Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tomatoes to Go

I went to a local Fruit Stand the other day and they had tomatoes and a sign over the top of them that said 'local tomatoes' They had been picked over and only a few left, but I found one good one so I bought it and when I started to use it I found a sticker on it that said 'Victory Garden California'. They lied or I'm getting so senile I didn't know I moved to California.  This is still Washington as far as I know.

When I ask those kids in the produce department at a store if the tomatoes are field grown they look at me like I have a loose screw. So I have learned to say, "Are these tomato's grown in a field or a hot house?" 
Field grown taste like tomatoes, hot  house is only half as tasty.

I may go out of the farming business. I have two pots on the patio with tomatoes and I have had one ripe one so far. The other 200 tomatoes are on the verge of getting ripe on the same day. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Early Era of Oklahoma

A long time ago in a far away place from where I now live, life was so different than it is today. It’s hard to compare the two. It was quiet in the old farm house. Daddy reading his bible by the coal oil lamp. Mom was taking out the bun in her long dark hair and braiding it in a long braid as she prepared for bed. Grandpa rocking in his rocker by the wood burning pot bellied stove. 
He could no longer hear so he was very quiet as nobody could communicate with him. His life consisted of rocking, reading the newspaper, taking long walks each day. He lived to be 89 and that was a very long life in the early 40’s. There was no noise outside unless a thunder storm came up.
Grandpa may have been reminiscing about his younger years and what life was like in those days in the state of Oklahoma. 

My father, Dennis Lockwood, was born in the family farmhouse in 1900. His Dad, Jasper Newton Lockwood, had homesteaded  160 acres of land near a town that was barely in existence in 1889. It was called Still Water Valley before it was known as Stillwater.  It  was listed in a map as a town with no name for a long time. 

It didn’t attract much interest because it was hard to get to without roads.  Indians began to move into the area because of the white people taking over everything else. It became known as Indian Territory. 

President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Homestead Act of 1862 so legal settlers could claim lots up to 160 acres in size. Provided a settler lived on the land and improved it, he could then receive the title to the land. 
They had what they called a Land Rush.  This is what my Grandpa entered into. They lived in Illinois or Indiana at the time. I know that my Grandpa was born in Indiana and Grandma was born in Illinois, so I am not sure where they were living.

 Some of the individuals who participated in the run entered early and hid out until the legal time of entry to lay quick claim to some of the most choice homesteads. These people came to be identified as "sooners". This led to hundreds of legal contests that arose and were decided first at local land offices and eventually by the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

Arguments included what constituted the "legal time of entry.” While some people think that the settlers who entered the territory at the legally appointed time were known as "boomers", the term actually refers to those who campaigned for the opening of the lands, led by David L. Payne. The county was named after this man.
 Several rivers flowed across Oklahoma, including the Cimarron, which received the flow of numerous small streams that flooded with the seasons. One of these persisted through frequent droughts. 

Cattlemen began to take an interest in the area because of the water from the river. It was named Still Water Creek. It was a nice stopping over place for the travelers….From there a colony of Boomers, whose presence there in 1885 forced open the Indian land to white settlement.

Grandpa came to the area alone on horseback to get involved in the Land Rush and staking a claim. Some traveled in a wagon train with many wagons and families.  They took household items and food to last for several days. There had been so much rain that the trails were soaked and muddy. Grandpa staked a claim of farmland Northeast of Stillwater. He owned the property the rest of his life and was able to attain more acres. 

They lived in a dugout while they built the house. My father was born in the new house in 1900. He was the youngest of the children. There were seven boys and one girl.  The house is still standing today, Many of the people lived in dugouts. His older sons and Grandpa built the house. It is two stories, but not very large. He had three brother that died at a very young ages. Late teens and 20's. Dad told me they died from kidney problems.  I'm not sure if that was just a guess or if anybody knew for sure.

 This story was passed down and this is the way I remember the story, my grandmother was alone in her kitchen one day when three very large Indian men came through the door. She felt they were there to kill her because that was all she had ever heard about Indians. She was frightened beyond belief. They grunted some words and she wasn’t sure what they were saying at first, but they made her understand that they would not hurt her, and they just wanted something to eat. She gave them food and they went on their way.

Grandmother was 73 when she passed away. She predicted her own death to the day, and she was not sick. She just knew what day she was going to die. I don’t know what caused her death. Maybe it’s like having faith, if you believe something strong enough it will happen. It has stuck in my head all these years. I was 4 years old and was outside playing when it happened. I don’t know why we were at their house, but I remember all the hustling and running around. People coming and going.
So I found a quiet place behind the cellar under some bushes and I sat down and fell asleep. I woke up and heard everybody calling my name.
I am in including a Utube of the a depiction of the land rush.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More of the same

Not much going on except Summer. I love the longer days and warmer weather. We have been lucky to have great weather now. Most of the states are really getting hit with all time high's. It seems like everything that happens is extreme anymore. Extremely hot or extremely cold or some strange thing happens that you never heard of before. The times are a changing. 
I know you are dying to see pictures of my grand-kids. I only have two little grand-kids.That is because the grands are all grown and having kids of their own. So these are Great grands. 
I helped myself to this one from her Daddy's collection.
A little girl and her Daddy
Her little friend is trying to show her something, but she is worried about Mommy.

Showing her independence by taking a walk by herself. 

This link (if it works properly) is the 1940's 
(it really brought back memories for me)
The 1940's

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stuff Happens......Even in Church

When you reach your golden years, you have a lot of idle time to sit and reflect on some of the things that happened to you.  Here is one of the things that is constantly on my mind. Some of the players in this drama have now passed on and if anybody recognizes himself or herself so be it. I was a member and attended a church for over 25 years and loved the folks that I met there and enjoyed the services. After all those years a bizarre thing happened.

It was like a hem that starts to unravel. At first it’s a small rip so you kind of ignore it and finally it has come completely out. That is the way I describe what happened to me. A Sunday school teacher told the class that he had the gift of discernment. It was evident that he thought the gift of discernment meant that he knew whether a person was truly born again and saved. One day in class he asked us to bow our heads so he could pray for somebody in the class that wasn’t truly born again. I guess his ‘Gift’ had kicked in. I instantly knew I was the poor lost soul he was praying for.

Now this is the point that you probably think I must have been living a terrible life of sin to feel that guilty, but I just couldn’t help but think I was the target. I was 72 years old and widowed and lived alone and never went any place except the church, doctor and grocery store. Maybe not in that order, but I really was not into any sin that I was aware of. Or maybe everybody in the class felt the exact same way I felt. It sure had its aftermath on me.

This was the first rip in the hem, I was not positive I was the poor lost soul, so I couldn’t ask him why he thought I was lost.  His wife was the teacher of the weekly bible study that I faithfully attended, and it was soon apparent to me that he had shared his, pearls of wisdom, with her. She was always calling on me to pray the beginning prayer or the ending prayer, and other questions about the lesson. She had never done that before. It was so obvious that she was testing me to determine if she agreed with him. (I think) Still I ignored the rip in the hem. What if I’m wrong. I better just let it go.

One Sunday morning when I went to church, I was so obviously ignored by everybody I just sat in the pew with my mouth hanging open during the entire service. What is going on? I kept asking myself. The minister always came by before the service started and shook hands and greeted everybody. This time he shook my hand while talking to the person next to me. Did his wife and secretary and that click stopped coming by my area so they wouldn’t have to speak to me? The elderly lady that sat in front of me turned her head when I spoke to her. I always loved that old lady. How had I offended her.

The weeks went by and I kept going. Church was getting fascinating now and I had to go to see what the next chapter would bring.
Call me paranoid or whatever you think is suitable, but I honestly think the Sunday school teacher took the issue of my salvation to the Pastor. He didn’t know how to deal with it himself so he decided it was a problem for the Pastor. The Pastor thought it would be an awkward thing to bring up with me, so he tells the Sunday school teacher his pathetic excuse for not speaking to me about my lost state of affairs.  He told the Sunday school teacher that I was beyond saving and they should not even attempt to get me saved.

 He was so pleased with his version of what was wrong with me, he decided it would make a good, message for one of the services.  
Maybe it went something like this and I could be wrong so maybe I should just drop it.
I don’t believe he used my name but described me well enough that everybody in the place had no doubt who he was referring to. Of course this happened in one of those Wednesday night services that I never attend.  Could this be what he said? The lady that sits on the end of the fourth row is one of those the bible speaks of as having a reprobate mind and we should not even give her the time of day.
She never volunteers for anything, she only keeps a seat warm on Sunday morning.
She doesn’t attend Sunday night or Wednesday night services. She doesn’t pay her tithe. She is the one the bible refers to in Titus 1:16. “For we shall know them by their works”.

What the chapter refers to is mainly false teachers, and not some old lady that sits in a pew on Sunday morning. “For we shall know them by their works”. I don't know if he used this verse, but I have heard others on TV that seem to think this means you have to show, by a certain manner, proof of your salvation such as if you donate more money to their cause God will be more pleased with you and bless you more.

Jesus dying for your sins is enough already. By their ‘works’ means you still living by the old law (trying to earn your way) and not trusting in  Jesus crucifixion.  It most certainly does not mean, by their works, you can tell if a person is truly born again and saved.

In some ways he was right. I only attended the Sunday morning service and I did not volunteer for everything that came down the pike. In my younger years I helped in the kitchen and many other things, but I am 72 and my back hurts. I am now 82 and not a single day goes by that I do not remember and think about it.
It continued and the Sunday school teacher and his wife left the church shortly after. I started going to a new Sunday school class with a new teacher, and he cut me down every time I opened my mouth so I soon learned to not open it. The pastor was still shaking my hand while talking to the next person.
 Almost everybody in the Sunday School Class ignored me, like I was invisible. It was not my imagination. This went on for a couple more weeks.  One time a man behind me during the greeting session told me that he only sees me on Sunday morning. I guess if he wants to see me more often, he needs to find out where I live and visit me.

For the first time since I had been attending the church I was being asked every week if I would volunteer for something. Were they testing me? Even the Sunday school class decided we would clean up the parking area and pull up the weeds around the flowerbeds and etc. I decided I wouldn’t miss that weed-pulling affair if it killed me. Sure enough we are pulling the weeds one Saturday morning and here comes the Pastor cruising in and jumps out of his car and looks around to see who is there. He didn’t pull a single weed and left after a few minutes.

I was asked if I would volunteer with the money counting on Monday mornings. Sure, I can sit down while I count money. Then I got an earful about who tithes and who doesn’t and they will need to account to God for that some day.  I had stopped paying a tithe because of my puny little income. I gave to the church what I felt I could afford.  It was either pay the tithe or let one of the bills get behind. I know some will say that I need to have enough faith that God will take care of my expenses if I pay the tithe. I say we also need to use some common sense.

The pastor left the church rather abruptly and I have never learned the reason for his rapid departure. Many people changed churches or moved out of the area. Some of the folks remained friendly to me and especially one man who was also a minister and his wife were always very friendly and never treated me any differently than they ever had. Nobody will ever know how much I appreciated that.

They got a new Pastor and he was very cordial to me and looked at me while shaking my hand. The church began to go down hill and they finally sold it and built a new one farther away and it took four or five years to get the new church built, in the meantime they held the service in a funeral home. To me it was like the church died and they were holding a funeral service for it.
When they moved to the funeral home for the service I stopped attending. One of my friends said I should refer to it as a Chapel.
I cannot bring myself to attend a church of any kind since that event. I even have problems listening to TV ministers. I read my bible and pray every day. I have no doubts about my salvation and I have no doubts about yours. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Issue of the Tissue (a rerun)


Should it go over the roll?
Or should it go under the roll?
Or Should we take a poll?
It doesn’t really matter at all
Just pull it through the hole!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

War Without Guns

Mother Goose Club
War Without Guns

Confusion is the term that describe the workings of our government. Our president is only as good as the voter. We all like to vote and carry on as if we are so patriotic. Doing our patriotic duty. Who are we voting for, do we know anything about the person and issues or do we vote because we are Republican or Democrat. I believe that is the case in most cases. How many people bother to understand the issues that are putting the country into a depression. It has become a heated war between Republicans and Democrats. Who has time to get in and really find out what makes the wheels roll? We take sides, no matter what the issues are. The authorities in the party do everything they can to defeat the opposing party, causing nothing to get done. They are too busy trying to win political power. It’s all about the power. Power = Money. Who has the most money. If you really want to know how to vote, go back to school and learn how the government is run. Who has time for that, we are either working or looking for work or standing in line.
We need to get more involved about who is watching the store. If we really want to know what the Cannibals are up to, walk naked through their village. It would be a real eye-opener if nothing else. Ask not who you should vote for, ask what are they likely to do if elected.
Remember the important things. Get the Republicans/Democrats out of the office and let Mother Goose run it. We need change.
This is my campaign slogan, “Like I said use your head”.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Another Day Down the Tube

The Olive trees are in bloom

by Michael Gartner

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and
small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for
editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are

"My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I
never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years
old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had
to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every
which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive
through life and miss it."

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh,
bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse."

"Well," my father said, "there was that, too."

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all
had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the Van
Laninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors
down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work
and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my
mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop,
meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes,
at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No
one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that.

But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys
Turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would
Turn 16 first.

But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents
bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a
Chevy dealership downtown.

It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with
everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my
brother's car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it
didn't make sense to my mother.

So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to
drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive
the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to
practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your
mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in
the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he
loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits – and appointed
himself navigator. It seemed to work.

Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic,
and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to
bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.

(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or
so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk
down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw
which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the
pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my
mother at the end of the service and walking her home.

If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head
back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she
drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to
the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if
it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the
Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd
explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad
throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third
base scored."

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags
out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always
the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he
said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"

"I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

"No left turns," he said.

"What?" I asked.

"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an
article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they
turn left in front of oncoming traffic. As you get older, your eyesight
worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and
I decided never again to make a left turn."

"What?" I said again.

"No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a
left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."

"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support. "No," she
said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she
added: "Except when your father loses count."

I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started

"Loses count?" I asked.

"Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem.
You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."

I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.

"No," he said. "If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad
day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another
day or another week."

My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car
keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she
was 90.

She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.

They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few
years later for $3,000. Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to
have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My
father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly
three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was101
because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep
exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to
give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that
he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about
politics and newspapers and things in the news.

A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred
years are a lot easier than the second hundred."

At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably
not going to live much longer."

"You're probably right," I said.

"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.

"Because you're 102 years old," I said.

"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day. That
night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through
the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently
seeing us look gloomy, he said:” I would like to make an announcement. No
one in this room is dead yet"

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:

"I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I
am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth
could ever have."

A short time later, he died. I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot.
I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky
that he lived so long. I can't figure out if it was because he walked
through life, Or because he quit taking left turns. "

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you
right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a
reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.
Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be
worth it."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fear Strikes Again

I have a large window in my living room. When sitting in my recliner I can see out very well. One day as I was sitting there I heard a noise and glanced up at the window and a man and woman were standing at my door. I thought the woman was my granddaughter, Deena, so I jump up and opened the door. It was not my granddaughter, but total strangers.
The woman was shaking and trembling all over and I felt instant fear. Then I saw why she was shaking. The man had a gun in her back and she immediately tried to enter my door. I had stepped back enough to get the door closed, but I was unable to lock it because the force on the other side kept it from closing completely. They finally forced their way through the door and I have never been so frightened in my entire life. I was so scared that I woke up immediately.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Total Frustration

Not much going on around here unless I mention all those frustrating things that happen to everybody every day. I thought I had a serious computer problem. All at once every thing I clicked on gave me a long message about a bad image and it went sort of like this. Long and ramblings. " application or dllc://program
/google/1ddl. is not a valid windows image" It went on and on. I called Kenny (my son) who is a self taught semi computer geek/tech. He knows I use Mozilla Firefox for my browser. He told me they recently upgraded and they may have a problem. He said to try my old browser and see if it still happened.  Like magic it doesn't happen with Internet explorer.  I think the problem lies with Mozilla Firefox and if they can fix their problem I may go back with them.

The frozen man, with the onion mouth, in the picture was made by a couple granddaughters a few years back. I wonder if they will remember it. If he knows how to cook. I may have a job for him.