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Showing posts from December, 2008

Of all sound of all bells...

most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year. ~Charles Lamb

"Flaskpannkaka" Swedish Oven Pork Pancake

This Scandinavian recipe is our traditional Christmas breakfast, but it is not a “reserved for Christmas” recipe. I make it throughout the year and we eat it for lunch and dinner also. If you like bacon, eggs and pancakes, you may like this even better!


Flaskpannkaka (Oven Pork Pancake)


Ingredients/Directions
1/2 to 1# fried and chunked-up bacon pieces  (Reserve 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bacon grease.) See note* 

Make batter by stirring together
6 eggs 
3 C. milk 
1 ½ C. flour 
1/3 C. sugar 

Assemble and Bake:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (A hot oven is just the thing and some recipes suggest preheating pan with bacon and grease before adding batter.)  Crumble bacon into bite sized pieces into bottom of 9x13 pan (may oil sides of pan) Add 1/4-1/2 C reserved bacon grease (heated) into pan. Gently pour egg/milk batter over bacon. Bake 20-30 minutes until center is set. It is common and desirable for the Flaskpannkaka to puff up some while baking. Cut into squares and Serve with maple syrup (yum) for topp…

I Thought I'd Tell A Story Being Careful With My Words

I thought I'd tell A story
Being careful with my words
A story I read in a book
Rephrasing things you’ve heard
The story from a treasure
Gained from my thrift shop habit
I found a silly thrift store book
Called simply “Runny Babbit”
Shel Silverstein, the author
Jumbles words by changing letters
"Millie Woose" for Willie Moose
And as you read it just gets better
It’s a fun and happy thing to do
To play with English proper
If Silverstein can, then I say,
“Me too.” (Who’s stere to hop her?)
I’ll stop just now I know I can
It’s tharder than you hink
Try it now, you gilly soose
Mecious Prink for Precious Mink

(That was fun!)


From the book's preface:
Way down in the green woods
Where the animals all play
They do things and they say things
In a different sort of way-
Instead of sayin "purple hat,"
They all say, "hurple pat."
Instead of saying "Feed the cat,"
They just say "ceed the fat."
So if you say, "Let's bead a rook
That's billy as …

Trouble! Oh We Got Trouble. Right here in River City! With a capital "T" That Rhymes with "P" And that Stands for Pool!

My packet of Sen Sen won at our family's Christmas Bingo game first reminded me of my Grandma (written about in the next post) then I thought of the "Ya Got Trouble" song from The Music Man. Sen Sen is mentioned in the lyrics. Preston sings, "And braggin' all about how they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen". I hope the song below is bait to catch your attention and if you've never seen the original Music Man, you'll watch it soon. If you have seen it, watch it again! Make sure to see the original superior version! Robert Preston from the original IS the Music Man! Thanks to Mike, The Music Man is one of my very favorite movies. They've improved on breath perfume, but Oh, they don't make movies like they used to!

"Grandma, can I look in your purse?" A small packet of Sen Sen carries a lot of weight!

When I was a little girl and my Grandma worked as a dorm mother at a nursing college in Kansas before moving to Ohio, I spent as much time as I could with her. We'd spend days together and overnights which I always hoped (and they usually would) extend into more than one night!
Grandma liked her car and she liked to "go". We spent weekends happily going places together in her shiny red Galaxy 500. We went to thrift shops, (which were different back then) garage sales, community band concerts, the park with bags of bread to feed the ducks then to the swings, a favorite restaurant, to visit her friends, Clown Town (privately owned small amusement park) and to take in almost any free event and other various fun stuff!

After our 3rd stop or so I settled into a comfortable routine and riding together in the front seat of her car I often asked, "Grandma, can I look in your purse?" Maybe it's a girl thing, but there was something fascinating about my Grandma's …

Conversation Overheard in a Restaurant Recently Between Women Talking From Table to Table

Woman from Table 1: Are you ready for Christmas? Woman from Table 2: Heavens no! I’m not ready! Are you? Table 1: No, not really. I just try not to think about it. Table 2: Yeah. I guess it will come whether we're ready or not.Table 1: Yeah. Well, have a good one. Table 2: You have a good one too. I wondered what it meant to "be ready" and wondered if I was ready.Good Grief, maybe I'm not ready!Thankfully God doesn't wait for us to be ready! He chooses, sends, seeks and saves whether we're ready or not! (Or more correctly He makes us ready!) Somehow I was reminded of Linus helping Charlie Brown understand what Christmas is all about after Charlie Brown raises his arms in the air and says with exasperation, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!!"Linus answers:


Here's the Sing, I mean, Here's the Thing

Singing is just the thing. Two Verses From Two Songs To Sing Out Loud! Even if you don't feel like singing, you're sure to feel joyful if you do! Sing it, baby! We sang these as a church this morning. These are songs I hadn't thought of as "Christmas" songs, but they seemed Christmasy today! We sang all the verses, but here are only the 1st verses of each song: Now, If you read this, don't just read it, but sing it! SING OUT LOUD so that A. others in hearing range will wonder what you are doing and come join the singing! OR2. Others in hearing range will have to talk louder, turn up the Christmas music or movie or at least roll their eyes because you are joyful and they are scroogy (or simply because you are rather "quirky")! This first one we sing to the tune of "Danny Boy" The Savior of the World 1. I cannot tell why He whom angels worship Should set His love upon the sons of men, Or as the Shepherd, He should seek the wanderers, To brin…

Chloe Avenelle Born This Day December 19, 2008

Sweet baby Chloe Mommy, Olivia! She was awesome (and quick!) in labor and delivery! Bravo!!! Daddy Chris holding Chloe, brother Sean standing and sister Eleanor sitting by a tired, but satisfied Mommy! Aunt Christine babysat Sean and Eleanor the long day and finally got to hold her new niece! She's an awesome aunt! My dear Mom, Chris' Mom and Dad and Daddy Chris! Liv asked me to be in the labor and delivery room with her which was a joy! I'm rejoicing in the birth of my new grandaughter and the joy of Olivia!I have many other photos, but this is a sampling. Interesting facts: Olivia's middle name "Arlene" is from a dear aunt of mine; my mom's sister.Chloe's middle name "Avanelle" is from a dear great aunt of Olivia's; my dad's sister.Do, please do, check out "The Best Gift" below:

THE BEST GIFT best sung by Barbra Steisand (No matter your opinion of Barbra, she undeniably sings like no other.)

My daughters and I love this song. We used to sing it along with Barbra every Christmas season when we listened to "The Christmas Album" by Streisand. Olivia received "The Best Gift" and just before Christmas!Listen here. (I don't know these people, but I do know the blessing of twin grandchildren!!!!)The best giftThat I ever gotDidn't really weigh a lotIt didn't have a ribbon 'roundAnd it sometimes made the terrible soundThe best of all it seems to meIt wasn't neath the Christmas treeAnd yet, I guess I'd have to sayThat it made all the other presents twice as gayThe best gift that I've ever knownI'd always wanted most to ownYet in my dreams of sugar and spiceI never thought it could be so niceThe best gift that I ever getWas sometimes dry and sometimes wetWas usually pink but oftentimes redAs it lay so innocently in its bedThe best gift of the year to meThe one I hold most dear to meA gift that simply drove me wildWas a tiny new bor…

Topped With Snow

We had our first cumulative snowfall of winter and again it seems novel. It will melt then refreeze into ice, then melt and turn to grayish slush. That is reality, but the beauty of snowfall and the transformation of common things never ceases to delight my senses! Christine and I drove around town to photograph things adorned with a topping of snow.

Tomtes Take Joy in Work and Play : Illustrated by Mike

Tomtes silently decorate storekeeper’s windows each cold winter’s day. At night, while storekeepers sleep, tomtes help with chores, sing and make merry.





The Tomte Tends to the Farm on Cold Still Nights as Faithfully as Karo, the Dog

The old tomte could scarcely remember a colder night. Besides the comfort of hot porridge, is the welcome of Karo’s warm companionship.

Tomtes are Shy and Rarely Seen by Children, But Little Girls who Grow Up To be Wise Old Women and Still Wish to See the Tomte Often Get Their Wish

Some children never see nor do they believe, but old women who are wise believe, and some have seen the friendly tomten.

Do You Wonder Like I Wonder? How Do Tomtes Get Around So Nimbly On Snowy Ground Wearing Wooden Clogs?

Tomtes love holidays; Especially Christmas! They are very generous and ready to share. Visiting homes of well managed farms is their delight.

Tomtes Go Unappreciated and Misunderstood by Barnyard Foul

The industrious tomte gathering eggs is mischievous around the farm. It’s true. However the chicken is not only mischievous, but also pesky!

Birds Know No Hunger When a Tomte Lives on the Farm!

The generous and kind tomte considers the birds in the wintry chill and climbs the ladder to share his round Swedish knakerbrod.

My Favorite Tomte

Mike is my favorite "tomte". Tomtes usually stay under the house or in the barn, but "Tomte Mike" gets to live inside and has a favorite chair by the fire! This tomte loves "Old Fashioned Salty Oatmeal Cookies", so instead of porrige and fruit, cookies will be his reward!

More Swedish Tomtes

Did I mention my delight in these silly tomtes? This first one is Lindsborg's most recent community tomte, Don Weddle. He has not made an appearance for a few years, however. The photo is from a post card and reads: "Scandinavian tradition tells of the little people who live under the house and in the barn. They guard the house and warn the family of any dangers. The family rewards them with fruit and porridge. The Tomte plays a prominent role in Swedish celebrations such as Lindsborg's Heritage Christmas and Hyllningsfest." More to come including my favorite tomte! God Jul

Cheerful Swedish Tomtes

Tomtes keep busy secretly helping industrious farmers with chores.
Sometimes they leave steaming porrige for good girls and boys.
Tomtes love to laugh, sing and make merry!
"But the snow still lies in deep drifts around the old farm in the forest. The stars shine in the sky, it is biting cold. On such a night people creep into their small houses and bank the fire on the hearth. Here is a lonely old farm, where everyone is fast asleep. All but one..." From "The Tomten" by Astrid Lindgren

"It is the dead of the night. The farm lies fast asleep and everyone inside the house is sleeping too."

"The tomten is awake. He lives in a corner of the hayloft and comes out at night when human beings are asleep. He is an old, old tomten who has seen the snow of many hundreds of winters. No one knows when he came to the farm. No one has ever seen him, but they know he is there. Sometimes when they wake up they see the prints of his feet in the snow. But no one has seen the Tomten.... "Winters come and summers go, Year follows year, but as long as people live at the old farm in the forest, every night the Tomten will trip around between the houses on his small silent feet."(The Tomten, by Astrid Lindgren, follows the Tomten visiting the farm animals with comfy illustrations by Harald Wiberg.)I have been adopted in, so-to-speak, to the Swedish culture of my town, the town where my husband was born and raised (mostly) and brought me after we were married. This town first charmed me with its "village" feel. I've come to appreciate the Swedish culture (Lutfisk…

A Warming of the Soil

Tabitha and her family From left to right: Marcail and Henry (the twins), almost 3 years old James and Tabitha (the Mommy and Daddy) Naomi, almost 2 years old

Broken Soil of My Heart

Today we took our daughter, Tabitha, and her three darling children to the airport so they could make the move from just about 12 blocks from our house in Kansas… to Florida. Oh how I will (already do) miss them. I was reminded of these words from Ecclesiastes on our drive home from the airport. There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war…

I doppin, Mommy! I doppin! I all dum now!

God made kids cute for a reason. Maybe it is so ungodly parental wrath can be extinguished against them when their naughtiness makes us so mad!!! When Mommies say, “I said to “stop it! You need to be done. Now, go to your room. I’ll be right in.” Oftentimes the 1 to 3 year old will say, “I doppin, Mommy. I doppin. I all dum now. No pankin me.” (These are recent words from the mouths of my grandchildren.) The kids are cute and the babyish words they say are cute, but a child's cuteness does not nullify justice, though sometimes parental mercy is extended. It is NOT cute when kids disobey and take chances with mercy. Adults do the same in a slightly more sophisticated way when we take chances, as it were, with God’s mercy and grace and we hold out or prolong repentance then finally say, “I’m stopping. I’m all done. Please have mercy.” How it pleases a parent when children give 1st time and 100% obedience. How it must please God when His children do the same!

Object Of The Game: To Capture, Remove, and Eat

My friend, Ruth, came over for a short visit this morning and brought a Christmas gift for Christine and me. It is a game she made called “Eat It” played like checkers but with edible game pieces!
The object of the game is: “To capture, remove, and eat as many pieces of junk food as possible.”
The game came with four bags of candy playing pieces to whet the appetite, but instructions say: “Each player is to begin the game by selecting 12 pieces of his favorite junk food. Anything that is fairly small can be used-cookies, potato chips, candy, pretzels, even mini donuts…Once a player jumps the opponent’s piece, the player may remove his opponent’s piece and “eat it”…."
Note: "Chocolate playing pieces do not work well in a warm room or direct sunlight, and mini powdered donuts never work well in this game. However, the game board has been lightly laminated for easier cleanup, so if these are your choices…go for it!"
This game gives food for thought and is a creative way to…

Brother John's Cycle Surprise Birthday Visit

Back hereI wrote about my brother, John, riding his motorcycle over to our house to surprise me for my birthday! Christine got to ride as a passenger. Finally here is the photo of John and Christine from that fun day!

Two More Christmas Blessings

Eleanor and Sean by the tree in a sweet moment.

Christmas Trio

This Christmas trio is enjoying making a joyful Christmas song! The bag in the background pictures a Swedish julbok and tomte. We read a book today about the tomte's helpfulness on farms, though tomtes are known to be mischievous and shy. By the way, the hands in the pockets was an attempt to help them not touch the tree! They needed help getting all their hands in those pockets, so hands behind the back is more efficient!

"Me Jus Lookin At Dat Tree"

Henry likes the "Linus from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on a Sled" ornament the best. He points to it and says, "This Henry." When I ask him who is that boy on the sled?, he affirms, "This Henry." while patting his tummy. There are some similarities! When I hear or see the grand kids close to the tree. I say, "What are you kids doin?" They usually answer, "Me juslookin at dat tree." We taught them to look with their hands behind their backs which works less than 50% of the time, but they usually do a nice job!