A Small Town Gal

Paw Prints in the Mud

Mel BooneThe weather here in north central Missouri has warmed up this past weekend. It has gotten to the point that most of our January snow has disappeared. Yeah! The downfall is such that the ground is now one big, soggy mess. There is not a dry spot to be found.

My dogs don't care. They are way too thrilled that they no longer have to wade through the white stuff, and they know that they won't get into trouble putting their paw prints in the mud, especially when that is all there is to walk in.They walk through it, but wouldn't you know it, they tip toe around the water puddles. Go figure!


Image by Pixabay

That's just the way it is right now. I'll deal with walking dogs in the mud and muddy paw prints on the kitchen tile floor much better than the freezing drizzle/rain that is predicted for my area this week. Dogs and floors are easier to clean and less painful than a broken bone or damaged car.

So as I wait for the mud to dry up and spring to arrive, I'll go grab the collars and leashes. There are a couple of terriers at home that are eyeballing a muddy spot in the yard that they haven't walked through yet.

Farm Dogs

Mel BooneI grew up in a small rural town, and I've lived in that same small town my whole life. With grandparents that farmed, there's are things that I notice -- or at least try to notice every time I pass a farm.


For instance, there seems to be a dog on every farm. Ok, maybe not every farm, but most of the ones that I go to have one. Sometimes there is even a barn cat to be in charge of the rodent population. Some farmers are happy with one, others with two or more.

My grandparents had many different breeds of dogs during the 40-plus years that they owned their farm. My grandparents had as many as three at one time when I was young. Cindy was a collie. She reminded me of Lassie on the old TV show. Then there was Duchess and Tasha. Both were grey and black German Shepherds. To this day, I think that the grey and black combination on a German Shepherd is the most beautiful.

The last two dogs that would be on the family farm were terriers. Toby showed up on day as a stray. He was a lovable, friendly and beautiful Jack Russell. Some of the neighbors got upset when he would pay them a visit but he soon learned to stay at his new home. Toby gave my grandmother great companionship for several years before he passed away.

Toby was good at letting you know that you had company, so after his passing, Grandma didn't waste time looking for another dog. She drove about 20 miles to pick up Leroy, a Rat Terrier mix. She renamed him Buddy and he was a loyal and faithful farm dog, although too hyper for the taste of house cats, who were accustomed to Toby's laid back attitude.

Buddy is no longer a farm dog. He lives in town with me and my Jack Russell, Jake. I do miss the walks in the pasture out on the farm.  I wonder if Buddy misses the farm too. Sometimes, we do go out and sit on the John Deere B that I have. It's just a little way to relive the good old days.




Mel BooneModern technology isn't so bad. I've grown accustomed to using email over the years. In fact, email is part of my daily life now. I sometimes wonder what took me so long in deciding to get my email account up and running to begin with.

However, there's one thing that my modern email account will not replace. That's the card: birthday, Christmas and thank you cards to be specific.

I guess that is just the old fashioned part of me. It hits me pretty much right around the  holidays, especially since my birthday and Christmas is so close together. I have always enjoyed getting the cards. Even more fun for me is to send a special season's greeting to my loved ones with a short hand written note to family and friends. That on top of a few thank you cards with a hand written message sent to the troops serving overseas.

I guess it's being able to hand write that short message in these cards is what I like.  It makes it so much more personal than what you can do with an email. There's more thought put into what's written down, or at least that's what it is for me.


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

Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds