Archive for the ‘life’ Category


After a period of unseasonably warm weather, Raggs, our calico, decided to find her own way to cool off.  She was out on the deck, on her back, all four paws in the air, letting the wind blow her belly fur.  She was quite comfy it appeared.

A new quilt, in patchwork calico, can certainly jazz up the bedroom decor.  Besides, it’s warm.  Ask Ginger, our dog.

Nothing satisfies a sweet tooth like warm brownies with vanilla ice cream melting down the sides.

Date night is extra special when you’ve not been on one in a good while.  Popcorn, diet cokes and an interesting movie.  Fun and relaxing.

Persuading other book club members to try massage therapy, my comment was, “the worst one I ever had, was wonderful.”


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Recipe for Success

Ever had a project that took awhile to complete?

Two years ago I bought a new three ring book that was designed to hold 4 by 6 inch recipe cards, two to a page.  Many years ago I bought a photo album with flip pages measuring 3 X 5 inches.  I put it in a napkin holder that Jim made in seventh grade shop class and clipped the pages with a clothes pins to hold the pages up when I was using it.  It was a flip up recipe holder.  After carefully recopying my favorite recipes on cards with a black Flair pen, it worked rather well.  However, that was about 30 years ago.  It was well used and, by now, pretty ragged.  Time to update the recipes and their presentation.

So — yesterday was glorious!  An early fall day with the sun shining and low humidity and a gentle breeze tinkling the wind chimes.  It was a perfect day to spend on the screened porch.  Besides, the house cleaning crew was coming . . .

I gathered up my mess from the TV tray in the living room and moved my base of operations (as my husband, the former first sergeant, calls it) out to the table on the porch.  By afternoon I had recipes and pages organized.  Then I remembered my mother’s recipe box which I retrieved from a bookshelf where it had sat for 8 years since we cleared out Christine’s house who had all of mother’s stuff.

Wow!  What a trip down memory lane.  I found recipes from both Grandmother Washburn and Grandmother Hubble in their handwriting.  Into the book they went.  Mother had also used recipe cards that I had given her.  Her name was printed on the top line.

Two recipes that Mother had passed on were Snowballs, a butter cookie with chopped pecans rolled in powdered sugar.  And Cream Cheese Cookies.  Both are real family favorites and I make them every Christmas.  Once my next door neighbor called, wanting that recipe.  She had been very ill and it hit me — she really wants the cookies and is too polite to ask.  I quickly took her a plate with instructions to hide them from the rest of the family!  In fact, these cookies were so popular at Christmas time at Dale’s work place that arguments ensued if piggish people ate more than their fair share.  I digress.

One recipe was for Baked Chop Suey Casserole.  In the 1950s, we, who lived in a small town in southern Illinois, thought it was quite an exotic dish.  In those days the nearest Chinese restaurant was probably in Chicago.  I can’t wait to fix it.  I’m sure no self respecting Asian would ever think this dish was even remotely authentic, but heck, what did we know?

Another was for Green Noodle Casserole.  It was such a hit that Mother made it for company.  Once, in the 1960s, before we had children, Dale and I went to Lincoln to help Mom and Dad with a dinner party.  Dale was the bartender and I was the kitchen maid.  Mother sat up a buffet with this dish, a green salad, dinner rolls and her Cream Cheese Pie and her best china and silver.  What a lovely party!  I learned that day that simple foods are okay for a special occasion.  They can be made ahead of time.  You have more fun and so do your guests.

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No Comment

In a recent email from my friend, Connie, from south central Nebraska told me about a bad accident between a semi and a school bus near her home.  She mentioned the school bus was from Blue Hill and since I couldn’t quite remember where it was  on the map exactly, I googled the information to find out more.  There were several stories which told me where it was and therefore I could picture it in my mind.

Unfortunately, I read the comments after one of the stories.  Now I remember why I usually avoid those.

One comment was by a female from Omaha who “assumed” this was a rural area where the accident took place.   Really?  She must have lived in Omaha for all of 5 minutes.  She doesn’t know that 98% of Nebraska is rural??  Yikes.

Another extolled how dangerous semi-trailor trucks were and recommended that all goods be delivered by train, that we ban trucks.  What?  Was she (another female) serious?  She wasn’t kidding?  A reply was to ask her if her grocery store was located right next to a train track.  Was she going to the train station to shop?  Good grief, she obviously knows nothing about how goods and services get delivered to us.

How lame can some people be?    These dummies live among us.  And half of them are female.  Sometimes I do despair.

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If . . .

If I never again had to walk through someone’s cigarette smoke, who is lurking right outside the entrance of a store, I’d breathe easier.

If I never had to see anyone’s tattoos, on arms, legs or places strangers shouldn’t even see,  unless they’re medical personnel, that would be fine.

If I never had to hear  a baby scream or an older child throw a tantrum in a restaurant, book store or church service, then I’d smile more.

I quit smoking years ago so I’d no longer smell cigarette smoke. That hasn’t changed.

Remember when tattoos were private? In private places?  Only career sailors or carnival workers had them.  Those people were few and far between.  Now people wear clothing so revealing we can’t miss them.  And they seem to be everywhere.  Both the people and the tattoos.

I know my children occasionally cried or carried on in public.  Once Jim threw himself down on the floor of the grocery store because I wouldn’t buy him something he wanted.  I stepped over him and kept on going.  Faced with no audience, he hopped up and trailed after me.  The boys didn’t go out to restaurants until they were old enough to behave themselves. If we couldn’t afford a sitter, we stayed home — or asked Dale’s grandmother to sit.   Going out was special, not every day.  Children were on their best behavior or they stayed home.

What if people still did some of those things?  Would we all be more content?  I’d have to find another subject for a blog.

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Adult Truths

This was sent to me by a good friend.  They are all great comments on life.

1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Budweiser than with Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

24. The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

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How Accessible?

It took only one day of pushing Bruce in a wheelchair to discover that “handicap accessible” isn’t necessarily so.  Even though there are many places we’ve gone to repeatedly, we discovered we didn’t have any idea where the handicapped parking was even located!  One good aspect is that those areas have a flat access that can actually accommodate wheels.

The tag was easy to obtain.  I went online and found the form for Georgia, printed it out, presented it to his doctor, got it notarized at the hospital, and went to the tag office and received the hanging tag within a matter of minutes.  However, maybe because it is so easy to get, it seems everyone and his uncle has one.  The handicapped section at the Family Practice parking lot out at Eisenhower Medical Center is always full and that lot alone has 17 slots — I counted.  Granted this is a place where sick people go, so I shouldn’t be too surprised, I guess.  The last time we were there, I didn’t dare go look for tags or license plates on all those cars because I knew I’d find some with no designation and I’d be tempted to call the MPs and make trouble.  Life is too short.  The MPs can do their own policing, can’t they?

We’ve found extremely steep ramps that make pushing uphill a challenge.  Sloped areas right at the doorway are equally tricky.  Especially challenging are the doors.  Try hanging onto a chair that is trying to roll away and open a door at the same time.  (His model has brakes like a ten-speed bike.)  Whew!  Fortunately, someone usually sees me struggling and comes over to help.  I decided yesterday that if no one is available at a restaurant, I am going to go inside and ask one of the chirpy greeters to come help hold the door.

Since there is nothing wrong with Bruce’s arms, he has started helping me lift the chair up into the trunk.  Man, that is really helpful.   The chair we got for Bruce is not as bulky as it could be — however, bulky enough for one semi-old lady to manage single-handed.

Best if all are the stores with automatic doors and the electric carts.  Look out, Bruce just might mow you down as he flies by!

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Familiar Faces

One of the great parts of this year’s family reunion in Illinois was the CDs my cousins made for all of us.  Lots of old family photos from each branch of the ten children of our great-grandparents.

One photo was especially poignant.  There were Aunt Wenonah and Aunt Beulah as young girls about 8 and 9.  Looking back were the faces of their granddaughters, Sara and Janet.  I have this theory that children often look more like their grandparents than they do their parents.  I’ve seen it over and over.  I never realized how much son, David, looked like my dad until I found a picture of daddy at 21. There was David looking back. One of Bruce’s grandsons is the image of his granddad.  He even smiles just like Bruce.  When you think of all the genetic combinations possible, it’s a wonder that it happens at all.  But — thank heavens it does.  We need our family faces.  It keeps us connected, doesn’t it?

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