Monday, April 30, 2018

March 10, 1996

This was a very scary day at our house. We had been in Texas visiting family. We thought about stopping in Oklahoma to visit some people but decided to just go on home so we would get home before dark.

I walked into out middle bedroom/office with the sliding glass doors and saw our fence burning. I grabbed a phone (not a cell!) and called HFD. Lee ran out and got the hose. I don't know if it was already hooked up or not.

In the photo you can see two men besides Lee. One is on the left above the fence and one can be seen in the lower right, reflected in the water on the pool cover. We don't know who they were. They didn't stay around. We lost part of the fence, a seed spreader and a  plastic table. We were lucky it didn't spread!

Very frightening.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sixty-six and Counting

The lower left photo is from a picnic attended sixty-six years ago today. Jim Thomas, a girl, possibly Marilyn, and Lee, my future husband.

We met on a blind date. There was delicious fried chicken made by my future mother-in-law. That was very nice of her! I do not remember any other food we had. On the way to the river, we stopped at Bill Romer's house to borrow a wash tub for ice for the beer. Waiting in the '48 Ford coupe, I looked at the name on the key ring...."What an odd name! Never heard that one before."

We had a good time. No excess drinking or troubles (!) Lee did wade in the river and somehow lost a shoe. He was able to get it and throw it back to the bank. In the picture it looks like he's adjusting his waistband on his wet cuffed jeans. I don't remember why he went into the water. He was home on leave from the Navy and I think the shoe was navy issue.

The other photos show Jim and Lee cavorting around on another occasion. The Model A belonged to Jim and there was no roof. A story was told that one night he was driving sitting on one of those boards, steering with his feet. Thank goodness I wasn't there. I'm not sure if there was alcohol involved in that event. Wild times in the fifties.

And three and a half months later we were married.

And they said it wouldn't last.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sewing Machine

I have not used my sewing machine for several years. Since I stopped quilting, we must not have had anything to "mend." My Elna has been sitting under a desk for a long time. Today I needed it.

The first problem was the piles of necessary things on top of the desk to move (or get rid of.) The phone books, which are practically useless except for calling businesses, the globe that goes on the ceiling light/fan. Every time  we put the globe up with it's little bitty screws, the light bulb burns out. This last time we just left the globe off and the bulb is still burning. Can it get too hot in there and hasten the failure of the bulb?  Just a crazy thought.  A radio that we seldom listen to and a small breathing treatment machine.

After moving all that stuff, or most of it, somewhere else, it was time to lift the Elna. I tried to lift with my legs, like they tell you in health class. I never could figure that one out. So tomorrow we'll see if the legs or the back hurts.

Next came the daunting task of plugging it in. Waaayy down under the desk is the outlet. Why don't they put outlets up higher as they do in the hospital? I got Lee in the room and told him he might have to help me get up. Sure enough. He did.

People laugh at those ads that say, "I've fallen and can't get up!"  They are not funny.

Much later I have the seam repaired and I'm leaving the machine where it is.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Beer Bread

I bought some wheat beer last week. I never did care for beer - until I tried wheat beer in Germany in 1989. I have raved about it ever since and finally bought some. (You don't want to rush these things.)
I had one glass with pizza. So far that is the only thing I have found that goes with beer.
So with five bottles in the fridge, I looked up a recipe I had for beer bread.

So simple:  3 cups self-rising flour, 1/2 cup sugar and one 12 oz. bottle of beer. Mix well and pour into well greased loaf pan. Bake 375 for one hour. (Mine was done in about 45 minutes. Next time I'll do 350 because the top got a little brown.)

The first photo shows what happens when you try to slice hot bread.
The second photo shows how nicely it slices when it is cooled. (It tastes better warm but I put in the microwave for 10 seconds to get that "out of the oven" taste.

Oh yes. If you don't have self-rising flour, you can use regular flour and add one tablespoon baking powder and one teaspoon soda along with the sugar. Whisk well before adding liquid.  Or, you can use Bisquik and follow the first instructions.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Another Thursday

Today was a trip  Orschlen's for peanuts for the squirrels (!) They didn't have the shelled ones so he bought the ones that make a mess. Also a bag of corn.  A bigger mess of cobs. Wonder who will clean that up.

Then it was on to the clinic to pick up a prescription. We are so fortunate to have insurance.

The last stop was our second home, the grocery store. I stuck to the list except for some Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Dark Chocolate Sensation, naturally flavored and made with Premium  Cocoa and Real Milk.  Since I gave up designer coffee at $5.00 a cup, I have more money to buy a package of eight packets to make eight cups of hot cocoa for only $2.89. My only drink at "Sundoe" was a mocha so it's a good deal. (The sun is a star and a doe is a female buck....I know, my mind is not quite right.)

With all that driving, we must have put at least five miles on the odometer. We are near to everything we need! I wonder if we could get a lower rate on car insurance?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Rear View Mirror

Whoever said, "Your hair looks so good in the back?"  Nobody. Ever.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Chicken Success

The baked chicken endured 350 degree heat for forty minutes and it was delicious. I am sad that the better half doesn't care for baked chicken, but that means I can have the other half today!

Monday, April 23, 2018


For the first time in a long time, I bought some meat at the meat counter where a person actually took the item out of the display case, weighed it and wrapped it in brown paper.  1950!

I wanted to have some barbecued, baked chicken. So I get home, take it out of the bag and see that they recommend grilling or broiling.

I guess we'll see how baking it comes out while following the instructions of my sister-in-law in Jersey!

Report tomorrow.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Almost Bedtime

Another quiet day.  We had spaghetti for lunch and tuna sandwiches for supper.

I had to throw out part of a head (?) of Romaine. The news story said if you have some and even have eaten part of it and not gotten sick, throw the rest out. This was not chopped and packaged. I never bought those prepackaged salad sacks. Too much handling goin' on!

We are pretty lucky that most of the time our food is safe. We need to be aware when they warn us.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Quiet Day

Except for sneezing and sleeping, not much went on here today.  Not feeling so good.
Hoping for a better tomorrow.

Friday, April 20, 2018


The temperature got up to sixty-four by two p.m.

Maybe there's hope for some spring yet - before we slide right into summer in the Wheat State.

Forecast for tonight is possible - POSSIBLE - rain. I hope they are right. There are fires in Oklahoma and western Kansas.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Today involved moving a lot of money around.

I did learn something new. When one deposits an amount in the checking account it shows up almost immediately online as a new balance.

However, there is a notation: Transaction pending.

This means that you better wait at least twenty-four hours before you try to use that money in a check writing action.  The explanation was something about a "shadow posting."

That didn't mean anything to me and she didn't offer any more information.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Midnight Excitement

About twelve o'clock this morning I woke up. I use a CPAP machine and I wasn't getting any pressure or oxygen. I got out of bed. The night light (tv) was out and so was the bathroom light.
However, the light was on in the dining room. Lee has been leaving it on since the hall light burned out (again.)
I check in the computer room and the lights in there were working. In the kitchen, no lights came on.
The refrigerator light came on when I opened the door. Wondering about the stove, I turned on the front burner and the ceiling light came on!  I turned the switch off and the light went off. I tried this three times and it worked every time.

I went back to the computer room and sat there for about forty-five minutes after I got a flash light and looked up the number for the power company. Suddenly all the lights went out. I grabbed the cell phone and called the number to report it. The nice voice was a live person and he told me the outage had been reported. That surprised me because it had just happened. Anyway, I walked into the living room while we were talking and the Westar truck was in front of our house. What quick service!

I stayed awake and watched the lighted helmet move from the front yard to the pole in the neighbor's yard several times. After a while, another truck arrived with two more men. They put a spot light on the pole and transformer.  I watch the lineman climb the pole and work with many cords or cables.

Meanwhile, Lee was up and insisted we needed to light an oil lamp. Of course, it was on the top of a cupboard in the utility room. Guess who had to get up on the ladder and retrieve it and a bottle of oil. We got that working after finding out the automatic fire starter didn't work. We had to resort to fireplace matches.  My opinion was we had flash lights. Why did we need a lamp.

Back to the kitchen window and I got a picture of the workman on the pole. I didn't try to zoom it so it is hard to make out. At 3:40 a.m. we had power.

The mystery for me is why did turning on the electric stove burner make the kitchen ceiling light come on. That was spooky.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


The big news today was that there was a record low of 23 F Monday morning. And today in
Dodge City was a record high of 93 F. Quite a swing.

We went to the store for coffee and dental floss. Thirty minutes later we ended up with 16 items and went through the 15 items or less cashier line. (A slight cheating.)

We have state sales tax on food so the tax was over $7.00. Final bill, $88.00. At least we won't have to go back soon.

Monday, April 16, 2018


Today I got a request to check over a document. It was sent to me in a file. I managed to open it.

I discovered that while I was looking at it, I could edit it! Yea! I did all the edits and then had trouble figuring out how to send it back to the sender!

I still wasn't sure and then realized I didn't have the email address for the sender in that format. I was afraid to leave it because I would lose all the changes (4) that I had made. Soooo I mailed it to myself.

Two hours later it still hadn't arrived. Back to square one. Luckily I had used that old fashioned item a pen and pad to write down the changes. I  redid it and sent it again. This time it came through. When I opened it, the changes were there in the lovely red that I used so they would show up.

I think I need a class on Microsoft Word.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A New Foster Mom

What day. I didn't sleep well last night so a nap took up most of the afternoon.

After I was awake, I was able to see (on Skype and photos)  the two little dogs that my sister-in-law in New Jersey has adopted. I guess the term "foster mom" is not correct because the plan is for them to live with her from now on. They are older puppies; one is twenty-four, a Chihuahua named Mousey. Muffin is a younger Poodle but I can't remember if Judy said he is thirteen or fourteen.

I guess the older one snores while napping so it will be interesting to see if that keeps their new "mom" awake. Having two dogs here makes me appreciate her decision.

I am happy they have found a new, forever home!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Small Shakes

After a late breakfast yesterday, or brunch (!)| Lee decided he wanted a milk shake. So we went to our favorite place where they have about 63 flavors available. He told me he wanted a large. One look at the sign told me that a large was very large and cost over $6.00. He decided on a small chocolate which was only $3.00.

It is amazing to have lived long enough to remember when a milkshake was twenty-five cents and if you were inside the drugstore, they gave you the metal container it was "shaken" in to pour the rest of the contents into your glass.

So he got his shake and asked if I wanted some. "No, thanks."

The other small shake of the day was a 3.2 earthquake that was centered west of the town of South Hutchinson which is a separate city to the south. My chair jumped and there was a muffled bang. Lee thought a door had shut somewhere.  I immediately looked at the clock - 9:46 a.m. Later Facebook and the news verified the time.

We've been having a lot of these lately but this is the only second one I have felt. The other one was at night and was really loud. I thought someone had fallen out of bed and the dogs even alerted.

Shaky Kansas.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Cooking Skills

When we were first married, I had trouble making gravy and white sauce.  Too many lumps.

After we got our first microwave in the 1980's I could finally make white sauce.

Gravy was another story.  And now, and for many years, there are little packets at the grocers that say "Gravy"  or "Country Gravy" or "Sausage Gravy."

They work great.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Two Trips Out

It's so quiet around here that a trip out is an event.

So far today we've been to the hardware store and the second trip just now was to Subway.

It just interrupts my crocheting.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Warmer with a Chance of Change

Eighty-four so the A/C is on. (!)   By Saturday the high is supposed to be 39.

I don't remember a spring like this in the last eighty-seven years.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuna Noodle Casserole

After buying the ingredients for one of Lee's favorite casseroles last week, I finally made it for lunch. We like those big Amish style thick noodles and peas and chopped onions in ours.

I run out of ideas of things to make. I can even remember when I was a teen ager that I wondered how my mom decided what to cook day after day. She was a good cook and we had great meals. In eighth grade at Liberty Junior High we had to take "cooking." I don't remember the actual name of the class. We learned how to make Eggs a la Goldenrod and served breakfast to the faculty. I did not like the class because all the stuff about vitamins and nourishment did not stay in my brain for the tests. That was the only class I ever got a D in. I believe the only other recipe I remember is escalloped cabbage and we do have that now and then.

I am lucky that my husband likes any kind of casserole - especially if it has hamburger in it. My dad was not thrilled with casseroles. He didn't like everything all together in one pot. His joke with my mom after a meal was, "I have tasted worse but I can't remember where."

I wonder if they still have cooking classes in high school now. I don't know any students here to ask. We had sewing in the seventh grade. I do believe the local high school has what we called vocational classes for anyone who wants to take welding or electronics or wood class. I think there should be more subjects of that type.

Can you tell that not much is happening around here today? It's our oldest son's birthday and we have texted greetings to him. Miss our sons and their families!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Ridding the Fridge

Does anybody else save these packets and store them in the shelf on the door of the refrigerator? I saw some advice that said, "Get rid of those packets that come with carry out."

So I did.

Sunday, April 8, 2018


A quiet day with not much going on. Skype is unreliable. They even warn you not to use in place of your telephone but after five or six attempts to connect with New Jersey, we finally were successful. This doesn't count the times we were able to hear each other with no video and then were cut off mid sentence.

Ain't technology grand?

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Coldness in April

This morning we had a low of seventeen degrees - a record low for this date. We also had a small accumulation of snow.

As I write this we have climbed to forty-one and of course, all the snow is gone. I wonder if all the blooming things are gone too.

I hit the jackpot today with gifts from both coast! Yarn from the east and books from the west. Thanks to J. and D. (No, not Jack and Diane, but close.)

Taking it easy after eating too much junk food yesterday. I need to learn that my stomach is no longer made of leather and will not necessarily digest everything I put into it.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Kinder Egg

I have seen advertising for Kinder eggs. I thought I heard a long time ago that they were not allowed in the United States because of the choking hazard.

Every Friday our Dillon's (now Kroger's) has a free item that you can download to your cart. Last week it was a Kinder Egg. I picked it up today.
It was difficult to open but probably a three year old could do it. I found a cat, a launching pad and some targets with instructions for playing the game.
When I started to open the other side for the edible part, it was already open and nothing was inside!
I looked in my lap and all over the floor under my chair. My sister-in-law in New Jersey was online and laughing at me.
I finally realized the other half of the egg had not been opened and I was befuddled ((!)
So the photos show the items.  The candy part is from Poland and the toy is from China.

I thought they were a German item!

Oh. And the white plastic piece that looks like a silhouette is a spoon to eat the "sweet cream topped with cocoa wafer bites." The price was $1.59. I checked my receipt to be sure I got it free. The sign in the store said two for three dollars. Reminds me of something we might have paid a dime for - if we had had a dime.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Strange Mail

We get very little mail except for bills and ads.

So last week we received a letter addressed to Lee's first name only - no last name. The address was correct. The message was about "our" Time Share. We have never owned a Time Share. We needed to call an enclosed number right away to set up an appointment to get out of the contract.

Since this was the second letter - we had ignored the first one - I decided to call the people. I had decided it was some type of scam but I was prepared NOT to send them any money.

A very nice woman needed my reference number. I was very nice to her and asked why we would be getting this since the letter was NA (not applicable!) She was very nice and needed the reference number. She must be a clearing house for many types of advertising. She said these letters are sent out at random to an area where an agent will be appearing to help persons who want to get out of their Time Share.

Well, that cleared that up! She also gave me some advice. These letters are sent out automatically and if we get another one, tear it up.

Persons are concerned about privacy but I can remember when we had phone books and you could look up anybody's name, address and phone number. At the library there were phone books from other major cities and there was always "information" at Southwestern Bell or AT&T.  Now companies and internet businesses know all about us but if my casual acquaintance has a cell phone, there is no way I can find his number. We must exchange numbers at a face to face meeting.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Pampas Grass Neglected

This is leftover from last summer. Usually it is cut back but that didn't happen last fall.

What is odd that two of the tall stalks are bent over in different directions. Wind from different points on the compass? (north and south)

What is odd is that we used to  have a beautiful tree that grew nearby. Its main trunks spread out in the same way. The ice destroyed it in 2015. It had pink and white flowers on it in the spring.
I miss that tree.

Monday, April 2, 2018

On a trip to the store this package caught my eye. We both like chocolate chip cookies and I don't bake them anymore so.....

After opening the box, I discovered there were twelve small packages of cookies with seven cookies about the size of a fifty cent piece (remember those?) Of course, this is all stated on the box if I had bothered to read it.

They taste good and one cookie equals one bite.

Sunday, April 1, 2018


This morning it's cold. Twenty-nine degrees and windy. Lee mentioned he wanted to go to the store. I got to a point where I could stopped my crocheting and walked into the bedroom. He's back in bed. "I thought you wanted to go to the store."
Answer: "I didn't think you acted like you wanted to go."  "I was just waiting on you to get ready," meaning put on his shoes.

So I go to the closet, get my coat, hat, purse, keys, shopping list, gloves and wait in the dining room. He walks down the hall and says he didn't know it was so cold out. Maybe we should wait till tomorrow. I told him whatever he wants to do is ok with me.

I take off my hat, coat, gloves and put my keys and shopping list in the purse, hang up my coat and return to crocheting.

He goes back to bed and tv.      I know this sounds silly but indecision wears me out.