Thursday, March 31, 2016

When our tastes in music collide

Cliff and I agree on country music:  We like the kind that was popular from the 50's through some of the 90's.  The current stuff, not so much.  

However, my true favorite genre of music is folk, as most of my long-time readers know.  A lot of folk music is old-timey and even corny, and a lot of the more recent crop of folk singers don't have the best-quality voices (OK, neither did Woodie Guthrie, and he isn't current).  Many times I like an artist, either country or folk, mainly for his or her song-writing ability.  I truly admire good songwriting.  Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Iris Dement, Tom Paxton, and Ola Belle Reed are among my favorites.  

Cliff could go forever without hearing any of my folk music.  Sometimes I will try to get him to listen to the fantastic golden words written by some amazing poet/songwriter so he will understand my feelings, but his hearing is so impaired, even with a hearing aid in his "good" ear, that it's impossible.  I have gone so far as to copy and paste lyrics, so he will be able to get the true gist of things.  It isn't the same as listening to the person who put those thoughts in rhyme.  

I also enjoy pure, simple guitar-picking, and you hear a lot of that in folk.  I can just barely chord on the guitar:  I only wanted, when I was eighteen, to be able to chord to "Blowin' in the Wind", "Michael Row the Boat Ashore", and others of the folks songs that were in vogue back then.  Soon after I got my first guitar, I discovered country music, which I had spurned all my growing-up years; but when I found most country songs only required three chords... four at the most... I adopted it, beginning with "It Wasn't God Who Made Honkey-tonk Angels".  My playing never improved, and in fact, it's still so bad I'm embarrassed to play in front of a group of people.  However, if I'm going to sing songs I wrote, it's either accompany myself or sing a cappella.  

But I digress.  

When Cliff is outside, I listen to my Pandora folk station.  When I tell my Amazon Echo, "Alexa, play Pandora", folk usually starts playing, because the Echo plays whatever station I listened to last.  I hope all my readers know about Pandora.  If you have a computer, surely you have Pandora!  You can invent your own stations, one for every mood and season, and listen at your leisure, and it's free.

Sometimes when Cliff is inside, I'll play my classic country station, because that's the one we can enjoy together.  A while ago I said, "Alexa, play Pandora", knowing folk would start up; however, I had the Echo app on the Ipad ready so I could quickly switch to country.  Ah, but when the music started, it was the delightful picking one so often hears on some of my folk songs, and I said, "Hold on, I just have to hear this beautiful guitar-picking before I switch stations."  

Oh, it was so lovely!  And then John Prine's voice broke into the moment, making me smile and Cliff groan.  That's what happens when two worlds collide at our house.  One smiles, one groans.  

We will soon have been married fifty years, so I guess it'll be OK.


We were going to head out on a road trip today.  There is not one thing, really, to keep us from going.

And yet, we're staying home.  

Maybe it's the time of year; maybe it's just us.  Anyhow, yesterday I said to Cliff, who has had a slight tummy bug for a couple of days, "You know, I'm not all that excited about heading out on a six-hour journey.  I'm always ready for a road trip, but don't feel you have to force yourself.  If you aren't anxious to go or don't feel up to par, it won't hurt my feelings."  

I think he was relieved.  We just can't seem to summon up the desire to get off our duffs and go someplace.  

I did have an event Sunday that I was excited about:  A granddaughter accompanied me to Kansas City to the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts where we saw "A Night with Janis Joplin".  It's a strange way to spend Easter Sunday afternoon, right?  That show lived up to every expectation, and if I had a way I would go see it again... expensive as it was.  As a non-driver, when I find an event I really am dying to see, I have to find a relative willing to take me.  This keeps Cliff from having to sit through something he really doesn't care about.  Not that I'd probably go all by myself even if I did drive.  

In April Cliff and I are going to see Willie Nelson.  Originally it was to be Willie and Merle Haggard, but Merle probably won't be doing any more shows on this mortal plane; my theory is that lung cancer has returned to take him, but nobody is saying anything along those lines.  They've been calling it double pneumonia for two months now.  Willie puts on a great show, or he did in the 70's.  He's ultra-talented, and I think we'll enjoy him.    

I found a future show at Kaufman Center that I mentioned to Cliff to which he responded enthusiastically!  "Yeah, I'd go to that."

"The Illusionists" isn't until November, but as soon as tickets are on sale, you can bet I'll be buying them.  There's a video HERE that will give you an idea of what we'll be seeing.  One thing I've learned about Kaufman:  You may as well get the cheaper balcony seats, because the view of the stage is great no matter where you sit.

So, no travel plans this weekend.  There will be another opportunity in a couple of weeks, and we'll see what happens then.  For now, I haven't even summoned up the enthusiasm to plant a few potatoes in the garden.  

There will be a train trip to the Grand Canyon in May.  Only illness would keep us from that, because it's already paid for.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Planning road trips

With summer coming, there will be occasional week-long periods when we won't be babysitting.  And of course, we almost always have three-day weekends without the little girl  We plan to take advantage of some of those childless times.  We happen to live in a part of the country where places of interest can be found in any direction, in a relatively short amount of time.

Next weekend we'll actually have four days in a row, and thanks to what I assumed was a miracle of good timing, I was putting Davenport, Iowa on the calendar as the place to go.  There's a Mecum tractor auction scheduled for those very days.  Cliff watches their auctions on RFDTV regularly, and has mentioned how enjoyable it would be to sit (or stand) in the same crowd where a collector like Jon Kinzenbaw is bidding.  

However, due to the fact that he went on a long journey to Indiana to buy his latest tractor purchase only three weeks ago, and then last week went to Davenport with his brother to a John Deere gathering, he has no desire to travel in that direction.  Besides, his tractor fund is so depleted that about the only thing he would be able to afford would be a rusty old Farmall H.  He says an auction isn't any fun without the possibility of buying something, and mentioned going to Branson instead.

I enjoy Branson.  But I only want to go there when I've gathered a little extra cash, because it's expensive.  We'll go later in the year.  I came up with a different plan.  

Several years ago Cliff and I went to Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves; we've always wanted to go back.  Since it takes less than six hours to get there, it seems like a nice place to visit on a four-day weekend.  Cliff agrees, even though he recalls what a boring drive it is.  So a road trip is now in the works.  

It's easy to spend an entire day at Pioneer Village.  This time of year you can always catch the Sand Hill Cranes passing through the area, too.  Although really, how long can you stand around and watch birds landing on the water?  So that won't take much of our time.  It's right on the way to our destination.

Ah, but Kearney is just thirty miles north of Minden, and I think THIS would be worth seeing:

There's also a highly rated classic car collection in Kearney, as well as a couple of other places of interest.  

Maybe we can get to our local library and find a two or three audio books to keep our minds occupied on the trip.  

There's a whole week coming up in April that Cora will be visiting her Iowa relatives.  I'm still thinking on that one.  We really want to get to Colorado again this year, but I checked their average temperatures this time of year.  We won't be going in April!  There's our train trip to the Grand Canyon coming up in May, and we want to get back to the Flint Hills of Kansas soon... we'll pay my sister a visit when that happens, since she lives nearby in McPherson.

I had been planning to buy a couple of baby chicks for Cora to enjoy, but I realized yesterday as I was looking at the sweet little Americana pullets at Feldman's that any chicks I buy would have to go on a couple of road trips with me.  So for now there will be no baby chicks.  Mama Hen won't be hatching babies this year, either, because our latest rooster decided it was fun to chase little girls.  Let's just say he died of lead poisoning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Antenna TV, Satellite TV, Streaming Media... so many options! Or not.

We bought a "smart TV" last year and moved our old television to the bedroom.  The old one is an HD plasma set that we bought years ago, not long after HD was introduced.  I mostly watch it in the evening after I've gone to bed; I turn in pretty early to keep from eating.  Crazy, I know, but it works for me.  My weight loss is at a standstill right now, but at least I'm back in my size 12 jeans and not gaining.  

We have Directv for the living room, but I felt there wasn't any sense paying to have it connected to a second set no more than I use it.  A friend gave me a Roku he wasn't using, so we hooked that up to the bedroom set.  When it couldn't be upgraded any more, I replaced it with the cheapest Roku made and used that, along with my Amazon Prime account, to watch various shows and also to listen to Pandora sometimes.  I bought rabbit ears so I could get local TV without paying, but it only brought in about five channels, the two channels offered by our local fox affiliate and three Kansas City PBS offerings.  On a good day I might get channel 9, but often as not it would come and go when I was trying to watch something.  

Now, let me tell you the perils of living in the boonies, forty miles from the nearest city:  First, streaming TV is unreliable.  We get by pretty good in the living room, which is closer to our wi-fi; but too often, in the bedroom, it has to stop often and reload.  Slow DSL is one of the perils of living in the country (thanks a lot, CenturyLink).  Here's a screen shot I took to show how much our wi-fi signal varies.
Obviously, when the signal (third column from the left) is down to 2.09, streaming media has a problem "streaming".  I always keep in mind, though, that other folks "in the boonies" in various areas around the country tell me I am lucky to have even that good a DSL signal. 

Now I've known for some time that it is possible to get a great television signal here with an outside antenna, because we raised our children on antenna TV.  I ordered one of the cheaper antennas on Amazon, which arrived yesterday.  Cliff hunted around in his scrap piles for a pole that would get the thing high enough in the air to suit him, and he and the oldest grandson went to work.
In a matter of forty-five minutes, I had almost forty channels on the bedroom television.  OK, so a large percentage of the channels are either religious or else selling something, but still.  I now have six PBS stations, three out of Warrensburg and three from Kansas City.  In the evening, there's almost always something worth watching on one of those.

Reminds me of the old days.
Cliff is so impressed with the signal I'm getting in the bedroom that he's pondering getting a splitter and bringing the antenna signal to the living room set, because he says a lot of those old shows I've been going to sleep by at night are better than anything else on television.  I only wish I was ever awake at 10 PM when Johnny Carson comes on!  

But of course, there are commercials.  The main reason we don't get rid of satellite is that we don't like to watch commercials.

What about a Tivo?  The cheapest of those is $85, plus $15 monthly rental.  But compared to Satellite, that's cheap.  You can even pay five hundred bucks and get lifetime rental, no monthly fee (at my age, that might not save me any money).  Then we could zap commercials in the manner in which we are accustomed.

Enough!  All this is making me tired just thinking about it, and I'm sure my readers feel the same way.  I'll share the other pictures I took yesterday.

These are buds on one of the two baby redbud trees a friend gave me a couple of years ago.  Yes, all these pictures are crappy because I was lazy and used the IPad to take them.  I've been getting back to using a real camera more, but today this is what you get.  At least these don't take as long to load on my s-l-o-o-o-w CenturyLink Internet.  

 This is a young peach tree in my back yard.  I planted it four or five years ago.  I'm amazed that the blooms weren't frozen off, since we've had three nights with temperatures slightly below freezing.  There's a hard freeze coming our way Friday; I intend to toss a blanket or something over it for that night.

This is a plum tree, planted at the same time as the peach.  It's supposed to give me two different varieties of plums.  Obviously, one variety is ready to bloom before the other this year, hence only half the tree is blooming.  This tree will be protected for the coming freeze, too.  Anyway, that's the plan.

My grand-dog, Titan, was posing so sweetly and looking so princely, I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Cliff mowed the yard yesterday.  Spring is here.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Just another tractor swap meet

This one was at Adrian, Missouri.  There really wasn't much there to pique my interest, but you can always find something to take pictures of, even if you're shivering from the cold temperatures (30's).  

Here's a real biggie for me:  We've been going to tractor shows for many years, and I thought I had seen every kind of tractor possible, but today I laid eyes on one I don't ever recall seeing before.  Cliff thinks he remembers one; he pays a lot more attention to tractors than I do.  

This tractor was made in Germany by the company that eventually bought out Allis Chalmers.  That union didn't turn out so well, I guess; at least it didn't last long. 

In Germany, tractors have to be licensed to be on a public road.  Hence, the turn signals, license, and brake lights.  

 Here you go, guys!  Be there or be square.

 We were almost ready to leave when I noticed at the far edge of the tractor show grounds, right up beside I-49, that there was a revival was in progress.  Keep in mind that our night-time temperatures are plunging below the freezing mark.  

I can't help wondering how big a crowd the guy is pulling in out in the boonies this time of year.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Being in a parade

The nearby town of Lexington, Missouri, stages an annual St. Patrick's Day parade on the Saturday before the actual day.  Our tractor club is always invited to take part in this event, and usually we make a decent showing.  Last Saturday, though, the weather didn't cooperate, so our group was small.  It was pretty cool, with a steady drizzle.  Cliff  wasn't anxious to head the tractor up the slick ramps onto the trailer at risk of life and limb, but he could see he'd never hear the end of it if we didn't go.

One reason I was adamant about being in the parade was that I had made arrangements with the parents of the little girl we babysit to have her with us in the parade.  Her mom planned to dress her in green, right down to her green cowboy boots (the kid has at least a dozen pairs of boots in various colors).  I wanted to show her off, and I figured if this worked out, we could occasionally take her to other local parades when she wasn't off with her parents riding horses.

So we went.  The minute we unloaded the tractor, the gentle mist turned into a steady sprinkle and, that's how it was for the duration of the parade.  Now, the parade isn't a big one, so I knew it wouldn't take long.  However, the folks running it ask that participants line up an hour before it starts.  Cora, by the way, was a perfect angel during all of this.

Looks pretty miserable, doesn't it?

Thanks to the rain suit Cliff kept from our biker days, he managed to be the warmest, driest guy in the parade.  Cora and I had a built-in umbrella over us in our carrier behind the tractor, so we didn't get too terribly damp.  I had to put her rain coat on her, though.  So much for the lacy green dress she was wearing. 

These guys marched past to line up ahead of us.  Cora enjoyed watching them and hearing the drum beat.

courtesy Lexington, Missouri, Chamber of Commerce

Courtesy of Lexington, Missouri, chamber of commerce
A friend was there and took excellent, quality pictures of us.  This one and the next were taken by him.

As you can see, Cora perfected her waving technique.
By the way, Once Cliff saw all the kids in the crowd waving and smiling at us, he decided it was worth being in a parade in the rain.  It was a good time. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Do you ever have a bad day?"

A fellow at church asked Cliff yesterday, "Don't you guys ever have a bad day?"

This, after asking him something like, "How are you doing?" or some such ordinary inquiry that one makes when greeting another person.

There are many illnesses going around the community lately, some sort of flu, I believe.  There are also a lot of serious health issues being mentioned by members of the congregation, which is to be expected when quite a few of us aren't spring chickens.  A lot of folks out there are having some bad days, no doubt about it.  

But do Cliff or I ever have bad days?  Well friends, we have had them, but they are few and far between.  For instance, on the occasions when Cliff has been seriously ill.  He isn't sick often, but when he is, he seems to take things to the extreme.  We were newlyweds when he came down with a serious case of hepatitis A; the doctor wanted him hospitalized, but he refused because we didn't have insurance.  He was off work for weeks.  In 2006 he had a four-way heart bypass.  We figured that was about as serious an issue as anyone could have until the gall bladder fiasco a couple of years back.  

Those were bad days for us, both of us, because when somebody you love is sick, you can't be very happy.

For myself, I've had two possibly-serious brushes with death in my life, but one of those was in utero, so I have no recollection.  I wasn't expected to survive full term, thanks to the fact that my mother had what was then referred to as uremic poisoning.  Then there was some mysterious illness when I was seven that kept me in the hospital for over a week that somehow fixed itself, with no help from the doctors.  Maybe that was a close call, maybe not.  Nobody knows.  Since then, I've had not a single serious illness.  (Knock wood.)  

You see, I associate "bad days" with illness.  Yesterday morning my regular readers found me pondering whether I might have the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and I will admit my spirits have been somewhat low for a couple of days, but that did not constitute what I consider to be bad days.  Yes, I ate too many of the cookies I made Friday, before I got them out of the house, but I have forgiven myself for that already.  

As a side note for those of you who commented on the entry yesterday, if I continue to think I'm slipping, I will, at my next doctor visit, talk about it with her.  By then, though, I'll probably decide I'm just fine.  

The death of a loved one makes for some bad days.  That hasn't happened to me lately.  A daughter having cancer was depressing and gave her many, many bad days, but I personally continued to sail along... worried, but still mostly having good days.    

We've always been on the low end of the pay scale, but finances have never much entered into what kind of days we were having.  Even when Cliff was out of work for an extended period, although he would get downhearted occasionally, I don't recall it as a terrible time.  We were probably closer then than at any other time in our marriage.

So, when I'm at church and someone asks how I'm doing and I say "fine" or "great", I mean it.  I guess I could tell people about my knees hurting all the time, but achy knees don't ruin a day for me.  I notice them, then I say to myself, "No wonder they hurt!  Think of all the places they've taken me, the walks I've had, the things I've done!  These knees have a right to complain a little."  Knee pain can't stop me from sitting in my easy chair and reading a good book.

Pain can ruin a day for anyone, but I haven't gotten to that point yet.  When it happens, I most likely won't be at church.  So you can expect me to be just fine when you see me there.

Until then, I'm doing great; thank you very much for asking.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sometimes I wonder...

As a person grows older, perhaps because our heads become filled with so many years of information, the thought of dementia sometimes threatens, sort of like a cloud in the sky that drifts away harmlessly.  

For half my life, this has happened often to me:  I walk into a room, ask myself, "Now why did I come in here..." and finally turned and walked away because my mission totally escaped me.  Later, of course, sometimes even as I'm walking out, I will remember what I was after.  This used to trouble me, but then I'd talk to my husband and others and find out it happens to everybody, even to much younger folks.  We would compare notes and laugh it off.  We're fine, it's just normal.  And it is.

Lately, though, I've found myself opening my mouth to say something and the wrong word will pop out.  Not often, but frequently enough to trouble me.  For instance, the other day I was telling my husband what I do when a horse crowds too close to me:  "I just make a hissing noise and raise my ears."

I meant arms.  I raise my arms to make myself seem taller.  Cliff jokingly said, "You raise your ears?" and I answered, "Sure.  I can raise my ears if I want to," making light of the whole thing.  

I wouldn't worry if this were the only time it happened, but it's occurred several times lately.  Perhaps I don't even know how often it happens.  Maybe people are sparing me, for all I know, by not saying anything.  

I could go get tested for Alzheimer's, right?  But I really don't want to know, that's the truth of it.  

Yesterday I had occasion to run into a couple I know; the wife has dementia, and when she chats with me, it's what you would expect:  She'll talk about her mother and her childhood, relating the same stories over and over.  I respond as though I hadn't just heard the identical tale ten minutes ago, as well as last week and last month.  

Cliff has an aunt with Alzheimer's, and we watched her gradually forget her friends and family one at a time until, the last I heard, she only recognizes one of her two sons.  That's how it goes. 

This lady yesterday, though, made me realize how it must feel to be the spouse of such a person.  Her husband takes her to events with him and includes her in his activities, once in awhile bringing her sister along to help watch her.  

Yesterday his wife got out of their vehicle and came over to chat with me.  She looked a little peeved, and glancing over at her husband, said, "I've about had all I can take of him.  He moved in on me, I didn't invite him.  It isn't like we're married.  One of these days I'm going to lose it.  I know how to deal with him, I was raised with five brothers!"

When we got home, I said, "Cliff, if I get dementia, I may not even remember that you are my husband!"

"That's OK," he answered.  "I'll take care of you."

That's the worrisome thing with dementia, though.  Nobody wants a loved one to be saddled with such a burden, to have to give up normal life and take care of a person who doesn't even recall who they are.

I'm not the least bit afraid of dying.  I've had everything I want from life and then some.  But dementia scares me to death, not for myself, but for my family.  I have told them, "When the time comes that I don't know who I am or where I am, put me in a home, because it won't matter."  

But what do they do until that time comes?

I know this entry is a downer, but I'm sure everyone of a mature age has had these thoughts, we just don't like to admit it or talk about it because it's such an unpleasant topic.  Just bear with me this once, and Miss Polly Sunshine will be back in the next entry.  

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The art of planting onions

Here is something I learned while watching this little girl grow from an infant:  You don't have to have a person's face in the picture to make it a good shot.  I have come to dislike the way people start on a child at a young age, asking them to force a fake smile for the camera, as though one is only acceptable to others, or lovely, if  he is smiling.  It's amazing at what a young age children learn to fake a smile for the camera, and I wonder if this is the reason some children hate having their pictures taken at an early age.

I've learned to take pictures of the top of the kid's head, the soles of her feet, the little fingers grasping onto a leaf of grass.  I learned this by watching a child.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Allis Chalmers Swap Meet (in search of a seat)

The Allis Chalmers flag waved proudly right below Old Glory
I won't apologize for this entry, but I will tell you in advance that it won't interest most folks; it's all about tractors.

Two of the tractors in Cliff's collection are my favorites:  The newly-purchased Oliver 550 and the D-17, Series IV Allis Chalmers.  Cliff bought both of those at my request, not that there was any great protest on his part.  

He wanted a different seat for the Allis, one that was similar to what it would have had when it was brand new; he hoped to find one at this gathering.

I used to find swap-meets boring, but these days if the weather is nice, I enjoy just soaking up the atmosphere of it all and taking pictures.  Once you reach a certain age, you realize that any day you are out of bed and breathing is a good one.

I mentioned to Cliff that an Allis Chalmers garden tractor would be nice to have.  He agreed, and we walked on.

This is an Allis Chalmers "G".  It was Allis Chalmers' answer to the popular Farmall Cub, but it didn't have a chance at competing.  I find this model cute, unique, and interesting.  Cliff considers it useless and pathetic.  These are very popular with collectors, so they always bring a high price.  

I noticed the little guy several times while making our rounds, and most of the time he wore a big smile.  I mentioned this to the man with him, and he said, "He isn't so happy right now."  "What's the problem?" I asked.  "Oh, he saw a toy tractor he wanted back yonder."  "Christmas is coming," I told the kid.  "Yeah, and his birthday," the guy replied.

Cliff found the seat he was looking for.

There were two seats that would work for our D-17.  Cliff asked the guy what the difference was between them:  One was more like the original; the other had a cushier, thicker padding for one's bottom and was made in America.  He chose cushy.  

This object wins the prize for "Greasiest Object of the Day".  Cliff told me what it was, but I wasn't all that interested and immediately forgot.  Some kind of housing?  I don't know.

After making the rounds a couple of times, Cliff picked up the tractor seat he had paid for and we headed on toward the next adventure of our day.

Next Saturday, we'll be with some of our other tractor club members for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Lexington.  

Saturday, March 05, 2016

We found an interesting spot just off the beaten path.

Cliff and I went to an Allis Chalmers tractor swap-meet at Boonville today.  The sun was shining brightly and temperatures were rising gradually.  We finished our business there before noon.  As we got in the car to go home, I asked Cliff how far it was to Versailles from there.  He thought it was pretty far, but the IPad told me that forty miles would get us there. We found Highway 5 south and headed to Versailles.  Why not take a side trip?

I had packed a couple of sandwiches, two apples, and some cookies, as well as a thermos of coffee, and when we came to a park we recognized from our biker days, that's where we decided to eat.  We pulled into a different spot than before, though, because I needed to pee, and there are no facilities there.  So Cliff parked where I would be hidden from view from the road.  Yes, I am THAT much a hillbilly.
In the past, we picnicked in the distance at the other end of the park.  Although cars come by fairly frequently, it is a peaceful, quiet place.  In the distance cattle were grazing at the tiny bits of grass emerging from the earth.

It was still a little too breezy and cool to eat outside, so Cliff and I sat in the car to eat our lunch.  When I was done I got out with my camera and, turning to look behind us, realized there was a very old cemetery there.  

This stone lists the people buried in the graveyard.

By George, we've found a treasure here at this little park!  I've always loved cemeteries.

Most of the remaining stones are illegible, words worn smooth by many years of rain.  The rest of them are totally gone, just tiny pieces of granite looking like scattered rocks here and there.  

Fading away like old, ancient bones.  But as it turns out, there is a reason this old burial ground hasn't been forgotten.  That reason is a lady by the name of Hannah Cole.
Click HERE to read about her.  I didn't find out her entire story, of course, until I got home to the computer.  Meanwhile, there was something at this memorial stone that I didn't understand:

What on earth?  Why all the money tossed around?  I had no idea, but like a good little lemming, I begged Cliff for a couple of coins so I could add to the booty.  This gave me another Internet search upon my arrival home.  

Obviously people decided she qualified as a soldier due to her Indian-fighting, because according to my information, it's a custom to put pennies on a soldier's grave.  You can read about that HERE, if you are ignorant of this custom as I was.  

And NOW I know why this little park is called "The Hannah Cole Roadside Park".  

People certainly had to be tough, back in the olden days, didn't they?

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The kid and the cat

When Mama Kitty came to me, she had been a young girl's pet, and was very tame.  At first I didn't encourage her, since she came with a passel of kittens.  But she so impressed me with her good manners and mouse-killing that I let her stay.  I didn't pet her for a long time because I didn't want her to be one of those cats always under foot.  Knowing her as I do now, I realize she would never have been that kind of pussycat.  

Back then, Cliff and I went for walks in the pasture, and Mama Kitty never failed to follow along the whole distance.  The longer I knew her, the more I liked her.  I even went so far as to pet her once in awhile and occasionally pick her up, although by that time she wasn't really comfortable with being held.  

When Cora started crawling and we went outside, Mama Kitty was usually not far away from us.  Cora was fascinated, and would crawl after that cat fast as greased lightning.  Then she started walking (running) and was always in hot pursuit of Mama Kitty.

The old cat has made a game of it:  She will stroll up within four or five feet of Cora, plop down, and roll this way and that way as though she doesn't even see the kid.  Cora, of course, will head after her; the cat lets her get within 18 inches and then zoom, she's gone.  

Here they are in September of 2014.

And here they are today, still at it.