Sunday, April 29, 2012

Russell M. Blood, Maybe Around 1946

Uncle Norman's photo of Dad squinting in the sun, taken the same tme as Judy's polka dot dress photo below.  Uncle Norman's car in the background.  I remember being taken for rides to Lovell and to Powell with Uncle Norman to go to the movies in this car.  Note leaning telephone pole for clothesline, slab covered coalbin, and probably stuff for kids to play with on the ground.  Photo resurrected a bit from the original.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Names From the Past

In this morning's Church News, there is a note in the "Milestones of togetherness" column that was a real memory jog for me.  It reads:  "Orlin and Vada Tirrell were married 70 years ago, on April 24, 1942, in the Logan Utah Temple.  They are members of the Ribgy 10th Ward, Rigby Utah East Stake.  They have three sons, 13 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild." 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ann: Is This the Same Polka Dot Dress?

The Polkda Dot Dress: From Louise to Liz to Judy

After Liz's comment, I thought we should complete the saga of the blue and white polka dot dress.  Didn't it get passed down to Ann?  Did Judy wear it out?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Rare Photo of All Six Blood Siblings

As far as I know, this photo taken on a family picnic, probably up Northfork, is the only known photo of all six Blood siblings before I left home.  Not a great photo, but a rare one.

The companion photo taken on this outing, which I took.  The younger generation looks extremely grouchy.  Note matching skirts.  These may have been posted before, but I thought we might like to look at them together for the fun of it.

Louise in polka dots

How can you not love the little girl in this photo? 

Hi Judy, Once Again: Spare the Poor Cat

I cranked this through PhotoShop a bit and here is Louise's polka dot dress, right?  Did you ever see such a loveable little girl?

Monday, April 23, 2012


This has been posted before, but then it deserves posting again.  Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday Judy

To Judy: who has smiled her way through life's ups and downs; who has perfected answering a question with a question (an inherited quality); who must have calmed this kitten into submission in order to put it in a choke hold; who has been a dear friend, a listening ear, and a wonderful example of what I want to be when I grow up - Happy Birthday. I love you, sister, dear.

This is another attempt at getting this photo down to its correct size. The earlier sizing was a little big, but the photo showed up much better. Hopefully if you double click on this it will enlarge so you can see the smile that is so familiar.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quote for the Day

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 16, 2012

How Ann Makes Bread Version 2

In an attempt to communicate in a little more normal way than Version One of how to make bread, maybe this will be better. (Is that really how I talk/write when my brain is only half working? What a mess!) Also, please note - the use of raise and rise feels a little tricky tonight, so please overlook any misuse herein.
1. Put dough hook on Bosch mixer. Find a large ceramic bowl (if you have one) or a stainless steel bowl will work, it just doesn't hold the heat as well. Fill half full with hot water and let it sit while you are mixing the dough. This will warm the bowl and will help make the dough rise faster. Just before you put the dough in the bowl, pour out the water and wipe the bowl dry; rub the bowl with a little oil so the dough won't stick as it raises.
2. Grind approximately 4 cups wheat (Note: if I am using Spelt, I use exactly the same measurements. I actually like Spelt better than whole wheat)
3. In a measuring cup, put 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Add 1 tsp sugar or honey. Add 2 teaspoons or one packet of yeast. Stir gently for just a second and set aside.
4. Measure 4 cups of very hot water and pour into the Bosch mixing bowl.
5. To the hot water add the following: 4 teaspoons salt; 4 Tablespoons sugar or honey; 1/3 cup oil.
6. Add all of the whole wheat flour
7. Use the on button on the Bosch that lets you turn the mixer on and off quickly. Turn it on three or four times until the flour is somewhat mixed in, then turn the mixer on so it stays on for about two minutes. Turn off.
8. Start adding the white flour, but read the remainder of #8 before you proceed. I honestly don't know how much white flour it will take, so you have to pretend you know what you are doing on this one. Gradually begin adding the white flour one cup at a time, until the dough is still really sticky, but not runny. At this point, let the Bosch knead the bread for about 3 minutes. Add a little more flour, mix again.
9. Now gently stir the yeast mixture in the cup and add to the bread dough. Mix really well, then continue kneading for another 3 minutes.
10. If the bread is still really sticky, and is clinging to the side of the Bosch bowl while it is kneading, add a little more white flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
11. Sprinkle a little flour on the cabinet top. "Dump" the bread dough onto the floured area. Knead just a little to form it into a ball.
12. Place dough ball into prepared bowl. I like to rub just a little oil over the dough so it doesn't dry out while it is raising.
13. Cover with a clean dishtowel.
14. The dough needs to sit in a place where it is kind of warm, and out of drafts. I generally use my oven, having turned it on for about 1 minute and then turning it off will give my bread a nice warm place to sit.
15. When the dough has come to the top of my bowl, or doubled in size, I dump it out of the bowl onto the floured surface, punch it down/knead it and return it to the bowl for a second round. If you are going to make rolls, or cinnamon rolls, you would take part of the dough out at this point.
16. Many of the recipes I see today are skipping the second rising - Mother always let it raise twice so I have just kept doing it that way.
17. When the dough is doubled again, remove from bowl onto lightly floured surface.
18. Grease 3 bread pans. Or two if you have made rolls. Divide the dough into even portions. Gently knead to work out the air bubbles and then form into your loaves. Place each loaf in loaf pan, roll around in the grease in the bread pan so the tops have a little oil on them. Or you can melt a little butter and spread it over the tops of your loaves.
19. Let bread sit until the dough is a little over the top of the pan so it makes a nice rounded looking loaf. Cover the dough while it is sitting. And try to keep it out of any draft.
20. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
21. Put loaves in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Timing is a little tricky, so when the bread looks done, thump on a loaf. If it sounds hollow, it is probably done.
22. Hooray! If you have persevered and made it to this point, whatever you take out of the oven will taste wonderful and the house will smell ever so good. Just make sure you have some homemade strawberry jam to eat with it.

How Ann Makes Bread

I thought Ann's bread instructions deserved promotion to the blog.
Photos? Seriously????
I'm not sure about any of this, but here goes. This will usually give me 3 loaves.
Put your dough hook on your Bosch. Grind your wheat, about 4 cups. In a cup put 1/4 cup not too warm water, some yeast (ok, maybe 2 tsp, or 1 packet of yeast) and a little honey or 1 tsp sugar (this helps the yeast to activate quickly). Put 4 cups very hot water in the Bosch bowl. I use the really hot water because it helps to break down the whole wheat. To the hot water, add 4 tsp salt, 4 TBsp sugar or honey, and "some" oil maybe about 1/4 or 1/3 or 1/2 hmmm I wonder how much I put in but I think the 1/3 cup will be close. Add the whole wheat flour and stir on slow until it is well mixed. Your dough should start to look kind of smooth.
Begin adding the white flour - slowly - otherwise you will have white flour sailing everywhere, mixing with each addition. I am not sure how many cups of white flour this will take, so you are kind of on your own here. When my dough gets so it is still really sticky, but not runny, I let the Bosch knead it for a couple of minutes. Then I add more flour until it is almost doughy - then I stir the yeast stuff in the cup and add to the bread. Mix on slow until mixed in, add a little more flour until the dough starts to wipe the sides of the bowl clean and let it knead for a while (5 minutes? 6 minutes? Then I sprinkle a little flour on the kitchen cabinet top, and turn the bread dough out of the Bosch bowl on to the floured cabinet top, knead it a little with my hands into a mound of dough. Then I take my bread rising bowl, rub it down on the inside with oil (olive oil, Macadamia nut oil, or what ever you have - Canola?). With the oil on my hands, I rub the oil onto the mound of bread dough, put it into the bread bowl to rise, cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel and put in a warm corner, where it is out of any draft. I often turn my oven on for a couple of minutes, then turn it off (that part is really important) and tuck the bowl of bread dough into the oven. Just make sure the oven is just slightly warm (as opposed to being cold or hot).
Let the dough rise until it has doubled, then pull it out of the bowl and knead it down, put back in the bowl and let rise until doubled again. (This theory has changed a little and many people are just letting the dough rise once and then they make it into loaves, so if you have gotten this far, you may want to try that - or not.) Dump it out of the bowl onto the cabinet top, tear or cut into 3-4 pieces, form each piece into a loaf, put into a greased bread pan, let rise to top of pan, heat oven to 350 degrees, and bake until it is done. Ok, what is done. Maybe 25 minutes? Maybe 30 minutes. When you thump on the loaf of bread it sounds kind of hollow. Now, what have I left out? This really concerns me because I have never made this an exact science. I just add a little bit of this and a little bit of that, mix until I am tired of mixing, and let it rise.
When I looked online, I found a recipe that sounded really simple. The link is below and that might be something for you to try.
There are also a couple of youtube videos that might be helpful. Otherwise, when you come back to Riverton I will come to your house and we can make bread together.
April 16, 2012
April 16, 2012 3:39 PM

Letter to Ann

Dear Ann, I'm ready to make bread! L, D.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Letter from Mom January 7, 1950

January 7, 1950

Hi, Dwite!

Of all the weeks you have been gone from home I bet there has never been another like this. Yes? No? What's for supper? It's bound to be good.

Maybe from down there it didn't look like you'd gained much by leaving Sunday, but from up here it sure did.  Sunday afternoon it started to turn cold.  By Monday morning it was really cold and by Tuesday morning it was cold enough to read 20 degrees below 0 and never even got up to 0 degrees that day.  Yesterday was better tho, and this morning was all of 5 degrees above zero.  Clear and beautiful all week.  Weather report-Finis.

Hogs up to $16--looks better.  Louise sure likes it at Thompson's (Louise and I had been staying at home for fall quarter at Northwest (Junior) College in Powell, but when I took the car to Laramie she found a room at the home of my high school vocational agriculture teacher in Powell).  Ann and Steve have ended up sleeping in your bedroom and Judy and Liz are together.  That way there are plenty of covers.  Steve thinks he should save all the funnies for you till you come home.

How is schedule and work and all shaping around?  So many have said they were sorry to see you go but were glad you did--even Biddle (Miss Biddle, my high school English teacher and our annual sponsor our senior year).  Love, Mother

Note: This letter was written January 7.  I left January 1, so it was likely about January 10 before I heard from home in that era without telephones.  Miss Biddle, I am told is, of this date in 2012, about 102 years old and still alive.)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Family Reunion in Salem UT at Ann and Paul's mid-1970s

I was taking pictures with a pocket Minox itty bitty camera at this reunion.  I was never able to use the photos until recently when I finally learned how to resize them.  Still not a good photo, but I think it's of tremendous family historical interest.  Not everyone clearly recognizable, unfortunately.  Does anyone else have photos of this reunion that you can add? 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two Roses for Mom and Dad

After Dad died, each of his six children received a share of the hard-earned savings left behind from the efforts of our parents over a lifetime of sacrifice and unrelenting work.  Dad always encouraged me to learn to do something with my hands, to do something creative.  I always wanted to learn to do wood work and inlaid veneer pictures like Dad made throughout his life, but the circumstances were never right to achieve this goal.  One of the reasons we moved back to Laramie from Penn State was so that I could spend more time in Penrose and, perhaps at long last, take lessons in learning to do wood craft work.  Then, to our dismay, two years after we returned to Wyoming, Dad and Mom pulled up stakes without warning and left Penrose for Washington.  My hopes were dashed.  I spent part of the money I received as my inheritance on Mom's scholarship at Northwest College in Powell, WY.  Three young women have benefitted from the small scholarship allowance they received, writing letters of appreciation and telling how some extra money had helped them continue their educations.  I know from my own college experience that a $10 bill would have been the equivalent of 12 hours of hard student labor as a janitor or at the University stock farm.  I saved a couple of thousand dollars for years from my inheritance from our parents and refused to spend it.  Velna kept encouraging me to spend it on something that I could use and appreciate.  So, realizing I am truly getting ancient, I spent most of these remaining savings on a new telephoto lens for my camera.  The above two photos are among the first half dozen pictures I took this afternoon with this wonderful new lens.  I still have much to learn about how to use my new acquisition.

The most important result of this expenditure came, however, when Velna told me "Your Dad would really be happy if he knew you spent this money on something that you can use in a creative way."

So, Dad and Mom, these two roses are dedicated to you, in memory of your lifetime of sacrifice for us, and for the creative genius that illuminated Dad's life, in particular, thoughout the many decades of artistic creativity that led to the continuous output of beautiful works of art right up to the last days he spent on earth.  I never learned how to do inlaid veneer pictures, but I have found great joy and satisfaction in sharing photos of God's beautiful creations with many people who have found joy and some times consolation from the photographs I have shared with them. So, Dad and Mom, I hope you think I spent your hard-earned savings wisely to create works of beauty that will continue on after I am gone.

Venetian Tiles - A Quilt for Bethany

I finished Bethany's quilt top (graduation gift) - just have the back to make, and get it quilted, labeled, and bound, and I'm through. I am sure I can finish this one by June. This pattern looks very complicated, but is really easy, using a technique and ruler called the X Block. It is made by cutting three strips of the light batik, and sewing them together, and three strips of the bright colors (Kafe Fassett fabrics, in case you wondered), and sewing them together. Then, using the special rulers, you cut and sew everything back together. I truly marvel at the creativity of quilters as they create new patterns, techniques, and tools for the rest of us to putter around with. This quilt will probably remain one of my favorites. The graphic aspects just reach out and grab you when you stand in front of it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


It has come to my attention that Buford has sold at auction to two vietnamese men for $900,000.00.  At least somone can spot a value.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Judy and Ann Dyeing Easter Eggs, again

I know this has been posted before, but in the spirit of Easter again, here it is once more.  Ann in Pigtails, Judy in Shirley Temple curls.  It is getting more and more difficult to get a rise out of anyone for comments, however.  Used to be a one sentence inane comment would net 18 comments at least.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

I know, it's been posted before.  But here's a reminder of Easter egg decorating.  As I recall, some times it was more like the Easter egg wars.  But then I was a mere small boy confronted with four sisters and I had to stick up for my Easter egg rights.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Blood Family Epistles Janary 2 1950

Continued from Yesterday:  Well it didn't do us much good to particularly to come down a day early, because no one is around yet.  We went down and shot the bull with Wayne (Lynn) awhile this afternoon, and looked for some guys to see about jobs but they didn't seem to be around.  Wayne's old employer at the bowling alley has been made the head of student employment at the University so we will go down and see him in the morning.  We are all moved in and it is pretty good up here.  We bought a bottle of Air Wick to absorb the odors accumulated during the vacation, and you wouldn't even know you were in a barn now.

Send me down the latest scandal.  Love, Dwight

Friday, April 6, 2012

Epistle from Dwight January 1, 1950

I'm not sure everyone is interested in this round of correspondence, but I thought I'd try a few and see what you think.  Considering that these letters give us a window on our lives 62 years ago, I  find myself going back in time as if these days were only yesterday.  It is true: I had two boxes of treasures when I left college.  One was a collection of FFA memorabilia and high school stuff, one was a box containing all the letters I got from home for the years 1949-1953.  These letters were my lifeline.  I left home having barely turned 17, no money, no job, 2 FFA jackets, 2 pair of jeans, some tee-shirts, and that was about it.  I hauled these two boxes with me from Laramie to Bozeman, then to Fort Collins, then to Ann Arbor MI, then to Fort Collins, then to Cheyenne, then to Washington, D.C., then to Ann Arbor, then to Penn State, then to Laramie, then to Fort Collins, then to Provo, then to Riverton UT.  I never looked at these letters all of those years.  It seemed sufficient to know they were there.  Then, when getting ready for my 50th anniversary of graduating from the University of Wyoming, I got them out, sorted them in chronological order, and typed every one of them to put in my memoir of my UW years.  Talk about reliving every moment of the past.  Then, as now, I realize what treasured artifacts these letters are.  I hope no one throws them away when I am gone.  I don't know where I got the courage to think I could make it when I left home under these circumstances.  On second thought, I do know.

Rooftop Penthouse
Horse and Sheep Barn
Laramie, Wyoming
January 1, 1950

Dear Folks,

Arrived safely.  Hungry.

We dragged in a little after 5:00 tonight.  I drove to Thermop, then Felix drove to Casper, I drove to Wheatland, then Felix drove on into Laramie.  We made it in good time just stopping to change drivers, and then didn't have to hurry.  We probably met over 2 doz. cars all the way down and there was no snow or ice at all on the road.  Those sandwiches came in handy for dinner for both of us today and saved a half hour stop or more for something to eat.  We fought a terrific wind all the way down which was the only trouble we had.  The sun was shining when we got to Wheatland; it is clear tonight.  Averaged about 18 miles per gallon in spite of the wind, which wasn't too bad, but it took a quart of oil.

Love, Dwight

Note: about 15 miles north of Laramie, Felix (Felix Bessler, my high school classmate) told me that his friend had a cute blonde girl friend named Velna that I should call when we got to Laramie.  Who knew that 62 years later she is still in the other room watching All My Children.  My door is closed so I don't have to listen to it.  Note also that this letter took probably 4 or 5 days to get back to Penrose, so my parents and family had to wait for days to know that I arrived safely.  At that point, we had no telephone at home.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Epistle from Judy January 8, 1950

Garland, Wyo.
January 8, 1950

Dear Old Bubbie Dwight,

I miss you a lot.  I can't even be ornery.  Oh! Yes.  Art wrote Louise a letter.  Today we started the game of Pit.  We didn't get very far.  We played with the bull and the bear.  It's fun, but there isn't much excitement in the game.  The scores are Daddy 5, Louise 210, Elizabeth 270, and I got 155.  That's all the farther we got.

The other night I dreamed that you couldn't find a job and only 5 people are going to school so they weren't going to have school so you came home.

Mr. Harris's plow got stold.  See he left it over at Rosie's place.  He went to get it and it wasn't there.  Your children (pigs) are still here and o.k. so you don't have to worry about them.

Your old Bubbie,
Judy Blood

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chickens Wisdom

I don't know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens--E. B. White

Dealing with Losses

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalms 30:5)  I had been thinking for awhile about realizing that for every loss we have, we gain something in return.  Some times what we get is not what we think we want, and some times we think we are getting punished in return.  Then I read Daniel Peterson's weekly column he writes in Mormon Times in the Deseret News last week.  Dan was our long-time neighbor, church associate, study group colleague, and friend when we lived in Orem.  He is easily one of the smartest people I know, if not the smartest.  He is a professor of Arabic which, alone, is enough to make him an imposing intellect, but he has also lived all over the world, traveled all over the world, edited and written countless scholarly works, and read about everything.  And yet he carries all of these credentials lightly, almost transparently.  He writes last week about losing his half-brother, who was more his brother, and the bereft and orphaned feeling he had when the loss came.

My thoughts working through my mind before I read Dan's column surfaced anew.  I thought of the many kinds of losses we experience, both when we are young and as we age.  When we are young, we lose the innocence of childhood as we struggle to become adolsescents and then adults.  We may lose hope, we may lose first loves, we may lose our perfect health, we may lose parents and family members, we may struggle with our faith.  As we age, we begin to lose those around us, and the older we get, the more of those who have been dear to us leave before we depart ourselves.  We lose mobility and agility, and we lose our pain-free bodies.  We suffer transcendant disappointments and crushing losses and defeats and we wonder if we should let our faith wither like last year's sunflower, once so bright and yellow and cheerful, and now brown and sere like our broken hearts.

And the longer I thought about all of these things, the more I realized that I was missing something that was right in front of me all the time.  While our courage may grow in adversity, we ponder our losses and wonder how we can ever cope with them.  And then at some quiet moment it comes to us:  We realize that we are not alone.  And, as time goes by, we will never be alone.  The indelible impressions that those we have loved made on our lives last for eternity, and we continue to be guided by their words, their smiles, and the permanence of the bonds between and among us.  We always remain together.  And we may finally may be willing to acknowledge, confronted with tragedy and crisis, that some power beyond us is also our constant companion through the troubled nights and the cloudy days.  And one day, the sun shines again, through our tears and through our pain..

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Epistle from Ann Nov. 25 1950

Sat. Nov. 25, 1950

Dear Dwight,

How are you?  I'm fine.  We miss you.  I never got to say goodby to you [in September when I left home to go back to school].  I had a good Thanksgiving, how about you?  I really like school.  Now we get more work done now that you are gone.  Judy is bad now that your gone.  Are you going to come home for Christmas?

Ann Blood