Saturday, November 24, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Nov. 27, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Nov. 27, 2007
Have you figured out what you are giving everyone on your Christmas list? I have received an early gift this year and I must say it is one of the most wonderful gifts that I have ever received. It was not extremely costly but it took a lot of time and thought, and I am not sure that I deserve that much effort.
I never had the opportunity to know my Dads mom, Elizabeth White, since she died ten years before I was born. From what I have heard from those who knew her, she was a very special woman. Dad held her in high regard and loved her dearly. My grandparents were not wealthy in terms of money, but they were rich in children and family. They had high moral standards and worked hard. If we can ever find anything that belonged to them it is very precious to any of the grandchildren. Granddad White burned down his home (well, not on purpose) is the reason that we do not have many items left to remember them by. (Granddad house is another story entirely) Many of the other grandkids knew Grandma White quite well- My cousin Sheryl and I would talk for hours about how much we would have liked to have known Grandma White and wondered if she would have liked us. We were pretty sure she would have as everyone else said she was a kind and loving person, after all she had six children and she was used to noise and tall tales and she loved them.
My cousin, Margaret Greene, is one of these people who can do anything. She can cook, sew, she is an artist, and a published author, she is intelligent and to top it off she is pretty. Anyway, she had a necklace that was Grandmas. As I said before Grandma did not have a lot of expensive jewelry and what she had was probably not valuable to anyone else, but to her. Given that Grandma has been gone for over 58 years there is not many things left that was hers. Margaret took the beads of Grandma’s necklace and made each one of the granddaughters a necklace. (Oh, did I forget to mention that she makes beautiful jewelry, too?) Each necklace was distinctive just like each of us are different. Some are shiny and others are plain- Some larger than another- some small and petite, but each necklace was just beautiful. She did not stop there she made each of us a card with a portrait of Grandma White that she had drawn and a touching note to tell us about Grandma. I can not tell you how much the necklace, card and note has meant to me. For once, I was almost speechless.
Since it is the Christmas season and you are stumped by what to give that special someone. Maybe you have something in your jewelry box or tool box that you could fix up for them. I have heard of people making picture frames out of barn wood of the family barn, just make sure that the barn is not in use anymore, and do not be ripping off any boards that just might be the support board of the whole barn, you could get hurt. There are so many things that can be done once you put your mind to it. It is fun to try to come up with something clever. Nothing is more meaningful than a gift from the heart.
Life is really tough at its best and when someone does something kind it makes life worth living.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Nov. 20, 2007

I hope most of you are ahead of me for the Thanksgiving Day Dinner. I have not done a thing for Thanksgiving yet. There are some people, who know that they are going to have a large number of people to cook for and they start way early and get their pies made, the turkey cooked, boned, sliced and the broth in a container ready for the dressing and gravy in freezer just waiting to be finished up. My turkey is still at the store along with everything else. I just now made my list and figured out what I would like to fix this year. I do not know about you - but I think that either I have been busier than ever or I am even more disorganized than normal- It just seems that I am running all the time and I get one thing done and there are ten more things yet to do. I know that I am not any busier than many of you, I am not as organized.
I have an easier Thanksgiving this year .We always have the White cousins reunion on Thanksgiving- but there are those who are unable to attend this year so I do not have as many to cook for. And to make things even easier Myrna has offered to make several items and with the two of us it will be a lot of fun. One year I prepared a duck along with a turkey and a ham. My kids really like having the duck. Another time I bought a turducken. What is a turducken you might ask- it is just what it sounds like- it is a turkey with a duck inside and a chicken inside the duck. No wonder it died! I could go on but I won’t. As strange as it sounds the turducken was really tasty. I think that it was more of a conversation topic than anything. I always like to fix something a little different just to make people wonder. This year I brought home some elk meat, I am thinking that I might try to do something with it. That way if anyone would like to try elk this will be their chance.
Different parts of the country have different traditions for the holidays- well, I guess not just different areas but families have different traditions. I like to find out if there is some food of a new family member that they like to have and have it there for them. Sometimes this is not a good idea as when you think you have done it just right, the comment is made that it is ok-- but not like what Mom used to make. But that is the chance you take.
It is good to have family and friends- I am going to brag here just a little bit. I have the best family anyone could wish for and wonderful friends. For this I am so thankful. I know many of you feel the same way towards your own family and friends. Please remember to let them know how much they mean to you this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell-- Nov. 13, 2007

Can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving? I am just getting over Independence Day. It seems that the stores buzz over Labor Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving and right in to Christmas. I do, however, love the animated toys. One of my favorites is the grandma reindeer sitting in a rocking chair - she sings ‘Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer’ while actually rocking. My newest one is a caroling dog with a hat that resembles a spring with a bell on top and he sings a Christmas version of ‘Shout’. His ears flap while he sings- he is just precious. That was something that Dad just loved was toys that did some sort of action. Whether it is nursing puppies with a momma dog or a dancing hamster it was a delight to him. So I guess I have inherited that from him.
We are in the process of trying to find Christmas gifts for everyone on our list. Our list is not large but it does not take a long list to make you nervous. But the most fun is the shopping. I love to shop I can enjoy looking at almost anything. From farm tools to jewelry I am happy just to see what there is to be had. So that means that there is no place safe for Jim. He gets nervous anywhere I go- for fear of what I might bring home. I have brought home a live glass eyed colt, goats, calves, chickens, wallpaper, camo overalls, black powder guns, strange clothes, carpet, elk meat, just to name a few. There are so many things to see, but as Jim has tried to explain to me is that I do not need to bring all of them home.
When shopping with Jim it does not matter what I find he says, “I can make that,” or “you really do not like that, do you”, or “you can make that” or “That is made too flimsy I can not believe anyone in their right mind would buy something made that poorly”. All of those comments are well and good with the except of that he never has the time to make a solid wood bed frame, headboard and footboard with all kinds of fancy carvings or the solid wood table with the cowhide padded chairs. He swears that it would be no problem to make. Or picture frames that he says he can make it would not take that much time. The thing is, he can make all of those things except that there is no time for him to make them. That is one thing that I have not ever found was a box of extra time. Now that would be a hot seller- if only, we could just figure that one out.