arkansas roadside attractions

 One of the big draws in the area is the cowboy boot store in Raven- den, where I have bought many a pair of fine Luccheses at half or a third price. Worth the trip! Chris bought a pair, but Hannah felt pressed by the tornado that passed through town a half hour after we left. If the store had taken a direct hit, it would have been raining boots clear to Nashville.
Hannah and Chris and Granddaughterflower left for the East Coast this ayem. I will be following presently.


playing with fire

During a Postprandial Entertainment, Chris lights himself on fire, and Frank does a little firedancing of his own.



Somehow missed posting this one a couple days back. Pretty funny.

came hail and high water

So we put everything upstairs in case it flooded.
And then we ran downstairs when it looked like a tornado.
Then we woke up this morning and 
it was sunny and all was well.


after the flood

The river has gone down some, and hopefully won't rise too much with the thunderstorms expected this afternoon. Tomorrow the weather will pretend none of this has happened.


the good lord willin'

Hannah says she knows now why the Bible Belt and Tornado Alley are one and the same. Something about extreme weather must make you religious.

long as the creek don't rise

We packed up the vehicles with all our worldly goods when the water came to the edge of the pavement across the street. But it seems to be receding now, so we may put the stove back on the floor. Day is breaking. Might be time to go to bed.


home and dry

Sort of. The river is flooded, along with half the town. Not the Goose, as yet, though the septic appears to be. Sigh. The new roof also has a leak.  But we are all here and safe, and if there is a tornado during the next two hours of the alert, this place more closely resembles a bunker than anywhere else around.

goodbye magnolias

We're headed back to tornadoland. . .


at the big house

We gathered, weeping, under the weeping willow tree at Button's to bury Anna's ashes.
And then, this being the South, there were drinks on the porch with all the cousins and assorted relations.
You will see this porch in all its glory in the forth- coming movie The Help.


Hanging around the shack

Here we are in Greenwood, Miss., Jamie's homeplace. We are staying at Tallehatchie Flats, her brother Button's Blues Trail cabins near the grave of Robert Johnson. The whole family has gathered, from near and far, and yes we'll be singing the blues.

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Location:County Road 518,Greenwood,United States


the family tree

We are leaving the hills almost immediately for the Delta flatlands of Mississippi and Yet Another Gigantic Family Reunion. This family has many branches.


lucky find

Found these morels in the back yard. Took them to Alabama and soaked them in salt water, dried them, coated with flour and sauteed in butter. Mmmm mm.


more tornado warnings

We watched the storm roll towards us and got some hail, but no tornadoes. The temperature dropped 20 degrees in five minutes.

weekend update

 Drunk Rednecks hollerin’ about their Mammas!  Alabama and Auburn fans running amuk! (No one can spell amok.)  Topless blind drunk bimbos in the infield.  Cars crashing into the crowd!  Reverent Fans worshiping at the shrine of Saint Dale Earnhardt  of the Blessed Number 6!  The reek of burnt rubber.  The roar of super fast engines. Pit crews biting their nails and having another round of Red Bull and Jack.  Springtime at Talladega!
No, my stepmother is not referring to my father's 90th birthday party, but to the NASCAR race.
She did not, however, predict the tornadoes. I was on my way to fetch my brother at the airport when I heard over the radio that tornadoes were crossing my path ten minutes up the road. So I waited it out.


We then had many gen- erations, a big party with blue- grass music.

And, of course, the birthday boy, who likes to say he is as "old as dirt."



After the ceremonial liftoff of the skyborne lanterns last night, we took off for the Goose this morning, landing safe in the Ozarks some ten hours later. I guess I should specify that "we" is me, H and C and the grandbaby.


Sweet home

No, we're not here for the NASCAR race this weekend, though it does make things logistically, um, interesting. There is a gathering to celebrate my father's 90th. Attendees include his first great grandbaby.

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room for three more

Packing up for Alabama.  I'm about to set off.
And, in the word's of Bear:

Check this out on Chirbit



Treyton got his kite tangled up in my box elder, and Bear had to fetch it out with his frog gigger. If you don't know what that is, then you've never been to the Ozarks. Now Treyton and his brother Trevor are my newest Facebook friends, so I guess it was good I let the trampoline thing go.


barefoot horsetrainer

 Tiffany, 22, saddles up a resty young stallion, JohnJohn, out of JFK, who has been ridden only a few times before. In a couple of hours' time, her tunes cranked on her pickup, she will train three raw recruits to the human-bearing business. She also rides a motorcycle and a four-wheeler. No, she never wears spurs.


fun with cameras

Bill has this cool camera that will project an image  on the wall, so he took this cool picture of me and me using my camera.


how to get shitfaced

Check this out on Chirbit
Bear shares his father's recipe.
Appropriate for a Sunday, don't you agree?



In the latest installment of chemical wonders at the little meth lab on the prairie, I am bombing the house for brown recluses. This product is said to lure them from their hidey holes and kill the little hermits dead.
I have not seen any this year, but I have this fear that I will return this evening and it will look like it has rained spiders.



This is Yoyo, aka Smiley, the town dog. She belongs to no one and everyone, and it looks like everyone has been feeding her. Those of you who recall the Yoyo of last year will notice that her girlish figure is a thing of the past. She may be saying the same of me. In any case, I'm glad to see that she has evaded the logging trucks barreling through town at 70 mph. I found part of a deer head and antler in the yard, probably deposited by her. Also no armadillo burrows this year, which may also be to her credit.
Yes, this is town, but town is only one street wide. You can see the ranches one street back. Last night, in addition to the damn dogs howling (not Yoyo), I heard a bellowing cow. And every morning there is the birds' racket and the crowing chanticleers.



I dug all this privet out of the hedgerow bordering my property and planted it along the road for privacy. However, come this spring it turned out a lot of it wasn't privet but spirea (I think) masquerading as privet. Hmm.
     This is what happens when you don't belong to the Garden Club.


poor goose

Well, you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. So I broke some in order to do  plastering, caulking, baseboards and electrical work. That's the stove over there under wraps.
No coffee today.


which eye?

One of these pictures was made by Bear and one by me. Can you tell which is which?


a walk in memory woods

The journalism student sent in this fab description of a long walk she took near the commune she lived on as a young Mother Earth News back-to-the-lander:

Life and death abounded. We took photos of bleached
armadillo shell fragments, rabbit pellets, a 42-inch
diameter twin-trunk red cedar, violets, and the
carcasses of a five-point buck, a mid-40s Chevy and a
Philco freezer. The latter provided a dry spot for
the aforementioned rabbits; the only way it could
have landed in that bottomland forest was to float in.
   Vernon took this photo of fiddlehead ferns uncurling. Back to school tomorrow for me. Enjoy spring in the Ozarks.


rest of the gang

So? Judge, sculptor, horseperson?



In a series of entertainments, I host a judge, a rancher, a journalism student, a sculptor and a horsewoman.
Guess which one this is?