Monday, July 24, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Three

In the true story "Climbing Fool's Hill; and Coming Back Down" I recounted an incident in the life of a fourteen-year old.  That would have been me. The scene has been set, the end (so to speak) is not yet.  I wrote

"As I stepped out onto the unstable pile of small rocks, my weight and the forward motion combined to create a skiing action.  Wow!  That was fun.  Climb back up the hill, repeat.  Climb back up,  Wait.  If I make a short run (there was space for no more than a short run) I can fly!  The landing will be safe, for the itty bitty rocks will cushion me, and I may skid a  l o n g way down the hill!"

Here you may read the story in its entirety.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I can take the heat,

after all, I grew up on the High Plains. And, I am not saying it is muggy, but when you jump into the pool and nothing feels any different, something's just not right. 

--Bob Warr


Saturday, July 22, 2017

New Toy

Vanilla is attempting a new approach to writing his blog posts. It works like this. Two weeks ago I purchased a piece of equipment that purports to be a cell phone for less than 20 bucks. I did not purchase any of the minutes for telephone usage but simply adapted the piece of equipment to serving as a handheld computer. I soon discovered that this machine has many amazing features including voice writing. Thus I sit here at my ease and dictate my story to my machine. I am so excited by this that I am hoping to carry this away from home and transmit my messages back to my base computer. Wow this thing is amazing!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Two

The series about the Burrell twins ended in a twist that surprised the author, for I was not aiming in that  direction when the story began. This is the penultimate paragraph in the series.

"A choking in his throat and a feeling that his heart would stop, Cooter held his aim.  A tear ran down Scooter's cheek, and the report of the rifles was as one.  Two minie balls sped toward their targets."

Read "Burrell's War" here.

 Little Margot entertained me over a series of brief stories.  This paragraph found its way into the tale "Margot and the Pink Elephant."

 But as the elephants approached, Margot suddenly got very quiet and very still.  Very un-Margot-like behavior indeed.  The first behemoth was pink.  All over pink.  Mother could see that the attendant for whatever reason had dusted the animal all over with pink powder of some sort.  But little Margot's comprehension was addled, or as we would say in this day and age, her mind was blown.

Read about the Pink Elephant here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dad's Strawberry Roan

I shared this story on STSTT several years ago.  I can picture Dad clacking away on his old manual typewriter, twenty-six years ago today. 

The following is  from my father's writings.  I go through his material from time to time and share some of his wit and wisdom on the weblog as I feel impelled to do.

The time of this incident, circa 1924, the setting, a  farm in Southeastern Colorado.  These memories were recorded  when Dad was eighty years of age.  I know this because the document is dated July 19, 1991.

When I was in my early teens, I came into possession of an outlaw horse, a very bad deal for the horse, as I remember, but game he was.  He was always looking for a way to ditch rider and destroy life as well.  Oh, that "strawberry roan," under fourteen hands high but mighty in determination and revenge.  Falling with rider on back was his delight.

Number one:  With eyes bulging, running full force, teeth set in the bit, he ran headlong into a heap of discarded woven wire.  At that time I wasn't even classified to be called a Holy Roller, just an angry sinner, until I saw old Dewy doing the roll himself, trying to get untangled from his own mess, while I, bruised and angry went to his rescue, not for pity's sake, but to capture him so that I wouldn't have to walk home.  With disappointment in his eyes, I saw, more than heard, him apologize for his wrong-headedness.  A lesson learned that day from a horse.  A good apology vents the soul from all venom.  Indeed:  Oh, yes!

Number two:  When Dewy ran for vengeance he was trying to find a way to do the thing he had in mind, or did he have a mind?  We always traveled full-tilt out on the farm, but why would he pull to one side and step in a hole?  On purpose, I sincerely believe.  He had a gambler's heart, innocent eyes, and seeming readiness for the run, just waiting his day.  What a trip to the ground!  A somersault on the horse's part, and a belly buster without any water for a landing place for me.  Again an apology-- accepted with the understanding that he must carry me home, for I was bruised awfully.

Number three:  This time a badger hole.  I think my shoulder was broken, but I had to milk my share of the cows anyway, one handed, I must say.  Dad didn't believe in Drs. nor did he have the money for such niceties.  Nature would, in time, take care of that.  About this time I thought of praying for relief from pain that lasted for days, but how was I to pray?  I didn't know how, but I sure did develop a strong left hand for milking.  Bad wind that blows no good, so I had learned the hard way.

Number four:  An indentation in the road was sufficient excuse for another roll.  By this time, I had heard others pray, but when I tried, it didn't seem to do much good.  Does God hear prayers offered in profanity?  Well . . .

Final fall:  Across the ridges in a field.  There must be a magic number some where, but I am not sure where.  I sold the brute and got all my money back, with a bit of increase.  Beginning of my business life, after recovering from my last ride on Old Dewy.*

Business life  (to be continued)

Other snippets of Dad's writing may be enjoyed here and here.

*I heard Dad speak of Old Dewy many times.  I pictured the name as "Dewey" ala Admiral Dewey.  I first thought to change the spelling, then thought, Perhaps Dad did not name the horse after the admiral, but rather called him "Dewy" because he was always in a lather.  You reckon?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

County Fair Time, 2017

The annual 4-H Fair has come and gone.  Typically the weather was only semi-cooperative.  A significant portion of the time was too hot and/or too wet.  But it is now history.  Someone suggested the dates might be shifted in hopes of somewhat cooler weather.  But it is Indiana, so . .  .

 This little piggy wears her heart on her shoulder.

 The merchants displayed their wares.

The kids submitted their projects for judging.

And a good time was had by many.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --One

While entertaining myself by reading some of my old posts, a few paragraphs here and there jumped out and spoke to me.  Bragging.  I like some of these and thought to mention the ones I particularly enjoy.

This is the opening paragraph of "A Test of Patience."  It is in the voice of Uncle Jep.  It tickles me.  The paragraph is rather long by my standards, yet shorter than most of Washington's paragraphs, compare, for instance, with his First Inaugural address where some of his sentences ran to more than 100 words.

"Did I tell you about the time your granny's mother come over to visit her daughter?  Stayed two years, she did.  Sam plum wore his wits clear to they ends tryin' to figure a way to get her to go home.  Now, Sam liked Margaret, that was your great grandma's name.  Nobody ever called her "Maggie" or "Peggy" neither.  She was Margaret Sarah Alexena Florabelle Chloe Ann Wilson, you know, of the East Branch Wilsons.  "You may call me Margaret," she says.  Anyhow, Sam did truly like his mother-in-law, but as he put it, "in shorter bits and pieces, no disrespect intended."  Now I for one don't rightly see how you could take her any shorter, 'cause she stood maybe four-foot five in those black high-top  shoes she allus wore.  But I'm strayin' all over the pasture.  Say, did you see that new bull Red Hurd got over in his south pasture?  Bee-yoo-tiful black thing he is.  Simmental.  Red got him offa Ayers over on the Huerfano.  That bull ain't no orphan, though, got a pedigree longer'n my left arm.  Red is proud as a Longhorn rooster just done the whole Plymouth Rock hen house.  But he ain't talkin' how much it cost him.  Feard Maybelle will find out, I reckon.  Well, Bob Ayers did take his wife, Lou Ann to Galveston for a week, for what that's worth.  Both 'n'm  come home redder'n a Maine lobster been in the boilin' water.  Anyway, Doc Barrett says they'll live.  I know it is a sin to covet, but I really wish I had that bull.  Forgive me, Lord."

Full story here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Four-letter Words: Y and Zed

Approaching the end of the project the four-letter "y" word I choose is:


I have been influenced by my current environment in the selection of this word.  I am thinking of it in the sense that "She yaks incessantly about a lot of nothing or a little of everything."  My BBBH and her eldest daughter are on the other side of the room.  They have been yakking for over an hour and their mills show no sign of flagging.  Sometimes one talks, then the other, but frequently they are both talking at the same time.  Ninety miles an hour.

Please, take a breath.

yak (v.) to talk uninterruptedly and idly; gab; chatter.  You yak, she yaks, and so on.

Yaks is also a plural noun indicating large, shaggy-haired Asian buffalo.


For the ultimate four-letter word I have chosen


This is a wonderful word.  Just makes one feel all perky, does it not?

zest (n.) relish, gusto, piquancy.

"I admire one who undertakes a task with zest."  

Zest is also a culinary term referring to the use of the outer rind of an orange or a lemon for flavoring in certain concoctions.

"I used a grater to scrape the zest from the orange."