Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Sox

My daughter Sandy knitted these beautiful socks for me for Christmas. They are very warm and are keeping my feet toasty warm as I type this. Thanks Sandy.
I used to give my daughters warm socks for Christmas every year. Of course they were store-bought, not special hand-knitted ones.
I really love these made especially for me.
I came down with a sore throat last Thursday night. So, unfortunately I had to cancel the plans I had for the 24th and Christmas Day. I didn't think it would hang on this long. I am still staying inside, trying to keep warm, watching TV, popping Tylenol pills every 8 hours. When the medicine runs out my bones and muscles ache.
I hope this goes away soon.
But, it is a good excuse to lay about and be lazy!!
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Merced County Retirees Luncheon

Today was the Merced County Retirees quarterly luncheon. The December meeting is always well attended. Someone said there were 170 people there. In December our lunch is free, so that's probably why so many attend. Usually we pay about 6 dollars and the retirees association pays the balance.
Above is a picture of John and Ken, two men retired from the county assessor's office. We usually try to sit at a table with former co-workers. This is the only time we get to see them and catch up on what is happening in their lives.
Bev is a good friend from the assessor's office. She and Claudia and I have lunch at Carrows once a month. We've been doing this ever since we retired 13 years ago. Bev's husband calls us "the Golden Girls." Claudia wasn't able to attend the retirees luncheon today, she was still visiting her son's family. She missed the luncheon by one day.
Several of us at our table bought raffle tickets, Bev and I each had 15 tickets, but the numbers called were nowhere near our numbers. Guess it was our turn to donate.
I wasn't complaining because one year I won a nice prize, which I sold to a man at our table for $100. This year they had 4 envelopes with a $50.00 bill inside, other prizes were not so impressive.
Oh, they had my favorite lasagna today, vegetarian with white sauce. Yum! I took a big helping.
This last picture is Rozanne, my next-door neighbor. She rode with me to Merced. After the luncheon we went to the Mall for a short time. Rozanne wanted to go to Michaels. I suggested Hobby Lobby, neither one of us had been there before. It's a really big store with all kinds of materials, pictures, etc., etc. Rozanne was looking for some brushes and paint to use at her ceramic class. Didn't find exactly what she wanted. I think she would rather have gone to Michaels.
Next time. I was really tired when I got home. The recliner was calling me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday December 10, 2011

Saturday was a busy day. It began early for Carol, who cooked breakfast, including biscuits and gravy for the Winton Chamber of Commerce and the Women's Grange Association. Wilene, seen looking up a phone number was there to help oversee the vendors selling their wares at the tables set up for the event.
Marilyn and I were there at the Winton Historical Society's table, selling the Winton Centennial recipe books and the Winton Depot mugs.
Behind Marilyn, you can see the large wood flutes. They had small ones also and even one that was kind of round on a string that you wore around your neck. The seller called it an ocarina. They made beautiful music with them.
Avanell had a table set up with holiday items she had for sale.
Other interesting vendors were there. Across from the WHS table was a couple who made jewelry. I bought a red necklace and earring set from them. They had a LOT of boxes of sets. One vendor was selling candles. As usual, we needed more foot traffic.

After a delicious meal of turkey, dressing, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and desserts; the managers had a drawing.
If the number on your ticket was called, you had your choice of items from the tray. Each gift bag or Christmas decoration had folding money inside, some had $5.00, some $10.00 and 2 had a $20.00 bill.
Bob was one of the first winners. He chose a gift bag that had a $20.00 bill inside.
The managers arranged for a resident to play the piano so we could all sing Christmas carols. BUT, when some people got up to leave, others followed them out the door, so we didn't get to sing-along to the piano music. Shoot!
I was disappointed that they all left.
It was a nice party though.
More pictures at flickr.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winton Bazaar Dec. 10

This Saturday, December 10 is the Winton holiday bazaar at the Winton Community Hall. It is sponsored by the Women's Grange Association and the Winton Chamber of Commerce.
The Winton Historical Society will be there with the souvenir Winton Depot mugs available at a new discount price; $4.00 each or 4 for $15.00. A perfect gift for your child's school teacher or others on your gift list.
The Winton Centennial recipe books are still available for $15.00 each. The books have been very popular. If you don't have your copy yet, better get one before they are gone. We will not be reordering.
In the above picture is Marilyn, Rosalie, Andrea and Willlie. It was taken at our monthly Winton Historical Society meeting in the CLEO office. We had a Christmas party an hour before the meeting with members bringing in finger foods.
I did take more pictures and will post them later when I get my "real" computer out of the shop. I am limping along with my new laptop, complete with Windows 7 and it is driving me CRAZY.
I have now posted other pictures at flickr.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winton Historical Society's Newsletter

This picture of the Winton Community Hall was taken August 18, 1957 by someone from the Merced Sun-Star. This picture and the article from the Merced Sun-Star and memories from my sisters are in the November / December "Winton Hometown News;" the newsletter of the Winton Historical Society. On the cover of our newsletter is a picture of the Old Winton Community Hall as it looked a couple of years before it burned down.
Many fond memories remain about the old hall, as it was used for so many functions for the local people. Even my Dirks family had a reunion there in the 1950s. Some relatives came from Kansas. A quartet consisting of Kermit Dirks, Herb Heppner, Melvin Yost and probably Paul Koehn sang some hymns for our enjoyment.
The hall was used a lot by the Winton School for the Christmas Pageant, graduations and many other occasions.
Five members from the historical society met at the C.L.E.O. office this morning to get the newsletters ready to mail. Some members who have not paid their dues for 2011-12 were not sent a newsletter. Membership to the Winton Historical Society is due on October 1 of each year. We set it up on that date to make it convenient for out-of-town members to pay at the Winton Old Timers reunion the last Sunday in September.
Other historical articles are included in this newsletter. The newsletter, printed every other month, consists of 5 pages, double sided, includes a few pictures, memories of Winton, articles and stories. Dues are $10.00 per year for the 6 issues of the newsletter. Local people are encouraged to attend our meetings on the first Tuesday of each month in the C.L.E.O. office in Winton.
If you are interested in joining the Winton Historical Society, send a check payable to WHS, PO Box 554, Winton, CA 95388. New members will be sent the newsletters they have missed, beginning with the September / October 2011 issue.
If you have any questions, email Thank you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mariposa November 28

Jack drove his brother and Carole and I to Mariposa today. It's been kind of foggy here so we didn't leave until 11 a.m. Jack had a load of almond firewood for Jerry, so we decided to have a picnic lunch and talk about the "good old days" growing up on Fruitland Avenue. In the first picture is Jerry in the backyard. The yellow grape leaves were very pretty.
In the next picture is Jack and Donna. Donna is Jim Hawksworth's widow. Alice Hawksworth (Jerry's mother) died last month; she was 96 years old. So now Jerry lives by himself. Donna lives about 10 miles away.
In the above picture is Donna and Carole. The mountain scenery is beautiful. Carole told Jerry that he had a nice place. Jerry said, "oh, I don't know; I'm just a dog in the pasture."

This last picture shows Jerry and Bob, Jack's brother.
Jerry and Carole were in the same class in grammar school. He has a great memory. He reminded Carole of the nickname she had in school that she completely forgot about.
It wasn't foggy in Mariposa; that is smoke you see from the fire pit. It was a nice day. It started to get a little chilly about the time we left for home, about 3:30.
It was fun. Carole and I enjoyed it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

My sister and I were invited to her granddaughter's for Thanksgiving dinner. Pictured is her granddaughter Stephanie, Richy and husband, J.R. The food was delicious.
They had 5 or 6 turkeys!! Good grief, that was a lot. The turkeys had different flavors. I chose the one with the Jalapenos. Little Richy said the prayer before we ate. He's a good little kid. Very polite.
Some of the turkeys were cooked in the garage in the deep fryer. Other family and friends were there. How many? 15 to 20 is a good guess. Everyone enjoyed the good food and had a good time.
Thanks Steph and J.R. It was a very good day.
I have so much to be thankful for. I think about this every day and know I am lucky to be living where I am with people my age around me. A yard big enough to enjoy, but not over-whelming. A devoted cat who loves me. lol.
Of course I am thankful for my family. I'm thankful that I'm able to talk once a week to my daughter who lives so far away. I'm thankful for the Atwater Methodist Church that I enjoy attending. The people are nice and friendly; the minister has wonderful messages for us each Sunday morning.
I'm thankful for the Afghan Claudia crocheted for me about 15 years ago that I still use every day. Nice for napping in the recliner.
In a few minutes I'll be thankful for my nice warm bed.
Goodnight all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November Mandarins

My little Satsuma Mandarin tree has 13 mandarins on it. I ate one the other day, but it wasn't quite sweet enough yet. They are really sweet when fully ripe.
The dwarf Washington Navel has a few oranges on it again this year, but they won't be ripe for quite a long time. I'm just happy to have fruit so soon. They were just planted last year. I'm glad I had the orange trees removed that were not varieties that I like and replaced them. It's worth the short wait for something you like.
You can see in the picture that I seriously need to work in the front yard.
The other day I was very surprised to find a petite "Black Knight" Butterfly Bush at Lowe's. I didn't know the Black Knight was available in a smaller shrub. Six feet by 6 feet is supposed to be the maximum size. I'm going to plant it between the two Mandarins. The Pixie Mandarin that I just planted recently doesn't have any fruit on it this year.
I had some volunteer Zinnias come up by the duplicate Iris plants this summer. I hope they come up again in the spring. I like the bright colors. The other Zinnias were through and had to be pulled up. I enjoy my yard. I've made just a little too much work for myself and there is lots of work to be done. But that's o.k. Gives me something to think about.
Now if I could just get people to send in their memories of Winton for the historical society's newsletter, everything would be great!!

Friday, November 11, 2011


I have an Iris blooming now. "Autumn Circus." True to its name, it blooms in the fall as well as in April and May. It was just divided in July and replanted so I didn't expect it to bloom so soon.
Today is a special day. 11-11-11. My sister was expecting a new grandbaby today, but I don't think it happened yet. Too bad. Today is 100 years since the baby's great-grandfather was born. The first baby born in Winton on 11-11-1911.
Today I had an appointment with my eye doctor. Last year he wanted to remove the cataract in my eye. But I was scheduled for knee replacement surgery later that month, so he said to call him when I was ready to have it done. I never got around to making the appointment even though it's been getting hard to read the newspaper. I keep the magnifying glass handy. So, today I was prepared to make the appointment to have the cataract removed.
To my surprise -- my eye has improved. The cataract is better than last year. The doctor said last year my right eye was at 20/70 and today it's 20/50. I asked what would make it improve? He said something about the lens changes or something like that. Anyway I got to thinking -- it must be because of reflexology. Because of Miguel Gallegos working on my feet and sometimes my ears and finger tips, I went from horrible double vision (a plus 5 prism in each lens) to no double vision. So, if reflexology can do that, why not improve the cataract in the eye?
It's no wonder I keep going to Turlock once a month for reflexology treatments. There are other reasons of course. Pain or soreness in my back, hips, legs, stiff neck. You name it. I always feel better after a treatment.
I am so happy that I don't need to have a cataract removed, but just ordered new glasses instead. This was indeed a lucky day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Garbarge Can Bouquet

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? I feel bad pulling them up when there are a few flowers left still trying to look cheerful. But, the lower parts of the plants were really looking bad. So, now to plant something else in their place.

My sister had her knee replacement surgery on October 5. She is doing very well, lots of physical therapy at Anberry. She will have the staples out this Thursday. Then see what the doctor says about her left knee. Might have to go through it all over again for the other knee.

Yesterday, I finally got the Winton Historical Society's newsletter printed and with the help of 3 other people at CLEO, we got them folded, taped; slapped on the labels and stamps and in the mail they went. I hope no one gave up on them. They were so very late. The next newsletter, the November/December issue will probably not go out until just before Thanksgiving. After that, I'll try to get back on schedule.
Sure would like to get more stories written by other people about their memories of living in Winton in the "good old days." Their memories of Thanksgiving or Christmas in Winton would be a timely topic. You can email them to me at Thanks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last Sunday's Old Timers

Above is the sign that Randy Heller put up in the park by the firehouse. Very nice sign to alert people to the Winton Old Timers reunion that was happening the following Sunday.
People brought their antiques to show. They were on display on the stage. The white butter churn with the long handle, the spinning wheel, the chair and high button shoes belong to Don Morgado. The quilts belong to Carolyn Wiens.
In the next picture, the old school desk belongs to the Winton School District and is usually in the district office where they hold their school board meetings. The dishes came from Ivaleine Cooper and also the doll, which belonged to her mother. I believe the clock belongs to Ivaleine also. The bonnet displayed above the doll case belongs to Carolyn Wiens.
John Esau brought in his big wheel bike. He says he can still ride it, but we didn't insist on a demonstration.
People enjoyed looking at the antiques and the large pictures of downtown Winton, taken in the 1950s.
Some of our regular Old Timers weren't able to make it this year to the reunion. We hope to see them next year. We did have quite a few new people, so we still had a good crowd.
The doll sitting in the rocking chair is Ivaleine Cooper's. The burlap bag looking thing is something a beekeeper uses and it either came from the Cooper family or the Varner family. The binder filled with old dress patterns is Carolyn Wien's. Most of the patterns came from Aunt Bertha Dirks.
There was a lot to see.
Last of all, was the birthday cake with "Happy Birthday Winton" on it. I don't think many people got to see it. The picture in the middle is the monument that the Clampers made for the community of Winton and which was dedicated in March of this year, commemorating Winton's Centennial. The monument is located next to the fire station in the Burbank park in Winton.
Everything on the cake was edible, including the picture.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Winton Old Timers, Sunday Sept. 25, 2011

Picture taken last year by Norm Giesbrecht.
This Sunday (Sept. 25) is the annual Winton Old Timers reunion.
This year is special because it is also Winton's Centennial year. Several people are bringing large antiques to display on the stage. Rosalie had nineteen 12x18" pictures printed of Winton, taken in the 1950s, these will also be displayed. The pictures are not in the "Memories of Winton 1911-1950" book so they will be new to a lot of people.
Reminder postcards were mailed out to people who attended in recent years, but you don't need to receive a card to attend. Are you a Winton Old Timer? Or do you know Old Timers from Winton? Then join us this Sunday at Winton Middle School on Cypress Avenue, between Almond and Gertrude Avenues.
Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. Lunch is served at 1:00 p.m. Tickets for adults are $8.00 which includes Rizzonelli's chicken breast, KFC coleslaw, Agnes' Baked Beans, dinner roll, coffee, iced tea or lemonade. This year we are having birthday cake for Winton's 100th birthday. People 90 years old and older will be honored.
Norm Giesbrecht will be there again to take pictures for us. Pictures from prior years will be shown on the overhead screen.

Members from the Winton Historical Society will be there to collect the dues for membership. The annual dues are for October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. For $10.00 per year, members are mailed a newsletter every other month with stories from the "good old days" about people of Winton or people who used to live in Winton.
We will be selling back issues from the last 3 years for $1.00 each. All 32 newsletters are available on CD in the PDF format for $5.00. What's neat about having the newsletters on CD is that you can do a search with the free Adobe Acrobat reader (a free download)and find the article you're looking for or just search for specific names, etc.
Hardcopies of the newsletters that are from 2008 or older are free. If you can't make it to the Winton Old Timers, but want to join the Winton Historical Society, send a check for $10.00 payable to WHS and mail to PO Box 554, Winton, CA 95388.
We encourage people who are interested in Winton history to attend our meetings on the first Tuesday of each month in the C.L.E.O. office on Winton Way at 1:30 p.m.

The Winton Historical Society will also be selling the "Winton Centennial" recipe books with 650 delicious recipes in a binder format with a picture of Winton's first Thanksgiving on the cover. Other vintage pictures of Winton are inside on each divider. Books sell for $15.00 each or $20.00 if mailed within the U.S.
The Souvenir coffee mugs with a picture of the Winton Depot are now only $5.00 each. Available at the Winton Old Timers, but not available for mailing.

Winton's first history book, "Memories of Winton, 1911-1950" will be there this Sunday. Available for $35.00. This hardback 530 page book with 750 pictures can be mailed within the U.S. for a total of $40.00. Checks payable to Lorraine Richards, mail to 59 La Playa Way, Atwater, CA 95301.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall Flowers

When I look at this picture and compare it to the one I took in the spring, all I can think is, "my how you have grown."
I love to look at before and after pictures. My neighbors probably wonder why I am always taking pictures of my yard, but I like to see what it looked like in the past and what I liked or didn't like and then decide what I want to change. It's never finished. I used to dig up my plants every year and move them around. No one ever said my yard is neat, but to me it's never boring.
I'm still looking for a red Penstemon. So far I only found them online. The plants are so small when you get them in the mail, but I may have to resort to that.
Yesterday I was surprised to find a couple of the more unusual Coreopsis at Lowe's in Merced. Usually you only find the yellow flower, either single or double, but look at the picture below.
The flowers on the left are Sienna Sunset Coreopsis; the two flowers on the right are from Route 66 Coreopsis. No, I didn't plant them that close together. They're just posing for the picture. I was so excited to find the red flower, the picture on the tag had a flower like the yellow with the red center and I thought, lucky me, I found a red one.
So, the next morning a new flower opened up and it looked like the picture. I really like the red better. I read online that the flowers turn red in the fall. The plants are "mounding perennials."
I've been able to find some Perennial Asters recently. The darker purple on the left is from the nursery at the end of Applegate Road in Atwater, the one on the right is "Weed's Purple Aster" from Lowe's. Neither one will get very tall, about 15 inches. I was looking for the 4 foot tall blue flowers, but no luck so far.
The hunt goes on. I keep looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Removing the Lemon Tree

Pictured is my front yard with the big lemon tree. No one seemed to like the lemons, the rinds were thick and bumpy. The tree was too big with roots above the ground.
Joe and Keith came at 7 o'clock this morning to remove the tree.
Not much of a tree left. I was surprised at how fast it went. Two hours and they were gone.
Joe wanted me to see how big the roots were. That tree was probably 30 years old.
Hooray, the big lemon tree is gone. Now to find another dwarf Mandarin tree to plant in its place. I'll look for the "Honey" Mandarin unless someone can recommend something better. I have the Satsuma and I want one that will ripen at a different time. The Honey will, but it does have a lot of seeds. I can deal with that, so that's probably what I'll get. Maybe I can find one in Merced.
Keith even put my flag up. Just in time for tomorrow's 9-11 memorial day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Old Timers 2011

Today some of us met at the CLEO office in Winton to get the reminder cards ready to mail for the Winton Old Timers Reunion. Back row is Agnes and Rosalie; front row: Ivaleine, Avanell, Wilene, Wanda, Marilyn and Carolyn.
The tradition of Winton's annual reunion was started 51 years ago. It's held on the last Sunday in September, which this year is September 25.

The location is the Winton Middle School on Cypress Avenue, between Almond and Gertrude Avenues, across from the cemetery.
Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. This gives people more time to visit with old friends and new acquaintances.
Lunch is served at 1:00 p.m., which allows people to attend church first if they wish.
When you register, purchase a lunch ticket for $8.00.
Lunch will be chicken breast from Rizzonellis, KFC coleslaw, Winton Old Timers' baked beans, dinner roll, and dessert. This year dessert will be birthday cake to celebrate Winton's 100 years. Beverages include coffee, iced tea and lemonade.

This year the Winton Historical Society will have their "Winton Centennial" recipe book for sale for $15.00 and the coffee mugs with a picture of the Winton Depot for $5.00.
Some back issues of the "Hometown News" will be available for $1.00. All the back issues can be purchased on CD in the PDF format for $5.00. This year there are 32 newsletters on the CD.
Members of the Winton Historical Society will also be collecting the annual dues at this meeting. Dues are $10.00 per year, which includes 6 newsletters with stories about Winton people from the 'good old days' mailed out every other month.
Still available is Winton's first history book, "Memories of Winton 1911-1950" written by Rosalie Heppner and Lorraine Richards. This hardback book with 530 pages and 750 pictures is $35.00.
After mailing the postcards, six of us met at Josie's Mexican American Grill in Atwater for lunch.
We hope to see a lot of Winton Old Timers this year. Come out and help us celebrate Winton's 100th year.
You don't need to receive a postcard to attend the Old Timers. The postcards are just reminders sent to people who attended in the past. Put it on your calendar and come out and mingle with old friends.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summer Family BBQ

Today was the Heppner / Dirks / Wiebe family barbecue. Cousin Marvin belongs to the Lake Yosemite Sailing Association, so he arranged for us to meet at their clubhouse. It was a nice day for a picnic.
Everyone brought a side dish to share to go along with the hamburgers and hotdogs. The food table was overloaded with a delicious array of salads, beans and other potluck dishes.
Behind the table of food is the small older house that used to be the caretakers house, but now it belongs to the sailing association and they use it as their clubhouse. It is a very nice place for a family gathering. Very private, with a bathroom inside the house. No need for the public toilets. lol
Here is a picture of one of the tables set up for eating. Very pretty setting, with the red tablecloths and the large sunflowers. About 8 tables were set up like this to seat the 50 or so extended family members who showed up.
Last is a group picture that was a little too dark, so had to lighten it up. They are near the lake with the sailboats behind them. Can you recognize any of them? Click on the picture to enlarge it.
It was an enjoyable day. Thanks to Marvin and his cousin Monette.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Honkers

Every morning and every evening these Canadian geese fly low right overhead. Seems like they take off somewhere around Atwater's golf course in the morning and fly southwest towards Los Banos. Or so it seems. Then around 7:30 in the evening, they return, flying low like they are getting ready to land. Sometimes there is a huge flock of them and then they are really noisy. I enjoy watching them and hearing them honk. One neighbor down the street said she didn't like them because of all the bird droppings, but I haven't noticed any of that.
I finally replanted all my Irises. Nine of them are planted among the flowers between the cherry trees.
You can see one planted between the 'pinks' and the red and white Penstemon. The fern looking plant is a volunteer Cosmo. Much bigger than the parent plant that the seed came from.
Twenty-eight Irises were planted between the two parking spots near the road. I have 37 different Iris plants. I have 4 that I don't know the names of. They were given to me without the names. The rest of them I purchased from local Iris growers and have kept track of their names. I guess some people think that's silly, but to me it makes it more interesting. Also if you happen to lose a favorite, you can try to get the same one again. I lost Lorilee years ago and the grower I bought it from didn't have it anymore either. Oh well.

On the left are the Irises planted by the road. Have to keep the ground moist so the roots will start growing right away.
On the right are the duplicates planted where they were before, next to my neighbor. The Fuyu Persimmon tree has been planted in the middle of that plot.
I also took the Plumbago from the large pot and put it in the ground. I always liked the blue flowers on it.
I will give most of the duplicates away next year. The plan is to just keep one row of my neighbor's favorite Irises next to her walkway.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lunch at Josie's

Carole D. and I had lunch today at Josie's Mexican American Bar & Grill in Atwater's shopping center where Super Target is located. Josie's at 1301 Commerce near Applegate Road. They just opened Monday, August 8. They are open from early to late every day. I think Josie said from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Long hours, but Josie said she is going back to Mi Casa, their Merced restaurant on Childs Avenue next week. Her son, Hugo will be in charge in Atwater.
The food today was great. I've never had a bad meal at Mi Casa and I'm sure it will be good every time at their new restaurant in Atwater as well.
Here is a picture I took of Josie and her son Hugo.
Stop by and welcome them to Atwater. It's a really cute place, everything is new, bright and clean. There is even a bar with tall tables and chairs. Check it out.