Sunday, May 27, 2012

memorial day--my father in uniform

My father, Leroy Dykstra, in 1954, serving in Frankfort, West Germany as the company clerk of his infantry unit, and in 2001 as commander of the American Legion Wegman-Koele Post 380 at the dedication of the Hull, Iowa Veterans Memorial .

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

scissors confession

In sorting out the history of the scissors controversy, I have discovered that I was the reason for my sisters and brother being punished.
To retell, as children, a favorite Sunday afternoon past time was to cut out paper dolls from the Sears and Wards catalogs. We loved to find the same models in different clothing and poses to add to our collections. We always fought over who got to cut out the brides.
One Sunday our cousins Elaine and Mark and Lorelie were visiting (their older brother Myron was way too old and sophisticated to join in) and I hauled out the catalogs, inviting them to join in and cut out some dolls. They informed us that they were not allowed to use a scissors on Sundays. I laughed at this and my mother overheard. After the cousins left, she told us that because we laughed at our cousins we no longer were allowed to use scissors on Sundays either.
Since my sisters have no recollection of this incident, only that we could not use scissors on Sundays, I fear I was the one who was the cause.
Huge repercussions--later, in our 4-H years, we would have to stay up until midnight Sunday nights before being allowed to finish fair projects due on Monday mornings.
Janna, Beth--my fault.
I'm sorry.
(although, a part of me still wants to blame Elaine and Mark and Lorelie and their stupid, silly rule...)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scholten pictures from the archives

My mother, Henrietta Scholten Dykstra, at the switchboard in Hull, Iowa. She also worked the switchboard in Sheldon. She once assisted with a call from Henry Fonda!

My beautiful and funny Aunt Betty at her marriage to Uncle Ed in 1968. Aunt Betty didn't marry until her mid 30's so for many years she was the cool unmarried aunt for the Scholten cousins.
Along with my mother, she was also a telephone operator.

A photograph with three Jan Diekevers in Emlichheim, Bentheim, Germany.  About 1895.
Old Jan was born Jan Lubbers, but took his wife's name when they married since she was a landowner. He is my mother's great grandfather. Middle Jan is my mother's grandfather Gerrit's brother. (Gerrit emigrated to America.) Middle Jan also emigrated to America, but was called home to Germany to care for the farm and his siblings when his father needed him.
I knew Young Jan as a very old man when I visited the farm in 1981. He said his father loved being in America.

Scholten family at the funeral of my mother's Uncle Gerrit Scholten. July 1943.

My mother's family about 1946, Boyden, Iowa:
Front: Ella (Hillegen) Diekevers Scholten, George, Jan Scholten
Back: Betty, Grada, Johnny, Jeanette, Henrietta

Two of the sisters married Johns. As nieces and nephew's married, we told them to call the 6 uncles "Uncle John" and they would be correct 50% of the time.

Within the family, many names were used several times over the generations, within a generation, and even within a single family--when a child died, the name would be used for s subsequent child.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

blocks of four

I am starting to put them into blocks of 4 bowties. There are about 400 bowties at this point.
I was happy to be in Naperville on Thursday evening to hear Bonnie Hunter speak. Any more of you making the cheddar bowties along with her?

Friday, May 18, 2012

mom's scraps--part three

These are sophisticated prints that my mother used for her clothing--dresses, coat linings, blouses. All are 100% cotton. When you think of the 1960s and fashion, popular images are of the hippie and youth culture. These are the fabrics respectable women were wearing.

She bought them at JC Penney and were the earliest she remembers with selvage notations, which I include with each photograph. The term "Never Misbehaves" was in reference to the fabric not shrinking or bleeding, not to the character of the women who wore them!






"A REGULATED COTTON" Never Misbehaves "Seven Wonders Of The World-Porcelain Tower"

mom's scraps--part two

The fun of going through my mother's scraps is seeing the evidence of what she used the fabric for.
It is the negative space of cutting out patterns. My memories of these garments are with more faded fabric from them being used for several children as hand-me-downs and multiple washings and line drying in the sun. It is good to see the fabric in its glory and see what attracted my mother to it in the first place.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012




I finished the scapular yesterday.
This is the liturgical piece I was working on last Sunday. It was commissioned by the choir to present to the director in honor of his 20 years of service at St Pauls.
I had it professionally pressed and picked it up this morning.
I will have photographs of Kurt wearing it soon.

up on the roof--3320 North Ashland

Looking east.
Another in a continuing series of parking ramp rooftop views.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

mom's scraps--part one

I've been making the cheddar bow ties that Bonnie Hunter has had as a blog project for the past year.
When I was home this Easter, my mother gave me some of her scraps from sewing she did when I was a child, and here are some of them used in the bow tie blocks.
I love the banana and fruit women. They are about 2 inches long.
More to come soon.

Monday, May 14, 2012

up on the roof--5638 West Addison

Looking south-east.

plain and simple

The blog Quilts by Cheri had a quilt-a-long with this simple quilt. I made it as a distraction from what I needed to work on and delighted in putting it together, chopping off points, and just having fun. I enjoyed the whole process and love this little quilt!
Thanks, Cheri.

up on the roof--3000 North Halsted (again)

This time looking south.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

sewing in church

I was working on a vestment this morning in church. I like to sew during the organ and choir rehearsal before the service, and you may find me knitting during the service along side about 6 other women that I know do so.
I grew up in the Dutch Calvinist tradition where this would be frowned upon (we were not even allowed to sew at home on Sundays), but in our German Calvinist/Lutheran heritage ( United Church of Christ) church in Chicago, there has always been a more pragmatic approach. I noticed several of the elderly women crocheting or knitting when we first started coming in the early 1980s.
The vestment is a commission from the choir for the director in honor of his 20 years of service.

Monday, May 07, 2012

chocolate coconut bread

Chocolate coconut bread--makes 2 loaves

Cream together:
1 cup butter (do not use margarine or oil)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Add in:
4 eggs, one at a time
2 cups buttermilk (I usually make sour milk with 3-4 Tbsp cider vinegar and enough milk to make 2 cups)

Sift then add in just until mixed:
3 cups flour
1 cup cocoa--I like to use Hershey's Special Dark for this recipe--gives a beautiful color to the loaf
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder

Stir in:
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup chocolate chips

Grease two bread pans. Spread in batter. Bake 350 degrees for about a hour.
It is a bit tricky to get this just right for timing--too long and it will be too dry or burn.
If you make this in mini loaf pans, watch very carefully. If they do come out dry on the edges, wrapping as discussed below can help.

Remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean.
Place pans on sides on cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
Remove bread from pans.
Cool completely.
Wrap in waxed paper or other wrap for at least 10 hours after they are cool to let moisture and flavor redistribute. Tastes better if you give it that long.

It is similar in flavor to a Mounds candy bar! This is my recipe--use and share and enjoy.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

brown bread, brown bread, what do you see?

Making brown breads for a church luncheon tomorrow.
Here you see banana, lemon poppy seed, orange cranberry, and pumpkin.
In the oven yet are sour cherry almond and chocolate coconut.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012