Merry Christmas From Bubba

Merry Christmas, everyone!!  Before my voice problems I was frequently asked to read the following letter to festive groups. These days, even though a voice has been restored, I am more comfortable offering it to you on the internet. You know that if it’s on the internet it has to be true.  Print it out and read it to your gathering with my blessings.  Here’s Bubba’s Christmas Letter: 

It has been a very good year.  I done caught a bunch of fish.

Hey, this is Bubba writing.

See, Bev, she’s my wife as you probably know if you know me, and if you don’t know me, you probly wont be getting this letter anyway. We decided we needed to write this letter.  She is helping me telling me stuff to say, but I am working the commuter because I can type better than her.

So many of my friends, maybe you and maybe not, have written me letters at christmas to tell me how good they did in the last year and I always wanted to write one but nobody can reaad my handwriting and then Bev, you know, she runs a cleaning service out of her ford van and you might not know she cleans this lawyer’s office and he likes her cause she has such a nice butt and she always wears tight jeans unless it is summer and then she wears tight cutoffs.  Anyway, she was there one day this past summer and he was changing to a bigger computer and he cleaned this one out and give it to her.  Well, she brought it home and we had to get the ten year old kid in the trailer next door to show us how to use it and I decided that I would write a Christmas letter like everybody else cause we done had a real good does year.

It has been a very good year. I done caught a bunch of fish.

The only problem is the idiot that built this typing board didn’t go to the same school I did.  I learned abcdefg and so forth.  He learned qwertyuiop and so forth.  Well, I started this letter in september and I am just now finishing it because none of the letters are in the right order and I have to look real hard for them. I hope after this that a cop don’t pull me over and tell me to say the alphabet.  I will be a gonner.  I would probly look him in the face and say “no problem mr. Officer, qwertyuiop and so forth”  I got a callus on my trigger finger. My kids, homer and clete keep laughing at me and started showing me stuff and almost spilled my beer and I had to chase them off.  Bev keeps wanting something called the internet, but it costs as much as the cable tv and you cant get any nascar on them.

 So here is the letter it has been a good year:

Dere Freinds

Well it has been a wonderful year.  Jodie he’s my friend at the carpet mill wanted me to go spotliting with him and I had to work late at the carpet mill and didn’t go and doggone if the game wardens didn’t have a artificial deer in the edge of the woods and jodie saw it and he told me that it had steam coming out from its mouth and antlers and the head moved and he hit it with his spotlight and jumped out of the truck and shot its head off and the game wardens arrested him and put him in jail and took his gun away and all kind of stuff.  While he was doing this, I made 5 hours of overtime.  Just goes to show it pays to be a working man. What a good year I have had.

Talk about luck.  You remember old rufus, the rotweiler?  Some sob shot him and he come home and bev took him to the vet and it costed 50 dollars and rufus died anyway.  While we were being sad—bev and the kids about the dog, me about the fifty bucks, some nice people from town came speeding by and dropped out these two puppies.  We named them rocky and young rufus.  The kids don’t seem to care that young rufus is a girl this time.  Man, these dogs are smart now I know how stupid rufus really was. What a good year.

Bev wanted the ford van painted and I taught the kids, clete and homer how to paint a van and they didn’t hardly leave any brush strokes at all.  What good kids.  They like school, too, and clete liked the third grade so much that he decided to take it again and homer wanted to go to the sixth grade so bad that he went to summer school.  I sure am proud of them.  Clete only got in trouble once last year when it was a rainy day and they were showing Bambi in school to all the kids and when the big stag came on the screen he yelled “bam” and all the little girls started crying.  I guess they thought he was shooting at one of the does but it wasn’t a doe day. And he learned enough from hearing about jodie to shoot one without antlers on the wrong day. Clete is pretty smart about not getting in trouble.

The peppers in the garden did real good and we used them to get the sausage just right.  I learned this thing from this friend of bevs that works in the beauty shop about tying one end of the casing material to a pick up truck bumper and the other end to the barn and blowing them out with a compressor before you do the rest of making the deer sausage. This is better than hand slung chitlins. I thought you would like the part about the pick up and the compressor I am sure you know exactly how to do the rest.  See, I learned something.  What a good year.

This is me and all of my toys.  It has been a very good year.
This is me and all of my toys. It has been a very good year.

And now I  got to tell you about last Christmas because you won’t believe our good fortune. Clete and Homer wanted to get a expensive Christmas present.  They wanted this thing you hook up to the tv and then you got this here rifle and then when the deers run across the front of the tv, you can shoot them. We told them that it was too expensive and they would have to get it together if they got it, and the new motor on the go cart would be totally out of the question.

I love those boys. It was expensive.  We all had to make sacrifices.  We had to practice self discipline.  Bev started getting her make up at the dollar store instead of ekerds and I started drinking Keystone instead of budweiser.  We missed the rassling matches three times, and we stopped dancing at the amvets club which I can go to cause Merle, he was in the national guard and he spoke for me.  Anyway, we made the money up and went to the magic market and bought a money order and sent it off and this box came to the house on a ups truck and bev, she put it up in the closet where homer and clete wouldn’t find it and left it there till Christmas.

Anyway, Christmas morning came and bev gave me a vibrating alarm clock that wouldn’t make any noise and fit in my shirt pocket and would wake me up in case I fell asleep in my deer stand. I love it.  I think I done missed a bunch of deers by falling asleep in my deer stand. I gave bev a really nice venison hind quarter and a tackle box with a make up mirror in the top inside.  She loved it.  Then it came time for the boys to open up their present.  We all got real excited watching them open up the box.  I don’t know why because we all knew what was in it, but the company we bought it from had made a mistake.  I’ll never forget the looks on clete and homers faces when they looked in the box and found it.  It was the thing to hook up to the tv but the rifle warn’t there.  We hooked it up to the tv and these here deers kept running across the screen but there warn’t no way to shoot them.  Them boys near went crazy.  Clete run in the other room and got his bb gun and was going to shoot the deers with that but I stopped him just in time.

What a good year.  I went to the magic market and bought a calling card and called the people that made the mistake and they said they were sorry and that I could quit calling them names and that they would send me a completely new one and I would have two things to hook up to the tv and the rifle too.  It aint got here yet, but I am sure it will.

What a good year.  I couldn’t think of what to do with  the tv deer hook up thing cause we were going to get another one and we only got one tv so it took it to the projects where Jo Sam this guy that works with me lives and his cable got cut off and he can’t watch nothing on tv. loved it and wanted it for his niece so she could watch the deers run across the tv screen and talk about how perty they were, and he traded me not one, but two genuine ROLODEX watches for it.  Man, I bet there ain’t two other brothers in the whole trailer park that got genuine rolodex watches for Christmas and a tv deer hunting kit on the way.

What a good year.  Here it is almost the end of the year and bev came up to me and kissed me and told me that this was the sixth year in a row that they ain’t reposessed our car or kicked us out of the trailer park.  God has really blessed us.

I will write you next year if next year is anywhere near as good as this one was.  If you don’t hear from me, send donations

With all our love

Bubba, bev, clete and homer

Ps  I cant get mail no more because they condemned my mailbox cause I kept watching this low place open up by the ditch and kept telling myself that I needed to do something about it and finally the mail lady slid off in the ditch and she got mad.  So, I use my next door neighbor’s mailbox.  His name is john schulz and you probly know about him cause he wrote this here book Requiem for a Redneck and it is pretty good. Me and Bev, we keep that book on a shelf in the bathroom and we read some of it every day if you know what I mean.  It is about all my friends, Louann, Kickstand, and Ponytail.  Then there is Bud.  Bud is the mayor of Berwin, Georgia and he is right funny.  I hate it that Harce died, but this here book tells you all about it.

I don’t know nothing about that internet thing, but John said you could see about that there book if you click right here”  He says it’s a ebook whatever that means.

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What Happened to My Pretty Christmas Plant?

For the past few years, at Christmas time, The Home Depot here in Rome, Georgia (and I assume elsewhere) has been stocking some impressive Christmas plants. These come in the form of well-grown and healthy rosemary and “Stone pine” plants. Here’s a picture of the display

Well grown plants with a Christmas tree shape on sale for the season

Well grown plants with a Christmas tree shape on sale for the season

To my way of thinking, these plants are a bargain in that they will perform well in outdoor planters for the winter, they will give a Christmas feeling to their location, and with care, they will live for years.  But…But…They will not maintain their shape for years.

The plants that we bought at Home Depot have been carefully shaped as they grew so that they would end up looking like a Christmas tree. This doesn’t mean that they will always grow in that shape—that is, not unless they are properly pruned to maintain their shape. The process uses the principles developed in the growing of Bonsai plants.

A few weeks ago, one of my clients—I’ll call her Susan because that’s her name—asked me, “What happened to my Christmas plants that I put on the front porch last year?” I went around front to check them out and this is what I saw:

After a year the stone pine had lost it's Christmas tree shape and had grown out of bounds

After a year the stone pine had lost it’s Christmas tree shape and had grown out of bounds

Here’s the analysis: 1.The dead that you see in the tree is a natural replacement of needles that we see in any pine tree. 2. the wild looking growth coming from the top of the plant is the natural growth of the plant. I told Susan that with cleaning and pruning the trees could be brought back into shape within a year but with Christmas approaching she made me a gift of them. I’m going to have fun with those trees. I’ll guarantee it.

I was given a couple more of those trees about three years ago and I stuck them in the back of my “plant hospital”. I had gotten one of them out some time around the first of September after three years of total neglect. The stone pine was about five feet tall and strung out all over the place. I’m going to make a wild topiary out of it, so I cut the tips and cleaned it up. A month and a half later the tips look like this

New growth coming out short and pretty a month or so after cutting

New growth coming out short and pretty a month or so after cutting

I’m sure that the stone pine has to be one of the most bonsai-friendly plants ever and I’m going to work on my collection and report back next Christmas.

In the meantime, if you’re interested, your assignment is to read the following suggested articles on pruning and start your own plant-shaping experiment. What plant will you start with? Let me know

Turn overgrown plants into nice topiaries

Pruning For Betty, Japanese Maples, Topiaries, and Bonsai

Pruning an overgrown topiary

And one of my most popular articles:

Pruning as an Art Form—The Basics of Pruning

 

Thanks for visiting John the Plant Man. Remember the next time you want a good read you need to try “REQUIEM FOR A REDNECK”, a kindle ebook from Amazon that features John the plant man with his Georgia mountain friends. It’s quite the adventure. Check it out, buy a copy, and tell ALL your friends about it.

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