This year my BlogTalkRadio show Red River Writers Live with Peggy and Jon is featuring history. As the title indicates, history is always in season, but this year is the Civil War Sesquicentennial and the coming Centennial of our 48th state, Arizona. Arizona became a state on February 14, 1912. Both the Civil War and the western migrations of what is called the Victorian West period left painful scars on the United States and its various human groups. We are in a turbulent period now, and history if properly viewed can help us avoid some of the mistakes of the past.
Please allow me to introduce the newest member of our family: Miss Khloe Lou McLindsey. Khloe was born on August 8th, 2010 so she is probably unimpressed at this point that her great-grandmother has such a soft spot for veterans and first responders. Too frequently, we forget to tell these people who answer the call to serve their country and fellow citizens how very much we respect and cherish them. So let's start with firefighters. Since Mom was good enough to capture Khloe Lou's salute while wearing her favorite Fire Department cap, please accept this token of our sincere appreciation:
To those brave men and women who fight fires and brave blazing infernos to keep us safe: We Salute You.
May 9th's BlogTalkRadio show Red River Writers Live featured guest authors Ann Parker and Nancy E. Turner. These writers of the Victorian West transport their readers back to a raw and exciting period of American history that followed the sad, destructive period of the Civil War and its aftermath. It was a period where hope, desperation, dreams, and venture capital rushed ahead of the establishment of law, social mores and governance. This resulted in new beginnings for some and untimely endings for others, but it makes for fascinating reading.
Mother was named Zora. Zora is a brand, not a name. In all my years, I have only seen the name Zora two other times. That is puzzling. She was named for her god mother, Zora Platt. In our county, people didn't bother to use Mother's last name; it was just Zora, and she was a charmer of all shapes, sizes and things.
To mother, love was food and food was love. I guess it is part of her nurturing instinct. It was also associated with talent. Mother was renowned for her fried chicken, her pies and her homemade noodles. While Mother taught my sister and I to cook all other goodies, she never once suggested we attempt any of her signature dishes. I'm a bit ho-hum about chicken, but I studied her efforts at pie crusts and noodles. Separately my sister and I accused her of not wanting any competition for her noodles or pie. We both got the same reply: a delighted, hearty laugh.
What makes a face irresistible? Is it a light in the eyes or a particular sort of smile? Whatever it is generally, that quality pounced off the newprint at me a year or two ago. I ripped it out of the paper without even noticing what it advertised. This comic smile has brightened the days from the top of my rolltop desk. I cannot look at this picture without at least a matching grin, and often I laugh. He inspired a little verse.
Then one day I got to wondering about who owns this happy little guy and what his name might be. I can see the collar and tag around his neck. Finally I found the picture again in an Gadzoo advertisement for World of Pets Unleashed. I want the world to know that this kindred soul will always be welcome here. We'll laugh away the days together. What could be more enjoyable?
Wisdom from a comic strip is not something one usually expects, but today, muttscomics.com featured what it called a Native American Proverb. It reads: "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children." As we abuse and squander the Earth's resources, that was probably never more meaningful. Children of the Earth, beware! Look around you at the beauty, large and small that should be yours to enjoy and pass forward.
Earth Day. How ironic that we have a day to remind us that we are stewards of our own small planet. Frankly humans are not much different in planning for longevity than other animals.
The April Red River Writers Show features authors Gwyn Ramsey and Sherry Monahan who write about the development of the American West. Researching their writing made me think of my own great-grandmothers who packed up children and a wagon full of essentials and set out over raw trails to settle in Kansas in the 1860s. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2011/04/11/red-river-writers-live
The wind blew today, hot and dusty with lots of fuzzies from Mesquite trees and Desert Broom. For some reason, it made me think of a memorable day in my childhood although today's wind and dust did not compare to that awesome day.
Dad and I were at Granddad Pepperd's farm on the plains of Kansas. The year was 1939 or there about. It was a hot summer morning, but not so hot that a playful child would stay inside.
"Nana, I want to paint something," said our youngest grandchild. Actually at 22, he was grand, but no child, and I just looked at him. I was wondering if he wanted to repaint the house or take up art work. I played it safe.
Spring is my favorite time of year. It brings back joyful memories. Spring of course gets all mixed up with Easter time. For Easter, we got new clothes. Looking back on it though, it is hard to believe that everything was new, from underwear to shoes and socks, but that is how I remember it.
In the animal world that includes humans, we tend to get caught up in the competition for goodies: territory, water, and plant and animal foods.That sometimes leads us to develop hatred toward rodents or predators who have trouble distinguiishing between natural and husbanded foodstuffs and territories.
I'm a prairie chicken. I was born and grew up in southern Kansas where the sky was all around you. I could see for miles in every direction, and to this day, I feel crowded when I cannot see a lot of sky. My city friends rarely looked up. In the city or in the woods, things happen suddenly. On the prairie, more often, you see what is coming, and with help so far away, you had better pay attention. We didn't have the weather man to warn us.
This picture was taken off the southern coast of South Africa. I call it The Worrier in honor of the little guy on top the rock who was pacing along. They are called Jackass Penguins because they bray like a jackass.
The South Africans are good stewards of their land and wildlife. When a tanker spill occurred some miles from a little island south of Capetown, a huge colony of these little penguins were endangered. A major preventive rescue ensued with government workers and a mass of volunteers. People rushed to the island with plastic crates and captured the feisty little guys. If you think that was easy, think again. Those sharp little beaks slashed rubber gloves like butter, and the birds are canny and quick.
Watching a capture was more fun than doing one. Some vigorous young student would race up and down while the penguin slipped away. If the person gave up in disgust and chased another target, the first penguin would stop and follow his former pursuer with great interest.
Once loaded up, the penguins were shipped a thousand miles away and set free to allow them to swim back. Some wore radio transmitters so the colony could be tracked. It took them about a month to swim back to their island. In the meantime, the South Africans had managed the leak and cleaned up the island.
Everyone at any age enjoys being treated courteously. It is the ultimate compliment. Babies deserve their dignity; the aged deserve their dignity, as do all in between. This was brought home to me very early in life. My mother always couched her requests with “would you please,” or “could I ask you”, or “would you be kind enough to.” She praised you for the job you did and took the time to point out why she liked how you did it. She could be critical, very critical. She could be harsh.