Saturday, December 31, 2011

Salmon and Lobsters and King Crab Oh My!

I added one of my favorite songs to my playlist today called "Downeaster Alexa" by Billy Joel.  And it got me to thinking....
There seems to be a trend and fasination out there in reality TV right now about the dangerous profession of deep sea fishing.  Don't get me wrong, I love it, but when exactly did this all become "cool". 
I've been intrigued by commercial fishing ever since I first heard Billy Joel's "Downeaster Alexa" back in the early 90's.  There was something romantic about the song.  Just as truckers had the song "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses" fishermen had Downeaster Alexa's "Tell my wife I am trolling Atlantis, and I still have my hands on the wheel".  I suppose fishermen are gone for days, sometimes weeks at a time.  And I'm sure that being a fisherman's wife is tough in many ways and real fisher-wives would tell you that it isn't romantic at all.  (Maybe Bravo Channel should jump on board with "Fisher-Wives"!  I mean, if we can have shows like "Basketball Wives" and "Mob Wives" why not? 
Anyways, here is his "Downeaster Alexa" video from 1989.  If you give it a listen, make sure to pause the playlist at the right so that you hear the video only :)

Now we have these fishing, crabbing, lobstering (is that even a word?) shows that show us what it is really like.  It's cold, it's dangerous, it's gritty and smelly and for some reason we find all these things very cool.
I have yet to see the movie "The Perfect Storm" simply because I know it will make me cry.  I like Deadliest Catch, but haven't watched since Captain Phil died. 

Lobster Wars is pretty much the same thing as Deadliest Catch except with Lobsters, and now TLC is getting in on this fishing trend with their new show "Hook, Line, and Sisters" which I might give a chance if I could spare an hour to actually watch TV :)
Mmmm a salmon supper would taste real good right about now.
Have a happy day!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Lightship by Brian Floca

One of my many favorite children's books is "Lightship" by Brian Floca.  The simple, easy-going text is nice but the illustration really make the book special.  Brian Floca captures the typical days of a lightship crew (and their cat) in his drawings.  What you might think would uneventful and boring is actually quite exciting and sometimes even dangerous.  We see the crew as they deal with larger ships that come too close and how difficult it is to walk around on a ship.  We can almost smell the sea air and hear the lapping of the waves. 

I was impressed that Floca was able to take a subject that would seem uninteresting to children and make a engaging children's book out of it.  Even as an adult, I found the illustrations and simple text to be quite interesting.  I had never heard of a lightship before reading this book!  But maybe that is one of the things a good book should do...introduce you to new concepts, places and people in exciting ways.  
Here is a You Tube book trailer (yes, there is such a thing, isn't that cool!?) of Lightship.  And as always, be sure to either pause or mute the playlist off to the right so that you can hear the you tube clip clearly.

What a great book!  I really hope you check it out the next time you are at the library or bookstore.  (Okay, time to stop. I'm sounding too much like those kids at the end of Reading Rainbow).
Check out the website below to learn more about Brian Floca and his books.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christ Lutheran Christmas Eve

I hope everyone had a good Christmas with family and friends.  Our Christmas was good and went way too fast.  All that preperation from the day after Thanksgiving up until Christmas and then, ZOOM! it's over in a couple of days.

We were able to have Christmas Eve services at Christ Lutheran Church.  Being able to have Christmas Eve worship there was very special to so many of us since it was flooded during the 2011 Souris River Flood.  Many people worked very hard to make Christmas Eve a possibility.  First the church had to be cleaned (mucked-out), and walls taken out. Then it had to be disinfected and dried, and the asbestoes had to be removed.  Now, with a new boiler in the boiler room it is clean and dry and ready for rebuilding in the spring.  Here are some pictures of what we as a church and congregation have been through these past six months.
Here is our beautiful church building from the air on Saturday, June 25th.
This clearly shows how high the water got on the main level.  Unfortunately, we were not able to save our pews.  They had to be cut into thirds by chain saws to be removed.  I was there that day and it was sad to hear the chainsaw motors coming from inside and to see each pew come out the doors in pieces.
Once the water had been pumped out of the basement we were able to go in and take a look around.  We hired a big "muck-truck" that had long vacuum hoses to suck up all of the yucky stuff out of the basement.  That was a tough day.  It was dark, damp, and very odiferous (that's the polite way of saying it lol).  We wore special masks, rubber boots and gloves. 
Professional photographer, David Joel came by the church and took some beautiful (as beautiful as a bare-bones church can be) photos.  This is part of the classroom area of the basement, cleaned up, dry and ready to be rebuilt.
Another photo by David Joel of the upstairs classroom.  I remember kicking the paneling down with my feet between the classrooms.  It was a good stress reliever.
And here we are on Christmas Eve.  There were a few lights, even though our main ceiling lights are not working yet.  We had the organ, candles, trees, and most importantly PEOPLE!  For many it was the first time seeing the church post-flood.  It was a beautiful service!
Before church.  I'm glad we got there early because we had a full house with extra seating in the narthex.
Candlelight Silent Night
During the whole process of cleaning and rebuilding we have been worshiping at Bethany Lutheran.  The folks at Bethany have made us feel very welcome and we thank them for that.  Christ Lutheran services are at 5:00pm on Saturdays and 9:30am on Sundays.  We still have our education hour on Wednesdays evenings.
We thank God for his guidance and know that He has been with us every step of the way!  And we have faith that He will continue to be with us as we proceed with rebuilding.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa Pictures

The daycare kids were ichin' for a project so I found these Santa faces to color.  We then glued cotton balls onto Santa's beard. They had a blast using their new crayons!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Laundry Day

There is one chore that I don't really mind much and that is laundry.  Maybe it's because I can see what has been accomplished.  I can see the piles of dirty clothes getting smaller, I can see the clean clothes all neatly folded on the bed, ready to be put away and there is a sense of accomplishment in that.

When we bought our mobile home, one of the things I loved about it was that it had a separate laundry room off the kitchen.  Most single wides have a laundry pair in a nook in the hall or in a little closet-type space.  Ours was an actual laundry room!

I've done my best to decorate it neatly and use the storage space wisely.
Kramer, the cat likes to sit on the dryer (I suppose because it is warm).  Even though it is a small room I still want it to be a pleasant place to be.  so I hung the little "Sally" dresses and the vintage Tide and laundry ads above the laundry pair.  The white curtain above hides the rack shelf and storage boxes above.
Storage above.

Because we have another outside exit right off our kitchen, we decided not to use this one.  We put a little shelf here and I made a cherry curtain to cover it.  Topped the shelf with a red board and made (sort of) some little curtains for the window.  My cleaning supplies live in an old Coca Cola box.
Off to the right hand side of the room my husband has a large shelf for tools, paint cans, etc.  It's not cute at all, nor very tidy, so I didn't photograph it.

It just shows that you can add personality to even the smallest little rooms in the house.  I like how cozy my laundry room is and don't really need anything bigger than what we have (I would just fill it full of stuff I don't need, heeheh!)

Love this vintage Duz ad that someone was selling on Ebay.  The vintage, red striped towels are a nice touch.

 I'm just glad we no longer have to do laundry by hand!  The old washboard method is long past as are the old gas powered machines of the 30s (thank heavens, because they were noisy!).  I like the ringer washers from the 40's.   This is a great You Tube video demonstration of a 1940's ringer washer.  It's so fun to see one working.

This video makes me think, this washing machine has lasted 70 years, why can't appliances today last that long.  Washers today have too many fancy-dancy features that's why!  Have you seen some of the new washers that are out there?  They look like something from the Jetsons! No, the Jetson's appliances didn't even look that complicated.  I think we put too many computer chips, buttons, extra features into things, and then if one of them breaks and the whole machine is useless!  Sometimes simple is better, and lasts longer too.

But I do wish I had a clothesline in my backyard.  I would hang laundry in the summer.  There is something special about hanging out the laundry. I'd have to learn the tricks and rules to properly hang out the laundry.  I think shirts are suppose to be hung upside down, and undies should be hung in the middle so the neighbors can't see them.  Maybe someday I'll have one.  Until then, my sister-in-law has one and maybe she will let me borrow her's some summer afternoon, when I hand wash my vintage linens.  That will be a fun day! 

This is a picture from an old scott, foresman science book from 1944.  This page was about wind and how we can use it to our advantage. Aren't the illustrations just swell.  More on that book later.
Well, more on vintage laundry another day.  Now, I have to go throw a load of towels into the dryer, all the while wishing I could be hanging them out to dry on a beautiful summer day. (It's 30 degrees here today).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


So I was looking through some old Micro-word documents and came across this one that I wrote way back in April.  I was going to post it as a note on FB but must've chickened out.  I couldn't tell you today what it was that set me to writing this, but some of it makes a lot of sense.  And now knowing what kind of a summer many of us had in 2011....well, some of it seems applicable especially #5 (that's just plain spooky).   

April 30, 2011
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life and here’s what I think. I'm zippin' up my flame suit because I'm sure some of my thoughts might rub some of you the wrong way, but keep in mind this is just my opinion J
Sometimes I think…

1 We should stop looking for loop-holes. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Period.

2 We should stop blaming others, when there is no one to blame. Sometimes sh*t happens and it’s no one’s fault.

3 On the other hand, sometimes there is someone to blame and those to blame should step up and take the criticism and learn their lesson.

4 Sometimes we have to get back to basics and to what is real.
---Even though they may be entertaining, new-fangled solutions, full of bells and whistles, are not always the answer.

5 In order to move forward, we may have to tear down what we have built up. Then we can find what is central and important and build again on that solid foundation.

6 Money does not buy happiness.

7 Society would be better off if we were all a bit more frugal.
---Do we really need all the latest and greatest toys? I find it interesting and sad that people go into debt buying lake cabins, boats, campers, etc. so they can achieve “quality time with the family”. If we spent more quality time with our families everyday, eating supper together, taking walks, gardening, etc. we wouldn’t need the extra stuff for just the weekends. It’s a cycle that needs to be broken.

8 Children don’t need to be given everything they want.
Parents shouldn’t feel guilty about not giving them what they want, when they want it.

9 On that note…God is like a parent, we do not always get what we want when we want it.

10 We need to get back to a time when a woman could chooseto stay home with her children.
---90% of my daycare moms say they would rather stay home, but can’t afford it. (Notice I said choose).

11 We need to become more humble.

12 Life is not fair, learn to deal with it.  There will always be someone you know that has a bigger house, a nicer car, and more money AND who works less than you do to have all of the above (how the hell does that happen?!).  The grass is always going to look greener someplace else.  BUT you have to remember it could always be worse.  We need to be happy with what we HAVE because it could be taken away from us at anytime. 

13 A person’s worth shouldn’t be measured by their salary! Money shouldn’t be what’s most important and we shouldn’t always talk about how much things cost, or how much a person makes.

So, there are my sassy opinions in black and white and lightening hasn't stuck me yet.  I don't have the foggiest idea what I was upset about.  Maybe I was just reminding myself that life isn't always perfect.  Either way it was kinda interesting to read.

Finished Puppy Towel Set

Here is the finished puppy towel set.  I wasn't sure how the black fabric on the tea towel would look but I think it matches the puppy's ears pretty well. 
I made the wash clothes red to match the strawberries and cherries.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Creativity Weekend 2

Wow! What a weekend it was!  I got so much crafting done and am that much closer to finishing up Christmas gifts. 
Worked on glitter ornaments a bit.  It's a slow process because I let the colors dry before moving on so as not to smudge the parts that aren't dry yet.  I ran out of ornament hooks so had to improvise with paper clips.  They hang along a string above my work space. (hey, whatever works, right?)
There are medium sized rainbow ornaments for all of my daycare moms.

This is one for Autumn's piano teacher.

The bottom of the piano one.
By the time the weekend was over, I was covered in glitter. 
Also did some Christmas shopping over the weekend.  Needed to stop at Jo Ann Fabrics for some things for Autumn's school project, and while there picked up another early present for myself.  Snap boxes were 50% off!  Couldn't pass that up, so one came home with me.  It's a bit larger than my embroidery one.  I'm going to move my embroidery supplies into it and it will be my "Embroidery Travel Case".
This was the smaller one.  It worked fine, but was getting a little cramped for space.

The smaller one was easy for traveling and I will still use it for all of my sewing supplies if I ever decide to get a sewing machine.

Now, this is the NEW one.  See how much more room I have to keep projects in progress, and space for a whole small box of floss!
The NEW box is still very travel friendly.  Now I can take my embroidery on the road and not have to pick just one towel to work on, but several.  And I don't have to worry about not having the right colors of floss to choose from.  I'll have every color of the rainbow with me!
This is what I started on this weekend.
Here it is almost finished.  It will be part of a tea-towel, dishcloth, dish towel set.  I will post it when the whole set is complete.
Happy crafting! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Vintage Kitchen Cabinets

It's no big secret among my friends and family that I have a thing for vintage kitchens.  I will nudge my way into an old farmhouse just to get a good look at the kitchen.  One of my friends has an almost complete vintage kitchen right down to the built-in Thermador wall ovens and stove top (that unfortunatly don't work but look great).  The cupboards look like they were just installed!  Only her new fridge and stove are not vintage.  It's my dream kitchen!

So, when I came across this advertisement in my December 1949 Better Homes magazine, I thought I'd do somemore digging about what kitchens were like in the 40's and 50's.  First off I love that these sets are called "Kitchenaider".  I don't know why, that just makes me laugh.

Back in '49 if Santa had left a kitchen like this under my tree I would've been one happy housewife!! 
Eventually, my search led me to one of my favorite vintage kitchen sites
Here, one can read about the history of kitchen cabinets.  Steel cabinets were wanted because they kept critters out.  Critters can't chew through steel.
My grandmother didn't have steel cabinets.  She had a wooden cupboard.  Luckily it has stayed in the family and it belongs to my folks now.  Of course the kitchens that we see in home magazines of that day, weren't always the kitchens that exsisted.  Not everyone had the most modern kitchen set-ups.  My grandmother's kitchen looked nothing like those found in magazines.  My grandmother had wooden cupboards, and very limited space. 

My Grandmother's old cupboard that is now at my parent's cabin.  Funny story: one of the doors makes a destinctive squeaking noise when opened, has been that way for years and years.  One day when my grandmother was visiting at the cabin, she heard that door squeak, she turned her head and said, "My cupboard!  There's a sound I haven't heard in years! Sure brings back memories."
I can't remember what website I found this on, but it's that butter-yellow that I love so much!  Now, it obviously needs a little TLC, but I think this would be perfect in some little kitchen.  I wonder how many hours were spent washing dishes in that sink.  Did the mom have little helpers to help her wash, or did she wash dishes alone?  Was there a kitchen window above it, decorated with cute little yellow curtains, where she could watch the birds in the tree outside?  These are the silly things I think about when I see vintage stuff lol.
When I talk about what my dream kitchen would be like, I am in no way saying that I am not happy with the kitchen that I have.  I am blessed to have a nice little house, with a decent sized, modern kitchen. But I like to look at what is out there.  I like kitchens with white cupboards, butter yellow walls, and vintage tables.  I love this kitchen from Cynthia's Cottage Design blog.
From Cynthia's Cottage Design Blog.  Her kitchen is amazing.  Her's is green and I like yellow, but this is still beautiful.

And this one with the pink walls from Miss Retro's Blog.  I think it is darling!

I don't recal where I saw this online, but it is adorable right down to the two orange cats!  The yellow is a smidge too bright, but I love that is has a back door.  Some vintage curtains for the door and window, maybe a vintage stove and PRESTO my dream kitchen!

 This toaster and table would be adorable in a vintage yellow kitchen.
More on vintage kitchens another time.  For now, I have to go do my dishes ;) Have a happy day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Old Time Radio Shows

A few months back I discovered old radio shows.  It all started one evening when my daughter was off at a sleepover and husband was watching a movie in the living room.  I retreated to my crafting space in the bedroom.  The TV was especially obnoxious and loud that evening, so I turned it off and decided to do things "50's gal" style.  She listens to old radio programs.  I found this awesome website with hundreds of old radio shows on it.
The first shows I listened to were George Burns and Gracie Allen shows.  Maxwell House Coffee were their sponsors. 
Then I had to give Our Miss Brooks a listen because I played Miss Brooks in a high school play back in '92. (Yes, I was in the drama club and had two lead roles.  I can't believe it either, and I could NEVER stand up there and do it now).

Fibber McGee and Molly are my absolute favorite!  They were real-life husband and wife comedy team, Jim and Marian Jordan. has full episodes form 1941 that you can download to have with you wherever you go.  I keep a few programs on my ipod (I'm such a radio nerd).  I just love their full cast of characters knocking on their door, and long-running gags such as the "hall closet" and Molly's "taint funny, McGee."  And I especially love Mr. Gildersleeve's laugh.  The daycare kids like it when I pretend to be Mrs. Uppington.
Here is a full and complete Fibber McGee and Molly episode.   You can give 'em a listen and see what you think :)  You can even hear the old NBC chime at the very end.  *hint* You can hear the radio program better if you pause the playlist that is off on the right hand side of the blog, first.  :)

Wish I could remember where I found this 1945 magazine ad online.  Anyways, Fibber and Molly were sponsored by the Johnson's Wax Co. and they made Glo-Coat.  So a man by the name of Wilcox would drop by the McGee's home and comment on how lovely Molly's floor would be and that she must use Glo-Coat.  It was interesting to listen to the clever ways they could work a commercial for Glo-Coat right into the script! 
A woman from the 1930's tuning in her radio.  If I had lived in the 30's or 40's I probably would've had a radio. 
It makes me think...I'll bet life was a lot quieter back then.  No dishwasher buzzing in the background, no video games, no TV's with their loud, fast and flashing commercials.  I'd be willing to bet people spent more time in conversation.  With no dishwasher, mom and kids talked while doing the dishes.  Instead of zoning out in front of different TVs, in different rooms (because not everyone watches the same thing), I'll bet people sat around the living room and talked more.  And if there was a radio program on most of them were for the whole family! 
I know I mention 50's gal a lot but I'll never forget one of her blog entries where she showed two photos (I wish I could find the entry, I'd link you to it).  One photo was of a family going on a picnic, child on dad's shoulders, picnic basket in hand.  The other was of a family of four, all sitting on the same huge sofa, but all doing different things.  They were together, but not listening to each other, not talking to each other.  Mom had a laptop, dad was on his phone, sister was listening to an ipod and brother was playing nintendo DS.  She said something about how we've gone from one way of living to the other, And whether or not it worth it?"  
I hope I'm not ruffling anyone's feathers, and I'm not saying that I don't like technology, I do.  I love my ipod and my laptop and I do watch a little TV, but I think it is easy to let those things come between us and what's going on around us.  Sometimes it's okay to shut it all off for a bit, I think our brains appreciate a little quiet time once in awhile.
Anyways, I got a little off-track there.  It seems sometimes I get going and don't want to stop until my thought is out of my head lol.  On to happier things.

One of my goals is to find a cute little 'ole radio for my kitchen.  Even better, a reproduction that I could hook my ipod to and have my oldies and old radio programs coming through what looks to be an antique radio.
This little radio was in The 'Ole Malt shop in Garrison ND.  I think it's a reproduction with CD player by Memorex.  Cute!
Here's a Crosley  AM/FM CD player with alarm for about 100$--a little out of my price range, but still pretty cool I think!
A girl can dream :)