Friday, February 27, 2009

Name That Cat!

How does a cat keep from freezing to death in the Wyoming winter cold? Where did we get this cat? How old was he? Any stories to share? And who would give a cat such a name?

Friday, February 20, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Tonight Paul and I ate creamed asparagus on toast (with a sliced hard boiled egg). Ummmm, it was so good. The main reason I am sharing this is I got a call from Steve not so very long ago concerning the question about whether I really liked asparagus while I was little, or if I just ate it so Mother would like me better. In an attempt to disprove his theory, I just wanted to share the fact that dinner was very good, although I must admit I definitely prefer my asparagus stir fried rather than boiled. This is one vegetable that has a lot of history in our Penrose lives. Mother and I would go out hunting for the new shoots shortly after Dad would burn the weeds along the ditchbanks. That was always a fun treasure hunt. For some reason the asparagus always grew quickly after the weeds were burned. It was on one of those expeditions that Mother taught me a little song/ditty that after she would sing it, she would laugh and laugh. I suspect those little ditties belonged in the same category as whistling. Fun memories!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grandpa Wasden's Chair

Our grandfather, James Brooks Wasden, was not a tall man - probably about 5'8" or so, but he had a very long trunk (body), and short legs. As a result, when he walked, he always seemed to be tilting into the wind, because his legs couldn't keep up with his body. When he sat in church, he seemed to be very tall, but when he stood, he was average size. Spare of frame, he didn't seem to be out of proportion. This was his chair. It sat at the [dining] table, and he sat on it (with a cushion for comfort that Grandma had made) to eat his meals, read books, and do various other things. I can remember one time that Dwight and I went up to see him when Dwight came home from college , and Grandpa had three books spread out in front of him. One was a history book, one the scriptures, and one a book on church subjects. He was quite proud - asked us if we knew any other man in his 80's who could read three books at one time. (And that is saying something, because he was self-educated, having only attended 3 months of formal schooling in his childhood.) But I digress from the subject of the chair. It seems too short from floor to seat for most of us, because he cut off part of the legs so that his feet could reach the floor.
Now the chair has an honored place in Judy's home.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Winter 1959

I don't know who we owe for this photo of our Penrose home. The winter of 1959 I spent at BYU. The day I left to return to school the temperature was 40 below zero. It doesn't look much warmer in this photo. Frost is on everything! We have all had our own share of too much winter weather this year. But really did any of us have anything that compared with this?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Something Only A Parent Would Keep

The pages are skiwampus (hmmm, is that a word and if it is, how should it be spelled?), the old glue that I used is so stiff that when I move the pages, the glue cracks and flakes away. I don't think I am that old. The aqua looking ink came from a bottle of ink Mother had bought, and as far as I can remember, she used it very sparingly. My writing skills were great, weren't they? Can you believe I cut up so many valentines to make this one. When there were fewer of us at home, there were more valentines to play with. Happy Days!

Valentines of the Homemade Kind

One year Mother sent this valentine to my kids. Inside it says: "If somebody has found a friend, send valentines with love and turn that frown right upside down, A smile will take its place."

This was a valentine booklet I made for Mother and Daddy one year that was saved from probably 1952. The little story I wrote on each page is quite an amazing piece of writing. Oh, well.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentines From the Past

Now this is what I call sentiment! It must have meant something to Dad since it was carefully saved through all of the changes in his life. Sarah Harper would have been his cousin.

This older valentine was one that belonged to Roscoe. It is truly romantic.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad

This is one of my favorite pictures of Mother and Dad. Taken outside of Grandpa and Grandma Wasden's house on a summer (spring?) day. They look all dressed up. Wonder what the occasion was, what color Mother's dress was, etc. etc. etc. The picture is so typical - and the smiles genuine. Thank goodness for a sense of humor through all the difficult times and the good times as well. If Dad were alive today, he would be three months older than his cousin, Stan Krajicek at 101. Oh, dear, he probably wouldn't have enjoyed that very much. We do miss his sense of humor and his great laugh. I suppose all of us still think of things to tell Dad that he would get great enjoyment out of. February 4 will always be that special day on my calendar.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Broken Engagement

(This was printed many years ago on the back of the Church News published with the Deseret News on Saturdays. The date is missing from this clipping. Christena is the mother of Tilda Wasden.)

To find better work, the Ake Nilsson family left Sweden for Copenhagen in the 1850's. Sixteen-year-old Christena, Ake's seventh and youngest child, found a job in a factory weaving cloth. There she learned about Mormonism and asked for baptism. Ake gave permission, knowing how headstrong she was, but also knowing that "she usually chose the right anyway." Fearing the elders might be ordered out of her area, she asked for mid-winter baptism. After cutting three holes in the North Sea ice to find sufficient water, the elders baptized Christena Jan 8, 1856.

At times persecution flared against Mormons, like the meeting Christena attended during which hostile neighbors threw an ax through the window, badly gashing an elder's head.

Christena herself was hurt because of her religion, but her hurt was emotional, not physical. She and a wealthy young man fell deeply in love and became engaged. But when her fiance understood how strongly she felt about Mormonism, he forced Christena to choose. She could marry him and enjoy wealth. Or she could be a Mormon. But not both. Sorrowfully she broke the engagement. He demanded back the costly gifts he had given her, and in a rage he tossed his picture framed in gold, and her engagement ring to the floor and stomped them to pieces. The broken-hearted girl managed to save but a few items, including a pair of earrings and a beautiful lavalier.

These small keepsakes came with Christena to America when she emigrated to Utah in 1861. She married Swedish convert John Christenson, a fellow passenger with her on the Monarch of the Sea, on the way to America. They raised four faithful children.

Today their descendants cherish the earrings and lavalier as mementos of their great-grandmother who had courage enough to choose her religion and a life of pioneer hardships over a life of wealth and ease with a non-member husband. - (written by William G. Hartley)

Letter from James B. from Yellowstone 1903

I don't think this has been posted before and thought it might be of interest. Just in case it is difficult to read, the text goes as follows (Note: I have not corrected the spelling errors):
Letterhead: Improvement of Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.
United States Engineer Office,

Yellowstone Park Wyo. Aug 24th 1903

Dear Gramma
Your most welcom letter was reced A few days ago, And it gave great satisfaction to know you were getting along so well as you are And if you can but take things quiet and not worrey And do that. That is realy nessery and not bothe, about eny thing else you will get on alright I am sure. I realise you have much to contend with and feel the responsibility resing upon you And while that is the case just to take your ease and let others do the russling and worring. Now as to the farm I wish it was so we could buy it but just at presant that looks rather doubtfull. But as I look for work to be threw here by next Mar the end we can then talk matters over and deside on the best corse to persue in the future. Tilda spoke of keeping me home after this And I don't think Shell have hard work to do that as I am so tired of this kind of A life. Well Gramma let your helth be at all times the foremost consideration An May God Bless you in your indeavors. As ever your Son
Jas B Wasden.
Remember me to all the folks And write soon. All is well fat and sassy here. Bye Bye.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hope You Don't Mind

If I only had my blog up and running - but since I don't and I really want to share this, I hope you don't mind me sending this your way on a sunny but cold Monday morning. This had such an impact on me when it was read in church (Relief Society) yesterday and I wanted to pass it along. In a time when many are feeling just a little out of control, reading this reminded me that, in fact, we do have choices to make.

(I am not certain of the title, but I do know it was written by Goethe who lived from 1749-1832)

I have come to the
frightening conclusion
that I am the decisive

It is my personal approach
that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes
the weather.

I possess tremendous power
to make life miserable or

I can be a tool of torture or
an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor,
hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my
response that decides
whether a crises is escalated or
de-escalated, and a person is
humanized or de-humanized.

If we treat people as they are,
we make them worse.
If we treat people as they
ought to be, we help them
become what they are
capable of being.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Robert Hawkins

Here's hoping that this picture of a very handsome forebearer will help get us sparked to continue where we left off with family history. Robert Hawkins is a brother of Sarah Batty Hawkins Blood and a son of James Preston Hawkins. The Hawkins orgininated in Kentucky and Sarah Batty is a Great Grandmother. One geneologist has linked James Preston Hawkins to parents by the process of elimation, however there is no paper trail to validate this parentage.

If anyone has any information on this family, we would love to hear from you. In the meantime, Robert Hawkins is well worth claiming.