Post-its are a big help with all the lists

Now the endless lists begin. What did we ever do BP — Before Post-its — because the list never happens to be where we are.

Or is it beneath the living-breathing (I’ll swear) pile of papers, envelopes, CDs, notes that remind us of something we were supposed to do yesterday that accumulates and grows at the end of the table?

Where is that list?

Some mornings, it is hard to clear a place for the coffee cup and to find a piece of paper to write a new list on since we can’t find the one we wrote last evening so we wouldn’t forget to write this column!

(Truthfully, the Thanksgiving holiday tripped me up and I did almost forget to write, so you’ll understand if this one is slightly disorganized.)

Dorin

Dorin has been home, called suddenly by the death of her father, whose passing after a series of strokes and the onset of Alzheimer’s and months in a nursing home was a blessed release.

She had planned to come for Thanksgiving, but family needs disrupted those plans and she came early to be with her mother.

Now she has gone back to Dallas and I miss her daily visits — and Winnie’s manners, what few there were, are now non-existent. She is hysterically fond of Dorin, and the love is returned in kind.

Lisa, too, who spends the winter months practically attached to the old hot water radiators, hears her voice and emerges to be a lap cat for as long as Dorin will hold her.

* * *

Not new

Do you suppose the media has been reading this column? I get the giggles whenever I see or listen to these “new” methods of saving money, like lay away plans (we wrote about them weeks ago!) and hanging laundry outdoors (we wrote about that, too) and shopping consignment and thrift stores (we confessed long ago that has been our forever lifestyle).

Even in winter, it was customary to hang laundry outdoors and it would freeze stiff while being bleached at the same time.

If the weather was too bad, it would be hung in the cellar and sheets draped over the line made lovely tents.

Did you know in Vermont it is actually illegal to hang laundry outdoors? Residents keep trying to reverse that law, but so far have failed.

Locally, I know for a fact many condominium residents are forbidden to “clutter” their vistas with laundry flapping in the breeze.

Not only do I “hang out” but the barberry hedges are great to spread clothing on to dry.
In the winter, if drying at the laundromat is incomplete, these old hot water radiators do the trick.

* * *

Books were always a large part of Christmas when I was growing up, and what a blessing that has been in shaping who I am and how I live.

There is no doubt in my mind the kind of books my parents and grandparents gave me helped develop my extreme pleasure in the natural world and all of its inhabitants.

Recently, Channels 45/49 had a program on Ernest Thompson Seton, one of my favorite authors as a child.
Written in green ink inside the cover of Animal Heroes my father wrote, “To Janie Steinfeld, 3/22/30, from her Dad.”

On the opposite page, his mother had written in pencil, “From Mother to the Children.”

The year was 1905 and I assume it was her Christmas gift to Barnard, Louis and Rose.

Out the window

I so wanted to watch that program the other night, but for some reason this highly technical HD or whatever new television decided it didn’t want me to watch it, and I got nothing but snow. I’m almost ready to pitch the blankety-blank thing out the window.

Anyhow, the animal stories in that book are still familiar to me as are the sweet illustrations by Grace Gallatin Seton, whom I presume was his wife.

There is one particular full page illustration for The Boy and the Lynx that scared the liver out of me and made me forever (until now, of course) frightened of a lynx although I’ve never encountered one!

The frontispiece of Animal Heroes describes the book thus: “Being the Histories of a Cat, a Dog, a Pigeon, a Lynx, Two Wolves and a Reindeer, and in the Elucidation of the Same over 200 drawings.”

It also notes Ernest Thompson Seton was “Naturalist to the Gov’t of Manitoba.”
Is it any wonder my lifelong interests have been more focused in the animal world?

Also among the favorites were the Gene Stratton Porter stories of the Limberlost and certainly any horse, dog, cat or bird stories.

It just goes to show the old Biblical saying, “As the twig is bent, so shall the tree grow” is still true.

* * *

Alfalfa hay

Does anyone “out there” have some butter-soft — no stalks — alfalfa hay for dear old Apache whose dentition is, shall we say, not up to anything coarse?

I will be most happy to pay whatever the going price might be.
I did get some in, but it is too stalky, and the old fellow simply can’t chew it.

He tries, but ends up with a cud, and Toby is most happy to hoover up whatever he leaves behind as bedding.

About the Author

A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More Stories by Janie Jenkins

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