Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mia Lilly McNeill

Okay, so this has not been a format for new great-grandbabies. I realize that Louise and Dwight have many, but Mia is only our third, born to Mandy (Dorothy's) and John McNeill in Tucson yesterday, weighing in at 9 lbs, 6 oz. Mother and child doing well. Love this modern technology that allows us to see right away, even if we can't be there in person. I'm sure she is is the spitting image of her mother, but she was born on her father's birthday!

Canning Time

Ron and I canned peaches yesterday with relative ease. Hot water came from the tap or was heated on the cooktop that is just steps from the sink. Lots of ice instantly cooled the blanched peaches. Hot jars, run through a rinse in the dishwasher were quickly filled, and then taken to the garage where Ron had removed the vehicles, and set up the cooker with water heated on the camp stove. Comparatively easy!
Remember when canning (and freezing) season began with green peas in mid-July, and ended up in mid-September with apples? Green beans, corn, peaches, pears, apricots, beets, tomatoes, even chickens, etc. Labor Day always seemed to be tomato canning day - we truly labored. Canning was a full family affair, with only Dad (who had other farm worries to take care of), escaping from the tasks of bringing in buckets of water from the outdoor pump to heat on the stove to wash the bottles and lids, clean the vegetables, blanche the vegetables on the wood-coal kitchen range, and all the other tasks that took place before the finished bottles could be put in either the copper boiler to water bath them, or into the old pressure cooker to be sure the produce would be safe to eat. Most of the food we ate was produced on the farm. The work was hard, the kitchen hot from the fire in the stove, but we got through it.
It was always a feeling of great satisfaction when the many shelves in the root cellar were full of newly canned produce, the potatoes in one corner, and the carrots covered with sand next to them. Cabbages were saved (one year, Mother borrowed Grandma's sauerkraut knife and made a crock of sauerkraut), as were all kinds of winter squash. We never had pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but the squash pie tasted just as good. Eggs would be saved in crocks of a glutinous liquid called water glass, because when the extreme cold weather came, the hens would quit laying eggs. Going to the cellar in the winter time was never fun. There was a pull-back door at the top of the stairs, wooden stairs going down to the cellar, and another door going into the cellar. We carried a lantern or a flashlight to quickly spot the desired items, and then scooted out. Sometimes the spiders would spin their webs, including the hated black widow spiders with their red hourglass stomachs. Then we would call Mother and she would come and dispatch them. We worked hard to preserve our food, but it was reassuring to know that we would not go hungry.
In the early 1990's, I tutored a family who had escaped from Poland before the Iron Curtain had fallen in that country. They lived for a time in West Germany, and then were sponsored to come to Olympia by a family who lived there. The father had been a veterinarian on a collective farm, his wife taught Russian, and they had three children. The mother told me that the first time she was taken to an American grocery - variety store, she was left standing with the grocery cart while her guide went to look for something. Standing there, surrounded with the plenty that is in our grocery stores was so surreal to her, that she came close to having a panic attack. We take so many blessings for granted in our daily lives!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Childhood Toys

Remember these puzzles? There was the winter that Mother made sets of these to sell and we were surprised with a set of our very own under our Christmas tree. The Horse, is from that very old set. The others were a newer vintage. All are treasured.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ashley Paul

Kevan and Karen Paul's daughter, Ashley, was married on Friday the 22nd of Aug. to Shawn Aimee in the Salt Lake temple. This picture was taken in a pre-weddding photo shoot. I don't have any pictures yet taken the day of the weddding

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jacob and Kemp Petersen Stop in Riverton on the Way to Provo and the MTC

Jacob Petersen is on his way to spend three months in the MTC, on his way to Japan for his mission.  Fortunately, he told us he had four years of Japanese in high school. Imagine, in Powell High School, we were lucky to have Spanish and French.


Mary Lynn took these photos on an ominous but uneventful evening.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mother and the house plan

The late winter and spring months of 1968 were spent determining what the new Washington house would look like. After all, Mother and Daddy had been living in the house in Penrose for 23 years. It had been constructed during World War II, and there had been many practical savings. They had only had plumbing and central heating in the house for about 10 years. Now, this new exciting prospect was before them, and Mother meticulously drew up her dream floor plan, made three-dimensional paper furniture, carefully measuring such things as how much clearance you need to pull a chair out from the table, etc. This house was to be pretty, but very practical, and would actually have a bath and a half! Sheer luxury. Mother planned well. There were few places in the house that she would have done over. It is sad to think that she only lived in the completed house for about 11 years.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Orange Cake Recipe for Dwight

Orange Cake Recipe from Aunt Cindy
What a treat this was!
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (or sour 1 cup whole milk by adding 1 Tbsp vinegar)
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup ground raisins
orange rind
(There are no mixing directions. It is assumed that the cook knows to cream the shortening and sugar until fluffy, beat in an egg, sift the dry ingredients together and them them alternately with the buttermilk, and fold in the ground raisins and orange rind last.)
Bake in "moderate" (about 350 degrees) oven. There is no time given, so check after app 20 minutes - maybe?
When baked, use juice of one orange mixed with powdered sugar until syrupy and spread on top while hot. (This is definitely breaking from the tradition of this recipe, but if you were to take a fork and gently poke holes over the cake immediately after removing from the oven, then pour the orange juice syrup over the cake, it will soak in much better. I might even use a little more juice than from just one orange to give the whole cake that yummy flavor, rather than just around the edges where it would really soak in.)

The Rest of the Old Cottonwood

Winds in Wyoming howl like none other. We were respectful and ran for cover, just as when the thunder and lightening hit. Somehow I have a picture in my mind, that it was Mother who rescued Steve, when he was down the lane as the wind blew.

The wind-fallen cottonwood became our fort and it occupied every minute of our playtime. Up till then, I had envied Elizabeth because she climbed trees and had her fortress in the old willow. I could find her there with a book, out of the reach of mother's voice calling her for duty.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Summer the Cottonwood Tree Blew Over

As we sat on the patio this afternoon, the Idaho breeze was getting pretty strong. Our neighbors have a cottonwood tree in their yard that was planted in the late 1800s. It is a giant. It is so tall that even when the trees in our yard are still, there is a wind current that stirs the top branches. When the turkey buzzards are migrating, they like to linger, just enjoying riding the currents as they circle above the tree. The eagles and hawks do the same, so we sometimes have quite a show.
There is nothing to compare with the sound of the wind in the the big cottonwood tree leaves - I suppose the pleasant associations date back to childhood and warm summer nights when we would go to sleep with the windows open, and could hear the sound of the breeze in the cottonwoods over at "Emmy's", about 1/2 a block away, along with the sound of the river, even farther. Those cottonwoods are all gone now, and the river has been decimated to a comparatively small trickle, as more and more water upstream has been diverted for irrigation purposes.
One summer, either in the late 1940's or the early '50's, Steve was on his way to the mail box, and a terrific wind burst came up. As I recall, Dwight ran to get Steve, and he was all right. However, one of the giant (to us) cottonwood trees blew over, and we had fun climbing and playing with the now horizontal tree. I'm sorry to leave Judy's picture out, because somewhere I have a picture of her with her jubilant smie, sitting on the upper big part of the trunk, swinging her heels. All I've found so far are these two of Ann and Steve, still looking pretty pleased with themselves for having climbed such a huge tree.

Oh Give Me A Home.........

Where the buffalo roam..........

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mince Meat for Pie

I would have scanned the original and posted it, however it is so smeared that I don't think it would be legible. So, as second best, here is the mince meat recipe. Mother's card says "Mother's" in the upper left hand corner, indicating this was her mother's (Tilda Wasden) recipe. There is no notation about where Tilda got this recipe.

Mince Meat for Pie
4 lbs of lean boiled beef chopped fine
1 lb suet
8 lbs fresh green apples
2 lbs raisins
2 lbs currants
1/2 lb citron & lemon peel cut fine
2 lb sugar
1 T salt
1 t pepper
1 t alspice
1t mace
1t cloves
2 t cinnamon
(1 lb. dried fruit 6 lb fresh)
Cider enough to make a batter. Heat it thru and when cold add 1/2 pt brandy.
Fruit juices may be used in place of cider.

Recipes You Wish You had?

Do any of you want the recipe for Filled cookies (fun memory), Mince Meat Pie (Grandma's recipe that says "add 1/2 pt. brandy), etc? Please let me know and I will post them. I don't want to bother you with ones you don't want, but am happy to share ones that you would like to have.

Plethora of Tomatoes

Hopefully Dwight will find plenty of tomatoes at the local produce stand. For others, who have had a better crop this year, have you ever wondered what Mother's secret was to making tomato soup out of fresh tomatoes? There are lots of new recipes available, but this one might be worth trying.
Cream of Tomato Soup
1/2 can tomatoes (used bottled tomatoes)
1 qt. milk
1/4 t soda
1 t. salt
2 t. sugar
2 T butter
Boil tomatoes, add soda, rub thru sieve [Note: I don't remember Mother ever doing this???), and add to scalded milk; add sugar, salt, and butter. SErve immediately.

This is for Steve and Louise - Pinwheel Cookies

This recipe is one Steve mentioned in one of his comment about Louise. Mother got it from Mrs. Pattison (who was Mrs. Pattison?). I have keyed in this recipe exactly as Mother had written it.

Pinwheel Cookies
Cream 1/2 cup buter, add gradually 1/2 c sugar; add 1 beaten egg yolk, beat the mixture well. Add 3 T milk, add 1 1/2 c flour which have been sifted with 1 1/2 t Bkg Pdr. & 1/8 t salt: add 1/2 t vanilla. Divide dough into halves. To 1/2 add 1 sq chocolate - melted. Roll each half out thin. Place one on top of other, roll up & slice off.
(The remainder is up to you, i.e temp of oven, how long to bake, grease the cookie sheet, etc.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Old Time Recipe

Elizabeth's comment about the food that was prepared for the threshing crew sent me on a hunt to see if I still had this clipping from Mother's recipe collection. This recipe was taken off the KOOL-AID powder package in the early 1950's, or thereabout. So, just for fun, here you go:
Frozen Dessert
(Automatic Refrigerator)
1 pkg KOOL-AID (any flavor) (I liked grape the best!)
1 cup Sugar
2 cups Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
1. Dissolve KOOL-AID and sugar in milk; turn into freezing tray and freeze 3/4 to 1 hour (until slushy).
2. Whip cream (well chilled) until stiff.
3. Add partly frozen KOOL-AID mixture to whipped cream and whip just enough to mix well, but keep cold as possible.
4. Return quickly to freezing tray and freeze at coldest point. Requires no more stirring. When frozen, set control back to normal. Makes over one quart.

If desired lighter, beat 2 egg whites fluffy with 2 tablespoons sugar and fold into mixture before final freezing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?

If I have posted this previously, forgive. Today is a hot summer day and I was just remembering how these two dry land farmers acted the first time they saw the Pacific Ocean in 1961. This is the only time I think that I ever saw Dad's bare legs. They loved the cool water and played like two kids. What a fun day that was.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Now The Day Is Over

This brief, but beautiful sunset blessed our western sky as seen from our front porch.
Take just a minute and enlarge the photo.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to 1944 - Stephen Michael Blood, Now Known as Steve

Steve was a star to us. This picture, taken while he was in his bassinet by Uncle Norman Sorsensen, is the only one I know of during his first years.
1944 was such an eventful year. We moved back to Penrose in February on George Washington's birthday. Steve was born on May 30. Wasden's came to stay with Grandma and Grandpa, and we got introduced to our cousins and Monopoly.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Little Bit of Here and Now

I have debated about putting this on the blog, but the nice thing is if someone wants to skip over this posting, it is easily done. I just wanted to give you a quick insight into our neat week at Brian Head, where our family got together for four days. We were at almost 10,000 feet high, and I think we all found our energy level depleted, as well as our appetites. We were missing John and his family, and Jim's wife Lori (her mother was having some serious medical problems), and so there were definite holes in humor, and the late night discussions, but we did the best we could.

This "cabin" (behind the trees) belongs to the parents of a friend of Nate and Bridget's. It made for a lovely escape and a wish from all of us for a place to hide from the real world, when the pressures become more than we want to deal with.

We were preparing to head for home, had spent the morning cleaning this monster cabin, and were all very tired. Front row: Laura, Kristen, Ann (the sun definitely bleached out the color in my hair - when did it get so gray?), Paul and Beth. Back row: Jim, Greg and Nathan.

This is the whole group. The sun hit just as we were trying to finish up and there was no way we were ever going to get all of these cute little imps in one place again, so we just went with the picture. Front row: Savannah, Isabel, Jessica, Jack, Shaun, Lucas, Jacob, Kaitlin; Second row: Jim, Pheobe, Shane, Shea, Brooks, Laura and Kristen; Back row, Paul and Ann, Bridget holding Jonah, Nathan, Kim, Colby, Spencer, Kelsey (peaking around), Beth and Jerry, Greg, and Matt holding Eli.

Bonsai trees at Brian Head.

There was a little bird's nest in the wreath on the front door to the cabin. She would fly in and out of her nest, scold us like crazy for disturbing her peace, fly into the cabin when the door was opened, and then the kids would form the bird patrol chain across the upstairs rec. room, open the French doors and shoo her outside.

It was a wonderful week - and exhausting. We should be ready to do it again, in a year or two.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wasden siblings and spouses, 1973-4

Back row: Aunt Sofe Johnson, Aunt Cindy (Lucinda) Sorensen, and Aunt Lorraine Wasden.
Front row: Uncle Norman Sorensen, Uncle Brooks Wasden, and Aunt Elna House, holding a doll that is wearing Uncle David Wasden's dress and woolen petticoat.
I took these pictures on Aunt Sofe Johnson's front porch - I think it was 1973. Brooks and Lorraine had come to visit, so Elna picked me up from Powell, and we went down.

Elizabeth, 5th grade

This picture was taken the last day of school in 1946, as I left 5th grade. Ruth Kells took it - You wouldn't know Arlene Terry, who lived in Powell for a short time; the Terry's lived in a mobile home on the east side, and Arlene and her mother came to Church. Next is Shirley Kells, who was a friend from first to 12th grade and sometimes beyond, and then me, with the bow in my hair, and my penny loafers (with a penny in each one). I was still taller than most in my class.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

1974 Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice

This is the famed "clean up your home" message.

From time to time the First Presidency sends out letters to be read to the congregation. These are two such letters from 1974. (Stake YW days) As you remember we were short on oil then and had lines at the gas stations. How to address the situation is good, solid counsel. Maybe it would also work in 2008.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Penrose Harvest

By mid-August, it is time to start thinking about harvest. How early do you cut the wheat? The rows are crowned with visible heads of grain. Every harvest holds the hope of financial support to make it through another year.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sugar Beets in the Back Yard, Penrose 1944

This picture of Judy is such a classic. I hope that someone else has the entire picture - why I cut it out, I don't know. I have loved the happy look on her face, while she has the kitten in a very firm grip, and it looks like another kitten winding itself around her leg. I always wondered if the cat scratched her, and that is why she is not too happy in the last picture of her and Ann. Oh, and incidentally, the wind never blows in Wyoming! (Done, Liz. ) 
We have always talked about having sugar beets growing in our back yard when we moved into the new house in February, 1944; here is living proof. Uncle Norman Sorensen took these pictures sometime that summer when the beets were fair sized, on a Sunday afternoon. History includes the coal bin in the near background with (unseen) washtubs hanging on the side, with the chicken coop with a slant shed roof in the background. Dwight looks a little dubious about having his picture taken - he was usually the taker, and we have him to thank for many pictures of our childhood.

I would have been about ready to go into the 4th grade. Love the tidy way my belt is on. This dress was pink - one that Mother manufactured. It never really fit, but that didn't bother me because it was a pretty color. Louise was still a bit lanky - just getting ready to bloom when she hit high school - but this was going to be the 8th grade, after all.

I love this picture of Ann (with a kitty) and Judy. Now, you can see the wash tub, and the chickens beyond. How we hated those brown long stockings and the garter belts that held them up. Mine were always breaking in the most embarrassing places and times. Judy, are you nursing a scratch? Or just getting to the end of your tehter. It looks like Ann would not be placated. Steve was still a baby, and was not in these pictures, although there is a picture of him in the bassinett, which will be posted later. I certainly don't remember the day these pictures were taken, but they are a key bit of our Penrose history.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

First Grade, spring of 1942

Eureka! I found it. You can see what five years later did to improve the quality of class pictures in the Powell School systems. Judy's and Ann's pictures are much better. Because of the poor quality of the picture, I can only identify a few - probably none that many of you knew. The big boy on the back row on the left is Tommy Bushey, who tormented me. In the middle of the row, 6th from the left, is Bobby Bruce, whom Dwight used to torment me about (why?). Next to him was Marilyn Bassett who moved to Meeteetse when her father bought the drug store there. Next to her is Birney Cox, whom we used to fight over - obviously Marilyn was winning there. As you can see, my height was a detriment from the beginning of my school career, and continued on until a few people caught up when we were in high school. Shirley Dalke is recognizable, as is Blanche Coorough. My first grade teacher was named Miss Johnson, and Miss Johnson across the hall was the other first grade teacher. Perhaps a little confusing?
The old merry-go-round was fun, but only during recesses when the younger children were out. Older students made it go too fast, and that was especially disastrous after lunch.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I couldn't resist

It was fun to dig this out. Judy and I had the same first grade teacher, Ruth Coe , if I am remembering correctly. She wrote to me until the year I got married. She never married and had moved to Las Vegas, after she left Powell.
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Monday, August 4, 2008

See what I stole from Judy's new blog!

Sleeping Dog, Crouching Cougar

Well, not really crouching. Remember this shot taken by Mother at the ranch in Sunlight? This is one sleepy dog or else the cat is very quiet. Whatever, it is a good reminder that the mountains were full of critters of which to beware. (Take a look at Steve's grissly bear on his blog.) I like the detail in the well chinked cabin in the background.
I wonder how much of the summers working there was an "adventure". When it was our turn, Mother let Ann and me take our turns working at Pahaska and Yellowstone Park, respectively. She sure placed a lot of trust in us.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Older brother of four, younger brother of one sibling - By virtue of belonging to and later becoming a VIP in FFA, Dwight went to exciting places like Kansas City (always brings up the idea of the musical "Okalahoma" - "Went to Kansas City on a Friday, by Saturday I learned a thing or two.") We would sit around the supper table spellbound while he would tell us about his trips, plus other FFA activities that he was involved in. We listened to his speech a hundred times(?) when he was in the speech contest. He exhibited leadership qualities early in life - he had to, with four sisters to guide him. The difference between the early high school picture at the top, and his graduation picture, which is next, shows an early maturity. The pose with the car (his?) shows that he wasn't against poking fun at himself, and the bottom picture, a typical tourist picture - was it Kansas City? Anyway, we've always been proud of him, knowing that he is a real softie - a little aged, so he gets a little tough on the exterior, but pretty soft when the chips are down.