Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Great Depression

I wonder what it was really like to live through the Great Depression. Oh, yes, I've read about it... seen movies about it... heard my grandparents talk about it... but truthfully, I have no concept of what that would be like.

As I've been going about my daily routine the last few days I've been wondering... Would it save money to hang the laundry out to dry on a clothesline rather than putting it in the dryer? What about growing a garden? Is that really cheaper than grocery shopping? And I know sewing my own clothes is not cheaper than buying them ready-made, the way it used to be.

Our grandparents had to work very hard for all those daily necessities we take for granted. Sure, we work to pay for the things we have. At least most of us do. But I honestly don't think we work like they did!

My grandparents, as a young married couple, lived in a tent most of one year around 1940. Not because they were down on their luck, but because that was part of their business. Granddaddy and some of his relatives had a sheep company, and so they lived out in the field and took care of the sheep that year.
I have heard lots of stories about that experience in their lives, but I never heard them complain about it. It seemed to be just an exciting adventure that they remembered fondly.
Makes me wonder if I'm too accustomed to the "finer things in life" to adjust to living like that if I had to.
I like to think I could, if worse came to worst, but I just don't know.

Could you?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Laughing Days

I heard a comedian say recently that not every day is a Laughing Day. We all go through hard times, so he likes to laugh, and make people laugh, as often as he can. I like that philosophy, don't you?

A highlight of our weekend was the cowboy supper show that we went to on Saturday evening. It was definitely a "laughing day"... with a fun comedy skit, a delicious barbecue supper, and then a great cowboy music stage show. Our family thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly our youngest daughter who is a huge fan of Roy Rogers and other vintage cowboys.

My family enjoying the "shoot out" before supper.
Dusty Bicuspid is the depitty marshal around these-here parts.
And this-here is the Depitty's Office!
The "show" in the western sky was not part of the program, but I appreciated it just the same!
Riders of the Rockin' B
Notice the Gideon New Testament tucked in the gun holster on the bass. And you can't see it in this picture but there was a cowboy boot on the bottom of the bass! The guy playing it is Dusty's "ugly twin brother" (i.e. the same guy).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Today we celebrate...

LIFE!What a beautiful choice!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Violet Teacup

Remember my mix-and-match violet tea-set? I found another cup-and-saucer to go with it! That makes four... and each one different. This one's not quite as pretty as the other three, but for $3.50 I'm not complaining!
Isn't it fun to collect something just a little out-of-the-ordinary and then find a piece for your collection at a very reasonable price?

Just thought I'd show you the latest addition as part of Kelli's Show & Tell Friday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Inspired Bliss

A couple of weeks ago I announced that I would be writing for the Inspired Bliss channel of the online magazine Blissfully Domestic. I will be contributing weekly and my articles will have to do with the road of life and following God.

My first article appears today: Rhoda the Robot. I would be honored if you would pop over to read it and leave me a comment! Thanks so much!

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #32 - "T"

Continuing with my alphabet theme, here are 13 things in my life that start with the letter T:
  1. Tabitha. Our cat. (If you guessed that she's a tabby, you are right!)
  2. Tea. I like it iced or hot! Plain ol' southern-style sweet-tea for iced, and usually herbal or chai for hot.
  3. Teaching. Something I seem to have a knack for.
  4. Teens. As of this week, both of my children fall in that age range. What a blessing! Truly!
  5. Texas. I lived there in 1974 and 1975. Both my sisters and their families live there now.
  6. Thrift stores. Where I love to look for "treasures."
  7. Tim. My brother.
  8. Topaz. My birth stone.
  9. Toyota. My car.
  10. Train. Fun memories of taking the train from Seattle to Portland last winter.
  11. Travel. Our favorite family activity.
  12. Treadmill. I have one. (Oh! Were you expecting me to say something else about it?)
  13. Trixie Belden. A favorite series of books when I was a girl.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My CrockPot works for me!

As we are getting back into our school-year routine, our days just seem to be extra busy. Menu planning worked really well to help with that last year, but this year I've taken it one step further. I've been planning CrockPot meals.

I've been using the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook for recipes and ideas. Here are some of the recipes (with variations) I have tried so far:
I have found it so convenient to take a few minutes early in the day to assemble all the ingredients in one large pot, turn the knob to low, and voila! Supper when we want it! Works for me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall

I love the seasonal changes, don't you?

I was in no hurry for summer to be over, and even now, I'm not rushing it along. Still, there's no denying that fall is here. The sun sets a little earlier each day and there's a definite crispness to the air in the evenings and mornings. So I'll just enjoy the pleasures of this season for this day. Won't you join me for an Indian Summer Picnic?

We'll sit on the back deck and munch on popcorn as we watch the sun go down.

Once it gets dark we can build a fire in the backyard and toast marshmallows... or set them on fire and blow 'em out, if that's the way you like yours! I'll even rustle up some Hershey bars and graham crackers for s'mores.
Would you care for a cup of hot cocoa with that?

Stop by Muse Swings for more Indian Summer Picnics... and enjoy the season!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Granite Falls

Two weeks ago we made a little day trip up to Priest Lake. One of our stops was at Granite Falls. I can't think of words to describe how beautiful it is... and since it's very much off-the-beaten-path, I thought I'd show you some pictures we took:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mother!

My mother and her older sister only lack a few days being a year apart in age. Here they are with their birthday cake in the mid-1940s when they were little girls...

Aunt Donnie has the cake, but I'm not sure what that is Mother is holding. Maybe a pudding or jello salad? Something special, no doubt!

Hope you both have great birthdays this year, too, Mother and Aunt Donnie!

I love you!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Workbasket - (Installment #7)

Is everybody ready for another vintage Workbasket installment? The next magazine in my small collection is from November 1951. It is Volume 17, Number 1. According to my calculations that means The Workbasket started in October 1934. Recently an older lady friend of mine was letting me go through her crochet patterns... Be still my heart! The vintage patterns she has! And she was very kind to loan me as many as I wanted, so I'll be scanning some of those later!! ...but before I digress too far off on that bunny trail, I was going to tell you that she had an early 1940s issue of The Workbasket. And guess what? There were no ads! Nope. It was just printed back-and-front on one long sheet of paper folded into fourths to be the same size as it always was. It was what we used to call a leaflet. And it was strictly patterns. Beautiful patterns at that. But nothing of entertainment value!

For example, the housewife in 1951 had the opportunity to unscramble 5 state names to be in the running for one of 25 beautiful wrist watches. Such a complicated puzzle. Why, I'd be surprised if they even got as many as 25 women who got all 5 puzzles right. I mean, after all, could you get them right? You just study on it a minute and then let me know.

Oh. You could? Well, yeah. Maybe you're just smarter than the average 1951 housewife. Or then again, it was probably just a gimmick.

Here's a sweet pattern for Bitty Bears. The write-up assures us that our small friends will love to play with them, and older girls like to wear them as lapel pins.

I find the ad for Konturettes right there on the same page as the toy pattern just a little disconcerting... but even stranger is the kitchen hint, sandwiched between the pattern and the ad. Just so obviously filler!
Here's something you don't see every day. In fact, I've never seen such a thing. Have you? Seems to me if it really worked, "Magic Loop" Fish Bowls would sitll be around. In fact, I'm pretty sure the fish would suffocate in a contraption like that. Not enough surface area = not enough oxygen. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just baffled.
This month's Junior Workbasket project isn't quite as hokey as the paper bag masks were last month. I mean, after all, practically anybody could use a handy-dandy string holder. And yes, I would be proud to have a set of tea towels embroidered by my little girl.
Oh, dear. I thought last month's baby doll was scary looking... but this "doll sensation of the year" with her "blondie braids" growing right out of the sides of her otherwise bald head, does not seem the least bit "amazingly life-like" to me!

I'm positively grieving that I was not alive in 1951 to take advantage of this deal. I need a Complete Set of 16 Crochet Hooks for $1.00 to add to my collection! This page of beautiful yard goods for sale really puzzles me. Mail order I understand. Descriptive text, yes, please. But please tell me... what earthly good are the pictures? As far as I can tell every last bolt of fabric is exactly alike... except for the few that are patterned, and how they are rolled or folded.
I wish I could get a relaxing, soothing gadget that would take off ugly fat where it shows most! I wonder what our happy model is going to do about the bow at her waist when the Spot Reducer jiggles it's way just an inch or so to the right? Do you think that's really what they recommended you wear when you use the silly contraption?
Don't you just love the apron pattern this month? It even shows that it could be cut from a feed bag!
Well, that's it from me for this month's Vintage Thingy Thursday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Still Waters

[For more Word-filled Wednesday "scripture photos" visit The 160 Acre Woods.]

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Old-Fashioned Popcorn

What do you do when you hanker for some popcorn but have no electricity? Do without, I thought. We were "dry camping" a few weeks ago and I mentioned that popcorn sounded good, but since we had no power the microwave in the travel-trailer was useless.

My romantic man remembered that and the next week went to Sportsman's Warehouse and bought an old-fashioned over-the-fire popcorn popper. Much to my amazement, it works great! Especially since he's willing to do the work.

It requires getting pretty close to the fire...
...and a whole lotta shaking!!!
I failed to get a picture of the finished product, but it was delicious!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...
Outside my window... it is the lovely September coolness of a not-quite-fall morning.

I am thinking... about writing some devotional articles for Inspired Bliss.

I am thankful for... the decision to delay the debut of Inspired Bliss for another week at least, because I'm not ready!

From the kitchen... I have chicken cooking to put in the crockpot for Chicken Tortillas for supper. (Watch for the recipe at The Persnickety Pantry!)

I am creating... flowers from my new Crochet Bouquet book.

I am wearing... a denim skirt and a cotton print shirt.

I am reading... A Passion Redeemed. Just finished In the Shadow of the Lions and Love Starts With Elle.

I am hoping... that we get a lot accomplished for school today.

I am hearing... laundry going, my children getting ready for school, other children playing outside the public school across the street.

Around the house... we are thinking about rearranging the office space, so that each person has a quiet place to work.

One of my favorite things... a good book to read, and time to read it!

A few plans for the rest of the week... just the normal routine: computer work, school work, house work, and hopefully a little time for play now and then.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ramblin' Tid-bits

Ever since we started school last week my days are oh-so-full and I'm never sure whether I'm coming or going. But life is good!

One thing that has helped is that I've been doing a lot of crock pot meals on weeknights. I've been trying recipes from the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. The fun thing is that I have a new camera and my cousin just set up a "share your supper ideas" blog, so I've been posting my recipes at The Persnickety Pantry. I may even get back to Menu Plan Monday soon!

We like to do a lot of weekend camping this time of year, and today we are headed to one of our favorite places in this area.
It is an amazing grove of ancient cedar trees in eastern Montana. The trees are huge! A person could live inside one of them! I'll have more pictures to post when we get back, no doubt.

In other news, I am excited to announce that I have been invited to contribute to the Inspired Bliss channel over at Blissfully Domestic. It's all rather new, so I don't have a lot of details yet as to exactly what my contributions will be, but do check it out... and I'll share more about it later.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Remember

Our alarm didn't go off this morning. At 6:30 my husband woke me up saying, "We're a half hour late!" Not being a morning person, it is hard for me to get in gear so suddenly after being awakened, but I did my best. I like to check my email and read a few blogs as I have my morning coffee, and all over the blogosphere the question was being asked, "Do you remember?"

Throughout my life on certain days of the year older people would say to each other, "Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Do you remember?" Or, "This is the day President Kennedy was shot. Where were you when you heard the news?" Listening in, I would shake my head. No, I didn't remember. I was too young. I guess in the back of my mind I thought things like that couldn't happen in my generation. That is, until 2001.

I was awakened suddenly that September morning, too. My sister-in-law called from Kansas. "Have you had the news on this morning?" Well, no. It was still early here in the Pacific time zone. When she told me what happened, my first question was, "What does this mean for America?" Of course, she had no idea. But we soon found out.

America would never be the same.

And, yes. I remember.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Kitchen Window

I wanted to participate in the Enchanted Window Party going on a couple of days ago, but I didn't get my pictures taken in time... so I'll just show you my kitchen window as part of Works for Me Wednesday.

My kitchen window is my favorite in our house, because it has such a nice wide window-sill for knick-knacks, but mainly because I have such a great view of the sunset every evening. I think this is the first time my kitchen has overlooked the sunset!

Now, for my "works for me" tip... I actually borrowed this idea from Martha who uses decorative baskets for all kinds of practical things around her home. She stores her spice packets in a pretty little basket hanging on the wall. I've had the tin Coke letter sorter for a couple of years, but hadn't really used it for anything practical until I saw her idea, and decided it was a perfect place to store Kool-aid packets. Then last Saturday I found the cute coffee-themed pocket banner in my kitchen colors at a garage sale. I hung it on the opposite side of the window and stored my larger spice packets in it. I found it really helps to get those cluttery little envelopes out of the cupboard, but still handy.

So... that was going to be my "works for me" tip for the week, but as it turns out, I have a bonus tip to share, too! I sometimes receive different products from BzzAgent to try out and then talk about, and my latest product to try is Pledge Multi-Surface cleaner. When I went to take the pictures of my kitchen window I noticed that the window sill was dusty and the window was smudged. It was so convenient to be able to use one bottle of spray cleaner for both surfaces! I have found that it really does work great on both wood and glass... and Lyle discovered it is also great for cleaning dusty electronics. One step cleaning. Works for me!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Crooked Tree

On Sunday afternoon we went for a drive, specifically to take pictures with our new camera. Lyle pulled over at this bridge to snap a few shots of the pretty little river that ran under it. I didn't think about the possibility of hiking ahead of time, and had on high-heel sandals so I waited at the top while he and the kids climbed down the bank to the water. As I stood there enjoying the view, I noticed this crooked tree growing under the bridge. It grew up straight until it reached the underside of the bridge, and then it angled around and kept growing!

Funny little crooked tree. Not worth much. Not even very pretty. But you know what? It's growing right where God put it... and reaching for the light with all of it's strength!

I want to be like that!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Romantic Man

I'm a romantic at heart. And I'm married to a very romantic man. He claims he's not. He honestly thinks he's not. But he is! It's because he pays attention to me. He considers my input on decisions we make. He values my opinion. If something happens at work that he thinks I would be interested in, he tells me about it. He notices if I see something I like when we're shopping, and later he may go back and buy it for me. (Not always. But often enough to make me realize that he does notice things like that.)

It saddens me to hear women complain about their husbands forgetting their birthdays or Valentines Day. So what? I find it much more romantic to be surprised on random occasions throughout the year than for my husband to feel obligated to go out and buy something just because the calendar says he must.

I find romance and delight in the everyday relationship, not the lavish extravagance that many women seem to expect. That's the kind of romance that matters to me!

This summer Lyle and I had the opportunity to attend our college reunion. You may remember that we met at college 25 years ago this summer, so it was a special trip for us. I posted this picture of us sitting on a bench on campus soon after we started dating with my "how we met" post earlier this spring...

The bench was still there this summer, so I asked my brother-in-law to take a "25 years later" picture of us sitting on it...
I thought the picture turned out nice, but the pretty basket of petunias in the background clashed with my red shirt... and it looks like the flag is sticking out of my head. On a whim, I asked Lyle if he could "fix it" with the magic of Photoshop.

And you know what? He did!

Aren't you impressed? He edited out the person and flag in the background, but even more amazing to me is that he turned the flowers white!

What a guy! Taking the time to "fix" such minor details in a photo just on my whim!

Now that's what I call romantic!

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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