Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jane Bauman, Columnist

Years ago there was a lady who was a columnist for the Hutchinson News who I always thought had a pretty good handle on life. She's gone now; passed away in 1999...but this yellowed scrap of newspaper haunts me from time to time. I cut it out of the paper years ago and really like what it says.

If you'd like more information about Jane Bauman and her surviving family, you may click this link:

Here's her column from many years ago, entitled Three Simple Words.

Sometimes parents, grandparents, teachers and others discover surprising things about themselves as they listen to the remarks of children with whom they are closely associated.

For instance, this summer when my children and grandchildren were vacationing here, frequently I heard three little words of an old family expression echo back to me.

One morning as I rinsed bunches of seedless grapes at the kitchen sink, Michelle, 10, poured milk into the kittens' bowl, patted their greedy little heads, and softly said, "There you go."

And as I chewed loose grapes from the bottom of the sink, it occurred to me that for many of us, those three words mean almost the same thing as the three little words, "I love you." They are like a little blessing expressing loving care.

There are times I hear myself say, "There you go," to the dog Cub after I've liberally swabbed her insect-ridden ears with fly wipe.

And always, after putting a Band-Aid on a kid's skinned knee or a dry diaper on a baby's wet bottom, I pat it. And as the kid scoots away, I say, "There you go!"

Or take the time son Mike fixed the hung-up cord on my living room drapes for me. As he smiled and efficiently swished the drapes back and forth, Mike patted my shoulder and said, "There you go, Mom."

And when I hand son Max a jar of canned tomatoes with a rusted rim to open for me, he unscrews it almost effortlessly and grins, "There you go, Mom, and don't put too much basil in the vegetable soup."

Or take a couple of weeks ago. As I walked past the old horse tank, which is now Cub's summer kiddie pool, I noticed a dead frog floating in it. Another big frog was still struggling. The water level had gotten too far below the tank's rim for frogs to jump out again.

So I angled a big board into the tank, and I watched the water-logged frog swim weakly to the board. Then, like a fat man struggling out of the deep end of a swimming pool, the exhausted old jumper finally got a leg up and heaved himself onto the board. And as he squatted, we blinked at each other in mutual relief, and I signed, "There you go."

Yep, the words, "There you go" have different connotations in different situations. But mostly I think they mean that we're glad we could do a helpful or right thing with tender loving care. Of course I could be wrong about my interpretation of why people say: "There you go." But one thing I know for sure: I never say, "There you go!" at 4 a.m. as I flush a cricket down the stool...

Friday, February 19, 2010

And Then There Was One

A little more on the Bradford pear tree.

There used to be two trees. And one early morning in late May 2008 I heard a loud pop and my electricity went off. It was about 4 a.m. so I decided to "sleep in"...let 'em get the power back on before I got up. But when I did get up and padded out into the backyard to see what was going on, I noticed this black "hose" running up to the top of my sunroom. I thought, " must have really been windy last night for that hose to be up there." Then it occurred to me that I don't own a black hose. That was when I realized that was the power line coming into my house.

As I said in an earlier blog, I've been here three years. These trees are obviously older than that. Soooo....the idiot that planted these obviously never once looked up. The power line ran (still does) right through the middle of these two trees. And one of them had evidently rubbed it in two.

I called Westar and knew all three guys that came out. One was an ex-neighbor of mine, one was a friend of a friend (old drinking buddies), and the third guy I just knew who he was. They called the tree guys and soon we were in business. They were all super nice and it didn't cost me a penny because it had interfered with their wire I guess they take care of it. (They even removed a smaller volunteer oak tree that was along the fence behind the shed...going right up into the wires.)

Funny note: As we were waiting for the tree trimmer to arrive, I said I'd go in and put on the coffee pot if they'd like a cup of coffee. One of the guys just grinned really big and said, "Would that be an ELECTRIC coffeemaker?" I suspect they've been here before! looking to find out that my Bradford pear trees bloom about April 6 (after the Forsythia bush) I found these photos and thought they were interesting.

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Bradford Pear Tree

February 19 and my Bradford Pear tree has buds. They've been trying for the past several days, but today even at a distance one can see little white-ish buds. (Double click on the photo and you'll be able to see them much better.)

I was thinking my Forsythia bush usually bloomed first, but it doesn't show a sign of life yet. Need to go back and check my photos and dates and see if that's right. (ok..I did go look...March 8 the Forsythia was beginning to bloom and was in full bloom on March 23. Then we had 17" of snow on March 27-28.) As much as I'm ready for Spring, I think it's too early for this.

One year (within the past three as that all I've lived here) we had a hard freeze and it took about half the summer for the north side of the pear tree to recuperate. It was black and wilted.

Well...I hope the tree is exactly right and we'll be into Spring very, very soon. Yeah..right.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Full Day

Got up this a.m. and rode the bicycle on the trainer for 30 minutes. Rode 45 minutes yesterday and thought I'd up my time to that...but it's just like a treadmill....EXTREMELY BORING!!!!! So 30 minutes it was.

After showering and "fixin' up" a bit, I went to Wichita to meet my sister from Joplin. She needed to go to the "rocks and findings" store and I had a whole big 20% off coupon from Kohls. Well...turns out Jude bought a tee shirt for $3 and I bought nothing. I let her use my coupon even! Then she wanted to get back home so I headed back to Hutch.

On the way back I stopped briefly at Yoder to pick up a four pack of cinnamon rolls. Nothing like Yoder cinnamon rolls...YUM!!! If you're not familiar with our area, Yoder is about 12 miles from Hutchinson and it's an Amish community. Some gas-powered vehicles, but mostly horse and buggy Amish. It's a tiny town with a tremendous reputation for good food and neat items. Quilts, woodworking, sewn items, etc. Several very nice shops, a great restaurant, and a terrific bakery. (You can also get their cinnamon rolls at the restaurant.) (Just a little side note: years ago a friend of ours used to say he thought it was really good for a person to eat in the Amish restaurants....because the waitresses all wear long skirts and high-necked blouses and you don't get all riled up while eating!)

Meanwhile when I was still in Wichita Mary had called and said she was looking for a bicycle ride, so I called her back about 1 o'clock and said, "When are you going?" Turned out we were able to meet up over at Rice Park and ride a loop down through Carey Park and back. Eleven miles...not great...but for a winter day, not bad. It was pretty brisk and some dummy got there with only fingerless gloves. I have full gloves made for riding...and they were snug and warm in the top of the closet! All in all it was a great ride. I took a cinnamon roll to Mary...they're her she was pretty happy too, I think!

Feels like a pretty good day. Makes me want to "count my blessings!" Hope yours was as good and you do too!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dad's Poems

Thirteen years ago last Friday my dad passed away at the age of 82. Among his treasures I found these two (and several others) poems. I don't know if he wrote them or copied them from somewhere...but they're both quite clever. Dad was a bright, witty man and it wouldn't surprise me to learn he had written them.

They are both on what we used to call "onion skin" paper and I've photographed one a little closer so you can see what his handwriting looked like. I loved it! I will copy the words here for you to read a little easier.

I might tell you both poems are a little strange...the first a little gory perhaps and the second may be a little risque... or at least maybe it was back in Dad's day.

The first one goes like this:

A long time ago I remember it well
Alone in a poor house a maiden did dwell
She lived with her father and mother serene
Her age it was red and her hair was nineteen -

This maid had a lover who close by did dwell
He was humpeyed in both feet and cross backed as well
Said he "fly with me by the light of yon star
For you are the eye of my apple you are" -

"Oh now," said she to him so gently "Be wise
My father would scratch our your nails with his eyes
If you love me you'll bring me to no disgrace"
Cried the maid as she buried her hands in her face -

And when she refused him he knocked down this maid
And quickly he opened the k
nife of his blade
He then cut the throat of this damsel so fair
And he dragged her around by the head of her hair -

Just at that moment her father appeared
He gazed on his daughter with eyes in his tears
He seized the young man by the hand with his throat
And shot him with a horse pistol raised from a colt -

And the second one:

When the Lord made Adam, they say he laughed and sang,
And sewed him up the belly, with a little piece of whang.

But when the Lord had finished, He found He'd measured wrong,
He found the whang He'd sewed him with was several inches too long.

He said tis but 8 inches so I guess I'll let it hang,
So He left on Adams belly that little piece of whang.

But when the Lord made Mother Eve I'll bet that He did snort,
When He found the whang He'd sewed her with was several inches short.

It leaves an awful gap said He, but I don't give a dang
She can fight it out with Adam for that little piece of whang.

So every since that ancient day when human life began
There's been a constant strife betwixt woman and the man.

The women swear they'll have that piece that on our bellies hang
To fill that awful hole of theirs, where the Lord ran out of whang.

So let us not be selfish boys with what the women lack
But split 50-50 on the whang to fill that awful crack.

For the good Lord never intended it should always idle hang
When He left on Adams belly that little piece of whang.

My guess would be these have been around at least since the 1940's or 1950's.. hope you enjoyed them and weren't offended.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

I've had several people contact via email and asked why I haven't blogged lately! Some thought evidently the "blood letting" did me quite yet! The only reason I seem to have is that it's winter and it's boring...rather, I'm boring.

I'm riding the bicycle on the trainer 30 minutes a day, five days a week. I go to the post office about every day and hit Walmart a couple of times a week for groceries/supplies/whatever. That's my existence...pretty much.

But yesterday was a little more eventful. Since 1990 I've had an on-again, off-again "interest" (hard to refer to what we have as a romance, exactly) with a guy who is now from Missouri (at least for a while longer - he's retiring soon and will be moving back to town). January 1, 2009 my New Year's resolution was to not answer his phone calls anymore. It was never a smooth relationship...due to hang-ups both of us have. So I didn't answer for almost a full year.

But he called Christmas day and I answered. We've talked several times since then. Long story short-er....I agreed to see him the next time he came to Hutch. He has property here and kids and grandkids so he gets back fairly often. Well...this weekend he was going to be back and I agreed to see him...but nothing was set in concrete. He had said he was going to work on his building all day Saturday but that "I'll call...I'll definitely call"....but when by 5pm I hadn't heard from him, I thought, "Ok...pull your thumb outta your behind and do something!!!"

There was a play at the Arts Center that I was wanting to see so I called a long-time friend of mine and explained that although it was very short notice I wondered if she'd like to go. Yeah! So at 6:11 when "the guy" called and asked what my plans for the evening were, I already HAD plans. And you wonder why they call me a bitch, huh?

Anyway, so here's how it played out. After the play (about 9:30) and at his request, I called him and he met me. We rode around and talked and caught up, went out and looked at what all he'd done to his new building (very nice!), and wound up going to a couple of bars.

That's where the funny (funny-ha-ha or funny-weird...I don't know) stuff started. We went to a bar where we used to go a lot. It's really changed (and so have we, I'm sure)...everyone in there was probably in their 20's or 30's...most of them very overweight...some of them very drunk. I went back to the restroom. When I left the bathroom, right outside of the door, a pleasant enough young woman (I think she might have even been the barmaid) came up to me, put her arm across the front of me from shoulder to shoulder, hugged me, and said, "You're SO cute!!!!" I smiled and said, "Thank you..." Then made a beeline for my male companion! He got a kick out of it and said, "Well...look up at the dance floor..." There were three women on the dance floor dancing together....I don't know if that was a new form of line dancing but I think the best description of it would be "doggie-style." (Sorry, readers, if this offends you...but if they can do it that way in front of everyone, I can surely put it in print. No pictures, thank you!) At that point we kind of gulped our beers and left.

We went to another bar as we were looking for a place to dance, but right after we walked in, the barmaid yelled to the owner, "Do you want me to unplug the jukebox?" They were no dancing!

But...bottom actually was a fun evening. The play early in the evening was funny and entertaining...although I didn't think it was "all that" totally. Personal opinion probably best kept to myself. But the reconnecting with an old boyfriend (I hate that term) was fun and interesting...and unless I was totally being blind, I think he's changed somewhat for the better.

And...he called this a.m. to ask if I was going to be his which I responded, "Uh....probably...depends on how much commitment it takes." And therein may lie the problem!

So...with that I'm going to quote Patsy Terrell in her blog for today (I really like this thought for the day..or week...or month...or whatever) :

Appreciate the love in your life, in whatever form it takes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Battle of the Badges

First thing this morning, I took Schiz out to Gretchen's to be groomed. After dropping her off I decided to go to the Battle of the Badges. Yesterday and today were the days to give blood and vote for the "department of choice" - either fire department or police department. They have a traveling trophy they're each striving to win.

Last year I went (and blogged about it here), but was deferred because of an antibiotic I was taking for my teeth. This year I'm still taking the same antibiotic, but because it's a "maintenance" drug now instead of "healing" one, I was accepted.

I pumped out my pint, had a bowl of chili and some carrot sticks, and drank some water. Felt great so I ran errands, making several stops. It's both a mental and a physical good feeling for me, I think.

About 1 o'clock I went to pick up Schiz and was standing holding her (11-12 lbs.) when all of a sudden I thought, "Wow...she's heavy!!!" I moved over to the little half door gate and rested my arm (and Schiz's weight) on the door. Within seconds I realized that I wasn't feeling too good. Very warm and somewhat dizzy! I told Gretchen and Sherry I had to go...needed to be out in the cold air...but when I turned to go I decided it was time to sit down NOW! I plopped down in a chair in the foyer. I was seeing big black circles with just a little vision around the outside. Felt like I was going to pass out...but I didn't. Gretchen and Sherry both commented later that I got white as a sheet and my eyes were clear blue. Gretchen kept trying to get me to let her make me some toast and jam, but after sitting for just a couple of minutes I felt ok and decided to go home.

After I got home, I laid down for what I thought would be a few minutes (I'm the master of the 7-10 minute nap...I almost never sleep during the day for more than that.) I laid down at 1:30...woke up at 2:50..hmmmm...guess I needed rest! I have given blood several/many times before and have never had a problem of any kind either during or afterwards...but today was a little different. I've been drinking lots of fluids and feel just fine now...but I may have decided that I'm too old to give blood anymore....maybe I need all of mine! I haven't done much of anything since then...decided today would be my day off of the bicycle/trainer routine. I've been riding 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week...usually taking Saturday and Sunday off. But today's the day off this week!

But on to better things...this is how Schiz looks. So clean and soft and fluffy!! And smells great too! She gets groomed every six weeks and I think the next grooming she'll have to be sheared down...mainly because if I wait until 6 weeks after that, it'll be nearly the first of May...and she'd be WAY too warm. (oh, btw....for those of you that think Shih Tzu's are supposed to have a little topknot with a cute little bow in it...all I can say is: Schiz doesn't agree with you... so we don't waste the bow or the time doing it! She'll leave it in at the groomer's when she's still in the crate, but 30 seconds in the car coming home and the bow is toast!!!!!)

Well...folks....that's all for now....have a great week and don't forget to count your blessings!!!