A Small Town Gal

A Soft Spot For Strays

Mel BooneIf there's anything that I will be quick to admit to, the fact that I have a soft spot for stray animals will be the one that I will admit to first.  That's just the way I am. I can't help it.

There's not many stray dogs in the neighborhood, but there's always a stray cat or two that comes though every once in a while. It seems like there has always been a stray around where I live at some point for the 20 plus years where I currently live at. I've gotten to where I keep dry cat food on had all the time.

One stray cat show up, stays for a while and then leaves, not to be seen again. Before long, another one show up for a little while. It's like they've adopted a system that hobos used to have. An obscure mark left in an obscure place that means,"Nice lady lives here. Stop here for free cat food. Beware of the two terriers."

Some stray cats over the years have stayed for months on end. They literally became part of the family to the point that I had straw bedding in a pet carrier by the back door for one. A few more made the shed home making the seat and hood on my Massey Ferguson a bed along with the seat o the golf cart. I didn't mind. I figured if they were here then they were leaving any neighbors alone that were less than cat friendly. I was happy to see three of the cats laying by a neighbors back door several times. They had been feeding them too. I've even had two stray cats that got along with Jake and Buddy. Garfield and Buddy to daily walks with them. Another stray, Slick, enjoyed going for short rides in the van. When he got restless, I knew it was time to head back home.

stray cats on porch
Photo by Mel Boone

As it goes, the stray will leave and not come back. Once in a while, one will get hit by a car and somehow make it to my shed to die. It is unavoidable when you live next to a highway. I shed a tear for them, then grab a shovel and bury them in the back yard. I regret not making them a house cats, but I'm just doing good to live in a house where the owner lets me have the two dogs, no house cats permitted.

And so it goes. I guess I will forever be known as the crazy stray cat lady in the neighborhood.

Spring is Near

Mel BooneSpring is almost here. The grass in places is a little greener, and robins are everywhere! At any moment, I expect to see my tulips to start coming up.

After such a long winter, I am totally excited to see spring arrive. The days are starting to get longer now, and the temps outside are starting to rise. With that in mind, I'll be spending more time outdoors on my days off.

Jake and Buddy will be going on longer walks, too. They want to shake this cabin fever just as much as I do. Travels to area tractor shows will be planned. So that means the dogs will enjoy quite a few car rides in the SUV.

Before long, I will be digging in the dirt as I get ready to plant my garden. There's nothing better than enjoying the fruits and vegetables that I harvest from my garden every year. The produce tastes so much better to me than what I get from the store. That's just my opinion on that.

So as I look forward to the arrival of spring, I also keep others in my prayers. The long winter has some areas flooded right now, and the flood waters will soon arrive in other places in due time. So to those affected, I'll keep you in my prayers.


Photo by Getty Images/KaraGrubis.

Good Luck Charms

Mel BooneDo you have a good luck charm? I barely remember having a "rabbits foot" as a kid. I don't remember having any bad luck while I had it. Of course, I don't think I had any good luck either. It must not have been a very good rabbits foot, since I don't recall having it very long.

There seemed to be plenty of horse shoes around the farm when I was young. Of course, for several years, Mom had various quarter horses that she would ride, and since my grandparents had a farm, she saved money by not having to pay for boarding. A visit from the farrier always meant that there would be horse shoes, but I never got a chance to keep one to put on my wall for luck. However, the sight of one always brings back good memories for me of Dolly and Rusty.

I helped my stepdad in moving one of his friends years ago. What a stroke of luck for her to find not one, but two four leaf clovers in the front yard of her new home! I was and still am envious, and I'm still looking for my first one. For some reason, March seems to be the month that I try to look the hardest for that four leaf clover. I guess it's because I associate it with St. Patrick's Day. We all want a little luck of the Irish right? I'm lucky in a way perhaps, since a few of my ancestors came from Ireland. I've already got a little green in my blood!

All in all, I will always wish for a good luck charm. Do they really work? I don't know. Perhaps it's more of a state of mind. If you think positive, then perhaps luck is already with you.

Photo by Getty Images/AlexRaths.


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

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

click me