Tuesday, May 27, 2014


What is a blog post without pictures?  Not much as evidenced by this posting.  

My camera has gone traveling!  It is the perfect size for travel and takes great pictures of shrines, churches, and buildings.  Our son likes to borrow it for his trips; so it is off to Japan for two weeks. It's been to Paris and Germany on previous trips, and may soon require a passport of its own!  

You would think I would have a back supply of drafts that I could pull up, but I don't blog that seriously and use inspiration of the moment only.  So, my posting will be spotty, at best, until after at least Father's Day.  In the meantime, I'll be here on a vacation of my own looking for some new inspiration.

Wishing safe travels to Mike and his students.  I'm sure they will have a great time -- this is Mike's third trip to Japan including a summer spent there living and working on an orchard. He is quite knowledgeable about the country; so I'm sure his high school students are in for a wonderful glimpse into another culture.
(Yes, Mike, I'm concerned about your and the kids' safety and not just that my camera is returned in tact!!)

Thursday, May 22, 2014


I've fixed this BBQ Beef for more celebrations than I wish to count over the last 40-plus years.  The last time was this past weekend for my mother-in-law's 100th birthday family get together.
1 beef rump roast (4 lbs.)
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Garlic salt, onion salt, and celery salt to taste
1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice
Place meat on heavy-duty foil in 9"x12" pan.  Pierce meat.  Sprinkle with liquid smoke, Worcestershire, and salts.  Bring up foil and seal.  Refrigerate and marinate 24 hours.  Place in 300 degree oven for 5 hours.  Pour BBQ sauce on.  Close foil and bake another 2 hours.  Slice meat thin against the grain.  Put liquid in a separate container and refrigerate all over night.  Skim solidified fat from liquid.  Pour sauce as needed over meat to keep it moist as it heats up either in the oven or the crock pot.  Serve on a bun with extra of your favorite BBQ sauce.
(Allow 1/3 pound for a generous serving.  For this occasion I fixed 20 pounds of meat adjusting the other ingredients accordingly.  Twenty pounds fills two large crock pots.)

We had a great celebration of Bob's mother's birthday. First a dinner and reunion in my sister-in-law and her husband's beautiful yard.  It was nice for the three remaining siblings to reunite.
Lots of nieces and nephews, grand kids, other family members and more food than we all needed!
Then we had a public reception at her assisted care facility with cake and punch.
"A good time was had by all!"

Joining the following:
Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
The Comforts of Home for Tasty Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Thursday, May 15, 2014


If you are a photo junkie like me, you enjoy seeing photo boards at different events such as weddings, birthdays, graduations, reunions, and, yes, even funerals.  Photo boards have been replaced recently by power-point presentations; but I still enjoy seeing the pictures up close and personal on a display board.
My favorites are the wedding ones where the bride's growing-up pictures are on one side and the groom's on the other side with pictures of their life together since meeting shown down the middle.  I also enjoy graduation photo boards showing their school pictures K-12 and college.  How fun to see how they have changed and matured over the years.  Funeral photo boards are often in celebration of a life well-lived - a great tribute!

This weekend we are celebrating Bob's Mother's 100th birthday with a family reunion/dinner and a public community reception.  
One of my responsibilities was to do a photo board of her life.  I had previously done several books of photos for her as gifts, so accumulating the pictures for this project was fairly easy this time around.  
The hard part was picking just a few of the pictures.  My scrap booking skills are fundamental; I don't do a lot of embellishments (mainly because of the expense involved) -- just letting the pictures and celebrant be the star of the show.
I tried to pick a variety of pictures of her 
 with her kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and other family members.
She was one of eight children; extended family has always been important in her life.
Her two younger brothers, along with other family members and friends, will be attending the celebration.

Happy 100th (and counting) birthday to my favorite Mother-in-law!

I'm joining in the following blog parties:
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Monday, May 12, 2014


I sometimes have conflicting thoughts about prairie/farm style.  I have trouble reconciling what I remember growing up on the prairies of Colorado in a farmhouse with what we see classified as prairie and/or farm style in our homes today.

This is my family's farm.  My parents lived in the tiny 3-room house in the center of the photo when I was born in 1938; and moved to the slightly bigger house across the road when I was 3.  (Click on the photo for a bigger view.) Grandma and Grandpa built the large Craftsman Bungalow in the 1910s shown center left in the photo.  When Grandma moved to town in the 1960s, my parents lived in the big house for a few years until the farm was sold.
So, because of my background, I devour magazines, blogs, anything on the web that goes by the title, Prairie Style or Farm Style.  I love it!  But, I don't remember our homes ever looking like so many of today's images.  
Our homes were nicely furnished, but not expensively.  We had wool carpets on the floors, well-made oak dressers and dining room chairs in a natural finish from the early 1900s, lovely walnut beds and end tables from the 1930s, comfortable overstuffed upholstery.  There was no chippy/distressed-painted furniture.  Grandma had a couple of painted small chests that had been damaged in a fire; but they were repainted every year for a clean look.  
There were no pillows made from feed sacks or burlap, no chipped dishes, no bead board, no utilitarian items in sight - nothing tattered and torn.

Some of what I see today in the style are items that came from the barns, workshops, and sheds of the farm.  
I don't love the style any less.  After all, our family farm had lots of out buildings with treasures to be discovered.  
As young-married kids, we loved scrounging around for those treasures for our new home - especially in what was known as the onion house with its dirt floor and the scale house, plus my Dad's workshop.  
I realize that this was my personal experience growing up in a prairie farmhouse - not all were the same.

This past week, I have thoroughly enjoyed perusing this new magazine.  It combines the feeling of the farmhouses of my youth with the style prevalent today.
Get out your magnifying glass and check it out to find those items that have moved today into the house from the outbuildings to combine with the nicer things of the era.

I'm joining the following:
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at our Home
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

Monday, May 5, 2014


At the silent auction of a neighboring town's museum recently, we put in a bid for a ballot box and won!  Apparently at one time, it was the law in Colorado that ballot boxes were to be glass so that the ballots could be seen at all times.  This ballot box was used here in Fremont County, Colorado until the 1970s for local elections.  BUT, this isn't what the ballot box and its carrying case looked like when we won the bid!
This is what we got for our $10 bid - a ballot box and its carrying case IN PIECES.  It was amazing to us that the glass parts were unbroken and, thus, the project was worth restoring.
Bob worked his magic - he loves projects like this!
Incised on the top piece of glass is "National Ballot Box - Pat. June 17, 1884"
"Mfg. by Amos Pettibone, Chicago"
You can see here the brass rings that hold the two glass pieces together to allow the ballots to be retrieved for counting.
This beauty will join our small collection of ballot boxes.  You can read about our Otero County, Colorado box here and our fraternal organization ballot box here.  
We keep thinking this has to stop as we are running out of room; but it's hard to resist a historical item like this for just $10.

I'm joining the following:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
The Dedicated House for Before and After Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday