Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I am a Bird Watcher!

I am blessed to live in the country. I often think about moving into town as we get older but I have a hard time looking over rooftops when visiting at my daughters and I know that I would have to live where I could enjoy the outdoors.

This morning as I drank my coffee out on the porch I enjoyed so many birds. I have to keep the water going on a regular basis to water our many trees and the grass. We have worked for years to get trees to grow on this hill and they are filled with my bird friends.

I watched the oriels, finches, robins, cardinals, doves, flycatchers and swallows as they watered and flew through the yard catching insects. I listened to the mocking birds sing. I saw a humming bird drinking nectar from my flowers in the front yard and put out a feeder. I don't know if it is still around but I guess if the feeder empties, I will know. Yesterday, I had some blue buntings. That was a first. I also enjoy the scissor tails, meadow larks, painted finches, blue jays, and flickers and brown thrashers. I can identify these birds with the book about birds of Oklahoma that my daughter gave to me. It has been a help when we are camping. When we are at the lake we enjoy listening to the whippoorwill as they call out in the late evening.

There are also birds in my yard that annoy me. We have so many ring necked doves. They are larger than a mourning dove and smaller than a pigeon and have a raspy call. They also fight with the other birds. They are not listed in my book as they are new comer's The grackle is another bird that is on the ornery side. I do enjoy watching them strut around in the sprinkler with their head in the air though. What a snooty, proud thing they are. There is also a pair of crows nesting north of the corrals. They are quite curious and..... thieves. They will pick up anything shiny left laying in the driveway that is easy to carry.

I have to tell the guys that the quail that come into my yard are my quail and off limits when hunting season comes around. They agree at the moment, but I know if these little birds get past the shelter belt, they are in free range. That is life though. The old cock pheasant doesn't come into the yard but he sits across the road and shows his colors. I enjoy listening to his call too.

I need to get ready to go spend time with my siblings and families for a few days .We enjoy a nearby park where there are a lot of birds. If I get lucky I might even see a painted bunting or something else that I have not marked in my book yet. Get out your binnoculars, a good bird book and enjoy yourself. It is a wonderful hobby.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Have you ever swung through the air on a trapeze? Me neither, but I have flipped over on the monkey bars in the park with the greatest of ease and missed and landed below with a broken arm. This ended my desire to be a circus performer.

Have you ever been able to do a flip off the high dive board or a double jack knife? Me neither, but I have went off the high dive and nearly lost my bathing suit top when the force of the water unfastened the strap. After that I only wore one piece suits. Do they still have a high board at the Gage Beach? That is where I learned to swim.

Have you ever went surfing in the ocean and thrilled at the giant waves coming in. Me neither, but I have water skied at the lake and loved to go faster and faster until I got older and older.

Have you ever went skinny dipping? Me neither. I don't think girls do that but the boys do and they can really jump in the water when they are accidentally discovered by someone hiking down the river.

Have you ever wanted to go up in a space ship and look at the earth from the heavens? Me neither, but I have laid in the darkness of the night and watched the satellites move across the sky and the meteors as they charged against the sky.

Have you ever eaten a foot long on Coney Island and been a part of the crowd ? Me neither but I have ate many hot dogs and marshmallows roasted on the open fire with my kids and grandkids. I was thankful for the fun we were having and listening to the laughter of each one.

Have you ever shopped at Sac's on 5th Avenue? Me neither but I have shopped the thrift stores and bargain centers and was excited when I found something with a label from there that was my size.

Have you ever ran out of anything to post about and been at a loss for something interesting to write. Me too!! And that is why you are reading this post.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Home Town Part 2

I have had such a wonderful response to the first post on My Home Town, I will continue with it. Small towns in the 50's and 60's were much different than today. They were still thriving communities. People didn't think of driving down the road to shop unless they couldn't find it at home. There were three grocery stores and four clothing stores in our little town. The clothing stores had the latest styles. One of the clothing stores that I refer to was also a shoe repair store. The owner mended a broken strap on a sandal, resoled boots and patched the toes. We lived in a fix it up time and made things last. We couldn't afford to go buy new things all of the time anyway. Mr. Anderson also sold men's work clothes and western shirts and Levies.

One store catered to the lady of the house and sold the very latest in fashion. I could shop there when they had a sale but our family had 5 children and even when I had a job, I knew that I could buy more outfits for my money at the Globe.

The Globe and Weibert's had something for everyone in the family. They also carried things besides clothing as luggage, towels, jewelry, etc. I loved to shop at the Globe. The Globe was famous for it's semi- annual sales. Each season, everything was marked half off. I mean everything. Nothing was shipped in or brought in from the back to get rid of, they literally cleaned everything out to get ready for the new season.

On these days, crowds came from all over the area and stood in line on the sidewalks until the doors were open. It was like Wal-Mart on Red Friday. We knew where everything was though and headed for that area. It was a mass wave of people, and I loved being a part of it. After I had children, they had to stay with their dad, or be lost in the crowd. We stocked up on jeans, shirts, shoes and dresses, I don't know if they ever put the men's suits on sale, because The Rancher never wore them. After you selected something, Hang on to it. If you laid anything down someone might grab it up. I know one lady who lost the shoes she wore in as she took them off to try on another pair. The people who owned the Globe were wonderful people and had a great staff. My friends mother worked there and I am sure she didn't enjoy those days as much as we did.

Today, If you want to buy clothing in my home town, you would need to go to the thrift store. Oh, there is a place to buy children's clothing and some men's work wear can be bought at one of the oil supply stores, but the others are gone. I miss them and the things that they represented. They served our family and the community. It was in a time to remember.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Home Town Part one

When I was 9 years old my parents moved to a farm near the town that I still call "My Home Town". It was a bustling little community with all of the stores that we needed.

On Saturdays and usually once during the week my Mom would drive us the 9 miles to town. We had to go during the week to take the cream and eggs to the produce to sell. Saturdays was a family time, we went in the afternoon and spent the evening. We kids would go to the Matinee at the theater and watch our cowboy hero do his thing. This was in the day of Gene, Roy, Smiley Burnett, Gabby Hayes, Lash LaRue and Sometimes a really good cowboy like John Wayne or Randolph Scott would be on. We each got a quarter and could pay our way in, get a coke and share a box of popcorn. If we worked it right and weren't hungry, we could go to Dauber's and buy something afterwards.

Dauber's was the name of the Variety story that had something for everyone. In my time, I think it was better than Wal-Mart is today. There was a personal style about the store and Mr. and Mrs. Dauber were always glad to see us. (MAYBE) They helped us find something that we had always wanted for a dime. It might be a book of paper dolls, a toy truck, game of jacks, fingernail polish, a tiny bottle of apple blossom perfume. The list could go on and on. The Rancher always bought animals or army guys. This was his hometown too.

We could also buy penny candy. Does the younger generation know what penny candy is? There were all different kinds in boxes and jars. It was a hard choice to pick, as you wanted it to last all week and wanted something that you liked and your brother didn't. My brother must have liked everything though. He would always find my candy unless I had Mom hide it or carried it with me. Mr. Dauber would put it in a sack and tell us we had bought the very best that he had that day. He was such a happy man.

Just down the street was the Bakery. The smell coming from it was simple heaven. Do little towns have bakeries anymore? Milligans made the best donuts and cookies. I know their bread was wonderful but the donuts and rolls and cookies were what appealed to us. We could buy donuts for a nickle each or 6 for a quarter. That was when we would pool our pennies and try to get a whole quarters worth. What a bargain!

While we ran around the town, Our parents were most likely visiting with everyone they knew at the cafe or doing their own shopping. The stores were opened until everyone was through shopping. The main street was a busy place. Not only were the sidewalks lined with cars, but we parked in the middle of the street. You better drive slow as people were darting in and out of the cars putting their purchases away. No bother to lock them as everyone in town did the same and respected each others property. Sometimes we didn't leave town until 10 o'clock, and stores were still open.

There are many more stories to tell about "My Home Town" but I won't make this post too long and will continue later. I will say one thing: It has changed today with the times. There is no longer a produce store, a theater , Daubers or a Bakery. Those things are long gone and there are blank places where some of the buildings once stood. Should you go to town on Saturday afternoon, the only thing you would find open would be the Grocery Store (there were three), the quick stops (2) and the Western Auto. Everyone (even the local business people) have gone to the Superstore in the town down the road. How sad for small town America.