Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Helloooooooooo

I've always wondered about Hell. Maybe it will be something like this, but only perpetually burning...

This picture was taken during the spring burn of the Kansas Flint Hills, north of Eskridge, Kansas on Old Military Trail Road. Spooky, huh?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Saint Mary's

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. Henry Ward Beecher.

My friend and I traveled to Saint Mary's Kansas, where my grandparents (both sets) lived. We shopped downtown in the little business and had chia tea in a bookstore. This was after we were given a personal tour of the Historical Museum and the Indian Pay Station. Pretty cool place.

Special thanks to the lady, LR, who gave us the tour. She lived next door to my grandparents when they first moved to Kansas. Her husband and family originated in Saint Mary's. She was from -- Los Angles. Talk about culture shock. We reminisced about my grandmother, the first house she lived in when she and her husband moved to Kansas - which was in the old McCoy house east of the grandfolks' house, as well as stories about several of the local businesses. We had such a great time and I hope to write a thank you note tomorrow.

As a child, I spent many summers with my Grandmother Muriel, a school teacher and lover of grandchildren. Many of the stores were gone, but I remember them as though it were yesterday: Grockle's IGA, Miller's Department Store, Jim's Pharmacy, and many other places where we (my brother and I) were allowed to walk -- downtown!

I did stop by to see my dad, who lives in their house now. He is 78 and was outside polishing his new car. I will see him next Saturday at the THD in Topeka.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Quilts Again!

A friend and I drove to Holton Kansas to see a quilt exhibit at the Roebke Memorial Museum. The theme: Millennium Madness, a Contemporary Quilt Display. All the quilts were made after 2000; the youngest quilter was 8 years old and she did a lovely job! The oldest, 90.

Also, there were four special quilts before 1880. I recognized one of the quilts as the "Buck's Grove Quilt", brought by the Buck family from back east when they settled east of Holton, Kansas. My paternal grandparents (Grandfather Kenny) and his three brothers were born and reared near Buck's Grove. The quilt was very fine and was a signature quilt, probably of all the friends left behind when they migrated west.

Later, we took a windshield tour of Holton, as I had not been in the town for 35 years. It has it's finer points, beautiful old Victorian homes that are well kept and muched loved. And then the "poorer" section, I suppose like most communities. Small towns in Kansas are dying or, in the case of Holton, booming because of all the gambling places on the nearby reservations.

It was a perfectly beautiful autumn day. Warm sunshine, colorful displays of fall leaves, the smell of wood in fire places. Ah, Kansas. vj

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thot for the day

Fall is definitely here in Kansas! It has been rather cool and damp. The progress on painting the house has slowed a bit and I believe I will have to do the bulk of the painting in the Spring. However, I should be able to finish up the sofetts and rest of the washing next week... if the weather holds. Remember, Halloween is just right around the corner and then... the darn time change -- November 4, 2007.

I wish the Legislature would make up their mind. Grrr.....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Korn Harvest in Kansas

Harley Harvest...

Our neighbor feeds the squirrels. Those pesky little red/gray things that create havoc for homeowners come fall when they try to burrow in your house, garage, nest in your car, tractor. But not the bike, never the bike.

Tadah! My dear husband and our "HOG Harvest". Oh, yeah.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I don't like the word "happy", but I have found there a few rules for joyful living. I swiped the 10 Rules for Happy Living and adapted them to my own life.

1. Keep busy. One cannot always work strenously, so have a hobby. Volunteer. Be with people.

2. Never induldge in Self-Pity. Maybe you did not have the opportunities as a child, but you can make them now. What is past, is just that. The past. Today is a new day, a clean sheet of paper to write your story.

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that things could have been different... even your childhood.

3. When you go out, prepare to give a smile to everyone who will take it. Look your best. Even if you don't feel like it, be your best and smile anyway. "No one is properly clothed unless one wears a smile."

4. Cultivate a cheerful disposition and a sense of humor. (see number 3).

5. Put yourself out to help someone every day.

6. Fill your life with worth-while things.

7. Appreciate people. Nothing gives more joy to someone else than appreciation.

8. Make at least one child happy every day. They are the hope of the world. They can be a light in your life.

9. Refuse to be discouraged. If you fall down, get back up and begin again. (See #2).

10. Read your Bible. Talk to God. He is your best friend just waiting for you to reach out. Get to know His Son. You can be part of His family, even if you don't have one!

Love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Painting Mania

I spent six hours priming under the roof of the deck/porch today. We are closing in a section and then will complete the screened porch next spring. Today, it is beautiful weather and almost, almost 70 degrees. Perfect. Of course, I almost, almost got more paint project than myself. My dear husband told me he thought I would have more on me. What he didn't know was that I cleaned up half-way through so I would look quite so bad when he got home. Ah, the artist in me...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rain and Work

We are building a new porch, replacing wood and enclosing an existing small deck on the south side of our house. Yesterday, we took out the wood on the west side of the "porch" and today, we washed and cleaned the entire porch. Yep, it is going to rain, but that is tomorrow. It will still dry and in a few days - once the sun is out - we will prime and then paint under the roof, then add the west wall. Next spring, we will close in the bottom half of the south and east edge of the deck, add a screen and screen door... wah, lah. A nice, screened in porch for the kitties and us! vj

Friday, October 12, 2007

Steam Engine #844

Alma Kansas
September 19, 2007
Steam Engine #844, the "Ambassordor of the Union Pacific".
This was actually the second time I've seen this. The first time was in Topeka at the train station where my dad worked. Pretty cool to see it locomoting westward to Lawrence, Kansas that day. The year? 1981. My dear daughter was just a wee-tot and we went "train chasing" with her grandfolks. Pretty impressive!
Thank you to my Alma friend, SP, for remembering her camera! vj

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nothin' to do... but drive!

Not that I didn't have anything to do today, but I was a volunteer driver for a very good, not-for-profit organization. However, since the organization closed the Topeka Office, they sent staff from the Kansas City Office to organize the fund-raiser. Needless to say, I was driving around T-Town in a 15-passenger van trying to pick up folks for the fund-raiser, but the time frames were all skewed up. It was not too well organized.

I did get a great lunch, though! Henry's BBQ and yummy snacks. I did learn how to drive a big van and now am thinking about getting my CDL. hmmm... maybe not. Next year, I hope they get someone to organize the pick-ups that actually know the Topeka layout -- and not send me out in a tank. ROFLOL!

Hey, I gotta stop for ice cream at Mickey D's and later, iced tea at my favorite Wendy's. Two great snacks in one day! (I'm easy to please.) A good day! vj

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bunko-Squad - once is all I need...

Well, I played Bunco today. Yep, it involved money, a whole $2.00. Didn't know it was considered "gambling". I didn't know this. Sigh... I don't gamble. I think I won't be trying it again!

Bunco (also Bunko and Bonko) is a parlour game played in teams with three dice. A winning throw in Bunco is to throw three of a kind of a specified number.

According to the World Bunco Association, Bunco began as a progressive dice game in England, later being imported to the American West as a gambling activity. It was not until after the Civil War that it evolved to a popular parlor game. The Association states that during Prohibition, Bunco as a gambling game was re-popularized and the term "Bunco-Squad" was born, referring to law-enforcement groups that busted up Bunco Gaming. Bunco as a family game saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Some Silver History from a good friend...

Here is some really cool information about Silver. This email came from a friend of mine and he reads "me blog" every now and then. So, here goes:

"Hey thar ya ole "TB"... about yo silver collection - you hurd it har frist... 1935 (the yar this precious dearest nicest wounderful ole man came bouncing out) me mudder went to work fir the International Silver Co. in Meriden, CT. me fadder was the silverman who handled the raw silver from boxcar to rollin mils in factory "R". Mudder worked factory "D" - all in the north end as they called that area of town. Mudder quit due to health in 1953 - Pappppy retired in 1968 - 69 - 70 - 72- finally leavin town to return to backwoods of Maine... so they'd quit rehiring him... most all silver boxes from around 1948 to she left have her intials on the bottom "MEM" - she was the final inspection b-4 a set of Wm. Rogers or International Silver could be sent to stores... and no - we have little sterling silver - only stanless... :>) so thar yo have it from Mr. Silver Ex'Pert... oh yaa - I eat me ceral with a long handled silver Ice Tea spoon ... Bird of Paridise pattern."

Thank you, my friend... long may you keep that silver iced tea spoon a'goin'. vj

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Select a candidate 2008

With all the hype on TV, rumors of trophy wives - (gee, I've been called that before) - I have tuned out the garbage and name calling on the potential "top man" - or "top woman"-- at the White House. (hmmmmm...) Anyway, a friend sent me this cool link with basic questions that all candidate have been asked. You can answer them and then a little program will rank the candidates based on your answers of those questions. You can click on "cool link" above or the name of the site listed below.

Needless to say, I was matched with an elephant. I know I would never, ever be matched with an A* *. Folks who love me (and put up with me...) could of told ya that!

So do OUR country a favor and click on the link below, take the test and how the candidates rate on with your beliefs. And then, my dear folks, go read up on that candidate. Vote your beliefs, not for the person. You might vote for the person, but dang... look at the platform and look at the position of the candidate on the ISSUES. The person may be "good", but if their stand on an important issue is contrary to your belief and convictions, YOU, my friend are doing a big WRONG and an injustice to our country. For our country's sake, vote for someone who has your values and NOT YOUR NEIGHBORS!


Saturday, October 6, 2007

What to do about nothing.

KU or K-State - who did you yell for?

Having the least amount of interest in KU/K-State football game, I did what all women do when they are TV-widows... polished the silver. -- uh, probably not...

Now, it may not look like much, but these are part of my antique silverware collection - just bits and pieces, but they are all clean.

The big spoon on the right is a 1847Rogers Fiddle silver spoon from 1852. I am in the process of identifying the others.

Much ado about nothing. The game is over. I think K-State lost. Oh, poor purple babies whining into the night. sniff. VJ

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Heaven on earth... Heaven's Mountain

Glacier National Park, Montana
Yep, there is a place and it is Heaven's mountain in Glacier National Park. This was taken on our first ride on "Goin' to the Sun" Road in Glacier National Park.

It looks like you can almost touch heaven. Breath taking? Yes. Absolutely. vj

Topeka Harley Riders @ Whitefish Montana

The Wild Bunch...

This says it all. This is the group that met in Whitefish, Montana in August 2007. Seven folks from the East Seattle HOGS group are also with us.

Hmmm... I wonder if anyone applied at the front desk for that job offer. Not a bad location to live - riding the bike every day across the "Goin' to the Sun Road". Except in the winter. That might be a snowy ride.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dodge Trucks never die!

Old Dodge Trucks never die, they just work harder...
Today, I picked up branches, trimmed and pruned trees - a fall thing - and hauled them in our 1994 Dodge Dakota Truck to the burn dump. The old truck was faithful to perform it's duty.

This is a one-owner truck and is now parked in our drive - put out to pasture to rest - but it is still viable and a good pick-em-up truck for hauling wood, loaning out to folks for emergencies and plowing through snow - in the Kansas winters. Today, she performed as always - excellent. Check out the odometer - 392,170! She may be old (like me) but she still looks good and drives like a top... Beat that one buddie! She even got a bath today at the truck-wash to clean out the truck bed. Next, a hard wax to protect the paint as winter is coming on!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Learning to Quilt - the right way

Today I learned to quilt the right way. I helped some of the ladies at the Senior Center put a quilt together - make a sandwich - and we worked hard. We set it up in a frame and then set down to quilt for about an hour. I have done some hand-quilting, but not like this - in a frame. It is totally different. In fact, it is something I've never done. I have worked on small, miniture quilt projects that can be done quickly and in your lap. I did quilt a lap quilt about 20 years ago; it took me about a year to do it. My dear husband was working nights at Pizza Hut (between jobs) and I had nothing to do. That was in 1991.
I am the youngest of all the ladies. Most are over seventy; one I know is in her 90s. I think this will be a good experience. V