home from taking Granddaddy's lunch to him. We met up with Dan out there in the middle of a sod farming operation and then moved into a pasture to set up. Daddy told me to tie some orange 'tape' to the post of the target contraption that was already there. First thing I did was slice open my finger on a splinter. We got set up at 25 yards (approx.) and first Daddy poked some hole in the cardboard, then Dan (I'm impressed--he's as good as Daddy), and then Savannah. By now, I was pining to throw some lead down range myself, so I asked Savannah if I could shoot her gun. Of course she said yes. I propped up there and took one shot (very well placed if I do say so myself--susprisingly good in fact), and decided that I'd better not shoot any more. My wrist didn't like it :( Oh well. Katherine then proceeded to send lead into her target.
Sometime in here, Mr. Dan's boy showed up with his girlfriend in tow...After he showed off his gun--a Lampua (Daddy will let me know if I spelled that wrong :) I know nothing about this particular weapon other than I think it's ugly, it's expensive, the needed scope is as expensive, and the ammo price is out of this world), we moved back to around 200 yards. Then I turned around and walked all the way back and got in the three foot ditch there in front of the targets and berm in preperation for what I would do the rest of the afternoon--check and mark targets :) That was an adventure in and of its self. Daddy had one radio and I had the other. I would stay hunkered down in the ditch until Daddy said, "Check targets, please." Then I'd hop up and bound up the side of the ditch and run (or walk) over to the target. Once there I would report the shot placement and draw a line through the hole with my Sharpie. Turning around I would jump down into the ditch and go back to my seat--a perfectly shaped out-cropping of sand from the side of the ditch. After a while I got really hot and in need of a drink. As if he could read my mind, just as I was fixing to say, "Daddy, I need a drink", he said, "I'll send somebody down with some water here in a minute." A couple more rounds and Mr. Dan hopped in the back of the 4x4 with a bottle of nice cold water and his son drove down range. I sure was grateful for that water...I was really beginning to need it (I wasn't quite overheated, but I was getting there. I had enough rest between spurts of activity to keep me from overheating too fast. I did get a fine sunburn on my right arm, though.)
Then they moved back to 500 yards. At that range the radios got kind of choppy. After shooting at 500 yards for a while, they came back in to 200 (about the time I let on I was getting hungry--Savannah said that she could tell by my voice--through the radio, mind you!) I can't rememeber when or where...but Daddy said that at one point Savannah made a better group than both he and Dan! Go, Sister!! (Opps...there's my innate feminism coming out.) Daddy was (I mean is) real proud and I'm guessing Mr. Dan wasn't too put out :) There at the end they shot the gongs for a bit. In the last group, I started to wonder, "Who is that awful shot?!" Turns out it was Mr. Dan's son! Oh well...who knows, I might have been missing that much too :)
I'll start with yesterday. Snip did not want to take the bit. After a while of me trying, he decided he was going to lift his head as high as he could and start backing up. Smart...
Because of how I put the bit in his mouth (arm over his head between his ears) and the restriction of my brace, when he lifted his head and backed up I was lifted off my feet and ended up landing on my back with my feet in the air. I'm sure it it looked very funny :) I am very thankful that there is a large sand patch there and that it is nice and soft; otherwise I very likely would have been in a lot of pain. Anyway, I hopped up and after attempting to brush some of the sand out of my brace and hand, I went back to trying to poke that bit in my horse's determined mouth. The next thing I know, I'm being shoved backwards and twisting around to one side! How did that happen!? Believe it or not, when Snip backed up and lifted his head this time, he pulled the post that he was tied to out of the ground! The rope slipped off of it which accounts for the twisting...he was turning, trying to get rid of the metal against his teeth. Needless to say, I was getting somewhat peeved. Two bad days in a row with the bit is not very encouraging.
Today I went out to the pens and snared Snip. After tying him up I went and got the bridle. I usually put the saddle on first, but I wanted to get the bit in as soon as possible and leave it there for as long as possible (training thing). It took a few minutes, but overall, compared to the previous couple of days, he took the bit like a gentleman. Maybe it helped that I sweet-talked him through the entire process :) We actually galloped today. I am pleased with how well I'm holding my seat. By the way, I'm making no bones about hanging on to the saddle horn at this point either. Once he's acting better and I've got my legs back more, I'll probably let up on that 'crutch'. I'm not too keen on the idea of spilling off again:) Particularly since break #1 is still in the healing stage :)
I ate a couple of oranges after we were done while Snip chomped down on his oats. He's so funny...when the food is coming he paces back and forth voicing his desires...I can't spell that noise, sorry. (I can make the noise though...I cannot whinny however; that escapes me.)
Have a lovely evening; I have to go finish doing Grandpa's eye drops.
What is the connection between horses and airplanes (other than a mode of travel)? Just wait and see :)
Sometime around 3:00 yesterday I headed off down the road to 'work Snip'. Snip was already in the pens. (I think he must come for water around that time.) So I grabbed my lead rope and stepped into the pen. He looked at me funny as I clipped the lead onto his bossel (that's a halter with a heavy twisted piece over the nose--supposedly it is to make them pay attention better because it hurts worse when it gets jerked). He was like: "Hey, what's this? Where's the food?" *hee hee*
I lead him out of the pens over to the feed/tack shed and brushed him off before putting the saddle on. Then I slipped the bossel off and started attempting to put the bit in. HA! I must have fought him for at least 15 minutes and got my toes stomped on in the process. I decided that I had better put the bossel back on him and leave him tied up while I put the bit in. That worked, even though I still had to fight him some. I led him over to the gate into the back pasture and tied him up there and started to walk off (I needed to do something else real quick). Well now, that horse doesn't like being tied up without me there, so he started backing up. I heard the noise and turned around...to see that bit hanging out of his mouth!! "What in the world! How'd he do that?" I stamped back over to him and got him calmed down, untied the reigns from the fence post and grabbed hold of the bossel and took him back to the shed. (Oh, yes, I also unhooked the headstall from around his ears.) (By the way, I have heard somewhere, that you should never, ever tie your horse up by the reigns...supposedly you should always carry your lead rope to tie him up with ((this would require always leaving the bossel or halter on)), but since I don't usually do much on/off tying up stuff I've never bothered.)
I plopped down in the doorway to the shed and surveyed the damage...he'd broke the cheek piece. (Actually, I'm not sure that it wasn't already broken.) After trying a few different ways I got it buckled back together. I jerked on it pretty stoutly to make sure it would hold before putting it back in Snip's mouth. Needless to say, he wasn't too keen on the idea. Blah! You will be pleased to note that I only got the tiniest bit irritated at all this. And that was mainly when I was trying to put the bit in the first time around, spinning around and trying to get Snipper's head down and sort of hold it between my knees and get my fingers in his mouth all at the same time :)
Finally, I got on him and we took off for the front pasture...I haven't ridden him in there since I've been back. We did some turning work and 'do what I ask!' work. (You'll notice, if you ever research horse training or listen to a professional talk, that they always 'ask' the horse to do something. If he does what you ask, you 'reward' him. This could be as simple as letting up the pressure. Unfortunately, I forget sometimes.) Because there really isn't quite enough room to do what I wanted, I rode him out of the front pasture and over to the back pasture gate (which I forgot to close when I was done...something you're not supposed to do! By the time I remembered, the cows were already in there.) I had to get off and open the gate (he likes to crowd me sometimes when I'm messing with gates...sometimes he gets popped in the nose by accident). Once I got back on him I had to fight him almost all the way to the back...he wanted to quit, you see :) So I cajoled and kicked (spurs are nice things) and pulled and scolded. This really isn't fun for either of us.
Finally, we got out far enough that I could start really working with him...trot, turn, stop, back up. Repeat. I found myself explaining what and why I was doing something to an imaginary audience. I often talk out loud anyway when I ride so it didn't bother Snip all that much :) I rode for over an hour, I think, and tried to keep my seat and confidence intact. I think that once my legs get stronger again, the confidence that I feel is lacking will return. (I mean, I was galloping all out last spring without the least fear...make that except when turning :) I sometimes was unsure as to how quickly he would respond to the turn signal...)
While I was riding, there were two Cessna's flying about. I waved a couple of times...not knowing whether or not that was Daddy and Granddaddy I was waving at and kept riding. As I was working back towards the pens (I do this slowly so Snip doesn't get immediate gratification...you know, "Oh! We're going in!!" ZIP and we're there. No, that would be bad :] ), I looked up and there was a plane flying low! "It's Daddy!" I janked off my hat and waved. I know that he saw me, because he dipped his wings slightly. Snip was getting ancy and I would have kept waving, but I had to go back to horse control. (The noise my hat makes waving in the air is enough to bother him...his ears go back and start to twitch as he tries to figure out what that noise is.)
I managed to clean Snip's hooves (they need to be trimmed, but I can't do that). One of them had a stick stuck in it so it was a good thing that I did decided to go ahead and clean his feet. It was hilarious...Snip was standing there with his eyes shut, apparently sleeping on his feet while I 'groomed' him. (I don't really consider it grooming...I don't work at it hard enough.) I wore that poor horse out :) Good. He needs it since he's gotten so lazy...
As for me, my left knee hurt when I got off (it was just tired and stiff...I walked it out after a short time). This morning I'm a tad stiff in the back, in a good kind of way. I have to go to therapy today and get more pain inflicted on my hand. Yehaw. But it's good for me so I won't complain :) See you later...
(Soon I'll have to start titling these 1,2,3, etc! I'm not so good at imaginative names sometimes...)
Yesterday therapy hurt...Laurie practically had me in tears because my wrist hurt so bad. I got a few new exercises and keep plugging on with the 'old' ones. After therapy Mama and I went to the Goodwill store. I found a nice Tommy Hilfiger shirt (I love getting expensive clothes at the GW), and Mom found me a nice work shirt that will be useful once it gets hot again :) Everything was 50% off...unlike the store up North, which has a color of the week that is 50% off, this store just puts everything 50% off sometimes. Not as condusive to getting good deals all the time :)
On our way home, we dropped by Granddaddy's with his medicine refill just in time to hop in the truck and feed the cows. Well actually, Mama and I just rode along. Daddy doled out the pellets (I am capable of that...except for right now.) I get a huge kick out of riding on the back of the truck like that. Once I stood up right as we went through a bull hole and started to sit down at the same time the bed of the truck was rising. Believe me, I have never done that again! My tail bone was very unhappy with the situation.
I ran over to Granddaddy's this morning to heat up his lunch and make sure he ate. As usual I slammed the door on my way in so he'd know I was there (he's a bit deaf, ya see), clattered the pans onto the cabinet, and walked around the corner. He was still asleep. Hmm, he's breathing, so I know he's fine. Back into the kitchen...warm up the food...he's still asleep. Back around the corner. Tap...tap...he opens his eyes. "Hey, Granddaddy! You hungry?" *grin* Well, he got up and came to the table while I dished up the food. As he ate I washed up the breakfast dishes...it looked like he had the leftover mustard greens for breakfast. Once he was done eating I washed the lunch dishes and put the leftovers away. Then I sat down to visit for a bit and the next thing I know, I'm vacuuming the Florida Room. The floor around his chair was littered with peanut hull dust and 'papers'. I do not like that DirtDevil vacuum...it sticks to the floor like glue.
I am planning on working Snip today...for that I'll put my brace back on. I haven't had it on since Thursday, so it will be kind of strange to put it on. I will do my exercises once I get home :)
P.S. Added something to the articles page...you don't have to read it if you don't want to. I won't be offended :)
Last night we went to a free concert. The group performing was "Caribbean Sound
", a five man group. Three of the members play the steel drums, or 'pans'. One man plays the lead pan and double seconds (a two pan set played at once). His son also plays the double seconds (which have a slightly deeper pitch). The other pan player plays a three drum set called 'triple guitar'. They explained the names of them all (including the number of notes they have) and gave a short history of the development of the steel drum (in a very humorous, visual, and audial manner). Then there was the lead vocalist who also plays bass guitar (or maybe that should be, the bass guitar player who is also the main vocalist). And last, but not least, there was the "engine room"--the man who plays the drum set. They explained why he's the engine room--some of these steel drum bands are so large that it gets very, very loud and everybody is playing different--rhythms, I guess--so they put the drummer (or precussionists) in the middle and they make a circle about him. Thus, the term "engine room" because he's the guy who keeps the beat and every body follows him--he drives them so to speak and keeps them together. All the members played precussion instruments of some sort other than their 'pans' and drum set. They were really good and highly entertaining. I love the steel drums...the sound so awesome! (Mom remarked as we were leaving, "Wouldn't hymns sound wonderful on the steel drum?" We all had to agree.)Therapy hurt today (as did yesterdays) but I got through it :) I have a lovely stack of paper with exercise instructions written on it. I also got my own jar of 'theraputty' for hand-strengthening. It is kind of like silly-putty, if you're familiar with that, only thinner somehow. Yee-haw! I'm all set for self-inflicted pain! Go me! (That sounds so stupid!!)
I think I'm feeling punchy, so I'd better get off of here...
Good afternoon...while it is only early afternoon, it feels more like late afternoon to me. I don't think that really has much to do with getting up an hour earlier than usual, but the fact that I worked all morning. We worked Granddaddy's cows this morning. Since we forgot to get a final head count (we'll do that when we work them in the spring), I don't know how many he has right now but I can tell you he is down from the usual 50 head count.
First things first, after everyone (D, S, K, and I) had eaten breakfast and had our coffee (not necessarily in that order--I drank my coffee on the way to Granddad's though), we headed the three miles over to Granddaddy's place where he was waiting for us. While Granddaddy got into the truck, Daddy started up the tractor. I grabbed the gate, then hopped into the back of the truck (Savannah was in the cab and Katherine was in the back with me). Once we got to the trap, I jumped out of the truck to open the gate. By the time I got it shut and was ready to get back in the truck, Granddaddy had already taken off and started pushing the cows towards the pens! (Daddy told me on the way home, "I really didn't mean for him to leave you stranded like that.") At first I tried to catch up with the truck, but soon changed course and started pushing cows between Daddy on the tractor and Granddaddy in the truck. Now, I'll be honest, I'm no runner so by the time we got to the place where the trap starts to narrow, I was starting to get tired. (Also, running in boots and cow-patties isn't necessarily the easiest.) Daddy hollered at me over the roar of the tractor to get on the back (or if he didn't I got the point...he might have just motioned...can't remember for sure). I did. Hee, hee. I bet it was a sight, me standing on that bar off the back with one foot, the other one on the platform that the seat is attached to, hugging the back of the seat. (Oh, yes. I had forgotten this part--I had a jacket on, which came off as soon as I started running and I stuffed that down between Daddy and the seat.) We were tailing "Blah" (so-named for her voice) pretty closely. She's an old cow and she wanted to walk--slowly; Daddy got her hurried up after a while. Once we got to the pens, I closed the gate on them (I'd hopped off the tractor again once we got close to the pens) and then jumped in the back of the truck, ready to head back down the trap, open gates and then head back to the pens.
Granddaddy stayed outside the pens this year. While it's sad to not see him working the hopper gate, it really is best. He just isn't stable enough. So, Daddy did Granddaddy's job--working the hopper gate. Savannah did my usual job, working the 'beef' gate. (When the guy in the hopper holler's "Beef!" the beef gate is swung open, allowing the calf/cow into the 'beef' pen...these are the animals that are going to market.) I was down in the pens, herding cattle from this holding pen into the next one (Daddy helped during this juncture--er, I should say, I helped). We 'beefed' (that's not a real word to my knowledge) 16 calves. We saved a red heifer out in exchange for our calf who got put over there on Saturday. We've alread named her 'Strawberry'. Maybe she will tame up nicely. After loading up the calves and getting some of the cattle out of the pens, Daddy and I shifted about half of the remaining cows into the beef pen--Moonbat being the target. After that, Daddy, Granddaddy, and Savannah took the calves to market. I usually go along to market, but Daddy told me to stay this time and let Savannah go so she could see how the livestock market operates. So, Katherine and I stayed and ended up watching Fess Parker as "Daniel Boone".
They stopped at Burger King on the way back (tradition, ya know) and got coffee (they brought K and I one to split) which we drank on our way back out to the pens. That was kind of funny...we both got coffee mustaches because of the bumps :) Next order of business--removing Moonbat's horns.
Yikes! It took Daddy a bit to get her horns caught with the chain...and at that he ended up chaining one horn up at a time. (By the way, the only reason for the chains is to keep the animals head fairly stationary--fairly being the key word in that sentence.) While he was sawing off the first horn, Granddaddy had ahold of the other one. Since he's unstable and she was upset and tossing her head some, I went behind Granddaddy and by the end of that first horn, I had a grip on him. I held him up at least once (I'm not sure I didn't actually pull him back some). The second horn was a bit more trouble and poor Daddy looked like he'd been gored or something because of the blood all over him. The front of both pant legs were red and one stream of blood was hitting him in the armpit...kind of looked like he'd been wounded. Moonbat also managed to get blood all over his hat, glasses, and face.
We were ready to let her go. Granddaddy would not come inside the pens but he did move back a little and poised himself in such a way that if she charged he could attempt to climb the fence. I stood in front of him (after all I could stand another broken bone better than he could at this juncture in life) and ordered Katherine, "Give me my hot shot!" which she kindly and obligingly passed through the slats. I was ready to hop up the fence and start kicking Moonbat in the face and jabbing her with my mini-hot shot and yelling at the top of my lungs. Thankfully, at soon as she was released, she took off and didn't attempt to bother anyone.
After taking care of Moonbat, we branded and ear marked Strawberry. (Okay, so
Daddy branded and ear marked her. I did hang on to her tail during the branding
process though and got a not-so-unsual knuckle barking into the deal.) We backed
her out of the squeeze chute (old thing needs some work) and I ran her into the
trailer and Savannah shut the door on her.
Then we cleaned up...I picked up Moonbat's horns (I believe Daddy plans on making us a hat rack), Katherine got the gas bottle, and Savannah grabbed the branding irons. Daddy drove the tractor back to the house and the rest of us rode in the truck--Granddaddy driving. Both times he got behind the wheel today, he forgot to put the truck into gear before hitting the accelarator. Once we got back to the house, we unloaded the truck and then went in and fed Granddaddy lunch. Then we came home.
Once here we unloaded Strawberry and Daddy washed out the trailer (always a good thing to do...makes the floor boards last longer). Then we ate lunch; after some of us cleaned up that is.
Daddy just got back from the feedstore. It looks like he got pellets and 3-4 bales of hay. We have to feed the animals now because there is no grass at present because it froze last week. We need rain and it looks like there might be a chance today. I hope it rains. It will help the grass come back.
Strawberry (That's Snowflake in the background with her newly nubbed off horns).