Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just stuff

"March 8, 1992:  Rained during day -- heavier in evening turned to sleet and snow during night.
March 9, 1992:  No school.
March 11, 1992:  LCW meeting.
March 13, 1992:  Pinochle Club at Leona B.'s"

Seriously, that is what Grandma had for March 8.  Even I noticed several sentence structure mistakes there.  But, she wasn't writing a novel, just recording events. 

Funny how she commented on school being out when she hadn't taught for several years.  Old habits.

Here's a photo of me from 1969 wearing a "school is called off for today" smile and holding an umbrella that might have been useful on March 8, 1992.  I am also wearing one of my most favoritest dresses.  The jumper was fake leather and had fringe on the bottom.  I think I saved it and brought it home when we cleaned out Mom's house.  The occasion of the photo was Grandma's birthday.  I see Dorothy Jo, Grandma Anna, Grandma and Mom.  Is that Aunt Margaret to the left and Aunt Clara with her back to the camera?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Visit to Aunt Irene

"March 5, 1992:  Received the family story compiled by Jean and Marjorie.
March 7, 1992:  To Norfolk with Greta to visit Irene and do a little shopping.
March 6, 1992:  World Day of Prayer at Methodist Church."

This is good.  I was not sure when the family history book was compiled and now I do.  I imagine it is recorded in the book somewhere, but this works, too.  That was quite a feat for those two ladies and from all accounts they went about it with much vim and vigor and didn't kill each other in the process.  They created a very fine end product in my opinion.

The photo is of Aunt Irene (obviously) and the first Jack, I think.  The one-eyed one Dale brought down from Dad's.  The one that would have been perfectly happy to hang around the place and keep mice and rabbits away just for the table scraps or whatever food might be around.  The one who ended up being let in the house instead and using Grandma's plants for a litter box in appreciation.  He came around and behaved in the house eventually as I recall.  He was most definitely spoiled compared to the bare necessities needed to keep him around.  Oh, and he got swatted by Kena when he did nothing wrong but she was irritated at people teasing her.

I think that's the right cat in the photo anyway.  If not, the stories are still true as it applies to Jack. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bugs and buffalo

"March 2, 1992:  Ecolab Eliminators sprayed kitchen, back porch and bathroom.
March 1, 1992:  Trinity AAL sponsored a buffalo supper -- served over 400.  Duane brought us our meals.
March 3 - 7, 1992:  All week to get things put back in place."

I note the buffalo actually happened first, but I already have my tantalizing post title so I am going to leave things in the order Grandma had them.

I am wondering how it came to be that the church was involved in a buffalo supper.  Who came up with the idea?  How close is the nearest source of buffalo?  Very interesting.  And obviously very well-received.

Here's a photo of me definitely not helping with putting things back in place.  I vaguely remember sitting on the refrigerator, but I have no idea why I decided to do that.  Did I just get lucky in not knocking over a pitcher and a can of soup, or did I rearrange them to sit beside me?  Weird kid.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Just stuff

"February 17, 1992:  Slow rain almost all day -- temperature of  36 degrees or so.
February 22, 1992:  Finished piecing the second brick variation quilt.
February 29, 1992:  Greta helped clean out cupboards in p.m."

I don't know which cupboards Grandma and Mom cleaned out, but it must not have been the cubbyhole or Grandma would have said so.  I remember helping clear out the cubbyhole in the upstairs bedroom.  When I was a kid it was a fascination to me.  (Grandma knew that, so maybe that is part of why I got to be part of the cleaning project.)  It had a small door and angled walls.  I know now why it was that way, but as a kid it seemed special and mysterious.  I don't remember any of the treasures we found that day but I was plenty old enough not to expect a secret diary or magic beans.  We had a very pleasant time of it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


"February 12, 1992:  WELCA met in p.m.
February 14, 1992:  Rain and icy -- no Pinochle Club.
February 16, 1992:  Tom and Merilyn came yesterday afternoon.  They stayed all night at Helen's.  Greta was here for dinner with them.  Dorothy Jo, Arlene P. and I were preachers today.  The pastors were on vacation and we conducted the service.  Tom took firewood home for him and Nancy."

I got to go to church quite a bit growing up but never remember Grandma taking part in leading services.  Either by coincidence I wasn't there for some reason, or the practice started after I graduated and moved south.  I do seem to remember her reading a lesson or two.  I got to do that myself on occasion.  I tried to remember to read slowly since I noticed other kids read way too fast and barely took a breath.  Maybe they thought they were reading slowly too and we all sounded the same after all.

I don't know if Grandma spoke much during the services that day, but since it was a church event I've picked this photo of her and Uncle Ray at their confirmation.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A very merry unbirthday?

"February 2, 1992:  Bill, Jayme, Nancy, Tom, Merilyn, Dale, Dane, Kyleah, Mary, Rick, Mitch, Greta, Dorothy Jo and Johanna here for dinner.  Gaylord, Lois and Linda and Myrtle came in p.m.  Lester came home from hospital in p.m.  Myrtle Jacobsen died.
February 5, 1992:  Myrtle J.'s funeral.  I didn't go.
February 11, 1992:  Lila took me to Norfolk.  I bought a new floor lamp -- cost $120.79."

All those people there and no mention that it was for Grandma's birthday.  Her 80th birthday in fact.  She cracks me up sometimes.

Of course, we can't let a mention of Myrtle Jacobsen go by without relating how Nancy believed Tom came to join the family.  Rather than share the story of the birds and bees with Nancy, Grandma told her she fell down and hurt her leg and Myrtle Jacobsen felt sorry for her so she gave her a baby.  Nancy confesses that sometimes she wasn't sure if she liked Myrtle Jacobsen or not.  I for one, always liked Myrtle Jacobsen.  And I do believe Nancy has come around as well.

The photo is from Grandma's 90th birthday, but it was the best I had.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Legal to drive again

"January 22, 1992:  TOPS Club went to Tony's for supper and a belated Christmas party.  Kris, Lois, Greta, Diane, Patty, Cleora and I went.  Lester took Howard to Wayne again for driver's test -- Howard passed!!  Hoorah!
January 29, 1992:  Lester had surgery.
January 31, 1992:  Pinochle Club at Elsie J.'s."

I don't recall what surgery Lester had but Grandma didn't say much about it, so I am guessing everything went according to Hoyle.

Glad to know Grandpa was driving legally after over a month of breaking the law.  I wonder how much fun it would have been to take a driving test in one of the vehicles in the picture.  Also wonder if they would let you get away with it if you took one of those in today.

I remember when Nancy lived down by Plymouth and Grandma had been doing really well at TOPS.  She told the story that she was tempted to eat some cookies one evening so she went to bed early instead.  Fool-proof method!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A birthday party

"January 18, 1992:  Greta and I left at noon for Lincoln.  Stopped at Wahoo to give Jenny the cotton batting so she could exchange it for a polyester one.  Went to Mary's.  Greta, Mary and I did a litle shopping.  Dale, Dane, Kyleah and Nancy came to Mary's -- we had pizza for supper.  I stayed with Nancy.
January 19, 1992:  The Bowders, Nancy, Greta and I had dinner at Mary's.  In the p.m. a birthday cake and ice cream for Kyleah's 1st birthday."

Caught Grandma there with an incomplete sentence at the end.  I also corrected her spelling of Kyleah's name -- she had it right on the 19th entry, but wrong on the 18th.  Both things, shocking.  Just shocking!  And also, just kidding.

I remember the birthday cake I made somewhat.  I know there was at least one and maybe two, cheesy-looking mouse cakes.  I knew they were cheesy at the time, but I also knew that Kyleah wouldn't mind.  I think there are some cake-all-over-the-face photos from that day.  I don't remember having so many people over for pizza, though.  I wonder where we all sat in that little house.  Of course, some of the guests were little people, so that helped.

The photo obviously wasn't from that day, but it's close in time to Kyleah's first birthday.  Hard to believe she's over 20 years old now. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


"January 16, 1992:  Jean and Hank here for dinner.  They have been at Tom's -- are on their way to Tennessee to see Scott and family and then on to Marjorie's in Florida.  In p.m. they took Helen and me to visit Irene.
January 17, 1992:  Pinochle Club at Laura J.'s.  Arlene R. took me to club."

I often think of Marjorie's cat when I think of Marjorie.  At one of the family reunions (when I talked to people other than the ones I see all the time), I asked her if Hosper was still around.  She said he was and that he was over 20 years old.  He wasn't up to much anymore, but did like to lay in the sun on the driveway.  Sometimes he would start to groom himself but in his old age would forget to move to a new spot.  Eventually he would lick all the hair away and be down to bare skin.  She said he would have hair stuck to his tongue and would stop with a befuddled look on his little cat face.  I am not sure how old he was when he died, but he has gone on to kitty heaven.  He had one of the coolest names ever for a cat.  Or any pet for that matter; Hosper Jean Tom Rospierre Calcavecchia.  Jean is with the French pronunciation, like John with a "Zsh" at the beginning.  And "Tom" may have a French spelling but I went with the more familiar.

Here's a photo of some unknown Siamese cat in place of Hosper, who was Siamese.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Oopsies and Victor Borge

I overslept this morning -- either my phone alarm wasn't working or I missed it entirely.  So, no time to do a post from home and I left Grandma's book there so I can't do much from work now either.  So to make this post worthwhile, I will throw in some Victor Borge quotes.  Enjoy!

--He was happily married - but his wife wasn't.

--Humor is something that thrives between man's aspirations and his limitations. There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because, you see, humor is truth. 

--I don't mind going back to daylight saving time. With inflation, the hour will be the only thing I've saved all year.

--I only know two pieces; one is 'Clair de Lune' and the other one isn't. 

--I wish to thank my parents for making it all possible... and I wish to thank my children for making it necessary. 

--If I have caused just one person to wipe away a tear of laughter, that's my reward.

--Laughter is the closest distance between two people. 

--My father invented a cure for which there was no disease and unfortunately my mother caught it and died of it.

--Santa Claus has the right idea - visit people only once a year.

--The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer. 

--When an opera star sings her head off, she usually improves her appearance.

Monday, May 21, 2012


"January 6, 1992:  Lila and Mick T. came here to audit the church books.
January 14, 1992:  Some snow in evening with wind.  By Wednesday morning temperature was -8 degrees with wind chill of -45 degrees!!!
January 15, 1992:  Helen H. took Nelle T. and me to Busy Bees at Helen Jones's.  Neither of us wanted to drive when it was so cold."

Again, gotta love the three exclamation points.  If the 15th was as cold as the 14th, I wouldn't want to drive either.  Heck, I probably would have wanted to skip Busy Bees.  I say this not knowing exactly what Busy Bees was or did or is or does.  Obviously, Grandma thought it worthwhile to go.

And for those very observant readers, my last post ended on January 9.  But Grandma does show January 6 next, followed by a retelling of the 8th when she and Grandpa went to get their licenses.  She must have had distractions during this first part of January.

Here's a photo of two cut-ups.  Not sure of the occasion.  Photos of the 45th anniversary show them in different clothes, so unless they had a wardrobe change, that wasn't it.  Something special was going on given that both are wearing flowers.  I spy Grandpa's snoose (I've never tried to spell that word before -- looks funny) can peeking out of his pocket.  I like the way he is smiling at Grandma in the photo on the left.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Driver's licenses

"January 8, 1992:  Foggy and rainy and some freezing rain.  Lester took Howard and me to Wayne for driver's licenses.  Howard had to take the written test since his license had expired.  He missed 7 questions so has to go back.  I got mine renewed.  I didn't go to ELCA -- too icy on our cement driveway.
January 9, 1992:  Wonderful sunshine.  I finished piecing the Crazy Patch quilt top.  Verna Ditman died.

I'm certain she was gloating since that wasn't her way, but Grandma wrote about the visit to get licenses twice in her little journal book.  Interestingly, the two entries were almost verbatim.

I'm at a loss here, so I'll just post a nice photo of Lester and call it good.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Christmas 1991

"December 25, 1991:  Greta, Howard and I left a little after 7:00 for Lincoln.  Foggy between Wayne and North Bend.  Had a wonderful time at Tom's.  Merilyn left in morning to visit her sister in Wisconsin.  Nancy went over early to put the turkeys in the oven.  Greta had planned to have the Christmas dinner but because of Rick's accident, we went to Lincoln so Mary, Rick and Mitch could be with us.
December 26, 1991 - January 9, 1992:  Only one day of sunshine -- otherwise foggy and cloudy."

I remember this day pretty well.  We had a bit of a birthday party for Mitch and he wore a black and red striped shirt.  Photos were taken of Lynn, Grandpa, Bill and myself -- Lynn and my tummies had greatly lessened in circumference since the photo taken a year before, whereas Bill's and Grandpa's were much the same.  I am still surprised that the year before Lynn and I didn't team up and pummel whoever suggested that particular group photo.  Just kidding.  As I recall our smiles look pretty genuine in those pictures.

I seriously need to scan some more photos.  But in the meantime, here's Mitch and Grandpa when Mitch was six months old.

Friday, May 18, 2012


"December 22, 1991:  Howard helped me for 2 1/2 hours to roll out and bake peppernuts.
December 24, 1991:  Greta, Dorothy Jo, Helen and John here for soup supper after the Christmas Eve service.  Lester came to exchange gifts.

I know for a sure fact that I certainly spent more time consuming peppernuts than I did helping make them.  They were good crunched right away and also good sucked on until the bottoms caved in. -- can't go wrong with peppernuts.

I did get a chance to help make them on at least three occasions I can think of.  I know Dale and I helped when we were still in high school.  We tried to talk Grandma out of smooshing the "sharp" corners made while cutting but she convinced us that people might hurt their mouths on them if we skipped that step.  We didn't believe it, but we smooshed away so as to be obedient and not disappoint her.

Then the kids and Nancy and I made them with Grandma in Winside on the back porch.  I don't remember how much help the kids actually were.  I only remember a photo of Anna under the card table, definitely not helping at that moment.  Or was it Mitch?  I am putting money on Anna.

And I am pretty sure I at least stirred up a batch after Grandma moved to Lincoln.  I especially recall the hand-stirring.  The dough had to be stiff and after so many additions of flour, I was SURE no more flour could possibly be added but Grandma said "more" and we kept going.  I didn't break my arm doing it, but was kinda hoping near the end that I would so we could call in reinforcements.

I think we (Mom? Nancy?) have talked about making peppernuts some time.  Haven't gotten around to doing it yet, but I have faith.

I don't know if we had peppernuts for the Christmas of 1966 captured in the photo, but with those happy faces we sure look like maybe we did.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Christmases past

"December 15, 1991:  To church in a.m.  In p.m. Greta drove our car to Bob & Mary's in Norfolk for the Iversen-Nielsen Christmas gathering.  Gaylord brought Irene there.  Johanna also there.
December 17, 1991:  Busy Bees had Christmas dinner etc. at the Stop Inn."

Unfortunately, since we don't have the "Cousins' Christmas" any more, I haven't thought about it in some time.  My best memory of that particular event was when I was little and Aunt Myrtle would bring gifts for all the kids.  They were little gifts, nothing spectacular but I remember being so excited and appreciative of those offerings from Aunt Myrtle.  Maybe because in my childs' mind, she was outside the immediate family and didn't "have to" give me a gift.  Or it was just a ramping up of exciting events soon to come.  I don't even remember the things she gave me; I just remember thinking it was really neat.  By the time she stopped doing it, I was plenty old enough to understand what an undertaking that was for her -- to pick age-appropriate gifts for an ever-growing number of kids.  It wasn't a gift for one of those Christmases but I still have and treasure the doll she made for me with duck feathers for a dress.

I've used it before, I think, but here's a photo with Aunt Myrtle in it.  Left to right we have Aunt Irene, Aunt Myrtle, Uncle Elmer, Uncle Raymond, Jean, Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Helen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hair business

"December 11, 1991:  Women of ELCA -- Christmas potluck dinner.
December 12, 1991:  Got a permanent at Wilva's.
December 14, 1991:  Greta, Lester, Dale, Dane and Kyleah here for dinner and afternoon for Howard's birthday.  Lynn stayed home to bake cookies. etc."

The mention of a permanent reminds me of the issues we had getting Grandma's hair fixed after she moved to Lincoln.

She had one appointment a week at the beauty college (do they still call them that?) and I was happy to get her to and from.  The problem was how long it took.  These were students doing the work and there was some instructor involvement in checking or helping or who-knows-what.  So, the appointments would take quite a long time sometimes.  I adjusted my lunch time and was able to make up any extra time away easily.  But this did not sit well with Grandma. 

So, she hatched the plan that she would take the HandiVan to get there and then I would just have to pick her up.  The college would call when she was done and since it was downtown where I was, I could get over there fairly quickly.  This opened up time to have lunch together.  Sometimes Grandma had something fixed and ready to re-heat and other times we drove through Runza or Arby's and then ate at her place.  We had a great time and I always got a hug before I left.  The everyday stuff that memories are made of.

Appropriately, here is a picture of Grandma at her place in Lincoln with some great-looking hair and a cute great-granddaughter thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trip to the casino

"December 6, 1991:  I had Pinochle Club.  Tom, Merilyn and Nancy came in evening.  Tom and Merilyn stayed at Helen's.
December 7, 1991:  We all went to Fort Randall Casino in So. Dakota.
December 8, 1991:  Tom, Merilyn, Nancy, Helen and John here for birthday dinner for Howard.  Greta came in p.m. with History of Winside book."

There were several trips to this or that casino over the years but somehow I managed to not make it on any of them.  Which, with my luck, is probably a very good thing.  I know Grandpa enjoyed going quite a bit.

We did not make Grandpa's birthday dinner because Rick was still in the hospital.  Those days are rather a blur especially after all these years.  I mainly remember that Mitch was a good little guy given the disruption to his normal routine.  The photo was taken about the same time.  Mitch had been smiling and looking cute with his low-budget reindeer "costume" but turned surly when I got the camera and made him leave it all on longer than he wanted.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Poor Nancy

"December 1, 1991:  Thanksgiving dinner at Tom's.  Helen and John came with Greta, but Howard stayed home -- didn't trust the weather.  Streets and trees covered with ice -- ice on trees until Thursday.
December 4, 1991:  Rick in an accident at work -- broken collar bone and ribs -- was in ICU 5 days."

All these years later, Rick's accident is still a topic rife with ammunition to tease Nancy.  As most of you know, I received a phone call early in the morning from the hospital that Rick had been in a work accident.  We were a one-car family at that time, so I called Nancy and woke her up.  Asked if I could use her car to run to the hospital -- I guess I thought I would have it back to her in time for work, not sure.  In any event, since she had been sleeping, she wasn't yet at her best.  She declined to loan me her car and we hung up.  I called Mitch's daycare provider who lived a block away.  She sent her husband out in the dark winter morning to gas up their van.  While he was doing that, Nancy's synapses started firing a bit better and she called me back.  Said she would give me a ride to the hospital.  So, I called off the van with my thanks.

Nancy came to get me in short order and took me to the emergency room entrance.  And dropped me off.  And went on her way.  Honestly, I didn't think anything of it.  I don't know if that was because I had bigger things on my mind or if I come from a long line of people that are not easily insulted or slighted. 

Nancy got to work and related the events of the morning to her boss.  Allen looked at her aghast and clarified with her that she had indeed just left me there by myself with a husband in who-knows-what condition.  Yes, she had and now felt guilty about it.  For the record, I was fine.  Didn't need any hand-holding.  Someone to visit with as a distraction once they hauled Rick away would have been nice, but I most certainly handled it.  Rick was okay even though he did have some serious injuries that took some time to heal.  The staff at the old Lincoln General did great.

I had no photo that remotely related to the topics at hand, so here's some of Grandma's tulips.  And her car.  And her caboose.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Multiple holidays

"November 28, 1991:  Thanksgiving Day -- went to Lincoln -- ate at the Hilton.  In evening Bill and I played Cribbage and 2-handed Pinochle.
November 29, 1991:  Rain and sleet.  Tom came at 11:00 a.m. to take me to Nancy's in Lincoln.
November 30, 1991: Nancy took me Christmas shopping.  Went to Tom's for supper.  Tom had left to go to Winside for wood and bring Howard back on Sunday."

I recall going to the Hilton for Thanksgiving on at least one occasion.  It was pretty swanky and pretty fun.

In a rush right now to go to Lincoln myself for Mothers' Day dinner at Nancy's.  I am among the world's worst at remembering to get and picking out greeting cards.  So, Happy Mother's Day to Mom and Nancy (since there isn't an Aunt's Day to my knowledge).  Love you both bunches, always have and always will.  See you in a bit. 

I've used this photo before, but it was the only one I had at the ready of Mom and Nancy.  Well, the one I had at the ready that I had used longer ago than the others.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


"November 24, 1991:  John, Helen, Greta, Dorothy Jo and I had dinner at the Black Knight.
November 24, 1991:  Dryer repairs amounted to $50.25 -- covered by CAPP.
November 27, 1991:  Greta took me to West Point to meet Bill. I went on to Wahoo."

Yes, Grandma did have two entries for November 24; it's not blogger error.

I shouldn't be surprised given Grandma's habit of memorizing presidents and vice presidents and the counties in Nebraska and such, but I found a list of expenditures in no particular order.  I would guess that she was going by memory and/or was looking at old records when she started writing them down.  Here is a sampling in the order she recorded the entries:

March 1995 - chain saw $130

Bought dryer in 1966

August 1990 -- total repairs on riding lawn mower, $467.92

March 4, 1989 -- Furnace burnt out on Saturday night -- really cold.  Repairs $112.65

June 1989 -- paid $310.87 to have car repaired; change distributor, check bearings, etc. for trip

March 1987 -- new water heater from Gas Company $199.74 + $24.50 labor, total $224.24

February 1988 -- had wart removed from forehead [no cost noted, so this entry was a bit out of place]

October 1982 -- accident in Wayne, hit by car at intersection. Johanna was with me.  My collar bone was broken.

August 1986 -- New sink and counter top installed with money from anniversary gifts.

That's it for now except for one more notation.  On another page, all but itself, was this entry related to the car accident mentioned above:  "1982 -- In the fall I had my collar bone broken.  Howard washed dishes for me for 6 weeks."  I like that that got a page all to itself.

Photo is just a random picture with Grandma and Grandpa in it.  With linked arms.  Sweet.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Started and done

"November 14, 1991:  Started piecing 16-patch block top.
November 20, 1991:  Busy Bees at Stop Inn.  Bonnie W., hostess.
November 22, 1991:  Snow and sleet.  I postponed Pinochle.
November 23, 1991:  Finished piecing the 16-patch top."

I know it was winter and snowing and such, but I think that is a good time frame to piece an entire quilt.  Especially a 16-patch which to me means little pieces.

I still have yet to piece a full-sized quilt.  At this point, I don't know that I'll ever get there.  But, the family has been well-represented in the quilt realm, so it's probably okay.

That's Grandma Anna seated to the far left in the photograph.  She quilted, as we know.  I do not know if her mother did as well.  I'm guessing it is very possible.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

More pinochle, more Dane

"November 8, 1991:  Pinochle Club at Stop Inn.  Marie H. -- hostess.
November 9, 1991:  Nancy and Dane came.
November 13, 1991:  ELCA"

Eek.  I know it is early, but I really have nowhere to go with that stuff.  So, I'll go back to the Iversen-Jensen Family Tree book that I was referencing earlier.

I did a very quick glance through the book and it seems that of the many descendants of .Iver and Christiane Iversen, only Peter Iversen and family lived and married and died in northeast Nebraska.  Quite a few ended up in Fremont and Omaha and Washington County, Nebraska.  Quite a few others lived out of state.

The only people I found this early in the morning that lived near us was Ivar Jensen.  He was born in Denmark but came to American at age 2 with his parents.  They lived near Kennard, Nebraska and he grew to an adult there.  He married Lena Falconer who was born in Iowa.  They first lived in Colorado, but later moved to a farm near Wisner.  They had five children, including Genevieve and Phillip that I wrote about earlier, before they divorced in 1917.  Ivar then married Anna Schroeder in Wayne.  The book shows she was buried in Wayne in 1958, so perhaps they lived there all that time.  Ivar eventually moved and remaried the first Mrs. Jensen.  She and some of their children were living in Washington and Oregon.  Ivar and Lena died in Oregon and are buried there.

Well, now that I look again some of their children lived in Nebraska.  Maybe.  It looks like several were still living in 1987 when the book was made, so I only know where they were born and married.  The ones born and/or married in Nebraska are Chester Jensen (married Betty Langan from Hartington), Delbert Jensen (married in Wakefield to Elinor Meyer), and Richard Jensen (married in Wahoo to Kathleen Langan).  Maybe this information is helpful to Mom or Nancy.

Speaking of siblings born in Nebraska, see the photo above.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


(No, Grandma didn't go sledding, just to put such thoughts to rest right away.)

"November 1, 1991:  Snow and wind -- almost a blizzard.
November 2, 1991:  Streets blocked.
November 5, 1991:  Arlene P. took me quilting."

Grandma's mention of snow put me in mind of sledding down the hill in front of Grandma and Grandpa's house when I was a kid.  Grandpa had given me a big red sled one year.  It had handlebars instead of the usual steering method.  The back skids were set, but the skids were split front and back so that the front half would move with the handlebars.  Very cool.  And also very, very heavy.

It is a bit amazing to think that as kids we were well acquainted with the laws of physics.  Either some kid why back when learned it from a grown-up and passed the knowledge down through kid generations, or we learned by trial and error.  In any event, we knew to put the heavy sled at the back whenever we made a train of sleds.  (Dale was generally good at letting me tag along with he and his friends, but all notions of "she's too little" really went away when it came to sledding -- a kids' detente.)  As I recall we really scooted down that hill when Big Red was in the back.  And that hill was great for sledding because we had the turn at the bottom to negotiate.  That made it more interesting then just slowing to a halt on a straight shot.  We usually ended up in a snow bank if we missed the turn since the street stopped with nothing ahead at the turn, so extra snow was pushed in to that area at the very bottom of the hill.  Great fun.  And of course, we had to take the bank if we saw a car coming.  I seem to remember that after awhile we grew tired of hauling Big Red all the way back up, so it got put aside and my old regular sled got used for the latter part of our sledding day.

No sledding pictures and no picture of Big Red, but here's some snow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Time to hit the woodpile

"October 29, 1991:  Quilted at church on Mildred K.'s quilt.
October 30, 1991:  Helen and John took us to Pierce to doctor.  Got our flu shots.  Tom came for wood.
October 31, 1991:  Snow about 4 inches.  No wind."

I hope the snow didn't deter the trick-or-treaters.  Maybe the snow came later in the night after the ghosts and goblins had gone to bed, all smiling and sticky from candy.

As most readers know, the picture of the woodpile is woefully inadequate, at least compared to the best of the best of Grandpa's woodpiles.  Cute that the chainsaw is right there.  Like someone wanted to take the photo, so Grandpa put the saw down and got the heck out of the way.

Which reminds me.  I've said it before and I'll say it again -- don't turn your back on Dale if he has a running chain saw in his hand and there are trees within sight.  For sure you will turn back around and . . . no trees!  I am guessing he learned his woodcutting technique and enthusiasm from Grandpa.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Scrabble and more scrabble

"October 23, 1991:  Ella Wittler and Arnold Herbolshiemer died.
October 24, 1991:  Played Scrabble with Helen.
October 27, 1991:  Bill, Jenny and Jayme came for dinner.  Helen, John and Greta here for dinner, too.  Bills' left early to visit Irene and Helen and I played Scrabble."

Well, the good news is I am not writing about people being struck by trains or children being orphaned.  The bad news is once again I don't have much to expand on here.  So, I will give up and just post a silly set of photos.

I don't know for sure who the people in the pictures are, but I am glad to know that Nancy and Mitch and Anna and I (whilst on vacation, mainly) are not the only butt-picture-takers around.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Another story from the Lars Jensen family

This was in that same family history book and I thought it was worth sharing.  It was written by Genevieve Marie Jensen, daughter of Ivar and Lena Jensen.  Ivar was a son of Lars and Ane Jensen that I wrote about yesterday.  Genevieve was born in 1909 and was Lars and Ane's granddaughter.

She wrote quite a piece, but I will share just a bit.

"I believe another time later, about the time Phillip was a baby, Dad and Mom bought a second-hand Brush car that looked like a single red buggy without shafts, had a dash board only you steered it with a bar 7.  The motor was under the thing and Daddy had driven it by the front gate the night before.  Next morning, he was going to show Mom and me how it ran, as he had it on trial.  He got it started by turning up the step and cranking it.  It popped and cracked and smoked.  Then he hooked it in gear.  Mom and I were standing on the porach, out of the way.  He pulled the bar the wrong way, pushed the gas lever to go ahead, backed into the gate post, and knocked down about six foot of woven wire, besides knocking over the post.  As I remember, that was the end of that.  He fixed the fence, got it started, and drove it back as far as it would go, until it ran out of gas.  I know we went to town with the horse and buggy later that week and it was setting beside the road.

About this time, Mother was having a time with Phillip.  Her milk wouldn't satisfy him.  She used "Horlicks", a malted milk sort of power in milk to feed Phillip.  Nothing seemed to agree with him and he threw it up.  Finally, he was skin and bones, back to birth weight or below and he was four or five months old.  Folks thought they were going to lose him and Mom had his picture taken in the christening dress.

About this time, Mom was making chocolate pies.  One morning with we children watching her in the kitchen, she had Phillip in the high chair on a pillow, with one to his back and him tied in to it, with a diaper.  All of a sudden, Phillip held out his little hands and cried toward the pie filling as she was cooling and pouring it into the pie shells.  She said, "You poor little thing, I"ll give you some.  You may die but at least you will die with a full stomach."  She took a teaspoon and put some into his mouth.  How he sucked on the spoon.  She must have given him about two tablespoons of it -- all the while big tears were streaming down her cheeks and she was saying, "You poor hungry baby.  I've probably killed you, but you will die happy."  She sat down and rocked him to sleep.  Then she went to the big old telephone hanging on the wall and rang up Central, all the time crying and got Dr. Morris in Wisner.  Anyway, Kathleen and me were crying because Mom was crying.  Between sobs, she told the doctor what she had done.  He told her if Phillip didn't throw it up, to dilute the pudding with boiled milk and put it in a bottle and feed it to him.  He was raised on chocolate pudding into a lovely son.  (Today, he is allergic to chocolate pudding, he tells me)."

She had other stories to tell and they were quite interesting.  I looked up Phillip in the book and at the time the book was written in 1987, he was still living so I don't know how long his life was or if maybe he is still alive.  He married a woman named Lake Erie Blanchard and had three children.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lars and Ane (Ivarsen) Jensen

I read a little from an Iversen-Jensen family history book that I found recently and wanted to use up one post to tell of Lars and Ane.  Ane was a sister to Peter Iversen, Grandpa's father.

Both Lars and Ane were born in Denmark and married there before coming to the United States sometime between 1886 and 1889 with their three children.  They lived in Kennard, Washington County, Nebraska.  Lars died at age 42 after being struck by a train.  He worked for the railroad and he and a co-worker were in the process of moving a hand car off the tracks when he was hit, killing him instantly.  He and Ane had eight children, ages 8 months to 18 years old when he died.

Ane received this letter from her in-laws in Denmark.  The Jens Peter the writer refers to is one of Lars and Ane's sons.

"Dear Sister-in-Law,

It was a very sad message that you, dear sister-in-law had to bring us at this time.  We hadn't expected that our brother should pass away that quickly.  But so much is happpening here on earth that the dear Lord shows himself in so many ways.  It is so hard to understand why, but when soemthing like this happens, we have to put everything in God's hands.  He alone knows what's best for us and then we have to ask to learn to say, "Thy will be done."  You write that Jens Peter has been in California.  Why doesn't he stay at home so that he can be a help for you and the older children?  Then maybe you can have a chance to raise your small ones.  But it sure is hard to sit alone with so many fatherless children.

We don't really know the circumstances over there, but would you please let us know if you get any money for compensaiton and how you are?

We are looking forward to hearing a little bit more about it as soon as you settle down.  Isn't it a comfort to you that you have some of your relatives around you?  Don't you have two brothers, one sister, and your old father nearby?  We really don't know exactly where they live or if they live nearby.  Can they sometimes come to visit you in those tough times?

There were some Danish Americans that had written to Klippinge to some people, the man's name is Thomas.  They had written about the burial of a Danish man who was killed by the train and it must have been Lars.

We are healthy, so to speak, but unfortunately Per is a little weird in his head and doesn't comprehend everything.  He is like a big child, cries and is kind of sad.  If you write, you must not mention anything about it.  As long as I'm healthy and can care for him, everything will be all right.  And now, very much love.  Cheer up.

Yours sincerely, Dorthe and Per Frederiksen"

I hope the Per she was writing about is a son named after his father, not Dorthe's husband.  It is strange that Lars died in late December and Dorthe wrote in early February.  So it would seem that Jens Peter took off for California right after his father's death?  Or else he did that prior to Lars dying and Dorthe is speaking generally that he should be at home more.

A year and a half after Lars' death, Ane married another Dane, Anton Kristian Nielsen.  They had one child together.  Sadly, Ane died in 1904 of tuberculosis, almost three years to the day after Lars died.  She was 44 years old.  Her occupation, as listed on her death certificate, was carpet weaver.  Ane's brother, Jens Iversen, became guardian of four of the children.  Three of the other children were over 14 years old and petitioned the court to have Jens be their guardian as well.  The five year old and three year old children were adopted by other families.  The youngest, Anton's child, went to live with his father.

A rather sad story all the way around and one I had not heard mention of before.  Most of the children lived fairly long lives.  Jens Peter, mentioned in the letter, however, died at age 24.  Many of the members of this family are buried in the Kennard Cemetery.  Perhaps we should make a visit one day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

More digging in the dirt

"October 18, 1991:  Pinochle at Stop Inn.  Leona the hostess.
October 21, 1991:  Randy J. helped Howard put the pump in the flower bed.
October 22, 1991:  Charlie J. plowed the garden."

I certainly hope the garden didn't look like that just before Charlie plowed it.  Just being silly, but it does appear that this photo was taken near the end of the garden season.  Lots of bare dirt where veggies have been harvested for the last time and the plants pulled up.

Since I am at a bit of a loss here, I went upstairs just now to see what other treasures were in the boxes from Grandma's place.  I found similiar journals that come after the one I am using now, so I have lots of material to keep plugging along for quite awhile.  I also found the transcript of a presentation Grandma did about quilts, a notebook with highlights through the years starting with 1943, and the transcript of Grandma's commencement speech to the Class of 1977.  I will have to spread out the extra stuff so as not to use it up too quickly.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Welcome to Post 100!

"October 11, 1991:  Put brick variation quilt in frame.
October 16, 1991:  Busy Bees at Ruby R.'s.
October 17, 1991:  Went with Greta in the evening to see Irene."

Woo hoo!  I have internet at home again.  Life is good.

I must admit that this post, the 100th, is a bit lacking in pizzazz.  But glad to know Aunt Irene got visitors.

I'll have to veer off a bit since I am already out of things to say about Grandma's entries.  While I was finding these writings of hers in my still-unorganized sewing room, I also ran across her dolls -- I am entrusted with keeping three of her childhood friends.  One is in pretty good shape other than her hair, another is in pretty bad shape (probably fixable, but her eyes are gone and there is a big crack in her neck which together make her look a little creepy), and one is rather in the middle of the two.

I found a doll hospital in Omaha on the internet.  The doll doctor lady said she would give quotes if supplied with photos.  I took some shots of the doll in the middle and sent them to her.  She answered pretty quickly.  Said that this particular type of doll is her favorite to work on.  She said the doll is by Armand Marseille (doesn't that sound fabulous?).  She has a bisque socket head and German glass blown eyes.  She would definitely have had a tongue at one time.  I find that curious to be sure. Once fixed, the doll should have an insurable value of about $650 and a resale value of half that, not that I would sell it.  Interesting to know, though.

I will take her to Omaha when I can and get her fixed up.  Will post before and after pictures here whenever it is all accomplished.  I will also take the two other dolls up to show the doll doctor.  She can probably tell me some trivia about them at the very least and I can decide if I want to fix them as well.  I'm a sucker for stuff like that, so likely all three will get face lifts.

I don't know if Grandma had any of her dolls when this photo was taken, but she sure looks like a little doll.  Her papa took and developed the photo, a fact I find very cool.  That's Uncle Ray with her, of course.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Forgot Grandma's journal at home (and I'm at work), so no post today until this evening, and maybe not even then.  I'll try to double-up tomorrow.  Here's Mom's possible reaction to this news:

Just kidding.  Now that I've used that photo, I won't use it again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crazy weather

"October 5, 1991:  Rain, sleet, snow, hail, sunshine and windy.
October 9, 1991:  ELCA
October 10, 1991:  Helen and I played Scrabble."

What a crazy day October 5 was.  I don't know that I have experienced a day with all those weather elements in it.

If ever there was a game invented with Grandma in mind, it would have to have been Scrabble.  I am not saying she won every game, because she didn't, but what a great fit.  I wonder had smart phones been around earlier, if we could have gotten Grandma hooked on that version of Scrabble you can play with friends in cyberspace.  I am thinking she would not have liked it; that she would prefer to sit and visit and enjoy not just the game but the company of her opponent.

Here's a photo of the totem pole (thanks, Nancy).  It is pretty much as I remembered it -- nice and tall and straight.