The drought continues in our area and the southeast. A huge rain is forecasted for next week, but we’ve heard that before. A few farmers planted wheat in the soybean and corn stubble this past week in anticipation of it; several farmers aren’t planting wheat this fall, as the dry spell is predicted to last through the spring. So far we are over thirteen inches below normal. I have around a hundred pots of daylilies and perennials that need to be planted. Several of my older trees have died.
Since the ground is hard as concrete, I’ve been spending my spending my spare time photographing the Veterans Day parade and ceremony at the courthouse in Tuscumbia. The 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor was December 7. It’s important to thank a veteran for the fact that we aren’t part of Japan or Germany.
The first Christmas event, Plantation Christmas at the Belle Mont home, was this past weekend. The various cities' Christmas parades have started. A couple were rained out by the first good rain we’ve had in months. Plus Santa has been making the last rounds, checking out who has been naughty and nice.
I've also had to spend some free time taking care of The Hooligans. A few days back, I pulled out of the garage and started down the road, going to work a little early as the sunrise looked like it was going to be a pretty one.
Blackie and Levi were snug as bugs in a rug, each in their own pile of pine needles that I’ve been hauling from a friend’s yard. But as I got to the bridge, there was Problem-Child Patches sitting by the creek.
I backed up the road to my driveway, pulled in, opened the garage door, got out of my truck, and unplugged the underground fence. I went around the corner to the front of the house and called Patches in. She came lopping, and I thought, By the time I get back to plug up the fence, she should be in.
I plugged up the fence, got in my truck, closed down the door, backed out of the driveway, and started down the road. As I got to the bridge, there was my Patches, sitting by the creek.
I backed up and did it all over again. This time I had to go after her and pull her in. I plugged up the fence, got in my truck, closed down the door, backed out of the driveway, and started down the road. This time she stayed in the yard, so I went to work. Needless to say, I was late by then and didn't get my sunrise pictures.
One of Patches' ears was swelled up like a balloon not too long after. She ended up having surgery to insert a drain. And the next Saturday, I had an appointment for Levi and Blackie. Since Patches needed a followup, only Levi went. Last time I took Blackie and Patches together, they got into a fight in the exam room over biscuits. The vets haven't handed them out since then; I wonder if that had something to do with it ...
Levi doesn't do leashes well, so I bought a harness. After working for 15 minutes trying to get it adjusted with him flopping around and still not fitted, we loaded up. Even so, I got a second leash from the office and had both on Levi in case he slipped the halter. Patches' ear was still swelled at the bottom; the vet started her on steroids and oral antibiotic. And getting them back in the car to go home was just as tangled as getting them to the vet's in the first place; I finally got Patches in with Levi, backed up to close the door, and my purse strap was over her head and behind a leg.
On Monday Patches went back for a followup, and the news wasn't good — a second drain was needed. Blackie goes Saturday, I hope, as she is limping and needs her shots.
Thanks Devin for removing some background clutter on this photo.
With all these medical issues, we won’t try making a Christmas card picture this year; it normally is a collage of outtakes, and they have a lot of fun pulling and wrestling their Christmas gear off of each other. They are working on their letters to Santa, however.
While we are on the subject of Christmas, a childhood memory comes to mind ...
The Christmas we found out how Santa gets into our house:
My siblings and I grew up on an active dairy farm south of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Dad would get up early to milk, bottle it, and then head out on his milk route. In the afternoon he would hit the fields, come home to milk the cows, and come in late, so we didn’t get to see much of my dad. It is rare that Alabama gets snow, much less a white Christmas, but one year in the early sixties we received snow on Christmas Eve!
On Christmas morning we went out to play, and there in the snow were two sled tracks and small hoof prints in between the tracks going across the yard, stopping short of the basement door. We also found Santa’s boot prints going to the door. At last!! We found the answer to how Santa got into our house without a chimney! He came up through the floor furnace!
Many years later, we found out that the boot prints were actually my Dad’s from when he was going to the basement to bring out a hidden merry-go-round. It also explained the sled tracks, as he had to drag it through the snow. The hoof prints turned out to be the dogs following behind Dad. Our parents had spent half the night putting together the merry-go-round in the kitchen. Mom had to get up early and cook Dad breakfast, and then he had to go and milk over a hundred cows.
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