Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Not Over Yet

My daughter Sandy, just finished this Ishbel scarf and mailed it to me. Another Christmas present!!
It's so beautiful, I'm sure I will wear it a lot. I stole this photo from her pictures at flickr.
Sandy is an expert knitter and is always making something. This beautiful scarf should be here in about a week, a normal time frame for mailing packages from the Netherlands.
I finally ordered a Christmas present for Maggie. I know she will love it. It's a Cat Tree from Molly and Friends. They are really well made and should last forever. Right now Maggie jumps on the bookcase, which is 4 feet tall to look out the patio door. She likes to keep an eye on the backyard and of course the higher up she is, the more she can see. The Cat Tree I ordered is 5 1/2 feet tall with 4 beds or cradles at different heights. I know she will use it a lot. Maybe that will keep her off the bookcase and the far end of the table. (The tree will be closer to the patio door.)
I'm disappointed that it won't be shipped until late February. BUT, shipping is free. Can't beat that.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Is Over

Mandy and John came down the weekend before Christmas. Saturday night we went to Nagame's for dinner. It's traditional for us to go there whenever they are in town, or when Sandy and Dol are here also. My husband John and I used to go there quite often, and any birthday or anniversary, we celebrated here at our favorite restaurant. The food is always delicious.
The next day (the Sunday before Christmas) we went to the Christmas party at Kathryn's in Hornitos. I was glad Mandy and John were able to come down this year and see the Richards relatives. The above picture of them was taken at the party. It was nice seeing everyone. I took several pictures, but not all pictures were flattering, so only uploaded about 8 of them at flickr.
I had several invitations for Christmas dinner, but decided to stay home and make my favorite salads and have lots of treats on hand. It's been non-stop eating ever since!! I still have lots of left overs.
The day was quiet, but still enjoyable. It seemed like Sunday, but a special Sunday.
So now Christmas is over, the music is back to my old favorites on the radio and TV music channels. I hope everyone survived as well as I did.
The new year will soon be here and time to make out your new lists.
I think I'll get started on mine.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cards

Here it is, December 13th and I am just getting started with addressing Christmas cards. Why do I always procrastinate?
So, here I am, with my favorite Christmasy hot tea in my favorite Christmas mug that I bought at Gottschalks years ago. I didn't realize how long ago until just the other day when I turned it over and read that it was made in W. Germany. West Germany? That was SO long ago.
The mixed nuts and the candy cane are little bribes to keep me in my chair.
I like the Christmas season, but it can get over-done. They start playing the Christmas songs so early that it's easy to get tired of them before the day actually gets here.
Another thing; I wonder why some people think it's so terrible to be home alone on Christmas Day. Maybe they're afraid it will be depressing. Maybe it would be to some people, but not all of us feel that way.
I'm thinking about planning all my favorite treats and snuggle in my chair and watch some old musicals that Sandy and Dol gave me for Christmas. Yes, I already opened my presents. I wasn't going to, but Sandy said I should. So I did!!
I have about 6 movies to choose from. She also sent me a new cookbook, "The Pleasures of Cooking for One" by Judith Jones. Lots of ideas to read about.
Did I tell you I bought a couple of Alton Brown's books? He's the food guru on the Food Network. Cooking at home seems to be so popular now, I'm sure the economy had something to do with it. Guess there's always a silver lining in there somewhere, if you just look for it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'Tis the Season

Today was the Merced County Retirees' quarterly luncheon. A lot of retirees phone in their reservations for December, maybe because it's the free luncheon, or maybe it's just the season.
Today there was an outstanding amount of people in attendance. One from the Auditor's office had just retired as of 12:01 a.m. today!!! Glad to see him and his wife there.
The luncheon is held at the Elks Lodge. Today for the first time they had to set up the food tables in another room, because the main room had wall-to-wall tables set up for us.
Today for the first time we had an abundance of big raffle prizes. The prizes were donated by various stores, associations and individual people.
The raffle tickets were $1.00 each. I bought two. (Big Spender)
There were so many prizes that they were drawing tickets all the time while people were in line to get their food.
No one was winning at our table. Each time there was a cash prize for $50. or $100. dollars, I thought, gee, would be nice to win that.
They were almost through with the prizes and a staff person was picking up dirty plates at our table when I heard my number called. At this point I wasn't sure what my prize was.
Well, it was a pass for 4 people to play golf (including golf carts) at the Stevinson Golf Course. Wow!!
I don't play golf, but was trying to think of the best use of this windfall. I recently heard that my nephew plays golf, so was thinking of giving it to him.
A man at our table is a golfer and he thought it might be worth $300., then thought maybe that was too much, but at least $200.
Just as we were leaving, a lady came to our table and asked if I wanted to sell my tickets. I asked how much would she pay. When she heard it was worth $200., she said, "Oh, that's too much!!"
I said I would sell them for $100. The man at our table reached for his wallet, took out a hundred dollar bill and gave it to me.
Whoa, we were both happy. He's going to take his friends golfing and I have a crisp one-hundred dollar bill.

So, I come home and check my email. There is a very nice story for the next Winton newsletter from a former Wintonite who now lives in Wisconsin.
Life is Good!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Firemen Breakfast

Sunday, December 6, the volunteer firemen of Winton had a fund-raiser breakfast. The newspaper only mentioned pancakes, but they also served sausage, eggs and hash browns. The picture was taken after the busy rush.
Below is a picture of Carolyn selling coffee mugs for the Winton Historical Society.
The picture on the mug is from the old postcard of the Winton Depot. The depot is now a house in Winton.The VFW Auxiliary sold baked goods. Both groups were happy with the sales they made.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Black & Blue Sage

Yesterday after our reflexology treatment in Turlock, my sister and I went to The Greenery. We've been going there each time we go to Turlock to look at their flower plants. Sometimes we don't buy anything, but this time I saw a one-gallon size of the Black and Blue Sage. I saw a large plant of it in bloom there months before, so even though this one was pruned down to the ground, I grabbed it up, knowing it will be beautiful next summer and fall. I stole the above picture somewhere on the Internet. Isn't the Internet great? You can find anything there!
In the spring I'm going to ask them to special order the Limerock Ruby Coreopsis for me. I can't find that red flowering plant anywhere. It will be another exciting spring with new Irises and other flowers in bloom. Sometimes I feel this place is too much for me (it is), but still I'd hate to leave. I feel comfortable in my own mess. (grin)
I told Miguel yesterday that my eyes always feel tired, even when I first wake up in the morning. I know I'm not sleepy, but I hate to open my eyes; just want to keep them closed. Well, Miguel found a lump just below my toes and worked it out. He said that lump caused a pressure behind my eye and now it was gone. Sure enough, I don't feel like I need to keep my eyes closed all the time. Great!! Sure is good to be rid of that.
Today was the Winton Historical Society meeting. I think this one sneaked up on some of our regulars. They didn't show up!! Collected a few more recipes though, so now we have 581. Not everyone has turned in their recipes yet, I hope they remember that December 31 is the deadline.
Sunday the Winton Volunteer Firemen are having a fund-raiser breakfast, from 7:00 a.m. until 12 noon at the Winton Hall. Some of our members will be there selling coffee mugs. Also, the VFW Auxiliary will be selling baked goods.
If you missed purchasing a "Memories of Winton 1911-1950" history book, they will be available there too.
Come by for a hearty breakfast and for a good cause. Proceeds from the breakfast will go towards equipment or maintenance needed by the Fire Department. Tickets, $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children ages 6 to 12. Five and under eat free.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

I went to Hornitos to my sister-in-law's for Thanksgiving dinner this year. She always has a lot of her immediate family around, and that's always nice. We had a wonderful meal with turkey and all that goes with it, including the pumpkin pie.
Black Friday, I woke up at 4:30, which surprised me, so thought I might as well go shopping. Left the house at 5 a.m. for Kohl's at the Mall. I saw a vegetable grater and a sandwich maker (Panini Grill) that I wanted to buy. I walked in and was surprised that there weren't a lot of people milling around. They opened at 4 a.m.
Got the two items I wanted and then asked someone what they were in line for? Well, there were several LONG lines of people waiting to be checked out. Everyone else was there earlier than me and was ready to be checked out. It took at least 30 minutes to reach the cash registers. They had 5 or 6 going where I got checked out and I don't know how many at the other end of the store. I didn't bother to look at clothes either, decided it wasn't worth it. Get my kitchen gadgets and get out of there. I'm expecting some great sandwiches in the next few days. (grin)
The Fuyu Persimmon tree is loaded again this year. A lot of them have been picked already, but I will have to pick the rest of them before Joe comes to prune the fruit trees. Also the birds will get the fruit if I leave them on the tree too long. Too bad. I love just picking the fruit off the tree as I eat them. I couldn't believe how expensive the Persimmons are in the store. 4 for $5.00. I should put a fruit stand in front of my house. ha I think I said that before when I had so many peach trees.
December 7 -- What a difference a week makes. Here is that same Persimmon tree without the leaves. Kind of pretty with all the orange Fuyus on it. I don't know if the frost will hurt the fruit. It was supposed to snow in Merced today. It didn't quite make it, but sure was cold.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Just A Number

Last week I was at the Merced Mall and decided I needed a new pair of Gloria Vanderbuilt cotton twill pants. I tried on the usual size and also a size larger.
Well, guess which one fit? The larger one of course. Wasn't too happy about that, but what are you going to do?
A couple of days later, decided I needed a pair of brown shoes to go with the brown pants. Found a pair of Skechers that I liked and guess what?
Again I had to buy a whole size larger than usual.
I do like to be comfortable and that trumps over the embarrassment of having to confess what size I wear.
But, who's going to ask?
I blame the sizes on the fact that nothing is made in the U.S. anymore.
That's a shame. The pants were made in Kenya and the shoes in China.
Come on, we all know they have little feet over there!

Then I got on the scale. I have lost a few pounds!! So, go figure.
The size on the label is just a number.
(Good thing I don't have a full-length mirror.)

Write Your Story

I liked today's "Pickles" comic strip.
A little reminder to also write your story on paper.
And if it's about Winton, send it to me. It may end up in our newsletter.
Wanna see more of Pickles and other comics online? Clink on this link.
Another good website is here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I'm always looking for short stories of interest about Winton for the newsletter and maybe for the next Winton book.
The next newsletter will have a story about "What we did in our leisure time, growing up in Winton." I asked a few people to write about cutting peaches in Winton. Can't hardly call that "leisure" time, but it's what a lot of us did during our summer vacation from grammar school.
If you have a memory of summer vacations from school, tell us what you did.
Please include your name. Thanks.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holiday Bazaar

Yesterday was the Holiday Gift Bazaar at Castle Vista. We were there from 8 a.m. (it opened at 9) until almost 3 p.m. The time went pretty fast, surprisingly.
We had planned to get a sub-sandwich to take with us, but they weren't open that early. About lunch time, one of the ladies came around and told us that Pizza Hut had a special going, and they would deliver. It looked like everyone did that, including us.
Several people came just to look us up. Thanks guys!! We saw people that we knew of, but didn't exactly know, so that was interesting.
Did we sell anything? Yes, but not a lot. Still it was an enjoyable day. Several people took information and plan to submit recipes for the Winton Centennial Cookbook. At last count we had 560 recipes, so it's going to be a nice big book.
I made other contacts that I was happy about.
My sister and her friend had a few items on the table to sell, and they did O.K.
So all in all, it was a good day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Holiday Craft Bazaar

On Saturday, November 14, my sister, Carolyn and I will be at the Castle Vista Holiday Craft Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the Winton Historical Society coffee mugs with the picture of the old Winton Depot on them.
They sell for $7.00 each.
The "Memories of Winton 1911-1950" book will also be available for $35.00.
For more information on the book, see this post.
Both the coffee mugs and the history book would make nice Christmas gifts.
Come see what all is offered for sale at their annual holiday bazaar.
Castle Vista is located on Juniper Avenue in Atwater. The gates will be open and the public is invited to attend this annual event.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

WHS Meeting

Today, being the first Tuesday of the month was the meeting of the Winton Historical Society. I always enjoy it. Fun to see people you've known for years and the ones you recently became friends with. It's like having a relaxing low-key party.
A few more recipes were turned in today. The total count now is 560. Wow. And I was afraid we wouldn't make it to 500. More are promised, so I hope they are still coming in. I would like to try so many of the recipes! Or better yet, have the contributors make the recipe for me. (grin)
Today I received the story for the newsletter that I was waiting for, so now I need to get busy on that. I think the newsletter will be interesting to anyone who remembers the Good Old Days in Winton. I'm grateful for the people who take the time to write their memories of Winton to share with the rest of us.
We had a "mini" meeting of the Old Timers Committee at the end of our historical society meeting. Everyone agreed that 2009 was one of the best reunions ever.
Having most of the food catered worked very well. We had many compliments on the food this year. The day was well organized.

I have been scanning Winton pictures that we borrowed from Bob Anderson's son and daughter. I am embarrassed about how long I've had them. But I am almost done.
Here is a picture I was very happy to scan. It's Aunt Lena Horst, a retired teacher telling a story to her niece's students at Winton School. Aunt Lena loved the children and really enjoyed visiting Jackie's classroom.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Falling Apart!!

The other day I ordered a hearing aid and new glasses.
Today I had a routine dental appointment for a cleaning. Found out that I need two gold crowns replaced. Good Grief. What Next? Did I reach that magic birthday when you start falling apart?
I don't want any more surprises. Unless they're nice ones.
Here is the story of my life:

Yeah, I don't seem to have a place for everything either!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Quiet Halloween

Here's a cute picture of the neighbor kids, a fireman and a fairy. I didn't get many trick or treaters tonight. I bought the large bag of candy at Costco with 150 pieces. First I picked out all the ones with peanuts to be sure I gave all those out. I like peanuts, but they make me very sick.
All the kids were very polite this year, better than usual. One trick or treater was kind of a big guy with a very scary mask. I almost didn't want to open the screen door. haha.
So, I have lots of candy left over.
Here's a picture of the kids' Mom. She was a Vampire. When my daughter was visiting, she bought some Reese's Peanut Butter cups to take back to the Netherlands. They don't really celebrate Halloween, but they do celebrate a holiday which involves children going out and ringing doorbells for sweets and little gifts sometime in November. It's a Sint Maarten celebration with children going out in the neighborhood in their regular clothes, not costumes asking for treats. My daughter said they don't have Reese's Peanut Butter candy there, so the kids will be in for a surprise at their house.
I love the Reese's candy, sure wish I could eat it, but it's not worth getting so terribly sick over it.
I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Big Shopping Day

I had a big shopping day at Costco today. First there was the appointment at the Hearing Center. That took about an hour and a half by the time she checked my hearing in both ears, programed a hearing aid for my particular needs and all the other details.

I ordered the "open" type where most of the hearing aid is behind the ear. It's so small and light-weight that I forgot I had it on. That's a very positive thing. I was sure the other type would be hard to get used to. So, now I wait a few days for the hearing aid to come in.

I only ordered one and I'm hoping that will be enough. Really can't afford two. Neither Medicare or the Blue Cross insurance program that I have cover hearing aids.
They don't cover eye glasses either, but I ordered two pair today.

I got a new prescription from the doctor Tuesday. I haven't had new glasses for several years, so I am ready for new frames. I liked the ones I found at Costco. I hope I still like them when I can really see them on me. One pair is for the computer and reading.

So, I spent a lot of money today, but that's o.k., I'm worth it. (grin)

I hope everyone has their "Trick or Treat" candy ready for tomorrow night!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Company's Gone

Enjoyed the visit with Sandy and Dol, but all good things must come to an end. They are now back home in the Netherlands. Sandy finished a knitting project on the flight back home and started another one. Here is a picture of her, knitting in my back yard.

Dol mowed the grass for me. It was getting a bit tall and shaggy looking.
They showed me how to run the DVD player. I was afraid to mess with it and then not be able to get it back to the TV. So, that was a major accomplistment.
Friday I have an appointment at the Hearing Center at Costco. I told Sandy a hearing aid will be life-changing for me. I might even start watching movies again.
Sandy and Dol were here to attend Mandy and John's wedding on the 17th.
They will come back for a visit next year. I wish they lived closer, but I'm grateful I get to see them once a year. It could be worse.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mandy & John's Wedding

My granddaughter, Mandy and John were married in Chico on October 17. It was a nice relaxed day. They were lucky with the weather, considering it was the middle of October and a storm had just blown through the area dumping 2 inches of rain.
Mandy and John made it a fun day for their guests and themselves.
First they rode in on a bicycle, laughing as John peddled over to the "aisle."

This was an outdoor wedding at the Patrick Ranch, just outside of Chico. The wedding vows were exchanged on the steps leading up to the big old farmhouse.
Here John is walking beside the woman who married them, with Mandy close behind.You can see more of the pictures here or see them ALL here.

Playing Catch-up

It's been more than 3 weeks since my last post. What's happened since the Winton Old Timers? Well, for one thing,there was the George Dirks family reunion in Twain Harte. Everyone had a very nice time visiting with cousins and our aunt.
The time went by very quickly and too soon I noticed it was time to leave for home.
Twain Harte is a lovely place, but getting there and back was more tiring this year than last. I rested up all day Sunday. Maybe I'm getting too old to drive there and back. Too bad it's not here in Merced. (grin) The above picture taken at the reunion is of my sisters and myself. Thanks to cousin Jackie.
Jackie and her sisters displayed the family albums they made recently. They were very well done and everyone enjoyed looking at them.
We look forward to this family reunion every year. This year, unfortunately, two couples decided the trip would be too much for them and so wasn't able to attend.
I guess we are all getting older. sigh.
The next big event on my calendar was Mandy and John's wedding.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Winton Old Timers reunion

The Winton Old Timers reunion was Sunday, Sept. 27. The weather was great, the turn-out good, even though some of our regulars couldn't make it this year. The ticket count was for 229, but when the money was counted, there were 241 adults attending. Everyone said they had a good time. The food was tasty and the people happy to see old friends.
The oldest man and woman were brother and sister this year. Leona Eason was back at age 98 this year and her brother, Curtis Jantz at 91 was the oldest man in attendance.
Yvonne Schmidt was again the person who traveled the farthest, coming from Alabama to be with her Winton family.
To see pictures of this year's reunion go to flickr. Click on 2009 Winton Old Timers. Sets for prior years are also there. You can click on each individual picture to bring up a larger view and see if anything else is written, or you can click on "Detail" and view it that way. If you find a picture you would like to save to your computer, click on that picture, then click on "all sizes" choose the size they recommend and decide where on your computer you want to save it. Our photographer this year was Norm Giesbrecht.
We collected 75 recipes that day. We now have 497 recipes. More will be coming in. Is this going to be a great cookbook or what?
The Winton Old Timers is always the last Sunday in September, so keep that in mind for next year.
The September / October newsletter has a story, "Growing Up In Winton," by Nancy Gregory, a local girl who grew up to be a professional writer. Regretfully she died of Cancer in December of 2007.
The Winton Hometown News is published every other month. For $10.00 per year dues to the Winton Historical Society, you get 6 issues of stories and articles of bygone days in Winton. The annual dues are due on October 1 of each year. Many people pay their dues at the Old Timers. The September / October newsletter which was just mailed out is the first one of our 2009-2010 year. People who sign up late will be sent back issues. Address for the Winton Historical Society is PO Box 554, Winton, CA 95388.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Winton Old Timers, the Day Before

Some of the committee members met at the Winton Middle School today to set up for the Winton Old Timers reunion tomorrow. (Sunday, Sept. 27).
Pictured is Agnes S. mixing up her Easy Bake Beans. She promised to share the recipe with us for the Winton Centennial Cookbook.
The troops were there to set up 37 round tables for tomorrow. We are preparing for nearly 300 people. We never know how many or who will show up, but there are always people from out of state, as well as other towns in California.
My cousin, Norm is going to take pictures for us this year. I'm so happy for that, he takes really good pictures.
If you are a Winton Old Timer, come out and see some old friends. More info at a previous post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This picture was taken at the 2007 Winton Old Timers Reunion.
Don't forget, this Sunday, September 27, is the 49th annual Winton Old Timers Reunion. Be sure to attend and visit with old friends.
Come early. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. Winton Middle School on Cypress Avenue, between Almond and Gertrude Avenues.
Lunch is $7.00, pay at the door. Lunch is served at 1:00 p.m.
Don't forget to bring your recipes for the Winton Centennial Cookbook.
See you there!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Day in Jamestown

My sisters and I had a lovely time in Jamestown today.
We had a special reason for going.
Our brother, John had a handgun, a Colt 45 and a special holster that meant a lot to him.
He purchased them in Hollywood in the early 1960s.
The holster was made especially for John.
He drove all the way to Hollywood to pick it up when it was finished;
my Dad and youngest sister went with him.
From that time on, this gun and holster was John's greatest treasure.
He took it with him to the mountains on vacation with his friends and just about everywhere else.
When John died last year, we weren't sure what to do with this special gun.
No one in the family was so fond of guns like he was.
My sister and brother-in-law had it appraised in Jamestown.
Found out the gun and holster together was worth $1,000.
So it was left there to sell on consignment.
It sold recently for $1,200. to someone from Ohio.
This person was in Jamestown to attend a "Western Shoot-Out."
After the show, this man went into the B-Bar-Y Traders store.
They have a wide assortment of guns, gun supplies and Old West clothing.
When he spotted John's special gun and holster, he had to have it.
So now John's gun is in Ohio and will be used in gun shows.
I think John would be pleased to know that his treasured gun is very special to the new owner.
We sisters had lunch in town and browsed the antique shops.
I found this silhouette at the "Time Travelers" antique store.
I always have an eye out for silhouettes, but really didn't expect to find any. Surprisingly, there were several to choose from.
I chose this one because it is so different from the others that I have.
It was a very enjoyable day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Grandma" file

Yesterday my exciting mail was the cookbook kit from the publisher.
Today my exciting mail is the "Grandma 6" file of 1,107,275 individuals of Mennonite ancestry from the California Mennonite Historical Society in Fresno.
People on the database are those who can trace their ancestors back to the Mennonite churches in Russia or Prussia.
They have one of my lines going back to the 1500s in Holland.
Very interesting to browse through and see who is related to whom.
If you have a Mennonite background, you may want to check it out. You can build your family tree in no time at all. They get their information from church records, census records, obituaries, information from genealogists and other sources. They are very careful and are checking and rechecking information all the time.
Click on this link to their website.
The above picture is the monument to Menno Simons in Witmarsum in the Friesland area of the Netherlands. Menno Simons was born in Witmarsum in January of 1496 and was a Catholic priest there in his early years. He later questioned their teachings and and was one of the early Anabaptists. His followers became known as Mennonites.
To learn more about Menno Simons, go to Wikipedia.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cookbook Kit

This is not about flowers, but I had to include a picture. This is Pink Cloud Gaura from the raised flower bed.

Today I received the cookbook kit from Morris Press.
There are so MANY options to choose from.
It will take a while to get it clear in my head before our first cookbook committee meeting.
I know it's hard to get everyone together for a lot of meetings, so the easier I can make it on the committee, the better.
I'll be pouring over the Cookbook Publishing Guide and then type up a page or two with options and prices for our consideration.
They sent 3 sample cookbooks and of course I like the one with all the bells and whistles.
I'm eager to know what the committee will think of the different options.

We can even have a contributor index as well as the recipe index.
Now I'm thinking I may have submitted too many recipes. (grin)
Decisions, decisions.

From the recipes we have so far, I know this is going to be the best recipe book ever!! I just hope no one later says they didn't know about it or they would have submitted some recipes. That happened with our last book, so be sure to tell your friends and relatives to send in their favorites. Or drop them off at the Winton Old Timers reunion on Sunday, Sept. 27.

Probably some people felt they sent in their favorites for the last recipe book. There are a lot of good recipes there also, but how could we justify having repeats?
I don't know how people would feel about that, one way or the other. We'll have a good sized book without repeats.

Too bad our "Hometown Recipes" is out of print. It is a cute book with 9 vintage pictures of Winton.
But, I am sure the committee will do a bang-up job with the new book. It's bound to be a treasured souvenir of the Winton Centennial.

Besides the recipe book, I need to get busy on the next newsletter. It has to be printed before September 30. But, we want to include reports / stories from the Old Timers. It feels like hurry up and wait. Or wait and hurry up.
It's making me nervous. I hope it all gets done in time.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Re-Bloomer

This is "Autumn Circus" one of the Iris plants I purchased in Cathey's Valley last year. I don't have many re-bloomers, but I am happy with this one , it's very pretty and different.
Today, September 1st (the first Tuesday of the month) was the Winton Historical Society meeting.
Ten people signed up for the cookbook committee. I'm excited about that, things will really begin to happen now!
We will probably use the same publisher that we used last time. I just sent for their cookbook kit; can't wait to check it out and see what's new.
We have collected 424 recipes so far. I hope we get a lot more at the Winton Old Timers on September 27.
All of you Wintonites who haven't sent in your favorite recipes, there's no time like the present.
Send to Winton Historical Society, PO Box 554, Winton, CA 95388 or email
Please include your name and contact information. Thanks.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I never thought all the plants in the raised bed would get so big! Some of them will have to be removed. Joe the gardener will be here Saturday to work up the ground around the patio. Maybe this fall (or winter) a couple of the plants will be transferred there.
I'm still looking for the Red Coreopsis. I should have bought the sorry-looking plant I saw last winter! Oh well. I can always take a chance on that online nursery.
The newly planted Irises still look good, but I will be glad when new leaves start to grow, then I won't worry about them anymore.

The recipe book project is coming along nicely. We now have 410 recipes and I am getting anxious to look into publishing details. It's about time to form a cookbook committee to hash over the many options and make decisions. I'm ready!!
But we did give everyone until the end of December to submit their recipes and there are a lot of people who haven't sent in their favorites yet. We need a minimum of 500 and more would be better. So, send your favorite recipes to

I have another project going. I borrowed all the original newsletters from Andrea and I'm scanning them, making a jpeg out of each page; then insert them into WordPerfect so the pages in each newsletter will be in order and each newsletter will be one document. (And not each page a separate document) After that, each newsletter is made into the PDF format. I'm going to put them on CDs. Sometimes a new member of the Winton Historical Society wants all the back issues of the newsletter and we don't have copies left over. We will have these CDs available at the Winton Old Timers for $5.00 each. They can print out a hardcopy if they want or just read it on their computer.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Winton Grange Hall Dances

This picture of Merle Haggard was on the May 6, 1974 cover of "Time" magazine.

Merle Haggard played at the Winton Grange Hall in the late 1960s. His hit record of "Swinging Doors" was out in 1966 and it was after that. Does anyone remember seeing him there? Did you take pictures?
Leanna is going to write an article for the "Winton Hometown News" about the dances at the Winton Grange Hall. Merle Haggard was her favorite and so she would especially like to hear your memories of that New Year's Eve dance.
Your memories of other Saturday night dances would be appreciated also and pictures of the hall itself, inside or out.
The Winton Historical Society is always looking for nice vintage pictures of Winton. If you have a scanner, they can be sent to me in the jpeg format, (600 dpi is usually what I use for scanning). If you would email your memories of the dances at the Winton Grange Hall or pictures of Winton for the Winton Historical Society, I will pass them on to Leanna.
Thank you so much, we appreciate your input. Lorraine
Merle Haggard is going to appear at the Gallo Center in Modesto in January.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Irises and Other Stuff

Isn't it amazing how Irises can multiply! I dug up 28 clumps from around the patio and had a carload to give away. Joe the gardener came Saturday and got the ground ready for my new Iris bed. I had room for 39 plants. I don't think I will have to dig them up again for about 3 years. Each little plant is so small and I worry that some won't make it, so then I want to keep duplicates, just in case. They are very hardy though and it's rare to lose any. But still,I need to find another spot for some left-overs. Those will be my give-aways next year.

The other day I was sitting on the patio and looking at the white tree rose and wondered about the black rope hanging from it. I didn't remember using a black rope when tying the trunk to the stake.
Finally decided to get up and go investigate, just in time to see this black and white stray cat jump out of the rose tree!! I've seen him in there now 3 days in a row. Wonder why he likes to get up there. There is no bird nest in it.
He sure likes to hang around here. I think Maggie's been bragging to the neighbor cats about how good she has it. She LOVES her canned cat food and as soon as she is through eating it, she wants to go outside. She's either bragging or it runs right through her.

I received 6 delicious recipes in the mail today from one of our Winton Historical Society members. I have to say, this centennial recipe book is looking like a real winner!! So many good recipes from our good cooks. We have 404 recipes now and we're hoping a lot more will be turned in at the Winton Old Timers next month.

Don't miss this chance to have your favorite recipes and your name included in this recipe book that is sure to be a collectors item in years to come. It will be a popular souvenir of Winton's Centennial celebration in 2011. Many people will want to buy this book for Christmas and birthday gifts as well.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Winton Old Timers

The committee for the Winton Old Timers met yesterday to plan the upcoming 49th reunion. It will be held on September 27, the last Sunday in the month. No reservations are needed or taken. The cost of the lunch has not changed; $7.00 for adults; $4.00 for children under 12 years old and children under 4 are free.
The menu will be chicken breasts from Rizzonellis in Atwater, (I hear their chicken is delicious) this will free Randy from having to cook the chicken outside on the grill. He will be able to mingle with the people and enjoy the day.
The Cole Slaw will be from KFC (no one can duplicate their recipe) and Agnes will fix her famous baked beans. (I missed her beans last year.) For dessert, apple pie from The Jantz Cafe will be served, along with a cup of ice cream.
Now, how great is that? Sounds delicious to me. Coffee, iced tea and punch will be self served.
Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. and dinner is served at 1:00 p.m. Come early and visit with old friends.
There will be a prize for the oldest man and oldest woman and also for the one who travelled the greatest distance. All those 90 years and over will be given a gift.
(The first Winton Old Timers reunion was held in 1961 at the Winton Hall. The original hall building, pictured, was burned down in 1957.)

The Winton Historical Society will have a table set up for people to pay their annual membership dues in the society. A newsletter is sent out every other month with historical articles and stories along with reminiscing tidbits. An old picture or two is always included. Six issues a year, a bargain for $10.00 per household. Where else can you revisit the good-old-days in Winton?
We look forward to gaining new members. A meeting is held the first Tuesday of each month in the C.L.E.O. office in Winton. Everyone interested in the history of Winton is welcome to attend.
The Winton Historical Society had coffee mugs made with a picture of the old Winton Depot on them. They will be sold at the Winton Old Timers reunion. Cost is $7.00 each.

Don't forget to bring your recipes for the Winton Centennial Cookbook. Or email them to Or mail them to Winton Historical Society, PO Box 554, Winton, CA 95388.

The Winton Old Timers reunion is held each year in the Winton Middle School on Cypress Avenue in Winton.
Pictures from the last 3 years of the reunion can be seen here. Click on the set of your choice. Old Merced post cards can also be found there.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good Ole Summertime

My Morning Glory vine is finally getting a decent amount of flowers. I'm still hoping for a lot more.
The piano tuner was here on Monday. It hadn't been tuned in years, but still it was not in too bad a shape. So, right away, I got out some very easy arrangements and pretended I could play AND sing!! Wow! Sure hope the neighbors didn't hear me. I enjoyed it though, so what the heck. It was fun.
Then on Thursday, the air-conditioner went out. I had it set on 79 and it seemed so hot in here. Well, it was up to 87 degrees by 5 p.m. Sure glad we had the whole-house fan put in. After it cooled down a little outside, I was able to get the house cooled down to where it wasn't too bad in here. The next day, someone from Bob's Refrigeration came by and fixed it. A part needed replacing, so I was relieved that it only cost $104. to fix it.
July and August are the months when the Iris plants are dormant and the perfect time to dig them up and separate them. I decided to move my Irises from around the patio to another area and plant them in rows. I started digging them up yesterday. I want to keep track of the names, so got big grocery bags, the paper ones, and wrote the name of the Iris plant on it. There are 25 different ones, so don't have quite enough bags. I'm giving the duplicates away, so I'm putting the names on slips of paper and stappling it to a leaf. I thought that was the easiest way to do it.
Tomorrow we're having a committee meeting for the Winton Old Timers. Can't believe the time is almost here. We have the hot month of August and then summer will be over.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This Week

This is my daughter, Sandy, taking pictures in Paris last week. What does this picture have to do with my week here in Merced? Nothing.
I just like this colorful picture. Sandy, hope you don't mind.

It seems like something was going on every day this week. On Monday, my sister and I had appointments with Miguel in Turlock. I told him my hairdresser asked if I was still going to the Reflexologist and that she said she can see an improvement in my face each time she sees me. (Only once every two months for a hair cut.)
After the usual treatment, Miguel used the green crystals on me for the first time. The crystals were such a dark color that I thought they were black. They are attached to a board and Miguel holds the board over me without touching me. I was amazed at what I felt. First my jaw line felt a little warm with some movement, like twinges. Miguel moved this board around from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. The bottom of my feet got much warmer. But what really surprised me the most was the spot on the inside of my left knee, it was actually hot. The spot was about the size of a silver dollar. This is the spot that used to be so sore. Miguel said as the blockages are removed, the area gets warm with the blood circulating. I'm going to ask him to use the crystals every time. I thought they were great!
We go every 6 weeks for a treatment.
Tuesday was a stay-at-home day.
Wednesday was my volunteer day in the genealogy room in the Merced County Library. It's only from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Every Wednesday afternoon, members from the Merced County Genealogical Society volunteer to offer help to anyone who would like some assistance. I go every 3rd Wednesday and hope I will be of help to someone. It wasn't busy, spent some time on the computer (Ancestry) and then read some interesting local history and some Mennonite history.

Today, my sister and I attended the Mature Drivers class in Atwater. It started at 8:30 this morning and ended about 4:00 p.m. The day went pretty fast as it was interesting. We should get our certificates in the mail next week and I will give my insurance company a copy. I hope this will help lower my car insurance.
Tomorrow, it's lunch with the "Golden Girls" a couple of friends from work. We never talk about work anymore, it's just about our current lives, the wonderful days since retirement.
Saturday is the Merced County Genealogical Society meeting. Sunday is a big watering day, front and back yards. Monday the piano tuner is coming.
And so it goes.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Alice Hare

In 1911, Alice and husband, James W. Hare and family moved to the community of Winton, in Merced County, California.
They were the second family to move there. In February of the following year, Mrs. Hare photographed the Winton bell ringing, marking the founding of Winton's first church. Later that year she exhibited her photographs, oil paintings, and pastels in a fair celebrating Winton's founding. After photographing historic moments of Winton's beginnings, there is a significant decline in her photographic activity after 1912. This may have been the result of her demanding involvement in establishing many of Winton's first institutions and participating in many community activities. In addition to helping found the Winton Improvement Club, she also helped establish the community's first grammar school and school district, planted trees, wrote articles such as "Winton Wants Rural Outdoor Adornment", and became the area's first librarian. It is not known to what extent she practiced painting, or if any of her work in paint media survives.
After her husband's death in 1920, Mrs. Hare resided briefly in Concord and Oakland, California. In 1924, she moved to Berkeley, California. She remained a librarian, and gave evening readings at patrons' homes. She also attended classes at Berkeley High School and wrote romance and adventure stories, some of which she hoped would become Hollywood screenplays. She also began to compose her autobiography. Mrs. Hare died on July 20, 1942.
Her son, Carson Hare was the architect for the original Winton Grammar School.
E-mail me at Thank you.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I finally tried that recipe for Cole Slaw that is supposed to taste just like KFC's. I went to Raley's to buy the Tarragon Vinegar that I couldn't find at Save Mart. Also bought Miracle Whip for the recipe, which I never use.
I had visions of doing a 'blind test' by buying some of the Real Thing and letting people have a taste of each.
Well, that wasn't necessary!! It just doesn't taste the same. I think I am through buying ingredients I don't usually use just to try out a new recipe.
Good news though, we now have 350 recipes!! Only 150 more to reach our goal. But if we go over that, so much the better!! No, I didn't submit the Cole Slaw recipe.
We're a little heavy on the sweets, but don't let that stop you from submitting your favorite dessert or candy recipe.

Another Finally here!! Maggie's litter box is no longer in my bathroom. I had cat doors installed about a year and a half ago, so I could put the litter box in the garage. I kept putting it off, thinking Maggie might forget where I moved it to and would go somewhere else in the house.
Then, one day I noticed she wasn't using the litter box any more. She prefers to go outside!! Wow! what an opportunity. I put the litter box in the garage and she still doesn't use it. Hooray!
She's a great cat! Here she is, in a playful mood.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Last Wednesday, five of us from the Winton Historical Society met in the CLEO office to fold, tape, stamp and get the latest newsletter ready to mail. It's kind of a gab-session and also fun.
After we were finished, we went to the Jantz Cafe and had a delicious lunch with free pie! We were stuffed and took half of our sandwiches home to boot!
I thought I would take a break from the newsletter and recipe collecting and not think about them for a while. HA.
Two chances of that happening: Fat and Slim.
As soon as a thought popped into my head about a story, I was all excited about the next newsletter and couldn't wait to contact people to get information.
Guess that's why I never get much done around here, I'm always playing.

Here is a picture of part of the "Ellen's Blue" Butterfly Bush. It's planted by the house on the South side, I'm not sure if that is going to be too hot for it. The temperature is rising, supposed to be over 100 the next several days, so I guess I will soon find out if Ellen's Blue can take it.
One good-sized limb broke off the apricot tree last week. The tree was planted on February 14, 1996, so maybe some of them are getting a little old. And then maybe I should have thinned them a little better. (Read a whole LOT better!)
But it's hard to get much done when you have recipes and newsletters on the brain.
Some of you haven't sent in your recipes yet. Yes, you know who you are. You don't really need a personal invitation. If you live in Winton, or used to live in Winton, we want a favorite recipe from you. And maybe more.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Hi, My name is Maggie. I love my home. Sure it's messy, but I don't mind, just keep that canned cat food coming. If she doesn't get it for me quick enough, I bite her on the arm, just to show her I want it NOW!!
Yeah, yeah, I know, she rescued me from the Animal Shelter. But that was 2 years ago. Do I have to be grateful the rest of my life? And I do give her a warning before I bite. First, I am very loving and if she doesn't take the hint, then I put one paw on top of her arm and the other under; look her in the eyes and Chomp!! I usually draw blood. But she needs to pay attention.

She's usually pretty good to me. We play and sometimes I get a little rough with her, but hey, that's part of the game.
In the mornings, I like to wake her up by pouncing on her feet.
That makes her hollar, so I jump down and wait for her to get up already!

I have my own little doors, so I can come and go as I please, but sometimes I stand by the big door and wait for her to let me out.

I'm a great hunter, but I don't think she really appreciates that.
One day I brought this big Blue Jay in through my little doors when she wasn't home.
It was hard, getting us both through the smaller door and then after I got it inside, somehow the bird got away from me.
Boy, my mama was excited when she came home and found the bird flying around in the bathroom.
The stupid bird-brain thought he could get out through the skylight.
Of course I just sat there, pretending to be innocent.
She never catches on. I'm too smart for her.

Here I am, trying to take my mid-day nap on the couch.

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade is another picture of a Butterfly Bush. I only have 8, so you have almost seen them all. This one with the variegated leaves won't get as tall as most of my others.
This perennial flower is called Agastache Barberi 'Tutti Fruitti.' When I bought it, it had one stem, but the flowers were much larger. I gave it some 'Shake & Feed' so I hope the flowers will get bigger. Last evening, I saw a Humming Bird, getting nectar from the flowers, going up and down the stem and then going to another branch. So, I guess the flowers are big enough. I planted it for the Hummers anyway. It's so much taller than I expected it to be. I'll have to transplant some of the flowers in my 'sand box,' some got too big and are crowding others.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More Butterfly Bushes

This first picture is "Lo and Behold, Blue Chip."
It's a picture of just part of the plant.
It shouldn't get more than 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
I am so pleased with this plant.
The color is good. Lavender Blue?
But a nice shade.
It makes Ellen's Blue look pale in comparison. Ellen's Blue has not been photogenic, so sorry, no picture yet.

The second picture is of Nanho Purple. A nice dark color.
I have seen a pretty yellow Monarch Butterfly on the Butterfly Bushes, but so far have not seen any Humming Birds on them. They sure like the sugar water in their feeder though.
Last week, a medium size branch broke off of the nectarine tree and today a larger branch from the apricot tree. I know I haven't been thining them enough. Someone told me to leave 4 inches between the fruit. Well, I didn't want to be climbing up and down the ladder, so took a long handled rake and knocked some fruit off the trees. Darn! I need to do a better job of it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Butterfly Bushes

Several Butterfly Bushes are blooming in my backyard. The one above is called 'Black Knight' and is my largest plant. I really like the dark color.
The pink one is named 'Pink Delight' another pretty color.
The darker one above is 'Royal Red' sort of a red violet color. The sun was bright, so the picture doesn't look as dark as it really is.
I have a couple more in bloom, need to get a better picture of Ellen's Blue and Adonis Blue.