Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Out on the floor I can see you smilin'
feet keepin' time
your partners seem sweet
But, Oh won't you dance... with me?
Ask me to dance
ask me to sway
I've been waiting all night just to hear you say
Oh won't you dance... with me.
Sure looks to me like you dressed up tonight
eyes shinin' bright
your hair done up swell
So, Oh won't you dance... with me?

Though it seems strange, I've eyes only for you
my feet are turned left
bu I'll give you my best
Please won't you dance... with me?

Take up my hand and we'll give it a try. This dance is just for you. Oh please sway with me?

Dance with me, dance with me, please won't you dance?

Emily Bergstrom

Monday, June 24, 2013

History you can taste

not my copy!
I'm just a bit of a history nut if you haven't already guessed. So it only seems right that every now and then I share some of my historical stuff. Speaking of which, I happen to own the April 1883 edition of the Godey's Lady's Book. I use it mostly for research for my manuscripts, but there are plenty of other interesting things in this little magazine.

One of my favorite things to take note of are the recipes. Often, when writing, I haven't the faintest idea of what to feed my characters, but this little book has plenty of decent (historically accurate) ideas.

Anyways... thought I might share some 130 year old recipes

BTW: did you know that in 1883, a Godey's Lady's Book subscription cost $2.00 a year?

Potato Salad

Cold boiled potatoes,
Salad oil,
Slice some cold potatoes, and sprinkle over them a little finely chopped parsley and onion. Mix a dressing with the proportion of two spoonfuls of oil to one of vinegar, add mustard, pepper, and salt to taste, mix well together and beat with a fork until it becomes creamy, then pour over the vegetables. Bottles anchovies may be added to this, when it becomes anchovy salad. 


  Soup Stock

Odds and ends of meat,
Six whole cloves,
Twelve whole peppers.
Save the trimmings and coarse bits of your roasting pieces, also the bones, and to every two pounds put a quart of water; when it comes to a boil set it back from the hot fire, where it will simmer six hours, then add herbs and seasoning; cook two hours longer, strain, and put in a cool place; in the morning skim off the fat. This can be used to make any kind of soup or sauces, and is very convenient to have on hand, as it really costs nothing - the spice is sufficient for a gallon of stick. 


Stewed Beefsteak

A thick steak,
One onion,
three cloves,
Carrot, turnip, and onion. 
Partially fry a thick beefsteak with an onion; then roll it up, put it into a stew pan with a little stock or gravy, add three cloves, some slices of carrot, turnip and onion. Put it in the oven for an hour, then thicken the gravy with flour and butter, season, add a spoonful of mushroom catsup, and serve.


Milk Biscuit

One quart of flour,
Two tablespoonfuls of butter,
two teaspoonfuls of soda,
One pint of milk,
Half a tablespoonful of salt.
Take one quart of flour and mix with it two teaspoonfuls of soda, then add two tablespoonfuls of butter, and half a teaspoonful of salt; moisten the mixture gradually with one pint of sweet milk, roll out, cut in round cakes, and bake in a quick oven.


Pound Seed  Cake

One pound of butter,
One pound of sugar,
One pound of flour,
Eight eggs,
Caraway seeds to taste.
Rub the butter and sugar together until they are beaten to a cream; then add one pound of flour well dried, eight eggs (yolks and whites beaten separately), and caraway seeds to taste. Mix the ingredients, and beat all well together for one hour. Put the batter into a tin cake-mould lined with paper and well buttered. Bake in a moderate oven.


German Cream

One quart of cream,
Yolks of four eggs,
Quarter of a pound of sugar,
Half ounce of isinglass.
Whip one pint of cream stiff, and put it on a sieve; boil the remaining pint with the yolks of the eggs,  well beaten; sweeten, and flavor with vanilla; put into the insinglass dissolved, and set it on the ice. When it begins to thicken, stir in the whipped cream, a spoonful at a time; put into a mould and keep it one the ice.

I suppose I'll be the first to admit I only use about maybe a fourth of these measurements to this day, but its rather interesting to see the way they used to phrase things. Now, I can't promise that you will be able to decipher these recipes and make them yourself, but if you're a writer, some food might spice up your writing.

Whatever you do with it! I wish you luck!


Saturday, June 22, 2013


It's not just North Bloomfield. I REALLY love the Gold Rush. And to my great delight, just yesterday, I got to wander around the gold discovery site for a little while and take lots and lots of pictures.

Coloma has quite a significant role in California history, but on display is everything from panning to hard rock mining to hydraulicking (which made me pretty happy). They had a hydraulic monitor or two on display.

but oh! The best part was hanging around in the blacksmith shop talking with the Smiths. We chatted about "courting candles" and the advantage of having big thumbs, or "sticky fingers." And then there was the "old fashioned blackberry soda pop." Delicious!

So, courting candles... these things have lost their place nowadays, but part of me wonders why. Long time ago, fathers would set out the courting candle when a young man (a beau) came to call on his daughter. The father would twist the candle higher or lower and light the candle. When the wick burned down as far as he had turned it, the young man had to leave. If the father liked the young man, he might turn the candle a little higher. But if he didn't, to save everyone the grief of entertaining the guy, the father could also turn the candle lower. Rather nifty, huh?

I really do love old things!

Sutter's Mill replica

the actual remains of the mill

inside a replica of a miner's cabin

hydraulic monitor

inside the mining exhibit (placer mining = panning (sort of))

me, haha

me again

the blacksmith shop, my great-great grandfather used to run one in Hilmar, CA

Thursday, June 13, 2013


One of the perks of being a writer and knowing other writers, is I get to pitch in every now and then with their writing careers.

Mona Hodgson, a very sweet lady and good friend of mine from Mt. Hermon has allowed me to read a per-release copy of her book, "Prairie Song." It won't be out in your local book store for a while yet, but if I know Mona, this story is going to be just as sweet and "sigh-incurring" as her Cripple Creek series.

Before I can say anything in particular about this fantastic little book, I have to finish reading it. But if you like wagon trails and quilting... she has three e-book novellas that come before Prairie Song that you can find on amazon. I give her stories flying colors if you are in the mood for a cute historical romance.

find it on amazon kindle

find it on amazon kindle

find it on amazon kindle

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Second World War in Europe

Somewhere, in almost everyone's family tree, there is someone who fought in WWII. For me, it was my great-grandpa. We called him "Grandpa Boom" which was easier to say that "Busboom," which was his surname. I always loved the old man - he used to give my brother and I Wherther's caramel hard candies.

When I was born, I was named for his wife, Rose, my great-grandma who died when my mom was 14. But being the "history buff" of my family, I am ever grateful that wonderful lady saved his letters home from the war.

One of my favorites happens to be his account of V-E day in Paris. He paints quite the picture.

Some time before, he put in for a pass and made a few trips to Paris to visit friends and people he knew stationed there. He sent some of those pictures home to my great-grandma Rose and their son, Don (Butch). He didn't take any that I know of on V-E day, but a description tops a picture any day!

9 Mar 45
Dearest Honey + Butch

            Well here I am again back from Paris and still able to get around. I really hit the right day to be there – (V-E day -) and plenty of things were happening. I’ll bet I walked 10 or 12 miles around that town trying to see everything in a short time. There was plenty of celebrating all night long. I didn’t get to bed till two in the morning and there were still enough people out to make it look like a Sat. afternoon at home. I don’t know how late they stayed up, but things were pretty quiet when I got up at seven this morning. It take long for the tho, by ten o’clock the streets were crowded again with a lot of people who didn’t seem to know where they were going.
            Last night there was a street dance on almost every other block. It seemed good to see all the street lights on again, and I think they had every light they could find in Paris lit last night. That plus all the G.I.s that were lit (to the gills) really made for a big time.
            Oh yes, honey you remember Rev. Fleischer who use to be in Ventura. He’s the fellow that went fishing with Geo and I. He’s a Maj. and the head chaplain over all these replacement pools around here. His offices are in Paris so I went in to see him this morning. He is the first person I have seen since being in the army that I knew back when? He said if anything ever came up and I needed a little help to let him know. No he can’t get me a discharge so get that idea out of your head for a little longer now. It shouldn’t be too long tho I hope.
            He also told me that Geo had been to Paris shortly before Easter, but it had one of those queer tricks of fate that he had to be out of town the week Geo was down. Maybe we’ll all get together again one of these days At Home.
            Well honey you should gather from this that I had a pretty good time. I hope I’ll be able to make that trip again one of these days.
            The big clock on the church just struck ten and as I didn’t get much sleep last night I’d better roll in toot [sp?] sweet. So till next time all my Love and Best Wishes.

Love, Art

So that's my current project actually... typing up all of his letters and stringing them together in order with all the pictures he sent home and received. It just gets me all fluttery inside to think that this is REAL history and from my relatives' perspective. 

I love it when history gets personal.