Why this blog?

Join me as I share our life as southwest Kansas farmers.

Monday, June 20, 2011


The other morning I came outside about nine to find my older two all wet from putting a hose at the top of the slipper slide and sliding down.  It normally would not have been a big deal except that we needed to go somewhere in the car.  Their jeans were soaked, feet muddy.  I always feel like we have accomplished a huge mountain when everyone is dressed, teeth brushed and hair fixed.  To come outside after feeling like it took extra long to accomplish above tasks...well I blew my cork.
The scene kept replaying in my mind throughout the day as I reflected on my reaction and the Tasmanian Devil from Bugs Bunny came into my mind as to how I must of sounded to my children.  I believe the Lord put that word picture in my mind to kindly let me know that I overreacted.  I am appreciative of my Lord's sense of humor in helping me be a better mother to my children and I recommit myself in dealing as kindly to my children as He has with me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Memorial Day Tribute...

Every family has at least one hero.  During WWII, I doubt there was not a family who did not lose a loved one to that war and our family on my mother's side was no exception.

I have loved learning about one of our family hero's of that era.  He was my great-uncle and his name was Lyman York MeGehee.  He was born in 1920 at Wayside, Texas.  His nickname was "Squirrelly" and when talked about he was always called Uncle Squirrelly, not Uncle Lyman.

The following  is an excerpt from "A Collection of Memories:  A History of Armstrong County 1876-1965":

     He graduated from Texas Tech in June 1941.  Early in 1942 he volunteered in the Air Force.  He became a radar man, and was sent overseas in April 1944 with the first B-29 Bombers as a member of the 44th Bomb Squadron and was on the first B-29 bombing mission on Tokyo.  

On May 26, 1945 the bomber on which he was a crew member was lost over Tokyo Bay.  The left wing gunner on the crew, Dale Johnson, was the only survivor.  He visited the family of   "  Squirrelly"   in 1947 and told the following details:  A few seconds away from their target something struck their plane-either flack or a suicide plane.  He never heard a single voice over the intercom after that.  He did discover a hole over his head and was able to escape.  As he rode his parachute down, he saw what he took to be his plane explode just before it plunged into Tokyo Bay.  He landed in shallow water, waded to shore and was soon taken to prison where he stayed until the war's end.  
     Early in 1944 "  Squirrelly"   become engaged to Wanda Kimbrell of Lubbock, Texas. They were classmates in college.  Their post war plans were to be married, go to graduate school where they both would complete work for masters degrees in theology and then volunteer to be full time Christian workers abroad.    
      It seems proper to quote from a letter, one of many received from Squirrelly's"   friends that he made in the Air Force each one expression their admiration for him.  This one was written by John Jensen, Jr of Grand Rapids dated December 31, 1945:  " I received your letter this morning and I can't begin to tell you how sad it makes me feel to hear Mac went down.  I really thought an awful lot of him.  For you to understand better maybe I had better tell you how I knew him so well.  We were in Pratt, Kansas together before we went overseas.  He slept right across the room from me and we become quite good friends.  Then after we got overseas he was transferred to my crew, but when we came home, he lacked a few hours so he stayed there.  Mac is a fellow I am more than happy to say that I have had the chance to know.  I know everybody in our outfit looked up to Mac.  Maybe it was because he did what he thought was right when many of us fell short.  The things that I admired most about him was the fact he did not smoke or drink even though we gave him an awful lot of kidding about it, and we may as well have been talking to a brick wall, he went on undisturbed.  All in all he was a type of fellow I would have been proud to call my brother.  We used to ask him if he did not get scared back there where he couldn't see, and he would say, "  Nope, I just keep myself busy and I don't mind it at all."    But I know Mac believed so strongly in God that he was unafraid of death...."    On the memorial stone in the Wayside Cemetery you will find:  Staff Sergeant Lyman York McGehee   July 2, 1920 - May 26, 1945  "  He lived fully, neglecting no worthy interest, leaving no opportunity uncultivated, no challenge unanswered."

Interesting to note that he did not have to fly on his last mission.  His service was complete but he volunteered to go out anyway.  His fiance never married.  His mother died only a two years after his death and the family has always claimed it was due to heart-break.

I cannot wait to meet him when I get to heaven.  I will tell him, "Thank-you for living your short life so well.  You were an example to my children as to what bravery and integrity are.  You are our hero."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Artist #2: Jerry McAdams

If you like western art, you will like Jerry McAdams.  His paintings have a more contemporary feel to them as you see modern day tools like the stock trailer and pipe fencing.

If you ranch you appreciate the details of his work that make the picture authentic.  Ranch horses are generally loaded up fully saddled and ready to go in a stock trailer that hauls cattle.  The lead rope and sometimes reins are tied around the neck like the above horse to keep the horse from stepping on them and rarely tied up when in the trailer.  He makes painting shadows and steel pipe look so easy...

If you have ever looked a part Brahman cow in the eye you will appreciate the following picture:

The title is "Devil or Angel?"  Trust me, she is no angel.

 Every piece is like a snapshot I have in my mind of working with horses and cattle at some time in my past.

Nothing prettier than the kelley green baby wheat against the blue sky and a pasture full of healthy yearlings.

Pictures are from Jerry's website. Check out his other paintings...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some of my favorite artists...

There was a time in my life if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you an artist.  As just a youngster, 6 or 7 years old,  I told a college age girl whom I adored that I wanted to be an artist and without knowing it, she squelched that dream by telling me that I did not want to be an artist because the classes were so hard (according to her friend taking those classes at the college level.) 
She had no idea that her comment would make me reconsider that dream and I have pondered how we treat a child's dreams so flippantly.  I am guilty of doing what my older friend did to me with my children, when they tell me what they want to be when they grow up, but no more.  As I was giving all the reasons why Anna does not want to be a soccer player when she grows up, the above memory came back to me and I regretted all the negative words I just spewed.  Now when she tells me her latest job possibility of being a house builder, I reply with words that encourage and hopefully fan the spark of an interest that just might be legit.  Who am I to say that she is not going to be a house builder or even a soccer player?  I cannot help but wonder what I would have done with my older friends words had they been encouraging since her words had so much power the other way...

So I love art and I would like to share a few of my favorite "   arteests"

The first artist is Carrie Ballantyne.

  Carrie is a self taught artist and is married to a working cowboy.  Her portraits are stunning and her subjects are real people which I love.  Below is called, "Boyd Camp Cowgirl"

Left is "Hannah's Palomino"

Finally, above is called, "Guardian of the Pup"       

These images have been obtained from "Wyoming Print Gallery and Framing" and you can view more of her work at there website:


Monday, May 23, 2011

What could be our last day on Earth...

I think that I can speak for most country kids when I declare that country kids are not really good bike riders.  We never had to learn to hop curbs, our tires are always flat due to stickers and in my case my riding was pretty much limited to our driveway because the black top road was too dangerous due to heavy over-stressed, too busy farmer traffic. Riding in sandy dirt just is not as much fun and easy as concrete.  Usually a 4-wheeler or horses are available and that always trumps a bike.   And oh yeah,  no helments, although no one needs them more! 

Why am I telling you this?  My kids want to expand our horizons and take their bikes to the zoo...and my bike too.  I purchased a bike with a baby seat thing on the back so I can take Jill along.  I probably should be arrested for child endangerment every time I have used that with her in it.  It will be an educational day for my little chics:  This is a curb, we cannot jump it.  There is a car coming, please stop.  That is a pedestrian, do not run them over.  That is an animal, do not look at it and still pedal your bike.  You city folk can do all of the above fine, but when country comes to town with our bikes...look out.

But hey, we go...just have to get Anna's flat tire fixed first.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blog, blog, blog...

My name is Joanna Schmeeckle.  I must warn you this blog is going to be eccentric-ly eclectic...just like me.

I can't wait to have an outlet for some of my passions which are my Creator, horses and the western lifestyle including farming and ranching, cooking, families,  art and humor.  I want to feature the people who make the above passions fun and interesting and I hope that you will enjoy reading about them.  Many of the people that I feature I simply love and think you will too.  Hop on my wagon and lets enjoy our ride...