Monday, November 28, 2011

Catching up

Well my husband and I finally got ourselves moved into an apartment in a new state.  After 27 years in the same house this was a huge job!  I am ashamed of how much junk I had packed into nooks and crannies in the house that I had forgotten were there.  We are now downsized to what we felt was good enough or important (sentimental) enough to save or the flat out antiques (the furniture - not us!).  We will think about buying a house next spring after we do our research on water, weather, crime and services (need our internet!).  We have learned our way around a new town, found new doctors, pharmacy, grocery stores and of course found the Wal - Mart, Jo-Ann's and Micheal's!  Best of all we have found a new church, what a blessing, finding an old fashioned traditional "old rugged cross singing" church is not an easy task any more!
I have got my craft room set up and have even added a few crafts to the list of current projects.  We are doing the handmade/hand-me-down Christmas this year, we will see how everyone likes it. 
The apartment has a huge pantry so food storage continues apace.  Our attitude towards preparedness was solidified by the natural disasters recently.  Hurricanes, floods and tornadoes - are we prepared to take care of ourselves for a few days or weeks?  The next question becomes and can we help others?   We are trying to make sure that the answer to both questions is a resounding yes! 
Jobs as we all know are few and far between so hubby and I took our classes and have become certified NRA Pistol Instructors, and we will soon have the certs to be able to teach classes to allow folks to carry concealed in 34 states!  Seemed like a good idea, makes use of our skills and combines some of the things we believe in and enjoy! 
I have added another pickle recipe, this one from my other grandmother.  I put up 20 pints of sweet pickles and 12 quarts of dills this fall.  The sweet pickles take so much time my Mom doesn't like to do them anymore and it gives me a great gift to give her for Christmas every other year or so!
Hopefully as we get more organized this blog will have more patterns and instructions on it.  I am working on a cookbook with all the favorite recipes of the 4 grandmas from all the cousins and aunts and uncles.  As they come in they will be posted.  This is going to be a fun project.  Already recipes are coming in that make me smile, some I haven't thought of in years!
Back soon!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Miracle Whip or Mayo?

I do not eat sweet pickles from the store! They're awful!!  I was 24 years old before I knew that the pickles from the store were different from what I had grown up with, that's about the same time I found out that Miracle Whip wasn't the same thing as Mayonnaise!  See, I had just gotten married and was about to find out that my true love and I might be hopelessly incompatible, he ate Mayo!  30 years later we laugh, and I keep both in the fridge.  It is interesting now, doing the genealogy research, to look at the foods that belong to different ethnic backgrounds and see if those foods were from a particular region and if there is a practical reason they became a staple in the diet of our ancestors.  How many foods were eaten more for the fact that they would store through the winter with no fridge or freezer than the taste or appearance?  Crops that would grow in colder climates with shorter growing seasons are why my German and Scots/Irish ancestors both used potatoes and cabbage extensively.  It is interesting to look at ethnic cuisine, and our own personal ideas of comfort foods and trace them back to an ancestor who lived on the steppes of Russia for instance and grew bushels of potatoes and cabbage!  The part of genealogy that makes it personal to me is not the name and birthday but finding out why they left 'there' and came 'here', what did they wear, and of course what did they eat.  I am collecting recipes from the areas that my ancestors came from and comparing them to the food I ate growing up, I will share as I work through them. I'm sharing my first recipe for Grandmas sweet pickles, they take a lot of effort but are sooo worth it! Enjoy!
- Kathy

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Thanks for checking out this blog.  I hope to have some interesting things up very quickly.  My kids say it's a site dedicated to 'Old Stuff'', which translates to genealogy, historic information, old recipes, antiques, graveyards, old quilt patterns, crafts and preserving all those things.  Preserving for the historic value and dedicated to the idea that learning history and how things were done will benefit us, and could even keep us from making mistakes that have been made already.  I promise you, I am not a person who would give up her laptop, or stereo, or car, I don't want to give up modern conveniences.  I do love the feel of well made furniture, the comfort of a pantry full of food, the warmth of a handmade quilt on a cold night, and a house full of the kind of furnishings that make visitors feel like sitting down and spending some time.  A laptop looks good on a roll top desk!
I have been married to the same guy for 30 years, have 3 boys ages 28, 24 and 22, and have worked most of my adult life in some aspect of the insurance industry.  My husband and I are transitioning to life on a pension and part time jobs, in the process of moving to a new state, and inviting all 3 kids to move with us to our new state.
As a Christian I truly believe that God is in control of our lives, but I have, over the year and a half of unemployment for my husband, a slow down in my job, and all of that uncertainty, developed a deeper trust in the Lord.  Not knowing what will happen from day to day is a wonderful lesson in trust!  I have been reminded many times of the old hymn 'Leaning on Jesus'. 
Well that is me in a nutshell, please come back in a few days and see how we progress - Thank you