Wednesday 30. May 2018

Summer vacation has begun!  The kids last day was this past Friday and we are already loving not having the morning 7 am struggle.

The month of May has really flown by for this family.  Has been so nice to be able to get moving outside again.  Haven’t gotten much accomplished yet, but getting going.  If we can hold the rain off a few more days I may be able to get my garden in.  I’m always late getting it in.  Run on my own clock!

Our Girlie was able to come home the last two weekends!  We were so tickled she was able to get a couple days off work to be able to be home for FOUR NIGHTS!  It had been ages since she’d been able to be home for such a long stretch.

My brother’s twins graduation party was one evening, my sister’s oldest son and our dad’s birthday the next evening.

Although we missed her other half not being able to come back, was so nice for Girlie and Bubba to be able to have some much needed brother/sister time.  Little Brother has struggled quite a bit the past year plus with his sister being so far away and always having to share his time with her with Bonehead.

The past weekend Girlie was home to throw me and Old Man a party for our 25th wedding anniversary.  Bubba had her to himself an entire day before Bonehead came for one day, he was able to sneak away from planting for just a bit.

Our party was supposed to be a surprise, but our kids tend to have a hard time keeping secrets from mom.  They told me with hopes I could keep Old Boy from going roping, they also roped two of his roping buddies into keeping him from planning anything.  He wound up figuring it our a few days ahead of time.  They didn’t want him to know being he doesn’t like a fuss and feared he’d make them cancel it.

We had such a nice evening, although the mercury hit over 100 degrees that day.  The newly remodeled shelter house in town has a kick ass new air conditioner!  There was great foot, wonderful cake from our local Cake Lady and so many family and friends.  Many more people than we imagined would come.  Great night of visiting!  Something we should do a few times a year for no reason at all!

My dad’s sister gave me a beautiful gift that my great grandmother’s sister made…


Terrible of me to say, but so tickled her kids don’t like these family mementos…last year she gave me the same great grandmother’s china.  Yes, a little spoiled!

Memorial Day was uneventful, we had another 100 degree day and it was just too miserable to get out and visit the cemeteries.  I felt and and still feel badly about not getting to everyone, but about five days of 95 degrees and up, just couldn’t do it.  It’s nicer now, so hoping to get to see everyone this week.

Now, making plans with my mom and Bubba for a day trip to southern Iowa next week to a few towns I read about over the winter that I feel the need to go see.  Will fill in on that afterwards, my Danish friends may enjoy!

Much Love and Peace To One And All!



Tuesday 26. December 2017

As I’ve said so many time before, where does the time go?  Our Girl turned 23 today, just doesn’t seem possible. 

Girlie was born while we were living out in south central Nebraska.  Such a sweet little black haired, olive skinned beauty that was so little trouble, even during those teen years.  Not that there weren’t ugly times, there were, but they were few and far between. 

For many years Old Boy traveled a lot and for seven years it was mostly Girlie and me, and once Bubba came around she was a huge help while Old Boy was still on the road.  I recall a time or two I was so sick with a stomach bug that she stayed home from school to take care of her brother, we were in northern South Dakota without family.  Always felt bad about that. 

Starting before age two Girlie started having problems with allergies, asthma and eczema.  Trips to allergy doctors, the emergency room…checking on her breathing throughout the night for years until at the age of six she told me to leave her alone while asleep.  Years of daily maintenance medicines that in high school I’d have to force her to take because she was so tired of taking medicine everyday.  Thankfully she has gotten much better with age and doesn’t need to much medicine and has fewer attacks. 

There were years of summer ball…tball and softball practices and running with girls to games all over the area.  Volleyball in junior and high school.  Years and years of dance lessons, recitals and competitions.  Years that seemed to last forever but I miss so much.

There were the bunions and foot surgery in 8th grade.  The doctor swore it was the cowboy boots she lived in and yet she continued wearing everyday. 

There was the constant revolving door of boys.  The fights with friends who liked the same boys.  Many friendships were lost during those years.  Early on Girlie developed the mindset of…screw me over once and I’m not giving you the chance to do it again.  So much like her dad. 

Loved it when the girls went through the several year phase of my being the one to have to curl their hair for any and all activities.  Also the phase of having to dye their hair dark brown during the winter months and lighter during the warm weather months. 

There was the rodeo phase of team roping and break away roping that fell by the wayside when she went away to college.  Can’t forget the years of 4H and having to make her do her fair projects each year. 

The hardest time of all was when, at the age of 16, she blacked out while driving the gravel across the section.  The guardian angels were with her that day, telling her not to wear her seat belt as she’d always done.  The SUV rolled and spun on it’s nose, throwing her out the sunroof…authorities believe she very well may have not survived had she been belted in. 

Found by our bus driver, life flighted to the city, one night in ICU, six nights in the hospital.  Fractured sternum and shoulder, partially deflated lung, three fractured vertebrae.  Weeks of using a walker to get around.  So blessed she only lost 1 1/2″ in height (the three vertebrae are flat like pancakes) and a large scar on her back from where the skin broke on impact. 

Graduating in 2014, she went back to Nebraska for ag college and blossomed.  One week before graduation she was hired at a bank, has been there a little over a year and earned a promotion 11 months in.  She and her longtime boyfriend have two dogs and she helps him on the  family ranch as needed on weekends. 

So proud of the woman she’s become.  A legion and auxiliary member of a community she’s still new to.  Such a hard worker, helper and giver…she continues to grow! 

Just wish I knew were those 23 years went….


Thinking About Life

My birthday is coming up shortly and it’s gotten me to thinking about my life~choices I’ve made over the years to bring me to the person I’ve become.  Thinking about the goals and dreams of the girl who graduated from high school and about the kind of person I was at age 18.

Oh, I know, our childhood is the shortest time of our lives, but it’s also the time that forms who we are up to that point in time~what we believe and forms those hopes and dreams for our future.

Great Grandpa Peter T. and Great Aunt Ruby

As most know~I was born into a multi-generational farm family.  When I was only a few months old we moved from the family farm started by my Great Grandpa Peter T. and Great Granda Anna.  That was when dad separated from farming with his dad and brothers and began his own operation while still running some cattle with his dad.

Terry, Tim, Judy and Tom…dad and his siblings

We moved from about eight miles east of town to about nine miles west of town.  The farm had been owned for a couple generations or so by my Aunt Kate’s family~the widow of my mom’s brother.  A handful of so ears ago we learned from an old platt map that my Great-Great Grandma and Grandpa K had a farm homested just over the hill on a part of that land on the north side of the road.  Funny how you sometimes find links in the past to things in the present. 

me and the old boy

I lived on our farm west of town until the day I married at ae 20.  College was about a half-hour drive from home, so it didn’t make sense to live at the dorms in the city.

me, dad, mom, brother and sister

As the youngest by six and seven years~I spent a lot of time entertaining myself as a child.  Brother was always doing his own thing and Sister ran with the town kids and had no interest in farm life, she spent most of time in her room reading, in the den on the phone or laying out in the backyard.

I was often out exploring~climbing trees, visiting with the cattle, riding my Old Man Charlie, playing with my Barbies or Strawberry Shortcake dolls and reading and writing stories and dancing wherever I could carry my little tape player. 

me and my Old Man Charlie

I loved going places wit dad and helping him with the evening chores and riding in the cab tractor with him whn he was doing field work.  I was a daddy’s girl~kinda still am.  I was blessed with a dad who enjoyed having us do with him.
Wasn’t close with mom until after Kaet was born.  Mom was and still is a traditional farm wife.  She was cooking, baking, cleaning, doing laundry and working in the yard all day.  She cooked often for a table full at dinner and supper~with hired hands and friends stopping in to visit and staying to eat. During planting and harvest seasons she often hauled meals out to the field.  She still enjoys a table full of mouths to feed.

We grew up when parents weren’t expected to entertain their kids, that wasn’t their job, which is how I still see it.  Brother played baseball in elementary and middle school for our local small town league, other than that, it was only school activities for us.  We weren’t town kids!

I did get to take dance lessons when one of mom’s best friends starting teaching tap lessons out of her basement when I was in the first grade.  One lesson a week and I took the bus there.  Being there were a few of us farm girls in the same area taking dance on the same day~the farm moms took turns car pooling a month at a time.  Anymore running than that and it wouldn’t have happened.

When I was in the 5th grade mom went to work in the city.  When I was in the 6th grade Brother graduated from high school and Sister graduated when I was in the 7th grade.  After that it was me, mom and dad at home with Brother still farming with dad and moving in and out of the basement for years~depending on whether or not he was seriously dating anyone or not. 

I feel it was those years after Sister moved away that I really started forming who I was to become.  I wasn’t the baby sister anymore, I was basically an only child. 

When I was in the 6th grade I made a new friend in a different clique.  My preppy friends didn’t like my new friend and I felt that I needed to decide between the two groups since the two didn’t mesh.  Many times over the years I’ve thought I really made the wrong decision.  I chose the farm girl and her friends.

Long story short, she was what we would now days call a toxic person.  I had no guts to stand up for myself towards her and for years just put up with her treating me like shit when she was in one of her moods, afraid if I unfriended her that I’d have to friends.  I was so insecure~still am.  I’ve never liked to make waves or to rock the boat.  She is the reason I preached to my kids to not put up with any friend that treats you lik crap.  

Now that I’ve totally gotten off subject…will continue next time…

Peace! ❤

Tuesday 27. December 2016

Our first born turned 22 yesterday.  Just doesn’t seem possible that so many years should have gone past already.  When people say the years go by in a flash, to savor your kids when they are small, are absolutely correct.  Feels like her first 22 years went way faster than my first 22 years.

This little girl has gone so far and been through so much in her 22 years, so happy to see how far she’s come and what a strong, independant and beautiful girl she’s become. 

We were living in southcentral Nebraska when she was born, a five hour drive from all our family and closest friends.  We’d been married and living in Lex for over a year-and-a-half when she was born.  We were winging it, both being the youngest in our families.  

By the time she turned three we’d lived in two homes in Lex and had moved back home and were living upstairs of my in-laws bed and breakfast, the home most would know of as The Children of The Corn house. We lived there a couple months until we found what Kirk and his mom thought was a great place to live. Months later we would move in with my folks, the very day I saw a RAT run through the kitchen.  We lived there a couple months or so until we found another decent place to live.  After less than a year we were piss poor broke and my in-laws were over running a bed and breakfast, we moved into the upstairs of their home and lived there for close to two years.  

Thankfully, Kaet has always been one to go with the flow.  From the time she was a baby, traveling was no big deal to her, we’d load her up in the car and drive the five hours to go see our familes for a weekend and she just rode along without a complaint.  

After starting kndergarten in Iowa, at Christmas we moved up to northern South Dakota.  We lived in three different houses up north and picked Leo up while we were there!  She was a great sister from day one, seven years difference in age, she is still his mother hen.  

Thankfully we were finally able to move home for good when Kaet was in the second grade.  We moved in with my folks until we could find a home to buy.  Kirk finally had a buying area where we could plant roots and not move!  We were in my folks’ basement about 10 months when we moved into our new home, an acreage in the school district Kirk went to from beginning to end.  

Early on, in the first grade, Kaet was tested for learning disabilities, after we discovered that she was such a great reader because she would memorize her school book stories, we just happened to notice one evening that she was “reading” the story and turning the pages at the right time, but wasn’t looking at the book.  There was a big fancy name for what her learning hangup is, basically, she’s one of those people that has to learn from memorization, she can’t sound out words or put a puzzle together to save her life…she worked her butt off to get through school and really struggled in college, but she was able to do it and we’re so proud of her!  

Freshman year in high school she fell asleep while driving on a gravel road a few miles from our house.  She’d taken a friend home in the middle of the afternoon, the school bus came upon her, she was standing next to the road in a driveway to an alfalfa field, just standing there.  Her gaurdian angels were with her, she rolled the car, went over a fence, a post hole was in the hood, the license plate showed that the car had also spun on it’s nose.  Oddly enough, the girl who always wore her seat belt for some reason didn’t have it on, she went out the sun roof…the authorities believe she wouldn’t have survived had her belt been on.  She was life flighted to the city, spent one night in ICU and six additional nights in the hospital, she was 100% bed bound until the night before she was dismissed.  It was a long recovery, several breaks and fractures, using a walker and wearing a back brace.  From the fractures to three vertabrae she lost 1 1/2″ in height and has a large scar on her right hip, that’s all…so blessed.

The girlie took dance lessons for years, tap, clog, jazz and technical…played tball then softball until high school and then coached tball for two years, she played volleyball a couple years, gave a shot one year at cheerleading.  She did 4H a number of years, team roped for a number of years and gave a go at rodeoing doing break away roping one summer.  Also worked with the littles youth group at church a few years, she didn’t like it much, but I figured it was good birth control!

Once the girl started working, she started working.  Such a hard worker, for the first time in ages she’s working only one job, there have been times she’s worked two and three jobs during the summer during high school and college, all of her own choosing.  So proud of her!

(Kayla and Kaet)

So proud of this girl, took our challenge to move away to go to college for a year and wound up staying and graduated two weeks ago and three weeks into a full time job with benefits at a bank!  Couldn’t have asked for a better daughter!  Now if she’d just slow down on getting older!


Monday 7. November 2016

Don’t know where October went…doesn’t feel like the beginning of November, we are having such a mild fall.  We’ve had no rain in about two months, even the farmers working on getting the crops in have been saying we could use a little rain.  The weatherman in calling for a chance this evening, but isn’t sounding like he thinks it’ll happen.  We are taking every day as it comes though, knowing winter will show it’s ugly head before we are ready.


Have been watching the neighbors this morning…Kirk talked to one of the brothers recently and believe he said this field and the one across the road from us are their last two fields this year.  Usually they are one of the first areas they harvest.  Must be shaking things up a bit this year.


Always enjoy watching our neighbors harvest.  It’s a family operation…mom, dad, sons and daughters.  They have more land than dad farmed as we were growing up.  Dad never used trucks, just a tractor and wagon and one hired combine man.  The corn was just brought down the hill to the silos and unloaded at our place because we fed what we raised.  Not sure if the neighbors raise livestock or not.  Pry should know since one of the granddaughters is one of our “extra kids” that spent a lot time here while growing up.


Dad has his own combine now.  He only farms the one field at our place now, my brother has the other field among others he now owns and rents.  He farms some with his former brother-in-law, they have the combines and trucks like our neighbors here do.  Different generation.  Dad still does everything the way he always has and there’s no changing him, although I know it frustrates my brother.  If it makes him happy, that’s all that matters!



Today I’m going to start trying to get myself built back up after being down the past five weeks with the chest crud.  Was feeling quite a bit better last week but wasn’t able to get much accomplished, after being down for so long, doesn’t take much for me to get worn down…so frustrating.  Have never been sick like this ever, to my knowledge.  Thirty minutes of house work and I’m done.  Makes me feel like my age is catching up with me.


Our girl came home from college for the weekend, hadn’t seen her in two months.  She brought her boyfriend and their two dogs with them…talk about mass craziness.  We have three chihuahuas (that don’t like other dogs) and they have two cow dogs that don’t like other dogs or cats…we have a house cat that is seldom seen, as all cats should be…she has a job and she does a great job of it, haven’t seen in mouse in many years.  Needless to say, they wound up staying the weekend with my folks.


As it happened, Grampa Leo’s birthday was on Saturday, so we stopped by to a get a picture.  As I asked Kaet’s boyfriend, don’t all families take family pictures at the cemetery?  He just smirked and shook his head…it’s not something we did growing up…it’s just me.  Leo was named after Kirk’s favorite grampa, started taking a picture of Little Leo every Memorial Day weekend way back when L.L. was little.


Leo was so tickled to see that he’s now taller than his sister, and by several inches.  In August she was still a titch taller.  A bit of a sore spot with her…her freshman year in high school she fell asleep while driving and flipped her vehicle…fractured two vertebrae and lost 1 1/2″ in height…very touchy subject.


We were thankfully lucky enough to have gorgeous weather and were able to get out for the afternoon on Saturday…we took Dallas to Jolly Time, always a fun place to stop.  


We celebrated my mom’s 70th on Saturday evening.  Everyone but one grandchild was able to make it…that doesn’t happen often now that Kaet lives so far away in NebraskaLand.  She didn’t want a big party like we had when dad turned 70, she wanted low key and immediate family only.  Was a nice evening…no fighting…always a good thing!

IMG_7679.JPG(Little Leo, The Godfather…Uncle Steve, Aunt Kathy and Great Aunt Phyllis)

Yesterday we celebrated Kirk’s Great Aunt Phyl’s birthday…she does not like being called Aunt Phyl, but that’s what I call her…but not when she’s around, the name seems to fit. She’s the only sibling left in her family, an awesome lady!  Had a great time visiting with family and celebrating a wonderful young lady!  

Now it’s on to putting the house back in order after being sick for so long and on to getting ready for Thanksgiving!  We are having Kirk’s side of the family gathering the Saturday before at The Godfather’s.  Kaet and Dallas will be able to make it back for that!  My in-laws and two uncles will be home from Florida as well!  

Kaet will be staying out west this year for Thanksgiving, last year she and Dallas were here, so they are going to be with his family this year.  I’m not thrilled about it, but I get it…it’s going to be hard, but it’s just something I’m going to have to get used to.  Been there are done that way back when Kaet was a baby and we lived out in south central Nebraska.  We couldn’t make it home to every holiday and it was tough.  All our family and friends lived back here.  Have to do what you have to do though, no matter how hard.

I suppose I’ve rattled on more than enough.  Think I’m stalling on my housework.

My Best To All!


The Trio

The last of The Trio turned 14 today.  Happy Birthday to my LuLu!


LuLu, Bubba and Sister Mary

2002 was a busy year, Bubba was born in January, Sister Mary Francis was born the first week of September and LuLu the last week of September.  LuLu is my brother’s youngest and Sister Mary the third of my sister’s kids.  

The Trio have recently gotten to the age of being irritated by our clumping the three of them into a group…someday they may change their minds~hopefully.  

I’m one of a trio/quad cousin group myself.  It’s unique to our family and I’ve always loved it.  Then again, the four of us are all girls…no boys included!  

Britton was born first in September 1972, our grandfathers were double first cousins (their parents were siblings, the husbands were siblings and the wives were sisters).  Heather was born next in October 1972, Angela in November and I bookended in January 1973.  The three of us are the daughters of the three brothers.  


Me, Heather and Angela

Unfortunately, even though we all lived close, none of us graduated together and that was something I had wished could have happened.  The three started school together, at least were able to go to school together for a number of years.  I tried so hard the past couple years of high school to be able to open enroll to the school the three started in and one still attended, it was only a mile further than the school I went to…I wanted to graduate with one of the group.  No such luck.  

Family gatherings were always so much fun, it was the only time the three of us really had the opportunity to spend any time together.  Dad’s side of the family never were the type to get together unless Oma ordered it.  We would be inseparable at Christmas.  When we were little I hated being the youngest, of course now that we are older, I’m tickled to be the baby of the group!

As great as it was to have that special bond, there was a downside.  I remember being told many times that Heather was an A student, Angela was an A student, was on varsity ball teams from Freshman year in high school.  The end of our Freshman year Angela’s mother passed away from breast cancer.  After Aunt Kay passed away, Grampa and Oma then added that Angela was great because she not only was an Honors student, awesome at athletics, but she was able to do all that while taking care of a home.  There were many years in high school and into my first year in college where I didn’t feel like I was as good as Heather and Angela.


l-r  The Petersen Girl Cousins

me, my sister, Bobbie Sue, Juli, Angela and Heather

I have made a conscience effort over the years to not compare the kids.  I try to as equally as possible compliment and encourage them all so they don’t get the feeling like one or two are better or worse than the other one or two.  I felt for many years that I wan’t as good as the other two.  My brother is good about it too, not just saying his daughter rocks but that all three do.  My sister, not so much…her kids are the absolute best at everything and she makes sure we all know it.  

Being one of a special group such as this is a great way to grow up.  Of course not the same as being an actual twin or triplet, but there is a special something about it.  An experience I wouldn’t trade for the world and hope that the current trio will feel that way as well someday!



Great Grandma Lucy

Lucy Mahnke_edited-1

Great Grandma Lucy…yesterday was the 125th anniversary of her birth in 1891.  She left us back in December 1985, way back when I was in the 7th grade, yet there are seldom days she doesn’t come to mind and there are trigger scents that bring me back to her house circa late 1970’s.  Walking into any antique store takes me back to her old house.

Charles and Lucy (McKee) Mahnke

Charles and Lucy (McKee) Mahnke

I actually have very few memories of the woman.  Most of them come from going to visit her at her home with my mom when I was real little.  I remember we’d always walk in through her back kitchen door, she’d always be sitting in her chair in the kitchen, always with an afghan in progress on her lap.  Thinking back, she didn’t have a television in the room, wonder if she just sat and worked in quiet or if she had a radio.  

Her home was such a unique place, looking back.  She had the old white porcelain claw footed bath tub, the bathroom alone was like stepping back in time.  I remember the room between the kitchen and living room, in which the bathroom was off of, guessing it was originally a dining room, had a single bed against the wall, the bed was always made and I remember small decorative pillows propped up prettily.  There was never a thing out of place.

Charles and Lucy (McKee) Mahnke

Charles and Lucy (McKee) Mahnke

I recall once going to visit and Grandma Lucy sending my mom upstairs to get something for me.  It was a beautiful child’s size wooden rocking chair with a wicker seat.  Mom had it refinished and it was something that I enjoyed so much as a child.  It’s something that I cherish so much and is in my living room now with an afghan she made me in her later years.

Gramma McKee and Lucy_edited-1

(Lucy with her mother)

To tell the truth, she scared me as a little girl.  Grandma had the long skinny fingers, old lady voice and I can honestly say that I don’t recall having even seen her standing, always sitting in her chair.  

In the last few years of her life my maternal grandmother (Lucy’s only daughter) would take me and other cousins to go visit Grandma Lucy at the nursing home.  By that time she was in her 90’s and didn’t say too much.  Still, always with a work in progress on her lap.  

Having learned more about Lucy from my mother over the past few years, I really wish I could have known the woman my mother grew up knowing.  She sounds like she was a spit fire!  Sounds like she worked circles around her husband, babysat many of the local kids, would tell her grandchildren to go in the other room and be quiet when she was trying to talk to adults and apparently did not get along with her son-in-law, my grandfather. Sounds like she said what she thought and didn’t hold back in any way, shape or form. 

I do feel like I have a connection to Lucy.  I have her rocking chair, I have her old kitchen table that her mother gave her as a hand-me-down and holds prominence in our living room and I crochet as she did.  Think I would have loved her like crazy had I gotten to have known her when she was younger and I was older.