Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Aug.2, 2007

I do not know about you but I think the more I know about the outside world- there are times when I would just like to go home and never leave. I call it the ostrich effect. You know, when you want to stick your head in the sand and let the world go by and hope that no one can see you.
Since I have been in the process of selling my pups, I have encountered an entire different type of people. I have been around horse traders but some of these people would make the most unscrupulous individuals look like saints. Technology has come so far that when you put ads in some papers, those ads go on-line. This is a good and bad situation. The good being, that the on-line ads has the potential of reaching many more people. The bad is that some people use the on-line ads to defraud the advertiser. I have received as many as seven different relay calls (normally used for the hearing impaired or those that are unable to speak) that were bogus and a couple of e-mails that were counterfeits. It has not been all bad as I have been in contact with several nice people. But I never imagined that someone in another country would see my ad and contact me for the sole purpose to swindle me. That whole concept is just overwhelming. I guess that I am more naïve than I thought. I did, however, catch on fairly quickly with the assistance of others who have been in the same situation. I wrote a friend who is all knowing of the internet and he gave me a site to look at. On that site, there were many people who had been taken with similar scams and warning others on what to look for. One doctor had been taken for over $200 thousand. So, I feel lucky that I received good advice and have not been taken, so far.
Do you remember when you were a kid and your folks ask you to do something that you did not want to do - so you come up with all kinds of devices to keep from doing the chore? I can remember sitting in the hot bathroom at harvest time after lunch to try to keep from doing the little dab of dishes that we had to do. I spent more time trying to keep from doing the dishes than the job actually took. Or when you were in school trying to keep from doing your homework, all the time and scheming you went through took more brainpower and time than the actual assignment.
If all of those people who work so hard to defraud others would put their efforts into honest labor they would be rich beyond their dreams or at least able to sleep well at night. My cousin gave me some wise words of wisdom- he said that he did not understand the 'thing' with money; you can work for all you want. The key word being ‘work’.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 24, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 24, 2007
Can you believe that I have been out of high school for 30 years? I was having a little trouble believing it myself. Class reunions are great. It is nice to see what your classmates have done in the last 30 years. Our class has not moved all that far away. We go as far north as the Kansas/ Nebraska line and as far south as Houston, Texas area as far west as Ft. Collins Colorado and east, no one lives farther east than the Kansas/ Missouri line. However, we have three missing classmates that we cannot find- so we may be scattered more than we thought. Some classmates look almost the same and others I could not recognize. There are nine of us who live here in Comanche County - so- many hands makes light work. Tony Koehn smoked an assortment of meat for our lunch and he did a wonderful job. Marty Dillinger did all kinds of work to get us organized. The rest of us did what we could. We had 34 in our graduating class and we have not lost anyone to death that we know of. To my knowledge, we have not lost anyone from first grade on. That is really saying something.
I cannot believe all of the different occupations that my classmates have found for themselves. We have a Chief Financial Officer- Nurse-Cowboy- Assistant Vice President of a Savings and Loan- Teachers-Electronic Technician- Carpenter-Custodians-Food Service- Coca Cola employee- Gravel pit owner - Departmental Managers. I am very proud of our class’s accomplishments. I would say that if you need any of these services you would be hard pressed to find anyone any better than my classmates to do the job.
We talked about the jobs we did to raise money for the Senior Trip. Our class had to raise over $5,000.00 to go to California. We did all kinds of odd jobs and the boys worked really hard- chopping firewood- bucking bales- we all painted houses. We had a great time on the west coast.
For the ones who have not been back for a few years the tour of the school was a little shocking. They had a hard time adjusting to the Green and Black and not an eagle in sight. Other than the color and mascot change, part of the grade school being torn down and a playground in its place, the school had not changed all that much.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 17, 2007

As I was sitting at Bill Hoofers funeral and heard what Mike Crowe had written about Bill- It brought back a flood of memories. I can remember going into Hoofers Grocery Store and the sound that the wood floors made was unique to that particular store. We would get our shopping cart and when we got to the meat department, Mom would tell Bill or Ralph how much bacon and lunch meat she needed. I did not know that bacon came prepackage until I was in high school. I just loved to go behind the counter and watch them slice our bacon. I can remember seeing that big slab of bacon all covered with pepper, then they would slice the bacon however thick you wanted it. They would layer the bacon in-between papers and wrap it up in white butchers’ paper. If you wanted liverwurst they were very nice to always put each slice between papers so the slices would not stick together. I liked liverwurst and chopped ham. Dad liked bologna. Do you remember when we learned about shredded ham? I bet that was a nightmare for the guys, but I never heard them complain.
After we got our shopping done we would roll our cart to the counter- We ran a bill so either Bill or Ralph would write down everything that we had put in our cart. That must have been quite a chore but they never seemed to mind. As you were getting checked out they would put your groceries in a nice sturdy box- And the box would either sit on the counter, if you did not have a lot of groceries or it would sit on a lower counter that was at the end of the taller counter. The lower counter was just the right height to double as chair. I thought it was nice for them to provide a spot for husbands or old people to sit while they were waiting for their wives or mates to finish up the shopping. Since we usually got a box, they would tie string around the top of the box to help hold up the sides up. I can remember wondering if they ever would run out of string, as it looked like to me that it was sort of magical how it came out of the hole in the counter from an unknown source. It did not take much to amuse me. Since we ran a bill there I thought that it was really neat, once when we went to town I got away from Mom and went into Hoofers to get an ice cream bar - Ralph asked me if I was going to pay for my ice cream I told him to just put it on the bill, he asked me if mom said it was ok. I was shocked that he thought that I would have to ask Mom. Well, Ralph was right. I should have asked Mom. I learned then, that just because you put it on the bill does not mean that you do not have to pay for it.
As time went on the Hoofers moved with the times as it got to where they did not have to write down each article that you purchased as the new fangled cash register helped them out and saved them a lot of time. They moved across the street to the old Gambles Store which is now Dave’s Pizza Oven. They had more room and could sell more products- but somehow I missed the creaky wood floors. I know that the only thing that stays the same is that the world is ever changing. We are going to miss Bill Hoofer- but it is not too late to let Ralph know what much we appreciated their store and their kindness.
Thanks, Ralph!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 4, 2007

When I was growing up it was a goal at our house to have the wheat cut by the 4th of July. If we were not done Mom was not in the mood to go town. It was real hard for her when people would ask if we were done with harvest. Dad’s mood was not perky to say the least. I can not imagine how he would have been this year- I am sure that would have been a lot of tears. I enjoyed harvest - riding the combine with Dad or sitting in the wheat truck and going into town to the elevator. If things went just right and harvest was over and Dad thought that he could afford it he would buy a few fireworks. Oh, that was so exciting! Virgil showed me how to do the snakes and when I got older we blew up ant dens with firecrackers. We quickly learned that when you blow up ant dens to RUN away from the den as the ants that were air born would land in your hair and shirts, ants do bite and it hurts. Virgil was a great older brother he taught me all kinds of important things like how to strategically place the firecracker that would make the biggest hole. After I married Jim, he showed me how to blow up gourds. The gourds are like little grenades. They were a lot of fun. The firecrackers now do not have the kick that they used to. That is probably because of all of the fingers, eyes, burn holes in legs arms and other places and hearing people lost during this time of celebration.
This year will be different than in the past years. We usually stay at home - and go to Myrna Bumgarner’s but this 4th we have been invited to go to Sharon and celebrate with the Sharon folk as they are dedicating their city park. When I went over to Sharon during Christmas they had nice decorations in the park. For such a small town I was impressed that they had any thing at all. We will miss Myrna’s cookout as she is such a good hostess. She always makes sure her guests are well taken care of.
I wish you all a great, and safe 4th of July.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 12, 2007

Well it is the time of year that Grandchildren are spending time with their grandparents. I know I have talked to lots of people who talk about how much fun they had as children going to their grandparents place for the summer. I hope that the grandchildren know that spending time with their grandparents was just as wonderful for the grandparents as it was for them. I think that when kids who live in town that get to spend time on the farm is such a change from what they are used to. When you can go down to the creek and get your feet all gooey and get all dirty and then get hosed off with the garden hose. And getting dirty was not necessarily a bad thing. Making mud pies and learning that just because they are called pies you really do not eat them. Finding a nest of kittens or baby chickens and getting chased by the ole’ hen was always exciting. Gathering eggs was fun for the grandkids until they found a snake in the nest.
I can remember when Vickie would let her kids stay with us. Since I was 12 years old when Vickie had Sheila I had the opportunity to play with her while she vacationed with the folks. In view of the fact that she was the first niece and the first baby I had ever been around I thought she was the most wonderful and the most beautiful little girl God had ever created. There is something about the first one, it is not that you love them more than the other nieces and nephews they were just the first. If Vickie and Randy had not let the kids come for a visit I would have never gotten acquainted with them. Sometimes we got them during harvest. You might think that was not a good time, but it was as it nice to have new life in the house. Vickie had Mike year and couple months after Sheila so we would get both of them at the same time. They were so special. I just could not wait for our time to come so we play with the little ones.
One year Mom and Dad had a garden and Mom went out to dig some potatoes and Mike informed her that his mother bought clean potatoes not dirty one like those. Mike was always the one who wanted to help with everything. He was a fun little guy to have around.
We wondered what Sheila would call the Mom and Dad as Randy’s parents lived close to Vickie and Randy and grandma and grandpa names were already taken. Kids have a way of telling the grandparents apart without any help from us. Dad thought Sheila was just wonderful and he really liked to tease her. So one day when she was very little and was just learning how to talk, she saw a picture of Dad she said, “Oh! Ha ha Pa pa.” So for years Dad was Ha Ha Pa Pa. That really tickled Dad. It is amazing that she thought that- since she did spend time with us during harvest that she thought he was ha ha anything.