Monday, December 20, 2010

I love my country friends and neighbors

I would much rather have something homemade than store bought, something with a story behind it.

  My neighbor brought this over . . .

1 quart of homemade V8 juice, one pint of hot salsa, one pint of canned pears, and 2 jars of pear preserves


still warm chocolate cake with chocolate icing -- needless to say there's much less of this left today!

and my dear friend Kris could not have made the boys any happier than slab bacon!

There is nothing like being a country girl!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Letter from the Stateline

Dad's weekly article was published last week and I had to share it with you.  For those of you who don't know Dad, if he could do half the stuff he talks about and Mom allow him to get away with it, we'd live in a different world - A world of giant concrete yard statues shaped like chickens.

From the State Line

Here's this year's Christmas card


Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:03 AM CST

I enjoy receiving Christmas cards.

Ann does all the hard work addressing them, and I reap the pleasure of slogging to the mailbox to retrieve those that are arriving. In years past, the mantle and door facing were adorned with cards celebrating the holiday.

The past few years, we’ve seen a slight decline in the number of cards we get. Logical thinking tells me our friends don’t like us anymore, most of our friends are deceased or postage is too expensive.

I did get a Christmas card from a relative who studied and prepared for a very prosperous and honorable career. My relative has recently retired, and deserves all the comforts of a leisurely existence.

I would like to share with all of you the very nice card I received in the mail, and I’ll relate the special card I am formulating to mail to our many distant friends and relatives.

My relatives recently retired and sold their property in a distant state. They purchased a home in East Tennessee, and then took a Mediterranean cruise.

Their new home’s property line goes to the center of the Little River, which has its source in the Smokey Mountains. This is a popular kayaking and tubing site, and they spend quite a bit of time enjoying this activity.

They are about 15 minutes from Maryville, a nice college town with a brand-new performing arts center and other amenities that would usually be found in a larger place. Also, Knoxville is only 30 minutes away. They also have a cabin only 40 minutes away.

Their cat is slowly adjusting to their move. Since then, my relatives have traveled to Colorado, Michigan and Texas.

I was very impressed with their correspondence and immediately decided to work up my own Christmas greeting:

Merry Christmas to y’all,

2010 has been a good year for the Patterson family. The Japanese beetles ate most of our flowers and destroyed my Big Boy tomato plants and Kentucky Wonder pole beans.

My red Neon blew the head gasket, but I sold it for scrap metal. Also, my ’85 GMC caught on fire and burned. I was fortunate enough to retrieve my .38-caliber revolver, Russian Mauser, a can of cashews and two Moon Pies.

Luckily for me, scrap metal is up and I’ve got a trailer load of aluminum cans.

Between the GMC, Neon and cans, Ann and I will harvest a nice Christmas. We went to Metropolis to the boat — not a cruise ship — and enjoyed foot-long chili dogs, but lost $93 in the slots.

I enjoy floating Obion River and shooting bottles with my Ruger. I’ve got a 50-round drum that adapts to my clip chamber and it’s really enjoyable to machine gun it.

We are only eight minutes from Rainey’s Store in Jones Mill, and the best bologna sandwiches in West Tennessee can be had there.

This summer, we visited friends in Bruceton and Brownsville. This fall, we drove to Tiptonville and enjoyed all the autumn greenery.

I finally got around to doing some remodeling on our house. Ann has never liked the commode being in the living room. I relocated the “throne” to a large closet used to store my long guns.

I even purchased a high-rise soft commode seat autographed by Harry Reid. Now one has a certain sense of security when answering nature’s call.

I found a really good buy on an oversized double stainless-steel sink when one of our local morticians went out of business. This double-doozy can be used for dressing big game, washing dishes or taking a bath.

We splurged and bought a 65-inch flat-screen TV and hung it on the wall behind where the commode had been located. I nailed a piece of plywood over the hole in the floor.

My health is good for a 65-year-old man. When the temperature dips below freezing, both my artificial knees stiffen up, so I usually ride the Polaris. Ann doesn’t really like it in the house, but she is a real trooper and doesn’t complain much.

I recently got a new C-PAP machine to assist in breathing when I’m asleep. It’s the first Cammo C-PAP in Henry County.

Recently, I was trying out my neat new nose, ear and hair trimmer, and forgot I had my hearing aid in. I accidentally clipped off the sensor on my $2,500 hearing aid, so now I’m able to pick up the closest AM radio station until sundown.

My favorite cat, Paragon, lost a battle with our neighbor’s pit bull, Chum Chum. We have seven other cats that stay in the house, so we’ll just find another favorite.
 I’m worried my hernia has popped out again. Last week, I was honored to be a pallbearer carrying Mike “Overload” Morehead to his final earthly resting place, and now a strange protrusion has erupted around the initial ruptured area.

Merry Christmas,

Dan & Ann

Dan Patterson, who’s retired from the Paris Parks and Recreation Department, grew up near the state line and now lives in the Hico community in northwest Henry County. He can be reached by e-mail at

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hello and goodbye and those disgustingly snobby Christmas letters

I'll be away from blogland for a few days as I'm having surgery tomorrow.  I will leave you with some winter ice pictures inspired by fellow Kentuckian, Jules @ Try to Get over the Rainbow.  These are from Jan. 2009.  We went two weeks without power.


Ice on power line

The boys only climbing tree was split down the middle as you can see the neighbor's house in the background is ice covered as well.

Stay warm, my friends!

A quick edit before bedtime...
Please, please take the time to read this article

Dad received a Christmas card from a distant relative and this was his response.  I laughed so hard I cried.  I laughed so hard I snorted iced tea through my nose.  It was the funniest thing I've read in a long, long time.  My Dad has got real talent.  He writes this weekly article without pay and every year for Christmas I tell my Mom I want a copy of each article.  I love getting that binder full of my Dad's meanderings.

Please take a moment to read this.  I promise you will laugh out loud!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Busy as a . . . Christmas Elf

I've had so much fun this weekend making lots of goodies. 

Brown sugar body scrub

Peppermint body scrub

Just a few of the many cookies

Gingerbread men

Orange slice cake - Joe's favorite!

Peanut butter fudge

Naked gingerbread man

Lots of body scrub

Maverick couldn't want to see the snow

Ranger didn't last long outside, his glasses got too dark and his cheeks too cold!

Finally wore themselves out.  I hope they go to sleep this easily on Christmas Eve!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A nutcracker . . . or maybe two

My one true vice . . . I stopped counting last year

I treated myself to this little fellow tonight.  I found him at Sam's for less than $5!  And he's musical and animated!

Maverick with his star

Ranger and the star from their tree

Our kitchen tree.  This is Joe's favorite.  I don't know if it's the colored lights or the matching ornaments but this one has always been his favorite

Guess what I'm doing this weekend . . . finals are over and I'm ready to bake!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like . . .

This year, we decided to try something different . . .

We have 3 trees - a small one in the boys room, a medium one in the dining room with colored lights and matching ornaments and a Santa hat topping it off and in the living room . . .

all homemade ornaments

Cornhusk angels, twig stars, cinnamon ornaments,
dried orange slices, and other dried fruits stacked with cinnamon sticks and bay leaves

What do you think?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A few family pictures and one fiery goodbye

Mom and Debbie



Maverick, Barron, & Ranger

Ranger gnoshing on a turkey leg

Maverick hugging himself

And today we said a fiery goodbye to an old friend.  This faithful old red truck has carried wood, groceries, garbage, been camping, been to Canada, transported kids and adults from here to there . . . and back again.
Old red first belonged to my grand daddy.  I was a little girl when he brought it home all shiny and red.  Mom and Dad inherited it years ago and have coddled it, cursed it, cajoled it, babied it, repaired it and Mom even said about a month ago she wished she had the money to have it repainted a fire engine red.
Today we say goodbye to old red.  In the midst of carrying one final load red decided she'd had enough and went out in true style - a fiery show strong enough to call out the local fire department.

The one thing I wonder is just how much Dad had hidden away from Mom in that old truck.  I'm guessing we may never know.