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.