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Thread summary:

Country life: Missouri, four seasons, phone service, real estate, appliances.

 
 
Old 09-24-2007, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Fordland, MO
20 posts, read 70,429 times
Reputation: 34

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Tales from the Rural Side
(aka the Joys of Country Life)


Living in the Missouri Ozarks as a transplanted Californian really wasn’t a difficult adjustment. I was born and spent the first six years of my life, growing up in the a rather rural part of San Diego county. That early start in the country instilled in me a love for the open country and wildlife. Back then, in the late 50’s-early 60’s, as a very young child, I was allowed to go off and hike in the hills, my dog and I and sometimes the little neighbor boy, catching lizards, horny toads and King snakes. Skirting the occasional skunk and rattler. Playing in the nearby creek, tormenting crawdads to see how hard they could pinch. No helmets or kneepads. If you fell, you skinned your elbows and knees, nothing that some Bactine and a bandaid wouldn‘t fix, well there was a cast or two too.
I was the epitome of a tomboy and never truly grew out of that persona. And I never lost my love of country life, even when my family moved into the San Diego suburbs. I vowed when I grew up, I’d move back to the country again.
It took me many years before the opportunity came that allowed my move to Missouri. After several different residences in this state and a remarriage, my new husband and I bought a lovely little log cabin in the middle of the woods in the Ozarks. It was what I had dreamed of all my life. Secluded and quiet, with a spring fed creek running behind it, the Finley river about an eighth of a mile behind that, my little dream piece of real estate!
But sometimes we have our little nightmares too....

The Snake and the Dryer

When we first moved into our little cabin, the kitchen was a woman’s nightmare. The washer and dryer were ensconced in the small galley space. Two base cabinets with little counter space made me want to scream every time I prepared a meal. My dear husband decided on Spring day, that he was going to enclose the back porch and build a deck onto the back of the cabin. Immediately, I began dreaming of a nice little laundry room in that enclosed porch and a new cabinet or two in my cramp kitchen where the dryer and washer used to be.
Dear hubby informed me that he had no plans for insulating his project and that it wouldn’t be wise to put those two appliances out on the porch without the proper insulation. A temper tantrum or two from me had him finally throwing his hands in the air and telling me ‘do what you want!’. I did!
I was very pleased with the final arrangement. I saw no problems with the set up. Sure, it may get a bit cold in winter but a space heater would take care of that. The deck was built, a very nice addition and my laundry room was perfect! My washer plumbed and my dryer vented outside a good 18” above the deck.
One day, after finishing a load of laundry, I put it into my dryer. I set the timer and started the dryer. A series of loud thumps, then the sound of the belt binding and the dryer stops.
Strange, I thought. Then I was assailed by the distinct musk of an animal. Oh Great! What the heck happened now? I asked myself. Did a mouse somehow get up in the dryer working? The odor was powerful and vaguely familiar. Well, only one way to find out, I pulled the dryer out and went for some tools. No true mechanic, but never have I been shy about trying my hand at repairs, I am even occasionally successful in my efforts. Wrench in hand, I surveyed the back of the dryer and decided that I should start with the vent hose. An obvious choice, I though, for a critter entry point. Removing that brought a whole new miasma wafting into the room. ‘Yep, must of crawled in from the vent, down the hose and is now somewhere in the blower area‘. ‘God, what a smell‘. I set to work on the bolts holding the back of the dryer on. No sooner than I freed the bottom bolt by the exhaust hole(I’m sure there’s a more technical term, I don’t know it), out dropped several large coils of snake. While not particularly frightened of reptiles by any means, I jumped and squeaked all the same. We see quite a few snakes down in our neck of the woods and the vast majority of them are Copperheads, but these large coils were patterned more like the rattlesnakes I remembered from my youth in California. I backed away from the dryer and called to my husband to have a look at my discovery. He, being a native boy, took one look, pinched his nose, shook his head, identified the reptile a water snake and left me to my task. Sweet man, he is. At least he spared me his lecture about how impractical he thought it was to put the washer and dryer out where it was. Couldn’t take the smell.
I prodded the coils with my wrench, no movement met the stimuli, so I set about removing the rest of the bolts and the dryer back. This freed a larger portion of the snake and I could see that it had been spun up in the fan blades, Ugh! Scales, snake meat and blood were everywhere. I ran for a pail of strong Pinesol to start the cleaning process. I soon discovered that not only was the poor snake huge but pregnant too. Several little snake babies were in the mess. It took me four hours to clean, deodorize and reassemble my dryer. Was that Hubby snickering?!
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Fontana, California
871 posts, read 1,335,756 times
Reputation: 530
That was a good story! It sounds like something that would happen to me. LOL! A transplant from San Diego. That had to be a big adjustment as far as weather is concerned. I mean San Diego weather is as predictable as you can get. Never too cold, never too hot. How were your first few years adjusting to the cold and humidity? I for one would think it a enjoyable because I love all four seasons.

As for a rural story the only rural thing that ever happend to us when we lived in the hills of crestline was sort of comical. It was our first winter their. My husband woke up yelling at me "what did you do?" I jumped up lookin around half dazed at a house full of fog. We thought it was smoke and the cabin had to be on fire! Low and behold thier was no fire to be found. It was fog. That was hard to get used to. Fontana rarely has a real winter. Were excited if we get hail that stays on the ground for 5 minutes. Our first trip down the hill in snow was so terrifying we turned around and went home. It took some gettin used to but we eventually figured it all out. Lots of nights without electricity which I personally loved. The DH hated that. Why it happened I have no idea. I would still love to go back.

Last edited by bentaxlecrew; 09-25-2007 at 12:52 AM.. Reason: added
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Fordland, MO
20 posts, read 70,429 times
Reputation: 34
Actually, Bentaxlecrew, the weather was not as hard to adapt to as I anticipated. Prior to leaving 'Sunny San Diego', I went out and purchased all the sub-zero clothing I could find in that warm clime. My first residence was in Douglas county and it was January when we made our move. When we arrived, it was grey and gloomy and in the 40's. I soon found after about a week in that temp, I was perfectly comfortable in long sleeves and a light coat. And I was one who went straight for the long johns when the temp in SoCal fell below 60! Sixteen years later and at that stage in my life where heat is definately NOT my friend, the colder it is, the happier I am. 20 degrees and I've got the bedroom window open and am tempted to turn on the fan to sleep! Can you say Hot Flash! Hubby retreats to the living room to crash out in front of the fireplace, poor man. As for snow, huh! No more than 20mph in a regular car, 30 in a 4x4 and wave at all those slide offs that whizzed past me a few miles earlier. I have issues with loss of traction!
What was hard to digest was the fact that the only phone service available was a party line! Jeeze, the last time I dealt with that type of service was when I was in my first 5 years of life in Alpine, Ca circa 1960! That was a real culture shock to be sure. Things are a little more advanced here where we reside. Centurytel just put in DSL, WHOPPEE!

Last edited by BPD147; 09-25-2007 at 10:07 AM..
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Fontana, California
871 posts, read 1,335,756 times
Reputation: 530
That sounds so cool! I cannot wait till its me out there. Thanks for the info. It will put my dh at ease about the weather fer sure.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Hilltop in beautiful MO
526 posts, read 849,889 times
Reputation: 514
Okay, here's my story. Being a southern cal girl I had to end up marrying a guy from Arkansas. After we got married we came thru Ar on our honeymoon on the way to Camp LeJuene NC. We were down by the lake one day and he found a persimmon tree. Now this is in the middle of summer and poor little ole me didn't have any idea about persimmons. He picked one of the tree, ate it. No problem. He then proceeded to pick one off the tree for me. Yep, it wasn't ripe yet. Talk about pucker power !!!!!! Oh MY !!!!!!!!!!! Course, he thought it was hilarious and still teases me about it all these years later. That's only one of many many "hard" lessons I learned about living in the country
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Peoples Republic of Cali
9,593 posts, read 4,855,846 times
Reputation: 5400
Well it was way back in 2015 or so when me and the little lady moved from Northern California to a small spread outside of Kimberling City. WE had bought 20 acres back in 08 and made several visits to the area before we moved. I was trying to find a way to contact the Table Rock Bassmasters to make some new friends and fishing buddy's. The first guy I talk to at the local tackle shop gives me a number to call and offers to take me fishing himself.. Wow what an experiance, I met someone friendly, had'nt happenied back in Cali since the 70's.....
Stay tuned.............
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Hilltop in beautiful MO
526 posts, read 849,889 times
Reputation: 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali BassMan View Post
Well it was way back in 2015 or so when me and the little lady moved from Northern California to a small spread outside of Kimberling City. WE had bought 20 acres back in 08 and made several visits to the area before we moved. I was trying to find a way to contact the Table Rock Bassmasters to make some new friends and fishing buddy's. The first guy I talk to at the local tackle shop gives me a number to call and offers to take me fishing himself.. Wow what an experiance, I met someone friendly, had'nt happenied back in Cali since the 70's.....
Stay tuned.............
hmmmmmm that's about the last time I met someone friendly in cali too !!! Wonder if it was the same person.....
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Branson-Hollister-Kimberling City
1,801 posts, read 3,498,997 times
Reputation: 1517
Wink Shhhh.............................................

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali BassMan View Post
Well it was way back in 2015 or so when me and the little lady moved from Northern California to a small spread outside of Kimberling City. WE had bought 20 acres back in 08 and made several visits to the area before we moved. I was trying to find a way to contact the Table Rock Bassmasters to make some new friends and fishing buddy's. The first guy I talk to at the local tackle shop gives me a number to call and offers to take me fishing himself.. Wow what an experiance, I met someone friendly, had'nt happenied back in Cali since the 70's.....
Stay tuned.............
Shhhhh...be quiet you guys...you'll wake the BassMan! He's clearly enjoying a nice sweet dream!

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Old 09-25-2007, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Branson-Hollister-Kimberling City
1,801 posts, read 3,498,997 times
Reputation: 1517
Red face My country tale...

When we first moved to MO in February '93 I was taken with the countryside...would drive around looking at the scenery taking pictures. My teenagers told me about a really pretty place where a small river had created a pool for swimming. It was enchanting...small old wooden bridge, water gurgling over these huge rocks...like a postcard.

Later that spring, my 8 year old neice came to visit Auntie in MO and I thought it would be cool to take her and my mom swimming at that magical place on the river...as we drove back around the bend we found no less than 10 cars parked and 40 people swimming & playing...like one guy who had his 4x4 backed into the water, tailgate down, ice chest full of beer, doors open with AC/DC blasting...and a 4' long snake draped around his neck.

My neice went back to CA telling about this crazy party Auntie took her to...
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Fordland, MO
20 posts, read 70,429 times
Reputation: 34
Default Another tale

The Dump Dogs

Lonely country roads seems conducive to dumping unwanted animals for the residents on those roads to deal with. So it was in Dec ‘01. A day before a significant snow storm, some ******* dumped two dogs at our gate. Both females, one a Chocolate lab/Weimaraner mix, the other a yellow Pointer/ maybe Visla cross. Both were beautiful and very friendly.
Having three dogs already, very spoiled inside dogs at that, both my husband and I ignored them when we first saw them sitting at the gate on our way to work, hoping they would move on. That evening they were still there, loathed, it seemed, to wander away from our gate. My husband was the first to get home. He felt bad for the dogs, so he went to the house and returned with some dog food for them. I stopped on my way in to pet and talk to them. We had three dogs already, for crying out loud.
That evening it started to snow. By morning, several inches of snow had fallen and it was pretty cold. I drove thru our gate to be greeted by the two dump dogs, shivering and wagging their tails. Sad eyes staring at me just about did me in. But I bucked up, we have 3 dogs, a border collie mix, a Rhodesian ridgeback/hound mix and a miniature Pincher and our cabin is so small. To work I went. This went on for two more days, both my husband and myself trying not to give in. On the forth day, I went off to work, stopping once again to feed the two, then driving on.
That night I came home and immediately noticed the dogs were gone. Whew, I didn’t think I could stand driving by them again. I pulled up to the house, only to see my hard hearted husband coming out of one of our sheds. “Whatcha doing?” I asked. “Making a warm spot for those two dogs.” he answered innocently. “We can’t keep them.” I said with conviction, “No room.” He agreed and told me to start calling shelters to see if one could take them.
That evening, I spent considerable time trying to find a shelter that had room. The next day, more of the same no room. One lady suggested we take them to Pet Smart in Springfield, that one of the shelters was having a adoption day and maybe they would take them there.
In between calls, both me and my husband spent time with these two dogs. Both were sweet as could be. My husband suggested maybe keeping one of them and sending the other to the shelter. Hmmm, well maybe. This conversation continued as we loaded both into my Blazer and headed for Springfield. As we drove, the Lab stuck her head between the seats to get petted by my husband. I was almost convinced with my husband’s idea to keep her, when I glanced in the rearview mirror in time to see her pull her head away from my husband and lay it on top of the Pointer and snuggle her . Tears welled up in my eyes. There was no way these two could be separated. It was all too apparent that they were best buddies and devoted to each other. By the time we pulled into Pet Smart’s parking lot, it was also apparent that neither my husband or I were going to take these two in. A circle of the parking lot and back home we went. The dogs seemed to sense our intentions and perked up, looking far happier than they had on the way in.
Home again and straight into the bathtub they went. Goldie, the newly named Pointer took it much better than Bessie, the Lab. Aren’t Labs suppose to love water? 90 pounds of uncooperative dog, she could spread her legs and make it nearly impossible to get her past the shower door. I won, she got her bath. Freshly washed and introductions made with the rest of our pack. They all got on famously, thank goodness.
Their next move was to our leather couch, both jumping onto it, snuggling up and falling to sleep. Yeah, I know, not very good doggie manners, but I did say my dogs were spoiled. That’s why we have leather furniture.
They stayed there for days. It took physically moving them to the door and dragging them outside to do their business. They were housebroken, they would just hold it forever to keep from having to go back outside. Goldie had sores on her forelegs from anxiety chewing, obviously it was traumatizing, their experience.
We took them both to the vet for their shots and a check up. The vet said he thought they were both spayed. HA! A month later it was obvious he was SOOOO WRONG! No good deed goes unpunished! Dear Bessie was pregnant. She swelled to unbelievable dimensions and finally went into labor very late one night. I was sick with a near pneumonia case of bronchitis, so I stayed up with her, trying to sooth her discomfort. Her water broke around midnight and the vet had advised us that if she didn’t start whelping within 8 hours after that, bring her in. 8 am and no pups, so off we went to the vet. I was somewhat relieved to pass the chore off to the good doctor after all night up with the big baby. Doc said “We’ll just put her in a room by herself and she’ll get on with it.” Yeah, right, I thought, she would even let me go to the bathroom without throwing a fit last night! She wanted company and the vet soon found that out. By 10, she showed no signs of whelping, so he sedated her and went to prepare for a c-section. Going back to collect Bessie, lo and behold, a pup! He had to give her an antidote to the sedation to keep the process going. And what a process it was. After grabbing a nap, I went back to the vet’s to check on the progress. Bessie had 6 pups by then and wasn’t done. She was demanding in her predicament, requiring constant attention from the staff while she labored on. 13 pups later, 12 live and healthy, the bill was $450.00! Doc kept saying “I can’t believe you are doing all this for a dump dog.” How could I not, I thought.
6 weeks later, pups all in new homes, Bessie and Goldie got spayed. They had become a part of our family, two of the best dogs I’ve ever owned.
Last year, Goldie developed cancer of the lymph nodes. We had her treated with steroids until she let us know it was time. We missed her so, our “petting dog”. Bessie took it harder than any of us. Her bosom buddy gone, she too came down with cancer early this spring and we had to say goodbye to her too. But we are comforted in the thought that those two dump dogs, two unexpected joys in our lives, are running in green fields together now in doggy heaven as they were together in life.

In loving memory of my two dump dogs.

Last edited by BPD147; 09-25-2007 at 11:19 PM..
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