Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Flying in the Face of God .......

The death of John Glenn has flooded me with a lot of memories from my childhood in the fifties in northeastern Iowa.


I distinctly remember a crushing feeling that all of my grade felt when Russia 'won' the space race. We felt betrayed, like our scientists has let us down.  Since it was October of 1957, I would have been in the first grade.

My group of kids were the first generation raised with the new invention of television and I remember watching it on the old Philco TV that my parents had recently purchased within the last year.  I also remember them advertising that Disney's Mickey Mouse Club would soon be airing and my mother commenting that Merideth will really like that. I believe it's first airing was in 1955 but maybe our ONE local television channel only began carrying it in 1956.

In May of 1961, the US finally sent a man up in space.  Alan Sheperd went up briefly and back down never making a complete orbit.  On the 20th of February, 1962, John Glenn became the first person to orbit the earth.  It was Tuesday and for some reason, after school, I was at my grandmother DeSotel's house.   We watched the video and narrative of the Glenn flight and after it was over, my grandmother turned to me and stated, "If God had meant for us to be on the moon, he would have put us there!"  I was slightly shocked by her comment as those of us in the fifth grade thought space flight the most natural thing in the world.  At least half of the boys in my grade had astronaut aspirations.  Probably the remaining half wanted to be corn/hog farmers. (North East Iowa)

Later,, as an adult I had the opportunity to view a Mercury capsule just like the one Glenn orbited in. It was at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in front of the State Museum on 14th street.  (If you have kids, be sure and stop and visit their natural science section with the rhinos and mammoths and oh my!)  The capsule was unbelievably small with barely enough room to sit,  Every square inch was accounted for.  I couldn't imagine riding across the street in it, let alone orbiting the earth.  Glenn must have been a man of extraordinary courage and faith to have gone into space.

By 1972, when man stepped on the moon, we were living in Wyoming and I never asked my grandma what she thought of that when we visited her.  

Godspeed John Glenn.  America needs more men like you were.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thoughts on 2016 and the arrival of Winter

I just spent over a week in the Denver area.  I took a friend down to the Anschutz Medical center for some medical testing which lasted for a week.

The complex is huge but well planned and we found where we needed to go quite easily.
Here is an aerial photo of the complex I found on the internet.  We were in the building on the far left on the 7th floor.

For the first time ever I tried Airbnb and was well pleased with the experience.  Much cheaper than a hotel/motel for sure.  I had to switch mid-way in the week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.  It was a nice switch as I went from a shared bathroom with the hosts to a private bath!  Both places were clean and pleasant and I will definitely use Airbnb again!

I also discovered (much to my surprise) that I can drive in this.........

Who would have ever thought a country girl who thinks it's a busy highway if she meets 3 cars in 10 miles could navigate in this kind of traffic?  I actually found the freeway almost easier than Colfax Avenue (where the medical complex is located).  Trying to read street signs to navigate a left turn is difficult so I'd slow down and then they would honk.  FYI - that was slowing down to 30 mph!!!
But I got better, started knowing my turns so they quit honking.

One of the Airbnb places was located near this corner.  Dayton and Colfax and it sure looks a lot easier in 1921 than now!!!  I think the building that says Drugs/Soda on it is the Mexican restaurant that is there now.

I had the occasion to go out and shop several times.  Once to Hobby Lobby down past Alameda and discovered it looked just the same and was the same size as the one I shop at in Central Wyoming.  Well it made finding the knitting stuff easy.  I did some boot cuffs and a set of SOCKS!! (first time and one of my knitting goals) plus started a scarf to pass the time.

Then a Dollar General store that was absolutely the dirtiest, messiest store I've ever been in.  Empty shelves with aisles lined with cardboard boxes waiting to be restocked to the shelves.  I felt like I was shopping in some third world country.  
Add about a dozen large cardboard boxes sitting in front of these shelves and you pretty much get the idea. A homeless person begging in front of the exit door was the coup de'etat. The Kmart I later went to wasn't much better but it was a little cleaner. Notably most of the shoppers at the last 2 stores were hispanic.   
Cold and some snow has now arrived at North of Nowhere.  Our lovely warm extended fall is a thing of the past.  I'm just glad I did not have to drive home from Denver in a raging blizzard.  Although we did hit some snow around the midway point.

I have become quite creative at using ground beef recipes.  Why?  Because Hubby had missed a testicle on the butcher steer when he banded him.  Then when I went to take him to the butcher's I found out he had gone out of business although the phone was still working.  So by that time it was end of the season with the butcher shops only taking wild game.  By the time I found a new butcher place, this thing was 20 months old and a bull.   So I hamburgered all of him (and a few roasts which you HAVE to crockpot or you will be chewing that roast into the next month!).  But boy is that hamburger good!  Grass fat, antibiotic free beef is the BEST.  

Compared with grain fed beef from a feedlot (which is almost all of your grocery store beef) meat from a grass fed animal has health benefits.  There is less total fat, saturated fat, calories and cholestrol in the meat.  It also has more beta-carotene, vitamins E and C, more omega 3 fatty acies and conjugated linoleic acid.

Course there is a certain downfall to having known your meal while it was living but this guy was a relief to drop off at the butcher's.  He was becoming an agressive butt head!  Did not mind saying good-bye to him at all.

I finally found a solid broke driving mare and picked her up late September.   She is Amish broke and a registered Morgan of course.   I got her from a friend in North Dakota, and she had gotten her through a Morgan rescue.  We had just gotten a harness fitted to her from parts of 3 harnesses we own but hadn't driven her yet when I decided I needed to get ready for winter and started on some yard/mtn property work.   I do have a cute sled so hopefully we can get to driving her in the next few weeks.  Her name is Brandy and she is a real sweetheart.
JBS Brandywine with the trainer, Jenna, before we picked her up.  We will probably not ride her a lot but they said she was good with kids so maybe the grandkids will ride her some.  I am hoping to just drive her!

Off to do some sewing for gifts!