Monday, August 31, 2009

Where Was I?

Oh, yes… Corn.  I am having fun with this corn experiment.  But sometime life interferes with my reporting. But I’m here with a report tonight.

rodeo 139 The tallest of the good day corn.  As best I can count at this point in time there are 4 ears in development.

rodeo 135 rodeo 136

rodeo 137 rodeo 140 Good day corn is on the right.

rodeo 134 The only bad day corn stalk is growing taller, but no sign yet of any silk.

rodeo 082 How about these little bitty chaps. They are so cute…

And what, you may ask, do those little bitty chaps have to do with corn?  That’s the reason I’m late with the corn.  We went to the Working Cowboys Ranch Rodeo on Saturday and didn’t get home until after midnight and I was tired.  And lazy all day Sunday… and I’ll be posting about the rodeo as soon as I can pick out the photos and get my brain to writing a good post. 

So adios for tonight.  That’s all the corn I can come up with on this report.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back When Hector Was A Pup…

I moved to Ardmore, Oklahoma, just for something new and different… Away from home, Okla. City, and stretching the umbilical cord where it wasn’t so easy to run home to momma for a good meal.  I had been doing custom picture framing for ten years and I thought it would be a snap to get a job.  Shows how naive I was in my early thirties.  Ardmore was probably a tenth the size of OKC if that,  at the time.  There were two frame shops in town, both were family run and neither needed help.  Undeterred in my hunt for a job, I went to the state employment agency and filled out my info.  It was only a couple of days and a lady at the employment agency gave me a call and asked if I’d ever thought about working outside.  This was in April of the year so it wasn’t hot yet and I was 30+ years younger and so I told her I hadn’t thought about it but that wouldn’t be a problem. So she sat me up with an interview the next day with a supervisor with Atlantic Richfield Oil Company to do roustabout work. I didn’t know what a roustabout did but I was game and it paid probably double what I could have made custom framing.

Now, just as a reminder, back then, I was 5’9” and maybe 120 pounds.  Skinny Minnie.  I go in for my interview, dressed in nice casual wear.  When I walked into the gentleman’s office he stood up and greeted me, they did nice things like that back then. He looked at me and said that, frankly, he wasn’t sure that job would be for me.  I asked why and he said that there was some heavy lifting and it could be dirty work and he asked if I had any idea of how much I could lift.  I told him probably 100 pounds depending on how it was packaged.  I also told him that I would be able to tell him before anybody else could if the work was too heavy for me.  I had had two hernia surgeries and I didn’t want to do that again, so based on my positivity, he hired me to be a roustabout in the oil patch.

working in the patch My friend took a picture of me in my working clothes… hard hat, steel toed boots and old jeans and t-shirts in the summer…

in the patch 2 Layers in the winter.  But I always wore my small loop earrings.  You see, this was at the start of equal opportunity employment and ARCO (Atlantic Richfield Oil Company) needed to hire a woman to meet the e.o.e. ruling.  So I was the first woman that they had hired out in the field out of the Ardmore area. I’m working on a pulling unit here.

in the patch 3 Pulling unit here…

in the patch and here.

We rotated around with different jobs, the pulling unit,  there were two wench trucks and the gang pusher, kind of like the foreman in the field.  Essentially, roustabouts do the maintenance work out in the oil field.  We didn’t do any drilling so the work, while it could be dangerous, was not nearly as dangerous as a drilling rig.

The one thing that everyone answered the call on was leaks.  If the pumper spotted a leak in a line, everyone who was working at the time, usually about ten of us,  went to wherever the leak was found to see what needed to be done. Being a small field, when we had leaks the company would call out independent backhoe operators if it was more than just us being able to shovel out to expose and find the leak.  They also called out vacuum truck drivers to suck up the water and oil.

We were out on a leak a couple of months after I started working and the hole had to be dug by the back hoe. We were waiting on parts to do the repair and I went over to talk say hi to the fellow that drove the vacuum truck. I’d met him before and he was a nice guy.  He was talking to the backhoe driver and when I started towards them, the backhoe driver, whom they called Chief, was looking down at the ground, almost digging his toes in like he was embarrassed.  Pool, the vacuum truck driver was grinning like a possum… With kind of a questioning look at him I introduced myself to Chief and he just blurted out, “I didn’t know you was a woman and I told Pool you must be the meanest son of a bitch in the field to be as scrawny as you are and wear earrings out here and live!” 

It was a great job.  I worked there for 2 and a half years before I moved back to OKC and went to work for UPS. And I still have friends around who knew me back then that occasionally will still tease me about being the meanest little s.o.b. in the patch.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Corn And Ever So Much More…

I told you to expect surprise corn posts… Lookie here!

corn Monday 8.24.09 002 corn Monday 8.24.09 003

corn Monday 8.24.09 004 corn Monday 8.24.09 005  This is just two days after the first silks showed up.  That plant now has 2 ears, then top right and bottom left each have one and the fourth plant on the bottom right hasn’t shown it’s silks yet but it is identifiable as an ear.  This is sooo cool.

And for you all that are tired of corn… how about blanket flowers…

corn Monday 8.24.09 006

Or hens and chicks…

corn Monday 8.24.09 007

And last but definitely not the least… in fact it’s the most… A new T-shirt that my Bro surprised me with a couple of days ago.

misc and corn 8.23.09 001  As soon as I get cleaned up I’ll have Bro or Missy take my picture with it on… I love it and it is definitely ME!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Good Hair Day…

misc and corn 8.23.09 019 Not for me. But for the CORN!  Me… I need a neckectomy AND a hair do… Oh yes, and that is the tallest of the good day corn…

misc and corn 8.23.09 015 Soft and silky, blowing in the soft breeze.  Make you want to reach  out and touch it to see if it really is as soft as it looks… it is. This is the biggest of the good day corn.misc and corn 8.23.09 022 Makes me feel good knowing there is going to be at least one ear for me to sample.  I think there will be more but I learned a long time ago not to count the proverbial chickens…

misc and corn 8.23.09 011 The biggest of the bad day corn.

misc and corn 8.23.09 013 Up past my knee, you know the knee, the one with the double knee cap.  Almost all the color is gone now and the lump is getting smaller.

misc and corn 8.23.09 021 In keeping it honest and true to the test, this is the smallest good day corn.  It hasn’t matured yet as much as the biggest bad day  corn plant, but it’s getting there.misc and corn 8.23.09 020The littlest of the bad day corn.  One has laid down and the other is still trying to hang on.

corn patch 1 And I must not  forget the photo with the sprinkler in it for reference.  Good day corn on the right and bad day corn on the left.

So folks, that the farm corn report for the week.  Things will start happening quicker now that at least one has started laying out the silks, so don’t be surprised if you get a corn report quickie during the week.  I’ll be checking it daily to make sure the bugs and corn worms don’t get my corn… I’ve worked too hard to not get at least one corn on the cob.

Have a great Monday, y’all, ya hear!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bosoms, Buddies: Part Deux

When I was about twenty one I decide to bite the bullet and take the matters in hand, as it were, and see if there was anything I could do to assist Mother Nature.  A very sincere friend told me if I could get fitted in a bra that wasn’t padded the girls might have room to grow.

High Hopes So with high hopes and a good amount of gullibility I set off on the mission to become more,  ummm, boobalicious.

Back in the day, 40+ years ago, the upscale department store in Oklahoma City was John A. Brown’s.  It is now known as Dillard’s, but back then it was still John A. Brown’s.  Please excuse the wandering back in time. It seems to happen a lot these days… Now, where was I?

Oh, yes.  Taking affirmative steps to prove or disprove the validity of the claim of non-padded bras.  I am, if nothing else, enthusiastic in the pursuit.  I don’t know why.  The girls, although miniscule have done fine up to this point, but I digress.

I confidently stride into the lingerie department and head for foundations.  Here is where it starts getting dicey.  The saleslady approaches me and in a kindly, but professional tone said, “May I help you sir?” 

I started to turn on my heel and hot-foot it out the door, but I took a deep breath and said, “I’m a young woman and I need to try to get fitted for a non-padded bra.”

Mind you while I did have on casual clothes and my hair was short, though not as short as now, I did have on a padded bra at the time.  Anyway, the saleslady kind of arched her eyebrow and asked me to follow her to the fitting room.  Well, I disrobed, which was traumatic enough being shy back in the day, and the lady took her measurements that she needed and went on the quest.

When she returned with several possibilities in hand we started trying them on.  I kid you not, every single bra I tried on, and there were a few, you could roll up the cup, the A-cup I might add, you could roll it up and pin it and it wouldn’t have made a difference.  Bless her heart, the lady tried, she did. Made several trips out to try different brand names.  After the last round she very kindly suggested that I might try the juniors department. Perhaps they could help me there.  I thanked her for her patience, dressed and walked straight out of the store and never looked back.

Fast forward now to Christmas when I was sixty years old.  I was in Ft. Worth at Ben and Diane’s (baby brother and s.i.l.) and we were opening gifts. Ben handed me a package and I looked and saw it was from Laura, the niece that is getting married next month.  I proceeded to open it with all eyes upon me and it was two brassieres from Victoria’s Secret.  I know I must have gone red with embarrassment because there are some things that you don’t want to open on Christmas with everyone watching. Laura, in her sweetest voice said, “Aunt Helen, you need to start wearing a bra.”

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get used to wearing a bra after sixty years of not wearing a bra?

With age and menopause combined, the forty pounds I put on had endowed me somewhat, and I guess the tank top tees and the loose t-shirt or tops over them wasn’t enough to not embarrass the kid.

So the two things I’ve been making myself do for this month before the wedding is wearing shoes when I go out to dig in the flower beds and garden because it is dang hard cleaning the dirt out from under toenails and…

Wearing a bra of some sorts, whether it’s a jog bra or a regular one, so I won’t be fidgeting and pulling at it during the wedding and reception.

That’s my bosom tale and it is a true story. 

I hope to post some more corn another corn post this evening.  Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Since We Are Bosom Buddies…

Let’s talk bosoms.  Are you all ready for a real Helen story?  This is a true story and it happened 40+ years ago.

Let me do a bit of setting up the story.

High Hopes summer after 5th grade The first photo on the left I call ‘High Hopes’ and the second one on the right I’m practicing my cheerleader pose.

Sister LuLu 1926 JEBC Aunt Mack, Carol, Nancy Gale, Mom, Lou Ann, Sue and me Left photo is mom at John Brown College.  Right, my mom, her sister Aunt Maxine, and the girls they had. My oldest sis, Lou Ann is standing next to mom, second from the left.

Mom, me and Sue Mom, me and SueTop-154 Sue and me

Top-24 My brother caught me ‘underwears’ on vacation the summer before my junior year in high school.  Said he might need it for blackmail purposes.  This was the same trip that Ben woke me up, Helen, Helen, there’s a place that can help you!!  I sat up and saw a sign, FLATS FIXED- $5.oo.  And  yes, the bra is padded.  And there’s still enough room in each cup for a Chihuahua pup to be able to curl up and go to sleep.

Me and Sarah catching fish My niece, Sarah and I out at the Lake Hefner spillway.  They were letting some water out onto the spillway and you could catch fish with your bare hands.  My baby brother and I took his kids and several nieces and nephews out and we had a ball.

If you look at the photos, you will notice that me, my sisters and our mom were, to put it nicely, not endowed.  Pretty much flat as a board, one and all.  One of the few jokes my momma ever told was that after I’d gotten my second motorcycle she said she was going to take me to the tattoo parlor and have them tattoo FRONT on my chest so if I was ever in a wreck paramedics would know not to turn my neck around the other way and kill me.

I’m getting tired so I’m going to make you wait for the story.  I’ve got it all set up now and we will be able to get right to it (almost) tomorrow…

To Be Continued…

Friday, August 21, 2009

Does Anyone Know…

Where I can get a 55 gallon drum of face spakle?  I was originally going to just show you this photo for the  way past the “glow” stage of sweating that Southern women are never to admit passing and I thought, for reasons of a wedding coming up next month, I’d ask for make-up suggestions……

way past glowing I don’t know if you can “embiggen” the picture enough to see, but my crow’s feet, sun grin, squint lines are deep and white compared to the rest of my face… and we won’t even go into the bulldogs jowls or the turkey crepe-y neck…

Are big hats appropriate at weddings?

Anyone got suggestions?

Other than staying home?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Favorite Bloomer

Indoors, that is.  I’m not sure why it is so special.  It could be because I raised it from a pup but more likely it’s because it’s blooms are so weird.  You know I like weird.

rope plant 1 more rope plant 001 This is my baby. I don’t know what it is called other than a rope plant.  A start was given to me by a friend in Tulsa at least 5 or 6 years ago.  I’ve babied it along and it’s now got vines over two feet long.  This is not the first time it’s bloomed, just the first time since we’ve been here so I grabbed some photos because it’s interesting.

Rope plant buds 002 The budlets pop out of an odd looking little nub thingy about the size of a pencil eraser.

Rope plant buds 003 Then they start spraying outward like the fireworks on 4th of July.

favorite bloomer indoors 7.15.09 003 Then they start getting puffed up and richer in color

favorite bloomer indoors 7.15.09 005 and they pop open to these gorgeous little flowers.

favorite bloomer indoors 7.15.09 006 Their petals are thick like succulent plants and it is the oddest little flower but I just love it and wanted to share it with you all.

It’s been storming here today so I don’t know when I will get this posted, but I’m ready with a new post when it clears up.

I hope you all are having a good day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog

Was a good friend of mine…

Now that I’ve given you a tune to hum all evening I have decided it’s time for a frog post.  Or a toad post. Or both since I don’t know the difference and am too lazy to try to identify them.  I see them, I take photos of them and I let them go on their way  to catch bugs.

Wash Day 007 Walter spotted this little guy one evening when he went out for his smoke break.  The mop was propped up on the back deck under the light. He found one of the hot spots for dinner.  We serve up a great assortment of night bugs and moths on our back deck.

Another hot spot…

not my best side The window over the sink.  We leave the light on until it’s bed time because we are all in and out of the kitchen to fix a glass of tea or maybe, although it’s never me, a bowl of Blue Bell Country Vanilla, sometimes with Hershey’s Syrup all over it… ‘Scuse me a minute…  Anyway I was in doing dishes and noticed this lil’ one hanging around and, BAM! He zapped a moth. He said this wasn’t his best side so here’s another shot -

got the moth 1 Once again, as you’ve heard me say before, it takes so little to amuse me.

Have a good evening.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Calling All Warriors...

A very dear friend of mine from all the way back to the covered wagon days of high school is have a mastectomy today. I'm asking all of you to say a prayer, shine the white lights and call all the angels to look after her and all the other people living with and fighting this disease.

I have learned so much from her about different choices available depending on when the cancer was found, how big the spot and the type of cancers. I also am learning lot about choices you have when you have a mastectomy. For instance, I did not know that on the cosmetic reconstruction you don't even have to have a nipple. You can get a tattoo if you prefer, of whatever you want on your breast instead of a nip.

To give you an idea of my friend's outlook on life and her incredible sense of humor, when she was telling me about having choices, she had me in the floor laughing so hard I was crying. What nailed me was when she said she was thinking about getting the recycle logo tattooed in case she had a senior romance she figured it would be a definite conversation piece. When I talked to her last Friday I asked her what she had decided... a nipple or a tattoo. She said she thought she might like to get a dahlia... a beautiful pink dahlia, not a red one lest anyone would think she was a "hussy".

With an attitude such as that I have no doubts that she is going to do great but it never hurts to call out the forces and ask for protection for my friend, I'll call her Teacher. I'll call her Teacher because she does and has taught school for a bunch of years and she has taught me so much in just this short span of time since her diagnosis about breast cancer and the so very many treatment options that are out there nowadays... And also about laughter in the times of facing adversity.

And,hey you all, go get your mams slammed. Do it! It can save your life.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Corn Report Time…

And, no, I’m not talking about the kind on toes.  Thankfully, I hear you saying.  I’ve posted what seems like a bunch of posts on broke ribs and busted up knees and I’m tired of posting about mangled old body parts.

With that being clarified… I do have one quick thing to tell you before we go on to another stellar corn post…Tipper, over at Blind Pig And The Acorn, posted about every one who participated in the good corn day/ bad corn day test.  She also writes about cooking, canning, freezing and enjoying the things she grows. She also will share with you Pap and Paul’s music.  Good ole’ picking and singing and traditional Appalachian music.  Tipper is working real hard at keeping the old traditions alive and she is a really good read, too. 

Onward and upward…

corn report 8.16.09 009 Good day corn is on the right.  I left the sprinkler in there for a size reference.

corn report - more 003 Good day corn..corn report - more 004 50 inches plus 3 inches for the tape case = 53 inches.

corn report - more 006 Same song, second verse with the bad day corn…

corn report - more 007 25 inches plus 3 inches for the case = 28 inches.  A bit more than half the size for the good day corn.

corn 1 Tasseling on the good day corn.

corn report 8.16.09 012 And some more.  Five of the six good day corn plants are tasseling out.

bad day corn The one bad day corn, while much shorter is looking like the good day corn looked last Sunday.

corn report 8.16.09 015 The other two bad day corn plants.  I don’t know if they are going to make at all.

So all you folks out there in the blogsphere… this is the end of the corn report for this week.  I’ll have a green bean, blackeyed peas and tomato report coming up this week.  And maybe a yarn or two, a flower report, a dog report but no body part reports.

I hope.