Monday, June 30, 2008

A Hairy Experience

I bet there’s a pretty good chance you’ve never seen one of these things. It’s an antique curling iron used during the 1920’s to marcelle hair. No, I’m not that old. It belonged to my mother. Once, however, when I was in high school she used it on me. Someone accidentally cut my hair REALLY short. After I cried for a few days and declared that I would never go to school again until my hair had grown long enough that people wouldn’t think I looked like Arman Kadahl (our local sheriff), mother heated up the curling iron and managed to put enough curl into my hair that I thought I could pass for a girl and went back to school. (Actually, people today would probably think that was a pretty cool hair cut.)

I’ve experienced a lot of other strange hair things in my lifetime. I guess I just missed the days of tying your hair up with rags. The first curlers that I remember were long skinny metal cylinders that fastened at the end with a little rubber wheel. We wore our hair in braids all week, but on Saturday night mother washed our hair and rolled it up on these curlers. We slept on them all night and Sunday morning they were brushed out into beautiful blonde ringlets.

When I was a teenager, brush rollers were all the rage. That was sort of like putting 20 or 30 hair brushes against your head (held in by long pink plastic picks) and sleeping on them all night. That was followed by the “magnetic roller” craze, which was very much like fastening 20 or 30 empty tomato paste cans onto your head with bobby pins and then sleeping on them. I’m sure you’re wondering why in the world we slept on them. Well, it was b.h.d. (before hair dryers). Our only choices were to wash our hair at night and sleep on the curlers or wash it in the morning and walk around all day with curlers in our hair. If we had a big Friday night date we would wash our hair after school, roll it in curlers and then build a roaring fire in the fireplace. We’d lie on the floor turning this way, then that way until our hair was dry.

When straight hair was popular we ironed our hair on the ironing board. We went through sponge rollers, portable hair dryers with a plastic cap you put on your head to hold the heat in and Hot Rollers. You can click here to see some of the forms of torture you have possibly escaped in life.

But the strangest thing of all was “Mini-poo.” Does anybody know what “Mini-poo" is?
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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Belmont Second

Last night we went to see the "Buddy Holly" show at Drury Lane Theatre. It was a great show -- the music was fabulous. It was a toe-tapping, hand-clapping evening. But it couldn't even begin to compare with how happy I felt when I saw this YouTube clip of toe-tapping, hand-clapping music by the Belmont Second Ward Youth. That cute guy in the center with the light blue shirt is my #1 grandson. You're "cool", Bennet!

Friday, June 27, 2008

What a difference a day makes

Randy and I spent yesterday in Champaign helping Quinn and Tiffany move into a new apartment. These kids have been married less than four years. They've moved four times--from Provo to Boston, from Boston to Illinois, and two local moves since then. Somehow, it's always worked out that we've been able to help. I'm so grateful for the circumstances of our lives that have made it so. Clarissa was sick and running a high fever. Quinn had to go out with the missionaries. Tiffany was in charge of the enrichment activity last night. Chances are they'd be living out of boxes for a long time. What a difference a day (and four extra hands) makes!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No trifling matter

When your kids are all grown, there's nothing quite as wonderful as having them back for a visit, even just for a day. Randy the Younger has a scientific conference in Madison, WI, and, fortunately, the easiest way to get to Madison is to fly into Chicago. We so enjoyed his stay. When children become too grown up to hold on your lap and hug and kiss, I've come to realize that one of the natural ways for me to show my love is by feeding them. He got here just in time for lunch on the patio; it was a gorgeous day! We finished off the meal with a special dessert, because having Randy here was no "trifling" matter.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Doing what you have to do

While I was growing up, we “slept out” all summer long. It wasn’t just an occasional sleeping bag on the back lawn. We had an actual bed set up under the clothes line. It was covered with a green striped canvas awning and another matching awning was draped above us over the clothes line to protect us from rain and the early morning sun, which, in spite of the awning, managed to wake us pretty darn early. I never remember waking up when my mother wasn’t already working in her garden.

Is there a gardening gene? If so, it was latent in me for most of my life. It wasn’t until about fifteen years ago that I discovered the joy of gardening. Dirt feels good between my fingers. It’s fascinating to watch a blossom emerge. I once gave an entire fireside talk on what I’ve learned from weeds. Although I do most of our yard work myself, I do draw the line. I’ve always said that I couldn’t do the heavy trimming.

Do you remember that cute little song from the movie, April Love – “Ya gotta do, do, do it yourself, if you wanna get anything done.” Our hedge had gotten so big you had to back out of the garage at an angle. After I finished trimming it I left all the equipment out for Randy. I thought he might say something like, “Thanks, honey, what you’ve done will save me a lot of time. I’ll be able to finish this up in no time.” But Randy is smart like a fox. As he immediately rolled up the extension cord and put the ladder away he said things like “never looked better.” “How did you do this?” “Better than I can do it.” I’m such a sucker for positive feedback!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Are you happy?

Heidi sent this picture to me yesterday. The timing was perfect. Did you know that yesterday (June 20th) has been identified as “The Happiest Day of the Year.” I was surprised. I thought people might have chosen Christmas or their birthday. Nope, it’s June 20th! Justification for choosing this day might include the prospects of nice weather, the fact that it is the longest day of the year, and the knowledge that it is the first day of Summer.

I’ve had a lot of years to get to know myself, and with close scrutiny, I’ve learned that being happy doesn’t always come easy for me. I have a tendency to be a “The glass is half empty” kind of person. Why is it that some people seem to come into this world with a happy cheerful disposition and others have to work at it? I acknowledge that I have so many reasons to be happy. It’s not that I don’t feel gratitude for the most amazing circumstances of my life. For me, I think it has something to do with feeling responsible for how things turn out. If something is less than perfect I always feel that things might have been better if I had worked harder or made a more concerted personal contribution.

In my desire to be a genuinely happier person I introduced our family to two mottos which we used as our family was growing up. On our bathroom mirrors were the words, “If you’re happy, notify your face!” The second one was posted on the family bulletin board and on the kitchen pantry door. It read,

“Be pretty if you are.
Be witty if you can.
But be cheerful if it kills you!”

I had a really wonderful happy day yesterday. Perhaps tomorrow I will tell you why!
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Thursday, June 19, 2008


Remember that Mother’s Day gift I received twice – the gift certificate to the Growing Place? I attended a class on “Container Planting”, and then used the gift certificate to purchase the plants for this pot. It seems to be thriving. Thanks, Heidi!
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Project Completed

I just finished a project that has been on my “To Do” list for years, and boy howdy, does it feel good. Randy and I have had the blessing of going to France (where his dad was shot down during WWII) six different times. We’ve established some wonderful friendships and eaten the best French cuisine possible. We’ve taken all six of our children over to have this experience, always with the goal of putting all the pieces together so that we have a clear view of exactly what happened. It has not been easy, as we speak no French. They have made all the effort to learn English, and each time we go their English is better. But communication has not always been clear, and many times we have discovered that we had totally misunderstood them during an earlier visit. Now most of the principal players are gone, and we have to depend on their children and grandchildren for help. It has occurred to me that the day might come when there is no one left in that area with personal knowledge of the events, places and players of that historical family event. We want to have the information preserved so that our grandchildren and great grandchildren could have their own personal encounter with Grandpa Ted’s history.

And so, for years, I’ve been gathering pictures, information, maps and memorabilia. And I’ve finally pulled it all together. The hours and hours of video tapes have been converted to DVDs. The book contains a section for each player with pictures, their personal account of the part they played, addresses, any correspondence we’ve had with them, subsequent emails, etc.

I’ve researched information about the work of the French Resistance in that area and documented it with photos.

Ted’s story was written up in a book about the area – “Ted Peterson’s Grand Spree.” It’s has been translated into English and is included. On one of our trips the tides were perfect and we were able to go out into the bay and explore the wreckage of the plane. I’ve even included my journal accounts of our various trips.


It’s such a good feeling to know that all of this information is now in one place and can be made available to anyone in the family who might be interested. It was a big job and I’m giving myself a pat on the back. Good job, Judy! Now if I could just figure out how to post pictures correctly. Yes, I realize that these pictures are out of sequence, but I can't seem to change it. I need a help session from one of my kids. Another project for another day!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


That’s a little bit how I’m feeling this week. We’re taking off a couple of days to go to Nauvoo for our good friends (and, if you really push it, relatives) Justin and Melissa’s wedding. We also have company coming for that occasion and that means a lot more things to get done in fewer days.

This is our little granddaughter, Clarissa. It’s her birthday today – two years old! Her mom is our family cake decorator extraordinaire, so I’m sure she’ll have a fun birthday cake. This is our third grandchild birthday in June, so as you can see, I'm also "a little behind" in acknowledging these important events.

Theron turned four on June 5th!

Nicole turned five on June 11th!

With fourteen grandkids, the process of shopping and shipping becomes expensive and time-consuming. A few years ago we started a birthday tradition that works great for us. On their birthday, each grandchild receives a card from Papa Randy and Grandma Judy with a dollar bill for every year old they are. No more searching for the right size box. No more wrapping paper. No more trips to the post office. No more worries about whether we’re being fair and equal. And every child gets to spend the money exactly how he wants. And if we live long enough, they might be old enough that they can actually buy themselves a decent gift.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

When I was a young girl I saw a Dennis the Menace cartoon. Dennis gave his mother a case of Bazooka Bubble Gum for Mother’s Day. I thought it was so funny. My Father’s Day gift to Randy this year was sort of the adult version of Dennis the Menace.

I’ve been wanting a slide scanner. I told Randy I wanted one for my birthday, but I told him way too early. He, of course, forgot. I tried a subtle suggestion again for Mother’s Day, but Randy gave me a new Bosch bread mixer, and I would never complain about that – I love it! Randy’s head is full of too many important things to catalog and retrieve bits of unimportant trivia like the mention of something I want for an occasion that is still months away. I, on the other hand, am pretty good at remembering people’s “wants.” Randy has been “wanting” an external hard drive for his computer, and that’s what I was going to get him for Father’s Day. Unfortunately, two weeks ago he bought one for himself. That was my only idea, and what was I going to do now? Yep, I bought him a slide scanner. And the guy acted completely thrilled when he opened it. He even suggested that maybe we should keep it downstairs in my office so it wouldn’t clutter up his. That’s the kind of guy I married 41 years ago. And what did he get? Well, as I always say, “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.”

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

Last February when I attended the Quilt Retreat at Ruby's Inn, my name got drawn in a raffle. I won three nice pieces of fabric to make a quilt. My niece, who is a fabulous quilter, has gone to the retreat for years, and the only thing she has ever won was some lame gift like plastic sheet protectors to store patterns in. She was so hoping to win a "good" prize this year. Our family rule is that if you want to come to the retreat next year you have to finish all your projects from this year. I do want to go to the retreat next year, so I knew I needed to be a little careful about how many projects I committed to finish. I decided that I could make two people happy by giving her the fabric and not bringing home another project for me to worry about. After she had packed her suitcase I slipped the fabric inside. I was feeling pretty proud about the "random act of kindness" I'd just done for Sharon. A few weeks later I get a box in the mail. She didn't just send the fabric back. She pieced it together for me!! Now that is kindness!

There are two great times to quilt. One is in January when it is so cold and miserable you're just happy to have an excuse to stay in and sew. The other is in July when it is so hot and humid you say to yourself, "Weed and die, or sit in an air-conditioned house and watch movies as you quilt? (Actually, it's more like "listening" to movies. You can't really watch, but I like to put on old movies that I've seen many times and I can listen and visualize in my mind what is going on) It's a pretty easy decision.

So, the quilt has surfaced. I'm putting the back together, and as soon as our company leaves next week I'll be ready to put up the quilting frames.
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Thursday, June 12, 2008


When Randy and I were growing up Hootenany meant getting together with a bunch of friends, playing guitars and singing folk songs. Then Travis married Britt and in her family Hootenany meant something entirely different -- the name for something we call "German Pancakes." This morning we invited our neighbors over for "Hootenany on the Patio," Royal Baked Grapefruit, bacon, and some great conversation. How have we been so lucky as to have the same great neighbors for 31 years. We feel blessed!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just Me and My Little Brain

We have had so much rain for the past couple of weeks. That, combined with the Scott’s Step 2 that Randy put on about the same time, has made our lawn grow like crazy. I’m having to mow it almost every other day. As you can see by the picture, no small job! But I can honestly say that mowing the lawn is one job I never get tired of doing! In fact, Randy just about has to pin wrestle me if he wants a turn. We have a great little Husqvarna Tractor, so the job is totally effortless, and there is something very therapeutic about bumping along, your whole body vibrating, warm sun, a little breeze moving through your hair. Nobody bothers you. The phone doesn’t ring. Can’t even hear my cell phone. You do have to put up with grass swirling around your face and dropping down your shirt. I’ll give you that. Best to mow before you shower – not because you’ve worked up a sweat, but that darn grass itches until you get it washed off.

So the hour it takes to mow our lawn is an intimate encounter with my thoughts. It’s a great time to think about ideas for talks and lessons, or maybe just to figure out the best way to explain something. I compose journal entries, and yes, even some of my blogs. Then all I have to do is quickly type it up. It’s also a great time to memorize. A few years ago I set a goal to memorize all the best lectures from the Book of Mormon – you know, Mosiah Chapter 4, Alma 32, Moroni 7, etc. Memorizing is easy for me, but in order to remember it I have to recite it 3 or 4 times a week. By the time I’d memorized a few chapters, the Proclamation on the Family, the Testimony of the 12 Apostles, and a few other things I just couldn’t find the time to recite them regularly. Sadly, many of them are gone now, but I keep memorizing new things and waiting for the resurrection, when, I’m told, all things will be restored. Hallaleujah!

Here’s something I recently memorized that I like. I don't know who said it, but I do know that it was not a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. “I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularlity. I don’t have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear!”
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Post-Company Laundry Day

Wanna know how I spent the day yesterday? I did eleven loads of laundry, cleaned the bathrooms and re-made all the beds. It seems a shame to wash all these linens and re-make all these beds when they were only slept on for a few short hours. But, we’re expecting more company, and at the Peterson Lodge, every houseguest gets clean, crisp sheets and a fluffy sweet-smelling towel. And if you’re really lucky, we’ll even remember to put out a wash cloth!
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Monday, June 9, 2008

The Drive-In Movie

I heard on the radio that it is the 75th anniversary of the drive-in movie. A drive-in theater is hard to find these days, but they were an important part of my growing up. Our hometown drive-in was on the outskirts of town, far away from the “brilliant” lights of our little community of 7,000. Parents were too busy taking their turn at the irrigation water or filling a church farm assignment to take their children to movies. As children we swiveled our necks back and forth longingly whenever we drove by the big outdoor screen, but I saw only a few movies as a child. But when we turned sixteen and could drive and date, the drive-in became a magical part of our summers. That’s where I saw Pat Boone in April Love. Yes, I was a member of the Pat Boone Fan Club, and my membership packet included three or four 8x10 black and white glossy photos which I pinned to my bedroom wall. Pat Boone was not only handsome and cool, he had a great voice and he represented the best of Christian values. In my fan club materials he said that he would never kiss a woman on film because that would be compromising the vows he had made with his wife. In April Love he comes very close to kissing Shirley Jones, but the moment is miraculously interrupted. Whew! (Does anybody remember if Pat Boone ever kissed a woman on film?)

Drive-in movie dates were late since you had to wait until 9:00 for it to get dark. The tickets were priced either individually or per car, so it was economically advantageous to fill a car full of teenagers at the per car rate. Lots of fun memories, like filling the bed of a pickup with folding chairs to accommodate a bigger group. Typically you didn’t accept a drive-in "date" unless it was somebody you really liked. It was the day of bench seats, and it was well understood that watching a drive-in movie meant sitting close with the guy’s arm around you, and you could pretty well depend on the fact that somewhere in that movie, he’d try to steal a kiss. Magical! Innocent! Memorable!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ginger Pancakes for Ten

We had house guests last night. The Gales are on a road trip across the country. They allowed a one-day stop in Chicago (Now they wish they had allowed more time. Don’t underestimate Chicago!) I fixed Ginger Pancakes for breakfast this morning. How many pancakes does it take to feed ten if four of them are teenagers? Well, I made about 75 pancakes. There were three left over. I love to cook for people who aren’t picky eaters and who are appreciative! Here’s the recipe for Ginger Pancakes. They make a great company breakfast! If you’re planning to serve ten, you’ll probably need to four times the recipe.

Ginger Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ t. soda
¼ t. salt
½ t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1 ¼ c. milk
¼ c. molasses
1 Tablespoon oil
Sliced bananas

Combine all dry ingredients. Add milk, egg, and molasses. Mix well and add oil. Fry on a hot griddle

Lemon Sauce

½ c. sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup hot water
Dash of nutmeg

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and nutmeg. Add water. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon rind

Serve pancakes covered with sliced bananas and top with hot lemon sauce. Yummm!
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