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Sunday, May 23, 2010

One Last Video ( of THIS Event)

One last video of the Cops and Robbers Event at HomePlace, on May 8, 2010.

My first full legnth Animoto video! I am so Proud!

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Explosion of Heavenly Sweetness and... YOW!

I couldn't resist. I looked over at the berry bramble while harvesting veggies, and I heard the siren shout of ripe dewberries. Usually Art brings them to me to savor, so I avoid the thorns, weeds, and other hazards. Not today; I was out early, and my usual impatient self decided to get them on my own. On crutches.

Carrying a plastic shopping bag, I picked my way through the obstacles mentioned above. The bag tore, but I stubbornly knotted it instead of going back to the house for a berry bucket or an obliging husband.

Collecting berries in bag (and belly), I discovered a few just past the glossy prime of fully ripe. A shame to waste them, yes? Distracted by a batch of berries just out of reach I popped an overripe one into my mouth as I stretched to pick the last few ready-ripe berries.

A heavenly burst of musky sweet flavor flooded across my tongue and...YOW! PAIN! FIRE!

If you're a Texan, you've already figured out what I did. I didn't look before I reached for -- or ate-- the berry with a fire ant garnish.
It had me by a single taste bud and wasn't letting go! I scraped my  garden grimed T-shirt hem down my tongue. ARGHHH! It held on tightly!

No other options available, fire ant stinging viciously, I clawed my tongue with dirt encrusted fingernails. The ant came away in my fingertips, clacking its mandibles at me as I peered at it. It rared up, ready to latch onto my finger to punish me further. 

It didn't stand a chance; I wiped the fire ant remains off my fingers onto my jeans. Standing in the bramble, I selected one perfect berry from my bag, scrutinised it closely, and placed it on my poor, injured tongue. Ahhhhh! Heavenly!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Farewell Festiva!

This Ford ferried me to my education job daily until she gave up due to a frozen engine. She sat inthe woods for several years until her swan song last Saturday at our event for writers: Cops and Robbers. Folks learned about weapons of the 1920's and '30's. They got to try some, too.

After the writers finished decorating the Festiva, The M-37 hauled her to the shooting range.  Set into position the old car gave her all for the winner of the raffle for the first shot.

Jean-Marie took aim...

...and blew the windows away!

More shots followed, delivered by eager writers.

"STOP! STOP! OMG!!!! Where's my cell phone?" Stacy searched while writers waited. "I dropped it when I was steering the car into place!" Despite the hail of bullets earlier, the phone was rescued intact from under the driver's seat.

 Proudly, JML shows the results of her shooting.

What can be learned by "tagging" and shooting up a car? Writers discovered:

* spray painting cars is FUN
* side windows shatter more easily than windshields
* hiding behind a car in a shoot out might not be a good idea
* bullets penetrate both sides of a vehicle at a 75' distance
* cell phones lodged under the seats are protected from gunfire

I'm hoping to see some of this information incorporated into someone's novel someday.

As for the Festiva, it's off to the recycler to become something new, but she'll live in the imaginations of the writers and their readers.What more could any teacher's car want?


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Harbinger

Busy mandibles, armored, less than a half inch long, it was perched on a leaf. They'd be coming along bigger soon, nearly two inches long by the end of summer, but this one was the first grasshopper of the year.

No songs of rejoicing, no roll of drums for this harbinger of the plague to come. Now until November they'll be eating their way through my garden. It's the Burnetts vs. the hoppers.

Three life processes take up a hoppers life:
Everything green and tender is hopper fodder. Beans, lettuce, small seedlings, tops on their menu, are crunched, chomped, and chewed to rags. Tiny baby squash are gnawed if hopper mandibles get a  hold on the tender skins.

What goes in, must come out. By the end of May everything will be peppered with grasshopper poo: rabbit cage tops, feed bins, vehicles, the ground itself. Don't hang the sheets out for that wonderful clean smell; I swear the hoppers balance on the clothesline just to besmirch the bed linens. The evil deed accomplished, they fling themselves away, laughing the mechanical gnashing that is grasshopper laughter.

The dog eats them, the chickens eat them, the cats pounce upon them and eventually dispatch them. We pick them off the plants, and take them to the chickens ourselves. No effect is apparent on the burgeoning hopper population.

Why? They breed. Prolifically. Hoppers must be the best creatures in the world at replacing themselves.

I'm desperate. I'm thinking of poisoning the rapacious devils, if I could find one that worked. I don't want to kill ourselves or any animals in the process, though. What to do??? Got any ideas?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Walking With Mr. Bear

Going for a walk, Mom? Can I go too? I promise to be good!

The wild grapes are blooming! Too bad the deer will get them before you do, Mom.
C'mon! Lets go check out the flowers! Let's go! Let's go!

These smell great! Can I eat them?
Why are you yelling, Mom? Oh, poison oak is not for eating -- or smelling.


Bad plant! You make Mom itch.
She HATES Virginia creeper.

I protected Mom from all the bad things ( coyotes, cougars, hogs, other dogs) that might hurt her on our walk. I'm a "gooooo  boy", so I got a Pupperoni! Don't forget to take me next time, okay, Mom?