AN ODE TO MY MOTHER – OR – IS THAT A TURKEY?

A little over a year since the fire. Second Holiday season since, and I am thinking about my mom. She loved to read and write, just not good at the latter but loved to try. So, as a tribute to her this Thanksgiving, I give you the following:

THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING (or a turkey revenge).

So it’s (or Twas) the day before Thanksgiving, the turkey was spry.

The peacock he chased said, “You’re gonna fry!”

The peacock then giggled, “Your butt is so big.”

“They’ll cook you and eat you served up like a pig.”

The turkey not worried, not scared not a bit.

Replied to the peacock, ”I’m not fat, I’m just fit!”

“I’ll hide with the chickens, and blend in just fine.”

 “You’re the bird of the day dear, the family will dine!”

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They have to find me to eat me.” The turkey said with a snort

The peacock not knowing the turkey’s cohort.

While the peacock was taking his afternoon rest,

The gang got together, and doing their best.

They pinned down the snooty bird, his tail went first,

Glued on some feathers, all doing their worst.

They disguised the peacock, a turkey he looked.

Soon the farmer came out with the ax and a hook.

peacock with tail

He found the peacock all dressed as a turkey,

Thought the thing looks a bit skinny, odd and whacky?

But a bird is a bird and its Thanksgiving day,

So he picked up the callous bird and went on his way.

The moral of the story my friends now is this,

Don’t’ tick off a farm bird, you could end up like this:

 

turkey dinner

Yours Truly,

the bad poet’s society

(aka: mom xxxooo)

 

Happy Thanksgiving Day

 

 

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SARCAS M, OR WICKED SENSE OF HUMOR?

Helberg meaning of the word:

SAR – short/twisted for “sarry, but you set yourself up for this.

CAS – short/twisted for “cas I have to slam you now – ya know that!

M:short/twisted for “Mm gonna be sorry I did it, but will do it again in a heartbeat!

My family, for decades, has thrived on it. If we don’t pick on you, we don’t like you. Just ask anyone that knows us. Even when we do something outstanding, a complement is always – ALWAYS – met with a quip.

My sister was doing her passion in the kitchen and came out with this prize:

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It’s called “An Apple Rose” and it is not only yummy but a real wow-er (yes, I’m pretty sure it’s a new word for the Webster people)! She, as always, hands one to me for taste testing (yes, the job is hard but someone has to do it-boo hoo). So, being the polite sister that I am, I accepted the challenge, downed the puppy and responded: “Oh ya, these can’t go to work with you, pretty sure they ALL have to stay here at home.”

She knows, of course, that this means they are fantastic and too good to share! She then replies, “So I should throw them all to the chickens?” I proceed to tell her that pretty sure they would be poison for our birds, and we need to force ourselves to suck it up and eat them.

It’s always been this way. If we really like or love something, gotta slam it. If we don’t really care about it – straight answer. My earliest memory of the origin of this was my sister and I volunteering (ya-sure, 8 and 10 years old volunteering to clean?) to clean up the kitchen after dinner. I don’t remember why or how we thought of it, but mashed potatoes were the instigator in our plan.

Now any parent knows when the kids are quiet, or worse giggling, there is something wrong. So, being the great father that he was, he sauntered into the kitchen to see what we were up to. “What’s going on in here?”, he growled. There we stood, ear-to-ear smiles on our faces, covered head-to-toe in soapy water from doing dishes, most of the table was cleared. “Nothing,” we both responded.

Dad was on to us. He stood in the door way, researching the room to spy the reason for our comradery. He did not see anything out of place, glared one more time at us, turned to leave the room, and just started to say Don’t take too long – WHEN IT HAPPENED! The mashed potatoes that we had flung to the ceiling had decided, at that exact moment, to release. Landed smack on top of dad’s head.

He placed a hand on his head to see what had attacked him. Slowly turned back to re-view the kitchen. He now spotted the numerous blotches of mashed potatoes and slick slimy rounds of bologna sandwich meat spattered all over the ceiling. My sister and I were proud of our ability to do this great work of art, but pretty sure dad was not going to appreciate it.

I always knew our father was special, particularly when it came to his kids, and to say that grown men are worse than little children is an understatement where he was concerned. But in this moment, it was perfectly matched. Instead of a scowl, he had a slight grin on his face. “Clean up this mess, get it all off the ceiling and clean that too.” He said. Turned and went back to the living room. We, in turn, stood giggling and watching as the other flung food began to lose its grasp of the ceiling and come crashing to the floor.

To this day, I don’t know if he ever told anyone about this, but I do know that we sisters have talked and laughed about it many times. So, in conclusion, my family raised me well with sarcasm and a wicked sense of humor. These both have proved to serve me well – no really! What would your parents have done with you and your mashed potatoes?

IS IT REAL? A BLAST FROM THE PREHISTORIC PAST? A BIRD, PLANE, OR SUPERMAN?

How many of you know what this is:

male silver guinea bird(see a video here)

The head of a dino, body of some crazy speckled fish-like-thingy, legs of a chicken – runs like the wind, but never seems to be going in a straight line (loves spinning in place with several others at a time). It’s a Guinea Bird/fowl.

We purchased our first ones a little over 10 years ago and got the surprise of our life. The first came to us as babies, looked almost like the baby chickens until tguinea babieshey started to “form”. Early on their heads looked strange – but, as they grew, the noise they made was even worse than their head. The eggs are not very good for breakfast but, like duck eggs, make great noodles. They are shaped like a huge upside down teardrop, short legs but man could they cruise!

 

It’s a summer Saturday evening, cocktails by the fire pit, and then it happened. We have a huge circular driveway around our house, of which the guineas took full advantage of – the race was on!

Sun setting, frogs having a party down in the pond croaking away, faint call of a coyote in the distance (yea – stay there!), and the guineas were at full speed. Three of the dino-birds started racing around the house via the driveway. They would run around about 3 times then stop in the center of the yard/drive and start spinning in circles! WWHHAATT?? I had never even heard of a guinea before we bought them, but they were supposed to be good pest controllers. So what was with the racing and, more important, how could they spin around like that without falling over? They looked funnier than a dog chasing its tail – and that’s funny! It was a mystery.

guinea fowl

Of course, we never once tried to stop them. It didn’t seem to be hurting them, they actually seemed to like it (could tell by all the squawking they were doing) so no harm no foul (ok, bad pun). We also had the issue of not being able to stop laughing at them (biggest reason why we didn’t stop them). Then, of course we all picked a bird and watched the races till the sun set.

When the sun was finally down low enough for the yard light to come on, they finally settled down. This also meant another oddity of them – they flew up and perched in the tree at night. Chickens do not do that! They like to perch on racks we built in their barn, but you would never find them up in a tree. The biggest reason why not is that they can’t get their butts up there. Well, take another look at this silly bird – how does it get off the ground shaped like that? Have no clue, but they do.

There are a couple of great benefits to having them. 1) They are better guard dogs. Anything odd and they sound off – person, vehicle, or critter – doesn’t matter. If it’s out of the norm and they will let you know. 2) The best at pest control! You should see them rip apart a mouse, snake, or a grasshoppers doesn’t matter to them. If they can catch it, it’s theirs. They will beat the snot out of it till dead. Grab it, throw it in the air, stomp on it, or split it (literally) with a fellow guinea….ahh, bonus protein meal.

guinea-fowl-vs-rattlesnake

Rattle snakes are in Colorado, but we have never (knock-on-wood) seen one on our property. We love our guineas. Think we will keep them in stock (pun intended).

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES?

Time has finally caught up with us. Okay, maybe I should say the weather has finally caught up with us. Our first major frost is due tomorrow night, and I’m not ready – eeekkkk! The exterior garden is pretty much demolished – so no problem there. The decision now is do I want to keep the greenhouse tomatoes going through to next year or break out my Edward Scissorhands clippers and have at it?

My major concern is not devastating the bush, but how bad the bush will devastate me. The darn thing is from the nightshade family. Very poisonous prospect, and an oxymoron if you really think about it. How did anyone ever come to realize that a tomato was edible? I know that most of what we eat is from watching critters. If they eat it, must be ok – however- nothing will eat the tomato vine. The fruit (yep it’s a fruit) is, to me, outstanding! So many varieties of uses – ketchup, sauces, Pico, and best to me – raw!! We put them in tons of things from eggs to meats to noodles. When you combine several together you get an amazing flavor (that’s how we make our pasta sauce).

So what am I so worried about – the vines. Years past I was able to tear at them with minimal body covering (ok, clean it up, I’m talking shorts and a tank top then)…but not now. Now I need full body armor! Pants, socks, ankle high boots, long sleeve shirt or at least a long sleeve jacket, gloves and most important – a clean rag.

The rag came about when I found out that I could no longer deal with the treacherous monster without full body armor. I make the mistake of taking out the outside vines 2 years ago by simply hacking away at them. I knew what they were back then, but at that time they did not infest me. Well, on this fateful day it happened to be bright, sunny and on the warmer side. As I worked I began to perspire (women perspire – men sweat – what a crock but that’s for another day) and subconsciously wiping the wet from my face – using my hands which were not encased in gloves. I believed that gloves were for sissys that were afraid to get their hands dirty – also, not anymore!

The poison weeping from the vines as I hacked away at them was doing its dastardly revenge from the moment I touched them. It leaked all over my hands and arms, I lifted both to help remove the moister from my face and eyes and the damage was done! The killer tomatoes had gotten vengeance. They were stealthy – doing injury when I least expected it! This was a year, after all, just like the previous years so why should I do anything different? Ha, ha, ha, silly me! NOTHING ever stays the same!!

I did my dirty deed on the gardens. I took everything down for the winters’ rest, as it should be. I went to bed that evening feeling like a hero! I had accomplished every fall cleanup item on my “to-do list” in record time. I showered after a hard days’ work but it was already too late. The sneaky tomato was enforcing its revenge upon me without my knowing it.

I woke the next morning looking like a blow fish!

pic of blowfish

WWWHHHAAATTTT???? I was swollen from my eyes to my feet with the worst being on my face (of course!). I was awake, but my eyes were thin little slits to peek through. My sinuses were so plugged that I had to hang my mouth open to breathe a heavy breather on a nasty phone call. And the facial skin itself was so stretched from the attack that I could not see a single wrinkle (bonus!? Hee hee).   My fingers were so swollen I could not make a fist and a burning rash had broken out almost everywhere. The first think (yes think) I did was yell for help.

Well, help came but not before laughing hysterically for several minutes first! Very funny – not!!! My sister then reminded me about the nightshade family in the tomato. So that was the culprit. She continued to laugh while helping to rub aloe lotion on me, also reminding me of all the time I teased her about her “sensitive” skin (she breaks out in a rash at the drop of a hat). Now I was to learn exactly how she felt – in the most painful way!

The majority of the swelling went down after a couple of days, the rash took a bit longer. But I did learn a very valuable lesson. The tomato doesn’t care what your skin type is. It doesn’t care that you may have killed it in the past without feeing its agony. It only cares about the first moment you DO notice it. That moment when it can come out on your unsuspecting self and seek revenge!

So, now I know that I will attack the monster with full body armor, but I will display my kinder side. I will allow part of the plant to remain in the plot. I will cover it with extra protection and even add a small space heater so that the temperature will remain above freezing in its mini-tunnel. I will allow it to continue to provide us with fruit in a slower manner throughout the winter.

In turn, I believe, it will not decide to attack me. At least not until the next time I get stupid and try to clear it jungle style! It had better remember that revenge is sweet, especially served up in a pasta sauce!

Now, my older friends, you know where they got the idea for that wonderful “B” movie from back in the 70’s – Attack of the killer tomatoes. Enjoy!!  (oh, and of course don’t forget that great theme song )