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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Up Over from Down Under

When I arrived home from work there was an envelope waiting for me from Willow Tree, NSW Australia.

Why? Because of Mappa Tassie.

I decided to inspect it closely.
Note: There was a Dangerous Goods Statement.
Note: It was addressed to a Tough Bag. Oooooouch!

Note: I opened it carefully and peaked inside. No poisonous snakes or spiders.

Awwwwwww! Surprise. An Australian Flag, Australian Flag Stickers, and Australian Flag Tattoos. And, a 3 phase fridge magnet. Bobble your head and choose between wombats, Koalas and Kangaroos. This is fun!

Does it get any better than that.

Here is my 2008 Birds of Australia Calendar. You can't impress better than this.

Thank you so much Peter. It will hang above my computer desk and I will enjoy it every day next year.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fun Monday - Unfinished Proje

Blue Momma (of Life in The Fish Bowl)
is hosting todays Fun Monday.
She finds that having a toddler is hampering her ability to finish projects. To reassure herself that others share the unfinished project gene, she has requested that we expose ourselves.

I have a whole pile of unfin

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fun Monday #42, A trip Down Memory Lane

Karisma is today's Fun Monday Host! She requested that we share a Trip down Memory Lane. The story that pops up now and then and gets better and better with each telling is the one she wants to hear.

Having 7 elder siblings gave the following story a run for its money at many family- get- together.

It's also a trip down memory lane because I posted it one year ago (and hang that Perfect Post button in my side bar as a gift from Kelly of Pass The Torch.)

I hope you don't mind hearing it one more time.

The Runaway -- written as I remember that day.

I decided to run away from home when I was about 5 years old.

My best friend Beth lived down a hill and across several acres of prime dairy farm. There were a few barbed wire fences and a herd of black and white Holstein cows along the way. Those small things, however, were not going to stop me. I was going to go live with her. Life would be good at her house. She didn’t have any brothers.

I threw all my earthly belongings into Moms old hat box, grasped the flimsy ribbon band like a handle, and snuck out the back door.

My escape route led beyond the back yard, past the chicken house, the fruit house, the woodshed, and the garage. A narrow path led between a wall and a sharp uphill slope to the garden.

Through the gate I pushed, and fled beneath the pink climbing rose that trailed up to the roof. I was going to miss the rose bush and the chicken house.

I hurried across the flat grassy area that was edged on one side by some old growth forest. It was very dark and scary when you were alone. The other side had low scrub trees growing on the perimeter of a steep incline that led to the “lower pasture’ and a duck pond. Sometimes it was just mud and swamp and that day was no exception.

I tumbled several times during my descent. That box was bulky and awkward for my short little arms and legs.

When I reached the pasture, I tripped over a plowed furrow and landed in the mud. The hatbox lid rolled away trailing with it my panties and socks.

Darn clothes anyway. Beth’s mom would probably take me shopping and buy me all new clothes. Most of mine were hand me downs.

By the time I reached the electric fence that separated our small farm from the dairy, the hatbox was beginning to fall to pieces. I had tears in my eyes as I propped the disintegrating package against a fence post.

Several bovine in the adjacent field became aware of my whimpers and ambled over for a closer look. It wasn’t long before the entire herd headed my way.

This was getting serious. I couldn’t go on because the cows were so big and they had tails like ropes that kept switching this way and that.

I didn’t want to go back, because I knew that there would be a switching there, too. Especially when mom saw what I had done to her hatbox.

Hence, I bent over, sobbed into my hands and hid my eyes from the staring cows and the demolished hatbox.

That’s when something touched my shoulder.

I looked up to see my brother Mike standing close with a silly grin on his face. He couldn’t help it. He just had a silly grin.

“Let me help ya!” he offered.

He gathered up scattered muddy clothes and ripped up hatbox in one arm. With his other arm, he reached out and offered me his hand. Together we started walking back across the soggy pasture towards home.

That’s when I decided I didn’t want to go live at Beth’s house after all. She didn’t have any brothers.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pensieve's Poetic License

Robin(The Pensieve One) has invited us all to the debut of her first Pensieve's Poetic License. She's made it very easy by suggesting a simple Limerick about Thanksgiving. I've decided to join her group of rhyming bloggers and add my silly little offering.


Old Abe made a big proclamation
That “thanks” be the prayer of a nation
But Cranberries and yams
And turkeys and hams
Have since become glutinous temptation

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's a Shin-Dig

Julie (Another Chance Ranch) and Tiffany (Tiggerlane, the Neophyte blogger) are soon moving in to their new homes. We watched the groundbreaking, the foundations poured, the walls and roofs raised, and the electricians in the crawl space. We approved tile, cabinets, and faucet designs. The only thing more fun would be moving in with them. In the real world that won’t happen, but I’m sure we’ll observe that part with envy in the near future.

Meanwhile, we’ve all been invited to a cyberspace house warming. It’s a Shin-Dig at Swampys!

I love cyber shopping! Money is no object. My only limitations was narrowing down the choice of what I would gift these two wonderful blogging friends, with the idea in mind that it would be something they would enjoy at the new house.


A Chuck Box from Texas Country Furniture

I picture you and McD having fun with the grandkids out for a picnic with Hickory, Ruby, and Babe. Just roll this out, or prop it next to the front porch and have yourself a party. When the company heads home, you can just close it up and store it out of the way until the next visit.


Five Swivel Rockers for your front porch from Tropitone

I really picture you as a swivel rockin’ girl. Get your evening drink, some background music and watch the sunset through the trees. These will sit on your porch year round - so get out your favorite comforter and a Hot Toddy for the upcoming holiday.

I hope you two enjoy your pretend toys. I certainly enjoyed the shopping.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fun Monday #41: Mother May I?

Hootin' Annie is the host of todays Fun Monday. She asked that we take 30 giant steps in any direction and take a photo. She directed us to take a photo and write a short essay. Then take 15 baby steps back and repeat the process.
Mother May I?
I took my giant steps East from my work station, through the patio doors and almost to the east side fence. This is where I arrived.
The bird feeder that the hubby built for me some years ago stands between a Blue Spruce and a Lace leaf Maple. I no longer rush out the patio door and clap my hands to chase the squirrels away. I surrendered seasons ago. Now I fill it with peanuts for the little tail swisher. For the birds I hang tubes of sunflower seeds and thistle. Occasionally a Crow or Magpie challenges the squirrel. I enjoy the rare visit of a shimmering Stellar Jay.

Fifteen baby steps back brings me to a Christmas gift I received from my "baby" several years ago. Amanda (aka Mandy), my youngest daughter chose this bird bath that is also a sun dial. This bath is favored by the finches because they can sit on the sun dial and ruffles their feathers before flying away. I've seen 10 of them vying for position at one time.

This is a zoom in on the sun dial sculpture. It has a teeny hummingbird that balances on a flower sculpture. Early in the summer mornings I have to hunt for the little piece after a raccoon or possum knocks it down. Yes... I did notice that I need to clean it out.

(PS. I have a tiny heater that is made for bird baths to prevent ice and to promote spoiled birds.)

Please visit the other Fun Monday participants by clicking right HERE.

Veterans Day 2007

Or call a Soldier, a Sailor, a Marine, an Airman, a National Guard, or a Coast Guard.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Hopyard Hobo - the final chapter

Written by my late father (1900-1977)

Part 1 of my father's short journal told about the depression and his experiences in California. Part 2 narrated a satisfying 5 weeks living off the fat of the land on a self sufficient farm in Southern Oregon. Befriended by a Hop grower in Part 3, he was hired as a chauffeur and then offered a job in the hop fields. Dad described his first impression of life on in a Hop Yard in Part 4. His high hopes of continuing the easy chauffeur type duties were doused by a hard dose of manual labor. The teasing by his fellow crew members and the young Russian beauties are not mentioned again. I think this says much about his discretion; Dad didn't kiss and tell. Part 5 describes a Hop Yard in the 1930's with detail - just in case you wonder where your beer has its earthy beginnings. Dad became the nozzle man on the spraying crew and a raise in pay. Nora, the bosses daughter, eloped in Part 6. He didn't suggest it in any way, but I wondered if Nora was trying to force my dad to declare for her by asking him to help her. In any event, he vowed never to interfere in a love affair again.
(My brother told me recently that "Putnam" was not really their name - Dad apparently believed he should not reveal identities. I think I met a very old "Mr. Putman" once when I was a child.)
Part 7 disclosed the inner workings of a hop harvest- the people and the field mechanics. Here is the final chapter. I wish that he would have continued
to journal the rest of his life.

The field to be picked was marked into sections, sixty rows in each, with two or three pickers to the row. There was a weight boss, a check boss, and a helper for every two or three sections. A wire man lowered and raised the vines, and finally a vine cutter removed the picked vines from the wires. There were also sack bucks and haulers who took the hops away to the kilns to e dried and baled for shipping all over the world.

Putnam's son, Winston, was field foreman. He needed a field boss who was to walk over the yard and see that the pickers gathered only good hops and that they did not put more than nine percent leaves and vines in their baskets. I got a surprise when he gave this job to me. It was the first time I had ever seen hops picked. I had never bossed women and children, Later on it became embarrassing, especially when some pretty young woman tried to flirt with me. The yard was well supplied with all types of beauty. There were college girls from Corvallis, country girls from Eugene and Albany, and city girls from Salem and Portland.

My nickname of Happy-Go-Lucky Al seemed to suit them and I was soon known to everybody.

Fritz Launer, a vine cutter, and I became infatuated with a couple of nice blond college girls. We took them to shows and dances and enjoyed their company. But, it was only a passing fancy with me. I never missed the girl when hop picking was over.

The early hops lasted only four days with this army of pickers. When we started picking the late field, Winston let over 200 of the hands go. Many of the remaining ones quit later, so that the crew was not nearly so large when the season ended.

There seemed to be trouble brewing one morning. Winston seemed to think the field boss has been chiseling, so he fired him. This boss was a young Russian, a brother to the one who had been boss all during the training and cultivating season. All of the Russian men and women quit out of sympathy for the discharged boss, Leo. Winston stepped lively until all of the vacancies were filled. I was made check boss and held this job until the season was over.

September the fifteenth came and the last of the hops were picked. There had been delay on account of rain. This, however, was the usual occurrence in Western Oregon. The pickers drew their money and were on their way. Some went back to school, some went to Idaho and Washington for potato picking, some went home, while others started they know not where. They probably fell in a soup line before the winter was over.

I had to get mixed up with romance again. Young Putman had asked me to be a witness and also best man at his wedding. His was a hop yard romance. The girl he was to marry worked in the yard all season. He is a lucky boy, for she is a splendid girl. She was literally a darling, her maiden name being Vesta Mae Darling.

When picking was over I got a chance to learn how to bale dry hops. When dry, the hops have an aromatic, spicy, tangy odor. After inhaling this invigorating odor and wrestling with two hundred pound bales all day, one needs no coaxing to eat a hearty meal or a lullaby to put one to sleep.

When the baling was done we cleaned the camp ground and put it in order. This included burning the trash and stacking the tables and benches where high water would not sweep them away. Everything seemed deserted and forlorn. The yard was barren and brown. The wind sighed lonesomely through the fir trees and even the purling water of the Luckimute had a mournful sound.

It was October the second when I bade the Putnam family goodbye.

I had found Mr. Putman to be A-1 in every way, and one of the most versatile men I have ever known. He was a farmer, a salesman, a carpenter, an architect, a musician, an artist, and a poet. He was a man worth sticking to; but I wanted to go drifting. Perhaps I shall come back and find romance next season. Quien sabe.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

October's Perfect Post

Today I invite all of you to visit this October 21 post titled Do I Enjoy Rain. Make sure you turn up your speakers and sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Congrationlations, Inland Empire Girl, who blogs at Gathering Around The Table, You are nominated for Octobers Perfect Post!

The Original Perfect Post Awards - Oct

Please check out the October Perfect Post Awards at www.petroville.com and www.suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com.