Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Persistence Prevails

Our library gives readers the option of borrowing soft-cover books and keeping then as long as it is necessary to read them before returning. There is no check out or date stamping. There is a yellow sticker on the cover with the reminder to return. I like this option. Before the "stay at home" time came, I had about 6 of these. The last one I have just completed and it was a test of patience and determination. You see, I like Tami Hoag mysteries and this particular book was my last until running out of my loaners. I had saved it especially, believing it to be the best of all - I thought! The problem? I have never encountered a book that had to be forced open at every single page at the turning of each. It was bound at the spine so tightly that I had to fight to see the right side of the left page and the left side of the right page. Do you follow me? FINALLY I completed the book but I will tell you that if it were my own, I would have trashed it after the first few pages. I completed this good read, "The Boy" because the story had captured my interest in those first few pages. It is going to be returned with a note and a suggestion that newer/unread books need to be checked for ease of reader comfort!

The photos below is how it ended up after I read it. It doesn't lay nicely flat either!
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Monday, April 27, 2020

Back to the 40's

Or it might be the 50's, I'm not sure.

This recipe clip that I found on the internet many years ago came from an old magazine and I had saved it but don't even remember even baking one! Today was the day.
As I got the ingredients out in preparation to make this cake, I noticed that my cocoa had gone lumpy but decided to use it anyway in both the cake mixture and my scratch icing. (It was in a new sealed container.)
From the internet
The mayonnaise cake originated during the Great Depression when people didn't have as much access to eggs and oil. Brands who made mayo even added the recipe right to the jar! You can see there is no added salt in this recipe and that is because there is salt already in the mayonnaise. 

My Results:
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OH YES! It was delicious!
AND THEN! I found this article on the internet. This is the image I saved many years ago. Please click on link below.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Fresh Air Boys

Thank goodness they are oblivious to the global pandemic and their parents can take them for a walk up the road. Hopefully, in years to come they will learn about the difficult times in 2020. For now, comfort, security and pleasurable activities dominate their days. These boys are better off than many their age around the world and only the adults know of the dangers currently looming over all of their lives. Their innocence is precious. 
Photos by Chrissy
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Saturday, April 25, 2020


Last year in early May I purchased a red tuberous begonia plant at our farm market and "Henry" nurtured it to become a real beauty. He just loves taking care of his foster flowers. His most appreciative one was the Martha Washington Geranium way back June  2016. See below.
Well then last year, the red begonia became our favorite. It loved living here, but autumn soon prevailed and I had an idea.
May 16, 2019 purchased
 August 12, 2019 
September 7, 2019
I nipped one of the leaves off at the stem and brought it inside. I  put it in a glass of water and set it in the window. This was just before our first frost.  It grew roots. It grew tall, and it grew more leaves. It grew too tall! I finally cut it down in February 2020 and put the remaining top section back into a glass of water. It again grew roots. 
On April 3, 2020 I planted it into a clay pot and.........  hold your breath.........  I SEE A BUD forming!!!!
Remember this is a TUBEROUS begonia. One year I tried to save the tubers in a brown paper bag with an anti-fungus powder but they just shriveled up and turned black. 

Henry will be so happy!  Story to be continued at a later date.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Last week I roasted one of the two turkey breasts and had saved some of the meat for salads and soup. I've decided to wait to make my soup after I roast the remaining breast.  Then I'll have two batches of bones for creating my soup stock. 

The grinding of the meat is a two-person job. That is because I use my antique Gem. The food processor makes the meat too fine for our liking. 
Vintage Meat Grinder
Gem Food Chopper 20
Sargent & Co.
Patented Apr.25 1899
comes with 5 cutters
Made by Sargent & Co. (on Handle)
First we remove the tempered glass countertop piece that is there to protect the old wooden counter. Then a potholder is bent over the edge of the counter and the grinder is clamped on tightly. A flat dish catches the grindings as the Mister cranks the handle. I feed the pieces into the top. I transfer the meat from the flat dish as it accumulates, into a larger bowl and we continue the process until finished. Then I bag and freeze some and make the rest into salad for sandwich spread. 

The implement is washed with very hot water and set out to air-dry. (Never soaked and no soap is used. It's the "old way.") 

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Hub

Yes, the "Hub" is my kitchen/dining room, especially the table and countertops. Everything is neat and organized but everything you see is exactly the way we live.
By the way, dinner was Progresso Italian Style Wedding soup with Earl of Sandwich Marble Rye bread covered with onion and chive cream cheese spread.
Today was laundry day and I have more to put away. I'm halfway through this operation! Normally I would fold right there in the laundromat but not at this time. My counter has to be cleared before I can make lunch. This project is done in bits and breaks as it tires me and I have to sit down between steps.

Thank goodness we seem to be well and are taking it one day at a time here in Cabin Tranquillity.
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Monday, April 20, 2020


We went to the hometown market this morning and no one is allowed in the store without wearing a mask. Of course, we were and shopping was a breeze. The only thing I didn't like was it was all packed in flimsy plastic store bags and we can't use our own bags. Things were crunched together and I don't like that. They do hose down all carts all the time with a sprayer with sanitary stuff; pretty well stocked too. We only spent $80.14 and that included bakery cookies, cheese curls, Kit Kats, (all for the Mister); two pizzas, and a lot of canned fruit to put in jello; bread, milk, you know - staples. Good day. We won't need another thing for at least two more weeks. 

The masks made our eyeglasses steam up. Nuisance!
Our fine wine and good spirits store is supposed to be open for curbside pickup. The notice online for PA says we have to call them between 9a.m. to 1p.m. and pre-order. We are limited to one order of no more than 6 bottles, and only one order will be accepted per store, per day. Well, wouldn't you know that the telephone line is constantly busy!  Oh well, a bottle of Baileys Original Irish Cream would have been a tasty treat so we'll have to try again.  Since the stores have been closed and are now opened for orders, I'll just bet it will be several days before we can even get through via telephone.

Tomorrow is laundry duty. Face masks all washed and are drying. We are ready!

Trapped ANOTHER shrew! Saw 5 deer all at once a couple of days ago. Had a difficult time capturing them all in one shot. They were hanging out at the far side of the cabin. 
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That's it for today...Be safe.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Busy Mornings

Yesterday morning we G.I.'d the entire kitchen table and all contents. It took all morning! We each have a tray with handy items we use everyday. His tray has paperwork, several medicine things, a police scanner and more. Mine has eyeglasses, calculator, and other assorted stuff like a handy-dandy nailclipper and a chapstick. The spinning round table holds salt, pepper, sugar, butter, meds, pens, pencils, and more. This old table is both desk and dining. Placemats, napkins, and plastic cover are other necessary and handy items for easy cleanup. It is where I set up my laptop computer between meals and paperwork. He also has his binoculars and paper towel nearby.

Today, the Mister took his empty prescription containers to the two places we use for refills. At the local hospital, he was checked for temperature and was asked questions before allowed to enter. Then he was given a face mask and admitted to the pharmacy area. After a short wait getting those refilled, from there he went to town to Rite-Aid to pick up another one that we knew was ready. They were kind enough to enclose three over-the-counter items at the drive up window as well. He didn't have to enter the store!

A trip to the bank drive-up window resulted in refilling his wallet with some cash.

We filled out and mailed our primary absentee ballots today.

We trapped our first shrew. This is a tiny little critter with a very long nose and is mouse-like. The photo below is from the internet.
One of our Nephews has had his recent picture selected for the cover of a fisherman's magazine. He didn't say how much this drum weighed when he first posted the photo. He's an avid fisherman!
I started picking at the turkey breast that I roasted for dinner yesterday. Not finished yet, but will certainly make soup with those good bones!

I balanced checkbooks and am now preparing lunch. Dessert will be strawberry shortcake. I still have several bags of strawberries in the freezer, plus Cool Whip and sliced pound cake.

Are you bored yet?

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Times to Remember

I woke up this afternoon after daily nap with a melody and words. This has never happened before and I think I can attribute it to restlessness about the virus impact on the planet. It came from a dream of sitting and rocking on a porch with a dear friend who is deceased. She has been spared these times. I immediately wrote down the words on paper.

It isn't much when read, but when I sing it, it means a lot to me. I can't give you the notes but they are in minor key.

Times to Remember

There are times to remember and I can tell you when

There are times to remember and it was way back then

But these times to remember best not come here again

For these times to remember should not have ever been.

gmr 4/16/2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

OLD Plant!

My friend in SC has been keeping this 48 year old Orchid Cactus going and just sent me its annual photograph. It is AMAZING how well it blooms.
I wrote about it a couple of years ago and it is great to look back. Just click on the link below. 

Anni's Scavenger Hunt Mystery Items Reveal.

My Mystery items in Anni's scavenger hunt are below.

A wooden sock darner
My Grandmother's Magnifying Glass
original post LINK--click here

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Remembering Church Choir

“Calvary Song” As remembered by me when in Methodist Junior Choir, always sung as part of Easter. I remember both the words and the melody but cannot find it anywhere on the Internet.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
The pilgrims strolled through the city gates ‘ere the night was falling fast.
They go to watch on calvary hill ‘till the twilight hours are past.

Tho’ dark be the way with eyes of hope,
They gaze on the cross above,

And lo, from each heart, the shadows depart,
As they gaze on his face above,
As they gaze on his face above.
Rest, rest to the weary, peace, peace to the soul,
Tho’ life may be dreary, earth is not thy goal.

Oh come to me children, lift, lift up thine eyes
I will not forsake thee, 
I will not forsake thee,
I will not forsake thee,
Though all else shall flee, though all else shall flee.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Some of the words may be incorrect and I believe there was another verse. The memory has lingered in my head for all of these years since 1952. Then music was played on a huge pipe organ and the choir master was Mr. Welch. We sang with great inspiration. He was a motivator and dedicated leader.

I’m not even sure it was considered a hymn. Maybe the Organist/Choir Master wrote it!
My friend found the original for me!
click on the link below

Saturday, April 11, 2020

A Bright Sunshiney Day

This is what I woke up to....
As I stepped out of bed and into a new day!
James called to me to make his mask for protection so I did!
See the daffodils in the background that have not yet opened?
I just know he's smiling behind his mask!
 I see a gleam in his eye!
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Friday, April 10, 2020


I gave up waiting for Mother Nature to open my daffodils so I cut a bud and stem and brought one in yesterday. TODAY - I have a perky flower and it really makes me feel good. The ones outdoors in front still haven't bloomed but the buds are becoming larger. It was actually snowing a bit this morning and the temp was 32° at 8AM so this must be a lesson in patience. (The leaves behind are a tuberous begonia that I started from a cutting last autumn.) 
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The clusters of daffodils that live up in the old rock garden still haven't bloomed but their many buds promise lots of yellow beauty soon. They are precious to me and are a symbol of renewal.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Common Home Skills

I am appalled at the younger peoples' ignorance or should I say incompetence with standard home activities. I know they probably didn't have the education that I did in my Home Economics class but gee, didn't their mothers or even their grandmothers teach them anything about cooking, sewing, finances?  Making do?

Yes, this is a negative rant! The generation of today are blissfully oblivious of the common needs to survive with ease and seem to be so unfamiliar with anything but their phones and internet, their " besties" and fashionable shopping.

Give a teenager a potato and tell her/him to boil it and then mash it to be served.  What would she/he do? Give a young adult a challenge to bake a cake without a box mix. Could they even sew an apron or wouldn't they wear one? Can they thread a needle and make a good knot? Do they let food particles go down the kitchen drain or does it now have an automatic garbage disposal?

Do they know how to fix the innards of a toilet tank when the chain breaks? Would they even know it was broken? Does it even have a chain?

If the tab on a can is broken how would it be opened without an automatic can opener? (or even a non automatic one!)

What if they ran out of toothpaste - what would they use?

Well you get my gist and this is all because I had a dream of today's generation trying to do things without a clue and being frustrated.

There ! I feel better. Please teach all and any young people in your life the value of self-sufficiency and life skills. They need to learn by doing; especially in times like these when those common skills are needed.

My guess is that half will know how to do these things but half will not. Can you help?
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Sister washing dishes, sister drying dishes, brother putting things away, me at the stove, Mother writing at table. 1954
Yes, I know, that was then and this is now but some things do not need to change.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Boring...boring boring boring!!!


  • Put away yesterday's laundry
  • Balanced checkbooks
  • Refilled and reset mouse traps for outdoors
  • Bagged and froze 18 oatmeal/raisin/walnut cookies -6 to a bag
  • Replaced plastic strip to cover space between hot water heater and kitchen sink
  • Broke down and re-bagged two loaves of bread— one white one rye— into half loaves
  • Broke down and re-bagged 8 Kaiser rolls into 4 per bag
  • Cleaned bathroom
  • Cut off one daffodil bud and put in water filled vase
  • Checked e-mail and wrote this 

All before lunch. 

Bored of being bored because being bored is boring.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Done and Done

We went to town today and were the only people at the laundromat. Of course it was very early morning. Only washed and dried. Didn't put face masks on. Sanitized hands in car.

Next stop hometown market and there were just a few shoppers. EVERYONE had on a face covering and EVERY clerk did as well. We didn't stay long but felt safe.

After folding clothes and putting some away, and putting groceries away, I washed our bandana face masks and hung them to dry in the sunny air and warm breeze. They are now re-folded for another NECESSARY trip out - probably for medicine refills in a couple of weeks.
Our lawn fellow came today and raked out the carport that was loaded with mud clumps on top of the stone bed. He'll be back to pick up sticks and rake more in a couple of days and then... the mowing and weed whacking will begin! (STILL no daffodils have opened.)

Just hangin' in and hangin' on......