Posted by: martha sue | March 29, 2017

March basket

Just finished this basket – took 3 months to complete. Not because we couldn’t finish it in one night, we just chose not to.

Finished Tool basket

The class decided when our teacher first showed us the basket that we would take our time with this one and make it during the winter months. We decided to break it up and weave it in three stages. Since the winters here in the Midwest can be harsh, we would just take our time with it. And, if there was bad weather, we’d cancel class and work on it at the next month’s class. We wove the bottom and inner wall in January.

First stage – bottom and inner wall

Then, in February, we completed the sides and put on the rim. In class this month we finished it – wrapping the handle and lashing the rim.

Detail close up of the handle…

In addition to finishing our own, the class decided to help a friend who was moving away finish her basket. She was at the first class to do the bottom and the wall. She wasn’t able to come to the February class so at this class she was going to play catch-up while we were all finishing our baskets.

We knew that she was moving the next day and told us how much she had left to do at home. So we offered to finish her basket for her so that she could get home and help her husband do last minute packing. She, of course, was overwhelmed at our suggestion! Each class member will do part of the basket and then we’ll all sign it. Friends helping friends — awesome!

Posted by: martha sue | March 23, 2017

Back in Davenport

Nancy is back in Davenport and at the same rehab facility she was in last October – she’s already in physical therapy and doing well.

My sister, Becky, decorated the bulletin board with pictures of her kids and their kids for Nancy to enjoy!

Posted by: martha sue | March 20, 2017

Frost Family

Looking at family trees and at my cousin’s Ancestry site got me looking at some old pictures!

We gathered to celebrate my grandparents 50th anniversary back in October 1957. This was one of the last times that we were all together. My Uncle Bill and his family moved to Australia in 1959, I think.

Top row – Will and Winnafred Frost, then Mildred Briggs and Grace Jones, then Ethel Sundstrom, Blanche Krell and Bill Frost

In age order, Grace, Mildred, Ethel, Blanche and Bill

All the Frost grandkids – 1957

Posted by: martha sue | March 17, 2017

Nancy’s 2nd surgery

My sister and I took Nancy back to Iowa City for her second back surgery on Wednesday. This time we had to be there even earlier than last time so we opted to spend the night in Iowa City. Since we’ve been through this process before (5 months ago), we let her know that we would stay at the hospital until we knew she was out of surgery and in recovery and visited with the surgeon. Last time, we visited her once she got to ICU and she’s didn’t even remember that we were there!

The surgery was supposed to only take 5 hours or so. She was in surgery for over 8 hours again! We met with the surgeon before heading home. He told us that they found several pieces of hardware that had malfunctioned and they reopened her even to the thoracic vertebrae to strengthen those. He said that the previous bone grafts had not taken which is why the screws had come loose. They checked them all because they didn’t think she’d want to go through this again.

We went back up the next morning and she appeared to be much more lucid than last time. We are hopeful that the healing process will be easier this time. I went back today and she was up sitting in her chair when I got there. We’re hoping she’ll get moved to a regular room tomorrow.

Posted by: martha sue | March 5, 2017

Family tree…

My cousin in Australia, Jan, has been working on a family tree using the Ancestry website and posted about it on Facebook. This prompted me to send her the Frost family tree I created at the request of my Aunt Blanche. She wanted to have all the birthdays and anniversaries of all her nieces and nephews in one place.

She asked me when we were visiting Mitchel in October of 2015 if I would look at her address book and other bits of paper to compile everything together. She wanted it done for both her husband’s side of the family and then her side (which is my side). It was quite a task to say the least. I managed to get all the dates and names entered in excel during our visit – although it wasn’t in a good format.

When we got home, I continued to work on it finally getting it a format that I liked. I knew that if I printed it out on letter size paper that she’d never be able to read it especially with the whole family on it – the print would be so small. So I printed it out on 11 x 17 paper – the one with the whole family was still pretty tiny. I, then, created a separate worksheet for each of her siblings and printed those on 11 x 17 paper. They were easier to read for sure. However, my aunt still thought the print wasn’t large enough, but she did like that it was all on paper and listed by each family.

Some of the dates were wrong – as I’ve shown it to family members, I get the correct dates and update the spreadsheet. It is nice to have and Jan said it was useful for her when she worked on her Dad’s side of their family.

Posted by: martha sue | February 22, 2017

Back to Iowa City

Took Nancy back to Iowa City yesterday to discuss her options. She’s still in a lot of pain – she was worn out by the time we got back to Davenport.

We met with a different surgeon this time and he showed us her x-rays that revealed some of the hardware that was put in last October had come loose – and he’s really worried about the spot on her back where her skin is really thin. He says it looks really red and angry… Says that if it would break through, she could really have lots of infection and who knows what else.

He recommended another surgery – it wasn’t what we wanted to hear but you could really tell he felt it was the best option. So we have another surgery scheduled and Nancy is beside herself to say the least! It will be March 15th.

While we were at the hospital, we picked up her brace — it’s pretty big!

A brace for Nancy…

Mark, Becky and Nancy left today to travel to Franklin, TN to our brother’s home – Nancy will stay there for almost two weeks while Mark and Becky travel on to Florida to visit their daughter and family for a few days and then will meet up some other friends for a week of relaxation. Well deserved relaxation, I might add.

A special thanks to Bruce and his wife for agreeing to take care of Nancy for the next two weeks — if they hadn’t, I would be back on Nancy care…

Posted by: martha sue | February 21, 2017

Stair Step basket update…

Our niece sent me a picture of the basket… I think it looks really great on their stairs!

Stair step basket in its new home

Posted by: martha sue | February 5, 2017

A shopper, I’m not…

I have never been a shopper in the true sense of the word. When I need/want something, I go to the store to purchase that item and then leave the store. I love to shop for Christmas gifts or for souvenirs when I’m on a vacation, but to shop just for the heck of it; no that is not me.

However, my great-nephew’s birthday party was coming up soon, so the other day I set off to find him something. I usually purchase all my nieces and nephews clothes and, I’m sure, that they love getting clothes! Or, not! Anyway, I was having a hard time deciding which outfit to get him in his size. I was checking sale racks in several different stores. Well, not several, maybe two! So, I started looking at non-sale items. I, finally, saw something that might work, but they didn’t have it in his size.

Then, I spotted a plaid shirt and long pants that might work and they had his size. While shopping I realized that I had two more birthday’s coming up – one great-nephew the end of this month and another great nephew in April. I decided that I might as well get their gifts now. I texted my niece to get the sizes and started browsing again. Had the same issue I had earlier – couldn’t find their sizes on the sale rack. I kept going back to the spot that had the same outfit I just picked out. Their sizes were available. I was thrilled! I ended up purchasing two more of the same outfit.

Shopping finished!

Posted by: martha sue | January 31, 2017

Another update for Nancy

Her appointment was yesterday — turns out a compression may have occurred and there appears to be something wrong with the top vertebrae they fixed. The spine committee is going to review the x-rays that were taken yesterday and discuss her options. They will contact her about another appointment. She was also fitted for a brace that will give her more support.

Becky and Mark are going to be gone next week for one night. I mentioned that the last time they were out of town and I was on Nancy duty, that Becky wrote me up instructions. She did so again for this overnight visit and said she felt like she was writing up lesson plans for a substitute teacher!

Here are the plans…

Nancy care lesson plans – page 1

Nancy care lesson plans – page 2

Posted by: martha sue | January 25, 2017

Old Fashioned Peanut brittle…

I obtained this “Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle” recipe from my neighbor when we were living in Des Moines, IA. I didn’t know I even liked peanut brittle until I tasted hers. It was so delicious. I started making it — the first time was at Christmas and I took it to my Dad’s. He and my older sister loved it as well. So, it became a tradition – I can remember getting asked “where’s the peanut brittle” within a few minutes of arriving home. I gave it as gifts to friends and took it to work. And, I started making it for my church bazaar which is held every November. It’s a great recipe!

It’s a long process to make peanut brittle – you have to be patient while it cooks away…

Heat together corn syrup, sugar and water until sugar dissolves

Add butter when syrup boils.

Stir frequently when temperature reaches 230 degrees.

Add peanuts when temperature reaches 280 degrees

Cooking away…

Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and pour onto two buttered cookie sheets

Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups raw peanuts
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions

In 3 quart saucepan, heat together sugar, corn syrup and water – stirring until sugar dissolves. When syrup boils, blend in butter. Stir frequently after temperature reaches 230 degrees. Add peanuts when temperature reaches 280 degrees. Stir constantly to hard crack stage (305 degrees).

Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda mixing well. Pour onto two buttered baking sheets. Loosen from pans when candy hardens. Break into pieces.

Makes 2 1/2 pounds.

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