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Saturday, July 28, 2012


We just got back from a visit with our dear little grandson, our one and only.   He is so cute!   He will be three in November so he can talk and make his requests known.  As soon as I get there he wants to "aside."  And that is not all--he wants to go "aside to the sand castles."
There is a lot of construction where he lives, and large piles of dirt that he calls "sand castles."  He puts his rain boots on and climbs them (with my help), throws clods off the top, and throws rocks.  Here he is going up the side of a "sand castle".
Then when we are in the house he wants to play hide and seek.  Here he is counting to 10, peeking through his fingers and waiting for Nannie to go hide so she can jump out and scare him.  He loves the adrenaline rush!
Don't peek!
Uno, dos, tres!  He can also count to ten in Espanol!
"Ready or not--here I come!"
"Sometimes you need a flashlight to find that Nannie!"
"Nannie, where are you?"
Then if I sit down to rest, he gets in the chair with me and says, "Chase Nannie, chase Nannie, chase Nannie,"  and so Nannie gets out of the chair and proceeds to run around the island, the bar and all around the obstacles in the house with Rhys hot on her heels.  It's a real aerobic work out for the 65 year old grandma, but so much fun.  Luckily I do not have a picture of this cray-zee behavior.  Grandparents act like fools (and it is so much fun)!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


 When I was teaching at Dawson in Welch, Texas, I had the pleasure of having my nephew, Garrett in a junior high class.  Part of the class involved child care, and since we had no simulators I resorted to the 10 pound sack of flour.  The kids brought their flour babies to class and I scrawled my name on them  so they couldn't go out and buy another one if they lost it or someone threw it across the gym and broke it (the janitors hated this project).  The kids kept a journal every day and answered these questions:
1.  What was the best part of the project today?
2.  What was the worst part?
3.  What were my feelings today?
I found these notes filed under "Memories" in our filing cabinet.  Garrett wrote this in his journal.

Day 1:  1.  Learning how to take care of a baby.  2.  Lugging the 10 pound flour baby around, and 3.  I am glad the 10 pound flour baby isn't real.

Day 2:  1.  Having friends help me with the baby.  2.  Everyone trying to steal the baby, and 3.  I am going to have a good wife!

Day 3:  1.  My baby watching me play football.  2.  Worrying about the baby, and 3.  babies are hard work.

Day 4:  1.  Having people help me with the baby.  2.  Girls stealing my baby, and I am going to get these girls! 

Day 5:  1.  That it was the last day.  2.  Pushing the baby around, and 3.  That I'm glad this is the last day!
Then parents had to send a note every day telling how their scholar took care of the baby at home.  Here is what Rita wrote:
Monday:  Garrett was a horrible parent!  He forgot his baby.
Tuesday:  Garrett fussed, but did a little better.  He did help Haley pick out clothing.
Wednesday:  The fun is wearing off!  He did not give his baby attention at home, but Haley and Averie did!
Thursday:  Garrett depended on other people too much.  We did take the baby to the game--Averie and Haley had fun.
Friday:  Garrett put his baby away for the weekend--he's convinced he doesn't want children!
The happy ending is that Garrett is all grown up, and yes, he has a baby, and is a wonderful father and husband (and he does have a good wife).  Here is proof in living color!
 Brandi, Bowen and Garrett

Those were the days!  Helen Wiebe broke her baby and went in the bathroom crying uncontrollably.  Others, put theirs in the locker and spies told on them.  There is something to be said about those electronic simulators--information is recorded 24 hours a day--there really isn't any way to cheat.  But, the flour babies can be used in  the food prep part and you can't do that with a simulator!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Finally, I finished it.  It took great effort to suffer through it, but I did just because my intellectual friend thinks Stephanie Plum is pretty cool.  I am really surprised that she likes this author, because she likes deep things, and this is shallow.  I can talk like this because she doesn't know about my blog! This just seemed amaturish, far fetched and irritating.  One thing I did like was all the gun toting by grandmothers and bond agents in New Jersey!  That is almost as good as packing heat in New York. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Bobby surprised me with a home.  He came in one day and said he bought his mother's house from the estate, and this is where we would retire (I was teaching in Rankin at the time).  I am retired and he isn't, so here he is off in Pennsylvania working, and here I am with boxes stacked to the ceiling, dust everywhere from all the sanding that is taking place in the kitchen, closets full of clothes and stuff, and more stuff than you can imagine.  You see, I moved in on top of all my mother-in-law's things, and now I am cleaning out so there is room for everything I carted in here.  I am a pack rat too.  Yesterday I cleaned out a closet in what we call the spare bedroom.  You can't imagine how much you can get in one closet.  One pickup load to the dump, one car load for Goodwill, and keepsakes for the kids.  Here are just a few of the interesting things I found.

Tommy's Boy Scout books.  I am going to keep them because he just throws everything away that I give him.
Can you believe it?  Scouts had caps back in the day!  This is some more of Tommy's scouting things.
I found Billy's well worn Aggie ring, and his belt buckle crammed in a shirt pocket.
Tommy's high school ring and a men's wedding band.
Here is someone's Aggie charm bracelet (notice the boot), and check out these sun glasses; they have a blue mirror finish on the lenses that the camera didn't get!  Which one of you girls was the cool one with the shades?
"You've come a long way, baby!"  Remember that ad for Virginia Slims?  These cigarettes probably went with the glasses.  Whoever owned them didn't smoke much--only one or two are missing.
This is the jewelry box commemorating Kennedy's assassination.  I found lots of Bull Durham sacks, and one in nearly mint condition with the tag, papers and tobacco.  Our hired men rolled their own, and there is an art to it.  They took out the paper, held it so that the paper was shaped like a trough, poured just the right amount of tobacco in, pulled the sack shut by holding the string in their teeth and fingers of the free hand, put the sack in their pocket.  Then they spread the tobacco evenly in the paper, rolled it, licked the paper, sealed it and twisted one end shut.  After they lit up, they had to spend a little time spitting out the loose tobacco.  Dang, what a useless bit of information to remember so well!
A hottie from the 70s.
I guess Tommy must have called football games.  Bobby did when we first married. I went to the games with him, and got so mad at the "fans" who yelled at "my referee."  They can be so ugly.  Later I learned that a lot of these people go to the game just so they can yell ugly things at the refs (who are always wrong, by the way).
I am sure John Denver had one of these shirts!
Men really dolled up during the 70s.  Just look at those collars and cuffs!  Owls were a popular motif along with mushrooms and frogs.  Unfortunately there were no shirts with frogs or mushrooms, and this is not a referee shirt.  I wonder which disco Dewain went to when he dressed up in these duds?
My dear sister-in-law, Rita, really loved to dress during the 70s.  I wish someone could have modeled these classics, but I am here by myself.  This is brown, with a pleated skirt, wide cuffs and collar and pure polyester.
Rita looked like a doll in this dress.  100%  polyester!
Rita, look no further for Averie's prom dress!  Here it is--a nice woven, cotton blend, bright red and navy flowers.  You won't have to worry about cleavage or too much leg showing.  This is a classic.
Everything had big cuffs and collars.

Clip-on ties, all polyester, of course, and that little thing sitting on the skinny tie is an exposed roll of film.  I just hope someone can develop this spy-tech thing.  It is bound to be good!
Men's dress pants mostly had cuffs, were checked and were made out of that magical fabric--polyester.  They liked to wear white patent leather shoes and belts with them.  Women just thought they were liberated when they got to vote.  I think the polyester revolution of the 70s was almost as good.  No more starching, and ironing for hours, literally.
My father-in-law's checked jumpsuit.  Fabric content?  You already know.
Old school Tech window decal.  The majority of our family are Raiders, with only a few lost souls who are Aggies.  Now, I have got to get to work.  If you could see this place you would wonder why I took so much time to do this blog.  Hey,  I need a little diversion once in a while.  Have a blessed day.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Here it is--Jordan, Montana, located in Eastern Montana, a long ways from anywhere.  It is the county seat of Garfield County, which contains r 4848 square miles of farm land, sage brush and some very rugged country.  I found an interesting blog about it.  The writer is wrong about the distance to Billings, but it is still interesting.
   I remember watching North to Alaska at the Rio Theater, our one and only"show house" in town (as we called it), and thinking how much those streets full of sloppy mud reminded me  of the unpaved streets in Jordan during  the spring when the snow melted, the frost went out and the streets were filled with gumbo mud.  Now, it has paved streets, but fewer people, and no Rio Theater.  This is the sign for the rodeo that has happened and it is hanging across the top of anti-meth sign.  Now, I regret not going to this rodeo while I was home.  Our dad took us to nearly every rodeo in Jordan when I was a kid, because he like to socialize, and so did Cowboy and I. 

Garfield County High School--home of the Mustangs.  This is the same building that my aunts and uncles, Cowboy and I went to; it is getting close to 75 or 80 years old--maybe older.  I am sure whoever wrote Wolves at the School House Door,  would be the first to say, "Tear it down and build a new one!" 
This is the dorm where my aunts and uncles lived, and Cowboy and I also lived when we were in high school.  The girls and the cook lived on the top floor, while the boys and the dorm matron lived on the bottom floor.  We ate some really good food in the basement.  I will always remember Friday at noon when Mrs. Hendry served those fresh baked carmel rolls--delicious with cold milk!  Kids washed the dishes, mopped the dining room and kitchen floors, set the tables and helped in the kitchen.  We were assigned our chore for 6 weeks at a time.  Some did a much better job than others.  I always liked it when either I, or Marilyn Crane were on dish duty, because we got the dishes clean!  Most of the time I re-washed my tray before I ate.  We had to be checked in by 8:30 or 9:00, and if we checked out to the show, the dorm matron, Ruth Young,  called the show house to verify our attendance.   It is closed now, which is a shame, because Garfield County is huge, making driving to school a big chore for some of those folks, and very expensive.  I still think about my room mate Pat Frady, and the other girls that I got close to while living there.
The new bank, and a cool 77 degrees that day.
This is the hotel made into a motel.  It has been there as long as I can remember and longer.

/Veterans' Memorial at the VFW Hall.
Great uncles Cort, Grove and Orson Dutton served in WWI; Joe and Bruce served in WWII and I somehow messed that picture up.
I like war memorials; we need to remember the boys and girls that sacrifice so much. 
There are also two bars in town where you can drink just about anything and play poker until you are broke.  My dad enjoyed a trip to town to talk to the locals in the bar, and mainly argue politics with Tom Fitzgerald and Bobby O'Connor.  All of them are gone now, but I still have Dad's letters relating some of the action and conversations.  He described Bobby O'Connor dancing like this--"He got out on the floor, and looked like a sage hen rooster strutting around." 
I like the sense of humor here!  Ansel Crum used to own this bar and he didn't like to serve food, "Booze is where I make my money," and he didn't like people trying to make "special food orders" to slow things down.  He had a sign posted on the wall that stated:  "This is not Burger King.  You will not get it your way.  You will get it my way or you won't get the son-of-a-bitch."  Yep, they get straight to the point in this little town!

The Hell Creek is still for sale!
In case you are interested in buying, here it is.
And then there is "Basquo."  Arnauld Ellisalde, but everyone just calls him Basquo.  He is a French Basque, who came to the US in 1950 because he was afraid France would go communist after the war.  Gene Lacosta sponsored him, and he landed in  Miles City in a propeller plane.  He worked for Gus Anderson at first, and then started working for "Big Mitch" (Michael Guesanburu) during the 60s.  Basquo is retired and lives in the old fire hall, and here he is seated at his card playing table with an antique fire truck in the back ground.  He will always ask you if you want a beer or some wine if you stop in to see him.  The French doctors diagnosed him with diabetes, so instead of ordering 40 cases of wine he ordered 20.  This is a year's supply for him.  When I was growing up here, Garfield County was a melting pot.  There were people from Scotland, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and England.  Now, they are all Americans; the people from the "old country" are all gone, and Basquo is the only one left.  I miss all these people, and their accents.  I miss Montana, and it is always so good to go back, even though it continues to change, it will always be home.