Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Ideas needed

To those friends and family members of Auntie Nettie who have not given her your Christmas ideas yet, be warned. Please get me a list soon, or you will end up with coal under the tree. Or worse yet, something like this:

Proud to be American Chias ... Washington, Lincoln, Obama, and the Statue of Liberty? (What the heck?)

For a complete list of what gift you might get, please go here.

Photo of the Day - Wing(ed) Chairs

Hudson Valley Antiques, December 2009
presented without comment or context

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Recipes from Ollie J -- Ham and Cheese Molded Salad

Like many of the recipes posted before, this is going up purely as a footnote to culinary history. While found in Grandma's box, I can pretty much guarantee that a) I've never eaten it, nor b) do I think that she ever made it. [And C) EWWWW ... GROSS!] I can honestly say that this is one of the things that I'm most grateful for this holiday season ... that molded meat salads have gotten out of the culinary rotation.

Ham and Cheese Molded Salad

1/4 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tall can A&P Evaporated Milk (1 2/3 cups)

Place water in a custard cup. Sprinkle gelatin over top and let stand 5 minutes to soften. Place custard cup in a small saucepan in which there is a small amount of water. Heat over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Meanwhile, mix ham, cheese, celery, pickle relish, and mustard together in a medium size mixing bowl. When gelatin is dissolved, stir into the ham mixture, then blend in the A&P Evaporated Milk. Ladle into a 4-cup mold, or 6 individual molds. Chill until set, about 3 to 4 hours. Makes 6 servings. 2/3 cup each.

Can you imagine? It'd be funny to write to the address in Manitowoc, WI to see who wrote back. [Apparently, at one time, a manufacturer of polyurethane foam products for the automotive, bedding, furniture and packaging industries.]

Also, did you know that the A&P that some of us on the East Coast shop at, was/is formally known as The Great A&P Tea Company? See? You've learned something today.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Letters from Ollie J - Nov. 27, 1994

27 Nov 1994

[The Farm
Pikeville, NC]

Dear [Granddaughter],

Thanks for the information and letter. Sounds like you will be a busy person. So glad you like your work.

Hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving Day.

I am staying with a lady I grew up with. She had a broken leg 3 yrs ago and the rod broke so to hospital 9 Nov and had another one put in. So needed some one to watch over and help her. I decided to help out. So not sure how long before I go home to stay. She is doing fine but takes time. She can use walker but best not to be alone. Not a lot to do and not to[sic] far from home 1 ½-2 miles.

Rainy Cool dreary day. I want to sleep. But decided should get this in mail.

Inclosed[sic] find your Christmas Check. Hope you can find something you like.

Hope the lady I’m staying with get well enough so I can go home and quilt a quilt made for my Bishops wife. It’s a double wedding ring. Took a while to put it together. Pretty though. Had hoped to get it finished before Christmas but not sure now.

Take Care but do keep in touch,

Love you


I feal[sic] fine. Did get leaves out of my yard. But Leaves weren’t all off tree so yard is like leafy Lane Oh well can get them up later if wind don’t blow them away.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Whether your holidays will include
crafts therapy, turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce and stuffing,
movie watching, or feasts with an international flair,
I hope your plates and cornucopias overflow with Good and Plenty.

Happy Thankgiving from Auntie Nettie's Attic.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Recipes from Ollie J -- Corny Cookies

One of the weirder things that ended up back at my house courtesy of the folks not moving all their food storage was a very vintage 5 lb. bag of Washington Stone Ground White Self-Rising Corn Meal that had to have been in the freezer for over 20 years. Even stranger? The fact that I already had a half-used 24 oz. bag of medium grind corn meal in my own pantry.

Guess which relative we both have in common who had a recipe in her box which could use up corn meal AND the odd bit of cream of tartar that we all have but never use? God bless my Southern granny who many many years ago, clipped a recipe, taped it to an index card, and then probably never made these.

Corny Cookies

1/2 cup shortening (used butter-flavored Crisco stick)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg
2 cups Cattail Plain Corn Meal* (used Bob's Red Mill Organic medium grind)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon creme (cream) of tartar
1/2 teaspoon soda (baking)
1/2 teaspoon salt

I spiked this with extra cinnamon, a dash of cloves and a dash or two of nutmeg.)
pecan halves (if desired) (these were actually No. Carolina pecans from The Farm)

Mix together thoroughtly the shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together anad add to sugar mixture and sitr well. Mixture will be stiff. Cover and chill dough 30 minutes or longer. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet two inches apart. Top with a pecan half if desired. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from baking sheet to cool.

This recipe made almost 2.5 dozen cookies. These could be considered "savory" biscuits, rather than the sweet cookies that Americans are used to. Since I used a medium grind corn meal, it's probably grittier than one would prefer. The extra flavoring in the shortening and the extra spices probably helped -- it's nutty (probably from the nutmeg and cloves). Edible, yes -- but I really don't know how these are going to go over to anyone but the most adventureseome foodies in the office. We'll see. Maybe next time I'll use corn flour or the Washington Corn Meal instead.

LATER: I didn't actually end up taking these into the office. I can report that many a pigeon, sparrow, and starling enjoyed squabbling over these on the Attic's windowsill.

While there is a flour made out of cattails (yes, like these from the New York Botanical Gardens), this refers to a defunct No. Carolinian/Southern brand of flour. Thanks to this author for doing the legwork.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No Place Like Home - Part 2 of many

Note: Today's blog post was actually first written in July, but I wasn't allowed to post it until earlier this month. Then I delayed posting it this month for one reason or another. In fact, I seriously rethought posting it at all. After much thought, I decided I needed to put it out there into the Blogophere. If this is a loose record of my life, then I need to stop censoring myself or caring about possible feedback. This is a certain way I was feeling back in July 2010 after some news was broken to me. By now I'm at a different place emotionally, but more on that later.

When does your childhood really end?

For some people it is over when they leave the nest, go to college, or get their own place. For others, it may end when they marry and become parents themselves.

For all that we become grownups, moving out, starting lives and/or families of our own, I believe that there’s still a part of you that hangs on to your childhood, maintaining a connection to the past beyond family relations – a link to a place, just as much as people. A place to go for comfort and security, a refuge to go in case of emergencies, where you go for the holidays -- that place called your childhood home.

But what happens when you can’t go “home” again? If one day, sometimes without warning, the bond has to be broken.

Your connection to the building you grew up in evolves, just like you. The color of the walls may change. The landscaping may change. Furniture and d├ęcor may be replaced or modernized. Remodeling may take place, but the essence -- the hominess is still there.

You may leave for college, and your childhood bedroom may be changed into a guest room or an office. However, you could still come home for vacations or holidays and have a place to stay. You may move to another apartment, and need to store your stuff in the family basement or garage. The neighborhood could change for good or bad, the town could seem more or less urbane/rural than you remembered, but you could still come “home” and feel a connection, in your familiar, safe haven.


Until it’s stripped of the essence of you and your family, boxes packed, painting neutralized, the rooms left bare, or worse, the house sold to another family. Then it’s not YOUR home any more. Doesn’t that mean that last link to your childhood is completely irrevocably broken?

It’s like losing an anchor. It leaves you adrift. Unmoored.

If “Home is where the heart is,” where is your heart when your anchor is uprooted?

What then?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bach from the Dead - Action Figure Fascination

Hey there, The Shushing Librarian here.

Auntie Nettie's on a blogging break, so I thought I'd guest post for a day or two.

I saw this as I was browsing the Web for information. I now have a huge crush on this Bach Action Figure. So talented .. but keep that guy away from me. Do you know how many kids he had? His poor poor wives. (seriously ... those poor, poor women!)

According to the cnn.com ireport page, this is a stop motion music video by Ryan Gruzen. Bach from the Dead features an original music track, hundreds of still pictures, and hours in Adobe After Effects and Photoshop, and was inspired by all kinds of films and other artists. For more information, visit here.

Stay tuned for more posts from me, The Shushing Librarian -- who is definitely NOT as talented as this Bach or Ryan person.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stepping Away

Pardon our blog silence.
I'm just stepping away for a bit.
Busy. Blog-blocked. Bamboozled with a bug.

Be back ... by and by.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Recipes from Ollie J -- Peanut Fudge Candy

On my most recent trip to Connecticut, I managed to snag Grandma's recipe box from Mom before she packed it away for relocation in her new Western domicile. I had to promise that I wouldn't keep it, but nothing was said about when exactly I had to give it back to her. In the meantime, I going to keep poking through it to find gems, like this one;

Peanut Fudge Candy
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup syrup (Karo)
1 1/4 cup dry milk
1 1/4 cup confectionery sugar (powdered)

Mix all ingredients well, then make little ball and press to 1/4 inch thickness.

The first time I perused recipes in Grandma's box (last fall), I passed right over this one. I don't know about you, but dry milk isn't something that just everyone keeps in their pantry these days. I know I didn't have any, or powdered sugar either. That is, until Mom decided that it would be smarter not to pay the freight charges to haul part of her food storage back to Utah and instead bequeath a copious assortment of dry and canned goods to me. (50 pounds of white flour anyone?!) Two of the vintage '70s Tupperware containers (in bright yellow, thank goodness, not avocado green) that ended up in my larder just so happen to be full of .... you guessed it, confectionery sugar and dry milk. Go figure. Along with 4 large jars of creamy peanut butter ... I guess I was really supposed to try and make this fudge candy.

[later that afternoon]

Well, I was GOING to make this, but when I opened the container with the dry milk in it, the whiff I got was so FOUL I couldn't stand it. A little unscientific research via a search engine backed up my initial inclination to discard that stuff and bleach the unholy heck out of the Tupperware.

I will attempt to make these later.

Dry milk smells GROSS! Sour and foul, and JUST GROSS! YELCH!

Friends don't let friends -- let their dry milk go bad!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coming Soon, to a Fine Arts Theater near you

"I am coming: wait for me ...
Where are you?"

The latest film adaptation of Jane Eyre

Directed by indie filmmaker Cary Fukunaga, featuring Mia Wasikowska as Jane; Dame Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax; Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester; Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers; and an almost unrecognizable Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Reed

I already like this so much better than some of the other cinematic adaptations of this novel (ie. the 2006 BBC miniseries version), so what does that tell you?

One slight problem? I recently read Jane Slayre (a genre mashup ala Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and as I was watching, I kept waiting for the vampires and zombies to make their appearance. Whoops.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

In appreciation of those who led the way, those who didn't make it home, and those veterans of battlefields, barracks, ships, subs, planes, platoons, helicopters and Humvees, and most especially those families who sacrificed so much along with their service members, we cannot say it enough:

Thank you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No Place Like Home

Auntie Nettie will be away for a few days.
She's "leafing" town and heading "home" to visit the folks, friends, and some of the old stomping grounds.
It's going to be a "berry" bittersweet weekend in ye quaint Connecticut as Auntie Nettie passes down Memory Lane.
She anticipates that more than these kinds of teardrops will fall.
Thanks for visiting. We'll* be back after the moon travels through the nightsky a phase or two.

* Auntie Nettie and The Shushing Librarian

Musical Interlude

And now, in the immortal words of Monty Python,

It's time for something completely different!

We present: Pagagnini

Thanks to J for sending me the link. Who says classical music is boring?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Bro!

Happy Birthday, once again, to the biggest, er, I mean, older of my two younger brothers.

What a chip off the old block you've become:

A loving son and husband,
(I see that sardonic smirk!)
the family man, proud papa,
a hands-on teacher and leader,
and playful loving uncle,
But to me bro, you'll still always be that little kid who opens birthday and Christmas cards with a shake and a mercenary gleam in his eyes. I wish I could say the birthday check was in the mail. How about a rain check instead;
If I buy the steaks, you grill them?

Happy Birthday bro. I'm still so proud of you, and miss you, in spite of everything.


Letters from Ollie J - Nov. 3, 1991

This would have been my sophomore year of college, about mid-terms, so I was probably beginning to stress out, and trying to do too much, as usual.

Thanks to Grandma Ollie and Grandpa Jack I was able to attend an out-of-state, private, four-year, undergraduate liberal arts college, and, with the addition of Mom and Dad's sacrificing, generous financial aid packages that included work study jobs and merit scholarships, to graduate with only about $6,000 in student loans. Which is remarkable, really, considering that I'm still paying off grad. school.

We were all raised to take our education seriously, and, knowing how hard the grandparents and parents worked to pay for it, we didn't take it for granted. Throw in the guilt in knowing that Grandpa Jack was surely keeping an eye on me from beyond the Pearly Gates, well, let's just say, I didn't skip too many classes and still feel badly about getting a B- in my first English course my freshman year, (though I deserved it), this many years later.

3 Nov 1991

[The Farm
Pikeville, NC]

Dear GrandDaughter,

I am at home been here all afternoon. Getting a few things straightened out (Bills) – Tithing – light- paper man)

Uncle Hyrum and I went to Church and had almost a family reunion. Old friends had returned for a visit after 14 years. Lived in our ward 2-2 ½ years. They buried a little boy while in Goldsboro named Todd. He was a sweet child and very sick. Can’t recall what they called his sickness. We had a good Testimony meeting. They shaired[sic] theirs with us.

It has been quite a Cool to Cold day here and rained lightly all afternoon. Yes I have a fire in heater. Feals[sic] good

Have been busy at Temple – as we went up Tuesday. Worked two days and did sessions. Thursday did what was ask to do. Friday was a little busier. More people came and Saturday too.

Plan to work till or through 14 Dec 1991 and come home for a change. Don’t want to be on icy roads during the winter. Not sure when we will return to the Temple as Temple workers.

Took paper with me to answer your nice and welcomed letter. No didn’t find the time to do so.

Sounds like you have a busy life. Not over loading yourself are you? No need to cause a nervous break down. It causes to[sic] many Problems. Core Credit Class? Not firmillia[sic] with it. Decissions[sic] are always around. Stay in tune with the Holy Spirit and you will be helped in many ways. Hope you are getting church meetings in. That’s important too.

So glad you like or Love school and that too makes it easer[sic] to do.

Tell me about some of your friends. Yes there are all kinds. Good & Bad. Sad and Happy.

My work at temple surely has helped me. And Learn or meet many people from many places. I Love them and learn from them. Things of great worth.

Pray for inspiration about a job and where. The Lord wants to help us help our selves but we should humble our selves and ask him if our decisions are right.

I’m wondering if I should stop my work at temple and give others a chance to learn to Love the work there. I have had many years at it now and know can’t do as well as when I began.

Oh I feal[sic] farely[sic] good most of time for a Old grandma.

Yes “growing up” is hard. Adjusting from a young girl to a young adult. Many decissions[sic] which affect all our life are to be made. And shouldn’t be made in hast[sic] but with a lot of thought.

It’s hard for Mom & Dad to watch you group up. Maybe even let you make mistakes so you can grow there from. So don’t be to[sic] hard on them. Even stay close so Love can grow one to another.

Glad to know to where you are working. Hope you love it to[sic]. A chance to get to know People too.

Who is your room mate this year?

… you say Thanks for my help. So glad am in a posittion[sic] to help some. Parents – grandparents or others can help financially[sic] but you can make it work for good or waist[sic] it. It’s mostly up to you. But GrandPa would say you got what it takes to make it work so go after it. Honey he surely did love you. And he left some of the money you are using for your education and could even be watching you as you work – with Love and Admiration.

Take care of yourself and God bless you in your studies and work. I Pray always

With Love


Monday, November 1, 2010

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2010: Part 4

I was updating the inventory list (and by extension old blog posts) the other day and realized that I'd done another 40 or so objects since the last Merchandise update. Since I'm either donating, gifting, or selling these sometimes before I know it, I thought I'd better update before the menagerie began to strangle me. (oy, the puns ...) .

Plus, the annual Holiday Boutique is in about a month, so I thought I better let some of the out-of-state people see what was available in case they wanted to have me put stuff aside for them (YO! CHICAGO! I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU!)

If you want to check out other projects, I finally just added a separate link to the Friends, Family, and Favorites on the right side of the blog template. Go to Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise and everything that's been tagged should show up.

#101-114: Caps for Charity
(no photo, not available - Donated to Caps for Good)

#115 & 116:
Creamy Lacey Spiral Scarves
#117: Creamy Short Scarf
(as of 12/10 not available, gifted)
#118: Cream Bear with Button Butt
(no longer available)
#119 & 120: Squares for Warm Up America/Yarn Bomb at Maker Faire
(not available, go here for the whole story)
#121 & 122: Squares for Warm Up America/Yarn Bomb at Maker Faire
(not available)
#123: Square for Warm up America/Yarn Bomb at Maker Faire
(not available)
#124: Cream Bear with Scarf
(as of 10/2011, no longer available)
#125 & 126: Pink Lacey Spiral Scarves
#127: Triangular Metallic Yarn earrings, silver (to be, still need hooks)
#128: Triangular Metallic Yarn earrings, multi (to be, still need hooks)
#129: Floral Metallic Yarn earrings (to be, still need hooks)
#130: Black Spiral "Changes" Scarf (see below for examples)
(no photo, not available, gifted)

Sunset Spiral "Eclipse" Scarf (see below for color swatch)
(no photo, not available, gifted)
#132: Black Spiral "Changes" Scarf (see below for color swatch)
(no photo)
#133 & 134: Purple Lacey Spiral Scarves
#135: Sunset Spiral "Eclipse" Scarf
(no photo, as of 12/2011, no longer available)

Black Spiral "Changes" Scarf
#137: Black Spiral "Changes" Scarf (slightly wider spiral)
#138: Purple Spiral Scarf
#139: Cream Bear with Black Button Eyes and nose
(as of 12/2011, no longer available, gifted)
#140: Cream Bear with Brown Button Eyes and Nose
(as of 8/2012, no longer available, to be a Toy Society toy)
#141-145: Pack of Petite Piglets
(As of 7/11, #141-143, #144 no longer available; as of 08/11 #145 no longer available)
#146: Roly Poly Heifer
(as of 12/2011, no longer available, gifted)
#147: Roly Poly Pig
(as of 08/11, no longer available)
#148: Roly Poly Pig

If you see something that interests you, please contact me.

Prices and current availability upon request.