Wednesday, February 28, 2018

More Communications by Mail - 1938

How you write to your uncle to tell him about your birthday on Thanksgiving.

How you write to your uncle to thank him for his gift.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Last Saved Post Card from Camp Horizon

Jump forward to 1947 and a sixteen year old at church camp in Arkansas City , Kansas. (As a side note, that town and the river running through Kansas, are pronounced "R Kansas" NOT "R KAN SAW.") We can immediately tell if you are a native or a visitor.

Naturally two of the main subjects of a teenager were sun tan (burn) and boys. 

Almost seventy-one years ago - a more innocent time.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Report of a Wind Storm

This is card from the same trip that was mentioned yesterday. My granddad was a carpenter. During the shingling of a school house, he upset a wasp nest and was stung many times on his balding head.
I am surprised I don't have a card mentioning that but it is in my memory. He was able to drive his old car home and he was in terrible pain from all those stings.
This is a screen shot from a movie with the 1928 Buick coupe like my grandparents owned. I don't remember the name of the comedian in the shot but when I was watching the movie, I had to grab my phone and get a photo of that car. This car stayed in the family when my grandparents came to live with us when I was thirteen. I wanted to drive so badly - Jo and would sit in it and wish we could drive it!  We both started driving at 14. It was legal in Kansas. Two questions to get your license: Are you color blind? Do you have epileptic seizures?  That'll be fifty cents please.
So evidently the car was sold before we were able to get our licenses.  My first car was a '34 Plymouth. . .it wasn't mine! My folks sold a '41 Hudson to a friend and replaced it with the Plymouth.
Newer cars were not available during WWII. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Post card from vacation in 1939-40.

When I was a kid, you could put a nine year old on a train, send them a couple of states away to visit their grandparents and never have a worry in the world about their safe arrival.
There were stewardesses on the train, wearing uniforms and they watched out for youngsters traveling alone. I never wore a name tag.

I did this several times to go to Fairfield, IA, and then on to  Richland and Woolson where my grandparents had a small farm. What a great adventure. I met people on the train and talked to them, had them sign my autograph book and felt so grown up.

My mom packed a small suitcase (carry-on?) with a bunch of little gifts to open. I checked my wrist watch and opened one every hour. I don't know how long the trip took but I know that there were no train changes - it was straight through from Hutchinson, KS, to Iowa!

If it sounds like we were well-to-do, we actually weren't. My dad was a lineman for the electric company. Mom had been a registered nurse which she returned to during WWII. Yes, I had a watch and they were able to pay for a train ticket. I wonder how much the fare was then. In the 1950's it was only $3.00 to go 100 miles on the AT & SF.

As to the post card. I hadn't learned to spell strawberries or roast.

At least it was in cursive.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Our ice is gone so I went out this morning to get yesterday's mail. Two ads. Thankfully, no bills.

This morning Henry VIII and Abe Lincoln of Illinois have been on TMC. I wonder how closely they matched the actual history as we know it. I was never very interested in history in school and blame that on the way it was taught. There were so many interesting things that could have been told that could have made it fascinating. Maybe they do better now.

One former teacher in another state used history class to bring in the type of clothing, kitchen utensils, food, customs and farm items to teach the kids. As I understand it, they loved his classes.

God bless the teachers.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Again

These weeks just seem to go by faster and faster. Only a few more days (16) until we change the clocks again. My preference would be to pick a time and leave it there. Daylight or regular is fine with me - just quit going back and forth. (Does this sound like I'm a little irritated? Yep.)

It's not the time change only. First of all, I am so lucky to be where I am today. I have wonderful husband who never struck me or strayed or swore at me.  (The three S sins?) His main fault: when he gets an idea in his head, it's full force on to get that mission accomplished.  Think mesquite wood in Arizona. We looked all over for some to buy and bring back to Kansas for grilling. Not an easy task. I guess the restaurants bought it all.  When we were home, we found some for sale at a local store. Strange solutions to odd problems. Maybe it's just a strong stubborn steak which does get things done!

Anyway, I am very lucky to have been chosen by my parents after spending five months in the hospital. I wonder who paid that bill? Probably in 1931 it was $50 for five months.  When we had our first son in 1959, the whole charge to the doctor for nine months of visits and delivery was $100. (There was an extra ten for circumcision.)

After all this rambling, the thing that irritates me is the attitude of people in this country - the divisions that seemed to be encouraged by those on either side of the opinions. In the words of Rodney King, can't we all just get along?  Just believe the way you want and let others do their thing as long it is lawful.

Not likely but I keep hoping.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Icy Thrusday

No school and very slick streets mean we are glad we cancelled our doctor appointment.

I am really "out of yarn" now. I finished up a crazy looking hat with leftovers. The best thing about it is that it's warm. I wore it to the mail box to get yesterday's mail.  Walking on the crunchy grass to avoid the glazed cement, I managed to bring in the junk mail. Some day maybe we can get the mail box attached to the front porch. Nothing lazy about me!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday Bargains

We made it to the store early (9:00 a.m.) to stock up before more ice arrives this evening. I was amazed that there were no crowds; no long lines at check-out. Of course, the thermometer said twelve degrees. That might keep a lot of folks at home..

I need to be more organized but at least we have food for several days.

As to the bargains, we have coupons and there are sales (10 for $10) and the store has a card that they scan so they can keep track of what you buy and send you more coupons.  I didn't see any real bargains and we couldn't find the margarine we usually buy. Either they moved it or don't carry it any longer.

We'll search more next time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


We need moisture so badly here. No snow this winter or moisture of any kind.

Last night there was freezing rain. The ice isn't heavy enough, so far, to weigh down the power lines, but it's not getting any warmer.

Another day to stay home and more importantly, off the slick streets.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Cool and Cloudy

Not an exciting Monday. No mail. I have no errands I have to run.

I may trim some hair later. I'm letting mine grow out a bit but it needs a little taming.

I am not liking the news but it seems I feel the need to keep up with what is happening. Voting only happens every two years. I do wish there was not so much hate displayed in our lives - no matter which side we are on. I actually remember how President Roosevelt was hated because my parents spoke about it. It's nothing new and it's not the advice we are given in a book that many read but do not technically follow.

Enough soapbox talk. Anxious for spring.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Birthday -

This is my second cousin, Marcheta Rose Dewey Lanning. We grew up together. She had one brother and we were probably as close to being sisters as cousins can be.
This photo is her during her senior year of high school, 1947, acting silly behind their house in Hutchinson, KS. We had so many good times in that house which was built in 1888. It's still there and was for sale at one time for $15,000. Our older son said, "Why didn't you tell me? I would have bought it!"

I miss her. She and her large family moved to the Pacific Northwest and I flew out to visit at least twice. What a great time we had with her husband, David Farley. We did day trips and stayed by the ocean in a lovely cabin. I told them they just were doing too much to entertain me and she said, "No, when people come to visit, we take them where we enjoy going."  Good idea!!! I know I enjoyed it.

We were in both in band. She played tympani, glockenspiel and all things percussion - plus she had a marimba in her home.

Marcheta, you taught me a lot about life, boys and politics. Love you.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dollar Day

After running the vacuum and going to the grocery store, I had to have a short nap.

Waking up with plans to get the mail, Lee says, "I got the mail."  And what did we receive? A prescription order for him with an enclosed bill for $00.00. I'm sure they'll catch it next time.

AND, a dividend check for me from an insurance policy that was unexpected. I guess I'll go buy some yarn. Maybe early in the morning when there are not so many folks in the craft aisle at

Friday, February 16, 2018

From the Sublime to the Ridulous

Warm yesterday (almost 70) and cold this morning (21 and north winds.) This seems to be our winter weather so far; a couple of warm days and then a reminder that it really is winter.

I slept late this morning and just heard that there has been an indictment of thirteen Russians.

I guess I need to pay attention.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Germ Free?

Several weeks ago I saw this sign at the receptionists desk.
Didn't believe it then; don't think I believe it now. I tried checking in
on one of the Phressia Pads and it went dark in the process.
I just put it back on the desk and checked in by speaking to the clerk.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Nothing special going on here today except a doctor's appointment later in the afternoon when it's supposed to be about 70 degrees.

We may not need a jacket.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Fleet

This is a photo from 1999 when we had a variety of vehicles. Wow! Would any of them be considered antiques today?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday Morning

The sons have left to go back south. If only we could have had the coming Wednesday's forecast while they were here this week-end: 69 instead of the teens we had for highs.

It was so good to see them and they did so many things to help. Replace a ceiling light bulb, fix a hinge near the floor of the trash cupboard, replace the plastic on the "back porch," and run errands and bring food!

We missed seeing the wives and four girls and it was so different - they only had us to harass.

Love those boys men.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Remember The Farkle Family?

This ain't it. But this is us, all posed for the ten second count down. Somehow, Jack didn't want his photo taken but Jill is hiding her face.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Too Cold to Snow

That's what my mom used to say. It was 11 here this morning. The two sons have been out twice shopping!  It's up to 13 degrees and I'm staying inside.

Friday, February 9, 2018

A Big Day

Today our older son is driving up from Texas for a visit. We are sorry the whole family cannot come because of school or work.

BUT, and it's a big but, our younger son will be with him. He lives in the far northwest and has flown to DFW and will drive with his brother for a visit.

The surprise is, we didn't tell their dad that they will both be here. I hope to have the camera/phone ready to catch that moment. It will be a happy scene and hope the shock won't be too great - thinking possible heart attack here. (Just a little joke....)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Before Sunup!

I remember my dad saying "sunup" instead of sunrise. I don't hear anyone using that term now.

Today I was out, in the dark, driving to the grocery store before 6:30. My thought was, fewer people, less flu germs. Most of the people there were employees, filling shelves and tending the produce.

I was home by 7:15 and had used my $5.00 coupon off if I spent over $90.00. To make the ninety dollar goal I had to grab three Pay Day bars. Lee will be happy.

Groceries put away and ready to make a pot of chili. Today's forecast? 58 degrees F.  Tomorrow: 33. Maybe the chili should wait till tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mom's Birthday

These are my favorite  pictures of my mom, Selma Wright Brown. She was born on February 7, 1904, in Halstead, KS. She had three brothers and two sisters. Another sister died in infancy. 
She was next to the youngest.
When she was seventeen, she went to nurse's training at the Halstead Hospital which was started by Dr. Arthur E. Hertzler. He was "The Horse and Buggy Doctor" which was the name of one of his books. Later he wrote "The Doctor and His Patients." I have a copy of each, signed by the author.
She graduated in the class of 1923. She did floor duty and private practice in patients' homes.

After three years of marriage, she and my dad adopted me from the hospital in Hutchinson, KS, where she occasionally worked. It was the best thing that happened to me - ever!

During WWII, there was a shortage of many things - one being nurses. The hospital wanted her to come to work. She told them she had a ten year old daughter.  Their reply? She's old enough to take care of herself. She did go to work and after school I went to a cousin's house after school. It all worked out.

She was a great mom and became a grandmother after seven years of my husband and I being married. I think she had given up. (So had I.) So she only was able to love the two grandsons for five years. 

Sixty is way too young for a grandmother to die.  I miss her and I'm  sorry for the grief I gave her a few times when I was a teen. She forgave me and that's good!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It's Cold

I know, it's winter, but for us a high of 24 for today is too chilly. So we stay inside and wait for a warmer day to get outside.

For lunch the main course was s*&% on a shingle. Dried beef in gravy on toast. I have made it earlier this year with corned beef because I couldn't find any dried beef in the meat section.

At the store last week I asked a clerk where I could locate it. She said, "We have corned beef." I said, "Yes, thank you. I know where that is. I'd really like the dried beef."

She seemed to think a moment and then said, "It comes in a jar and is on aisle eight, top shelf."
I thanked her and headed to aisle eight. As I went, I wondered how she managed to bring that out of her brain. All the employees are very friendly and helpful but how can they remember where all those thousands of items are located?

What if they are wearing a tiny microphone and a hidden ear piece. Someone in an office has the job to monitor them and tells them immediately where a particular item can be found.

Have I been watching too many spy thrillers?

I found it easily on aisle eight, top shelf, in a small jar. Amazing.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Nature Photo

When we lived in Texas for fifteen months, we walked our dog, Wally, night and day. At night there were all these little bright points of light in the grass. After using the flash light up close and personal, we discovered they were tiny spider eyes reflecting our light. This photo doesn't show them very well. Some nights they were like sparkling dew.

Made me want to buy some high top boots.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Nothing Much Going On

Today only big event is, of course, Super Bowl Sunday.
 I mostly ignore all the hype that started at eleven o'clock this morning.

I like the ads and today the added bonus will be a new wrinkle in the fly-over. An F-16 and an A-10.
Maybe more than one of each. In a closed stadium, how will the fans see them?

Oh. I forgot. Giant, jumbo screens.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Dear Diary

When I was ten years old, my Aunt Hattah gave me a five year diary. I kept something written in it every day for the next five years.
Today I saw it in a drawer. The lock is still locked. No key. But when I looked at the side, someone had cut the leather strap away so I, or anyone else, could read it.

Most of the entries say, "I practiced." That would have been on the piano. My parents got me a Kimball spinet piano and I took lessons for a long time. There are mentions of skating to the library, playing paper dolls, ping pong, Goal High, basketball and catch. Riding bicycles to the movies. I don't remember much of this stuff. I wonder if other people remember much of their childhood.

There are some mystifying entries: Dad got mad at me. No reason given why. During these years I started driving at fourteen - it was legal. To get a license the questions were, Are you color blind, do you have epileptic seizures. No and no. That'll be fifty cents. And this was not a learners permit.
We drove all over.

On April 12th, "Pres. Roosevelt died in '45! It's awful. The war may last longer."

On June 6, 1944 I have written in big letters, "Invasion of Europe in '44!"
This is all written in pencil and is fading. Some pages are very hard to read.

We skated a lot and went to many movies. One theater accepted pop bottle caps instead of a dime on Saturdays. After we got there (I think it was the Midland) we decided to go to the Fox instead. They didn't take bottle caps and I didn't have a dime so we had to go back to the Midland.

What amazes me that most of this stuff I don't remember at all!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cold Weather

It's winter. It's February. So why do I think it should be warmer?

Nothing planned outside the house today. I tried another new recipe and this one was a hit. Someone even ate everything on his plate. That is not a normal occurrence  here. We were both raised during the Depression but somehow it stuck with me - sit there and eat that till it's gone.

Not in a mean way, just eat it. That was particularly hard for me when it was round steak. Yes, we had steak during those hard years. My dad had a good job with the electric company, KP&L, so we were fortunate. But the one thing I remember my mom failing at in cooking was fried steak; fried until it was DONE!  And TOUGH. The longer I chewed, the larger that chunk of meat got. Or so it seemed to me.

The first time I had a broiled steak, cooked medium well, it changed my thinking.

I'm so glad I'm not a vegetarian.

So even though it wasn't steak, our taco flavored hamburger casserole was good on this chilly day.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


My husband watches "Cops" part of the time. I have watched too and I admire these men who put up with all the harsh words,  disrespect and violence from those  they have to deal with.

One particular episode bothers me. The one where a female officer is sent out on the street or, as in today's program, a country road, and waves down passing cars with a single male driving.

She offers them a date and then the hidden officers swarm in.

I guess prostitution is against the law but was sex on these men's minds when they were driving along, minding their own business and someone flags them down? Sure, they could have gone on driving. Maybe they thought the woman was having a problem or was in some kind of trouble.

They stop and they are propositioned. If they accept, they are in big trouble and on the way to jail.

Or perhaps sex was on their mind in the first place.