Monday, November 30, 2009


Have you seen the ad with the lady that receives the compliment for her pretty red sweater? She states her husband got it for her; her child gives it away saying, "Mommy bought it herself".

Are we in such a need we think we have to gift ourselves? How many people do it?

The other day, someone I know bought a set of dishes saying, "The other's are falling apart". Dishes do not fall apart unless you put them in the washing machine and don't stop the machine before it begins to agitate~~IF it does agitate, it will aggravate the dishes, and yes, then, they will fall apart. :) Trust me, I know. I have first hand experience.

In a recent pictorial review, I saw those lovely Currier and Ives dishes that did not survive the motion of the machine. Just missed stopping it by a nano second.

So, Tom asks if I want dishes. Do you know how many sets of dishes we have?? And do you know what we use? We serve ourselves in the kitchen; family style takes too many dishes. We use glass plates. I change the place mats which made the plates look different. Would like I like place mats? I love place mats.

The problem is, everything rotates. The same place mats are not used all the time. Just like the same earrings~~oops, I take that back. Most people change earrings often, unless one of mine falls out~~which gives me a chance to panic and rejoice when found~~I don't change them.

Which brings me to the last point of today's soap box. If one gifts something to you, isn't it your right to do what you wish with the item? If you do not wear, let's say, a piece of jewelry long term should the other be offended? I don't think so.

Let's quote Ella: "One gets the gift and the other gets the blessing"



Sunday, November 29, 2009


We did walk the mall from end to end last night and carried nothing out with us. It only bottle necked once, at the entrance to Macy's. Most of the people were in the 18-30 group. There were no little children. Other than one other older couple, Tom and I were the only ones.

I am thinking about Ella, who, when shopping, would spend that last nickel on a spool of thread before going home. We won't talk about the price of thread now! Who out there would know? The mall hosts no fabric shops.

There also were not a lot of packages being carried. One would think so, don't you think?

I was reminded of looking in a store called The Jewel Box in Thief River Falls on a snowy-like day in the winter of 1958. The window was decorated with cotton batting with sparkles. The lighting, as you all know, was adjusted to make everything shimmer in the light.

Including in the shimmer was a black onyx ring with a mini diamond set in the center. The setting had an ornate swirl around it. It was, in the eyes of a thirteen year old, the most beautiful and hardest wished for gift of the season. The price? $13.24. Was that too costly to wish for? Should I tell? Who should I tell?

I had that same feeling last night standing in front of a lighted and mirrored display of Swarovski Crystal. That stuff just pulls me into it. I did not leave nose prints but I did have a time pulling myself away.

Now, I had looked at the pieces on line before, because they were featured as an item for a 40th wedding anniversary. It the real they truly sparked, on line, they were just simply beautiful.

Perhaps windows at jewelry stores and crystals are like friendships on line and in the real. Friendships in the real you can see the sparkle but on line one sees the beauty. Think about it.

And press your nose against a wish.


Saturday, November 28, 2009


I have yet to understand how people who hate to shop, do it on the busiest day of the year. Instead of black Friday it has become bad attitude or black attitude.

Have you done it? Have you camped out or stood in line for hours? Is it a cult thing?

Once upon a time in another life, a car dealership was selling a few cars for a very small amount. The idea was first come first serve so, after getting off the swing shift, we went to the dealership at 1am on a nice summer night and waited for the customer service person to arrive. We didn't know that people had showed up before the dealership closed for the evening and they allowed people to stay in the cars. That means, of course, the cars were claimed several hours before we arrived. And to think I thought that big dog was protecting the car!

That was the Alpha and the Omega of standing in line, sitting on a concrete step, or anything else that is a longer wait than 10 minutes, including restaurants.

Faith went out at 2:30 this morning, a cousin said she got roped into going to a preppy shop, and all the people that came to the optical shop did not go shopping. Yet, the news is everywhere about long lines and unanswered phones. One person I know went for a Wii at 4A, the store opened at five, the line was snake like through the parking lot. Now, I know, $30 is $3o but it is really a buy considering hours of time?

And what about all these bargains. Are they Christmas gifts, or is it a time when people buy something for themselves, clothes for example. And what about the bargain price of x much, which is really the regular price? Are we conned?

Mother and daddy went shopping one night. ONE NIGHT. They bought gifts for everyone on their list, one gift each, and for the most part, shopped at stores that had a service of gift wrapping. Even Ole's Northern Supply.

Let me tell you about it. I got cowboy boots for Christmas one year, a practical and necessary thing. But when I opened them, it was two boots for the left foot. But, daddy called Ole on Christmas morning and he opened the store to get a right boot. Now I could ride with an open stirrup!

Mr. J is home. He does not have a black attitude. He bought himself some sort of an exercise machine to replace the treadmill in the basement which is covered with cobwebs. But, hey, it was on sale.

Chin up, smile.


Friday, November 27, 2009


Old Trunks is thinking about the Rosewood News. My grandparents motored to Warren to have Thanksgiving with Otto and Loriene. Now, motoring to Warren, which is about 30 miles was a long way back when cars lacked the power of today. It certainly may have been an over night stay.

Let me tell you about Otto and Lorene. Otto was Benhard's half brother. After Seri died, Knute married Kari. There was truly, yours, mine, and ours.

Otto and Lorene lived in a stone house next to the Snake River. It was an open airy sort of house which seemed to have more room that most. It is certain the table was well spread with a host of delicious foods.

Although I am totally for bringing a hostess gift, it generally wasn't done as it wouldn't be long before the Rosewood News in the local paper would say Otto Ranum's of Warren were over night guests of Benhard Ranum's.

It was common in that era to travel, what seemed like a long distance, stay over night to visit and play games, with this foursome, it meant cards; five hundred rummy and pitch were favorites.

It would be interesting what the topics of conversation where at the Thanksgiving table. My guess is there were clanging of silver ware against plates and motions to pass dishes brimming with hot, well prepared food.

As for the day after, left over goods, perhaps stored on the back porch because the fridge was too small OR if not, it cooled faster.

What's on your porch? One kettle on ours.

Leftovers for the weekend.

Extra cranberries frozen for Christmas

Full, vow to never eat again will pass, honest.

Meanwhile waddle as a turkey would.

Black Friday? How about After-the-feast-Friday.



Thursday, November 26, 2009


It does not have the wonderment for children that Christmas does

It doesn't have the sense of rebirth that Easter provides

It isn't scary like Halloween or loud like the Fourth of July.

Maybe that is why I like it the best. It is a time to just rest in the blessings we have all year. Lest we can wait that long.

Find gratitude daily, just without the turkey. That might be a good journal for the year.

Loving thoughts and peace to all who enter in.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


In the 1920s many of Macy's department store employees were first-generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they wanted to celebrate the United States holiday of Thanksgiving with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe.

In 1924, the inaugural parade (originally known as the Macy's Christmas Parade) w s staged by the store. Employees and professional entertainers marched from 145th Street in Harlem to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant costumes.

There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of that first parade, as has been the case with every parade since, Santa Claus was welcomed into Herald Square. At this first parade, however, the Jolly Old Elf was enthroned on the Macy's balcony at the 34th Street store entrance, where he was then "crowned" "King of the Kiddies." With an audience of over a quarter of a million people, the parade was such a success that Macy's declared it would become an annual event.

Large animal-shaped balloons, produced by the Good Year in Akron, Ohio, replaced the live animals in 1927 when the Felix the Cat balloon made its debut. Felix was filled with air, but by the next year, helium was used to fill the expanding cast of balloons.

At the finale of the 1928 parade, the balloons were released into the sky where they unexpectedly burst. The following year they were redesigned with safety valves to allow them to float for a few days. Address labels were sewn into them, so that whomever found and mailed back the discarded balloon received a gift from Macy's.

Through the 1930s, the Parade continued to grow, with crowds of over 1 million lining the parade route in 1933. The first Mickey Mouse balloon entered the parade in 1934. The annual festivities were broadcast on local New York radio from 1932 through 1941, and resumed in 1945 through 1951

Television broadcast began in 1939. Now, it is said it is view by 44 million viewers and the entire parade is covered. Color coverage began in 1960.

The route of the parade has been the same since its origin. This year, however, it has changed. It gives the spectators more vantage points. That is called progress. :)

Where will you be when this miracle on 34th Street happens?


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


We have all heard the term Black Friday. We have identified it as a Christmas term meaning the Friday after Thanksgiving. I don't remember hearing the term as a child, do you?

My question for the day is, when did that expression become a hook?

It all started in 1924, that is 85 years ago with the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Well, at least Macy's takes credit for it.

The real skinny on it is this: The term dates back to at least 1966, although its usage was primarily on the East coast. The term has become more common in other parts of the country since 2000. Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November.

Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many employees have the day off which increases the number of potential shoppers. Retailers often decorate for the holiday weeks beforehand. Many retailers open extremely early, with most of the retailers typically opening at 5AM or even earlier. Some of the larger retailers (depending on the location) such as Sears, Macy's, Best Buy and Walmart, have been reported to open as early as midnight on the start of Black Friday in localized areas and remain open for 24 hours throughout the day until midnight the following Saturday.

Although Black Friday, as the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern Macy's Parade in 1924, the term "Black Friday" has been traced back only to the 1960s.

The term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day. More recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being in the black (i.e., turning a profit.

With that in mind, I can breathe a sigh of relief. I didn't hear it as a kid because the term wasn't used then. Whew! Thought I missed something!

I suppose we should learn about the Macy's Parade.

Oh, and according to the local paper, Walmart is having a black Thursday in this part of the country. Some how the term just doesn't sound right, does it?


Monday, November 23, 2009

To be Thankful...............

Old Trunks could yammer on about family, friends, warm house, and food. And all of you can, as well.

My grandfather used to say, "If you don't have your health, you ain't got nothing". For those of you who aren't in the best of health, we wish you the best of health. We appreciate your inner strength to go day after day feeling used up upon wake up. Most of us haven't experienced that and we take our abilities to move about without thought.

I am thinking about my grandfather this morning and how, at 98, he sold his bicycle. Yes, he rode around town on his three wheeler and when he ran into the back of parked cars, cussed the car for being parked there.

Benhard was a grand man alive in his old body. Enough so to play solitaire each morning until he won. Sometimes he didn't get ready for the day very early because he was about to win before he did. In his later years, it wasn't unusual to see him in a five o'clock shadow well into the day.

We have to know this man of 98 had to have had body parts that hurt or didn't work. Yet, he endured. Why? How?

We need to walk in someone's shoes to understand not only Benhard, but others for whom we are thankful they keep on going long past a finish line others would have said ENUF!!!

And, that is what I am yammering about this morning.


Sunday, November 22, 2009


Nah, doesn't have anything to do with senior citizen's joining the Sunshine Club to plant flowers for the city. It has to do with my mother-in-law who turned friend years later.

I was thinking about her this morning as I made ready for the day. She was at our house for a visit before she married Walt. It was the time when we laughed about staying up so late and how I opened the oven door for her to sit on lest she fall over AND the search for go-go boots to fit her thighs.

In this case, it had to do with her moving forward in fashion sense as well as make up. Yes, make up. She wanted to try eye shadow.

Now, we know that in the late 50's, eye shadow came in a tube, like lipstick, it was great for taunt eye lids. It was also the source in the mid seventies.

Our problem was if you have wrinkled eye lids, the tube skips about. I told her she had wrinkled eye lids and she laughed. She was about the age I am now and wrinkled eye lids are no laughing matter. See, how grand she was about accepting?

Now, we all know that make up and infocommericals are not aimed at the Social Security Age, rather, those that THINK they have a problem, but do not. Well, not in comparison to SSA!

And so this morning while I air apply my make up and keep it out of the crevices that time has formed, I am thinking about Ella the Sport. When I get to the eye shadow, I dab it on while looking in a 8X lighted mirror. Air eye shadow is available, I just haven't found a color suitable yet, nor is the beauty bank full enough.

And, Soozi, what about those 6" long hairs which seem to have grown over night, what is the deal with that?

Now, many of you probably don't wear make up and never did. I don't know why I do, I suppose vanity or is it just part of readiness for the day? Soozi, I laughed when you said, "When I die, be sure I have eye brows". Now, it isn't so funny. I think I am going to find a pattern, as for now, one is ^ and the other is ) (except not on its side). And to think I laughed at Sharon in HS putting on her brows.

Wanna wrinkle?


Friday, November 20, 2009


Today's post was prompted by an article in the Grand Forks Herald. It had to do with high school seniors and their year book photographs, or is it just there senior picture. The girl represented wanted to remember she was into a book series.

Now, I haven't seen a year book for a number of years so I don't know if some guy could use a picture of himself standing by a car wearing a tuxedo with a six foot long scarf around his neck. I do know the year books of the era of my children were head shots, although none of the three chose that as their best. Rachel was leaning on her hands surrounded my her hair. The picture was soften a bit; it is very nice. Bud posed in his favorite shirt and Ryen in a tee with a completely white back ground.

There were no options like that when I was going to school. Most of us went to Neal Fox Studio in the basement of the Elks Building at the corner of LaBree and Third. It smelled of photo chemicals and rain, snow, or hail may have messed with the back combed hair but Mr. Fox could fix that in processing.

My friend Barb and I went there on a misty evening. My new perm, something mother insisted I do each fall, was still tight. There was no teasing of it because it was too curly. I probably only had my hair like that once; the night of the pictures.

I was going steady with someone from Indiana at the time but rings on chains were not allowed. What was allowed was some big cheesy smile like you were smiling at some hunk. Mr. Fox was a lot of things, including a great photographer, but he was too old, (it seemed) to be a hunk. So, how do you grin up? I didn't.

How I wish I could have had a picture that represented what I was at that time. It would have probably been a picture of me and Suntan, the palomino mare. OR it might have been the '53 Chevy I named Ragdoll. Maybe I would have posed with McGregor, the Scottish terrier.

Maybe I would have been sitting in my car, looking out the window with a glint in my eye like the devil made me do it with hair looking like a wind storm hit it. My hair, shortly after the picture was taken, was cut off, only to grow out with remarkable speed. Or maybe I would have been feeding Suntan a sugar lump. But it wouldn't have been sitting in the Fountain Cafe watching someone eat French Fries covered with mustard.

My question to you is, what would you choose?


Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Speech Remembered

On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the Soldiers' National Cemetery dedication ceremonies in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
After the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place from July 1-4, 1863, the citizens of the Pennsylvania town were over-burdened with the task of caring for the injured and burying the dead.
With nearly 6,000 dead bodies left behind by the Union and Confederate armies, and hundreds more dying each day, the state of Pennsylvania purchased land on Cemetery Hill as a burial ground for the fallen soldiers.
State officials invited President Lincoln to the dedication ceremonies as a courtesy, and were surprised when he accepted the invitation to come and speak. The day of the ceremony, Lincoln's address lasted a little over two minutes, but soon became a famous representation of Lincoln's beliefs in American democracy and ideology.

Today, only five copies of the speech exist, each with the immortal words written by President Lincoln himself, "...that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Take two minutes to read it, please.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate...we can not consecrate...we can not hallow this ground.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks to God and the Native Americans for helping the pilgrims survive the brutal winter. Although half of the pilgrims that arrived on the Mayflower had already died, many more would have had it not been for the Native Americans teaching the pilgrims to harvest foods. Wonder what year that was? Anyone know?

The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three whole days providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Indians. Modern day traditional Thanksgiving menu often features turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. The first feast did not consist of these items. On the first feast turkey was any type of fowl that the pilgrims hunted. Pumpkin pie wasn't on the menu because there were no ovens for baking, but they did have boiled pumpkin. Cranberries weren't introduced at this time. Due to the diminishing supply of flour there was no bread of any kind. The foods included in the first feast included duck, geese, venison, fish, lobster, clams, swan, berries, dried fruit, pumpkin, squash, and many more vegetables.

Sorry, no tomato soup, canneries weren't "invented" yet!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A time when people all over the world do something called NaNoWriMo which stands for National November Write Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. This will be the month that many do not back up their work, the computer crashes and panic attacks occur. Words like: fried, my computer hates me, my computer is 12 year old but gently used.....are common. For those of use who do not do the NaNoWriMo experience, we aren't quite sure where the energy comes from to pound keys and form a story within our heads which makes sense after hours upon hours of developing a story line with characters and giving descriptions which make the characters real. We should be impressed. Now, that is one thing that happens on and around the 17th of November.

Another thing that happens on the 17th, years unknown, are the birth of people who are either admired through friends, family, or 'other'. The two men I am speaking of share their birth date with Rock Hudson. One of the guys is the husband of a long term best friend. The other, is Tom's dad, Les.

Les would be a honorary best man, although the court didn't see it that way. We must have a living breathing persons. We chose 17 November for a marriage date.

As we flipped through the wedding book recently, we were reminded of the daisies in the snow. May I explain? Tom and I reunited 2 January of 1998 with a phone call. Fifty-five days later, I had a daisy mum with 55 blooms delivered to his office. Later, he would heel it in by the back door. Forgotten. A few days before the wedding, before the house was redone, he was putting plastic around the foundation. He had to dig away the snow to put up the plastic. There, buried in the snow, was the daisy mum with five blossoms, protected from the elements by the snow cover. Tom opened the back door and hollered, ELODEE come here!!! We found a pot and brought the plant in to warm, if they were able to bloom, they would be the flowers as a bouquet.

Although we wanted people who knew us to be with us, at least in spirit, we decided to invite them virtually and ask them to pick the kind of holder we would put their candle in. The idea was to have the candles glowing as a resemblance of their friendship. I called mother and asked her what she wanted for a candle holder; she said watermelon. We put the piece of water melon in the fridge and laid the candle on the table. The idea was to light the candles representing friends and family before the ceremony.

Mother was a watermelon
Bob, Tom's son, was a brass horn candle holder
Rachel was a Ivy holder with a teddy bear
Ryen was a crown
Mary Ann was a pitcher, which had been their mother's
Dixie was a Crystal pitcher
Ellen was a crystal vase
Soozi was a Pink Fosteria holder, as was Ann
Cindy was a wine glass with a daisy
Jennifer a crystal heart
Harriet a sherbet dish
Diane a Jayhawk cup
Jim a pewter pitcher
Bill and Cynthia Kokopeli
Steven and Amy a copper boiler
Kay a Crystal pitcher

Yet, after we had lit the candles and came to stand in front of the clerk of the court in the living room, only 16 candles glowed. Who was missing?

Before the ceremony started, I realized it was the piece of watermelon. I said to Brian, who was the living, breathing best man, "Get Grandma out of the fridge". He didn't seem to hear me, I repeated it, "Brian, get grandma out of the fridge, only this time much louder. He still didn't seem to understand. Tom said to his son, Get the piece of watermelon out of the fridge and bring it to the table. Ah, mother got lit, she had the salt just as she wished and we went on with the ceremony.

After a toast, Bud, Brian, Tom, and I went to the Speak Easy for supper. We all shared a piece of cheese cake after our meal. We had our picture taken in front of the old car. It is a tradition we have done every year, except in 2002, when, on the 17th of November we were with mother in Thief River Falls, when she perished at suppertime.

This is our eleventh anniversary.

Daisies are 4 ever and so is my sweet Thomas.

Light a candle for us, won't you?


Monday, November 16, 2009


Old Trunks always liked Thanksgiving, probably most during the farm period. Mother would cook and until dinner was served, I was in the pony barn wishing them a happy Thanksgiving with an extra cup full of grain.

In those years, I had no clue as to the amount of planning went on to make such a beautiful feast. I am wondering if I would know how now, as Thanksgiving as been, at least for the last eleven years, Tom's big meal of the year. As I told the checker at the market recently, my husband cooks dinner. She was amazed, she stated that if it was up to her husband, they would have tomato soup. Such as it is, we have the privilege of being thankful even for tomato soup.

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, let's explore what Thanksgiving means to each of us.


Sunday, November 15, 2009


Tom and I frequently go to the same place for a light lunch on weekends while running errands. The cost is the same because we order the same thing, most of the time. I was looking in my coin purse for the three pennies to make up the pay out for lunch. I had three cents but one of them happened to be a 1907 Indian head penny!

It is not that it has so much worth, ($1-8, depending on the condition), but think about how many times that penny changed hands and how it managed to be given to me as change somewhere at a cash purchase!

My grand parents were still living when this penny was minted. My grand parents weren't even married!

We can figure one could buy much candy for a penny, but what else? It wasn't enough for a pound of sugar, which sold 25 pounds for $1. A clothing pattern was a dime, as was a "Man size bottle" of cure all.

Check your change. Think about an old piece may have been. Who knows, it may have been used by your family!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jefferson Highway

Old Trunks read with much interest about a gentleman who was driving the Jefferson Highway at this time. The trip was known as the Pine to Palm, meaning from Canada to New Orleans. If you would like to follow him, his address is

We are reminded that a couple of years ago, Old Trunks and Worn Shoes did a blog about the highway using the information out of the Thief River Falls Times. If you have interest in reading the old articles, it is posted on the blog on November 24, 2007. One can key in Jefferson Highway in the search box and redeem it.

What a terrific thing to do, don't you think? It is a great time of the year, no snow, much sun! They are living in style as they are driving a motor home and pulling a car. They were towing the car in first gear and burned up the engine so it is used for storage. He also forgot his camera however, the quality of his cell phone photos is really quite good.

Where did I see the article? It is in today's copy of Northern Watch which is published in Thief River Falls, MN as their Saturday paper. Just key in Northern Watch and it will pop up for you.

Meanwhile, I am going to follow this fellow and read his blog.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pick an Apple

There are nearly 20 varieties of apples available throughout the United States and many more in local areas. Old Trunks is interested in the differences because recently, we walked down the apple isle at the store and picked two from each group to make applesauce.

Tom and I grew up with delicious apples. They are so pretty with their shiny red peels and their crown like bottom. This most widely recognized of all U.S. apple varieties originated in Iowa in the 1870s. This sweet, crispy, juicy apple varies in color from striped red to solid midnight red. It was also the apple in the Christmas sack.

But like a figure in a TV makeover show, it was an apple that its handlers could not leave alone. They altered its shape. They made it firmer and more juicy. They made it so it could be stored in hermetically sealed warehouses for 12 months. Along the way, they changed its color and hence its name -- to Red Delicious.
We like pie made from Granny Smith apples. I used to pie seven apples but with a peeler, the needed amount is five. It was a wonderful discovery for me. This Australian native was discovered in 1868 as a chance seedling by "Granny" Anne Smith of Ryde, New South Wales. One parent might have been a French Crab Apple. Grannys are known for their distinctive green flesh, which sometimes bears a red blush, and their very tart flavor. An all-purpose apple, Grannys work equally well as a snack or in pies and sauce. U.S. Grannys are harvested beginning in August, and are available year-round.
As I turned the crank on the apple peeler and tasted each variety as I moved along, I met a truly great apple for eating. The Braeburn is an apple originating in New Zealand in the early 1950s, as a chance seedling with Lady Hamilton and Granny Smith as possible parents. Now grown in the United States, Braeburn is a multipurpose apple good for all types of apple uses. Its color varies from orange to red over a yellow background. This crisp, juicy apple has a rich, spicy-sweet flavor. U.S. Braeburns are available beginning in October through July.
What is your favorite?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Thoughts from cousin Wesley

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die. (Mother had 924 messages on her computer--all of them advertisements).

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong. (Mental poo).

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (As a retiree, I have the luxury).

There is great need for a sarcasm font. (My husband would use it all the time).

How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
(I had a teacher, Ella was kind enough to show me)

Was learning cursive really necessary?
(It used to be called long hand I got the ruler across my fingers for not learning it like the letters on the wall).

Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood. (Same goes for GPS)

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. (They used to).

Bad decisions make good stories.
(And we all have those stories in our Pandora's box)

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to. (That is what the undo button is for, if you think you screwed up, USE IT).

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this-- ever. (That is why my angora sweaters of elementary school shrunk to doll size)

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. (Just run to the market for one item and you will see several people you know when you are looking like a scab).

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.. (Ours does, how else could I count all the white-bread-makes-you-dead-loaves.)

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

Maybe I do need the sarcasm font, after all.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The question from yesterday was, where did they get Laika, and how do you train a dog for a space misson?

Laika was found as a stray wandering the streets of Moscow. Soviet scientists chose to use Moscow strays since they assumed that such animals had already learned to endure conditions of extreme cold and hunger

This specimen was an eleven-pound mongrel female, approximately three years old. Another account reported that she weighed about thirteen pounds.

Soviet personnel gave her several names and nicknames, among them Kudryavka (Russian for Little Curly), Zhuchka (Little Bug) and Limonchik (Little Lemon).

Laika, the Russian name for several breeds of dogs which resemble what we know as a husky, was the name popularized around the world. The American press dubbed her Muttnik, a pun on Sputnik.

To adapt the dogs to the confines of the tiny cabin of Sputnik 2, they were kept in progressively smaller cages for periods up to 20 days. The extensive close confinement caused them to stop urinating or defecating, made them restless, and caused their general condition to deteriorate. Laxatives did not improve their condition, and the researchers found that only long periods of training proved effective. The dogs were placed in conditions that simulated the acceleration of a rocket launch and were placed in machines that simulated the noises of the spacecraft. The dogs were trained to eat a special high-nutrition gel that would be their food in space.

Before the launch, one of the scientists took Laika home to play with his children. In a book chronicling the story of Soviet space medicine, Dr. Vladimir Yazdovsky wrote, "I wanted to do something nice for her: She had so little time left to live."

According to a NASA document, Laika was placed in the satellite on October 31, 1957—three days before the start of the mission. At that time of year the temperatures at the launch site were extremely cold, and a hose connected to a heater was used to keep her container warm. Two assistants were assigned to keep a constant watch on Laika before launch. Just prior to liftoff on November 3, 1957 .''

Laika's fur was sponged in a weak alcohol solution and carefully groomed, while iodine was painted onto the areas where sensors would be placed to monitor her bodily functions.

The Russian scientists had planned to euthanize Laika with a poisoned serving of food. For many years, the Soviet Union gave conflicting statements that she had died either from oxygen starvation when the batteries failed, or that she had been euthanized. Many rumors circulated about the exact manner of her passing. In 1999, several Russian sources reported that Laika had died when the cabin overheated on the fourth day.

In October 2002, one of the scientists behind the Sputnik 2 mission, revealed that Laika had died five to seven hours after launch from overheating and stress. According to a paper he presented to the World Space Congress in "It turned out that it was practically impossible to create a reliable temperature control system in such limited time constraints".

Over five months later, after 2,570 orbits, Sputnik 2 disintegrated—along with Laika's remains—during re-entry on April 14, 1958.

Kudryavka. Learn how to pronounce it. It was her name.


Monday, November 9, 2009


Perhaps it has happened to you. Perhaps you remember something that wasn't quite the real truth or at least THEE way it happened. Maybe we prefer to remember it as we remember it. I am not getting any points for reuse of words, am I?

In leafing through the pages of the Prowler, which is the Lincoln High School year book, I saw the word SPUTNIK.

Yes! I remembered it, it was that Russian space craft with the dog in it! In my mind, I could see our collie cross, Troubles, being a space person, although I knew the dog was much smaller and remembered him as being a terrier like dog. Old Trunks remembers the news as the dog doing well in space and talking about the Space Dog. It was November of 1957.

The Russians said they were monitoring its vitals. They lied. The dog died a few hours after launch from over heating. If the dog would not have died on launch, the plan was to feed him poison on the tenth day although they said they were going to parachute him down on re-entry.

My inner question now is, where did they get her, anyway?


Sunday, November 8, 2009


There is something to be said about being quoted. Baseball players and managers say crazy things that hit the papers and airways. Who knows if they are even in context.

Here are a few to make you giggle:

Sparky Anderson February 22, 1934
"He's (Willie Stargell) such a big strong guy he should love that pitch. He's got power enough to hit home runs in any park, including Yellowstone."

Don't call us (ballplayers) heroes. Fireman are heroes."

"Me carrying a briefcase is like a hot dog wearing earrings."

"Sparky came here two years ago promising to build a team in his own image. Now the club is looking for small, white haired infielders with .212 batting averages." - Detroit Tigers Sportscaster Al Ackerman (on air)

Connie Mack December 22, 1862 – February 8, 1956),
"Humanity is the keystone that holds nations and men together. When that collapses, the whole structure crumbles. This is as true of baseball teams as any other pursuit in life."

"After all my years, there are two things I've never got used to - haggling with a player over his contract and telling a boy he's got to go back." -

Whitey Herzog November 9, 1931

Herzog's Rules 1. Be on time. 2. Bust your butt. 3. Play smart. 4. Have some laughs while you're at it.

"If you don't have outstanding relief pitching, you might as well piss on the fire and call the dogs."

"I'm not buddy-buddy with the players. If they need a buddy, let them buy a dog."

"Some people asked me if I would be interested in managing the A's. I said a definite no thank you. At night, that place is a graveyard with lights."

"The only thing bad about winning the pennant is that you have to manage the All-Star Game the next year. I'd rather go fishing for three days."

Cy Young March 29, 1867 – November 4, 1955
"Gosh, all a kid has to do these days is spit straight and he gets forty-thousand dollars to sign."

"All us Youngs could throw. I used to kill squirrels with a stone when I was a kid, and my granddad once killed a turkey buzzard on the fly with a rock."

Yogi Berra born May 12, 1925
"All pitchers are liars or crybabies."

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

"Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."

"The game's isn't over until it's over."

Babe Ruth 1895–1948,
"Aw, everybody knows that game, the day I hit the homer off ole
Charlie Root there in Wrigley Field, the day October first, the third game of that thirty-two World Series. But right now I want to settle all arguments. I didn't exactly point to any spot, like the flagpole. Anyway, I didn't mean to, I just sorta waved at the whole fence, but that was foolish enough. All I wanted to do was give that thing a ride... outta the park... anywhere." Source: My Greatest Day in Baseball (John P. Carmichael)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Baseball Quotes From Movies

Ahh, Jesus, I like him very much, but He no help with curveball." - Serrano. "Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?" - Harris in Major League (1989)

"Do you know what we get to do today Brooks? We get to play baseball." - Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) in The Rookie (2002)

"God, I just love baseball." - Robert Redford in The Natural (1984)

"If you build it, he will come." - Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams (1989)

"I love baseball. You know it doesn't have to mean anything, it's just beautiful to watch." - Woody Allen in Zelig (1983)

"I'm an escaped car thief. I broke out of prison to see the Cubs in the World Series." - James Belushi in Taking Care of Business (1990)

"I still get such a bang out of it, playing ball. Same as I did when I first come up. You get out there and the stands are full and everybody is cheering. It is like everybody in the world come to see you. Inside that there is the players in there and there yakking it up and the pitcher throws and your looking for that pill and suddenly there is nothing else in the ballpark you and it and sometimes when your feeling right and there is a groove there and the bat just eases into it and meets that ball. When the bat meets that ball you can feel that ball just give and you know it is going to go a long way. Damn, if you don't feel like your going to live forever." - John Cusac as Buck Weaver in Eight Men Out (1988) This is based on the 1919 World Series scandal.

"Pick me out a winner, Bobby"- Roy Hobbs in The Natural (1984)

"People all say that I've had a bad break. But today, today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth." - Gary Cooper in Pride of the Yankees (1942)

"The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again." - James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams (1989)

"Well I can't rightly say (which player hit the ball hardest), but the ones (home runs by Babe) Ruth hit got smaller quicker." -Walter Johnson in Ken Burns Baseball (1994)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quotes about Baseball movies

"And who can say that the Mets didn't sense this, too. That they didn't know all along that this year (1969) at Shea life was imitating not just art, but a United Artist production?" - Roger Angell in The Summer Game (1972)

"Can you even name ten movies with basketball or football as a major theme? After 'Hoop Dreams' and 'Brian's Song,' what have you got? 'The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh' and 'Necessary Roughness' is what." - Will Lingo in Baseball America

"He (Steve McQueen) must have made that before he died." - Yogi Berra

"I had sat in my bedroom as an eight year old, written letters to him (Duke Snider) in care of the Dodgers in far off Brooklyn, begging for an autographed picture. He was more glamorous to me than any movie star because he wasn't acting; he was a real life hero whose luster didn't fade when the film ended." - Bob Greene

"I heard that actors start work at six o'clock in the morning. That sort of soured me on the whole thing." - Pitcher Bo Belinsky

"I'm a ballplayer, not an actor." - Joe DiMaggio

I'm happy to sign a contract (for Shaft in 1971) that doesn't have a reserve clause in it." - Pitcher Vida Blue

"I'm the only former major league ball player who crashed the movies whole hog. Accordingly, I'd act like a ball player, not an actor, in the baseball scenes, and in the rest of the film I'd act like an actor, not a ballplayer." - Chuck Connors on playing Ted Williams in the movies in Baseball Digest (1961)

"I was the player that plunked (Ronald) Reagan with a ball between the eyes as he was heading for second." - Peanuts Lowrey on The Winning Team (1952)

"Jeez, they're going to give me fifty-thousand smackers just for living." - Pitcher Dizzy Dean

"My passion for baseball began with the film Pride of the Yankees. I watched mystified but entranced as Gary Cooper, alias of Lou Gehrig, tried to fulfill his promise to a crippled child to hit three home runs in the same game." - Patrick Morley (founder of UK SABR chapter)

"The boy-and-dog sequence in the movie (The Babe Ruth Story) is very tough to take. Ruth almost kills a pooch on the playing field with a batted ball. The boy owner of the dog is disconsolate. Ruth rushes dog and boy down to a hospital and induces a surgeon to work on the canine. Of course, the dog recovers, but Ruth misses the game and for that, we are told, he is fined $5,000.00 by (Miller) Huggins." - Dan Daniel in The Sporting News (July 26, 1948

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shoeless Joe Jackson Part II

Jackson did, however, admit to receiving a cash payment of $5,000 ($83,099 in current dollar terms) and that he had been originally promised a $20,000 ($332,396 in current dollar terms) bribe.

Legend has it that as Jackson was leaving the courthouse during the trial, a young boy begged of him,

"Say it ain't so, Joe,"

and that Joe did not respond. In an interview in Sport Magazine nearly three decades later, Jackson contended that this story was a myth.
A contemporary press account does, however, refer to an exchange of Jackson with young fans outside of the Chicago grand jury hearing on September 28:

When Jackson left criminal court building in custody of a sheriff after telling his story to the grand jury, he found several hundred youngsters, aged from 6 to 16, awaiting for a glimpse of their idol.

One urchin stepped up to the outfielder, and, grabbing his coat sleeve, said:"It ain't true, is it, Joe?"

"Yes, kid, I'm afraid it is," Jackson replied.

The boys opened a path for the ball player and stood in silence until he passed out of sight."Well, I'd never have thought it," sighed the lad.

Regardless of whether Jackson's exchange with the shocked young fan was a true historical event or a fabrication by a journalist, the "Say It Ain't So" story remains an oft-repeated and well-known part of baseball lore.

He is, still to this day, considered one of the greatest players of all time. He was exonerated and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Even Babe Ruth adapted his style after Shoeless Joe.


PS According to the information available, the reason the White Sox were called the Black Sox had nothing to do with the scandal. It had to do with wearing dirty uniforms, as they were charged .25 cents for each cleaning and did not want to pay for it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shoeless Joe Jackson

In 1919, Jackson and the White Sox found themselves back in the running for another World Series ring. Jackson batted .351 during the regular season and .375 with perfect fielding in the World Series. The heavily favored Sox found themselves in a losing battle against the Cincinnati Reds. During the next year while batting .385 and leading the American league in triples Jackson was suspended after allegations that 8 members of the White Sox threw the previous World Series. In 1921 A Chicago jury acquitted Jackson of helping to fix the 1919 World Series, but Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner of Baseball went against the ruling and banned all eight players including Joe Jackson from baseball for life.

But..................what about that nick name?

According to Jackson, he got his nickname during a mill game played in Anderson, South Carolina. Jackson suffered from blisters on his foot from a new pair of cleats and they hurt so much that he had to take his shoes off before an at bat. As play continued, a heckling fan noticed Jackson running to third base in his socks, and shouted "You shoeless son of a gun you!", and the resulting nickname "Shoeless Joe" stuck with him throughout the remainder of his life!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

WORLD SERIES The Scandal of 1919

No doubt we have all seen the terrific movie called "The Field of Dreams" starring Kevin Costner who builds a baseball stadium on his Iowa farm after hearing the chat, "If you build it, he will come".

Gambling and game-fixing had been a problem in professional baseball from the beginning. Baseball's gambling problems came to a head in 1919, when 8 players of the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the 1919 World Series. The Sox had won the series in 1917 and were heavy favorites to beat the Cincinnati Reds, but first baseman Gandil had other plans. Gandil, in collaboration with gambler Joseph "Sport" Sullivan, approached his teammates and got six of them to agree to throw the Series.

Eddie Cicotte, starting pitcher played by Steve Eastin
Lefty Williams, short stop
Swede Risberg, left fielder played by Charles Hoyes
Shoeless Joe Jackson, center fielder, played by Ray Liotta
Happy Felsch, infielder, played by Art LaFleur
Fred McMullin, infielder
Buck Weaver, Third Base played by Michael Milhoan

The Sox, who were promised $100, 000 for cooperating, proceeded to lose the Series in eight games, pitching poorly, hitting poorly and making many errors. Though he took the money, Jackson insisted to his death that he played to the best of his ability in the series (he was the best hitter in the series, but had markedly worse numbers in the games the White Sox lost).

The Series turned out to indeed have serious consequences for the sport. After rumors circulated for nearly a year, the players were suspended in September 1920.

The "Black Sox" were acquitted in a criminal conspiracy trial. However they were all banned for life from playing professional ball.

In the movie, the field is built for those "Black Sox" who had been banned along with other players who had died and still wanted to play ball.

The scandal was real, it was dubbed, "World Serious".

But what about this Shoeless Joe Jackson? What is the story on him?