Country Gal (2005) by Vanita Blundell, Comanche County, Kansas Vanita Blundell.
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Archives:   Country Gal - 2005   Country Gal - 2006   Country Gal - 2007   Country Gal - 2008  

Country Gal - 2005

by Vanita (White) Blundell

Country Gal is now available as a blog!

The web address is:

Please check the blog for the latest updates to Vanita's column if you don't see the column for the current week on the web page for the current year.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, December 27, 2005.

We had a good Christmas; I had the opportunity the cook for the Lions Club this year. They feed the shut-ins or ones that would like to be with others on Christmas Day. My family helped me cook and serve the meal. I needed help to peel the potatoes. Jim, Jeff, and Jennifer started to peel and they got into a peeling war. They had potatoes parts all over their hair, clothes, down their shirts, and all over the kitchen. I think that we got all of parts swept and mopped up.

The Lions Club was there in their yellow Lions Club vests to help serve as well. The Lions are organized and know what they are doing, and are certainly a pleasure to work with. I don’t know how long they have been doing Christmas Dinner, it is surely a worth while program. I think this was a pet project of Don and Rachel Booth's. I was pleased that I was asked to help them to make Christmas a fun day.

My Uncle Bob White is staying at our hospital in the swing-bed program. His wife Esther is staying at Myrna Bumgarners home. Mike, Myrna’s youngest son picked her up to go to see her oldest son, Jim in Texas. I know she will be glad to be with Jim and his wife but that granddaughter is a huge bonus.

While Jim and I were feeding cattle yesterday Jim noticed something hanging on one of the fences on our way down to the home place. I am not sure what it means. Maybe some of you might know. I have heard that when you are in college that if there is a piece of women’s clothing hanging on a door knob it is a sign not to enter the room. What do you think it could possibly mean when not only one but two of the same articles of clothing are hanging on a cattle-guard? I m glad that we do have to go thru the gate as I would hate to interrupt anything. I could think of several things that might have happened - for example; some one was hauling their laundry in the back of a pick up and they blew out, or maybe someone had car trouble and the women sacrificed their support to use as a fan belt, or there could be a number of reasons of how the lingerie got on the fence. It just one of those things that give you something to think about as you are traveling down the road. My imagination makes a better story than what really happened I am sure.

I would like to thank all of you for all of the nice cards and thoughts through-out the year that you have given me. I would like to wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, December 20, 2005.

The old saying that mans best friend is his dog, proved to be true a week or so ago. Our dogs kept wanting out one evening and the next morning when I came in from feeding the cows I saw what all the fuss was about. Out by our propane tank was a coyote that was about to meet his maker. The dogs had all but killed him. I think that they have earned their keep for this month.

I gave Billy, Mom's dog, who has been living at our house, a bath yesterday. He was so cold outside, but he smells terrible, he had to have a bath. Now he is inside and comfortable for the time being. Our house is full with Jim, Jeff, Jennifer, Mutt the lab cross, and Jake the Great Dane, Billy, and me. I can say that I am looking forward to warmer weather, so that some of our hairier occupants will stay outside.

Christmas is definitely in the air. Remember when you were a kid how exciting it was to make your list and think about Santa.

We had a good friend from Dallas, Texas, Jean Hadley, who always sent us gifts in the mail. She always got them here early; sometimes they were the first presents under the tree. Virgil and Mom had a thing where she would buy Christmas candy and hide it so we would not eat it all at once. Virgil would find it and hide it from her. This went on for two or three weeks before Christmas Day.

I was a little different than a lot of kids. Santa Claus scared me to death. I was not at all comfortable with the idea of some old white-headed man with a long ole’ beard coming in our house at night and leaving gifts while we were asleep. The gift thing was not so bad, but the thought of that strange, scruffy old man coming in our house without knocking was a little unsettling. I mean, what do we know about him really? He flies in a sleigh with eight reindeer, comes sneaking into your home, eating your cookies and drinking your milk, Have you ever seen reindeer fly? Can you trust a man like that? Can the roof hold the weight of a sleigh full of toys for every boy and girl in the world plus the reindeer and a fat old man? Do you have to have a chimney? We do not have a chimney so does he just come in through the front door without ringing a door bell or knocking, that would just seem wrong somehow. These are some of the questions that I had.

When I was younger we had some people who would come to our house to visit. They had a sister that was always with them and I liked her. She was short and seemed to be a kind woman. They were very nice but the two bearded brothers would terrify me. They scared me so bad that my brother, Virgil would have to take me to the neighbors, Short and Naomi Gobel. Sometimes they would visit for so long that I would get to stay all night with them. Mom tried to talk to me to tell me that they were nice people. I guess that I thought that all bearded men were like our visitors. That might have something to do with my attitude toward Santa.

Christmas Eve was the only night that the lights stayed on all night. We would leave cookies and milk out for Santa. I don’t know about you, but our Christmas morning was filled with all kinds of excitement. We would get up earlier than usual and go hop into bed with Mom and Dad. Mom would get up and fix the coffee and dad would pick on us. We did not open any gifts until Christmas morning. I found out later that Virgil had opened some of his presents earlier and rewrapped them. We would open our socks first and then the gifts. We would just trash the house, Mom would fix breakfast and then we would get ready to go Grandma and Granddads house for dinner with the other Cary relatives. I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful memories of this time of year. I hope that each one of you have a Merry Christmas. Make some great memories and remember the old ones this Christmas season as that is a precious gift in itself. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

"Country Gal", The Western Star, December 13, 2005.

Jennifer and I had a new experience this week. One of the deer hunters from Georgia was unable to take his deer meat home with him and asked if I wanted it or if I knew of anyone who could use it. He did not want it to go to waste. Before I could think of a way to tell him tactfully that we do not like deer meat, Jennifer pops up and tells him that we would love to have it and would be willing to pay for it. He told her that if she would use it that was payment enough. Jennifer had been talking about wanting to try it.

We decided that we could cut it up. We both have a new respect for meat cutters and processors. We are not very good at it. The hunters had quartered it and did as much as they could with it. We then ‘butchered it’. We found that a very sharp knife is important and if you have the right equipment it would be helpful, but we only had one of those things. I kept Jim busy sharpening our knives. So maybe we really did not have even the one item needed to do the job. We have lots of stew meat, odd-shaped roasts, and some very pretty tenderloin steaks. The fun thing about wrapping your own meat is that you can get creative in your labels of what you just wrapped, such as, ‘yes another big honking roast’.

While we were whacking and slicing, we decided that both of us would have made terrible pioneers. I figure that I would have died three days out of Boston. I also was thinking how disappointed my Grandma Cary and Grandma Alley would be in me. Those women, and I would venture to say, all women in that era, could butcher and dress out and cut up anything their husbands brought to them. Some women even did the killing as well.

Doing those things violates a couple of my rules that I have written about before. Rule #1 and #2: I do not touch dead things and I do not stick my hands in anything where I can not see the other end. I know that those women were unaware of those extremely important rules. So you can not hold them accountable.

I know many of you were in on neighborhood butcherings. When all the neighbors and or relatives all got together and slaughtered hogs, beef and chickens. I can remember when we would dress chickens, but that is another story entirely. I think that even though we did not do a great job we had a lot of fun and made some good memories.

After all, that is what life is about, right?

"Country Gal", The Western Star, November 29, 2005.

I would like to know where November went and now deer season is almost gone and Christmas will be here before we know it. One of the hunters had an interesting story. We were talking about odd things that happen. He told me that his brother was bitten by a mosquito and it gave him some sort of worm I think it was a type of heartworm. He said it was one of only three cases in the United States. The worm crawled under the skin and went across the bridge of his nose and went into a larva state on top of his left cheekbone. When the doctor removed the larva, it was 2 inches long. They had to remove it before the larva hatched as that is when the worm would become deadly. In all of this cold weather, I hope it kills all of the bugs and especially the mosquitoes.

I have been busy with deer hunters this past week, so my housework has suffered. I think that I need someone to come in and straighten up for me. If I knew someone would be here to clean, I would have to keep a better house so no one would realize what I slob I really am. It might change my priorities in a huge way. I guess I should just get busy and do it. This reminds me of harvest when I was still at home. There were only four of us, and Mom would cook lunch and my job was to do the dishes. I would whine, complain, and go to the bathroom for hours it seemed. However, the dishes never were washed instead they started to dry up and get crusty. Looking back there could not have been that many dishes to start with but at the time, it seemed that there were mountains of dishes. So if I would apply the lesson that I learned during harvest with my housework it would not be so terrible. I think that the same lesson would apply with Christmas shopping as well. I had a license plate holder on my mini van once and around the plate it said SIT DOWN-HOLD ON- AND SHUT UP! That sums it up on most everything that needs to be done.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, November 29, 2005.

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. My family seems to have survived in good shape. It was great to see family and to spend quality time with them. We had all of our immediate family and all of my nieces and nephews with the exception of Vickie’s third child, Casey and her 4-year-old son, Gage. We really did miss them. Kids grow up so fast that I hate not seeing them often. We had Vickie’s 2 grandsons, John Arden Martin and Michael Ethan Widener. Vickie told us that they were busy and active and she was not exaggerating at all. But they were adorable and so different. John A. is a cross between Vernie White and David Cary. He has red hair and a round face. You can tell what he is thinking just by his expression on his face. He will never be able to pay poker. He ate more mashed potatoes than anyone, he just loved them.

Michael E. is a happy baby most of the time. He was in the middle of cutting teeth and he was not up to par. He has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. He entertained himself by knocking chairs over. He liked the sound they made, can’t say that the rest of us were as impressed with the banging as he was.

Virgil’s family joined us after dinner. Virgil and Karen are proud of their granddaughter, Alyssa. Her parents are Pamela and David Squires of Cheyenne Wyoming. She is a sweet little girl and just as smart as her Granddad Virgil said she was. It was good to see Ryan and Kelli; they have just moved to Atlanta, Georgia.

After dinner we sang some songs as Sheryl White played the piano. Mom wanted to hear her favorite hymn, Under His Wings, so Vickie, Virgil and I sang it. Aunt Esther White sang a song and Myrna Bumgarner and Janet Marsh sang a duet. Vickie and Randy and their kids all sang. We just sang up a storm. I brought my karaoke machine and we played with that until 8:00 in the evening.

Lori Marsh brought her boyfriend, Roy, and they stayed at my house. It is nice to have extra rooms so we can keep people when they come. Since Vickie’s family was running late and spent Wednesday night in Enid, Okla., that left me with 2 extra beds, which worked perfect for Lori and Roy. Otherwise ,one was going to get the couch and the other the daybed in the office. After meeting and visiting with Roy we are anxious to get him in our family. He lives in northern Kansas and is a farmer and rancher, just our kind of folks.

Remember deer season will start Wednesday; this is NOT the time to wear those cute reindeer hats with the antlers on them.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, November 22, 2005.

It is Thanksgiving time once again, where did the first part of November go? We are having our annual White Cousins' family reunion on Thanksgiving Day. We have a lot of fun and it is great to see everyone. We get to meet new additions to the family and remember the ones we have lost. Vickie and Virgil have grand babies who will entertain us. According to them they are the cutest and smartest kids you would ever want to meet.

Our cousins from eastern Kansas will not be able to come this year as their health will not allow it. Janet Marsh is our family historian and she has done all kinds to research to find out about our roots. She also takes pictures at every family reunion. Janet has made a wonderful family album. She even has pages of family pets with a little notation with the name of the pet that it belongs to and anything else she might find interesting beside each one.

My house will be full this week and so will both of Moms. I am keeping Vickie and Randy - Wendy and Jason - with their dog Gretchen, Jennifer and Giz - Lori Marsh- Lori’s boyfriend - and of course, Jeff. All of my bedrooms will be full with one on the couch. Mom gets to have Sheila and John with their 2-year John Arden, -Michael and Hilary with their 18 month old, Michael Ethan. Joe will get fully initiated into the White Family after this week. I hope he can take it. As I have been told by the doting grandmother, Vickie, Michael Ethan is an extremely happy baby and very busy. John Arden is our little red-head and as normal and active as most 2- years olds are.

Virgil and Karen get to stay with Karen’s mom, Lucille Smith. Pamela and David Squires with 4-year-old their daughter, Alyssa, along with Ryan and Kelli White are spending time in Moms house in town. That is handy for Virgil’s as that makes them just 2 blocks away from each other. I am not quite sure of all of the sleeping arrangements but I am sure it will all work out.

I am a little concerned how our dogs will handle the family especially since they have been coming in at night. If our visitors don’t keep their door shut they might end up with a cold nose pressed up against them. It is a little unnerving to wake-up to a pair of eyes just staring at you and wanting you to roll over so there will be room for them to hop in. Jake, the Great Dane, is having problems understanding that he is not a lap dog. The last time Vickie was here he tried to sit in her lap and was rather insistent. I hope that he has better manners than he did especially since he is about 40 pounds heavier. I don’t think Vickie has that much lap.

Jeff just called and informed me that he hit 2 turkeys by the Kremee this morning and broke my grille and put a dent in the bumper of our ‘new to us’ pick-up. We just bought a '98 Dodge Ram V10 1-ton pick-up this weekend. It had a couple of dents already but I knew that it would be just a matter of time before we added to them just hoped it would not have been so soon. I honestly believe that the Vernie White gene is alive and well. Only Dad or Jeff could hit and kill 2 turkeys inside the city limits of Coldwater. I asked him if that was our Thanksgiving bird, he said he did not think it would be a good idea, as he picked one of them out of the grill.

I wish all of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! It looks like ours is starting out with a bang.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, November 16, 2005.

When Jim and I were first married, we lived in Abilene, Texas. Jim worked at Valley Faucet and later at a glass company. I got a job at a dog kennel. Being a farm girl I found this to be a lot of fun. I got to see and work with all kinds of dogs and cats. We not only boarded dogs and cats we also groomed them. We had a neat set up with a large tub up about waist high with a hose of hot and cold water. We had regular customers who came in bi-monthly and monthly, some only once a year. Being around all of the different breeds I got to see what breed I liked the best.

I decided I wanted a Great Dane, so I started to shop around for a Dane. I found what I wanted, a beautiful fawn male, and purchased him and soon Joshua Joe Meistersinger became our first child and my best behaved. We had a vet next door to the kennel and so he got the best care and as with most first children we were very strict with him. He ended up being allergic to fleas so he had to have a bath every week. When we came up to see the folks on vacation you should have seen Dad's face when my dog was in his bathtub. Josh was not first on the grand-pup list.

After we lost Josh, Jim promised I could get another Dane after the kids left home. So as you already know I got another one last February. But this time I got a black male, Senor Jake Pedrosa is quite the animal. Since Jake had no allergies or anything like that he did not get the baths Josh received. Now that Jennifer is home and thinks that Jake has an odor and needed to be cleaned up.

This past Saturday, she informed me that we were going to give Jake a bath. We get the water ready, we get the dog ready, we get the dog in the bathroom, Jennifer gets wet, I get wet, and finally the dog gets wet. It took both of us to hold and scrub. Poor Jake thought we were trying to drown him and it did cross our minds a time or two. After we were done Jennifer was so proud of the job that we accomplished. I hated to tell her that the effect of the bath does not last as long as she would like it too. But he is cleaner and does smell better.

Once I gave Mom's dog, Billy, a bath and he ran out and rolled in the freshest and greenest manure he could find and came running up to show me he could change his smell all by himself. I thought that I was going throttle him right there on the spot. That just goes to show you that even though you might have a good idea someone else thinks they have a better one.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, November 9, 2005.

This past week has been a full week. We were sad to hear that Leroy Deewall past away this week. I remember Leroy and Dorothy as nice and dignified but fun loving at the same time. They were someone who I always wanted to know better. I always thought of people around the Buttermilk area as special. One of the reasons for that is that they had the Bit and Spur Saddle Club. I thought that was so wonderful. I can remember them in the rodeo at Protection. If I remember correctly, they even had saddle blankets made just for them. They were red and ’ Bit and Spur Saddle Club’ was stitched in yellow or gold colored thread in the back corners. It is one of those things that you think about when you have fond memories of your childhood. In addition, I always thought that they had beautiful horses. I guess that goes to show that we should be careful of what kind of memories we are leaving our children. I hope that my generation will leave good memories for our young ones.

I do not like this getting older bit. As we lose the generations ahead of us, it will not be long that we are the old ones. I suppose that to some I am one of the old ones. The idea of aging hits me hard when I realize that in our neighborhood I am one of the older ones. This is difficult for me as I am the youngest - daughter by 10 years, youngest granddaughter on the Cary side, next to the youngest granddaughter by 6 weeks on the White side. I have always been one of the young kids. This year hitting 46 was a tough one as I was 44 for 2 years. I do not know what happened to 45. Several years ago I had a woman tell me it is not the years but the miles. I thought that was humorous at the time but no truer words were ever spoken.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, October 19, 2005.

Do you remember learning how to drive? Most country kids are driving at early age. Dad was the one who worked with me, which explains a lot. Somehow I made Mom real nervous. But Dad always was telling me the dangers of the road. His big deal was bridges. This was years before the deer were such a problem. He always said that if you would hit a bridge, that would be it and nothing could be done for you so when I would come to a bridge I would very nearly stop and carefully cross the bridge and then go on. This just made Dad nuts but it was his fault for scaring me to death.

Jim worked more with our kids on driving and his pet danger was deer. I don’t care where we would be Jim would say I’ve seen deer here. I guess that was his way of telling them to slow down and be more aware of the surroundings. The deer are every where now so you can say that just about any where in the State of Kansas.

I always felt it is important to pass along what dad had taught me and the importance of watching out for deer on to my kids. Jennifer took me very seriously and Jeff just thought I was talking to hear myself. Well Jeff has a better understanding now. We were extremely fortunate this past week; Jeff was on his way to work and just as he was approaching a bridge and a deer was in the road. He hit the guard rail on the left side of the road and then flipped and couple of times. He crawled out and flagged Roger Unruh down, who took him to the Hospital. Jeff was banged up pretty good and has been sore. We are fortunate that he was not hurt any more than he was and that no one else was coming. We are grateful for Roger coming along when he did and to be so kind.

When we went to the site of the accident, it was an awful thing to see. But the State Department was there. I did not realize that they were the ones who clean up after an accident. I don’t know who I thought did it. They were so good to us and wanted to know if he was missing anything important. Between the Sheriff Deputies and the State Department they found his glasses and his cell phone. Those seem to be the most important things to a young man.

I have said that Jeff has inherited Dads way of getting in trouble. He keeps proving me right over and over again. I told him he is wearing out his guardian angel out; some say that he run over several others.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, October 12, 2005.

My cousin Sheryl White held a birthday party for her dad, on Saturday. My Uncle Bob White turned 80 this year. His birthday was actually in January, but he was not well in January and then his wife, Aunt Ester, had some health problems. So, 10 months later, we get everyone feeling fit and somewhat healthy, we had a party at the Senior Center in Pratt. It was nice to see and visit with some of my cousins and meeting some of the in-laws of Uncle Bob. He married Esther Hornbaker from the Hutchinson area. She was one of 12 children and Uncle Bob was one of six so there was no shortage of family.

I love to hear Uncle Bob tell stories about Granddad White. From all of the tales that he tells it is a wonder that he is still alive and has all of his body parts. Being the one of the youngest of the White clan I feel that I missed out on a lot of excitement. Granddad was an interesting fellow but he could prove to be dangerous from time to time. The Whites have been accused of making a so-so story into something a little more amusing. This is one of my favorite stories, if this is not entirely correct I’m sorry, but this is the story as it was told to me by my dad and I will try not to embellish it in any way. But, as I said before, Granddad White was so colorful that his stories did not need any embellishment. Well, here it goes, the neighbors mule got out and ended up at Granddad's house. He put the mule in the barn and the neighbor sent his son to retrieve the runaway. The boy must have been around 12 years old; he tied the mule to his saddle horn with his 30 foot rope. Instead of snubbing the mule close he had that mule at the very end of the lariat.

Well, Granddad decided to go to town. Granddad was not the most observant person. He gets in his automobile. I’m not sure what kind of car it was but whatever it was it had a radiator cap that stuck up. The neighbor boy was taking his time going home and let the mule go on the other side of the road, which meant that the rope was across the road. Granddad going to town with things on his mind and did not notice that the mule was across the road and whizzes by the boy on horseback the rope caught on the radiator, jerked the boy off his horse and killed the mule. Stories like that are ones that need to be told that way our grandchildren might get to know us well after we are gone. Uncle Bob has lots of stories as Granddad's vehicles never had brakes so he was close to death many times. Since many of my dad's vehicles never had brakes either I have always had a common bond with Uncle Bob. Come to think of it, Virgil can identify with Uncle Bob as well.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, October 4, 2005.

City Wide Garage Sale Day is a wonderful day for buyers and sellers. If you happen to be a seller you can’t be a buyer. My goal next year is to be a seller. I do not need to be a buyer next year or this year for that matter. The only thing is- I hope you all are willing to buy back what we bought years ago from you.

In a marriage it is important to discuss if you are a buyer or a seller. Be very careful if you both happen to be buyers or sellers. If you both happen to be sellers then you won’t have the problems of keeping things you don’t need or if you need something you probably had it once but sold it last year. You probably won’t have a lot of unique things around that you have no idea what to do with. But on the other hand you know where most everything should be.

If you both are buyers, you are setting yourselves up. I hope you have lots of room and storage. The thing is about buying is that you have all kinds of wonderful and useful things but where are they? What box was that in, or what shelf, or what building I just can not remember.

So it is good to have one of each in a marriage. You balance each other out. Take my parents: Dad bought all kinds of things, Mother just put up with all kinds of things. But she bought very little.

You can tell by driving around who the buyers are and who the sellers are. At my house, we are unfortunate as both of us are buyers. I need to educate Jim on buying only good stuff. I buy pretty things, Jim buys cheap things. But once in awhile the things that we purchase do prove to be a good thing. I did much better this year as I bought some books and some pretty ‘breakables’. I am not even going to tell what Jim bought; I have not quite gotten over it yet.

I do think that by having the garage sales every year that the quality has gone up. But there were fewer sales, I thought, than in the past. This makes perfect sense as the sellers are keeping things cleaned out.

I know that some people get disgusted by buyers who buy and buy, but I have noticed that they don’t turn them away when they come to their sale.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, September 27, 2005.

I have always wondered why people travel all over the world but not see what is in their back yard. We are definitely not world travelers, but I have always wanted to see the Kansas Ranch Rodeo in Medicine Lodge. So we went to see what it was all about.

Before the rodeo started a man sang to the crowd. I did not get his name but he was nice to hear. I thought it was a tape or cd, but Jim noticed the entertainer and pointed him out to me, as he sang song one right after another. I did not pay attention, but it was the Championship Kansas Ranch Rodeo taking place at the Pageant Arena. It is where ranches compete in team penning, cattle doctoring, double mugging, bronc riding, calf branding, and wild cow milking. It was interesting to see people who work together everyday, competing to be the fastest and most efficient in their profession.

I am sure that most of these cowboys rode in their pickups alone. You may ask why I have come to this conclusion. The answer is their hats. Some of those hats were so large that you could not fit two hats inside one pickup cab. I would be afraid that in the rain if someone shorter was standing by the hat wearer would certainly drown from the runoff of the hat brim. I can not imagine how in the world they keep them on in the wind. I would think that if their horse started to buck the brim of the hat could beat them to death or if nothing else would flap and make enough noise the rider might just take off to a not so soft landing unless, of course, it would invert and work as a parachute. Any way it was fun and we had a good time.

Since Jennifer has been home she has the silly idea that we need to walk and get some exercise. It is so nice to have neighbors as we were walking Jennie Cronin came by on her 4-wheeler so we talked a little while. She may not be aware that she might have saved my life. We visited long enough that I caught my breath and could continue on with this thing that Jennifer thinks we need to do. We have been walking some in the evenings and the dogs have been going with us. The dogs spied an armadillo crossing the road; they came alive and jumped on the poor little fellow. But when they jumped on the armadillo, he jumped at least 2 foot high.

I have been told that they will hop when they get frightened. I have also been told that when you run over the hard shelled creatures with your car, they hop as the car straddles them and hit the floor board of the vehicle and that is what kills them. I guess that goes to show that not all instincts are the right thing to do.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, September 20, 2005.

The gods were smiling on the Blundells this week. First, Jennifer made it back home from Biloxi without anything awful happening. It is nice to have her back home, even if it is just temporary.

I had an enjoyable weekend with the Opry that was a smashing success, with the help of so many people.

We are working on getting things straightened up around the home place, which by my calculations at the rate we are going we will be finished by 2055, if that soon. It seems to me that we stay busy just to keep the mowing caught up. And salt to the cows and fences somewhat fixed.

In the country we have no reason to be bored. I never liked to hear my kids say that they were bored, so if they said the ‘B’ word they would pull stickers until they were no longer bored. Needless to say the kids might have thought that they were B--- but they did not say so.

Jim took the scoop off of the 1070 Case tractor so we can put it on the 930 Case, and he asked me to do something - if I were him I would never ask me. He wanted me to raise the scoop up close to a limb of a tree. Now that does not sound too bad but here is the kicker, he would be in the scoop as I raise the bucket up. Now the reason we are changing the scoops around is that the hydraulics on this tractor do not work well at all. What I am trying to get across is that the scoop drops like a rock unless you keep the pressure on it just right. Now, knowing all of this, would you let me raise you up in a bucket with the knowledge that I was your beneficiary? Just to let you know Jim trusts me - or is he ready to end it all. But as I said the gods were looking down on us with favor and everything worked out with out any horrible thing happening.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, September 6, 2005.

I can say that I am a "Come home Coldwater" survivor. The only regret I have is that I did not get to enjoy all of the festivities enough. My hat goes off to the gals who put together the Victorian Tea Room. It was absolutely beautiful. It looked like you just stepped back in time. I was certainly impressed. What I did get to enjoy was the early morning church service. I thought it was wonderful. The Methodist men seemed to have a handle on the breakfast they were serving. We had a beautiful cool clear morning to worship our Lord. The music was nice and it was the first time that I got to hear the new Methodist minister, Sue Talbot. It was a great way to start the day and the week. You know what they say, seven days without prayer makes one weak.

The only thing I had a problem with was the flies not just at the park but at home as well. Sitting out in the park was so relaxing with the exception of thousands of flies. Well, that might be an exaggeration. But I am telling you, I have not seen so many flies around without a chicken house nearby. And they were biters! I was sitting next to Linda Winter and she did not seem to be as bothered by them as much as I was. I was shooing them off of me and her. While I was shooing them, she said she thought some of them were mating. I told her: "For heavens sakes, kill them or stop them, we did not need to encourage that kind of behavior nor do we need any more flies."

Flies were something that my dad could not stand. He would swat until every fly in the house was either dead or camouflaged very well. Come to think of it, he did not like any bug too well. One time, we had an over abundance of Japanese beetles at our house and Dad just went nuts and went outside armed with his trusty fly swatter and started in swattin’ the side of the house, sidewalk any where he saw a beetle he even got on the roof. Bugs are why dad never was excited about eating outside.

Jim’s family that lives in Biloxi and surrounding areas are safe and are in the process of cleaning up from the hurricane. Our daughter and son in-law, Jennifer and Giz, are safe and have come to our house for a while. So out of a terrible circumstance we at least get to spend some quality time with our kids. I would like to thank you for all of the calls and concerns over our family. Giz said that they were, “bent, but not broken”.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, August 30, 2005.

This week has been rough on our kids down south. Jennifer called and was telling me that she was just fine. When she first went down, she was wondering what a hurricane would be like. The first one was a downgraded to a tropical storm. She was sort of disappointed as it was a ‘breezy day’ to us Kansans. This last hurricane ‘Katrina’ has changed her mind. She said it was a little more than a windy here at home.

Jennifer and Giz have rental properties and they were busy boarding up and did not get out in time to leave to get out of harms way. They stayed at home and weathered the storm. They were very lucky and had very little damage to their home. At this time it is too early to know about the rental properties. After the storm they walked down to the beach to see what all had happened. They saw that one of the casinos had gone across Highway 90 and lots of other devastation. They will start to clean up today and she thought that they would electricity in a day or two.

I was curious about the 100 year old oak tree. This tree was a landmark to the community and when the casinos came in they wanted to move it. They spent over $1,000,000 to move this tree. I am wondering if it made through Katrina. From the pictures it looks like they will never get it straighten up ever again.

I know that I would take Kansas with its wind, rain, drought, snow, and all of the other elements, over any where else. I guess that means I will stay right here and be happy.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, August 10, 2005.

This week has certainly been full. We helped with Zack and Lona Ellis’s wedding reception. Zack has been a good friend to Jeff for many years. This is one chapter closing and another one opening. The community will miss Zack and Lona being around to sing and play the piano for us. Zack will be attending college in Ark City. I am sure he will set the music department on fire this year. (No pun intended Larry) We wish Zack and Lona the best of everything.

I would not want to repeat my high school years or the year following. There is so much pressure in choosing what you are going to do with the rest of your life. Not ever knowing what the right decision until it is over and done with. I can remember that my dad always said that you cannot choose your childs mate or profession. I thought that was so wise, but actually he did not want to be blamed if he was wrong. Now that I am in the same position I take the same stand. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a crystal ball and see the future so you could guide your kids in the right direction. But what fun would that be? I guess that all of us get to make to make our own mistakes; the only consolation is that it would be our mistakes and no one else’s.

We are all getting geared up for Come Home Coldwater. All of us at the Christian Church have gotten our orders for the Chicken Noodle Dinner. We are busy making noodles, cakes and other items. I am sure that the Chili people are getting their recipes all lined out. I have heard that they have a great time competing. Sounds like a lot of fun. I think that the idea of Come On Home Coldwater is a wonderful concept. The only thing is that those of us who live here may not get to enjoy it as much as we would like. I had said it would be nice to find a sister city and they would coordinate our celebration and we would do the same for them. But that is probably an idea that looks good on paper but not in reality. We hope that everyone comes out to join in the fun.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, July 27, 2005.

Monday I attended the 4-H fair. It was a lot of fun. I am not sure we as the public pay enough attention to the fair. It is fun to see what the kids have accomplished. I think that my favorite is watching those little girls on the big horses. They look so tiny and the horses look huge. It reminds me when I was little and how I loved to ride anything with hooves. I also admired the young man who took a spill and never batted an eye got back on and continued just like nothing had happened and went on through the day. If you never have taken a fall you have no idea how hard it is to get back on. When a horse would do something that the rider did not want the horse to do it Dads words came back to me when I was in the same situation, "Don’t let him get by with that, show that pony who’s boss." Boy, that was the hardest thing was to show an animal who out weighed you by 900 pounds who was boss. I am anxious to see the rest of the fair. I wish all of the participants good luck and don’t forget to have fun with what you are doing.

While I was watching all of the festivities I was reminded of the Protection Rodeo. When I was little that was the only rodeo I ever got to see. It was so exciting to get ready to go, Dad would come in early from the field and we would put on our best jeans, boots, shirt and hat. I am not quite sure why but I always think of the Rhodes family. It seems like the Rhodes girls were regular contestants and the Webster girls were too. If I remember correctly. I thought that they were the luckiest girls in the world to be able to ride in the rodeo.

Speaking of Comanche County events do not forget to get your story in to the history book. I did not do it the last time but I have got mine wrote up and ready to hand in. It is a lot of work and I admire all of those who are willing to put their time on putting all of the information together.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, July 20, 2005.

This week I have learned that I have limits. I just don’t like this part of my life. When my brother turned 50 I teased him about being ½ century old. He told me he was glad to see his last decade go. Since there is 10 years difference in our ages he was letting me know what I was in for. All I did was throw about 4 or 5 buckets of cow cake in the back of the pick-up. It must have pulled a couple of muscles in my back. This makes me a little cranky, I am sure you find that hard to believe.

I don’t like not being able to read a menu at a restaurant.

I have several reading glasses scattered around in various places. I figure that Jim and I will the other couple in town that sit and yell at each other thinking that we are whispering to at the other one. I can remember my grandparents whispering very loudly in church, thinking that no one could hear them. As a kid I thought it was really funny. I know this will happen to us because we are already telling the other one that they are mumbling. I guess Jim does not mumble as much as I accuse him of because Jeff will tell me what he just said.

I think that I always thought that I would always be young. Being the youngest grandchild on the Cary side by 8 years and being the next to the youngest on the White side. I guess that I thought age did not apply to me, well, it does.

I remember Muriel Gregg told me one time: "Everything that you hear about your golden years: do not believe a word of it."

"Country Gal", The Western Star, July 12, 2005.

The 4th of July brings a lot of memories. As a child the firecrackers were scary. Until one year Virgil showed me what fun we could have with them. I guess it was not nice, but we blew up ant dens. It was exciting until the ants we blew up came down and landed down our backs. We learned to get away after lighting the fuse. Some of you remember that a while back the firecrackers had a lot more kick to them than they do now.

Our 4th of July was always happier if we were through with harvest. Sometimes Dad would buy all kinds of fireworks and Mother was never as overjoyed as we were. Dad might have something to do with my fear of firecrackers. One 4th of July Vickie and Randy came home and they had brought their German Shepherd dog. Dad had bought a bunch of firecrackers and was throwing them around, this upset Vickie’s dog so she grabbed her pup and ran into the bathroom. Dad saw this as a challenge so he threw a firecracker under the bathroom door. This did not help the pup or Vickie.

One Independence Day the Tommy Marsh family got together with our family. It was a time when neighbors got together made ice cream; the kids would play and just have an all American good time. When it was dark and they were ready to do the night fireworks- like sparklers, fountains, roman candles, ect. Dad was trying to get the roman candles to sit up; when Tommy said he knew a better way. He lit the Roman candle and started to swing the candle in circles, when it went off one of the flaming balls landed on his son Jimmy’s head. Boy, that had to hurt! Maybe that is why there are instructions on the roman candles that plainly state NOT to hold them in your hand, but to sit them up, light and stand back.

This year we went to Myrna Bumgarners home for hamburgers, hot dogs and homemade ice cream. Everything you might want, friends and family, but no firecrackers. However we did get some of those artillery shells that shoot high in sky and exploded in beautiful colors. We were talking later about how lucky we are live in a country where we have the freedom to do what we like. I hope you had a good and safe 4th with your friends and family.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, July 5, 2005.

This past week I attended the funeral of Viola White. She was the wife of Victor White-which made her my aunt. What I remember about Aunt Vi was that she was the first one to teach me to make homemade ice cream. We made vanilla and she said that she would always put in just a little Lemon extract, but not to mention it to Uncle Vic. She told me that if Uncle Vic thought that there was lemon of any kind in anything he would refuse to eat it and tell her to never do that again. So we put in the lemon extract and Uncle Vic never knew.

It is funny what goes thru your mind at a funeral, or at least what goes thru mine. I might mention that at Aunt Zoras funeral I got in trouble with one of my cousins for giggling. Our defense was that we were reminiscing about Aunt Zora and it is not our fault that she left us with so many wonderfully funny stories. So we were not allowed to sit together at Aunt Vi’s. While the minister was talking he mentioned a scripture that is one of my favorites, in Ecclesiastes 3. It is talking about there is a time for everything and a purpose. I was thinking if I died tonight what would people remember about me. I know my mom would say that every time she would call me and ask what I was doing I would always say that I was cleaning house. Which is really odd because you can never tell I have spent all that much cleaning. I decided that I don’t want that to be the focus of my life- especially since I am not very good at it.

My best friend sends me the neatest e-mails and I thought these were kind of interesting, as it gives you something to think about.

Things found on real tombstones:

In Thurmont, Maryland, Cemetery: Here lies an Atheist-all dressed up and no place to go.

In London England; Here lies Ann Mann- Who lived an old maid- but died an old Mann- Dec.8, 1767

One more- From Nantucket, Mass.:

Under the sod and under the trees- Lies the body of Jonathan Pease. - He is not here, there’s only the pod. - Pease shelled out and went to God.

What do you want on your tombstone?

"Country Gal", The Western Star, June 30, 2005.

This past weekend Jim and I went for a short trip. We have been looking for a tractor for over a year. I know - we already have 3 tractors that have problems of their own, but we needed one with a loader and a 3-point. We had been going to auction after auction and costing us more money. So we decided to just bite bullet and buy one. We had gotten on line and looked at prices and a paper. After several phone calls we found a dealer in Lamar, Missouri, that had what we thought we needed. On Friday late afternoon we left for eastern Kansas. I don’t know when I have ever seen Kansas so beautiful. The farms were so neat and clean. When we got to Pittsburg there was only one room left in town and we got it. There was a coach’s clinic going on.

We got up early in the morning and started our quest. We went to the dealer and what he had was not what we could use, then he sent us to his other dealership in another town. He gave us directions which were on some back roads. We were just traveling along when we went by a farmer’s home and there sat a tractor with a loader, mower, and bale fork. We stopped to get the phone number and while we were writing it down the owner’s daughter came by and told us if we would follow her we could talk with her dad about the tractor. We visited with him and his daughter, son-in-law, told them that we needed to go to the dealer in town but we were interested in his tractor. When we got to town the other tractor was not right either so we got back to the farmer and bought the tractor. While we were talking with him another fellow came by and offered the farmer more money for his tractor but the man said that he had already sold it. I guess I shared this story with you because everywhere we went people were so kind, and nice. I felt right at home. It just made you want to get to know them more and made their community so attractive. The dealers were accommodating even though we did not purchase their wares. We left with a good feeling and anxious to go back and get the tractor.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, June 21, 2005.

We have sand hill plums!! Who would have guessed with that hard freeze we had this spring that we would get plums. I have heard from some people that they have apricots, too. I would have bet money that there would be little to no fruit this year. Just shows what I know. I am thinking that I’m going to have to set some time aside to make jelly. What is it with men who like to pick sand hill plums? I thought maybe it was just my husband who enjoyed picking those hard to reach, poky, buggy, fruit while standing in the sun hot enough to die of a heat stroke. But in talking with other women I have found that their husbands like to find, hunt, sweat and pick plums as well. Now some may say it’s because of the jelly, but that is not true in my case. Jim won’t eat it, but he will pick it. And they say that women are hard to understand.

We have been going around our fences so we can get our cattle out. While we were working down south we noticed that the mosquitoes were awful. Jim and Jeff are mosquito magnets, or so I thought. When I got home I found all kinds of bites and 3 ticks that were attached. I don’t think that those pests are as bad at my house as they are down at the Wall place. One vet told me that this was going to be a ticky year so check your pets and yourself well.

Speaking of vets, I had a cow down so thought that I would call the vet to see what was ailing her. Now this is a young cow, she was not calving, seemed to be fat and very sassy. Had the vet to take a look at her. It is kind of hard to look a cow that when every time you get close to her, she finds the energy to struggle to her feet or knees and tries to hit you and do bodily harm. It is also hard to feel sorry for the ole girl when she is trying to chase you down and would like to grind you into the dirt. But I am pleased to report that she is recovering nicely and finding her own water. Which is really good, as I was about to drown her in her own water bucket and tell God she just died.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, June 13, 2005.

It seems to me that things just wait to happen all at once. Have you ever noticed that when you go into a store there may be many people shopping? We do not go in at the same time, but we want to check out at the same time. I am sure that anyone who has ever worked in a grocery store-drug store- restaurant-discount store can tell you that this is the truth. I was in a convenience store the other day and there was a new clerk and they were terribly busy. The young man was getting quite flustered when he got to me I thought I would make light of the situation. He said where did all these people come from? I told him we all waited down the block and then we decided to ‘rush him’. He said "I thought so".

Well other things seem to happen all at once, as well. I thought that my car was vibrating a lot so I needed new tires. Got all four tires and the diesel truck was in need of tires as well so we got all four tires and took up Gregg and Shelby’s whole afternoon at Kropf's Oil.

When I was getting ready to go to the Opry I drove by one of our pastures and noticed that we had a cow down. Jim and I went to check on her, fed and watered the ol’ girl and did all we could for her. You would think that she would have appreciated the help, but it seemed to tick her off and thought about being really ugly. But with her not able to do too much she could not accomplish her mission. Then Sunday morning when we got up, Jim was feeling tough and he had to leave church early. Jeff had all these plans he thought we were going to do after church. Every vehicle we got in either had a flat tire or a dead battery. Very frustrating! But by the end of the day everything evened out. Life is good.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, May 30, 2005.

Have you ever driven down the road and seen something in the road that you thought someone should move it. You think, ‘maybe I ought to stop and pick it up and throw it out of harms way.’ I know I have but I don’t always. I am in a hurry or I’m dressed up or some other excuse.

Vernie’s devil on a fence post has found Jeff once again. Poor Jeff just seems to attract bad luck-well actually it could have been much worse than it was.

It was Jim’s birthday and we had gone out to eat. When we got back Jeff decided to go in to town and see Zack Ellis. We got a call from Jeff telling his dad that he had a slight problem. It seemed that Zack and Jeff were on their way to our house and they had forgotten something and needed to turn around. In turning around he somehow ran over a steel post that was in the road and it went thru the exhaust pipe. We were lucky that in did not go thru the oil pan or gas tank, tire and wheel or all of the above. But anyway Jim and I went to town to pick Jeff up and to see what could be done for the car. Jeff had to park the car along side of the road. Jim brought all kinds of tools with us. When he looked under the car he saw that he needed to hack saw the exhaust pipe in two places to get the post out. After sawing and sawing they got the post out and wired up the pipe and we got the car back home. While they were working on the car I was thinking how many times I have not thrown debris off the road. It would take me just a couple of minutes and it would save someone else a lot of time and trouble. All of this reminds me of something that I read, "Did you ever stop to think - - - and forget to start again?".

"Country Gal", The Western Star, May 24, 2005.

Procrastinate now! Tomorrow is another day! That is pretty much what I did with this week’s article. I do not know if it is the weather or my ear problems or being just plain lazy, but I have not had enough energy to do anything. Maybe it is the let down of graduation. I have decided that if I do not have something just pressing me for time I do not accomplish anything productive. Do you ever get that feeling that you are forgetting something? I have had that feeling all week, so if I had promised something to one of you, I just plain forgot.

We are trying to get a new program started at church, which I think is going to be a lot of fun. I have that on the back burner and with a few other brainstorms; I am going to try to do this summer.

I am a list person. I like to make lists of things that I want to accomplish. There are several things this summer that I would like to get done. Some of things are the same things that have been on my summer list for the last few years. I cannot get all my ducks in a row. With Jim’s job at the school, we do not have time in the spring to work our calves, so we have that to do. It really does not take that much time, but we have to get everything ready. Then we will disperse the cows and calves to various pastures. Anymore, we just work a few at a time. It still seems really wrong to be working the cattle and all that it entails without Dad being there to oversee everything.

We are excited that Virgil’s and Vickie’s will be here next week for Memorial Day. I hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Holiday. Remember that families are wonderful and important.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, May 18, 2005.

This morning when I got up the dogs were growling out by the front door and there was a poor armadillo trapped by the front steps. Armadillos were something that Dad was interested in. We never had them, or other animals that we now have, and when they started to show up here Dad wanted to get a good look at them. Any animal that was different fascinated him. He would tell me that he thought God had quite an imagination to create so many different things with so many different colors. When he finally saw one up close, he said he always wondered what would happen if a turtle and a rat would mate, you would get an armadillo.

Have you thought of all the different animals that we have here now that we did not have 30 or 40 years ago? When I was little Dad would come home from working cattle at the Z Bar Ranch or Stewart Carthraes and tell us that he saw a deer. We were impressed.

We first saw antelope in Gregg’s pasture. It was kind of a game on the way to school on the bus to see which one of us could spot the small deer-like creatures first. We did not see very many porcupines either. Guys sure do not like them in the feed or the hay fields while swathing. I have heard that they make an awful mess. What about the wild boars? I thought that they lived somewhere away off, certainly not here in Comanche County. Then there are the mountain lions and I have heard that some have seen an occasional bear. Our grandparents would be surprised to see all of this wildlife.

Of course, another change is the trees that seem to grow everywhere. The early settlers would have been so pleased to have those trees our history would have read differently. They would not have had to burn cow chips for warmth and they would have had better building materials as well.

I sent my "Country Gal" column to Jerry Ferrin on the internet and he just informed me that in the 1880’s there were mountain lions and wolves in this area so maybe our grandparents would not be so shocked at the different animals we are seeing now.

Jerry Ferrin and Bobbi Huck have done an enormous amount of work on the history of Comanche County. He has made a wonderful web site on our county.

I have had something this week that I have never had before in my life. I have never had an ear infection accompanied by an earache. I really do not think that I need another one. Of course, it had to happen the week of graduation but with the help of pain pills and things to keep me busy it was not very bad. When I could not fix my problem, I gave in and went to see Doc Sharma. I guess I am not a very good doctor but she fixed me right up. My family thought it was a lot of fun to talk to me on my deafer side. I bet I asked ‘what did you say’ or ‘did you say something to me’, a hundred times, just to have them look at me as if I am a nut. Jeff has even said that maybe he would not be the one who would be leaving home. I am not sure what he was implying but I have an idea and I do not think that he is one bit funny.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, May 9, 2005.

This week was busy just like I’m sure your's was as well. We are trying to get ready for graduation. You have lots of emotions as you prepare for your one of your kids to graduate then add to that your last child to leave home. We have some of our family coming home. My sister, Vickie will be here. With Vickie’s husband and my brother Virgil being ministers they cannot get away on Saturdays very easy. Jim’s mom and step dad, Donna and Jerry, will be here from Biloxi, Mississippi. They are getting their fill of graduations as they have 5 to attend, in 3 different states all within 1 and half weeks. Our world of travel is a great thing. Jennifer will be here for a very short time. We will pick her up at the airport in Wichita on Friday and take her back on Sunday, but we will take her when we can get her.

Graduations have changed just a little from when I graduated from high school. We had to have speakers come in and give a little speech to the graduates along with the speeches from the valedictorian and salutatorian. Now we have the speeches of the valedictorian and the salutatorian and the Superintendent/principal along with the school board will give out the diplomas. Now we have baccalaureate services 1 hour before the graduation ceremony. We used to have a baccalaureate service on the Sunday afternoon or evening before graduation. It was quite an event. The graduates would always wear their cap and gown to church on Sunday morning. I can remember when I was little it was exciting to see what color they would be wearing. I can’t remember Vickie’s class colors. I think Virgil’s class wore purple and silver, my class colors were green and gold. This year they will wear school colors green and black. I went a graduation in Medicine Lodge in 2000 and they wore the school choir robes which were in the school colors. I thought that was nice since the seniors only had to purchase the cap and tassel. It seems like when we got the new track and maybe the stadium was new and the seniors chose to have the ceremony at the football field. The weather did not always cooperate so there were not many graduations held outside.

The thing that I remember most about our graduation was picking out our class colors, flower and motto. I thought the motto was the most fun we chose to use the serenity prayer for ours. Can you remember yours?

"Country Gal", The Western Star, April 14, 2005.

Home is where the heart is-that is for sure!! I have been to Ozona Texas cooking for turkey hunters, I enjoy it, but it is always good to be home. I was the first to arrive at a ranch house where the hunters were to use as their base camp. I felt as if I had gone back in time to my childhood. This ranch house was similar to the home where I grew up. It was a long way from town and there were horses in the barn lot.

While I was waiting for the rest of the people to arrive I got my bags in my room. I had no water so I was doing what I could to start getting the kitchen ready. I was working away when the Mexican hired man came and told me that I had no electricity. I tried to tell him that I had electricity, but no water. He said that I didn't have any power because he had just hit a power pole with the tractor mower and had disconnected all the power. I thought 'here we go' things like this just seem to follow me around. The bad thing was that my Spanish was about as good as his English, so our conversation was almost comical, but they have an efficient power company just like we do and they had the power back on quickly.

One time I was talking to a fellow who was all bummed up from taking a beatin' in the saddle. He was breaking a colt and the ole pony really had shook him up and he was telling me how it would have been better to just take the spill than to have taken the punishment in the saddle. Looking around the area of Ozona I was acquiring a new respect for the Texas cowboys. I had always heard how tough they were and how they could ride better than most. Well now I know why, everything in that area grows thorns. I have never seen so many cactus and poky plants, even the trees have thorns. And what ground they do have is covered with sharp rocks.

So those cowboys have a much greater incentive to stay in the saddle and take the abuse an ole pony can give, because the pain that is waiting for them on the ground is much worse than anything that horse can give. You know, I think if Adam would have known about the thorns, stickers, cactus and the like, I think that he would have told Eve to eat her own apple and leave him alone.

"Country Gal", The Western Star, April 7, 2005.

This has been a rather uneventful week for the Blundell family --- meaning that nothing has blown up or broken, and no one was severely wounded.

We did, however, attend the Easter Cantata. It was wonderful to see that people who attend different churches can come to together and form a beautiful voice. Only thing was, I wished more people could have been there to enjoy all of their hard work. I think that God must have looked down on them Sunday night and smiled, because worshiping the Lord with a happy heart is what we should be all about.

I was visiting with Dan and Linda Winter yesterday about the different rules people come up with. When I was a kid I learned very quickly that Dad had his own personal rules.

They were as follows: Never touch Dads hat, and never ask to borrow his horse, his saddle, or his wife --- all pretty much in that order. Don't get me wrong Dad loved Mom, but don't mess with his hat or his horse or adjust any part of his saddle.

Another rule was when we were dating we were to be home by the hour of decency (midnight). If you were not home he would come looking for you and if you knew what was good for you, you had better do one of two things: either beat him home, or be bleeding profusely and unable to crawl home.

As I grew up I learned that everyone has his or her own set of standards. When I got married I found that Jim had his rules as well as anyone else. Boy, he was not kidding. His rule is no foreign objects in his food. You know like onion, red or green peppers, garlic, bay leaves, or any spice that has the appearance of grass clippings (his description), ham, chicken bones, nuts, or anything else that mght enhance the flavor of your meal.

So I figured out if every one has rules, I can too,. So these are mine: 1. I don't put my hand in anything when I can't see the other end, 2. I don't touch dead things. I know, these seem kind of silly, but they have come in handy from time to time. These rules were used more when Dad was still around. One time they were important was heifer calving time. Sometimes I had to enforce rule 1 and 2.

So, all of you girls out there make sure that you have your own set of standards or you will be putting your hand in places where you don't want them and touching things you would rather not.

Publication on this web site of the Country Gal column began on April 7, 2005. For previous columns, see earlier editions of The Western Star. They are available on microfilm via interlibrary loan through the Kansas State Historical Society.

Thanks to author Vanita (White) Blundell and publisher Dennies Anderson of the The Western Star for permission to reprint this column!

Vanita Blundell is also the Stage Manager and Program Director for The Wilmore Opry.

Vanita Blundell at the Wilmore Opry, 7 May 2005, Comanche County, Kansas.

Photo by Dave Rose.

Vanita Blundell at the Wilmore Opry, 7 May 2005, Comanche County, Kansas.

Photo by David Rose.

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