Saturday, September 15, 2012

Guineas are funny little birds!

We have one remaining guinea from the 30 or so that I purchased shortly after we moved down here.  They are funny little birds from Africa and excel at eating ticks and bugs.  I figurde that this was exactly what we needed with our acreage here.
Over a period of time, things happened to them. Awful things. They ran away. Some got killed on the road.  One of the neighbors was popping them with a BB gun. And the old livestock guardian dog, a Great Pyrenees, murdered six in an evening, the only thing we could think of was that she was grumpy because of hip pain issues and they went near her feed bowl.  We felt just terrible about all of this.
We were left with one.  Jerry began calling him Hector (we think it's a boy).
Hector has become quite tame in spite of everyone telling us that this doesn't happen.  He sits on the roof, runs up and down it (I have to warn guests that we do NOT have ghosts in the house) and calls out his funny little cackle.  At night he gets in his tree to roost and reads the Guinea Evening News, sadly, there is no one to listen to him, the chickens aren't bright enough to understand, the goats only care about the price of hay and the horses have no interest in what has happened to Hector on the day.  He was quite lonely for a long time but then he discovered the corgis.  And he began to tease them.  One of the neighbors has a pup that comes over and runs up and down, wanting to play with the corgis, and Hector has been watching all of this.  For quite some weeks, he has been making a buzz or two along the edge of the fence, first with the puppies this spring, then with the adults.  Now he does it to all of them and the runs were getting longer and longer.
Today he ran for quite a while and Jerry said "you should be videotaping this" so I did.  I love to make videos and set them to music.  So here is Hector.  You will note that one dog chases him, then another one takes an interest, and then another.  See how many are chasing along the fence by the end!
I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chess Squares/pie/cake, Old Southern Recipe

We had a Puppy Party a few weeks ago, people came to get their new babies, and everyone brought something yummy, we had the grill out and ate ourselves silly.  There were just so many excellent things to try and I no longer eat like a lumberjack, so fortunately, most everyone left something behind.  I ate so good for a week!  :)
Susan brought something excellent called Chess Squares (and I've seen it as Chess Pie, too).  I finally got around to looking up the recipe.  Oh. My. God.  No wonder this stuff is so good.  It has not one redeeming ingredient in it.  You can feel your pants getting tighter, just looking at the photos of it!  See, here, let me show you how that works:
Susan left the leftovers behind, Jerry and I squabbled over who got the last piece.  It's truly delicious and well worth the calories.
Apparently this recipe has been around forever.  I'm adding it to my recipe file!
The best recipe I have found is here, simple, straightforward, and if you go through the comments, you can do it with lemon, coconut, chocolate, etc.  Just read through and see what works for people!
I hope you all enjoy this!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Devil is Beating His Wife

When I was a kid growing up, my parents used to say "The devil is beating his wife" whenever we would have a rainstorm and the sun would be shining, too.  Although I have not heard anyone saying this here in Kentucky, it is a Southernism that I thought I would tell you all about.  I was thinking about it this morning, so I turned to wikipedia for an explanation:
So I guess the correct term is sunshower, so I have learned something this morning.
However, I used to think how silly someone was to ever marry the devil, wondered if he killed his wives and kept getting new ones because, really, who would WANT to marry the devil?  This was a deep theological question that I didn't dare ask our pastor or the local priest.  So, I still wonder that.  Does anyone know?  :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I have to get one of these!

Once again we present our favorite subject, "Only in Kentucky!"  :)
As it happens, I was just driving to work one day.  Looking at the beautiful scenery, enjoying the sunshine.  I got as far as the corner intersection about three miles from the house and saw this sign.  And had to make sure I beat it back up to the intersection the next day before it disappeared. Because I couldn't believe what I was seeing!  I'm not a member of the NRA but I do believe in my second amendment rights and yes, we have guns here.  But not this:
I seriously did not even know they were legal to own!  Maybe you need a special permit?
I have heard of practice shooting and even a turkey shoot where the best shooter wins a turkey.  Or maybe there is a town in Kentucky called Machine Gun and the shoot is there?  Something tells me that none of this is probable.
Anyhow, I guess I have to get one. That way I can be sure of getting my deer this fall.  :)  Hamburger, anyone?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Names in Kentucky

I have written in a previous post about the wonderful names of towns in Kentucky.  I have discovered that the personal names of people are equally fun and unusual!  I have only run into a Bubba once here and will post on that story sometime in the future.
Here is a list of some of the best ones I’ve found so far:
Lera (female)
Rondal (also Rondell)
Otha (I asked Otha where his name came from and he claimed he never asked his mother.)
Isreal (spelled this way, too)
And my personal, all time favorite nickname is “Tater”.  Bobby “Tater” Thomas of Munfordville.
I will add unusual names as I find them.
And I have been told that there is a community called Bug Tussle nearby.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


When we first moved to Kentucky, a good friend who had a huge background in water resources insisted that we have our septic tank pumped out.  So we did just that.  Not knowing a soul down here, I chose a name out of the local phone book which, as memory serves, was a very professional name, such as “Jim’s Septic Service”.  Well, it is Kentucky and a fella has to name his company something. 

Jim showed up in an older pump type of truck, hopped out, greeted me, shot the sh*t for a few minutes and we sized each other up.  Then he asked a question that I had no answer for.  “Where’s the tank?”

Uh.  I dunno?  I looked at him helplessly.  He surveyed the ground, thought about it for a minute and then said “I’ll bet it’s over there” and pointed to an expanse of grass just where my yard starts to ease into the horses’ pasture.  He said “We can find it.”  I thought maybe he had a map or something in his truck of where everyone in the county had their septic tanks, I mean, they do this for property lines, so maybe down here they added other important stuff, like the septic tanks and buried wires and things.  Nope.

What he pulled out was a highly unscientific piece of equipment.  It was a dowsing rod.  You can read about them here:

I would like to point out to you the last sentence in the first paragraph:

There is no accepted scientific rationale behind dowsing, and there is no scientific evidence that it is effective.

Well, I saw this guy use this device and I saw it work.  He didn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would show off.  He just wanted to do his job and by golly, he found the septic line and then the tank, a couple of quick digs with his shovel and he found the lid easily.  I know the studies say it’s chance but I SAW this myself.  I asked about a hundred questions about it.  And unless it worked, why would he carry these metal posts around?  So he must have had good success with it.

The “how” and “why” questions still remain with me, though.

Monday, April 30, 2012


Shortly after I moved down here, the farrier came over to do my horses’ feet.  Using her big file as a pointer, she pointed at my lower legs.  “You’re getting eaten up by chiggers” she said.

And I was.  My lower legs were covered in a number of tiny red pustules, the origin of which I had no idea. And she was right.

I was born and raised in the South and had long heard of chiggers.  But I really never knew what they were other than teeny little “bugs” that would bite you and make you itch.  My mom used to tell my brother and I not to drag down Spanish moss out of the trees and play in it or we’d “get chiggers”. After years of not getting bitten by anything, we continued to do so.
Well, there isn’t any Spanish moss in Kentucky, at least not that I have seen so far.  And Momma was right about this. They itch and hurt like the dickens.  I’d walk along and let my foot/leg move against the other one to get in a little more scratching time.  It was the kind of itch that you would wake yourself up at night, scratching. 

Everyone had a remedy, the most popular one involves nail polish, in the belief that there is a living insect and you can smother it.  Not according to Wikipedia:

What did help was to prevent them. So although I wear shorts non stop in the warmer months down here, I keep my legs sprayed with bug deterrent when I have to go through the pasture or woods.  I prefer to wear shorts because I can feel if a tick gets on me and I can’t do that if I’m wearing jeans.  I also try to get into the shower right after wandering the fields and hills and scrub my legs as they seem to take a bit of time to get settled in to biting me.  I’ve not gotten them sitting in the grass but maybe it’s because it gets so warm in the yard and it’s hard for them to live there. They seem to prefer longer grass.

My farrier was right. She’s a very wise person.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dogwood Winter

This is something I'd never heard of before.  There are a number of different kinds of "winter" down here.  This refers to a cold snap during the time of another occurrence, such as the dogwoods blooming.  This can happen with the Redbud trees, locust trees, etc.  There is a Whipoorwill winter and a Lindsey-Woolsey winter.  It is written about quite well here:
So I will let you all read this.  He does a great job of explaining it all!
Right now my peonies and iris and roses are all blooming.  We are going to be a bit cooler tomorrow, in the 60s.  Not really a winter but last week we had three nights of frost.  The locusts are blooming so I guess this is a Locust Winter!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nekkid Ladies!

Yep, that's right.  We say "nekkid" down here, just like it sounds. And we have them here in Kentucky. A lot of them!
But, this is the Bible belt and I need for you to get your minds out of the gutter.
THIS is a nekkid lady:

The reason they call them a nekkid lady (and spelling it that way here ensures that I'm not violating some kind of internet porn law :) is that they grow the leaves up in the spring, then it just dies back.  In August or September, they grow up again, just a stalk, with a lovely flower on the end of it.  I saw these last summer and thought "what in the heck is that?" and tried to stop and get a photo but the traffic on the narrow roads didn't allow me to pull off and get a shot of them and I couldn't find any in town.  I forgot about it until a friend mentioned them a couple of days ago.  Oh, is that what they are?
Here is some more information on them:
I had thought at first that these were some kind of thing bought at a craft fair, just a pretty thing to stick out in your garden.  A stick with a flower on it!  :)

I promise to be better about working on the blog, I still have so many subjects to cover and more all the time present themselves to me.  This is such a fascinating place and we are still in love with it and charmed by everyone who lives here!  I did have a rather rotten cold and kidding season occurred and the last of the babies are just getting ready to go in the next couple of weeks, I hope.  The weather has been just awesome and we have huge rose bushes now that are just loaded, in spite of the three frosts we have had.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wal Mart and...the Amish....

I took these photos a couple of months ago when I went to WalMart at lunchtime to pick something up.  We see Amish folks all over town and I try not to stare and am getting better at it.  It's just that I've never been around them, and they seem so sweet and I'd love to talk to and get to know some of them.  But I am probably looked on as "English" and probably pretty dangerous.  They are really nice to talk to, I spoke with some ladies at Lowe's one day, they were all excited about the roses I'd picked out and another time in the store, an older lady came in and wanted to know where I got my brown paper bags from, and I ended up just giving her some til she could find a place to get them.  We see them all the time riding around in their buggies or wagons, and often in line at Sonic, getting a large coke.  Seriously!  :)
So this is what I saw when I went to Walmart:

I didn't get a photo of it but WalMart has also put out a big black watering trough for the horses, too!  And I was kind of surprised to see a grey horse, usually we only see bay or black horses.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Will Always Love You.....

I am having so much fun with my movie software. I really like how it came out!   I hope you all enjoy this Valentine's Day movie!  We love you all!
You will have to cut and paste this into your browser:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

For Real: Kentucky and legal descriptions of land boundaries!

I couldn't make this up. Really. And I've seen ones that are even more unbelievable.  Read this description of the boundaries of a piece of land going up for auction here:

The other one that I read some time again talked about a big rock, down the middle of a creek, etc.  And all the land down here is cut into these bizarre shapes, I am guessing it follows the hills and valleys that are down here.  Our land, for example, follows the top of a large hill and goes rather straight and the rest is all crooked, going here and there.  Thankfully it is all fenced.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The No No No Movie

Lately I have been playing with software to make movies and add music, etc.  I've been having a lot of fun with it!  The Sunrise Movie was my first attempt, not too bad and I learned the basics.  I'm working on one with baby goats right now but need some more footage.  The video part was a little tricky to figure out.  But I had this idea for a movie about corgis.  So here it is, and I hope you all enjoy it a lot!  Thanks to all who contributed photos and video of their corgis in a No No No moment!n   You will have to cut and paste into your browser to view this movie!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Garnett Vance, Jr.

I had quite a shock a few days ago.  My boss passed away very unexpectedly.  He had leukemia and had been ill for some weeks, but no one knew with what.
So I have not felt much like posting.  I'm going to miss him ever so much...
But I would like to tell a couple of stories about Garnett, so that you can all get a feel for what kind of person he was.
The first one involves food.  Yes, Garnett must have been a purebred corgi in a previous life.  He loved food.  Really, though, he was quite chubby as a child and young man and I forget what he told me he weighed in grade school but it was significant.  He was a fat kid.  He decided to do something about it when he acquired the name "Husky" for the jeans his mom bought for him.  And while I knew him, he was slender and in very good physical shape.
So he would come into my office and if my lunch was sitting on the desk, he'd open it and go through it, inspecting it. Every day.  At first I was sort of horrified, I mean, that brown paper bag could contain ANYTHING, after all, it's a plain brown paper bag, right?  :)  But he would ask me what kind of sandwich it was and then go merrily on his way down the hall.  It cracked me up.  I finally told Janie, another employee, that she had to come and check my lunch every day because I missed him doing it. And then nearly cried when she came in and did so one day.  :)
Another funny story, Garnett had bought something like $400 worth of country ham.  (I will save the explanation of what country ham is, exactly, for another posting.)  This was right before Christmas and he had them in the back of his pick up truck.  He went around town to deliver them to friends and business acquaintances.  He stopped at the first place and took the ham in, visited for a short spell, and then came back out to his truck. Which was filled with stray cats.  He told me there had to be 30 cats in that truck.  Worse, they had gotten into the ham.  Not one ham, but ALL of them.  They had clawed and damaged every single ham.  He came back to work with a pickup full of messed up ham.  I thought he would be angry.  No, Garnett was almost always pleasant to be around and he shrugged and laughed and said "What are you gonna do?  They were hungry and I left the back of the truck open."  I don't know if he went and got more ham but suspect that he did. And the poor man had to be deathly ill by then, with only a couple of weeks left in his life.
But he smiled and made jokes and although we all noticed he was  a bit cranky now and then, and knew he was sick with "something", we had no idea that his life on Earth was approaching his transition to a better world.
Garnett was a great boss and a friend and he cared about all of us.
God bless you, Garnett, and keep you in His care. I know we will see you again some day.  And I miss you so very much....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunrise Movie

I have just done my first movie!  I have wanted to learn to do this for a long time and today was the day I decided to sit down and attempt it.  It's a slide show with music of the lovely sunrises and sunsets we have here on a daily basis.  Also there is a Sun Dog and a rainbow!
Let me know how you like it!  You will probably have to cut and paste it into your browser to see it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Dinner~!

I forgot to blog in this~ Ham with pineapple, home made mashed potatoes, perfectly cooked broccoli.  MmMMMMMMmmmmmm!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dry Counties

We live in one. A lot of Kentucky is "dry" meaning they do not allow the sale of alcohol here.  Some counties are "wet" where you can buy liquor at a store. And some are "damp" where you can buy it only in a restaurant. No bars in damp counties, either!
In the next town over, there is a roadhouse, we call it "Bubba's" in a fun way, not mean at all.  The first time we ate there it was the day we closed on the house here.  Around 7:00 am and there were a bunch of farmers debating how much money they would make if they legalized pot and they could just grow that.  Cracked us up and we could only understand some of what they were saying, as we hadn't gotten used to the accents, yet.  But I knew these were good guys, one talked about how he took care of his woman, another said if you had a good woman, you'd better take care of her.  These were hardworking guys and I respected them.  Not what I'd call a Bubba at all.  Not the "here, hold my beer and watch this" kind of attitude at all.  :)

I was surprised there are are so many dry counties in the US.  A lot here in KY and throughout the south, 4 still in Florida (and I remember as a kid, hearing my folks talk about this or that county being dry).  83 counties in Alaska are dry (and I wonder just how many people live in those counties?) and about half of Mississippi is dry.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Blizzard in Kentucky!

We woke up to a gorgeous sun rise this morning:
Kentucky has good weather for the most part. But we do have some severe weather, just as so many places do.  We were surprised today by a freak blizzard!  The snow came down and it is very cold outside.  The corgis are not wanting to spend much time out.
We have incurred considerable damage.  This water bowl probably won't be usable until at least Wednesday:
And even worse, we are going to have to shovel the deck.
We are tucked in and safe. I'm sure this storm will be over soon....

Kentucky Agates

This is a Kentucky Agate, the state stone.  I love agates anyhow, so was pleased to see there are some here in Kentucky.  Apparently the ones they find here have more different colors than anywhere else.  I am hoping to use some of these in my store when I get going on that. Still working on a lot of things and will announce what I'm doing in a few weeks. But for now, you will just have to wait.... :)
The red and red/black combo is more rare here, you can find red agates but these are very uncommon.
They come in all colors.  I like the one above!
Kentucky agate is found in a geode type of formation, so you look for "dinosaur eggs".  It is found primarily in the counties of  Estill and Powell counties, occasionally some agate is found also in parts of Jackson, Lee, Madison and Rockcastle counties.  I am not familiar with these counties so will have to look at a map and see if I can find someone who can help us to look for one of these!  Each geode is a surprise, you never know what you will find when you cut it in half!
More beautiful ones can be seen here:
And here is some gorgeous jewelry made from Red Kentucky agate:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

And have you had your Hoppin' John, yet?

I fixed mine last night in the 1 quart crock pot.  1 cup of black eyed peas that I soaked all day.  A can of chicken broth.  A slice of chopped up onion.  A spoonful of bacon fat (or you could use some ham base or a bit of ham for flavoring).  A couple of good shakes of hot pepper flakes.  A bit of salt.  Cook for a couple of hours (there is no setting on the little crockpot, you go at the speed it says it wants to go at :) and then add about a half cup of rice, I always use instant and used instant brown rice this time.
You have better luck for the year if it is the first thing you eat. So I had a spoonful this morning before breakfast.  It doesn't hurt to cover all of your bases!'_John