Monday, August 30, 2021

Milliron Monday: Being Episcopalian

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). Pete, a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, and Jody lived life to the fullest. They continue to motivate and inspire.

Jody was a devout Episcopalian. She and Pete both enjoyed attending the local Episcopalian Church. If you were sick or in need, she did not hesitate to put you on the church prayer list. She was disappointed during the pandemic when the church was closed and she was unable to meet with her Episcopalian friends. Being a part of the congregation brought her great joy. 

Jody often talked about her religion and views of what was right, what was wrong. She showcased her faith (and politics) on the windows of "Willow" her Subaru - bumper stickers, quips, and signs. Most importantly, she was able to give adequate reason why she believed what she believed. 

In cooler weather, Jody proudly wore her Episcopalian jacket - the one with the Robin Williams' quote Top 10 Reasons to be an Episcopalian:

10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs.
8. Male and female, God made them; male and female, we ordain them.
7. You don't have to check your brains at the door.
6. Pew aerobics.
5. Church year is color coded.
4. Free wine on Sunday.
3. All of the pageantry - none of the guilt.
2. You don't have to know how to swim to get baptized.
1. No matter what you believe, there's bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.


Have a great week ahead.



Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Ghost at the Local Bar by Sandra Russell


Original art (c) Sandra Russell

Ghost at the Local Bar
by Sandra Russell

Have you ever felt a chill when there was no wind? Or see 'something' from the corner of your eye, only to have it not be there when you turned to face it? Hmm? When you are alone, are you NOT alone? That has been the experience of a number of patrons and workers at a particular place on the near West side of Athens.  When I began to write about this place, I thought it would be easy to find eager storytellers, as my own experiences there from decades ago were a bit unexplainable. I was sure there was some particular history to weed out but try as I might it eludes me still. I did get a few testimonials that I will remain anonymous. It seems that people who have had uncanny experiences love to share with intimates even trying to top one another with taller and taller 'fish stories'; but freeze up when spotlighted as a "witness' to something that logic tells us, is not true.  The more I tried to shine a light on the subject, the more I likened it to shining a flashlight while walking through fog. The light bounces back at you, and the form sort of tears away from your body as you pass through it, as if old, rotted gauze. Still, I won't abandon you reader with nebulas poetry. I will tell you what has come to light.  And will provide a list of testimony from both men and women as follows. Two men agreed that they heard footsteps above them when closing up for the night, so loudly that they ran upstairs to investigate, nothing. Another man swore someone grabbed him from behind downstairs near the kitchen, he whirled around, again, nothing.

Three men working in the kitchen preparing hamburger patties on a table; finished when suddenly a #10 can of tomatoes flew off the shelf to land in the center of the work table. A woman worker told that on Saturday nights,  two containers were placed side by side, one with   sugar, one creamers, but at 12:30 am, the creamers would fall to the floor and the sugar remain as placed? She promised there would be more to the story, but again haven't heard back.  She did mention the "blue man", I said do tell? as I myself had a blue man story from 1973, It was amazing to me that younger generations describe him recently appearing the same way as he did so long ago. He is not what one would call a 'ghost', but it’s still pretty funny that a 70 yr old man has been 70 yrs old for 50 yrs!!! And is always wearing the same clothes! The last story was from a construction worker, who alone had gone upstairs to do some repairs and was taken aback by what he told of the vague form of a woman in a long dress looking away from him but standing just at his shoulder. He turned to face her, and she was gone. Oh sigh, reader, we are at the end for now. At least I can say from this adventure, that trying to pin down a ghost is like trying to capture a cloud in a butterfly net. No matter how manifest it seems when you lunge at it, the net will be empty when you take it home to show the folks.

About the Author: Sandra Rustle was born in rural Athens County, at mid-century modern time in a pre-Civil War farmhouse near Hebardsville, Ohio.  Sandra's interests include art history, studio arts, animals both wild and domestic, and baking. She can sometimes be found on the stage performing in local community theater productions, or behind the scenes creating props or designing sets. Sandy's recent DNA results have increased her interest in learning more about Scotland.  



Monday, August 23, 2021

Milliron Monday: Little Things

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

"Enjoy the little things in life, 
for one day you will look back and realize 
they were the big things." Robert Brault

Clich├ęs, adages, and the like, come to mind today. As we get older, they all seem to be true. The thinkers of past generations wanted us to know these truths. They wrote them down in short quips so they would stick in our minds. 

From all the items in Pete and Jody's house, the most profound is a little pencil. It overshadows everything else. If you knew Jody, you know what I mean. From her flowery smock pocket, she would pull a little pencil (never a full-sized pencil, always a little stub-of-a-pencil). Finding a piece of scrap paper, she would write an important thought, a phone number, or the name of a book she wanted to read. Many times while working on Milliron, Jody and I would be traveling, and I would be pencil-less. I could always count on Jody to write down something important. 

Consider the pencil. A small piece of graphite housed in a wood casing. A little item that can create incredibly important words and images. A little thing that can have big results. And maybe Robert Brault, the author of the above quote, wasn't referring to a tiny pencil. Maybe he was referring to intangibles, such as self-confidence, acts of kindness, or other attributes. He probably used a tiny pencil to write it down, which makes the pencil just as important as the thought.

People don't use pencils as much as Jody's generation, but there's something about a pencil that is appealing. Maybe it's because we're reminded that pencils can work hard, allow us to fix mistakes, and we can try again. 

When I hold Jody's pencil, I remember the influence she had on my life, and I am reminded that a little pencil can take you anywhere you want to go. It's the little things that make life complete.

"Success is a worn down pencil." Robert Rauschenberg



Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021

Milliron Monday: Scouts

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

Stashed away in a dusty corner of Pete and Jody's house were boxes of childhood memorabilia. Jody's corner was more complete than Pete's; she saved everything, including Girl Scout memories.


Jody
Jody's mother, Virginia (Mrs. Haley), was a Girl Scout Leader. Jody's brother was an Eagle Scout. She traveled far and near to be around the legendary campfire. In the Girl Scouts, she learned the joy of the outdoors; canoeing, camping, horseback riding, and more. She was a member of Mounted Troop #150, where she spent many hours on horseback. 

If Jody had not been in the Girl Scouts, she may not have met Pete. It was a Girl Scout trip from her Ohio home to Colorado that made Jody fall in love with the West. She knew that after high school she would enroll in Colorado State University (then Colorado A&M). She met Pete in an English Lit class. He had been dating Jody's sorority sister, but Jody was more his type. The rest is history. 

Jody. 2nd row, far right (with glasses).

Within the boxes of papers are Girl Scout calendars, campfire songbooks, ideas for cooking, canoeing maps, nutrition tips, and how to be a good citizen. 

Come be a little girl scout
and roam the woods with me.
We'll pick the little wild flowers
and see what we can see.
We'll cook on buddy burners
and sleep in little bags.
Look like little Girl Scouts
instead of darned old hags.




Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Hard Way to Go: The Horse of a Lifetime Book Review by Becky Mushko

 

Hard Way to Go: The Horse of a Lifetime

by NC Matheny

www.ncmatheny.com

Read Becky Mushko’s Book Review HERE!

Peevish Pen: Author Becky Mushko

"If you know someone who dreams about owning a horse but knows little about about how hard it can be to care for a horse, you might give them this book. It is certainly an eye-opener about some of the problems a horse might encounter—and the time, effort, and expense a horse owner will need to deal with those problems."

www.mondaycreekpublishing.com 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

This Week @ Monday Creek: Ducks!

Summer is in full swing. The temperatures have been sultry, calling for fans and extra water. Beyond the everyday farm work and chores, we celebrate summer and fun things to do! 

Since my last post, we have released several new books including Wait Until I Grow Up children's literature written and illustrated by Celeste Parsons, No One Cheers for Goliath: My Leadership Story a memoir by Timothy J. Brown, Ph.D., Hard Way to Go: The Horse of a Lifetime a memoir by NC Matheny. There are several more books in the works for 2021 which we are excited about. Stay connected for release dates/events. Find out more on our website www.mondaycreekpublishing.com

Many writing opportunities have arisen and, like everyone else, juggling everything can be difficult sometimes, but I have turned work away so I can create a greater focus on larger projects rather than take on many tiny projects. The pandemic has changed the dynamics of writing and marketing - and just about everything else. Seems we are managing well with the changes in the writing world and find new doors opening every day. Deciding which door to open, if to open it at all, is more time-consuming than the work itself. I would rather take the quirky, road-less-traveled work than the easy run-of-the-mill work. Bring it on!

We had a heavy thunderstorm today. Since we couldn't work outside and I needed a break from writing/marketing, we ran errands. On our way home, we decided to stop at the Logan Antique Mall. I collect and reuse vintage postcards, so I like to stop at the mall twice a year to see what's new. They have vintage everything, including books and items that can inspire any writer. If you're visiting the Hocking Hills region, I am sure you will find a hidden treasure at the mall. Make sure you look in every nook. 


 After we came home, we checked on our new ducks - Gigantor, Snickers, Ani, and Sly! They came last week from a local family who needed to downsize their flock. All of our new ducks are drakes. They are acclimating well and seem to like their new home. Tinker, our cat, is infatuated by them and likes to watch them waddle and swim. They are fun to watch.

Enjoy Saturday!





Monday, August 9, 2021

Milliron Monday: Letters to the Editor


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

My office is quiet today, except for the noise of Zubie's fan. Zubie has a limp and I've been soaking her foot in Epsom Salts, then packing it with an Epsom Salt poultice and/or ichthammol. She is standing still in front of the fan, her mane moving up and down from the sway of air. Her stall is across the isle-way from my office. In between, winter hay rests in a linear stack. Surrounded by the sweetness of the new hay, Zubie watches me as I watch her. She's a good mare and I remember Jody telling me that I need a gelding, not a mare. And I think about Jody. We had profound discussions where I am sitting. She loved the barn, the horses, cats, etc. And I wish I could talk to her today. But, instead, I am reading her notebook of Letters to the Editor

Jody was passionate about many things and she was quick to tell you her opinion. She was well-informed, with stacks of books; current events, history, poetry, classic literature, etc. She was an avid reader of the daily newspapers and responded to important topics when necessary, like the need for people to keep their dogs on a leash when not on their property (it's the law). 

We all should keep a notebook of the things we have written to the newspaper. It is good insight to the type of people we are, our beliefs and values. Jody's Letters to the Editor  are placed neatly in her notebook, each in clear page protectors, ready for reference or referral. You can find Jody's letters on facebook here
 
Zubie's vet, Dr. Abfall, came today to look at Zubie's hoof. He is retiring the end of December and I will miss his expert care. It could be a pouting Letter to the Editor, as I don't know of a good replacement vet. And it wasn't Zubie's hoof at all, but her shoulder. I am sure Zubie enjoyed that I became overzealous with my own diagnosis, soaking her hoof in warm water (for no reason). She rolled her eyes at me several times at the last soak. I should have known then it wasn't her foot. Mares know everything. 

Have a great week ahead.



Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Milliron Monday: Rambouillet-Targhee

 

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). Pete, a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, and Jody lived life to the fullest. They continue to motivate and inspire.

February 17, 1974
Sheep Raising Experiment Utilizes Marginal Lands
by Carol James, The Athens Messenger Staff Writer

AMESVILLE – If you’ve been out Amesville way recently, you may have noticed several hundred animals in the area that you wouldn’t have noticed six months ago.
The nearby 1,200 sheep are part of an experiment that was in the talking stage for some four years before Dr. Abbott P. Smith and Roman Warmke, both with farms on Route 50A, formed this partnership and rounded up the flock which is reportedly the largest sheep breeding operation east of the Mississippi River.
Veterinarian Smith said he and Warmke, professor of economics education at Ohio University, received a lot of help from local people and officials at all government levels as resource personnel for the project, which is to see if Southeast Ohio’s “marginal lands” can be used, and if raising sheep is a feasible way to use them.
By summer the flock will be expanded to 6,000 sheep, with 3,000 remaining here and the other 3,000 to be located in northern Ohio. Expenses and hiring people to watch the sheep make only a break proposition with just 1,200 animals, Smith said.
And it’s “strictly business,” Smith said, with the money the fate of the experiment depending on the sale of wool and lamb’s meat.
But the project will be experimental, Smith said, until the end of their first full season, about next October, after shearing in April, lambing in May (“to stay out of the mud” and cold weather) and marketing in September.
Holding unusual jobs for this part of the country are Charles Loeb, a sophomore at Ohio University, and John Branner, a graduate of Purdue University who will be attending OU in the spring. They’re the shepherds for the operation, and the sheep require their attention 24 hours a day.
To help them they have a dog, Jim, and a horse, Fritz, and while Loeb attends classes, Branner watches the sheep, with nights divided four a week for Branner and three for Loeb.
The night shepherd beds the sheep down around the trailer in which he sleeps, and sleeps with one ear tuned to the sound of the sheep’s bells, one on every 25th ewe, which serve as  alarms in the event of trouble, such as dogs attacking the flock, but so far dogs have not been a problem, Smith said.
Loeb said the Shepherd’s job is to watch that the sheep don’t get away, or stray too far, and he said they don’t stray singly or in pairs but instead groups of 20 or so, so they’re easier to spot.
Philosophically, the job “gives you a lot of time to think,” Loeb said. Except when curious folks stop by to talk, but he said most of these are very interested in the outcome of the experiment and enjoys talking to them.
The project requires a lot of temporary fencing, Smith said, and a plenty of work in grinding feed every day. There is also a lot of labor involved in feeding the animals hay and grain daily.
Smith and Warmke rent 10,000 acres on a day-to-day basis for the sheep, including two small coal company holdings and private lands. The renters pay as long as the sheep eat. They just eat the best and then want to move and “you can’t hold ‘em,” Smith said.
Are sheep stupid? “They’re good at what they need to do, they’re adaptable, and you can train them to do about what you can teach a dog to do,” Smith said, “if you’re clever.”
They are the least domesticated of domesticated animals, he said.
Smith’s practice as a veterinarian also comes in handy in the business. Since they acquired the flock in November, Smith said they have had little trouble, facing some dozen specific problems such as worms, diseases and acclimation of the Rambouillet-Targhee sheep to their new surroundings.
But they have a lot of sophisticated machinery to keep tabs on the sheep and their ailments and relations of blood values to performance, if any. “We have a lot of information at our fingertips that not everybody does,” he said.
Smith’s farm is the base where the sheep are processed and they’re moved out from there.
He said they are hard to find, however, and the two flew and drove through several western states to find these. They did personal buying to insure the quality of their sheep and Smith said it will take at least two weeks next summer to get more.
A good flocking instinct is necessary to manage most of the large flocks, Smith said, and that is one reason for the choice of Rambouillet-Targhee, also a fine wool sheep.
In addition, he said the sheep were chosen from western stock because they could be bought in flocks of 600 to 1,000, rather than groups of 50 to 100 as could be found in the East.
If the experiment is a success, which its initiators hope it will be, perhaps raising sheep will become a feasible and profitable way to put marginal lands to use in Southeastern Ohio and other areas and shepherding will no longer be such a rare job in the eastern and midwestern states.




Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Horses Go to Heaven: An Interview with NC Matheny


The author's horse, Casey, looking out his stable window.

Horses Go to Heaven: An Interview with NC Matheny
By Gina McKnight
Archived from the July 2021 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete. No duplication without permission.
 
Do horses go to heaven? Ohio writer NC Matheny believes they do. Matheny lost his beloved horse Casey last year after a bout with colic. Matheny has written about Casey in his new memoir Hard Way to Go: The Horse of a Lifetime. His book details finding Casey as an orphaned foal and raising him to adulthood. Catching up with Matheny, we talked about horses, his life with Casey, his mission trips to Honduras, and much more.
 
Welcome, NC!
 
GM: When did you meet your first horse?
NM: Shortly after my birth, my dad would take me to the horse barn, and I was by his side from early on. If I got tired, he'd put me up in his mare's manger, and I learned to pet her mane and nuzzle her nose. She was my favorite. She was a bay TWH mare.
 
GM: Recently you launched a new book Hard Way to Go: The Horse of a Lifetime. What is the premise for your new book?
NM: I hope others will follow their dreams and fall in love with their equine friends, just as I do. In the book, I share my journey with Casey; the good times and the times that were rough. He was my best friend. I actually lived with him for over two years. We shared the same living space. An unusual arrangement, we learned to adapt to each other’s habits and quirks. When horses know you love and respect them, they will do anything to make your dreams come true. Besides my life with Casey, I talk about my missionary trips to Honduras and my relationship with God. I encourage your relationship with God, fall in love with Him, then your life and future will be secure and full of promise. Heaven is real, and few are going there. Heaven is not our default location. Humans need repentance from human nature. Jesus is the only way I believe.
 
GM: Casey sounds divine. What is your favorite memory of Casey?
NM: I miss everything about Casey. My favorite memory is him waking me up every morning. He was the best alarm clock in the world. I followed my dream of living with my horse. Casey was literally a heartbeat away.
 
GM: Do you believe horses have spiritual and nurturing qualities?
NM: Yes, horses are spiritual. I believe horses and animals go to heaven. All animals are under the age of accountability. Under the age of accountability, humans are automatically granted heaven status before they reach accountability for their actions. But beyond that point, humans have a clear choice to make eternal peace or eternal torment. The choice is totally up to you, and no one is without excuse.
 
GM: In your book, you also touch on your mission trips to Honduras. What was it like to be a missionary? Do you have a favorite anecdote to share about one of your mission trips?
NM: When you serve as a missionary for the Gospel, you need a clear direction from God that you are doing the mission for the right reason and not for personal gain. Scary for me, I had not been outside of the United States and dropped into a 3rd-world country where the possibility was real that I may not come home again, all the while knowing deep down my Jesus was in all the details, and I was living my life for His glory.
 
I traveled to Honduras with a veterinary crew to help the local horses. I think the anecdote that best sums up my missionary trips and adventures was getting to ride a flea-bitten gray mare at the end of one of the veterinary tours. We had just fitted her with a new bridle and the tack she was wearing was not properly fitted. The owner asked if I would like to take a ride. I'm not allowed to do that, but that time I did. She was sweet, and the owner walked beside and led the mare, which was fine, but that was a joy that was not granted to most, and I will never get to do that again.
 
GM: What is your riding discipline? Where do you like to ride?
NM:  I rode Western in my youth but found myself wanting to feel connected to my horses over the years. So a bareback pad was my answer, feeling their motion, feeling my horse under me, feeling the rhythm of each heartbeat, and wrapping around the raw power of the horse. My horses all learn freedom with me, most of them. When I retired from riding for health reasons, I rode nearly bridleless and my last horse, Mystere, would start out on the trail ride with her bridle on. By the end of the trip she was wearing her halter, and I was steering with a lead rope for reins. One of our last riding adventures, I lost my reins on a very long trail ride and had to use my GPS to where I had last seen them. The next day I found myself hiking the same trails until I found my reins, all because Mystere didn't want her bridle on any longer and I slipped it off, attached her bridle and the reins to my bareback pad, and we finished the trail ride with her halter.  
 
GM: Always a horseman, what qualities do you look for when purchasing a horse?
NM: Watching the horse's attitude with other horses and their overall performance. A friend of mine was riding (my mare now, his mare at the time) Mystere with a group of other horses and riders. I loved the way she moved and her manners. I knew she was the horse for me. We connected immediately. I told my friend if he ever wanted to sell the mare, I wanted her, and he remembered. I have owned Mystere for many years. She is now totally retired, living out her senior years on a flat pasture with a run-in shed, happy that someone thought enough of her that she could live out her senior moments in peace.
 
GM: What advice do you have for those looking to find their first horse?
NM: Hire a professional to help you find the right horse. Take your time looking for the right horse and I can't overemphasize enough – once you have found your horse, spend quality time with your horse. A lesson I have learned all too hard: horses are relationship animals and it’s all about building that relationship. If you want to get on and go go go that's what you will get, but the time you put in is what you will get out. Remember, I lived with Casey my stallion for over two years. I would never think of actually living with him without the trust factor. Casey was rock-solid emotionally. With his great disposition and dynamite character, you could depend on his loyalty. He was golden. I'm not saying that I'm a professional in picking out horses. Believe me, I have looked at some after Casey's death, but have yet to find the perfect match. 
 
GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
NM: Horsemanship is having a relationship, confidence and trust. It all comes together when the connection is developed between you and your horse. You both are individuals building a relationship that takes time, take the time that is needed. I have a couple of horses that I am still building a relationship with. The love and devotion I had for Casey was unbelievable. He was loving and devoted to me as well. He was the stuff of fairy tales and dreams. But we built that relationship over years of trust. And as your horses get older, they are not disposable no matter what happens. Face up to the hard facts of ownership, and please respect your horse. You are their only world. Remember, the Bible says, Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10
 
Connect with NC…
www.ncmatheny.com



Family Ties by Sandra Russell

  Sandy's Grandmother Clara (c) Sandra Russell Family Ties by Sandra Russell “The best thing I can say about all this, is that familie...