Saturday, February 17, 2018

While on the subject of Valentines....

I remember as a little girl going through my Mom's scrapbooks and 
always finding this Valentine card from 1944...

It would intrigued me because I would open it up 
and there was no signature. 

But she assured me she knew who it was from. 
His name was Bert. They were both 14.

Finally I found this paper she had apparently written 
for her bookclub in 1991.

(Not quite sure what she meant in her last paragraph.)

But the part I loved the most was finding out that it was her 14 year old boyfriend Bert who taught her to make 
Johnny's Casserole! 

We grew up with that casserole! 
And I use to make it for my boys. 

We should have been calling it Bert's Casserole.

Mom on the left with her best friend Betty.

I sort of now wonder if Mom may have been thinking 
about her 14 year old self 
whenever she would make Johnny's Casserole. 

Well maybe for a few seconds. 
She had 10 people to feed every night.

Wow, now that I think about it, what an accomplishment!

I think having dinner together as a family every evening 
is highly under rated. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I think she struck again....

Last Valentine's Day we found this on our driveway...

Even though the homemade gift was sitting right next to our paper, 
we had our doubts that it came from our delivery lady. 

Realistically how could she make all these gifts for 
each person on her paper route?

I should have pursued it, but I never contacted her.

Then look what we found this week INSIDE our paper.

I have some serious thanking to do. 
I need to find out TODAY how to contact her.

My mom would have known what to do.
She would have found a way to give her a Valentine back!

Valentine's Day 1935

My Mom is the cute little blonde front row left.
Her brother Ted is to the left of her, and brother Don top row 3rd from left.
Along with cousin Helen

I think they all went to school together. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Update: I called the Fresno Bee and asked for our carrier's phone number. They were not able to give 
it to us but said they would send my message to her, and she would include her phone number (if she 
chooses) along with our Sunday morning paper. Then I will go from there :)

Monday, February 12, 2018

A special new weekly vlog

While I was not fond of her book,

There was nothing wrong with it, 
but it was a bit wordy, and just didn't draw me in.

However, her vlogs, which she just started 3 weeks ago 
are whole different story!

She puts a new one out every Monday morning.

Just check them out.
And yes, I know they're nuts, but just go with it, it'll get better.

(The montage at the end of each, is my favorite!)

Week 1 Getting Braces and Going to the Temple
Week 2 My trip to the ER and Cali
Week 3 I had Surgery

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Favorites from January

Gretchen Rubin, from The Happiness Project, suggests we 
"Keep a running list of your favorites." 

So I thought I'd try this for January.

(I do wonder how many times I've forgotten something good that I've discovered. 

This year, hopefully, will be different.)

RX Bars Maple Sea Salt….

Don't worry, Den says the no BS stands for "no brown sugar." It's like having a mini meal in my
purse. RX Bars have other flavors, but this is the only one we've tried so far. Den says they make
nice church snacks. Beats Tic Tacs. 
Nutritional Yeast

I've heard about this for years but it just didn't sound very appealing to me. Finally I brought
some home. This makes just about everything taste better! I’ve had to be dairy free for over 20
years but I finally found something that tastes like cheese, plus who doesn’t need the extra
vitamins. I put it on salad and vegetables, so far.
Homemade lentil soup 
My friend taught me the best lentil soup is made with just water as the base…adding carrots, 
celery, potato, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. and whatever else you want to season it up with. 
Lentils are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. They are cheap, and filling, too. This 
soup freezes well so I put the extras in little containers and we can have it for lunch whenever we 
Trader Joe’s Season Salt

Makes meats, vegetables and potatoes taste better. I'm not a fan of nutmeg, but for some reason 
I don't notice it in this. I love the added flavor it gives.
Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle

A good blend of spices and herbs. I think I like it better put in things before cooking so it breaks
down the slivers of Rosemary. But I still sprinkle it on fresh things. 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Braggs

I got re-comitted to this oil when I was googling about how much it helps with digestion. My
stomach has been feeling better since using it. I try to get 2 T of it on food throughout the day…
1 t in my smoothie. The rest on vegetables. 
Trader Joes Grilled Cauliflower

I think this is my favorite find for the whole month.I have passed this up in the freezer section in
Trader Joes for years. Finally a friend convinced me to give it a try. It's already grilled before
frozen which gives it a natural sweetness. They add nothing to it but a little salt. Just bake on a
cookie sheet…says 12-15 min but I think I left mine in near 30 min….maybe not that long. Tastes
SO good. Didn’t even need anything on it. 

Trader Joes Onion Salt

This boring looking little jar is full of flavor! It's a great blend of onion, garlic, salt, green 
onion and chives. This has probably been at TJs for years too, but just tried it last month. 
It's a nice switch from Lemon Pepper that I usually put on most everything. Salt is 4th on 
the list of ingredients so it mainly gets seasoned by the other things

As you can tell, I got a little adventurous 
at Trader Joes in January.

So that's it for now!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Some pictures I'm thinking about lately

Gotta show this one first.....

Our granddaughter Emily, with her Dad....last Wednesday she entered the MTC for her 18 month mission to Cape Verde.

Even though Emily was just with us, we still see her like this.....

McKay's roommate Chris from his BYU days came to visit them in Massuchusetts.
And this time brought his wife, and children. Interestingly, he married a girl from Clovis. Same town McKay grew up in. 

Den and I drove by my old childhood home on Fairmont 
not too long ago.
It looks so sad and forlorn 
(a word my mom often used for sad people or things. This house qualifies.)

I never thought Elora looked like her sister Cami, until this picture!

Den's daughter Kris, sent us this side by side.

Den, and Elder Dallin H Oaks 

And next is one of the sweetest texts ever.
The people who bought our home on Filbert sent it to Dennis.

(For some reason photos would not allow me to crop just pay attention to the message Jerrod texted in the middle of this:)

Could we have found nicer people 
to have bought our previous home?

And this....

just because I like it. :)

Hope you are having a great Monday!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Our Dinners for January

Have you ever thought of keeping track 
of what you eat for dinner every night?

Maybe there are dinners you discovered and love, 
but then forget all about them?

I decided to see if I could do this for the entire month of January. 

Not sure I can keep this up all year, 
but I'm going to try.

So here it goes: (or there it went)

Mon, Jan 1: Celebrated the New Year @ Sequoia Sandwich Shop. I had the greek salad and Den had
the Cobb Potato

Tues, Jan 2:  Trader Joes GF chicken nuggets, broccoli, black eyed peas, grapefruit

Wed, Jan 3: My turkey/vegetable soup (spinach, potato, carrots, celery, 1/2 lb ground turkey, 32 oz
chicken broth, 1 T parsley, 1 t oregano, 1 t salt and other seasonings...I make it different every time
depending on what I have) tortillas with cheese-less cheese, grapefruit

Thurs, Jan 4: Baked Cod with Lemon Butter, steamed broccoli/carrots, baked white sweet potato,

Fri, Jan 5: Leftover turkey/vegetable soup, tortilla with cheese-less cheese, grapefruit

Sat, Jan 6: Dennis had some of the lasagna, salad and french bread I made for another family. I just
had a big salad with 2 different kinds of beans.

Sun, Jan 7: Crockpot Apricot Chicken, brown rice, broccoli, grapefruit

Mon, Jan 8: turkey patties (ground turkey, egg, oatmeal, onion, seasoning, a little milk...I make them
different every time), peas, baked yukons, grapefruit

Tues, Jan 9: Out to Sequoia Sandwich greek salad and also eggplant and peppers, Den had the Cobb

Wed, Jan 10: chicken stew with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, etc but it wasn't very good, steamed
arugula, grapefruit

Thurs, Jan 11: Mahi Mahi fish patties from Traders, white sweet potatoes, medley of carrots, red
onions and chinese cabbage with salt and nutritional yeast, grapefruit

Fri, Jan 12: Anna's baked chicken, broccoli carrots, pilaf. Had a salad and some corn but forgot to
serve them! Our guests must have starved. Choc chip cookies for dessert.

Sat, Jan 13: Red Robin with Kim and Emily who were visiting

Sun, Jan 14: Turkey patties, brown rice, peas, salad, grapefruit

Mon, Jan 15: Baked white sweet potatoes that we filled with: black beans, leftover peas, sautéed red
onions, avocado, leftover chicken pieces. LOVED this made up dinner. Green salad and grapefruit

Tues, Jan 16: GF Cod fillets, asparagus/carrot stir fry, grapefruit

Wed, Jan 17: complicated to explain. Den had some of the ham, mac and cheese, corn, and
Mediterranean tossed salad, and choc chip cookies I made for another family. I had a salmon patty,
brown rice, and lots of asparagus and carrots from yesterday.

Thurs, Jan 18: I made the same dinner as last night for a family with a new baby, and Den again, had
some of that plus some lentil soup I made. I just felt like having some yogurt, raisins, brown rice, and
raspberries. Then at 11pm I was hungry again so I had an apple and some leftover chicken with a
little mayo.

Fri, Jan 19: Cafe Rio with friends

Sat, Jan 20: ??? (I forgot to write it down! I know I was home all day so it was probably something
very simple.)

Sun, Jan 21: Crockpot Apricot Chicken, brown rice, butternut squash, broccoli, grapefruit

Mon, Jan 22: Out to Sequoia Sandwich for Greek Salad and Den had a Cobb Potato
I was still hungry when we got home so I made up this recipe: 4-5 crimini mushrooms, 1 shallot cut
up, stalk celery, sautéed in olive oil and Braggs seasoning and salt mixed with 3 oz pkg of Wild
Salmon I got at Walmart for 99cents.

Tues, Jan 23: Turkey/Vegetable soup this time made with chicken broth, ground turkey, broccoli, 2
cut up leaves of bok choy, corn, shallots, carrots, celery, parsley, salt and oregano. GF bread and

Wed, Jan 24: left overs from last night...the soup and more grapefruit. Den had GF toast with his and
I had yogurt

Thurs, Jan 25: Baked Cod with Lemon Butter, baked white sweet potatoes, asparagus with shallots
and mushrooms, grapefruit

Fri, Jan 26: Celebrated Den's 69th birthday at Yosemite Falls, his favorite restaurant. I guess I can
handle it once a year. I had fish tacos with extra cabbage, refried beans, and green beans.
He had his usual breakfast: country potatoes, 2 eggs, 3 sausage patties.

Sat, Jan 27:  Out to Togo's Mediterranean Restaurant. We both had chicken kabobs and salad. I was
not a fan of the chicken so I took it home and gave it to Den for lunch the next day in his sandwich.

Sun, Jan 28: Crockpot Layered Hamburger Casserole, broccoli, green salad, grapefruit

Mon, Jan 29: Taco salad with lettuce, refried beans, avocado, cheese, olives, cabbage red onions, and
tortilla chips. Grilled cauliflower from Trader Joes, grapefruit

Tues, Jan 30: Lentil Soup (made with water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic and red potatoes and
seasoning) GF pizza I made from Trader Joes Cauliflower Pizza dough (topped with Ragu pizza
sauce, onions, chicken, turkey, green pepper, cheese), carrot sticks, grapefruit

Wed, Jan 31: Turkey/Vegetable soup (this time I made it with chicken broth, ground turkey, red
potato, kale, spinach, carrots, spring onions garlic, parsley, corn) grapefruit

I was surprised we ate out 7 times in January. 
I would have guessed about 3-4. 

Onward and upward to February next 
(after we eat all the food of course) 
and then I will report back.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

No disrespect meant to the Queen

No offense to the Queen of England, 
but she's never been anyone I've wanted to read about. 

But nevertheless, tonight, I will begin this.

I have not read one word yet of her story, 
but I LOVE it.

It's all because of the little sweetheart 
who gave it to me for Christmas. 

And it's all because of what was written on the inside cover: 

And if the Queen's life gets boring, I will just go back to the inside 
cover, and read that over and over again. 

This book is a keeper. Forever. 

Thank you Violet!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

One of the most sensational court cases in Visalia's history

Okay, it starts like this....
My maternal Great Grandmother's sister, Laura Slinkard:
(photo probably taken 1894)

And the man she wanted to marry, Lee Jackson Danner:

 But he didn't want to marry her, so she took him to court and won! 

Before you read the story below, I want to preface it with this: Nearly 5 years ago in one of my 
Mom's scrapbooks I found an article from our newspaper written in 1991, about this story. That was
the first I'd ever heard of it. So that was 2013, and I contacted the author to thank him, also telling
him that I was related to Laura Slinkard. Fast forward 4 1/2 years...About 2 months ago, the author,
Terry Ommen, contacted me again letting me know he had found some new info on the case and that
he was in the process of writing an updated version of this story for Visalia's magazine, Lifestyle.
That issue came out last week, and he graciously sent me a copy, which I was excited to read!

Here it is. 
I broke it down in parts hoping to make it easier to read:

This is baby Delbert. 
I'm assuming it was taken on his parents' wedding day 
since he is holding flowers.
Not such an unusual occurrence, 
until I remind myself this was 1894!

After Laura died, here is her husband Lee 
surrounded by their children.

Left to rt: Guinevere Inez Danner (3 Jun 1900); Delbert Irwin Danner ( 2 Apr 1894); Lee Jackson Danner (26 Jun 1864); Lorita Alma Danner (12 Feb 1896); 
Hazel Irene Danner (2 Jun 1898)

(Lorita had a twin sister who either died at birth or early on)

If I could just find Laura Slinkard's exact death date, 
I could probably get a death certificate for her. 
All I know is she died in 1903 at the age of 29. 

I don't see how it could have been a happy marriage. 

I also feel the need to add as a side note:
Noticing from family records, Laura's Mom died when she was 14, and her Dad died the following 
year when she was 15. That's a lot of trauma for a young girl. Right in the middle of this period of 
time, along comes this man 10 years older than her who gives her attention. Laura's younger siblings 
went to live with her older sister (my great grandmother). 
Laura perhaps was very poor and on her own, and very young.

I wish I knew more. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jill T

There was this girl in high school and I can't even remember her 
name now, but in her yearbook I remember writing to her,  "You 
are the most excitable person I know!" 

But that was years before I met Jill Thompson. She even beat out 
my friend in high school, for being the most excitable and 
exuberant person I ever knew. 

Jill T and I were not best friends by any means, but we were close 
in that I was completely relaxed around her and we could talk and 
talk. But then, I think most people who knew Jill T felt this way. 

She just had that golden something. That smile. Those continual 
inquisitive eyes. She loved people. She had an insatiable interest in 
everyone it seemed. She wanted to know what they were all doing, 
and who they were doing it with. 

I have many memories of her, but this one sums up her personality 
pretty well I think...

It was about 2009. She dropped by the house one afternoon to give 
me something. Can't remember what it was but we were both 
counselors in our Young Women's organization in our ward, so it 
probably had something to do with that. 

She gave it to me, and then while she was still standing on the 
porch I said, "We were just having lunch. Would you like to join 

Most people would have said, "Oh no, that's okay. I've gotta get 
going." That's what I would've said.

But not Jill T. Without even a pause she said, 
"Well I AM hungry!" 

She walked right in, sat down at the table and right away asked for 
the mayo. And then the chips. 

She had never met Den's mom who was visiting us at the time, but 
made no difference to her. Made herself right at home. 

She could make me laugh, just by being herself. 

She called me Jilly, so I called her Jilly. 

She was so full of life that even at her funeral yesterday I kept 
expecting to see her. To hear her voice. 

A few more memories...

 Jill T's mom, and my Dad and Susan were both living at the same 
facility for awhile. Jill T's mom broke her foot so for awhile Jill 
was living there with her to help out. 

So one day I saw Jill T there and asked how she liked it. She said 
right back to me, "It's like living on a dang cruise ship!" 

Mark and Jill T at my niece Natalie's wedding in Pismo. 

I want to save this last text message I got from her. Just because it's 
from her. A month and 1 day later, she was gone.

It brings us all peace to know she is indeed all better now. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Oh the sweetness of it...

I think Dennis, like many good Dads, 
still sees his daughters like this:

So when one of them comes to visit us,
he's quite happy to have his little girl right next to him.
We both are.

This time Kim brought her daughter, Emily, with her. 
It was SO fun.

Loved having them with us!

So thankful we got to see Emily one more time before 
her 18 month mission begins in 2 weeks. 

One of my favorite parts of our visit, was looking back through old 
videos I had of Emily's childhood. 

And while we were at it, they showed me a blog Kim follows so we 
got to watch a live gender reveal of quintuplets together!
I kept thinking, "Live? They're going to do this live?"

We even talked about how we are SO thankful 
Emily survived THIS a year ago.

One of the bonuses of this trip, was finding out that our ward 
Young Mens' President, served a mission in the very one Emily is 
going to....Cape Verde Praia 

While Emily asked her questions to James, Kim got reunited with 
Jenni, her roommate from her Utah State days. 
(who also just happens to be in our ward)

Jenni, Kim, and Emily

I'm looking forward to following Emily's mission. 
As I continue to look back to her childhood....

Emily's in the middle with cousins Katie and Jessica. 
(Jessica will be home from her mission in Las Vegas in March!)

I recorded this back in 2008 
when we got to have all 3 girls for over a week.