Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Sharing some quotes that made me laugh the other week . . .

Mom was getting ready to travel after a weekend of family festivities . . .

Thanksgiving feasting, Lefse making, cooking for a small army of wood haulers.

Mom was washing sheets and towels.  Maria and I were fixing beds.
Mom rounded up her
and money.
Suddenly she said, “I hate getting ready for trips.”

She made me laugh and I thought of this quote:

“Is there anything as horrible as starting on a trip? 
Once you are off, that’s all right, but the last moments
are earthquake and convulsion,
and the feeling that you are a snail being pulled off your rock.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh 


_ _ _ _ _ _

Mab Graff has a little commentary on the differences in girls as she observes them at her
daughter’s seventh birthday party.  Mab doesn’t quite have the games prepared because
she was reading instead of er  . . . preparing. 

So she asks the girls what they would like to play.

(Quoting Mab in her book, God Loves My Kitchen Best )

Theresa, dark eyes huge behind petite glasses, spoke with wonder and derision:

“Don’t you have the games planned?”

Angelica, a child you wanted to hug on sight, leaned on me and whispered,

“I would like to play ‘pin the dart on the horse’s bottom.’ ”

(End of quote)

Mab Graff Hoover writes:

God Loves My Kitchen Best

God Still Loves My Kitchen

God Even Likes My Pantry

In My Upstairs Room

I have found two of her books at the Salvation Army. Keeping my eyes open for more.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015

It's hard to believe, looking back on 35 years of married life, to suddenly realize:
I've never cooked a Thanksgiving meal all by myself from turkey to pumpkin pie
until this year.  Which is good in one way -- because we must be very healthy. 
We were never too sick to turn down the invitations to the Harshbarger gatherings in MT
or the Thanksgiving feast at Maranatha Bible School where our church family gathers each year.  Each year I signed up for caramel sweet potatoes and pumpkin chiffon pie
or a huge salad of some sort and dinner rolls. 

There was the year I was assigned to bring turkey and Deanne said,
"Mom! do you know how to fix a turkey?"

This year we had Josh, Elsa and little Joseph at our house.  Evan and Chelsea had
Thanksgiving with Chelsea's family in the evening because Evan worked in the morning.
The rest of our children are in MT.  Elsa's parents were in Florida over the holiday.
So we got to play Grandpa and Grandma !

Every Thanksgiving in my growing up years was spent at Grandpa Skrivseth's.
We had snow for sledding. We had ice for skating. On a pond. In the pasture.
On the back side of the pasture if I remember right because it was a very long walk
home when we were *cold and hungry and cross.*

By the time we got back to the house we were warmed from the long walk and ready
for turkey sandwiches and hot chocolate and a game of authors with our aunt, Leah.
She is our aunt going on a sister.  She is not much older than us and we have
bugged her half to death many a time.

Especially if Ladina and I were uncooperative when it was time to quit skating.
 (We took turns being uncooperative  =)
There was one year when I insisted, "I'm not cold. I want to keep skating."
But that is a story for another day.

Well - that was a little trip down memory lane. As I was saying . . .
I had all day Wednesday free - no cleaning jobs lined up or duties of driving bus.
Our school gave us Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off !

I put a gigantic, home grown chicken in the oven and started cooking sweet potatoes
in a kettle.  I dug out my dusty meat grinder, washed it in hot sudsy water and attached
it to my piano bench.

(This provided my exercise for the day. I had to nearly stand on my
head to get it out of the bottom cupboard where it was living.) 

Now I was ready to grind the cranberries for the salad. I used the recipe from
The Mennonite Community Cookbook that calls for cranberries, oranges, apples, pineapple,
jello and chopped nuts. Oh, and sugar. Let's not forget the sugar. I think you can top it
with miniature marshmallows when you serve it if you want.

Then it was time to peel the sweet potatoes. Again I followed the recipe in the Mennonite Community Cookbook. This one takes brown sugar and cream and marshmallows on top.
I didn't do marshmallows . . .

I made pies. One of pumpkin chiffon, a recipe from my sister Maria, and a couple more using Grandma Martin's recipe in The Mary and Martha cookbook.

On the day of feasting Ellis made stuffing out of a box, just like his mom always did.
Wait, that doesn't sound right. He made Kraft's Stove Top stuffing just like Mom used to.
We mashed potatoes and made gravy. We heated the chicken in the oven.

Maybe the bird tastes better if it comes out of the oven whole and is carved at the head
of the table like Norman Rockwell's paintings. But I deboned it the day before and it was

What a wonderful day ! Krysta took some pictures of Joseph, our happy, bright eyed grandson.
We ate yummy food and played a game of Risk. We should have all walked to the far side of the pasture in the rain and snow . . . Maybe we can have a sledding party later.

* I was thinking - that phrase came from a poem our children memorized in school.
(with slight variation)
So I looked it up to refresh my memory.

Goops And How To Be Them
        Gelett Burgess

It's terrible brave
to try to save
A girl on a runaway horse;
You could do that, of course!
But think of trying
to keep from crying,
When you're hungry and tired
and cross,
You couldn't do that
of course!
Or could you?

We should have had this memorized - maybe it would have helped.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Prayer for Laundry Day

Thank you, Dear God . . .

for water, soap, electricity, automatic washer and dryer

Sunshine and wind to dry clothes on the clothes line

Clothes pins and sturdy clothes lines

Thank you for clothes to wash - enough for each person
We can have clean ones every day

Warm P.J.'s
We don't have to sleep in our work clothes

Sheets, blankets, pillows
Mattress and mattress covers

When I look at the tabs to check how to care for my clothes I see:

Made in Vietnam     Made in Brazil    Made in China
Made in Pakistan     Made in India      Made in Bangladesh
Made in El Salvador

I don't have to raise sheep, shear them, wash the wool, dye the wool
card it and spin it into yarn before I can knit my socks and sweaters

I've always wanted a loom to make rag rugs
But what if I had to weave all the fabric we need?
Then sew all the clothes we need?

My family would be in trouble.

Thank you, Dear God, for Laundry Day!