Monday, January 29, 2024

Milliron Monday: Letters Home August 14 1960


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. 

"Jessica and I stayed in the car at the track until Pete got through work. It was pleasantly cool and we both slept most of the time between feedings."
― Jody Smith

Jody's letter home to Mansfield, Ohio. Backstory: This is Jody's first letter home since the baby's arrival in July; we skip ahead to August 14th. It seems Jody's mother spent three or more weeks in Fort Collins, helping with the new baby.

Route 1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Sunday, August 14, 1960

Dear Mom,
    I hope your bus trip home was pleasant - sorry you had such a long wait in Fort Collins (also, thanks for the pretty postcard).
    Jessica evidently began missing you the moment you left. She cried nearly steadily all-day Friday but slept well that night (thank heavens!). I fed her at 10:30 p.m., 3 a.m., and 8:30 a.m., so was able to get some rest in spite of all my new duties.
    Saturday afternoon we took Susie to Denver to catch a bus to Aspen (which left on Sunday, she planned to spend the night with Pam). Jessica was very good, and we all appreciated her car bed since she slept all the way down and back with barely a whimper. We stopped to see Burr and Lou [Betts]. Lou got furious with Burr for saying that Jessica was prettier than their granddaughter, Lisa Ann (born same day, if you remember). All Lou would say was, "Well, Jessica's rounder and weighs a little more." Lisa Ann weighed 6lbs 4oz when she was born. Jessica and I stayed in the car at the track until Pete got through work. It was pleasantly cool, and we both slept most of the time between feedings. We certainly got lots of use from the two carry-all bags you gave us, which I packed full of diapers, extra shirts, bottles, etc. When we went to Betts', I put the little blue outfit which Gary sent on Jessica, and needless to say she looked darling.
    Mrs. Beryl brought the mattress this morning. Jessica is presently sound asleep on it on her tummy even! The crib and mattress are certainly nice. I'm sure it will save me lots of worry to know she's safe in her bed instead of climbing out of a dresser drawer!
    It's certainly amazing how quickly she's changing from a helpless little creature into a real personality. Today she fussed and fussed, so I put her in her "Nip and Nap" and sat it on a chair in the kitchen. She watched me steadily for about an hour and a half and seemed quite content to listen to my discourse on cooking, world affairs, Starboy, Pooh, and other such matters which I discussed with her. It'll be even nicer when she can answer my questions!
    I fixed meatballs for dinner this evening and got a chance to use the meatball utensil which you sent. It worked well.
    I'll try to write again soon with all the latest information concerning your little granddaughter.
    I'll also try again to thank you, but it seems like a rather endless attempt considering all you did for us. At any rate, thank you so much, Mom, especially for coming out and being with me as well as for all the things you bought us and all the sewing, cleaning, ironing, cooking, painting, babysitting, formula fixing, diaper changing - you name it, you did it.
    Bye for now, thanks again for everything.

P.S. Also thank you for drape making. I sure like my little horse herd curtains, both inside and out. And thank you for the paperback book on baby care, it arrived from Parent's magazine. I read it during Jessica's feedings. 
Previous Letters Home: 

~  ~ 

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, January 28, 2024

The Dollhouse: A Short Story by Terri Mash

The Dollhouse

    I can still remember how the snow felt between my toes on that cold Christmas morning so many years ago. I was eight years old. In only a thin little nightgown and bare feet, I ran through the trees and tangled shrubs to my Grandma's two-room cottage.
    Grandma was sitting in an old over-stuffed chair in front of her pot-bellied coal stove. She was cutting up whittlins, as she called them. They were pieces of scrap material she used to stuff pillows and quilts.
    I burst through the door carrying my dollhouse to show her. She dropped what she was doing and listened to me rattle on in childhood excitement. Then she started pulling things out from under her big feather bed.
    Grandma saved everything! She pulled out an old suitcase that she had found in the junkyard. She took it apart, then she took some sticks of wood and cut them to one length. She used one half of the suitcase and nailed the four sticks onto it for legs. She had built a little stand for my dollhouse to sit upon. 
    Yes, I loved that dollhouse, but even at that tender age, I was more impressed at her stopping what she was doing to create the pretty little stand for me from nothing but scraps. An overwhelming love and admiration for her filled my heart.

From Ohio USA, Terri Mash is the author of A Cultured Girl: A Collection of Poems and Short Stories. She was born to Lawrence and Mattie Mash, the youngest of six children. Raised in Ohio with a love of art and music engrained in her soul, she would doodle, draw, and write song lyrics then stash them in a closet. It wasn't until recently she got the courage to pursue her passions. Self-taught with a relentless spirit, Terri fulfilled her dream.

Find Terri's book on Amazon

Monday, January 22, 2024

Milliron Monday: Letters Home July 6 1960

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. 

"Things aren't quite as tight hereabouts now since Pete's beginning to get paid for his track job and the job here at Birky's. He also shod several horses on Sunday and is still mowing a lady's lawn in town and trimming her hedge."
― Jody Smith

Jody's letter home to Mansfield, Ohio. Backstory: Happy in her new country home, Jody writes about her thankfulness for all the incoming packages from Mansfield, her journey to motherhood, and Pete's busy schedule.

Route 1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Wednesday, July 6, 1960

Dear Mom,
    Thanks so much for the package and three letters which arrived yesterday. It's always extra nice to get an insured package since the postman has to drive up to our door and deliver it instead of leaving it down on the box. I've already consumed the wintergreen candy so I'd best slow down or my weight will probably make some rapid increases instead of a decrease which I'm hoping for as soon as possible. It'll be great to have nuts to put in the cookies again. They always seem to dress desserts up. Guess it'd take me a couple of pages to list all the goodies you sent but thank you very much for everything. It's nice to have such things around and needless to say our grocery budget doesn't quite include such luxuries as black walnuts.
    Thank you for the offer of the window fan but I'm sure it won't be necessary. Yesterday and today it's been so cold I've worn a sweater and had the furnace on. It's rained or been cloudy the whole time. This crazy Colorado weather is certainly strange. The hospital is the Larimer county hospital which is just about a mile east of the main street in Fort Collins. Thank you for the offer of a practical nurse but that really isn't necessary at all. I told Dr. Rumley that I didn't think you were planning on coming out since that is what I gathered from your letters and she thinks that I would be all right if I would just stay an extra couple of days in the hospital until I'm really rested and feeling good. I had only planned on staying two days since it sounds so expensive without hospitalization insurance but if you are willing to help us out with the hospital bill for a couple extra days it would be a big worry off Pete's and my mind, and I think that extra rest would eliminate any need for a practical nurse. As far as the housework is concerned, this house is pretty small and there really isn't that much that has to be done, so I can just let most of it go until I feel up to it. Of course, I haven't any idea how I'll feel after the baby is born but I feel fine now and from all indications there shouldn't be any particular trouble (I hope!) so it really doesn't seem at all necessary to hire anyone to come in. I'm getting awfully anxious to get this all over with. This waiting is rather maddening. As far as your coming out is concerned it probably would be nicer to have you and Dad and Jessie all come out for a visit sometime when things would be a bit more settled and we could do things together. As for leaving the baby at the hospital, I hope very much to be able to nurse it so will have to bring it home with me.
    In answer to your questions, we got $250 for the Rattler after much advertising, useless running around to used car lots, etc.; then we had to give them $50 back since the block was cracked somehow. Pretty expensive driving for a year but it certainly was a help. We used the money for food, light, heat, etc. bills. No, I don't have any particular allowance to run the house. Pete usually gives me a check for my shopping every week although lately I've been using the Mansfield checking account for groceries. No, I'm not planning on being in Simmie's wedding. She asked me to, but at the time, was planning on having it in July, so I said I didn't want to plan on anything. I'm still not planning on it now that it'll be in September since I'm sure I won't have time to be running down to Denver and taking the baby along, etc. I would like to know what the wedding veil situation is though. I gather you're going to send it sometime soon.
    I'm sorry to hear that you're not out at the cabin. It seems as though it would be a great place for Gary Franklin to grow up in the summers.
    Thank you for all the clippings and magazines. I enjoyed looking through them last night. Also the packages of raisins are real handy to slip in Pete's lunch bucket. We have our big meal at noon and then I pack Pete a lunch since he leaves here at three in the afternoon, works on the apartment house until five and then goes to Denver to the dog track; he gets back about one a.m. I surely do appreciate the white shirts you sent for his birthday, especially the short sleeved one, since he has to wear a white shirt and tie every night at the track so I'm getting my fill of washing and ironing the darn things. He got the $25 and appreciated it very much. He's been meaning to write as soon as he gets a chance but as you can tell from the schedule above, he doesn't get a chance to sit down much.
    I haven't had a chance to price baby beds yet since I only go in town once a week for my doctor's appointment and didn't have time to look around last week. I called Montgomery Ward, however, and they have them at $24.95, $29.95, $34.89, and mattresses at $16.95. They sure seem expensive. Now I see why Pete and Mary Lou Matthews (another vet in Pete's class) don't have one. I don't see how she manages. They have three little children (just had a baby about two weeks ago) and live in a trailer which isn't nearly as large as our living room. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for, particularly living in this pretty country place. But at any rate what I started to write was that once when I was visiting Mary Lou she had to put her little boy to bed about five times since he could just crawl off the bed when he felt like it. It surely would be nice to have a bed with sides on it when the baby gets big enough to get around. I'm sure this little car bed will be fine for awhile though.
    I've been getting all sorts of use from that little aqua plastic egg slicer. The Junior veterinarians who are married and staying in Fort Collins over the summer had a picnic the fourth of July so I fixed potato salad and garnished it with hard boiled egg slices. It surely slices them a lot better than I ever could. It was a real nice picnic. It was pretty in the mountains. I'm sure you would all enjoy some of this pretty scenery around here.
    Thank you also for the "watermelon money". That ought to buy quite a bit of melon. That'll be a real treat to buy a whole watermelon all at once. Thank you also for the knife. It surely is a nice sharp one.
    I'm sorry to hear that Aggie isn't much of an outdoorsman. I certainly appreciate all the opportunities that I had to drag home all sorts of livestock. I hope our young one will have as patient a mother as I had. It seems as though Gary's interest in the outdoors and animals ought to balance Gary Franklin's life out, though. I surely hope so.
    I shall attempt to sort out the names on the list you sent and will send you back whichever names and addresses that announcements should be sent to. Be sure to add whomever you wish since I don't have much of any idea of whom they should be sent to.
    I'm about to give up on this weather. It's still raining off and on. I washed the white shag rugs yesterday and they're still soaking wet. Usually things dry in a couple of hours.
    Thank you again for the package of goodies and particularly for the letter. I certainly appreciate your concern. Pete and I both are grateful for your offer to help out with a particular nurse, etc. Things aren't quite as tight hereabouts now since Pete's beginning to get paid for his track job and the job here at Birky's. He's also shod several horses on Sundays and is still mowing a lady's lawn in town and trimming her hedge. I still haven't figured out when he finds time to get all this done but somehow he manages. He insists that he's getting enough sleep since he sleeps some riding down and back from Denver but he doesn't get to bed until after one and then he's up at 7:30 to work for Prof. Birky. Also he's attempting to sell that land outside of Denver so that should help settle doctor, hospital bills, house payments, etc. when and if the land gets sold, but until then I'm sure we'd both welcome some help with those extra days in the hospital if they're necessary. As far as paying for Starboy is concerned, there is still some money in the Mansfield account and his bill is paid until September. Having a horse is certainly a luxury for married students in college but I don't know what I'd do without the little character, now that I've gotten so attached to him.
    If I've forgotten anything or haven't answered some of your questions be sure to ask me about it since this letter has been written throughout the course of the day with many interruptions and is probably awfully unco-ordinated.
    I hope everyone's feeling fine there, and that Mike is still behaving. I received a real nice letter from Lavender yesterday so guess I better write her sometime soon. 
    Bye for now. Lots of Love,
Previous Letters Home: 

~  ~ 

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.


Thursday, January 18, 2024

This Week @ Monday Creek: Winter Feeding Frenzy -The time when Mac bit Zubie

Zubie and Mac @ Monday Creek

Winter Feeding Frenzy: The time when Mac bit Zubie

It was a day like today – frigid temperatures, overcast skies, winter winds, and hungry horses. I was late getting to the barn that day and my gelding, Mac, and my mare, Zubie, were hungry (you know all horses wear a watch and know when you’re late to the barn!).

Zubie is a passive mare. Usually mares are the herd “leaders”, but in this case Mac was dominant. He was pushy. He had been in a herd where he was low on the list and ignored. Now, in a very large barn stall with Zubie (yes, they shared the same stall), he was in charge. 

It was dark that day as I went to the barn to feed. I remember hearing a ruckus in the corral, unusual stomping, and whinny-screams. Mac ran into the barn, hung his head over the gate, and wanted something to eat – pronto! Zubie, however, came in a few minutes later with a two-inch square out of her chest. Mac had bitten her! I was furious! I immediately separated them, put Mac in a stall by himself so I could look at Zubie’s wound.

The wound was not bleeding. Mac had pulled her coat right off, creating a small patch of bare skin. She didn’t seem upset physically, but I am sure she was angry, too. And probably her feelings were hurt, as were mine. She quietly ate supper and went directly to her hay.

What should I put on the wound? No blood, no cuts, just bare skin. I prayed about it, “Lord, what do I do?” The answer was, “Nothing.” Antibiotic ointment would only freeze to her skin. A bandage would not adhere to it. Common sense said the cold air would do it’s work and the wound would heal itself. And it did. Within a week, the hair began to grow back. By Spring, the patch was completely covered, her paint coat was once again complete.

Mac knew he had failed in being a good stablemate. He ate his supper, sullen; he had broken the rules of herdship. He never bullied Zubie again. 

Despite his rude behavior that night, he was my love, a beautiful gelding who was passionate about living. In October 2019, Mac was bitten by a timber rattlesnake and died. He is missed. I thought of him today when I went to the barn. Zubie is alone now, but we are hoping to get a stablemate for her soon.

To see pics of Zubie, follow on Insta @ Monday Creek Publishing.

Mac and Zubie @ Monday Creek

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

An Interview with Ohio Writer Jennifer Kempton


An Interview with Jennifer Kempton

From Ohio USA, Jennifer Kempton is the proprietor of Shelled Ones & Friends, a local animal sanctuary in the beautiful Hocking Hills. I met Jennifer at one of our book festivals and, after talking with her about animals, found out that she has ducks! At the time, I was having a duck dilemma – my ducks would not stay on the pond and wandered off into the neighbor’s yard and into the road. The ducks came from a home where they were used to hanging around people all day and not the pond. Jennifer and her family happily rehomed my ducks to their animal sanctuary where they are thriving.

Shortly after, we collaborated on a coloring book and journal to benefit Shelled Ones and Friends. I recently caught up with Jennifer to ask about her sanctuary, writing, and more...

Welcome, Jennifer!

GM: Tell us about yourself, Shelled Ones & Friends, and the animals that you care for...

JK: I am native to the Hocking Hills where I currently live with my wonderful husband of 12 years along with our two beautiful children. I enjoy time with my family, volunteering in my  local community, and being a Hocking County 4-H advisor. I also enjoy the great outdoors and anything animal related. I love plants and herbal medicine. 
    I established Shelled Ones & Friends Animal Rescue/ Sanctuary back in March of 2022. I have always had a passion for animals and helping them. I have been rescuing animals as long as I can remember. From big to small we rescue them all. Right now we have a menagerie of donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, lizards, turtles, tortoises, parrots, and  Guinea pigs just to list a "few". Many of our rescues have permanent health issues or deformities. We have turtles and tortoises with permanent shell damage, chronic vitamin deficiency, missing legs and toes. We have parrots with beak deformities and missing toes. Lizards with missing tails and toes. Along with trust issues, some just don't trust humans. It’s an everyday working progress to give these animals the happy healthy life they all deserve.

GM: Visiting schools and informing the public about animals must be rewarding! What is the best way to schedule an in-person event?
JK: One of my favorite things is to do education about our animals. At our programs you get to be up close and persona with the animals. I teach history of where the animals come from, how they became domesticated, proper animal husbandry species specific. If an animal I am presenting has a health issue or deformity, I teach why this occurs and how we can fix it or make it manageable.  To schedule an event you can message our facebook page.

GM: As the author of a coloring book and journal, with a portion of proceeds benefiting your rescue, what would you like readers to take away from your books?
JK: The things I would like readers to take with them from my coloring book and journal is the love for learning and freedom to express who they are.

GM: Who is your favorite author?
JK: I actually don't have a #1 favorite writer. I love to read it all!

GM: What are you currently writing?
JK: Right now I’m working on some children's books based on our rescues. Some are fiction and some are nonfiction.

GM: What are you currently reading?
JK: I’m currently ready Chicken Soup for the Soul:The Gift of Christmas by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newman and Indefensible by Michael Griesbach. I always have two books going at a time!

GM: Do you have advice for novice writers and those looking to publish their first book?
JK: My advice for a novice writer...I still feel like I'm a novice. Don't be afraid, just do it!! Don't worry about being too Much, just do it!

GM: List 10 things your fans may not know about you...
JK:10 Things Readers may not know about me:
1. I've been reading since I was three years old. My Grandpa taught me by reading hunting and trapping magazines to me.
2. I worked in an Emergency Department for 16 years.
3. I wanted to be a veterinarian, writer, and a photographer when I was a child.
4. I'm an old-fashioned country girl at heart.
5. I'm a True Crime Junkie.
6. I'm frugal.
7. I enjoy exchanging post cards with people from all over the world. 
8. My favorite place is at home with my family and critters.
9. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
10. I’m a BIG KID at heart.

Connect with Jennifer...


Milliron Monday: The Recordings 4

  Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:   June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010 Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - Ma...