Published by the Rains County Leader on May 15, 2018:
Can’t Someone Else Do It!
I hope you’re not as tired of hearing about pigs as I am of dealing with them, but there’s not much else going on around the Brendle homestead. When I left you last week, the visiting swine were showing their disdain for our trap by mooning the game camera before going on to tear up another section of the yard. The night after I submitted my column, they took it a step further.
Sometime after midnight, David shook me gently and said, “There are eleven pigs in the front yard.”
I rolled over, pulled the covers a little tighter around me, and mumbled, “Well, go shoot ‘em.” (more…)
Published in The Rains County Leader on May 8, 2018:
Two weeks ago I wrote about my lack of knowledge about feral pigs and my lack of desire to learn. However, it seems that I’m destined to learn about these destructive eating machines whether I want to or not.
When we first realized we had a pig invasion, our first thought was “traps.” It seemed easy, clean, and something other people would do for us at no cost because 1) it’s something they enjoy doing and 2) they can eat or sell what they catch. Unfortunately, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems, and trapping pigs is no exception. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on April 24, 2018:
City girls don’t know about pigs. We know that they can be delicious when processed and prepared properly, and we know that the pot-bellied variety can make cute pets when trained and house broken. What we don’t know, and don’t really want to know, is that wild ones can be really big and really mean and that there are approximately 2.8 million of them roaming around in Texas.
A couple of weeks ago David was doing his regular rounds of the yard, checking out the kingdom, when he noticed evidence of “rooting” toward the back of the lot. At first, we dismissed it, hoping it was the stray armadillo that used to live – and root – under the motor home. But more and larger new spots appeared, and we began to suspect the worst – pigs! (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 26, 2017:
Okra had no place in our home when I was a kid. I don’t know if it was because nobody liked it or because it didn’t come in a can. Mom and Dad both worked long hours, and I began cooking dinner for the family when I was eleven, so there wasn’t much time or skill for preparing fresh veggies.
Okra wasn’t one of those dishes that made a regular appearance at church or family potlucks either. Fried okra doesn’t travel well or keep well like fried chicken, and boiled okra is – well, it’s boiled okra. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 5, 2017:
Mom was born on September 3, so she’s always on my mind during this season. Every year I post a picture of her on Facebook that was taken six years ago on her 90th birthday, her last one on earth, and then I spend most of the day thinking about her. Last Sunday, probably because I was also thinking about what to write in my column, I remembered what a city girl she was in spite of the fact that she spent her first nineteen years on various farms in west Texas. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 1, 2017:
I met a new friend this week. Becky owns a one-operator beauty salon outside of town, and she is very popular at the Senior Center for her Senior Thursday haircuts. She’s also very interesting to talk to.
While she was working on my unruly curls, she mentioned that her son might be going to college on a scholarship, that is, if he agreed to continue training pigs for the show ring. Training pigs? I knew that pot bellied pigs could be domesticated and even trained to use a litter box, but I had trouble imagining them jumping hurdles in an agility ring or responding to commands in an obedience ring. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 6, 2017:
When I first began writing a weekly column in the newspaper, I never thought about the collateral effects of opening at least some aspects of my private life to public scrutiny. I had been writing a blog for several years before becoming City Girl for the Rains County Leader. Although I occasionally received an on-line comment about something I had written, it was disconcerting the first few times someone I didn’t know asked me face to face how my garden was doing or what new antics Kitty had been up to.
It didn’t take me long, though, to begin to enjoy these brief encounters. One of the things I like most about being a writer is knowing when my words have touched someone, even if it’s only to make them smile or stop and think for a minute. It’s really nice to know that something I’ve said sticks in a reader’s mind long enough for them to engage me in conversation about it. In fact, it’s really nice to know that I have readers. Now that I’ve gotten used to it, I enjoy the impromptu conversations I have with friends I didn’t know I had. (more…)