Saturday, October 31, 2009

Back To July Revealed




October 30, 2009  Something is in the air? 


Good guessing, nope not a hot tub room, exercise room, potting shed, boudoir, studio or even a love shack. It is a Sauna! Our daughter and son in law no longer wanted it..so they moved it to our yard. It caused quite the excitement in the neighborhood. My brother Jody offered to do the dirt work and the septic system in exchange for some Saunas! It does not have running water.. we sauna the old way..carrying a bucket of cold water, and a bucket of hot water. It is an electric sauna, you have to turn it on about an hour before you want to go and sweat. You throw cold water on the rocks to create steam.. when you have had enough you soap up and throw water over your body..or run to the house totally naked and take a shower! Twenty minutes in the Sauna burns as many calories as an hour of exercising..who woulda thunk it.



Dressing Room.



Let's Go In!! 



Cedar Benches..and a bucket of water.  The brick on the rope is the counterweight that closes the door. 



The electric sauna stove..the rocks heat up and when you throw water on them they create hot steam. 


I do love taking a sauna, when I was little it was what we did every Saturday night for our bath. Sauna night was an occasion. My brother and I would go, our Mom and Dad would scrub up our hair and make sure we were rinsed off really well and dressed in our Jammie's and then we would trudge up the hill to Grandpas house. ( This Grandma ( my Fathers Mother) died when I was just three years old) While our parents were in the sauna, we helped our Grandpa set the table for coffee and we would play a game of checkers with him in the front room. We would never win those checker games either, but we had fun trying. When our parents came up to the house, we would have something that our Mother had baked..sometimes cookies, sometimes cake..sometimes fresh bread with butter.. and coffee in a saucer. I have been in many different saunas over the years, but that is the one that I think of when someone says "Sauna."


So Far Guy and I go to Sauna at least twice a week ..sometimes more. Chance waits patiently outside. Our sauna has two rooms, the dressing room and the sauna itself..it is pretty small..but it works great. We have steam wars..taking turns throwing water on the rocks. As with anything, you have to start out a little at a time. We need to look for an actual Sauna Thermometer..Far Guy has some wimpy thermometer in there.. I can't see anything in there anyway..it is way too warm to wear your glasses in the sauna. If someone wants to come to Sauna..bring your own cookies, and yes Far Guy and I will wear a towel to sauna when we have sauna company! :)



Happy Snowy Halloween From Chance!  Is this a trick?  Nope..we have snow:( 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Back to July

It is still raining this morning..Chance got all wet.  So I am going to transport you through pictures to a greener time..last July.  It is going to be a guessing game with the answer revealed tomorrow..so pay attention.   Relatives and close friends that know the answer are not allowed to guess. If you are a friend or relative that doesn't pay attention to anything that I say... then go ahead and guess.
What in the world were we preparing for?


Look at that green, yes I know some of the greens are weeds!  Seems like a good spot.  We used to have a small shady perennial greenhouse there.   July 21, 2009


July 22, 2009  My brother, Jody.  I was amazed at how much black dirt he had to remove..  


Still July 22, 2009.  Chance has been supervising the crew!  Ryan, Hunter ( my neices husband),  Jody and Josh (nephew).


All done, now if the dog and the deer stay out of it until it cures!



Delivery Day,  July 26, 2009  Miney (The dog) Jen ( daughter)  and Andy (son in law).  They put it on a trailer at their house and moved it to our house.  We should have charged admission..we had a whole crowd of people watching!


Easy does it!  Andy, Hunter and Jody.  Did you know that you have to have a building permit, even though you aren't technically building something..you are just moving something.



August 1, 2009.  When do you suppose we will get electricity hooked up?  Do you think it should be painted green?  How about a steel roof with an overhang?  It definately needs a bench.  Someplace to sit and relax.


October 13, 2009  Perhaps this wasn't such a good idea, it is cold and rainy..one last fall project that shouldn't have been started.  BUT..the overhang will keep the snow away from the door.


October 24, 2009   Finally the roof is done, and the front door has two coats of paint.  The posts and that front trim board are going to have to weather gracefully..it is too cold to prime and paint them.   Done,  it is done.  See the frost on the ground?

Do you need more hints?  Alrighty then...we use it several times a week..Chance does not use it at all.  He waits patiently outside for us to finish.  HA!  Guess away! :)  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Whine

What a miserable month..rain and more rain..cloudy, dreary grey days..if it is not drizzling rain then the gale force winds move everything around so much you can't take any decent photographs. What is there to take photographs of anyway..frost..in the early mornings..check, brown leaves on the ground..check..brown leaves hanging in the trees ..check. I want my two or three weeks of Indian Summer and I want them NOW.


I was keeping track of rainy cold days..versus sun shine days..the sun is losing..it became so dismal I lost track. I got out my parka, and gloves. Every morning when you get up you have to turn the lights on..and they stay on most of the day.


We finished up most of the outdoor fall work.. I raked, I blew, I mulched leaves..the yard looked pretty good..then the wind blew and more leaves came down out of the trees. I knew it would happen.. I had hoped by mowing the yard really short that the leaves would keep on travelling into the woods. Years ago I used that technique to keep the leaves moving from a very manicured lawn in Moorhead. You would think it would work here too..but the woods has a never ending supply of leaves to drive me crazy with.

Far Guy and I washed windows, I use Glass Wax on the outside, so that the rain drops will shed off the windows. It is the pits to use, smelly..and you have to smear it on and then wait for it to dry and then buff like there is no tomorrow..or you will get streaks. Although streaks usually don't show up unless there is sunshine.

I finally got all the lawn furniture dried out and put away for the winter. Chances pool was emptied..he was sad. Far Guy got out his special old pontoon cover to sling over the top of his Ferris Wheel Seat near the front door..gosh I hate that cover..blue..bright blue. Like death knolls..each of these covering ups, and putting aways...I don't want to give up on Fall yet..it might stop raining..the sun may shine again someday..when it does come out, I am sure I will be blinded.


Oh ya and we get to Fall Back with the time change this Sunday..that means it gets dark at five o'clock in the afternoon. I am really looking forward to that with great anticipation.

Halloween, now that is something to look forward to..candy.. and little kids..we will get ten kids..and I will take their photographs...after that it will be November...one more month closer to spring:)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : The Linnell School




The corner sits empty, the native grasses have taken over..it seems lonely. The tall posts are remnants of a back stop from years ago when we used it as a ball field. Before it was a ball field it was a school yard. I remember the sounds of children playing outside during recess and lunch. I lived just kitty-corner from the old school, I wanted to go to school there, I could walk all by myself. I was a big girl, and I had been there many times. Sometimes we would be invited over for a Christmas Party or a program, sometimes I tried to sneak over there by myself. ..school.. I just knew it was going to be a magical place and I was going to love it. Sadly they built a new school and I had to ride a bus. The old school just sat there. After it was closed..we were forbidden from going there..but on several occasions it was just too tempting. I remember how the building echoed inside because it was empty, and how the floor was littered with broken glass.. it was finally torn down.





This photo was dated 1942, I have seen this photo before, but do you see those trees over to the right of the photo..that is where I used to live. Holy Cats!! .. .Look at all the trees!  The school was built in 1911, and remodeled in 1927. It was closed in 1957.




Far Guys Mom ( Evelyn) age 8 and Far Guys Uncle (Willard) age 6 went to school there, they lived just across the road from the school. This photograph was taken in 1923, or 1924. I believe it to be a 1923 photograph of just the Primary Students..that year they had two teachers.. Mary M. Lymburner and Mrs. Smith. I have retouched this copy of the photo..it is still not in the greatest shape..I have marked it with two little red dots just for the purpose of identifying Far Guys Mother and Uncle. Hazel Graham age 6, Morris Stephens age 7, Harry Klarer age 7 and Earl McGrane age 7 could also be in this photo. People who I knew as adults..but are impossible for me to recognize as children. They all appear on the class list in 1923.

Far Guys Mom taught at this school in 1940 before she was married. I am not sure how many years she taught there. I do recall her telling us that her Dad would walk with her on winter mornings and help her start the fire in the stove. She is also listed as teaching there in 1949 she was married by then and she may have..that was the year she was pregnant with Far Guy, he was born in early 1950..so I suppose having a new baby put the cabosh on teaching. I wonder what she did with Far Guys sister Jan? Possibly she spent the day at her Grandma and Grandpas across the road:)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

STOP, DROP and ROLL!!

The buses arrived, and the small children each with a white art project headband filed in and took their chairs.   It is that time of year again..Fire Safety for the Head Start Class.    Once their little squirming bodies are all safely ensconced in a chair, Far Guy asks them "What do you do if your clothing is on fire?"  They all holler back, "STOP, DROP and ROLL!!"   Far Guy tells them that they should, never, ever play with matches, and that matches should be brought to Mom or Dad right away. Jerry and Far Guy get out the Medical Bag, they show the kids some of the stuff inside..they are most taken with the Pulse/ Oxygen meter, everyone wants to have it stuck on their finger.  



Far Guy puts all the gear on for them.. no one is bawling this year..hallelujah! Far Guy dresses up the kids in his coat and his hat.  The kids line up and have their pictures taken.  For some this is a big step,  it helps to make it all seem less scary.  



The Chief arrives.. he gets all dressed up in his gear with the respirator.   To small children, just the sound is sometimes scary.  They all do great, we have one tiny little girl that is whimpering..so the Chief takes off his mask as she watches him.  






Chance and I are sitting in the far corner, Chance has a few visitors..we are just observers today, just in case we need to help herd kids.  



Day Light Savings time ends on November 1, 2009..so remember to Fall Back and catch up on that hour of sleep that you lost last spring.   This is also the reminder to put batteries on your grocery list.  Your batteries in your smoke detectors should be changed this Sunday.  Why?  Because I said so!!  Go through a mock fire drill at your house, meeting up at the designated safe spot outdoors and communicate with your children about Fire Safety. 


Never leave space heaters unattended, and if you are leaving your house turn off your clothes dryer.  Never throw in a load of clothing to dry..and then go to bed.    My Son in Law did this..luckily he was able to get Savannah ( she was just a baby)  out of the house and two of their dogs..poor Katie a Sheltie died and Caramel the kitty died from smoke inhalation.  Very little was saved from inside that house.. it had smoke alarms..and a faulty dryer.  Nothing quite brings it all into perspective until you see your Granddaughters high chair and car seat melted in place:( 

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Birthday Party Fourty Five Years Ago


I am the oldest person in this photo, and my baby brother is the youngest.  He was four years old back in 1964, and I was thirteen.   Gosh that year we had sunshine on his birthday..not so much today.   This photograph was taken on the farm.   Lots of local people are in this photo..everyone is still alive!   However the poor old dog in the corner of the photo has passed on ( He died on my birthday in 1974) he was a Spitz and his name was Wally.   Everyone lives in this area, except for my brother who lives in Oregon.   One of the people in this Photo still lives on that farm..who woulda thunk it?     I had a hard time identifying one person in this photo..my cousin Dwight, his curly hair and his nose and chin gave him away.   It is a good reminder to get out that photo pencil and mark some old photos.  I found it a very interesting photo.. Happy Birthday to my  Baby Brother..next year he will be 50!!

Nope never was a majorette..never coordinated enough to march and twirl at the same time.  :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chance's Birthday

I wonder what it was like, if it was day or night, if he was born first or in the middle or was he the very last. Was he hind legs and butt first or did he enter the world like a diver..with his little paws tucked by his head? Did he breathe and squeak right away.. or did his Mom have to rub him half to death with her rough tongue. Was it cold in the barn? At least it was dry, and safe. Those first few weeks of his life, the small children must have handled and played with him every day. He loves children, except when they cry, crying makes him nervous his ears go down and he moves away. That day in the barn when we went just to "look" he walked right up to Far Guy. The rest is history. As for his name, I had the name Chance picked out for a number of years..John Wayne had a dog named Chance in one of his movies. So he was named a long time before we actually got him. We were dog-less for three very miserable years, there is nothing worse than two dog people without one. He ended our dog-less life and our daughters finally got a brother.

December 26, 2004
A Chance Story: We got him on December 26, 2004, he was just eight weeks old. That next spring, he became a greenhouse dog, he would go back and forth between the two greenhouses. One day, I thought he was with Far Guy, and Far Guy thought he was with me..we started hollering..I blew my whistle ( Whistle means Come=Cookies). He was not showing up.. my heart was in my stomach..where could he be? Was he asleep someplace? Did we lock him in somewhere? He was nowhere to be found. Then I saw him at the edge of the driveway, all stretched out in a peculiar position. Far Guy said "OH SHIT, DID HE GET HIT BY A CAR? " Maybe, but he was moving. Far Guy ran, I kinda ran, I am not a good runner. Chance was stuck. He was definitely alive ..but stuck..trapped in a tomato cage.. one of those wire ones with a tapered end..he went in just fine..but couldn't escape out the other end..he was too scared to back out. He was in a real pickle. He had managed to inch the cage out of the woods little by little..trying to get to us. Far Guy and I were his heroes, rescuing him from his unexpected confinement in a very evil tomato cage. Needless to say, we collected all the evil things and put them away in the grain bin. In retrospect it was pretty funny, at the time ..it was not funny at all. He is not a very vocal dog, he never barks unless someone or something strange comes in the yard, he is not a yappy barker like the Shelties were. He is quiet, sometimes too quiet..although he does whine and cry and carry on like he has just lost his best friend when Far Guy leaves without him. It is so pathetic, and might even make me shed a tear or two..if it weren't so over dramatic. He should be in the movies!

Chance in Duluth October 12, 2009
Chance is a pretty lucky dog, we have the time to spend with him, to throw his ball for him and to take him on little adventures. We take him almost everywhere with us. He wakes up every morning, raring to go..excited just to be awake and more than happy to wake us up so the adventures can begin.

Chance October 24, 2009
Today Chance is Five Years Old! We will probably take him into town to celebrate today..possibly to his favorite place.. Burger King for some French Fries! He doesn't get them very often, and when he does we make them last for about three days! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Curiosity: Round Lake Historical Marker

Do you stop to read Historical Markers?  Usually I can get Far Guy to stop, " Chance might need to be walked! "  I am always curious about Historical Markers, I like to stop and read them.   Imagine my surprise when I read this one, this is about twenty miles from our home.   



Makes "What's for dinner?"  a big unanswered question.  Maybe it is the other white/dark meat. 



Who would have thunk it, not me.  Some of the Chippewa were cannibals..but apparently it is just as taboo in their culture as ours.  No I have not have my head stuck in the sand, I am sure this never came up in History Class.  I do not recall this bit of information.  I learned not to say "I do not know"  from a Social Studies Teacher who I absolutely adored, because he actually taught you something IF you listened.  His name was Harold Collins.   His answer to an  "I do not know" response was " That is INCORRECT, you knew at one point because I told you, you simply do not recall."   He was a short , slight little man, with slicked back hair, and he had eyes in the back of his head, not really but it seemed like it, not much got by him in his classroom.   He always wore a suit and usually a white shirt and a tie, and his shoes were always shined.  He had energy and taught with  his own style, continually questioning and trying to excite his students.  He died a number of years ago..I do not recall how long ago.  He was one of the only teachers I would have given you more than two cents for in our local school system, probably because he was actually teaching.   



Round Lake, I will never look at it quite the same again.   It was a nice day yesterday, the sun was out for a bit.  Having the sun come out is now an ocassion here in Minnesota, as October has been very wet, cold and dreary:) 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tamarack


I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. ~Willa Cather, 1913

The Tamarack or Larch..it's scientific name is Larix laricina. It is a Northern, cold climate tree. It is a deciduous evergreen..confusing..all it means is that it loses it's needles every fall..looks deader than a doornail all winter and in the spring..the needles come back again..first as a soft green haze..becoming less hazy with every spring day. Nothing spectacular happens with this tree until Autumn. In Minnesota when every other tree has done it's thing, all the leaves have colored up and fallen to the ground, or turned an ugly brown color while clinging to it's branches for dear life. It is time for the Tamarack.



The soft needles turn a golden yellow, it is like a million little sunbeams are caught up in these trees.

I do believe that the Tamaracks are anti social, they want the stage all to themselves. They want me to ooh and ahhh.. I have to admit they put on one heck of a show.


Tamarack usually grows in swamps or low lying areas, however I believe there are a few used as ornamental trees in Fargo, ND. If you can get past the Charlie Brown winter time look. Needless to say they are not grown for Christmas Trees, perhaps it is their silent protest against that barbaric practice. Wood from the Tamarack is used to make beautiful floors. It can be used for lumber. It can also be used for firewood, although you best not use it in one of those decorative fireplaces where the pretty little birch bark logs lie in repose. It burns way too warm.. and will probably warp your fireplace. We have used it in our outdoor wood stove, it is built to withstand the higher temperatures.


Tamaracks aglow..just one more sign that Fall is well underway and Winter is not far behind:)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This 'n' That

It is still raining up here, well it could be worse, it could be snow.   I finally decided to just ignore it and go outdoors anyway..Chance and I looked like drowned rats.  


I hosted the cousins group here on Tuesday night.  We have decided that our quilt squares this year will be redwork..and we will all use the same color red embroidery floss.   Cousin Evelyn stamped all the squares for us, she brought her own iron.  I got out my dusty old ironing board..I keep it stashed next to the washer..it was pathetically dusty. Good thing I got it out before everyone got here, since I had to vacuum it off.   I made the Lemon Cake again ..and took some pumpkin bread out of the freezer.   We made cards..I drive them nuts with this on going project..I give them buttons, a piece of paper and some embroidery floss..they have to design the front of a card, then I attach them to a piece of card stock .. instant card..Evelyn sends them off to cousins and Aunts or Uncles in the hospital.  The biggest whiners, like cousin Hilda " I am no good at this card thing."  Make the best cards.  We should have enough until the next time we meet again at my house.   Chance loved all the company, and kept sneaking down from upstairs..he and Far Guy were hiding up there. 


Far Guy is reading a manuscript that was written by his bi polar friend.  I started reading it too, it is pretty good, I was impressed.  I have a hard time not editing it, not for misspelled words..although they irritate me, I look for continuity..and stuff that doesn't make sense. Run on sentences don't bother me a bit, or punctuation.   I guess that is just how I read.   This is a hand typed manuscript..Far Guy and I have mini reviews now that I am reading it, we have had some very interesting discussions.    Tom  left for Mississippi,  he called the other day just to say "Hi" and tell Far Guy that he got his car out of hock.  It will certainly make his life easier..he is a house painter..he can use his car to get around instead of the motor-home.  



Yesterday we were bored..so we went into town to run a few errands.  We stopped by two antique shops in town.   Each delightful in their own way.  The first one was free of dust, and the displays were perfect.  I purchased a small box of black and white photographs.   Then we went to the very large, dusty, unorganized shop..Linda ( I went to school with her) is a NUT..she had a huge box of black and whites just for me!    What fun, looking at these old photos..I don't know any of the people..but I find the photos interesting just the same.     I now have photos from all over the United States..some even have names on them!  I have started a new blog called Forgotten Old Photos..I will be writing about old photos and maybe even learning a thing or two.   A new adventure for the winter! 


We got an ad the other day in the mail, it was one of those you have won!! But what did you win?? You have to take your special key and your extra special secret number to the local Car dealership to claim your prize.   The fishing rod, the big screen TV, the money or big drum roll..a car!!   I won a fishing rod, I figured as much, they handed it over after I told them I was perfectly happy with my vehicle and had no intention of buying anything... I just stopped by for my prize.  


I checked my email this morning, someone from Ghana has almost a million dollars that they just need a little help spending.  They found my email address alongside the road.. in Africa.. funny..I wonder how it got there?? 


I have procrastinated so long that the sun is out..it nearly blinded me..I am off to take photographs of the Larch ( Tamarack) :) 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wistful Wednesday : 1947

On this date in 1947, my Mothers older brother was killed coming home from work. He went off of the road and ended up in the bottom of Dead Horse Hill. A huge hill, with a creek at the bottom. As a kid I always thought it was pretty spooky, especially after I heard what happened there.

 
Alfred, on his confirmation day.

My Mother says "Alfred was killed in a car accident on Dead Horse Hill on October 21, 1947. We were all very sad, especially Aldon who was just three years old. Aldon took his little wagon to meet Alfred everyday after he came home from work. Alfred would put his lunch bucket into the wagon and Aldon would open the bucket to see what his brother had saved for him that day. Aldon cried everyday for a long time. Ma and Dad were extremely distraught until one day when they came home from town. They both saw a beautiful gate at the bottom of Dead Horse Hill..the gates opened and they drove through. After that their grief was different. "


Alfred and my Mom..1946.

I do believe my Grandparents in their grief saw something. Beautiful gates opening..possibly...maybe. My Grandfather used to ask me "Have you ever heard the Angles sing?" I have not. My Grandfather has...he said " The day the Alfred died, I heard the Angels singing, I have never heard such a beautiful sound..I knew that something special happened. "

My maternal grandfather was not some religious zealot..he was a normal Grandpa, who believed in God and heaven. He believed he heard the Angels singing..who am I to say he didn't. If he got some comfort from believing he heard them then so be it.

From October 21, 1947 to February 21,1948 is just four short months. ..on that day my Grandma gave birth to a tiny, tiny baby boy named James.. he was born and died the same day. My Mom said "He was so tiny he fit in a shoebox, he was beautiful and perfect..just too little."

These sad times in 1947 and early 1948 are part of my family history..just like the story of the angels singing:)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kids




We saw these kids in town on Sunday afternoon. Far Guy and I looked at each other..what in the world were these kids up to? I rolled down my window, Chance immediately came out of the back seat onto my lap. I hollered at the kids " Isn't it a little early to Trick or Treat?" They said "We are out Trick or canning! " I asked them if I could take their photo..they said sure! They were part of a Church group gathering canned goods for the local Food Shelf. A few kids on a Sunday afternoon making a difference.

The grandgirls had the flu last week, they were all home sick. It must have been the seasonal flu. Savannah is really ill now, the ER Doctor said she definitely has H1N1 now and Pneumonia. He said that everyone in their family will get it. So where exactly is the vaccine that we are supposed to be getting? Especially for the children, from what I have read..children will be hit the hardest.

The kid in the balloon. What kind of Idiot parents enlist the help of their children in a publicity stunt. At first I thought that it couldn't possibly be true..now I am not so sure.

How about the sixteen year old girl, Jessica Watson, she is sailing around the world..by herself.. I hear she has a blog. I will check it out.


How times have changed.

As a child I can't remember collecting anything for Halloween other than the normal candy. My girls did Trick or Treat for UNICEF one year.

We had our own Pandemic..Polio..I remember standing in line on a weekend inside the High School Gym, getting a little white pill cup with a sugar cube with some pink stuff on it. Then there was The Asian Flu Pandemic of 1957 or 1958..it landed me in the hospital, I was dehydrated..but I recovered under the care of the scary sisters in the white habits..I believe that hospital stay was my first real time away from home. I was in a large room, with lots of beds and many sick kids..it must have been the Pediatric Ward.

Publicity Stunts, and using your kids to get your own reality show? Nope I am sorry, I have never known anyone that would do this ..but then times are changing..some how the Scarecrows line comes to mind.."If I only had a brain."

At sixteen I wondered how many people we could get in a phone booth.. or how many people we could sneak into the drive in. We were doing group things..not solo things. Sailing around the world alone never even occurred to me. I am sure I would have been carted off "To have my head examined" if I would have ever suggested it. Would I have let my girls go off sailing around the world at sixteen? Probably not, I was nervous when they took the sailboat across the lake. I made sure they had their life jackets on and was ready to take a boat out and rescue them if they overturned. Then again our little sailboat was not a Yacht.

Times are changing..sometimes not for the good either. I do give a Far Side Ovation ( one old lady standing and clapping in the woods in Minnesota) to the children that were collecting canned food for the local food shelf.. their story won't be carried on CNN or the Nightly News or even in the local Newspaper. It appears it will have to be a Far Side Exclusive:)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Eighty Candles

I called my brother who lives next door, I said "Do you suppose that we should put 80 candles on Mom's cake?" He laughed and said "Sounds interesting..but how would we get and keep them all lit ? " We decided to just position a box of candles in the shape of a big 80. My Dad hosted a small get together to celebrate my Mothers birthday..the big eight oh. Dad sprung for the Ice Cream Cake and he asked me to bake a lemon cake. I also made some rice krispie bars and my brother brought some cookies. Not everyone could attend, we were missing my brother in Oregon and my sister in Minnesota. Neither of our girls could attend, Jen had company and Tricas girls have the flu.





My Mom said it had been a long time since she had a cake with candles on it.





Good thing that my brothers children have offspring that are still mesmerized by candles.



What a crew helping Great Grandma put out the fire! Pictured are six of her great grands..she has thirteen all together.





All of my brothers grands were there, this is Aubrey with her Mom and Great Grandma.





Newest baby Brooke and her Great Grandma. She is still so little, but growing! I got to hold her, she only squeaked a little, no out right screams..she fell asleep. I breathed a sigh of relief!


In retrospect, I probably should have baked my cake in layers and put it on a fancy cake plate..I took a cake decorating class eons ago..I do remember how to do buttercream frosting. But this cake is my Mother's Mother's recipe and it was never on a fancy cake plate it was always in a cake pan with a cover.. it was one of my Grandmas favorite recipes.


Lemon Cake


One package of Lemon Cake mix, I use Pillsbury


One can of Wilderness Lemon Pie Filling


2 eggs


Mix together. The batter will be thick! Put in 9x13 pan that has been oiled and floured. Bake 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. After it has cooled prepare the frosting. Pour some powdered sugar in a bowl..add some lemon juice..mix it up well..not to thick not too runny..pour it over your cake..enjoy!


This cake instantly transports me to a sunny kitchen with huge windows on the old porch..the long narrow white table under the windows filled with African Violets and Geraniums brought in for the winter. The smell of freshly brewed coffee..and a red and white checkered oilcloth covering the kitchen table. All these memories in just one recipe:)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Thousand Words : Bubbles



I took this photo in May of 2007 at our home, do you suppose that these Grandgirls have enough bubbles?   I believe Savannah said "Come on Grandma..you have to see this! " :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Old Bowls

I used to have a set of bowls just like this one. I loved to use the yellow one for serving a huge amount of mashed potatoes at family gatherings where I couldn't just leave them in the pot that they were cooked and mashed in. The green one was the salad bowl. Sometimes it held coleslaw, sometimes a beautiful jello. The red one and the blue one I rarely used. Far Guys Mom always used her blue one, it is what she mixed her flour and water in to thicken her gravy.


Originally mine were found, at the resort. One thing that I didn't mind doing was shopping at garage sales and thrift stores for accessories and good usable kitchen items for the eight kitchens. I hated cleaning those eight kitchens..but they were well equipped! This set of bowls was spread out in four different cottages. I eventually replaced this mixing bowl set with other suitable bowls and kept this set for myself. ( a CEO perk..LOL)

Fast forward many years, we are here and Far Guy and I cook a Thanksgiving dinner. I get out the yellow and green bowls, I have to dig into my storage boxes to find them. After the big dinner, I put the bowls on the shelf in the furnace room, I might need them again at Christmas. The next week Far Guy is being a carpenter upstairs, and I am helping him. We hear a terrible crash, the shelf came off of the wall and the entire furnace room was filled with broken glass. Not only my two special bowls..but a bottle of Windsor and a couple bottles of wine. ..a smelly, glassy mess. The house smelled like a brewery.

I now have two blue bowls. One is mine and one was Far Guys Mom's, I still have my red one. I have always wanted to complete my set. I have seen this set in antique shops..usually they are priced around 100 dollars. This set was 39.95 did I buy it? No, Far Guy said I should have. I really do have more than enough bowls. I rarely cook anyway, and when I do, I just leave the pots filled with food on the stove..we rarely use serving bowls. Beside that I only needed the yellow and green bowls. I certainly didn't need an extra red bowl, or an extra, extra blue bowl. So I passed them up, sometimes it is all about the hunt..and when it is time to go in for the kill..you say Hey..that was fun..cross that one off of the list OR what in the world do I need all those bowls for anyway? :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Trains

A long, long time ago a little boy received a used train set for Christmas. It was a Lionel train and he was about eight years old. It was a complete train set.. an Engine (It had a spot to drop in special tablets to make smoke and everything), a coal tender, a milk can car that rolled the cans off of the car, an oil tanker car, a log car that hauled logs and dumped them, one car had a helicopter that rode on the car..you could wind it up and fly it off of the car and a Caboose that would light up. Not all of these cars survived a small boy and his neighborhood pals..some cars were blown up with firecrackers, one car was lost in an unexpected and huge fire in the basement it seemed that clothespins doused in lighter fluid will start a really good fire. Some cars were sold off for spending money, some were given away. Only two remained. The Engine and the Coal Tender...we carted around a box marked train set..for years.





We never really had room to set up a train, and Far Guy was busy with other hobbies. When we lived in North Dakota he finally had room to set it up in the basement. We built a mountain and bridges..our scenery was awesome. I bought him a caboose one year for his birthday..50 bucks for one caboose..but it was in great shape! Then we moved, and it all went back into a box marked Train Set again..we needed a larger box.





The Train Set stayed in that box until recently, with building the house and building furniture and cabinets..it always was a "someday project". Far Guy was all set to build something upstairs.. remember we don't live upstairs..we live downstairs. I used to have my office up there, I tossed, and sorted for weeks. We hauled out my huge oak desk, there was finally room for Far Guys Trains. He built a table on wheels, it is a four by eight sheet of plywood. He can go up there and play engineer whenever he likes. His train hobby is a work in progress. He has two trains now, his old Lionel which is O scale and a HO model train that I gave him one year for Christmas. Right now they are on the same board..I think that another board should be built on wheels so that it can be stored underneath the original one..it could be wheeled out whenever. The best part of any hobby is shopping for bargains and looking for ideas. Far Guy found an original Lionel Train Station at a garage sale this past summer, amongst a bunch of toys..it was a whole dollar. A nice bargain!!








Since Far Guys Train Transformer is very old, he has a special light hooked up for a signal that the train sets power is still on..he has it hooked to an old Tilt-a- Whirl piece of scenery. If it is lit up, then the trains power is still on. I think it is pretty cool and it goes well with some of his other treasures that he enjoys on the wall behind his train set.



Recently he has been working on some model airplanes..that is an entirely different project. He has a number of hobbies and interests..I think you have to have something to occupy your time during the long winters we have up here.  We have been to lots of different train and hobby shops all over the country, each one is an adventure:) 
*** Far Guy just looked at these photos that I took this morning..He said "Oh my, guess I better dust! "