What’s For Supper ?

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Ours is a fast food restaurant or microwave diet. So gardening, canning and preserving food may seem out of step and anything but fun.

For generations, gardening and canning have filled those vacant, school-free hours between June and September with a fruitful activity that can still keep a food cellar — and a family pocketbook — full.

Still, canning requires some effort. Anybody who has done gardening and canning knows it’s not much fun. While family members love the fruits of their labor, they’re not prone to help much.

My mother has been making her own ketchup, jams, jellies, tomato sauce and salsa for years. She keeps busy through the summer, and the work doesn’t end until she is done with apples in the fall.

As I was taking the package of frozen peaches out of the freezer today, I began to think of how we put them up when I was a young girl. We began by watching the trees, and as soon as most of the peaches had turned a beautiful pink, we knew they were almost ready.

We put them in mason jars. I knew that when those jars came out of the basement, I would automatically wash them. Mother would work all day preparing the peaches for canning. While we kids popped peaches into our mouth as we worked.

Now as I sit at the kitchen table eating peach cobbler that was made from store bought frozen peaches, I think of the fun I had while working with my mother. Yeah right….. If God had wanted every woman to cook he would have never invented Del Monte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Livin’ the Dream with Green Stamps

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My nephew Doug, was helping me search the attic for a particular box. Naturally, he did more looking around than being actual help. He came over with a book of what he called funny looking postage stamps. No, they were not postage stamps; they were trading stamps I told him.
A few of us remember the day of “trading stamps” from Gold Bond, Eagle,
S & H Green, Top Value and others. They were given out by grocers, gas stations and some department stores with each purchase.
The stamps had to be put in books, which usually meant my sister or I would sit around the kitchen table, licking stamps. Although my mother used a sponge to wet the stamps, my sister and I would resolve to lick the stamps till our mouths went dry.
At different stores, you would get fulfillment books to put your trading stamps in. The pages of each book outlined that enabled you to paste your stamps in the proper place.
Each page required a total of fifty stamps. Stamps came in point system: singles, ten, and fifty. You couldn’t mix the points. If you wanted a page of singles you had to press fifty singles. If you wanted a page of tens you needed to press five tens. With the fifty point stamp you need to press only one on a page.
Several books full of stamps could be redeemed for all sorts of merchandise . . . small kitchen appliances, sporting goods, children swing sets, radios, televisions — you name it.
I remember vividly my family planned to save trading stamps for a blender. Only after mother explained that we could make milk shakes did my sister and I agree with her plan. My father simply went along with the program. He would just bring home the stamps. We only needed 10,000 stamps to get the blender.
Saving up 10,000 stamps seemed like a daunting task. There was a Osterizer at the end of that rainbow, so we patiently filled up stamp books until we reached our goal.
Eventually, a few stores discontinued the stamps and cut their prices accordingly. Trading stamps vanished from most places. “So you got things from just saving these stamps and stuff?” Doug asks.
I tell my nephew, “You know the silverware you use at grandmother’s house came from Betty Crocker/General Mills box tops.”
Condescending, Nine year old Doug rolled his eyes, “No Way” he said shrugging his shoulders. I shook his little shoulder. “Yes Way.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clean Enough or Too Clean ????

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The topic around the newspaper this week is simple: Spring cleaning. How do you draw the line between clean enough and too clean?
Do you dust or vacuum first? I believe you should vacuum first. If I would dust first, then vacuum, it might blow dust on everything I have just dusted.
I’ve heard a lot of vacuum first people argue that even a good clean well-filtered vacuum can blow dust. I agree – it might blow dust from undusted or forgotten areas onto dusted new ones.
I raised more than one eyebrow at the office when I asked what was the best way to clean behind and under appliances. “Why would you want to clean under heavy furniture?” asked Norma. While yes, Linda moves the couch each week to sweep under it.
What is the best way to get rid of dust bunnies? We all agree that a damp towel on the broom would pick up the webs most efficiently. For some reason dust bunnies didn’t seem to bother Robin. “They can spring up overnight,” she says. I bet she doesn’t worry about dead leaves on plants either.
Carla boasts that her husband has the job of cleaning all the windows. He uses a squeegee. I figure she was asking us to be jealous of her help.
Dianna swears she read warnings about serious accidents while cleaning. She hesitates to do any house cleaning. It’s too dangerous to clean. More than half of all accidents happen in and around the home, and hundreds of thousands of them are directly connected with home cleaning or maintenance.
“Is it worth it?” Stella asks. “A clean house can and will get messed up again.” True, the first thing you notice as you enter a home is how used and livable it looks and feels. I am more impressed by that than by a perfect, expensive, sparkling clean house. I’d rather see a cookie jar with a few crumbs around it than a gleaming sterile tile counter top.
Well, we had to get around to it sometime…the actual spring cleaning. How do you draw the line between clean enough and too clean? A house is made to live in, not to live for.
No one, except for my sister-in-law, really loves to clean. And you know she’s lying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Saint Patrick Day!

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Happy Saint Patrick Day! One day in the year that a great deal of people can celebrate their Irish Heritage. You will see shamrocks and people wearing the traditional green at more than one party. What makes the typical American turn Irish for one day?
Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day could be an excuse for a day to celebrate after the winter blahs. It could be the corned beef and cabbage. Maybe just maybe it’s the green beer.
With warmer days not too far away, we will be able to plant the garden. Maybe Mother Nature knows best. Yes, there are signs of tulips popping out in the front yard. Hello Spring !
The road maintenance crews are busy, working on the streets before it’s too late for your automobile. County roads are lined with hubcaps lost by passing motorists while ruts in the road wreak havoc with car suspension. I can’t say for certain how deep the chuckholes are but I have heard that if you look in one of the massive chuckholes on the way to Linton you can see the top of a Jeep Cherokee that has been reported missing.
You have to feel sorry for folks who go to Florida at this time of year. No comparison could be drawn to any climate on earth that compares to Indiana’s first blush of spring. A few days from now those daffodils that defy any remaining cold weather will jump up out of your long silent lawn.
Yes, the promise of spring in Indiana has no equal anywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not a Good Day In Indiana

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Greenwood Indiana residents have capitalized on the mild weather this past weekend. There was a lady out sun bathing. Although it was nice weather I wondered if she would get more of a wind burn than a sun burn. There were children out playing and riding bikes. Residents opted to wash automobiles or go for a walk. Sunday, you could hear the lawn mowers throughout the different neighborhoods.
All this and I opted to stay home for I have a visit from the flu bug.
The flu bug–you know what illness I speak of. The traditional flu symptoms: loss of appetite, fever, achiness. Then there is the terrible fatigue.
I have no desire to work or play and want to nap repeatedly. I’ve looked at every magazine in the house. The television volume hurts my head and now my eyes hurt so I can’t read the newspaper. Going outside is out of the question. Any near future of energy is impossible. I simply remain under the afghan in a prone position on the couch.
The hubby being healthy around me is irritating. How can he have escaped this dreaded bug? His smile makes me aggravated. He suggests a visit to the clinic. I snarl. It takes no medical degree to know that I should get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. He smiles, leaves the room with a bounce that I find a tad annoying. He could at least fake a slight cough.
Any amount of effort leaves me exhausted. No hot tea or sports drink have any effect. I feel more sapped than before.
Tomorrow I will set forth to work. Not so much because of dedication but rather I’m tired of simply being with myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s In A Nickname ??

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As friends relived old times during the course of last evening the subject of nicknames arose. So, I started scribbling them down — which is basically what I intended to build this column around.
I went to school with Carla whose nickname was Hurricane. While in grade school, there was an actual Hurricane that made the headlines in Texas called Hurricane Carla. She brought the newspaper to school and everyone called her Hurricane from then on.
Moose got his nickname while playing high school football. A nickname the coach gave him. What if the coach hadn’t liked his players? What other animals would he have used? A weasel perhaps?
Tiny, was a kid in high school who stood over six feet five inches. Yes he was the tallest kid in school and played center on the basketball team.
One friend has the least original nickname ever. He has natural red hair and his nickname is “Red”. My friend Charlotte goes by the nickname Char. Simple idea really, like we don’t have to use both syllables when we call her name.
At times, nicknames make perfect sense and sometimes they do not.
My cousin’s name is William and he goes by the name Will.
Yet another cousin, Michael, answers to the nickname Ronnie.
Go Figure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hospital Bed

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If you’re like me, you have trouble some days getting into the groove. Try spicing up the conversation around the office.
At the office today, the topic around the water cooler was: If you were recuperating in a hospital, who would you want in the bed next to you, excluding relatives?
Naturally, Bob the single guy in the office opted for Beyoncé. Melody, the only single woman, mentioned Kenny Chesney.
Danny’s answer was intriguing as he mentioned Captain Smith from the ship Titanic. They could discuss the grandeur of the ship and find out what really happened.
Myrna’s answer was unique. She would like The Dutchman. Maybe in his sleep he would mention if there really was a mine and its location. Carla mentioned she would pick a Kardashian. Think of all the odd visitors they might have.”
Larry’s answer was unlike anyone else in the office. He wanted no one in the bed beside him. “When I don’t feel well, I don’t want anyone near me!” In contrast, Dianna wanted Marsha who is her best friend.
Gary and Judy’s answers were distinctive, making more than one person roll their eyes. Gary would love to talk to Richard Nixon all night, while Judy could jabber with her mother-in-law.
Norman wanted to talk sports with Bob Costas, while Murl would want to visit with Babe Ruth.
Gary’s choice was Al Capone or Jimmy Hoffa. Interesting yet I’d question if I would feel comfortable closing my eyes at night.
To the question, “Who would you want in the hospital bed beside you?” Richard was quick to answer. “I’d have Donald Trump. Think of all the beautiful Russian ladies that will be there when President Putin stops by.”
Now that’s an all together different subject.