Tag Archive: home



Recently, our family has expanded a bit. Single parent grandson and his children have been staying with us, while he does some serious re-hab on their house.

Having a Head Start student and a Pre-K student around is a challenge. We have had an assortment of the older ones in and out over the years, but no ‘little ones’ on a regular basis.

Of course we are handling it, pretty well. As Hubby says, “We can do this one more time.”

Last week our Pre-K boy needed something that started with the letter N for his ‘Show and Tell’. Uncle Brett and I helped and we soon had lovely noodle necklaces for him to take. 100_0533

I’m re you can see that the finished project made him happy, and he said  everyone in his class liked it too.

While we worked on them, I realized that I did these with my siblings, my own kids, grandkids, various nieces and nephews, and a host of the other children that filtered through out home over the years.

That’s a lot of pasta!

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The sun has been shining, the weather much more seasonable and reasonable the past few days. Yesterday, one grandson arrived to help Hubby with some things. The foremost, to me, was replacing a broken stair tread on our porch. It was becoming a bit scary walking down them when it was slick.
Today, three teenage boys are here, the pen for new chicks has been completed, a trailer of junk was loaded and removed.
Now they are finishing the stair railing on the porch steps. 🙂
Hubby is mentoring and supervising. Tools and training are available.
The reward for all this effort? It is not monetary, hot showers at end of the day, a good meal and being allowed to set up one of the tents in the yard for the night. Well, yes, there is a possibility of a campfire and s’mores.
Sleeping bags and pillows are provided by the management.
There will be more weekends like this coming! It’s time to get he garden ready and planted, school vacation will be coming and then the rewards grow into trips to the river, swimming and fishing.


Yesterday, I mentioned that I was making chili because I was expecting a house full of company. There were some requests for the recipe, so here it is.
I cook up 4 cups of pinto beans, with no seasonings.
When the beans are tender and the broth still pretty thin, turn them off.
Fry 1 lb. hamburger meat and 1 cup chopped onion until meat is done and onions translucent.
Add to the beans along with a 28 oz. can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis for mild chili or Rotel tomatoes with jalapenos for more kick, salt and chili powder to taste.
Add a cup of chunky salsa (optional).
Let that simmer slow until it is as thick as you like your chili.

If chili is too spicy for your taste topping with cheese helps to tone down the ‘bite’.
This made about a gallon of chili. Everyone except Hubby thought it was great, he thought it needed more chili powder. What does he know?


kids day at gramma's 007
I took this picture of my granddaughter helping in the kitchen.
When I looked at it, I was transported back about 60 years. There I was, standing on a chair in my parents kitchen, following directions from great-grandmother, grand-mother or my own mother. “Cooking”!
Then as my mind moved along the path of years, I could see my children and many nieces, nephews, family friends in my kitchen. All of them doing the same thing.
I don’t think anyone ever went on to become chefs, but we all came away with a basic set of skills and the concept that a kitchen is a great place to share thoughts, give comfort, and learn the blessing of ‘family’.


A Day in the life of the Bathroom mirror

“Oh, NO! There’s that clock”, says the mirror, “here they come!” In seconds, bright light illuminates the room, sparkling off the mirrors flat face.
The man ignore it as he reaches sleepily for a washcloth, razor and shaving foam. Hot water steams the shining surface as he washes his face. Using the wash cloth, he wipes the mist from the glass, then fills his hand with thick foam as he begins his daily routine. Lathering the thick cream over his face, he grimaces at the mirror. Picking up the razor, he begins to glide it over his cheeks, neck and chin, alert to the contours he feels.

Now, he reaches for his denture cup, pouring out the overnight solution. Paste on the toothbrush, he cleans the partial plate, rinses it, then begins again with toothpaste on his remaining teeth, splashing the mirror with toothpaste and water as he does it. Another rinse and the partial is fitted in his mouth and a smile reflects back at him.

Five or six strokes of the comb through his thinning hair and he walks off, ready to face the day.

The woman of the house follows, wrapped in a cocoon of terry cloth, still dripping a bit from the shower. She ducks down to return with a blow dryer in hand. the view is of one possessed as she wields the buzzing dryer in one hand and a hairbrush with the other, coaxing the unruly wet mop into a semblance of order.

She notices the spattered face of the mirror and reaches down again, coming up with a spray bottle. A spritz or two, a swipe with a towel restores a clear view.

She puts away the brush dryer, glass cleaner, denture cup, shaving cream and razor. With a frown, she winces as a slight tug removes the offending gray hair. Rushing, time is short, a dash of blush, a squirt of perfume and she is away.

There comes a lull, then invasion as two young ladies rush in, scattering make-up and hair products across the counter. After Quick work with soap, water and toothbrushes, they start the real preperations. Giggles, chatter and a short argument punctuate the transformation of one fresh washed face into a white mask with black eyes and lips. Teased hair is semi-tamed with a pick and liberally coated with pink and blue sprays. Stiff hair, stark faced, she studies the look. A satisfied nod says she is ready to go out to face her day.

The second, conforming to a different fashion ideal, brushes her long straight hair, places a colorful barrette, examines then adjusts. A touch of lip gloss, a hint of blooming color on her cheeks. One can hardly tell anything has been added. These two finish their work, pack up their supplie and move along.

Here’s the boy, dirty faced, called in from play even this early in the day. He splashed some cold water over his face, creating streaks in the dirty film. Splattering muddy drops all around as he shakes murky liquid off like a wet puppy, he grins flexing minute muscles. then checks for signs of adolescence, is that a pimple? Does it look like a few whiskers? No toothpaste for him, swishing Scope instead, contorting his face. Then he attempts to spit, imitating his favorite baseball star.

With a furtive glance, he picks a towel from the hamper, smearing muddy drops, and towel fuzz across the reflection. He skitters out, returning seconds late to douse himself liberally with his father’s aftershave, once again rushing away.


Growing up, in rural Missouri, a garden was pretty much a necessity for most homes.
Our family of 8, Gram, Mom, Dad and five noisy growing kids was no exception. The boys and dad did most of the growing work, plowing, planting, tilling, hoeing.
When things started coming off, it was up to the females in the family to pick and preserve. Some things went into the freezer but most into jars.
Hot steamy kitchen, washing, cooking, boiling, packing in July and August heat.
That did not matter much, the family had to eat, be it July or January and so it was done.
Now there was the problem of where to store all that food. Our family and any others did not have a big pantry or cellar, so jars went into boxes to be stashed under the beds.
Once the jars were emptied that’s where they went again to rest for the next use.
Yes, friends, I have boxes of jars, full and empty under the bed. It does keep the dust bunnies at bay!


Sometimes, it is funny how my mind works.
It all started today, when my daughter, Tara Banks, posted this on her blog. I highly recommend that you click the link and read the post.
http://craftytara.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/so-there-i-was/
Reading it brought back a lot of memories. Mother used to make these ‘toad in a holes’ on her big square griddle, and in later years we would whip them out to hungry kids while camping.
Enjoying many a sunrise on the river or at the beach, Hubby and I used a cast iron skillet for the delicious morsels. Sometimes on the trusty Coleman stove and more often over an open fire nest to the coffeepot. Kids waited patiently, or not for their plates to be filled.
The thought of those camping trips reminded me of some books we bought long ago. Dian Thomas produced “Roughing it Easy” and “Roughing it Easy 2”. I went to look and sure enough I do have them! Worn and well used.
That led me to a search on Amazon.com. Both books are still available.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0962125733
http://www.amazon.com/Roughing-easy-2-Dian-Thomas/dp/0446874302/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372192710&sr=1-1&keywords=roughing+it+easy+2
If you are a seasoned camper or are thinking about it for the first time, there are many fun and interesting ideas to make your trip more enjoyable.


Baby bluebirds
>blufbird 016 fledgling 2</a

Plenty of work for Dad to bring home enough groceries

jay in the peach tree 025 Mr. Blue brings food


gooseberries, blueberries blooming 003
Today on our walk, Hubby and I came across a troup of ballerinas, pirouetting just for us.
Clad in gossamer, swaying in the slightest breeze, these delicate ballerinas dance.
I look at them and see not only the beauty in these blooms but the promise of ripe gooseberries to come.
Chubby, tart, basketballs of purple and green.
Sturdy enough not to crush when picked and make a jam or jelly with a distinct tangy flavor.
Two patches endure, and have for 30 odd years, over at the ‘old house place’ where my late mother-in-law first started them.


I had to take a few days off, but the busy blue birds have not.
It is time to build nests even if the weather is not very springlike. The challenge does not seem to bother them at all. They face tha chill wind, bravely. The pine tree outside where the nest box is is filled with their fluttering and chirping.
They seem to be more active in the mornings right now.

Mrs B. checks before taking off

Mrs B. checks before taking off

Mt. B gives some encouragement

Mt. B gives some encouragement

Bringing in nesting material

Bringing in nesting material