Category Archives: Random

Now, Coming to You from 1941…Part Two

In my previous post, I shared some of my favorite images from a copy of Capper’s Farmer (November 1941) that I purchased at the Shipshewana flea market this summer. Today, I want to share the rest of my favorite things from that magazine.

 Capper's Farmer Favorites

The first paragraph of this article states, “Last year an old lady fell and within 6 weeks was dead. If this tragic mishap had occurred only once it would have been bad enough, but it occurred exactly 91 times in Kansas to women between 80 and 84 years of age. Besides that, 128 other Kansas women, younger, vigorous and useful, dies from falls. They didn’t topple from the silo or rooftree. They were safe at home. Their needless passing becomes a part of the distressingly large toll of human lives annually taken by home accidents.” (Rooftree is another term for the ridgepole of a roof.)

The article encourages women to be their own”safety engineer.” At the end of the article, the writer states that, “Home safety [is] still in its infancy…”

Capper's Farmer Favorites

This is part of an ad for a baby laxative. Who wouldn’t find the dialogue at the beginning of the article amusing?

Capper's Farmer Favorites

“Middle Age.” Chuckle. I have those symptoms some days and I don’t meet the age requirement yet for “Middle Age.”

And finally, some other random bits that I thought you might find amusing.

I’d love to hear what you have thought of these posts. Leave me a comment below.

Capper's Farmer Favorites

Capper's Farmer Favorites

Capper's Farmer Favorites


Now, Coming to You from 1941……Part One

A fond memory from my childhood is traveling to Shipshewana, Indiana with my grandparents to spend a day at the flea market. It was a lively place, full of antiques and tools and Amish. It is still a fun day trip, but has now turned into a mix between a dollar store, yard sale, antique shop and craft show. But somehow, the flea market hasn’t lost its charm or nostalgia, even though the merchandise has changed quite a bit over the years.

While attending the Shipshewana flea market this past fall, I found a building that I never knew existed and was difficult to leave. It was stuffed with antiques. There was a certain section that was beyond stuffed. Picture overflowing.

Among the piles, I found four copies of a magazine called Capper’s Farmer. Farming runs strong in the blood of my dad’s side of the family. My grandpa farmed corn, beans and wheat and milked cows. My dad and his three brothers are still  continuing the farming tradition. Today, my uncle has one of the last family dairy farms in county.

I intended to give these as a gift to my grandma or my dad at Christmas, but I couldn’t part with them after I got them home and looked through them. They are so intriguing and wonderful. The pictures, the writing and the ads all help me to imagine what it would have been like to be a rural American woman in 1941.

Capper's Farmer 1941

I’d like to share with you my favorite things from this issue, November 1941.

Capper's Farmer Advertisements

Do I know who Kate Smith is or why I should listen to her about baking powder? No, I do not. But I do know that I love everything about this ad and I do wish I could lasso it for that price!

Capper's Farmer Advertisements

As far as I can tell, this woman would be the image of trouble in 1941!?!?! Or she is the 1940’s version of an auto industry model? I really like her hat, and judging by the look on her face, I think we would have been friends.

Capper's Farmer Advertisements

“This is Marjorie Woodworth, Chesterfield’s Girl of the Month in the Hal Roach hit “All-American Co-ed” a United Artist’s Release”. I guess if I was a rural American woman in 1941, I would be carrying a dead turkey on my back that I relieved from it’s duties with my shotgun and I would want to celebrate by enjoying a definitely better-tasting and cooler-smoking Chesterfield cigarette. Hhhmmm.

Capper's Farmer Illustrations

And lastly, an insurance policy and a cartoon.  I would like to know what injuries caused by farm animals are actually covered under this policy. How can I get my hands on one of those?

I’d like to hear what you think you look at these pictures. Are they funny? Inspiring? Crazy? Leave me a comment below.

Ignoring the Naysayers

Everyone has critics. And worse yet, probably every person on the planet is their own worst critic.

Critics are those who frequently use words like can’t, shouldn’t, won’t, or why. Naysayers are people who can’t look past their knowledge or use their imaginations to see possibilities, a hope for the future, or beauty. Instead of letting unique and imaginative ideas inspire their own creative abilities, they doubt or judge.

History has proven that this is simply human nature. Whether in art, science or technology, it’s probable that most great ideas have encountered criticism and doubt.

For example, in 1943 Thomas Watson, the chairman of IBM stated, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Ken Olson, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation said, “”There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” That was in 1977. But criticism didn’t begin or end with computers. Long before that, intelligent people were criticizing scientific advancements in medicine and aerodynamics.

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon”. –Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”. –Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” –Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

Anyone who dares to invent or create will encounter critics and naysayers. It becomes even more difficult when the person who dares to be creative lets self-doubt, the words of others, the unwillingness to fail, and the fear of imperfection quench their creative abilities and limit their imaginations.

How do we move past the naysayers? How do we get past our own self-criticism?

First of all, ignore it. Adhere to this strict rule: “If they can’t say anything nice, DON’T listen to them!” Constructive criticism is an important tool for creative people. defines it as: criticism or advice that is useful and intended to help or improve something, often with an offer of possible solutions. Constructive critics are never rude or mean, and they never make fun of you, your ideas, or your work. If this happens, ignore it. Don’t dwell on their words, and certainly don’t give their words power over you or your work.

Secondly, grow thicker skin. Most people do not intend to harm you with their criticism. Some people lack tact, and they simply don’t think about the words they use and how those words may affect others. A few critics you will encounter are bitter and rude. They let envy and unresolved anger in their own lives manifest into criticism and judgment towards others. For these few, commit to memory one of my husband’s favorite sayings, “Jimmy cracked corn, and I don’t care.”

Lastly, try, then try again, and then try again. Not everything you create will be a masterpiece. Some of your ideas will be bad. A few (or more) times your process will lead nowhere. Those who exercise their creative abilities are always learning from these missteps and using the lessons to improve their knowledge and techniques. They ask questions like:

What would I do differently next time?

What is something I would change about this?

How could I improve it?

Now be encouraged by these closing quotes and then go do something creative!

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

“It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.” — Edward de Bono

Goodbye 2011!


Today I am sharing some of my favorite online websites, videos, and more from the past year.

  • Swagbucks – We earned $35 in free gift cards and $50 in gift cards simply for using this as our primary search engine.
  • Ebates – They sent us over $13 in rebates for shopping online.
  • Pinterest– I have enjoyed creating boards and saving information or inspiration I find on the internet as I am working.
  • Kid History (Especially episode #6) made all of us laugh and laugh and laugh, then we laughed some more.
  • Weird Al – This year I introduced Jeremy to Weird Al Yankovich. We particularly enjoyed Whatever You Like and Stop Forwarding that Crap to Me.
  • Anderson Cooper’s giggling made us giggle.
  • Netflix – For two years we have not had television stations. There are many benefits we have discovered, the main being that our kids never see commercials. The other important benefit is that we have to choose what we are going to watch, instead of flipping through random channels trying to find something decent to watch.
  • – This is my main resource for recipes. You can create an account and save recipes, make notes, print grocery lists, and probably much more. I love that you can search by ingredients, listing what you want and what you don’t want.

Previously, I shared my favorite books of the previous year. Click here to view that post.

Look for a new DIY post tomorrow!

80’s Glasses, Cameras and Logos (Not Necessarily in That Order)


I traveled to Ann Arbor with my husband on Wednesday to check out cameras at Huron Camera while he did his flying lesson at the airport. (He is currently training to be a commercial pilot and flight instructor.) I intended to just look at a new DSLR, but once I got it in my hands and took pictures with it in the store, I ended up buying it. I decided to purchase  a Canon Rebel T3 DSLR. I am very happy with it so far. I could have spent hundreds of dollars more, but I didn’t need to. This camera will meet all the needs I have for now.

On another random note, I discovered a website, called 99 Designs, that hosts contests for graphic designers and I decided to join it. I finished two logos for a contest put on by Attis Media. Here are my submissions to that contest.


And lastly, while waiting for Sissy’s glasses to repaired, we were checking out frames, and these were too funny to leave on the holder. I had to try them on, and once I saw myself, I had to take a picture to show Jer. The kids also wanted in on the action.

Ending this post with even more embarrassing pictures…


Birthday Cake and Sales

This time of year, we eat a lot of Birthday cake. We have three children with birthdays within 19 days of each other. December 16th, December 23rd and January 4th. With this many birthdays so close to Christmas, we are celebrating a lot.

Dean-O turned 8, then 3 days later got his tonsils removed. We tried to give him a multitude of presents to make up for the parts of his body he would soon be missing. Just kidding!


Then Monkey turned 4. How is this possible?


In the middle of all the party madness, I managed to swing into Hobby Lobby and find some cute fabric discounted 50%. Score!


I have also been working on some new brooches. These are nearly finished and ready for pictures and placement in my Etsy store.


In honor of the new year, I am offering 10% off at my Etsy store. Use the coupon code TEN2012 at checkout.

I will be taking a few days off of blogging to hang out with the family. I hope you have an awesome end to 2011.

My Favorite Thing About Toy Packaging (A Lesson in Creative Recycling)


I heard a song on the radio the other day called Toy Packaging, sung by Sara Groves. My favorite verse in the song is:

“In the old days you could hold a box and shake it
Hear the pieces rattling around
My eyes tear up at these grommets, tape and twisty ties
Remembering that beautiful sound”

This song reminded me of my favorite part of toy packaging. (Yes, I actually do love one aspect of toy packaging.) Twisty Ties.

These are not just normal twisty ties. These are the king of the twisty tie family. These are the one item that should not be put into the garbage bag with the wrapping paper and torn boxes. These should be collected and cherished.

Why am I so geeky about these twisty ties?

There are several reasons. They are versatile. They are reusable. They will last forever, or at least until your husband accidentally throws one away (which should be strictly punished in my personal opinion.) And most importantly, they are a reward for the mind-numbing task of taking the toy out of the packaging, because anyone who has completed this feat of mental and physical strength knows that there absolutely should be some type of compensation.


Here are some ways I have used these “rewards”:

  • to make wreath bows: use twisty ties instead of wire or pipe cleaner
  • to hang pots in the pantry (see picture below)
  • to contain cords on chargers, near the computer and by the entertainment center
  • to close packages, like chip bags or frozen vegetables
  • to hang necklaces: see picture at bottom for this space-saving tip
  • to hang hoses or extension cords on the garage
  • to hang quilting hoops in the craft room

So this weekend, after you have exerted the energy to open the toy packaging, take a minute more to collect the twisty ties. You’ll be thanking yourself for the rest of the year.

Necklace Tip:

To save space and prevent tangles, use a twisty tie to hang four necklaces on one hook.


Let Monday Begin

Let Monday Begin by mixedmolly
Let Monday Begin, a photo by mixedmolly on Flickr.
 Oh Monday. You have such a bad reputation. No one looks forward to you unless you happen to bear a special holiday or occasion. In the span of person’s life, you are normally the day of gloom, brought on by the reality of our normal duties. You are rarely spoken of well. Since your creation you have endured countless joke’s and numerous depressing comments.
You have never acquired the adoration or affection reserved for Friday. The delight that Saturday and Sunday receive has seldom come your way. Your distaste for Wednesday, with its nickname of hope–hump day–sours your mouth each time it’s heard.
Perhaps in another time, or another place, you will receive honor that will likely never be bestowed upon you here.

First Snow

Oh the weather outside is frightful. Frightful. Frightful. Frightful…….

This line from the song “Let it Snow” played in my head Wednesday morning, but it never got past the first line. It was like an old record player and there was a scratch on the vinyl after the word frightful. Frightful. Frightful.

The kids, however, felt the opposite.

They were up at 7:00.

We found out school was canceled at 7:15.

They were dressed and running around in the snow like people just released from incarceration by 7:45.

They were back in the house, along with a frightful amount of snow by a little after 8:00.

Normally the snow does not get me down. It’s just that on Friday and Saturday it was unseasonably warm. Then I woke up to this on Wednesday. I’ve lived in Michigan 32 years, and still the weather surprises me. My kids reaction to the snow does not surprise me though.

Just the Six of Us

There are six people living in this house.

That’s six people who need food. Six people who need clothes bought, washed, and put away. Six people who get sick, ornery and loud. Though those six people struggle to get along at times, they also care for, help, and love each other.

Sometimes I do not get along with them, especially during the time of the month that I remember Eve and her apple. (And I hope it tasted really, really good! ) There are moments that Sissy does not get along with her older brother, and moments when our oldest son does not get along with his dad.

But then there are the moments God allows me to see, when they snuggle together on the couch to watch Kung Fu Panda (though that could be a tactic to ensure that someone is near when the kung fu power overwhelms them). The times that oldest brother helps sissy get something she can’t reach. The moment that dad walks in the door and the house erupts in screams and pounding feet. The times when our second youngest finds me for an after-nap cuddle. The way they each look out for the baby and treat him like their brother, even though we still don’t know for sure if his future includes staying with us permanently.

Six distinct personalities. Six minds, hearts, and souls all trying to learn to live together. While we work toward family harmony and peace, Jer and I also are responsible for slowly teaching them to learn to be independent. Sometimes it’s a huge chaotic mess. Having a family is harder and more demanding than I ever imagined. But among this chaos there is a mix of blessing, grace and joy.

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