Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell August 25, 2009

Well, the new school year has begun. It is going to be a different year than any other. Since the kids will be going four days instead of five days. There will be many adjustments to be made by the students, faculty and staff. I know that the school board has weighed all of the facts and reached the best decision they could with the information that was available. When my kids were in school, they would have loved having Friday off. Jeff would have enjoyed getting those extra hours of work. Jennifer would have loved having the time to tweak and retweak her homework. I would have liked having that day to plan all of the appointments and a couple of shopping excursions as well. I am sure there are those who are not completely thrilled with the idea but overall I hope that we can support the board and try to make it a comfortable transition.
Schools certainly have changed from when my grandparents went to school. When the Bible was used as reading material and prayer was as common as recess. Even when I was in first and second grade, we said a prayer before we ate lunch. I do not remember anyone being offended. I cannot believe what our kids have to know in kindergarten. I did not go to Kindergarten- well, that is not all true- I went one day and that was all it took- for the teacher and me. I embarrassed Mom so bad that she made me take a little basket of apples to Georgia Sanders. I was to thank her for letting me come to class for the day. I thought that school was not for me- I really wanted to stay home and Dad could teach me all that I needed to know. When I brought home my reader from first grade, I soon learned that I did not want Dad to teach me to read, as he did not have the patience required. Mom was a good teacher and wonderful help with all of my homework. Mom was so much better at helping me out than I was with my kids- Jennifer learned rather quickly not to ask and to get help at school. Jeff was lucky enough to have Jennifer at home to help him.
Our parents never questioned the safety of the playground- Actually; even with the wooden teeter-totters that we got splinters from- or the wooden swing seats that would occasionally hit us in the head- or the merry-go-rounds that went very-very fast never once did I ever hear my parents say anything about it being dangerous. In fact, in many ways it was safer than what we play on at home.
We now worry if the playground equipment is safe and there is no lead paint on any of the swings. We never worried about the lead paint- my folks would have wondered why I would have been licking the swings in order to be poisoned by the paint. My parents never worried that the teachers were not teaching- their concern was that I had better been well behaved so that she could teach. If I had brought home a note that was saying I misbehaved to the point that I had to go to the principals office- life would not have been pretty in the White household. Now do not get the idea that I was a perfect child- there are many who could say otherwise- but I knew that the teacher was the one who we would respect and do as we were told. Dad told me that I might not be the smartest kid in class-(not that it was ever a possibility) but I could mind and I was to do the best of my ability. I think that maybe we all should be thinking on how we can make our kids education better. As we, all know it is easier to tear down than to build up- but if we tear down and destroy what are we going to have to show for our work?

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell August 18, 2009

This summer has turned out to be the summer of visitors- Each May when school is out I always wonder what the summer will bring to our family and how it will change our life. When we built our home, I wanted extra space for family and friends so they could be comfortable in our home without feeling as if they were intruding in our lives. So we have six bedrooms and three bathrooms and since Jim and I are, alone you would think that we would only use part of our house. But I seem to be able to make a mess in all of the rooms- But having as much space as we do we have had the opportunity to enjoyed many people this summer. There was a time when I ran out of space for a couple of cousins so they had to get a motel room. We have had no less than twenty-four different people and two dogs stay with us. Six of the twenty-four came back to spend a weekend or a couple of days. Our company was very diverse in religion, politics, and all kinds of different jobs-. So I have learned about various lifestyles.
This week we have the opportunity to have Jim’s sister, Verna, and her husband, Weylin, here to stay for a few days. They live in Gautier, Mississippi so we do not get to see them often. I know Jim likes to have time with his sister as they have not had the chance to visit in the past few years.
When I was growing up the summer was so much fun. I had no cares in the world. Dad let me watch the sheep and try to keep them in the correct field that he wanted them to stay. The sheep never wanted to settle in the spot where Dad wanted them - they wanted to go south instead of north and when Dad decided that they needed to go to south they only wanted to go north. The coyotes liked to nibble on a tender lamb so I was to be on the lookout for the ornery predator.
I did most all of the sheep watching on horse back. After checking on the sheep, I would wonder around the pastures to see what I could see. My imagination ran wild. For some reason I was worried that the Russians were going to overtake us and I needed a place to hide. I do not know what I thought I was going to do after I hid as I could never sit still in one spot for a long time- But I had my plans. I liked to ride in the evening and feel the heat of the day leave the air and feel the coolness in the bottoms of a canyon. I would ride out our pastures day after day and never got tired of the scenery. Dad never let me go on anyone else’s property, unless there was a good reason and usually he would be with me if that were the case. I have always wanted to ride out Wildcat canyon. This pasture was not a half of a mile away from our home but Dad said that we had enough fields to play in and I did not need to be riding in someone’s pasture disturbing things. He was right; maybe I will get to do that some day before I am too worn out to enjoy the beauty of the territory.
Well, the summer is starting to wind down with school starting and things getting back to “normal” now it makes we wonder what the fall holds in store for us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Shopping is something that I have always enjoyed. I do not have to purchase something every time I just want to know my options. I love to window shop. Jim is not a window shopper- he knows what he wants and he goes to the store and buys it without looking to the left or the right. I might know what I want- but there may be something much better that would suit my needs. Years ago, people bartered for items. My grandparents would take in their milk, cream and eggs to town and trade for cocoa, flour, sugar- or whatever they needed at the time. I think that I would enjoy that type to bartering. When I came along people bought things much like we do now with the exception of the use of credit cards. But now I feel like I am being cheated, as I am not sure what I think of buying items on-line. Mom and I went to a couple department stores in Dodge City and she needed a pair of shoes. Mom has very flat feet and she is hard to fit. She must try on the shoes to make sure that they will work for her. In both stores when we asked for a narrow shoe, we were told that they only sell them thru the internet. I thought when a customer took the time to drive over sixty miles to make a purchase the store could at least stock the items they are suppose to sell. We came home empty handed and a little disgusted. I do not know how anyone buys shoes on-line. I know you can always send them back- but who wants to pay for all of that postage. And do not get me started on postage. I know that I am getting older as things that are not the way they used to be; is making me cranky.
People can buy all kinds of things off the internet- I am guilty of purchasing a couple of items- I have found that it could get to be addictive. You can buy almost anything and if you cannot buy it, you can find someone who does. Since I love to shop, and I can shop for anything. I think that I could get into a little bit of trouble. If this takes off our grandchildren will never have to leave their homes. They will be able order all of their needs off the internet-or whatever it becomes. They will never have the thrill of getting up early in the morning to take off with their mother to buy school clothes or to take that special day to go out and buy that one of a kind prom dress. They will not get the adventure of going to store after store after store to buy the perfect wedding dress. While you are shopping, you eat at a fun restaurant that your dad does not like. I know that some of my fondest memories I have with my mom is when we would go shopping- My mom could sniff out a bargain like no one else. When we went prom dress shopping, we shopped out Woodward and Alva Oklahoma. All of the dresses were too expensive so we went to Dodge City, this is when Mom told me that she was not going to spend over twenty dollars for my dress- otherwise she would just make one- I was so horrified that mom was going to make my dress- not that she was a bad seamstress; I just did not want a homemade dress. But we found a dress that was just what I wanted and it was marked down to eleven dollars and seventy- five cents. I was happy and mom was satisfied. If we could have just went on the internet, bought the dress we would have missed the hunt, and it is, most definitely, all about the hunt.
Maybe I am a shopahloic- I guess the first step is identifying the problem- Hello- my name is Vanita and I am a shopahloic.

August 4, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
I feel that I must keep you informed on my cleaning process- we are still working on our garage- but there is a definite light at the end of the tunnel. Jim fixed the door so it will work the way it is suppose too. I can actually walk through the garage without worrying if there is a hidden critter somewhere- it would not be impossible if there was a critter but now he does not have thing to hide behind. I have promised myself that I will never let anything get in this kind of condition again- but I think that I am, more than likely lying to myself. Anyway- things are looking up and now all I have to do is to start on my closets- Oh boy, I think I might ought to rest up.
Coldwater certainly had a bang up 125th birthday celebration. I would like to thank all of those who worked so hard to pull off the event. I know that there was a lot of planning and sweat involved in the preparation of this past weekend. I love parades- the problem I have is that I like everything from hooves to wheels- That is why I have so many “wonderful’ things at my house and have problems with parting with some of my ‘treasures’. When I see Dennis Swayze and his team of horses, I am always wishing that I could have a team and a wagon. Midge Herd looked like she was having fun in his wagon. I was proud to say that I knew Emily Westrup Reif. We were in school together and were neighbors as well. I thought that she had out done herself with her team of Clydesdales. I do not know if I have ever seen a more massive amount of horseflesh on four hooves. They were absolutely beautiful. I did not get to visit with her after the parade as I was working at the chicken noodle dinner at the church. But I wanted to tell her that she was awesome. I loved the Viper car, too. I would have liked to look at it a little more. The kids pedaling on bikes and riding various things was entertaining. Thank you, Coldwater, you did yourself proud.

July 27, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
We said our final good-bye to John Deewall Sunday afternoon- I have several good memories of John. One of my favorite memories is he was one of the only men besides Warren Branson who tipped their hats when they met a woman. Well, actually what I remember is that when John greeted my grandma- He would call her Mrs. Cary and he always tipped his hat. I appreciated that he showed respect toward her. I thought that she was a wonderful woman and it was nice to see that others thought of her as respectable. I think that we have all been so informal for so long that we have lost something. I think that Mom calls it - finesse.
John was so proud to have been part of the war effort during World War II. He took his VFW duties very seriously. He would bring Dad papers to sign and would stay and talk for a while. Dad always enjoyed his visits with John. They had been neighbors for years. One time John drove in the yard and informed Dad that we were out of water at the Eighty. When we got there the cows were in bad shape. We knew that the water there was not good but did not realize that the little pond had dried up. John told dad that he needed to go the Soil Conservation office and get some help to build a better watering hole for the cattle. Dad was a little hesitant but John insisted that they could help him out- John even went with Dad to the Soil Conservation Office and they got the job done. It was not long before we had a nice little pond. I always thought that if John had not helped Dad out things might have gone a little differently.
John and his step-son Bob Currier was our neighbors for many years. Between the two of them they really took good care of us. In the winter when it snowed our lane would blow shut. It would not be long before we heard the sound of a tractor and Bob would be there opening up our lane- we appreciated all of his efforts.
John and Bob always kept up more than their share of the fence. They could stretch a tight fence and a tight gate. I could tell that they did not have a lot of girls to open gates as I always glad to have a cheater attached to the gate post, as I needed help to get the gate open.
We bought some of our Hereford bulls from John and Bob- Dad thought that if we bought our neighbors bulls and the bulls got out- it might not be so bad since was the kind of bull that the neighbor was using. At least, it would be the same breed. I do not think that Dad ever picked out the bull; he trusted that John and Bob would choose a good one and they always did.
John and Jane gave Jim his first job washing dishes at the Branding Iron - Donna, Jim’s mom, loved working for Jane and John. She waited tables at the cafĂ© before she went into nursing.
We will miss John telling us his war stories and seeing him drive around in his buggy. We will not forget him. The neat thing about memories is that our loved ones are never really gone as long as we can think about them and remember all of the good times that we have had in the past. So I guess that we should spend our time making good memories and remember to tell our children and grandchildren about the good ole’ days.

July 21, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
This summer is going by way too fast. At the beginning of each summer I set a couple of goals that I would like to accomplish before school starts the fall semester. But usually the summer never goes the way I planned and this year has not been any different. The first thing on my list is to get the old house torn down. I think that the old house will out last me. I thought that I would ride horseback this summer and I have not had a chance all summer to ride. But what I have had this summer is company. We have had somebody in our home for the last 2 months. We have not been home alone very much. We have enjoyed the visitors- right now we are in a lull- but we think that there will be some family coming in a couple of weeks.
Come Home Coldwater will be here before we know it. I am looking forward to the festivities. The worst thing putting on a celebration is that those who have worked so hard to pull off the event- is they do not get the enjoy everything as they are busy with the details. Our church is doing the Chicken Noodle lunch on Saturday so we have been busy making noodles. I have just completed what I said I would make- I look like the ‘Pillsbury dough girl’. I have flour all over my kitchen- I had a fan going to keep me cool, but it also blew the flour everywhere. Flour on a tile floor can make it slick, then if any moisture gets on it, it becomes sticky- So I have cleaned and mopped floors and wiped off cabinets and everything else in the kitchen. But since we will be cooking Saturday morning there will be some of us that will not be able to see the parade. I have heard good things about the parade and those that will be participating. Everyone loves a good parade. I have also heard that there are many class reunions going on as well - so it sounds like there will be lots of activity going on in town. When I think of getting busy and trying to get things prepared for an eventful weekend reminds me of Dad- Many things reminds me of Dad but once when Vickie and I were planning on cleaning out Moms lily pond- which was not a pleasant task but an important one. Dad really did not want us to work on the pond, I think that he just wanted us to stay inside and visit with him. Vickie and I get along well, but for some reason Dad thought that this was going to cause trouble. So he sat the two of us down and said, “Now listen here, if you think you have to clean out that lily pond I just want you, two girls, to remember this one word, Attitude. Now you need to keep a good attitude.” Vickie and I looked at each other and just laughed- So all day when we were getting really tired we remembered our attitude. This might be a good thought for everyone that is working so hard to make this a wonderful celebration, and it will be a great time-Maybe when we get tired and cranky and we will get tired and cranky that we remember this one word --ATTITUDE.

July 15, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Our hearts are with the family of David Timmons. He will be missed not only by his family but the community as well.
The weather has been a deterrent to going outside. I cannot take the heat at all. So I am spending my time inside. I would like to say that I am using my time for good instead of evil- Well, maybe not evil so much as, not really getting anything accomplished. This would be the perfect time to clean out closets and drawers. I would like to get the closets all straightened up, by I am not sure that I have had the proper inoculations. But it needs to be done- no it must be done. But what brought this to mind was that Max and Rhonda came out to the house the other day and brought me a clipping from the Western Star. It was the announcement of the marriage of his mom and dad, Theo and David Cary. They had found it on the floor of one the closets in Aunt Theo house. We have no idea how long it had been there but it is good that it was retrieved. I liked the remarks that the writer of the article had about Aunt Theo- it told of her prior education of graduating from Coldwater High School and that she had attended Hays College and that she had taught one term in the Pike district, and that she had closed a ‘successful’ term of school in the Shimer district, that would have been a one room country schools. I would think that anyone who could teach all eight grades, without the help of a Para, or a janitor, and no one died including the teacher-it would be called successful. They had no heat except for a stove in the corner of the room. I think it would have been coal. I do not know what they did when it got too hot- they did not have fans- but they did not start school until after Labor Day and they let school out in April for the country schools so the kids could help out at home with the farming. Maybe the heat would not have been so bad. But there was no electricity; I just do not know how they did it. I just know that they were a tougher than me.
Back to the article- this is what I thought was interesting it said “Her many womanly qualities have won for her many friends”. I am not sure what exactly that meant but everyone who met my Aunt Theo loved her. She was a great gal. We do not write about peoples character much anymore in out wedding announcements. Maybe that is for the best for some but it is nice to see in print that she was respected. It did not leave Uncle David out it said he was a farmer after his graduation and that he “is an industrious and dependable young man”. It also said that “their many friends wished this worthy young couple many years of happy married life”. They did have a long life together. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and then some. I wish that all couples could live to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and do it happily.

July 7, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Nothing ever works out the way you think it will- But not always for the bad. We had huge plans for the 4th of July, but different things happen with different people- I thought that I was going to have about 23 to 26 people running around my house blowing up things but the way it turned out I only had 13 and out of the 13 only 5 or 6 them were firecracker crazed individuals. We had Vickie and her daughter Wendy and her husband and family along with Vickie's son Mike and his wife and family. Mike's family has not ever been able to shoot off fireworks- since they live in a national forest. Well, their Uncle Jim and Cousin Jeff taught them all kinds of things. When Mike crushed a pop can his wife said that he should not have done that because she could have blown it up. It was fun to watch her enjoy the festivities of the day. Vickie and I like the homemade ice cream part the best. We are not that thrilled over firecrackers. It could have something to do with our dad. He loved to torture us with those small sticks of dynamite. He tormented Vickie more than he did me. Once when Vickie was trying to get away from dad and his insane need to horrify her with gun powder, she ran into our bathroom. Thinking that she was safe in our tiny, little bathroom with a hot water heater in it, along with a gas heater, but it was shut off, that did not stop him. He stuffed a firecracker under the door and when it went off -- well-- at least she was in the correct room of the house. Not only did it scare her half to death - it very nearly deafened her. This happened several years ago and the firecrackers had a lot more kick to them than they have now. It seemed that we always tried to hide in the bathroom when trying to get away from our persecutor. The reason we hid in the bathroom; it was the only room in the house that had a lock on the door. If Dad did not throw the explosives under the door he would spray us with the garden hose through the window in the bathroom. I might need to explain; we did not have air conditioning for many years so the bathroom window was normally open- it did have a screen on it but that did not keep the water out. When this happened mom was not entirely thrilled with any of us. Dad did quite a few naughty things, which stuck fear in our heart when the time of celebrating our country came around. So the 4th of July is not one of my favorite holidays come to think of it; it probably was not Moms favorite either.
The other thing was that made the July not real popular was if we were not through with harvest. If the wheat was cut dad was much more festive- if it was not Mom was not festive at all and neither was dad. If we were not done with harvest by the 4th of July we did not go to town unless it was absolutely necessary- because everyone would ask if we were finished cutting wheat and if we said no- you got the that poor- pitiful look. Since we no longer have wheat to cut our lives are improved greatly.
I hope that you had a safe holiday and most importantly you enjoyed your family- I know that we did.

June 30, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Well, I survived church camp---barely. Actually it was not all that bad. I did have a couple of flash backs of my one camping year. I was shipped off to the Boiling Springs Church Camp one year. I had never been homesick before and I had it really bad. At this camp if you got homesick they had you sit on a large rock in front of the mess hall. I spent many hours, or at least it felt like many hours, sitting on that rock crying my eyes out. I guess I must have gotten on the leaders nerves and they sent me to the camp nurse. She was very nice and talked to me, so I thought that I would spend the rest of the week with her. Then I learned that was not going to happen, so I had to go back with the rest of the kids.
One of the good things that we had at camp was the food, which is a little unusual. We were fortunate to have good cooks and we had a nice variety of food. Then they had mail call this brought back terrifying memories- when I was in camp if you got mail you had to do something embarrassing to get your letters. Well, my mom not only sent me letters but she drew cute little characters on the envelopes. That cost me- I almost let them keep the letters as after all it was not all that long before I saw her again- unless of course, I did not live through the week. You probably will not believe this but I was a little shy when I was younger- I have over come that obstacle- but getting in front of a group of kids who I had never seen before was not easy for me and to have to sing or say a poem in front of them was extremely difficult.
One thing that was different than when I went to camp was the chapel time- when we went to chapel- we were to bring dress clothes to were to the chapel service- Mom had even made a couple of new dresses for me to wear. I let one girl were one and she spilled Dr. Pepper on it. So I learned not to loan out my dresses. Now things are different - we do not get dressed up for anything. There are good points to that and bad- the good is that if there are those who cannot afford dressy clothing they do not stand out, not to mention that putting on hose in the heat is not a pretty picture - but I think that maybe we lose a little reverence when we do not dress when we go to the chapel. But this is the trend that America has taken. There are very few things that require coat and tie-and formals- we have taken to casual living.
The thing that just grosses me out the most and it still does is the community showers. I just hate those shower floors, it takes all of the nerve I have to go into the showers- Normally- I do not feel much cleaner when I get out the shower than I do when I went in- just wetter and hopefully cooler.
I know that this sounds like I am spoiled and I guess that I am- but swamp coolers are just a little bit better than nothing. They make everything moist and sticky. But it is a somewhat cool sticky. When I got home the jeans that were in my suitcase had a good crease in them from being packed in my bag and all of the moisture from the coolers pressed them nicely. I thought that they might have even been a little moldy but they weren’t.
This next week is full of activity- we are going to have all kinds of family coming in because of the 4th of July- I wish all of you a happy and safe 4th.

June 23, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
I am not going to say anything about the precipitation that we have received- I know how it is when you are trying to harvest and it rains- Harvest is not a fond memory- well--- there were times that you had to laugh to keeping from running in front of an oncoming semi-just to end it all. Oh, it could have been horrible but we had the most wonderful neighbors that helped us out more than once. But even though the rain slows up the harvest the pastures are thirsty and happy to get the moisture.
Last week I was privileged to have Linda Winter’s sister and 2 nieces in my home for several days. They had brought Vivian Ruth to visit her sister, Rene Bruton. Sometimes when guests arrive you are anxious to see them leave- this certainly was not the case with these visitors. They were such a joy. The only thing missing was to have Dan and Linda here. Since all three girls have a wonderful sense of humor we laughed and giggled all evening long.
I think that the good Lord knew I needed the laughter to get me ready to go to church camp this coming week- Church camp is something that I never really cared for- however it was good for me and I learned quite a bit even though I spent most of my time with the camp nurse as I thought that I was homesick most of the week. I hope the camp nurse will be kind to me this time even though I will be one of the leaders. I went to church camp in Boiling Springs- I do not know why I missed home so much but I did. Mom sent me letters with cute little drawings on them which were really cute but it brought attention to me and at that time I was a little shy- I know it is hard to believe- but I was- kind of. Since she decorated the outside of my letters I had to do sing a song or do some little thing to get my letter- I thought it was terribly embarrassing.
I have had some interesting camp stories, but that is another story all together- I hope that I am tough enough to endure my week at church camp and if it would be possible and not to much trouble I would really appreciate you remembering me in your prayers- or maybe you should pray for those who will have to be around me for the next few days.

June 16, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
It feels as if that the summer weather has arrived. We need the hot winds and the heat to get the wheat out of the fields. I took a friend to Freedom, Oklahoma to the Alabaster Caverns by way of Medicine Lodge. We went around the world so to speak. I was surprised that there was not many wheat fields that have been cut. Usually Alva, Oklahoma is cutting their wheat before we are, but we saw more machines working in the Buttermilk area than anywhere else.
There was however, some machines in a wheat field waiting to do a test cut. But there was a combine in one of the fields north of Alva that was different than any combine I have ever seen- not that I am a combine expert- in fact, I am so happy that I do not have to deal with wheat-but anyway-- this machine had an extra long header and it looked like it could flex with uneven ground. The header had an extension so it was farther away from the cab of the combine. Times like this are when I would like to talk to Dad about the newest equipment. I remember when the custom cutters would bring their big wheat trucks in the fields. Dad was so impressed that they could haul 300 bushel at a time. He thought that was something else- now 300 bushel trucks are the small ones. My, how times change!
As we were traveling down the road we noticed all of the different colors of gold that the wheat was turning. I think that there are more varieties of wheat to choose from than when I was a kid. Dad usually planted Scout and sometimes Eagle. Years ago, way before my time, Dad planted the kind of wheat that was beardless. I think that it was called- Red Man or Chief. His landlord, Perry Wall, told him not to plant it again- it was just too ugly to look at. From what Dad told me it did look odd compared to the neighboring wheat fields.
Anyway, we enjoyed the ride and the scenery was beautiful. We have had the moisture and it shows in the pastures. Most all of the ponds are full of water and the wild flowers are blooming. We have all kinds of different flowers and bushes that are in full bloom this time of the year.
It is nice to have friends that come to visit and I can show them our part of the world. And a very nice part of the world it is.

June 10, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell I had a walk down memory lane today. I went to Kiowa to get some pork from the meat locker. Since Giz is at my mercy; he went with me. We went through the pastures to get to Kiowa. When we go this way- we go through my old stomping grounds. We checked a windmill on the way, and then we went through the Merrill Ranch- the Platt Ranch-- the old Z-Bar Ranch- which is also close to the Stewart Carthraes layout. The wild flowers are blooming and grass is growing tall, the wheat is turning golden- just a pretty drive.
There were some things are different than there used to be; houses empty and falling down or have been removed. The one thing that is sorta sad is on the road past the headquarters to the Z-Bar there used to be a booster plant. It employed a couple of men, I think, but anyway, there were a couple of homes there and now because of technology that job is no longer needed. So now you cannot even tell that anyone ever lived there. Technology is nice and I really like the advantages that I have that my grandparent did not have- but we do not need the man power that we used to employ. Now with people needing work; well, it just is kind of sad. In many ways I think that maybe we were better off working a little harder and not so dependent on machines.
Driving through the pastures - brought back the memories of the times that I rode and worked cattle with all of the cowboys on the Z-Bar and Stewart Carthraes. These guys were the real deal. When we worked for the Z-Bar there were about 25 of us and it took all of us to gather the West Pasture. The West Pasture was larger than most of our farms. I would be so excited to go with Dad that I could hardly sleep the night before we were to go on round-up. Working Stewart’s cattle we had to ride thru lots of brush. I see that the brush is thriving well- that was one of the things that had not changed.
The other thing that is different than when I was much younger- are the bridges. I think that all of the bridges had wooden floors - the really cool ones were metal structured. I loved driving on those old bridges-- except the ones that did not have any sides on them and Dad would decide that the nails were sticking up to high and he would try to dodge them. That was scary-- there were a couple of times I thought that he was going to drive us off the bridge. It did not do much for Mother’s nerves, either. It is nice to have pleasant memories and I feel fortunate to have them but it just makes me wonder what is going to happen next and what kind of memories are my grandchildren going to have.

June 3, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell These last two weeks has been hectic. Fun and exciting but also tiring, I am glad that I do not have much on my agenda for the coming week. We have had a new addition to our family. Jeff and Chelsea brought their little girl into the world. They had help from the doctors and nurses, and of course, Chelsea had the love and attention of her mom to help her out. It is really nice to have your mom close by to give you the comfort that only a mom can give. There are times in a girl’s life that she really needs her mom and having babies is one of those times. I was glad that the hospital only allowed two people in the room with the laboring mother. I am not sure how or why having babies has become a spectator event. I know when I had my kids the last thing I wanted was to have the entire family there to-- do whatever -- What do they do? We were there to lend support- in the waiting area. We did not feel that it was our place to watch our little granddaughter make her entrance. But that is our personal opinion. We are happy that Chelsea is doing well and is a wonderful mother. I never had any doubts about her maternal instincts. Chaneill Elizabeth is a beautiful baby and I have the pictures to prove it.
I grew up in the Christian Church in Coldwater- so it is very dear to my heart. I was pleased to be a part of its 100th anniversary celebration. It was good to see Gib Clark and Bernard Plumb. They were past ministers that attended and participated in the Sunday morning church service. Janice Plumb, his daughter, accompanied her dad and Bruce and Nancy Plumb was there as well. Nancy grew up here; her parents were Wayne and Ruth Kirby. Debbie Hill Warren - Carol Monroe Clark- were a couple of others who came back to join us in our festivity. There were many hands that helped make the celebration a success and every one of them was appreciated.
My cousin, Mabel Crouse Conn, came and stayed at my house. I love it when she stays with me. She is helpful and helps me to stay on task- which is a job in itself. I am not sure I could have survived the weekend without her. Many of you might remember her parents- Hazel and Edwin Crouse. Hazel was my moms foster- sister- Hazel came to be part of the Cary Family before my mom was born. So she was always an important part of our lives. Uncle Edwin was one of the first custodians of the new high school. He was a kind and soft spoken man. Mabel has a brother Charles- he would have been here but because of health reasons he was unable to make the trip here from his home in Ashland, Missouri.
After our company left on Tuesday; we helped our neighbors work their cattle. It was a long day and after about 13 hours of gathering- hauling - working- loading again to haul back to pasture I was whipped. I think that we all were happy to call it a day. One of the guys that had really put in an extra hard day looked so tired that I think he hat was droopin’ down. I told Jim that I was so tired that I could not work up enough energy to die- Now that is tired. But maybe that is to be expected since I am- after all a grandma - now.

May 19, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
If one way to tell your age is telling on you is how you handle change; then I am there. I do not mind change if I can see that it is needed or necessary. But to change things just for the sake of change really upsets me. I do not like it when stores changes their merchandise to different aisles. To me it is the stores telling me that I have nothing better to do than look for every item that I need, when I knew exactly where the items were last week. Sometimes I just give up and go home, maybe I did not need the items after all. I guess this is really a sore spot with me anyway, because I hate to search for things- I look and hunt for things that I hide from myself all the time. I should be excellent in finding lost or hidden things- instead I just yell and whine.
Since Giz has been laid up he likes to watch these home shows. Different ways to change or build your home in a newer and better styles. The show starts out with these people who want to change their home to a new design. This is fine, but part of the time when they show the before and after; I prefer the before rather than the latest way to paint the walls. I really hate it when they talk about how ugly wall paper is, when just a year or two ago it was the rage. But I love wallpaper, Granddad Cary hung wall paper for many people in his day and he always said that you could hide a multitude of sins behind wallpaper. I will admit that there are some really good ideas and I would like to implement some of the ideas for my kitchen. But then you must get your head out of the clouds and realize that even though the ‘want to is there’ the money is not. Then newest thing is using concrete for countertops and Formica is out. Granite is still alright to have - but if you want to run with the ‘big dogs’; you need to have a concrete countertop. It sounds odd, I know, but they do all kinds of things to the concrete to make it pretty. But I look at my Formica counters and they are serviceable and they clean up nice and I figure I will keep them until they come back into fashion, and they will… sometime.
On one show there was a question on how much money would be spent in the next year on remodeling kitchens in America. The answer was shocking to me it was several billion dollars. Billion not million but billon U.S. dollars. I was absolutely shocked that Americans even have that much money to spend. I cannot even envision a billion dollars, just think of all of the things you could get with that much money. I have many projects that need attention and having a cash roll would certainly be helpful. But then you must ask yourself would you really be a billion times happier- would you enjoy your family more, would you help your fellow man more- would you give more of yourself to worthy causes, could you be a billion times a better person- I would like to think that if I had a free flow of cash that I would make the world a much better place to live - but the answer to this and many other inquiring questions we will never know the answer.

May 12, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell For the college students it is a hectic time. Jennifer is in the process of taking her finals for this semester. She is a good student and she takes her grades extremely serious. She has been studying only to get the worst flu she has ever had to endure. I am not the kind of mother who never got sick and cared for her children with lots of patience and kindness while they were rolling around in their feverish sheets. I am the one who gets ill right along with them and is a little irritated that I have been unconvinced. I know that is not the way it should be- Jim on the other hand rarely gets a bug and he is a good care provider. Jennifer was telling me of her symptoms and I think she gave her germ over the phone- Is that possible? Dad swore that is was not only possible but probable. When Dad got a bug, he could not rest until he found the source and confronted him or her. It was always his germ infested children. And it was not only our fault; it was the schools as well, since that is where we were infected. When Dad was sick he was the worst one of us. I think now I could give him a run for his money- I think that I can moan and groan just as loud and often as he could. We all have our goals that we reach for - I guess somewhere in my sub-conscious I want to be able to moan and groan with the best of them.
A good mother would run to Hays and get Jennifer on the mend by helping her out- and I would do that- but I do not want what she has if I already do not have it now.
I have lots of other things going on- we the 100th anniversary of our church coming up on May 24th. Not that this is more important than my daughters health- but Giz is laid up, too. He had some knee surgery this past week - he is doing very well. It seems that when one thing happens you can bet everything else will fall apart at the same time.

Monday, May 04, 2009

May 5, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
The last month I wrote about mothers - I guess I should have saved one for this week since Mother’s Day is this Sunday. But remembering when I was in grade school we made gifts or cards for Mothers Day. I always got excited when the glitter came out of the teachers cabinet. I was never creative but I liked gluing as much glitter on a card as I could.
One year in Girl Scouts, Lila Trummel was our leader and she had us bring an egg carton from home. She supplied potting soil and flower seeds. We planted our seeds in the egg carton and by the time Mothers Day had arrived our seeds had sprouted and each one of us had an egg carton full of plants to take home to our Mom. Mom planted the flowers by the back door and they came back every year for several years. I can not remember what the name of the flowers were, but they had small bunches of little purple blooms on each stalk. I was really impressed that they grew since our soil at the house was not real good for raising flowers. At our house we did not do a lot of yard work. I think Dad thought he had done all the planting and worrying getting things to grow without adding a grassy yard with flower beds to his problems. Dad did not enjoy farming like some people do- he enjoyed his livestock more than pulling a plow behind the tractor.
I do not think that years ago a holiday like Mothers Day was a huge affair. I cannot remember doing much else, I am sure that we had Sunday dinner with family but we did not go all out for the holiday.
At Church, they would recognize all of the mothers- I thought that was lots of fun- they acknowledged the youngest, and the oldest mother - the mother who had the most kids- you could spot that mother right off she was the woman who also looked the most exhausted. They always had a flower for the mothers that attended the services that day. It was usually a pansy or a petunia. I loved to look at the box full of different colored flowers before they were handed out. I thought that the pansies were the prettiest with the bright purple or the deep burgundy- or the brilliant yellow I was glad that I did not have to choose which one to take. The petunias were nice too, I liked the ones with the stripes and the deep purple flowers were Grandmas pick. It made me feel good to know that women were honored and played an important role at church.
Thinking back about the past mothers days it is hard to believe that not only am I a mother but soon to be a grandmother. Just does not seem possible- where did all the time go?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 28, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Motherhood is something that is instinctive to most females whether human or in the animal kingdom. Even if a female does not physically give birth we have a mothering character. Before all of you guys start up with me, if you have been having problems with cows pairing up with a calf or two- there are exceptions to the rule- But for the most part the female species are nurturing by nature. Last fall I bought a couple of horses. I have enjoyed them and since I have been watching them from the window of the living room I have noticed that they are a little different than some of the others horses I have owned in the past. We keep our horses separate from the cattle since dad had had a bad experience with keeping horses with cattle- well, actually it was burros and they chased dad’s young heifers and he lost several calves as a result. So we did not keep horses with the cattle on a regular basis. But a month or so ago a newborn calf got in with my horses. I thought that I should get in the pen right away and get the baby out before they hurt the calf- but I started to watch the horses- What I first thought was aggressive behavior turned out to be a protective behavior. Both the mare and gelding started to lick and clean the calf then they kept the calf in between them and was a defensive with anything that got close to the calf. The calf seemed alright with all of the attention it was getting. When I went out to get the calf out of the horse pen I was not sure that I was going to get out of there with all of me intact. But I retrieved the calf with the help of Jeff and my nephew, Jason.
The horses are a good ‘watchdog’ for coyotes. They perk their ears, and get a little testy when they spot coyotes in the pasture, and they watch the coyotes until they are out of sight. I have wondered what they might do if they were loose and free. I think that I might know. Our barn has a door that goes into the corral where the horses are kept and the door does not go to the bottom of the barn doorway. In fact, there is two and half foot gap so small animal can come and go into the barn. A couple of days ago I went to feed the horses and I found the carcass of a young coyote at the entrance of the barn door that goes to the corral. Since I could not found any reason for this animal to have died at the door. I am thinking that the horses were just taking care of business. Just another thing that makes a person wonder what goes on when they are gone.

April 21, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
We have passed the middle of April- I am one of those who puts off getting my taxes done until the last minute- I do not know what we would do without Johnita Stalculp and Joe Vance and their crews. Tax time is a lot like Christmas not that we receive an unexpected, undeserved gift- and we do not decorate the house or the neighborhood in lights- and we do not get family together to have a large meal and we do not get the day off from work. So I guess tax time is nothing like Christmas except that I procrastinate both of them.
The best thing about April 15th is it is my mother’s birthday. My mom has been and still is a wonderful mom. She set the bar really high when it comes to the wife and motherhood department. Mom rarely was ill while I was growing up. I do not think that she ever got the flu. Well, maybe not never - but she was more resistant to viruses than the rest of us. Dad on the other hand got the flu bug and he usually got it worst than the rest of us. Mom was a good nurse, she made us jello molds and brought our aspirin, and a Pepsi on a little tray. She would make us soup or whatever we wanted and never seemed to mind all of the whining and moaning. And we are a family of moaners. We makes all kinds of sounds. I think that we think as long as we are noisy we are still among the living.
I can remember when Dad and I would come in from whatever we were doing at the yard gate we could smell what we were about to eat. I do not mean this is a bad way- it was wonderful to smell what mom had decided to make for our next meal. I loved it when she would fry chicken and have gravy- or roast beef. Mom always had a meat, veggie, fruit and dessert at most meals. She made sure that there was something there that we liked. Meal time was never a stressful time and the folks never made us eat anything that we did not like. Dad would encourage us to eat everything and would tell us how good it was and what we were missing. Mealtime was when we would tell about our day and what we were planning to do, we would talk about anything and everything. Mom still makes the best baked chicken gravy that I have ever had- I have watched her make it and I do not know what she does differently- but it sure is good.
Mom had different dishes for different types of food. I would get so excited when I saw that she had set the table with the blue and white dishes. That meant that we were going to have spaghetti. We it not have Italian often so it was a real treat. Sometimes she would make floating islands (custard) for Vickie and Virgil when they came home from school. I thought it looked so good- but I do not like custard. She always tried to make something for us or have something for us to eat when we got home from school. If she was not at home- which was not often, she would leave us a note. In the note she would tells us where she had gone when she would be back and then at the end of her note she would always put be good and do not put any beans up your nose. Since the only bean I liked was green beans I could not understand why she thought I would open a can of green beans and stick them up my nose. It was not until I left home that I realized that she meant a dry bean, but still --- why?
Mom turned 89 this year and she is perking right along and doing better than I am most days. So Happy Birthday, Mom! You always made me feel safe and happy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 13, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
We made it through another Easter. Ever since we built the house I always thought that we would have someone out for lunch after church. I think in the past 15 years we have had guests less than ten times. I must admit I am ashamed of myself. But this Easter we had a total of 10 people around our table. It was nice to have lunch and visit with friends and family. Easter has changed for us since we do not have any little ones at the house to color eggs then the Easter Bunny arrives and hides the eggs. Jennifer was the one who got the biggest ‘kick’ out of the finding the eggs and the few little gifts that were hidden. Jim helped the Easter Bunny hide the eggs and there were times that they hid the eggs too well and they were found later- or should I say the odor gave away the hidden egg. I would rather that the bunny would hide the plastic eggs than the real ones. It did not take a rocket scientist to figure out that we needed to count how many eggs the bunny hid so we would know when all of the eggs were found.
When I was little and we would hunt the eggs- my favorite was the solid chocolate eggs. The brightly colored eggs that were large I did not like. I am not sure what they were- but they were prettier than they tasted-it was quite a treat to get candy when I was growing up.
When Jim and I started our own family we did not like the peeps (the colored marshmallow chicks). Since Chelsea has joined our family - she is the peep eater. Jim’s favorite is the chocolate marshmallow eggs and bunnies. Jeff was not a big candy eater- Jennifer liked most anything chocolate-
Easter is not what it used to be when I was a little girl. There was not one Easter hat in church Sunday. I can remember when I always got a new dress and white shoes and gloves for Easter. When Jennifer was little I sat up nights making her a new dress and then we made sure she had the bonnet-shoes and gloves to finish off her outfit. I can remember thinking how cute she looked all dressed up.
Some people have memories of eating a sunrise breakfast early in the morning. We never did the sunrise breakfast as a child. Since we lived out in the country and Dad was still feeding cattle we were doing well to make it to Sunday school and church on time. I never really got into the sunrise breakfast since we ate breakfast at sunrise most mornings anyway. We would have lunch with the grandparents, Aunt Theo and Uncle David at one of our homes. When Jim got in the family and we ate at Uncle David’s. Aunt Theo fixed a wonderful meal that usually consisted of at least two different meats. One meat was something we would consider common, such as ham, turkey, or chicken then she would fix something a little different like- lamb or duck. Jim said that Aunt Theo was an exotic cook. That really tickled Aunt Theo since she was a humble person and did not consider herself a skilled cook. Actually, she was a very good cook and we loved going to her home.
We are looking forward to next year as we will have a little grandbaby to share the holidays. Jim has already told me that he wants to continue his grandmother’s tradition of making sure the grandkids have plenty of candy for Easter. He can remember that his grandmother always sent them a goodie box each year. That was a special memory for him; so next year - look out Chelsea the Easter Bunny is a comin’.

April 7, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
There are several things that you do not want to be without during a snow storm. Even though last week I told you that I was convinced that Jim is trying to kill me; I would not ever want to be without his help or company. He is very helpful and resourceful in difficult situations. I have said many times that I married much better than he did.
Last week when the snow was deep - we were trying to get the tractor out to the alfalfa bales. Now this may not sound like a problem to some of you- but when the dog got stuck in a snow drift you can imagine how hard it would be to get a tractor around in the snow. As we were working on getting the cows fed, we heard the most glorious sound. It was the sound of the Comanche County road grader equipped with the snowplow on the front. I am not sure the County knows how much we appreciate all of their efforts. It was so wonderful to be able to get down the road. I thought that if we had had an emergency I do not know how we could have gotten help. Because there was no way to get out- we were really stuck. Since the county had cleared the road we decided that we could get to the cattle on the highway. The State road crew did a remarkable job, as well. Jim was ahead of me in the tractor and I was in the 4 wheel-drive truck with the cake and a bale of feed. I needed to get off the highway so I followed Jim into the pasture- not my best idea. I got stuck in the driveway of the pasture- this is when I realized that my 4-wheel drive was not working. A working 4-wheel-drive is a must in the snow and mud. So I was stuck and Jim was not entirely happy with me, I was not too thrilled either. Jim was getting ready to pull me out when one of the State road men stopped to see if we needed help or if we needed to use his chain. We had what we needed but it was a so nice to know that he was willing to help us out of a tight spot. He cleared a path for us which was most helpful and appreciated.
I have been known to give my son, Jeff, a really hard time, and I tease him unmercifully- But when push comes to shove I can count on him to help me out. After Jim went back to work I took the truck in to get the 4 wheel-drive fixed. Jeff and Tyson got the truck repaired - Feeling powerful once again I tried to go through a snow drift that I should have left alone. I buried the truck--- again- so I called Jeff and he came and pulled me out. His truck is not much to look at but it will do the job that needs to be done.
We were fortunate that we kept power and our phones. So with the power staying on- the phones were in working order- the County and State workers going beyond the call of duty- my husband helping me -my son willing to keep me going- What more could a girl ask for?

March 31, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
The weather man was right about the snow- he missed on how much we were to get- the last I heard on Thursday was 8 to 12 inches- not 24 to 28 inches- I must admit I thought that he was way off base and that the snow would be minimal. I was really wrong- Since we had the snow- Jim and I have had a lot of time together- During this time I have decided that Jim really is trying to kill me and when he does it will look like an accident. No one will ever be able to prove him guilty.
I have found out that I am in horrible physical shape. It is bad when the wife makes deeper tracks in the snow than her husband. We had to do things quite differently than our every day chores. We feed alfalfa round bales to our cows- which is wonderful when you can get to the bales. We have another group of cattle that we care for that gets cake (protein pellets) everyday. That is never a problem as we have an over head dispenser and it works wonderful as long as you can get under it to fill your caker or buckets. Well, we could not get to the bale pile and to get to the cake dispenser was a little tricky and impossible for the truck to get to and the tractor just did not work for this particular task- this is the part where I know that Jim is out to get me. In order to fill our buckets you must be able to turn the pipe that opens and shuts the cake dispenser. Since I am a weenie arm I cannot turn it while hanging on the ladder. Jim said that he can turn it off and on if I could stand underneath and catch the cake- Since it is quite a distance; and the cake falls at a high rate of speed and tends to fall in a scattered fashion and it is difficult-no impossible to catch each and every pellet. So I needed to be up closer to the opening- Jim put two empty buckets upside down on the ground and told me to hop there and hold another empty bucket over my head to catch the falling pellets. After seeing that the buckets were a little wobbly and I was still a little too far away from where I needed to be- he decided that he could ‘help’ me even farther by placing a 4x 6 wooden block on top of the buckets. Then he told me that this would be much better and would take to wobbly out of the buckets plus it made me that much higher. Yeah- higher to break my neck- and taking the wobble out was not entirely true. After filling a couple of buckets he said that maybe I should take the block of wood off the buckets. I thought removing the block was the best idea he had all day. We did get to all of the cows and they seemed happy to see us- even happier to have some dry food to eat. Everything worked out- the cows are happy and we could go home and rest well after a hard days work.
All I can say it was wonderful to have all of the moisture of the snow and the beautiful weather that followed after the storm. For all of this I am especially grateful.

March 24, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
One way of marking time is counting how many vehicles you have owned through the years. To some people the automobile is just a form of transportation to others it is a way to show your style and character. My dad used his vehicles as a tool or a means to an end. I do not think that he ever washed the inside windshield and he never worried about a dent or scratch. Mom on the other hand always tried to keep the family car neat and clean. Living twenty- three miles out in the country and 19 of those miles were on gravel roads our car was dusty more often than not. While I was growing up Dad taught me to love horses, but my brother, Virgil, showed me how to appreciate the sound of a smooth running engine.
Dad and I would saddle up and ride and Dad would show me how to get pleasure from the canter of a well-bred horse. It is not that we raised exquisite equine but he broke many horses for other people. Some of those people paid a lot of money for a good horse. So I had the opportunity to see different kinds of horses. When I would fall in love with one that he was breaking- I would try to get Dad to buy it for us. That is when he would explain that we could not afford to spend that kind of money for something that we already had. But when I would tell him that I liked the other better than what we had already in the corral- That is the time that I would get the talk on being practical and that I should be happy that I had the chance to ride such an animal. It was hard to understand but deep down I knew he was right, but that did not keep me from wishing that the owners would forget that they had left their horse with us. They always came for their horse and I would ride it for the last time and show them how well the horse responded to its training.
Virgil would let me go with him sometimes after he had worked hard on getting a vehicle to run. We would sit in the car or truck- in the front yard and he would rev the engine and ask me if I could hear whether it was missing out or not. He taught me how to listen to the engine and try to understand what it was trying to tell us. Whether it was getting enough gas or too much- He got as big a kick out of a hot rod that Dad did out of a quarter horse. So between the two of them they ruined me. I love hooves and wheels- none of which is a money maker more of a money taker.
Back to marking time by the cars that you have owned. When I dated Jim - he had a beautiful red Mercury Cyclone with white interior and had a 351 Cleveland engine. I loved that car even though it had electrical problems- when Jim traded it in for a Ford Pinto- I was crushed. I know that it was a lot cheaper to run- but --it was soooo coool. Jim has always been more practical than me. I wished we still had the Cyclone as there were not many of them made and they are collector’s item now. My first car was a Chevy Vega- then after Jim and I got married we bought our only brand new car- a black and silver 1978 Mercury Cougar XR7. Oh, I thought we had really done it. We have had several cars- and each one holds a special time in our lives. Maybe things have not changed all that much since the early years of our grandparents- I am sure they could have marked time by the different teams of horses, buggies, and wagons. Funny how different we think things are or are they?

March 17, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Spring break is finally here. Jim is off for the week and we have all kinds of things that we would like to get accomplished by the weekend. Jennifer is home for the first time since she left for Hays in January. It was good to see her and hear about all of her classes and her stories about working at Wal-mart.
I met my neighbor on the road today and stopped to visit with her and she reminded me that it was St. Patrick’s Day. I had not given it a second thought. St. Patrick’s Day is the day that we are to wear green- eat corned beef and cabbage- and most importantly we are to plant potatoes. My Grandma Cary always had a large garden with all kinds of vegetables and two rows of flowers. One year that sticks in my mind is the year she had Charlie Lenertz plow her garden for her as he had a ford tractor that would fit in her garden and he was able to plow the ground up for her. Then we had to rake it all down. Granddad must have not been well and able to help, but Mom and Dad and I were there to lend a helping hand. Dad got Grandma the seed potatoes and they cut them up so they would be ready to plant. This particular year we planted potatoes by the light of the moon on St. Patrick’s Day. I thought that was kind of odd since we did not plant anything else at night and we were to wait at least to the 15th of April to plant the rest of the garden. Grandma always wore a gardening hat and gloves. She wore a hat she got when we went to California in Disneyland. It was an aqua blue and white straw hat with a large brim and the scarf that went around the top part of the hat, then down through two holes in the brim and she tied it under her chin. Of course, she always wore a corset, a dress and stockings to whether she was to work in the yard, garden or if she was going to town. I do not think that she ever owned a pair of tennis shoes- she usually wore black leather shoes with a small heel. She was quite a lady.
I have said before that I do not plant a garden as it would be wasted time and money as I would kill it before it even got started. But with the economy the way that is now maybe I should put in a little more effort and try a little harder. But maybe this is just the Spring Fever talking. I always think that I will do better this year - but then the hot summer winds blow and it is just plain hot out, the plants wilt down and the weeds sprout up and the fun of the garden is lost and I no longer have to desire to keep it going. But Grandma never lost her zeal to keep puttering around with the plants, hoses, fighting the heat, the bugs and the gophers. What can I say- she was just a better woman than me.

March 10, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
March is here and the wind is certainly blowing. Most of the time when you think of March you remember the saying that if March comes in like a lion it will go out like a lamb- or in like a lamb and out like a lion. I think that it is more lion than lamb, at least so far. I went to Ruidoso New Mexico to help with a surprise birthday party for my brother-in-law, Randy Widener. The wind blew and the thistles were on the move. By the time I reached my destination, there were several thistles embedded in the grill of my car.
Randy and Vickie’s kids put the party on and the middle girl, Casey, was the one who organized it and made sure everything was just right. She found Randy’s old roommate, and invited him and his wife to the festivities. They accepted and they were delightful company. Come to find out they live in McPherson and he had ridden horseback on the Merrill Ranch when they had the benefit trail rides. The unusual thing is that he had lost his leg due to a motorcycle accident several years ago, but he still loves to ride horseback. He does not, however, ride a motorcycle often. I found him to be inspirational.
Sunday afternoon I spent with my niece Casey, her son Gage, and my other nephew Little John, Sheila and John Martin’s son. We decided that we should fly kites. It has been years since I tried to get a kite in the air. I was wishing that Jim was with me as he is very good at getting kites in the air and keeping them there. I never was very good at that sort of thing. Come to think of it neither was Dad. I do not think that he ever flew a kite with me, but if memory serves me correctly he tried with Vickie and Virgil. To make a long story short - Vernie was not ever intended to fly a kite. I have been accused of being somewhat like my dad - and in this case- it is true. We were in Casey’s back yard and we had assembled the kites- even though the outside of the bag said the kites were flight ready- we still had to put them together. It was fairly windy out and we thought that we could get them up in no time. WRONG! Yes, the wind was blowing but not consistently. It would gust then die down to nothing. We would just about get the kites in the air and above the house then we would lose the wind and the kites would come down. I was getting disgusted and so was Little John, so I decided that we should go to the front of the house- I thought that the house was blocking the wind. I took Little John to front of the house which is a large gravel rock driveway - Casey and Gage joined us. I thought that I would show Little John how to get the kite in the air- finally- but instead-- well-- I got the kite started going up and I started to run but in order to know how much string to let out, you have to see if the kite is on it’s way up- so that means that you run while looking backwards- I was doing pretty well but what I did not know was that Manny, Casey husband, had dug a small trench for rain run off. Yes- you have - I hit the trench fell and went *** over teakettle. After the dust settled and the laughter of my loving and caring niece- who was in my will- asked if I was hurt- only my pride and of course, my knees. I think that Manny may have to haul in some more gravel as I think I dented their driveway. After it seemed that it was not the day to put the kites in flight- Little John asked if he could go inside and play- I thought that was a wonderful idea. After all of that excitement I think it is really true there is no place like home-

March 3, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Pinocchio had Jiminy Cricket to help him make decisions. I always thought that he was Pinocchio’s conscience but maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was also a warning system as well. I think that I need Jiminy to follow me around. What has lead to me to this conclusion is that with dad’s devils sitting on every fence post just waiting to jab me and keep me in total chaos, I feel that I need Jiminy. Perhaps even more than Pinocchio. Let me explain what happened. I was feeling rather frisky the other day. The weather has been so nice and I was starting to get a little spring fever. I went to the feed store to pick up some salt blocks and some calf feed. I have done this many, many times so I am not unaccustomed to what I need to do. I backed to truck to the dock and got out visited with the feed man telling him what I needed. When I got on the dock and I noticed that I left about a foot or so gap between the back of the truck and the dock. Sensing that I should go back down and back it closer to the dock- but I thought that I would be careful and it would not be necessary. Since the feed man did not say anything I figured it would be fine. I helped him load the salt blocks in my feeble way, thinking how good I was feeling. I was putting the sacked feed on the back- not as quickly as the feed man was but for an old fat woman I felt I was doing fairly well. While I was patting myself on my back, (figuratively speaking), I grabbed a sack of feed went to put my foot on the back of the truck and only found air. I fell off the dock. Talk about a humiliating experience not to mention painful. I thought that maybe the earth shook and might have gone out of orbit. I bounced back up that told the concerned man that I was fine, thinking that after I got back in the truck I just might die. But actually, it did not hurt me near as bad as I thought it should. Before anyone thinks that the feed store clerk should have done something different that is certainly not the case. I heard that still small teeny-tiny voice that said I should have backed the truck closer to the dock- so it was no ones fault but my own- Reflecting back I am so grateful that I was the one to take the tumble rather than the feed man. I would have felt really bad and it would have been my responsibility. I guess that I do have a Jiminy Cricket but like Pinocchio I did not listen to him. I have a couple of t-shirts that I like to wear- one says ‘I know that the voices are not real but they have some really good ideas’ and then I have another one the reads ‘Four out of five voices say eat the chocolate’. I think that maybe we should stop a listen to our own ‘Jiminy’s’ and maybe there will be a lot less pain in the world. Possibly there is hope for me and someday -maybe just maybe -I will become a real girl.

Feb. 16, 2009

I feel the need to give you a Valentine report. This year I did not have to buy my own roses- Jim and the kids sent me 6 beautiful roses. Life is good at the Blundell household.
Since it has been unseasonably warm I am expecting the Killdeers to show up early this year. The little bird is due to be seen running up and down the creek bottoms and running around the stock tanks on the 20th of February. I hope that he does not show up just to freeze his little tail feathers off, but that has not stopped him before.
We had the pleasure of the company of Jim’s Uncle Larry and Aunt Pasty Blundell Sunday evening. They live in south-western Colorado. It is so much fun to visit with them. They spent the night with us as they were going to a funeral in Greensburg on Monday afternoon. Larry has the most entertaining stories. Then Aunt Pasty tells us what really happened. He has the same kind of luck that we have endured through the years and does not mind telling us about the predicaments he finds himself. Some of them are really funny now that we know that he survived. He married very well, Aunt Pasty is a gem. She is a great rancher’s wife and Larry actually appreciates all that she does for him. Their children do not live too far away so Larry and Pasty get to enjoy the grandkids. Since Larry grew up in the Springfield area he has other family close by as well. On their ranch they have elk, antelope, deer and all kinds of wildlife with all kinds of stories that pertain to each species. They have about three times as many cattle as we have but they have eight or nine times more land than we operate. One of Jeff’s favorite stories is how they feed cattle in extreme conditions. When they need to feed the cattle in an emergency, such as blizzards, they burn the needles off of the prickly pear cactus with propane burners for the cattle to eat. But with the cost of propane, it is not as feasible as it was years ago. Uncle Larry was telling us about burning the cactus needles and how the cattle really like to eat the once pokey plant, but he said that it was not as much fun as it sounds. I might no know much-- but I do know that does not sound like fun.

Feb. 10, 2009

Valentines Day is upon us once again. Romance is in the air or so they say. The guineas are running in circles and chasing each other. At our house we say that it is ‘twitter-paitting’ season. The term comes from the Disney movie ‘Bambi’. Soon there will be a guinea sitting on a nest full of eggs then the little hatchlings will show themselves. Ah- the circle of life.
I just love the comic strip the ‘Lockhorns’, the TV sitcom ‘Everyone Loves Raymond’, ‘Two and Half Men’ and other shows that people get themselves in a predicament and in thirty short minutes they resolve the issues in a odd and comical ways. It seems that I take a lot of pleasure in other people’s misery.
Misery loves company or so the story goes- My story is not so much misery as Achhhhh!
Jim came into the kitchen and noticed that I had the silk roses he had given me a year or so ago. These roses have been out most all of the time- but he chose this week to let me know that they look as good now as they did when he gave them to me- Having spent 32 Valentine Days with this man I knew just exactly what he was getting at- I told that they were very nice but I am sure the flowers that I pick out for myself and let him pay for will be just as pretty. I am learning a few tricks of my own.
The other day I received a little ‘ditty’ that I found entertaining I hope that you do, too. It is entitled ‘And then the fight started…’ the author is unknown.
My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping channels. She asked, 'What's on TV?' I said, 'Dust.' And then the fight started... My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.' I bought her a scale. And then the fight started... When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace expensive... so, I took her to a gas station. And then the fight started... I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first. "I'll have the strip steak, medium rare, please." He said, "Aren't you worried about the mad cow?" Nah, she can order for herself." And then the fight started... A woman is standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror. She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.' The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's darn near perfect.' And then the fight started..... My wife asked me if a certain dress made her butt look big. I told her not as much as the dress she wore yesterday and then the fight started..... A man and a woman were asleep like two innocent babies. Suddenly, at 3 o'clock in the morning, a loud noise came from outside. The woman, bewildered, jumped up from the bed and yelled at the man 'Holy crap. That must be my husband!' So the man jumped out of the bed; scared and naked jumped out the window. He smashed himself on the ground, ran through a thorn bush and to his car as fast as he could go. A few minutes later he returned and went up to the bedroom and screamed at the woman, 'I AM your husband!' The woman yelled back, 'Yeah, then why were you running?' And then the fight started..... Saturday morning I got up early, quietly dressed, made my lunch, grabbed the dog, and slipped quietly into the garage. I hooked up the boat up to the truck, and proceeded to back out into a torrential downpour. The wind was blowing 50 mph, so I pulled back into the garage, turned on the radio, and discovered that the weather would be bad all day. I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. I cuddled up to my wife's back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, 'The weather out there is terrible.' My loving wife of 10 years replied, 'Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that?' And then the fight started…

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Jan.13, 2009

This week is a first for me- I am going to Hays to help Jennifer get settled into her apartment. She is going to school there and working for Wal-mart. Giz helped get her moved in and I will be going to help put on the finishing touches. Jennifer and Giz are both more than capable of doing it themselves, but they let me come and put in my two cents. Giz will be home alone for awhile and Jennifer will come home when she is able. She is taking a full load of classes and working a lot of hours- I can tell that all of this is for the younger generation. She makes me tired just talking to her about her schedule.
My father-in-law called me bright and early Sunday morning to talk about the article in the Dodge City paper about the dairy farmer who is worried that he is going to be taxed for cattle gases. I know that people think that this tax will never pass- no pun intended- but we really do need to keep our eyes on this silly tax. If the EPA gets this through beef and milk prices will go through the roof and no one will be able to afford to buy these products. Does not look good for the ranchers and dairies.
The weather has been great for having baby calves- We had to help a young heifer Friday. She picked a good day to have her baby- everything worked just right and the calf and momma are doing fine- she was one of those heifers- who had problems understanding just how the calving process worked. After it was all done and over with she seemed happy with the outcome. She made me think of young people when they are to have their first child. They really want a baby but not quite sure how everything is going to work out after they have started the pregnancy. I love to hear new parents and their ideas of how they are going to raise their family. They have all of these ideas and the ideas are not much different than the ones we have before we had our first kids. When you start out you think that you are going to really change the world. Then reality sets in after you have bought the bundle of joy home. Instead of changing the world you just pray that you will survive the next day.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Feb. 3, 2009

Mom and I went to the movies last Saturday. I always think that we will go to the movies more than we do, but it seems that something comes along and we unable to go. I must say that our theater is so nice and I think that most of the credit must go to Debi Sherman. I hope people let her know that all of her efforts do not go unnoticed. She puts in a lot of time at the theater when she could be doing something for herself. So Debi- Thank you for all that you do to make Coldwater a better place to live.
I received a call from my Tuscan, Arizona friend- He was telling me that the Gem and Mineral Show is going on in Tuscan this month. He said that there are vendors from all over the world there to sell their products. He was telling me about all of the different and beautiful rocks and gems that would be there. I think that it would be fun to go to something like that and take in all of the festivities. My family has a love for rocks as well. My Granddad Cary loved rocks. So much so that he bought a rock saw and polisher and he had a little building just for his rock equipment. The little six sided building was known as the ‘rock house’ He had all kinds of equipment. He made jewelry and a paper weights with a pen attached to the slab of rock he had sliced. He would always have a pocket full of necklaces and bracelets that he would give to children and almost anyone who showed any kind of interest in the rocks he had set. When he went to the hospital he would tell Grandma to bring a certain piece of jewelry or paperweight so he could give it to a particular nurse.
I do not know much about gem and minerals but he taught me all that I know about rocks, and he had a way of making you want to know more. Grandparents have a way of teaching grandkids things where no one else would have a chance. Thinking about sitting in Granddad’s ‘rock house’ brings back a flood of memories. He would let me pick out a rock and he would cut it and then he would let me shape it and then polish it. Sometimes he would bring in a rock that he had found out in the pasture or wheat field and say ‘come on, let’s see what it looks like on the inside’. Usually it was prettier on the inside than the out - some were not so pretty on the inside but then there were rocks that were the same inside and out. Come to think about it rocks are not all that much different than people.
Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Jan. 20, 2009
I was sad to hear that Diana Smith Bilyeu passed away. She was a little older than me and I did not know her well. In high school she was friends with Betty and Dorothy Gobel. Whenever she would go out to visit them she would have to go by our house. We had a little cocker spaniel named ‘Butchie’ and she loved to chase cars. As everyone knows if your dogs chase cars he will catch one sooner or later and that will be the end of him. We lost a couple of dogs to the road. Sometimes people would stop and tell you that they had ran over our dog and sometimes they would drive on by. Well, Butchie caught Diana. I can remember this so clear- Diana's car was pulled off to the side of the road by the barn and she was holding and petting Butchie. She had cried and felt so bad. I do not know how long she had been there but I think that it must have been quite a while.I know that it ruined her day and her visit with her friends. The worst thing was that it did not kill the little car chaser- it paralyzed she from the lower back down. The dog did not learn her lesson she still tried to chase cars. Instead of running from the house to the road she stayed closer to the barn as it was by the road and she would pull her hiney and try to catch yet another car. Dad hated to put anything down- his theory of ‘where there is life there is hope’ but in this case, sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done. But I always had a soft spot for Diana - she could have left little ‘Butchie’ by the side of the road, but she stayed and comforted the little car chaser. We thought that Diana must have had a really kind and tender heart.
We lost Mary Pierce, a good family friend early Tuesday morning. Her husband, Bob, and my folks were friends. We had many good times with Bob and Mary. Mary liked more sophisticated music than our family. I always she added a little class where ever she went. She taught music in Wilmore my sixth grade year. We had 17 kids in school; it was 3rd thru 6th grade. She had me sing a solo in the spring program. She had a way of getting you to do what she needed you to do without any pressure. It was not until the time of the program that I realized that I had to sing by myself. I remember being really scared but all you had to do was to look at Mrs. Pierce and all of your fears went away. Then she talked me in to singing to a ladies group in our church called the ‘Dorcas Circle’. I will never forget it- I sang ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’. I was terrified but Mary got me through it. She gave piano lessons to many kids in the area.
Mary always had her hair fixed perfectly. Many of you remember the Wilmore Halloween Carnival. Everyone in the area came to the carnival it did not matter where you went to school - everyone that attended had a wonderful time. At the carnival you could buy little sacks of confetti. Dad loved to throw confetti on everyone he got near. Mary had just got her hair fixed at the beauty parlor. This was during the beehive hair style days. Mary’s hair was done just perfect-Dad dumped a whole bag over her. I thought that she might cry- there was confetti all over her and it went down in her hair. I bet she still had a few little pieces of confetti when she went back to the beauty parlor the next week. Needless to say that Mom had a talking to with dad. But if he had to do all over - he would have done it again. He loved getting reactions from people- Mary certainly gave him one.
Mary had Parkinson Disease-Parkinson’s is a cruel and awful illness, I guess most ailments are horrible. Mary was loved by many people, but we know that she is in a better place. I bet she is singing her heart out to the angels.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Jan 27, 2009
It is nice that the January weather has been kind to us considering it is in the middle of winter. I guess the Good Lord knew that we needed some sunshine. I appreciate that as we have to windmills to repair. I think that windmills must get a virus. It seems that once one mill has problems another one will quit working as well - it may not need the same repair but it will be needing some type of attention. Working on windmills in the extreme temperatures is not something I like to do. In the summer, the pipes and the wrenches get so hot that they are too hot to touch barehanded and you pray for a breeze to cool you down. As you pull a mill we normally get water on us which feels pretty good even though it may not be the kind of water you want poured all over you but when you are hot cranky you will take what you can get. I get really cranky when I get hot and I think that there are times that Jim either would like to drown me if he could find enough water or just hit me in the head with a hammer and tell God I died. There is not a jury in the world who would convict him as I am sure he could prove it was justifiable homicide.
Dad had almost every kind of you would need to pull a mill. He had a little set of pipe wrenches that we used for the jet rod. He was very particular about these tools- he just knew that I would drop one down in the well and that would not be a good thing. If Dad was worried about something like ruining a windmill he had his ways to letting you know that life would never be the same if you were responsible for dropping something down in the well. When we would get done with the well work he would make sure that all of his tools were accounted for and put in the ‘well bucket’. Dad was really organized in his own way- some might even say he had organized chaos- which was really the truth. But he did have some things that you would never even think about not putting away- His little well pipe wrenches were extra special so they were always in the well bucket.
In the winter the wind will not stop during the time you are in the process of pulling rope. Then when you unscrew the pipe -it is always full of water and you get soaked. The moisture that you get on you is not a blessing as it can freeze. Then your gloves freeze to the rope, the pipe, the wrenches and anything else that the devil thinks will make you cuss. Not to mention that your fingers and toes are so cold. Your eyes water, your nose runs, which is no help as it just adds to the freezing moisture on your face. and you are just flat out miserable. If it is at all possible we try to wait for a break in the weather. But I hate to haul water it is wet and cold and it is something that I would like to try to avoid. The strange thing is that all the while you are pulling the mill that there is a strong current of air - whether it is a scorching, burning, dry, chafing or bitter cold, frosty, and skin stinging wind. But as soon as you are finished and you want to see if you were successful in your efforts the wind stops. I mean it stops dead still and you cannot buy a breeze. It is just one to those things that make you go ‘huhhh’.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Jan. 06, 2009

We have started a new year. I cannot say that I was unhappy to say good-bye to 20008. I think that this year will be one of new beginnings for all of us. I will not go into the president issues as I think that topic is totally exhausted. I was listening to the radio and they were telling about how part of the ‘bail out’ was being spent. It just made me angry and that is one reason I do not like to listen to the news. I know that it is like putting your head in the sand- but I figure that there is nothing I could have done before and there is nothing that I can do now- so I might as well get over it.
I can remember going to new year eve parties when I was a growing up. When Bernard Plumb was our minister - his family liked parties. His wife Betty was a wonderful cook and she always had good ideas for throwing a party. Of course, the rest of the church helped out a lot. We had new years eve parties at the church and at midnight the adults would let the kids ring the bell at the church. I thought that was really ‘cool’.
Thinking about all of those who were involved with the activities at the church I realize how many have gone on before us. Many of them I miss even though they have been gone for many years. I will probably write more as our church will be 100 years old this year and we are planning on a whing-ding, Memorial Day. Bernard Plumb was one of the first to call to see what he could contribute to the festivities.
We have started the new year off with a new puppy- I know that I was going to wait but I found a pup that I have been wanting and the price was right so we took an excursion and picked up our new addition. ‘Gus’ is a Bernese Mountain Dog. He has just turned eight weeks old and he is adorable. He is completely different than any dog I have ever owned. We had to leave him home alone Sunday and I told Jim if something would have happened to him while we were gone I would have to search the world for another one and no one would ever be the wiser.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dec. 30, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
I hope that you had a bountiful Christmas both in gifts and family time. We had our daughter, Jennifer and her husband Giz along with Mom and Joe for lunch. We had a nice time together. We had gotten a 3-D puzzle of penguins and snowflakes to put together after lunch on Christmas Day. It proved to be challenging and I found it slightly irritating.
It was Jeff and Chelsea’s year to go to her family on Christmas day. One thing when your kids marry you must share them with the other side of the family. In our situation with both parents living close to together is makes is easy for the kids to spend time with both sides. Chelsea is very cautious that they spent the same amount of time with us as they were going to spend with her family- We told her that life is way to short to keep score. We are happy to get them when it works out the best- but it was nice that she wanted us to feel loved and not left out.
We had a nice time in the afternoon with my brother, Virgil, and his wife, Karen. They dropped by after they had a good Christmas meal with Karen’s mom. We caught up on their busy lives and heard stories of their grandbabies. Virgil and Karen think that having grandkids is one of the best things that have ever happened to them- I am thinking that I will think so too, when that day arrives for us.
Always when the holidays come along with the good there is always something sad that happens as well. This holiday season was that way for us- many of you have inquired about our dog situation- and have asked about our new puppy- I think that maybe I am not meant to have a dog at this point in my life- We were really enjoying our little girl- but she got really sick and even though we went to the vet we still lost her last night. I knew that she was not feeling a bit well and she was not eating very much. I am waiting to hear back from the blood tests that were taken on Friday. I just hate being home alone when Jim is at work and when I feed cattle, I like having a companion with me. But I think I should wait and let my heart heal up- before getting another little furry friend. I think that I have had enough death for a while.
Speaking of death- my mom keeps a tally of all the people that have died in the past year- that were close friends or others that were acquaintances - but her tally for the year is now up to 59 for the year 2008. I am ready to see the year 2008 behind me. I know that one way to tell that you are getting older is that when you get the paper one of the first things you check out are the obits. Maybe it is to see if your name is there-

Dec 23, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
By now I am sure that you have completed your Christmas shopping- I actually got mine done early for me- meaning before Christmas Eve. I was having some problems with getting in the Christmas spirit this year. I just could not face pulling out all of the Christmas decorations- while shopping I found a small cheap little fiber optic tree. I also found cheap small ornaments to decorate the little tree. It is great. One reason that I needed something a little different this year is the puppy is driving me crazy- Having her in the house is like having a very curious two year old turned loose in my home. I can remember when Jennifer and Jeff were little and got into everything and scattered anything they could get their little fingers wrapped around- Dad called the kids ‘thrashers’. Well, they pale in comparison to our little Jezebel. Dad would not appreciate our little Jezzie as she is into everything- she loves to find a book and rip the covers off and as many pages as she can until she is stopped. She loves trash and candy wrappers- I have forgotten what it is like to have a puppy in the house again. She just makes me tired. But I am not lonely or bored or sleeping or getting any work done while Jim is at work. Wrapping presents proved to be a chore in itself. She loves to run off with the scissors. I have told her not to run with scissors- but she is just like most kids - she must be told over and over. The wrapping paper she found lots of fun to rip and tear into many pieces. The ribbon was one of her favorites. I had problems finding where she had hidden the ribbon. I have enough trouble trying to find the things that I have misplaced with out having her helping me loose things.
We are going to have a small family Christmas this year. I love having large family gatherings, but having just a few is nice, too. You can enjoy everyone more than when there are so many that you do not get the chance to visit with them. But we are looking forward to celebrating Christ’s birth. I hope that you all have a wonderful and a very Merry Christmas!

Dec. 17, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
WOW!! Is it cold? When the wind chill is below zero it is cold - I do not care who you are it is cold. I can take the cold better if the wind was not blowing (duh- I am just like everyone else). The wind in this case is not our friend. It does not look like that it is going to warm up anytime soon. As bad as I hate to be hot and sweaty- being cold and frozen is not much better. I really do not have that much to complain about as I do not have to be out in the elements as long as some people. I do not know how they take the cold for hours on end. Those people have my admiration. The only plus to being cold as compared to being hot is that I am not as mean and grouchy. Probably still mean and grouchy just not as much. I was chopping ice out of the stock tank and my fingers got so cold so quick- I hate it when it hurts to bend my fingers- it is like they will shattered if I move them a lot. But you know that they will feel better if you can just get the blood to flow and they will warm back up. It seems that it does not take a great deal of the cold weather to get me to yell ‘calf rope’. I had always heard that fat people were warmer than thin people- I have found that is a huge lie- I have been both. When I was thin I could handle the cold weather better than I can now that I have many more pounds - some might say insulation- they would be wrong. There is nothing insulted about fat- I figure that all of my fat gets cold, it congeals and hardens and this is very hard to thaw out. Not being able to handle the cold has been a bitter disappoint to me as Dad could always take the cold. I thought maybe that came from his age- well-- that is another thought that was completely wrong. I do get warm in surges- from time to time but that is another story. We could be in the same place and he would be dressed for winter but so was I and I think that I had many more layers than he did. He never - well- hardly ever wore gloves. I had gloves and scarves but I could reach over and touch his bare hands and they would be sooo warm. I could feel the heat through my layers of gloves. Jim and Jeff can handle the cold they do not always were a coat- in fact- one time one of the Principals bought Jim a coat because he thought he did not have one to wear. Little did he know that Jim had a closet full of winter wear that he seldom used. I can tell you that as hardy as Jim and Jeff are they were bundled up this week. When they tell me that it is cold - that means I do not want to stick my head outside. I guess that it just means that all the men in my life are really tough and I am a weenie.

Dec. 9, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Dennies just might put a disclaimer on this article so I will do it for him. These are certainly my ideas and do not in any way reflect the thoughts and beliefs of this newspaper.
Our government is in the process of trying to bail out the auto industry and I would not even try to tell the powers that be how to do such a thing. I figure that is not my department and I should mind my own knittin’. I would not attempt to try to tell someone how to do their job or even advise them on something I do not even understand. I think that it would be nice if others would follow suit. I also have decided that with all of our time saving devices it has given people too much time to think. After all busy hands are happy hands.
This week I have been unhappy with an article Jim was reading- he was telling me he read an article that the EPA thinks that cattle are giving off too much gas. Who could possibly come up with this ridicules idea? They must be joking- First of all can you imagine who they hired to meter the gas off of a cow? I would love to meet the guy who had that job. The EPA would like for all of the cattle owners to pay a gas tax per cow. It was quite a sum of money they were talking about charging us. Maybe we could cork the cows. Then take them daily to an air tight facility that we would have to build at our expense and uncork the girls and let it fly. This is almost as silly as wanting to the land owners to fence off the rivers and streams as a cow might once in awhile potty in the water. My feeling on that is that if they can keep the fish, who never leave the water,- the birds, ducks and geese from doing what they do best in the water then we will talk about the cows. Have you ever cleaned a fish tank? I rest my case-
If it is toxic gas that they are worried about- maybe they should be more concerned with a van load of kids who has just over ate on pizza- candy and junk food. Now that is lethal.