Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bob Skaggs, husband of first cousin once removed Jetty,
was talking to me at G'ma Opal's funeral. The conversation
was more or less the following:

Bob-"I haven't been back to the home place (meaning his
family's home place, not ours, tho' they are catty-corner
to one another) for a long time. There used to be a lot
of frogs in the pond there."

Me-"There still are a lot of frogs. Just ask Uncle Jim.
He calls them maniacal."

A few years ago Jim began to be bothered by a loud noise
whenever he was outside after dark. (NOTE: he lives a
quarter of a mile down the gravel from us.) Finally he
could stand it no longer and he hopped in the car,
windows rolled down, on a quest to find the source of
the racket. When he hit our place he bingoed. It was
our frogs. I admit they are raucous. The peepers are
loud in themselves, but the bullfrogs are deafening.

The bullfrogs haven't gotten into their full swing yet. Last
night Kent, Ty, Hattie, and Jenn were outside playing 21 in
basketball. After they came in, Jenn said, "The frogs were
so loud we could hardly hear each other." The key word there
is "hardly", because after the bullfrogs get into full swing
you won't at all be able to hear each other. Then you just
sit in the yard and smile at one another and think deep
thought, or if you are Uncle Jim, murderous thoughts.

But, back to Cousin Bob's comments. He said, "I was just
wondering if there were any frogs left, because one year when
I was a kid and came to visit Grandpa, he put me to work shooting
frogs for a frog fry."

I said, "They're still there." I love my peepers, and I love my
bullfrogs, but I think a frog fry is on the agenda this July or
August. We must keep peace in the family, and Uncle Jim rates
even higher than the frogs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On the Finished Pile:

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin. This is the cutest of her
books. I don't think Catherine has the depth of character
and development that is seen in Emma, Lizzy, Anne, Fanny,
or Eleanor, but she is a darling of a girl.

I especially enjoyed the biographical notes before the Oxford
edition of this book. In a letter, written just a few weeks
before her death, Miss Austin spoke to a friend of a domestic
problem she was facing. She wrote the following words which
speak to her strength and sweetness, "But I am getting too
near complaint. It has been the appointment of God, however
secondary causes may have operated."

Also on the pile is:

Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray. This gem
of a book was on our bookshelf, as it has been for 25 or so years,
but I had never taken the time to read it. It is an excellent
treatise on redemption. The last two chapters, which covered
union with Christ and glorification, were especially moving.

This book is on Monergism's top 40 all time list of books to

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fernnook Farm has been bursting with life lately.

The new calves: PeDunk, Jogi, and Jughead.

The triplets. Their names are Tickle, Trickle, and Nickel.
Don't even ask. I can't tell them apart, but the rest of
the family can. They are all nannies. If one had been a
male it would have been named Pickle. Apparently Pickle is
masculine, but Nickel is feminine. That is why I am not
asked to name the animals. I don't quite understand the
finer etiquette of such things.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

From Solomon comes a wise political commentary in regard
to the current situation in which our country finds itself.

Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice.
Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On the Finished Pile:
Mansfield Park by Jane Austin and
Lovers Vows (which is the play that forms such a large
part of Mansfield Park) from the German of Kotzebue and
translated by Mrs. Inchbald

Jane Austin always soothes the heart. Lately a little soothing
has been needful.

But today is a nice warm day and we are taking the day off to
go visit Mingo Wildlife Area.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Yesterday was Pi Day. (3/14)

Billy requested, and I made Shepherd's Pie for dinner.
For Kent I made Spinach and Artichoke Pie.
For the rest of us I made Cherry Cobbler (with three
layers of pie (pi) crust). I had to make the cobbler,
because, you know, sometimes pi R rectangular.

It is not possible to sum up on one page the life of
Opal Fleetwood who lived 98 years, 4 months, and 6 days.
She was born Hattie Opal Faye Simon on October 26, 1910
and lived a very full and fruitful life. She Married
Marion Fleetwood in 1929 and raised five children:
Paul (Bob) Fleetwood, Billy Fleetwood, Kenneth Fleetwood,
Jenny (Fleetwood) Starkey, and Jimmy Fleetwood. She had
12 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, and
5 great great grandchildren.

Opal loved her family and extended family and enjoyed dining,
visiting, and playing together. She loved to garden, fish, and
playing card games. High Five was her all time favorite game.
She loved to talk about the old days with her mom and dad and
brothers and sisters when they lived in Fern Nook on the farm
by the Little Black River. She liked to remember the trips she
went on to Hawaii, Nova Scotia, Colorado, New Mexico, and
Lake of the Ozarks where the fishing was good but fun with
daughter's-in-law Shirley, Wanda, and Ann was even better.

The "Little General" as she was affectionately known had an
amazing memory right up until she died. She didn't need a
calendar to remember her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids
birthdays because the dates were all in her head. Just recently
she repeated the entire preamble to the constitution which she
had learned in Grade school.

She always had a birthday card with a dollar in it for her grandkids:
Mike, Tandy, Terry, Joseph, Sandy, Kelly, Laurie, Ricky, Kenneth,
Becky, Scott, and Stacy. She always wrote in the card, "Remember
Old Granny loves you".

Her favorite work was gardening. She loved and tended every
little shoot and fought the bugs like a warrior. Oh! How she
(and the whole family) loved her fresh vegetables. She had a
green thumb, and her house was always full of plants and flowers.

Opal was a believing Christian. She kept her well worn Bible next
to her on the couch and read from it daily. She trusted the Lord
for eternal life and spoke gratefully of it shortly before she died.
She will be missed terribly.

Praise the Lord for giving her to us all for such a long time.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

G'ma Opal came home from the hospital Monday afternoon.
The extra time and care for her have taken my attention
and I haven't had the time or energy to think of items
of interest to blog about. She is weak, but (as they
say in Ripley County) she is proud to be home.

I decided next time she is in the hospital I will volunteer
for the nighttime weekend shift. The two nights I slept
there her roommate kept the T.V. going the entire night.
The two nights Becky spent with her she had no roommate.
I realized that because surgeries are scheduled M-F the
census is lower over the weekend.

On the home front we have had two out of three calves born
this past week. One of them is eventually to be destined for
the freezer. I always feel a nice warm fuzzy knowing we have
a calf in the wings for the freezer. I get the same warm fuzzy
knowing I have a huge pile of crossword puzzles to be worked.
I worry about running out of beef and crosswords. We are still
waiting on Hattie's goat to kid.

The big 6 inch snow we enjoyed on Saturday is nearly melted.

Joel went to the Bluff during the snow to check out the
babies at Orscheln's, and he came home with turkeys, chicks,
and ducks. Hopefully he can keep the 'possums away from
these little guys. Of course, they will enjoy deluxe
accommodations in his living room for a while.

We are looking forward to having Billy home for Spring Break
starting this evening. I think one of the items to be
accomplished while he is here is the burning of one of the
huge brush piles accumulated from ice-broken limbs. The fire
should be so big that aliens on the moon will be able to see
it. Wish all you ex-pats and wannabes could be here to watch
it burn.

Hasn't Venus been lovely lately?