Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

"I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face."
~Johnny Depp~

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - My Desk

I have a sturdy wooden desk that I have loved ever since I was a little girl. It's a traveling desk. I don't know where it was made or who it's original owners were. I do know that it was abused before my grandparents rescued it.

After WWII, my grandpa found a job working for the Meat & Animal Research Center in the Nebraska Panhandle. He met my grandma, and they were married in Chadron in 1950. Their first home was in Fort Robinson. Sometime between 1951 and 1955, they inherited my desk from one of their neighbors who didn't want to take it with them as they moved across the state to Omaha. The neighbors had said the desk was already in their home at the Fort when they moved in. If you know anything about Fort Robinson's history, you can see why I find this tidbit of information exciting!

Once Grandma had it, she claimed it as her sewing table. That is how I remember seeing the desk - sitting in her sewing room with her machine on top and the drawers bursting with threads, sewing tools, and notions.

When we lost my grandpa almost 4 years ago, the desk came home with me. At first, we put it in the boys' bedroom for Taylor to use as a drawing table and his "Home Fun" desk when he started Kindergarten. We moved my desk into our bedroom after Taylor and Landon got their Lego table. From there it was moved into my sewing room/office, and a month ago, when we turned my sewing room into Landon's bedroom, we moved my beautiful desk into the kitchen. It fits perfectly along the wall between our little entry and the bathroom.

One of the many things I love about this desk is this little flap that you can fold up for more surface area. You can also see the cigarette burns that were left by one of the previous owners (my grandparents weren't smokers, so the burns have been there since before they had the desk)!

One more note about Fort Robinson. It is well worth your time to do a little more reasearch on the Fort. The links provided above say very little about Crazy Horse being killed there, the Red Cloud Agency, or the WWII German POW camp. Also, if you're ever looking for a place to visit in the Nebraska Panhandle, I highly recommend Fort Robinson. It is now a state park and has a lodge and cabins (these were at one time the soldier's and officer's quarters). If you do happen to stop and go through their musuem, look for the WAC uniform they have on display. Jessie Mercer donated that uniform. She was stationed there, as was my grandpa's older brother, at the end of the war. They fell in love, were married at the Fort in 1946, and a freed German POW even made their wedding cake!

For more Vintage Thingies, check out Colorado Lady's blog.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

"Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done."
~Amelia Earhart~

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Garage Sale Goodies

Saturday my mom and I were on a mission: to find a dresser for Landon. Unfortunately, we didn't find one (at least not one that would work), but I did come home with a bunch of goodies, most of which are shown in the picture below.

Blue Hill had their annual city-wide garage sale day, so we started there before heading to Hastings where we hit a few sales including a 2-block long garage sale and an estate sale. Here's the low down on my loot:

Large beach mat (not shown) - $3
3 glass insulators - .75
4 small bushel baskets - $1
2 blue/green atlas jars - $1
2 blue/green Ball jars - $1
Old Chicken Feeder (not shown) - .50
Old Chicken Waterer (not shown) - .50
Vintage (1948) "Red Book of Trees" - .10
Vintage (1948) "Blue Book of Trees" - .10
2 Vintage feed sacks - .50
Vintage crib sized quilted blanket with hand appliqued butterflies - $1

Total Spent: $9.45

In other uncle is currently in Germany visiting his exchange students from the last couple of years (he's a host). He emailed me this morning to see how we made it through the storm. Apparently the tornado north of town made international news! It sounds like it flipped over a couple of pivots, but not much else.

And, just to toot my own horn, one of my photos (the first one in the post below) made "Picture of the Day" on one of our local news stations! According to Landon, I'm "awesomer than awesome"!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stormy Skies

I know, I rarely make two posts in one day. This second one is to a)marvel at Mother Nature, and b)try to calm my slightly frazzled nerves.

This is what our skies looked like about an hour or so ago:

This next pic is the same as the first, but I added red and blue lines. Everything to the left of the red line was moving East. Everything to the right of the blue line was moving West. This was the sight when we looked North, and slightly West from our front porch area.

These were the clouds above one of the elevators just half a block South of our house (immediately after taking the above photo, I turned around and took this one):

They were ROTATING. I turned around, and our neigbor was running over to offer to let us come down to their basement. I politely declined, then saw more rotating clouds that looked like they were just on the west side of our house. I ran in the house, got the boys and our stuff in the basement, then the sirens went off. Luckily we weren't down their for long, and nothing hit us!

After posting this last night, I found out that a tornado had touched down North/Northwest of Roseland. Other than some crops, I don't think there was any serious damage, and as far as I know there were no injuries.

Betty's Here!

Gretta, my wonderfully old green sewing machine, sews like a dream. She belonged to my grandma, my mom remembers Gretta well from her childhood. Anyway, the ONLY thing wrong with her is that the bobbin winder doesn't work worth a darn. It'll wind my bobbins, but the thread is REALLY loose. So, I've been wanting to buy a bobbin winder for some time. I've had my mom's sewing machine, and only use it for winding bobbins, but hate having to haul it out every time I need it. Not only that, but she's decided she'd like to use it sometime, know, since she bought the thing and all!

I've found bobbin winders at Wal-Mart, KMart, Hobby Lobby, etc, but have been way too cheap to buy one (they run about $35). Last Wednesday, I was looking at the Fabric Depot website and found Betty! She was on sale for $16.50, so I ordered her right then and there, and she arrived in my mailbox this morning.

She's a cute little thing, measuring in at about 5.5" x 3.5" and she's VERY lightweight. She runs on 2 AA batteries (not included), but what is included is a power cord. Another bonus is that the boys think she's a lot of fun, so they've both offered to wind my bobbins when I need them!

The sidewinders like Betty are now on sale for only $15 (shipping is $4.95) here, or they also offer some pink ones here for $20. The pink ones are more because they benefit cancer research.

Well, it's time to get the boys ready for their first day of swim lessons! See you tomorrow (mom and I hit some garage sales over the weekend, and I have lots of goodies to show you)!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

"The first thing I put in was this diary, then hair curlers, handkerchiefs, schoolbooks, a comb, old letters; I put in the craziest things with the idea that we were going into hiding. But I'm not sorry, memories mean more to me than dresses."

~Anne Frank~
1929 - 1945

Happy 80th Birthday, Anne

Monday, June 8, 2009

Coney Island

On the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot has their Kids' Workshop. We took the boys last month, and they had a blast, so this time Shawn and Amber met us there with their kiddos. The Workshop is supposed to be for kids ages 5-12, but there were several 3- and 4-year-olds there, too. It's free, so if you have young kids, I recommend trying it out. In Grand Island, the workshop is open from 9-12, and we like to get there as close to 9 as possible. By the time we're done, the crowds are starting to show up.

Mom and I took the boys and Natalie to Hobby Lobby with us, and found some great deals, while we waited for Shawn to get his hair cut. Then we went to this adorable little place to eat. The only thing that disappointed me was the fact that this place is only 2-3 blocks from where I went to college (Grand Island College - it closed in December 1999), and I never knew it was there!

There is so much I enjoyed about this little sliver of deliciousness that I don't know where to start! I guess the beginning is as good a place as any. Back in 1923...okay, I won't go back that far...besides, all I really know is that it opened in 1923 and that the Katrouzos family has been running it since 1933!

Across the street, on the corner of 3rd & Pine, is the parking lot where Shawn told us to meet. I pulled into a parking spot facing 3rd Street, and am looking for this Coney Island. I see the travel agency on the corner and the building with a HUGE red awning. Sandwiched between the two is a door and window surrounded by old glass blocks and green tiles.

We walk in, and the sight is absolutely thrilling for me! On my left is the cash register, and just beyond that is a counter lined with stools. Behind the counter is where all the yummy food is prepared. To my right is a long row of red booths - the good kind of booths with high backs so you don't accidentally smack the person behind you if you throw your head back during a good laugh. Beyond the booths is what I am assuming is the storage room.

Whenever somebody ordered a shake, an adorable little old man (I think his name is Gus) comes out of that back room to make them.

Do you see that menu above Gus's head? That's the menu from 1933 when the Katrouzos family took over. T-Bone steak for 35 cents!

We arrived at Coney Island Lunch Room around 11:30-ish, and I'm glad we did. We were only about half way through our meal when the crowds really started showing up. After the booths and counter stools were filled, people just stood by the door (some for 20 minutes or more!) waiting for a seat to open up. That's how good this place is.

My mom, Natalie, and I had cheeseburgers (mine and Natalie's were regular, mom's was deluxe), Taylor and Ali had hamburgers, Landon and Brody each had a hot dog, Amber had a coney, and Shawn had 2. We also had 3 orders of fries (and these are real, homemade fries that are served overflowing on desert plates), and 3 shakes. The total - just over $45. We just had water to drink, but they do offer soda and other drinks.

The hamburgers were also real, homemade patties. Nothing from a box. The coneys (Shawn made my mom and I each try his) are exceptional. Yummy and delicious don't describe them well enough. You can also buy just the coney sauce to enjoy at home! Next time I go, I will definitely be picking some up, and maybe I'll even buy me a t-shirt!

If you're ever in or near Grand Island, Nebraska, you should definitely make a stop here. Just take Hwy 281 to Hwy 30/2nd Street on the south side of Grand Island. Follow 2nd street all the way to Pine Street and turn left. (2nd street actually turns into a 1-way street, so you'll actually follow a turn over to 1st street where you'll end up turning onto Pine.) Take Pine to the parking lot on the Southeast corner of 3rd & Pine.

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably know that family history is a big interest of mine. While looking for some pictures of the inside of Coney Island, I came across this old picture, above, of the building (found here). There was a little blurb about how in 1885, the building looked more like a bank and it "was an office for Grand Island attorneys Thomas Oliver Cromwell Harrison and Charles Rief." Charles Rief is a distant relative!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

"If you cannot be a poet, be the poem."
~David Carradine~

Peace be with you, Grasshopper

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gnomie Needs A Name

I need your help with a name. We have an adorable little gnome who hangs out in my car, keeping us company and joining us on our little trips out and about. We've been calling him "Gnomie", but that's like calling a new puppy "Puppy". Any suggestions?

Here's a picture of him hanging out with some daisies at Stuhr Museum on Saturday.

And a close-up of our little friend...


This is the pillow I finished the other day. It doesn't normally sit on this chair, but Jeremy was in the chair the pillow usually hangs out on.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Good Weekend

We had a fun weekend with my brother's kids, but I'm almost glad the weekend is over! Shawn and Amber dropped off the girls and Brody Friday around noon-ish. I think Brody had more fun than the other 4 put together. He turned 1 in October, but is already longing for other boys to play with. Ali is the middle child - she turned 3 at the end of January - and I had forgotton how entertaining it was to hear kids talk at that age. She also has this really cute accent, but we're not sure where it came from!

Saturday morning, the boys and I headed into mom's house around 8:00, and we went to Stuhr Museum for the day. We were able to take a few pictures of the kids, and we all had a great time!

On our to the museum, we noticed a LOT of trucks with satelite dishes and funny shaped things on them at the Interstate Holiday Inn. They were still there when we were headed home, so I pulled in to take a look. Landon and Brody were riding with mom, and they had both fallen asleep, so they missed it. I felt bad once I showed Landon the picture below, though. He's a big Transformers fan, and the TIV looks a lot like one!

We'll just have to keep our eyes open to see if they come back around here again. I almost hope not because they go where the tornados are!

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