Friday, February 26, 2010

Cool Old People Related to you: Walter Gilbert Nieman and Ida Liebman

Well, I was feeling bad that I couldn't put up as many pictures for your Nieman ancestors as my Dean side, so I went prowling around the attic in all the boxes Dad brought home from Grampa Gil's...and I found a TON of photos! So I'll post a few now, but add more later as I get them scanned.

This is how I remember Grampa (Walter) Nieman. His wife had died and he lived in their Santa Cruz home. Here he is with Karl about 1973.

Walter and Ida Nieman are Dad's grandparents on his father's side...Grampa Gil's parents.
Walter Nieman is the youngest boy in the middle. He was born 23 May 1888 in Hamburg, Marathon, Wisconsin. His brother, Edward is on the right; brother William is on his left. His oldest sister, Augusta Wilhelmina, is on the far right; sister Agnes Alma is on the left. Parents, Carl Christian Frederick Nieman and Emilia Albertina Krause Nieman seated.(I think Jeanne looks a little like her)

Here are Walter and his bride, Ida Amelia Maria Liebman on their wedding day, 30 Oct 1913.

Another picture of Ida as a young woman.

Here is Ida...isn't she beautiful?

Walter Nieman...

Here is Walter's WWI draft registration...I love to see their handwriting. The "child" he refers to is Grampa Gil.

The Nieman's lived in Hamburg, Marathon,'s small, it's really COLD! The family farmed, dairy cows mainly. But they were also into fox farming (and later bought the land in Bonny Doon, near Santa Cruz for a fox farm), hunting, and harvesting ginsing roots for export to China. Walter is the one in the middle leaning on the truck, loaded with barrels of ginsing roots.

Here are Walter and Grampa Gil (about 10 years old)...they are boiling down maple syrup. The picture needs to be photoshopped...double click on it to see it better.

This is really hard to see...but it's Walter (on the right) with a MOOSE he shot!
Kendra...maybe you can edit these and we can replace them with clearer images?

Well, I have LOTs more...but that will have to do for today!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Caramel Bars

Why am I baking this? We don't need this kind of temptation around...but I saw it on My Kitchen Cafe and couldn't resist!

Oatmeal Chocolate Caramel Bars

1 1/2 C old fashioned oats
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 C melted butter

Pat half of this into a 9x13 pan (I used a glass one). Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.
While that's baking, having unwrapped 14 oz. caramels, melt them in the microwave with 1/2 C cream (I used whipping cream, but you could probably just use milk).

When the oatmeal crust has baked, take it out and sprinkle over the top 2 C (12 oz) chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate); then pour the melted caramel over the chips and finish off by sprinkling the remaining oatmeal mix over the top.

Bake an additional 12-15 minutes, until slightly browned. This really has to cool completely before cutting to allow the caramel to set up. Even after it had cooled to room temp, I put in the refrigerator for a while. Be sure you have lots of milk to drink when you serve these!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

These Are My Days

Here is a link to an article I enjoyed on Meridian Magazine....These Are My Days by Caroline Allen....even the great prophet Nephi(3) longed for "the good old days" ...

This is actually an article about nutrition and since my Nutrition Action newsletter came today it seemed to be the topic of the day.

This is a great little newsletter that only costs about $10 a year and is full of great information....although this months article about the dangers of ecoli in various things, such as Nestle chocolate chip cookie dough! was hard to read...I guess we'd best freeze up a few batches of homemade cookie dough to have on hand for the dough cravings that seem to run in our family. Last year Nestle had to recall over 3 million packages of refrigerated cookie dough because of ecoli contamination at one of their plants. Now they test every batch...but as recently as January they found ecoli in their product and had to shut down for two weeks while they looked for the source...they never found it. Now Nestle cookie dough is labeled"New Batch" and contains the warning " Do not consume raw cookie dough".Hmmmm, guess I missed the warning!

Since reading The Omnivore's Dilemma it's been a little harder to figure out what to eat....
I felt pretty healthy eating my bowl of Special K ...then I read the label...I guess it's back to cracked wheat!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kendra's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these to take to choir yesterday (hoping treats would inspire better's not really working) and thought I'd post them so we can always find the recipe. Kendra started making this recipe when she lived in Utah, because it was adjusted for the altitude by adding 4 T of water. Here in Clayton (close to sea level) we only add 2 T of consider your altitude when making them. I usually use milk chocolate chips or a mixture of white chips and milk chocolate...they're also great with M&M's. Nuts or not? That's up to whether you're a "nutty" person or not.

Kendra's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C Crisco
1 C butter (this is really better than all butter)
4 T water (or 2 T here in Clayton at sea level)
2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C white sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
3 eggs
6 C flour(I held out 1/2 C until I baked a "test cookie" to see if it held it's did, so I didn't add any more...but you might need too)
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
3-4 C chips (or combination of M&M's and chips)
1 C chopped walnuts (if you like nuts)

Bake at 350 about 10-12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Object Lessons: The Magic Eraser

Ever since I taught seminary (or maybe also because of being an English teacher), I've become much more aware of teaching gosple principles with analogies or "object lessons." It's one of the best ways to "liken the scriptures unto us"...and modeled by the master teacher, Christ, as He taught in parables. So on occasion, when I hear a good one, I'll include it me any you run across or think of and I'll add them.

Today in RS, as we discussed Agency, Kirsten (Wheeler) Wood told an experience she had this week that had a good gosple application. Her little boy, Thomas (about 7) had drawn little faces on the tips of his fingers with a red marking pen. As he got his hands wet and touched the walls(in her rented house) he left big red she hurried to get him to school, she thought, "How will I deal with these horrible stains on the walls..." and had the happy thought: Magic Eraser. But she got busy, as mothers do, and put off dealing with the walls, but she couldn't put off worrying about them as they were very evident....finally at the end of the day, she got out her Magic Eraser and scrubbed the stains, very successfully, and continued on through the house "erasing" other little stains and marks. She loved the clean feel of her home and thought...that's like our lives; we are constantly getting "stains" and we have another Magic Eraser....the scriptures. If we will just take the time to daily pick them up and "apply them" we can have that clean feeling every day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

We're so glad you've joined our family! (I'll have to add to this when I get some of your cute pictures from Kendra)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Cool Old People Related to You--Gma Dorothy

Dorothy Vivian Cecil Dean was born on 13 December 1903. She died on 9 January 1997.
For a long time I thought her birthday was June 13. She liked strawberry shortcake and decided to celebrate her birthday during strawberry season.

This is how you kids probably remember her....a little white-haired lady that wore a lot of knit dresses...she was only 5'2" tall but she was a dynamic woman who had a hard life and always made the best of it.

She was only 41 when I was born (the same age I was when Kaity was born) I had many many years of "grandmothering" from her...Gma Eck (Gma Janiece's mother) was also 41 when I was born, so you can see why I grew up thinking being a grandmother was a great job...these two women were a big influence in my young life.

Here she is knitting...she was always knitting...she knit herself suits and dresses, wore them for a few years, then unraveled them, washed the yarn, and knit something else. Val and I had a lot of knit coats...and I remember her trying to knit for me as I became a teenager and trying so hard to please me with a very "hip" granny square vest that I tried to wear to make her happy...
But she also took up golf, I think to be companionable to Grampa Earle, and was quite good at it.

She worked for many years as a secretary on the Alameda Air Force base I believe (Val, help me out here if you remember more).

I always remember her with Grampa Earle here in their home on Ascot Drive in the Oakland hills. It was a beautiful place. Always calm and peaceful...a real refuge from the craziness that was usually going on at home.

Grampa Roger was an only child, but Dorothy was pregnant with a little girl that she lost. I think she probably had RH negative blood(at least Roger did) and her second child died because of antibodies formed during her first pregnancy. I'm RH negative, but fortunately, right when Karl was born, they developed a shot they could give you right after delivery that kept you from forming the antibodies...

At any rate, I think she treated me almost like the daughter she never had...we were very close.
This picture is very reminiscent of one of Gma Clara and Gpa Jesse in front of the rock fireplace in their home. I loved visiting my grandparents. Grandma had a little blue and white china dish that she served us our oatmeal in...we were fascinated because if we ate all our oatmeal we could see the picture of Peter Rabbit at the bottom of the dish.
Another attraction for me was the girl, Jackie, who lived next door. She was a couple of years older and had ALL the Nancy Drew books! So the first thing I'd do when I got to Grandma's was go and borrow a few books...Grandma always left me alone to read while I was there. It seemed when we went to Grandma Eck's we always had to help do housework (but then we got to go sew doll clothes and do crafts in her sewing room.)

This is the Ascot Drive home...Grampa Earle loved gardening and the yard was always beautiful. The back of the house looked out over the could see 7 bridges from their picture window.

When Dad and I got married, this is where we spent our honeymoon (cheap and Dad had to take the dental aptitude test in San Francisco that week)...Grandma went and stayed with her sister, Bonnie, down in Willow Glen to vacate the house for us.

Here is the patio set up for a family seems almost every Sunday our family would go to either Grandma Dorothy's (and Grandpa Earle's) for Sunday dinner or to Grandma Della's in Castro Valley.

Dorothy was born in Tingley, Iowa...this is a picture of the house she was born in . Her mother was Edith Reffner, an Iowa farm girl, the youngest of 11 children, and Don Francis Cecil. They married in 1901 and had their three girls, Gladys in 1902, Dorothy in 1903 and Bonnie in 1906. Their son Don Reffner Cecil was born in 1908 in Santa Clara after the family moved out to California.

The family didn't have much...Don Francis called himself an "agriculturist" (meaning he grew prune trees in Santa Clara).
But also (as the family story goes) he
did some detective work for the Pinkertons.

But he had poor health...maybe tuberculosis, and died in 1912, leaving Edith a young widow with four children. I think she basically abandoned the children and left them with her husband's family. She went to Keyes, a farming community down by Turlock in the valley and worked as a cook on a ranch; I think she lived with several men; eventually she married Mark Coppinger and had three more children. Grandma Dorothy considered her mother to be quite scandelous; I think Dorothy's drive to be "proper" had its roots in the insecurity she experienced as a child.

Here is Dorothy as a baby.

Here is Dorothy, age about 4; Bonnie is the baby in the middle, Gladys, about 6 years old on the right.

Grandpa and Grandma Cecil (William Kimball and Bessie Ballou Brown...don't you love the name?) had moved to Berkeley and had a house on Shattuck Ave. They raised the children. This is Grandma Cecil and Bonnie. I love the baby dress and the stroller...Bessie Ballou (Gma Cecil)was quite a formidable woman.

Dorothy did live with her mother in Keyes some of the time. Here she is with long ringlets. The girl on the right was Mavis?Austin. I think her brother married Dorothy's sister, Gladys.

In the orchard at Keyes...but someone told Gma Cecil that the "situation" there (meaning her mother's living arrangements) weren't appropriate for a young girl. so Dorothy came back to Berkeley where she finished school, met Earle and married.

Here is Dorothy in front of the Berkeley house, about the time she met Grandpa Earle. (double click on these small pictures to see them better)

"Spooning" with Grampa Earle...It's good to see her as typical young girl in love. She wasn't always a grandma.

About 1928.

Here are the three sisters...they all married about the same time and each only had one child(which makes me think they all had the RH problem...but I'm just guessing)Hmmm...actually Gladys had another son, Jimmy, who died in WW2.

Grandma Dorothy is in front with Roger, Bonnie is behind her with Donna, and Gladys is on the right with Richard. (Richard's wife, Dorothy, is the one we got our family ice cream recipe from)

Here are the Dean's: Earle, Dorothy and Roger with the Crane's...Earle's sister Thelma and Bill Crane with their daughter, Pat, who became Aunt Pat. She had one daughter, Lynn who was a couple of years younger than me and a couple of years older than Val. She lives in Hawaii.

This is Dorothy and Roger about 1935. I don' t know quite how this happened, but Roger went to live for several months out at some sort of "health camp" out at Del Valle. Val or Jesse, do you know more about this? Dorothy's brother, Don Reffner Cecil lived with them when dad(Roger) was 8 or 9, and I believe he died of tuburculosis. Maybe they worried that Roger might develop it...he was kind of a skinny little kid and I always heard he went out to this camp to "build him up"....they lived a very spartan life, lived in barracks, ate simple food and didn't seem to wear a lot of clothes!
It must have done the trick because dad was pretty healthy after that. We never heard much about this because Grandma was Christian Scientist by this time and didn't like to talk about any illness.

Here's Edith, Gladys, Dorothy (wearing a lacy dress she knit, of course) and Bonnie. (Aunt Bonnie and her daughter are the ones that traveled through the Amazon in the 40's; she also taught me a lot of piano lessons!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Filled Cookies...a Labor of Love

I haven't made these for a long time...Val always includes them in her massive Christmas Cookie production...and I'm afraid I don't take advantage of them when they are presented with so many other wonderful cookies...
I remember Mom making these especially when we were going camping...along with Snowflake cookies...and filling up a glass gallon jar with each kind so we wouldn't be bereft of homemade cookies on our trip...I don't ever remember buying cookies...except maybe Girl Scout Cookies.
Anyway, these take a bit of work...we always made raisin and apricot filling, although apricot is the favorite. The filling is made with dried fruit, not jam, so it's very intense.
Make the filling the day before or early in the day so it has a chance to cool thoroughly.

I use the dried slab apricots from Trader Joe's...don't use the "turkish apricots" that you usually find in most grocery stores. We used to grind the fruit, but I used my food processor (chopping blade) after slicing the apricots a bit.
To one cup chopped fruit (either raisins or apricots) add 1/2 C sugar and 1/2 C water. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring so it doesn't scorch.

Here they are without their tops...we usually made two different shapes to differentiate between fillings...

Filled Cookies (Not a Very Exciting Name)

2 C sugar
1 C shortening (I use half butter and half Crisco)
1/2 C sour cream
2 eggs
3 C flour (maybe 3 1/4)
1 t soda
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon extract

Cream shortening, sugar and sour cream. Add eggs and flavorings and flour. This makes a VERY soft dough. It helps to chill in the refrigerator for an hour, but can be rolled immediately. Just use a lot of flour on your board...Fill with 1 t either raisin or apricot filling and cover with another cookie. Press edges together to seal (It seems we used to use a fork and maybe moisten with water...but I found the dough is so soft it easily sticks together ) I poked the tops with a fork dipped in sugar (air vents?) And then I sprinkled the tops with a little sugar which I don't think we used to do, but it makes them look a little sparkley. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, until edges are slightly brown.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Aunt Val!

It was a happy day when my little sister, Valerie Debora, was born the day before Valentine's Day!

Val went from being a cute baby... a cute little girl...

...with golden opposed to the homely older sister with glasses (these had pink plastic frames) and frizzy permanented brown hair...gee, mom...

The ringlets...

Fourth birthday?

Rapunzel, rapunzel....

Wearing Great Gma Dean's "tea dress" ...

A classic icon of the times...(the hula hoop)

Four generations: the frizzy haired one(me), Val, Gpa Earle, Gma Clara, Gpa Roger holding Jesse.

2nd grade? Val you'll have to help me get these dated...

Jr. High?

Mom and the three of us...I hadn't remembered the "twin" outfits...

High school...

A beautiful bride...

Evelyn, Matt, Dick, Val and Dad...

Matt and Heather, Dick and Val...

Val is the artistic Dean girl...the "crafty" one...the organized one who gets things done! I love having such a wonderful sister.