Friday, November 30, 2012


Finally! People are seeing the light. 
Button appreciation is catching on and collecting them is not just the eccentric hobby 
of the odd lady next door anymore.

Recently we were asked to speak to a group of women about button collecting. They were an engaged bunch and had many questions about the cards of buttons being passed around 
as we gave brief descriptions (and tried to avoid fanatical evangelizing about the virtues) 
of the many varieties in our collection.

These bright and cheery "housedress buttons" usually made in Germany or Western Germany from the 1940s to 60s, while not so old or rare, are among our favorites .

The women in the group, being of an age that they might actually have worn some of this kind of  buttons, could possibly answer a question that had occurred to us. In an era of wringer washing machines how did one launder clothes adorned with these fragile beauties without breaking some every time?  The ladies confirmed our hunch that those garments were either hand wrung after gentle washing or the buttons were removed before washing and then sewn on again. What a lot of work!

Shortly after that very successful talk, while sorting through a box of assorted vintage sewing items picked up at an estate sale, we discovered Pinettes. The ladies hadn't mentioned this clever button saving-device, but probably would have remembered with a little jog to their collective memories. 
We'll add this little prop to our next button gig (oh yes, at least three Lutheran women's circles and homemaker clubs have inquired about dates) and see if that leads to other button stories that add to our knowledge of the wonderful world of buttons past and present.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rosie's Roses

Another bit of mother daughter teamwork.

Lovely vintage rose and quality woven gingham squares cut by mom long ago 
were recently re-cut and pieced for a small quilt top by NDL.

Machine quilting by J. Bauer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Time Warp Tag Team

Oak leaf blocks appliqued by Mom in the 70s and made into a little quilt  in 2012 by NDL.

Machine quilting by J. Bauer.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey ala Carte

We wish for you a Thanksgiving day that is to scale,
 and filled with the correct proportions of family, friends, fun, and food.

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Table Talk

It's been awhile since we have used the blog label "Kindergarten Humor" so, for the upcoming holiday, may we present some truly juvenile jokes and riddles for your amusement and as possible fillers for awkward gaps in, or for swift topic changes during Thanksgiving dinner conversation. 

1. What does a turkey like to eat at Thanksgiving? (see all answers below)

2. What do you get when you cross a turkey with a centipede?

3. What do you call it when it rains turkeys?

4. Why did the turkey cross the road?

5. What happened when the turkey got into a fight?

6. Which side of a turkey has the most feathers?

7. Why did the turkey cross the road a second time?

8. What did the turkey say to the turkey hunter? 

After Thanksgiving dinner was finished, Paul saw his little brother Stevie in the backyard poking holes in the dirt and filling them in with birdseed.
"Why are you planting birdseed?" Paul asked.
"I'm growing next year's turkey," Stevie replied. 

An industrious turkey farmer was always experimenting with breeding to perfect a better turkey. 
His family was fond of the leg portion for dinner and there were never enough legs for everyone. After many frustrating attempts, the farmer was relating the results of his efforts to his friends at the tavern.
"Well I finally did it! I bred a turkey that has 6 legs!" 
"How did it taste?", they asked the farmer.
"I don’t know", said the farmer. "I never could catch the darn thing!"

The football team had just finished their practice session when a large turkey came strutting onto the field. While the players gazed in amazement, the turkey walked up to the head coach and demanded a tryout. Everyone stared in silence as the turkey caught pass after pass and ran right through the defensive line. 
When the turkey returned to the sidelines, the coach shouted, 
"You're terrific!!! Sign up for the season, and I'll see to it that you get a huge bonus." 
"Forget the bonus," the turkey said, "All I want to know is, does the season go past Thanksgiving Day?"


1. Nothing. They are already stuffed.

2. A drumstick for everybody.

3. Fowl weather.

4. It was the chicken's day off.

5. He got the stuffing knocked out of him!

6. The outside!

7. To show he wasn't chicken.

8. "Quack! Quack! Quack!"

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bean Season

When there's a chill in the air it's time for beans to be on the stove or in the oven.

We found these heirloom varieties, Appaloosa and Soldier, at a SD farmers' market. 

The pretty-as-a-pony Appaloosa beans were perfect for Rancho Gordo's Drunken Bean recipe.

Do you see the European or toy soldier? 

Soldier beans are commonly grown in New England 
and are used in traditional baked beans recipes like this one:

Sort 1 pound beans and soak overnight. Parboil and simmer at least 1 hour until beans are tender. Drain.
Put in bean pot. 


1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 small piece salt pork, or raw bacon chopped up into 1 inch pieces
1/2 c. molasses
1 large onion, cut up

Barely cover beans with boiling water.  Bake about 6 hours at 300 degrees with lid on pot, constantly adding boiling water when they are not covered. Last hour, remove pot lid and continue to bake.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Before Hipstamatic...

We frequently took wonky, overexposed photos with artistic appeal all on our own, 
and usually quite by accident.

When we first saw this vintage shot taken by Dad we thought his faithful lawn tractor, Major Hoople, was the intended subject of the photograph, and that it managed to end up way off-center. Closer inspection and a bit of magnification shows us what probably made Dad stop mid-mow and run to grab his camera. 
Can you spy them?

Even though it is likely the deer out in the field were supposed to be the reason for the photo
we are glad the Major made it into the picture if only partially.

This image makes us smile every time we see it.

After Dad's recent move to the city from the country Major Hoople had to find a new home. He made a nearly 600 mile trip by trailer to WI, and is snugly bedded down for the winter in our garage where we see his shining cyclops headlight every time we return home and hit the button on the garage door opener. 
The Major is a pretty big memento to keep, but we couldn't let him go to a home where he might not be understood and appreciated. Better he is put out to pasture with those who love him. Dad felt better about letting him go knowing he would stay in the family and we are happy to have him.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Our Town

For your weekend (or of course anytime) viewing, an hour of  life in 1954 Chippewa Falls.

While some of our native-to-this-city neighbors were riding around town on their bicycles and swimming in Glen Loch their parents, and uncles and aunts were off working in the businesses and industries of this bustling burg. When not contributing to the vibrant economic health of our town they made use of the many recreational opportunities available to them at the numerous parks and lakes in our area.

This 1954 Carson production promoting Chippewa Falls features Sally Ann Bakery, Chippewa and Mason shoe factories, Leinenkugels brewery, Chippewa Woolen Mill, plastics and pea canning operations, Olesen Drug Store, Falls and Rivoli theaters, Hotel Northern, 1st National Bank as well as recreation at Irvine Park, Marshall Playground, and Lake Wissota. The Carnegie Library, schools, the hospital, and other community buildings are also represented.

If you are really short on time (although we would encourage you to watch the entire film when you can), jump to the last ten minutes of the film to see one of our existing businesses - Leinenkugel's Brewery, a well known (if you know her maiden name) resident demonstrating gymnastics, and a lovely summation about the heart and soul of the citizens of Chippewa Falls that makes our town great. True then and true now.

Let us know if you spot yourself or others we might or should know in these fascinating vignettes of mid-century Chippewa Falls life. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Whooo Will Take Us Home?

When the thrift store has an entire shelf of a certain kind of collection, it causes us to pause 
and think about the story behind the donation.

 Common displays of mass tchotchke are often in categories such as bells, souvenir teaspoons, state plates, teacups, trinket boxes, owls, turtles or other animal figurines, and of course salt and pepper sets.

Who collected them and why did they stop? 
Vintage items suggest that the owner has passed on and there was no heir interested in keeping their curio collection. A rainbow unicorn assemblage makes us smile and think that an adolescent has moved to young adulthood and did not have a younger sibling, or at least not one of the gender who appreciates puppies, kittens, ballerinas, and fantastic animals enough to inherit big sis' stash of bric-a-brac.

With respect we select and adopt as many orphans as we can sneak into the house.

Hoping of course that someday someone will cherish our little treasures too.

How could they not?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Extreme Editing

IMDB"s Top 250 movies in 2 1/2 minutes by Jonathan Keogh. If you are an avid movie goer it is kind of like having your own movie-watching life pass before your eyes. 

Marvel at the awesomeness of the editing and music, and see if this brief, long history of great cinema jogs your brain to remember where in your life journey you were when you saw (fill in the blank). 

Just a little ratings tip in case the little ones are in the room...
a couple of F-bombs fall somewhere in the middle.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Sweet Juliet. The very last garden tomato. Gone, but not forgotten.

And, we wondered, when parting what is the difference between "adieu" and "au revoir"?

The interweb tells us that "adieu" is appropriate for a final parting. 
There will be other Juliets, but never will we see or taste this one again. She was delicious.