Sunday, June 19, 2011


Hi guys.

Beaux here.

I know I haven't provided you with proper updates on my new country life.
That would be because I have been too busy.
I sun at least 1 hour per day.
I sit in my chair on the porch for 3 hours per day.
I perch on the back of the couch and watch outside 6 hours a day.
I bark for a solid 4 hours at what may be nothing but is quite possibly a large monster lurking in the woods.
I chase squirrels .002 hours per day.
I sneak over to Mawmaw C's house and play with Poochy and chase chickens for .5 hours a day.
A dog has got to sleep sometime, right?

Not to mention, the computer has been on the fritz.

However, I have some very exciting news to share.
You know how I love to chase balls.
If they did not hide them from me, I would drive them absolutely crazy with my obsession.

You see, there is this place next to the wash-house where these balls just appear every day.
Some of them are green (well, at least I think they are green, I'm not entirely sure, you know the whole color-blindness thing), some of them are pink, some are red.  They are soft and if you bite too hard, they taste...sweet.

I know, how completely awesome is that?
It. Is. The. Greatest. Thing. EVER.

Every morning, me and that boy walk out and have 1 or 12.

Does anyone else know about this?

Just a warning, they do make you a little crazy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Chicken Whisperer's Apprentice

Momma (AKA The Chicken Whisperer) has gone on a trip.
I enthusiastically agreed to take on her farm chores in her absence.
This evening when I got home I let Beaux out and we walked over to Momma's to get to work.
I decided I would start in the garden.

I grabbed a bucket and went to picking.
I didn't see any tomatoes ripe for picking, and thought to myself, this is going to be a breeze.
Speaking of, there was no breeze of any kind. It has been unseasonably hot and dreadfully dry lately.

Alright, no tomatoes, on to squash. At first I didn't see many of those either. They were hiding. After a few minutes I got over my fear of sticking my hand under a huge leaf and grabbing a snake instead of vegetable. On to green beans. There is entirely too much work involved to get only a handful of beans. I have decided that if we ever have a garden, it will only be in large produce. It makes you feel more accomplished.  Cucumbers and pimentos, I picked. The jalapenos stayed on the plant. I just thought it was a bad idea to start picking them since I was having to wipe the sweat from my face down every few minutes.

Garden: check.

Now chickens.
I chopped up a giant cucumber I found hidden underneath some very large leaves that was a little past its expiration date.
(Beaux spotted me picking it up and then would not leave my side because he wanted me to throw it.)
I finished washing the rest of the harvest and headed to the chicken yard.

Momma's chickens are loving chickens.
Well, they love getting fed the 'good stuff'.
They recognize the container and run to the gate.
I sprinkled handfuls of cucumber all around and they were so excited and seemed to enjoy it so much, I went back inside and cut up another one.
Then I gathered the eggs. The hen house was a little darker than I would have preferred. The fear of grabbing a snake came back with full force.

Next I had to get them clean water.
I don't understand chickens.
One water bowl was completely turned over, the others were full of dirt where they had scratched around it and now only had mud in the pans.
They should really work on their critical thinking skills.

I got the water hose stretched to the pen and went to dumping and refilling the containers.
You would have thought it was Christmas. They went to scratching and pecking in the mud.
These hens can kick up some my face.
I wrangled the water hose around to spray out the bowls and spray the mud off me and caught an awful smell. I thought, 'Whoa, these chickens stink.'
Then looked down and realized, it wasn't the chickens, it was me.
Apparently, Molly had eaten something that didn't agree with her and I had drug the water hose through the ripe-smelling poop and now it was all over me.
The hens appalled me in their lack of compassion.
In the mean time, Beaux decided that his duty was to keep the chickens from getting too close to the edge of the pen. So in the midst of being covered in mud, sweat, and poop, I was having to dodge jumping chickens that had been spooked by Beaux.

Next I needed to empty and refill the food trays. A couple of the hens had taken the liberty of pooping in those, too.
By the time I filled the food trays it was definitely well on its way to being dark. The hens were ready to roost. There have been some problems between some of the big chickens and the young chickens when it comes time to roost.  Momma told me about her trying to herd the little ones into the chicken house and push them up to the roost with a stick while nudging the bigger chickens when they wanted to cause trouble. She assured me that she would not expect me to stand in the chicken house poking chickens at dusk.
I had all plans of not poking chickens.
However, one of the big barred rocks changed those plans. The little ones would try to get up to the roost and she would start making a low gurgle sound and then peck at them to knock them off.
I wasn't having any of that.
So I found the big stick and tried to coax the little ones and poke her when she started to get unruly.
Chickens can't see well when it gets dark, but they get nervous.
One of the little ones ended up hopping onto the end of the stick and would not let go. Poor thing was hanging on for her life. I tried to gently shake her off, but she had a death grip on that stick. So I thought I would just carefully try to put her up on the roost and then she would let go and be where I wanted her to be. She wasn't having any of it! So there I am, in the dark surrounded by nervous and irritated hens, soaked with sweat, covered in mud and poop, with a chicken clinched onto the end of a stick. I couldn't very well start violently shaking the stick like I was putting out a burning marshmallow, but I was not sleeping in that hen house. All of a sudden I got so tickled that I burst out laughing. Well, luckily I startled the hen and she hopped off the stick.
I told the chickens good night and assured myself that I had not missed my calling in being a farmer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Little Rock Part Dos

First of all, valet parking makes me nervous.

I get so anxious and concerned that did something wrong.
I'm not sure if there is a true incorrect way to get out of your car unless you fall out of it or climb through the window, but I always think I did something wrong.
Miles before we reach the hotel, I have to have all the contents of my purse inside my purse and not spilled out and strewn between the front and back seats. I have to dispose of candy wrappers, Starbucks bottles, casserole dishes, cake pans and all the other snacking material we bring on 5 hour trips.
Then there is the moment where you have to make a quick desicion about who is going to get the luggage, my make-up/getting-ready tote bag, and the mass of pillows we bring.
I don't want to be the only idiot carrying her own possessions. This is a classy joint.

So we made it through check-in just fine.

The Peabody had more than just ducks in the lobby.
They like soap in the shape of a duck.
Pictures of ducks on the coasters.
Ducks on the notepad.
And even..

These telephones were scattered all over the common areas.

And all of them had a personalized note just for us next to them.
Yeah, right.
We were 4th floor guests.
They don't do that sort of thing for mere 4th floor guests.

The views of the river were great.

However, we were forbidden not allowed directly discouraged from exploring all the view-points.
The Little Rock River Festival was going on the same weekend we were there.
The rude lady that told us we couldn't walk around the hotel we had paid to stay in direct lady informed us that some people tried to go through the hotel grounds and attend the festival without paying.
We informed her that wasn't a problem with us, because we didn't want to attend the festival, we just wanted to take pictures.
She repeated her statement about it being 'off limits'.
We again assured her we had no interest in going to the River Festival but would like to go down a few levels of the hotel's outside balconies.
She then repeated the same statement.
We tried to convey to her not only our lack of desire to attend the festival, but also how we loathed crowds and it was entirely too hot to be in one, but she didn't budge.

We got our pictures though.
The next morning while I was snoozing because I was in a king sized bed with about 12 pillows, the hotel had a late check out, the air conditioner was set on 65, and the curtains blocked 99% of the blinding sunlight, Mr. Z went down and took some early morning shots.

Because most of the roads were closed down around the hotel for River Fest, we had to walk most anywhere we wanted to go in the vacinity of the hotel. There is some great architecture and great restaurants around.
Mr. Z did his research before he booked the hotel to find us the most accessible places.

We didn't quite get this.

I will let you draw your own conclusions.

We found a couple of restaurants that weren't too far from the hotel (if we drove) that we thought we would try. We picked up our car from the valet (no catastrophe), and headed to go eat mexican. Something we have both longed for since we left Texas. Due to roads being blocked off, we couldn't park close to the restaurant without paying to park in a parking lot. So we headed back to the hotel, and took off hiking.
We used the maps app for walking directions.
After a few new blisters and sweat damp clothes we were ready for some tea and fajitas.
Apparently we are not alone in our loathing of crowds.

They were closed.

Ok. We can handle this we told one another.
We will not break through the windows and raid their coolers.

We found another place we wanted to try.
0.3 miles away.

Bigger blisters and a little sweatier and much wearier, closed.

We remembered we had passed a little joint way back right next to the hotel that was open.
The Hop Diner.
As we walked through the door, we noticed several hand written signs.
One of which read: "This is not a fast food restaurant Please allow us time to make your food fresh"
You could tell it was written with a little attitude.
Immediately I liked this place.
Near the register there was another sign that read: "If you do not have time to put away your cell phone, we do not have time to serve you"

Maybe 4 minutes after we sat down one of the ladies that had obviously been there since the early shift walked over and put up the closed sign.
When the waitress came over she sat down at the table with us and asked if she could sit for a minute.
We welcomed her to our table and told her she could hide there for a while.
The crowd had hit them hard.
The food was great! Simple diner food.
With a water and sweet tea.
That's a great time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Oh Ohh Little Rock

Memorial Day weekend for our anniversary/birthdays we took a little trip up to Little Rock.

We just wanted a little one-night getaway and some sight-seeing.

And barbecue.

Whole Hog Cafe was great!
Uncle B let us in on this little jewel.

The menu is simple.
Beef, pork, chicken.

I got the pork.

After our bellies were full, we went across the street to Fabulous Finds Antiques.

As soon as we walked in, she was there to greet us.

I knew we had found a great place.

There was so much stuff, I had forgotten most of it until now while I'm going through the pictures.

I'm going to have to do a separate post for the rest.
If you ever get a chance to stop by, do it and bring your camera.

After paying for our few items, we made our way back to the hotel.

Boy, did Mr. Z surprise me.

We stayed at The Peabody right on the river.

The Lobby was beautiful and calming.
It even smelled like vanilla.


In the lobby!

At this point, I was really glad we didn't bring Beaux.
Now, he would have loved it...
But we would have been politely asked to leave.
And handed a bill.
No pun intended.

Blogger isn't letting me upload any more photos right now.
I'll post more of our trip later.