Thursday, January 29, 2009

A strange thing happened to me last night

I woke up at 3:30 in the morning – Peanut wanted to go outside – and on the way back to bed, I saw lights on the road! There was a car (or truck) traveling from the east to the west, going a good steady pace on the freshly plowed, cleared road. I could see it for about 2 miles to our east moving closer to us.

I know the road was clear, as we went to Candy and Wayne’s last night for our weekly get-together. (They had Chicken Divan for supper and it was so good, Norm commented on it about 10 times! Guess I need the recipe!)

Anyway, seeing the car this early morning is one thing I love about living in the country….. you NOTICE when a car goes by. I stood watching it come towards us, then looked out the west window and watched it move away from us, heading to the paved highway, 1-½ miles from our mailbox. And I wondered… who was traveling at that time of night? Was it a party-er, heading home from a wild country party? Was it someone sick, heading to the hospital? Was it Pastor Mark heading to someone’s house for a much needed emergency visit?

I will never know, but there you go ….. out in the country you NOTICE cars, as there are so few of them. And very rarely do I see one at night. We have 2 houses to our west and 2 houses to our east. There are a few houses south east of us, on the 3 north-south roads, but not many. So we DON’T see many, except at planting or harvesting when the farmers are out in massive numbers or when gravel trucks are collecting gravel from the pit 4 miles east of us; they travel in the summer and fall, mostly.

On another note, Norm and I are heading to Brookings this afternoon. We have an Educational Living History Fair this weekend. The Swiftel Center is allowing me to bring Peanut again, so I will have an even better time there.

And then, on Monday the 2nd, we head to Sioux Falls. I get my NEW KNEE on the 3rd. The young highschool doctor will be operating on me early in the morning. My new doctor, Dr. Kelly says that he’s very good for a highschool student!

Dr. Kelly has replaced Dr. O from the Cities. Now, I love and adore Dr. O, but it just was NOT working out to go see her all the time. Imagine having to go to the Cities for my knee operation? Going 3 hours or more opposed to 1-½ hours? Or even just going there for the pre-op checkup, like I had this Monday with Dr. Kelly?

No one will replace Dr. O for her caring and talent but I am sure that Dr. Kelly will be just as good for me; I have only seen her a few times and she seems to be just the right kind of doctor for me. And SHE is a youngster, too, like Dr. Watts; just out of high school, herself, but very talented and knowledgeable.

So, now I need to finish packing so that we can head out after lunch. I have Peanut’s bag packed, my clothes packed and I THINK I have everything I need for demonstrating. Norm and I are getting wiser in our old age and have most of the event things in plastic tubs; I just needed to make sure everything was there (pillows for sitting, table cloths, shawls, rugs, etc) and then add a few dishes and some silverware.

I also need to pack the food. For lunch and mid-day snacks, we will have Ritz crackers with lunchmeat and cheese, olive spread and apples. I was going to make some flat bread but never got the energy to do so, so I will use the crackers instead. Brookings has a great grocery store with a great deli so that we can have a good hot supper – the motel has a microwave and a fridge in the room so we can get supper for both nights on one night.

I will take pictures of the Fair to share with you and will post when we get home.

It will be a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More catching up

The Lemonade Award



A few weeks ago, I got an award from Tracey at Mustang Diaries and so am passing it on, finally.


This is the attitude / gratitude award for Bloggers who show great attitude/gratitude:
Here are the rules:


1. Post the picture
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show Great Attitude and/or Gratitude.


3. Link to your nominees within your post.4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link this post to the person from who you received your award.


Here are my 10 Blogs

Daughter Joy

Candy D from New York
Jody
City Mouse from New York
Kati from Alaska
Jan
Connie from Northern Minnesota
Tammie
Leslie
Farm Girl


I don’t wish to insult anyone by leaving them out. I feel that all of my blog friends deserve this award but the rules are to select 10!! Please consider yourself selected if you are not on the list.

Share the gratitude of a beautiful life. Thank you, Tracey, for sharing this and for being so patient!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Catching up

Well, it’s been a busy week, so today is “catch-up” day. First of all, I got an award from Tracey at Mustang Diaries that I will post in another post. But thank you, Tracey, for giving it to me!

On Tuesday night, Candy and Wayne came over for our (supposedly) weekly get-together. But because of the weather, it’s been two weeks since we saw them last. Candy brought over some ripped sheets and started a rug on the rug loom. Imagine her surprise when she discovered that the Union is a floor loom and had treadles!! And so much fun to WHOMP!!! that beater!



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Tuesday was the first of our January Thaw. No WIND! Temperatures up above zero!

Then on Wednesday, I picked Jody up and went to Candy’s. We then headed out to Mankato for our once a month (approximately) shopping trip and girls’ day out. The sun was shining on day two of the January Thaw and the temperatures went up to about thirty decrees!!

Candy was getting goldfish and I wanted to get goldfish, but Norm said “no” – and sometimes I listen to his “no-s.” But then Jody bought me a Beta (Siamese Fighting Fish) for my birthday that we named “Guy Noir, Private Eye.” Guy Noir for short. I had wanted a purple one but fell in love with this scarlet velvet one.

On the way home from Candy’s (she lives six miles from me as the crow flies but nine miles by the road), it took Jody and I almost thirty minutes to get home. The sunset was so very awesome that we kept stopping to look and take pictures.


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Thursday, yesterday, the temperature was up to thirty-five and there was (again) no wind and sunshine! But I couldn’t blog then, either, because I was working on a newsletter.

Our Arts and Recreation center does a newsletter every two months. I do the formatting, but my friends Fritzie and Cathy do the information and then “suggest” the way it should look. So first thing this week, I got the calendar to put in. I had to get four months’ worth of stuff into half a page! Then I got an email from Cathy saying I needed to change the calendar. THEN got an email from Fritzie that changed the calendar but didn’t have Cathy’s changes.

Then Cathy sent me information for the front page; Fritzie said, “don’t put THAT there!” Cathy sent me the third page; Fritzie said “put it on the fourth page.” Didn’t KNOW we had a fourth page, so I added page four and five. I was confused about the calendar and asked Cathy to call me. Got an email – “Ya talking to me? Ya talking to me? Look me in the face when you say that!”

Plus I got a phone call from the therapist in Sioux Falls about my knee surgery (now scheduled for February third). Rather than going to Sioux Falls for a pre-op class, we covered as much as we could think of on the phone. And then I got a call from Joy. Haven’t talked to Joy for a very long time, so that was a long conversation.

About eleven, I decided to get dressed out of my pretty new jammies that I had gotten at Wal-mart on Wednesday and get some breakfast.

Norm wanted lunch (already?) so I had to take a break to get dressed, make lunch, make breakfast (brunch, actually, now), wash some dishes and go BACK to the computer. I printed out (on PDF) the newsletter and sent it. I send it PDF so the girls can’t mess with it – they only mess with my head! Fritzie emailed and said, “The calendar is wrong. Change page two to page three, make page two from page three.”

Okay, girls …. The newsletter went out last night, so now I am waiting with bated breath for the changes you want TODAY.

Then Bill and Shirley (llama people) came over. I was showing Bill how to post on Craig’s List. That took some time, as I went step by step for him while he wrote everything down. Shirley apologized for Bill because he is “self-taught.” Nothing wrong with that – so am I.

Way back in the mid eighties, when I was starting to learn about computers, I had several friends who were computer science majors in college. When I had a problem, I’d go to them for help. And their help? They made me figure it out for myself. Admittedly they would step in if I was truly stuck, but they did teach me to struggle and sweat and work it out by myself, which has worked very well for me, as I have not had any one to help me in years; all I have learned since then has pretty much been by trial and error (mostly error).

So, now it’s suppertime – leftover spaghetti, so I don’t have to cook and downstairs to watch TV in the family room. The day was beautiful with no wind, lots of sun and nice and warm.

And about midnight was the end of the January Thaw. The “promised” cold snap was coming and with it was the return to the wind tunnel, cold and wind chill. Plus the roads are drifting again, so will be difficult for Norm to drive the three miles to work this afternoon, I’m a thinkin’!

So, that’s been my week. Today I’m going to rearrange furniture and clean house so that the walker will fit in here and I will have a moderately clean house to come home to from the hospital.


Despite the wind and cold, the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day. You have a beautiful day! And enjoy the view of Jody's grove in the sunset!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Historic Day

Well, no matter whom you voted for, you will have to admit – this truly IS a historic day!

I never believed that I would see the day that an African-American becomes President of the United States!

It is a bright new day in America and I sincerely hope that all the hate that has been spreading around the country in this last election will now cease. I would wish that everyone, for or against our new President would give him a chance before criticizing. After all, he DID say, “So help me God” not “So help me Allah.” And used a Bible, not a Koran.

Give him a chance!! Let’s look to the future and not the past and pray that America once again becomes a bright star in the heavens and a true leader on earth.


It’s a beautiful new day today – you have a beautiful day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

WHOMP!!

I was working at the computer this morning when I heard this huge whomp on the window. I looked to see my Flicker (a Northern Flicker who is not supposed to be here this winter, but still is) hanging onto the window sill. He evidentially hit the window and then clung to the sill for a while. He flew to the swinging feeder and then flew away, so I think (hope, pray) that he is okay.

We have shiny things (some not very pretty but still shiny) to help keep the birds from hitting the window but that doesn’t seem to help much. Norm suggested getting some curly wrapping paper ribbon and hanging that as well.


Notice the missing snow on the window sill - that's where the Flicker was sitting.

Most of the birds seem to hit the window at an angle and fly off, but there have been some, unfortunately that don’t survive. (SIGH)


I love my window but hate the thought of birds suffering because of it. I think part of the reason that he hit the window is because the flat feeder (Blue Jay one that everyone else enjoys) – the one that is NAILED to the stump – has been blown off AGAIN.

This wind is getting ridiculous!! I think the road is blocked again – I haven’t seen or heard the snow plow go by yet!

But I wasn’t going to talk about weather, was I?

Today is my sister-in-law-in-law’s birthday …. Happy Birthday, Mavis. Also, the birthday of my nephew, CJ – happy birthday, fella!!!

It’s an overcast day, but mild-ish out. The temperature is “only” nine degrees and it’s supposed to be warmer this afternoon. Beautiful, mostly because the wind is NOT blowing (for the moment). You have a beautiful day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weaving News



It’s about time I got BACK to here, instead of nattering on about weather and stuff.

Today I’m going to show you some of my weaving projects. But first, yesterday was the day I said goodbye to my “Buffalo” loom. (So named because I got her in Buffalo, MN.) She is a forty-five inch floor loom that is a wonderful loom, but I under-grew her – decided I like doing smaller things rather than big things.

So I put her on Craig’s List and she sold before Christmas but the couple could not come until yesterday.




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And yesterday? Woke up to winds from the North West and blowing, BLOWING snow! (Oh, sorry, I wasn’t going to talk about weather!) Our couple, Michael and Vickie, was coming from La Crosse, Wisconsin, on the interstate. They called from Albert Lea to say they were running late. I told them to call me from Windom, as our road was impassible at that time (we thought).

Norm went out to drive the gravel county road to the paved road (a mile and a half) but came back in to tell me he had gotten stuck ON the road – the drifts WERE impassible.

I had thoughts of meeting the couple in Windom, but knew we couldn’t get OUT. So how would they get IN? Worry, worry, pace the floor, worry, worry, pace the floor.

Michael called, saying they had left Windom, so I told them to STOP where they were (side of the road). I called Jody, who fortunately lives right OFF the highway and asked if they could stop there for a while until we figured out what to do.

Don was going to get his tractor out and break a path to us (just that mile and a half that is so tricky), but then Norm came in WITH the Buick and said that the snow plow had just gone past (whew!!).

So Don led Michael and Vickie over. We had a short visit, in which I showed them my studio and the remaining looms I have and discussed the new one (a fifteen inch) that Norm was going to build. Michael fell in love with the fifteen inch (Cherry) that I already have and asked for a plan when Norm built the new one.

We tore Buffalo down with many instructions and taped identifiers on her and loaded her into their Subaru hatchback, then they headed home, with information on yarn suppliers and my “bible” – “The Marguerite Porter Davison Handweaver’s Pattern Book.” Before they left, Michael pointed to my bird feeder and said "I saw that in your blizzard video!" And sure enough, it was whipping in the wind, still! (But I wasn't going to talk about weather, was I?) Michael and Vickie made it home last night and called me to tell me that they had - thanks, kids! Enjoy the loom! She's a beauty!

Norm then went with Don back to help him (and Jody) get a newer washing machine set up. When Don brought him back, the road was blocked again and Don had a difficult time breaking through the drifts with his four-wheel drive (but then, I wasn’t going to talk about the weather, right?).

So, on to MY projects. It was off with the old and on with the new. This is on my “Cherry” loom – the fifteen inch that Norm built me – which is a copy of my Australian “Matilda” that I got when Jill was born, way back then!

The project that I finished just after Christmas is a “swag” – a loppity-loop that hangs on the curtain rod in the bedroom. I do not like curtains where I can get by without them, but I figured a swag would soften the window, as it still does not have trim on it. (None of the windows in the new part of the house have trim, as Norm hasn’t gotten around to it; the last two former owners never even started to trim!)


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Lace swag on the loom

Photobucket Swag on the window

After I took it off and had Norm help me hang it, I then started my next project, a black and white table runner. This will take a while, but it’s fun.

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Black and white checkerboard - hmmm - wonder who it's going to be for?

Photobucket If you look at the close-up, you can see the twill going to the left on the bottom (white)
and going to the right on the top (black)

Now this morning it’s sunny, almost up into the twenties and NO WIND!!! Candy and I were going to go to Marshall to do some shopping and see Cookie and Binni, but her road had not been plowed yet (ours was, just before Norm left for church). So we decided to go tomorrow. But then, I wasn’t going to talk about weather, was I?

Since I’m not going shopping, I’m going to rearrange my studio to make it look less crowded (but still keep – in my head – room for a new loom) and I’m going to continue weaving on my black and white, as well as my “Wall of Troy” table runner that is about twenty-four inches wide that is on Matilda.

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Wall of Troy

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Detail of Wall of Troy
I plan on having a beautiful day. You have a beautiful day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You can do it!

For those of you who have said "I wish I had a craft group near me" ..... why don't you start one? It is simple. Just put an ad out - use your own home if you want, to start.

We put our flyers out at banks, stores, gas stations and anywhere that we felt people who love fiber crafts would read them.

You don't need to be an expert. Perhaps you can start a group who is LOOKING for a teacher!

Thirty years ago, I was demonstrating spinning at the city library for children and met a woman who wanted to learn. We ended up meeting once a week at her house and dreaming of teaching others. This eventually ended up to become a spinning and weaving guild that met in the basement of a retail shop; we taught and learned and shared. This guild then grew so that even today there is the same guild, with many different people in it.

Candy's rug hooking teacher did the same. She rented an inexpensive room, put out flyers and then started going to the rented room once a week. She didn't care if no-one showed, which is the best attitude to have. It grew so large that she finally stepped out in order to have her own time but the group is still going.

Our gathering may not build into anything but then again, it might. There are many people out there that want to learn, want to share.

Try starting something. Find a friend or do it yourself. Use your home or your friend's home and just dedicate one day or evening a week or month for YOU and YOUR craft. Others will come. And if they don't? Then you have that designated time for yourself that is your time, alone!

Mothers, find a babysitter for that little bit of time. Wives, tell your husbands that you need time to yourself. It CAN be done. And others will join you!

"If you start it, they will come!"

Jan, if you want to learn to tat (and anyone else who does), go here ..... Tatting on YouTube.

Thank you for wanting to join us! I wish you could all pop by and join us. We would love to have your company! But until that is possible, start your own group. Meet new friends who share your passion for your craft.



This morning is forty degrees warmer than it was two days ago! Unbelievable but true!!! You have a beautiful day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happenings in our town



Last Saturday – almost a week ago, Candy and I met at the Senior Citizen Center to do fiber crafts.

You see, Candy came up with this brilliant idea this winter --- why not meet once a month at a public place and invite other women (or men, if they chose) to join us for fiber stuff. Jody was included (but she couldn’t come this last week).

Candy searched for the right place – had to be close to all of us, had to be inexpensive and had to be accessible to others. Had to be comfortable, as well.

The Senior Citizen Center has a large room with a full kitchen attached that we are allowed to use. And it is affordable!

The premise comes from Candy’s rug hooking teacher. She did the same – rented somewhere and invited others to come to learn or do. Candy, at that time, was looking for a teacher for her rug hooking and joined the teacher on the very first day.

So, we are hoping to get others to join us to learn from us or teach us or just have fun for the whole day. If no one shows, then it will be a day away from home (and men, yes) do to our stuff!

I took my rocking chair (can’t live without a rocking chair), my spinning wheel, my demo loom and knitting. I also took a hot lunch in a crock-pot for us – to celebrate and stay warm because of the bitter cold.

Candy took her rug hooking stuff, her books, several rugs and several types of rug making, knitting and crocheting.

At the last moment, I grabbed my tatting shuttle and a book on tatting.

The day that Candy and I went to look at the room and talk to the manager, there happened to be a couple in there that were interested. The lady asked what time we would “open;” she was there on Saturday just as Candy was unloading her stuff. She stayed all morning! Next month, she will show Candy how to do a crocheted circle (Candy has problems with that) and Candy got a copy of one of the lovely throws in the lady’s pattern book.

Also, the secretary of the township and the town was in the office for some extra work; she spent most of her time in with us.

I showed both of the ladies the basics of tatting. The secretary took a rug making idea, as well as equipment, with her.

We had a few other ladies stop to see us and will try to make it next month. Just this week we had calls from others who want to join us next month, as well.

This just MIGHT work out to be something big!!! Jody will hopefully be joining us next month as well (she was in the cities with her mom – Hi, Marie! – last weekend).

It is simply a group that gathers to share information, skills and good times. Perhaps you might like to think about something like that in your community!

It was a beautiful day that day. Norm brought me, then came and got me. We stayed until 5:00, just doing our things. Candy worked on her rug hooking and I worked on Norm’s glove – I had made him gloves for Christmas, but the little finger of the last one was too small, so had to tear it out and re-do it.
Can’t wait until next month – it will be fun! Hopefully there will be more people there to share their knowledge of crafts!



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Candy in the big room

Photobucket A small hooking of Candy's

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A rug that Candy designed


It is a beautiful day today – the sun is shining, it’s about 0º out. Even though the wind is blowing, there is a heat wave coming! Tomorrow my floor loom goes to her new home and Norm will discuss a new smaller loom for me! You have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today is Joy and Ken's 14th anniversary! So many years have gone by! And they are still as in love (if not more) than the day they got married.


Bitty is 12, now, and Bubba is 9. These two have brought joy, I know (sorry, pardon the pun), to the couple.


Their wedding was beautiful, their life is more so. It is filled with joy (sorry, happiness) and love.


May their lives continue to be as happy and full of love as they are now!


Happy Anniversary! I love you both!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Long Winter

This winter is looking to be very much like our “Long Winter” of 1988/89 that we had when living in South Dakota. That’s a story in itself, and I might put that on later.

However, I thought today that I would share with you the video I took out the living room window this afternoon. This is mainly for you poor souls who have never experienced a blizzard. For those of you who have, grab a blanket and a cup of something hot to drink! You KNOW what’s coming!

The temperature dropped from 23º this morning to -9º this evening. The wind is blowing about 40 miles per hour and the snow is still coming “down” – well, coming sideways! That means our chill factor is -34º!!! Mighty cold, I'll admit!

Although it is cold today, it been cozy inside. I’ve been working on the 15” loom, dreaming of a second 15” that Norm is going to build me and looking for supplies for that new loom.

I have sold my 45” floor loom; the people will come collect it sometime soon (if the weather cooperates) so I will have room for another little loom and the money to buy the parts that Norm can’t build.



So, enjoy the blizzard – I certainly am! And have a beautiful day!

Oh, and turn your volume up if you want to HEAR the blizzard!




Friday, January 09, 2009

Mammoths and things

My, the doctors start young these days! My knee specialist is still in High School, for crying out loud! Cute as a button, funny as all get out, but still a High School student! Just a baby, even! Who woulda thunk he had the skill for surgery?

His name is Dr. Watts (Watts up, Doc?) and seems very skilled, for all his youth. And when I told him we were Living Historians, he asked it that was another way of saying I was “old?” Funny kid!

Anyway, he will do the surgery on my knee, young or not, and the office will set up the time in the next few days. Unfortunately for us, it will have to be in Sioux Falls, which is an hour and a half from here. But that’s the only place close by that has the equipment (and doctor-power) to do it.

After the doctor’s visit, which was NOT fun in many ways – he poked and prodded and moved and jiggled and HURT my knee – we went to lunch at the Ground Round. I had a yummy French Dip and celebrated by having cheese and mushrooms on it – made it very yummy. Norm had a Chimmichanga, which he has not had in years. I think maybe I’ll see if I can make them for him at home once in a while. (I love finding things in restaurants and duplicating them at home. Makes it almost like going out once in a while!)

Then brief shopping, with me fussing and complaining. Wal-Mart did NOT have a working electric cart yesterday and my knee really DID hurt! So I used the cart for a walker and limped around. Not much shopping – just a few fresh fruits and veggies and some tapestry needles, as well as a pretty Christmas material for next year’s bags.

Tractor supply was without an electric cart, too, so I limped around and got some new suet for the birds, mostly the Northern Flicker that is staying here and then new treats for Peanut (of course); Norm got a new pair of insulated coveralls. We grabbed some water so I could take some Aleve and headed home. WHEW! Too busy a day for me!

Now, Joy says that I played with dinosaurs when I was younger, so I thought I’d tell you the whole truth.

When I was in college, oh! so many years ago, I took a special class – Mammoth Milking 101. It was not so bad, in some ways, but pretty tough in other ways.

First of all, we had to make our milking stools, and baby, they are HUGE! After the stools were done, then we had to go out and round up all the mammoth cows, catch our cows and tether them for the milking. They wouldn’t fit in a barn in a stanchion, for heaven’s sake – we had to do this outside! We would have to walk 5 miles uphill in snow carrying our stools and buckets to catch our beasts. Once the cows were tethered, we would climb up on our stools and milk into our 15 gallon buckets. Then it was – climb down, un-tether the mammoths, give them a pat on the hind leg, as far up as we could reach, then head home (5 miles uphill in the snow), carrying our stools and our now full buckets of milk.

This was done 2 times a day, of course. How fortunate that the mammoth cows were so very docile and easy to work with. I have heard horror stories of other animals and feel blessed that I had chosen Mammoth Milking 101 for my course. There were some unlucky souls who had chosen Saber Tiger Wrestling for their course, looking for adventure, not tame farm life. But how many of them are alive today to talk about it?

Once my course was over, I chose to not go on to Mammoth Milking 102 – that was the course for cheese making, butter churning and other such tasty bits that come from milk. But imagine the size of a pizza with mozzarella cheese from just one day’s milking of a mammoth!

Ah! Those were the days! College chums, no responsibilities, fun times! Do I wish I were back there? Not on your tin-type, Lizzie!
It’s a beautiful snowy day today – little wind and not too cold. You have a beautiful day!




Getting ready for the Ice Age

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I did it!

I crossed the finish line! I hit the wall! I ran the race and won! I did all of that and more.

I am now qualified for Medicare and have signed up for UCare …… so (supposedly) all my medical bills will be paid for with a very minimum co-pay!

And because of that, this morning, I am going to be going to see my knee specialist and make arrangements to have my bionic knee (as Jody so lovingly puts it) put in.

Then, watch me roar!!!

Sixty-five years ago, on an Army Air Force base in Florida, it was raining. My dad was out on guard duty and my mother had to drive herself to the hospital, accompanied by Nana.



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And now it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood and I am ready to be a wise woman (if I can).

You have a beautiful day!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I found him!

I knew what photo album Sundown was stored in, but couldn't find the album! So, here he is, in all his glory! Norm was six feet tall, so you can see how "little" Sunny was in comparison to Norm.

One story I must tell, of all the stories I have of Sunny - he used to follow me with his nose on my shoulder. But he also used to give me "love bites" on said shoulder, which, for me, were bruising. So I asked Norm and he said to slug him!

Slug my baby? But I did realize that any blows I might give him, even on his tender nose, would be very slight compared to the bruises on my shoulder.

So I got ready and when he bit me, I hauled off and knocked him in the nose with my fist. He threw his head back, then continued walking with his nose on my shoulder, but never bit me again! Whew!!

Okay, I forgot that he had a strip on his nose as well as the spot on his forehead!!

Hope you enjoy his pictures! I certainly do!
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Ready for grooming

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Have a beautiful memory filled day!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sundown

So, I was reading Mustang Diaries yesterday and was impressed with Tracey’s work. Tracey is on my links as “On the Shores of Carpenter Creek,” but she posts more on her Mustang Diaries, so I’m going to add that link, as well.

Tracey is very involved with wild mustangs; this last month, she got a young horse to train and is doing very well. Steve Holt! is the horse’s name and he seems very mild-mannered and calm.

As I was watching the video about her work with Steve Holt!, I got to thinking about my first horse.

When I was a little girl, a million years ago, I was horse-mad as so many little girls were (and are – I have a granddaughter that is horse-mad!). I had not read “The Black Stallion” yet, although I have since read them avidly. But one night I had a dream about having a black horse and I called him “Sundown.”


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My first time on a horse - in Texas!!
A man came around to houses to have children sit on the horse for pictures.
The horse looks alot like "Tomahawk."

Later on, I discovered the Black Stallion books; when “Fury” came on TV, I watched that religiously. I was addicted to horses, especially black ones, from early on, but never had a horse of my own. We moved too often, my parents said – we did not have room or have the time or money or (always) some reason for not having a horse.

I never even RODE a horse, for real, until I was in seventh grade! Then we had access to a riding stable – the place where horse-mad children went to ride for an hour once a week. I had a favorite horse that I would ride. No, she wasn’t black – they didn’t have any black horses there! But she was a horse and she was MINE for an hour every Sunday afternoon.

Once we moved to South Dakota, my dad retired from the Air Force and we were FINALLY in a spot where I could have a horse, but there were always (again) reasons why NOT to have a horse.

It was not until I met Norm that I could actually see my dream of a horse being fulfilled. His father was a rancher! His family lived on a ranch! HE was a rancher!

I had always said that I would grow up to marry a rich rancher. Well, I married a rancher (rich was not in the picture). When we visited the ranch (an hour from our home), I was allowed to ride Tomahawk, an old “Indian” pony that was a fantastic cattle horse. When we went out to gather cattle, I was told to “hold on to the saddle horn; Tommy will do the work and he will turn so quickly that you could fall off!” Well, they were right! However, I often rode Tomahawk around the place just for the joy of it.

But soon Norm said I could have a horse! We went to a horse auction in town to look at horses and hopefully find something for me that would be “safe” – “reliable” – and best of all (to Norm’s way of thinking) “cheap!” My younger brothers-in-law came to help us pick out just the right horse for me.

If you’ve never been to a horse auction, it’s a really great place to go to see horses. Or, at least it WAS – I don’t know if they have auctions like that anymore. The stockyards that normally held cattle were filled with horses of all sizes, ages, colors and conditions.

And how do you pick out a horse that you can’t ride or even really touch? Norm liked this horse, Roger liked that horse; Robert said this was the perfect one, Curtis said THAT was the perfect one.

But the one that caught my eye and held me there was a wild pony who was running around his pen and looking like he might jump out any minute. And, thrill of thrill, he was BLACK!!!!! Solid black with just a spot on his head and (looking closer) a small bit of white on one foot. Be still, my beating heart!

So, while the others went looking and picking out, I stayed at the black’s pen, talking to him, telling him that HE was MY pick! Norm said he was too wild – I said we could tame him. Norm found out he had been raised in the southern badland area of South Dakota and had not been broken or even worked with. I said – good – he’d be unspoiled. Norm said I needed a second or third choice in case he went too high. I said – ya, ya, whatever – he’s the one!

We went inside to the auction ring to watch the other horses come in. Norm kept saying “this one?” “Nope, we’ll wait for MINE.” And finally he came in – all rootin’ tootin’ and flying around the ring, eyes white and a real WILD man! No one seemed to want him but me and we got him for the grand total of $57!! (I remember that price well. It was amazing to all of us!)

Norm and the others stayed to watch the end of the auction, but I went back out to spend time with my very first horse. My OWN horse!!! And what a beauty he was, too. I told him that his name was “Sundown,” and talked to him while waiting for the others to come to load him up.

Because Sundown (Sunny) was so wild, the boys were the ones who loaded him in the pickup (all cowboy pickups had – still have – stock racks on them) and took him home to the ranch. There he stayed in the corral so that the boys could get a halter on him.

Now, that was a fun experience. Sunny had only been handled by men and had been frightened by men. I sat in a feed bunk to watch while they tried to rope him for the halter. He kept putting his rump to the rope (smart horse), but finally ran up to me and put his nose under my arm! So someone handed me a rope and I put it on his neck, then *I* put the halter on him. The boys said – “Okay, he’s yours, then!” and left me alone with him. Norm was the only one who would come down, except for Curtis, who was (at that time) just about ten years old. I would go down to feed Sunny and sit and talk to him. He allowed me to pet him, and then I was able to lead him with the halter rope and start grooming him. One afternoon, my heart in my throat, I slipped on his back as he was standing by me. He started to walk and we walked around the corral as we got used to me riding him.

Soon Norm gave me the bridle and I taught Sunny how to wear it with no complaints. I had a saddle – Norm came with me to watch as I did the saddling (right stirrup on the saddle horn, Tracey) and agreed that, for the most part, I was to do the training. However, I preferred riding Sunny bareback.

Sundown was three-quarters Welsh Pony and one-quarter Appaloosa. I cannot find (at this time) a picture of him, so you will have to take my word for it. He was beautiful! Inside and out – he loved me as I loved him.

I rode him, cared for him, loved him for several years. However, he developed a problem that could not be cured. He had been sold as a gelding (neutered horse). However, there had been a “goof” when he was gelded and he ended up being “proud cut.” This means, in simple terms, that he thought he was still a stallion, but wasn’t. Some “proud cut” horses get mean around other horses if they can’t “perform” and Sunny was starting to chase the other horses. He even ran one of the valuable ones through a fence, which was a big “no-no” at the ranch. We had a vet come out to anesthetize him and try to fix the problem but the vet could not promise that it was “fixed,”

And sure enough, it was not. My father-in-law said that we could not keep him at the ranch if he was going to continue to fight the other horses. All kinds of solutions were offered but Sunny had to go. We were going to take him to town and board him there.

However, I refused to not be honest with anyone who boarded horses and no one would allow him on their place.

The only solution that Norm could come up with (besides buying a place of our own, which was NOT a solution for him) was to sell him. Again, I refused to lie about Sundown’s situation and we were having a difficult time finding anyone who would buy a “proud cut” horse. We found a man who was known to be honest in his dealing. He said he could find a home for Sunny “back east” where he could be boarded safely away from others. Sunny, for all his smallness, was a good jumper and this man said he would sell him as a prospective jumper and see that a girl or woman got him. But he would not buy him; he would just do a trade-in.

So I agreed to get another horse (a mare, this time) and let my heart-love go. I can still remember leaving Sunny in the same sales barn that I found him, whinnying to me as I walked away. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

And so my experience with my own wild black stallion was at a finish … but I will never forget Sundown and the pleasures and joys he gave me. I was an inexperienced rider; he was an unbroken horse. We taught each other a lot and I will never be the same because of him. Wherever you went, Sunny, my heart went with you. I still miss you and love you!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

It was a hot time in the old town last night!

The Peterson house was rocking last night for the New Year’s celebration! Candy and Wayne came over; the boys played three hot games of cribbage and Candy was starting to close in her toe of her first sock ever! I worked on Norm’s glove – I have half a finger and the thumb left to finish. Peanut spent most of the afternoon on my lap, unless Wayne got up to stretch.

Wayne is Peanut’s all-time favorite person, because he gives her special treats!!! Not just the organic dog food kibbles that I use for treats but soft, cushy yummy stuff! So when he stands up from the card table, it’s a sign (hopefully) that he’s going to get her a treat. She flies off my lap and goes to dance around his feet, saying “please, please, oh pretty please!”

We had supper about 6:30 and had roast beef with all the fixin’s. And had a trifle for desert. For those of you who don’t know – a trifle is an Australian desert that is wonderful! It’s cake bits torn up, layered with pudding (cooked is better, but for those who have never had it before, instant might work), fruit and cream (whipped). Or without the cream, and put that on top. I made one for Christmas with cherry bread as the “cake,” canned peaches and pudding. Yesterday it was sponge cake, strawberry “coulee” and pudding with cool whip on top. I like to put brandy (usually blackberry) in, as well. You pour that on top and let it sit. The longer it sits, the stronger (and better) it gets.

It got late (about 8:00) so our company went home to continue their party – which meant bedtime! They go to bed about 9:00 every night!

And on our side? Well, I talked to Jody about her blog (she wanted weather and the moon phases); Norm talked to his brother in South Dakota. I popped some popcorn and we all sat on the bed and watched the news. Peanut sat between us and nearly had whiplash, turning from one to the other. “Who is going to give me the NEXT piece of popcorn?” Peanut doesn’t get much people food but she is allowed a bit of orange, apple and popcorn as treats.

Then, after watching the fireworks in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong, we turned off the TV and went to bed!! Whew!!! We made it to 10:30!!!!

Last night was the second night in a row that Norm actually slept all night in our bed. Since his accident this last month, he has been sleeping in the recliner. He ended up with cracked ribs that he had to be careful of and his shoulder was pretty sore. Generally, Peanut has been keeping me company in bed but now that Norm can join me, Peanut has gone back to her bed next to my side of the bed. It was strange to wake up in the middle of the night to have him there beside me. It has been waaaaay to long since he was there last!

So, that’s the story of the wild times here. We really DO party!!

On another note, today is the 146th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation that was signed by President Lincoln in 1863!


It is a beautiful day, a beautiful new year! You have a beautiful day AND a beautiful year! May your year be filled with love, peace and prosperity.

And here is the sunrise, at 7:30 this morning, on the first day of 2009!


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