Play it, Jen

Every good movie has a piano player somewhere in the background--
sometimes seen, usually unseen.
Seldom really noticed.
The feeling, the very soul of a scene, is created by that person tinkering at the keys.
It has been said, "All the world's a stage."
Well then...Play it, Jen.

My Photo
Location: Over Yonder, Missouri

I'm a California Native transplanted to the Missouri Ozarks. I've learned how to chase cows in high heels and load hay faster than you can say "Coco Chanel." These are some of our pictures and stories of living in a land with breath-taking beauty and adventure around every bend.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Heeeeeer's Rufus!

Cool little spider in web

Ozark Morning

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Getting to our house

Speckle frog and the speckle kid

Joe caught this cool little pickerel frog out in our grass today. Spots anyone?

Batten Down The Hatches!

Here comes the storm!

Skate or Die!

Rufus has taken up skateboarding. And here I thought we were getting away from certain "city" things! He puts his front paws on the board and pushes himself along with his back feet. Other times, if he is really lucky, Titus comes over and pushes him ('the less work the better' is the Rufus motto).


See Chelsea?! I told you I had a Black Angus in my back yard!

Monday, May 28, 2007


We saw this monster crossing our road/driveway as we were coming home yesterday evening. Of course I had to grab an old drink cup and empty it out so we could bring it home to add to our zoo! It took me a couple of tries to get the cup over it (these suckers move fast when they want to!) and I only screamed like a girl once but in the end Taranzilla got to come home with us! :)

Bark at the moon

Seth woke me up yesterday morning to ask me where there was a jar he could catch a spider in. He said he had a baby tarantula out on the front porch. I directed him to the jar then figured I'd better go check to make sure he was o.k.
I went out to find Seth standing on the porch with the jar in one hand and trying to catch Titus with the other. Apparently Titus had sniffed at the spider and it had jumped up on Titus for a ride.
Titus immediately came running for me and started rubbing against my legs and romping around. All I could think was that the spider was going to hop off of Titus and climb onto me and run up my bare leg. Gah!
We managed to get Titus to hold still long enough for Seth to collect the spider in the jar.
We have been looking at this spider for the past couple of days and we're not really sure it is a tarantula. I think it might be a wolf spider but it's awfully big. Hmmmmm.....

We are enjoying Missouri so much! We have been overwhelmed by how welcome we feel and by the hospitality and good nature of the folks here in this beautiful state. We wanted to "give back" in some way so we decided to develop a little ad campaign to encourage others to join us here in the great Show Me state:

The Hot Spot: Hop on down for some of the best eats this side of the pond!

Home Sweet Missourah Home: Where you can air all of your dirty laundry in comfort.

Missouri Benz: You ain't "rolled" 'til you've rolled in one of our pastures!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Catching Crawdads

My Mother's Day Flowers

Titus doing his impression of the Sphinx

Rufus getting his massage therapy

Pretty Sky

Weapon of choice

Some people prefer a Katana, in Missouri the weapon of choice is called "the rake". Go Joe!

You know you live in Missouri when "yardwork" involves a gas can

Little Rufus

Joe has gone to the dogs

Another big huge moth!

We found this beauty yesterday.

Rufus with the cows

We keep finding Rufus out in the pasture with the cows. I guess he is feeling some of his ancestry coming through. Or he's really in the mood for a good T-Bone right now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Difference between women and men

--If Laurie , Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call
each other Laurie , Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara.
--If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each
other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.

--When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric a nd Tom will each throw in a $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
--When the women get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

--A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
--A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need, but it's on sale.

--A man has five items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a
bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott.
--The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.

--A woman has the last word in any argument.
--Anything a man says after that... Is the beginning of a new argument.

--Women love cats.
--Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

--A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
--A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

--A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
--A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

--A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
--A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.

--A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage,
answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
--A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

--Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
--Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

--Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
--A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing.

For Chelsea

Sick Leave

I urgently needed a few days off work, but I knew the Boss would not
allow me to take leave. I thought that maybe if I acted "CRAZY", he
would tell me to take a few days off. So I hung upside-down on the
ceiling and made funny noises.

My co-worker (who is blonde) asked me what I was doing. I told her that
I was pretending to be a light bulb so that the Boss might think I was
crazy and give me a few days off.

A few minutes later the Boss came into the office and asked, "What in
the name of heaven are you doing?"

I told him I was a light bulb.
He said, "You are clearly stressed out. Go home and recuperate for a
couple of days."

I jumped down and walked out of the office.

When my co-worker (the blonde) followed me, the Boss asked her "...And
where do you think you're going?"

She said,
"I'm going home too. I can't work in the dark."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Titus finally has his ears up!

Lazy Rufus!

Redneck mowing

My own grandpa

Many many years ago when I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow who was pretty as could be. This
widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, and soon the two were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother, for she was my father's wife.

To complicate the matters worse, although it brought me joy, I
soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.
My little baby then became a brother-in-law to dad. And so
became my uncle, though it made me very sad.

For if he was my uncle, then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter who, of course, was my
step-mother. Father's wife then had a son, who kept them on
the run.

And he became my grandson, for he was my daughter's son. My
wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue. Because,
although she is my wife, she's my grandma too. If my wife is
my grandmother, then I am her grandchild. And every time I
think of it, It simply drives me wild. For now I have become
the strangest case you ever saw. As the husband of my
grandmother, I am my own grandpa.

Driving Etiquette

*Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded and the deer is in sight.
*When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.
*Never tow another car using pantyhose and duct tape.
*When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer.
*Do not remove the seats from the car so that all your kids can fit in.
*Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.

You might be a high-tech Redneck if...

*If your e-mail address ends in ""
*If you connect to the World Wide Web via a "Down Home Page."
*If the sticker on your computer says, "My other computer is a laptop."
*If your laptop has a sticker that says, "Protected by Smith and Wesson."
*If your computer is worth more than all your cars combined.
*If your wife said either she or the computer "had to go," and you still don't miss her.
*If you ever refer to your computer as "Ole Bessy."
*If your screen saver is a bitmap image of your favorite truck, tractor, or farm animal.
*If you start all your e-mails with the words: "Howdy y'all!"
*You've ever brought your laptop to a Tractor Pull.
*When you're honked off at your computer warranty because it doesn't cover damage from "Bovine Saliva."
*When your computer toolkit contains a pitch fork.
*When your MS-DOS boot menu contains an entry called, "Cow Tipping Configuration."
*If you've ever been to ""
*When, in a pinch, you use your laptop battery to jump-start the Combine.
*When you have 17 different versions of DOOM, but you still can't write your name.

You might be a Redneck Jedi if...

*Your Jedi robe is a Camouflage color.
*You have ever used your Light Saber to open a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill.
*You think the best use of your light saber is picking your teeth.
*At least one wing of your X-Wing is primer colored.
*There is a blaster rack in the back of your landspeeder.
*You have bantha horns on the front of your landspeeder.
*You can easily describe the taste of an Ewok.
*You can find no grammatical errors in the way Yoda talks.
*You think that Stormtroopers are just KKK members with really good sheets.
*You have ever had an X-wing up on blocks in your yard.
*You ever lost a hand during a light-saber fight because you had to spit.
*The worst part of spending time on Dagoba is the dadgum skeeters.
*Wookies are offended by your B.O.
*You have ever used the force to get yourself another beer so you didn't have to wait for a commercial.
*You have ever used the force in conjunction with fishing/bowling.
*You have ever used a light-saber to clean fish or open a non-twist-off bottle of beer.
*Your father has ever said to you, "Shoot, son come on over t' the dark side... it'll be a hoot."
*You have ever had your R-2 unit use its self-defense electro-shock thingy to get the bar-b-q grill to light.

Tips for people moving to Missouri

*Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later how to use it.
*If you forget a Missourian's name, refer to him (or her) as "Bubba". You have a 75% chance of being right.
*If you do run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in the cab of a four wheel drive with a 12-pack of beer and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them. Just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.
*Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store.
*Do not buy food at the movie store.
*If it can't be fried in bacon grease, it ain't worth cooking, let alone eating.
*Remember: "Y'all" is singular. "All y'all" is plural. "All y'all's" is plural possessive.
*Get used to hearing, "You ain't from around here, are you?"
*People walk slower here.
*Don't be worried that you don't understand anyone. They don't understand you either.
*The first expression to creep into a transplanted Missourian's vocabulary is the adjective "Big ol'", as in "big ol' truck" or "big ol' boy". Eighty-five percent begin their new missourian influenced dialect with this expression. One hundred percent are in denial about it.
*The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.
*Be advised: The "He needed killin'" defense is valid here.
*If attending a funeral in Missouri, remember, we stay until the last shovel of dirt is thrown on and the tent is torn down.
*If you hear a Missourian exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this!" stay out of his way. These are likely the last words he will ever say.
*Most Missourians do not use turn signals, and they ignore those who do. In fact, if you see a signal blinking on a car with a Missouri license plate, you may rest assured that it was on when the car was purchased.
*If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the most minuscule accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It does not matter if you need anything from the store, it is just something you're supposed to do.
*Satellite dishes are very popular in Missouri. When you purchase one it is to be positioned directly in front of your trailer. This is logical bearing in mind that the dish cost considerably more than the trailer and should, therefore, be displayed.
*Tornadoes and Missourians going through a divorce have a lot in common. In either case, you know someone is going to lose a trailer.
*As you are cursing the person driving 15 mph in a 55 mph zone, directly in the middle of the road, remember, many folks learned to drive on a model of vehicle known as John Deere, and this is the proper speed and lane position for that vehicle.
*You can ask a Missourian for directions, but unless you already know the position of key hills, trees and rocks, you're better off trying to find it yourself.

You might be a city girl if...

You've never tried a chaw of Red Man.

You've never tipped a cow because they don't work in restaurants.

You won't bait your own hook because worms are "icky".

You do all of your gardening in barrels on the patio.

You get to park your car in the garage because your husband doesn't own ANY old tractors.

You've never gotten a jar of Bag Balm as a gift.

You don't like country ham.

You've never even heard of red-eye gravy.

You know how to make quiche, and your husband actually likes it.

You've never been to a tractor pull.

Your boyfriend took you to a tractor pull and you DIDN'T like it.

You think that wind mill in the cow pasture is there to keep the cows cool.

You like deer because they have pretty brown eyes.

You like cats better than coon dogs.

All of your cats live in the house.

All of your cats have names.

You think "long johns" come from the donut shop.

Your husband's lawn mower requires an extension cord.

You've never been on a hay ride.

When you hear the word "steamer" you think of the Titanic.

You've never eaten poke greens.

You think that mountain oysters are seafood from Colorado.

You have never been snipe hunting.

You think milk comes from plastic jugs.

You've never gone skinny-dipping in a creek.

The first time you ate barbecued ribs you asked how they got the food on those little sticks.

You can't find the flush lever in the outhouse!

You called the police when you found out your boyfriend is a coon hunter.

The tires on your boyfriend's car are all the same size.

You don't know the difference between a cow and a bull.

You think the only difference between a cow and a bull is the horns.

You've never planted flowers in an old tractor tire.

You don't know that caviar is really just fish eggs.

You think John Deere was one of the Mouseketeers.

You cried when you found out where hamburgers come from.

You know you live in a small town when...

*It has an aquarium -- stocked with a live minnow
*The town newspaper is published monthly
*The town is named after EVERYONE'S distant relative.
*It was founded on April Fools' Day as a practical joke.
*The Ice Cream store has only two flavors, chocolate and vanilla.
*There's no hospital -- only a first aid kit
*For fun on Saturday nights, people drive up and down main street.
*There's no bank... as soon as someone gets enough money, they leave.
*The local phone book has only one yellow page.
*Hardware, Dry Goods, Grocery, Clothing and farm supplies are all sold at the same store. (the ONLY store!)
*Third Street is on the edge of town
*You don't signal turns because everyone knows where you're going, anyway.
*No social events are scheduled when the school gym floor is being varnished.
*You call a wrong number and they supply you with the correct one.
*The city limits signs are both on the same post.
*The 7-11 is only open from 8 - 5.
*The only road crossing Main Street is a dirt road.
*The New Year's baby was born in October.
*The one-block-long Main Street dead ends in both direction
*There's no place to go that you shouldn't
*"Night on the Town" takes only 11 minutes
*At the last beauty contest, nobody won 2nd or 3rd.
*The "road hog" in front of you on Main Street is a farmer's combine.
*You leave your jacket on the back of the chair in the cafe, and when you go back the next day, it's still there, on the same chair.
*Everyone knows all the news before it's published; they just read the hometown paper to see whether the publisher got it right.
*The City jail is called amoeba, because it only has one cell.
* The McDonalds only has one Golden Arch.
* The ZIP code is a fraction.
* Second Street is in the next town over.
* The mayor had to annex property to eat a foot-long hot dog.
*You speak to each dog you pass by name and he wags his tail at you.
*You drive into the ditch five miles out of town and the word gets back before you do.
*You dial a wrong number and talk for 15 minutes anyway.
*You can’t walk for exercise because every car that passes you offers you a ride.
*You miss a Sunday at church and receive a get-well card.
*Someone asks you how you feel and listens to what you say.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Quote of the Day!

This one is from Seth. I can't believe this actually came out of my son's mouth!! When he was home from school this afternoon, telling me about catching crawdads at the park today: "...scare the heebah-jeebahs out of ya..."
Welcome to Missourah!

Swarms of cicadas emerging in Midwest - Science -

I'm getting my ear plugs out!!!!!!!!

"Coming soon: Brood XIII. It sounds like a bad horror movie. But it’s actually the name of the billions of cicadas expected to emerge this month in parts of the Midwest after spending 17 years underground."

Roaring River Weekend

This weekend we went down to Roaring River State Park. It is a cool place! There's this beautiful little river that comes down the canyon from a huge spring. The water is absolutely crystal clear and gorgeous! This weekend they were having a kids' fishing day. There were lots of classes and things for the kids to do. They were constantly stocking the river and pools with huge rainbow trout. There were tons of people there but everyone here is so friendly that is wasn't uncomfortable.
The fish were not biting. Very rarely would you see anyone catch a fish. The water was so clear you could see the fish swimming around. They would come right up to the shore, if I'd had a net I would have been able to catch a few.
Seth managed to catch a fish. The look on his face when he realized he had a fish on the line was priceless! He reeled it in and was so excited. The pictures of his fish are on my other camera so I will post those later. We didn't want to transport the fish for the two hour drive home so Seth gave the fish to a family that was by us.
Joe decided the fish hated him as they would swim right by his bait but not take it. He was weighing the option of fishing with a little dynamite but those pesky park rangers were everywhere and Joe figured they'd frown on his more interesting techniques.
David picked up casting right away. A little instruction and a few practice goes at it and he was a casting machine! Soon he was over aways from us fishing completely independently. He made friends with a woman who had a pack of boys fishing over that way. She was giving him little tips and tricks to try. He was having a blast!
Katie started out fishing with Poppy. They were off working away together trying to bring in a fish. She had one pick up her bait but it spit it right back out. Soon Katie decided she knew what she was doing and starting fishing on her own. I was ready to set up a "safety" permiter around behind her so nobody would get snagged on her hook while she was 'casting' (more like WINGING) her line out into the water. Amazon chick all the way!
We had a nice picnic lunch under the trees. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather. It was sunny but just a touch cool with a cool breeze blowing through the canyon. I can't get over how clean the air is out here. How clean EVERYTHING is out here. Even with all the people who were there, it wasn't all trashy or torn up, everything was nice and so pretty. It was a fun weekend.

All that needs to be said....

While we were traveling the countryside this weekend we came through a little town and saw this shop. Enough said.