Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell August 25, 2009

Well, the new school year has begun. It is going to be a different year than any other. Since the kids will be going four days instead of five days. There will be many adjustments to be made by the students, faculty and staff. I know that the school board has weighed all of the facts and reached the best decision they could with the information that was available. When my kids were in school, they would have loved having Friday off. Jeff would have enjoyed getting those extra hours of work. Jennifer would have loved having the time to tweak and retweak her homework. I would have liked having that day to plan all of the appointments and a couple of shopping excursions as well. I am sure there are those who are not completely thrilled with the idea but overall I hope that we can support the board and try to make it a comfortable transition.
Schools certainly have changed from when my grandparents went to school. When the Bible was used as reading material and prayer was as common as recess. Even when I was in first and second grade, we said a prayer before we ate lunch. I do not remember anyone being offended. I cannot believe what our kids have to know in kindergarten. I did not go to Kindergarten- well, that is not all true- I went one day and that was all it took- for the teacher and me. I embarrassed Mom so bad that she made me take a little basket of apples to Georgia Sanders. I was to thank her for letting me come to class for the day. I thought that school was not for me- I really wanted to stay home and Dad could teach me all that I needed to know. When I brought home my reader from first grade, I soon learned that I did not want Dad to teach me to read, as he did not have the patience required. Mom was a good teacher and wonderful help with all of my homework. Mom was so much better at helping me out than I was with my kids- Jennifer learned rather quickly not to ask and to get help at school. Jeff was lucky enough to have Jennifer at home to help him.
Our parents never questioned the safety of the playground- Actually; even with the wooden teeter-totters that we got splinters from- or the wooden swing seats that would occasionally hit us in the head- or the merry-go-rounds that went very-very fast never once did I ever hear my parents say anything about it being dangerous. In fact, in many ways it was safer than what we play on at home.
We now worry if the playground equipment is safe and there is no lead paint on any of the swings. We never worried about the lead paint- my folks would have wondered why I would have been licking the swings in order to be poisoned by the paint. My parents never worried that the teachers were not teaching- their concern was that I had better been well behaved so that she could teach. If I had brought home a note that was saying I misbehaved to the point that I had to go to the principals office- life would not have been pretty in the White household. Now do not get the idea that I was a perfect child- there are many who could say otherwise- but I knew that the teacher was the one who we would respect and do as we were told. Dad told me that I might not be the smartest kid in class-(not that it was ever a possibility) but I could mind and I was to do the best of my ability. I think that maybe we all should be thinking on how we can make our kids education better. As we, all know it is easier to tear down than to build up- but if we tear down and destroy what are we going to have to show for our work?

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell August 18, 2009

This summer has turned out to be the summer of visitors- Each May when school is out I always wonder what the summer will bring to our family and how it will change our life. When we built our home, I wanted extra space for family and friends so they could be comfortable in our home without feeling as if they were intruding in our lives. So we have six bedrooms and three bathrooms and since Jim and I are, alone you would think that we would only use part of our house. But I seem to be able to make a mess in all of the rooms- But having as much space as we do we have had the opportunity to enjoyed many people this summer. There was a time when I ran out of space for a couple of cousins so they had to get a motel room. We have had no less than twenty-four different people and two dogs stay with us. Six of the twenty-four came back to spend a weekend or a couple of days. Our company was very diverse in religion, politics, and all kinds of different jobs-. So I have learned about various lifestyles.
This week we have the opportunity to have Jim’s sister, Verna, and her husband, Weylin, here to stay for a few days. They live in Gautier, Mississippi so we do not get to see them often. I know Jim likes to have time with his sister as they have not had the chance to visit in the past few years.
When I was growing up the summer was so much fun. I had no cares in the world. Dad let me watch the sheep and try to keep them in the correct field that he wanted them to stay. The sheep never wanted to settle in the spot where Dad wanted them - they wanted to go south instead of north and when Dad decided that they needed to go to south they only wanted to go north. The coyotes liked to nibble on a tender lamb so I was to be on the lookout for the ornery predator.
I did most all of the sheep watching on horse back. After checking on the sheep, I would wonder around the pastures to see what I could see. My imagination ran wild. For some reason I was worried that the Russians were going to overtake us and I needed a place to hide. I do not know what I thought I was going to do after I hid as I could never sit still in one spot for a long time- But I had my plans. I liked to ride in the evening and feel the heat of the day leave the air and feel the coolness in the bottoms of a canyon. I would ride out our pastures day after day and never got tired of the scenery. Dad never let me go on anyone else’s property, unless there was a good reason and usually he would be with me if that were the case. I have always wanted to ride out Wildcat canyon. This pasture was not a half of a mile away from our home but Dad said that we had enough fields to play in and I did not need to be riding in someone’s pasture disturbing things. He was right; maybe I will get to do that some day before I am too worn out to enjoy the beauty of the territory.
Well, the summer is starting to wind down with school starting and things getting back to “normal” now it makes we wonder what the fall holds in store for us.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Shopping is something that I have always enjoyed. I do not have to purchase something every time I just want to know my options. I love to window shop. Jim is not a window shopper- he knows what he wants and he goes to the store and buys it without looking to the left or the right. I might know what I want- but there may be something much better that would suit my needs. Years ago, people bartered for items. My grandparents would take in their milk, cream and eggs to town and trade for cocoa, flour, sugar- or whatever they needed at the time. I think that I would enjoy that type to bartering. When I came along people bought things much like we do now with the exception of the use of credit cards. But now I feel like I am being cheated, as I am not sure what I think of buying items on-line. Mom and I went to a couple department stores in Dodge City and she needed a pair of shoes. Mom has very flat feet and she is hard to fit. She must try on the shoes to make sure that they will work for her. In both stores when we asked for a narrow shoe, we were told that they only sell them thru the internet. I thought when a customer took the time to drive over sixty miles to make a purchase the store could at least stock the items they are suppose to sell. We came home empty handed and a little disgusted. I do not know how anyone buys shoes on-line. I know you can always send them back- but who wants to pay for all of that postage. And do not get me started on postage. I know that I am getting older as things that are not the way they used to be; is making me cranky.
People can buy all kinds of things off the internet- I am guilty of purchasing a couple of items- I have found that it could get to be addictive. You can buy almost anything and if you cannot buy it, you can find someone who does. Since I love to shop, and I can shop for anything. I think that I could get into a little bit of trouble. If this takes off our grandchildren will never have to leave their homes. They will be able order all of their needs off the internet-or whatever it becomes. They will never have the thrill of getting up early in the morning to take off with their mother to buy school clothes or to take that special day to go out and buy that one of a kind prom dress. They will not get the adventure of going to store after store after store to buy the perfect wedding dress. While you are shopping, you eat at a fun restaurant that your dad does not like. I know that some of my fondest memories I have with my mom is when we would go shopping- My mom could sniff out a bargain like no one else. When we went prom dress shopping, we shopped out Woodward and Alva Oklahoma. All of the dresses were too expensive so we went to Dodge City, this is when Mom told me that she was not going to spend over twenty dollars for my dress- otherwise she would just make one- I was so horrified that mom was going to make my dress- not that she was a bad seamstress; I just did not want a homemade dress. But we found a dress that was just what I wanted and it was marked down to eleven dollars and seventy- five cents. I was happy and mom was satisfied. If we could have just went on the internet, bought the dress we would have missed the hunt, and it is, most definitely, all about the hunt.
Maybe I am a shopahloic- I guess the first step is identifying the problem- Hello- my name is Vanita and I am a shopahloic.

August 4, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
I feel that I must keep you informed on my cleaning process- we are still working on our garage- but there is a definite light at the end of the tunnel. Jim fixed the door so it will work the way it is suppose too. I can actually walk through the garage without worrying if there is a hidden critter somewhere- it would not be impossible if there was a critter but now he does not have thing to hide behind. I have promised myself that I will never let anything get in this kind of condition again- but I think that I am, more than likely lying to myself. Anyway- things are looking up and now all I have to do is to start on my closets- Oh boy, I think I might ought to rest up.
Coldwater certainly had a bang up 125th birthday celebration. I would like to thank all of those who worked so hard to pull off the event. I know that there was a lot of planning and sweat involved in the preparation of this past weekend. I love parades- the problem I have is that I like everything from hooves to wheels- That is why I have so many “wonderful’ things at my house and have problems with parting with some of my ‘treasures’. When I see Dennis Swayze and his team of horses, I am always wishing that I could have a team and a wagon. Midge Herd looked like she was having fun in his wagon. I was proud to say that I knew Emily Westrup Reif. We were in school together and were neighbors as well. I thought that she had out done herself with her team of Clydesdales. I do not know if I have ever seen a more massive amount of horseflesh on four hooves. They were absolutely beautiful. I did not get to visit with her after the parade as I was working at the chicken noodle dinner at the church. But I wanted to tell her that she was awesome. I loved the Viper car, too. I would have liked to look at it a little more. The kids pedaling on bikes and riding various things was entertaining. Thank you, Coldwater, you did yourself proud.

July 27, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
We said our final good-bye to John Deewall Sunday afternoon- I have several good memories of John. One of my favorite memories is he was one of the only men besides Warren Branson who tipped their hats when they met a woman. Well, actually what I remember is that when John greeted my grandma- He would call her Mrs. Cary and he always tipped his hat. I appreciated that he showed respect toward her. I thought that she was a wonderful woman and it was nice to see that others thought of her as respectable. I think that we have all been so informal for so long that we have lost something. I think that Mom calls it - finesse.
John was so proud to have been part of the war effort during World War II. He took his VFW duties very seriously. He would bring Dad papers to sign and would stay and talk for a while. Dad always enjoyed his visits with John. They had been neighbors for years. One time John drove in the yard and informed Dad that we were out of water at the Eighty. When we got there the cows were in bad shape. We knew that the water there was not good but did not realize that the little pond had dried up. John told dad that he needed to go the Soil Conservation office and get some help to build a better watering hole for the cattle. Dad was a little hesitant but John insisted that they could help him out- John even went with Dad to the Soil Conservation Office and they got the job done. It was not long before we had a nice little pond. I always thought that if John had not helped Dad out things might have gone a little differently.
John and his step-son Bob Currier was our neighbors for many years. Between the two of them they really took good care of us. In the winter when it snowed our lane would blow shut. It would not be long before we heard the sound of a tractor and Bob would be there opening up our lane- we appreciated all of his efforts.
John and Bob always kept up more than their share of the fence. They could stretch a tight fence and a tight gate. I could tell that they did not have a lot of girls to open gates as I always glad to have a cheater attached to the gate post, as I needed help to get the gate open.
We bought some of our Hereford bulls from John and Bob- Dad thought that if we bought our neighbors bulls and the bulls got out- it might not be so bad since was the kind of bull that the neighbor was using. At least, it would be the same breed. I do not think that Dad ever picked out the bull; he trusted that John and Bob would choose a good one and they always did.
John and Jane gave Jim his first job washing dishes at the Branding Iron - Donna, Jim’s mom, loved working for Jane and John. She waited tables at the cafĂ© before she went into nursing.
We will miss John telling us his war stories and seeing him drive around in his buggy. We will not forget him. The neat thing about memories is that our loved ones are never really gone as long as we can think about them and remember all of the good times that we have had in the past. So I guess that we should spend our time making good memories and remember to tell our children and grandchildren about the good ole’ days.

July 21, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
This summer is going by way too fast. At the beginning of each summer I set a couple of goals that I would like to accomplish before school starts the fall semester. But usually the summer never goes the way I planned and this year has not been any different. The first thing on my list is to get the old house torn down. I think that the old house will out last me. I thought that I would ride horseback this summer and I have not had a chance all summer to ride. But what I have had this summer is company. We have had somebody in our home for the last 2 months. We have not been home alone very much. We have enjoyed the visitors- right now we are in a lull- but we think that there will be some family coming in a couple of weeks.
Come Home Coldwater will be here before we know it. I am looking forward to the festivities. The worst thing putting on a celebration is that those who have worked so hard to pull off the event- is they do not get the enjoy everything as they are busy with the details. Our church is doing the Chicken Noodle lunch on Saturday so we have been busy making noodles. I have just completed what I said I would make- I look like the ‘Pillsbury dough girl’. I have flour all over my kitchen- I had a fan going to keep me cool, but it also blew the flour everywhere. Flour on a tile floor can make it slick, then if any moisture gets on it, it becomes sticky- So I have cleaned and mopped floors and wiped off cabinets and everything else in the kitchen. But since we will be cooking Saturday morning there will be some of us that will not be able to see the parade. I have heard good things about the parade and those that will be participating. Everyone loves a good parade. I have also heard that there are many class reunions going on as well - so it sounds like there will be lots of activity going on in town. When I think of getting busy and trying to get things prepared for an eventful weekend reminds me of Dad- Many things reminds me of Dad but once when Vickie and I were planning on cleaning out Moms lily pond- which was not a pleasant task but an important one. Dad really did not want us to work on the pond, I think that he just wanted us to stay inside and visit with him. Vickie and I get along well, but for some reason Dad thought that this was going to cause trouble. So he sat the two of us down and said, “Now listen here, if you think you have to clean out that lily pond I just want you, two girls, to remember this one word, Attitude. Now you need to keep a good attitude.” Vickie and I looked at each other and just laughed- So all day when we were getting really tired we remembered our attitude. This might be a good thought for everyone that is working so hard to make this a wonderful celebration, and it will be a great time-Maybe when we get tired and cranky and we will get tired and cranky that we remember this one word --ATTITUDE.

July 15, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Our hearts are with the family of David Timmons. He will be missed not only by his family but the community as well.
The weather has been a deterrent to going outside. I cannot take the heat at all. So I am spending my time inside. I would like to say that I am using my time for good instead of evil- Well, maybe not evil so much as, not really getting anything accomplished. This would be the perfect time to clean out closets and drawers. I would like to get the closets all straightened up, by I am not sure that I have had the proper inoculations. But it needs to be done- no it must be done. But what brought this to mind was that Max and Rhonda came out to the house the other day and brought me a clipping from the Western Star. It was the announcement of the marriage of his mom and dad, Theo and David Cary. They had found it on the floor of one the closets in Aunt Theo house. We have no idea how long it had been there but it is good that it was retrieved. I liked the remarks that the writer of the article had about Aunt Theo- it told of her prior education of graduating from Coldwater High School and that she had attended Hays College and that she had taught one term in the Pike district, and that she had closed a ‘successful’ term of school in the Shimer district, that would have been a one room country schools. I would think that anyone who could teach all eight grades, without the help of a Para, or a janitor, and no one died including the teacher-it would be called successful. They had no heat except for a stove in the corner of the room. I think it would have been coal. I do not know what they did when it got too hot- they did not have fans- but they did not start school until after Labor Day and they let school out in April for the country schools so the kids could help out at home with the farming. Maybe the heat would not have been so bad. But there was no electricity; I just do not know how they did it. I just know that they were a tougher than me.
Back to the article- this is what I thought was interesting it said “Her many womanly qualities have won for her many friends”. I am not sure what exactly that meant but everyone who met my Aunt Theo loved her. She was a great gal. We do not write about peoples character much anymore in out wedding announcements. Maybe that is for the best for some but it is nice to see in print that she was respected. It did not leave Uncle David out it said he was a farmer after his graduation and that he “is an industrious and dependable young man”. It also said that “their many friends wished this worthy young couple many years of happy married life”. They did have a long life together. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and then some. I wish that all couples could live to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and do it happily.

July 7, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Nothing ever works out the way you think it will- But not always for the bad. We had huge plans for the 4th of July, but different things happen with different people- I thought that I was going to have about 23 to 26 people running around my house blowing up things but the way it turned out I only had 13 and out of the 13 only 5 or 6 them were firecracker crazed individuals. We had Vickie and her daughter Wendy and her husband and family along with Vickie's son Mike and his wife and family. Mike's family has not ever been able to shoot off fireworks- since they live in a national forest. Well, their Uncle Jim and Cousin Jeff taught them all kinds of things. When Mike crushed a pop can his wife said that he should not have done that because she could have blown it up. It was fun to watch her enjoy the festivities of the day. Vickie and I like the homemade ice cream part the best. We are not that thrilled over firecrackers. It could have something to do with our dad. He loved to torture us with those small sticks of dynamite. He tormented Vickie more than he did me. Once when Vickie was trying to get away from dad and his insane need to horrify her with gun powder, she ran into our bathroom. Thinking that she was safe in our tiny, little bathroom with a hot water heater in it, along with a gas heater, but it was shut off, that did not stop him. He stuffed a firecracker under the door and when it went off -- well-- at least she was in the correct room of the house. Not only did it scare her half to death - it very nearly deafened her. This happened several years ago and the firecrackers had a lot more kick to them than they have now. It seemed that we always tried to hide in the bathroom when trying to get away from our persecutor. The reason we hid in the bathroom; it was the only room in the house that had a lock on the door. If Dad did not throw the explosives under the door he would spray us with the garden hose through the window in the bathroom. I might need to explain; we did not have air conditioning for many years so the bathroom window was normally open- it did have a screen on it but that did not keep the water out. When this happened mom was not entirely thrilled with any of us. Dad did quite a few naughty things, which stuck fear in our heart when the time of celebrating our country came around. So the 4th of July is not one of my favorite holidays come to think of it; it probably was not Moms favorite either.
The other thing was that made the July not real popular was if we were not through with harvest. If the wheat was cut dad was much more festive- if it was not Mom was not festive at all and neither was dad. If we were not done with harvest by the 4th of July we did not go to town unless it was absolutely necessary- because everyone would ask if we were finished cutting wheat and if we said no- you got the that poor- pitiful look. Since we no longer have wheat to cut our lives are improved greatly.
I hope that you had a safe holiday and most importantly you enjoyed your family- I know that we did.

June 30, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
Well, I survived church camp---barely. Actually it was not all that bad. I did have a couple of flash backs of my one camping year. I was shipped off to the Boiling Springs Church Camp one year. I had never been homesick before and I had it really bad. At this camp if you got homesick they had you sit on a large rock in front of the mess hall. I spent many hours, or at least it felt like many hours, sitting on that rock crying my eyes out. I guess I must have gotten on the leaders nerves and they sent me to the camp nurse. She was very nice and talked to me, so I thought that I would spend the rest of the week with her. Then I learned that was not going to happen, so I had to go back with the rest of the kids.
One of the good things that we had at camp was the food, which is a little unusual. We were fortunate to have good cooks and we had a nice variety of food. Then they had mail call this brought back terrifying memories- when I was in camp if you got mail you had to do something embarrassing to get your letters. Well, my mom not only sent me letters but she drew cute little characters on the envelopes. That cost me- I almost let them keep the letters as after all it was not all that long before I saw her again- unless of course, I did not live through the week. You probably will not believe this but I was a little shy when I was younger- I have over come that obstacle- but getting in front of a group of kids who I had never seen before was not easy for me and to have to sing or say a poem in front of them was extremely difficult.
One thing that was different than when I went to camp was the chapel time- when we went to chapel- we were to bring dress clothes to were to the chapel service- Mom had even made a couple of new dresses for me to wear. I let one girl were one and she spilled Dr. Pepper on it. So I learned not to loan out my dresses. Now things are different - we do not get dressed up for anything. There are good points to that and bad- the good is that if there are those who cannot afford dressy clothing they do not stand out, not to mention that putting on hose in the heat is not a pretty picture - but I think that maybe we lose a little reverence when we do not dress when we go to the chapel. But this is the trend that America has taken. There are very few things that require coat and tie-and formals- we have taken to casual living.
The thing that just grosses me out the most and it still does is the community showers. I just hate those shower floors, it takes all of the nerve I have to go into the showers- Normally- I do not feel much cleaner when I get out the shower than I do when I went in- just wetter and hopefully cooler.
I know that this sounds like I am spoiled and I guess that I am- but swamp coolers are just a little bit better than nothing. They make everything moist and sticky. But it is a somewhat cool sticky. When I got home the jeans that were in my suitcase had a good crease in them from being packed in my bag and all of the moisture from the coolers pressed them nicely. I thought that they might have even been a little moldy but they weren’t.
This next week is full of activity- we are going to have all kinds of family coming in because of the 4th of July- I wish all of you a happy and safe 4th.

June 23, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
I am not going to say anything about the precipitation that we have received- I know how it is when you are trying to harvest and it rains- Harvest is not a fond memory- well--- there were times that you had to laugh to keeping from running in front of an oncoming semi-just to end it all. Oh, it could have been horrible but we had the most wonderful neighbors that helped us out more than once. But even though the rain slows up the harvest the pastures are thirsty and happy to get the moisture.
Last week I was privileged to have Linda Winter’s sister and 2 nieces in my home for several days. They had brought Vivian Ruth to visit her sister, Rene Bruton. Sometimes when guests arrive you are anxious to see them leave- this certainly was not the case with these visitors. They were such a joy. The only thing missing was to have Dan and Linda here. Since all three girls have a wonderful sense of humor we laughed and giggled all evening long.
I think that the good Lord knew I needed the laughter to get me ready to go to church camp this coming week- Church camp is something that I never really cared for- however it was good for me and I learned quite a bit even though I spent most of my time with the camp nurse as I thought that I was homesick most of the week. I hope the camp nurse will be kind to me this time even though I will be one of the leaders. I went to church camp in Boiling Springs- I do not know why I missed home so much but I did. Mom sent me letters with cute little drawings on them which were really cute but it brought attention to me and at that time I was a little shy- I know it is hard to believe- but I was- kind of. Since she decorated the outside of my letters I had to do sing a song or do some little thing to get my letter- I thought it was terribly embarrassing.
I have had some interesting camp stories, but that is another story all together- I hope that I am tough enough to endure my week at church camp and if it would be possible and not to much trouble I would really appreciate you remembering me in your prayers- or maybe you should pray for those who will have to be around me for the next few days.

June 16, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
It feels as if that the summer weather has arrived. We need the hot winds and the heat to get the wheat out of the fields. I took a friend to Freedom, Oklahoma to the Alabaster Caverns by way of Medicine Lodge. We went around the world so to speak. I was surprised that there was not many wheat fields that have been cut. Usually Alva, Oklahoma is cutting their wheat before we are, but we saw more machines working in the Buttermilk area than anywhere else.
There was however, some machines in a wheat field waiting to do a test cut. But there was a combine in one of the fields north of Alva that was different than any combine I have ever seen- not that I am a combine expert- in fact, I am so happy that I do not have to deal with wheat-but anyway-- this machine had an extra long header and it looked like it could flex with uneven ground. The header had an extension so it was farther away from the cab of the combine. Times like this are when I would like to talk to Dad about the newest equipment. I remember when the custom cutters would bring their big wheat trucks in the fields. Dad was so impressed that they could haul 300 bushel at a time. He thought that was something else- now 300 bushel trucks are the small ones. My, how times change!
As we were traveling down the road we noticed all of the different colors of gold that the wheat was turning. I think that there are more varieties of wheat to choose from than when I was a kid. Dad usually planted Scout and sometimes Eagle. Years ago, way before my time, Dad planted the kind of wheat that was beardless. I think that it was called- Red Man or Chief. His landlord, Perry Wall, told him not to plant it again- it was just too ugly to look at. From what Dad told me it did look odd compared to the neighboring wheat fields.
Anyway, we enjoyed the ride and the scenery was beautiful. We have had the moisture and it shows in the pastures. Most all of the ponds are full of water and the wild flowers are blooming. We have all kinds of different flowers and bushes that are in full bloom this time of the year.
It is nice to have friends that come to visit and I can show them our part of the world. And a very nice part of the world it is.

June 10, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell I had a walk down memory lane today. I went to Kiowa to get some pork from the meat locker. Since Giz is at my mercy; he went with me. We went through the pastures to get to Kiowa. When we go this way- we go through my old stomping grounds. We checked a windmill on the way, and then we went through the Merrill Ranch- the Platt Ranch-- the old Z-Bar Ranch- which is also close to the Stewart Carthraes layout. The wild flowers are blooming and grass is growing tall, the wheat is turning golden- just a pretty drive.
There were some things are different than there used to be; houses empty and falling down or have been removed. The one thing that is sorta sad is on the road past the headquarters to the Z-Bar there used to be a booster plant. It employed a couple of men, I think, but anyway, there were a couple of homes there and now because of technology that job is no longer needed. So now you cannot even tell that anyone ever lived there. Technology is nice and I really like the advantages that I have that my grandparent did not have- but we do not need the man power that we used to employ. Now with people needing work; well, it just is kind of sad. In many ways I think that maybe we were better off working a little harder and not so dependent on machines.
Driving through the pastures - brought back the memories of the times that I rode and worked cattle with all of the cowboys on the Z-Bar and Stewart Carthraes. These guys were the real deal. When we worked for the Z-Bar there were about 25 of us and it took all of us to gather the West Pasture. The West Pasture was larger than most of our farms. I would be so excited to go with Dad that I could hardly sleep the night before we were to go on round-up. Working Stewart’s cattle we had to ride thru lots of brush. I see that the brush is thriving well- that was one of the things that had not changed.
The other thing that is different than when I was much younger- are the bridges. I think that all of the bridges had wooden floors - the really cool ones were metal structured. I loved driving on those old bridges-- except the ones that did not have any sides on them and Dad would decide that the nails were sticking up to high and he would try to dodge them. That was scary-- there were a couple of times I thought that he was going to drive us off the bridge. It did not do much for Mother’s nerves, either. It is nice to have pleasant memories and I feel fortunate to have them but it just makes me wonder what is going to happen next and what kind of memories are my grandchildren going to have.

June 3, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell These last two weeks has been hectic. Fun and exciting but also tiring, I am glad that I do not have much on my agenda for the coming week. We have had a new addition to our family. Jeff and Chelsea brought their little girl into the world. They had help from the doctors and nurses, and of course, Chelsea had the love and attention of her mom to help her out. It is really nice to have your mom close by to give you the comfort that only a mom can give. There are times in a girl’s life that she really needs her mom and having babies is one of those times. I was glad that the hospital only allowed two people in the room with the laboring mother. I am not sure how or why having babies has become a spectator event. I know when I had my kids the last thing I wanted was to have the entire family there to-- do whatever -- What do they do? We were there to lend support- in the waiting area. We did not feel that it was our place to watch our little granddaughter make her entrance. But that is our personal opinion. We are happy that Chelsea is doing well and is a wonderful mother. I never had any doubts about her maternal instincts. Chaneill Elizabeth is a beautiful baby and I have the pictures to prove it.
I grew up in the Christian Church in Coldwater- so it is very dear to my heart. I was pleased to be a part of its 100th anniversary celebration. It was good to see Gib Clark and Bernard Plumb. They were past ministers that attended and participated in the Sunday morning church service. Janice Plumb, his daughter, accompanied her dad and Bruce and Nancy Plumb was there as well. Nancy grew up here; her parents were Wayne and Ruth Kirby. Debbie Hill Warren - Carol Monroe Clark- were a couple of others who came back to join us in our festivity. There were many hands that helped make the celebration a success and every one of them was appreciated.
My cousin, Mabel Crouse Conn, came and stayed at my house. I love it when she stays with me. She is helpful and helps me to stay on task- which is a job in itself. I am not sure I could have survived the weekend without her. Many of you might remember her parents- Hazel and Edwin Crouse. Hazel was my moms foster- sister- Hazel came to be part of the Cary Family before my mom was born. So she was always an important part of our lives. Uncle Edwin was one of the first custodians of the new high school. He was a kind and soft spoken man. Mabel has a brother Charles- he would have been here but because of health reasons he was unable to make the trip here from his home in Ashland, Missouri.
After our company left on Tuesday; we helped our neighbors work their cattle. It was a long day and after about 13 hours of gathering- hauling - working- loading again to haul back to pasture I was whipped. I think that we all were happy to call it a day. One of the guys that had really put in an extra hard day looked so tired that I think he hat was droopin’ down. I told Jim that I was so tired that I could not work up enough energy to die- Now that is tired. But maybe that is to be expected since I am- after all a grandma - now.

May 19, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell
If one way to tell your age is telling on you is how you handle change; then I am there. I do not mind change if I can see that it is needed or necessary. But to change things just for the sake of change really upsets me. I do not like it when stores changes their merchandise to different aisles. To me it is the stores telling me that I have nothing better to do than look for every item that I need, when I knew exactly where the items were last week. Sometimes I just give up and go home, maybe I did not need the items after all. I guess this is really a sore spot with me anyway, because I hate to search for things- I look and hunt for things that I hide from myself all the time. I should be excellent in finding lost or hidden things- instead I just yell and whine.
Since Giz has been laid up he likes to watch these home shows. Different ways to change or build your home in a newer and better styles. The show starts out with these people who want to change their home to a new design. This is fine, but part of the time when they show the before and after; I prefer the before rather than the latest way to paint the walls. I really hate it when they talk about how ugly wall paper is, when just a year or two ago it was the rage. But I love wallpaper, Granddad Cary hung wall paper for many people in his day and he always said that you could hide a multitude of sins behind wallpaper. I will admit that there are some really good ideas and I would like to implement some of the ideas for my kitchen. But then you must get your head out of the clouds and realize that even though the ‘want to is there’ the money is not. Then newest thing is using concrete for countertops and Formica is out. Granite is still alright to have - but if you want to run with the ‘big dogs’; you need to have a concrete countertop. It sounds odd, I know, but they do all kinds of things to the concrete to make it pretty. But I look at my Formica counters and they are serviceable and they clean up nice and I figure I will keep them until they come back into fashion, and they will… sometime.
On one show there was a question on how much money would be spent in the next year on remodeling kitchens in America. The answer was shocking to me it was several billion dollars. Billion not million but billon U.S. dollars. I was absolutely shocked that Americans even have that much money to spend. I cannot even envision a billion dollars, just think of all of the things you could get with that much money. I have many projects that need attention and having a cash roll would certainly be helpful. But then you must ask yourself would you really be a billion times happier- would you enjoy your family more, would you help your fellow man more- would you give more of yourself to worthy causes, could you be a billion times a better person- I would like to think that if I had a free flow of cash that I would make the world a much better place to live - but the answer to this and many other inquiring questions we will never know the answer.

May 12, 2009

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell For the college students it is a hectic time. Jennifer is in the process of taking her finals for this semester. She is a good student and she takes her grades extremely serious. She has been studying only to get the worst flu she has ever had to endure. I am not the kind of mother who never got sick and cared for her children with lots of patience and kindness while they were rolling around in their feverish sheets. I am the one who gets ill right along with them and is a little irritated that I have been unconvinced. I know that is not the way it should be- Jim on the other hand rarely gets a bug and he is a good care provider. Jennifer was telling me of her symptoms and I think she gave her germ over the phone- Is that possible? Dad swore that is was not only possible but probable. When Dad got a bug, he could not rest until he found the source and confronted him or her. It was always his germ infested children. And it was not only our fault; it was the schools as well, since that is where we were infected. When Dad was sick he was the worst one of us. I think now I could give him a run for his money- I think that I can moan and groan just as loud and often as he could. We all have our goals that we reach for - I guess somewhere in my sub-conscious I want to be able to moan and groan with the best of them.
A good mother would run to Hays and get Jennifer on the mend by helping her out- and I would do that- but I do not want what she has if I already do not have it now.
I have lots of other things going on- we the 100th anniversary of our church coming up on May 24th. Not that this is more important than my daughters health- but Giz is laid up, too. He had some knee surgery this past week - he is doing very well. It seems that when one thing happens you can bet everything else will fall apart at the same time.