Sunday, October 25, 2009

A little perspective

I don't know if it is the economic difficulties of the times or the fact that Marla has been sick in bed all week but I decided to commit the time to watch two classic films about hardship and oppression: Richard Llewellyn's "How Green Was My Valley and John Steinbeck's "Grapes Of Wrath". It was my first time with either story,due to my Southern California Public Education. I suspect the books would be better but the pictures and images were very moving. Llewellyn's story is set in a Welsh coal mining town. Grapes of Wrath is a story of a Oklahoma share cropper's family fate in the depression and dust bowel. Both stories were about hard times, corruption, and oppressoin. Recommended viewing for anyone thinking they have it bad in America today. Hopefully we will never see times like that again in this country but unfortunately that is how things are in other parts of the world. Count your blessings everyone.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A little visit to Illinois

This past week I had Waddell and Reed meetings in Kansas City. Marla flew to Chicago on Wednesday and I came up after my meetings on Friday. We are staying with Jesse and Cori in their house in Freeport Illinois. Today we took a field trip to Galena. It is three miles from the Mississippi River on a tributary on the Galena River. At one time it was a very rich community with it's wealth coming from lead mining and river boats on the Mississippi. (Interesting how things change.) It was also the home of Ulyssis S Grant. After walking around down town and a delicious Italian meal we stopped in at the Apple River Fort. This fort dates back to the 1830s. Abraham Lincoln was stationed here as a 23 year old member of the Militia. We always enjoy seeing the country and hanging out with the grand kids. Their parents are OK too.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yup the garden is done for the year.

Actually there are still potatoes, carrots, and beets in the ground and gallons of apples still in the trees. Last night we had an unexpected snow storm. Six the eight inches of heavy wet snow. This was lake effect snow from Lake Tahoe, a rarity for us. The lake effect snow usually goes to the north to Carson City or Washoe Valley. Carson didn't even get any rain in this storm. October 4 is pretty early for snow in the valley. Of course our power went out and of course the back up generator didn't work. Goes right along with the broken freezer and washing machine this week.

Fall Harvest Project

We have so many apples this year that I proposed to President Ogles of the Spanish Eagle Valley Branch of the Church that we have project to have the members make their own apple sause. (Pure de manzana) We would supply the apples and the goods to make apple sause and apple juice. They would pick the apples and work with Marla to make the goods. We had a good turn out and a good time was had by all. The idea of "food storage" is somewhat lost on the latinos. Marla and I were prepared to go into high production having each family take away 10 -12 quarts of apple sauce and a gallon of juice. They arrived late and after about an hour Marla told me they were done. (10 quarts done) I told them they had to keep going. At 10:30 we had to start cooking lunch. One of the Trujillos friends came and was a profesional entertainer in Colombia. He found my guitar and started playing and singing. So we had to listen to him and he was really good and then a little dancing and then it was time for lunch with more singing and entertaining. In the end we put up 31 quarts of apple sauce that they took with them and about 8 gallons of juice. (we drank one gallon) It was a successful activity. I think all had a good time. (Apples are not a big part of the hispanic diet.) So I still have about 100 gallons of apples on the trees.