Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and Bandit Stories Continued

A fact that is needed to be known here is that the Hero had white hair.  His hair started 'graying' when he turned 25.
The Hero with our 6th child at about the same time as the story took place.
This event took place because our cow became adventurous.  She decided that the grass looked greener on the other side.  We had a halter on her because of her some time adventures.  One Saturday, The Hero heard the dogs barking and looked out the front door to see the cow headed for the street.  He called back Bandit, carefully closed him in the house and took off with a rope to bring the cow back.  The rest of the story will be in his words.
"I could see that the cow was headed for our neighbor's yard that has a nice garden.  As I neared, I could see her headed for the corn.  Heck, I didn't want to get shot and drug over coals for her ruining his corn so I started running and waving my arms at her to make her go on past the garden.  She went to the edge of the woods and waited for me.  I got the rope on her, when up came Bandit, who the hell let him out again? Bark, bark, bark and off she took to the woods with me in tow. Dragging me through the brambles( wild rose bushes) and briers.  I held on pulling her head down to bring her to a halt.  My glasses went flying off.  I paused for a minute.  Cow...200 dollar glasses.  The glasses won.  I let her go and went searching for the glasses.  When I found them, I had to catch her again and tow her home.  I am so scratched up and beat up that I think I am going up and soak."
That could be the end of the story, but the funny part was the next day at church.  
When we got up, his back was hurting.  He had scratches everywhere.  His  eyes were even scratched.  He decided that he would go to church anyway.  So we went to church with him using a cane to walk with and wearing shades to protect his eyes which were hurting.  A long time friend came up and said,"Frances, introduce me to your elderly friend."  I looked at him to see if he was kidding; he was dead serious.  I started laughing and so did the Hero.  The Hero with his white hair, glass, bent over on a cane looked like he was 70.  I would tease him that he must have robbed the cradle because I was so much younger.  ; )
Your uncle, my grandchildren, would tell you the moral to the story is don't have cows, but then we wouldn't have the story to tell. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Surname Saturday....Well Sort of... It Is Related.


When my first daughter was born, my Hero and I were clueless as to the sex.   There were no ultra sounds, or tests back in the dark ages.
We were also clueless about our genealogy.  We knew there were some Irish strains in both back grounds, so we decided an Irish name for a child would be apt.  The name for a boy was a given.  The Hero was intent on continuing his family's tradition.  If a boy, he would be the IVth.  If a girl, now that was a different story.
I searched for names. 
There was Sister (nun) who was a guest student at the Catholic college I was attending.  Her name was Aine.  The reason I knew this was, because it was the first year the Vatican allowed the Sisters to use their personal names.  I loved this Sister.  She was funny, sandy red hair, sparking blue eyes, and bright.  She always brought sun shine into a room.  This was what I wanted my daughter to be like.  Well, I got everything but the red hair and blue eyes, (forgot genes take a play there, lol).  But I digress, names, stay on track.  My favorite name was Aine.  It was a Gaelic name, it's closest English equivalent was Ann. The Hero said, " hmmm, that would be great, my family is Catholic and the Ellsworth's were Irish.  (Now grandchildren, you know how you mom or aunt, became Aine.)
My next task was to find a middle name.  Middle names are a tradition in my family and his.  Finally, I came up with Maura.  My mother was Mary, and Maura in English would be Mary.  It was a fit.  This could be the end of the story, but it wasn't. 
When I finally, got around to doing genealogical research, we found out Hero's great grandmother's middle name was Maloura, how is that for getting close to a name without knowing it.  The origin of the name Maloura is unknown to us.  Martha Ann Maloura Wells grandparents were Wells, White, Hollands, and Reynolds.  I have not found a traditional teaching in any family about being Irish, nor have I found in any line this name.
If you have a clue, I could use it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and The Bandit Learning Herding

This was what our Jersey cow looked like when we bought her, black face and reddish body.  We loved her. She had a crescent moon on her forehead, so we named her "Half Moon".   The Hero learned to milk when she had her first calf, and when she was young she was manageable.  When we got Bandit, a whole new dimension came  into our farm dynamic.
A different kind of party dog.

As Bandit grew, we discover he was a show off.  We would drive in from work, and see Bandit take off to the barn to show, "he was on the job". Finally, the Hero decided he was going to the field to see what was up.  He came back shaking his head and chortling.  He was sure given Bandit's actions he would give Spuds Mackenzie, "The Budweiser Party Dog", a run for his money as a real party dog.  Here is his report:  "Bandit would run behind the cow barking and nipping at her heels to get her to a full run, then he would grab the fluff end of her tail and swing back and forth until she slowed, then he would let go and start all over again. "  Not much fun for the cow, nor was it friend making, but Bandit thought it was a real party time. The Hero on the other hand thought it was as funny as could be.  He would airplane his arms showing how Bandit would ride and then laugh hard at Bandit's antics.  Little did he know it was the heralding of a future event.

The fun of cattle herding between the Hero and Bandit began with a new calf.  
The Hero had watched the birthing early one morning and decided that he needed to move the calf to the barn.  This was because we had large colonies of fire ants on the farm, and they would attack small helpless animals and babies.  I will now revert to his account of the event
"I bent down keeping a wary eye on the cow.  She was gentle, but this was her first calf.  She looked fine with me approaching the calf, so I scooped up the calf and stood up.  About this time, in jumped Bandit between me and the cow.  I froze.  All I could get out was "NO Bandit!" as he started barking.  The cow started at a dead run for Bandit.  He was good.  He side stepped, and she ran right over me and the calf. Then came back to nuzzle the baby."  

My attempt at recreation of the scene

We learned this as he deposited Bandit in a huff on the dining room floor saying "Do not let him out!"...
This was the beginning of isolation of Bandit during cow activities ...or maybe I should say attempted isolation...That is another story. 
Grandchildren what lesson do you see to learn from this story?  There is one. 
By the way, he did get the calf up and safe, without Bandit's help. ; )

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and Some Cowboy Background

My grandchildren, I told you we moved from inner city Houston to the country, to help your great grandfather after his heart attack.  However, I did not tell you what the farm was like back then.  As I tell the stories, I will call your granddadE the Hero, because he was my white knight, my hero.

When we moved to the country, our home and surroundings were primitive.  There weren't any paved roads.  Our driveway and the road were made of iron ore.  The structure we resided in was temporary in nature.  The walls were made of pressed board, the roof of rolled asphalt paper, the floors of pressed board also.  The Hero had grown up in a household that had the 'you hire someone to do your work' attitude.  Our move was a learning curve.  When we moved out there, I suggested that he buy cowboy boots for working in the fields, etc.  "Oh no" says he, "I like my loafers and tennis shoes."  "Okay", I said.

It was just a month later that we had a huge rain.  This is documented in weather history as follows...1979,  APR 18    16" of rain over Harris County. Flooding wide spread over many Harris County Bayous and streams.   Conroe 12-14" of rain, 3 deaths.
That 14" rain filled Lake Conroe, which is near us, to over flowing of the dam.  Prior to that, they had predicted another 5 years to fill it to capacity.  The roads were turned to mush.  The Hero arrived home after and arduous trip from Houston in the down pour.   The roads were so soft, he parked out on the road to walk across the field to the house.  Oops.  There went his shoes in the first few steps.  He stepped down in the field and his shoes sunk.  He pulled them up out of the mud and walked to the house barefooted carrying his shoes (not a short distance).  When he arrived, he was wet, miserable and disgusted, but soon laughed at his situation with me.  The next day he went to town, and bought his first pair of cowboy boots.  He loved them.  Of course, he had to buy the hat too to protect his "hair" from the sun...

And that my grandchildren, is how your granddadE 'stepped' from being a city slicker into being a cowboy.  It just took Texas black gumbo and an act of God.  ; )

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and The Bandit; The Beginning

 I am helping to prepare for the NGS Conference in Salt Lake City, UT on 28 April–1 May 2010.  As a result my posts are being few and far between.

This is my Sentimental Sunday post on The Hero Stories for the grandchildren.

In 1979, my hero and I moved to the country to help my parents.  My father had just had a heart attack and was not able to build the farm we had helped invest in.  The hero had never lived or worked on a farm.  We had been studying about living self sufficient on a 5 acre farm.  This seemed logical to do.  My father needed help and we wanted to see if we could do it.  The first house.  The second duh...the hero had to drive 54 miles one way to work and didn't get back home until after dark.  Things were not rosey.

My father had bought a cow for milking and some chickens.  He decided that we needed a red bone hound to keep the coyotes away at night.  Jake stories will be a later visit.  After a few years and two more cows, Jake passed away and left the hero looking for one: a herding helper, and two: his own dog.
A neighbor found an abandoned Blue Heeler at a farm that had been repossessed, called the hero and asked if he would be interested in taking it.  The hero went over and fell in love. Because of the patches over his eyes the family decided to call him Bandit.  Bandit and the hero were of kindred spirit.

Of course, we hadn't any idea how to train our newly acquired puppy, but we had great hopes when we read about the breed.
The first "trick" the hero attempted was to teach Bandit how to "sic 'em".  He decided that that was an important directive in the country.  Wild Pigs, loose animals, you name it and it would wander through.  Unfortunately, Bandit did not catch on.  When the hero said "sic 'em", Bandit would turn and run up to the hero and start barking.  Never did figure out what was going on in his mind, but we would all howl in laughter and Bandit thought he had done something good.  The behavior never changed through his life.
The other trick was to teach Bandit to "fetch".  This activity was one which Bandit loved.  Unfortunately, he was also a very aggressive and active dog.  The hero was never sure what shape the object thrown would come back in.  A ball even a hard ball would be nearly chewed in half in a few days.  A stick, even a piece of Two by Four, would be splinters by the time it got back.  Sticks were quickly banned in fear Bandit might swallow a piece of wood.
These two became the best of friends and many a night the hero would fix a blanket down on the floor in the living room for Bandit a bed, but Bandit's favorite bed was the hero's army jacket.  This was not too bad, unless Bandit had been rolling in something unsavory in the fields.  That was Bandit's favorite passtime.  To find something really stinky to roll in.  It earned him his nickname...stink dog.
Wish we had more pictures of him, but many of my pictures were ruined and many things we just did not catch on film.
Next time Bandit, The Hero, and the Cows.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday Spellings

This tombstone gave much information.  He was a mason.  He served in the Civil War and her children spelled her name with a C....documents were in K