Monday, August 29, 2011


We all remember these two points of interest when we were growing up.  First the stories of the bridge that Grandpa worked on in Yellowstone, then the narrow road of the canyon that took us up the North Fork.  We also probably remember how much Father did not like the canyon drive.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Elizabeth and Ron Came to Olympia!

We had so much fun.  Not many somber moments, not even for the camera.
Giving each other advice.......the hands, you've got to watch the hands!
While the ladies watched the new Jane Eyre movie, the men escaped to the shade in the yard to get a little reading (and sleeping) done.
What an event to have the Gages traveling to Washington again! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Technology To Watch

"A company in American Fork has announced the release of its M-DISC, which is the first permanent file backup disc technology that will protect your information for up to 1,000 years." This is quoted from an article in Tuesday's Daily Herald. Two BYU professors came up with idea. I have included their web site so you can research this on your own. Can you imagine someone coming across this disc in 1000 years, looking at it and wondering if it was just a shiny frisbee? However, the idea of being able to preserve photos and genealogy and whatever else we have, without the data deteriorating would be wonderful.
The projected cost of the discs in a 20 pack is $26.95. I suspect there would be an additional purchase of the drive to burn the disc. At least that is what I gathered from their web site. Happy learning and let us know what you find out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Penrose School: Page from Mom's Black Photo Album

Apologies if this has been posted before.  What is amazing is how many people and children there were in Penrose once upon a time.  The picture on lower right is, if memory serves me, Lucinda Wasden.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mother's Tatting

Oh, yes and something else that should be included. And do you recognize the scarf?

The Penrose School

This is a very poor photo but I think it is worth adding to our history. This is the Penrose School. The photo was in an old photo album of Uncle Brooks that I was able to borrow from our cousin, David Wasden. There wasn't much of interest in the album, except for this photo. There is one of a young Uncle Brooks that I will post later. Hopefully you can at least get an idea of this little country school that Mother and her siblings attended.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What A Difference a Year Makes

Ok, I know, I need to have my own blog, and I just may surprise you one of these first days. However, it is important to put the next chapter on the blog to follow up on a post dated Wednesday May 12, 2010.

The photo above seems to ask, "who needs a garden gate?". The squash and melons have a mind of their own.
The flowers across the front of the family room windows have been beautiful this year.
One days' harvest. It is time to make catsup and beet soup, maybe even some dilly beans. Work to do, work to do! The tomatoes are a jungle, the squash and melons (including 12 watermelon) are merrily filling in any empty space they can find, and life is good. This has been a great team effort this year, and feels really good.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Russell M. Blood and Friend, Denver

This copy of a picture was in my files - hope someone has the original. It is a picture of Daddy with his friend, Dwight Tabler (whom brother Dwight was named after). Wasn't he the one whose father helped Dad make connections with Elsie and Dewey? Sorry you can't enlarge this picture well - the pixels just break up. Nevertheless, the dress, which was everyday school dress for Denver schools, seems quite formal. If we could see the whole picture, I think these were short pants, with knee socks. This is one of the few pictures we have of Dad in this period of his life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How We Got Through the Great Depression

During the 1930s our Dad was gone much of the time looking for a day's work here and there leaving Mother alone with first, Louise, then me (Dwight), then Liz, and a bit later in the decade, Judy.  We lived in a two-room uninsulated home that would probably be called a shack today.  Here are the resources Mother had to get us through that troubled decade:
  1. Maybe three or four pans and a cast iron skillet.
  2. Two coal stoves, one for heating the bedroom, one for cooking and heating the kitchen.
  3. An enamel dishpan, which sprouted a hole midway through the decade.
  4. Two kerosene lamps.
  5. A can of kerosene.
  6. A stash of coal and green cottonwood for burning in the stoves.
  7. A cellar full of canned peas, beans, tomatoes, corn, peaches, pears, apricots, strawberry jam, plus some potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and a few apples.
  8. Mustard for mustard plasters.
  9. A water bucket for carrying water into the house from the outside pump.
  10. A scrub board.
  11. A galvanized metal bathtub for laundry and baths.
  12. A big garden and an apple orchard in the summer.
  13. Two beds, one of which my two sisters slept on, and the other, a cot, which I slept on, and a sort of couch that Mother slept on in the other room.
  14. A rolling pin and bread pans.
  15. Irons Mother heated on the stove for ironing clothes.
  16. Surely I have left something out.
What we did not have:
  1. A car.
  2. A telephone.
  3. Electricity--until 1939.
  4. Inside plumbing and bath rooms.
  5. Washing machine.
  6. Many toys.
  7. Many clothes.
  8. Store bought groceries of any kind except for a few staples.
But what we did have that got us through the Great Depression:
  1. Love in great abundance.
  2. Warmth.
  3. Great imaginations for inventing things do do.
  4. Mother's indomitable will, perseverance, mustard plasters, and lonely days and nights.
  5. Dad's sacrifice in looking for a day's work anywhere and everywhere and showing up some Saturday nights with the Denver Post with its "funny papers" and making a kite for us that flew and pulling us around in our red wagon and playing his harmonica for us and giving us hugs.  And then he was gone again.
That is how we learned to get by on our own throughout our lives, to tough out the bad times, and to stay close to one another.  So we really came out ahead, didn't we?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

For Sale: Roncoe Rotisserie, Pressure Cooker, Bread Maker. Make an Offer

My sisters are just like sheep.  If one of them says, "buy this!", they all march out and buy it.  Except Ann is usually the one who propagates this mania and gets everyone else to buy some worthless piece of merchandise, and by the time everyone else has all gone out and bought it, Ann has decided she doesn't want to buy it after all.

Let us take the Roncoe Rotisserie of Set it and Forget it fame for example.  For a brief period, chicken rotisserie mania set in.  I remember when Velna and I went up to Preston to see Liz and Ron and they proudly presided over two properly trussed birds as they rotated themselves into splended states of rotisseriness.  Judy dissembled for years claiming she had one when everyone knew she didn't.  Some where she will pay for this dissemblement.  I suckered into this epidemic and bought one, with splendid visions of perfectly rotiserried chicken, steaks, salmon, kabobs, etc., etc.  As far as I remember, we may have rotisseried three fowls.  It took half an hour to truss them up properly, haul the monster machine out of the pantry, and turn it on, watching the spit turn round and round and round.  The chicken itself was fine but then it took two hours to scrub up the rotisserie.  I figure my three Roncoe rotisseried birds cost a mere 75 bucks apiece or some such amount.  The solution? Pay 5 bucks at Costco for a perfectly wonderful rotisseried chicken and put the rotisserie in the store room.  For five bucks, two people can eat for weeks.  First, you pick a little chicken off for a couple of sandwiches.  Then you chew on the thighs, drumsticks, and wings.  Then you make some other dish like chicken enchiladas.  Then you berl up the carcass for broth, chuck in some frozen noodles, and eat chicken and noodles for approximately two weeks.  All for five bucks and you don't have to clean up the stupid rotisserie.  But if you are enamored with the Music Man con man who peddles these things with his adoring audience chanting "set it and forget it," I will sell you mine cheap.  As far as I know, all of my sisters' rotisseries have met a tragic fate.  But maybe we have all been too dumb to see the potential here.

Now my sisters didn't connive to get me to buy a pressure cooker and a bread machine.  I did those deeds myself.  I pressure cooked one roast and one batch of pea soup.  My wife kept saying, "What is the advantage to that?"  "You can roast a roast in a short time and berl some pea soup in a jiffy anyway, and besides, what else do you have to do that is so important that you need your roast or your pea soup in a few minutes instead of an hour or two?  I just took my pressure cooker down to the store room.

We did use our bread machine quite a bit when we had more family at home.  Bread machine bread is wonderful when it is first baked.  But after three or four fresh slices, the loaf sits around and turns to stone and no one ever eats the rest of it.  So the bread machine is now headed for the store room.  Maybe I'll try one more loaf first.

I know Ann has been like Eve and the apple on several other occasions of sending her sisters scurrying to the stores or to or to DI to get something she has had a current inspiration about, but my brain has fogged in these regards.  Perhaps others can fill us in on these multitudinous details.  Why is it we have never learned, however?  Irregardless [sic] of how many times we have listened to Ann peddle something to us, we still go out and buy whatever her current fascination is?  Why is that?

Currently we have the Vintage Sewing Book Saga.  A sad story beyond all human imagination.  Ann finds this book about how to sew 100 year old underwear and convinces her sisters to all buy the book.  Then someone paid for them and mailed them out and now nobody is smart enough to figure out how the heck much anyone owes anyone else or who mailed what to whom or who paid postage.  Meanwhile we have burned up 41 comments on what is supposed to be a dignified family history blog with total, utter nonsense.  No wonder Congress is so screwed up if we highly educated Blood family members have no idea how to do addition, subtraction, and long division.  Why would anyone want a vintage sewing book?  What if I suggested we all buy an economic analysis book so we could correct all of our mistaken notions and understand Supply and Demand?  How many would buy it?  Besides, there is an element of gender discrimination here in spending so much time, energy, computer space, and continual click click clicks to see if some robot has added the next comment to an inane list of previous comments about a book about old ladies underwear.  What a sad commentary.  Mother would be appalled that her children do not have anything better to do, that they do not know how to do arithmetic, and that they don't buy a treadle sewing machine to make real stuff with.  I have worn myself totally out with the effort required to write this epic piece.  I hope I have shed light and inspiration on these important subjects.