52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee,
the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

Sunday, February 20, 2011


There have been nearly an infinite number of technological advances during my lifetime, it seems! And technology just keeps marching on. But, during my childhood, things moved a little more slowly.

Probably the hugest advance to impact me in a global way was the lunar landing in 1969. I still have the front page of a Seattle newspaper from that date. It was amazing to me! I am still amazed at the heavens and how we can navigate them, and place equipment and space stations there. This is the stuff of science fiction from my childhood.

Other advances had more of an impact personally because
my dad almost always did his accounting work from home, so we had typewriters and adding machines and the big posting machine. He taught us to use them, at least, I remember Jaci and I helping him. I learned to type before I was 12 on an old, black typewriter. I don't remember the brand (Dad probably knows), but it looked something like the one pictured here. I took a  typing class in summer school after sixth grade. All of the typewriters were electric, by then. When I got my first job after high school, as a secretary, I was the first one in the office to get an IBM Selectric, the Cadillac of electric typewriters!

The adding machine was replaced by electric and battery-operated calculators. When I was 18, a 10-key calculator cost about $75. We thought we would probably never own one. Now, you can buy more advanced calculators for $1! 
Computers were not in general use in either the business-place or the home when I was growing up. It wasn't until about ten years into my married years that the TRS-80 became somewhat commonplace in homes.

The advent of the VCR (video cassette recorder) was also a big one. I mean, really. Who ever thought you could watch any show, any time? We could suddenly go somewhere during our favorite shows and view them later. Now, VCR tapes fill boxes and shelves at garage sales and thrift stores, along with 8-track tapes. Oh, the memories!

I actually love technology! I love what I can do because of the advances. Just the power to communicate worldwide from my desk at home is an incredible thing. Not to mention the research, the jobs that are home-based because of the technology available. And, do you love your cell phone? How about your remote control(s)? 

We are along for one ever-changing ride. Hold on! It's getting faster :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Favorite toy? Hmm. I had a Barbie doll that I loved, and we all know Barbie is still alive and kicking. My mom made a gorgeous string-crochet wedding dress for her. I had it until someone vandalized our cabin in Indianola and took it. I'm sad about that. Barbie looked something like this picture.
I had a Chinese jump rope, which was fun.
I don't really remember any other toys. Our family played games and read books and played outdoors. If I think of another toy, I'll put it here.

Radio and Television

I do not remember a time when we didn't have a television in our home. I have no memories of listening to radio 'shows,' but I have heard of them.
My earliest memory of TV is from when Jaci was a baby. I would have been about four years old. My memory is that I went and got Rich out of his crib and quietly took him down to the couch to watch "J.P. Patches," our favorite early morning show. I was trying to be helpful to my mom, letting her sleep in with the new baby.

Some of the other shows that come to mind as favorites are:
  • Captain Kangaroo
  • Stan Boreson 
  • Johnny Quest
  • The Ed Sullivan Show
While I don’t recall sitting in front of the television for long periods of time, we did have our favorites. I suppose we watched JP nearly every morning before leaving for school. The other shows were mostly weekly shows that we generally watched with one, or both, of our parents. Good times!

Lost in Space
The Rifleman (one of Dad's favorites)
    Wunda Wunda
     The Lawrence Welk Show (a family favorite)

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    My Favorite Food

    My all-time favorite food is pizza - homemade using my Aunt Margie's pizza dough recipe. If I remember the story correctly, Aunt Margie's aunt, also named Margie, brought the dough recipe from Italy. My mom got it from my aunt, but didn't like to wait for the dough to rise, so she adapted it. It has worked fabulously for all these years!

    I don't remember when my mom started making it, but when I was a teenager, Mom got a job that took her away at dinnertime. I started cooking nearly everyday, and what was my favorite? PIZZA! I could whip it up really fast and we always had the ingredients. Usually, we had simple pizza using tomato sauce (no additional spices or herbs), hamburger and mozzarella cheese. We all loved it. I'm not sure about the younger kids, but I know I never tired of eating pizza. It is still my favorite food.

    Aunt Margie's Pizza Dough
    6 cups flour
    6 T. sugar
    1 T. salt
    1 T. yeast
    1 cup warm water
    1 cup milk
    5 T. oil

    Mix half of the flour and the other dry ingredients in a bowl. Add water, milk and oil. (I have also substituted dry milk powder and 1 cup of water for the milk. It works fine.) Mix well. Add remaining dough a cup at a time until you can work the dough. It should be slightly sticky. If you get it too stiff, it is hard to spread. 
    Lightly grease baking pan. Spread dough out using the heels of your hands. and the pads of your fingertips. Use flour to keep from sticking. Cover with favorite toppings. Bake on the bottom rack at 425 degrees for about 18 minutes. Of course, ovens vary, so check it until it looks the way you want it. This recipe will make two cookie-sheet sized pizzas.