Monday, April 13, 2015

Sunday/Monday Free at last, okay for a little while...

   It was a cold cereal Sunday at our house although I am baking bread as I type.  I came home from taking Mom home and it was late Saturday.  Also yesterday April 11th was Hub's and my 36 wedding anniversary.  We ate pie and ice cream and just enjoyed the two of us.  No company.  We usually get groceries on the weekends.  I am completely out of flour,and I need several things we are out of in storage.  This using down the pantry is working.  I am really starting to see a dent.

     I hated to leave mom but she was excited to be home.  I plan on going to the bank tomorrow (without her) and getting a few things resolved.  I also am going to call her doctor to see what we can do about getting  a guardianship.   That is where I have left this dilemma.

     By the way brother did spend all her money in purse and took all her pills.  He is an evil piece of human crap.  I am so tired of him.  Unfortunately, he is her son and that is not easy to walk away from.  The guardianship if granted will allow my sisters and I to control that relationship.

      Hub's is at quartet practice. Segue: Just took the  bread out of the oven.  Took a loaf down to neighbor's  It is a mess there.  Will continue to check in, really don't want to over step my bounds but someone needs to.  If it isn't the family than who?   I will add this to my list of worries because it is so short.

     Sissie has her eye surgery tomorrow. I so wish I could be there with her, but mom has taken everything I have and it was a blessing that it all went down as it did.  We really know now that we need to do something and if I had not gone to get her who knows what would have happened.

  I am feeling guilty about the relief I feel in not having my mom here for a while.  I am so tired and she is so much work. Maybe I make her work.  I do not know.  I just feel like I can breath, have a schedule and get something done.  I have so much to do with the upcoming show and summer season.  I need time to regroup and make some decisions.
     Things that have to be done this week.

1.I have a doctor appointment tomorrow with my GP, to report good findings from specialist and do more blood work.
2.  Water will be turned on for yard sometime tomorrow this is good.
3.  Order the remainder of the costumes for the show
4. Order all props for the show.
5. Get sewing done in the shop, have several dresses coming in for upcoming proms.
6.Go to mom's bank and get a copy if the last 12 months of statements.
7. Call Mom's doctor.
8.Sew costumes
9.Finish choreography on my show #'s
10. Get some groceries!
11. Think of what I am forgetting and I know it is something......
12.  Oh I know collect enough money from studio to write a check for taxes.  Yeah that is kind of important.
13. Also need to pay studio rent
14.  Have several more trips to the land fill and dump, hope to get this done on Wed. if possible.

So you can see I have nothing to do, especially if you add in house work, laundry, sleeping etc.

     Millie's custard was ready, and she set it to cool in the ice box.  She still needed to grind and toast a small sack of almonds.  She would have to watch carefully so they did not burn.  Then she would whip her cream and sugar it well.  Adding the custard to the warm rice with the toasted almonds and folding in the cream she would let the dish set covered in the window for an hour.  Just as she covered the large bowl with a clean cloth she heard the commotion of the children coming up the stairs.  Supper?  She had not thought of supper.  They had bread, Nels had remembered that.  There were cold boiled potatoes in the icebox.  Millie sent a grumbling Dilbert back down the stairs to get 1 lb of sausage from Mr. Stahl.  She set Oskar to slicing onions into a pan with some fat.  She sliced up a small cabbage and added it to the now translucent onion just as Dilbert returned from his trek up the stairs.  Dilbert handed her the package and flopped down in a near by chair.  He had been playing hard in the back since school was out and his face was streaked with dirt.

     As Millie proceeded to crumble the sausage into the cooking onions, she asked Wilhelm to fill the back kettle with wash water.  Everyone would need a good warm wash down before she could lay supper.  Trying to slice the cold potatoes into the pan, she asked Oskar to change Audra.  All the little girls were smudged and tired.  Audra was bordering on cranky.  Millie doubted she would last much past the evening meal.  Millie was straining the drippings out of the sausage as Nels came in the kitchen door.  He was smiling and even through the noise and fussing she smiled back at him.  He walked over to the window and lifted the cloth on the bowl, he knew.  He could smell the cardamon through the onions and frying potatoes.  Without being asked Nels poured hot water from the back of the stove into the wash bowl and added cold water from the pail.  He started by taking the freshly changed Audra from Oskar and washing down her face and hands.  Screeching was followed by tears.  Nels carried the hiccuping Audra over to the silverware chest and had her pick out a spoon, he grabbed a small saucer, then went to the dish at the window and put a small portion on the saucer.  This he place on the table and swiftly tied her into her high stool.  She was content.

     The others were clamoring for a taste of the pudding and Millie was adding the white sauce to the fried potatoes, onions, sausage and cabbage.  The creamed soup like dish with bread would be supper and after  they would have some rice creme'.  The washbasin had to be renewed three times the children were so dirty from their play.  Soon they were all around the table. Millie said the Grace and in no time at all the food was gone and the last piece of cut bread eaten.  Everyone passed their plate to Millie and she gave them a generous portion of the pudding.  The rice was soft and full of flavors.  Sugar, cinnamon, cardamon, cream and raisins.  You could eat this forever.  It was rich and smooth.  The pudding tasted of Sweden, home, laughter, firelight, and music. The children were all quiet as they scrapped the last of the cream from the plates with their spoons.  The older ones lost in thoughts of the past and the younger following their example without knowing why. The clock's broke the reverie and soon all were moving quickly as Millie gave orders.

   Oskar put all the dishes in the big dishpan, as Wilhelm cleared the table.  Dilbert took the Peter and the three little girls to get ready for bed they would not work on anything tonight.  Everyone was worn out with the play and excitement of the washing machines.  They were full of the good rice creme', it would be a quiet evening of study and radio.  Nels would wash up the dishes as the boys began to get out the school books.  Millie took the large bowl of pudding and divided it into three pans.  Three portions were for the Stahl's.  Inga could take it back over to her mother and brother when she came to join Millie for their evening sewing.  She then split the rest into two pans, one for tomorrow and one to take down to the Gustafson's. Millie took off her apron and told Nel's she was going downstairs. Nels nodded over the dish pan.  He would see to the boys homework and let Millie  off for the evening.  Maybe she would let him sneak another helping of the rice creme' before he went to bed.

     Millie knocked on the Gustafson door.  Mrs. Gustafson took the pan of pudding from Millie and gave her a hug.  "Bless you, father will be so happy.  Your brother is the talk of the street, imagine today I used a wash machine!  Who ever would have guessed this?"  said Mrs. Gustafson.  "Yes, I assumed when I returned today from school that Nels would have a machine going, he is just like that. I don't know what he plans on doing with all of this," replied Millie. Old Gustafson came stumping into the kitchen with his cane.  "Sit down father, Millie has brought you some rice creme'." Mrs. Gustafson said  as she pulled out a chair for him.

     The Gustafson flat was larger.  It had a bigger kitchen and parlor and three additional rooms, divided between the five children, their parents and Old Gustaf slept in the parlor.  Soon all the children were in the kitchen asking for their share of the pudding and Mrs.Gustafson was dishing up saucers of the creamy goodness.   "I will save the rest for myself and Staffy (her husband) he will be home late this night, I have so much to tell him, I used a wash machine today!"  This made Millie laugh.  She left the Gustafson's  party like atmosphere with the thanks of the children and Old Gustaf.  She could understand the excitement the machines had caused.  Even though she did not do the regular washing of her siblings, she could imagine how much time it would take to get this job done.  She had helped with the wash many times while she was in Sweden and when the family went to Stockholm before their journey to America laundry had been a been a real trial.  Now she just faced a pail of soakers and diapers every night.  What if she had to scrub and wash all the clothes and bedding?

     Millie hurried up the stairs to greet Inga.  She wanted to set up the ironing board and get the irons out and heated.  Inga and she had made new dresses.  She would do the final ironing  while Inga did hand work on shirts Millie was finishing for Nels.  He was tall a thin like Far had been and outgrew his sleeves quickly.  She had only the buttons, and button holes to finish. She was also hoping to cut out new shirts for the boys, two apiece.  She had turned the collars and cuffs of the shirts she had made last summer before school, but all were getting thread bare and fading.  Many of the elbows had been patched and she was sure that most of the clothing the boys wore could not be passed down except for work and play clothes.
      The boys were still doing homework when she returned to the kitchen.  She and Inga jostled around trying to fit the ironing board close to the stove and still be able to pull out a chair for the sewing machine.  "We need more space."  Millie said.  It was pretty obvious.  The doors were open between Nels work room and the kitchen.  Wilhelm, Oskar, and Dilbert were bent over their books and Nels was working on a clock. Millie stood up the ironing board and by moving the boys to another bench they managed to make enough space to open the sewing machine.  The children would continue to grow.  The room was crowded with the women's work but they made do.  Their dresses were done in a new modern drop waist style with a collar.   The pattern had not been hard and the look was flattering.  Both were excited to try on the dresses. Millie would wear hers to school tomorrow.

     Inga thanked Millie for the rice creme' and left with her dress.  Nels two shirts were finished and Millie quickly ironed them.  The boys packed up their school books.  They were extra tired tonight and gave no fuss at bedtime. Oskar lit the small night lantern and they crept into the bedroom careful not to disturb the others.  Finally Millie and Nels were alone.  It was after nine and Millie still had diapers to wash and hang to dry. Nels walked into the kitchen and fingered the collar of one of his new shirts.  "We will both have new clothes tomorrow." he said as he observed Millie's new dress hanging by the door.  Millie started to heat the water to wash out Audra's diapers and then poured Nels a cup of milk and dished him up a helping of pudding.  "Talk", she said.  "You have the whole neighborhood talking, Mrs. Gustafson thinks you are the angel Gabriel.  You have come to visit the whole world with washing machines."  "Not the whole world," replied Nels, "but I do need to find a location close to this building if I am going to continue to try and fix machines."

     "Machines?" asked Millie.  "There are other things that I could fix if I had more room.  There are many things now that operate on small engines. I could fix more things with engines  and make more money."  "But what about the clocks and the radios?" asked Millie.  "I will still continue with those and I am making enough money right now so that we don't have to touch the Swedish money, but I don't see how that will be able to continue."  Nels said between mouthfuls of rice creme'.  " I have talked to Mr. Erickson, and he seems to feel that this could work into a full time business if I had a location that could accept the work.  I talked to Mr. Strom and he thinks the same thing.  Our landlord is a good place to start.  He owns other properties.  I know he won't fuss about the washing machines in the shed, but he is very particular about the yard."

     " When are you going to talk to the landlord?"  Millie asked.  "Soon , Mr. Strom said he will go with me.  I am not of legal age to sign into a business agreement."  replied Nels.  "Would we move?", asked Millie.  "I don't want to lose the roof or the good reception we have here, it will be at least two more years before we can leave New York State, but I also realize living in these three rooms is getting harder, especially with the little ones.  They need more room, I need more room and you need more room ,right now I think I need some sleep", yawned Nels.  Millie hung the last wrung out diaper on the kitchen line.  This was much to think about.  She would go to bed and say her prayers.  All she could do was hope and work hard. She trusted Nels and tomorrow she had a new dress to wear.


Have a great and productive day.



  1. Are you sure you could have your mom live with you full time? So much there to think about. Would you wait until you "retire" from your dance school? You already seem to have such a lot to do and your list never seems to get any shorter!! Hope sissie's eye operation goes well and oh by the way Happy

  2. Thanks for making me really want some rice creme w/cardamom at 1:45 AM as I was waiting for TaxAct Online to come on again so I could finish my bleeping tax prep! LOL I read your last couple of posts to pass the time. Thanks for keeping me awake, friend!