Where Antelope Roam


Christmas Memories
December 17, 2016, 9:04 am
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It’s almost Christmas… indeed the season is upon us as I was reminded the other day when I went to the “big” city for an office event and also tried to do some Christmas shopping… wow!  Can’t say I miss the big city at this time of year when I’m by myself..I have to admit, I’m not a lover of shopping… shocking, I know… being female and all but I’ve really never been a shopper..After the year, I’ve had, the memories surrounding Christmas are rather precious.

My Christmas memories center around family…. not shopping.. though one shopping event with my SIL did end up with my introduction to Chik-fil-a’s peppermint shake for which I will be eternally grateful… LOVE peppermint shakes!  Another shopping trip/work event turned out to be a great trip as well.   I shop better when I’m accompanied by an adult… Lol

So, yesterday, I waxed nostalgic in thinking back to Christmases when both my parents were alive and I … well, let’s just say, I was a lot younger…

I grew up in Michigan where the snow falls downward.  Now, if you’re scratching your head and wondering “doesn’t ALL snow fall downward”… then I know you’ve never lived on the plains.  On the plains, snow often falls sideways because when snow falls here, we usually get 4 inches of wind for every inch of snow we receive, particularly if you don’t live in town.

When I was much younger,  say… 4 or 5, mom and dad had some connection with the youth group at church.   I don’t recall if they had the youth group or they just invited them out to the farm for a tobogganing party.    The farm had some awesome hills for tobogganing.  If you’ve never tobogganed, you’ve missed so much!    An interesting word toboggan… I’ll have to look up it’s origin but a toboggan is a long sled with no runners upon which several people… 5-6 get on and fly down hills.   It was great fun!   Though I wasn’t a member of the youth group apparently I was cut enough for them to include me in their rides… :).   I remember there was home made hot chocolate with marshmallows afterward.   Ahhh.

The farm was also where my dad’s parents lived (it was grandpa’s dairy farm).   One Christmas, I remember going to grandpa and grandma’s for Christmas and as a gift I received a little “makeup” kit.   It had fake lipstick and rouge in it.   Totally awesome and totally fun playing makeup!

After we had grown older and had moved into town, Christmas Day often meant going into the next town where my mother’s sister lived.   Christmas Dinner would be served up and we’d feast.   Her house was big enough to accommodate all of us.   One room was where those who wanted to either watch the Christmas Day parade and/or football games gathered.  One room was just for those who wanted to hang out and talk (cell phones were not invented yet… so people actually talked with those in the room with them.. lol) and, of course, there was the kitchen…where usually the older related females hung out talking… about what?  I have no clue.

Christmas Eve was always fun because my room was directly over where the Christmas tree was and on Christmas Eve, the lights on the tree stayed lit.   My room was also the only room upstairs that had a “hole” in it.   It was actually where the heat was allowed to rise before there was a furnace put it.  It was through this hole, my siblings and I could barely see the tree and what Christmas presents “Santa” might have brought us.

“Santa’s” room was also, just off the room where the tree was, so when we kids would hear rustling down below, we knew Santa was busy and we’d try to catch a glimpse of what might be there.

Then as we started growing up and families started enlarging through marriage and grandkids, we started doing Christmas primarily at mom and dad’s.

 

One year when I and my LB were young adults and still single, we were at mom and dad’s for Christmas and as it would have it, snow was falling on Christmas Eve… LB ever the lover of snow, (though now lives in Florida.. what???) suggested we take a walk in the snow down the streets of our sleepy little town.  So we did.  It was awesome.  The snow was falling so beautifully shown in street lights as we walked and talked.  I can’t remember the conversation we had but we just enjoyed being with each other while walking in the snow.

Mom loved Home Interior decorations and always had candle sconces on the walls and candles on the tables… well, apparently LB inherited the love for light.  One year, I remember we turned all the electric lights out except for those on the tree, and lit all of mom’s candles and just sat and watched them and talked a little.  It was an almost holy time.

Then, of course, Christmas Dinner became the focal point as we grew older.   Mom was a great cook and went all out at Christmas time.   Baking for Christmas usually started a week or so beforehand.  There were usually several different kinds of pies.   Pumpkin, pecan, mincemeat (I’ve never been able to acquire a taste for that..), chocolate pie (as grandkids started appearing).   Cherry Delight, homemade Almond joys,fudge and of course, the prerequisite Grandma Beemer’s Molasses cookies.

The latter were required when the games began!  (The reindeer weren’t the only ones who played games!)    The cookies helped us to think when we would play games like Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Skipbo and Uno.

Ahhh!  The memories!  The older I get the more precious they become.  I always wanted a large family of my own because though there were the typical squabbles, we always made our own fun.   Alas, that was not to be but God knows best.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, may the Lord be a large part of it and if you have family to celebrate with, make memories…. lots of them…

Until Next time, love God, love others and  Merry Christmas… make memories to last a life time!



It’s a Wonderful Life
December 23, 2015, 12:57 pm
Filed under: Holidays | Tags: , , ,

It’s that time of year.   Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day there seems to be so many things happening.   This year, I’ve taken a step back and decided it wouldn’t be a sin to not be involved in every activity or social event I’m invited to.   However, this is the time when family traditions are born.   In my core family growing up…. Grandma’s Molasses Cookies were a tradition.   So, this year, as I usually do, I made my own batch of Grandma’s Molasses Cookies.. for those of you uninitiated to molasses cookies and can only think… ewwww… well, I’m sorry for you… They’re quite addictive.

As I made my batch some wonderfully warm memories came back in regard to Grandma’s at Christmas.  You see, Grandpa and Grandma were dairy farmers back before mega dairies became popular.  My own father helped with the milking of the cows each morning and evening when our small family lived in the Farm Hand’s house at Grandpa and Grandma’s.   One of my earliest memories was going down to the barn while dad was feeding/ milking the cows and feeling the warm comfort of the barn.   In one of the rooms close to where the cows were fed was a barrel full of a dark liquid (I bet you were wondering how I could get to the barn from baking molasses cookies, weren’t you?).   When I asked what was in the barrel, the answer was blackstrap molasses… I asked what for?   Well, from what I remember (I could be wrong as I was under the age of 6 then… so my memory could be a bit fuzzy) molasses was used as a feed additive.

The next memory I had was of grandma handing me one of her wonderful molasses cookies that she had gone to the trouble of cutting with a cookie cutter in the form of an angel.   Ahhh… it was such a comforting time in my life (and now I ask myself, why was I  in so much of a hurry to grow up?  It is one of life’s mysteries.   When we’re young, we wish to hurry and be adults so we can do what we want to do.   Then as we grow older, sometimes we pine for the simpler days of childhood. ).

As we grew older and going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas was not an option, my mom took over the tradition of baking molasses cookies (along with many, many other scrumptious delicacies).   During that time at our house at Christmas, at least for me, it was less about the presents wrapped under the Christmas tree than it was about the presence of those I loved around an expandable round oak table where we would not only eat  (or was that engorge ourselves?) the delicacies of Christmas dinner but after dinner and the dishes were done we’d sit and play games while eating those molasses cookies…  It is these memories… memories of time spend with loved ones, some of whom have already departed this life that make me know now better than ever, I have had and do have a wonderful life!

So what about you?   Do you have some wonderful memories of Christmases past?

Until next time, love God, love others and make memories this Christmas…Merry Christmas

P.S.  If you should find yourself in a game playing Trivial Pursuit with one of my family members .. beware… the answer may just be “South Yemen”!  Who knew???



Grandma Beemer’s Molasses Cookies…
November 26, 2014, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Cookies, Day-to-Day, My Grateful Page | Tags: , , , ,

a.k.a. Christmas cookies… Grandma Beemer was a farm wife…. she had 12 children, 11 of whom made it through infancy.   Grandma made molasses cookies every year at Christmas.   She made quite a few because there was a crowd to feed and seriously… who could resist her molasses cookies?

For us, her children’s children, going to grandma and grandpa’s at Christmas time meant being able to joy in the taste of fresh molasses cookies… mmmm…   I don’t know how many batches grandma would make up each year but if they went as fast at her house and they do at mine, she had to bake a lot!

Grandma’s been gone now for several years but thankfully, she passed the recipe down to my mother who in turn passed it down to those of her children who wanted the recipe.   It has become a tradition for me to bake a half batch of these wondrous delights at Christmas time for my family and to share with friends who enjoy them.   They’re wonderful with morning coffee or milk or just about anything (except liver…. lol) !

Well, a full batch is now mixed up waiting to be baked in the morning.    If you smell the wafting aroma of molasses cookies in the air, it may just be me baking ’em.

I know this is two posts in one day but… I am grateful for Grandma’s recipe but more for the memories those cookies bring back to me.   Of going to grandma’s house and then later sitting around my parents home, eating cookies and playing games at Christmas time when the whole gang was able to make it and dad sitting in the living room listening to his kids be roudy!   This year dad’s in heaven and we’ll make new memories with others to carry on the tradition of what family means to us.   Miss you, dad.

Until next time, love God, smell the baking of good things, and be sure to tell your loved ones you love them while you can.

 



Grandma’s Molasses Cookies
December 15, 2013, 9:58 pm
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When I was a child, at Christmas we’d go to Grandma’s house and she always had molasses cookies..   She always made them in the Christmas time figures.. like angels… well I mostly remember the angels…

As we got older and families grew larger we started having our own Christmas traditions… however, Grandma’s molasses cookies were always one of those traditions.    Mom made a couple of Cherry tins full of them…we’d have our Christmas dinner but then when we’d cleaned up after the meal, we’d sit down and play board games.   They always varied according to who wanted to play what.    One game was Trivial Pursuit.    A game based on the same principle the popular TV game show Jeopardy… Word to the wise:   Never play Trivial Pursuit (or any trivia related game) with my mother or brother… they know lots and lots of trivia and the answer might just be South Yemen!    (Who even knows where south yemen is????)

As we sat around playing games, the molasses cookies would come out… needless to say those molasses cookies didn’t last long…I thought it was because there were so many of us and while that’s probably true, I’ve taken up the tradition of making the molasses cookies… my hubby and I are the only ones who like them in the immediate family… which might make you pause and wonder how 30 dozen cookies were gone in just a little over a week….No… he and I did not eat them all (though we’ve had our fair share!)

I have found there are others who enjoy the molasses cookies… I think it’s an acquired taste (I had 18 years to acquire it…)but we love them.. I have a SIL who loves them with her morning coffee…several friends who enjoy their fair share and  a boss who when I brought a small tin to work said… “You didn’t bring enough!”   who knew???

So… a week and a half later after making 30 dozen I find myself in need of making  more molasses cookies.. now to find the time…

Until next time, love God, love others and remember those good memories you have of loved ones both passed on and still present.

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Twas the week before Christmas…
December 19, 2009, 10:41 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day, Holidays | Tags: , ,

and all through the house decorations were scattered while we sat on the couch.

The Christmas tree is up and lights are twinkling but that’s as far as I have gotten with my poor Christmas decoration.  I’ve found that working six days a week lends little time for housekeeping let alone decorating.   These days, DD and DH are at home waiting for me rather than the other way around and I have to say, I miss those days.   Change is coming but I don’t know how that will affect me or my daily hours.  

We’re still praying for a more dependable vehicle for me to drive back and forth to town.  I have the pickup but it’s on loan to me.   The car still sits in the garage after three months with no fix in sight.  Sigh… We’re just too busy to work it out but some day maybe… lol

Well, I hope in the next few days to be baking again.   I haven’t baked for Christmas in a long, long time.. but this year… I’ve already done two large batches of oatmeal and Molasses cookies and they’ve disappeared since Thanksgiving!  Looks like it will be quiet Christmas again this year as extended family have other places to go. 

Must go now.  Lots of work to do…

Until Next time, Love God, love others… and enjoy time with family and friends at this joyous time of year.



Moderating Temperatures??
December 9, 2009, 1:18 pm
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Hmmm… I don’t know who said that today’s temperatures would moderate but this morning we got up to -18.9 degrees… that’s not moderate to me!  That’s extremely cold and when you put the wind chill factor in there… it’s much colder.  

Well, needless to say, we didn’t make DD’s appointment.   Because of cold weather and a few in our troupe who are a little under the weather, we opted out of going today.    We all stayed home even.   I wasn’t scheduled to work in the office today and DH decided to stay home because he and DD are a little under the weather, and the cold weather proved too much for him.  Can’t say as I blamed him.  I was really glad I was not scheduled to work in town today.  

We also are still having challenges with our vehicles too and figured this would put way more strain on them than was necessary.   It is now after 1 p.m. and the temps has “moderated” all the way up to about 9 degrees. 

So, to keep this from being a totally wasted day, I decided it was time to make some of Grandma Beemer’s Molasses Cookies!  Yes, I mixed them up last night and set to baking them this morning.   A good thing to do on such a frigid day!  I love Grandma’s Molasses Cookies.. She’d make them at Christmas time and when we’d visit, there they were.  It became a tradition in our family to make these cookies at Christmas.  My own mother used to bake them when all her kids would come home for Christmas and we’d much molasses cookies and play games!  Funny how a small thing like a Christmas cookie can bring back so many fond memories!  

I still don’t have hot water in the kitchen but there is hot water in the bathroom so we can all have our showers.  The last few nights have been so cold, that we’ve slept in the living room close to the wood stove.  That’s saying something for people who like to sleep in cold rooms!

So, until next time, love God, love others and get your Christmas baking done while it’s cold!



The Family’s back…
January 6, 2009, 7:24 am
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at their posts and so am I.   The Christmas break for me was actually relaxing.   Though there were Christmas trees to decorate and halls to deck, I actually got more rest (even with dh and dd home).     We didn’t go anywhere for Christmas and it was the most relaxing Christmas I can remember in… well, a LONG time.

Now, all of our work has come back into full swing.   

There was one thing that was NOT relaxing this Christmas break and that was a jealous dog.   You see we have Odie and Marmaduke living here.   Odie is a happy-go-lucky puppy barely a year old and Marmaduke has been the established old dog for years.   Now Marmaduke was okay with  Odie…. when he was a puppy, but now that he’s getting his adult genes, Marmaduke’s not so happy with Odie and it’s really wearing on the nerves….. mine to be exact…. because they’re constantly tusseling.   Marmaduke has even hurt Odie.   I’m  not sure what we’re going to do but if we don’t do something pretty soon, I’m sure I will lose my mind…. (yes, Virginia, I really do have one..).  I’m thinking a trip to the vet to fix Marmaduke’s maleness might help… what do you think?

Well, now I must actually do some paying work this a.m.   Y’all stay warm, love each other and love God today.   See ya next time….