Vicki, would you start by giving us a little background on yourself?
Background, let’s see. Mom's dad came from Germany when he was 15. Then at 29 he met my Grandma as a mail order bride. All I know of my Dad's parents were that they farmed and did what they could to raise their family and they moved around some.
Mom and Dad met after the war. Dad worked construction up in Minneapolis (It was road construction). He worked on a lot of the highways and roads around that city. He was gone all week and home weekends.
Mom was home all week with us kids. I remember in the summer she would take us to the bean field and we'd pick beans for extra money. I was so young I don't remember much of it but there were 5 of us kids and I am sure the older ones were more help than I was.
We had a next door neighbor lady that raised flowers. I remember how pretty they were and her out there in her dress and apron and big floppy hat. She was Just a little old lady.
In the back of the yard I remember old plum trees, all tangled and wild, and eating from them. Mom didn't do anything with them. She never gardened or canned anything but she was a great cook.
Then we moved to this big old house that she (Mom) just loved. Even though we lived in town, I remember being on the bus and driving by that house and it was on fire. I remember we told the fireman we had a cat and she would go in the basement. They saved her, but to my shame I don't know what happened to her after that. I was about 7 when this happened. We kids were farmed out to relatives, except for me. I went and stayed with my second grade teacher. I remember not wanting to leave there. After that we stayed with Grandma and Grandpa, the quiet old Germans, until Mom found another house, with a huge yard with lilacs and peonies.
We did get a couple of kittens but Mom was not a cat person at the time, so they left at some point. Mom and Dad divorced. Then we got a Chi/Terrier mix named Chichi and a Pekinese named Coco. We loved those dogs. The Chi/Terrier was bred to a Chi and we got to keep a pup that ended up being mine. Her name was Pepper, due to her coloring. Over the years there were more dogs and cats and a big learning curve on how to treat them. Plus there was the learning about gardening. For me, to a certain extent, they seem to be intertwined.
I am working on reaching retirement age. I work full-time as an Assistant Manager at Family Dollar; with 30 hours considered full-time. But that is plenty of hours.
I love to garden. It is my relaxation. Growing and creating flowerbeds. Plus I have my veggie garden. In the winter, like most of us, I do the planning and dreaming of what to do out there. I am not an organized gardener by any standard but they seem to turn out.
I craft when I get the itch. But I have been too busy for that the last year due to upheavals at work. I read whenever I can. I love to cook and try new recipes. No gourmet foods. Just good old stick to the ribs food and it shows! LOL
I spend time with Ty, going for walks, watching him and Steve, my husband, interact the couple of evenings I am home. They make me smile, as I swear Steve is teaching Ty to talk!
I have had no set career. I have worked as a waitress, at the local yarn factory, then a meat packing plant. I was a stay at home mom raising my son, then I worked in a commercial type laundry, sold Home Interiors, and now I work at Family Dollar, which I hope will be my last job before I retire in 10 years, if not earlier.
It’s not an exciting life but it is my life and I have enjoyed most of it.
I had a great dog named Dawson. Oh my, he was my very favorite of all time. He died due to cancer. I was so heartbroken I didn't know if I would ever recover. But the house was too empty and silent. Three weeks later I was on-line looking. Chatting to the girls on HOW WAS YOUR DAY, I started a thread about looking and finding a pair of pups. They were brothers, a chow/shepherd mix. They came from a chow rescue close by. She brought them to the house and my husband and I watched as they got out of the truck. We looked at them, then at each other and knew which one we wanted.
We almost got both but decided on the one named Ringo. I knew the name had to change but it took a couple of weeks. He was the hardest pet I have ever had to name. I was still grieving for Dawson and the love didn't flow for me. He has been the hardest pet for me to accept and too love. It’s not that he wasn't loveable. He was. I just had my feelings blocked.
Brenda, I think I have gone overboard. Will stop here but the words were flowing.
Flow on please!
Ty, How about you? Can you tell us about your early years?
I am so glad moms decided on just me to takes. Not that I didn't miss my brother, but she needed me so bad. I worked on her and worked on her. I could feel the bond startin’ to form between us. They gave me a new name for my new beginin’ and it was Tyrant. I didn’t cares for it but I got them to change it to Ty and that fits me better . I like high pitched noises, squeaks and stuff and mom can make my name sound so coool, goin’ TY TY TY! It just makes me all squiggly.
I was born in Sept. and they got me in that turkey month.
I was a snow puppy. Oh my gosh, I love snow. I got the fur coat to go with it. But mom is thin skinned so I don't get to go out as much as I would like. My feet would freeze but Mom took care of that problem. She got me "boots", she calls them, for my feet. She made me an orange coat for hunting season too.
She takes such good care of me and I take good care of her. When she is working in the garden I protect her. When we go for walks I protect her. I let her know when something strange is around by barking and growling. Why, just the other day we went walking and there was Dad in the woods. We ain’t never gone walking and found him in the woods before. I got excited and woofed and didn't know which way to run! Then the best part was Dad went walking with us. That was a real treat because they are so funny. Dad keeps telling Mom to pick up the sticks instead of walking over them. She said she was there for fun, not work. They don’t know how much they make me puppy laugh!
I keep trying to plant my toys as I am covinced they will grow! They haven't yet...but I am willing to wait a spell and when they grow I can harvest the crop and share toys with my friends.
Mom even lets me on the computer to talk to my friends! I got lots of friends. Der is Izzy my cousin... Let’s see Qill and Stormy…they live up north somewhere and we is all digging a tunnel so we can meet up someday! There is M and B. Ollie and Mr. B., Harmony and Pookey, Budman, Sssam, Andre the demon child, and Buster Sancho. We talk when we can. We even went on cyber trips together.
I got such a good doggie life and the bestest doggie parents. Now for a brother… got to get her started looking again!
Auntie Brenda, can I call you that? I got lots of aunties!
I love walking in the woods. They smell so good and there are lots of noises to perk me up and make Mom jumpy! We just don’t like the nasty tickers. They keep trying to get all my blood! Anyway, Dad cuts lots of roads in the woods and that’s what we walk on. Wait until you see this critter we saw! Mom says to stay away from it. Here it is up the tree. He sure was stinkies! Mom says it is a porky pine!
Ty, you may call me Auntie. The porcupine is a good example of why you should not talk to strangers. They can poke your hide with their sharp quills and it really hurts. I am glad you minded your Mom and didn't get too close.
Vicki, what is your favorite craft?
My favorite, if I could do it, would be working in clay. Not that I have any talent, but it is fun to work with. I took all the Art classes I could in High School and that was my favorite. But the crafts I do now are painting or revamping things. I can take someone else’s idea and change it. I am not talented enough to dream up the beginning but I sure can change something.
I haven't had the time or energy the last few years to do anything. I have a few things floating around in my mind. Time will tell. I think I have been putting all my creativity into the gardens lately.
This is one of the few pieces I kept for myself, as I just love orange kitties. I drew the shape from another picture but the painting and teardrop eyes were all my idea.
Some wonderful ladies gave me the idea for a Blue Garden and here is part of it in a little corner by the garage and greenhouse.
Vicki, will you tell us about the two legged love in your life?
We met in High School! We started out as friends in part of a group and senior year it blossomed into more. Foolish young kids! LOL After graduation we decided to get married and did on Dec. 22, 1973. It was a very small ceremony with just the witnesses. No big wedding for me! We first lived in an apartment. It was a really nice apartment for $90 a month. Remember those days?
My mom had a house she had to get rid of so we got if for what she owed on the loans.
Then we went to work at the Packing Plant. Steve started there first. Then I followed. It was too far to drive every day. So we looked at a couple of places and found this one. A house on 40 acres and a shed built over the barn. Fields and hills and woods on a dead end road, what more could you ask for?
We moved here in February of 1975 and have lived here since. We had our only son in 1977 and raised him here.
Steve is quite the handyman and has made most of the improvements here himself. He is never scared to try doing something. I can't say he has given me everything I have ever asked for, as we have disagreed on a few of my ideas or we just don't see eye to eye on somethings. Like trees; I would love a yard full of trees. He hates to mow around them. I don't know how many times I came home and there he is cutting up a tree because he didn't like the looks of it or ran over a small tree with the mower! It's gotten so I am sometimes scared to leave home because he might cut the few we still have.
He has done some good things. Like arranging to have a pond put in, in the low spot out back, and making the roads in the woods for all of us to use. His roads also make it handy for him to cut fire wood and bring it back to the house.
I have to say, I have never run into anyone else that works as hard as he has to support us all these years. He’s not the most romantic guy but I guess I didn't know how to train him right!
With him working days and me working evenings he has stepped right up to handle some of the cooking if we keep it simple or I precook it.
Even though he can make me very mad, I wouldn't trade him in for anything... today that is!
40 acres on a dead end road...it sounds like a wonderful place to raise a son. Would you tell us about him too?
Our son Greg… I think he will be the hardest part to tell. Sometimes I think he is a good mix between Steve and me and other times I wonder where in the heck he came from!
He is 34 years old and just celebrated his first anniversary. He is a pressman and lives over in Hudson, so we don't see very much of them.
I think he was a bit lonely growing up, as we had no near neighbors for him to play with. It was not at all like growing up in town so we made sure he got to go and visit his cousins and even put him in day care one day a week to have that interaction. But like us he knows how to entertain himself. So maybe he wasn't lonely. It was nice when he got older and could ride his bike to go and play with the closest kids.
He didn't like gardening. Then it was just the veggie garden. But he did go hunting when he got old enough.
Like most of his generation he has that electronic stuff down pat. I just wish he lived closer so I could take advantage of it.
It is always fun to see Vicki and Ty's posts and enjoy their antics. Please be sure to leave them a note in the comments. If you haven't met them before, introduce yourself. They love meeting new friends.