Monday, October 31, 2022

Milliron Monday: Milliron Clinic Fall Trail Ride - Trail Information and Hints


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 
The main objective for pleasure trail riding is to enjoy the scenery and have a good time. This is not a contest.”
Jody Smith
 
The Milliron bridle trails brought joy to Pete and Jody. The family worked to keep trails clean and free of brush. For many years they enjoyed hosting a trail ride that lead riders to a potluck BBQ. Pete and Jody supplied the meat and riders brought side dishes. It was a highlight for the Smith family and the Milliron community. It was intended for Milliron Clinic clients, but more and more riders came. Jody felt it was necessary to remind riders to use common trail etiquette. Many riders considered the ride a contest to see who could reach the BBQ first - it was supposed to be an enjoyable scenic ride. Finally, after a rider had a mishap, the ride was cancelled. 

Here's the printed guidelines that was given to each rider:

Milliron Clinic Fall Trail Ride
Trail Information and Hints

    Check the tightness of your girth before mounting and occasionally during the ride. Do not ride up close on horses your horse does not know. A red ribbon in a tail means that horse is prone to kick. Nearly any horses may kick when threatened or frightened. A usually safe distance is one horse's length between horses or each gait of speed. Be particularly careful if horses are stopped or milling around. A kick aimed at a horse can shatter your leg. Children on ponies should be kept between two horses the pony trusts.
    Horses generally pick the best spot for their feet to go. It is the rider's responsibility to watch for rider head and knee clearance. Always bend forward along the horse's neck if space is tight. If in doubt, get off and lead horse. If too close to a tree for knee clearance, have hand ready to straight-arm horse away from tree. This is possible because the rider is above the horse's center of balance. If a hill or stream crossing makes you uncomfortable, get off and lead your horse or have someone lead it for you. The main objective for pleasure trail riding is to enjoy the scenery and have a good time. This is not a contest. If you are not accustomed to riding several hours at a time, get off and walk for 15-20 minutes every hour or two. This will make tomorrow fun too. If your knees bother you, lowering your stirrups a notch may help.
    Trail markers (surveyors tape) mark turns or where the trail goes straight when other paths intersect. Follow the clearest trail straight ahead until you come to the next marker of the color you are following. Watch carefully to follow your color when it turns off. You will need to pay particular attention if you come upon a group of riders who may be taking a different trail that has intersected and run along with yours. If you discover you are now following the wrong color tape, just back track to pick up the trail you want. In two places the Red Trail will go in the opposite direction from the White Trail for a short space to get to another bench (or rim) trail. They will both lead to the BBQ so do not be confused if horses are heading toward you at these spots.
    The main WHITE TRAIL leaves through the gate below the upper cattle guard. It is 6.7 miles to the cabin. The shorter WHITE TRAIL leaves from the long field to the left, east (towards Amesville) of the clinic. It is five miles. The RED TRAIL is approximately 13 miles long. In several instances the Red Trail crosses paths which lead to the short White Trail. If you are running out of time or energy, follow one of these and turn right (East) on the White Trail. BLUE LOOP TRAILS leave and return to the main trails. Some are slightly longer, some shorter, but are more scenic (narrower, more rocks, steeper hills, stream crossings). On all trails be alert for holes, rocks, logs, etc. Do not canter or gallop unless you can see the trail surface clearly. Do not go fast through thickets which have been recently brush hogged as your horse may injure a foot on a sharp stick.
    Please be very careful not to drop pans, gum or candy wrappers, etc. as this is a major concern to the neighbors who have graciously granted us permission to cross their land. Special thanks go to New Covenant, Schmittauers, Blockers, Michaels, Beans, Connors, Rutters, Chadwells, Bunyans and Watkins. We certainly appreciate their generosity.
    Put items to go to the cabin (food, tie ropes, etc.,) in the blue truck parked by the bridge. Please be sure to retrieve these items (dishes!) after the ride.
HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU


 
See trail ride photos on facebook:



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, October 25, 2022

Trick or Treat: Art & Story by Sandra Russell

Trick or Treat
Original Art & Story by (c) Sandra Russell

Halloween or 'holy eve' refers to the evening before November first aka "All Saints Day". It is a long tradition of belief that the souls of the dead; good and bad, arise to walk among the living on this day, maybe even crossing into heaven or hell. In medieval times beggars would knock on doors and receive gifts of sweet cakes sometimes called 'soul cakes' and would in exchange say a prayer for the soul of departed members of that household. Given that winter was by then well on its way and cold and winter afforded no promise of bounty, this seems a practical last celebration of summer?

In the 1930's "Beggar's night" was the eve before the eve of "All Saint's day" and children would dress up as scary monsters or lost souls, to scare away any real bad souls that might be up and about. Still others would do the opposite and be fairies, heros, angels, and clowns. Any disguise of self was a protection against the 'bad guys'.

Again, the dating of the practice of giving apples, candy and snacks to children going door to door is a practical one. Considering the great depression beginning in 1929 and then the rationing of sugar during the second world war anything like coffee tea and fine snacks was not in every household.

My father would tell us about his trick or treating experiences as he grew up in the 30's being born in '29. He lived in the mining town of Mineral, Ohio. He told us about the community flavor of the holiday and how the neighborhood would sponsor social activity for the kids and chaperones  in the form of wiener roasts, taffy pulls, and bobbing for apples. The boys took the 'trick' part of the treating to heart as well. No toilet papering houses, doubt they had toilet paper? Sears catalogs in the outhouses more likely. He would tell of the popular sport of tipping outhouses over at that time, and how men would prowl with shotguns to protect them. A favorite 'trick' of sorts was to spook one another in the local cemetery with hide and seek games and given that the cemetery was also a 'common' for grazing cows, many cow patties were left to be used in battle. Much like a snowball fight in winter, the boys would make fortress behind tombstones and lob one another with the dried bovine droppings. One Halloween, his dad (maybe his last Halloween, as he died when my dad was only twelve) they were playing this sport and the pop joined in, threw some good ones (he was the pitcher for the Buchtel White Sox). But then that triumph came to an end when he caught one in the face, bottom side up. Yeah, still fresh on the underside. My dad would seldom smile, but he would when retelling this story.








Monday, October 24, 2022

Milliron Monday: Stanley Ghost Stories

 

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 

"An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you ef you don’t watch out!"
― James Whitcomb Riley

It’s tradition to tell ghost stories this time of year. There are many stories best told around an autumn campfire. My mother would read Little Orphant Annie, a favorite spooky poem by James Whitcomb Riley, as we cuddled by the fire. 

Jody and I talked often about spirits. She once had an encounter in the bedroom of her historic Milliron farmhouse. As she settled into bed, she felt a presence in the room and said, “If thou be of Christ, stay. If not, leave!” She told this story several times and I have used her words on occasion.

After an insider’s view to the Smith family library, it was a delight to read Stanley Ghost Stories, edited by Susan S. Davis, Pete’s sister. Ectoplasm, orbs, mist, moans, murmurs, and more create a collection of stories that will engage every reader. You can purchase Stanley Ghost Stories from AmazonSusan is the founder of the Stanley Museum in Kingfield, Maine. She has first-hand insight to the Stanley family, including this collection of ghostly stories of the Stanley Hotel and homes. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, inspired Stephen King’s The Shining. King and his wife were guests in the hotel when King penned the bestseller. 

Stanley Ghost Stories edited by Susan S. Davis

  
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.

  

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Blennerhassett Island Under a Full Hunter’s Moon Story & Photos by Sandra Russell

 

Blennerhassett Island, Ohio River, West Virginia

Blennerhassett Island Under a Full Hunter’s Moon

Story & Photos by Sandra Russell

My sister and brother-in-law recently celebrated a three decade+ anniversary by going to a special dinner on Blennerhassett Island in the Ohio River. The night they chose coincided with a full moon conjunction with the planet Jupiter, the winter's evening star. They took a ferry boat from Belpre to the island and as the sunset turned to darkness, the candle lights on the island were the only illumination for the guest's arrival, creating a magical sensation, floating slowly over water aiming for a puddle of golden fires. 

This evening was a special event for the island as well. This weekend was also an anniversary for the Blennerhassett settlement and residence of the tiny island. Tonight was a special feast and a reenactment of a 'servant's party' staged for the year 1805. Guests were encouraged to dress in period clothing as well in order to keep the illusion going of stepping into the shoes of the settlers.  Besides a dinner of traditional turkey, vegetables, and gingerbread, there were performances by costumed dancers and musicians. Some listened to storytellers telling 'ghost stories' and historic information about place, such as the rarity and value of the glass window in an Ohio cabin of the day. After dinner they strolled the grounds outside the house, found gravel walkways lined with fire baskets to warm hands along the paths. They also managed to catch a ride in a horse drawn wagon before returning to ferry home. 


Blennerhassett Island, Ohio River, West Virginia


Blennerhassett Island, Ohio River, West Virginia



Thursday, October 20, 2022

Regrets by Sandra Russell

Original Art (c) Sandra Russell

Regrets
Art and Story by Sandra Russell

We often wonder at the change of seasons. Autumn seems to bring out even more nostalgia and reflection than the others. We think about our old school days, and the excitement of new friends and goals, maybe we are just finishing a summer just out of school and are headed for a new job somewhere. Maybe not, maybe we have known many summers and are reflecting on the path not taken? 

We wonder how different our lives might have been "if only"? I wake up sometimes, not from nightmares, but from what I would call 'bad dreams' and in common these dreams feature myself younger, on streets I no longer walk or with people who have passed away or maybe just really aren't features in my life and I wonder what is that all about? Maybe I should have gone to the dance, or gone to that other school or said, no to that one boy and yes to another? 

The trouble with this sort of thinking is that we still only are giving ourselves a sort of fork in the road, and that's a contemporary fork we see now because of our experiences. Maybe those mistakes were exactly what we had to do under the circumstances at the time? The other problem with this is that we are still doing an either/or sort of frame on this little scene. 

The other day I considered how often I do this, and suddenly it occurred to me that there is often if not always, a third choice, maybe a fourth choice and more?! I decided that the path of regret, belongs to a backward glance only as far as you can use that to make today better for yourself and those around you. Trying to relive a past not lived is to walk backward down a rabbit hole. It will only rob you of today and your tomorrows. So, shake that off, look at the beautiful leaves and scents of fall, and drink it in as living this moment richly. Appreciation is the key to moving forward. Happy trails!



Monday, October 17, 2022

Milliron Monday: Dr. Joann Fokes

Dr. Joann Fokes and Boogie, July 22, 2000

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 

"In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years."
Abraham Lincoln

Today we send sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Joann Fokes. Joann, a good friend of the Smith family, spent many hours on the Milliron Farm trails. In the above photo, dressed and ready to attend Jessica's outdoor wedding, Dr. Fokes is riding Boogie, her beautiful Paso Fino.  


 JOANN FOKES OBITUARY

Athens Dr. Joann Brauer Fokes

Joann Fokes passed away on October 5, 2022 from complications from Alzheimer's at O'Bleness Hospital in Athens OH. She was the daughter of Louis D. Brauer and Frances Ada Dodson Brauer. She was born on September 19, 1927 in Del Rio, Texas. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Marion (Sissy) Brauer Mayfield, Her brother, Edwin Louis Brauer and her husband, Jack Murrah Fokes.

Joann graduated from Del Rio High School on June 12, 1945. Following graduation she attended Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio for two years. She then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. She graduated with a Bachelors of Education in 1949 and taught school in Corpus Cristi and Comstock, Texas.

She married Jack Fokes in 1953 and moved to Uvalde, Texas. They had two children, Jacquelyn Fokes (Gerry Hillferty) and Clifford Howard Fokes (Schuyler E. Cone).

Jack Fokes was killed in a car wreck in 1957. At that point Joann went back to school. Earning her Masters of Education from South Texas College in 1962 and then her Doctor of Philosophy from Purdue University in 1967. She then took a position at Ohio University teaching in the Speech and Hearing Department. Dr. Fokes was known for her unique and unusually creative teaching style. She retired after 28 years as a full Professor. Author of the Fokes Sentence Builder, she was made Professor Emerita in 1993.

This career and her outside interests made for long and demanding days. No one would deny that Joann prized her independence and fortitude that continued to the end of her life.

Joann, along with her daughter, Jackie, were passionate about horses. After acquiring property in Athens County, they began a 20 year journey of raising, training, and showing Paso Fino horses. They were one of the first breeders in a wide state area to show and sell this special breed of horse. At last count, it was 104 horses over the years. Traveling was a second passion and when Joann was not showing or trail riding her horses around the southeast US, she was traveling abroad to Europe, South America, Australia and other exotic locales. In addition to horses, was her love of dogs, particularly Golden Retrievers, of which she bred and provided rescue for. Her farm, with beautiful woods, pastures and a pond provided them with an ideal life. Joann was also known for her cooking skills. Fabulous multi course dinners were served to large groups of friends and relatives every holiday and birthday.

We want to thank Lindley Inn and their staff for the care they provided for Joann.

Joann has donated her body to the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. A remembrance will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Alzheimer's Association, National Parks Conservation Association, Stuart's Opera House or the Ohio University School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Joann Fokes.

  
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.

  

Friday, October 14, 2022

Just Back from a Glamourous Wedding: Art & Story by Sandra Russell


Wow, so I just experienced a once in a lifetime event. I was the mother of the bride at a wedding in Los Angeles. The bride and groom paid for their own event as they are both mature and independent. I was treated simply as an honored guest, which was quite a treat. The venue quite out of reach and exotic for a country lover such as myself, but I like to think I am flexible (though, the traffic in LA does make me cringe; at least I didn't have to drive).

First of all, I flew cross country. I haven't been further than 150 miles from home for 9 yrs. Then land to meet my future son in law for the first time and get dropped off at an air B&B where I meet old friends and family to share a 4-bedroom house til the wedding. The back yard is filled with fruit trees; figs, oranges, and even pomegranates! I didn't know they grew on trees? I tried to sketch and watercolor a few of them, but again much was going on to draw focus.

I won't bother to mention some of the side trips we took but go straight to the wedding/reception. I shook out my fancy mother of the bride dress and was glad the wrinkles dropped out of it. Wedding planners, and makeup people and photographers told me where to go, and how long to wait. Suddenly it was time to walk down the aisle. My sister and I followed the groom’s mother and father to music from a huge pipe organ, felt like Buckingham palace. My co-mom and I lit two candles then took our seats. After the vows and ring exchanges the couple took the candles we lit and lit a third large candle to seal the union. It was all very elegant.

Then we were driven to the reception where we also stayed the night. The Langham Hotel in Pasadena. This hotel was built between 1915 and finished in the thirties. It is quite glamorous, and the service is fantastic. I found that even with my arthritis and lack of general athleticism, that having a group of friends, a live band, and a meal to dance off, got me up onto the dance floor a few times. I had to laugh at one point as well, when one song came on, two of the girls I was dancing with (now in their mid-forties), I had danced with in our humble old cabin when they were in grade school and high school! Now here we were again, dancing to the same song in a posh hotel filled with flowers and champagne...It was just so sweet; and they were laughing too.


The Langham Hotel, Pasadena California

The courtyard




 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Life's Little Bumps in the Road - Art & Story by Sandra Russell

Original Art (c) Sandra Russell

Life’s Little Bumps in the Road

by Sandra Russell
As some of you may know I was in a parking lot accident about a month ago. Just a couple of scratches, but due to the age and miles on my car, the insurance company 'totaled' it and bought the car from me. I have a rental for a couple weeks so I can find another vehicle.

A week after my accident I helped a man back out a giant panel truck that was boxed in by other cars at a grocery in town. He was a huge fellow and had no room to open any of his doors to climb in. He begged me to back it out of there for him. He looked flushed in the face sweaty and short of breath. I was so scared to drive such a thing in reverse with no windows, but told him to 'watch my back and get out of the way.' Took less than a minute to do, but I was shaking.

Later two women came up to me to thank me for 'being there.’ I am scared of parking lots now more than ever. So, I'm on the alert; being extra cautious. Life is full of little ironies or mother nature jokes or? Just an hour ago, I parked the car to run into a local grocery store for one thing. As I was walking from the car to the store could scarcely believe my eyes; two cars were backing up fast at the same time and directly behind one another!!! No one was looking except at the sides...I was running and flailing my arms yelling "WOAH! WOAH!". Miraculously each car braked at the same moment and missed one another by less than eight inches. I tell you, the visibility in many cars these days is not good for these sorts of conditions. Be careful out there.




Milliron Monday: Tinker's Broken Leg

  X-ray of Tinker's broken leg. Tinker at the barn with Zubie Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:   June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010 ...