A FAVORITE CAMPING TRIP by Cheryl Pierson

Growing up in Oklahoma, camping was not something we did as a family. My mom was not the “outdoorsy” type, and my dad worked in the oilfield, so his schedule was erratic. Many of my friends had been camping—but I had never gone. I didn’t count the times we went to our family reunion on Lake Texoma and rented a huge barracks-like building with men on one side, women on the other, and a massive kitchen and dining area in between. That was not “real” camping!

My camping debut finally came as an adult when I had my daughter’s Brownie troop dumped in my lap the day before we were all set to have our first meeting. The woman who had asked me to be a co-leader decided she was not up to being a leader, and told me if I didn’t take it over there were going to be 24 very disappointed little girls—including her own! I had never been a Girl Scout, never gone camping, never done any of the things that were “scouting” things—but what could I do?

Well…with a lot of misgivings, I agreed to be the leader if she would be the co-leader. Another mom also said she would be a co-leader. By the end of the first month, another mom stepped forward, Sherry, who knew “all things Girl Scout” and what a lifesaver she was!

One of our first Brownie meetings!

 

THE GIRL SCOUT LAW:

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

 

Here we are, having fun at Investiture–Jessica in the middle. Lots of great memories!

… Even though we were one tired Mommy and little brother!

 

I didn’t think I would like camping, but surprisingly, I did—we had so much fun. We went to a Girl Scout campground at Red Rock State Park in Oklahoma. There is a huge variety of things to do there, and the scenery is just beautiful. We had small cabins with cots, and brought all our own food in coolers.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: By taylorandayumi – OklahomaUploaded by Fredlyfish4, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23654296

The girls loved being outdoors in the crisp fall weather, and seeing such wonders as the changing colors of the tree leaves, learning about plants, the history of the park, and simple survival skills. We gathered firewood, and of course, we made S’mores that evening! We learned how to make “buddy burners” and cooked a meal on top of a metal coffee can!

Jessica taking her turn at sawing some firewood.

There are videos online that show different ways to make a “buddy burner” but ours was an empty tuna can with a coiled wick in it, under an inverted empty metal coffee can with a few holes punched in the side near the top to allow air to get to the tuna can that is burning. The top of the coffee can is like a stove burner—you can make two different kinds of breakfast on it: cook bacon first, so there’ll be drippings, and then you can make a) French toast, or b) scrambled eggs.

At Camp Red Rock–my Jessica, 3rd from left. We learned to always wear a cap–lots and lots of bugs!

I think we all ate more than we normally did because of the fresh air, and the novelty of being able to cook a meal on the buddy burners we had all made for ourselves!

But when we think of how our cowboy heroes had to camp “back in the day” without the amenities we had (a cooler, bacon in a package, eggs in a carton, and so on) it makes a person realize that camping out of necessity was not the fun, exciting time we had as a giggly group of elementary school girls and their leaders. It was the serious business of trying to survive.

We had a wonderful time—there was very little homesickness, as everyone was so busy all the time and the time flew by. Hubby and I don’t camp, but I was so grateful to have those times with my daughter, Jessica, and the girls in our Girl Scout troop! Thinking back on it, those were some of my favorite days.

Were you ever a Girl Scout? Whether you were a scout or not, do you have a favorite camping experience? Please share!

Winner! Winner!

Howdy!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to the blog yesterday or today and who left their comment or viewpoint on the somewhat controversial post.  I enjoyed reading your comments and thoughts on the matter.  We do have a winner, and that winner is:

 

Alice

Congratulations Alice.  Now, in order to get the e-book to you, could you please email me privately?  

My address is:  karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net

Again, many, many thanks to all those who spent some time reading and then also commenting on the post.

 

Riding Sidesaddle …


Ah, the sidesaddle, a piece of horse tack designed in the old west to make those flowing skirts women wore to flow equally well on horseback … NOT!

In actuality, the sidesaddle was invented way back in the fourteenth century to … wait for it … protect the virginity of a teenaged princess as she made her way across Europe to wed the young King of England. Wow. Just wow.

So, the assumption the sidesaddle was a product of fashion because of long flowing skirts and dresses, isn’t how this particular piece of tack came about. Instead, it was to protect the physical proof of a princess’s royal virtue. And the rest is history.

This bright idea (I’d really like to know who came up with it) set forth the notion that the only way for a proper lady to ride was “sideways.” Never mind the fact you had to hang on like your life depended on it (which for many it did) it’s how you were supposed to ride. So, for some five hundred years this was how it was done. YIKES!

The sidesaddle we still know today was invented in the 1830s by Jules Pellier. His version has a fixed pommel to support the rider’s right thigh. He also came up with a revolutionary second pommel for the left leg. This allowed more security and control, giving the woman the freedom to stay on at a gallop and to jump fences. It was a far cry from early sidesaddles, The earliest of which was nothing more than a pillow and a piece of wood that had the woman facing left. Horses are mounted on the left side, so even the earliest versions were made this way.

Fast forward to the early twentieth century where the sidesaddle was a permanent fixture for women when it came to the proper way to ride. Worse, the slightest suggestion to the contrary could get you an earful. Take for example an article in the Los Angeles Times from 1905 (and yes, this was written by a guy): “The woman does not live who can throw her leg over the back of a horse without profaning the grace of femininity; or grasp with her separated knees the shoulders of her mount without violating the laws of good taste; or appear in the cross-saddle with any semblance of dignity, elegance or poise.”

There were women writers of the time who agreed. But as with anything, rumblings against this mode of riding were bound to start. In this case, it was British author Alice Hayes who made some of the first complaints against a sidesaddle, despite the fact she argued women should ride sidesaddle. But she also saw the sidesaddle’s impractical design and how it placed women in harm’s way.

“The fact of a lady having to ride in a sidesaddle, subjects her to three disadvantages: she is unable, without assistance, to mount as readily as a man; she cannot apply the pressure of the leg to the right side of the horse, and she cannot ‘drop her hands’ in order to pull her horse together to the same extent as he can,” wrote Hayes, in her 1893 book, The Horsewoman: A Practical Guide to Side-Saddle Riding.

 

 

By 1900, American women were geographically split on the issue. Women in the East clung to the sidesaddle as
proper and necessary, while Western women saw them as impractical and dangerous. Women out west were far more likely to use a horse for farm and ranch labor than those in the East, who were more likely to use a horse for weekend entertainment. Now there are sidesaddle riding clubs, events in horse shows for the sidesaddle and of course, other interesting places in the horse world where riding sidesaddle is the used.

 My sister and I grew up with horses, and we tried riding side-saddle by wrapping our right leg around the saddle horn. Dangerous? Yep, but we were Tomboys, what did we care about the danger? And yeah, we worked our way up to a canter riding that way. But we weren’t going to go for a gallop! Have any of your seen women riding sidesaddle in parades or at horse shows? Have you ever ridden a horse that way or thought it an elegant way to ride?

 

Welcome to Some Summer Fun! A Puzzle…

Howdy!

Are you ready for another fun week of games and puzzles?  Well, kicking off this week, I thought I might post a puzzle — I figure we could call it:  Name that cover.

 

Here’s the link:  https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=333e8f3e0a3f

So, did you put it together yet?  Okay, shall we compare times?  Now, before I tell you how long it took me to put the puzzle together, be aware that I am not puzzle-oriented.  Okay? It took me 11 minutes and 54 seconds — and that was after I called my husband, Paul (who loves puzzles) to come and help me.  I seem, also, to be alone in my lack of tolerance and working over puzzles.  Both my daughters, my grandchildren, my husband, his mother, his sister, etc. etc. — all love puzzles and put them together (really hard ones) in no time at all.

Not me.

Would love to hear your time.

So here’s the multiple choice question:  Is the cover?

** RED HAWK’S WOMAN

** THE LAST WARRIOR

** THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF

Thanks so much for coming here today and for playing the game with me.  Know that if you leave a comment, you are automatically entered into the drawing that will take place at the end of the week.  (All Petticoats and Pistols rules for Giveaways apply.)

Thanks for playing and have a super rest of the week…lots of fun!

BATTER UP! by Jo-Ann Roberts

Baseball has come a long way from the humble beginnings in the fields of 19th century America. For many of us, the introduction of  team camaraderie and fair play first occurred on dusty sandlots, red clay diamonds, and neighborhood backyards. Contrary to popular belief, American baseball was not invented by an individual but evolved from various European “bat and ball” games.

Yet, if you were to mention “sports” in the Old West you’d probably get some strange looks. But sports, baseball, were as much a part of a town’s beginnings and, in many cases, its growth as cowboys and horses. Often, cultivating a pasture or vacant lot into a playing field was as important as establishing homes, a mercantile, a school, a church,  and a clean water supply. While summer evenings and Saturday afternoons were prime times to gather up the fellas for a game, playing on Sunday was soundly discouraged.

 

Teams in each town were comprised of friends, neighbors, and co-workers.  Everyone was welcomed to play regardless of race, color, or country of origin. It was common to see teams comprised of African Americans, those of Mexican origin, and those indigenous to the lands who were passing through the area. Not to be left out, some women’s teams were formed in the early colleges in Kansas.  Women also formed teams in their respective towns. Research showed that a women’s league with five towns around Topeka was established, some even included a male player or two in their lineup. Though some townspeople were startled at this occurrence, others merely accepted the fact.  (Hmm…wouldn’t this make a great series!

Setting these books in the purely fictitious town of New Hope, Kansas, I did considerable research into baseball in Kansas following the war. 

  • The history of baseball by organized clubs grew from the experiences of former Union and Confederate soldiers and spread across the prairie. The game became a great unifier in the years that followed the war.
  • 19th century bats were heavier and thicker in the handle with more of a gradual taper from the handle to barrel.
  • A catcher’s glove began as a leather work glove, similar to the glove a brakeman on the railroad would use.

  • The more prominent clubs in the larger Kansas cities donned uniforms consisting of long woolen trousers, leather belts, flannel shirts emblazoned with the town’s initial, and woolen caps.
  • Early baseballs were made from a rubber core from old, melted shoes, wrapped in yarn, covered in some form of brown leather, and stitched in a style known as a “lemon peel”. Pitchers usually made their own balls, which were used throughout the game.   

 

Posey Campbell couldn’t understand why her love life, or lack thereof, was of such interest to her family and friends. Having endured one ill-fated relationship, she resigned herself to living out her days as New Hope’s spinster schoolteacher…until an unkempt U.S. marshal with inviting grey eyes and a kiss-me-smile came to town turning her well-ordered life off-kilter.

Glad for a temporary assignment keeping him in one place, Grayson Barrett never expected to find love, let alone a wife, a set of orphans, and a life he’d feared had passed him by.

When a secret from Posey’s past comes to light will Gray’s steadfast love be enough to convince her he is the right man? Or will an old nemesis put an end to their love before it begins?

EXCERPT  |   AMAZON  |  GOODREADS

 

       

 

My giveaway includes a $10 Amazon gift card, along with a digital copy of my newest release, Posey-Brides of New Hope Book Two.  All you have to do to enter the drawing is to comment on this blog and Petticoats and Pistols will randomly select a winner.

 

I look forward to chatting with you…Play Ball!

A firm believer in HEA with a healthy dose of realism, Jo-Ann Roberts strives to give her readers a sweet historical romance while imparting carefully researched historical facts, personalities, and experiences relative to the time period. Her romances take her readers back to a simpler time to escape the stress of modern life by living in a small town where families and friends help one another find love and happiness.

GOTCHA DAY FOR SWEET SEMINOLE SAM! by Cheryl Pierson

Tomorrow, August 18th, is a very special day in the Pierson household. It’s “Gotcha Day” for our sweet boy, Sammy!

“Gotcha Day” is what many call the day a new pet comes to live with their family—a perfect, heartfelt matchup—and not only did we “get” Sammy, he got us, too!

The beginning of this story starts now nearly 12 years ago, before Sammy was ever born. My daughter, Jessica, adopted a fluffy white Great Pyrenees puppy from a shelter named “Embry”—at that time, the Twilight series was very popular, and when the puppies were born in the shelter, the staff named them all after characters from Twilight. “Embry” was a minor character in the series and my daughter kept the name because she thought it fit him.

About a year-and-a-half later, Jessica had to move from where she lived to a place that had a small backyard, no fence, and was close to a highway. We became “grandparents with custody” at that point—a big relief for all of us—except my husband, Gary,  had sworn off pets after the kids had left home after high school.

Embry as a puppy

It took about a DAY for him to realize that Embry was his soul-mate dog. Embry lived with us until his death in July, 2018.

I’ve spent my life taking care of animals and people, and I knew Embry would want us to rescue another dog and bring him or her into our lives. I bugged my husband relentlessly. He dug in his heels. He did not want another dog. But I DID. So how to solve it? I begged him to just “go look” and see

We went to the city shelter in the small town where I was raised, Seminole, Oklahoma. There was a dog that I’d shown him on their website that he’d shown mild interest in. I asked them to bring Sammy out for us to see. Sammy came right over to us, sat down on Gary’s foot, and would not budge. When he looked up at Gary, his entire expression said, “You are mine. I’m so glad you’re here for me!” I asked Gary if he wanted to look around, and he said, “No. There’s no need.”

Sammy’s shelter intake picture

He dubbed Sammy “Sweet Seminole Sam” and August 18th became Sammy’s “Gotcha Day”—one of the best days in our lives.

The first real bed Sammy has ever had. His first day with us.

But the story doesn’t end there! At the shelter, Sammy had been a social butterfly. The employees and other dogs all loved Sammy. Believe it or not, Sammy had been adopted once and returned—for digging holes in the backyard. He was about three months old, and put into the backyard alone, left to his own devices. I think he was trying to dig his way out and back to his friends!

After we’d had Sammy for a couple of months, I noticed a kind of pensive expression on his sweet face sometimes. I could only imagine what was going through his mind. I told Gary I thought Sammy needed another dog.

Sammy looking thoughtful. He’s about 11 months old here.

I love them all, but knew that we should probably look for a dog that was about the same age or younger than Sammy, who, at that time, was around 13 months old. This was in February 2019. 

There was a little waif that had been dumped with his siblings on the shelter steps when they were not even a month old. That would have been late January. He was white with light brown shading on his back. They thought he was part Great Pyrenees, probably from his coloring, but there were darker colored siblings, so said he might be also part German Shepherd. I didn’t care what he was—he was ALL love! He looked so lost and forlorn in his picture that was posted. I knew he was the one.

He had been named “Axel”–but that didn’t fit. We changed it to “Max” in case he’d gotten used to hearing that sound, and already might have started learning his name.

Jessica and I drove the hour drive to Seminole to pick him up. On the way home, he threw up in the back seat, and when I was holding him, he peed on me—twice! Then he went to sleep. I was in love. His “Gotcha Day” is March 11, 2019.

When we got him home, I went to pick Sammy up from doggie daycare, and Jessica gave Max a bath. Sammy walked right in and loved him immediately. It was “Gotcha Day” for Sammy, too—he got a new little brother!

Sammy and Max meet each other for the first time. Sammy is being so careful. Max adores him!

If I had a bigger place, I would have as many dogs as I could. It would be “Gotcha Day” several times over!

This was taken about a year ago–one of my favorite pictures of them. Max has gathered all the toys in a pile in front of him. Sammy came up to tell on him, and their expressions say it all–Max is so proud of himself. Sammy is saying, “Oh, brother! Look what I have to put up with!”

Do you have a pet that you celebrate “Gotcha Day” for? Since we don’t know their birthdays, this is the day we celebrate with ice cream cones, special treats, and car rides! What do you do for your pet’s “Gotcha Day” to celebrate?

Winners! For Karen Kay’s Free E-book

Howdy!

Many thanks to all who came to the blog yesterday and who left their thoughts and also those who didn’t leave their thoughts.  You are all welcome!

We do have two winners for the free e-book of THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, the first in the Lost Clan Series.  And, those winners are:

sejoc1968

and

Teresa Warner

Congratulations!  What I’ll need you each to do is to contact me personally at karenkay(dot)author(at)startmail(dot)com (insert a . for dot and @ for at).  And, we’ll arrange to get the book to you.

Again, congratulations!