Saturday, March 31, 2012

A baptism and some stuff

March 3, 1991:  Mitchell Howard was baptized.  Jayson and a cousin of Rick's were sponsors.  Had dinner at Greta's.
March 8, 1991:  Pinochle at Marie H.'s.
March 13, 1991:  No Women of ELCA -- stormy and icy.
March 20, 1991:  Busy Bees at Nelle's.
March 22, 1991:  I had Pinochle Club."

I kept going with multiple entries since most were rather sparse.  Kept looking for something with some meat in it, no offense to Mitch and his baptism.  I have some pictures but none scanned and ready to post; but will remedy that in the future.  He wore a baptismal gown that was worn by other family members - I will have to find out how many we know of for sure.  He behaved himself pretty well; thankfully I knew the "gnaw on Mom's knuckle" trick since it did come in handy at least once.

I finally have a decent photo of Grandpa's garden and so am posting that today instead.  Tom looks to be having a grand time.  I love all the colors of green in the picture, foreground and background.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Aunt Irene still under the weather

"February 26, 1991:  Helen and John took us to the doctor.  Howard's blood pressure is down but he has to take pills.  Stopped to see Irene.  She looked terrible.
March 2, 1991:  Nancy came about 6:00 and we went to see Irene.  She is in Intensive Care Unit -- has pneumonia.  She can hardly talk.  Tom and Merilyn were there, too.  After leaving Irene we went to Valentino's to eat."

Only cheery news here is that Grandpa's blood pressure was down.  Otherwise, a fairly dreary entry.
To counter that a bit, I am going to include here an article regarding the senior class play put on by the Winside High School class of 1920.  There are a couple of parts I think Aunt Irene probably found a bit humorous.

Senior Class Play Draws Record Breaking Crowd

With every seat occcupied and even standing room
unavailable the Senior Class of 1920 presented
"All A Mistake" to one of the largest crowds ever
gathered at the Auditorium.

The play was produced in a most commendable
and creditable manner, despite the fact that this
school has a limited number of "artists" to choose
from.  All the members of the cast did so well it
would scarcely be justifiable to particularly mention
any one individual whose part may have been
"heavier" than others.  The play was a three act
Farce-Comedy.  The principals in the cast were:
Homer Smith, Russell Henderson, Meredith
Halpin, Charles Unger, Irene Iversen, Ruth
Needham, Beatrice Motson and Alice Bauermeister.

I thought the mention of limited talent and heavier roles is chuckle-worthy.  It is a good review, however.  It would be fun to try to locate this particular play and see what all the fun was about.

I think I may have used this picture before, but felt it a good one to use anyway.

Oh, here is another article about the play, obviously earlier in time than the one above.

"All A Mistake", which will be produced by the
senior class of the Winside High School at the
auditorium Tuesday, May 18 is a face-comedy,
that has not only proven a big success on the road,
but has the enviable reputation of having been
repeated time and again at various places where it has
been played.  It is a play that is guaranteed to make
the most pronounced pessimist laugh and if you have
never laughed before in your life and really desire to
laugh let the seniors work on your humor next Tuesday
night.  The principals of the cast have been rehearsing
diligently for the past three weeks under competent
instructors and they expect to make things look "real"
to the audience.  The play will begin at 8 o'clock.
Admission 65 cents.  Seats can be reserved at the drug

"Never laughed before in your life"?  Creative journalism at its best.  But we know this kind of hype worked due to the later report of a record breaking crowd.  Congrats to the Class of 1920!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Two celebrations that weren't

"February 24, 1991:  Helen invited the clan for Irene's 88th birthday and Elmer & Myrtle's 57th wedding anniversary.  Irene was sick - vomited, etc.  Greta stayed with her.  Elmer wasn't feeling well so they didn't come.
February 25, 1991:  Helen stayed with Irene last night.  I was there in p.m.  Decided Irene should be in the hospital.  Ambulance took her to Lady of Lourdes."

What are the odds that two of three honored guests would be sick?  Grandma doesn't say if the dinner was cancelled or if some went since Aunt Helen was prepared for them.  Actually, she doesn't mention a meal, so maybe it was just cake and coffee.

I looked ahead and it appears that Aunt Irene didn't go home after this hospital visit, but instead went to the nursing home to live out the rest of her life.

Mom has said in the past that whenever she had to be in the hospital, she preferred Lady of Lourdes.  There was a short little nun that would come in during the night to take vitals.  But she came with a little flashlight and used that to see what she needed to see instead of flipping on a light while patients were sleeping.  How nice is that?

The photo is, I believe, during one of the trips Nancy, Grandma, Aunt Irene and Dorothy Jo took.  Grandma doesn't look overly thrilled, but I am sure she had a nice time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mostly catching up on comments

"February 10, 1991:  Mitchell was to be baptized but Rick's cousin who was to be a sponsor was sick.
February 13, 1991:  W of ELCA meeting.
February 20, 1991:  Busy Bees at Ella Mae's -- everyone present."

Speaking of Mitch, he went on a total tear with comments here recently.  Which was unknowingly bad form on his part, because I was already behind on catching up with non-Mitch comments.  I will get organized here and do an update.

The last time I commented on comments, part of the post was about The Black Knight, something both Mom and Nancy commented on.  Seems they both remember going there (unlike me) and that the food was good.  Mom said Grandma usually had shrimp and Grandpa usually had steak.  Sadly, The Black Knight is no more.  There was a fire and the building was not used as a restaurant again. 

Nancy also commented on the time Kyleah, possibly under duress, stayed overnight.  She was okay for awhile but then wanted to know when she could go home and was told she would be leaving in the morning.  The next day she woke Nancy up to tell her "the sun was on now" and could she go home.

As for the baby shower, memories are spotty which makes me feel very good about my own spotty memory.  Nancy reports she and Merilyn were in charge of getting a family group gift, which she thought odd since neither of them had children.  She remembers specific instructions from Mom, who admits she forgot what the gift was.  Nancy remembers the shower, but not that Dorothy Jo stayed with her.  Mom does remember that Dane was on a bouncy-something close to some sliding glass doors and with his rigorous bouncing, she thought he'd surely go through them.  Thankfully he didn't.  I want to say that the family group gift was the car seat, but I'd have to go check Mitch's baby 'stuff' to be sure.  In a nutshell, it appears I come by my somewhat unreliable memory quite honestly.

Both Mom and Mitch commented that they liked Aunt Irene's story about the trip to Denmark.  Mitch enjoyed it so much, he is ready to move to a small village there.  He thought the bearded man in the one photo was probably Grandpa, but was not ready to bet the farm on it.

As for the black and red beads that the grandkids played with and played with and played with and sometimes fought over, I was right in that we kept a few.  Mitch says they are in his closet in Arizona and that he can't bear to part with them.

He is thankful if he does indeed have Uncle Ray's health genes and is already thankful as it is that he has someone's tall/lanky genes.  Speaking of genes, Mitch admits to getting flustered at making spelling or grammar errors, a trait he most surely inherited from me.  He is a bit biased and thinks the post about his birth is my "best entry yet."

Lastly for Mitch, he really likes Mom's glasses in the old photo of her looking at a baby.  He hadn't seen it before, but it is now easily one of his favs.

Mom disagrees with Kyleah about her dress and thinks its cute.  I'd have to agree with Mom on that.

Mom also commented on the coat I am wearing in the big snow picture.  I am just going to quote her rather than paraphrase: "The coat you are wearing in this picture is one that Grandma Anna made for you.  I was always and still am amazed at how she could make clothes.  I remember going to Norfolk and she would see a dress in a store window, get out her little notebook and make a sketch, go home and spread some newspapers out on the table and make a pattern.  Amazing!"  I wish I was able to know Grandma Anna better than I did.  I think I would have liked that.

The photo of me has nothing to do with anything.  It is, however, the most recent photo anyone will ever see of me in a swimming suit.  I think I was daydreaming about having a blog someday, but it's hard to know for sure.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Black Knight again and a "Sunday" recipe

"January 27, 1991:  Greta and I to Lincoln to see the new baby.
February 3, 1991:  Tom, Merilyn, Nancy, Rick, Mary, Mitchell, Helen, Greta, Irene and I went to The Black Knight for dinner.  In p.m. played cards here.  Dorothy Jo and Johanna came in p.m."

Well, phooey.  Here is written proof that I have been to The Black Knight.  I have no recollection whatsoever.  One would think I would remember one of the earliest outings with the new baby, and for Grandma's birthday to boot.  Obviously, there is no where for me to go but up in the memory department.

And Grandpa either out of fairness or because he was still not feeling the best, did not make the trip down to see Kyleah, just like the first trip to meet Mitch.  But then again, Grandpa wasn't really big on teeny babies.

This isn't really a recipe, but I am going to mention Grandma's jungle juice.  Seems she quite often made this or that recipe that had drained canned fruit in it.  Because I would go to Grandma and Grandpa's after school and it was not uncommon for there to be jungle juice in the frig -- Grandma's title so far as I know.  She would combine KoolAid and whatever juice she happened to have -- didn't want to waste it, you know.  I am willing to bet she rarely combined the same juice with the same flavor of KoolAid very often.  I wonder if the memory of her concoctions is the reason I am still a sucker for punch of any kind.  Point me to a punch bowl and I will all but pick it up and drink from it.  I LOVE PUNCH.

There's no real good time to post the picture of Grandma at her last birthday party, so I will just do it now and then I won't have to think about when to do it anymore.  She looks so nice there.  A bit of a different smile for her in photos, but I still like it.  Oh, and she's wearing that necklace that all little kids like to mess with.  Bonus.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Grandpa mystery solved, another baby and a Sunday(?) recipe

"January 9, 1991:  Didn't go to W of ELCA.  Howard dizzy all day.  Busy Bees met here.
January 21, 1991:  Kyleah Dianna born, weighed 8 lbs. __ oz.
January 22, 1991:  Helen and John took Howard and me to Pierce.  Howard has high blood pressure - has some pills to take."

Again, lots of details on the brand new baby.  At least Grandma was consistent, but I believe she added an extra 'n' to Diana.  I have quite a few very cute pictures of Mitch and Kyleah when they were babies, but of course, I cannot lay hands on any at the moment.  So, here is one from a few Easters down the road, 1994 to be exact.  Kyleah recently commented that she is probably sad in the photo because her mother made her wear "the worst outfit ever" and Lynn commented about the Cheetos crud on that white collar adding to her dear daughter's attractiveness.  Mitch is having a blast, at least.

I remember going to the hospital to see Lynn and Kyleah.  I don't remember Dale being there at the time.  Kyleah was the cutest thing and still is, actually.  In comparing her to Mitch, who was the only real comparison I had at the time, her features looked really tiny even though she and Mitch weighed about the same.  In her newborn hospital picture, Kyleah looked exceptionally alert for being such a new little thing.

And because I am as unorganized with thoughts and recipes as I am with photos, the recipe will have to wait.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Made it to 1991

"December 31, 1990:  Dinner at noon at Dorothy Jo's -- Raymond, Marina, Helen, John, Irene, Howard and I.
January , 1991:  Tom came to take Raymond and Marina to Lincoln.  They left for home early January 5.
January 6, 1991:  Greta and I went to Lincoln to see Mitchell Howard.  Howard was dizzy -- maybe the flu."

A shame that Grandpa couldn't make it down that day, but he and Mitch had plenty other times to hang out together.

We were home from the hospital already, but barely.  I think they kept us about four days.  We were released just in time to drive home on very slick streets from a snow storm a day or so before.  I recall that Jayson totalled his car in an accident from that storm.  But slick streets and Jayson's wrecked car didn't stop Rick from going back to the hospital to get the pictures of Mitch that we had forgotten.  In retrospect, it was silly for him to go back when it seemed we barely made it home in one piece, but I do remember being in agreement with him at the time that he should go.  Anna was born in a heat wave, so we didn't have a similiar problem with her.

You got to love this photo of Mom.  I think I heard she was looking at a baby Dale at the time it was taken.  It is how all adults should look at kids.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Finally, a baby!

"December 26, 1990:  Mitchell Howard born -- weight 8 1/2 lbs."

Sorry, Grandma but that's it?!  Seriously??  Of course, she hadn't met my little bundle of joy yet, so it was impossible for her to go on and on and on and on and on and on about how wonderful he was.

I have a need to bore with a few already-told details here, so you'll have to indulge me a bit.  Up to and including this day, I hadn't had the Braxton-Hicks fake contractions that every book and every knowing mom said I would probably have.  So, when something started happening at 2 or 3 in the morning on December 26, 1990, I thought they were the anticipated Braxton-Hicks.  And every book and every doctor that talked to me and every knowing mom also said contractions get longer, stronger, and closer together.  Mine didn't.  Not even close.  More proof that it was Braxton-Hicks, I figured.  I knew if I said anything to Rick that I thought maybe something was up, he would call in sick to work and then sit and stare at me and wait for something to happen.  And who could blame him?  We had been waiting nine months for this.

So, I didn't let on and he went to work and I went to work.  Kept Hicksing all morning.  But they were fake contractions, so no big deal, right?  I don't think I even let on to Nancy when we carpooled to work that day that this might be the day.  Rick and I were a one-car household at that time and Rick was in the habit of calling me before he left work to see if I needed anything or wanted to come home.  He obviously remembered the hormonal day I came home on the bus and was in tears when I got through the door because the driver ignored my buzz and missed my stop.  By one block.  And possibly the time I got irate at the nature video showing a bear attacking and killing a moose.  Anyway, on this day he called and I said I was feeling lousy and wanted to go home.  One of the lady attorneys walked by and excitedly hollered to those within earshot, "She's feeling lousy!!".  I could have slugged her.  That should probably have been my first clue that something new was going on since I normally had no desire whatsoever to exact violence upon her.  So, Rick came to get me and as I had figured, he kinda stared at me when we were at home.  Without going in to any of the gory details (you should thank me know for this), it eventually became apparent that we needed to call the doctor.  He suggested we go to the hospital and see what they said there.  I am calm by nature, and these were Braxton-Hicks for Pete's sake, so I was somewhat unimpressive when we hit the nurses' station.  My delivery nurse told me later that the bet was on me not being a 'keeper' because I was simply not excited enough.  Turns out I was at 4 cm of the needed 10 cm already.  So, I was a 'keeper' after all.  Even though I had read a good number of books in preparation and we had been to Lamaze class, it was still all very new and very exhilirating.  Mitch's birth music was Leo Kottke (soothing acoustic guitar), carefully chosen to weed out the songs with too many minor chords.  (Anna, in contrast, had The Three Tenors as her birth music -- I was a pro by then and could have a bit more "fun" with childbirth.  Ha.)  By 10:43 p.m. we had a bouncing baby boy.  Eight and a half pounds, as Grandma recorded, and 21 1/2" long.  He had a fever and so had to stay in the nursery for a bit.  They wheeled me down and let Rick and I stare at him a while before we had to get out of the way.  There we were staring at our miracle, the beginning of a new kind of existence for us, that dark hair, those perfect features and the nurse says with all the seriousness of a heart attack, "Where did he get his height?"  Way to burst our bubble, lady.  Can we blame her, she who saw this particular kind of miracle every day?  If only she knew how tall he would eventually get.

So, it was a glorious day with a glorious ending.  All tied up in the little bow of Grandma's post.

Love you, Mitch.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two Christmases

"December 25, 1990:  Nancy, Marina, Raymond, Greta, Howard and I left at 7:00.  We stopped at Bill's for coffee and rolls -- then on to Tom's at Lincoln.  Had a lovely dinner and wonderful afternoon -- Dale, Lynn, Dane, Rick, Mary, Bill's -- all there."

I definitely remember this particular day, as does Lynn, I am sure.  Not only were we both very pregnant and kinda owly (especially me -- we spent quite a bit of time in the basement, just us and Dane -- wanting to be away from people), we were lined up with Bill and Grandpa so laughing people could take photos of the four sizable bellies.  We smiled, but . . .

Seriously, we were fine and had a good time.  It was just a different kind of Christmas for the two of us.

Aside from having the chance to visit with ancestors, there are not a lot of things that immediately come to mind that I would want to go back in time to do or to see.  It would be neat to see Mt. Rushmore in progress and big cities when they were new and rugged.  I would probably like to go back to see the Twin Towers again as I did not give them their proper due when I had the chance.  But for the most part, I am content to live in the time I live.  That being said, I would dearly like to have had the chance to see the Danish Christmas dance, otherwise known as the Dane Dance, that they used to have in Winside.

I asked Mom and Nancy for some memories.  They are a bit sketchy about some of the details, but both definitely remember the Christmas tree and the dancing itself.  It was a highlight of the Christmas season and lots of people that weren't Danes came, too.  There was live music, of course, at least a fiddle and an accordion.  It is unclear as to whether the tree was in the middle of the auditorium dance floor for the whole event or if it was brought in for the intermission.  The kids held hands and danced around the tree and ended up with a bag of nuts and candy before it was all over.  Nancy remembers "dancing" with Grandpa by standing on his feet while he manuevered around the floor.  People brought sandwiches and cake and there was a meal during intermission.

It sounds like a fabulous time.   Again, I wish I could have been at one.

The photo is of Christmas 1978.  I love how Santa Bill looks to be having soooo much fun and Jayme looks a little squirmy.  Jayson is cute.  As always.

Almost Christmas

"December 24, 1990:  Nancy came at noon.  Irene, Helen, John, Raymond, Marina, Greta, Dorothy Jo, Nancy here for soup supper after church.  Marina and Greta went to church.  This was the first time in 40 years the four Iversen siblings had been together for Christmas." 

I know why I wasn't up home for this particular Christmas.  Baby was due on December 27, so I was well into the "no traveling" directive by the doctor.  Instead, Rick and I went to Tom and Merilyn's and had supper with them and Walt and Marilyn.  Walt said, in his often dry way, that it was more than fitting to be spending Christmas Eve with a very pregnant woman named Mary.

Hate to be slow on the uptake, but it took me a second to figure out from Grandma's post which four Iversen siblings she was talking about because I was fairly certain her kids had spent at least a few Christmases together since 1950.  I am guessing the 40 years she is talking about would have been when either Aunt Irene and/or Aunt Helen moved to California, disrupting future Christmas gatherings with their full siblings for a few decades.

Soup after church -- I knew that presents came after soup, and I know I was more than likely annoying in a kid's "excited for Christmas presents way" once we were at the house.  But I don't recall being overly antsy and impatient at church.  I loved the carol singing with the lights out and the candles lit even when I was relatively young.

Here is a photo of Dale and I in 1966.  Mom can correct me, but I am thinking we lived in California at the time.  A bit ironic, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yet another birthday, actually two

"December 16, 1990:  Birthday dinner for Howard -- Tom, Merilyn, Nancy, Dane, Raymond, Marina, Irene and Greta here.  In p.m. to Helen and John's for the gathering of the clan:  Elmer, Myrtle, McKeowns, Dorothy Jo, Bob's, Johanna, Linda, Karen and those from here.
December 19, 1990:  Busy Bees had Christmas dinner at Stop-Inn.
December 20, 1990:  -2 degrees in morning -- windy.  Wind chill -20 degrees or more!!"

There are two relatively little things I like about these entries; that Grandma called the family "the clan" and that she used two exclamation points in talking about the wind chill.  I have no idea why I find both of those things smile-worthy.

Grandpa would have been 83 for this birthday, so Uncle Elmer would have been 93.  Grandma doesn't say so exactly, but I am guessing the gathering at Aunt Helen's was for Uncle Elmer's birthday as well as a continuation of Grandpa's.  It wasn't uncommon to have one cake for both gents at the bigger get-together.  Grandpa was born in the 20th century and Uncle Elmer in the 19th.  As world events go, in the year Grandpa was born, the RMS Lusitania made its maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York City.  And unbelievably, in the year Uncle Elmer was born, the word "computer" was first used; at that time it meant an electronic calculation device.  Nebraska had been a state for only 30 years.

The photo is of me in the snow (selected since Grandma was talking about the cold), and so was obviously not taken in 1990, but look at all that white stuff.  I remember this particular storm but don't recall any storms of that magnitude since.  The one drift was so high that you couldn't see the house across the street to the southwest.  Well, I couldn't anyway.  And even I could step over the clothesline in the backyard since the snow was so tall underneath it.  Crazy stuff.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Christmas, cards and Californians

"December 12, 1990:  ELCA Christmas dinner.
December 14, 1990:  Pinochle Club at Ella M.'s -- sleet in p.m.
December 15, 1990:  Raymond and Marina landed in Lincoln at 1:00 p.m.  Nancy brought them and Dane to Winside."

Ack.  I got nothing here -- poor grammar is intentional.  Not sure why Uncle Raymond and Aunt Marina were coming in the wintertime, other than simply to celebrate Grandpa and Uncle Elmer's birthdays and Christmas to boot. 

This picture is so very cute.  I love Uncle Raymond's feet, he is the younger one.  I don't know if it shows up well for people viewing this, but he has his toes curled up.  Which is a highly appropriate response when eating fresh sweet corn.  Garrison Keillor has a song from one of his live performances about how great sweet corn is.  Benjamin Franklin, I believe, is quoted as saying that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.  I am not sure Garrison and I would agree.  Sweet corn may be the real proof.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Snow and more quilting

"November 27, 1990:  Rain, sleet and snow.  Accumulation not too much.
November 28 - December 10, 1990:  Quilted Friendship Quilt -- long stitch."

Not much here, but the next bunch of entries bunched with these entries would have been a bunch too much.  Nice to know that rain/sleet/snow didn't keep Grandma from quilting in the days that followed, accumulation or no.

Nancy gave me some new pictures, some of which I hadn't seen before.  I had to post this one especially since it was taken in 1990, the time frame we are dealing with here.  So, this is what Aunt Irene, Dora and Aunt Helen looked like around the times I have been talking about them.

Speaking of quilts, I did a little history looking and found there is quite a body of information out there about quilts, some of which is interesting probably only to people that are REALLY into quilts.  For example, an 8th or 9th century slipper of quilted felt patched with leather was discovered on the Silk Road near the present Sino-Russian border, said slipper being currently housed in the British Museum in London.  Not sure this is something I need to store in the limited memory bank I call my brain. 

Slightly more interesting, to me anyway, is that in 16th century England, a law was passed banning fabrics from India, Persia and China because of the economic threat to the wool and silk industries.  They did open textile markets to the Scots, which resulted in western Scotland becoming a major textile exporter.  That all makes some sense.  However, sometime later just the wearing of Indian chintz was banned in England.  Not wanting to be left out, Frederick William I of Germany forbade everything -- the wearing, importing, and selling of painted or printed calico (calico being the English term for the fabric, whereas we use the word for a type of design).  It took over 30 years for Germany to decide that calicos could be printed, but still not imported.  They kept the ban on wearing foreign printed calico, however.  My limited information says nothing about why Germany felt so strongly about the issue.  I may have come to the end of my caring as well.  (Wow.  Really reaching for something to fill up a blog post here, aren't I?)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thanksgiving and Sunday recipe

"November 22, 1990:  Tied a comforter for Lynn and Dale's Christmas present.
November 24, 1990:  Nancy came in evening.
November 25, 1990:  Family gathering for Thanksgiving at Greta's.  All present except Lynn -- had to go to her sister's."

I've not taken a family poll, but I think I like Thanksgiving family gatherings better than even Christmas gatherings; not that I am knocking Christmas.  Too much mental planning goes on around Christmas for me whereas Thanksgiving is just "what dish do I bring?" and "where do we show up?"  The weather is usually kind to us and everyone is just happy (okay, thankful) to be together and the conversation is always good and it is just plain nice.  I am not able to put this in to words very well, but I just like Thanksgiving.  And then there was the one year we went to Grandmother's in Lincoln for Thanksgiving.  And we were super thankful that year -- we got to hear all the details on how Dale had recently shot himself with a nail gun and lived to tell the (somewhat comical) story.

Here's a recipe that I got from the Winside cookbook.  It is one of Norma B.'s but around my work, it is known as Mary's Famous Banana Bread, or something like that.  It is always well received and is just yummy if I do say so myself.  I believe I told Norma once upon a time that I had commandeered her recipe but she didn't mind.

Banana Bread

1 T. vinegar
Approximately 1 c. milk
2 c. white sugar
½ c. margarine (can be melted)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs
Pinch of salt
1½ t. soda
3 c. flour
½ c. nuts (optional)
Put vinegar in a measuring cup and then fill with milk to the 3/4-cup mark. Set aside. Beat sugar and margarine together; add bananas and mix well. Add eggs and stir until mixed. Sift together dry ingredients and combine with banana mixture. Add milk/vinegar and mix well. Stir in nuts, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Makes 2-3 regular sized loaves.

The photos are from November 1994 and I am guessing they were taken at Thanksgiving dinner.  Close enough anyway.  I had to post both since I didn't want to pick one over the other.  The kids were kinda wild that day.  Mitch's foot is up in the air in the photo with Grandma, but Grandpa is holding it down in the other picture.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


"November 12 and 13, 1990:  Quilted at church.
November 14, 1990:  Ladies Aid meeting
November 16, 1990:  Pinochle at Laura J.'s.
November 21, 1990:  Helen had emergency surgery -- an appendectomy."

Good heavens.  I know Grandma wasn't making this stuff up, but once again here is something I don't remember.  Was I so self-absorbed with the upcoming birth of my little babe that I blocked out everything else?  I am guessing my lack of memory is maybe a good thing; that Aunt Helen had an uneventful surgery and recovery.  Certainly I would have some memory if that was not so.  I hope I sent her a card or something.

Since I don't have a lot to work with here, I will go to the back of this particular journal of Grandma's for some black walnut information.  This page has "1999" at the top and "Howard's record of black walnuts" and then the following list.  I am assuming then that all of these walnuts were given out during that year.  I don't know that they were all cracked that year, but I know Grandpa had oodles of black walnuts to crack so I guess it is possible.  Here's the list:

Greta - 1 pint
Jean - 1 pint
Myrtle - 1 pint
Jenny - 1 quart
Tom - 1 quart
Wilva - 1 pint
Duane T. - 1 pint
Randy J. - 1 pint
Arlene R. - 1 pint
Herb J. - 1 quart
Marcella S. - 1 1/2 pint
Dwight O. - 1 1/2 pint
Greta - 1 pint
Hazel (Wahoo) - 1 pint
Gaylord - 1 1/2 pint
Claire B. - 1 quart
Greta - 1 quart
Duane T. - 1 quart
Barb L. - 1 1/2 pint
Lynn - 1 quart
Helen H. - 1 pint
Mary - 1 pint
Jenny - 1 pint

My quick count gives 32 pints.  Egads!  I don't know what a pint of shelled black walnuts weighs, but I know they are fairly pricey per pound.  I am guessing Grandpa didn't take a dime for the walnuts, even those given to people outside the family.  I wonder if Jean was in town to get hers or if they were mailed up to her.

I have no particular reason for this photo.  It is of Lloyd, Mom and Ronnie back when none of them probably gave a hoot about black walnuts.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Something from Aunt Irene

Here's Aunt Irene at her typewriter, a caricature she had done at Disneyland some time or other.  I have copies and/or drafts of some of the speeches she gave to Chatterlings, a women's speaking group sponsored by Bank of America.  I thought I would give Grandma a little rest and instead put together two versions Aunt Irene typed out about this event, taking what I thought was the best from each.  It's a bit long, but I found it quite charming to read. 

Madam Chairman, Madam President, Fellow Chatterlings and guests,

I am going to ask you to let your imaginations run rampant and come with me as I take you to Denmark to be present at a golden wedding celebration. This was one of the most memorable incidents on my trip to Europe a few years ago. It appealed to me so much, I believe because of the "down-to-earthness", if I may coin a phrase, the sincerity and the genuine joy and enthusiasm that predominated the entire round of festivities.

The honored couple were Nels and Nelsigne Christensen, brother and wife of my eldest brother-in-law who with my sister had gone to Denmark for this auspicious occasion. Peter, Margaret, my cousin who lives in Copenhagen and I drove up to the little village of Skjorring where the event took place. We drove out through some of the most beautiful countryside and scenery that one could imagine. There were the farms, many of the buildings with thatched roofs, storks’ nests on the chimneys, the well-ordered fields and all the things I had read and heard about but really couldn’t imagine existed. We had to cross a rather large body of water, the Stort Balt, which translated means "the large body of water", it was on a ferry-type thing but actually looked like an ocean liner to me. It seemed that everyone on board was in a gay and festive mood and the people so friendly that I became even more elated at the thought of attending this wedding anniversary. Our arrival was quite exciting as there are very few cars in that area; people either walked, rode bicycles or buses to reach their destinations. The daring modern young folk had bikes with putt-putts. Imagine this little village, houses with thatched roofs, everything immaculate and the friendly inhabitants all of whom were looking forward to this big event. We parked the car at the barn which had housed the cattle and walked up to the house. The walkway was lined with the brightest and largest calendulas I had ever seen. I took time to notice the lawn which appeared to have been cut and trimmed with a precision tool, here and there were other bright and colorful flowers. Our greeting was most enthusiastic and of course, tearful. Nels and Nelsigne had planned more than two years for this, they had even raised the hogs and beef that were slaughtered, had budgeted their pension so that he could have a new black suit and she a new black dress.

They lived in a duplex, the son with his family in one part. We arrived late afternoon and were asked to come in to the house, made comfortable and first thing were offered a drink. The preliminaries took place in the tiny living room of the honored couple. We were then invited to go over to the side where the son lived. There was a table laden with more food than I thought could be concocted. We had to partake of everything as that is the way to show your appreciation to your host and hostess. After that we went back to the small living room for more talk, about all I could do was listen as I hadn’t become very proficient in speaking the language. Sensing that I was looking rather drowsy, someone suggested that my cousin and I might like to go to bed. We slept at the prest’s home, that is the minister. The bedroom was upstairs, a large room devoid of any furniture other than two beds stacked to the ceiling with feather mattresses and pillows. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling in the middle of the room and I have never disrobed so quickly as I did that night so I would not have to be the one to turn it out and crawl in to the stack of feather beds. I had with me the pair of red flannel pajamas that had been give me by one of my bosses and with them on, I scrambled to bed. I beat that undressing race, incidentally. I heard my cousin giggling as she crawled in to her bed, she spoke Danish to me and I tried to answer but whether it was right or not, I’ll never know; she laughed harder than ever. It seemed I had just gone to sleep when I heard a voice, "Irena, Irena". I came out from under the feathers and realized that it was time to get up and join the festivities. I fell out of bed, washed my face with water that I do believe had a thin coating of ice on it. There was a silver pitcher with water and a bowl standing on the washstand and the most beautiful hand-loomed and hand-embroidered towels to use. We dressed, ran down the hill and joined the villagers who were at the back of the house waiting to sing. And sing we did. I sang as lustily as the rest as the man who had a radio shop in the village led the singers after giving us the pitch. The shuttered windows opened and there were Nels and Nelsigne. They bade us come in and have coffee and rolls. That is one of the customs, they do not leave the bedroom until these songs are sung. There must have been about thirty of the townspeople there. It was about six in the morning. Then the gifts began to arrive. I had purchased what I thought was a lovely bit of ceramic art and carried it all the way with me from Alhambra and if you know what the Danish ceramics are like, you can appreciate how I felt. They were very gracious about it and let it have a place of honor since it was from America.

At noon the relatives were entertained at a sumptuous luncheon at the town hall. This meal was prepared and served by the ladies of the village. This was the time for toasts and each toast was followed by a straight shot of Akavit. Since I was from America I was given a place of honor among the family and unfortunately I was seated between their son and son-in-law. My sister Margaret had cautioned me before we got to the dining hall, "Irene do be careful, they think it is great sport to get a foreigner slightly inebriated." I toasted merrily along. I was asked to make a toast and in my faltering Danish I really don’t know what I said, but it brought a big round of applause and I noticed some of the hardy ones took about three Akavits to polish that one off. Following that repast we went back to the home again and there we met the press. They had come out from Randers, a town about 25 miles away where the largest paper of that area was published. My brother-in-law gave them a detailed resume of industry in the States and agriculture in general and then he thought I should tell them something about the Bank of America. But in my Akavit stage I begged off with a few facts, frankly I didn’t trust myself as I thought I might divulge some secrets that would give some enterprising young man or woman in the crowd an idea of founding a bank.

The evening was the gala affair. I believe everyone in the village was there along with all the relatives who had come quite a distance. Everyone was dressed in his best. The ladies wore formals, formals which had seen many other parties and no doubt would see many more. One of the women of the family had married well, a Swedish industrialist. She was most striking in her formal and he a giant of a man in his tails, but most gracious. I could hardly manage Danish and completely flopped when I tried to understand what he was saying in Swedish. There were lovely flower arrangements and the china and silver were beautiful. The cooks had outdone themselves, I finally lost count of the courses that were served. This was again a time for toasts and more Akavit, I was beginning to wish I had acquired a taste for something other than a good dry martini, but I stuck with them. By that time I didn’t mind that I didn’t have a formal, but just a polished cotton, cut rather low and daring.

Following the speeches and the poems that the family had written in honor of their parents, the room was cleared for dancing. There was a three-piece orchestra with a real beat and as is customary the honorees dance the first dance with no one else on the floor. Nelsigne had a heart condition so they took one slow turn around the floor for the opening waltz and drew a big hand. She was escorted to a chair where she sat the rest of the night and watched. She fairly beamed and I wish you could have seen that round face, lined with wrinkles but just beaming and her eyes twinkled through the little gold-rimmed glasses. Nels however, had the time of this life, he hardly missed a dance. His blood pressure was getting out of line, his face was flushed and his daughter said he should stop, but he said he had not danced with "den lille Amerikaner", imagine me being called little, so she consented and he took me whirling around the room. I don’t know whose blood pressure was higher, I do know his hearing aid flew out of his ear, but he traolled merrily on.

The party ended about two in the morning, 20 hours of celebrating. The next day the Danish flag was not flying from every residence as it had on their day, but I am sure Nels and Nelsigne were left with many wonderful memories and certainly it left me with some of the pleasantest memories that I still enjoy. It proved to me that it is not always necessary to have big and costly things to entertain us, the simple appreciated things such as this golden wedding celebration, are really worthwhile in this hectic world of ours.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Baby shower!

"November 10, 1990:  Greta, Dorothy Jo and I went to Lincoln.  Attended a baby shower in p.m. at Rick's cousin's home for Mary.  Family gathered at Tom's for chili supper.  Greta stayed at Dale's, Dorothy with Nancy and I at Tom's.  Met Nancy and Dorothy at Valentino's for brunch Sunday a.m. -- all went shopping on p.m."

For once I have a photo that is directly related to Grandma's topic.  Dane is "helping" me, it appears.  I remember that sweater.  I wore it to the hospital to have Mitch -- not that we knew we were staying for sure when we went there, but as it turned out we did.  I think I am looking pretty good for being about 6 weeks from delivering.  Love the monster glasses.

Trying to figure out from Grandma's entry whether Mom got to go to Valentino's and shopping.  She isn't mentioned.  I will assume all went back up to Winside that Sunday, but Grandma doesn't say one way or the other.

On a different note, yesterday's post was my 50th for this blog.  Hard to believe.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Black Knight and catching up on comments

"October 28, 1990:  Bill, Jenny and Jayme came.  We went to The Black Knight in Wayne for dinner.  Played cards in p.m.  They left early -- stopped to see Irene who fell this morning.
November 1, 1990:  Put Mary's baby quilt in frame -- finished quilting it Nov. 7.
November 3, 1990:  About 2 inches of snow.
November 6, 1990:  4 or more inches of snow."

This is really, really weird but I do not recall ever going to The Black Knight.  I have been in Wayne thousands of times and I do not even know where it is.  Or if it still exists.  And Grandma has mentioned it more than once in her journal so far.  She seemed to go only when company was in town.  We Winsiders didn't just get up and go out to eat much when I was still living at home so maybe I have not been there and am not just forgetting.

Aunt Irene must have been okay since I peeked forward and did not see any more reference of her fall.

Since I am drawing a blank on what else to yak about, here's a summary of comments since I last commented on comments:

Uncle Ray was 93 years old when he died.  Coincidentally, that is the same age Grandpa and Grandma were when they died.  Grandma Anna was three months shy of her 93rd birthday.

I did not make a spelling error in my post about being born knowing how to spell, but as Mom happily pointed out, I did make an error in grammar.  I swear, however, it was a typo in that I had the sentence phrased one way and then went back to edit and missed all the necessary changes.  Truly.  So proofreading has now fallen out of the top five on the list of my talents.

Mom also commented on how much her grandkids loooooved the beads that Dane and Kyleah are fighting over in the one picture.  I remember that, too.  The beads were quite the stylish kitchen window treatment when we moved in to the house.  After awhile they were retired and curtains were put up.  For some reason Mom saved the beads (the grandkids were a long ways off yet).  And they were played with and toted around and fought over (more than once probably).  Who would have guessed?  I think my kids had me grab a strand or two when we were cleaning out Mom's house to sell.

Our ancestor, Karen Pedersen's name was pronounced "Karn".  Must be the Danish was of saying it.

Mom (my most frequent commenter) weighed in on The Golden Child phenomenon and had nothing to say that put that title in question.  She remembers Dane was less than a year old when he first came to stay the weekend.  She admits to being a bit concerned as to how it would all go.  But on that visit, as well as the ones that followed, he always had a grand time and never cried for his parents or probably for any other reason. 

And I was right -- Grandpa grew his beard for Old Settler's.  Winside was celebrating its 75th year.  He still had it when they went to California to visit us.  I didn't recognize him and hid behind Mom's skirt.

Since I have posted silly photos of other people, I thought it only right to post a goofy one of myself.  I call this work of art "Looney".  I am pretty sure it was taken in the late 1980's.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not much here

"October 20, 1990:  Rained all day.  Audrey Q., Mary W., Patty D., Greta and I attended the TOPS ARD at Hartington in the p.m.  Joan Burney was the speaker.
October 27, 1990:  Dale brought the bed from Tom's.  He set up the bed and put on the spring and mattress that were delivered in a.m.  He had Dane with him.  He took the sofa bed home.  Irene, Helen and I went to the German dinner."

I am just not finding much to work with here.  I don't know enough about the ladies mentioned to talk about them.  I have been to a TOPS ARD and they are rather fun, but not really blog material.  I am glad Dale brought the bed and set it up, but Dale being nice and helpful isn't really news.  I bet Dane had fun.  The sofa bed may have migrated to my house eventually, but I am not sure.  And I never went to the German dinner.

In world news on the 27th, the Supreme Soviet of Kyrgyzstan chose Askar Akayev as the republic's first president, an event Grandma neglected to mention.

So with nothing much to go on, I will resort to a funny picture to salvage this post.  Here is Bill, under what circumstances the photo was taken, I have no idea.  On the back is a handwritten note saying, "Aren't I cute?"  I will let you decide, dear readers.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The apricot tree

"October 17, 1990:  Busy Bees at Irene's.  Windy, rain turning to snow in night.  The second part of the apricot tree west of the house blew down.
October 19, 1990:  Ray and Aileen here in p.m.  They came for a reunion of Aileen's cousins at Neligh."

I don't recall the apricot tree west of the house being a big producer, but I do vaguely remember the one north of the house.  Seems it was barely outside the back door.  Experts say the sense of smell is the most tied to nostalgia and I do associate the smell of apricots with going out that door.  I also vaguely remember being quite upset that the tree had to be cut down.  I am sure there was a very good reason, it was probably dead or dying.  I also remember canned apricots.  Sometimes I had to go to the basement to get canned goods.  It was not my favorite place to go when I was young.  It had a dirt floor and was rather dark and closed in and I didn't like the spiderwebs.  Oh, and there was an opening in the wall on one side as you went down the stairs.  I imagined all kinds of horrible things living in there and waiting to get me.  But none ever did and when I got older, the basement wasn't scary anymore.

I need to grab the other family history book to get the low down on Uncle Ray.  I remember him only as a great uncle and not as a young man.  The only thing I can report with certainty is that when he died (in his 90's), the only medication he was taking was an aspirin a day and he was buried in his wedding suit.  He is the only person in the family tree that I can figure Mitch gets his tall, lanky physique from.  If that is the case, I certainly hope he gets Uncle Ray's good health genes.

The photo is of me.  Someone who never has been and never will be tall and lanky.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Garden tomatoes and a Sunday recipe

"October 7, 1990:  Had our first good frost -- tomatoes are done for this year.
October 8, 1990:  Flu shot.
October 13, 1990:  Greta put the plastic on the west and north windows -- a perfect day -- no wind and not too cold."

In my humble opinion, it's hard to beat garden tomatoes.  Kim and I used to eat them after school like apples.  Nothing added, no peeling, no slicing -- just bite right in.  As I hear tell, the juice left from a bowl of sliced tomatoes was a prize when Grandma's kids were growing up.  I thought that was crazy until I tried it.  Adding to their appeal is the fact that picking tomatoes wasn't so bad.  It's not dreary and annoying like picking green beans or peas that like to hide in the green.  Bright red tomatoes all but ask to be picked.  I have seen various recipes that use green tomatoes, but I have never eaten any of them.  I don't know if Grandpa just left the green ones there or if he was such a master gardener, that there simply weren't any. 

I have always loved this photo and so am posting it today.  Looks like maybe the grownups were playing cards as opposed to eating tomatoes or anything else, but that's okay. 

This isn't one of Grandma's recipes, but the recipe for Johanna's fantabulous peanut butter cookies.  Maybe it was just Johanna's touch, but they were always great.

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. shortening (part oleo)
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. light syrup

Sift flour, sugar, soda and salt into mixing bowl.  Cut in shortening and peanut butter until it resembles coarse meal.  Blend in corn syrup.  Shape into rolls and chill overnight.  Slice 1/4 inch thick and put 1/2 t. peanut butter on one slice and put another slice over it.  Seal edges with a fork or press with fingers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool slightly before removing.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Christmas plates

"October 3, 1990:  Eye examination by Dr. Meyer.
October 4, 1990:  Eye examination by Dr. Speck.
October 5, 1990:  Nancy came again.  Saturday, she and Greta painted the garage.  Rick and Mary came in p.m.  Rick helped paint, too.  Sunday Nancy helped wash dishes in china closet and the Xmas plates."

Once again, a mention of me being there for an event I don't remember.  I love to paint, but am guessing I begged off due to being great with child.  Well, maybe not great yet but . . .  Maybe I just wanted to visit with Grandma in the house.

The Christmas plates were a known fixture in Grandma's house as anyone who had been there can attest.  I didn't see the unveiling of the new plate every year, but I remember being excited when I did happen to be there for that occasion.  It looks like Grandma's plates were Bing & Grondahl and Mom tells me the collection was started when Dora gave Grandma her first plate.  She gave one a year until it got a bit pricey and then Grandma simply purchased them for herself.

I was sad to learn from my research online that Bing & Grondahl was merged with another Danish porcelain plate company, Royal Copenhagen.  That in itself is not a big deal, but then later Royal Copenhagen moved nearly all of its production to Thailand.  I don't think that makes them Danish plates anymore.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Learning my directions

"September 24, 1990:  Sophia M., Willie and Irene were here in the evening.
September 28, 1990:  Nancy brought Dane with her this weekend.  Saturday she took me to Wayne and I ordered a new mattress and spring.  On Sunday she cleaned the lower kitchen cupboards."

For some reason Grandma's entry about the kitchen cupboards makes me think of when I was a kid and being sent to the kitchen to get something.  And of not knowing right away where the something was.  "In the east cupboard" or "in the middle drawer on the west side."  I have no idea how many fruitless minutes I spent staring around instead of asking (again) which was east and which was west.  Shoot, there were windows on only one wall, so it would have helped a lot if Grandma had said "the window side" or "the non-window side".

When I was in high school, Grandpa and Grandma and I went to western Nebraska for a family reunion.  For the entire weekend we were there, Grandpa could not get his directions straight.  North seemed something other than north to him.  I didn't laugh at him, but I remember distinctly not giving a hoot and wondering why Grandpa was so hung up on the issue.

Then five or so years later I went to Syracuse, New York for legal assistant training.  For a whole summer, north was south and south was north to me.  It was dreadfully unsettling.  I would stare out the window and say to myself, "Canada is that way" but it always seemed like the equator was most definitely that way.  Apparently with all the extra living under my belt since that family reunion, I had come to have an appreciation for knowing which way was which.  Thankfully, I have rarely had that feeling again.  It seems my internal compass is fairly accurate.

The photo is of me during one of our trips to North Carolina.  Which is on the east coast, in case you wondered.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


"September 17, 1990:  Greta, Irene, Helen and I visited Verna D. in Stanton in p.m.
September 21, 1990:  Helen and I played Scrabble with Irene."

I read somewhere that the ability to spell is possibly hereditary.  If so, I think I may have gotten my spelling ability that way.  I rarely had to study for spelling tests at school.  I used to be better, though.  I am guessing there are some spelling errors somewhere in this blog that people has [It's a typo! I knew not to word it that way!] been too polite to point out; some could be typing errors, I would like to point out.  Anyway, Grandma was a Scrabble diva.  (Not that you have to be able to spell to play; you can use a dictionary, but it just makes it easier if you can spell fairly well.)  She didn't win every time but she played really well and had lots of fun with it,  I think there were some Scrabble marathon days with several games played.  I wonder how she would have done if she had entered some tournaments.  I don't know if it was done or just discussed, but someone came up with the idea of putting the available tiles in a bag instead of wasting all that precious Scrabble time in turning them upside down.  Genius.

The article on wikipedia about Scrabble is rather interesting.  It states that roughly one-third of American homes have a Scrabble set.  And that the president of Macy's played the game on vacation and was surprised to find his store did not carry it.  He made sure that happened and things went uphill quickly from there.

This particular photo was taken way back before I could spell G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S, the word I used to describe myself that day.  Mom says Aunt Myrtle readily agreed with me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another birthday

"August 26 - 29, 1990:  Extremely hot and humid.
[undated]:  The riding lawn mower broke down.  A bill of around $130 at Wacker's and then $337.92 at Gallop's.  Still cheaper than a new mower.
September 8 and 9, 1990:  Greta and I went to Lincoln for Dane's birthday.  Nancy had the dinner on Sunday.  Saturday night Nancy and I visited Tom's.  We had a ride in Merilyn's new convertible."

I think I get my propensity for exact detail from Grandma. Was it necessary for her to record the bill at Gallop's down to the last cent?  Probably not, but it is precisely what I would have done.  And the Wacker's bill?  Well maybe she didn't get that one written down and forgot.

I am sure I was at Dane's birthday party in 1990, but I don't remember it with any clarity.  I do remember the time we all hid in Dale's garage for a surprise party for a fairly young Dane and nearly scared the life out of him when we hollered, "SURPRISE!".  Poor kid.  I think he's forgiven us.

I would have liked to have been along for the convertible ride. I bet Grandma had fun.  Merilyn has great taste in cars.

The photo is not of Dane's birthday party but some occasion up at Mom's.  Obviously the Golden Child is being slightly un-golden in fighting over beads with his sweet little sister, who is looking somewhat un-angelic here.  That's Mitch in the blue to the right, watching but staying clear of the conflict.  Good boy.  And Nancy's not helping either.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Two birthdays in two days

"August 24, 1990:  Greta, Lester, Dorothy Jo, Howard and I went to John's for his birthday.
August 25, 1990:  Greta drove her car and took Irene, Helen, Dorothy Jo and me to Fremont for Dora's 92nd birthday."

I note from the family history book that Dora's mother (Aunt Kate) and Dora's grandmother (also my great-great grandmother, Karen Thompsen Pedersen) are buried in Fremont.  I imagine Dora is, too.  This means I need to take a trip to Fremont to visit graves and get some better photos.  The only photos I have are xerox versions in the family history book.  I guess the time spent with Grandpa mowing the Winside cemetery has given me an appreciation not only for that cemetery, but others as well. has a place where people can request photos be taken and submitted to them of family tombstones.  It takes a small effort on my part to help someone who may be states and states away.  I took a few in a rural cemetery near Raymond last year, and may have to do more this year once the grass is green which makes for nicer photos, in my opinion.  I am open to company if anyone would like to come along. 

The photo above is of Fremont in 1908.  Our family pioneer, Karen Pedersen, came to America in 1884 at the age of 43 years.  Unfortunately, she lived only 13 years beyond that and died in 1897.  This means she died ten years before the photo of Fremont was taken.  How fascinating it would be to know the town as she knew it.  Fremont was founded in 1856 and was a hub of activity due to its proximity to the Mormon Trail.  A ferry crossing the Elkhorn River was also close to Fremont.  It was a major overland route for emigrants, the military and hunters.  Interesting stuff.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Nature's Bounty

"August 12, 1990:  Nancy helped get things for her to take home for a garage sale.
August 14, 1990:  Fixed 9 pints of corn for the freezer - from the garden.
[Undated]:  Put 18 more pints of corn in the freezer."

You gotta love food from the garden.  I have mentioned before that Grandpa had crazy gardening skills.  I have quite a few memories of not the garden necessarily, but of the results -- not that I didn't spend a good number of hours planting and picking over the years.  I remember Grandma Anna sitting on the back porch using an electric knife to cut corn off cob after cob.  And of me helping shell peas or snip beans -- with a preference for the peas.  Dale would leave the house when Grandma was making pickled beets because he couldn't stand the smell.  She probably stopped when I was in kindergarten or shortly thereafter, but I still remember Grandma's strawberries and where they were in the garden.  Sometimes I would go to the garden armed with a paring knife, pull some kohlrabi and eat it right there.  I don't think I would care for them now, but I've had many a sun-hot cucumber, too.  Oh, and the volunteer tomatoes!  Both the little red ones and the pear-shaped yellow ones were favorites.

More recently, we had plum sauce at Mom's.  She made it from plums that Grandma had frozen.  Seems the plum trees were doing quite well and Grandpa would pick up plums and bring them in the house.  After a while, Grandma was rather hoping he wouldn't anymore, but she diligently froze or otherwise made good use of all he brought to her.  And we are still reaping the benefits.

The picture is from a time when both Dale and I were probably prone to raiding the strawberries.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The First Greatgrand and a Sunday recipe

"August 8, 1990:  Women of ELCA meeting.
August 10, 1990:  Nancy and Dane came in the evening.
August 11, 1990:  Nancy and I had Dane here all day.  Visited with Helen and John in evening.  Greta and Lester were in Grand Island and came after Dane about 10:30."

Such fun was had when Dane went to Winside.  Actually, just the trip up was often entertaining for Nancy, let alone the trip back.  She can tell tales of messy eating and law enforcement and I-forget-what-else.   Dane was around two years old in 1990 when Grandma wrote those entries, but I like the photo and wanted to use it. 

Dane got to be the only greatgrand for a while, but was rather gracious as the younger ones came along.  Didn't seem to mind at all.  I, however, had a hormonal meltdown when I heard his younger sister was on the way.  I was expecting my own little piece of the spotlight* and here, the parents of Dane (a/k/a The Golden Child*) were going to produce another perfectly awesome child* less than a month later.  Of course my hormones over-reacted for no reason at all, there were plenty of ooos and aaahs and attention to go around; no one was neglected or anything like that.  Hormones can be funny things.

I haven't made this recipe in ages, but I think I need to find a reason to do so very soon.  These sandwiches are absolutely yummy.

Cheese Spread

1 c. evaporated milk
2 T. flour
2 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1 t. salt
3/4 lb. Velveeta cheese, diced
2 T. pimento
3 hard-boiled eggs, diced

Cook the milk, flour, sugar, vinegar and salt together until thick.  Add the Velveeta and cook slowly until melted.  Stir in the pimento and eggs.  (My directions don't spell it out, but I am guessing maybe the first several ingredients should be prepared like a white sauce -- told you it has been a while!)  The eggs should be diced fairly fine, but the stirring rather helps with that, too.

*You guys know which one you are and also know that I love you all bunches!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A funeral and a birthday party

"August 6, 1990:  Went to Helen's in the evening to visit with Gary and family.
August 7, 1990:  Mamie J.'s funeral in morning.  To Johanna's in p.m. for her 95th birthday.  Irene, Helen, Kathy M., Marilyn M., Arlene P., [another] Arlene P., Mary Lynne, Teresa, Dorothy Jo and I were there."

I adored Mamie.  I knew her granddaughters and her husband, Leo.  I never went to her home nor had serious conversations with her.  But she was cheerful and happy and...I know it doesn't matter, but she was also...cute.  I can't picture her without a smile.

The same can all be said of Johanna, except I did go to her house.  Her neat-as-a-pin, no-dirt-particles-allowed, cute little house.  I think Micki and Teresa and some others took Johanna out for her 90th birthday (or some other impressive numbered birthday) to have pizza.  Apparently Johanna had never had pizza before.  I never found out if she liked it.  I am guessing she would not have let on if she didn't.

And I can't talk about Johanna without mentioning her peanut butter cookies.  The cookies by themselves were exceptional, but what was even better is that the cookies were made into sandwiches with more peanut butter in between two of them.  Absolute peanut buttery heaven!

I have to reuse a photo to get one of Johanna.  If I find a better one, I'll find a reason to post it.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Globetrotting Uncle Elmer

August 1, 1990:  Irene, Helen, John, Raymond, Marina, Howard and I at Elmer's for dinner.
August 3, 1990:  Friday evening Howard and I went to Irene's to visit with Raymond and Marina.  They left for home Saturday morning."

Not much for comment in there but again, family stuff.

I wrote a little previously about Aunt Myrtle but not about Uncle Elmer.  I did not know it before peeking at the family history book, but he was quite the wanderer.  And also somewhat of a Jack-of-all-trades.  Mentioned in the history are his adventures in Colorado, Havelock (Nebraska), Wyoming, Texas, Kansas, North Dakota and Arkansas as well as a few other locations in Nebraska.  His varying jobs during his life included farming, working on Caterpillars, working on a combine crew, working in a locomotive repair shop, picking corn, being a wagon dumper, and being a mule skinner.  I had to look up the origin of the term "mule skinner."  A person who handles a mule or mule team has to be able to "skin" or outsmart the mules since they certainly have minds of their own.  Who knew?

I think I have used this photo before, but it was the best I had handy of Uncle Elmer.  From left to right, these fine folks are Uncle Raymond, Uncle Elmer, Aunt Irene, Aunt Helen and Grandpa.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Family, family, family

"July 24, 1990:  Greta, Lester, Irene, Raymond, Marina, Dorothy Jo at Helen's for supper.
July 25, 1990:  Housewarming for Helen and John.
July 28, 1990:  Lester, Greta, Raymond, Marina, Irene, Helen and John here for dinner.
July 29, 1990:  Mary and Rick here for dinner -- had a nice visit."

Now, I do not have to point out the obvious to the careful readers of the above entries.  The first three simply state what happened but the last one makes a commentary on the quality of the company, i.e. "had a nice visit."

I am, of course, just kidding.  They were all nice visits and fun times, I am sure.  Just had to toot my own horn a little bit. 

I purposely put a good number of entries in this one post for a reason.  I find it interesting that a well-rounded person such as Grandma would not write about weather very often, or about a story she read, or about things in the news -- things like that.  So far in these 30+ blog entries, she mainly writes about family.  There is nothing unique about that, but I still like it very much.  I thought maybe Grandma was especially fond of family events since they were somewhat scarce when she was growing up.  But, Mom tells me that there were probably more family gatherings during her childhood than I realized. 

Is it mean of me to select a photo of a family event that has Nancy in it when she wasn't part of the gatherings listed?  Even though it is fairly unremarkable, I like this photo.  I recognize the serving bowls and drinking glasses being used.  I can see Grandma's Danish plates on the wall.  (I cannot, however, identify the photo or whatever that is right below the plates.)  Also, the back door is open.  For some reason I like that I can see the living room, kitchen, back porch and the light coming through the door.  I, like others in the family, enjoyed that house and the property it sat on very much.  This picture takes me right back there.  Oh, and Mom is looking great in those shorts.

[This was supposed to post at 6 a.m. -- not sure what happened, but here it is late.]