Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day

For once, the Traditional Memorial Day and the new “convenient” Memorial Day are close together.

The traditional one is on Sunday, May 30th and the other one is on Monday the 31st.

I am sure that my thousands of loyal fans are tired of hearing me, year after year, harping on the differences of the two days, but this year I am going to give you a break.

Norm and I, along with Joy, Ken, Bitty and Bubba, are heading out to the Black Hills tomorrow. My new sister-in-law, Donna, is coming up from Oklahoma with a large portion of her family along with my nephew CJ.

We will have Charles’ Inurnment (the technical term for burying an urn, opposed to a casket) on Tuesday at the Black Hills Cemetery with full military honors.

Charles was a true hero of the Vietnam war; when I get a copy of the eulogy, I will post it so that you can see just what he did. And he is now one of the honored fallen who are to be remembered on Memorial Day.

Charles survived bullets from Vietnam, but that war took his life, eventually. Agent Orange cause most of his health problems, including diabetes and a congestive heart condition. It was his heart that gave out in the end.

So, on this entire weekend of fun and frivolity, let us pause for a moment or two to remember those who have died to give us the freedom that we so dearly love. Let us thank them and bless them for their sacrifices.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Walking down memory lane

I have my new computer up and running but with problems.  I am missing two very important program discs ... I don't know if I put them somewhere safe or Norm put them somewhere safe when he moved them to work on the light in the computer room.  It's a struggle to do my work but I'm persevering. 

Fortunately I backed up my pictures and data weekly, so I can access them.

And while looking at some of them, I found these two pictures.

It is hot and muggy and windy today but a beautiful day, none-the-less.  You have a beautiful day.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Home again (for awhile)

We are home from Oklahoma and settling in for a week.  Next week we go to Rapid City, SD for Charles' internment in the National Cemetery in the Black Hills.  This is where my parents have chosen to be buried when their times are here.  This is a cemetery only for Service Men and Women and their families.

The ceremony will be June 1st at 10:30.  Donna and some of her children, including Charles' son CJ (Charles Joseph), will be there.  Joy and family are riding with Norm and I; Candy and Wayne are going separately.  Cookie and Binni are going as well.  Jill is going to try to make it ... hope so.

I have pictures to share but am loading drivers and programs on my new computer.  I will share them later.

I have a new ASUS ..... I have not heard the name but Vern says the company has been making internal parts for 20 years and computers for 5 years.  This computer will have parts that are easily accessible, as the old one did not.

Today is a beautiful day ... it's about 65ยบ and breezy.  It's great to be home.  You have a beautiful day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My brother, Charles

I am at the library in Windom - I have a new computer coming so I am still without one at home.  Therefore I have no pictures to share today, but thought I would let you know more about my brother.

Charles was two years and one month (exactly) younger than me.  There has never been a time that I don't remember him around.  Because our dad was in the Air Force and we traveled, we four children had to depend on each other for fun and friendship a lot.  Cara and Candy were closer in age so they did things together while Charles and I did a lot together, as I was a tomboy and wanted to do a lot of what he wanted to do.

Charles was a mischievous (well, admit it, a naughty) boy a lot of the times, as most boys are.  But he was full of love and concern for the rest of us.  Even when he made me the maddest, I knew he loved me and wanted to take care of me.  He wanted to be the "big" brother, even though he was younger.

Charles joined the Army and went to Officers' Training in Oklahoma.  He then went to Vietnam and was in the "thick" of things in the jungle.  

At the time of his passing, Charles was living in Ardmore, OK with his beloved wife of three months, Donna, his new family of stepchildren and his son, CJ (Charles Joseph).  Donna was with him at the time and said he went very suddenly with no pain and no fear.  It is a shock to all of us, especially Donna, but that is the way to go when you go -- no pain, no fear, suddenly.

He has now gone to be with our grandmother, Nana, sister Cara and the rest of  ones who have gone before.

Now all that is left of a large family is four - our parents, both turning ninety this summer, and my sister Candy.  But we who are left have others to love and support us and have the others waiting for us when we go.

Norm, Candy and I will go down to Oklahoma to the memorial service.  Charles will be buried at the National Cemetery in the Black Hills of South Dakota during the Memorial Weekend.

Thank you, all for your thoughts and prayers.  I will put pictures up of Charles when I have access to my back up drive where all the pictures are.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Brother Charles died today of a heart attack in Armore Ok.

Bad news, good news

Yesterday, in the midst of working on the computer, my screen went black and a message came on the screen.  There was a full screen of list of connectors to the computer and on the bottom of the screen was this:

"Internal hard drive corrupt"


I did an emergency call to computer guru, Vern and promised him a life-time of free eggs if he could rescue me.

Good news?  He has a choice of two hard drives to put in my computer.  He is doing a diagnostic test today and will fix it, hopefully, by tomorrow.

I am at the Windom library, using their computer to check my emails and let everyone know where I am in the course of things.

Hope that it works out quickly.  I feel like a one-legged pirate without my peg and without a crutch.

Besides that, it's a beautiful day - we are hinting at sunshine and the weathermen promise sun and warmth by Saturday.  You have a beautiful day and I'll see you on the other side of a new hard drive.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Census duties

I am officially an enumerator for the Census Bureau and am working several hours a day, knocking on doors, asking people who have not sent their forms in to answer the questions and I will fill in the forms.

I had training last week on many different situations that could come about and training on filling out the forms properly and training on HOW to ask the questions.

I was sworn in as a Federal official and I am not allowed to tell ANYONE, including Norm, about what I learn during my duties. The government takes a firm position on privacy. The information that you have (or will have) given the Census Bureau will NOT be disclosed to any other branch of the government for seventy-two years. That goes for me, too.

If I told you anything, I would be fined and put into prison, so I can’t tell you anything except that I am enumerating!

It’s interesting but it’s also nerve-wracking for semi-hermits like me. I do NOT like going up to a strange door and knocking and talking to strangers! Everyone I have talked to, though, have been very nice, so perhaps by the time I am done, I will be a little bit more comfortable.

On another note, it is May!!! Beautiful little May … sweet and warm and sunny…. yeah, right!

April was the second warmest on record, as March was the warmest on record. But May, supposedly so warm and sweet, has been cold, for the most part. We had one day in the seventies, but other than that, it’s been raining and cold and in the forties and fifties during the day, and colder at night. Some days have been windy (like March is “supposed” to be), even having “wind advisories” and gusts up to fifty or sixty MPH! And rain, of course. But not snow (yet).

Despite the cold, we still have some sun and have things growing and blooming around here. We have blossoms on one apple tree; the flowering almond is blooming; the lilacs are THINKING about blooming!

Lilacs are "thinking"

One apple tree is blooming

 Flowering Almond

We have a hen that hatched out two chicks and they are growing. I don’t see them much and can’t get a picture of them, as she hides them when I step into the pen they are in. Young Spunky (two years old, now) had a batch of kittens on May fifth … I did get a good picture of them. They are fat and warm; Spunky is doing a better job than last year – then she had a single kitten in a nest box and when I moved it out, she moved it back; I think one of the hens might have killed it, as it didn’t survive.


Today I will join Candy at Stitches in Time. This will be the first meeting we’ve had all winter. Most times it was scheduled, we had so much snow or stormy weather that no one could make it. Other times both Candy and I was tied up with something else. But TODAY … we will both have a great time. We hope others will show up but if they don’t … it will be just us’ns and we will enjoy quiet and time to do what we want.

Then Norm and I will go up to the Cities to see Joy and family for Mother’s Day and spend the weekend.

However, we do have sad news. I went out to do the chores last evening to find that our ewe, Soot, had stillborn twin lambs. Don’t know why, of course. It’s very sad for us and for Soot. She wasn’t that big, yet, but her bag was so I figured one lamb. They look full-term, as they are not excessively tiny. What a blow! Twins, even! Just as Bitty and Bubba were hoping for.

We have the orphan lamb at Shalom Hill and I’m hoping Norm can bring him over and we can convince Soot that he’s hers – they would both be very happy that way.

It is a beautiful day, none-the-less, despite cold, rain and sheep losses. You have a beautiful day.  

And, Happy Mother's Day, everyone!