Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oddball Update

The Western Region Oddball Knitters have been busy. Below are the blankets that have been finished since January on which I had the honor to knit a section.

Be Mine
started January 2014
Snowflake
started December 2013
White Christmas
started November 2013
Amber Waves of Grain
started December 2013
Watch Me Grow
started September 2013
Whale Watch
started September 2013 
Wild Turkey
started October 2013
Gemstones
started May 2013
Rhapsody in Blue
started September 2013
Water Lily
started September 2013
Peter Pan
started September 2013
Anchors Aweigh
started August 2013
Sand Box
started March 2013
Peppermint
started August 2013
Melon-calling Baby
started September 2013
Halloween
started August 2013

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nearing the Bottom

Baby hats knit with scrap sock yarn
size 2 needles
I am gradually nearing the bottom of the scrap sock yarn bin. I have one more hat to knit from the balls that are too small to knit a pair of socks. Soon I will be donating a bag of 20 baby hats knit with scrap sock yarn to a local organization.

Thank you, Kathy for gifting me a bag of beautiful, sock yarn scraps a couple of years ago. Some of Kathy's scraps were used for these and other hats as well as socks.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dancing Ribbons

Dancing Ribbons
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started March 2014
Dancing Ribbons was introduced to the Oddball group last week by the coordinator. It will be knit in garter stitch, and each four-inch section will have four stripes of color. I thought it would be a great way to utilize small balls of yarn that seem to accumulate in every knitter's basket.

I am taking a break from the group for the summer, so I will be watching the Oddball forum on Ravelry to check the progress of the last four blankets I started.

Update: August 1, 2014



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rustic Framing

Lander Mills
Lander, WY
April 2014
Other images of this old elevator can be seen here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Back in Time - Wyoming Homestead

approx. 1939 or 1940
I am not sure, but I think this man is my maternal grandfather. I love the scene behind him -- the house, the sheets hanging on the line, the old car, and the Wyoming landscape, an area filled with promise.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

At Loose Ends

women's size 10
knit with 56 stitches on size 2 needles
I loved knitting this pair of socks from odds and ends - four different sock yarns. Each stripe is 10 rounds.

Photo shows one sock inside out and the tails that needed secured. While there were a lot of loose ends, I didn't mind because I like the socks.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

While in college and for the first year I taught, I drove my brother's 1965 Ford Galaxy 500, but the Thanksgiving of my second year of teaching, I purchased my very first car, a two-door, Dodge Dart Swinger.
1974 Dodge Dart Swinger
The Swinger had a white vinyl roof that was difficult to clean. Even though the car had a low clearance, I drove it on the back roads around Wheatland and all over the Laramie Peak area. My mother insisted a CB radio be installed in the car so I could ask for help, if necessary. My brother, John installed an eight-track stereo system in the car for me, too.

When I went to Japan, I left the car at the farm and my brother used it from 1979 to 1981.

Honda Civic (year unknown)
Misawa AFB, Misawa, Japan 1979
The Honda was a used car, but I can't remember the model year. Read about the Honda Civic here
1981 Toyota Tercel
When I returned from Japan, I drove the Dodge Dart until the transmission went out. The Tercel, which had front-wheel drive and a manual transmission, was the car I purchased to replace it. This little car had a big heart, especially driving in the snow and mud when I lived on the farm Over North.

1988 Ford F-150
Eventually, the mud and snow became too much for the Tercel, so I purchased a four-wheel drive pick-up to use when the weather was nasty or when the roads were really bad. The pick-up was also handy for hauling.

1994 Toyota Camry
When the Tercel's odometer turned over 250,000 miles, I traded it for a used Camry. I was commuting nearly 70 miles a day and welcomed the smoother ride, automatic transmission, and air-conditioning.

2004 Toyota Camry
In 2004, I purchased another Camry and donated the 1994 to the local community college foundation. It's amazing how retirement has extended the life of my car: today after ten years, the 2004 Camry has only 75,000 miles on the odometer. Since my previous Toyotas were in excellent condition after performing over 200,000 miles, I anticipate this car will last at least another 10 years.

I have owned six vehicles in 40 years. How many have you owned?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Back in Time - Freda

Freda and Terry S.
approx. 1980
Freda was a Red Angus and Holstein cross and was the first born on the farm. She was named after Fred, a redheaded young man, who worked for my mother and brother. Freda became one of my mother's favorite bucket babies, and she continued to seek attention as she grew.

My nephew Terry (shown in the photo) is a dare devil and will try practically anything. Since Freda was so docile, he thought he could sit on her back, and he did many times. The day I was there to take photos, he had just finished his irrigating duties, which is why he is still wearing his irrigation boots.

Terry and Freda


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Simple Beauty

April 2014
Last week, I was stuck by the simple beauty of the morning sun casting a shadow on the wall near my grandmother's china cabinet.

The cabinet is probably close to 100 years old: I inherited it from my mother, who inherited from her mother. I remember when Uncle Otto (my mother's brother) delivered the cabinet to the farm on a bitter cold day in December. Wrapped in old quilts and blankets, the cabinet had traveled in the back of his pick-up from South Dakota. Mom was afraid the glass would crack when the cabinet was brought into the house.

I, too, worried about the glass when I moved the cabinet to my home 20 years ago. The glass in the door has dimples and waves in it, and the side pieces are curved. The glass and finish are original. This is the oldest piece of furniture that I own.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two Special Ladies

Ferne Watson, me, Rosie Baker
approx. 1994
Ferne and Rosie fed over two hundred individuals a delicious, homemade hot lunch for over 30 years. I doubt that one student ever said they disliked anything these ladies created.  I remember thick and creamy potato soup with oven-baked cheese sandwiches, shepherd pie, macaroni and cheese, cabbage rolls, chocolate pudding (not from a box), cakes, pies, cookies, and their famous cinnamon rolls. They baked bread or rolls every day. These women were Masters in the kitchen!

They used federal commodities (cheese, canned fruits and meats, flour, etc.) to create their meals, but none of their entrees were pre-made and heated: their meals were prepared from scratch, and the results was heavenly. Students and staff often went back for seconds.

Ferne and Rosie cared about the students they fed and would often check on someone who hadn't eaten lunch or who was experiencing some problems in their life. Ferne loved kids, and she and her husband raised several foster children.

If the students (usually freshmen) got a little too rambunctious in the lunchroom, all it took to calm things down was for Ferne to walk about with her long yard stick. If peas were flicked around the room, she swiftly cornered the culprits, and they had clean-up duty. No one messed around in Ferne's lunchroom, and the principals quickly learned that was her domain.

When Ferne and Rosie retired, it didn't take the replacements long to begin serving pre-made and processed food.

Until Ferne passed away, we visited through telephone calls or letters frequently and met for lunch four or five times a year. She held a very special place in my heart. Rosie's health is now failing, but we manage to get together when we can.


If you need a great cake for a crowd, here is one of Ferne's recipes. I doubt the students even knew the cake they loved so much was made with prunes!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Home(s), Sweet Home

Childhood home
Wild Licorice Road
approx. 1960
Throughout my life I have lived in multiple houses, a dorm, apartments, a trailer house, and a BOQ. Each was unique and most were comfortable, but all were home for at least a year.
Spanish Walk Apartments
Wheatland, WY
approx. 1976
I lived and worked in Wheatland for six years, and while there lived in a motel room (for a month until my apartment was vacant), a basement apartment in an elderly lady's house (for one year), an apartment (for a year), a house with a friend (for six months), and a trailer house (for three years).

The Spanish Walk apartment was a great place to live - one block from the school. The living room had a Murphy bed in the wall that could be used for guests. This apartment was memorable because of the steam radiators that sometimes went ballistic and poured massive amounts of steam into the apartment, resulting in the exterior doors swelling. I had to climb through the bedroom window once in order to go to work.

Card's Trailer Court
Wheatland, WY
approx. 1977
I loved this trailer and purchased it in 1977. It had a kitchen with windows across the entire front of the trailer, a small dining area with a built-in china hutch, an large living room, two bedrooms, and a full bath. I especially liked that the hallway did not go through the bedrooms. The master bedroom was at the rear of the trailer and also had window across the entire wall. The only problem was that the wind often howls in Wheatland, and sometimes the windows would actually bow under the pressure. I slept in the spare bedroom when that occurred. The bathroom had space for a full-sized washer and dryer. The trailer was sold when I moved to Japan. Photos of my house in Japan can be found here.

Pavillion, WY
approx. 1982
This small house in Pavillion belonged to my brother, Rich. I rented it for a year or two. It was tiny but comfortable. The front door opened into the living room, two small bedrooms were on the right, next to the bedrooms was a bathroom. On the left of the living room, another small bedroom had been converted into a dining room (part of the wall was cut out to open up the room. The minuscule kitchen and a laundry room were behind the dining area. I enjoyed living in this house, but the water pressure was terrible in town and it took nearly 40 minutes for the washer to fill enough to wash a load. Doing laundry took all day.

My brother purchased the house from the school district in the 1970s. At the time, the district had several houses that they rented to teachers. When I was in high school, Coach Frost lived in this house.

farm house on Teacher's Road
north of Pavillion, WY
approx. 1983 or 1984
When the renters of the house on my brother's farm (Over North) moved, my brother asked if I wanted to move to the farm. I rented this house until 1993. This house had been moved to the farm in the late 70s or 80s. My brother purchased the house from our cousin. There had been a fire in the basement, but the house itself was still in good shape. While I'm sure this was a good deal, the house always smelled of smoke, especially during the winter when all the windows and doors were closed. I liked living in the country again and being able to see all the wildlife. I liked the openness of the country. When I first moved into the house, a young couple lived across the road, but eventually they sold the farm and after that, no one lived in that house. The nearest neighbor was about a mile away. The roads to this house could be a nightmare to drive everyday to get to work. I fought snow drifts, mud, and a "lake" that a neighbor created with his unmanaged irrigation water. My little Toyota Tercel was a real warrior on those roads - it was a car with a lot of heart. It pushed snow with its front bumper many times, it climbed a mud-bog hill, and it dodged massive ruts, created by vehicles with a wider wheel base. I loved that little car.

The farm house had three bedrooms, two baths, a laundry area, a large living room, a dining room, a large kitchen, and a two-car attached garage. Surrounding the house was a large yard. I planted a lot of trees in the 9 - 10 years that I lived in the house. I planted lilacs, currants, apple trees and pine trees. The year before I moved, I harvested a few small apples.
house in Riverton
Spring 1993

I purchased my Riverton house the Spring of 1993. It is hard to believe that I have lived here 21 years. The house is very comfortable with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a front room; however, the part that sold me on this house was the kitchen, dining, and family room combo.

The house hasn't changed in appearance too much other than the addition of vinyl siding. The split-rail fence was also removed after I lived here about five years. It's amazing how much the trees have grown in 20+ years.

Do you have photos of your homes through the years?


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