18 March 2012

Jessie Lyman's Journals, Part 11

I previously introduced you to my great-great grandmother, Jessie Lyman Eckert.  You can read the first post here, and subsequent post are filed under

Jessie Lyman was born January 2, 1877.  She graduated from Westport High School (Westport, MO, now part of Kansas City) in 1897 at the head of her class.  From what I have read of her diaries so far, it appears she went on to teach school for a couple years in Columbia, MO.  She married Herman Eckert in June of 1899.  On July 26, 1900, she died giving birth to twins Conrad and Cornelia at the age of 22.  Conrad is my mother's mother's father.


Dec. 26, Sunday [1897]

My journal has suffered sadly from my holiday preparations. My Xmas tree is over, and people say, was a success. The children all did well. Forest Hutchison sang beautifully.
We had a very pleasant time at Uncle Wallie's yesterday. We fished for presents in a big clothes basket. I got two bottles of cologne, a silver thimble, a box of stationery and some stamps.
Herman sent me a beautiful gold and pearl pen. He must have been good at mind-reading. All the presents I got were just what I had been wanting.
Uncle Wallie put a box of candy on the tree for me too. One of the pupils gave me a pair of vases. I think it was Grover Via. I think a great deal of them.
Mr. Emmett called last night. I had put a box of candy hearts on the tree for him.  I will have to be very careful with him.
Jehu Wilson called today. They are all going hunting tomorrow.
I expected a letter from Herman today and was very much disappointed at not getting any.
I am reading "His Sombre Rivals".

Mon, Dec 27

Aunt Florence and I went to town to get my money, but we couldn't find Joe Wright, so I had to be content to wait.
We stopped at Uncle Wallie's on the way out, and I met Mrs. Campbell. She seems very pleasant.

Tues, Dec 28

The boys went to town today and got Joe Wright's signature, but were too late to get the order cashed. They brought letters and a package from home. How we appreciate such things when away from those we love.
Uncle Wallie and his family spent the evening with us. We had a very pleasant time with our games. Uncle W. suffers terribly from his sciattica [sic].

Wed, Dec 29

Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Cruze, Mrs. Goodin and Aunt Mary spent the day with us. Everyone had her work. I was so unfortunate as to be taken very faint at dinner and I hardly recovered from it all afternoon. It think the room was too warm. This evening Jehu Wilson called. We had a very pleasant. [sic]

Thurs, Dec 30

This morning I mended Forest's clothes as well as my own. This afternoon Francis and I went to town and succeeded in getting my money at last. I changed the kid mittens Mamma sent me on Xmas for gloves as I had a pair of mittens.
I ordered a frame for Herman's picture.
We had an invitation to one of Logan's shows, but it was so muddy and rained so that we concluded not to go.

Friday, Dec. 31

As I was sitting by the window sewing this morning whom should I see coming up the path but an M.S.U. cadet. I said to Forest "I guess that's Mr. Marshal" -- and so it proved to be. He came to go hunting but it was too windy, so we went skating. He is a good skater. We had a fine time. We succeeded in getting him to stay all night! Logan's show was postponed so we were all invited over for this evening.
The whole neighborhood was there. After the show, we skated a while, and then came back to the house to watch the Old Year out and the New Year in.


Ooooh, girl!  She keeps saying she must "be careful" with Mr. Emmett Scott, but is she ever?  No!  It's like she's just keeping him around to entertain her, even though her heart belongs to Herman.  Oy!

I think she must have meant "play" when she talks about her successful Xmas tree? 

Now, as to the "M.S.U. cadet", I looked into this, and was initially confused because Missouri State University wasn't founded until 1905.  However, some Googling showed that the University of Missouri student newspaper was once called the MSU Independent.  So just as older University of Oklahoma stuff refers to it as "OKU", so Mizzou was formerly referred to as "MSU".  And now you know!

16 March 2012

Thrift Scores!

Last weekend we drove down the road a ways to another small town to peruse their town library sale.  While we were at it, we also ate at the local pizza joint (complete with arcade games and a jukebox), and hit up a church rummage sale and a thrift shop.   We pretty much just made a day of it, because, hey, there's really not that much to do around here.

The pizza place was fun!  Lucy loved the crane machine and the "turkey" (the clucking chicken that spits out a plastic egg with a prize inside).  And I finally figured out why I like jukeboxes so much -- for only 33 cents, you determine what everyone else in the establishments has to listen to for the next 3 1/2 minutes.  The power!!!  Worth every penny.  (For the record, with my one dollar, I chose "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janice Joplin, "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies, and "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys. Mwahahaha!)

The book sale was pretty good for what it was.  I found two of these books there:

along with some other (less bizarre) books and a couple of VHS tapes (including a 90s Disney sing-a-long. Remember those?).

A few choice pages from the Disco Dancing book:

[Very informative]

[Oh don't worry. I've already submitted it to the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.]

And then we went to a church rummage sale and found that Grover book, and this:

Gah!  It's so cute!  What's that?  It just looks normal to you?

Well here I have inserted a spool of thread for scale.  It's tiny!  It's a tiny little suitcase!  A Lucy-sized suitcase!  See, I've got a plaid suitcase just like this one, but ya know, bigger.  Me-sized.  But this one is babby-sized!  Oh, and it was 50 cents.  Go me!

14 March 2012

Playing with my New Dehydrator

I went crazy and bought this giant food dehydrator.  I'd been eyeing it for a while, plus the trays in my old round garage sale one just kept breaking more each time I used it.  I know I'll be using it to make big batches of crispy nuts and nut granola, but I also wanted to experiment some.  It came with this giant book of recipes.  Did you know you can dehydrate flavored yogurt and make something like fruit leather only, well, yogurt leather?? According to this book, you can.

But I thought I'd start slow.

Chickpeas (soaked overnight, then mixed with salt and garlic powder)

I tried to slice them all thin and even without breaking out the mandoline.  I salted the zucchini just a bit.  At the suggestion of the Giant Dehydrator Book I blanched the rutabaga slices in boiling water for a couple minutes.  And I dipped the apple slices in a water and lemon juice mixture to keep them from turning brown.

Then I loaded them all into the Beast.  (Actually I think I might start calling it that...)

Because the only place in the house to put it is on my desk, and it doesn't even really fit there.


Apple chips -- Tasty, but not as crispy as Bare Fruit's apple chips, which are the best things ever and I just want to eat them until I die

Banana chips -- Meh. Tasty but chewy.

Zucchini chips -- Om nom!  Just enough salt, and crispy!  They'd be great with some sort of sour-cream-based dip.

Rutabaga chips -- Completely inedible.  I mean like doggie rawhide chew toy inedible.  Either I didn't blanch them long enough, or the Giant Dehydrator Book just flat out lied.

Soaked Chickpeas w/ garlic -- Umm.... These were really tasty all throughout the drying process.  I kept checking them to see if they were done.  And then they were done, and guess what!  They're hard as rocks!  I was trying to make them crispy like crispy nuts, but all I did was revert them back to dried chickpeas.  Duh.  Sooo... I think I'd make them again, but maybe leave them chewy and keep them in the fridge.

I'll definitely make the zucchini chips again.  The next time I use the dehydrator it will be crispy nut makin' time.  But I'm also excited to try some fruit leathers!  The great thing about this dehydrator is that the trays are square, and you can buy non-stick mats that fit the trays for making nice, even, square fruit leather pieces.  Woo hoo!

11 March 2012

Jessie Lyman's Journals, Part 10

I previously introduced you to my great-great grandmother, Jessie Lyman Eckert.  You can read the first post here, and subsequent post are filed under

Jessie Lyman was born January 2, 1877.  She graduated from Westport High School (Westport, MO, now part of Kansas City) in 1897 at the head of her class.  From what I have read of her diaries so far, it appears she went on to teach school for a couple years in Columbia, MO.  She married Herman Eckert in June of 1899.  On July 26, 1900, she died giving birth to twins Conrad and Cornelia at the age of 22.  Conrad is my mother's mother's father.


Sat, Nov. 27 [1897]

This was payday. I gave Forest $10. I got a feather boa to brighten up my cloak.

Sun, Nov. 28

Clarence took me to church this morning. It was a beautiful day. My boa looks nice, but the dye rubs off on my neck.

Mon, Nov 29

Clarence and Aunt Florence went to Via School to an entertainment but Francis and I stayed at home. I hemstitched all evening.

Tues, Nov 30

Francis, Aunt Florence and I spent the evening at Mr. Eugene Scott's. Francis and I ran a race coming back.

Wed (Nov) Dec 1

Francis and I went to see "Alabama". We stopped to see Forest and surprised him. The play was very good in some places -- others were weak in the presentation.

Thurs, Dec 2

We went to see the "Bowery Girl". It was just fine. We took Forest and Mr. H[??]. They intend to come out Sunday.
Mr. Emmett wants me to go skating with him Saturday.

Fri, Dec 3

It has been sleeting and raining and freezing all day. It was very slippery walking this morning. This spoils my skate.
I got a letter from Ella today. The home news doesn't tell half enough.


At first I thought it said "to brighten up my look" instead of "my cloak".  Hahaha...

09 March 2012

Rapunzel Hair for Dress Up

Background: Several weeks ago, Lucy pulled a really long piece of toilet paper off the living room nose-blowing toilet paper roll (doesn't everyone have one of these?).  Then she was holding one end of the piece up to the back of her head and running around.  Upon questioning, it was revealed that she was pretending to be Rapunzel. (Tangled is a big deal in our house right now.)  I helped her by securing the toilet paper to her head with a hair tie, but of course it didn't last long.  She kept stepping on it and getting it caught places, and pretty soon all the pieces were too short to be any fun.

And then it occurred to me that with a few bucks worth of yarn and an hour of my time, she could have a Rapunzel braid that would actually stand up to the rigors of toddler dress up play.  So I bought one pound of yellow yarn and waited for Lucy to be asleep.

I'll show you how I did it (meh), and then I'll give you the link to the blog of a lady who totally did it up right.  (I did zero internet research before making Lucy's. Oops.)


I figured I'd want the hair to end up about 9 or 10 feet long.  It needed to be nice and crazy for dragging around and wrapping around things.  Fingertip to fingertip for me is about 5 feet, so I pulled a length of yarn two wingspans.  Then I held the 10-foot mark and pulled two more, and folded it in half at the 10-foot mark and cut the end.  So I had 20 feet of yarn, folded in half so that it was 10 feet doubled.

I did that first step a lot.  As I did each length I laid it across the coffee table.  I did this until I had what seemed like a thick enough bunch of hair.

Then (and this is where I really could have done this more efficiently) I found all the middle fold points of each length and looped each one over my finger so that I could hold them all together and get them to hang straight and unbunched.  That probably needs a photo, but I was alone at the time.

I cut a short length of yarn and stuck it through all the loops to tie it all together.  So I had a whole bunch of 20-foot lengths of yarn, tied together and folded in half in the middle.  I took this 10-foot bundle and tied it to one leg of my coffee table by the piece of yarn I had tied around the middle.  Then I separated it into three bunches, and tried again to get it all straight and even and not bunched up.

But I didn't try too hard.  Doesn't have to be perfect, y'all!

Then I just braided.  Of course with something this long you have to braid the top and unbraid the bottom as you go along.  It was some work!

Then I tied it really tight at the end with another piece of yarn, and trimmed it so the ends were all kind of even.  I also found a piece of blue ribbon in my craft room to tie around the bottom in a bow.

At this point I realized that I had no idea how I was going to attach it to Lucy's head.  (See?  I really should have asked the internet before I did this.)  I tried to attach it to my own head with bobby pins and that failed miserably.  Then I decided to thread a plain hair tie through the folded-in-half part at the top.  I looped it through itself and pulled it tight.  To put it in Lucy's hair, I use the hair tie to make a pony tail, and the yarn hair just kind of hangs down from there. 

 I left it on her rocking chair for her to discover the next morning. :-)

 All of her "I'm posing for a camera!" smiles look like this.

That's better.

To date she has not tripped or injured herself with it at all.  So there's that.

The lady who actually thought this through and knew what she was doing is here.  Definitely go take a look.

 Bonus frying pan shot!

06 March 2012

Recipe: California Breakfast, OU Cafeteria Style!

When I was a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, I ate breakfast in the cafeteria two or three times a week.  I found that I really enjoyed taking my time, reading the paper, and eating a nice big breakfast before my 10:30am class.  And my favorite thing to eat for breakfast at the OU cafeteria was something called "California Breakfast".  It was a casserole made out of hash brown potatoes, strips of bacon, really runny fried eggs, and cheese.  Sooooo good.

Well, nearly 10 years later, I finally decided to try to make my own version of this.  I searched the OU Housing Services website to see if the ingredients were actually as simple as I remembered.  Well... yes and no.

Ugh.  (Insert montage of me lamenting the years and years of my life spent eating crap, clueless about its effects on my body and emotions.)  But essentially, yes.  Hash brown (shredded, fried) potatoes, bacon, fried egg, and shredded cheese.

So I followed Laura's hash brown instructions.  (You must let them cool in the fridge overnight.  I tried this once without letting the potatoes cool completely, and it was a miserable failure.)

I preheated my oven to 350 degrees (or somewhere around there).  I fried up a bunch of shredded potatoes and put them in the bottom of a greased casserole dish.  Then I fried strips of bacon and put them on top of the hash browns.  Then I fried some eggs until the whites were barely done and put them on top of the bacon.  (Undercook the eggs so that the yolks will run down into the hash browns.  That's the best part!)  Then I shredded some cheese on top and put it all in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. 

It turned out awesome!  Just as I remembered it, but, of course, better.  And I forgot to take a photo until it was mostly gone.  That's how good it was.  (Reheat leftovers in a toaster oven, not a microwave. Soggy potatoes and rubbery eggs are really not what you're going for here.)

03 March 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Whoa, is it like way too late for a Valentine's Day post?  Well, too bad.  I still want to talk about it.  And by "talk about it", I mean post photos.

I talked last year about how I will and have mended my Valentine's Day-hating ways for the sake of my daughter.  The tradition continues!

I got the idea of using cookie cutters as paint stamps from this blog.  She has a lot of really great ideas for crafts and activities for babies and toddlers. 


It was Lucy's idea to get out the scissors and make fringe.


But then when we were done painting, she decided she wanted to use the table-protecting paper to wrap the cookie cutters up like packages for the post office.  (She sees me prepare and ship packages all the time.)


So we went with it!  It really is so much fun to let kids guide the activities.  Her ideas are always better than mine!

And then homemade heart-shaped pizza for dinner!

With bacon, red onion, red bell pepper, and... wait for it...artichoke hearts!  :-)

And Norman brought me some dark chocolate-covered shortbread cookies, even though I always tell him (honestly) that I don't want or need anything for Valentine's Day.  What a guy.