Monday, April 30, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell May 1, 2007

It seems that spring is leaving us so quickly that I am not getting a chance to enjoy it. Life is too short not to notice the beautiful sunsets and I have heard that there have been some wonderful sunrises.
This past weekend I was able to attend Jeff and Chelsea’s wedding shower. Things are so different than they were when I was little. I think one of the first showers I remember going to was a cousin who was a registered nurse. I was asked to be a table attendant. There was another little girl who helped also, but I can not remember who she was. Mom made us little nurses’ caps. It was when nurses wore the white, starched uniforms and white hose with white caps with black lines going across the top. One line was a LPN and two lines meant that she was an RN. I was so nervous to help or maybe it was Mom who was nervous about me dispensing the gifts to the head table. Yes - it was definitely Mom. At that time everyone always received sheets, lots and lots of sheets. Now who knows what size of bed people have. Sometimes they received fancy P.J.s - I thought that was really neat with all that lace and frilly stuff. At that time the couple did not go to the stores and register for what they wanted or needed and what color they needed to go with the d├ęcor of their home. But they did pick out a china pattern. Some brides might still do that. Do you remember going into the Drug Store to see the pretty patterns of the china that the new bride hoped to acquire? Sometimes you can tell a lot about the bride by the pattern she chose. If it was plain the bride would be a quiet, but elegant woman- If she chose something elaborate she might be a vibrant and animated person. This was not always true- but sometimes.
From time to time the department stores would give the couple a really cool gift from their store.
It was uncommon that the groom attended the shower unless the location of the shower was in his home town and no one knew the bride-to-be. But I like having the groom in attendance they add a lot to the festivities.
I still have a towel or two and I received from my shower almost 30 years ago. They are a little ragged and worn, but I hate to get rid of them. The ladies at the People State Bank gave me a little hand mixer and it just quit about two years ago I think that I got their moneys worth. I used it often.
Showers are always plenty of fun and a great deal of hard work for the Hostess and her helpers, but when the time comes everything works out fine and the punch and cake is so good with lots of excitement and entertainment.
The one thing that has not changed is the generosity of the Comanche County people. It is certainly appreciated.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 17, 2007

You have always heard the saying, “that if you do not like the weather in Kansas just wait a few minutes and it will change”. Nothing could be closer to the truth this past week. We have had all kinds of different weather wind, rain, snow, ice all this week. I am not complaining about the moisture, if you remember last year we could not buy a drop of liquid. When Jim and I went out to feed the cattle on Saturday - everything was going fine- slow and muddy- but we were making the rounds, in the last pasture I got stuck. I could not believe it. I do not know why I was surprised, I have been stuck almost anywhere a person could - I have been stuck on a gopher hole, in the bottom of a terrace, but just in the middle of the flat pasture - who would have thought that would happened? We were even in the 4-wheel drive truck.
When I get that familiar stinking feeling I can remember Dad yelling at me because I buried the tractor. I farmed for Dad when I was in high school. I was plowing east of the house. It had rained a few days before and I was turning up the moist soil and I knew that I was getting close to the mud hole - but I thought that I could make just one more round - I was sadly mistaken. I tried to raise the plow but in my panic I lowered it instead and that sealed my fate. I tried to get out by rocking it back and forth like I had seen Dad do but nothing would budge. I had to walk to the house to get Dad to pull me out. He was not overjoyed but when he saw the tractor was sitting on an angle out in the middle of a flat field- he got that look. I knew that he was not happy at all. He told me that I did not need to go to axles to know that I was indeed stuck. I explained to him that I tried to get out and he said that he could tell and that was not one of my better ideas. Then he told me that it was alright to just get a little stuck and I did not have to completely bury the bottom half of the tires. Then he mumbled something about me pulling the heart out of ole’ Casey (that was the tractor).
Mom never liked to pull or be pulled out of a sticky situation. She was happy when one of us was around to help Dad out. Dad gave us to warning about a chain breaking and coming back through the windshield and cutting our heads off. This little bit of information was disturbing. So while he would be hooking up the chain I would be practicing ducking so I could hit the passenger seat at a moments notice. I thought too, that being really short at the time was to my advantage. I cannot imagine what he would have thought if he saw me working on dodging the invisible flying chain. Sometimes he would pull me backwards I thought that I would prefer that but Dad said it was worse as you could not see it coming.
Then Dad found out about the large pull ropes. He could not wait to get one of those. We used ropes after that and he thought that they were a little safer. However, being the one that was being pulled was still a frightening experience. While being pulled by a chain Dad would ease up and tighten the chain slowly- well, somewhat slowly- But with the pull rope he would rev up the truck or tractor - and I was sitting in drivers seat of the stuck vehicle, palms sweating, stomach in knots, praying- trying to get my life right with God, thinking about if I could duck a rope if it would snap back. He would back up as close to the stuck object as he could and then with the rpms in the red- get a run at the wide open spaces. He would hit the end of the rope and it would stretch and on a good day my vehicle would start to move forward and life was good.
As horrifying as I thought that was at the time- it really is a fond memory- especially since we both lived through it.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 10, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 10, 2007
A good friend of mine told me of a minister that has a new concept to help the attitude of his congregation. He has started the purple bracelet campaign. He has given each member of his congregation a purple bracelet for them to wear. They were to wear it on either wrist then when they complained - gossiped - or criticized they were to switch the bracelet to the other wrist. Saying naughty words count, too. There are couple of rules- One is that if you choose to wear the bracelet and you see someone complain, criticize, etc… who is also wearing a bracelet you must first remove your bracelet and put it on your other wrist before you point out their mistake. The object is to go 21 continuous days without complaining. Why 21 days you ask- Some studies have shown that if you do or not do something for 21 continuous days it becomes a habit. This has really gotten me to think. What would I talk about if I did not complain, gossip, criticize or use sarcasm? What does that leave me? Does that mean that I must try to have happy thoughts? Is that possible? Mom read the story of “Pollyanna” to me when I was little. Pollyanna was an orphaned girl that had a bad life but she always found the good in everything. I found her quite annoying, but not without merit.
This idea has been catching on all over the world. You can order as many bracelets as you want from this Kansas City church. They will send you the bracelets at no cost to you. They do accept a free-will donation to help offset the cost if you want too. The minister who started this madness said it took him 3 months before he made his 21-day mission. So he understands that this is a difficult request..
I was telling Jim about this concept. Since Jim is not talkative, he said that he would just not talk for 21 days. He could do it, too. Anybody who drank a 24-pack of Pepsi a day and could decide one day that he was not going to drink any type carbonated drinks for a year and do it, could easily not talk for 21 days, except for things that pertain to work. I can tell you that talking is not one of Jim’s favorite things to do. We can drive for hours and he will not say a word, he is not mad, just has nothing to talk about. Some of you may think that it is because he cannot get a word in edge-wise- but believe it or not I do run out of things to say after a couple of hours.
Can you imagine any work place where there is no complaining or gossiping? Having coffee at your favorite place and not talking about the newest news or complaining about the weather? Is this possible? Some of us might wear the blisters on our wrists by changing the bracelet back and forth or maybe complain twice and the bracelet could stay in place. Maybe instead of talking about the things that we cannot change maybe we should think of the people who have done nice things for us. I know that I have an endless list of kindnesses people have shown me. Sometimes I lose sight of that. They are so many people who work behind the scenes and we fail to give them a simple 'thank-you'. Instead we, sometimes not meaning too, let them feel that they have not done enough. We forget to appreciate and somehow we are quick to find fault. Why is that? It is just one of the devils best tools.
It would be great to have any work environment where there is no negativity all. I do not care where you work some kind of negative vibe exists. When Jim’s mom went to have her cancer treated the hospital doctors told her that negative thoughts will only hindered her recovery. All of the staff was always positive and worked at keeping the patients in a cheerful humor.
I have been doing some serious soul searching and found that I find humor in the negative thinking. So if this catches on everywhere- will the humor be gone as well? Am I too old to change? You know “you cannot teach an old dog new tricks”.
Even though this may seem like a new idea, it goes back to the old saying, “If you cannot say anything good do not say it at all”.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 3, 2007

Spring has sprung the grass is rize; I wonder where the flowers is? However, I do know that the buzzards are back and have begun cleaning up what winter and the coyotes have left for them.
It is spring and what a beautiful spring we have in progress. Along with spring several things happen- In the movie ‘Bambi’ spring is the beginning of ‘twitterpaitting’ - That is when all of the animals fall in love. The tom turkeys are strutting and fanning those tail feathers. Mom went with me to feed the other day, there was a tom just strutting for all he was worth, and the hen was picking at the newly found green grass. She was not concerned at all by bothersome tom. But on the way, back he had called up another hen and she decided that she would rather eat grass as well. Mom and I felt kind of sorry for the poor ole’ boy. However, he did not look discouraged he knew that he would have his day.
Of course, the Junior and Senior Prom is going to be here soon. I just love Prom - I love to see the girls all dressed up in their beautiful dresses and the guys are so awesome in their tuxedos. What the kids choose to wear shows off their personality. Sometimes I think that we do not get all ‘gussied’ up often enough. Do you remember your Prom themes? Our junior year theme was ‘In the Land of Cotton’. But I am sad to say that I do not remember our senior year. I think when you are a junior you work so hard to try to make everything perfect and that makes lots of memories. And your senior year, you enjoy it, but you did not plan it and work on it for very nearly a year. I remember Jim and I was the band committee. Jim picked out the band and they charged $350.00 for the night. We did not have Project Prom in those days. I doubt that my Dad would have let me go if we did, as I was to be in by the hour of decency (midnight). Actually, I was to be home by 11:00- but under no circumstance any later than midnight. In our house, we had a large picture window that faced the driveway. From that window, you could see the car lights from the ‘high gate’. The high gate was five or six miles from the house. You could bet that Dad was watching for our car lights and those lights had better not stop. One time my date really did run out of gas and it was not five minutes before we saw his lights coming, and at a fairly rapid pace. The man that got out of the car was not the same man you all remember. But when he realized that, we really were out of gas he calmed down a little. It was a good thing that we had started to walk to the house on opposite sides of the road. This was not something that he found much humor in. You knew that he was not kidding when he left the shotgun by the front door when your date came to pick you up. In addition, the date had to come in the house, otherwise how would he know about the ‘decoration’ by the door. None of this honking when he got there and you go out. Dad said that he did not raise a daughter who would run out of the house at the sound of a car horn like a cow that comes to the feed wagon.
There is a new song out it is entitled “Ticks”. The chorus says that the boy would like to check this girl for ticks. I am think that if a guy would told Dad that he was just checking for ticks----- Actually- I am not sure what he would have done but I know that it would not have been pretty.
Back to Prom, I would like to caution all Prom goers everywhere. My Junior Prom was my first date with Jim. I was 16 and I thought that it was a magical night; it was everything that a girl dreams of. The reason that we went together was sort of an accident. Neither one of us had a date nor did we not want to go alone so we decided to go together. We dated from then on. Never broke up once. And so, here we are thirty-one years later. Because of our experience you had better be careful who your Prom date is, you just might end up marrying your date. I have always said that I married very well, but Jim, poor Jim, did not do so good.