Monday, October 26, 2009

Favorite Costumes From My Childhood

Ruth thought it would be fun to do a meme on favorite costumes from our childhood, and I decided she was right - it would be fun! Plus, I found pictures! I was a strange kid...

In this first one, I was five. I am the Frankenstein on the right, wearing my dad's pants. I guess my sister is Morticia. We used to go to the rich neighborhoods for candy and we could fill two big bags! Although I have no idea how she could walk very far in Mom's high heels.

Here I am eight and wanted to do my own costume. I wore my step dad's bathrobe, an old wig I liked to play with, and my sister used some sort of makeup pencil to draw a villain's face. Then I practiced making scary faces. I actually won "Ugliest" in a costume contest. I was so proud!

I am ten in this picture with my siblings. I don't know what my brother was, besides cute, and my sister looked adorable as a cat. I chose to be a bookworm. That's right, a bookworm. I have a box around my middle made to look like a book. I have no idea what the black material is, and the "cap" was my mother's tube top! I pretty much gave up on costumes after this one. Until my kids came along!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recipes for Rose Hips

One way to prolong summer after your roses die, is to find ways to eat roses! Rose Hip Jelly, for instance, is fairly easy to make. For Rose Hip Jelly, you will need the following:

Rose hips
apple juice
paraffin (for sealing canning jars)

Remove the stems and wash the rose hips; then for every cup of rose hips, add two cups of water in a large pan, and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Using a potato masher, carefully mash the rose hips in the water, and simmer for 10 minutes more. Carefully pour the mixture in a glass or stainless steel container and set aside for 24 hours. Strain the juice through a cheesecloth bag or a fine strainer. Don't push the mixture too firmly or the jelly will be cloudy. Put the juice in a pan and for 2 cups rose hip juice, add 1 cup apple juice and 1 box pectin. Bring this mixture to a good, rolling boil. Stir in 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar. Boil for 6 or 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until jelly is thicker. Remove from heat and skim off the top with a slotted spoon. Pour in to sterilized canning jars. Cover with melted paraffin (follow the directions on the box). After the paraffin sets, put the lid on, label or decorate the jar and store in a cool place.

Or perhaps you would prefer Rose-Hip Soup. Directions for making the soup are fairly simple.

3 cups rose hips
Extra water if needed
3/4 cups sugar
dash salt
Thickening agent, such as potato flour, cornstarch or tapioca, mixed with water to make a paste
1/4 cup chopped almonds
whipped cream

You will need to place 3 cups fresh, well-washed rose hips in 3 pints boiling water. Cover and cook until tender, straining by forcing the softened hips through a sieve. Take 4 1/2 cups liquid from this process, adding cold water to finish out the amount if necessary, and return to pan. Add 3/4 cups sugar and a dash of salt. Mix 1 1/2 Tablespoons potato flour with a little water to form a smooth paste, and stir it in to the mix to thicken the soup. Or, if you prefer you can make a paste with cornstarch or tapioca. Either will work as a thickener. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into a soup tureen. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped almonds on top. Chill soup. Top with whipped cream and serve.

Whether you prefer stopping to see and smell the roses, wearing the lingering fragrance on your skin, or allowing the essence to fill your mouth, roses can continue to delight the senses all the year round.

UPDATE: Ok, I should clarify some things. A post by the lovely and fascinating Protege about the rose hips that grew in her part of the world reminded me that I had some old recipes of Swedish origin that used rose hips. I haven't actually made these with my own rose hips. For one thing, any roses using pesticides probably shouldn't be eaten, and also, if you prune the roses for more blooms, they don't have a chance to form the hips. If you go here and here, you can find out more information, recipes and warnings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zis and Zat

We are supposed to have a cold front soon. That means it will be in the high 80s. We'll take it. It is already cooling down. One day last week, it was 95 degrees. The next day it was 94, and the day after that is was only 93! We measure progress in beads of sweat per square inch of skin.

Hubby and I went to a musical comedy at Broadway Palms Dinner Theater. We saw "Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels." We've never seen the movie, but with Michael Caine and Steve Martin, it is probably funny. We enjoyed the stage version, for the most part. A bit naughty, but mostly just fun, and very lively. Very well acted, sung and danced. They do a good job with their casting. I also knew one of the actresses, so that's always cool. Last year, we saw "The Wizard of Oz" there and she was in it as well. And one time we saw "The Sound of Music," and one of the nuns was a friend of our son. Just adds an element of fun. One of the songs in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" was called Zis and Zat, thus my title today.

I've been going to a Bible Study for women in a nearby neighborhood. I enjoy it immensely! Such sweet, Godly women, and such solid study of the Bible. Not a book about the Bible, but the actual real live Bible itself. It is like a drink of pure water for the soul. I love God's Word, reading, learning and living it, and it is a joy to find sisters of a like mind.

I've also been doing a lot of writing, for a place online called Associated Content. A fellow blogger, Susan of Girls in White Dresses, told me about it, and I'm having a lot of fun. Not only am I honing my skills, but I'm getting paid to do it. When they accept something they pay for it, and you also get payments every time someone goes to view something you've written. If you'd like to see what I've been up to, go here to my profile page. Feel free to leave a comment so I'll know you were there!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pranks at the Power Plant - Time to Reminisce

Back in the late 1970s I worked as a temp at a power plant. Most places I could have earned around $2.50 an hour as a secretary so I was thrilled with my $4.50. Until I found out that the position, being union, started at over $7! Not to mention phenomenal perks and benefits. These people were well cared for. They complained all the time though. There was constant friction between union and management. My position, for instance, was only supposed to last 2 weeks, but ended up lasting 5 1/2 months because they couldn't fill the position due to a union requirement that the person hired had to know shorthand. Even as a temp, I had to know it. But the person rarely if ever had to use it. They found that most people who know shorthand don't want to lose the skill, so they wouldn't accept the position that didn't actually use it. Fortunately I was perfect. I could honestly say that I knew shorthand. But I could only drrraaawww shorthand if someone spoke very slowly. So it worked out.

They were pretty serious about their union stuff tho. Once I tightened a loose screw on my desk with my fingers and got a lecture because I had "cost some union guy his overtime." Um...okay. I remember the management guys being nice, serious, mournful looking worn out and nervous guys while the union guys seemed to always have a good time. They certainly found plenty of time for pranks. My tasks consisted of keeping and distributing supplies, running the switchboard and doing whatever I could to help the secretaries with proofreading or typing reports and things. I was also basically the receptionist, although you don't get tons of visitors at a power plant. The media sometimes, when there were nuclear plant controversies and such. I also made announcements over the loudspeaker.

One day I was in my little room and one of the other girls came running in, pulling the pocket door shut behind her and locking it. It seems one of the young men had been chasing her around with a lizard. Just then the lunch buzzer sounded, and she knew he would not waste any time going, so she confidently opened the door - and let out a scream! The fellow had indeed left, but not without tying the lizard to the door frame with a long string so that when she opened the door she was eyeball to eyeball with the dangling lizard! She got revenge later when he and a few other guys were repairing something down below our second story window. She got a few of us together and we all dumped large glasses of ice water out our window on the count of 3. Those guys might have been macho when it came to lizards, but they did some screaming of their own!Sometimes people took it too far, of course. One poor guy cut off part of his finger in the metal shop. A quick search did not turn up the missing part, so he was hustled off to the hospital. When he came back to work, he was greeted by the grisly sight of the end of his finger, tacked to the bulletin board with a R.I.P. note taped above it. He was NOT HAPPY!

There was one woman in particular though, who soon held the title in prank playing. Her name was Joyce. Someone told me she had formerly been a nun but was too high-spirited to stay in that profession. She definitely kept things lively. One girl would come in every morning to the kitchen, grab a foam coffee cup off the stack, get water from the tap, and turn to lean against the sink, drink her water and visit a few minutes. One day she found the water dripping all over her, from tiny pin holes Joyce had put in the bottom of the cup. The girl was good natured about it, threw her cup away - and grabbed one off the OTHER stack, thereby repeating the whole prank again! Naturally Joyce had done the top cup in each stack! Another girl was going on a hot date immediately after work one Friday. She brought a fancy long sleeved shirt and dress pants to change in to, and left them in a bag in the women's restroom. We all made sure to linger long enough to see her come flying upstairs, run in to the bathroom and - yes, sure enough frustrated screams erupted moments later, the word "JOYCE!!!" among them. Of course we already knew that Joyce had been at work with her needle yet again. This time spending her lunch break sewing the shirt sleeves together just below the cuff and the pants also! Another time she photocopied a rather risque picture from someone's calendar of a naked man lying on his side between a campfire and a motorcycle with a bottle of whisky rather strategically placed. She tacked it above the desk of the secretary to the President, who didn't notice it until her boss brought a bunch of visiting big-wigs in to introduce them to her. They kept glancing above her head while they were talking to her, and when they were gone, she looked to see what they'd been so interested in!

I turned 19 while I worked there and I have to admit it was a fun place for a young person to work. I even managed to get in a few pranks of my own. But I think this post is long enough. Don't you?
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