Tuesday, October 29, 2019

School plays have never been this good.

Going to your child's school performance has two ways of going. It will either a test of your love for that child, meaning you will lie to her afterwards.  The other is that you will really laugh, enjoy it, and put it on YouTube.

We've all been there. Wishing Starbucks was nearby, hoping that this will end soon. Or, instead of that agony, you will start laughing.

And this one:

Or this one:

The YouTube selections of kids in school plays are long and hilarious. Go for it.

Monday, October 28, 2019

This one! This is the one!

A fall festival with fun for the entire family – contests, prizes, games, live music, carnival and more!
All are welcome.
Each season in the Midwest has its celebrations and events where there are glorious reflections of community and its people. Traditions date back decades or even centuries where ancestors and their following generations can hold hands across years.

The Midwest, along with the rest of the world, has an event approaching in the first days of November: Pumpkin Chunkin'. I have to believe this event arose from leftover Halloween pumpkins to Medieval ages. Maybe or maybe not, Pumpkin Chunkin' has evolved from simple to complicated.

Here is an official statement from the WCPCA:

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) is a trademark nonprofit that raises money for scholarships, as well as organizations that benefit youth and the local community. 

We host a signature pumpkin-launching event each year, fueling innovative engineering and science-based ideas that draw spectators from all over. 

We believe that Punkin Chunkin cultivates the odd, challenging, and competitive quest for distance that inspires creativity, ingenuity, teamwork, and passion. 

It is this very dedication that drives teams to compete using science and engineering skills and brings spectators to the gate which allows us  to continue our never ending thirst to support our scholarship and charitable programs.

YouTube, about 3 minutes long

There are several divisions from historically accurate to serious military grade.
The passion is the same, love for the event is palpable, and enthusiasm seeps through the attendees.

The above YouTube shows the divisions and constructions. The one below sticks to traditionally accurate 1,000 years ago trebuchet:

About 6 minutes long, skip ahead.

Despite all the mechanics that can overshadow the joy of finding a pumpkin in the field, we look at those faces and hear "Over there! That's the one I want!"

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Being Trashy is not a fashion statement.

We talk about recycling. All need to talk about it. But the real question is if we do the talk, do we do the walk?

Recycling is absolutely a necessity now even more than before. Probably all of us bloggers have seen the massive islands of trash floating in the Pacific, Atlantic, and is moving into waterways.  It is its own island in many ways, only it is toxic.

size of France?
What happens when we recycle and it is collected? What is done to it?

preparing piles of recycling for sorting

Material at recycling center
What is next?

What plastics can be recycled?

No photo description available.
This what China does.

Europe has be proactive for many years in recycling. 
America has as well, but not everyone has recognized how utterly vital recycling is.

On our farm, we handled garbage in several ways. Edibles were dumped 
in the hog lots. They loved it. 
We burned papers and paper waste.  

What about tin cans, etc? 
Some townspeople dumped that 
in the local creek that fed into the 
Mississippi. We took this trash to 
unfarmable empty land and dumped it.
                                                   It was the times, 1950s. 

What to do with plastic straws?

"Some examples of type 5 plastic containers that straws can be placed into include plastic take-out containers, microwavable plastic containers, and margarine tubs or other similar containers. Straws, damn them. Go to this site above.

To check if your container is the proper type, just check for the recycling label. Type 5 plastic (polypropylene) will be marked with a number 5 inside the recycling symbol. The image below illustrates this symbol:"


Straws, damn them. Go to this site: Straws

 The paper straw option shown above can be found here: readily available in Target and other stores

Monday, October 21, 2019

Wings against a Grey Sky

Crafty Crow by Sean Briggs

Black wings gleam against a grey sky--

Murder of Crows

Beating the air, striking the air

Birds meant to stay in trees,

Perching, watching,

Cawing and shrieking,

Diving in, driving out.

Red feathers, red tail flash--

Boil of hawks,

Birds meant for the sky--

Gliding and turning,

Sweeping in wide circles.

Black wings flee.**


**While hawks can handle one on one, crows unite, diving and chasing the hawk away. Damn crows.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

My Desert Garden: What the heck are they?

Smithsonian Magazine--sun through smoke
Throughout my early life when we lived on a farm, Mom's garden seemed immense. All five children were involved in some aspect of that garden, until the 3 boys were busy with the livestock. But, my sister and I were out there with hoes, fighting weeds. We were harvesting produce soon after and canning them, my sister and I unwillingly.

Now, here in a desert climate, my garden is really just ornamental plants. Slowly over the past three years, the heat has fried many of those delightful plants. Fried, truly fried is the only way to describe the last year's summer.

Thus, those fried plants have been pulled, replaced with drought and heat resistant succulents.  I do not know what they are, except for the jade plant.  It will be astounding as years pass.

So, given all that info, I would appreciate your help in identifying these plants. I am pathetic, but I know some of you excellent plant people can help me.

This was found in Great-Uncle Patrick Kane's house in Ireland. 

I "threw" this pot.  The other piece is a water bottle
I bought at an English antique fair.

This sat in my Mother-in-law's garden for 40+ years.







#7  This is a red clover, basically a shamrock. I keep
in shade, well watered. It blooms now and then.



#10  It is a jade plant, I think.

So, there you have them. Please give this clueless blogger some help. Thanks.

I do have some roses and geraniums, on the side yard, and they are surviving. There is one healthy, a big old rose bush in the corner of the back stretch,  protected from the wind and harsh-unforgiving-sun.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Saint who Made Doughnuts

Image may contain: 2 people, text
I hope you can enlarge this and read it.

To enlarge: ctrl and + should get it for you.

There are special people who affect lives across decades and Lucille Chamberlain is one of those. If you read the newspaper article above, you can get a feel for who she was and how she affected thousands of school children lives.

Lucille was an incredible person. It is difficult to tell of her accomplishments; she cooked at Nebo school from 1946 to 1984. Think about 250 meals a day times nearly 40 years, and then one can get a picture of her dedication.

Lucille was perhaps most famous for her doughnuts which she prepared to sell at any special event to raise money for the cafeteria. This amounted to 40 dozen doughnuts each time. Knowing from experience, there was always a mad rush to buy them after any school event. They sold out quickly.

This is Lucille Chamberlain's recipe for her famous doughnuts:

2 pkgs yeast
2 1/2 c. warm water
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 tsp. salt
8 to 8 1/2 c. flour

Put in a cool place overnight after kneading it good. Next morning let it rise once. Roll dough and cut with doughnut cutter, and let rise double in size. Fry in deep fat cooker; fry until brown and then flip over to the other side. Glaze with powdered sugar and water icing.

To make cinnamon rolls: After kneading and keeping overnight, roll out dough and spread butter over it. Then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture and fill with filling. Then roll in a long roll. Cut into sections and place in a greased pan. Let rise until double in size.  Bake at 375 deg. until filling is "bubbling" and top of rolls are browned and hard.

Filling: 1 c. sugar, 4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 lb. butter, 1 c. brown sugar

I remember her so well, can hear her laugh. Say her name to residents of Nebo, and every single one will remember her and smile, saying Her doughnuts were amazing!

The recipe is simple, as you can tell. But, it was the hands that kneaded the dough who made the doughnuts special. Lucille was amazing.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Listen to...

Just Listen
Throughout my life, I have taken my own decisions and used them, instead of listening to and knowing that God was in charge of everything. It never went well. God protected me, keeping me safe through my ignorance.

Our body hurts as we grow older. Sometimes that pain is excruciating, sometimes because we/I abused our then young bodies. Oh, how stupid.

Basically, listen to...

multiple injuries
Your joints. We watch sports, some of which can be violently impacted and others are seemingly mild.   Have you watched how crazy some injuries are related to impact sports? Did you know that rodeo has the most horrible injuries? 

JB Mauney rides Shaft during the championship round of the PBR Built Ford Tough series at Madison Square Garden
Probably the most dangerous sport ever
 Most people can't see the injuries of golf.  It is silent to enthusiasts, but do not see until a
player needs surgery on
every joint.

Your brain: There may be minor things, like your keys, but then that becomes bigger. It is so gradual until life shows that there is more going on. And then.

Boxer Says He's 'Devastated' by Opponent's Death After Maryland Match
Death caused by boxing

Your pain: Sounds odd, but it isn't. Diabetes, 
heart, kidneys, you name it. Watch those symptoms. Don't ignore them "Oh, it's just a twinge, just a pain, just a...And then. (Men are notorious for this.)

Considering all those "listen to..", realize that 
you are not immortal, but get over it. God is in charge, and you will do just fine.

We live in a community where all of the above are present. At a recent gathering, many elderly semi-joked about their entertainment is going from doctor to another, on the same day. "It's like a cheap date." Everyone nodded in understanding.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Live like You Are Dying

What would you do if you looked at that Xray, seeing the worst news possible?

Some bloggers could tell immediately what it was like, what they did, and what they realized what they had to do. There are so many who could answer that question.

YouTube: Scott McCreery and Tim McGraw
American Idol 2011
Click on the video above to visit this site.

Lyrics are:

Live Like You Were Dying

He said
"I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin' 'bout the options
And talkin' 'bout sweet time"
I asked him
"When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How's it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what'd you do?"
He said
"I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying"
And he said
"Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying"
He said
"I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn't
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin'
Wasn't such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I'd do if I could do it all again
And then
I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying"
And he said
"Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
Like tomorrow was a gift
And you've got eternity
To think about
What you'd do with it
What could you do with it
What did I do with it?
What would I do with it?
Life is urgent, it is now. Believe and then act on your beliefs. 
 John 11:25-26. Our life in Him never ends.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

We will always have Paris.

Siege of Paris, 885-886. Image via wikipedia
Vikings heading up the Seine

There are some basic physics when it comes to mass and space. A certain amount of mass can fill only the same amount of space and no more.

At one of the many award ceremonies held by the world of entertainment, Dolly Parton’s ample chest burst through her snug dress.  When her dress mishap was repaired, Dolly said something to the effect of “My daddy always told me that you can’t fit five gallons of mud into a one-gallon bucket.”

That is true in every situation, including the Eiffel Tower.

Tourists wander around on the lower level of the Tower before taking an elevator to the second level. There is one elevator that is specifically for people. The other four are for operations to maintain the Tower. 

One would think that someone would think I’ll take the next one…no, you go on…  No, all crammed into the elevator #5 with space seeming to decrease as mass increased.  

In 1985, My husband and I were part of that mass which also included a tourist bus of tall Swedish men…no, tall and big Swedish men. My husband was pushed away with the flow of people, leaving me in the middle of the elevator without him.

As the elevator went up, the mass increased at each stop. It became obvious to this 5` 4” female, I would soon be crushed in a vice of handsome muscular tall Viking giants.

Men from the far north of Scotland were most likely to provide a direct match with almost a third (29.2%) of the men from the Shetland Islands testing positive for Viking blood
Daily Mail UK: 1 in 33 Britains share Viking DNA

One giant peered down at my desperate face and placed his massive arm over my head to the shoulder of another towering giant, who looked down at miniscule female (me).  He braced his hand on the other man's shoulder, chuckling while saying something in Viking language. 

The elevator opened, spewing its occupants out onto the top level of the Eiffel Tower.

The Vikings deserted me to gaze at the city they had once conquered, when my 5` 9” husband found me.  We held hands, viewing Paris from the heights of the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower will always be special. Someday I hope to head to Sweden and greet my ancestors.

This is a repost from 2014. Apparently 1 in 33 English people have Viking DNA. My ancestors were from northern Scotland and northern Ireland where the Vikings raided early on. My family has 3-6 % Viking DNA.  That totally makes sense. Although I am on the small side, my family predecessors were big people.  Also, I am feisty and not quite combative. I don't take guff from any obnoxious person. Physically, I just give them my best glare of death.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Autumn from Back Where

This a maple tree outside Mom's kitchen window.
 Back in the Midwest, it was as if my world took a deep breath and said, "Finally." Then overnight my life would be surrounded by gold and red.  But now, my world is a desert in southern California and rich color exists in another place.

It makes me hunger for and a little bit jealous of “back where” there is such a thing as autumn.

Instead, we have wildfire season in California and the fall colors don’t exist, except for a few odd trees. What I do have are photos I took in late October 2009 on a walk with my brother, Don.  The photos taken were put into an album to give as a Christmas present for my mother who was in fading and failing health.

These are memories of Autumn and a small town, in 2009:

Tracks will go on for miles and miles, connecting
with other tracks.

An old house next to the bank

Mom's neighbor.  Mom could tell me who they are, who there parents were...

Small rental apartments next to the train track.  This
used to be a veterinarian office when I was young. 

A house near the local funeral home

After my father retired from farming, he visited with other farmers at the John Deere
store every day.  Sometimes he drove to another John Deere store to pick
up parts.  Now they are ordered and delivered through computer 

The Methodist Church from mid 1800s.  Young couples 
would meet on benches (out of sight) and talk/kiss.

This log house was saved and then moved to this site.  It dates back to 1820 
and across from Stark Nursery, where the first Delicious apples were
created by someone who brought up a "scion" from Kentucky which
was grafted and cross-pollinated.

This house was restored and is now occupied by some very hard working 
people whom my mom knew.  Yes, she could cite their lineage. We
stopped and peeked in the windows while it was still
under construction.  Mom had no shame, and was friendly with everyone, who 
also knew her own lineage.

This is a cornfield after harvest. Soon Canadian
geese will fly in to grab up corn kernels.
Deer will also be foraging.
Somewhere this road will come to an end.

These are Autumn memories from a past shared by my late Mom, brother Don, and me in 2009. My eyes ache to see the leaves and this part of my family, those whom I love.

A repost from 2014

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Through the Gates of Peace

Found in Louisiana, Missouri
well maintained with complete records

When the sun rose that day, the body of a badly beaten man lay sprawled on the banks of the Mississippi near the small town of Rinfield**, Missouri.  Although the only thing of value that remained was his suit and any thing known was that his face had been battered beyond recognition. Every Rinfield resident knew this man and liked him.

Since the site was by the barge landing, most assumed that some rough men crept in and took Levi, expecting a great fortune. That was enough effort given for finding the guilty.

Levi Rosenfeld (this name was chosen randomly and does not relate to anyone, living or dead in this post)  was an upstanding member of the community, dedicated to helping others, and supporting and caring for any who needed help.  “A good man, God Bless ‘em!”

Levi Rosenfeld was a Jewish man in a small Christian town, and presumed to be wealthy, since he was a jeweler who traveled the Mississippi to St. Louis to trade.  His wife, Grace, was the opposite of her Levi; she was vicious and flaunted her own wealth.  When people spoke her name, they crossed themselves.

The rest of the Jewish community continued quietly to work, pay bills, worship in a distant synagogue some sixty miles away.  That they were Jewish was known by all and accepted.  “Stay in their own place, I’ll give ‘em that."

Levi Rosenfeld was buried in a Jewish Cemetery some distance from town, in a partially hidden copse of oak trees.

It was a quiet closing for a good man.

Is this a true story?  Yes.

Great-aunt Ruth's locket, given to her by her father,
the jeweler.

We have driven by that cemetery for decades, until it became just part of the scenery. It was only as a kinda senior citizen adult that I decided to learn more about it. My mother told me what she had learned from my grandmother. 

Truth is that Ruth's mother, Grace, was a mean spirited woman.
**Imaginary town