Monday, December 29, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Start by slicing apples and oranges about 1/4" thick and drying the slices. This can be done in a dehydrator, which is the method of choice, or on cookie racks placed on cookie sheets and put in the oven on the lowest temperature, usually about 150 -200 degrees. Turn them at two or three times a day until dry. How long this take will depend on a few things, but shouldn't take longer than 2 or 3 days. If you do this in the oven, you need to leave the door open a crack so the moisture can escape.
While the fruits are drying, you can be getting the rest of the material together. You will need large, wooden macrame type beads and little wooden thread spools, both of which you can get at a craft store like Michaels. Mine has a combination of the two, and I used approximately 40 pieces. You might use more or less, depending on how you space them. You will need 2 or three fabrics (or more, if you like), complimentary to one another, torn into 1" wide strips and cut into 5" lengths. You will also need a piece of jute or heavy cotton string, about 8 ft. long.
Start by a sliding all your beads, spools and fruit slices onto the jute, in any order you like. (For ease of instruction, I will call the spools beads from now on. You will slide whichever one you have on your jute.) Its good to have a bead on either side of a fruit slice to hold it in place. Fold down about 5" at one end and tie an overhand knot to form a loop. Take one of your fabric strips and tie it over the knot. (You can just tie this once, it doesn't have to be tied in a knot. It's not going anywhere and has no stress on it.) This will keep your bead, etc. from sliding off the end. Tie another 2 strips on, then slide a bead over next to them. Then tie 2 or 3 more strips, and slide a bead or fruit slice, whichever you have strung next. You are going to just keep tying strips between beads and fruit slices until you have filled all but the last 12" of the jute. Make a loop at the last end and tie an overhand knot, tying strips over the knot, as before. Hopefully you can see from the photo and the drawing what I mean. This garland has a cozy, homespun look and feel, and it makes me feel right at home when I look at it. I hope you enjoy it, too.
Now...the fruit of apple and orange are used to make Wassail. If you have never tried it, you don't know what you're missing. Here's a really simple recipe. Take 1 gallon apple juice, 1 qt. cranberry juice, 7 sticks of cinnamon, 15 whole cloves and 1 sliced orange. Put all together in a large pan and heat on medium heat until warm. You can turn it down and simmer it all day to make your house smell good, too. It's a wonderful drink to get you warm on a cold winter's day. Enjoy!
Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves of green.
Here we come a-wandering, so fair to be seen,
Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too.
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year!
And God send you a Happy New Year.
I hope you are enjoying the last few days before Christmas as much as I am. I finally got my gifts taken care of, as much as I can on a VERY limited budget. My husband will be losing his job any day now, so we really have to watch what we spend. But I'm used to doing a lot with just a little, so I know we'll get through this one way or another. "If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." Anne Bradstreet.
'Night all. Gramma G.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Now it's time to give him a face. I have included the pattern that was used on mine, but you can give him any face you like. Acrylic paints are good for this and so are paints pens. Spray him with a little crystal glitter spray and then a clear acrylic and let him dry. When he is good and dry, put his hat on his head and tie his scarf around the bottom of the pipe. and you have a very easy, very cute little snowman!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Now, let it dry according to the instructions on the package. When dry, paint with green paint, and a little yellow for some highlights. Glue two small black beads in the eye indentations and tie a ribbon through the hanging loop. I like to tie a piece of curly curling ribbon on the hook, too, to add a little decoration. Spray with clear acrylic spray, and your pickle is ready be hidden in your tree. I also like to make a little bag to keep it in so it stays nice. I put a little paper crinkle in the bottom for cushion, and this all makes the pickle seem really special. Whether its a German tradition, an American tradition, or no real tradition at all, it has surely become one to a lot of folks, who play I Spy on Christmas morning so they can be the one who finds that pickle! If you would like to see a cute video about Christmas pickles, go to :
I hope you will add the Christmas pickle to your family's traditions. Whether real or not, its fun.
And remember what Albert Einstein said; "I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Inspiration is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." Use your imagination a create a pickle for your tree. 'Night, Gramma G.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Now take your puzzle pieces and your cardboard and paint them all green, both sides. I prefer spray paint, because its faster, but you can use acrylics and a sponge brush, too. When they are dry, start hot-gluing the first layer of puzzle pieces onto the wreath. The next layer should cover the joints and spaces of the first layer. I usually do just two layers, but sometimes a third layer is needed to fill all the gaps. When you have it all glued together, take a little white paint and a stenciling brush, or a very stiff-bristled brush, and dab a little white (snow) around the edges. Not too much, just a dusting.
The next step is to put some berries on it. You can use little red buttons, or jingle bells, or beads. Whatever you like that will add that little bit of red. Glue a red bow at the top, and you can either glue a ribbon loop to hang it on the tree or a pin back so you can wear it. If you have used small puzzle pieces, you can use two of the extra ones to make earrings. Put a dusting of snow on one edge, glue a little red button (or whatever you used) onto it, glue earring posts to the back and Voila! Your have earrings to match your pin. These make cute gifts, too.
I apologize for such a terrible photo. My camera died and I borrowed my daughter's and her doesn't work either! I am trying to find one that I can afford, and I am using the camera on my cell phone until then. I hope you can visualize what it is, but if you have any problems, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help. Thanks for your patience.
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la."
Friday, December 19, 2008
Find a small, vine wreath, or make one if you have vines in your area. If you are making it, you will need more vines than you think to make a nice, full wreath. Take 5 or six vines about 18" long and form a circle a little smaller than you want your nest to be. Now take another long vine and start twining it around the circular vines, going in and out and around, so that the wreath becomes sturdy and holds together. When it's the size you want, simply weave the end into the other vines and you're done!
Now you need some moss. Spanish moss is the best because it's kind of straggley. (Not really, but that's the best word I can come up with.) Use the moss to fill in the whole in the wreath and to pad the nest. Hot glue it in place, but be careful, because it's thin and the glue will come right through to you! (I always keep a cold drink next to me when I craft, and I can dunk a hot-glued finger in it and stop the burning immediately.) Your little nest is done. Add a little bird or some tiny plastic eggs and put it in the branches of your tree. I don't know if the legend holds true for homemade nests, but I like to think so.
"And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests...." Luke 9:58
"Another parable he put forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches." Matthew 13:31,32
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Myrrh is also a resin from a tree, this time the Commiphora Myrrha tree. It is a reddish-brown color, and is also used in perfumes and incense. It was the main ingredient the Lord told Moses to use in making the annointing oil. It was also used as an embalming ointment, and as a penitential incense for funerals and cremations.
Now, what does this have to do with anything? Well, I love potpourri, and those earthy smells. I love watching the flames in a fireplace when they change colors because of the different ingredients in whatever you put in there. So today's project is potpourri that smells good, and pine cones that will make the flames turn colors.
For the potpourri, you will need the following: cranberries or holly berries, cinnamon sticks, small pine cones sprinkled with ginger, sweet gum balls or other seedpods, dried bay leaves, dried holly leaves, glycerin-preserved evergreens, whole cloves, and cinnamon oil. Dry the cranberries by making a small hole in each berry and letting them air dry. You can also put them in a dehydrator, which will do the trick a lot faster. Break up some of the cinnamon sticks and leave some whole. Mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle with a few drops of cinnamon oil. To make the mixture smell even nicer and look good, too, bake some little gingerbread men and over cook them until they are dry, and add to the mixture. This is a very pretty potpourri that will make your whole house smell like Christmas. It makes a nice gift, too.
The pine cones are even easier to do. You need some craft glue, some sodium chloride, which is table salt, some potassium chloride, which is no-salt substitute, and some copper sulfate, which you will have to have your pharmacist order for you. You will also need 3 gallon-size ziplock bags and a paint brush. Put each chemical into a seperate bag and set aside. Using the paint brush, paint craft glue onto the pine cones, one at a time, and immediately put them into one of the bags with the chemicals. Shake well and remove from bag. Place pine cones on waxed paper or foil to dry. To use them, just toss them into the fire. The sodium chloride will turn the flames a bright yellow, the potassium chloride will make violet colors, and the copper sulfate will turn the flames a pretty turquoise. Keep your pine cones in a basket by the fireplace, and give some away.
"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." Matthew 2: 11
As with the wise men, we should remember that gratitude is the sign of noble souls. 'Night, Gramma G.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
You start with a box of some sort. Not too big, not too small. An oatmeal box works well, or I have discovered a garbage bag box works great! I use a Hefty Tall Kitchen, 13 gallon size bag that comes in a box of 40 or 45 bags. The box has the opening on the top and makes a perfect slot for our purposes. Cover whatever box you choose with pretty paper, or have your children draw pictures of things they are thankful for and use them to cover the box. If you use an oatmeal box, cut a slot in the lid. If you use a different box, such as the garbage bag box, be sure to put glue around the edge of the opening and cut the paper to the shape of the opening. If your box doesn't have an opening already, cut one.
Now cut some brightly colored paper strips and put them in a baggie by the box. Each day, maybe right before you bless the evening meal, have each family member write on one of the strips something they are thankful for, and drop it into the box. Maybe you want to do this only with the Sunday meal. It's all up to you and your family, of course. (If you have a large family, you may only want to do this once a week, or you will have too may strips.) On Thanksgiving day, read all the strips and then staple them into a paper chain to use for decorating for Christmas! And start all over! Decorate a new box every year, and this will be a wonderful family tradition that will help you all to remember what you are truly thankful for.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Here's a thought from Oprah: "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." So true. 'Night, Gramma G.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
First, you need to find a Christmas carol that you really like, or use the one mentioned above. Make a photo copy of the sheet music, maybe from a hymnbook or sing-along book. You will need a wooden plaque to put the music on. You can stain the wood or paint it, or leave it it's natural color. Your choice. You can size the music so the whole thing fits on the plaque, or you can just use a part of it. I like just using a part of it, and I tear the edges so that it looks like I once had the whole piece, (which I really did!) and decoupage it onto the plaque. You can use a commercial decoupage medium, like Royal Coat, or you can make your own from 2 parts white glue and 1 part water.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The story I like the best is only part fact and part fiction, but I still like it. It says that a priest in Cologne Cathedral about 1670 invented the candy cane to help keep the little children in the live nativity quiet through the evening. Now, we know he didn't "invent" it, but he probably did have the canes made in the shape of the shepherd's crook to entertain the children. It was still all white, though.
The candy was originally straight, too. It was made as a decoration for the Christmas tree soon after Europeans adopted the custom of having Christmas trees in their homes. The bent shape made it easier to hang on the tree, too. Christmas cards from before 1900 show all white canes, and those printed in the early 20th century show stripes on them.
Whichever story you subscribe to, the candy cane is a great thing! It represents the embodiment of the season, because you see them everywhere, whether in a secular setting such as with a department store Santa, or in a religious context, representing Christ as the good shepherd who saved us all. (If you turn it upside down, it's a "J" for Jesus, too!) I love candy canes, so today's project is two candy cane recipes. One for the actual candy, and one for a scrumptious bread in the shape of a candy cane. Take your pick.
Mom's Recipe For Candy Canes
3 c Sugar
1 ts Peppermint flavoring
1/2 c Water
3/4 c Lt. corn syrup
3/4 ts Red food coloring
1/4 ts Cream of tartar
Combine the sugar, water, syrup, and cream of tartar in a large sauce pan and heat till the sugar is dissolved well. Divide equally into two saucepans, and bring to a boil, but DON'T stir until each is 280 degrees. Add 1/2 tsp. peppermint to each pan and add the coloring to one, leaving the other plain. Pour onto an enamel or marble table to cool. Oil the table first, so the candy won't stick. Now, like taffy, you have to stretch and pull the candy and form it it into ropes of red and white. Put one rope of each color together and twist them around each other to form your candy canes. Leave them on the oiled surface to harden. Voila! You have real candy canes. Give them to your family and friends (and don't forget the neighbors), with a little card attached sharing the story you like the best about it's origins or meanings.
Now for recipe number two. This is a candy cane coffee cake that is really yummy. I got the recipe from "A Taste of Home" magazine.
Candy Cane Coffee Cake
1 TBS active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TBS sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS confectioner's sugar
1 jar (12 oz.) cherry jam
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sour cream, eggs, sugar and salt. Add the yeast mixture and flour. Beat until smooth, but do not knead. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top, and cover and refrigerate overnight.
For the filling, mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until blended. Now punch down the dough and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and roll out each half out into a rectangle16"x10" and place on a baking sheet. On each long side, cut 1 1/2" wide strips about 3" into the center. This will leave about 4" in the middle uncut. Spread the filling down the center of each rectangle, and starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across the filling. (I hope you can see from the picture what this is supposed to look like.) Pinch ends to seal and curve one end, forming a candy cane. Cover and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Carefully remove from baking sheets to wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Stir the jam and then spoon over the tops of the loaves, creating stripes. (Be sure to refrigerate your leftovers because of the eggs.) Do the same as above, with a little card telling the story you like best.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I plan to keep these ideas simple and easy, so that you actually have the time to do them, without too much prep time or money spent. I hope you like them.
"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7
Remember what this season and this celebration are all about as you go about the daily job of living, and hold Him in your heart, for this will bring you peace. 'Night, Gramma G.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The library pocket books are almost finished, and they are looking really cute. I hope the library ladies will like them as much as I do. Sometimes I wonder why I do this? I could just make fudge and cookies, and call it good, and don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, but I always seem to feel the need to do something more personal. And that something is never quick to make. I always swear that I'm going to start in January for the next Christmas, but I never seem to do it, except for last year. By last December, I had almost everything made but the last-minute stuff, and it sure was nice. I will be trying to do it again next year. I am going to try to simplify my life, and that will help.
I've been talking to some of my children, trying to convince them that they need to down-size Christmas for their kids. They need to teach their children what Christmas is REALLY about, and it's not presents and parties and stuff. In fact, they have too much stuff. I was talking to a young mother last week who says that she and her husband started a family tradition a few years back that has simplified their Christmas and given them a lot more time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and on giving service. She has three children, and they each get 6 presents for Christmas. One from mom and dad, one from each set of grandparents, one fron Santa, and one from each of their siblings. That's all. No more. No going into debt for huge amounts of money, no trying to make sure that all the kids have the same number of presents, no lo-o-o-o-ong lists for Santa.....just 6 simple gifts. I thought about that for a week, and I think its one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time. By the time her children get to be teenagers, they will know that they are not going to get a mountain of presents and they won't expect it! I wish I had had such an idea when my kids were little. We have always made our gifts, but I really like the simplicity of her plan. I just wish my children would embrace that idea.
Well, I really got off on a tangent there, didn't I. But I guess what really bothers me is that I've got grandchildren that don't even know what the true meaning of Christmas is! They know nothing about the Savior, his birth, death and sacrifice. To them, Christmas is Santa and presents, and the more the better. This makes my heart hurt. I'm just not sure what I can do to change it. I am going to think on it.
I wanted to do a "12 Days of Christmas Series" for you with ideas for gifts and for service, but I don't know if I have it all together. I will start tomorrow, which really is the 1st Day of Christmas, and we'll see how it goes. I may skip a day here and there and let you come up with your own ideas. So here's to you and your good ideas. If you do something and it works out well, let me know. Post it in the comments for me (and others) to read. Or you could tell me about something that may not have worked out like you wanted it to, too, and maybe we can figure out a way to make it better next time. All will be welcomed.
Oh, by the way...I am 54 today! I am never sure I will make it to see another birthday, but I did this year. My husband turned 54 two days ago, and we are quickly approaching honest-to-goodness old age. We feel old now, but I know there's worse to come. I tell myself that every day that I wake up is a good day! Both of my parents died at the age of 59, so I have a few years left to go. I'll try to make them good ones.
For now, I must bid you adieu, and remember.....time with you is better than ice cream! 'Night, Gramma G.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I have also been busy trying to get another book written. I've got the drawings done, I think, and now I just have to type it all up together. This will be number one in the kid's crafts series. Now if I just knew what to do to get them published. There's a small publisher here in town, but they don't do children's books and they don't do craft-type books. That's what they told me. I gave a copy of the first book to the head librarian at the public library, and she said she really liked it. She led me to a big fat book (that I have no time to read) about how to get published, but it will be a while before I get around to it.
I have been busy, too, with helping to get the plans laid out for the year for the library story time. I am a volunteer for that program, and I really enjoy it. We read and tell stories, do activities and crafts, and have snacks. We did a Jackson Pollock painting a couple of weeks ago, and you should have seen the kids flinging that paint on that paper! They had a ball, and so did all of us adults. We all wound up with paint on us, but it was worth it, and it was only tempera paint, so it washed out. Sandie, who is in charge of Story Time, even wound up with purple paint in her hair! Last week we dedicated the whole day to Dr. Suess, and I wrote a poem in as Dr.-esque style as I could. Here it is:
He grumps about this
He sits around eating
He's rude and he's selfish
I'm going to talk to him,
I don't like this grouch.
I drew couches and some sample grouches and they colored them and cut them out and glued their grouches on the couches. They had a lot of fun, and it was the first time any of my writing has been public. It was kind of fun, even if it was only at Story Time! The next week we wrote a group poem about a ghost and a pumpkin, and then I wrote a companion poem to go with it. It was a lot of fun, and the kids love doing that sort of thing.
Now I'm trying to get the Christmas gifts going. I have a few done, and a few bought, but many more to go. I am making library pocket books for the ladies at the library, none of whom even know I have a blog, so I know I'm not giving anything away by writing this here. I am making ABC books for some on the grandkids, a game for Hal, a coloring bag for Hannah, and I'm not sure about the rest of them. The two oldest will get gift cards, I think, even though I hate the thoughts of that, but I don't know what to get them! And I need to send a nice care package to my oldest son, who just moved to Glendale, Arizona, to go to school. He knows no one there and doesn't start classes until Monday, and I'm sure after he starts classes he'll make some friends, but the holidays will be lonely, so I want to send him some cookies and fudge, things he likes. Maybe a magazine or two, some socks.....you know, kind of like what he would get in his Christmas stocking. I better get busy if I'm going to get it done, huh?
Well, I better go and get busy now. Too much to do and too little time. I will try to post more often, and not let so much time go by. Here is something I read a while back that I think is great: Live simply, love seriously, care deeply, speak kindly; leave the rest to God. Later, Gramma G.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Talking about computers, I read an article in a magazine the other day that was about the 17 greatest advancements in the 20th century. One of them was the internet, and I sure do agree. I know there are a lot of things on the internet that are not good, and certainly people use it for purposes that are totally at odds with what I believe to be true and right, but think of all the good that has come from it. You can now keep in touch with family and friends in real time if you want to. You can send greetings, pass on advice and touching stories and recipes, all with the click of a button! How amazing is that? And think of all the genealogy that has been facilitated because of the internet. There is so much information available on our ancestors, and now we don't have to travel miles and miles to get it. That's not to say that you can take all that information at face value, because you can't. You still have to check it out, but its so much easier now. Being able to order birth and death certificates online is great, too. It really cuts down on the time we have to spend fact-finding.
My grandmother on my father's side used to spend a lot of time getting information on her (and mine) ancestors. She wrote letters, ordered microfilms, took trips to see people and cemeteries and record books....all of which I can now do from the comfort of my living room. And the programs just keep getting better! Now I can check and double check my information before I do anything with it!
I can also do my shopping from the comfort of my own living room, if I want to. And I do sometimes, because I'm really a home-body. I would be happy to stay at home all the time as long as I had my sewing and crafts and scrapbooking and art and genealogy and family and the supplies I needed to take care of them all. Unfortunately, I have to go out sometimes, but I would love to have a little cabin in the woods away from everything and (almost) everyone. I could be happy with that kind of life. Oh, well......
Now it's time to go. I have Christmas gifts to make, and I'm not making much progress, so I had better get busy. Remember, peace comes from within, not from outside sources. So look inside yourself and find your true peace. "Night, Gramma G.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Knit 16 rows, then form a cuff or brim by reaching inside the loom and bringing the first row of loops up and putting them back onto the pegs, keeping the rows straight. Bring the back loop over these loops and off the peg. Now continue knitting as usual, until the piece is about 15 or 16 inches long. Work the knitting off the pegs as you normally would, except don't draw the yarn up tight. Instead, make sure the cast off yarn is loose enough to stretch over your head. Tie it off and weave your ends in and clip them off. That's all there is to it! And man, is it warm!
My poor littlest grandson is suffering from allergies, and I think he's having a reaction to the medicine. He has diarrhea so bad that he has welts on his little butt from where it touches his skin. When I changed his diaper tonight to get him ready for bed, he just screamed because it hurt so bad. I finally took him into the sink and sat him in some warm water to get him clean. I felt so bad for him. He hasn't felt good for 4 or 5 days now, and I hate it when they don't feel good. It makes me hurt. He has been spending a lot of time on my lap, and when he does that, I KNOW he doesn't feel good, because he's a mover and a shaker. He doesn't usually stop for much. We're going to give him some children's Imodium, and I hope it will help.
Independence Day just came on and I have to watch it. I watch it every time it comes on. I love this movie! I think the President's speech just before all the pilots take off is a classic. And of course, the movie is just plain good! I own it on video and I still watch it every time it comes on TV.
I'm trying to get back to working on my genealogy. There is so much left to do, but now that its a three and a half hour drive to the temple, I'm not getting as much done. When we were in Nevada, I went to the temple almost every week and I was getting so much work done. I think I might send some names down there to friends and see if I can't get the work done a little faster. I have come to some brick walls in some of my lines, and its really frustrating. I especially have one that is nigh unto impossible to figure out. My grandmother's grandfather came from Germany during some type of political unrest there. The family was nobility, and his father sent him and his brother out of the country to get them away from being conscripted into the army, where they would have been sent to the front lines and most assuredly killed. Our family has heard this story many times, and we all know that their name was von Markus, and they changed it to Markus, and then to Morris. What we didn't understand was the depth of their fear that if found, they would be sent back to Germany and killed. My grandmother spent a lot of years trying to find a connection in Germany to trace the family line, and not too long before she was put in a rest home, she received a letter from a lady who told a different story. She said that the von Markus name was her family name, and that the two brothers traveled with her family to America and used their family name so as not to be caught. I assume those two brothers were so afraid of being sent back that they never told anyone the true story. The big problem is that now I don't even know what name to look for, and the work that has been traced back to Germany isn't our family. I don't even know where to turn or where to start. I know he married Mary Gertrude Schmidt, and that connection is how we got this tidbit of information, but I don't know the name of the lady who wrote to Grandma, and I never found the letter after she gave me all of her genealogy paperwork. If anyone has any ideas for me, I welcome any and all.
Well, I think it's time to close for tonight. I will try to be better at keeping this going. Next post will have a really good recipe in it! Take care and remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Don't wait until it's too late. Night, Gramma G.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
As we were traveling to Bannack we passed through several little towns that almost weren't towns. They were so small, they didn't even have a service station. Some had schools, but some didn't, the same with churches and stores, and it made me think about life the way we live it. How many of us could live without our conveniences? When we left Bannack, we came home a different way. We went over to Dillon and then up the freeway. Now Dillon isn't a very big place either, but way larger than places like Jackson or Wisdom. There was an LDS church there, and that answered the question of where all the mormons in that part of the state went to church, but it would be a real drive for some. Would I be willing to go that far to make it to church on Sunday, or to get my kids to mutual, and what about seminary? And then I thought about my mom. There were times in my youth when we did live that far away, and my mother always made sure that we made it to church. I got to all my school activities and church activities and everything else that I thought was important, and my poor mother, she spent a lot of time sitting in the car reading a book. I don't think I have ever really thought about the sacrifice she made of her time, just so I could be part of whatever was going on.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Back to the camp outing. This will be our first in Montana, and its been pretty warm lately, so we packed only light blankets. Then tonight, it got quite chilly. I had to close the front door while we were watching TV because I got cold. And I never get cold! So I'm thinking that I better pack a quilt or two so we don't freeze. But I like the cold, so we won't stay home because of it. We'll just pack a little warmer. And I'm really looking forward to that Dutch oven chicken and potatoes I'll be fixing! It's one of my favorite meals, and we haven't been camping for a long time, so I've missed it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
We've never been to Lake Como, but we hear tell that it's nice. There are two or three campgrounds, and I hope running water and a bathroom. We're taking plenty of water just in case, but I really don't want to dig a latrine! I'm pretty sure there are facilities there. If not, we may go somewhere else to camp and just go fishing there. Gotta have a potty! Have you ever camped rough? I have an uncle who was a tree-topper in the forest above Sacramento, California, and they had logger's camp every summer. My parents and I visited one summer for a week and I had so much fun. They call it rough camping, but they take everything up there! Even the kitchen sink! My aunt had three Army-sized tents put together for her "camp house". One was the bedroom, complete with a huge feather bed, one was the kitchen, complete with a wood burning stove, and the last one was the living room, rocking chair and all. She actually had more living space at camp than she had at home!
But the potty was the point of this whole long spiel. It was a hole dug in the ground with a toilet placed over it, and a refrigerator box, maybe two, around it. Aunt Irene insisted on privacy. So... we had been there for about a day, maybe two, when my dad had a little "accident". He was in the habit of leaning on the wall when he was taking a leak at home, and he forgot that those walls up there were only cardboard. He fell through, knocked down the wall, and gave everybody a good laugh! He was lucky he didn't really hurt himself when he fell over the toilet. Meanwhile, no one could go to the bathroom until repairs were made.
Of course, one of the favorite pastimes at logging camp was drinking. They went through more beer after work than I had ever seen in my life up to that point! Some of them were loud and rowdy, but mostly they just drank while they played cards and told stories of past camps. I have a picture of me, I think I was about 11, in front of a giant pyramid of beer cans. It kept me busy and out of trouble for a long time. If I can find it, I will post it. Those are some good memories, because my dad was in the Air Force, and we lived all over the place and didn't get to be around family much. I think that's one of only 2 times I ever got to meet my Aunt Irene and Uncle Armond, and they were good people. I wish I had known them better.
As for camping, I have loved it since my first experience. I was in 5th grade, and interestingly enough, we were living in Great Falls, Montana, when I went camping for the first time. It was the Young Women's group from church, and I wasn't actually supposed to be there, because your were supposed to be at least 12 years old and I was only ten, but my mother went as craft director and my dad went as life guard, so I got to go, too. And it was primitive camp. We dug our own latrines, and lashed long branches to trees for the seat, hung blankets around the whole set-up and had a community bathroom. No showers, just the lake. We had grease pits, where we dumped our cooking grease, as well as our dish water, etc. and of course, we cooked over an open fire. I thought it was great! I learned how to build fires, do First Aid, cook over a fire, do lashing and carving, AND...... I learned how to make a fuzz stick! That was the best. If you don't know what a fuzz stick is, it is a little piece of a branch that you "fuzz" by taking your pocket knife and making little cuts all over it. They are used as fire starters, and they work really well. I may have to show my husband all about them this weekend. Of course, it won't be a big deal to him, but it will be a good memory for me. I also learned how to go snipe hunting. If you have never been snipe hunting, you haven't lived! There is a certain way to hunt a snipe, and I won't give it away here, but if you've never been, you need to ask a friend who likes to camp to take you snipe hunting. It's a blast!
Well, that's enough for tonight. When we get back, I'll tell you all about it. At least the good stuff, not the boring day-to-day stuff. We'll see if there's anything to tell. Remember this quote from Oscar Hammerstein, the "love in your heart wasn't put there to stay, love isn't love 'til you give it away." 'Night, Gramma G.