Thursday, December 31, 2009

Silly Duck!

HAH!! After last night's episode of near freezing, the duck spent the night in the barn atop the hay bales.She peered thru the bars of the sheep stall and checked out the sheep , then settled down next to a chicken for a cozy night's sleep.The next morning, Ed went out to feed the barn people.He found the duck in a hilarious predicament.Baling rope was looped and dangling from a pole.Of course Miss Duck had to stick her head thru it, then her wings.When he entered the barn, there she dangled like a marionette.The duck puppet!
Then, back out to the snow and the pond with her little duck family!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You NEVER know what a day will bring~~

Especially on a farm. I NEVER expected to be wading almost waist deep in my pond, smashing thru ice with a log.One of my Indian Runner ducks was not able to manage the fine art of ice skating.Instead, her belly bonded with the ice as she desperately tried to paddle her way off with webbed feet.Ducks love to swim, even in frigid weather.They run the risk of having their feet iced into a pond or lake or their toes frostbitten.Fortunately,this gal's troubles were brought to my attention just before dark.I grabbed my hip high fishing boots and turned the vacuum on~~~ WHY???? Spiders and mouse nests claimed Squatter's Rights.Once they were successfully sucked free of every fiber,web and dirt I pulled them on and UP,snapped the strap onto my belt runner on my dungarees and made a quick headway for the pond.It was iced over.The springs stay at about 55F. all year and keep that one small entry way free of ice, but the main body of pond freezes.It was getting dark and she flapped her wings helplessly on her icy bed beneath her belly.I smashed the ice with the heel of my boot until I was beyond knee deep.Then I used a log to smash my way thru.The smashings frightened the duck and she flapped her wings and pushed her feet away from me further across the ice.A grass rake was the answer (my husband's good idea!)and she was pulled to safety.She hobbled across the yard but appeared to have a limp,so once she hid under a bush I wisked her up under my arm and into the house next to the woodfire.My grandchildren named her STEVE.Since all the Indian Runners look the same, I shall call them ALL Steve.Anyway, Steve was quite content in the house, leapt off my lap and hid behind the wood stove.It was the most pleasant hour she spent since winter began! Warm and toasty! She wagged her tail the entire time she hid in that corner.Once a 'ducksplat' hit the floor, she was OUTTA HERE ! Into the barn atop the hay bales with the chickens.Not a bad deal for one night! (:>

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Memories and the Attic

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of 'The Attic'.Helping my mother search for Christmas decorations and Lionel trains (still in their original orange boxes).Bubble Lights and colored glass ornaments were hidden back under the eaves of the roof beams. A stream of light lit the way from the small attic windows on either end of the house and snow dusted the ground below as we glanced thru the old windows.From that height, we could see the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The Empire State Bldg was the attraction that stood out.The World Trade Center & Verrazanno Bridge were not yet built or even thought of in those days.It was doggone cold up there! The floor creaked underfoot since cheaper grades of plywood were used as flooring.Initially , there was no flooring, just beams, until my dad laid some down.Some of my mother's toys, from her own childhood,were stashed away up there under the eaves over the doorway.A metal green and cream colored kitchen set- I think it was a stove or sink.A red wooden doll crib and a weathered colored wicker doll carriage.As we descended the stairs, she cautioned me to "Be careful of that bottle of turpentine" in the long necked glass bottle on the side of the stairway.The attic stairway let out into my bedroom.I was happy because we were decorating for CHRISTMAS!!
"I Remember Mama", was a soap opera on TV at that time.'Papa' took the children out to the barn, in back of the house, to hear the animals talk the second the clock struck 12:00 midnight on Christmas morn.The children of that household hid amongst the haybales until it was midnight and the animals would talk.While that played on TV,my mom rolled out cookie dough that my brothers and I would cut out with cookie cutters.The three of us got a bath in the tub, then my mom curled my hair in these pink plastic things, set us on the couch to watch 'Lassie' with Tommie Reddick & Gramps and peel oranges on a towel just before we were scooted off to bed.Then my dad would set up the trains. Setting up trains was always a pain in the neck and still is. They just won't cooperate!!(I was 6 weeks old when my father bought me my first set of Lionels.You KNOW I needed them then! I still have the engine, but none of the rest of the set.)
The attic I have now is very similar in size and design.I love it because I can shove all kinds of junk up there.Christmas decorations with all its boxes of ornaments,tree trimmings and decorative junk, trains and all of the boxes of accessories,village paraphenalia;Easter baskets;Thanksgiving decorations;Hunting clothes and archery stuff;picture albums,etc,etc.
If you know me, you've already realized I'm a hopeless sentamentalist. I probably have every card my children and grandchildren have ever sent or, especially, made for me.I still have the Christmas Card sent to me by my cousin Bobby ~my first Christmas back in 1949.It has roosted atop all my Christmas trees until this day.I've taken my children and grandchildren's school pictures and placed them into little picture frames to hang upon the tree this year.They stand next to ornaments from WWII, when hooks were made of paper (to conserve metal),and ornaments from my childhood that haven't yet bit the dust.It seems that every year, an ornament or two accidentally falls and smashes to the floor."OH NUTS !! NOT THAT ONE!!" You know the feeling.
I came across some of my mother's keepsakes in the attic as I brought down Christmas decorations.A handful of cards for various occasions were loosely flopping around in an old white plastic bag stuffed in a dusty box,hanging on for dear life.I came across several of her bridal shower cards from her Jersey City Medical Center nursing schoolmates Dec 15th,1948.Her wedding date was New Years Day, 1949. Then I came across this Christmas Card!! It was from my father to her on their First Christmas together, Dec 1949. They had a lot to celebrate!! ME !! Their first Christmas together and a new baby!! (I was born on Nov 18th,1949.And brought home on Thanksgiving!)I read the words on this card. The inside is smudged and discolored but truer words were never spoken as far as they were concerned.This card is beautiful.My parents set a fine example to me and my brothers and sister ,as we grew up,of how a married couple should love each other.My dad NEVER was demonstartive, in fact he crossed out the word "DEAR" on a mother's Day card he gave her.It made him feel 'silly'.It wasn't a word he used .I laughed when I saw that, but I never doubted his love for her for a minute.

Sentimental Wedding

Ever watch "Bridezilla" on TV ? Spoiled brats with 'In your face' confrontational personalities. They take tantrums and are frustrated because "The Wedding" isn't going the way they always dreamed it would.Exorbitant amounts of $$money$$ are spent on flowers, photographers, bands or disc jockies, the CATERING & HALL(!!),the dresses, yadda, yadda, yadda. Some churches expect a large 'Donation'. A 4 hour party costs the same as a down payment on a house.But there's another way. Charity & Jesse's way.These kids are 19. So what! Both my grandmothers were 16 when they married and their marriages lasted their lifetimes.They took marital VOWS that meant divorce was not an option.The vow was given to God. End of story.They loved their husbands and I know their husbands loved them.My dad's mom died in her 50's and my Grandfather was lost and heartbroken without her.I used to work in his appliance store on 918 B'way in Bayonne,NJ when I was a kid.I watched the store & if a customer walked in, I knocked on the hot water pipe that went to his upstairs apartment.I used to catch him whispering to himself. He was "talking to Katie", his wife. Telling her about his day and his troubles.My dad's mom gave my own mother excellant advice when she married my father.Later, on that one.
My mother's parents came from this area, in Pa.(Larksville/Plymouth). My grandma (Maggie Burns) was 16 when she married my coal mining Pap(Patrick Bernard McCue).They had 13 children.He was orphaned at 9 yrs old and started mining as a breaker boy not so long afterward.Their marriage also lasted a lifetime and my Grandpap died at age 72.Since my mom was the youngest, age 17 at the time, most of Grandma McCue's kids were grown .Her husband was her vision and purpose in life.She grieved for him till the day she died, age 92.
Charity chose to wear her own grandmother's wedding gown, the same gown her mom wore when she got married. Her Dad 'gave her away' and ALSO married them~ he's a pastor and was their pastor growing up until he retired due to physical infirmities & limitations.God's Blessings on you both, Charity & Jesse! I cried thru a good deal of your wedding ceremony.Not because of the beautiful decorations, flowers and gowns but because of the words you spoke to each other.I know you meant them .Someday we'll chat.We'll talk about the wisdom Grandma Lawler passed onto my mother who in turn passed those same words on to me.Good, good words! 'Grandma Words' whose marriages lasted a lifetime and are happy! Well, these two kids glowed and are in love.GOOD start!!
We waited a long time for them to show up at the reception.WHERE ARE THEY? We thought.Well, after the wedding ceremony & pictures, they went to the Nursing Home to visit her GRANDMOTHER and hug her & kiss her.She couldn't be there for the ceremony because of physical limitations.I hope my young grandbabies remember me that way!