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Christmas Presents and Resolutions for the New Year

A photo of MaryI hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  The hooligans enjoyed Christmas as Santa came to visit them.  They got some chew bones, a pull rope, and a tire with a rope.  When Patches saw the tire, her eyes just lit up and she grabbed it and just shook it whacking my legs.  She used to have one that was her favorite that disappeared. I don’t know if a visiting dog took off with it or if one of them buried it.

hooligans Christmas toys 

Me, Santa came and fixed my hot water pipe.  During the remodeling about five or six years ago when I added the utility room on to the house and moved my washer and dryer  into it, a finishing nail nicked the pipe when the baseboard was installed.  The weak spot finally blew and was spraying on an antique tiger walnut sideboard when I got home.  Santa will need to take care of my surgery bills now starting to come in after insurance settles. Christmas Eve I placed a bid on a 1915 post card of a trolley going across the Tennessee River on the old railroad bridge.  This was a neat bridge that had car traffic on the lower span and train traffic on the top.  The next morning with less than twenty minutes left, I had been out bid by fifty cents, so I upped the bid fifty cents and won it for a whole $2.94.  The electric poles were removed from the bridge and the trolley connection leads nowhere.  Santa was a big spender this year.

 1915 postcard trolley on old double tressel bridge on TN River 

The last weekend of the year was great. Temperatures Saturday was in the sixties.  I was able to get my John Deere out and haul wood chips the power company brought me and spread them out along the paths in the former veggie garden I took over in flowers.   My new garden area should be ready to go this year after all the organic matter I’ve been adding to it.  Monday we’ll return to winter.  A skunk decided to trespass across the yard and was met by one of the hooligans.  The large roll around garage can that the country uses for trash pickup got the worst end of the spray.  It’s a good thing I recycle so much that I only put it out on the curb one a month.

 Levi and Patches playing with new toy 

Ever wonder who started this New Years resolution thing?  I’m not one who usually makes resolutions, as I can’t keep them for very long, so why bother?   Last year I made a resolution not to buy any more plants until I had the potted ones from 2010 in the ground. I’m not sure how many times I broke that one.   Before my November knee surgery, even up to late in the evening before surgery, I worked diligently to get potted plants into the ground and moving and dividing plants from one bed to the appropriate theme bed.  Problem was that I kept adding to the collection.  I only have a few peonies that didn’t make in the ground.   A couple of weeks after surgery, I found a close out of shrubs ninety per cent off.  I can home with a truck load of Encores, gardenia, sky pencil and rhododendrons, normally around two hundred for a little over eighteen dollars.  I put them in the greenhouse until my knee is back in digging shape.  Later in the week when I went to water them, I noticed that several of the shrubs had limbs chewed off; field rats had gotten in the greenhouse and were eating everything they could in sight, even the half length toilet paper rolls that I use for starting seeds. After feeding them bait traps for several days, I was disposing of the casualties inside while Blackie was outside digging up tunnels; she leaned on the siding and a piece broke out and that was all she needed to burst through.  The sun pounding on the western side has made the plastic brittle.  I have a left over piece in the shed that will just cover the hole.  For now a hooligan cage with a couple of concrete blocks covers the hole.

 Blackie and toy  

  1. Number one would be to do a better job of making sure that what I purchased is creating jobs  in this country and most of all locally, and each time I purchase to make sure they haven’t switched manufacturing out of the country.  I think this is the only way we are going to bring this country back to greatness again in the world economy.  I had purchased my favorite womans work glove, called  the ‘Origina’l  as they advertised that they were made by women for women.  The last pair I purchased didn’t last a full gardening season as normal and when I looked at the name tag, it was made in China. I e-mailed the company that I wasn’t pleased and that it wasn’t original if it wasn’t made in this country. They said it was the original style still & their other style gloves which I didn’t want were still made in the USA.  Why should I have to change?  Same thing with socks.  Fort Payne Alabama used to be the sock capital of the world, not anymore. It took months, but I finally found some at a dollar store. Blue jeans, I’ve been hunting for some since summer as all of mine have holes in the front legs and everything that I work on in the yard falls into the holes and down to my socks.
  2. On my try to do list again this year is not buying anymore plants until I get the rest of my potted plants into the ground.  I ordered my plants and seeds the first of December so I have that one in the bag.  However a couple of seed packets, Kiphofia hirsute traffic lights and Courgette zephyr, I have no idea what I ordered and will have to go back to the Thompson & Morgan website and find out what they are.
  3. Decide the location and whether I want an arbor or two pergolas.  I put up 2 poles a few years back for a pergola and then decided to do an arbor for kiwi on the other side of the garden and put 2 poles up there.  Then after thinking about it again, I thought about doing a pergola in each spot.  This year finally there will be a decision.
  4. Put up new sheetrock and repaint the wall where the water pipe ruptured.  I hope the two colors of paint are still good, I don’t’ have to repaint the whole room as I ragged rolled it.
  5. Run a new waterline along the creek to replace the one the mad tiller chopped up last summer.  I have a couple of 100-200 foot sections that I took out when I should have hee’d instead of haw.  While the ground is moist I’ll take a middle buster down as deep as I can so it’ll be safe from shovel or tiller. 
  6. Finish the stackable retaining walls around the house and garage.  I started this project a couple of years ago.  Sore knees have slowed this one down.
  7. Help to save the Lustron home & others in town.  I recently found out that we have one of the Lustron homes pre-fab homes built just after WWII, a porcelain coated metal home in town.  Only 1200 of them survive across the country.   The headquarters for the railroad in the late 1800’s is in sad shape and won’t last long.  Carl a fellow high school classmate and I started a ‘Remember Tuscumbia’ page on Facebook to call attention to the history preserved, as well as that in peril.  It’s also become the community events page of things going on in town. 
  8. Research my own family history. I recently found some lost cousins and  also I have a great uncle killed in WWI who is buried in France.
  9. Start a business on the side selling my flower and historical prints.  The historical calendar I did for Tuscumbia was well received and I’m working on next years.
  10. Work on a hooligan’s book for children of the antics they get themselves into.  I think I have enough material for a couple of books and would like to call attention to adoption, and responsible dog ownership.
  11. Do something on my bucket list.  Life is too short.
  12.  Bring pleasure to others. You never know how the small things you do affect others.  Before I started my gardening blog, I would e-mail a few of my flower pictures out daily to friends who wanted to see them. I found out later one friend would print them out for her Mother afflicted with Parkinson’s.  Before she got sick she gardened a lot, and the pictures brought her much pleasure.

 Forsyth Paleface daylily 


The hooligan’s resolutions: 


  • Stop playing with skunks.
  • Stop playing with skinks.
  • Don’t help Blackie dig up trees chasing after mice.
  • When Mom walks to the barn to feed us, use dog door to get in instead of standing scratching on the  walk through door.
  • Don’t worry Mary when the batteries get weak in our collars. 
  • Chase Noah up a tree when our collar batteries get weak. 
  • Stop bumping those feeding me in the rear with my nose while I wait for my bowl, maybe I’ll get mine first.  (She’s the last one fed as she is the first one finished.  She’ll butt you while getting food out of the wall bins and jump up and down like Trigger while you are taking food to her bowl.)
  • Stop picking fights with Blackie.
  • Stop pawing visitors for attention.  It’s okay to paw Mary even if she doesn’t like it.
  • When playing with sticks don’t poke Mary in the leg.
  • Don’t fling around tire toy and hit Mary in the knee
  • Continue to play keep away when Mary reaches for something I have as she really enjoys it.
  • Stop playing with skunks


  • Stop playing with skunks.
  • Stop playing with skinks.
  • Don’t help Patches dig up trees chasing after mice.
  • When Mom walks to the barn to feed us, use dog door to get in instead of standing scratching on the walk through door.
  • Don’t worry Mary when the batteries get weak in our collars. 
  • Chase Noah up a tree when our collar batteries get weak
  • Try not going through walls after mice, Mary seems to get upset.
  • When Mary opens the garage doors stop, say hi first instead of running past her looking for mice.
  • Stop playing with skunks

    Levi guarding the JD 


  • Start playing with skunks.
  • Start playing with skinks.
  • Start chasing mice.
  • When Mom walks to the barn to feed us, use dog door to get in instead of standing scratching on the walk through door.
  • We have a battery in our collars?  Why?
  • Don’t moan while rubbing on Mary especially when wet, as she doesn’t seem to like my singing.
  • Help Mary drive the John Deere more.
  • Relax more.

  New Year sunset over Tennessee River 

What the hooligans and I wish for you in the New Year:  We wish you health for those sick, prosperity for those with out a job. Take time to enjoy the beauty that has been given around us.  Stop long enough to watch a sunset and take time to smell the flowers. Take time to enjoy your friends.

     our monthly Deshler 71 high school girls night out  

Oh my, I just got in garden catalogs from two of my favorite companies. Piece of cake?