Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Left side:  youngest sister Lois, middle sister Ruth, hubby, and BIL Ike.  Right side: Sister next in age to me Betsy, SIL Carolyn, brother Paul, and BIL Ross.  We all met for lunch on Sunday.  Paul and Carolyn had been to Branson for a short trip, and on their way back home we all drove to a central meeting place and had a great visit and lunch.  As of December 21, only one of us will be full time employed, youngest sister Lois, as Paul is retiring from his career as a State Park Manager.  Hopefully we can all get together more often as I so much enjoy my siblings and the outlaws!
Then yesterday, Monday, it was back to church for a funeral.  A 95 year old, long time member and our neighbor, had died.  I had to work in the kitchen so I didn't get to attend the service.  Even when the food for the lunch is catered, there is a lot of work to do to set up and serve 150 people.

Today it was back to church for my Tuesday morning Bible Study.  This is a group of gals that I enjoy so much.  We range in age from me, the oldest (by only one week!) to a young gal who was a student at my college just a year or two before I retired.  She has three little ones, while the rest of us have mostly launched our kiddos out of the nest.  The varied ages of the members makes for good discussions.

And then tomorrow is the beginning of Advent, and our college auxiliary is serving a sloppy joe supper before the service, so it will be back to church once again.  And once again I'm working in the kitchen.  I guess there are much worse places I could be hanging out!  And that reminds me of something my dad taught me in confirmation class.  (Yes, I'm a PK, my dad baptized, confirmed and married me!)

Do not say what you do not want to be saying when Jesus comes.
Do not do what you do not want to be doing when Jesus comes.
And do not go where you do not want to be found when Jesus comes. 

Good advice, don't you think?

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I lied.  Yes, I did.  But it wasn't my fault!  Really!  (Isn't that just like us sinful beings?  Always making excuses?)  But, really, it was not my fault!

I went to meet two of my sisters for lunch.  And, just to make sure you know, the French Onion soup at Panara is to die for!  Anyhow, my youngest sister is on a quest for a new pair of boots.  After the soup, we did go to Famous Footwear.  And then we walked through TJMaxx, and then we went to Kohl's, and then we picked up her meds at WalMart.  And then stopped at Sam's to pick up an external hard drive to dump my photos on and a rotisserie chicken to go with the dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy that were sitting in the frig.  So, I did go to some stores after I had told you I wasn't going shopping.

But, I did not go to the mall.  So there.  I didn't completely lie.

Friday, November 26, 2010


No, I am not.  I refuse.  I simply am not going to go shopping today!  I cannot for the life of me see any reason to face the mobs to buy something.  I need nothing myself, and I no longer do much Christmas shopping.  Most of the grandkids are at the age when $$$$ speaks louder than a gift wrapped shirt, pajamas or a toy.  So I have gone the easy route!  It's going to be Visa cards for all.  (Hey Justin.....don't tell anyone, okay?)  Actually, it's no secret.  Everyone knows it's all about the cash.

But that doesn't mean I'm staying home.  No, never.  A couple of my sisters are going to do a little shopping, and I will meet them for lunch.  Tis the season to add to the wiggly jiggly roll around the waist!

We had a wonderful time yesterday.  The food was perfectly delish, the kids were so good, and the adults even acted appropriately!   And I want to publicly thank oldest child, Kari and her family,  for hosting the whole family this year.  Yes, it was tight, but it was so much better than it is when I have it in our little duplex.  Thank you!  Everything was wonderful! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


We praise Thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator!
In grateful devotion our tribute we bring.
We lay it before Thee, we kneel and adore Thee.
We bless Thy holy name; glad praises we sing.

We worship Thee, God of our fathers;  we bless Thee.
Through life's storm and tempest our Guide has Thou been.
When perils o'ertake us, escape Thou wilt make us,
And with Thy help, O Lord, our battles we win.

With voices united our praises we offer,
To Thee, great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise.
Thy strong arm will guide us; our God is beside us,
To Thee, our great Redeemer, forever be praise.
                                                   J.B.C. Cory, 1812-1963
                                                                    Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary # 466 

Thank you dear Father for all our earthly blessings.  Among the things I am thankful for are my husband, Ernie, and the kids, spouses and grandkids.  Namly: Mike, Kari, Kjirsten, Katie, Clayton, Aaron, Adam, Ben, Anna, Kevin, Molly, Joe, Justin, Gail, Jacob, Caleb, Chuck, Thea, Nicolas, Chris, Amy, Lenny, Connie, Courtney, Samuel, Lance, Tya, Jaden and Madison!  I love you all dearly!

However, the greatest gift of all is not an earthly gift.  It is the gift of God's own Son, the forgiveness of our sins, and eternal life in heaven!  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

I pray your heart is full of thanksgiving for this most wonderful gift.  A Blessed Thanksgiving to you all! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I've been busy this weekend making the cutest cosmetic bags ever.   Nicole over at Sisters Choice Quilts had posted these cute bags, and I needed to make some, too!  I figured it would be a good way to use up some scraps.  The pattern is Zippy Strippy by Terry Atkinson.

The first one didn't turn out so great, but it works.  This was the smallest size in the instructions.
 Then I pulled out the black and white scraps, and went to town.  I used the medium size this time, and I made this one........
and this one.........
and this one.........
and this one!
Aren't they cute?

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Well, maybe not antique, but it's old! My grandmother, Nonny, made it.   My grandmother was a seamstress, and she sewed many of my dresses and other clothing when I was a kid.  And the clothes of my 3 sisters.  Some for my brother. Outfits for my cousins.   She made dresses for my mom.  And she made all of her own clothing.  I doubt if she ever owned a store bought dress....oh, and I never saw her in anything but a dress!  Back in the olden days women wore housedresses, you know! But, back to the quilt top.

All of this sewing gave my grandmother many scraps.  And she saved them all!  Left over fabric was cut into 6 inch squares, and sewed into quilt tops.  Most of the time she finished the quilt with backing, batt, and then tied them with colorful yarn.  For some reason when she gave me my quilt, it was just the top, unfinished.  And guess what?  It has been resting in my cedar chest ever since, still unfinished.  I was doing some digging in the dark recesses of a closet yesterday and I found it.  I thought I should check out the condition of the fabrics before I even considered completing it, so I spread it out on the floor and looked it over carefully.  The ancient fabrics, think 1950's and 60's, are in really good shape, and I think I could have it quilted.
I love the colors!  I'm thinking a bright clear red would make a nice binding.  So, I decided to leave the quilt top out where I could see it, and hopefully come spring I will get around to finishing it.  Not too bad, it's only about 45 or 50 years old!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I'm guessing you are all thinking that I was buried under a snowdrift and won't emerge until the spring thaw in about 6 months.  Actually, I have been silent because I've had nothing to say.  I was just thinking this morning that it will be so good to get on the road in January, as then there will be a multitude of subjects for posts!

But in the meantime, I don't even have to clean my house for Thanksgiving as we are not celebrating here.  Oh, yes, we are thankful.  Very thankful.  God has been so good to us again this year, and we praise and thank Him for His many blessings.  We are just not holding the annual family dinner at our place!  Our oldest daughter, Kari , offered to host the gang this year.  Kari is an awesome cook, so it only makes sense for her to do the honors and treat us to her world famous apple pies.  She really doesn't have much more room for dining than we do, but she has a big empty basement room and the kids have their own bedrooms to hang out in.  We have a combination living room, dining room and kitchen, and our bedroom and the sewing/office/extra room.  Not much space to entertain our huge clan!  Thank you Kari and Mike for offering your home!  Now I had best do my part and call everyone to let them know the plans.

Over the past 46 years (yes, I've been married that long......remember I was 4 when I got married!) the Thanksgiving meal has always been the biggest, most elaborate meal of the year, mostly cooked by me at our place.   Our first Thanksgiving, after we had just married the previous month, was a quiet celebration as we were far away from home, in Spokane, Washington where Ernie was stationed with the Air Force.  I can't remember that we did anything special, maybe we dined on a hamburger and macaroni casserole instead of the 11 cents a can tomato soup that made up most of our meals.  However, I do remember our second Thanksgiving.  We had been transferred to Bangor, Maine, all the way across the United States from Spokane!  Our daughter, Kari , was a tiny infant, there was snow and ice on the ground, and we were invited to our new friends, Sharron and Ken's apartment for dinner.  We had split the cost and the work of the dinner, and I remember it was hilarious!  I think we had a 20 pound turkey for the four of us!  We made a huge roaster full of dressing and a kettle full of gravy, we peeled 10 pounds of potatoes, and created a huge pistachio pudding, whipped topping, mini marshmallow salad.  I think we had at least two kinds of pie......all this for four people!  We could have fed another two dozen people and still had leftovers!  I do remember the feeling of extreme thankfulness that we had found friends to celebrate with, as both Ernie and I came from huge families and we would have been horribly lonely if we hadn't celebrated the holiday in a familiar manner.

For the next decade and a half, our Thanksgiving celebrations were similar to that second one.  We were stationed in various spots around the country, never close enough to run home for the day, and we spent our holidays with friends instead of family.  Once we had become a family ourselves, we always shared these special meals with the young single troops who lived in the barracks.  Often I was the only female at a table full of males, mostly 19 or 20 year old guys who were away from home for the first time.  They always seemed to enjoy being in a home instead of a dining hall, playing with our kids, and lounging on the furniture in front of the ever present football games on the TV.  And we loved having them join us for the day.   We kept up this tradition until Ernie retired from the Air Force, so towards the end when Kari was 14 or 15, the presence of the not much older airmen became quite interesting!

Now our own family is much larger, and spread out so that we don't all get together in one spot.  We would fill a banquet hall if we did all gather together: Ernie and I, seven kids, seven spouses or significant others, fifteen grandkids, one married and at least three others with girl/boy friends......whew!  That's well over thirty!  I guess we don't have room for the young troops anymore, and I kind of miss that.  Besides, there is no Thanksgiving at my house this year!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The house down the street had a few problems with this tree!  It keeps it's leaves well into the winter, so with the heavy snow falling it took with it a lot of the remaining leaves and the snow has a nice golden carpet, decorated with a few branches that also came down.
Some of the branches fell into the street, and when the plow came by they were swept to the other side of the road.
This is looking down our street.
Aren't these evergreens dressed up fancy in their white gowns?
Just standing there?  Get busy and shovel that snow!  Actually, he's been working hard all day trying to keep the driveway cleared.
And someone forgot to put away the patio bench.  Oh well, it looks pretty all filled up with snow!


Our truck and trailer seem to be saying:  Do we have to stay around here until January?  Good question!  Might have to think about that one!

$77.75 for $5

I scored big time yesterday.  You can too!  Get your butt over to Joann Fabrics!  Yesterday on my way home from the grocery store I stopped by just for a minute.  Then I saw the sign:  5 for 5.  Five Simplicity patterns for five dollars!  So I plunked myself down at the table with the pattern books and perused the current Simplicity book from start to finish.  I now have a new skirt pattern, an apron pattern, and three new handbag patterns!  For five bucks!  The total marked price of the five patterns was $77.75, so  I saved $72.75!  Not a bad deal at all!

So now I have to hurry and clean the house so I can sit down at my Big Brother and make some bags!  No need to buy fabric as I have a yard or two or eighty in my stash!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Okay.  It's time for the reveal of the Extreme Trailer Makeover.  Drum roll please!

First up is the table and chair set purchased on Craig's List.  Before there was a dinette booth type arrangement in this corner, and I was not a fan of it at all.  It was hard to have dinner guests, or to have friends over to play cards.  You sat so close to the other person, and in our card games, the men always looked at our cards and cheated!
 Attached to the dinette and located under the big window here, was a small sofa.   The problem with the one place to sit was that someone would lay down on the sofa while I cleaned up after dinner and did the dishes, and then where could I sit when I was finished and he was snoring?  So two glider rockers with ottomans gave us each a spot to relax!   These were purchased at Cheapko, buy one get one free!
This shot shows you the grass cloth wallpaper I put on the bottom half of the slideout, and the chair rail we installed on the wall under the windows.  The new carpet was installed by SSIL (super son in law) Mike.  Doesn't the carpet look great?  I have a small table that will go between the two chairs and will hold a lamp.
We haven't tried it out yet, so I don't know how it will all work for us, but I do like the way it turned out.  I guess we'll find out how it works in a few weeks.  We plan to leave Minnesota shortly after Christmas.  It seems silly to talk of leaving after the 70 degree temps we've experienced this week, but I guarantee that will change.  Like probably tonight.  The forecast is for rain, which will most likely turn into the white stuff by this weekend.  And that's just a fact of life!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


We did.  On Saturday, after the lefse making, I joined my oldest daughter and her two youngest and we went out to our local Minnesota State Park and took a hike in the unseasonably warm afternoon.  It was so nice! This is the Upper Falls, unusually full.  Remember that parts of this area had almost a foot of rain in September!
 The Lower Falls, with the bridge and the Upper Falls in the background.
 We hiked down to the river and then along the bank to get up to the Lower Falls.  It isn't the easy path I remembered from my youth.....oh, maybe I'm fifty years older now!  Could have something to do with it!

Someone thought she should leave her name for future generations to discover! 
The kids loved the holes or caves carved into the soft sandstone walls.  Sorry about the out of focus waterfall on the right!
My traveling companions!  I was a lovely afternoon for a hike and a picnic of Subway sandwiches.

Monday, November 08, 2010


The college auxiliary was looking for a fund raiser, and with us being a Norwegian background college and church, I wasn't surprised when someone brought up a lefse sale.  Which is a good thing.  But, it's a bad thing too, because it is a ton of work.  And not too many of us learned the talent from our moms and grandmas who have now passed on to make lefse in Heaven.  Oh, some of us have tried, and many of us have helped, but the fine art of lefse making is quickly becoming a lost art.

So, do you all know what lefse is?  I usually describe it to non-Scandahoovians as Norwegian tortillas.  There is one big difference though.  Instead of being made of flour or corn, lefse is made with riced Russet potatoes.  Yes, needs to be riced, not mashed, and needs to be Russets.  (We were told this when we received the recipe for Saturday!)  The potatoes are cooked and riced, then cooled.  Then a bit of lard (substitutions are acceptable) and a bit of cream and a little flour is mixed in, and the mixture is divided into small lumps and kept cool until needed.  It's then rolled thin, thin, thin.  Thin as in transparent!  The round pastry looking piece of dough is then carefully picked up with a lefse stick and transferred to a lefse grill, or a wood fired cookstove if you have one!  You bake it until little brown spots appear on each side, then you pile the rounds under a cozy to steam a bit, and then transfer them to dishtowel covered tables to cool.  Most Norwegians eat their lefse with butter and sugar, either white or brown.  It's also wonderful stuffed with the thanksgiving turkey or mashed potatoes, and the Christmas Eve meatballs and gravy make the best stuffing.

We were fortunate to have an expert among us, and several others are nearing expert status.  The lefse grills had to be set up around the kitchen and social hall, plugged into different spots so we didn't overload, and thus blow, any of the circuits!
Here is our expert lefse maker demonstrating how to roll out the dough.
This gal is fast becoming an expert.  She is married to the Norwegian professor at the college, has her own decorated lefse stick, and has the required mug of coffee along!
This was my partner, also a pretty good lefse cooker!  She rolled, the hard part, and I flipped on the grill.
What a little sweetie this gal is!  She was with her grandma, my dear high school friend, and was the youngest lefse maker there.
This is our Christian Day School principal, and the only male lefse maker.  Doesn't he look like he belongs on one of those chef cookoff shows?
The rounds are cooling and will soon be packaged to be picked up after services on Sunday.  I don't know how much money we raised, and I don't know if everyone will think it's worth the work.  But I do know it's a delicious part of a traditional Norwegian Thanksgiving and Christmas, so many people who don't bake it themselves will be thrilled to have some for the holidays.  I forgot to order any for our celebration.  And, no, I won't be making any myself.

Friday, November 05, 2010


Okay, so it's been almost a week since I posted.  Well, that's a lot better than some of my bloggy friends who have been silent for weeks, or in one case months, since September!  Not naming names, Lisa, but you know who you are.

But, I have been busy.  Remember I was doing a  whole reorganization thing, and had piles?  Well, it's been a long dragged out process, but we're getting there.  A bookcase has moved from one room to another and has gotten a cute blue skirt with white polka dots to hide its contents.  The dresser has been painted white and was relocated to the sewing room.  The trunk now lives at the end of the bed in the bedroom, and the coffee table that was in the sewing room now is a deep cranberry red, and is residing in front of the sofa in the living room.  I still have piles, though.  Today I hope to return the contents of the drawers to the dresser, empty the big blue tub of stuff and find a spot for all of that, and finish up the bookcase that still holds books.  No, I couldn't get rid of all of my books, but I've done a huge cleansing.  I have boxes and bags of books to give to the thrift shop or library.  It's sad.  Really sad.  Books are my friends.  However.........................

I think Ernie felt sorry for me, losing so many friends and all, and he took me shopping!

 He bought me a Nook!  And he told me I can't take all those pounds of books along in the trailer anymore.  I am allowed this little device instead, but once I go shopping and load it up with purchased and borrowed books, I can have a library of 1,500 books to travel with.  My friends can travel with me.  So now I am learning my way around the Nook, and even took it with me to Barnes and Noble yesterday to wave it in front of the coffee shop barista to receive my free smoothie.  Thanks B&N!

And I have no idea what the camera setting was on that photo.  It's horribly blurry.  Sorry.