Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mason Jars - a trip all alone and a kidnapping

Mason jars - Part 2
These are my 90 year-old mother's autobiographical words about growing up in the rural west:
We would start a fire in the Round Oak heater in the living room on weekends, and would play cards during the long winter evenings. We would sometimes have popcorn or other treats. We had a wind-up Victrola with records which we would play often.
We had no electricity or running water. When I was about 8 years old, Mother inherited $4,000 from her father's estate and we built on to the house. We originally had a kitchen, living room and two bedrooms. The new part has a basement, 2 bedrooms, a new kitchen (the old kitchen became a dining room), a bathroom (with hope of someday having water from plumbing), and a closed-in porch where there was a sink with a pitcher pump. Our water was from a deep well pumped into a cistern by a windmill. This was the closest my mother ever came to having running water in the house. She never had electricity.
She always cooked on the big Majestic range, using corn cobs and some coal in Nebraska, and wood and coal in Wyoming. We used kerosene lamps, and, later, gasoline lamps that we "pumped up."
When I was a child, I always helped my mother in the house, since I was the only girl. My mother usually had hired men to cook for.
She baked all the bread and canned several hundred jars of vegetables form the garden, meat from butchering, old hens culled from the laying-flock, old roosters, and fruit that we bought by the bushel. (I suppose these came from the wonderful fruit-growing areas of Colorado).
When neighbors came in, the women would always visit the garden and the root cellar where the jars and jars of colorful produce stood. My mother used a steam canner on the cook stove to process the food. . .
Her story is continued in a later section (about high school) in Mom's autobiographical material (written in 1990):
We all worked hard at home. We put up hay, and I did a lot of the raking and drove the hay-stacker team. I helped with the cooking, dish washing, washed the milk separator, helped with the canning and the garden.
Mother was a 4-H leader for our sewing and cooking clubs. We always entered exhibits at the State Fair at Douglas. One year I won First (prize) on my five jars of 5 varieties of vegetables. They went on to the International 4-H Club Congress in Chicago where they took 9th place in the nation. They were then sent to the Livestock Show in Denver. Some of them were stolen, and I never got my whole display back.
When I talked to Mom on the phone last weekend I asked her about this story and she gave me a few more details: The vegetable varieties included green beans, carrots and peas. The canned vegetable Mason jars went to Chicago without Mom because her folks could not affort to send her on such a trip. Some of them went missing in Denver, and the set of five that she got back contained substituted vegetables. She's never solved the mystery, but she recalls her canning honor with shy pride to this very day.
My topical post today at South by Southwest is about checks and balances. There is also a small post with links to good fact-finding tools.

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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.