Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Son: Friend of Dust Mites

Orville has taken off for a visit with Eglantine. After a short visit, he is resuming his college career after a two year hiatus for a church mission. So, he cleared all his stuff out of his room. I glanced into Orville's bare room and found a dust mite preserve. I could write my name, or maybe even write a book in the dust in that room. Evidently, Orville has taken my frequent statements that cleaning a room INCLUDES dusting as strictly advisory.

I am baffled as to why wiping a dust rag once a week over a bedside table, dresser, and tops of woodwork and heat register is such an arduous task. Possibly, Orville does not see the task as difficult, merely unnecessary? Or could he be a closet member of PETA and has deeply held beliefs dust mites have a right to live without persecution from human beings? Is there a here-to-fore unresearched link between the Y chromosome and an affinity for dust?

Perhaps some masters degree candidate will decide to research these questions. Until then, I am considering sending the Kirby Vacuum sales staff my son's address. I have this vision of the Kirby sales person's matress vacuuming demonstration. As the demonstration ends, I am sure the sales person would inform my son and roommates that their mattress lint is disgusting. The young men would look at the sale person in a puzzled manner and say, "Yeah. So?" That would be entertainment.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


By special request:

2 c. cooked carrots
2 c. cooked cauliflower
1 c. salad oil
1 teaspoon allspice
1 c. chopped dill pickles
1 c. stuffed green olives, chopped
2 cans white drained tuna
2 c. catsup
2 11 oz. jars chili sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 c. cocktail onions (I chop these a little)
2 8 oz. cans mushrooms
2 cups frozen shrimp
1 can artichoke hearts (I chop these a little too)

Mix together and eat with crackers. I like Triscuits. Wilbur likes Wheat Thins.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Petunia & Prudence

Here are Petunia and Prudence during their Santa-hating days.

The Santa Haters

When Petunia turned two, I thought I would never have to spend time during the Christmas season waiting in line to see Santa. She was an avowed Santa Claus hater. She could not even be in the gymnasium with him. When he would come to our church Christmas party, we had to leave. Petunia would scream "No! No!" whenever the jolly old elf came within a quarter of a mile of her. You would have thought we were showing her the "Chucky" horror movies and telling her that Chucky was Santa. Prudence followed suit. She did not like Santa any better than her sister, although she didn't scream at him quite as loudly.

After Prudence and Petunia, I decided most little kids must be afraid of Santa. Then Eglantine turned four and mentioned she would like to have her picture taken with Santa. My children/Santa theories went out the window, and I dressed up Eglantine and Hermione and took them to the mall.

So Petunia and Prudence, you have only yourselves to blame for having no pictures with Santa.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Wilbur's Birthday

Wilbur celebrated his birthday yesterday. Or more accurately, I celebrated Wilbur's birthday. He thinks all the to-do I make over birthdays is kind of silly. If I followed his guidance on holiday celebrations, they would be completely eliminated. Someday I might take his suggestions, "just don't buy anyone any presents" "Don't get me anything for Christmas." I have a sneaking suspicion he wouldn't really like the outcome of his own advice.

He wanted to have steak at home rather than going out. I have to agree that the steak we make at home is much better than when we eat out. We ended with a chocolate birthday cake.

As is usual for me, my chocolate layer cake strongly resembled the leaning tower of Pizza. I don't know why, but there are skills in my cooking that are completely missing. Fortunately, Wilbur's talents with a trowel is a crossover skill for frosting a cake. He wanted to repair my mess, so I turned it over to him. Then, he disagreed with my candle lighting methods and took over. Men are bossy I think. The large candles represent 10's, the smaller one represent 1's.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Although the commercial community has a tendency to focus on Halloween as the beginning of the holiday season and completely ignore Thanksgiving and skip directly to Christmas, I think Thanksgiving is one of the most wonderful holidays of the year. I can't think of anything more important to focus on than being grateful. And no people in the history of the world ever had more to be grateful for than citizens of the United States. I am seriously annoyed with those who refer to Thanksgiving as "Turkey Day" as if eating turkey is the only thing worth thinking about on this day.

I am grateful for freedom to be in charge of my own life.

I am grateful for family.

I am grateful for opportunity.
I would go on, but this list would never end.

This year for Thanksgiving we entertained nieces, nephews, a grandparent, and a friend. Their company made the holiday even better.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Family Resemblences

Here are some pictures of some of our ancestors. See if you can find any resemblences.

Marathon Sunday

I spent seven, yes, seven hours in church today. I wanted to see my ward's primary program. Then, I had to attend another ward's ward conference: 1 hour testimony meeting plus three more hours of church. Next, I was on my way to APYW Committee meeting. This was followed by the obligation to attend another ward's YW Women in Excellence. As I was leaving the building after seven hours of church someone said, "Oh, aren't you going to stay for the music?" What music? And NO!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Who ever came up with the idea that one must give two weeks notice before leaving employment? I have finally, after thinking it over for two or three years, decided to quit my part time job. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal, and it WOULDN’T be that big of a deal, if I could have just left the day I told my boss.

Dealing with that “roller coaster” feeling in the pit of my stomach these last two weeks has been nothing short of constant torture. I have had to come to terms that I will no longer have a drop of importance to the business world. I will have no more office keys, no one will come to me for advice and assistance on how to get the job done, and I must turn in my office credit card (which I never even had a chance to use). I will no longer have the self-esteem boost that a job well done affords. I am worried about becoming stupid as I age and have no legal business matters to keep me sharp. If I could have just walked out the door, I never would have had time to reflect on these issues!

My biggest worry and the worry that has kept me working over the last three years in that I must find new health insurance for Wilbur and me.

I will no longer know the inside skinny of the legal cases our office has been working on. Of course, if I actually had enough work to keep me occupied, I might not be leaving. This has been a problem over the last few years. I spent almost all of one year cleaning out boxes of files stored since the 70’s and 80’s because there was not much else to do. Although interesting at times, I can only do that so long and keep my sanity.

So now, everyone is approaching me with good wishes and good byes on my “retirement.” It’s all I can do to maintain my gravity. “Yes,” I would like to say, “I am now going home where I intend to live on the $50 a month retirement that I have earned by working part time over the last ten years.” Like a true "retiree" I will hike seven or eight miles every week. I will try to get Wilbur's office under control. I might actually have time to keep up my yard in the summer. And there is always the possibility that I will keep up my garden too. When my children and grandchilden come to visit, I won't have to take vacation and return to work exhausted. I hope I can get through the next two days of my notice. I will be alright then.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Good Brownies!!!

3/4 c. baking cocoa
1/2 t. baking soda
2/3 c. butter melted
1/2 c. boiling water
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. all purpose flour
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. coarsly chopped pecans (I use walnuts if pecans are too expensive)
2 cups chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine combine cocoa and baking soda. Add in butter and boiling water and mix. Stir in sugar and eggs. Then, add flour, vanilla and salt and mix. Last add nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Observations from Prudence and Eglantine

This week daughters Prudence and Eglantine made the same observation : So if you label someone a fault-finder, what are you? Pretty good point if you ask me.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wiring Party

Yesterday Wilbur had a wiring party. Five friends came to run wire. Soon Garage-mahal will be on the grid. Men can sure get a lot done when they set their mind to it.

I Can Breath

The forest fire smoke is abating, and I can breath again. When the smoke first cleared out after weeks of haze, I could see the mountains again. I had forgotten how beautiful they were.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fifty Things About Me

In following the Silly Witch and Missy Kissy's example I decided to write about fifty things about me. If nothing else, it will be good reading for those needing a good snooze.

1) I love being outside. I always have. When I was a kid, I couldn't stand being in the house too long and would go off on a hike, a walk, or a bike ride. I wasn't meant to be a house plant. A few hours inside gives me cabin fever.

2) My Montana roots go back to 1864 when my grandfather's grandfather and father came to Montana looking for gold.

3) Wilbur says I don't just think I'm right, I KNOW I'm right.

4) I KNOW I have excellent taste in men (even though my man makes snide, albeit true, remarks from time to time). In spite of my early personal struggles with self esteem, I never would have married a loser.

5) I love tomatoes. I grow lots and lots of them in my garden.

6) My favorite activities are hiking, biking, tole painting, quilting, four wheeling, and reading.

7) After a 48 year hiatus, I'm getting back into fishing. I didn't think I liked it, but I caught two fish on a backpack trip in July. Fishing is fun when you catch fish.

8) I don't like messy houses, especially if its mine.

9) I have five off-the-charts talented children. Go figure.

10) I'm never bored. There are so many things I like to do, I never have time to do it all.

11) I HATE people droning on and on and saying nothing in a talk. Men are the worst offenders. I'm a firm believer in the three "B's." Be prepared, Be brief, and Be seated.

12) I like reading the encyclopedia sometimes.

13) I have claustrophobia.

14) I am totally disinterested in anything any celebrity has to say about politics or anything else. Maybe (and I mean maybe) they know how to act, sing, dance, or whatever, but that doesn't mean their opinion is any better than yours or mine when it comes to what is best for the country. I can't imagine being influenced to vote way or another because of a celebrity endorsement. I can't imagine buying anything because a celebrity endorsed it.

15) I don't even know, or care, who most of the celebrities are. I don't believe they or anyone should be idolized on account of fame. Big deal. A lot of reprehensible people have been famous.

16) I love finding wildflowers and learning all about them. I'd like watching wildlife too, if it would hold still.

17) I love peacock blue, lime green, and burgundy, not necessarily together, though.

18) I like to be around the people I REALLY like. I object strenuously to being told I have to socialize with certain people because our kids are on the same sports team or we work at the same place. What does our kids being on the same team have to do with being a friend? Isn't seeing you at one or two games a week enough socializing?

19) I Like dogs. I would really likes cats if I weren't allergic to them. Dogs and cats really like me.

20) My favorite household chore is hanging clothes on the line.

21) I love all my little grandchildren. They are such individuals. I am fascinated when they start to talk and I can hear their perspectives on things.

22) If you want to tell me about all the stuff you have, don't waste your breath. The fact that you own a lot of stuff won't impress me, and hearing about it will certainly bore me. I am uncomfortable if you want to know about all my stuff. That would seem odd to me.

23) I love Harry Potter.

24) Hiking through a forest and getting a waft of a sweet scent of pine is really living to me.

25) Now that Montana has been "discovered" and all the high rollers and others are moving here, I am starting to understand how the Indians felt as a totally different culture moved in on them and took over.

26) Don't try and tell me what to do unless I ask.

27) My heart still aches for my little granddaughter who died at age five of a brain tumor. I suppose it won't quit aching until I see her again.

28) Don't call me "dear," "honey," or "sweetie" if you are not my husband. I dislike insincere people. Don't tell me I'm the "sweetest thing" if I am just doing my job. It'll make me gag.

29) I am awed by thunderstorms.

30) I love Mexican, Chinese, and Italian food. I like to try new foods. I don't like Polynesian food.

31) When I was seven the best thing I could think of to be was a movie star.

32) My father served in WWII in the army air corps. He was an incredibly bright man. He got top scores on tests that allowed him to advance in the post office. Even though he wore glasses and was assigned to work with the first primitive computers during the war, he was the top shot in his unit. Until he turned 75, he could remember the exact date of anything. He loved ordering books and reading about wildlife., archeology, or anything. If he said he would do something, count on it.

33) My mother was a creative genius. She loved music, to problem solve, had a great vocabulary, and created beautiful clothes with fabrics that had interesting textures and colors. She could have been a fashion designer. She was often ahead of her time. Things she told us that people would some day find out about medicine and health proved to be true. She was a child during the great depression and suffered a great deal. She was a perfectionist about any job she did. If she said she would do something, count on it. She could get a point across without any doubt when she was trying to teach and train her children.

24) My Aunt Marian put Tabasco sauce on my tongue for saying the "S" word when I was four. I totally deserved it.

25) I have a brother, now deceased, who was a genius according to the I.Q. tests, a sister who is smart, creates beautiful pottery and anything beautiful, keeps a showcase yard, and is a nonconformist. I have another very creative sister who is very smart, can pinch a penny until it squeals, loves handwork, traveling, and researching. She should have been a doctor, except for her kids are too important to her to be leaving them all the time. Both my sisters are problem solvers who can do anything. No one has ever done my sisters' thinking for them.

26) From about 12 to 16, I used to write stories, but I never finished even one.

27) My favorite teacher was Mrs. Meyers in High School. I had her for two different English classes. She taught me how to write. Knowing that made college so much easier.

28) I got in trouble for talking in class when I went back to college when I was 43.

29) I am wary of church people in authority until I know them.

30) I can function much better in any work type situation if I believe the people I work with love and accept me.

31) For most of my life I lived in a household where the majority was female. When my twins went to college and I was in the minority with a son and husband, I felt really lonely sometimes. There was no to go shopping with on Saturdays anymore and no one to go with to the Festival of the Trees or crafts shows.

32) I think anyone who doesn't try to live at least the Ten Commandments is destined to be unhappy.

33) My husband is my favorite subject for my blog. I adore him.

35) I think the all attorneys I work with but one are very nice, fun people, but that doesn't mean I want to spend time outside of work with them.

36) I have a dear friend named Gail. She loves me no matter what, even though she doesn't always understand why I feel the way I do. Our friendship was cemented when we got off trail cross country skiing and had to be picked up by the search and rescue at 2:00 a.m. in the morning.

37) I can never cook without getting food all over me. Aprons are a must.

38) As a little girl, my family called me Becky-Lindo, Daddy's girl.

39 ) My Dad and I used to race when he would bring the trash cans away from the curb. I was devastated when my big brother informed my Dad was letting me win. Maybe the practice helped though because I ran a 6.6 second fifty yard dash when I was thirteen.

40) I took second at state track meet in high jump as a senior. I've always loved participating in any sport I could: ice skating, sprinting, tennis, flag football, volleyball. I hated playing basketball and distance running though.

41) I've never liked to babysit.

42) When I was 26 I realized I wasn't stupid when I won Trivial Pursuit a couple of different times.

43) I don't like waiting for people. People who keep me waiting for no good reason are showing disrespect for my time.

44) I like playing Clue, but I hardly ever win.

45) If the meeting doesn't end on time, I will probably leave anyway. I don't get why things can't end on time.

46) One of my children could easily be a nutritionist, doctor, researcher. One could easily be a concert pianist, artist, wedding planner, or CEO. One could easily be a writer, college professor, archaeologist, or artist. One could easily be a graphic designer, photographer, recreation director, or elementary school teacher. And one could easily be an engineer, concert musician, professional athlete, or philanthropist. My married kids stay home and take care of their kids. I am so proud of them. There is no more important work.

47) Sunrise and sunset are my favorite times of day.

48) My husband can figure out a way to do anything.

49) I don't really like to sew clothing for myself, but I do it because I think the stuff in the stores is ugly.

50) I know my church teaches the most complete truth you can get on this planet. But I am just not a General R.S. Presidency wanna be. They are all fine women, but I am not that sweet. I also need a good laugh now and then.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

More progress

The latest progress on Garage-mahal.

Tips for living with a brick layer

If you don't want key items that belong to you house to end up on the job site here are a few tips:

1) Buy only pink Nalgene bottles. This only works if the situation is not too desparate. I discovered him coming home with a pink Nalgene bottle with a flower on it last week after I reclaimed all my other Nalgene bottles and put them back in my hiding spot.

2) Stow all the your yard hoses, shoeverls, and rakes under lock and key.

3) Keep your measuring tapes in your sewing room. He probably won't think to look there.

4) When spring comes, he will have absconded with all your hoses, rakes, and shovels, even though you locked them up. Plan on buying new ones.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Garage-mahal continues to progress. This weekend Wilbur borrow state-of-the-art scaffold from a friend in preparation to hit the job hard this week.


Yesterday, I told Wilbur to have the maid clean the house, the cook plan the menus, and the chauffeur do the shopping while I went floating. Needless to say, I came home to a messy house with no food and no organization of meals for the next week.

However, I had a great time floating. We went with a friend who has mostly boys. I was fatigued at the end of the day just watching the boys wrestle each other, have M & M fights, and jump into the 33 degree water.

We have had the great blessing of rain and everything was green and lovely. It was a fun day.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Jump Rope Rhymes

Spanish Dancer
Not last night but the night before
24 robbers came knocking at my door
As I ran out (jumper runs out) they ran in (Jumper runs back in)
Asked them what they wanted. This is what they said,
"Spanish Dancer, do the splits (jumper does a slight split while jumping)
Spanish Dancer, give a high kick (jumper does a kick)
Spanish Dancer, turn around (jumper turns around)
Spanish Dancer, touch the ground (jumper touches the ground)
Spanish Dancer, get out of town (jumper runs out).

Cinderella dressed in yellow
went upstairs to kiss a fellow.
Made a mistake and kissed a snake.
How many doctors will it take?
One, two ....(count until jumper misses).

Down by the Ocean
Down by the ocean, down by the sea
Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me.
I told ma. Ma told Pa.
Johnny got a licken. Ha ha ha.
How many lickens did he get?
One, two, three....(keep counting until jumper misses).
(From the days when we expected we would get spanked if we told a lie.)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day Meanderings

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. We have had some great Memorial Days.

I remember taking our 1968 boat out for the first time on Memorial Day. It was rainy and COLD! We drove the boat all over Canyon Ferry Lake and stopped on Cemetery Island where the girls put wildflowers on our pioneer ancestor’s graves.

I remember a M- Day when Wilbur taking my oldest daughter, Penelope, for a motorcycle ride on Saddle Mountain. Everything seemed fine until they came home and took off their motorcycle helmets. Hundreds off wood ticks had congregated in both Wilbur’s and Penelope’s helmet.

We performed wood tick experiments as we sent them down the drain. We discovered wood ticks congregate into a big ball and float. Amazingly, no one had a tick bore into him/her.

One M-Day we hiked the Water-main trail. The trail zigged back and forth following an old water main. The children were convinced we were going in circles. To them each part of the trail looked just like the last.

One rainy M-Day Penelope and Prudence, my two oldest daughters, talked me into forgoing the gardening in favor of a hike. Wilbur was working. The girls, Orville, Buster (the dog), and I started up the trail to Hanging Valley, but it didn’t take long until everyone had enough. They seemed to be more interested in the pop I bought.

Another cloudy M-Day we hiked into Humbug Spires. A hiking book recomended the trip. And I guess it was O.K. - if you like rocks.

Sometimes on M-Day we would have Grandma and Grandpa come over for potato salad, baked beans, and grilled hamburgers.

Memorial Day – good memories! Are you making some?

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Why does anything your husband would REALLY want for Father's Day cost thousands of dollars?

Why does a Labrador retriever want to spend a 75 degree day inside the house on your heels as you clean from room to room?

Why do the people who insist on doing all the phoo phoo for any undertaking involving school, church, or work always get their way?

With only 24 hours in a day, why do people want to spend their precious time doing phoo phoo?

Do men spend spare time actively thinking about this question: What toy can I spend $5000 on?

More later...

Dilly Salad

2 cups fresh cauliflower
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 sliced red or orange pepper
1 sliced green pepper
1 medium purple onion, sliced
2/3 c. dill pickles (homemade are best) chopped
1 pint tomato juice or home canned tomatoes
3/4 c. dill pickle brine

Mix everything together.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Potato Casserole

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup onion
1 16 ounce package frozen hash browns
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 soup can milk
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 small green pepper, cut in strips
2 tablespoons chopped pimento
dash pepper
1 cup cheese cracker crumbs, divided

Melt butter in a skillet. Saute onion until done. Stir in potatoes, soup and milk. Add cheese, green pepper, pimento, pepper, and 1/2 cup cheese cracker crumbs. Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes.

Corn Tortillas

1 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Heat skillet over medium low heat until just hot. Grease skillet if necessary.

Beat all ingredients with a hand beater until smooth. Pout scant 1/4 cup batter into skillet; immediately rotate skillet until batter forms a very thin tortilla. Cook about 2 minutes both sides. (I use more than a 1/4 cup because of the size of my skillet. My tortillas are a little thick, but maybe I'll get better.)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Green Salad With Tarragon Dressing

6 cups torn sald greens
2 radishes
1 cup croutons

2 T. tarragon vinegar
2 T. oil (I use olive since I found out how deadly oils can be)
2 t. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t. ground mustard (I use dry mustard)
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 worcestershire sauce

Put all ingredients in a bottle and shake.

Sons-in Law

After your daughters get married, you acquire new family called "sons-in-laws". I am completely in favor of sons-in laws (SILs). For one thing, they add balance to the family. Instead of overpowering Wilbur with feminine interests, opinions, and ambience, he now has other men to watch football and basketball with. Although, the hooting and hollering during games is much louder, it seems like television sports are MUCH more fun since we got the SILs. ( A word of warning here: Any SIL who interests Wilbur in any new sports that are televised is dead meat. Already, I have to make an appointment to watch television.)

Another great thing about SILs is that the only boy, Orville, now has brothers to hang with. When 16 year old Orville showed up at his sister's weddings 2000 miles away and casually mentioned the most formal attire he packed was a grey T-shirt and cargo pants, it was the shortly-to-be SIL who came to the rescue.

SILs are also useful for babysitting when I want to shop with my girls. Just like Wilbur and Orville, they have a minimal interest, if any, in shopping. But if you can interest them in TV game, barbecuing, or starting a campfire for marsmallows, they are perfectly content to stay home and watch the kids.

Besides having a providential dislike of shopping, SILs have an outdoor streak in them that is very useful. They make terrific skiing partners, downhill or cross country, if you can keep up with them. If you are short on people to hike with, send your daughter's family plane fare. SILs are like the energizer bunny on a hike. You need someone to help you improve your target shooting? Send for your SIL. They like guns too.

One of the most important feature of an SIL is that any of his quirks are not your fault. Those, you get to blame on HIS family. Overall, SILs are a winning concept, provided your daughters have good taste. Hey girls, did you get your good taste in men from me?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chicken Soup

1 chicken - boiled and meat removed from bones
2 quarts of the chicken broth (from the chicken you boiled)
2 bay leaves
1 T. chicken boullion
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 c, sliced carrots
1 c. sliced celery
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup barley

1 1/4 c. flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. water
1 1/4 c. milk

Boil the chicken with bay leaves. Remove meat from bones, Combine broth, boullion, thyme, vegetables, and barley. Boil until vegetables and barley are tender - about 20 minutes. Add meat.

Mix dry ingredients for spaetzle together. Lightly beat egg and add it and water and milk. Mix. Drop spaetzle by teaspoons into boiling soup. Cook for 10 minutes. Yield - 8 -10 servings