Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Smokey may be dearly departed, 
but this shot on the Shop's calendar 
has always been a customer favorite....
which is why it keeps cropping up 
even though ol' Smoke's been gone a couple of years.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

There's Retired....and then there's...

...retired with too much time on your hands.  Which is what I learned yesterday.

The senior citizens at my Center love jigsaw puzzles.  In fact, we keep one going on a special table year round.  Those puzzles can get expensive, so we've developed a system with a couple of our folks where puzzles are shared.  This allows one puzzle to be used multiple times, until we can all afford to buy a new one.

The latest is a true challenge: a collage of the American Flag made up of individual photos.  

Years ago I discovered you can't just put a puzzle on the table.  The box goes ignored.  Even putting the pieces out...nothing.  The only way to grab their interest, is to build the "frame" of the puzzle.  For some reason this lures folks over to start putting in pieces.  So yesterday I put the new puzzle on the table, flipping pieces over and sorting the frame edges.  Then something odd caught my eye.

 Whoever donated this puzzle had WAY too much time on their hands.  
Because after the puzzle was done, 
he/she had flipped it over 

 numbered all the pieces!
(I'm hoping none of my puzzle workers figure that out.)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday in the South

A couple of weeks ago I shared photos of the small cotton field 
outside my office window.  
Before you can pick cotton, you have to defoliate.
They did that last week...and for the record, it stinks.
Now it truly looks like a popcorn field.
 I used this photo as an illustration of how the "other farmer" doesn't do his job.
The white strip is cotton, 
the middle is the "other guy's" soy bean field filled with pigweed
which has spread to the cotton field.
The third green field in the background belongs to a third farmer
who yesterday had a crew outside plucking pigweed out of it by hand.

Now it really does look like popcorn.  
That "nut" like object on the left is a cotton bole which hasn't yet opened.  They'll be picking soon.

 The "other farmer's" corn field.  
It grew up so bad in weeds no one could get a combine in to pick it. 
 The deer and birds, however, will benefit.
(Same with the soy bean field, which is an ode to Dog fennel and Ragweed).

Here it is almost the end of October and it's 70 degrees today. (21 C)
No wonder my flowers are confused.  
The Gardenia has started blooming again.

 Begonia and Hibiscus on front porch

 Even that Halloween pumpkin looks out of place next to the Begonia.
Yes, that's an old wood stove as the planter.

The only sign that Fall is really on the way is 
the Old Gal out front has started tossing out pecans.

 Looks like a Pecan Growth chart:
Green hull which hangs from tree (unless wind blows hard like today!)
Dark brown hull, usually hangs from tree and nut drops from it 
but again, wind can change that.
And the lovely final product...
which both our mothers consider a better gift to receive than gold.  
Bringing pecans to them already shelled gets us a gold star.

And Bou says all will be right in the world 
when he goes to the Vet tomorrow to get the bandages off his ear!

Have a good week!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Last crop of summer

Outside my home office window is a small strip of cotton field.  Small, because our young neighbor, who farms for his uncle, wanted to add some crops of his own.  So while 2 acres may seem like nothing to most farmers, he's managing to gather a few extra acres around the neighborhood for some extra cash...because there's a little bundle of baby boy expected in December.  He's a good young farmer and had I included a shot of the rest of the field, that another neighbor "manages" (he plants seeds and thinks God should take care of the rest) you'd see the difference in work ethic.

As a kid, I called them "Popcorn fields" because all that fluffy whiteness looked like popcorn.  That might've not set well with my ancestors, who were farmers, but they'd forgive me because I too enjoy warm earth and planting.   I actually found a newspaper article concerning my 2x Great Grandmother's 81st birthday which included,"She is not only able to do quite a good deal of work around the house, but still enjoys the activity of field work.  Last year she picked cotton with her grandchildren- and rarely ever picked under 100 pounds a day.  This is wonderful considering her advanced age."

Wow!  You go Great Grandma!

 Some weeds, like pig weed, have grown resistant to herbicides and farmers have actually gone back to having workers go into the field and pluck it out by hand.  My young neighbor did so this summer and that 2 acres is the only spot in a 30+ acre field without 5 foot high weeds.  (Take note, older farmer who thinks he's done when the seed goes in the ground).  Which is why I was so surprised to see something else in his field this morning.

Morning Glories.
Not many, just a small patch in purple, pink and a few miniatures in baby blue on the edge of the field.  But instead of weeds, they look like exclamation points on a more well tended field.

Now before someone points out weeds, 
that was grass along the edge of the border dividing field and lawn.  
He's good, not perfect. 

And so with such lovely color available, 
I took advantage of Bou the dog following me and snapped a few shots.
(That's my "crop" of yellow Lantana, planted inside an old tractor tire).

After all, it's almost Christmas calendar season,
and my 4 legged Pin Up only has so much patience with posing.
But after watching me snaps shot of cotton,
he wasn't suspicious when I invited him to sit down.

Y'all have a great weekend!