Saturday, January 16, 2016

Home Sweet Home............

I thought I would share some pictures....past and present of my "home sweet home" that I am working so hard to get back to............a little farm town in Illinois.............where all my ancestors settled when they came to this country from Ireland during the potato famine.  I was told they settled here because it reminded them of Ireland.
Lots of rolling hills dotted with farms and plenty of trees too.
This was a picture taken by the Illinois Board of Tourism where they called it "the best little town by a dam site"!   You can see the older bridge in this picture.
In this old picture you can see the bridge, the dam and "lover's lane".  The bridge then was an old iron trellis bridge which are still around in some places.
Here's picture taken back in 1923........when all my Aunts and Uncles and my Mother were growing up although they didn't live in town.  They had a farm about halfway between Hanover and Galena, IL off of Blackjack Road.  My Mother said they used to take the horse drawn wagon into Galena with their crops as there was a market there and also the railroad.

Most of the old pictures I was able to get from Terry Miller, a wonderful historian who works at Grant's Home in Galena.  The one below might be from my cousin Barb, who takes beautiful pictures of the area and who grew up there also.  Her photos of Hanover were published in Country magazine! Now can you see why I miss winter?  It's beautiful there any time of year! Oh, and Fall.....gorgeous!
This is the Methodist Church where I went to Sunday School as a child and also where every funeral was for every one of my relatives.  It is exactly the same as when I was little.

This is a covered bridge which I never even knew existed.  Probably because it wasn't there by the time I was born.
  I need to find out where this was.  There's writing on the sign above the entrance but I can't read it.
 This isn't my Aunt's house but she had Hollyhocks like this and that flower always reminds me of her.  I plan on planting many when I get there.
This is where I got the best Rainbow Ice Cream in the world and the man and wife that ran it were so nice.  This picture was taken long ago before my time and the cabins were gone when I was growing up or at least I don't remember them.  I had a one track mind for the ice cream!  I had no idea until I was older that he was actually the great or great-great grandson of the real Daniel Boone! I just thought he was named after him but not because he was related. Another ancestor of his and I think it was Daniel's daughter lived in Hanover and led a group of women to tear down the local drinking establishment back in the 1800's! They razed the entire building!   If I had realized any of this I would have been all over him asking questions!  I had no idea there was meaning behind it being named after Daniel Boone!  People in those days were so humble and never talked about themselves. Alas, now he's long gone but he gave many youngsters fond memories and we loved him and his wife regardless.

Here's a current picture with the new bridge they built last year....I like the old bridge better....but time marches on.  The old bridge was built in 1939 and was the one I grew up with and remember.
On the left is what used to be my cousin's farm where I played as a child and on the right, the white house is the one I was looking at to buy.  It would be within walking distance to town, library and country hikes.  From the vantage point of the photographer and behind the camera is a road that goes up the hill and Evergreen Cemetery is located there where most of my relatives are buried.  Some older ones are buried in the Old Log Church Cemetery out in the country.  The old log church burned down years ago but I have a picture somewhere from Terry.  Terry has been a blessing with all his pictures of the history of the area and he is loved and appreciated by many.
This is the Apple River and is a tributary of the mighty Mississippi.
Here's the most recent picture taken by a drone..........I feel like that country song......"oh how I want to go home".  I have never heard anyone who lived there complain and the ones that leave always want to come back.  It truly is "the best little town by a dam site"!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Budgeting is healthy but it hurts at the beginning!

I have been spending a lot of time looking at past expenses, averaging, projecting and writing out a monthly budget plan which will allow me to "make my dreams come true" or so I hope!  Mostly I'm trying to work in my medicines and other items that are never the same cost.  But, although grueling to sit down and spend hours pouring over financial documents, hopefully I will sleep better at night.
The book I am following is The Cheapest Family in America. and it is the best budgeting/financial book I have ever read.
In order to keep my strength up while going through this financial exercise I did some cooking and baking.....I made 15 bean soup which comes in a bag with the beans and a recipe and a flavor packet.  You can add ham or sausage and I did add ham I had in my freezer.   It is yummy,hearty and healthy too.
I soaked the beans overnight..............

perfect for these cold nights we've been having...........
I made some beer bread to go with it......
I also baked some gingersnaps form this recipe
This is their picture too compliments of Saveur...I did not have dark brown sugar or tubinado sugar to dust on top...I just dipped a glass in sugar and pressed the cookies flat....making 2 steps into 1.  Mine aren't as pretty but they taste great!  It makes 6 dozen so I froze several packages of dough so I can make a small batch whenever I feel like it. 
I figure if you're going to work on some "grueling task" you need something to look forward to!
Happy Trails!

Monday, January 11, 2016

It's Monday...what are you reading?

I don't think I've done this for awhile so if I repeat myself on some of these please excuse me.  I've read quite bit actually...........
Here are the books I've finished........... this one was alright but only 3 ***.  
This one was very good but she did run this one on and on.  Her books are usually long but the plot on this one just kept going....still it's a 4**** because I love her writing and her stories.  A very talented writer.
This was a delight to read and if you love nature and/or gardening you would enjoy this.  It would also make a great book to gift someone. 4 ****
Remember The Drew Carey Show and Mimi, the gal who wore the outlandish outfits and loads of makeup?  Well, she wrote this book with her friend and it is good.  I've pretty much done this already but for those who haven't it is a "beacon in the night".  Everyone deserves to be happy but  so many women have been socialized by society and the church to "give until it hurts" and I have seen these miserable creatures with my own eyes! LOL!  So, if you're this book!  These ladies are a hoot!
 4 ****
I have no idea where this book came from and it's not something I would have picked up I don't think unless I got it free at the library sale....sometimes they do that on the last day.  anyway, there it was and I was tired but needed something to read and it was a pretty good story.  I'm not sure I've read Alice Hoffman before and not sure I'll read her again but it was a fast read.  3 *** 
 Right now I'm reading the Mother Earth News magazine I got for Christmas.  I always love that magazine.
For my fiction book I'm reading the 2nd book of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.  LOVE!!!  Great writing and always a good mystery and it takes place in England after the first World War which is a time period I love.  I'm sure it will be a 5 ***** already.
For my non-fiction book I'm reading this which I picked up years ago but I'm enjoying it as so far I could have written the book myself! LOL!  And lest you think it is written by a "man-hater" think again.  This woman is a widow and was happily married to a doctor for years.  These are "the facts ma'am....just the facts".  LOL!
And for my audio listening pleasure...........
I read this years ago as a book but don't remember much of it so it's been like a new book in actuality.  I read a lot of Agatha Christie back in my 20's and lent  them all to a gal who never returned them.  I wish I had them all back as I love her books!
This was one of her classics too and I think it was made into a movie.  It will probably get a 5 ***** also when I'm done listening to it.
Many of these books/tapes etc. are also part of my "clearing and cleaning" and I'm actually trying to read books I'm pretty sure I won't keep so I'll have less of them to move.
Happy Trails!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Yop Week #?

 I have no idea what YOP week it is and I'm not going to stop and count right now but here's what I've been up and it's not all fiber.  I spent a lot of time this week on pc problems but got my files back and Outlook too with all those files!  Whew!  It takes hours and hours but it's not something I can post a picture of.  Also, this year I am getting rid of so much stuff.  My 2 goals are finances and moving and they are connected...go figure?!? LOL!
So, there will be fiber projects but only when I'm too tired to work on the other.  I have 2 gifts to make this month for birthdays.  One is a pair of fingerless mitts for my son, Benjamin.
Yes, little Miss Nosy Britches has to get in the picture........I have this one almost done if I can navigate the thumb opening and then whip off it's matching mate.  These are crocheted as I didn't have time to try and fail with a knitted pair.  I'll try them when I have more time.
Then there's another Iowa Hawkeye hat for my SIL (although after the poor showing at the Rose Bowl he may not want to wear!).  The one I made for him last year didn't fit so my daughter is wearing that one.
The blanket is coming along and is huge so I think I will start to "finish" it plus I want to make a nice edging/border on it and I don't want to run out of yarn.  It resides on my dresser in a big pile! LOL!  I highly recommend the corner-to-corner pattern....very enjoyable!
On the "cleaning and clearing" front, I have filled 2 garbage bags with papers that I have gone through...both some of my parents old documents and mine.  There's another pile that's pretty big that I have to burn as shredding would take me forever!   I've also gone through things and cleared off shelves and cleaned and have boxes and bags for the Thrift Store.
The Christmas Tree came down............the ceramic one my Aunt made was all I managed to put up this year...I am so focused on moving even if I have to "live in a van down by the river"...the Apple River that is that runs through my home town.
The mantle has been refreshed for Winter not Christmas........I cleaned out the firebox, brought in wood and cleaned the fireplace tools.
 I cleaned out this shelf unit and Grace and Miss Peeps had some fun playing Hollywood Squares in it! LOL!
I managed to find an old gym basket I've had to put on the shelf and I have a few more baskets to put there.  I wanted to put yarn in it but with Miss Peeps I don't think that would be wise.

Grace was watching me as I cleaned and I had to take a picture of her with her long legs crossed!

I hope you had a great week!
Happy Trails!