Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hodgepodging Childhood Memories


 My maternal grandma as a teen
She was at least one generation removed from the photo grin.
And I wouldn't smile either - with that stiff collar choking me!


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we write the answers.
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1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.

Oh yes, I was close to both sets of grandparents. I remember my maternal grandma bringing bananas and doll clothes out to the farm, I remember her sweet nature and her love of Jesus, her leading Child Evangelism classes in her home, and her generosity to her neighbors even though she certainly did not have an extra penny to her name. Even so, she paid for me to take a taxi from her house to my piano lesson (in town), gave me old copies of McCall's magazine so I could cut out the Betsy McCall paper dolls, fed me raspberry sauce as a treat, etc. etc. And I mostly remember that her house was cluttered and INTERESTING. (Take that, you spartans!)

My paternal grandma kept nothing extra, but she made up for it (having a kind of boring house) by making great homemade bread (and putting butter AND salt on it), teased my grandpa about the fact that he spoke Swedish when he was a kid, had a very dry sense of humor which I loved, and gave me fond memories of her - AND of my grandpa, whom I remember praying in church and crying as he prayed. Because he was an emotional person? No. He was a humble man who loved God, who was overwhelmed by the realization that God became man to rescue him (and all of us) from ourselves, from our sin, from eternal death - because God so loves the world. And I'm totally with my grandpa on that. It never ceases to choke me up.

You really got me with these first two questions, Joyce, and you can consider yourself lucky that my answers aren't longer than they are!

 Shammar looked kinda like this horse, 
with a white blaze the length of his face.

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

First, I was attached to my horse, Shammar, who kept me slightly scared of him the entire time, although I loved him. He was Arabian/Welsh and beautiful, scared of butterflies and would freak out if a fly or butterfly flew past him as I was riding. Then I had to simply hang on for dear life as he bolted back to the barn. I can't tell you how many times that happened. Sometimes I wasn't lucky enough to stay on and had to brush myself off and walk back to the barn. You can tell I wasn't a great horsewoman, but I loved that horse enough to decorate his side of the calf barn with photos of other horses, took him sugar lumps and carrots, etc. He totally didn't deserve me.  And when I was out of school, my dad sold him to some people in a neighboring village. I don't know whatever happened to him.

Secondly, I was attached to my shoebox full of baseball cards. All the best players: Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Bobby Richardson, Hank Aaron, Juan Marichal, Roberto Clemente, etc. etc. etc. And my mom threw them out the year I was in Bolivia. I've complained about this before, so I'll let it go without piling on. But they would have been worth something today. See? It pays to keep stuff.

 Henry and Mr. C. playing frisbee in the south yard

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

Literally, I see the forest. This is rural Wisconsin. Figuratively, although I love detail, I think I'm pretty good at seeing the forest, the bigger picture, and try to look at all angles of a situation and being willing to admit that I was wrong. Or that I've been wrong for years.

Greek Yogurt with Raspberries!
The raspberries in the garden are ripe about three weeks earlier than usual.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

No, I don't like sour candies, except for the sugared sour gummy things, whose name escapes me, but I don't go out of my way to buy them. If they happened to be the only candy in the house, I might eat a couple - if all the chocolate chips were gone.

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

I don't think of Greek Yogurt as being sour, but I do love it - and tart cherries.

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?

Not a fan of kumquats. I would love a tart cherry pie, but I'd probably be eating it all by myself while Mr. C. ate a bag of salty chips. So I'll pass on that one.

 The gluten-free cherry pie I made for July Fourth
I wasn't thrilled with the crust, but the cherries were good.
GF dough is nearly impossible to weave because it breaks.
And guess who ate most of the pie. Somebody had to get rid of it.

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.

Like every summer in Wisconsin, it's going far too fast.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

 One of my favorite places:
The Amish community near Westby, WI

 Another Barn Raising nr. Westby

 I made the mistake of draping a fresh-clean blanket over the bench.
Tommy and Smokey, cute as usual
 ***



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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hodgepodging America's Dairyland

Back in Westby for the final round


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From this Side of the Pond

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and join in!

1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)

Who is my neighbor? I chat with people in the grocery store (mostly about increasing prices or the weather or where to find an item) people I meet here and there wherever I go (about whatever comes to mind) and with Tommy and Smokey and Mr. C., my closest neighbors. Otherwise, there are no close neighbors out here in the middle of nowhere.

Except for these lovely ladies

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?

I have absolutely no idea what this is all about. I'll take a stab at trying to answer a right-brain question with a left-brain brain, and say probably a river - because I like to be moving and like to travel - to go somewhere.  I can't imagine where a waterfall comes into this, but it seems like it would be uncomfortable and dangerous.

Red Cedar River nr. Sand Creek, WI

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?

I've never been to Delaware. My state's nickname is The Badger State OR America's Dairyland. I prefer that one. If I were in charge of naming it, though, I would change it to "Wisconsin - Home of Tommy and Smokey." Can't you see that on every Wisconsin license plate!

Wisconsin - Home of Tommy & Smokey

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?

It was probably a gluten-free chicken penne pasta casserole (delicious) or a salad. Pot luck dinners aren't my favorite thing, because there's not much there to eat. Once I saw someone bring out a wonderful green salad, and just as I got my hopes up, she poured an entire bottle of some unknown liquid substance all over it, drowning the poor greens, tomatoes, and vegetables in a long list of unpronounceable ingredients.


Looking through my 'chicken' files, I saw this and realized that I'd not made this in a long time. It's one of my favorites (so why haven't I made it recently ??): Basil Pesto Fetuccine with grilled chicken. SO good! On the menu soon!

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?

You can never love, hold, or talk to your child too much. One young parent told me that she didn't want her child to become 'too attached' to her. Really?? I think that's called BONDING and what we should all want. (Yes, I was accused, when our firstborn was a wee lad, that he was too bonded to us.) Children need a sense of security that only comes through bonding.

Yep, definitely too bonded.


6. Insert your own random thought here.


The past couple days we were in Westby, wrapping up the cousin's estate. Mr. C. had to testify before a judge that he'd taken care of all the particulars of the estate and all was in order. Then the judge said to him, 'I just have one question:  Where did you get your shirt? I really like it.'  HAHA. (It's a sage green Field & Stream shirt that he got at Sam's Club and it really is a nice shirt, but that gave us all a good laugh.)

Jerseys on Bloomingdale Road
nr. Westby, WI

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

***


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