Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Today is the day!

Well, children, did you remember? Today is the traditional, original “Decoration Day.”

It began at the end of the Civil War, in 1868. Many Southern women had already started putting flowers on graves while the war was still in process, but it spread and became popular in both the North and South. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. 

The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). 

It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

Many of you, I am sure, weren’t even around in 1971 but I remember when the date was changed and was upset then, as I still am, today. I feel that making a three day weekend out of this special time encourages people to forget exactly why we honor this special day. Now most of the media centers on SALE, SALE, SALE! And there are picnics and fun times, but how many truly remember those who have died? 

This day is especially for those who have died, even though many, including the Armed Forces, make Memorial Day a time to remember those who have served as well as those who have died. 

Be that as it may, let us all take time, no matter when, to remember those who have died for our freedom. Let us take time to thank them for giving the ultimate sacrifice for that which they treasured; treasuring freedom, they made sure that those they loved would be granted that freedom.

Monday, May 28, 2012

It is NOT today!

All over the United States, people are celebrating Memorial Day today.  Well, let me tell you, children, Memorial Day is NOT today!  Yes, I have ranted in past years about traditionally holding Memorial Day on May 30th, not on the last Monday of the month.

This year, I will not rant or rave, but just “go with the flow” - I will have my own personal memorial on Wednesday, with or without anyone else.  And I will take today, as all others have, to remember those who need to be remembered.

One of the reasons I am accepting it is because of something I heard last night.  I was watching the PBS Memorial Day special; someone said, “Memorial Day should not just be one day out of the year but something we do every day.  We should take a few minutes every day to stop and thank those who have given us our freedom with their sacrifices.”  Amen to that!

So today, and also this weekend, I am taking time to remember those in my family who have given themselves in honor of our country.

My Dad: he is almost 92; he served in World War Two and in the Korean War.  He stayed in the Air Force until he retired.

My husband, Norm: he is 68; he served during the Viet Nam War but was never sent over there.  He spent his Army time in the States and in Germany. 

My brother: he was 64 when he died.  He served in Viet Nam and then came home to serve for several years more in the Army, then left to work in the civilian world. His death was caused (directly or in-directly) by the effects of the war.

My brother-in-laws: Darrell was in the army, in Korea.  Wayne was in the Navy during the Viet Nam era.

There were members of the Childs family who served in battle during the Revolutionary War and also in the Civil War.

And then there are millions of others to whom I am not related who served, suffered and died or survived and suffered, all to give us our freedom.

Thank you, one and all.  Without you men and women who have sacrificed for all of us, we would not be able to write negative letters to the newspapers, write negative blogs or even write negative comments to blogs or Face Book comments - we would probably be accused of treason.  Freedom of speech is one of the freedoms that we all hold so dear!  Let us not forget who gave us those freedoms and who are still fighting to allow us to be free.

And on a side note: I have been married for nearly 46 years.  Just this last week it dawned on me how lucky I am that Norm did NOT go to Viet Nam.  He was offered a promotion (with more money) if he re-signed for another tour of duty when his discharge was near.  He knew that if he did re-enlist, he would have been sent directly to Viet Nam from Germany.  Thank the Good God that he did not.  He came home to meet me and the rest is history!  Thank you, Norm, for giving your time but choosing to not give more!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wistful Wednesday

On this windy Wednesday, I thought I’d post a couple of pictures of Norm’s folks. Norm’s brother, Robert, has been scanning in a lot of the family pictures and I have been stealing taking pictures from his FaceBook albums. 

The first one is of Cecil Peterson, Norm’s dad, in 1927, with a friend and co-cowboy. Norm’s dad did a lot of “cowboy-ing” before he got married and settled down to ranching. Cecil is the one with the hat on. Good looking man, isn’t he?

The next one is of Clarice DeWitt, Norm’s mom, in 1928.  Ain’t she a looker?  One of Norm’s nieces, Edna, looks very much like her.  In fact, when I first saw the picture, I thought Robert was posing Edna in an old-timey hat.

I’d like to thank Robert for his dedication in scanning in and posting these pictures on FB to share.

The next picture is one I took while I was heading out to the ranch to see Norm’s brother Darrell and wife Mavis.  This house was the one that the family lived in when Norm was born in 1944.  The family then moved out in the spring, to the ranch that had been owned by Norm’s grandmother and then owned by another family before Cecil bought it.  The house now is used for storage. 

And the last picture is a picture taken from the air in about 1958.  Those of you who know the ranch will see the differences from what it looks like, today.  Those of you who don’t, the barn and corral are in the lower left corner of the picture, the garage / workshop is right above the barn and the house is middle left.  You can see a well-worn path to the outhouse above and to the left of the house.

The house looks almost the same, except that the door of the entry way is changed to the front, now, not the side.  Love these aerial pictures and the history they show!

It’s been fun looking at these old pictures - I’m hoping to post more in the weeks to come.  Thanks, Robert!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Back to normal

Candy and I got home Wednesday afternoon and I got back to doing normal things - weaving, cooking, washing dishes (sigh), computer work, chores and enjoying my yard.

I came home to irises in a vase in the kitchen (thank you, Norm) and flowers starting to bloom in the yard.  There are the yellow irises that are now beaten to a pulp with our hurricane force (it seemed) winds.  The yellow roses from Norm’s mom’s yard (Candy says they are “Harrison’s” - also known as “The Yellow Rose of Texas) are starting to bloom.  Grandpa Saueressig’s white rose (no identified name, as of yet) has one bud opening and others coming.  Our Bittersweet is growing, our Winterberry is blooming.  Jill’s two roses have buds.  The pink roses (don’t know that name, either) have small buds but are slow coming.

All the flowers are wind-whipped.  We’ve had heavy winds since Wednesday when we got home, gusting up to 40 MPH at times.  And the wind has been from the south, now is from the north.
My Goldfinch are eating heavily and are flitting around, adding color.  I saw a blue bird yesterday that I THINK is a Blue Bunting, but looks so very much like a blue Goldfinch!  Then, this morning, I was startled by a knocking on the window - I looked and it was a female Baltimore Oriole pounding on the window and yelling at me.  By the time I got the camera (which was too close to the window this time), she had left but her partner-in-crime and husband was flying around from post to post.  We did not have the oriole feeder out yet, so I quickly grabbed a bowl and grape jelly, then took it out with a wire bookcase / table we have on the deck.  By the time I got back in, the two were fighting over the jelly.

This is my blue bird ... so, what is it?  A very cold Goldfinch, or what?

The lilacs froze, so we have no blooms this year, but the wild phlox are going great guns.  A few years ago the sheep ate all that we had in one area, so Norm transplanted some so we can have the sheep in the north pasture and still have phlox blooming around.

Yesterday, Saturday, Norm went to an auction, so dropped me off at Jody’s for the day.  We had a nice peaceful day with tea, lunch (I introduced her to fried noodles) and visiting.  Then Norm collected me - his biggest purchase was a heat gun and three boxes of canning jars - and we went home to supper and storms. 

Today it is nice and sunny out, finally - it has been in the mid 50s and 60s all day.  The wind is now blowing at “only” 20 MPH and I’m watching the birds at the feeders.

It was a pleasant week with Mom and Dad; the trip home was pleasant except for the wind.  I enjoy being with my sister; she drives while I ride, which makes MY trip pleasant!  We usually take my van but this time we ran into a problem that rarely happens.  We had TOO MUCH ROOM in the van while coming home!  We went shopping at Rapid City’s Sam’s and didn’t buy enough!  We were going to stop and get more stuff but were too tired after all our running around, so just put our suitcases and bags of hand-me-down items from Mom.  She is cleaning out her things and we get to pick what we want, then pass on to others what we don’t need.  The van felt rattle-ly, being so empty, but we managed.

It was a beautiful week; it is a beautiful day today.  You have a beautiful day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Let's talk about a more pleasant subject.  Today IS Mother's Day, after all.  Candy and I are here to be with Mom on this day.

This morning we went to a brunch; it was given by one of our distant relatives because two of our cousins from Montana so Dad wanted us to go.  Candy and I were under the impression that there would be hundreds and millions of people and didn't want to go.  But we did, and found that it was just "intimate" family.  Candy got to know our cousins; as the baby (snicker), she didn't remember them.  Also, when they were here last year, she wasn', and I was.

Be that as it may, the Sheridan girls are lots of fun so we had a very good time.  Rosemary and Ann were here but Peggy was not (sigh).

Mom and I went shopping while Dad and Candy went to the cemetery.

And, now back to our regularly scheduled program . .... this is about Mom.  I have been thinking of some of the memories as I was growing up.

We lived in Bemidji, MN, when I was in second and third grades.  A fond memory was that in the summer, we would take blankets for bedding and lie on the floor to rest and / or nap while Mom read to us.

At about the same age, we went to Mom's hometown to visit.  One night the adults went out to my uncle's farm while my older cousin watched us.  I woke up during the night after dreaming that my mom had died.  I started crying and no one could comfort me.  When Mom came back, after what seemed days, she came into the bedroom to give me a hug.  She was coll from the cold night air and I was hot from crying.  Once she was back, I fell asleep and slept the rest of the night, much to the relief of my cousin.  You might ask, "Why didn't someone call my mom?"  Back then, the farm did not have a phone!

When I was older, Mom got season tickets to Community Concerts and took to enjoy classical music, ballets and operas.  She also taught me to LISTEN to music and to identify different instruments in an orchestra, just by sound.

These, and many other memories, are what make my mom so special.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  I love you!

In Memory of Charles

Three years ago, we lost my brother, Charles.

Today is Mother's Day as well, so Candy and I wanted to do something very special to remember Charles.

We got the folks a flameless (battery) candle to remember.

Rest in peace, Charles.  We love you and miss you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Well, children, I am in Rapid City with Candy to be with our Mother for Mother's Day.  We came on Thursday and will leave on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I spent yesterday with my sister-in-law, Mavis.  Then came back from the family ranch and spent the evening with my friend Nancy.

Today, Candy is with her friend Nancy (two different people).  Tomorrow we will both spend the day with Mom and Dad.

I do not have any pictures to share because I didn't bring my laptop.  I brought my new toy.  I have not share it with you because I wanted to show Mom first.

I hae a Samsung tablet; I gave my Kindle to Joy and the girls and am enjoying all the benefits of an IPad with less $$$ involved.  "Sammy" is a 7" tablet that allows me to go online when there is wireless --- hence the reason I'm writing this now --- and I can get my email, check FB, read (and write) blogs, and read Kindle books as well.  I have even been kkeping up with the Minnesota eaflet, Harmon.  For an old-fashioned girl, I love technology!

It's a beautiful day in Rapid City; you have a beautidul day.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

This past week

Well, I’ve been amiss in writing of the happenings of the past week. The most important is that our ewe, Soot, finally (FINALLY) had her lambs - twin boys, born on Monday, April 30th. They are strong and healthy and growing quickly. I have been keeping them inside the barn to make sure they stay strong and healthy. It has been long enough, now, to let them out, but we’ve been having storms and rain so I don’t want them out in the wet. 

One day this week we had enough sunshine so that I could let them out, but today, after over 2 ½ “ of rain in 24 hours, I have locked everyone in.  No one likes it but it’s easier on me and actually, easier on Tinker.  She is Soot’s lamb from last year and even though she is too young to be a mommy, she has adopted one of the lambs and has a major hissy fit if she is separated from him.

I am hearing that tomorrow should be drier and sunnier so they all should be able to go back outside.

We have also had storms, like a major part of the county has had.  We have had tornado warnings, thunderstorms warnings, watches, threats, winds, rain, hail, and even more.

It was 80ยบ for 2 days this week, which brought storms in.  Then it got chilly and windy and even more rainy.  We got about an inch, total, of rain this past week until yesterday and last night’s downpours. So that makes - let me see - about 4+ inches in one week!  Ooofta!

Candy and I went over to see Jody this past week, as Candy hasn’t seen her new place, yet.  It was a very pleasant visit with a nice lunch sitting around a (non-burning at the time) fireplace.  Every time I go over, things are a little bit more organized.

While there, Jody showed us her robin, nesting in a window and I got a picture of the eggs.  Hopefully (haven’t talked to Jody except to warn her of storms - she doesn’t have a weather radio, yet) the winds haven’t blown the nest out of the window!

I am mentally planning for Tuesday and Wednesday - it’s the annual museum tour for the county 3rd graders - I will be talking about pioneer life.  I think, this year, that I will take some material and sew up a new apron ... lord knows I need a new one if Mr. Peterson is insisting I get rid of the old one!

Then Candy and I head out on Thursday for Rapid City to spend Mother’s Day with our folks.  We will have a short visit (notice to all Rapid Citians that we normally visit - it will be short ones this time) and will spend most of the time with our mom. 

Then back home and back to normal stuff (according to Norm, sitting in the recliner, reading, all day).  I need to get Harriet Dare finished dressing so I can start weaving a vest that I WANTED done in April.  I need to finish Matilda’s projects (baby blankets) so that I can re-warp and start more projects that I have planned for about 6 months.  I also need to get Cherry’s latest done and started on the second runner.  And then, of course, Little Sister has mug rugs on her that should be worked on.

Also need to start garden stuff - it might be safe to plant seeds.  The potatoes that we planted on Easter are up and almost tall enough to cover with old hay.

It sounds like it might be a stormy spring so we all need to watch the skies and listen to our radios - our weather radio has been squawking more this week than it has for a year!    Here are a few sky pictures I took one night while out watching for twisters.  

On a side-note, these were NOT taken in black and white ... this was the color of the sky that night!

It is an over-cast day and not very warm, but dry (so far) so it’s a beautiful day - you have a beautiful day.