Archive | October 2012

This is my “farewell” post for J.R.LIGGETT’S Blog!  I may be moving on but you’ll always be able to find J.R.LIGGETT’S Shampoo Bar and his entire line of 100% natural body products at www.jrliggett.com .

From the first day I came aboard for J.R.LIGGETT in March of 2010 with “J.R.LIGGETT’S Soap Box”, “J.R.LIGGETT’S Interview“, and lastly, “J.R.LIGGETT’S Blog”, it’s been a fun and exciting road to travel. Through interviews, articles, stories and photos, I’ve learned how “You” felt about this terrific product and how you’ve shared your admiration of the shampoo bar with others. 

To all of J.R.LIGGETT’S Blog “followers”, and those who have left comments and shared posts, Thank you!  Here’s to travel and adventure…

Joy Richter   2012                          ©copyright 2012 J.R.LIGGETT LTD

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Travel and Adventure

Sometimes we don’t need to travel very far for an adventure, as adventure is more of an attitude and outlook on life. Not always a ‘mountain top experience”, but more often than not a “down to earth” path we may have been walking. Seems when we look back, what we thought was a trial and trouble at the time, has made us more interesting– and simply become a part of who we are.

Years ago I traveled to live on a ranch in the country, 18 miles from the nearest (small) town.  If I happened to be giving directions to someone on how to find me, I’d say “after you pass our mail box (three more miles to go), you begin to see Indians and covered wagons…”  When you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, it’s best to approach it as an adventure–that description seems to cover all sorts of mistakes, failures and successes.

Life in the country was like living on another planet; the world could have come to an end, and things wouldn’t have changed a whit.  Animals need to be fed and watered no matter what day of the week, what sort of weather, whatever holiday it might be or how you happened to be feeling when the sun came up. If you’re new to that particular neck of the woods, all sorts of  information about you has already been discussed amongst the neighbors–most not true;  I say, let ’em believe it… it adds to the adventure and the mystique.

It would have behooved me to have taken “Farming 101”, but I survived and thrived in spite of it.  We raised chickens, and even though they once escaped from the barn in a snowstorm, and we lost some by way of coyotes, that spring, we still dined on fried chicken–after I helped cleaned them (referred to as “dressing”) wearing rubber gloves.  I named the sheep, and in March, I was in charge of lambing– which usually goes smoothly unless Mama gives birth to more than two lambs, or if a lamb can’t figure out how to eat…

On that very concrete step where you see me standing, one warm summer day I stepped out on a long, black Bull snake and it felt like stepping on a rubber water hose. As that snake hissed, I jumped back inside the house so fast, I pulled the inside hook off the door.  I kept a loaded 22 rifle on the kitchen table–it was light-weight and easy to shoot–and one night found myself holding it as a stranger drove up the drive–my knees literally knocking and shaking …

A heavy wet snow and high winds would take out our power; best get in plenty of firewood and fill buckets with water for drinking and filling the toilet.  I cooked on the wood stove with a cast iron skillet, and with no electricity to be had, I delved into my book stash and worked on perfecting my art work.  Early sundown meant early bedtime with only the sound of the fire popping in the wood stove, and the wind and coyotes howling outside.  

But my “backyard” was big enough to keep me occupied. A “section and a half” –a section being a square mile–was my place to roam and discover. Not big by farming standards, but big enough that the nearest neighbors were a good five miles away–we liked that. Summer meant the cattle showed up, the alfalfa was growing, a garden full of vegetables was devoured ( I got on a carrot, fresh tomato, and eggplant eating kick), the cherry tree was loaded and ripe, and wheat was harvested. Early morning found me on the screened in porch sipping coffee and watching the barn swallows swooping in to construct their mud nests. Deer often ventured out with spotted twin fawns and one evening I spied a Bobcat was just a few feet from the house. Eastern Blue Birds flashed by in a streak of brilliant blue, and we could see the sky changing and weather coming in from miles away–you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing…

We picked and shared apples from the 80 year-old plus apple tree–the name of the variety having been long forgotten. I sliced, diced, and made applesauce to freeze for the coming winter–another way to preserve a way of life on a ranch. And my most favorite memory… sleeping next to an open window during a light, autumn rain. A gentle breeze across my face, the fresh, cool air lightly stirring the window curtains.

The past, my past. An adventure. I didn’t travel far, I didn’t need to.  Some year-round, all-encompassing, life advice: embrace adventure… you never know where it will take you or what you will learn. 

Joy Richter 2012                                              ©copyright 2012 J.R.LIGGETT LTD

At the Lake

 

I’d been bugging my husband for weeks to make a run up to the lake. I’d envisioned taking along a few sandwiches, a couple of chairs, he’d grab his fishing pole, I’d just sit and listen to the silence (and avoid flushing out any rattlesnakes). We would  have a pleasant evening enjoying the solitude and view.

This guy lolly-gags. If it’s something he wants to do, I’d better get a move on. If the outing is my idea, he’s still dawdling and I’m waiting in the car. Go figure.  At any rate, we arrived at the lake around sunset… it’s okay, not the end of the world.

I used to vacation here with my family when I was a kid. Aunts and Uncles, cousins, brothers… Uncle Les and Aunt Vernie had a ski boat and come summer, we put that puppy to the test. Skiing, boating, swimming off the dock while wearing those hulking orange life jackets that made a skinny-legged kid look like a barrel-chested wrestler.  Playing on the sandy beaches, running up to the Marina cafe for grilled burgers and all the cold soda we wanted; just reach in that old metal Coca-Cola cooler filled with ice. Evening cookouts with Aunt Vernie’s stash of stale Fritos, hot dog and marshmallow roasts and plenty of laughter. We slept outside on fold out cots, under an inky sky jam-packed with stars. We felt safe; life was good, it was summer at it’s best.

My husband and I stood and looked. Things weren’t the same as they were some 40 odd years ago. In recent years, the lake’s water level has gone down. Where Uncle Les would launch his boat, the shoreline has receded to alarming levels.  I thought to myself, the lake looks more like “The Pond”. Teathered a few feet away was a John Boat, still filled with life jackets, an outboard motor attached. No one else was around. Hmmm… trusting people.

Occasionally we would see and hear a fish jump, and turkey vultures made a slow, silent, mesmerizing flight path back and forth between two large stands of trees.  Storm clouds were moving in over us and we could hear rumbles of thunder now and then. Somehow, this place now felt sad.

Patches of land where boaters once feared becoming dry-docked and finding their motor blades entangled with vegetation, were now high and dry. No danger here… simply steer your boat around the “land mass”.  I remember Uncle Les driving across the dam, boat in tow, and looking out over the lake on a hot windy day, sunlight bouncing off the waves… “Whitecaps”, he’d say. Maybe we wouldn’t be skiing after all.  On this visit, it was hard to imagine whitecaps, boaters or a deep, inviting lake. We’re in a serious drought situation around these parts, and this is one very obvious result of our lack of rain.

As we silently stood on the deserted boat ramp, the storm moved in closer. I said to my husband, “I smell rain”. That’s something we haven’t smelled for the better part of the summer. Oh, we’ve been teased with a few drops here and there, just enough to make a mess on the bottom of our shoes, but I stopped rolling up my car windows, stopped being concerned about leaving something out that might get rained on…  I made a huge boo-boo last month. Forgot and left the outside hose on after watering flowers… next day I go downstairs to find the back corner of the basement flooded with water. Nothing deep mind you, we couldn’t launch a boat nor go skiing, but when the water bill arrived in the mail yesterday, come to find out I had wasted over 500 gallons of clean water. Yes, I feel bad. So much for my epiphany when I wrung out a sopping wet rag into a flower-pot earlier this summer. Profuse apologies all around–it also added $25 to our bill.

We headed back to town and stopped at a local restaurant to grab a late supper. I happened to look out the window… is that rain?  Rain? Real, live rain, water from above to grow the flowers, grass, crops (whats left of them)? To wash the dirt and dust from the streets, to freshen the air, to refresh our spirits? It was pouring. We ran to the truck and skedaddled on home. A few streets away, the pavement was nearly dry. Talk about scattered precipitation… but just a few moments after getting inside, and while watching Fleetwood Mac on satellite TV, we lost signal. We heard it… I looked outside, it was pouring.  I ran out and rolled up the car windows. Was anything outside that needed to be brought in?  We sat back down and thought about how grateful we were for rain–any rain.

You know, J.R.LIGGETT’S Shampoo Bar is a rain-saver. A water-saver. A smart thing to use. It rinses out easily; you use less water–way less than over 500 gallons. 😉  Don’t be a Dodo bird like me, remember to turn off the water spigot. But do be a wise owl and make J.R.LIGGETT’S an everyday, every way part of your life. You’ll need shorter showers, you’ll save water. It’s good for you and good for me. We’ll all be happier. 

Joy Richter  2012                          ©copyright 2012 J.R.LIGGETT LTD

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