5 02 2011

I was thinking again today about those cold nights back in the 1940’s when I was just a kid.  We had a very nice house, nothing fancy, but o.k.  Houses were not insulated like they are today, though, and it was very cold on some of those nights.  We had what was available to keep us warm, by that I mean gas stoves that had to be lit.  Before Daddy went to the War, he bought a big heater for the dining room.  It sat over in the corner and we all sat in front of it.  Except for when my brother, sister and I were doing our homework at the dining table.  We all listened to the radio.  Had to be quiet to hear it.  Lux Theatre was a favorite of course.  Never missed a word of that.  My grandmother loved Gene Autry on Sunday nights.  

To help keep the house as warm as possible for living, we shut off the living room and my brother’s bedroom.  Mother’s room was also shut off.  And on very cold days, my sister and I had our room shut off, too.  This just meant we had to heat up the dining room and kitchen.  Mother crocheted every evening and my grandmother did tatting.  It was a very simple, happy life.  

Daddy also put a sheeting over the windows in my brother’s bedroom because the wind literally whistled through there.  We could hear those  sheets rattling in the wind all night most nights.  But it was a comforting sound.  When it came time for my brother to go to bed, he would quickly tell us goodnight and then run to his bed and jump under the covers.  Didn’t dare stand around in that room or you would freeze where you stood.  

I don’t ever remember having a warm coat.  All the coats I had were the best at the time, but they were still cold, cold.  All that was available was wool and a lining.  And when that lining got cold, believe me, you were really cold.  And not everyone had gloves.  Most of the time, I couldn’t find mine or one was missing.  A hat might just mess up my hair, so didn’t wear hats a lot and hoods were not invented yet.  

But we were happy in our ignorance and blessed beyond belief.  What a nice life to look back on.  

If you haven’t read my book, In The 1940’s yet, you need to.  I tell of life like it really was in the family and how we helped each other and lived that good life.  For instance, we all saved up our ration stamps so my grandmother could get a new pair of shoes because she needed them more than any of us did.  Nice life.  My books are on Amazon.  Look me up.  Thanks, Bet



3 02 2011

I guess today you were sitting in your deck chair, iced tea in hand, reading a good novel and enjoying the tremendous amount of sunshine.  Right?  Of course you were.  And I’m sure you were wearing your bikini in order to get a head start on that beautiful tan for the summer.  And after reading for awhile, you will work in the flower bed while still getting even more sunshine.  Be sure and wear your sunglasses so the bright sun won’t hurt your eyes.

That is the scenario from The Global Warming Gurus.  Whoever they are.  I think I heard on the TV that Greenland just floated down the Mississippi, too.  You know it was melting in a hurry a couple of years ago and was going to come this way soon.  Probably because of the car I drive.  I have driven big cars for most of my life, ever since I finally learned how to drive.  I drove Suburbans for many years, hauling all those kids around in carpools here, there and everywhere.  That was a way of life for me.  Probably had about 5 different Suburbans.  Then I went to the smaller  SUV’s and still drive them and am proud to do so.  I love the big car feel in case of an accident.  And I enjoy sitting up high where I can see better and dare those other drivers to get in front of me.  That is due to that feeling of superiority in that big car.  Suits me fine.

When the snow melts down enough, find your deck chair and your bikini and get on with that tan.  Meanwhile, we’ll watch to see what those Global Warming Gurus have to say about this winter.  I’ll bet they don’t have much to tell the people in south Texas and Dallas and Mississippi and Alabama who normally see a few flakes every year.  Dallas was stopped cold on Monday because of the ice and snow.  And only 23 degrees today.  Even Kansas City was stopped cold with 12″ on Monday. 

We are expecting snow showers this evening and all day tomorrow.  And you know what that means – means the weather man doesn’t know what in the heck to expect next.  If we want to know more about what to expect in the weather this winter, maybe there should be a national number to contact the Global Warming Gurus.  Then we could all have an accurate update, hour by hour.  Sounds good to me.  We will have to promote that one.

Have a fun day playing in the snow.  Can’t do much else anyway.


30 01 2011

I’m sure everyone has heard that if you cook from scratch you will save money.  This  is definitely true.  I cooked for years without ever using much in the way of mixes or shortcut ingredients.  It is easy, quick, and usually very good.  And certainly healthier.   

Recently, I was in a hurry  to get dinner on the table, so I literally threw together a good meal.  I had ground beef in the freezer, brought that out and thawed it in the microwave.  Then I  made  meatballs out of the meat, mixing it with  an egg, a small handful of oatmeal, and  salt, pepper, and garlic.  I browned the meatballs in a skillet and then poured in one can of golden mushroom soup.  I turned off the heat and mixed in a half can water, stirring until all lumps were gone.  

Meanwhile, I had retrieved from the freezer a package of frozen noodles that were cooked earlier.  I placed noodles in a casserole dish and microwaved until partially thawed.  Then I poured the meatball mixture over noodles.  I slid the covered casserole in the oven, turned it to 350 degrees and left the room.  

By the time the meatball and noodle dish was done in about 30 to 45 minutes,  I had changed from my working clothes, started a load of clothes in the washer, and picked up the den area.  

I set the table for dinner, opened and heated a can of green beans and prepared mixed frozen vegetables from the freezer.  By this time, everyone was ready to eat and I was ready to serve.

Quick, easy, filing meal costing very little.  Only real expense was the meat.   

Want to know how to prepare more quick dinners like this?    Buy  BET’S COOKBOOK, only $10.95 direct from Amazon under booksbybet.  Lots of tips in the book telling how to save time and money.  For instance, always cook up a big amount of pasta, freezing what you are not going to use at that time.  Then you have frozen cooked pasta at your fingertips to use later.  This works for all pasta as well as rice.  

Hope you enjoy the cookbook!


27 01 2011

I’m glad I have learned how to laugh.  If not, I would be crazy, that’s for sure.  Several years ago, I had snakes in my house.  That is enough to make you sit up and take notice.  First time, I came down my stairs and there, curled up at the bottom of the stairs was a snake with head raised.  If I had not seen him, I would surely have been bitten.  No doubt about that one.  But as it was, I skirted myself around him and cautioned my daughter not to move.  I hurried out the door to the garage, grabbed a shovel and came back and smacked him good.  Then I shoveled him up and threw him outside.  I have heard it said that if a dead snake is around, other snakes will not come around.  So I left him on the deck and forgot about it.   But just in case, I put the shovel in the closet inside the house.  Wouldn’t hurt to have it handy, just in case. 

About a week later, I came downstairs again and there was another one, looking just the same, all curled up and waiting for me.  Definitely scared me again.   I hurried to the closet, grabbed the shovel and smacked that one, too.  Now, I was really concerned.  It was possible that the first snake had managed to get in through a door somewhere, but two snakes would not have done that.  So that meant I had an access to my house for all snakes and didn’t know where that was.  

I began looking around every drain and pipe I could think of.  After awhile, I remembered there had been a pipe under the house and, at one time, the floor had been lifted around that pipe.  So, sure enough, I found the place where the pipe had been and I could easily lift the floor off the pipe.  I called my son and he brought something out to permanently close off the pipe and seal the area around it.  

That night, I was awakened by a sound I never expected to hear in my house.  It was a rattlesnake, rattling as much as possible.  I lay in the bed thinking to myself that he could not possibly have come upstairs.  So I was hearing him somewhere else.  I got out of bed and began searching for the sound.  The loudest place was in the shower.   So guess the rattlesnake had found the pipe and was making noises about it all.  But I knew he could not possibly get into the house.  It took me awhile but I did manage to get back to sleep that night.   After that, I had a plumber close off the pipe where it entered the house.  I didn’t want to wake up and hear any more rattlesnakes, whether they could get in or not.

Then today, I walked into a downstairs room and there was something skinny, brown, and curled up on the floor, looking just like a snake.  I was instantly afraid, but noticed that the form did not move when I did.  So I turned on more lights and started to go find something to poke it with.  Then I realized that I had been working on some old papers earlier and was wrapping rubber bands around them.  I wrapped one of the rubber bands and it broke and flipped through the air.  I was busy so I didn’t try to find the rubber band at the time.  And now here it was, all curled up and skinny and brown on the  floor in front of me.  

So you see, I have something to laugh at once again.  I might be half crazy by now, but  one thing for sure, I’m never bored.


25 01 2011

It’s pretty cold here tonight and I was just thinking to myself about other cold days.  When I was a child, our house at #2503 was very cold.  That was before any floor furnaces or central heating systems.  My mother got up every morning and hurried into our bedroom to light the gas stove at the bottom of our bed.  My sister and I didn’t dare put our feet on the floor until that floor had heated up just a little bit.  Mother then turned on other gas stoves in the house including the one in the kitchen.  She didn’t leave that one on for long, just long enough to heat the room while she cooked our breakfast.  

My grandmother lived with us – because as my dad said – where else could she live.  He was her only relative so he had to take care of her.  But she was a very dear person and we all loved her a lot.  On these very cold nights, she would heat an ordinary brick in the gas oven in the kitchen.  When the brick was warmed just right, she would wrap it in a heavy towel and come carrying it to the bedroom where we were all snuggled in bed.  Then she would lift the covers at the foot of the bed and slip the heated covered brick in until it just touched our feet.  Oh, that felt wonderful.  It was so warm against my cold toes.  I can remember it to this day.  

If you like a humorous, interesting, historical  book, try mine entitled #2503.  You will thoroughly enjoy it.  I don’t tell this particular story, but there are a lot of others.   You can order from me at  booksbybet, P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR  72018   or through Amazon.  $10.95 per copy.   I gladly accept paypal, checks, and money orders.   Thanks, Bet


24 01 2011

Someone told me recently that I always find something to laugh at.  Even in tough times, there is always something better to do than sit around with a long face and a crummy attitude.   So over the years, I have learned how to laugh, mostly at myself.  

For instance, when I was a young mother, I was so proud that I taught myself to make good cakes from scratch.  My young son always pulled a chair up to the counter and would ‘help’ me.  So when it was his 5th birthday, I asked him what kind of cake did he want.  I was, of course, thinking he would want one of my delicious made from scratch wonders.  He stood tall before me and proudly announced  ‘I want a Pillsbury Chocolate Cake’.  So much for that!  Every time I think of that instance, I still laugh.  

A couple of years ago, I was looking through an old  catalog.  I had been thinking of buying a particular raincoat.  I really needed one, but was just too stingy to let go of the money to buy it.  So every time it rained, I looked at the catalog once again.  This time, I was going to make myself purchase that raincoat!  But when I turned to the page showing the raincoat, the total price including shipping was penciled in at the bottom of the page.  I thought to myself that was sure funny as I wouldn’t know that price unless I had already bought the coat.  Sure enough, I checked in a remote closet and there was the raincoat hanging there, tags and all.  Guess I had already bought it but didn’t remember receiving it.  When my husband came in later, I asked him if he had seen it before and he said, he had hung it up for me when it came in the mail.  And, he added, he had already paid the bill, too. So that is another thing to laugh about now and then.  I just have all sorts of things that I can remember and laugh about, particularly on long dreary days.  

It is wonderful to laugh, especially at myself.  Makes me feel good all over.  Try it.   Look at the funny side.   Great for having a nice day!


23 01 2011

I have been thinking about what has happened to us over the years.  There is just no justifiable reason for all this economy mess we are in.  We were once the strongest nation in the world, not just because we were heavy on defense but because our people were heavy on the U.S.  We never would have heard the statements that we need to have more competition in the world in order to have a better economy.  This is ridiculous.  Who we going to compete with, ourselves? 

We once took great pride in all that we produced and the world was waiting for our products.  Only we didn’t have to ship a lot of products anywhere else as we were completely capable of having a good life right here in the good old U.S.A.   Then the workplace changed and everyone was told we needed more unions in order to make sure our people were well paid.  Just so happens they were well paid anyway. Remember this one fact.  The employee can always leave and get a job elsewhere if he is not happy where he is.  This is what freedom is all about. Freedom in the workplace.  Not expecting a handout, but expecting a good, stable job. 

There used to be advertisements on TV about buying goods made in the U.S.A.  We need to have those advertisements back.  And we need to be willing to pay a few cents extra to buy goods made in this country.  We need to support ourselves and our workers in this country.  Then there would be more jobs.  Good jobs.  Well paying jobs.  Producing products for US, U.S.A. citizens to use every day.

 Then no one could beat us at anything.  We would once again regain our rightful place in this world as the very best place to live, to work, and to raise our families.  In the good old U.S.A.   Buy products made in this country every single day.  Read the labels and make a point of buying U.S.A.