Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nicknames and tractor tires

Not so long ago Secret Agent Man gave me the task of taking the tractor tire in for some minor repair. He puts the tire into the back of my truck and tells me which shop he would like me to take it to. I, feeling pretty confident about this, dutifully take it to town. You know....I am all farmy and chicky .... and I can handle a deflated tractor tire. When I arrive a nice young man retrieves it from the back of my truck and he tells me they will give me a call in a day or two.

I get the call to come and pick up the tire. Upon entrance to the facility I am greeted by a bald, sweaty, loud, and sparsely clothed man. OK, I will say it was the dead of summer and ever so slighty, "Africa hot", so I won't deduct points for the lack of clothing. He then proceeds to let me know that Secret Agent Man cannot just drive the tractor through brush, briars, meadow muffins, etc, etc,etc.... without a care in the world. All I could do was nod my head and hand over the cash. I even thought for a minute he was going to tell me to put that tire in the truck myself, but alas he did not...whew.

I get home and Secret Agent Man's twin brother is at our house. Yes, people there are two of them. He's all nosey and wants to know where I have been. I tell him about the tractor tire and about the bald, bossy man. He says, "Oh, you mean Slobber!"


Never in all of my travels, have I run into so many people with such crazy nicknames. Smalltownland is full of crazy nicknames. Here are a few of my personal favorites:


Uncle Funk - I'll let you guess why




Silly Willy




What about you? Have you got any crazy nicknames where you live?

Saturday, September 27, 2008


A Freudian Slip, or parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory, or physical action that is believed to be caused by the unconscious mind.

I ran over Secret Agent Man's mountain bike. While backing out of the garage, the chiclets and I heard a loud noise. I got out to take a look and there was that bike laying under my right, rear tire.

I don't mind if he buys a new bike....as long as I get a new camera lens out of the deal.

Friday, September 26, 2008

More pictures, few words

More experimentation with my camera this afternoon. Pictures taken here at our farm.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am the cow whisperer....shhhhhh

I am just going to go ahead and poke obvious in the eye here and say, if I have cows grazing next to my wonderful, century old farmhouse.....then we have a fencing problem here on the ponderosa.

PTL for the magical qualities of sweet feed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Doing some good in the neighborhood....

This past weekend our small town had our annual festival celebrating all things "cow". Yes, cow... But, my favorite part of the festival had to be getting a tour of a local historic restoration that is in progress on main street. Built in the 1820's, The Green River House was a hotel, back in it's day. It ceased operating as a hotel in the 1950's. Then, it was sectioned off as used as a barber shop, restaurant, retail shop, etc...

A wonderful local lady and her family are working on bringing this gem back to life in our community. I can't even begin to tell you what an undertaking this project is. There are four floors to renovate and also the original, historic brick kitchen located behind the hotel. Shards of pottery, photographs, spectacles, and all matter of historic remnants have been found thus far in the restoration. Above are a few photographs of the work in progress.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Local radio station gives free sex ed lesson

There are so many lovely things I could say about our local smalltownland radio station. They provide informative local programming and a totally up to the minute obituary report. And, if you have ever lived in a small town, you know that the obituaries are some hot news. Keeping up with the living and the dead around here can be a full time job.

My favorite program has to be the swap shop. No where else can you call in and tell the whole town that you have a goat, a couch on your porch, and a bucket of tomatoes for sale. All the while making small talk with the DJ, who knows you by name and asks how your mama and daddy are gettin' along.

Each morning, while driving the chiclets to school, we listen to the joke of the day. Now, I shouldn't even have to tell you that smalltownland is very conservative. At least on the surface. So, I never fear the joke of the day. It is always funny, clean, and enjoyed by all riding in the car. So, imagine my surprise when I heard the following:

A little old lady always put a $1,000 check in the offering plate each Sunday. After several weeks the pastor was worried that the little old lady might not have enough money for herself, so he decided to speak with her about it. She assured him that her son was sending her plenty of money because he was doing quite well for himself. The pastor inquired as to his line of work. The old lady said he was a veterinarian. The pastor replied that was quite a noble profession and that he must work very hard to earn so much. The old lady replied that he did indeed work hard as he had a cathouse in Vegas and one in Reno......and keeping up with both of them was almost too much!


So....we have that mild, pregnant pause in the car and then the Deerslayer (see pensive, good-looking 11 year old in above photo) asks that forthcoming question, "What is a cathouse?" So....ummmmm.....okay.....yes, we discussed what a "cathouse" is. And he was all like, "hmmmm". And that was that. And....I am not sure if we will ever listen to the joke of the day again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The cows are out!

Boy howdy....this is not what you want to see when you come zooming over the hillside after a long day at work. Our group of 7 month old calves are out and they are trying to snack on my festive, autumnal display. And, might I add, leaving meadow muffins everywhere.

But, being the whizbang farmer that I am, I went and retrieved the trusty feed bucket. Where I then lured the cows to follow me like the pied piper. Here you see one trotting a little too close for comfort. The last thing I needed was a cow with a feed bucket stuck on its head.

At last we have everyone back inside the fence....very perturbed. But, the important thing to note in this situation is, I am the victor! No more meadow muffins in my yard.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tobacco cuttin' time

Here in smalltownland it is time for tobacco to be harvested. Although, around here people refer to it as, "cuttin tobacco". This picture was taken at the state fair. Tobacco leaves were being judged in various states.

Here are some leaves already dried and tied together.

At this time of year what you will most frequently see is tobacco hanging in barns to dry, before it is taken to market. This is called the curing stage. The tobacco is hung from poles that go all the way to the top of the barn. If you are an unlucky sort, you will get behind a wagon load of tobacco being transported from the field to the barn. So unlucky because, on the twisty smalltown roads you might get stuck behind said wagon for a long time before the opportunity arises to pass.

Tobacco barns differ from other barns. The sides have several small doors that open to let in air and this also helps to control the humidity level in the barn. This allows the leaves to cure. Later in October the leaves will be ready to be stripped from the stalk and sorted by the grade of the leaves. After which, it is taken to market.

Growing up, Secret Agent Man raised tobacco with his family. He, and his twin brother, used the profits from their own small tobacco crop to buy their first car. Although tobacco continues to carry a stigma, it is still an integral part of many small, southern towns.

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's a doily fashion show

Last month I was the winner of the, Spread the Love, giveaway by Tipper. She writes the "Blind Pig & the Acorn" blog that is a daily read of mine. The prize was a whole selection of handmade doilies. And they are beautiful. I have them in use all over my house. Below I have just a few to show. Here is one beneath a pumpkin that I grew myself! Yes, from seed, it is true.

I also put some doilies on my Welsh hutch that houses some Fire King.

This doily is showing off three of my antique childsize cast iron skillets. The play iron is cast iron and belonged to my grandmother, Dorothy. She played with it as a child, between 1920-1930.

I have some on dressers,

and also some on my Hoosier that I cram full of cookbooks.

Check out Tipper on my blogroll. She has a wonderful post right now about the TVA. Thanks again Tipper!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Drive on little doggie....

Things have been a little busy around here lately. The offspring are involved in many after school activities. And, between work, school, and extra curricular things, I spend a lot of time in the car. I was thinking it would really be wonderful if I had some extra help to drive the kids around after school. I could get so much done at home. But, financial times being what they are, I couldn't just pay someone to do this chore. It had to be someone who was willing to work for free, someone I trust with the offspring, and someone who loves driving around town.

I have selected my faithful, loyal Jack Russell Terrier. She loves to be behind the wheel and loves the kids. Plus, she will work for mere kibble. As an added bonus, whenever she rolls through the drive-thru at Dairy Queen she always garners a free treat cone.

I am thinking that if a lady can drive around town with a parrot as her driving assistant....surely I can put a dog behind the wheel.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Aye, matey!

This morning I dutifully drove the offspring to school. This is quite an ordinary task, one that possibly I could do in my sleep. Not much conversation happens on the morning drive to school. Toots and the Deerslayer are still half asleep. And, sometimes they fall back to sleep on the drive to town. Thanks goodness I have the horrifying habit of obssesively playing with the radio buttons, or I to, might fall asleep.

We make it to town safely and I zoom right on in the school parking lot. An old, red Mazda RX-7 drives right past my window. I take note that it is an older lady driving this racy little car. And then.....what to my wondering eyes do appear, but a parrot sitting on her shoulder. Behold! A pirate has moved to smalltownland. Aye, matey!

Okay, so maybe it's not really a pirate. Possibly a nutty grandma driving around with a large, blue and yellow Macaw on her shoulder. And me without my camera.....what does that say about my photojournalism skills?

And the winner is.....

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Due to the overwhelming response to my contest this weekend, I feel the need to make an authoritative, executive decision. Therefore, it is my decree that Tipper from "Blind Pig and the Acorn" is the absolute winner. I know that this leaves so many people out of the winner's spotlight, but I feel certain that we can all be adults here.


P.S. I hope you enjoy the picture of the historic courthouse in smalltownland. The orange, reflective barrels in the bottom, righthand corner just give the photo that "certain something".

Friday, September 5, 2008

Contest! Contest!

Yes! Yes! It is finally true. The first ever contest here on "It's a Small Town Life". And I know you are thinking, "Oh, Farmchick what do we have to do to win your most fabulous prize?" Well, first you have to look/examine this top secret, ultra-sketchy picture. This picture contains the men on Secret Agent Man's super secret SWAT Team. They are such a top secret team of guys that I had to black out their eyes to maintain their secret identities.

Here's the kicker.....if you can tell me which one of these men is the hottie, cow wrangler that I married you will win the fabulous prize shown below:

This is a set of four, blank notecards. Each card has a black & white photo on the front, showing a historic building in smalltownland. On the back of each card is the historical description of the building, in calligraphy print, no less. A wonderful lady in our town takes the photos and creates these most sought after cards, with her own delicate hands.

So, take a chance and send me your best guess. You never know, you might be a winner. Southern Fried Momma...your lips are sealed.

*Hint: Secret Agent Man does not have a mustache...

Famous in a Small Town

Here we have the Toots. She is holding her chin while contemplating world peace....all while her team mate is talking on a live radio show. Toots' 8 and under softball team won the state championship this summer for league play. It was quite the big deal. It included many trophies, riding around town on the fire truck, and a raucous pool party.

This team of girls was invited to participate in a live, weekly radio show here in smalltownland. Each girl got to tell their name, field position, and a few things about themselves. One girl even told everyone in radioland that her mom's favorite thing to do was fold clothes. Ahhhh...what a proud moment for that mommy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's just my favorite quote....

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch......to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Glorious, goofy, garden goodies

I know what you are thinking......."Farmchick, what in the hooha are those things?" Well, these are some Tennessee Spinning Gourds. In the 1800's they were used by children as toys. They spin perfectly, just like a top. This is as big as they get.

This cantaloupe is called a Golden Jenny. As you can see it is like a single serving melon. It is wonderfully sweet and juicy.

All of the seeds that Secret Agent Man and I grew in the garden this year came from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. Our garden was full of heirloom vegetables and most everything came out very well. Their seed catalog gives the history of the seed and the area of the United States that they come from. I hope you check them out!