Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 27, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 27, 2007
We have survived another Spring Break. I am afraid that I might have broken Jim. I think that when he gets time off from work he must just shudder at the thought of what I have thought up for him to do.
We knew that we need to get our cattle work started and do all sorts of things around the house- but as usual we found other things that need our attention more.
It is amazing how vehicles break down at the same time. It is like a virus. I had two trucks with problems and I need the trucks, so Jim had to work on them.
We were sad to see our renter move to Kansas City. She had rented our house in town for 16 years. She was a wonderful renter and a great lady- she never-ever complained even when she needed too. I hope that she will be happy at her new home. But since she has been in the house I have not done much to the inside and it was in need of some updating. I am peeling off the old wall paper on the walls. The ceiling had to come down as it was sagging. But the great thing is that Jennifer and Giz had just purchased a sheet rock jack. They let us try it out. For those of who are unaware of what this is - it is a piece of equipment that lifts and holds sheetrock on the ceiling while you secure the sheetrock in place. I do not who invented the sheetrock jack but I truly hope that he is a very rich and happy man. It is a wonderful invention. Jim hardly needed me there to help him. I guess that you would appreciate it more if you ever help hold sheet rock up while someone else puts in the screws or nails. When we built our house it never failed just as we got the sheetrock in place one of us would have to go to the bathroom or the phone would ring. I can let a phone ring and return the call later. Jim cannot do that, he informed me that would be rude not to answer.
We made carpet covered T’s to help hold the sheetrock in place, that worked alright, but Jim seemed to like for us (Jennifer and I) to hold the heavy - awkward hunk of gyp with our arms ‘til they cramped, or heads ‘til our necks were nearly squished to our fannies. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it really hurts after awhile. If you just had a couple of pieces that would not be so bad - but a whole house is extremely painful. If I would have known that we could have purchased a jack, I would have gladly paid the price.
Now that Jim has the ceiling up,in the rental house, I need to get the ceiling taped, mudded, and sprayed. Jim is a wonderful fixer and can do almost anything - but mudding sheetrock is not he what he does best. Again, when we built our house, Jim would put on the mud and then asked me to sand it off. I told him if he wanted it off he should not have put it there in the first place. He told me that was very funny, and to get busy. If you have ever you sanded plaster, it is dry, of course, but when you breathe it in - your nose is moist - you know where I am going - a person can seal up their whole nasal passages not to mention ears and every pore in their skin. I very nearly plugged up my entire sinus system up with plaster- I blew out plaster balls for days. I know that you can get masks- but you look - you know strange- and I certainly would not want to look strange- and you breathe in your own hot air and that just does not sound healthy to me. And you know me I am all about style and health. So long story long- my marriage is not strong enough to go through that again.
But I have some painting, and various things to do. While we are doing all this, my next renter is being very patient and understanding. I hope that it will be ready for her soon.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 20. 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 20. 2007
I have gotten a bee in my bonnet, so to speak. As I was out feeding the cows the other day, I listening to the radio. The DJ was talking about tough women. And what made a woman strong and resilient. He was telling about a woman coach that had a baby then five hours later, she was on the court coaching her team. When asked if she had an assistant who could have taken over- she said that she did. I think that he was wrong. I do not think that she was tough- just more interested in her job. But that is just my opinion.
To me a tough woman is like the woman whose husband called in and said that his wife was tough. As he was in the military- he could be and has been, called away at any given time. She did not know where he would be going or when he would be back and while he is gone she takes over raising their family and never complains- Now that is tough.
I have always thought that women who choose to accept harsh realities that she cannot change and make the best of the situation- Whether it is the poor health of a mate or herself- Or if life has just dealt her an unfair hand. Those are strong women.
I have always said that I would have died 3 days out of Boston in the pioneer days. I have always thought women back then had such a hard life. They had nothing easy. Everything worked hard. Mom would get on to me if I ever complained about the laundry. I know that it is silly to whine about it - especially when Mom had seen her mother carry buckets of water into the washhouse, heat the water, and scrub the family clothes on the board. They heated the water on wood stoves, which had to be cut and not by a chain saw. We will not even talk about the starching and the ironing. I have my washer and dryer close to my bedroom upstairs and I can fold my clothes as I watch TV in a temperature controlled environment. Most of our clothes do not require ironing. I have a dishwasher- a vacuum sweeper- I have a good life. And most of us do - I just wonder if we really appreciate what we have.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 13, 2007

Winter is winding down, but I can not help but remember going to Grandma Cary’s house to do the laundry. We lived on the Perry Wall place and our water was not good to do the wash. All of the whites turned a rusty - red color. We somehow had no trouble in drinking the water. I always thought that was why none of us ever broke any arms or legs as we had plenty of minerals in our system. Grandma and Granddad had good water, so we took one day a week to do the laundry at their house.
I can remember very vividly going down the hill by the Frank Todd place, there were two double bridges. The bridges were low and more like culverts, but they were wooden had metal runners going across them. Sometimes when there was snow all you could see was the metal and you knew you were where you needed to be. Sometimes when it rained the water would wash the bridges out and Granddad would call us and we would have to go around the other way to get to their house. That was, of course, if the Mark Brown bridges had not washed out north of their home. If Dad was with us, he would wade out to see if the floor of the bridge was still there. If it was he would guide us across the water. I found all of this quite exciting. I could tell what happened if the bridge was out- but that is an entirely different story.
Even if it had snowed we braved the elements to get the laundry washed and dried, after all it was wash day. The Cary lane was usually snowed shut. If that was the case then we would go thru the pasture. I thought that Mom was really adventurous and brave to take the car in the pasture. Or maybe it was the frightened look Mom had on her face and the death grip she had on the steering wheel that truly intrigued me.
Grandma needed help with Granddad as his health was failing so Mom and I moved in with them the winter of 1970. In view of the fact that Grandma did not drive - she was in need of assistance. This was during the school year and given that the mail carrier and the school bus used the lane, the county raised the lane, which helped a great deal with the snow tribulations.
Now with all the improvements, the much needed elevated, cement bridges at the Todd Place and extra gravel on the roads, the elevation of the lane. All of which are really enjoyed and immensely appreciated - there is something that I miss. Something that I cannot put my finger on- Maybe just maybe - could it be a youthful eye?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 06, 2007

We were saddened by the loss of Lewis Reed. He will be missed by many. Dad teased Lewis something awful, and he took it all in stride. He was one of a very few people who always referred to my mom as Mrs. White. He always had a good heart towards his fellow man.
Joan Hickman called Myrna Bumgarner to let us know that my Aunt Hazel Renard had passed away. Joan, is Hazels oldest daughter. Hazel was 93 years old and was living in Mesa, Arizona. She had moved in with Joan and Bud as she was having some difficulty living by herself. Hazel was an older sister by two years to Dad. Bob White and Alma Haas are the only 2 of the 6 kids still living. Dad’s family has been very fortunate for the times they lived in. All 6 kids lived to see their children grown and many grandchildren. They survived World War I and II- the depression- Korean War- the Vietnam Conflict- the man on the moon - and all but Uncle Vic got the see the Millennium change. They have been truly blessed by a long and productive life.
Sometimes I think the world is trying to drive me crazy. I know that some might say that it would be a very short trip. But I was told in church Sunday that Daylight Saving time was this weekend. I was sure that it is too early to change our clocks up. As I was certain that it is the first Sunday in April. I am not sure who decides to deprive me of an hour of my much loved sleep, but I wish they would make up their mind.
I have heard many things for the time change and the arguments against it. I do like to have that extra time in the evenings - One lady was telling me that she really likes to have that extra daylight so she can run after a hard days work. That is not I want to do with my extra hour. Jim likes that extra time to get things done on the farm in the evenings.
When the kids were small it was difficult to get them in bed at night when the sun is still shining brightly in their bedrooms. For those who have to travel east in the mornings to work it I would think that it would be exasperating since you have fought with the sun in your eyes and just when it is about right somebody decides that we need to start all over again and put that pesky sun right back in your vision.
For the farmer, however the time change means very little. He gets up with the sun and if he is lucky he gets to hit the sack when the sun goes down. He just knows that in the beginning of spring as the days grow longer he has more daylight to get ready for the spring crops.
I can remember that when I was still in school I sure did like to have that extra sunlight as that gave me more time to ride horses and spend some really good time with Dad. It also meant that school year was coming to a close and that always made me smile.