Filed under: Family
Julie from Another Chance Ranch inspired me with her story of Mia so I decided to share Cherokee’s rescue story.
One day a dog was hanging around the school where I taught. Her coat was dull and matted and she was thin, but we figured she belonged to someone in one of the houses near the campus. We really didn’t think much about it because it wasn’t odd to see a dog strolling around the school grounds. The dog was still hanging around the next day. My friend, the school counselor and fellow animal lover, told me that if I would take the dog home with me, he would pay to have her spayed. I was somewhat reluctant for several reasons. I already had two dogs and three cats. The stray dog was covered with ticks and fleas and I would have to drive around ten miles to get her to my house. And, I didn’t know if the dog actually belonged to someone.
I taught at this small rural school in the days before Columbine so it was normal for boys to have their pocket knives and even hunting knives with them at school. At the end of the second day as I left my classroom, I heard a dog yelping and I saw a group of boys gathered around something on the ground. When I walked over to investigate, I discovered the boys holding the stray dog down on her back. Several of the boys had their knives out and when I asked what they were doing they told me they were going to “cut the dog”. Needless to say, I was furious. I told the boys that she was my dog and that they had better leave her alone. I proceeded to load the dog in my small car and took her home.
I am not ashamed to say that I didn’t even try to find out if the dog belonged to someone. I cut the matted parts out of her coat, treated her for ticks and fleas, bathed her, fed her a big meal and named her Cherokee. She has been with me for ten years. And, yes, my friend did give me a check for Cherokee’s vet bill and he also dealt with the boys who were going to hurt her.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Sunday, June 25, most of the family members from my mother’s side of the family gathered for a reunion. We have always been a close knit family that enjoys talking, telling stories, eating and, in general, catching up on each other’s lives.
The picture above was taken in the early 50’s before I was born. My mother is the young lady standing on the far right. Her parents, my grandparents, are seated in the middle. My grandma is on grandpa’s left holding one of my cousins in her lap. My grandparents had eight children, four boys and four girls. Four of their children were left-handed and four were right-handed. Four had brown eyes and four had blue eyes. One child had scarlet fever as a baby which left her deaf. My mother was the youngest child born when my grandma was forty-one. Eleven of the people in this picture have died including both my grandparents. Eighteen grandchildren were born in the years following this picture. The youngest grandchild is my sister and she will be 41 this year.
This family is full of interesting people just as any family probably is. Grandpa’s family came to the US in the form of a minister from Wales. Grandma’s ancestors were plantation owners in Mississippi who migrated to Arkansas during the Civil War years. Most of my uncles were in some branch of the military. There is a liberal sprinkling of Methodist ministers in the family history and there have always been some outlaws.
Some of my fondest memories include playing with my cousins in Grandpa and Grandma’s yard on summer evenings while the adults sat in lawn chairs under a large oak tree and shelled peas or snapped beans. My cousins and I would play hide ‘n’ seek, catch lightning bugs and put them in jars with holes punched in the lids or simply chase each other around. There were always reminders to watch out for snakes and sometimes an adult had to get up and settle a dispute among us.
Families change as years go by. We lose people we love dearly. We also gain new people as we get married and have children. Families give strength. Families offer support. Families are unconditional love. Families make memories.
Filed under: Nature
Lamb’s Ears stachys byzantina
Of all the plants I grow in my gardens, Lamb’s Ears are my nieces’ favorite. They love to touch the incredible softness of the leaves while they exclaim over the silvery color.
In times past, the large leaves of this herb were used to bandage wounds. The plant is said to stop the flow of blood from nicks and cuts. Today it is grown as an ornamental and is wonderful for use in rock gardens and as a border plant. It can grow up to 18 inches high when its lavender blossoms shoot up from the base. It gleams in the moonlight of summer nights.
This is a hardy herb, but it can fall victim to the intense heat and humidity of the South. Hard rains can turn its leaves to mush. Lamb’s Ears thrive best in sunny, dry weather conditions. The herb is also known as Woolly Betony and is sometimes called “woundwort”.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Filed under: Jasper
A Dog’s Work Is Never Done
A dachshund, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is a small dog of a breed developed in Germany for hunting badgers. In fact, in Old High German, dachs means “badger” and, of course, hund means “hound”. So my handsome friend, Jasper, is literally a “badger hound”. (read more about Jasper here)
I have never seen a badger in my front yard which is where Jasper likes to dig the most. He is especially fond of digging near the front entrance of my screened-in porch. (view here) It isn’t a pretty sight in my human eyes, but Jasper seems quite proud of it.
It is hard to be upset with a little animal that works as hard as Jasper does. He snorts, grunts, breaks roots with his teeth and pushes rocks out of the earth with his nose. I wish I could train him to break up the ground for my vegetable garden every spring. I guess I could plant some potatoes by the front door, but he would just dig them back up.
I have hauled wheelbarrow loads of dirt and filled in the holes by the front door. I’ve tried sprinkling black pepper and cayenne pepper on the ground in this area. I’ve tried that spray that is supposed to repel dogs. None of these things seem to bother my Jasper. He just keeps on digging.
Filed under: Uncategorized
This One’s For Daddy
I wrote about my dad back in April (read here). He will always be first on my list of heroes. I know that he is riding the heavenly range, but I sure do miss him down on this earthly plain. If I close my eyes and listen closely, I can hear him singing, “Happy trails to you until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then. Who cares about the clouds when we’re together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather. Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.” Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.