Friday, December 31, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

One hundred years ago someone sent this goofy little postcard expressing their wish for a happy 1911.  At first, I missed the message of the piggies' tails but caught on in a little bit.  So on the eve of the arrival of the year 2011, I wish you not only a happy PFF but a healthy, happy, peaceful 2011.  And to our hostess , Beth,, a big thank you!  (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Pictures of Some of the Past

This is the full picture that I have been using in the header for this blog for the holidays,  and it is of the living room of my grandparents, Dan and Maggie Pearce, sometime in the early 1900's - probably twenty or more years before I was born.  They still had the piano and victrola when I was a little kid and woud go down to stay with them from time to time - some of my very favorite memories. 

In this day and age and for many years gone by, there are many, many pictures taken at Christmas, other holidays and family gatherings.  (I will say that the Pearce family did take a lot of  pictures over the years and that is the reason for this blog!)  However, there is not a single picture anywhere of any Christmas when I was a child growing up from early childhood until the time I was married.  There are many memories but nothing to look at where our family is shown,  a tree can be seen, old gifts recalled - a complete lack of documentation.   I have quite a few pictures of Christmases with our kids although not nearly as many that are taken in this time of digital cameras  and unbelievable technology.  Taking wonderful pictures with a phone blows my mind.  I was born just before the big depression and my father was out of work for a long time.  My parents always struggled with the lack of funds so we were not showered with a lot of gifts as some of the young ones are in this day and age.  Regardless, I have lots of lovely memories of Christmas when I was growing up.  I just wish there were actual pictures to look at.   (Click to enlarge)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Here is a sweet little post card to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  
The backs of the cards are really quite plain but what I like about this next one is

Santa looks kind of ornery and he's just going to toss that pretty little dollie down that old chimney! 
 I think the poor little thing looks frightened!  What a cute card.  Wonder what Fritz thought of it.

I am trying to set this up to post all by itself on Friday and I think I will be able to.   
Again, Merry Christmas and Happy PFF.  Thank you, Beth, at for being our hostess.  Hope Santa fills your stocking with lots of good old postcards!!! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

From Old Catalogs

 I believe these pictures are from a 1942 Spiegel Christmas catalog.  The first one reminds me of the Christmas I got one of the chenille robes similar to the one pictured.  It was so cozy and I loved it.  I might have been in the eighth grade.  We just didn't get lots and lots of gifts like most of the kids do today nor were there nearly as many "things" for us to wish to find under the tree.  It is overwhelming what is out there under the name of toys anymore. 

Here is a page from the same catalog - girls toys centered around dolls, buggies, play teasets, etc. All the simple things. I remember Santa bringing our daughter, Sherry, a "Nurse Nancy" outfit and bag with a stethoscope, thermometer, pills, etc. - oh, and glasses! We all took turns that day being "sick" so Nurse Nancy could administer healing to us. I think the only picture I have of that is in a little old home movie. She was so serious about her job. That was in the early 1950's.

Some more of the simple toys from back in the 40's when this catalog was published.  What a different life back then.  It would be nice if we could recapture some of the simplicity - have the good parts of then and now together.  Actually,  only older people knew how it was then - and "right now" will be the "back then" for the young ones today.  So there you go!  (Click to enlarge)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Three Sisters

Bill, my son,  recently got some pictures of Ann, his wife, when she was a little girl from Ruby, her mom.  Here is one that is just right for this time of year!  Ann is in the middle with her older sister, Jane, and younger sister, Martha, beside her.  Their doggie sleeps on the hearth.  Her name may have been Penny but I could be entirely wrong.  The fourth stocking?  The had a new little sister, Marilyn, who is much younger.  I don't know what year she was born, but she was sixteen when Bill and Ann, started dating.  The snowmen in the hoops are so representative of the times back then and Ruby loved to do sewing, crafting, and many of the things I did, also.  In fact, Ruby and Bob were married the same day and year that we were - September 4, 1949 - and we both lived in Chillicothes - Ray and I in Illinois and they lived in Missouri.  They also square danced.  I would say we have a lot in common.   (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sherry, Bill and their Snowman

I love this picture.  Doesn't it kind of remind you of "The Christmas Story" where the kids are all bundled up in their snowpants and jackets?  I really think Sherry and Bill had some help in building this fellow since he is quite a bit taller than the two of them.  They are really looking pleased with their new friend.  I can remember playing out in the snow when I was a little kid and just loving it.  What fun to build snow forts!  I kind of remember a game that we used to play - maybe fox and goose?  You scuffed up a circle in the snow and made some paths someway - can't remember the rest.  Wonder if anyone else remembers something like that.  Anyway, here's my "snow babies" back in February of 1957!!  (Click to enlarge)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Happy little drummer boy!   A picture of pure joy from the simple gift of a drum. 
 The message on the back of the card dated 12-23-09--many, many years ago.   

I could not resist this darling card of the little girl in her jammies peeking in at the Christmas tree.  Thank you,   Beth  , for hosting PFF.    I want to extend my early best wishes to all for a  Christmas spent with ones you love doing things you so love doing.  And may Santa fill your stockings with all sorts of good things!  (Click to enlarge) 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wrapped Up in a Game

Christmas time in Topeka, Kansas, and our kids are intent on a game - don't know if it's chess or something similar.  I don't recall ever having a chess game but my recollections are not always accurate.   In the dining room behind them is the toothpick tree in the middle of the table  and hanging on the wall is an oil painting of a barn that my brother did.  Nice to look at the old pictures again and be reminded of days gone by.    (Click to enlarge)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Great Christmas Website

In looking around a little while ago, I ran across a really great website with lots of Christmas pictures and old decorations, etc.   This is a picture of a tree in the 1920's  has been colorized  - you can also see the black and white version on the site.  There are tons of pictures of the little houses that so many people had.  I can remember we had a set that went under our tree with a string of lights was placed so that a light was in each house and the colored windows glowed.  Wonder where those old houses went.

From the 1920's.   Lots and lots of things to see - see the tunnel openings the train used.

This picture is a "staged" one from 1906.  Isn't it super?  If you have a few minutes, I think you would enjoy some of these Christmas past pictures and stories.  (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Past in Topeka

Last year I posted one or two of the Christmas cards we made for a few years.   Ray was into photography and he would take our pictures for the cards.  For this one, I did some snowflake cutting.  I have two more I will post later on.
Here is a picture of our living room before we went to bed and after Santa had shown up.  Bill was wanting a big bicycle so bad and I think he had looked all over to see if we had bought one.  We kept it at our neighbor's house and put it under the tree the last thing.  He was so thrilled!  Wanted to point out some of my crafty things back in the 60's.  A white bamboo blind, some gold felt and sequins were used to make the Madonna and Child wallhanging.  I also sprayed clay flower pots gold, painted branches white and hung small ornaments on the twigs for a mantel decoration.  On the coffee table (I still have that table in the middle of my living room) is a tree that I think is made out of cotton balls on a cone with ornaments glued to it.  Don't know where those things ended up but they are no longer around.  I can make out that the stocking I made Sherry (and the one for Bill is probably on the other side) lies on the floor and looks like it has been filled.  Good days and good memories! 

The reason I am posting this is for the earrings - it was actually taken a few years earlier when we were still in Iowa.  I am wearing my wooden snowmen that I had for a long time - in fact one of them is still in my old printer's drawer.  Goodness, I was young!  Another picture Ray took - where have the years gone.  (Click to enlarge)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Happy PFF

Here is a cute little card.  I love the message on the back (I believe it reads "I hope you get lots of toys and things for Christmas.  I don't expect much of anything.  Truly---"   I can't make out the name.    That is a sad little message - was he (or she) naughty or was it the circumstances of the family situation. 
Just can't quite figure this card out.  Do you think the little cherubs are full of Christmas "cheer"?  How I love looking through the old postcards!   Thanks to Beth at  for hosting! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

From FOH Fashion Friday

(Continuing with posts for Fashion Friday on Funoldhag.)  

This morning I am posting what is probably my favorite picture of Nan, my mom, posing beside a bench on a spot by the Illinois River somewhere in the Peoria area. Such a stylish outfit she wears - a lovely striped skirt (is it red and white, gray and white?) topped by a dark jacket that features white turned back cuffs and a lacy jabot (is that a good word?) that is adorned with a pin or button. Topping off this lovely ensemble is a very pretty, big hat. She also wears chic white stockings and very cute shoes with curvy little heels. Very classy lady! (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Piece of Christmas Past

A family picture at Christmas in 1977 with the center of attention being 4 month old Norah Lee.  Her other set of grandparents, Lewin and Jeanann,  are to the left of Sherry and Norah.  I am on the right with her daddy Barclay behind me.  Grandpa Ray is in the front next to Uncle Bill.  Doesn't Christmas become more magical when there are little ones to help celebrate?  I also want to call attention to one of the many  decorations I have made over the years.  Right above Barclay's arm is a golden tree.   Somewhere I read that you could buy one of those old bamboo rakes with the handle that looked like a cane fishing pole, take the rake end off and screw it on part of the handle upside down then spray paint it gold.  Final step was to glue little gold ornament balls randomly on it and you have a golden Christmas tree.  That one was kind of cute!  However, another project I did was stick the round toothpicks all over plastic foam balls, then pile them in a cone shape and spray paint it white - a toothpick tree!!  However, I should have stuck glue on the ends of the toothpicks and did not do that.  It was shortlived! I don't even think there is a picture of it.  I think I have pictures with glimpses of some other crafty things done over the years and will post them later. 
(Click to enlarge)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

We have some snow on the ground now - not very much, but snow nevertheless.   It is also the first part of December with signs of the season everyplace.  Many of the homes have their outside lights up and their trees in the windows.  The stores are filled with Christmas merchandise and the sales are in full swing.  Free shipping rules the internet.  Holiday music fills the airwaves and the commercials run full speed on television. Ho, Ho, Ho!!! 

So here is a cute postcard with a fresh faced little boy (or girl) and a pipe smoking snowman  dated 1919.  John is sending Herman a Christmas greeting from Illinois to Iowa.  I am a native of Illinois and I do not know where Grayslake is - will google it!  (I did and found that it's about 40 miles north of Chicato).  I am using the card from Card Cow with permission - they have awesome cards there as I am sure you all know.  Thank you,  Beth at
for being our hostess and a Happy PFF to all.  (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

From FOH Fashion Friday

When I looked at this picture, I realized that this one was taken the same day in Glen Oak Park as a previous one I posted of my mom, Nan, and her friend in the plaid skirt in the conservatory admiring the flowers. In this picture, Nan has her hat on and it is such a pretty one. Joining them are Nelle, Nan's sister, who is seated on the bench on the right. She is also a very stylish woman with a confident air about her. Her outfit appears to be a suit and her hat is stunning, along with her light shoes. The fourth lady on the far left is unknown but is wearing a plain but pretty skirt and blouse. I hope they all had a lovely day in the park.

Standing in front of Ben Franklin Print Shop in Peoria is Nan and a friend both dressed in a timely fashion. It is hard to see the friend's outfit except it is obvious that she is wearing a lovely hat and is clad in a stylish manner. Nan's hat is very pretty and her fur stole is showing an appearance again worn over a plaid dress that is probably made of cotton fabric. Note her shorter skirt, high button shoes and her lovely purse that appears to be beaded with a metal chain. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Very First Job

A part of my life when I was in high school was spent at the hardware counter at Ben Franklin's during the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school and also on Saturdays during the school year.  My pay for a Saturday's work was $2.38 - now how do I remember things like that?   This picture of Ben's was taken in about 1936 and it would have been 8 years or so later when I was there so it would not have changed that much.  The ownership changed while I was working there and the Smiths sold the store to John and Bernice Lee. 
Here is the staff of Ben Franklins during the mid 1940's.  Darlene, Anna Mae and Mrs. Lee are standing and Goldie, little Alice Lee and I sit in front of them.  Mr. Lee and Wilma  stand behind the cosmetics counter.  You can see the candy counter on the right and the cards on the left.  The hardware counter, my section, was all the way to the back on the same side of the store.  How about my clean white shoes?  I probably was 16 years old.  Many, many moons ago!  This picture is further back in the blog but  it needs to be here with the exterior photo of my old stomping ground.  (Click to enlarge - this is a fun one to look at and see all the little "dime store" things)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Here is another old postcard that was in with some old pictures.  I certainly have never heard of  "Jug Rock" but it must have been a local attraction.  Interesting back of the card - certainly the person who addressed the card was not the same person writing the message.

Here is a picture I found on the internet of Jug Rock.
Location: Next to the town of Shoals, on Highway 50 west of town. The pullout where you can park is unmarked, but is on the north side of the roads about 200 yards downhill from the Shoals Overlook Rest Park. Another part of the preserve is reached by going back to Shoals on US 50, turning right on Polar Street and right again on White River Road, with another pullout about .4 mile along between two private homes.

Description: Two interesting sandstone formations. You can climb to the top of the Pinnacle for a good view, but climbing to the top of Jug Rock is both illegal and inadvisable.

Ownership: Indiana DNR
(Click to enlarge)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I found this picture and thought what an appropriate "piece of the past" for Thanksgiving Day.  Looking at it closer, the gentleman carving the nicely browned bird looked vaguely familiar.  Then I looked at his wife and I knew - it was Ike and Mamie ready to enjoy their holiday feast.  I thought at first it might have been taken in the White House, but on checking it could not have been there.   Their son, John, stands beside him and   John's wife is Julie Nixon, daughter of Richard Nixon.  John and Julie were married in 1968 and Ike went out of office in 1961.  As the picture shows, the couple has three children so it must have been in the 70's.  Regardless, a sweet family picture.   I cast my first presidential vote for Eisenhower - and didn't get to do it until after I was 21 since that year there was no election.  Looks like everyone in the photo is anticipating a great dinner.  I hope you have one, too!  (Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 22, 2010

From Fashion Friday on Funoldhag

The lovely model for today is my Aunt Leah, Nan's sister, who must have been in her mid-teens when this photo was taken. Leah is looking cute and stylish in her high button shoes, dark stockings, possibly a pleated skirt and dark coat. Around her neck is a pretty scarf and she is wearing a wool cap with a cute pompon. I am sure she probably has some nice gloves or mittens but her hands are in her pocket since it is a cold day in Peoria, Illinois. I know exactly where this picture was taken - it is in the back yard of my grandparents' home and that is a very large old garage that is almost barnlike. Aunt Leah was very special to me - I loved being around her. She never married and lived with my grandparents all her life - there was just Grandma and Leah for quite a while. When I was a child, I used to love to stay at their house for a week or two in the summer and sometimes for a while during Christmas vacation. It was like a second home.   (Click to enlarge) 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Old Chillicothe

From 1936, this old book shows all the houses and businesses in Chillicothe, Illinois,  a town only three miles north of the little town of Rome where I grew up.  I went to high school and later lived in Chillicothe when I was first married.  We were transferred to Iowa from there in 1956, but returned in 1984 after my husband retired and lived there another 8 years.  So Chillicothe is dear to my heart and this old book is fun for me to look through.  I thought I might do posts weekly with some of the pictures that are there. 
This old building is still there and is right on the corner across from the city park. 
The city hall at the end of one of the two blocks that made up the main street where the businesses were located.  The police station, fire trucks and jail were all in this building.  Note the old cars.  We  moved to the area when I was seven years old so had been there about a year when this was published.  
Here is the city  council - Ilion Wait, the City Clerk,  served for decades.  Ed Pennington, Mayor, was the town barber as I remember.  Stay turned for more pictures of this little town just north of Peoria in the heart of Illinois.  Actually, a great place to live and to grow up.  (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Another postcard I found in with the old pictures.  Have no idea who this belonged to and, as you can see, it was never used.  It is a beautiful old church and is from a town north and east from our hometown in Illinois.
I remember reading something by one of the collectors about the backs of postcards that were undivided and the back of this one is in that category.  Pretty old card.  Thanks, Beth, at   for your great job of hosting.  One other note, if you happened to have ready my granddaughter, Hannah's, blog, there is a short post today.  They have all learned now where they will be for the two years in Africa.  She will actually be setting up a new site by herself.  I am so proud of her and know that she is an intelligent, hardworking, determined young woman.  It's hard to think of her so far away, but I am behind her all the way and very in awe of what she is doing.  If you would like to read her blog, just click on her picture on the sidebar and go to Singing Under the Southern Cross.  (Click pictures to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From Fashion Friday on Funoldhag

Today there are several lovely models and outfits to admire. Nan, my stylish mom, is on the right end of this group of nice looking young people out for a day of an unknown activity. Nan's date has a piece of paper in his hand that could be a program of some sort - maybe a concert in Glen Oak Park? I think his plaid cap is so cool, don't you? The girls all look stunning in their pretty outfits and wonderful hats while the fellows tend to be wearing very similar suits except for the fellow who has made his stand out with the plaid cap. Another observation - there are three fellows and four girls so don't know which ones are couples and never will, sigh. A light bulb just went on over my head!! There probably is one more fella - who would be taking the picture? DUH! Another senior moment!! One more comment, the two little gals on the left must be very, very short. Nan was not tall - probably 5' 3" - but she looks tall in the photo. When I was looking closely at this picture, I spotted something around Nan's neck - and it dawned on me that it was her watch! I have that watch and above is a scan of it. Inside the case is engraved "Nan Pearce" so there is not doubt at all. On the outside of the case is an NP which I'm not sure will show up when enlarged. I have so grown to appreciate all the old pictures as I have grown older. Hope you enjoy them, also.  (Click to enlarge)    
 (Posted earlier on Funoldhag)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Good Old Recipe

(This is a wonderful recipe for home baked beans - but I never put that much salt in - maybe a teaspoonful - and I chopped the onion.  There is also a quick method of soaking beans which entails boiling them and then covering and letting them set for a certain amount of time.  You can check in a cookbook or on the internet.)
When we moved to the Kansas City area, we had a nice old couple for neighbors - Mil and Jun.  At the time, Ray and I were in our early forties and the Wilsons were in their early 70's.  They were fun people - Mil and I went together and had our ears pierced - she bought diamond studs and I wore the junky type I still wear.  They never had any children, but they had good friends with a daughter and they were like family with them.   Mil gave me this recipe for baked beans from scratch and also told me how to fix barbecued brisket that they used to have on Christmas Eve. This is one heckuva delicious meal and one that I have made many, many times in the past 35 to 40 years.  The family loves it.  I haven't  made it much lately as I just don't cook like I used to.  Sherry has carried on with the brisket part and it's always really well received.  Around here, it's hard to find a whole brisket or the flat end but in the KC area they were out in the meat case all the time so you have to ask the butcher ahead of time to save you one.  The way Mil told me to fix that was to put aluminum foil in a pan big enough to hold the brisket and have plenty foil to seal it but  not wrapped tightly around the meat.  I always sprinkled lots of good stuff over it - salt, pepper, dill weed, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, paprika, minced onions, barbecue spice, etc., whatever you have in your spice cabinet that might sound good.  Then you bake it slowly -250 for 8 hours (get the connection - the same as the beans!) and then drain the liquid off and there will be a lot of that since the brisket really shrinks.  Add your favorite barbecue sauce and bake some more - use your judgment, I don't have a specific amount of time but you would raise the oven temperature.  My daughter shreds the brisket after it is baked and puts it in a crockpot with the sauce and uses it for sandwiches.  I always just sliced it and served it that way.  Regardless, this is a good meal - comfort food!  (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Happy PFF--This week I did some searching on the old hospital in Topeka and found out what has happened to it over the years.  So here are some more pictures and the story of what has become of it.  A big thank you to Beth at for hosting this every week. 

There were many hospitals up and down the line on the Santa Fe Railroad.  If you would like to find out more about them and see the old postcards that are shown go to  Here is Santa Fe Hospital, Topeka , KS, built 1898-99. The picture above is the original building.

If you compare this view  with the one above, you can see there has been a new wing added.

Santa Fe Hospital, Topeka , KS. Compared to the previous picture, the add-on wing is intact
but in 1953 the original 1898-99 building was demolished and replaced with the new building on the left. Note the cars in the parking lot.

Yet another addition has been built over the site of the parking lot. Postmarked 1971.

 The following I found on the internet telling about the old hospital in Topeka now:

Topeka Capital-Journal, The, Sep 23, 2003 by Steve Fry Capital-Journal

  A redevelopment project that has cost $7 million so far has turned the old Memorial Hospital at 600 S.E. Madison into the Santa Fe Place Senior Apartments. All but one of the 91 apartments is occupied.
Don Cooper, vice president of operations and development for the Commercial Group, talks about the variety of floor plans at Santa Fe Place.

The building's railroad heritage shows in the Santa Fe logos above the drinking fountains.

Santa Fe Hospital, Ft. Madison, IA

One more picture - this is the old ATSF hospital in Ft. Madison, Iowa, a town we lived in in the late 50's and early 60's.  I don't remember it and I don't think it was in service then.  The only hospital I remember there was the Catholic hospital.     (Click to enlarge)