And It’s Getting Even Colder


But before we get to that, the good news.  Next week I start therapy on my shoulder!  I’m doing a happy dance in my brain, since my legs still don’t work all that well, and yes, I know it will hurt, but that will be a good kind of hurt.  I’ll be back in the kitchen, cooking again in two months.  My personal resolution.  Maybe a bit premature, but I’ll do it!!!!

family-268 These are my two great grandsons, Eli and Camden.  And they are standing out in the snow, the only photo I have in my library that has snow in it.  We have some snow in the forecast, but I received an email from my Citizens Emergency Relief Team (CERT) trainer today that we are going to have a horrible, humongous cold wave starting next week, with the temps dipping below zero.  So if you are in the Owensboro, KY area, be prepared.  Dress in layers, have emergency equipment on hand, both at home and in your car if you have to get out.  If you don’t have to get out, Please STAY AT HOME, and bundle up.  Have an ample supply of finger foods on hand in case of power outage, don’t turn your heat up too high so you can conserve electricity, dress in layers, and please take care of your pets.  They get cold too.  There is no word about ice or snow, just the extreme cold, and I know a lot of you live in colder areas, but darn it, this is supposed to be the South.  Upper south, but still….

Now for the personal train wrecks.  Believe me, as long as I’m breathing, there will be train wrecks.  I got this really nice cushion for my power chair, since my bum is getting a bit sore from sitting all the time, and today managed to spill my Dr. Pepper on it.  And on my phone, which was on the cushion next to the Dr. Pepper.  A new twist on sticky keys I think.  So, to keep from getting the seat of my jeans wet (I hope) I have a thick towel covering the cushion.  Also, a large wet spot on the leg of my jeans.  If there’s a way to destroy it, I’ll find it.

I’ve managed to drag a second quilt off my bed by getting it caught in my chair.  This takes a special talent.  And yesterday I pulled a panel off the door of the elevator.  Well, I never claimed to be a good driver.  And besides, the door shouldn’t have tried to close on me so fast.  It got me to my floor though, and for the first time in months it didn’t make that horrible sound when the door opened.  Guess I showed it who’s boss, huh?

family-521 Astroid kissing Noah Amy Just decided to show a few of my favorite photos before I sign off.  On the left are Laurie, Anika, Andrew and Ethan, In the middle is Noah with his Grand Champion steer Asteroid, and on the right is my beautiful niece Amy, wearing a necklace I made for her.  We raise beautiful kids in my family.

A.

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Baby, It’s Cold Out There


According to the weather bug on my computer, the temp is 25 degrees.  The sound of the wind whistling around the building makes it feel more like 25 below.  And the place is covered with ice — both the white kind, and the other, black ice that you don’t really see until you slip and fall on it.  This gal is staying inside and taking no chances, even if I could actually walk.  As for trying to drive my power chair, I have a feeling I would be skidding all over town in it without even trying.

Old wagon on country road, 2000 I took this photo several years ago, just because it caught my fancy.  I love things like this, old wagons, old houses, old barns.  I had been at a patient’s house when I worked for Hospice, and this old wagon had caught my eye the first time I drove out there, but I didn’t have my camera with me at the time.  That was before I started carrying the camera with me all the time, just for moments like this.  It was a winding country road, and with my sense of direction, I managed to get lost every time I went out there.  Of course, I can get lost in a closet with the door open, so that came as no surprise to me.  Fortunately, Hospice gave us directions and phone numbers, so I could check the directions, turn around and back track each day when I over shot the driveway, and eventually find the right house.  But this old wagon was on that road, so one day when I remembered to take the camera with me, I snapped the photo on the way back.  That was before I took the wrong turn and ended up on the wrong road, but at least I knew where I was then and finally made it to the next patient.

100_2569 My poor sweet potato leaves passed away a few days ago.  One day they were half way to the ceiling, looking healthy and robust, and the next day they were drooping over the jar and turning brown.  The mint is still thriving and the aloe, but both desperately need re-potting in ginormous buckets.   I guess I’ll have to do more online shopping for the pots and potting soil, which hopefully can be found in January.  I have some plastic buckets if they should become necessary, but don’t think I want to take a pick axe out to try to obtain some dirt anytime soon.

I’ve been cuddling under my half finished afghan 100_2571 while working on another one that isn’t so heavy at the time.  It really bugs me that I can only do a few stitches at a time, but then, I’ve lost the crochet hook I was using, so I’ve had to start a third one using a different size hook.  I’m sure my chair ate the other hook, and when I am able to life the chair up and look under it I’ll find the hook and probably a lot of other things that have been lost over the years.  Losing things and getting lost are two of my things.  If I turn one corner I’m completely lost, and if I put something down for a few minutes it disappears.  I have a game I play called “find the remote”.  My TV has been going for several days and nights because I can’t remember where I put the remote, no doubt in a place where I wouldn’t lose it.  That’s a dangerous thing to do here, because as soon as I put it down, it’s gone.  Don’t know why, don’t know how.  I think things grow feet and they run away from home.  They are probably all parading down Frederica street on their short little legs right now.

A.

Happy (?) New Year


Here’s hoping this year will be so much better than last one.  At least the last month of last one.  I really want to get back in my kitchen and cook something.  I know I can’t smell anything, but still I can remember the smells of the things I usually cook, and really miss that pot of beans and the Mexican cornbread that always go with it.  Mmmm, what more can a person ask for than beans and cornbread on a cold, winter day?

I have a new award, sorta.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here it is. doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-4-300x300 doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-3-300x300I haven’t decided which one to put in my gallery yet, but I think it will be the one with the picture of the presenter, Don Charisma.  Of course, the other one shows up better, but I’ll decide before my next post.  Don is really a great guy, currently living in Thailand, who is now doing great things with stitching photos together to make up really large, breathtaking scenery.  He’s funny, intelligent, and altogether a great guy who created my angel logo for me.  My knight in mostly shining armor.  You really should check out his blog, http://doncharisma.org.  At least I think that’s it.  If not, so sorry Don.  Sinus headache, remember?

Since I can’t go shopping at this time, I have started online shopping at Amazon.  I think I went a bit overboard on a few things there, but since you don’t actually see the product, just a description, you don’t know until it arrives. 004 Just a few days ago I got a call from the office telling me I had a large package downstairs.  Large?  It was about the size of a coffin.  It is still taking up half my living room.  As you can see, I ordered paper towels, also 007 well, that’s more like a photo of the box with the towels at the top.  So, here’s another one.005 A dozen packages of paper plates, and a huge bag of paper bowls.  Since I can’t wash dishes at the moment, I use a lot of paper products.  And last, 006 a dozen boxes of Kleenex, although I only pulled one out because I only needed one opened at the time.  Fortunately there was no shipping fee, since the order was more than $50.  The trash bags and Windex are still to come, and naturally they are the items I needed the most.  Except for the Kleenex, since I somehow caught a head cold without ever leaving the building.  How?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I think if there is half of an allergen floating around the hemisphere it makes it to my nose and takes up residence there.

I’ve pretty much slept thru the past few days.  It’s just too comfortable under the covers to move lately, and I have a lot of lost sleep to make up.  Throw a couple of pain pills a day into the mix, and I’m snoring like, well, a lumberjack?  Or maybe more like Max did.  For such a tiny dog he could beat my dad when it came to snoring.

Well, back to the sinus meds.  Doctor appointment on Friday for results of CAT scan.  To tell the truth, I’m not sure I really want to know.

A.

Still Making It Thru The Day


cheaper than therapy It was very overcast all day today.  And since I couldn’t hold the phone yesterday and write at the same time, mainly because my ear and hand both got numb after half an hour, I thought the CAT scan was for Monday.  Nope.  It was for this morning.  The front desk called me and told me the driver was waiting for me, and I wasn’t even up yet, thinking I had the day off.  SO, now the scan is for tomorrow morning.  There is something scheduled for Monday morning at 10, but I don’t know what it is now.  I guess I’ll be in for a surprise of some kind.  Hope it’s a good, fun one.

I sure wish I could go to the grocery now.  Maybe I can get the GRITS bus to drop me off there and they will pick me up again later, but probably not.  There are a few things I want to pick up.  Of course, that statement is an oxymoron at the moment, but I have my own bags on the back of my chair that I can maybe get some help storing a few groceries in.  And in a way that they won’t turn over and spill out all over the place.

I keep trying to change the way this page looks, but I’m pretty sure nothing is working right.  Don’t have the savvy to make it look the way I want, and don’t have the staying power to sit here long enough to chat with word press about customizing it so my angel shows on the front page.  Wanted to put Christmas colors on here, but what I’m seeing at the moment are dark purple and Chartreuse.  Not colors I would usually put together.  Love purple, love green, but hate Chartreuse.  At least I can use both hands to type now, so very thankful for that blessing.

Slept most of the day because I couldn’t find the remote to turn the TV off last night, and it’s hard to sleep through Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock.  I don’t usually watch those, but since I couldn’t find the remote, I couldn’t change the channel either.  I know there are buttons on the TV that will do it, but they are too dark to see.  Would have watched some movies, but I’ve lost that remote also.  Some things should just be tied around the neck or taped to your — well, use your imagination there.

bad day Found this picture on Face Book and can’t help wondering about it.  CGI?  Photoshop?  I could easily get stuck like that, but a horse?  I don’t think so, unless it’s as graceful as I am.  That would take a special kind of talent, and not many people possess that much talent.  I do know a couple of people who could do that, but relax Dana and Linda.  I won’t tell your last names.  At least, I won’t tell for a price.  That’s not blackmail, is it?  Maybe I could just tell a few stories about some of your shenanigans over the years.  We did have fun.  And as for Rita, I have pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.

happy people Kinda like this.  Especially this time of year when every online market sends me their catalogs with beautiful stuff I don’t need and don’t really have room for, but would love to have if I owned a huge mansion with a special room just for all that stuff.  Right now I would be happier if I could hold my crochet hook a few minutes longer, but a few stitches at a time will eventually get the job done, and that way I won’t have to buy new yarn for a while.  My afghan is large enough to cuddle under now when I get cold, just not long enough to be a real afghan yet.  So, a few stitches a day and someday it will be beautiful.  And some day soon I’ll be able to hold the camera again and take a photo of the work in progress.  Not quite as pretty as I envisioned in the beginning due to some bad contrast choices on my part, but then, I’m making it to keep me warm, not to win a beauty contest.

Going to give arms a rest now.  See you tomorrow.

A.

Mostly Photos From The Past


Leo &Betty Ann's house Leo and Betty Ann’s home as I remember it.

tonyangela Tony and me when we lived on Parrish Court in Owensboro.   We had real snow way back then.

Leo's kids, minus Doris Doug, Pat, Phil, Mark and Janet Blandford.  They lived down the drive behind us.  Sorry Doris, you weren’t born yet.  Doug and Ray were usually partners in crime.

Mark and philMark & Phil Mark and Sandy Mark & Sandy Mark and Pat. Mark & Pat Mark and Doug Mark and Doug (scowling) as they are today.

Leo Leo w. Doug and Pat Leo, Doug & Pat Leo and PatLeo and who? Leo Blandford 2 Doug’s son Leo, with wife Sara and twins.

Damien & HildaDamien & Hilda, wedding picture, w. Grandmother & Papa on left, and Mom & Pop Goetz on right.

Vird Vird and Johnnie, with Sheila, Sarah, Sharon and Kathy.  Krista yet to be born.

youngcousins Young cousins.  The tall one has to be Don, and on his left is Shirley, Carol is the blond in front, I think Patty is second from right, so probably Barbara on right, completely lost after that.

TonyTroublemaker Tony.  DSC01964_edited-1 Big Brother Tony with Uncle Vird.  Just goes to show what a difference a few years will do for troublemakers.

shirley and crewThis one is called “Shirley and crew”.  Shirley is in the middle of the back row, Betty is on the left of back row, not too sure about the rest.

Tony Barbara Diane Patty Left to right, Tony, Barbara, Diane and Patty.  Tony and Diane were making their first Communion, Barbara was a flower girl, and Patty was an angel. (still is).

HubertHelenHubert and Helen’s wedding picture.  Patty Hubert Barbara Patty, Hubert, Barbara

Patty Barbara Patty & Barbara  Patty Michael Barbara Patty, Michael, Barbara Paul Michael Ronald Paul, Michael, Ronald Barbara Barbara today.

JoeMaudeMaude and Joe, wedding.  jerrydamienmaryalene Jerry, Damien, Mary, AleeneMaude Donnie Joe In Detroit.  Jerry Julia Nick Jerry, Julia and Nick in 2000.

Donnie Jerry Patty Donnie, Jerry, Patty when they lived in Detroit.

cousins1 1952 family reunion at Vird’s house on Hwy. 81.

Eeanor Eleanor. Eleanor Swanson Later photo of Eleanor.Shelia and Joe 10-21-12 Sheila and JoeLeslie & Sarah Leslie Ann & Sarah.  I don’t have photos of Karen, John, and Tim (?)  You need to come home so I’ll remember your names right.

B0000166 My family, Bernard (dad) Tony, Mary (mom) Steve, Angie, Sylvia, Larry, Ray.  Elaine wasn’t born yet.  Sorry sis.BabyElaineElaine stuffing her face on birthday .Mary's Family Most of us in 2ooo.

Satyr walking Steve Satyr walking Steve in Tulsa. Larry and Marcia 9-11Larry and Marcia near Atlanta. Mark and Amy Christmas  Young Amy and Mark      Mark and Sarah wedding pic Mark and Sarah, wedding day.  New Amy.Amy beautiful niece., .  Grammy & kidz Me, with Anika, Laurie, Ethan, and Andrew, in Frankfort, KY  Mike and Janette Mike and Janette (Mike’s my baby, a Leap Year baby, so now 11 years old)Alan, 2012 Alan, oldest grandson. Faleasha5 Faleasha, beautiful granddaughter taken during her trip to Barcelona Noah with drink Noah, being Noah.  .Gina, Ethan Bill 2013 GO CATS!!! family-211 Don, with his grandson, Camden. family-268 Brothers, Eli and Camden. Elaine making burgoo Elaine, making burgoo at her home near Monument, CO.  And she didn’t even send me some. The Hartle family, minus Jon, 2013 The Hartle family, minus Jon, who is off to college.  Matt is married to Denise, and her sister is in the photo with them.  I’ve posted photos of Ray many times, and that leaves Sylvia and Erin, who refuse to have their pictures taken.

 

 

This series is dedicated to my wonderful Grandmother, and all the fantastic people who have come after her.  I love you all, and don’t you think it’s time for another reunion?

A.

 

 

 

Train Wrecks 2000


cousins are This will be the last entry about the stories from the 2000 cookbook.  Mark has suggested, and I totally agree, that it would be a great idea to start planning another reunion.  And maybe even another cookbook with new memories from the newer generation.  Plus, I would love to meet some of the cousins we have who are related from Papa’s side of the family.  I know one of them — Vicky Connor.  So if any Blandfords in the West Louisville area are related to her, you are related to the rest of us also.  I’m going to start putting some random photos on here tonight, because I’m running out of the older ones that have been destroyed over the many years since the 1920’s to the ’40’s.  So look closely, some of you could find yourselves going international tonight.

Vird Vird’s family.  Marie Blandford  Ward recalls:  Bernard (Elzie) used to walk in his sleep when he was younger.  One of the houses the family lived in had upstairs and downstairs porches.  One of the upstairs porches had a banister, one didn’t.  Off the porch without a banister was a little storage room. It was here that Mother kept her laundry until it was time to wash it.  One night when Bernard was around 13, he got up in his sleep.  Without knowing it, he walked onto the upstairs porch without a banister, and into the storage room.   There he put on a pair of Joe’s pants and went back to bed.  He had no idea what he had done until the next morning when he woke up in bed wearing Joe’s dirty pants!JoeMaude Joe and Maude’s wedding picture.  Can’t find one of Elzie (aka: Bernard)

Leo's familyI was hoping this photo would be larger, but Doug is in there–the oldest.  Doug Blandford recalls:  Daddy was a very opinionated about certain things.  For example, he felt very strongly that Muhammad Ali was a no-good draft dodger, regardless of how good a boxer he was.  Once Daddy woke up in the middle of a dream in which he was pummeling Ali.  He must have been flailing away (shadow boxing) when he connected with Ali’s jaw, but in actuality it was the bedroom wall he connected with!

armyleo My brothers and I learned to love and play the game of baseball from Daddy.  He would take us out to the field and throw and catch and hit flies until we all dropped.  But Daddy couldn’t throw very far or for very long at a time because he says he hurt his shoulder while playing ball in the Army, but he never talked about the war (WWII) and his participation in it.  Daddy was a machine-gunner in the infantry and marched with his unit across Germany and saw a lot of action.  But that is all I know about his experience there because he wouldn’t talk about the war, ever.  I kind of suspect that he really had a bad shoulder because of the constant recoil of the gun, but he led us to believe he threw his shoulder out playing ball.  Either way, I wish Daddy was still here so that I could tell him how proud I was of him.

Note to Doug:  the story I heard all my life was that your Dad was the only survivor of two different units.  By the time he was re-assigned to the third unit they had marched on Berlin, and taken the city, so most of his unit survived that time.  Mom told me this when I was a teenager, and I was asking why your Dad wasn’t a cook also, since he had the great recipe for the barbecue sauce.  Since the sauce recipe came courtesy of your Mom’s side of the family, and your Dad didn’t cook yet, he was assigned to the gunnery unit.  A real hero, among all the rest of heroes from that era.  I hope that helps after all these years.

Leo, Doug & PatAren’t you guys cute?  Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  Uncle Leo had the best line of all.  Some of them can even be printed.  I believe it was Tony that he called a “Big long slim slick sycamore sapling.”  You might need to check the accuracy though. (Don’t have to, I remember it well).  When something was just too astonishing for words he would exclaim “well garden seed!”  We had a beautiful mild cow named Beautina, but we called her “Beauty” for short.  Because she had a pair of magnificent horns, Leo called her “Double Ugly”.  He was never very fond of her I think.

Those are all the stories in the book.  There are a lot more I can only half remember from so many years ago.  Tomorrow I will post the photos I have salvaged, so you can see the “way back whens” and some of the more modern ones.  Oh, how I love my family.

A.

 

Train Wrecked Blandford Memories


Grandmother & Marie Marie Blandford Ward recalls:  When I was about 5 or 6 we kept rabbits outside in a hutch.  I just loved them and thought they were my pers.  One night a big storm came.  The next morning when I went out to check on the rabbits their hutch was overturned and they were gone.  when I went in for breakfast all the boys were teasing me, that the rabbits were gone for good and I’d never see them again.  I was feeling so sad and upset.  Well, George felt sorry for me and motioned me over to him.  When I went over, he said, “Look over there, under the buffet.”  All the rabbits were there.  The boys had brought them in earlier.  George was always very tender-hearted. George and Aleene

Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  Uncle Damien had a couple of favorite phrases that I remember.  I never heard him curse, but he would use the phrase “dad bum”.  He also taught me to sucker tobacco.  He said that to be able to sucker a plant without using a knife I would have to learn the “fossiarity” of the plant.  I still don’t know how to spell it, but I knew what he was talking about from the first moment.  joehubertdamien Joe, Hubert, Damien.

Patty Barbara Patty and Barbara:  Patty Blandford Liu recalls:  We moved from Rome to Owensboro in the middle of January.  My dad (Hubert) loved ice cream, and I can remember him going to the grocery store late at night in the snow to get ice cream.  He thought it was great to be close to stores where he could buy ice cream anytime he wanted and not have to make it to enjoy it.  We all remember him as a kind, gentle person, never angry, who loved to cook and pull practical jokes on family and friends.  All his siblings tell this story.  Aunt Eleanor Eeanor had a friend home to spend the day after Sunday Mass.  There was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc., and of course home-made ice cream.   Daddy was in charge of dishing the ice cream, and when it came to Aunt Eleanor’s friend, he took a scoop of mashed potatoes and covered it with a layer of ice cream, then stood back to watch her reaction.  Daddy said she took a bite with everyone watching and said, “Mrs. Blandford, this is really good.”  Of course, my Dad was cracking up, and Grandmother knew he had done something, so it all came out.  I don’t remember what Grandmother did to Daddy, but this was typical of my Dad.

Low fat substitutions, submitted by Patty Blandford Liu

Substitute apple juice for oil.  Use twice the amount called for in the recipe (1 cup apple juice for 1/2 cup oil)

Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg.

Finely grind 1 1/8 cups oats in a blender and substitute for 1 cup white flour.

In cakes, muffins or quick breaks, replace all or part of the butter, margarine or other shortening with half as much applesauce, apple butter, fruit juice or pureed fruit.  If recipe calls for oil, replace all or part of the oil with 3/4 as much fat substitute.  Mix the batter, and if  it seems too dry, add a little more fat substitute.  Some recipes need a one for one substitution.

When eliminating all fat from a recipe, reduce the number of eggs by half, or substitute 1 egg white for each whole egg, or use egg substitute.

Mary Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  I thought of a funny story I heard about Coleman and Ambrose when they were small boys.  Papa sent them out to plant beans in the cornfield, and when they came in to dinner that day he asked them if they planted all the beans.  They said “yes”.  Papa checked the cornfield periodically to see if the beans were coming up, and after about a month there was still no sign of the bans, but he was walking by an old tree stump that was nearby, and that old stump was covered with bean sprouts!!!  Coleman and Ambrose finally admitted that they had just dumped all the seeds in there, thinking no on would ever know.

That’s it for this edition.  Only one left, unless you want to send me more memories.  I may put in more of my own if I don’t forget to remember them.  And I’ll try a post with as many of the photos as I can find that haven’t been destroyed over the years.  BTW, the low-fat substitutions by Patty were what I was looking for when I started reading the comments in the book.  Thanks Patty.  I want to try out my oven to bake a cake this afternoon.

A.

More Blandford Train Wrecks


Thanksgiving dinner 2002 Thanksgiving at Mom’s house a few years ago.  L to R:  Ray, Tony, Angie, Marie, Hayman, Mom, Marcia, Mark Goetz.  And isn’t that a great looking table!

Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  I do remember my maternal grandmother, who died in 1933, and the only thing I remember about my maternal grandfather was that when I was only 1 year old I was standing too close to an open grate and my dress caught on fire.  Grandpa was sitting close by and he grabbed me and put out the blaze.  I was not burned, thanks to him.  I just remember that he had a mustache and a long beard.  He died in May of that year, 1921.  I never knew my paternal grandparents.  My grandmother died in 1888 and my grandfather remarried and moved to Mayfield.  We don’t know when he died, but I know it was long before I was born.  I know he was a farmer, and his father before him also farmed.  In fact, one of Papa’s uncles, Aquila Blandford, donated the land that Mount St.. Joseph is build on to the Ursuline Sisters.  Papa’s dad, J.R.II, donated land for the Catholic Cemetery in Mayfield, KY.

I can remember mom telling me about Uncle Aquila donating that land to the Mount most of my life.  I guess that’s why most of my life has been tied up with the Mount’s history.

armyleovirdjohn Leo, Vird, John R.IV.

Mary Blandford Goetz:  John R., Vird and Leo were the only boys to be drafted into the Army in the early ’40’s.  Both John and Vird were cooks.  Leo was in the infantry.  All three served in Europe during the entire siege.  John had cooked at home before going into the army, but I guess Vird learned while there.

Marie Blandford Ward recalls:  We went to Mass on Sundays in shifts — too many for one car load.  While the first shift of boys were at church someone from the second shift would sew their pants legs together.  Leo had Sister Edward for a teacher.  She lived with Sister Eulalia (our aunt) and was like family.  She was always teasing Leo about his curly hair.  One time he wrapped up a real pig tail and gave it to her.  One summer afternoon we wanted to make either ice cream or fudge.  The boys were working on the farm, so Mary and Eleanor said they would milk the cow.  They started out with Mary carrying the bucket and Eleanor carrying a stick, so there was no way a cow was going to let them come near. (Mary has said they chased the cow all around the pasture without any luck and that night it wouldn’t even give any milk!)

Another story I heard mom talk about quite often while I was growing up.  To this day she is afraid of being around cows, so I’ve often wondered if they chased the cow or the cow chased them.

mariejoeeleanorMarie, Joe and Eleanor, on lake front in MI.

Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  As for Marie, the only thing I can think of that wouldn’t embarrass her too much is that she was so short she could easily run right under the dining room table and be out of sight in a flash.  We used to call her “Wee Wee” instead of Marie.  Since she was so small, the boys often carried her to and from the bus.   It was about a two mile walk to the bus stop, which was long for her.  And the boys found it easier to carry her than to walk slow at her pace.

Gina as freshmanRegina Wink Swinford:   Uncle Vird told Aunt Marie who told me that when Uncle John was growing up there was a particular rooster who had it in for him.  I asked his daughter, Mary, about it.  She asked Uncle John.  He said he remembered the rooster, but it was mean to all of them.  One day he got it back though.  When the rooster attacked Uncle John once while he was on his way out to the barn, John took the pail he had and whacked the rooster clear down the driveway.  That was the last time the rooster bothered any of them.

Oh, the joys of growing up in the country.  I loved it myself, and I’m pretty sure my kids did also.  And even though she calls herself Regina now, she’ll always be Gina to me.  See you tomorrow.

A.

Blandford Reunion 2000 Revisited Part 3


cousins areSo here we go again, and I’m not sure who all will be featured tonight.  I do know Ray will lead off.  He seems to have the loudest voice in the family, and tells some of the best stories.  Of course, part of that came from Dad’s side of the family also.  I’ve never been sure where I fit in because I’m the one that always leaves the openings for the rest of them, and I seem to walk into the traps every time.

B0000166The little short guy in the front is Ray.  He was so cute way back then.  I wonder what happened.

Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  I guess all the boys in the family went hunting with Papa at least once (and for a reason I will now share, ONLY once).  He carried his old shotgun with the hammer back and his thumb over the trigger.  He walked very fast, more like stumbling forward.  Best of all, he wouldn’t let you walk in front or to the side.  I remember being scared to death watching that barrel pointing at me every time he took another step.  That just might be why I never enjoyed going hunting.  He would get after me for making too much noise, and then forget himself and whistle as we went through the woods.  I also remember helping him shell corn for the chickens.   He had an old Sheller in the barn and I loved putting an ear of corn in and turning that crank!

elders1 Not sure, but I think, back row are Ambrose, Coleman, Joe, front row, l. to r. Eleanor, Leo, Damien (?), Hubert (?), Vird, Mary, and George (?). As my Uncle Hayman said at one time, it seems only the oldest boys and the oldest daughter had shoes, the rest were barefoot.

Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  On Sundays Mother would try to have a really good dinner.  We had fried chicken in the springtime when the chicks were the right size.  They tried to get the baby chicks at the time when they would be the right size for our first fried chicken dinner to be on Easter Sunday.  With the chicken we would have mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and banana salad.  What a treat!!!  I guess Mother’s trademark dish was her famous fried chicken.  She had a deep 12 x 15 inch pan in which she melted lard to a depth of about 2 inches.  She fried about 5 or 6 chickens at a time, by dredging the pieces in a mixture of flour, sale and pepper, then putting them into the very hot lard, and cooking it in the oven until done.

I think all of my cousins will agree with me that Grandmother’s fried chicken was to die for.  As long as she lived and was able to cook, she made her fried chicken in the oven, and it was always fried in lard.  Since she and Papa both lived to their late 90’s, I think the secret of longevity is not so much in what you eat, but the purity of what you eat, along with the exercise you get by working hard all day the way my grandparents did, and the way my mom and aunts and uncles also did.

Mark and Doug Mark and Doug Blandford

Doug Blandford recalls:  There was a story Daddy (Leo) used to love telling.  Our Uncle Joe’s first wife, Maude, was a rambunctious personality, and so was Daddy, and they used to get each others goat.  Daddy took a couple walnuts, freshly fallen from the tree, still in their green outer shells.  They were about the size of a baseball!  He noticed that one of Maude’s sons, Don or Jerry, was whining, and Daddy saw his chance.  He placed both of the walnuts inside the boy’s diaper.  Aunt Maude heard the kid whimpering, felt his diaper and saw he needed a change.  Well, when she removed the diaper and saw those walnuts roll across the floor Aunt Maude about had a heart attack.  Daddy saw the whole thing and had the laugh of his life.  Another time he was passing out homemade ice cream to the folks and put lard in Aunt Maude’s bowl.  Those two characters are playing jokes in heaven, I’m sure.

I think now you are getting an idea of why I have turned out a bit twisted.  With ancestors like these (and cousins like these) how else could I be?  But oh, how I love them all.

A.

Memories From Reunion 2000, Part 2


cousins are Tonight will feature Marie, Ray (baby bro) and Carol (my cousin, now deceased and missed by all).

Grandmother & Marie Marie has always been the shortest member of the family, at barely 5’2″, in a family that averages closer to 6 feet and over for the guys, and 5’5″ for the girls, except for Carol, who was also short.

Marie Blandford Ward recalls:  When we were growing up, though much different from kids these days in many ways, we were always “starved” when we came home from school.  Our snacks were usually a concoction of vinegar, sugar and water with Mother’s home-made bread, or left over home-made biscuits, split in half and fried in bacon grease–very good.  But the best aroma and treat  was on Friday when Mother always had two pots of vegetable soup on the stove, one with onion and one without.  She didn’t start putting meat in it until later years when she found that way to use beef steaks.  It may sound strange, but anyone who ate her soup thought it was delicious.

Having had Grandmother’s soup, I can tell you for myself, it was delicious.  I was lucky enough to grow up across the pasture from her house, and would run across and spend afternoons with her during the summer, when my cousins were busy doing other things, and Grandmother and I would have lunch–with Papa of course, then after cleaning up the kitchen, would watch soap operas on her TV.  She may have been the first in the family to have a TV, and it was great living so close to her.

family-224Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  When Aunt Maude wasn’t looking, Uncle Joe would give us “samples” of ice cream or barbecue.  He would always offer it as if he really needed an opinion, and he would keep giving us more until he was “satisfied” that it was as good as we were saying it was.  He is also the one who told us that if we would look under the bleachers at the race track, we might find some nice surprises.  So Doug and I learned that if we went to the track the day after the races and looked under the stands we would find all the change that fell out of people’s pockets.  I used to get to ride on the tractor with him as he was working in the field.  He was always very kind and friendly, but it was rare to get a conversation out of him.  I suspect that he just didn’t know what to say to kids.  He liked us though.  He and Maude were my godparents.  Shortly before he died we were and Marie and Haymen’s and I asked him if he remembered that they were my godparents.  He not only remembered, but he told me about the baptism (which was pretty typical of all infant baptisms of that day).

graduatesDan, Diane, Carol Blandford, and Angie Goetz (that’s me) at our 8th grade graduation.

Carol Blandford Medley recalls:  Once I asked Grandmother how in the world she raised all those children when I find three is more than I can handle.  She replied, no problem at all.  They each had a job to do (or a chore).  My Dad’s (George) was cutting everyone’s hair.  She said, “He did a great job too.”  That was told to me when she was 97 years old.  I also remember when we would visit Grandmother and Papa.  Daddy always said “you can’t wear those shorts to Mother’s house”.  He really had a special respect for Grandmother.

Mary in the Window Mary Blandford Goetz (sitting in window) recalls:  On rare occasions Mother would take her egg money and buy a big beef chuck roast.  She would try to have some left over for hash on Monday.  Then there was country ham.  Papa and the boys always killed about a dozen hogs in the late fall, as soon as it got cold enough that the meat wouldn’t spoil before it could be processed.  So we had ham some Sundays.

I’ve always felt so spoiled when I have heard these stories from my mom.  How hard the times were back then, and how easy we have it today.  She is a wonderful woman, still going strong at 93, and healthier than all of her 7 children combined.  And she never takes having food on the table for granted.   We grew up poor, but I never felt that way, because she always made us feel like we had it all.  And from what I remember, the same thing went for all of my cousins.  Most of us grew up within a mile or so of each other, so we definitely were each others first friends.

More to come for many more days.

A.