Monday, September 16, 2019

Fall cleaning

What is happening in your corner of the world? Do you remember cleaning every Fall and Spring? I know a lot of you still do that. It was always really a fun time because Gramma either came here every day or we went over to her house. Either way the three of us didn't stop until every room in both houses had been cleaned from floor to ceiling. At Gramma's we even took up the carpet tacks and hauled her old rug out to beat it over a fence. We put down new newspapers and sprinkled a package of my grandfather's Beechnut chewing tobacco around before putting the carpet on top... Supposedly the tobacco was a deterrent to moth millers... My grandfather always went through the house yelling, "Boooo hoooo hoooo hoooo.!!!!" He was joking about the waste of a good pack of tobacco.

I was Mrs. Jones and Mom was Mrs. Smith. Gramma was Mrs. Brown.  I am not sure why it was important to change our names, but I think we might have been the maids coming to clean. Winters brought deep ash and soot. Summers brought enormous amounts of dust fogging in those delicious open windows and propelled through the house by Emerson fans. Dirt didn't stand a chance. 

Today little Mrs. Jones played the little red hen and cleaned half a bedroom all.... by..... herself.....

 Not as much fun but still one of my favorite things to do... I left the windows for another day (maybe when my Amish friends return). 

So... tomorrow is another day. Maybe I will be Mrs. Jones... and maybe I will be my own bad self and watch YouTube videos... lol

Either way, I am sure we will enjoy another day of warm weather... One good thing. Mrs. Jones has AC... Yay!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tuesday Talk

I think I probably showed the best photo of my Studio first, and that's just not good strategy. I am just thrilled to have a space to even "dump" my craft things. Never have I ever had a space for art and glue and glitter... so much a part of my stash!

So... it is definitely a work in progress. I spend part of my time making something, part of it sorting, and part of it--- just looking at the bits and remnants accumulated through the past 12 years... and beyond. Mom had quite a bit of dreaming and "stuff" too.

I started the morning with some Mocha flavored coffee. My son asked me if I even knew what plain coffee tasted like. I think that was a little rude, don't you? I do like plain coffee... but there are so many wacky kinds to try. I have my coffee maker in the kitchen...

In one little corner you can see I am greeted by a dear little bunch of Shirley Temple dolls. Those were some of Mom's favorites so they keep me company right where she put them. 

I use this shelving space for my papercraft supplies. My favorite things to do right now include junk journals, regular scrapbook/more modern journals, and crochet. I have a lot of sewing and counted cross stitch, but those pesky criminals stole two sewing machines, ----and my fingers are a little stiff for the needle... gotta work on both problems. It is a bit of a hodge podge in this ( and every) corner...

Callie finally decided to make herself at home. It was quite a little struggle because she has been sequestered in this room during times her presence wasn't wanted (gasp!)...  Impossible! Her kittykat mind cannot fathom such a time as that. But when she saw the li'l lapghan just for her, she gave in.

I have lots of very sweet company in this room. Mama's girls are always interested in the day's labors...

More multiple choice items. Yes, that is a pumpkin stem from last year. I dearly want to make velvet or sweater pumpkins and I have messed around with that stupid stem for 10 months...  We shall see. I better make a pumpkin. That's all I am saying.

This is my special line to Santa's workshop. This particular wall had been totally covered with little girl pictures of me...  They had to go,,, too bossy and nosey and ... in my face, ya know?

My dream/plan is to have this tree filled with seasonal bits that I can use as favors, gifts, little tuck-ins for friends, shut-ins and whomever would like something.... Uh, nope. Not one thing on dat tree other than pine cones... yet. Just dreamin'

The pink-legged table was in Gramma's kitchen and then in my bedroom up north. Luckily it was something I had asked for early, so it was spared. These old floors were salvaged from other sites in 1956 when Daddy rebuilt this house... (and they look it!). They have to wait.... I had to get a floor guy to re-do the bathroom and landing that my carpenter did last summer. The tiles all broke and popped up... 

I know! Don't even get me started. Have a wonderful day! My son is working from home today, so... our cat is soooo happy.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Happy Sunday!

Rain, Wind, Thunder and Lightning... and a little cat perched on my shoulder at 4 a.m. or so...  She had her face hanging over mine with a "Do we live through this?" query on her fox-shaped face... I told her, "Yes... we live through this one."

Today was a farmhouse lunch...  Mom's meat loaf recipe, Gramma's corn casserole, green beans, baked sweet potatoes... and the last of the leftover birthday cake and ice cream...

Sneak peek:

Oh... I can sleep all day so I can howl n protect all night... lol.  To be a cat...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Pop o' Color?

Working my way around my kitchen with the final touches of Fall decorating today. Of course, I had to experiment with the new trend of white harvest. I did like its gentle peace. Then I tucked in some riotous fall leaves. To be honest, I like both... go figure. After I added the leaves, I was tired... so that's the story for now.

What say you, Pals?

You guys all know I don't drink, but... this made me laugh. I need to laugh...

Short week with a fun Taco Salad party for some of my son's friends and co-workers on his birthday.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

A Century Ago today. . .

Today as I was sitting at my kitchen table with a new month's planner I wrote... "Happy Anniversary, Gramma and Paw-paw." Then as I added the year, 1919... I realized that today is 100 years... and for some strange reason I got really excited and felt like calling someone to celebrate. But, you know. To those of us who honor ancestry and our loved ones from the past, these discoveries are quite exciting. However, since my immediate family is so small and includes only a son in his 30's, I am fairly certain he will just say with kind (and really kind) enthusiasm: "Oh, wow! Neat!" And that, my dear Scarlett, will be that. What really would I expect?

a Google Search just now gave me this news:

The Macon Republican (Macon Missouri) 08 Mar 1918

And somehow he ended up in Louisville Kentucky?

A few years ago I visited Louisville, KY, with my son. It was the site of a chance meeting between a young soldier and a young woman... I have written this here in the past, so today's post doesn't take us to my studio quite yet but to a little re-telling (and borrowing) of my favorite love story. Although both Gramma and Paw-paw are now in Heaven, I still think of them almost every day. Their chance meeting was definitely one of the most romantic stories I've ever heard. Gramma, a five foot, one inch little lady from Indiana, accompanied her new sister-in-law to an army camp in Kentucky to see her brother. The two young girls rode a camp trolley pulled by two bay horses through the rows upon rows of tents, trying to find the "street" where Uncle Vernis was bunked. Well, naturally, the girls disembarked a few rows too soon and were soon hopelessly lost. (CUE my grandfather, a tall, lanky boy from Missouri who was there leaning against a sign posted by the military.) Can't you imagine how thrilled he was to be the one they asked for directions. My gramma always blushed and giggled when she told how he led them victoriously to the tent, and then waited.... and waited.... and listened to their plans to go to a restaurant for dinner..... and then waited some more. Finally my uncle casually asked him if he would like to join them for supper.. Well, I guess he would!----and the rest was the history of a marriage that lasted from 1919 until 1971, his death.

Somewhere in this house (I so hope) is a photo of my grandfather in his uniform...  But oh, my heart sparkles when I see this one of my little son wearing it for a roaring 20's party over 30 years ago..

Most families have legends, tales they have nurtured and treasured through the years.  One of mine is this legendary love story between my mother's parents. My gramma always spoke the name of the town with a kind of preferential reverence.  This was "her" town, I thought...  Although our family has always been very close, very much a communicative one, the story of her marriage and engagement is still a bit obscure.  I ran across a treasure in the form of a diary or journal.  There on the pages of a little pink corduroy journal, in my gramma's perfect up and down spikey script, are the words of her love story. (Sadly, yes... that little pink corduroy journal is gone in that vandalism that haunts my current joy.)

A farm couple with hearts of gold... but I might be biased

Evidently they walked to the river, and there they fell in love... It's little wonder I became such a sap for romantic movies and happy endings, is it?

I am the little munchkin in this photo with them and Daddy

I have no story to fill the gap between that meeting and September 1, 1919, when my grandfather arrived in Centerpoint, Indiana, and he and Gramma caught a ride on the back of the mail hack in to town. There they were married by a Justice of the Peace with two coal haulers grabbed in off the street as witnesses. Hmmmmm. Does it seem to you all there must be a few hundred pages of their story missing? It's funny the actual meeting was told and retold, but the real story? Mum was the word for all of their lives. Oh, well. it matters not. Today marks 100 years from that secretive trip to town. I remember hearing they came back to her parents' home, and her brother rummaged through their papers, produced their marriage license and spilled the beans... Oh, Candace Valera (my great-grandmother's exquisite name!!!!), how your heart must have broken a little ---one hundred years ago today when your little daughter did this "brave yet audacious" thing!

I distinctly remember tom-foolery between Paw-paw and me for this photo of Daddy's birthday.

Have a lovely Labor Day... I am trying my luck with Chicken Teriyaki, stir-fry, rice and a baked sweet potato... (I know. Not a classic combo...)

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Shine like the moon, Mama!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Nothing like a project. My parents and grandparents were huge proponents of taking on a project and seeing it through. So... in that spirit, Summer 2019 can be a dedicated effort to do just that. I have had a lot of fun with this summer's plan of establishing a real home for the contents of the house. I find it odd I never did that when I think of the years I spent loving to create outlines for writing and orderly sketches in art... Oh well... Now the challenge of disciplining my habits to put away, rather than stash. I think Mama was just naturally orderly. And I also suspect she would rather put things away "right" than fuss with the child she was given... My Dad, on the other hand, lived with the idea to leave things where you might need them. His truck cab was a testament to that, and my car was always fairly stocked with life's trappings... 

However, here as I really just stay home at one house, I see that each drawer is better served as an organizer, rather than a sub-station! So establishing slowly... ordering and puttering... it's rather fun... for now.

I have started another small crochet project... How I love to crochet and think about the person who will be receiving my project. It seems as if I am sending them a perpetual hug...

I saw the neatest video on YouTube about a reading journal. I think I might start one.... You guys know that's JUST what I need--- another kind of journal! 

As we approach Labor Day, I think of all the great memories and associations with this holiday. My finest has to be the birth of my only son on Labor Day weekend in 1981. Now that was a highlight of my life like no other! And celebrating his birthdays through the years has been so much fun. I have been often quite challenged, financially, to buy his gifts. My school through the years chose to pay its teachers on May 20th for May, June, July, and August. Windfall! Budgeting NIGHTMARE! I was always so challenged to have  several important birthdays, summer vacation, Homecoming, Summer house improvements---   So September 20th marked the first payday in 4 months and my son's birthday fell right before that much-anticipated day... right into a "purty slim pickimgs" time slot. 

Labor Day time was also a celebratory mix of returning to the classroom and honoring several important birthdays and anniversaries. I just love September mornings with their fogs and chill...  Every month has its blessings and its own special call to the heart. Sometimes the memories bring remembered pain and loss. I can't gloss over those in sugar-coated denial. Sometimes they do. . . 

Happy Labor Day! See you next in my Studio!!!! (formerly known as Paw-paw's Room)  

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Weekend Whimsies

Happy Sunday in Blogland! I have spent the weekend working in my Studio... but not the artsy kind of work, the good for the soul creation. Oh, no. I have been cleaning out boxes and baskets, totes and bags... all kind of identical in their contents: potpourri category. I can see the pattern. I would get going on a project and then would needed to clear out the kitchen for company or something... Insert container dump cleanup procedure that Mama called "the basket trick." And that was that... Those items were lost for years, stuffed farther back in the closest closet. Some time I will show you my glue stick collection!

Saturday morning I said goodbye to an old friend, my T-bird from the 90's... I think it might have been my favorite car ever. I wouldn't even use it as a trade-in when I got another car. It had quit me in the drive-through at Burger King right before my dad passed away and I moved in with Mom. I think it kind of smoked and looked scary! I just never got back to it and it has gone gray from baking in the sun. So I got a wild notion to donate it to the Wounded Veteran's project. I really hope it gets chosen to be fixed up for someone who will enjoy it as much as I did... (and don't tell me if it is instead a cube of metal junked for scrap... please)

I loved sitting out on the porch in the gorgeous cool air!

Have you guys had these grapes? They called them Witch Finger grapes... They are delicious, but call me shallow-- I don't like them due to their name and their non-grape shape... kind of like that colored ketchup years ago or heirloom tomatoes... I kept thinking about those li'l witches with no fingers... lol ... 

(oops! too late)

I had the urge to make stuffed cabbage rolls today, but I got a late start so decided to make this in the.... you guessed it--- instant pot. I served it with mashed potatoes and a bit of shredded cheese. Oh. my. We have had a couple days that make one know why we were born... cool weather feels like Heaven in pre-fall. This would be good on a wintry day. I used/subbed in tomato sauce, ranch dressing dry mix, Cajun seasoning, and beef-a-roni...  (In other words, I didn't follow the recipe or color inside the lines...shocker!) Either way would be delicious I am sure.


The Typical Mom

Instant Pot Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Instant Pot stuffed cabbage casserole is so tasty! Really simple to make with the same stuffed cabbage flavors you love just much easier to make and eat. Only 12 minutes in your pressure cooker creates the perfect comfort food that will remind you of your childhood.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cabbage, casserole, easy, instant pot, pressure cooker

Servings: 8

Calories: 343kcal

Author: The Typical Mom


  • 1 lb ground beef or ground sausage
  • 3 1/2 c beef broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 c rice white, uncooked
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce 20 oz
  • 1 can tomato soup 10 oz
  • 1 dash hot sauce optional
  • 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 c cabbage cut into small chunks 2x2 pcs


  • Turn Instant Pot to saute, normal. Add a bit of olive oil, ground beef and diced onion. Cook until beef is not pink and onions soften
  •  Turn Instant Pot OFF/cancel button and deglaze your pot. Important step so pot does not overheat and can cool off while draining grease and adding other ingredients. If you do not turn it off in between you may have an error/burn code come on as it senses it is overheating.
  • Add in all other ingredients except rice and cabbage. Do not stir.
  • When all other ingredients are added pour uncooked rice in, do not stir.
  • Break up chunks of cabbage and add to top of your mixture, gently push down into the liquid. (make sure pot is not more than 3/4 full or it may not reach pressure)
  • Put lid on and close steam valve.
  • Push pressure high for 12 minutes (or if you don't have that option push your rice button which will automatically set for 12 minutes).
  • Do a quick release.
  • Lift lid carefully, stir, and serve! Can top with chives or even parmesan cheese!! It will thicken more as it sits.


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1260mg | Potassium: 846mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 32.8mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Bright Plans

Whimsy and Hugs! On a brighter note, I have been working non stop (if you don't count naps and goofing off) on my Studio... It is definitely less than a work in progress...  I am just so happy to finally have one room to blend all my working materials. What a relief it will be to just walk in there and enjoy a happy afternoon of "piddling." (I interrupt this blogpost to once again clarify that in the Midwest "Piddling" means just goofing around, puttering, fiddling with something creative or fun. Years ago some lovely European pen pals schooled me on their definition, "to pee." They asked if I had some kind of "condition" after I admitted to just piddling away first a day and later a whole weekend.) I was a "wee" bit embarrased.

Just thought I would share some random photos taken from Pinterest... Now that's a rabbit hole of a website, isn't it?

Found these coasters to crochet, They are a MAaaaaaaaybe....

These are kinda cute (in the photo)...

Believe it or not, I don't think we have any old ladders, but one would sure be fun! My son and a friend had saved a lovely collection of hand made quilts. So happy!

This wine rack is NOW put to its best use. None of these in Mom and Dad's stuff though.

Well, friends, I can almost guarantee you will never see this much organization in my Studio... Although it is quite cute... not sure what's in the jars though.

Have a really fun weekend and Friday. I hope to get in a Good Witch marathon. I think I have several episodes to watch ---plus the season finale. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Be so vewy careful what you ask for. . .

Probably (don't you hope) a last update on my old house. I should not have used that title about a home where buffalo roamed... My old house couldn't have been much worse if that had been the case.

A cautionary tale. A house alone in the countryside, even a very usually kind community, is not safe. I do not have to stew and fret about the stuff I left behind any more. I had no idea that people did this kind of thing to another person.

As you walk, the glass from the windows crunches... I had worn canvas go-walks so I just couldn't maneuver without fearing for my feet! It smells really weird/bad. It is much worse than I was thinking... I am glad I finally worked through my inexplicable paralysis of the spirit to get my can up there... 

They had hacked into the air conditioner and the basement walls and anywhere they could find copper pipe or wire. 

Each room seemed worse than the first... But I will spare ya the pictures... My first search was for my gramma's big picture of her in 1902 @ 3 years old...  sure to be hanging above the ... ruined- baby grand... She was gone. So was my grandfather's huge painting his mother commissioned for his 12th birthday before she passed away after a runaway a buggy wreck... Finally about a foot deep I heard my auctioneer friend whoop... "I think I found her!"

Hi Gramma! Are you not the cutest li'l bug in Indiana history? I just have to smile... I used to tease her about this picture. She was less than five foot tall all her life. I would say... "See those black socks? Oh, wait! Those are the chair legs... Those little bitty feet are barely peeking out from the hem of your dress... And you were as tall there as you ever grew right?" We used to just die out laughing....
My grandfather was gone, but Gramma came home with me. 

Years ago I wrote a little sonnet about this grandmother's empty house the night she died... I revised it here a bit for me and this odd kind of total loss... And everybody should know how very glad am I that nobody was hurt, nobody...

Requiem for my Home

An old, beloved farmhouse - dark tonight.
Inside- it once held lovely, cherished dreams.
Our hearts know more than windows let out light
And ache in sorrow's darkness, so it seems.

A bit of life, a flash of time lies mangled on the floor.
Emotions cannot judge who's most to blame.
But long ago we left with unclosed door
We must have known paths couldn't stay the same.

The eye of mind is strong, hearts stronger still.
What vandals wrought will soon be in the past.
The truest gifts to children is their will...
To hum the tunes of things that truly last,

I think I hear a bit of joys I choose,
For what the heart has owned, it cannot lose.

North House (1976-2019)

Whimsy and Hugs!

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Those who know me or have been reading my blog for long know this happy little clutter corner. It is a shot from my kitchen up at my old house before... It is how it looks to this day... in my mind,   but oh, not really...  Isn't it a funny thing how our minds do that?

"Time... you ticking villain. You change little babies into tired old men. Time, the greatest mystery of all lies safe within each clock. And man can only cry and fall while you tick tock...tick tock." ---  Something like that was scribbled on a leaf-shaped piece of orange construction paper the only time I went inside a Demonstration School/junior high building on my college campus called Ophelia Parrish. ???  What a name... I remember the headline the week before the beautiful old building was to be razed... "Must Ophelia Perish?" hmmmm...  Evidently the answer was no because that old building is now Ophelia Parrish concert hall. Ophelia was alive from 1903 - 1915... My mind... it is purty full, but where is that car title? Not. a. clue.

Here is my sweet  son and my daddy in that kitchen... again.. I know I just shared this a few weeks ago, but it makes my heart happy...

Speaking of ticking villains! Here am I at my other house front door about 1996.  I look the same!  lolol (walker and all.)

I am glad to see from the wall behind her that Cinderella must be here at this house instead of there.... or broken... or stolen

Wish I could say the same about this beautiful girl... It's wrong to  hope she falls on the foot of  the jerk individual who took her... so wrong.... lol

Unless the storms are too bad ---  tomorrow, or rather later today ---since it is 4:47 a.m.,  is the first day of clean-up.