Monday, August 30, 2010

A big day coming up

In honor of my hubby's upcoming birthday this week, I'd like to share this poem that I will give to him.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Don't complain....
I'm older than you!

Hubby has given me permission to share his was taken many, many a few years ago.  The first photo is one that shows Hub's 5 o'clock shadow but it's one of my favorites.  It was taken at a ball game where we spent too many hours to mention over the years watching our children play ball.  Or in Hub's case, coaching. 

He dearly loves his kids and has always been there for them.  And I think he might like me, too...:)  Even tho I know I've tested his patience many times.  We've been through a lot together.  He's a good man and he's my best friend.   Happy Birthday, Hubby!!!

Here's my 6 foot 2, eyes of blue:

The next photo shows the two of us at a picnic many moons ago.  Hub has that serious look going and I have that goofy mouth thing going as usual.  My blond hair was looking dark in this pic, for some reason. 

My dear hubby doesn't have his pretty black hair anymore.  It's gray now and thinning on top.  He has quite a few more lines in his face, but he has stayed fit and trim.  (You notice I'm not talking about my lines, etc!)  He is very active with his job and I know that working out in the elements and late hours has a lot to do with those lines.  My hubby is a lineman for a rural electric cooperative and a lineman never knows when he will be called to go to work beyond their normal 8 hour days.  It might be 10 pm or 2 am.  Whenever there is an outage, and they are called, they go.  Many times, they work straight through the night.  Yesterday, he got called to work for a short time. 

I remember one Thanksgiving week coming home from a grocery shopping trip to Columbia and finding a note on the table that he had left to go work an ice storm around Ozark, Mo. and that he wouldn't be home Thanksgiving Day.  That was before we had cell phones and that is another good reason to keep the laundry caught up!  

The lineman are required by OSHA to practice a pole top rescue once a year.  I'm proud to say that my ole man is still keeping up with the younger ones!  He loves his job and it will be hard for him to give it up.  When he retires in 4 years, he will have been a lineman for nearly 40 years.

Here's one last photo of the birthday boy.  It was taken last year when he went down around the Poplar Bluff area during an ice storm to help out.

I've always liked this quote by Mark Twain, "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."   I'm only 2 1/2 years older than Hubby and it's never mattered either, even tho he likes to remind me of it from time to time!

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day is done...




Until next time...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another one room school

This old one room country school house was seen on one of our drives late last fall through the countryside.  It is very similar in appearance to many one room schools that once dotted the countryside back in the day.  And it very much resembles the one I attended for 6 years that I posted about yesterday.  The next photos will show you who the well-known person was who attended this school for a few years.


Here is a closer look at the plaque.


General of the Army Omar Bradley (Feb. 12, 1893-Apr. 8, 1981) was one of the main US Army field commanders in North Africa and Europe during World War II and a General of the Army in the US Army.  General Bradley was the last surviving five-star commissioned officer of the US and first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Until next time...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Memories of a One Room School

School has begun for almost everyone here in the Midwest.  The first 6 years of my formal education took place in a one room school almost identical to the one pictured above.  Below is a picture of the country school I attended.   It was built in the mid to late 1800's.   I'm not sure when this photo was taken.

As you see, sometimes the mode of transportation was by horseback even during my six years.   Many rode bicycles or walked if the parents couldn't bring the student by vehicle, often walking 1 or 2 miles.  

The school had 1 teacher who taught grades 1-8 in this one room.  The years I attended the school had approximately 21 students with 1 to 4 students in each class.  My class was made up of 3 students including myself.  The subjects were reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, geography and history.   I don't remember science being taught.   We also had some art projects to do.

The first day of school always was an exciting time because I usually had new shoes, dresses, sometimes a new satchel or book bag, a new pencil box, a Big Chief tablet, and the most exciting of all...a new box of crayons!  

The teacher started the day with all the students saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  We would also say The Lord's Prayer and then recite a bible verse if we had memorized one.  Teacher always taught how important memorization was.  Music was played on the piano by the teacher and we would sing a patriotic song or hymn.  Then classes would begin.  

Below is a photo of a room very similar to the one I remember except the stove we had was in the back of the school.  The teacher's desk was in front on the raised area we called a stage and on the right side, I remember a table and chairs for the students to sit at as they were called up for class.

While each individual grade was in class up front, the rest of the students would be busy doing homework.  If someone needed to go to the bathroom or get a drink, or needed teacher's help, they would hold up the number of fingers that would tell the teacher what they needed.  For instance, one finger was for help, two would be for a drink, etc.  

We would have morning and afternoon recess and a lunch break.  Everyone always brought a lunch, nothing was refrigerated and I remember taking a sandwich, chips, something sweet and usually a banana or apple.  We would sometimes trade sandwiches.
We had electricity, of course, but no plumbing.  Water was gotten from a well outside such as pictured at the top of this post.  We had our water glasses all lined up on a shelf and a table held a container of water.   I remember when the weather was warm enough, the teacher would pump the well and we would line up to wash our hands before lunch.  The school was heated by a stove in the back of the school.

Our bathroom facilities consisted of "outhouses", one for boys and the other for the girls.  They were spaced a good distance from each other.  These were often very fragrant as you might imagine and very cold in winter!  If I remember correctly, the girl's privy was a 3-holer.  My biggest fear was of spiders and snakes, or a boy peeking in between the cracks!  Below is a photo of outhouses by a one room school that I took last year.  Ours were much further apart.

The piano sat about where the bookcase is in the photo below.  The desks looked much like these in the first years, but eventually we got new desks that had desktops that raised up and books were kept in the well below.

I remember desktops being raised and a lot of whispering and giggling going on behind them when teacher had a class in session!  The teacher rang the bell several times to signal we better quiet down.  Discipline was very much in use in those days.   A ruler was used to rap knuckles or the student was made to sit in the corner on the stage.  Occasionally, a paddling might be called for.

I always felt as if George Washington was watching me when the teacher wasn't.  That kept me behaving most of the time.  I'll never forget sitting down at the table at the front on my very first day of school.  And started whistling!  Teacher reminded me very quickly that whistling wasn't allowed and I remember looking at President Washington with that look of his as if to say "mind your teacher!" 

Recess and lunch time was the best part of school to most of us.  We got to play fun games like Anti-over, Red Rover, Tag, Hide and Seek and softball.  We ran races and jumped rope.  We had a nice swing set with several seats to swing on .  And, in winter, played Fox and Geese when we had snow and also brought our sleds for sledding .  When weather was bad, raining or too cold, we played musical chairs with the teacher playing the piano, had spelling bees, and games played on the blackboard or chalkboard.  Teacher would ring a hand held-bell to signal that it was time to get ready for class.  The final bell meant you better be in your seat! 

Each year there would be a fund raiser called a Box Supper that we all looked forward to.   The girls would bring a decorated box filled with enough for two, usually sandwiches, fruit and cookies, and placed on a table to be bid on.  The bidder would then get to share the box supper with the owner of the box.  Most of the boxes were beautifully decorated with crepe paper and had bows, ribbons or flowers.   There was always a girl with a crush on a boy who was hoping that he would get her box so she could sit and eat with him!  Of course, no one wanted to have to eat with a parent. 

Another highlight was the Christmas program.  We had a cedar tree decorated with paper chains, tinsel and lights.  The stage was outfitted with curtains to draw and to box in each side as changing rooms.  We  had skits, recited poems  and sang Christmas songs.  The pageant was last.  After the program, Santa came through the back door bearing a sack filled with treats for the kids, usually a sack of candy with an orange. 

At the end of the school year, there would be a graduation ceremony for the eighth graders who would be moving on to high school.  That was followed by a picnic with lots of good food, visiting and games.
At the end of my sixth year, reorganization was taking place and the district voted to cease operating the school and go in to the city school district.  All of the rural students would be bused to town.  Most all of the one room schools in the county were closed about that time as well as I remember.  The building was bought by my father and the land became his as well.   The building was used throughout the school years for the 4-H Club, the PTA met there, and various other meetings were held there.  About 9-10 years after my father bought the building, someone set fire to it and it burned down.  Sadly, that has been the fate of many of these country school houses.

The schoolhouse is gone but so many wonderful memories of those days remain.  I wish everyone could have attended a one room school just once.   I can't find the words to express what a unique experience it really was.

The transition from the country school to a "town" school was fairly smooth.  Academically we were able to keep up with the town students, but fitting in socially was a bit of an adjustment.  Especially for those of us who were shy.  It was certainly an adjustment going from 3 students in your class to 60.  I think it is interesting that the 3 of us in my class that went to the same country school and high school ended up going to the same college.

Even well-known people have attended a one room schoolhouse.  Tomorrow, I'll show a photo of another country school that I took last year and tell you who went there.

Until next time...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

High Flight

High Flight 

Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of 
Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along and
Flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

                                                                ~John Gillespie Magee

A couple of evenings ago I took this photo of the contrails that seem to mark an X in the sky with the moon nearby.  I thought of this poem that was read  while showing a jet soaring through the sky played at the end of the broadcast when the tv station signed off for the night many years ago.  Do you remember this?

Until next time...

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Willow Arbor

First of all, that is not my husband!  I picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens Country Gardens recently and on page 30 found an article about this man, Bim Willow, a furniture maker who turns "trash" trees into rustic creations.  To find this article online and read how to create this rustic arbor, look here.  

I immediately thought "hey, we have the materials and I love the look, we could do that!" 

We have plenty of willows growing down by our pond that need to be cleared out.  Now if I can only talk hubby into helping me with this project.  I'll add this to our my ever-growing list of things we I want to do.

I can just picture this arbor with some kind of pretty flowering vine growing over it.  What do you think?

Until next time...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday's random thoughts

1.  Note to self:  Next year don't put marigolds in same pot with petunias.  You should know by now that they will get humongus and take over the pot!  How many years must it take before I remember this?  This is the before...haven't taken an "after" shot. 

2.  I'm getting my hair cut today, I'm so excited!  Not as excited as I was about the cooler temps, but close!   I've been needing it, just hate taking the time to do it. 

3.  They asked me to work some extra hours this week where I work part-time, don't they understand what part-time means?  If I wanted to work full time, I would have kept the full time job!!  I didn't make any promises I might not keep.

4.  My son will be home this weekend.  He's in a golf tournament with an old college friend.  What shall I cook?  Seems like I fix the same old thing.  I need new ideas!!

5.  My kitten, Stormy, is laying in front of the monitor with her back to me.  She looks like she could fall off.  I've put her on a diet.  She wants to eat all the time and is putting on weight.  Sounds like someone else I know...:)

6.  Tonight, on my supper break I ran to the grocery store.  I bought lettuce, spinach, cucumbers (mine are done in the garden), a green pepper (because I don't think we have any big enough, but we do have cherry tomatoes) and low calorie dressing.  I didn't buy the little sack of chocolate covered pretzels that I was drooling over in the checkout line.  They sure looked good...:(   

7.  I lied...I did buy a small bag of white chocolate covered pretzels and hid them!!  

8.  Last, but not least...have you been sent this photo by email yet, or maybe have seen the bumper sticker?  I cropped out the name of the pastor and church.  It is a message I hope my children, who read my blog, will take to heart.  And anyone else who may read this who text and drive.  Please think of those of us who love you before you do these dangerous things!  Talking or texting...either one is dangerous. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday tidbits


If I had more time, I would put a smiley face on each of these flowers.  That's how happy I am that the temp has dropped from near 100 to the 80's and in the 60's last night.  Whoo hoo!  I can be dignified when the occasion calls for it, snickering from those who really know me please, but right now this cooler weather makes me feel positively giddy with delight! 

I'm still searching for photos that I've misplaced.  Nothing aggravates me more than to not be able to find something.  Do you ever look at something and think you'll put it where you can find it and forget where you put it?  I'm sure I'm not alone in this...please tell me I'm not...but it is frustrating!!


My furbaby loves to lay in front of the monitor and the other night I was reading blogs and just happened to grab my camera to get her picture.  For once, she didn't move when I did.  She follows me all over the house.  If I get up from the chair, she usually gets up too, to see what I'm doing.  Anyway, I thought that the blog I was reading with a photo of a kitten seemingly looking at mine was a photo op!  The blog is very interesting and called The Stone Rabbit.
Have a great day!
Until next time...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Star gazing

Yesterday, daughter and I made a trip to Columbia for some supplies needed where she works and before we came home we just had to make a stop at one of our favorite places.  You may have seen a previous post about this place.   I love the decor, the music (oldies), and the food.  It's called The 63 Diner.

I had the Pasta Primavera and my daughter had the Chicken-fried Chicken Breast.  Both were yummy and I had to bring over half of mine home as it was such a large plate!  I wish I'd gotten my camera out of my purse as it looked as good as it tasted, but I was too I just dug right on in! 

Did you see any of the meteor shower, called the Perseids, last night?  It's supposed to be a pretty good show, I went out late and enjoyed some cooler temps and watched for a while and but didn't see anything but a jet flying over.  Oh, and a lot of beautiful, twinkling stars!   Star gazing is never a waste of time.

I snapped this pic of the sunset on the way home yesterday.  Too bad the landscape shows up much darker than it really was.

If you look close, you might see a planet shining brightly in the sky...Saturn, Mars and Venus are supposed to form a planetary triangle in the western skies just after sunset.  The meteor show is supposed to last through the weekend, so maybe I'll catch it yet. 

Until next time...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flower garden revisited

I'm through with this work week...yay!...and today I'm awaiting my daughter's call to pick her up and go with her to pick up some supplies for her work place.  It's still very hot and humid.  The photos below were taken at Shelter Insurance Gardens that I posted about earlier.   Doesn't the water fall and pond look cool and inviting?  In spite of the somewhat murky-looking water...:)

It was a hot day like today when I took these, I remember being jealous of the fish!

I wish my flowers were still looking this good.  (I think my gardener has slacked off on the watering around here!)

This was a nice cool spot.

There is a glimpse of the schoolhouse in the background.

I'm still trying to find a photo of the one-room schoolhouse that I attended before publishing that post.  Hopefully, I'll find one to share with the story of my early school days.

Hope you are having cooler weather than we are...I'm off to look for photos while awaiting a phone call.  Have a good day!

Until next time...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Barn Quilts

Saturday was another hot and steamy day and we decided it was too hot to work outside, so we got in the car and turned the a/c on full blast and drove through the countryside.  We eventually ended up in Columbia, our ultimate destination.  Let me show you what we saw on our drive!

Isn't this barn a well-kept beauty and the quilt colors are perfect!  

This barn sits back from the highway a bit further, 
but I've always loved red barns.

This brick barn is called the "Lucky Barn", 
I'm told that people
honk when they drive by for good luck!

These three barns are part of a project begun by the Boonslick Tourism Council.  They are patching together a "clothesline" of barn quilts that will loop through three counties, Saline, Cooper and Howard in an effort to promote agri-tourism in the area.  

The council began searching for old-style, big barns in the three-county region that were at least 50 years old and in good condition that would remain that way for at least another 10 years.  They don't put quilt blocks on new barns.

The quilts are actually block patterns painted as patches on an 8 foot by 8 foot panel and hung on a barn, where they are easily seen from major roadways in the Boonslick region.

Participating farmers select the quilt pattern and colors to be painted and affixed to their barns.  It takes about two weeks to draw, paint and place the designs.

This is not a new idea, the concept came from similar projects in Idaho, Iowa, and North Carolina.

The council hopes to have 20 quilts in each county by 2011.  And they are also hoping other organizations in counties across the state will jump on the bandwagon.  

This last photo has the name of the quilt pattern on a small sign out front of the barn in my first photo above.  I didn't notice the name of the pattern until I was back in the car and looking at the photo to see if it turned out okay.  Imagine my surprise!  

 I had no idea I named my blog after a quilt pattern! 

I love old barns and the quilt blocks really makes them distinctive. I'll have to see if there is a brochure out that tells where others are, that would make an interesting day trip!  

Until next time...

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Friday farm story

If you aren't interested in our government and what they can do to a thriving, fertile farm or in farms period, then you may just want to skip this post!

The photo below is of a piece of land that my father once owned.  It is now overgrown with brush and trees, but when my father owned the farm it was a fertile field where corn was planted or maybe soybeans.  This is what has happened to a lot of farms that the government got their hands on in this area.

This photo is taken from a parking lot where people who want to hunt can park.  There are two fields in this area of the farm, one on each side of the highway, they both look much the same now...overgrown with trees, growing right up to the highway.

My father sold his 550 acre farm when he reached retirement age to a family from out of state.  They had a government loan (not sure what it was called then) to buy it and began building more grain bins and doing things that were too expensive right from the beginning and without a lot of farm knowledge (at least for this area).  It soon became apparent that they might lose the farm.  And sure enough, when they couldn't make their payments,  they were foreclosed on.  The farm, at least a good part of it, was turned over to the Conservation Dept.  They let the land lay idle and trees and brush take over and this supposedly makes for good hunting.  (I've seen the trees so thick that I doubt a very big deer could run through it, but that is just my disgruntled opinion.)   A couple did get to buy part of the farm, after much legal hassle ensued, and still lives there today.  The part that the Conservation Dept. has taken over is still growing trees and brush. 

The photo below is what the fields used to look like when they were planted in soybeans.  The photo really doesn't do justice to the depth or length of the field, but you get the idea of what it looked like before.   We had wooded areas too, some with a creek running through. 

I never have understood why the government will take a good farm and just let it lay idle.  This was a wonderful farm that raised a lot of crops and livestock.  It hasn't made a dime for the government just laying idle like this.  What a waste!

And, yes, it makes me a bit angry to think of the waste...the money that could have been made from the land now overgrown, the food that could have been raised to feed hungry people.  I really think sometimes that the people in Washington just don't have a clue.

I am so glad the couple that fought hard to buy part of the farm got to do so.  I have many special memories of growing up on that farm that I'll be sharing here in my blog from time to time.

One of those memories is of my years in a one room school house.  That school house was on a few acres just next to our family's farm, so I didn't have far to go.  I'll be sharing those memories soon.

Until next time...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Of bluebirds and a birthday

How can it be August already?  It seems like only a short time ago that spring had just begun and we were planting our flowers and garden.  It has been so very hot that I've noticed that the birds aren't as active as they usually are.  We have bluebird houses in the back yard and I've always enjoyed watching them, but haven't really seen as many bluebirds as in previous years.  The goldfinches are more scarce at the feeder this time of year, but once in a while I would see an Indigo Bunting, a bird that is mostly blue, but haven't seen him this year.  I hope my feathered friends are surviving this hot summer.  

A birthday party was held Saturday for my father-in-law.  He turned 86.  

The birthday party was held at the family farm.  His three children and their spouses were there along with 4 of his 6 grandchildren, including my 2 children.  A nephew and his family came by for a visit.  It was a nice day and G'pa enjoyed sitting outside for most of the day in the shade where he could look out over part of the farm.  We enjoyed a meal of KFC, sliced tomatoes, spinach salad and, of course, birthday cake and ice cream!  G'pa really enjoyed his day.
Time to get ready for the first day of my 3 day work week.  Have a good Monday! 

Until next time...