Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This One Is For You...

These pickles were my family’s favorite when my daughter was growing up. It is an easy recipe and quite tasty. We were always digging in the freezer getting another bowl out. Susan over at This Day asked if I would share it, so Susan this is for you. My sister-in-law Carole shared it with me a long, long time ago, and I know she will not mind me sharing it with all of you. Enjoy!


2 qts cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 ½ cups sugar
1 onion, sliced

½ cup vinegar
1 tsp pickle salt

Put pickle salt over sliced cucumbers and onions. Let stand for 2 hours. Mix sugar and vinegar and bring to a boil. Set aside to cool. Pour over pickles at end of 2 hours. Freeze. Stir well when thawed. I froze them in little margarine bowls, but I am sure freezer bags or jars would work fine.

We have had a little reprieve in our weather this week. It has been in the 80’s and not quite as humid. Last week was miserable. Hope you are having a wonderful week!

“He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” Jeremiah 51:15-16

until next time... nel

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Glimpse Of My Life...

Often I look back over my life and I think, “Wow, He even loved me back then and was watching over me!”

One particular incident was on my 19th birthday. At that time I had not accepted the Lord as my personal savior, which happened 13 years later. (I have always had a stubborn streak) Little did I know that He loved me and had a hand on my life even back then. Thank God, my step grandpa was praying for me throughout my life.

It was a typical day, March 12, 1976, my birthday. I had recently started working in the office at Borg Warner Automotive Division in Franklin Park, IL. It was only about 3 miles from home.

Lunch at home with my Dad (retired due to health issues) was my usual routine. Today, however, a couple of the girls talked me into grabbing lunch with them and bringing it back to the office. It was my birthday so I figured why not?

They let me choose, and of course I picked hotdogs. I know, I know, a lot of you say HOTDOGS? If you did it is obvious you have never had a Chicago style hotdog! Nothing like them… beef hotdog on a sesame seed bun with mustard, onions, relish, and a couple of hot sport peppers topped with fresh cut French fries, all wrapped up in a couple thin sheets of paper. When you unwrap it you take your fries off, you find the peppers and squeeze a little juice over your dog, or if you are brave you tuck them in and eat it all. “MMM I can almost smell them now! Did I tell you I love Chicago Hot Dogs?” Oh wait that wasn’t what I was posting about…. sorry couldn’t resist!

We called our order in and one of the girls ran over and picked it up. When she returned she mentioned that there was quite a storm brewing. We sat and ate and laughed. Then someone yelled “Come here you’re not going to believe this!” All of us jumped up and ran to the window. It had started raining, a downpour, then hail, big golf ball sized hail and then just as quick it stopped. Then it turned a yellowish-green, and the wind started blowing. Did I mention we were on the 2nd floor of an 80% glass building?

We were located by Interstate 294 just off Wolf Road at the edge of an Industrial Park. Of course everyone was talking at once, but the longer we stood there the quieter we got. Seeing roofs ripped off buildings and then destroyed has that effect, all we could hear was an occasional gasp or cry. Cars were picked up off the interstate and flung here and there, electrical poles were falling like dominoes as fire and sparks shot out everywhere.

I think we were all in shock, not one of us thought about the danger we were in, not one of us took shelter. After about 10 minutes we all gathered downstairs in the warehouse break room. They needed a head count to see if anyone was missing. Over the radio they asked that everyone stay put so emergency vehicles could get through. Several of the men set out on foot to see what kind of damage there was and offer help where needed.

About 45 minutes later one of the men returned to give us a report. He said it was bad, real bad. They were asking everyone to stay off the roads until 3:00. He also told us that the big Jewel/Osco office was demolished; they were pulling people from the rubble. My heart dropped, my cousin worked there. I remember praying that day, not my usual back then. I found out later, she took refuge under her desk, they had to remove cement blocks for her to get out. He had also heard that a lot of the homes close to the cemetery were gone. We lived a block away from the cemetery and my dad was there.

Driving home that afternoon was unnerving. I had to take a different route. The main road in front of the cemetery was closed. As I drove slowing trying to find an open road, it was like driving through a war zone. There are no words to describe what I was feeling. I had to turn several streets past ours, and then make my way back.

My heart dropped when I seen our metal shed crumpled into a ball outside the hedge by the road. I was so relieved to see the house was still standing. Dad was as glad to see me as I was him. Mom made it home an hour later relieved to see we were ok. It was really strange the shed that was crumpled by the road, the locked doors were never found. My bicycle was still parked where the shed had been, along with a few other items. Nothing was missing, and nothing was messed up. We were lucky, our fence was down and several shingles were blown off the roof, but there were families that lost everything.

It could have been bad, one of the funnel clouds came through the gates of the cemetery crossing Wolf Road at 12:20 leveling several homes. If I had been on my normal routine, I would have been passing the cemetery at 12:20 on my way back to work. At that time in my life I was not a child of God, but I did Thank Him for keeping me safe. Back then I just did not realize how much He loved me!

“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:4-5

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TSSS - Through The Fire...

It has been awhile since I joined in this meme, I have been preoccupied lately. But I always enjoy checking out everyone's songs. If you have a song on your heart share it with us today. Post it to your blog then link it with Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders

This song has been on my heart the last few days, I think it has something to do with participating in the Friday Flashback. I look back over my life and think how did I ever survive without Him in my heart! Praise God He was watching over me even then. I Thank God I had a stepgrandfather that prayed for me all the time!

by: The Crabb Family

So many times i've questioned certain circumstances
Or things I could not understand
Many times in trials, weakness blurs my vision
And my frustration gets so out of hand
Its then I am reminded I've never been forsaken
I've never had to stand the test alone
As I look at all the victories
The spirit rises up in me
And its through the fire my weakness is made strong
He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting
But He said help would always come in time
Just remember when your standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And He will take you through the fire again
I know within myself that I would surely perish
But if I trust the hand of God,
He'll shield the flames again, again
Repeat Chorus

He will help you get through the fire!

until next time... nel

Friday, June 25, 2010

Home is...

It is time to join Linda at Mocha With Linda for Flashback Friday. She has the prompt listed on her site. And after you write about your flashback remember to link up so we can all enjoy it. It is a great way to learn more about people and meet some wonderful blogging buddies!

This week we are remembering our homes and neighborhoods. I lived in several places growing up, some good memories, some not so much.

We lived in a tiny trailer when I first came home, of course I do not remember it at all. According to the pictures it was very small. The first place I remember is the farmhouse we rented in Roselle, IL. I have a lot of good memories there. I had a very good friend, Janet Snow, whom I spent a lot of time with. We were either at her house playing Barbies or at my house playing outside in the orchard. A lot of relatives were at our house on weekends for picnics and fun times. We moved when I was in 2nd grade.

From there we moved to a rent house in Schiller Park. I had several friends in the neighborhood. One of my best friends was Jane. We are still good friends. I had my own room, upstairs. I remember it was pink; my rooms were always pink. I guess that is from having two older brothers. We played outside under the light by my driveway a lot playing double dutch jump rope, or Hide and Seek. The older girl next door was always hanging with us, looking back now it was my older brother she was interested in. lol. Good times there until they decided to buy a house in Northlake the following year.

It was a good move though, it was 2 blocks from my cousin’s house and we were all about the same age. We had a lot of fun! Our house there was a bigger ranch style, had a full basement. I remember paneling was real big, and tile. Mom and Dad redid the bathroom, floor and walls with ceramic tiles. It was beautiful. Again my room was pink until I hit the teen years. I asked them if I could redo my room and they agreed. HAHAHA

When I was finished one wall had wallpaper with a 70’s design to it. It was glossy silver, orange and yellow. Two walls were orange. One had yellow curtains and the other yellow shelves. Then there was a yellow wall. I had several matching accessories, orange rug for the floor, a big yellow throw pillow on the floor also. It was definitely a happy room. lol And not PINK!

Actually I lived at home until I was 22, I then decided to move to Arkansas. Mom and Dad moved the following year. I still own the house where mom and dad moved to, that is where we stay when we visit my daughter. So I actually have two homes, where we live here in Willard MO and our little house in Arkansas. Home is wherever you hang your heart!

Hope you have a great week and try to stay cool!

until next time… nel

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On The Road...

We attended a birthday party in Juniata, Nebraska on the 12th. We surprised our sister-in-law, she had no idea we were coming. Stan’s twin, Rocky, kinda thought we were coming but he did not tell Kathy. What a blessing to see the look on her face when she saw us. That alone was worth the trip! Kathy has been taking treatments for cancer and is now on oxygen. She has lost around 150 lbs. Please remember her and Rocky and the family in your prayers.

Our plans were to stay a couple nights then head home, but we ended up staying all week. We love living without a schedule! We stayed with his sister and visited with Kathy and Rocky during the day. It was a wonderful trip, one that we will never regret.

One evening Stan and I took a drive out on the dirt roads. I wanted to take some pictures of the sun setting. We found the perfect spot, parked and waited. I was standing out with my camera waiting on the sun to go down having a conversation with our Lord. Yes, I believe we can have conversations with Him. I don’t think it has to be some elaborate prayer; we can talk to Him like we talk to a friend. And if we really listen I believe we can hear his voice. I thought how neat it would be to see a deer in the field. And in a few moments I glanced over and I thought I saw something in the distance. Excitement started building and I thought Is that really a deer?” And it raised its head and started trotting towards me in the field. When it stopped to graze I knew that it definitely was a deer. I automatically started thanking Him and praising Him. It was so awesome; I had cold chills and tears running down my cheeks. I felt like I had an encounter with our Heavenly Father!

“I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 89:1

By this time the sun had started sinking so I began taking pictures. It was beautiful. When I finished the deer was gone, or so I thought. When I returned to the car I told Stan about the deer so we decided to ride a little further down the road. I had him stop because there were some pretty flowers, and when I turned back around there in the distance was the deer in the road.

It was almost as if it was teasing me or tempting me. It would walk a little ways then turn around and look at me.

I followed it with Stan following in the car for a ½ mile. It was unbelievable. It would stop and I would keep walking and it would just watch me.

It was so pretty; I ended up getting pretty close to it.

It finally ran across the road into the field. It stood there watching us as we drove by. It was amazing

Thinking back on this encounter now, it makes me think how easy it is to be tempted and led astray. There are so many things in this world that look ok on the outside but if you really dig deeper they are not what they appear to be. What would I have done if that deer would of charged toward me? We need to be careful in this world. Satan is all around us. Each one of us needs to make sure we are on the right path and that we have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ!

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
1 Peter 5:8

until next time... nel

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day...

Wishing all you dads a very special Father's Day. Hope all of you have a wonderful day filled with special times and making memories.

I would like to take the time to wish my hubby a Happy Father's Day. Granted we do not have any kids together, but he opened up his life and heart and accepted my daughter and my grandkids as his own. And for that I will always be greatful.

I could not let Father's Day go by without memories of my Dad. He was my hero. We were very close and he was a very special man. He may not of verbally told me that he loved me until his later years, but I knew he did. I could feel it in things that he said, and the way he provided for us. He was a very quiet man, unless you crossed him. I can never remember being spanked by my Dad, but I can remember begging him to just spank me. His talks hurt a lot worse and lasted a lot longer than a spanking would of. I posted this poem last year, but I felt like I needed to do it again...

My Dad

He stood about five feet four
A fairly good size man
But oh, he was so much more
I was his biggest fan!

We always had a roof over our head
And plenty of food to eat
It could go without being said
Family needs he always did meet.

There was always love in his eyes
Even tho it was not always spoken
He seemed so friendly and so wise
That was one of his greatest tokens.

He was as calm as he could be
Unless you crossed his path
Then he would talk till you could see
The road you were on would lead to wrath.

I never remember him raising a hand
Or speakin’ an unkind word
He was actually as gentle as a lamb
And almost as quiet as a bird.

I was always Daddy’s little girl,
the only one he ever had.
Until time passed by in a whirl
I had my little girl, He was so glad.

His heart she did capture
Papa this, and Papa that.
He did listen to her that’s for sure
So much love, imagine that.

I could go on and on and on
And tell you about my Dad!
There are so many memories to think upon
They tend to make me sad.

But Dad is in Heaven now
At times I miss him so much.
But I will make it thru somehow
Till I too feel the Father’s touch.

- Nel Curtis

IN MEMORY: Olan Beavers January 3, 1918 – January 2, 1998

I would like to remember one more Father on this special day - Our Heavenly Father, without Him we are nothing!

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5

until next time... nel

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flashback with Grandparents and On The Road...

Why don’t you join in the fun, hop on over to Mocha with Linda. She has the prompt listed on her site. And after you write your flashback remember to link up so we can all enjoy it. It is a great way to learn more about people and meet some wonderful blogging buddies!

This week we are remembering our grandparents and our extended family. We definitely do not have enough space for me to talk about all of them. My mom had 2 brothers and 6 sisters, only one sister is still living. We were always around some of her family, my dad’s not so much. He had 3 sisters and we only seen them once a year when we went to Arkansas for two weeks.
I was never lucky enough to meet either one of my grandpas. However, I did have a step grandpa, Dolan, which was the best! He always took very good care of my grandma; she was 20 years older than him. (Yes that is not a typing error!) lol. When we would visit I was his shadow. He took me everywhere, we gathered eggs, fed the pigs, milked the cow, well he put me up in the corn crib so I could watch and not get stepped on. He was a lot of fun, and he always had peppermint sticks in the back cupboard for his collie dog and me to share! The thing I remember about my grandma is she always wore a bib apron, pretty ones that she had made years before. She was born in 1890, so she was 67 when I was born. Another thing I remember is she dipped snuff and the juice sometimes would trickle down her chin and she would wipe it off with her apron. Thank God she was not in the kitchen cooking. lol. Dolan had to keep a close eye on her; she did not always know what she was doing. She had a habit of using money to wipe her mouth off then throw it in her spit can. So I give Dolan a lot of credit, he loved her and took care of her to the very end. I was 11 when Grandma passed away.

My mom’s mom was Granny. She did not live with us but did live in Illinois with her youngest daughter and their family, so I got to visit with her quite a bit. I remember her as being a very quiet, loving woman. I always thought she was very pretty, you could really see the Indian in our heritage through her. She also wore a bib apron most of the time. I was always hesitant about getting in her lap. She loved mice, and had a couple of white ones. I hated mice! She would let them just crawl all over her, in her apron pockets, down in the front of her apron or dress. So I always made sure the mice were in their cage before I would get in her lap. Granny was born in 1895 and passed away in 1963. I was 6 years old.

As far as aunts and uncles, the only time I seen a lot of them were when we took our annual 2-week trip to Arkansas in the summer. Three of my mom’s sisters also lived in Illinois raising their families there. We saw them a lot. There were always weekend camping trips with the families. We would gather around in a circle and have a big bonfire. There were usually 6 – 7 campers rounded up. Thinking back now we probably looked like a bunch of traveling gypsies. I have a lot of good memories of those times.

My mom had a brother Covie that was pretty special. When I moved to Arkansas in 1979 I moved in with his family. I think he deserves a post of his own. So I will talk about Uncle Covie at a later time.

I have 3 cousins that I have always been very close with. Kathy who is Uncle Covie’s daughter, is like my sister. We have a special bond that no one or any distance can break. We are not only cousins, we are best friends, and the sister neither one of us ever had. It is the kind of relationship that even if we have not talked in a couple months, we could pick up the phone and continue on as if no time had passed.

I grew up with my cousins Debi and Cheryl. We were always were together growing up. Spent a lot of time together, we laughed together and cried together. We have a lot of good memories. Their mom is my mom’s youngest sister. She is the one that is still living. A very special aunt that we make sure we see every trip to Arkansas. She is amazing. She is 85 years old. She still lives by herself, still drives and is still sharp as a tack. Every trip we make I try to take some of mom’s old pictures that I do not know and see if she knows who they are. And usually she does, she makes sure we write the names on the back. She is quite a character!

Well I think that is enough flashbacks for today; I could go on and on. I could tell you about Aunt Mildred. If we were going to her house we knew that loose tooth would come out. Her nickname was the dentist!

Enough memories… I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Remember us in prayer. We are making another trip to Nebraska. My sister in law Kathy is having a birthday, she has cancer. So we thought we would surprise her. We are leaving early in the morning, so I will say I am sorry for not commenting on anyone's flashback. I will read them when I get home. Have a great weekend!

until next time… nel

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fertile Ground...

On our last trip to Omaha we were honored to take Stan’s older sister Donna Faye out for dinner. We had a great catfish dinner at Surfside on the Missouri River, and then we drove around Omaha for a little while. She does not get out much and I really think she enjoyed it. It was fun to sit in the backseat listening to them rehashing old times. And of course my eyes are always pealed for a picture taking opportunity.

When we arrived back at her house I took some quick shots of her flowers, they were so pretty. As we said our goodbyes and hit the road, I casually mentioned to Stan I had seen something that had caught my eye.

So as we made our way back to our room we took a little detour. I told him I had seen something on the side of one of the buildings I just really wanted to check out.

He asked where it was and of course my response was “I’m not sure, I know it was downtown close to where they are building the new stadium.” As we were getting closer I could feel the excitement in me building. And at last I saw it. “There it is!” I exclaimed. We turned on 13th and gradually drove closer. He pulled over at a stoplight before we got to Webster and I took a few pictures.

Then I looked down the side of the building and was overwhelmed. We drove down 13th and parked across from the building. Oh my gosh, it was beautiful! And of course I started taking pictures. The pictures do not do it justice, if you are ever in Omaha make sure you check it out. This mural is 32,500 square feet. It is on the side of the Energy Systems Building, and is titled “Fertile Ground.” You can find more information about it here. I just cannot imagine being able to paint something like this. I mean it almost speaks to you, and it says so much, if you will just really look and concentrate on the pictures.

Is that not beautiful?
“And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:21

until next time... nel

Friday, June 4, 2010

Flashback With Siblings...

I cannot believe I did not post anything this week. Where did the time go? Oh I remember the funeral in Omaha. A sad sad story!

But we have better things to talk about so...

This week we are flashing back with our siblings. I think I could write a book, but I will try to contain myself!

As a lot of you know I have 2 older brothers, yes I am the youngest, and the only girl. Does that tell you anything? And I was Daddy’s girl! James the oldest was born in 1942, Tom in 1948 and I came along in 1957. Hello… I think I have always been a surprise! I remember teasing James telling him, he was actually old enough to be my dad. He never thought it was funny. No sense of humor…

Growing up, James and I were not really close. He lived with our grandparents in Arkansas and went to high school. Came home to Illinois during the summer and over Christmas break. I actually remember asking Mom, who that guy was that stayed with us and mowed the yard during the summer. She tried to tell me it was my brother, but I didn’t believe her. His son Jimmy was born when I was 7 years old. So he was actually more like a little brother, than a nephew. And the sun rose and set in my mom’s eyes with him. He did no wrong! lolol. James and I are closer now than we have ever been.

Tom and I had our moments. Looking back at things, I understand why I had no self-esteem at all. He was always saying something or doing something, which I did get him back at times, remember I was Daddy’s girl! Tom and I were always fairly close. We got along really well. However, even that can change. We have not really spoken since Mom passed away. Funerals can bring out the worse in people. Sad but true! I hate that it happened, I still love my brother, and pray for him often. But I also Thank God that my mom told me about the money for her funeral that she had given Tom. Enough said about that!

I do have a lot of memories about our growing up years. And I may have shared some of them already, if it is a repeat for some of you…sorry! What can I say…having a brain fart!

I remember when we got our new chest type freezer, it seemed huge to me. It was big probably 4 or 5 ft long. We lived on the farm and it was in the bathroom. Tom politely told me that he was going to stick me in there and I would be froze by the time mom and dad found me. Yes it scared me… mom often wondered why I hated going to the bathroom by myself.

Tom used to sit on me and hold me down and give me the Indian Torture or just tickle me and call me smelly Nellie. I hated that absolutely hated it.

He also told me one time that they found me in the garden in the cabbage patch. I was devastated because my friends were there because her families loved them, and they just found me in the old dirty garden. I cried over that one.

I remember him getting in big trouble one time because mom caught him letting me do something very dangerous. We lived in a farmhouse and there was a roof out over the front porch. On the 2nd floor, in the room by the porch we had a ping-pong table. And of course during the summer we would have the windows open, and there were no screens. So every once in awhile the balls would go out the window and roll down the roof and catch on the edge, or in the gutter. Tom would let me go out there and get the balls. I thought it was fun, what did I know? I was 4 or 5 years old on the 2nd floor angled roof at the edge bending over. I really actually though she was going to kill him that time.

Every Friday night dad would bring ice cream home, and he would always ask on Thursday night what kind we wanted. Tom always wanted regular ice cream either vanilla or chocolate, but not me, I always asked for ice cream sandwiches. Needless to say 99% of the time we got sandwiches. Remember, I mentioned I was Daddy's girl! And thinking back now, I never ate the chocolate part; I would squeeze the ice cream out and throw the rest away. I think it was because I knew Tom wanted the other. Sad, sad sad…

I also remember, hunkering down in the floor and covering my face with my hands and laughing. It would actually sound like I was crying and my dad would yell, “Tom what are you doing to her now?” Then I would look up at him and stick my tongue out. You know it is a wonder that he did not put me in the freezer!

As long as this is I think I made up for not posting this week! Sorry!

Memories… gotta love them!

We would love to read about yours. You can get the prompt from Linda at Mocha with Linda. Then after you write about your memories make sure to link up so we can all read them.

until next time… nel