Saturday, June 30, 2007

Anne of Green Gables

I saw a quiz on how well you know Anne of Green Gables and I had to take it. 100%, but the code won't display right so I couldn't get it on here.

While working on my Mystery Stole 3 first clue, Hubby and I watched one of my favorites...Anne of Green Gables. I never grow tired of it and we each have our favorite spots where we blessed am I to have a hubby who will watch Anne with me! :o)

I really love the books and can't wait until I can read them with the kids.

Hopefully by tomorrow I will have a picture of my Clue One progress on the Stole to show you.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Decisions, SAD, Contentment

This is what your black olives look like before they are black!
Green Apples
Yesterday I had to make a hard decision about the retreat. I'm coughing and feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest. We didn't think it would be a good idea to go to Tahoe by the fire and with the increased elevation. When we made the decision they were advising those with lung/heart disease to stay away. Hubby and I still have fresh in our minds our last two years of both of our ER visits and my several courses of prednisone. To be honest, bad asthma attacks are scary because there is always the fear that this one might be the last one. I didn't want to make a decision out of fear. Fear is not of God. But I cannot always separate my own fear. So we prayed together, talked it through and based on the information we had at the time we made a decision. Then I spent the rest of the day bawling off and on. I know it's stupid but I really wanted to go. I was really looking forward to the fellowship, getting away for the first time by myself since 1999. I wanted to breathe the fresh air, see God's beautiful mountains, trees and lakes and I was hoping to forge new and deepening relationships with ladies at church. I've been there 18 months and I am just now getting to know people on a more personal level. This morning I woke to hear that the air levels had cleared and the fire is more contained. I wondered why I had to stay home. It felt a little unfair...and I wanted to have a pity party! All by myself! I know that hindsight is better than foresight. And even still, the wind could shift and that's all it would take. But I want to be there.

So my hubby, who is very sweet, got us all ready this morning and we drove to Apple Hill. He knew I needed to get out of my house. And I think I have come to the conclusion that I have reverse SAD (Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder)...instead of getting depressed in the winter, I get depressed in the summer... I HATE the summers in Sacramento. Even though we have had it cooler than usual for awhile, it is still so smoggy and I can't handle it. I have never had to deal with it before. I have to spend the majority of the summer inside so that I can breathe and also because D, J and I do NOT tolerate the heat at all. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. You make hay when the sun shines! I spent all my sunshine hours (and some gray and rainy ones) the beach, in the mountains, hiking, camping, gardening, walking. Since I moved here these are only occasional treats, especially since living here as increased my asthma symptoms tenfold and it increases my struggle to lose weight. I have to admit that I have a bad attitude about all of it.

From the day I came here, I wanted to leave. It seems like everything has been a struggle, but God has not released us to leave. Still over the last 8.5 years God has been gracious to me when I have not deserved it and He has been a kind and patient Father, gentling teaching me, one thing at a time as I am able to handle it. And He has never given me more than I can bear...close at times, but never more.

While I was feeling sorry for myself I picked up the May/June issue of Today's Christian Woman. God is so funny at times! HA! HA! One of the featured articles was called "Moved To Tears" (p 50). It was written about a woman who had "issues" with her husband's decision to transfer with his company and how she did not want to move and drug her feet, dug her claws in and really had a lousy attitude. She shared some verses in Jeremiah 29 where God told the Israelites in exile to go ahead and make homes, start families and settle in because they would be staying there and that He had a plan for them. I had always read verse 11...that He has a plan for us, to prosper and not to harm us. But I had not really caught the intent before. It made me think.

And then she shared Philippians 4:11 where Paul writes, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Paul knew what he was talking about. He had survived all kinds of circumstances much worse than mine have ever been. So, what do I have to whine about? God is teaching me contentment, but sometimes I am like the woman...digging in my claws, dragging my feet, putting my will before His. This, I am finding, is an exercise in futility! Again, I am reminded that it is time for me to "Be Still and Know That I am God." (Ps 46:10) This is a lesson that I need to learn over and over and over!

I'm still a little weepy. I still don't understand...a lot of things. I've been really, really, really overwhelmed...that's why there hasn't been any knitting content for awhile. But, I am resting in His everlasting arms and I am trying to be still. I'll never understand it, but apparently God's answer to me about a lot of things is "WAIT"! So here I am Lord. I'm listening.

And He was good to me today. He did speak to me in His quiet and gentle ways through His creation. I did not even take my camera to Apple Hill. You know I am sad when I don't take my camera. I'm glad hubby did thought because I got these shots of the beautiful lavender which was literally a-buzz with bees! There were several different kinds of bees and it was gorgeous. I couldn't decide which shots I liked best so I posted several! :o) I could kick myself...I really needed my camera and telephoto lens! But, the beauty was intoxicating and He knew the "words" I need spoken, He understands my passion for His creation and it was a balm to soothe my wounds.

Hair Dos

These are the girls before the beauty shop...J on left and A on right. A hs much left hair and it looks scraggly. J has lopsided hair since she cut her own awhile back! They both had lots of breaks and J does not tolerate the heat and starts twisting her long hair. It is supposed to be triple digit several days next week and we decided it was time to do something about the hair. This way it will be cooler in the summer and it will grow back out healthier, hopefully without breaks.This is A in the chair at Super Cuts. The kids usually talk a mile a minute but she was strangely quiet! J was too. I think this cut suits A's personality quite well.
The girls, J on left, A on right, playing while we waited for Daddy to pick us up. We almost never dress them alike. Daddy dressed them this morning. Now that they have their hair cut the same it is going to be even harder for people outside the family to tell them apart...but at this point in their lives, they will tell you who they are. J has even started saying, "I'm not Princess, I'm J!"
We came home to a belated birthday surprise from Cousins Wendy and Don....cute dishes and tea party set from Ikea! They were very excited. J was sad about something...we probably told her no about something! :o) A on left, J on right. J looks more like me as a young child, than A does, which is strange since they are "identical" but J is more the size I was. But I had dark, chocolatey brown hair, and dark eyes. The girls were born with blue eyes and they are currently hazel. One of my Dad's first cousins had blue eyes until she was 5 and then they turned brown. We are thinking this might happen to the girls. It's not real common, usually they turn during the first year.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pray For Lake Tahoe Fire Victims

I live about 100 miles from South Lake Tahoe where the fires are burning. Tomorrow I am supposed to be going with my church ladies to our annual women's retreat at Zephyr Cove which is near SLT, on the Nevada side. A decision has not been made yet about whether or not we will still be going there or having a retreat here at our own church. I have been praying for our women's ministry team and Pastor Mike as they will need to make a decision today.

Sadly, I have been hearing a lot of comments about "they chose to live there, that's what they get!" Well, you are right...have you ever been to Lake Tahoe? It's absolutely gorgeous in spite of the casinos, cheesy hotels at Stateline and too many people. I wish I could have seen it a couple hundred years ago! But it's still beautiful. And people live there. People work there. They go to church there. They provide necessary services. Sadly this fire started by human causes and now, as I write this 229 houses have burned to the ground. Literally to the ground. Yes, some of these were vacation rentals, but the majority were peoples homes. Everyday people. I have never lost my home in a fire, but I have family and friends who have and it is devastating. Let's lift up these people as they begin a new life, starting over, picking up pieces where there are no pieces to pick up! Praise God that no lives have been lost so far in this fire!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Getting Ready For School

In between migraines and taking care of the kids, we have been doing a lot of reorganizing. One of the things we are doing is getting ready for school to start in mid July. While I worked today, the kids colored. D usually draws Lightning McQueen or Larry Boy but lately he has been making paper airplanes. "This one is for you Mom because it says Mom!" Note the lovely colors. The girls, J in middle and A on R, are into "color exploration", especially J. The girls are a little behind on small motor skills but are picking up quickly. It is not unusual for twins to be on their own schedule.
Here's a view of two of our school shelves. Mom this is on the wall shared with the kitchen. Textbooks, curriculum and supplementary books go on the right. The garage shelving on the left is for school supplies which I have put in a variety of $1-2 Sterilite containers from Big Lots.
The upper view...we use all the space we can get. Next year we hope to get some nicer shelves at Ikea, but these will work for now. Some things have to go up higher so little fingers cannot reach...Play Dough, Markers, paints, CDs/Player etc. But the girls are getting better. We are trying to teach them how to be obedient no matter what situation they are in instead of always removing everything which has its time and place but does not train them to obey.
Mom, this shelf is next to the sliding door. It has the story books and some kids toys on the bottom...again special things are up high.

What I have not shown is our table which is to the right of the last picture. This is where we sit for school. This summer while Daddy doesn't work as many hours, he is helping by going over some basics with the girls. They are too young for Kindergarten but I will be working with them at the same time as their brother because they can't be left out. Besides they are very excited about it. D is a little learning sponge and is enjoying reading. This summer I am just reviewing his Kindergarten skills and in July we will begin 1st grade. We are registered as a private school and our name is Pathfinder Academy. I will probably be starting a new school blog soon just to keep that all together.

All the organizing we are doing is going to pay off because then I can keep more focused on school and not worry about all the disasters around me! It's difficult to work efficiently with clutter.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 Swatch

Well, I am finally getting around to making a swatch for the Mystery Stole 3 KAL (knit along). I have been too busy and exhausted to knit anything. and I also wanted to wait closer to the date for the first clue so that I would not be going crazy waiting to start! LOL I am using Zephyr laceweight in Violet, which is a nice lavender color. I forgot to photograph the beads but that will come soon enough. They are clear but have a hint of pearlescent coloring. I think they will go well with the lavender. I am a loose knitter so I am using size 3 Addi lace needles. Melanie, the designer said she used 4 and generally I need to go down a size from most people. Since this swatch is mainly to see what type of fabric we get with our yarn and needles and is not derived from the pattern itself, I did not bother to block this as blocking will not give me any accurate information as to what size stole I will come up with. If you are interested in knowing more about the KAL, you can go to Pink Lemon Twist, which is the designer, Melanie's blog. There is also a Yahoo group and signups are closing today or tomorrow...soon at any rate!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pray For Amy

I do not know Amy but I have read other peoples' blogs and followed links to her site a few times. She is battling Leukemia and from a human standpoint seems to have reached the end of solutions. She needs a miracle of God. Even though I do not know her I am touched by her story. She is a young Mom, too young to leave her child. She has asked that we "storm" Heaven with prayers! Please pray for a miracle for Amy and her family! You can read about her here.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Making a House a Home

Today I entered a blogiversary drawing on a new blog Making a House a Home, among other things she is giving away a 2 year subscription to Victoria magazine. Did you know this beautiful magazine is coming back into print. Many of us were sad when it went out of print a few years back...what were they thinking? If you have not seen it, yes it does have an Victorian influence and style, but is mostly about living in beauty and enjoying beautiful things...not in a consumerism way though. Making a House a Home is a beautiful blog with lots of great inspiration. Please go check her out.

Have you noticed the increase in homemaking and housekeeping blogs lately? I especially enjoy the Christian ones because that is what I relate to. However I have seen several for non-Christians as well. I know this will be a controversial statement but I think many of us in my generation and the girls/women between my generation and the next are beginning to see that a lot of liberal feminism is not all it is cracked up to be. Unfortunately I think society has become crazy with a focus on money which is pushing many women to work when they don't want to.

I can not judge another's heart, so if you are a working woman by choice or necessity, I am not writing to hurt you. But if you are a stay at home Mom by not be ashamed. My greatest struggles have come from the judgment that I feel from women who question my choices of faith, family, schooling and being at home. Why do we wound our sisters? On the flip side, I think it's equally important for women who stay at home not to throw flaming arrows at their sisters who make other choices. Having a definite opinion is one thing, sharing it is okay, but condemning others morality for working outside the home is not loving our neighbor as ourself.

Ladies...if you need some encouragement in your home there are a lot of Mom sites out there and there are many homemaking sites. Here are just a few to start off with...there's no human way to list them all! I don't always agree 100% with all of them, but I have chosen to glean the best from several different sites. Below I will list a few I enjoy on a semi-regular basis (nothing much in my life is regular! LOL) as I try to make my own house more of a HOME!

Women's Ministry and Faithful Voices
Fruitful Words
Beloved Children's Chronicles
Prairie Mom
Biblical Womanhood
Journaling Back To Joy
Heart Threads
Serenity Farms
Lisa Whelchel
Girl Talk

Christian Homemaking
The Sparrow's Nest
Making A House A Home
With the Fruit of Her Hands
The Family Homestead
Pleasant View School House
A Gracious Home
Eyes of Wonder

Beautiful Blogs
Gracious Hospitality
Turkey Feathers

Tammy's Recipes Blog

Creative Inspiration
Stitches of Violet
Yarn Storm
Real Women Scrap

Homeschooling Life
Enjoy The Journey
Starry Sky Ranch

The Pioneer Woman (occasionally PG13)
Gathering Around The Table

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Birthday Blessings

Today was not the most exciting birthday I have ever experienced, but it was a nice one filled with blessings. I began the day with my three little cherubs greeting me with "Happy Birthday Mommy!" Next, I got the traditional Johnson Family Birthday Call from my Mom and Jack, during which they serenaded me. When hubby came home from work we went to Red Robin Restaurant for hamburgers for lunch. Next we stopped at the Bible store where we found some things to add to our fall curriculum and continued on to Old Navy where we picked out this year's $5 flag shirts (a family tradition). We finished our shopping trip with a visit to Borders where the kids were very excited to look at all the books. This was their first time together in a bookstore. I had taken D previously and that was much easier! D picked out a Curious George book to bring home. He is really enjoying learning to read. During the evening I enjoyed talking to my best friend Shelley on the phone (she lives out of state) and my birthday dessert which is Peach Raspberry Slump (an ugly name for a nummy cobbler) that I made this morning. Tomorrow night Hubby and I will have a rare evening out together to eat at one of our favorite restaurants and a friend is watching the kids for us. We get a date on average once a year, so we are very excited about this!

The pictures above were taken about 39 years apart. That's my brother in the background. He was born Dec 67, so I would say this was 1968. I think my Mommy made the Raggedy Ann and Andy smock...what do you say Mom? The second picture is me today. UGH! The thing I hate about pictures of myself is that they look like me! LOL You know what I mean? You don't look at yourself all the time and then you see a picture and realize that you do look that bad! I post this in obedience to my Mommy! :o) And for the benefit of my children.

The roses have always bloomed around my birthday at home in Washington, so they sometimes make me think of my birthday. Here in CA my roses bloom almost year around so it's not such a novelty. The pink and white rose is the Gemini rose which I planted in honor of my Grandma Hopkins since she and I share June birthdays. I love the white, tinged with pink. They get darker as they get older. The magenta colored rose is pretty but difficult to capture in photographs. I especially love that bush because it has virtually NO thorns and is very hardy and green even when the others get mildew or rust or whatever other ailments that roses get.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A True Lady

I am torn between sorrow and joy that Ruth Bell Graham has gone Home to the Lord. What a true lady she was, and what a beautiful woman of God. She wrote fresh, insightful poetry and her children rose up to call her blessed. Ruth was the woman in the adage..."Behind every good man is a good woman." There is a lovely tribute to her here with beautiful piano music of Great Is Thy Faithfulness. If you pray, it would be nice if you prayed for her family as they grieve the loss of this faithful Believer, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Friend.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

This is a picture of two of my favorite men! My Grandpa Johnson (1925-1996), the only Grandpa who I knew (Grandpa Hopkins died when Mom was 16 years old) and my Dad (1945-2000). Even though many years have passed since their deaths, they are still a part of my life.

I have a special letter from my Dad...a rare treat because he was not a writer and he was a lefty who had difficulty writing but was an awesome South Paw pitcher. In the letter he talks about how proud he was the day I was born...Father's Day in 1966. He also told me that he was sorry for the troubles we have had (my parents divorce, my brother's death and his alcoholism) but that he was happy that we still love each other. Whenever I need a hug from him, I open it up and read it. I hope to pass on to my children what I learned from him...loving with all your heart, taking responsibility for your mistakes, it's never too late to say you are sorry and lending a helping hand whether it was "deserved" or not.

Grandpa was an outdoorsman who hunted and fished both to be able to feed his family and for enjoyment (not of the killing, but being outdoors, the challenge and skill involved and the camping!). When he was young he loved to hike, backpack and even a few times road horses in to the back country. This picture is from one of his old slides, about 1950. I don't have any letters from Grandpa, but lots of special memories and he was one of the people who taught me about photography. I hope to pass on to my children some of the values he taught me...working hard and doing the job right, family comes first whether you feel like it or not, perseverence and responsibility and saving your money for a rainy day.

These were two men who made a lot of mistakes and found their way to God late in family was far from perfect...but I see in their lives how God works all things together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28-29)

We started our day with a phone call to Grandpa Jack, my stepdad in WA. The kids had fun saying it to him, although J said "Happy Mother's Day" which she says to all people she really likes! LOL

My own husband is a blessing from God! I married late, but I married well! I always relate to the Garth Brooks song, "I Thank God For Unanswered Prayers", because if I had married who I had wanted to, my children would not have a father and a special Dad who loves them, cares for them, loves their Mom in spite of herself and chooses to follow God at all costs. Like the Mastercard commercial...PRICELESS! Today, we honoured him...a man who had virtually no parenting and never met his own father...he is a wonderful example of how trusting in God can overcome all obstacles. I feel so secure in his arms and rejoiced as he sang next to me in church this morning and chuckled as the children used him as a jungle gym, climbing all over him as he opened his presents! Thank you Lord for the blessing you have given us!

And to any of you out there who might wander in and feel a bit sad on Father's Day...I feel for you. I have spent many Father's Days in tears because my Dad was not able to be present in my life because of his alcoholism. I have also known the grief of not having him here now. But the joy and peace that are mine in the Heavenly Father surpass all earthly riches and I truly believe the Psalms which say that He places the lonely into families and that He cares for you. Take comfort in knowing that you are always loved no matter what!

Well, I have some knitting to post soon. I am knitting socks, finished a scarf and will be doing Melanie's Mystery Shawl #2 first mystery project and my first time using beads. I also have kid pics (what else is new?!) and pics of my awesome new fleece from Cary and the BD present she sent me. We are working more on remodeling while hubby is home this week during his break between the regular school year and summer school and I have a birthday to celebrate with a dinner date with hubby the next evening and a fun potluck for the last women's Bible study for the season. So be patient, it might take me awhile! :o)

Happy Father's Day and Happy Knitting and Spinning!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fibery (but non-knitting) Content

I would like to introduce you to Helbo! Helbo is a family quilt that has been around a LONG time...almost 100 years! A couple posts ago I shared a picture of my Great Grandmother who died just before I was born, Winnifred Lucy Kirkland Tisdale. My Grandma Hopkins remembers her Mother, Winnie, carding wool for the batting of her quilts.

I am privileged to have three quilts from her. One is a crazy quilt in cotton and without the decorative stitching...she made one for each of her three granddaughters (my Mom and her sisters) and they were made from pieces of family clothing or the scraps leftover when articles were cut out to sew the family's clothing. Both my Mother and I slept under this quilt and enjoyed looking at the fabrics and knowing the stories behind them. The second is a Rose of Sharon applique quilt made about 1935 for her son Clifton Tisdale's wedding. Clifton's wife 'Nora gave it to my Mother when she got married and my Mother gave it to me. One day I will pass it on to my children.

The third quilt is Helbo. Helbo is rough, heavy and sometimes smelly and he has a funny name! LOL As a child, when I asked about Helbo, I was told that he was the name of the tailor who gave Great Grandma Tisdale wool suiting samples that were being discontinued. She then used these to sew these into a warm blanket. Interesting, I thought at the time, and I wondered who Helbo was and where he lived. Grandma Hopkins was in her late 80s-early 90s when I started asking genealogy questions and she could not remember who Helbo was, other than a tailor.

In 1995, I was still single and zipping about in my little Volkswagen Fox (which I still miss!) and after a nice Hopkins family reunion at Pacific, Washington, I decided to take a few extra days and explore the southwest corner of Washington State. I knew that Grandpa Tisdale had been a teacher in Naselle, Ilwaco and Humptullips, so I headed to Ilwaco and stayed in a motel there and took day/scouting trips from there. It's a tiny fishing village with two beautiful lighthouses near Long Beach, Washington, home to the largest international kite festival. I was poking around in a local pharmacy store, purchasing souvenirs from my trip and headed back out to the car.

There it was: "HELBO THE TAILOR" in large letters above the coffee shop across the street! I was jarred by the recognition and stood there amazed for a minute. When I realized what I was seeing I headed back to the little museum which had no information on Fred Tisdale. The nice ladies there did find some information on Helbo the Tailor and later sent me his obituary and a 1916 advertisement from the local paper. I learned that he immigrated to the United States from Finland, along with many other residents in that corner of Washington State, thus the unusual first name of Helbo. It was kind of fun to get this information to document my quilt.

Helbo is not the most attractive quilt I have ever seen. As I mentioned he is a little smelly and he is a bit moth eaten too. But, I think he has held up pretty well for someone who has been around since about 1915! My Mom had him dry cleaned a few years back and brought him to California for his new home. We don't use him as a blanket...he's not so comfortable...but maybe one day I will have a home large enough to display him in some fashion.

I have enjoyed reading about other people's treasures in their homes, on their blogs and so I have decided that I too will begin to document some of my treasures and their history.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Grandma Hopkins

Today would have been my Grandma Hopkins' 101st birthday. She lived to be almost 96 and really it feels strange that she did not live longer. I have talked about her a lot on my blog because of the great influence she has had on my life. We had some rough times...I think I shared that as an adult I discovered that some of her criticalness towards me was that we were so alike, I believe she saw things in me that she did not like in herself. I share this because I realize that the way I talk about her at times may seem that I have her raised on a high pedestal. Fear not! It is just impossible to overestimate the value of her influence in my life. So I encourage you Grandmothers reading...God has a plan for you and has always meant for generations of families to live together, help each other and for older women to teach the younger women and children (Titus 2). It is a blessing. You may not see all your rewards this side of Heaven, but you will be rewarded for the love, care and instruction that you give your grandchildren.

Cooking is one of the many ways my Grandma Hopkins influenced my life. She really was a woman ahead of her times in many ways. She knew so much about health and nutrition. I was often her guinea pig for new recipes and ideas, new techniques and interesting foods. She was cooking and using healthy foods that some people are only learning about now and advertising their health benefits as if they were "new discoveries"! She even taught a Wok Cooking class for community schools when they needed an instructor and taught her own style of "Western Wok Cooking". I remember helping her run her mimeograph machine and collating and stapling together copies of her recipes and handouts! LOL Wow! What she could have done with a computer. If you took one of her classes, you definitely would not have left empty handed. I have a stack 6" deep of her handouts that I want to go through and scan and save.

The good thing about Grandmas is that they don't have to worry about all the things that parents do. They are free to hang out, experiment and do things that parents would probably nix because of the mess, time restraints etc. One of the first things I remember learning how to cook at Grandma's was homemade tomato soup. We also made "French Toast Turkey Sandwiches" which was one of my favorites. Basically it is a turkey sandwhich dipped in egg and milk (not really French cinnamon and vanilla) and fried. I have since modified it to do the bread that way and add the turkey meat after. This is my favorite Thanksgiving leftover...sounds weird, but it tastes great!

Grandma always made interesting things with her raspberries, which she grew in her large garden. We made smoothie style protein drinks back in the early I said, things that people think are "new" now. It was fun to grind grain in her small mill and I loved making her beet bread which was modified from a recipe in The Ten Talents Cookbook, a 7th Day Adventist cookbook with healthy and vegetarian foods. Beet bread doesn't taste anything like beets and has the loveliest raspberry colored dough. A lot of people were afraid to try it but I liked it. She made large batches and shared with everyone. We even made bread in tin cans and experimented with shapes.

I might have shared once that Grandma would say that she had a "surprise" for us and us kids would get excited because most Grandma's would have surprises that were toys or candy or something like that. Not my Grandma. Her surprises would be things like, "Guess what? I got this fabulous new tool that will make the garden much easier to weed." GROAN! Just what every kid wants to hear, right? Well, one of these "surprises" was that she decided to build an outdoor brick/concrete block oven. She often had these ideas. She would get very excited and all into something, full boar. Sometimes they were good ideas and sometimes not. When they flopped, she would call those "Holly's Folly"! Every once in awhile I will find myself saying, "I thought this would be a good thing when I bought it, but I think it's really a 'Holly's Folly'"! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Or like my Mom says, "We're all becoming Mother!" LOL

Anyway, we had fun with this outdoor oven/stove that was really a homemade BBQ that burned wood. She bought me and probably my cousins a copy of Roughing It Easy which was a big hit in the 1970s. I still have mine somewhere. From the book we learned how to cook a lot of things in tin cans, tin foil and other homemade from recycled materials, cooking devices. We used it in Girl Scouts too.

There were some of Grandma's cooking experiments that were pretty disgusting, especially as she got older and would leave things in the fridge far too long. Those were the times that I would say, "Oh I'm sorry, I just ate on the way here" or "I'm on a diet!" Usually I was a good sport and at least tried.

Some people are born teachers and she came out of the womb as a teacher. She was the oldest of four children and I'm sure she was a bossy big sister! :o) My Aunts probably wouldn't appreciate me saying that. However, as the mother of three children and as someone so close in personality to my Grandmother, I'm pretty sure I can say that with certainty! LOL I didn't inherit all of her teaching genes, but I did inherit her love of learning. Yes, I was born a "nerd". I have never walked in step with the time and I've always had my nose in a book. Early on I became an avid notetaker. Children do, afterall, learn by example. Grandma would watch an information show about cooking or new ideas and she would take reams of notes. She would often order books to add to her extensive library after watching shows because she never lost that desire to learn new things. I have often said that if Martha Stewart had been on during my Grandma's days of watching the television, she would have filled bookshelves with reams of notes she took while watching her show. I think in some areas Grandma could have 'out-Martha-ed Martha'! How's that for a word?! And you should see the sermon notes I take...just the same as Grandma.

One nice thing about her being a prolific note taker is that there is so much of her writing to read. She wrote down quotes, ideas for teaching in almost every subject and had a hobby of "collecting names". She wrote those in her notebooks too and she liked to look up their meanings. She did all these things up until about the last year or so of her life. Well, everyone has to slow down at some point in time.

I feel so blessed to have some of her hand written recipe cards and I was able to scan her handwritten cookbook which my Aunt Marilyn owns. I own some of my Grandma's cookbooks too...they are always an adventure to read! She followed the Levitical food laws, so if there were ever any "unclean" foods she would cross them out of the recipe and if some recipe or article caught her attention and got her thinking, she would brain storm there right on the page, filling it up with ideas to improve or add to the recipes and different ways of making it. She always said she was NOT a perfectionist, but an "efficiency expert". It may sound crazy but some of the precious markings in her books are the squiggly pen lines which are where she dozed off with her BIC pen still in hand and it wandered off along the page in haphazzard fashion. They are precious because they are her and they bring such vivid memories.

The pictures above...yes I'm finally getting to the point, but I'm really writing this post for my own benefit anyway...are from Grandma's cooking. The first is a scanned page from her cookbook. It's for the recipe that she used for bread when her children were at home. Marilyn made the bread and she still is a wonderful bread maker. The second is a piece of junkmail envelope. She never wasted anything, having been a young bride in 1930 at the beginning of the depression. She saved all her junk mail, slitting open the envelopes so they lay flat, making a full page of paper and keeping any sheets from letters which had writing only on one side. These were stacked neatly in a little telephone table that sat beside her TV and held her pink dial-up phone. Whenever we wanted to draw as kids...we always knew where to go for paper! "Waste not, want not"! Anyway, this is one of those sheets of paper and it is an example of how she would start reading a cookbook and would write down everything she wanted to make and all their variations. Some things I think she wrote down just because she liked the sound of the name.

I know I'm rambling on with my own memories, but even though I have written much...this is just the tip of the iceberg of what I could write about this fascinating woman. Many years I had to share my birthday celebrations with her, feeling like second fiddle at I wish she was here to celebrate with me every year. I am so thankful to God that He chose her to be my Grandmother and thankful too that I learned to appreciate her before she died and that I absorbed so much of what she wanted to teach and pass on to me. What a jewel she was and there is so much every day with my children that I would love to share with her as she loved children so much and taught for so many years. These things will have to wait until Heaven. In the meantime I will have to be diligent in passing these things down to the next generation.

If I ever catch up this week, I will have to post some pictures from the air show that happened here this weekend. I feel like I will never catch up though! It's been a long time since I've had any knitting to share...sorry, not much knitting in this time and place in my life. I do have some things planned for this summer though and will write about them soon.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Grandma Tisdale

Today was the birthday of Winnifred Kirkland Tisdale, aka Winnie, who was born June 9, 1883. Unfortunately she died 9 months before I was born, so I never had the joy of meeting her, but by all accounts she was a wonderful lady. She was the mother of my Grandma Hopkins that I write about frequently. In nearly every photo she tilts her head to the do my son, my mother and I! It's not a conscious effort, it just happens somehow. Strange. I love this photo taken in 1903 or 1904, in Grand Forks, North Dakota where she worked as a milliner. Her mother and two of her brothers stayed in ND and she went with her father and one of her brothers to Washington State shortly after this photo was taken. They first settled in a small town (even smaller today) called Toledo. In 1904 my Great Grandfather F.W. Tisdale was pastor at the Methodist Church in Toledo, WA and he had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Miss Winnifred Kirkland who played the organ for services. She had been trained in music and playing the organ by a Professor James in Grand Forks. The two fell in love and married January 1905, embarking in a journey that eventually included me and my family. I wish she were alive as there are so many things I would like to ask her about her life as a young bride on the prairie near Minot, ND where they moved and her years going town to town because that was what teachers often did in those days. (Great Grandpa went to teaching after being a minister and ended up as a school superintendent in Lake Stevens, WA) My Aunt Grace, while recently visiting, told me that Winnifred told her that one day a "twister" came and picked up the buggy and team she was driving along with her and her two toddlers, my Grandma Holly and her brother Clifton. She said she was not afraid, she knew God would put her back down! I would have been terrified, if not for myself, for my babies! I hope we get to "visit" people in Heaven because I really would love to get to know her myself. And I am thankful for the Godly woman that she was and the seed she sowed in her children which bore fruit in my own life.

Friday, June 01, 2007

77 Years Ago Today

On June 2, 1930 Miss Holly Tisdale married her high school sweetheart, Alden Hopkins. I posted their wedding photo last year so I thought I would post this now. It is circa 1935. Grandpa Hopkins is in the white shirt and Grandma is the woman to his right. That is my Aunt who was just here visiting...the baby in the pic. Also pictured are my Great Grandparents and my Grandma's siblings. For family members who might want to the back row it is Homer, Winnie and Fred, middle is Dorothy, Alden and Holly and that's Clifton to the left of baby G. Grandma has been gone 5.5 years and I still miss her. My Aunt is the only person in this picture still alive!