Newspaper Page Text
My apologies if you were the
person pushing the shopping cart
I didn’t mean to create the
mini-traffic-jam. Like most shop
pers this time of year, I was prowl
ing endless rows of aisles, bleary
eyed and slack-jawed, stalking a
few last minor holiday items on
Then a small display of appli
ances in the local large retail cen
ter stopped me dead in my tracks.
Front and center in the display was
a crockpot. Done in Holstein-cow,
A cow-spot crockpot. And a
toaster, too. The giggle they
brought brightened the moment of
pushing through shopping crowds
and sent me steering my cart
toward the checkout with a grin on
We’ve been accumulating
“cow-lectibles” since The Fanner
began milking cows here, 31 years
ago as of December 1. Never
before had I seen a cow crackpot.
In fact in those early years, it was
almost impossible to find anything
artistically oriented to cows.
Occasionally, in a gift shop or
five-and-ten (we still called them
that, then), I would pick up a small
ceramic cow with calves, a cow
and bull salt-and-pepper shaker
shaker or maybe a cow-shaped
creamer that delivered the milk
out the cow’s muzzle.
Then, when decor
became all the rage and brought a'
rebirth of interest in arts and
crafts, suddenly cows were “in.”
And “out,” as painted plywood
cows became popular lawn orna
ments —except at places like ours,
where the real thing is too often
roaming the back yard.
Naturally, as “cow-lectibjes”
became more abundant and
increasingly creative, some found
their way into our old farm house.
Many came as gifts from friends,
making them extra special to us.
With all the farm mud, manure,
corn, hay and feed stuff bits that
show up on the floor, the cow
accessories just help complete the
barnyard effect—and distract the
eye from the assorted cobwebs.
Many of our cow-lectibles
make their home around the
kitchen: mugs, glasses, hotpads,
aprons, butter and candy dishes.
pitchers, place mats, trivets, cut
ting boards planters, suncatchers
hung at the windows. Acow cook
ie cutler I purchased killing time
while stranded for five hours in the
Dayton, Ohio, airport stands muz
zle-to-muzzle with a cow napkin
holder from a Holstein meeting.
The Farmer (and every other
kid that comes through) often
reaches his hand up to “ding” the
metal cow wind chimes that hang
by the kitchen/ office door.
Others cow-lect in the living
room. A cross-stitched “We Loyg
Cows” motif shares wall space
with a hand-carved wooden pic
ture of the five cow breeds, inset
with realistic eyes. The treasured
TOWANDA (Bradford Co.)
When choosing a Christmas tree
you should consider a number of
different items. Of course most
people have personal preferences
for certain trees. Often times these
preferences relate back to memo
ries of happy Christmases or very
beautiful trees. These preferences
are important in choosing a tree as
they add to the Christmas spirit.
One of the first items you
should look for in a tree is fresh
ness. Trees that come from long
distances like Lake States Norway
pine or Douglas fir grown in the
west will likely not be as fresh as
locally grown sources. The fresh
est tree is one you cut yourself.
If you purchase a cut tree, there
are three tests you can use to check
for freshness. Number one is the
needle test. You should bend the
needle and if it breaks and does not
bend and spring back it is probably
not fresh. The second test is the
bump test. This is less reliable than
the needle test but it can work.
antique reproduction of a cow
pull-toy sits beside a cow-bucket
lined with Holstein-spotted fabric.
My beloved teddy bears repose on
cow afghans thrown across the old
rocking chair I salvaged from
Daddy’s chicken house.
And our black and white cat
claims dibs on the fake fur cow
blanket, blending right into the
color when she curls up in its
folds. Cowmafiauge, sort of.
Fabric stores slip through the
cracks of my usually-practical
minded buying habits and an
assortment of cow-print fabrics
awaits the eventual “someday"
Christmas Tree Tips
Bump the trees’ stem on the
ground several times to see if nee
dles fall. If a large number of nee
dles fall the tree is probably not
fresh. A problem with this test is
that shaking may dislodge old nee
dles that fell off naturally and were
caught in the foliage. Number
three is the sappy stem test. If the
stem is sappy moist it is likely a
fresh tree. If the stem is dry, the
tree may not be fresh or it may
have been bumped on the ground a
lot already. To determine fresh
ness you should use all three tests.
There are other things to con
sider in choosing a tree. Items like
needle holding ability, fragrance
and branch firmness are often con
sidered when purchasing a tree.
Once you decide on and pur
chase a tree here are some tips on
keeping your tree fresh. When you
bring your tree home, stand it in a
bucket of water outdoors or in a
cool place indoors. If you leave the
tree outside it must be protected
from cold, drying winds and the
Lancaster Firming, Saturday. Dacambar 17. 1994-B7
they’ll be put to use. Yardage I
stumbled onto in an outlet one day
also yielded the stuffed cow doll,
still missing one ear yet to be sewn
on, that gazes down from the top
of a cabinet.
Now, ‘tis the season when the
attic Christmas boxes bring forth a
very special herd of treasured hol
iday ornaments. From the carved
cow in the wooden manger scene
to paper cow garland for the tree,
we prepare to celebrate the season
with our favorite animal.
Time to deck the halls with
cows and h011y...
sun. Snow and rain will not harm
the tree but heat will cause the nee
dles of some species to dry quickly.
When you bring your tree in to
decorate it, make a fresh cut across
the butt at least one inch above the
existing cut. The cut should be
smooth and clean to insure the
maximum amount of water
absoiption. Place the tree in a con
tainer of water or a stand that has a
water reservoir. Keep the reservoir
filled above the base of the stem.
Check the reservoir often as trees
will use a tremendous amount of
water, sometimes two quarts per
day. If the reservoir is allowed to
go dry, it will inhibit the ability to
absorb water even if the reservoir
As you add water to the reser
voir, check for spill or sweating
from the container. Blot spill
immediately with paper towels.
Place thick padding of towels over
any wet area and weight it down to
allow moisture to be picked up
into the toweling.