Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday, dresses are done!

No Spend,  I have no idea what hub's ate?  Salad he has lost 5 lbs.  Good for him.

     All the prom dresses are done and I can start working on costumes.  I feel like I have been beaten with a stick.  Yesterday I was so tired.  But they are done.  I feel so free and light hearted. Now I need to clean this messy house and get the laundry caught up.  Every trash can is over flowing and the floors are a disaster.  I cannot handle clutter and chaos for long periods of time.  I can select to neglect things for a time and a purpose but then it starts to get to me and I need to get things put away.  YOU CANNOT ORGANIZE CLUTTER,  get rid of it.  You do not need it for another time.  This was a hard one for me to learn.  My house needs a real go through drawer by drawer and closet by closet.  That is a project for next month.

     Right now I want to get costumes done.  I am so happy.  I am also proud of myself.  Tonight after dance Hub's and I will head out to buy some new drill things as he cannot finish the porch without an index.  I know as soon as we replace all these things that tool box will show up.  But we are not the kind of house where things just disappear.  Well a little thing could but not a large tool box.

     I want to get as many costumes done as I can in the next two days before I leave for Missoula.  Having all of mom's problems come to a head right before a recital is a pain.  At least my routines are done and they have a month to clean and perfect things.

     It is so beautiful outside, I hope to get a little planting done tomorrow, between having a piano delivered to the studio and picking up props coming down from the University in the afternoon.  It never ends, just the fact that I am moving forward is encouraging.

Have  a great and productive day!



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday, I'm down to 6 dresses

No Spend.  Hub's had salad and ? for dinner.  I was too busy to notice.

     I did get the bills paid that I could yesterday and it wasn't pretty.  I think I am going to have all this money left over and it is never there.  So frustrating.  I am waiting for more costume checks to come in so I can pay the remainder of this months bills.  I also found a check for $480.00 written to my daughter for the teaching she did in January.  I have held it because we have never had the funds to pay it yet.  Love money don't you?  The household bills are paid so that is a positive.  I was also able to make another snowflake as a check came in I was not expecting, from a source that I thought was long gone.  So $187.00 more in snowflakes on the car this month.  I also updated my totals and I want so badly to catch up and pass Sarah but it has been a constant 7-8 thousand behind for a while.  Soon very soon this will change.  I'm working on something big I tell you, something really big.  ( say this in the voice of James Cagney)

     Hub's finally got the sprinkling system fixed in the garden.  The station problem has to be fixed by the company.  J and I were able to get everything off the lawn and back on the porch even though there are holes there.  So the lawn can be mowed and I can water. 

     I sewed all day yesterday and even took a day off from the studio to try to catch up.  I am a little groggy this morning.  I think I have seen the end of the dresses and I want to get the 6 I have in the shop done and out of here.  I spent most of yesterday, catching up on general work, like letting pants out and hemming and such.  I had a huge pile to catch up on, it is not fair to make them wait for last minute prom dresses.  Now that all of that is done I can really concentrate on the dresses and then COSTUMES.  I can do this.  I can!

     Made bread last night late.  I let it over raise and then I over baked it.  Note to self.  You need a timer in the shop.  I used to have one but it went on the fritz.  I cannot hear the buzzer upstairs.  We will still eat the bread it is not burned just really crusty.

     Youngest daughter has one more semester of college.  She will graduate next Christmas.  She should graduate this spring, but wants to double major so she is adding a semester.  She was offered a TA position by her chemistry professor.  She does not know if she can take it.  But if she can she will either get tuition help or she will get credit.  This will really look good for her when she applies to graduate school. I hope it works out for her, because if it does it also works out for me!  I might have to contribute less.  If she takes credit she has more time to study for her tests to get into other programs.

     Well I am "off like a prom dress"  as my Sissie would say.

Have a great and p[productive day!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday, I am trying, I really am trying

$12.69  soda, ribbon, zipper Hub's ate leftovers and salad.  I need to find something for dinner but I am so busy!

     Backyard progress:  Pipe still not fixed, back station still not fixed.  Deck is painted but still has boards missing,  The pond still needs work.  I need to plant boxes and garden.  I feel like all of this can be taken care of in a day if I could find a day or part of a day.  Right now everything is spread out on the back lawn and I have tools all over the pass through to the kitchen, it is a general mess.  I hope Hub's can get off his rear and fix the pipe and get the boards into the deck and then we can put all the stuff back on at least.  He cannot mow until this is done so that might be an incentive.

     Hub's has had a double tragedy.  His engineering calculator that he has had for 17 years decided to draw it's last breath.  They are around $400.00 now.  He also cannot find his drill tool box with all his bits and things in it.  The power drills and batteries are here.  The drill is here but the tool box with the widgits is not.  Of course this is my fault.  I take everything and lose it. We have hunted up and down for it and gone through the studio.  Cannot find it.  Everyday he discovers more precious stuff that he was sure in that tool box.  He is SOOOOOOO careful with his tools and so possessive that fact that he would lose anything is amazing.  So Sheldon Cooper it is and we are in deep mourning.  We must instantly replace all the precious things that were in the box, I think there might have been one of the children we forgot we had in there.  He has his secretary scouring the Internet for new calculators.  It has to work on reverse polish notation, which is an engineering term for backwards.  I think Mc Val will get that joke.

     I was so sure I could catch up yesterday, but between three and four in the afternoon, 6 more dresses came in so no such luck.  It is okay I am making good money and I can sock it away on a debt or put it away for lean times.  My ballet mistress is helping me in the shop right now.  We did get the 11 foxes done and she has cut out more things for the show.  She also steams the dresses and calls people for pick up.  I have to pay her for this service but she is thorough and good.  I just want so badly to catch up a little.  I'm really trying or am I just being trying?

Out my window:  Went out to the chicks and they were all sitting in on of the feeders like it was a nesting box.  So funny all squashed in with their heads sticking out.  I put a board and a brick on top to keep them from doing that.  They have nesting boxes up top, but this is their second day in the big coop and I don't think they have explored enough.  There is a reason we have the term bird brain and it is not just for Sonya Ann, and my twin sister:)

Have a great and productive day.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday, fully rested, butt sore;)

 Hub's cooked yesterday and found out we are out of gas on the grills.  We also bought the wrong size couplers to fix the sprinkler again!  Third time is a charm right?  I have only 3 more prom dresses and two wedding dresses to get done before I start to sew on costumes.  I really am trying to crank them out.  That is my goal.

     My desk is piled high with papers and receipts and I need to  desperately get books done and bills paid it is almost the end of the month.  I must fit that in somehow.  It is always something. Now how do I fit this in?  Arghh.  Must get to work.

  I am just tired of this schedule. I want it gone and the only way to get it gone is to work. Dang  where is my magic wand.  Under a prom dress some where and the batteries are dead.

    Ballet Mistress and I are almost done with the 11 fox costumes, as we worked on those off and on during the weekend.

It is so pretty outside I just want to go sit in the sun.

Have a great and productive day!


Story cont:

     It had been a good day for Millie.  She had received an A on a history test.  One of the girls had asked her if she had made her dress and then another had asked for the pattern.  The English teacher had spoken well in front of the class on her execution and pronunciation in reading.  She was grateful for all the corrections given by Far mar.  Constantly she corrected the English of her grandchildren.  "Listen she would say.  It is like music, you would not substitute one note for another, so why a sound in  spoken word?"  Far mar was a stickler for pronunciation.  Millie remembered Far laughing at his mother, she was so particular about manners, music,elocution, but she could not fry a chicken or make a sauce that someone could eat.  She was rather good at desserts.  When Far and and Far far would tease her she would smile in her quiet way and go to the kitchen and make a stollen or some other delicacy.  It was her way of apologizing for her short comings.  Millie though about her Far mar on the way to pick up Peter from his school.  She missed Sweden.  She missed the wide open land and the clean air.  She missed the golden grass.  Here is was buildings and dust and noise.

     As Millie turned the corner on 12th Avenue, she spied the flower sellers cart.  It was an awful waste but she bought a two penny bouquet.  It was a overwhelming desire to have something beautiful around her.  She thought of Far mar again.  I must be like her, or perhaps it is the new dress. Far mar had loved fashion and flowers.  Millie could see her sitting in her parlor surrounded by her books.  The piano in the corner and the plants she so carefully tended on the window sill.  Far mar had favored heavy silk gowns.  So unsuitable for a farm she would often say with a smile.  Millie wondered if she would ever own a silk dress.  When she picked up Peter he insisted that he carry the bouquet.  Millie traded his dinner pail for the flowers.  He quickly buried his nose in the middle and sighed.  "I remember this smell," he said.  He looked up at Millie with his blue eyes and blond curls.  "This is what I remember it smelled like when we saw Far and Mar", remember? Do you remember Millie?"  Millie shook the thought out of her mind.  "Yes , I remember, would you rather I carried the flowers?"  "No", came his soft reply.

     When they entered the building Millie asked if Peter would like to go outback, but he wanted to put the flowers in water.  Millie would take Mar's special vase out of the trunk and he could see it.  The debate was going on in hes head, no he would rather go upstairs and put the flowers in the vase.  It was actually warm in the flat when Millie opened the door.  Dropping her belongings and the dinner pail on the table she walked across  the room to throw open the window. When she turned around she saw Inga standing in the doorway wearing her almost identical dress.  Millie started to laugh until she saw Inga's expression.  Here chin was trembling and it was obvious that something was very wrong.  "What is it?", Millie asked.  Inga started to shake and Millie quickly came to try and help her sit down.  "No, no ," Inga whispered as she struggled to free herself,"it is mother, she no wake, I try, try wake, she no wake." she was sobbing.  Millie walked quietly into the neighboring apartment, the sobbing Inga following her.  There on the long sofa was Inga's mother.  She looked like she was sleeping.  Her white hair softly pillowing around her face.  She was clutching the shawl that covered her.

     "She sleep when she eat, we listen radio.  Her favorite listen time, I  sewing.  She was sleep, I turn off, she sleep. I hurry to make order, fast, now I see late, she no wake." Inga knelt on the floor beside her mother and cried.  Millie reached for the lifeless closed fingers that were stiff and gripping the shawl.  "It will be okay Inga."  she said, "I will send someone for your brother."  Millie heard a small scuffling behind her.  In the doorway was Peter still holding the flowers  The shocked expression on his face told Millie all she needed to know.  In silent reverence broken only by Inga's soft crying, Peter crossed the room and lay the flowers next to the gripping hand.  "I will go down and get brother, " Peter said.  "Yes,yes,none of the others," whispered Millie. "Understand?" Peter sniffled wiping his nose on his sleeve," she is like Mar now, she won't wake up."  Millie could hear his little feet on the steps.  He did not run, his steps were even and deliberate, each one growing more silent as he descended the floors.

     Millie did not remember who came first.  She remembered sitting on the floor holding Inga's hand and then the flat was full of people.  Nels, Mrs. Strom sweating and fanning herself from her long climb.  Neighbor women some with infants on their hips were peaking into the room.  She sat still until someone, she was not even sure who, helped her up.  She was stiff from sitting so long.  A cup of strong coffee was placed in her hands and she was helped to the kitchen table. Drinking the hot liquid made Millie more aware of her surroundings.  "Where were her brother's and sister's?"  Mrs. Strom came into the kitchen with Mrs. Pratz 4th floor. "I cannot do those stairs again.' said Mrs. Strom. "One of the boys will have to be let up to run errands. They will learn of this soon enough."  Millie, coming out of her stupor asked, "Are they all downstairs?"  "We have all the young ones in the yard, watching those washers of your brothers. Let the undertaker and these dear people make some decisions without the noise, my Jeremy is watching over all of them and Nels has gone to find the brother.  "He is so quiet no one could remember his name, he is always known as Inga's brother or Old Mrs Stahl's son." said Mrs. Pratz.  "Did you know his name , Millie?" asked Mrs. Strom. "It is Joseph", whispered Millie.  "See I told you she knew, replied Mrs. Strom.  "Millie where were you when we were asking for that information, you sat next to Inga as if in a trance?"  Where had she been?  Millie felt old, tired, beaten, as if she had been buffeted about by a wind or a storm  She was aware of things going on but too deep in her own thoughts to really understand what others were saying.  She had gone back to Sweden.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday, not feeling well today.

     Have no idea how much I spent yesterday. Cleaned the church as I was on rotation and Hub's was tree planting.  Had snow tires removed from D#3's car, bought a few things at home depot to fix sprinkler system.  Got more groceries and new rugs for front and back door as they were worn out.  We were out of toilet paper. Picked up a prescription.  Did not feel well. Took a bad fall by pond and really bruised my butt.  Fell on an exposed stump and boy does it hurt.

     Started to feel crummy yesterday afternoon and was throwing up later in the day.  Slept until 10:30 today.  So no church.  Still in jammies and will stay in them the rest of the day.  Want to call mom and my sissie.  Still have lot's to do but am making progress.  Now if everyone would just pick up their dresses and pay me.

     Just found out my chimney boxes are done so will pick those up tomorrow. Yippie!  Things are moving forward.  My left wrist is blown really bad, hope it does not extend to the right.  I have too much to do. I feel messy and unorganized and I don't like that feeling.Maybe if I do  run through the house when I start tot fell better.  I don't know. Maybe go back to bed.

Have a restful and peaceful Sabbath.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday, Yippee, I loves a Friday.

$49.12 salad fixings, some salmon, dish soap, cheese, bread making supplies.  Hubs, had large salad and salmon for dinner. He is doing well on his diet and I think has lost about 5 lbs, I am proud of him because I know how much food means to him.  I love my diet coke so I know an addiction when I see one and his is food of any kind, poor darling.  We all just love food especially chocolate.  This from a woman who took a box (yes the box) of fruit loops to bed with her last night.

     I sewed and sewed yesterday and I still feel no relief in sight but I will persevere.  My ballet mistress was having a break down yesterday.  I am sure due to stress and the upcoming show.  I keep telling her that the average age of the students is 10 the parents will love it and it will be fine.  Why, why are artistic people such down on them selves perfectionists?  It has taken me 45 years to develop a thick skin and I can still melt down, but I have earned over the years to let things go.  You have to, especially back stage when things will always go wrong.  You can plan and plan and rehearse and rehearse and things will still go wrong.  You just go on.

  Our old ballet mistress is not coming back her husband must have gotten a job in L.A.  which is good that is where she wanted to be, she will have more opportunities to dance.  I am trying to keep Ballet mistress busy with costumes and such, but boy do I feel for her.  I understand her worry and her angst and I know it is terrible.  Why do we all have to go through this before we grow up?  Poor thing she is a mess.  So now I have to sew, teach, deal with mom, and a husband who is overworked by tree planting, try to get the yard done and also be a psychiatrist for the mentally unstable dance staff.  My life is so FUN!

     My Sissie said I had to stay out of the yard.  Can you believe that?   But, but, but I need a break too..... the yard is a break for me.  I know, I know it will be there when this is all over. Blah, I hate it when I have to be responsible.

     Does any one else have to be responsible?  What do you tell yourself in order to get yourself to stick to task?

Have a great and productive day.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday, catch up, what is that?

No Spend.  Hub's ate salad and burger for dinner.  I need to go to the store for more salad fixings.  He is starving and cranky.

     Sewed like  a mad woman yesterday and barely feel like I made a dent.  Well I do have two dresses out the door 3 almost 4 ready to go.  Will spend major time again today on dresses.  I am ashamed of my house right now.  I am letting old habits slide in and not getting things really cleaned up, but there is no time and something has to give.  Actually a run through would take less than an hour and probably make me feel better.  The the itchy, cleaning bug would not be bothering me.  Maybe after my bath I will try to do that.  then I will go to the store and get hub's what he needs or thinks he needs.

     We are passing out costumes at the studio and I have not been able to get to costumes at home.  Ballet Mistress is trying to keep me on track and that is good.  She nags me so I get stuff ordered.   Thank goodness I have her.  Almost done with  my larger dances.  Then I have to get my smaller groups finished.
Never ending I tell you.

     On the mom front.  Brother was finally served and is out of her house.  Don't know where it goes from here.  It was a messy affair.  Four police men with guns drawn at all exits, and he was found hiding in the crawl space of the upstairs back bedroom closet.  One of his old hiding places from the cops.  Sister called and tipped them off where to look exactly.  I feel so bad for my mother but then again she has caused most of this with her inability to stand up and her enabling him to do whatever. He will be arrested for forgery, fraud and theft eventually as soon as the detectives do their work.  There is so much evidence against him this should put him away for awhile I hope.  I just want to close the door so badly on this portion of my life.  I do not need the constant stress and worry about mom.  There is already the worry about her health, I don't need his nonsense on top of that issue.

     It is a beautiful spring day.  The valley is in full bloom and it is so pretty.  I wish you could all see the dogwoods.I am hoping tonight after I teach is I am not at the studio too late, to get out a plant and few flower boxes.  Maybe?  I do plan on planting the garden this weekend.  Waiting for Wal-mart to get in more paint so we can finish the deck.

     Oh I need to go check on my chickies:)

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday, Too many dresses...

$69.34 fish net, video, cat food, 2 plants, buttons, fabric.  Had bacon tomato, avocado, salad and sandwich for dinner on whole wheat bread.  Trying to keep hub's carbs down.

     I had 10 dresses come in yesterday and the shop is so full I can hardly move.  I spent part of yesterday outside.  But today I am afraid I will have to glue myself to the shop.

     Mom's final hearing for her permanent restraining order is May 7th so I will be running back and forth is I cannot get things done here.  Just too much to do and I really don't need the extra crap going on right now. Just not enough hours in the day.

     I hope to really kick through some dresses today maybe all of them if I stick to it and don't get distracted.  Who me distracted?

     Yesterday I was turning the pond back on as we had unplugged it to paint part of the deck ( which is not done)  I looked down into the pump casing and there was a large fish about 8 inches long, and then another smaller one.  So I had fish survive in that messy, gross pond over the winter. I could not catch them having no larger net so hopefully I will be able to pull them out and put them back where they belong.  Too funny,  Life finds a way.

     Got the garden tilled yesterday and of course broke a sprinkler pipe.  I have to do at least one a year.  Hub's is tree planting Saturday so I will be on my own for the garden if I choose to plant it this weekend. Have to get the pipe fixes before I do anything.  Water is essential.

I want to get back to my story and it is driving me crazy but too busy.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday, I apologize:(

$10.97  Eggs, mustard,apples, avocados  Made hub's an omelet for dinner with a salad.  He was starving.

     My Sissie says I was very snarky yesterday.  I am sorry about my time wasting comments.  Waste my time all you want.  In fact let us not say waste my time as it is rude.  I think with Mom's problems and all I have to do or want to do I become impatient and get bitchy. Hub's can make me bitchy in a New York minute whatever a New your minute is? I also was rude in a reply on a comment left a few days ago.  i got a little defensive.  I think I do get defensive when people say "You do too much."  I know I do too much and I am working on it, I have been my whole life.  I really resent people especially (At church) who say this, but they are really just mean.  I cannot help the way I am, I love to learn new things and I love to do things, I love to create and my mind goes forever.  I did not make myself this way. nor will I apologize for my skills.  I have worked very hard at the things I do.  But I don't need to be rude.  So I am sorry.  That said, let's do life.

     Shop is gang buster's busy with prom dresses.  Prom is May 2nd.  I worked hard in the yard yesterday for a while.  Young man started painting the deck, but we could only buy one gallon of paint as the store was out.  So he is painting anywhere the furniture is and then we will continue when we get more.  He is coming over this morning also to help finish up.  We got the chicken coop all cleaned and it still had to be fixed.  Hub's can do that.  I moved the canoe behind the shed and we took a  load of garbage to the dump.  I had to cut down a small Japanese Maple that was very expensive.  It was by the pond, but it had died.  So I extended the slate patio a little.  The area is not done, as it is covered with furniture right now.

     Our tiller was also delivered yesterday and it is fixed. So Hub's has no excuse not to get the garden ready to plant.  I would like to plant this weekend if possible.

Out My Window:  Things are staring to come together.  My chicks are too cute.  The dogwoods and lilacs are in full bloom and they are so beautiful.

I must get busy.

Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday/Monday,getting things done!

     Went out to lunch with old college chum of Hub's that stopped by Saturday.  I was out back soaked to the skin as I had started pressure washing the deck.  Hub's was avoiding anything I wanted done as usual.  He did get moss killer on the whole yard and also was able to get all the fertilizing done.  But is the chicken coop clean? No.  Is it fixed? No!   Are the rotting boards replaced on the deck? No.  But we did get 3-16 foot treated timbers as we could not find an cedar.  For a man that sets up timber sales and sells truck loads of cedar logs to the mills you would think he has a source.  I will paint anyway so it does not matter.

     Hub's is on a strict diet so we went for a salad for lunch.  We had already invited an older couple from out church out for dinner.  Two meals out in one day is not good. 

     I was particularly irritated Saturday as I felt like we took 2.5 hours in the middle of my wonderful sunny day messing around getting nothing done.  Ask me what really irritates me the worst.  People who waste my time!  If I have an agenda stay out of my way.  We went to dinner ate too much and came home.  I got right into my jammies and we watched a movie then to bed.
     Sunday is three hours of church.  Sitting for three hours is torture to me.  During Sunday School I was cold so I snuck( not a word) out and laid back in the car in the warm sun and actually dosed off for about 20 minutes. Had a hard time staying awake during all my meetings. Then came home took a nap and made Hub's find me some more wheat in the garage.  Filled all my containers up stairs and returned the bucket to the storage.  We are using it up. Friends that raised our baby chicks called and we ran up there for dinner salads.  So good.  Picked up our chicks and I made them at home while Hub's went to orchestra practice.

     We have them in a smaller pen on top of the coop.  I filled it with mulch put in fresh food and water.  I also put in the warming light.  They may not use it but I will check in the morning.  I will go buy a big bag of medicated chick food tomorrow.  They are so cute.  I have two road Island reds, two leg horns, one buff,  and a wine dot and  one other breed I am not sure.   They are very tame.  Late Saturday afternoon I took all the chicken feeders and water containers and believe me we have a large assortment and washed and disinfected all of them.  Then I bleached the entire kitchen sink area and all the cupboard areas. Out all the containers out in the sun to dry.  They were so disgusting I almost got sick washing a few of them.  Shudder....

     After I got the chicks set up I threw together a batch of bread and re cleaned the kitchen.  The friends that we ate with, had used a rotisserie chicken so she gave me the picked carcass.  I brought it home and cut up a couple carrots, an onion and some wilted celery, I am making chicken stock while the bread bakes.  They read the blog and gave us a bunch of beans, yes we are bean eaters.  Her hubby is also on a strict diabetic type diet.  These men and their health, like I should talk:)

     The young man is coming again tomorrow.  I will have him finish scraping and power washing the deck, clean the chicken coop, clean out the pond area.  I also want he canoe moved and will take a load to the dump.  He can fill all the flower boxes with new soil and just do all the general heavy work.  My shop will be very busy tomorrow.

     The builder that I gave the chimney specs to came up with a proto type.  I loved it.  I have 7 of my Celtic dancers up on chimneys for step in time in Mary Poppins.  They are to be different sizes and movable for the choreography.  So they had to be light and also able to hold a dancer that is jumping and jigging.  When I use props like this I have them made by a professional. I had the chairs built for the Snow White set by this man.  He is fast and very good.  So that is another project done.  Need to get parents to put posters up all over town and the television spot is ready and going forward.  Details, details, my head will explode.

Will try to add to my story tomorrow.

Have a restful Sabbath.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday, Spring is here and I am happy!

$29,97 meds. $68.36 groceries.  Took hub's to taco time for a salad for dinner.
We are going out with fiends this evening.

     I filled in all the holes in the front yard and did some more work on the back.  I spent time in the pond and it needs more work.  I also need to get more potting soil mixed and spend more hours on clean up.  But it is coming along slowly.  I did get the pond started yesterday so that is a positive.  Also started power washing the deck.  I don't know what hubs plans are today so I will need to see if they mix with mine.  Other wise we are just at each other all day. 

     Okay first he needs bachelor buttons put on a pair of pants that have been siting in my shop since before Christmas.  Done.  Now what are you going to do today? He can waste more time looking busy than any one I know.  So I will try to ignore him.  He has to fix the chicken coup. I bet he can't do it himself.

     Anyway I am going to continue with what I need to get done in the back and I am also doing laundry as I type.  I need to bake bread sometime today or tomorrow.  May be making another quick trip to mom's but she has to call me first.

Want to continue on my story just no time today.

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday,wonderful sleep!

$31.16 plants for yard.  Leftovers for dinner.

     My house is a holy wreck, not a holy relic, but wreck.  I have been ignoring it all week and concentrating on other projects and it shows.  So today I think I had better show it a little love.  The laundry is behind in a mad way.

     It was so nice to take a day yesterday and just play in the yard.  The young man that worked with me is such a hard worker.  I just give orders and putz around, he does the hard work.  We took two big loads to the land fill.  I still have as load to take to the regular dump.  Possibly one more to the land fill.  The garden is clean, but the tiller had to go to the doctor, so we cannot plant until we get that back.

     I am going to have the young man power wash and scrap the deck, then paint for me next week.  Today I am gong to plant a few things out front and do a little work around the pond.  I plan on sewing this afternoon and I need to get my nails done as they have not been done in a month.  My hands and wrist are a little stiff and sore today and I really twisted my ankle yesterday going to get into the truck on my way to the studio.  I almost fell I twisted it so bad.  Scared my helper to death. It was a little twingy today.  No bruising or swelling however. 

     I swear I slept better last night than I have for weeks.  I don't know why?  Was it the sunshine and yard work?  Was it the fact that I was able to do something I really love and I felt satisfied?  Even with my frustration over my mom and brother I was able get to sleep and sleep sound for about 9 hours which is unheard of for me.

     Sissie sent me the cutest picture of her and her new kitten. Someone came into their back yard opened an old bag of mulch and stuck a 2 weeks old kitten down in the mulch.  It managed to crawl out.  Sis heard it crying and found it's dirty, wet little self on the bag of mulch.  So she and her hubby, are now parents of a Lucy.  They were going to turn it over to a pet organization but had to care for her for 3 days and after bottle, syringes, diapers and burping they can't give her up.  Which is so my sister.  She says they are terrible parents always losing something, forgetting something, can't get out the door with everything they need.  I told her she was typical.  No new parent can ever find the binky when they need it.  She is in seventh heaven.

     I am going to put on some grubby clothes and go do a little more yard work, then clean up, hit this house and the shop and then go get some fun.

Still working on the brother thing.

Have a great and productive day.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thursday, yard work or bust!

$19.00 plastic watering can ( must be plastic to use a certain moss killer) moss killer, 2 Pansie plants.  Used 8 cans of assorted beans out of storage,  We are actually out of garbanzos in the can.

     Hub's officially started his diet.  Oh goody a starving crabby spouse my favorite.  I am going to get some sugar free Popsicle for him tomorrow.

     I sewed like a woman on fire today to try and catch up as much as possible.  I still have one wedding dress and at least 7 prom dresses but they are not due out this week.  So I will try to get work done in the yard today.  I have a bride coming in at 11:00 so I cannot get too dirty before her fitting.  Then I can roll in the dirt.  I think I have at least 2 more trips to the land fill and one trip to the dump.  I have the young man that helped me a few weeks ago coming over.  I want to get all the branches picked up and the front  burn weeded.  Then I need to clear out the garden area and I can't even face the pond area.  The weeding is not even on the list yet.  I also need to have the deck pressure washed and scraped and the garage door needs to be pressure washed.  I will paint the deck this year again.  I did not do it last year and it looks really bad.

     We are going to get our chickens this weekend.  There is just so much to do I can't think of all of it at once  I'll go bonkers.  Many of my perennials did not make it in one of my beds.  This surprises me as I can usually grow anything.  So I have some holes that I will fill in, which I will do with sale plants.  The backyard it fine as far as plants are concerned.  I do have to mix up new soil for the boxes.  I was able to get rid of quite a few boxes last year, but I still have way too many.  Can you have too many plants?

     I finally got the taxes paid.  What a relief.  Never again I tell you. I was also able to make a $40.00 snowflake on the car so that made me happy.  I can't wait to get out in the yard.  I feel like I have been locked in the basement for three weeks.  The only time I get out is to drive some where or go to the studio.  Blah!  Don't like it at all.  Want sunshine, want dirt under my nails.  Want dirty knees and butt from weeding and planting.

Segue:  Mom's account just had a forged check go through from yours truly brother.  So now I am on a roll with that.  Crap like I have time for this..

Have a great and productive day, say a prayer for my blood pressure...


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday, Tax day, bummer!

$85.16  fruit, fertilizer, plants, baby gift.   I have no idea what we ate last night, but I am making our favorite beans and burger hot dish tonight.

     Well you know you can never make a plan without someone coming along to poop it up.  Right?  Our water was turned on Monday and I noticed the sprinkler guys coming back and forth to the house.  One of the larger trees in the back that we planted about 12 years ago has messed up the back line, which we now cannot find the box to.  I thought I knew wear all the boxes were.  I guess not.  Anyway haven't got the bill yet but I am guessing around $5-600.00.  I love my life!

     Not to be a pessimist I do have a $40.00 snowflake I am going to put on the car today when I go to the bank.  It came in a check from the city I forgot about.  Yesterday was all about patching jeans.  Lots of work pants out there.  What was funny is that right when I called to say they were done they came and picked them up, telling us that work pants are necessary. The new police motorcycle rain gear came in with out protective cloth on the right inner leg.  I have had such fun trying to get patches on these robo cop outfits and now the first pair of pants went into melt down.  The officer melted two holes on his muffler.  So I had to locate enough leather in this small town to make a huge placket down the inner leg to keep this from happening again.  I was able to get the shoe shop(cobbler)  to sell me a black thin cow hide.  So I cut the placket and sewed it to the pants.  Sure enough the city wants all of the pants done.  This is why I bought the whole hide.

     Lot's of prom dresses coming in and I have several pairs of pants to hem.  I desperately need to get to costumes for the show but can't seem to catch a break.  I also want to work in the yard some time this week.  So I will sew this morning for a while and then figure out  the tax strategy.  Laundry and housework are piling up as I sewed all day yesterday.  Daughter #2 is home and I can get her to do a little running for me I think?

     No time to write today, maybe this evening if I am not to tired.

Out My Window:  Beautiful day, it was very cold and windy yesterday, I wish I could be out in it so bad.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday,Okay let's form a plan for snowflakes!

$48.16 flour, soda, burger marked down extra lean for $2.99 I bout it all.  Pizza for dinner. Free as it was a secret shop.

     Both my doctor appointments were good.  My meds are working and inflammation is down in the normal areas.  Hub's doctor appointments not so good.  Two new meds and the doctor is having him join a weight loss group at the hospital.  He has to lose 40 lbs. poor darling.  He is insulin resistant and always hungry and everything is stored as fat, but he is having trouble bending over and he cannot get out of a chair or into a standing position without using his arms.  This is causing muscle weakness and back arthritis.  He has to lose weight off his abdomen to help this condition. Not looking forward to this, but will help him all I can.

     My Sissie's surgery went well today. I talked to her and she is fine.  Amazed at how well she can see out of the new lens.  She did not have nearly the bad eye sight I did, but was also not kept in an incubator for months.  Still to go from very bad nearsightedness to perfect distance vision is remarkable.  I am so excited for her.

     I felt like I ran like a mad fool all day yesterday and I was able to accomplish a few things.  Not as much as I wanted. Hopefully will get something done today in the shop.  I had a great deal of work come in just got nothing done.  Frustrating, perhaps I over schedule?  No I would never do that.......

     Remember how we all used to snowflake money to a certain bill?  I need to do something to make myself feel like I am making progress besides just paying the standard amount on my bills.  I need to do something a little fun.  Like make snowflake payments to a bill and get it down further.  Would any of you like to join me?  Do any of you have an annoying bill or the bill you want gone next, that you want to throw bits and pieces at?  You know, $9.00, $18.00 it all adds up.  I have extra money coming in from a show, and a royalty on a play, and a secret shop etc.  So instead of letting it all go down the big rat hole I decided to start snow flaking these extra bits.  Some of them are actually snowballs!  I am going to choose my car, because it is the next bill I want paid off.  I think doing this will be inspiring and fun.  So choose a bill, doctor, Credit card, dentist or whatever and join me.  We will see who has made the most snowflakes by the end of the month.  We can post our progress the last day of the month.

     Out My Window:  Very sunny but cold and windy.  Sprinkler men were here for a long time after water was turned on, I don't want to get the bill.

story cont:
     Millie awoke before the alarm clock went off and crawled quietly out of bed.   She wanted a little more time to get ready this morning.  She quickly started the stove and put the coffee on to boil, then she raced down the hall to the toilet.  It was nice to be able to have some privacy.  Well it was private but usually she had to stand in line or help one of the little ones.  Back at the flat she poured a fresh basin of wash water.  She undid her long braids and started to brush out her hair.  She had though about cutting her hair.  Short bobbed hair cuts were becoming fashionable.  She supposed she could, no one would stop her, but she had always had long hair.  Dipping her brush into the water she smoothed back the loosed hairs around her face and then pinned the long braids up on the back of her head.  She stepped into her slip and hooked fresh flesh colored knit stockings onto her garters.  She put her nightgown back on and covered it with an apron.  She did not want to get her new dress dirty or wet getting everyone ready, and out the door.

     Soon everyone was up and moving, some with haste and others were bleary eyed.  Nels was always bright in the morning, but Oskar and the two other boys moved slowly, only waking after the first cup of heavily creamed coffee. Then they started the early morning romp down the stairs for ice and water. Oat meal was eaten and Millie packed the lunch pails.  After all the dishes were put in the dish pan and the three little girls were dressed for the day, Millie finally went in and changed into her new drop waist dress.  It was a buffed blue serge with blue gingham trim.  The blue match her eyes.  She had beautiful eyes and thick light brown hair.  If only her nose was not the family nose.  It was so Swedish.  Millie hated her nose, but today she tried to overlook it and concentrate on her dress.  It was the first dress she had made in this new American style.  She hardly wanted to put her coat over it as to ruin its effect, but the weather was not to be trusted this early in the spring.  When she came out into the kitchen, her brothers all hooted and whistled.  She was embarrassed and cuffed at Wilhelm who was the biggest tease.  Nels whispered to her, "You look nice."  She was satisfied and the lot of them tramped down the stairs to school.

     Nels, did the morning dishes, drank another cup of coffee and picked up the list of things Millie had left for him to gather on his rounds.  He bundled the girls up  and started down the stairs with Audra in his arms and Ruth piggy back.  Violet was on her own.  She went before him holding onto the rail.  Nels thought about the long flights of stairs.  He was the one that usually had to figure out how to get the three little ones up and down by himself.  When the older children were home it was not so much a bother as everyone that could help,did.  As long as he was willing to be bear the burden he would rather have the top floor.  It just had too many good things to give up.  They really just needed more room, that was not an option. Nels stopped on the second floor.  Both flats had broken washers in them.

      Mrs. Larson lived in the first flat on the second floor.  She was American born.  Her parents had immigrated before she was born.  Her Husband was Svensk from Smaland.  He spoke broken English.  They had three small children. Nels made arrangements to pick up the washer that was in her flat and invited her down to learn about the washers in the shed this afternoon.  She was more than willing.  Her husband would be home around noon for a hot lunch and he could help Nels move the washer.  As Nels was leaving the Larson doorway, the oldest daughter of the Schmidt family came out of her flat.  Margo Schmidt had a severe limp as the result of a foot that was turned sideways.  She was a beautiful girl of 24.  Her other sisters were married.  She lived with her parents in their four room flat.  Her sisters often brought over their children for Margo to watch.  Today she was on her way to the lending library. Nels told her about trying to fix the machine in the Larson flat this afternoon, then he would make some arrangement to get the one that they were storing.  "You are a go getter, Nels Bjorklund.  Where are you off to this morning?"asked Margo.

     Nels gave her a run down of his errands as they slowly made it down the last flight of stairs.  Packing the girls into the cart he offered to have Margo hold Audra and he would give her a lift.  He was passing the Library on his way to one of the jewelers.  Margo was not sure, but Ruth and Violet begged her to join them.  "Can you pull all of us," she asked. Nels nodded and lifted Audra up as Margo settled onto the seat he set Audra on her lap.  Margo let out a yelp when Nels charged forward with a jolt and the girls all laughed.

     They stopped for milk,eggs, cheese and butter.  Then they went to the green grocer and bought potatoes, onions, beets, turnips, carrots and three lbs each of rice and split peas. At the dry goods store, Nels bought 20lbs of flour and 5lbs of dark and white sugar.  His cart was getting full. As a treat Nels bought three large dill pickles.  Each was wrapped in paper.  He cut one of the pickles down the length into three prices for the girls and he and Margo each had their own.  The sun was getting warm and the sharp taste of the vinegar pickles made the sun some how brighter.  Finally they arrived at the Library and Margo waved and smiled at them from the steps.  She saluted with what remained of her pickle and the girls laughed uncontrollably. Audra kept saluting with her stub of a pickle everyone they met.  This would cause the other two fits of laughter.  It was a happy morning.

     The final stop after the Jeweler was the bread store.  Audra was still saluting anyone and everyone who would look her way, so Nels left the girls out in the wagon within his  sight.  He ordered four loaves of  bread and it came with it's customary three lumps of sugar.  The morning had gone quickly and he hurried back to the building to relieve Mr. Strom and get on with his days work.  Nels stored his milk in the Strom's icebox while Mrs. Strom fed the girls bread, milk and stewed apples.  Audra and Ruth settled down for a nap on the Strom sofa while Violet went to the window box with a picture book.  Mr. Strom came back to rest and enjoy his lunch and coffee while Nels ran the shop.  Between customers Nels stood in the doorway and discussed different set up strategies with Mr. Strom.

 " If there is one thing I know about Mr. Abram is that he is shrewd, he likes money, he is fair but he likes his money," said Strom with a mouth full of stewed apples.
      "He likes things orderly and he likes money." he repeated. "When he sees that he will be the first building in the area to offer washing machines he will be willing to talk." explained Strom.
      "But those machine do not belong to him, they are from the hard work of our Nels." objected Mrs. Strom.  "Yes, yes", this is where we have to get him to see that we can all work this out, get along, work together.  Washing is hard work and takes so much time.  If his tenants have this advantage they will be happy, rent longer.  People will talk and want to live in this building," added Strom.

"I still see no advantage for our Nels." Mrs. Strom sniffed.  "There will be, if we do this right, we will come to some kind of an agreement. Mr. Abram owns more than just this building.  You will see."  Mr. Strom went to stretch out in a chair in the parlor where all three girls were now asleep. Nels watched the shop until Mr. Larson came down from the second floor and said he was ready to move the machine. Mrs. Strom switched Nels out and he quickly joined Larson in his flat. Mrs. Larson came out of a bed room and agreed to come out back when her baby was up from his nap. Nels and Mr. Larson carefully carried the heavy machine down the stairs and out into the early spring sunshine. " My Kendra is so excited about this washer business, I wish you my luck," said Larson as he hurried off to his afternoons work.  Nels began to take the motor off the machine so he could examine it more closely. What was wrong with this one?  Nels was starting to see that most of the machine problems resulted from too much friction in the bearings.  It was the first thing he would check.


Have a great and productive day!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Sunday/Monday Free at last, okay for a little while...

   It was a cold cereal Sunday at our house although I am baking bread as I type.  I came home from taking Mom home and it was late Saturday.  Also yesterday April 11th was Hub's and my 36 wedding anniversary.  We ate pie and ice cream and just enjoyed the two of us.  No company.  We usually get groceries on the weekends.  I am completely out of flour,and I need several things we are out of in storage.  This using down the pantry is working.  I am really starting to see a dent.

     I hated to leave mom but she was excited to be home.  I plan on going to the bank tomorrow (without her) and getting a few things resolved.  I also am going to call her doctor to see what we can do about getting  a guardianship.   That is where I have left this dilemma.

     By the way brother did spend all her money in purse and took all her pills.  He is an evil piece of human crap.  I am so tired of him.  Unfortunately, he is her son and that is not easy to walk away from.  The guardianship if granted will allow my sisters and I to control that relationship.

      Hub's is at quartet practice. Segue: Just took the  bread out of the oven.  Took a loaf down to neighbor's  It is a mess there.  Will continue to check in, really don't want to over step my bounds but someone needs to.  If it isn't the family than who?   I will add this to my list of worries because it is so short.

     Sissie has her eye surgery tomorrow. I so wish I could be there with her, but mom has taken everything I have and it was a blessing that it all went down as it did.  We really know now that we need to do something and if I had not gone to get her who knows what would have happened.

  I am feeling guilty about the relief I feel in not having my mom here for a while.  I am so tired and she is so much work. Maybe I make her work.  I do not know.  I just feel like I can breath, have a schedule and get something done.  I have so much to do with the upcoming show and summer season.  I need time to regroup and make some decisions.
     Things that have to be done this week.

1.I have a doctor appointment tomorrow with my GP, to report good findings from specialist and do more blood work.
2.  Water will be turned on for yard sometime tomorrow this is good.
3.  Order the remainder of the costumes for the show
4. Order all props for the show.
5. Get sewing done in the shop, have several dresses coming in for upcoming proms.
6.Go to mom's bank and get a copy if the last 12 months of statements.
7. Call Mom's doctor.
8.Sew costumes
9.Finish choreography on my show #'s
10. Get some groceries!
11. Think of what I am forgetting and I know it is something......
12.  Oh I know collect enough money from studio to write a check for taxes.  Yeah that is kind of important.
13. Also need to pay studio rent
14.  Have several more trips to the land fill and dump, hope to get this done on Wed. if possible.

So you can see I have nothing to do, especially if you add in house work, laundry, sleeping etc.

     Millie's custard was ready, and she set it to cool in the ice box.  She still needed to grind and toast a small sack of almonds.  She would have to watch carefully so they did not burn.  Then she would whip her cream and sugar it well.  Adding the custard to the warm rice with the toasted almonds and folding in the cream she would let the dish set covered in the window for an hour.  Just as she covered the large bowl with a clean cloth she heard the commotion of the children coming up the stairs.  Supper?  She had not thought of supper.  They had bread, Nels had remembered that.  There were cold boiled potatoes in the icebox.  Millie sent a grumbling Dilbert back down the stairs to get 1 lb of sausage from Mr. Stahl.  She set Oskar to slicing onions into a pan with some fat.  She sliced up a small cabbage and added it to the now translucent onion just as Dilbert returned from his trek up the stairs.  Dilbert handed her the package and flopped down in a near by chair.  He had been playing hard in the back since school was out and his face was streaked with dirt.

     As Millie proceeded to crumble the sausage into the cooking onions, she asked Wilhelm to fill the back kettle with wash water.  Everyone would need a good warm wash down before she could lay supper.  Trying to slice the cold potatoes into the pan, she asked Oskar to change Audra.  All the little girls were smudged and tired.  Audra was bordering on cranky.  Millie doubted she would last much past the evening meal.  Millie was straining the drippings out of the sausage as Nels came in the kitchen door.  He was smiling and even through the noise and fussing she smiled back at him.  He walked over to the window and lifted the cloth on the bowl, he knew.  He could smell the cardamon through the onions and frying potatoes.  Without being asked Nels poured hot water from the back of the stove into the wash bowl and added cold water from the pail.  He started by taking the freshly changed Audra from Oskar and washing down her face and hands.  Screeching was followed by tears.  Nels carried the hiccuping Audra over to the silverware chest and had her pick out a spoon, he grabbed a small saucer, then went to the dish at the window and put a small portion on the saucer.  This he place on the table and swiftly tied her into her high stool.  She was content.

     The others were clamoring for a taste of the pudding and Millie was adding the white sauce to the fried potatoes, onions, sausage and cabbage.  The creamed soup like dish with bread would be supper and after  they would have some rice creme'.  The washbasin had to be renewed three times the children were so dirty from their play.  Soon they were all around the table. Millie said the Grace and in no time at all the food was gone and the last piece of cut bread eaten.  Everyone passed their plate to Millie and she gave them a generous portion of the pudding.  The rice was soft and full of flavors.  Sugar, cinnamon, cardamon, cream and raisins.  You could eat this forever.  It was rich and smooth.  The pudding tasted of Sweden, home, laughter, firelight, and music. The children were all quiet as they scrapped the last of the cream from the plates with their spoons.  The older ones lost in thoughts of the past and the younger following their example without knowing why. The clock's broke the reverie and soon all were moving quickly as Millie gave orders.

   Oskar put all the dishes in the big dishpan, as Wilhelm cleared the table.  Dilbert took the Peter and the three little girls to get ready for bed they would not work on anything tonight.  Everyone was worn out with the play and excitement of the washing machines.  They were full of the good rice creme', it would be a quiet evening of study and radio.  Nels would wash up the dishes as the boys began to get out the school books.  Millie took the large bowl of pudding and divided it into three pans.  Three portions were for the Stahl's.  Inga could take it back over to her mother and brother when she came to join Millie for their evening sewing.  She then split the rest into two pans, one for tomorrow and one to take down to the Gustafson's. Millie took off her apron and told Nel's she was going downstairs. Nels nodded over the dish pan.  He would see to the boys homework and let Millie  off for the evening.  Maybe she would let him sneak another helping of the rice creme' before he went to bed.

     Millie knocked on the Gustafson door.  Mrs. Gustafson took the pan of pudding from Millie and gave her a hug.  "Bless you, father will be so happy.  Your brother is the talk of the street, imagine today I used a wash machine!  Who ever would have guessed this?"  said Mrs. Gustafson.  "Yes, I assumed when I returned today from school that Nels would have a machine going, he is just like that. I don't know what he plans on doing with all of this," replied Millie. Old Gustafson came stumping into the kitchen with his cane.  "Sit down father, Millie has brought you some rice creme'." Mrs. Gustafson said  as she pulled out a chair for him.

     The Gustafson flat was larger.  It had a bigger kitchen and parlor and three additional rooms, divided between the five children, their parents and Old Gustaf slept in the parlor.  Soon all the children were in the kitchen asking for their share of the pudding and Mrs.Gustafson was dishing up saucers of the creamy goodness.   "I will save the rest for myself and Staffy (her husband) he will be home late this night, I have so much to tell him, I used a wash machine today!"  This made Millie laugh.  She left the Gustafson's  party like atmosphere with the thanks of the children and Old Gustaf.  She could understand the excitement the machines had caused.  Even though she did not do the regular washing of her siblings, she could imagine how much time it would take to get this job done.  She had helped with the wash many times while she was in Sweden and when the family went to Stockholm before their journey to America laundry had been a been a real trial.  Now she just faced a pail of soakers and diapers every night.  What if she had to scrub and wash all the clothes and bedding?

     Millie hurried up the stairs to greet Inga.  She wanted to set up the ironing board and get the irons out and heated.  Inga and she had made new dresses.  She would do the final ironing  while Inga did hand work on shirts Millie was finishing for Nels.  He was tall a thin like Far had been and outgrew his sleeves quickly.  She had only the buttons, and button holes to finish. She was also hoping to cut out new shirts for the boys, two apiece.  She had turned the collars and cuffs of the shirts she had made last summer before school, but all were getting thread bare and fading.  Many of the elbows had been patched and she was sure that most of the clothing the boys wore could not be passed down except for work and play clothes.
      The boys were still doing homework when she returned to the kitchen.  She and Inga jostled around trying to fit the ironing board close to the stove and still be able to pull out a chair for the sewing machine.  "We need more space."  Millie said.  It was pretty obvious.  The doors were open between Nels work room and the kitchen.  Wilhelm, Oskar, and Dilbert were bent over their books and Nels was working on a clock. Millie stood up the ironing board and by moving the boys to another bench they managed to make enough space to open the sewing machine.  The children would continue to grow.  The room was crowded with the women's work but they made do.  Their dresses were done in a new modern drop waist style with a collar.   The pattern had not been hard and the look was flattering.  Both were excited to try on the dresses. Millie would wear hers to school tomorrow.

     Inga thanked Millie for the rice creme' and left with her dress.  Nels two shirts were finished and Millie quickly ironed them.  The boys packed up their school books.  They were extra tired tonight and gave no fuss at bedtime. Oskar lit the small night lantern and they crept into the bedroom careful not to disturb the others.  Finally Millie and Nels were alone.  It was after nine and Millie still had diapers to wash and hang to dry. Nels walked into the kitchen and fingered the collar of one of his new shirts.  "We will both have new clothes tomorrow." he said as he observed Millie's new dress hanging by the door.  Millie started to heat the water to wash out Audra's diapers and then poured Nels a cup of milk and dished him up a helping of pudding.  "Talk", she said.  "You have the whole neighborhood talking, Mrs. Gustafson thinks you are the angel Gabriel.  You have come to visit the whole world with washing machines."  "Not the whole world," replied Nels, "but I do need to find a location close to this building if I am going to continue to try and fix machines."

     "Machines?" asked Millie.  "There are other things that I could fix if I had more room.  There are many things now that operate on small engines. I could fix more things with engines  and make more money."  "But what about the clocks and the radios?" asked Millie.  "I will still continue with those and I am making enough money right now so that we don't have to touch the Swedish money, but I don't see how that will be able to continue."  Nels said between mouthfuls of rice creme'.  " I have talked to Mr. Erickson, and he seems to feel that this could work into a full time business if I had a location that could accept the work.  I talked to Mr. Strom and he thinks the same thing.  Our landlord is a good place to start.  He owns other properties.  I know he won't fuss about the washing machines in the shed, but he is very particular about the yard."

     " When are you going to talk to the landlord?"  Millie asked.  "Soon , Mr. Strom said he will go with me.  I am not of legal age to sign into a business agreement."  replied Nels.  "Would we move?", asked Millie.  "I don't want to lose the roof or the good reception we have here, it will be at least two more years before we can leave New York State, but I also realize living in these three rooms is getting harder, especially with the little ones.  They need more room, I need more room and you need more room ,right now I think I need some sleep", yawned Nels.  Millie hung the last wrung out diaper on the kitchen line.  This was much to think about.  She would go to bed and say her prayers.  All she could do was hope and work hard. She trusted Nels and tomorrow she had a new dress to wear.


Have a great and productive day.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday, leaving town

No spend.  Leftovers for dinner.  Putting a chicken in the crock pot this morning and taking it to the neighbor with potatoes and carrots. 

     Sewed hard yesterday, was able to get two wedding dresses out and still have more to do.  Mom watched Mary Poppins this afternoon and also Saving Mr. Banks.  I put the subtitles on for her and she really enjoyed the movies.  We have a super large TV , which we don't watch very much.  I bought her a really nice small flat screen a few years ago that hangs on the wall of her bedroom.  It has a remote hanger so she can sway the screen flat or put it out at different angles.  She can sit in a chair or in her bed and adjust the screen.  But it is not large enough for her to read subtitles with her vision.I always figured when she finally had to move in with me we would hang this TV in her room here, but now I am rethinking that.  She will have to have a much bigger screen.

     She is ordering books from the blind society now.  She can still read large print but she seems to tire her eyes trying to focus.  I do not know how she sews like she does.  I swear her crap is spread all over the house.  We call them Mother droppings. She cannot contain herself to one room.  So I gathered all the sewing stuff in one bag from eight rooms in the house, yes eight, she even had some of her sewing things in the renters bathroom?  I don't know how she does it.  I am trying to get her wash done as I type.  I also threw away these really awful jeans she insists on wearing that she took darts in herself.  About 6 darts in back and they look ridiculous.  I know all three of us girls have complained to her about how bad they look and she insists that no one can see the darts as her shirts are too long.  Well I can see them so can Kelly and so can Kay.  Guess what sissies?  I threw them away.

      She also caught me.  I had packed her suitcase hoping she would not go through it and she did and comes down stairs and says, "Did you throw away my jeans?"  "'Why yes I did!"  Then she says she wanted to throw them away.  Like I believe that.  She would have had those damn jeans on the next time I saw her.

     My specialists appointment in Spokane tomorrow is as 1:45 so we need to leave here by 11:00.  I got everything pretty much packed up last night and set by the back door.  I also need to stop at the dance store and return a pair of point shoes that one of our professionals did not like at the Nutcracker and I need to pay for all the tap shoes I just ordered for the boys class.  I forgot to pick up the dance checks last night so had to run back down to the dance studio so a deposit could be made before I leave, but it gave me a chance to fill the truck with gas so at least that is ready.

     I do not want to take mom home.  I am very worried about her.  We have to do something and soon.  She is not going to like it.  But she has felt good the last two days.  I will be coming home Saturday and she was upset as she wanted me to stay and leave Monday morning.  I asked her if she wasn't sick of me yet.  Then she said part of her just wanted to stay at my house.  Yet she loves her own home.    This is such a hard part of life, when your parents can know longer take care of themselves.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thursday, trying to catch up

$106.78 General groceries, dog food, trash bags, lunch meat, onions, carrots, celery all the things you cook with.  Bean soup was delicious, we will have that for dinner tonight.  I took my last whole frozen chicken from the freezer.  It is getting emptier.  Now all I have is two large Salmon left in the down stairs freezer portion of the fridge.  I went to get chicken broth yesterday from storage as I had used all my homemade broth  and I am out.  I am also out of white flour.  That is hard to believe.

      Mom made several dozen chocolate chip cookies yesterday.  It is amazing that she can be so sick one day and then fine the next. She has a very limited ability to go for any length of time.  She is just so very weak. Then she does something that surprises me.

     The poster for the show was approved, so that is done.  I did not get any more costume checks last night, just tuition.  So I will have to get to screaming on that.  Last night at practice I was kicked in the knee by one of my dancers.  We were doing step in time from Mary Poppins.  It was my fault as I went in  dancers and they were dancing full out.  I about went to the floor.  It hurt so badly,  I have a nice gash and bruise.  Thank goodness that dancer had on her hard shoes I think she would have broke her foot.

     I need to concentrate on laundry  and the shop today.  Laundry so I can get all of mom's stuff done and my shop as it is a disaster, and I am confused on what comes next.  Too many costume things laying around and it gets mixed up with customer things.  I just need to organize everything.  I also have several dresses to get done.  Three wedding dresses came in yesterday.

Out My Window:  No yard work today, I think it will have to wait until next week.

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday, rushing, mom better.

$23.89  milk, crackers,eggs,butter (on sale), salad greens  Yes I will still stock up on butter. Still have a few leftovers from last night, making a big pot of bean soup today along with bread. Quiche for breakfast and will run over a few slices for neighbors.

     Mom was sick over and over again all day yesterday, I am just very worried.  I can't find my cell phone, I think it is in hub's car or at the studio.  I wish they would invent a cell phone that could be split and ring two laces at once.  I could have one here at all times and one I could Lose:)  I have so much to do today and now I have to worry about that ^&%$#@ phone.

     Mom is much better this morning and I have given her a shower.  Her place is set up with a handicap shower.  I can see that I am going to have to do that here also.  I need a bath chair and she has as extra of those.  But I also need more handles on the tub at standing height and a shower head that can be removed on a coiled line.  My handicap handles are to help me out of the tub and they are down low.  I also installed them at all toilets.  I have handicap toilets that are higher in the bathrooms on the main floor and that 2 inches makes such a difference.

     She is up puttering and wants to do something today!  Sorry Charlie I have two brides coming in and 3-4 prom dresses, plus I got nothing done yesterday because you were sick!  So I have her making the soup, which she now has done.  She is at my sewing machine and I need to be there:)  Sissie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     I have almost all of the costumes ordered  and I will continue ordering tomorrow.  The poster proof came in and I love it, just a few tweaks on it and it will be ready to print.  blah, blah, blah....

     Out My Window:  Beautiful weather, I want tot be outside so bad.  The shop is so full I don't dare.  I may never come back in.

Have a great and productive day!



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesday, back in the groove late post

Had left overs for dinner.I think we will have the last of the Swedish meatballs I have in the freezer tonight.  I know mom likes those.  Took out a quiche and a big ham bone.  Will ask Hub's what kind of soup he wants.

     Look at the side bar, I am down below $5,000 on the car and the sewer loans!  By June I will drop in to the 70's on the house.  I want the car paid off before Christmas next year.  Studio wise I am hoping with costumes and the recital I will be able to get through the summer and pay off the studio lock then it will just have to be the CC balances and I will be debt free on the studio.  We have not done any fund raisers but I will get into that later.  I am just more positive.  Hope I stay that way;)

     Mom is still mom I am really worried about her memory it is so bad.  Have to get costumes ordered for dance studio, but need parents to pay their fees.  Did the payroll for the studio and made deposits.  So far need about $1700.00 more dollars to get costumes ordered.  I am not too worried about them.  My ballet Mistress bless her heart has them all compiled for me, she is such a blessing.

     Our neighbor across the street (the one who fixes our cars) is a Korean War veteran.  He lost one leg from the knee down and half of his other foot many years ago.  He just broke his remaining 1/2 a foot very badly and his wife is total care.  I will be taking dinner in for a while I think.  But mom loves to cook and this will keep her busy, I will just have to keep an eye one her.  What a mess.  Keeps me in perspective, when I think I have it tough.

story cont:

     Nels could hear the boys playing in the courtyard as he came in the front hall with the wagon and the three little girls.  Ruth and Violet climbed down and Audra was squirming to get out of the her seat, where she had been strapped in to keep her from falling.  She could also hear the commotion in the back yard and as Nels put her down she ran on her chubby little legs toward the back door.  Out in the bright sunshine the yard was full of children and a quiet washer.  Old Gustaf was sitting on the brick wall watching the children. No one knew how much he could really see, you could tell he was enjoying the sun and the  noise of the play.

      Mrs. Gustafson was running a shirt through the wringer of the machine.  She was smiling.  Her hair had become loose around her reddened face and she pushed the loose strands back with her forearm.  The courtyard was crossed with two long lines of wet clothing.  Shirts, knickers, pants, towels, aprons and dungarees.  'This is the last of it, she said to Nels with a huge smile.  I have finished what would have taken me all day on Saturday and I have saved my poor hands much scrubbing."

     There was still a large wet coverlet in a wooden tub next to the washing machine and a smaller metal tub full of wrung out clothing.  Nels realized that the coverlet would not go through the smaller wringer on the  machine.  He helped Mrs. Gustafson to wring out the heavy cotton blanket, each holding an end and twisting and twisting.  It was hard work.  They both hung the coverlet over a third clothesline and it sagged under the weight.  Nels went over to the edge of the building where the lines were attached and ratcheted the lever that tightened the line.  Nels explained that he had requested  Mr. Erickson get him a larger winger.  He was going to fix this to the edge of the shed.  This wringer would accommodate the larger sheets and blankets, eliminating the heavy lifting and twisting.  A crank handle would pull the cloth through with much less work and get the clothes much dryer than when wrung by hand.  " Such a savings of time." exclaimed Mrs. Gustafson.

       Nels went to pick up Audra to take her up the stairs, instructing the other boys to bring Ruth and Violet up when they came.  She shrieked her protest loudly.  She wanted to stay running in the sunshine with the other children.  "Leave her, " said Mrs. Gustafson.  "I will watch out for her and see that they all come upstairs".  The Gustafson's flat was at the back of the building and she could holler out a window to the courtyard.  Nels thanked her and went into see the Strom's.

      In less than 24 hours he had fixed four washers.  Three had been delivered and one was in the yard.  He planned to work on the three remaining washers in the shed this evening if he could.  Now that it was not so crowded he could work by lantern light in the shed itself.   Helping to carry the washers back and forth and up and down the stairs had made his muscles sore.  Even though he pulled and pushed a cart everyday and carried Audra up and down six flights this moving of washers was hard work.  In this short amount of time he was sure that another place would have to found to store work on washers.   Nels was physically tired from his success.   Still he was happy.  He had more than fulfilled Mr. Erickson's expectations and soon the building would have three working wash machines.  Three machines should be enough  for 10 families. Maybe he could get one of the building women to take on their laundry and save himself the expense and time of delivery and pickup.  First he had to get all of the machines running if he could and then he would talk it over with Millie.


Have a great and productive day!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday, time to get back in the saddle

Leftovers for dinner and I must be good as I really over ate this last week.  We will eat up what is left and then I will figure out what to cook.

     Easter dinner was lovely with friends over.  Nummy steak and shrimp.  My strawberry pie was a mess.  I am not sure what happened.  It tasted good just became runny.  Next time I will not make it the day before.  I think it has to be eaten fresh.

     Mom fell last night.  She had excused herself to go to bed and all of us were talking in the front room.  We heard a rapping noise, like a piece of wood hitting the floor.  It was mom with her cane.  When I entered her room here she was laying on the floor in her night gown.  She was struggling to get to a sitting position and could not get up.  She was embarrassed and so would not want me to call for help.  I could not lift her and she did not have the strength in her legs to lift herself.  I finally got her close enough to the bed, we were able together to lift her onto it face down.  She was not hurt at all.  She said she just slipped on a throw rug that was by the bed. She slid on the rung across the wood floor.  The rug is now in the basement.  Just another worry added to my already long list of worries about her.

     I need to sit a think of a plan for today.  I know I have to go to the accountants and I need to get through all the mail and organize the work into shop.  Back to the old grind. House work is waiting, laundry. etc.  When you are gone a week you are in a fog when you come back. I know I have so much to do, but I can't seem to grasp anything specific.

     Out My Window: things are blooming and it is beautiful.  I am going to try and get the young man that worked with me before I left to come on Wednesday so I can finish cleaning out the yard.  Then all I will have is the pound area.  We need to get our water turned on, I wonder what is keeping the company from doing that? I will have to call.

story cont:

     Nels slid quietly into bed.  His mind was still racing.  He had worked on all three of the machines that were due out in the next two days.  The engines were very similar to ones that he and Far Far had used In Sweden to operate small dairy equipment.  Small engines broken down constantly from seized up bearings.  Belts or chains also broke with great frequency.  Gasoline turbine engines could be built to scale but they were touchy things.  Nels and Strom had carried the machines into the store front and Nels had set to work.  Mr. Strom was amazed at his ability to understand the workings of the engine.   He watched as Nels took things apart inspected them and then put them back together.  He wondered how the boy did it so quickly.  Sometimes Nels would dig into the box of spare parts and come up with an object that made no sense to Strom, it made sense to Nels and that is what mattered.

     They had no gasoline to try out the first machine when Nels felt it was ready to operate.  The next machine only needed a new belt and the drive shaft was lodged incorrectly, this had  probably happened when the belt had broken.  The third machine had a bound up bearing system and needed to have this part replaced.  When he could find no replacement part in the boxes he went out to the shed with a lantern and took another motor off a machine removed the part and brought it back in to replace the old damaged bearings.  By midnight Nels felt that all three of these machines would run, they were returned to the shed and Mr. Strom went into get his night's rest.

      Nels hauled all off the spare parts Erickson had brought him into the store front where he sorted and separated each object after a thorough study of it's supposed function.  After looking over every piece he replaced the boxes in the back shed and climbed the stairs.  Tomorrow he would ask Mrs. Gustafson on the third floor to watch the girls just for the morning.  She had five children, a husband and a father-in-law to do laundry for every week.  She had agreed to take one of the broken washers into her cramped apartment immediately.  Her husband and eldest son had agreed first thing to carry a washer up three flights of stairs.  This is where Nels would start his day.  He continued to plan until he fell asleep.

     Morning was its usual jangle of noise and ruckus.  Nels did not even mind when the alarm clocks started going off.  He was so excited to greet the day.  Millie smiled to herself at his outspoken cheerfulness.  This quiet taciturn brother of hers was surely full of plans.  Millie had no doubt that by the time she arrived home from school with little Peter in tow she would see a working washing machine in the courtyard.  Millie tucked some extra money into her satchel.  She was going to make a special treat tonight for a celebration.  She had rice, sugar, eggs and cream, but she would need raisins,a vanilla bean and more cardamon.  After she picked up Peter they would stop at McMillans emporium shop for these things.  It was worth the expense and Nels loved rice creme', it was his favorite.  Both she and Nels left the flat with secret plans.

     Mrs. Gustafson was happy to take the little girls off Nels hands and he promised to hurry and come back to look at the washer she had crammed in between her sewing machine and icebox.  She was surprised, "So soon?"  Nels smiled and nodded as he went out the door. He returned to his flat and wrapped the clocks in wool covers, then carefully carried them down to the wagon.   It was so much easier to maneuver through the streets and walks without the little ones.  He was greeted by several passersby in the neighborhood, all had heard about the washing machines.  Nels understood gossip but he never realized that he would be the the cause of it.  He was impatient to get back home.  He had left word with Mr. Strom to lookout for Erickson and take him back to the machines if Nels missed his arrival.

     One of the Jewelers had an additional clock for him to fix and also an address to go and look at another larger clock.  He did not want to take the time this morning but he also knew better than to lose good work.  Asking the jeweler if he could store the cart somewhere he could run faster to look at the larger clock.   He was sure it was just wound incorrectly and for very little work and time he would receive a good bit of money.  After running six city blocks blocks Nels was winded when he rang the bell at the back of the house.  He handed over the card of the jeweler and was escorted into the large home by a maid. He took off his boots and went with stockinged feet into the overly ornate parlor where a large Grandfather clock stood it's pendulum immobile.  The Matron of the house greeted him and explained that her three year old son had opened the front case which she had forgotten to lock.  She allowed no one to touch the clock but herself as it had belonged to her late father. She had found him with the pendulum in his hands, she was sure it would never work again.  Just as Nels thought an easy fix, so easy in fact he felt guilty charging to set a pendulum back on it's mechanism.

     Nels complimented, the clock and told the Matron that he did not even have to get out is tool bag. He had her look up inside the clock and describe to him what she saw.  Then he told her how to replace the pendulum. When she completed this task he gave it a swing and told her she could wind it as usual.  "That's it?"  she exclaimed.  That's it, replied Nels. Nels was not sure if the woman was more excited that her precious clock was fixed or that she had done the fixing herself.  Either way she handed him a two and a half  dollar gold piece for his trouble which was way over the standard price.  When he objected, she was adamant that he take the money.  He asked her if he could give her some advice on keeping the clock in good working order and she was more than happy to listen.  "Keep the case locked", he said with a smile.  She laughed and nodded as the maid to escorted Nels out.

     Finally Nels was able to return home later than he wished, when he opened the front hall door, he could hear a motor.   He quickly took the broken clock from the wagon and placed it inside the Strom apartment for safe keeping, then hurried down the hall to the back courtyard.  The noise grew louder and louder as he went, he could also smell an acrid gasoline oder.  When he opened the backdoor to the building there in the courtyard stood three running washing machines.  Mrs. Strom had her hands clasped under her chin and was beaming.  Erickson's back was to Nels, when he saw Mrs. Strom's expression change he turned around.  "How did you do it?", he shouted over the noise. "I came prepared to work most of the day. I did not even bring gasoline with me.  I had to go out and buy a can and the gas.  This is amazing!", he pounded Nels on the back.  Erickson went down the street to call a teamster to take the newly repaired machines to their owners.  When he returned Nels explained  to Erickson what he had done and how he had removed the bearing set from another machine to fix another."I don't know what to say.  This is too much.  You are better at this than I am, I even think you like fixing and repairing.", replied  the baffled Erickson.

     Nels did not want payment for his time, he wanted to continue to work on the other machines.  He wanted to fix them and have Erickson sell them.  Even if they were a bit scratched and damaged they would still run.  Erickson could regain his commission by allowing Nels to fix broken machines.There were plenty more at the warehouse. Erickson realized if Nels could free up the time he spent fixing machines he could spend more time selling a representing his company.  It was obvious to Erickson that Nels was some kind of a mechanical wizard, something Erickson was not.  "What do you want in return?", asked Erickson.

      Nels wanted three machines with ringers attached. He did not care if they were new or scratched and bent.  He also wanted a large industrial wringer that was not attached to a machine. He would like to add washing machines to his fix it list but he realized he had no where to store such a large inventory of broken machines and parts. "Done", said the excited Erickson.  Both men shook on the deal.  Now they had only to figure out how to make room for Nels new field of work.  The warehouse by the train depot was too far for him to travel everyday.  Both of them would have to think on a solution for additional machines.  Besides Nels had seven more machines in the building that needed to be repaired.

      "After these are finished maybe you will change your mind?",said Erickson. Nels did not think so, but it was obvious to him that repairing larger gasoline operated devices was going to take space.  On the farm in Sweden, they had their own horses and wagon to haul things. Farmers would haul in their own broken equipment, or Far far would travel to the piece of machinery as Nels had done with the large grandfather clock that morning.  There was much to think about, much to consider.  Right now he had three little sisters at his neighbor's and another machine to fix.  He would let Erickson figure out these details.  Nels had work to do.

      Sure enough, when Millie arrived home, there was a machine in the courtyard, spitting and churning. Several children were playing over on the far side of the yard.  There was a young man watching a large pot with wash water heating on the outside fire grate. Millie recognized them as the Gustafson children.  She looked shed and saw only two machines and no Nels.  Had he not told her that there were six machines in the shed.  Peter wanted to stay and play with the neighbors in the courtyard.  Millie was not sure as one never left little ones anywhere close to open flames.  The oldest Gustafson boy said, " I will keep them well away, Mom would tan me good if any of 'em was hurt."  So Millie picked up her packages and satchel and went up the stairs.  She wanted to start the rice boiling and she had no idea what would meet her when she entered the flat.

     When Millie was climbing the third floor stairs she encountered Mrs. Gustafson slowly coming down helping her father-in-law descend the stairs with his cane.   " It is such a nice day out.  Warm enough to sit in the sun.  He hasn't left the flat since before Christmas." explained  Mrs. Gustafson.   She was all smiles in her round face. "Your brother is a wonder.  First the radio for father here, and now a washing machine."  she clucked.  Old Gustaf was almost blind.  He had snow white hair and deep blue eyes, that stared out trying to focus on the dark staircase.  "Cardamon?", he sniffed the air around in a questioning manner.  "Yes, I just stopped at McMillans an bought an ounce it is dear stuff."  Millie said in broken Norwegian.  "I am going to make rice creme' for Nels to celebrate, it is a surprise." said Millie. "It will not no longer be a surprise when you start cooking." said Gustaf with a smile and he continued slowly down the stairs.

     The three older boys were eating stale bread with butter when Millie came in with her bundles.  Nels was not home and neither were the three younger girls.  Millie shewed the boys out of the flat and told them not to return until she sent for them.  They left with a whoop and a clatter down the stairs.  Peace and quiet in the flat.  Sun shown in through the windows and it was so serene.  Millie would have liked to just sit in a sunbeam by the window,but she had to hurry and get her creme' started.  She took out a 5 lb bag of rice and measured out 2 lbs.  This would make enough to share.  Rice was the cheapest of all the grains, she had plenty of cream skimmed from the milk bottles, sugar and raisins, it was the blessed Cardamon that she needed to flavor the dish.  Soon the rice was boiling in a large kettle, Millie covered it and pushed it back on the stove.  Then she made the custard, old Gustaf was right, she would not be able to hide the fact that she was making this dish.  The spice filled the room and soon would be out in the hall, maybe it would even carry down the narrow stairs.


Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, April 5, 2015


     I have to get my payments for last month posted as Sarah is getting so far ahead of me, but don't rest on your laurels Sarah because I am about to do great things in the next few months. Mom is busy sewing and I can't get to the machine.  Don't know if I will get to it the rest of the day.  If she ever moves in with me I will have to get her her own sewing station, she can't see very well but she insists on sewing, I just go behind her and try to clean it up.  Like I have time for that.

  When I get home I need to go right to the store for Easter dinner things.  I will go through the fridge and see what we need.

We are having steak (brought by friends)
fresh strawberry pie
tomato basil and mozzarella
Acini de pepi fruit salad
Deviled eggs

Lots of Easter Candy!

 I have stripped both of the beds in grandsons room and Mother-in-laws room.  I am doing the laundry now.  I need to get mother packed up, I am already packed and I have almost everything out in the garage ready to load in the truck. Daughter is going to have an awakening as I know her Mother-in-law does the cooking 5 nights a week and most of the housework and laundry.  Daughters job is very stressful and her husbands job is not any where near the stress level, so I am happy that her husbands mother realizes this and tries to make her life easier.

     Daughter called me from court house about 10 this morning as one of her co-workers had scheduled a day off and was called in at the last minute for some preliminary hearing mumbo jumbo.  She did not have a sitter so I raced to the court house in my p.j's as I had been waiting for my mom to get up to get in the shower.  I told her to have the bailiff wait at the door  I was not coming inside with my Chewbaca hair and jammies. Nice little girl she and grandson played and played.  What was supposed to be an hour turned into a 5 hour court nightmare.  Prosecution is not  for the faint of heart.

     I just checked on mom and she is having the time of her life at the sewing machine making and Easter potholder, with scraps of Easter fabric.  I guess I will go cut out some more hats as it looks like I will not have the machine for a while.

Saturday:  Mom and I drove to Nampa Friday night.  I stopped in Boise at Talbots and we found 4 tops to fit mom.  So with her three pairs of new pants(that actually fit) she will not look like such a scarecrow. We had a nice visit with Hub's folks.  They bought me a large package of new garden gloves which I needed desperately. I swear I go through a pair every day I work in the yard.  We took off on the 5 hour drive home this morning and it was really hard on Mom.  She was in a great deal of pain, just too much sitting in a car(truck).  Arrived home about 2:45 sent Mom immediately to bed. Had to get a suit out I had forgotten about for a client.  Of course it was a complex alteration.  A lined skirt and Jacket, that had to be taken in quite a bit. I had to remove the sleeves and cut down the shoulders, what a pain. Finally got that done.  I unloaded the car, it was packed to the gills with mom's crap and twelve penguin costumes  and all the fabric I had purchased in Twin Falls.

     I hurried and made up 4 pie crusts (froze two) baked two , boiled a dozen eggs then I took stock of the fridge made a list and went to the store.  First time in a week I had been without Mom in a store.  It was nice I was able to zip around and get things done quickly.  Came home unloaded again, Mom was still sleeping.  Started the Easter baskets and I was missing a few things because I had eaten them  (yes it is true) by this time Mom was up and we went to Wal-Mart so I could deposit a check to pay B's college rent and got what we needed. Stopped at Taco Time for a cheap dinner and came home.  Mom and Hub's died the eggs, Mom hulled and sliced all the strawberries, while I put the Acini De Pepi salad together and started 4 loaves of bread.  By the time I had put the strawberry pies together I and cleaned up the mess the bread went into the oven.  I am exhausted and ready for bed.  Tomorrow is conference for our church so we will watch it on the Internet.  I don't have to get up and get dressed.  Yippee.  Just sit in my jammies. 

     The house is pretty messy, as in floors need wiped up and laundry but I can tackle that between conference sessions tomorrow.  The girls are due in and they can help set the table and get the rest of the food ready.

     Came home


     By late afternoon Nels had cleaned out the lean to.  Mrs.Strom watched the three little girls until the older children came home.  Nels immediately sent Osker with a note and some money to the dray service to fetch a horse and a flatcart.  Mr. Strom had been forbidden by his wife to come out of the Butcher shop while Nels had the younger boys sort everything into piles.  Rags, junk, wood, metal in respective piles.  Soon Oskar came with the horse and wagon and to the surprise of everyone he was driving it himself!
     "You came without a driver?" Nels asked.
     "They were too busy but I told him I was from a Svensk farm and the horse was not afraid of me,  so here I am!", he said excitedly.  Peter was skipping around the yard he was so happy about the horse.  The boys hurried to load the cart and at the last moment Mr. Strom insisted that they junk dealers would cheat the boys, so he,Oskar and Peter took off for Junk Row, while Nels waited for on Mr. Erickson.

     Chaos ensued with the arrival of Mr. Erickson and the teamster hauling broken washing machines.  They had to be unloaded out front and carted down the narrow dark passage between buildings to the back courtyard.  There were ten machines total and many bits and pieces of machines.  The younger boys formed a chain gang and between Nels, the teamster, Erickson, and the three younger boys the machines and supplies were in the back in no time.  Nels was grateful that Mr. Strom had taken Peter, who would have wanted to help and would have been underfoot.

     Soon the entire building was out in the courtyard.  Everyone was milling around excited and watching as Mr.Erickson and Nels tried to figure out how to put ten washing machines into a shed not big enough for six.  Three of the machines had to be fixed with in the next two days so they were put at the front of the shed, along with all parts, the machines that had fallen off the wagon that day and could be salvaged were put in the back.  The other four machines were taken by tenants on the second and third floors.  They had a little more room for storage and Nels promised to make the free storage worth their while.  It was starting to turn dark when all of the machines had found  homes, Erickson and the teamster took off for the Warehouse.   Olaf would return tomorrow at sometime, to help Nels with the machines.

     The younger boys clamored up the stairs and Nels came behind wondering what time Olaf would arrive  the next day, he just could not wait to tear into those machines.  New things always excited him.  It had been along time since he had really worked on an engine.  Not since he had left the farm and that seemed like a lifetime ago.  He had missed a whole day's work, yet he wasn't bothered.  The thought of a new project invigorated him. He knew he must wait and get the two clocks done that were waiting for him upstairs.  He had ordered the parts, "The parts"he had left that package in the wagon!  He turned to head back down the stairs to retrieve his package.  In the wagon with the package was the box of wash machine parts and also two motors.  He stood looking at them, arguing with himself about whether to take one of them upstairs.  Mrs. Strom came out in the hall and told him to move the box and motors into the front of the shop, she would see that Mr. Strom helped him tonight.

     Now Nels was running up the stairs.  He dashed into the flat as Millie was putting supper on the table.  Grabbing a piece of bread he told her he did not want to be disturbed until he had finished with the clocks he wanted to deliver them tomorrow.  If he could get them done with in the next couple of hours, Mr. Strom was going to help him with a washing machine. Millie understood Nels better than perhaps anyone.  He was driven like her.  She liked new things, new books, new patterns, getting things done satisfied her in a funny way.  Millie really wanted to hear about his day and the story behind this new development.

       She could not get much out of Violet or Ruth.  The machines did not interest them.  A ladies hat with a bird on it was all Violet would talk about.  Ruth told her about about the live pigs, they had seen driven into a stock car.  Audra was busy smashing a turnip with her spoon.  Millie did not ask Nels any questions, as she knew it would do no good.  He would tell her all about this day when he could slow his mind down. Right now she had to get the younger ones fed and homework done without his help.  If she did not hurry it would be time for her radio program. She went about rushing her younger siblings to eat, they were behind this evening and she wanted to get a new skirt basted, she needed the older boys help with the little ones. When Inga arrived she could talk of nothing but the washing machines.  The whole building was talking of them.  In broken English/German/Finnish/Swedish/Norwegian/ residents were visiting back and forth across halls about the machines.

     Millie had heard of a washing machine.  Their washing was farmed out so this  newfangled idea of Nels did not affect her much.  For those women who spent most of a day trying to heat water and wash in the court yard or in their flats in cold weather a machine to wash with a wringer attachment to remove water would be a blessing.  Just Audra's soakers and daily diapers were a chore, imagine having to do all the laundry for her eight brothers and sisters, plus the linens was beyond her comprehension. Before the girls radio broadcast was finished Nels came out of the front parlor and said he had finished the clocks and he grabbed two lanterns and headed down stairs with a wooden box full of tools. Millie told Inga she would be the first to know any new developments with the machines. The three younger boys wanted to go down to Strom's and Millie would not let them. 
     "Let your brother figure out what he is doing first, trust me in time he will want you down there helping him and you will want to be up here."  With much difficulty Millie was able to finally get the boys in bed.  She did not wake when Nels came in early in the morning.


Have a beautiful Easter!