God is talking to me but my husband’s not listening

I said those words to my husband the other day; he laughed.

I went to the local library to pick up a few things including a book titled Back to Basics.  As I reached to grab the book from the shelf another book fell onto the floor right at my feet.

I had a really bad day at the office and the desire to quit my job was so strong.  For several years now I’ve really wanted to stay at home and not have a job other then tending to things at home.  This book is so very appropriate for that and I felt that God was trying to tell me to follow the yearnings of my old soul (because I’ve really been praying for some help in recent months).  My husband just doesn’t understand and most others don’t either.  It is a feeling that you have deep down in your soul for the desire to be at home.  To tend to things there and to find fulfillment for yourself.

I grew up in a rural community on a farm and spent summers at home and going to town on my bicycle.  I really wanted to see the world and to have a fulfilling job.  Now as an adult I just want to go back to the simplistic domestic life.  It is difficult, even without children, to have a full time office job in a city 35 miles from home and to balance home life with that.  I never in my life wanted to take care of my home as I do now.  And I know it also means that I really need to take care of myself because I’m really burned out.  There is no fulfillment for me in a job outside of the home anymore.  I know that the daily commute and anxiety and stress of that commute as well as the job has really taken its toll on me.

I’ve decided to take a little vacation this week and get away from the job and be at home to recharge myself and find some happy.  Last evening I began reading this book and it screams to me to follow my soul’s desires.  Selling that to my husband just doesn’t seem to be working though (and I’ve been trying for several years).  I’ve even thought of ways to make money to sustain us a bit.  I thought of selling photography, knitted and crocheted items on Etsy but after reading books about those ventures I’m not sure.  And if you look on the world wide web it seems like everyone is doing it and competition is fierce.  So since those things don’t seem to be working in my favor maybe it’s a sign to just stay at home, be me and find some happy.

Even the photo on the front reminds me of me.  I love to knit and cook and bake and I wear my glasses when I’m at home.  It was meant to be for me to read.  As I read through this book I will know a bit more about whether it is what I truly should be doing for myself to survive.

The Order of Patrons of Husbandry a/k/a The Grange

You may have heard of The Grange.  You may even be a member or your family was active in their local Grange many years ago.  It doesn’t seem to be an active organization where I live anymore but they still do exist.

As a youth I had heard of the Grange but wasn’t really aware of all that they did in our country’s history and more importantly I didn’t know that they were such an important organization for the many rural families of our country.  I think that they were such an important agricultural type organization where the rural farm families could gather at their local building to support one another, find others with the same interests as their own as well as share food and fellowship with one another.  I seem to remember reading that many rural families during World War 2 would gather there to home-can foods together and share equipment.  That must have been such a fun and wonderful time; don’t you think?

What really peaked my interest in knowing about them is this recipe book.

This book had been my Grandmother’s.

It is evident as I look through that all recipes are from Grange members.

It lost its covers and some pages are missing as well.  As you can see my brother was hired by my Grandmother to make a new cover for it. 🙂

As I was on my journey to bake through all of the Pumpkin Pie recipes in my possession to find the one which I fell in love with first, my Grandmother’s, I had looked at the ones in this book.  You can read all about my Pumpkin Pie adventures in this post: Eating Our Way Through Autumn; One Pumpkin Pie at a Time.

But as I was reading all of the members’ organization names and county names I began to realize that this particular cookbook wasn’t from the Pennsylvania Grange.  So I began my journey through the world wide web to determine where it could be from.  Lo and behold, somewhere I found a photo of a page of recipes in a Grange cookbook which was being sold on the internet (possibly Amazon) and I compared that page to my book.  Fortunately the page on the internet was in existence in my Grange cookbook.  I finally found the one which my Grandmother used so much and it is the one titled Ohio State Grange Cook Book which is from 1970 (with red spiral bound plastic).

As you can see in the top photo there are a lot of stains and I believe the book became wet somewhere along the way because of the big stains on the top of most of the pages.  Pies were something which my Grandmother often made; she was a great baker and loved to bake all of the time.  The photo above has the Pumpkin Pie recipes on the right page.  I made one of them but I still can’t seem to find the right mixture of ingredients for the pie which she always made unless I’m not remembering the taste correctly.

But onto the cookbooks again…

After determining which Grange this book is from I began to wonder why she had this particular one since we live in Pennsylvania (although Ohio is our neighbor) and, of course, how did she get an Ohio Grange Book??  From what I recall, her one brother (my Great-Uncle) would visit family in Ohio.  I don’t remember if they were my Grandmother’s family too or if they were my Great-Uncle’s wife’s family in Ohio.  But I have seen photos of him visiting a cemetery of family members in Ohio.  So I guess it’s possible that the Grange cookbook found its way from their through that route.  I just don’t know.  I was just so happy to finally learn which Grange this book had come from.  And apparently it was well-loved by my Grandmother.

About two summers ago I had been at a flea market and came across a woman who was selling her late mother-in-law’s things.  They were going to move into the home but there was just so much stuff.  She was telling me information since I was interested in her cookbooks which she was selling.  I bought 3 of them.  Two were vintage Better Homes and Garden cookbooks which I discussed in the post about my collection and one of them was this Grange cookbook.

After reading through this amazing collection of vintage recipes I was so excited to have found such a treasure for what I seem to remember to be only 25 or 75 cents!!!  This book contains so many rare and old recipes which you are not going to find in too many other places.

There is a section containing recipes from various noted individuals in Washington, D.C. of the time (1976) including…..

There are various recipes in the book which claim to have been served to President George Washington in the White House too!
There is even a section titled Special Diabetic Recipes.  I find that unusual for a cookbook published in 1976 and yet so fascinating, especially for a Grange cookbook.  Those Grange members were sure concerned for their members’ health and well being and made sure to include those types of recipes in their Bicentennial Cookbook.  The only recipe which we’ve made so far was the Pennsylvania Dutch Mustard recipe which it says is over 100 years old.  It was a disaster and my husband and I proclaim to never eat any others then French’s!  It smelled horrible and the taste was horrific!  Needless to say it was dumped out.  At least we can say we tried; can’t we?!

But due to these two Grange cookbooks I  began to look at other various used Pennsylvania (PA) Grange cookbooks on the internet; Amazon mostly.  That’s where I tend to visit for used cookbooks, by the way.

I started reading reviews about what appears to be the most-loved of all PA Grange cookbooks.  The one originally published in 1972.  You can buy reprints of this book but I seem to remember to have read some reviews somewhere that stated some recipes are missing from the reprints.  That is one of the main reasons I don’t like buying a reprint.  Too often they are missing items/recipes from the original publication.  So off I began my search for a used one on Amazon for a descent price.  I received an Amazon gift card last year from someone who told me to ‘treat myself’ so I decided to use it towards the purchase of two PA used State Grange Cookbooks.

Here is the 1972 book which claims to be the best loved version of all of the ones which the PA Grange has sold.

And this one is from 1950 even though there is no date on the inside.

I am satisfied with my PA Grange collection of cookbooks.  But most importantly, I have finally determined which one my Grandmother loved the most.

Now if I only could go back in time and watch her make the best Pumpkin Pie ever (and get the recipe)!!!!!

I hope that when I get to Heaven she’ll have one waiting for me as well as a big bowl of her delicious Rivel Soup!

A Glimpse of a Rural Life – in images – take two

Photography has been a hobby passion of mine since I was a young girl.  I had dreamed of working and traveling the world for National Geographic.  That hasn’t come to fruition but I still enjoy documenting things in my life through the lens.  For the past few years I’ve set the camera aside to take up some new hobbies: knitting and crochet.  You can read all about it here: Hook and Needle Story.  I had decided that it was time to stop pressuring myself for the best images and just enjoy the moments.  So that is what I live by now.

Last year I had a short-lived photography series titled A Glimpse of a Rural Life.  Below is my explanation of what my expectations were for that series of images.

Life in Rural America is a very special kind of living.  There’s more open space to enjoy, the air is cleaner and the sounds are so much better than city life (at least in my opinion).

Beginning May 4th, I will share a weekly image from what I am calling “A Glimpse of a Rural Life Series.”  I will share images from my rural property and the rural areas which surround me.  Views which I see everyday and are a very important part of my life.  I hope to preserve those glimpses in a way that allows you to better understand the importance of rural areas throughout our country.

There will be images showing you many things which may seem insignificant but truly are critical to the rural way of life.  There are many things people take for granted and may soon disappear if Rural America is abandoned and developed by ‘big business.’  Many of the rural family-owned farms, small businesses and factories have already shuttered due to big corporations and companies which have taken over America.

I am appalled and saddened when farmland is inherited by a generation of children who don’t see and appreciate its true value and sell it for developmental purposes.  So much of America’s farmland is lost this way.  So much of America’s heritage is disappearing.  There is a program with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture dedicated to Farmland Preservation  and their mission is very important.  And I hope through viewing my images of life in the country that you will better understand the importance of preserving this way of life and advocate for preservation of Rural Areas where you live so that it may be saved for future generations before it is something only found in history books.

Because not only do farmers feed their families, they also help to feed the world.  It is critical that their land and rich soil are preserved and saved from future home and business development so that they can continue their vital contributions.

I really would like to bring this back to my readers and try to show you more of my environment.

I won’t put pressure on myself though and say that I will definitely have images each week.

What I will do though is tag them with my category titled Glimpse of Rural Life so that you will know those images represent what I have explained above and to bring awareness to the rapid loss of rural areas throughout our country.

Things which comfort my ‘old soul’

My old-soul feels comforted while “wrapped up…”

…in made-from-scratch comfort foods which I made in my kitchen

…in the months from October through February

…in vintage Christmas songs

…while watching The Waltons & Charlie Brown Holiday Specials on television

…in my house watching the snow fall and wearing cozy socks

…day-dreaming of my childhood life on the old homesteads

…thinking of the youthful days of walking/riding my bicycle all over town with no cell phones and no adult worries or responsibilities

…in thoughts of my family members who have passed on into the next life


Do you often feel like the world around you is just going crazy and out of control?

I do.

And it seems to be getting worse for me.

I feel like my old-soul has really grown weary of late by being bombarded with all of this technology and the ‘noise’ it provides.  I get disgusted while standing at the gas pumps when a television screen is filled with more noise.  I just want peace and quiet.

I want to get away from people and technology and all of the noise and distractions which they produce.

I don’t feel guilty or sorry about it either.

I’m just tired.

My old-soul has aged quite considerably in the last 6 years.

I feel lost in this world and am willing to fall into my rabbit hole into the mid 20th century away from all of this and live on Walton’s Mountain.

Do you feel like falling with me?

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, First Edition from 1942

I love seeking out vintage cookbooks from the early and mid 20th century.

Last Spring while browsing through a book-corner in a farmer’s market building I found a 1942 edition (the first edition of this book) of the Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book.  I don’t recall ever seeing this cookbook before but was immediately captured by its vintage beauty and history and I knew that I had to add it to my growing collection.

The price written on the inside was a nice surprise as well!

For the age of this book it is in near perfect like-new condition with a few pages (beginning at page 653) which are away from the binding but are still included with the book.  Those pages are in the Frozen Desserts section of the book.

There were no other recipe clippings in amongst the pages, which I love to find, and I haven’t noticed any writing in the book either.   I so enjoy finding those types of things when I purchase a previously-owned vintage cookbook; it adds character to the history of that book and gives an insight into the cook who owned it before.

Recently I’ve looked on the internet to find that this book is being sold by some at prices upwards of $50.00 and so I am happy at what I consider to be a ‘steal’ of a buy.

There is so much history in these types of books.  For example, this book includes a Wartime Postscript in the front of the book which many people mention when discussing this particular cookbook.

And in the final paragraph of the ‘Foreword’ of the book you will see that there is mention of ‘our world at war.’

This is a nice bonus for me because I enjoy learning so much about the 1930’s and 1940’s War World 2 period and of the home front life as well.

I love all of the additional information which can be found in these older cookbooks apart from the hundreds of recipes included.  In fact, this book has about 2600 recipes in all as mentioned in the Introduction of the book.

Even today where would you find such a large volume of recipes with so many extras included (and a few photos to boot!)?!  It is a bit heavy to carry around but that isn’t something that I would do with this book anyway.

I don’t know if any of my family members had owned this book but I do know that the best recipes which I have ever used, and continue to use today, are those which were passed onto me from the ‘Greatest Generation’ and they are the ones which evoke the best memories which I hold so dearly to my heart.

If you have owned this book or learned to cook/bake through one of these, no matter the edition, I’d love to hear stories from you!   I also know that Woman’s Home Companion was a magazine for Women during those early years and I’ve read that some cookbooks like this one were given to Women when Encyclopedias were purchased.  I would love to know more regarding other ways that these were “sold” to American Cooks.  If you know of any stories please share.  You can read more about the magazine at Wikipedia.

Please leave comments below and thank you in advance!

Let us meander for a day

To celebrate another year in which God has kept me on this Earth we took a day trip to meander some roads which we seldom travel.

It was nice to just drive along with the day being all about food, meandering and visiting a few places.

As we sat watching a snow squall which happened upon us, while enjoying chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa in a small coffee cafe, I noticed this sign on the little shop’s wall.

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It sums up the time which I’ve been spending these past few days as I celebrate another birthday.

The rural country roads which we traveled are adorned with many farms and beautiful views.

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It was a relaxing day and I was very tired from the trip but it was well worth it!

Family Photos

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 Does this make it any easier or less painful to sell someone else’s family memories in a consignment shop?

I still wonder how someone’s beloved family photos would end up here.

Maybe some are extras from the photo studio which took the image but other ones have personal messages/dates/names written on the back.

I looked through this basket just to make sure none of my family were waiting to be found…

Android vs. Apple

I’ve been using cell phones since the late 1990’s when I purchased my first phone and entered into my first agreement with Cingular One.

Do you remember them?

My first cellular phone was a big clunky rectangular box with an antenna and certainly wouldn’t fit into my pants’ pockets.

I was with them as they became part of AT&T and stayed with them for several years.  Through each 2-year agreement I entered I would receive a free phone (nothing spectacular but it did the job!).  At one point I made the decision to switch to Tracfone which seemed like a good fit for me at the time but eventually I signed onto Verizon Wireless due to my needs changing and I’ve been with them since.

On several occasions, including once with ‘clunky phone’, I needed to call for assistance when my vehicle broke-down on the highway.  So it has been a necessary expense for me as I travel many miles (35 miles to the City) to get to work each day.  Cell phone towers have made their way into our smaller rural communities which makes it possible to cease owning a landline if you so desire.

Cell phones and the various plans have really evolved and now there’s a plan and phone to fit every one and every budget imaginable.  And now you don’t have to worry about looking for a payphone booth since they are almost non-existent in our towns.

I’ve been using an Android powered smart phone for a few years now but I’ve decided to really compare Apple’s iPhone against Samsung’s Galaxy to make a decision on my next acquisition.  I know how expensive Apple products are compared to others but there are many reasons which have led me to really research the iPhone.

The three main reasons are stability, security and privacy.

When Tim Cook and Apple took a bold stand against the U.S. Government’s demand to create a back door into the iPhone I really began looking at and respecting Apple.  The more I read, the more I love them!

From various articles which I’ve read (including Apple’s website) I’ve learned many things which I find very important in my next cell phone purchase.

They do not allow anyone to access their servers and they never will (read Tim Cook’s message here about privacy).

As soon as updates for the iOS are available they are downloadable to the iPhone and not to just the current model that has been created; they are currently supporting several (some older models). With Android, it may take several months after updates have been created before you are able to receive it on your device or you may not be able to get it at all.

 On Android devices there are many preloaded Apps which can’t be uninstalled and they take up so much space. The vendors/creators have paid to have them placed on your Android device.  With Apple it isn’t quite so bad.

I truly believe Apple wants to create and provide the best for their Apple family (stability in their devices) as well as keeping their security and privacy a high priority.

By keeping such great support for their devices for several years it makes sense to pay a little more for a device which will last for several years with such good security and updates available.

I feel I’m ready to tackle the iPhone world and will jump into that camp to see how much fun it can be!

If you have one please leave a comment below; especially if you’ve jumped over from the Android side of the river.  (Thank you in advance!)

A Charlie Brown Christmas

My most favorite animated Christmas television special is A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I’ve always enjoyed watching the various Charlie Brown holiday specials when I was a child and I continue the tradition of watching all of them each year.  There’s something nostalgic about Charlie and his friends and I deeply love it.

There is something about the soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas that wraps me up and makes me want to transport back in time.  It is so cozy to me and I often listen to it throughout the year.  Those songs seem to transport me to a time of a peaceful childhood with no worries, of snow days and early school dismissals/closings, of baking Christmas cookies, of decorating the house for the Holiday and they give me a feeling of everything being right in this world.  There’s just something warm and fuzzy about all of that.

I love the ambiance of the season with all of the sounds, smells, yummy foods and lights.

But most importantly, the goodness of mankind which shines so brightly at this time of each year.

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“MERRY CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN!!”

Vintage Appliance Cookbooks

When I received my Grandmother’s cookbooks and recipes I found she had held onto several cookbooks/leaflets which were given when she purchased an appliance.  I remember them from when I was a child and would look through her cookbooks.  I didn’t realize at that time how rare and priceless they are.  Now I do.

Anytime I cruise through vintage items for sale I will look through these types of cookbooks for the unique ones which catch my eye or call to me through nostalgia.

 My husband is an International Harvester Collector so looking for anything which was made by IHC is something which we do all the time.

Here is an example of one of the cookbooks which they gave when you purchased their freezers.

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Did you know that?!  They made freezers as well as many other items in addition to their well-known tractors.  Quite a history behind that company alone.  It is part of our country’s history and so interesting to learn about.

GE appliances are part of my history and my family has owned many GE items; especially stoves.  My Grandmother had this among her collection:

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It is a little worn but still a keeper.

And who hasn’t heard about Kenmore?   Sears’ appliances were/are found in many homes and Kenmore has been a name that has been around for many years.

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These two are unique to me though:

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What do you have hiding among your vintage cookbooks?

A Glimpse of a Rural Life

Life in Rural America is a very special kind of living.  There’s more open space to enjoy, the air is cleaner and the sounds are so much better than city life (at least in my opinion).

Beginning May 4th, I will share a weekly image from what I am calling “A Glimpse of a Rural Life Series.”  I will share images from my rural property and the rural areas which surround me.  Views which I see everyday and are a very important part of my life.  I hope to preserve those glimpses in a way that allows you to better understand the importance of rural areas throughout our country.

There will be images showing you many things which may seem insignificant but truly are critical to the rural way of life.  There are many things people take for granted and may soon disappear if Rural America is abandoned and developed by ‘big business.’  Many of the rural family-owned farms, small businesses and factories have already shuttered due to big corporations and companies which have taken over America.

I am appalled and saddened when farmland is inherited by a generation of children who don’t see and appreciate its true value and sell it for developmental purposes.  So much of America’s farmland is lost this way.  So much of America’s heritage is disappearing.  There is a program with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture dedicated to Farmland Preservation  and their mission is very important.  And I hope through viewing my images of life in the country that you will better understand the importance of preserving this way of life and advocate for preservation of Rural Areas where you live so that it may be saved for future generations before it is something only found in history books.

Because not only do farmers feed their families, they also help to feed the world.  It is critical that their land and rich soil are preserved and saved from future home and business development so that they can continue their vital contributions.