Monthly Archives: January 2012

Early to bed…

Friday, January 27, 1939
27th Day–338 Days to Follow

Mrs. Spain’s birthday.

I did a lot of sewing and mending. Went to school to get the kids. Took Mary to Stockton’s to go to league Institute at Glendale. Went to see Grace Stewart. Stopped to see Mrs. Grimes. Saw the Gurtlers.

We went to bed at seven.

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Friday, January 27, 1939

Got a late start but then the day kicked into overdrive in the afternoon. Picked up my paycheck & schedule, then got the call from a hopeful potential employer that they needed to check references, so returned to the store to let them know in person. Went to the bank in Smokey Point, then went home to make rainbow cupcakes for a friend’s first visit to Portlandia.

When J got home we packed up the pup and the car and then proceeded to get stuck in traffic for the next hour and a half. We finally made it a little over four hours later…more than an hour longer than normal.

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Thursday, January 26, 1939

26th Day–339 Days to Follow

I made cupcakes & iced them. We went to our S.S. party at the church. Had a good time playing Rook. I took Coco.

Mrs. Holke came for milk.

Shorty began work at noon today.


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Thursday, January 26, 2012

I have to say it was a good day. Memo made cupcakes, I got called cupcake. Don’t worry, it was all in good fun. I really wonder what recipe she used, and what her icing was. To me, there’s a big difference between icing and frosting – I wonder if she made the same distinction or not.

The afternoon was great, even if a little deceptively cold. The sun was out and shining bright, but there are still little hills of snow in some of the neighbors’ yards. I walked out of the house in just a sweater and immediately regretted not bundling up. But I didn’t want to be all wrinkled for the afternoon!

Tonight we babysat for J’s sister’s kiddos again, though the night was much more calm than last time. The baby went down without a peep, and the three older kids didn’t do much hesitating beyond the requisite, “just one more book?” We ended the night on the couch watching episode after episode of Cake Boss, which has me wanting to bake a cake tomorrow if there’s time.

I also have a lot of laundry and packing to do, since we head down to Portland when J gets home from work. Best start the morning with early coffee, instead of waiting for the late morning/afternoon like I’ve been doing.  : /

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Eating & talking, it’s what we do best.

Wednesday, January 25, 1939

25th Day–340 Days to Follow

Mrs. Graves, Ronning, Davis, Stockton, Stewart, Kirchoff & I went to Mrs. Gilley’s to a quilting bee. We had roast, hot rolls, string beans, potato salad, Harvard beets, caramel dumplings with whipped cream, and pie. Had a grand time.

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Today was a day of good news and, hopefully soon, better news. A phone call sent me down south in search of a new outfit, and then I drove up the 99 toward my roommate’s parents’ place in Mukilteo for supper. Along the drive I rediscovered an Asian market I found when we first moved here, then lost again because I was convinced it was farther east.  Silly, directionless newbie. I arrived at the house a bit early, so I was sent out again to get dessert for the four of us. J’s mom was busy making flatbread pizza, so I chose some pints of gelato, sorbet, and spumoni, with a biscotti kicker. The meal was delicious; a crispy fresh flatbread topped with shitaki and crimini mushrooms, onions, bits of ham, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and herbs.

We listened to Dad K talk about work, as J kept begging for more stories from his day. Over dessert we somehow returned to the topic of death, still fresh in their minds since Dad K’s father passed away in June. I added stories from my grandfather’s passing, nine years ago this April. It’s funny what gets said and what gets left out. How we learn so much from being frank and honest; how we feel camaraderie over shared experiences, especially if somewhat shameful or embarrassing. Tonight it was the all-too-candid reality of  a recently deceased individual’s open mouth, and the urge to close it; the need to shield the living from that unattractive gape. How Mom K and I tried to close the grandfathers’ mouths, without success. How the one good and right thing my pastor did in the moment when she finally arrived to help us through mine’s passing was to offer, “Look – it’s as if he’s saying, ‘Wow.'”

It’s odd to think of this little boy, growing strong and ornery in the pages of Memo’s little green leather diary, and how not even 65 years later I, his second-oldest granddaughter, would walk into the room at the hospice center to his wife’s cries of “he stopped breathing!” How I stopped and listened, watched, and finally saw the reality of his no longer being. How I walked out to tell the nurse, then began making phone calls to family members. How later I would drop his hand to embrace my grandmother, and how I would regret not holding on to him a little longer.

It’s been a long time, with so many babies born he never knew, houses bought and sold, marriages begun and ended, degrees sought and obtained. But in so many ways I still feel like I’m still driving along the highway, rushing in the late afternoon sun of a mid-April Friday, trying desperately to arrive before he leaves.

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In the quiet

Tuesday, January 24, 1939

24th Day–341 Days to Follow


Mrs. Nicholls & Mrs. Drorbaugh came. Mary came home at noon.

I called on Mrs. Heart and Mrs. Grimes.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today was reserved for quiet, though I didn’t explicitly set out for it to be so. I woke early when my roommate came home from Canada, stopping here to drop off the dog and get ready for work. Hearing the lock turn over and the door open always stirs up a lot of anxiety in me, and I can’t ever seem to settle back into sleep until she is gone again, off down the road. But even then, today, I was awake for hours in this altered state of anxious thought before finally resting again, however briefly. So the morning was pretty much shot, and it leaves me thinking that I need to find a better way to handle these mornings.


Later we reconnected over sushi up the highway, but she turned in early after a long morning of travel and then work. And I’m sitting in the quiet, not really sure what to do with myself. Tomorrow will be better, or, at least, I have more things planned to occupy my time. But the reality is that this awkward holding pattern is unsustainable, though I can’t even imagine what is next.

I miss the friend stopping by, the taps on my window on Saturday mornings that turned into entire weekend adventures. Mourning relationships I didn’t even have, not like that, anyway. Feeling lonely and stuck and vulnerable and managed… Hoping sleep will help.

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“Citizens for Boysenberry Jam”

Took 10 doz. eggs for $3.60

Monday, January 23, 1939

23rd Day–342 Days to Follow

Laura, Lee & Melva came. I called on Mrs. Grimes.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

One question that bristles up my defenses is “what did you do all day?” It could be the tiny word “all” in there, an implication that what ever I “did” must be sufficient enough to fill “all.” I hated especially when a former roommate of mine would ask that during a time of unemployment after being in school full time and working part time. My days before always had been busy — running to and fro, writing papers and news stories and visiting family and reading all the things. But then came the degree with no attached profession. And a fondness for clicking links on the internet while listening to music on repeat, ad infinitum. I believe I did, once, attempt to explain why this seemingly innocent six-word query was something I dreaded hearing each evening. When asked in a different way the question lost its ugly power over me. What can I say? Semantics means everything*. That BA doesn’t say “Linguistics” for nothing, dammit.

Enter this first in an apparent string of seven days off. Seven. WTF will I “do” with “all” this time? Well, even if there’s little to record, as apparently there was on this Monday back in the day, I’mma “do” the shit out of them.

In measurable accounts, today I ran necessary errands like driving down the street to the automotive store for new wiper blades, and up the street to get half & half and ice cream. Ok, I got oranges, too. Full-fat dairy may make up about 67% of our grocery purchases, but at least we’ll get some natural vitamin C. I also cooked a giant pot of lentil soup stew slop and baked a second attempt at french bread. My loaves are crooked and a little dense. How ’bout yours? I also cleaned the kitchen and hung out with near the professional organizers while they did their thing. Oh, and I ordered some stuff I actually needed online with free shipping. And I watched an important documentary about the representation of women in US media. So, even though I also opened up a current total of 27 tabs on four pages and a word doc for drafting purposes, and listened to Simon & Garfunkel’s Bookends at least eight times through today, I am counting this day as fking productive.


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When do you start your week?

Sunday, January 22, 1939

22 Day–343 Days to Follow

We all went to SS & church. Mrs. Tway was there.

Stewarts & Ronnings came and we ate dinner together. Played “Rook.”

Marion Donaldson led the league.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

It was a super productive morning around here, making up for a slacker Saturday. The house is quiet with my roommate gone up to Canada, but I woke up early to finish household chores like dishes and sweeping, and I also did some laundry. How glad I am that laundry no longer takes an entire day, as I’m sure it must have for Memo.

I worked a late shift and came home to a clean house, which eased my guilt as I eased my arse back into my chair to watch a little tv. Tomorrow the organizer comes again, bright and early, so there will be more household work to do. I’m also hoping to finish up little projects and mail things out, to take advantage of this week off and not just fritter it away. The snow is almost gone, so the roads are fully drivable again. I need to get new windshield wipers, though, since mine are leftover from Arizona, and they’re in pretty crappy condition. That just won’t do around here, now, will it? Also, what is up with the work week starting on a Sunday? My work schedule keeps messing with my already fragile brain.

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Catching up

Saturday, January 21, 1939

21st Day–344 Days to Follow

Dale’s 19th birthday.

Took Grace some meat, and Mrs. Graves also.

Billy & Inez had their music.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012


Another slacker day yesterday. I worked a full shift, came home and immediately sat down. That was pretty much the kiss of death, especially since I wore my rainboots all day. All I remember of the night is another documentary and leftover tikka masala; I passed out cold by 9:30 p.m. #winning

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Back to our regularly scheduled blogging…

Friday, January 20, 1939
20th Day–345 Days to Follow

Billy & Inez missed the bus. I took them to school. Stopped to see Lee and Laura. Stayed till 11 o’clock. I made coconut pies.

Mrs. Dorman called on me. She took Dot to see Knights.

Willard plowed the Nicholl’s land today. I hemmed the wool quilt.

Friday, January 20, 2012

“A time of innocence…” Been listening to Simon & Garfunkel a lot lately. The songs “Old Friends” and “Bookends Theme” get stuck in a loop inside my head. I think of my grandpa, as a red-haired little eight-year-old, dawdling around with his sister on a crisp Friday morning, missing the bus. His mother stands at the window and, perhaps, watches the bus load up the other neighborhood kids, and decides to let the two take a little bit more time for breakfast…

I don’t even know if our city buses ran today. The roads were slick and slushy, grey-brown ashy snow cluttering the gutters. I worked a short shift right in the middle of the day and sent sad “it’s all melting” texts on break. When I got home I watched a couple of documentaries and did laundry for the weekend. I’m somehow off all next week, though I only asked for Friday and the weekend to go to Portland to visit a friend. Something has to change…I can’t live on fewer than 30 hours a week, and 6.5 will just about break me.

Off we go into the weekend. I think, of the snow, only my pictures will still be around by Monday.

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Thursday, January 19, 1939
19th Day–346 Days to Follow

Mrs. Hirchoff and I were on the tea committee, for missionary society. The W.C.T.U. woman was the guest speaker. Present: Donaldson, Kirchoff, Conger, Wright, Davisson, Dobson, Pulsifer, Ohio speaker, Holcomb, Patterson, Graves, Brown, Davis, Stockton, and Stewart. Brack.

I called on Mrs. Grimes, paid light bill, and mailed the magazine orders. Talked to Mrs. Jensen. Murray & I went to the Graves party. Played Dumbbell. I set my first hen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I admit, I skipped writing yesterday. Mo excuses, let’s all just move on and try not to let it happen again.

Everyone called an official Snow Day, so my roommate and I both got to tackle some things at home while drinking mulled wine all day. (W.C.T.U., Memo? I wonder what your personal views were on the subject…) This made for two kind of sicky-feeling grrrls later on in the morning, but we made chicken tikka masala for lunch and were pretty much back to normal after that.

Before it got too cold and dark we took a walk around the neighborhood. The snow and ice at least doubled our time, but it was fun to be out of the house and to see how many others were out escaping the stir-craziness. For the following half hour we dug my car out from under 8 inches of snow, then 2 inches of ice, and I slowly drove us to the gas station on a trial run for work in the morning. It is a little fun, even if I was all white knuckles, sliding around on the neighborhood roads. We made it safely home and went to bed early, anticipating a regular work day to follow.

Um, what, on earth, is setting a hen?

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Veal, f’real

Wednesday, January 18, 1939

18th Day–347 Days to Follow

The quilters came & tacked my wool quilt. Present: Ronning, Stockton, Davis, Stewart, Gilley, Graves & Brown.

Had a big veal roast. Grace & Ronning brought pumpkin pies; Graves had salad & Gilley onions.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


A wool quilt — how warm would that be?! We could use a little extra warmth around here, since I can’t seem to regulate the temperature very well. I bump up the thermostat on the gas stove and the living room and kitchen get to a blaring temperature, while the front and bedrooms are frigid. I’m looking forward to the days after the estate & garage sales, when we can use the other fireplace to heat this side of the house.


We got a little bit more snow today, but it was no snowmageddon as folks had predicted. Just light steady snow, probably another inch or two altogether. Which means we have 10 inches piled up, all of it still powdery soft. I took the dog out this morning and attempted to pull together the base for a snow person, but it just crumbled no matter how much I tried to pack it in. I abandoned that, but when my roommate (J) was sent home early from work we got the brilliant idea to ride our bikes up the street. Our very old bikes with very old tires. Up the still very snowy street, without a plow in sight. It was slow going, but we made it about four houses down before turning around and sliding our way back. No one was injured in the making of this 10 minutes of silliness. Later we braved the streets and drove to the store (in the same neighborhood as our house) to grab a pizza…quite a long way from veal roast and pumpkin pie, huh?


I spent some time online today, looking into articles on “progressive” Christianity sites. I chewed on one particularly frustrating article all day, then talked with my aunt about it over the phone, during our first of hopefully many weekly chats. I left “the church” quite a few years back…going on six now, I think, and have immersed myself in other cultures, which some might call counter-. So, when putting myself back into the Christian arena, I am continually shocked that “women in the church” is still a brand new conversation for so many folks. It’s disheartening, and then I remember how widespread the mindset is. How do we take the theory of inclusivity and apply it to an institution steeped in oppressive patriarchy? How can I even entertain thoughts of wanting to do work in reconciliation of oppressed people and “the church?” Do I have to choose one or the other? Because, at the moment, it feels like I must.

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