Thursday, December 31, 2009

Judy Reading Pinnochio

Where did the hat come from?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Judy Posing

Note the book Judy is reading. How did that ever get in the house? Also Soils and Men, the 1939 Yearbook of Agriculture which got hauled around wherever we lived, can't tell titles of the other three books. Clipper ship bookends.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Last of Christmas Past

Here's the requested picture of a totally exasperated Dad trying to make the train work and exasperated once more because they couldn't afford a decent one instead of a cheap mechanical train.

Oh Christmas Tree, and Save the Tinsel! Plus Liz on Bike

Oh boy how I remember hauling the Christmas tree out to the front porch so we could preserve the image through immortality.  Plus I never got a fancy truck in my life. We've all seen these but recycling doesn't hurt anything.

I always regret not taking more pictures inside the house and more pictures of everyone. But film and developing were precious.  We see so many details of our life in photos like this one.

Who says Liz can't ride a bike? This one needs flipped, but who cares?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mystery Mail

The mailman brought a wonderful surprise today, and I am not sure who the sender is. Did I order it? Is this a book Dwight said we should all read and so I obediently ordered it months ago and it has just found its way to my mailbox? Did Santa send it? Whoever sent it my way, thank you. The reading is wonderful, descriptions done masterfully, and our lives along the Stinking Water (sounds so authentic, anyone can call it the Shoshone River!) seem within reach.

Who Knew She Couldn't Ride it?

Liz was always obedient

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Steve's Education

I remember making several contributions to Steve's education and his ability to cope with life and be a success.  Among these educational increments are the following:
  • The aforementioned Grandma's Lye Soap.
  • The touching ballad "I won't Go Huntin' with you Jake"
  • The lesson in physics about centrifugal force by teaching him to twirl a full slop bucket full of goodies overhead without spilling a drop.  Awesome.
  • How to take care of the bike I loaned him and Ann while I went to Bozeman and had paid for with my 75cent an hour bathroom cleansing job.  As I recall, the next spring all that remained was a broken chain, a few bent spokes, and a dilapidated carcass.  Oh well, for a good cause.
  • The wisdom gained from my stack of "funny books" which I fervently wish I had saved for posterity.
  • My boy scout manual which I expected to inspire him to be an Eagle Scout since I was never able to get past 2nd class on account of the swimming stuff which I couldn't exactly master in the irrigation ditches.  Which he generously returned to me 100 years later.
  • How to be extremely quiet and not move a muscle, thus irritating big brother since Steve was not supposed to be in my private room anyway.
  • I never thought of throwing garbage through the hole in the wall from the door handle.  It took the genius of A & S to do such diabolical deeds.
  • How to behave on the school bus, get to the school bus on time, and how to be respectful at all times.
As you can see, the above fund of information was about all any one would ever need to get through life and I know that it has stood Steve in good stead.  Though I firmly believe A & S committed more egregious deeds and got away with  it than the righeous big brother.  Life just isn't fair.

Who Remembers Cherry Chocolates?

Do you remember that once a year Dad treated himself to a box of cherry chocolates? I think these were his favorite, but he shared one or more with all of us.

And we all know that the Whitman's Sampler box in Mom's dresser drawer was a treasured possession in which she stored her most valuable possessions.

Our Christmas stockings were the first evidence of a Christmas miracle and, in some years, virtually most of the evidence of a Christmas miracle.  But our stockings never ceased to charm and amaze us.  Full of lovely things like an orange, some peanuts, ribbon and hard tack candy, unshelled nuts, and some times a little surprise of one kind or another.  These things were so precious because we would never see any of these things any other time of the year, while today all of us keep most of these things continually in our pantries.  We rationed the candy and the peanuts, saved the orange for a special moment, cracked a hard nut now and then, and squirreled the stocking away with its treasures for another magic moment.

There were elements of severe inequity, however, especially in our younger years, since the dear sisters all wore lovely and becoming long brown cotton stockings, while I had a short Rockford sock with a red heel.  To rectify this egregious misallocation of Santa's loot, the much maligned Christmas event occurred when, wisely I thought, to even out all of these years of deprivation, I cut a hole in my sock and put the top lid of my typewriter case beneath it.  For this, I, a good boy, was rewarded with a load of coal.

One reason why Christmas was so magic to us as young children was because Dad always came home for Christmas, though he had to be away so very much of the time trying to earn a few dollars here and there to keep his growing family in food and clothing.  Dad brightened our lives, and usually managed to find a few other goodies somewhere to add to what Mother had already acquired.

I think, looking back over through the cloudy lens and tears of time, that Christmas for us was a transcendant feeling of awe, and expectation, and happiness.  Because of this aura surrounding our humble abode when we were little, and surrounding our little tree with its scant paper and homemade decorations and tinsel that was saved from year to year, like birthday cake candles, I don't recall that we ever felt deprived on Christmas.  What we felt was more important than what we got.  And we received much love and caring from our parents and from each other.  I know that our parents grieved to themselves about not being able, ever, to give us more abundant and expensive gifts, but they gave us all that they had and could give, which was more abundant than just enough. 

And, by the way, Ann and Steve look deceptively innocent in the header photo.  Beware.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


May our Christmas journeys be safe and filled with warm memories of those gone by.
Love from Steve & Mary Lynn

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Music

Thanks to Laura, may you all enjoy this bit of Sunday music (came out in 1952)
Do you remember grandma's lye soap?
Good for everything in the home,
And the secret was in the scrubbing,
It wouldn't suds and couldn't foam.

Then let us sing right out of grandma's, of grandma's lye soap
Used for - for everything, everything on the place,
For pots and kettles, the dirty dishes, and for your hands and for
your face.

So we'll now sing the second verse.
Let's get it with great exuberance, let's live it up.
It's not raining inside tonight.
Everyone, let's have a happy time.
Are we ready? All together, the second verse.

Little Herman and brother Thurman
Had an aversion to washing their ears
Grandma scrubbed them with the lye soap.
And they haven't heard a word in years.

Then let us sing right out of grandma's, of grandma's lye soap.
Sing all out, all over the place.
The pots and kettles, the dirty dishes, and also hands and also f….
(clapping fades)

Well, let's sing what's left of the last verse.
Let's have a happy time, everyone.
The last verse, al-l-l-l together.
Ev-v-v-very one!

Mm-m-m-m. Thank you kindly, kindly,
M-m-mrs. O'Malley, out in the valley,
Suffered from Ulcers, I understand.
She swallowed a cake of grandma's lye soap,
Has the cleanest ulcers in the land.

Then let us sing right out of grandma's, of grandma's lye soap.
Sing right out. All over the place.
The pots and - the pots and pans, oh dirty dishes,
And the hands…….

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Celebration-Anniversary is on its way!

Since I got caught short by Bob and Judy's 50th wedding anniversary, I thought that I'd be beforehand with Dwight and Velna's 57th (right?) anniversary coming up on Friday. As Dwight's younger siblings, we felt such a part of his "romance" with Velna, because he was home one spring, doing the plowing and other work on the tractor. Regardless of which field he was in, when Ez came down the road with the mail, he would leave the tractor, and get home extremely fast, hoping for a letter. Also, he would serenade us as he drove the tractor - the sound carried extremely well over the sound of the John Deere. When we knew that they were to be married at Christmas time, we were all excited. Dad had to stay home to milk the cows, so Mother and I set off for Laramie to pick up Dwight. I hadn't learned to drive the car yet, so Mother had to do all the driving - I recall her pulling over in Wheatland to take a long nap. The day was dreary and cold, and everything looked brown. (If only it had stayed that way!). We made it into Laramie, went to Blacks' new home on Sully, and saw the apartment where Dwight was living and where he and Velna would make their home after the wedding. I remember that they had received a toaster as a wedding present, and Dwight loved to make toast. When we got back to Black's, I made things a little exciting by fainting, but I think I was just so excited about everything that it was too mcuh. Both Mother and I went to bed, ready to begin the trip to Salt Lake with Dwight in the morning. Unfortunately, the weather did not stay just cold and brown - heavy snows came, and our trip to Salt Lake with the nervous groom was pretty hairy. (Velna and her parents went on the train.) We had to be in Salt Lake in time for them to go to the courthouse to get their marriage license - and, as I recall, we just made it. And, after that long, hard day fraught with nervous tension, we went to Dwight and Velna's room in the Hotel Utah, where Mother and Dwight changed clothes, and left to walk over to the temple. I can remember looking out the window of the room, down on the temple walls and grounds - the snow was still falling, and the lights glittered - everything looked like a fairy land. The only snafu was that I had a pounding headache that didn't leave until the next day.
After the ceremony, Dwight and Mother came back to the room. (Where was Velna? I don't remember?), Dwight gave Mother a big hug, and we were away, to find a place of our own to sleep. And the place Mother found was a doozie. It was a motel somewhere in Salt Lake City, with paper thin walls. Mother soon fell asleep, probably from exhaustion, but I stayed awake, fostering my headache, and listening to all the goings-on around us. We woke to a new day, and clearer weather, and headed south to Provo to pick up Louise to take her home for Christmas. Provo seemed like summer, compared to what we'd just been through. We found Louise, loaded her into the car, and headed up Provo Canyon to Rock Springs and South Pass. Louise got in the car and slept ...and slept...and slept...I don't know what she'd been doing before we came, but, obviously, it didn't include sleeping. We stopped in Basin to get gas, and they had little Christmas trees for sale, so Mother bought one. tucked it in the trunk of the car, and we went on our way home.
The only thing that would properly finish up this tale would be to have the beautiful wedding picture of Dwight and Velna standing in front of the fireplace at the L.D.S. Institute in Laramie.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Very Important

I suspect all have received the notice from their JoAnn Fabric email this morning, but just in case you missed it, i.e. Dwight and Steve, they are having a senior citizen discount day on Wednesday, December 9. With the coupon you can get 15% off your total purchase all day long. However, if you read Pickles on Sunday (do a search on line to find it, if you didn't read it), there may be a little hesitation before returning to the fabric store. Please do not let that slow you down! Happy shopping.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy 50th Anniversary

Ok, so I am a little late, but there has to be some acknowledgment of Bob and Judy's 50th Anniversary on Penrose Mornings. Steve asked me to look and see if I had any other photos of Bob and Judy that might work, but I think this is worth posting once more. May the years ahead hold good things, peaceful times, flowers to grow, projects to do, and lots of calm moments. It is definitely a time for celebration, or a train ride or -------. Love you both.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday To Ann!!!!!!

Last night as I was shutting down the computer, Legacy had the following message:  "Kathryn Ann Blood will be 67 years old tomorrow."   Tomorrow has come and we get to celebrate our sister's birthday.  67 seems so young!

I love this picture of Ann when she was little......up climbing and poised for what was ahead. And so her life has been.  And we have all benefited because of her tender ways, wisdom and fore sight.  ("Here's whatcha do.") What a special role she has played in our family.   Some day she is going to be rich when I return all of the letters she wrote to me in college, and she gets them published.  
May this be a happy birthday with lots and lots of years to follow with the same.  And may she know how much she is loved.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just a Thought

Hopefully this is a good place to start this discussion. What about a Russell and Minnie Blood family reunion next summer? One day, two days? Everyone invited? Location? Etc. We could meet in the middle - wherever the middle is. Time is flying by, we have cousins who don't know each other, we have 50th wedding anniversaries, birthday milestones, etc. that keep happening, even without our permission. I think if we put together a plan now, we can make it happen by summer. I recognize there are some impossibilities because of travel, jobs, etc. But it would be fun to just get together with whomever can come. Please let me know what you think. Let's talk.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grandpa Wasden's Journal beginning 1898

On Friday morning we had a visit from Julian and Patsy Sorensen. They have loaned me Grandpa Wasden's little journal that includes his days in the park and the trip from Salt Lake City to his mission. I will find a way to digitize it so everyone can have a copy, but I thought you might enjoy just a little snippet. Because the journal is quite fragile, I won't try to copy it because to lay it flat on a scanner or copier might create problems.
Please note, I have transcribed what is included here exactly as Grandpa wrote it - no corrections, etc. What a special peek into a few days in his life as he traveled from Gunnison to Florida. What a trip. Makes me more determined than ever to get busy with my journal.

Page 30
Gunnison, Utah
March 15th 1898
Leave Gunnison 11 a m arrived at SLC 6.20 p.m. Mar 16th atended to arangments for dep
Stayed with John Christenson over night. I took breakfast at father's, and Dinner with Annie and Emma Christenson and Supper with John C.
Jon and Jos walked to Station with us Hanna C Father Kate and Bell joined us there to see us off.
Left 6.25 pm arived at Ogden 8.20 PM. Arived at Rawlin 7.20 a m on the 18th and still it snows. Arived at Larmie for dinner. Fine weather and a fine strong wind with it.
Arived at Cheyenne Wyo. 2.20 PM and still the wind howls.
Arived at Denver 6.25 PM. Found the Plat Valley quite interesting And farmers at work.
Bro Parson and I stand guard while the other boys are up town for supper and to see the sights.
There comes the boys so now Bro Parson will out and paint the town. Returned from up town and found it all right. Our train leavs 9.40 pm
Adue to Denver
Mar 19th 1898
Arived Ellas Kansas at 7 am. On awakening up this morning found our selvs in the State of Kansas with its broad prairies before us. Some of which was deckerated witht the staff of life in its infant state.
Oar the green fields, and the boundless Plain But give me O da the Mountains of the main.
At noon. Ft. Reley. Aparently a very nice Foart. Arived at Kansas City 5 pm. Took in Kansas City Mo. Fount it very interesting., especily the market places and publick buildings. Leave on the 9 pm train. for St Louis
Sunday Morning Mar 20th arived at St Louis 7 a m One of the boys got lost But joined us later at Union depo. Then for breakfast and the to see the town with its beautiful and extensive buildings which are very numerus then out to grove Park about 4 miles out which was grand. Tom and Bro Anderson has just returned, and say they have been to meating. The met on Bro. from Manti and one from Logan and had a good time. Belive I would feel better if I had been with them.
Ezra. Christenson, Manti, Utah
Melvin J Ballard Logan
March 21 1898
Arived at Nashville Tensee 9 am.
Chainged cars and now bound for Cha - nuga
240 The afternoon of the 21 of March 1898. We the band of 14 landed at Chatanuga. As time will not permite me to write up this trip, will suffice to say it has it is one to never be forgotten. One of great interest and pleasure.
The train went speding over the plains of Cansas,
And over the roaling hills of Texas.
We then awaken to find to find ourselves amoung the lofty hardwood The roling green fields, The Flours The Dells That thrills one Subblime Subblime
March 22nd Last night held councle Meating about too hours. And this morning we held instruction meating. Bro Kimble gave good advice, and eny one that follows __ near it is all right at least I would be willing to chance them; also Bro Nelson spake the words of A true Laterday Saint.
March 22nd 1898
We all went upon Battle Mountain this after noon. But owing to some of my carlseness could not enjoy my self so quit the Boys and came back to the Rosmond Hotel where we are stoping. Thanks be to he who over rules all on my arival found all well.
As to the Mountain. The senry. The views. And the Historical of that spot is grand in every sense of the word; My pen is to poor to express its gran-gure.
Mar 23rd Leave at 6.10 pm for Florida

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Don't let a bunch of space get in your way. A few well placed tall tale memories and you'll feel like we're all together. Happy Thanksgiving.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009


This is truly a work of art. Who can forget the unfortunate fowl that couldn't out run the mower and ended up on our dinner table.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009


For some reason google wouldn't let me add this to the first post, it was too important not to include.
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One of the saddest days of my life was the day that I heard that Powell bean burned down. I was fifteen with a brand new drivers licence and dad allowed that it was OK for me to take the grain to town to get rolled. With a couple of silver dollars in my pocket I thought that I was a real hot shot to rub elbows with the other farmers at the mill. The weights on the the edge of the bag to hold it in place needs no explanation.
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Friday, November 6, 2009


If we had one of these it was before my time. Dwight has to wait before everyone else guesses before he chimes in the correct answer.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Next Installment?

Steve, we're waiting with bated breath for the next installment. If you don't get one soon, one of us will have to do some digging; we're depending on you!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blogging Update

Please note that Steve and I are having the same problem, along with several others on Blogspot.  Our blogs do not update on other blogs list.  So even though "the list" shows no action on our blogs, check us out.  You may be surprised!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Ann and I would play on ours forever, the only thing more fun was the seed drill.
(this isn't a dump rake, but alas a substitute)Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 26, 2009

Telegram from the Past

I was doing some paper sorting tonight - the pile gets very high sometimes, and ran across the only telegram I ever got. It represents a drastic change in my life, because it meant that Dwight had obtained some jobs for me, and I would be able to go to UW instead of spending my days taking shorthand and transcribing it for the Welfare office in Cody. Thank you, Dwight, for looking out for me at a transition time in your life, too.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hidden Treasures in the Flower Bed

As I was cleaning out the flower beds and went to pull the hollyhocks, because they never do very well where I have planted them, I found a late treasure. These are very different from Grandma's hollyhocks. So, maybe I won't pull them up and see what happens next year - they seem to keep coming back each year and maybe they will keep getting better.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009


The only thing missing is the John Deere with the manure fork. I swore dad loved doing this on Saturday morning so that we could all enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Antique Baby Spoon

This baby spoon is a far cry from the soft, padded "first" eating utensils that I have seen the babies in the family use now. So who all used this treasure?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I doubt that any of you have forgotten this contraption but thought that you would like to know that there are dozens of these still in use in western NY by the Amish. Mary Lynn and I love to go to this area especially in the fall. There are so many things about their way of life that are similar to the way we grew up. There is more to come.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Dad and the Marquetry Society of America

Dad made so many beautiful marquetry pictures in his lifetime, and people constantly admire the ones that I have hanging in my home. However, he suffered from an inferiority complex and uncertainty about how his work stacked up against other marquetarians. He subscribed to the "Fine Woodworking" magazine, and invariably, moaned about how his work was not good enough. However, he did join the marquetry society of America, and I am the proud recipient of his membership pin. Good memories of the few years that we worked together! (The above plaque was also made into a small picture - Mother named it "Holy Night" - don't know if that was the original pattern's name or not, but it's very appropriate.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Fun in Layton

Ann seems to be reacting to a tall story - possibly one that Dwight toldl????
Love this picture - it's so wonderful to still be able to laugh - even if it's at ourselves!

Louise looking very thoughtful and states'woman' like. After all, this meeting was at her house.

Another good round laugh. We've read that a good laugh every day is good medicine. If so, the four of us will feel well after this get-together for a long time. Louise's house did prove to be a sort of central place for us.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Utah Quilt Guild Show in Layton

A rose by Louise's front door
I cheerfully went to the Utah Guild Quilt Show with my sisters in Layton, which was a better proposition from Ann than a 4 sq. ft. garden, for which Liz was the only one who "bit", but I did draw the line when the words "fabric store" were uttered. Quilts were amazing. Most of them are on Facebook, so you need to go there to see them. If you're not on Facebook, let Ann, Louise, Judy, or me know, and you will be invited to be a "friend." Sorry I did not get photos of Liz's quilts. Just far, far, far easier to post 58 photos on Facebook than piddle around all day waiting for Blogspot photos to dither and then finally post.
P.S. Judy announced several months ago she was consolidating the labels for Penrose Mornings so we would not have 2,000 of them?

The 29 cent puzzles: Have We Had Our Money's Worth?

Louise claims all the pieces are still there

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just for fun - Now It's Tomatoes

Don't have time for a photo - so much to do, so little time to do it. Have you tried freezing tomatoes? I really don't want to get out the pressure cooker so am trying this recipe. If you have already tried something like this, were you pleased with the results?

Teresa's Freezer Tomato Sauce
16 medium to large ripe, but firm, heirloom (or whatever) tomatoes
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
6 to 8 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons white balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375degrees F. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper
2. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato and place on parchment with X side up.
3. Roast tomatoes 20 - 30 minutes, until skin begins to pull away at the X. Remove pan from oven and let tomatoes cool.
4. When cool enough to handle, core each tomato and peel skin away from meat of tomato using a sharp knife. Work over a large nonreactive bowl to catch juices.
5. Coarsely chop tomatoes in bowl using knife or scissors, or squish with your hands. Add basil, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
6. Label clean glass jars, freezer boxes or bags. Fill containers two-thirds full with sauce; seal or close and place in freezer up to 6 months. Makes about 12 cups, depending on size of tomatoes.
(Recipe by Teresa Blackburn, Relish Food Stylist)
Per (1-cup) serving: 45 calories, 0.5g fat, 0mg chol., 2g prot., 10g carbs., 3g fiber, 170 mg sodium.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


And the brothers are still amazinly slim, showing great restraint by refusing our birthday cakes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mother's Blue Sunday School Chair

Was this chair once red? Mother must have liked blue, because she painted this chair and it's larger companion blue - and who has the larger chair? Note the little rubber feet, placed there to save the hardwood floor at Penrose. Lots of children have enjoyed this chair - Who sat in this chair to read? It is a real treasure, but I don't know the complete history of it. I hope for some help in the matter.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wedding Reception in Provo

Unfortunately, these are all the photos I had a chance to take at Gail's son's wedding.  Gorgeous yard, beautiful bride, handsome groom, Sorensens all looked great.  Mark cornered us so didn't have much of a chance to visit with the others.