Monday, July 31, 2006

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell---- 8-01-06

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell---- 8-01-06
The old saying that you can never go back home. This is so true even if you do not go far away. When I was a kid we had a tree about ¾ of a mile from the house, by a small creek that we called the ‘picnic tree’. I would take a walk or go on horseback with a small picnic- I packed Miracle Whip with green olives sandwiches and if I was lucky I would have a Pepsi. My favorite time to go was after a rain and the water would run down the gyp and make little waterfalls. I thought it was just beautiful just like the waterfalls in Colorado. Actually, it was nothing like the falls in Colorado. But I had never been there so I had nothing to compare it to. But it was still pretty and unique. Under the tree it was gyp and very little grass. I would spread out a cloth and sit down and open my sack to see what Mom had put in it. I thought that I was really living. Sometimes if I walked Mom would go with me and we would look at the creek and collect some rocks. Now the ‘picnic tree’ is gone and the creek is almost dried up. There is a little water but not much. Now I am going to have to move the cattle out or start hauling water. This pasture is a little rugged and you can see large pieces of rock that have fallen off the overhangs it is mostly gyp. I always wondered if it fell all at once or if it fell slowly and how much noise did it make. Kind of like the saying, if a tree fell in the forest and no one was there to hear it does it still make a sound? Jim and I were out checking things out and there was this huge rock that we both thought would be neat to have I our back yard. The trick would be to get it loaded and hauled home. The boulder is probably better off where it is. You can look and see how the pastures are continually changing.
Keeping the changing of the pastures in mind I, have some family who think that they know where some buried treasure might be. It was in the late 1800’s that a gold shipment was lost and some think that they might know where it is. I do not think that after over 100 years that the landmarks are even close to being the same. The land has changed not only in looks but with owners as well. But it might be fun to look for it.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 7-25-06

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 7-25-06
I do not know about you- but where is the summer going? I have had a busy week just like the rest of you. I know that the Chili Peppers were on duty. I was honored to be asked to emcee the Mini Relay for Life at the Heritage Park, Saturday evening. The Chili Peppers were serving ice cream sundaes along with organizing the Relay. That is an enormous responsibility to under take. I hope that they do it next year and that more people come out to see just what they are all about. The thing is - Cancer is no respecter of person- it can rear its ugly head and affect anyone and their families.
I am not sure everyone is aware of all the work these gals do. It is not just the ladies - they include their husbands and families to help them accomplish their mission. They put a lot of hard work on making and selling over 250 luminaries. The luminaries are just a small part of what they do to raise money for the American Cancer Society. These 12 ladies have been very diligent in their quest to help stamp out Cancer. I do know that if you hear that The Chili Peppers are serving a meal or concessions or whatever- it will be done in the best possible way. It could very well be the some of the very best cooks in the county that are involved.
This weekend we got to meet Jims great Aunt Dorothy Smart (not just everyone can say that they have a Smart side). We did not have a lot of information on Jim’s side of the family. She has a wealth of stories and history on Jim’s grandmother’s side. Jims Uncle Larry and Aunt Pasty Blundell brought her out to our home. They were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary by taking a vacation to Nashville, Tenn. They stopped at our home going and coming back.
We have completed the deck construction. I need to paint or stain the railing yet, but we got to enjoy it with the family. I think that the deck was a great idea. The dogs just love it in the late mornings and afternoon they get under it and in the evenings they stretch out on top of it.
One young lady told me that it is a good idea to seal off the underneath part as they had armadillos living under theirs. So we might need to do that.
Now I am going to have to paint the trim of the house now. It is just one thing after another.
I thought that I would leave you with this one thought- Aunt Patsy brought me a little sign to hang in my house that read- A day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel. Does she know us or what?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 18, 2006

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 7-18-06
When I asked my kids in Sunday School what exciting thing they were going to do this week. One little boy said the Ice Cream Social was one of his favorite things to do. I can remember when I was a kid the Ice Cream Social was almost as exciting as a holiday. We were curious what kind of ice cream would be there. I do not know why I was so excited -I always had chocolate and it usually was my moms. I could have had it at home but it always was better to eat it with my friends. Mom had her own milk and cream as most everyone else did, too. The kicker was ice- We would get the ice on Sunday after church from the locker. No, the locker was not open on Sunday- they had a coin operated vending machine. It was really neat when you could get this huge block of ice- I think it was 50 pound block- Dad would wrap in burlap and put it in the trunk of the car and hurry home. We must have put it in the freezer until time to use it. Dad would come in early and put the ice in the burlap sack and smash it to smithereens so we could put in the ice cream freezer. When we no longer had our own milk and cream Mom froze our own ice in gallon milk cartons. We always kept our ice cream bucket in the horse tank year around. It was not very desirable to look at since it was all mossy and - now that I think about it- it was really gross looking. After all that of that we still had to crank the ice cream- this was before electric freezers. I sat on the freezer and Dad would crank. Most of the time I had as much ice on me as there was in the freezer. I knew I was growing up when I could help Mom crank the ice cream. That way Dad could stay in the field a little longer. Mom and I would take turns cranking. She would do 50 turns then me - then as it got harder we would crank 25 turns - then 10 -then hopefully Dad would be in to see if it was hard enough to take the paddle out and repack the freezer so the ice cream could ripen. The most memorable ice cream social that I remember was the year that Dad had just gotten a different pick-up- bright orange. Mom and Dad put me in the back to keep the ice cream from turning over. Usually this time of year was very busy for us. We were trying to get the wheat ground worked and the feed planted. So Dad was not in an extremely good mood to start with. Mom was worried that we were going to be late and so Dad was not wasting anytime. When we got to the bridge by Dales the County was putting in a new bridge and the road was closed. Mom said she thought that we should turn around and go back just a little ways and take another route to town. Dad explained to her (in a tone that one never argued with but once) that they always put road closed but it really was not. Mom told me to hang on and Dad backed up and got a good run at the huge ditch where the bridge was to be and we went down at a fast rate of speed and went up bouncing and throwing dirt, dust and rocks everywhere. Keeping the ice cream freezer upright was a trick but I managed it somehow. After we got back on the road we just went on in to town just as if everything was just fine and dandy. Mom was a little frazzled and I was just that much closer to God. This was another experience that improved my prayer life.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 7-11-06

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 7-11-06
Music has been a big part of my life as I was growing up. I think that you can tell a lot about the times that we live in by the music that is written. Take the roaring 20’s it was a time that America was happy and the music showed it. The 20’s had the flappers and the music was lively. In the 30’s during the depression the blues were inspired. They sang of the hardships of the times. During war times songs like “Don’t Sit under the Apple Tree” were popular. The fifties were exciting with the sock hops. I remember some of Woodstock - the Beatles - Elvis- Porter Wagner- Buck Owens- Loretta Lynn - Alice Cooper -Pink Floyd (I thought I was a rebel for a while).
We lived over 20 miles from town so we had lots of time in the car going back and forth and we spent a lot of that time singing like ‘Found a Peanut’- ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ -‘White Coral Bells’. Mom taught me how to sing a round. Dad sang a lot also. When Dad would rock me to sleep he would sing the Fly song. Dad sang on horseback often. When he lived with and worked for Mr. and Mrs. S.A, Delair - Mrs. Delair taught him the song ‘the Unfortunate Man’. It was funny and fit Dad. I have never heard the song other than when Dad sang it, I don’t know if it was something that she wrote or something that she had learned as a child and passed it along to Dad. He liked to sing songs that would make me cry-like ‘Poor Charley’ and ‘The Baggage Coach Ahead’. He thought that it was so funny to see me bawling my eyes out about poor ol’ Charley dying and not being able to see his mother when the work is done this fall. Or about the poor baby crying on the train and the dad not being able to comfort the child because the mother was in the baggage coach in a coffin. I never could handle the song ‘Shep’. As I got older I heard the song the ‘‘The Letter Edged in Black’ - that song broke my heart, too. I got to thinking the other day Life is made up of music- When you are young you hear a song and think that you would like to have that sung at your birthday party then you hear a song when you are dating and you have your song then you hear a song that is just perfect for your wedding, After that you hear a song and think that you would like to have that song sung at your 50th wedding anniversary- years past and you hear a song that is near and dear to your heart and you think that is what I want sung at my funeral.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 7-4-06

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 7-4-06
This week I am getting all decked out. I have been wanting a deck since we built our home over ten years ago. I decided that it was time so I got on the internet and looked at a deck or two. We decided what kind of deck that we wanted and so we started to make out plans. I did not trust Jims drawings and Jim did not think I ideas were quite right - I called Home Lumber- and Mike saved the day- maybe even my marriage or possibly kept one of us from homicidal actions. Since Jim has the lumber from the old Grade School we are gong to put it to use. We looked at some plans for a deck and in big letters it said buy on Friday - build on Saturday - enjoy on Sunday. Well- that was a bold face lie. I was hoping to have it completed by the 4th but did not happen, but it should be done by the 7th. I am anxious to see what it will look like.
We had a great 4th of July. We had family and friends over for the evening. Jim and Jeff had gotten fireworks for the night show. The fireworks were pretty and it makes you wonder how any one thought to make a roman candle or any type of firework for that matter. I am guessing that it happened by accident. I can imagine that someone had some gunpowder and whatever else it takes and very nearly blew something up and it ended up becoming what we now call fireworks. This is one holiday that my sister does not come home for. She had too many incidents with firecrackers and she prefers to stay at home where she is safe and sound. In fact, she lives in a National Forest and no fireworks of any kind are allowed which makes her happy. Towards the end of our fireworks display we noticed that God was having one of his own. When lightening lit up the sky it made our fireworks look puny. It was nice to be reminded that He is still in control.