Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Creepy Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal is all the GOP has? HE is their greatest hope? I've trimmed down this video of Rachel Maddow's response last night to the Republican rebuttal to President Obama's address. It's only 26 seconds long. She's real hot when she's befuddled!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Lovers' Day, Doll

Sweet love of my life
Keeper of my cowgirl heart
Hottest thing this side of white lightning

I love you for all I'm worth

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Calming Fragrance of Inner Peace

My best friend Starr Ann isn't intentionally perverse. Well, perverse is the wrong word. What I mean is that she doesn't go to any trouble to run against the grain, but sometime, a lot of the time, she just naturally does.

Like when we were in high school and studying communism. Of course, it was real easy to pick up on the fact that the nuns expected everybody to react negatively to the word communism. I guess I don't have to describe the reaction Starr Ann got when she stood up one day and said communism sounded like a very nice system for doing things. Then, to make it even worse, she pointed out that, if you think about it, a convent functions like a little communist society. It wasn't until after class, when we were walking by ourselves, that Starr Ann added she'd never recommend actually forming a communist state, because although the theory is awful pretty, there's nobody but humans to try it out on, and on a large scale, human greed would be bound to mess things up.

Anyway, right now, everybody you run into is so uptight about the economic crisis. Like yesterday. We were at the grocery. Starr Ann had bought a package of vegetarian bacon as soon as we got there, so she could walk around eating what looked like - raw pork! When Starr Ann does that, you can just hear people tisking about the fact she's gonna get worms for sure.

Dang. Now I have to decide whether to leave that part about the raw fake bacon in here or not. On one hand, it doesn't do a heckuva lot to support my statement that Starr Ann isn't intentionally perverse. Heh. On another hand, I like to tip people off to fun things to do. Okay, I'm leaving it in.

So, there we were in the grocery, and here comes our neighbor, Randy, moping down the soap aisle. Starr Ann flapped a big ol' piece of raw fake (but very real looking) bacon in her mouth and said, "Why so chipper, Randy?"

Okay, I'm thinking about just taking out that whole sentence where I say Starr Ann doesn't try to be perverse.

His surprise made him almost look perked up for a second, but then his face went all heavy again, and Randy said, "Chipper? Who can be chipper with the stock markets crashing and credit drying up and nobody knowing from one day to the next who's gonna lose their job?"

Starr Ann sucked the last bit of salty goodness out of that particular piece of bacon and said, "Now, Randy, aren't you the guy who's been complaining about your job the whole nine years you been working at the hardware store?"

Randy puffed up his chest. "Sure I hate my job. Nobody likes workin'. But I'd sure like bein' broke and hungry a whole lot less."

Well, I could see Starr Ann revving up to get Randy in a conversation that was going to twist him up good, so I grabbed a slice of Starr Ann's bacon and stepped between them. "You hungry now, Randy? Want some of this?"

You should have seen the look that rolled across that poor guy's face at the thought of eating pork worms. Soon as he got feeling stable again, Randy wheeled his cart in the opposite direction of the one Starr Ann and I were headed.

We were about to pass on by the diet soups aisle when Barbra Jayce Cramer-Tildon spotted us and rushed right over with this real dazzled look on her face. Which meant absolutely nothing, because Barbra Jayce's face no longer has a repertoire of expressions to arrange itself in. Nope. What with all the facial medical interventions she's had done and all the makeup Barbra Jayce wears, it's just about impossible for her to look anything but dazzled. Up until that last intervention, if you got Barbra Jayce real mad you could see a little something that bordered on stunned, but those days are past her now.

Anyway, we tried to hustle down the next aisle in a hurry, but Barbra Jayce just grabbed about ten cans of unseasoned water chestnut broth and ran to catch up with us. "Starr Ann! Margo! Ain't everything awful?" Barbra Jayce said, in that heavy, gravelly voice that's about as opposite as you can get from dazzled.

Starr Ann said, "Awful?"

Barbra Jayce said, "Don't tell me the economic crisis and this stimulus package business doesn't scare you half to death, Starr Ann."

Rolling a bacon slice up real neat, Starr Ann said, "Okay, I won't."

Barbra Jayce threw her hands in the air and said, "There you go, Starr Ann, acting like there ain't a thing in the world can shake you up!"

When Starr Ann popped that rolled-up bacon in her mouth, you could tell the implications would have registered on Barbra Jayce's face if only they could. But they couldn't.

Anyway, by that time, we were entering the pet section, and Barbra Jayce growled out, "Mark my words, this country's headed for disaster."

Starr Ann stopped a little ways down from the pet food part of the aisle, put her hand on Barbra Jayce's shoulder, and said real kind, "BJ, you ever stop to think that living in a financial system where people who hollow out the currency, lending and re-lending money until it's nearly worthless, are lavishly rewarded, while the ones who actually produce things of value, like food, or art, or healing, or learning, have to barely get by or else resort to credit - did you ever stop to think that a country that functions like that is already in a state of disaster? Personally, I'm ready to face whatever this correction brings."

A casual onlooker would have thought maybe Barbra Jayce had been strongly affected, dazzled even, by Starr Ann's words, but of course, that wasn't the case. Barbra Jayce paused for the slightest moment before saying, "Don't you come crying to me, Starr Ann, when you finally realize how far all that inner peace crap's gonna get you, you hear?"

Starr Ann just finished off her last piece of fake bacon and held a bottle of de-wormer up where she could see the label better, saying all distracted, "Wonder if this one's cherry flavored."

Obviously, I went ahead and left in that part about how Starr Ann isn't intentionally perverse. I'll leave it to you to decide if I did the right thing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Instrument of Fun - Our Kinda Stimulus Package

Absent-mindedly rubbing her right forearm this morning, my best friend Starr Ann (hi, Starr Ann) had absolutely no complaint in her voice as she said, "My arm feels kinda asleep from all the vibration yesterday, is yours, Margo?"

Mine was a little tingly. I said, "Nope. Not a bit. Arm's just fine. Maybe I should be the one to use it today, and you take a little time off. Don't wanna end up with repetitive motion injury, do you?"

Starr Ann limbered her wrist up, and then rotated her shoulder some before saying, "No way! I'm sure this is temporary. See?" She flexed her fingers. "The numbness is already working out a whole lot. And remember, I get to use it first today."

Dang! Starr Ann never forgets who's turn it is next.

I blew out my breath real hard, so it would make my bangs fly up the way Starr Ann always finds so funny and said, "Okay, you get started. I'll get the lubricating oil and be there in a minute."

Starr Ann had that one smile on her face as she nodded and headed out to the back porch where we left the chainsaw yesterday when we finished with it.

That's right! If there's one thing that interferes with blogging more than losing power in an ice storm, it's spending all day cutting up the debris that ice storm left behind. Anyway, Happy Hands Ranch is looking a bit more cleaned up after all our work this weekend, and I'm really hoping to get back to writing and reading everybody else's blogs in a day or two.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It Really Is A Musical

**I've been wanting to tell about this for a while now, but simply did not have the technology. Now I DO have the technology to trim an embedded video down to just a few seconds. So, please trust me, and when you come across an embedded video within this story, go ahead and click on it, watch the very short clip, and read on. Oh, and, apologies in advance to those of you without fast connections.

There's this thing my best friend Starr Ann (hi, Starr Ann) does sometime. It's kinda hard to explain, and we've never, ever actually put it into words. Anyway, Starr Ann can take a perfectly normal-feeling day and turn it into what I can only describe as a real life musical. That's right! And it usually starts up something like the way it did this morning.

We were having breakfast. So far so good. Jodie went to the fridge and asked if anybody would like more milk. I said no. But Starr Ann smiled that one smile, the one that says her movements and facial expressions are about to go real big, like she's onstage. Then all of a sudden she says, "I'd like more milk, ...

Right away, Jodie and I knew a Starr Ann Musical Day had begun, but the unspoken rule is that we never, ever acknowledge it's happening, so Jodie just whisked over to the table, and with a flourish, she filled Starr Ann's glass up to the top.

Starr Ann beamed at Jodie and said with genuine admiration, "Baby, how do you make everything look so effortless?"

Closing the carton and popping it back into the fridge, Jodie said, "Why, it's nothing. In fact...

Anyway, after breakfast, as is often the case when we're in the middle of a Starr Ann Musical Day, somebody knocked on our door. We all three rushed to answer it, expecting the real fun to begin, but were kinda disappointed to see it was our neighbor, Billie Mae. Starr Ann's been trying real hard to get Billie Mae interested in something besides being over-medicated and the fact that her opposite-sex marriage is on the rocks, and last week it emerged that Billie's always wanted to learn to whistle. So that's what she and Starr Ann have been working real hard on. The second she crossed through the doorway, Billie Mae started up trying to show Starr Ann the whistling progress she'd made last night...

All kind and understanding, Starr Ann said, "See, Billie, that ain't real whistling, okay?"

Well, like always, Billie wasn't much innerested in hearing anything remotely connected with reality, so she got all teary eyed, which made Starr Ann get a little more stern and say, "Now, Billie Mae...

To which Billie Mae responded by flipping herself around and dancing off to the comfort of her medicine cabinet.

A few hours and many sensational song and dance routines later, there was another knock. This time, what I saw standing there on the porch was a little more to my liking. It was Celia Susan, wearing what might be the tightest pair of pants I ever did see. And she was doing them all kinds of justice.

Even though Celia Susan and I have suspended our physical relationship for the past several months on account of knowing we'll never really fall in love with each other and deciding maybe we shouldn't give in to the moment and risk taking the edge off our scouting abilities, you should have seen the twirl I executed on the way to greeting her while asking, "Celia Susan...

Poor Celia Susan just waltzed right up and looked at me hard with those big brown Celia Susan eyes for a second before saying, "Margo...

Dang. I might get these gallant notions in my head sometime, but I'm not insane or anything. I took Celia Susan's hand in mine, danced her around the hallway once, and said, "Sure, I'll help you make it through the night."

Well, after that number, Jodie got all caught up in the sexual tension and gave Starr Ann that one look I've seen pass between them before. Then Jodie started moving her hips mighty smooth like, and she said, kinda urgent, "Starr Ann, darlin', ...

To tell the truth, I don't think they'd have lasted until they got home to Jodie's, so I reminded them how far my bedroom is from Starr Ann's and suggested we all call it a night. That idea went over real well.

Anyway, Starr Ann Musical Days always turn out to be pretty innerestin', but this was one of the best. And breaking with tradition, it extended beyond the daytime. Late into the night, from both ends of our house, you could plainly hear...


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Holed Up. Heh.

Well, we got ourselves stranded in an ice storm. With no heat for five days, cold temperatures that swooped down to 12 degrees on Thursday night, and 24 dogs, cats, and horses that couldn't be left behind, what are a couple of cowgirls to do?

That's easy. These two cowgirls let ourselves be dazzled by the sights, excited by the challenge, and awed by the adventure.

We bundled the smaller animals in front of the hearth with us, kept a roaring fire going, carried lots of water to the horses, fluffed the stalls thick with bedding, cooked amazing food in the fireplace, and took a few pictures of the beauty and destruction.

Here's some of the destruction. That's the driveway, looking out toward our main gate. Not real passable.

We could hear loud crashing all night long, as the ice broke our trees. These bird feeders are maybe fifty yards from the house.

Even two days after the storm, we had to walk all the dogs on leashes to keep them clear of limbs that continued to fall.

To get the horses out of the barn that first morning, we had to cut away a huge piece of Bradford pear tree that had fallen in front of the door. In this picture, we'd already pulled the branches aside.

Okay, just a few more of the beautiful sights Nature left behind after her little reminder of who's still really in charge.

Oh, and just in case you ever run into a situation that seems hopeless, and you're feeling like giving up, it might be good to know that when the weather warmed up five days after the storm, this 9-foot-tall blue spruce actually stood back up.

To Oatmeal and Trickster, that warm weather meant just one thing. Sunbath!

Anyway, it was a winter storm we'll always remember, but it's great to be warm, safe, and online again.

Happy Groundhog Day!