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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Metronome




On March 19, I wrote a post called a Hobby Turns To A Thriving Business. It was a post about my mother’s baking business. There was another post also that was called Friday Afternoons. It lamented the fact that I had agreed to do the dirty dishes for Mother unaware how much work it entailed.
Well, there is another story that involves Mother’s baking. Before my mother got a Kitchen Aide Heavy Duty Mixer, she kneaded all of her bread dough by hand. In the winter this particular year, my dad and mom moved the big old heavy upright piano into the dining room so it would be warm for me to practice my music. I am sure it had nothing to do with me cutting her lace curtains to shreds when I was young and rotten to the core.
The “upright” stood proudly by the kitchen door. The space heater was behind me and the kitchen stoves that mom used for cooking and baking were in front of me in the kitchen.
Mother kneaded her bread about four or five feet from me on the kitchen counter, which was a metal.
As I practiced, my mother would count. Yes, one and two and three and four, and one and two and three and four. Also she counted half steps, and one and two and three and four etc. She could count waltz beats, fox trots anything you could think of. I Hated It!!! I begged my mother for a metronome. She said that she was much better than a metronome and that she was cheaper, as well. She also said that she didn’t need to be reset. She had many many excuses for why her little girl did not need a metronome. Of course, she was right, she most generally was right. I can almost remember my little girl asking for a metronome, but unlike my mother, I may be mistaken.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Daddys' Little Girls









We went to Texas this summer to help celebrate Fran’s granddaughter’s wedding. It was difficult for Fran to think of that little girl being old enough to get married. There is a picture to the side of him with his granddaughter with her beautiful wedding gown. A picture of Fran dancing with his daughter, mother of the bride and the bride dancing with her dad. The music was enough to bring tears to a person’s eyes; “Daddy’s Little Girl”
The cake was delicious, I think it was three different flavors. And of course, it was beautiful.
I got a shot of the bride and groom in front of butterfly flowers that were blooming in front of the hall where the reception was held. They made a beautiful picture.
And last and not least was a picture of Fran’s daughter, Rhonda, again mother of the bride, supervising her father as he placed cheese on the lasagna. Fran’s brother was in charge of the meat sauce. I watched and took pictures of this whole process. I had taken my turn at boning chicken for the alfredo.
Fran and his brother, Roger were very serious about preparing vegetables for the relish trays also. Lol
We had a very good time and we were very proud of how beautiful everything looked, especially grandpa Fran and Lizann

Monday, September 28, 2009

The County Fair vs the Black Walnut Festival





There are no animals like cows, and goats and sheep. The festival had a petting zoo for the little ones. There are no judging events, except in the pet parade and the talent contest. There are no tractor pulls.
The food at a county fair is to die for. Food at the festival is to die for also. Lol Good, but oh so greasy.
No admission to the grounds, everything is free, except for the food, rides, the games. I wanted Fran to throw some darts and win me a prize. He said, “What????” I guess that meant “no way,” because there was no discussion.
I was surprised to see so many ladies that made jewelry and painted china. Excellent talent. Oh there was a lady that decorated leather too. Lots of bling in her tent.
There were ladies that braided rugs, one lady had a spinning wheel. Other ladies made candles.
A gentleman made cedar furniture for patios. It was beautiful. A lady was there that was a local author and was doing a book signing.
The Army was there and gave dog tags to the teenagers that wanted them. They had quite a line up. Cool, don’t you know?
The Am-Vets were there for a 21 gun salute, the Pledge of Allegiance; everyone put there hand on their heart and the men removed their beloved cowboy hats. The boy scouts were the flag bearers and had a very proud look on their faces. Cameras were flashing by proud parents and grandparents as well as mine. If my grandchildren had been there, I know I would have embarrassed them with taking pictures by the basketful.
On a sad note, one of our good friends, whom we had just visited with the night before, was at the festival just shortly before we got there on Friday. She and her husband were leaving for the afternoon; someone called to her. She turned to see who it was and she fell over backwards on a sidewalk which was quite high. She sprained her back and is in severe pain. She is a beautiful lady inside and out. We will miss her while she recovers.
At a fair, the ladies have a lot of contests with their canning, baking, hand work. You could go on and on. The main thing is that it is so much bigger. Some county fairs have well known talent, we had well known talent also, but local.
The festivals in surrounding towns are not as big as the Walnut Festival but they all have “Queens” and bands and lots of greasy food! Fran just can’t wait until the “50th” festival. It will be a doozy!
I just noticed my camera is dated March. Good grief, it will be interesting keeping track of which March the pictures were taken in 2009 September or the real March!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Black Walnut Festival







Earlier posts have told you that my youngest son, Mike works for Hammons Walnut Factory. That sounds kind of strange. A factory cannot produce walnuts, but they can produce byproducts or powders and other by products that can be used in makeup, dynamite, and many other uses. The little town that we live by has been celebrating the Black Walnut for forty nine years. I thought about that this morning. I was sixteen when they started having a festival in this little town. The interesting thing I noticed this week is that there were no vendors demonstrating the uses of the Black Walnuts. I wonder if there were some forty nine years ago.
My husband loves the carnival aspect of the festival. We went four days in a row and several times a day at this heart racing fun filled, greasy food vendor filled, carnival. The most fun for Fran was the music which most of you know, is a love of Fran’s especially blue grass. Oh, my goodness. I get so full of bluegrass after an hour I want to go hide.
Fran always gets to sing at the Festival and he enjoys being the “star”. The festival is filled with Wrangler Jeans, cowboy boots, cowboy hats of all different styles and colors and ages. Some hats are pulled down to the point of covering the man’s eyes, some are straw, some colored artificial straw, some are felt, and some are very very expensive. Since meeting Fran I have been educated on a “good” hat vs. the cheap hat.
The Festival had crafts, talent contest, pet parade, new tech hand washing station, a midway with several rides mostly for the little ones and at least thirty food vendors.
There was country music, blue grass music, street dances on Friday and Saturday night and lots of music from area bands during the parade on Saturday.
The best part of the Festival for me was going home!!! No that is not true, the best part was seeing young son ride in the parade on his three wheeler, throwing candy out on the street for the little ones to put in their “candy bag”. He was smiling from ear to ear and having a really good time. I was to take his picture and promised that I would do that. I had been lugging my big old purse for four days and on Saturday we had to walk a long ways to the place where we could see the parade. I asked Fran to put my purse in the trunk so I didn’t have to carry it. Halfway to the parade I noticed that I didn’t have my camera. Fran nor I was willing to go get it.
When Mike arrived at our house after the parade, he wanted to see the pictures, ahh well……. Mom’s just can’t be perfect all the time.
I did look pretty though in my new shirts that Fran bought me at the Festival all embroidered with flowers and hummingbirds on them. Hmm, festivals aren't so bad after all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Closets and Four Seasons







For everything there is a reason, for most things there is a season, for most things there is no closet.
I have too many clothes, however, they are necessary to fit my ever changing body with different mg of medicine, not smoking, lifestyle change, and probably a little bit of increased age. I probably will get rid of the shorter style shorts, the overall shorts which Fran loves, the size 4 jeans, maybe the size 6 will go in the vacuum bags, the size 8 and 10 will stay as long as they are stretch Faded Glory from Wal-Mart which just means that they are comfortable, not that they are true sized.
We have two closets and they are not walk-ins. It would be okay if they did not have to house winter coats, rain coats, hunting coats, fall coats, and spring coats. I bought some of those really cool hangers that you can hang up in the closet and you can get many many hangers with coats and clothes on them. They end up hanging vertically and give you so much room, you just can’t believe it. Well don’t believe it. I walked into the front bedroom the other day, and there they lay on the floor with six winter coats on the original hanger which probably weighed about twenty pounds. Not too smart on my part.
We had company the other day and after about an hour I asked if they noticed anything different. The gal said, “well your hair is different.” Remember, I have gone au-natural. Then she said, well you have gained some weight. I was trying to get them to say that they noticed that we weren’t smoking. Doggonit. It’s always the hair and the weight. Fran and I are so proud of ourselves, and when we say, “NO” we quit smoking, many of our friends say, “Oh, yes we did too.” That happened yesterday. Well all I have to say is “Good for everybody that quit smoking, gained a little weight, oh I get this too, “You really look healthy now.” Hmm. I guess. However, I really would like more closet room.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Seventh Grade Classes




Well this will be the last picture of fifty years plus for awhile. I have so many stories to tell, I think I will do that instead of the guessing game of trying to figure out who is who. That is fun for me to try to guess, and some I do have written down, but on to something different for awhile.
It is very interesting for me to look at the picture to see how we look. We are dressed like our parents cared about how we looked. Wow, combed hair, genuine smiles, no sneers. And….we actually looked like we liked each other. The other thing I noticed is that we were clean!
I have some sad news though, I cannot find the names of the kids in the variety show. I will send copies of the picture to anyone that wants one. I sure thought I had the names. Sorry!
Names that I have from left to right: Pam, Kay, Cheryl, Lu Anne, Janet, Darrel, Joe, Mike, Fred, Cheryl Nelson, Nana? I have that name on the back of the picture and can’t think of who that is. I think I see the very top of Joan Montgomery’s head on the very end. I see Jerry Springer, Bob Pruitt, Roger Scott, Carey Hetrick? Can’t do the rest. Joan is good at this and so is Pam.
I have a class picture from the computer of seventh graders in 1931 (not Cherokee) Different than 1958 and 2009. Interesting.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's All Your Fault/It's All My Fault




Last night I was talking to my daughter on the telephone. While she and I were talking, Fran kept interrupting telling me that we needed to get going. We were going to the restaurant and to the club to sing. He said that if we were late it was going to be all my fault. We bantered back and forth and Melanie interrupted and said we acted like a couple of kids. I laughed and said, “Yup, that’s right.” It is kind of fun to revert back to childhood and act like children and laugh and tease each other, without malicious intent.
While we were at the restaurant we continued with our banter and laughing. We had a really good time. Once at the club, one of our friends said, “Wow you guys are really early tonight.” Once again, I said, “It’s all Fran’s fault.”
That never worked with mother when I tried to blame Keith, but it really seems to work with Fran, NOT!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

In All His Wonder



Last night I took Maggie out for her “walk” before bedtime. I was a little nervous because it had gotten dark so early. We had some trouble in our neighborhood with Alex being killed and so on, so I urged Maggie to hurry. It was then that I looked to the sky and prayed that God would keep our neighbors safe from this man and to give us all courage to protect ourselves and our animals from him.
As I looked high above me the sky was so crowded with stars that it almost impossible to tell one from another. I have often heard that people feel small when they look at the sky. I can understand that, but I was so dizzy. I felt that the stars would spin me right up into the galaxy. I wasn’t scared or nervous anymore, but I was so excited. I told Maggie to go into the house so I could go tell Fran about it. I have looked at the sky hundreds of times in my life, but last night was entirely different. I feel that our neighborhood is protected now and the twinkling stars is the reminder to me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Seventh Grade Girls?



Well the scanner is starting to bend to my will this morning. It was fairly independent yesterday, but I think I have won the battle. Today’s picture I believe is the seventh grade girls. The date is January 1958. I can’t even believe how many years ago that was. It tickles me to ask those girls if they would think that anyone would be looking at this picture fifty years in the future. I know me of course last one on the right. Dawn Parker first on the left, then Edna Ruge. I see Carolyn Clark in front of me. Gail Duvall in front of Carolyn, then Sharon McClaren. Then I am done. I don’t have this picture labeled for some reason.
The weather is perfect in Missouri today. I think there will be a hint of fall housecleaning. Fran is outside covering the garden so no weeds grow the rest of the season. I smell brush burning in the distance through the open window. I think people like the change of seasons. I know that I do. I wish you all a good day. Talk to you later.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Old Brain, New Scanner, Old Picture




Oh boy, what a day. The scanner quit, a quick trip to Wal Mart. A new scanner and cartridges purchased, and then the installation of such. Fran started it, and I finished it because it wasn’t working. What a mess. When a brain has lesions on it from a disease like M.S. it works slower and at times not at all. Fran was frustrated because it was so much different than the old one etc etc.
Well between us we got the job done and to my satisfaction. I scanned a picture of my eighth grade class which I think looks pretty good. I am posting the picture and the names of the students from left to right. Hope you enjoy the picture and look to see if you remember your old friends.
Edna Ruge, Margie Bunch, Judy Lenz, Florence Hayburn, Geraldine Dohrty, Connie Balantyne, Eunice Coyle, Vernice Shutt, Linda Nielson, Lu Anne Johnson, Sharon Nelson, Pam Long. This was Miss Smith’s homeroom. 8th grade girls. Probably Home Ec class.

Mechanical Failure This Morning




I wanted to scan a picture this morning for my post. It wouldn’t work. I had a little hissy fit and therefore, Fran came to see what the problem was. His answer to the problem was, "It just doesn't make any sense." I can remember hearing my mother saying that there was nothing worse than something mechanical that wouldn’t work. I agree with her. I also remember Fran throwing a battery operated can opener in the garbage with a few expletives that didn't help the situation at all.
Well in the days of a scanner when mom was young a scanner would have been someone who scanned the horizon for something interesting.
Folks, this problem means that I have to get out of my pajamas and get to Walmart, (I was just there last night unaware that the scanner didn’t work) and get a new printer. I will save it because the copy part still works. I use my scanner all the time. So there will probably not be a
post today until I get my printer hooked up. Talk to you tomorrow! Oh I think this is a post! lol

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kraft Coupons Make Me Happy




Coming home to such an unhappy mess, happiness comes in unexpected places; for instance an insert in a free newspaper. I saved about sixty dollars in two days this week. Kraft had coupons in the “free papers” in two little towns on both sides of us. Can you even believe that Miracle Whip was only $.89 and Maxwell House Coffee was $1.99. Those were only two of the things that were so exciting. My check book was just shivering and shaking it was so nervous that I was making a mistake. I even bought some Planters peanuts for a dollar for a big jar. I bought a whole bunch of them. There was no limit on the coupons. Yeah! Christmas stocking stuffers!!
Fran was a real trooper standing by the shopping cart while I was clipping coupons to match up the products, etc. he would say, “How many coffees do you want” I would say, “four.” Then he would match up the coupons to the product. It is interesting that when you marry someone it does not necessarily mean that because you love them that they will match up coupons with you. I have an idea that should be in the fine print, don’t you think?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Neighbor Man Stabbed Dog To Death


The headlines read in the newspaper when we got home from vacation. The Springfield news channel had the story on the five o’clock news and we were twelve hundred miles away from home having fun. We were devastated to say the least. We loved Alex, the neighbors loved Alex, even cats and other dogs loved Alex. Testimonial letters were written and given to the sheriff, the man was put in jail several times, once for waving assault rifles at homes in our “Restricted” neighborhood, once for letting a pit bull dog loose and biting our Alex. The day we left on vacation my husband was packing the car, and I was walking our little dog Maggie. I heard terrible screaming from down the hill. I immediately ran and got Fran. We drove down the hill to see what was going on and the pit bull dog had literally torn a little tiny dog the name of which I can’t spell which required lots of stitches. He was eventually put in jail on a $50,000 bond. He made bond after a few days and is now at home. None of the people in our neighborhood feel safe anymore. We are locking our doors; we never did before. Interestingly enough we looked for an attorney to represent Alex and they don’t want to get involved. I thought only witnesses to violent crimes acted like that, not people that go to college for years to represent people when they and their family members (Alex was part of our family) are hurt.
Alex was murdered. He was called to this man’s driveway to be petted and when he got to the man, he grabbed Alex’s collar and he slashed his throat and stabbed him several times. There was a witness to this heinous crime who called 911 immediately. While talking to the 911 operator, the neighbor called 911 to say that he had been bitten by a vicious dog. The neighborhood is in an uproar as well as the little town that we are a subdivision of.
Everyone will miss Alex, he was our friend as well as the protector of children in our neighborhood. Goodbye dear one.