|Okay. Yes. This is our preferred mode of travel.|
Friday, October 21, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
|The new barn|
|My big brother and me.|
The ranch buildings themselves were nestled snugly in a bend of the South Fork of the Milk River.
It was an unusual life, as I have now come to know.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
My dad had an extensive record collection. 78s.
Instrumentals. Country. Easy listening. Nonsense.
Thick, heavy records that could easily double at frisbees.
If we had thought of it.
Which we didn't.
We kids would paw through those records in search of our favourites.
I had two.
I listened to them endlessly.
Till I moved on to the Monkees, which is a whole other story.
Dad upgraded his collection and his stereo system. Replacing all of his 78 recordings with new LPs.
All but my favourites.
I've searched for them ever since in many, many antique stores. Thumbing through the 78s they have on offer for those two little songs. Or even one of them. I'd be satisfied with that.
But always, I've been disappointed.
I was telling my granddaughters about my favourite songs yesterday and describing the archaic 78 records that played them.
Yeah. They didn't believe me.
Then I went to my new friend, Google.
And guess what?!
They are there!
Both of them.
I offer them to you now, exactly as I used to listen to them.
When I was four.
And the world wasn't a scary place . . .
First: Horace the Horse
Then: Smokey the Bear
And, because we loved him too, my favourite Spike Jones:
New Years Resolution
Picture me, a little girl with white, candy-fluff hair, singing along.
My mom's in the kitchen making something grand.
Daddy's in his chair, work boots off and feet up, reading the newspaper and waiting for supper.
That's where I'm going to spend my day!
Monday, October 17, 2016
I was given a copy of this delightful book to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review. Darn.
Marlene has also written a number of LDS, non-fiction books: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.
Want to win a copy of For Sale by Owner?
(Ebook or hard copy.)
Simply leave a comment!
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
creepy ~ crawly ~ hay ~ sneeze ~ attitude
They were submitted by Karen at: Baking In A Tornado
See what the others did with their words!
Baking In A Tornado
Southern Belle Charm
Not That Sarah Michelle
Spatulas on Parade
The Bergham Chronicles
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Confessions of a part time working mom
Never Ever Give Up Hope
On the Border
Thursday, October 13, 2016
|How peaceful it all looks.|
So deceptive . . .
- Holler for one of my parents.
- Mat that gas pedal and pray.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Each month, Karen of Baking in a Tornado issues a challenge to her fellow poetically-minded bloggers.
Here's a theme.
This month's theme? Fall.
For me, another opportunity to go back to one of my fondest memories...
Here's what our other poets have concocted:
Karen of Baking in a Tornado: Fall Poetry
Dawn of Spatulas On Parade: Fall or Autumn, Which one do we call ya?
Jules of The Bergham Chronicles: Falling Into You
Candice of Measurements of Merriment: Witchy Women
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
|Daddy at 6 on Peggy.|
Another good cow pony.
A good cow pony is more than just transportation in the ranching world.
Dad's horse had been superbly trained.
Calving season is a rather exciting time of the year. For at least a couple of reasons.
Because new babies are appearing in the fields. And new baby calves are cute.
But also because you are getting up close and personal with warm, furry creatures who outweigh you by several hundreds of pounds.
See? Exciting. In an unpredictable/ohmygoodness sort of way.
Most cows on the Stringam ranch calved between January and March.
Without ceremony or fanfare.
In the field.
Calves were tagged and given their newborn shots within a few feet of where they were born.
I should mention here that Hereford cows are docile and easily managed.
Except when they have a newborn calf nearby.
You've heard the stories about getting between she-bears and their babies?
Well, Hereford cows would kill to have that reputation.
Hmm . . . Actually, they would have to kill to get that reputation.
Just thought I'd point that out.
Because it really has nothing to do with this story.
Moving on . . .
Hereford cows may not be the black-leather-clad, chain-toting members of the bovine family, but they can still be rather aggressive when their babies are in danger.
Or when they think their babies may be in danger.
As when people are around.
My Dad found this out the exciting way.
He had come across a newborn calf, lying 'hidden' in the tall grass.
Dismounting, he straddled the calf and prepared to vaccinate.
And that's when Mama noticed him.
Suddenly, a thousand pounds of red and white indignation were breathing down his neck.
And I do mean down his neck.
I know this will sound funny, but when a cow is threatening, the best place to be in the wide-open prairie is 'under' one's well-trained horse.
You crawl under your horse and no cow will come near.
Hastily, Dad pulled himself and his captive under his horse and continued with his work.
The cow snorted and fidgeted, circling around, trying to find the flaw in this scenario.
The horse kept one eye on her. All the while turning to keep his hind quarters directed towards the irate bundle of hair and aggression.
This worked for a few moments.
But finally, even the presence of a larger, stronger, and infinitely smarter creature didn't deter.
Remember where I mentioned that the horse kept his hind quarters towards the cow?
That's because that is a horse's 'dangerous' end. (Brings a whole new mean to calling someone a horse's a##, doesn't it?)
Ahem . . .
And ready to fire.
He let fly.
With both barrels.
He caught the cow in the head.
Now a cow's head is composed mostly of bone.
They can be hurt.
But it takes a lot.
This kick merely stopped the cow for a moment.
She shook her head, confused.
Then looked around.
What had she been doing?
About that time, Dad finished with the calf and let it go.
It trotted over to its mother and the two of them hurried towards the nearest far-away place.
Dad stood up and gave his horse a pat.
Then mounted up and continued his ride.
Another rather mundane day in the life of a good cow-pony.
What would we do without them?
Monday, October 10, 2016
|My home town!|
Crime hadn't been invented yet.
It was, literally, a different world.
Our doors were never, ever locked.
Every house contained numerous children, who ran hither and yon (good term) all day long. In and out of each-other's yards and homes and refrigerators.
Mom, like all of the other moms, worked in her home, cooking, polishing and cleaning and doing other 'Mom' stuff.
She would come to the door at meal times and call out into the street, whereupon (another good word) her various offspring would head home for home-cooked food.
Canned soup was something new and wonderful. Always served with yummy homemade bread sandwiches.
At some point during the day, one of us kids would be sent downtown with a pillowcase to the local post office to retrieve the mail.
Shopping inevitably meant going to one of the two (yes, we had two) grocery stores, or if clothing or dry goods were required, Robinson's.
The drug store ran a tab (a sheet of paper with our names written on it) for chocolate bars purchased.
At ten cents each.
Freshly-roasted nuts could be procured from the display in the centre of the store.
Trips with Dad to see the insurance agent inevitably meant a Hershey chocolate bar, because the bottom drawer of Mr. Hofer's desk was full of them.
We had our own cobbler, Mr. Szabo, and I loved to go with Dad to his shop because it was fascinating to watch him fashion great hunks of leather into real shoes with his little hammer.
A trip to one of the two local car dealers turned into an adventure when he showed us his brand new Polaroid camera that magically developed its own pictures while you waited.
Every Saturday, Dad would send us to the movies with fifty cents. Twenty-five for the movie. Ten for popcorn and ten for a bottle of Grape Crush with a straw.
With five cents left over.
Until I discovered that the five cents could be spent on a package of licorice. Whereupon (that word again), I started coming home empty-handed.
The theatre also had 'cuddle seats'. Double sized seats at both ends of every other row. Perfect for two sweethearts to cuddle in together while they watched 'Santa and the Martians' or 'Sinbad' or 'Lassie'.
All candy contained sugar and natural flavours.
Most of it was made on this continent.
Our clothes were mostly cotton.
Easily wrinkled, but pressed into shape by Mom's ever-present iron.
Easter Sunday was an opportunity to wear one's new spring hat and matching outfit.
And absolutely everyone attended church.
Thanksgiving was a chance to gather, not only one's own enormous family, but any and all extended family members and shoe-horn the entire mob into any available space.
At Christmas, an enormous, real tree was erected in the centre of the intersection of Main and First streets.
The traffic happily drove around it for the entire season.
The arrival of Santa in Mr. Madge's special North Pole plane, a much anticipated event.
And, once again, everyone went to church.
Midnight mass with one's Catholic friends was a special treat.
We rode our bikes down dirt - then gravel – roads.
One always held one's breath when a car went past until the dust cloud following it settled down.
Cars always drove slowly because the streets were inevitably teeming with children (or better known by their technical name - 'small fry').
There was only one channel on the black and white TV set, so if the program airing didn't appeal, there was literally nothing on TV.
In the evenings, when one wasn't involved in cubs, scouts, or CGIT, one was home with the family, watching the one TV channel or playing games together.
Mom always made treats.
We had whole neighbourhoods of Hungarians, Germans and Japanese.
And all of them were wonderful people and terrific cooks.
Funny how so many memories revolve around food . . .
Sports events were exactly that.
Ball games were played in a dirt lot and the crowd sat on the ground or brought their own chairs to enjoy the fun.
Basketball was huge.
The whole town would pack the high-school gym to cheer on our teams.
Winter sports were limited to home-style rinks, or the town rink, and only when it was cold enough to support ice.
The curling rink, with its refrigeration unit, was always popular.
'Bonspiel-ing' was a sport in itself.
The town was founded on and supported by, farming and ranching.
Most of the vehicles that rumbled down the streets were dusty farm trucks, many containing a farm animal or two.
And everyone knew everyone else.
Their address, phone number (Jody's phone number was 6), family members.
It was a wonderful way to grow up.
Like an enormous, caring family . . .
I loved growing up in Milk River.
It was a perfect life.
But that 'small-town' life is largely vanished everywhere now.
Oh, one can catch glimpses of it.
But the absolute freedom of those days is gone.
Replaced by something . . . darker.
It's a great pity.
So now it's your turn. What are you thankful for?