Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Important Package

Just wanted to let you know the Post Office called to let me know I had a very noisy little box that needed to be picked up.  Photos aren't great, but I just wanted to share. 

Happy Birthday to Steve

 If you will notice, the impish look that Steve had as a "cute" kid has endured over the years.  Our younger brother has a wicked sense of humor as well as the absurd.  And, we can't think of him without including Mary Lynn.  (Note the plaque in the background.)
These pictures were taken in New York a few years ago.  Not much  has changed since then, has it, Steve?  You never age, right?  May you have a happy birthday today.  Love you, brother.

Happy Birthday Steve

Dear Steve,
I hope your day is full of good things, sunshine and happy memories. I must admit there are times on quiet days when I think about the adventures you led me on.  There were so many, like taking apart bicycles and sharing parts as we put them back together.  (Did you know that Dwight only left those bikes at Penrose to be stored?  Sorry, Dwight)   Remember how they really did go much faster, even on the washboard roads?  Then we would take those much improved (?) bikes up to the top of the hill by the old oil tank and  take off to see how far we could coast heading towards home. We would fly through the rain puddles and laugh like there wasn't a care in the world.

I will always be thankful for a "little" brother who was my buddy during our growing up years.  The photo is just to remind  you of what you are missing unless you come to my house.  I love you, Steve.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Birthday Wish for Elizabeth

I think that this picture is crooked, but don't let that fool you.  That really is Elizabeth sitting in the field among the chickens.  Question:  Why isn't she scared of them????  puck-puck-puck-ma-guck!

The truth is, she isn't scared of anything, then or now.  She is brave and she is strong and we love her fun place is our family.  Yes, she does use her Elizabeth speak very well.  But we know.....we know.

Happy birthday, Elizabeth.  May your day be laden with love found in your favorite things and people.

Happy Birthday to Elizabeth

I know this should be cropped, but hopefully this will come through ok.  I love this photo of Elizabeth.  The twinkle in her eye says there is mischief brewing.  There is another photo I wanted to post, but time is short, so this will have to do.  Elizabeth's birthday and Memorial Day celebration never were on the same day - that was always Steve's birthday, but this year is just a little different. 

So, to our dear sister, Elizabeth, Happy Birthday!  I hope your day is full of fun "stuff", and that this next year will continue to give you time for quilting, gardening, reading, learning how to vine your tomatoes, etc.  (Who wants to clean house???)  I am so thankful you are my sister.  I am thankful for the laughter on the phone, for your confidence that I just might know an answer to a question, for your friendship and for your love.  May this be a wonderful day for you.

Lilacs and Iris on Memorial Day

I remember Memorial Day in Penrose, when we hoped that both the iris and the lilacs would be blooming.  The lilacs grew on the huge lilac bushes on the original home site of the Tvedtness home on the lot next to ours that Dad bought.  The home was long gone, but the remnants of "Emmy's" gardening prowess remained long after their home was gone.  The iris grew on the path from our back door to the barn.  As I remember, quart bottles were used to take the flowers to the Penrose cemetery.  After Dad and Mom died, and both were in the Penrose cemetery, Burchell and Ruby Hopkin told me that they had taken flowers to their gravesite each year on Memorial Day, a moving tribute to our parents for which we all remain eternally grateful since we are not able to be there ourselves, however much we would like to be there.

Memorial Day 2012

 Our grandmother, Louise Blood
 Our grandfather, Roscoe Blood
 Our parents, Minnie and Russell Blood
 I'm not certain, but I think Dad is kneeling by his Mother's grave in Nebraska, 1988
 Classic picture of our parents, Minnie and Russell Blood, baby Louise, Sunlight, 1931
Our grandparents, Tilda and James Wasden

Memorial Day 2012.  Today we honor our parents and grandparents and all those who have gone before us.  Since we cannot travel to the Penrose cemetery, we make the best of it by remembering them here.  If these photos are too large for your hard drive, let me know and I'll shrink them, but I wanted to see them in a large enough size so I could feel their presence.  We never knew our Blood grandparents, since Dad was an orphan at an early age.  We grew up with our Wasden grandparents and we children were close to them all of their lives.  Never a day goes by that I still do not think of my parents in some way or another, and continue to miss them after all these years.  And so we pay tribute to all of them this Memorial Day 2012.

We would be remiss if we did not honor service men and women, and particularly the members of our family who have served, and are now serving, in the armed forces of our country.  We especially pay tribute to those who have served in harm's way.  So, be assured that we are thinking of you, that we are aware of the sacrifices you have made and our now making in our behalf.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flowers to Decorate the Blog

Collage of Russell and Minnie Blood

Ann Posing for the Camera

Here is a familiar and much loved photo of Ann.  She was my number one model, along with Steve, since they would usually cheerfully do my bidding.  We need more stories, memories, reminiscences, etc. from every one as we go through these photos to help tell our family story.  Soon I will run out of photos and you can all go back to chickens and such.

Louise, Liz, and Dwight Once More

I worked on this photo a bit but don't think I improved it any.  The magazine Louise is holding is the Saturday Evening Post, which is a puzzle since Grandma and Grandpa Wasden took Collier's and not the Post, the Post being Dad's favorite magazine.  I think the porch must be on Grandpa Wasden's house, but then I don't know what Louise is doing with the SatEvePost, all bundled up.  And what treasures am I holding in a bag?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Louise, The Denver Post, Elizabeth, & Dwight

Somehow I have this. I love these sweet faces..... Have we done it before?  After Dwight's email today, anything goes.  What can you do with this one, Dwight?

Dwight, Liz, and Louise in Ralston

So far as I have been able to find out, Mother took and saved 15 photos during the three years we lived in Ralston, from 1941 to 1944, during WW II.  We had a small home about a mile west of Ralston on the Cody highway, which was a big adventure for us after the isolation of Penrose.  The tar paper structure behind the dirt pile we were sitting on was an addition Dad built on to the two room house we had been living in so I and my sisters could have separate sleeping quarters.  Mother must have borrowed a camera from Aunt Elna, because she did not have one of her own.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tilda Wasden, Elna, Orvil, and Cindy

I couldn't do much with this photo except lighten, sharpen, and reduce noise a bit, but how much is it worth even in the condition it is in?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother and Ann Pitching Hay

This photo must be one that Liz took, but thought I would post it here anyway.  What a classic photo of rural life in Penrose.

Cats Were Important Also

Time to relate a few cat stories here!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Minnie, Russell, Judy

This photo is one that we would probably delete if we took it today with a digital camera.  The original was quite dark, and this is the best I could do with all the photo tweaking stuff I know about.  Probably a professional photo restorer could do better.  I didn't take this one; Liz, maybe?  And where is it? Pine trees in background?  But aren't you glad we still have this photo, for all its imperfections?  Our discussion seems to be thinning out.

Mother's Day

Because one of our spring projects has provided much merriment for brothers and sisters, I feel justified in posting this on Penrose Mornings.  The top photo was taken a month ago, the bottom photo was taken this morning.  Note the handles just below the "door".  They are attached to a pull out tray and the floor inside  the coop is made of a small plastic grid.  When it comes time to clean the coop, we pull the tray.  How is that for modern backyard farming?  Grandkids are coming on the 31st - you are welcome to join in!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Purple Iris for Mother's Day

I always thought iris blossoms were poignant reminders of Penrose and the row of flowers that trailed out our back door toward the barn.  So here is an iris in memory of our mother.  Timothy Egan, writing in the New York Times on May 10 2012, wrote these words:

[mothers are] the true keeper of your memories, your triumphs, your losses.  Your mother is a scrapbook for all your enthusiasms.  She is the one who validates and the one who shames . . .

Minnie Wasden

Mother's Day Memories

Friday, May 11, 2012

Little Louise

Louise and Dolly with a Ribbon in Her Hair

The original photo showed Louise in the background as a little dark blob.  The fix is blurry, but what a wonderful picture nonetheless.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Minnie Wasden as University of Wyoming Student

This is the only photo of which I am aware of Mom as a student at the University of Wyoming.  It is cropped from another photo that was in the remnants of Mom's black photo album.  Though blurry, it is a priceless picture.  That Mom had the fortitude to go 450 miles over mostly primitive roads from her humble beginnings in Penrose to attend the University was in and of itself an act of great courage.  She worked at the Commons cafeteria and was chore girl for the Bowman family while she was there.  While some of her related experiences were far from pleasant, she had the backbone to tough it out, attributes that served her throughout her life and which served as a beacon light for her children.  We knew that if she could make her way, we could make our way. And that lesson was instrumental in my getting through the University only a short two decades later.  And Liz has also commented on the inspiration she received from Mom's U of Wyo yearbook, which we both perused and memorized, knowing that we would both go to Laramie to school.

I have Ann to thank for posting the little picture of Judy which got me to thinking, "I wonder if the details of that photo are still salvageable after all these years."  After I did one, I did a few others.  Now I am determined to work my way through the photos that I have.  While these photos are posted here, I'll also make them available in due time on a CD.  I don't want to monopolize this blog, and we need to have everyone participate in our family discussion of our heritage and background, not just look at the pictures. I am continually amazed that these ancient photos still possess so many details hidden in the original pictures.  I feel like we are all having a family reunion with newly revealed members of our family all over again.  So help me keep it going, and I'll keep working on them..

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Baby Louise Taking a Bath in the Yard 1932?

No remedies existed for this photo.  However, it tells so many stories the way it is--the summer day, the wash on the line, Louise in the washtub in the yard, the orchard trees--this yard was a part of our lives.


Very difficult to clear up this photo.  Here is a very young, very thin, very handsome Russell with a cute little baby girl named Louise. 1932?

Visit to Olympia 1974

This photo was taken with a little bitty camera which I did not know would not make pictures you could save and do anything with.  But it did seem like a nice slice of family history, so here it is.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mother and Louise in Penrose 1931?

I wasn't going to post so many pictures all at once, but once this photo of our beautiful mother and our beautiful sister came to light, I couldn't resist posting it.  These are all worth more than just a passing glance.  I sat and looked at this one for quite awhile.

Mom at Sunlight in the Haystack With Louise and Dwight

Speaking of the picture of Mom in the haystack at Sunlight with Louise and Dwight, here it is.

Some Snaps to Color Things Up a Bit

My computer came up on my snapdragon page so I thought we needed a little color amongst all the black and white.  Spell check doesn't like amongst. There, they redlined it twice.

Annie With the Cap

Many of the very earliest pictures Mom took are beyond redemption.  But we still cherish them for the memories they evoke.  I'll keep poking around through the old photos and bring up a few more of them.  This is one of my Baby Brownie photos.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hi Mom

I decided I would go ahead and re-edit many of the photos from our small treasure trove of old photographs. I have saved all of the originals, which I regard with a certain reverence since I have looked at them for so many, many years.  We're all familiar with the original of this photo, in which Mom is sitting overlooking a mountain valley in Sunlight above Cody.  Now that I can see her, I feel almost like I am getting reacquainted with her when she was young for the very first time.  I hope others will continue to post.  I encourage us all to begin including more stories and reminiscences in our comments to make our blog more of a valuable family history.

Ann And Judy

This photo was almost beyond redemption and was difficult to clean.  This version is the best I could do.  I might not have posted it except Uncle Norman's photo shoot would have been incomplete without it.  Now Ann is strangling the poor cat and Judy is chewing on her elbow.  Is Ann crying or laughing?  I remember clearly the day Norman took these pictures, lining us up in the sugar beets by the back door.  The year Uncle Norman and Aunt Cindy were there working with Dad on the farm was a great year for us kids.  He was fun to be around, took us to Lovell and Powell to the movies, and worked with us in the beet fields and at haying time.  It was the first and only time we ever were able to spend time with one of our uncles, and the time was over all too quickly.  Penrose was really a quite lonely place to grow up, since there were no other children our age that we could play with and grow up with. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Dwight at approximately age 12.  The shirt was a blue shirt that Mom made.  The little thing dangling from my belt loop was a little circle puzzle that came apart in about a dozen pieces and that I loved to put back together.  I assume Mother cut my hair as I was not yet old enough to go to Art's Barber Shop by the Teton Theater in Powell WY for my haircuts during high school.  Dad planted every square inch of our yard into sugar beets that year, desperate for every extra penny he could make.  Our barn, coal bin, and chicken house were all made from slabs from Uncle Alvin's sawmill.