Monday, March 27, 2006

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 4-04-06

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 4-04-06
Easter Season is here again. This time of year is endearing to me. Do you remember when this was when we bought our white shoes? And new spring dresses with a bonnet and white gloves. Oh, Easter was wonderful. We got to boil eggs and decorate them, take them to school and some of the older kids would hide them and we would have an Easter egg hunt. Sometimes some of the kids did not boil there eggs and we would have leakage, if you know what I mean.
At our house we never ate the eggs I have heard that many people did eat their colorful eggs. But Mom was not fond of the idea. On Easter Morning the Easter Bunny would have been at our house and hid the eggs that we had colored. Then we would have such fun in looking for the eggs and a few little extra things would be hidden as well. After that we were off to church. This is where the new dress, bonnet, purse, shoes and white gloves came into play. My Grandma Cary always said that our dresses should be purple. One year Grandma and I had dresses made of the same purple material. I was so proud to match her. When church was over we would go to Uncle David’s, our house, or the Grandparents house for a wonderful meal we would alternate each year. When Jim and I were first married we went to Uncle David’s and Aunt Theo’s home for Easter Dinner. Aunt Theo always had a good dinner prepared and there was a bunch of us. Jim said that she always had something exotic to eat. But exotic to Jim was duck or lamb. Aunt Theo always had 2 meats- something like chicken or beef and then something a little different. And that was exotic to Jim, but it pleased her to know that Jim thought she was a good cook. So this year I wish you all a HAPPY EASTER and to all you kids good luck in finding those eggs.

Country Gal March 28

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 3-28-06
I like to watch commercials. Which is a good thing since it seems that most of your favorite TV shows are mostly advertisements. But I have notice a sad change. The sign in a cafĂ© window that said “home cooking” was a plus and you would want to eat there as commercial food was not what most people were looking for. Now in the commercials they advertise that the canned soup is your favorite restaurant soup not what your grandmother made. This makes me little sad. Frankly, I have not been that impressed with soup from restaurants unless it was homemade.
Here in our community we are in a mother lode of great cooks. We have some ladies in Comanche County that I would put up against any famous restaurant. One of the greatest compliments that I ever get is when someone asks for a recipe. The only thing is that most of the time mine is not original; they are some that someone else was gracious enough to give to me. I have a couple of Bob Pierces recipes. He was one of the best cooks I have had the pleasure to work with. It gives you a nice feeling when you are making something special and you remember that person. Bob and I cooked at the Christian Church many times. Bob always said what he thought.
I have been accused of putting way to much thought in food. When we go on vacation I like to plan our trip by meals and where we are going to eat. When we went to Jennifer’s wedding, back in 2003, on the way home I wanted to go to a restaurant where they advertise the hand thrown roll. I had been thinking about it for days. This particular eating establishment was in Springfield Mo. And as most sportsmen know that there is a Bass Pro Shop in Springfield there, as well. So on the way we had discussed purchasing his gun and I was going to eat in a neat place. I had my taste buds all worked up for ‘Lamberts’ and Jeff was determined to buy a gun. By the time we got to Springfield it was getting late, we drove up to Lamberts and it was packed out. The guys started to whine that it would take to long to get seated and they would not have time to shop in the sports store. So being the only girl in the car I was out voted. So instead of eating in a restaurant with a fun atmosphere they made me eat at a sandwich shop that was across the street. For some ridiculous reason they thought it almost the same thing why after all I could see the building from where I was sitting. So I thought that we could shop at Walmart for firearms and call it a great day! But then again I was out voted and we went to the Sports store. The men did not want to wait to eat but they did not mind waiting 45 minutes for someone to help them with their purchase. That place was so busy you could not move without bumping into someone. I was not that impressed. Now I am still waiting to go back to Springfield and do what I want to do.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 03-21-06

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 03-21-06
When our kids got out of school I thought that the need for a mini-van was over. I was sadly mistaken. Now that we have a pair of Great Danes the need has returned. You may ask why. Well, if you ever hauled a pair of Danes in the back-seat of your car you would understand. It was just like when the kids were little. Jennifer went with me to take the dogs to Hutchinson the see Doc Lindsay. Josie, the female Dane, stretches out across the back seat with leaves little room for the male, Jake. One the reasons Jennifer went along is because Jake still thinks he is a lap dog. He is now over 100 pounds and since my lap is dimishing I do not have room for him especially if I am driving. Josie rides much better but Jake wants the window up then he wants it down, he is sitting on Josie or he is sticking his head in the back window, or he tries to stretch out on the floor in the back. It was certainly an interesting ride. We were really tired when we got home. Now I understand people who have dog trailers and special ways to transport their animals. It is not just for the comfort of the people it is for the comfort of the dog as well.
This incident sort of reminded me of when Dad and I hauled our lambs to market. Mom stayed home and prayed. We had to take them to the train in Maize, Kansas. It was extremely exciting as we never went to the Wichita area often. And we got to eat in a restaurant; if memory serves we ate in Attica. We did not eat out often and hardly ever just Dad and me. The down side was that we were in the pick-up, which is a wonder that we made it, which was one of the many reasons Mom was praying. The sheep were loaded in the stock racks in the bed of the pick up, this was before we had trailers. Dad would put one layer of lambs on the floor of the stock racks then he would put a floor of boards on top of them then another layer of lambs, I think we ended up with three layers of lambs. We were quite a sight to see. People would pass us and honk or pull us over as we had a lamb with his leg hanging out or it appeared that we were about to lose our load, which would not have been impossible. We terrorized most of the towns that we went through. It seemed like it took us four hours to get to Maize. We had to leave early in the morning as we had to meet the train on time and we certainly did not want to miss the train. We made it thanks to Moms prayers and it was a great father and daughter time. I think now days they call it quality time. It seems that we had a lot of that. I have a few more stock rack stories but that is another column or two.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Country Gal

Country Gal
Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 3-14-06
It is St. Patrick’s Day again. Did your family have any traditions? We did not have anything that we did every year but I remember one year when my grandma put out her garden. This was at a time in our life when things were not the best as my granddad was confused and I think Grandma needed the garden to give her something else to think about. I think she must have been in her eighties and Dad called Charlie Lenertz to plow up her garden for her. Charlie had a little Ford tractor and it was small enough to get in her garden spot and her garden was large enough to require more horse power than we could muster to dig it up with a spade. It made easy work until I found out that we had to smooth it up with rakes. That was not so easy. But I was kind of a whiner, I know that is hard to believe but fact is stranger than fiction. The plowing needed to be done by early March as Grandma said that we to plant the potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day by the light of the moon. And we did. It is a fond memory that I have thinking about Mom, Dad, Grandma and I out in the garden in light of the moon planting all those potatoes. It seems that we planted two or three rows of spuds. When I moved back I thought that I could carry on the Cary garden. That is when I discovered that I have not only one black thumb but two. I tried to garden like Grandma but I had to learn that there was only one Alta Cary. Grandma not only had a vegetable garden she also had two or three flower beds. I tried but I just can not get it done. I would like to blame the grasshoppers but I think it is more than bugs. I bet Alta could have outsmarted them. In the spring I just want to plant everything. Oh I get big ideas, this is the year for a nice big garden, then when it gets hot and the harvest winds start to blow it loses its appeal. I think there is a word for that but I would rather not hear it.
It was a sad day when I heard on the news that Don Knott’s had died. Don Knott’s brought a lot of joy and happiness too many people. He was a wonderful ‘Barney Fife’. One of my favorite lines was “nip it- nip it in the bud.” He will truly be missed.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Country Gal-by Vanita Blundell 2-28-06

Country Gal-by Vanita Blundell 2-28-06
My family is upset with the dogs in our family. Many years ago Jeff rescued a lab cross puppy out of the dog pound. We named him Mutt so we had Mutt and Jeff roaming out in the pastures and doing whatever a boy and his dog might do. Since Jeff was a Calvin and Hobbs fan he had lots of ideas, most of them were: let’s say creative. I could say more but I just do not have enough time right now to tell you about it. Mutt on the other hand was a little more helpful. Jack, the old dog that we had taught the pup how the kill raccoons and skunks. Now before all of you nature lovers get excited, the coons were a real problem and I do not think we put much of a dent in the population. The dogs just got part of the ones that were doing what they should not be doing. So Mutt was a wonderful asset to our family. The problem started with Mutt attempting to howl with the coyotes. He is not very good. He makes the most horrible noise than you can imagine. The howling goes as long as the coyotes howl. Even the neighbors have heard him from their home.
We took in Moms dog, Billy who barks at everything and anything. The big thing with him is thunder, not that we have had a lot of that lately, but when it does he will chase the thunder all over the place. If thunder could be caught Billy would have had it. He has not gotten the knack of howling but he can out bark any wild animal. You would think that they would get hoarse from all of the noise they create.
Now that I got the Great Dane, Jake, Mutt has taken on the task of teaching Jake how to howl as well. Mutt should know that are some things that must not be passed on; howling and moaning is one of them. Jennifer makes sure that the Dane is in the house before she has her first attempt to sleep since he does not howl in the house, yet. Mutt could come in but since he is getting on in years instead of killing skunks he just annoys them at the front door of the house and of course he gets quite smelly not to mention the front door. I do not know if you realize that when a skunk sprays, if hits vinyl siding it is the most awful yellow oil that is almost impossible to remove. Jim and I have been trying to get it off but it is just terrible. If you come to my front door you will not want to stay long.
We do love our dogs but just like anything else they can be real stinkers.