Friday, September 25, 2015

What's That Shining?

Last night, I couldn't sleep and after tossing and turning....I finally decided, about midnight, to get out of bed. Of course, when my feet hit the did "the girls." When Precious gets up, she has to go out.....or thinks she does, anyway. She's my cute little 3 1/2 year old, looks like a Teddy Bear, Pom. Bella, the smaller black Pom, does not believe in leaving the confines of the house and is very comfortable doing her "business" on a Puppy Pad. I think she could be diagnosed with ADHD, so I'm not at all unhappy that she stays inside.
I turned on the front porch light even thought the moon was almost full and bright enough for us not to need it. I picked up my flashlight and stepped onto the porch, and Precious charged down the front steps. At the bottom, she turned around and looked up at me, as if to say "okay, are you coming?" I turned on my flashlight, went down the steps and onto the brick walk, and Precious ran ahead of me. She ran across the driveway and into another part of the yard. The moonlight shining through the trees created shadows that played tricks with her, and she began chasing "boogers" 
Ace, the large black lab that lives next door, was barking non-stop. Usually, he's pretty quiet unless there's a reason not to be. Precious was trying to find the "perfect" place to potty and was ignoring Ace's barking.
She left the side yard, came back onto the driveway and began walking toward Bob's shop.
I always pan the yard, trees and surrounding woods with my light...just so I know who (or what) is walking with us! I have thick woods on two sides of my yard, and there's heavy underbrush. Anything on two, or four, feet has ample hiding places. I've never been afraid walking outside, at night. I pay attention when the weather gets cooler and the coyotes begin to roam the woods and the creek bank. As Precious started toward the back, I flashed my light onto the woods at the back of the yard.
What was that shining back at me? My light beam was just above the area where I often burn trash (when there isn't a burn ban). Had I picked up a glare from something left in the burn pile? I flashed the light, again, and saw that there were two yellow eyes looking back at me. They were near the ground....probably a cat, a possum, or a coon. Suddenly, those eyes were no longer "near the ground" .......whatever it was was had now stood up and was about the size a big dog might be. But it wasn't barking. It wasn't a dog. Once again, it "crouched" back down and seemed to be slowly moving my way. I quickly realized we had become something's prey.
Precious still hadn't "done her business"....and I didn't care! I quickly grabbed that little dog up. I was thankful she hadn't seen those eyes, or she would have given chase. I was also thankful she didn't try to run away when I bent down to pick her up. I think it all took place at the speed of sound......she had no time to react. As fast as these old legs would move, I headed back toward the front porch. I didn't take time to look back to see if we were being followed/chased.
Inside the house, I put Precious down. Neither she nor Bella were barking......I think both knew that something was going on. I went to the kitchen door and before opening it, I turned on the outside light to make sure there were no "guests" there. I turned off the light, opened the door and shined my light into the yard. "It" was still there, but had moved to the east....about midway the back yard.......and closer to the house. My light wasn't bright enough to determine what visitor I had in my yard, but I could tell it was moving. And whatever it was, it wasn't afraid of me! (I had cornered the market on fear!)
By the time I turned on the outside security lights, "it" had apparently moved into the woods. We have bobcats and coyotes in these woods, and there are a few people who even say they've seen black panthers. My granny told stories about the panther that roamed these woods and the creek bank, years ago.
I think Precious must have been aware of the danger that lurked in the yard. She didn't bark to go outside, again.......I heard her "circling" .....trying to find just the right spot on the Puppy Pad. Thank goodness!!
#inthedarkofnight #panthers #coyotes #bobcats #Pomeranians #outsideatnight #woods #countrylife

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Perseid Meteor Shower ......not

I was awake until 3:30 this morning, in an attempt to see the Perseid Meteor Shower. Based on friend Carolyn Arender's statement, I should have gotten out of bed and gone back outside. I'm so glad someone saw it and corroborated the theory that there was going to be one. I made several trips outside to view this heavenly display, and I saw about 5 in about 5 hours! (It wasn't a shower, it wasn't even a trickle!)
As I was standing on my back deck, looking to the Northeast (as directed), I wondered "why do I need a chair?" One of the television stations had suggested a comfy chair, a blanket, some snacks, and bug spray. (I had none of that.) Standing there, looking toward the Northeastern sky, I was bothered by a tall tree in my line of vision (or so I thought.) Precious decided, about this time, that it was time for a potty break. I took my flashlight and followed her out into the yard, and looking up I realized this was where I needed to be. About that time, quick as a flash, sorta' up above my head and not too terribly high above the tree line.....not falling from sky to ground, like a falling star, but horizontal like a plane was there and it was gone. This explained why my cousin Teresa, in Iowa, had mentioned they "heard a sound, like a whoosh, not loud but audible." I had wondered "how, in the world, can one hear a sound from that far away?" (like the falling star) It wasn't that far away, and it was UP.....facing north and facing east, but UP. Now, the crick in my neck was explaining why they had suggested a comfortable chair!
I also understood the need for a light blanket, or jacket. The air had cooled off, considerably. It was really quite pleasant. The quiet of the country night was only interrupted by the sounds coming from the Georgia Pacific plant ...... meaning that the breeze was blowing from that direction. Occasionally, the Lab in the outside pen, next door, would bark to let me know he was still guarding things. It had gotten cool enough that other "creatures of the night" were beginning to stir.
There's a small branch (brook) that runs in the gully behind my house. It has very little water and flows into Okohay (Cohay) Creek - about a mile down the road. I suddenly heard some type of cat - not a kitty cat - a much larger cat, calling from the water. It was enough to get all the dogs to barking, and it was enough to get this "Meteor viewer" headed back indoors.....for awhile, anyway. NASA's website had stated the time for viewing was 9 p.m. - 1 a.m., and the television station had stated 3 a.m. - 5 a.m. Could I stay up that long? Why yes, of course I could, and I had been known to do so. So then, if I was still awake at 3:30, why didn't I get up....just one more time....and go look? It wasn't about the "cat on the branch"....I had long forgotten that, and it had probably moved on. I made a prediction (when I didn't get up), in those early morning hours. I thought, "tomorrow morning, I'm going to be disappointed that I didn't get up and go look." I'm such a psychic....that prediction was right, I am disappointed......especially since I've heard how magnificent it was!
#PerseidMeteorShower #creatureofthenight #largecat #CohayCreek

Thursday, August 6, 2015

There is no comparison.......

I decided to try to find a comparison between "The Donald" (Donald Trump), candidate for U. S. President and "The Silent Knight" (Robert Gray), an unknown (literally) winner of the Democratic Primary for Governor of Mississippi. The Democratic Party doesn't even have an idea who this guy is!
I personally think The Donald is on an ego trip. He certainly has plenty of money, and he has no problem saying "I'm rich." The Silent Knight probably has no money, and he spent none on his campaign. He didn't even vote. He said "I got busy and forgot!" Sorta' makes me wonder if he ran, as a joke.....well, the joke's on him, and us! The Donald is running against everyone on the Republican ticket. The Silent Knight ran against two females - one an attorney and one a doctor. The Silent Knight visited the Mississippi State Capitol for the first time, yesterday - at the request of the media. Mississippi doesn't have an Open Primary. One has to either vote a Republican Ticket or a Democrat Ticket. I doubt that our current Governor, Phil Bryant, will have any problems but one has to wonder if the Republicans switched over and voted Democrat. Elect an unknown so Governor Bryant will have no issues in the General Election, in November. Of course, the other probability is that Mississippi isn't ready for a female to tell them what to do. There was a man, on the ballot - in the first position - don't know him, but what the heck.....don't want a woman.....he's got my vote!! (No, I didn't vote for him). The Donald is a wealthy entrepreneur with many business ventures. The Silent Knight is also an entrepreneur. He owns 'Fancy Horse Transportation' company, an over-the-road livestock hauler. The Donald has everything, and Silent Knight doesn't even have health insurance. The Donald likes to be the center of attention, and Silent Knight wants no attention - hence the reason his C.B. Moniker "The Silent Knight." Wonder how that will work for him, if he accidentally wins? I think I finally figured it out. They both have aspirations of power. In The Donald's case ......more power, and in Silent Knight's case possibly more power than what's under the hood of his truck. And just suppose The Donald becomes President and The Knight becomes Governor. The Donald could balance the budget with his own money, and The Knight might understand how the majority of our state lives - paycheck to paycheck. There is no comparison.....
#RobertGray #TheSilentKnight #DemocraticPrimary

Sunday, May 10, 2015

You can't go home..........

This morning, I drank my coffee on the porch among the ferns, on the beautiful day set aside to honor mothers. (And, like most mornings, I had to visit the microwave a couple of times. I’m such a poor excuse for a coffee drinker!)  My little red throated hummer flitted about, sipping nectar out of the feeder. Ever so often, it would make a quick visit to the petunia blossoms and just as quickly would hurry away, as if to say....."I really don't care for those."

The resident squirrel ran head first down the old water oak. I think it must be "yard smart”, for it quickly looks around before scampering across the expanse of yard to another tree.  

I can see, by the pot holes in my yard (yards have pot holes?) that we were visited by an armadillo or maybe an army of armadillos, last night.  I can just imagine a contingent of armadillos, marching across my yard, stopping ever so often to dig another hole!!

Behind me, the blooms on the magnolia tree that we planted about 10 years ago have begun to open and greet this beautiful day. There will be hundreds of beautiful white blossoms, soon. And, in the backyard, “Bob’s magnolia tree”…..a gift from our neighborhood, when he passed away, will soon be in bloom. I can see it, from my kitchen window…another reminder of my honey, among the hundreds of reminders that exist, in the house that he built for us.

As I sat, I heard the hum of a bumble bee, apparently just waking to greet the day and search for food. It headed toward the blooms of the bougainvillea as a mosquito circled my head. It was too early in the day for mosquitoes!!

The light breeze stirred the leaves on the trees and caused the ferns to spin, on their hangers. Precious gave chase to the bee that buzzed around her head and woke her from her nap, in the sun. Little black Bella just lay there, with her eyes half closed as she watched Precious, as if to say “stupid dog, you can’t catch that bee!”

Church and then lunch with my son-in-law, granddaughter, her honey, and a favorite cousin, and now I’m sitting on my porch, again. The plants have all been given a drink, and I can enjoy the rest of this day. The day began, on this porch, with a cup of coffee, and the day is ending, on this porch, with a glass of wine. (I’m a much better wine drinker!)

I sit and look across my driveway at the old house where first my granny lived and then my parents lived, after her death. Little did I know, as a teenager spending summers and weekends there…..and as an adult visiting my parents that I would, one day, be just across the drive…..on my own porch.

And they say you can’t go home……….
#frontporch #home #life #southernliving #countrylife

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Old Lemon Tree

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

I'm not sure why I loved that old lemon tree. It wasn't very well shaped - actually, it wasn't shaped at all. The tree had long, ugly thorns, and the lemons were dark green and covered with fuzz. They were obviously not edible.

The ugly old tree stood, just to the right, at the end of the front walk in front of my Granny’s house. It was in the middle of the yard, so I have to assume that it had been planted on purpose. I never asked who and why, and so many years later I wish I had.

In the spring, the tree had small white blooms and shortly after, the ugly lemon fruit began to form and grow. My younger male cousins used them for ammunition as they played “War” against each other. Thankfully, no one ever tried to use the long thorns against one another!

I don’t know when the old tree was removed or who did it. I just know that one day, it was gone, and I was sad. Perhaps I was the only grandchild who had an affinity for the old tree. It didn’t matter to me that it was unsightly. Not everything or everyone, on this earth, is pretty. It had a place in my history and in my life, and like many other things and many other people, it was gone.

Lemon tree very pretty (this one wasn’t) and the lemon flower is sweet.
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat. 

#lemontree #ugly #memories

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dogs, Cats, Trees and.....Water

Several days ago, I walked into my kitchen and found a puddle of water in front of my refrigerator. Now, my little girls (pups) often have accidents......but this puddle looked as if they had invited every dog in the neighborhood to participate (and they don’t have that many friends!)

The dishwasher, just a cabinet down from the refrigerator, was busy taking my place (washing my dirty dishes), but it did not appear to have come from there. I checked the fridge to see if something had turned over (even though it looked like water).

I mopped up the water and decided this mystery would have to be left for later. I was trying to get ready for my “birthday trip.”

In the meantime, indoor girlie cat named Bob, had begun to earn “outdoor privileges,” because when I called “Kitty, Kitty” she came running – usually.   When she sees me, heading toward the door, to let Precious and Bella out, she runs to join them. She also howls if they’re outside and she isn’t. (They’re becoming more and more like children, everyday!)

I’m a big fan of mysteries and solving problems. After I returned home from my trip, I decided to do a little investigative work on the dishwasher. I had, after all, fixed my dryer vent hose, with duct tape, a few years earlier. If the water had come from the dishwasher, maybe the drain was just stopped up. That, I could probably fix!

After putting the girls outside, I opened the dishwasher door and removed all removable parts: the bottom basket, and the thingamajig that spins and spurts water on the dishes, and also sits atop the drain. I removed a piece of broken glass, a washer and something that should have been attached to the washer somewhere else, in the dishwasher. 

After making sure I had done a thorough investigation, I put the parts back together and started the dishwasher (on a short cycle, of course) to determine if I had solved the problem.

I went to let the girls in. Precious and Bella came running, but calling “Kitty, Kitty” didn’t produce a cat. I walked out into the yard and heard a faint “meow,” every time I called to her. Finally, after quite a lot of walking and searching, I looked up and the old Water Oak tree beside granny’s old house, walking toward the end of a very thin limb was my scared little cat. 

I walked toward the trunk of the tree to get her back on larger branches. All the while, I was calling to her. Finally, she got back to the tree trunk and began to try to find a way down. She kept choosing thin limbs, and I was afraid she would fall onto one of the big roots that were spread out, at the bottom. Several times, she almost fell and would end up hanging precariously, upside down, by all four feet. 

I had a couple of options - neither of which I exercised. I couldn't imagine calling '911' to have our Volunteer Fire Department come and rescue a cat nor could I imagine me climbing on a ladder! 

The later the day got, the more concerned I became. Another cold winter night would soon be upon us. The Weather people were giving warnings about leaving pets out, at night. What would my little cat do, up in a tree?

Finally, I very carefully stepped up on one of the big roots which gave me a little more height. I coaxed Bob onto a lower limb that I could reach and pull down, and as she came toward me, I grabbed her before she could decide to climb back up.  Into the house we went.

Oh, and by the way.......back in the kitchen, I had water to mop up! There’s either a plumber or a new dishwasher in my future.

#trees  #cats  #dogs  #leak  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Finding My Spirit Guide

Nestled among the tall pine trees, deep in the woods not too many miles north of the thrills of Disney World, your destiny may await you. The town of Cassadaga, FL was formed by George Colby, a member of the Spiritualist religion in the late 1800’s.  He was searching for a place where his fellow Spiritualist could go to escape the brutal winters of the north.  Legend has it that his Indian spirit guide, Seneca, led him to this area because of the synergy, in the area. The name Cassadaga was adopted from a similar area in New York.  The camp, as it is called, sits on 57 acres owned by the Spiritualist church. In 1991, it was named a Historic District.

Going into the little community is like driving back in time. Most of the streets are sandy lanes and the houses, though well kept, are all wooden, white frame structures.  The houses are owned by the residents who are given a lifetime lease by the church. Most live in the camp during the winter and return to their homes, mainly in New York, in the summer, to escape the southern heat.

Always interested in exploring the unusual, my cousin Teresa and I decided a trip to Cassadaga would be an adventure. On a beautiful fall afternoon, we sat outside the Purple Rose awaiting our time slot. It was one of the shops that sold books, stones, and tarot cards, and booked readings for several mediums. (We had chosen it because of the name!)  When our time came, we were led into a darkened room lit only by burning candles.  The medium that we had chosen spoke in soft, low tones.

I was told that I was creative, something at which my older daughter later chuckled. The medium asked if there was anything that I’d like to do.  When I replied that I’d like to write a book, I was told that I should start immediately and that I had a spirit guide who would help me with the book. (I surely wish he would appear when I’m attempting to write one of these articles!)  I was also informed that I would travel abroad, to the country where I had lived in my past life, and I would see the place where I had lived. We did travel abroad, but if I was ever where I had once lived – I didn’t recognize the place!!

I was also told that we would be invited to a family wedding in the Upper Midwest somewhere near, or in the direction of, Chicago during the next year.  My husband had an aunt and cousins in that area, but we hadn’t been close, so the idea of them inviting us to a wedding was nonsense – as far as I was concerned.  The following summer, I had a consulting assignment in Kentucky around the 4th of July holiday, and I suggested to my husband that we make the trip in our motor home and turn it into a working vacation. 

Our trek up through southern Illinois, took us near my husband’s aunt. He suggested that we stop and visit, since we were so close.  Upon arriving at her house, we found that four of her five children were there – to attend the wedding of one of her grandchildren.  Of course, we were invited to attend and we did.  I didn’t remember the Cassadaga Medium, and the “reading” from the prior year, until my daughter reminded me that I was fulfilling her prophecies.

The final prediction also came true a few years later.  At the time, we were living in our retirement dream home, in Florida, on the banks of the beautiful St. John’s River.  The Medium had stated that we would leave Florida, and we would build a home west of Florida but toward Tennessee.  We owned property in Mississippi, the old home place of my family, but at that time we never had intentions of moving “back home.”  As was foretold, we sold the FL home, and I now enjoy my Mississippi Front Porch.

Many people use psychics and mediums to guide them through life. Ours was just a fun-filled afternoon of adventure even though some of the predictions, at which I had scoffed, later became reality.

I think I’m going to try to look for that Spirit Guide and get that book started………..

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Renewing my DL

I realized on Tuesday night that my Driver's License was going to expire this on Wednesday, I went and got my hair trimmed (those DL photos look bad enough without having bad hair!!) and then was off to Laurel.

I was pleasantly surprised that there were very few people in the waiting room. Did you know (if you don't wait until the last minute, like I did), you can go to a kiosk, fill out your info, take your own photo, pay with a debit or credit card, and have the DL mailed to you?? How uptown is that!! (And they call us backward!!!)

There wasn't enough time to have my renewal DL mailed, so the "Let Us Know When you got here" computer, gave me a wait-in-line number. While I sat and waited, I watched a woman doing her own DL.  She must have taken a dozen photos, until she got one that made her happy.

There were only two clerks behind the counter.....a friendly one at Station 1 and one who looked like she had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed and then eaten briers, for lunch, at Station 3.

The nice, happy clerk at Station 1 called my number!

I'm here to tell you that God does answer prayer,  'cause I had silently and fervently prayed that Station 1 would call my number. (People pray for parking spaces.....this was just as important!)

She asked "Do you want to renew for 4 years or 8 years?

I replied "Let's see, in 8 years I'll be 82 and probably shouldn't even be driving, I'll take 4." (Of course, there are those who think me, and my heavy foot, shouldn't be driving, now!!!)

She had me move to the blue wall, in front of the camera and she took Picture Number 1....and it was awful. I sorta' looked like the clerk at Station 3.....(wrong side of bed and briers for lunch). I was happy she let me see it, 'cause the clerk at Station 3 wasn't showing anything to anybody.

I asked "Can you take another, and I'll try smiling."

I smiled and she clicked......and we went with that.

As someone said, "I hate having my picture always looks like me."

Important Stuff

I think it's probably good that I'm too old to be embarrassed, or don't care. (I allow my daughters and grand kids to be embarrassed, on my behalf.)

A couple of years ago, I bought some tights and a long top to cover my booty. The ensemble required that I have boots, so boots I bought. They weren't the tall, to the knee, stylish leather boots. They were a suede type soft fabric, but they were boots and they were mine!

Today, I decided it was time for a pair of  stylish, leather, to-the-knee boots to go with the new jeans I was going to buy.

Got to the store and almost immediately I found the boots I wanted. They were black leather, with a huge zipper on the side with heels. (I don't usually wear heels.)  I asked for the size I needed and when the clerk brought them out, I began to try them on. I had a devil of a time getting the zipper to unzip and then to zip!

As I was walking around, trying them out, the clerk came back to check on me. I commented that they seemed big, on my legs. She said "you've got skinny legs."  (I really wasn't going for skinny on that part of my body!!)  Note to self: Quit exercising legs....skinny enough.

I took them off (still with zipper issues). As she was putting them away, and having difficulty ......with the zipper, she said......"Ma'am, these zippers are just for were supposed to  slide your foot in. You weren't supposed to unzip them."

Bless her heart, she finally quit struggling with the zipper and crammed them back into the box. Strange.....she didn't offer to help me find another pair........

Don't know where my daughters and granddaughters are when I need them .....for important stuff!!

A Mother’s Strength……passed down

Tonight, while watching the news on local channel WJTV, my attention was captured by the headline “Where is Luther Musselwhite?”

In the spring of 1950 Musselwhite, who was then 31, killed a 65 year old man with his bare fists outside Breakfield’s Fish Camp near Columbia, MS. He was assisted by a Luther Turnage, who held a gun on others, at the camp, to keep them from interfering.

Musselwhite was convicted and sentenced to die in Mississippi’s Portable Electric Chair. Rather than being sent to the State Penitentiary at Parchman, he was held in the Marion County Jail, in Columbia. The first execution was scheduled for December 21, 1951 but, for some reason, did not occur. In 1952, Governor Hugh White ordered that he be executed on October 31, 1952.

Even though Musselwhite had killed a man with his bare hands, and had served in the Marines on Iwo Jima during WW II; when it came to facing his own mortality he apparently wasn’t very brave. He began a hunger strike because of the fear of dying. Governor White declared that he would die “in the electric chair or by his own hands.” The Sheriff of Marion County didn’t want Musselwhite to die in his jail, of malnutrition, so he was moved to the State Hospital at Whitfield and force feeding began.

Per public records, Whitfield wasn’t very well-staffed, at that time. There were over 4,000 patients but only three doctors and three nurses. It was very easy for Musselwhite to gain strength and escape…….and that’s exactly what he did. He was tracked to Lauderdale County, Mississippi and that was his last known location sometime in 1952. He still remains at large, but Luther Musselwhite would be 94, if he were still alive. He was born about July, 1919 to John and Mandy Musselwhite in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. Where is Luther Musselwhite? Or maybe, where is Luther Musselwhite buried?

His wife, my third grade teacher, was just “Mrs. Musselwhite” to me. I was nine years old and she, in her early 30s, was “ancient” as far as I was concerned.

The next year, fourth grade wasn’t much better. I loved Miss Flossie Evans, but she soon had to leave, and we were taught by a substitute. On, there’s a photo of the marker, at her grave, erected by her students. At a young age, I learned how Breast Cancer takes those we love.

And then came fifth grade. I went to the newspaper, in Columbia a few years ago to research the Lawless family. The newspaper article headline stated “Entire Family Almost Wiped Out.”  One Saturday morning, in 1952, Mrs. Lawless and her daughter, Kathleen, were in the kitchen preparing breakfast. As usual her husband, an accountant, had gone to his lumber yard office just down the street, and he would come back and eat with the family. That morning, he came back…….with a gun……and killed his daughter and his wife. He critically wounded his mother-in-law, who lived with them, and his young son. He then went to his office and committed suicide. No reason was ever found. I had just been at their house, the night before, at a Girl Scout meeting. Mrs. Lawless was my Girl Scout leader. Kathleen was a 7th grader, and their young son, Billy, was younger than I.

After finding the article, I drove through the cemetery and found the grave. The  three had all been buried together. Somehow, that seemed wrong.

As the saying goes, “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”  All of this could have contributed to a traumatic childhood, but thankfully I was raised by a strong mother…..and her strength, she passed to me. Thanks, mom!