Posted by: martha sue | July 25, 2017

Places I’ve lived in Des Moines

I’ve been to Des Moines at least once a month since I joined the board of Komen Greater Iowa (KGI) in January – their current office is located in the Merle Hay Mall Tower. We are moving to a location in West Des Moines which will give us storefront visibility. Monday, I drove to Des Moines for our monthly finance committee meeting. We first met at the new office space before going to Merle Hay so that I could get a tour. It is located close to the first apartment building I lived in when I moved to Des Moines in August of 1973.

I got to town early so decided to drive by the apartment to take a picture — it really hasn’t changed too much . The deck is different – when we lived there it was solid wood and now has metal railings and the building has changed colors – I like the looks of the apartment building better the way it was when we lived there.

When I got home from Des Moines, I got out my photo albums to see if I had any pictures and, of course, I did!

This is me (New Year’s Day 1975) in front of our West Des Moines apartment.

This is the apartment as it looks today.

We lived in that apartment for almost 3 years – purchasing and moving into our first home in Urbandale in 1976. This home is located close to the current KGI office so I stopped there on my way to the meeting at Merle Hay to take a picture. Comparing the two pictures of the house is amazing – the tree in the front yard was very young (so were we!) when we lived there… the second picture shows how tall it is. Check out the garage – in the first picture you don’t see any trees behind it or the house and in the second there are several trees behind them.

They added a fireplace, added brick archway to the porch, changed the brick façade and it looks like the fence in the back was taken down. It also looks like the siding and its color has been changed. I like how this home and its surroundings looks today – it has matured gracefully…

This is the home we purchased in 1976 in Urbandale

This is the home today…

Posted by: martha sue | July 12, 2017

Finished Prayer Shawl

I’ve been working diligently on my first prayer shawl. My cat, Lucius, tried to stop me from working on it the other day…

Lucius sometimes makes it difficult to crochet…

He is pretty tangled this time

Guilty as charged…

I finished it and I’m delivering it today – took me 12 hours to make it. I hope they like it!

Finished prayer shawl #1

Posted by: martha sue | July 7, 2017

Coffee – I enjoy a cup or two…

My coffee pot started “dying” several weeks ago and I ignored it. The heat plate didn’t stay on as long as it should. I would just turn it back on. Then, one day it stopped brewing in the middle of a making coffee one morning. I had to turn it back on twice to get it to finish. It did finish. The next day I had no issues with it.

I should have gone shopping that day for a new one – I am not a shopper, though, and have been to known to talk myself out of going shopping on a daily basis. I did do some searching online – there were lots to choose from and I couldn’t decide. I knew it was time as the one I had was old. I only used it on the weekends or days off when I was working. But since I’ve retired, I use it almost daily. I should have ordered one online and I would have had it before the one I had was dead…

Well, Monday , after I put water in it and then added the coffee grounds, it wouldn’t turn on. I reset the outlet with hopes of it being the problem. I even tried a different outlet. It was completely dead! Bummer! I knew I should gone shopping sooner than later!

I was going to go Sunday after church and after Lindsay’s birthday lunch. But, it was later than I thought and I just wanted to go home.

So, Monday I was without coffee. Which isn’t a huge thing as I have gone without coffee before. What was worse is that I was forced to go shopping… Ugh! I ventured out trying to decide where to go. I was driving my Sam’s Club and decided to try there. They only had 2 brands – keurig and another I wasn’t familiar with. I didn’t want a keurig as I rarely just brew one cup. And, the other one was fancier than I needed. So I left Sam’s. After a couple of other stores, I finally found one I liked. It’s the same brand I had. The only thing I didn’t like about the one I had was that the carafe leaked while pouring. I got it home and got it set up.

Used it the next day – it’s perfect for what I need and the pot doesn’t leak… I’m a happy girl!

Posted by: martha sue | July 4, 2017

Blueberry Daiquiris

Last summer I made these frozen blueberry daiquiris. They were delicious. I admit that I didn’t use as much rum as what is called for and I cut the recipe in half since I was the only one that was going to drink them. I made them several more times.

I got the recipe and picture from Food Network’s website – courtesy of Katie Lee. If made exactly as written, it yields 4 servings.

Blueberry Daiquiris

1/2 cup sugar
1 pint blueberries
2 cups rum
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups ice

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water and bring to a low boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the blueberries and reduce the heat to a simmer. Use a wooden spoon to crush the berries, allowing their juices to release, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Press the berry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and discard the solids. Let the syrup cool completely.

In a blender, combine the berry syrup, rum and lime juice. Add the ice and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Yum, they were so good.

Today, I decided to make a full batch – I had everything but the lime juice and thought they would be okay without it. I made the syrup. When I put everything in the blender, I decided to reduce the rum to just one cup instead of two. Rum is not my favorite liquor and didn’t want too much. I blended them up – poured some in a glass and put the rest in a jar and put the jar in the freezer. Then, I toasted the USA on this Fourth of July and took a sip! They were awful. It had way too much rum in it for me. Maybe the lime juice was really needed after all. I couldn’t drink it and had to dump it out. Since, my husband doesn’t like frozen drinks, I dumped the rest as well.

I didn’t mind wasting the rum or the 1/2 cup sugar…. I hated to waste a whole pint of blueberries! I could have put them on my oatmeal in the morning….

Lesson learned, put in less rum than you think and taste – you can always add more…

Posted by: martha sue | July 1, 2017

Prayer Shawls

I’m making a prayer shawl for the first time — I saw a notice on the action board at my church a few months ago from a local hospice center that listed volunteer opportunities. Among those opportunities was knitting or crocheting prayer shawls. I know how to knit and crochet and since I have lots of leftover yarn, I decided to contact them for the prayer shawl pattern. They never responded and I was disappointed. A friend of mine is volunteering at the same hospice center and she told me that they really need prayer shawls. She called me one day to tell me that they were completely out and the person she was seeing right now needs one.

So, I googled prayer shawls and got a couple of patterns. Then, the other day my friend gave me the pattern from the hospice center – even though I really think they should have contacted me, I decided to go ahead a make some. So last week I began my first – decided to crochet the first few. Turns out that the pattern I downloaded from a website is identical to the one the center provided. Must be a sign….

Anyway, here’s a picture of the beginning of my first.. They recommend that you say a prayer at the beginning and end of your project – they also want the number of hours it takes to make. Since, I start and stop working on it throughout the process, I decided to time myself crocheting the two different types of rows without stopping. I’m keeping track of how many of each row I complete and will estimate the hours based on the number of each type of row. Here’s a picture of the first few rows… — it’s about 14 inches long right now and needs to be at least 60 inches… Long way to go!

Prayer Shawl #1 – crocheted with prayers and love…

Posted by: martha sue | June 27, 2017

Megan’s wedding in Colorado…

Megan and Kane got married at A-basin in Colorado… I made a quick trip to Colorado on Thursday, June 22nd – a long, but pleasant drive – to attend the wedding on Friday night. It was wonderful! Megan was a beautiful bride and I loved getting caught up with one of my best friends, Cathy – Megan’s mother.

The weather was perfect – sunny and warm and the wedding was held at the Black Mountain Lodge which sits at 11,550 feet. All the wedding guests took the Black Mountain Quad ski left up to the lodge and then watched the wedding party come up the lift two by two. It was so pretty and unique.

The wedding party riding the chair lift..

Wedding Party makes their way from the lift to the deck…

Here comes the bride!

What a beautiful backdrop for the wedding – the Rocky Mountains in Colorado!

the bride and her family…

The bride with her mother, Cathy, and sister, Kristin.

Posted by: martha sue | June 18, 2017

A tribute to my father…

My father passed away in October of 1996 – he was 86. He was the longtime editor and publisher of the Manson Journal – a weekly newspaper in Manson, Iowa. He owned and operated the paper for over 40 years and sold the paper in 1986. We have been purging lots of “stuff” that has been collecting dust in our home this summer. I found a box that contained bank statements for my aunt (dad’s sister) and my dad. In the box were a few copies of this article from the Calhoun County Journal – Herald. The current editor, Ron Sturgis, wrote the following tribute to my father upon learning of his death… Since it is Father’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to share it.

“Saying Goodbye” by Ron Sturgis

Lloyd E Jones

The world lost a brilliant man of letters on Friday, October 25, with the passing of former Manson Journal editor and publisher, Lloyd E Jones.

I first met Lloyd twenty-four Novembers ago on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon. It was my first visit to Manson and I was rather nervous as I drove down Main Street looking for the Journal office that was located on the corner now occupied by Jamboree Foods. I had come for a job interview and I had come prepared. I was slicked up, dressed up and anxious as a chain smoker fresh out of smokes. Lloyd, who never minced anything, who preferred everything straight out of the can, hired me within the first five minutes and I was sitting at the linotype the sixth, punching out letters for the inauguration of many articles I was to set for the paper. That was the beginning of a life-changing journey for me and I’ve been with this newspaper ever since.

Lloyd was a boss, a friend, a tough guy and a softie. But, most of all, Lloyd was an educator through and through and I learned so very, very much from him.

To say Lloyd was intelligent would be an understatement.  It would be like saying a crimson sunset was nice or that a full harvest moon was luminary.  The man was downright brilliant.  He knew more words, long words, short words and medium words.  He knew words must of us had never heard before and he knew how to use them.

Now, some people are tough guys.  They throw their weight around and they intimidate by force.  Lloyd, on the other hand, was a heavyweight when it came to cutting you down to size and putting you in your place.  And, he could do it with such ease and with such a capacious choice of words that you actually felt good about yourself.  His vocabulary was like a foreign language, like a cactus in a snowstorm, a riverboat in Lizard Creek.

If there ever was an individual who epitomized Manson, Lloyd would be the guy.  For over forty years as editor and publisher of the Journal, Lloyd was Manson.  Its pulse, its heart and even its soul.  He stood for all things bright and beautiful, all things great and small.  He stood for all truths and hated falsehoods.  He was a voracious writer of wit and wisdoms.  He was country and he was city.  He was messy and tidy and all of those things. He was crusty and dusty and rusty and wise. He was gentle and tough and a time capsule of knowledge. He knew Manson, he was Manson and he loved Manson.

He was Lloyd to some, Jones to others. He was Editor, Preacher, Father, Husband, Boss, Teacher, Kiwanian, Library Trustee and for those lucky like me, he was Mentor and Friend.

Lloyd leaves a legacy that will live in Manson for years to come. He moved away from this community in 1986 and, since his departure, the lights have been a little dimmer and the horizon a little farther away. Though sad to think of him now being gone forever, he will never be forgotten.

Farewell’s too short a word
with which to say goodbye.
So instead I think I’d rather try to
and find a word more meaningful, more true.
like “auf Wiedersehen” or
maybe like “adieu.”
But better yet and better still
there’s one thing not so wordy.
He finished all his writings
with the editing phrase of -30-

Posted by: martha sue | May 24, 2017

Iowa City appointment

Nancy and I went to Iowa City yesterday for her follow-up appointment. Her surgeon was very pleased with how her scar is healing and with how everything looks on her x-rays.

X-ray on left was taken in May – the one on the right was how she was before her surgery in March

Posted by: martha sue | May 15, 2017

More basket making…

Made this cute basket at basket class on April 20th… Most everyone was using Easter or pastel colors but I wanted red, white and blue. I planned to send it as a baby gift with a hooded red towel to our friends in Milstadt, IL.

Made this at basket class in April

All ready for postal delivery – red towel and all… Hope they like it!

Hooded baby towel off to Baby Boyd Baker…

By the way, my basket class people liked the red, white and blue so much that we’re making it in July! Yay, I get one for me…

Posted by: martha sue | April 27, 2017

My aunt and uncle’s 100th birthday celebration!

The aunt and uncle who live in Mitchell, SD that my sisters and I go visit every year have each turned 100. Their birthdays were in December and January and they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary in December. They are both in pretty good health – go for daily walks and still live on their own.

Their kids planned a celebration in April to get as many relatives there as possible. It was so cool! We got to see so many cousins that we hadn’t seen in years. My aunt is the only living child of my grandparents, Will and Winnafred Frost.

The first evening, we were going to gather at our hotel but another family captured the only room that we could use – so we called our brothers who were staying in a hotel not far from us and their breakfast area was free so 45 members of our extended families gathered for an evening of food, celebration and conversation.

The next day, my three brothers, my sister and one of my sister-in-laws, decided to go to the Congregational Church together. Our group, 7 of us, ran them out of bulletins! It was a nice service and several of their members knew our aunt and uncle!

That afternoon we met at our aunt and uncle’s favorite restaurant which closed for the afternoon so that their kids could host this party. It was a wonderful time.

Aunt Blanche and Uncle Red – as usual Aunt Blanche is always talking!

Executive Proclamation from the Mayor of Mitchell, South Dakota

The cake right side so you can read the dates!

Frost cousins that were present with Aunt Blanch and Uncle Red

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