Living in the Country

Notes about living in rural USA now and before!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

, I'm back on line, but only in the evening as I only have one phone line now (I was spoiled before)... Trying hard to stay on the Beach, but finding a grocery with "low-carb" products has proved next to impossible. If you ask for Low Carb, they send you to the local garage! (subtle joke, folks).
Our move was a nightmare from beginning to now (no end in sight).. more on that later.
On happier note; somehow they found out I was a Methodist and the church folk began arriving with all sorts of fruit baskets, cookies, casseroles, etc. plus many invitations to come to church (we did that) and join in and could they help!! Saints, all of them!

Monday, January 03, 2005

It has been so warm here. We spent the weekend in shorts and tees and this morning Jim came in and I had to help him get out of his sweaty undershirt which was stuck to him like glue.

We spend Friday night at Moe & Amber's after the New Year's party on Pleasure Island and in the morning, Jim & Michaela rode home with us and M & A came up later in the day.

The weekend was busy with more furniture moving, the grandchildren here.. marching around in rubber boots on our 90 acres (talk about aerobic!!) and such. The men cut a lot of brush around the lawn and raked around the house, etc. Moe's friend Larry Lee came up both Sat & Sun to help and he & Moe found some plywood which they used to put a ceiling/floor up in the garage rafters and they they hoisted most of my Christmas stuff and other things like that up to that storage. What a relief to actually see the garage floor.
Neal gave me a Hickory Farms gift basket for Christmas. Imagine my absolute delight when I looked at all those wonderful cheeses, spreads and beef sticks, etc...all carb-free!! I took out the dozen candies and gave them to the children and then opened one small package of "Chavarti" and ate the WHOLE THING!

New Year's at Pleasure Island was certainly a pleasure for this NY kid! We were the guests of one of Moe's clients, Morris & PeggyTurner at their home by the sea. It was 76° and a strong breeze coming in from the Gulf, but our hosts had all the windows open so we could smell the sea. We were trotting around in summer clothes (sweaters later on in the evening). Jim said it was the first New Year's party he even attended without his long underwear on!

The "mansion" was... not so elegant as I had hoped! Most of the homes there are multi-million $$ places, but inside was modest size and the Turner's home looked as if it had been "decorated" all Waverly fabrics and bronze sculptures.
It is built right in the headlands on those tall "hurricane" stilts and they drive their very large boat and their small boat right under the house. They served lots of appetizers (seems everything went on a cracker) so I just nibbled cheese and had a couple of shrimp.
The main course was Cajun gumbo... it was fabulous! I took just a smidgen of the sticky rice and skipped the potato salad, but ate two huge bowls of the gumbo. Oh so, wonderfully seafoody!
Jim & I brought two bottles of champagne which we had moved (??) and they popped them.
Lots of families there, many brought children/grandchildren and they galloped across the beach and rode golf carts over the dunes, etc.
It was a grand introduction to Texas hospitality! I loved it!

We have no long-distance yet. We got a dish network service, but it really stinks as we get no local (NBC,CBS,ABC) service and there is not much of interest to watch. I have to phone them and make some inquiries as it doesn't seem to be what they "sold" me.

Jim's shoulder is bothersome.. he has very limited use of his arm, but he's trying valiantly to cope.
One day last week as I was standing in the side yard trying to figure out what this bush covered with long drupes of black berries is.. and a flock of about 40-50 cedar waxwings began to fly in all around and over my head to feast on the berries. It was so remarkable! They must be migrating. Yesterday, the berry bushes were alive with Texas mockingbirds.. spectacular with white belly and wings. Jimmy captured a skink (little lizard) that was green and yellow striped with a bright blue tail. We put him into a clear plastic box and observed him for a few minutes before dumping him back in the yard. He moved like a streak of lightening.

This morning I picked a bouquet of narcissis from my front garden. This is a very strange country!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

It's like springtime this morning. It's now 72° here with a balmy breeze. We just spent a few minutes talking to "PeeWee" in the yard. He's funny! "Not much for visitin"... but if he spots you in the yard, he's good for an hour of talking at least!
Got some more boxes opened and organized. I have so many things I guess I'll have to sell or throw away as there is just no place to put them. Hate that!!
We are going out to Paradise Island for New Year's celebration at the "mansion" of Mr. Maurice Turner, a customer of Moe's. He owns one of the refineries in Port Arthur.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

We thought the septic was full, but because they connected the two bathrooms with a 'T' instead of a 'Y', there was a giant plug there ... yuck. I would guess that the little old lady who lived here, only used the smaller bathroom so the other never got a chance to work.
If one more person enthuses to me that "oh, you are in Miss Agnes' beautiful big house"... I think I'll punch them.

Moe gave me a church bell for Christmas. An actual bell from an actual church steeple!! So I can call the children in from the fields! How SUPER-DUPER!
Christmas Eve, with everyone here for dinner, the toilet in the (full) bathroom keeled over and went thru the rotten floor! OMG!! Sewer was totally plugged so the guys had to dig up the line and run snakes and hammer etc. What a royal MESS!!
Thank God both Moe & Neal were here to help (I made them just LEAVE IT) until Christmas was over. I now have a bathtub with a commode sitting in it; a hole where the floor should be, and a BIG STINKY.
UGH< UGH... I just LOVE this house! UGH!
I am hysterical!! Every box I open I discover some more damages. I hate this.
I think every piece of my furniture now has some big whack or scrape or dent! The sofa Amber got me was waaaaaaaaaay too big so now I need to find some sort of love seat for the living room.
I still do not have long distance service on my phone. We had to join a "farm co-op" called Eastex Phone Cooperative.. to get phone service at all and now they are "searching for a long-distance provider" This is hillbilly heaven!
I finally found a lady to cut my hair today. What a gem! I told her just what I wanted and she did it perfectly. Loretta Mott .... isn't that a PERFECT name for a hairdresser! Straight out of "Fried Green Tomatoes".

Sunday, April 27, 2003

To live in the "country" in the USA is an experience for only the brave!! It requires that you are self-sufficient, that you are hardy and sometimes foolhardy.
There is a special flavor to country people and that is true whether you are deep south Texas or high in the New York Adirondacks.. down East in Maine or far west in Washington. Once you are determined to be "country", you then communicate on an equal basis.
The accents change from region to region and the descriptive words change, but the brother/sisterhood is the same.
Country people are, by and large, private about their private lives and snoopy about yours!! They love to gossip, but they will never betray a friend's confidence.
The food -- more on that later -- it is extraordinary wherever you go. One thing I've noticed is that in spite of that old adage of "Southern Hospitality", the New Englanders are more likely to actually set a place for you at their table and you will never come to call without being offered at least a cup of tea.
OK.. this is my first BLOG thing ever and now I'll have to think about what I want to record here.
The Lord watch over you...
"Hand in hand with angels; some are out of sight, leading us unknowing, into paths of Light."