Monday, July 26, 2010

My goodness, Mondays are busy blog days

I'm always pleasantly surprised at how many blog posts I get to enjoy reading on Mondays and today was no different. I wrote one yesterday and don't really have much going on to write about today.(or any other day really :o) I called my parents to chat and my mother said wistfully "Your father's on the computer checking to see if there are any blog posts to read * sigh*. Nothing new."

So, even though we talked for 48 minutes and nothing has happened to me in the last hour, here's a new post for you to read. Now, Ma will be all kerfuffled about me quoting her online. She tends to apologize for things that are not her fault or even wrong, and she hates to upset anyone. She is a very nice person, and funny too- even when she doesn't mean to be.

Here's a picture of her holding a puppy- if I remember correctly, my grandfather raised beagles for some time. He was a loud man and would have given her holy heck if that one had gotten loose, hence the choke hold around the neck.
Both of my parents are in this prom(?) picture. What a good-looking 1950s couple!

When #2 and I were around 12 and 13,  we each got a goat as a pet. This led to the family getting into breeding and showing purebred dairy goats for the next 15 years, maybe longer. They also sold goat milk, and each of my kids drank that as babies when no longer nursing.
That's my dad, youngest sister and my mom- I don't know the goats' names, but if you care, from left to right is a Nubian, La Mancha and an Alpine. I always liked the Nubians because they come in a lot of colors and coat patterns.

It was a pain having to get up early enough to milk the goats before school, and no one liked cleaning out the barn, but looking back, it was nice to have an activity that the whole family was involved in. At least for awhile- #2 didn't last too long, and #3 preferred horses. 

This is about the only picture I have with my grandmother with one of my kids, I think. This is me and my mother, with her mother holding Ms. M.  Mama O was already ill at that time and when I visited with the children, it was always a short one. 
When my folks got married, my grandfather gave Ma several acres from his farmland on which to build a house, so we grew up just down the road from them. I remember my mother walking up to her mother's for coffee, pushing the baby carriage and me pushing my doll carriage. After having 4 babies close together, I completely understand her desire for a break from the confusion and noise of 5 of us. Her younger brother was just 3 years older than me, so I think it was a break for both mothers!

I've written before about my parents helping us, both with advice and hands-on instruction for various projects over the years. J and I used to laugh at the back and forth 'discussion' about the right way to do anything, but over the years have noticed we are now doing the same thing! It's hard for my folks having to sit and supervise, but they are still ready, willing and able to tell us the right way to go.

Ma also sews very well. She made us girls matching outfits when we were small, mini skirts and maxi dresses in high school, and wedding dresses for at least two of us. She not only made Barbie clothes, she let us try sewing them too.  She made Cabbage Patch doll clothes for my kids, and curtains, slipcovers and pillows. I recently benefited from her cleaning out her fabric stash, since she said she wouldn't be using it- but she recently finished replacing her kitchen curtains and cushions.  

When I was little, she and my father made braided rugs, my mom braiding and my dad sewing the lengths together. They made furniture, beds, dividing walls and a goat barn, as well as a lean-to shelter early in Maine, then later a cabin. We picked bayberries and made candles. We raised orphaned squirrels and a baby skunk. We had a mean inbred collie named Lassie, and a parakeet named Scrooge who would whistle with my mother as she washed the dishes. After we kids left home, my mom enlarged her flower gardens and they built a waterfall and fish pond. 

It should be no surprise that her children think they are able to tackle just about anything around the house and yard! Or at least they are willing to try. I can't think of any area in which they set a bad example for us- of course it could be I am a little prejudiced! 

So, there you go Ma- a new blog post for you!


Anonymous said...

Your mother thanks you! She enjoyed it so much it brought tears of joy to her eyes! And...she made me come in and read it, too!

Anonymous said...

The goats from left to right - Norwegian Wood, Queen Eloise, and Josephine.

Brita said...

Great Prom Photo!
Thanks for writing this wonderful piece about your folks. I admire their self-sufficience and DIY spirit. Clearly it has had a positive affect on their offspring!