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Monday, March 31, 2014


Have any of you checked out "A Slob Comes Clean" blog? I can identify with many of the things she blogs about. I mean, once you clean up an area it should stay that way, right? But, what actually happens is while your back is turned a split second it all falls apart again. Does that happen at your house too?

She and I also share the same disorder - TPAD. (Have you noticed that everything goes by initials these days? ADD, ADHD, PMS, OMG. You get the idea.)

So what is TPAD?

Time Passage Awareness Disorder

I never knew it had a name, but I've got it. I have no concept of the passage of time. Like when I am talking to the doctor. "When did you first notice the symptoms?" Heavens, I don't know! "When was your last period?" Good grief! That has been so long ago that I have no idea. I am sure you wrote it down somewhere in the records.  "What surgeries have you had and the dates?" You've got to be kidding, right? I know what surgeries I have had, but no clue what year, much less the month and day. However, I do remember the year I had my appendix removed. It was June 1963, the day after we returned from Missouri when my cousin got married, and I was 3 months pregnant with my second child. But if it weren't for remembering what year my child was born, I would have no clue what year I had that surgery. I can't even remember what year I had my hip replaced, and it hasn't been that long ago. Is it 6 years, or 7? I think it was either May or June.

Most of the time I wake up and wonder what day of the week it is, and have no clue what the date is, other than the year, although I sometimes write the wrong year on a check - like 10 years ago! No, I am pretty sure it isn't Alzheimer's. It is just not paying attention to the calendar. My days are pretty much all alike and just a blur in my memory. Was it Monday that it snowed? Or was it Wednesday? Does it really matter? I guess that is why I don't remember. It just doesn't matter what day it snowed. It doesn't matter what day I went grocery shopping last week. (I think it was last week, or was it the week before?)

When you have 70 years of memories, knowledge, and wisdom crammed into your head, there just isn't room for the things you don't need to remember. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be room for some of the things I should be remembering either. Oh well, as my husband would always say, "In a hundred years it won't matter anyway." Wise man.

Monday, March 24, 2014

FRUGAL LIVING 101 - Part 2

I have already discussed =


Today let's deal with number 3


I did talk a little about this in the prior post as far as getting creative with what food is on hand so that it gets used up and not thrown out.

We can also get creative with clothing and household things. If you have some good clothes hanging in the closet but maybe they don't fit right, or you no longer like the style , then change it. Did you know that you can make a no-sew cardigan from a sweatshirt? Just cut down the middle front, fold over the edges and use strips of a fabric iron-on tape for no-sew hems. Or, if you do know how to use a sewing machine, you can sew the edges down. If your sewing machine has some fancy stitches, use one of those in a contrasting color down each front side. Shorten a dress that may be too short for comfort and make it a blouse. Or if the top of a dress is a bit shabby, cut the top off and make a skirt out of it. Be creative! I know you can come up with some ideas, or check out some of the blogs that show some unique ways to alter clothing. Here is one website to check out. http://www.newdressaday.com/. If you have no idea how to sew, I bet you have a friend who can, or some older lady who knows how to sew and make do. Just ask them to show you how to do it.

Need some new curtains? Maybe you have a pretty sheet that doesn't fit any bed you own anymore. Cut it up, hem it, and voila! Curtains. That can be done with the iron on tape as well, with no sewing. I bought some inexpensive sheets at Walmart in the color I wanted for my bedroom. Cut them in half from top to bottom, used some clip-on rings at the top to hang them on the rod, and I love them! I used twin sheets, but later wished I had used full size sheets to have them fuller, but then I would have also needed more rings. Those rings I bought on a trip to IKEA some time before that. I don't remember what they cost but it was very reasonable at that time. The closest IKEA store for me is Minneapolis, and that is a day destination and not close enough for a quick trip. I do love to browse in that store!

Anyway, you get the idea of being creative with what you have. You might have to buy some things to achieve the look you want, but that is still much cheaper than buying all new. You might even be able to find what you need at a thrift store or Goodwill if you take the time to look. But first, be creative with what you already have.


I admit that can be a tough one, and certainly not fun. Being creative can be fun, saying no. . . not so easy. It is so easy today to see something we like, and it is even ON SALE!! So we buy it on impulse. And when we get it home we can't find a place to put it because we already have too much stuff. Or we don't like it as well as we thought we would, but it was on sale and non-returnable. Money wasted. If you can return it, do! But always save your receipts for everything. I have a small accordion file with 12 slots, one for each month. I put the paid bills in there each month as well as all receipts. Since I use a credit card for almost all purchases, I need to keep them at least until the bill comes in and they are paid for. But they stay in there until I clean the whole thing out at the beginning of the new year. By the way, I do pay my credit card bills in full each month so that I am not charged the high interest.

Another place to say 'No' is if you want some larger item but can't pay for it. Save up the money first! When you have saved enough to pay for it, then buy it. You can still use the credit card, especially if you have one that gives you cash rewards, but since you have the money saved, you can pay that total bill when it comes. The only time I would allow buying something on credit without having the cash, is when it is an emergency, an appliance breaks down and is not repairable, or costs more to repair than to buy new. It is a good idea to have some funds set aside for future emergencies, but how many of us actually do that?

Being frugal does not mean not spending any money at all. It just means being as careful as we can with our money so that we can afford to buy something we really want or need. We do need to enjoy life while we are here, but there are lots of fun things to do that don't cost anything, or at least are not expensive.

And last -

Yes, be content with what you have. That is Biblical. God has given you everything you have. Be thankful for what you have. And be content with it. Don't  keep wishing you had a house like your friend, or a new car like 'everybody else' has, or a bigger and better television, or the newest smart phone. If you already have one and it works, be content. I know that does not fit with today's consumerism lifestyle, but really, how much do we need before we have enough? Do you realize the more we have, the more we want? And the more we see others have, the more we want what they have? Learn to be content with what you have. It might take a little practice.

When I married my husband, he was a person who grew up using things until they no longer worked or were worn out. His bath towels were threadbare, but he had a trunk full of new towels! It didn't take long for me to make rags out of those old towels! Notice, I didn't throw them away. Cutting those towels up into rags is easy and they really make good rags for dirty jobs.

When my son was a baby he drooled a lot, and I mean a lot! He soaked through bibs almost immediately. So my mother cut up some old bath towels or wash cloths, sewed several layers together and a binding around the neck so that they could be tied, and they worked so much better. They still needed to be changed often but not like the other thin bibs. They weren't so pretty but usability was more important.

There are the basics of frugal living. I hope this gives you a few ideas as to what you can do. Just remember these 5 points and you will be surprised at what you can do. And remember to be happy!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I was just reading a post on Purposely Frugal blog about the basics of frugal living, and how to save, and there are just a few points to remember. These are basic 101 points. If you learn these and live by them, you will be able to live within your income (providing you have some ). I know many readers already know this stuff, but I also know there are some younger people who have never had to do without. Parents had money (or acted like they did) and always had an abundance of everything needed AND wanted. If they didn't like the shampoo they just bought, they threw it away and went out and bought something else, until they found what they wanted. But now that they are on their own and don't have all that money, or maybe have to cut their spending because they are so far in debt, it is time to learn the ways of frugal living. It isn't always fun. I will be the first to admit that. But you can challenge yourself to see how much you can save, and to see what inventive ways you can save.

Here is the list of the basics.






How easy is that?

How can I do that? Use less shampoo every time. Just a small amount works just as well as just pouring it on. Watering liquids down, like shampoo, creme rinse, liquid hand soap, body wash really makes a big difference.

Eat smaller portions, which also helps with weight loss if you need to. We all tend to eat too much ice cream at one time -- fill the bowl up and then pour half a bottle of chocolate syrup over it? Use a smaller dish and put half as much in, or even less. Did I say this was not fun? I didn't say you couldn't have any at all, just less. Eat one slice of toast instead of two for breakfast, smaller bowl of cereal, smaller pieces of meat, and the list goes on. Using smaller plates and bowls tricks the mind into thinking you are eating just as much, which is a recommended trick for dieting but it also saves money.

How many bottles of cleaners are under your sink? Use up what you have (and many of these can be watered down as well) and then just use one all purpose cleaner for everything. You can even make your own cleaner which is even cheaper. There are many recipes online for those. I am sure you can come up with many other ways to use less if you think about it.

As I said above, use up what you have first, even if it isn't your favorite brand. And there is always a little more in tubes than you think there is. Toothpaste, hand creams, ointments are a few. When I get to the point nothing comes out when I squeeze the tube, I can often tap it hard several times on the palm of my hand, and get more than enough, so I can do that several times. Then, cut off the top and there is probably enough for at least one more application.

Use all the fresh food in your fridge and counters. If it is getting to the point where it needs to be used immediately or get thrown out, make something with it, or if it can be frozen, freeze it. Some things might be better if it is cooked first and then frozen. Throw all the vegetables - whether fresh or leftovers - into the crockpot and make vegetable soup. Then freeze that for future meals if you don't eat it all right away. I also add any leftover cooked meat to the soup along with gravy if there is some. I have added chicken, beef, pork, hot dogs, sausages, all in the same soup. Delicious!! Just add water, any tomatoes or tomato juice that need to be used, and then I add some kind of bouillon cubes and seasonings for extra good flavor. Some people call that Refrigerator Soup. Some people make this on the day they clean out their fridge every week, which should be the day before you go grocery shopping. Some of the best meals I have eaten are the ones where I had to be creative to put all the odd things together that were left in the pantry, fridge and freezer. You know, all those little extra pieces of meat no one ate, or dabs of casseroles that you decided to freeze for another day and then forgot. Use them before they get freezer burn and end in the garbage.

I also save bread heels. I will toss those in the freezer each time. And then I make garlic toast with them, or croutons. I just love buttery garlic toast. One favorite steak house years ago had the best garlic toast, and they made it from the left over dinner rolls which they sliced up, and they would bring a basket of garlic toast to each table while you waited for your meal. I think I need to get in the kitchen now and make some instead of sitting here and writing!

I think this post is long enough anyway. So I will write more in the next edition. In the meantime you can start using less and using up what you have.

Monday, March 17, 2014


I saw this recipe on Pinterest a couple months ago. It had been laying on my kitchen table for at least 2 weeks, waiting for me to try it. The first week I couldn't make it because I only had one egg left in the fridge. After buying eggs, I got busy with genealogy again and basically did not cook. Period. Meals were peanut butter toast, frozen dinners, frozen pizza, leftovers, cheesy popcorn, yogurt.

And then I was sick of those 'sort of' meals, and so it was time to boil those eggs and fry that bacon that needed to be used or would soon end up in the garbage can.

If you like egg salad sandwiches I encourage you to give this one a try. I have to admit that it would be better with a little bit of onion in it, but then, I love onion in just about everything. I haven't added any yet, but I still have some egg salad in the fridge and I think I will be doing that shortly. This would also be good adding some cooked potatoes and making it potato salad, in case you get tired of egg sandwiches before it is gone. Another thing I like in either egg salad or potato salad is a little bit of finely chopped celery for that added crunch.

This recipe is found at Karly's recipe blog, Buns in My Oven. She has some other good sounding recipes there, too.


Yield: 3 big sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


6 eggs
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt (I would use a little less salt since the bacon and cheese are        already salty.)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese


Add the eggs to a medium sized pot and fill with water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid, and let sit for 15 minutes.

Run the eggs under cold water or place them in an ice bath until cold.

While the eggs are cooling, chop the bacon into bite sized pieces and fry until crisp over medium heat. Drain the fat and set aside the bacon.

Peel the eggs and mash them finely with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, parsley, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Stir in the bacon and cheddar.

Serve as a dip with crackers or between bread as a sandwich.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Using large eggs I found these instructions for boiling eggs worked very well. It seemed no matter what method I had used before I would get that ugly dark ring around the yolks. I think maybe part of the problem was I tried to hurry the boiling process and turned the electric burner on high first. I guess it takes the slower heating of the water to do the trick.

Now that I have this post completed, it is time to go add that onion and have myself an egg salad sandwich!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I will keep this short (I think). This post may be of more interest to farmers and gardeners since it is a record of crops planted, how many acres, how much seed used and the yield. They also recorded the dates they started planting grain and corn, each date of cultivating, started and ended haying, cutting grain, picking corn, when fall plowing started, and the first killing frost.

Mom also kept a record of some of the garden produce yields. I thought I had taken a picture of one of the pages, but it isn't in the folder, so I don't have one to show.

In 1933 Dad planted 33 acres of oats during April 13-21, using 146 bushel "by weight". The yield was 34 bushel per acre. Cost was $44 and the yield paid $339.60 @ 30 cents a bushel. The oats were cut July 14-17. In 1934 only 30 acres and 102 bushel of oats were planted, and the yield was only 25 bushel an acre. No record of cost or income on that crop. The yield was down. The oats had to be threshed, and I wrote about that here.

Thirty acres of corn was planted May 17-18 but I found no record for amount of seed, cost or yield. Could it have been hailed out? That will remain a mystery.  Corn was picked (by hand remember) October 16 - November 16. In 1934 there were 27 acres of corn planted but no record again of cost, income or yield. It is possible that all the corn was used for feeding livestock, and maybe for seed the next year. I don't know if there was hybrid corn at that time.

There was one acre of alfalfa planted, and yielded 2 loads. Haying started June 12, and ended Aug. 28.

Fall plowing started August 17, which would have been the oat field. And the first killing frost in 1933 was October 7.

I believe the dates are pretty average even for today.

They had one cherry tree! I have not seen a cherry tree in this area, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. We did not have a cherry tree the whole time I lived on the farm. It was harvested in July and the yield was 'several handful'. I had to chuckle at that. It must have been a very young tree.

As for the garden, Mom recorded peas, beans, beets, sweet corn, tomatoes and pickles, but the only yields she put down were 26 pints of peas from 20 cents worth of seeds, 41 quarts of beans (I think green string beans) and 16 bushels of pickles!! I did notice in the pages of receipts they sold a total of 3 bushels of pickles to 4 people @ 50 cents a bushel. But that still left Mom with 13 bushel. She must have canned many quarts of pickles that year! I still have 2 crocks that she made pickles in.

There were pages for other types of records that were never filled in.

Since there are only 64 acres planted with crops as recorded, I suspect the farm was only 80 acres. The rest of the acres would have the pasture for the cows and work horses, and the farm yard with the house, chicken house, hog house and barn. If this was the farm where I know they lived for a few years, there was not a big grove like we had where I grew up.

Did you notice there were no soybeans planted? I don't think anyone knew what a soybean was in those days. Even in later years my dad only planted soybeans one or two years. He did not own a combine so had to hire it done, and that probably was not very profitable at that time.

That gives you a picture of what Iowa farming was like in 1933-34.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Several years ago some Nebraska friends were camping near our area and they invited us to a cream can supper they were having with their camping friends. It was something we had never heard of before that, and had no idea what she was talking about. It was interesting and GOOD!

I found this recipe at Food.com and was really surprised at how many showed up when I googled for information on cream cans for the previous post. So I thought you would like to see what it is like. Here is the link  http://www.food.com/recipe/cream-can-supper-132663

This was made by putting the full cream can on a propane burner, but our friends used a charcoal fire with a heavy grate over the coals to set the can on. They also saved one whole potato and put it on top of all the other ingredients. They told us when that potato was done, it was ready to eat.

This has been a popular summer fare for parties and gatherings in our area. You will need a 10 gallon cream can.

Units: US | Metric
12 -15 potatoes, washed and cut in half
6 onions, left whole
12 carrots, cut into 3 to 4 inch chunks
2 heads cabbage, quartered
12 ears corn on the cob, cut in half
12 bratwursts (Italian sausages are good, as are spicier versions.) or 12 other sausages (Italian sausages are good, as are spicier versions.)
3 (12 ounce) cans beer
salt and pepper, to taste

Layer potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, corn and sausages in the cream can in the order listed.
Pour in the cans of beer and season with salt and pepper. (Can also add garlic, Montreal Steak seasoning, or whatever other seasonings you prefer.).
Cover and bring to a boil. Steam on propane burner for about one hour.
Serve with buns for the sausages and/or plain white bread and butter.

We did not put the sausages on buns, just ate with the rest. One of the men had made his own sausages that were added to the mix, along with other brats. They were delicious!

Here is another version that actually shows you how to build the fire pit. This version does the food a little differently, and they use an old cream can where the first recipe used a shiny new one. You must not seal the lid, but allow the steam to escape or you might have an explosion.


Some of the others at our supper brought salads and desserts. That is where I had the first taste of the "Better Than Sex" cake. I am sure it has 1,000 calories per piece, but it was sure good! When I looked for the recipe I found several different kinds, from yellow cake to chocolate. We had chocolate and I think that is my favorite, but they are all good. Here is the chocolate version.


Units: US | Metric
1 (18 1/4 ounce) package dark chocolate cake mix
1 1/3 cups water (or as directed in cake directions)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or as directed in cake directions)
3 eggs (or as directed in cake directions)
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 -12 ounce) jar Mrs Richardson's caramel topping or 1 (8 -12 ounce) jar butterscotch topping
8 ounces whipped topping (Extra Creamy Dream Whip is good)
2 Heath candy bars, crushed (Skor bars or Nestle's Heath bits will also work, if you can find them)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and lightly flour 13" x 9" cake pan.
Mix cake as directed on package.
Bake the cake about 35 minutes or until it tests done.
As soon as it comes out of the oven, poke holes all over it with a fork (I actually use a small diameter chop stick) and pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the cake, followed by caramel sauce (microwaved about one minute until warm and easily pourable - I use only about 10 oz of the jar).
Refrigerate overnight.
Shortly before serving, spread whipped topping over cake and sprinkle with crushed Heath bars (or bits).

Monday, March 10, 2014

1933 FARM ACCOUNT BOOK - part 2

In the last post I showed you page 9 of the account book, which was all expenses.  Several lines down it seems a new year - 1934 - is being recorded. And most of those entries were related to the farm and not the household, so it looks like they had most things they needed for the house.

This next page is the last page of expenses and ended in April. I wonder why they stopped recording expenses after April? 

Some things to note here - gas - 30 gallons for a total of $4.35. We have paid almost that much for one gallon of gas a few months ago, and is still over $3 a gallon. I don't know what the "w.n.a.x" means. That is the call letters from a very popular radio station years ago, but I don't see a connection between buying gas and a radio station.

Farmers, you may want to note the cost of chicken feed. That would be "chicken feed" compared to today's prices for feed. (pun intended).

After several blank pages there are several pages of receipts like the one below.
This is a record of all the eggs and cream they sold. The first entry - eggs - sold 12 dozen eggs @ 8 cents = 96 cents. I think I paid $1.89 for 1 dozen eggs in the store a week ago! Of course, they had been candled and sorted by size before they got to the store, and the ones Mom sold were not, thought they had probably been washed. What do I mean by candling? You can read about it here.

One of my chores growing up was gathering eggs and sometimes helping wash them. I hated both jobs! Even though I grew up on a farm, I was not a farmer. I like country living, but don't make me raise chickens please! Gathering eggs sounds simple enough, but sometimes hens would still be on the nest and they did not like a hand reaching under them to take their eggs, so they would peck. That hurt! And sometimes a hen would break an egg in the nest which then went all over the other eggs there. yuck!

Once those eggs were washed, they were put into large corrugated cardboard egg crates that held several dozen eggs, with paper pulp dividers, called flats, to hold each egg, similar to the bottom of egg cartons today. I think those crates must have held 12 dozen since I see that was usually the maximum listed. That is one thing I don't remember anymore. I tried to find a picture online but most were wooden crates or the small boxes a dozen eggs come in today.

One thing I have appreciated in looking at this book is that I have handwriting examples from both Mom and Dad. It is not hard to tell the difference. Mom's writing is that of a teacher, neat and larger. Dad's is cramped and small but readable.

On some of the next pages of receipts I see where Mom's sister and husband paid my parents for room and board several times. That tells me they stayed with my parents for awhile. They got married February 13, 1933, and the first note of paying room and board is July 8. This is during the Depression so maybe they could no longer pay rent because of losing a job. It seems like they paid any amount they could whenever they had some money, since the dates and amounts are irregular. And that was most likely to help pay for food more than anything else.

The other source of regular income was selling cream. I don't know why the milk wasn't sold too, and I don't even know what was done with the milk. Some of it might have been given to the hogs, and we did use some for drinking and cooking. Yes, raw milk, never pasteurized! And we lived to tell about it.

(UPDATE below)

I just found the following online, telling why only cream was sold and how it was separated from the whole milk.

In the late 1800's milk fat or cream was the main reason for milking cows.  Cream contained most of the energy of the milk and was used to make butter.  Butter also was less perishable than fluid milk.  The separated skim milk was commonly used to feed livestock.  Thus before one could make butter the cream needed to be concentrated or separated from the milk.  

Here is a picture of one something like what I remember. The one Dad had was electric but older ones were cranked by hand since people didn't have electricity for a long time. This is what they call a centrifugal separator. That big bowl held the milk and then it would spin, which caused the cream to separate, then the cream came out one spout and the skim milk out of the other one. 

You can read more about cream separators and the different kinds of separators here.

Then the cream was put in a cream can. Dad's were like the large one, far left in back row. I still have one that came from our farm sitting on my patio.


Sunday, March 9, 2014


As I continue to look for great-grandma's will, I find other things to share. One is this "The Handy Farm Account Book" for 1933. If any of you are farmers I think you will enjoy this. If you know nothing about farming, I think you will be interested in what things cost in those days. Remember this is during the Great Depression era.

As you can see, one of my kids decided to do some doodling on the cover when she was little. Unfortunately for her, she left her name. LOLOL Even though Lisa filled in all the holes in each letter with a marker, I think you can still read most of it. Kids!

Inside the book looks like this. This page shows some of the expenses during the year. But I will list some things on earlier pages first. I didn't scan those because they have more of Lisa's 'artwork'.

As I read the list it seems my parents were setting up a household and farming. They had been married a little less than one year at the start of this book. This list has farm implements, livestock and household goods purchased. I am sure most of the things were bought at farm auctions, as I recognize some of the names. The first item on the list start in January --
  • corn plow - paid $4.25
  • disk - $2.50
  • HORSE - $25.00
  • lamp - 25 cents
  • 2 hoes - 15 cents (total)
  • 2 shovels - 70 cents (total)
  • wire stretcher - 60 cents (for putting up fences)
  • phonograph - $7  ( they could still have something to make life more fun, but I was surprised to see this listed)
  • garden rake - 10 cents
  • cupboard - $1.75
  • dresser - $3.25
  • table, 4 chairs, 2 rockers, sanitary cot (??), day bed, couch - all for $11
  • 4 flat irons - 75 cents
  •  5 dozen fruit jars - $3 (total)
  • kitchen cabinet - $10
  • sewing machine, from Sears Roebuck - $42 (so far the most expensive things are the horse and this sewing machine, but both were very necessary) (I also wonder if this is the Singer treadle machine in cabinet that they later had made electric and I learned to sew on?)
  • firewood - 25 trees for $4 (total)
  • harrow - $2
  • HORSE - $17
  • 353 bushels of corn @ 10 cents - $35.30
  • set of horse harness - $16
  • box wagon - $21
  • bob sled - $7
  • 25 gallon barrel - 20 cents
  • dining table - $6 (I wonder if this is the round oak table I still have? maybe not)
  • 4 chairs @ 75 cents - $3
  • kitchen range from Montgomery Wards (new!) - $38  (I think this was probably the old cob/wood burning cook stove we had in the kitchen)
  • wash tub - MontomeryWard (new) - 48 cents
  • wash boiler - Montgomer Ward (new) - $1  (also wonder if the is the large oval copper boiler mom still used to heat wash water on the cook stove as long as we lived on the farm. Wish I still had it)
  • 3-tine fork - from Sticker Sale (?) - 30 cents
  • sulky plow - $6.50
  • roan cow - $23
  • grass mower - $3.50
  • horse collar - 70 cents
  • meat grinder - 25 cents
  • bed - $2.50
  • bed spring - $2.50
  • mattress - $3.75
  • lantern - $1.35
  • 2 milk pails - 25 cents total
  • chicken coop - $1
  • 6 gallon jar - 60 cents
  • milk cow - $32.50
  • 4-tine fork - $1.20
  • horse collar - from harness shop- $2.50
  • curry comb and brush - from harness shop - 20 cents
  • 100 ft clothesline - new - 50 cents
  • hog trough - from lumber co. - $1.70
  • 10 bushels potatoes @ 30 cents = $3  (these were bought toward the end of February. A lot of potatoes for 2 people and a little early for planting, which would also be a lot of potatoes to grow.)
  • 1 quart paint - 65 cents
  • 5 gallons kerosene - 65 cents
  • 171 bushels oats for Farmer's Co-Op Elevator -10 1/2 cents a bushel =$17.99
All of the above were purchased in January and February 1933.

Doesn't this sound like things they would need to start farming and to furnish the house for the first time?

There are more entries through the year. One that might be interesting to you - 
  • threshing grain - 1132 bushels @ 2 cents each = $22.64
Dad probably had to hire someone that had a grain thresher at that time, and that is what he was charged for the job.
  • 3 sacks of flour from Farmer's Elevator @$1.40 = $4.26
It doesn't say how big the sacks were, but am guessing they could have been 25 lb sacks? What does a 5 lb bag of flour cost today?
  • overtime - Hoekstra - 1 1/4 hr @ 20 cents = 30 cents.
Evidently Dad had  hired someone to help with threshing and had to pay him for overtime because the dates are the same day. Cheap wages during that time.

  • new rug from the furniture store - $8
  • Sept. - cash rent, plowing - money borrowed - $112.50
I don't know if this entry means they paid back some money borrowed, or if they borrowed the money to pay the rent and for someone to do the fall plowing.

I will let you read what was on the next page - the one in the picture above.

Some things of note - hail insurance, butter churn, 1/2 a hog (butchered meat), hatching eggs (I assume eggs bought for hatching chickens to raise), brooder house, brooder stove and chicks -- Mom was in the business of raising baby chicks.


Saturday, March 8, 2014


As I write this, it is State Basketball Tournament time for the girls' teams across the state of Iowa. My husband and I were avid fans of our local teams as well as the school where my kids and two grandchildren graduated. While my husband was healthy we attended every home game and almost every away game during the regular season, every year. And we went to all the tournament games leading to playing at State, no matter where they were held. Our boys' teams went to State many years and we went to all their games there as well. The state tournament is held in Des Moines every year. That is life in Iowa! Sports are big deals.

This picture is when my oldest granddaughter's school played our local school in 2003. And I remembered to take my camera! How lucky I was to get this shot right in front of where we were sitting! Jen is wearing the dark uniform - Generals #25. She is 6' tall and was one of their better players. She also played volleyball and we saw several of those games. We had never been to a volleyball game until she started playing so we had a lot to learn.

Those years were so much fun. I do miss the games but it is no longer easy for me to go. I must be content to watch the final tournament games on television. I am so glad the local stations broadcast them.

Our teams did not make it to State this year, but we have 3 teams from this county there. First is the Christian high school here in town. The other 2 are both in Orange City. One is the public school and the other is another Christian high school. It is possible that both Orange City teams will end up playing against each other in the final game as they are in the same class!

(UPDATE: The two Orange City teams ARE playing each other in the final game!)

I never played basketball. That was work and I hate work. I am just not into doing sports myself. I enjoy watching others play. My mother told me she played basketball in school. She said their uniforms had bloomers. Here is a picture I found online that shows a girls' basketball team in 1926 wearing bloomers. No, that is not the team my mother was on. I don't have any pictures of her in uniform. And I don't know that they had the sweaters like those in the picture.

Aren't you glad the uniforms have changed?

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Piece of History

I found this little piece of paper (approx 3x5 1/2"), with a few fold creases, to be quite interesting. This is an introduction card issued by the National Reemployment Service, introducing my dad in 1933, to someone who had asked for some help. I will let you read what the card says.

I was curious about what the National Reemployment Service was in 1933. It was a part of the Unemployment Service we have today, but the Reemployment enacted in 1933 only lasted about one year.

This is what I found online. . . .

The Wagner-Peyser Act came out of another period of high unemployment – the Great Depression. In the early 1930s, the need to develop a system in which unemployed workers could find and connect with employers looking to hire became increasingly important. With the support of Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the act into law on June 6, 1933, establishing a nationwide system of public employment offices known as the Employment Service.
For the past years 80 years, the act has funded employment services that have helped millions of job seekers, Unemployment Insurance recipients, veterans, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and people with disabilities find work – and businesses find a qualified workforce – throughout the country.
Today, as the nation recovers from the Great Recession, the act continues to serves a vital tool to help the unemployed get back into the workforce. 
I am not sure what my dad did for work before then.  In September 1933 my parents had only been married 1 year, 7 months. I don't know if he was farming yet. I do know at one time he worked for a company that ran a gravel pit. He hauled loads of gravel. He mentioned once that he helped build the highway that ran past the farm where I grew up, but I think that was before they lived there. I don't know if he helped at the time the highway was paved, or before it was paved.
According to the copy of the farm title abstract I have, an easement was granted for use as a public highway on 8/29/31, but it seems the highway was already established at that time. Another easement was given for the highway on 4/30/49. I know the last one was for widening the paved highway or shoulder as I was 6 years old and living there. The highway was always paved as long as I can remember. So I can see my dad working on the highway in 1931, which would have been before my parents were married.
I do know they lived on a different farm before I was born, but I don't know the years they were there. I am fairly certain they did not move to the farm where I was raised until 1936 or later. That is when the previous owner handed the property over to my grandfather in a quit claim deed in which he gave up all claims to the title and interest in the property. That was because the former owner had gotten two loans from my grandpa in order to keep the land. Evidently he could no longer make payments on his mortgages, so Grandpa took it over.
I know my dad paid his dad rent for the farm until Grandpa died in 1957, and Dad inherited 1/2 of the farm that had the buildings on plus a large pasture, and his brother inherited the other tillable half. There was no way that Dad could make a living on the less than 80 acres, so he had to try and find a job. He rented out the tillable acres to the neighbor and quit farming altogether. I was a freshman in high school at the time.
If it weren't for this blog I don't think I would have processed all that and try to get a timeline of events. I wish my parents were here to answer the questions.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Tell me. Why is it that when you are frustrated about one thing, everything else seems to be uncooperative too??

I talked earlier about the frustration of not being able to find a missing will. After that I had to make a little lunch and I decided to get a single serve bag of a beans and rice dish  out of the freezer. I had put the bags in a larger bag to keep them together. Do you think any of those single bags would come out of the bigger one? NO. And I broke a fingernail in the process.

Then I made some toast to have with the beans and rice, and one slice gets caught when they popped up, so that it stayed down in the toaster. grrrr.

And Felix has been whining for more food, and more food. He has been quite vocal today, which is a bit unusual. He comes in here by my chair and starts whining, "Feed me" while I am trying to get things done on the computer. Frustrating.

I calmly reach for something and knock something over in the process. aarrgh.

I decide to do a thorough dusting on and around the computer while I am listening the State girl's basketball game, and the cords and wires do not cooperate at all. growl.

My nose keeps dripping even though I took an allergy pill so I have to take time to take care of that while my hands are busy with something else.

I know I am forgetting things that happened just today. STOP. . .the world. I want to get off! (at least for a little while). Oh, yes, I tried to read my murder mystery book last night and kept falling asleep so barely got any pages read. And it is interesting! (sigh).

I hope you all are having a good day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I have been digging for things again and ran across this wedding invitation that we actually received. I thought you might get a kick out of it. I think this was drawn by the groom's sister.

The front of the card ~

~ and inside ~

Since she did not include the year, I have no idea when this took place. Since the groom is about the same age as my son, it had to be during the 1980's.

I must be losing my mind because I have been losing things, and am very frustrated right now. I know I have a copy of my great-grandmother's will, and had my hands on it not long ago. And now it has disappeared! I have looked everywhere I think it could possibly be plus a few other places where I tend to put this type of thing. No show. So it seems I will have to take this house apart, piece by piece.

I also thought I had downloaded some plat maps showing where my great grandfather's farm was in the early 1900's, as well as the plat map showing a grandfather's farm where my dad grew up. I wanted to send the one of my great-grandfather's land to the woman in Switzerland. I checked my computer files and did not find either one, nor the link to them! What in the world is going on here? I had also misplaced a couple of letters my uncle wrote from Germany while he was stationed there during WWII. I had just found them yesterday, and today I was going to scan them and they weren't here. I did finally find those again and are scanned. whew! So now. . . . where are you will??

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


While looking for something else, I ran across this old birth announcement card from 1960. Greeting cards have sure changed in style, haven't they?

Notice at the bottom the person that sent this added some of their own artwork with a ball point pen.

And inside --

Again, more pen artwork added.

This came from my aunt and uncle who had no children. Instead they had two full size poodles. I think they found a very appropriate card, with their additions, to announce their new puppy, don't you?

Today, when I think of a poodle I think of the small miniature poodles that are so popular now. But my aunt and uncle had full size poodles and they are large dogs - and in the house. I remember my aunt telling the story that when their dogs got mad at them, they peed on their bed pillows! I don't think I would leave my bedroom door open in that case. I would even be tempted to get rid of the dogs, but I know how difficult it is to get rid of a fur baby.

Monday, March 3, 2014


On February 20, 2014, we got some heavy snow. The snowflakes were huge. I just had to try and get some pictures to show the large flakes. It looked more like a flock of white birds flying through! It is very hard to tell, but these pictures are in color! Often, when it snows and the temperature is hovering right around 32 degrees, the snow is 'wet' and the flakes will stick together, causing the huge flakes like these. When the temp is really cold the snow tends to be very fine with tiny flakes, and takes much longer to accumulate.

If you like snow, or live where you don't usually get snow - enjoy!

I might repost these pictures when it is HOT this summer. (wink)

This was taken a little later than the one above. It didn't take long for the snow to get deeper. We ended up with about 2" of snow. That isn't a lot for us and doesn't stop things from moving, unless there is a strong wind to cause blowing, drifting and 0 visibility. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014


This is a new recipe that I recently made. I found it on Facebook and it has really been making the rounds there. I am sure it can also be found on Pinterest. I forgot to take pictures of the ones I made, but they looked very much like the picture below, even though  those are labeled as Crack Sticks.

"Crack" Rolls recipe - because they're so addictive! Same as other recipe but gives measurements of ingredients.

I think everyone that has tried them understands why they are called CRACK rolls. They are ADDICTIVE!! Plus they are simple to make. I highly recommend them, unless you are trying to lose weight.  Here is the recipe.


1 loaf (16 ounces) thinly sliced white bread, crusts removed
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup  white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted.


Flatten bread with a rolling pin. In a bowl, combine cream cheese and confectioner's sugar. In another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Roll up, jelly roll style. Dip in melted butter, then in cinnamon-sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Yield: 16 roll-ups. Good warm or cold. ADDICTING! 

I suggest using the cheap sliced commercial bread. You know the kind - has no body to it, easy to flatten and have it stay that way. LOL I used Walmart label bread that sells for 88 cents a loaf.

Someone suggested serving them with a caramel dipping sauce. That sounds good! I only made half the recipe since I am the only one eating them, plus I only had 1/2 package of cream cheese on hand, left from a previous cooking session. Was wanting more once they were gone, but it was a good thing I didn't have more!

Another person said these are very much like something they were served at a bed and breakfast, and they do make a delicious pastry for something like that, and for a brunch, or when you have ladies over for coffee or tea. Oh, heck, they are good for any time! Did I mention they are addicting?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pinterest Projects - Three

I just realized that today is March 1! Can you believe it?? It was just yesterday that we were talking about Thanksgiving, wasn't it? My goodness, the days and weeks just fly right on by.

When I was looking for American Girl doll patterns, I ran across a pattern for a sleeping bag with attached pillow, and thought that sounded like a fun thing to have with the doll. I had plenty of blue yarn left from making the Minion beanie hats, and my granddaughter's favorite color is blue, I didn't have to go out and buy more yarn.

This is not completed yet, but here is the picture -

The picture below has one of the leg warmers stuffed inside to give you a better idea of the bag and pillow.

The bag and pillow are made as one piece, which means there is no sewing together afterward! My kind of pattern! I really hate having to assemble pieces. The pillow is made first and even stuffed, before continuing on with the bag part. I thought it might be difficult to work with the stuffed pillow attached but it wasn't hard at all.

I didn't have any stuffing on hand (rare) but I did have a roll of crib size batting. So I cut several layers of that to fit and that worked out very well. I think it worked even better than wads of stuffing. I can never seem to get those wads even and not look lumpy.

The pattern can be found here.

This completes my Pinterest projects made while watching the Olympics. I have printed some AG doll dress patterns that I want to try later, but I need to get yarn for those. And I should borrow a doll to make sure that they fit before giving them to my granddaughter. They might also make it into the collection donated to the church auction if they work out well.

Another thing I did while the Olympics were on, is read a book on my Kindle during the parts that were a little boring and during commercials. I actually got more read that way than trying to read in bed, where my eyes tended to close before I wanted to stop reading.