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Monday, November 4, 2019


I have had ideas about house redecorating and remodeling ever since I was a young teenager. The pictures above are some I found on the internet, but sure wish I had a kitchen like the after picture!

I grew up in an old farmhouse without indoor plumbing, which means we did not have a bathroom. We either had to use the outhouse, or a chamber pot in the closet in the winter. But that also  meant the pot had to be emptied into the outhouse when full. My bedroom was upstairs and it wasn't fun negotiating the steps without spilling. Ugh!

I had an idea how we could add a bathroom, but Dad would not consider it. Now, I realize it would have been a major project and not an easy nor inexpensive one. It was also something that Dad couldn't do and he didn't hire work done. Our funds were limited as well. But I could sure dream.

The house had two open porches, one on the front and one on the back. There was one bedroom downstairs and had two long windows, one that opened toward the back porch. I wanted Dad to enclose that porch, which we rarely used, and put a door where the window was. That would have been so nice.

Other than going outside to get to that porch, there was a door in the living room, which was also rarely used. That porch was a nice size for a bathroom, too. But the floor of the porch was cement and not convenient for installing the necessary drains for the toilet and tub or shower. And since there was no plumbing in the house at all, and water would have to be piped from the cistern, and then there is the need for a water heater which I didn't even think about until now. So I can see why Dad nixed the idea. Oh, but I wanted running water and a real bathroom! All of Mom and Dad's siblings had homes with indoor plumbing, didn't think it fair that we didn't.

I was allowed to decorate my own bedroom. I picked out the wallpaper and color scheme. I don't recall picking out any curtains for the double window. Back in the 1959's wood orange crates were available and free, so I painted two white and stood them on end, then sewed covers out of checked gingham, which opened at the front so whatever I put in them was covered but easily accessible.

I learned how to hang wallpaper by helping Mom when I was old enough. All walls in those old houses were wallpapered and every fews years, new paper was needed. I also learned how to paint and refinish furniture by helping Mom.

My decorating skills are not something I could make money at, but I do come up with some pretty nice ideas that is called shabby chic today. Since we didn't have a lot of spare money, we used what we already had, like the orange crates, and we did all the work ourselves.

When we were looking at houses to buy over the years, I could picture things I would change if we moved there. I know some people can't see the possibilities when looking at homes, and will nix a home that didn't suit them as it was currently, and so missed out on some very nice homes.

One house we bought right after it was built, and all walls were white with no interesting features, so I had a blank canvas to work with, and I had lots of ideas in my head. There was a short wall between the living room and kitchen. At one end was an opening the size of a normal door, and at the other end it was at least two doors wide. I found some wallpaper that looked like white bricks and close to real. Then we added a dark stained 1x8" board at the top of the wall to simulate a rafter that was beginning to be popular at the time - early 1970's. It made a nice feature wall in the room, plus it was inexpensive.

At that same house I wallpapered one wall in each bedroom, and the top half of the bathroom walls, without help, I might add. There were three bedrooms and we had three kids so the girls had to share one room. They were not big rooms but adequate. But the girls were five years apart and didn't get along so well, so I pictured a bedroom in the lower level (tri-level house) for our son.

That was a fairly easy job. That level was one big L shaped room with a bathroom and laundry room. The area on the wall with bath and laundry was a nice size for a bedroom, and only needed one wall and a door, and my husband could do that. I found a drawer unit and space at the top for hanging clothes that we put on the new wall. Boys don't have many clothes that hang, right? He was about 10 years old at that time. We added a counter top and shelves on the wall above it that he could use as a desk. Then the girls finally had their own rooms. The large room on that level was a family room.

Decorating on a shoe string budget can be fun!

'til next time . . . .

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


The favorite conversation, at least in this area, is the weather. Go into a store or office and at least one person working there will ask what the weather is like out there as a conversation starter.

We talk about how hot it is, how cold it is, how windy it is, the rain, the snow, if it is foggy, and the list goes on. Often it is more of a complaint and shared misery of being uncomfortable. Weather is important in this area as farmers need certain weather for their crops. This has been a year of extended extreme cold last winter, a cold and wet late spring and neighboring towns were flooded three times! My town does not flood but many people had water in their basements, and sump pumps ran all summer. The farmers couldn't get crops planted on time because the fields were too muddy to get machinery in there without getting stuck, and the ground temperature wasn't warm enough. Either that meant what did get planted might not sprout, or we have a hard frost after the plants start to come up and they are frozen, so fields have to be replanted, and that is expensive for the farmers. This year the length of the growing period before maturity was too short for the crops to produce well, so everyone was praying for a late and warm fall. Now at the end of October, the hope is that snow will not come too soon since harvesting is behind. If we get too much snow too soon, the corn may end up staying in the field all winter.

Snow? We had our first snow before October 15th! It wasn't a lot, but enough for the houses to have white roofs, and a few patches on the lawns for a brief time. At the same time North Dakota was having a blizzard! Since then we have had some very chilly days, extremely windy days, some summer like days and pretty, sunny days with hardly any wind. Normally October is a month that is one of the least windy months, but not this year.

Last week we had a bit of everything, and a very busy week for me. Monday was extremely windy and wet, and I was very happy I didn't have to go anywhere. I spent quite a bit of time working on getting our Friday morning Bible study lesson prepared.

Tuesday was windy but not like it was the day before. At 10:00 I had to be in Sioux Center to get a routine bone density scan. The report says I am normal so I don't have brittle bones and that is good news. From there I made a stop at Walmart to pick up several needed items and fill in some grocery gaps, and got home a little after 12.

At 1:00 my van was picked up to have an oil change, check up for winter, and replace a right turn signal bulb. Later in the afternoon the station owner called and said the turn signal seemed to have a wiring problem after the bulb was replaced and they didn't have time to investigate, so they would pick the van up the next morning. Awhile later he called back and said the man that brought the van back said the light was working, so we cancelled the morning appointment. I am so thankful for that as it could have been expensive.

At 2:00 my niece came to give me a haircut and we visited until 3:30 when she had to get home in time to give another lady a haircut. Barb has a beauty shop in her home, plus owns a downtown shop in a neighboring town, so she is busy. I am so thankful she is willing to come to my house because they have steps to get into the house and I can't do steps without having railings on both sides.

Then I was finally able to relax and take a nap before supper and watching my favorite tv shows.

Wednesday I had to be in Sioux Falls before 2:00 for a six month checkup with my oncologist. Everything looked normal, as usual, and made the appointment for the next six month, and last (yippee!) visit in April. Then it will have been 5 years since I had a hysterectomy for cancer, and I will be considered cancer free. That is not to say I will never have cancer in other areas but it all looks good for now.

The weather on Wednesday was dreary, but not windy. We were getting light rain at home when I left at noon, but by the time I was half way to Sioux Falls it was just a very light mist. I could count the period size drops on the windshield, just enough to keep things damp. You would have to stand outside a long time to really get wet. The 100 mile round trip went well and I was happy to be home again around 4:30.

Thursday was a nice day and temps close to 70 degrees. I didn't have to go anywhere but I did have to bake a banana cake as the ripe bananas had to be used or soon tossed. I also wanted to give some of the cake to the two gals who come for Bible study on Friday morning. Mmmm, that cake is good!

Friday was a beautiful day with hardly a cloud in the sky, and a nice day to drive in the country. Bible study was 5:45 to 7 am. At 10:30 I had to go to the clinic here in town to have my finger pricked to check how thin my blood was. The number was within the limit so back again in one month. From there I went to Orange City to renew my driver's license. I had originally thought I would do that this week, but after looking at the weather forecast for this week, I thought I needed to get it done before.

Back to the weather, this week is going to be much colder and chances of snow a couple of days. It is not supposed to be much snow but it might stick around longer and I didn't want to take a chance that roads could get icy, so the trip was made Friday and now I can put license renewal out of my mind. It has become time to get the winter coat out again. So far we had been able to just do sweatshirts or light jackets. No one is ready for winter but here it comes, regardless. I don't need to be anywhere this week.

All my medical appointments seem to fall in one week and that can be a good thing. Last week was unusually busy for me and I am not used to that. Some of you will think it wasn't that busy, and for you it probably wasn't, but it does wear me out.

'til next time. . . .

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


I love the fall colors and was afraid we wouldn't get them this year. It seemed, when the trees should be changing, the leaves were still green, but a dried up looking green and the leaves curling up. They were not pretty but they weren't falling either.

Finally, early last week they seemed to turn colors overnight, and they were all dressed in brilliant hues of yellow, gold, and reds. Since it took so long, I guess they outdid themselves. Unfortunately, right after they turned we had some extremely windy days and blew many leaves down, and the colors soon faded. Now, some trees are bare already, and some trees are still green. Raking begins, and will continue, probably until covered with snow. Bah, humbug!

Sunday, October 27, 2019


Halloween is almost here! It is hard to believe we are so far into the year. Christmas is just 2 months away so it is time to start planning for that, especially if you make some of your gifts.

I don't do anything for Halloween anymore, but when I did, we never had the type of parties that I see being done on tv now. This morning I have some cooking shows on and they are focusing on Halloween, Trisha Yearwood for one. She is hilarious on all her shows and she really went all out for Halloween and made some goulish party food. A couple other shows did something similar but the food didn't sound that appetizing to me, and required ingredients I have never hear of and not sure I would find them in the stores here. It just looks like a lot of putzy work and more than I want to do. Of the shows I watched, I liked to food that Trisha did the most. Check them out if you have a chance.

 Here is a hat to make if your kids (or you) want to be a minion. My granddaughter wanted this awhile back so found the pattern and made it for her. She is 15 now and doubt she will go trick or treating anymore.
Here is an idea if you are thinking of putting on a party. Looks like a big, ugly spider in the coffee. I think it is a whole star anise but it has been awhile since I found this so am not sure. I'm real helpful, aren't I? I know you can find a lot of ideas on the internet so I am not going to go any further with this. If I were to post some I want to make them myself first and give an opinion rather than just share someone else's work.

'til next time . . . . . .

Monday, August 19, 2019


Many families have been taking vacations this month, getting those trips in before school starts. Our school starts later this week. At the beginning of August I watched my neighbors across the street packing their new camping trailer for their 2 week vacation to Montana. They have 8 kids and expecting the nine before long. I can't imagine taking that many kids in a camper! Plus they put several bikes and 2 kayaks in that trailer. It is 37 feet long, with two slide-outs, and the bedroom has a king size bed! I think this is called "glamping." The front end came with a set of bunk beds but that isn't enough beds for all those kids. That area is big for packing cargo, so they put together some smaller bunk beds for the little kids, and still had room for all those bikes. The kayaks went in through the bedroom door and I couldn't imagine where they could put them other than on top of the bed, but then remembered these trailers always have storage under the beds, and 2 kayaks probably fit under that bed.

Some time back I was going through some old photos and ran across the pictures I took on a trip to California with my parents and Mom's sister and her husband from Illinois. That was just before school started in the 1950's.

These pictures show what motels looked like in those days. At least these are the ones we stayed in, and they were not the familiar chain motels like Holiday Inn, Super 8, Motel 6. My parents always picked motels that had a kitchenette as we made our suppers and breakfasts at the motel. No eating at fast food places. They were few and far between in those days.

Here is one that we stayed in and it was pretty modern as it had a swimming pool.

This is another one. It doesn't look like there was a swimming pool here but at least had a nice area with lawn chairs and picnic tables.

And another one. Looks like Dad is loading the car, getting ready to get back on the road. Uncle Lyman is behind the screen door. I don't remember this but that looks like Uncle's car as we didn't have one like this.

Mom and Aunt Clara are either making supper or cleaning up after we had eaten.

Chowing down.
Hiding behind the wall is my dad, then my mom, Aunt Clara and Uncle Lyman.

Then it is time to wash dishes and clean up before getting some sleep, then repeat the next day. The only town I remember staying at was Cheyenne. Wyoming. There was a rodeo taking place behind the motel that night.

As we were driving through a larger city, my uncle was driving and he got pulled over by the police. He was careful to follow the speed limit so couldn't imagine why he was stopped. The policeman told him he was going too slow and impeding traffic! It must have been rush hour or something. At least he didn't get a ticket.

It's too bad that we didn't keep a diary of the places where we stayed like Mom did on their trip before I was born. I wrote about that  here. That is all I remember about that trip. I don't even remember the trip back home so it must not have been eventful.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019


That is what I should be doing! But here I am at the computer at 1:00 am, unable to sleep. This happens almost every night, or should say, early morning. There is no staying in bed because I get restless, which makes it even worse. So I live with it and try to make good use of the time.

Most of the time I lay there with my mind going all over the place. Tonight I started thinking of some blog posts I want to write and one is about robins. And then a song gets in my mind and won't stop. Are any of you old enough to remember this song?

When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin' along, along 
There'll be no more sobbin' when he starts throbbin' his old sweet song 
Wake up, wake up you sleepy head 
Get up, get out of your bed 
Cheer up, cheer up the sun is red 
Live, love, laugh and be happy 

What if I were blue, 
Now I'm walking through, 
Walking through the fields of flowers 
Rain may glisten but still I listen for hours and hours 

I'm just a kid again doing what I did again, singing a song 
When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin' along 
When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin' 
When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin' along 

There'll be no more sobbin' when he starts throbbin' 
There'll be no more sobbin' when he starts a throbbin' his old sweet song 

Wake up, wake up you sleepy head 
Why don't you get up, get up, get out of bed, cheer up 
Live, love, laugh and be happy 
What if I were blue, now I'm walking through fields of flowers 

Rain may glisten but still I listen for hours and hours 
I'm just a kid again, doing what I did again, singing a song 
When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin' 
When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin' along 
Along, along, along, along, along.


I hear not only the words but the melody as well, and you can check it out on Youtube if you want to hear it, but be careful, that melody will not leave you!

This song was popular in 1926 with Al Jolson singing it. Now, that is even before my time. But later it was recorded by Bing Crosby, Doris Day, and Dean Martin, and that is my time.

This is what I was planning to write about.

I happened to think awhile back that I have not seen one robin this year! I usually see the flocks of robins in early spring when they are migrating, and later a few that have taken up residence in the yards around me. I have never had a spring and summer that I never saw any. All I can think of is the very frigid and long winter we had, and a cold and very wet spring that might have affected the lack of robins. I keep thinking I need to ask other people if they have noticed this as well. It is just very odd.

I have not seen or heard the pair of purple finches that are always here every year, nor any of the other birds that would be searching for their next meal on my lawn. I do hear a few in the trees behind the house, but never see them.

Monday, July 22, 2019


My mom used to cook with an old coal burning cook stove, except she used corn cobs as they were always available and free.

The style of this one is similar to the one in our farm kitchen but not this ornate, and it was white except for the cooking surface.

The fire box was on the left side and we had a bushel basket of cobs next to it. The cobs were kept in a shed behind the house and it was often my job to fill the basket and bring it in. It wasn't my favorite job as mice loved to live in the pile and somehow would sneak into the basket without me seeing it. Eventually it would show up in the house and the hunt was on, along with mouse traps. I never learned how to start a fire.

On the right end was a reservoir for water so that there was warm water as long as the stove was hot.

This picture shows a reservoir lid open.
It didn't hold a lot of water but at least enough to wash up with warm water without having to wait to heat some in a pan. Since we did not have indoor plumbing, there was no water heater. All we had was a cistern hand pump at the end of the big sink. Thankfully there was a drain so there was no pail to empty.

Mom never taught me how to bake in the cook stove, but she made the best bread and cakes, even angel food cakes. I don't know how she knew how to regulate the temperature for baking, but I am sure her mom taught her as well as many years of practice.

Mom would fire up the stove early in the morning during the winter as that was the only heat there was in the kitchen. We did not have a ducted furnace or thermostat. There were kerosene heaters in both dining room and living room. Heat from the chimney is all the heat that reached each bedroom upstairs. Brrrr!

But, that heat was not welcome in the hot and humid summers so most cooking and baking was done early in the morning. Air conditioning was unheard of in those days. Some old houses had a small building apart from the house that was called the summer kitchen which helped keep the main house a little cooler. 

Once the stove was hot, she made breakfast and started any baking needed for the day. By the time I was old enough to remember, we also got a propane gas stove on the other side of the kitchen and that is what I used. I loved to bake so was always making sweet things as I was born with a huge sweet tooth. I rarely cooked anything for a meal. I guess Mom always wanted to do it herself so never made a point to teach me. The only thing I remember having to do was peel potatoes and to this day I don't like to do that unless absolutely necessary.

I remember the time when Mom flew to California with her sister from Illinois to see their mother for the last time as she was in a nursing home. So Dad and I were left to do all the cooking. I tried making bacon and eggs. Well, the eggs were crispy and the bacon limp. Dad tried his hand at pancakes and he called them blow - out patches (for tires) because they were pretty rubbery. But we managed to live until she came home. Dad did not like to eat out so we ate at home for every meal. I cannot remember what else we ate, but it was possibly home canned beef on potatoes. That meat was so tender and delicious. It was very handy for a quick meal, especially if unplanned company showed up at mealtime. I miss that.

Some people had a separate building to do laundry called the wash house. Water had to be heated for washing and that was done in the wash house as well. 

We had an enclosed back porch that was just outside the kitchen
and that is where the old Maytag wringer washer was used. The water was heated in an old copper boiler (wish I still had it) on the cook stove, then carried to the  porch. Most people had wringer washers back then and I heard many stories of people getting their hand and arm caught in the wringer before they were able to disengage the rollers. That was painful! I was always very careful when I used the wringer so never got caught. After I was married I also had the Maytag wringer washer for many years. A lot of diapers were washed in it.

There were no clothes dryers in those days either. Clotheslines were strung from pole to pole in the yard and the wash was hung on them with wooden clothespins like these:

         I prefer the spring type as they are easier to use.                      
 We always had to pray it didn't rain until the wash was dry. A windy day was appreciated as the clothes were much softer after flapping in the wind. Sometimes the wind was a bit too strong and a sheet could come loose and sail away.  If it started to sprinkle there was a mad dash to get it all off the line. If it wasn't completely dry, Mom strung several lines of rope clothesline from one end of the dining room to the other, tied to large nails in the wood door trim. It was a maze getting from the kitchen to the living room, walking between the wet clothes.

The wash was even hung outside in the winter where it freeze-dried as much as possible, and fingers were frozen, as well, trying to hang the wet clothes. Again, the clothes were hung in the dining room to thaw and finish drying. At least it created a lot of humidity in the house.

These are some of "the good old days" that I don't care to see again! Laundry was very intensive labor back in the day.

Friday, July 19, 2019


It has been a long time since I had my sewing machine in use. I have a clothes basket sitting here with several things that needed a seam sewn up, some altering or repair. Plus I have a few tops hanging on the hall tree that are too big and I want to take them in. They are so stretchy that I should have gotten a size smaller to begin with, but wasn't able to return them.

So far I have fixed a pair of slacks, tightened the elastic in another pair, and shortened a new pair of slacks that I have never worn. I got it maybe two or three years ago, ordering it online. It fit fine except it was way too long. I didn't have time to mess with it at the time so hung it in the closet and proceeded to forget about it, until I unearthed it recently. I had to shorten it 4 1/2 inches! Now I am not petite, but am 5'8". I know some pants are longer so one can wear high heels with them, but I would need high platform with 4" heels! I could never have worn those even when I was young and able, and now need shoes that are flat. These slacks are rather flowing and sort of look like a long skirt, so now I need a special occasion to wear them.

I will get to the rest of the pile eventually but with the chance of thunderstorms the next few days, I have unplugged the sewing machine. These new computerized machines take extra care. I just looked out my north window and the sky is looking like there could be rain. I will have to check the radar to see if it is heading in my direction.

With that, I will sign off and shut the computer off just in case.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


The saying goes, "My how time flies when you are having fun." I am afraid time flies even when not having fun, although in bad times it seems like time can go way too slow. Or if you are waiting for something or someone who is late, or waiting for water to boil, the time just drags on and on.

Here we are in the middle of July already. I almost wrote June there. Schools will be starting again in about four short weeks. No doubt the kids think they just got out of school and summer should not be over so soon. I am horrible at making any advance plans like so many of you, so I just take things day by day.

Three weeks ago I had laser done on both eyes for what is commonly called secondary cataracts, which many people get after they have cataract surgery. It just means that the membrane behind the implant becomes cloudy. The laser zaps some slits in the membrane to let the light in and vision clears up almost immediately. I could really tell the difference as I drove myself home after it was done. It took a couple of days to become totally in focus. This week I saw my regular eye doctor to see if I needed glasses after the procedure, but my vision is again 20/20 two years after the surgery. I have found that most people end up with glasses after having cataracts removed, so I am very pleased. I just need cheap readers for close up work, which I bought at Walmart for $10. I have three pair - one by my chair in the living room, one at the dining table where I work on Bible studies, and is close to kitchen if I need to read a recipe or instructions, and one by my bed for reading in bed at night. I grab the kitchen/dining pair and put in my purse when I go somewhere where I expect to have read and/or sign something.

I had to make a splurge purchase earlier this week. My laptop has been showing me a blue screen on startup saying the SMART hard disk is failing. I did keep using it for a few days, but then decided I better get it checked out before it completely dies and I lose all my files. This laptop did not cost me anything as it was gifted to me by my niece when she got a new one. At the time I really had no use for a laptop as I had a good desktop that was very handy in my tiny house. But after moving here and the only place to hook up to the internet cable was in the kitchen and there is no room for a desktop where the outlet is. So the desktop, which I am using at the moment, is in the spare bedroom far away from the tv and everything else.  I had to get a thing to plug into the computer to make it wireless as the modem and router are installed in the garage, of all places! I don't know what "brilliant" mind drew up the plans for that, which doesn't make any sense to me. Maybe they think everyone uses laptops these days.

Back to my splurge. The repairs would cost me $300-350 and I would still have an old computer and something else could quit working at any time. Or I could buy a new, basic model laptop for $495. Basic is all I need. I don't do gaming, streaming or any of the other things the young people do with their computers so having that ability would go to waste anyway. The guy called his supplier for the cheapest they had available for $495 and they had one. He said the reason it is so cheap is that it is purple. Well, that is my color! I am totally happy with that! By the time the set up fee and transfer of my data from old computer, my total cost will be close to $700. That is a lot of money for me, but right now I do have enough extra in my account to pay for it, so this is a good time to make the change. God is good!

Monday, July 15, 2019


Have you ever noticed on tv shows, that is movies, dramas, soaps, not reality or live shows, that the dialogue is a bit disjointed? They often make a statement with a pause and inflection of the end of a sentence, and the sentence is complete as is. Oh, but wait a minute, they then continue on by either saying the name of the person they are talking to, or add a clause to expand on the thought of the beginning of the sentence. I really notice it on the two soaps I still watch. That pause does not make any sense at all. It is as if the actors forget their lines and have to find the prompter or cue in order to finish their thoughts. 

They also say the person's first and last names as if no one knows who they mean, even though they are all close friends or relatives. Who writes this stuff anyway?

There is my pet peeve.   . . . . . . . . dear readers, as I sign off for today. (notice the period and pause?)

Saturday, July 13, 2019


Part of my blog name includes 'random thoughts' and I have been having a few lately.

My procrastination has kicked into high gear this year, maybe due to the very cold and long winter, a cold and very wet spring,  jumping right into the hot and very humid days of summer.  Or could it be age?

Ever since the first of July I had intended to write about this: have you ever thought about the July 4th holiday is maybe the only one that is labeled by its date rather than the true name of the holiday? It is Independence Day. But everywhere you look, and every reporter in the papers, on tv and radio call it the 4th of July.  I did hear one tv reporter actually talk about Independence Day.

People ask, "What are you going to do on the 4th?" or "Let's plan a picnic for the 4th and watch the fireworks." By not calling it Independence Day all the time, do we even think about the true reason for the holiday, or just focus on summer activities and fireworks and nothing else other than flying the flag and everything, including clothing, and food showing the red, white and blue theme.

I have been trying to think of any other holiday that is commonly called by its date and I can't think of one. I suppose you could include May Day, naming the month, but it isn't really a holiday. Does anyone still make May Day baskets to give to friends? Did you make them in school? Or at home with parent's help? I can remember folding lace paper doilies into a cone, using a pipe cleaner as a handle and filling with small candies like jelly beans. Then you would sneak up to the door of a friend, hang the basket on the door handle, ring the bell or knock and then quick run and hide. The receiver then has to guess who delivered it.

Can any of you think of a holiday that is called by its date rather than the actual title? Please leave a comment if you have one.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Would you make this? This is a DIY project that showed up in my inbox today. Just glue on all these little chicks that look like Peeps on a frame to display a spring picture for Easter.

It is cute in a way, but I am not sure I like it enough to make one. I guess it would be a good project for kids. I don't know where they got those little chicks, maybe Hobby Lobby, or a dollar store.

Yes or no? 

I think I would be more apt to make this with real Peeps. I like Peeps, but I know many do not. How about you? Anyway, I think this cake is cute for Easter, and if you don't like Peeps, they are easy to remove from your piece of cake. Instead of chocolate frosting, I think a pretty spring pastel frosting would look very nice. Also, Peeps come in different colors. The bunny Peeps would be cute around the sides of the cake for a different look.

Either project is quick and easy to make now with Easter just a few days away.

Happy Easter to you all!

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Yes, that old man insists on hanging around awhile longer. Most of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska are having a slow moving blizzard.

So far the snow has missed us and have been getting a lot of rain. But then, during the night I heard the rain turn to sleet as the strong winds slammed it against the house. So this morning things are icy, and then later today and tonight we are supposed to get snow; not as much as in the blizzard areas, but at least 2" or more.

While I was making a \middle of the night bathroom run, sitting on the throne, the power went out! There is no window in the bathroom, so it was totally dark. Now, I keep a flashlight next to the bed and one in the kitchen for such emergencies, but none in the bathroom! For some reason the night light in the bathroom and the one in the hall next to the bathroom still had a little dim light so that I could make out the door to the bedroom. I just got in the bedroom when those dim lights went out as well. Amazing that there was enough light outside that I could see the window to get to the bed. Actually, I have made that trip so many times that I am sure I would have made it in total darkness using auto pilot.

I had no idea what time the power went off until I got up this morning and checked the electric clock in the living room. It was 2:30 am. The power came back on at 4:55 am. It is a good thing that the temperature was not as cold as it would be in the middle of winter, so that the house did not get uncomfortably cold without heat for that long.

When I checked my emails this morning, I had several messages from the county sheriff telling about several power lines that were across the roads in the county and warning to avoid those areas, so the ice and strong winds were evident.

I had two medical appointments for today. One was at 10:00 am at the dentist for my 6-month checkup and cleaning. I rescheduled that one yesterday and so glad I did as the dentist is in the next town ten miles away and it is still icy. I have an appointment at the local clinic at 2:00 pm and am going to call and reschedule that for next week. I am taking no chances when weather is like this, even if it is only 6 blocks away. I am not going to walk with the walker on surfaces that may be icy. That appointment is just for the lab and not to see a doctor, so that can wait until Monday.

One good thing about getting ice/snow/blizzard in April is that it won't last long. The weekend is supposed to be in the mid 40's and 50's and melt it all. Meanwhile we wait for the boing boing of spring to bounce back very soon.

Uh-oh, I just saw the lights flicker. I better get that call to the clinic made now in case the power goes out again and I don't have a working phone.

Monday, April 1, 2019


Spring has sprung, finally! At least for now. There is a slight chance of a little snow tonight but highs in the mid to upper 40's for tomorrow so it won't last long. Hopefully we won't get any snowstorms this month, but there are no guarantees in this part of the country.

I have been keeping busy crocheting again. I had a special order to make an afghan using the jumbo bulky yarn. I had never worked with that before so it was a little bit of trial and error to begin with. The hook is huge, about the thickness of a broom handle. I finally got the hang of it, even though the stitches are still not as uniform as I would like. I usually hold the hook like a pencil when I crochet, but with the huge hook I had to palm it. I know many use hooks that way but that is not the way I learned it.

 This yarn is like chenille so it is fuzzy and warm.

Now I am finished with that project I am crocheting winter hats with the yarn I was given at my 75th birthday party.

Some of the yarn is shown in the bushel basket above, but when we got back home there was a whole lot more. It will keep me busy for a long time.

I am also hooked on working jig saw puzzles on the computer as I watch tv. That is very addictive! It is also a time stealer, so I don't get other things done. I should be "good" and not do those things until I have my other work done, but what is the fun in that?!

'They say' that when you get older you go into your second childhood. I guess I am there. I only want to play.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


I don't have exact dollar amounts as the person who gave me the information was not sure of the amounts, and with my short memory, I don't know if I remember what she told me. (sigh)

This afghan brought approximately $745.

This poncho brought $40. I wasn't sure this would be popular. When I started making it over a year ago ponchos  were popular, but don't know if that is still the trend here. So I am satisfied with the $40.

The baby afghan went for $25. It seems people aren't as interested in these, but maybe there aren't that many babies expected right now. I do think that baby afghans sell better as special orders by people who have an expectant mother among their family or friends. So I don't think I will plan on making them for the church auction in the future.

One thing that did sell really well is the knitted dishcloths. I don't have a picture of those. The set of 11 sold for $65. The odd number is because that is how many I got out of a large cone of yarn.

The attendance to the auction was smaller than usual, probably because of the extreme cold and snow as there was no school the next day because of that. There was also a school function at the same time and drew some parents away from the sale. I was also told that things did not go as high as previous years for some reason.

The hunt is on now for the afghan pattern for next year.

Thursday, January 31, 2019


We are in the deep freeze right now. And I mean 'deep' and frozen. Actual temps are below zero and wind chill around -30 to -60 degrees. The actual low temp during the night was -20.

All schools cancelled for today and all other activities also cancelled or postponed, even though there is no snow, roads and visibility are clear. No one wants to be outside today. South Dakota and Iowa even cancelled mail delivery today so that the mailmen won't have to freeze.

There have been several snow storms in the area but they have all missed us for the most part. Last Friday it was predicted that we would be in the middle of a big storm, meaning we were surely going to get up to 8" snow after getting freezing rain and high winds, which is a triple whammy. We had 100% chance of getting this, so all the schools cancelled ahead of time. And the storm was a no show! It all stayed north of us, and south of us. Weather is always interesting around here. And it seems like the latest prediction programs miss the mark a lot more than they did before all this technology.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


  As the saying goes, "Long time, no see." I know I have been MIA for a long time. I promised some friends that I would post pictures of my latest finished projects. Below are pictures of a very soft chenille baby blanket that I made for my new great grandson last fall. He was born in early January 2019 and so adorable!

 I had a hard time showing just how nice it is. I made up my own pattern, a very simple single crochet, chain one, single crochet throughout the whole thing. This yarn is bulky and I just wanted something warm and cuddly for the baby to enjoy feeling the softness.

The next one is a two-tone green heart stripes afghan. It looks like strips but is made as one piece so there was no sewing together and that is what I like! When I am finished crocheting I want it done! This is a large afghan and really warm. If I didn't already have many afghans I would make this one for myself.

The hearts are made with raised cluster stitches. These pictures also do not do it justice and for some reason wasn't able to edit them. They also don't show the colors very well but you get the idea.

 This afghan has gone to the church for the annual auction coming up February 6.

Below is a poncho. This was really hard to get good pictures without a model wearing it. The long points are center front and back. The sides are shorter and slightly shaped to fit elbows, which is really unusual and I had not seen that before. It is an easy pattern and sort of lacy, which does not show well here.

Below shows a close-up of the neckline. The yarn is a brown/white twist.

I need to spend some time with the camera program. It is coming up so different than I am used to and is frustrating.

I will try to let you know what they sell for at the auction, providing I get that information since I won't be there to see them sold.