Week 5: Favorite Food

I am re-posting some of my old blog posts to keep the history of my blog alive. This post is from the 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History blogging prompts series.

This post appeared originally on my blog on Jan 29, 2011.

Week 5: Favorite Food. What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?

Well favorite food is a hard choice for me to make so I am going to just talk about several of them.

My Grandmother Treat was a great old-fashioned southern cook!  She always had something on the stove when we would visit and most of it came from her very own garden!  She had 6 children and never seemed to be able to make smaller amounts of food so whenever you stopped by there was food on the stove keeping warm for later!

At the holidays she always made two pies:  Chocolate and Lemon Meringues.  I loved those pies and looked forward to them every year.

For everyday type of foods, I loved her fried chicken that was battered with a corn meal and flour combination and pan-fried until the batter was crisp (and the chicken was completely cooked) usually in “lard”.  She always made cornbread and usually homemade mashed potatoes with it.

Another of my favorites was her stew.  She also made a soup that everyone else seemed to like but I am not a big vegetable eater and her soup had every vegetable she grew in it!  This stew had big chunks of potatoes, corn, Tabasco sauce,  tomatoes, cabbage, and huge chunks of browned hamburger meat with some onion and peppers for seasoning.  She would make a huge pot and leave it simmering on the stove all day.  She would have large pans of her cornbread to go with it.  I loved this stew and can make some that is close.  I don’t think mine will ever taste as good as hers but at least I can eat some of it once in a while!

She taught me how to cook many of the dishes she made when I was a teenager and would visit their home in the summer for a week or two.  I can come close on many of her dishes but I never had any baking talent and still can only manage to make even a boxed cake mix turn out about half the time.  I am probably the only grandchild who ever received the advice from this from the garden to the table cook to find a good bakery because I would need it!!

My Grandmother Thompson was also a good cook.  I am told by Dad that she used to cook a lot more when he was a young child and he remembers fondly the huge meals she used to put on the table for their family dinners.  What I remember though is that she used to make these decorated cakes with flowers and such on them.  Also, she made chicken and dumplings that were wonderful.  One of my favorites was her potato salad and deviled eggs that she made at the holidays.

My very favorite food at Grandma and Grandpa Thompson’s home at the holidays was Grandpa Thompson’s Rocky Road Fudge that he started making in the late 1970s.  I think someone else had made it and brought it to work for some function and he found out that the recipe was on the can of condensed milk so he got the stuff and made it for that Thanksgiving dinner.  It was delicious and became a family tradition for years after that.

Mom and Dad would cook for us most nights and I remember liking their meals but my favorite meal when I was a kid was when they would take us out for pizza.  We would go to Pizza Hut and sit at the tables with the red and white checked clothes and be served our pan pizza straight from the oven to our table!  I loved those pizzas and it was such a treat for us to go out to dinner!  Another favorite was Kentucky Fried Chicken when they had the original “Original” chicken and it was served in those little boxes with the “sporks” and wet wipes to clean your fingers with when you finished eating.

The foods now though sometimes don’t seem to measure up to those of my childhood but I think I remember the people who made the dishes more than the actual taste of the dish.

My favorite foods now are much the same as when I was a child:  fried chicken, potato salad, fudge (well really anything chocolate) and pizza.   Now my sister, sister-in-law, and I make the holiday dinners with all the special treats for the children!  Hopefully they will remember our dinners as fondly as I remember the ones from my childhood.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.

Week 4: Home

I am re-posting some of my old blog posts to keep the history of my blog alive.  This post is from the 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History blogging prompts series.

This post appeared originally on my blog on Jan 23, 2011.

Week 4: Home. Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today?

We lived in several homes as I was growing up. They were all in the Northwest Arkansas area but we moved quite a bit. I went to three different schools by the third grade. Then, we moved to Green Forest and we stayed there until I was a sophomore in high school. We lived for a few months in a white two-story house and then my parents bought a house on 6th street and we stayed there until in 1985 when we moved back to the Springdale/Fayetteville area.

The house on 6th street was a three bedroom house with partial brick and a carport. There was an older woman who lived next door to us who always thought we were too loud and shouldn’t be doing whatever it was we were doing – even when what we were doing was just playing in our own yard.

My sister and I shared a room and my younger brother had his own room. I remember that my sister and I had many fights over that room because she was a slob as a child (Hey, it’s my blog and I am allowed to remember it my way!).

Both my parents worked so when we came home from school we would have the whole house to ourselves to play for a couple of hours until they got home from work. Our living room furniture served as a stage for our performances as great actors and singers – Our stage shows were wonderfully inventive as we lip synced to the latest tunes on that wonderful new invention of song videos on the TV!!

We had Barbies and we would spend hours on end making clothes for them and forcing my younger brother to drive them around in his cars! This is when I discovered that I should never do my own or anyone else’s hair because I have this unfortunate tendency to get one side shorter than the other and keep trying to fix it until my Barbies were nearly bald!! I could make wonderfully fashionable clothes out of the quilt scraps my Grandmas would give me though and I still sew some today.

We had bicycles and we probably rode hundreds of miles over those roads in that small town. My parents worked for the Tyson Chicken plant there and we had relatives from both sides of the family who lived nearby. We were just down the street from my Aunt Judy and Uncle Jerry Stout and their kids. We often went across the street from their house and played on the playground equipment at the elementary school.

As I recall it now, I don’t remember any special details about the house that would make it any different than any other house of its neighborhood. But it was our home and that made all the difference. I even remember how glad I was when we moved back to Springdale not to be living in that little town anymore where everyone knew absolutely everything that you did or even wanted to do! (Or at least it seemed so at the time.) Now, it holds some of my most cherished childhood memories.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.

Week 3: Cars

I am re-posting some of my old blog posts to keep the history of my blog alive.  This post is from the 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History blogging prompts series.

This post appeared originally on my blog on Jan 16, 2011.

Week 3: Cars. What was your first car? Describe the make, model and color, but also any memories you have of the vehicle. You can also expand on this topic and describe the car(s) your parents drove and any childhood memories attached to it.

My first car was just an old used car that we bought for me to drive.  It never had any real significance to me.  The cars that I really remember came later.  I had an old green Datsun that I drove for a couple of years that I really liked until it started just dying and shutting off all the electrical stuff for no apparent reason!  When it stranded me on the interstate one night, it got traded soon after!

The next car that was of any importance to me was a blue Toyota Corolla.  Mom and I went to a used car lot and bought it.  It was a good car for several years and I drove it everywhere.  Dad didn’t appreciate it as much when he found out that the oil dipstick was in the back of the engine next to the windshield and down under most of the motor!  He burnt his arm the first time he checked the oil for me!

I don’t really remember many of our family cars as a child but I do remember the cars of my grandparents!  My Grandpa and Grandma Treat drove an old station wagon for many years.  It was brown and it has the wooden panels on the doors.  Everyone of these that I see makes me think of them!

My Grandpa Thompson drove an old 1960s pickup for many years!  Later, in the late 1980s he got a yellow pickup truck that he drove until he died in 1997.

My Great-Grandpa Stout drove a green pickup with a camper on top for all of the time I can remember.  My Great-Aunt Mabel Stout Parsons drove this little while compact car for all of the time that I can remember.

One of the funniest childhood stories of my dad is that when he was about 5 years old he decided that the car that they had at the time should be black.  So he was going to help out the family and paint the car!  He took a can of spray paint and painted the car!  Maybe it was the one he is in front of in the photo!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.

Status

2017: 6 months in!

6 months have come and gone in 2017.  The first half of 2017 has been a roller coaster of emotions and events for my family.  My family has had several health concerns during the first few months and then my brother-in-law died in May.  It has been a very painful time for my family but the support and caring of friends and family has been a comfort to us all.

I have spent the last couple of weeks with my family and that has been my priority as it should be.  My sister and nephews are doing well under the circumstances.  I will be back to blogging in the next few days.

Kellie

Week 2: Winter Memories

I am re-posting some of my old blog posts to keep the history of my blog alive.  This post is from the 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History blogging prompts series.

This post appeared originally on my blog on Jan 8, 2011.

Week #2 – Winter Memories Week 2: Winter.  What was winter like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

I grew up and still live in Northwest Arkansas.  Winters here vary from very mild weather in the 40s and 50s to cold with several degrees below zero with lots of snow.  Most years there is a mix of both.  We have a saying in Arkansas that

if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes and it will change!

Most winters would get at least some snow.  If we were lucky that would mean a SNOW DAY from school.  We would get to stay home from school and go outside and play in the snow.  If the snow was deep enough, we would build a snowman and have snowball fights!  Also, we would get to have that rare treat:  Snow Ice Cream!  We could never eat snow ice cream from the first snow though.  Mom was convinced that it was dirty so we would have to wait until the second snow of the season.

Winter was also a time for making homemade chili and soups on those cold winter evenings and having hot chocolate after school.  Sometimes when we were little Mom would make homemade hot chocolate with boiled milk and chocolate powder but even the little packets that you add hot water tastes great when you come in from the cold!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.

Status

5 Weeks Using the Best Self-Journal

Well I have been using the Self Journal from Best Self Co as a digital planner on my IPad for the past 5 weeks.  I have completed over 1/3 of my journal and I am still finding it useful to plan my days!

I downloaded the journal as a PDF file from the website and I modified it to remove the page numbers and I converted it to separate the two page spreads into separate pages. Using the zoom features of my IPad I am able to write large and then when I zoom back to the regular view, my handwriting is neat and legible!

I thought that I probably wouldn’t use the gratitude section very much but I find it helps set the tone for the day when I start off the day thinking of what I am grateful to have in my life.  It makes the day seem brighter and better! Even when I wake up feeling bad, thinking of the three things I am thankful for that morning makes everything just a little bit better which leads a more productive and better-feeling day!  It is allowing me to find the bright spots of my life and concentrate on them instead of always thinking about everything that has or could go wrong!

I have also noticed that it is helping me to be more productive!  I am concentrating on the things that matter to me and not just tasks to keep me busy.

I have had to readjust my goals for this journal.  I started with goals that would be impossible to complete within the thirteen weeks.  I tend to over-schedule and then I am surprised when I am unable to complete everything in just a few weeks!  I am taking sometime this week to rethink my goals and to be more realistic in what I can actually get done within the time frame!  I am rewriting my goals to reflect what I actually want to get done and what is actually important to me instead of just what I think should be important to me.  The Self-Journal is helping me to really think about my goals and what I want in life!

I have also started time-blocking and using a timer to use the Pomodoro method to keep me from procrastinating and to help me maintain my focus.  These things are helping me to get actual focused working time even in an environment of interruptions and distractions!  I am able to keep focused when I know I have a break coming up soon to take care of whatever is distracting me at the moment.

My journey to an organized person is continuing!  More updates to come soon.

Kellie

Week 1: New Year’s Memories

I am re-posting some of my old blog posts to keep the history of my blog alive.  This post is from the 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History blogging prompts series.

This post appeared originally on my blog on Jan 2, 2011.

Week 1: Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?!

We didn’t have a lot of New Year’s traditions when I was growing up.  I do remember watching the Dick Clark New Year’s Eve Celebrations most years and I usually watched the Rose Bowl Parade on TV on New Year’s Day but nothing really special is associated in my memory as New Year’s Traditions in our family.

As I grew older, I would usually make New Year’s resolutions.  These usually included my perpetual desire to become more organized and usually started with me visiting one of my favorite places:  The OFFICE SUPPLY STORE to buy more organizational gadgets!  In fact, this particular resolution is on my list for this year again but I have already gotten my new phone and I have a Remember the Milk account so I am trying that for my organizational plan for this year – Along with a couple of notebooks and other SUPPLIES I have gotten over the past few weeks to help me be ORGANIZED!!

The traditions in my family are changing from year to year as our family grows.  In the last decade, my family has grown to include my brother and sister in-laws and my niece and four nephews.  As they have grown and begin to become more evolved as individual people instead of just a child the traditions are evolving to keep up with them!

This year for the first time, I had a New Year’s Eve Party!  The party was me and my niece and four nephews.  My niece is 14 (almost 15) and my youngest nephew is 4.  We had a great time!  I had them all come over and bought a good supply of junk food (all the chips muffins candy and cake they could eat) and then I got pizza (their favorite kinds) and breadsticks for dinner!  I had some new board games and the WII at the ready and they played games and enjoyed being with each for most of the night!!  As the two middle boys tell it they stayed up all night!  There were only a couple of threats of bodily injury among them and a few fights over turns on the games but overall it was a great evening for me.  I love them and hope that they remember this as the start of a family tradition for them for years to come!    I didn’t last all night but I did make it to midnight with them and got to wish them all a HAPPY NEW YEAR at midnight!  What a great start to the new year!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.