Monday, June 4, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

They say, "You Can't Go Home Again," and I guess that you really can't but you can make the trip and let your memories do the rest.  The Rancher and I took that trip on Saturday.  I was from Ellis County and we needed to take a trip to see about some things on the land that my family still owns.  We have a drilling rig on some of that property and we were anxious to see how things were progressing.  It has been an exciting time for myself and my siblings.  My sister, whose land the rig is on, named the well Dolly Mae, in honor of our mother.  The land is is where she grew up.  

Not only did my Mother live on this farm in Ellis county but also my sister and I.  I don't remember that part of my live as we moved away when I was a toddler to another place that we visited on Saturday.  I have many fond memories of spending time with my widowed grandmother and my Uncle who lived with her.  Grandma, as we called her was a very active outdoor person and always had a large garden and an orchard.  I think all farms boasted a big garden and orchard in those days.  This farm is on a creek and I fondly remember following grandma around on our early morning treks working in the garden and gathering any windfall from the peach, or apple trees.  There was also an abundance of wild plums just north of the house that was made into wonderful jams and jellies.  When the fruit was really ripe and needed harvesting, my Uncle would get the ladder and we would harvest the baskets of fruit.  

After the passing of my Uncle, My mother inherited the farm.  No one lived on it and the orchards grew up in a wild entanglement of vines, cottonwoods, and cedars.  One cannot walk through them today.  The creek is overgrown with the same.  It is almost a bog and one has to be careful about crossing it.  It is a haven for wildlife, and we always enjoy our trips "home".  The old house is still standing as it the barn, chicken house, garage and woodshed.  My grandfather and Uncles built these buildings and they have been sturdy through the years.  It is a part of the place that I can still recognize.  

I recall walking with Grandma one morning and finding a small cedar in the pasture.  At this time, there were very few cedars in Ellis County except those in the shelter belts that were planted in the depression.  These trees grew and enticed the birds that fed on their seeds and planted them all over the red, sandy loam land and they flourished.  Grandma, at that time was excited to see a little cedar and declared that she would have my Uncle fence it to protect it from the cattle.  I wonder if she would do the same today.

After checking in at the drilling rig and finding out all of the latest Stats, The Rancher and I headed back to Arnett to have a drink and drive on Eastward to the community that my Dad grew up in.  It was here that we moved from the Creek.  This country is also grown up in a mass of  red eastern cedar trees and it has became a forest where they aren't controlled.  We drove by my grandparents homestead, and were saddened that the big red dutch barn was no  longer there.  It was burned when a prairie fire went through a year ago.  In a sense this was a good thing, as it burned a lot of the cedar trees and the grass can grow where it couldn't before.

We passed the corner where my Dad, his siblings and my older sister had attended the Harmon School.  That too is gone but I can remember Christmas programs and last day of school picnics that the whole family attended.  It was a one room school with two paths.  We then went south and headed for a place that is now owned by my cousin.  We were glad to have a 4 wheel drive pick-up as the road was washed out and not one that is traveled often.
This was my second home.

I wished that I had taken my camera and I forget that my phone can take pictures so I can't really show you how things are now.  I just wanted to remember how they were.  The only thing I could identify was the windmill and tanks and I know they aren't the same ones that were there 60+ years ago.  But is was near where the barn was.  There is nothing else left and it is overgrown with cedars, and tall grasses.  We could tell where the barn and lots had been because of the black soil in the sandy ground.  I reminisced about the few things I could remember.  Finding our favorite red cow dead in the shin-oak patch in the early spring, riding on my daddy's shoulders to check his crop in the field west of the house, the pen that held the old sow and her litter of pigs, walking the half mile up the road to visit our neighbor and get the mail.  I especially remember anxiously waiting for my sister to walk the mile and half home as she was my only play mate.  

My parents were poor, and it was a struggle living on a farm when you were renting it.  My parents eventually moved into Arnett and owned a rooming house (The Grand Hotel) and my dad went to work for the Highway Department.  I have recorded stories concerning this and still have a lot of tales to tell about the "Rascals on the Square".  It was a great time to be a kid.  No television, making your own entertainment and earning our own spending money.  Take your own trip down memory lane and remember the good times in your growing up years.  It was a great day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

God is in Control

Today I am doing a blog about "Church".  I have thought about this for quite sometime but just didn't know quite how to go about it.  There has been so much controversy in churches lately that I have been quite concerned about it.  If you go to church, you will know what I am talking about.  If you don't go to church then this doesn't pertain to you and you can only guess what I am talking about.  

A church is not, what most people believe to be, the building where we worship. The people who gather in the building during a worship service is what makes up the body of the church.  We as Christians are to be the example to the rest of the world.  I am not saying that we are better because we go to church, but if we go and are born again believers we are to be on the same page with God.  This does not always happen and we make mistakes as all people do but we are to get on our knees and ask Gods forgiveness, pick ourselves and let our lights shine forth.  Our work should never be done when we are serving God.   

In these times there is so much conflict in churches that Satan is dancing in the aisles.  Not only do we get bent out of shape because someone picked the wrong carpet but we get upset with how the song service goes and what Pastor said in the pulpit.  When Paul went on his missionary journeys, planting churches, he instructed them to unite and be strong in the Lord.  We should heed to that same advice today.  

If I belong to a body of believers I am expected to be involved with them.  This doesn't mean that I can't do other things but if God has a plan for my church, I should support it, not make trouble about it.  I am seeing churches all over this area splitting because of this.  A church is only as strong as the people who serve in it.  If my church is a bible believing church, then I am for what goes on there.  I can't complain about something that I have not been a part of.  If my church is having a special event, I should be a part of it.  I shouldn't take a covered dish, leave and hope that someone else shows up for the party.  

In truth, this blog is for me.  I am lazy in the things that I do.  As I get older, it is sometimes easier to not do everything.  Oh, I want to do the fun things, but why do we have to do all of the work too.  Our church is very small, everyone has a job, and it mostly is working together.  If someone is gone, we miss them.  Even in a larger church it takes everyone to make the body complete.  It just doesn't seem right if you are not in your usual pew, sitting beside your friends, or if you get upset and quit singing in the choir.  Even if your don't have a solo, your voice is what helps make the song complete.  

I have to remember this and impress it......We do not go to church to please or serve anyone but God.  We are not to notice how everyone else is doing or not doing.  That is God's job.  Maybe Pastor had a lousy sermon today, but it touched a lot of lives because the alter was full at the invitation.  Maybe someone wore rumpled clothes and old shoes.  Maybe it is all they have and so what, they are in Gods house and He is looking at their heart not what they are wearing.  Can we do less?  Are we the ones in charge?  Maybe Pastor is  not pleasing us.  Maybe he is having a problem of his own.  There are so many ways that Satan gets into our churches today...and we allow it to happen.

I must not forget.....God is in control.  Sin is still sin, no mater what our society has tried to say and Jesus is still the only way to Heaven, and now that I have preached my sermon, I think I shall have a talk with God and go to bed.   

Monday, May 7, 2012

Car Shopping

Dear Friends, I am shopping for a different  means of transportation.  There is really nothing wrong with my 2003 Suburban but the Rancher thinks it is time for ME to have something new to drive.  He has bought 2  pickups (that is trucks to you city folks), 2 tractors and a worn out Isuzu since I have had anything new.  Anyhow, I have been looking around.  

I am appalled that what I want to have cost so much.  Only 10 years ago (well almost)  I bought my lovely 8 passenger gas guzzler for a fair amount of money.  The past week I have been looking at 5 passenger fuel efficient cars that cost  1 and a half times what my old car did. I don't know what to do. A new suburban gets right up there to buying a half of a house.  I do spend a lot of time in my auto but not enough to take up residence.

I love my old car.  It is my truck,  It is comfortable There are no dents in it.  The paint is good and dad gum it, the radio still works.  Americas love affair with SUV's is something that I can relate to.  I love to sit up where I can see what is coming down the road. Recently my mother-in-law was riding with me and she didn't realize there were so many things beyond the fence along the highway.  Her little car sits right down there on the ground and you can't see a thing.

The new vehicles are beautiful, They have on star, Sirius  radio, sun roofs, back up camera, heated seats, yadadadadadaaa.  You get the picture.  Oh but listen they all, and I do mean all of them, have BLACK carpet.  Maybe the entire interior is black.  Some have accent colors but Black is somewhere throughout.  It is the new thing in the American Auto industry.  Well, anyhow at the product that I am looking at.  I live on a ranch on a dirt road and have a car port.  When I opened one of the doors to a car on the lot, the footprints on the floor looked terrible on that black. I wonder if mud, muck and whatever else comes from the boots of a cattle person would look like on that floor.  I have always preferred brown.  That is not a choice.  You can have it on the seats but I am not really concerned about them.

Well, I am going to look at the big city in the Texas Panhandle later this week.  That is where I bought my Suburban so many years ago.  Maybe they will have something that I will just fall in love with.  It will have to be just perfect, Something with a classy color.  Not RED...Red, makes me drive too fast.  Well, at least I think the Highway Patrolmen notice you more if you are driving red.  I see red cars pulled over more than any other color.  One of my daughters had a red car and it always made her drive too fast too.  

If you see me in a month or two and I am still driving my old Suburban, that will be okay.  I am rather fond of it and it only has 176,000+ miles on it.  It is just getting broke in and I found out it is not worth a thing to anyone but me.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

I was recently reading how to remember to spell things.  Little tricks that we learn to encourage our minds.  It reminded of sayings that we learned in grade school to help us remember how to spell geography and arithmetic.  To remember arithmetic we would simply say "A rich Irishman thought he might eat toads in cream". For Geography it was George Edwards old grandmother rode a pig home yesterday."  How in the world this came about, I do not know.  I was in the 5th grade and I am sure the teacher thought we would have more fun saying these little chants and remembering the 1st letter of each one rather than actually just learning the word.  I am sure she wasn't the only teacher to use this theory.  Today, arithmetic is simply MATH.  My grandchildren look at me in wonder  when I ask them about their arithmetic homework.  It sounded scary to me too. 

It has been HOT in the Panhandle.  It was over 100 degrees on three different days this week.  Today, it is 73.  A windy Sunday afternoon and a good day for the rancher to take a nap and rest.  He has been buying cattle, putting up hay and planting feed.  It is a busy time on the Ranch.  We still have calves to work.  Some of that is done but as we don't have cowboys around , The Rancher and Son do it when they can.  Times have changed.  When you get older, you find that you need to have  a slower pace if you are going to make it through the day.

Last year at this time I had mowed the yard....This year I can say that I have mowed the yard 5 times.  Love the moisture but it keeps me busy.  Now the yard on the Ranch isn't 200' X 150' like some of those in town.  It is a major project to mow this place.  We mow the area from fence to fence and what we can't get, we put up a hot fence and let the cattle eat.  We mow the ditches from the corner to a certain fence north of the house.  It is just something that I want done.  I hate snakes, and other predators that like to slither through the grass and disturb my otherwise welcoming homestead.  By the way,  I saw several snakes on the road this week.  They are finding their way about.  

I am not having a garden.  The Rancher says we will be traveling and that I do not have time for one.  Isn't he sweet.  I really like fresh garden though.  I put some tomato plants and peppers in some liquid feed tubs and they are doing great.  I had to laugh as I thought "If I have to, I can just take these with me in the camper."  Wrong!!! I can't even scoot those things around .  I might take a planter with some petunias in them but that is about all I can lift anymore.  I just a weakling not as strong as I once was. I really am reminded of that each Spring when yard work begins.  

We had a wonderful church service this morning.  We had a visitor.  It is so exciting when someone stops by.  You see, we are pretty isolated and hardly see any new faces.  The Rancher always prays for the little church on the hill to be filled on Sunday morning.  I remind him that God will be there and if WE are filled with His spirit, that will be amazing.  There are so few neighbors that don't go to church somewhere that we truly feel blessed when a new face joins us.  Isn't God wonderful?  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Country Livin' Remembering Dad

I am thinking of my Dad today.  He was an Engineer by profession  but his younger days were spent on his family ranch and he was a cowboy at heart.  He was also a "Cowboy Poet".  Looking through his writings, I found one that I did't remember having.  It was written the year before he passed away.  I loved reading it and it is written just how he talked and wrote it.

Country Livin'         By R.C. "Pat" Richard    March 4, 1997

It's quiet an' it's peaceful at out home
here in the country
and when the evenin' sunset's slowly
fadin' from the sky.
We can hear wild turkeys gobble from
their roost down in the Oak trees-
and watch the timid white tails
come to graze upon the Rye.

In the meadow Bobwhites callin' as
they covey up for nighttime
then the Lonesome Hooty owls begin to
sing their mournful tune-
and from out beyond the Ridge there comes
some mighty purty music-
From the "Local Coyote Trio" sayin'
howdy to the moon.

There's always somethin' doin' but there
ain't no need to hurry-
cause there ain't nobody worrin' 'bout
when it'e gettin done.
There's nothin' that I'm doin' that 
can't wait until tomorrow
so I work some, an' I loaf some, an'
 I take time out for fun.

Now town life is excitin' with its
hustle an' its bustle-
and the heaps of noisy people an'
a myriad of lights.
But there just ain't no comparin' it
to Livin' in the county
Where wild birds sing the live long day
an' coyotes sing all night.

So let me play my hand out in this
Quiet peaceful setting-
among the Lord's creations , Let me
Live and Let me die.
And when I ride that Last Long trail
just plant me 'neath the Oak trees
an' let me Rest forever underneath
God's clear blue sky.

I can just hear him saying all of this.  He loved living on "Retirement Ranch" and loved his cattle, horses and the wild life around him.  Mom probably would have enjoyed more time at the "town house" but she was happy wherever Dad was.  I miss them but they left so many happy memories.

Monday, April 16, 2012


 TORNADO ALLEY....  it is where I live.  It is in the heartland of the country and also includes a good part of the South.  I grew up having a great respect for storms and spent many nights in the storm shelter.  In my early years, there was a killer tornado that struck in our area at Woodward.  The storm happened on April 9,1947.  Ironically there was another storm 65 years later on April 15 that hit the same city.  This is the town that I visit, if I want to do shopping at WalMart, Dollar Tree, Braums, or Mcdonalds and other places not located in the smaller towns. It is the town where my daughter and her family live.  We have a host of friends there and extended family members that live there, it is our neighboring community. 

Tornado's are not particular where they touch down or what damage they do.  They come out of the clouds in the daytime and night.  Unfortunately this one came at night. The storms were set off in the afternoon of the day and I watched the storm chasers and trackers on TV from early afternoon until 3 A,M,  It was a long day.
I have a son-in-law that is a storm tracker.  He and grandson Elvis were a part of this chase.  They drove hundreds miles on their adventure.  They saw a lot of activity.  This is one of the storms that they watched form and dance across Oklahoma.  I would not want to be in the path of this.  This particular one was in open country and did not do much damage.  Well, I didn't intend for these pictures to be stacked on top of each other but being the technical brain  dummy  that I am, it just happened. Yea,  I got it changed.  

The storms of the day came into our state from the Texas Panhandle and worked across into Kansas.  I have heard it said that there were over 100 tornado's that day in Oklahoma and Kansas.   There were 6 lives lost and many injuries that are critical.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the families who have experienced this tragedy. May God give them comfort and healing.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fred and Cecil

Do you ever read or do something that triggers a memory?  Well, I had that experience while listening to a conversation concerning ladders.  Remember, I came from a tiny village where everyone knew everyone else's business.  I am sure that it wasn't always appreciated, but being the nosy caring people that we were, it just happened that way.  Some of our information came from the postmistress who saw everyone in town at least once a day and some of it came from the family who operated the central phone office.  Yes, we still had a switch board phone system in the town where I grew up and everyone had a phone with a crank on it to ring the operator.  

You could always call the phone office if you wanted to know the correct time, where the fire was or what was happening at the school.  I really don't know how they knew the correct time as that was the days before cell phones or computers and that is how I find out the correct time today.  I guess they just looked at their clock which was probably fairly accurate and gave that as the correct time.  As for the other things that went on, I am guessing that they just learned a lot with their job.  You know how Sarah was on the Andy Griffith Show, well I imagine most phone operators who lived in small towns were pretty much  the same.  

I have gotten off the subject a little bit haven't I?  Oh well, you needed to know all of this too, I am sure. I will tell you about Fred and Cecil.  Fred was a carpenter in the community.  I am not sure if he was a full timer or just knew more than the other guys, who were mostly farmers or worked at the institution in the neighboring town.  (The institution was for mental patients, and that is another story)  Anyhow, Cecil and his wife decided to build a new house in town.  Their larger two story farm house was all the way out in the country, across the highway. ( I never did know why they wanted a different house, unless it was to downsize.) 

Cecil, couldn't build this house alone as he was also a busy farmer and besides, he just needed help.  Cecil hired Fred to help him.  They were progressing quite well on the house when they got into an argument.  They were putting on the roof and Fred wasn't doing things the way Cecil thought things should be done.  

Fred says, "Cecil, this has to be done this way to give things better support." To this Cecil replied, "This is my house, and I am paying you to do things the way I want them done."  This discussion went on for sometime and could be heard around the neighborhood.    After a time, Cecil told Fred to just take his tools and go home.  Fred obliged and left.  

Later in the day, people noticed that Cecil was still up on the roof, and all alone.  It seems that when Fred left, he also took HIS ladder.  Cecil was too embarrassed to ask for help.  I guess he got some things done and I am sure when he didn't come home, his wife would have went looking for him.  

Fred did go back and help Cecil finish building his new home and I am sure that Cecil even listened to him for advise.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

I am at home alone.  I am soaking in the quiet and being lazy.  I am reading, watching TV, letting the house be a mess. I am  doing my own thing.  Not a soul is here to cook for, do laundry for, pick up after, ooops I am still here and I am a slob.  Oh well, I don't count.  I am here, enjoying my own company.  Tonight, when there is no one to say prayers with and no one to snuggle to, I will probably be lonely, but not now.

I have had two weeks of family.  I have loved every minute of it but as I am sometimes a hermit, I need to recharge my mind and body.  I need rest and laziness.  Sleeping in this morning doesn't count.  I have been doing that for the past two weeks.  When you have extra people around, you tend to stay up too late and visit and and play games until midnight.  It is a wonderful time of sharing. I loved having a one on one time with my daughters when they came and brought their children out.  Usually when they come, everyone is here and I don't get to visit  have a special time with them.  I am sure they were ready to go home and see their husbands but  Dad and I sure enjoyed time with them..

The rain kept us from doing all of the things we planned on doing while our company was here.  Our grandsons enjoyed some fishing but not all that they wanted.  We never got to take the granddaughters to the camp area for a wiener roast as the ground was saturated.  We thank God for all of the moisture He has provided though.  We didn't get to ride the horses as much as planned as one of them was acting ornery and Grandpa was afraid of how she would act on the muddy terrain.  

We kept busy everyday with kids, grandkids, friends, cousins, our dear sweet mother and siblings.  We had a lot of company and went to weddings, Dorothy's house, the lake, the creek, adventure trips, but today I am going nowhere!!!  I am at home and all alone.  Right now, I AM LOVING IT.

Everyone has went home.  The Rancher is on a week end fishing trip.  All is quiet on the home front and I will absorb the peace and quiet until about midnight and then I will be ready for some company.  You see, even if I love the peace and quiet of the day, I like my husband at home at night, but he needs this time too.  I just hope he doesn't bring home too many fish as I brought a beef home from the processing plant this morning and the freezers are full.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Here Comes the Bride

  • Spring is here folks.  Well it is probably a mock spring as I know that it is not too late to freeze in the Oklahoma Panhandle.  The grass is green and the mustard and Chickweed are thriving, thanks to the wonderful rain that God has blessed us with.  We have had 1.90 inches since Sunday morning.  The clouds are still here.  Wayne had to mow over the weekend.  This is a first for us.  I rarely mow the yard    before the last part of April but this has been an exceptionally warm spring and the moisture is here.  

  • I have been blessed to have most of my family around sometime during the past two weeks.  We had a wedding in the family .  The beautiful bride is granddaughter Molly and the handsome young man is Josh.  Amid the hustle and bustle we had a wonderful time getting them married.  The days before were spent baking cakes, cookies, quiche, making all of the bouquets, and other flowers, decorating the church and setting up the life center for a "Tea Party" reception for over 300 people.  It was a family event involving all of the families and a lot of fun.  The sad thing was tearing it all apart as soon as it was over.  There was a photo booth at the reception.  The photos from it are of my three lovely daughters and the Ranchers Mother.  Aren't they lovely?  This was at the reception.  The mother of the bride is in the lower left. 
  • The sun is trying to shine so I better go see if the girls want to have a wiener roast at their special place tonight.  I think sitting around the campfire sounds like a good idea....If it isn't raining. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random Thoughts

What a day it was yesterday.  It started out to be a lovely day as we left Tulsa and headed north to look at some implement that the Rancher had seen in one of the many magazines and catalogs that he gets.  Did I say that he bought a GPS.  He wanted to know the best way to get around all of the construction and get to the Implement dealer.  I would like to know how that thing knows so much.  I have often said that I am not technical minded and that really proved it.  However, it proved to be just a little too smart.  The Rancher wanted to take the scenic route home and that didn't happen.  I thought about unplugging the darn thing.  It kept telling us we missed our corner we finally gave in and made a turn and headed home on the old familiar route that we always take.  As we left the area of the implement dealer, I wondered if this wasn't the area of the famous Pioneer Woman.  Not 2 miles down the road, a sign declared we had drove past part of the Ranch owned by that family.  I really don't keep up with her that much but she is a favorite of my daughters  She just has a much too busy of a life for me.  Good for her though for being so energetic.  I really can relate to a lot of her stories as I was a not accustomed to all of the things that go with being a Rancher's Wife 48 years ago. I have learned a lot.

We drove through rain, sunshine and DIRT.  The closer we got to our area, the more dirt in the air.  It was such an eerie looking thing.  The sun appeared white in the dirt and there were places that it was had to see for the blowing dirt across the roadway from the blowing pastures and fields.  We are in need of a lot of rain .  I am concerned about the guys getting the fields ready for planting a spring crop and if there will be a spring crop. We have had to buy so much hay for our cattle this year.  A first for us.  The Rancher sold 2/3 of his cows and didn't keep all of the yearlings as he usually does.  I am thankful that we are older and not just trying to start out in this business as our Son is.  It has been a hard year.  We always pray for and look forward to a better Next Year though.  

Today is Leap Day.  Are you going to get paid for working this extra day.  I don't have to worry about that any more.  I worked on a salary for the most part but one job I worked by the hour.  Did you think about that...You get paid for that extra day where salaried workers don't.  Thought you might like to know.  

I have a friend who turned 21 today.  I wondered if she would get out of the nursing home and go celebrate.  I remember when she turned 16.  We had a good laugh at that too.  Happy Birthday to all of you who have a true birthday today.  In truth, you always celebrate your birthday the day after February 28th.  Some years you just get to have an extra special day.

The carpenters are still working and I can see that they will be out of hear before I can say Happy Easter.  Hope it is sooner that that.  I think it is really winding down.  I will take a picture if I can find my camera.  I am so ashamed.  How did my girls become such picture buffs and I just don't get excited.  Well, I guess that is probably the reason.  They want to make up for all of the pictures that I didn't take.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We were Just Kids

Today, I am going to continue with some of the story about growing up in a Village. It was a time when kids were kids but knew when to show respect for their elders.  We were a rowdy bunch and some people who didn't really know us might say we ran wild.  We didn't though.  We might leave the house in the morning and head for the river and not come home until we were hungry, but we weren't wild.  I often wondered how our mothers put up with this.  In later years my Mom told me that we were always in a group and she knew if something happened, someone would high tail it back to town.  This was before cell phones.  Heck, we didn't even have dial-up.  We had an operator at the switchboard.  If we would have used the phone, everyone in a 20 mile radius would have known what happened.  You know, it was sort of like Sarah in Mayberry. My first paying job was working at the phone office.  The job was quite rewarding, as if you were real quiet, you could learn all of what was going on.  

Anyhow, enough of that and back to the wild bunch from my youth.   

On Sunday evenings we had a youth group in one of the churches.  All of the kids my age went and we had it early on Sunday evening.  This only lasted for an hour.  In the long days of Summer, there was still a lot of sunlight left after church was dismissed.  Not being ready to call it an evening, we would walk to the river, taking the road that ran through town.  The group was made up of young teens and we probably had a lot of things to talk about as we walked the few blocks to the bridge where we would hang out.

This road was not a traveled road.  The bridge was an obsolete wooden structure that was used for one way traffic.  It was a great place to carve our names on the railing, dance to a new tune or drag your car across, if you were older and had one.  As we were walking to the bridge one evening we were singing out the words to the new hit of the day called  Stagger lee.  I can't even remember the words today but I know we were belting out...

      "Stagger Lee, called Billie, I just can't let you go with that,"
       You have won all of my money and my brand new Stetson Hat.

As we sang this song, we passed the last two houses at the edge of town.  The proprietors of of one such place were sitting on there porch and informed us that "It was a nice quiet Sunday evening and they didn't appreciate us making all of that noise as we traipsed all over town.  That was the wrong thing to say.  We continued to belt out songs at the top of our voices all the way to the river and of course this became a Sunday night habit.  

The old  "Sour Puss" continued to complain to us, our parents and even to the County Sheriff. I never did know what the deal was about walking down the road singing.  Maybe she couldn't sing, maybe she didn't like kids, maybe she just wanted to show us she could control things.  In truth, she couldn't.  We were a crew and we would not let her get the best of us.  I am sure we made her life miserable at times.  I got tired of the game and eventually the younger kids took on the job of tormenting her.  She complained about us disturbing the peace more than once but nothing ever became of it.  I think for the most part, everyone thought she was the one with the problem. . I did have a respect for my elders but for this one person.  I am sorry today that we delighted in getting her dander up  but to kid in a small village, it was just part of the excitement of the day.  And yes, it takes a Village, except for Edna of course.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Made in The USA

I just finished reading my daughters blog.  In it she stated that she had purchased a pair Minnetonka Moccasins.  The shame of this was that they were made in China.  What in the world is wrong with this picture?  I can remember wearing these when I was a child and teenager and was so proud to wear them.  They made me feel so AMERICAN.  I felt like I was wearing something that had been made by the natives of this land.  Now this probably was not the case but I thought so as a child.  The first real moccasins that I had were made in the USA by my dad.  He used deer skins that were so soft, and made some for each of us children.   

At the time, my parents had a small hotel and some of the roomers were an Indian man, his wife and child.  I believe this man worked for the highway department or the contractor that was improving the roads in NW Oklahoma.  The wife, made many felt and bead accessories such as coin purses, key chains, hat bands, and so forth. I believe she showed my Mom how to decorate with the beads. When the moccasins were finished, my Mom put some bead design on them.  I thought they were beautiful.  I was so proud of them that I wore them to school.  They had a fringe on them that I could feel bouncing as I walked.  I felt compelled to sit at my desk and bounce them up and down to the rhythm I thought an Indian would dance.  Mrs. Enfield, didn't appreciate it and asked me not to wear them to school anymore.  I was so disappointed.  I did eventually wear them but I knew to hold my feet still when I had them on.  

Anyhow they were certainly a product of the USA and I loved them.  I always felt it was a shame to go into the Indian gift shops, or the stores in Oklahoma and see real genuine artifacts that were proudly made in Japan, now China.  Even as a child, I wondered why they weren't made at home to help benefit the Indians.  Maybe they wouldn't have had to have so many casinos if they would have gone into the genuine Indian Artifact Trade business.  LOL

Well, with that, I will proceed on.  It is not only the moccasins that got me to going, it is just everything.  I know that we are blessed to have cheap articles of clothing.  That is to say, some of them are cheap.  Did Levis, or High dollar athletic shoes, just to name a few, get any cheaper when they went south or abroad for production?  Nope..They just guaranteed more profit for they company.  A few years ago, there were 2 wrangler plants in Oklahoma.  "The plants are obsolete and we will have to rebuild them". was the excuse for building them south of the border.    Even our furniture manufacturers have went overseas.  I could go on and on about this but you get the picture and I am sure I am getting boring.  Look at the labels.  Our products are made all over the world except here in the USA.  Well, I guess that is pretty harsh as some things are made here, but they are hard to find.  

I know I have been on this soapbox before, but I am still proud to be a product of America and I look for things that are labeled ..Made in the USA... They are few and far between.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Growing up in a Village

In recent times it has been stated that to raise a child, It takes a Village.  This might be true.  I lived in such a place.  My village was a small community of less than 200 hundred people.  We had a school, service station, a grocery store/cafe which we called the "drug store", post office, three churches, a telephone office, a farmers co-op and a depot for the Katy railroad ran through the middle of town.  We were located on a river and in a community where there were a lot of "kids" near my age.  The 4 children in my family that lived there for 9 years have fond and funny memories of what goes on in a small town.

Although we lived in a small community, there was never a want for entertainment.  There was always something going on at the school while it was in session and in the summer time we created our own excitement.  As I recall, there were always more boys than girls or maybe as I was a tomboy, I didn't mind going out with the guys to run up and down the river or go fishing in a nearby pond.  It was okay to walk out to our friends who lived in the country, and someone, who we knew would give us a ride before we got there.  It was a time when a kid was free to enjoy the freedom of being a kid.  We didn't have television in my early growing up years and we were among the first to get one.  I can remember our living room being full watching Andy and Barney keeping the law in Mayberry.  Our house was also the sight of Saturday night card games until after midnight.  My parents liked having the kids there and knew where we were.

Our town had a "haunted house".  I am not sure how it came to be haunted but there were a lot of strange things that could be seen around it at night. Lights could often be seen going around the old two story house on a lonely road at the edge of town.  As kids, we would not dare go and check out what was going on, but on occasion we would sit on the unloading dock of the depot which was nearby and dare anyone to do so.  There was evidence to prove that the house would be slept in as the old mattress would have raggy quilts  on it in a pile sometimes and sometimes not.  

This house had many treasures.  I don't know why or when it was vacated but when the occupants left, they left many things behind.  There was a pump organ, beds, dressers, other furniture and lots and lots of letters, pictures, and other things.  In the light of day, it wasn't too bad to go explore the contents if a lot of your friends would go with you.  You could play some pretty scary sounds on that pump organ.  Imagine what it would sound like at night.

One night, when I was about 15 some of the older kids that had cars, decided to drive around by the old house and see just how brave anyone was. I was not a fraidy cat and as the three cars stopped on the road in front of the house, I took the dare.  I had been in the house many times during the day so was pretty sure there was nothing to harm me.  It was a moonlight night and there were plenty of car light down below.  The deal was for me to climb the stairs and wave out the upstairs window. I was broken out.  

I entered the house and went up the stairs. Did I mention that for some reason there was a rope hanging there.  As I started up the stairs, I slipped and yelled. I jumped up and hurried to the window in time to see all three cars speeding away.  What a bunch of friends.  Or maybe it was rigged sort of like a snipe hunt.  Anyhow, as soon as I made my way out of there and back on the road, I started walking home.  They were all sitting at the depot dock, waiting to see if I was alive and going to come by.  I still think the joke was on me but none the less, I proved that I wasn't afraid.  

Not too long after that incident. The "Haunted House" burned to the ground.  No one knew for sure what had happened to cause the fire but it was rumored that kids were in there smoking.  Who knows, it may have been some hobo, as I always suspected they often spent the night there on their trek down the highway.  It could also have been the "ghost" that we all feared.  I can tell you for sure though, to raise a bunch of kids........It took the entire Village.  I cherish those days.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The remodeling project is coming along.    I did not know that my rooms would be stripped down to the 2x4's and insulation when I decided that I needed an upgrade.  Oh well, it is just like starting anew.  I have visions of what things will look like in a few weeks.  My sister reminded that she is on month number 4 and still counting with her bath/utility remodel job.  I hope that doesn't last that long here.  I will have to finish it myself it that happens.  Carpenters are expensive.  They do know what they're doing most of the time though.

I do not take pictures with my phone and re post them. (I don't know how).  My camera is in the camper and I am too lazy to bundle up and go out and get it  so you will just have to imagine what is going on in my house. 

I had to be gone for a few days and came home to find that my plumbing for the vanity was moved.  "That needs to be moved back where is was."  They questioned me but agreed that they would move it back.  I knew that my vanity was as close to the commode as I wanted it and they had moved the plumbing 10 inches closer.  Not good. 

 The Rancher never notices things like this.  All he had to say was " I paid your carpenter for a weeks work,and it is a good thing I went to the bank about a home improvement loan". 

This got me to thinking....I have not done any home improvement for years.  Well, at least 11 except for painting.  It was time for a face lift and I am worth it.  

Men, and especially farmers and ranchers determine what is important to spend money on by relating how it will benefit the business.  I calculated that I had not spent hundreds and thousands of dollars on repairs for pickup, tractors and machinery so therefore, I am due.  Making me happy is an important factor in keeping things running smoothly  in this establishment.  Truthfully, the Rancher wants to do things too but it is not the same as spending it on say, a new shed or swather.  Oh, well...........

I am trying to find a mirror for my vanity.  The thing I dream of is just that.  I have  looked in stores, on line, in catalogs, and cannot find the exact thing I want.  I can find the right dimensions but it is as tall as I want wide and framed so it has a top that cannot be turned to the side.  I am thinking about buying glass and framing it myself.  I just want plain pine with a narrow frame.  I want it to be more than 24 inches wide. Is this asking too much?  I am going to shop again later in the week. 

In all of this, I am trying to be patient.  I came home to a dusty, dirty house on Saturday night and was upset.  I had forgotten what a mess remodeling is.  My attitude was not good,  "You knew this was going to be this way didn't you," came from Rancher's  mouth.  I had forgotten....I had to have a serious talk with God about giving me an attitude adjustment.  In reality....I don't have to worry about what my house looks like,  I have an excuse for it all.  Yea.  It will get better.

I have been pitching things though.  It is funny how things accumulate and you never use them  Unfortunately 
sometimes the very thing that you pitched is the very thing that you will need in a few years.  One thing I got rid of at a garage sale about a year ago was a brand new mirror with a knotty pine frame that I knew I would never use.  You win some and you  lose some......

We are having snow today.  Last night, the weatherman said a the panhandle would have a "dusting" of snow in the early morning.  It is nearly noon and still snowing with about 3 inches on the ground.  Should be out of here tonight.  We are thankful for the moisture.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Remodeling aka Where did This Junk Come From?

Last year, The Rancher and I begin to talk about doing some updating in our home. Not much had been done in the back part of our house for more years than I could remember. Well come to think of it, our oldest daughter was finishing the 8th grade. She is not a mother of married children. It isn't that we had done nothing to it, we had painted and fixed minor things but are due for a major overhaul.

The carpenter we contacted, put us on his list and guess what...We finally made it to the top. He came by last week and talked to us about what and how we wanted to remodel our bathroom and utility room. Well you know me...I had an idea but not a plan. I just wanted it updated. I did know that I wanted a custom build shower and vanity using Onyx Stone and I did know that I wanted the interior of my utility gutted and a fresh new start with some real cabinets and a closet but that was about all I knew.

I gave him ideas of what we needed and he gave me the news that he would come back in a week to ten days. OMG that got me to going. You see, my utility room is large and as I have no garage, it seems to be the catch all for all of the things that I refuse to throw away. I have shelves, a few cabinets and a freezer, refrigerator, washer, dryer and wardrobe, old chest of drawers and the list goes on. I went in a panic. I knew we had to have someplace to put this junk but I was afraid to approach the Rancher with the idea of a storage building. It just wasn't a practical thing on the ranch unless it was to store saddles, feed, and you know things that were really necessary or what HE thought was necessary. You know what the old sweetie, came up with the idea on his own. That very day, he went to town and bought me one that even has a front porch and windows. It was delivered and it is being wired with electricity so I can have lights and put my extra refrigerator and freezer out there. I am so pleased.

The story doesn't end here. Yesterday we started cleaning out. Need I say more? I am planning on getting rid of some of this junk. The wardrobe alone is a challenge. There are 21 pairs of gloves, boots, coveralls, coats, junk and more junk. The Rancher doesn't know that he owns 2 pair of coveralls that he has not worn. (they were on sale) We sort and have a hard time deciding what is really good. If we haven't seen it in 3 years, we must not really need it. The shelves are worse. I have canning, empty jars, lots of canned goods, just a lot of good stuff that I might need and the grocery store is 30 miles away. My husband thinks I could have my own if I wanted. I know that we did not discard near enough. He moved it to the shed and thinks we will go through it our there. Ha, we will forget about it out there and someday our children will scream and wonder why in the world we kept all of this junk. One thing I is not going back in the house.

The work and worry will all be worth it. In a few weeks, I will look at my new rooms and be so proud. I will not hoard things anymore. No I will not , I will get rid of them as soon as I quit using them, and I will not buy too many groceries when they are on sale. This way I can go to town more often. And I will believe all of this when it happens.