Monday, March 24, 2008

Round 'ere

Round 'ere you see a fellow on the side of the road with a rifle, your first thought is "I wonder if he's after a varmit or game?"
Round 'ere you see someone walking down the road you slow down to see if they need ya.
Round 'ere stopping by the feed store in the evening can be like a class reunion or family reunion.
Round 'ere the boy in the feed room is more likely to know what you need today than you are.
Round 'ere more folks still drive over to ask you a question than to call you on the phone or text you. 
Round 'ere if you are short at the checkout, that's okay....they know where you live.
Round 'ere more people opt for taking their vacation days to coincide with the Jasper trail ride than any holiday. 
Round 'ere the azalea, the redbud, the dogwood and the dew berries are all in bloom.
Round 'ere there is a yellow/green blanket on everything that stands still more than 30's called pine pollen.
Round 'ere people at the checkout keep you up to date on what others in your house have purchased so you don't duplicate yourself or run out. 
Round 'ere ain't no such thing as a set supper time.  It's just as soon as everyone gets inside after dark. 
Round 'ere even the youngsters recognize a load of crap when they see it or hear it.  Especially if it is something contrary to the Bible.
Round 'ere if you ain't got one you can borrow mine. 
Round 'ere is the ain't quite the same as any where else.  It may be to your taste and then again it may not.  But it's where I think I'll stay till they plant me in my plot. 

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is Dedicated to the One I Love - A Working Man

Twenty-four years is a long time.  And through that time I have given my Petie Pete my love.  And he has earned my respect.  Sometimes I don't even realize just how much so, until I get out in the world and see other men in situations.
As a child growing up Pete had to take spare parts and assemble his own bicycles if he wanted one.  Took many a bath under the water hose outside.  And was often chauffeur for his dad when he wanted to ride through the woods and drink. 
When he was a teenager, he started working when and where he could.  At one time he had a Monte Carlo and an old Chevy Truck.  One good motor between them.  He'd pull that motor and swap the vehicle it was in when he got bored with one ride or the other. 
One of his first really steady jobs was as a helper/apprentice with a local mechanic.  A really good mechanic.  Taught him well.  Money and perhaps a little too little parental supervision had him in pool halls and beer joints at an early age.  Of course the legal drinking age in Texas was only 18 back then, too.  He got very good at pool.  Could really run a table!
By the time I met him on a New Year's Eve, he was working as a pumper in the oilfield.  He was just 21 years old.  He fixed most anything his employer had with a motor on it.  And had to run by assorted wells each and every day and make sure they were producing, motors running.  Those old "putt-putt" motors would run on any type of fuel.  And Pete could usually coax them into running with a bare minimum of tools.
March 12th we wed at the J.P.'s office.  Only two and a half months of dating.  We were so young and so thought it would all be so easy.  I remember the Pete's first payday after we wed, he made a line of bills from the front door to the ice box in the kitchen, and arrow of bills held with magnets up the front of the box and then the rest of his pay in a basket on top.  I was working, but he was so proud to be Provider.
When we wed, he said "Well, I always said no wife of mine was gonna work, or gonna have to work.   But since you already have a job, a nice office job I'll leave it up to you."  And true to his word, he did.
While we were yet still Newly Weds, one evening he went out to shoot some pool at a local club.  One of his brothers was out there.  I wasn't very happy about this turn of events.  But before too long he was home.  And he said, "It occurred to me that I'm married now.  And married men have no place in pool halls and they are no place to take your wife."  In all these years he has only gone a handful of times, and each time with my blessing as it was a big boys night with old friends and family.
My Petie Pete doesn't talk much about his feelings.  I could probably count on my fingers the times he has said "I love you."  He learned early on that folks don't always say what they mean.  That people lie and deceive and use words to gloss over a multitude of sins.  I have come to find, to see with God's help, that every time Pete comes through our door at the end of a day, he is saying  "I love you.  I choose you.  This is where I want to be." 
That's not to say my Pete isn't romantic.  He is.  Flowers and balloons.  Candles and incense.  Little unexpected treats, like teddy bear shaped lollipops.  He has woke me from a dead sleep to come outside to a blanket on the ground by a crackling fire, with fruit and cheese and wine coolers. 
In all these years, I can't say that Pete has ever spoken a lie to me.  Skirted the truth when he thought it would hurt me or make me blow up, yes.  Refused to answer a question on a few occasions.  But uttered lying words....never.  He still believes one's word means something.  And I've seen him stick by oral deals that he deeply regretted because, well, he said he would. 
He's held various jobs.  Installed carpet for awhile.  Worked for a high line repair company.  But most of his years were spent in the oilfield.  Pumper, pusher.  A pusher is a crew boss.  He has an uncanny knack for looking over a situation, deciding on what needs to be done and how to do it and then proceeding or bust.  Either shut up and help him or get out of his way.  He once walked off his job because he was about to get a raise, but his crew was not.  It wasn't right and he knew it.  Never mind he had me and Bubba at home and I wasn't working at the time.  He worked on lawnmowers and such for folks and we hung in there for a month.  Then he went back to work, with a raise for him and for his crew!
Oilfield work is incredibly hard if you take it seriously.  Lifting things by yourself out in the field with no mechanical help.  Pete's a slight of build guy, but he's always been solid muscle.  There's no rain outs in the oilfield.  You do what needs to been done come hell or high water.  It's you, your crew if you have one and what's on your truck.  He's mopped up oil spills with hay.  Can you imagine how hard to handle hay wet with oil?
He's worked as a pipefitter and welder's helper.   That has meant being out on site for days at a time.  He designed a network of pipe in a local lumber mill once that so impressed the folks that they flew people in from other locations to look it over. 
I remember when Bubba was a baby Pete's boss wanted him to learn how to operate his old backhoe.  So Pete brought it home and dug a sewer line with it to practice.  So clumsy.  Over the years he got so good that he could knock over a tree with a couple of swings or reach up with the bucket and pick you a single leaf off a tree. 
He's been good enough at the things he does, mechanicing and oilfield that people have called him offering him jobs in both fields.  But I think he has taken the most pride in the custom oak cabinetry he built with his brother for 6 or 7 years.  Tommy figured and bid the jobs. Lay it out and cut it.  Pete assembled them, sanded them.  Beautiful work!!!  Unbelievable detail and functionality.  Long hours on a concrete floor are hard on a body that has been jarred and battered for years.   
Bottom line, whatever he has done he has taken pride in.  Put his best into it, even if it was hard, or hurt, or took a long time or he didn't really have all he needed to do it.  Over the years his body has been betraying him.  And especially this past year, his back.  He can no longer commit to a job.  Not at anything he has ever done.  Never knows from one day to the next if he has two good hours in him, none or on rare occasions 5 or more.  For a man who never had benefits and has no insurance it has been a very slow and painful process trying to get any attention.  Any help.  Any answers.  Only recently he got word that he can have a whole spine MRI at Galveston for a drastically reduced price.  Now to manage to scrap up that money and go through the often long and arduous process of setting up the appointments.
This man is so miserable, never feeling good.  Never feeling well.  But more than anything I believe it is slowly driving him crazy not being able to do all the things he has before.  And especially not being able to work and provide for his family.  All he wants in this world right now is help getting help. Help getting better or well.  Help getting back about the business of a man.
Pete has been a wonderful father in many respects.  Not a Ward Clever type father, but his own brand.  His children are the one place where he is not afraid to lavish his love.  He's not big on doing kiddy activities with them, but they are welcome from toddler hood to join him in any endeavor or pastime.  They know they are loved and they know they are protected.
Brave and calm in situations where I'd loose it totally.  I've seen Pete lick his thumb and stick it in the spout of a jug full of fuel that was burning, so as to cut off the air and keep it from exploding.  I've seen him shoot at a water moccasin and miss.  The snake reared up and charged straight at him.  Cool as a cucumber he waited until it was close and then stamped down one boot clad foot atop it's head.  Then he lay the barrel of the .22 behind it's head and pulled the trigger. 
He has never been a jealous man.  He has always trusted me to handle any passes or inappropriate behavior from other men.  But there has never been any doubt in my mind or theirs that if they don't pay heed to me, they'll answer to Pete.
This man has always had a deep respect for older folks.  He goes out of his way to help them when he can.  He tried to always honor his father and mother while they were still here.  Likes to listen to their stories, to learn from them. 
He can be generous to a fault, giving away over the years much more than he has ever sold be it livestock or parts for vehicles.  If it's time to eat and you are here, you're invited even if he has to share half his portion with you.
Is he perfect?  Absolutely not.  He's as stubborn as mule, he plays as hard as he works, he drinks too much beer and can be as gripey as a crab.  But he's my bear.  My bear when he's a grizzly and my bear when he's a teddy.  And I wouldn't trade him for anyone else.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I've Got a Name


I liked Krissy's question today and wanted to play along.  The question is:

What does your first name mean?   (And she even gives a link where you can check it out;  Behind the Name.

Well I found out a long time ago that Barbara meant "foreign or strange."  And I thought, "Oh, lovely!  NOT!"  Why couldn't it have a romantic or beautiful meaning? 

But I resigned myself to be happy I shared Barbara Eden's name.  After all, she was Jeannie and I grew up in the 60's watching her.  Still, such a serious sounding meaning is hard for a young girl to accept.  Then my family always called me Barbie.  Well, what's that?  An air-headed doll.  LOL  So I have serious on one hand and frivolous on the other. 

As time has marched on, I have become content with both.  And they both fit.  I've always been the easy to get A's person.  The take it serious person.  The deeply committed person.  The care deeply person.  And I have always had a wild and adventurous side.  A wit and sarcasm side.  No doubt, many do find me very strange and completely foreign.  More so the older I get. 

So now I wear my name with pride!  Go ahead and try to figure me out; I love confuseling folks.  ;o)


Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Italian, French, German, Polish, Hungarian, Slovene

Pronounced: BAHR-bahr-a (English), BAHR-bra (English), bahr-BAH-rah (Polish)   [key]

Derived from Greek βαρβαρος (barbaros) meaning "foreign". According to legend Saint Barbara was a young woman killed by her father Dioscorus, who was then killed by a bolt of lightning. She is the patron of architects, geologists, stonemasons and artillerymen.



Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chili Dog Night




Someone sent me an email that had the above photo in it.  I got a real kick out of it.  That should be a sure fire way to get a parent to mind a child.  And if they don't, well, they'll be paying for it for a while! 

Gorgeous day here today!  And a good one for the most part.  I remembered the time change Friday.  But totally forgot it on Saturday.  So this morning I was drinking my coffee and reading emails when I thought it must be about time for Bug and I to dress for church.  I looked down at the clock on the PC and thought "Oh, boy!  Time change!"  So needless to say we didn't even try to go as services were surely already started. 

Pete spent the day helping his nephew work on his Toyota.  Cooked a little sausage and boudain on the small pit for snacking. 

Bubba covorted with a friend and put some chrome tips on his exhaust.  Finally has that sound he's been after on his truck.

Bug tried all day to get ahold of a friend to come and play, but allas, they were gone somewhere.  So she piddled on her own, complained a lot and got me to play some Yatzee and cards with her. 

Me?  Oh, I relaxed mainly.  Read journals.  Did a little laundry. 

Now tonight the temperature is dropping fast.  We're all settled in the house and have chili dogs.  I made chili last night.  Figured to get by easy again by recycling it as chili dogs.  No complaints around here though.  Everyone seems to be stuck on chili.  Can't seem to get enough of the stuff.

Pete and I have an anniversary looming ahead of us this week.  I plan to, hope to get a special entry done and posted by then.  Not so much a me and he thing.  More of an ode to a man I really admire.  'Cept for when I want to kill him.  ;o)

Take care and stay connected to the Source!


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Where'd they go?!

Thanks to Carolyn for pointing out to me that the Houston Chronicle has moved on to more pressing election coverage and my link in the previous entry doesn't get you to the questions and answers.

I did go into the archives and find links to some of the questions answered by some of the candidates.  Why all questions and answers are not still available, I don't know. 

So, if any one is courious and didn't get to see before, try these two links:

Now, good nite all!  I'm taking my caucus to bed.    ;o) 


Finally! Answers

I must confess, I was starting to wonder if all the candidates would respond and if the questions and answers would ever get posted.  But today, the Houston Chronicle has the questions that were submitted to the candidates and responses from each one posted on their Politics page! Each party has it's own link, so that you can review your candidates answers side by side.  Go on, check it out!  I know you're curious.  Click Here.

Unfortunately, only one of my questions made it all the way through.  But hey, when was the last time I was ever able to ask anyone else running for president a question.  So I won't complain.  I will share with you all my question I had hoped most to have answered.  I like to "get a feel for the person" if at all possible.  Not just where they stand today on the issues.  Everyone always changes their stance on some issues over time.  And new things are all ways appearing as prime issues.  Therefore I think a peek into who they are is helpful.

This is the question I would have really loved to have read the answers to:

If I had been a friend of yours from the time you were eight years old until today, what is something I would know about your personality, or you as a person, that doesn't come through all the campaign rhetoric?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday Morning Question


Playing along with Krissy this morning!  Here's the question:

What is the weirdest food you've ever eaten?

And here's my answer:  I may have eaten a lot of things some folks would find weird.  Crawfish, boudain, cracklins', gar balls.  But those things aren't really weird.  Not for the place I live anyways. 

Back when I was in school, my cousin and his family were down from Arkansas.  He was a Deputy there at the time.  Seems a bear had been killed.  Not sure of the circumstances, but cousin had a large amount of bear meat with him.  The family had a huge Bar-B-Que of bear.  Not bad at all. 

And then once when visiting Pete's dad when he was camped on the Neches River, I went in the camper and found a large pot of dumplings.  Helped my plate.  Took a bite of dumpling.  Heard him telling Pete how he'd shot some crows....and then how they ended up in his pot, for dumplings!  I put the rest back in the pot. 

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Can't We Just Get Back to Normal?!



I really don't know what's up with folks.  This past week nothing has been normal in our neck of the woods. 

First, there was some clown mooning and exposing himself in an elderly neighbors yard.

Then there was another neighbors truck (which was on four flats) stolen out of his yard in broad daylight.

Then I come home one evening to find the underbrush in the curve burning.  No one around and the winds at a very high pitch.

Now today our road is missing it's stop sign and name sign.

Someone is running amuck!  All of this in the space of one week.

In other matters, Mr. Robison's last update to me said that two candidates has responded to the questions from the bloggers, and two had not.  They are trying to wait and get a response from all camps.  But Tuesday is right around the corner. 

Meanwhile everyone and their spouse has been stopping in little ol' Beaumont to stump.  Not sure what it's getting them or gaining them.  I might be impressed if one of them solved the mystery of the goings on around here.

And on the lighter and delightful side; the pear trees and peach trees are blooming.  The fig trees are budding.  We've had lovely spring like weather all weekend that prompted me to sleep until 2:00pm on Saturday.  I think it is pollen related.  Mama used to call it spring fever.

Being true to herself, Texas is going to swing back to the cold side tomorrow with a high of 73 and plunging back to the mid 30's by tomorrow night.  When you dress for work, think layers.  Mix and match layers.  One trip to the ladies room and you can adjust for anything. 

I plan not to be such a stranger this month.  But you know about the best laid plans of mice and men.  And silly old women.  ;o) 

Pretty graphic by Sugar.

Old Time Fudge

Because you asked, here's the recipe for the fudge I made my youngins for Valentines.

2 cups sugar

2 Tblsp. cocoa

3/4 cups milk

2 Tblsp. karo syrup

2 Tblsp. butter

2 Tblsp. peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a heavy 2 qt sauce pan mix sugar and cocoa until thouroughly blended.  Stir in milk and corn syrup.  Heat over medium until all disolved and starts to boil.  Cook to the soft ball stage.  (drop a little in cold water and see if you can roll into a soft ball).  Remove from heat and add butter and peanut butter without stirring. Let cool a few minutes.  Then stir in vanilla and beat until it thickens and begins to lose it's gloss.  Pour into a buttered plate.  Let cool.

You can stir in 1/2 cup broken pecans or walnuts at the end of the beating time if you like.  You can make peanut butter fudge by omiting the cocoa and adding another Tablespoon of  peanut butter. 

I have a real old recipe of mother's that doesn't call for the peanut butter.  But it requires a lot longer beating time.  My hands and wrists can't hold up to it.  The peanut butter is actually a trick to decrease the beating time.  Can't even taste it in the regular chocolate fudge. 



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