Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I spoke the other day of our hot apple snack at bed-time in the winter
mama always felt hot food would help us to stay warm
during long cold winter nights
so I can only tell you how she did them
the apples were kept on top of the cellar steps
she always picked out 4
rinsed them in water and then polished them with a towel
we always polished apples before we ate them
she cut them in half--
scoped out the core with a teaspoon
put brown sugar in the holes
and topped the brown sugar with butter
always butter- we never used margarine for anything
she used a cake pan- one of her two-
I think it was called a 8 by 8 inch square cake pan
she put a shot of hot water in the base of the pan
popped the apples in the pan
and sprinkled them with cinnamon
and put tthe pan in the oven
on top of 4 bricks-the kitchen stove was wood
so the oven was always warm to hot
and the bricks were in there heating up to place in our beds
always at the foot of the bed after they were
- covered with a clean gunny sack
I do not know how long the apples baked
or what the temperature would have been
mother just stuck her hand in the oven
to gage the temperature-
after our apples were done
she knew how to eye them and
knew when they were ready
she set them on our kitchen table for 5 minutes
then put into our breakfast bowls and poured
real cream over them- the real cream was what came
from our milking cows-
we ate every bite including the skins-
while they were baking a syrup of the juice mixed
with the butter and sugar would form
and she always shared the syrup equally
I have often tried to bake
my apples
like mama's
but they just do not turn out the same
I think that the wood and mama are missing
- she just made them this way for ever
- and that is her story and mine
huggs from Meme

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I wrote this for the g' kids a few years ago-- it needs to be re-written some day and proof done but sometimes I just like to leave things alone until the right time--LOL- part of the reason is this is part of the way I talk so would sound more Meme like to them- and that is my story and I am sticking to it-
When we were kids on the farm when ever we wanted to get somewhere we walked. My Aunt always called walking “ going by Shank’s pony.” The nearest neighbors who had kids our age usually lived about a mile and a half away. Arrangements would be made through the parents after church or school and the day picked out by them. Of course, the day depended on the weather but as a rule we were able to go. Daddy was a good weather man and seemed to always know if the day was going to stay nice.We would leave generally after dinner and maybe because we nagged mama about leaving sooner we could take a sandwich to eat on the way- We took our cold drinks in glass jars. When we were finished drinking we hid the jars with care in a ditch- Then on the way home we would pick them up to carry home. Jars were valuable and expected to be returned in one piece. In all those years and all the trips I don’t remember Bill and I ever breaking or loosing a jar. Traveling on the way to our friends was quick and fun as we were excited to see our friends . We knew we would have a lot of games to play . It never occurred to us to ask Daddy to drive us as gas was reserved for working the fields and other farm business. The business from the farm was taking the cream and eggs to town once a week.We nearly always had a good time and there were few arguments at our friend's house. We played outside and the other mother would send us on our way home at the right time. She knew how long it would take for us to walk home in order to be there on time. There were no phones to check in with or beg to be allowed to stay longer.. We usually left with a cookie or two to fortify our return trip.
It was a slower walk home as we were usually tired from a hard day’s play. We knew how to make games up to play on the way home and to help make the walk go by faster. We always got home safely and generally on time. We knew it was wrong and unkind to worry our parents. One rule we had was we were not to take a short cut across any one’s field- In the spring , there would most likely be some one’s bull stored there. Bulls in the spring time do not care what color you are wearing- LOL-
Then as summer progressed it was either a grain crop or hay field . Good manners as farmers, kept us from trampling through the neighbor's crop.
And if we stayed on the path the neighbors could watch for us coming and going and mama would be watching for our return. -Sometimes mama would have time to walk part way and meet us. She was ready to hear any news the neighbor lady sent via us. Bill and I never got lost as we knew the safe way to go. We walked on the right side of the road which was/is the left side . Cars would slow down when they passed us and we always waved. We did not get to go often as we were needed on the farm for chores. Daddy had the fields to work and mama the garden and we had daily chores that had to be done.

God has a path for us to follow and we need to walk on the path that He has prepared for us. He has given us Christian friends to watch out for us and parents and teachers. We can not follow directions when the map is closed. We have the bible to show us the way but we have to open it and read.
And there are no safe shortcuts to take.

If we open our hearts and our Bibles we will find the right direction.
Isaiah 28:10 says “A rule here, a rule there. A little lesson here, a little lesson there. When we have a listening heart we will be on the right road. We will get home safe and on time. We will know what the rules are to keep us on the safe path. -
huggles me, Meme

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the day the lights turned on,,

  • living on the farm out west - the first years of my life we did not have electricity so I remember well the day the lights were turned on......
  • Daddy and the neighbors on our road had to clear out the trees and make a path for the poles and the lines- this is how we paid to put the electricity in- every spring daddy would clear out new growth and any trees that looked like they could fall on the lines- if our power went out; it was often days before we a lineman could come out to fix the problems-
  • this is one of the few paying jobs that daddy had outside of the farm
  • I think there were six men who cut by axe a five mile stretch down the side road and then they also had to cut paths to most of the houses- houses in our area often were sight unseen from the road.....
  • there were no bulldozers that could go in the areas where the poles had to go--
  • it was years before I realized how hard the men had work to get those trees down and also cleared out... and of course- they save the trees for fire wood--
  • we only had two lights put in the house- and two electrical plugs- a few years later a yard light was added---the barn never was wired- it was just too expensive
  • we had a radio but no television- and mother finally was able to have a modern iron- before that she heated the old fashioned iron on the stove and she always used tissue paper between the clothes and the irons- we never bought things like electric coffee pots or toasters etc.
  • we were able to convert to an electric washer wringer- before we had some type of gas washer- all our water was heated on the stove- and washing did take a whole day and our sunshine was the dryer-
  • even after the lights came we used coal-oil lamps for part of our needed light- daddy had lanterns for outside chores-
  • now I have light and/or lights in every room- and most all of my appliances are electric- in the old days we made toast by holding the bread in a special fork over coals- the toast was always a treat-
  • Daddy was a second generation homesteader...and cleared a lot of the land by hand-
  • this reminds me of one day when Miss Sidney was asking me about how God made the sun and moon - I told her that God had said ''let there be light- and she asked me how come God did not know how to turn the switch on......then she ran over to our light switch and turned it on and said with all seriousness--- ''there God, that is all you have to do........

hugs from Meme -------

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mama and Scratch

I grew up on a farm which was always described
as out west.........(Alberta)..........
mama did all the baking
and we never saw a ''mix''
she baked all the bread for the week
at one time--usually 6 loaves and
a pan of buns and a pan of cinnamon buns
on birthdays I had a white cake
and brother Bill had a chocolate cake
and we always knew that we would
have a cake
mama did not bake cakes often
just birthdays including one for daddy
her sister- known as auntie Sis
baked one for her and we got together close to the day
birthdays were celebrated often of the sabbath
as the actual day was committed to the farm and the weather
she did make cookies - generally oatmeal with raisins but
never chocolate chips ............
and of course, all baking was done in a wood stove
she would stick her hand into the oven
and knew if the temperature was right
only certain wood was used when she baked
as some trees gave off a more steady heat
than others
and daddy always brought in the baking wood
which was kept away from the everyday cooking wood
even when mama got the electric stove
with the new house she still baked from scratch
she tried a few mixes but soon nixed that idea
claiming that they were not correct in texture ----etc
and she could bake cheaper with her own recipes
she often did make a ginger cake recipe
for a fine sabbath desert --
I wish I had more of her recipes but
they stayed in her head rather than on paper
she did collect recipes but generally stayed
with what she knew
I miss her special baking and I have
never tasted bread like hers......
hugs from Meme

Saturday, January 17, 2009


When brother Bill and I were kids back in the fifties our Christmas was both a exciting and magic time for us- our favorite part was putting up the Christmas tree. We did not set it up until few days before December 24. We often had a special supper before setting up the tree in our favorite corner. It was a winter celebration during those short days with long nights.

Daddy always found the tree in our farm's grove of trees . All the farms in western Alberta had long groves of trees that were originally planted by the homesteaders. We had both poplar and spruce trees. Trees were needed on the farm as they not only served as wind breaks but they were also our only source of heat. We needed both types for firewood as they burn at different rates and even give off different heats.

Daddy did not cut down trees-unnecessarily or carelessly. They were too important to our way of life. All the trees had a job to do in helping run the family farm.

Daddy never picked a perfect tree that would grow tall and strong- He would find a small tree that was weak and perhaps only had a few branches on one side and a lot on the front side. One side would have received more sun light than the other side as often the trees shaded each other. Too much shade caused some trees to grow sparse.

The back side did not matter as it did not show when it was in the corner and decorated. No matter what tree he found it seemed the most beautiful one in our child eyes and when mother decorated the tree it only increased in beauty. No matter how imperfect it was to others it was perfect to us. Daddy choose the imperfect tree knowing that we would love it and it was worthy. He knew that it was small and weak but it could still bring joy.

When the tree was finished bringing us our Christmas joy we put it in our front yard. Here for the rest of the winter it served as a bird feeder. Mama would leave the stringed popcorn on and then put out bread slices covered with suet. The rest of the winter we watched the birds come and go and listened to their songs. In the summer when the tree had dried out and shed its needles daddy used it for firewood. That tree was useful until the end as even ashes were saved for gardens or put on icy paths to keep us safe.

Jesus accepted me in my imperfect ways and loved me while I was still a sinner. He did not choose me for my perfections. To Him I was beautiful and worthy to be useful. He did not choose me because I was perfect. He decorated me with his Love and Peace and Joy and Hope. I am useful. Maybe you feel weak and broken and of no use. God will not throw you away because you have challenges or problems. We can all shine for Jesus even when our back is up against the wall. We can be a blessing where ever we stand.

"Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another

with whatever gift each of you has received." ~1 Peter 4:10

We can be thankful for whatever imperfections we have. We can still perform, in the little things, as a faithful servant for God. We can be doers of God's word, not just hearers. Every day brings a new opportunity to be used in God's kingdom.

huggles me, Meme

this story was written before cancer came to our house- dug out of meme's archives

Friday, January 16, 2009

why? another blog :-)

  • I decided to have a blog
  • where I tell my tales from yesterdays
  • as a daughter- wife= mother- sister, grandma and
  • simply me
  • I hope you will enjoy hearing my stories
  • hugs from Meme