Saturday, January 31, 2009


By the time we were freshman in the year of 1958-59, we began to earn our stripes. According to the 1959 year book, the crazes were chemise dresses and hula hoops, and small cars. For women wearing glasses; modified cat eyes were nearly every one's preference.

Girls wore their hair short and curly. Men styled their hair, went outside when it was still wet to freeze it in place; many still wore crew cuts.

Yet, as one turns the pages of this year book, yet another set of twins may have been found. Are Margaret and Rosemary Stokke twins? They are a like in dress and smile.

Because we were freshman, we had class officers. Larry, Susan, and Stan represented our class. The honor student program was in its second year. The W twins sit side by side in like shirts. One in glasses, the other not. In the next row the T twins rest. Robert and I were separated in the class pictures; other wise, business as usual with Bagne, Baker, Ballingrud.

FTA added males, but FNA under the leadership of Margaret Race remains feminine. Some of the people in this group actually became nurses. Debate opened up to freshman, pictured is Susan and Becky, as well as Jane. Latin Club appears to have been everyone who took Latin. Judy, Judy, Larry, and Jim were student council reps. GAA group members appear to be about 25 members. Pep Club continues to grow.

In 1960, those well guided would be looking toward being a member of the National Honor Society. Mr. Ulseth was well liked and those who didn't know they could sing were told they could. The pep band was formed, it appeared to as large as the concert band. These well preforming students cheered teams on in house or on the road. Did all 75 members go to state with the hockey team? Who paid for it?

If you wonder what an ensemble is, it appears it is any small group of people in harmony. It appears it can be a quartet of boys, or a sextet of girls or brass or wood wind or orchestra. I know Ben could sing, his family lived by us. I knew that Carolyn could sing, I followed her in chorus--she read music, I did not. I wonder if Stan still plays the sax?

By now, we were senior high and all the aspiring young anythings were behind us in junior high. We were almost out of old Lincoln and old Washington, and I think....we were nearly finished with gym. FHA dropped to a third of a page. FFA looked lighter. Six class members attended the council meetings,, Jean, Becki, Jim, David, Judy, and Rick. A third of GAA were the class of 1962.

In 1961, nearly all the pictures are tipped so it looks like they are suspended in the air. There were choices. It wasn't a mug shot with a smile; not all guys wore suits and not all the girls wore a dark sweater. The pictures are refreshing. Our class officers were Becki, Gary, Charlie, and Jim.

Ensembles branched out. Brass, trumpet, sax, trombone.

And it was Bagne, Baker, Ballingrud and Rambeck, Ranum, Rausch, because Judy left.


Friday, January 30, 2009


In the fall of 1956, children from all over Thief River Falls, entered the Lincoln High School as 7th graders. We were lumped in with six grades, the oldest being seniors.

Seniors had pesky baby sisters who liked to follow brothers and little girls who adored seniors who played hockey. And wondered about De Souza, the exchange student from Brazil and what he was like besides very handsome.

As Old Trunks flips through the pages, another set of twins are found. Their names are Larry and Lee Johnson and they must be identical. One played baseball a couple of years, otherwise they teams together in FFA and TAB club. What is TAB Club?

The girls wore their hair short and many of them chose collars tucked into their sweaters for graduation pictures. Glasses were cat eyes for most of the girls and heavy top rims for the guys. The 'cool' guys had a flip in their hair; the rest was short or crew cut.

Although every under class picture was told to put their hands in their laps, the women listened and the males chose to put their hands on their knees. A guy thing, I would guess.

The junior class, which would graduate in 1959 already have changed their dress like code. Women are wearing more flair in their skirts and the men are offering plaids and strips ; nearly all are in blue jeans. No females were allowed to wear pants let along jeans. More people wear glasses. Need or fad? Who can tell.

The back row of the freshman picture is too dark to match faces to the names. Lots of sweaters are in style for the female population. A set of twins from 1960 look little alike.

The seventh graders, graduating class of 1962 look very, very young. They are tall, short, big, and little not everyone has caught up. Some look frightened; others very pleasant. Girls in the front row are wearing anklets.

Flip a few pages to the orchestra where you see Soozi next to Jim and wonder if you ever knew how long she played a stringed instrument.

Try to imagine that Students Brightened Christmas with a play about Mary and Joesph complete with wise men.

Although we were seventh graders we did not mingle with debaters and thespians, library fundamentals or the Prowler or paper staff. We were too young for distributive education. Males found purpose in FFA; girls did not join. It did not appear women could be crossing guards either.

We did not play football, basketball, hockey, or baseball. We wanted to start a girl's hockey team in 1959-60 but it was not allowed. Talk about NOT rounding out our activities. There were no males in FHA, FNA, cheerleading, either.

Throughout our years we would sit in the bleachers for our class picture, if Robert or Judy didn't move, I would be between them. Bagne, Baker, Ballingrud. By eighth grade, we were crowded into Old Washington with its hot painted walls. Thespians and Debater was still out of our reach and junior high council begins; it is said it was for efficiency. David, Betty, Barbara, and Clare would represent their class. The FTA was on its second year.

Two males sit in the front row of the FFA picture. Both are dressed in striped shirts, jeans, and loafers. One is blond and the other brunette. Are Russell and Ronald Beisenger twins?

Most women in the FHA club are wearing nylons and flats shoes. The school winter carnival had a king and queen. The class that won had the royality. Imagine the surprise of the upper classmen when our eighth grade class won by selling the most Christmas corsages door to door.

Our class was starting to show up in places like tennis and golf. We were on our way.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Let's look at the old year books and see if, indeed, like names are twins. The first book I own is 1957 we will start there:

Dawne and Dean Larson are NOT Twins

The Austin Twins

According to the 1959 Prowler, which is the name of the year book:

Georgene Austin enjoyed:
Class play junior year as well as class play production. FHA 11, Band 10,11,12, Glee Club 10, GAA 10, 11 and an officer 11.

Geraldine Austin enjoyed:
Homecoming attendant 10, class play 11, FHA 11, Prowler band 10,11,12, Concert band 11,12, Glee Club 9, orchestra 11; GAA 9, 11, 12; Basketball cheerleader 12.

Oh the Bruggeman girls, Marie and Mildred look identical!

As for Dale and Darby Nelson......well, that goes to show you that names beginning with the same letter do not twins make.

The Terrian Twins.
Audrey and Arlene resemble one another. They have the same glasses and the same sweater on. Their facial structure is like. One has straight hair and the other curled. How much were they alike in projects?

Arlene: FNA 11, 12; Prowler band 10, freshman chorus 9, pep band 11, 12, Chorus ensembles 10, 12, Pep band 11.12, and GAA 9, 10

Audrey: FNA 11,12; Prowler Band 9, 10, 11. 12; Concert band, 10,11,12; Ensembles 10,11,12, Concert orchestra 10,11; Pep band 11,12.

The Wenneberg twins:
Dale: Student council 9, 11,12; Student council convention committee head 10; Football 9,10,11,12; co-captain hockey 12; Hockey 9,10,11,12; lettered in hockey all years. Track, 11.12 Lettering both years.

Don: Student council 9, 12; Class officer 10, 11; Boy's state 11; homecoming committee head 11; Student council convention committee head 10; Prom committee head 11; Latin club 10; Prowler band 10,11, 12; Concert band 10,11,12; Ensembles 12; freshman chorus 9; Orchestra 9,10,11,12; Concert orchestra 10,11,12; Ensembles 9,10,11, 12; Officer 9,10, 11; Concert Master Chief 12; Pep band 11,12; Prowler 11, 12; Prowler editor in chief, 12, Cross country 9.

In 1961
We wondered if Gary and Gladys Peterson were twins. I don't think so, do you?

The Nelson guys:

Bruce Ray:
Senior class play crew 12; Prowler band 10,11,12; Concert band 12; Pep band 12; homecoming escort 12

Harold Roy:
Senior class play crew 12; Prowler band 10,11,12; Concert band 11, 12; Pep band 12; Operetta 12; track 11,12; homecoming escort 12.

The Teal Twins:

Student council 11; one act plays 9; freshman chorus 9; Boys Glee Club 10; Football 9, 10, 11, 12 (lettering in 11, 12); Hockey 9,10,11,12, (lettering 10,11,12); co captain in hockey.

UNICEF 12; Inter class play production 12, Freshman chorus 9; Boy's Glee Club 10, Tennis Letterman 11,12; Hockey 9,10,11,12 (lettering 10,11,12); Football student manager 10,11,12; Letterman's Club 10,11.

Letterman's Club was organized in 1959-60 school year. The 80 gentleman that joined would get a coveted letterman jacket.

I am laughing because this reads like eHarmony but that is not the intention!



Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Old Trunks wonders what the numbers were for multiple births in the late 1800's and early 1900's. She is wondering if there were many triplets. How could she know? Look through the census records, they would be listed.

While paging through the Pennington County Historical Society list of graduating seniors, it is hard to tell if there are numerous sets of twins or are these graduates brother and sister or perhaps cousins?

Old Trunks wonders, if, 100 years or more from now, when the eight babies born in California recently will be grouped together in a class list for someone else to wonder as I wonder.

The class lists started at PCHS in 1904. In the beginning of research, the idea was to take every name--yes, including all names ending in son into consideration as possible twins. Yet, as one reads the lists, one sees there is more of a chance class mates are twins IF the names have a common first letter, i.e. A.

It wasn't until 1913 that two names really felt like twins. Anne and Alexandria Tharaldson were honored as the top two people in their class. One hopes they studied together to grasp such wonderful trophies.

Now in 1918, there was Gladys and Grace Johnson and Christine and Clara Pederson. They do sound like twins, do they not?

Enid and Joyce Mellem both graduated in 1946. They were cousins. Emil and Pete's sister, Nina was the children's great grandmother. But Enid and Joyce don't sound like twins anyway.

Let's fast forward to 1955 when there was Bradley and Barbara Teal. Later the parents would have another set, who graduated in 1962.

Where Dawne and Dean Larson of 1957, twins?

Where Marie and Mildred Bruggeman of 1959 twins? How about Georgine and Geraldine Austin? Are you seeing any faces, yet? How about Darby and Dale Nelson of the same year? Where they cousins? How would we know? Do we need old year books to see if one was a red head and the other had dark hair?

Where Audrey and Arlene Terrian twins? How about Dale and Don Wenneberg, also of the 1960 graduating class.

Gary and Gladys Peterson of 1961? Lloyd and Judith Ranum? Lloyd and Judith were second cousins:

Knute Ranum (common denominator)

In 1962, there was Tim and Tom Teal. Yes, brothers to the 1955 twins. And there was Ray and Roy Nelson. There were a lot of Nelson's that year. There is no Ray and Roy listed, although in the 1962-2002 reunion booklet, presented to classmates, they are called R&R.

So maybe there is no way to speculate just who were twins or cousins. Maybe it is just that most twins have a certain ring tone to their names. Certainly Mr. and Mrs. Nelson knew that and really named them Bruce and Harold for a specific reason!

The eight babies born in California are called A-H. My grand daughter's grandchildren will need that clue.

Meanwhile, think about the twins you have known. Think about the neat idea of having a mirror. Meanwhile, I am off to look in the year books to figure out which twin was which, that is, if they were twins at all.

Let me ask you this: If you would have been a twin, what would its name be? Wayne and Jane? Linda and Glinda? Mary and Harry? And then what? Who gets Tim and who gets Tom, and why, if for any reason?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Old Trunks wonders if grandma had a coffee mill. Or did she have it ground at the store? Did it come home in a brown sack tied with string? Or am I confused with Little House on the Prairie? The picture is the Folger's building in San Francisco, CA

Although there were two coffee grinders in Mrs. Johnson's house, Tom states she never ground her own coffee beans. Although she drank coffee hot and cold, year around.

Grandma Mae opened her Nash's coffee can with the key that came with the can. Twist, Twist and listen to the vacuum seal break and smell that marvelous aroma as it swooshed out to fill the air. Those very metal try offs were gently pulled to form what looke like a Shirley Temple curl and placed on the Christmas tree.

Mother did the same with the Hill's Brother's coffee can. In 1900 Hills Bros. begins packing roast coffee in vacuum sealed tins in San Francisco. This led to the decline of rival roasting shops and coffee mills. During World War II, the metal containers were replaced with glass bottles.

Grandma Ranum drank Chase and Sanburn. The Chase company started in 1862 and did vacuum pack their coffee already ground. Hills Brothers bought out Chase, later, Sara Lee bought out Hills Brothers.

James Folger came to California during the gold rush days. Perhaps it was Mrs. Olson doing advertisements that started me on Folgers. I say me, because Tom makes my coffee but does not drink it. As I get older, I have lost taste buds and have bought the stronger brews, which of course, I feeble up with cream.

Oh for the products on the market now. How many of us have bought grinders, whether it be a hand grinder at an antique shop or an electric grinder at the local kitchen shop? How many have ground their coffee at the market and sniffed the aroma as the grounds fell into the bag?

Are you affected by television ads? Do you know the Folger's jingle? Have you bought into the Dunkin Donut coffee ad? Have you bought your Dunkin Donuts coffee yet?

Do you, as my daughter, go to a Starbucks-like place and get your coffee through out the day? Do you, when eating out, drink coffee as a beverage? When people come to visit, do you offer coffee?


Monday, January 26, 2009


Today is the day of the second cataract surgery for my Sweet Thomas. His first eye was done on 8 Jan. Because of a scheduling problem, it is greater than two weeks between surgeries.

For those of you who have this surgery in the realm of possibilities, I wish you could have followed Tom around for the last couple of weeks and had his discoveries.

Although it is somewhat vain when he says, "Where's my tan?" It is a very pleasant experience for him to look about and see anything, everything in a brighter sort of way. "I can shave without my shaving glasses!" he said one morning. Those of you who know he is my bearded collie, you need to realize shaving means trimming and close shaving other parts of his face and neck for a very well groomed beard/stash.

While eating burgers at a favorite place recently, he would look with his fixed eye and then his cataract eye and exclaim the different. He looked like stop and go lights on the fritz, blink right, blink left. He is well mannered and I am never shamed by his behavior. I did however, wonder if people were going to question his sanity as he experimented with good/bad eye.

This morning, 26 Jan, he is having the second eye fixed. I suppose he will be a poop and want to drive home, although he is not allowed to do so according to the orders. The surgery will take about 20 minutes, after which they will give him toast and juice before he leaves. They will treat him well because it is a treat-everyone-well sort of place.

For those of you who may have qualms, he told the nurse last time he had more stresses going to work than having his cataract removed. Take his lead. Just don't dash off to buy heavy weights to lift until you are healed.

My question is: If he can see 20/10 in his right eye and his left can be brought up to speed what is he going to see that is clearer, sharper, brighter? Will we need to get a burger so he can red light/green light--blink and blink to see if both eyes see the menu equally as well?

See clearly regardless of your sight.


Sunday, January 25, 2009


He wasn't very old when he offered to cut the grass. He did not know we had planted cherry trees on the east side of the house. How would he, they were in the stick stage planted in clay under black dirt. It was an honest error.

But was not an honest error was when I was older and was told to cut the grass. Daddy bought $125 worth of year old evergreens for the farm; the Girl Scouts were to plant them. Holes for said trees were previously dug with an auger attached to the tractor. The landscaping had been done on the drawing board. If all grew, it would be forest on the plains of northern Minnesota.

And so the planting was done and the mowing was to begin. It was an eight hour job to do the area which was fine cut with a mower. My favorite days were when four mowers were running and we would be done before noon. The lawn was to be cut once a week. It became my job. I would mow everything with the reel riding mower except the incline to the east.

And little by little the trees 'in the way' fell. Some dried up and perished for unknown reasons. A kid named FH was hired to finish out the summer while I was at camp; he took down a few too. Mother took over mowing the immediate area around the house probably to save the little trees. We left the farm in the spring of 1960 with the trees on the incline and the ones in the yard still growing. On my last pass in the summer of 2008, some of those Girl Scout trees remained.

Sometimes I wonder why parents don't give kids options. I hated to mow. I do not mow. I never mow--ever. Give me green concrete and rocks but no grass. I do not follow in my mother's footsteps who loved the lawn. Daddy didn't mow in town either.

In my own defense I will say this: I had 25 horses, 1,000 chickens, five pigs, three goats, andteer to feed and water as well as clean the barn and coop and gather eggs. One summer I did all the housework from 9-4 each day as well. I will say now what I said then, "I have enough responsibilities, why can't someone else do it?"

I do believe children should have responsibilities. I just wonder if they should have options. I don't think children should be bridled with things their parents cast off on them.

Besides, there are plenty of evergreens left at the Rockin' R.

And I am grinning because there are 27 classifieds in the paper today for snow removal. I bet there are lawn mowing services in the summer. If my Sweet Thomas wimps out, I will hire it done.


Saturday, January 24, 2009


Old Trunks is looking out the east window at a knarled elm tree across the street. It is a big tree which looks like it was shaped by strange events. How could it be so twisted? How could a branch separate and form a bowl-like shape, then continue on to have fingerlings going every which a way. Another elm stands near; it is straight with no curves or twists. Was the big tree planted in the early twenties when this neighborhood was built? Honest, as I pan the horizon, it is the only one with such a unique shape. Do you know the history of the trees on your property? We do know the cedars at the Anderson home in Rosewood were planted as seedlings by Gust Opseth.

It was Mother’s Day in 1976 when Rachel and Bud presented me with a silver maple tree. The promise was to water it faithfully after it was planted by the side walk to the porch next to the drive way. In the summer, it would shade the picture window in the living room from the southern sun. It was named Twilight; it was planted in the early evening. Silver maples, as you may know, are fast growing soft wood trees. Although the top third was pruned at planting time to force the root system, it grew much that first year.

Two other trees were offered as gifts; one was a flowering plum tree. Each spring, it was covered with white blossoms followed by purple-red leaves and berries the blue jays liked to eat. That tree was in front of the smallest bedroom window and blocked the sun from the east. The third tree, a Sweet Gum, which was zoned for farther south, rounded out the triangle. Professor Plum deceased from bores and the Sweet Gum did not survive but a few winters, While on the deck, one was shaded from the Kansas sun except at high noon.

As I flipped through the images of Twilight, I remember as it grew, it became a back drop of leaves for pictures as did the others, especially for those historic first day of school pictures. When Rachel graduated from ninth grade, she is holding one of the branches of Twilight, the tree was then eight years old. Bud’s ninth grade recognition uses Professor Plum as a back drop as he stands on the mini deck on the front of the house. Ryen is noted on the rail of the deck with bare branched Twilight behind him when we took pictures to use on the Internet. [[Take picture, process film, bring pictures to Kinko’s for scanning and put on 3 ½ floppy, insert in computer]].

There was one branch Bud was particularly fond of. It was his swing branch. When a big wind came and twisted the branches, it was because of him we sawed the swing branch back to healthy and painted the end to keep the sap from running. That same branch became the place to hang his newspaper delivery bag.
Two other storms would hit that tree, the second appeared to be lightening. Yet, with the help of a neighbor who knew all about trees and plants, we managed to save it by topping it which forced more branches below the cut. When Ryen and I healed the house in a buy back, Twilight was there. When we sold the house and I moved to Fargo, it was there.

The other trees in the yard were not named. We bought 100 bare root elms which fit into the mail box when they arrived. They were to be a hedge row on the back and side property line. Concerned some may die, they were planted two in a hole. The holes were dug with a post hole digger, the bare root had been soaked in Miracle Grow© before planting. After a silly fight with the neighbors, the shrubs, now very well rooted in a natural run off, were allowed to grow. We did not loose any of the bare roots. They all grew and towered the one story house. On Easter Sunday one year, we actually watched the buds turn into leaves. They were not culled out. The trees, thirty years old at buy back, were still there, some stunted because they had no room to grow as a separate tree.

At the time when people were homesteading, they planted trees for wind breaks. We had a wind break alright both of on the north and on the south. It wasn’t like Great Uncle Gust getting cedar seedlings but they were, at least, trees.


Friday, January 23, 2009


How many years did grandpa sit at the table whistling as he whittled away on the end of a pencil to make a point? The question remains: Why did both of them lick the lead in the pencil before writing with it?

Our on-the-wall pencil sharpener put school pencil sharpeners to shame. It may have been purchased at Grundy's Office Supply near the Falls Theater. That is the same place where one could by the predecessor of felt tip markers.

Felt tip markers cost 15 cents. It was a glass bottle with the 'wick' coming out of the top with a cap on it. They came in red, blue, and black; later green would be added. The point on the marker was a chisel edge a fourth of an inch wide. The point was soft and if you pressed too hard it would compress.

Grundy's was the place to go for pencils. Old Trunks was especially fond of 4H graphite. When sharpened at home it was a weapon. A tip broke off in my hand once. Grundy's was the source of India Ink and calligraphy pens and points.

I would learn how to use calligraphy pens and ink while taking notes in high school. Although I announced I was taking notes, I was really experimenting with a style not in the book. He was the same teacher that made me put my gum on the board and my nose on the gum. He is one of my nameless teacher.

Flair tip pens were the pen of choice when Rachel was growing up. They too, had a soft point. Push hard and the pen is smashed. If one had a light stroke as my mother did, the point would last until the pen's ink was exhausted.

My grand daughter has a vast array of markers to choose from. Old Trunks notes even the retractable high lighters have harder points. Pens for scrap booking have a variety of point finishes. The world is our oyster.

But there is yet another writing type implement. It is the mouse used with desk top computers, (although some folks use a mouse with their laptops).

The lead broke in the mouse recently. It had over the last few years, become my favorite pencil. It was a lady bug. And when I could no longer highlight with it, I tried all sorts of other things to try to make it work. I did not wish my lady bug to fail.

But fail it did, just like the one that was shaped like a fishing lure failed. In the magic computer drawer in the closet, which is filled with bits and pieces and reminds me of a coffee can full of nuts and bolts, there was no back up. The 123 commands I had learned on Word Star in the late 80's was not getting the job done. A purchase would have to be made. I would have to go to a Grundy's.

The selection was vast but out of all of those mice, only ONE met my criteria. I did not want a wireless nor did I want a gaming mouse. I wanted a simple plug and play or in this case plug and use.

Old Trunks is not inspired by a black mouse. It doesn't have the appeal of a felt marker in a jar or a 4H pencil from an office supply store on LaBree Avenue in a city in Minnesota.

But what it does have is function. It gets me where I am going. Instead of highlighting with ctrl A, I can do it with the mouse. The day is saved without whittling and the eraser is guaranteed for a year.

And Connie, this ctrl A is just for you!


Thursday, January 22, 2009


The bank at Rosewood turned grocery store turned living quarters is not a mystery. If anyone has been through the village of late, one can see this once prominent brown stucco building has fallen into disrepair. Old Trunks last trip viewed a mixed breed dog resting on the steps with its head peering out through a whole in the wall.

What do we know about this building? We know it became a store after the bank failed. For a few decades, it was a place for simple notions, candy, and soda.

It was there for the youth of Rosewood to gather.

It was there when Harry, Lillian, and Bruce as well as my parents and my brother rented it as a domicile.

It was there when Cliff Rye who got grape soda for his wife Mel. Mel had asked the owner to tell her the kinds of soda that was stock. The owner had previously had a stroke and could not talk plainly. Cliff said, "She'll have grape." Realize, of course, that Mel hated grape soda!

It was there for the Anderson children.

It was there for people who drove through to buy over priced gas to 'help out the cause'.

In one of my lives, it was available for rent, whether it be a store or living quarters, or both.

The store was separated from the rest of the building by eight foot walls on twelve foot ceilings. How was it heated? Did it have a bathroom? Did it have running water?

The idea was to bring the store back to its former business by selling groceries and feeding the Soo Line Railroad employees pie and coffee in the afternoon. The only vision I had was Lloyd sitting at a table in the store eating brownies.

Someone else had the rest of the vision and knew the details. And so, as a clerk in a market in Thief River Falls, he began to purchase items on sale with the idea of mark up. What had shelf life? YELLOW CAKE MIX

This is, after all, the case of the yellow cake mix. NOT A case of yellow cake mix. Of all the kinds available at that era, why yellow? How many yellow cake mixes have your made? Me? None. I like yellow cake with chocolate frosting as well as Mel liked grape soda.

Well, the renting of the store fell through. Someone else had put in their claim first.

In an 800 mile move south, that cake mix came along. The cake mix moved from apartment to house to apartment. For those of you who are pinched for storage, you will appreciate the cake mix being stored in the bedroom closet because there was no room in the kitchen, whether it be the pantry or the cupboards.

Actually, being short on storage IS a problem for most of us. Without an attic in the garage, where would we put the stuff we don't use and don't want to toss? Where do people put bicycles? Christmas decorations? Treasures from the past? Sets of hand me down dishes and silverware?Junkque!?

Is the attic in the garage a out of sight place where we deal with the items later? What are we ever going to do with 300 feet of Christmas lights stored in a huge orange pumpkin? There are boxes of bric-a-brac from our mother's houses. What is in those boxes?

Who decides what is trash and what is treasure? What if all of it was gone through and re-organized? Would that at least let us know what is there? Granted, Easter and Halloween is separated; the Christmas crates are downstairs along the back wall. There are crates upon crates of silk flowers, yet, rather than go out on a sub zero day for just the right posie, it seems easier to just replace them. Shame on me. Or to to the basement, where another mass of silks appear to be growning, no, I didn't mean growing.

But it is not the season for iris or daisies or sunflowers. It is the season for velvet roses with pretend snow. Can we skip ahead to tulips? Shouldn't these crates be marked winter, summer, spring, and fall? Doesn't that seem like a good idea to you? How about storing major holidays by themselves including silks? When is it warm enough to do this? Yes, fishing season.

Sounds like Old Trunks as a case of the yellow cake mix.

What is your call?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

AND SHIRLEY SAYS............

And Shirley says, "I remember LOVING Little Frosty's at the Dine-A-Mite after church most every Sunday after we started going to church in town. Dad would only let me order the $.10 one because the $.20 ones were too expensive. We'd always order them after we finished lunch..if I didn't finish my burger Little Frosty!

Did you know that Hilda Mellem named the Dine-A- Mite through a local contest with the winning entry?

I used to love the homemade bean soup at Johnnies. After we were married we lived just a block from ther. When I was pregnant with Brenda I'd walk there and have a bowl of bean soup..DELICIOUS!!!

I always had a Little Dick at the "old Ben Franklin" store..where Lori's Hallmark is now.

I don't think I'd ever eaten at Kife's till Keith and I started dating, we'd go there quite often. I don't remember what I'd order didn't matter anyway because I was IN LOVE!

Another side-note. Did you know that Mom dated Kife (Cliff Olson) a few times?

Sending to you again, can't post at the blog..but wanted you to know these terribly important things! Lol"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today is my sweet Thomas' birthday, he is sixty-seven.

Being a winter baby, all of his early birthday pictures are taken outside. Kudos to his mother for dressing him up in a snow suit and sitting him in a chair to take a picture of him and his one year cake.

The other picture is truly Tom, it is him, holding a fish. That black Chevy is covered with wet suits and towels from swimming.

Let's think about expressions. Let me assure you the picture of Tom with the bass is one of those photos that represent just who he is. Do you have early pictures of yourself in an expression that spans decades? Or, for the younger audience, ten, maybe twenty years? Do you have pictures of your children who will still express the same way well into their adulthood?

Is there something about your grin or the way you move that years and years later will still represent you? I only mention this because someone recognized me by dimples sixty years later. Images of my dad pop into my head and the way he waved at others while he was driving. If I ever see a male walking with a handkerchief slightly out of back pocket, I will think of him.

I saw a picture of a red headed child recently. He was wearing glasses and looking rather scholarly. Although I have not met this person, his close friends state the photo is HIM! The photo is two decades or more old.

I like to think that my Sweet Thomas is still the man with the sly grin. He is the fishing person that rarely misses the fish. He hugs freely. He pays attention. He listens.

What has changed? He has a nicer hat. He got older. He got wiser. And he prefers custard pie as a birthday cake. Happy birthday, Tom.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Odd, isn't it, that all three of my children took to living a life in a place that does not have a Taco John's. And when they come to visit, a trip to the TEX-MEX sort of place is on order. There are NO substitues.

What foods do you remember eating as a child that you can not get the taste of now? Was it the chicken your mother fried/baked on Sundays? The beans at the picnic?

The chicken salad at the Rex?
The burgers at Johnnies?
The grease whatever of Kiefs?
The little Dick's at Rexall?
The sound of the oooo gaaa horn at the Dine O Mite?

Taco John's began in 1969. It did not, however, become part of the 23rd and Ousdahl landscape until later*. It began as a carnival type pull trailer on the corner and the city was up in arms about a trailer being used as a restuarant. It was very close to the elementary school and a fuss was made about that, as well. It was walk up, no inside dining. Later they would build a structure. It would be expanded later. Not much parking on that small lot after all the building was finished. I wonder how they got by with that ratio but it isn't about parking, it is about food.

But there were other eating establishments close to Schwegler as well, so what is the problem? The cash layout for tacos was much less than fine dining at the gas station turned Chinese. Up the street, past the Kwik Shoppe, was a Minnie Pearl Chicken, (later to become a doughnut shop), and another taco joint. But Taco John's, from then until now, still always tasted the same.

Rachel may have walked, Bud rode his bike, Ryen went in a stroller [with me] and by hook or crook, the Anderson family got their share of tacos over the years but we aren't done yet.

Ryen stated on Face Book there was a eatery in Reno. It was just an eight hour round trip from CA. His sister in UT suggested he drive an additional 12 hours and bring her some. This is commitment. This is one of those memories they will always remember.

How can my grand daughter know the taste and the desire for something like Taco John's? She can not. Although she may have favorite places to eat and can memorize them in her adult hood, one thing is amiss.

Children are not free to roam to eateries, play grounds, and ride their bikes to friends anymore. When I think about my children eating tacos, I think about them going there by themselves. Perhaps it is not all tacos, perhaps it is the Kwik Shoppe, LaMans, and beyond.

So if Ryen has the freedom to drive to Reno for a taco, I say go for it. If he wants to drive beyond or meet his sister with tacos, so be it. It is, as the soul of their mother sees it, the last truly free generation.

*According to the Lawrence Journal World, the owner of Taco John's in Lawrence was honored with the President's (of Taco John's) recieved the highest honors for his excellence out of 400 stores throughout the nation in 2007. Ben Harris opened the store on the corner of Ousdahl and 23rd Street in 1974.



Sunday, January 18, 2009


Old Trunks wonders just how many parents, including self, ever said to their children: " It is zero and the wind is blowing 10 mph, so it is going to feel like minus 16." Mother mostly likely said, "Button up, it is cold." Oh good grief, of course I knew it was cold, I cold see the ponies breath from the kitchen window.
Where did the idea of measuring the wind and how quickly we got cold get started, anyway? It is learned two scientists, Siple and Passel, used a plastic cone in the mid forties to make the determination. In 2001-02, the index was revised, as is shown in the above chart.
Now, even if, it is blowing and the temperature is zero, my children liked to take a nap in the living room in the sun beams. How could it be cold outside when it was so warm in the nap spot? I am not certain we ever learned the answer to that lesson.
Does water freeze with a wind chill? Or does one have to see the thermometer dip for that? If I placed a pan of water outside when it was, let's say.......35 degrees, and the wind was blowing at 15 miles an hour, would it freeze?
Do you remember your parents saying, "It is too cold to snow?" How about, "It is warming up, it is going to snow." OR "Heavy cloud cover, shouldn't get too cold."
I am a meteorologic moron. The weather is this. The weathermen don't have anymore of a clue now then they did when I was a little kid walking a mile to school in minus 20 degrees. But what they do have is better equipment to WATCH the weather.
And so this morning, my sweet Thomas, announced the forecast had changed. Of course the forecast was for it to be 20 above today and anyone who lives in a snowbank knows you can't get from minus 27 to 20 above over night. In Kansas, yes--North Dakota--not likely. Not even Minnesota, the land of 10,000 fishes doesn't even claim that. Oh, that's right, it is ten thousand lakes.
Do the weathermen in this part of the country give long term forecasts of thawing temperatures just to get us to be in life a few weeks longer? What is the deal with that? I think all weathermen should be studs. I would look at them while they are moving their bodies around a pretend forecast map.
Meanwhile, long silk underwear and thick socks are in order to keep a dinner date this evening. Never mind the polished approaches to each intersection. Never mind that whether it be the sure footed SUV or the truck with 4 wheel drive , there are no guarantees you will stop when you should.
.....and say what Rachel used to say, "BRRRRR....cold."
Warm thoughts,

Saturday, January 17, 2009


We are adults. We can choose which suggestions we get from friends. It is not any one's responsibility other than your own if something you try doesn't work. If it does, credit your source.

Do you have people in your life that you trust and admire? You know, the kind that suggest something so out languish that you do try it? Well, such as it was with Shirley.

She sent a list, it included using Elmer's Glue as an exfoliating agent. Okay, well, if Elmer's is good, wouldn't tacky be better? Where do you put it? Well, at the time of her message, she just had it on her nose. Me? ALL over my face. The email stated it took off the dead skin and pulled the junk out of the plugged pores.

I tacky-ed up my face and finished cleaning the up stairs. I gave it a half an hour. My face was frozen--well, actually glued in place. I am standing in the bathroom peering into the mirror trying to decide where to pull first. Nothing was loose. I frowned and grinned and some places broke loose. I figured this was a caper where you got a little corner and a big sheet would come off. Not so. Thirty minutes later, and several looks under a high powered magnifier, I did not see skin pieces or plugged pore junk.


My I present my rash?

And she wants me to use Preparation H on my face NOW?




Friday, January 16, 2009



Old Trunks knows what the answer is: Grandma would patch it. Remember that bottom sheets were not always fitted, rather two sheets the same size and neither was marked top or bottom.

On regular mattresses, that is, mattresses as we know them, the bed was made with crisp corners called hospital corners. Unless you were slaying dragons and fighting tigers in your sleep, the bed stayed together from change to change.

Before regular mattresses with feather bedding or quilts for mattresses, it is hard to say if sheets as we know them existed in the hamlet of Rosewood.

In my childhood, there were two choices: Percale and muslin. Percale was finer but according to grandmother's theory, muslin, after numerous washings would get finer. Ours were white percale until the colored sheets became the thing. Grandmother never did that, she believed sheets needed to be bleached and hung in the sun to dry--or in the winter to freeze dry, then brought into the house and hung over clothes racks to make the house smell summery!

At hour house, the sheets were always hung on the line even if there was a dryer. Instead of hanging them over the racks, they were mangled.

What is a mangler? A machine with a roller and a hot shoe. One feeds the fabric through on the roller and it presses the item. Our beds were changed on Fridays and Mother 'did up' the other sheets.

All of this gave me the impression that percale sheets had a finished feel. Not so, I learned the first time they were over dried in a laundromat dryer. It was hard to get in step with this whole change bed on Friday and NOT have a way to press them. Being a new bride, I did at least, iron the pillow cases.

Forward a couple of lifetimes and imagine my dismay when, during the last month, I found a small wear tear on my side of the sheet. These sheets had been in rotation for many years and considered the favorites. If patched, I would feel it, if the sheet was inside out, it would be on Tom's side. If I just turned it end to end, it would be under my legs.

It is important to say that many sheets have come into the house only to be given away because they were too this or that. Archie got the red ones when he bought the interim mattress, Karen got the navy blue ones, the not deep enough for the space bed went to the lake. One set of deep pockets was purchased and is in rotation but they don't have that slide feeling. Do you know what I mean?

For the sake of sanity, Wednesday is bed changing day here. It all started when Tom announced he was going to try to get out of town on Thursday evenings. I moved everything back two days to make it work and stayed with the program. After all, it isn't like I am going to the dance at the auditorium and would come home on Friday nights at midnight and slip into fresh sheets.

As many of you may know, there is a virus going around. Some nights you freeze other nights you roast. Last night appeared to be a stretch out night and in my waking times, I got my toe caught in the tear and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d just a little more than usual and heard the sheet r-i-p.

It was not a shot heard round the world, it was a wimpy little feel and hear sort of tear.

To my grandmother, that sheet may still have some merit. She would cut the good part out and find a use for it. If she ever considered wine colored sheets, she would buy a bottom sheet to match the top and pillow cases.

Mother would toss it and replace the lot.

This is the ODE TO THE WORN SHEET what would you do?


Thursday, January 15, 2009


Odd, isn't it, some of the things one thinks about and how one connects the information.

I was thinking about how cold it was when we were home for a funeral in late December of 1981. After the funeral, mother got all the hot dish that was left over from the dinner in the church basement. The people brought it over to the house in coolers, like you would bring to the lake. I remember a couple of them and they had a lot of product in them. Obviously if you wanted a serving, you had to break it off.

Old Trunks is certain that my grand parents and yours as well, hung meat in barns and sheds to preserve throughout the winter. People didn't have freezers, they didn't even have electricity! The people of New Solum, as we have previously learned, snared game; shells were expensive.

Even much later, my grand parents had a little shed on the back of their property line. In the winter, this was their deep freeze. There was a foot trodden path to the shed. Grandma would put on her over shoes and tramp to the shed where she kept homemade donuts and ginger cookies to serve for lunch. The items were placed on a cookie sheet and covered with a dampen muslin dish towel. The oven was heated to 200 degrees, turned off, and the treats were placed in the oven to thaw. Oh for a warm, homemade doughnut sprinkled with sugar.....

It wasn't until the early fifties that all this frozen food idea really became socially acceptable. The Swanson brothers, on the advise of one of their salesman, began making TV dinners to look like TV as the TV craze hit the airways.

Not only did TV dinners become popular, the first were turkey, dressing, and peas, but TV trays, as well. People ate the aluminum compartmentalized dinners in front of the TV! Are you shaking your head in agreement?

The second year, Swanson's added mashed potatoes and cranberries. They sold for 98 cents and ten million dinners were sold. The peas were always shriveled up, the dog wouldn't even eat them.

Shall we say they were cool dudes?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Children were asked recently if they listened to their grand parents stories. One child said they were too boring, another said their grand parents didn't talk about the past, and two others listened to the stories of living in New Mexico and living during the depression.

The Anderson-Rye branch of my children's family were rich in oral history stories. The children who lived close had a grand mother who could animate to the point one was sitting on the edge of the happening watching the events happen. Her children know those stories well, and some of the great grandchildren also know them because the parents have passed them on.

A typical visit was:

How are you?

How was your trip?

Are you hungry?

General news of the day


Even as one who did not grow up in the family circle, I remember fondly the same stories being told by another member of the family. The slant may be different but the out come was the same. Such as it was with Ralph and Ella or Ella and Cliff. In her last days, Ella and Ralph were captured by Lisa reminiscing about the axe and the cut foot.

Old Trunks is remembering the story about the letters Cliff sent to his sister Ella, when he was a gunner in WWII. What I imagined was Cliff sending her gum wrappers to give her a clue as to how many missions he had flown. After understanding what and how V Mail was moved, I came to realized it was not gum wrappers but pieces or packs of gum he had chewed which was the clue as to the number of missions.

The site of the reminisce was nearly always the same. It took place around a table, generally in the kitchen. It was a cozy grouping which overflowed with chairs around the table and at the corners. Questions and comments were added and asked but the story teller was in charge.

Old Trunks would like you to think about the following questions. Perhaps you have grand children who are intrigued with your past. Perhaps you would like to take the time to reminisce the questions yourself. Either way, it is a good exercise to get away from this thing called January blizzards.

“What are your three top memories?”

“What is your earliest memory?”

“What is your happiest memory?"

“If you’d care to share it, what is your saddest memory?"

“What do you want me to know about you?”•

"If you could talk to anybody again, who would that be and what would you say?"

“What do you want me not to forget about you?”

....and the north wind blows.........


Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Old Trunks has heard that ugly boots are in style if one prefers to walk upright. Perhaps those studded add ons to keep one from falling may be in order.

Let's take a look at the rest of the ward robe. Recently waiting in a vehicle across from the junior high at noon hour, we had a chance to watch people 50 years younger than ourselves pour out of the building on a minus 12 degree day.

One had NO coat, but gloves.
Two had coats, not buttoned, and no gloves
One had a coat, hat, and gloves.

The scene tumbled us back decades to our own teen time. Although we were sitting in a vehicle with heater on high AND heated seats we could remember combing hair using water and hair oil and going out to wait for the bus while your hair froze. No hats were worn, we were not going to mess up hair. We weren't going to button our coats either, rather, hang them back on our shoulders as if they were a shawl.

BUT wait!!! There was a time when we did wear something on our heads. A very light scarf and the knot of the scarf on the tip of our chin. Status!!!

The question is this: How did we get from sensible boots, buttoned storm coats, mittens with strings, and head gear to for Tom well into his twenties, shirt sleeve shirt, gloves and 20 below as he walked to the cafe for lunch which wasn't very far?

Well, Old Trunks isn't quite like mother in 1959 but I am in a buttoned coat with a scarf to block the wind which whips around my neck. I am in gloves. I am hood up, if necessary but I will NOT wear snow boots in the winter; in this part of the country, they are fishing shoes.

Stay warm, stay up right.


Monday, January 12, 2009


Example: Scissors, glue, staples, colored pencils, pens, rulers
Package in an box/traveling satchel, which can move freely from room to room.

Buy a large ring notebook
Fill with page protectors
Engage each protector with stickers according to what it is
Example: Kittens all together, Christmas stickers all together, etc.
These are for STICKERS

Buy a large ring notebook
Stamp image of the rubber stamp on the pages
Place in page protector
Example: This gives you a folder of what stamps you own and cuts down on the time looking in your rubber stamp case for the stamp.

Print images from Custom Crops site. Go to Custom Crops. Go to font, open Click on CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT THIS CARTRIDGE CAN CUT, (written in blue) which opens the images of what the font does. Print this and place in folder or small note book.

Make a list of the fonts. Keep what you have from what you wish and another bullet point of what you may not wish to buy.

Ask yourself:
Is this seasonal
Is this a holiday
Who is honored
Do I want to use stickers
Do I need the cutters?
Two items for collection:
1. Scraps (paper grocery sacks are marvelous for this)
2. Pieces you will save
Gather supplies
Get satchel/box
Gather paper
Gather scraps
Place the items together and set aside. By doing so, you will have a complete package to start. Try to keep at least 2 projects ahead.

Buckets or tubs
Video boxes or other
Method to sort items, consider envelopes or make your own
Ring binder
Portfolio with brads (for Cricut font pictures of items)
12 x 12 plastic containers for sorting paper or other method of sorting

As you add fonts to your list you may wish to make a list of which fonts have, for example: a happy birthday cut or a lady bug!!!! love those ladybugs!

Hope this helps!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Another thing to remember is scrapping is a time consumer and it is more important for you to have the pleasure of creating than it is to file and clean up. No different than cooking, quilting, or any other hobby, right?

It is like when my brother and I used to play Monopoly. The first few rounds went okay but when we started to fight we would toss everything in a box and the next time we would have to sort before we played. Try to keep your die cuts separate from your scraps and file them on a day when you have time or a day when you don’t plan to do a big job.

Personally, I like Video boxes. They stack well, are all the same size, and are strong. Watch for sales. I am also a labeling fool. I am grateful that when I send Tom to the closet to bring down the embroidery box, he can find it because it clearly says what is in the box.

Create a video box for each season and/or each holiday

Write the name of the season on each box/lid or tag with stickers
Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc

Fall, winter, spring, summer

Bag/envelope each set of die cuts within box specific for that holiday, mark with sticker

Make video boxes for
Tickler (things that need to be sorted to others)
Miscellaneous (things that have no other home)

Make video box for all card stock and envelopes
Make a video box to store die cut outs/ store like with like such as birthday wishes

Sort paper according to color
Sort holiday paper separately, starting with New Year and ending with Christmas

Separate card stock from other papers

Sort scraps according to color
Example: If you are sharing the red scraps with pink, and the folder becomes very large, split it into two units.

Sort scraps according to holiday, keep with holiday paper Christmas has separate box.

Think about this: You are in the paper and sticker isle at the store. I know you must have an idea in mind when you pick up those items. Well, I don't but that doesn't mean anything....(grinning)...So, tell me this, if it is a complete idea, why can't you store those items together as a working?

Tomorrow: Part three


Saturday, January 10, 2009


Old Trunks as been asked to prepare an organizational concept for all the pieces and parts, bells and whistles which involve the art of scrap booking:

There are several methods to organize supplies for scrap booking. Much of it depends on the amount of storage space or desk space you have. The idea is to have materials close at hand which helps you do projects without having to completely dismantle everything to ‘make ready’

Perhaps you have a method you would like to work from. If you already have your paper sorted as well as your scrap pieces, then stick with those containers and add to them.

The most important thing I can stress to you is a way to collect product for:

A tickler box, file, or page is nothing more than a sub set to be filed later. It is handy for scrap papers and die cuts.

Is as it implies, it can not be filed with anything else.
Examples are feathers, buttons, and balloons. Miscellaneous does NOT mean stickers, full paper, and items purchased specifically for a holiday.

To me, a working file is something that I am planning to do. This may be done by pages, or it may be partially finished or intent to finish. It may be partial together OR one might have all the supplies for the project. I use sheet protectors.

My finished work generally goes right into the album but they may be stored within the box/container of working until finished. You will know it is finished.

It is important to consider that the universe of scrap booking is on going. You might find yourself needing to lay out a page before adding embellishments. Or consider doing the embellishments first and put the photographs in last. You have scrapped enough to know how big the paper is and just how you like to lay out your page. Remember that along with embellishments, received cards and gift tags are appropriate to use.

For many, scrap booking is last on the list of things to do. Family and work obligations often take priority, the idea is to steal some time for you do something you enjoy.

Tomorrow Part Two