Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

The end of the year and the beginning of a new year that meet almost simultaneously. Everyone that goes out or gets together with friends or family have different agendas to celebrate. I have played cards and not had a drink and had a really good time. I have gone out to a bar and watched people be silly and danced and had a really good time. I have always been if not completely responsible, I have been legally responsible.

But very frequently, I seldom knew the exact time that the old year was done and the new year began. The reason for that is that everyone’s watch had a different time. In the “old” days we didn’t have cell phones that had perfect time. I have never been to New York City to watch the ball drop.

For the most part I fell asleep from the old to the new. When I woke up it was a new year and I felt almost left out. I used to beg my mother to let me wait up for the new year. She never told me no. She did, however, make me put on my pajamas and lay on the couch which faced the big clock in the dining room. Insto presto sound asleep! Just not fair.

I have often heard people say hope it’s a better year next year than this year especially in this economy. I am sure that for some people life is so terrible hard. I am just thankful that I am warm and fed and have people that love me and people that I can love back. Again, insto presto! Happy New Year!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snuggles, or Snuggies?

I can remember in the Old Days, snuggies were things that boys did to each other with their underwear to make them uncomfortable. Sound confusing? Oh well, it was just a silly childish prank.

Now snuggies are wonderful. They are a materialist snuggle. You have heard of a fabric softner called snuggles, well they also have a once piece robe called a snuggie.The girl in the picture is not me by the way lol

It seems that absolutely everyone got a snuggie for Christmas. Snuggies come in many colors, some are in prints and crazy designs. They are so warm you can wrap it around your shoulders or your feet or just lay it beside you in case you want it.

Now I want to tell you about a snuggle that I didn’t find wrapped under the Christmas tree. I found those from my babies, albeit they are grownup now, and my husband. Those snuggles are better than anything that looks like a bathrobe that is slit down the back. Hmm, I wonder what precipitated the “need” for a snuggle like that?! Oh I was talking about snuggies, wasn’t I?

Scrumptious Corn Casserole

Vivian’s Corn Casserole With Green Chilies

1 can cream style corn

1 can whole kernel corn with juice

1 1/4 sticks oleo
1 Box of Jiffy Corn Bread mix
1 cup sour cream

If you like green chilies for some extra zing, drain your corn to keep the moisture the same.

Stir all together and top with 3 cups of mozzarella cheese.

Actually you could use any cheese you wanted, to your taste.  I think she said to bake it at 350 degrees for about a half hour.

Vivian told me the other day that she wanted to make it and didn’t have any sour cream and used onion dip and it turned out really good. This is so versatile and is user friendly.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Really Fun Un-Christmas Shopping Spree!

I am sure you have heard of unbirthdays, well today I had an unChristmas shopping day. I have wanted storage bowls made by Rubbermaid that nest and have red lids that really work. Oh my goodness sakes they were on sale for ten dollars for thirty pieces. They were on the small side, but the next time I go to Wally World I will get a couple of larger pieces and then I will throw away all the old oleo dishes that I constantly open for oleo and get spaghetti. I just have had it with that.

Then, I have always wanted a clock for the bathroom. Sound strange? Well, it is not in my house, so for unknown reasons I wanted a clock so I bought one that automatically resets itself when the power is interrupted which ours is constantly interrupted. Plus….it didn’t take a battery, huh?

Then, I have wanted a desk lamp so bad because my body causes a shadow on the computer and I can’t see, so today low and behold there was a desk lamp in my shopping cart. Wonder how that happened!!

My lap top computer gets so hot that I worried it was going to fry, so I bought myself a cooler for it. See, this was such a fun shopping day I just couldn’t hardly stand it. Secretly, neither could Fran.

Then for the piece de resistance. I couldn’t resist. I have about four feet of counter space in my house, so I bought a kitchen island. This morning I filled it with all the odds and ends of storage containers that I had put in the pantry that I couldn’t get to. Oh I can’t wait to have company so I can serve buffet style! What a wonderful day. It was Merry Christmas to me all day. I even treated Fran to a sub sandwich for being so nice about putting everything together for me. I forgot I bought him twelve pair of socks so he shouldn’t complain, do you think?

The Cookbook With Four And A Half Generations

This is the home made gift I was talking about in a former post. It is a little cookbook about six inches by six inches. It only has room for twenty recipes and pictures. I made it like a scrapbook-cookbook.

The first picture is of my grandmother with her only surviving recipe.

The second picture is of my mother and some original recipes and then a picture of my mother when she was the same age as Melanie. Melanie didn’t recognize her.

Third picture was of my sister and her recipe for fresh apple cake. Oh my goodness that was delicious. She also made a mean pot of chicken and dumplings.

Then a picture of me and some recipes that the kids liked.

Then a picture of my sister-in-law, Linda, with a couple of recipes of hers.

When my daughter worked at a restaurant when she was a teenager, she wrote some recipes on her order pad so I put those in her cookbook and then I had a picture of her when she was just over a year old. My mom and dad had given her a bracelet with her name engraved on it. I ran that around her neck and taped it on the back of the picture. If I do say so myself it was pretty cool. The last female cook in the generations will be five year old Elaina with her recipe for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Oh, I almost forgot and the instructions on how to make them!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve At Our House

  • I am going backwards in the diary of Christmas at our house. We invited Fran’s mom, Marie and his brother as we always do. We also were pleased to have some friends join us.

    As normal there were some snafus that accompanied the meal. I am telling you what, there is not a big meal that something isn’t forgotten. This meal Viv was so cute, everyone was done eating and she said, “I would like a sweet potato, Lu.” Of course, she had seen them in the oven and I thought I saw a wink.

    After everyone was gone, I discovered the coleslaw was still in the fridge. What the heck, that just tells me that we had too much food because these things were not missed.

    I asked Marie about Christmas at her house when she was young. Those stories will be on Maries memories blog. She had some fun and interesting stories.

    Viv brought a new casserole that was so delicious. It was a corn casserole. I ate and ate and then the next day went to her house and got the recipe. If any of you want something different to serve about six people this is the recipe for you, just ask on the comment section and I will post the recipe for you.

    I hope all of you had a nice holiday whether it was with family or friends or by yourself relaxing. It just doesn’t make any difference what you do as long as you are happy in your own skin!!

    Happy New Year!

Grandma Lu Gets A Wii!

About three weeks before Christmas I was looking at a Wii at WalMart. My husband said, “What are you looking at those for, they’re expensive and you would never use one because you are too old.” I told him I would too use one because they would be good exercise and fun at the same time. I didn’t buy one that day, but I never forgot it. I thought maybe they might have one on Black Friday. We had company on Black Friday and I didn’t go, besides I didn’t want to fight the crowds.

Yesterday when we went to Red Lobster to meet my daughter and her family, the children opened their gifts first, then my daughter opened her gifts, then my son-in-law. Then my daughter said, “okay, Mom, it’s your turn. Then she said, “This is for all three of you.” The kids had all surrounded, Fran, Mike and I to watch us open the gift. I lifted it and said to one of my grandsons how heavy it was. He just grinned from ear to ear with a every other tooth grin, but he didn’t give me a hint. He’s grown up you know, he’s seven. We were instructed for Mike, my youngest son, and Fran and I to open it all at the same time. That was like a drum roll you see. I just screeched, “It’s a Wii!” I told my husband that my daughter knew me better than he did and that he would play with me because he would love it!

I told Melanie that the gift was almost an “Oops.” She asked why and I told her I almost bought one. She said that she had told her husband that it wouldn’t surprise her if mom had already bought one to play with. She thinks she is so smart, doesn’t she?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas At Red Lobster

Since I have developed Multiple Sclerosis I have not been driving except for short distances. I run into town sometimes which is five miles and things like that. It really hinders my independence which I have always been.

But, regardless of this I bought a new car about three years ago. I knew my youngest son would take me where I wanted to go. As time went by, I developed more self assurance in my own driving and my reflexes and now I can drive to a little town about twenty miles from here.

Then I got married. He is a maniac behind the wheel. He drives so fast (used to have a race car) I just can’t stand it so I am a nag the whole time we are in my car or in his pickup. I do not understand why he never gets a speeding ticket. Since he hasn’t gotten a ticket he continues to speed. He does not threaten people’s lives. I want to assure you of that, but I am a rule liver. I was taught to follow the rules and I expect others to do the same.

Oh, I forgot he gets lost all the time. Will turn left instead of right, gets in the wrong lanes etc. I have to be the co-pilot and at times that is difficult. His kids and his brother live in Texas. That’s right!!! We have made three trips to Texas within a year and a half; my nerves are shot.

The last two years my daughter and her family have met us at a town about half way between her house and mine. It is easier on my nerves because she lives in a big city. However, I don’t get to see her or my grandchildren very often. Fran promised that we would go for a few days this summer. My grandchildren hardly even know me. I noticed that yesterday.

I get to eat at the Red Lobster only once a year because it is so expensive.

My daughter and her “brood” had gotten there before we did so the children had to wait a few minutes for us.

Melanie has done an excellent job of teaching her children manners as well as values. She has the cutest little four year old in the world with curly hair and big cheeks and sparkly eyes. In a little while he just couldn’t help it. I saw this precious little boy hang his head and whisper, “is it time to open pesants?” It would take an awfully hard heart to resist that little cherub.

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Wish For You!

My wish for you is a very Merry Christmas, but the best wish is for you to have a very happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Sweater

I always thought I was a pretty good kid, but then one year I was totally rotten. No one knew it but me and I think that a confession would have made me feel sooooo much better.

Mom had asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I was fifteen. I told her that I wanted a Mohair sweater. They were the softest most beautiful sweaters in the world. They came in pastels and made even not really pretty girls look heavenly.

The Christmas tree was put up about two weeks before Christmas, then the presents were put around the tree about a week before Christmas. I was home alone. I felt a gift that was soft. It HAD to be my sweater! I was so excited I couldn’t stand it, but I had to know what color mom got for me. You have to understand that I had never broke the Christmas gift rule before, Never! I took the soft wrapping paper and tore just a tiny little bit so I could see the color. Oh, much to my dismay, I tore where she had the end tucked in, so I had to tear a bigger piece. I can still remember how the nerves were jumping up and down my spine, I was so scared I was going to get caught. I got some scotch tape and tried to repair it as good as I could. Then I rearranged the other gifts so it wouldn’t show. The only thing that I hadn’t counted on was that Mom distributed the gifts and may see what I had done. One more thing that I had to do was show fake surprise when I opened my sweater. It was so disappointing. I really learned a lesson that Christmas. I just love surprises. As long as it is wrapped even in a sack with a bow on it, I am totally excited!!

Oh by the way, those sweaters were so itchy they were almost impossible to wear a whole day at school, nobody told me.

I learned To Spew From My Dad

I can remember my dad’s quirky sense of humor especially when I was a teenager. There was nothing that I loved better than making my dad laugh.

I found out early though, that dad choked easily when he would laugh when something happened without him knowing that it was going to happen. For instance if
Dad was watching Groucho Marks he knew that he was going to laugh when the duck would come down with the answer to a question. The laugh, however, was more like a chuckle. Dad knew he was going to laugh when he watched Jackie Gleason being silly as well as Red Skelton.

When I was a teenager I would often come skipping into the house with a joke for my dad. This was one that almost landed him in the hospital. I said, “Hey dad, did you hear about the guy that got stuck in the revolving door, door, door door?” There was coffee all over the lunch table. I thought it was hilarious until I saw that dad’s face was purple and mother was looking at me like I was a killer.

For the most part Dad was a pleasant human being that people loved and smiled the better part of the time that he was awake even when he was reading. I think of that when I read, I smile too. I must be a little related to him!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Like To Start With The Middle At Christmas

I like Christmas because it makes me feel so good. When I was growing up I had religion poked down my throat until I was sick and tired of it. However, when Christmas came around, religion was good. When the Christmas story was read from Matthew or Luke, it always felt like you were beginning a new book, not beginning with the end.

The new baby, the beautiful star, the new beginning of our lives, no matter how many hundred of years ago. Christmas, it is the beginning.

I know how the Bible begins and how it ends, but I just love to start with the middle.

Merry Christmas everyone and I am proud to say it!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Birthdays In December

I have a cousin and very good friend that both have birthdays in December. I like them both very much. I just sent my cousin her original birth announcement. I didn’t know if she would want it on the internet so I sent it to her instead. It was so tiny about three inches by two inches. It cost a cent and a half to mail it. It is sixty five years old and was saved by my mother all these years in her memory box. It was in perfect condition.

The other picture is of a birthday party for my friend that lives in Colorado. Her mother just passed away and it made me think of how nice she always was to a bunch of teenage giggly girls.

Pam sent me a picture taken for her fifteenth or sixteenth birthday party.

Names, Lu Anne, Joan, Virginia, Sharon, sitting on the arm, and I believe Connie B.

Memories are so much fun, aren’t they? Even when people are missing, we can think of them and smile and keep them with us always.
Pam's Senior picture, she was not that beautiful when she was fifteen!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Company In My Jammies

Yesterday I was just going a hundred miles an hour getting so many little things done. I called the telephone company and told the lady that the phone bill was too high. I told her that we were on social security and that there should be a discount for senior citizens. Well, I’ll be darned if she didn’t give me a life time ten dollar a month discount. I was so proud of myself, but how many people do not even think about asking for a discount. I had absolutely no problem with it and it saved me over a hundred dollars a year.

Then I got the remaining Christmas cards done. Every year I receive a few cards that I haven’t sent out. This is my little yelp every year, “ Oh no, I forgot so and so again this year!”

I had noticed, of course, that the kitchen table was a mess, sugar that Fran spills every morning for his coffee, toast crumbs that I have on my place mat, received Christmas cards in a pile, coats hanging on the kitchen chairs, (why hang them up when we have to use them twenty times a day to take out our puppy?) But I could have cared less. I was standing at the sink getting a roast ready for the oven when the door bell rang. “Oh, dear and me in my jammies for a cold winter’s night” I had a thought of running to the bedroom to get my clothes on but thought, “you know what they could have called so I just sat at the table and visited and had a good time.

 No I probably won’t get dressed early in the morning from now on just in case I might get company.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Sauerkraut And Sausage Part 2

Just a mention of the sauerkraut and sausage. It was a hit. There is just no reasoning for some people’s taste.

That’s ok, there is still half a crock pot of it left. So Fran will figure something to do with it. I think it takes a special person to eat it or smell it. But that’s ok, I am going to fix a beef roast for supper and I am sure that there are a lot of people that don’t like beef!

Let’s hope something interesting happens tomorrow, let’s really hope!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sauerkraut and Sausage

The title of this post makes me cringe just to think of it. I used to eat this, my husband loved it.

We are going to a Christmas party tonight that is a potluck at a club. There will be all kinds of hot dishes, salads, and desserts. I am sure mine will be the only sauerkraut and sausage hot dish. It smells awful!!

I have nothing else to fix this late in the day. You just never can tell there might be a few people there that have a little beer that like sauerkraut to eat while they drink. I just looked up a recipe for this and they add apples, onions, potatoes, and a lot of garlic plus fresh cabbage. How do you figure. It just might taste better and I am sure would smell better.

It will take a whole can of air freshener to get rid of the smell!

Food Pantry Donations

I have never been hungry, except for the hunger pangs that mean I haven’t eaten for four hours. That is not what hungry means and being very fortunate I can’t describe it, but I can imagine.

When I was about twenty two, I was close to being hungry. I was divorced, living in a forty dollar a month dump and generally hungry. I lived in an apartment house with a lot of other single people that were working, but made just enough to cover expenses. Expenses were rent. Rent included utilities. We had to walk to work, so therefore more shoes than normal people would have to buy. That left little for food. I was very lucky that I could afford to buy chicken wings and knew how to make soup and noodles out of them.

One day one of the girls knocked on my door and asked me what I was cooking. I told her and asked her if she was hungry. I watched her eat and let her eat as much as she needed. A little thought went through my mind that my fridge would not have left over chicken noodle soup in it that night.

I worked for the Blind Industries on a commission for what I sold over the telephone. When I was hungry when I could afford it I went downstairs to a Chinese restaurant to eat chicken fried rice. They served a whole big basket of saltine crackers with a big cereal bowl of rice. This wonderful meal cost thirty five cents.

I met a wonderful man at that restaurant and he started buying me my rice. I couldn’t let my need for food start a relationship, so I called my mom and dad and had them come to get me. I then transferred with the same company far away.

The man that bought me rice wrote and wrote and I finally came back to the “rice” city and we got married and started a family.

Today my husband and I filled a food pantry basket full of oranges and apples and I thought of those days when an older man stood and watched us fill the basket. In his hand he had just a very small sack of food. I just wonder….

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mom's Memory Box, Part 2

  • I was just wondering what I had around here to write about. I figured I was just about out of things except the settling of Cherokee, Iowa, where I was born and raised.

    I got out mom’s memory box again and started going through it. I had some letters that my uncle wrote to my mother when he was in the service. I got them all together to mail to my cousin. As I was sorting them out, I found a box that was hand tooled from Puerto Rico that was full of hand embroidered handkerchiefs. He had sent these to my grandmother. I will send these to my cousin in a separate package.

    As I was sorting through and of course, reading all these letters I was reading them to Fran and I told him what impeccable spelling he had. As I said that my spell check just fixed mine. These letters spoke of missing his mother’s food, the farm and the seasons. He said he was too hot there. He described boot camp to a “T” and then in the next breath he made fun of new recruits. He learned how to run wire. It sounded like phone or electric wire that he was learning how to do. He was in the signal corp. I believe this pin was on his lapel.

    The letters were of a twenty five year old farm boy that so missed his family. I found a letter from my grandfather to my uncle. It was a half sheet of narrow tablet paper. He even told my uncle that he tore it in two so he didn’t have to write so much! And further more he was only doing it because my grandmother had made a fuss about it. My grandfather was very stern, seldom smiled and showed little to no emotion. Wouldn’t that be so very difficult to know if you were missed and loved. I think it might be impossible.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homemade Gifts Are Wonderful


I remember when I was a little girl,  my mother would give my teacher a loaf of homemade banana bread all wrapped in foil with a ribbon on it for a Christmas gift. I was so embarrassed. The other kids gave the teacher such beautifully wrapped gifts. Some how in other, the teacher always seemed to love my gifts, little did I know how touching the home made gifts were. The mail man always got a loaf of home made banana bread too and so did the bus driver. The bus driver whose name was Charlie couldn’t wait  for Christmas so he could get his loaf.
I asked Mother about this home made stuff and she said that people like them because they knew that people thought about them the whole time they were making them. That statement stuck with me my whole life.
The whole thing is I was not given a whole bunch of talent to make things; I might be but I am not creative. I don’t crochet, or knit, I attempt scrap booking and people do seem to like it, but the gifts I have made are not professional.

But this year I thought of something really really cool! I want to tell you what it is so badly, but my daughter reads my posts so I can’t, but I will report the outcome to you after Christmas. The project has taken a long time, but I think it will be worth it but really messy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Third Day Of Decorating

 The first  day of decorating was plugging in a short strand of lights on the front porch; took approximately five minutes.
The second day of decorating was putting a hundred and forty lights on our three bushes on the front of the house. Took approximately fifteen minutes. 
The third day of decorating was putting up the one and a half foot fiber optic tree, one hour. Swag of greenery in living room with  thirty five lights, fifteen minutes.   Putting cotton on the piano to represent  snow fifteen minutes (it got stuck together). Taking all the things off the piano so the Santas and the tree could take their place.
Fran found the owner’s manual for the video camera that I have been looking for for months. Hmm. Maybe holidays that require decorating the piano should happen more often.
I put two swags of poinsettias on my artificial tree that is behind my recliner. Had to use a fly swatter because I could not reach the tree. The first swag fell on the floor. Then the fly swatter came to mind. Worked like a charm.
It will take the fourth day of Christmas because Maggie loves the decorations especially the reindeer horns. Well, maybe taking the paper off the packages. She really really wants her own stocking, but not with doggie treats, wants chocolate like people persons. She just doesn’t understand when I tell her no. She had a foil wrapped piece that Fran had dropped in her mouth. When I took it out of her mouth I thought I saw a tear. Oh, Dear.