Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Old Habits....

Saturday evening...  and, as usual, Bill & I have the radio on listening to Prairie Home Companion.  This should come as no surprise...  we've been listening to PHC for many, many years.  We don't go out much...  when we were both working our big night out was Friday nights.  We'd get home from work, do what chores had to be done, then head to the Casa Que Pasa, the co-op restaurant in town.  It was a psuedo-Mexican restaurant...  the menu has always consisted of locally, and when possible, organically grown ingredients.  Now...  31 years later, it's still a co-op but the name is now Casa Nueva and it's doubled in size.  It still offers local grown ingredients, (and now they even have a liquor license) but the last time we ate there, I just don't think it is as good as it was back then.

Which brings me back to Saturday nights...  besides our full-time jobs, Bill & I operated a small "certified organic" garden farm as well as a dairy goat operation.  So we were pretty busy making goat cheese, raising chickens and rabbits.  We had a cannery license and made jams, jellies and other fancy products from "nature grown" things like redbud jelly etc.

Every Saturday morning we sold our produce at the local Farmer's Market.  Somewhere I have a picture of Bill standing at our booth at the market in Januray...  just he and one other vendor...  it's snowing and they both look like they're freezing.

Which brings me right back to our habit of listening to PHC every Saturday evening.  We didn't have a TV...  still don't, we were tired after a week of our full-time jobs and our farm chores....  so...  what else does a person do on Saturday night?  

One nice thing about the local radio station in my hometown (WOUB - Athens, Ohio) is that if you miss the program on Saturday evening, you can listen to it "on demand" anytime at all in the following week.  Right now we don't have to hear it via our computer...  the PBS station out of Ft Worth carries it...  but we've listened to WOUB programs while living in Mexico or other far-flung places.  It's only a click away.

It finally warmed up here outside of Ft Worth, TX today...  got into the 50's!
We headed out for a walk...  our daughter lives outside of town a few miles and the county and township roads are pretty nice to walk along...

We can leave home and walk to the end of this road and back - that's close to 3 miles.

I like this walk...  there's not much traffic and except for a few barking dogs along the way it's pretty quiet...
But we don't walk unnoticed...
This guy watched us until he got bored...

We had a tiny bit of rain last week, so this creek has a little water in it now.  I think it's the tannin from all the oaks that make the water so dark.  

We came across this tree...
It doesn't have leaves now.  Those yellow marble-sized "fruit" are all over the ground.  I have no idea what species this tree is so if anyone out there knows, please help me out.
The tree is fairly tall...  30 or 40' at least.  The "fruit" doesn't have much pulp...  looks like a chickpea under that yellow skin.

Well, I wrote about our old habit of listening to Prairie Home Companion.  We have one habit that we're about to get rid of...
We've carried this tripod and dish around with us since 2005.
It's kept us in touch with family and friends.
In truth, it's been kind of a love/hate relationship.
It can be a real pain to set up and use.
It's what we had and it worked for us... From Canada to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, and all places between.

Technology has changed...  
Bill has revamped our communications system.  Now we have cell service....  (a box about the size of a pack of cigarettes inside the rig..  an antenna on top of the rig).
No more getting GPS coordinates, getting the azimuth and the right configurations!  No more hauling around that tripod and dish! YES!  

Old habits CAN be changed!

That's All For today!


  1. The tree looks very much like a chinaberry tree. They are very tall - have this yellow musky smelling berry in groups. My favorite tree to climb when I was a kid. BIG branches and great places to sit...

    What a wonderful thing to have yours and Bill's relationship .. don't need anything else. very damn cool SIGH

  2. It sounds like you two have been hard workers all your lives--and still are!

  3. You've had some great adventures in your lives and I think many more are on tap. I admire your lack of a TV. We did that for a few years then gradually got sucked back in.

  4. We too had one of those satellite dishes for internet. Michael had installed the huge TV satellite dishes (flying saucer sized) and the smaller ones of today's TV world so setup of this internet dish was easier for him than for many other folks. He was always helping someone else in a campground get theirs' set up. Our dish even worked for us when we visited Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Now we have an aircard and router--much handier!

  5. Welcome to the wonders and joys of the newer technology. Sometimes I wish we were still back in the days of no tv and no electronic wonders, but there are some advantages. It is just that there are so many distractions from so many sources today, and so many voices from so many directions. Life has become much more confusing because of it, I feel. That's obviously an "old man's" opinion! You two have always worked hard, and enjoyed your life together. That's the most important thing. You learned to take time to appreciate the things and people in your lives. You have focused on the most important things and not been distracted by so much of the rest. Congratulations to you for developing values and being comfortable with who you are. You are consistent in demonstrating to others the joy you have in each other. Lives well lived, I'd say!

  6. The tree looks like either a Chinaberry or a Western Soapberry. They have similar looking berries.

    The Chinaberry is an introduced tree that is now considered a Texas Invasive, and they are pretty common. The Soapberry is a native tree with similar looking fruit, but is declining due to an invasive borer that is killing mature trees.

    The easiest way that I know to tell the two apart is by their leaves, and I know that you don't have any of those right now! The Chinaberry has twice or three times compound leaves, while the Soapberry has once compound leaves.

    Some parks that we've worked at are cutting down their Chinaberry trees, but they are persistent!


  7. I think the tree is a soapberry...a little different growing pattern.

  8. I need to find the NPR station in Tucson. And Prairie Home Companion. About 25 years ago I went to a live broadcast in Ashland, Oregon. I'll never forget it.