Puppy Love

My dog is cheating on me.  He begs to go out then only stands in the drive and looks longingly at the neighbor’s house.  I do believe, if I allowed it, he’d  howl a serenade under the lady’s window.  A few times, she’s stopped to visit and pet him.  You’d think think she’d invited him into her life.  Puffing out his chest,  he peed impressively, then kicked up a huge cloud of dust. to show what a mighty fellow he is.  In all honesty, his bladder capacity is astounding since he’s a mastiff, but I don’t think it makes her want him more., nor does his habit of making a beeline to sniff her nether portions.

Worse yet, if he gets more than twenty feet ahead of me, he goes stone deaf.  Buzzy, my other dog, suffers the same malady.  Though we have a two-acre yard with plenty of poop room, they are both desperate to leave surprises for the neighbors.  Early on, I made sure they knew the perimeter of our yard.  Since then, they’ve both try not to go inside its boundaries.  If they got their heart’s desire, we’d be surrounded by a poop fence on all four sides ten feet just outside our property lines.  Buzzy’s deposits are offensive enough, but Croc’s leavings are mountainous.and would soon obscure the view if left to lie.  We’d be run out of the neighborhood if they got their wish.

Anniversary

Our first photo together.  I am the chubby baby in the front row.  Bud is behind me to my left.

Bud and I celebrate our forty-eighth anniversary today.  We met days after my birth when his mother came to help out after my birth.  Two and a half years old and more experienced, he wisely waited for me to grow up a little before showing interest in me.  I was pre-occupied with the business of being a baby and had no time for him, possibly leading him to think I was playing hard to get.  From time to time, we’d be thrown together over the years, at holidays, school events, community, church, and family visits.  He was pleasant to me.  I liked him, but had no idea he held a special interest in me.  The summer I was seventeen, he’d gotten a car and starting calling regularly.  My sister Phyllis thought he liked her, so I made a point of getting out of their way when he came to visit.  All socializing was done in the living room in the midst of a large boisterous family with the TV at full blast, so there was no question of privacy.  We could take a guest to the snack bar in the dining room if we wanted, but we were still in the middle of things.  Coincidentally, my fourteen-year-old brother, Bill, really admired and enjoyed Bud, too, so he thought he was there to see him.

Bud was had broken his foot and bashed his thumb in separate accidents in his summer mechanic job, so he was a comical site hobbling on crutches with casts on his foot and hand.  He was good-matured about all the teasing, so I knew he had to be a good guy.

After a week or so of nightly visits to Phyllis and Bill, I was surprised to get a call from Bud, asking me out.  I probably stammered a bit, since I thought he was interested in Phyllis.  I accepted, and that was it.  We were married two years later.  Forty-eight years and two children later, August 22, 2018, we celebrate our  anniversary together.  We’ve had the best life anyone could ever have.

Chicken Poop Tea For Two

Why don’t men just say what they mean?  Bud and I have been married forever and I still don’t know how he thinks most of the time.  You need a little history here.  My niece generously gave me a garbage bag full of chicken poop.  I’d been coveting her chicken poop for a while, but hated to come right out and ask for it.  If you’re not a gardener, you probably have no idea what a precious gift chicken poop is.  Ferns love it.  There is nothing better than a delicious dose of chicken poop tea for your flowers and vegetables.  They practically slurp when they get their weekly dose and seem to fairly jump up.  I hurried home with my prize before she could regret it, with the intention of making myself a big batch of chicken poop tea.  I dug around is Bud’s shop and found a nice five gallon bucket.  He agreed I could use it.  It never occurred to me to mention what I wanted it for.

I divided that precious poop between that bucket and one of my own and filled both three-quarters full, covered them and left them to steep, one on the front porch and the other near the back patio.  In a week or so, I had a strong brew.  The lid prevented the smell from permeating the area.  It was potent.  I doused my ferns and other hungry plants weekly.  They loved it, competing to green up and put on new growth.  Adding water each use kept it coming.  The stuff was all I hoped it would be.

Then Bud started badgering.  “When are you gonna pour that stuff out?  It stinks!”  You can’t keep it here in that bucket.”

I wasn’t getting rid of it.  “Hannah, gave me this.  I need it for my plants.  I’ll move it away from the patio, but I’m not getting rid of it!”

”That s—— stinks.!  You need to pour it out.” He had the nerve to actually call it s—-!

”I’m not pouring it out!”  He stomped off.  He better have the good sense not to mess with my chicken poop tea! 

This went on for three years.  Several times a summer, we discussed my tea.  He never quite had the nerve to dump it, though he threatened several times.  That was a wise decision.  Chicken poop doesn’t grow on trees.  By now, this was prime stuff, very valuable to me.

This May, we were having guests.  I was fatigued, having spent several days getting ready.  Bud started up again, seeing my weakness.  “What are you gonna do with this bucket of s—-?”

I lost my resolve.  “I guess I’ll  throw it out!”  I thought he’d be ashamed and stop me.  He didn’t!  I gave my plants a final treat and emptied the buckets on my compost heap.

Yesterday as we dawdled over Sunday coffee in his shop, I spied that same blue five gallon bucket by Bud’s saw, full of lumber scraps.  “Is that THE bucket?  I didn’t think you’d still use it after it stood full of chicken poop for three years.”

”Why sure.  It’s a good bucket.  Why do you think I wanted it back?”

“You mean all that complaining was over the bucket, not the chicken poop?”

”Well, yeah.  It’s a good bucket.  I needed it back.”

”Why in the world didn’t you tell me?  I would have gotten you another bucket and kept my chicken poop? Buckets are cheap!  Chicken poop is priceless!”  Was this the same man who agreed to share all his worldly goods only forty-eight years ago?  I guess that didn’t include “good buckets.”

Chcken s——-!

My patio

 

 

Time and Again

As I hold my tiny granddaughter, I remember melting into my grandma’s pillowy softness and smelling her Cashmere Bouquet Talcum Powder unaware she’d ever played any role but “Grandma.”  Though I’d always heard Mother address her as “Mama”  I stung with jealousy when I found out Grandma actually was her mother.  I felt as though they’d somehow cheated me by knowing each other first.  My first conscious memory was of toddling barefoot behind Grandma as we headed out to see her chickens.  I spotted a road-grader and strayed off the path to investigate, stepping into a nest of sand-burrs, those mean little stickers that hide in short grass.  I howling as Grandma hurried over with her flat-edged shovel and seated me on it as she pulled the stickers out of my tender feet.

We went on to check on the chickens where Grandma praised Della, her Dominecker Hen for laying a double-yoked egg yesterday, remarking to the others they might consider doing the same.  She told Sally not to start acting “Broody.”  She didn’t have enough eggs to “set” her yet.  She counted her chickens and found Susie missing.  Grandma got a long stick and poked under bushes till she flushed Susie out from her “stolen” nest.   I felt so important crawling way under the bush bringing baimageck two warm eggs. Chiding Juanita, a ornerny red hen, she threatened to invite her to Sunday Dinner, saying “You’ll make some mighty fine dumplings if you don’t lay a couple of eggs this week!”  I wasn’t that invested in Juanita and don’t recall whether we had dumplings or not.

The barn fascinated me most of all as I peeked through the crack between its chained doors  at the child’s table and chairs stored in its mysterious shadowy interior.  My grandparents and uncle had only rented the furnished house.  The barn and its contents were off limits to me.  Nothing could have made it more desirable as I imagined  the treasures it held.  Surely, there was a tricycle, a wagon, and since it was a barn, of course, a pony!  The longer I was denied, the more the list grew.  Never was a child so deprived or tormented by desire.

I do hope my little one recalls sweet stories of our our times together one day.

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Fried Chicken Gizzard and Cheddar Cheese Sandwich

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Well, I Never….”

Long, long ago when I was a but child-bride, I yearned to please my handsome husband so I dreamed of concocting hearty breakfasts, luscious lunches, and delightful dinners.  This wasn’t to be.  We had wisely married while still in college so were in possession of two things money couldn’t buy, abject poverty and true love.  We were just scraping by.  After about two weeks, about all we had left in the refrigerator was a half-loaf of bread, mustard, a couple of lonely, frozen chicken gizzards, and an old, dry sliver of cheddar cheese.  I fried those chicken gizzards up nice and hard, sliced them as thin as possible, added the slivered cheddar cheese and sat down with My Darling to enjoy the amazing delicacy.  It was the worst thing I ever tried to eat.  The piquant taste of overdone gizzard slathered with mustard was not a good companion taste for the dried out cheddar cheese.  I was never tempted to try that combo again.

Superman and Grits

Cathy and Linda0001

 

This is me pictured with my cousin Cathy on a visit to their family in Baton Rouge. On this memorable trip, I was first introduced to grits.  It was instant love.  A year or two later Cathy told me Superman had killed himself.  I was sincerely devastated.  If Superman couldn’t deal, what hope was there for the rest of us?