A Small Town Gal

Chasing Snowflakes

Mel BooneWinter is here again. It's my least favorite time of year. Mainly it's because it's cold outside. I have never liked cold weather. Needles to say, you won't have to worry about me taking a trip to the North Pole anytime soon.

Both my terriers don't care much for the cold weather either. The only exception is when snow is falling. They have this weird idea that when freshly fallen snow is on the ground and is still falling from the sky, they must go out and chase all the snowflakes coming down.

They run, they jump, the snap at every single snowflake that they can. I'm not sure why these little white flakes hold their attention, but they love it. They probably wish that I had a fenced in back yard so that they could do their chasing without being on a leash. Honestly, I kind of wish that too. I'm sure that I've gotten more than one odd look from passing motorists as I run to keep up with Jake and Buddy's antics, all the while trying to make sure that the leashes don't tangle.


 As for myself, I prefer to watch the snowflakes fall from my kitchen window. I watch the squirrels come out of the trees to get the cracked corn that I have left for them.


I watch the cardinals at the bird feeder dining on the sunflower seeds that I put out for them. Their wonderful red feathers are brilliant contrast against the white of the falling snow.


I do believe that I will have a long winter ahead of me here in northeast Missouri. Snow seems to have come early this year. So far, four or five light snowfalls have come since mid November.  It makes me a little sad, but the dogs are happy. They're always ready to chase snowflakes.


Photos Courtesy Getty Images

A Day of Thanks

Mel BooneThanksgiving is just a few days away. It's a day to give thanks, a time to remember what you are grateful for and to be with family. As I write this, the Thanksgiving as I knew it is no longer what it used to be for me.

Yes,  I'm so very grateful for our service members that service members both here in the U.S.A. and those serving overseas. I can't help but to thank them every time, regardless if I meet them on the street or when I send one a letter as a volunteer for the Soldiers Angels Letter Writing Team. I'm grateful for my health and to be alive.

It's remembering the holidays of my childhood that I start getting tears in the corner of my eyes. The memories are bittersweet. My grandparents on Dad's side have long since passed away, their home in town gone so that a local bank could build a new building there. My grandmother on Mom's side is still alive, in the nursing home. The farm will see many more holidays, but with another family. I have so many memories of the holidays at both places, but they are just that, memories. Physically going back to these place is no longer possible and yet that is where I want to be.

I visit my grandmother twice a week at the nursing home. I'm grateful that she is still alive for me to visit with. The downside is that I'm slowly drift away as dementia takes her away from me. She still knows me, but she doesn't as the last visit she introduced me to another resident as a niece.

At least for now, she can still remember to give me one request at the end of every visit. "Give the boys a hug and a kiss for me," she always says. The boys being my Jack Russell Jake and her Rat Terrier mix Buddy. She loves them both and is thankful that I'm caring for her beloved Buddy. So twice a week, the boys get a hug and a kiss delivered to them from Grandma.

It's the least I can do for her.


Jake and Buddy

A Love for Books

Mel BooneI must admit something. I love books. It's a love that has me in a literal bind.

I have found myself to be a person with too many books. Why? Well, I've yet to get one that I can part with once I'm done reading it.

Unless, of course, if it's a library book. Then I have to take it back or else pay a fine.

That's what I've been doing for the last couple of years and it has worked out great for me. Of course that doesn't solve my problem with the stash of books that I've got at home.

I go through them and always find ones that I just can't part with and a stack, although slightly smaller, that I'm finally able to come to terms with in regards to letting them go. So what to do with that stack?

I could have a yard sale. Of course, I've never been good at holding yard sales.

At the end of the day, I'm usually still stuck with most of what I was trying to get rid of to begin with. I can donate them to the library when they have one of their book sales that they do twice a year.

Of course, I walk by their sale rack every day that they have up year round. A book or two finds their way home with me every so often.

Just the other day, I entered a contest for, you guessed it, a new book. The giveaway was sponsored by Little Free Library.

A free John Grisham book to 120 people and you guessed it, I was one of them. I was so excited!

That got me thinking. Little Free Library has little library kits that you can buy and register on their site.

You put the little library in front of your house, business, etc. and people can stop by and get a free book from your library and even donate their books to your library. That got me to wondering if I could build my own little library and register it onto their site.

Now that's an idea and project that I like!

John Grisham novel
The John Grisham book that I received from the Little Free Library giveaway.

Photo property of Mel Boone.


Mel BooneWalking through the local library today, I couldn't help but to notice sewing magazines on the magazine rack. That took me back down memory lane. More precisely to grades six through eight when every girl had to take home economics classes.

Home economics class was pretty much one of the most hated class for me. It was right up there with math class and gym class (all the other classes were fine with me.)

At the school that I attended back in the late 1980s when I was in middle school, all girls took home economics while the boys took shop class. There was no choice for us kids, it was mandatory. Girls go to home economics, boys go to shop.

I was one of those girls. I would have been much happier in shop class.

Home economics was nothing more than learning to cook and sew clothing when i took it. By the time that I entered the sixth grade, I already knew how to cook and did it quite well for myself.

I had to know by that grade since with two working parents, I had to know how to fix a meal on my own. At my house, you learned at an early age to cook your own meal without the parents worrying that you would burn the house down or else you would get pretty hungry.

As far as sewing my own clothes, what a disaster that was. I can patch holes in my clothing if I need to, but don't expect me to sew my own wardrobe.

I left that behind once I got into high school and never looked back. My interest in sewing was never there.

With that being said, I do envy those who can quilt. Quilters can make beautiful patterned works of art.

I will never do it simply I'm just not that interested in sewing. For those who do and love doing it, I do admire their work.

I sometimes wonder about the home economics teacher. Mainly because I feel sorry for her because she had me as a student.

I'm betting more than once that she had wished to be able to ship me off to the shop class. I don't think I would have blamed her for it.

sewing materials
Photo by Getty Images/FabioBalbi

Scents of the Season

Mel BooneDifferent smells remind me of different holidays. It really does.

Since August, my nose has been bombarded with the scent of pumpkin spice every where I go. Lattes, coffee creamer, tea, candles, body sprays, etc., the list goes on.

My nose has been bombarded with the scent of Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving before October ever got here!

Now, the stores have included the scent of cinnamon and pine needles in with the pumpkin spice scent. Of course, the Christmas displays are out front and center before Halloween has been celebrated.

My nose is working overtime to wade through all the holiday scents in every store that I go to. I don't relish a cold, but I think my nose would enjoy being stuffy for a couple of days just so it could have some time off.

All in all, I will wade through the Scrooge routine and I will end up a happy person. The scents change with the season.

I know I don't mind all the different smells. I do enjoy them. I just get overwhelmed at times with so many floating around the air.

Sometimes, I need to step back and take a deep breath of, well, clean fresh air!. That is all that it takes to get me to kick the Scrooge routine and get me back to my normal happy self.

All these holiday scents also remind me that 2018 is almost gone. Where did the time go?

An old year will soon be gone and a new year will begin. Who knows what is in store for any of us, right?

Perhaps I should be more grateful of all of these holiday scents. They can serve as a reminder that I've at least made it this far.

With that in mind, I'm hoping for a Christmas of birthday present that smells like wildflowers or maybe lily of the valley. I'm ready for Spring.

autumn scents
Photo by Getty Images/johnandersonphoto

Unexpected Find

Mel BooneJust this past weekend, I went to the last tractor show of the season that I exhibited my Massey Ferguson tractor at. As with every tractor show that I go to, I enjoy going through the flea market vendors. I never really know what I'll find.

This year was no exception. The second day of the show I found one item that I had completely overlooked the first day.

I can't believe I missed it the first day and I'm so very happy that I did see it. It was a souvenir from the Shepherd of the Hills theater in Branson, MO., a 70-piece Old Mat's log cabin kit.

I couldn't believe it! I've been there once to see the show. That was about 30 years ago.

Got to the theater twenty minutes before the show started and left once it ended. I never got to buy any trinkets to remember the trip by. I did however, buy the book from a little shop at Silver Dollar City.

I was so delighted to find this log cabin kit. You would have thought that I had struck gold.

For a five dollar bill, it went home with me. I'm not sorry for buying it and my "inner child" wants to play with it!

It's a treasured item now, along with the book that Harold Bell Wright wrote well over 100 years ago. My book is by no means a first edition, but I've totally loved reading it again.

For the longest time, I have thought that the Shepherd of the Hills theater was closed, but a google search does show that it has shows this 2018 season. I know I won't make it back down there to watch it again this year, but who knows, perhaps I can make a trip back to it sometime soon.

Unexpected Find

Photo property of Mel Boone.


Mel BooneI received in the mail a few days ago, to monthly conservation magazine that I get from the Missouri Department of Conservation. I do enjoy that magazine! In that particular issue was the annual seedling order form.

Oh how I wish I had land of my own! I look through the order form every year with a wish list of trees and shrubs that I yearn to order. I have no land of my own except for what I day dream about.

I know what I would order if I had the land and the money to buy the seedlings. My place would have conifers like the Eastern red ceder, Eastern white pine and Norway spruce.

Hardwoods I would have would be a variety, Black cherry, black walnut, Cottonwood,Kentucky coffee tree, Cherry bard oak, Black oak, White oak and Osage orange Pecan and Persimmon. I'd top off my order with shrubs like the Carolina buckthorn, black haw, American beautyberry and Blackberry.

Perhaps I would even throw in the Deciduous holly, flowering dogwood, Pawpaw, Wild plum and Witch hazel. Boy what a list!

That's a day dream for me. I know it will never come to be.

Even if I got the land and the money, there's always the chance that I would or would not live to see the trees or shrubs grow to full maturity. I could only hope for the trees or shrubs to live for those who come after me to enjoy.

That is life. I can only wish, dream and hope. Perhaps there is someone out there that has the land to plant seedlings.

Whoever that is and whoever you are, I hope you do it. Even if your list is different than mine or even your wish list has more/less on it, I hope you follow through and get them and plant them.

The future will be glad that you did.

dogwood tree
Photo by Getty Images/michaelmill.

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