Monday, November 30, 2009

Branson Vacation

Sidney and I just returned from a weekend vacation in Branson, MO.  It had been quite a while since we had been there and we knew there had been a lot of changes to the area, so we went prepared.

We stayed at a timeshare resort (took the tour to save money), saw the Dixie Stampede, and did some shopping while we were there.  We had a very nice time and a well needed time of relaxation, however, I left there wondering what the decendants of this Ozark area would think if they could see things now?  When we visited Branson about 40 years ago, there wasn't much there except for Silver Dollar City and a few stores on the Main Street.  I loved going through those stores because they sold "hand made" crafts.  I would just be amazed at the craftmanship and would always come home motivated to try my hand at something new.
This weekend I saw the same-ole "stuff" that I could find anywhere.  There were few "hand-crafted" items in the stores that I visited and most had a tag on the back that read, "Made in China". 

I thought of the decendants of the Ozarks and the hard work they endured.  Just trying to make a small garden in those  rock laden hills must have taken all the strength one could muster up.  Carrying water up and down those Ozark hills must have been a lot of work too.  I just can't imagine what it would have been like to live in the poverty sticken Ozarks years ago.   And now....I heard this week that an acre of land in the Branson Ozarks sells for about 1/4 million dollars.  

But Branson, MO is a testimony of one thing;  someone had a dream and a vision of what they could do with a tall hills and low valleys and they held onto that dream until it was accomplished.  I enjoyed my vacation but as usual, I'm glad to be home.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


As I have told you before, I get the biggest pleasures from the smallest things.  Last Saturday proved to be one of those times.  I decided to go to a yard sale just down the road from me and I was so glad I did.  There on a lonely shelf sat 13 blue canning jars with their original lids.  The price was right and I found myself with all 13.  

I'm not sure why but I have always loved glass whether it be clear or colored, but with these blue jars I felt like I had found a treasure.  I shared a few with my kids, then washed them up and began to fill them with the simple things I had on my pantry shelves, like rice, barley, beans and more.  Then I proudly displayed them on top of my refrigerator.  Who would have thought that 13 blue canning jars could make someone so happy!

Grandma B


You too can purchase grains and beans in bulk and store them in glass jars with lids.  Bugs and critters will stay out while you keep freshness in!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


While being married to my best friend, Sidney, for over 42 years now, has brought some interesting learning experiences with it.  While I have always loved to try new recipes, go out to eat, and generally like to eat, Sidney has been the easy to please type, not caring much about what he has to eat.

Sometimes I will ask him, "what do you want for supper?", and his reply is usually the same; "I don't care, fix what you want."   If I give him a choice between pork chops or hamburgers the reply is still the same, "I don't care, fix what you would like."

I admit this would probably be most wives dream to have a husband so easy to please, but at times I just want his input.  I want someone to help me make food decisions.

When I have talked to Sidney about my dilemma here is what he says;  "It doesn't matter whether I have a steak or a bologna sandwich, it all ends up in the same place."  Wow, such insight!   I hate to admit it to him, but I guess he's right.  Once it's in our stomach, our brain says we are full, it doesn't matter whether it's a steak or bologna, and yes, it all ends up in the same place!

So as this grandma still searches the pages of new recipes looking for a new way to fix the chicken or beef, Sidney is sitting in his recliner, reading his favorite western, not caring what he has for lunch or supper, because "it all ends up in the same place".

Blessings to you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Life Comes Full Circle

While it is true that each generation gains more and more knowledge, it amazes me to see how the old becomes the new, and vice versa. While I listen to the media hype of living green, I realize that living green and recycling were just a normal way of life for my grandparents generation. They didn't waste anything and threw very little away. Examples of this would be how my grandma would wash off a piece of aluminum foil, fold it and put it in a drawer to be used again. A bread bag was never thrown away but was always saved to use as a leak proof container. Bread bags were even a staple when my boys were babies because that's what we placed their wet diapers in when we were out. They were then placed in the diaper pail when we returned home (and yes, we then threw the bag away!).

Grandma washed and dried the dishes by hand using the same dishclothes over and over. I don't remember paper towels at her house just the flour sack dish towels. She had a wringer washer and hung her clothes outside on clotheslines. Grandma used Fels Naptha soap to boost her laundry detergent's power, and I learned the other day that we can make our own laundry detergent with "Fels Naptha" soap. I guess grandma knew a thing or two.

Grandma saved all jars and used them during jelly canning season. She sealed them with paraffin wax, and covered them with foil if a matching lid wasn't available. Nothing wasted! Not food, not clothing, nothing! And have you noticed that this is becoming the right thing to do again? It used to be if you were frugal you were labeled "cheap" or "poor", but no's the "in thing". I'm glad it is back! It seems life has gone full circle in just 3 generations.

By the way, upon my grandmother's death I learned that she had over $100,000.00 in her bank account. Grandma wasn't poor or cheap, she was just smart!

Living the simple life,

With soup season approaching save even small amounts of leftover vegetables, bits of pasta or beans in a mason jar and place in the freezer until it's full. Take it out and make your favorite vegetable soup.