Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Time Out

 I have to take time out for a health issue. Please don't answer. Missy (daughter taking me to emergency  today.)

Monday, December 11, 2023

Done and Done

Gonna put this one back in the box. Tried out a recipe I found on the internet that was a vintage one from Woman's Day magazine of yesteryear. The picture along with the title screamed, 'Make me! Make Me! I did just that.

Yesterday I put the ingredients together and stored the two loaves of dough in the refrigerator overnight. Today I baked.

Tops above, bottoms below. 
Unfortunately they didn't have any butterscotch flavor at all! I was disappointed. Now I have decided to add a squiggle or two of icing to perk them up a bit. I might even use almond flavoring in the icing even though they contain walnuts and vanilla already. Othewise they are fine, but just not very tasty. Sometimes you learn from your losses more than you learn from your successes. 

Saturday, December 9, 2023


Have been thinking about ordering some fresh lobster claws for a very long time. I once had tasted them at my granddaughter's wedding in 2014. The person sitting next to me at the table made a pig of himself and scarfed up almost every one that was served as an appetizer. I remember they were cold and you were supposed to dip them in the melted butter. Well I did get a taste anyway but at the time would have liked to tried more.

I've procrastinated ordering from the internet as the site I found showed how costly they are. Also the shipping fees were high. This company in Maine has been in business for many years. I worked at looking and deciding and then choosing my item. When I got to the end of filling out all of the information, the site kept jumping back to the same page and wouldn't go through. After being frustrated, I just thought it was me and decided not to try more times. Then I remembered seeing a phone number so I called and presented my problem. The fellow tried and couldn't get it to process either. He offered to place the order for me. Now I was getting antsy about the entire thing. I bit the bullet and gave him all of the information needed and he placed the order for me. A confirmation e-mail came. BUT...I still was feeling hinky about it all; worried about being hacked or taken advantage of.  

Yesterday, it was delivered. There was a note on the foam box top that said he was sorry for all of the hassle. NOW....instead of 1 lb. of frozen lobster claws and knuckles....the product was 2 lbs. of fresh lobster claws and knuckles. The cost was the same as the first order with even a $9.00 discount! Guess I made out fine, ya think? 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Mixed Bag

First of all, my eye is still giving me grief. No matter what regimen I have tried, none has helped much. In spite of this, every day I aim to accomplish at least one project, be it large or small. Today was James 2 and the removal of his autumn leaf garland. My daughter found a piney one with cones and red berries at a garage sale and it has been attached. It was a finger-freezing. 'do not fall' project and I am on the lookout for a large red plastic ribbon to complete the job. James #1 is not decorated at all - at least at this point. No good pictures of James 2 yet, road too muddy to go out there to snap 'em.

Two days ago I kept busy cooking down the Thanksgiving ham bone and then freezing the works so I could skim off the fat that accumulates on the top before adding the split peas. Then yesterday the peas were added and the brew kept on low for many hours with frequent stirs. Two quarts were the final yield and they are in the freezer.
The ice covered the lake for only one day and then it warmed up and melted. I hoped the geese were gone, but they still remain. 

Today I will do some upgrading of paperwork and 2024 clendar marking with birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  I'm seriously considering to not create or buy and send holiday cards this year via USPS. 

Pretty soon the daily sunset will be coming later and I look forward to that.  The good thing is that everyday the view through my windows is changing. Can you see how beautiful it is through the image my neighbor took?

Oh, yes I am only a little crazy with my computer creations. I like to escape once in a while.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


I feel the need to create something but my energy in that area has disappeared.  It may be due to a very annoying eye issue. I have had dry eye for several years. Now it is flared and all treatments suggested by doctors and friends don't seem to be helping much at all. Two visits to optometrist within a month haven't made a bit of difference. This has caused me to feel quite angry at my eye! Durn eye! Stop stinging, burning, scratching. How can I get back on track? Right now I'm wearing sunglass clip-ons over my closeup glasses, along with the brightness of the computer turned way down. 

So, here I am thinking about taking a break from researching, reading, posting. Yes, I have put out my yarn wreath that was a 1984 gift from one of "my" 4-H'ers. Yes, I managed to get the ceramic Christmas tree out of the closet and set up (without ornaments) in front of the kitchen window, It was a gift to me and marked inside with the date 1972 from a friend who is long gone. My brother's six glass ornaments hang in the other double windows. I have trapped 8 mice outside by the side door. 

My daughters want to know what I'd like for Christmas. I would like world peace. They can't give me that! There is nothing else that I can think of.  My status quo living in the old cabin is comforting as nothing else could be. 

If you don't hear from me for a while, be sure I'm trying to perk up - to not worry, to be satisfied. I'm fortunate in many ways that even you cannot imagine. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Back to Baking

This morning I felt I NEEDED to do something other than read. I looked up an older recipe I have made many times and checked out my supplies. Yes! I had everything to bake Blueberry Lemon Muffins. Thank goodness the little old hand mixer will be used and the cleanup will be easier as well.  Here is the tried and true recipe.


                       Very Blueberry and Lemon Muffins

  1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  2/3 cup sugar

  2 teaspoons baking powder

  1/4 teaspoon salt

  1 egg

  3/4 cup milk

  1/4 cup butter, softened

  2 tablespoons lemon juice

  2 teaspoon lemon zest

  1 cup fresh blueberries. If frozen, thaw and drain.

  Extra sugar and lemon zest for the tops.

  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the egg, milk, butter, lemon juice, and zest.

  Stir to combine–the batter should be lumpy. Don’t mix it too hard. Muffin batter doesn’t like that. Gently fold in blueberries. Lightly grease muffin cups or use paper liners. Fill each cup about 2/3 to 3/4 full. *This should make 12 muffins. Sprinkle extra sugar and lemon zest on the tops.

   Bake at 400°f for about 20 minutes or until golden. *If baking only 6 large ones, bake for about 30 minutes. No longer. Remove from pan   before completely cooled.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Veteran Remembered

My dad's brother, my Uncle Henry G. Nulton was a veteran of both world wars. He was a Major General and Commander of the 78th Divison, Army Reserves, when he retired from service in 1960.
He saw action in France with Co. A. of the 111th Machine Gun Battalion, 29th Division in World War I and was wounded at Meuse-Argonne. During World War II he was wounded by mortar fire in New Guinea. He was awarded Purple hearts.
Personally, I remember him being very jovial and carrying an authoritative attitude, while being very likeable. His four sons each were service members and outstanding soldiers. Ever since I was a young child I have honored him and his service to our country.

ALL veterans should be honored for their service, no matter where or what they did to serve.

*tap image to read print larger

Friday, November 10, 2023

Friday Odd Jobs

Today, feeling a bit trapped because yesterday my buggy left home for storage in a warm place. It will be returned next year, checked over, serviced and cleaned. Now the snowblower can be brought out of the shed and ready for activity. I hope not too much activity, though. Yard guy is always busy with shoveling and plowing places around the lake. Here he uses my equipment because I have a very short driveway and it is easier than the truck or SUV with attached plow.

The dehumidifier is filled every day and today it needed a good cleaning. The chalkboard needed my nap hours re-posted on a cleaner surface. The request sign was placed at the porch entrance for folks to please use the side door. That is because I move the antique rocking chair to the inside area in front of the front door. There is a reason for all I do. The chair blocks the heater from sending warmth when it is between my place at the table and its usual place beside the heater.

The decorative pumpkin gift from a granddaughter has been bagged and stored.

On Monday a 8.5 lb. fully cooked spiral-sliced bone-in ham should arrive here. It is for my local daughter's Thanksgiving family dinner. I'll stay home, not really liking so much activity nowadays. She'll save me some and especially the bone. Yes! I do love the pea soup I make with that bone. The ham comes frozen and takes three days to thaw so there is time before the dinner needs to be ready. This is hickory smoked and cured along with sweet brown sugar. It is so much less work than the usual turkey.

Oh, and breaking in new shoes not fun.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Carry On...

In spite of very annoying pain, irritation and vision problems, I try to get one project either started or finished each day. I do have a routine first. I have breakfast; watch early news and weather on TV, make bed and then personal care. I'm ready to go.... Oops, refill humidifier and check mousetrap in carport. (Today #3 was the tally so far.) 

I usually plan the day ahead regarding a project. The 2nd visit to the optometrist yesterday after an episode of stuck eyelid last week resulted in the same ole, same ole...dry eye. Quite severe. A nighttime lubricant being one of the treatments to add to my already daily treatment of drops and hot compresses and a Bruder mask; computer screen brightness turned way down and sunglass flippers when outdoors. I do it all. 

Today I baked. I baked two loaves of cinnamon bread. Recipe at end here. High level project due to dishwashing and cleaning my mess. Result? WOW!  Would I do it again? Nope. I have been wanting to bake this for at least two years. Good results.

I suggest slicing with an electric knife.


Cinnamon Bread


For The Batter:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk or homemade buttermilk— 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

For The Cinnamon/Sugar Mixture:

  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

How To Make Cinnamon Bread

Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan). Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon.
Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick tester comes clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 2 loaves.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Halloween continued and today new!

The family in Philadelphia always celebrates together on Halloween as it is the wedding anniversary of my Nephew and Niece. These are only a very few of the options I have to grab some of their pictures.

Another family from New York state that shows two of my three great great grandkids. The third one wouldn't sit still for a shot as he was on a sugar high!
So far no images from the local great grandkids. 
This morning I made walnut candies. Easy and tasty as well.
Recipe available by request.

Now I'm working with my colorful leaves. Will show you after 2nd coat is applied. Too cold and windy today to work on it. Fun project!

Today is the 43rd anniversary of my NJ daughter and her husband. The photo is from their 30th!

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

At Home on Halloween

My 2nd clothespin art piece is finished. Now to mount or hang it. I only saved a few pins to use as snack bag clips. The variegated colors of the pins are due to many being about 40 years old!

Today is Halloween. I haven't made many photomanips this year. The picture below is an image I created in honor of my nephew and niece's 20th anniversary. Yes, they were married on Halloween. Every year they dress up,  carve pumpkins, attend spooky functions and enjoy that the four children are in the swing of it all.
The New Jersey family is celebrating it with their gang. Fun photos!
I baked a crustless pumpkin pie this morning in my pottery dish. It came out very well but I didn't plan far enough ahead to have some whipped cream or Cool Whip topping on hand. I didn't miss the crust, though. Ate 2 sections already! I love pumpkin pie. My mother used to put too much clove powder in hers but I just use a touch.
tap on image to view larger
Busy hands are happy hands! I was going to iron my autumn leaves today but tomorrow will do!

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Memory Bag

The Memory Bag (Put on your reading glasses!)

1938 to1955

When my dad was dying I remember him saying, “They can take everything away from me but they can’t take my memories.”  I have millions of them too, really! I’ve decided to write down a few. Some are good, bad, sad, happy, and all kinds. They are short, long, scant, detailed. Here are a variety, chronically, I think.

I remember…  stepping over a board between rooms when I was about 2 1/2 years old in 1938. I remember because we moved from one place to another before my brother was born when I was three. There was a shelf on the left side of the doorway with my large ball that had bumps all over it, and a brown floppy teddy bear.

I remember having a doctor dig out the cherry pit I had stuffed up my nostril.

In first grade the teacher dropped a piece of chalk and asked me to pick it up. I refused, telling her that she dropped it and she should pick it up. I had to put my head down on my arms on the desk as punishment for disrespect. 

My siblings and I were placed with four different church families soon after my twin sisters were born until my mother got better. It wasn’t talked about but I believe she had postpartum depression. I was age six.

A mandatory teaspoonful of cod liver oil was how we kids started out the day before breakfast. YUK!

My dad took our yellow cat, “Goldie” and her litter of kittens to a farm far away after the twins were born. A couple of years later she returned, limping down the sidewalk with raw paws. I saw her coming. I knew it was her because she had half a tail from when he first got her as a kitten from a farm and her tail was stuck under a tractor tire so he cut it off. She often had kittens in my brother’s bed.

I remember desks with inkwells and the kid behind me (Gary Ducey) constantly pulling my braids.

The piano lesson teacher wheezed in my year as she sat on the bench with me and sometimes whacked my hands when I forgot to curl my fingers properly.

The neighbor across the street let me pluck on her harp. Another neighbor had a star hanging in her front door window because her son died in the war. Still another neighbor who had no children, was always a sure touch for a cookie when we knocked on her door.

The German wife of an American solder was given a place to live in our home during WW2. She took over my bed and bedroom. I didn’t like her at all. Her name was Olga.

I visited a hospital with a group of children to view patients in the iron lung. One of my classmates had a back and leg brace. His name was Daniel Brower.

I had a very bad infection in my foot from stepping on a nail without telling anyone about it. There were blood transfusions and many shots in my rump. I was a terror in the hall of the hospital, scaring the nuns as I whizzed down the hall in the wheelchair during recuperation. After I returned home the Good Humor Man gave me bubble gum to help me get better.

My dad usually took me to a particular farm that had horses when he was milk testing. He supplied me with a pack of Charm hard candies to hand feed the horses as treats. One time the groom found me sitting in a corner inside a stallion’s stall and, with his Scottish accent chewed me out something awful. There was a barrel of molasses by the barn door and I used to dip my finger in it and have a good lick.

My brother and I teased the caged turkeys at that farm, shouting “GOBBLE! GOBBLE!” and the entire flock would squawk it back at us. That was great fun.

Mom took in foster children. I did a lot of care of one little boy named Peter Cunningham. When he was taken away, I swore I’d find him again someday. I didn’t.

I got my first horse when I was around 12. She was age 25 and loaned. I gave rides around the baseball diamond to make money to pay for my feed store account, barn rent and blacksmith. I carried water a very long way from the firehouse to the barn for her twice a day. When I ran out of hay and straw, I raked and bagged leaves for bedding. Very often mother cooked up a warm grain mash with a raw egg and grated carrots to carry to the barn and feed her as her teeth were poor. I had a pump type kerosene can with fly spray to help her in the summer. She hated it.

I taught the minister’s son to smoke at that barn. Menthol Spuds were the brand. An older friend bought them for me. 

My girlfriend and I rode bareback double. She fell off one time and injured her tailbone. Her dad bought her her own horse. Her horse, who was in heat, kicked my horse in the field one day and her left hind leg had a compound fracture. We were devastated. Dad called the vet and sent us home.The vet shot her in the middle of her head where she had a small star. We were supposed to go home, but we snuck back and saw what he did. Then my mother had to notify the owner who lent her to me about the death. Fairly short after that another horse was loaned to me from a very big polo pony farm. 

My brother and I both purposely broke thermometers from the bathroom medicine cabinet to play with the mercury balls which rolled around in our hands and we coated coins with it.

When there was an air raid drill during school hours, we went to the basement and sat on the concrete floor with our heads tucked between our knees. The pipes overhead were all covered with white asbestos insulation.

The pipes in our home cellar were covered with it as well and so was the furnace. My brother and I would draw pictures and scratch our initials in it. We also melted lead and poured it into molds of soldiers on the floor down there as well.

Our neighborhood gang collected newspapers and tin cans to sell to the junk man so we could earn enough money to have a cookie and soda party in one of their garages. Trading comic books was our main activity then besides street games and bicycle riding.

My dad used to bring home wooden square-shaped full honeycombs. The idea was to break off a piece, suck out the honey and chew the wax as long as we could.

• My grandmother spread her clean laundry out on a grassy bank behind her house to dry in the sun. 

We were allowed to play in the street in the rain, popping tar bubbles. Sometimes we chewed tar cuds.

I found something hanging over the edge of the toilet bowl one morning and brought it to my mother, asking what it was. She took it away and walked out of the room saying, “Never mind.” A few years later I had it figured out.

In 5th grade my arithmetic teacher used to go down the aisle, lifting up desk tops and then letting them drop down with a bang to wake us up.

In 6th grade history class I wrote several facts on my palm and got caught cheating on a  test. Lesson learned. 

In 7th grade I was jealous of a new student who was very pretty. On the outdoor track during recess, I yanked her elastic waisted skirt down beyond her backside and felt better.  Then guilt set in but I didn’t apologize.

In 8th grade gym class I was embarrassed  because I was still wearing undershirts and other girls had bras. We had to take open group showers then. 

Our Sunday School teacher had some of us to her house to make lollypops in her animal shaped molds. She also taught us all to recite by memory and in order every book of the bible. 

Pounding the streets of New York City in the early 1950’s with my mother to get to the studio where I worked as a student photographers’ model was an effort, but after the sessions we ate at the automat before heading for the train back home. I often wonder if I helped supplement the family finances with my modeling.  

A high school counsellor ask me if I believed in God when I was sent to her office after skipping school with 3 other friends to explore the High Point Monument in a fairly local state park to see the spectacular view we had heard about. I retorted that her question had nothing to do with skipping school. I remember the shock on her face at my reply. My friends were suspended. I wasn’t. WHY? I wanted to be suspended too.

A girlfriend and I double-dated with older guys who took us to fun places in the city and larger towns. We saw Eddie Arnold on stage, He was drunk. We saw Carl Smith in a bar and his white leather shirt had very long fringes on the sleeves. We saw Gypsy Rose Lee strip on stage. We danced at Frank Dailey’s Meadowbrook Ballroom to live big bands. 

My current boyfriend and I saw Patsy Cline in Mt. Freedom, NJ singing in a small bar where we hung out drinking Coca Cola. I remember her vibrant strong voice and cowgirl outfit and she looked right at me. She wasn’t at all well known yet.

At age 17, two girlfriends and I took a trip to Florida in my 1940 Ford. We each put the same amount of money in a cup stuck to the dashboard and when it was gone, we each added more. We stayed at one of the girl’s aunt’s home in St. Petersburg. We all got the worst sunburn of our lives and the aunt had to care for us until we healed. I was introduced to Tupperware there as it was her only dishwear!

I have only once ever viewed a dead person and it was my only experience. My best friend’s father suddenly died of a brain thrombosis when we were mid teens. He was such fun and really nice. The body on display at the front of the church was awful to see - he was not there anymore. Gone. Bad, sad time.

When in high school there was a non-student who had a very bad reputation in town. He had lots of money, a nice car and was reputed to be a gangster with ties with bad guys. One time when I was waiting on the corner for the public service bus to come and take me home, he stopped by and asked me if I wanted a ride. I told him no, not this time. Another time I accepted. We drove about 35 miles away in his fancy big car to Newark NJ where he left me in the car for a while and went into a business on the street. On the way home, we stopped at a White Castle for hamburgers and a drink. He dropped me off - completely untouched, unmolested, and befuddled. Maybe he wasn’t a bad guy after all. It was the only time I ever went anywhere with him again and he never asked, either. I don’t remember our conversation.

My girlfriend’s dad brought us to the roller skating rink almost every Friday night and picked us up when it closed. There was a lady in the balcony who played the music live on an organ. I often met a fellow there who was a good skating partner but the best thing about him was he smelled like freshly baked bread. His name was Danny DeSarno. We never dated outside the rink. 

I was in junior high and high school band, orchestra and chorus. I hated marching band because I didn't like football at all. Still don't. Too violent. 

My “love of my life” boyfriend and I headed for Elkton, MD early one morning to get married. We had already purchased gold wedding rings. We told our parents that we were going to the seashore for the day. The car blew its engine. His older brother came and got us. The car was left there. I kept the rings for many years until I was really needing the money and I sold them. I’m sorry about that.

He went into the Marines and wrote me to come, marry him and live in a trailer on the base in SC. I wrote back and told him I didn’t want to live in a trailer and I never heard from him again. I had no idea what the trailer he had in mind was but I thought it was one of the big boxes that is hauled behind a truck cab on the highway. I didn’t want to live in one of them.


There are more. I have only touched the tip of the iceberg. Enough.