Tuesday, February 9, 2021

60 years ago


Sixty years ago Leona Martin Skrivseth became a mother. (Here is where I should insert a baby picture of me.) 

Celebrating today with muffins from Perkins, a cute plant and pink balloons. I don't suppose helium balloons were very easy to come by in 1961 for a couple living in Fort Wayne IN on a budget.

I could insert a picture of the hospital I was born in. You should see the cars in the parking lot!

This is sort of spur of the moment.  My pictures are all at home while I am having lunch with Ellis at HogSlat. 

   Two of the puzzles we put together so far.

                 Happy Winter everyone!

Sunday, February 7, 2021


Our family got together the last weekend of January. We stayed at my sister's house (they are vacationing in a warmer climate.) *Some of the activities* We took turns making meals, played games, took walks using snow shoes, went ice fishing, talked and laughed and cried and prayed together. 

One evening my family piled gifts on the coffee table, sang Happy Birthday to me and served a Dairy Queen birthday cake. When I saw the gifts I asked, "What in the world is going on?!"

 They answered with a question.  "How old will you be on your next birthday?"  

60 is the answer to that. 

They got their heads together, all unbeknownst to me, and decided to give me 60 gifts. I was surprised to say the least! 

Here is a list in alphabetical order.  

I will never be bored again .... not that I've ever had a problem with that. 


Anne Frank  (book)

Bath soap  bath salts  bags for shopping 

Candles   candy  coloring book

D  3D model of Eiffel Tower

Embroidery kit

Fuzzy socks   Frames for pictures   flower pot

Glasses cleaner

Hand soap

Imagination game


Kitchen towels   Kleenex 


Mugs  markers

Note books   note cards

Oven mitt

Pot holders  puzzles   paper   pens

Q  Dairy Queen cake


Slippers  spatula 

Truffles   Turtles  Tin of dual tip markers

Uninvited  (book)


Winnie the Pooh set (mug, pen, note books)  word search


Yards of Washi tape


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Christmas 2020

We just got back from MT last evening.  We boarded the plane on time - noting with interest how many dogs we have seen in the airport both going and coming. One cute dog went through the line on a leash attached to his human. When we got to the end of the tunnel - ready to board - the dog and human were there ... the dog in a basket with a blanket around him and comforting pats on the head from his human.  After that we got settled in our seats. I got the window seat this time and the steward noticed Ellis struggling with the seat belt and got him an extension. On the way to MT Ellis was by the window and just stretched the seat belt over his lap and had a jacket folded up on his lap and flew without seatbelt buckled - unnoticed.  

We had just taxied away from the airport and stopped when the steward came over the intercom and said we were going back because of a "situation." They made no further announcements as we waited and waited. At last when we got back to the airport the pilot and steward and a guy with orange vest all went to the back of the airplane. After awhile all returned  then shortly after that the dog and his human. The human apologized to everyone in passing, "I'm so sorry! It's my fault. It was my dog." When they were gone we started all over - now with the safety speech and exits pointed out and demonstration of how the seat belt works, etc. I don't think they did all that the first time, being distracted with the "situation" I suppose.

It was a lovely flight and homecoming. We eventually found the place where our shuttle could pick us up to take us to the park&ride where the car was waiting for us. Allen and Krysta went, too. All of the boys in our family spent Christmas with their in-laws so we decided to spend Christmas with our daughters. We will have our Harshbarger Christmas the last weekend in January up at Nashwauk using Jerry and Trenda's house for our family gathering. (They are going to South Carolina to visit family then from there going to Florida for the month of February.)

I am reclining on my couch in this little addition Allen and Ellis made. We haven't stained and varnished the wood yet. Ellis has two lights to put in and a plug in to finish - tucking all those wires back in and putting the cover on. Then we need to figure out the window seat/storage. I guess we will say goodbye to the couch then. The storage area is going to be lined with cedar like the inside of a cedar chest. There is a lot more space in our living room now.

It sounds like we are in for a winter storm this afternoon and tomorrow. What a nice way to end the year!

Our visit to MT had many highlights. We saw the Mission Mountains. You could live there just for the scenery! So beautiful! They told us we were fortunate to see the mountains.  Often they are shrouded with clouds. 

We played games, ate way too much good food, made some Norwegian specialties,  drove to Kootenai Falls,  read the Christmas story, spent Sunday afternoon/evening with Deanne's  friends - Tom and Sadie. 

They had come to Dea's house Saturday evening to see the lefse making process and get a taste. Dea and Krysta made the lefse from start to finish. They asked if I would roll them out so it was a team effort. Sadie said it was a childhood dream come true - a chance to eat brown sugar with no disapproval from her mother.  

We made cheese ball to go with crackers and chicken salad to go with the lefse if you wanted another option besides sugar. Dea heated up ham balls she had in the freezer. And we had a gigantic lettuce salad to add something healthy to the meal.

Dea has found a recipe for milk mush online. Better known as Rommegrot in Norway.  I think I can send you the link to that or just type in Rommegrot and this blog comes up with history of the dish and a recipe. Krysta made that for breakfast Christmas morning while we listened to a song Deanne's friend sent about Christmas in heaven. So our milk mush was watered with tears. 

We also listened to some comedians at different times throughout the weekend so we had laughter until our sides ached, too. On the way to Kootenai Falls I read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson. There is plenty of laughter and tears in that book!

We drove through the National Bison Range on our way to the airport. Next time I hope it will be in the summer so we can go on the roads that are closed for the winter. We saw bison and lots of white tail deer. A couple of coyotes. The mountains were curtained with clouds otherwise we would have gotten another view of the Mission Mountains. Any time we fly to Missoula I will beg to drive five miles out of the way to see them again - if it's a clear day.

I started a letter telling about the year -  2020. It got quite long winded and I'm only half way through - not even half way. We will start you off at the tail end of the year until the other letter gets finished.

Merry Christmas and  a  Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pearl India Nolt

 To you - my friends in blogger world - I want to introduce you to our beautiful granddaughter who was stillborn Wednesday  October 7, 2020. This was completely unexpected.  Allen and Krysta heard a strong heartbeat on Monday.  Tuesday afternoon /evening at the beginning of labor there was no heartbeat. They had been planning a home birth with a midwife in attendance. When there wasn't a heartbeat they immediately transferred to the hospital where an ultrasound showed the baby had died. Krysta was able to labor and deliver Pearl India Nolt at 6:13 AM Wednesday morning. 

There is no explanation.  Some tests have been done but no results are back. 

We were able to hold Pearl in the hospital room. We took turns  saying hello and goodbye.  This all sounds very cold and unemotional, but you all know our heart's are crying.  

Allen and Krysta spent all day with Pearl. They bathed her and dressed her and wrapped her in a soft blanket. We took pictures.  I am so glad we live in a time when we are allowed to grieve.  Encouraged to grieve  ... 

We have plans for a visitation Sunday afternoon.  The Worlein Funeral Home in Blooming Prairie  MN is helping with all the arrangements.  You can go on the website and get information of times and dates for the visitation and funeral. 

We are supported by the God of all comfort and so many people who are praying for our family. 

Pearl India Nolt 
7lb. 6oz. 19 1/2 in.
Safe in the arms of Jesus

Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

9-27-2014 is a date that will stay in my mind for the rest of my life. Six years ago my dad went home to meet his Savior. We miss him more and more as time goes on. 

My dad was always ready to read a good book. Yesterday I found a story I had never read before. This book tells what happens when a family meets Jesus for the very first time.

Ellis and I were out for a Saturday drive. Garage sale signs swooshed the pickup right off the road and down quiet streets on a search for some new treasure. In Brownsdale we found some books. Ellis found his favorite author. I moved around the table and found childrens books. One took my eye.

I had never heard of this book or this author. The words on the back of the book told about a dreadful family full of bad boys and girls who terrorize the local school and community. The title of the book said, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! My interest was stirred. I decided to risk fifty cents and bought the book. Worst case scenario I could throw it in the local recycling bin.

We hadn't gone far when Ellis started getting sleepy. I asked if he'd like me to read the book outloud. Before we knew it we were laughing at the absurd situations described by a 5th or 6th grade girl who is telling the story. She was in the same grade as Imogene - one of the little terrors. She tried to stay as inconspicuous as possible to escape all notice by Imogene, a girl who smoked cigars and threatened girls in her grade by saying, "I will push a pussywillow into your ear and then you will have a pussywillow bush growing out of the side of your head!"

In between stops to deliver merchandise for Hog Slat and browse at more garage sales, I kept on reading. To the very end. By that time Ellis was sniffling and I was all choked up and barely able to read. 

There are lots of hilarious stories in this book that will have you laughing out loud, but the main part of the story is - God with us -Emanuel - and some naughty boys and girls who meet Jesus for the very first time.

Imagine you have never heard the Christmas Story. Imagine hearing it for the very first time. I am usually not a fan of starting the Christmas season too early. This year I think I'm ahead of the local stores. If you have a chance to read this book it will change the way you think of Christmas this year - maybe every year from now on. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Forty Years ago

Forty years ago my aunt and uncle gave a set of dishes to Ellis and me for a wedding present. It was a change from the three patterns of Corelle known at that time. Green, gold and blue ... all beautiful in their own way. 

We had a fall wedding, September 6, 1980.
I thought this pattern was extra special with its bright colors. 

I picked a bouquet this morning that reminds me of the colors at our wedding. I carried a  white Bible with a dainty handkerchief that I borrowed from my Mom. The handkerchief was edged in blue. I carried something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Hmm! Now I wonder if it was the same hanky Mom carried at her wedding. That is an old-fashioned custom, probably unheard of these days.

Last night we brought out this set of dishes and had a merry supper with friends. Taco salad - crisp lettuce, taco chips, meat and bean sauce seasoned with chilipowder, garlic powder and garlic salt, grated cheese, salsa, all topped with sour cream, chopped onions (for those who are brave) and ranch dressing. My homemade French dressing was in the fridge at home. 

We rented the township hall down the road from our house. There were thirteen people around our jolly table. Lots of old time  memories were brought up and talked about as we made new memories. 

It is always a high light for Ellis and me to open up that old building, sweep out the ladybugs from the corners (ok - Asian beetles - which is the correct name) and let the gorgeous metal ceiling ring with laughter once again. 

We mopped the wood floor with Murphy's Oil and opened windows so cool breezes could blow through the room.

Ellis stirred together a grand mixture of nuts, chocolate covered raisins, dried fruit, etc. We topped our ice cream and brownies with chocolate sauce and nuts and sipped coffee as old stories and new circled around us. 

I suppose the mice were having a party in the basement and hoped we'd leave some crumbs for them. Not a speck remained for their enjoyment. 

It feels like we haul lots of our stuff over there and bring it all back to make a cosy evening.  Ellis told me I'd drive back and forth 50 times before it was all said and done. :)
Quite the exaggeration! But that's why the French dressing stayed at home and was sadly missed at our table. I thought of it at the last minute and decided to skip it. 

French dressing is such a lovely orange color! Homemade French dressing is the best.
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup ketchup 
1/3 cup white vinegar 
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
Whirl all ingredients in a blender until it gets thick. Serve on salads.  

I didn't say it was healthy.  ;)

I remember celebrating a 40th anniversary with Ellis's parents in 1984. I thought Mark and Florence were quite elderly at that time.
I suppose the little boys at our party last night think Ellis and I are right up there almost equal to Methuselah in age.

Time changes our perspective. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Out and About

This morning on the way to the dentist I was praying as I drove. Suddenly I felt quite overwhelmed and the next thing I knew I was crying - blubbering actually - what a fun way to arrive at the dentist. 

Well, a mask hides all, right? then I had to fill out a questionaire about Covid. Which I sailed through with no problem until I got to this ? Do you have a runny nose? I marked "no" while I said to the world at large, "I was crying on my way here so my nose is running." 

 After I sat down the gal across the room said, "Hi, how are you?" I said, "Fine, how about you?"  
But I could not recognise her so I moved closer and said, "I'm sorry, I should know your name but I can't say it." It turns out she is my Mom's neighbor. Masks are just hiding us from each other. 

Last summer she divided her lilies and gave starts to mom and her friends/family. I was one of the lucky people who got an assortment of lilies from her. I have been sending pictures to her all summer. The lilies are beautiful in my flower garden. 
 After the dentist I walked over to the library. 
 We can go in to the library! Happy Days! 

There is no place to sit. You can only stay 15 minutes. Still! The library is open, people! 

Here are my snap dragons!
I am so happy!