Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Steph and Cullen's Farm

Steph got this cement horse head one year when we drove to Texas to visit Jessica. We went to a lot of flea markets those years. The rust color comes from an acid poured over the cement. Looks really nice.

This little rooster just loves to wake us up in the morning! The young ones try to copy him - but it comes out pretty squeaky!

Steph's Morning Glories are still in bloom. Just that 4 1/2 hours south makes a lot of difference. We had a killing frost last night, and it's going to happen again tonight. We had 26 degrees at 6 am, and 29 degrees at 7:30 this morning. This year I'm not going to work so hard to save my blooms, as a new puppy has had a hay-day this summer with my flowers. Next summer should be better.

The horses know when supper is served! The sun set as we were watching the horses and visiting.

Stephani came to Louisiana with us, leaving Cullen home to go to work and do chores, etc. etc. When we got home, he had a surprise for Stephani. He and a friend had put up 3 flood lights on 30' poles for their outdoor arena. They will be putting up 2 or 3 more. This will be so good for her when she is giving riding lessons, and training horses. She was so excited!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Renee Arvilla's Baptism

God bless this precious baby,
So innocent and sweet,
Direct the paths that lie ahead,
Guard her little feet.

Teach her tender heart to trust,
Her little lips to pray,
And may this precious baby
Learn to love You more each day.

Leah couldn't be here for Renee's baptism, so Stephani stood in for her. The verse above was in the card Leah sent with her gift. I loved the verse. Renee slept through the whole ceremony!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We're at Baby Renee's!!!



Thursday, September 17, 2009

On Our Way!

We are on our way to visit Baby Renee in New Iberia Louisiana tomorrow morning, or right after lunch. That is if I can get into the dentist in the morning quick before we go. Tonight one of my bottom front teeth had part of the back chip out. Doesn't hurt, but it feels like a crater when my tongue goes over it, and of course, the tongue can't leave it alone!!!!!! This makes me so mad. I thought I had all my dental stuff done for awhile. If I can't get in, I'll go to the drug store and fix it myself!!!. We used to have some of that dental fix, but it dried up. It's only good for a one time use.

Oh - I have the pumpkin quilt all machine quilted, and the binding sewed on and ready to do the hand sewing on the back side while I'm riding in the car. I'll take a picture with baby Renee and the pumpkin for you.

There won't be a blog for a couple of days; we don't have a laptop, etc. etc. I'll miss checking everyone's blogs and writing; but I can use Jessica's computer when we are there. It is easy to do that because we sleep in the computer room! See ya soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cooper Chapters - Lady & Beauty

I remember telling everyone, "I have a horse--her name is Lady, and Georgia has a horse too--her name is Beauty! Yes, every year at Auntie Beanie's, we got to ride Lady and Beauty. We'd get up early with everyone, eat fast, and out the door we'd run. No one had to guess where we were going or what we were doing. We'd be with the horses all day long.... I remember Auntie Beanie telling us "Give the horses a REST!" So even if we only had horses for 2 weeks of each summer -- they were really ours. We were the only ones to ride them. Their job used to be working on the farm. By the time we came along to ride them, they had been retired from their work job of pulling the plow, hay wagon, etc.

This picture says May 1958, so I'm not sure if it was of us girls in summer of 1957 or early 1958. Depends on how long the film had been in the camera before getting developed. So I was about 10-11 years old and Georgia 8-9 years old.

Just have to tell you about the worst thing I ever did! I could never tell a lie, as I'm bad at telling on myself even! Well, Spose I wasn't much older than in this picture, and Georgia and I were in the barn. We'd already caught the horses, and they were so big, and we couldn't reach high enough to get the bridle headstall slipped over their ears, so guess what I did????????? Rather than wait longer for cousin Bunty to get there, I put the head of one horse into the cow stanchion - OMG! Poor thing! Of course the stanchion closed by itself and the horse went NUTS!!!!!!!!!! I remember bawling, and of course we must have been screaming and then of course, cousin Bunty showed up - thank God; then the horse got loose, and then Bunty had to catch her. She was cut up on her head by her eyes pretty good. More like really scraped up! I think I got a licking. Don't really remember that part; but do remember our horseback riding was done with for that year!!!! I still have a hard time believing I did that! That's what you get for being a dumb town kid.

Isn't that just about the worst thing a kid could do? I still feel bad thinking about it; can't imagine why we just didn't wait. I loved those horses too much to intentionally hurt them. I bet Lady and Beauty are in horse heaven, and have forgiven me-I just know it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Done and Almost Done!

Getting ready for our trip south to visit daughter Jessica, Floyd and new baby Renee! I just finished the diaper bag that goes with the baby quilted blanket I finished earlier and took with me there in July. Pictures of baby blanket are on an earlier blog written on July 12th. Now the bag is done, and Jessica can use it to tote whatever works for them. There are 3 inside pockets, and 2 bottle holders on the inside and a nice big space for diapers, clothing, etc. There is one pocket on the outside. The pattern didn't call for a zippered top, which I wish I would have put in, plus I should have put more thought into the handles, and done them differently than the pattern called for. I really like handles that are sewn either around the bag or down the sides further for better support. But I'll think further ahead and make changes on the next one I do. This is the first quilted bag I've done.

Also have another easy project started and want to have it done before Friday when we go. It is for fall decorating. Can be a table top - wall hanging - or could be little coverup blanket for Renee!!! Our little pumpkin! I CAN'T wait to hold her!

I have the face machine sewn and now need to start machine quilting. Have shiny thread in the orange color to machine meander, and then black for the black areas. By machine quilting, it should go fast. Do you think I can get it done tomorrow between doing morning chores and evening chores???? Oh, and then the binding. I always hand sew the one side, but that can be done in the car. Not like I won't have enough car time! (It takes about 26 hours to get there.)

We plan on leaving on Friday after morning chores, etc. (probably after lunch); drive to Stephani's (Pipestone, MN) which is a 5 hour drive. Pick her up, and continue. With 3 drivers we are planning to drive straight through. I don't mind driving at night; in fact kind of enjoy it. Steve and Steph can sleep when I drive, and then I can listen to whatever I want to on the radio!!!!! I'm the only one that likes "talk radio".

I'll post a picture of completed quilted pumpkin when I'm done. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back to Basics!

Horsepower it is! Cars zoom by and the only noise heard inside the car is that whop- whop of the rubber tires going over the cracks in the road; then there are others busy working outside or traveling down the road sitting in a buggy being pulled by horses, hearing the synchronized clip-clop of horses hoofs on the road or sitting on old equipment that is being pulled by a team of horses and hearing the steady clanking of the old equipment as pullies make the gears click-clack in rhythm -- until something breaks down!

We passed by a father and 2 sons working with three teams of horses; two 2 horse teams that pulled the hay rakes and another 2 horse team, pulled a hay wagon, with a hay lifter behind that. It was that piece of equipment that they were working on. After passing, we decided to turn around to stop and visit with them, to see if help was needed, and asked if we could watch them work with the teams of horses and get the straw loaded onto the wagon. The next step they would then do would be to put the straw into the threshing machine that was on the other side of the field. The straw rows were so big and heavy (thick) that they would have to go around the field several times to get the straw loaded on wagon, unloaded, and redo before they would start the threshing machine.

Our daughter has that same piece of equipment parked at the end of her driveway with flowers planted in part of it. A long ago discarded piece of equipment; replaced with a new hay bind, and horsepower of a different color - green!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Patriot Guard Riders!

Our visit the other day to the Vietnam Traveling Wall included learning more about the Patriot Guard Riders, meeting one fine gentleman and his bike! Sue visited with him, letting him know how thankful they were for the Patriot Guard Riders that accompanied Chester W. Hosford to his final resting place. After the funeral, Sue had personally thanked each Rider that day. Each Rider feels honored to take time out of his or her life to honor a fallen soldier and their family.

It all started in early August of 2005 in Kansas. The American Legion Riders chapter 136 from Kansas was appalled to hear that a fallen hero's memory was being tarnished by misguided religious protestors at funerals. From there it fell into place a nationwide organization with a mission to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission has two basic objectives: 1. Show sincere respect for fallen heroes, their families, and their communities. 2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors. This is accomplished through strictly legal and non-violent means.

The Patriot Guard riders help law enforcement if need be at intersections, etc. so that the funeral procession can proceed uninterrupted. They also ride escort at other times; such as when soldiers come home from a tour of duty. If you have never seen them in action, you will be amazed when you do. It is beautiful!!!! Flag brackets welded to the backs of some bikes for the flags. Not all bikes are Harley's, some are new and some are old. Same can be said about the riders: some are young, and some are older. You do not need to have been a veteran to belong. It doesn't matter where you're from or what your income is; you don't even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Cost of Freedom Memorial

When we were at The Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall at New York Mills yesterday, we looked at all the memorials that honored veterans of all wars. Germ and Sue's son Ryan is in the MN National Guard. He is scheduled to go to over seas in January. Ryans wife Michelle recently lost her brother in Afghanistan. They have been on a roller coaster of emotions since the July 4th weekend. Her brother was killed on July 6th with 2 other soldiers. We did not even think that his name would yet be included here on this memorial wall of dog tags. The Cost of Freedom Memorial is a series of stand-up exhibits created in gold dog tags recored with the names of those who gave their lives for our freedom since Vietnam. It includes present day Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

We were looking at The Cost of Freedom Memorial, following the the dates, getting close to the end to see how current the memorial was, and Sue gasped, and got our attention so we checked out what she had found. It was the gold dog tag of Michelle's brother. We all got tears in our eyes, and just took it in. To have his name there meant so much to Germ and Sue. I didn't know him, but when you're there, you feel like you did know him. Knew that he cared enough about his country, respected his country, his fellow Americans enough that he gave his life so that we may continue to enjoy our freedoms. We salute you and Thank You Chester (Wayne) Hosford.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute

Today Steve and I, his brother Germ and wife Sue went to New York Mills MN to see the Traveling Wall. The VFW Post 3289 at New York Mills had planned for this display to be in there in June of this year, but the Wall had been damaged slightly, and the decision was made to have a new one made, and spectacular it is.

Having been to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC and also seeing the Traveling Wall Memorial are both equally an emotional experience. The Traveling Wall is made of aluminum, and the Wall in Washington is black granite and is set partly into the ground, which signifies death and mourning; the center also rises above the surrounding terrain as a symbol of life, hope and resurrection. It is completely open on one side, and you feel like you are walking down into the wall, as the center of the memorial is 10.1 ft tall, and at center the two sides meet at a 125 degree angle, tapering down to both the East and West 246.75 feet long. Each wall consists of 72 panels; 70 with names and two very small, blank panels at each end. The names are arranged by date of casualty. The traveling wall is 80% the size of the granite wall and is just as amazing.

In 1989 I was in Washington DC and visited the wall with daughter Jessica and the group of 4-H kids that I was a chaperone for. We made a wall rubbing of a name of a soldier that I had been a high school classmate. At that time each kid had a name of someone their family knew that had been killed and they each made a name rubbing to take home. Jessica and I made two and when we got home, we delivered the paper to his mother, and spent the day visiting with her. Her only child had given his all for his country. She was so proud of him and was so grateful for us to have given her the paper with his name showing through the penciled rubbing.

Making a pencil rubbing in Washington DC 1989

Our visit yesterday to the Traveling Wall was just as emotional. I made another rubbing of my friends name, and Steve made one of a classmate of his. These rubbings will be kept in their memory.

There were other memorials there to honor all wars. The program was very good, with music provided by the New York Mills High School band and the speaker was a minister in that area. He was originally from out east, and his talk was about the Battle at Gettysburg. I would like to go back to see some of the other programs and hear the scheduled speakers. We were sitting under a tent at a picnic table. It was hot and we needed shade. Behind me sat two men with their walkers. They had their military hats with them, and stood tall when the color guard came by with the flags. The one gentleman had a very good singing voice when we sang the Star Spangled Banner.

Hopefully there will be good attendance at the special programs the VFW Post 3280 have scheduled. The Traveling Wall and other memorial exhibits will be in New York Mills, MN through Sunday, September 13th with programs daily at 11:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. They serve meals with all proceeds going to help support the Traveling Wall program. Make a day out of it. Learn some history. Visit with veterans. Ask questions. You'll be surprised how humbling it is to visit this wall. We talked to veterans that are there helping out. It is so interesting. They were glad we came and visited with them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Renee at 2 Months!

Baby Renee Arvilla is now 2 months old!

She weighed 7 lbs 7 oz last week at her doctor appointment on Friday. So She is growing more every day! Way to go Mom and Dad.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Birthdays!

Happy 60th to Georgia on the 6th, and my 62nd on the 7th! Always celebrated together as kids. Mom used to tease us saying we were born on "Labor" day. Well, pretty darn close to the holiday - and like this year, some birthdays fall on the holiday.

This picture taken by the neighbors in their cute chairs. I remember as a kid that I always liked those kid chairs!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Open Class Grand Champions!!!!!

While I'm home trying to hold down the fort, husband is at the MN State Fair showing his Durocs in Open Classes. He won Grand Champion Duroc Boar, and ----- Grand Champion Duroc Gilt (Amanda's gilt)! I'm so happy for him. I think that Grandpa Carl is in Heaven with a big smile today!

Husband Steve in plaid shirt - son-in-law Steven in t-shirt and his brother Bill during the 4-H show on Friday.

I think Steve is having a better time there than I am here. Plugged up toilet, pigs farrowing, me doing chores and aching from Odda taking me out at the knees last night when I was carrying stuff from one barn to another! I laid on the ground and both dogs came over and kissed me to make sure I was still alive. I hurt like heck! Had to check my wrist to make sure I could still move it, and my left hip burned. But I'm alright - just achey now!

Had to go to town this morning and get a new plunger. That did the trick! Yesterday I had to clean up water on the floor twice, as I'd try flushing every time I went past the bathroom! Our old plunger (must be old fashioned) didn't work at all. Funny thing was, I don't know why it was plugged and wouldn't flush right. I hadn't even used it. Maybe I should blame it on Steve. Let's see, he left on Sunday night and yesterday was Monday. Ya - could have been his fault!!!!!!!!

Can't wait til Steve is back home. Thursday some time. Tomorrow, Wed. is the hog sale, and I'm praying that he will get good money for this boar and gilt. He also has a pen of barrows there. I forgot to ask how they did, as I was so excited for him that he did well with the breeding stock. The last time we had both Grand Champ Duroc Boar and Gilt was in 1987. His brothers, sisters and kids have been calling him to congratulate him. That's good. Thanks y'all.