Friday, June 19, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

In was interesting to me how a couple of items on my Ten Things of Thankful post this week brought back some memories about my Dad, especially since Sunday is Father’s Day. Kristi of Thankful Me provides the link to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.

My parents and me

1. Rat traps are good for more than just rats.
One of my early memories of rats and rat traps is a time I was asked to go to the barn to get some potatoes out of what we called the dungeon. It was a brick-lined room which we think may have been the location of a furnace in the barn which originally had been a prune dryer. When I opened the door to the room I saw a single large rat atop the pile potatoes. I quickly shut the door and went back to the house empty handed. Thanks to my Dad quickly setting a rat trap in the room, I didn’t have to fear my future errands to the dungeon.
I am thankful that we have never seen rats here on our property, but taking their place are ground squirrels which are quite problematic this time of year and are the bane of many a farmer or gardener and can leave a beautifully landscaped yard with patches of upturned soil and holes ready to twist the ankles of the unaware. My husband set a rat trap outside near one of the holes where we had seen some young ground squirrels exiting. We now have one less young ground squirrel. They are cute but destructive. There are many other ways of ridding one’s place of these critters, especially the adults.

2. Clean windows
Thanks to finally being able to use a gift certificate from our kids, the outside of our windows are clean and a gutter which was beyond time for cleaning is ready for those downpours which we are still getting even though the first day of summer is at hand. Because we are being very cautious about having anyone come into our home during this pandemic, the company was willing to substitute cleaning the windows on the inside for doing the gutter cleaning. 

3. New (to me) way to dry windows
I don’t know what tip you learned this week, but here is mine. How I missed learning this before all these years of living I do not know. My mother used to use vinegar and water to wash the outside of the windows and she dried the windows with crumpled newspapers. At the point in time in my married life when I tried cleaning the the windows using this technique, I ended up with streaks, so I didn’t use newspapers again. After that I either used paper towels or a rag to dry the windows, but streaks were still a problem. This week as I washed the inside of our windows, my results were very different, and I wondered why I didn’t know this tip years ago. The magic ingredient was using one of Mom’s old cotton tea towels, one I had used to dry dishes when I was a kid. It had long ago made it to her bin of rags she kept in her garage. When she passed, I kept the rag. I learned this week that cotton tea towels, which are so thin that when you dry dishes with them they quickly become quite wet, are actually ideal for drying windows and leave absolutely no streaks!

4. A window cleaning lesson I learned from my Dad
When I was growing up our barn had some very dirty six-paned windows, many of them covered with cobwebs, and some of which had a resident spider or two. Dad decided that they really needed to be cleaned and that I should be the one to wash them on the inside. What I learned from being given that task was sometimes we have to do things that need to be done even if we are a little afraid and don’t really want to do it.

One side of the barn

5. Flowers that remind me of certain people
The property where we lived needed to be partially cleared before our home could be built, which meant at some point we would have some landscaping to do. One of my neighbors introduced me to one of the old timers in the area, a woman who had moved here in a covered wagon. She had a lot of flowers that needed to be divided and so she dug up a clump of bellflowers so I could have flowers on our property.  Our clump eventually became quite crowded and we decided  get rid of them. Well this spring I was not able to do any kind of yard work for a month and with the weather such as it was everything grew like crazy. Now we are seeing flowers blooming that we haven’t see in years because somewhere there were seeds just waiting to germinate. This week I thought of that kind little widow, born in Hungary, who taught me the history of the area and shared some of her flowers with me.


6. History and the various ways to access what has happened in the past and how becoming more educated about those things that have transpired gives one an opportunity to try to understand not only the past but the present

7. Ruby Bridges, the movie, the woman, and the author 
This week I watched the movie and also watched a video of Ruby speaking to children about her life and answering questions about her experiences.

8. Food 
Creamed chicken and wild rice  soup, but substituted 1% milk for cream
Steamed beet greens (A neighbor shared some of their bounty.)
Roasted cauliflower and broccoli 

9. Waking up and finding out the scary dream was just that

10. My husband, the father of our children and the influence he has had on their lives

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  1. Love the photo of the barn! I loved going inside it when I was little--but then again, I wasn't asked to clean the windows! :-)
    Years ago, I heard Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine, speak at a local community college. It sounds like that the video you watched of Ruby Bridges was similar to that event.

    1. The video I watched of Ruby speaking was of her when she was an adult speaking to children grade school through possibly junior high age I think. The movie was about her as a first grader. She was the only child in the classroom except for her teacher, a white woman from the north. None of the parents of white children wanted their children to be in school with her.

  2. What a beautiful list, and I love the first photo.
    I can very much relate to number 9.

    1. Thank you Carin.
      I don’t have scary dreams often, but when I do, I am so glad to wake up to the normal world.

  3. Totally agree on Number 9.
    Windows! arghh! For unknown reasons windows being clean is important to me. Unfortunately, cleaning the exteriors involves the use of a ladder. Not my favorite outdoor activity. Did find a company a couple of years ago and they did a truly remarkable job making the glass invisible. (Which is the ideal state for glass windows.)
    Have a good week.

    1. Since we have been known to take photos of birds from the inside of our house, taking the perfect photo through a dirty window is totally disappointing.
      When I expressed a little concern about the window cleaning company positioning their ladders on some of the uneven ground outside, they assured me that they had ladders with stabilizers and had washed windows in just about every imaginable situation. They were quick and did an excellent job.
      I imagine that given your work, dirty windows would be something you would likely notice, among other things.
      Have a good week.

  4. I have been having so many crazy dreams that are realistic enough that I wake up thinking they are true! I LOVE roasted broccoli and cauliflower! I'm not much of a veggie lover, but if you roast it, I will probably eat it! And I love, love, LOVE the photo of you with your parents, especially your bonnet! Babies should still wear bonnets instead of those enormous bows that are bigger than their heads.

    1. Very rarely do I think my dreams are true. I hope that doesn't ever start to be my story. I am going to try roasting some beets this week and see if I enjoy them that way, too. I think that photo of me with my parents was taken back in your neck of the woods. I agree that baby bonnets were so cute.

  5. Nostalgic thankfuls with great lessons!