Home Movies

When was the last time your broke out the old home movies and sat back and had a good laugh or cry by watching?  Probably not recent enough, right?

I’m so grateful for those home movies that have been captured on film….. even though many of our movies are on a format that’s not as easy to view anymore, or the cameras that took them don’t work anymore.  We need to find a way to get all those transferred to digital format.  My husband is working on that project.  He’s been assigned a couple of big things that he has to have transferred in the next couple of weeks.

His Mom asked him to transfer a VHS tape she has of old family movies and photos.  The funny thing is…. when it got transferred to VHS format we thought we were in fad city!  We were watching a little of that VHS the other night and it was so fun to see my hubby at a younger age.  Most of the scenes we were enjoying the most was footage of softball games with his brothers.  They are a very athletic family.  It’s fun to see that footage of him playing ball at the age where my boys are now.  At least they can get an idea of how he played back then and know that he was once as fast as they are!

He still plays softball and does really well…. but he’s definitely not as fast as he used to be.  I think he’d be the first to admit that.  But, now our boys have visual proof of that instead of just ‘fish’ stories!

The really big assignment my hubby has been given is to transfer the Hv8 tapes that my sister made interviewing my Mom about her life.  We are celebrating her 90th birthday in a couple of weeks and thought it would be nice to make an iMovie of her life including pictures from her past and present.  It’s going to be a big job….. but we will do our best to figure it out.

We have box loads of family movies of our own that we need to digitize someday too.  I know it will take hours of time…. but I’m grateful they are there!  I look forward to reminiscing about our children’s lives!

I’m not sure this generation understands or appreciates how much easier and convenient it is for them to capture home movies!  There are many things that I’ve missed filming over the years…. which I regret….  but it took a very conscious effort to think about it and plan to get the camera out to capture those moments.  Now….. people can just pull out there smart phone cameras and spontaneously capture those moments!  Not just pictures either….but video.  How lucky they are!  I haven’t quite converted to a smart phone that does that…. yet…… still hoping that will happen soon.

Many of you probably have no idea what it was like to film some of the old movies that our parents took.  The huge cameras and the enormous lights they had to use to light the area they were filming….. plus…. nothing was wireless, so you had to have power everywhere you went.  Definitely something most people just did at ‘home’ because of the power issue.  I have very strong memories of those huge lights glaring in your eyes while you were being filmed!

The good old reel to reel movies that we would play for our family home movie night….  so much fun, but not very convenient!  As a matter of fact….. now that I think about it…. I think I may have some of those in storage somewhere!  They need to be converted too!  Crazy!

But how lucky we are to have had that technology… even the old stuff!  At least it’s documentation of our lives!  Before the old cameras were invented….people had nothing other than photographs for memories.  How blessed we are that it’s so convenient now and so easy to share!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


Grandma’s Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

I don’t know about you…. but milk goes sour at our house.  (When we even buy it that is.)  We aren’t milk drinkers.  Never have been.    I don’t think I liked milk much as a kid.  Can’t tell you why.  Didn’t hate it….. just didn’t love it!  Consequently, I don’t think my kids drink much milk either.

I’ve had a gallon of milk sitting in my fridge going sour for the last couple of weeks.  Why would I keep it, you say?  Well…. it’s because I have this great old recipe of my Mom’s for Old Fashioned Oatmeal cookies that calls for sour milk.  I don’t very often make them…. but this time, I wanted to make some, so I saved the milk.

Yummy! A fresh plate of Grandma's cookies made by me!

Last night I finally took the time to get some cookies made.  As I measured out the sour milk, I realized that I had enough to make a double batch…. so I decided to take advantage of the fact that I was actually taking time to make them and make a lot!

This is an interesting recipe.  It’s definitely an old fashioned way of doing things.  The first several ingredients are put together in a large pan and then brought to boil for a few minutes.  After everything has cooled down, you just stir in the remaining ingredients.  With the double batch I made……  I had to put it in a larger pan once I started adding the dry ingredients.  The pan I started out with wasn’t big enough.

What I love about these cookies, besides the wonderful flavor and cake like texture, is the memories that are attached to them.  It takes me back to coming home from school on occasion and smelling those wonderful spices and knowing there was a fresh batch of cookies to eat because of it!  It brings back the comforts of home.

Maybe it’s just this time of year, but those kinds of memories are so much more vivid to me now.  I can almost close my eyes and put myself right back in the middle of those feelings and experiences.  I’m a sucker for the old fashioned kind of things!  I love the Currier and Ives feel of family and friends.  And coming home to a fresh batch of old fashioned cookies made by Mom is a Currier and Ives moment for me!

I’m grateful that I have such a great recipes to share with my family and friends.  They may not taste exactly like Mom’s did…. but they are darn close!  Close enough to bring back those cozy feelings!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


Here’s the recipe for my Mom’s Cookies.  I’ve added some notes off to the side with some healthier substitutions listed in italics.  (Most of which I used this time)  I promise this is the most moist oatmeal cookie you can ever find!  It’s almost more like cake!


Grandma Jen’s Boiled Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups Buttermilk or sour milk (add 1 tsp vinegar to regular milk to make sour milk)

2 cups sugar (may use ½ brown sugar)      (Sub: 2 cups Agave Nectar)

1 cup raisins

1 cup shortening (Sub: ½ c Butter & ½ cup Coconut Oil or all Butter)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Bring ingredients to a good rolling boil in a large pan.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from stove.  Add 2 tsp soda.  Stir carefully,  as it will foam up.  Set aside and let cool completely.

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups rolled oatmeal (not quick oats)

3 ½ cups flour (Sub: 100% Whole Wheat Flour… I used Wheat and Rye flours mixed)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped nuts (if desired)

Stir eggs and vanilla into cooled ingredients.  Alternately add flour and oats and other dry ingredients.   Mix well.    You may also add 1 cup chocolate chips and/or 1 cup coconut.  (Sub: sugar free choc chips or carob chips and unsweetened coconut)  Drop by the spoonful onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy!


A Taste of Memory

Have you ever had a time when a smell or a flavor took you back in time to some great memories?  That was the case for me today as I tasted Horchata for the first time.

My understanding of what Horchata is, is that it is a drink made from Rice, milk and cinnamon.  As I looked it up on the internet, apparently there are other ingredients that are added to some recipes.  The version I had today was from El Pollo Loco.  I really enjoyed the flavor and took a second helping…. or two…..  As we left the restaurant, I was telling my husband how much I was enjoying the flavor and I suddenly said….. “It reminds of me of something I’ve tasted before.”

As I started thinking about what the flavor reminded me of, I realized that it made me think about my Grandma Moffitt.  When I was a kid, she used to serve me what she would call her ‘Josie Tea’….. which was basically tea with milk in it.   I remember it being very sweet.  Thinking about that Josie Tea made me start thinking about her delicious Rice Pudding she used to make.  I think that’s where the flavor of Horchata really took me back to.  Creamy Rice Pudding with raisins and cinnamon.  Hmmm … hmmmm … good!  Sadly, I don’t think anyone in the family ended up with a copy of Grandma’s rice pudding recipe!

That’s just one of the things my Grandma did that no one in the family ‘inherited’!  Grandma was wonderful at crocheting!  Not the big bulky yarns that we whip out a scarf with today….. or the big crochet hooks….. but the thin cotton thread and tiny crochet hooks that she made doily after doily out of!  I’m grateful that I at least inherited a few of the doilies that she made…. even though I never learned how to make them!

This reminds me very much of the doilies Grandma Moffitt used to make!

I was only 9 years old by the time I had lost all my Grandparents….. so there’s a few things I missed out on learning how to do.  I’ve seen the relationship that my adult children and their older cousins have had with my parents and John’s parents and I realize that I didn’t know my Grandparents really well.  Either that, or I was too young to remember a lot of things.  But I do remember Grandma’s Josie tea, Rice pudding and her doilies!

I’m grateful for the memory jog of thinking about my Grandma Moffitt today.  Often we don’t take the time to reflect on loved ones who have passed on…. particularly when it was so long ago and you were so young when they passed on!  Thanks Grandma….. I only wish I had your recipes and talent in crocheting!  I love and miss you!

I am Grateful!  How are you?