Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Look What Laura Found

I love it when Laura is on spring break and has computer time. Check out the link below for something really neat. Some of you may have already run across this, but it was new to me. How fun it is to see Dad's name. http://www.icollector.com/Thomas-Molesworth-Accent-Pieces_i12883316

Monday, March 31, 2014

Powell High School

Now, I read in the online pages of the PT that the "old" Powell High School is being torn down.  I remember in the early 1970's, when I went back to teach in Powell in Miss Harkins' English room in the REAL old high school, that this school was a state of the art high school, with wide halls, spacious rooms, etc.  Where did it all go wrong?  Has time really flown that fast?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Who Remembers the Radio Broadcasts of the Old Fashioned Revival Hour?

OK, this one has been rattling around in my brain (or little gray cells, as Poirot calls them) long enough.  So here it is:

This is radio station KGHL in Billings Montana bringing you Your Old Fashioned Revival Hour!
Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before
Every day with Jesus I love Him more and more
Jesus loves and keeps me and He's the One I'm waiting for
Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before

And with the little song, that's about as long as we ever listened to the Old Fashioned Revival Hour, so we never had an opportunity to become revived.  But how clearly I remember the song and the KGHL greeting.  One more tidbit among millions.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2 Cents From Judy

Maybe this might be something that Dwight had in mind with his last blog post.

From September of 1980, I have a letter from him of which I am quoting a snippet.

"If you can think of anything else Mom would like or would enjoy please either go ahead and get it and let me share expense or let me know so we can sent it from here.  There are so many things I have thought of over the years that I would like to send her and wish I could have or would have when she would have enjoyed them, but I don't think 'things' ever were that important to her, so at least maybe nothing has been lost.  I worry about her being warm in the night in that house, with the heat turned down."

This is just such a lovely passage, full of loving emotion.

Six Blood Siblings, Six Separate Sets of Memories

As of March 2014, we six Blood siblings are still around, meaning in mortality.  From oldest to youngest, we are Louise, Dwight, Elizabeth, Judy, Ann, and Steve.  Like the Blind Men and the Elephant, we each have a different view and a different set of memories of growing up in Penrose, Cody, and Ralston.  I (Dwight) was the first to leave, in January 1950.  Louise essentially left at the same time, since she moved into Powell to continue school at the junior college there.  I was 17 when I left home.  My memories of Penrose consisted of nine years in the little brown house, three years in Ralston, and four years in the white house that was the Blood family home until our parents moved to Washington state.  My sibling memories are most closely linked to Louise and Elizabeth, being closer in age.  I can remember the exact days that Ann and Steve were born but, for the life of me, I have no idea how Judy showed up there in our bedroom with the other three of us in the little brown house.

Thus, my memories of Penrose are most closely linked to we three older siblings, since the other three were still young when I left home.  Getting better acquainted with them during the past few years has been one of the delights of being a big brother.  Since I left home in 1950, most of my memories of Penrose are limited, first, to the little brown house where I spent the first nine years of my life.  This house today would hardly pass minimal housing standards but, to us, it was a paradise among the cottonwoods and the apple orchard. Louise started school in 1935 and I started school in 1936, riding the primitive school bus on an arduous long journey into Powell, 12 miles away as the crow flies, but many miles longer in collecting children along the route.  I wore bib overalls and had a bowl-type haircut with my blond bangs hanging in my eyes.

In 1941, we moved to a small farm a mile west of Ralston on the Powell-Cody highway.  We spent the war years there, again riding the school bus into Powell and enjoying the much shorter route and less time bouncing over the rough roads on the Penrose route.  And then in 1944, after my Uncle Orvil died, Dad moved us back to Penrose to manage Grandpa Wasden's farm, for a brief time with Uncle Norman Sorensen.

After leaving home, I was able to come home only sporadically.  During college at the University of Wyoming, I usually could not afford to come home for many of the holidays since I had to work to stay in school.  After leaving Laramie, we lived in Bozeman Montana, Fort Collins Colorado three times, Ann Arbor Michigan twice, Washington, D. C., State College Pennsylvania, Cheyenne Wyoming, Laramie again and, finally, Provo-Orem Utah.  Since our parents had moved to Olympia Washington, we rarely were able to have either the time or the resources to travel that far and, often, gaps of two or three years existed between times when we could visit our parents.

Thus, my memories of home and Penrose are restricted to a narrow early window of time and space.  It is up to everyone else to fill in the gaps and tell the stories and relive their own memories.  Judy is now writing her life story, Louise and Elizabeth have told their stories, and Judy is writing hers.  That means that Ann and Steve  remain to tell the missing stories from the times when none of the rest of us were around home and we can only fill in the gaps with our imaginations.

Besides our more formal life stories, we all have much to gain from sharing stories and reminiscences here on the blog.  Since some of cannot remember who played last night's basketball game, it matters little whether we can remember exact stories and sequences.  What matters is the spirit of the stories, the light we share from the memories, and the ties that bind us.

Ann is working on a great project with family pictures and brief family stories, and I need to finish my contribution to this project.  I hope we can all take just a few minutes now and then to share some special memory or story here on the blog since such postings tend to wake us all up and keep us in touch with each other.  And who knows how long we will be able to continue doing that?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Title picture

Dwight, don't know how else to let you know that the lilacs lend themselves so well to this repeating design along the sides, and I love the road sign.  Is that sign there now?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wash Day in Penrose

This story by Ann needed to be brought to light, so here it is.  I hope you agree!

Dwight's post also suggests we talk about what went on in the kitchen/multipurpose room. Here are some of my imperfect memories. Since this is how I remember it, then this is how it must have been for me.
Saturdays were the most amazing. After breakfast was cleaned up, Mother would pull out the wringer washing machine from the closet, bring in the bench stand from outside, along with the tub that hung on the coal shed. It was used for rinsing the clothes in, once they were done agitating in the tub of the wringer washer. 

I was considered "too little" to be of much help, but I can remember going out to "help" hang the wet clothes on the clothes line. My job was to hand the wet clothes to the official hanger-upper.

When the laundry was washed and all hung out to dry, the washer went back into the closet and the tub went temporarily back outside. Then there was bread to make and sometimes something special to bake for Sunday. 

Cleaning supplies were kept in the kitchen closet and so we would drag (that is how I felt about that job) out the broom, dustpan, dust clothes and dust mop and clean the house. In my memory that was an every Saturday occurrence.

Then, when the day was winding down, the tub that had been previously used for rinsing the clean clothes was brought back into the kitchen. The fire in the coal stove was stoked which made the room toasty warm (most of the time), doors were closed, water was heated in both the water reservoir in the stove, as well as the tea kettle and we would start the round of Saturday night baths. The water got kind of thick as we got towards the end of 8 people, but I remember the water getting changed midway through, which probably meant either the tub was taken outside and dumped and then brought back in for round 2, or some of the water was scooped out using a bucket and then fresh, clean water was added to the tub. When the last bath was taken, Mother, who by then must have been absolutely exhausted, would get down on her hands and knees and, using the bath water, scrub the old linoleum kitchen floor. Regardless of our circumstances, she worked really hard to keep our home clean, as well as our family.

As to Elizabeth's comment about the electric stove, in my memory that was a magical time. I hadn't heard any discussion about what was going on until it happened. The stove was from the Home Ec. building at the high school. They were replacing the "old stoves" with a newer model and were selling the old ones for what must have been a good deal. And moving out of the coal stove meant the well worn linoleum would have to be replaced. I can remember the smell of the glue Dad used to lay down the new flooring, as well as the magic that happened when the wiring was done for the electric stove and it was plugged in. There were buttons on the stove that you pushed for the specific heat you needed on each burner. The buttons lite up in colors, which was "awesome". The clock had a timer on it that worked beautifully until it was struck by lightening. I can't remember who it was, but someone was standing washing dishes when the lightening struck, coming through the kitchen window and hitting the clock. It had a burned mark on it which served as a constant reminder of that event.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Throw Back Thursday--Oops it is Friday!

Beautiful Kathryn Ann and her little daughter, Kristen helping with a wedding at the Puget & Yew chapel.  1983.  That was a wonderful time for us with many family members close by.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Louise's Kitchen Komment!

Please note:  Louise's comment for Dwight's post about the Penrose kitchen!  I found it in the waiting to be reviewed to be published!  Good job, Louise.  Please don't quit trying!  Remember, you and I have a "deal" anyway.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A List of Items in the kitchen of our Penrose home 1944-1949

As best as I can remember, here are the items that were in the kitchen of our Penrose home during the years I was there between 1944 and 1949:

  • Starting on the east side of the room to the right of the door to the living room: the clock shelf, with a succession of alarm clocks, some of which worked, some of which were cussed.  The clock on the clock shelf was the monitor of our lives, time for school, time for church, time for bed.

  • Below the clock shelf was the woodbox (blue?) with kindling and paper to start fires in the kitchen and in the living room.
  • In front of the woodbox was the coal bucket.
  • Somewhere in the vicinity was the shovel, alternatively called the coal shovel or the fire shovel, used for adding small lumps of coal to the stove fires or for scooping ashes out of the ash pits of the stoves to haul outside.
  • Next, moving to the right, the coal stove for both cooking and heating.  That meant trying not to cook much during the summer heat. As I remember, four removable lids were to the left on the top of the stove.  To the far right was the hot water reservoir.  Under the stove top was the oven.  A shelf was two or three feet above the stove top where the matches were kept.

  • On the south wall were two cupboards, one with doors (to the left of Liz who is drying dishes) and one open cupboard (to the right of Louise who is washing dishes).  Mother's meager collection of pots and pans were kept in the lower cupboard on the left.  Louise and Liz are using the two battered white enamel dishpans, used for bread making and everything else, but one for washing and one for rinsing at dish time.  To Louise's immediate right is the flour bin.  And then, in retrospect, the incredibly tiny fridge that served a family of eight people.  This is the only known photo of the south side of the kitchen.
  • On the west wall just around the corner from the fridge was the wash stand on which were kept two water buckets carried in from the pump 20 yards away from the kitchen.  Also on the wash stand was an enamel wash basin.  To the immediate left on the floor was the "slop" bucket, in which leftovers and waste were dumped.  I taught Steve the principles of centrifugal force in showing him how to twirl a full slop bucket (outside, of course), over one's head without spilling a drop. Mostly, we threw waste water out the west door a little way out in the yard.  A single dipper for drinking was in the water buckets.  And, yes, we all drank out of it.
  • Above the wash stand was the medicine cabinet.   Dad kept his HIS brand shaving soap and Gillette razor and blue blades there, which we replenished each Christmas for 25 cents a package from Fryer's Pharmacy in Powell.  Also, we had aspirin, but very little else.
  • To the right of the washstand, between the washstand and the west door, was the cream separator.  The buckets of milk were carried in from the cowbarn after milking and the milk was separated from the cream after saving out enough milk in bottles in the fridge for drinking.  The cream was dumped in the cream can which reposed behind the slop bucket, where it soured and got hauled to town once a week to sell to the creamery there, and often provided the only meager ready cash for buying the week's necessities.  The skim milk was carried back out to the barn and fed to the calves.  Dad always said the skim milk gave the calves pot bellies, so I was always reluctant to drink skim milk for many years because I thought the same fate awaited me.
  • To the right of the west door out to the yard and along the north wall was the table where eight people gathered to eat.  The clock shelf is on the wall in the background and you can see the stove back and shelf.

  • This concludes my inventory of the items in the very tiny kitchen in the Penrose home in which I spent my final five years at home before leaving for college.  A few years later, Dad added an electric stove and replaced the coal stoves with gas heat.  
  • Additions and corrections and stories about what went on in this kitchen are welcome.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Important Stuff

I have debated about putting this in an email or posting it on the blog, but since the blog seems to need an infusion of energy, I decided to embarrass us all by posting this here.  If we complain or put comments or lamentations about how we can't get this done, then it does become public knowledge.  And then again, if no one reads the blog there is always the excuse of "I didn't know".  

So, on to the subject of the day.  It is time to get back to important stuff, which includes gathering photos and then other information so I can put together something wonderful (potentially) for the posterity of  RMB and MAWB.  

Now, it is important to put this in context.  Dwight says this "ain't" going to work because no one is going to do it, but I told him he was wrong,  Please let me be right, just once, even though I am the "little" sister to most and I still think I can get Steve to do what I tell him to do.

Here are the details of phase one.  From each of you, by FEBRUARY 21, 2014, I need the following: PHOTOS. Oh, yeah, you want to know what photos.  Let me clarify - I need photos of each of you, alone or with spouse; photos of your children with their children, and great grandchildren, etc.  In other words this is the pictorial part of our history.  All of these can be sent to me electronically, or send me the "true" photos (as opposed to electronic photos), I will scan them and return your photos to you.  The photos do not need to be professionally done, just clear.  They could have been taken five years ago, 10 years ago, whenever, just as long as they look like you.  Children's photos can be in groups, or all by their lonesome, however with whatever you send me, please identify the people in the photo.  If the photos are black and white, that is fine, if they are in color that is fine.  For example:  there is a wonderful picture of Louise that was taken for her 80th birthday (so she doesn't need to send that one to me, because I already have it), so now she just needs to gather her family photos.  I can also go to the blog and pull off certain photos if that is all I can get.  

Please gather what you can and get them to me.  Also, just put a quick comment on the blog that says "I got it" or some such thing so I know you have read this and I don't have to bug you individually.  We have one month for phase one.  If you have any suggestions, complaints, etc.  I am open to suggestions, but call Judy if you have complaints.  I hear she is good at solving problems.

I'll get back to you in a week with a progress report.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Steve and the big lamp

I do hate to put anything on the blog to go ahead of the wonderful pictures of Laura's beautiful day, but I keep looking at old pictures, too.  This one brings back memories, and I can put colors in this picture.  The couch was a pale aqua, the chair a reddish color, and the the six-sided lampshade with Pocahontas  (Dad's name for that panel) a definite antique.  So you think Steve was reading anything but a comic book?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Wedding Photos

Here are a few photos from Laura and Jeremy's wedding.  Sweet times!
The day was perfect - blue skies but very chilly.  Storms were coming but they held off for a couple more days.

Happy, happy, happy!

 I'm not going to list everyone's name, just know that this is the group we had for Thanksgiving dinner plus one who couldn't be at the temple, as well as filling up the house during an amazing weekend.   A few went home to sleep, but let's just say our house was full of laughter, story telling (do you remember when?), and catching up.  It was wonderful.
Paul says we look kind of old.  We are ok with old as long as happy is included in that description.

The "Tanner" girls - 

This photo is a hoot.  Kristen wanted a photo of her and Nate.  Having Gwen in the photo wasn't a surprise, but Jonah was an added bonus.  Look hard and you will find him.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Robert and Judith Petersen

For our 50th Anniversary, we had planned to have an "official" portrait done.  So here we are four years later and we finally got the deed done.  This was taken in July. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

More Santa Letter Collection

Notice this was to "Judy and Ann and Stephen" yet Dwight is mentioned.  Believers vs. non-believers? 
I have loved these letters.  We carried on the tradition with our kids, and now they are doing the same with theirs.  May there always be a letter from Santa.

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Letters From Santa

 This is the last of the Christmas letters I have - I think!

There is no year on this letter, however I suppose we could have the brown paper sack carbon dated.
The creases are permanently embedded, so just in case you can't read the letter, this is what is says: 
Dere Childrun,
It isnt that there aint no Santy Claus, Its just that some times people think there aint - maybe becoz of what seems to be afare reason - I thot thats what u thot.  Then you hang up your stockings.!  That restores my faith in people but leaves me slightly unprepared this year.  Pleze try again next year.  But if that long legged grasshopper thinks I goofed last year, what has he to sa for himself!
Lots of love to everybody.  Be good for another year one day at a time -
Santy Claus

Another letter - again no date.  This one is written on a wide brown paper sack and so it doesn't fit on my scanner.
"Help!  Help!  I'm snowed under - all this mail!  I'll just have to write one the bunch of you.  Dang it, when you wrote me as you did I just had to kick thru with a little - nothing you want, of course, but a token.  Liz, I hear you had your chance.  That relieves me.  I'd like to add some more p.s.'s but I gotta go.  And when yu gotta -
Santy Claus

This must have been a year for personal replies to our letters.  The responsibility of who wrote to whom must have been shared this year. 

Among Mother's treasures I found the letter below tucked away in her handkerchief box when it came my way.  Amazing how Santa shared our letters.  Where was our "right to privacy"?    I have no idea how old I was - again no date.

The following letter was written when it was just Judy, Steve and me at home.

And the following letter was written probably my last year at home before I graduated from high school. That was the year Dad and Mother gave me my jewelry box.  Steve and I decided to forgo the annual Christmas stocking routine and were gently chastised for our decision.
Fun memories from a long ago time.  Can you smell the peanut brittle?  Or the carrot pudding?  Or remember how it always seemed so magical to go on the last outdoor trek before climbing into bed?  Remember how the clear late night sky would be full of twinkling stars and how we would try to guess which one was the brightest.  And then, in the house there was the newly decorated Christmas tree with twinkling lights and several homemade ornaments, along with the tinsel that had been rescued from the year before - and that felt a little like magic, all by itself.  However, none of this would have meant anything without the little white house that was full of love and family. Christmas memories are a great source of warmth, even on very cold and snowy days.  I love you all.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas 1955

Elizabeth captured this story-telling  picture of Mother on a cold Christmas Morning in 1955.  Details reveal that she had on her milking jeans so barn chores had been part of her day.  However, she put on one of her dressiest shirts in honor of the day.

Mother had babied a geranium through the fall and into the cold of December.  It sat proudly on the desk with light from that east window to keep it green.  I was careless and knocked it off the desk, breaking the pot and smashing the plant/ She didn't get mad at me, but I could tell it was a big loss to her. 

I was determined to find a way to replace it and eventually found this one at McGlathery's Florist in Powell.  It was one of the most expensive gifts I ever bought. I got it home somehow and hid it in the bottom of our tiny closet till Christmas morning.  The recorded smile was worth every effort and it is one of the most remembered gifts that I gave.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

University of Wyoming 1926

Since winter weather in Laramie has been so cold this season, it is a good time to look back to "other winters" and the university campus.  When Mother was there in 1926, winter attire did not include pants for women.  Brrrr.  So glad that I was able to scan this page from her original album. 

Anybody else want to finish the story?

Monday, December 2, 2013

We Turn the Calendar to December and There She Is!

Happy Birthday to Ann



Funny     Grit   Wise   Loving

Caring   peacemaker

with much love from your brothers and sisters.......

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Conversation Between Dwight and Russell M. Blood August 1992 (Continued)

I got my Social Security number on 12/12/36, so it must have been the winter of 1936-37 when I stayed at Brasher's wash house.  Drove into Cody. (Not sure what this comment means).  The mice and bedbugs were bad, I set 12 traps and listened to them snap.

Fall 1937: Louise started school.  I made cutouts (western silhouette scenes cut on scroll saw from walnut or other plywood), and made small inlays.  The year Louise was born (1931) I worked at the ranch (Dewey Riddle Ranch in Sunlight above Cody).

After I worked at the ranch, Dewey gave me an old team of horses and a light rig to go back to Penrose.  I stopped at John Nielson's (don't know who or where) and stayed overnight, cut across Sand Coulee, stayed at Oscar's (Uncle Oscar House) in Ralston, then to Penrose.  Took the horses to Grandpa's (Grandpa Wasden who lived nearby in Penrose).  The horses had sore shoulders.  In the spring, I traded the roadster (Mom's prize Model A roadster she had bought with her teaching money before marriage), team, light rig for a payment on the Penrose place (bought from Maude Moody).

We got married on December 24 1930 and went to Denver; we came back to Penrose and Louise was born in Billings.  Mother (Minnie) stayed at the folks (her parents, the Wasdens); went to Billings when Louise was born.  I went back to the ranch (Sunlight) for the summer); I was just doing chores.  I remodeled an old school house at Mary Riddle's; I took the roof off, raised it two logs high, put in new windows and a new roof, chinked the cracks with plaster.  Mother came and stayed with Mary Riddle until I was through. (To be continued).  (Someone: figure out how far it was to drive a team of old horses from Sunlight to Penrose and sketch out a rough map, showing Sand Coulee).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Visiting the Exclusive Orem Back-yard Chicken Farm

 If only someone would tell me how to get these pictures in the proper order for my story, I would appreciate it.  Anyway, this is one of the more exotic chickens in Ann's flock - does she lay eggs?speckled eggs?
 The problem with chickens is that they have to be fed and water supplied.  We know about milkmaids - is there such a thing as chicken maids?  If so, see below.  Chicken-keeper with a smile!  That's Ann!
 And, here is the famous chicken coop that Paul built - complete with canvas wrap so that the snow will stay away from the chickens.  This repaves the infamous blue tarp that was Ann's nemeses last winter.
Note at the back of the coop on for far right side, the laying boxes that jut out from the coop - Gathering eggs is simple - lift the lid and there are the eggs.  What cooperative hens!  
It was fun to see how well this whole system works, but it has taken quite a bit of effort for those fabulous eggs.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Notes From Conversation Between Dwight Blood and Russell M. Blood, August 1992 Part 1

First, as to new blog decorations.  Here is Liz's famous map of the country where we grew up.  Second, I know that some of my redecorating makes the blog look too busy.  But here are the changes anyway.  The picture of the five (excluding Dwight) Blood children was taken when Mom started off for church on a Sunday morning driving Grandpa's truck, with us in the back of the truck.  When we got home, I lined everyone up along the iris on the path to the barn and, hence, the famous pictures were born.  Too bad I never thought of having someone else take another picture with me in it.

Second, in August of 1992 I went to Cody to see Dad and Elna.  I think I drove up there by myself.  I had this long conversation with Dad about the ins and outs and whereabouts of our early life and took these notes. I was always grateful that I had this conversation and took these notes. Dad died the following March so the August visit was the last time I saw him.  I just unearthed the notes today while doing the first resorting and housecleaning I have done in a hundred years and wanted to share them with the rest of you.  Feel free to provide comments and clarifications, preferably in separate blog posts where we will all be sure to see them.

Here is the beginning of Dad's comments, pretty much as I recorded them at the time.

1932--the Penrose house.

In 1933-34 (I think) I spent the summer in Sunlight (see above map), back to Penrose in March.  Looked after the ranch (the ranch of Dad's uncle and aunt, Dewey and Elsie Riddle, where he had gone after leaving Denver) while Dewey and Elsie went to New York.  Dwight wanted to stay up all night.  Made chairs, chest, that winter.

The year when we went to Lanchburys  (Lanchburys was a rather primitive log original stage station--wasn't it?--where we stayed for a few months.  I remember coming  home one day when the Park County Sheriff was there shooting dogs who had destroyed a bunch of sheep).  I remember looking out the window at the darkness outside when, I think, Mom and Dad had gone somewhere for the evening, maybe a dance?). (Further note:  the Lanchburys were good friends of my aunt and uncle, Elna and Oscar House).  So: The year that we went to Lanchburys I worked for Molesworth (Molesworth was a maker of classic Western furniture).  We stayed in Cody the summer before, then that fall stayed at Lanchburys until late October or November.  Then we moved to the little house in Cody on the Powell highway. (I remember being fascinated by the car lights flashing on the bedroom walls at night since we were always so isolated in Penrose).  Come spring, we moved to Old Man Knott's, then moved back to Penrose in the fall. (Was Old Man Knott's a yellow house?)  I remember playing in the ditch in the front yard there). Then I (Dad) stayed at Brashers.  I got the scroll saw, stayed in their wash house.  (I remember that one time Mom drove us kids up to Cody to see Dad when he stayed in the wash house.  I remember seeing the scroll saw.  We stopped, I think, at the Golden Rule Store in Powell on the way to Cody).  Work slowed down (for Molesworth, I presume), so I quit.  (to be continued)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sometime in the Sixties

Facebookees have started a "throwback Thursday" tradition.  That tradition might be fun for us to do, either to rerun photos or even find some we have not yet used on the blog.  While I cannot claim to be the original owner of this picture, Dwight has shared and so I hope I am at liberty to use.
Year?  I'm not sure, but I believe Mother is wearing the beautiful dress that she bought for Ann's wedding.  Her hair is still long and after being "waved" it is pulled back into a bun. 
Is Dwight really taller than Daddy or is he just standing on higher ground?  Wonderful and rare photo.
Left to right:  Elizabeth, Dwight, Russell and Minnie Blood

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Louise's Washington Visit

 So happy to see Louise that I couldn't quit talking long enough for a picture.  Diana, her husband Larry, and Cheryl completed the company. 
The day flew fast.  We talked.  We laughed.  We explored "Jane Eyre".  There were quilts to share.  Family photos to copy. A trip to town for plumbing parts for the men folk.  Lunch was Butternut Squash Soup and Rosemary Bread (w/o the rosemary) and some pasta/chicken salad.

Here are the promised recipes to Cheryl (Louise, please tell her they are here.) for the bread and soup:
                               Rosemary Bread
1 packet dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp)
2 Cup warm water
1 T sugar
2 tsp salt
4 Cups flour
1-2 tsp fresh Rosemary plus more for topping
Olive Oil, Corn meal, Melted butter and salt

Disolve yeast in warm water and sugar.  Add flour, salt, and 1-2 tsp rosemary and stir until blended, DO NOT KNEAD.  Cover and let rise until double. Remove dough.  It will be sticky.  I put oil on my hands for shaping.  Shape long loaf on a cookie sheet coated in oil and sprinkled with corn meal.  Let rise another hour.  Brush top with melted butter and lightly sprinkle with more rosemary and sat.  Bake @425 for 10 min. Reduce heat to 375 and bake until done.  (5-8 minutes)

The Squash Soup is an adaptation of  a Williams-Sonoma recipe

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Sweet onion chopped
In large soup pot, melt butter. When foamy add onions and cook till tender, about 5 minutes.

3 lbs of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
6 cups chicken broth
Add broth, squash and cook until tender, about 20 minutes

4 apples peeled and chopped (Fuji or Granny Smith work equally well)
Pinch of nutmeg
Add apples and nutmeg, simmer till apples are tender about 15 minutes.

Cool soup and puree in a blender.  Reheat gently and then add
2 cups of half and half.  Serves 12

Louise, Bob, Cheryl, Larry and Diana

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The End

I did continue to learn things last week.  One day I was asking Eli if he really liked first grade.  He gave me this incredulous look and with a little "Duh" informed me he is in second grade. Ok, so I blew that one. I also learned that even in today's world there is nothing that tastes as good to a sick child as homemade chicken noodle soup and tapioca pudding.  Whew, it was nice to know that old fashioned cures are still appreciated.
I also learned it takes exactly 65 minutes to get from Brigham City to Preston and that is with driving through Logan with all the stoplights. And I can find the DI in Logan without any problem, but there was no sign of lace in any form. It was neat to spend a little time with Elizabeth and Ron before the snow flies. The drive to Preston is wonderful therapy.  The farmers were finishing cleaning out their fields and I felt just a little nostalgic for a long ago life.  We didn't have much time to talk about anyone, but we did talk about making little gray stuffed mice to sit on a bigger stuffed pumpkin, which was very important.

There were still piano lessons, football checkout, birthday party, choir concert (which, sad to say I didn't attend), basketball practice and a game, pajama day (when the second grader got to wear his pj's to school all day), and then we got to Wednesday with no school.  There was mutual and other goings on that kept life busy and kids happy.  However, I did get to do one really great thing.  I took Savannah to a wonderful little quilt and fabric store in Brigham City.  I think she has the quilt bug, which is such an exciting thing to see.
I was really concerned about what I was going to do with school out, but we cleaned a little, the kids played a lot, and the anticipation of their parents coming home created an excitement that was fun to watch.  I did bring the children to Orem on Thursday for a change of scenery and then met Kristen and Matt at the Maverick Center in SLC, which has become a meeting place when we need to send kids back and forth.  In the end, even though I am quite exhausted, I am thankful for the time I got to spend with some really neat grandchildren. Savannah asked Kristen if Grandma had ever told her to "stuff it" when she was a little girl.  Guess I must have said "stuff it" at some point in the week.  Hmmm, I wonder if it worked!

One of the very most important things I was reminded of is that as hard as it is, the little moments we get to spend with grown children and grandchildren are such a treat.  Difficult, yes, but ever so worth it. I am thankful for the time, thankful I survived, and thankful Kristen and Matt didn't decide to stay in Paris. Life is good.

In the Meantime, While Dwight is Cogitating .....

Ann did come to see me last Tuesday, and I took several pictures of her just to prove that she was here, BUT, my photographic skills let me down, because, as you can see if you enlarge this picture, it is blurry beyond repair.  Drat it.  Now, she has to come back.  Anyway, we spent a very busy few hours, solving sewing problems, going through stuff, including sorting seashells, etc., and talking a great deal with a little lunch in between.  I think she made it - and life may be a little bit back to normal by now.  And just to alert Judy, who goes to Value Village daily, Ann is on the hunt for lace in any form, even perhaps curtains?  Or, maybe someone else has some?????
Now, Dwight has had a lot of time to think about things, so he can give us his weekly update, right?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Deep Thoughts and Errant Philosophies for October 15 2013

Most of my thoughts could hardly be classified as deep, and everyone already knows all of my philosophies are errant.  Nonetheless, here is the rundown:

  • Ann brought me a box of Honeycrisp seconds for 7 bucks, as in 26 bucks if they had all been beautiful, unblemished, and of comparable size.  From this box, I made 2 batches of applesauce and one big batch of Mother's relish.  I have 7 apples left over.  I was reminded of how Mother would wait for the windfalls in Hart's orchard on the way to Garland where we would pick them up for something like 50 cents a bushel.  Now, sadly, the beautiful apple orchard has long gone to pot and no one has tended it for decades
  • We have been to opthalmologists, cardiologists, oncologists, neurologists, ENTs, dentists, oral surgeons, psychologists, nephrologists, and zodiacologists.  Despite having thousands and thousands of dollars worth of tests and torture administered to me, no one could find anything seriously wrong.  Echo and EKG, normal.  MRI torture machine, stable.  Blood tests, normal.  Attitude, outstanding. Faults, too numerous to mention (Velna says she doesn't have time to list them.)
  • Judy has a new camera but she hardly uses it.
  • Liz is becoming a professional photographer.
  • Steve is now looking at Muddy Gap Wyo for a place to relocate.
  • Louise is living it up in Washington.
  • Ann is having the time of her life.
  • Dwight is taking pictures of The Mountain each and every minute.
  • I love my new immersion blender.  Ten bucks at ShopKo.  Seventy bucks (half price) for new Food Saver so now I won't get discriminated for buying single pounds of hamburger for $3.95 when you can get a big batch for $2.69.  Old one died two or three years ago.  Been buying expensive hb ever since.
  • We are going to try and cook up (so to speak) a food and recipe blog so those of us who know nothing can learn from those who know all.  Reviewing legal requirements and such for recipe reproduction, of which there are many (legal limitations, not recipes).
  • Something was floating around a week or two ago about a resort in Ralston.
  • Connie Sutton wants to know where Steve is.  Steve, get in touch with him.  He'd like that. (Powell).  Velna heard from his wife, who was Laramie High classmate. 
  • There are 2 gazillion labels for this blog and I know not where to plug this in.
Until I have more deep thoughts, which may take awhile to clear out the old ones.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day Three or Am I Still Alive

Friday was  - let's just say we all survived.  It started with me being awakened at 6:00.  Can you believe an 8th grader gets up at 5:30 and that isn't even for early morning seminary?  I woke Lucas up at 6:15, took Savannah to her piano lesson at 6:30, back home to make sure breakfast was getting eaten, lunches were made, shoes were on the right feet, and then back to pick up Savannah at 7:00.  Older kids out the door at 7:10 to catch the bus, high schooler out the door by 7:25 (whatever did he eat for breakfast?).  I do know the leftover TacoTime did serve a great purpose for lunch.  Then it was time to wake up the little first grader, make sure he had on matching shoes, fed him yummy oatmeal, made an extremely healthy lunch sandwich out of peanut butter and marshmallow cream (called a fluffernutter- who would have guessed that one), reminded him he HAD to brush his teeth before he went out the door, and then there was time to catch my breath.  I must admit that as I watched him cross the street (in the crosswalk) I wondered if I should cheer or go put my feet up.

But, there was not time for that. I had things to do.  First there was a hunt to go on to locate a missing roller for the stove drawer.  I remember those days when there just weren't enough hours in the day to do everything I wanted to do, so it was only the really important things, like eating and clean socks that got done until life settled down.  I ran into a really neat little store in Brigham City where they could order the parts and that was done.  Next it was dishes, brush my teeth and comb my hair and head out to pay the nice people in the nice little store. You will never guess what was on the same block - a wonderful little quilt/fabric store that was begging to be checked out.  What a great place to get rejuvenated. I bought a pattern, enjoyed adult conversation with the pleasant women who were working in the store and came home ready to tackle the remainder of the day.

Kids home from school, guinea pigs fed (gross and stinky), pizza ordered (yes, that was on the list of instructions), date night for the high schooler, movie night at home for the youngest, birthday party at a friends house, dishes done, homework done, cats fed, and that was all before 7:00.  TV is tricky to watch - I can't figure out their ROKU system so am going cold turkey on that one.  Now I know why our kids, when they were little, went to bed by 7:30-8:00.

Now came the bigger challenge - waiting up for the birthday party boy to get home and the date young man to check in. I did get some fabric cut out, patterns traced for a wedding dress, and a few games of solitaire played while waiting.   Just as I am about to crash, the door opens and the reports of how their night went are given.  Sleep was such a relief. I am gaining an incredible respect for grandparents who find themselves raising grandchildren.

At least on Saturday there was no school, so we could just get up at our leisure. Time for some shopping, running to a birthday breakfast and then to football check out, some house cleaning - seriously is that even necessary?  Who is going to notice?

Can't wait for the Sabbath.  A day of rest sounds ever so good.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day One

My Adventure began yesterday (Thursday) about 2:00 when Kristen and Matt left for the airport.  Their suitcases were stuffed to the brim and my first thought was something about just how long do they expect to be gone.  The excitement began about 2:52 when Eli, the first grader came bouncing in the front door.  With a grin from ear to ear, he plunked his backpack on the table and said something about how glad he was that school was done for the day.  When I asked him if it was a fun day at school, he gave me a look of "are you kidding." The look on his face when I asked him about homework suggested it would be wise to give him a little breathing room.  A snack and a little game on the iPad and he was back to good humor and homework did get done, which just consisted of a little reading.  I had to write a note to his teacher about something that was supposed to get done and since I didn't have a clue, please give him a little time for his mom to get home.

Before long the almost 12 year old came home and there was a major sigh of relief to be some place where they felt very safe.  Shoes came off, backpacks were stashed, except he did dig out his homework and did get it done very quickly.  I suspected it was to hurry and get school done so he could have a break. I must admit I didn't have to nag or bribe or anything.  I was impressed.

Then about 5:00 I got a call from Savannah, who walks to the Brigham City Temple every Thursday with a group of her friends where they do baptisms.  How do I complain about having to go pick her up.  What a good girl.

Dinner was supposed to be leftovers, but Kristen had warned me that there weren't many leftovers.  We took a vote and TacoTime won.  Now, that was an adventure.  The drive through was so slow it was crazy, and then when we got up to the window one of the kids remembered I had forgotten something for Brooks.  What do you do?  I drove around the block, but decided not to go through the drive through.  Surely going inside would be much quicker.  Not!  We finally made it home, Brooks got home and we proudly said we had gotten him something from TacoTime.  He had eaten at his friend's.  Cold TacoTime for lunch today seemed to be appealing.  Seriously???

Then as things were starting to settle down, Lucas comes to me and with his big brown eyes said something about how his class had won some kind of a competition and as a reward they could bring treats today.  Tell me how to turn down someone who says something about how it would be alright if he really didn't have a treat, but it would be really neat if he could take something.  So, off we went to the local market to buy some candy (I wonder if that is on the approved list) and I also bought some BarKeepers Friend to help scrub a couple of places.

It was finally bedtime, which included scriptures and prayer.  The discussion about who's turn it was to pray hasn't changed since Paul and I had a house full of little people.  Sleep was such a blessing.