Snow Shoveling Memories

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My reflections of snow shoveling take me back to when I was a little boy. I spent most of my life on a farm in the Midwestern United States. Those old farm houses had bedrooms upstairs, you slept under quilts six inches deep.  Almost every year snow would become more than plentiful. This is one of the windiest area on the globe, the snow just keeps moving.

Those living in a rural community have a more personal relationship with snow and their trusty snow shovel than city dwellers. The wind always brings new snow to shovel when you live out of the country.

In the quiet peaceful past, winter travelers used the sleigh or cutter. They traveled quietly over the snow. There was not much need for them to carry snow shovels in the northern states in those early days. That all changed when sleighs and cutters went the way of the One-hoss shay. Automobiles brought an end to those magical days of gliding across snow. The snow shovel became a tool that everyone had to have if they ever left their house in winter and traveled by car.

My grandpa would sometimes take out the big old grain shovel to move snow faster. He would dig the sleigh part way from the snowdrift, and break the runners free. After he gets the horses hitched to the sleigh, he was ready to travel just about anywhere, roads or no roads.

I remember the first time I tried to move snow with that big old grain scoop, That old steel scoop shovel was heavier than the snow you could get into it. I couldn’t even lift the shovel with no snow in it, I had to drag it away to a different location and dump the snow out. If the temperature was just right, snow would stick to that shovel, you had to whack it on the frozen ground to loosen the snow from it. I remember grandpa saying, “you best go get the little shovel out of the coal shed.”

I don’t think he wanted me to lose any interest in what could become a lifetime of snow shoveling. We kids were taught to pitch in and help at an early age. My grandpa might have been faking his appreciation for my help but he made me feel good being right beside him anyhow.

Most of the people here in the Great Plains have had snow shovels in the hands of one time or the other. During the blizzard of 1888 people even had to shovel the trains out of huge snowdrifts. Some towns were running out food and fuel. Everyone felt obliged to volunteer their services to get the trains free to move again. Shoveling a train out of snowdrifts would certainly have been a very memorable experience for those involved.

There was a time when automobile numbers were growing faster than area roads could be improved. Those who traveled by car in winter spent just about as much snow shoveling time, as driving time. When the ice was safe grandpa and grandma always took a shortcut across the lake with the sleigh when they went to town. The lake was also much smoother ride than the road full of snowdrifts.

It was impossible to find enough snow shovels or people to use them in the whole county to keep the roads open. Many hours were spent shoveling before snow removal equipment became adequate to keep the roads clear. Neighbors got together and planned for a day of snow shoveling, just so they could take the cream and eggs to town to trade for basic groceries that they needed.

It had to be maddening, very discouraging, after shoveling snow all day and not manage to get the road open enough to make that needed trip to town. They would all go to bed exhausted and sore from shoveling snow all day and being out of the cold. Many would pray not to be awakened by the usual wind blowing outside. Wind from any direction would tell them that all of their shoveling the day before had been done in vane. The wind would not have to blow for very long before it drifted all of the roads closed again and they all had to start over with their shovels

 

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Do Not Be Disappointed

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“When they discover the center of the universe,
a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.”
Bernard Bailey

~~~discover/disappointed~~~

We often times set lofty goals in life without a thought of disappointment waiting in the wings. We should be more careful planning goals during all the stages of our lives. As children many goals are easily forgotten or disregarded, they never grow to a point of becoming a disappointment. Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water, Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. That might have been a disappointment for the one waiting for the water but they turned it into a nursery rhyme and had fun with it.

Young people make career educational plans as they get older, they have to be very careful on deciding what goals are attainable by furthering their education through college years. Disappointments should not become a worry if they keep those goals practical and don’t try to catch the brass ring on the first year out into the working world. To discover disappointment that would be a hard pill to swallow.

In personal relationships, we must be careful not to try to mold the other person into what we would want to see that person become. A little tweaking is worth a try in the early years. The best policy would be to spend a lot of time together, get to know the other person very well before marriage. That other person has already decided on the person they want to be and they will present themselves to you as is. Take me or leave me, just don’t try to change me. Disappointments in relationships develop quite rapidly if we try to change the other person. Your influence and suggestions can surely be presented as improvement ideas, in non-forceful ways. Get it done early, or forget it and discover what it is like to be disappointed.

Marriage is one institution of higher learning where the word disappointed can carry a lot of weight and simmering hot meaning, Disappointment can become part of a daily lifestyle. It works best not to consider it disappointment at this stage. You might consider it as part of the sacred vows, for better or for worse. Nothing can ever be gained by feeling you are getting more of the worse than the better vows, maybe a very slight momentary satisfaction. The human mind gets set in its ways, there is nothing in this world that can change that, it is a proven fact. A mule with Alzheimer’s might be comparable! A full lobotomy might be tried!

From the tiniest things like toilet paper rolls put on backward every time. Light switches never shut off, thermostats always being turned to the highest reading, nothing ever put back in the same place two times in a row, drawers left open, doors left open, shoes scattered in every room, food left out, cereal left open. These are just everyday incidents, all part of living with another person. Should these little things disappoint? They create one-sided friction, a halfway rash or abrasion. Nothing worth doing time over! As we grow older, we do discover disappointed comes under acceptable marriage qualities, something tolerable in life. Major marriage qualities seem to drop like Autumn Leaves as the years go by, memories even fog over, makes it much easier to discover new disappointment.

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Easy Scratch Recipes Week 2

Peanut oatmeal cookies

Peanut Oatmeal Cookies

Here is a recipe for Oatmeal Salted Peanut Cookies. Make a bunch of them, keep in the freezer, in Ziploc bags.

Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup margarine

two eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

2 1/2 cups oatmeal

1 teaspoon vanillla

1 cup salted peanuts

Mix in order given. Form into balls. Place on greased cookie sheet. And press flat.

Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.

We seem to go through a lot of cookies at our house. I will double the recipe quite often and to cut down on the work and baking time I will make some lumberjack sized cookies.

I hope you enjoy and share this recipe with others.

Never Say Never

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DAILY PROMPT
Quote Me
Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

“Never say never”

― Charles Dickens

Never say never is a very powerful quote.
If you even think the word never, you start accepting defeat for something that you are not sure your body is capable of doing. Our minds have the power to convince our bodies that they can do anything that our heart desires them to do. There are no limits unless we allow limits.

When you say never, your opening the door for weakness and indecision to go running wild inside of your head. They will mess around in there turning things upside down playing mischief. Your mind will have forgotten what you planned to do before never entered your mind the first time.

Be positive in every action that you decide to do in this world, strive to better yourself, to be healthy and the best at everything that you attempt to complete in your life’s walk. There is absolutely no room in your head for obstacles to stop you from obtaining the goals that you decide on. The only thing possible and capable of stopping you is allowing that one little word to creep into your mind, ‘never’.

The best possible solution for a successful life is to completely eliminate the word never from your vocabulary. The only time you can use it correctly is saying never to say never anyhow!

You do not want to ever use it as, “I never could quit smoking.” without the never in there you would have done it!

“Never say never” moves me because my life has been one incident after another, I just do what I need to do to press on with my life. Never got left on the roadside 51 years ago!

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Life After Blogs

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Worst Solar Storm Ever

 

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Life After Blogs
Your life without a computer: what does it look like? Very bad! If the worlds electronics all get fried due to a huge solar storm, it sure will create millions of new jobs developing something that will not get fried. One problem, how to manufacture things without power? We just went back to the late 1800’s. One solution, start everything over from scratch. That will create 0% unemployment over night.

Life after blogging is not going to be like anything we understand at the present time, it will be almost nonexistent, as far as blogging we take for granted today. There will be no international connections made. You will not be blogging instantly with people all over the world. This will come about possibly through a dramatic increase in the intensity and duration of solar flares and solar storms, disrupting our broadcast means. It might possibly be done through enemies taking others’ satellites out of commission to stop broadcasting. The world has progressed into the blogging as we know it today at a very rapid pace.
We could go backward in a very big hurry too.

What is to keep us from going back the other direction just as fast? International communications is the lifeblood for blogging as we know it, if that was made useless there would be no more blogging. Our blogging will be like getting the old daily or weekly newspaper. We could have small Internet sites broadcasting their signals the way cell phone towers were doing in the last decades, it will be a very slow process. It will be slightly better than sneaker networks, snail mail and dial up internet. We have never gone back wards in our history! YET?

Life after blogging is possibly a very serious thing being studied in the war rooms of every superpower in the world. The people who control the use of these worldwide broadcasting systems will be holding the Power ball. They will have the trump cards in all the games being played. It would appear that blogging has become a tool to shrink this world and make it ever closer together. The people from every location of the earth with a computer can feel like a neighbor with those anywhere else in the world. Why would they want to be enemies? There are evil powers working hard to keep worldwide peace from ever happening. If blogging was ever to be brought to an end they would no doubt be the ones doing the nasty work to make it happen.”

If this universe was all designed and set in order by a creator, there is a possibility that creator made a decision to let a solar storm happen for a reason. To save this world from itself. The world has been on a path of mutual self destruction for years. It would be like a time machine trip for the whole world, back to horse and buggy days.

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Kick It

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DAILY PROMPT
Kick It
What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?
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My wife and I went to bed early the other night. If this had been 40 years ago, there might have been a story there, we have been married for 44 years. My wife Rose Marie is 82, I am 75.

We were lying in bed talking, I asked my wife, “You remember all the different bucket list we started throughout the years? She said, “not really, what do you mean by bucket list.” Dear, “A bucket list is a list of the things that you think are important in your life, you would like to get certain things done before you die.” Things that give you a better life, fulfilled life and a life of happiness and contentment. If you plan a good bucket list, then strive to fulfill that list you can live a great life.

I remember one bucket item, please don’t yell at the girls, in time they will holler right back at you. Do you remember that? She says yes, now they yell at each other and their own kids. I recall when one of the girls would break curfew, you would get all wound up and say, you’re grounded for a month, they knew it would be at the most one day. Taking away privilages worked to a point. I still have your bucket with the hole in out of the back porch, as a memorial to your bucket lists. It would appear many things on your list went out through the whole on the side of the bucket.

Now we have to agree, we have had a very good life, we have been blessed in many different ways. We can always wonder about life, if we had been more faithful about keeping a bucket list when we were young. We might be retiring in Hawaii or Tahiti! Might as well dream big.

Our 2016 and beyond Bucket List.

1. We must continue to do some type of exercise daily.
2.Eat balanced meals three times a day and cut down on our calories.
3.Make sure we have our medication in the right order for each day of the week.
4.Keep all of the doctor appointments written on our little erasable board.
5.Continue to buy our own groceries as long as we are able.
6.Continue to do our laundry, it all counts as exercise.
7.Keep floors and the bathroom clean, keep the bed made.
8.Fresh water in our CPAP machines daily, keep them bug free.
9.Make sure we have enough portable oxygen tanks in case of a power outage
10.Keep in touch with all of the family, call at least one of them on a daily basis
11. Move in to the Senior Living Center.
All of these things on the bucket list are there for a reason. So we do not have to use 11. on the bucket list.

We both realize, we will give up the freedoms that we now have left. Going into the Senior Home is like taking a number and going to your room to wait there until you die. The facilities in these modern day care places are very nice, it is just the fact you are going into your last place in this world. The friendly undertaker will give you your last ride, after the life and spirit check out of your body.

When I was a kid I remember my dad talking about the old folks home in our little town. He laughed talking about it, but it was not funny. He said those old folks stayed in real good shape because they got a lot of exercise, they were active all the time. The bedbugs were so bad they could never sit still very long.

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Easy Scratch Recipes Week 1

GOOD BREAD

GOOD BREAD

Here are the ingredients for the best, chewiest mouth watering bread you will ever sink your teeth into.

5 level tsp. dry yeast from jar, or two envelopes of yeast

1/3 cup warm water

2 cups of luke warm milk

4 Tbl. sugar

6 Tbl. of olive oil

2 tsp. salt

one egg white if you want to brush the bread with it when it is baked

In the bottom of a large mixing bowl place the 1/3 cup water, half of the sugar and the yeast. Let this stand for 20 to 30 minutes you will see the yeast working and bubbling in a short time.

While the yeast is working measure out 5 cups of flour, have your warm milk ready. Stir the milk, salt, 3 Tbl. olive oil and half the flour together into the yeast mixture. If you have a big mixer “I won’t hold that against you,” the bread will still be GREAT. I use a huge, heavy old iron spatula, for exercise, yeah right!

Mix well adding two more cups flour, now knead in the rest of the olive oil and knead it for 5-10 minutes. You now use the last of the flour to keep the dough from getting too sticky. You may need your flour can out for working the dough later, it is sticky. I cover the dough with a lightly dampened cloth, let it rise to at least double, knock it down and let it raise again. The next time you knock it down put it in the pans.

I usually make two French or Italian style loaves. Makes very good bread sticks, buns, or dinner rolls. Got to have caramel rolls once in awhile 🙂 Let the dough raise good in the pans before you bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or so.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was a one-of-a-kind woman. This world has never seen another woman more dedicated to her country. Eleanor’s age group  witnessed the stock market crash of 1929. They saw the soup kitchens springing up on the streets of cities all over the United States. Hungry people lined up for hours to get something to eat. Freight Trains everywhere  with men hanging out of box cars, or even riding on top, as depicted in the book, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” People all looking for work, food or a place to rest and start life over.

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The collapse of the stock market in 1929 was soon followed by the most severe drought the country had ever been through. People from all over the farming states gathered up what little they had and migrated toward the West Coast hoping to discover jobs or a better life. Her husband President Franklin D Roosevelt persuaded Congress to create a Social Security System in 1935, to save the country from a calamity. The first regular benefits started in 1940. The country was about to become involved full time in World War Two, fighting the enemy all over the World. The War effort tested, then brought the country together. There was no time for partisan political BS in those days. The politicians even worked together to strengthen the Nation.

 

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“Eleanor learned of her husband’s affair with Lucy Mercer in 1918. After that she resolved to seek fulfillment in a public life of her own. She persuaded Franklin to stay in politics after he was stricken with debilitating polio in 1921.Eleanor and Franklin had six children:

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (May 3, 1906 – December 1, 1975)
James Roosevelt II (December 23, 1907 – August 13, 1991)
Franklin Roosevelt (March 18, 1909 – November 1, 1909)
Elliott Roosevelt (September 23, 1910 – October 27, 1990)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (August 17, 1914 – August 17, 1988)
John Aspinwall Roosevelt II (March 13, 1916 – April 27, 1981)
Despite becoming pregnant and giving birth six times, Eleanor disliked sex. She once told her daughter Anna that it was an “ordeal to be borne”.[29] She also considered herself ill-suited to motherhood, later writing, “It did not come naturally to me to understand little children or to enjoy them.”

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“Anna Eleanor Roosevelt October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962 was an American politician, diplomat, and activist. She was the longest-serving First Lady of United’s takes, holding the post from March 1933 to April 1945. Her husband Pres. Franklin D Roosevelt’s four terms in office, and served as United States delegate to United Nations Gen. assembly from 1945 to 1952. Pres. Harry S Truman later called her the “First Lady of the World” in tribute to her human rights achievements. Elanor was a member of the prominent American Roosevelt and Livingston families and a niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. She had an unhappy childhood, suffering the deaths of both parents and one of her brothers at a young age. At 15, she attended Allenwood Academy in London and was deeply influenced by its feminist headmistress Marie Souvestre https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Roosevelt

 

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This quote must reflect her Washington DC years.

 

“Following her husband’s death, Roosevelt remained active in politics for the rest of her life. She pressed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became one of its first delegates. She served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights, and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Later she chaired the John F. Kennedy administration’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. By the time of her death, Roosevelt was regarded as “one of the most esteemed women in the world”; she was called “the object of almost universal respect” in her New York Times obituary. In 1999, she was ranked ninth in the top ten of Gallup’s List of People that Americans Most Widely Admired in the 20th Century.
Gallup’s

 

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Millions of women around the globe today are breaking through what is called “The Glass Ceiling.” They are CEO’s chief executive officers for many of the worlds largest corporations. Many more women are entering politics than ever before in history. A woman is even running for president, in this Presidential Primary Election year. Women worldwide would be wise to study and emulate Eleanor Roosevelt. I have to believe millions already have. That is why so many found their way through the holes in that old glass ceiling.

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