Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Argument

So I am sitting in my recliner a couple of nights ago, happily sewing fabric hexagons together, listening to an audio book when I hear a ruckus outside.  Nosy old bat that I am, I went to the window to see what all the fuss was about.  My line of vision includes the sidewalk in front of the bar next door.

I see a big hulk of a man standing there, arms flailing about while trying to make his point and he is bent over some at the waist, which brings him nose to nose with a little bitty woman who is cute as a bug's ear.  The argument was along the lines of, 'Yes, you did,' 'No, I didn't.'

Finally the little lady takes two steps back, puts her hands on her hips and says, 'Homer, you are drunk.'

His arms fall to his sides, he straightens up, hangs his head and says, 'Yes, I am.  Will you take me home, please?'

The last I saw of them, they were quietly walking down the street, hand in hand.

Wouldn't it be nice if all disputes could be reconciled so easily?

Monday, September 25, 2017


the temperature had dropped 30 degrees.  The air conditioning is shut off.  The windows are open.  There is a light rain falling.

Tomorrow I will drum up some ambition to clean a closet and sort through boxes and tubs of fabric and yarn.

But today is a good day to stay in my jammies, sew little fabric hexagons together on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and watch old movies.

I love retirement.  :)

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Last Hurrah of Summer

It is hot.  The temperature is headed toward the 90's with a heat index of at least 100.  The humidity is in the 80's.  I know this is nothing compared with what our friends in the South live through, but we Yankees just wilt in anything over 80 degrees.

The combination of heat and high humidity has an adverse effect on those of us who have achieved geezer status.  We can become a bit short of breath and arthritic joints complain loudly.

So I shall be spending the weekend as quietly a possible.  I'll be back Monday when a cool front is due to chase away the hot and damp and usher in some fall weather.

Fall - my most favorite time of year.  :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I am not one of those people to whom shopping is a recreational activity.  When I still could get out and about, I would make a list, go to the store and buy what was on that list, get out and go home.  And I am not an impulse buyer.  I generally would look online and compare products and prices before buying anything major.

Now either my kids shop for me or I can order what I want online.  And the same applies.  I check it out before I order it.

Even with careful comparison shopping, somehow I find myself knee deep in stuff.  There are tubs of stuff on the floor of my closet.  There are boxes of stuff on the deep shelf above.  There are clothes on hangars that I haven't worn for maybe 10 years or more.  I have two night stands with drawers and shelves full of stuff.  I have a bookcase full of stuff.  And I have no earthly idea how I managed to accumulate so dratted much stuff.

I have begun the task of sorting and tossing.  Some stuff is in good shape and will go to Goodwill.  Some I will keep - but not that much.  The rest is destined for the dumpster.

It is amazing what I have found so far.  I have no idea why I have a shoebox full of floppy discs.  It has been years since I had a computer that would read them.  I know there is nothing important on them.  Out they go.

I have the dress I wore to my oldest daughter's wedding over 20 years ago.  I couldn't get into that dress even using a shoehorn.  Goodwill can make use of it.

I will keep the photos and the box of picture frames.  The old letters and printed genealogy material will stay, too.  And the tools.  But I think the dumpster might just be overflowing by the time I am finished.

There is just way too much stuff!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mother Nature...

is a bit cranky.  Last week it was warm enough to turn on the air conditioning.  By Friday this week it looks like I will need it again.

But today at 12:19 pm, the temperature is 56 degrees and it is raining.  I have the heat cranked.

So my green fuzzy blanket and I are spending quality time in my recliner.  There is some hand sewing and some crocheting and some reading to keep me occupied.  And naps.  Don't forget naps.

Mother Nature, please make up your mind.  Is it still summer or has fall arrived.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It has been a quiet day...

here in my little corner of the world.  The biggest excitement here was my grocery order delivery.  And that was pretty dull as I just ordered necessaries and no fun stuff.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I usually order one treat like Little Debbie Nutty Bars or maybe a small bag of butterscotch candies.  Guess I can suffer through with the cookies I made a couple of days ago.  :)

Our cool weather went away and has been replaced with heat.  It is nearly 6 pm and the temp is 91 degrees.  The humidity is up there as well and we have an air quality alert from smoke blowing in from wildfires.  But it looks like a cool down is coming by Sunday.

I'm pretty much having to confine myself to reading just the headlines.  My blood pressure can't handle the details.  For a time it seemed like common sense and goodwill had returned, what with the efforts of citizens helping citizens.  It did my heart good to see all those folks showing up with their boats to rescue those stranded in the flood waters.  Race, diversity and white privilege be damned.  People just helped people.  But now that the storms have passed, it seems we are right back where we were before.

I saw where a bunch of bottom feeders were busy helping themselves to high dollar shoes in the wake of the Florida hurricane.  I was glad to see that a couple dozen of them had been arrested.  Oddly enough, no work boots were stolen.

Black Lives Matter found it necessary to cover the statue of Thomas Jefferson at the University of Virginia in a black shroud.

Berkeley is ramping up to deal with the violence when a (gasp) conservative speaker shows up.  In typical response, the administration is offering counseling to those who can't handle opposing opinions.

And just this afternoon there are reports that the lunatic in North Korea has launched another missile.

I know I need to keep track of what is going on around us.  But for this evening, I believe a glass of lemonade, a cookie or two and a good mystery book are in order.  Perhaps my sanity can be saved after all.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Chocolate Chip Cookie Kind of Day

The first two cookie sheets full are in the oven.  I haven't done much baking lately and was craving cookies.  I may have to make some gingersnaps, too.  The gingersnaps bring to mind evenings on the porch with family and friends.  Mother always served gingersnaps in the summer with ice cold glasses of homemade lemonade.

I thawed out eight quarts of sliced apples, with another eight or so still in the freezer for another day.  I filled quart jars and used plain water to cover them.  They were in the boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  They will be good to use for desserts like apple crisp.

I found two whole chickens underneath the apple slices.  They look OK - no freezer burn.  I think later this week I will boil them up and can the meat in half-pint jars for use as sandwich meat.  I am low on chicken broth, so I will be able to can that as well.

I also found ten quart bags full of pumpkin and another dozen bags of butternut squash.  I haven't decided what to do with them, but am leaning toward dehydrating.  I have seen where others have dried both pumpkin and squash and then ground them into a powder.  It seems they rehydrate well and can be used anywhere one would use canned squash or pumpkin.

And way underneath the squash and pumpkin are maybe four quarts of shredded zucchini.  One day in a week or so, those will go into a few loaves of zucchini bread.

I think I actually caught a glimpse of the floor of the freezer.  When it is all cleaned out, I will ask Duane to come over and wipe it out.  I am way too short on one end to do it.  Chances are if I tried to clean the bottom of the freezer, I would wind up with my head inside and my legs sticking out the top.   Not a good position for a chubby granny.  :)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Prayer Request

For those of you who are so inclined, I have a prayer request.  My daughter has a friend.  She is widowed.  She is in a wheelchair.  She is on the east coast of Florida.  For several reasons she can not leave, so she is riding out the storm at her house.  Prayers for her safety would be much appreciated.  Thank you.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday Ramble

It was a peaceful day here in my little corner of the world.  There was laundry to do and dishes to be washed.  Dust bunnies vanished from a few surfaces.

Yesterday Duane brought me a big bowl of venison chili for supper and I finished it off for lunch.  It was really good.  I am still amazed at what a good cook he turned out to be.  I still remember that his specialty as a child was peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches!

I have been watching Hurricane Irma's advance toward Florida.  That is not going to be pretty.  My heart goes out to those in the path of that storm.  I found out that a cousin in Texas lost her home to the storm that went through there.  Everything was ruined by the flood waters as were the stables for her horses.  She and her husband managed to get their motor home to high ground and they were able to move the horses.  But everything else is either covered in muck or under water.  I feel so bad for them.

In between household chores, I have been entering information into my genealogy program.  I am amazed at the amount of data I have accumulated over the years.  I have been fortunate enough to acquire pictures from other relatives to add to the information.   It is nice to see what those ancestors looked like and many times I can see a family resemblance.

The moving project seems to have come up against several brick walls.  One wall is the price of rent compared to what I pay now.  After I pay my rent which includes all utilities except phone and Internet and after I buy my groceries each month, I still have enough leftover to be able to enjoy life a little bit.  It might be a bit selfish, but I don't want to give that up.  I want to be able to do some of the things that make me happy without having to decide if I want to pay rent or buy groceries.  There was a time in another life where I was hungry.  I won't go back there.

And then there is the problem of home health care.  Medicare will only cover that after a hospitalization.  And there are no home health services that are at all affordable.  My daughter is coming over tomorrow with some paperwork to fill out for County services.  I am not overjoyed about getting involved with any government programs, but I will take a look to see just what is involved.  If they have too many rules and regulations or if they want my soul in payment, it won't happen.

I mention the above just for anyone in my situation to know what we have found here.  It looks like I might just stay put and hire someone to do basic cleaning once a week. I would rather deal with the stairs than become so poor I look longingly at a can of dog food.  :)

Otherwise, all is well.  It has been cool for this time of year.  I turned the heat on a couple of nights ago when I saw it was 51 degrees outside and 62 degrees inside.  I like cool weather, but that was a bit much for this granny.  I am not ready to dig out the long johns just yet!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Minnesota Students Get It

The following was posted on Facebook and on the Internet news page for the local television station.

"MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some students at ROCORI High School are taking issue with the school’s policy that would prevent them from displaying flags in the parking lot.

The policy was revealed to students this week as they returned to class for the new school year.

According to the text of the parking permit application, “students are not allowed to display flags or banners from their vehicles while parked in the ROCORI school parking lot.”

Furthermore, the school says that “any violations of these procedures can and may be given a ticket or towed away at the expense of the owner.”

On Wednesday, a number of pickup trucks at the school arrived with American flags prominently displayed.

Community organizers have also set up a 2:30 p.m. “Support Our Students And Our Country” rally at ROCORI in support of the students displaying those flags. As of noon, about 30 people had responded to the Facebook event page."

We have allowed any mention of God to be taken out of schools.  School administrators have been known to send kids home for wearing a t-shirt with the American Flag on it, saying the picture of our flag might offend immigrant students.  A couple of years ago a kid here in Minnesota had been hunting the day before and forgot to take his shotgun out of his vehicle when he parked it in the school parking lot, which was against the rules.  He did the right thing by telling those in charge what had happened and asked permission to drive back home to remove the weapon.  School administrators called the police instead.

Political correctness is at an all time level of stupidity.  Under no circumstances should our flag be banned  From anywhere.  Period.

What really got to me were the comments on FB from adults condemning the kids for breaking the rules.  I suppose I should have expected it since I live in the middle of dimmocrat land.

But I will say this.  If my kid chose to break such an idiotic rule and fly the American Flag on his truck, I would stand behind him 100%.  Those students have more courage than the rest of the population who just follow along like lambs to the slaughter.

Good on you, Ricori students.  You make me proud.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Of Sharing Memories

Since my sister was here and since we talked of family memories, I have shifted gears and am spending more time on organizing the mountain of family history I have accumulated over the years.  I had let it go by the wayside while working on my food storage and on my sewing endeavors.  But I need to get back to preparing our family history to share with others in my family.  None of my offspring or their offspring are showing signs of taking up where I leave off, but I need to remember that I was well into my 60's before 'genealogy bug' bit me.

When I got to the point where I needed a genealogy computer program to keep track of my findings, I tried out several.  Some were too complicated.  Others seemed like there was more interest in cool graphics than in entering information.  Still others required the family information be sent on to their websites to be used for whatever purposes they wished.  And still others stole information that I later found listed elsewhere.

I finally found a program that is free and easy to use and has no restrictions.  It is 'Personal Ancestral File' from the Mormon website, ''  In checking the Mormon website before writing this post I found, sadly, that they have discontinued that program and now offer online solutions.  Lucky for me, I have saved my original download and when I have entered all I wish to enter, I can put the program and the information on a DVD and send it to any relatives who wish to view what I have entered.

When I first started this journey into researching my family, I found many websites where folks had uploaded their family tree information.  I thought I had hit the motherlode of genealogical information until I discovered errors in the family relationships.  Not only that, but specific errors were found in many different family trees.  People were just copying someone else's work and claiming it as their own.  I knew the work was wrong because I had personally known some of the people who were listed in error as to parental relationship or spousal relationships.  Birth and death dates were often wrong.  As were the names of places where the families had lived.

So I started doing my own research.  Many state historical societies have websites that can be searched for birth, marriage and death information.  Other websites have searchable Social Security information of the deceased.  Another called 'Find A Grave' is searchable to find the burial locations of ancestors.  I have found it reliable and useful.

Now I just enter into my program those that I know or knew personally and those for whom I have found to have proof of their existence.  This way I know that the information I leave behind is true and accurate.

This research thing may seem as dry as dust to those who have no interest in family history, but I find it fascinating.  I found details of one ancestor who, upon his arrival to North America spent a couple of years living in a cave.  When he finally obtained a small farm, he was such a disagreeable neighbor that he was literally run out of town.  Another has documented statements of his bravery during the Revolutionary War.  And another was fined 6 months pay for being drunk on guard duty during the Civil War.  It would seem that I have more rogues than heroes.

Not everyone needs to go to the lengths I have in finding my roots, but I think my grands need to know something of their history.  They need to know that their great-grandfather on one side of the family carried on his family tradition of farming the land that had been in the family for generations, both milking cows and raising beef cattle.  And another great-grandfather (my Dad) spent most of his adult life caring for his invalid wife, sometimes working three jobs in order to do it.  Both of those men had a work ethic second to none.  This is part my grand's heritage.  They need to know.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Family Stories and Pictures

I have decided that the easiest way to share family stories and pictures was to set up another blog.  This is not a genealogy blog.  I tried that, but with such a large family and with the mountain of information I have collected over the years, that one soon became cumbersome.  This new blog is simply to share family stories and writings as well as photos.  I am starting with the Paul family for I have lots of writings by my grandfather and his brother, Walter.  Later on I plan to get into the other branches of my family.

The name of the new blog is "Remember When."  When setting up this blog I found that every genealogy or family related name had been taken.  So I finally gave up and used an address that I knew would be available.  It is:

I have hard copies of all the stories I am posting for this branch of my family and will do the same for the other branches, for we can not count on the Internet to always be here for us.  But until then, it is my hope that my children and grands will take this opportunity to acquaint themselves with those who went before, for they had a hand in making us who we are today. 

It is important to remember.

Friday, September 1, 2017


Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon with my sister.

She and her husband came to see me.  We don't often get to spend time with each other, so this was particularly fun for me.

My sister and her family have lived for years on the family farm, which is a hog raising operation, in the southern part of the state.  My brother-in-law took over the farm from his father and has now passed it on to his son.  I like that the farm has stayed in the family all these years, rather than being sold to a corporation as so many here have.

They brought presents.  There was a box filled with pork from their farm - ham and sausage and bacon and a roast and chops.  I thawed a package of sausage links and shared them with Duane for breakfast this morning.  He said that was the best tasting sausage he had ever eaten.  He was right.

And there were tomatoes fresh from my sister's garden.  I sliced one for breakfast and have been nibbling on the cherry tomatoes all day.  Delicious.

We got each other caught up on what our kids and grands had been doing and we talked of the past.  Some memories were shared by both of us and others were new to one or the other of us.  We talked of our parents and aunts and uncles, all gone now.  They and their stories live only in our memories, which, we decided, weren't all that great any more.  We need to write the stories down, but it is doubtful they would be of any interest to the younger generation.

I knew they needed to get back home, but I was sorry to see them leave.  It was a truly nice afternoon.

I am adding some pictures here.  My sister says she reads this blog, so she should see these and hopefully remember.  She is five years younger than me and is the cute blondie in the photos.

I think this is my favorite picture of me and my sister.

There were few hills where we lived, so Sister got her snow sled rides by big sister power.

Mother sewed our clothes.  These were Easter dresses.  Mother would have preferred we look like this all the time, but to her chagrin, there were bicycles to ride and mud puddles to splash in and trees to climb.

At Grandma Paul's house with Aunt Margaret's Cocker Spaniel puppies.

This is my favorite photo of my sister.

It is a good thing - spending time with one's sister.