Welcome! I am glad you are here. Join me with a cup of your favorite beverage and see what is going on in my life and what is on my mind. I would love to have you join my site and you can do that on the left side where it says 'followers'. And please leave a comment! Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tell me. . . .

Where does time go? It was just here a second ago.

What happens to plan you make? Seriously!

I have lots of ideas and projects in my mind that I want to do, but it seems they don't get done and I really have no excuse. I don't have a job, I don't go anywhere, I don't have family nearby. I really don't have any demands on my time at all. And maybe that is the problem. I often seem to get things done when under pressure. Now it is so easy to procrastinate, and as I have said before, I am a pro when it comes to that.

I need to take some pictures of all the things I want to show you, but I need a flat surface that is cleaned off to do that. Oops. Don't have one. . . yet.

I have a tall stack of things I want pictures of, and it seems to just get taller instead of smaller. Oops.

In years past I always wanted to start the new year with a clean house. It hasn't happened since my husband died, and it isn't going to happen this year, unless I get myself off this chair and get busy. And that isn't going to happen today. It is already almost 3 pm as I write this. I know probably most of you are thinking there is still plenty of time to get things done. I just don't work well after dark anymore, unless it is on the computer or in front of the TV as I watch my favorite shows. My computer time seems to be eaten up by genealogy for the last while, and checking email, Facebook, daily crossword/sudoku/cryptogram/numbrix. By the time I get that all done my eyes are burning and I am ready for a nap and/or coffee and a snack.

Right now there are 3 very thick, heavy, old photo albums at the bottom of that tall stack. Then another smaller album that my mother put together that has some info for genealogy, and a very old scrapbook of hers that is falling apart and paper deteriorating. I want to share some of that with you, including picture. And then there is my old cookbook that I have been getting old favorite recipes to give you. I could keep adding lists of things I want to show you but you will have to be patient.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another easy Christmas goody - and it is gluten free

If you need some last minute treats for the holidays, give this one a try. I came across this recipe in a local newspaper's holiday recipe roundup section 3 years ago. I will warn you they are addictive! I made them when my daughter and family were coming last year as she has a wheat allergy.

The title of the recipe is simply --


1 large bag Frito Scoops
1 cup white sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter (divided)
12 ounces chocolate chips

Lay Scoops in bottom of jellyroll pan.

Boil sugar and corn syrup for 1 minute. Take off stove and add 1 cup peanut butter. Mix well and spoon into scoops.

Melt chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Pour on top of scoops.

Refrigerate until chocolate sets.

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Here is an alternate way to make these snacks.


1 family size bag Fritos corn chips
1 cup white syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter

Spread Fritos in cookie sheet.

Combine syrup, sugar and peanut butter in a heavy saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Drizzle over corn chips, then melt 6 ounces chocolate chips, 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup butterscotch chips. Drizzle over all.

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I started out like the first recipe and tried filling the scoops, but got tired of it and drizzled the rest. It all tastes the same. Yum! Yum!

# # # # # # # # # # # # #

Here is another quick recipe I have not tried yet but it sounds like something I would like. If you need wheat free - be aware that most soy sauces do contain some wheat so be sure to check labels.


2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups toasted pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325 F. degrees.

In large glass bowl, microwave butter or margarine to melt. Stir in Tabasco sauce, soy sauce and salt. Stir in pecans. Toss to coat.

Pour onto large cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Allow to cool completely.

Store in airtight container.

Look what I found

Today I have been scanning some old documents so that I have a record of them in case something happens to them. I also want to upload some of those to my family tree on Ancestry.com. I have my dad's baptism and confirmation certificate booklets, parent's marriage certificate booklet, and there are my baptism, confirmation and first marriage certificate booklets too.

As I was going through these, still in their original envelopes, I found another treasure. My mom had the foresight to insert a lovely letter from my grandmother - her mother - that she sent me for my confirmation! I did not remember it being there, or even receiving it. Isn't that sad? But that was way back in 1956.

I did not know my grandmother Ada very well. I had only seen her 3 times in my life since she lived in California and we lived here in Iowa. I went with my parents shortly after Christmas when I was 4 years old, driving of course. Flying was not done very much by the general public back then, probably because it was too expensive for the average person. And there were 3 of us. So we drove out there. I don't remember the actual trip, but I do remember Grandma and her house, and that she made me drink coconut water because I didn't feel very good. I had never seen a coconut before, other than shredded in a bag.

My second trip was with my mom and her sister from Illinois, and we rode the train. That was exciting and I loved the whole trip, and getting to eat in the dining car. I remember I ordered cold cereal for breakfast one morning and they brought rich cream to pour over it instead of milk! No, I did not like it. I grew up drinking whole milk but not straight cream. The next time we knew we had to order a glass of milk that we could pour over the cereal. It the cereal had been hot - like oatmeal or cream of wheat - the cream would have been okay. I think. I know it would be today but not sure if I would have liked it then.

And the last trip was with my parents and Mom's sister and her husband (from Illinois) in the summer of 1957. That was also a driving trip and I remember some of the towns where we spent the night in a motel along the way. I even found some pictures taken of those motels and I might share them in a later post. They looked a little different than the chain motels now.

But, back to that letter from Grandma. Here are the pictures of it. I am not sure you will be able to read it, but will try to make it large enough to read. She mentions sending some gifts. She loved to sew and would often send me some clothes she had made for me, and often sent doll clothes she made and a pieced doll quilt that my daughter now has. I gave it to her when she had her first daughter.

The letter means more to me now than I think it did at the time I got it. I was only 13 years old and barely knew 'this woman'. After I have learned more about her in doing the genealogy, I realize how awesome this woman was. I just wish I had the chance to know her much better.

I don't remember what gifts she sent me, and wish I did. Maybe I will run across a picture taken with them some day. Part of it must have been some clothing she made. I also think she sent me a hat - the kind that all proper ladies and young women wore to church on Sunday mornings - and wouldn't be seen dead in them today. LOL I don't know if there was one in the confirmation gift box though.

This has been a fun day of reminiscing for me. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Not All Empty"

You know about good intentions, don't you? I had the intention of writing this yesterday . . . . but here we are, a day later. And maybe there was a reason for it, since this is about a devotion I read, and I usually post things about faith of Faith Friday. So what is today? Friday.

I was reading a daily devotional for December 18 in the current "Our Daily Bread". It was meaningful to me, especially at this time of year when many of us might struggle with being alone for Christmas. My family all live a distance away and it rarely works out that they are able to be here for holidays. I am okay with that since I am a bit of a loner, but it is still always nice to have your family around at this time of year. We all dream of having the 'perfect' Christmas, but that rarely happens in real life, just in movies and pictures.

This devotion shows how profound children are. We need to listen (and really 'hear') to what they say. Here is the devotion based on Psalm 107:9:

Our granddaughter Julia spent the summer working in an orphanage in Busia, Uganda. On the final day of her internship, she went to the children to tell each one goodbye. One little girl named Sumaya was very sad and said to her, "Tomorrow you leave us, and next week the other aunties (interns) leave."
When Julia agreed that she was indeed leaving, Sumaya thought for a minute and exclaimed, "But we will be all empty. None of you will be left!" Again, Julia agreed. The little girl thought a few moments and replied: "But God will be with us, so we won't be all empty."

If we are honest with ourselves, we know that "all empty" feeling. It is an emptiness that friendship, love, sex, money, power, popularity, or success can never assuage -- a longing for something indefinable, something incalculably precious but lost. Every good thing can remind, beckon, and awaken in us a greater desire for that elusive "something more." The closest we get is a hint, an echo in a face, a painting, a scene . . . And then it is gone. "Our best havings are wantings," said C. S. Lewis.

We were made for God, and in the end, nothing less will satisfy us. Without Him, we are all empty. He alone fills the hungry with good things (Ps. 107:9)  -- by David Roper

"He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness." -- Psalm 107:9

Prayer -- Dear Lord, fill me with Your goodness and love. I desire nothing in heaven and earth but You. Without You, I have nothing. Thank You for the abiding satisfaction that we can find in You.
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God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there.   --- C. S. Lewis

Christmas is more than Santa Claus and presents, Christmas trees, lights and tinsel, candy canes and sugar cookies. There would never have been a Christmas at all if it weren't for the greatest gift of all -- the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. If Christ isn't in Christmas, the holiday that bears His name, then there is no Christmas.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Candy Cane Hearts

Here is another simple idea that showed up on Facebook.

There are several ways these could be embellished. I think adding some crushed candy canes to the chocolate would be nice. Or sprinkle nuts on the chocolate before it sets up. Use sprinkles, write names with red icing, red and green mini M&Ms.

Tell me what you added!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Favorite Candy Bar Recipe

This was recently posted on Facebook by a friend because she wanted to be able to find it back. This recipe is quite similar to one that I have made for many years. My family has always loved Twin Bing candy bars. You can't buy them everywhere, as my kids have found out. They are made by Palmer Candy Co. in Sioux City, Iowa. My kids like to load up on them when they get back to this area, but I have found out they can be ordered by the boxful online now. You do have to be aware that they do not ship them in the summer for obvious reasons!

But if you don't want to go to that expense, we would often make these bars at home, especially during the holidays. The recipe connected to the picture above is found at this link:

They compare them to the Cherry Mash candy bar, which is a little bit like the Twin Bing - but we think the Twin Bings are much better. I have not used this recipe myself but the one I have used for years is quite similar.

Here is my recipe:


2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
dash of salt
12 marshmallows (regular size)
1/2 cup margarine
1 package (6 ounces) cherry chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 package (large) crushed salted peanuts

Combine sugar, milk, salt, marshmallows and margarine in saucepan over medium heat. Boil five minutes. Remove from heat. Add cherry chips and vanilla. Pour into 9x13 inch buttered pan. Melt chocolate chips in double boiler (today I use microwave). Add peanut butter and crushed peanuts. Spread over cherry mixture and chill.

This is candy and rich, so you will want to cut in small pieces, similar to how you would cut fudge.

I know it is sometimes hard to find the cherry chips. They can also be found online although one place is already out of stock.  As the contributor of the recipe on Food.com states, she found them at her super Walmart, next to the chocolate chips. In other stores I have found them with the holiday baking supplies display. Some stores only order them for the holidays. If you can't find them this season, keep them in mind for next year, or find a relative or friend that lives in the Midwest who will send you some.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

It is December. One whole week is already gone! Only 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas!! Oh my! Is it time to panic yet? For us procrastinators, it probably is. I admire the organized and disciplined women who start their holiday preparations very early and orderly. That is not me! I can't even think of things until the last minute. I have tried using holiday planners such as the Flylady has available. And I just found a holiday planner that Peter Walsh has put online, and signed up on that site, and there are Yahoo groups devoted to organized planning schedules to get ready for the holidays. But I either never seem to get started or I fizzle out long before I get done. Shame on me. I just can't seem to stay focused. I often read a blog called A Slob Comes Clean. Maybe I should call this blog - A Procrastinator Fesses Up ??

I am going to change things up a bit here for December, and not follow my daily theme schedule. Instead I will do as several other bloggers are doing and do some things dealing with Christmas.

As I was looking through a couple of my cookbooks, looking for a recipe for 7 layer bars, I saw a couple of cookie recipes I had cut out of newspapers, pasted in the cookbook, and wrote "good for Christmas" beside them. Actually one said "Excellent for Christmas". They are simple recipes and very good. I will start with the 'good for Christmas' cookies. I apologize for not having any pictures of cookies I made, and most likely won't have any, since I am not making anything for the holidays. I have no reason to. I have no family coming, that I know of, and I certainly don't need to eat them all. I might make something to add to a gift basket I am thinking about, but we will see if I get that far.


Cream 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add 2/3 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 beaten egg, pinch salt and 1/2 cup sesame seeds. Drop by spoonfuls on greased and floured baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes at 375.

TIP: Did you know that you should keep sesame seeds in the fridge? They can get rancid otherwise. Poppy seeds should also be kept in the fridge. I never knew that several years ago.

Next is the "Excellent for Christmas" cookies -


Combine 1 cup butter, 3 tablespoons white sugar, 1 teaspoon almond flavoring, 2 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roll in balls and flatten with glass. Bake at 400 for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool. Frost with powdered sugar frosting, flavored with almond extract.

I just noticed as I typed that the original print says both almond flavoring and almond extract. I am sure they meant the same thing.

One more simple cookie for today -


Blend 1 egg and 1 cup sugar. Add 1 cup crunchy peanut butter. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Top each cookie with a chocolate star. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Yes - there is no flour in the recipe! That is not a mistake. This is good for those who have wheat allergies or must eat gluten free. This recipe has been around long before anyone heard of gluten free. You will have to make sure there is no gluten in the chocolate and peanut butter, however.

Sweet eating!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Plowing in Iowa in 1924

This is how it was done in 1924 - a pair of horses pulling a plow, with the man sitting on the plow seat, holding the horse reins. You can't get a very good idea what the plow looks like here, but I am guessing it is probably what was called a two-bottom plow. That means it had 2 blades that turned over the soil. You can get a little bit of an idea how deep they went.

What is interesting about this picture is that the plowing was taking place on December 22! That is really late in the year for this area of the country as the ground is usually covered in snow by this time, as it is this year. And there is a good possibility that the ground is frozen and impossible to plow, especially without the big machinery of today.

I found this picture of antique plows on the internet. I think the green one in the front row, right side is much like the one the man was using in the first picture. Also the next one to the left of the green one is close. Unfortunately, the seat is just out of the picture. They used the long lever to raise and lower the blades.

I don't think there is much plowing done today, unless they are breaking up new ground. Today most farmers do what is called minimum tillage which helps keep erosion from wind and water to a minimum. They use an implement called a disc. That is what it is made up with - big round, sharp discs that cut into the soil and cuts up the roots of the previous crop, preparing it for the next crop. This will often be done both after harvest in the fall and again in the spring to loosen the soil for planting the seeds. If the man in the picture were alive today, he would marvel at the huge farms and gigantic machinery that is being used today! You can see that the reason farms were small back then. The labor was intensive and slow, and there just wasn't the time or energy to work larger farms.

As farmers started buying more and more land to farm, the machinery had to get bigger and bigger. My dad picked corn with  a two or four-row picker. Today, corn is seldom picked in that way, even with a 10-row picker. Now it is done with a combine that has a corn head on it. I don't know how many rows that handles in one round. The combine not only 'picks' the corn but also shells it at the same time, which would also amaze the farmer in the picture.

I could go on and on about farming, even with my limited knowledge. These are just my observations over the years, of seeing what farmers are doing as I drive by. My basic knowledge comes from growing up on a small farm where my dad used both horses and a tractor for many of my younger years. He quit farming in 1959-60, if my memory serves right.

This is a small glimpse of the actual history of our land.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving


I hope you are all enjoying the day with your family.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Before and After - tables

This is the old, falling apart, piano bench that I am replacing. When my grandkids pretty much demolished the bench when goofing off around the piano, it became a place to display some plants under the window. Now, the bench was about on its last legs before the grandkids came so it wasn't totally their fault.

One day not long ago, I happened to be looking over the Target ad online and a small table caught my eye. When I checked the measurements I found that it was almost exactly the same size as the bench only taller. Price wasn't too bad, but I wasn't quite ready to spend the money. Later it was on sale, plus free shipping, plus an extra 15% off, and I ordered it via Ebates to get another 2.5% off! I thought that was probably the best I was going to do price wise, so it was ordered.

I had a little assembly to do but that was just screwing in some short bolts to attach the metal legs. Easy peasy.

Here is the result:

I am very happy with it. There are also 2 drawers to fill. They are still empty as I have not figured out what will go in them. I probably should get some nice coasters for the rare occasions I might have company that wants to set a drink there.

Now, if you come to my blog expecting some beautiful house and furniture, I am sure you are disappointed.  Things aren't the way I would like them to be, but it is the best I can do with what I have and what I can afford, plus my limited energy and ability to move around, not to mention that I am renting and am limited as to what I am allowed to do.

The walls look light blue in the picture, but they are white - every room has white walls. I hate white walls! I would love to paint the living room a light coffee latte, but I am not sure that color would work with the tan carpet which is more like a rose beige. Not my favorite.

I enjoy other blogs that show all the neat decorating they have done, but that isn't happening here except in my dreams. I barely have any surfaces to put even my old displays out that I loved. I would like to get some new accessories but am not sure what I can find that I like plus afford, will work in like I want it to. Some people have a real knack for that and I would love to have them come to my house and arrange things! But first, I think I need to keep working at decluttering and that has come to a standstill right now. One of these days. . . . . .

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Watching Your Money

Check your store receipts!! It is really important this time of year especially, when stores are busy and you are busy trying to buy gifts and extra food for the holidays coming soon. Not only check to make sure you were charged the sale price and not regular price, but check everything. Something might get rung up more than once and the cashier didn't catch it to void it. And I have recently been reading of scams where the cashier will have it show on the receipt that you asked for extra cash when paying with a credit or debit card, but you didn't ask and you didn't get the extra cash. Instead the cashier pocketed it.

Last week I did a big shop at Walmart and thought the total was quite a bit higher than I expected. It was $274.18! I was a bit shocked when she told me, but since I usually have much more than $100 total, and have had amounts above $200-250 occasionally, I just thought things added up faster than I thought. I know prices keep going up little by little.

Luckily, I scan the barcodes of all my purchases for a survey company. I have to report the price marked on each item and if it was on sale, used a coupon and what its face value was, etc. So when I got to the day-old muffins that were reduced to $2.02, and saw that I was charged $87.07, I was both very irritated and very relieved. I was relieved that I had not spent that much money and would be getting a refund. But I was very irritated that it happened at all, and that I had to make the trip back to set it straight. It is 11 miles one way to the store from my house. Not a great distance, but all total, about 1 hour of my time and the gas at these expensive prices.

This happens quite often in this store with the day-old bakery markdowns. They just don't scan right. Most of the checkers are aware of this and double check to make sure the right price came up, or they key in the numbers, or scan with the hand scanner. Evidently this gal did not do that, and I was busy unloading my electric cart and not in position to see the screen for the price as she scanned. Anyway, this should have been caught at the register.

I asked for a full refund since I had to make the trip back to the store, and that was only the $2.02 that the muffins were marked, which I thought was reasonable, right? Customer service said they had to get the manager's approval and asked if I wanted to wait. I most certainly did. A floor manager happened to come up and he approved it immediately, no questions asked, and was very nice about it. So I got the $87.07 credited back to my account and I left.

To make this story even longer (LOL), when I paid for those items I put them in the car and went back in the store because I forgot to buy the cat food Felix loves and had been out of for 2 days already. He would not be happy if I didn't bring it home. I had also looked at microwaves earlier as my old one had stopped working, but thought I would wait until another trip. But since I was in the store again for cat food, I just went down the appliance aisle and made my choice and went to the fast lane with my 3 items. As I was ready to go out the door the greeter stopped me and asked for my receipt. By this time I really needed to sit down. I said something about having to ask because of the cat food under the microwave and he said no. They are now stopping everyone that is carrying something out that isn't in a bag. That is certainly a good idea this time of year and I had no problem with that. None of my things could fit in a bag anyway.

While I was stopped there as he checked, a felt a cart roll into my back. Not hard, just rolled up to me. I turned and it was empty and nobody there. But a guy walked around me carrying a large storage tote. So the greeter yelled at him to wait. Apparently the guy didn't appreciate that I stopped in front of him, so purposely rolled the cart to me and walked around. Why didn't he go around me with the cart and leave the cart out in the area where the carts are kept like other people do?? So I can only assume he was not a happy camper.

Anyway, the store is being vigilant in trying to stop shoplifting, but they can rob you at the checkout. Be on the alert!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Have no fear. . . I'm still here!

Yes, I am still here, wallowing in clutter and undone work. After working many, many hours for 2 weeks on genealogy, everywhere I look I see things that need to be done, and have a long list in my mind of things that must be done and things I want to do. There just are not enough hours for me to do them all. . . . at least not for me since I don't move very fast. I wish I could make my body move as quickly as my fingers when I type.

My trip down Ancestor Lane proved to be quite interesting. I went much further back on some branches of my tree than I ever expected to. My dad's side bore the most fruit and was able to go back to the 1600's before coming to a dead end. There I discovered that I am not 99.9% pure German! First I found Dutch ancestors on both of my dad's side, and since I married a true Dutchman almost 25 years ago, and moved into a very Dutch county here in Iowa, I was tickled pink! No wonder I have always felt at home here and have enjoyed learning more of the Dutch-American culture (especially their foods).

Then, as I worked further back, I discovered I also had some ancestors that came from Switzerland. And the last ones really floored me. I have ancestors that came from Norway and Denmark!! I was even lucky to find a couple of short biographies of two many-times great grandfathers and one stated that he had been a wagon maker. I think these two men came from Norway, but will have to check back on that. There are so many facts and dates that I covered that I have not absorbed them all yet.

Now, back to the list of things that need to be done. Am I the only one who looks at all the work to be done and am rendered useless? I feel overwhelmed, and then just shut down. I end up sitting at the computer and playing games and/or checking Facebook. I haven't even dared to check Pinterest for a long time. I get so many delicious looking and sounding recipes shared on Facebook these days, along with craft ideas and quilting, etc. I believe Facebook has become the new Pinterest!

I have also been preoccupied with the state volleyball tournament and state football tournament games this week. I don't know who thought they had to schedule both tourneys during the same week! Some schools end up with teams at both events. How are the fans supposed to support their teams? They can't be in two places at once. For instance, yesterday afternoon two local schools played the championship games. One was a town 16 miles from here, in our conference, who played and won their championship game. And after that game, the other team was one of the Christian high schools in my town that played, but lost the championship game. An hour after the volleyball game started, a football game started with a good team from another town 20 miles away, and also in our conference. That was a semi-final game so they will be playing in the championship game next week. Another team in our conference, from a town 10 miles away, will be playing their semi-final football game later this afternoon. The football games are televised so I watch them. I think the volleyball games were on TV last year too, but for some reason were not this year. At least I was unable to find them, so listened to them on the radio. It just isn't the same as seeing them. Now, none of these games involved the same school but it was quite possible that it would happen since all of these schools have sent teams to state at one time or another for every sport, and some years the girl's basketball team and the boy's team from one school, plus their football team all make it to state the same year. Add in the volleyball team, speech team, and any other contest and chances are good that things will overlap.

I never had an interest in volleyball until my granddaughter played in high school. Then I attended most of her games and got to love it. We didn't have volleyball in the school I attended so many years ago. Those games can get really intense! I also love to watch them at the Olympics, both regular volleyball and beach volleyball.

This was going to be just a short post, but you know how the words keep coming for me even when I try to be short. I do have some other things to write about for other posts so keep checking back. They may be sporadic for awhile until I get things a little more back to normal around here. Normal. Just what is normal? I think inactivity is the normal for me, to be honest! But now I really do have to try and get some cleaning and putting away done before that football games starts, because I know I won't feel like doing much after that is done.

Catch you all later!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Down Memory Lane - BOO!

My kids getting ready for Halloween. I think the year was probably 1969. 
Thank you to my youngest daughter for putting this picture on FB. Brings back memories!

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

And save the chocolate candy for me. 

Monday, October 28, 2013


I will be 'Absent With Out Leave' for a bit as I am busy digging for ancestor information during my 14 day free access, and I am finding a lot! And this is just the first day!

I am not sure if I will find time to write a post here during these 14 days, but you never know what will happen.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wedding Pictures

My first wedding with the father of my children
September 2, 1961

These are wedding photos of my parents, grandparents and great grandparents on my mother's side. I haven't found any wedding photo for Dad's parents yet, thought I do have some of them years later. One of the reasons may be that my dad was the second youngest of 7 in the family.
I know that Mom's wedding dress was blue, because I used to play dress-up in it. Notice the difference in wedding attire through the generations.

Mom and Dad
February 10, 1932

Mom's Parents
Grandma Ada and Grandpa William
July 28, 1907
Great Grandparents
Parents of Grandma Ada
date unknown

Great Grandparents
Parents of Grandpa William
July 19, 1883

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall - a Bountiful Harvest

A trunk full plus 3 baskets of pumpkins and squash of all kinds. I just noticed the full gunny sack at the side of the car. I wonder if it is full of gourds.
I think I even see the spare tire among the squash. That was our new car, too! A two-tone blue 1952 Chevrolet. It is the car I learned to drive, and drove it many miles as a teenager. Dad refused to get a new car until AFTER I got married and left home. Hmm. I wonder why?

I can remember this was the year that Dad planted all those pumpkin and squash seeds among the sweet corn rows at the edge of the field of regular corn.  I don't remember what they did with them all. I only remember them doing it this one year. I am wondering if Mom had read about doing that in a farm magazine or newspaper. Every year she seemed to try something new. One year it was raising a couple of white turkeys that were allowed to run loose on the yard. They could get mean and chase you. And another year it was white geese, and for a few years we had a few Mallard ducks roaming around. I hated those geese because they would chase you, too, and take a bite out of your leg! I did love the ducks, especially the baby ducks. And drakes are so pretty. I can remember a few of the ducks, turkeys and geese made it to our dinner table for holidays.

Monday, October 21, 2013

This 'n' That - Finger comfort

Here is a tip for you crocheters. Recently I was checking some tutorials to see if I am doing some crochet stitches right, and I wasn't! After all the decades I have been crocheting, I guess I interpreted the written directions a little wrong. But that isn't exactly my tip today.

Do you know what these are?
Do you know what they are used for?

Some people call them pencil cozies. The name on the package says they are gel grips - for pens and pencils. They are found in the pen/pencil section of the store, and there are many in a package.

Here is how crocheters use them -

When I crochet large projects like afghans, my thumb  always got sore from gripping the hook at the flat part where the brand is stamped, and raised. These gel grips keeps that from happening, and it keeps me from holding the hook so tightly and therefore getting cramped. They would not stay in place as I worked so I wound a small rubber band at the top of the grip and now they stay in the proper place and I can crochet away without a sore thumb or cramped hands! Don't you like my color coordinating? I even found a little red rubber band for the red hook. I know you can buy hooks with the thicker shaft, but I have all the hooks I need so am not going to spend money on more. That's because I am a cheapskate frugal.

It took a little time getting used to them but I wouldn't want to be without them now. If this picture looks a little odd, it is because I am a lefty. I realize some of you hold the hook different than I do, so the grip may not be as important to you. You probably hold it more like I would hold a knife instead of a pencil like I do. The first time I saw someone crochet that way I thought it was really odd, but since then I have discovered many others do it that way also. And I found out that either way is correct. It is just a matter of how you learned and what you are comfortable with. I have tried it the other way and I had a hard time keeping my tension even, but I suppose if I kept at it I would eventually get it to work. But I don't need to change, and I have done it this way for maybe 60 years and it has served me well. But I will be using the grips from now on!

(rereading this I see I used a lot of 'buts' here, BUT taking them out didn't seem right either! This is the way I talk, so this is what you get.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Faith Friday - Who's Afraid of the Dark?



For you are all children of light, children of the day.
(1 Thessalonians 5:5)

Read 1Thessalonians 5:1-11

One of the most important sets of lights in a theater are the emergency lights. While these are legally required to be in good working order, an experienced stage manager will have them checked regularly, just for peace of mind. After all, should the electricity fail during a show, hundreds of people would be stuck in the dark; in that darkness lives a stage manager's worst fear -- panic.

Groups of people panic in the dark because they fear the unknown. In a strange place, surrounded by unfamiliar people, we fear the worst will happen, and that it will catch us by surprise.

This is what Paul is getting at in this passage. He describes Christ's second coming and God's just judgment as being something that will catch the unbeliever off guard. It will come unexpectedly, "like a thief in the night." For the Christian, however, there is no surprise. While we do not know when judgment day will come, we rest easy knowing that Christ took our punishment on the cross so that we could be declared "not guilty" before God. It is the radiance of this truth that makes us "children of light, children of the day" who have nothing to panic about.
-- Rob Matthews

Prayer: Father God, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ, whose death paid the penalty for our sins and whose resurrection gives us the hope of a world reconciled to you. Amen.

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Fear of the unknown - isn't that what we all fear the most? As a child we are afraid of what might be lurking under the bed. It is dark under there, and most anything could be in that darkness, ready to grab our feet and pull us under with them. I would run and jump into bed and pull my feet up and under the covers as quickly as possible. Even though I knew there really wasn't anything under the bed, there was always a chance that I could be wrong.

But when we live in the midst of God's light, there is no need to fear what is in the darkness outside of the light, because that light is our protection. If we leave a nightlight on when we go to bed, whatever is hiding in the darkness cannot come out and expose itself.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Down Memory Lane - Artist in the Family

This is an old ink drawing done by Esther R. I think she is my mother's cousin from St. Louis. She has the same name as Grandma Ada's maiden name, and Ada originally came from St. Louis. I know I have some post cards that she had done somewhere, but I have not been able to find them again now that I want them. If I should run across them before this is published, I will update either in this post or one in the future. Maybe this is where my youngest grand daughter gets her talent.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What's Cooking. . . . Old Favorites - Tuna Casserole (5 ingredient)

Old Favorites

Last week I told you about the old community cookbook from the 1960's that I have used often, and has many family favorites. When I try a recipe and like it, I write 'good' or 'very good' next to it. If we did not like a recipe at all, I X'd it out. That way I know I have tried it and not to make it again.

Today's recipe is a very simple one and only 5 ingredients.


1 can tuna, drained (note: a can of tuna had more ounces in it in the 1960's, so     may need 2 today)
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 soup can milk
3/4 package chow mein noodles

Place layer of tuna, layer of noodles, layer of veg-all, one half of soup in baking dish. Repeat. Pour milk over all. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Do not add salt.

On the same page is another tuna casserole recipe that is slightly different. It is one that I have not tried yet, but could be a very good way to use up some left over potato chips (who would have those? Once the bag is open, the chips are eaten until gone around here.) I find potato chips quite expensive these days, but when there is a sale at 1/2 price, I will buy a couple bags.  This is another 5 ingredient recipe.


1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can drained flaked tuna or 1 small can chicken
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups crushed potato chips
1 cup unsalted cooked peas, drained (frozen peas taste best, but canned peas       will do)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Empty soup into quart casserole. Add milk and mix thoroughly. Add tuna or chicken, peas and 1 cup potato chips to the soup, stir only until mixed. Sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

'Tis Home, Sweet Home - Former living room

I have been looking through photos trying to find some pictures of the house my husband and I lived in, before I had to move to the small rental I am in now. I am not finding very many so far, but here a couple of the living room.

Yes, that is the same couch as I have now. . . still. I love the old Tiffany style lamp in the corner, and the lovely old table it is on. His daughter now has those. I know the lamp is worth quite a bit. I don't know that it is actually Tiffany as it has solid pieces of curved glass behind the metal filigree. But it is old.

I also love the curves of the coffee table. It is one I found years ago at a rummage sale for $5. A one-time friend who collected antiques really wanted that table! I don't remember what she offered me anymore, but I didn't want to get rid of it. It was not real sturdy, and the original glass on the top had been replaced with cheap window glass, but that didn't matter to me. I didn't buy it for the antique factor, but just because I liked it.

The square glass table is one of a set of three tables of different shapes that my husband and his first wife had received as a wedding present over 40 years before I met my husband. A smaller one shaped like a half circle was just to the right of the couch. The third one was taken apart and the pieces wrapped in a blanket in the basement. One of the shelves was broken and they never replaced it, but they kept the parts. I like it because it made the room look bigger since you could see through it.
This is the other corner. The custom drapes are quite old but were in pretty good shape except for the valance, which was fabric glued to window shade material and it was starting to curl at the bottom. My husband finally agreed to put new drapes in a few years after we were married. That ended up being the most I have ever paid for curtains/drapes! I will try to find a later picture with the new ones up. When I moved here I had them remade to fit the two windows in the living room here, so I still have them.

That was an interesting way to do the drapes as they covered the whole wall. On the left in this picture is an exterior door with 8 small square windows that go to the bottom of those blinds. The only time it was ever used while I lived there was to move the upright piano in and out again. On the far right was a tall window, and just solid wall in between the two.

Above, the valance is nailed to a plain board shelf which had fluorescent lights shining upward through long holes in that board. It really looked nice when they were lit. It was a dark room with just that door and one window in it, and the opposite wall was dark paneling.

On the left side of the picture is a fireplace. Unfortunately it was fake. It looked real except at the bottom was the carpet.  A real fire doesn't work very well on top of carpet. :) They had a real grate with fake logs and a flickering light behind them so it looked sort of real. My husband said some people would come and sit in the chair beside it and say that it felt nice and warm, as they assumed it was real. I wanted to get a piece of vinyl flooring that looks like stone or brick to put there so that it would look more real but that never got done.

I wish I had aimed the camera just a little higher to show the antique light pendant. You can barely see the bottom of it above the drapes in the bottom picture. There were two hanging from the ceiling.

This house didn't look like much from the outside but it had lots of old charm on the inside. That house was built to stay. As old as it was, there was not a single crack in the plaster walls, and all the real oak woodwork door frames were screwed together, not nailed. They still all hung straight and true. It was really a shame when the building was demolished a few years ago.

Monday, October 14, 2013

This 'n' That - Fun Quiz Answers

Here are the answers to the Dutch Medical Terminology Quiz.

1. The study of paintings --  ARTERY

2. What you do when CPR fails -- BARIUM

3. A district in Rome -- CESAREAN SECTION

4. A sheep dog -- COLIC

5. A punctuation mark -- COMA

6. Friendly -- CONGENITAL

7. To live longer --DILATE

8. Quicker -- FESTER

9. Baseball games between teams of soldiers -- G.I. SERIES

10. A suitcase --GRIPPE

11. A coat hook -- HANGNAIL

12. A doctor's can -- MEDICAL STAFF

13. A higher offer -- MORBID

14. Lower than the day rate -- NITRATE

15. Was aware of -- NODE

16. A person who has fainted -- OUTPATIENT

17. A letter carrier -- POST OPERATIVE

18. In favor of young people -- PROTEIN

19. Hiding anything -- SECRETION

20. Study of English Knighthood -- SEROLOGY

21. A small table -- TABLET

22. An extra pair --TUMOR

23. Opposite of you're out -- URINE

24. Veins that are close together -- VARICOSE VEINS

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How did you do? Tell me in the comment section!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Faith Friday - Walking in the Light



"The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light."  (John 12:35)

Walking backstage in a theater can be dangerous. Lots of scenery, props, and people are scattered about. During an onstage blackout, the only illumination comes from small blue running lights strategically placed throughout the backstage areas. Even with these lights, seasoned stagehands will avoid moving backstage during scene change blackouts in which they are not involved. As the ambient stage light fades, the carefully choreographed dance of people, props, and scenery begins; and out of step outside is hazardous to all. 

The crowd to which Jesus was speaking desired to know if he was the promised Messiah. They were confused because he did not fit their picture of the Christ. His response to them was "walk while you have the light." While Jesus walked the earth, he urged those around him to seek and follow him, before the scene went dark. "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." (v. 36)

On Good Friday, the light of the world was crucified on a cross and died. However, after three days of darkness, the Son rose from the dead! Once again, we are free to move in the light. As when he walked this earth, Jesus calls us to seek and follow him, lest we be fooled by the Prince of Darkness and stumble on the lies of the devil. 

~ Rob Matthews

Prayer: Father, thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, light of the world, in whose name we pray. Amen.


I have appreciated all the comparisons of the theater lighting to the Light of the world - Jesus - and how both affect our lives and what we need to do. The only acting experience I have had is in high school plays. Back then our stage was at one end of the gym and so there was no theater lighting, no spotlight, etc. But I have been to several summer theater productions done by college drama students and some professional actors. I always enjoy seeing the set designs - and some of them have been very well done. And I like to watch the scene changes done on the darkened stage while the curtains remain open. It is all done very quietly and quickly, each person assigned to the props they are to change. Those jobs are very important to the play because it could create a big problem if they forget a major prop - either removing or placing it.

Maybe the next time you get to see a play you will think about these devotions and pay attention to the lighting, and watch how the spotlight leads the actor to their next spot.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Down Memory Lane - Antique Fan

Isn't she lovely?

This is the front of an old paper hand fan that must have been handed out at some event during the summer. My mom had it among some other old keepsakes in a drawer. 
On the back is advertising for the local bank. Mom had written Dad's name on the back. Maybe she wanted to be sure she got it back? I wish there was a date on it somewhere but there is none.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What's Cooking. . . . Old Favorites - Spanish Rice (5 ingredients)

Old Favorites

I love Spanish rice. Today I often have boxes of  Rice-A-Roni Spanish rice on hand. I try to buy them at a good sale price. Of all the Spanish rice mixes out there, that is probably my favorite, maybe because of the small pieces of pasta in with the rice? I don't know. When I make it I usually make it into a full meal dish by adding some kind of cooked meat. I do like to use coin sliced Polish sausages or kielbasa, but will use hot dogs, bologna, leftover cooked chicken, and then a vegetable - usually corn 'cuz I just love it - but could be anything you like. Here is the original recipe that we liked ~


1 pound hamburger
1 diced onion
3/4 cup dry rice
1 can tomatoes
1 cup chopped celery

Brown hamburger and onion. At the same time boil rice in double boiler. Combine and add tomatoes and celery. Bake in covered casserole until heated and blended, about 3/4 hour, at 350 degrees. Or simmer at low heat in electric frying pan, stirring occasionally.

** I no longer have an electric frying pan, but it can also be done on top of the stove in a heavy pan with a lid.

** Today I would probably just add some water to the pan with the rest of the ingredients and use dry instant rice instead of cooking it first. Or you can cook a large batch of rice at one time and freeze in portions. So this would be a quick dish using a bag of frozen browned hamburger and frozen rice. I haven't tried it yet, but I think this whole dish would freeze well.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reasons I love fall

6 very good reasons to love Fall!! :-)

I love fall, and I love pie! I love pie anytime!If there is a pie on the table among other desserts, pie is always my first choice. I have a hard time deciding what my favorite pie is since I love any and every kind. What is your favorite dessert? What is your favorite pie?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pictures.. . I've Got Pictures!


I spent a good share of this morning looking through pictures in albums and in shoe box size photo boxes. I found many that I did not realize I had of some ancestors - I think they are great grandparents and others. They will be in future "Down Memory Lane" posts as well as many others that I sorted out. But. . . I did not find some post size ink drawings made by a relative. I am not sure but I think she was my mother's cousin in St. Louis. I wanted to include them with another picture that I have ready to post here. I know that I had seen those post cards not that long ago. I can even remember reading what she said on the back of at least one of them so I know it was recent. But after going through drawers and albums that I know I had been in not long ago, plus many more, I have not found them back. I will keep searching, but for now I have more than enough to scan and write about. I have so many that I may have to post some on other days of the week. They might even show up on "What's Cooking. . " I sure hope you all don't get bored with all the pictures of people you don't know. Some I may show you just because of the style of clothing at the time the pictures were taken.
I just love this picture of my dad.

This 'n' That - Have some fun


Here is a fun quiz for you.

Several years ago my husband and I went on a bus tour. They often play games while riding to our next destination and this was one of them. Since this is a predominately Dutch community, this is called:


Fill in the blank with a word from the list below that you think best fits the definition.

1. The study of paintings ___________

2. What you do when CPR fails ____________

3. A district in Rome _____________

4. A sheep dog ____________

5. A punctuation mark _____________

6. Friendly _________________

7. To live longer _______________

8. Quicker ______________)

9. Baseball games between teams of soldiers _______________

10. A suitcase ______________

11. A coat hook ______________

12. A doctor's cane ______________

13. A higher offer _____________

14. Lower than the day rate ______________

15. Was aware of ___________________

16. A person who has fainted ________________

17. A letter carrier ___________________

18. In favor of young people _______________

19. Hiding anything ____________________

20. Study of English Knighthood _________________

21 A small table ________________

22. An extra pair _______________

23. Opposite of you're out ___________________

24. Veins that are close together ____________________

varicose veins  -- medical staff -- urine -- morbid -- tumor -- nitrate -- tablet -- node -- serology -- outpatient -- secretion -- post operative -- protein -- artery -- hangnail -- barium -- grippe -- cesarean section -- G.I. series -- colic -- fester -- coma -- congenital -- dilate

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How are you doing? Having fun yet?
Answers will be posted next week!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Faith Friday - Light of Discovery



'The LORD. . . gives the sun for light by day and moon and the stars for light by night (Jeremiah 31:35)

The whole Scripture reference to be read with this devotion is Jeremiah 32:33-35.

33.  "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
35.This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- the LORD Almighty is his name:

Whether by day or night, light fuels human discovery. Visual perception, our eyesight, is based on processing information conveyed by visual light. If you can see anything at all, even the faintest blur in a dark room, it is because your eye is receiving light. What we call light and dark are relative terms, considering there are virtually no natural places on the surface of the earth that do not have some form of visible light present.

So it is with spiritual discovery. In this passage the Lord speaks through Jeremiah about a day in which God's people will know him so intimately that his law will be written on their hearts. They will no longer need to teach one another about who God is, because they will all know him, every last one. With the coming of Jesus Christ, who called himself the light of the world, God fulfilled this promise. Jesus taught us what it means to follow the law; he took our sins upon himself and reconciled us to God.

Jesus Christ is more than just spiritual light for Christians; he is the light of the world. Even those who do not believe can see dim blurs of spiritual truth because of the light of Jesus. Let us walk in this light, discovering who God is and who we are called to be.

-- Rob Matthews

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the light of your Son, by whom we see and are reconciled to you.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Down Memory Lane - Old Photo Album/ My Dad

Oldest photo album I have

I remember looking at this album as a child. The pictures were put in there by a Myrtle V.C. of Ocheyedan, IA, which is where I and my parents grew up. I do not know who she is, but I think I remember an aunt saying she was my dad's old girlfriend. I don't know why we had it, but as I look through it now, I see pictures of several of Dad's brothers and sisters when they were kids and young adults, as well as my dad. Some of the pictures are dated from 1922 - 26, but I think some of them have to be older than that. It seems this Myrtle went to the same country school as my dad and siblings went to.

I have scanned several pictures that have my relatives in them and will post them in groups. The first group is of my dad, and my dad and his girlfriend Myrtle, the one that put these pictures in the album.

Quite handsome I would say! He reminds me a little of my cousin Gene. I think Dad was the tallest one in his family, even at 5'11". If this was taken around 1924-25, then Dad is about 18 or 19 years old. He married Mom in Feb. 1932. I wonder what happened in those years in between.

Dad and his automobile. I believe it is a Model T Ford Coupe. The Model A didn't come out until later.

Dad and Myrtle, as far as I can tell. The picture is not labeled.

Dad and Myrtle at Silver Lake (Iowa). She even wore the appropriate sailor top. It has been fun to look at all the clothing and hair styles of the early to mid 1920's!

Is it just me, or does Dad resemble Sean Penn in this picture?! He has quite the attitude here. As I look at this picture again, I see where I get my big hands from!

Myrtle wrote "SWEET HEARTS" under this picture.

It looks like Dad has a hat on here. And he always loved dogs. I have no idea who the other girl is in this picture. I wish she had labeled all the pictures in the album, but thankful for some that are labeled or I would not have know they were my relatives.