Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Leaves

Our Fall colors have finally showed up here. We don't have as much as usual it seems but there are a couple of my trees that have turned pretty just in the last few days. We had a hard freeze so I am sure that helped. Here are three of my favorite photos that I took just today.
Don't forget that most of my photos I am selling, in 8x10 or 11x14 sizes. Just let me know.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wash Day

It is Monday morning and when I was growing up on the farm this was always washday. Washing clothes was an all day project. It was a lot of work. When I was young we did not have automatic washing machines or dryers.
There was a small building just outside the back door of our house. This was the wash house. It did not have any heat or air conditioning. Inside the wash house was the washing machine with the wringer, the wash bench, and two big galvanized wash tubs. The washing machine was electric but all of the rest of the process was done by hand.
Mama did all of the washing every Monday but when we were not in school we had to help. First, we sorted the clothes into piles. These were put into laundry baskets and carried outside into the wash house. We had hot and cold water facets in the washhouse, which we hooked a hose to and filled up the tub on the washing machine. We set the wash bench beside the washing machine and set the two wash tubs on it. These two tubs were also filled with water. One had warm water and the second one had cold water. You always rinsed the clothes in the warm water first. After we took the clothes out of the rinse tubs, we put the clothes in the empty laundry basket that was setting on an old chair. Everything was set up so that the wringer on the washing machine could be put over the washer, or each of the rinse tubs and laundry basket as needed.
When it was time to start washing clothes we put a load in the washing machine, along with Cheer soap, and turned it on. It would swish the clothes back and forth. We let them wash a while and then turn the machine off and turn on the wringer. With the wringer over the washer you put a piece of clothing into the wringer and the two rollers would roll the clothing through to the other side while squeezing out all of the water and drop it into the tub of warm water on the other side. Put another load of clothes into the washing machine and start it going again. All of the clothes were washed and rinsed in the same water that was put in each tub. That is why you always wash the white things first and work your way through until you did the darkest colors last. Then we picked the clothes up and down out of the rinse water to get the soap out of them. Bring the ringer around so it was between the two rinse tubs and again put the clothes through the ringer to squeeze out the water and drop them into the second rinse tub. Pick up the clothes and rinse up and down for a second time. Now they were clean and free of soap. For the third time you put them into the ringer, now turned around so that it was over the laundry basket.
It was now time to go hang them out on the clothes line. Mama had a child’s wagon that two laundry baskets would set in and when she had two baskets full and ready to be hung we would pull the wagon out into the farm yard where the clothes line was. Hang each piece up a certain way with at least two clothes pins. Jeans and daddy’s overalls were hung by the legs. Blouses were also hung upside down. Bed sheets were laid clear over the clothes line and then pinned. Towels hung by the end.
You had to watch the weather. If it started to rain, you had to go running out and bring all of the clothes inside. On the other hand, if it was a rainy day you still did the washing on Monday but the drying was done inside the house. We had a large metal drying rack that opened up like an umbrella. It had cord strung from corner to corner all around so there was room for lots of clothes. This was placed over the floor furnace.
I remember playing outside and seeing a big brown cloud in the south, coming towards our farm. It was a dust storm! I ran in the house and told mama then we had to hurry really fast to take all of the clothes off the clothes line and into the house.
It was also fun in the really cold winter time when mama would bring in daddy’s overalls. They were so thick and heavy that they usually did not get dry before the end of the day in the winter. They would be frozen stiff, mama would stand them up in a corner in the house, and we would laugh because mama was standing daddy up in the corner! I remember once pretending I was dancing with daddy!
Mama finally had an automatic washer and dryer after all of us girls were gone from home. But I still remember how wonderful all of the clothes smelled when they were dried outside, and how nice the house would smell when all of the clothes were drying in the house whenever they had to be brought in to dry.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Red Hills of Kansas

The Red Hills in South Central Kansas are really pretty.

I grew up in South Central Kansas and remember I use to always pick out the red-brown crayola when I wanted to color the ground in a coloring book. I always wondered why people would say the ground was just brown or dark brown. I knew it was red-brown. It was not until I was grown and moved away from southern Kansas that I found out not all dirt is red. The first time I walked in a muddy garden in northern Kansas I thought I was walking in black tar! I never did get my new white tennis shoes white again.

Here are a few photos of the beautiful Red Hills of Kansas.

Monday, October 20, 2008


The Trick and Treaters are about to arrive. I hope we have nice weather for all of them. I remember it always being such a fun time when I was young. We lived a little ways out of town and so mom would drive us into town to go trick and treating. We would always go to our preachers house, Uncle Howards, and Aunt Bethals. Then we would go to Aunt Annies. This was special because she always had a bowl of candy at the door for everyone, but when she saw that it was grandkids or nieces and nephews she would reach behind the door and get a special bowl of candy that had candy bars in it! And we are not talking about the little bite size bars kids get these days. You very seldom received any good candy like Aunt Annie gave us. You got popcorn balls, apples, cookies, and lots of hard candy and once in a while one of the little Hershey's miniature candy bars. Aunt Annie gave us the regular size candy bars!! Then mom would stay and visit with Aunt Annie while we walked up and down the street going to houses. It was always so exciting.

One Halloween I really remember is the Halloween that I was sick and I did not get to go trick and treating. I thought it was the worst day of my life!! But mom told me she would go to the store and buy me my favorite candy and bring it home to me. I told her I wanted Tootsie Roll Pops. She gave me a whole box just before my sisters, Janice and Shirley, left to go trick and treating. I wasn’t quite as sad then. But later when Janice and Shirley came home and had a whole sack of candy I was feeling very sorry for myself again. And then daddy came over and handed me a sack. I looked in, dumped it on my bed, and saw handfuls of penny candy!! There must have been a hundred pieces!!! That would be a dollar worth!! I had more candy then Janice and Shirley even did!!
I think that was the best Halloween I ever had and I didn’t even get to go trick and treating!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I have always liked Sunflowers, even before it was popular to like them. It was fun this late summer taking pictures of them. I tried to get some pictures that were different then the usual and also dodge the bees flying around! One day I even had a hummingbird fly right in front of my face. It was so surprising to not only see it but to hear the buzzing of the wings. But he was much too fast for me to get a picture. Maybe next time.



Monday, October 13, 2008

Born in a CAR!!

Born in a CAR!
I was born June 21, 1944. The first day of summer! I was several years old before I finally learned the actual date of my birth. I just always told everyone that I was born on the first day of summer. That was a special day I thought.

My birth was quite an event even though I was the third girl born to my parents. I was born during wheat harvest. Wheat harvest was a busy time as each farmer did his own cutting with his own combine and tractor. A large combine was pulled by a tractor. One person driving the tractor and another person driving the lifts, etc on the combine. Also a person with the truck that the wheat was dumped into. Daddy had at least two hired hands at this time. And mama had to fixed lunch for all of them each day.

I of course do not remember all of the details of my birth but I have been told the story over the years. We lived 6 miles out of town. When mama started going into labor daddy knew it was time to start into town. Driving in a old Chevrolet car daddy starting going down the old dirt roads. As he arrived at the edge of town, where the railroad track was, I decided I didn’t want to wait any longer to come into this world. There was a very long wheat train going across the tracks. These trains had 50 or more wheat cars on them and did not move real fast. Daddy decided he would try to go down along the tracks and get to the back of the train faster. But it was slightly muddy and I was getting closer to saying hi to the new world. So daddy got back onto the road and mama always told me that “your daddy caught you” when I was born. I think mama said they always had an old blanket in the car to help keep your legs warm when traveling and she wrapped me up in that. Daddy was so worried and when the train finally got across the road he hurried on to the hospital. Mama said she wasn’t worried now that I was born. She was asking daddy if he cared if she named me Joleen. Daddy said very tensely “I don’t care what you name her, just keep her warm!” When they arrived at the hospital daddy pulled up to the emergency door and started honking the horn. Mama told daddy to just go inside and get someone but daddy would’t leave her. So he just kept honking the horn until someone finally came out.

There was not any more to the story that I remember. But all my life I have always bragged that I was born in a car!



This photo is the first photo I sold. It was taken on an early spring evening as the moon was coming up.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the photos you see listed in the "Photos to Sell" section please just email me for details.

The Beginning

This is the beginning of my new Blog. I hope to be able to share with others things that I enjoy.