Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tennesee Tuesday

Today we slept in, which is a treat all by itself! We walked the perimeter of Becky & Scott's land with Scott as our guide showing us where the land started and stopped. It is huge and a child's dream to discover! I kept thinking what a blessed childhood Charles, Randy & Ethan are having. It has been extra nice to have Scott home this trip, as sometimes he has to travel when we come to visit. He and Becky have grown together real nicely. Over the past few days, she has reminded Scott nearly 254 times that the grass is growing too long and he needs to get the lawn mower working for the season so she can mow. He has reminded her 254 times that he has to go into town and get a battery.

During our hike, I believe I touched poison oak. I did my best to wash it off when we got back but won't know for two days if it was soon enough. I already feel itchy, but it very well could be in my head. We made horsey sounds to make the horses come to us, but they ran off... kinda says how pitiful we sound. Ashlee gathered pinecones, acorns, bark & such... hence the name Pebbles in my Pocket.

Tonight we had fried catfish & cornbread. Extra yummy and I know a cold piece waits for me in the morning for breakfast. She also made my favorite burrito's today. If Randy was home from college, I would have to hide some from him in the refrigerator crisper. Becky panicked at the thought of me making cornbread tonight. Instead, she and Ashlee puttered in the kitchen together and I sat at the kitchen table and downloaded the photos of the day. They each had the superior look of a good cook on their faces that annoyed the heck of out me. But boy! dinner was sure good :) Then we watched Michael & Follow The Stars.
My sister Becky & her husband Scott

1. Elk poo 2. Land 3. Scott found a baby rabbit with Ethan & Ashlee
4. Baby Rabbit 5. Elk resting 6. Brenda, Becky & Ashlee

1. Clay pigeon launcher 2. Land 3. Becky & Ethan
4. Scott feeding cow 5. Scott & Duke 6. Barn door
1. Trees on property 2. Honey bee farm 3. Ashlee gathering stuff
in her pocket 4. Poison Oak 5. Randy's horse, Skip 6. Scott

1. Ashlee 2. Brenda waving in front, Becky waving in back
3. The farm 4. Scott, Becky & Duke 5. Corn bread 6. Fried catfish

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tennessee Monday

Well the four words that a man with kidney stones dreads most happened to Scott this morning. 'We'll have to extract'. He has lived with this kidney stone now for over a week and it had yet to make it's way out. He had an appointment with a Urologist this morning and thankfully he squeezed him into surgery right after. He had no time for the fear to build up but gently closed his eyes and was surprised when he woke that it was over... he never saw the doctor. Patient is home recuperating under Becky's loving care.

So Ethan, Ash and I were slugs at home and had a 'doesn't happen too often' lazy day. Tonight we watched James Bond Quantum Solace and sang along with Abba as we watched Mama Mia.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tennessee Sunday

Today we went to church with Kris & Steve and the Vissers. It's a community church over in Mountain City. I love coming to this church for several reasons. I love how humble the people are. They don't care if they wear specific clothing, they just love the Lord and come in whatever they are wearing and all are welcome...some in dresses, others in levis. I love the praise music... the upbeat, simple words, the guitars & drums. It makes me feel joyful and it doesn't even matter that I stink at singing, I sing with all my heart. I would add praise music to the LDS church in a heart beat. Most of all, I love the spirit in this humble cement block building. I do personally believe that the only true way back to God is through faith in Him and love & service to one another... everything else builds on that.

We went to Vissers afterwards for dinner...plenty of non-stop visiting and catching up. Picture taking is always a joy for me, Becky taught the younger Visser girls some dancing 101 moves with the help of Scott & played pool, Ashlee & Holly talked about babies, shooting guns, playing with the farm animals and yes little Gregory may be gifted and read words off of cue cards at age 2, but he also did a good job peeing on the pool table today :)

We drove over in Scott's 1973 green Buick Electra. I have to admit I didn't think it would make the 2.5 hour drive, so I asked three times. Becky finally said, 'Brenda. Scott wants to do this.' We brought a card game just in case.

We've known the Visser family for 12+ years now since my Dad and Kris moved to Tennessee from Grass Valley, Calif. Through the years they have become very dear friends. My Dad passed away nearly 8 years ago and Kris remarried 3 years ago to Steve.

We came home and played rummikub... but mostly talked & laughed. Scott is still not feeling well.
-Brenda1. Pastor Ron & wife Nancy 2. Ashlee brought homemade peach
jam to share with everyone 3. The 1973 Buick Electra
4. Steve & KrisFerguson 5. Becky talking with the Visser kids
6. Shooting

1. John & Holly, Faith, John and Destiny 2. Laura, Shay,
Brooklyn & Martina 3. Brenda, Becky & Ashlee with girls
4. Forrest & Brittany, Gregory and Eden 5. Karen & Greg
6. The girls

1. Karen & the girls 2. Becky & Scott dancing with the girls
3. Becky dancing with the girls 4. Llama 5. Goat 6. Brenda & Karen

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tennessee Saturday

We woke up to bisquits & gravy for breakfast and finished up with a dinner of Country Cube Steak & mashed potatoes. Becky's cooking reminds us we are in the heart of the country. Becky made 3 desserts in the morning that we need to bring for the picnic after church tomorrow with the Vissers and Kris & Steve. Scott started cutting up and eating the brownies while they were still hot from the oven. She made a yummy sour cream/lemon pound cake too and again, slices started to be missing... I was wondering if Becky would be able to bake faster then they were being eaten. Becky did giggle and tell me I was roly poly as I bent down to pick up a crumb off the kitchen floor.

Katie Coon got to come out and play. She has been in the family now for 12 years and you can see how much she trusts and adores Scott. She likes to roam the land and discover new things, sometimes being able to stay over night up in the barn... but always comes back to Scott.

We played Rummikub and Becky was a pitiful loser until she realized the 3 winners of the night came from the "Little" family. Discovering this, she proudly announced that everything they learned, they learned from her... making Becky too a winner (in her head). She is happier now and can sleep better tonight, probably more determined than ever to kick trash.

Samson's antlers fell off today. He shakes his head and I think he is happy to have all that weight & bulkiness off. Their elk herd is now up to four. They are so majestic standing at the top of the hill. They come to the fence when they see Becky & Scott.

We went to Yoder's, an amish market and Becky treated Ashlee to a bunch of good basic food to make Paul. That store can inspire anyone to become a good country cook. We did talk to the boys about choosing a girl one day that values home & family. The boys are trying to beat my score of 222 on the bubble game. They will be unable to do so, but it gives them something to strive for this week. Duke got fixed and has what looks to be a satellite dish or lampshade around his head for 2 weeks. We stopped off to see Charles working on his Fiero with friends and one quick look at his face made us realize he was serious when he said 'don't come visit me'. Who knew? Even I knew better than to take his picture this time.

It's good to see Ashlee all grown up and learning from Becky and talking with Scott. She loves being with the boys too. Tonight while she was doing the dinner dishes, Ethan joined in to help her and they just spent time together. She and Charles stayed up late after Rummikub and chatted. Scott still doesn't feel good with a soon-to-be-passing kidney stone looming over him. Today we talked and laughed about past memories and made new ones. Other than being home, this is my hands down favorite place to be.
-Brenda1. Becky making Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake 2. Brenda & Becky
3. Scott sneaking Cream Cheese Brownies 4. Ethan & Charles
trying to beat my bubble game score 5. Ethan finding the 2nd elk antler
6. Duke with a lamp shade on his head

1. Becky, Brenda & Ashlee with an employee of Yoder's Amish market
2. Becky hoarding dark chocolate 3. Ashlee figuring out what to for sure
get 4. Ethan & Brenda 5. The barn 6. Ash & Becky at Yoder's

1. Samson 2. Scott talking to Samson 3. Becky & Brenda
4. Ash & Scott 5. Scott 6. Brenda feeding Katie Coon

1. Ethan & Ash 2.Ethan & Ash washing dishes
3. Scott & Ethan mulching 4. Country Cube Steak
5. Scott & Tiger 6. The barn

1. Ash & Becky 2. Charles 3. Becky may be losing?
4. Becky & Ethan 5. Ethan & Brenda 6. Becky & Scott

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tennessee Arrival

We made it to Tennessee! The lady next to us on the airplane asked if we would be offended if she changed her baby's stinky diaper. I told her I would be more offended if she didn't :) We played 'choose your husband' at the airport. Choices were very limited. Ashlee complained a lot about airplane air and how stinky it was.

As we were waiting at the baggage claim, we asked a nice gentleman to take our photo for our blog. We said at the same time, smiling & giggling... 'we are bloggers!' Afterwards he said that we didn't need him to tell us to have fun. I am happy to be with Becky. It's raining here. Becky talked in Randy language telling us Randy stories all the way home from the airport. The redbuds are in bloom and the dogwoods will follow soon. We came home to homemade stew, biscuits and Ashlee's peach jam. Her home is filled with love, you can feel it. It feels like home. Becky is very nurturing to Scott. Right now he is pretty miserable with his unpassed kidney stone. We watched a Hallmark movie and surprisingly, Scott told us in depth what it was all about. Odd, because he must have watched it earlier by himself. There is a gentleness with Scott when he is with us girls. Ethan is so much like Scott, Randy is away at college, Charles is amazing and participating in a special project for TV this summer. Each one of the boys is so different and wonderful. Right now Ashlee and Uncle Scott are in a deep discussion about titanium planes.. Ashlee appears interested. How high is 80,000 feet? asks Scott...."really high" replied Ashlee! Now they are onto a discussion of red meat and Ashlee vows to eat more... doubtful. I pray this week goes by really slow.

Ashlee, Becky & Brenda

Ashlee & Charles
Settling in together 1. Scott & Charles 2. Ethan & Ashlee 3. Scott & Ashlee
4. Scott & Becky 5. Scott & Becky 6. Ethan, Brenda & Ashlee

Welcome to Tennessee Brenda and Ashlee

Brenda and Ashlee made it! We had a nice gentleman take our picture at the baggage claim "for our blog we said at the same time, smiling and giggling...we are bloggers!" This is a very special blog as Brenda and I are sitting at our computer writing this blog together, though I must admit I'm not responsible for everything she'll write...she keeps notes on everything I say and do. Right now Ashlee and Uncle Scott are in a deep discussion on titanium planes.. Ashlee appears interested. How high is 80,000 feet? asks Scott...."really high" replied Ashlee! Now onto a discussion of red meat... It is wonderful having them here, actually more than wonderful. We got home from the airport, had beef stew and biscuits with Ashlee's delicious peach jam she brought me. Half the jar is gone! I hope this week goes by really slow. Brenda is the true blogger, no one does it better. I'll let her do the picture taking and blogging this next week and I'll copy and paste them to my blog.

Duke Neutered

Our Golden Retriever, Shadow, had died over a year ago. Last fall, a friend of Randy's (TJ) brought us a dog that had been dropped off at his work place, hanging around for several days. TJ knew we had lost Shadow and this dog needed a loving home...a perfect fit. We named him Duke. Duke showed signs of being tied up continuously and also being abused. It would take a while until he trusted us. To make a long story short, we've fallen in love with Duke and then two weeks ago he disappeared. We posted "missing dog" signs, looked for him everywhere. Our friends told us confidently "He'll be back in a week." Sure enough he came home 6 days later...10 to 15 pounds lighter, shedding his coat like crazy (we think from malnutrition) and a fractured tail. The vet said he'd been kicked hard. Who knows what happened during that time. We made an appointment with the vet to get him neutered...no more gallivanting with the women. He's sore and has to wear the protective bonnet for 10 days until his stitches heal. We are happy that Duke is a part of our family.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Kidney Stone For Scott

It's Scott's turn for a kidney stone. I was at our church's Awana Grand Prix derby race. Scott was supposed to have brought Ethan to church to help out with the race and they never showed. After the race was over I checked my phone and Ethan had left a message saying Scott was in the ER with a kidney stone. I missed it all. He had a CT scan and it showed one stone working it's way out. They filled him with pain meds and sent him home with a strainer. He's zonked out on the couch right now, proof that the pain meds are working. I quickly snapped a picture. I wonder if we're getting older? What a coincidence we both had kidney stones within a month of each other! I 'll take care of my babe through this.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Our New Elk: Ruth and Sarah

Scott and Ethan got home late last night with our new elk. They had a good trip and enjoyed seeing the elk farm. We named our elk Ruth and Sarah (Scott said I could pick the names!) Ruth is a yearling, born last summer and Sarah is two years old and hopefully pregnant. She was bred with a white bull elk so she has a 50% chance of having a white calf. You can see some of the white cows in the picture below from the elk farm. They made the transition well, with Sam and Dee accepting them immediately. I walked up to the fence to get a picture of them all sitting together and Ruth and Sarah ran to the corner of the field. They are very skittish and scared. Sam and Dee just walked up to me, wanting food and to be petted. I'm sure with time they will feel more at home.

Elk Farm Jackson, TN The cows and the bulls are kept separated.

Ethan: Getting ready to load the elk.

Ruth (background) and Sarah

Sarah and Ruth in the corner of our field. (My camera was on telephoto!)

Samson and Dee watching the new elk.

Majestic Samson

Friday, March 13, 2009

Goodbye Gideon

Gideon is off to Jackson, TN. He's being traded in for two females. Getting him in the trailer was the easy part as we had lots of help. Getting Scott's truck and trailer out of the mud was something else. It's a rainy day here which means mud and Scott's truck got stuck on the hill by the barn. The boys ended up getting our tractor and pulled him out. We rented the trailer from the Co-op and Scott made Gideon a nice bed of hay in the trailer so he'll be comfortable for the 8 hour drive. You can see by the pictures Gideon is scared. If all goes as planned they'll be back tomorrow night with our two new elk. We bought Samson and Dee in Jackson, TN at the same elk farm two years ago. It gives me peace knowing that Gideon will have a good home there. Ethan is going with his Dad to keep him company. They plan on spending the night in Nashville and reaching Jackson by noon.


Feeding time for Samson and Dee

Dune Buggy...The Tennessee Way

Just when I thought it couldn't get any muddier... Randy is having a good spring break, working a little and playing hard. Preston, one of his buddies, brought over his Dad's dune buggy and they've been having a ball. It's been raining so the ground is nice and soft...it's much more fun in the mud! I guess they've been driving it all around the hills. Talk about boys and their toys.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ski Trip For Ethan

Ethan had the opportunity to go skiing at Ski Beech, NC a couple weeks ago (Feb 21st) with the youth group at Rogersville United Methodist Church. I just got some pictures of his day from a friend. Not a lot of snow like out west, but Ethan had a great time on the slopes with his friends, coming home tired and sore and with lots of memories.

RUMC youth trip, Ski Beech, NC

Deer Mice

Yesterday, the boys found a family of deer mice while picking up rocks in the back field. They put 'em in a bucket and brought 'em home. Unfortunately, the momma mouse died overnight so we are doing all we can to keep the babies alive. Cute little guys!

Randy And His Horse Skip

Randy is home from college for spring break. He spent his first day sleeping in and riding four wheelers with his friends. Today is another warm, sunny day in Tennessee, a perfect day for Randy and Josh to take their horses out for a ride. Randy bought Skip, a beautiful Quarter horse, several years back. He sure enjoys his time riding Skip and most likely wishes there was more time to do it.

Randy and Skip

Randy and Skip

Randy and Josh Elkins

Saturday, March 7, 2009


We ended our day with a huge bonfire, burning the wood and brush that has been building up over the winter. It was a beautiful warm, clear night with the stars shining brightly. You could hear the bullfrogs croaking in the distance. There's nothing like a bonfire... Josh and his sister, Christy came over. The smoke kept following Christy and I. I told her it was because we were beautiful... smoke follows beauty, ya know! The boys played in the fire, making UFO's. They folded newspaper like a parachute and lit it. Since hot air rises, the burning parachute lifts off and flies high in the sky. I couldn't capture one on film, but will try our next bonfire. It was a great way to end the day.

Ethan, Christy and Josh Owenby

Scott keeping the bonfire under control

Christy and I

Charles and Ethan making UFOs

Ethan waiting for his UFO to lift off

Picking Up Rocks

Today was a great day for picking up rocks in our field. The back field is loaded with limestone rocks and it seems like for every rock you pick up there are two more in its place. We are trying to clear the back field for pasture and a path for the four wheeler to drive on. An added plus is the rocks are nice and flat and great for landscaping. Scott and the boys brought a load down for me so I can finish the border around our house...my spring project.

Charles, Josh Owenby and Ethan

Ethan, Josh Owenby and Scott stopping for a picture

Unloading the trailer

My spring project