27 08 2012

Had 20 children and families here yesterday for July, August and September birthdays.  We celebrate every 3 to 4 months depending upon how many there are.  We had 11 birthdays to celebrate yesterday.   It was fun for all.  Always is.  We sing Happy Birthday to Everybody and enjoy the ice cream and cake.  It is a great time for visiting and enjoying the special company.

Almost all the cake was gone by the time the party ended.  And everyone had a sack of fun presents to take home.  We do not give expensive nor special presents.  Just items from the Dollar Store and fun things.  For instance, yesterday, everyone got a fireman’s hat fit for a 3 year old.  And they were all proud of them.  Some of them were wearing them for the afternoon.  Such things are just pure fun. And what is wrong with that.  Everything doesn’t have to be serious and grim.  Laughter is the best part anyway.

There were 4 different families here yesterday plus some who are not official families yet, but will be this year.  And then another generation will be coming along.  What fun!  I am so glad I have this big family and glad everyone gets along and is happy in their own lives.  God has truly been good to me and I appreciate that more than anything.  

Happy Birthday to All!!!


1 07 2012

I brought up some things yesterday that had been the norm during the 1950’s. Earlier than that, very few people owned their own homes.  Almost everyone had to rent.  And what they rented was not all that great.  I know my in-laws lived in what I would have described as real dumps.  They laid their own linoleum floors and were always moving around trying to find a better place.  Not a good way to live.

My parents had rented for many years, but then they were finally able to buy their own house.  I remember going to look at the houses for sale.  One was really nice, but it cost $2,200. and they could not afford that one.  They settled on one that was not quite as nice, but still was o.k.  It only cost $2,000.  Payments were $16 a month.  My daddy borrowed the money from the group he worked with because I remember going by to make the payment every month.  He had a good job and was a good man.  Trustworthy, stable, and always taking good care of everyone.  There were my parents and three of us children.  Besides that, he had always taken good care of his mother.  As he said to me one time, she had no one else to take care of her so it was his job.  And he had done that since the age of 5 or 6.  His father had walked out and found someone else and my daddy was hung with providing for his mother.  If you would like to read more of that story, then order my book,  The Real Story for $10 plus $2 postage from Bet at P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR  72018.   Enjoyment, pure enjoyment.

All us kids were expected to do well in school.  We were not straight A students but pretty close.  We did not get scholarships or anything like that, but we had a very good public school education.  That was back when they taught the necessary three R’s, if you remember, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.  And we learned well.  All of us went to work upon graduation from high school.  I already had a job before I graduated.  Friday night was graduation and I went to work at 8 on Monday morning and was thrilled.  Was a great secretary.  Had a lot to learn, but learned well.  Worked for several years before starting a family.

My brother had worked from the time he was 14 or so.  He stuffed papers at the local newspaper office and delivered items and worked at general stuff.  Then he also had a full time sales job when he graduated from high school.  By that time, he had been working in sales for a local company for several years.  Now, it was just full time instead of part time.  

My sister also went to work early.  In fact, when I was 14, my brother took me to a friend who was hiring for a candidate’s run for governor.  He hired me on the spot thinking I was 16 and I made enough money that year to pay for my own school clothes.  Then my sister, cousin and other friends and myself all got a job during the next governor’s race and had a really great summer.  At that time, everything that went out of the office had to be typed individually, so they needed lots of typists.  We all learned typing in school and were very good on those manual typewriters, so we were well paid and again, bought all our own school clothes.  Life was a lot of fun.  Challenging, full of education, and happiness.  Because we made it that way.

No one in my home argued a lot or had a lot of problems.  We just simply got along because we had to.  There were too many of us not to. We had chickens in the back yard and only one car, and rode the bus everywhere we went.  Wouldn’t have traded that life for anything.

I also have another book entitled #2503 which was our address.  My brother and sister wanted me to write about our growing up years and that was the title I chose.  Probably not a good one, but we all like it.  Same price and same address if you want that book also.  In fact, if you would like 3 books, they are only 3 for $25 plus the postage.  A third book is about the 1940’s and all the changes due to the World War II years.  Exciting, scary, and educational once again.  You will definitely enjoy all these books.  Thanks,  Bet


11 01 2012

I read every day about the lovely houses for sale in my area.  Some of them are actual mansions fit for a king and queen.  But it makes me wonder about all these things.  Are these houses or homes?  Some have as many as 3 separate living areas.  Why?  I have been told that the reason for separate living areas is so the children can watch their programs or play the computer games, etc.   If I am in my living area, I want my children to be there, too. When we are all relaxing, why would I want my other family members to be in another room.  Much better to share the minutes and hours with each other.  How else do you get to really know each other.  I don’t mind watching games or watching the children enjoy themselves.   What is the big deal. I can always catch up on the news or weather later. Much better to share this time together.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have a separate living area nor did we have 8 bathrooms or whatever it might be today.  Why would my mother have wanted to clean all those.   And I want to share my kitchen with the children also.  I want them to enjoy their home.  This is what makes a home, not the number of rooms nor the rock or brick or mortar.  Nor the specially designed counter tops.

This is our home!  Not a house, but a real home where we can all share our time together.  We complain to each other of course.  Everyone does now and then.    But we still share our time and our thoughts with each other.  This is why our home is such a special place.  And this is why our children want to come home each day.  They prefer it here, not at a friend’s house.

Some days, I sure would like to go home again.  Back to where I grew up in that typical family consisting of a mother, father, sister, brother and grandmother.  It was a really great place to be all the time.  It was nice and happy, with the exception of the daily quarrels that all children have about chores and what to wear. But it was a place to share together while we were building a real family.  Wish I could open that screen door and go in to be with all of them just one more time.  Sure would be nice.

If  you want to experience some of that special family time that we lived during the late 30’s and early 1940’s,  just order my book entitled #2503 .  That was my address when I was growing up.   You can read about the fun and living history and great love we experienced in #2503.  In that place that was a real home and not just a house.

My books are each $10 including postage.  Just send check or money order to P.O. Box 2249, Benton,AR  72018.  Will get one of those special books right out to you.   You will love it.   Thanks,     Bet



5 12 2011

Was texting with my daughter today and told her I was making Rum Cakes.  These are not for Christmas giving just yet although I will make some for that, too. But at our house we have four birthdays to celebrate next weekend, so I made four cakes as gifts for Happy Birthday!  Took me less than 2 hours to make all four cakes.  I will be making 8 more of these for Christmas next week.

Anyway, my daughter suggested I blog about the cake as it is absolutely and positively delicious.  Also very easy to make and everyone just loves the cake.  In fact, they ask me to make them another one  next Christmas.  One year, I made 25 because so many people kept asking for them.  Don’t do that anymore, but will probably make a dozen or so.

So here is the recipe for that delicious, scrumptous Rum Cake.   Combine in a mixing bowl – 1 yellow cake mix, any kind will do.  In fact, the cheaper ones usually make the best cakes.  1 small package vanilla pudding mix.    4 whole eggs,    1 cup water,   1/2 cup vegetable oil,  1/2 tsp Rum Flavoring.  Mix all together until smooth, then beat slightly.

Grease tube cake pan.  Pour mixture into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Make icing while the cake is cooking.  Mix together in small pan – 1 Cup Sugar, 1 Stick Margarine, 1/2 Cup Water and 1/2 Tsp Rum Flavoring.  Boil about 1 minutes.

When cake is done, leave in pan and prick all over with toothpick.  Then pour about 1/2 hot icing mixture over hot cake.  Let sit for a minute so cake can absorb all the mixture.  Then turn cake out upside down onto large sheet of aluminum foil.  Prick again with toothpick.  Pour rest of mixture over cake.  Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  Wait about 4 days before slicing cake.  Delicious!

This recipe is extremely easy and makes you look like one great cook.   Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you will really like my cookbook entitled Bet’s Cookbook.  It has 120 pages of easy, cheap, delicious recipes to wow everyone you know. Also has lots of tips that make cooking ‘easy as pie.’

You can order direct from me at P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR  72018 for just $10 in check or money order.  Any three of my books are only $25.  Look up my books on


5 11 2011

Sometimes opportunity knocks and knocks some more and no one hears the sounds.  Other times, opportunity knocks so loud that it almost knocks the doors off the hinges and no one wants to hear the sound.

No one was ever promised a great life nor lots of food in the kitchen, nor even a kitchen.  Everyone has to get out and get it for themselves.   This is the good old American way.  This is how people are able to raise their standard of living over and over again over the generations.  When I was younger, it was thought that each generation should try to raise the standard of living for the next generation to come.  Instead, these days some people are   happy going downhill further and further.  They even drag those poor children along and teach them that this is the way to live.

In a normal company, after many years, a man might make a pretty good salary with all kinds of benefits.  Then if he gets laid off because the economy gets bad,  he might still think he is worth that large hourly salary he was making after 20 years with that former employer.  That cannot be.  He must go back and start over again with beginning salary and fewer benefits.  But many people are not willing to accept that.  They draw a line and say anything less than what they were making before is an insult.  So he collects his unemployment and time passes with no progress.  The longer he is without a job, the more it will hurt his future. Pride has to take a back seat.  Opportunity gets the front seat on the bus.

If the responsible man has saved some of his money and not spent himself into debt, then he can survive until he finds that prime job he is looking for.  Otherwise, he better take whatever is offered.  It might be a cut in pay, yes, or a cut in benefits, yes, but a salary of any kind keeps the wolf from the door.  It provides the money for that rent or house payment and puts groceries on the table.

And then if he is open for opportunity to knock, there will be other opportunities over time and he will once again progress to that larger salary and more benefits.  But he has to work at it every day.  He has to do all the things that make for a good employee.  That means he gets along with his peers, arrives to work on time, and puts in a good day’s work for that day’s salary.

It doesn’t take an economics professor to figure all this out.  It is very simple.  You take whatever opportunity knocks on your door.  You work at it and progress in your life.  You make the best of a bad situation.  But you don’t live on the street and you don’t sleep in a tent on the concrete, and you don’t have to beg for food.  Not if you have allowed opportunity to be heard over the years.  Listen and get on with a good life!  That is how Americans do it.  And have done it for many years in the past.

And don’t kid yourself or anyone else.  There are lots of jobs out there waiting for employees.    And that will be another blog to come.  Meanwhile listen when opportunity knocks on your door.  And open that door to a better life.


1 11 2011

Well, it finally happened today.  My electric clock that had been hanging in the wash room quit clicking, quit ticking, and quit being my friend.  If it won’t work, it ain’t gonna’ be my friend.  Ever.  It had been hanging in the wash room since 1992.  Before that, it had been hanging in whatever kitchen I had since 1954.  Can’t even count up to see how many years that would be.  About 56 though.  Pretty good clock, so guess I will be its friend after all.

My husband and I had been married just a few months.  We had lived in a one room apartment for one month until we got flooded out.  Then we moved to a duplex with three rooms.  Stayed there for a few months.  And then we found this really cute 4 room house.  Not 4 bedroom like today’s homes, but 4 rooms total.   We were thrilled.  Our very first house!

We moved in in bits and pieces.  Of course about we owned at that time was a bed, chair, couch, coffee table, refrigerator, and stove.  We moved when we weren’t working at our regular jobs. My mother told my brother who was older than me, that he needed to give us a house warming gift.  He agreed and so she went to the department store and bought this electric kitchen clock.  It was in the shape of an apple and was red except for a green leaf sticking out of the top.  I loved it!  And I told time by it for all these years.  Over and over again.  Many a day went by according to the ticking of that clock.

We moved around like everyone else.  It ticked in Dallas and in Memphis and in Little Rock.  We lived in different houses over the years and it still clicked in each and every kitchen.  And the kids all learned to tell time by its ticking.  And watching the hand move until the favorite TV show came on.  Or time to go somewhere or time to start dinner, or time to do homework, or time to go to bed each night.

But today, it just gave out.  It just simply couldn’t make that hand go round anymore.  I replugged it into the wall a couple of times and it would run for about thirty minutes each time.  And then it just gave out.  The ticker just couldn’t tick anymore.

Hope my ticker doesn’t give out  anytime soon.  I still have a lot of ticking to do.



18 10 2011

Well, it’s that time again.  Gotta’ get that Fall cleaning going around here.  Started with it a few weeks ago – takes me awhile to get anything going.  Cleaned windows in a couple of rooms and then thought – to heck with this stuff.  Some of my grandchildren are always asking me if I have a job they can do – so here it is.  They can clean the windows.  Glad I figured that one out.  Haven’t done it yet, but the first day out of school, they will be here.  That will only cost me lunch and a few bucks and it is fine with me.  Besides, I will enjoy the day with them.

Just had one of the boys detail  my car really good so got that out of the way.  Now, just need someone to swirl the dust around a little bit and then to wipe the handprints and spots off the woodwork and stuff like that.

Maybe, just maybe, someone will offer to do that job for me, too.  Then I will have ALL my yucky FALL cleaning done.  Hooray!  Come to think of it, I may just skip doing anymore of this hard work and wait until right before Christmas.  Then all those grandchildren will want to do more jobs for me and I won’t have to do anything to get ready for company.

You know what they say – plan your work, so I’m planning mine.  Happy Fall to Youall!