Monday, July 6, 2015

Back in Time - Boots by the Door

Rich's irrigation boots and shovel
approx. 1982
Usually the shovel was kept in the pickup or on the four-wheeler, so I'm guessing Rich was planning to check the cuts and the progress of the water near the house. My nephew's boots and gloves are by the milk can. Some years, three or four pair of boots were on the step, depending on who spent the summer at grandma's house.

Mom grumbled when Rich wore his irrigation boots in the house because they usually had mud on them, but more often than not his socks were wet, too.

I can almost hear Rich say, "Well, I'd better go out and 'stir the water'.'" A previous post about Rich and irrigating can be seen here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Foreign Friday

Saying good-bye
Betty Moore and Nancy Stearns
June 1981
I left Japan and the Department of Defense Overseas Schools in June of 1981, returned to Wyoming, had an interview with the Superintendent of Wind River Schools, and was hired to begin teaching at Wind River in the Fall.

Betty Moore (pictured above) taught with the DODDS for many years in the Philippines, in Morocco, in Germany, and in Japan. I'm sure she taught and lived other places, but I can't remember them. Betty was a great friend and helped this rookie cope with living in a foreign country and with dealing with military regulations for civilians..

She retired in the mid-80s, married a high school sweetheart, and moved to the Philippines. She died unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm about a year after her marriage.

Other posts about Betty can be seen here.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mini Shop Hop

Try as I might, I could not resist purchasing yarn on a recent trip to Denver. My sister's neighbor (also a knitter) planned an outing to several yarn shops. The skeins on the left and the two balls on the right were found in the Clearance bin in the last shop we visited - a bargain too good to pass. The yarn bowl and its contents came from another shop, and the navy sock yarn on the right from the first shop we visited.

My area doesn't have a yarn shop, so it was exciting to visit so many shops in one day.

Shops visited:
Showers of Flowers Yarn Shop - Lakewood, CO
Recycled Lamb - Golden, CO
A Knitted Peace - Littleton, CO
Colorful Yarns - Centennial, CO

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Modicum Hat

Tea Cakes Hat Kit
Jimmy Beans' Wool

Nancy (High Plains Footprints) gave me this colorful hat kit for Christmas, and it was a lot of fun to knit. Each of the twelve mini balls contained 15 yards of DK yarn, and there was very little remaining when the hat was finished. (Thank you, Nancy for this fun kit.)

Yarn:   Tosh DK Tea Cakes (Berry Blackcurrant)

Needles: US size 4 (ribbed edge), US size 6 (hat body)

Pattern: Modicum Hat by Rachel Roden (Ravelry link)

This pattern would be a great way to use scrap yarn.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Back in Time - Grandpa

Franklin Stearns
near Provo, SD
approx. 1922
I didn't know my paternal grandfather, as he died many years before I was born. He was born June 4, 1870 in Almond, New York and died September 4, 1927 in South Dakota.

The following narrative is from the Edgemont Centennial 1890 - 1990 book that was compiled by the Edgemont Centennial Book Committee - edited by Caroline Curl and printed 1989 by Edgemont Herald Tribune, Edgemont, SD, pages 413 - 415 (I apologize for the choppy sentence structure, but this was copied verbatim from the book. I added the information in the parentheses.)

Frank was a farmer, as were his father and grandfather. Land was expensive and the desire for a farm of his own brought him to South Dakota. In May, 1910 he and his brother-in-law Julian came to South Dakota (from Minnesota) by train. They each filed on homesteads east of Provo. Their families came on the train to Provo on November 1, 1910. Frank met his family with a team and wagon. There were no roads, just trails to follow. The family arrived at their new home, a sixteen foot by twenty-four foot, two-room, tar paper shack. There was no insulation, electricity, or plumbing. It was all wonderment for five small children: Theodore (7 years), Sadie (6 years), Edward (5 years), Arthur (3 years), and Charles (1 year).

The family kept warm with coal and wood. Coal was used in lamps. The groceries were bought at the little grocery store in Provo. Henry Kramer, known as Mr. Germany, was owner of the store. He also tested cream brought in by the rural people and sold their eggs. These things helped a great deal when buying groceries. Customers were given a sack of candy when the grocery bill was paid.

Frank and his wife (Annie) milked a number of cows and sold the cream. Of course, the children drank a lot of milk. If it hadn't been for the cream checks, times would have been a lot tougher.

Frank worked on the section (railroad) at Provo during slack time at the farm. Sometimes he walked the four miles to Provo, stayed there during the week in a box car with the other railroad employees, and then walked home for the weekend.

When the children were young, Frank contacted walking typhoid fever. They thought his sickness came from drinking from a water hole. He was delirious in the middle of the night, so Annie and the children walked to the neighbors for help. During that time, Frank left home and couldn't be found. The next morning people were out looking for him. He was found miles from home near Cascade (approximately 20 miles), and the sheriff put him in jail at Hot Springs. Dr. Hargens went to the jail to examine him and convinced the sheriff that Frank was sick, not crazy. He was in the hospital several weeks, and his first concern when he recovered was if the children were okay.

Annie went to Hot Springs to see him a few times, but travel was not easy then. For her to get to Hot Springs, someone would take her to the train in Provo to go to Edgemont. She walked about five blocks to her sister, Ada's place and stayed overnight. The next morning she walked back to the train depot to catch the train to Hot Springs, spent as much time at the hospital as she could , and in the afternoon, returned to the Hot Springs depot to catch the train back to Edgemont. She stayed there overnight and caught the train back to Provo the next day. With five little children, and cows to milk, this journey was not easy.

All farm work was done with horses. It was the boys' job to walk along and keep the horses going. A walking plow was used. Frank unloaded an Avery threshing machine, tractor, and gasoline tank from a railroad flatcar on September 17, 1922. (note photo above) A platform had to be build so the equipment could be removed from the flatcar. Frank threshed for others in the Provo and Edgemont areas with the older boys helping him.

Frank joined the Home Guard in Edgemont. He would walk the eight or nine miles to Edgemont, and after the drill, walk home. He was a hard worker and a good provider. He would help anyone in trouble. Frank passed away on September 4, 1927 at the age of fifty-seven from bleeding ulcers. His wife, Annie passed away January 7, 1950 at the age of eighty-two.

Other posts of interest:
     Century Farm
     Country Road
     Peaceful Prairie (photo)
     It's Grand
     Pioneer Souls
Approximate mileage from:
     Farm to Provo - 4 miles
     Provo to Edgemont - 8 or 9 miles
     Edgemont to Hot Springs - 25 miles
     Farm to Cascade - 20 miles

Monday, June 29, 2015

Through the Window

Baby Robin soaking up the sunshine
June 2015
Last week, this baby Robin gave me the evil eye when I went out to water my geraniums. It wasn't a surprise to see him/her there because the glider outside my front door has been a popular perch for baby robins in the past. Some of you may remember my photo of the Brothers Grim in 2011.

The baby tolerated my comings and goings but the Mama Robin was making a big fuss on the roof.

What surprised me later was seeing (through the window) the actual exchange of food.  The window screen certainly shows up in the photos, but I couldn't resist sharing the images.

What did I tell you about talking to strangers!

Later in the day, a sibling joined this little one. They stayed for the day and received multiple feedings, but I haven't seen them since; perhaps, they have now learned to fend for themselves.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Foreign Friday

Speech contest
Towada City, Japan
Fall 1979
The local Japanese school hosted an annual English speech contest where the students recited memorized passages in English to a panel of judges. I was invited to judge the first year that I was in Japan. The contest was an opportunity to see the inside of a Japanese school, and I was delighted to accept the offer.

Note the various uniforms the students are wearing, the green chalk board and the posters on the wall. These students attended school six days a week.

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