Saturday, March 30, 2019

Maple Treat

Last year in May I picked up an empty bottle at a local yard sale. Because my brother makes maple syrup every year I gave it to him. I just thought it was neat for $3.00.
Last week, he brought me this gift on my birthday. It looks much better filled with that amber gold!
Of course I had to play in the leaves!
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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

James has Needs

Let it go!    Let it go!    Let it go!
***sigh*** Bummer of a winter! 

He NEEDS to be undressed! I looked up last year's image of his changing of the attire and it was April 11. Guess I'm not so late after all.

The daffodils in front of the cabin are starting to pop up! YAY!
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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Back when.....

I was a child of age 3 through 19 living at home in the 40's and 50's and still remember the SAME washing machine in the basement for doing laundry. This flashback memory came to me due to my complaining about how difficult it is now to complete this chore at age 83. I need to shut up. Here's how it went as my recollection remains strong.

The dirty clothes and bedding were carried to the basement from the 2nd floor bathroom hamper in a wicker basket. If there were too many for the basket, some were bundled into a bedsheet. They were sorted into piles on the cellar floor - whites, colors, darks, linens. The EASY washer tub was uncovered, the three belled plunger apparatus was removed and the copper-lined tub was then filled with hot water. The water taps were attached to the concrete double sink tubs. A rubber hose brought water into the washer from the taps. The first load of whites or linens (bedding, tablecloths, towels) was put in the tub and the plunger was reattached to the center post. A switch was activated and the washing began. I don't know if it had a timer, but I think it did. I clearly remember the sound it made. "Cluck! Squish! Squash! Squish! Clunk! Squish!"

My mother used her own homemade lye soap that she shaved into flakes before switching over to Ivory Flakes or Duz Soap Powder in later years. When the washing ceased, the dripping wet clothes were put into the spinner tub mechanism on the side of the washer. They were spun with the water going down a tray into the right side concrete sink in front of the machine. When removed from the spinner they were then put into the left side of the double sink to wait for rinsing later, after all other loads were washed. All loads were usually washed in the same water which was hot at the start and then cooled down throughout the process, sometimes with more water added. After washing, the washer tub was drained and re-filled with clean water to rinse. The process started over again, except after being spun out, the large wicker basket was filled and carried up the cellar stairs and out the back door, down the driveway to finally reach the multiple tree-to-tree clotheslines in the backyard. This could be 4 or 5 trips! There were "special" long tree branch sticks with slotted ends kept nearby to be used as clothes poles which supported the lines when they were full and heavy. Of course a handy clothespin bag moved along the rope lines as items were pegged. In the winter months the laundry was hung on ropes strung around beam supports and fastened to the cellar wall and ceiling boards. We grew to be a family of six; seven when you counted Grandma who lived with us during the last years of her life.
All images below are from the internet
If you really think about it, the laundry process wasn't nearly finished. Our dining room table was used for folding and stacking. Our stairway to the upstairs was used for piles to be placed on the left side of several steps to be brought up and put in dressers or closets as necessary. If you went up, you brought a pile with you. Some things were sprinkled with water from a bottle with a sprinkler insert in the neck and then rolled up to rehydrate just enough for proper ironing.
In that home, the ironing board was in the kitchen in its own very special wall cabinet behind the table. The table had to be moved and the cupboard opened up with the board coming down into place! Can you visualize it? The image below is similar, showing how it looked when in use. 
Soooooo, I'm not complaining anymore because all we have to do is load two baskets into the back of the car, drive 5 miles to the laundromat, wash, dry (usually) fold, bring back home, unload from car and put away. Sometimes I can still hang on clothesline on sunny days. If you have never had the privilege of sleeping between sun dried sheets or worn clothing with the natural fresh air fragrances, you have really missed out. 

Now I wonder how the city and apartment dwelling folk in my young days got their laundry chores done! I KNOW it was more difficult before my time. This was hard enough for my mother and others back when... 

( Yes, I did have automatic washers and driers in my homes from 1955 to 1997. Laundry used to be one of my favorite homemaker chores! There is absolutely no room for any of those appliances in here. There are only two of us now and it isn't a major concern - yet.)

Thursday, March 21, 2019

On the First Day of Spring...

Spring! Yay!

My beautiful daughter, Missy brought me her annual gift of the ONLY cut flowers I LOVE to receive.  Don't write off the Alstroemeria (aka Peruvian Lily) that is found in the grocery stores. The colors are part of my love for these and the fact that they last for WEEKS is a wonder. They are a really a strong spirit pickup for the season and I anticipate them every year for my birthday. They came a few days earlier than the actual date but they arrived on the first day of spring and that made the gift very special.
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Monday, March 18, 2019

Baking Stuff

The other night I was putting a quiche dish together and did something that both surprised me and upset me. I had the base bread crumbles in the dish with the chopped broccoli, sausage chunks, chopped onions and was preparing the eggs to be beaten before topping it all with cheeses. Three eggs were put into the mixing bowl already and the fourth one I added was rotten! YUK! I poured the entire contents down the kitchen drain, flushing strongly with cold water. If you know me, you know I HATE waste! I started over but this time broke each egg in a separate little bowl before putting it in the mixing bowl. That worked. Lesson learned. Actually I know to do this but didn't and never will crack an egg and put it in with others until I know it is fresh. I think this was the first time in my entire life that I have encountered a rotten egg. Never again.

Today I took a BC spice cake mix and experimented with it. Instead of the 1C of water it called for, I used 1C of applesauce, along with the three eggs and 1/2 C canola oil as directed on the box. Yes, I cracked each egg separately first! I then poured the batter into the pan and sprinkled two little boxes of raisins that I had on hand over the top. I did this because the last time I mixed dried cherries, or craisins into a cake batter they sunk to the bottom. This time not! And... they were plump!
A cream cheese icing was applied and two slices were removed for our lunch dessert. It worked! They were very moist and tasty. 
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Friday, March 15, 2019

Correct-Incorrect Guesses

Mary (blogger) guessed 18 - same as me.
Susie (blogger) questioned if I meant square corners or squares in their entirety.

I didn't create this puzzle but felt I was to look at 4-sided squares.

Anyway, 4-sided is how I counted. Someone thought the little facebook icon underneath the puzzle (previous blog) was to be counted in as a square! Oh each his/her own interpretation.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Correct? Incorrect?

Found this puzzle and worked on it for 1/2 hour. I reached the number of 18. How about you? I'll post my findings tomorrow.
I found it and many others on this site:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

WWW 30 Years

Happy Birthday World Wide Web!

In 1985 I started working in the County Cooperative Extension Office (under PSU) as the 4-H Coordinator. One of the first things I was guided through by a wonderful secretary was how to use the Apple computers that were standard throughout the state. The next thing that I remember was that the secretaries were all talking about the "www" a few years after I started.  They were learning how to implement it and we county agents soon were as well. I gained the title, "Cyber Highway Mama" when I retired, being fully adapted after 20 years using the office computers and the "WWW." 

Today it is all getting way ahead of me, but I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to come in when it first started. I'm so thankful to have the internet and the world wide web at my fingertips at home, along with quality cable service. It all allows me to continue learning about anything and everything that enters my mind and my world. 
Internet photo of the one I first learned how to use 35 years ago!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

National Landline Telephone Day

We celebrate Alexander Graham Bell's invention that was first tested March 10, 1876!

There are pros and cons for both cellular or landline phones now, but in the home the landline is our "old school" choice.
Recently we had to replace the battery of our 12 year old wall phone but the cost was only $6.99 - well worth it, don't you think? With our bundled plan we get unlimited nationwide calling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Do you ALWAYS depend on internet connections and cell service? Are they ALWAYS reliable for you?  Because we still have landline a complete power outage in the area sometimes will kill that option. Not always! We might be able to get cell service (not always either) with the flip phones that we usually only use when traveling in case we have a car breakdown we can call AAA. It's our choice. Our lives don't circle around the phone.
When the landline days are over, we will be too!

By the way, we still perc our coffee.
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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Heat Wave

The icicles are forming - - -
The sun will be out soon - - -

Bring the kids - - - 
Bring the dogs - - - 
Let's have an ice fishing party!

Altogether this afternoon we counted 15 individuals out on the lake enjoying the sun and agreeability of this beautiful day.

The fish were biting and the feet were not freezing. That's a change! Please leave some scraps for the eagles~~~

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


Today's nature sighting is a lonely deer browsing in our back yard right behind the cabin. The Mister happened to look out the bedroom window and alerted me to come see it there. We have seen deer up back many times before but not one all by itself. I must say that I sure wished that particular window didn't have the screen but I got what I could. Zooming in eliminated some of the hash. It stayed for quite a while before running back up the hill.  
There is no way to know if it is a doe or a buck as antlers drop off late December through February after the rut.
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Monday, March 4, 2019

"Big Storm" Results

Not much here and that's a good thing. We are still expecting very cold temperatures overnight for most of the rest of the week. 

The Mister said it measured about 4" but it was a bit heavy. Boring blog is this one! I will now try to organize my recipe boxes. That will take time, but needs to be done. Not exciting but it's calling to me and will make the day go faster! I'm sure looking forward to warmer days and spring treasures.
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