Category Archives: days off

Busting out the Hi-Fi

Sunday, February 12, 1939
43rd Day–322 Days to Follow

We all went to church and S.S. Had a Lincoln Day service. Grace Stewart gave a poem at S.S. Telford gave the origin of Valentine. Several new couples were at church. Grace, Stanley, Dale & Ruth came home with us from church.

We had Rooster & Jam Cake, Avocado salad. Dale & Mary went to Wesley Foundation at Tempe. Graves & We (?) played Charlie McCarthy at Stewarts. Ruth spent the night here.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Today I continued sorting through the last few untouched cabinets. I found an unopened drawer under the old drop-leaf table where Grandma K kept her oldest cookbooks. So many things around this house come from the time of my great-grandmother’s diary, though they must have been passed down a generation before finding a home here. One of them, The American Woman’s Cook Book, was published in 1939. I’m inspired to go through them and try to make some of the recipes, though I think I’ll pass on those containing chipped beef…

I made a list of pieces of furniture that I’d like to see hang around after the estate sale, since this place (hopefully) will be quite empty come April. The old hi-fi has been repurposed as our tv/dvd/modem/router stand, but I cleared off the top door and plugged it into the industrial-sized power strip. I opened the top, pulled on the knob and saw the lights blink on as the speakers popped to life. In the one-sided cabinet below I found some fantastic old lp albums, and decided to check out the needle with “Xavier Cugat Plays the Music of Ernesto Lecuona.” Even with only one functioning speaker, the music was rich and soulful, and led to the odd sense of nostalgia I was feeling; nostalgia for a time decades before I was born.

I continued browsing through the records and found a copy of Nelson Eddy & Jeanette MacDonald’s Sweethearts, which threw me off-guard. It’s funny how many things seem to have been picked up and placed here from my own family. I guess it’s just popular culture asserting its influence, even from 70 years ago. I think tomorrow I’ll peel the shrink wrap off the album and see what this Sweethearts phenomenon was all about.

I had a visit from J’s sister, her husband and their four kiddos in the early evening. I gave them each Valentine cookies with their names on them, and their oldest daughter decided the baby didn’t want the rest of hers, so she finished it off. Not surprisingly, she later said she wasn’t hungry when it was time for them to go home to dinner & bed, the little scamp.


Blackie the cat was back around this evening, as well as Fatty Paws this afternoon. I wonder how much longer Blackie will last, but she still has the ability to spook people. I hear Grandpa K had a particular fondness for her, and there are a few scattered dishes outside all labeled “Blackie K.” Four of the seven “stray” cats want in the house so badly, but are forced to stay outside due to family allergies. I think of how much I miss my cat, back home with my parents, and how I get Rufus update texts from my mom every now and then. In another time they all could have been farm cats, employed to keep down the pest population. Now I often think of them as tools to lower blood pressure…my my, how far we’ve come.

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Bake, bake, bake

Saturday, February 11, 1939
42nd Day–323 Days to Follow

Billy & Inez had their music lessons.

Mary had a permanent today at Mrs. Crum’s.

Murray & the youngsters went to Mesa. They got their valentines. I baked a Jam Cake.

Billy & Inez played two duets and a solo each on the recital. Mrs. Dayton and June went with us to the 3rd Ward.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Officially “between jobs” again, but only for a few days this time, thankfully. Today I did very important things like taking inventory of the pantry. As I had hoped, this led to discoveries of small amounts of this and that, so I set to work cleaning up and baking things from the odds & ends.

First I made granola, which I sweetened/moistened with some carrot & apple juice, since I’m still trying to use that 25 pound bag of carrots in the garage fridge. I think I’m down to 20 pounds now? Ah, well. They’ll become compost eventually. Next I used some of the carrot/apple pulp to make carrot cake layers, and used the rest of the batter for carrot cupcakes. On the other side of the kitchen I had the mixer out to do the work of creaming butter and sugar for sugar cookie valentines.

Somehow I managed to get everything baked off, decorate the cookies and still watch a couple of movies to round out the evening. The movies I’ll admit to watching were Howl and The Motorcycle Diaries. As for Morning Glory…well, sometimes you need a little fluff every now and then, right?

Of course, now all I want is a jam cake. Or her recipe, at least.


A cold, disagreeable day.

Thursday, February 9, 1939
40th Day–325 Days to Follow

Murray and Mr. Gatliff went to Mesa after some coal. Mary and I spent all day in the living-room at the fire. I sewed on Billy’s shirt. Mrs. Mumford called for some lemons. The missionary society met with Mrs. Graves. Murray saw Armstead.

A cold, disagreeable day.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

A cold, rain-soaked day here, but not exactly disagreeable. I cleaned some but mostly stayed in my room with the efficient little room heater. Our living room fire doesn’t seem to cut it these days, unless it’s been roaring for hours, and we don’t exactly have the cash to throw toward a high gas bill. So retreat we will, to smaller rooms and under blankets.

Later I made migas for dinner and we ate together before going out into the Everett night life, where we found a video bar one of J’s coworkers suggested. It was fun, even on the slow night. We’ll be back again, hopefully on a weekend night to see if it lives up to its potential.

And Memo’s entry has me wondering in which city, exactly, were they living? I had always heard that they were East Valley-ers, but “Murray went to Mesa” makes me think otherwise… I’ll have to do a little more digging to find out where they were in the 30s.

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Giving in

Wednesday, February 8, 1939
39th Day–326 Days to Follow

I went to Woman’s Club to help cook the Rotary dinner. Mrs. Tice and Mrs. Spillsbury & Mrs. Stumpf worked also. They had chicken in patty shells. Mrs. Justin Smith, Mrs. Richard Love, and Mrs. Sherman Ganette waited tables. It is misting rain. M.E. went to see Crisman. The exhaust pipe broke. Billy left his jacket on the bus. We went after it and Mary.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It was misting rain today here as well. I tilled the garden again, pulling up even more offensive weeds and grass roots. The puppy helped, and got in some good exercise time racing around the yard and running through the nice till marks I had created.

The organizers were back for what I think to be the last time. There was a small battle of wills, and I felt judged for wanting to hold onto some newspapers from the 30s, but after a few moments I conceded and just let them go into the recycle pile. Not before I rescued some old blank Valentine cards, though. Baby steps, right?

J and I went to the store to get some things for dinner, and her dad joined us for turkey tacos with more condiments than could fit in a corn tortilla. After Pops left we finally finished watching United States of Tara, and planned a night out & about for Thursday.


Unnecessary hiatus

Friday, February 3, 1939
34th Day–331 Days to Follow

I baked an Angel Cake. Cleaned the house. Mrs. Kirchoff took me to Woman’s Club meeting. Mr. Keen talked on rose culture. We visited Grace Stewart. She has been sick all week. Tom brought the pup to Billy & Inez. Mrs. Holke came for milk.

We played 500.

Mr. Nicholls visited us awhile. Loren came the last day for Mary.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

I took a little hiatus from the blog without much reason, other than being a bit down with some sort of inbetween funk. I’m pretty sure I was off work last Friday but, in truth, I haven’t done much besides tilling the garden a couple of times and watching a lot of netflix. I’m waiting to start my new job and we’re still slogging through sorting things at the house with (and without) the professional organizers. It’s also cold, so staying in/near bed always sounds like a good idea lately.

I’m curious about Memo’s cake, as I remember my mom talking about it from when she was young. Maybe sometime soon I can find her recipe and get back to baking.


Rain and seedlings

Wednesday, February 1, 1939
32nd Day–333 Days to Follow

I went to the woman’s club to help with a Rotary dinner. Served ham, cabbage, yams, salad & coffee. It sprinkled rain most all day. Mrs. Tice, Mrs. Isley and Mrs. Stumpf worked. Mesdawes Hartman, Stillwell and Justin Smith waited tables.

Went to see Mrs. Grimes.

M.E., Kirchoff and Gurther went to a board meeting at the church.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today seemed just a little sweeter, with the knowledge that I have very few of these weekdays off in the future. I delivered my two-week notice to the grocery store, then stuck around and bought some seed packets and peat pots to start some seedlings. I planted in a light drizzle that hung around all afternoon. I started organizing some of Grandpa K’s seed packets and planned what will be planted where and when for the new season. Inside I started basil, sweet marjoram, chives, Japanese eggplant, a few varieties of tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, daisies, a few varieties of peppers, and turnip greens. I even poked some holes in an old canning lid to create my own indoor watering jar. Now, remembering to keep them all moist will be the only challenge.

After J got home from work we went to her coworker’s house down the street to eat dinner and play on the Wii with her 12-year-old daughter. It was a blast, until I got a text from my mom saying my grandmother fell down and they were taking her to the ER back in Arizona. I feel helpless this far away. If I was home I’d surely be with them all at the hospital…I’m too neurotic not to know what is happening right away. Neurotic or nosy, one of the two. I’m still waiting to hear the results of the ct scan and x-rays, but I’m hoping everything is OK and she will just be sore for awhile. Even despite the new job and more hopeful outlook on moving up here, I feel like I’m on a bungee that can snap back at any minute. I knew moving up here was a risk, but I hate being so far away when someone’s health is compromised. I wonder if I’ll ever feel completely settled here, or anywhere, again.

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Everyone’s catching up

10 doz. eggs brought $3.60

Monday, January 30, 1939
30th Day–335 Days to Follow

M.E. & Mary went to the show, to see “Marie Antoinette.” I washed today. Mary went to register. She came home on the bus. I met her and took the eggs to Leonard.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Today was super hard, especially knowing I still had a close friend still in Portland. It took everything I had not to get back in the car and drive down for another day. Instead I stayed home, waiting for the phone to ring with a Very Important Call. That call never came. I tried to busy myself with other things, but mostly I just kind of fell into a blue day, especially when the professional organizers came to haul more stuff away. I wished with all my might that I had space to keep so much of this…stuff. I know, that probably makes me a hoarder. It just kills me thinking that someone’s things are headed toward the dumpster/recycling center – especially when the world is overrun with junk already. But I don’t have the time to repurpose things…I was too busy feeling sorry for myself, you know.

Later in the evening J and I watched some of United States of Tara, then both of us went to bed kind of early; another sucky Monday on the books.


Portland delivers

Sunday, January 29, 1939
29th Day–336 Days to Follow

We all went to S.S. and church. The choir sang “He is Able.” Mr. Hall brought Mrs. Ler Harr to church. We went to hear W.R. Stewart to-night, on “Old Age Pensions.”

We took Mrs. Smith home. M.E. and Mary went to see “Marie Antoinette” Monday night. Grace & Dale were there.

Mary went to League.

Mrs. J.J. Huber was killed tonight.

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I don’t know who Mrs. J.J. Huber was in relation to my great-grandmother, but my heart was struck with sadness just the same. I guess it’s the word “killed,” rather than “died.” I’m left wondering morbid thoughts…car accident? Farm accident?

Sunday arrived in Portland the same as Saturday did – to the stomp stompings of little feet upstairs. We rambled on again over coffee, then decided to go out in the rain for biscuits. We ate outside Pine State Biscuits under the awning, everyone bundled up against the cold. After breakfast we all drove to OMSI to see the Body Worlds exhibit. Maven and I had the oldest daughter much of the time, and it was fun to see her excitement over all of the visible body parts, systems and functions. She was especially interested in all the butt-holes. Truthfully, I was, too.

The kids went back home for naps, so Maven and I returned to our yarn store tour of Portlandia, and we found a pretty great shop in Twisted. The right atmosphere, super friendly staff, great organization, wear-able samples…a great mix of everything. Later we got lost attempting to drive to a New Seasons grocery store off the beaten path, but finally found it. We picked up J, who had come along to see her sister & family south of Portland, then we made it back to Sellwood to enjoy a taco dinner with all the friends. J and I packed up to leave around 7:30, and drove home in frightening rain and wind, but finally made it home with only a few close calls.

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So much catch up

Saturday, January 28, 1939
28th Day–337 Days to Follow

Billy & Inez had their music lessons. It is a very windy cold day.

M.E. & babes went to town. Mary L. Johnson stopped to tell me to vote. Her car stalled in front of the house. I finished my new house dress, mended several garments.

Gwen & Jimmy got married.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

First morning in Portland with friends from Phoenix, and we woke to the awesome sounds of 6, 4 and 2 year old feet running around upstairs. We lingered over coffee and gluten-free rainbow cupcakes (that um, smelled like, well, farts), then decided to head over to the Waffle Window for a proper PDX breakfast. After downing waffles topped with roasted vegetables, lemon chevre and bacon, we wandered along Hawthorne in and out of many of the shops along the way. Vintage digs, yarn stores, coffee stores, and more vintage digs, where I bought a couple of not-at-all vintage bird stickers. The kiddos all went home for naps, but Maven and I refueled at Potato Champion (with poutine and pulled pork french fries), then drove over to Powell’s…which is kinda like* my Mecca.

After a couple of hours lost in the city of books, we met some friends for drinks at a McMenamins place downtown, then headed over to get Lebanese food, again on Hawthorne. Great food, great conversation, and great blisters on feet after all day in sub-par rainboots. We crashed out in the basement with the super cuddly cats, who purred and stole blankets from us all night. Pretty perfect.

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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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