Monday, December 29, 2008

Dec. 30, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
I hope that you had a bountiful Christmas both in gifts and family time. We had our daughter, Jennifer and her husband Giz along with Mom and Joe for lunch. We had a nice time together. We had gotten a 3-D puzzle of penguins and snowflakes to put together after lunch on Christmas Day. It proved to be challenging and I found it slightly irritating.
It was Jeff and Chelsea’s year to go to her family on Christmas day. One thing when your kids marry you must share them with the other side of the family. In our situation with both parents living close to together is makes is easy for the kids to spend time with both sides. Chelsea is very cautious that they spent the same amount of time with us as they were going to spend with her family- We told her that life is way to short to keep score. We are happy to get them when it works out the best- but it was nice that she wanted us to feel loved and not left out.
We had a nice time in the afternoon with my brother, Virgil, and his wife, Karen. They dropped by after they had a good Christmas meal with Karen’s mom. We caught up on their busy lives and heard stories of their grandbabies. Virgil and Karen think that having grandkids is one of the best things that have ever happened to them- I am thinking that I will think so too, when that day arrives for us.
Always when the holidays come along with the good there is always something sad that happens as well. This holiday season was that way for us- many of you have inquired about our dog situation- and have asked about our new puppy- I think that maybe I am not meant to have a dog at this point in my life- We were really enjoying our little girl- but she got really sick and even though we went to the vet we still lost her last night. I knew that she was not feeling a bit well and she was not eating very much. I am waiting to hear back from the blood tests that were taken on Friday. I just hate being home alone when Jim is at work and when I feed cattle, I like having a companion with me. But I think I should wait and let my heart heal up- before getting another little furry friend. I think that I have had enough death for a while.
Speaking of death- my mom keeps a tally of all the people that have died in the past year- that were close friends or others that were acquaintances - but her tally for the year is now up to 59 for the year 2008. I am ready to see the year 2008 behind me. I know that one way to tell that you are getting older is that when you get the paper one of the first things you check out are the obits. Maybe it is to see if your name is there-

Dec 23, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
By now I am sure that you have completed your Christmas shopping- I actually got mine done early for me- meaning before Christmas Eve. I was having some problems with getting in the Christmas spirit this year. I just could not face pulling out all of the Christmas decorations- while shopping I found a small cheap little fiber optic tree. I also found cheap small ornaments to decorate the little tree. It is great. One reason that I needed something a little different this year is the puppy is driving me crazy- Having her in the house is like having a very curious two year old turned loose in my home. I can remember when Jennifer and Jeff were little and got into everything and scattered anything they could get their little fingers wrapped around- Dad called the kids ‘thrashers’. Well, they pale in comparison to our little Jezebel. Dad would not appreciate our little Jezzie as she is into everything- she loves to find a book and rip the covers off and as many pages as she can until she is stopped. She loves trash and candy wrappers- I have forgotten what it is like to have a puppy in the house again. She just makes me tired. But I am not lonely or bored or sleeping or getting any work done while Jim is at work. Wrapping presents proved to be a chore in itself. She loves to run off with the scissors. I have told her not to run with scissors- but she is just like most kids - she must be told over and over. The wrapping paper she found lots of fun to rip and tear into many pieces. The ribbon was one of her favorites. I had problems finding where she had hidden the ribbon. I have enough trouble trying to find the things that I have misplaced with out having her helping me loose things.
We are going to have a small family Christmas this year. I love having large family gatherings, but having just a few is nice, too. You can enjoy everyone more than when there are so many that you do not get the chance to visit with them. But we are looking forward to celebrating Christ’s birth. I hope that you all have a wonderful and a very Merry Christmas!

Dec. 17, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
WOW!! Is it cold? When the wind chill is below zero it is cold - I do not care who you are it is cold. I can take the cold better if the wind was not blowing (duh- I am just like everyone else). The wind in this case is not our friend. It does not look like that it is going to warm up anytime soon. As bad as I hate to be hot and sweaty- being cold and frozen is not much better. I really do not have that much to complain about as I do not have to be out in the elements as long as some people. I do not know how they take the cold for hours on end. Those people have my admiration. The only plus to being cold as compared to being hot is that I am not as mean and grouchy. Probably still mean and grouchy just not as much. I was chopping ice out of the stock tank and my fingers got so cold so quick- I hate it when it hurts to bend my fingers- it is like they will shattered if I move them a lot. But you know that they will feel better if you can just get the blood to flow and they will warm back up. It seems that it does not take a great deal of the cold weather to get me to yell ‘calf rope’. I had always heard that fat people were warmer than thin people- I have found that is a huge lie- I have been both. When I was thin I could handle the cold weather better than I can now that I have many more pounds - some might say insulation- they would be wrong. There is nothing insulted about fat- I figure that all of my fat gets cold, it congeals and hardens and this is very hard to thaw out. Not being able to handle the cold has been a bitter disappoint to me as Dad could always take the cold. I thought maybe that came from his age- well-- that is another thought that was completely wrong. I do get warm in surges- from time to time but that is another story. We could be in the same place and he would be dressed for winter but so was I and I think that I had many more layers than he did. He never - well- hardly ever wore gloves. I had gloves and scarves but I could reach over and touch his bare hands and they would be sooo warm. I could feel the heat through my layers of gloves. Jim and Jeff can handle the cold they do not always were a coat- in fact- one time one of the Principals bought Jim a coat because he thought he did not have one to wear. Little did he know that Jim had a closet full of winter wear that he seldom used. I can tell you that as hardy as Jim and Jeff are they were bundled up this week. When they tell me that it is cold - that means I do not want to stick my head outside. I guess that it just means that all the men in my life are really tough and I am a weenie.

Dec. 9, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Dennies just might put a disclaimer on this article so I will do it for him. These are certainly my ideas and do not in any way reflect the thoughts and beliefs of this newspaper.
Our government is in the process of trying to bail out the auto industry and I would not even try to tell the powers that be how to do such a thing. I figure that is not my department and I should mind my own knittin’. I would not attempt to try to tell someone how to do their job or even advise them on something I do not even understand. I think that it would be nice if others would follow suit. I also have decided that with all of our time saving devices it has given people too much time to think. After all busy hands are happy hands.
This week I have been unhappy with an article Jim was reading- he was telling me he read an article that the EPA thinks that cattle are giving off too much gas. Who could possibly come up with this ridicules idea? They must be joking- First of all can you imagine who they hired to meter the gas off of a cow? I would love to meet the guy who had that job. The EPA would like for all of the cattle owners to pay a gas tax per cow. It was quite a sum of money they were talking about charging us. Maybe we could cork the cows. Then take them daily to an air tight facility that we would have to build at our expense and uncork the girls and let it fly. This is almost as silly as wanting to the land owners to fence off the rivers and streams as a cow might once in awhile potty in the water. My feeling on that is that if they can keep the fish, who never leave the water,- the birds, ducks and geese from doing what they do best in the water then we will talk about the cows. Have you ever cleaned a fish tank? I rest my case-
If it is toxic gas that they are worried about- maybe they should be more concerned with a van load of kids who has just over ate on pizza- candy and junk food. Now that is lethal.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nov. 25, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Last week was a tough one. I not only lost my female Dane, Josie, but my male, Jake died also. I know that they were just dogs- but they were my buddies. Jake usually slept in our bed and Josie slept at my feet when Jim left for work. In the past 3 years when Jim was spending weekend or two with his mom while she was in the Tulsa Cancer Hospital- the dogs were a lot of company for me. I am really going to miss them. I can not remember when I have been without a dog. So I am in the market for a companion of the canine variety.
Christmas has Santa Claus- Easter has the Easter Bunny- New Years has the New Years Baby- Valentines has Cupid- Thanksgiving has squat! I can not believe that someone has not come up with some sort of gimmick. The main thing is that we try to almost forget Thanksgiving so we can get to the commercialization of Christmas. The stores start their sales early in the morning after Thanksgiving- I mean really early- so if you want to get to the early bird sales and save some cash you need to get to bed early Thanksgiving night-this cuts into my visitation time with family. I guess that I am getting old and cranky. I do not like change or anything getting in the way of my time with my family.
Since Thanksgiving is here already I am busy getting ready for family. This year our family, which is the White Cousins, are getting together, but I do not have to fix as much of the meal as I have done in the past. In fact, I feel sort of guilty. But we have so many good cooks that we will have a good meal but more importantly we will be together.
I just love hearing some of the same old stories and the stories of cousins tell about their childhood- Some of my favorite story tellers are Jim and Mike Jesseph. They have some wonderful stories and I laugh till I cry. I wonder sometimes how any of us grew up. Most of the stories you hear, are not what you will read about in the baby books- If the stories were published it would probably put an end to the human race. Virgil has some good tales, as well. Vickie likes to get her yarns in, too. Mom always says that she does not remember any of our adventures. I think that she has blocked most of them out- probably a defense mechanism.
We also have many stories of the family members that have gone on before us. Janet Marsh is our family historian she has all kinds of pictures and is full of information. Virgil has quite bit knowledge on the Alley Family.
Sheryl White is our family pianist- I am hoping that we will get to do a sing a-long. We like to sing- and talk and talk and talk--
I sincerely hope that all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving- if you can not spend it with family I hope that you get to spend it with friends- While we gather and have fun I do want you to forget to give thanks. This is a blessed country we live in and we need to be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Nov. 11, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
One wonderful thing about living in a small community is that we help each other out. I have mentioned numerous times my neighbors have help us out time and time again. But the thing about residing in our area is that everyone is willing to help each other out. Years ago when Skeet Willard died, I remember his wife, Barbara saying that she could go down the phone book and pick a name at random and whoever it was would be willing to help her out. I have thought of that often- How nice it is to know that there is help. Many of us do not ask for assistance but we know that it is there if and when we need it.
What has brought this to mind was when I was thinking about the kindness we felt when Jim’s mom past away. The weather was not good for travelers as it was rainy and the roads were muddy. It takes quite a bit of rain for our sandy roads to be slick and nasty. Our road was washed out in a couple of places. We had family staying at our home and most of them were not used to driving on dirt roads. Some of them would not arrive until late evening. I called the county shop to ask them if they could flag the wash-out, so that no-one would not hit the large rut and damage their car, not to mention jarring their teeth out. It was late in the afternoon when I called- they said they would try to flag the hazard. Much to my surprise they not only flagged it - but they had come out and fixed the wash out. You can not imagine how much that relieved my stress. I am sure that if we had lived in a large community and asked for some assistance they would not have been so nice as to go over and above the call of duty.
Living on dirt roads most of my life is a normal way of living- but to those who have had the luxury of living on pavement- have problems traveling on the bumps, ruts, loose gravel that is just part of the charm of gravel roads. I feel that the roads are better than they were when Mom and Dad were married. They would tell stories of how after a rain they would plow mud up to the running boards of their vehicle. If it had rained a lot there were time that they would not go out any more than they had reason. But now we have ditches for the water to run off and some gravel to hold us up. I remember one time when we went to church and it was really muddy and the roads were bad, so we went to town cutting across pastures. I thought that was really exciting. Mother was not as enthused, but we made it to church on time. I can not think that we did the pastures any good but I can remember only doing that one time. I guess when we went home the roads had dried out some and was not quite so bad.
So we are grateful to the road and bridge crew. If you consider how many miles of road there are in the county, I do not know how they get done what they do accomplish. It is easy to complain about things- but with the price of fuel and other expenses, I am not sure how we afford to do what does get done.

Nov. 4, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
We have been busy just like everyone else. After I got home, I needed to get a pair of horses that I purchased. I am hoping to spend many hours in the saddle- and that might prove to be a little uncomfortable for a while - but if I live thru it - it will be worth the pain and agony to get back into shape and enjoy what I love most.
We gathered our calves last Monday, and Jim and I were so tired when we finished. We had trouble getting to sleep. I told Jim that I could not find a comfy position to sleep- Jim told me there is no comfort- just find a position that hurts the least and go from there. I was tried his method and it must have worked but I kept hearing a terrible noise- it was a whimpering and groaning sound and it was as if someone was in a lot of pain. I could not figure out where it was coming from- then I realized that I was sleeping and the mournful sound was me. Nothing pains me more than to admit that there are times when I might snore or make some sort of rack in my sleep. Now I guess there is no question that I am almost as noisy in my sleep as I am when I am awake.
After we finished getting the cattle taken care of, I decided to saddle up and try out my new mare. I am thinking she will be a really good old lady horse. She saddled up nice and did not give me any trouble at all. The one problem that I am having is getting my foot up high enough to get in the stirrup. I would like to blame it on my jeans being a little too tight. But, in truth I am just out of shape- even though round is a shape. I cheated the first time- I mounted her from the flat bed trailer. I know that was childish but you do what works for you. I rode around the barn a little then I thought I would go out in the pasture and check things out. That went really well- then I decided that I would go open a gate that had been shut while we were gathering the cattle. That was going very well until we rode though the little tiny flies. It is amazing what you forget when you think back about things, I had forgotten about the bugs. Why is it when it is a beautiful day that you have to have bugs? They were terrible- they swarmed all over the mare and me. She was trying to get them off of her while I was swinging my arms wildly at the flying insects to get them off of me. I just knew she was going to pile me when she ducked her head but instead she lifted her front foot and was trying to remove the bugs from her face. After we got through the bugs without anyone getting hurt-, I had to get off to open the gate. I must admit that it felt good to get off for a few minutes- but getting back on seemed to cause me some stress. I have found that the mare stands fairly well if she is in an enclosed pen, not so much in the wide open. Getting the foot in the stirrup was not any easier than it was when I started- but thank goodness, I was not where any one could see me - I finally made it back on to the horse. However, with all aches and pains it was worth it and I enjoyed the time I had riding maybe not like when I was 10 but grateful that I could still get in saddle. It will be easier next time.
After I write this article, I will go down to the polls and cast my ballot. I feel that it is a privilege to be able to have a say in our country. It seems that freedoms all over the world are getting fewer but we are still able to vote and let our voices count. I hope that all of you voted to have your voice heard as well. This election for me has been the most crucial election that I have had the opportunity to vote. Regardless of who wins, I think that our country is in for many changes.

Oct. 28, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Life certainly seems to stay in some sort of chaos most of the time, well, at least in our household. I would like to say that it is organized chaos- but that is not even close to the truth. I have been in hunting camp most of the month. I had a very nice place to cook and the rooms that we stay in are nice. In hunting camp, nice means that you do not have rodents running over your feet in the night. It is not a five star accommodations but to some of the hunters they think that it is too comfortable to call it a hunting camp. I can not imagine what too comfortable means but I do know what uncomfortable is and I do not care for the experience.
The great thing about going away to cook for the hunters is that I get the opportunity to meet so many different people and all of the different types of occupations that gives them to means to afford an elk hunt.
I had for the first time in camp, a plastic surgeon, a banker and a man who owns and raises kangaroos. Actually, it was his wife who raises the roos. He made his living in investments. I have never met anyone who has actually raised kangaroos- I found that interesting and probably annoyed him with all of my questions. We also had two editors of two prominent sports magazines there to write an article on elk hunting- I wanted to know when one of the articles would be in print and he told me that it would in about two years as that particular magazine is that far ahead in their layouts.
There were also a couple of hunters who have their own television sport shows. They are very nice and easy to get along with. However, the hunters rarely do things to upset the cook. We do have our ways to getting even.
We had two sets of father and daughter hunters. It was nice to see dads and daughters together enjoying the same pastime. One daughter told me that her parents were divorced and since there was two daughters they split them and the mom took one and the dad took the other. She was the one who went with her mom. So this is what her and her dad share when they get to gather each year.
There was a group of three hunters who had come from Ohio. When I asked them what all they did - They were in construction and they told me that they raise Tennessee Walker horses. That was of interest to me as I have just purchased a Tennessee Walker. I asked them if the horse price in Ohio was as low as it is here. They told me that their show horses that are worth $10,000.00 -they were selling for $1,500.00. So I guess that means that horses are not worth much wherever you go. One of the hunters had an elk is his crosshairs and was ready to pull the trigger when his guide stopped him as he had heard a rumble. The rumble was not thunder or a rockslide it was the wild horses that run on this ranch. They were telling me that the wild horses cause more trouble than the elk. The horses run thru the fences and run the cattle and elk. Since we were talking about the horse prices and we are thinking that there will be many more horses turned out to the wild as there is no other place for the undesirable types. I would hate to ever turn anything out to fend for itself -but there are some who see it as their only alternative.
The sad thing about my return home was the news that Anna Lou Einsel had passed away- She was a wonderful lady and we will miss her. One year at Christmas she brought us the most beautiful tray of homemade goodies. There were little tarts and cookies and all kinds of Christmas treats. I think that she was a really good rancher's wife and mother. Every time that I saw Anna Lou, she always had a positive outlook on life. We will miss her here but heaven just got a little better.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell---Oct. 1, 2008

Christmas is not the only time a person is anxious. I get excited like a child when I think that I am going to get something new or different- it can be almost anything. I guess it does not take much to ring my bell. I am in the process of looking at a different horse. Horses are really cheap since there is an over abundance of our equine friends. I think shopping for them is more fun than actually making that final decision.
When I was growing up Mom and I went shopping sometimes Dad went with us. He would make us buy a pair of shoes even if we did not like them. This was the rule, only if, we had made the shoe clerk get out tons of shoes. This was the era of shoes stores and they had clerks who would help you purchase the correct size and the correct shoe for the occasion that had brought you into the store in the first place. I love shoes and have more than I probably need- but then I think most of us have more things than we need- not want - but need.
I enjoyed going to the auction on Sunday afternoon- It was a pleasant day and it seemed that people were really enjoying themselves- I had the opportunity to see a classmate that I had not seen in quite sometime. Kathy Adams was in my class at school and always had such a delightful personality. I must say that the years have been very kind to her as she looks wonderful. I do not think that it is fair that some people just wake up in the mornings and look good- while the rest of us have to spend hours to be presentable- if we do not, we scared small children.
A good way to spend an afternoon is at an auction. They are a good source of entertainment - at these kinds of sales you never know what things will bring- sometimes you just shake your head and think ‘what are they thinking?’. Usually things that are practical go dirt cheap and things that you can live a long and happy life without - the price is high. You never know what some people think is valuable- I can remember I was at a sale one time and a lady got really mad because someone kept out bidding her- I do not see why you would get upset after getting out bid it just means that the other person either wanted it more than you - besides after all there will be another auction.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Sept.23, 2008

Life certainly is full of surprises. Jim and I had our first dance in Junior High which was many years ago and we never thought in a million years that we would one day be married. But I remember how much I liked to dance with him. Well, in Junior High we never really danced- I am not sure what you would call it, but I thought I was having a good time. Once when Jim and I went to the 1991 Junior and Senior Prom, Keith Custer was Principal, and he had a dance with his daughter Amy. They looked so sweet together plus it looked like they were having so much fun. At Jeff and Chelsea’s wedding I noticed there were a couple of Dads there showing their little girls how to do different dance steps. I thought that it looked like they were really enjoying themselves.
My family was not the traditional cowboy, boot-scootin’ family - the Jitterbug- the Two Step- the Cotton-Eyed Joe- Foxtrot -or even the Waltz -never occurred in our home. My folks did not dance and we never went to the rodeo dances. My grandparents, on both sides of the family were very much against this pastime. Mom took dance lessons in college (she was quite a rebel back then) and found that she was not cut out to ’cut the rug’. I do not think that I ever saw my dad show any interest in gliding over the floor. So I am not a bopper. However, I am a huge ‘Dancing with the Stars’ fan. I think that all of those dances look like so much fun. I have always thought that it was an entertaining way to spend your time. When I was little I watched American Bandstand with my sister, Vickie. I wonder how one would be able to be a Go-Go dancer and then you could be in one of those cages. Even though our television was fuzzy I was impressed.
At Christmas I told Jim that I would love to take dancing lessons- I thought it would be fun and good for us- might help me lose a little weight and it would be something that we could both learn at the same time. He told that me he had absolutely no interest in becoming a ‘toe tapper’. Well--- I learned from his very informative aunts that Jim was, at one time, quite a little dancer. You can imagine my surprise when they told me how he would beg them to dance with him when he was a kid. I was told that he can do the Jitterbug- Bop- Jerk and many others- You can visualize my total shock of this information not only does he have the knowledge but he really enjoyed this particular activity. He claims that he has forgotten everything that he knew- I somehow think that he just might be fibbing.
At this point - life does not look good for Jim.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Sept. 16, 2008

The Blundell family has had a very long two weeks. We had funeral services for Donna Bowlin, Jim’s mom, last Friday. Jim had spent time in Tulsa at the Cancer Treatment of America with his mother. She had called and asked for all of her kids to come she wanted to visit with all three of them. His sister, Verna, his brother, John, and Jim had not been in the same place at the same time in over 18 years. It was not that there were problems- they had got caught up in raising their families and Verna has many health issues that made travel difficult. Donna was fighting for her life- along with her lung cancer she had an infection in her lungs- her platelet count was down to three- and she had developed congestive heart failure. Even with all of those things against her she never gave up she fought to the very end.
Donna had many accomplishments in her life. After her divorce from Vernon Blundell she went back to school and received her RN degree. I was told that she was an excellent nurse. She had worked in Branson Missouri in the hospital there. She had a heart for those who had been abused whether it was babies- children, wives, or anyone else. She went to work for the Government in the Indian Health Department. Her husband, Jerry Bowlin, moved with her to the Shiprock, New Mexico area and White River Arizona area to work on the Reservations. She was quick to love the Indian babies- she told me that the babies did not have blankets or clothes when they left the hospital. She had a way of making you want to help out so I talked to the ladies in our church and we made a baby blankets and gowns. Donna was really pleased when the hospital received the huge box that we had sent. Later on they moved to Biloxi, Mississippi and she worked there in the hospital- when she was unable to work on the floor- she worked with heart patients watching heart monitors. She was very involved with the Cancer Treatment Center- she talked with the legislators of Georgia to help convince them to support the construction of a Cancer Treatment Center in Atlanta. She was successful in persuading them to build.
There was nothing lazy about Donna. One of her sister-in-laws said that Donna was always busy even if she was sitting under a cedar tree she would be cleaning the dirt.
I learned many things from my mother-in-law. I learned was that she thought her children were as near perfect as possible. Living with one of them I knew that was not entirely true. I learned that it was not a good idea to point out that there might be a flaw. I learned that I was mistaken. I found out and try to pass on to newly wedded brides that no matter what - you never complain to the mother-in-law about men, especially, your husband. Even if she is grumbling about men- you either stay silent (which I have never been good at) or you say that your husband never does anything annoying. Then you thank her for raising such a wonderful man. This means that you are more than likely lying through your teeth but it certainly makes life easier. But I really do have a great husband and have very little to gripe about, but I did not whine to Donna, not over three or four times, I am such a slow learner.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Sept. 9, 2008

Horses have always been extremely important to me. Most of you know that the love of horse flesh was something that Dad and I shared. I was visiting with my neighbor and we were discussing how we try to encourage our children to share the same interests. We all want our family to enjoy the same things. I was trying to think what Dad did to encourage me- I think more to the point- he did not discourage me. I can remember always wanting to climb on any four legged animal. I usually rode bareback because Dad said I could ride my horse anytime I wanted but I had to catch it, bridle it, and saddle it myself-Dad did not have the time to chase a horse around just because I to go for an adventure in the pasture. I was too little and I could not lift the saddle, but I could reach the bridles and the lead ropes. So I would go out and rattle a bucket to trap the horses. Sort mine off and catch him and the fun was just beginning. I am not sure that I have ever been happier than I was then-Raising my family has been a joy as well- but be on the back of a horse was something I am not sure I can ever reclaim.
Dad would have horses in the pen as he broke horses for many different people. He had an appaloosa mare he had been riding. I think maybe she was the first appaloosa I had ever seen. He was doing the evening feeding when he got the her trough and poured in the grain. He was telling me how nicely she was coming along. I was wishing that I could have ridden with him that day, I asked what he thought she would do if I hopped on her. While he was telling me he thought she would not do anything - he grabbed a belt loop on each side of me and threw me up on the unsuspecting mare. Well--- he was wrong about her being calm- she cut loose and I never really got in the middle of her before she tossed me in the air- each time I went up, I gained altitude. I hit the corner post of the pen and slide down. Dad was laughing so hard and slapping his leg saying that he would have never thought she had it in her. That broke me of thinking out loud- but it did not break me of wanting to ride. I do not think that I hopped on an unsuspecting horse again. See I do learn- Some of us must learn through pain.
Dad never made me feel like I had to like horses or he never forced me to ride- in fact, Mother kept telling me that I was a girl and I did not have to go out in the barn lot and get dirty- I could stay in the house and do other things- I would rather go out in the corral and see what Dad was up to- You must admit life in the corral was more exciting than anything that ever happened in the house or at least in our house. Mom kept a very tidy home and tried to keep some type of order. She was always on hand to clean up the blood and patch us up so we could go out and do it all over again-
After visiting with my neighbor - it brought back so many fond and scary memories. One was remembering when I had my very own horse and dad tether me to him- Which is another story all together- But we were bringing in a cow that had gotten out- he had taken me as far as he could with me tied to him. He untied me and told me to make the horse do what I wanted and not to let him ran away with me. I was so scared that I would get lost and he would not ever find me again or that I would get dumped and he would be disappointed that I could not do what he told me. I told my pony to be really good and lets not run and we would be okay. When you lean down and talk to your mount and pat him on his neck let him know that together if things go just right you will make it back to the barn without either one of us getting hurt. This does not always work but
for some reason this time the horse did just what he was suppose to do, I found Dad and we brought in the cow. He let me know that he was proud of me- maybe that is what we really need to let our kids know- we love them and we are constantly proud of them.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Sept. 1, 2008

September is the time years ago that kids started to school. I think that I started to first grade after Labor Day, but then with the use of air conditioning they decided that we could begin earlier. When Mom and Dad went to school, they had to pack a lunch. I asked Mom what she got in her lunch- She said that in the early fall if she was lucky she would get a piece of fried chicken. Usually there was piece of bread or a biscuit and what ever else her mom had handy for a sack lunch. Sometimes there might be a piece of fruit when it was available. She said that some kids would only have a biscuit and it was hard. I asked her about how they wrapped up their lunches. Did they use wax paper or what? Now we have a variety of things to use to keep our food fresh and clean. She said that she thought that they did not wrap up any of the items in the lunch. I would have thought that the sandwiches would have dried out so much you could not eat it. But times were so different then. Can you imagine what a health inspector would think if he saw a someone eating a lunch that had not been in a refrigerator and it was not wrapped- The lunch would have been carried in tin lunch box or a paper sack that had been used many times. It is a wonder that the human race has survived. Now the kids go to school and get breakfast and a hot lunch. My generation is spoiled and my kids’ generation is worst. If we actually had to survive as my parents had to, I am not sure we would make it. Milking cows and raising chickens, not for pets, but for the sole purpose of eating them. Having chores that had to be done each and every night. There was very little time to play, let alone practice ball. I can just see the farmers that sacrificed to let their kids attend school would tell them that they could spend an extra hour or two after school so that they could practice the sport of their choosing. Kids had chores that had to be done before the sun went down. The sports were played during recess.
Sports were something that you did when and IF you had the time. Now it appears that the whole world stands still for a sport activity. I guess that I am getting old and realizing that getting a good education is so much more valuable than being able to hit- kick- bounce or throw a ball better than anyone.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell August 26, 2008

Last week I told you how I had gone down home and was reliving parts of my childhood. I know that there must have been some bad things that happened. But as I get older I do not seem to remember very many bad times. I was very fortunate to have the family that I had and that they did not talk a lot about how the world had not gone the way they thought it should have gone. I can remember Dad telling me when I complained about someone not being a nice person- or something that I thought was not right- He would tell me that is was not good to let people bother me like that and that I should learn to love them the way God had made them. That was not what I wanted to hear. But he would just laugh and say not to let them get under my skin and go on with life.
One of the things that I did when I was little was to get the mail. Maggie Alder was our mail carrier - then when she retired, her daughter, Bea Odell, took the mail route. One time when I was going to the mail box I looked at the barn while I was walking by and there in the open hay mow door was an owl. I do not think that I had ever seen an owl before. But there he was sitting there just looking down at me like I had done something wrong. I think that he was a horned owl as he had those feathered ears that stuck up from his head that looked like horns. I wondered what he could do with those horns. I was sure that it could not be good -it was like looking at a huge mean looking chicken with the capability of a bull. All of these things just did not sound like it was something I wanted to get involved with, so I did what all children do when frightened. I ran to the house for my mommy. I told her that there was a big bird in the barn and he was really mad at me and I had not done anything to him. Mom went out to see what I was talking about and sure enough he was there sitting in the open door and he looked like he was mad at Mom, too. She told me that he was an owl and that is how he looks and that he was not angry.I think that every time, since that day that I look up at that hay mow door I remember that owl. When we went down home last week we were walking toward the barn and there was an owl in the barn. This time, however, he was white I did not get a good look at him and not sure if he had the tufts or if his head is smooth and round like a barn owl.. My first thought is that he is a snow owl- but not sure that is correct. I will do so more looking and checking my bird books to see what he is and will let you know what I find out.
After thinking about how unkind that owl looked- It made me think about how Mom and Dad always tried to teach me that you must get to know someone before you make any judgments on their character.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell August 19, 2008

Last week I went down to my old home place. I was looking over the place where I had many memories. It was kind of like when you watch a movie and you see and hear the characters thoughts. As I was walking around I saw the gates that were painted silver. I can remember when they were painted. Vickie and Virgil got to paint, Dad would not let me as he said I was too little and would make a mess. That was one time where I felt I had really been slighted. After all, it was not my fault I was younger than my brother and sister. I just knew after Dad thought more about it he would relent and let me paint. That never happened. I imagine the more he thought about the more he was positive that he had made the right decision.
There was the brooder house where we kept the baby chicks. That held a special memory as well-I would go down to the brooder house and open the door when Dad had bought more chicks than he was suppose to purchase from the hatchery. The door swung in so you had to be really careful and not open the door too fast or you might smash a chick. Smashing chicks was something that was frowned upon by Mom and Dad. One had to be very cautious as the chicks were frightened of every thing. They would bunch up in a corner and pile on top of each other and that was not good. After I would get in and get sat down- I loved to watch the little chickens running around pecking and cocking their head to one side and then the other as they listened to new sounds. I liked to pick them up and hold them and talk to them. I usually was not in their too long before Dad would catch me and say, “Vanita get out of there, if you handle the chicks too much you will kill them.” I thought that was unfair. I was not just handling them- I was taming them. I figured one day he would thank me for having such nice tame chickens. One time, for some reason I got to keep a chick in the house. I cannot remember the reason for this, as we had a place for him to live. Anyway, he stayed in a box- I would catch him and play wit him all the while Dad said that it was not good for him to be handled all the time. I must have been about four or five years old and that made Virgil fourteen or fifteen years old. We had a rainy day and Virgil decided that my newly found pet needed a special place to live. He built ‘chicken little’ (oh, that was an original name) a little house out of a box. He made a two story house. It had an upstairs, that the chick could actually climb, and I thought it was great. I do not know where Virgil got his idea, but it was a nice thing to do for his little sister. Since Chicken Little was a rooster- I found that raising a rooster was not the best thing to do. After he had grown into a full feathered cock, he would chase me and flog me from the house to the mailbox and back to the house with me screaming both ways. This is where I lost my interest in grown feathered birds. Even now going into a chicken house is extremely difficult thing to do. It is a sad thing when you are chicken of a chicken. I can tell you that ‘Chicken Little’ was not all bad- he made good chicken and noodles.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell August 12, 2008

This has been a busy week- of course; it seems every week has been full of things to do. I realize that I am not busier than anyone else- my problem lies within myself, as I am not the most organized person. I went to Ruidoso to help my sister. This is kind of like the blind leading the blind as sometimes she is not organized either. But to her defense, she has many more people in her life that requires her attention. But we have a good time, anyway. Her daughter, Casey, got married on the 2nd of August, so I went early to help her get things ready. It was not to be a huge wedding, just family and a few friends. It turned out well and we had a good time. The thing is - with Vickie’s family is that even though their four children are spread out in age, 37 to 26; - they all had babies close together. Along with Vickie and Randy’s grandchildren, we had Randy’s sister’s grandbabies as well. Every child was adorable and certainly had their own personality and wanted their due of attention. While we were working on the food for the reception we had nine kids running around all under the age of seven. Boy, that was a busy place. We did not have all nine kids there constantly, but was a little tot around there most of the time. Actually, it was not bad at all. Wendy, Vickie’s youngest daughter, took control of the kids and she was wonderful. She has a unique personality and she was a lot of fun for all of us. I stayed one extra day after everything was over, we were sitting in the living room in Vickie’s home and Randy was just sitting in his chair and we discussed how quiet it was and how tired we were. Do not get me wrong Randy and Vickie love their grandchildren, nieces and nephews, but they like the quiet life too. I must admit I was enjoying the silence, as well. We were talking about how we understood why God gave children to the young and let us older people keep them from time to time. It is not that we no longer love children, we just do not have the patience that we used to have. I can remember Mom telling Dad to quit teasing the grandkids and keeping them all stirred up. He would have them running through the house screaming and running to Mom to protect them from getting their ears chewed- or just from the awful faces he could make to terrify them. Mom would tell Dad to go outside and leave the kids alone as she felt like she was going to fly. I never understood that- Now I do! I think that I owe Mom a hug, now that I think about it.
There seems like there is always something to do around here. It may not be what you want to do but there is something that needs some attention. I went down to check on the water down home and sure enough one of the windmills was dribbling water. The tank was full, but it was not going to stay that way. I knew that the mill was going to need to be pulled and new leathers would have to be replaced. I was hoping that we would not have to replace the pipe also. Jim had just got back from spending the weekend with his mom in Tulsa- I did not want to tell him that we had a well job to do when he got off work. Jim is the kind of man that does not yell or whine often, he does what needs to be done. We got the mill pulled, replaced the leathers. Fortunately, the pipe was in good shape but what we did not have was the correct size of jet-rod connectors as they were worn completely out. We got as far as we could and quit for the night. Today, I purchased the right connectors and we are ready to finish the job. The best thing about going down home, if we are lucky, we get to visit with the neighbors along the road. We visit with them and find out what things have happened to them and about their kids and grandkids. After visiting with them I think that most of the time Life really is good.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Aug. 5, 2008

Last week I wrote on lazy Sunday afternoons the other great thing about Sunday’s was the comic. We love the comics. At home we got our Sunday paper on Monday. This meant we received two papers on Mondays. I think that the comics helped us learn to laugh at ourselves. Poor old Dagwood was always in trouble. We were in the Viet Nam conflict so Beetle Bailey gave us something to amuse us. Those that were in the World Wars might it a little more humorous than the rest of us or maybe not. I am sure some of them could identify with one to the characters in that strip. Mothers and Grandmothers enjoyed Dennis the Menace quite often, along with Family Circus. Mom and Grandma always read the serials- Brenda Starr- and Rex Morgan. I never got into Gasoline Alley or Dogpatch- I liked Nancy and one of our top favorites was Peanuts. Then there more different comic strips that the Hutchinson News carried- Hi and Lois quickly became a favorite- We did not get the Wichita Eagle so when we went to Uncle David’s they had a whole new set of comics. There was Pogo, Shue, and BC, those were alright but they did not have some of the ones I liked the best. I thought that Uncle David and Aunt Theo must have been very intelligent as I thought that some of the ‘funnies’ were hard to comprehend. Those that were political I never did get and most of the time, I still do not understand.
Through the years humor changed. Some of the comics became more vulgar, that might be little harsh, maybe lewd is the word. I love the Lockhorns and I learned to like the Far Side. Baby Blues and Zits are entertaining along with For Better or Worse. It is kind of sad once in a while, but sometimes life is sad. I think that our music reflects our lives and I think that the comic strips are the same way.
If it had not been for the comics I am not sure that Jeff would have ever learned to read. Jeff went to summer school and Rocky Stewart told the kids that they could read anything that they wanted to read. He wanted them to understand that reading could be enjoyable and it was not always something that they would be tested on later. Jeff loved Calvin and Hobbs. Calvin was the only thing that he liked to read. The worst thing was that he liked to become Calvin. This was not always such a good idea- As I told him time and time again- Calvin is fun to read about not so much fun to live with.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 29, 2008

Just a word about Joe- As you know he had heart surgery a week ago Monday- he is home and doing very well. We are glad to have him back.
I am writing this on Sunday afternoon and it brings to mind what Sunday afternoons used to mean. Before I came along Sundays were spent with Moms family. (When I came along all of the other kids were grown and were starting their own families away their hometown.) After church they would either go to Uncle David and Aunt Theo Cary’s, or Uncle Edwin and Aunt Hazel Crouse’s or Mom and Dads or Grandma and Granddad Cary’s house. They all had kids about the same age- Patty and Max Cary- Charles and Mabel Crouse and my sister and brother, Vickie and Virgil. Vickie and Virgil were a little younger than the others, but they had a great time playing together. There was always plenty of food to enjoy and I am sure plenty of dirty dishes to wash. But when you have all of the family together many hands make light work. Grandma could fry the best home-grown chicken and of course gravy made with the good fresh cream gravy. I am not sure but I think that Grandma made most of her bread- so there was homemade bread with freshly churned butter- I do not know how they had the time to fix all of the food without the conveniences that we have now. They had to work so hard just to put a meal on the table. It seemed to me that Grandma kept house effortlessly. Her home was always neat and clean- I never remember her complaining about having to clean up. If I know that I have company coming I have to put everything on hold to get things to where I am not embarrassed. If I do not know that I am having company there will more than one of us surprised.
Years ago when kids had a Sunday afternoon they could play outside, Since it was really not much cooler inside as it was under a tree or in the side of a hill that could work as a fort - house- an inn- or whatever their imaginations could dream up. Mom tells of the countless times that when she was little, that her brother, Harland and her would play out in the pasture or just go on walks.
As I was growing up we went often to the grandparents and Uncle David’s, do not remember much about going to Aunt Hazels much. Uncle Edwin died when I was quite young- and Aunt Hazel remarried a man by the name of Ray Wilcox- he was not from here and they made their home in Garden City.
I when was younger- Sunday afternoons were one time that we got to eat sandwiches- This did not happen often- but sometimes after church we would go to Norman Hadley’s and get lunch meat- He was one of the only businesses open on Sunday. Mom and I would get liverwurst and dad would get what he called dog, which to everyone else was bologna. Norman had the best lunch meat around. He would slice however much you wanted. With the liverwurst he would put thin paper between the slices so it would not stick together. Oh, I thought we were living ‘high on the hog’ when we had sandwiches because we also got potato chips and that was a treat in itself. My how things change- I hope that you all have a lazy Sunday afternoon and take time to enjoy all of your blessings.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell-- July 22. 2008

Good News - Bad News-
Bad News- Joe Spence had to have a new valve replaced in his heart- Good news- he is doing fine and is recovering quite nicely.
Bad News Joe is out of town and the townspeople are worried if they are going to be able to get some of his wonderful tomatoes- Good news- yes, they will be able to get the produce as it becomes available- Bad News- I am take care of the garden- I have the rare ability to kill any living plant known to mankind- good news- I have help, not with the killing-but with the watering - consulting- picking and whatever else needs to be done - Hopefully they have better gardening skills than I do.
I just do not understand why some people can grow things while the rest of us can not grow mold. I have three; I started with four, tomato plants. When I got them they were pretty and nice. Thinking that I would be smart, I planted each one in their very own planter. I thought they were growing and looking good- until I went into Joe’s garden. His are about four to five feet tall and are producing tomatoes. Mine are about two and half feet tall and have three puny little tomatoes. I do not think they have the will to ripen. While Joes are grwong quickly and are fat- plump and ripening to a beautiful bright red. I do not try any other vegetable- there is no point in wasting the time, the energy and the water to kill some poor, innocent plant. One time, many years ago I had a lovely garden and the grasshoppers ate it up in two days. I found that to be very discouraging- I guess there are two types of people in this world- growers and consumers- I am definitely a consumer. My Grandma Cary and I am told that Grandma Alley were extra good gardeners- they could grow anything and they liked to eat what they planted- Aunt Zora (Dads sister) could grow flowers on a cement slab. She had the knack of knowing just what to do to make the plant want to live. Dad liked to try to garden but his heart was not completely committed to the cause. Uncle David was another one who could really makes the soil and seed do what he wanted them to do. He was a very good farmer - he had a way about him that worked well.
I just hope that Joe gets back on his feet and can enjoy the fruits of his labor- literally. And I hope that he will still be talking to me when this is all over and done with.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July16, 2008

This week we have had some sadness as we have lost another good friend, Bonnie Frazier. Bonnie and I have worked together for several years at the church. Together, we co-chaired the funeral dinners. Bonnie was much better at fixing just the right amount of food. She rarely had an over abundance of leftovers. We have served many meals together and I will certainly miss her.
Joe Spence is in the hospital getting some heart work done- We are hoping that he gets back in the swing of things soon. His garden is starting to take off and he needs to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He has some onions that weigh over two pounds each. Way to go, Joe!
One thing about the lifestyle I have chosen to lead is that I am never bored. This past week proved to be no different. We finally got some of our cattle moved to where they should have been 2 months ago- but with Jims work and all kinds of other events we felt we had to do, the cattle work got put off. Working with the cattle is one thing that Jennifer does not miss being included. When we did cattle work she was the one who kept the home fires burning and the house intact. Jeff helped us out when he could. Friday, we got the ol’ girls in and paired up and hauled to the appropriate pasture. We did not get completely done so we kept them penned and continued to pair up on Saturday. Jeff and Chelsea came out and helped us. It was either the weather or keeping them penned up had made a few of the girls really cranky. Jim had taken a load to pasture while Jeff and I stayed to pair up a few more. We located a pair and by the time we got her and her calf in the loading pen she was not entirely happy. But, of course, when the pair went in the loading pen another cow which did not have a calf with her went in the pen also. I thought, ‘no problem, we will just sort her off and that will be that’. WRONG. We started to get the unmated cow out and she would not budge. The paired cow about ran over me to get out. About the time I thought I had the odd one to the gate she would just stand there and look at me while the other was wanting out of the pen, desperately. I saw that the mother cow was almost to the point of getting nasty- but I thought if I could just get the other one out, then I could leave everyone alone. Jeff saw that I was having some difficulty and got in the pen to help me out, I told him to watch Momma as she might ‘get’ him. He did not seem too concerned until we started to move them around. There are times when you wonder how someone might react in a certain situation. I always thought that when push comes to shove my family would protect me. Well…. I found that when a cow is blowing snot and makes a run, my son, who I spent hours in labor and gave him life, will actually crawl over the top of me to save his own skin and leave his poor, old, fat, defenseless mother to save herself. The cow did not make any contact - but she did make a believer out of us- We decided that maybe we ought to let her cool down a little and see what Jim could do with her. At least, we did get the job done, maybe not in the most efficient way but life will go on.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 8, 2008

We are almost half way through July and I still do not have the work done that I wanted to accomplish. I am amazed how long it takes me to do things. Jim and I worked about 50 head of calves the other day and I cannot believe that it took the whole day. I know that when Dad was in his late seventies and early eighties he worked faster than we did. Of course, the weather was not exactly the best- but Dad worked in the heat and he never complained as much as I did. Maybe no one complains as much as I do. I know that we could work and pair up 50 head in a day, easy, with daylight left over- the other thing is that I have lost all of my strength, not that there was ever that much there to begin with but there was more than there is now. I think that it must be Jeff’s fault. When he was at home he was my muscle. He pulled and tugged and moved whatever I wanted moved and I was the overseer. Now that he is no longer at home I have to do those things he was doing. He sure did make it look easy. Jim can only do so much and probably if the truth was known most men would send me to the house and find some good help. But he puts up with me and my moaning and groaning. I thought that I was ready to get these calves worked, but there are things you forget about; such as getting rid of the wasp nests on the chute. We were doing fairly well and minding our own business when a wasp flew by me a stung me right above my elbow. He really shot the jazz to me. I think that you could call it a ‘fly by’. Wasp stings have never bothered me but this one swelled up and was uncomfortable for a few days. We fixed him, I had the burner from the branding irons and we burnt his happy little home. There were a couple other nests that got our attention, as well.
When I was a little girl the Cary place seemed to have more wasps, bees and grasshoppers than we did down home. Grandma had a dinner bell and I liked to ring it for Granddad to come in from his rock house. I soon learned to check inside the bell first. If you did not the wasps did not like for you to ring the bell at all. They would come barreling out of the bell and they meant business. I can remember running away from those winged bombers and screaming like the little girl that I was.
Wasp can make their homes almost any place. I thought that they had to build on something solid. That is not the case or, at least, not at our current house. We have wasp that make their nests in the trees. Boy, that really is a shock when you walk under a tree limb and look up and there is a wasp nest the size of a pie pan. It is a good idea to just walk away. Dad, on the other hand, declared war on them. He would get a newspaper and roll it up and make a torch out of it and set it on fire and burn them out- he would do the same for bumble bees- I do not ever remember him ever getting stung. If he did he never would have admitted it. It is a wonder that he did not catch the building on fire in his attempt to get rid of the stinging bugs. Maybe that is why we did not have the flying stingers at my childhood home.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell July 2, 2008

This has certainly been a wild week. It is just amazing how quickly things change. We were fortunate to have Jims Uncle Larry and Aunt Pasty visit us Tuesday Evening. Wednesday evening, Lisa Ballot and two her daughters along with her mother, Addie Ellen Burnett came into town for a quick visit. Addie Ellen is a sister to H. R. Burnett who was a causality of World War II.
While we were visiting we were talking about our childhood. I was telling her about the time that my lovely mild-mannered mother chased me down the road. It seems that I lead an interesting childhood as compared to other kids. Or maybe I just have a better memory than some other people. I really believe that country kids have such an advantage over town kids- We have so much more room to run around and find various things to amuse us. Do you remember finding a litter of kittens in the hayloft? I would find a momma cat and try to mimic a kitten so she would give away the location of her babies. This worked sometimes- but there were a few that would not fall for my impersonations. Or how about a mother hen who proudly brings out her chicks and is very cranky with anyone who approached her- One time we had a strong wind in the spring and the bird nest blew out of the trees. Virgil and I went around picking up baby birds and brought them in the house. We attempted to save them from the cats. We had a little bird cage we put them in and we worked hard to try to feed them. I got a whole new appreciation for mother birds; they must have a lot of patience.
Sometimes just sitting under the tree and making mud pies was delightful. Going out in the pasture was my all time favorite whether it was on foot or on horseback. You could let your imagination go wild and have all kinds of fun with out any high priced toys or gadgets. Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell June 24, 2008

Summer is certainly in full swing- One thing that you can be sure of is, that it will rain during harvest and state fair time. The rain that we have been having reminds me of when dad farmed and it seemed just as he got all of the repairs completed and the combine in the field then it would start to shower. Harvest is, at best, an extremely frustrating time of the year. My heart is with all of the farmers as it seems that this year has been full of aggravations with the weather, the fuel prices and I am sure that the repairs are enormous.
I like to watch how the animals cope with the heat. Jeff and Chelsea have two new puppies and they love to lay in a pool of water, not much different than the human species. In the hot summer you can be sure that the lake and the pool are full of those who love to splash around in the water. Personally, I do not care to go the lake or the pool- It might have something to so with being twice the woman that Jim married. Just cannot find that swimsuit that is flattering. You know the kind, the ones that make you look like a size two- oh, that is right, there is no such thing. All of this brings to mind how some think that cattle should not stand in the water. I am not sure that those who worry about such things are aware that in the winter the cows normally only drink from the creek and do not lounge in the creek and contaminate it. Where as the fish are still living in the water and the ducks are still swimming and bathing in the same water. I have heard that they worry about the animals depositing some kind of nasty things in the water for those people who like to play in the water. Frankly, the fish and birds bother me more than the cattle. I do not, however, want to remove the fish or the birds as I think that God must have thought they were a good idea since that is where he thought they should be located. I just cannot understand what those people think that the cattle are supposed to do? I would like to see those individuals wear a leather coat in the blazing sun. I would bet you, that they would want to stand under a tree along the creek bank in the cool, cool, water. I mean, do you really think that in the heat of the day that a cow would like to go stand on top of a hill and let the heat suck out every bit of moisture that her body can produce and have a sun stroke? I think--- NOT. Maybe that is how some of you deal with the heat -but I can guarantee that you will find me in an air conditioned room or vehicle, if I am not cool- life is an ugly place. I can not tolerate the heat like I could when I was younger- Some may think it is my age- I guess everyone is allowed to have an opinion.
We have a stock tank (metal tank) close to the road and this was late spring I drove by and had to take a double look as one of our cows was standing in the tank. I thought that maybe something had scared her into the tank-I thought that it was a coincidence as it really it was not hot out yet. Later when I went by again, it was not just one the cows it was several of them standing there in the tank. They made it look so natural, I left them alone. I have wondered - maybe the cows are about my age, in cow years. If that is the case I think that I will let them enjoy themselves.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell June 17, 2008

I was told one time that when one generation plants a tree and the next generation will chop it down. I was almost offended by the remark as we were cutting trees down for fire wood. But in our defense we were cutting trees that were already dead. When Jim and I moved back home after living in Texas for a couple of years, our home was heated by firewood only. We chopped wood for twelve years. Well, actually, Jim chopped - cut- split- loaded- unloaded- stacked wood. We have a fifty-fifty marriage- He brought the wood in and I burnt it. It was not quite that lopsided but Jim did most of the hard work to keep us warm. The kids got to help their dad out many times. When wood is the only heat that you have - you do not leave home for extended periods of time in the freezing weather unless, of course, you do not mind chopping ice in your toilet or thawing out pipes and all of the other ‘wonderful’ things that goes along with frozen water lines. What reminded me of this was when a friend called me yesterday and was telling me how he would like to plant an apple tree.
When I was a kid growing up we did not have a wide variety of fruit trees but we did have one cherry tree, one mulberry tree, three pear trees and a few peach trees. Come to think about it I guess we did have more than I thought. Living in Kansas you do not get to harvest the fruit every year, which did not hurt Moms feelings. As I have said before mom did not like to can but she was great at freezing peaches. They were so good in the winter, Mom and Dad liked to pour cream over their peaches, I liked mine plain and still a little frozen. Aww-- that was good eatin’. The cherry tree died when I was quite young. We did not use the mulberries for anything. I have heard that some people make jelly out of them. One thing is for sure - the birds really like the purple fruit. I use to eat them until one of my brother’s friends told me that they were not good to eat and that they were full of worms. So I never ate another mulberry. Since he was older and wiser I just knew he would not lead me to believe something that was not true.
Grandma Cary had a crab apple tree but we never used the fruit for anything- with the exception of throwing them at each other. The first good edible apples that I can remember were from the Ray Parcels. They had an apple orchard across the road from their home. Ray and Winnie Parcel were wonderful, kind people and they were delightful to visit. I thought that they would be really neat grandparents and I am sure they were. Now the apple trees have all died out and all that is left are the memories.
The apple orchard that I remember well was the one at Cashes Grove. Bob and Mary Pierce purchased Cashes Grove and made their home there for many years. I was impressed that a tree could produce so many apples. Bob was very proud of his home and the trees. I learned that the deer love apples from Bob and Mary. At that time the deer were not as plentiful as they are now and to see a deer was a treat.
With the prices the way they are now we might be smart in planting some fruit trees and start being a little more self-sufficient.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell June 11, 2008

While I was getting ready for the Wilmore Opry last Saturday afternoon I realized that I needed some improvement on my appearance. There are some things that can not be fixed but I know that I need a hair cut and some more color put back in my hair. Then I was thinking who came up with the idea that an arched eyebrow is more attractive than a thick bushy eyebrow? I mean, a bushy eyebrow would catch more dust and dirt that would fall and it would catch a lot more sweat before it came running into your eyes. I decided that my eyebrows were in severe need of plucking. You would not believe how many different ways there are to remove those unwanted hairs. You can have them removed by a professional (which is the best) who has different tools to use than the average person. They can use electrical gizmo that is suppose to eliminate hair- there are waxes - creams- razors and the old stand by, tweezers. I had procrastinated getting an appointment to get professional help on my appearance, which I am in desperate need, so I looked in my medicine chest to see what torturous contraption I had purchased before. There are things out there that are just painful and are not that effective. There was some wax that had dried up and was not useable. The wax works ok if you have someone else apply it. This particular wax you put in the microwave to heat it and there is an applicator that if the wax is too hot little letters show up on the stick that say HOT. I thought that it did not feel that hot so I applied it anyway. I learned that even though you think that it is just warm, on your eye brow area it might just blister. It is so attractive to go around with a blister or a scab as an eyebrow, or a mustache.
As I was looking I found a box of wax tape made just for this purpose. It is arched just right for the top and underneath of your eyebrow. I thought that I would try it as there was nothing else left but the tweezers. I kept thinking that there was a reason that I did not use these handy little strips. The instructions said to simply apply the strip on the unwanted hair hold the skin tight and then rip it off the opposite way the hair was growing and do not leave on for more than ten seconds. I slapped the strip on my left eye brow, rubbed it so that each and every hair would stick then I ripped it off- then I remembered why I had not used these again. It works very well and it removes the hair-----along with the hide that the hair was attached to. Now what do you do? I had to get the other side to match-this is a real trick anyway, I did not want to remove the delicate skin above the other eye- so I put the strip on the other brow did not rub it as much and then ripped it off- but since I had not rubbed it as much I did not get all of the hairs so I had to do it again and once more. It took quite a bit of make-up to cover the painful - hairless brow. Even Jim noticed that something was amiss yesterday as the wounded brow is trying to heal. Maybe I should leave these things to the professionals. I guess that I should say that I should work harder on my inward self rather than my outward appearance, after all, as my mom used to say ‘pretty is as pretty does’.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell June 3, 2008

This has been a windy and stormy spring. I think that the wind could very well be partly my fault. I thought last year that we had not had the wind that we used to have when I was kid. I guess the powers that be must have thought that I was complaining. That certainly was not the case. I have had enough wind to last for quite sometime. I can remember that one thing that really got on my dad's nerves more than anything was a windy day and a whining kid. When the wind would gust, it would blow dirt and sand in his eyes. Then the worst thing of all is that the wind would blow his hat off. On horseback the wind made life much more difficult. It would blow things around on the ground and the horses would be uneasy. If something was going to bust loose, this would be the time it would happen.
Our house had a big picture window in the north. When you looked out of it you could see the driveway and the road. When a dirt storm came from the north you could watch it come down the road and right into our house. It seemed it was usually on Saturday night after Mom had spent the biggest part of her day waxing our hardwood floors. That dirt would blow into the house and all of the dirt and dust on her beautiful floors was heartbreaking. I not sure Mom ever cried- but I know how important her housekeeping was to her and it made me feel sort of sick inside.
When a storm would come up Dad would get antsy and thought they should to go the cellar. Mom was not a cellar goer. She might have been more likely to go to the cellar if it was a pleasant place. But the underground crypt was buggy, musty and all around yucky. Once Dad was sure that they were about to be blown away, so he told mom that they must go to the cellar. This was a Saturday night and Mom had worked hard all day with her Saturday cleaning and she just got Vickie and Virgil to bed. She was so tired and was not interested in going to the cellar. She told Dad to go on but she was staying in the house. Dad said that it would not look good if the house blew her and the kids away while he was in the cellar safe and sound. Mom won that round and he stayed in the house with the rest of his exhausted family. Luckily, the storm passed over without any harm. I think by the time I came along they were not as concerned with the weather since I never remember going to the cellar for safety. This did not bother me as I was with mom on her thoughts of the cellar-spiders, bugs, toads and snakes are not my idea of a good time.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell May 27, 2008

In January I realized that my husband was going to turn 50 years old this year. His birthday is on the 25th of May. I decided to get a head start on what I was going to do for his birthday. I am not very good at gift giving, but for Jim 50th I had to do something special. This always makes me think of whenever Dad would want to give Jim a gift. He wanted to get him something that would please Jim. I never had a clue what he would want. But this year, I come up with the perfect idea. I decided to surprise him with family. Jim has two aunts, Donna’s sisters, that he has not seen in years. The last time he had any time at all to visit with them was at his grandmother’s funeral 21 years ago. I got to thinking that it is a shame that families only get together at funerals- so I called his Aunt Margie from Las Vegas, Nev., and his Aunt Linda from Delta Co. and they agreed to come out for his birthday Memorial Day weekend. Linda was able to bring her two daughters, ages 18 and 22, that we had never met. When planning this all out I realized that Jim’s mom had appointments in Tulsa at the Cancer Center, so she did not have to make a special trip from Biloxi, Ms. Her birthday is the 20th so we could celebrate her birthday, as well. I am not sure how long it has been since she was able to be with her sisters for a birthday celebration. We did surprise Jim with his Aunts visits, his dad and brother, John and family, came from Dodge to enjoy the occasion. Everyone from out of state stayed at our home and I must say it was wonderful. It is a good thing that I am not as old as Jim or all of this excitement might have killed me, but I will admit I am really tired. This worked out so well that I would encourage all of you who have lost touch with family to get back in contact with them and please do not wait for the next funeral.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell May 20, 2008

Memorial weekend is upon us. Memorial Day is a holiday when we remember those gone on before us. Each year we have more flowers to take to the cemetery. Our soldiers have a special mark by their graves. I think that it is good that we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so we may remain free. Regardless of your stand on war - we still honor those who have served by giving their lives. I have a good friend,Jerry Ferrin, who is very interested in those who have served in battle. He sent me an e-mail telling me of a new way to identify the remains of our soldiers. There is an agency that will help out families get some closure on a loved one who never returned from the war. Since DNA has become an efficient wayof detection, it has made identification much easier. There is an agencythat has devoted its resources to finding and identifying those who havelost their lives in War.This is what Jerry had written. "JPAC is a government agency (Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in ActionAccounting Command) located in Hawaii which is responsible for identifyingWW2, Korean War and Vietnam MIA remains. There are 32 known casualties of World War II from Comanche County, Kansas,and information can be found on them at the following web page: Those whose bodies were not recovered for burialat a national cemetery or returned for burial in the USA were:Lt. H.R. Burnett, USNR; Pvt. William H. Finney, Coast Artillery Corps; MMMate 2nd Class John Jenkins, USN; S.Sgt. Ira Leighton Metzger, USAAF; CPOAlfred Glenn Seidel, USN; Corporal Elwin Edward Smith, USMC; Lt. Ralph J.Sooter, USAAF; 1st Lt. Hobert H. Thompson, USAAF; T.Sgt. Leo Curtis Thrall,USAAF: Sgt. Ernest Trummel, USAAF; Ben Vonachen, USAAF; 1st Lt. Donald G.White, USAAF; Lt. Donald E. Wright, USAAF; Watertender 1st Class Squire B.Zane, USN.JPAC is seeking DNA samples from relatives of service men who are missingor lost in action to keep on file for possible use in identifying thosewhose bodies have not yet been identified. More information on this simple,painless DNA donation is on the JPAC web site at it involves only a simple swab inside the cheek with a cotton-tipped swab."Some may think that we spend too much time and money on the dead; but Ithink that if someone can help others to get some peace of mind and gettheir loved ones home where they belong, my heart is with them.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell May 13, 2008

Have you ever stop to consider how much dishonest people have cost us? Not only monetary but we are suspicious of each other. Have you ever had someone come to your home and steal your belongings? They not only steal your things - they steal your time looking for them. I am not sure which makes me the most angry- By the time I figure out that the item is gone, I am so irritated and livid, that I am fit to be tied. To top things off it ruined my day and this is very bad for Jim. I figure that my time is just as valuable as anyone’s. When I was a little girl, my dad told me that once you break a trust it could never be repaired. As sad as that statement is - it is true.
If we could trust each other, we would never need a lock - we would never have keys to lose. I get so tired of losing keys or not being able to do what I started out to do because I left the keys at home or the key ring is in the other vehicle. Lock and keys are just the tip of the iceberg. We have people that make a living installing security systems to keep the thieves out. Businesses must employ security guards and that expense is passed along to us, the consumer. How nice it would be if our law enforcement officers could spend their time doing something else besides working robbery cases.
I guess I have my knickers in a twist and maybe if we could prosecute and let the punishment fit the crime as they did in the old west- maybe we could rest a little easier at night. But that is just way this country gal sees it.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell May 06, 2008

The month of May brings to life many memories- In May we have May Day. Not many people still recognize this tradition. When I went to school in Wilmore - we had the Halloween Carnival and the Coldwater School celebrated May Day. Sometimes Mom would take me to the Grade School to watch the winding of the Maypole. I thought that it was a beautiful program with all of the pretty ribbons and the singing. It made quite an impression on me.
The maypole made me think of the pole that was on the Coldwater Grade School playground. The pole stuck out of the ground at least twelve feet. Of course, I was small so it might have not been that tall, but seemed like it was. I think that maybe it was an axle of some sort. It had several chains hanging from the top, at the end of each chain there were 2 handles of horizontal pipe that one was probably 6 inches above the other. I remember watching kids play with device one time while I was waiting for Vickie to get out of the high school. I was sitting outside of the playground on a bench waiting for school to get out so I could ride the bus home with Vickie. I think that I only did this one time and I can not remember what the circumstances were that I was allowed to ride home with my sister. I was really scared as I sat there- but while I was waiting, the lower grades was having recess. Those kids were having such fun on the playground equipment. That pole with all of the chains was a little brutal, but they had such fun on it. You could get several kids one per chain they would grab on to the handles and start running slow at first then faster and faster until they were airborne. Now they were not airborne long as someone would either fall off or they needed to stop. If they just needed to stop that was not so bad, but if they had fallen, they would get trampled, and when not if they let go of the chain it would, of course be flying and would hit you in the back of the head. It was terribly painful, but that piece of equipment was one of everyone’s favorite. Kind of makes you wonder - why? When I went to Jr. High in Coldwater as Wilmore was closed I got to play on it. I learned pretty quickly that it was important to have a person per chain. If there was a loose chain swinging, it could very well have been lethal. But that did not stop us; it was as much fun as I thought it would be, when I was watching as a little girl.
Another thing on the playground that they on longer have are old tires. Tires were great fun especially if they were large enough to crawl into and have someone else roll you down a hill. Oh, boy! If you could stay in it to the bottom, you were really ‘cool’. Remember the teeter-totters? I can remember giving and getting bounces on those long boards. Sometimes the bell would ring and the kid on the bottom would get off and send you to the ground just a little quicker than you would like. I can still remember the board and the ground meeting and it seemed that the ground shook. If that would happen to me now… Oh, I do not even want to think about it.
I loved the merry-go-rounds. In Wilmore we had two; one we pushed from the outside of the merry-go-round and the other we pushed from the inside. The first one was what the littler kids used, but the one that we pushed from the inside was awesome. We could get at least three kids to push really fast and I thought that we just might fly off into outer space. I always thought that it looked like a flying saucer.
Kids now do not have the same playground that we had because it has been deemed unsafe. But what fun we had playing on those contraptions. I am sure Moms did not appreciate the tire marks, dirt and blood on our clothes. But the clothes washed and we healed up, and were ready to go again. I guess, I can tell I am getting older as these memories seem like the good old days.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 29, 2008

We were sad to hear that Kent Hart had passed away this past week- I did not know Kent all that well. What I did know of him was that I thought he was a good cowboy and enjoyed living the farm and ranch life. He had a dog with him most of the time. I always thought that anyone who loved a dog enough to keep it with him was a good man. I know that his family will have a void in their lives that can never be filled. Our hearts are with them.
One thing that I have found more annoying than telemarketers is accessing an account on-line. Once you finally figure which site you need then there are user names- passwords- One has to have a notebook to keep track of what user name you use and what password you have used. I have one account that requires three passwords. By the time I get there, I cannot remember what I wanted to do or I am so tired and irritated that I no longer care. Then you have to be able to ask the question that you need to know in the only way that the computer recognizes.
When you get so angry at the on-line site, you could call the head office. Oh, that is fun. NOT! It would be all right if you could speak to a person instead of an automated system. Those are exasperating. They ask you to push one number after another and the list keeps going on. They ask so many questions that you are not sure that you ever had a problem, in the first place.
I have found that if you get so infuriated that you cannot push one more number and you have been patiently doing everything they ask, there is something you can do. If you yell a naughty word at the automated system, you will be connected to a representative rather quickly. I am aware that many of you are too nice to do this and I am sad to say that from personal experience I know this really does work.
Do you remember when you could go into or even call a business office and ask about your account and they would go to the long rows of file cabinets and locate your file. In that file was all of your information then they would be able to tell you what ever you needed to know? You could find out if you had paid the bill or if they owed you, which is never the case. They had all of the information at their fingertips. They could answer any question you had asked them. Now when you go to an office and ask a simple question, they are more than happy to assist you if the computers are up and if the internet is working properly. If not you will just have to wait until the computer world is up and running again.
I know that computers certainly have helped us out in many ways; I just get so frustrated with the system. I guess you could say that I am computer challenged.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

County Gal by Vanita Blundell April 22, 2008

Last week’s article reminded me of the times that Dad tried to patch up various animals. I think that if Dad would have had the opportunity he would have made a great Veterinarian. He always wanted to fix something. One time Dad had pulled a calf and unintentionally broke both front legs. Well, he devised a splint made of a piece of plastic pipe. He split the pipe in half and drilled holes on each of the sides of the split. He carefully placed the broken leg in the pipe then laced up the pipe with twine or was it baling wire? This worked out well as he made the splint longer than the leg so the calf’s weight was on the splint and he could walk with out hurting his legs. He looked peculiar in the barn lot but he did not seem to mind. When the time had come to undo the pipe we had lined up one foot really well- but the other we had it slightly off and the hoof was turned to the inside but he did not know any different and he walked in a satisfactory pace.
We have had horses break their legs and Dad always thought that he could fix them. We were never successful with the horses. If heart would have mattered, in both the horse and Dad it would have worked but heart does not mend broken bones. Putting a horse down was something that Dad had a hard time doing. Mom’s nephew, Charles Crouse, just happened by one time, when Dad knew that a horse had given his all and the time had come for us to give up, as well. Charles was kind enough to help Dad out by doing what had to be done. I always appreciated him for that act of compassion for both Dad and the horse.
Many years ago in the cold freezing weather and there was ice on the ponds, a neighbor’s calf had fallen through the ice. Dad was with the ranch foreman and saw what had happened and he decided that they needed to save the calf. Knowing that it was one of the ranch hands calf and at that time the ranch hand needed every calf and could not afford to lose one needlessly. Dad jumped into the freezing pond in his Skivvies and saved the calf. The calf survived the ordeal.
Once in while, if a pregnant cow died, Dad would try to save the calf by doing a c-section to get the calf out. A neighbor lady called me and wanted to know if I could do a c-section and retrieved a calf as the cow had died but they could tell that the calf was still alive. I made a quick call to Dad to ask how to do it and how much time I had to do the deed. I was telling Dad the situation and when I asked about the time. I will never forget the hesitant tone in his voice, and his words. He said, “Well, how long can you hold your breath, little girl?” He certainly had a way of letting me know just exactly what he thought. I must say that I was sadly relieved as I was not sure that I could have done what they were asking me to do. Where are our husbands, anyway?
Another time we had a cow down and Dad fixed up a sling so she could stand. It was attached to the rafters of the barn and she could swing since she had lost control of her back legs. Thinking that we were doing her a favor and she should be grateful, she was in fact, angry. And every time I went in to the barn, she would try to hit me. The sling was a success. She got to where she could stand and walk on her own and it was time to turn out her out to pasture. She was doing really well and was minding her own business when storm came through and lighting struck her and killed her dead. It sometimes makes you wonder if all the time we had worked with her and put up with her nasty deposition, if it was really worth it, not to mention her point of view. But who knows- Hindsight is 20/20.
I have heard that some veterinarians think that some of our home remedies are ‘barbaric’. And maybe they are, sometimes. But most of the time we try to do what is best for man and beast.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 15, 2008

Last week was extremely stressful- but it was not with out a little fun. Jeff and Chelsea took pity on me on Sunday and helped me out. Jeff has been working for a local rancher after work and on weekends. He has been learning some ‘cowboy tricks’. You might be thinking ‘what is a cowboy trick’? A cowboy trick is something that country people do that may only work once but it takes care of the problem at hand. Well--- I have a few ‘cowboy tricks’ of my own. Some of Dads ’tricks’ I thought might be the end of me and so I have decided to see if I can teach Jeff a few death-defying antics. I had a downed heifer that I had helped calved-out in the pasture. I needed to get her to the house. Thinking that I needed some kind of a sled or sling to get her transported to the house. One good thing about never throwing anything away we have numerous items scattered around that might be of some use. We have many odds and ends, that some might call junk, but when the junk becomes useful it, then, it turns out to be valuable and no longer rubbish. I had many items to choose from- old pick-up hoods, assorted pieces of tin, large pieces of plywood, and many other things too numerous to mention. Jeff had told me that he had assisted his cowboy boss moving a cow with the tractor scoop. I will not get into details- as I am not completely sure I understand exactly how they managed it and not real sure, I want to know. After looking at our tractor scoop Jeff did not think that it would have worked the same. I must say that I was slightly relieved. Well, we found a discarded, metal, short bed, pick-up liner. It was lightweight and easy to move. We put two holes in the front of the liner so a chain hook could be used to pull it. We hooked a heavy log chain to the bed liner now a makeshift sled. We loaded it in the back of Jeff’s pick-up and took it out to the heifer. Now we had to figure out how to get her in the sled we had made for her. With the assistance of Jeff and Chelsea-, we ‘simply’ rolled her on to the sled. The little heifer did not seem to be alarmed by the activities, which made me wonder if she was all right. Chelsea rode in the back of the pick-up that was towing the little momma- Jeff was driving the pick-up (this could have been a disastrous as he is Vernie Whites grandson) but he was on his extra good behavior. I rode with the heifer on the newly made sled. We only had to stop a couple of times- we did have to add a rope halter to help her with balance. We got her to the house and got her unloaded and watered and fed. She seemed to be content grazing on the cheat grass. It was incredibly successful. I am not sure that it will work on the next animal that will be needing assistance but it worked this time. And that is how a ‘cowboy trick’ works.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 9, 2008

Dad’s devils who are sitting on fence posts to cause havoc have certainly been busy. I guess, I should say that my guardian angels have been working over time this past week. I have said that if you have something different happen on Monday the rest of the week is going to be chaos- It throws your whole week off. Well… that is way my last three weeks have started. But I have to remember the scripture that reads in Philippians 4:13: I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
I did something Saturday that I have never done all by myself before. As most of you who know me know that I when I grew up I was with Dad whenever possible. With that in mind - I helped him with all kinds of livestock ailments and with little medicine. We sewed up prolapsed heifers along with sewing up horses who cut themselves up with barbed wire- Some cuts were deep and he somehow knew how to put them back together. He had learned how to make surgical knots from Dr. Shelley after Granddad White had split his head open and Doc was too shaky to do the job - so he talked Dad through the procedure. Can you imagine that happening today? Dad used this little piece of education every chance he got. You would not think that would have been that useful of a tool. Actually, knowing that he had this knowledge - it made me a little nervous. I was fortunate enough to never to need his assistance as I was never in need of his surgical skills. Until I was married and I had to have a C-section delivering our daughter- I just knew that Dad thought that he could have helped, I was grateful that he chose to stay in the waiting room.
Back to my new experience, Jim had gone to Tulsa over the weekend to visit his mother. She has been in the Cancer Treatment Center for over 4 weeks now and he went to give her some moral support. I have been watching a couple of heifers and, of course, they decided to calve Saturday morning. I had to assist in the birthing of two calves. I was not sure that I could actually use the calf pullers by myself but I did it. Things are certainly easier with help. I was pleased that I did not have to break ruler #1 which is - ‘Do not stick your hand anywhere you cannot see the other end’. Well, I might have bent this rule a little but not completely broken. It is a good thing that the heifers can not talk- I am sure that they would like to sue me for malpractice.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell April 1, 2008

It seems in the past few weeks I have mentioned someone who has passed on from this life. I think that maybe I have buried more people than I know. This week is not going to be much different. I am certainly going to miss my feeding partner, Wendell Brown. I had the opportunity to help Wendell feed his cows this winter. In some ways it was almost like having Dad back. He was a delight. Every one had their own ways of doing things and Wendell was no different. But he had a method to his design and it was quite effective. He had equipment not much different than I grew up with - but he did things more like my Granddad Cary. He enjoyed repairing anything that was not functioning just right. Then he would fix it with out buying anything new, as he would have just the right piece to make it work. It may not be what it was manufactured with but it would operate correctly. That was the way my Granddad did things. Dad fixed things - boy, did he fix them- He had a saying “it would either come or bleed” one of us usually bled. Wendell was calm and a thoughtful man and I am going to be very sad to say good-bye.
Monday, I went with my sister, Vickie, to purchase a new puppy. This was another adventure for us. We went to Noble Oklahoma to look at a Chinese Imperial pup. Randy went with us; he is a really good sport to put up with our crazy ideas. Since we can use the computer to find an address and the exact directions to get to where we need to be going - that keeps us from getting lost. Actually, Randy got the directions so we would not get in an uncomfortable situation. We found the pups and, of course, there is no ugly puppy. I showed great restraint as I did not come home with another addition to the family. It was really hard, too, but I just kept thinking how I was going to rationalize another dog to Jim. Thank goodness, for Jim! Vickie and I have had some interesting outings looking for some sort of pet. We have bought puppies, chicks, guinea pigs, and birds. One thing my life is never boring.

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 25, 2008

First things first- Gods garbage disposals have returned- the Turkey Buzzards- Dad always looked for the Killdeers - I watch for the buzzards- I know it is weird- I think that I have death issues. The buzzards usually get here between Dads birthday (March 21)and Moms birthday (April 15th) and this year they are right on time.
We enjoyed our Easter, even though we did not have any little ones to hunt the colored eggs - we somehow made it. Do you remember coloring eggs when you were a kid? We had our own eggs and that might give you the idea that we could color as many eggs as we wanted. That was not the case- I think that Mom gave me a dozen eggs to decorate- In my school years we were to bring some eggs to school so we could have an Easter Egg Hunt. I am not sure whether it was a half a dozen or a dozen we were to bring and maybe it was not that many- but we were bring our colorful eggs and then someone would hide them and we would have this huge hunt for the eggs and we would take home whatever ones we found.
I thought it was great fun.
While shopping in the stores I would like to know who has turned Easter into this huge commercial thing. We went out of town Saturday and the stores were almost as busy as Christmas Eve. There were huge pre-packaged baskets with various themes. Parents do not have to put any kind of thought into the basket gift. Then I saw where some of the kids had picked out their own baskets --- I guess all of this is ok- it just seems that the Easter Season has been cheapened and very little of the reason why we celebrate it is even mentioned or if the kids know why they get out of school on Good Friday.
Jennifer and Giz came out for the day and then Mom and Joe came out to eat supper with us. At the last minute I found out that Virgil and Karen were going to be around so they joined us for an early supper. It is so great to have closer to home so we can get together more often. I did not find any lamb to fix for Easter, this did not seem to bother Jim, in the least. Since it was such a beautiful day we used the grill and grilled some burgers- steaks and salmon. After supper some went to the Cantata at the Christian Church. It was a good day. I have said it once and I will say it again- It is great to have family!!!