Friday, March 31, 2006


Poetry: Cherish Our Moments Together

Cherish Our Moments Together

Ava Jackson

It is said that love will always find a way

And our love is growing each and every day.

We are going to have to try even more

To talk to each other and keep an open door

To each others hearts and to each others minds.

I find my strength when I look in your eyes.

Love is something special and should be uplifting

A gift that is given and then keeps on giving.

We need to learn to cherish our moments together

For we might not have much time together

Nor be able to make up for harsh words that we’ve said,

Harsh action or the mistakes that we’ve made.

Right now, we take advantage of having each other near.

It would be a very harsh reality not to have you here.

We’re doing great learning to cooperate and share.

I have so much love inside ... I really, really care.

We’ve had so much fun and have memories of the past.

We’ve learned to work together at making a life to last.

You really are special and very important to me.

You make me feel needed, loved and very happy.

We need to keep putting our hearts and souls into it.

So that when hard times come, we’ll never, ever quit

But always feel safe because we have each other

And cherish, really cherish our moments together.


View, Vacations: Salt Flats

This was taken at Dead Horse Point. This is a view off to the left where you can see the salt flats in the distance.

I thought this was beautiful!


Ranacker Conservation, Trees: Roots

I thought this big clumb of tree roots was interesting.

It's actually about as tall as me.


Ranacker Conservation: color texture

I like the contrast of the green among the different shades of brown.


Ranacker Conservation, Water: calm waters

I am SO ready for spring!!!

and leaves ...
and birds ...
and warmth ...


Ranacker Conservation: Rock

I just thought this was a neat rock.

It's a big one.


Ranacker Conservation, Trees:

Here's a very bare tree for you.


Water, Nature: Minnows

I was trying to catch the minnows up by the roots of this tree.

Click to enlarge it and see if you find any.


Salt and Pepper Shakers: Pigs

This set of salt and pepper shakers are made of chalware.

They're actually pink and baby blue. The flash seems to have washed out the blue piggy.

Very cute!!


Funny, Animals: Wow!

Shouldn't you be required to have an SUV to go with that dog?



Horses: I thought this was interesting

ViaGen produces clones from cutting horses
PURCELL, Okla. (AP) — A company that offers horse owners exact duplicates of their animals says it has successfully cloned two top-earning horses. ViaGen announced Thursday that two mares had delivered clones of top cutting horses, which are trained to help separate individual animals from cattle herds.

The foals, born at a ranch near Purcell, were doing well, according to the Austin, Texas-based company. (Photo gallery: This week in science)

The first cloned horse was born in 2003 in Italy. In 2005, Texas A&M University created the first cloned horse in the United States.

Elaine Hall of Weatherford, Texas, owns one of the horses that was cloned and said the foal is the image of its mother.

"I can already see so many similarities from the original horse, a certain look about the eyes," she said.

A laboratory at the University of California-Davis has confirmed that one of the clones and its offspring share the same genetics. Scientists are working to make the same determination with the second clone.

USA Today


Flowers: Daffodills

More of my daffodills!

Aren't they cheerful?


Nature, Texture: wood

Can you see the wood in the leaves?


Seed pods?


Nature, Water, Reflections: My Creek

Here's a reflection I caught on my creek yesterday afternoon.


Nature, Water, Reflections: My Creek

Here's another reflection I caught on my creek.

If you didn't know it was a reflection ... I don't think you'd be able to tell!!


Flowers: Daffodills

More of my daffodills!


Nature, Water: The Creek

See that tree laying across the creek?

Do you think I would be able to walk across it?

Hmmm ...


Nature, Water: The Creek



Nature, Water: The Creek

I can hear the creek running from the front door.


Nature, Water: The Creek

The creek is traveling pretty fast!!!

Where's the raft?


Nature, Water: The Creek

My creek is up since all the rain.

The good news is, I saw four ducks on the creek yesterday while taking these pictures.

There's always at least one pair of ducks who raise their babies on this creek. I watch them all summer.

The babies are so cute!

Last year there were 15 ducklings.


General: RV camper

Here's my little camper ... ready to go somewhere and have some fun!!!


Quincy Session:

We had a couple of new players last night at the Quincy Session.

The players were Joann on whistle, Tony on whistle, Sondra on mandolin and tenor banjo, Andrew on drum, mandolin and tenor banjo, Larry on fiddle, Ava on fiddle and guitar, Dave dropped in but had to go to choir practice, Jessie played with us for the first time on the five string banjo and John played with us for the first time on guitar. Cathy came to listen and said that she'll be playing again in a few weeks. I'll be glad to have her back.

A good time was had by all.

I had a migraine and was a little cranky ... my apologies if I frowned too much!!

See you next week.

Keep on pickin' and grinnin'!!




Here's a joke for you ...

Every dog has it's day but what does a dog with no tail have?

A weekend!!!!!!

Ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Flowers: Daffodills

My daffodills are blooming!!!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Family, Grandma Testerman: Hot Dog!!!!

Well, I got home from the Quincy session this evening to find two calls from my mom wanting me to call immediately.
As you know, my grandmother has been in a coma and not expected to make it ... a matter of days.

I called and Grandma was awake and wanted to hear the banjo!!!!

Hot dog!!

I got that banjo out lickety split and gave her a little concert over the speaker phone. I played every tune that I knew! I didn't have time to get my music out, but I played every tune I could remember. Thank goodness I've been working on that memorization list! I played a couple of tunes on the mandolin as well.

I can't express in words how happy my heart was to be able to play for her again.

I told her that I loved her and we blew kisses.

I was so thrilled. It was an answer to my prayers.

Of course, I cried my head off when I hung up, but how fabulous to get to do that.



The Pond:

I saw my gold fish for the first time today since fall.

Dillon, one of my students, says that he saw the gold fish and a white fish.

We went out there to look and we also three frogs!

Now, that's spring!!!!!!



When I first started my blog, I told you about a car wreck and fire that occured at the bridge, right next to my yard.

Here's one of my trees that was burned by flying debris.

The following shots are close ups of the burns that you see here.


Nature: Burnt Glass

Do you remember the car fire in front of my house a few months ago?

I walked past the spot where it was and this is what I found. Lots of broken glass.

That's all there is.


Nature, Trees: Buds

My chinese maple has even more buds.

I'm ready for leaves.


Nature: Corn Cob

There were several of these corn cobs strewn about.

I suspect that squirrels are getting them from squirrel feeders and taking them home to snack on.


Nature: Brick

There seemed to be lots of bricks near the ditch. They seem to have been there for a while.


Nature: Bottle Cap

I went for a short walk today and found this bottle cap laying on the side of the road.

It's green ... my favorite color!


Weather: Thunder

The thunder is getting louder!!!!

And louder!!!!


Family: The Butlers

This is my Uncle Mike, Aunt Edna and their two children Janet and Richy.

My Aunt and Uncle's place was hit during the tornadoes that went through our area a little while ago.

The following post shows their place in their local paper, The Neosho Daily News.


Weather: My Aunt and Uncle were hit in the tornadoes that went through this area

Rural Neosho couple awash in paperwork in twister's wake

By Wes Franklin / Daily News Staff Writer
Published: Sunday, March 19, 2006 12:42 AM CST
E-mail this story | Print this page
Edna and Mike Butler talk with reporters Friday afternoon about storm damage at their rural Neosho home. DAILY NEWS / JOHN FORD

An F-1 tornado, such as that which struck the Neosho area last Sunday evening, can do more damage than one would think - just ask Mike and Edna Butler, who live about four miles southwest of Neosho on 10614 Orchid Dr.

While surviving the tornado itself can be scary - and Edna has her share of stories from the experience (Mike was at work in Joplin when the storm hit) - the aftermath is almost as gut-wrenching, though in a different kind of way.

One week after the event, the Butlers, like many other area citizens, are beginning the rebuilding process, starting with the head-aching insurance game, ongoing since the disaster struck.

Standing in what's left of the Butlers front yard, one can tell by the line of uprooted trees and destroyed outbuildings where the twister plowed through from the southwest, wreaking havoc all around the couple's residence before moving off their property and completely destroying two turkey houses just a couple hundred yards down the road.

Blue tarps cover portions of the Butler's roof where shingles were blown away. Several fully-grown trees, both oak and pine, lie uprooted or broken in half throughout their yard. Barns and sheds are either knocked flat or irreparably damaged. Mike's motor boat was carried several yards from its mooring and crashed a few feet away from Edna's car, burying the propellor in the ground and substantially damaging the hull. The interior frame of the Butlers' RV travel trailer is cracked after being slammed against a utility pole.

Most noticeably, a good-sized oak tree still lies where it fell - torpedoed more like - on top of a vacant house the Butler's used for storing mostly sentimental items, such as their now grown-up kids' childhood toys and other objects from the past.

The scene as a whole looks like exactly what it is - a disaster area.

Working through three separate insurance companies, the Butler's have their hands full. While the company insuring the motor boat has already promised full coverage, Triple AAA for the RV and the car (which suffered some dents) is taking a little longer.

“They told us right from the beginning it would be seven to 10 days before they could get to us,” Edna said.

Meanwhile, the homeowners insurance, under Oklahoma City firm Shield of Shelter, is taking even longer, somewhat to Mike's frustration.

He said he was told someone would be out at the first of next week to take a look at the property damage to the home and outbuildings and let him know what could be done.

“Two week response time, that's not very good,” he said, noting however that he can understand the delay. “It's a slow process. There's so many other claims right now, I realize that. The storm was really wide-spread.”

Edna said except for the boat's insurance provider they had kept policies with their insurance agents for a number of years now - something she almost regrets.

“We had been discussing switching to just one company,” she related. “I was thinking that if we had only just been with a new company (when the tornado hit) we wouldn't have had to pay so many premiums. I don't know if being with just one company would have made a difference or not, though.”

In the meantime, the couple are doing some light clean-up work while waiting on the insurance agents to come through and inspect the damage. Although they've taken pictures of the destruction, Edna said they're not sure if they ought to move anything or not until the agents show up.

“We've never had any doings with the insurance before so we don't know what to touch and what not to touch, so we'll have to wait and see,” she said.

Mike said he's hoping their house - which now needs a new roof - and the damaged outbuildings will be fully covered, though admitting he's not sure what the case will be.

Those structures that were destroyed or damaged, as well as the larger overturned trees, need to be bull-dozed and cut apart, he said. Before that can happen, however, both Mike and Edna expressed concern that the insurance company pay for the construction of a new storage building to house the keepsakes from their two children's youth. Already, the couple are busy moving as much of it as they can to the side of the storage house that isn't caved in by the tree.

Some of the items include bikes, old toys and even a metal E.T. lunch box that belonged to one of the kids, now ages 31 and 26.

“We've got to have some place for it so it isn't destroyed,” Mike said of the relics. “We've kept this stuff for 30 years, we're not going to let it go now. We want to make sure it's somewhere safe and dry and get it covered up. We'll do what we can to save it.”


Weather: Thunder?

I may be crazy, but I'm pretty sure that I just heard thunder outside.

I looked out and didn't see any storm clouds. Hmm ...

I know it's supposed to storm today. It must be getting closer.



The Howdy Doody glass used to belong to my Great Granma Hunt. I used to drink orange juice out of it every time I went to her house. I can still taste it and feel the orange pulp in my teeth!!!!!

The little figurine is a music box that was a gift to Chris when he was born. I used to wind it up for him when I put him in his crib.

The cup and saucer is part of a set that my brother, Tony, and I used to drink hot chocolate out of.


Salt and Pepper Shakers: Cabins

Here's a pair of chalkware salt and pepper shakers.

I like the red doors on the side and the red chimneys!!


Nature, Water:

Nice clear water under a pretty blue sky!!


Nature: Pebbles

I just thought this view of the pebbles was interesting.


Nature: Biodiesel

I just thought this was interesting. Nevada, Mo is not too far from where I grew up.

Biodiesel gets green light

The Joplin Globe
By Chadwick Watters

Globe Staff Writer

NEVADA, Mo. - More than 1,000 area farmers have pledged $34.2 million so far to build a biodiesel plant in Vernon County.

Officials with Nevada-based Prairie Pride Inc. said this week that they have enough money invested to begin construction of the plant later this year. The plant would turn about 21 million bushels of soybeans into 30 million gallons of biodiesel per year beginning in the fall of 2007, according to Russell Johnson and Marvin Oerke, members of the group's board of directors.

Biodiesel can be used up to a 20 percent blend in any diesel engine, Johnson said. Some engines, such as those used in mining and shipping, can use 100 percent of the fuel.

Oerke said the plant will contain both a soybean processing plant and a biodiesel refinery to convert soybean oil to the petroleum alternative. The plant also will generate about 467,000 tons of soybean meal each year. The meal, a high-protein animal feed, is worth more than the biodiesel at current prices, Johnson said.

Johnson estimated that the plant could raise the local price of soybeans by about 12 cents a bushel.

Alan Washburn, a Lamar grower, hasn't invested yet, but he is considering doing so. He said he believes the increase in soybean prices would be worth the $1,000 minimum upfront payment, but that is just the first step for investors. Each investor also must promise to put in at least $20,000 after initially signing on, Johnson said.

"It's a good deal," Washburn said. "It will take a lot of beans to run it, and it's bound to help on the price."

Soybeans were down to about $5.30 per bushel on average this year, compared with $6.75 last year, he said.

The project will cost at least $85.5 million. Prairie Pride still must approve a lending institution as a senior lender to help provide much of the capital for the project. The member investors compose about 40 percent of the needed investment, Oerke said.

Johnson said the company also has received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and it is applying for more federal and state grants.

The company also needs to get a permit for the plant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Permit approval and a groundbreaking could be about 90 days from now, said Oerke and another board member, John Nelson.

Johnson said Prairie Pride has a letter of intent with Alert Construction, of Fredonia, Kan., for the plant's construction.

Prairie Pride will directly buy beans from its members, including grain elevators and co-ops. It may have to buy additional beans from outside the member pool in short crop years, Johnson said. The company has contacted some area animal farming operations about selling the feed, but it has not made any permanent agreements. Johnson said most of it likely would go to southern Missouri or Arkansas.

"(The plant) does nothing but help the farmer," Washburn said. "Any time we can market something that we can regrow year after year and keeps us from relying on petroleum supplies so heavily ... is good for U.S. farmers, and it's good for the environment."


Great Grandma's Hutch:

Here's a full body shot of the cabinet.

It used to belong to my Great Grandma Hunt.

I've had it refinished and it's beautiful.


Great Grandma's Hutch:

Here's a shot of the bottom of the cabinet.


Great Grandma's Hutch:

Here's a close up of the drawer and the flour bin.

I don't keep anything in the flour bin.

I have just some "stuff" in the drawer.


Great Grandma's Hutch:

Here's a view of the bottom side door.

I keep serving plates and extra dishes in there.

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