Friday, November 27, 2009

I learned a very important Thanksgiving lesson this year. A wonderful meal and a memorable day have absolutely nothing to do with table decorations or a fully equipped kitchen. It's not as much about total organization as it is about total devotion. I had the rare opportunity to watch a perfect meal unfold in a setting that would have sent a seasoned, more mature couple into therapy. A perfectly choreographed dance couldn't have been more beautiful to watch. A meal to remember. An unforgettable day. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Davis for inviting us to share in your first Thanksgiving dinner in your first home. Love you both!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Indian summer has come to the creek. A beautiful day to throw open the windows and soak in the sunshine. A day not so conducive to deer hunting, I'm told. The deer prefer the cooler weather and evidently the hunters prefer sitting in their stands shivering in layers of cammo waiting for that elusive trophy buck to show himself. I have a theory that as hunting has evolved and the need to hunt for food has made way for the need to hunt for sport, that the deer have done their own study of the hunter. In this age of technology, with automatic feeders and motion activated cameras to track the movement of the prey, the deer are becoming more intelligent. My reasoning behind this theory? I'm 99% sure that I saw the beautiful 12 point buck in the photograph winking and sticking his tongue out at the camera. While the hunters are sitting in their tree stands waiting for him to show up, I really think he's sitting behind them, just out of their line of sight, snickering a little bit. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see another picture of him at 2AM, looking at the camera winking and sticking his tongue out. "C'mon Mr. Hunter, roll on out of bed at 5AM, climb up into that contraption you have hanging in the tree. I'll be watching, waiting and occasionally napping until you're gone!" But, just in case that elusive buck slips up and walks into the path of my hunters, I've cleared out a spot in the freezer!

My man and my man child are sharing in this experience. I'm enjoying seeing them bond. I'm enjoying spending time with my soldier. I'm savoring this time, hoping to tuck enough memories away to keep me going while he's gone.

Blessings from the creek, y'all!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wow! It's fall! I've been a naughty blogger. I've neglected my blog. I've not neglected my blogger buddies, though. I've been sneaking in to check on you when time permits.

It was a busy summer here at the creek. Work, animals, renovations on the house, spending time with my soldier boy . . . . my plate has been full. There are just not enough hours in the day any more and I spend less and less time on the computer.

It's hard to believe we've been here at the creek for over a year now. Time has flown by so fast. So many changes. So many lessons learned. So many firsts. All the trials and joys that come with farm life. We've been tested. We've been blessed.

My son finished his basic training and AIT and just as he was getting ready to settle in to going to school and finding a job he found out that his Guard unit was being deployed in January. He'll be heading off for the mid East as a medic. I'm terrified. I'm anxious. I'm proud. I'm a mom. He'll always be my little boy.

There are so many things I could say. So many stories I could tell, but for now I'll leave you with this thought. . . . Two years ago when we began this journey, we were bound FOR Kentucky. Now, as a wise friend pointed out to me, we are bound TO Kentucky.

Blessings and hugs from the creek y'all!


P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I tried, I failed. I'm technologically challenged!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Chasin' away the blue . . . . . . .

I've got the blues! The ugly, dirty, full of nail holes, far from soothing color of blue paint on the wall blues!

My son will be coming home next weekend after being gone far too long. He graduates AIT in San Antonio next Friday then he'll be jetting in to Knoxville Airport Friday night to stay at the farm with us for a few days before heading back to Florida to set up his new apartment in the Tampa area with a buddy of his. Being a mom, I want things to be perfect for him when he gets here so I decided to fix up our small bedroom especially for him ~ a place he can call his own when he's here. Problem is . . . it's got the blues! The ugly, dirty, full of nail holes, far from soothing color of blue paint on the walls blues! My mission today is to fill in all the nail holes (evidently the former owners never heard of a stud finder or spackle because there are dozens and dozens and dozens . . . . ) and at least get a coat of primer on the walls.

Wish me luck because now I'm finding that not only do I have the ugly, dirty, full of nail holes, far from soothing color of blue paint on the walls blues, but I also have the middle of renovation, nothing is were it belongs, can't find what I need B~L~U~E~S!!!!!!

Blessings from the creek!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Is there anyone out there who can explain WHY a seemingly sane person who is in the midst of trying to simplify her life by taking bags full of clothing to share with friends or boxes of nick-knacks to sell at the flea market will trudge through the pasture and up the hill to drag an old rusty bed spring down to the yard to use as a trellis against an ugly old shed? Is there an explanation? Is it an illness? Is it a sign of being a true "junque-a-holic"?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

then commit to what remains.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

PIcTUre tHIs . . . .

On Thursday, April 16 (my birthday no less) I became the proud. . . um. . . grand heifer?! of a beautiful bouncing baby calf born to one of our newest family members (she's only been here for about 3 months or so), "Wild Thing". Wild thing is black with a white face and got her name not from the fact that she is mean, but because she is very skittish around people. We think she may have been abused at one point or was possibly through one too many auctions where she was moved along by the dreaded cattle prod. At any rate, Thursday we noticed her all alone on the upper pasture when all the other four legged residents of the pasture had come down for supper. Upon close inspection, we noticed something moving beside her. Hubby and I hopped on the four-wheeler and rode up to meet our new addition. Of course we couldn't get too close, but we were close enough to see a mini "Wild Thing" (looking just like mama except wearing "sun glasses") staying very close to its mama. We were a little concerned about leaving them by themselves on the upper pasture because of the coyotes living up on the mountain, but there was no way we could get close enough to mama and baby to coax them down.

Friday evening, we looked up and noticed that Lily (our black Angus heifer) was on the upper pasture limping. "Wild Thing" was bellowing and from where we were we couldn't see "Mini". Once again, we hopped on the four wheeler and raced up to see what was going on. Lily was sure enough favoring her front left leg like she'd been hurt. "Wild Thing" was still bellowing and there was no sign of "Mini". Of course we imagined the worst - coyotes - and were devastated. "Wild Thing" was pacing back and forth in front of the fence and actually let us get within a few feet of her before she ran off. On the other side of the barbed wire fence was "Mini". We couldn't tell at first if she was dead or alive and you can't begin to imagine our joy and relief when she opened up her eyes and looked at us. She had evidently scooted underneath the fence sometime during the day. Hubby was able to climb the fence and get to her. If you've ever tried to pick up a calf, you might appreciate what my poor hubby went through. That sleepy little innocent thing, not much more than 24 hours old, turned into the Tasmanian Devil - all hooves and legs. She (we were able to determine by that time that she is a she) was hollering for mama. Mama was hollering for her. Hubby was trying his best to get her restrained (all we had with us on the four-wheeler were a couple of bungee cords) so he could get her over the fence and I was standing there not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

We finally got her back over the fence and decided this would be the best time to take mama and baby down to the lower pastures where it would be safer for them. :Picture this. Me on the back of the four-wheeler, "Mini" draped across my lap sandwiched between me and hubby, and "Wild Thing" running around like a . . . well, like a wild thing. We decided to put them in the smaller pasture we'd re-seeded after we sold the horses. It would be safer and they'd be separated from the rest of the family for a while. Great idea! Right? Weeeeeeeell . . . . Hubby dropped "Mini" and me off in the small pasture and then went back to coax "Wild Thing" in there with us. He had no sooner pulled away than "Mini" started to look for a way to escape. Not to worry, there was no way she could get away. Right? WRONG!

Picture this. "Mini" managed to make her way to the drainage ditch at the end of the pasture quicker than you'd imagine something that young could make it anywhere. Of course she found the one place that the fence was high enough at the bottom that she could wiggle under. I grabbed her hind legs and tried to pull her back, but she was faster, stronger and evidently much smarter than me because she managed to get away in 2 seconds flat. I hollered for hubby, but he couldn't hear me so I did what I had to do and went after her.

Picture this. OK, the calf got through the fence, so it couldn't be that hard. Right? Evidently fur is much more forgiving with barbed wire than fabric, because I managed to get stuck on the barbed wire in 2 places. I swear "Mini" turned around and laughed at me before she kicked up her heels and took off running down the road. Gracie didn't know what to do. I couldn't get her to go find hubby, so I told her to follow the calf, which she did! So . . . "Mini" is running down the road with Gracie following her, I'm trying to get unstuck from the fence and hubby is across the fields oblivious to anything but getting "Wild Thing" up to her baby. I finally managed to get unstuck and started running after Gracie and "Mini".

:Picture this. A black and white calf running down the road with a red hound dog following her and an out of shape middle aged woman in red scrub pants and flowered scrub top (I hadn't been home from work for very long when this whole thing started so I hadn't changed my clothes) several hundred feet behind them. Every time I closed in. "Mini" kicked it into high gear and ran a little faster. Gracie finally gave up and sat down on the side of the road and watched me chase "Mini". About ten miles down the road - OK, OK, it was only about 1/4 mile, but it seemed like ten miles to me - I managed to catch up to the Tasmanian devil calf. I got my arm around her neck and got her turned around just as a pick-up truck came down the road. I pulled her off to the side of the road and tried to get the guy in the truck to stop and help but he just waved and drove on by. The good Lord put a log on the side of the road just for such an occasion so I sat down on the log with my arm still around "Mini's" neck and tried to figure out what the heck to do next. Gracie showed up about then and I was able to get her collar off of her and on to "Mini" so I'd have something to hold on to while we headed back for the farm. About that time a car came down the road with a lady and her teenage daughter in it. They thought my big black dog had been hit by a car and I was sitting along side the road with it. They stopped to see if they could help. Picture the looks on their faces when they realized that my big black dog was actually a day old calf. I asked them if they could go back up to my house and see if they could find hubby and send him up to help me. The teenager stayed to help me hang on to "Mini" and the wonderful woman went off in search of hubby.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, hubby had come back to the small pasture and found us missing. He didn't now where in the world we had gotten to so he looked all over the pastures and then decided to look up the road. He went as far as the hill in front of our neighbor's house and turned around because he didn't think there was any way we could have gotten any further. He went back the other direction and when he didn't find us there, he headed back to the farm. That's where the nice lady found him and told him where we were. He got to where we were, thanked the nice lady and her daughter, and helped me figure out how to get "Mini" back to her mama.\

"Mini wanted nothing to do with getting back on to the four-wheeler, so since she had Gracie's collar on, I hooked one of the bungee cords to the collar like a leash and off we went. Picture this. A day old calf wearing a dog collar being led down the road by a middle aged lady in red pants and flowered top holding a bungee cord follwed by a guy on a four wheeler and a hound dog bringing up the rear. About half way home, "Mini" decided she was going to try to head back the other direction, got scared by the four-wheeler and the hound dog, had to be wrestled to the ground by the lady in the red pants and flowered top becuase the bungee cord was wrapped around her legs and ended up back on the four-wheeler draped across my legs, sandwiched between hubby and me. We finally made it back to the farm, reunited "Mini" with "Wild Thing" and this middle aged lady in the red pants and flowered top hobbled into the house to inspect her bumps and bruises and scratches and wonder for a brief instant why I ever agreed to become a farmer at this time in my life.

Picture this. A beautiful black calf with a white face and sunglasses nursing from her beautiful black and white mother with the rest of the cows and the donkeys grazing peacefully around them. That is why I agreed to become a farmer at this time in my life.

Blessings from The Creek!

P.S. For some reason I can't upload pictures to my blog. As soon as I can, I promise a real picture of "Mini" and "Wild Thing". . . but NOT the middle aged lady in the red pants and flowered top.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Yard sales and thrift stores and flea markets . . . . OH MY!!!!! I've been going through junquoholics withdrawl for months now. Thrift stores are few and far between here. It's been too cold and rainy and dreary all winter long for yard sales. However!!!!!! In Wednesday's edition of the Advocate. . . . well actually it's actually Thursday's edition of the Advocate but it hits the newstands on Wednesday afternoon, which can sometimes be interesting like the day they published a story about how wonderful the New Year's Eve celebration at the park had been and all about the beautiful fireworks, etc.. We were reading about it on Wednesday (New Years Eve) and wondering if this was a real life version of that TV show that used to be on about the guy that got tomorrow's newspaper today. Anyhow, back to this week! In this week's edition of the Advocate, waaaaay back in the classified ad section of the paper, there was an ad for a HUGE yardsale to be held on Saturday (that's today!) to raise money for the Union College Girl's Volleyball team!!!! So bright and early this morning, me and Pa loaded up in the truck and headed to town. We stopped and picked up two friends from my office and we went and found that yard sale!!! The weather was beautiful! The bargains were pleanty! We were having so much fun that we went off in search of more!!!! We didn't find any more yard sales, but we did stop by a new 2nd hand store called "Stranger In The Holler Trading Post", and then we went by a little outdoor flea market. We were four happy shoppers. Our thirst for junque was satisfied for the time being. But rest assured, we've already started planning our next excursion.

Monday, February 23, 2009

There have been several times over the past couple of weeks when I thought "I should take the time to blog about that . . . ". I should have told y'all about the three ring circus when 4 grown men brought 11 calves, just days old and not yet weaned, home. 4 grown men + 4 bottles of formula + 11 calves . . . . well I think you can do the math and can probably imagine the mayhem.

I could have told y'all about the heartbreak of being a farmer as one by one our frolicking herd of frisky calves succumbed to "shipping fever" and we're down to four "hopefuls" and one good strong heifer (she'd already been weaned and has been getting her fill of hay).

I could have told y'all about the tornado-like storm that passed through our area just over a week ago that took down our huge apple tree and an even bigger cedar tree but literally skirted around our house. I should have told y'all how grateful I am that our Lord and Savior saw fit to place a hedge of protection around our home and our animals.

All of those things would have made good posts. There could have been some laughs and some tears. My days are so full with work and home, though, that by the time I could sit down at the computer, I honestly just didn't have the energy. I either had the energy to stop by and read some of your posts OR the energy to write a post. Selfishly on my part, I chose to read yours!

Today, however, something happened that has me stirred to the very center of my being. Something that makes me want to climb over boxes and dig through the furniture in our storage room in search of my beloved needle point stool. Some of you may not be familiar with my needle point stool. Some of you actually have one of your own. Being vertically challenged, I use my stool to help me reach for things like the loving awards I've received throughout my blogging journey. This time, however, my needlepoint stool would serve as my soapbox. Just high enough that I might be seen. Just padded enough to comfort my feet as I voice my concerns. Just low enough to keep me from sustaining permanent injury in case someone should decide to knock me off. This is something I can't talk to "just anyone" about because not everyone would understand. However, you my dear friends, have proven that I can trust you with my feelings and that whether or not you may agree with me, you'll still love me with the same unconditional love that you've shown me over the past 18 +- months of my blogging journey.

Today, when we should have all been celebrating the good fortune that has been given to a deserving young person allowing them the opportunity to break the familial cycle they've been born into, I witnessed some of the most blatant displays of prejudice, scorn, bigotry, envy, pride, disgust . . . . and although I hesitate to say the word . . . . hatred. All targeted at someone most had never set eyes on. All based on opinions. Opinions about why that person should be given this and why that person should be able to do that and why that person . . . . And when one extremely immature, but very opinionated voice asked "well, would you want your daughter/son to date or marry someone like THAT?" I bit back the response "I would be proud to have my son/daughter date or marry someone like that, it's people like YOU I would hope they have the sense to steer clear of!" Then I got to wondering - is it just here in this place in this culture that people react in this manner? Would someone from the slums of Philadelphia or the streets of Miami or the poorest section of any city in any state in the union who had been given the opportunity to brush the dust of a life filled with poverty and drugs and hopelessness from their clothes and with the generosity of many break the cycle that has been a part of their family for generations have received the same scorn? Then deeper thought brought me to the realization that YES some people would chose to find fault rather than embrace the wonderful gift that has been given to this person. Then, upon even deeper thought, I realized that the Person who has been scorned for centuries because of His lowly beginnings has been the center of many heated arguments and even wars over the years is the King of Kings. He couldn't be the Messiah. He couldn't be the Savior. After all His "parents" weren't even married and he was born in a barn. Families and nations have been divided over this issue for years. I guess there's not going to be an easy resolution to today's rift amongst co-workers, is there?

So, my friends, as I breath a sigh and carefully step down off of my needlepoint stool, I ask for nothing more than your prayers. Prayers for a peaceful work place. Prayers for a very deserving young person. Prayers for those whose hearts are so hardened.

Blessings from The Creek y'all!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

An expectant mother . . . .

Twenty years ago last weekend I was sitting in Plant City Florida eating strawberry shortcake with my mother and my Aunt Margie and Uncle Bill who were visiting mother from Pennsylvania. Among other things, we talked about the excitement of my pregnancy and that it would only be a few weeks before I'd get to see my bundle of joy for the first time.

Last weekend, I sat in the bleachers at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, with my husband by my side as we waited expectantly for my son - that unnamed bundle of joy I held so close to my heart twenty years earlier, and waited so expectantly for - to march across the parade field as he graduated from basic training.

The joy I felt last weekend was no more or no less intense than what I felt twenty years ago. Just different. Tears still clouded this expectant mother's eyes as I waited for my son to march past me - just as they did twenty years ago as I waited for him to arrive. This time, though, there was pride in my heart. Pride in knowing that my unnamed bundle of joy of twenty years ago has grown into a fine young man. A young man who has made his mother proud and whom I have no doubt will make his country proud.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The kind of story you WISH they'd show on the evening news . . .

Last Friday morning, on our way to take our handsome soldier to the airport, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Lake City, KY for breakfast. I left the table for a few minutes to look around the gift shop while we were waiting for our food to arrive. While I was gone, a sweet little girl who had evidently been sitting at the table behind us came up to our table and presented Ryan with an envelope. Ryan said she had the sweetest smile on her face. He thanked her and she skipped away. When he opened the envelope this is what he found . . . .

Inside the card was a gift card for Cracker Barrel that we found out later the little girl had purchased with her own money. A selfless act. A child who has obviously been taught that our service men are not to be scorned - that they are making a sacrifice to keep us all safe. A family I wish I'd had the chance to meet and thank in person. Thank you Smith Family! The card is hanging proudly on the bulletin board in my son's barracks so his entire platoon could be blessed as much as he was by your kindness.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Into each life some rain must fall . . .

A belated MERRY CHRISTMAS and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone. I'm beginning to think that someone hit the fast-forward button on my life over the past few weeks. December was over before I really had the idea that it had begun. We were incredibly busy at work. Then there was the church cantata, Sunday school Christmas party, office Christmas party . . .well y'all know how it goes. Add to that the fact that we didn't know until just a few days before Christmas whether or not we were going to have the money to pay the mortgage or the utility bills never mind do any kind of Christmas shopping due to a broken contract on the part of the people who bought our business and most of you can guess what my frame of mind was for most of the month. Although I tried my hardest not to let everything get my spirits down, there were a few occasions where I turned in to Ms. Scrooge McGrinch and I was not thinking kind thoughts about certain people. At other times, I had a difficult time stopping the hormone-stress-holiday induced water works. The only thing that kept me from sinking into that deep, dark pit of depression was knowing that my son would be joining us for Christmas.

Ryan got here on December 23 at about 9PM safe and sound. We sat and talked until about midnight, catching up on all the news he brought with him from Florida. At about 2:30AM on the 24th, something woke me up. I stepped out of bed into a puddle. I was just about ready to have me a little talk with a couple little puppies when I heard Gracie drinking water . . . in the hallway . . . and her water bowl is waaaay out in the kitchen. After stopping long enough to step into my fuzzy slippers (did you know that fuzzy slippers can hold up to 5 times their weight in water) I walked out into the hallway into about an inch of water. I followed the water trail down the hall, into the living room and out into the kitchen. It wasn't raining. We're not in a flood zone. There was NOOOOO way that the beaver dam had backed up THAT far and God had promised not to destroy the world again with a flood. By that time, hubby had gotten up to see why all the lights were on and after he waded down hallway-creek, he discovered that the housing from our water filter system under the kitchen sink had cracked off at the threads. Once the water was turned off, the clean-up began. We used towels and the shop vac - something that led me to wonder exactly how safe our borders are when a National Guardsman slept through an hour of sucking water up off the floor - part of it in his bedroom - before we woke him up to help move furniture out of the way so we could pull up the carpet and pad in the bedrooms! We discovered that the kitchen, half the living room, the hallway and all three bedrooms had sustained some sort of water damage. Of course we couldn't tell the full amount of damage until everything started drying out and the brand new hardwood floors started cracking and curling and the sub floor in the bedrooms started dipping and curling between the floor joists. The good news is that hubby and I are both card carrying procrastinators. We had set a goal of having all the new hardwood floor down by Christmas. The kitchen had been done for a couple of months and by Thanksgiving weekend we had taken up the rest of the ceramic tile in the living room and hallway. But with hunting season and other obligations getting in the way, as well as the emotional turmoil we'd been going through, only a strip about 2 feet wide of hardwood had been installed. I had to be at work by 8:00 and by the time I got home at around 2:00, hubby and wonderful son had fans going and boxes moved and just about everything under control. Sure, everything is a mess, but everyone is alright, the house is livable and the insurance company has already sent an adjuster out to assess the damage. It looks like they're going to pay for the labor to unistall and reinstall the kitchen cabinets, uninstall and re-install the floors, replace the damaged sub floor and replace the carpet and padding in the bedrooms. So, looking on the bright side, hubby won't have to do the labor, the floors will be done and we'll be able to move the rest of our furniture into the house and unpack some of these boxes a lot sooner than expected!

Despite the flood, we spent a wonderful 10 days with Ryan. He and Tony got to do some target shooting and some hiking and exploring along the upper part of our property,they fenced in part of the back yard for the canine crew (something hubby wasn't able to do by himself). We went to see a movie one night. I got to cook some of Ryan's favorite meals. All in all, it wasn't the holiday I had envisioned, but you know what? I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas!

Blessings from the creek, y'all!