Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Unexpected

Recently I went to Dailey's Chapel Cemetary on a genealogical hunt. This carved stump was among the graves and charmed me.

Creativity out among the graves. A view of the front.

A view from the side.

A view from the other side.

Isn't it great?

Someone Got a Game Camera for Christmas

Inspired by Rurality's adventures with her game cam, my husband wanted one for Christmas. He didn't get the same model that Rurality has, but we'll see if it works as well as hers does.

He hung it on a tree and began waiting to see what it would catch.

Today he excitedly came into the house with the camera and said it had taken two pictures. I had to immediately stop what I was doing so we could see it together on the computer screen versus looking at the pictures on a smaller camera screen. So I stopped, plugged in the camera, and we waited. It seemed to take forever (but really didn't) as we had to answer technical questions (preview the pictures? copy the pictures? transfer the pictures? or copy and review the pictures?--just let us see the pictures!) before the pictures would appear. My husband was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. What would we see? We both watched the screen as the pictures began to form--

a fuzzy blob. A fuzzy blob that somehow looked a little familiar.

"Oh look, your hand", I said to him. "See the outline of your fingers?" The other picture remained a murky blob of nothing identifiable. The disappointment was palpable.

The game camera has been moved to another tree. We'll see if there are any better results with that location. Let the wait begin!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Sometimes when people find out we have moved from the city to the country they tend to ask, "Why?", as if it is the most bizarre thing in the world. "There's the commute...... and the commute", they gasp.

"It's the space", I tell them, although it's much, much more than that.

How do you explain something you feel in your soul?
Rather than use many, many words which still don't adequately convey it, here's a picture.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Brrrr, Baby, It's Cold Outside

The weather has been so unpredictable. Last week it was quite warm--in the 70s-- then yesterday it became quite chilly. It was down to the teens in the wee hours. Now they are predicting that it will be in the upper 60s on Christmas Day! Bizarre.

And the meteorologists are predicting more rain. Maybe the floating fire ants will float away.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another Housekeeping Note

I am continuing to slowly learn more about blogger. I've already wanted to change the blog name but decided against it for simplicity's sake. I have, however, decided to create an e-mail for the blog so some tweaking was required. Clicking on any comments I have made (whether here or left as a comment on another blog) before today will show my profile but not my blog, but it's still here and now it's associated with the blog e-mail address and profile. Yeah, sometimes in the interest of making things more simple, they first have to get more complicated.... Hm, there's possible profundity in those words, methinks. I'll have to think about that for a while--but another day, when I have more time. Anyway, the blog e-mail address is TheCountryExperience at if you want to e-mail me. I've enabled that option on the blog.

Some of The Ants Have Built an Ark

Since our state has been in a drought for a couple of years, I am not going to wish away the heavy rainfall we've been having recently. Water is good. The ground has long since passed saturation point but at least it's not the season to have planted a garden and have all those seeds wash away.
This picture is what I saw yesterday. It looks like a floating ant hill, but I didn't wade in and go examine it to be sure. There are two of them in the pond. My husband took a stick and tried to sink it but it came right back up. I've googled it and have read that the imported red fire ants will sense rising water levels in their nests and will make a ball or floating raft. It's interesting, although not what I wanted to read. It would have been an added bonus of all this rain if at least a few of the nasty creatures could have drowned.
Has anyone else seen any floating anthills?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

We Have Tried It

We have tried it and we like it. Natural Impulse is our first experience using handmade soap. Hubby likes Bay Rum. I'm enjoying Too Sexy for my Soap. It's supposed to be irresistible to men but I haven't experienced that as my husband hasn't stopped smelling himself. We are a fragrant couple -- but in a good way, lol.

Scratch that--my husband just noticed the scent. I think he likes it.

Edited to add: I chose Too Sexy for my Soap because I absolutely love the smell, not because of its reported male-irresistibility properties. So when I wrote the above, it just tickled me how my husband was enjoying his Bay Rum scent. He's a "manly man" so I never would have imagined he would take to a bar of soap like he has.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chicken Fever

There is a raging case of chicken fever going on at my house.

It's my fault. I brought up the topic as a conversation piece, a mere topic of discussion -- but it started a fire that soon raged out of control.

I should have known better. My husband loves most things rural, ie, anything done differently than how it's done in the city. Raising chickens for their eggs would definitely fall into that category. So why did I ever show my husband someone's chicken pictures?

It began innocently enough, with a discussion of egg differences in relation to different species and then went to pretty pictures and and then it all went to ....."that place" in a handbasket very quickly. It was exacerbated by the picture accompanying this post . Seeing such a familiar item as the covered cat litterbox seemed to be the last straw. Seeing chickens in as familiar an item as the covered litterbox brought it home for him that we too could have chickens.

Suddenly he was on-line reading all about chickens. He visited the library to check out books on chickens. He scoured the bookstores to see if he could find any more sources of information on chickens and chicken coops. He has lost his mind, for chickens.


Edited to add: I apparently did not correctly enter the hyperlinks so the links to Rurality's posts did not appear. If you want to see the pictures I showed my husband, they can be seen on Rurality's blog by cutting and pasting:

Caution: Photos may be addictive. Unsuspecting spouses may be infected with the illness known as chicken fever. Looking at these photos may not be safe for young children or adults with weakened immune systems. ::goofy laugh:: View at your own risk.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Housekeeping Note

You may notice small or even drastic changes in the format and/or layout as I experiment. I've discovered the layout templates and the color chart, I think I'll take this baby out for a spin, lol.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Don't Tell Me, Then!

Or, The Rural Version of "Who's on First, What's on Second"

Imagine, if you will (and some of you won't have to imagine), moving to a new town. You no longer know where to find the grocery store, much less its layout and where to find your usual items. The post office's whereabouts are now a mystery. You can no longer go anywhere on auto pilot. Finding a gas station just got more difficult--much more difficult. You are disoriented. You are tired. You do not know where any of your possessions are, beyond the fact that they are in boxes.

In the course of conversation with a stranger (which is de rigeur here and I love it) she mentions a relatively new place she has been. "Oh, you should try the gym!", the woman exclaims. "I am a member there and really enjoy it."

"That sounds like a good idea," I say. "What is it called?" (Because of course I am thinking of my new best friend, the phone book, and of looking this facility up when I get home, because I'm from the city and we have lots of gyms there.)

"The gym", she says.

I'm a little confused at this point but I think either she didn't understand what I asked or I misunderstood her answer. "What is it called again?"

"Why, it's called the gym!"

Oh dear. Clearly there is some sort of communication gap here and we are apparently not going to breach it today. We continue chatting about other things and then part ways. Days pass and I forget about her recommendation of the-gym-with-no-name.

So imagine my laughter when one day I happen to pass a business with the name "The Gym." Of course it is, just like she told me!

Monday, December 8, 2008

You Know You've Moved to a Small Town When.....

You know you've moved to a small town when the ads in the local paper make no effort whatsoever to mention where things are. The assumption apparently is that everyone already knows where everything is. lol

Yep, that is when you know you've moved to a small town. ;)


We recently moved to the country and one of the first things we had to do was build a fence for our dogs. Apparently other people can trust their dogs to stay around the house. We can't. Our city-raised dogs understandably have no clue what property boundaries are. No fence apparently means it's a canine free-for-all, complete with a lot of intriquing smells and wonderful-smelling places to investigate. Hence the fence.

But we aren't great fence-builders, one of them reminded us last night by escaping. How he squirmed his big barrel chest through that little hole he'd dug and pushed under the fence I have no idea--but he did. Still traumatized from the last Great Escape, I check on them frequently when they're in the yard and that was how I discovered he was out. My husband heard my yells and grabbed our keys. We ran for our vehicles and took off.

Cars passing by made me stop and wait to pull out into the road. I looked around--and saw my beloved boy! (He's actually probably a senior citizen now but he's still "my boy" to me. His mischievous nature certainly hasn't changed.) His beautiful white fur was gleaming.... in the headlights of cars on the busy road. Oblivious to the fact that he was exactly where his sister was when she was hit by a car, he crossed the road while the cars' drivers slowed or braked to let him pass. They probably didn't know that I was watching in absolute terror.

Time moved differently in those moments. My heart was on the road with my boy, at the mercy of those cars. I was close enough to see him and the danger he was in but too far away to protect him from it.

To those drivers who saw my beloved boy standing on a Blount County road last night and let him safely cross the road--THANK YOU!! I saw your kindness but was focused so completely on him I have no idea what you were driving. He crossed the road and I was able to pull out onto the road, rush to his side, and usher him safely into the car. My boy was safe because of the kindness of strangers and I am grateful.

(Note: The above picture is not a picture of my boy. It's a very similar likeness I found on the internet. )