The Little Garden That Could

The little garden 'that could' is at it again, but it looks like some of the plants got up on the wrong side of the bed or something. The plants on the far end are cucumbers. The plants in the foreground are yellow crookneck squash. For some reason the plants on the right side of the bed are robust and happy, but the very same plants from the same seed stock on the left look almost miserable. All, still tiny, 60+ okra plants in the rest of the bed seem fine. When Cappy gets off the boat Thursday he will appraise the situation. You may recall from years past, bumper crops of cherry tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, etc. hauled out of our little 48 square-foot garden by the dishpan full. This Spring we asked ourselves, "To bean or not to bean..." and decided to plant okra instead. Our little garden seems to be off and running in fine fashion. It already promises more okra than we dared hope for. I'm sure as the next few months go by, you will again see dishpans brimming over with produce from the little garden that we lovingly refer to as the 'Back 48'.
Other stories from the yard to come. We ate plums and gave away so many, and there are still plenty on the tree that I can't reach, but alas, I fear have passed their prime. The birds are still deliriously munching away on the golden flesh of these loquats (Japanese Plums). We are soon to be in figgy 'hayo',tho. We'll try not to eat them all in one sitting. We hope to save a few for granddaughter, Destiny, who last time she was here when the figs were ripe, all but laid under the tree watching for the next fig to ripen so she could snatch it, pop it into her mouth and savor the juicy sweetness. Therefore, I guess it's not just the little garden, but also the little yard that could. It's just the "little" Pegody who sometimes can't keep up and keeps panting to herself, "I think I can, I think I can".


Bad Hair Days

But WHY???When 'the boys' get groomed, they usually look all "shee-shee froo-froo". They look like dainty little 'pansy' dogs, but Cappy is right when he says, "Well, they may look like that, but they aren't...what they are is snot-nosed little boys". Rough and rowdy, but funny and good company.
I hate to say it, but the hair cuts they got the other day disappointed all of us; me, and the boys. I don't know what happened. Ya cain't win 'em all. I tried taking their pictures, but they were rolling all over the beds and the couch, just not happy. Instead of Bichons, they look like Poodle Fools. They don't even look like poodles, just an odd mix of some kind of strange breed of dog. When I stopped to get gas on the way home, after I picked them up from getting groomed, the kid who checked the oil, asked me a couple of times," What kind of dogs are they??" When I told him again, he kinda made a weird face and walked away wiping the oil blade. As I was paying him, he asked, "And where did you get them?" Alright, enough already...they look bad.
I talked with Cappy's Aunt Gussie and said we are coming for a visit. Cappy had talked with her first and tipped her off about the bad haircuts. She asked, "You are bringing the ugly dogs, right?" Yeah, I'm bringin' the ugly dawgs. I think I'll put paper bags over their heads, with doggie eye-holes.
It kind of makes me think about this lady years ago when I had taken my kids to the park. We were all sitting together, when a lady went strolling by with her big bull dog. I could tell she was quite proud of her dog, by the way she walked along, holding the leash. Perhaps he was a prize specimen, who had won blue ribbons in a dog show. I was about to say something nice to her, when Thom, who was about seven years old, pointed to her dog and screeched loudly enough for everyone in the park, the and surrounding area to hear, "HEY!!! LOOK AT THE PIG!!!" Then doubled over in laughter, to which the poor woman visibly withered, and quickly slunk away, now apparently ashamed of her pure bred dog. It happened too quickly for me to be able to do anything, as I had other little children with me, who I didn't dare leave unattended for a minute. I've always felt so badly for that lady, even after all these years.
I have to laugh about how things even out sometimes. Now we own a 'pig'. MarkyBear is supposed to weigh about 15 lbs., but the last time he weighed in at the vet, he was 42 lbs. People often just stare at him and say how cute his face is and that he's so sweet, but "Boy! Is he big! ...and round...like a pig". And now this 'miscreant', as Cappy calls him, has a bad haircut, to boot. I'm about to take them out shopping at PetSmart or some other store, where they can go in with me and peruse what they'd like to take to Aunt Gussie's house, when we go. I can already imagine the looks we are going to be getting from the people 'in the know'.


A Box of Rocks

I didn't deserve what I got.

I often warned my kids when they were misbehaving, "If you don't behave yourself, I'm telling you, all you are getting for Christmas is a box of rocks". It must have worked, because I don't remember ever giving any of them a box of rocks, except for one time, when Dan was especially naughty for a length of time, I made sure the first gift he opened was a package of coal. I guess it upset him so much, that he still insists that it was the only gift he got that year. I could never or would never do that to him...trust me, he got gifts. But he deserved the box of coal he got that year.(Love you, Dan...now that you have kids, you understand...I hope you do:-+)
Now when I have to give lumps of coal, it's made of chock'lit.
Well...the other day when Cappy called, I was in a perfectly foul mood, which is very much unlike me. I was irritable, short-tempered and cranky. Lovely. I'll chalk it up to some rogue hormone imbalance. When he called, I kept cutting him off, interupting him and tried to brush him off the phone. I was just miserable and rude to the poor guy, and here he had only called to, "hear your sweet voice", but he let me go. Awhile later, he called back and told me, "just for that, expect something from FedEx". Oh oh.
Well, the something came. It was a box of rocks. I mentioned in earlier posts that Cappy loves watching the educational channels. Several times we have watched shows on mining for gems. I love emeralds and we both said we'd really like to go on an expedition to have the fun of digging for them. He remembered that, and had seen advertisements of emerald in the rough jewelry, in his Discover magazines; just not in the current editions, which he had out on the boat, so he called around, and finally, son Joe, found the phone number for him. And that's what he had FedEx'd to me. For my bad behavior, he sent me a box of emeralds in the rough made into a necklace, bracelet and earrings! He said, "Now, don't get to thinking that being in a bad mood will get you presents; I just wanted you to know that despite your feeling bad, that I love you". I was absolutely stunned! The jewelry is amazing. I even got all dressed up and wore them out last night to an art exhibit opening, given by my brother-in-law, and boy! didn't I feel lah-dee-dah. (more about that in a few days.) What a wonderful man I'm married to; sometimes I don't feel worthy of him; the man 'rocked' my world!


How High's the Water, Mama

I went out last weekend and took pictures of the levee, to see how high the water is getting. I don't understand the 'convoluted' explanation of 'Flood Stage', (and at this point, don't wanna know, because I've heard it so many times, my head hurts), but apparently they don't consider it a flood til the water starts creeping up the inside of the levee. I always thought flood stage meant when the water was about to run over the top of it, but noooo. Being an art person, adding the numbers that they give for flood stage for any given city, to the feet the water comes up the levee, then subtracting that number from how high the levee is, (which EVERYBODY knows) to learn how much further the water has to come before it begins to spill over...escapes me; just escapes me. I went out to see for myself. This picture isn't the Mississippi River; it's the space between the River and the levee. Well, now the River definitely is creeping up the levee, and this pointed area, is pointing toward our house, which sits about a mile or less away, not to mention this farm and other homes. 'They' said, not to worry, because the water will spill over on the other side of the River, first, should it get that high. I think that's what they are saying, conversly, on the other side of the River. Since I took this picture, the water has been rising considerably, but I haven't gone to look, and I don't wanna go look, either. Well, I do, but I don't.
I know what a flash flood is. In western NYS in '72, we got the residual rainfall from Hurricane Agnes, which dumped 4" of rain in a 24 hr. period. They just can't take that much rain, having no bayous. It was the worst flooding in the area. We lived in an upstairs apartment, over-looking the Genesee River. The river was so swollen, it wore away the levee (up there they call them dikes, like they do in Holland) and undermined a major wing of the local hospital, which then fell, two stories of it, right into the river. It dug an 8' deep trench, 50 feet long, where our driveway had been, but although we had to evacute, of course, as a matter of civil defense, we had no personal damages. When you talk of 4" of rainfall up there, I liken it to the apprehension of getting 4" of snow falling here in the South.
Cappy let me know that we live on a 'hill', if there be such a thing here in South Louisiana, and that if the water did happen to breach our side of the levee, it would not make it to our house....and for me to stop worrying. So, I'm not. I've seen water do some strange things, that help bolster my faith. This is a picture of the house I lived in just before I moved to Louisiana. As you can see, it too, sits on a hill. The Genesee River lay about 3/4 of a mile to the west. I had only been moved in about two weeks, when it was pointed out to me, that there was a sump-pump in the finished basement, and "What a joke! The people who sold the sump-pump to whoever owned this house, saw them coming!" and 'hahahahahaha!!!!' followed by other belittling comments about the mental acumen of the past owners, for having it installed in the first place, and, so, unplugged it. Not two more weeks later, I awoke to find 18" of water in the basement where still unpacked boxes were completely saturated...ruined. It had rained quite a bit the day before, and for some reason, the drain by the road, backed up, and ran back up through the pipes into the house, unabated. We were flooded, living 'high and dry' on a hill. I'd call it an humbling experience.
Now, the house where I learned to have Faith, was where we had lived for a dozen or more years, on a fancy shmancy horse farm directly near the unpredictable Genesee River again. The area had gotten about 2" of rain in a short period of time, threatened dams upstream, and did quite a bit of damage. Bridges were being undermined again, streams were spilling over their banks, and the horse farm we lived on, where several families abode along the road all around us, were under mandatory evacuation. I kept praying and waiting for the knock on the door, or the dreaded phone call, telling us to, "get out now!" My kids were all in high school at the time, so when they called to ask me how high the water was, I had them stay with friends until I knew it was safe. (The school bus couldn't make it because the roads were all flooded, and I didn't want the kids driving their cars, through it either.) At that time I just kept reminding myself of Scriptures and saying them out loud to build up my faith. I remember my Dad doing that one time, years before, and miraculously it had worked. I saw news helicopters flying around; way up past the torrent, which was rushing across the road, I could see television crews all set up, and later watched all the interviews from that spot on the nightly news, from the safety of my living room. The flooding was so bad, it went on for several days. I never did have to evacute the premises. The owner of the horse farm, called to ask, "How come your house is the only one on the whole ranch that isn't flooded??" (It had been her home...she was the original owner, and in her new home, even she had, had to evacuate.) I just shrugged and didn't give it much thought until later when my photos had gotten developed. This picture shows how close the water came to the house, and stood for a week or more, yet not one drop of water even got into the basement.
Soooo...now, this week, I can go out and take a ton of photos of the River and get myself all worried, but this particular picture is the one I'm going to look at to remind me of how much I've really been protected when I Ask. I don't have all the Answers; I don't pretend to have all the answers. I don't know about everybody else; I pray for everybody else, but all I know about is my faulty self.
Even so, in the midst of all this, another humbling experience is going on. How high da water, you ask? 6" high and rising. Both my kitchen sink drains are stopped up. I tried everything. SparkyBear and I even got down under the sink and unwrenched the whatchamacallits, with a pot underneath to catch the water, but then it started spraying all over under there. Nasty stuff. I cleaned out the trap, but it wasn't bad. Wrenched it all back together, with my danged little fingers, and tried it again. It's still blocked, with water standing in the sink, so now, I'm gwinder be in the market for one of those snakes. Usually not what you want to encounter in the waters of South Louisiana, but in this case, it's what is needed. Oh Lawd, tomorrow, I'll have to don my bib overalls and John Wayne personna again, then swagger into the bowels of either Home Despot or Lowe & Behold for a sewer snaky. I wonder if they see me driving in, in Cappy's Jeep will lend any credibility. Ah, yes, my cup doth runneth over, but I'm still smilin'. Still smilin' here...


Many Happy Birthdays

This weekend is loaded with Birthdays of four of the favorite girls in our life. Today is our granddaughter, Ashley's 7th birthday, shown here on the left with her brother Zachary. How sweet are they! I can't wait to hug them both. Awwww. So cute. Today is also Cappy's sister, Maria's birthday. Here she is with her hubby, Darryl. They are as fun a couple as they look. I plan on seeing them, perhaps today, to give her a big ol' hug; it's gotta be big, cuz Cappy is still out on the boat, so it has to be from both of us. Yesterday was her daughter, Blythe's 9th birthday. Here's a recent picture of her eating a grapefruit she picked out in our yard. She's so much fun! And cute! What a cutie.
Tomorrow is our granddaughter, Destiny's birthday. She's as sweet as she is beautiful. I think she just may be a professional dancer when she grows up. She's been taking dance lessons since she was a tiny tot.
I know this all may sound too syrupy, but this is our family, we love them dearly and we are highly prejudiced. This is our wish for all our Birthday Girls: We Love you, we thank God for you, and may you have the next best year ever. 'Til we see you, BIG computer HUGS and KISSES.


The Best Medicine

You may recognize our neighbor, Sonia from previous Blog postings. She is one of young Brad's aunts, who lives next door to them, as well. While Bradley is still in a coma, he's over in Houston, receiving the best treatments available in the whole world. They send in physical therapists daily, who work on stimulating his brain, by several different means, but also working hard to keep his athletic body in shape. Sonia's sister, Sybil, who has been staying over in Houston for the family, calls to let me know how things are going, and said that the other day, during a rather strenuous workout, Brad tried to mouth words! The doctors fully expect him to wake up at any moment, but he may wake up gradually. The boy certainly is in there, and communicates the best he can, from which everyone gleans more and more hope. He is able to sit up in a wheel-chair for several hours at a time, breathing on his own. Sonia is over there this weekend and has brought a very special therapist with her; meet her little Yorkie, "Trout". He must only weigh about two pounds, but his heart is that of a lion. He'll take on anybody, no matter what size they are. A couple of joggers were going by his driveway the other day, when he took off toward them barking. Laughing, they told Sonia, "If he was three feet taller, we'd be in big trouble". He's such a sweetie-pie, tho.(Our neighborhood canine group sounds like a wonderful menu; Steve and Monica have Cocoa, and a gorgeous blonde lab, named Biscuit, who is our neighbor Maggie and family's dog, then there's Trout.) I'm so glad that this hospital lets family bring in pets to visit their patients. I think little Trout just might be what the doctor ordered; a ton of doggy kisses.


Good-Bye Raleigh, We Hardly Knew Ye.

We are sad to see ol' Raleigh-Raleigh go.
He was always alone out in the yard by himself. He was only about three years old, as best as we can figure, and had, had a rough life before he came to live with us; being obviously abused. As Cappy says, you count count his ribs, he was terrified, keeping his tail tucked under his tummy most of the time, and screaming in terror if he was scolded, even a little. He was with us for about a year and a half, we treated him lovingly and he became the nicest little dog you could imagine. He came to love children and people just in general. But he was just so lonely most of the time. I think the lonliness must have broken his little heart. Because I think it's appropriate at this time, I'm adding the short little story we had written about him a couple of months ago. It follows: Jude's wife, Sonia, loves watching the crazy antics and goings on in our yard, by our dogs,outside her kitchen window. I don't always get to see the show, from inside our little house. She came over and told me she wishes she'd had their video camera handy the other day. Raleigh-Raleigh, who has taken up residence in the flowerbed, now wicked weed patch next to our front door, was sitting in the middle of the matted-down weeds, early one morning. I feel sorry for the poor guy, because, since he doesn't want to be in the house, and the spoiled Bichons stay in the house most of the time, he's left out there by himself and has to find ways to amuse himself. Sometimes I think he must get kind of lonely because I'll see him 'talking' and playing with the strangest things, such as candy wrappers that have blown into the yard, or his dog bones. Occasionally, SparkyBear and MarkyBear will go out and give him a little company or run around the yard with him; but only briefly. Well, on the day in question, Sonia said it was early and the sun was bright, casting a very dark shadow of Raleigh on the house next to him. He happened to notice his shadow and seemed delighted to have suddenly found himself in the presence of 'company'. I don't know what all he did that amused Sonia's attention, but she said he seemed thrilled to have another dog out there, sitting by him. Together, 'they' sat there and watched the world go by. At one point he put his paw up, in such a sweet way, to touch the other 'dog'. 'They' sat there for awhile longer, and much to our neighbor's delight, she saw Raleigh lean over and 'kiss' his new friend. Awwww. He really is a nice dog. Santa's helper got him some special toys for Christmas that might help keep him occupied and happy out there in the yard, when the sun is on the other side of the house, poor guy.
I mentioned the other day that the dogs' Invisible Fence had 'gone down' because of a recent storm, which 'fried' the control box, leaving the dogs with no barrier between them and the road. Well, Robert, the fellow who always comes out whenever there is a problem, or for maintenance, perhaps once a year, came out the other day, with his little dog, Lilly, in tow. All our dogs were acting up trying to impress little Lilly. I put the 'bee-shees' in the house, and as Robert was fixing our electrical problem, I asked him off-hand if he knew of anyone who would want Raleigh-Raleigh, as Robert, himself said that our yard dog seemed deprived of attention. He said, "No, not really...does he bark?" Resignedly I nodded my head, and admitted sadly, "Yeah, he does; but only to let us know somebody's in the driveway or yard, but then he pulls back and doesn't bother them". At that, he said, "Oh yeah! I do know somebody who wants him. This guy has a dog, who won't bark to let them know when anyone's around, so that's what they want...a dog who does bark.", then got right on his cell phone. He arranged for this man, who happens to be wealthy well-known chiropractor, from Baton Rouge, to call. I think the Lord must even answer prayers from animals sometimes, because things couldn't have worked out more perfectly for Raleigh. The man drove over with his large motor home, bringing his female black lab named "Shadow"...(Raleigh's 'dream girl', from the flowerbed), and his precious little 8 year old daughter and her sweet little girlfriend. They all fell in love immediately, swooped Raleigh up and whisked him off to his new life, on four acres, two of which are Invisible Fenced in, just as he's used to. He now has a real family of his own with another yard dog for a constant companion and kids...kids of his own to play with, an a very nice man and wife, who are already talking about spoiling "poor" ol' Raleigh-Raleigh. They have called a couple of times now to tell us how well things are going, that Raleigh and his "Shadow" stick together like glue, and that already Raleigh is teaching her how to make these weird little noises...he does make strange noises when he's being silly, that boy. They said they will send us some pictures. I had planned on taking photos while they were here, but it all went so fast. We are sad to see him go and miss him, but we are so happy for him; all we have ever wanted for him was a good loving home, and now he has that. As a couple of people put it, "Raleigh can now live the life of Riley".

And as for Robert and his little dog, too, well, they are our heroes for da day!


A Fowl Ball

From the last post I was complaining that I might not get to attend the "Chicken Show", because I had to wait around for the Invisible Fence guy to come to our dogs' rescue; their fence having been out of order since the last storm. Actually, I got tired of waiting, put a note on the door with my phone number so he could get ahold of me, then headed on out for a quick visit to the "Serama Extravaganza". Seramas are special small breed chickens, who come in many different flavors...uh...colors. (I hope I don't get into trouble for stating it like that; they are pets and not food, I think, but perhaps Cappy has somehow influenced me, so I'll blame him, in his absence.) This camera just could not do any of them justice, but I couldn't very well talk about a chicken show without including a few pictures, anyhow. The head of the organization is Mr. Jerry, (pictured above) whom I'm assuming did most all of the legwork, drumming up everything to make this show the complete success it was. I've never been to a chicken show before, but, to be sure, I want Cappy to be able to attend next year, as it was so much fun. I missed a lot of the goings ons, because I got there kind of late, and only stayed about an hour. I see that I had missed out on doing the chicken dance and a whole lot of other fun. I did get to meet "Mr. Bebe", Mr. Skip, Mr. Jerry, and a lot of other people, of whom I didn't get their name, or if I did...promptly forgot, but, "that's how I roll". What a nice bunch of people! I truly mean, the down to earth, salt of the earth, good people. As soon as I got there, and after looking about a bit, I found myself wearing a chicken hat and Cajun Two-Stepping with a couple older gentlemen, wonderful dancers, who plum wore me out! I had a great time and I'm glad I went. I never did learn who won the chicken contests, but, personally, I think I am the biggest winner, having gotten to meet so many warm and friendly people. And to think...without Cappy, I might not have gone. I might have chickened out. (Oh come on; you know I had to say it.)


Pacing the Cage

(This slideshow plays bigger and more clearly over on You Tube: cappyandpegody in Videos)

Alas and alack, Cappy has already gone back out on his boat, and actually...a day early, again. (Somebody's momma had to have surgery.) Instead of getting up at 4:30 a.m. to drive Cappy to Houma on Thursday, because he had to be there Wednesday, we both got to sleep in; him on his boat, the dawgs crowded tightly around me in our bed. As I sat here today, making yet another slideshow, Cappy called and asked if I'd care to be their 'grocery lady' this afternoon. There was some kind of snafu, where the boat couldn't make it to Houma to pick up their goods, so I jumped in the SUV and hauled on down to Houma. He also had me stop and pick them up some charcoal and hickory chips, so they can 'fire up da pit' out in the wilds somewhere for their supper. Hmph; I still say those boys are all Huck Finn wannabe's.
As always, I have plenty of things to keep myself busy. As it is, I may have a whole month, but it seems as though I still don't get everything accomplished; things I had shaken my fist in determination to 'get done', ...and yet, not. "Not YET", I say. (Yes, I'm the eternal optimist, I guess.)

One of the things I'm looking forward to tomorrow...at least if all works out as planned, is attending a 'Chicken Show'. Your guess is as good as mine. I think it sounds like a dog show, but with prize Serama chickens, instead, and all the atmosphere of a carnival, sans rides. I think I read that the chickens won't be pacing around in cages, but will be 'strutting their stuff', performing and showing off, because they "love audiences". Some wiseguys say they are going to trot out Cajun fried-chicken as their entry. Seeing that, it oughta make those performing chickens step lively! There's going to be food, of course...(it IS Louisiana), a Cajun band, and dancing. I'm assuming this includes the people, as well, and not just the chickens. I only wish Cappy was home, so we could attend together, and I don't like going anywhere by myself; however, my friend, Lona, said she'd take me under her wing. I plan on taking a bunch of photos. The people who are involved with this extravaganza sound like a real hoot. It should be way too much fun.

The only thing that might dampen my attendence, and that of others is, of course, rain; it's looking as though it might be 'thinking' about it. The main hinderance, tho, might be the fact that since a big screaming rainstorm that we got a couple of weeks ago, the dog's Invisible Fence has not been working. We weren't aware of it, until the other day when MarkyBear decided to waddle his little self on out into the road, where a neighbor was walking their irresistible little daschund. Not good. Apparently, even after the fence had 'gone down', the boys didn't know it, and dutifully stayed inside where they knew the 'line' to be 'drawn', until one certain little wisenheimer decided to 'fly the coop'. It was a good thing I happened to be right there when he did it, and scolded his little butt right back into the confines of our yard. Now, the only day the guy, we jokingly refer to as Little Abner, can come out to fix the 'fence', is Saturday. And I have to stay here and wait, 'til he gets here and takes care of it. Until then, I've been outside with the boys, walking back and forth with them, to make sure they stay in. Tomorrow, Saturday, I'll be doing it again, while waiting for the 'fence dude'; pacing back and forth like a wet hen, waiting and hoping I can still make it to the "Chicken Show".