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Dreaming about cookies!

I recently acquired these two cookie books…

And all I’ve been able to do is dream about cookies.

I’ve been making more cookies lately (just the standards which I love so much) and I Love, Love, Love what Betty says in her Picture Cook Book about them:

I don’t have a proper old-fashioned cookie jar but I do like having cookies in an air-tight container on my kitchen counter (as I do now).

So I couldn’t help myself when I learned about Betty’s vintage cooky book.  I was drawn to it immediately and searched for one online; a used one, of course.

This Betty Crocker Cooky Book is from 1963 (First Edition First Printing) and it looks like new.  I don’t know if the price sticker on the front is from 1963 though.  The cover with all of the cookies just draws you to this book and there are many recipes inside.

This Woman’s Day Cookie Cook Book is from 1963, Third Printing.

It only cost 75 cents back when it was sold in ’63 which is such a bargain by today’s standards.

I’m guessing that many housewives in the 1960’s were very busy baking cookies once they retained one or both of these publications.  I can only imagine how magical Christmas must have been back in that time with so many cookies coming out of mom’s oven.  They can really make a home so warm and inviting especially when the smells are floating through the house as they are baking.  Ah…such great memories!!

What cookies do you enjoy making and keeping in your home?  Do you have a proper old-fashioned cookie jar full of cookies all of the time?  Please share some of your cookie memories with me.

Chocolate chip are my most-favorite cookies and I love using milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips versus the semi-sweet; and I must use butter in the recipe!  I’ve been addicted to the Nestle brand of chips because the chocolate content is better than Hershey’s (in my opinion the taste is so much better) and European chocolate is the best over anything because their number one ingredient is almost always chocolate (cocoa) versus sugar.  Do you look at the ingredients listed on your chocolate chips?  When you see sugar listed first you will find that the taste is just not as good as those which have the cocoa ingredients first.

(On a side-note, I love European chocolate over the American chocolate.  If you haven’t tried any European chocolate you’re missing out on something very extraordinary in taste and quality.  It seems like sugar has become the number one ingredient in all chocolate made in America anymore and the cocoa content is minimal.)

So many cookies…

so little time…

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!

My Vintage Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, Copyright 1950

I love used vintage cookbooks from the early to mid 20th century and I’m happy with my small but ever-growing collection.  When I search online for vintage cookbooks I always narrow my results to ‘used’ books because I want a book with character.

I decided to treat myself and leave work early one day last week to go to a used-book sale at a library in the city where I work (“early bird gets the worm,” as they say).  They have two sales a year and I was there for one before but this time I was concentrating on looking through all of the cookbooks for anything vintage.  So many of the books looked rather new and appeared as if they weren’t even opened or used and only $2.00 for most books.  I found several Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks and Betty Crocker ones too.  Most were newer and not the vintage ones I enjoy but I did find a reprint of the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book.  On the inside it states that it is a reprint of the 1950 book and I believe the reprint date was 1988 or somewhere around that time and that it includes all of the original content/recipes from the book.  I chuckled to myself as I flipped through it and recognized the pages from my original book which is the First Edition (Sixth Printing).  Also, this one had a soft cover and copies of the front and back cover of the original one and it just wasn’t the same for me (many pages seemed distorted as it was “reprinted”).

Here is my original book which I bought last year through Amazon and has the character I’m looking for in a vintage book.  It is in very good condition for its age too.  I’m not going to get into too much detail about this book in relation to the recipes and content exclusive to this cookbook because Marianne over at Happily Mrs has chosen to cook-through this book for my challenge and she will most likely be sharing much with you as she blogs about her food.  I bet you will want to buy one for yourself too! 🙂

These older cookbooks are more then just a collection of recipes.  They give us a glimpse into the home life of housewives during the time period they were written and are so valuable in that regard.  The newer cookbooks today just don’t compare to these older ones, in my opinion.  Everything which I’ve made from this book so far has been really good and a “keeper.”  I love all of the photos and how-tos included.  I’ve been successful with my white yeast breads using the recipe and photo instructions in here.

I want to share the character of my book with you which makes it so much more special.  I am thinking of myself as a safe-keeper of these older books until I pass on into the next life.  Hopefully the next person will care for these books in the same manner that I do.  They are getting more rare and difficult to find in such good condition.  But the antique business has picked up in recent years in the United States and throughout the world more people are beginning to appreciate the value of these vintage items and prices are going through-the-roof for such things.

At one time it lived here although I don’t remember if the seller who sent it to me was from this place.

As I turn the page with the above sticker I am greeted by such a wonderful dedication page.

I’m sure Hilma so enjoyed cooking with this book.  It probably brought a smile to her face every time she saw this from her friend, Sarah Fiske.

This book has a section on ‘making work easy’ with short cuts.  I wrote about this once before at this link: Unique Discovery.

This book is truly a treasure and has so much it in that I want to make as well.  If I could go back to the 1950’s and have a cookbook club I would certainly use this book and have a monthly dinner party to enjoy all of the foods. 🙂  I’ve been wondering though how much this book cost when it was published and sold in the 1950’s.  Does anyone know?  I’m very happy that I purchased this book as ‘used’ versus a reprint.  I would like to read it as a novel but I keep getting distracted or side-tracked with something in the book or something else all together.  As I type this post I am sitting here listening to Old Fashioned (Vintage) Christmas music and enjoying my trek through the mid 20th century.  If you find one of these used treasures somewhere along your travels in life just hang onto it.  There is a lot inside that you will enjoy!

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?

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…

I Miss You and Who I Once Was With You

Maybe it is because I miss who I was when I was there

Or because of the innocence and carefree life it held for me

Maybe for what it stood for and for who was there

For all the good that happened; for all the memories it holds of my life as it stands for someone else

Maybe for what it has done to me to shape me into the woman I am today

But I feel…mostly for the fact that it is a capsule of time which I want to live in forever because I miss everything about you and who I once was with you

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{my first home}

Its been a long time

I must write this down.

Even if for no other reason than to document and preserve the memory and feelings I’ve had since last evening.

We attended a local spaghetti supper to benefit a community.  It is a yearly event and the food is outstanding with a large gathering of people who come and go throughout the day.  I often see people whom I have either worked with or know from my hometown/community.  There is all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad bar (in a canoe!), homemade soups and desserts.

As I came to the end of the canoe and was reviewing the various salad dressings I felt someone touch my back.  I turned to find the smiling face of a former schoolmate of mine whom I haven’t seen for many years.  She game me a huge hug and we talked for approximately two minutes and ended with another hug.  It is hard to describe the feelings I’ve had since that moment.  It was wonderful to see “M” even though we weren’t close friends in school.  She was always part of the ‘in crowd,’ had many friends, boyfriends, the best clothes and involved in many school activities.  I often was jealous of her and her friends because it seemed like they had everything one could ever want.  My school years weren’t the happiest of my life due to being picked-on by so many in our small high school and having very few friends to support me (it seemed like they abandoned me too, at times).  I ended up getting an after-school job at age 16 at the local supermarket and worked a lot with no social life at all.  I am very happy that my life has turned out better than it appeared it would be when I was a teenager.

Seeing “M” was really nice, actually.  I have avoided all of the class reunions that have happened since my high school graduation and I currently have very-rare contact with a couple of girls from my class.  But seeing “M” was really good and that has surprised me.  Maybe it is because time has changed us both and we’ve learned many life lessons and have forgotten all of the childish things that occurred between us in those dark days of school.  I learned a long time ago that no matter how good someone else’s life may appear to us it may be that they are struggling with so much and  their life could be worse than our own.  Maybe “M’s” life wasn’t as good as it appeared to me; maybe she was struggling at home, too, with so much.  A few years ago “M’s” sister succumbed to her demons and took her own life.  She was a very popular, always-smiling girl in our school.  I was shocked when I learned that news and often think of her.  I remember she gave me a senior photo with the sweetest words written on the back.  I still have that and have often thought of that nice gesture to me.  When she gave me that photo I was over the moon after reading those words.  It made such a difference to me in those rough school days.

I am very happy that “M” made the decision to walk over to me when she saw me (I hadn’t seen her).  I’ve been thinking about her and our conversation and it wasn’t a bad experience to see her.  I always avoided classmates because I didn’t want to dig up all of those bad memories and feelings from yesteryear.

God does place people in front of us for a reason.  And there must be a reason that he placed “M” there for me last evening.  In His time I shall learn that, I’m sure.

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?

Arms and Hearts Reaching Towards Heaven

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I miss you much, Pappy!  I can’t wait to see you again and catch up on so much that has happened in the last 26 years.  And to talk about all the things which we never talked about before; I have so many questions to ask you and Mammy.  I still remember the day my Father came home from the hospital to tell us that you were no longer with us and it broke our hearts so deeply.  I have so many great memories of our times together.  I hope you are proud of the woman I’ve become.  Love you tons! XOXO

Happy Birthday, Josephine!  Thank you for writing to me for all of those years and for all the wonderful gifts you gave to me and my family.  I’ll always remember the gifts which UPS delivered to us on Christmas Eve from you and your family.  Hugs!

Beauty in the Intricate Lines

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The intricacy of everything within our Mother Earth has its purpose.

We all are entangled together with Her.

The reasons why are unknown to us now.

But one day they will display their simplistic fine lines

And we will know our purpose for existence with Her.

Happy Mother’s Day to My Mother and Grandmothers in Heaven

and to Our Mother Earth.

So many things about the local family-owned grocery store attracts me to it

Even though we live in a rural area, we are not immune to Walmart.  Walmart has pretty much taken over this country’s landscape by being everywhere.  I remember the time when it wasn’t anywhere in Pennsylvania (and only seen in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) and now there is a store as close as ten minutes from my home.  When my husband and I were dating, Walmart built the first store close to us and we would go there occasionally.  When we married, we’d go about once a month to buy all the things we needed that we couldn’t buy at the local grocery stores and it didn’t bother us to only visit it once a month (probably saved us a lot of money that way!).  After a big chain store named ‘Ames’ closed the local store which had been around for many years this rural area no longer had a retailer to frequent.  We’d now have to drive 35 miles minimum for purchasing items other than groceries.  After an ad was placed in the local newspaper asking residents to call Walmart’s corporate office and request a store to be built in our area to replace the now-closed ‘Ames’ retailer, it came to fruition and in 2007 it opened its doors.  The prices are good for most things compared to many other retailers and that unfortunately has helped to close many of the local and family-owned businesses.  Eventually we began to shop weekly for everything including groceries and it was convenient and saved money for us.

But a lot has changed due to Walmart and their business practices and we dislike going there now (we only go for a few things on occasion).  We’ve gone back to patronizing the local PA family-owned grocery store named Weis Markets and we love it.

So many things about shopping at Weis attracts me more than ever before.  The local store is close to my husband’s job location which makes it quite convenient for him to shop at in the early afternoons when he is finished working.  It saves me a trip on most Saturdays and has saved my precious weekend time to do other things (because I can stand in line at Walmart for 30-45 minutes just to pay for my groceries).  When he, or I even, go to Weis there usually isn’t a crowd of people and it is nice and quiet to shop there with relatively short check-out lines.  The employees are very personable too (you won’t get much of that at Walmart).  Walmart is a nightmare and they only have a few registers open at any given time with very long lines out into the other sections of the store.  I’ve even begun buying health and beauty items at my local Weis store.  The difference in the higher prices versus Walmart prices is worth it by saving me all the aggravation of going to Walmart (and Weis doubles coupons too!!).  And the best thing of all is that the money doesn’t leave the state; Weis Markets is family-owned and here in Pennsylvania.  PA also has another rather large chain grocery store called Giant Food Stores and we do go there occasionally.  But I’m still drawn back to Weis.  Maybe its due to my ever present longing for nostalgia from my youth.  When I was young we stayed home and in our local area mostly; shopped at the only local family-owned grocery store (where everyone shopped at) which began in their home!  Leaving our area for any type of shopping was very rare in those days.    Everyone patronized their neighbors and didn’t think of leaving the valley for anything else.  Going to even a Weis store was rare but I do remember visiting them.  I also like the Weis near us due to its appearance inside.  Someone once told me that she doesn’t care for them much because she thinks they look “old fashioned” (or she used some other term similar in meaning).  They are updating many stores and building some new ones to be more energy efficient and to have more variety and larger selections to choose from.  I still enjoy our local one; it hasn’t been upgraded recently but that is all good by me.

I still enjoy the local owned businesses too.  They support local communities and its people and remind us what truly helped to build our small rural areas in the first place.

Even during the holiday season it seems so much more fun for me to go to the local grocery store.  It reminds me of all my excitement as a child of going there and getting all the seasonal goodies and baking items needed.  There is nothing too commercialized about a grocery store, it is all about the food, and I enjoy that aspect the most.  🙂  Food brings fond memories, doesn’t it?!

I will continue to shop at my local Weis Markets to help keep it here where it has been for many years.

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.

 

That old wonderful vinyl collection

I love John Denver’s music and I am currently listening to an album with so many of his greatest songs which really bring on the Nostalgia.  As a child, I became exposed to his music when listening to so many of his vinyl records; I think my Father still has those albums too.  I really was exposed to so much great music through that vast vinyl collection. 🙂  I remember playing those records and 8-track tapes constantly and my love of music just grew and grew (as well as the scratches on those records from playing so much).  I would listen to 45’s and 33 1/3’s and found such joy in all of that “vintage” music (including Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Juice Newton, etc.); many albums which my Father grew up on too.

Denver’s ‘Annie’s Song’ is one of his hits which I adore.  And I really love this video which I’ve seen on television which uses his song in the background.

It will make you cry.

And it will show you many things that this Wonderful World has to offer us each and every day; things which we should respect and appreciate more.

Security Blankets are Forever

Merriam-Webster.com defines Security Blanket with two full definitions:

  1. a blanket carried by a child as a protection against anxiety

  2. a usually familiar object whose presence dispels anxiety

I believe that for a child it can be defined both literally and figuratively.  In the literal sense it is actually a blanket which is important while the figurative items may be an object or even a person/parent close to the child.

I also believe that humans keep a security blanket throughout their lives and it is not something that is discarded like a former childhood plush animal.

If a baby is introduced to a pacifier at birth, that becomes a very important security blanket and may become a difficult habit to break for a child.  Eventually he/she may suck on their thumb as a substitute for that pacifier and that too can last for a long time (at least from my observations of children).  Then the child may evolve into having a teddy bear as a buddy or even a cozy well-loved blanket.  But the greatest security blanket for many children is a parent or another guardian who is close to that child.  That is the person whom they run to for protection, affection and affirmation for many days to come.  That individual may show unconditional love and support through the child’s life and become the rock that is needed at all times.  It is only human nature to want to find love and to be loved and typically our parents are the first ones to show us love.

For many families it becomes the child who must endure the death and loss of the parent and to me that is the way the life cycle should be.  When the parent is no longer here on Earth to comfort the child, the child eventually acquires something else to be his/her security blanket for the rest of their days.

I believe that Nostalgia becomes that Security Blanket.  It comforts us during the most difficult times and also when life is rolling along at a regular pace.  Isn’t it common to reminisce with friends and family during the bereavement process?  We pull out old photos albums and watch videos and share stories with others about the deceased.  It provides comfort for all who partake in the bereavement of someone loved.

Nostalgia is defined by Merriam-Webster.com as simply : pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.

I absolutely love that definition.

I notice that nostalgia becomes commonplace in our thoughts as we age and I know this because it has become that for me and I’m observing it in others as well.  Maybe it is due to accepting our mortality and that we are quickly running towards that door or maybe because of the loss of a parent or other loved ones in our lives.  I think nostalgia wraps us up in a safer, more peaceful time when everything was right in the world and we had no worries.  It transports us to a place in our life when we were younger and actually living our lives and not worrying about death because death was for old folks and we were never going to get that old; or at least that is what we fooled ourselves into believing.  We lived in the moment and never peered beyond the next week.  Now as we age quickly, because time truly passes faster as we become older adults, we begin to reach inside for the Security Blanket which time or others can never take away.  It comforts us because we now face a future which we thought we would never deal with.  You quickly find yourself as an adult in a very adult world with adult responsibilities and worries and where lots of bad things happen which we have no control over.

I’ve been a dreamer all of my life so reminiscing and nostalgic thoughts come naturally to me and flow freely through my mind.  I choose my nostalgia for pleasure to transport myself into that perfect world again.  It is my Security Blanket in a world spinning out of control and makes me want to go back in time to experience it all over again.

 

What has become your Security Blanket and Why?

 

Saturday’s Sweet Surprise : My Mother’s Italian Sugar Cookies

My Mother wasn’t a huge baker but one thing she often made were her Italian Sugar Cookies and it didn’t have to be Christmas either! 🙂  I even recall that when I had to do a cooking/baking demonstration in Home Economics class in high school I chose to make these Sugar Cookies and I still enjoy making them as an adult.  Often, though, I make them at Christmas but I always remember that these are my Mom’s.

Italian Sugar Cookies

Bake in 400 degree oven for approx. 10 minutes

Ingredients to make cookies

3/4 cup softened butter (I prefer unsalted)

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 1/4 cups flour

Cinnamon Sugar for coating rolled cookies

1/2 cup white sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed together in a dish/bowl

Directions

Cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and beat well.

Sift together baking powder and flour and add to the creamed mixture.  Blend well.

Shape dough into small balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Put on baking sheet and into preheated oven.

Enjoy!