Behind the Lace Curtains – A Blog by Emily Mayer

  • Celebrating History-April 13, 1918

    The Havre Plaindealer announced in its April 13, 1918 issue that Hill County was required to send fifty more men to send off to training camps to prepare them to fight in the Great War. A list would be released the following week. A large advertisement was front page center urging people to “Plant a War Garden, Help Win the Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    A storm must be coming or something-the girls are frazzing all over The Cottage!  Jumping up on chairs, the counter tops, dressers, the air conditioner, rolling on the bed messing up the bedspread, and just spilled over the kittens’ food dish…it’s going to be a long day!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Havre’s early schools, all razed....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    I would much rather be spending my morning hours working on the house museum, cleaning it and getting it ready for the upcoming visitor season, but there is more snow forecast for the next couple of days.  The amount may very well break the all time record set in 1981-82.  Hurry up, get here and leave right away, snow, we’re Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 37, Easter 2018

    I had originally wanted to use my Sophie the Bunny plates for Easter this year and planned a beautiful table setting.  However, they are stored in The Mansion and there are still not only tall drifts in front of the house, they have crusted over due to rainfall and melting.  So, it’s almost bulletproof and very slick.  So, I had Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Menagerie, Belleek Porcelain No. 3

    QVC offered a Today’s Special Value of a Belleek covered casserole dish a few years back.  You could order either the plain basket weave design or basket weave with shamrocks.  I chose the plain basket weave option because I could use it with other china and not just my Belleek.  This is a fabulous casserole dish.  It serves well in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Salmon with Puff Pastry and Pesto

    Every now and then I like to make lighter meals.  Fish is good for you, and both Jamey and I enjoy salmon.  I’m not sure where this recipe came from, but it’s a keeper.  Serve with a fresh tossed salad and sorbet for dessert and you’re set! 4 pieces of purchased puff pastry, each cut to be just larger than Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-April 6, 1918

    Havre’s activities to support the war effort continued with great gusto 100 years ago this week. The Havre Plaindealer reported on the event at the newly built Ryan Building in the April 6, 1918 issue. “STUPENDOUS AFFAIR STAGED THURSDAY “Every Feature of the Entertainment Was a Headliner. “No more successful public entertainment was ever staged in Havre or northern Montana Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    With the warmer weather, Buddy is wanting to go outside more.  Which is fine-just not whining at 4:00 a.m. to go out and do whatever boy cats do!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Second St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, located where the Court House is today....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    Easter is over and now it’s time to get started on my taxes.  UGH!  I hate putting everything together, but I like the refund so I’d best get to it....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 36, Winter Deer No. 2

    For the formal dinner table setting, I used the same tablecloth but used the matching napkins for a more formal feel.  Both plates remained, but I swapped out the Titanic flatware for Wm. Roger’s and Sons Golden Royal Plume to go with the trim on the plates (purchased at an antiques store in Uptown Butte, Montana).  Stemware and centerpiece bowl Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Menagerie, Belleek Porcelain No. 2

    Twice a year, on St. Patrick’s Day and for the Rose of Tralee celebration, QVC offers made in Ireland products.  You can purchase Irish sweaters, artwork, carvings, jewelry and of course table wares.  One year, they offered Belleek dinnerware in the shamrock and basket weave pattern and I just couldn’t resist.  I purchased six luncheon plates in the pattern and Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Roasted Asparagus

    As a side dish for the past few years, I have made roasted asparagus a la Ina Garten, who quite frankly is the best host on Food Network, followed by Ree Drummond.  I think Ina’s great, and here is her recipe for roasted asparagus. Trim the bottom of the asparagus.  Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-March 30, 1918

    Even though the real fighting in The Great War was taking place thousands of miles away, the effects of war was certainly showing across this country in many different ways as outlined in The Havre Plaindealer’s March 30, 1918 issue. A large ad appeared top and center on the front page asked “Are You Hoarding Flour or Sugar?” and went Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    My cats always know when a holiday is coming.  I don’t know how, but they do.  They start getting very curious, especially around the refrigerator.  Meats for holidays are not uncommon in the refrigerator any time of year, but they somehow know that turkey, ham, beef is for something special-and they want a piece! They all know they can’t have Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Havre’s first High School with recently built addition.  The building burned in 1917, not too long after the addition was constructed....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    I’m busy cleaning The Cottage in preparation for Easter.  I’m attempting to plan the table setting, but the snow drifts are not only deep, they have crusted over so it is near impossible to go next door and get the plates I really want to use this year.  So, I might have to improvise-not something I really want to do, Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 35, Winter Deer No. 1

    When it comes to shopping during the holiday season, I go out once when the Christmas decorations are put out to see what is being offered for the year.  If I find an outstanding ornament, decoration, piece of dinnerware, or yet another Christmas tree I think I need, I get it right away.  For the others that are nice, I Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Menagerie, Belleek Porcelain No. 1

    I don’t have a lot of Belleek porcelain, but I sure enjoy what I do have!  Belleek started in 1884 and is known for its beautiful creamy white porcelain.  The factory is located in Belleek, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. My first Belleek piece was purchased from QVC.  It is a gorgeous vase in a wheat sheaf pattern.  My great-grandparents were Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Roasted Red Potatoes

    Last week, I mentioned I made roasted red potatoes for St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  It’s an easy recipe that I am sure you and your family will enjoy. 2 lb. red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size 1/2 c. butter, cubed 1 T. minced dried onion 2 T. minced fresh parsley (I use Italian flat leaf parsley) 1/2 t. Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Taking Credit for Work That Is Not Yours, And How I Don’t Put Up With That

    Recently, I received an e-mail from a Montana non-profit who shall at this time remain nameless, asking me to research several buildings on a subject I have been researching since 2004.  I was quite flattered by the request and that they would ask for my assistance on information I already have on several of those buildings, and initial information on Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-March 23, 1918

    The Havre School Board of Trustees announced who won the contract to build the second Havre High School. This announcement was found on the front page of The Havre Plaindealer’s March 23, 1918 issue: “BOARD LETS CONTRACT HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING “Contracts were let by the board of trustees of School District No. 16 Wednesday evening for the new high school Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    This morning, Rita was kicking up a fuss over something she spied outside from her perch on the shelf above my kitchen sink.  I pushed her aside to find a little cottontail bunny eating the grass in the back yard, brown and old as it was.  I have never seen rabbits in my yard.  Looks like the Easter bunny came Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

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  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    Well, the vacation is over!  I was hired to once again serve as Clack Museum Manager and I couldn’t be more pleased and excited.  Which makes things different here now, the work will be done a lot faster and be more meaningful because now 20 hours of my time each week will be devoted to the Clack Museum....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 34, Friendly Village No. 3

    For the final table setting, I chose a coffee and cake party. I used the round salad plates at each setting, with the coffee mugs and covered sugar and milk jug set.  I also used Great Grandma Mayer’s silver plated Coronation flatware, silver plated coasters under the coffee mugs, Grandma Mayer’s silver plated coffee server and a silver plated bamboo Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Menagerie, Grandma O’s Ovenex

    For Sunday Dinner, I mentioned Grandma O’Donnell’s Ovenex bread loaf pan.  She gave me the loaf pan, and a smaller loaf pan, plus a cookie sheet many years ago.  She had them for a long time, how long I don’t know.  But long enough to season all of them well!  I’ve used these pans for breads, meat loaf, cookies, and Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Irish Soda Bread

    Everyone knows my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, but do you know what my second favorite holiday is?  You might think Christmas for all of the fussing I do, but it is St. Patrick’s Day.  St. Gertrude also has a feast day on the same day, and she is the patron Saint of cats and all those who love them.  My Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Visitor and Convention Bureau and Inclusion of All

    Earlier this week, I attended a meeting with several other people about reinstating the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) for Havre.  State personnel were on hand to provide information, give guidance and told us what we need to do in order for this to move forward.  This is a good thing for Havre, but let’s not forget the past.  After Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-March 16, 1918

    War news dominated most of the Havre Plaindealer’s March 16, 1918 issue. We found that Montana was “far behind in thrift campaign”, stating we were 56 percent behind in our proportionment. This was measured by the sale of stamps sold specifically for the effort, with only Wibaux, Granite, Deer Lodge and Meagher counties reporting at 100%. Hill County was near Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    Now that I’ve introduced you to The Cottage Cats, I can share some of the adventures we’ve had together.  My life is better, more meaningful and fuller with my feline babies, and I wouldn’t have it any other way-even when they’re naughty! When I first adopted Mackie, she was semi-feral and never really grew out of that.  Being thrown into Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    One of the May Band Festival parades marching down Third Avenue.  ...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    I’ve been blogging about how I’m preparing for the upcoming visitor season, and the crown at the top is always Christmas At The Cottage.  I love to share my home with the community, as I feel as a member of one of this area’s oldest families, I have an obligation to give back, to contribute and to share, especially our Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 33, Friendly Village No. 2

    For a full dinner table setting, I used the Friendly Village rimmed soup bowls on some lovely bronze chargers I found at Ben Franklin Crafts.  The flatware, stemware and table cloth with matching napkins remained the same, but I switched out the center piece, using a cut-glass compote made in Western Germany (thrift store), flanked by two Mikasa Diamond Fire Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Menagerie, Crock-Pots No. 4

    The Little Dippers Crock-Pots are perfect for warm dips and sauces.  They are great for entertaining, game day, and family game night.  I liked mine so much, I got another.  One has an ivy design and the other a Southwestern design, so popular in the 1990s.  If you like to entertain, I highly recommend these little Crock-Pots!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Easy Lemon Chicken

    I find recipes all over the place, including local newspaper inserts.  I’ve made this recipe over and over, and it’s a keeper.  It was published in American Profile and came from Connie Natale. 1/4 c. olive oil, plus extra for brushing on chicken 9 cloves of garlic, sliced 1 T. lemon zest 3/4 t. dried oregano 1/3 c. white wine Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Ideas, Finding One’s Own, and Trademarks

    Every now and then, I’m going to blog about a few things that some in this community would wish I would be silent on.  Not going to happen.  You see, this is my hometown.  My family was one of the first to arrive here, we helped build this town and we’re a part of it.  That some have a problem Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-March 9, 1918

    It seems Long George didn’t like the verdict handed down to him by a jury of his peers last week. The Havre Plaindealer in its March 9, 1918 issue carried the following: “FRENCH LEAVE TAKEN BY GEORGE FRANCIS “Failed to Appear in District Court for Sentence “George Francis, who was convicted by a jury in district court last week of Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    It didn’t take long for baby kitten Jackie Jo to get bigger than her older sister, Skinny.  However, the rambunctious and stubborn kitten was getting to be too much for poor Skinny, who is 13 years Jackie’s senior.  I thought adopting another young cat to take the attention away from Skinny might work, so I rescued a stray at the Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Aerial view of Havre, Montana during a May Band Festival parade, probably sometime in the 1950s....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    With a change in new and genuine leadership at the Havre Chamber of Commerce comes the opportunity to fix some of the problems created by her predecessor, and the new Executive Director is  much, much more cooperative and fair than the last one, who ran the office based on personal biases and hatred of anyone who had great ideas that Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 32, Friendly Village No. 1

    I found a set of Friendly Village at Herberger’s a few years ago, along with a six piece completer set.  I later added a tea set to the mix, which came from Bromberg’s, a very upscale shop in Birmingham, Alabama.  I set three different settings with this pattern, the first being a dinner party.  I used the dinner plate, Great-Grandma Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Menagerie, Crock-Pot No. 3

    I found this Crock-ette at Salvation Army a few years back and it’s perfect for heating up soup for one.  The insert is removable, but there is only one temperature setting and that is low.  It’s a perfect little Crock-Pot to bring to work if you need to work during lunch hour!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Stuffed Green Peppers

    Among the cookbook collections in my expansive library are those from Ideals.  They follow a theme, usually homey and nostalgic, and always pretty pictures of kitchens, the foods that are in the book, and oftentimes antiques.  There are several volumes in these Ideals cookbooks; I think they’ve been around for 50 years or more!  This recipe comes from the Ideals Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-March 2, 1918

    There was a lot of interesting news in the Havre Plaindealer’s March 2, 1918 issue, none more so than news of one of Havre’s most famous criminals. “JURY PRONOUNCES FRANCIS GUILTY “Sentence Will Be Passed by Court Next Monday “The trial of George Francis, president of the Stampede association and a well known character of this city, which began in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    The year 2014/2015 was a sad one here at The Cottage.  On August 1, 2014, we had to help our Princess Shorty to Rainbow Bridge as she was suffering from cancer.  Two weeks and a day later, on August 16, 2014, we lost our Little Price Smokey to a stroke.  On Christmas Day 2014, The Court Jester Pippie succumbed to Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Old Downtown Havre in the 1920s....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    Well, I managed to get the flu, so work is going to be at a bare minimum until I get well.  Just the basic necessities-washing the dishes, taking out the trash, taking care of the little kitties, then back to bed!  I’m not a good sick person, and all I want to do is be left alone!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 31, Golden Elegance No. 2

    Here is the second Golden Elegance table setting, this one from February 2, 2008.  I used the same flatware and Waterford stems and votive candle holders, but added a crystal Lenox vase and a set of place mats and matching napkins from the Trim-A-Home line for K-mart.  The place mats are reversible; holly on one side and gold-thread poinsettias on Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Menagerie, Crock-Pots No. 2

    During Christmas time a few years ago, Herberger’s had a great deal on a 2-quart Crock-Pot and I decided to get one.  I thought it would be great to have a smaller one for smaller meals, and it was a great purchase.  I’ve used it frequently.  It has all of the features of larger models, including a removable insert, making Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, All-American Hot Dish

    Mention the name “hot dish” in the Midwest and you’re sure to come up with a myriad of different recipes, but not doubt where the meal came from.  It’s pure American Midwest, with Mankato, Minnesota being the accepted birthplace of the casserole, based on hamburger, macaroni and some sort of canned vegetable, in this case peas being the mother of Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-February 23, 1918

    The Havre Plaindealer’s February 23, 1918 issue was full of news related to the Great War. Dr. H. C. Culbertson of the United States Food Administration was scheduled to speak before interested community members on March 5 regarding the world food shortage and what Americans could do to help alleviate the shortage. Two letters from local men were published among Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    The last friend Buddy brought home was a beautiful tuxedo cat I decided to name Mr. Tux because of his elegant mannerisms.  He was my Gentleman Kitty and came declawed.  I always knew when his little feet were bothering him by the way he gingerly walked. He had a very distinguished air, and earned the nickname Mr. Carson, the butler Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Pioneer Meat Market decorated for State Elks Convention in the 1920s....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    After shoveling more snow, I decided to perform another task I just can’t stand doing-vacuuming the carpets.  I love  my area carpets but I hate vacuuming.  I think it all stems from working at House of Fabrics and always having to vacuum the thread bare carpet with a monstrosity of a vacuum cleaner, because the “assistant manager” was always too Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 30, Golden Elegance No. 1

    It’s time to get away from Christmas table settings and focus on other ones.  Unfortunately, I’m running out of digital photographs and have now been taking pictures with my digital camera of film table settings. While the quality isn’t the best, I don’t think it’s all bad, either! When I moved into my first apartment, family was very generous in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Crock Pots No. 1

    In yesterday’s blog, I described my first slow cooker, a 1970s K-mart model that my mother gave me.  I have lots of slow cookers, used for various meals. The second slow cooker was the genuine article-a real Crock-Pot.  It is a white 6-quart round one that works perfectly for stews, soups and smaller roasts.  I can’t begin to tell you Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Chili Con Carne

    IfI’ve posted this before, please forgive me.  I  need to go back through my blog and write down the recipes I’ve been sharing so I don’t end up repeating a recipe you’ve already seen! There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s day than beans.  Boston baked beans, New England baked beans, Hambeens (so good!), chili-they all hit the spot and Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-February 16, 1918

    All of the local news was found in the Society column and the “Of Local Interest” social pages. A birthday, farewell and other gatherings were all documented, and here are a few from the Society column in the February 16 1918 issue of The Havre Plaindealer, complete with punctuation error: “Birthday Reception “On Tuesday afternoon Mrs. L. J. Christler entertained Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    Buddy brought home a tiny blue kitten one evening, and of course Buddy led the little stray to the food.  I figured since he’s eating my food, we should get to know each other.  Smokey Joe was a little feral when he first came, but it didn’t take long for him to decide he liked to be carried and cuddled.  Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

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  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    It’s February and time to start thinking about the upcoming visitor season.  That means contacting people with updates for tour times and making sure each has information for my tours.  I am so happy that, after several years, my tours will be included in a Havre brochure!  Called the “green brochure”, it has ads for all of the other historic Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 29, Moroccan Amethyst No. 2

    I think the Seashell Snack sets in both Moroccan Amethyst and Capri Blue are attractive.  I like to call the Moroccan Amethyst ones “Plume” because they remind me of big ostrich plumes women used to wear in their hats. This table setting features my Moroccan Amethyst snack set (thrift store).  I used my Golden Royal Plume flatware by Wm. Rogers Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 14

    This is the only presentation bowl I have in Fiesta.  It is in the now discontinued color of Pearl Gray.  It’s a nice, large and shallow bowl, perfect for noodles or in this case, displaying Christmas ornaments.  I used it last for my BB-8 themed decorations for Christmas 2016.  I had a “blast” with that theme!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains: Sunday Dinner, Easy Chicken Paprikash

    For Sunday’s dinner, I chose Easy Chicken Paprikash because I had a little bit of sour cream to use up and I didn’t want it to go to waste.  This excellent, easy recipe comes from Campbell’s Fabulous One-Dish Recipes. 1 T. butter 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1 can cream of mushroom soup 2 t. paprika 1/8 t. ground Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-February 2 and 9, 1918

    Outside of numerous articles regarding World War I printed in the February 2 and 9, 1918 issues of The Havre Plaindealer ranging from shaming citizens for food hoarding to reminding citizens they “Can’t Get Away From Income Tax”, the news from Havre was mostly social. The only local news not involving gatherings in Havre was the monthly weather report from Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    Buddy brought three more friends with him during the summer of 2008. The first one was this gorgeous mackerel patterned girl kitty we named Pippie, short for Pipsqueak, or my Pippie Pipkins, the Pipkin Pipsters.  She was the quirkiest cat-she really did some odd things.  She loved attention, though, and was a very loving cat.  She also loved to curl Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    The Duck Inn in the 1960s, before it was remodeled....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    Well, we got another forecast of more snow and more cold.  So, I took a look at what was in the pantry, went to the store and restocked, and bought a new pair of winter boots.  Because it sucks shoveling feet of snow with tennis shoes!  I’m ready!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 28, Moroccan Amethyst No. 1

    I incorporated some of my Moroccan Amethyst collection with the Lincoln China when I decorated for Christmas in 2016.  So, naturally, I created some table settings using my Moroccan Amethyst pieces. Moroccan Amethyst was made by Hazel Ware, a division of Continental Can.  I don’t believe the color was entirely an accident; Jackie Kennedy was admired and emulated by smart Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 13

    Fiesta has a myriad of serving bowls, which is great because I can mix and match them as I please, I’m not buying the same bowl style over and over, and they come in a variety of sizes.  These two bowls pictured are the 2-quart serving bowl, this one in Scarlet, and the Medium Bistro Bowl in Sage.  The serving Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Ham and Pasta Skillet

    As I’ve stated before in this segment, I grew up on leftovers.  Sometimes we simply re-heated the meal the day before and enjoyed it again, and other times a whole new recipe was made out of yesterday’s vittles.  I love preparing a big meal and then finding creative ways to re-use the recipes, because we can eat for days without Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-February 2, 1918

    Sorry, folks, there was no Celebrating History this week.  I had a migraine and I wasn’t feeling well to say the least.  I will combine February 2 news with the February 9 installment. But let me say this:  When someone writes about a world event and tries to combine it with what is going on in Havre, but doesn’t include Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    Buddy came to live with us during the summer of 2008.  Some college kids living next door just left him, abandoned the poor boy.  We took him in and gave him lots of love, and in return, he lived up to his name.  Buddy brought three more feline friends with him during that summer, so we went from a family Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

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  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    Slowly but surely, I’m getting caught up on my cleaning and organizing.  This weekend, I will put away my Christmas decorations, get everything back into place and tackle another part of The Cottage....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 27, Christmas 2016, Lincoln China Part 3

    For my third table setting using the Lincoln China, I created a setting for two using my beloved Waterford Crystal in the Thanksgiving/Harvest pattern.  Everything else remained the same.  I love that crystal pattern; it has a wheat sheaf and they just sparkle.  There is nothing in the world finer than Waterford Crystal, hand made in Ireland!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 12

    I’m rather smitten with one of Fiesta’s newest offerings, the crescent dish.  The crescent shaped dish was popular on tables during the Victorian, Edwardian and early twentieth century, but fell out of favor over the years.  I bought one in Sage, but I may get some more in the future.  I don’t have a set of china with the crescent Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Honey Mustard Chicken

    Honey mustard is one of those flavor combinations I love.  Mint chocolate, lemon and rosemary, sour cream and onion-I enjoy different flavor combinations.  This easy honey mustard chicken recipe comes from Campbell’s Fabulous One-Dish Recipes and is a winner in our home for Sunday dinner! Hot cooked rice 1 T. butter 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 can cream of Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-January 26, 1918

    I wish I could have been at the Robert Burns Supper 100 years ago and celebrated my Scottish heritage.  The Selkirk Grace is as follows: Some hae meat an canna eat, And some wad eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit. You can’t say enough about a group of Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    Skinny is Shorty’s twin sister.  She has some Siamese in her, you can tell by looking at her and when she MAOS!  She’s a thin cat, thus her name, and has a bad attitude at times.  But, she’s my little buddy and has been my constant companion for 15 years, going on 16.  She’s now “Top Cat” and lets everyone Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Montana Concert Hall bar, aka the “Honky-Tonk”....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Work Day

    Today is my birthday, so  not much work is going to be done today!  Probably not tomorrow either!  It is, however, a great time to reflect on the work I have accomplished, and to set goals to achieve and work on projects I would like to accomplish.  There is a lot of work to be done, and I’ll get there-just Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 26, Christmas 2016, Lincoln China Part 2

    For the second Lincoln China dinner party table setting, I took away two of the place settings, leaving four so I could use my pretty Cassandra Gold stemware by Cris d’Arques (thrift store).  I also switched out the flatware to Golden Royal Plume by Wm. Rogers (antiques store in Butte, MT).  Everything else remained the same.  I think out of Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 11

    I’m easy to find gifts for!  Just buy me some Fiesta (or some other pottery, porcelain, crystal or glassware I collect) and I’m happy.  For Christmas one year, Jamey’s mother gave me a Fiesta Hostess Set in Scarlet.  The set consists of a milk jug and covered sugar bowl on a figure-8 tray.  I love this set!  It’s attractive and Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Spaghetti Puttanesca

    It’s Sunday.  You need to make dinner, but you’re tired and don’t really want to spend a lot of time and effort cooking.  Instead of heading to a fast-food joint and eating something that resembles food, or ordering pizza again, try this quick recipe.  Accounts vary on how the recipe came to be, but researchers universally agree that it’s a Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-January 19, 1918

    News of the Great War dominated the pages of the January 19, 1918 issue of The Havre Plaindealer. Most of the articles had to do with food consumption and the need to increase food production. The need for food was not needed for just our troops, it was also needed for the Allies and their people. Articles such as these Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    Last week, I wrote about my beloved Shorty.  Short Stuff, she was so loving and cute!  She loved to get into boxes, tote bags, anything that was some sort of cover.  She melted the hearts of everyone who met her.  One of her habits was to hide pens and notepads.  Once, when I was looking for a pen and paper Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Flood in the 70s, Bee Motel to the right.  Most of the buildings were moved to Sleeping Buffalo Resort.  The site is now a casino and parking lot-just what Havre needs more of /s/....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    With the snow firmly in its place for the foreseeable future, The Cottage is getting some much needed attention.  Last week, I cleaned and organized my spice cabinet.  I rescued the cabinet when I worked at MSU-Northern.  It once housed a plastic mannequin that showed were human organs were located, and they were throwing it out, cabinet and all.  I Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 25, Christmas 2016, Lincoln China Part 1

    As I stated before, during even numbered years a  non-traditional color scheme is chosen for Christmas in the Dining Room.  In 2016, I really wanted to decorate around some reproduction Lincoln china I had purchased from the JFK Library.  Was it a sensation! I created three different dinner table settings using the Lincoln China as the inspiration.  The pieces I Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 10

    One of my favorite pieces in Fiesta was the 2-cup tea pot.  I wish I would have purchased more of them, because they’re perfect for days when I want tea but not a whole lot of it.  The one I have is in my favorite Periwinkle Blue color, and it goes great with a tea cup and saucer by Royal Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Ranchero Macaroni Bake

    Jamey and I love casseroles.  They’re hearty, easy, and help keep The Cottage warm on cold winter days.  While we would never serve a casserole for company, we are always looking for great casserole recipes-and there is no shortage of them! We’re also not fond of wasting food.  Leftovers were a staple in my home growing up, and Mom always Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-January 12, 1918

    Well, folks, unfortunately my e-mail didn’t go through and my article didn’t get into the Havre Daily.  Here it is anyway!  An update:  I finally got a clear copy of the article about the first Havre High School burning down, and it burned on December 15, 1917,  not December 22, 1917. The right date is in my book “Images of Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines, The Twins

    On a warm June day in 2002, two little black kittens showed up in my back yard, hiding in a pile of lumber scared and hungry.  I fed and watered them, and later in the day they let me pick them up and cuddle them.  Skinny and Shorty were here to stay! They were the cutest little kittens.  Both were Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Reading is one of my favorite past times, and what better thing to do on a cold, wintry day?  This is the inner library at the Havre High School, December 1941....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    I spent most of the day dealing with ice issues on the sidewalks.  I went out and got some Purple Heat ice melt and let it sit for a while, then went and started shoveling what had melted.  What did not melt as well got a dosage more of the purple stuff.  I was able to at least shovel a Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 24, Homespun Holidays Part 3

    The third table setting I did for the Homespun Holidays theme was a dinner party setting.  For this setting, I swapped out chargers and used some green-and-white and yellow-and-white gingham dinner plates found at Herberger’s (sorry, no manufacturer’s stamp is on the back) and alternated the colors on the table.  Crystal goblets made in West Germany took the place of Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 9

    I was delighted to receive some pieces in Fiesta’s Peppermint pattern as a gift many years ago.  I got four luncheon plates and a large round platter.  I paired them with Fiesta Scarlet and White in 2011 for the dining room Christmas theme of “Visions of Sugar Plums”.  Sorry for the poor photograph quality; I used the camera option on Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Sweet and Sour Beets

    I love beets!  I like them in salad, roasted, buttered, pickled, but most especially the following recipe.  I found it in a cookbook called “Country Cookin'”, part of the Flavors of America series. 2 cans of beets (or a quart of home-canned sliced or diced beets) 2 T. butter 2 T. flour 1/4 c. lemon juice 1 t. each salt Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-January 5, 1918

    There was no Havre Plaindealer issue for this week 100 years ago. Why? Havre experienced yet another flood, and the Plaindealer office was flooded, as were several other businesses. The flood happened during the early hours of the last day of 1917. A lengthy article was published in The Hill County Democrat’s January 5, 1918 issue, which stated that melting Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Felines

    Welcome to the inaugural Friday Felines blog!  We share our home with four adorable cats, and five others who have gone on to Rainbow Bridge and are waiting for the others and us to join them.  I love my kitties, and my life is so much richer with them in my life-even when I am rudely awoken to rolling kittens Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    NMC Basketball practice, November 1941....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    We’re still shoveling out from all of the snow we have received in the past couple of weeks, and I hope to complete the project this weekend, if the temperature holds!  It was so cold, all I did a couple of days ago was shovel a thin path where I absolutely had to, and left the rest for another time.  Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 23, Homespun Holidays 2015 Part 2

    In last week’s Tuesday Table Setting blog, I mentioned that I had created three different table settings centered around my Homespun Holidays Christmas theme in the Dining Room in 2015.  Here is a quaint tea-for-two, using the other two Stocking Cat plates that were not in the tea-for-six setting.  I also reversed the wonderful hand-woven placemats made in Wales, and Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 8

    The Fiesta Christmas Tree platter is a recent creation, and I couldn’t resist!  It was sold out in Shamrock on Herberger’s online shop, so I chose the Scarlet and I couldn’t be happier!  I used it during my traditional Wine and Cheese Christmas Tree Decorating Party and it was perfect!  Kerrygold White Sharp Cheddar cheese made in Ireland, a delicious Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Crusty Mustard Chicken

    Martha Stewart introduced me to this recipe on her “Family Favorite Dinners” DVD.  It is an excellent Sunday dinner using relatively inexpensive ingredients.  You can substitute regular yellow mustard (only French’s in my home because they buy mustard seed from Montana producers). 8-9 piece pack of chicken thighs 3 T. Dijon mustard 1 t. thyme leaves 1/2 t. freshly ground Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-December 29, 1917

    Last week’s column focused on what the Havre churches were doing for the Christmas season. This week, what was going on in Havre during the weeks of December 22 and 29, 1917 will be featured, and there is quite the collection of activities! First, the good news. Hill County’s generosity was in full-force as explained in this article that ran Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Relaxing during the last days of 2017!

    The weather outside is downright crummy, and except for shoveling snow, getting the mail and taking out the garbage, I have spent no time outside.  My truck probably won’t work, but I’m not going to worry about that until next week when it warms up a little. I will be changing the name of Friday’s blog post, but not sure Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Top Hatters playing at Havre High School dance October 1941....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Now that the Christmas decorations got put up, I’ve been concentrating on some areas of The Cottage that need some cleaning and organizing.  The Library, Pantry and some of my cupboards are in bad need of organizing and cleaning.  Today, I cleaned and organized the cabinet that contains my baking dishes, Crock-Pots and tea.  Yes, my tea!  I have an Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 22, Homespun Holidays 2015 Part 1

    I chose a back-to-basics Homespun Holidays theme for the Dining Room back in 2015.  I pulled out all the stops, too!  I used a lot of homemade and wooden ornaments, ornaments containing natural elements such as straw and pinecones, hand-made copper pieces from my collection, and of course dishes to match the theme.  I created three different table settings during Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 7

    Merry Christmas!  And what better memento to share than Fiesta’s Christmas Tree?...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Penne with Red Pepper, Almonds and Bread Crumbs

    We usually eat simpler fare in the days prior to a big feast.  One such dish we both love is penne with roasted red peppers, toasted almonds and Italian seasoned bread crumbs.  It’s easy, quick and filling.  I saw the recipe on Everyday Italian with Giada DeLaurentiis, and it’s a keeper. 1 lb. penne pasta 3 cups of Italian seasoned Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-December 22, 1917

    The old adage “Feast or famine” applies to the December 22, 1917 and December 29, 1917 issues of The Havre Plaindealer. There was a lot of interesting local news in this week’s edition, and darn near next to nothing in next week’s issue. In the spirit of Christmas, let’s find out what is going on in Havre with respect to Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Preparing for Christmas

    I finally got around to decorating for Christmas and taking care of my home. It’s a great feeling, and slowly I’m feeling better with a lot of unwanted, unwelcome, unnecessary stress going away.  While this year’s decorations won’t be as detailed and lavish as past years, it will still be gorgeous and meaningful....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    St. Jude Catholic Church...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    The forecast is for a lot of snow, so I thought I should probably do something I should have done long ago and put all of my outside garden tools, flower pots, etc. in the Gardening Shed.  Just as I went out to put everything away, it started snowing.  I kept at it, though, but by the time I was Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 21, Peacock Christmas 2014

    It is tradition that on even-numbered years I use a non-traditional color scheme in the Dining Room for Christmas.  In 2014, I decided to use turquoise blue and pair it with some gorgeous peacock canapé plates I found at Pier 1 for my theme.  It was stunning!  Of course, the Christmas theme always spills into New Year’s Day (and often Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 6

    There are a few pieces of Fiesta that are coveted, and this is one of them.  The soup tureen consists of four pieces; the liner, bowl, cover and ladle, and no the handle on the ladle is not plastic, it’s the same clay used in the rest of the pieces.  Each set comes with a Certificate of Authenticity that states Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Turkey Soup

    After the turkey has been cut up and used for sandwiches, casseroles, open face turkey sandwiches, etc., it’s time to make turkey soup.  I break apart the carcass, cover it with water in a big stock pot, boil it for about an hour and remove the pieces to cool slightly.  While the pieces are cooling, I drain the stock, pouring Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-December 15, 1917

    Back to doing what I love! The big news in The Havre Plaindealer in its December 15, 1917 issue was that of the dismissal of a case involving “Long” George Francis. He had been charged with horse stealing and was represented by George Hurd of Great Falls. “THE FRANCIS CASE DISMISSED IN COURT “Was to have come up for Hearing Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day

    Time to start decorating for Christmas-after I get this crummy paperwork put away!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    ‘Tis the season-First Presbyterian Church, northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Third Street....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    I’m busy putting away all of the paperwork from that episode of pure hell.  Sick of liars, sick of dealing with them.  History will be their judge....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 20, Christmas Traditions 2013

    Christmas Traditions was the theme for Christmas At The Cottage 2013 in the Dining Room.  Using the traditional red and green theme, a hemstitched tablecloth made for a snowy-white base (Walmart), paired with green “laurel” napkins (K-mart).  Glittery red chargers added a pop of flash (C. M. Russell Museum, Great Falls).  Fiesta’s Christmas Tree luncheon plates (Herberger’s) served the main Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Needleworks Part 8

    Here is my current work in progress-or at least one of them!  It is St. Francis of Assisi by Elsa Williams and is needlepoint.  It is one of several kits I purchased at a rummage sale years ago that someone else started and I decided to finish them.  I have to do some modification, however-Jackie Jo was being naughty and Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Fruit Cocktail Salad

    Fruit cocktail salad was one of those open-a-can wonders that somehow always found itself on any celebration table in my family.  It is simply a can of fruit cocktail, drained, and a can of Mandarin oranges, drained, and some whipping cream, usually Cool-Whip, but I like to make my own.  Sometimes we add walnuts, a Granny Smith apple, and bananas, Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-December 8, 1917

    Sorry, folks, no Celebrating History this week due to the crap I’m preparing for.  It’s a lot of work to prove a liar as such!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Christmas Celebrations

    Jamey and I enjoy attending various Christmas celebrations, but the one we enjoy the most is Chouteau County Country Christmas.  It’s been going on for many years now, and it’s great to see a community come together and host a celebration.  Maybe now with a change at the Havre Chamber, Hill County can do something similar!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    First Street, around 1914-1920; why is that man on the telephone pole?  Working? On a dare? Drunk?  Good question!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Still working on that vile pile-can’t wait for it to be over and regain my dining room and parlor!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 19, Elegant Woodlands Christmas 2012

    I chose an Elegant Woodlands theme for Christmas At The Cottage in 2012, using earthy greens, rich metallic colors and decadent browns as my theme that year.  A sage green tablecloth of unknown manufacture (thrift store) served as the base, with complimentary hunter green napkins with an embroidered pinecone motif (Bed, Bath and Beyond).  Wooden chargers (Walmart) held the Robin Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Needleworks Part 7

    This was a little kit I found at a local thrift store.  I was charmed by the 8-point star design and knew it would make a great ornament for a hand-crafted tree theme.  It was marketed by K-mart through its Trim A Home Christmas ornament and decoration line years ago.  It was a great little quick stitch and just think Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Cranberry Compote

    Cranberry sauce.  People either love it or hate it.  Traditionally, my family uses the cranberry jelly out of a can.  Open it, “schlock!” and put it on a platter, looking just like the can it came out of.  We don’t really care for the whole cranberry sauce canned; unless it’s an ingredient in something else, it just isn’t happening.  The Continue Reading...
  • Announcement: Why I Cancelled Christmas At The Cottage This Year!

    As I write this, I am not a very happy or excited person. For months, I have been preparing for Christmas At The Cottage, something I truly enjoy planning, decorating for and hosting. I believe sharing my historic private home for one or two days a year connects citizens to their history, to their roots, and I feel it is Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-December 1, 1917

    Everyone in Havre must have been stuffed with turkey this week 100 years ago because local news was scant in the December 1, 1917 issue of The Havre Plaindealer. One longstanding tradition was reported on the front page. It is tradition that the first Sunday of December is the Lodge of Sorrow for Elks Lodges across the United States to Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, TV Shows, The Dukes!

    My brothers and I loved the Dukes of Hazzard.  We looked forward to every Friday evening to watch how Bo and Luke and Uncle Jesse and Daisy were going to ruin Boss Hogg’s and Roscoe’s plans of whatever nefarious activity they were up to.  If we were good that week, Mom would bring home a large House Special Nalivka’s pizza Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Boston Café and Daddy’s Place, 1941, where PJs is today....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    I’m still trying to get The Cottage into shape for Christmas At The Cottage.  Right now, it doesn’t look too good!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 18, Thanksgiving 2015

    We opted not to host Thanksgiving dinner in 2014 because we had another cat, Pippie, who was dying of cancer.  I didn’t want to stress her out because she was sick.  We had “Thanksgiving dinner” for my birthday in 2015 instead. For Thanksgiving 2015, we opted for a quiet affair with just the two of us.  I chose a pretty Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Memento Monday, Needleworks Part 6

    When I was in grade school, we had to sell magazines as a fundraiser for our school.  I hated selling stuff!  I wasn’t a great salesperson, and my mother took pity on me and ordered a magazine called “Early American Life”.  That magazine changed my life for good and for the better.  When my mother got the first issue, she Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Green Bean Casserole

    Ok, ok, I admit it; I love green bean casserole!  Created in 1955 by the Campbell’s Soup Company, this dish has been on the Mayer family table for every Thanksgiving I can remember as well as the Easter meal.  The original recipe is as follows: One 10 3/4 oz. can Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup 1/2 c. milk 1 Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-November 24, 1917

    Aside from articles pertaining to the effects the war was having on various businesses and activities, there were a few articles of local interest. Two local railroad unions selected their officers, and since there are still family members in this community as well as people living outside of the Havre area that read this column and are family of the Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Visiting Museums

    Jamey and I love history, so we enjoy visiting museums whenever we can.  One of our favorites is the Liberty County Museum in Chester.  It is a fabulous little museum celebrating the history and heritage of Liberty County and is well worth a visit.  Please take some time to go see it!  ...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Happy Thanksgiving!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Yep, still at it!  Still organizing for Christmas At The Cottage!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 17, Thanksgiving 2013

    I subscribe to several of Hoffman Media’s publications:  TeaTime, The Cottage Journal, Southern Lady, and Celebrate (sadly, no longer in publication).  These are wonderful publications that have gorgeous pictures, inspiring stories and fabulous recipes and menus.  I am also a fan of Martha Stewart, so I gather inspiration from a variety of fronts.  I had noticed some greenish/greyish/bluish squash in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Needleworks Part 5

    I started this Christmas stocking for myself years ago, and I still have to sew it together.  I really loved stitching this one of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus.  It combined candlewicking, crewel work and some specialized embroidery stitches to create a gorgeous pattern.  Maybe I’ll finish it this year!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

    My mashed potato recipe isn’t anything outstanding.  It’s the recipe that was handed down by my Great Grandmother Bunton and it is very simple.  Peel and boil potatoes, drain when fork tender, add some milk (or cream), butter and an egg (or two, depending on the amount of potatoes to be mashed) and mash well.  Gravy?  Also not rocket science.  Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-November 17, 1917

    There wasn’t much local news in The Havre Plaindealer’s November 17, 1917 issue, but the war and its effects were quite prominent. The Havre Commercial Company took out a large ad containing a resolution from The American Clothing Manufacturers’ Association and the Associated Boys’ Clothing Manufacturers of Greater New York to eliminate certain parts of clothing for the upcoming spring Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Walking the Town

    On warmer days, Jamey and I love to walk around the historic district.  Sometimes we even wander up to the cemetery, which can be quite the workout!  It’s fun to go out and connect with our heritage, and I don’t know who else I would rather take those walks with than my love!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    A Havre Icon-Black’s Jewelry 1941....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    I’m still continuing preparing for Christmas At The Cottage.  This is a huge undertaking, and I hope I’m ready soon!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 16, Thanksgiving 2011

    As I’ve blogged before, I have an obscene collection of dinnerware.  Some I have because they are pretty, others because they were too good of a deal to pass up, others are very sentimental usually for family reasons.  One of my favorite patterns ever is Homer Laughlin’s Golden Wheat.  Some of the pieces were given away as premiums in laundry Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Needleworks Part 4

    I don’t have a preference for big pieces or small pieces when it comes to needlework.  I enjoy them all, and have plenty of projects in all kinds of sizes and skills. I had purchased several smaller kits when I worked for House of Fabrics years ago and am now getting to finishing them.  This was a quaint one-Church by Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Thanksgiving Leftovers Part 1, Sandwiches!

    One of the things I look forward to is the famous calorie bomb but oh-so-good Thanksgiving sandwich as a leftover the following day.  It’s simple-slather two pieces of white bread with Miracle Whip, add sliced turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, put the top on with the second slice of bread and chow down.  We have these for a day or Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-November 10, 1917

    The effects of World War I were widespread and inclusive. No one and no industry was untouched. Articles printed in the November 10, 1917 issue of The Havre Plaindealer included price fixes for food and fuel, and Montana’s generosity in giving to the Red Cross. One of the young men sent to Washington state for training wrote to the Plaindealer: Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Board Games

    My brothers and I loved playing board games when we were kids.  We played all kinds-Monopoly, Life, Clue, Sorry!  We had a good time!  I don’t play many of them today, I simply don’t have the time to dedicate hours to playing a game, but sometimes when Jamey’s family and I get together for a holiday celebration we play something Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    One of Havre’s most beloved businesses-Buttrey’s Department Store, downtown Havre....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    I’m still working on Christmas At The Cottage, moving things around and cleaning as I go.  Not the most exciting task, but oh, so necessary!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 15, Thanksgiving 2005

    I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner in 1999, after I purchased The Cottage.  It was my very own home, not a rental and not living with a relative.  My home, my kitchen.  I was excited! My tables back then were simple but properly set affairs.  For my Thanksgiving table in 2005, I used a simple brown tablecloth and coordinating napkins made Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Needleworks Part 3

    Here’s one of my favorite pieces of needlework.  It is called “Mill Pond” by Cathy Needlecraft, from an original watercolor by Rudy Ravasio.  I love scenes like this; quaint old buildings especially in an autumn setting....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Roasting the Thanksgiving Turkey

    There is a lot of advice that contradicts each other when it comes to preparing turkey for Thanksgiving.  Some say not to stuff them; we’ve stuffed our birds for generations without getting sick.  Others say basting is the way to have a juicy bird; I find covering it until the last hour of roasting, making sure there is plenty of Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-November 3, 1917

    The big story in the Havre Plaindealer’s November 3, 2017 issue was the exoneration of Hill County Attorney Victor Griggs. As you may recall, Mr. Griggs was accused by Montana Attorney General Sam Ford of not doing his job “maintaining” Havre’s red light district. Judge Mathews issued a very lengthy statement-the story was found on three pages throughout the paper-but Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Attending Fundraisers

    Jamey and I enjoy attending fundraisers.  We love to support our community and contribute when we can.  There are all kinds of fundraisers here in Havre-events that benefit churches, fraternal organizations, business groups, and individuals who have health issues.  From museums to the arts and humanities, Jamey and I try to do our part making Havre and Hill County, Montana Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

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  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    I’m still working on Christmas At The Cottage, but I’ve been sidetracked by all of the work it is taking gathering paperwork for my unemployment checks.  After two years of turmoil, particularly the past eleven months, chock full of backstabbing, meanness, stupidity, bullying and illegal moves, I left a position I not only pioneered, but loved for Hill County.  There Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 14, Happy Halloween 2015

    Happy Halloween, all!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Needleworks Part 2

    Here is one of my favorite pieces.  I stitched this back in 1991.  It’s a Janlynn kit called Geese in Flight.  I enjoyed stitching it, though all of those French knots being uniform in size was a real challenge!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Great Grandma’s Stuffing Recipe

    Here is the recipe I mentioned in my Saturday post about my Great-Grandmother Bunton’s stuffing recipe.  I never knew my great-grandmother.  My mother didn’t know her either, and my grandmother barely knew her before she passed away on March 12, 1924, a day before my grandmother’s 11th birthday.  Mom learned this recipe from grandma, who in turn learned it from Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-October 27, 1917

    Be looking for Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner edition this week for the stuffing recipe! Most of the news in the October 27, 1917 issue of The Havre Plaindealer was related to the Great War. The price of coal was regulated by Dr. H. A. Garfield, the federal fuel administrator in Washington, D. C. Earlier in the year, Congress passed Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day

    Last week, I mentioned that I enjoy doing needlework and that my mother had taught me this craft when I was a child.  It should probably not be a surprise that I still have  the first piece I ever embroidered.  This cute table scarf was stitched by me, with careful instructions from my mother, when I was six years old.  Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    1946 Havre High Football team...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Work continues preparing for Christmas At The Cottage.  People are getting excited, so I’d best get to it!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 13, Halloween and History Mystery Tea 2012

    As I’ve blogged before, I hosted several teas celebrating Hill County’s Centennial back in 2012.  Had it not been for me, the milestone would have gone virtually unnoticed, and I was happy to host events and share the celebration with guests. One of my teas was around Halloween, so I called it the Hill County Centennial Celebration Halloween and History Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Needleworks

    I enjoy doing needlework.  My mother taught me to embroider at a young age, and although I’ve neglected this craft for a while, I’m picking it up again.  Most of the work I do is hoop work, but sometimes a stretcher bar is necessary or even a needlework stand is needed. I have a “giraffe” style needlework stand and it Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Chicken Piccata

    Last week, I  mentioned I had several celebrity cookbooks in my collection.  Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, Ree Drummond, Paula Deen, Giada DeLaurentiis, Paul Burrell (the late Princess of Wales’ butler) and Lisa Vanderpump are among them, as well as White House chefs Rene Verdon, Walter Schieb and Vice President’s cook Russell Cronkhite.  So, it should come as no Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-October 20, 1917

    In case you’re wondering, yes there is a subliminal message in this week’s column.  I recently found out that Hill County Attorney Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson is claiming “illness” and the person who told me this indicated it was “cancer” for not doing her job, and I’m calling baloney.  She pulled the same stunt back in Polson when she was Lake County Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day

    One of the greatest gifts my mother gave me is reading.  I’ve been a reader since about kindergarten, and Miss Joyce Kessinger was impressed at how well I could read when I was in her First Grade class.  I admit I was “teacher’s pet” that year, we got along splendidly. Mom was always buying me books and I still have Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Havre High Home Ec class, 1945. Yes, it is still important and yes, for girls and boys....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Work is still ongoing with regard to after-storm clean up.  That snow sure beat up our trees, and I need to pull flowers and other dead plantings and prep the gardens for winter.  If only the darn wasps and hornets would leave or die off!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 12, War of the Worlds Tea Party 2013

    In 2013, I hosted a tea party celebrating the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles’ reading of “The War of the Worlds”, which was broadcast on radio stations nationwide.  I have a copy of that reading and played it throughout the tea party.  The reading took place in 1938, so naturally I wanted an authentic table setting for the period.  What Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiesta No. 5

    Happy Pumpkin was another Fiesta design offered through the Betty Crocker catalog.  I have only two pieces, this salt and pepper set.  They pair perfectly with the Fiesta Halloween Jumbo Chili bowl....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Sauce Dijon a la Provencal

    I’ve written about my (almost) obscene collection of cookbooks.  I have many local cookbooks put together by various groups as a fundraiser; cookbooks by famous authors (Martha Stewart, Ree Drummond, Ina Garten, etc.); White House cookbooks; a good start on the Foods of the World series by Time-Life books; Ideals cookbooks; ethnic cookbooks, the list goes on.  I also have Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-October 13, 1917

    Below was a great story.  The Montana Attorney General Sam Ford filing charges against the Hill County Attorney Victor Griggs for supposedly not doing his job prosecuting prostitution cases (the vast majority in Havre didn’t care), then sending one of his henchmen to town to make up trouble, then that person getting arrested himself, the Hill County Attorney calling bull Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day

    Well, unless we decide to make it fun, we won’t be having much for a while because of the multitude of branches that still needs to be removed due to the Big Snow.  Not fun, but necessary!  So, we’ll be out pulling dead plantings and prepping the gardens/lawns for the winter....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Snow sucks!  Snow storm, April 1955....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Today we took out our old refrigerator that decided to die on us right after the big snowstorm a week ago and replaced it with a new one.  It was quite the fiasco.  Jamey had to take the doors off the old one to get it through the door, and thankfully our friend Brian Santiago helped Jamey bring in the Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 11, Happy Halloween Tea 2015

    In 2015, I hosted a Happy Halloween Afternoon Tea Party and put some of my Halloween dishes and decorations to use.  A white linen-look hemstitched tablecloth served as the base (Walmart), with black woven circular placemats at each setting (Walmart).  On top of the placemats are Fiesta Tangerine dinner plates (thrift store), topped by cute owl salad plates with a Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiestaware No. 4

    Some of you might remember the Betty Crocker catalog, where one could buy some really neat items, most being exclusive only to that catalog.  One such offering was Fiestaware with designs on them.  My favorite was Black Cat, but I only got one piece before the catalog went out of business.  Here is my one and only Black Cat medium Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Boston Baked Beans

    Last winter, I was working three jobs totaling 70 hours per week which left me tired and worn out.  I had no desire to cook anything and I missed out on one of my favorite things to cook-Boston baked beans.  These are the beans one has to start the night before, putting the beans out to soak, then get up Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-The Pepin Mansion

    Due to the severe snow storm and power outages, I was not able to get copies of The Havre Plaindealer I need in order to create my column, so there wasn’t one this week.  However, here is an oldie but a goody, one about the Pepin Mansion I wrote for the Havre Daily News several years ago.  Enjoy! The Pepin Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Snow Days

    In my youth, my brothers and I would be out playing in that heavy heap of snow, making snowmen or throwing snowballs at unsuspecting neighborhood kids. I have absolutely NO ambition to go out and do anything!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    ...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Holy catfish!  Yesterday’s winter storm sure gave us a wallop!  Over a foot and a half of heavy, wet snow which also broke many tree branches, including ours.  We really have our work cut out for us this weekend!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 10, Homestead/Hospitality Snack Set

    Yes, I said “snack set”!  Snack sets get a bum rap.  Some people absolutely hate them, equating them with old lady luncheons at a church function.  Not so!  These little relics of the post-World War II era deserve some respect, and I’m on a mission to do just that.  I even have a Facebook page if you’re interested-Vintage Snack Sets. Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiestaware #3

    At the same time I bought my Fiesta Butterfly plates, I found this lone cute Fiesta heart bowl, obviously made for St. Valentine’s Day.  I can’t wait to use it for a special meal for my honey, Jamey!  St. Valentine’s Day is very special to us, so we like to celebrate in quiet but meaningful fashion....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Crock Pot Beef Stew

    Several years ago, I bartended at the local Elks Club and one of my shifts was Monday night.  Which of course in the autumn and winter means football.  I knew there would be hungry guys watching the game, so I would make a crock-pot soup or stew and bring some “fixins” to go with the meal.  One of the stews Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-September 29, 1917

    Autumn had just arrived and preparations for winter were in full swing in Havre 100 years ago. In war news, it was announced that all merchant vessels more than 2500 tons were being requisitioned for the war effort and prices for carrying government supplies was going to be regulated by the government, Montana was among the first contributing recruits for Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, High School Band

    When I was in High School, I played the trumpet in the band and participated in Pep and Jazz Bands.  Pep Band was the best!  We got to go to all kinds of games, and among my favorite was playing at home football games. Most of the time the weather was good, but there was more than one time that Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains: Thursday Throwback

    It’s time for some football!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains: Wednesday Workday

    We’re still working on prepping the gardens and lawns for winter as well as preparing for Christmas At The Cottage.  We’d better hurry-the weather will change very soon and we’re not ready yet!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 9, Joanne by Fine China (Japan)

    As you can tell, I love to go to thrift stores, rummage sales, the home department in stores, and I usually find some great items for the table and home décor.  Adding to my collections is fun, but I also pick up pieces here and there I mean to sell, if I can get the item(s) at a good price. Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Momentos, Fiestaware #2

    One of the most coveted pieces of Fiestaware is what collectors call the “Unlisted Salad Bowl”.  It isn’t on any of Homer Laughlin’s price lists, but an ad from 1940 offers the bowl with matching salad spoon and fork for $1.00 and listed the color as yellow.  This is a difficult piece to find, and even harder in other reported Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Banana Bread Delights

    My mother is an expert banana bread baker.  My brothers and I grew up with Mom baking it on a fairly regular basis.  It’s a great way to use up overripe (not rotten) bananas, heat up the house on a cold day, and offer a sweet treat for her family. When I was in Kindergarten, my classmates and I were Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-September 22, 1917

    The entire Havre community extends a Happy 100 Years Young birthday to Bernice Marie Ragnvald Hoveland Hardy, who was born in Havre on September 23, 1917. A dinner was given in her honor by her loving family, and we salute Mrs. Hardy on her very special day. I am humbled she loves to read this column and hope they bring Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Game Shows

    Game shows are something Jamey and I get a kick out of, being 80s children and growing up with them.  We don’t watch every day, but often catch Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.  I’m especially good at Jeopardy!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    It’s hunting season!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    I’m still working on cleaning out the Library, and some of my attention has shifted to getting the lawns and gardens ready for winter.  Trees and shrubs need to be trimmed, flowers pulled, flower pots cleaned and stored, and other things put away for the season.  Lots of work to do before the first snow flies!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 8, Fiesta Butterfly

    Over the Labor Day weekend, I was cruising through Herberger’s and lo and behold, found something to buy on the clearance table!  I found some Fiesta Butterfly luncheon plates and a heart-shaped Fiesta bowl that said “Buy us!”  So, I did and bought the usual 6 plates.  Because if I didn’t, I would be kicking myself later that I didn’t Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Fiestaware No. 1

    A huge part of my collection consists of dishes, and Fiestaware is one of many.  I love my Fiesta!  It was made in 1936 by the Homer Laughlin China company until 1973, when it went on a hiatus until 1986 when it was reintroduced, no doubt to the new interest in all things Art Deco.  The concentric rings are a Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Easy Party Lasagna

    Sometime in the 1990s, a cooking demonstration event was held at the Northern Armory Gym.  These used to come to Havre on a fairly regular basis, but none has occurred since that time.  For the first few customers, cookbooks were given out.  I didn’t get one, but my good friend, Lynne Mahan, had one and gave it to me, saying Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-September 15, 1917

    As the war raged on in Europe, adjustments were being made here in the United States. A second quota list was released and The Havre Plaindealer printed the names of the enlistees in its September 15, 1917 issue who were due to report to American Lake, Washington on Saturday of the following week for training. Major General Henry A. Green, Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Festival Days

    This weekend is the annual Festival Days celebration in Havre.  After years of marching in the parade for a variety of entities, I pretty much stay away from it.  Mostly because of the wasps, they love to congregate where a bunch of people are, and they always manage to find me! One of the events I rarely miss is the Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    St. Jude School Girls’ baseball team, 1920s....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Work continues on putting things away in the front part of The Cottage, in preparation for (hopefully) Christmas At The Cottage.  This is not an easy task, as the Library has become a “catch all” for a bunch of things associated with my business-paperwork to file, books, etc.  So, here’s hoping to getting it done soon!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 7, Old Country Roses, Easter 2015

    My Grandma Mayer had a piece or two of Royal Albert’s Old Country Roses.  I always thought it was a lovely pattern, and longed to add some pieces to my collection. In 2014, I attended the annual Montana History Conference in Helena.  I had a Macy’s gift card that I thought I would spend, so I drove to Macy’s and Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Oil Lamps 3

    I come across Seaweed oil lamps every so often and find them interesting.  Here is an amber one with a textured bowl.  They usually find themselves on the piano in the Entry.  ...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Meatloaf

    One of my favorite movies is A Christmas Story.  I have it on DVD but it is now tradition in my home to watch 24 Hours of A Christmas Story every year.  I don’t care if I’ve seen it 1,000 times, it’s still funny and evokes fond memories of youth. One of the scenes involves dinner, and it’s clear brother Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-September 8, 1917

    In The Havre Plaindealer’s issue of September 8, 1917, there was a follow up article on the front page about the send-off for soldiers given by the women of Havre: “LOCAL SOLDIER BOYS GIVEN FOND FAREWELL “Not until Wednesday did the people realize the nearness or actuality of the European war, when Havre sent forth its first five percent of Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Needlework

    My mother taught me to embroider when I was a young girl.  I still have the first piece I ever embroidered, in fact, I have my mother’s, too!  I still enjoy embroidery work of all kinds, and also enjoy crocheting and tatting. I still think it is important to learn these crafts.  I’ve been to Hearst Castle and marveled at Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Summer Fun, Great Northern Montana Stampede Program, July 4-7, 1917....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday

    Jamey has been working on one of the lilac bushes in the back yard.  Unfortunately, little suckers have been taking over the area and need to be tamed.  So have some “volunteer” trees that need to be trimmed. That’s the goal for this autumn-get those trees cut away before the snow flies!...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 6, Old Britain Castles

    Many years ago, I was a member of a local political women’s club.  We met in each other’s homes, conducted business and enjoyed each other’s company and treats.  One of those meetings took place in the home of Elinor and Louis Clack.  Louis, as soon as we women showed up, left the scene.  Elinor was a gracious hostess and served Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Oil Lamps 2

    One of my favorite events is the Chouteau County Country Christmas.  Communities throughout Chouteau County host special events the first weekend in December. My favorite is in Virgelle, where the open the doors for a weekend of antiques shopping and baked goods galore. One such Country Store shopping excursion netted me this beautiful Depression glass green oil lamp.  I saw Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Salisbury Steak

    When I organize a Sunday dinner, I can put together an elegant, fancy repast or choose simple meals that evoke memories past. One of the things Jamey and I talk about is the great food we had for school lunch.  We both went to Lincoln-McKinley School (named after two assassinated Presidents), and back then each school had its own kitchen Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-September 1, 1917

    Havre’s unions were getting ready to host a Labor Day celebration in Havre 100 years ago. This article was found on the front page of The Havre Plaindealer’s September 1, 1917 issue: “LABOR DAY WILL BE FITTINGLY OBSERVED “Arrangements Completed for Big Celebration “The trade unions of Havre have made arrangements for the biggest Labor Day demonstration ever staged in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Country Road Driving

    One of the things Jamey and I love to do is travel.  Sometimes, however, the extent of our travels are simply driving down country roads in our beloved home county and just being out on the prairie, out at Fresno, through the Bear Paw Mountains or even taking a trek 20 miles east to Chinook, Montana, one of Montana’s quaintest Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Summer fun in Havre, Montana, circa 1920s style! St. Jude Rectory and School can be seen in the background....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday, Clearing out the Cottage Library

    Work started this week to clear out my Cottage Library. This is where a lot of work takes place, so the place is a mess.  It has also turned into a catch-all, which I hate. The goal is to switch a couple of things around in preparation for Christmas At The Cottage, set for December.  I have not decorated in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 5, Hill County Centennial Tea 2012

    Had it not been for my efforts, Hill County would have had a dismal, unremarkable Centennial year.  I wrote an article that was published almost daily in the Havre Daily News, about half-way through, I added an “Old Ad of the Week” featuring advertisements found in the old local newspapers, I opened my private home for house museum tours, organized Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Oil Lamp 1

    It should not come as a surprise to learn that we have an extensive collection of oil lamps in our Cottage.  Westerners in particular have a love affair with them.  This part of the country was one of the last to be settled and even during the homestead boom, this area was still relatively sparsely populated.  Electricity and gas were Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Ham It Up!

    We enjoy roasting a ham in our Cottage.  It’s great for Sunday dinner, and the leftover possibilities are practically endless.  We usually purchase a bone-in ham and stud it with sliced pineapple with a maraschino cherry in the middle.  The juices from the fruit mix with the saltiness of the ham making the most remarkable gravy.  Of course, mashed potatoes Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-August 25, 1917

    With the heat, the Chautauqua just ending, harvest still in full swing and the upcoming Labor Day weekend, there really wasn’t much in The Havre Plaindealer’s August 25, 1917 issue. Wheat crops were paying well, but warnings were issued to safeguard next year’s crop due to the war effort. One of the things I love most about the Havre area Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Havre Elks Club

    We live in rural Montana, so there aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to Friday night activities.  We usually go to dinner and check out what’s going on at the Elks Club (we’re both members), then go home.  Not very exciting, even to us.  Havre doesn’t have night clubs and even if it did, that probably isn’t the Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    The Chuckwagon, July 20, 2014.  She was torn down Monday, August 21, 2017, Eclipse Day.  The building, along with several others, were WPA projects back in the 1940s....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday, Gardening

    Today, I will be deadheading my flowers.  This keeps the blossoms coming and the plants looking full and lovely, and not thin and scraggly. Later, when I water, I will also feed my poor plants.  This year has been so hot, with little natural rain, that they aren’t doing as well as they should be.  But then, a lot of Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 4, Titanic High Tea Party 2012

    For another tea party celebrating Hill County’s centennial, I organized a party in memory of the Titanic.  Let’s face it-over 100 years later, the ship and its people fascinate us and not just Jack and Rose.  I saw Titanic at the movie house, bought it on VHS when it was first released, and now have it on DVD.  Do you know Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Lighting Edition 4

    When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time with both of my grandmothers.  One grandmother liked simple things, the other liked fancy things.  One grandmother didn’t care for knick-knacks (they were “dust catchers”); the other’s home was awash with them.  I  loved them and their styles both, but some things stand out in my mind. Grandma Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Crock Pot Pork Chops

    Whoever invented the Crock Pot should get a medal.  From the White House, and make it real official.  Working people everywhere have put their Crock Pots to good use, and it comes in really handy during the hot summer months, too, when you’re sick of eating salad, chilled soups and cold sandwiches.  Put a meal in the Crock Pot, set Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-August 18, 1917

    Apparently, people were taking it easy either attending the Chautauqua or trying to escape the heat by going to the mountains 100 years ago, as with both last week and this week, there isn’t much news in The Havre Plaindealer. In war news, those who were ranching sheep were encouraged not to slaughter them, but to keep them for breeding Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Music, Music, Music!

    Both Jamey and I enjoy music, and when we first started dating, we often went to the local concert series.  Music of all kinds was enjoyed by both of us, and we are sad that this is no longer a local option. Sometimes we go to Kicks at Six on summer Tuesdays and Sounds on the Square summer Wednesdays, but Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    How’s this for a throwback?  Dr. Almas’ calling card.  Dr. Almas was a beloved Havre doctor who delivered many a Havre baby.  Calling cards are precursors to today’s business cards.  ...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday, Gardens 2017

    This year has been an exceptionally hot and dry year.  I tried to grow a beautiful flower garden and planned on a Victory Garden, but that one never panned out and that’s probably for the best.  My flowers are not doing all that great, but then a lot of people’s flower gardens aren’t as spectacular as years before. This year, Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 3, Grandma’s Plaid Dishes

    When I was a kid, we always went over to Grandma Mayer’s home for holidays.  Auntie DD would have been preparing for days, and always made a big spread-turkey and stuffing, roast beef, ham, gravies, mashed potatoes, salads and desserts of all kinds.  Grandma had eight children and many either lived in Havre or a short distance away (relative to Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Lighting Edition 3

    Of all of the electric lamps and lights that are in my collection, two pair and a single one are especially dear to my heart.  One was given to me as a child-a lamp that also had a doll with it.  It was a 70s thing, and it was given to me by my Auntie DD.  Grandma O’Donnell gave me Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Roasted Chicken Edition

    I would never admit this to my mother, but I enjoyed Martha Stewart on television.  She had three different shows going at one time: “From Martha’s Home” and “From Martha’s Garden” were on HGTV; “From Martha’s Kitchen” was on Food Network.  Both channels are part of Scripps.  However, her legal woes got her off the TV (as did other network Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-August 11, 1917

    There wasn’t much news in the August 11, 1917 issue of The Havre Plaindealer outside the upcoming Chautauqua performances in Havre. In the meantime, there were come gatherings reported in the Society column. “Shanks-Stocklyn “On Tuesday evening at the bride’s apartments in this city occurred the marriage of Guy V. Shanks and miss Emily J. Stocklyn. Rev. E. J. Huston Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Let’s Picnic!

    I love picnics! When I was a child, my mother would fry up some chicken, make potato salad and get some chips and pop, and Dad would take us to the beautiful Bear Paw Mountains so he could fish and we could enjoy a picnic.  Those were wonderful childhood memories, but I never lost my love for picnics. Nowadays, Jamey and Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Boone’s Drug Store, probably sometime in the 19-teens.  The Cottage’s original owner’s establishment, located on the southwest corner of First Street and Third Avenue.  The New You Hair Salon, J. M. Donovan Designs in Fine Jewelry, Ruff Realty and the exit from Havre Beneath the Streets is now located here....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday, Grandma’s Hostess Set

    It took a little time, but here is my Grandma Mayer’s silver plated hostess set all polished, shiny and ready for service.  The set consists of a tea pot, coffee pot, covered sugar and milk jug.  I don’t know what happened to the matching tray; it disappeared long ago.  I found the one they are on at a local thrift Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 2, Homestead Act 150th Anniversary High Tea Party 2012

    Back in 2012 for the Hill County Centennial, I organized several tea and dinner parties to commemorate the event as well as other events reaching a milestone anniversary.  One party I organized was for the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act.  I chose lime and yellow gingham dinner plates purchased at Herberger’s for the setting along with contrasting salad plates in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Lighting Edition 2

    The Elks Club in Havre used to host several women entrepreneurs who set up a table and sold a variety of goods, mostly jewelry but also other things like thermal totes.  One of the sellers was Roxanne Mangold, a lady whom I’ve known since childhood.  She was selling Cookie Lee jewelry but also other things and brought in the cutest Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner, Pork Roast with Ginger-Peach Glaze

    When I moved into my first apartment in 1991, my mother took me grocery shopping to set up housekeeping.  She taught me what to look for, compare prices and brands, and how to use coupons.  As we were going through the aisles, she picked up a Kraft cookbook that said it was free if we bought 3 Kraft items, so Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-August 4, 1917

    There was a lot of local news in The Havre Plaindealer’s August 4, 1917 issue. The 1917 Chautauqua schedule was the biggest news, with pictures of leading speakers and entertainers filling the front page, as well as a large advertisement with admission fees included and an encouragement to purchase a season ticket to avoid paying single admission tickets which were Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Friday Fun Day, Let’s Watch a Movie!

    Jamey and I watch a lot of movies.  He likes action ones, and I love period dramas.  We both enjoy a good comedy, but fail to understand all of these “reboots” and often don’t watch them.  Why, when we can enjoy the originals? We rarely go to the movie house.  The last time we went it was for Star Wars Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Thursday Throwback

    Here is the south side of the 300 block of First Street, now Town Square.  It was taken circa 1914....
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Wednesday Workday, Polishing the Silver

    It should not come as a shock that I like pretty things.  Some of those pretty things are silver, mostly plated, and need polishing and maintenance every now and then.  I don’t mind-it usually isn’t hard, just time consuming, and oh, so pretty and shiny when done! I keep a binder with loose-leaf paper, with each piece or set having Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tuesday Table Setting No. 1, Jane Ray

    Let me just admit it-I LOVE DISHES!!  It shows in my collection.  Some I purchased to keep, others I purchased to re-sell to raise funds for the house museum.  All at some point in time are used (that’s what they are for) and I truly enjoy creating beautiful table settings either for my guests or just for fun. Yes, I Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Monday Mementos, Lighting Edition 1

    There are several different lighting fixtures found in our collections.  Some are elegant, others plain, and others still are whimsical.  We have a lot of electric lights and oil lamps from days of yore. All are useful and necessary.  If the lights are on, we’re home and up doing something.  It is not unusual to pass by our homes in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner Memories and Steak Salad Edition

    Sunday Dinner.  Those two beautiful words mean so much to many families around the world.  During the Colonial era in America, people were supposed to rest on Sundays-no work, little play and pretty much read the Bible. Dinners consisted of meals that would take a while to cook in ovens while they cooled-even ovens weren’t allowed to be heated because cutting wood Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-New Laptop and Uplifting News

    I recently purchased a new laptop computer, and the transfer of the massive amount of data on my old laptop, found in e-mails and on my thumb drives is now complete, as is copying everything on to an external hard drive.  Next up is copying everything to a cloud service, so I can access information from anywhere when I need Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-Wife Swap and Trying to Escape the Heat

    Here is the column for July 28, 2017: A couple of weeks ago, I had included a bizarre article about wife swapping. The parties involved refused to speak to local newspapers, but the mother of one of the women thought it appropriate to speak to the St. Paul Dispatch. A copy of that article was printed in the July 21, Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Tribute to The Gentleman of Avalon

    One sunny summer day in 2008, a shy and gorgeous tuxedo cat was hiding in the lilac trees between The Cottage and The Mansion.  It didn’t take much coaxing from me to get him out of the bushes, and we instantly bonded.  He was hungry, in need of love and a good home, so of course we kept him! I Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Madrid Depression Glassware

    It should come as no surprise that I love antiques, especially glassware, china, and the like.  Among the collection are several pieces of Depression glassware, and the Madrid pattern has long been a personal favorite.  It was manufactured by the Federal Glass Company from 1932-39 and offered the pattern in amber, green, pink, crystal and Madonna blue, the blue being Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-January 13, 1917

    The mentioned J. A. Mayer is my great-grandfather, Jacob Mayer.   There were a few articles regarding local businesses on the front page of The Havre Plaindealer’s January 13, 1917 issue. “CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN ANNUAL MEETING “Directors Chosen Tuesday for the Ensuing Year “At its annual meeting in the secretary’s office, last Tuesday, the Havre Chamber of Commerce chose Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-January 6, 1917

    I have been writing a column for the Havre Daily News about Havre and Hill County’s history since 2012.  My column appears weekly in the Friday paper, and I enjoy selecting articles from old newspapers to share with readers!  One of my 2017 Resolutions is to post that column weekly on my blog as well, and there sometimes may be Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Our Cookbook Collection

    The cookbook collection of the High Line Heritage House Museum is vast and broad.  Ethnic cookbooks, holiday cookbooks, cookbooks that highlight one ingredient, decade cookbooks, tea party cookbooks, celebrity cookbooks, Crock-Pot cookbooks, historic cookbooks-they are all in the collection.  What I especially love collecting are cookbooks put together by local groups and sold as a fundraiser for whatever cause they Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Happy New Year and Other Resolutions

    A happy new year is extended to you from Avalon!  Our celebration here was, as always, low key and quiet.  We left loud and raucous parties behind us in our twenties and are perfectly happy to spend New Year’s Eve at home with our cats.  Jamey made his annual shrimp scampi and it was delicious! With the new year comes Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-The Cottage Cats

    I’m not the only one who lives in The Cottage.  My lifelong companion, Jamey, lives here with me and so do five adorable cats.  I guess you could say we run a cat house! When Jamey first moved in with me, I had seven cats-Mackie, Skinny, Shorty, Buddy, Pippie, Smokey and Mr. Tux.  Sadly, we lost four of them in Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Historic Home Dreams

    Living and working in Havre’s two oldest homes is a dream come true for me.  I grew up on the north side of Havre, Montana, between the tracks and the river.  We are referred to as “river rats”, and not always nicely.  The house we lived in amounted to a one-bedroom shack, and I listened to my mother longing to Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-September 16, 1916

    The Fifth Annual Hill County Fair was underway this week 100 years ago.  A large article was on the front page of the September 15, 1916 issue of The Havre Daily Promoter.  It reads, in part: “HILL COUNTY FAIR MAKES FINE BID FOR PATRONAGE “Women Farmers make Magnificent Display of Agricultural Products.  City and Rural Schools in Competition.                 “Let Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-Missed column for September 9, 1916

    The Labor Day weekend threw me for a loop as far as trying to get things done.  This article was supposed to be published in the Havre Daily News on September 9, 2016, but I missed the deadline.  So, here is a bonus article-enjoy! News wasn’t that great in the Havre newspapers 100 years ago, as two locally prominent and Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-September 2, 1916

    Havre’s many labor unions were busy preparing for the upcoming Labor Day Celebration this week 100 years ago, and it was no small affair.  The September 2, 1916 issue of The Hill County Democrat outlined the many events plus prizes donated by various Havre businesses to the winners. The events included a grand parade with cash prizes for the best Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-August 26, 1916

    There really wasn’t much in the newspapers 100 years ago this week.  An announcement that the Hill County Fairgrounds would play host to car races the coming Sunday was printed in the Hill County Democrat’s August 26, 1916 issue.  Races for light cars, big cars and free-for-alls were scheduled, and the drivers included Jerry Wanderlich, King Kelly from Chicago, Captain Continue Reading...
  • Behind the Lace Curtains-Welcome to My New Blog!

    My website has recently been redesigned, and I couldn’t be more pleased with Heather DePriest of Montana Grafix!  She’s done a fantastic job!  When she first proposed a new website designed for smart phones, I knew I needed to convert and waited a year.  Now, the new and improved site has e-mail capabilities, visitors can book a tour on my Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-August 19, 1916

    The big news this week was the arrival of Congressional candidate, Jeanette Rankin, who was running on the Republican ticket. All three Havre newspapers ran a story about the event.  This article announcing Miss Rankin’s visit appeared in The Havre Daily Promoter’s August 14, 1916 issue: “MISS RANKIN WILL SPEAK “Miss Jeanette Rankin, candidate for congress, will be in Havre Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-August 12, 1916

    The Chautauqua was a hit so far in our city 100 years ago.  All three newspapers carried glowing reports about the presentations and attendance.  This article was on the front page of The Havre Plaindealer’s August 12, 1916 issue: “HUNDREDS ENJOY THE CHAUTAUQUA “All the Numbers Prove Interesting the Entertaining “Hundreds of Havreites and many visitors to the city have Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-July 29th and August 5th, 1916

    Most of the local news in the past couple of weeks centered around the upcoming Chautauqua and candidates for public office.  The year 1916 was an election year, too, and many Hill County citizens were running for the various open offices. Business was also brisk.  This article was published in the July 29, 1916 issue of The Havre Plaindealer: EXPRESS Continue Reading...
  • Celebrating History-July 23, 1916

    Havre, for the most part, was taking a break between the two big events of the first Great Northern Montana Stampede that had just finished, and the upcoming Chautauqua.  The courts, however, were filling that void by naturalizing many new American citizens.  Canada, Norway, Russia, Great Britain, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Germany were our newest citizens’ place of birth, most Continue Reading...