Archive for December, 2011

Simile or Metaphor?

December 11, 2011

This evening 5-year-old grandson Jackson said to me, “Your brain is like a hard drive.” After a few seconds of his serious thinking he said, “It IS a hard drive!!!”

Earlier he asked, “Nanna, why do you look old?” No simile or metaphor with the “old” question, but it warrants inclusion in this post!

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


An Orange POMANDER: The perfect gift for anyone to give to almost anyone.

December 10, 2011

I know I’ve been lax with blogging lately. I’ve had quite a bit (not holiday related) going on that’s been taking a lot of time. Good stuff, but just very time consuming.

Now I’m in full holiday mode. This weekend I’m in Texas with Abby and grandson Jackson. On today’s agenda is making clove-and-cinnamon scented orange pomanders and also baking gumdrop muffins. I remember making an orange pomander for my grandmother DeElda Gunderson when I was a little girl. I think that was the only time I ever made one until two years ago. I knew when I made one for Grandma that my mom thought it would be something from my heart that my ill grandmother could/would enjoy. It transcended the generations.

I was introduced to the gumdrop muffins at a P.E.O. meeting hosted over 25 years ago by Nancy Martin of Rolfe. She let me take some muffins home. My daughters fell in love with them and I’ve made them every year since.

This post is a copy of my post from two years ago. That is the year Jackson and I first made orange pomanders, with my dad making them with us. Three generations of hands. That was my dad’s last Christmas but we are keeping the tradition alive. Also, Jackson and I have made gumdrop muffins together I think every December (except maybe his first December?) of his little life.

If you want to have a pomander ready for Christmas Day giving, it would be good to make it now. It might even be a little late to have it ready for Christmas, because it needs to have time to dry out. However, if you 1) place it loosely in some tissue paper 2) in some sort of paper bag so air can circulate around it 3) in a fairly dark (I think?) and dry environment, it should be mostly dried by Christmas. Even if it isn’t, you can still give it, telling the recipient to give it a little longer before taking it out of the bag permanently.

A link to a video with pomander directions and also the gumdrop recipe are below.

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Nancy Martin’s Gumdrop Muffin recipe is 99% for certain being posted by the end of tomorrow. [It is now posted. See the update below.]

  • UPDATE: One of Santa’s elves came through with the typed (instead of Nancy’s with my chicken scratches on it) version of the Gumdrop Muffin recipe. Here is the Gumdrop Muffin recipe!

Some pomanders are simply made with just these ingredients and a ribbon. To watch how to make a pomander with these ingredients and a ribbon (or without a ribbon), scroll down to the "click here" link for a video demonstration. (Be sure to notice that you'll need whole cloves as opposed to ground cloves.)

Also, are you looking for the perfect gift for a child to give to an elderly person who doesn’t really need anything? Or, actually, for the perfect item for anyone to give to anyone?

How about an orange pomander? Basically an orange pomander is an orange with whole cloves pushed into it. It is used as an air freshener because it smells really, really, really good. If you google “orange pomander” you’ll find many sets of directions for making one. Some directions call for a preservative called orris or sandalwood oil. Others use just an orange, whole cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon…and a ribbon.

I remember making a pomander for my grandmother when I was little. (I’m almost positive I didn’t use orris or sandalwood oil.) I was so proud to give it to her because I made it all by myself (and because it smelled so good).

Click here for a less-than-3-minute video of a young girl demonstrating how to make an orange pomander.

If you do google, you’ll find that some directions are for a “quick” making of a pomander that could be given right away. Some versions are for a pomander that isn’t given until after three or four weeks of drying. Either way, it is a gift from the heart, inexpensive, and smells so refreshing.

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Standard Oil and Candy Cigarettes

December 3, 2011

What I remember as the Standard Oil station (earlier known as something else and more recently known as Ropa’s Restaurant) in Rolfe, Iowa, was knocked down today, December 2, 2011.

I was in Rolfe this afternoon for about 90 minutes. When I drove into town, this old Standard station building was standing. When I left, it looked like this (below).


The former Standard Oil station in Rolfe, Iowa. Looking southeast from the northeast corner at the stoplight intersection in Rolfe. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


My earliest memory of this building is from when either my sister Peggy and/or I had an appointment with (I think?) Dr. Clark. His office used to be in the building across from the former Standard station (pictured above). After the appointment, Peggy and I crossed the street to the Standard station where we purchased candy cigarettes. When Daddy (Deane Gunderson) came along and picked us up, Peggy and I proudly displayed for him our candy cigarettes. I bet we were so proud that Peggy and I each probably had one dangling from our lips.

Up until this part of the blog post, I’m just sort of imagining the scenario. But…Oh — my — gosh. When Daddy picked us up he was so livid that we had candy cigarettes. He angrily drove straight home and went straight to the incinerator to burn them.

At the time I had no idea how addicting cigarette smoking could be, nor any other factors associated with smoking. However, because Daddy was so upset, to this day, I’ve never smoked one puff of anything.

It’s odd that his disgust had this lifelong impact as opposed to making me rebel. Maybe there needs to be a little more of that type of parenting today. Of course, sometimes it really is difficult to determine if a parent’s action will result in the intended reaction from a child, or unintended rebellion. All I know is, I’m so thankful for that put-the-fear-of-God-in-me parenting moment from my dad.


Taken from the post office parking lot corner in Rolfe, Iowa. Looking east. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


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I’m sure there is a lot of history associated with this building. Maybe sometime I’ll do some research. However, if you remember something about it, feel free to comment at the end of this post, or email me.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)