Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day at Winton

Bill Anderson and Jackie Nugent played Taps at the Veterans' Memorial Service today at the Winton Cemetery.
Judge Brown had the Welcome and Closing Remarks, the Color Guard by local Veterans' organizations. Barbara Beltz' grammar school kids from Winfield School provided the entertainment. Speaker was Al Osborn, retired officer from the U.S.A.F. Several other speakers were on-hand.
Very nice service to honor those who have served and the ones still serving their Country.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Grandkids at Glenn Co Fair

Tom is showing "Dip n Dot" a young Holstein heifer at the Glenn County Fair. Tom also brought her mother, Dottie, showed them separately and then together. The mother and daughter won the highest award. To see more pictures at flickr, click here.
Laura is showing one of the Jersey cows she brought. Not sure if this is "Truffles" or if that was the other cow.
Both Tom and Laura did very well, winning championships for their animals and for Laura, she won Showmanship in the Senior division of the dairy and also in the "Round Robin" where she had to show 7 different species i.e. meat goat, dairy goat, sheep, dairy cow, beef cow, horse, and pig. The other animals were owned by other kids and Laura didn't have experience with showing them. There was a different judge for each type of animal. So, that was a big win. She has two new buckles to add to the one she won last year. Both Tom and Laura won cute wooden boxes with a place for a picture on the cover. They were very happy with their winnings.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Poem

AUGUST EPISODE ~ by John B. Giesbrecht
Established in 1961, Prior to the trip to Kennedy Meadows

On a sunny summer day
‘Twas then we traveled away
Through Sonora vacationlands gate
Up to Tuolumne’s 108

On to the place that won’t bore us,
In Stanislaus National Forrest
With spirits higher’n elevation, we said:
Hell: This is Vacation!

We loaded our rear, then threw in gear
And roared off toward Destination
My bombs spitin Fire,
Bumps hit every tire,
But soon, over smooth roads we’ll go.

Six-gun by my side, enjoying the ride
And playing the radio
Got to catch Jim, He’s not far ahead
Can see by the turds along the roadbed.

We’ll stop in LaGrange to water our thurst,
For the next few miles it’s best I go first.
I’ll do as I please, Might go through Chinese
And wait by the road for Jim and his load.

Here’s the one-twenty, the stretch we can fly
Just watch for a Cop, to pass the time by.
Now on a down grade, something whizzed by-
A hot rod dare devil that’s dome on the fly.

From traffic behind, a bull dodged in line
He’s sneaking up fast,
and might slow the domes ass.

Sonora’s gone by, we start climbing high.
With rocks and pine trees, a fresh mountain breeze
A good place to be, among scenery.

With trees that demand speculation,
With rocks in every formation-
This is my idea of vacation.

And I don’t give a damn,
For people who’ll scram,
Uncared for conservation.

We’re on our way,
A thought for today,
Make the most of it, Man,
Have fun while you can
‘Cause after it’s over, and you’re coming home
You get a sad feeling, unless you’re like Dome.

We’ve passed the last town
And sun’s sinking low
But why should we care
‘Cause we’re on the Go!

When sundown is near, in my pack I’ll peer
And pull out a can of cool western BEER.

Turnout ahead- I’ll stop for a rest
Give things a check
Then on to Pinecrest.
Motor a fire- we’re off once again
With air getting cool and dusk setting in.

As sun is sinking toward the far west
I’m thinking of things I like the best.
Flying along, I’m singing a song
The radio’s quit- but who gives a shit!

Stars are out now, and moons on it’s rise
Ridges lay outlined, Against clear blue skies.
From over a meadow- across Pinetrees high
Swoops an owl, on his nightly fly.

Roads getting smaller, we’re almost there.
With moonlight through Pine trees.
Adventure in air.
The time has arrived, ahead lights tell me,
We’re here once again.

The Place? Kennedy!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dirks Family

This picture of my mother's parents was taken in 1937 in front of the Sharon Mennonite Church on Winton Way, Winton. George and Susie (Unruh) Dirks moved to Winton from Greensburg, Kansas in 1923. In Kansas my grandfather was a wheat farmer. In Winton he raised Leghorn hens and sold eggs. Also had a vineyard and sold raisins. I don't think he had very many acres. They lived on Cypress between Gertrude and Almond Avenue.
George Dirks was born in Russia in 1869, he was 5 years old when the family came to America. The family settled in Kansas. My grandfather died in 1939 in the Bloss Hospital in Atwater.
Susie Unruh was born in Galva, Kansas in 1882 and died in a Merced hospital in 1962. My mother, Eva was their first-born in 1904 in Pawnee Rock, KS.
See more pictures at flickr.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesdays in Turlock

Every Tuesday on East Avenue in Turlock, vendors set up their wares and people come from the surrounding area to shop. We were there today, looking for bargains. We all bought veggies; pictured is my sister buying some tomatoes at bargain prices, and they were delicious.
We bought a few other things; saw some collectibles, but nothing we couldn't live without. It was a fun morning, we all enjoyed looking around.
Years ago, I went to the annual Flea Markets as far away as San Juan Baptista or Oakhurst, in search of every piece of Sheet Music that I remembered from the 30s and 40s. Even went to the Cow Palace a couple of times in the Bay Area. It was very exciting back then, sometimes leaving home at 5 a.m. in order to find a parking place.
Seems like most people who were collecting sheet music wanted them for the covers, but I wanted the music, thinking someday I would be able to play them on the piano. Never could get my fingers to move quickly enough over the keys. My husband used to say, it would sound good if you could just keep it going. Yeah, Right!! That was the hard part. I enjoyed taking piano lessons though. Learned to play chords, but then the next step is to improvise. That's hard. Then wanted to go back to sight reading. Still can't play! My teacher had the patience of Job. Where is the Sheet Music now? In plastic bags stacked up on the "plant shelves" in the spare bedroom. I'm not ready to get rid of them. I still enjoy knowing that I have a huge collection of vintage sheets.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Joys of Spring

When we had this house built in '95, my husband was adamant, he was NOT going to mow a lawn. We thought we would have a low-maintenance yard, so we put in ground cover and roses in the front yard.
The back yard is a mini orchard; no lawn there either. So, why is it so much work?

After several years, my husband finally admitted the yard is a full-time job.
People who come to the front door comment on how beautiful the yard is. It IS colorful, but already the roses need to be pruned to make way for the next wave of color. The first bloom is the prettiest.
The second picture shows that soon the cherries will be ripe, usually the end of May. The white tree rose is "Iceberg." I love this time of year. Just wish all the work was caught up. Today, Sunday is a big watering day. In the city limits,we can only water 3 days a week; before 11:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. And that's all year long. Doesn't make much sense in the cool weather, but that's their rules.
Happy Spring Everyone.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Giesbrecht Family

My paternal grandparents were C.V. (Cornelius) Giesbrecht (1880-1956)and Katharina Fast Giesbrecht (1883-1966). They moved from Waldheim, Saskatchewan Canada to Winton, California in 1911. They had planned to settle at Los Molinos, near Chico, but the Sacramento River flooded there and the mosquitoes were causing an out-break of illnesses. So, they traveled on by train and settled "on the desert," a small community that was just getting started. They had four small children traveling with them, along with his parents, C.D. Giesbrecht (1844-1925) and Helena (Lena) Veer Giesbrecht (1853-1942) and brother, J.V. (Jacob) Giesbrecht (1887-1980) and wife Eva Alice Hardin Giesbrecht (1890-1966).
See more pictures of this Giesbrecht family at flickr.
My grandparents and some other family members are buried in the Willows Cemetery in Glenn County, CA. Here is the link to the tombstone pictures.
My family is on the "Grandma" database that the California Mennonite Historical Society has available on CD. Information on this CD comes from church records, census records and from genealogists. A branch of this family (Deveer) is traced back to the 1500s in the Netherlands.
Who is eligible to be included in this database? Members from the Mennonite Church records in Russia and Prussia; all their ancestors and all their descendants and their spouses. Currently there are more than 941,000 individuals in the file. For more information click here.
Then click on the "Grandma CD-Rom Project."

Monday, May 5, 2008

More on Reflexology

I should have listed Miguel Gallegos' address and phone number on my "Reflexology vs Romberg's Syndrome" post.
I did do a google search for his name to see how easily he could be found, but unless you add Turlock to your search, there are far too many hits. So ~ here is his address: 309 Lander Ave, Turlock, CA 95380; phone 209-669-3609.
Insurance companies don't recognize reflexologists, even though they will pay for chiropractors. I guess it's too hard to regulate. They seem to dump them in with massages. Miguel does NOT massage your feet, he gives you a treatment.
More on Romberg's Syndrome; it is a rare disease, you can read more about it by doing a google search. Usually it starts at an early age, up to the 20s. I was in my early 40s when I began having problems. At the Stanford Eye Clinic, the doctors had never seen anyone with it (at least at that time), but had read about it. One day when I was there, a doctor from New Zealand was visiting and since he had patients with Romberg's Syndrome, he was asked to examine me. He told me I had a mild case and not to do anything.
I have seen pictures of people with full-blown cases of Romberg's Syndrome and some of them really are heart-breaking. My local eye doctor refers to it as Hemifacial Atrophy, meaning half of the face is wasting away.
Now when I have reflexology treatments and Miguel is working on my feet, I can feel sensations in my face; my jaw, my forehead, my front lower gums, my face gets warm, etc. It's the improved circulation that I am feeling.
The person who told us about Miguel had a problem with his shoulder, his doctor wanted to operate, but Jack kept putting it off. He had a pickup with a manual shift and he finally had to sell it because he could no longer drive it. After having a reflexology treatment Jack went back to his MD. His blood pressure was lower and the doctor was quite impressed and asked how he did that. Jack told him about going to the reflexolgist. The doctor said, you're still going to have the shoulder operation, aren't you? Jack said I don't think I need to and raised his arm high in the air. The doctor could only exclaim, "This is a miracle."
A friend had a rash on his arm that he couldn't keep from scratching. His arm was always bloody and even though he wore long sleeves, you could still see it through his shirt. He went to all the experts, even to "the head doctor at UCSF" who looked at his arm and said he didn't know what it was. This was the same answer he got from all the other doctors. Then he says, "I went to this office in Turlock with a neon open sign in the window. Miguel took one look at my arm and said, it's your liver, it will start to go away after three treatments." And it did.
Moral of that story: Don't be overly impressed with a fancy office.

I have one more story that I've been a little reluctant to tell. I know there are a lot of skeptics out there. But I guess that's o.k.
A lady who had medical problems was examined by doctors in Stockton. They found she had a blockage and wanted to do the balloon treatment to resolve the problem. They wanted to set up an appointment right away, but the lady wanted to wait a week or so. She went to Miguel and he worked on her feet. It was painful, but well worth it. She called Miguel later and said the doctors gave her the test again before the procedure appointment and they were shocked that the blockage was gone. They kept asking her what did you do? The only thing she did was have a treatment at Miguel's.
Yes, I know that's a pretty heavy story and it would be hard for me to believe too, except for my own experience and what reflexology has done for me.
Reflexology is NOT a massage.
UPDATE: See what my sister wrote on January 20, 2009. She had a Blockage too and Miguel worked it out. She is the 4th person that Miguel was able to get rid of their blockage. Wow! I'm sure a believer now!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thinning Peaches

It's that time of year again -- time to thin the fruit trees. There are 6 peach, one apricot and one nectarine tree to thin. I remember the first year my husband thinned the peaches. I just about had a heart attack. He hauled bucket after bucket full of small green peaches to the garbage. I was sure we wouldn't have any crop left at all. But somehow there was plenty left for ourselves and some to give away. Since then, I have learned that if they are not thinned, they are not only small, but they don't taste good either. They are not juicy and just not like they are supposed to be. My favorite peach is Flavorcrest, it is the first peach in our yard to ripen, probably a good reason for it to be a favorite, but the flavor is really good as well. Next to ripen is Suncrest, pictured above. (Maggie's favorite tree for climbing) These are the early peaches. For mid-season, we have O'Henry and Faye Elberta, which ripen in early to mid August. The late tree is Summerset and it ripens in mid September.
The nectarine is Fantasia, a yellow fleshed fruit packed with lots of flavor.
The apricot is Tilton, a very old variety, but does good in the hot summers we have here.
The last fruit trees to blossom and the first to ripen are the cherries. We have a Bing and a Stella. Stella is not only the pollinator for Bing, but is also self-pollinating, so if you have room for only one cherry tree, it's the one to grow; besides it tastes a little better than Bing. The Dwarf Stella is really cute, wish I had one of those. I'm happy the cherries never have to be thinned.
We have a Fuyu Persimmon tree that last year was so loaded, I thought the limbs were going to break off. I'll either have to thin it this year or get more props to prop up the limbs.
We used to have a Black Mission Fig tree, and it did very well the first several years and then something happened to it, the leaves would turn brown every year and it didn't produce fruit anymore. So, we had it taken out. I'm thinking something might be in the ground, way down deep. Now I read in my "All About Growing Fruits, Berries & Nuts" book that any fig can be grown in a container. I think I'll try that.
Oh, I almost forgot -- there is a Pomagrante tree and one Thompson grape stump.
Ah, so much fruit! Not bad for one city lot.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Maggie and the Blue Jay

Last summer Maggie thought it was great sport to chase the sparrows, sometimes climbing up her favorite peach tree in hot pursuit, but she never even got close. This year we have an aggressive Blue Jay hanging around. Whenever he sees Maggie outside, whether she's in the front or back yard, he is right there, harassing her. Sometimes she's afraid to go outside and wants me to go with her for protection. I'd like to get a picture of the two of them together, but the bird backs off when he sees me. He is just a bully, after all.

A postscript here ~ This morning I had a good laugh! Two Blue Jays were after Maggie. I guess she got sick and tired of it. She turned and chased one and it flew away. Maybe this is a turning point in this story about Maggie and Mr. Blue Jay.

Update: Maggie got her revenge. Somehow she caught a Blue Jay and while I was outside watering the front yard, she brought the injured bird in the house, through the patio door. She killed it under the dinning room table. Sure glad she didn't put it on the rug! Maggie is no longer my sweet, innocent cat.
But, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.