We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In Memory

Taps At Arlington
"You May Not Know"

The sound of the ramp hitting ground

Vibrations of boots plunking sound

You are here to liberate

Just leaving family, last week-late

You May Not Know

The sound of a heart in its chest

Pushing blood at its best

Saluting a woodened box draped in shroud

That could be you- silently thinking; not said--aloud

You May Not Know

November 13, 2007

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Body Part for Texan! LOL

ROFL Texan You crack me up! Hee Hee, my husband had not even heard about my fight nor the Nippa Hut I wrote about on my Versatile Blogger post. I think he would pass out if, he knew my entire sordid past.  I believe we all have stories to tell just some are more willing than others to fess up.  One day, I will write a book; I have a title already picked out.  "NEKKID TRUTHS: From An Inquiring Chicken's Mind."


Yes, that is a swallowtail butterfly tattoo.  It is larger than my palm and my first tat.  I drew the picture and took it in to shop in San Antonio to have done at the ripe old age of 30.  Why a butterfly because they are a symbol for profound change of a soul or unfurling growth. Another interesting factor in Greek Myth: Psyche  means soul; she was represented by the shape of a butterfly and she was linked to EROS the god of love.  Which at the time I did not know my husband would soon be coming into my life.

 I wear my boots or flip flops all year round.  If I had to work outside my house; I would probably die since, my feet have not been in shoes in FOREVER! 

Thing is my sons or grandkids can say!

Per the request......LOL

Yeah we are going to the Texas State Aquarium this weekend. Hip Hip Hooorah!

500th Blog Giveaway

Whelppers, I am close to my 500th blog and so, I will be having a 'giveaway' to celebrate our five years of being here at HOE HEN INN.  See these lovely little mesquite flowers; they are blooming and that means bean pods will be next.  This year I will be harvesting, drying and then grinding them into mesquite bean flour.   Also I will include two of these hanging dish towels I crocheted the top but, will not be these exact prints.

On Memorial Day, Whomever comments will get five entries --- a link back to this blog inside your blog will gain you another five entries.  I will have my cubby man (look at that precious angelic face) draw names from a box and the 'winner' will recieve 1 pound of mesquite bean flour plus, I will pick a few alternates for 'gifts' from our farm.  Google this 'new found' mesquite bean flour.  The flour is supposedly good for those with diabetes because it does not raise blood sugar like white flour does? 

So who is going to blink first? LOL

We are enjoying our visit with Lisa.  The boys follow her around like puppies -- they really miss having her here. I like having her here because she spends time with all of us, helps around the house, plays games,and teaches Zephyr his letters. 

Mrs. Lilly and her mom are hopefully coming for a visit this week as well.  I really enjoy having a full house full of family and friends. Don't ya'll?  Off to spend the day with them...see ya!

It's a really beautiful week!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Versatile = Handy or Adaptable Award

Texan was kind enough to recognize my eccentricity and give me a versatile blogger award. Thanks lady, I enjoy reading your blog and one day hope to become the handy gardener that you have become.  I also love reading about your adventures and loving relationship.  In marriage, each party has to be adaptable or else the marriage will not last. 

Before I comply with the 'rules' of this award; I trotted off over to Feral Female's blog just to see what Texan was yakking about.  Right away, I joined as a follower -- love the pithy commentary and will be waiting with baited chicken breath to read more from your archives.  The high on the 'haybale photo' cracked me up and reminded me of kid Pices taking a shot at hubby on the day kid Opposum was born.  Way too funny for cha cha, so many goats and such preditable behavior. LOL

On to the OFFICIAL STUFF and Proceedings.

Things about myself no one knows (or if they did I dumped their bodies already.)

I love giving speeches, acting, being a emcee, teaching a classroom, and once served as instructor on Iraklion Air Station; Crete, Greece as installation CPR, Self Aid and Buddy Care, and Basic Life Savings skills instructor.

I have gotten in a fight with a drunk sailor and WON in the Philippines.  He started assaulting one of my female friends and pulling on her clothing -- middle of the street mind you.  Well,  I jumped him after he put his hands on her -- in a horrible manner -- she was screaming NO -- passerbys just kept walking. We (with me on his back) fell through a plate glass window as I was punching him; he wound up on Admin / International Hold for assaulting my friend. NUFF SAID   Personally, I think I have seen Norma Rae one too many times. LOL

I once got on stage to dance like the Philippino bar girls however, I kept my clothes on.  I have also went with a herd of Marines to the Nipa Hut.  If you want to know -- just Google it. LOL Not for the PG crowd, and yes it was quiet gross but; I learned stuff about human nature.  MIND YOU, I now empathize with 'randy goats.'

I stop for folks on the side of the road in case they need help. (Drives my husband nuts, and he usually drives because of this.)

I can tolerate all music except for Korean Opera -- brings up horrible memories of being a teenager at my first job with a tyrannical boss; who's short statue place his eyes right on my SHE BAGS. A very self-conscience time I think in a blooming female's life.

I have pledged to be a perpetual student and so far, I have accumulated over 200 semester hours just to keep my honor.  I don't understand the need for television on; in place of reading a great book.  My theory is, if you are not learning then it's fluff.  While fluff is good for pillows, it is not for the brain.  Keep stuffing that sponge (brain) full because you never know when; you will need useless facts to kick serious hiney at Trival Pursuit.

At age 16, I found myself in the foster care program.  The family I stayed with in central Los Angelos was a wonderful Mexican family.  Decades later, I am happily married to a Hispanic; love the tight knit family culture.

 My Nomination and why?

My nominee is Kelley. This woman works her A. DOUBLE S off trying to rescue kittens in her neighborhood.  I have learned so much about kitten biology just from reading her life adentures.  Personally, if folks would take the time to spay or neuter pets then the world would not be such a dramatic place for feral animals.  It breaks my heart, her family is scarificing so much to clean up a problem which is in fact, a national issue.

Now I am off to do some chores.  We are super stoked to have our daughter visiting from San Antonio.  WOOO HOOO, Doncha love family?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A.D.D. or Just NOT Interested?

Since we spend most of our days within the house during the heat, encrusted mosquito, summer.  I have to come up with ways to get the boys to help me clean (without being a drill sergeant) which, is actually my nature. So, I have 'enlisted' the help of my trusty Breast Cancer awareness timer to ten minutes interof mayhem.  The boys race each other to see who can pick up the most stuff from their floors or other rooms.  Not bad eh?  In ten minutes they are zooming to clean their rooms; I clean up the bathroom, master bedroom, hallway, or vacuum upstairs.  Rarely does this have to go on more than twice day but, they actually enjoy the competition and keeps focus on the task.  Little by little, I will move the hand to 15 minutes to expand their cleaning range and work out. 

We also use this timer in the classroom to get their minds on staying on task.  Twenty minutes of math drills, letter reconition, or some other scholarly pursuit.  Really, Saenz's focus is growing more each day with less dwelling on being a failure.  It is not easy building his confidence back to where it should be.  Zephyr loves to set this and hide it somewhere.  Little monster! LOL

This weekend we are expecting a visitor.  Our Lisa will be coming down Saturday to stay for awhile.  The boys are stoked, and I ordered a GRILL package from Omaha Steaks to celebrate. Zephyr has his own method of keeping track of when his Big Sister arrives and constantly asks:  IS SHE COMING THREE (down from ten) DAYS AFTER THAT????

Another side bar,  Our remaining Guineas went on 'walk about,' for three days and decided to come home this morning.  I was quiet surprised but so happy to see their noisy, kissable faces.  Welcome Back!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


This is from our first plant we sat out in the planter hubby built with our boys! YEAH, I love fresh maters.  Did ya'll eat mater sandwichs growing up? We used to eat those and banana sandwichs.  It was a fast, cheap, and easy meal. 

I am thinking about making a Greek Salata to go with dinner tonight.  Simple eats but, tasty.  Dice the tomatoes, sliced or diced cucumber, onions, kalamata olives, fresh herbs especially oregano, feta topped with extra virgin oil olive. YUM YUM!

 (I used to always say when ordering this in Greece --- "OSHEE CREMETI!,' No onions basically, because the onions on Crete was dangerous. LOL

This is what the planter looks like, it hold 4 large tomato plants and one serrano pepper.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Even on a Sunday

They learn most of the time; they don't realize it. LOL
Sshhhh, don't tell him its the weekend. I still have about 5 boxes of junk to sort. Then I will be arranging the books in a more reasonably easy to find manner.  Yes, I will have to make a 'card library on a laptop then have the shelves number so; a book will be searchable.
Zephyr said those are eyeballs, I guess he was SEEING his solutions. LOL
Playdoh, on the USA map anyone?
I Love This Globe Game on Geography!
This door will be removed, this passage is just too narrow.
This was the shelf hubby built and installed this weekend; he also sanded the other side of the soon to be white board.  Yeah! Next I will paint it.  Its coming along quiet nicely.
This was what was left after a HUGE thunderstorm rolled through Saturday morning around 5 a.m.  As you can see, we probably recieved around 4 to 6 inches in about 1 hours time.  It was a fast, hard moving storm and left the creek in the back full for the half the day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kick in the Gut, Still Crying

   As you know, we decided to homeschool our sons.  I have been careful and systematic in adding new subjects to test the abilities of our oldest's knowledge level so, I could build a curriculum around his needs.  Mind you he was in the public school system since the age of four begining with Headstart -- 8 years.  I was told many things about my son; many arm chair psychologists, doctor, educational specialists. List see the laundry list begining at age 4 when he entered their system:


   Now mind you since, grades were a benchmark to show progress in school.  His report cards and progress reports have been A/B mix never a failing grade or a behavior markdown. EVER!

EVER, comments have been WHAT A DELIGHTFUL CHILD, SUCH A RESPECTFUL CHILD, Sensitive Child, SUCH creativity,  etc etc etc.

   Okay let's flash forward to what I know.  At age twelve he was going to be passed into the 6th grade.  He did not know his multiplication tables, cursive, and apparently --- are you ready for this.

   SPELLING, GRAMMAR, PENSMANSHIP, This was a sample of his five sentences after reading 'How to Eat Fried Worms,' a book which is a third grade level -- a fast humorous read so; I could assess his understanding and gauge the other aspects of comprehension after reading.

   I ---- his mother got a serious kick in the gut.  I can barely read to type this; my hands are shaking from anger - disgust - and the realization.  I ALMOST FAILED MY SON AS A PARENT.  I FAILED HIM FOR EIGHT YEARS.  This what my son knew but, could not elaborate all those meltdowns, all those sick days, all those crying jags.

   My son, was being set up for failure by a school system hemmed in by ridiculous laws, policies and guidelines in order, to continue receiving monies on his behalf.

   I hope you can understand what I am trying to say.  I will be back later to edit this but, I just have to get my emotional state under control as well as, finish my own class mid-term.  How in the hell is the UNITED STATES ever going to be a 'super power' again in education?  If this is what is allowed to pass as a 6th graders' work?

Off my egg crate.....

SPECIAL NOTE TO ADD HERE:  I was given 'subterfuge' assignments for his homework. The changes were so subtle; I did not notice how little my son was expected to accomplish.  I trusted a system which was using my son, pushing him through, a paycheck. 

Trust me when I say this..... I am a guilty party in this scenario.  As this world as my witness:


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Well Butter My Biscuits

This is another reason why I hang our clothes outside to dry--the south winds are nearly always blowing.  Not only does line drying cuts down on the electric bill by $150+ month but, the winds keep the clothes from becoming stiff.  I use vinegar (in a Downy ball) because our well water may have bacteria along with fabric softener (another Downy ball) each load.  
The vinegar does not leave a smell and neutralizes any ICK stuff and odors.

I am getting hungry!

Today, the house-leveling men came back out to recheck their work and made adjustments.  I am happy, one more check then we can start shopping for new siding and windows.  LOL We are locking this big ole barn down tight with energy efficient products.  I knew when January's electric bill was over $400; we were going to be in for a long ride paying the San Patricio Co-op.  OUCH Can you image our bill in June, July, August and September?  I would have to do something drastic like dance nekkid in the pale moonlight to bring on the rain since the temp is nearing the 90s almost every day now. 

And please check out Laughing Duck's Farm giveaway.  Click the duck butt picture on the upper right of my blog side bar to be taken directly to Melodie's place.  Sit awhile, you will like her style.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Sometimes I Don't

Get everything done yet, I am not compelled to compare myself to other women.  Why? Simply because while I do notice when Jonesnita has a new car -- its just a image in my mind's rear view mirror.  What I have learned since being out of the military:

A. 'Stuff happens' and usually resolves itself without my assistance so, I don't meddle.
B. I stop and smell the chicken poop sometimes -- yep poop is a fact of life without it NO ROSES.
C. Dust is inevitable, get to it when you can because it's always with you even ON YOU.
D. Boys need space to be boys same goes for girls as well.
E.  Be aware when 'stuff happens' -- just don't dwell on it enough to sway your tracks unless necessary.
F.  Forgive everyone because one day you will make a mistake or about a million of them.
G.  Say Thank You, Please, You're Welcome, I Love You, I Need You, I Am Sorry -- and mean it.
H.  Share 'because' no one gets out of life unscathed and your gifts may mean life to another.
I. Be honest, to lie is another version of stealing and avoidance is just another shade of lying.

Update on school room (note, my hubby is the hardest working man I know):

The 7 foot book shelf he built this weekend.

Where Zephyr is  standing will be the fifth book case he has built to house all the books and materials sent by Mr. Larry and ourselves.
And the book case is full..............

The other book cases are 48" high to get an idea of their size.

Grumpy Gramps Science Lab is almost finished.
Mom can see the top of her desk.

Soon I will be inviting other children (families) to share all books we have been given.

Happy Belated Mother's Day All,

I am off to study for mid-terms.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just a Beautiful Day

Someone loves the outdoors!

I love watching the 'Jellies' and Sea Horses but, could not get to the sea horses. Oh well, we purchased a year's membership so; we will go back more often. Both our boys are huge fans of wildlife. I think they get that trait from me. :o)

Note to self: DO NOT GO to local attractions near to end of the school year. My ears were left ringing from all the screaming children on their class trips. Next time we will go on a Monday when schools do not normally have class field trips and hubby will still have a three day weekend from work.  But, a promise is a promise and we kept ours to take the boys to the Texas State Aquarium.

Saenz has his first official dependent id card. YEAH! Another milestone in the life of a military child.  He even signed his name in cursive which he would not have been able to do if, I had not taught him this skill over the last two weeks.

And we want to pass on Happy Birthday Wishes to Grumpy Gramps; our own Mr. Larry.  Hope all your critters go dancing in the yard tonight with the moon shining down on them to celebrate this event.  ~:>

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Crazy Thing Is?

We are busy being a family.  Can you believe it? Yep, our family is more relaxed because, Saenz is more relaxed.  (SPECIAL NOTE: no doctor's visits either......)

It's simple homeschooling has liberated my son by allowing me to learn how he learns in turn; I teach him.  He is not rushed to 8 different classes each day instead we are focusing on the basics he did not fully comprehend in the first place --- at the same time we are covering materials like history, reading, science which, he has a high aptitude for learning.  Since, I withdrew him at school his testing rate on the multiplication chart has increased from 22% memorization to 58%.  I am hoping by the end of May he will fully have the multiplication tables down up to twelve and perhaps I can get him to 14s.  From this we will move into division, commission, percentages, and
word problems.

He loves the lessons of the 9s, I taught him with the visual clue of using fingers.  It's simple and only works up to 9 xs 10.  If you ask what is 4 x 9, hold up your ten fingers, put down the fourth finger.  The number before the finger that is down is the 'TENS place and the fingers after is the 'ONES' Place.  Try it....  for reference:
I also showed him how to do other method with the sum of the product of the 9s will equal 9; we made a joke that the 9s are in love with themselves. LOL!

Zephyr has learned how to add simple problems up to 20 and write the answers.  Funny thing is, he has learned his numbers and primary math skills prior to the alphabet. WAY COOL, maybe I am nurturing a future accountant.

I am super happy as well, still loving my new washing machine.  My husband finally decided on a riding mower and it will be ready for pickup on Thursday.  I am going to bronco bust some grass. On another note:

Neighbors have found a 3rd large rattler and killed it -- it was longer than their 11 year old daugther.  That is three in three weeks; I suspect they have a nest (den) of snakes on their property somewhere. ACK!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

So Flipping Humid and Hawt!

    Good Grief, this morning air is so stiff and thick.  I turned on the news to see the floods up north and almost the entire state of Mississippi under a tornado watch.  IF any of you are in the path of this weather pattern please be careful.  This type of heat, shifting weather pattern; mixing with any cold front will produce huge storms to include tornados. 

    Another thing, the mosquitos here are beating the mess out of the hummingbirds; rival in size and irritability to yellow jackets.  I have not been sleeping well either for the last few weeks.  I have the premonition; we will be seeing a rather large diamondback rattler.  Now, normally I don't shy from snakes or let finding them unexpectedly bother me.  But, my gut tell me the boys will be in danger.  So my MOMMIE SENSES are tingling thus I can not sleep.

     This picture is from our visit to the snake farm near Austin last December.  Our neighbors have recently killed two large rattlers just next door so, I am being extra cautious with two rather high energy boys wanting to play outside.  Today's big adventure will be putting moth balls under the house and sealing up any holes found around our home.  It's weird all these wild animal critters seem to appear in cycles with their breeding.  The first year we lived here; there were tortoise everywhere; I would often stop the car to push them back in the brush.  I usually don't mind nature's bounty but, rattlers are not a joke with small children around.

     Onto another topic.  What are your feelings or thoughts on the oil leak in the Gulf Coast?  Do you think BP should be getting those underwater leaks sealed as soon as humanly possible?  Actually I am hoping this will lead to the United States to find other resources to fuel our lives. I can not imagine how long the mess will take to clean up with estimates ranging from 5,000 to 100,000 barrels being lost each day.  Don't even get me started on the effects on nature and loss of jobs for the fishing industry.

FYI there are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil just to give you an idea the size. And there is more than one leak stemming from this oil platform's explosion and collapse on the 20th / 22nd of April.

Let us also not forget the 11 lives lost, their families, and those injured.

OKAY ON TO the classroom update; we have a media center now, student table with chairs, books more organized (NOT to my standards yet), and all Zephyr's primary readers on a shelf by themself.  YEAH!  This weeks' addition was the tall shelf to the right inside the entertainment center which used to house our big screen television -- repurposing is awesome way to recycle items. Notice how thick those boards are?  My husband builds furniture to last.

Mom has some dusting and organizing left to do but, we now have a classroom.  With a 'formal' place I am hoping the boys will focus more with a set place and hours to learn.

Classroom is 85% complete. Dry erase board paint should be arriving this week.  I will paint the other side of the chalk board white in case, I need a 'screen' to show movies, slides, or transparencies.