Friday, November 27, 2009
I spent the morning mentally running through the possible arguments that could arise and trying to devise a plan to return a few of my mother's items without reminding her that I still can't find the credit card she loaned me. This caused me to become somewhat agitated, and while trying to locate some particular item of clothing in the laundry room, I uncovered a great injustice that my husband had perpetrated against me;
He had purchased several new pairs of pants and button down shirts at Costco, but had not been considerate enough to purchase new hangers to go along with them.
Now what was I supposed to do? I have plenty of cheap plastic hangers and oodles of paper-covered wire hangers from the dry-cleaners, but I don't use those to hang up his work clothes because they tend to leave tell-tale, cheap-hanger creases in the shoulders and absolutely ruin the shape of the garment. They also spoil the closet aesthetics I have worked so hard to achieve - my little victory in organization in my otherwise disorderly and chaotic world.
He had obviously done this because he doesn't love me and wants to make me suffer. I had no choice, but to sacrifice a number of my wooden hangers to hang up his new shirts and pants. I of course, would not mention this terrible hardship he had inflicted upon me (for at least 142 seconds), but would endure it with stoic silence and just give all my clothes to Goodwill, for what other choice did I have? It was Thanksgiving and no suitable wooden hangers could be purchased. This was the only solution. Perhaps he would realize the extent of his inconsiderate behavior when he has to appear with me in public, with me clad only with an old potato sack. (I don't actually own a potato sack.) ...
I will spare you the rest of what we will now refer to as "The Hanger Episode". To my husband's credit, he listened calmly as I rattled off the horrors that would befall me in my new life with insufficient hangers and assured me that he would buy more hangers the next time he was at Costco. This calmed me down enough so I could finish getting ready and Thanksgiving 2009 was back on track.
As we were driving up the coast, sanity reclaimed my werewolf brain and I apologized to my husband and said sheepishly, "I guess I get a little crazy around the holidays." He just kind of laughed and said, "I know."
Boy am I thankful to have him.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
We didn't do any gadding today except to drive up to the mail box. As soon as the morning work was done, Dan mixed the paint for me and I started "saving the surface" of the shed. Got almost all the east end done before dinner and in the afternoon I did a good bit of the west side. It was really hot working in the sun.
Dan started up the tractor just before chore time and ground barley for the hogs and a grain mixture for my chicks.
Skippy seems to have settled down to life with us and apparently is perfectly happy helping -at times a bit too vigorously - to drive up the milk cows -squabbling with the cats over the table scraps, breaking up fights between the roosters and trailing the family around devotedly. He is a nice little dog and we are all getting very fond of him - so glad our neighbor turned him over to us.THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17
I did a little baking this forenoon -and thought I would get around to finish the west side of the barn, but seems it will have to wait until tomorrow.
Just before dinner Dan and I loaded up the crate with chickens and in the afternoon we all went to town and marketed them. We took the trailer for Dan had to get roof sheathing. He tore down the old corn crib and used the lumber from that as far as it would go but it didn't quite complete the job. He wanted to get the roof finished while the weather holds good, but there is quite a bit of work still to do on it.
It has clouded up some this morning. Shouldn't mind it being a trifle cooler, but I hope we do not get bad weather for some time yet. Mother has asked a few friends for dinner at the hotel Sunday. I hate to think it is her last Sunday with us for this season.FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18
It thundered and lightened quite a bit in the night but I was too dead to the world to heed it much. No rain fell so the corn ??spcxing?? could continue as planned today. It would be better for the corn ??spll?? if the weather were a little colder, but we will be feeding up all we have right away, so it won't have much chance to spoil.
I finished my little painting stint this morning then as there was a small amount of paint left in the can, I proceeded to decorate the ??evenarm?? and tongue of the ??ceultivator??. Dan had put in a new tongue and hadn't gotten around to painting it, so he thought that would be a good place for what I had left.
The house had to have the usual Friday cleaning too, so my morning was pretty well taken up. The afternoon was devoted to odds and ends of the week's work.
There is always a bit of mending to finish, usually coveralls to patch and a few buttons to sew on, but at home tasks are all attended to and I feel I'm even with my work. I very seldom can get ahead, in fact, more frequently fall behind, so when the end of the week finds me evened up I'm pretty well satisfied.
It has been like a summer day, and I've had a very happy celebration. Our dinner was not one that required a lot of work beforehand, but we all enjoyed it the more, perhaps, because of its ease of preparation. Nancy wouldn't let me do any of the dish washing, and as getting the meal is always much easier than clearing up afterward, I felt I was having a real treat. Nancy washed and Dave wiped and they both had a good time over it.
Callers came in the afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Writer and Mrs. W's father. We had a pleasant visit with them. They live quite a distance from us and we do not see them very often. After they left, we all got in the car and drove out the Lake Byron road. We saw several pretty good looking cornfields - imagine they were blessed with more moisture than came our way.
When we got back to town we found we had a puncture Dan's pet abomination so, of course, the tire had to be changed, which made us late getting home. I think some of my chickens went to bed without their supper. However, they can always fill up at the mash hoppers, so I don't imagine they suffered seriously.
Another summer day almost too warm for corn picking; James went home over Sunday but was back on the job this morning. Dan has been working on the shed all day, I washed this forenoon and mother and I drove to town after dinner.
Mother expects to leave us in about a week saying she is beginning to feel the call, to march, and much as we hate to have her go, we know it is no use urging when she makes up her mind he is ready to leave. She wants to get in a little visit at my brother's before going to Denver When I'm looking forward to her visit I count the days until she gets here. Now I try to hold them back to keep her as long as possible.TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15
Ironing and cooking took up most of my morning. After dinner mother and I made another visit to the metropolis. I'm not trying to do a great deal of work this week expect to play around with mother as much us I can. I think perhaps I'll do a little painting on the shed tomorrow though, for this is good spring weather for painting and the new wood should be covered as soon as possible. I got some linseed oil in town; we have paint on hand.
A letter from Jean today -the first since they left. We were beginning to get a trifle uneasy and were glad to learn all was well with them. Of course they are enjoying being with the grandchildren again.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Dan decided to hire one of the neighbor boys pick corn for us for there are so many things he wants to get done and with corn to be picked every day, he doesn't get on with other jobs very rapidly. James came over this morning to start, but hadn't been out in the field very long when it began raining so he had to come in. Dan carpentered until it got too wet then came to the house and set up the living room stove.
These fall days are rather chilly, especially for mother as she doesn't stir around as much as the rest of us. It is cozy to have the fire going on a wet, cold day and I'm glad to have the stove up. Mother hasn't been feeling quite up to standard the past few days hope, she is better soon.
It was cloudy this morning, but brightened up in the afternoon. The sky is overcast again tonight, however, so I suppose we will get more rain.
I cooked up a couple of pumpkins and made two pies this morning called up Nancy and she came over and got one of them for their dinner.
Today's mail informed, me that I have some more work to do for my class at college — supposed I was through as secretary, but it seems not so I've had to write several letters this evening which is somewhat of a task for me.
Dan put the boards on the north side of the shed today and after my other work was done, I went out and pounded nails for him. It makes it go a little faster and I managed to get along without pounding my fingers. After the chicks had gone to bed tonight we caught about forty and shut them up. Shall try to fatten them for about a week, then sell them, as I have more than I can house over winter.
Mother is beginning to be a little peppier again - guess the gloomy weather has made her feel a bit down. We had a few games of Five Hundred this evening. It is a good three handed game, and a few rounds make a finish for the evening before we turn in.
Rainy early this morning, then the wind turned to the northwest and drove the clouds away. It has blown pretty hard most of the day and is much colder.
I spent some time fussing with the chicks I shut in. Dan cleaned out the broder house and the main coop for me and I carted over straw to them both after dinner.
James came this afternoon to pick corn. If he hadn't arrived Dan would have had to go out as he had none on hand for feeding. We all went up for the mall this noon then Dan walked over after the horses and left me to drive home. It was pretty muddy and slippery and first thing I knew, I went off the grade. I was mighty glad we didn't tip over. Thought for a while I wouldn't be able to pull out again and Dan who saw it all said he expected he would have to hitch up the team and haul us out. But after some effort we crawled over into the road again and got home without further mishap.
I haven't heard anything from my watch and very much fear it is gone for good. Sure do hate to lose it too.SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12
It has really been a nice day though rather cool. We all went to town this morning; I was running short on supplies - had been expecting to drive in during the week but we didn't like to go in the rain.
We celebrate my birthday tomorrow. Mother bought a number of good things for dinner and, of course, Nancy and Dave will be over to help us dispose of them. The mail brought me several remembrances and greeting cards: It is always pleasant to be thought of and I surely do appreciate the way my family and friends remember by natal day. Of course, I'm long past the place where I should have birthdays, but I'll endeavor to forget how many of them have passed and try to feel young in spite of the years.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
As expected, Madge was most distressed at the news and muttered something unflattering about Myrtle under her breath. The situation began to escalate when Myrtle claimed the good Johnny had said that he thought Madge was a "Silly Ninny". The two girls then proceeded to exchange insults, mostly concerning the other's less attractive clothing items and anatomy. The situation became so heated, that there would almost certainly be hurt feelings as a result, and possibly necessitate an apology, or even two.
The bus driver, a sensible lady, turned to them after she had stopped at a traffic light, and gave them both a stern talking to - upon which both girls apologized and promised to behave for the remainder of the ride home.
That is how such a situation unfolds and is resolved, more or less, in a civilized society - one where parents raise their children to behave themselves, even during times of stress and discomfort.
Adults, act like adults and intervene just enough to set things on the right track again. Children respect adults, because adults are worthy of respect, having themselves, as children, been through similar uncomfortable situations that were ultimately resolved in one way or another and put into perspective with the passage of time. This process has made them wiser, and gives them good judgement which they put to use in everyday life to avoid life's little pit-falls and stumbling blocks.
What a valuable thing it is: good judgement. The ability to consider the possible outcomes of each decision or action before one decides or acts; a course of action that is fitting to the situation at hand, and the ability to recognize when a chosen course of action is grossly out of proportion with the reality of the situation.
Which brings me back to the reality of 2009 in The United States Of America, where Madge and Myrtle are just quaint memories or perhaps just figments of my imagination. Because in today's America, a squabble between two girls on a school bus requires police intervention, trips to the emergency room and will, most likely, mean an Arizona lawyer or two will be gainfully employed for the foreseeable future.
When you consider how much all of that will cost, you begin to understand how expensive it is for a society when civility breaks down and manners, restraint and a disciplined approach to proper conduct are tossed out in favor of self-actualization and the perpetual demanding of one's rights.
Let me reiterate: A situation on a bus in Arizona that should have been nothing more in the grand scheme of things than a mention at the dinner table, involved grown men carrying guns, an emergency medical response unit, and medical professionals at the hospital.
Send Gloria Steinem the bill for that.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
A little cool today, but not at all unseasonable. Dan cleaned out the stock tank this morning. I helped him tip it on end so he could scrape it well. It had to be moved to a little different position so it was good chance to give it a thorough scrubbing. The new mill pumped it full again without any expenditure of either muscle or gasoline.
Mr. and Mrs. Cope drove out for a little call just before we went over to Nancy's. The child had such a nice dinner prepared for her families and presided with very pretty dignity at her own table. Mary and I helped clear up afterwards and got in our share of visiting. The men of course, did the usual wandering around inspecting things generally.
Before we came home we drove over to see the fine new chicken house Mary is building. (Bob is doing the carpenter work, but it is Mary's project.) It is going to be very complete and if Mary's birds don't pay for it, it certainly won't be her fault, for they will be exceptionally well housed and she always gives them every care and attention.
Dave and Nancy have been over here all evening and we have been listening to the radio; haven't had much pleasure from it for some time for we've been using the batteries in the pump engine.
It has settled down cloudy tonight has been quite windy all day and has turned off really chilly this evening so a little fire feels good.
I dug my carrots this morning then made some butter as I hadn't enough on hand for dinner. Mother and I each tried to drink a glass of buttermilk after the churning was done. We managed to down it, but cannot say we enjoyed it. I gave Dan a glassful when he came in from picking corn and he thought it was good, but some way I've never been able to work up any enthusiasm for it.
After the butter was done and the churn washed I picked up another lot of cobs. Skippy accompanied me to the hog lot and "shooed" the pigs away from my baskets.
After dinner we went to town with the trailer as Dan had to get some siding for the shed. Mother and I did our errands while he was loading. On the way home. I discovered I had lost my wrist watch and I feel so badly for Dan gave it to me several years ago and I thought so much of it. I haven't an idea where I lost it either.
Does one just smile and write out a check, figuring that $50 is a small price to pay to keep the peace and harmony in one's life? This is the situation a friend of mine is facing at the moment. In the end, she pulled out her checkbook and paid up, because she wanted to protect her son who has to spend his days with the panhandlers.
No, she doesn't send him out on the street to beg for money, his elementary school is demanding the money in the form of a pledge drive in which 100% participation is mandatory. A parent has taken it upon himself to harass all the other parents of the children in the class until they too, pledge money.
First there were multiple emails, then the phone calls started. One message informed her that a certain member of the office staff was waiting for her to bring the envelope by containing her pledge. She finally gave in when her son came home and told her that his parents were one out of three sets of parents that had not yet paid up. Don't think for a moment that he learned this in any sort of private setting - all of his classmates are wise to this bit of information as well.
Am I wrong to think that this is a few steps over the line? Especially these days, $50 can be a substantial amount of money - it can mean having water or electricity for the next month, or being able to pay that little bit extra on a high interest credit card to finally start to attack the principle. There were a few months there where all our bills were turning red and I didn't have $50 extra dollars. Not to mention the fact that my friend and her husband pay boom market property taxes which are supposed to pay for the schools.
My daughter went to private school and the administration there looked over our shoulders the entire time when we started fund raising for the senior prom to make sure we didn't put pressure on anyone or put them in a tight spot (Just call me Guido...).
I dunno, is this normal now in elementary school? Has anyone else had this kind of experience at a public school? I am interested to hear what people think, so by all means say your piece!
PS... More "Diary" later today, after I get some sleep.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sorry, this is sort of an urgent fashion message...especially if you love designer, and like to name drop - oh right, NOBODY does that... (Hee Hee I do once in awhile...)
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- This is also a PRADA, but is still $340 - but the dress is darling! PRADA DRESS
- Yoox coupon code: for 5% OFF : EXTRA 5% OFF Spring/ Summer The YOOX CODE - valid until March 31st, 2010 at midnight - that allows you to access the offer is: spring@yoox -Note: This coupon code is for German YOOX - but quite often they work sitewide....
Monday, November 09, 2009
The weather behaved properly, the helpers arrived in good season, and before noon the mill was in place. It was rather interesting to watch it raised. Mother and I went out and viewed the proceedings. I held one of the guy ropes, but didn't actually do any work. I scribbled around more or less earlier, preparing food, as I supposed of course the three extra helpers would be here for dinner but they finished about eleven and went off to a sale so there were only the four of us to eat, after all.
After dinner Dan and the man mixed and poured the concrete around the anchor posts and filled in the holes so our mill is in running order, I'm glad to say. Dan says it took quite a bit longer to set it up than he had expected but they made a good job of it.
It is quite cloudy this evening and has turned somewhat colder.THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3
We drove in this morning with cream and eggs, did our marketing, and brought out a couple of sacks of cement to use in concreting the anchor posts of the mill. They thought they would be able to raise it after dinner, but the wind came up and they decided to wait until tomorrow. They want to have it well anchored so the winds won't topple it.
One of the neighbors phoned this morning offering me a stray dog that had come to them. Mother and I stopped for him on our way home from town. He is a nice little pup- collie, I'd say, and promises to be quite intelligent. I hope he doesn't run away.
Mother and I had planned on going to a show this afternoon, but Dan thought they might need me here on a guy rope when the tower was raised so we decided we would wait until another day. They did not use me but I found enough to keep me busy. For one thing, I stocked up with cobs, just in case we get a rain. Some extra men will be here in the morning, weather permitting, and I hope the mill will be upright on its four legs this time tomorrow.
Will got back from his trip last night and he and Jean drove out for a little visit this evening.
Will left this morning for a brief trip to the western part of the state. I asked Jean to come out for dinner with us, but she decided she preferred staying at home and resting. I had an easy time o£ it myself as the remains of yesterday's luncheon were ample for our dinner today.
Dan worked on the shed all forenoon and I helped him get up some of the roof rafters. It has been a beautiful fall day and it was nice to be out in the sunshine.
Some friends called in the afternoon and we visited with them until chore time. Just as we started milking the man came to arrange about setting up the windmill. He will come to work on it Tuesday, so I hope our hand pumping days are about over. The engine has continued on its good behavior however. '"Twas ever thus!" Probably if the windmill hadn't been ordered, the engine would have been on a strike most of the time. Inanimate things are about as "contrary" as animate.
Some of my spring chicks have been showing signs of cold lately, so I decided I'd better clean and spray all the houses today. The washing had to be done first but as soon as that was on the line, I armed myself with broom, pitchfork and spray gun, and set out to wage war on the roup germs. Tonight I feel quite as if I'd been in some kind of a fight! I shut the east coop off and am using it as headquarters for all sneezers, and have instructed Dan if he hears any bird coughing or sniffling, he is to capture it and shut it up, so I hope to cut short any serious outbreak.
Dan went out to dig potatoes this afternoon. He did his corn picking before dinner. About 4:30 a brisk shower came up and it rained until we were through milking. Mother and I are due in town for a party tomorrow - hope it doesn't get too sloppy.
A glorious day. Everything looked so pretty in the sunshine for the grass is greener now than it has been all summer and the trees are all bright yellows and reds. Last year at this time, mother and I were in Denver making trips to the mountains and reveling in scenery and gorgeous coloring. She would like me to go with her again this year, but I tell her I can't indulge in such dissipations every year, much as I would enjoy it.
Our windmill expert didn't show up this morning - got here about the middle of the afternoon and when mother and I got back from town, he and Dan were busy putting the tower together.
I got the ironing out of the way this forenoon and found time for a little mending too. I wish all this month would be as beautiful as the beginning. Already we're beginning to hear prophecies of "the worst winter in years." But I suppose there is no use crossing the bridge until we come to it. If one had heaps of feed for the stock it wouldn't be so bad, but when haystacks are few and there is a shortage of everything else, one hopes for an open winter.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Rain again. I'm not sure whether we will have our luncheon tomorrow or not, but am hoping the ladies can get here. Jean and Will drove out tonight to see how the roads were. Jean has to bring the "picnickers" out tomorrow as none of the others drives and naturally she is not keen about coming if the road is bad. I dressed a couple of fries for tomorrow and got the house in order so am ready for guests if the guests can come.
Dan picked corn in the forenoon and carpentered in the afternoon. He has the side studding ready to raise. He is using considerable old lumber which takes longer to work in, but he has to utilize what was in the old shelter as we can't put too much expense on the building. It is going to make a fine roomy addition to the barn. At least the animals will have good quarters this winter whether they have enough to eat or not.
It sprinkled off and on until nine o'clock this morning, then decided to clear up partially, so our guests got here without much trouble. I furnished the hot dish for lunch as I wanted to serve fried chicken and the other ladies supplied the balance of the menu -coffee cake that tasted like more, a salad as tempting to look at as it was good to eat and peach ice cream that made one wish for a greater capacity or else that she had eaten less of the substantials. One of our crowd couldn't come, much to our regret. The others made up a game of bridge after lunch while I cleared things up. We don't have prizes - just play for the interest of the game and we always have a good time. These picnic lunches are really a very nice way to do, for the hostess has an easy time of it and it is not very strenuous for anyone.
There was so much food left that I told Nancy she and Dave would have to come to dinner tomorrow to help us dispose of it. We had some of the ice cream for supper then Dan repacked it and I think it will keep over for tomorrow.
Dan, not being invited to the lunch, had his dinner early and spent the afternoon working on the shed. We gave him some of the ice cream, however, when dessert time arrived for the rest of us.
The windmill was delivered this evening -hope we'll have it in working order this time next week.
There was such a collection facing us in the attic this morning that we scarcely knew where to begin. I established mother on the stairs and put her to sorting magazines while I looked over the books and decided which ones I wanted to keep. The give-away pile loomed up pretty well when I was through - about forty volumes in all. After the books and magazines were in order we went through some boxes finding several garments which might be made useful for some one. I still have two trunks to investigate, but I can find my way around the attic now and it is at least respectable. We thought we would take the books in to the library after dinner, but it started to rain, so we concluded home looked better than a damp drive.
Dan and I went up for the mail and delivered a big bunch of magazines to our young neighbor who has been ill. When we got home mother and I indulged in a little nap while Dan worked on the new shed.
Still rainy -I hope it clears up by the last of the week for the picnic luncheon ladies are to come out here Saturday.
I baked a pumpkin pie this morning and did the ironing. Dan had to pick a load of corn in spite of the dampness. We are glad of the moisture because the soil can always use it, but can't help wishing it had come in the growing season.
Dan is getting the plates on the shed. Of course, he can't work at the building steadily as there are so many other things to be done, so it goes rather slowly.
At last our windmill is ordered —expect it will be here by the last of the week. Dan will have to have help to set it up as I fear he and I aren't equal to it alone. We've tackled quite a few husky jobs, but that is too big a one to venture on.THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
We thought perhaps it wasn't going to rain much today so all went to town this morning. We had hardly gotten there when the clouds settled down in earnest and dropped their contents in a deluge. We got a little damp around the edges in dashing from store to store but managed to get all our errands done. We made a brief call on Jean, then went back down town for lunch. After we came home it brightened up for a time but is drizzling again tonight.
I busied myself on odd jobs this afternoon and got a number of little things done.
Dave and Nancy were over this evening. Merely living is a glorious experience to them at present. Of course this extremely exalted state can't last indefinitely. It is blissful while it does but unfortunately they will have to come down to earth in time. However, I believe their love will wear well. It is sure to if they will but realize that a happy married life comes from mutual effort—it needs give and take on both sides and forbearance always to make it a success.
Quite breezy today too, but cooler than yesterday. After the washing was on the line I cleaned out the brooder house, but didn't get the straw in until after dinner. I find I can carry twice as much straw and do it much more easily if I put it in sacks. Then too, it does not blow as it does when I use the bushel measure for transportation. I think that is quite a "discovery" -wonder if Good Housekeeping magazine would pay me a dollar for that idea. Perhaps, though, that is the way most people carry their straw and I was being stupid not to think of it sooner. I always feel virtuous when I have the coops all clean, mash hoppers full and all shipshape. Tomorrow.. I think we will tackle the attic.Dan went to town this afternoon for lumber for the shed hauled it out on Will's trailer. That is so much easier than going in the wagon. Life really is simpler in many ways than it used to be. When I recall our homesteading days when most of the town trips were made in the wagon -thirty miles each way- it seems as if things are much easier nowadays. But we are spoiled too, for now even a five mile wagon trip seems very tedious.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Some never lose sight, some have forgotten and some don't want you to know. I don't think this is taught in the schools anymore... but it sums it up nicely.
PS - Working on next episode of South Dakota Farm Woman...
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Here is what I found:
All of the proposed "cuts" and "savings" produced budgeted expenses that are $600,000 higher than last year. In addition, they claim to have eliminated 40 positions - which I, and most likely any reasonable person would assume meant that they would have fewer employees, and lower expenses.
When I looked at the detail of the "cut" positions, many of them were listed as "vacant" - meaning nobody actually was working in those jobs. Despite this, they are making all kinds of cuts they say to police and fire - which according to their own survey, were the community's top priority. What I don't get, is why do you have to make cuts when you spend more?
The sickening thing here is that these "public servants" are using the state of the economy to justify raising taxes yet again, which will hurt the already struggling local business even more - and their own revenues haven't even declined. They just want to spend more money.
What has actually happened is that they have burned their way through the city's reserves. How many of you out there have cut your spending by increasing it by $600,000? And if you have, can you please respond with how that works?
Voting NO WAY ON MEASURE A!