Chores and the Great Depression

Today’s post comes from Jacque.

I am the first to admit that my life growing up was, well, unusual. I came from thrifty, hardworking, somewhat eccentric people. My parents were the first people in their families to go to college and graduate with 4 year degrees. Mom and Dad grew up in the Great Depression on farms where their frugal parents survived by using things up, patching, repairing, and saving money. Every one pitched in to help with family chores. They passed this on in their parenting. We had chores. We saved money.

My siblings and I grew up bearing a lot of responsibility given our young ages. Mom worked outside the home as a teacher during a time when Mom’s usually stayed home to care for the family. Our Dad stayed home with us because his illness, Multiple Sclerosis limited his life.   This arrangement demanded that we all pitch in for the common good of our family. We helped with Dad’s care, with cooking, cleaning, and gardening.

Now, in our adulthood, my brother, sister and I gather and regale ourselves (and any one who will listen) with the tales of our growing up, our chores, our travel stories, and our family’s attempts to save a buck. We roar with laughter at our own stories.  Our kids, now grown-ups, too, are a bit tired of these stories.  So we always seek new victims to listen to them, like, say, Baboons!

This year for Mother’s Day, my brother, sister and I went out with our Mom, now 87 years old, for supper. We teased her a bit, which she loves.   We made 2 lists, reflecting our unusual life together: our chores and our family methods of stretching a penny.  Today you get List #1, Our Chores. Items 1-3 are pretty standard stuff. Item 4 starts to stretch the limits, of well, normal? Of reliving the Geat Depression

Our Chores

  1. Saturday mornings clean the house. I vacuumed, my sister dusted, my brother emptied the garbage and goofed off. NO CARTOONS. This really meant that the moment Mom went grocery shopping, we turned on the TV. Dad never told. My sister and I posted our brother at the window to watch for Mom’s car so we could turn it off in time to stay out of trouble. We cleaned AND watched cartoons.
  2. Set the table before a meal.
  3. Often we cooked the meal.
  4. Wash and dry dishes after each meal.
  5. Light dad’s pipe when requested. Knock the old ashes out, clean it with a pipe cleaner, refill.   Do not pack too hard or it won’t light easily, then the match will burn your finger.
  6. Make dad’s coffee in an old-fashioned stove top drip coffeemaker which loaded the grounds in the bottom of the upper part. We had to pour boiling hot water from the bottom carafe into the upper part which fed the hot water through the grounds back into the bottom carafe. I learned to do this at age 9. Pour the coffee. Put Dad’s straw in it and place it where he could drink it.
  7. When my diabetic Grandpa lived with us, it was my job to watch him for symptoms of insulin shock. If he showed symptoms, I ran to the refrigerator, poured a glass of orange juice and assisted him in getting it down his throat. (I was 9 years old at the time)
  8. Get dad his urinal, run it to the bathroom, empty it, rinse it, and flush.
  9. Gather food scraps and take them to compost pile.
  10. Operate washer and dryer. Fold clothes. “Sprinkle” clothes which would need ironing, then iron them.

This list looks like we were slackers compared to Mom’s list of childhood chores, which consisted of tasks such as milk cows, churn butter, clean out the barn, so it is all relative I guess. The Great Depression really did influence our experiences in the 1950’s and 60’s despite its long demise.

Did you re-experience the Great Depression in your childhood?

182 thoughts on “Chores and the Great Depression”

    1. The Depression hangs more heavily over me now than it did in my childhood work. Then it was labor; today it is emotional residues.

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  1. I didn’t experience this, i believe I am tol young. However I did have a “tough” childhood due to other events. I did lots of chores. I know I am who I am due to that and that makes me proud. I enjoyed reading your story very much.

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    1. As a child this just blended into the list–at that age I saw no difference. It was all just “torture,” except that dad was such a great guy that he made me glad to help him most of the time.

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  2. I had some chores as a kid, but not nearly so long a list. I took on cleaning the bathroom myself when my mom started buying a foam spray cleaner that was fun to play with while you scrubbed. I think my parents had the opinion (perhaps formed by being kids during the Depression) that kids should mostly be allowed to be kids, which meant playing and learning, not cleaning the rugs. We would get asked to help out ad hoc on things like help Dad clean the storm windows before they went up in the fall (I still use rumpled newspaper for that task the way Dad did). Spoiled? Yeah, probably a bit. And even though having staff to do stuff around the mansion would be grand, I suffer through as best I can. 🙂

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    1. Anna – my experience is similar to yours. My folks certainly remembered growing up in the depression, as I did hear about it, but I also did not have too many chores as a child. I do remember “sprinkling” though – there was a summer that my mom taught me to iron. Funny now that I think of it, that was the only summer I ever ironed. I’ll have to ask her about that.

      When I was in 9th grade we moved to Frontenac. That house had a small second floor w/ 2 bedrooms and a bathroom – a bathroom that my sister and I shared. That was when I started cleaning the bathroom.

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  3. I didn’t have many chores, but then, I was an only child. Mom, a model of efficiency, had the housework done long before I got home from school. I suspect that, because she grew up on a farm during the Depression, the only girl in a family of three sons, she wanted me to have the childhood she hadn’t, so I really had very few demands on me. My job was studying, and except for keeping my room tidy, anything I did around the house was “spending time with Mom” (and some covert household-management lessons), not work per se. I did have one special job, which was crawling under the tables to polish the legs, since I was the only one in the house flexible enough to do it. Best job, although a bit nerve-wracking, was helping clean the china closet once or twice a year–the cut glass and china were never touched the rest of the time, so it was a rare opportunity to admire them in the light.

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    1. That once or twice a year thing — spring and fall cleaning when everything gets washed — walls, ornaments, pictures, shelves, windows — everything in the rooms. Though I am not very disciplined about it, I still get the sense I should be doing it. Finally having the time and energy and am tackling the living room this week. (Time for “why am I (painting) the living room” Holly of Northfield?)

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      1. Cynthia, as my post below describes, we weren’t remotely as disciplined as it seems some families were. I can’t remember spring cleaning. Ever. When I dated after my divorce the most promising relationship ultimately failed because we had incompatible housecleaning cultures. That woman cleaned her home with ferocious energy twice a year, washing every wall and ceiling, powerwashing each rug until it was pure, scrubbing the fronts and backs of hanging art and the undersides of furniture. The floor of her bathroom was cleaner than my dinner plates. She vowed to purify every object “with as much surface area as a paperclip.”

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        1. I would love it if someone like that came in for fall cleaning then took her ocd self back to her own home. I did the front of the pictures, never thought of the backs….thanks for the tip! I had a clean freak exchange student for awhile, it was nice to be kept on task with weekly cleaning chores, but was relieved when she moved on to another host family and left me to my sloppy and slovenly self.

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  4. I don’t remember having chores, but I do remember the depression era ways of not wasting food. Scraping the butter paper and cleaning out the egg shells to get every bit. I might have learned to darn socks from my mother or grandmother. Spoiled rotten probably, but I still hate to see food go in the garbage or down the drain. Chickens and dogs help me to feel like I’m not wasting anything.

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    1. I still scrape the butter paper and egg shells – I have spatulas everywhere so as not to waste any bits in the bottom of the bowl. I don’t remember either of my parents being quite so careful, so maybe I picked it up watching my grandmas in their kitchens… (Or maybe it’s just me being my anal little self.)

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      1. One more butter paper scraper here!

        I have a huge number of spatulas and scrapers in my kitchen and I use them all the time. In fact, when I watch the Food Network or the Cooking Channel, I often think “why didn’t they get that last bit” when the chefs are emptying a bowl!

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        1. I once watched a former-baker friend mixing cake batter and had to fight the urge to nab the mixing bowl back out of the sink to scrape out all the batter that didn’t just pour out. (Also, I have been known to darn socks – I may not have had a ton of chores, but I did learn some good mending techniques from my mom.)

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      2. Scrape the butter paper then use the paper to butter the 9×13 pan. Yes I do.

        Also rinse out the can/jar and toss that in the sauce or something

        I was far too hungry as a grad student to tolerate food being wasted.

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  5. I had your chore list, Jacque, minus the healthcare. I don’t really remember spending time doing homework, although I surely must have done it.

    Good grades were expected, not rewarded.

    I had a soft life compared with my farming classmates.

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    1. That is so true–some of the farm kids stayed home in the autumn to assist with harvest. This was “illegal” but never challenged or prosecuted. Some farm kids rose at 5am and did chores before boarding the school bus for school.

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      1. I don’t remember kids missing school (my grandfather lived that though, and he only went to school through 6th grade), but before and after school chores for sure).

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        1. My father stopped at eighth grade. He was always a bit embarrassed about not having a high school education. He made sure I had a college education.

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  6. OT: been up much of the night but free of heavy pain. Had a burst of creativity. Developed an idea for a third book, if I can call them that, a collection of short stories.
    I also wrote a different sort of guest blog. When and if it appears, you can evaluate it.

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    1. I am thinking we need a blog of garden brag pictures. My flowers are glorious right now. I think some other ‘boons might have some late garden pix to post–Jim? VS? Renee? Anyone else? I could fill the post with pictures and no words.

      Anybody interested? You can email me pix and I can submit to Dear Leader.

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      1. Gosh – I feel like I’ve bragged enough this summer, but my sedum is in glorious bloom right now, so maybe I’ll send a photo of that.

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      2. My flowers are sort of shot but the eggplants, butternut squash, pole beans, and savoy cabbage look pretty good. I will e mail some photos this afternoon.

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        1. I overwintered mine last year in a pot…well, it’s still in the same pot but spent the summer on the deck. I plan to bring it in again for another winter. It got a little leggy and pale, but perked up in the sun in the spring and is now bigger than ever. Probably will have to cut it back this fall before finding a space inside.

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      3. there is a saying about when a mans garden goes to hell his life is in a mess too.
        my garden is taking it on the chin while i am trying to pull the rest together. hosta harvesting need to be arranged.

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    2. woo hoo
      see even pain has an upside.
      i am looking forward to the collection
      some of your best stuff comes in the sermon mode.
      like my favorite among that mode the everything you learned in kindergarten guy (mindfart)

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  7. Love these stories, Jacque. It sounds like you enjoy getting together with your sibs… nice that you enjoy the reminiscing. How often do you see them?

    My dad never grew a vegetable garden (not even tomatoes!) because he did so much weeding as a kid. I think my folks had an unspoken agreement to not dwell on what they experienced during the Depression, so I was oblivious to their hardships until I was an adult and started hearing stories.

    I’m seeing my mom today, and will ask her what she remembers about chores. There were seven of them, so you’d think they would have needed to corral them for some kind of work… but I’m not sure grandma was as organized as, say, your mom, Jacque. That took a fair bit of structure on her part!

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      1. i lived across the street form a rich guy when i bought my first house. he wouldnt let old stuff exist in his house. i had a garage sale and his wife came over to ask if she could sell her stuff in my sale. he wanted it out. reminded him of tough upbringing. he rode his motorcycle for therapy at dark. odd man…not a normal healthy person like yo and me. and im not to sure about you sometimes.

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    1. We see each other often, especially since Mom’s health has failed and she been housed first in my brother’s home, now in Memory Care. I just saw everyone 10 days ago for a birthday party for Mom’s 87th Birthday.

      In October, my sister and I are traveling to Philadelphia together with our husband’s for a 5 day genealogy binge to view a Quaker cemetery in Medford, New Jersey where the first Stratton to come to America is buried. She is here often now, as well, because her grandchildren live very near to my house.

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  8. Wow, compared to your family, ours was a loosie goosie freewheeling operation. My dad did the daddy stuff; my mom did the mommy stuff; the kids had short lists. We were organized enough to eat two meals a day together, but beyond that everyone was pretty free to do whatever pleased them. And in our family, we avoided formality like it was a disease. Nobody “set the table.” We just sat at a bar and shoveled the food in while my dad told stories.

    Our second home in Ames was an ugly old faux Victorian with a coal burning furnace. One of my jobs was to haul the clinkers out to the trash cans back by the alley. And I was expected to cut the grass, hurling my small body at a singularly clunky push mower whose blades were so dull they gummed the grass instead of biting it neatly off. I hated that machine with a white-hot passion that the decades have not diminished.

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    1. My line is “My mother missed her true calling as a Marine Corps Drill Sergeant.” Instead she was a teacher. Maybe they aren’t that different.

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    2. Funny – I only recall one meal a day. We had no set chores and very little structure. I used to be jealous of my friends whose homes seemed immaculate, lined up boots/coats, routines they had to keep to in their homes, and that somebody was definitely in charge.

      I too, like my mother before me, let my three kids grow up like wild weeds where family life was haphazard and mildly chaotic. I’ve always said that being 5′ tall means that I only clean 1/2 of my house. I was never taught to look at drapes, windowsills, cupboards, ceilings, walls, etc. I know they’re in great need of cleaning, but I’d never consider doing such work!

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  9. I still can’t leave anything unscraped-wasting food is a big sin and always weighs heavily on me. My parents grew up on farms in the depression and they both said they never went without and always had enough to eat and had good housing. My mom took a year off of high school to help her dad on the farm when he had problems with stomach ulcers. She worked hard on the farm and did more house cleaning than her sister, who helped out with the cooking. My mom was a perfectionist house keeper and never reallly made me do chores because she could always do them better. I remember her sprinking clothes.My dad said his dad didn’t work them like other dads did. Grandpa wanted his boys playing sports at school instead of slaving on the farm. I am afraid I was the same way with my children, and they had virtually no chores since I could do it much faster and better. To my great surprise, while neither really did much at home, both are great cleaners and cooks in their own places.. Both phone to tell me they are having “Dutch fits” and are cleaining like crazy. It really astounds me that daughter, who never so much as cleaned a bathroom at home or even helped out with the litter box, is changing catheters and helping toilet and bathe developementally disabled people. She loves her job.

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  10. My mother grew up during the Depression and was always frugal, but I don’t think her attitude about chores was tied to the Depression in any way. She grew up on a farm and there were always endless chores, regardless of what the economy was doing. She never wanted to have a garden in her adult life, and took advantage of as many conveniences as she could. She never expected a whole lot of my sister or me, except that we wash some dishes now and again, and do the occasional dusting in our bedrooms.

    My sister is the sort of person who is always current on her housework. The dishes never sit overnight, the beds are made every day without fail. I’ve always been pretty slapdash about housekeeping.

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  11. Young Adult has had chores from an early age. I think as a single, working parent I needed the help! To this day she still does chores willingly. Just last night she said “I’ll write down the chores I need to do tomorrow and then you can add to it.” Amazing.

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    1. you better find some woood to knock on
      reminds me of the year i wrote about my son the jerk and then i thought about the previous years christmas card and went back and sure enough i had written how he looked up to me and was so happy with everything … then 1 ear later. the child form hell
      enjoy it while youve got it. she might turn on you. start bringing home strange dogs or something

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  12. Good morning. My parents were both the first in their families to go to college and they grew up with very thrifty life styles much as was the case with your parents, Jacque. When I was young our family had a fairly large garden and my mother filled the shelves in a small room in the basement with canned goods from the garden. My mother was a school teacher before her marriage and never went back to work after she married my dad. However, my brother and I did help her with house work including some house cleaning chores and doing dishes.

    I didn’t watch cartoons on TV because we didn’t have a TV when I was young. I did watch some TV at a friend’s house. I provided my dad with some help on remodling an old house that he bought and fixed up. Dad did almost all of the remodeling himself without very much help from me because he was also working full time at a job and did’t have time to show me how to do work that he could do much faster himself. When I was older he designed and almost completely constructed a new house for our family. My brother and I were old enough to provide him with considerable help building the new house.

    I’m not sure that my family’s thrifty nature came completely from my parents living through the depression. I’m sure their experiences during the depression played a role in their money saving ways. However, my mother grew up on a small dairy farm and my dad grew up in small family operated cheese factories. I think that both of them learned to do chores and be thrifty when they were very young.

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  13. Just a little. My mother was raised in a box car on a Northern Pacific railroad siding, so I guess I’ve learned how to sleep where ever I lay my head. I can sleep through any noise or disturbance. I’m about to take a nap rig…..h…….t…..no……w………………………

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      1. I never plucked a chicken. I just watched it done. I render lard in the slow cooker. It is really easy to do. Husband got 20 lbs of pork fat from a small meat processing plant in Bismarck.

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  14. i grew up the opposite of the recession kid. i am the son of a guy who was reaised as the 5th child during the depression and never got new anything so he always felt guilty. my mom had other ideas and came form a house of tea parties and finger sandwiches. i really liked her mom but she was a bit like thurstons howell III wife on gilligans island. we had chores but not many. mowing garbege weeds shoveling but no big deal. we would get creative and assign a room to each kid with a check list and then shift so you got the room back 4 weeks later. it was ok. my kids have no idea of work or depression. the depravity of not getting the new i phone when it comes out makes them sad. i could kill them. my child raising skills are about where i wnat them to nbe now. i think i am ready to begin. find me a new wife and i can do a tony randle, david letterman and have a kid who will be 20 whne im 80 but id better hurry. 81 is just around the corner

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    1. Are you taking another wife soon? Polygamy? Polyamoury? You could not pay me enough to have another child at this age by any means. More grandchildren? yes. Because then I spoil them and return them to their parents.

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    1. OK, here’s the deal: just got new info – I may have a conflict on the 10/25. Does any baboon want to be “back-up” in case this thing materializes? I’ll know within a week. (Our chorus may have a choral gig in a single Guthrie production, don’t know which date yet.)

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  15. Having lived through the depression, you would think that my parents would have a fairly deep point of view on the inequities that continue be a problem in our country. Instead they embraced the conservative approach of the Republican party embracing the American dream while ignoring it’s short comings. However, they didn’t impose their politics on me. It seems they had some doubts about their conservative ideals and were willing to give me the freedom to go in a different direction.

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      1. mine voted for nixon becuse my moms dad was a republican and my dad had aspirations of becoming a corporate partner.
        looking back they couldnt believe they ever did that.

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  16. The Depression was particularly hard on my Dad, as the second oldest of 11 children. My mother was on a farm, I think, so her family wasn’t as bad off. Occasionally, we would we would hear stories from my father about how hard it was, but usually he just didn’t like to talk about it. Typically, it was short comments about breaking the ice on the water bowl to wash up on winter mornings, 3-4 kids sharing a bed, never certain of their next meal, walking 2 miles (or more) to school, etc. Kind of sad stuff he rarely elaborated on.

    There were some funny stories as well, like helping his dad make and deliver moonshine. This information usually came up when we complained about anything — dad always had a hard luck story way worse than anything we could imagine, so us kids always lost those battles.

    With 7 kids in my family, we had a big garden and lots of chores. Not as many as Jackie, but enough. My mother was not a good housekeeper and she was a lousy cook, but she and dad were loving, kind and caring parents who sacrificed a lot for us. Somehow, they managed to send all of us to private and/or Catholic schools and half of us got college degrees. I believe my dad got a degree or lots of college classes later in life.

    I sometimes hated how frugal my parents were by necessity. Wasting food is a crime to me and recycling is a citizen’s duty, but I will spend money to purchase nice quality items.

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    1. Hate car buying, with a passion. Love our last car purchase five years ago, now paid for, but everything about the salesperson and the dealer was sleaze.
      Glad you got it done. May it be perfect.

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    2. Congrats. I just completed the opposite dreaded major chore – sold my old Saturn. Young Adult decided last month that she really wanted a newer car (she’s been driving my Saturn since her car got totaled in January). I put her in charge of selling it – told her she could have any money she made for it above $1000. Title transfer this morning at AAA. Whoopee!

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        1. have her take the profits and save it in her new car flipping business. pay 750 sell it for 1250. after putting 50 dollars worth of stuff into it. have her look into it. could be a real deal.

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  17. Rearing three kids while single and in college, I put way too much on them. My daughter, in particular, got the brunt of this. One of her chores was to empty the “disher”. She hated it. Now, all grown up with five kids, she never uses her dishwasher, just stores pots and pans in it. She has a double sink, but one side is tiny with a tiny dish rack in it. Every meal’s dishes are hand washed and stacked there. She even does this when having 15 people to dinner!

    I guess she’s still PTSD from me making her empty the disher all those years.

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  18. OT: If anyone wants to be a beta reader for novel #2 “The Deer Stand: Everything I’ve Never Done” let me know. About 300 pages.

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    1. How about this for a question: It is a beautiful early fall day – sunny, a bit warm but not hot – perfect for things like apple picking or walking at the Arboretum. What is your favorite fall activity?

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    1. I have about 6 years to go till my class celebrates its 45th. I am holding out for 50. I’m not sure how many of us will be left by then. But probably a small enough group that it won’t seem so overwhelming.

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      1. i come from a class of a thousand and we are down to about 50 for the 40th 5 or 6 i enjoyed the heck out of seeing the rest were not my buds back in the vw hippy day. good to see em but no common stories. the ones that have the shared stories with are the fun ones

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        1. My class was about 170 kids. There have been reunions nearly every 5 years since graduation…this was the first one for me. High school doesn’t hold many pleasant memories but last night was fun. Recognized most of the women and about half of the men….good thing we had name tags with our grad pic on it. About 50 attended…..was great to talk with a number of classmates I hand’t seen since graduation.

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    2. oh i meant to watch the lynx. i like that team. sorry to hear the saints went down. twins need to pull it togethrer for one moore month vikings are ready basketball starts in a month. ahh sports glad i dont get sucked into hockey

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  19. Went out for breakfast, went to farmers market, stopped at quite a few garage sales (there seems to be one on every block this weekend), listened to a Twins game, inspected basement for dampness after very heavy rains on Thursday, picked up prescriptions, another Twins game coming up. Thinking about what to cook for dinner.

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  20. Busy busy today. Gym, library, DMV, two appointments at the house w/ tradesfolk, a boatload of errands. Tonight I’ll be puppy sitting (I’ve traded dog sitting for the next five Saturday nights for leaf raking).

    Tomorrow I have to cut the grass – it’s like a jungle out there!

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  21. ebay
    made food, went to hear son perform at macphail as alumni of the thing my daughter performs with now as opening day of fall quarter. went to farmers market twins, shopped cooked went to golf but was turned away and came hoe to cook and am taking son to the new johnny depp movie on whitey bulger at 7 . what a day huh? glorious out.

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  22. Back to Blevins’ Book Club. I am also not available on October 25 – will be at rehearsal with BiR and Lisa at the Guthrie!! So exciting.

    I don’ think we had actually decided on the 25th. So what if we did another day? LIke the 18th? Or the 11th?

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    1. i seem to remember the 11th coming up before because i remember it wasnt 911 it was 10.11.
      im either available or not and it doesnt matter much one way or the other so pick the one you like, no vikings game the 11th makes it aplus for me but i have two trips this month to get in and i will do them when it fits. i am enjoying the amy tan and looking ofrward to getting the audio because i remember hearing amy do a wonderful job of her own storytelling , voice inflection and charachter presentation brought it to life for me in a whole new way.
      judy blume is fun

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  23. Just checking in:
    Yes tim, I did indeed get an Accord, hybrid so my green little soul feels happy. Test-driving it felt like I have always had that car, so that is a good thing, I figure.

    Nice to have a car I feel in charge of rather than the other way around. Pick it up tomorrow after the rust-proofing is done, because, Minnesota.

    I don’t name cars as a rule, but that may be because I have pretty much hated every other car I have ever had.

    This weekend has been mostly about striving for some scheduling sanity.

    Next weekend we go to the Milaca Megameet. s&h will be in a race with maybe 230 other guys if last year is anything to go on. I’m told you can feel the ground shake when they go thundering past at the beginning.

    Should be exciting.

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      1. Not sure that bodes well, as one of our last requests on TLGMS was for Accordions from Hell, and it could not be found (cue the sinister music).

        For the record, I was hoping for a Civic hybrid, but it was not to be had.

        Happily the few salespeople I dealt with were quite pleasant. The ones who felt their job was to make me feel demeaned by the amount I was willing to pay for the car I did not deal with. Not entirely sure why the one woman felt it was any of her affair why my price was what it was.

        The guy I ended up with was nice and respectful.

        To be honest, if it were just me, I’d probably chuck the whole car ownership thing altogether, but it’s not just me, and I am not in a position to get a car I could love at the moment, so I got something that serves the purpose.

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        1. For the most part, that’s been my car ownership experience, too. I do come to appreciate my cars over time if they don’t cost me too much. The last purchase, though – my 2002 VW Jetta wagon – I’ve been quite delighted with. I spent much more than I ever have before, but I think I got a pretty good deal. He came with a name: Freddie. I hope to have Freddie for a long, long time.

          I hate buying cars with a passion.

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    1. Congrats to you and the hybrid Accord. Glad for your sake that it’s done.

      Kelly has got her last two cars from the same saleswoman. And she was really nice and no pressure. Even sent Chocolate Chip cookies– which is enough to cause me to go see her when my time for a different car comes up.

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    2. i have a 2005 accord hybred. i have replaced brakes and oil and tires. 300 000 miles so far. it should work for you. there are 2 computer chip issues. one with the milage one with the stereo. go to richfield bloomington honda for honda only issues never never never to hopkins.

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  24. Evening —

    Thanks for all the stories this past week. I’ve been reading, just haven’t had much time.

    Chores–
    My folks were born in 1925 and 1926. Both on farms. Since they grew their own food and fixed everything anyway it doesn’t seem like it was much of an inconvenience at the time. Dad says his dad was loaning money to others and hiring men to work.
    Mom’s family was considered ‘rich’ in the neighborhood. I don’t recall Mom saying much about it. I’ll have to ask her.
    I was always outside helping Dad with whatever was going on. As I got older my chores included bedding down the calves on Saturday mornings and helping milk in the evenings.
    Dad never wanted us to do chores before school so I didn’t have to do that.
    But I did have chores after school.
    I helped mom in the house too. More with cooking than anything else.

    This weekend’s activities included providing smoke and CO2 fog for the homecoming football game at the college.
    Then helping the two young men I hired put steel on the corn crib roof and sides.

    I’m exhausted. I need to go back to work for a break!

    Speaking of which, I’ll be in a yellow Penske rental truck headed to Maple Grove tomorrow. Wave if you see me.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It does. A big, fancy F350 wrapped in school colors and decor. Plus a lift gate! And fun to drive.
        But I have more stuff to haul than fits in there.

        Like

  25. We spent this morning from 7-12 in church for the installation of our new associate pastor-he of the dreadlocks. We played bells at both services and rehearsed with the choir and then went to a congregational picnic. Napped for several hours. Husband is making Malaysian beef for supper. I made Spanakopita from this really wonderful Bulgarian phyllo dough we picked up in Fargo. It is twice as big as the Athens Phyllo in the grocery store. It will be great for strudel.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. The phyllo is from Sarajevo-Jufka za Baklava. Here is the recipe:

          3 bunches of well cleaned spinach, leaves finely chopped
          10 green onions
          1/2 c. chopped parsley
          6 eggs
          1 1/4 lb feta
          1/2 pound ricotta
          1/2 c grated parmesan or kefalotyri cheese
          2 T. milk
          1t. dried oregano

          1 lb of phyllo
          1c. of butter, melted with 1/2 c. olive oil

          Combine spinach, onion, parsley. in large bowl and toss well. Beat eggs in medium bowl and add cheeses, milk, oregano and freshly ground pepper.

          Preheat oven to 375. Butter 9X13 baking pan. Reserve 8 phyllo sheets for top layer. Place each remaining sheet in pan, one at at time, brushing each sheet with butter, and stacking in pan, turning slightly so corners fan out around the pan. Pour spinach mixture over phyllo. fold excess phyllo over filling one sheet at at a time , brushing each with butter as you work. Place reserve sheets on top, one at at time, and brush with butter. Fold down the sides of the pan as necessary. Make 5-6 slits through top of pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake until golden and crisp, about 50 minutes.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Morning Clyde–must have been a glitch. I thought you said you had one. I have not gathered my pictures yet and organized them to mail. I am glad to hear it is not me who held important Baboon Business.

      Merrily blogging away…

      Like

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