Monday, July 26, 2010

First Homes

Our first home was on Teagues South Road. We had heard the house was going to be for sale. The farmer did not want the house, only the land. So we became the owners of a little farm of 1/2 acre, a house, a garage and a barn. Little did we know we would be leaving our sweet home less than a year later with a company transfer to Wisconsin.

Yesterday I walked through my son's new home. He and his new bride have found their dream house. Remembering our Neff Road roots, my son has always wanted to live in an old house with acreage. Not easy to find in Beaverton, Oregon, but they did.

"Why does he want an old house?" his father asked. "He doesn't realize the amount of work it takes."

I looked at my ex-husband remembering a young man who couldn't wait to get started updating our first home. We plastered and painted loving every minute of making it ours.

"Wait until he has to keep that yard up," he went on to complain.

My young husband had a new riding lawnmower. He delighted in driving his little mower around the trees. A boy and his toys.

Ah, we get older and have less energy. Those memories of grabbing a paint brush painting the old into new seem less pleasant. Pulling weeds and mowing remind us of backaches and toil we'd rather have someone else do.

Today my son and his bride sign the papers on their new home. Tonight we will raise a glass of champagne to the beginning of their life there where they will raise their children and grow old together.

The memories of our first homes are memories that travel with us into the next generation. And, memories that we children of those first homes hold dear. Our memories of Neff Road.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Book Ends

They met at the Greenville Fair Grounds.

"On August 26, 1923 Benj Loxley, Jr. called Grandmother Loxley and the children and grandchildren of Benjamin Loxley, Sr. together at the Darke County Fair Grounds."

See, I told you they met there. My great grandfather and great grandmother and all of the fifteen children from his two different wives and all of their families attended.

The next year they met at the site of the family homestead. This was the year that Uncle Jesse sang a solo. I don't think I ever knew Uncle Jess had a melodic voice. Letters were read from family who could not make it, speeches were given, minutes from the previous year were read, budget was discussed and a date set for the next year at my grandfather's home.

Far in the back of this 'history book' on my birthday on June 16, 1963, the reunion was held at Greenville City Park, Shelter House #3. I was the secretary...however, the handwriting in the log is my mother's.

The book ends in 1964. Forty-eight were present. I don't know what happened after that time, but the book evidently stayed at Mom and Dad's because I have it. We don't have Loxley reunions any more. I rather wish we did.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Me Next!

My mom gave the best back rubs in the entire world back that lane on Neff Road. She wasn't light handed, but she found the aches and got the job done. If Mom began giving one of us a back rub, voices would soon start yelling, "Me next!"

At one of my past jobs, I gave back rubs to fellow co-workers. At one time, my boss had even considered sending me to masseuse school making me his executive assistant and office masseuse. I did work in an office in which a traveling masseuse would come in once a month. At another office, an acupuncturist came in. So nice that many businesses are acknowledging ways their employees healthy and productive.

I now have a little hand massager that the girls take turns running up and down my back, their backs and even those of visiting friends. The same call goes out.

No one does it quite as good as Mom. I think perhaps the difference might lie in the love that was behind her touch. I wish I could say once more, "Me, next!"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Life For An Old Swing

What kid doesn't want a swing in the backyard? The soothing motion moving back and forth on the swing delights children, soothes babies and reminds mothers of those pleasant visits on the old porch.

The swing in the barn was a favorite for several generations of children. However, I think just maybe the swing on the back porch was my favorite. I remember sitting on the swing with my Great Aunt Alma. We had just gotten a puppy named Whitey. She sat next to this small girl while I held the pup. Back and forth. Back and forth. A loving aunt enjoying a moment and making memory.

I sat on the old swing with my boyfriend while Dad stood inside the kitchen door keeping an eye on his young daughter. Friends and relatives would sit on the porch chatting about crops and neighbors. The swing was the prize seat. Peas were shelled, beans snapped while Mom sat with a pan on her lap and a bucket at her feet. My duty was to swat flies with the fly swatter. A good way to keep me out of her hair. Farm hands rested sitting under the tree and on the old swing.

We had a swing that hung from the old mulberry tree in the center of the yard. I was young but still remember the fun we little ones had playing around and on the swing. My dad hung a trapeze from the same tree for my sisters. I know they will hate this picture, but I love it since I have few memories of the three of us at home as children. Farm kids having a great time.

When the farm was sold, I took the old porch swing lying dormant in the barn. Dusty and dirty from years of use and then lack of use, it still held the memories. Layers of paint covers the old swing made of tobacco lath. I know that somewhere under the grey lies a coat of dark green. I know that under the dust and dirt lie memories of babies, family and neighbors.

My son and his wife just bought a wonderful old house on a treed half acre of land.

"We'll hang the old swing on the porch, Mom."

A new life for an old swing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

With Every Opening Is A Closing

The old gate. As far back as I can remember, I climbed the old gates peeking over them to watch the animals. I would climb on them to call Dad in for lunch (or dinner as we called it on the farm). When I was old enough, I could open the gate to the chicken house to gather eggs and feed the rabbits. I could open the gate so Mom or Dad could drive the car through to get gas from the tank on the other side. Dad often had me hop down from the tractor to open the gate.

When smaller, Brenda and I would climb the gate to get reach the little chicken house on the other side either to pet the baby chicks or to play house in it when it was 'chick vacant'. We climbed gates because it was fun. We climbed gates to get from one place to another. We climbed gates because we could.

When my horse came to the gate, I climbed up to pet her head spending quality time conversing with a horse who could not converse in return. The cows would poke their noses through the fence when it was feeding time or for just plain curiosity.  Sheep would do the same waiting for some yummy morsel to be tossed across the gate.

Sometimes I would just go out to the gate between the corn crib and the barn to just sit thinking about life, looking at the farm and sometimes cooling off after a fight with my parents. The gate was a good place for sitting.

Once in awhile a gate was left open by some mysterious means. (It couldn't have been my fault.) The yell would go out. The family emptied the house chasing cows or sheep or chickens back to their place of residence. Once in awhile we were called to the neighbors to do the same. It was exciting maneuvering the animals back to the barns once more. A bit of team work, a family working together and a gated closed with a reminder, "Close the gate!"

When visiting the farm on Neff Road, my children would immediately head for the gate. As tiny tots, they leaned over the top looking at the cows we did not have in Oregon. With a hand on tiny bottoms, I watched their faces light up and listened to sweet voices calling to the cows.

You don't see many wooden fences any more. No longer do cows stand at the old wooden gate waiting to come in for milking. Wire and metal gates don't need a coat of paint, are lighter to open and many latch on their own.

Ah, the good old days. I have a small wooden gate. Maybe I need some livestock!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Why Do I Care?

Sometimes I am amazed at who visits my blog site. My site has a tool that tracks the cities that visit my blog, so I can see how far my words roam from Neff Road. Yesterday I had a visitor from India. Visitors from Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, here in Oregon, California, Texas, Tennessee, New York, Australia and England have stopped in to visit my blog over the last few months. Thank you for joining me on Neff Road. Our journeys can be those shared by many.

One last day with The Everson Farm Manual. I hope you have enjoyed these pages of history, these pages of our past. I have been awed at the ingenuity of my ancestors as well as their creativity, their 'make do' attitude. I have learned lessons and gained new 'old' ideas. A small book has taken me into the past influencing the way I look at the present and a desire to make a better future for my family. I have walked down Neff Road with my farm manual in hand.


Dishes on ice. I sit here trying to figure out why anyone would place a plate on ice. Maybe it was a suggestion for those living in the frozen tundra. Hm.

Borax in Empty Jars. Borax seemed to be a cure all. I remember small, thin boxes of what I think was Borax Detergent.

 Vinegar Cruets. Another cure all. Vinegar has been my friend for many years. To take the smell out of wash cloths, a cup of vinegar added to the laundry tub full of towels brings them out smelling fresh. A weekly routine at my house.

A few years ago Polident was giving away free companion airline tickets. I had to buy boxes of the stuff in order to get the labels I needed to send in. Boxes. We're talking boxes. I still have my own teeth and know of no one who doesn't....or at least I wouldn't ask. So, what to do with all of these packets. Well, I found a perfect way to use it up. Soaking clouded glass or vases with water rings inside in water plus a packet of Polident, makes the glass clear and sparkling again. I not only got a free airline ticket, I also have crystal clear glass. Maybe I should start my own Neff Road Manual.

Prevent Freezing. When the cold weather hit the home back the lane on Neff Road, Mom hung her laundry on a clothesline in the basement. Of course, drying took a bit longer, but that could be sped up with a fire in the fireplace.

Oilcloth Cover. I was given a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook when I was married in 1969. A cookbook with a washable cover. No doubt someone took the oilcloth idea and made it marketable.

Throughout these pages I have been amazed at the products used in the barn as well as in the house, used to cook as well as clean, used for medicinal needs as well as household use. Resilient, creative, make do people who are the pioneers of the products we now use. I think maybe I need to sit with my thoughts and remember what creative methods my own parents' problem solving. Why do I care? Because I'm that girl who lived back Neff Road and am so glad I did.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Breakfast is Calling

Another day, and I will pull myself away from the farm manual. Just a warning: It will be back.  There is too much rich history in this book for me to allow it to gather dust or to be shoved into a box waiting for another pair of eyes to find the wealth within.



Fish. My daughter-in-law has meatless days. She's a vegetarian. My granddaughter decided that she, too, would like to be a meatless person. It lasted one day after her mom made one of her favorite dishes which just happened to contain chicken. My dil (see above) dislikes pickles. Needless to say, this hint would not be to her liking. As for myself, I love dill pickles and remember as a child eating pickles sandwiches. Sounds like a good hint to me. Where's my fishing pole?

Soybeans. My sisters and I have often commented on the many uses and popularity of soybeans. Having lived in a house surrounded by the beans, one would think at some given time, we might have tasted them. Well, this was not the case. I think perhaps we could have been starving and no one would have thought to go pick a few beans. Now I find that I can grind them and drink them instead of coffee. Let this be understood: I will not try this suggestion.

Mince Meat. Have never had mince meat pie. Don't care to have mince meat pie. Not even sure what is in mince meat pie.

Burns. Again, vinegar to the rescue. I didn't know this information and am glad to have it. With my granddaughters here, one never knows. Since I hate to cook, burning oneself would be a rarity, but once in awhile I actually turn on the stove.

Popcorn Balls. Dad had a dish pan of popcorn every night. When the pan clanked in the kitchen, we knew what was to follow. When my parent's passed, my daughter asked for that old pan. On Neff Road, we made popcorn balls. I know I was very small the first time I put my hands along with those of my sisters into that sticky mess making a batch of fresh popcorn balls. You know, I haven't done that in years. Maybe my granddaughters and I will ask to borrow Dad's old pan and make some new memories.

Potato Cakes. As unhealthy as it sounds, I love the thought of potatoes wrapped with bacon. Of course, I love bacon. I think I hear breakfast calling!

Cake Toppings. My appetite has just been severely dampened.

"Sweetening" Refrigerator. I'm not sure how someone came up with this one. My guess is that at some point a bottle of vanilla fell to the floor spilling its contents beneath the refrigerator. Walla! Sweet smelling  coils.

Scarred Linoleum. Seems to me that the paint would scuff; however, for those with little money it is a way to lift the spirits.

I'm still thinking about bacon and potatoes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tossed History

History is lost when history is tossed. Much of our history is missing. We can trace our family tree to a certain point then a piece is missing. Old Bibles were the history keepers yet we fail to keep them updated. Papers, pictures, journals, etc. are thrown away when someone passes, because no one thinks them to be important. Yet to another generation those items are history of a family, history of another time, history that needs to be protected and passed on.

Yes, I have many of Mom and Dad's old journals and books. Even though I had no idea what I would do with this stack of items, I knew that they should be saved. So now you reap the rewards in my blog, and I get to share a history that could have been lost. Today we go to the kitchen in the old farm manual.


Using an orange peel to soften sugar doesn't sound familiar. I think Mom had another method but that is an incidental I have forgotten. In fact, it seems to me that brown sugar had a small capsule in it that kept it soft. What do you remember? Please comment and let me know. I do find it hard to believe that brown sugar kept in the refrigerator would stay fresh. Wouldn't the moisture create sticky sugar? Oh, I am in a sugar dilemma.

If you visit states that have high humidity, more times than not rice will be sharing the salt shaker along with the salt. On a visit back east, I remember my granddaughters' fascination with the bits in the salt shaker. Obviously, we live in a low humidity state with free flowing salt.

Its probably a good thing that we now have fans over our stoves. Burning orange skins would most definitely set off my smoke alarm. However, I do have a hankering to try it.

Seems to me that the orange peel was recycled down to the last peel. Maybe this is where flavored teas got their start. I certain hope they didn't use the peel and throw away the orange.

Nut cracker. It's easier. Nut cracker.

I am totally confused with the Over salted Fruit section. Hopefully, this is an error. The thought of any fruit salted other than melon and tomatoes makes my teeth hurt.

Well, who would have thought to toss marbles into a pot of cooking food?! Who comes up with these ideas? How did they stumble onto the methods? Makes one wonder.

Warning: Do not place food into your coffee makers. Point made.

I was excited when I saw the caption: Burning Fat. Oh, how I had hoped it would mean body fat. Oh, well.

I'm full of questions today. Caption: Pipe Cleaners. What is a lemon sipper?

As a young bride, I followed the hints from Heloise. I clipped the bits of information and tucked them away in my kitchen "just in case". I wonder if she ever read the Everson manual? Even now some of her hints would be obsolete.

Is history residing in your house? Maybe you don't care about this past, but believe me, your family just might have someone like me who cherishes these glimpses into history.

History is lost when history is tossed.
                     - previous quote taken from the wacky brain of the writer from Neff Road.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Resourceful History

Obviously, The Everson Farm Manual offers the early California Closet. Boxes marked and labeled stored beneath clothing, on shelves and stacked in the attic, most likely forgotten until necessity arrived. It makes me wonder when the wooden box was replaced by cardboard. Storage up to then had been in old trunks and blanket chests. With the closet we start once more delving into the past through the pages of the old farm manual.

My Aunt Welma Johnson and mother loved to wallpaper together. They had all of the equipment. When I was very small, I would play in the gooey wallpaper scraps beneath the extended platform that rested on the rungs of two ladders. I loved to climb over the equipment and listen to the women laugh and gossip. It was my time alone with these two women. They wallpapered for themselves and anyone else who asked. Oh, how I loved wallpapering time.

Now we know the origin of the low headboard. When I was small, Mom Johnson took me up to the guest room at the top of the stairs where Aunt Iva's old bed resided. The tall oak headboard was the first I had ever seen. Next to the bed on a lamp table sat a small, china figurine, a beautiful woman complete with a tall white wig and ballgown. My grandmother explained that one day it would be mine. It was not to be. But never will I forget the sight of that high headboard and that moment with a grandma I didn't know very well.

Often I had seen old cans or wood spools covered with fabric and padded for a footstool. I never thought about this as a way for those who couldn't afford a footstool to have the luxury.

Never would I have thought to reuse yarn from an old sweater. Resourceful. We should have remained that resourceful over the years and in the end might have more resources.

I am marking page 81 because I love the suggestions to protect furniture. Valid today as it was then. A new generations learning from those before.

Never have I turned a mattress every week. Never will I turn a mattress every week. Enough said.

We can learn from the past. We can teach for the future. Yes, I grew up in a home where each penny was saved and recycling was a way of life. Now I am the teacher of history, of invention, of awareness. So are you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wax Paper, Cornstarch and Ingenuity

Wax bread wrappers. I don't remember them, but I wonder if this was the precursor to rolls of wax wrap. Still sounds like a great idea for kids and boots. Amazing the uses of wax paper.

Yes, we are back to The Everson Farm Journal.

Obviously old ideas are made new for today. Dipping a key into oil to work a stiff door lock is replaced by WD40. Doesn't it make you wonder what makeshift inventions we come up with today that could be tomorrow's 'new' idea? I am just full of inventions...just no one takes me seriously.

We don't send coins in the mail much anymore; however, I did my fair share of taping and mailing. Not so sure there is anything we can even purchase for coins. Now that's just sad.

I regret that we now go to the store for products or check online for hints and remedies. Seems to me that the day and age of making due with what was at hand has disappeared.  Ingenuity is replaced with laziness.

Rubber gloves filled with cornstarch in the freezer. Now anyone who ever grew up on a farm knows that cornstarch is good for everything. My granddaughter was amazed that I could take cornstarch powder and powder her down before she crawled into her softball uniform keeping her dry in the terrible  summer heat. It calms the itch, cools the body, helps diaper rash, polishes the car, cleans the dog, soothes the itch and does more than I can put into one sentence. Cornstarch....a shelf staple.

The entry, Hot Water Bottle, takes us back to a time when rubber was in shortage, and a time that the hot water bottle was used regularly...in one way or another. Again, ingenuity helped those in dire straits.

The Towel item delights me. I love clothes pins. They were fun to use as a child. I bought them when I was married and hanging clothes on my clothesline. Saved them all these years so now I can hang my grandchildren's art on a wire along my stairway.

Ah, I love this trek back in time. Thank you for joining me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Poison Ivy Catnip

Here we go again visiting the Everson Farm Manual. I missed blogging yesterday due to hanging in the park with my granddaughters. It was 98 degrees here yesterday. It seemed that running through a fountain would be more fun than hanging in my hot house. So, today we resume before the heat shows up.

To begin with, I am constantly amazed at the resiliency of the farmers who had little and made do. Saving a large jar, a jar that probably had been used time and time again, was an effort, for them a necessity. There was no money for new jars. I'm not sure of the health issues stemming from the compounds used in sealing cracks in the jar, but evidently trial and error eventually came to success.


The hint for the high chair is one that carried to the present with pacifiers sewn to a cord, toys hanging on car carrier handles for baby to see and the mobile over the crib. Early inventors.

I absolutely love the entry for Weiner Roasts. Impromtu moments for hot dog cravings. Emergency kit for great moments around the fire. We should all still carry those supplies. Never know when you just might have a hankering for a weiner roast.

A lapse of sense occurred with the Window Screen entry. I can't imagine putting in a screen without first washing the windows. Hm.

My dad when young was told that if he ate poison ivy he would no longer get it. Needless to say, it about killed him; however, the information was correct. He never again got poison ivy. I do think it is important to note that planting catnip in areas where poison ivy is present will kill it. Of course, cats will come from all over the county to lounge in the catnip. At least, they won't get poison ivy. And, if you don't mind smelling like onion, use the onion!

Again, I hope you enjoy this ride through the past, this return to Neff Road. I will see you back here on Monday with more on Rain Barrel. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Birth of Built-Ins

Running late today but am determined to visit the farm manual once more. Yesterday I ended with the party ideas so we will pick up there. Come join me on Neff Road.

There are terms and products once used which are no longer common: laundry bluing, Toni Home Permanents, Fels Naptha (which can still be purchased), Ivory Flakes, linseed oil, the list goes on. And, as they go on so, too, do the memories.

Who cannot read the 'apple birthday gift' suggestion without thinking how simple life was back then and how little it took to please a child. Now we would we stuffing dollars into a banana!

Built-ins were not common back in the old farm houses. I know that in our house an old stairway became two closets and another was built-in sometime during the late 50's. Never was I more aware of 'no closets' then when I visited Nottingham, England. The home we visited was circa 1970's yet wardrobes were used as closets. I remember a built in china cupboard in the corner of Mom Johnson's kitchen. The old radiator sat next to it so I could climb up onto it to see into the cabinet.

I love the idea using melted paraffin to old castors in place. Mom loved to move furniture. Being the smallest, I was designated to crawl around the legs putting fallen castors back in place.

We chased dust around the furniture only to see it float in the sun finding a new place to land. I'm not sure Mom ever treated the clothes. At least she kept her daughters busy dusting.

Again, I hope I'm not boring you. I find my story in these pages of the Everson Farm Manual. A place we came from to a place we now reside with some of the ideas not so outdated.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mineral Oil Memories

Here I go again with the farm manual. I chuckle, remember and absolutely love the helpful ideas. I can see Mom in the kitchen with water streaming down her arms as she cleaned chickens (she wasn't giving the bird a bath as a younger reader might interpret). She needed idea #1; however, seeing mom with cotton wrapped around her wrists would have given her daughters lots to tease about. So enjoy. You just might find something to make you laugh or better yet, something you just might want to try.


Removing tarnish, recycling at it's best. Save that potato water to polish silver. I absolutely hate polishing silver, so the next time a holiday requiring the silver to come out of storage arrives, I will pull out the potatoes and have at it.

Remember the old upright pianos with the yellow piano keys? My grandparents both had the huge, clunky pianos. The ivories were yellow and thin. I always thought they must have found an elephant with yellow tusks to borrow for keys. Didn't realize back then this thing called poaching and extinct.  Amazing what borax, vinegar and baking soda could do.

I watch Antique Roadshow. Of course, like everyone else, I'm looking for things from the past and things that reside in my home to see how rich I could be. I had an oil painting cleaned several years ago and was surprised to see the beautiful painting that resided beneath years of neglect. Now I find that I could actually have done the work myself. Maybe I'll try it on some picture that doesn't mean as much. If it works, I'll have the cleanest art in the state of Oregon.

I guarantee that if I wash walls with the above solution, I will use hint one wrapping the cotton above my rubber gloves. I don't remember ever seeing Mom wear rubber gloves to make lye soap, do cleaning with strong solutions or handling other skin-destroying agents. Ah, the hands of the farm woman: strong, sometimes scarred and as they aged, gnarled. But oh so lovely.

The main thing I remember about lamp shades are that many people never took them out of the cellophane cover or plastic sleeves over them. Since this is info for parchment shades, I'm assuming it could pertain to oil lamp covers. The mention of mineral oil brought back the disgusting memory of that tablespoon of mineral oil that was pried into my mouth every night. Yuk! Maybe it wasn't the same mineral oil. At least I should have been shiny inside, shiny like a clean shade.

Now I find the rug section fascinating. First of all I'm not sure why there would be blood on the rug. Secondly, it sounds like a mystery novel to me. You could track the killer by his stiff, starched shirt. Sorry, side-tracked again.

Once more I have had my reflections and chuckles for today. I hope you have, too. I wonder where my grandchildren will find their smiles in my past. No doubt the outhouse would top the list closely followed by chewing on fresh oats shelled in the field, playing in the barn instead of using a wii, walking two miles to school in a snowstorm. Okay, I didn't walk two miles, let alone in a snow storm, but my parents did.

Tell your stories. Better yet, write them down. These hints and helps from this little manual were my grandparents' and parents' history, a history of Neff Road in 1944. Just maybe your history, too.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Make Do

'Make do', a phrase used throughout my life. We had to make do with what we had be it clothing, shoes, food, odds and ends. We 'made do'.

Who would guess that a wash board could be used to shell corn. Dad had this gizmo where you put the ear of corn into the shaft then cranked the crank on the side turning the ear of corn through teeth that removed the corn. Evidently, this came into being after hours of pushing that darn ear of corn over the wash board.

A table leaf becomes a sick room bedside table. We didn't have a lock on our screen door. We never locked the house! In fact, I don't know of anyone on Neff Road who did.

Please enjoy this part of the manual. We will cover more of it just because I'm having fun. Remember to click on the picture to enlarge it.


In reading this manual, I find myself trying to envision some of the suggestions. The piece of green cedar residing next to the iron makes me laugh. Mom made me iron for hours on end, probably to keep me from getting bored. I ironed clothing, sheets and towels. Do you know how hard it is to iron a terry cloth towel? Maybe I needed a piece of cedar.

Evidently, old feed and flour sacks were used for everything from a mat at the door to dresses for my sisters. Nothing was wasted.

As I read through the different suggestions, I find that many 'solutions' were used. Kerosene, tractor oil, ammonia were just part of the farm. Dad's work bench had a little of this and that. In fact, the little was in reality a lot of this and that. If we were hurt, a little bit of liniment could be used on the horses as well as the kids.

I love the table lamp idea. It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out, but I'm glad that they created what we now collect. I have two handmade bookcases and a plant stand. Their creative ideas and the products of those ideas do not go unnoticed today. In fact, I am one of those who prize their work.

I hope you have a great weekend. Thank you for joining me back on the farm. Today and always I will be the girl who lived back the lane on Neff Road. Just maybe you were, too.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Real Shocker

Back to Everson's Farm Manual and more about our past, our parents, our history. Remember to double click on the picture to see the Manual more clearly.

How many times did I crawl under a barbed wire fence only to be shocked. I go to the chiropractor now, and he hooks me up to small electrodes that stimulate the muscles. The little charges remind me of the times I touched that fence. Hm. Burlap.

Removing scorches and untying knots! Suggestions that can still be valid today mixed with those of trial and error. I wonder if this was the beginning of using knees to lift versus backs.

I remember seeing stairs with the bottom step painted white. It was a mystery that evidently didn't bother me much. Now looking at the reason, I appreciate the thought. Afterall, I am a grandma.

Not often do we think about the old cook stove for more than cooking. In our house, the old radiators warmed our clothing on cold winter mornings. Many times I sat against the radiator trying to warm. It was a great place for clothing wet from snow play to dry.

Slugs and snails in the basement? I'm assuming it was those with dirt flooring. However, I take my salt shaker to the garden now. It's cheaper than a tin of beer.

I am having a good time rambling through the manual. We've come a long way since then, but then in many ways, not that far. I hope you enjoy this journey. It might take awhile to finish, but along the way we can enjoy the chuckles, the admiration for people who found new ways to cope and maybe just a little bit of ourselves.