Monthly Archives: August 2017

Wandering Down Memory Lane

I had my 50th high school reunion this past Saturday night.  Fifty years!  Really it seems like only yesterday, but all my friends with brown, red, blonde and red hair have become grey headed or white headed or bald!  How did that happen?   We were the cool class, The ones who were going to conquer the world.  The ones who would remain forever young.  Well, we were fooled because life caught up with us. We grew old while raising families, working at jobs we may or may not have loved, saw friends and family pass away and learned life can be hard at times, but at others simply wonderful.   So many memories all mixed up in that room that evening.  So many life experiences. I hadn’t seen the majority of those people for at least forty years.  Some I have kept in contact with.  Some I wanted to see didn’t show up.  Some of my friends, who shared a lot of life experiences with me, were there.  I was glad I went although it did bring back the old teen-age feelings of inadequacy and shyness that I often had back in those days.

DSCN5914

This isn’t the best picture of us all because it has the woman in it trying to get us all to stand where we could be seen in the picture, but this is my class.  Or at least a few of them.  Many have passed away or lived too far away to get here.  Or some just didn’t have the best high school experience and didn’t come. Some just wanted to remember the class the way it was, but we don’t remain the same, do we?

DSCN5918

Some of my best friends from school are in this picture.  They know who they are.

DSCN5925

This lady was one of my good friends. We went through twelve years of school together.  She probably won’t remember it, but in the second or third grade I drew some paper dolls with clothes and everything and gave them to her.    I stayed all night at her house.  Her mother loved the musical “South Pacific” and we played the music.  Her dad was a dairy farmer and had lots of cows.    She had to work hard.  She’s spent the last few years care giving parents.  Hers and her husband’s.    We were pen pals for years when she lived out west.  Then we lost touch like you do when you live far apart.  This is the first time I had seen her in decades.

DSCN5911

This lady has the prettiest smile. She was always one of the nicest people and though I didn’t get to know her real well in high school, I always liked her.

DSCN5912

This is David’s cousin’s husband.   His cousin went with David and me on our first date.  We went to see the movie, ‘Joy in the Morning,” with Richard Chamberlain and Yvette Mimieu. I think I misspelled her name.   Evidently something funny was said here.  That’s David on the right.

DSCN5908

A good friend with her partner.  Reading an old diary recently, evidently she and I had planned on forming a secret club that just she and I would be members.   Evidently it was so secret, neither one of us could remember it!

DSCN5910

Two of my best friends. We went to school twelve years together.   We still laugh when we are together which isn’t often enough.   The lady in the middle and I went to see the Beatles at the Indiana state fair when they were on their first tour of the United States. What fun it was.

DSCN5902

Carol made the cakes for the evening.

DSCN5901

DSCN5900

They were very good.

DSCN5906

Someone did a great job on the table decorations.

DSCN5927

The fellow in the middle is a good friend. We went through twelve years of school together too. He went on and got his PHD  and has traveled all over the world.   I use to help him pass papers in our little town back in the sixties.   We were in youth fellowship at the same church and had a lot of fun times together.   He’s still as nice as he ever was and we had a good visit.

DSCN5967

We all received a folder with papers people had  written and sent in about what had been going on with them since high school.  We also got a little booklet that told what was happening in the world the year we graduated.  We have lived through some pretty interesting history.

DSCN5966

We all got a book bag, pens, coasters, and taffy from one of the popular candy stores in town.

All in all it was a fun evening.  A good time was had by all.

The next morning we drove around our old hometown where we started our early married life.   The day before, we drove around the town where I grew up and David’s grandparents lived and where he lived when his parents moved to the Virgin Islands.

Past the little church where we were married 49 years ago.

DSCN5895

DSCN5896

It really hasn’t changed all that much

DSCN5898

Before we went to the reunion, I wanted to drive by the library where I spent many happy hours and where I learned to love reading.  I loved going here where the smell of books was so strong I can still imagine it to this day.  The librarians were on a first name basis with my mother and me as we went there every two weeks without fail.   I would get a pile of books and felt rich for having them.

We drove through Glen Miller park in Richmond where we use to go to watch the fireworks, where there use to be a tiny zoo and the best playground when I was a kid.   There were even buffalo and a lion kept there for a time.   I always felt sorry for that lion because it really was not kept in a large enough cage. I have come to the conclusion some animals should never be caged.

DSCN5953

This house is in the park where people can have meetings or parties.  When I had our daughter, two good friends gave me a baby shower here.  It was so nice.   One of those friends I graduated with, but she wasn’t at the reunion.  I would have like to have seen her.

Also inside the park is a rose garden. It wasn’t there while I was growing up.

DSCN5929

DSCN5936

When I first walked into the garden, the smell of roses was so strong, I had to stop for a minute and just inhale.  I wish I could send that smell to you. It was glorious.   Although the roses were not at their peak, they were still beautiful and smelled so good.

DSCN5933

So glad this woman championed this rose garden.

DSCN5937

A gazebo sat right in the middle of it all.  A place that would be perfect for weddings.

DSCN5938

With benches placed all around it  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be married here?  Especially when the roses are all blooming.

DSCN5943

There were still several beautiful roses blooming.

DSCN5951

There was a fountain there, but the water had been drained from it.

DSCN5948

Some very talented person carved this out of an old stump.

DSCN5947

Even the butterfly is carved from the stump.

DSCN5946

It was just amazing.  I hope the people in Richmond know what a little gem they have right in the  middle of their town.

We had to be on our way, so on toward home we drove.

DSCN5954

We were traveling state road 40 which goes through many little towns.  We saw this carving in someone’s yard.

DSCN5955

This one was also there.   You don’t see things like this on the interstate.

DSCN5892

Or things like this in someone’s back yard.   A place to sit outside. An upper and a lower space.  How neat is that?

One place I wanted to see was James Whitcomb Riley’s home in Greenfield.  I have always wanted to go through it, but it was closed on Sunday.

DSCN5958

Here are the hours if you ever wish to go.

DSCN5965

He lived in a pretty grand house for his day.

DSCN5957

A statue of him stands in front of the court house. When my mother was a child back in the 1920’s school children were asked to send in pennies to help raise this statue.  Children paid for this statue.  Riley was a poet who lived in Indiana.  I have read many of his poems, my favorite being Little Orphant Annie which I have memorized.  Ask me, and I can recite it to you.

DSCN5960

Yes, we Hoosiers do have a dialect.  And proud of it.

DSCN5962

I sat by a bronze statue of Mr. Riley.

DSCN5964

DSCN5963

He was reading Little Orphant Annie.  Yes, he spelled it with a t.

We finished our weekend with an ice cream at the Cow Palace.  It was a nice weekend.

Here’s to school friends, roses and James Whitcomb Riley.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

State Fair!

Our state fair is the best state fair

Don’t miss it, don’t even be late.

Dollars to donuts our state fair

Is the best state fair in the state!

Rodgers and Hammerstein

David and I hadn’t been to our state fair for years so we decided we would go this year.  We also decided to take our grandboys.

We kept two of the boys Friday night and spent the day on Saturday with them.  The boys decided they wanted to make a quilt so I said, “Sure,” and so they did. I had a lot of two and a half inch squares cut, so I told them they could make a quilt with them, eight across and eight down and asked them many squares they would need.  Teaching them a little multiplication also. We needed sixty-four squares so they started sewing the squares together. I wish I had taken pictures.  One boy sewed and the other one ironed the pieces.  I had to teach iron safety also as he kept leaving the iron laid down on the ironing board.   By the end, they both were losing interest, but I kept them working and teaching them you don’t give up and quit. Finally we had it ready for quilting and they really liked doing that on the machine.  Had to teach them safety with a sewing machine also. I may have scared them a little about getting their fingers caught on the needle, but since I have sewed my fingers, I wanted them to be safe.

They ended up with a cute little quilt and we made a label with their names and ages and the year on it and I sewed it on the back of the quilt for them.  We wrapped the quilt up to give to their mother.

We took the boys to see the movie, “Nut Job 2″ and it was very cute.  Then to the Dairy Queen for dinner and ice cream.  It was a full day.  To bed early that night as we were going to the state fair in the morning.

Bright and early the next morning we got up and got ready and drove to Indianapolis to pick up another grandboy.  Then on to the fair.

We parked the car and walked up a big ramp onto the fairgrounds.   The smells and noise of the fair hit us immediately.  I told the boys we were going to eat our way through the fair.  Their eyes lit up.   So this is what we ate that day. Caramel corn, corn dogs, cotton candy, hamburgers, Italian and polish sausages, elephant ears, donuts, ice cream, and candy from the general store.  Plus gallons of water, lemonade and root beer to wash it all down. I just want to say one thing. Cotton candy is much better fresh and on a stick than stuffed in a bag where it hardens.   Sad you can’t get it that way very often.

There are many buildings to go through at the fair. The first one was my very favorite.  Draft horses.

DSCN5829

They are just gorgeous animals.

DSCN5828

DSCN5823

 

DSCN5824

DSCN5826

This guy liked to get near to us.  Had very different markings.

DSCN5820

I really believe this horse was posing with the boys. Look at those ears.

DSCN5822

I think they liked being this close to horses.   I could have stayed in this building all day, but we had to move on.

DSCN5825

I think maybe this horse was glad to see us go!

DSCN5830

We watched the sheep judging. A long time ago, I once showed a sheep at the county fair and won a blue ribbon.  I loved that little ram, but Daddy had to sell him because he was getting too aggressive with the other farm animals butting them and he tried to butt people, too.  There was a Disney movie in the fifties called, “So Dear to My Heart,” that involved a little boy and his pet sheep.  His grandmother didn’t want him to have the sheep because it was black and its wool was not worth anything, but the little boy loved him. He ended up showing the little sheep at the fair.  Burl Ives was in the movie as the boy’s uncle.   I saw that movie again a while back and it still made me happy.

DSCN5855

There was model car racing at the stadium.  The boys really liked that.

DSCN5842

Those little cars flew off the ramps and into the air and came down and kept going around and around the track.   The boys could have stayed there all day, but there was more to see.

To the pig barn. When I walked in it, it reminded me of the farm.  We raised pigs among other animals.

DSCN5836

This mama pig had the biggest litter for the year with thirteen piglets. Some were chowing down while the rest were snuggled up in a corner sleeping.

DSCN5837

In another pen the mama pig was snoozing and taking a rest from her brood who were all asleep.

DSCN5839

Ah, peace and quiet.  I could kind of relate to her.  When you are a mother, you catch your rest wherever you can because soon the kids wake up!

DSCN5838

Here’s her babies piled on top of one another.   So cute.

DSCN5832

Standing in front of the heaviest pig weighing in at over one thousand pounds.

DSCN5835

Just noticed his name is Boris.  Boris the boar.

DSCN5858

In the cattle barn. Once again I smelled the smells I remember from my daddy’s farm.  Fresh straw beds for the cattle.   The people who own these cows keep their pens very clean and they are constantly brushing, combing and bathing the cows they are going to show.

DSCN5875

 

DSCN5864

Some cows would even pose with you!

Time to eat!

DSCN5859

Just starting on a day of gorging ourselves.

DSCN5861

Corn dogs are so good!    With lots of ketchup.

DSCN5865

Dave and his grandsons standing under a fan and mister to cool off. It got really hot that day.

DSCN5871

We watched baby ducks being hatched.  My mother and I hatched some ducks one time and they got attached to me and thought I was their mother and followed me all over.  I fed  a whole box of oatmeal once to them which made my mother very angry!   I was a problem child at times. Ha.

DSCN5872

The duck which is damp, just came out of the egg. As soon as they were hatched a woman picked them up and put them with the other ducklings.

There is so much to see and do at the fair and not enough time.  We watched a cooking show by a man trying to sell cookware. I have that cookware. I got snookered into buying it one time at a home show.  At that time, the salesman would actually come to your house and cook dinner for you and others you were to invite and then after you had eaten, he would try to sell the cookware. It really is wonderful cookware and I also got a food slicer which is industrial grade.  Funny thing is, I hardly ever use it and still use my mother’s old pots and cast iron skillet.  I think I need to get out that cookware and use it.  Walking down the aisles looking at all the things for sale, a man coaxed me into a chair and started putting stuff on my face before I knew what I was doing. He had beautiful brown eyes. I looked for David and he and the boys were walking on.  Help!  I cannot say no to a saleman, especially one who has beautiful brown eyes and was as determined as this one. He put some stuff under one eye to take out the puffiness. By that time the grandboys had come back and I asked them if my eyes looked different and they said, “Yeah!”   Oh, no.  The stuff sold for $299 which is not anywhere near what I spend for stuff to put on my face. I don’t really put much of anything on my face but some Oil of Olay and lipstick.   Help!  Just them David walked up and said “No,” and I breathed a sigh of relief and got up. The man shook my hand, but I kind of felt bad about the disappointment in his face that he didn’t make a sale.  See, I don’t like to hurt anyone.

DSCN5884

At the Pioneer village they had this vignette set up.  I have eaten in kitchens similar to this one.

There were different artisans making things to sell, women quilting and hooking rugs.  Some were grinding flour with an old gas powered grist mill  So much to see, we hardly scratched the surface.

DSCN5881

An exotic animals tent where the boys could hand feed and pet the animals. Except for the zebra. A big sign read, “DON’T FEED THE ZEBRA.”  So, we didn’t.

DSCN5879

Feed the grandboy!

DSCN5885

Three boys in a tractor tire.

DSCN5886

Mowing the lawn.  They kept saying we ought to get one of these to mow our tiny lawn.  One or two swipes and it would be done.  I don’t have much lawn.  Only garden.

DSCN5890

Virtual reality.  It was funny watching them turning their heads and looking down as if something were really there.

DSCN5888

We were all getting tired, so I sent David to get them all some fair taffy to take home to share and then we walked to the car. I really felt like I was walking on stumps by that time and my back was hurting so badly, I could not wait to sit down.  We took the boys to their homes and got home in the evening tired, buy happy for a fun weekend with our grandboys.  I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Here’s to fun times with grandboys and wonderful state fairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Creatures Feathered and Furry

I have been surrounded with animals all my life.  I grew up on a farm where there were cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, guinea hens, cats, dogs, one horse and one lone sheep.  I was always feeding, playing with or doing something with animals every single day.  Feed the dogs. Feed the chickens. Gather the eggs.  Feed the calves.  Play with the new kittens in the hayloft.  I was never without an animal.  I grew to love animals and my daddy always taught me you take care of your animals before you take care of yourself because they are completely helpless unless we humans take care of them. My daddy loved farming and loved his animals.  He didn’t name any of them like I do mine because a lot of our animals ended up on our dinner plate at some time.

When I go out to feed and water my chickens, they run to meet me.  I like to tell myself it’s because they are happy to see me when I know for a fact it’s just because I’m the one with the food!

DSCN5766

As soon as they see me coming, they start running to the gate.  Here comes Bernice, Dorcas, Freedom, Shannon, Jan, Linda, Marilyn, Phoebe and Donna. Miss Mary Foster is always behind because of her little lame leg.

DSCN5765

And they act rather offended when I don’t immediately throw them some food.

DSCN5768

“You mean there is no chicken scratch in your hand?  Well, Hurump!”

DSCN5756

A couple of the new hens have started laying I believe. See those two little eggs among the others?   That usually means a hen has begun laying for the first time.  They are perfect little eggs, good enough to eat, but you have to eat three of them to make up for one of the larger ones.

DSCN5771

This is Shannon. She was supposed to be a Buff Orpington, but she got mixed in with them. I think she’s a Brahma. If you know otherwise, let me know because she was quite the surprise to us. Kind of like when you are expecting a girl and get a boy.

DSCN5772

This is Donna.  A Golden

 

 

Laced Wyndotte.  Her feathers are so shiny and have a teal color to them on her back.

 

 

 

 

DSCN5776

But on the front she is orange and black.

DSCN5770

We have three barred rocks now. My favorite one, Penninah died a few months back.  Yes, it made me sad.

DSCN5777

Freedom in her nesting box. She always screams when I open the door like she is offended that I looked in.  She screams every time she sees me.  Don’t know why. Maybe she is telling the other chickens I’m around.

The furry pets keep me busy, too.

After caring for the chickens, I often sit on the swing on the porch of a little cabin we have in our back yard.  I am never alone.

DSCN5779

As soon as I sit down, Molly Marshmallow hops up beside me and gets her bottom as close as she can to me without sitting on my lap.

DSCN5784

I sit there trying to mind my own business, but…….

DSCN5781

Sniff, slurp, lick and she is all over me with loving.   I love this dog despite the fact she has been one of the most worrisome dog we have ever had.  She demands a lot of attention and is very jealous of our other dog, Bonnie.

DSCN5788

Speaking of Bonnie, she knows immediately when Molly and I are sitting on the swing and she saunters over to see what trouble she can cause because she knows Molly is jealous of her.

DSCN5793

Before long there is a tussle on the porch.  This may look fierce, but both tails are wagging during the whole confrontation.

DSCN5794

Then Belle gets tired of it all and goes to lay under some grass with a bone.

DSCN5795

Then Miss Jealousy comes over to see if she can get the bone.

DSCN5796

And she always manages to do so.  It’s a constant battle with these two. I can give them each a bone and they only fight over one of them.   I just sit there and laugh at their antics.

DSCN5797

It’s tough being a dog, you know.

I need to finish up some things from my trip to Evansville a couple of weeks ago.

While we were traveling, we stopped at a quilt shop. Now I haven’t been quilting for quite some time as I have gotten involved in knitting socks.  Lots of socks.  But I actually bought some fabric.

It seems to have a theme.DSCN5736

DSCN5737

I found it funny the fabric had farm fresh eggs on it and only had roosters pictured. Don’t think you will get many eggs from a rooster. Heck, the hen doesn’t even need the rooster to produce eggs.   I guess whoever designed this fabric thought roosters were prettier than hens.

DSCN5742

Dream on.

DSCN5739

Yes, all chickens should be free to range.  Put on their little cowboy hats and over the range they go!

DSCN5741

Everyone wants healthy chickens.  Plenty of clean water, food and a large enough place to range and most chickens live a very healthy life.

DSCN5743

I just liked this fabric because there were several designs on it to use.

DSCN5744

I know I will be using this in something.

I had to stop at a yarn shop while we were out.  And this is what I bought.

DSCN5726

DSCN5725

DSCN5723

They had so many self striping yarns.

DSCN5724

DSCN5727

Cute little markers. I am always losing mine.  Somewhere there is a yarn marker heaven where all my markers are waiting for me.  I don’t know where they go and I never find them.

And two other things that have floated my boat lately.

DSCN5722

My fairy godmother, Shannon, gave me this cute bowl to hold yarn while I am knitting.  I love it.  That book behind it, “Use it Up, Wear it out, Make it Do or Do Without,” is a book we sold in our store years ago and there is that particular quilt in it that I have planned for years to make.  I met one of the author, Mary, when we were passing through Iowa. She and her friend, Connie wrote books and patterns together and had the company, Country Threads and a quilt shop by that name which was wonderful and inside an old chicken coop. Now that I am getting interested in quilting again, maybe I will piece it. I did manage to pin two quilts together for quilting and I hope to get them done this year.

I didn’t plant much of a garden this year.  I do have a few tomato plants where I am getting loads of tomatoes.

DSCN5754

David also went out and cut some more rhubarb. We have had so much of it this year and I have frozen a bunch.  We won’t starve with rhubarb, eggs and tomatoes available just for the picking.

The main garden area is full of pumpkin vines.

DSCN5761

It needs rain.

DSCN5760

Several pumpkins are forming.  The vine has grown up over the fence and into the garden and Molly has picked a few pumpkins.   It’s even growing up onto the grape vine and over another fence into our neighbor’s yard. He may be picking pumpkins also!

DSCN5762

This one is turning orange already.   Hope it will last until Autumn when I will decorate with them and give some to grandkids if there are enough.

Still haven’t got my bathroom completely done yet.  I have one wall I am trying to decide how to decorate, but I did get this picture which hangs above me as I lay in the bathtub.

DSCN5731

I just think she is beautiful.   I have always loved the lore about mermaids.  I just watched the movie, “Splash,” with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah which we saw many, many years ago at a mall in Georgia.   I love that movie.  Why can’t Hollywood make more movies like that with happy endings?  I loved the part where Tom Hank’s character asked Daryl Hannah’s character how they spoke where she lived and she started this high pitched screech that broke all the television screens in the store they stood in.

Here’s to all things feathered and furry and mermaids.  Wish they were real.  Bye.