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Friday, February 28, 2014

Nothing New Here!

Well, I fell down on my promise back in December to post for the 9 days. Really! I feel kind of sad that I didn't because Christmas turned out to be one of the nicest I've had in a very long time.

Winter has been long and hard only because of the freezing temperature. Today, the last day of February and it was 9 degrees below zero this morning. I normally do not go outdoors when it is that cold because the oxygen tube feels like there are ice cubes been shoveled up my nose and down my throat, but today I did. Mr. D had a doctor's appointment early and when he got home we took a trip to West County to get some meat for the freezer. On our way home we stopped at a flooring store to look at flooring for the sun room. We had talked about getting wood, but the girl only showed us vinyl that looks like wood and very expensive too.

We have a floating vinyl flooring in the kitchen and dining room and I'm not really happy with it. Once there is a mark, such as a burn or scratch, forget it you cannot fix it. We haven't discussed it yet, but I'm thinking no way. There is less expensive wood tongue and groove flooring out there that is less expensive for that little 9 X 22 sun room and I intend to find it.

OK now, that is about all. It is time to make dinner so Pepper Cheeseburgers are on the menu so I'm off to the kitchen.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Nine Days of Christmas - Day 6

Christmas Memories ~ Day 6






Who doesn't love beautiful music? Have you actually listened to the Christmas Carols? They have to be some of the most beautiful music in the whole world.

Every year the chorus at the school would walk around on a cold winter night singing at homes in our town. After the caroling and then we would end up back at the gym for hot chocolate to warm our toes only to go back out and get all cold again. Too funny now that I think about it.

On this one particular year that I recall was the best of time when I was in high school I talked them all into walking all the way out to my home to sing for my mom. We all walked and walked to the edge of town. My Mother had never had anyone ever sing in front of her house and I remember the bright lights in her eyes as we stood there singing the most beautiful words to music that is still ringing around the world today.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nine Days of Christmas - Day 5

Christmas Memories ~ Day 5








Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree:
Hard pressed for money to buy a Christmas tree a year after our Father's death left 5 kids under the age of 18 pretty darn sad to say the least. Mama gently, well as gently as she could, told us that it was just one of those things that we wouldn't be having this year. And in some terms it was sad, but in other terms we just accepted it as the nature of things.

As Christmas Eve drew close the reality really sank in and as we ate our dinner of Mama's favorite, oyster stew, it seemed awful quiet around the table. When a knock at the door surprised everyone. The house was only one on the street so if a car drove in the drive way, most anyone would hear it or at least see the headlights. This evening, however, it was a surprised.

When Mama opened the door a loud Ho Ho was heard throughout the house. There stood, if your remember "Lawrence", well it wasn't him, but one of his brothers who not only was the Chief of Police but also an active member in the Kiwanis Club.

There they were 2 guys with rosy cheeks from the cold standing at the door with a small "Charley Brown" tree and an arm load of packages for the little ones who were my young brother and me. We were over joyed and very grateful when Leonard said, "We met Santa down the street and he asked us to deliver these to your house. The Spirit of Christmas came to our house one cold snowy Christmas day in the early 50's to a little house in North Dakota.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nine Days of Christmas - Day 4

Christmas Memories ~ Day 4






Ever tried to learn how to ice skate on hockey skates that were 2 sizes too big? Well, that is what we did as kids. Our town would flood a vacant lot with water every year and add a little shack for all the kids to use free.

The skating rink was across the on the same street as the park and the swimming pool. The pool had an admission charge, but the park and ice skating rink were free to all. But for a dime, you could rent a pair of skates for the day or evening. The only drawback was that the only skates for rent were black hockey skates.

If you were fortunate to have a bit more money, some girls would get figure skates for Christmas, but those who couldn't afford them would rent the skates from "Lawrence"!

Now, everyone knew everyone, and everyone knew "Lawrence". "Lawrence" was the brother of the local police chief and as it was, he was married to our cousin and with 5 kids and our 6 everyone knew everyone or someone who knew everyone.  And as I look back, Lawrence, his brother, and his family did more for our town then most of the wealthy folks.

Ice skating and having an extra dime for hot chocolate after a session of crisp North Dakota winter air was a highlight of our Christmas season. I never really learned how to ice skate on those black men's hockey skates, but then I only got to go skating maybe once a year. But, when I was a senior in high school my sister-in-law gave me her figure skates and for a brief moment, I aspired to be a world champion.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nine Days of Christmas - Day 3

Christmas Memories ~ Day 3


Baking Mama's Christmas Coffee Cakes was one of the biggest baking days of the year next to Easter. Everyone, except the big boys, had to help. There were apples to peel, pineapple filling to make and the ingredients gathered for the 'strussoll' topping, not to be confused with strudel.

Mama's coffee cakes were liken unto no other that I've ever had, even to this day! They were a sweet egg bread dough stretched into pie and small cake pans then the toppings were put on them and baked to a delicious golden brown "to die for". There wasn't one kid in the house would could wait quietly until Christmas morning to have a piece or maybe even 2 if you were lucky.

Mama always made the dough, we got to stretch it out into the pans and I got to make the topping of flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter. I got to put my hands into the big crock bowl and feel the flour and sugar combination between my fingers, ah, no rubber gloves in those days.

Perhaps, the best was the pineapple/cottage cheese which was a sweet mixture of rare ingredients for a family in North Dakota. I can, if I close my eyes, smell the aroma coming from the oven.



Word of the Day

hagiography

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nine Days of Christmas - Day 2

Christmas Memories ~ Day 2




Choir Robes! Oh those choir robes. It seem to be a struggle every year to get those little things together. For the first 3 years of school, all the students had to have choir robes for the annual Christmas Concert that was held at the school gym about the last Friday before Christmas vacation started. As I'm trying to remember it was grades 1 through 3 that wore the cute little white robes.

I finally figured out why every year it was a struggle to get them. A simple explanation was that they were made out of white dish towels. The old fashioned flour sack dish towels so when the programs was over, they were recycled back into the kitchen even with the head hole. I remember my big sister, Ilene, rushing around on the last day to make sure that I had one that was as bright white as she could find and even one year both my younger brother and I both had to have one and of course, I panicked because I was sure I would be the one who didn't have one.

But, alas, she always came through and they were always bright white and whether or not we did or didn't sound like angels, our rosy cheeks and all the celebrate made us BELIEVE!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nine Days of Christmas - Day 1

Christmas ~ A Fond Remembrance

 
 
 
 
Perhaps the very first remembrance of Christmas that I have was about the age of 4 or 5. I know that I hadn't started school year. We always waited for snow for Christmas even though living in North Dakota that wasn't the thing you would particularly like back in the late 40's, early 50's, but Christmas was special and nobody mind having snow at least for that day.
 
This year was very special for me, because it is the only year I remember with my Father. My Father was a tall lanky guy with 6 children of school age and I remember he always had a cough and looked like he was cold and busy. There were chores to be done, jobs to do and besides working for somebody else, he kept a small farm with cows, horses, chicken, ducks and geese. We always had home grown canned goods and dairy products. Our 2 bedroom house was always warm when Dad was alive even if we had to pick 'cow pies' to burn in the pot belly stove. The boys had a room, and the girls slept on the sofa. My younger brother had a crib and I slept with my Dad and Mom. How we ended up in that situation is another story.
 
Anyway, back to the Christmas story. This special year, I got a doll. She had some kind of a "breakable" head and rubber fingers and a pretty blue dress with little blue ribbon bows. She cried when she was laid down and her eyes closed. As most kids I probably had her undressed by the end of the first day. That old doll went through a whole lot, but I don't know what ever happen to her. She was very special to me and I was oh so proud that I had a doll.
 
Now the special thing was that I remember sitting on my Father's lap watching him tip the doll over to hear her cry. "Listen, he said, this dolly is crying. Poor Dolly!" I remember giggling, but was more interested in the string from his "Bull Durham" tobacco pouch hanging out of his shirt pocket.
 
My Dad died a year or so later from cancer, but this had been my one and only Christmas memory I have of him. Love you, Dad!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Another Month GONE!

Yes, 'tis true, November is over and Christmas is fast approaching. When I finished the "In the Meadow" quilt, I figured I would have at least 2 more done before it was time to cook the turkey, but that didn't happen. So, although I did not get another one done, I did start basting one over the weekend and it WILL be done before the 15th when it is time to decorate the tree.

Decided that there will be not gift exchange this year except for Bobby and the 2 grandsons. None of this craziness of trying to decide what to get who and what size or what gift card is right for whom. I'm just not going to do it. PERIOD!

There is also the idea of getting to go on a day trip which Mr. D and I have been doing to celebrate the anniversary of our engagement, but not sure I even want to do that. Seems that finances have become tight this year and instability of the economy these days, perhaps we should just stay home where it is warm and safe.

Oh, yes, we have had a lot of laughs with the dogs. Seems the little boy, The Rocket, can be quite lazy even when it is treat time.

Just updating the wonderful late Autumn weather we are having so we are enjoying it while we can with day trips and shopping and home again jiggery, jig!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another One Down

And another one bites the dust!
This one took me almost a month to quilt. It was sitting in the living room at the beginning of October and each day I would do a little except on days when I didn't feel good and there were a few of those during a month of colds, flu shots and a short bout of pleurisy.
 
Then I even had time to get this table runner done for Christmas.

 
And yesterday, I started another one. I'm so glad and happy that Mr. D has set up a mini sewing studio in the house where I can just sit and do one of my favorite things. Thank God for Mr. D