The challenges are, as we say in the medical profession, too many to count. I endured many difficult situations, scary experiences, and personal threats of all kinds. Snakes were in particular a difficulty, I really don't like snakes at all... none of them. Some had no legs, and some had two. Those with no legs were unnerving, had to be killed with a sharpen "straight hoe or the pellet gun," without me not being struck by their venomous fangs. For those with two legs, the same principle applied. Spiritual weakness has been represented by a snake as far back as my great, great, great, great, great,.. well you get it, as my grand-mother Eve. However, just like the other snakes... I swiftly dispatched those as well, by using God's grace, mercy, and love.
You have to hunt some of them down, know which rocks they hide under, how to lure them out, and how to strategically eliminate them once they are exposed. Every year in the early spring snakes make their way to our little homestead because it is an environment rich with the delights of a snake's heart, such as baby kittens, ducks, geese, chickens, and rabbits, all the "babies" of every spring. In addition there are hundreds of potted plants, benches, fallen logs which have been made into various functional and fun structures and furniture, little bridges crossing the creeks, and paths through the cool woods. We live in a very beautiful place, and it is hot here, with a humidity and temperature that snakes find inviting, just like our many visitors, and they would make themselves at home without a "plan to eliminate all threats to our beloved little ranch and retreat. Things like the canoe turned over on the bank, the hot tub deck and above ground pool, the vegetable garden, and many beds of flowers make a lovely cool and damp "hidy hole," as my mother would say, for snakes, and are just the place they like to hide, waiting for the unsuspecting innocent to pass within their striking distance.
Every spring we execute the strategic policy of my philosophy concerning snakes... "The only good snake is a dead snake," and systematically hunt down and kill everyone we can find. Snake killing is not for the faint of heart, but I've never been a faint-hearted woman. Neither the ones that crawl on their bellies or the two legged kind paralyze me with fear. Neither non poisonous or poisonous give us pause, and together Randy and I hunt them down, expose them, and eliminate them with, to use a military term, "lethal force." Randy shot and killed a cotton mouthed water moccasin yesterday as we worked near the pond with one shot between the eyes at about twenty feet, as he was swimming for dear life, and they are speedy little creatures as they zig-zag across the water, and a very difficult target to hit. (He uses a pellet rifle when they are in the water.) However, once I identified the snake and pointed it out to him the danger and threat, he acted swiftly. We make a really great team in all we do.
We drug him out of the water with a hoe, and it just so happened into an active "Taliban Ant Hill," (these ants are commonly known in Texas as "fire ants," however I will write tomorrow's blog on Taliban Ants, and you will know why we call them that.
It is a little after seven am, and I kept Randy up talking all night long about the delights of our life together, planning for the future, our families, prayers together to the Lord, and all the things that makes ours a romance for the ages... More tomorrow and the latest spring pictures of Soldier's Heart Ranch.
Randy is finding once again, "Even a Soldier Needs a Quiet Place to Rest."
Hope you each enjoy your day, ours will be delightful! Can't wait to write of Smug, our new little white angoran rabbit, he follows Randy everywhere. Watch my blog for new pictures, both from the Middle East, and the ranch. I will also be posting the last segment of Chapter 2 from my book, and the chapter where the good colonel learns of the "suicide" of one of his former Soldiers during the final week of the investigation of his unit, Major Marcus Steel, or was it a suicide?