A Cold Dark Oven

I’m thankful for many things this Thanksgiving.  Oddly, I’m somewhat thankful even for my cold, dark oven.


I’m thankful that I won’t be on my feet for hours today prepping and baking for a family gathering.  For the first time in I don’t know how many years, I will not be basting and roasting a turkey.  I won’t be making more stuffing (I already succumbed last week and made a huge batch of stuffing because I couldn’t help myself). I might not escape baking entirely today, though, as I may break down and make Sticky Buns because it’s a TRADITION!

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The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About | Drifting Through My Open Mind


The next time you read about or hear a woman call out sexist language, don’t belittle her for doing so. Listen.

I don’t go through life terrified of anything. You’re not ‘living’ if you’re ‘living scared.’ But I don’t trust and am wary of men I don’t know. The axiom ‘Actions speak louder than words’ applies here.

This article hits home and resonates.  I have done many of these defense mechanisms subconsciously most of my life.  The older I get though the less I care about the consequences to myself.  Awareness so that future generations of women can live without these ingrained defenses becomes my goal.

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Doomed to Repeat Alternate History?

Why You Should Be Watching The Man in the High Castle – http://www.kameronhurley.com/why-you-should-be-watching-the-man-in-the-high-castle/

Meeting violence with violence doesn’t show strength: it inspires more violence.

I’ve been reading a lot if World War One and Two books lately, most recently The Seamstress.  It reminds me we must never forget and never repeat the evils of yesteryear. 

And yes I’ve read PKD’s Man in the High Castle. I wish I could watch the series but I’m not a subscriber of that ‘evil’ empire. :)

Somber thoughts today. 

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

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Family Recipes: Grandma Marie’s German Potato Soup


We made a double batch of this wonderful potato soup on Sunday. I had both grandchildren of Marie Hodge present as taste testers to confirm the authenticity of the recipe.

Back in 2001, I contacted my then living grandmother, Doris Andrea, for recipes and stories to be included in a local church anniversary cookbook. This was one of the recipes she provided me. The story she told me to accompany this soup hailed back to the hard days of the Great Depression and making simple hearty meals that stretched ingredients.

Addendum (updated 8:15 am 11/09/2015):  Some specifics on the double batch version of this recipe we created in my kitchen yesterday morning include using two 3-pound bags of organic russet potatoes, about half of an organic yellow onion and a few stalks of organic celery.  The rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the bacon, were non-organic.  Instead of a quart of milk, we used a quart of half-and-half (store brand).

The bacon was an uncured natural version from Farmland.  To bake bacon in the oven, cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil (makes cleanup easy) and place the strips of bacon so they just barely touch.  I can usually get an entire 12 ounce package of bacon on my largest baking sheet.  Place the sheet in a cold oven and set the temperature for 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Set the timer for 20 minutes and check the doneness of the bacon when it dings, adding more time if you want it more done and/or crispier.

Originally posted on As a Matter of Fancy:



In 1913 fifteen-year-old Marie Kiesler immigrated to the United States from Stalluponen, (East Prussia) Germany (now Nesterov, Russia). She joined her sister Martha in Kansas City, Kansas, where both served as housekeepers/nannies to American families. In 1919 Marie married John H. Hodge, a soldier at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Marie returned once to visit her family in 1937, whence she got in trouble for refusing to display the Nazi salute. Marie died in 1949.

This simple soup uses readily available materials. Follow the directions exactly or it won’t have that authentic German taste.


6 slices bacon

½ c. chopped celery

½ c. chopped onion

8 medium potatoes, cubed

1 qt. milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Garlic powder

2 Tbsp. bacon grease


Fry bacon until crisp; drain. Crumble when cool. Save bacon grease.

Cook celery and onions in large pot (in which soup will…

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Lansing Community Library Snack & Chat Tonight


The Lansing Community Library is hosting its first “Snack and Chat” on Tues., Nov.3 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Library, 730 1st Terr. This new quarterly event gives community members an opportunity to meet with the Library Board and Director. Patrons can share thoughts, suggestions and ideas.

For more information, contact Lansing Community Library Director Terri Wojtalewicz at 913-727-2929 or by email at twojo@lansing.ks.us.


I made chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin bread.

Hope to see you there.

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

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Compromise is Not a Dirty Word

Outsiders – http://www.lemodesittjr.com/2015/10/13/outsiders/

A good quote from Modesitt’s post (click link above):

“… without all the social and physical ‘infrastructure’ provided by American society and government, few if any of those successes would have been possible. Just having clean water and decent sanitation provides a great advantage. Almost half the world doesn’t have one or the other.”

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Local Book Club Begins With Banned Book

Last month, my local library, the Lansing Community Library, sponsored a new adult book club.  About half a dozen people met initially to get to know each other, make book recommendations, decide on when to meet and what book to read first.  Since “Banned Book Week” occurs annually at the end of September, at our request, Director, Teri Wojtalewicz, recited a list published by the ALA of the top 100 banned books.  We determined that Sophie’s Choice by William Styron was a book that most of us had not read yet and thus became our first “Book of the Month” read.

On the second Thursday of October, we met again and gathered in a few new readers.  We had a lively discussion, as can be expected from a book that is challenged frequently for some of its content.  Those who had read it in their 20s and re-read it for the group felt like they were reading a different book from what they remembered.  I’ve had that same experience many times when returning to books I read from much earlier in my life.

Other readers mentioned and appreciated the use of music for the emotional apexes and nadirs Sophie experienced.  Another recurring comment involved the writing style of the author (or Stingo, whose life seemed to somewhat mirror the author’s protagonist), which involved the use of large unfamiliar words and incredibly long sentences.  Since I was/am reading the ebook edition, I took occasional advantage of the built-in dictionary available at the touch of a finger.

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