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Fence Posts

June 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

When I was about 9 years old my Great Grandmother came to live with us. Ruby is what we called her I guess because that was her name, Ruby Lowe Isley. She was my Great Grandfather’s second wife and had helped raise my dad and his brothers and sister after their mother died. She was a very quiet and simple lady who I never heard say a bad thing about anyone, even though some of her step-children treated her very badly after her husband died.

She was a neat lady who instilled in me my appreciation of the Shelbyville author Charles Major. She read the books “The Bears of Blue River” and “Uncle Tom Andy Bill” to me and my brother , great adventures for a young boy who would later trap just like the” boys” on the Brandywine Creek. She told how Mr. Isley, as she always referred to her husband, and his sons and son-in-laws farmed Charles Major’s farm. Part of the 1000 acres they farmed for many years. But, I transgress.

Ruby was extremely knowledgeable of the signs of the Zodiac as they apply to farming and gardening.  Always talking about how Mr. Isley would or would not do certain tasks on the farm unless the sign was right. I have kicked myself a thousand times for not paying attention as she explained the signs and what they meant and how they affected things. Oh what I’d give to have that knowledge now to pass on to others.  I need to say at this point that my dad did not believe in the signs! With that being said the story of the fence post begins.

When I was 12 we moved to a small farm outside of Greenwood. Dad and mom built a house and dad and I built a barn and that first fall we built fences around the barn lot and garden plot. We were setting post at the corner of the garden when Ruby came out and said matter of factly that the sign was wrong to be setting fence post and they would not stay in the ground. Dad nodded and said OK but we have to get this fence built because we are bringing some livestock home next week. Ruby returned to the house and Dad says, “That is old wives tales and folklore. But, tomp (that’s Hoosier speak for tamp) those post better than you ever have. I mean really tomp them.”  We finished the fence that day and the next week we got some sheep.

I don’t remember if we had a severe winter that year or not. All you remember from your childhood are the days you got to stay home from school because of the snow. You don’t remember the cold, bitter cold, drab, dreary, or windy days just the snow days.  Anyway, when winter was finally over and spring arrived with the thawing of the ground lo and behold; the corner post at the garden had come up out of the ground at least 8 inches. Ruby never said a word about those fence posts. Not even an “I told you so.”  I remember saying something to my dad about the post coming out of the ground and he said,” Well, you must not have tomped them hard enough. “Those posts remained for all to see for 2 or 3 years with no attempt to correct them. Finally it was decided we didn’t need to garden anymore and we took the fence down.

I have built a lot of fence since then and sometimes the post would rise up out of the ground over the first winter. I sure wish I had known what the proper sign was to “plant” fence post.

Thanks for listening.

Richard Isley

Reprieve

May 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

My last post I talked about Foxy and her condition that appears to be on the decline. She has been in declining health for over a year but this week she took a direct hit with a seizure and an almost refusal to eat.  This morning the boss and I talked about Foxy’s quality of life and maybe it was time to say goodbye.  Foxy was in the room during that conversation and from that moment on she followed the boss thru the house never leaving her presence.

When we arrived at the vets Foxy didn’t seem too interested in walking. In fact I picked her up and carried her into the vets waiting room. All the time in the waiting room Foxy could not get close enough to Linda (the boss). Even when moved to the exam room she remained clingy. Dr. Brichler came in and did a through exam and lots of question about Foxy’s behavior.  We talked about causes and effects and what ifs. Finally we talked about end of life and quality of life and the Dr. said “I can’t find anything wrong with her and I think we should try a couple more things before we give up on her.” He prescribed a pain med and said” Let’s see how she is doing in a week or two.”

We paid the bill and left the building. Going to the car Foxy had a spring in her step and a wagging tail. She, I am sure, had heard the word. Reprieve!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

ONIONS

March 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

I really dislike onions! I cannot stand onions! I do not want onions in my food! Raw or cooked I do not like the texture of onions when I try to eat them! I won’t eat them if I have a choice but, that being said, I do like the flavor onions give to food dishes. And, when I cook (which is not often. Just ask the boss.) I do use onions. I really cook the hell out of them trying to make them disappear because if I see a piece of onion in my food I will pick it out! I really do not like onions!

I have learned when dinning out to ask, “Please, leave the onions out of my salad” or when at Appleby’s and we both order “Bourbon Street Steak “(it comes with onions and mushrooms) I ask for all the onions on one and all the mushrooms on the other. The Boss dislikes mushrooms for about the same reason I dislike onions. It works perfect! But, if I forget to ask then I gently remove the onions rings from my salad and give them to the boss and when the steaks come we try to be as nonchalant as possible as we exchange onions and mushrooms. Doesn’t always go as planned, last week I ordered a salad and forgot to ask to leave the onions off. Not a problem, the onion rings can be set aside and people probably won’t notice. The salad came with chopped onions. Bummer!!!

I look at recipes in magazines and newspapers. I even watch the “Pioneer Woman” and her cooking show. Add one cup chopped onion! Chop one large onion! Sauté two finely chopped onions! Enough! I don’t like onions! If those of you who like onions really like them you will eat them raw or eat them with your liver but leave them out of my food!

Now, I must admit that I do like the flavor onions give to food.  And, you really must use the real thing because onion salt or onion powder just ain’t the same. So like I said before I cook the hell out of them and try to make them disappear.  We all know that confession is good for the soul. My very favorite resturant fare in the whole world is “sesame chicken strips” at TGIF.  I try to convince the boss every time we go to Greenwood that we should stop at TGIF. I fail most of the time because she says it’s not good for me. I really do love the chicken strips so much that every time I go Krogering I check the frozen food freezers to see if TGIF has added the chicken strip to their frozen entrée selections.   Finally after many years I asked one day what I had always thought to be raisins in the “Jack Daniels” sauce really were and to my surprise ONIONS! WOW could it be true? After all these years I have been eating onions and enjoying them. I guess everyone and everything is allowed one exception.

I really don’t like onions!

Thanks for listening.

Richard

I have wanted to write a blog for sometime and was surprised when #1 granddaughter said during a visit, “I can help you do that.” And so, an hour later, I am good to go with a web address and a blog.

I was off and running but was not content because the blog did not work like I thought it should.

Frustrated, I tried my hand at the process of blogging and was disappointed I could not make the blog like I wanted.

Frustrated, because I could not figure out how the process worked and could not make the software work as I wanted.

Frustrated because no matter who offered advise and how hard I tried the results were the same; not to my liking!

This past weekend should have been a time of good family fun and an enjoyable visits. For me the weekend is a blur. Not sure why, except nothing went right. I won’t try to give reasons for being an a– because I really don’t know why. If I was rude or unfriendly or perhaps over bearing I’m sorry! I also want to apologize to my really great grand kids for not being the grandpa they deserve. Again, I’m sorry.

Looking out the window on the reservation it is a dreary day, but I have been somewhat productive. Took the girls to the vet. Foxy’s blood sugar checked OK (114) and Sugar probably has a UTI and will take some meds for the next 14 days. The old girls – 10 and 12 – are doing probably better than me. And for those of you who own stock in Krogers you will be pleased that I went Krogering and a dividend will probably be paid.

Now to the reason I want to blog. I see things that always makes me wonder “why did they do that;” things I think are funny even though Linda may not; things I think need to be done in the community to make life better; and, life in general because that’s all we got folks and we need to make the most of it!

Thanks for watching,

Richard