Monthly Archives: November 2011

A Cotton Pickin’ Blog Post

A few weeks ago, I posted pictures of some cotton modules in a field. Many of my readers commented that they weren’t familiar with the modules, or with cotton fields. So today, I’m sharing pictures and information about how the cotton crop is harvested.

This is a cotton field ready for harvesting. The leaves have fallen from the plants after being sprayed a few weeks ago with a defoliant.  I can’t really describe the smell, but once you’ve smelled it, you never forget it. And your nose will always let you know when a nearby field has been sprayed.

The machine used to pick the cotton is known as (surprise!) a cotton picker. This particular one is a four-row picker; it picks four rows of cotton at a time.

Although some farmers empty the cotton from the picker directly into the module builder, others use a boll buggy.  While still in the field, the farmer empties the cotton from the cotton picker into this “buggy”.

The farmer can then continue picking cotton, while the boll buggy is taken to the module builder, which might be in the same field or a nearby one. The load of cotton in the buggy is dumped into the module builder.

After the cotton has been emptied into the module builder,  a worker uses the hydraulic mechanism to tamp down the cotton and spread it evenly.

Once the cotton module is complete, a tarp is placed over it to protect it from the weather.

The farmer calls the cotton gin to make an appointment to have the modules picked up and taken to the gin. Specially designed trucks transport the modules.

The driver tilts the back of the truck downward and backs up toward the module. The rollers on the bottom of the truck bed move under the cotton module and help load it into the truck.

The module is loaded on the truck in just a few minutes and is on its way to the gin.

There, the cotton is processed, seeds and debris removed, and the cotton is baled.  At that point, it’s ready for the market.

And that’s the whole cotton-pickin’ story.

A Little Girl, A Pup And Wishes

Recently, a relative loaned me several boxes of old family photos to scan. What a treasure trove! There were pictures there I’d never seen before. And thankfully, most of them had names written on the back.

One of them I thought was especially sweet, and I didn’t need to look for the name on the back of this picture. This little girl has been part of my life for quite awhile.

This is my niece, Donna. The dog, named Frances, belonged to our aunt and uncle, and the photo was taken at their house.  After studying the picture for awhile, I noticed a couple of things that weren’t apparent right away. The handle of the leash is barely visible in Donna’s left hand. I can imagine her walking Frances around the yard, and deciding that this tree stump would be a good place to stop.

With her right hand (blurred in motion), she’s obviously telling Frances to “stay”.  And Frances appears to be obeying her wishes.

And speaking of wishes….

Happy Birthday, Donna.

Sundae At Play

Our bedroom has a loft, which I use as my (rubber) stamping “studio”. My computer and scanner are also there, as well as my sewing machine.

I have an old quilt hanging on a section of the bannister right beside the steps to the loft. And Sundae has deemed that area her current playground. Anyone walking up the steps is suddenly subject to a game of hide-n-seek.

Sundae sometimes gets carried away with this new play area.

REALLY carried away.

 This next picture is Marshall’s favorite. He says she appears to be “nothing but head and paws”.

And this one is my favorite. I call it “cattitude”. Sundae doesn’t care too much for that title. She believes our readers can come up with a suggestion that’s more to her liking.

(I’ll be sure to share your comments with her for her approval.)

Quick, Detour To The Park!

Last Thursday, Motor Man and I made the decision to go out to dinner. (It’s true, we don’t eat at home often.)

We were driving across the James River Bridge and saw an amazing sunset taking place behind us.  Thankfully, there’s a park just on the other side of the river, so Motor Man, being the wonderful hubby he is, pulled into the park.

This gull wasn’t planning to leave.

He stood his ground piling until I was within a couple of feet of him. Maybe he was there for the sunset, too?

Within a few minutes, the colors of the sky changed dramatically.

The sun’s reflection highlighted those few little wispy clouds just before it set.

Our stop at the park took less than 10 minutes. We decided that it was a worthwhile detour.

Although a certain sea gull was a bit perturbed.

The Randomness of November

Today, on November’s last Saturday, I’m posting some random photos that I’ve deemed share-worthy.

Pansies in the flower boxes on our deck on a recent foggy morning. The pansy color is “Wine and Cheese”.

The sunrise on November 3. Must have been good atmospheric conditions for contrails that morning.

The quality of this next photo isn’t very good (it was taken through our kitchen window). But it was such a tender moment between Mama Deer and her two little ones that I decided to share it.

I caught this little bird one morning during golden hour.

And, finally, here’s a picture showing how Sundae-girl has spent many of these beautiful November days.

It’s the same way she’s spent most of the November nights.

Six Word Fridays: Thanks



 Sometimes the word doesn’t seem adequate.

(Today is my first time linking up with Six Word Fridays. Each week, the idea is to write six words about a subject. It can be one six word sentence, or several, or a poem made up of six word lines. This looks like fun!)

Thanksgivings – Out In The Country

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. This week, all of Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop prompts feature Thanksgiving themes. How appropriate!

I  am actually including two of those prompts in this post.

The first part of my post is written about this prompt:
3.) A favorite Thanksgiving memory.

Every memory I have of Thanksgiving during my childhood focuses on my sister, June’s house. My mom and I had our Thanksgiving meal with them every year.  June and her family lived in a big old house about 10 miles from us out in the country.  This picture was taken by their daughter, Barb, many years after they moved from there.

While my mom and June were busy preparing the meal, I, along with my nieces and nephews, would watch the Thanksgiving Day parades. When the parade coverage ended, June’s husband, Ed, would take all us children (their four and me) – weather permitting – out for a walk in the fields or the woods.

It seemed to take forever for that turkey to finish cooking. But once it was done, that meal was worth the wait. We always had dressing, cranberry sauce, candied yams, and rolls with the turkey. And June’s pecan pie for dessert. There were eight of us crowded around a kitchen table that was probably meant for six.  But I only have good memories of those Thanksgiving Days. Thanks, June.

Now for the second prompt and the second part of my post:
2.) What traditions do you carry on with your family each year?

In recent years, Motor Man and I have invited Marshall to our house for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. After breakfast, although neither of them was ever a part of those Thanksgiving days at June’s house, the three of us take a ride. Out in the country.

The house is no longer there; it was vacant for many years and burned mysteriously several years ago.

But the memories are still there. And now, because of those memories, a ride out in the country has become part of our Thanksgiving day tradition. Thanks, Motor Man and Marshall.

Mama’s Losin’ It