Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I am grateful for George and the loving
care he has given me as I face all of my
medical issues.  I  am glad he has his
leather work.  It is his comfort zone
and gives him something to do besides
worry about me..  He loves it.                                                                                           .

His talent is amazing and more awesome
with each piece he does.  He loves trying
different things.  This year his passion has
been making clocks and different styles
of purses.  They are amazing.  People,
including me, have come to think of him
as a miracle worker.

For Christmas this year, Rhonda asked
him to make little stirrup bag purses for
her six little granddaughters.  Their
mothers would ask them to chose their
favorite Disney Princess.  They would
also have their name on the purse which
would make them unique and personal for
each girl.  In addition, we decided he would
make one for our other fun and sassy little
great granddaughter, Ryann, who lives in
California.  She loves seeing her cousins at
our family Reunions and when they visit at each
others home.  It would be the perfect Christmas
gift from us.

The mothers would ask their daughters who their
favorite Disney Princess was. Ryann, Presley,
Mallory and Gracie chose a Princess.  It was fun
that they each chose a different one.  Rhonda
wanted a horse and flowers for Nixin, Harlee,
and Montana.  They love horses and want to be
cowgirls like their G-Mama.  Tooled and
painted, with different colors of suede inserts,
these little purses were adorable.

Since he had made purses for the girls, I asked
him to make wallets for our great grandsons,
Brexton and Ethan.

For Brexton's birthday in late October, he had
asked George to make him a clock featuring
Marvel Comic's villain, Deadpool.

He had recently made me a Mickey Mouse and
Friends clock,  I loved it so much I thought it
would be a perfect Christmas present for Marie.
She is my sister, Theresa's daughter and besides
being my niece, she is a dear friend.

Jenna loved these clocks so much, she asked
George to make clocks for her mother and
sister.  She wanted Humming Birds for her
mother and an African theme for her sister,
depicting Missy and her husbands 2 - 1/2
years living in Africa.

When he finished the Christmas gifts, for his
own pleasure, he made a a 12" by 20"
picture of Santa Clause driving a stagecoach
with four teams of horses.  It is called "A
Cowboy's Christmas".and has a "Merry
Christmas From Arizona"  Greeting.  He
framed it and attached tiny twinkling lights
around the frame.  It was such a happy
addition to our decorations.

His masterpiece was another 12" by 20"
picture of the last supper.  It is one of the
most amazing pieces he has done.  It is

See what I mean when I say we all think
he is a "Miracle Worker"?  in October,
November and December, he made six
purses two wallets, five clocks, and two

You would think he would want to rest
for awhile, but in January and February
he made two more clocks, one of "Bambi"
and one of  "The Lady And The Tramp"

Bambi was for Jared, Tracey's, son, his
wife Christy and their new baby
daughter Adley

"Lady And The Tramp" was for Rhonda.
The movie came out when she was a
little girl and it has always been her
favorite Disney movie.  It was a thank
you for all she does for us, especially
since there is now so much I can't do.
We sent the movie on DVD with each

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Panaca's Sesquicentennial Celebration July 2014

  I wanted to include this post on my blog even though it will not be in chronological order.  With health issues I have faced and not having access to my blog for a  period of time I am playing catch up. This is a letter I wrote to my family after the Panaca Sesquicentennial Celebration.

    Each day since we came home from our family reunion in Caliente and Panaca, I have said, 
"Get your letters written Ina", and before I know it, the day is done and the letters aren't.

  We had a wonderful time.  It was a special time for our family. I wish Craig's family could have been with us, but we were blessed the rest of us could be together.

  Young's RV Park in Caliente was a perfect place to stay.  It had all of the amenities with full hook ups on spacious sites.  It was wonderful that we could all be together surrounding our own little lawn.  It was clean and quiet.  The restrooms were convenient and clean.  A large grassy area was a good  area for Ethan, Brexton, Spur and Muggles to run and play. Our little girls, Ryann, Nixin, Presley, Montana, and Harlee, liked it too. Deer came twice a day and we enjoyed seeing a train go by several times each day. Our food was excellent and tasty and everyone did a fantastic job with their contributions. I relished every bite of it.

  And then Panaca,what can I say? It was an amazing celebration.  It was so well done. Panaca looked beautiful.  The Spring looked better than I have seen it look for a long time.  It was so much fun having the great grandchildren do the same things my dad did as a child, that my siblings and I did as children, and then we took our children and they took their children (our grandchildren), and they took their children (our great grandchildren), six generations of children swimming in the Spring,climbing the Court Rock, watching the Pioneer Day Parade and eating a delicious breakfast and dinner cooked by townspeople and boy scouts.

  Speaking of the parade, this was Panaca's best parade for 50 years, since their 100th birthday parade in 1964.  What child doesn't like a parade they can watch up close and personal, especially when everyone who goes by throws them candy and the end has fire engines with flashing lights and screaming sirens?

  The statue is beautiful and I was touched by the words inscribed on a plaque describing the strength,courage,sacrifice, and faith, of our Mormon Pioneer Ancestors.  Our family brick is great.  It was wonderful seeing the Wadsworth name inscribed on a special plaque listing the names of Panaca's early settlers.  I loved being honored with a special pin as a living descendant of Panaca's first settlers. The down side of receiving it, I had to be over 80, the up side, I was still here to receive it. However, since I wasn't able to hear what they were saying, thank you Paul and Rhonda for making sure I raised my hand.

  The N.J. Wadsworth & Son's General Mercantile Store, now the Panaca Heritage Center, looks fantastic.  There is a lot of history in that little store.  The collage of pictures Rhonda and I did of my parents,your Granny and Granddad, looks perfect where it is hanging.  You immediately see it when you step into the store.  That is only fitting as Dad/Granddad ran the store longer than any of the other proprietors.  He loved it and I loved it while I was growing up,and I still do. It had to be fun for you to see your Granny's red and white kitchen cabinet there. I could picture in my mind it being covered with donuts rising and waiting to be cooked and I am sure the grandchildren had the same picture in their minds.

  The little kids loved playing at Pete and Delores's, so many fun things to do.  It is another tradition for them to follow.  It was wonderful seeing family and renewing old friendships, with lots of laughs and a few tears shed (happy ones). Traditions are wonderful and I was thinking the only bad thing about staying in Caliente was that we missed hearing the 6:00 A.M. dynamite call on the 24th.

  Thank you to the moms, dads, grandmothers, and great grandchildren, for tie dying shirts to wear in Panaca.  Great idea, Rhonda, and I appreciate the fact you said you did it for me.  The shirts are fantastic, the kids and moms looked adorable (yes,even moms can look adorable). Everyone loved them.

  Speaking of shirts, thank you Justin, for buying me my Panaca Sesquicentennial shirt.  It is a very special gift. I am glad you heard me say I wanted one.  I still have the shirt I got at Panaca's Centennial Celebration.

  George and I have the most wonderful, beautiful, amazing, loving, funny, and often weird family we could ever have hoped for.  We thank each one of you for making this reunion trip to Panaca the answer to our prayers.  It means so much to us that Chris, Allison, and Jenna, love Panaca.  We know our little ones do, too.

  Thank you for all you did to make it so special for two old folks.  You took such good care of us, watched over us, made it easy for us, and shared it with us.  You even had a picnic for us at the Spring.  We are blessed. We love you so much.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


We had a lovely thanksgiving and Christmas holiday
season.  We went to Trey and Jenna's for Thanksgiving.
Like his Granddad, Trey is a marvelous cook.  The turkey
he cooked was one they raised on their farm, it was a
big one, weighing in at 30 pounds.  The butter, milk,
cream, and eggs that were used to prepare dinner, were
provided by their chickens and Betsey, their cow.  

Jenna was busy cooking vegies and delicious goodies
of many kinds.  Rhonda made the dressing and her
cranberry salad and some desserts.  Jenna's mother,
family members and guests brought their delicious
contributions to help make the dinner fabulous.  Jenna
was so sweet to make sure there were things I could eat
on my restricted diet.  For instance, she made me my 
very own mashed potatoes.

The children love to play on Trey and Jenna's farm.
They have lots of room, the freedom to run and play
and the animals that delight them.

Surrounded by the love and laughter of family and
friends, it truly was a day of Thanksgiving for the
many blessings George and I enjoy every day.

When I came home from the hospital, I was having
some challenges and George and I had to let a few
things go, like my Christmas letter.  George didn't make
cinnamon rolls this year, but with his help, I did get my
Christmas fudge made.  We didn't make as many flavors
as I have previously done but still a nice variety.  The
last few years, we have given our great grandchildren
their own gift of fudge and according to things they and
their parents have told us, it is one of their favorite gifts
to receive.  Brexton and Nixin have both told us that it
great that they can now eat as much of their own fudge
as they want and they don't have to share it as everyone
has their own.  We all miss Cote so much during the 
holidays but I think he knows that we love him a lot.
He loved the fudge.  We always have some for him
and when Rhonda delivers her and Steve's gift to him,
she also takes ours.

We all went to Steve and Rhonda's for our traditional
Christmas breakfast, to open gifts and watch the children
play.  There is so much for them to do there with lots of
room to run and play.  They love to climb on the stack
of hay bales and Papa has even made them a big pile
of dirt that they love to play in.  What child would not 
love playing in the dirt?  G-Mama and Papa have made
it a fun place for their grandchildren to play.  They love
G-Mama's horses and dogs.  Their five sons' families
have given them 16 grandchildren.  And George and
I are blessed to have beautiful and amazing great

Rhonda's Christmas breakfast is always wonderful and
very delicious.  It is also rich with tradition.  I can no
longer eat all of the traditional holiday foods, but there
is plenty of the good stuff I can eat.  I have to say that
I did miss the dressing, eggnog, and pies, but the diet I
am on has done wonders for my health, now if it would
only make me skinny, LOL!  Who needs all of the food
anyway, when I am surrounded by my amazing family?

The holidays were especially joyous the year with the
birth of two more great grandchildren.  Trey and Jenna
welcomed an adorable boy, Bradley Rex Colburn, on
October 1st, and Brinton and Allison welcomed a
beautiful girl, Harlow Jaylyn on December 7th.  Of 
course, they are perfect and absolutely wonderful.

We love our Christmas traditions.  It always amazes
me how excited the children are to observe them each
year.  Including my generation, it is now the fourth
generation to observe them.  The children can't wait
to make and decorate sugar cookies and build their
Gingerbread Houses.  Brexton and G-Mama have
started a tradition of Brexton making a train instead
of a house. 

George and I went to Brinton and Allison's to watch
Nixin, Presley, Montana and Harlee build and decorate
their houses and Brexton assemble and decorate his train.
I think part of the fun of this tradition is eating as much
of the candy as they use to decorate.  It is okay, though,
as G-Mama always brings a truck load of candies of all

There was pizza to eat and two precious babies, Bradley
and Harlow, to love and snuggle.

We miss Paul and Joanne, Chris and Jeni, and Ethan
and Ryann  We would love to see Ethan and Ryann build
and decorate their houses.  It is wonderful that their proud
grandparents and Uncle Justin are there to join them in the
fun.  I love it that even our adult grandchildren who don't
have children yet, still observe this tradition, usually while
watching and helping the little ones.  I love it that even
though we are separated from some of our family by
distance, we are together in our hearts and the spirit of the
holidays.  We do always see Paul and Joanne and their
family sometime during the Christmas season.  They
came for New Year's this year and we celebrated another
Family Tradition of eating with them at the Golden
Corral Restaurant.  Ethan and Ryann love their Arizona
cousins.  They have been wanting to ride Aunt Rhonda's
horse.  So, with their cousins, they had a wonderful
time riding Santannah.  They didn't want to leave
Uncle Steve and Aunt's Rhonda's.  I think they will
make that a favorite thing to do when they come to

Often Miranda has joined us to make her house and she
has introduced Ryan to the art of Gingerbread House
building.  They enjoy doing it together.

One dearly loved tradition George and I couldn't observe
with our family this year was Zoo lights.  Those who
went reported that they were more amazing than ever. 
We also didn't get to see the Temple lights this year.

Craig was flying home from India to Bentonville for 
Christmas.  He made a stop here for several days,  It
was nice to share some of the Christmas season with
him.  Miranda and Ryan were going to drive to
Bentonville for Christmas.  Miranda was having
severe abdominal pain and the day they were to leave,
she was admitted to the hospital with a burst appendix. 
She was septic and full of infection.  They had to
remove a part of her intestine. They were sad that
they couldn't go but if they had left and it had
happened while they were in the middle of nowhere,
the doctors say she could have died.  It has been a
long road of recovery for her but she gets better
every day.  When it happened, Craig,  Tracy, Josh,
and Chasity were planning to drive here the day
after Christmas.  Since Miranda and Ryan are in
their new house, Craig was going to pull a U-Haul
and bring Miranda's things.  They also wanted to
check up on Miranda and I.  They weren't able to
make the trip as tornados and blizzards had hit
Texas and New Mexico hard and many roads and
freeways were closed.  We were all sad but we
will see them all at our family reunion here in July.

Before Craig left India, he had given me his
flight schedule.  It made me laugh.

He said, "This is how I will be commuting to work.
It makes my head swim, but he has been doing it for
so many years, it is old hat to him.

This is his commute:
Mumbai - London - Chicago - Phoenix - Dallas -
Bentonville - Dallas - London - Mumbai 

It doesn't always include Phoenix, only if he  is
stopping to see us.  

All of this family fun and family traditions were a
wonderful way to end the year 2015 and welcome
the New Year, 2016.


Saturday, March 26, 2016


Our Christmas was different this year. It certainly didn't
follow the plan we had chosen.  December started out great.
For the last three years, I had not felt good for the holidays   
and so I hadn't done much decorating.  This year I felt good
enough to get into the mood to get out our decorations. 
On December 1st, we decorated more than we had for those
three years.  It was fun.

Then, on December 7th, I went into the hospital.  It was a
very scary time.  It all happened in the middle of the night.
This episode was different in several ways from previous 
ones.  I lost my ability to speak and thought it had not
happened to me before this time.  However my family told
me that when I had a stroke in April, I had been unable to
speak.  I don't remember anything about that.  Perhaps that
is why I was so frightened this time.

Compared to that stroke, this was considered a mini stroke.  
It was a blessing it happened.  For decades, I have been in
and out of the hospital with the doctors attempting to 
to determine if I was having a TIA, stroke, or a MS
exacerbation, symptoms for all of them are similar.  My
brain shows so much activity from years of episodes, it
is it difficult to determine what is new activity and
what is old. The margin of time of time after an episode 
to run tests is short.  They would run many tests and we
and our insurance would spend thousands of dollars and I
have usually been sent home without a diagnosis.  This time
they did a test they hadn't done before, I don't understand
why.  It  showed I have an atrial septal defect (ADS) 
which is a hole between the two upper chambers of the
heart.  When a baby is born with this condition, the hole
usually is very small and will close during infancy or
or early childhood.  In rare cases (I always knew I was
rare LOL!), an adult can have an undetected atrial septal
defect for decades.  In May, I will be eighty five and they
had never found it.  I can't believe I have been living with
this for such a long time and I find it hard to believe I
am that old.  I have been blessed.

After I was released from the hospital, I had a follow up
appointment with my cardiologist.  He had reviewed all my 
records since I had been seeing him.  Like me, he could not
believe he, and other doctors, had never detected this.  He
told me it could be fixed and when I told him of my fear and
concerns about having it fixed at my age and with other
medical problems, he said he wanted a second opinion
and I needed one, also.  He referred me to a colleague of his
who is very renowned for closing an atrial septal defect in
adults.  His name is Dr. Alfonse Ambrosia.  Rhonda went to
the appointment with me.  We both immediately liked him.
He took the time to explain everything to us. the procedure,
and the risks.  He said in the over 200 of these procedures
he has done, he has not had a patient experience any
problems other what is normal post- op.  He thinks I will
greatly benefit from having it done and should have a better
and safer quality of life.  Rhonda and I left with both of us
having trust and confidence in him and a feeling of peace
in making the decision to have it done.  George agrees.

I will have the first step done on April 1st and I feel very
good about my decision.  I will have a Transesophageal
Echo.  It will tell Dr. Ambrosia exactly where the hole is
and how large it is.  He will then know how to proceed to
 the next step.  If you read my blog, say a prayer for me.
 I will let you know when it is all done.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


Good morning to family and friends.

I am writing this to those of you who have followed
my blog, "Growing UP Ina".

It  has been three years since my last post.  We  purchased
a new computer for me, it was linked to George's computer
and was registered to him.  I lost many of my files and
"Growing Up Ina" became George's blog.  I was not
allowed to post on it.  We could never find a way to
correct the problem.

I don't know what I did morning, but after three years of
complete frustration, I am on my blog and it is letting it
me to type this.
This little blip is to see if it will let me post.  If so, I will be
doing some writing again. I can't possibly catch up with
three years of lost time.  I will try to fill in some of the
blank spots.  What I do post will probably not be in
chronological order.  I am going to attempt to post this
and see what happens.  Then I will know if I will be doing
any future posting.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Very Merry Christmass - 2013

Just as our Thanksgiving was different this year, so was our
Christmas.  Different, but like Thanksgiving, still wonderful.

Brinton was not going to have his children on Christmas and
Presley was going to spend time Christmas day with her
father, and so he and Allison planned a Christmas Eve
celebration at their home.

Rhonda, Steve, George and I, Trey, Jenna, Montana and
Harlee, all arrived with gifts, to join Brinton, Allison,
Brexton, Nixin, and Presley.

There was an air of excitement in the air.  Hugs, kisses,
and Merry Christmases were exchanged, we enjoyed a
festive supper of red velvet waffles with all the trimmings,
bacon, and hot chocolate.  It was a perfect Christmas Eve
repast, refreshing and very delicious.

After we ate, gifts were exchanged and opened.  It was so
much fun, and so exciting watching, the children open their
gifts.  The expressions of wonder and joy on their faces,
was incredible.  I think they all received just what they

The adults, too, received some fantastic gifts, and there were
many oohs, aahs, and "this is great" resounding around the

After the fun and excitement of opening gifts, it was time
for the children to make their traditional Gingerbread
 Houses.  It is always so much fun.  It is hard to tell
what they like best, building the house or eating the candy.  

Since Brinton and Allison would not have their children on
Christmas day, they were leaving at 10:45 to fly to New
York City to spend several days.  They reported Christmas
Day in New York City was amazing.  Allison had her "bucket
 list" of things she wanted to do and it was fun to share their
excitement through pictures posted on Instagram and
Facebook, as Allison checked them off her "bucket List".

We missed having Cote with us, but Rhonda delivered our
gifts to him and watched him open them.

Christmas morning, we went to Steve and Rhonda's for our
traditional Christmas breakfast and festivities.  Trey, Jenna,
Montana and Harlee, Scotty, Carri, Martin, Miller, Mallory
and Maxwell, Ryan, Julie, Crew, Cole, Cash and Gracie,
Brannon and Amanda were all there.  Steve and Rhonda
had a house full of grandchildren playing and having the
time of their lives.  Next Christmas, Brannon and Amanda's,
as yet unborn son, will add to the excitement.

As always, breakfast was delicious. Rhonda made baked
French Toast and Trey brought a Dutch Oven breakfast
casserole.  Guests brought trimmings for the French Toast
and fruit bread.  There was an assortment of beverages.

Because of an unexpected and unwelcome health crisis, I
was unable to do much for Christmas this year.  Rhonda
drove me to Barnes and Noble and helped me select books
for our great grandchildren.

George made the fudge this year, and it was wonderful.  I 
did sit and talk him through the directions and watched
the clock as he stirred.

Craig and Tracey had a pre-Christmas trip to Miami for
their anniversary.  They reported a wonderful time.  We
talked to them, Hannah, Josh, Cameron, and Chasity
Christmas day.  We weren't able to talk to Jared and
Christi, but we received a beautiful Christmas card
from them

We talked to Jeni and she told us about their Christmas
and Ethan and Ryann's Christmas experiences.  We sure
missed sharing their excitement with them.

We talked to Justin and he reported a white Christmas in 
Cedar City and some great snowboarding.  He also told us
about his drive to California to spend Chrismas with his

We haven't seen Miranda yet.  She has been so busy with 
work.  She sent us a card and gift and exchanged Facebook
messages.  We will see her as soon as she has a break in her
work.  We have her and Ryan's fudge waiting for them.

Saturday, Paul and Joanne came to spend the day with us.
George and I fixed lunch for them and Steve and Rhonda. 
They all said lunch was delicious and the three hours we
sat around the table reminiscing and talking, was really
special. They gave us a fun report on Ethan and Ryann
and their respone to the fun and excitement of Christmas.
We gave them their fudge and sent Chris,  Jeni, Ethan
and Ryann's home with them.  We gave Rhonda and
Joanne baggies and let them take as much of the left
over fudge as they wanted.

On Monday, December 30th, some of our family members
went to see the beauty of the thousands of Christmas lights
and images at ZooLight at the Phoenix Zoo.  They have the
most amazing light display each year, and each year they
add more.  Besides the Polar Slide, they installed a zip line
this year.  I really missed seeing them. It is so much fun
watching the children's response to them.

The festivities are not over yet.  Steve, Rhonda, George
and I recieved a Christmas present from Trey, Jenna,
Montana, Harlee and Spur, to go to their home for a
Dutch Oven Classic dinner on Thursday, January 2nd.
We love visiting their farm.  It will be fun.

Trey and Jenna spent hours of their Christmas vacation
installing a new Gymnastics Bounce Floor at their gym,
Define Yourself Tumbling and Cheer.  They installed 40
boards (I think that is the number) and 2,000, or more,
springs on the boards.  What a task, but now the students
will have an even better bouncing and flipping, good time.

It has been  a beautiful and busy Christmas season.  George
and I are blessed with the most amazing, supportive, loving,
family we could have ever dreamed of having, and it just
gets better every year.

There is no one we would rather be surrounded by as we
celebrate the birth of our elder brother and Savior, Jesus
Christ, than each of you, who make our life so beautiful.

Even our little ones realize that Christmas is more than
the Christmas Tree, presents, ZooLights, and decorating
cookies and making Gingerbread Houses

G-Mama (Rhonda) asked Montana, Trey and Jenna's
little Princess who will be three in February, if she was
having fun at Christmas.  She threw her arms up in
the air, way over her head, and yelled, "Yay,
Christmas, Jesus's birthday!"

Brinton and Allison's little Princess Nixin, who turned
five in Ocober, was asked by Allison,  "So, do you
have a favorite Christmas you remember, or a favorite
gift you recieved?"  And Nixin said,  "The thing I like
most about Christmas is that it is Jesus' birthday. 
Jesus was born and he destroyed all of the bad guys,
and then we all sang, "I Am A Child of God"

What would we do without our children.  Yes, they
make Christmas exciting and beautiful, but as young
as they are, in their innocence, they help us remember
what the true meaning of Christmas really is.

Remember, in St. Luke 18:16, it says, But, Jesus
called them unto him and said, "Suffer little children
to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such
is the Kingdom of God."

Thank you to our family for loving us, we love you

Monday, December 30, 2013

We Serve Our First Thanksgiving Dinner

When I was was growing up in Panaca, Thanksgiving was
always a day filled with love and laughter, family and
friends.  Mom and Dad always made sure that there was
no one in Panaca who did not have a place to go for
dinner.  It was a tradition to have guests, other than
family, for dinner.

Our Thanksgiving was filled with tradition, starting the
day before when Mother would bake her pies and the
shells for the whipped cream and jelly tarts She would
have the dried corn softening in her special broth and the
lemon sauce made for her suet pudding, a favorite dessert
of family and friends.

Delores and I would dust each room in the house, giving
special attention to the piano and all of Mother's Elf
figurines and seashells.

Thanksgiving morning I would wake up to the heavenly
aromas emanating from the kitchen and the rustle and
bustle of Mother as she worked.  She usually had a few
chores for Delores and I to do.  When we were finished,
she would send us outside to while away the time until
we were called inside to set the tables.  We waited with
unrestrained excitement for that call to come.  It was so
exciting as family and friends began to arrive.

After Dad said a prayer of thanksgiving and blessed the
food, dinner was served.  The menu for our Thanksgiving
dinner never changed, it was tradition.  There was turkey
and dressing, ham, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy,
Mother's famous sweet potato souffle, dried corn,
reconstituted and cooked in her original cream sauce,
green beans and onions, fruit salad with pomegranates
and whipped cream, several varieties of Mother's home
canned pickles and her famous rolls served with oodles
of fresh churned butter.  For dessert there was pumpkin,
apple, mincemeat and cherry pie, and all of the whipped
cream and jelly tarts the children could eat. And, of course,
Mother's famous suet pudding with lemon sauce, which
the older people, especially, looked forward to with great

When your mother holds the title of "Lincoln County's
Most Famous Cook", with her fame extending throughout
the State of Nevada, her Thanksgiving dinners are legendary.
I look back at this and marvel because until the early fifties,
all of this was done on a wood burning stove with no hot and
cold running water in the house.  Lois Stewart Wadsworth
was truly a "miracle worker."

After dinner, Dad asked each family member and guest,
to share something they were especially grateful for.
Plates of food were then delivered to the elderly and
needy people in town.  That was anorher James Allen
and Lois Stewart Wadsworth Thanksgiving Tradition.

When George and I were married in 1951 and I joined
him in California where he was in the Navy and stationed
at The Naval Training Center in San Diego, it was nearing
the Thanksgiving and Christmas season and even though I
was excited to finally be with my husband, I was very sad
at the thought of being away from Panaca and my family
for the first time at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Our first home together was not in San Diego but in
Westminster, 95 miles and an hour and a half drive from
San Diego.  As I have previously written, George's
brother Jack, his wife Lee, and their two children,
Lloyd and Jackie, lived there.  While we were waiting
for our name to come up for a unit in Public Quarters
near the Training Center, George wanted me to live near
them so I would not be alone as often .

On our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife, George
was able to leave the base and come to Westminster for
Thanksgiving weekend.  We had dinner at Jack and Lee's.
Lee's parents, Mom and Dad Shinpaugh, her three sisters
and her brother were there.  It was a lovely day and
dinner was delicious, but I was so homesick and missed
all of the tradition associated with my family.

We were living in Hillcrest, a suburb of San Diego,
on our second Thanksgiving.  George was scheduled for
duty on both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It was a
sad, lonely time for me.  I spent Thanksgiving with my
friend Annabelle, whose husband, Nick, was serving in
The Personnel Division with George and was a good
friend.  He also had duty that day.  Annabelle and I did
not cook dinner, we ate out and I don't remember where.

Our third Thanksgiving found us living in Public Quarters
with Annabelle and Nick as our neighbors.  We were excited
to plan our own Thanksgiving dinner and cook our first
turkey and dressing.  Several weeks before Thanksgiving,
I frantically wrote Mom and asked her to send instructions
for cooking a turkey and her recipe for dressing. 

We invited Nick, Annabelle and two other young men
who worked in The Personnel Division with Nick and
George, Danny Peruzzi, the little Italian bundle of
energy I have previously written about, and a handsome
African American boy, O.J. White.  They were both
single and had no place to go for dinner unless they ate
on base.  Thus, we were following Mom and Dad's
Thanksgiving Tradition of everyone having a place
to eat dinner. 

The recipe and instructions for cooking the turkey and
dressing arrived along with a suet pudding and recipes
for Mother's pie crust and lemon sauce,  There was also
 a jar of the Pottawatomie Plum Jelly, made from the
plums on Mom's trees and used in the tarts, a small bag
of dried corn with the directions for reconstituting it,
and the recipe for the cream sauce to cook it in. 

Following tradition, the night before, we made a pumpkin,
apple, mincemeat, and cherry pie, the shells for the tarts,
the lemon sauce, and started the process foe the corn.

Thanksgiving morning, carefully following Mom's
directions, George prepared the turkey while I made the
dressing.  He then stuffed the turkey and got it in the  oven. 
He used his own recipe for the sweet potatoes.

I was a nervous wreck waiting for the turkey and dressing
to cook; would it be cooked properly, would it taste good?

The turkey and dressing were cooked to perfection.  The
lemon sauce was maybe not as smooth as Mom's, but it
was delicious.  The pie crust was as flaky as it should be,
 the tarts were beautiful, and miracle of miracles, the corn
turned out tender and creamy.

George and I were relieved, a bit surprised, but very
proud of our endeavors, and our guests thought dinner
was perfection.  They even raved about the suet pudding.
Everyone is not raised eating it like I was and do not
know how wonderful it is until they eat it for the first

I was ecstatic; we observed traditions, the guests were
wonderful, and they left happy and sated

This is the story of the first turkey and Thanksgiving
dinner we prepared and served as husband and wife.


By the mid fifties, Mom and Dad had running hot and
cold water in the house.  We had bought Mother a gas stove,
not to be used in place of her beloved wood burning stove,
but in addition too.  We also bought her an electric roaster
oven in which she soon delighted using to cook her turkey.

For years, Rhonda has been cooking our Thanksgiving
dinner. She and Steve are the ultimate host and hostess
for us, their children and grandchildren and other special
guests  They have established Thanksgiving traditions
and it is heart warming to me that most of them are the
same as the ones I grew up with and raised our children
with.  Rhonda always cooks her turkey in her electric
roaster oven and it is always delicious.

Like Britain's famous Plum or Christmas Pudding,
Suet Pudding is a steamed pudding and they are all
made with suet.

Many people do not know what suet is.  It is the hard
fat taken from the loins and around the kidneys of
beef or mutton.  It's melting and congelation point
is high and it has a near zero smoke point.  This
makes it ideal for deep frying, pastry, shepherds
pie, and steamed puddings.

In the days of the Puritans and early Mormon Pioneers,
suet was most often what they used in their cooking and

You can find suet in many supermarkets by going direct
to the butcher and requesting it.  It will be fresh when
 you purchase it.

George and I learned to make suet pudding using Mom's
recipe.  In our El Cajon Wards and the Descanso Branch,
we became known for making it during the Thanksgiving
and Christmas season and it was always a favorite and much
loved dessert for our family and friends, especially the
older people.  We were asked one year to make it as one
of the desserts for the El Cajon Stake's Relief Society
Christmas Dinner.  We served it with lemon sauce and it
was a big hit and talked about for a long time. 

Mother's Christmas gift to her children when they married,
was always a suet pudding, fruit cake, pine nuts, and a jar
 of Potawattomie Plum Jelly for tarts.  They would arrive
wrapped in Chrismas paper in time for Thanksgiving.  She
did this each year until she was no longer physically able to
do so.

The following post is the letter and instructions we received
from Mother after I frantically wrote her for help as we
prepared to cook our first Thanksgiving turkey and dinner.

I had told George we absolutely could not cook our turkey
without one of his old white t-shirts, bleached, washed and
greased with shortening, to wrap it while it cooked.  I have
always thought that was the secret to Mother's perfectly
roasted turkeys.