I don't normally do this, but I though that this article is worth the read. It isn't very long, but it sure is a nice smack in the face for our lazy "me" centered culture. It was brought to my attention this morning, during a conversation on stubborness, by a new aquaintance on Google+. 

    Read it...and pass it on if you like.


Howdy! I finally got the other garage done today. I didn't do it yesterday because of the rain...duh, right?

I didn't see an awful lot of spiders, and most of the ones I did see (and killed, of course) were fairly small or just those little specks running across the floor. Believe me, you learn to tell the difference between dirt and spiders pretty quick under the circumstances!

I was about a quarter of the way done when I look to the east and see the cows coming, Captain Abraham leading the charge. Literally. They were running. Then they stood there and mooed at me on and off for the rest of the afternoon. Sillys.

When I came back over here, I loaded two sacks of feed into the back of the truck and sprinted into the house to get Savannah to come drive for me--and to pick up the matches. I was going to burn the trash I'd brought over from our place. (Which included three cans of Grandma's that had spoiled--they blew up in the fire and scared the black bull pretty good.)

We headed out and on the way I thought I saw the water trough with water pouring out of it. (Again!) I decided I'd take care of that post feeding the cows. Once we had fed them, Savannah drove to the burn pit and turned the engine off, then went in to make our supper. I got the trash burning and moved the truck closer to the water tank, removed my boots and socks, and rolled up my pant legs. Then I got my feet wet looking at the tank. There was a proverbial hole in the dyke all right. About an inch, inch and half down from the lip of the tank was this 1/4 inch hole out of which the water was just pouring. Hmmm...I improvised by sticking a random piece of cloth (have no idea what it was doing in the pasture) into it with a stick.

I wandered off while the bull got a drink and talked to Savannah a bit--she'd come out of the house. I think she was worried that the bull was feeling aggressive. (He wasn't, he had just gotten scared by that exploding can and started dancing.) She asked if the hole would need welding...of the top of my head I said, "Yeah." (Neither one of us know how to weld.)

After the bull left the water trough I went back and gauged the hole. I had had a thought...what would Daddy do? The answer had come almost as soon as the vague thought. A bolt, of course!! (Right along with that goes a snort of disgust--"I don't suppose there will be the right sized bolt--if I can even find one!--in the barn.")

Well, turns out that there was the right sized bolt and washers in the barn. So, I cinched that down pretty tight. If I remember, I'll go check it tomorrow and see if it still seeping. If so, I 'll tighten it a bit more.

I love being practical! :D


I figure that's an okay title since it's where it all ended up.

This morning, after blogging, I played my guitar for little bit, put together a short video (which I haven't put up on YouTube yet), ate lunch and got ready to go to town.

My first stop was Bryan's. The plan was to get a roll of hay, take it over to our place, drop it off, and start working in the garage. Well, as is not totally uncommon when I have my day planned to a 'T', things didn't work out that way. Mr. Scott was out of cow hay!! He told me he'd have some more in, in about an hour. I told him I'd be back then and started to leave. About half way out of the building, I hit the breaks and swung around almost laughing. "Well, since I'm here, I'll go ahead and get a bale of horse hay!" I got the local stuff--$8. I think that's a pretty good deal.

I figured I might as well bound over to Smith's and get the pellets for the next week. I called Daddy once I was sitting in the parking lot (it would have been fool-hardy to call him on the road--there is no way I could have heard him. The wind was honking!!) and got a few things straight. Anyhow, I got 18 bags of feed. I drove around back and "Drummer Dude" come out along with another feller I've seen once before (as of today I think I'll dub him "Frayed Hat").

Drummer grins, "How ya doin'?" (By now most of the guys who work out there know me--as in facial recognition. As far as I know, none of them know my name--which is fine! :D) "Oh, pretty good." "You got 18 bags?" I nod. "That's an odd number," (said with another grin). [So, technically, it's actually an even number--but I knew what he meant!] Drummer Dude and Frayed Hat go to pitching the bags into the back of the truck. Ol' Freckle Face (the red-headed kid I haven't seen since mid-summer) strolls up and watches them, looking kind of bored in the process. Once there about 9 bags in the truck, I hop into the back and start hauling some of them further in. Then Drummer Dude starts pitching them back there, so I just stay out of the way.

It was kind of funny, but the last two bags landed almost simulaneously at the same spot--only Drummer's was first. He and Frayed Hat looked at each other and laughed and Frayed said, "You beat me to it!" I then jumped out of the truck and gave the boys a cheerful "Thank-you!" before climbing into the cab and driving away.

I came home, unloaded 14 bags and the bale of hay, and after a brief run into the house (during which Savannah and Granddaddy arrived home from his chiropractor appointment), I was off again--first to drop off the remaining 4 bags at our place, then to town!

First stop, Auto Zone. I've been needing new windshield wipers for a while now and as it looked like rain threatening, I went ahead and dropped in the auto parts store. I went in and looked at blades; standing next to a man doing the same thing. After a little bit, he wandered off and was just standing there, so I went up to him and asked, "Do you work here?" (I thought maybe he did.) He said, "No." We talked just a little bit. Seems he didn't know any better than I did which blades he needed! Anyway, it was a friendly exchange. I was going to wait and see if I could talk to a sales rep, but after the man went out, then came back in with one of his wipers in his hand, I laughed and said, "I think I'll do that too!"

I'm glad I had a flat-head screw-driver floating around in the truck because it helped me pop off the blade (my knife would have worked just as well though). I took it in and picked out the right kind of blade. As I was fixing to check out, the rep asked me about the vehicle in order to make sure I had the correct blades. Well, I did; only, I had the 24 mm (what was on it); but according to his database (he even went out and checked the truck to see what year it was and what attachment it had on the wiper arm), I needed the 18mm ones. I learned something; he said if you have blades that are too long for your vehicle it can cause them to not work sometimes! Which just might explain why I have had trouble with the wipers working in the past....

As I was putting the new windshield wipers on, I discovered that the right one was different from the left one (I replaced both, even though only the left one was stripped.) Anyhow, they match now. Due to my hight and the angle, I ended up crawling up and sitting on the hood (I did not bend it in!!) in order to change the right one. I was busy trying to remove it when a couple people walked by--they were black (I only tell you this so you can get the right voice in your head)--and the lady in the back was having fun. :) She called out to me, "Ride it, cowgirl!" (I had boots and spurs and hat on--the 'cowgirl' look.) I looked up at her and just grinned real big while laughing under my breath. A minute or so later, she called again, "I'm just having fun." I don't remember if I nodded back at her or not, but I was grinning and laughing, so I hope she knew I wasn't offended--it really did amuse me.

Anyway, once I was done replacing my windshield wipers I was ready to head back to Bryan's. I ended up going almost out of town before I got turned around. (The main reason being the semi that was behind me in the other lane.) I pulled into Bryan's--the hay was there, still on the truck (which was still running--diesel, you know). As I turned my engine off, the Hispanic guy who works there drove by on the fork-lift. He gave me something of a two-fingered wave and nod. I figured he was going for my roll of hay (he had been standing behind me leaning on a pallet of--dog food, I think--while the discussion about hay had been going on earlier in the day.) He was and I think it was already loaded by the time I had it paid for. I strapped it down (because I feel safer and more confident with it strapped down--even though it really isn't necessary) and headed off to dump it.

I am so glad I changed the windshield wipers, because I needed them! :D It didn't pour while I was driving, but I still needed them. I got to our place, set up to unload and it really started to rain. In between sitting in the cab and goofing off in the rain, I finally got the tailgate down (it sticks sometimes). Once the tailgate was down, I cut the netting on the roll and started pushing and heaving. Well, what with the wet hay, wet plastic bed liner, wet rubber boot soles (that have no tred indentation left), I almost didn't get it off. I think without the help of that short board I might not have gotten it.

I was soaked and covered in hay stubble. Oh well...wet kids can drive down the road as well as dry ones.  Just don't let the water dripping off the back of your hat onto you back bother you....

Needless to say, I didn't de-spider the garage today. Perhaps tomorrow. :)


Well, now that Christmas is over, (or at least the first half of it), it's time for me to dump the clutch and get to some serious work. I'll be starting that by getting a space cleared out in the barn for me to deposit the feed bags, getting hay for my itty-bitty herd, and de-spidering the garage across the creek. That is today's battle plan.

After that come booder building, coop building (I have to have this stuff ready by the last week in January), fence work, barn cleaning (I want to get the tack room cleaned out so I can use it as a tack room/feed room), and whatever else pops up maintenance-wise. I'd better have the mower fixed before spring, too. :)

When I putter through town to get hay, I think might stop at Tractor Supply and see what they charge for water troughs (or maybe I ought to just build some large wooden boxes for my brooders? I'll talk to Daddy about that later...) and compare with Byran's and Smith's. I much prefer giving my business to the feed stores because they are locally owned and operated rather than being a chain, but sometimes Tractor Supply might be cheaper. (Speaking of which...I wonder when they are going to put the Ariat boots on sale again...mine are getting plumb worn out. Even marked down though they still cost upwards of $50-$60...) Anyway, if I decide to build wooden boxes, I'll get my lumber at Do-it-Best. I will also need heat lamps (Do-it-Best), water tanks (those cost pretty much the same thing at all Bryan's, Smith's, and Tractor Supply--I've already looked), chick feeders, and of course feed.) And of course, I will need chicken wire.

Also on my list of things to do it oiling my saddle (and my boots). On top of that, Snip needs to be ridden. And that's just the outside stuff. Indoors I need to transfer video files and start working on my Cow Cavalry project again. I need to take this computer in and get the promised mega-hard-drive put in...

Oh, and let's not forget the usual suspects--the dirty dishes sitting on the counter right now screaming to be washed.

I'd better get to work...see ya later!


P.S. I wonder how much of this I can get done before Mama and Katherine get down... :D They are coming down for a couple weeks--once that big ol' snowstorm passes them! Yay!
Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas!! I'll hold off on the Happy New Years wishes until a bit later. ;)  This Christmas has turned out to be better than I expected.

Christmas or no Christmas, certain chores (for lack of a better word) must be taken care of. That is why 9 am found me in the Saturn heading across the creek to feed my cows. I had to holler a bit to let the three youngest cows know I was there. As soon as Prancy heard me, she started bellowing and running along the fence line. Soon, Snowflake and Strawberry arrived, tailed by little ol' crooked mouth. I really think there is nothing wrong with that calf other than her mouth is misshapen. Did you know, but cows are totally illogical? They must run the next animal off the feed piles, when, if they stayed put, they would get the same food...

I came home and fed myself; then of course, I washed the dishes. Dishes wait for no man...they must be done.

We 'did' Christmas with the family over Skype. I think Granddaddy found it somewhat amusing.
It didn't take overly long, but I think it was sufficent. Savannah got me several cross-stitch patterns--all lighthouses. I like lighthouses, do you? She also gave me a nice box (shaped like a book) that I can carry my hair-stuff and pins in when we reenact. She has one and I guess she heard me making some comment that I needed one, too. :D She also gave me a pretty ring and bracelet, as well as a little memo pad and a couple pens. (Uni-ball! My favorites!!)

I didn't get Savannah too much, but everything I did get her was practical or reenacting oriented. But you can see pictures here...

Up in Indiana, Katherine got her own camera...maybe that means she'll update her photo blog more frequently. ;D Daddy told me what they were 'getting' me. I'm supposed to take my computer in and get the biggest hard-drive that will fit put in it and have all my softwear 'migrated' onto it. Yay!! Now, I just have to do it. That's up to me.

We have a lovely lunch of salad and steak. (Rare--just the way I like it!) Granddaddy didn't have any salad, but he did have a potato and some avacado with his steak. :D

Now, I'm not sure what we are going to do with the rest of the day, but I hope we can pull out the ol' guitar and fiddle and play some of Andrew's music. (Google+ friend.) A couple months ago he asked if anybody was interested in getting copies of some of his tunes and I said yes (along with several other folks.) Later, his brother put the songs up and I printed them off and hid them to give to Savannah for Christmas! :D

Right now, we're on Skype again with Indiana where Grandpa and Grandma are opening their presents. Grandpa looks SO much better than he did! I popped in and asked, "How you doing, Grandpa?" and he looked over at the computer and retorted, "How do I look?" You don't know how that thrills me...he's his own sassy self again! :D
This isn't a great picture...but it'll work. ;)
Seeing as we thought he was fixing to die earlier in the year, it is good to see him sitting up and opening Christmas presents at the age of 90. :)

I guess I'll go ahead and say adios for now...I need to clean the wrapping paper up in the Florida room and wash the dishes...

Merry Christmas, folks!


Drum roll please....

*pauses, hand to ear, until she hears a stirring drum roll*


I am pleased to announce the Rebel Gray Socketeer webite!!!

Please check it out and tell me what you think. I only have two pairs of socks listed at the moment, but I'm well on my way to getting the first sock of the third pair completed. :) I'm really enjoying this knitting stuff.

The other day, one of our visitors asked me how long it took me to make a sock. I kind of laughed and said, "Well, that depends on how much TV I watch!"

Now, I just need to talk to Mrs. K about putting them in her sutlery...I don't think she'll have any problem with that at all. (Maybe I'd better figure out some nice tag thingy before Brooksville! :D)


Merry Christmas, everybody!! I'm pleased to say that I almost feel like Christmas. We had a two day cool snap over the weekend which helped. :) It also helps that I just got all my stuff wrapped and poked under our antique Christmas tree. It looks rather measly, but I'm used to have 7 people's things under the tree instead of only three.

The above mentioned cold snap has brought on the winter feeding routine. Yesterday morning I stepped out of the house, pleased with the fact that I needed a jacket, to be greeted by the smell of burnt plant matter. (That is frost bitten kind of burnt. ;P) I already was planning on going across the creek to feed my cows, but upon seeing the state of the grass (it looked like snow), I knew I really needed to go feed them. Wednesday I will be doing my feed-store routine.

Upon my arrival at our place this morning, I was greeted eagerly by all five head (the calf was on the other side of the house). Soon they were running each other off the pellets like their normal greedy selves. Socks is roping some, but she is no where near ready to have her calf. However, I'm not concerned because we learned with old Poky (I miss that cow!), that they fool you with their roping. As far as I can tell Socks is the only one of my four cows who is pregnant.
I'm not exactly sure how we are going to do Christmas Eve (we usually do a semi-fancy dinner--but I don't know if Savannah is planning on that); nor Christams day for that matter. I think this is going to be one of the most different Christmases ever.

Here's a few pictures of us taken yesterday, before we headed off to church...
I was standing funny so the top of the tree could be seen--and it still looks like it got chopped off! :D
My BE-U-TIFUL sister...
I've had those shoes since I was 12 when Mama bought them for me at the PX in Arizona. Obviously, my feet haven't grown much!!
Savannah's lovely hat. (This is one of my favorites.)
Have a Merry, Merry, Christmas!!!


What? I haven't posted since Monday?? Gracious. Please forgive me...

Tuesday we went to visit cousin Butch. That was fun and Granddaddy even said he'd do it again sometime! That was kind of unexpected because it's a good long haul to Butch's.

This afternoon, I watched an old 1944 movie called "The White Cliffs of Dover" (I wasn't feeling so great). I don't think you could exactly classify it as a war movie or really a romance. It was a Drama more than anything about a woman who loses her husband in WWI and her son in WWII. It was fairly good and it made me cry. I had a feeling the young man was going to die--but what really made me cry was the final sentiment (it was reapeated I think three times, but not unnaturally so), "We must never break faith with our dead again." THAT is what made me weep. For, almost 70 years later, that is what we (our nations--both English and American), have done. We have broken faith with those dead, dying to keep us from the grips of communistic, socialist, facist governments. We have fallen prey to the very clutches they DIED to keep us out of. Why? Well, part of the blame can be laid on them (that pains me to say that--I hate saying anything bad about my beloved WWII vets!), but it goes even further back--to their parents who let things slip. The acedemia also is greatly to blame and I don't know who's fault it is that no one noticed or took it seriously.

I finished the movie and had a little cry...not just over the sadness of the tale (it actually ended on a hopeful note even as the boy dies) but over the state of our land and how it must grieve those veterans still alive who are truely aware of what is going on now. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too strongly patriotic. Anything and everything that messes with my country infuriates and/or saddens me.

Anyway, now that I got that out of my system... :) Have a lovely evening!


Episode 3 of James and Burke has been posted over at 'Stories By Racheal'! So far, I haven't really heard any feedback on it...I suppose that means it's okay.

This morning (and early afternoon) I de-spidered and pretty well cleaned the garage here. I didn't find an awful lot of spiders, but I did have some of those light brown 2" diameter spidy's streak off. (I killed all three of them eventually.) Those kind of made me jump, but honestly, I think they were more terrified of me than I was scared of them! I swept the garage, stacked boxes, cleaned out the whole summer's worth of sweet-feed sacks (I ended up burning them all since they were molding and several had been used like a litter box when Mama Cat holed her last batch of kittens up in the garage), and wondered at the number of egg cartons we have. Those are all neatly stacked on the shelf. I was surprised that there weren't more spiders around them than there were.

I did not take the fabric (in bags) that Aunt T has put there off the shelf. I did get to thinking though that Savannah and I ought to go through it. It would be better to put it someplace else less...spidery.

I didn't get too creeped out, but I did keep getting the shivers. However, I think that was more because I was sweating and kept going in and out of the shade and then there was a nice little breeze blowing...besides the fact that I was probably on the verge of dehydration. Once I realized that I went and got something to drink.

I also semi-organized a few other things. I'm pleased to say that it looks and feels somewhat better out there than it did when I started. I also aired up the flat tire on the golf cart. I'm just going to have to keep airing it up so it doesn't crack worse. I don't use it much, so it just sits there. (I use it like a saddle rack!)

Anyway, I'm glad I got that done. I'm not particularly looking forward to doing our place across the creek, but I think it needs it worse than this place did (spider-wise; it certainly doesn't have near as much dirt in it because the door isn't stuck in the up position!) However, that will have to wait til later in the week because tomorrow we are going to visit cousin Butch...and then Wendesday I have a chiropractor appointment. (My back has done really good since the last trip...I don't think it has actually hurt me though I have felt it be just on the verge of 'going out' a couple times. It has tended to feel rather stiff down there when I get up though. I think that is because of the horse riding--not an everyday occurance.)

Anyway, that's what I did early today. Since then I've been writing or editing (James and Burke)...you know, it takes a while to take an on-average 5-8 page 'script' and turn it into story format. More time than I expected....'tis fun though and I love writing stories!





I haven't done much today...I've been dragging all day.

This afternoon, around 1:40, the livestock sheriff showed up to take a peek at what I suspected might have been tire tracks in the pasture. (I noticed them yesterday while riding Snip.) He's got a nice truck. It's a white, king-cab Dodge. Anyway, we rode out and walked around some. I think he agreed with me that they looked kind of like tire tracks. He did tell me that he recently learned/found out/was surprised by the fact that tire marks can sometimes still be around a month after they were made. (Personal story of his.)

After coming back to the house, and Mr. B leaving, I went into town and bought a roll of hay for my cows. They were glad to see it. :) I don't know, but they might look just a hair fatter than last time I saw them. Not much, but maybe just at tiny bit--and every little bit is an encouragement as they look pretty awful.

This sound very dry and not very engaging at all, doesn't it? I literally feel like I'm falling asleep--but being the time of day it is--there is no way that is actually going to happen.

So, cheerio, until next time!