100th POST! WOW!

WOW!  My 100th post!  I feel like I should really post something special.  My mind is blank.  I am in the middle of posting my Grandfather’s scrapbook from the Navy so this is an interruption. I did not want my 100TH to just go by and not acknowledge it, though! Lol.  I do have some interviews coming up with some band members to post as well.  That will be awhile down the road, though.

100th post – the first thing that came to my mind was the children being excited about the 100th day of school.  They were always having such fun coming up with the 100 things to take to school that day.  Well, for the short time they were in school, anyway.  We did home school, you know.  We talked about the 100th day and I would have let them gather 100 things, but I think they only did that once or maybe twice during home school.

Then, my mind went to 100 things I am grateful for or 100 things that I love.  I have way more than 100 things that I am grateful for and that I love so that would take way too long.  The one thing, though, and the most important, is that it all started with God, from Him, everything else fell into place.

Next, I turned to google.  That came up with hundreds of things, HaHa!  The first was the The Hundred Things List. That included things such as running with bulls, marry a stranger in Vegas, bet $1,000.00 on black, chase a tornado, complete a triathlon and on and on. Then there was the 100 Things To Do Before You Die, people now refer to that as the bucket list, but I do not think they list 100 things!  The possibilities go on and on… 100 Movies To See, 100 Things To Be Thankful For (my idea as well, haha), 100 Things To Bake, etc.  There are so very many.  These lists of things remind me of Spotify or Amazon Music, you can search Top 100 Country Songs, Top 1980’s, Top Big Hair Bands and on and on.

Well, what I have come up with is this….I started this so my children would be able to have something to look at later in life. I started by talking about my family.  Everyone is right, after everyone is gone and you have questions, there is no one to find out from, so here I have been writing it down for them. I had a book that I compiled by talking with my mother, father and my Aunt Alta.  They got a kick out of it.  Sometimes something would happen and they would say, put that in the book!  Then they would just laugh and laugh.  That precious book was lost in a flood, though.  I know there were such stories in there from them.  I cannot remember them but I do have the memories of the fun and all of the laughter we had while they were telling their stories!

I plan to continue and to also start posting stories about Wes’ family.  I am still trying to get him to start his own. That may happen or I may just tell his stories here.  One way or another, his stories will be told as well.

When I started this, I had no idea that it would be such fun and that I would have views and responses from other people.  It has been very entertaining and exciting as well.  So, for my 100th post . . . I want to thank all of you for your support!  Have a wonderful day!




This is a framed photo that my grandfather had.  The frame is just stiff cardboard but is ornamental.  He has some writing on the back in pencil.  Up at the top he wrote in pencil “1917.”

Going along the side at the bottom he has in pencil what looks like some times.  It is as such:  505 A then under it and in a column it says 6 45 then 8 15 then 9 15 then 10 10 then 11 45 then 12 30 P then 1 22 then 1 05 then 6 30 PM and then 9 45 Sat Nit. I do not know if the times have anything at all to do with this photo or if he just needed something to write on for some reason and used the back of the photo.

On the bottom right corner of the front of the picture it has embossed what appears to be the following:  H. E. WALE and underneath that what appears to be BREMERTON, WNA.

This is a neat picture.  Too bad it is not of better quality.  It looks like it is from the front of the ship and then you see the water as it is moving.   Pretty neat.

Below is what the embossing looks like on the photo.  I have zoomed in on it.


This is not part of the journal.  I had the photo so I thought I would share it.

Thank you. If you have any information, please feel free to share it.

*NOTE:  I found this information when googling after someone asked me a question.

*Bremerton is probably best known for the Puget Sound Navy Yard, which is one of only a few US Navy repair and refit facilities on the West Coast.

*Also, I thought that on the cover of the frame, the embossed part said Bremerton, WNA.  When that was googled I found that it stood for Bremerton, Washington, New Americans.



I am just posting this album of my grandfather’s, Phillip B Hutton.  I only know as of now without further researching that he was in the Navy, I have a photo of him in a sailor uniform.  There was a huge framed photo that was always in their home that said “In remembrance of my cruise in the Phillipines.  There were some military patches in the frame and a picture of him in uniform along with a ship.  This is an album of his.  Below is the cover which is black as you can tell and it says Logalbum U.S.S. Raleigh.



There were a lot of these diary pages just loosely inside the cover.



The best that I can make out the writing on this page is as follows:  Copenhagen Denmark. U.S.S. Raleigh July 1924 and on the other side…Copenhagen Denmark 1924.

The best that I can make out what this says is …Jimmy Doran Mack U.S.S. Ral.

I hope that you can make these out.  They are fading.  I would welcome any comments that you may have.

I will add more photos later.


** Since posting this, I received a comment from someone as follows:

The USS Raleigh was a light cruiser that saw action in WWII. She was moored at Pearl Habor on December 7th, 1941 and was hit by one japanese torpedo in her #2 boiler room. There was no loss of life. She was decommissioned at the end of the war, interesting history!


Washington School Pictures…. Mattoon, Illinois

Here are some photos of Washington School located in Mattoon, Illinois.

The back of this picture says Grade Two, Washington School and has a list of children’s names on the back.
This picture has nothing written on the back


This picture has nothing written on the back.
This picture has nothing on the back, either. 

I am not sure if all of these pictures are from Washington School in Mattoon, Illinois.  I know they are all from Mattoon, Illinois, though.  Was there more than one grade school in Mattoon?

Does anyone know any of these people?  Are any of you in these photos?  Please let me know if you can identify anyone.  Thank you!

City of Charleston, Illinois . . . Part 7 and Final Part . . .

This is the final part of the booklet.  I am sort of sad that it is ending.  It is such a fun little booklet! But…. I have other books of Grandpa Hutton’s concerning the City of Charleston, so I will probably post some excerpts from those, but they are not as entertaining probably.  I still have some clippings from his scrapbook as well.

I like how they say if it is worth doing it can be done in Charleston.
The lake is improving today and looking like it could become a great place again.  Seeing Eagles is a real highlight!
And the Coles County Fair is still claiming the title of the oldest!  It’s centennial was the year I was born!
The final page.  So, it was available through the Chamber of  Commerce.  Still no date throughout, but you can call phone number 5!  I wonder what “the following” was?  I suppose since it said memoranda, you were to write your own notes as to what you wanted to phone for?

Well, thank you all for reading.  I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.  I wish people were as passionate about Charleston and things today as they were back then.  They truly were The Good Old Days!

I will be posting other stuff regarding Charleston at later dates. Thank you again!




Charleston, Illinois Booklet – Forgotten Page!!!

This page was opposite the cover and I failed to post it, I am sorry!  It is a really neat photo, though.  I am glad that I found it!

This booklet shows such pride in the City!  I love it!

Was Midwest Homes not the same as the Reasor Homes?  I remember IBC Homes, I think at the beginning of Reynolds or Douglas?  My home on Meadowlake is a Reasor home. I thought IBC Homes developed this area here where I live and the office was an A-Frame at the beginning of either Reynolds or Douglas.  I think there were some pre-fab homes built on 12th and 13th Streets, but I am not sure.  Does anyone know anything about these homes?

Anyway,  this is a great page and neat pictures, in my opinion!

Office Mishaps . . . Continued

Now, for the second most embarrassing moment in the office. This was not in the same office that the other one happened in, but it was still in a downtown Chicago, Illinois, law firm.

I am not even sure that I can explain it in words well enough, but I will try my best.  This actually was more embarrassing than the first one, and the most embarrassing moment, but it is the second one I am writing about.  Lol.

My desk was in an L shape.  At the smaller part of the L was my typewriter.  Yes, haha, I said typewriter.  We did not have a computer then.  I did, however, have a memory typewriter.  It was a bit like a computer as it had a memory and you could save things on a magnetic card.  The typewriter had a memory capacity of its own of a page or so, I believe.  You also could store the smaller documents of a page or two on a number that was available on the typewriter.

Anyway, I had not been working there that long.  You know how it is when you have a new job and when you start learning and feeling comfortable, it sort of shows in your attitude?  You start walking around with a bit of confidence showing?  You start acting like you know what you are doing and no longer hesitate in your actions.

Well, I was typing and my boss came over the intercom asking for a document.  Instead of stopping what I was doing and taking my time, I reached behind me to the file drawer to pull out what it was he needed. I quickly flung open the drawer.  I guess it was  with such force that it made my chair fall backward.  This caused my legs to be wedged under the desk (the smaller part of the L where my typewriter was) while the back of my chair was on top of the opened drawer. I do not know if I explained it well enough, but my chair is falling backward while I am in it and I am wedged in place. This position, of course, made my dress go up over my head.  I am stuck and I cannot move, not even to pull my dress down.  I cannot see as my dress is over my head.  Ugh!

I am, of course, embarrassed as can be and trying to figure out how I can get up without falling on down and hitting my head or knocking more stuff over.  I was concerned that with the bottom file drawer opened that if I moved too much, the entire cabinet would fall over with me on top of the bottom drawer.  For some reason, I did not scream or anything, I was just sitting there stuck.  I honestly did not know what to do. I could not move my legs as they were completely stuck under the desk.  My arms were stuck somehow. I was slightly concerned about what would happen if I rolled sideways. There was a trash can under my desk as well and somehow that was involved.  I do not remember what happened, I think my arm may have been in it. I think my other arm was still holding the drawer and my chair was on top of that.  I was not hurt at all yet, other than my pride, and I did not want to make a movement that might injure me.  I felt like a bug on his back.

I really could not move my arms much to pull down my dress.  I cannot explain why, but I was in such an awkward position I could really not move anything.  My dress being pulled down was what I wanted done first and foremost, so I was carefully attempting to do that.  Suddenly I hear laughter.  This is not good.  It was not my boss, but it was one of the other attorneys.  He just stood there laughing.  Now I am a bit angry.  I tell him to pull down my dress and get me up.  He just laughed  more for a bit and probably made some comments that he considered funny and I think we conversed for a bit . . .   Him making comments thinking he was a comedian and me demanding he get me up.  He finally assisted me.

He had great fun telling the story around the office.  I basically walked around with a red face for awhile.

Office Mishaps….

Two of my most embarrassing moments while working in an office were when I lived in Chicago, Illinois.  Those two times were also when I was working downtown for law firms.

The first embarrassing moment was not my fault.  Haha.  It was the fault of a couple of attorneys. They had dropped an important folder that was needed in court in a few moments.  The problem was that they dropped it behind a file cabinet.  A tall file cabinet. . . Taller than me which would be more than 5″3″.  It was actually quite a bit taller than me. They had a dilemma.  If they called for maintenance, they would be late for court as maintenance never was something you could count on to arrive immediately.

I am typing away, doing my job and two of the attorneys and some of the secretaries were approaching me.  They motioned me to come with them.  I was hesitant and was asking what they wanted.  I knew they had suspicious looks on their faces and that they were up to something! They went to the file room. They had the filing cabinet pulled out as much as they could and they said they would like to lower me down there to get a folder.  I, of course, refused!  They went on and said you are the smallest one here (I weighed about 102 then) and we cannot get it pulled out more than it is.  We will get you on top of the cabinet and then lower you down and then we will lift you out.  I refused!!! I told them it would not work and they would not be able to get me out.  

They were adamant and kept telling/asking/begging me to do this.  I kept refusing.  Finally I gave up and agreed.  The lowering me down turned into me getting on top of the cabinet, turning around and more or less dropping to the floor. The cabinet was not pulled out much at all and I could not even bend down to retrieve the folder.  I could not reach it if I were to bend sideways either.  I looked up at them and they wanted to hand me a broom or something to scoot it with. I swear, they were not using their heads.  What good would that do?  It was really a tight squeeze there! All I could do was extend my leg to the side of me and that was it!  There was no room for me to do anything much at all other than to stand straight in attention. I could only lift my leg to the side.  I had to use my foot and sort of slide the folder up the wall until one of them could bend over and down the wall to reach it.

You know what, I was right! Once I was down there, they could not get me back out.  It was physically impossible.  I could not do anything to help but just stand there.  There was no room to move at all.  They were on chairs leaning over the filing cabinet and there was no place for them to hold on to me to hoist me out of there.  I could lift my arms straight up, but there was the issue of exactly where they could touch to lift me as well.  This was very awkward.  They really did not have the strength to lift as they were laying across the top of the cabinet.  Looking back, it was funny to see their faces.  They had various expressions as time went on.  First their forlorn looks because they could not get their file.  Next, their desperation as they were begging me to do this.  Then, their looks of bewilderment once I was dropped down there and the realization that I could not accomplish what they wanted.  The last was their looks on their faces as they were leaning over the file cabinet looking down  at me and the predicament I was in and trying to stifle their laughter. They looked like two little boys who knew they were in trouble and did not want to laugh.

Guess what?  Maintenance was called.  Hmmm.  Good idea and maybe that should have been done to begin with!  Haha.   Well, they left for court, with their folder, and a few of the girls stayed in there and kept me company.  Maintenance finally came and had a good laugh first and then moved the file cabinet out enough for me to get out.  I should never have agreed!

The second most embarrassing moment was my fault!  Totally mine and totally more embarrassing!  I will post the second one tomorrow!



I Missed Easter . . .

On Saturday, we went to Champaign and spent the day with our daughter, Shelby, and her fiance for Easter.  My husband, Wes, is only off of work on Saturdays.  Cody works Saturdays, so we were going to spend Saturday with Shelby for our Easter. It was beautiful weather and we just hung around Champaign all day browsing stores and then we ate a bite and went to her house.  We just visited there.  It was a very, nice, relaxing day.  A really, really nice time!

I meant to post on Easter but I had a surprise given to me.  I was at home alone which was fine because I needed to spend the day working anyway.  We had spent what we were considering to be our Easter on Saturday with our daughter.  Of course, it was a bit disappointing not to see both of the children, Cody and Shelby.  My husband got off of work at 2:30 p.m. which is unusual.  He is never home on Sundays!  We were going to go to Home Depot.  Home Depot is in Mattoon, Illinois, about 10 minutes away from us. About 5 minutes from home, my husband asked if I would like to eat dinner at Hyvee.  There is a restaurant in the Hyvee store in Springfield, Illinois.  This is not the cafeteria part in the store, this is a separate restaurant.  I really did not know how to respond as Springfield is 2 1/2 hours away.  I smiled at him.  He said it is about 3:00 p.m., we will get there around 5:00, eat with Cody (our son) and stay until about 7:00 and be home at 9:00 p.m.

I was stunned.  I asked if he were serious and if he really meant it and if he felt up to it.  He asked if I needed to go home and get anything or could we just keep driving.  Wow!  I was so excited.  I told him we could just go from there.  So we did.  How nice!  We got to see both of our children on Easter weekend and spend some time with them when I had no idea I was even going to get to do so.  I like surprises.  My husband, is a sweetheart!  When your children grow up and move on, at times you are not always able to get together as a family.  Cody and Shelby did not get to see each other, but we were able to spend time with our children and I am thankful for that.

However, what I was going to post on Easter is the following:

Matthew 28:

He Is Risen

28 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone [a]from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

And that, is the meaning of Easter!




City of Charleston, Illinois . . . Part 5

Here are the next 5 pages of the booklet of the City of Charleston, Illinois.

Some more information on the airports.  I LOVE the “unusual occupations” that were created!
Does this seem like a high unemployment rate for a small town?


This is interesting. 
Nice! Charleston was the educational hub.

Thank you for reading.  I will post more later.


Good Friday – Matthew 27:11-65

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” So Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” 
12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. 
13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”
14 But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly. 
15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. 
16And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 
17Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 
18 For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy. 
19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” 
20But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 
21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” 
22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” 
23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” 
24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” 
25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” 
26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. 
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 
28And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 
29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 
30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 
31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. 
32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 
33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 
34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. 
35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” 
36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 
37And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 
38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. 
39And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 
40and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 
42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 
43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 
44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. 
45Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 
47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 
48Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. 
49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” 
50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 
52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 
53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 
54So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” 
55 And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, 
56 among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 
57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 
58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 
59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 
60and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 
61And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb. 
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 
63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 
64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” 
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”

City of Charleston, Illinois . . . Part 4

Following are the next 5 pages of the booklet from The City of Charleston.  This page is a continuance of the last page in Part 3.

I like how they describe the trains…. ten scheduled fast trains and two scheduled passenger trains.
I did not know they had stock yards!
Charleston, Illinois…. ” ’cause it’s for you!”
Again, the more than ample water bragging!

Five more pages will be coming soon!  Thank you for viewing.


City Of Charleston, Illinois . . . Part 3

Following are the next five pages of the booklet.  This is the continuance of the last page in the prior blog, Part 2.

I never knew that we had two newspapers!


Was this elevator the Whalen’s?


My father and many uncles worked for the New York Central Railroad.  One uncle worked for the Nickel Plate.
Another map, this time with closer, smaller towns/cities.
And, apparently there were two airports!

I will try to post the next 5 pages tomorrow.  If not, I will let you know when they are posted.

Thank you for viewing!




City Of Charleston, Illinois . . . Part 2

Following are the next 5 pages in the booklet promoting The City of Charleston, Illinois.

Sort of a neat little map showing the distance to larger cities. 


I agree about the rolling hills south of the city.  South Fourth Street is still my favorite area.  It is beautiful!


Interesting…. Labor strife is unheard of in Charleston. 


This is sort of an advertisement for industry


They are mentioning the ample water pressure again here.  

Tomorrow I will post the next five pages.  Thank you for reading!


April 16, 1991 – The arrival of Cody

Our little baby boy was suppose to make his arrival in June, but he had other plans.  Or should I say God had other plans.  I use to say that Cody could smell my cooking and wanted to eat it so much that he arrived early.  When Cody was little, he told me that while he was inside of me, Tigger was there too and Tigger cooked him pancakes every day! Haha.  He actually said that Tigger was “down there too”.  So, see, my theory about the food was probably correct.

Wes and I were at my cousin’s house playing games and my water broke.  We were suppose to go to the hospital then and there, but Wes said to wait until tomorrow, so I did.  The nurses gave him what for the next day!  They said that was so dangerous.  I did not know since this was my first so I listened to Wes.  Afterall, he had been through this three times prior.  I will make this long story short and tell the entire story at another time … maybe.  Haha.  Anyway, that was the beginning of a twelve day stay in the hospital. The hospital was in Champaign, Illinois, about 45 minutes from home.  I was approximately two months early.

They gave me shots to slow down the labor every time that it started and a shot to speed up the growth of his lungs as well.  The longer I kept my baby inside, the better for him.  They educated us on everything that we needed to know about a pre-natal baby.  This was all so scary.  I had labor about six different times that each lasted about three hours before the shot kicked in to stop it.  It was very easy labor, not hard at all. Well, some were sort of intense, but not really. So, I always say that I was in labor for 18 hours.  Haha.  I had always figured that I would get to do all of the regular things like say it’s time to go have a baby, go through labor, everyone waiting, etc.

After being there for twelve days, my placenta ruptured and I needed to have an emergency C-section.  They told me that when he was born, he would look like he was crying, but he would not make a sound due to his lungs not functioning.  I was told to not be scared because they knew what to do.  Actually, Wes had just left to go to work and I could not get reach him.  I was alone.  My mother happened to call and I guess they told her to call in the family.  Wow!  Cody and I both were in danger.  It was a good thing they did not tell me that, I only found out when my mother, cousins and sister arrived after he was born.  I assume they were so worried about losing us both because Wes happened to call and they brought in a phone and held it to my ear so that I could tell him I was having a baby!  I thought that was really special of them to do and I did not even think that anything could be wrong.  I have to add here that all of the staff was wonderful.  I was so spoiled by all of them.  The nurses were exceptional and actually became friends. You get to know people after staying twelve days.

Anyway, I said this would be the shortened version, so…. Cody arrived.  He was crying loud and clear!!! Lungs were working!!!!  Shortened version… Cody had to stay there for 12 days due to various reasons, he could not coordinate the suck and swallow to eat, he had lost down to 3.5 pounds, he developed jaundice.  He did get to come home and all is well today!  He came home in a cabbage patch outfit and it was way too large for him. They did allow him to come home at the low weight of 3.5 pounds and a little jaundiced still.  I was to lay him in the window in the sunlight for a certain amount of time daily.   There was not a selection of preemie clothes that we could find.  We searched all over Champaign.  We were not thrilled with the outfit but it was the best we could do. The most important point was that we did have our baby and he was going to be okay! Thank you God for taking care of Cody and I!!!!  I love you Cody Lee Sanders.

What I would say about Cody as a person today . . . He has a great sense of humor, loves music, loves the outdoors, board games, all games in fact, almost any type of social activity, loves to be around people, loves anatomy and discussing it, I think that he loves to teach about anything actually, body building, nutrition, anything anyone will listen to.  Haha. He does love to talk. He is intelligent. He does love the Lord.

As a little boy . . . (and maybe still the same today) very, very sensitive, loving, caring, loves family, loves a good joke and played several on us all of the time, loved legos, mario and nintendo games. Loved Disney movies especially The Lion King.  Loved camping, sports, he was a great basketball player.  He loved music, played piano and guitar.  He loved the Lord!  He was almost like a little minister. He was very bold.

Anyway, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CODY LEE!!!  I am having a hard time realizing that I do not always get to see him on his birthdays any longer.  I feel like I have only missed one but I may be mistaken.  If that is so, today makes two.   I am thinking of you all day, though, Cody!

Photo reenactment.  To the right, Cody on April 15, 2016 with dad and on the left, Cody in April, 1991 with dad. 
When he was my little awesome Guitar player.  I wish he had time to pick that back up.
When he went to Eastern Illinois University.  Quite a way from that little 4 pound baby.
On the way to Northern Illinois University – Grad school graduation.  Cody – Mr. Anatomy –  With his sister, Shelby, and Jerry, her fiance, in the back seat. 
Mr. Cody now.  Still working out!







City of Charleston, Illinois . . . Booklet Promoting Charleston. This Was My Grandpa Hutton’s Copy

Following are the first 5 pages of a book that I found that was my Grandfather’s, P. B. Hutton, City Commissioner.  I will be posting 5 pages at a time until the entire booklet is posted.

This is the Cover of the Booklet.  

This booklet is held together by those wire brads that you spread apart to close the book.  They are showing in the picture below.  It is a neat little booklet.

Page 2
Page 3

I wish that this was dated.

Page 4

You could probably figure out the date of the booklet from the information on this page. My father, George “Bun” Hutton, worked for the New York Central Railroad that is mentioned here.

Page 5

I like that it says, “You will find a grand welcome here”.

The next five pages will be posted on April 17, 2019.  Thank you for your interest and your comments are welcome.



French Fries . . .

Everyone loves french fries, right?  At least I do and so does my entire family.  Maybe it is because my grandfather was Irish.  Haha. My very first nephew and I shared this love the most.  He was around 10 years old when we had our most memorable event with french fries.

We all lived in homes beside each other in the country.  It was awesome to have everyone right there!  My mom and dad had sold their house to my brother and were living in a trailer until he completed building their new house directly beside him. Since our family loved french fries, we had a kettle with oil in it that we cooked the fries in.  We periodically changed the oil of course.  Everyone was outside working on the house and just hanging out.  That was the great thing about living so close, too.  At any given moment someone was always outside and you could go out and visit with them.  It was wonderful!  Anyway, back to the french fries.  I was hungry so I went inside to make a small batch of fries.

I was waiting for the oil to heat up and my nephew walked in.  He could smell the oil and he asked if I was making fries. I, of course, said yes and asked if he wanted some.  That was a question that was unnecessary.  Haha.  I was getting the fries out of the freezer and then I asked if he would like to go to McDonald’s.  That was another love that we use to share back then.  I do not care for it at all now, but we loved double cheeseburgers and their fries were the absolute best! He, of course, said yes.  Off we went!!!

When we got home were not greeted so well.  Everyone was angry with us.  We were happy, our bellies were full and we could not understand what we had done wrong.  It turns out, in our rush to go to McDonald’s, I did not turn off the oil!  It was a gas range as well, so that was double the problem.  That is not a good thing to do in a trailer.  Lucky they were right outside working on the house.  They heard the alarm and saw the smoke and quickly acted.  My brother got the fire out and there was minimal damage.  Wow!  I cannot believe I did that.  Trailers can go up in flames so fast. I am sure that would not have looked good to the insurance company for the trailer to go up in flames and a new home being built!

So, another thing about french fries.  My nephew would always look over his fries and find the longest fry that he had and compare to ours and it was always important to him to have the longest fry.  I believe in high school or junior high he even wrote a paper about the quest for the longest french fry.  Last night I baked some french fries for my husband and I and I found the longest fry!  I had to text my nephew a picture of it.  That fry must have come from one large potato!  I have pictured it below.

I feel like I have to make a special note here.  We, of course, like french fries the best that we make ourselves rather than the frozen ones.  My children love them and if I start frying some, they never want me to quit until the whole bag of potatoes are used. Haha.

Check out this steak fry!  It almost takes up the entire plate!


Lost In Nashville

This will be a short little story, but I do have to tell it. I have always been one to laugh at inappropriate times. I also have always been one to laugh when someone gets hurt or they fall, trip, bump their head, etc. It is not that I think it is funny that they are hurt, it is how they get hurt that makes me laugh. In between laughs, I try to ask them if they are okay and I am right on the spot to help them up or help them in any way that I can. I truly am sorry that they are in pain, but I cannot help myself. However, if how they fell is funny to me, I break in to uncontrolled laughter. I know that I am not the only one that does this. They even have shows about people getting hurt that people seem to love watching. I do not like to watch those shows at all, so I am not that bad of a person.

Anyway, this leads to my story of getting lost in Nashville. Mom and Dad were driving us down to visit our brother, Jerry, and his family. It was late at night, maybe around 11:00 p.m. and Dad was trying to find his way to a room for the night. He was getting very tired. They realized that they had just been going around and around and winding up at the same place each time. (Now would be a good time for the saying that men never stop to ask for directions and on and on. I do not know that he would not stop, I was just throwing that comment out there because I could. Haha.) Mom and Dad were in the front seat and my sister, Honey, and my brother, Phil, and I were in the back seat. Mom was talking about it not being good to be lost at such a late hour and was sounding like she was a bit fearful. They were getting low on gasoline as well. We were quiet and wondering if we should be worried/scared.

Dad kept driving and we kept ending up back at the same place. Finally mom spotted a police officer and said that dad could ask him for directions. They told us to all be quiet so that dad could speak to the officer and get us some help. Dad always drove these huge cars. I think we were in a Bonneville or something like that. Big old boats are what we called them. It was really nice, though. It had four doors and all electric doors and windows, which was a big deal then. So, Dad pulls up next to the officer and ever so calmly and being so cool, rolled down his window and stuck his head out as he was saying, “Hey, Buddy.” Well…. Dad rolled down the window and stuck his head out saying, “Hey, Buddy” . . . BUT he rolled down the back window! Hahahaha! His head did not go out the window and he actually hit his head pretty hard. Dad quickly grabs his head and is rubbing it and making a noise like you do when you are in pain, sort of a wail. Another thing to point out here is that Phil had his pillow against the window and was napping. His face when he woke up as that window was going down was such fun to see! He had no idea what was going on!

True to form, I totally bust out in laughter. My mom quickly turns around and is making faces at me telling me to stop. That is just fuel for the fire. I laugh even harder watching her make faces at me and being all frantic and stuff. Honey and Phil are lightly hitting at me telling me to stop and I only get worse. Honey and Phil can no longer control it and are laying down in the seat, hands over their mouths to stifle their laughter and burying their faces in pillows. I, witnessing all of these things, laugh harder and louder and harder and louder. They are all hysterical looking to me. A video of all of this would be nice.

Meanwhile, dad had finished rubbing his head and was listening to the officer explain the directions to him. Poor dad, hurt head and his family acting up and he has to pay attention to directions. He did a great job, though. Then, he rolled up the window and turned around to me and said…”Well, you would have a wonderful time at a funeral!” That did it. It was all over. I was rolling then and, in fact, everyone else finally openly released their laughter. Dad was sort of smiling, he was not really angry and he looked at me. I said, “Hey, Buddy!” and pretended to hit the window with my head and that was when he lost it and joined in the laughter. We laughed until we could barely breathe.

As you have read that we have done before, this is another comment that we occasionally will make and everyone will laugh because we remember the story . . . Hey, Buddy!

Bunnies and Shelby . . . OR … HEYYYYY BUNNNNYYY!

I was at Rural King Saturday and, of course, you can hear all of the “Peep Peeps” as Cody and Shelby use to call them.  Rural King has baby chickens, ducks and bunnies.  We went and visited them all, of course.  I feel a bit sorry for them all cramped up in the containers.  There was one at the highest point just sticking his head out as much as he could.  That reminded me of my little brother letting out all of the quail that I blogged about earlier.  Well, one thought leads to another in my mind and I have a few things to blog about now.  One that I will post later will be about Shelby and a large chicken.  Well, that brings to mind another so there will be two stories about Shelby and large chickens. Actually one is a chicken and one is a rooster. Another will be about Wes’ mom and her bunnies in Sullivan, Illinois.

This one, however, will be about Shelby and a bunny.  Every Easter Sunday a human sized bunny rabbit would walk right around our corner with a bright colorful basket.  The bunny was white and wore a pink plaid vest and a bow tie. Shelby saw that bunny and her pretty little face lit up in all smiles, her eyes just shining.  She was jumping up and down and calling in her sweet little voice, “Bunny!  Bunny!  Hi Bunny!” I was so excited that they got to see this and that a bunny was actually in the neighborhood.

To my surprise, and dismay, that bunny ignored her completely.  Shelby was so close to the bunny and we were all outside.  We were very noticeable.  You would think that if someone were walking around the neighborhood dressed that way, they would expect to wave to any children they might see.  That bunny should have imagined the effect upon a child when what they thought to be the Easter Bunny ignored them??!!  I was so upset, I wanted to go talk to that bunny!

Of course, the Easter Bunny is not the point of Easter, but the children knew all about Jesus, so I saw no harm in the Easter bunny and Easter baskets.  For this bunny to ignore the children that way was terrible! That person had to know that children would be excited to see them when they were obviously walking around on a notable day in a very noticeable costume.  Why were they even doing this if they did not want to be noticed???Did they really want to convey that the Easter Bunny was rude and mean?  I could not believe the behavior. We distracted the children and all was well.

However, the very next year….same bunny, same behavior.  Little Shelby was all excited again and ran closer and was calling to the bunny and waving again.  Sadly the bunny still ignored my sweet little girl.  I was really considering following that bunny and having a talk, but I felt it best to distract the children and make them happy again.  I even used the old, well that probably is a helper and they are grouchy, do not let their actions affect you.   Either Shelby or Cody said that the real one would be really mad at this bunny.  (Keep in mind, as mentioned in other blogs,  that Cody did not believe in any of this at all and was only supporting Shelby, so I cannot really remember if Shelby said it or if Cody said it to help Shelby cope.)  We again, had a nice time in spite of the bunny and his ways.

You guessed it, the next year, the same thing exactly!  Well. . . not exactly, Shelby had a bit of a different attitude.  She is three years older now you know! We are all outside and sure enough around the corner comes the bunny. Shelby is old enough now that she remembers the past encounters.  She is still such a sweet child and is so excited when she sees the bunny.  She runs closer to the end of our yard and exclaims, “Hi bunny!  Bunny!  Bunny!  Hi!”  Shelby is all smiles and so very excited.  The bunny is it’s true mean, grumpy, rude self.  Cody and I are watching and are very sad and angry at this bunny. I have no idea why it is like that.

You really had to see Shelby here, she was so cute anyway, but this was great.  Shelby loses her smile and gets a little frown on her forehead and her eyes seem to become darker in color.  She puts her little hands on her hips and stands tall.  She is just looking  more cute here!  She uses her deepest, loudest voice (which is adorable sounding) and with anger states (she does not call out here, she simply states) “HEYYYY …..BUNNNNNYYY!!!”  I wish I could let you hear how it was said.  Guess what the bunny does?  Walks right on by.  Darn that bunny! Unbelievable!

I also wish I could do a better job of telling these stories so that you could actually visualize them because this was so priceless.  Each of the times Shelby took this mistreatment from this bunny and was still so sweet and innocent.  She was sweet again and finally she had had enough and stood up for herself.  Cody and I watched her transformation from happy to angry.  Even angry, she was still being so sweet about it and so very cute! Her voice, though… haha, when she angrily stated HEYYYY BUNNNNYYY!, Cody and I lost it.  As I remember, we even fell to the ground and were literally rolling on the ground in laughter.  Shelby was great!  Finally giving that bunny just what it deserved, we were so proud of her!  The bunny, of course, never acknowledged that either.  That did not stop Cody and I from our admiration of Shelby, though.  The bunny went on by and Shelby, with her hands on her hips, looked down and sighed and shook her head.  Cody and I erupted in laughter again.  This was too cute.  Shelby started giggling and joined us on the ground in our laughter.

We have not and will not forget this rude bunny.  In fact to this day, when someone is rude or mean, we sometimes will look at each other and say, HEYYYY BUNNNNYYY!!!!  It gets the point across to each other and we all know what the other means when this is said.


The Chipmunks May Have Won, BUT …The Squirrel Will NOT Win!!!

If it is not one creature, it is another.  Now, the squirrels are waging war with me.

I thought only the chipmunks hated me, but I was mistaken.  What angers me the most is when they eat every thing I plant!  They dig them right up!  I have tried for years to have tulips.  They seem to love those the best. We began to set live traps and relocated the chipmunks.  Year before last we relocated over 30 and I live in town!

Wes is gone more frequently and I do not want to take a ride with them and release them so we stopped the relocation practice.  I feed the birds and I always put some seeds on the ground to keep the chipmunks off of my feeders.  This has started to work…. a bit.  I still cannot have plants no matter what I feed them.  Last year, however, one would sit on my deck by my back door and stare me down.  (Perhaps it was not one and they took turns, I do not know.) He comes up to the screen door when it is open and torments the cats.  I would either make a noise or stomp my foot toward him and he would just spread his front legs and make a wide stance and stare me down! He would not leave at all.  They are fearless!  I have to shut the door now because I wonder if they will tear up the screen and get in the house.  So, they torment the cats and me.  Let’s move on to the squirrel….

The squirrel is bigger than the chipmunk obviously.  This could be a good thing.  A tiny little critter is somewhat more spastic and could easily be up your pant leg or anywhere.  At least the bigger a critter is, the easier it is to keep track of.  Also, the bigger the critter, perhaps the more damage or injury to a person.  Haha.  So…. today, I was telling the squirrel to leave in a variety of ways…clapping my hands, slamming doors, closing windows hard, etc.  The squirrel would inch away a bit with each noise.  Okay, so that appeased me.

I was sitting on the deck a little later on talking with Wes on the phone.  The squirrel hops up the side of the deck and comes right toward me.  I clapped my hands and told him to go away.  He inched forward toward me.   I stomped my foot and told him to get out!  He started that thing with his tail raising up and down.   I do not know if that means for his friends to come and help him or if he is saying look out here I come to get you.  I hesitate to find out which it means. Haha.  I thought I had once read that it meant they were warning their friends of danger, but I don’t think he felt that he was in any danger at all.  I am using “he” here but I have no idea of the sex.

Anyway…. he eventually got on the fence and started rapidly wagging his tail at me.  Wes said to hit the fence with something and the noise would make him go away and perhaps the vibration.  I did not want to get close to the fence so I threw a rock at the fence.  I did NOT throw it at the squirrel, so don’t get upset.  I am surprised, but I did hit the fence! It was even with enough force to make some noise.  The squirrel…unaffected.  Wes said he heard it hit and was surprised I hit it too! (He knows me too well and shows no confidence in my ability or should I say lack of.)  The squirrel looked at me as if to ask if that was the best I had.  Wes told me to throw another.  Again, it was a success and made a loud noise and again Wes was impressed.  The squirrel was not.  He finally just looked at me, shook his head and walked across the top of the fence.   He got over to the other side of the fence and started threatening me again with his tail.

Of course, I went in the house and shut the door.  I swear it is my yard, not his and I will win.  I tried to be nice and share it with him, but he is becoming aggressive.  We will see what the summer brings.  I will keep you posted. I hope it does not turn into a reenactment of The Mississippi Squirrel Revival!

Look at his mouth! With it open like that, it looks like he is just as shocked as Wes that I hit even hit the fence.  

Skating!! Angela, My Niece ….North Carolina Amateur Sport’s Athlete of the Month!

I thought that I would share an article about my niece, Angela.  She was featured as NC Amateur Sports’ Athlete of the Month! You can read the article if you click here… Angela

This article ends with the statement, “She is looking forward to competing in the Adult Silver Freestyle event at this year’s Powerade State Games Figure Skating Competition taking place on March 30th at Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, NC.”

Well, guess what….. SHE WON!!!


She is pictured here, on the right.  So very, very proud of you Angela!!!!


Warm Apple Pie . . . Not Always A Good Thing?

Apple pie is my favorite fruit pie.  Well, sometimes it is a toss up with cherry, but mostly I will choose apple pie.  As mentioned, my mother, in my opinion, made the very best apple pies.  Even her crust was the best.  When she would make pies, with the leftover dough, she would just bake the strips of the crust and we could not eat them fast enough.  They were so flavorful and flaky.  (This is the part where everyone starts thinking about baking them with a little cinnamon and sugar.  We never used the left over for that, we would just make pie crust cinnamon rolls.  We loved the crust strips the best.) I guess that I failed to post her pie crust recipe when I posted the pie recipe.  I will have to remedy that soon.

I often made her apple pie recipe.  As life became more hectic with the babies, I would buy pre-made crusts instead of taking the time to make her recipe.  This obviously drastically changed the taste of the recipe and it was no longer even close to mom’s recipe.  I say close, because no matter what I did, hers always tasted better. I found a cheat, though, that seemed to help.  I started making her apple crisp recipe!  Wes and the children loved it.  They even at times asked if I could just make a pan of the “crisp”.  Haha.  I did make them a small pan once and they found that it is not good without at least a bit of the fruit, though.

I would always store whatever desserts that I made in the oven.  I did not refrigerate them and I did not just leave them on the counter.  There is probably some “gasping” now at the thought of not refrigerating them.  If I made them today, I would refrigerate them but I did not then.  They usually did not last long enough to worry about refrigerating them anyway so that is why I never did.

My husband worked for a trucking company initially.  This was before he started his construction company.  I had made an apple crisp along with supper before he left one night.  When he returned home he was so excited because he “found” it in the oven.  He had figured we finished it off, but checked the oven anyway and to his delight there was some left! He grabbed a plate and fork and served himself a huge plate.  He was pleasantly surprised that the pie was warm!  How exciting for him!  He had no idea how I had done that but he grabbed a second huge piece.  He figured that I had recently served it and had warmed it up.

Suddenly, he was not so excited any longer.  As he was eating this second, huge, warm piece, and was all smiles, he noticed something.  He started picking at it.  There appeared to be this white, fuzzy stuff on the pie.  He was not happy at all.  Mold had grown on the crisp.  He wondered when I had made it and why this had happened.  He began to feel a bit nauseated but just because he was thinking about it, not because it actually made him ill.

Well, after some investigating he solved the mystery.  Someone, possibly me, who knows, had left the oven light on.  Wes made a point to tell me all about his “warm, apple pie” and to explain to me that I had left the crisp in the oven and with the light on.  He stated that with the light bulb on, I had created a thing like an Easy Bake Oven.  He said that this had created an environment to grow mold.  He was a bit upset. We all found it funny.  He seems to be getting a bit irritated with the fact that we find him and the things that happen to him to be so humurous but that just makes us laugh more.  We just cannot help ourselves.  He is so funny!  He was sort of gloating saying that he was getting to eat the rest of it and we were not going to have any.   Was that some sort of justice? Also, we all were very happy. We were happy because he had the bad crisp and saved us from it.  Haha.

That was the day that I stopped keeping desserts in the oven and started refrigerating them.

Granny’s Kitchen Apple Pie Recipe … Also Known As My Mother’s ….

As I mentioned about my mother earlier, she was a wonderful cook in all areas of cooking!  I had mentioned that she opened a restaurant, Granny’s Kitchen and Bakery.  She also published a cookbook with some of her recipes and some of her recipes that she served at the restaurant.

I would like to share her apple pie recipe with you here because I am going to follow another day with a story about warm apple pie.  When she published the cookbook, she decided to name her apple pie recipe, John’s Apple Pie.  She did this because my boss at the time of this publishing absolutely LOVED her apple pie.  Obviously, his name was John.  Lol.

Every so often, she would make an apple pie for him for no reason other than that he loved it.  She did that a lot for people.  Someone would come to mind and she would remember that a person liked her banana pie and she would make them one.  She would remember that someone liked her raisin creme pie and she would make them one.  She just was a very sweet, thoughtful woman.  Everyone LOVED her pies.  The smells of the pies baking were just as wonderful as the taste of the pies!  Anyway, following is a picture of the recipe that I took from her cookbook.


When I would tell my mother how great her pies tasted, I would ask her why hers were always better even though we would follow the recipe perfectly. She would smile and pat my face and say that it was all of her love that she put in it.  I would smile and then she sort of paused and thought for a minute.  She would smile again and say that her mother would always tell her that some people just had a touch for certain things.  She said maybe she had that touch.  I am positive she did and I am sure that others who have had her pies feel the same way.

Let me know if you try this recipe and how much you love it!

Do They Have Enough

It is so very hard.  You gave birth to them, you watched over every move they ever made.  You loved them with more than you ever knew you had to give.   You still love them with more than you knew you could. You still try to watch over their every move, but they no longer live with you and they are grown!  Haha.

I recently had to replace a windshield wiper.  When it was snowy, I was using a broom to sweep the snow off of the windshield because I could not reach it with the scraper and the wiper blade fell off. It broke and could not be reattached.  I must be more powerful than I knew!!  Go me!  Consequently, I had to have a new wiper. Obviously I had started to write this awhile back because it is 58 degrees today, April, and it has not snowed for awhile. I promised to post on each Thursday, so I found this one and thought I would finish it up and post it.  I have several drafts of things that I intend to post at some point as I write them as I think of them.

Back to the wiper, the auto shop person told me they were relatively new appearing to him and that I should just buy the one that I needed.  I had no idea what type to get so I took his suggestion.  It cost me $31.00.  This is stupid, but I LOVE that wiper.  I feel sort of silly loving a wiper, but it is really, really nice.  It is a Rainx if any of you know what that is, but I am impressed with them.  At a later date, my other wiper was not cooperating.  My husband suggested that I go get the other blade.  It was cold and I did not want to stop to get it and I figured perhaps it had some ice on it and was dragging.  Sure enough, that is what it was and it works fine.

What does this have to do with my children?  Well, I was standing at the stove frying some cheerios and my thoughts were running away with me.  I thought of the ability to just go buy that other wiper blade.  I remembered a time when we may not have been able to afford a wiper blade right away.  These things were the unexpected bills.  I was remembering the hard times and how we made do so that we could do the things the children needed.  Anyway, the point of this story….I was thinking of them and I was wondering if they had the money to just go buy a wiper blade if they needed to.  I figure that they may be struggling at times as we were due to the times.   Sure, they do not have 5 children living with them but times are so tough.  My husband and I always discuss how could someone starting out alone, with one income, make it these days.  There are so, so many taxes, fees, charges and things. Prices fluctuate and become so high for food and gasoline at times.

Anyway, I was thinking about this and was hoping that my children will have enough.  They have great jobs and I am sure they will be fine, but this thought did occur to me.  I just want so much for my babies.  My husband and I have both said that we do not know how anyone starting out can afford an apartment and all of the bills and then a car.  We thought maybe one or the other, but not both.  Sure they do not automatically have children to take care of, but it seems that you make the decision to go to college and then there are no career positions available and the student loans begin to eat you alive.  There are so, so many taxes, fees, charges and more and more being added.

Anyway, I hope they have enough. Better yet, I pray they have enough.


Exploding Mail Boxes

We were in the bedroom one night getting ready to go to bed.  I had just gotten into bed and my husband was getting ready to get in to bed.   All of a sudden we heard an explosion . . .   A loud explosion.  Instantaneous to that someone started loudly banging on our front door.

I was so startled and my husband and I both started excitedly talking about what the explosion was and who was at the door.  The banging on the door was getting louder and louder. Haha! We both realized we had better get to the door.  Well, now that you all know Wes, I am certain that you know that he, in reality, was a big chicken and wanted me to go see who was at the door! All of this was probably just a minute or so. It was a bit scary to go to the door, however, because we had no idea if the knocking was from the explosion or two different incidents.

We half jog/half creep down the hallway to the door with some uncertainty.  As we draw closer (I am sure I am in the lead) we could hear a familiar voice.  It was my brother at the door.  He is pounding with both hands exclaiming, “Let me in! Let me in!”  I then rushed to do the door because I did not know if he was injured or just what was going on!  He also was scared and probably more so since he was out there with that explosion!   He said that he was walking up the sidewalk to visit and heard the explosion.  He then, of course, broke into a run to the door and started banging, wanting inside as he did not know what happened.  Since we did not get to the door for a minute or so, he started scoping out the situation.  There would be no way that he would keep his back to an explosion. He would naturally have to turn around.  It was then that he noticed that our mailbox had just exploded!

We called the police and they stated that it was it was a prank by children.  They said it has been a happening thing lately.  They went on to say that it was, of course, a stupid prank, as they said what the children mixed to blow up the mailbox could have exploded in their hands. That would have been such a tragedy.

What a freaky thing to happen at the precise moment my brother was walking up the sidewalk.  We teased and teased him.  Honestly, everyone else that that could have happened to would have been just as scared!  We were scared and we were inside of the house! There is no way that we were not going to forever tease him about it, though!  It was just too much fun.  He is no longer with us, but he never forgot this incident and we never will.  I am not too sure that he appreciated all of the laughter we were having with it, though.  Again, where was that camera?!

Cody Strikes Again!!!!

There was a prior blog, Tooth Fairy? Yes? Or No?  In that blog, Cody totally blew me out of the water for playing along with the tooth fairy idea.  If you have not read that, please go back and read it.  It will go along with this story.  Haha.

Today is April 1, 2019.  Also known as April Fools’ Day.  The day to prank people.  I have such fun memories of my mother always, always “getting” us with a prank.  We totally enjoyed it and then we would spend the entire day trying to “get” everyone else. They were usually simple little things. Mom would wake us saying get up you have overslept.  We would sprint out of bed and she would smile and say “April Fools’ Day”.  Sometimes she would wake us saying we missed the bus.  Some of her other jokes were that we had to change our clothes, we had a big rip in the dress, there was a spider on you, just fun little innocent things.

Naturally, since I enjoyed that so much, I wanted my children to have the same fun.  I would do the same thing, tell them there was a bug, they overslept, they had a rip in their clothes.  I could not tell them that they missed the bus because we schooled them at home.  Shelby would giggle and then try to get us all day with some sort of joke.  Cody never much did anything and I finally found out why.

You have read about Cody in the tooth fairy so you will understand how he is.  He has this way of bringing out the truth, or you might say that he will let you know exactly how he feels.  I am guessing that he played along with the jokes until he had the understanding of the language to tell me exactly how it is.

So…. here I am thinking I am this great mother and devising plans to play with and “get” the children on this day.  I think Cody was in 3rd grade on this particular incident.  I ran in and “got” Shelby.  Of course, she was full of giggles and hugs.  Then it was on to Cody.   I go in to “get” him and I probably say something like get up we have to do blah, blah, we are late.

Much to my dismay, Cody strikes again.  He asks me to come to him and sit on the bed.  I am thinking he must not be feeling well today.  He proceeds to tell me that I am his mother and he thought that he could always trust me.  He tells me that he knows that I will never lie to him.  I tell him that is true.  He can trust me.  Now for the huge let down.  He asks me why I lie to him and try to prank him.  He said that is telling him a lie and he does not like it because he never thought I would tell him a lie.  He added that he did not like to think of me as a liar and would I please not do that any longer. Well, that ended that I have not pranked him since.  Boy did I feel like a horrible person. At the same time, I was glad that he could trust me and knew that I would not lie to him. He, at times, makes perfect sense although it can be unpleasant to hear.

However, Shelby, you look out!!!  I will still have fun with you! I will not lie to you either, Shelby. You can trust me, but, I can play with you! I will attempt to “get” any other one that I can too!

Speaking of Eating…..

Here is a short little blog that I should not share because then you will really know just how weird my family and I are.  You that know us are probably thinking, wait, we already know! I am referring not to just my family created with Wes, but my family created by my mother and father as well.  Yesterday while eating lunch with my husband, a topic that my family and friends use to have came up accidentally.  It makes me wonder if anyone else is the same.  I know that my cousins from my mother’s side are because we use to speak of these issues.

So, when you are eating, do you find that when you are finished eating that you need to end with a certain thing?  For instance, do you need to stop eating with something salty as the last bite?  Or do you need to end with something sweet as your last bite?  I always, always, had to end on salty.  If we went to dairy queen and had ice cream as a treat after the meal, I always had to save back a couple of french fries in order to “end on salt.” I still have to end on salt.  Do any of you have this same quirk?

I learned from my mother and absolutely love to have sauerkraut with pork chops.  My husband wants nothing to do with sauerkraut and does not even want to allow me to cook it.  Haha.  Since we were a family of 7, she had to cook a couple of skillets of pork chops…cast iron skillets, of course!  When the pork chops were finished, one skillet was reserved to make the gravy in and the other skillet was reserved to cook the sauerkraut in.  The sauerkraut was browned in the drippings and it is the very best!!  The point of this bonus story is that that was what was for lunch yesterday. 

plate to use for blog
I did not take this photo with the intent of posting, so it is not the best.  The french fries were baked and I sort of burned them accidentally.  The point of the picture was to show you that wonderful browned sauerkraut! And, no, I did not eat that much food!  Haha.

This leads to another quirk I have and I am sure I am not alone because my nieces, nephews, cousins and I share this as well.  Maybe not all of them, but some of them because we have talked about it.  Yesterday we were eating lunch and my plate was almost empty and I had a dilemma.  I said to my husband that I was not sure which food I wanted to end on to have that as my last taste.  All bites were of course salty but I had to end on a particular taste. Of course, he just looked at me and said nothing.  I waited and then he said, “For sure it should not be that sauerkraut!”  Funny he should say that, because that is exactly what I saved for my last bite….A bite of pork chop with that sauerkraut!   Does anyone else like to end with their last bite with the best part of the meal?

I realize that these may not be all that quirky because I had heard that there were studies done by the food industry on how to dress buns, layer desserts, salads, etc. because they stated that it was in what order tastes hit your palate/taste buds to make the taste the most pleasing.

I do know of some who eat a certain way that I do not understand at all, but each to their own.  They probably do not understand me either. Some people will eat all of a certain food at once before they move on to the next food.  For instance, they will first eat every single french fry.  Next they will eat the sandwich.  They do this with their other meals as well.  I prefer to have a bite of each rather than to have nothing of one food left.  I even save my salad that is served at the beginning so that I can have a bite here and there with my meal.

This brings up the hibachi grill…. first you get salad and soup, then you get your rice and veggies and last is the meat.  People start eating immediately.  I take a few bites because I am hungry, but I save most all of the food until it is all cooked so that I can have a bite here and there of each item.  Besides, if I ate all of that I would have no room for my steak!

One of my nieces or nephews use to use a french fry or they would tear strips of bread and divide their food so it would not touch.  Perhaps this is why they came up with divided plates.  Anyway, to each their own.  As my mother said, it all ends up in the same place … all mixed up anyway.

Feel free to comment and share your agreement or disagreement with anything mentioned here or to share your different eating habits!


The Garden — Favorite Foods of Long Ago

Thinking of what to plant in my garden this year makes me think of my mother’s fantastic garden!  Having a garden prompted some very wonderful foods that may have otherwise been left undiscovered.  At least that is my opinion.  I feel like we ate some of the things we did because of the abundance of garden foods that only last so long.  My mother’s garden was huge and I mean huge.  Where her garden was is where three houses are now!

It was great being able to play outside all day and just grab a snack when you were hungry without going in for lunch.  Just pluck off a tomato and eat away.  Rhubarb was always fun.  We use to all get a stalk and on the count of three take a bite and see who could go the longest without puckering up.  We loved it, but that first bite was always a challenge. My mouth is watering just thinking of that sour first bite.

Mom was very creative with vegetables…. cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, green beans, corn, carrots, potatoes, green onions, only the tops of the green onions, zucchini, and more and even pumpkin blossoms! Mom would make cucumber slices and onions in a vinegar, water, sugar combination.  I still make that today, but sometimes I add sliced green, yellow and orange peppers.  It just depends on which way I feel like having it.  We would have fried cucumbers and even cucumber sandwiches.  My favorite was cucumber on toast with butter and salt.  The very best, however was a toast and tomato sandwich.  Before I had all of the food allergies, I would still have that for lunch.  So good with butter and salt.  So many things we would eat on toast or just plain bread and butter….. radishes, green onion tops, cucumbers and tomatoes.

The salads were awesome.  Sometimes we just had vegetables with salad dressing and no lettuce.  Mom canned a lot and froze a lot of things.  We had the best vegetables year round.   She kept the potatoes and perhaps some other things in the basement that was accessed from outside so that kept them fresh longer. She was even creative with that.  She kept her canned goods in the basement, too.  The tomato juice and canned tomatoes were bountiful. There was something she canned that I would love to have but I do not have any idea how she made it.  Perhaps I can google that and find it somewhere but it was green peppers with cabbage in the jar and some sort of liquid.  I think it was a vinegar concoction.  It was delicious whatever it was.  It may have been picked cabbage if there is such a thing.  Speaking of that, she even made pickles, both dill and sweet pickles.  When she canned, I remember her saying that she loved the sound of the lids popping because that meant the seal took and the food would be good and last long.  We would be watching television when she had finished and you would hear pop….pop….pop.  You could look over at mom and just see her beautiful smile.  Dad would look over at her and smile back and wink at her.

My mother made fried green onion tops.  They were so good!  She used the recipe for wilted letttuce, I believe.  I am not sure, but they were so good. They were totally gross looking though.  We called them frogs. Haha.

Then, there were the fried goodies.  She would either batter them and fry them or just fry or saute them.  Fried green tomatoes and fried cucumbers were my favorites.  She also fried zucchini and pumpkin blossoms, just about anything you could think of.  As the garden neared the end of the season and everything we could use had been used, there was always the final use.  The rotten tomato fight is what we called it.  It was not just tomatoes, though.  It was whatever vegetable we could find to use for a weapon! The neighbors, of course, joined in.  People were all over the garden tossing vegetables at each other.  (Well, not exactly everything!  You weren’t allowed to throw something dangerous such as a potato, cucumber or pumpkin.) Tossing is putting mildly.  Haha.  Such a great time.  When you think about, it we made fun with everything back then.  Such creativity and imaginations.  They truly were the good old times!

We had a peach orchard, blackberry, gooseberry and raspberry bushes and we grew strawberries.  The fresh fruit and pies and desserts were the best.  There were plenty of these to freeze as well. My mother worked so very hard. I plant a small garden here in town, but nothing will compare with my mother’s garden and her fantastic cooking!

Return Of The Tree Frogs………Unfortunately

Okay, back to the tree frogs….

The children were young and we were camping when we had our encounter with the tree frog in the prior blog.  The children are grown and have since moved out and the tree frog was just a memory that we spoke of and laughed about often.  WAS is the key word.  I have heard that history repeats itself and sometimes in a much bigger fashion.

Here I am alone in the house sleeping peacefully and here comes the loud scream that I remember from the past.  OMG!  Well, I will just go back to sleep and have Wes find the little fellow and relocate him when he gets back home on Saturday.  Nope!  Silly girl, think again.  There are two frogs…one at each end of the yard and they are screaming back and forth all night!  It is only Monday… I have the whole week to go.  I am so annoyed.  There is no way that I cannot not hear these frogs.

I post on facebook that I cannot sleep and all of my friends make comments about how they love to hear frogs, crickets, and all of the night noises, etc.  So do I.  These are not your little frogs that you normally hear in the night.  These are horror movie screams.  Each frog makes that noise, they do not know how to just talk.

My husband and my sister-in-law get the brunt of my issue with the frogs.  I complain to my husband about his being gone again and I complain about being sleepy.  My sister-in-law has to listen to me on the phone.  Okay, so Tuesday night I am tired and I think I can sleep through those two.  I swear, they have doubled and there are four!  I whine again to my husband, Wes, and my sister-in-law, Georgia.  Wednesday night it is even worse.  I try to get sympathy from my facebook friends, but they do not understand this is NOT a soothe you to sleep type of noise the frogs in my yard are making.  Apparently they are screaming because they are calling the entire town over to my yard!  There must be 20 or more it seems.  Every night, I discuss this with Georgia and continue to feel a little angry at Wes for not being home to relocating these.  I even went out on the deck and recorded them and played them to Wes.  He could not believe they were so loud and said there must be a lot!

Georgia calls one night and says that her son, Seth and his fiance, Kathleen, are coming to town and they may come visit me.  I quickly say please do!!! You and I can get these frogs and Seth will be even better, because I am not fond of them at all and do not want to be close to them.  They are gross, remember?  Yay!!! I can barely wait!!

So, we are sitting on the deck and I had told Georgia, Seth and Kathleen that we should be hearing them soon.  Nope!  Not going to happen.  Sure, everyone will just think I am the nutty old lady!  Well, I finally remember that I had a recording!  I play it for them to hear and guess what??  Those frogs started answering!

I have these containers that I buy by the case to send Wes meals in for the week.  I went in and got several.  It was unbelievable!!  They started coming out like crazy.  I think Seth and Kathleen were having fun catching them and were sort of in disbelief as to how many there were.   We had mentioned how it reminded us of reading about the plague of frogs in the Bible.  We thought they would never stop appearing!   So many people get on me when I say we “relocate” things.  They hope that we are not relocating them to Heaven.  Lol.  They think the circle of life ends with me.  I can reassure you that it does not, I just want their circle of life continued someplace else.

Beautiful Kathleen and wonderful Seth relocate these frogs to the lake.  They drove clear out there and delivered them.  I am so glad they did this for me and I think they were so sweet to care and deliver them clear to the lake that late.  Just to give you an idea, here are two pictures of the frogs they relocated.

Proof that these were so very many and all screaming, how could it be that soothing night time noise?  I  cannot remember if Seth and Kathleen said they were quiet on the ride to the lake or not.

Thank you Georgia, Seth and Kathleen!

Tree Frogs – UGH!!!

My brother called me yesterday and told me he wanted me to hear something.  He was down in his wooded area by his pool.  He held the phone for me to hear.  He came back on and asked if I heard the noise.  It was frogs.  He was excited because the spring noises, insects, and varmints are coming out.  Any one that follows me on facebook knows how I LOVE these things!  NOT! I have mentioned a few in my prior blogs as well…camel crickets, bats, etc. Well, I do love some summer things, but there are so many that seem to single me out and harass me.  A friend sent me a message today about another creature I do not care for and I have a blog all ready for that one!  You will have to stay tuned.

The tree frog saga began with this……Picture a nice quiet night,  the smell of campfire in the air, the stars were nice and bright, the moon overhead was beautiful, people’s voices in hushed tones in the distance and now you are peacefully sleeping in your tent with your small children.  Nice thought isn’t it?

Suddenly out of nowhere is a blood curdling  scream sounding like a female in distress.  Everyone bolts straight up!  The kids are quietly sitting wide eyed and waiting for us to instruct them.  I think fear had them paralyzed. Wes is jumping around doing his panic dance waving his flashlight and barking off questions to me.  What was that?  Where is that?  After a period of mass hysteria, I calm everyone down and we sit and wait.  We are about to just go back to sleep.  The scream again!  It sounds like it is coming from overhead.

Wes is doing his dance and investigating the tent, wildly waving the flashlight. Really, I should video him sometime it is the funniest thing to see!  You that know him and how tall he is…. big hands, big feet…can probably picture it better.  But, he sort of has his legs spread and he is lifting each leg individually like he is rapidly stomping grapes and his hands are flying around like Herman Munster.  The screaming is more frequent now and obviously it is on our tent!  Somewhere!  Hopefully not in it! We all are grabbing our shoes and flashlights in case it is inside and we do not want it on us!  Whatever it is! The children are hovering closer to me and Wes is in the middle of the tent doing his dance.

The night before we heard something like an owl hooting weirdly and something screaming.  Other campers told us it was probably an owl attacking a rabbit, so we had no idea what this was but we really did not want any part of it.  Wes finally found the culprit.  He/She/It was between the screen roof and the cover of the tent and it was a frog of sorts.  Wes went and removed it.  I have to be truthful, he was a bit fearful of it. (Maybe more than he wanted us to know, haha!) He cannot keep anything from us, his dances give it away! This was not just a regular toad or frog that we had known of. We had never heard of or seen anything like it. It was so very small!  He used something to remove it and was hoping it would not jump on him.  Of course we were all scared, but we were having great fun laughing at Wes and his “dance” that he does when he is excited or scared.

Later, after research, we found it was particular kind of tree frog.  Man!  Can they scream!  Loud!  It is rather nice to go to bed with the summer sounds of insects and animals, but not sounds like a women in a murder mystery! That could give someone a heart attack by waking up to that!


Just look at it!  Of course the ones we have found are not this bright green and bright orange, but they have the very same features.  So little!  How in the world can it have a scream that loud!  Why do things with buggy ugly eyes seem to find me!  Look at those feet and the clubbing on his toes!  I would never want anything like that to get on me! I cannot stand them, forgive me, but I cannot. I know, why do I continue to love camping and outdoor stuff and am so bothered by the “critters”? I was in their territory I know that.  They have a right to be there.  I just think they should find their own tents!

Tomorrow will be part two of tree frogs and a new incident!

Dorothy And The Masked Waiter

When I was telling the story on here about Shelby’s “surprise” at the wedding shower, I was reminded of a “surprise” story that my friend, Dorothy told me. This surprise was on Dorothy! As I was not at this surprise, I only know what I was told and I am relying upon my memory. I did speak with some of her children to gather some more information, Barbara, Brenda and Gary. I may leave something out and get something wrong, but the story is still a great one! I am piecing together what they told me along with what I remember Dorothy telling me.

First of all, some background. This family, from the short time I have known them seem to be a family full of adventures. I struggle with words, but they are creative, fun loving and somewhat pranksters. They love to have fun and they love to surprise. Dorothy was such a fun friend. If there was something to do, she was right in the middle of it. She loved a laugh and was lots of laughs. At times, (okay, maybe a lot of times) Dorothy was even an instigator. A lot of the fun times we had were her idea! Her children, of course, are a lot like her as you will read below.

So, this leads us to a dinner, I am pretty sure it was for Dorothy’s birthday. They were going to eat at an Amish restaurant in Arcola, Arthur or someplace. Gary, her son, lives in California so he had called her a little before the dinner to speak with her.

Brenda, her daughter, was taking Dorothy to the restaurant. Dorothy kept wanting to go shopping. Brenda told her maybe after they ate. Dorothy wanted to shop first. All of these people were going to be meeting at the restaurant to eat with Dorothy and Brenda needed to get her there. Brenda won. They went to the restaurant and Dorothy was very excited to see everyone.

There was this waiter who must have known it was Dorothy’s special day because he was giving her such great treatment. Perhaps her children had forewarned the waiter and he was helping to make her day special. I remember Dorothy thinking he was so worried about her order and she thought he needed to be concerned with what other people wanted to eat as well. She said he was very attentive to her.

She was giggling and laughing so much telling this story to me. The waiter began flirting with her so! He was even asking her for a kiss. She just would not even look at this man. She said he was a nice looking man, but she was ignoring him now to get him to go away. He had on an apron and a hat and he had a really long beard. The waiter was behind Dorothy and was asking for a kiss. She was giggling and getting a little flirty back. Probably you would not call it flirty, but she was playing along. She was just such a friendly person.

The waiter was trying his best to get her to look at him but she would not turn around. I remember that she went on and on telling me how nice he was but she just wanted him to leave her alone. She did not want any part of a kiss to this stranger, even if it was only on his cheek, but she did not want to hurt his feelings or embarrass him in front of everyone. So, she eventually said, “Here I will just pat your face.” She told me that it embarrassed her to even do that. But she thought it would make him go away. So she patted his face quickly. All the while, she kept her good humor and was smiling and laughing.

The waiter got her to talk about her son. The waiter then told her he was her son. She said that her son was in California. They argued and the waiter said he WAS her son. Dorothy informed the man that she had just talked to her son on the phone and he was definitely in California!

The waiter would not give up. He wanted her to turn around for that kiss. He finally did get her to turn around and he had pulled his beard down. Keep in mind, that Gary, in Dorothy’s mind, was in California. Gary said it took her about a full 10 seconds to believe that it was actually Gary that was the waiter!!! She just could not believe her eyes! I know for a fact that she then kissed that waiter’s cheek! What a fun, fun surprise for Dorothy. Gary said he had on this really ridiculous beard but in Dorothy’s mind he was in California, so she never made the connection. He said that when he made the call to her he was either on the highway on the way there or sitting in the parking lot of the restaurant.

Here is a picture of that waiter and his mother! Haha. Just look at his mother’s smile!

Dorothy has another son, John, who is a Pastor. We all attend the church. Just before Pastor started Sunday’s sermon, he shared the story. Dorothy’s face was so cute as Pastor was telling this, she was just sitting there laughing and smiling. These children and this family have such fun times. They all were such good children to Dorothy. They always were doing nice things like this for her and sharing such fun times. What one did not think of another one did! The children are still carrying on this way.

Bridal Shower – Murder Mystery

from my camera 033.JPG
The Engaged Couple – Shelby and Jerry

Our daughter will be getting married soon.  Yesterday was her bridal shower hosted by her Aunt Georgia and Cousin Megan.  They did such a beautiful job decorating, making decorations, hosting, arranging, everything!  A huge thank you to them for making this very special for our daughter and her fiance. 

Above are photos of the cake and cookies that were served.  The cake is made totally from cupcakes!  They are both so cute!  The hostesses arranged everything.  In addition to the cake and cookies showed above, they provided food and beverages and games along with the standard bridal shower fanfare.  The bride-to-be, however, had a plan of her own.  She shared this plan with a few people who were to be involved in her plan.  She asked that her father and mother (Wes and myself) speak after the shower games were finished.  Her father gave a great speech, both heartfelt and humorous.  My turn was next.  As planned, I attempted to give my speech but collapsed and died at the table!  My daughter was shaking me and calling out, “Mom! Mom!”  My son, Cody, quickly approached. Cody lifted me and carried me out of the room.  People were so shocked and surprised and some were starting to call 911.  Suddenly murder music started to play and my daughter yelled….”She’s been murdered!  No one leave the room!”  Shelby is turning the shower in to a murder mystery!!!

She went out to get props and her and Aunt Georgia put on detective hats.  They were the investigators.  What a great idea of Shelby’s!  Shelby wrote the play and had several suspects with motives.  Shelby and Georgia investigated each and every one.   There were even evidence bags found on the suspects filled with the item they used to kill me.

After the suspects, evidence and motives were revealed, Shelby handed out a “Suspect List” for the guests to try to guess the murderer.

suspects list
What a cute little form she made!

She read each and every one’s guess and then she revealed the real motive and the murderer.  The murderer was actually Aunt Georgia! My husband, Wes and son, Cody, escorted Aunt Georgia out of the room. What a great time!  I think this was a really great idea that Shelby had!  It was such fun! I think the guests enjoyed it too and were all surprised.  People actually believed I had passed out or something and were beginning to get concerned.  It was great!

shelby and georgia
Shelby and her Aunt Georgia, the murderer.  Lol!
shelby and megan
Shelby and her cousin, Megan.

Thank you again, Georgia and Megan for the wonderful Bridal Shower that you gave to Shelby and Jerry!

for facebook
Wes, our daughter, Shelby, Myself, our son, Cody.

Missing Dorothy .. What A Friend We Have In Jesus……

At church last night, they sang, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”  To me it sounds like just the exact tune as Said The Robin To The Sparrow.  I guess it probably sounds that way to everyone and IS probably the same tune.  Haha.  **I was just mentioning this fact to my daughter, Shelby, and asked her if she knew these were the same tunes. She said, yes, Dorothy told us that!** Anyway, they were singing the song and it was just sounding so very pretty.  My mind went straight to Dorothy as when the song reached my ears, it was Dorothy’s voice singing it to me.  She always sang both songs to me and the children.  She would say she could not sing, but to us, her voice was beautiful.  How nice to be able to still hear her sing!

I had nothing to write today as I have been sick so I am behind. I apologize for skipping my two days, Sunday and Thursday, but I will try to get back on schedule.  Anyway, I had planned to skip tonight but it popped into my mind that I should share this and the lyrics to both, so here goes…..


What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

What a great song this is.  This is something we all need to remember, perhaps that is why I was prompted to share it.  Following are the other set of lyrics.

Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
“I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”

Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
“Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.”

This is another great reminder.  I am so thankful that our family had Dorothy for a friend. While I was finishing this Shelby messaged me again and said they were Dorothy’s favorites.  I know that she had other favorites, but she always sang these to us.

Thank you God for Dorothy.


What Is That On Your Shoulder, Mom????

Off of the kitchen is our back door which opens to a deck. We have a hot tub, pool and a fire pit. With the fire pit, of course, you need a wood pile. I do not know which would attract wood roaches, but one or all of them do attract them. I would say that the wood attracted them and hence the name, but when the wood is gone, the roaches are not. It is a little frightening to have one of those large things fly on you while sitting on the deck. We all HATE them. It seems like they are 1.5″ to 2″ in length. Nasty, scary looking things with long legs and huge antenna. I was going to post a photo, but I do not even want to see it on here even if it is just a photo!

Unbelievable with all of my “invaders” that I even like to camp, but I love camping! That is why we tried to make our backyard like a campground. To turn our yard into that was my sister’s idea. We could not camp one year and she said make your backyard your campground. It is much nicer to have clean water rather than a lake. It is nice to see the bottom and nothing is swimming in there. Well, the occasional bug does until it drowns. Haha. It is even better to enjoy the fire and retire in a nice comfortable bed rather than the floor of a tent. It is harder to get up off the ground these days.

Anyway, sometimes these nasty creatures travel in to the house with you (meaning they hitch a ride) or they just sneak in while the door is open. We were very close with a family and their three girls would often spend the night with us. We loved all of them! One of the girls is named Sidney. She spent many a night and day with us. Sidney and Shelby were in the kitchen and I walked into the room for something. Sidney was whispering to Shelby as they always do and were giggling like they always do. I was sort of ignoring them and going about my business because this was their standard behavior. They always had such fun together. In fact, all of us had fun.

Finally I noticed that all of their giggling was while they were staring at me. As I would get closer to them they would back up. Sidney was looking a bit worried and they were backing away. I asked what was going on. Shelby started stammering around that there was a bug on my shoulder. I did not believe them and they were laughing more and more. Shelby said that Sidney whispered to her that there was a bug on her mom’s shoulder. I sort of am telling them, yeah, right, he is just sitting there like a little pet. They are cracking up even more. Shelby told me that he really was. She went on to say that he actually had his little legs on my shoulder like he was hanging on and his little face was peeking over my shoulder at them.

I started to believe them and Shelby said it was a wood roach. I started panicking for them to get him off. They refused!!!! Unbelievable, after all those years of me saving them and nothing! They were backing away from me more and more and I am approaching them more and more. Enter Cody, my son. I start hurriedly, maybe screaming, to Cody that there is supposedly a bug on my shoulder and for him to get him off. Cody also said no and backed away. I told you we all hate those bugs! I keep demanding that someone get the bug off of me. Fearless (dripping with sarcasm) Cody takes his leg and tries to step on the bug while he is on my shoulder which means that he actually kicked me in the shoulder. That kick took my breath away. Of course, Sidney and Shelby burst into harder laughter and Cody joins right along. I am failing to see the humor here. I am not like a possum carrying my baby along with me and I want him gone!

There seems to be no help available for me so I do the only thing I can. I quickly remove my shirt and throw it out. There is a lot more laughter and I feel my upper hip getting a swift, hard kick to it. Cody again! I guess the movement of the shirt knocked the bug to my behind! I am hysterically asking if he is off of me and they can only laugh. I loudly say I am not taking my jeans off and ask again if he is gone. They tell me that they think he flew off of me. I am sorry to offend anyone here, but I spotted him on the floor and stepped on him. He was out of my misery now. Shelby said that I turned to them and said, “Gee thanks, guys!”

They had great fun retelling the story and had many laughs about it. Shelby said it was funny to watch me dance around. We all know that I love to dance, but I prefer it with music and a different dance partner!

Blacksmith-Welding-Plow Work – P.B. Hutton

Grandpa had a Blacksmith shop behind their home at 310 N. Sixth Street in Charleston, Illinois. The address of the shop behind their house was 309 N. Fifth Street, Charleston, Illinois. It was a smaller green building. The following pictures are of his shop that he had before that one. He had to build the new one after a fire destroyed the one pictured below. I do not know if this shop was located at the same place (behind their home) or not. I have been told that it was not. I have heard that many people knew my grandfather and remember spending time with him there and talking with him. I wish I had those memories. I was too young.

Grandpa at his shop that burned
Another photo of Grandpa at his shop. To the left of the picture, you can see part of his sign.
The bottom of this picture was labeled “shop fire”
Another photo that was labeled “shop fire”

Below is one of my grandfather’s invoices. As you can see, it was dated 194___. Their phone number was the same then as the one I remember. On the invoice is says 1003. I do not know if that is all that you had to dial, but when I called her to talk in the 60’s or 70’s, their phone number was 345-1003.

Grandpa’s invoice

The shop that I remember him having is still standing or was last summer at 309 N. Fifth Street, Charleston, Illinois. They were tearing down some of the building when we drove by but left the part that I remember. It may not be there today, though but it was last year. Grandma later rented that shop to a guy named Scottie. I do not remember what he used the shop for but I feel like it was something to do with automobile repair, but I actually have no idea. I remember one night I was spending the night with Grandma and she bolted out of bed because there was an orange glow at the shop. It was a fire. She called Scottie and he called the fire department. I do not know what damage it did and I do not remember if he continued to use the shop or not after that. Do any of you have any knowledge about this?

I have pictures of the shop that was behind their home but I have not located them as of yet.

New Highway Between Charleston and Mattoon, Illinois…. Articles….

I am sorry, but I could not get this cropped any better after I once posted it here.  There are two articles here about a highway between Mattoon and Charleston that I though you may find interesting.

There was no date on this but most of the scrapbook is from 1954 so I am assuming that is the date. 

The top of this article is blurry for some reason.  If you need me to, let me know and I can type the first two paragraphs below this article.

Again, there is no date but am assuming it is 1954.


This article about the swimming pool must have been around about this time of year as the first thing mentioned is about changing the time and losing an hour of sleep.  I am pretty sure it is from 1954.

What I like about this article is the part where it states that P. B. Hutton, my grandfather, suggested an addition of a park and the grassy area west of the pool fenced in along with the pool.  In fact, I love that he did!  When I use to go to the pool, I thought that this was great because you could take your snack in that area and stay out of the sun for awhile to help prevent burn.  You could dry off and visit with friends and get rid of some of the shriveling due to being waterlogged.  Haha.

My very best memories and greatest times were when they booked bands to play in that area in the evenings.  You could go there with your friends, listen to music, dance, just talk or whatever.  It was a great opportunity for young people to hang out.  So, to me,  that makes it very neat that my grandfather suggested the idea for the grassy area! There was not much in town in the way of entertainment for the young people and music and dancing was my favorite thing.  I have shared those memories with my children when they were young and bored and my wishes that they had that same opportunity but the city did not offer much for the young people.

Article regarding time change and swimming pool

Wow.  I found this interesting.  All employees of Charleston received a 10% wage increase.  All except for the employees of the swimming pool. These employees felt they should receive an increase too so the pool was closed until further notice.

I also noticed in the article that employees is continually spelled as employes.  I had mentioned this in one prior article in a previous blog that the spelling of employee was incorrect.  They did spell it correctly in the title, however. I question why they keep spelling this incorrectly.

Do you think that perhaps this was the first strike in Charleston?  Haha.

June 24, 1954 

I hope you enjoyed reading these articles.  Please feel free to post your memories of the swimming pool or whatever else you would like to!

Unsuccessfully Attempting To Eat Gluten Free In Restaurants….

I do not know about other people who have a gluten intolerance, but for me it is a real issue.  Not only do I have a gluten intolerance, there are other sensitivities as well and that makes it a real challenge.  There is not much that I can eat without feeling some sort of swelling and various other painful issues that I will not go into.  Even though they are coming out with tons of gluten free foods, that does not mean that I can eat them due to my other issues.  Sometimes, I think it would be nice to be gluten intolerant only, as there would be more that I could eat.

Eating in a restaurant is a real issue for me.   You also have to take care to not have cross contamination. You cannot have any fried foods, such as french fries because they fry them in grease with other foods that do contain gluten.  I cannot have salicylates or night shades which leaves about everything else out, even down to spices and sauces on foods.  One final complication is diverticulitis.  This means no seeds, nuts or items with skins.  I do not want this to sound complaining here, it has been this way for 6 years or more and I am use to it.  An even worse part is that I feel like sometimes just the smells or the particles in the air can cause a reaction for me as well as the dishes and silverware.  Some people may disagree with this, but everyone knows their own bodies.

However, I will complain about people.  Some say things like they think they have decided to go gluten free or that they are thinking about trying gluten free or they say they have tried that once.  Sadly, it is not a fad.  It is a REAL issue.  I feel like, at least in my opinion, that it is not taken seriously by some people, particularly the servers at restaurants.  I am not including everyone here as we have had some absolutely wonderful servers.  I was a server as well many times when I was younger and later in life, too, so I have great respect for servers.  I do understand that you do not know people’s situations and that they may have had a tragedy in their life or a bad day.  Any given circumstance could also affect your personality.  I understand that completely, so do not get me wrong, I know that it is hard. It is hard dealing with the public in any field. Mostly, the general public can change a server’s attitude as the public can be cruel at times as well.

You can, however, watch servers and see that their entire face and attitudes change when you have to ask questions.  I always apologize first for my issues and then ask questions so that I can order what is right for me.  I think I have come to realize that a person with allergies should just stay home but it is so hard when your family wants to go out for someone’s birthday or other reason.  You do not really want to say well you guys go on I will just stay here.  You can try to eat beforehand and then go with them and just sit there, which is hard to do.  Eating has more and more become a social event. I try to order the simplest of things so there will not be much of a problem for the server or anyone.  I need to add that there are so many servers who really care and go out of their way to  help you.  They even, at times, think of things you didn’t think of and make suggestions.  Mostly, though, there are the ones that just feel that you are a pain to them.

I will have to add here without sounding like boasting, but we consider ourselves nice customers.  (You are thinking the key words here are that “we consider ourselves” but we can tell when they reciprocate the kindness. Haha.  Believe it or not, people actually  do like us.) When the server comes to our table and gives his/her name, we make conversation with them and ask them questions about themselves. We actually have them laughing and smiling. We are friendly and when we leave, we always know things about our server as in where they are from, if they are in school and other tidbits.  We actually take the time to show that we care about them.

So ,,, our daughter wanted to take us out for her father’s upcoming birthday.  We went to a well known steakhouse in Champaign, Illinois, one that we have been to several times since we can get the specific foods for me.  Sadly, that restaurant is off of our list of favorites.  From the minute I told the server I had a gluten issue along with other problems, we never received another smile from her and her visits to our table were infrequent. I ordered a salad and a baked potato.  I told her I could only have lettuce and cheese for the salad and just a plain baked potato with sour cream and butter on the side.  The salad came out first with the appetizer the others ordered.

I guess I just sort of knew the minute that she sat the salad down that something was wrong.  I seem to be the one that no matter what I order, the order comes out wrong.  I just could tell by looking that something was not right with the salad. I did not want to say anything. I did ask the server when she came back around if there were croutons and other items (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, etc) on the salad and that they just removed them.  She all too quickly made a strange face and said nervously, “NO!”  I had barely finished the sentence before she responded.  That, in itself, was concerning. Her disappearance was sudden. Sometimes I feel like I am a pain to my family as well, so I decided to keep quiet.  I know my family loves me and they probably feel just as concerned, but it seems to take away from the celebration so I kept quiet … but just for awhile.  It was becoming more obvious that there were croutons on the salad and that someone in the kitchen just “picked” picked them off.  There were crumbs and bits and pieces throughout the salad.  I had to stop eating it and was praying that what I had eaten would not cause a problem.  I gave it to my daughter’s fiance, Jerry, and he said they definitely were crouton bits.  They seemed to adhere mostly to the cheese so he wondered if the cheese was near the croutons and there was the cross contamination. We did actually feel pretty confident that they did in fact, just pick them off of the salad. Everyone at the table then wanted to look and we were all in agreement.  I do not think they realize the serious implications an allergy can cause a person or they would not have been so negligent.

Jerry explained the situation to the server and explained that if they did not in fact just remove the items off of the salad then the cheese must be cross-contaminated with the croutons.  She really had nothing to say in return and actually made faces.  We opted to just have her return it and not replace it.  I had only had a few bites anyway.   This only made her attitude worse even though we were all being as polite and kind as we could when we were not in the wrong.  The entrees were delivered much later along with my baked potato.  The entire top of the potato was covered with sour cream. In addition, there was a side of butter and a side of sour cream.  This is unbelievable, but in the middle of the scoop of butter was some cheese!

The butter I was served with the cheese in the middle of the scoop.  

It was so very obviously situated in the middle of the scoop, that we all laughed and said it looked like it was purposely placed as to “get back at us”.  I know people say that that does not happen, but how in the world did that cheese get into the middle of a scoop of butter?  Maybe you have read the book, The Help, or have seen the movie…. There was a “special pie”.  Minny made the best chocolate-custard pies and everyone loved her cooking.  Miss Hilly jeopardized Minny’s chances of finding work so Minny made a chocolate pie including a “special ingredient” of her own.  Minny would only let Miss Hilly eat the pie.  After and only after Miss Hilly ate the pie, did Minny tell her what the secret ingredient was and what she had just consumed!   Anyway, it would be so easy to accidentally spit or something and it go totally unnoticed.  We all have heard stories and I have actually witnessed some things similar (dropping something on the floor and picking it up and using it, wiping a wrong ingredient off of a bun, taking pickles off of a sandwich and serving it, tasting from a spoon used to stir food and stirring again, people carrying items to your table with their thumb or finger in your food, so many other wrong and gross things). Therefore, it does make you wonder.

Jerry reached for the butter from me and waited for the server to come back.  There was quite awhile before she even came near so they started looking for her as the potato was getting cold.  Jerry very politely and thoroughly explained to her that we were initially concerned with the cheese to begin with and now it is in our butter.  She just angrily and sort of rudely snatched it away and came back with another.  There was never an, “I am sorry” or any type of acknowledgment to us of a mistake or anything.  A simple, “I am sorry” or “Oh no” or “Here, let me fix that” would have made things immensely better.  Instead, she was angry with us for the mistakes the restaurant made.  Shelby, incidentally, had ordered the loaded mashed potatoes but only received plain mashed potatoes.  She did not say anything either because she thought maybe she did not actually order it.  However, when the ticket came, we were charged for loaded mashed potatoes.  Shelby politely informed the server of this and she had happened to take a picture of her plate in case it was needed.  The server took the ticket rapidly from her and made a point to stand and crumble up/wad the ticket in front of us with great effect and stormed off.  We eventually received our corrected ticket, without comment from her, we paid and left.

We understand that she may have had a horrible day and may have been bothered by who knows what in her life.  We also noticed the kind and attentive service that she gave to her other booths right beside us and across from us.  I am in no means knocking servers, but her conduct was out of line, very out of line.   As I said, I have “been there done that” on her side of the table and I understand how hard her job is.  People on the other side, the customer, have hard jobs too. I should be able to go out and eat just like everyone else does.  I should not be mistreated because I have issues.

The result, we will not eat there again and just the thought of eating out makes me think twice.  I have repeatedly been rudely treated and there is just no point in trying any longer.  That is the part that is sad.



Spending The Night With Grandma Hutton – Part 2

So, back to spending the night with Grandma!  Houses and perfumes and foods have certain smells and they remind you of things.  I have certain smells that remind me of Grandma … good ones… and I love it!  It brings back all of the memories.

My grandma’s name was Dora Mae Elizabeth Pearcy Stites Hutton, “if you want to get technical” she said.  My grandma’s mother was Elizabeth Pearcy and I believe that she married Abner Edgar Stites.  Therefore, Grandma was Dora Mae Elizabeth Pearcy Stites Hutton. I am sure this was not her legal name, it was Dora Mae Elizabeth Hutton after she married.  Grandma was just being “technical”.  Grandma also went by the name of Dodie or DoDo.  All of us grandchildren were told to call her DoDo.  Somehow, that felt sort of disrespectful and insulting, but I guess it never reminded her of the bird.

Speaking of birds, she raised parakeets! I guess she had a lot of them.  I was told there was even a special place where she put the nesting ones and she allowed us to watch the eggs hatching, if we were around.  If I ever witnessed this, I do not remember.

I do not know if there are different kinds or if she raised many types and colors, but this blue parakeet is the type of bird I remember her having.

To me, they were absolutely beautiful and I love the color! She had two or three that I can remember and eventually there was only one blue one.  She trained him to do a “wolf whistle” and to say, “Pretty Boy” and “Hello”.  There were more words he said and she kept a list by his cage, but these are what I remember.  He just went crazy when she talked to him.  He danced back and forth on his perch and just talked and talked back to her. He really loved her!  She had mirrors on the cage and he would look in there and talk to himself.  She had little toys for them to play with, little plastic balls with bells inside that they could spin and other stuff. When I spent the night I helped her clean the cages and she would let them come out and sit on her arm for awhile. Of course, I was always somewhat scared.  Okay, maybe a lot scared.  Haha.  She would have me go outside and find a special seeded type plant that grew wild in the grass and give one to the birds.  They loved it.  She said it would make them sing more. I do not remember what it was called and I could not find an image as there are so many.  When I see it in the yard this summer, I will post a picture.  Every time that I see it, I remember Grandma and her parakeet.

Grandma also had a little plastic tree on a stand with little branches that she put gumdrops on!  We were allowed only one or two and my favorites were the whitish ones.  They tasted like licorice.  One time, I got to fill the tree.  I thought it was the neatest thing ever. In thinking about it, I am not too crazy about the idea of eating candy that has been sticking on a tree collecting dust (among other things) for who knows how long.  Also, it did sit on the counter near the bird cage.  It was a nice memory, though!


Since we lived in the country, it was a real treat to hear the bells chiming on an ice cream truck!  Grandma always had her money ready and we would run out and have a treat.  What a cheerful noise that ice cream truck made, perhaps in part to knowing that the sound brought a treat!  We would sit on her front porch and eat it. Sometimes neighbors would come and sit on the porch as well.  When I finished my treat, she would let me walk up and down the street, but only as far as she could see me.

Some evenings we would walk out of her back yard and cross the street to the park – North Park. She would just sit on the stoop of what use to be her grocery store and watch me play.  Somehow I did not much enjoy it since Grandma was over there sitting by herself. I would swing or go down the slide and turn to wave at her.   I would rather play bunco or rummy with her or just sit and watch television with her.  I never played over there for long.

They had a house built on 310 North Sixth Street while they lived in the house to the north right beside their lot.  This is all in Charleston, Illinois. I do not know the number of that house, but it is still there as well. Grandpa’s blacksmith shop was at the back of the lot of 310 North Sixth and it had an address of 309 North Fifth.  To the south of the blacksmith shop was their store right beside the shop. I do not know the address of that either.  The store was torn down not too long ago and the blacksmith shop is still there. He had a blacksmith shop prior to that location but it burned.  I have photos of that to post later. The house at 310 North Sixth still has the same green shake shingles!  They owned another house a few streets over, maybe 7th or 10th?  I am not sure. They had a store there in the front or back of the house and some lady ran it for them.

Grandma Dora Hutton is all dressed up!
Grandma Hutton sitting on her front porch at 310 North Sixth.  It still looks the same.  She is holding her granddaughter, Dora Jane.  Dora Jane is my Uncle Dick’s daughter.
Grandma is in her back yard. In the back of the picture is the house to the north of them that they lived in before they had this one built. If there were more picture showing to the left. if you kept walking in the back yard, you would see Grandpa’s blacksmith shop.
Grandpa and my mother at the side of their house.  I shared this so you could see the shake shingles.
This is Grandma between both houses.  This is the house to the north of them.  Unfortunately, Grandma is scrunching her face up here. Check out that car!!!!

Well, I certainly was mistaken!  There will have to be more than a part 1 and part 2 of Staying the Night With Grandma Hutton. There are just too many memories and stories to tell.  What great memories!!!  Stay tuned for part 3 on one of the next blogs!