Category Archives: Jo’s Journal

A Little Mishap and the Best Lasagna EVER!

Yesterday Gannon was at my house.  You might remember I have the grandkids on Mondays and Fridays.  Well, it was a Gannon day.  He loves outside and I thought I’d take him out and we’d pick tomatoes.  I was expecting Kayla later that day for a long weekend visit and thought lasagna might be something I’d make for “big family supper”.  That’s what Carver calls meals when extra of the family is here.  “Big family suppers” are my favorite but figuring out something to cook is always a challenge.

This day…I decided on lasagna.  I had made one a couple of weeks ago using fresh tomatoes, onions, and peppers from the garden.

I grabbed this bowl, threw my phone in the bowl, grabbed Gannon and Rosie, and out to the garden we went.

We picked tomatoes and peppers.  It took a long time as I’d pick a tomato, hand it to Gannon, and as he put it in the bowl, I’d say, “IN”.  Gannon is a little behind on speech so when I have him, I try really hard to work on words or concepts.  He loved it.

We did some playing outside.  I watered the flowers and about an hour later, I grabbed the bowl of garden pickings, Gannon and the dog, and went inside.  Gannon wanted to outside so fussed and Rosie jumped on him.  It was lunchtime and I was scrambling to get something for Gannon to eat.

I put the bowl of tomatoes in the sink and turned the water on….then finished getting food for Gannon.

Once he was eating I went back to the sink and started washing off the tomatoes and chopping them up to make yard sauce…which is a roasted tomato sauce.

Imagine my horror when… Continue reading

Tackling Projects

When Covid first hit I made a long list of projects I wanted to get to while I was off of work.  The list was LONG.  But…I was off for about two days and then I jumped into mask making.  Oh my.  I seriously made masks for about a month straight and my list languished.

I’m still off work.  My doctor still doesn’t like the idea of me going back to work as I’m still high-risk with my thyroid cancer return so…I’m doing the best I can do and trying to make things work.  It’s not an ideal situation.

Well with a few cold fall-like days in a row, that list is really calling me.  I know as the weather turns colder it’s harder to tackle some of the projects.  So I picked a few easy ones and jumped in.

I grabbed some graphite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and painted the unfinished wooden box I bought at the thrift store for $2.


I did two coats of paint, sanded and the clear and dark wax.

It ended up like this…

Continue reading

Days of Our Lives

The other day, this came up my Facebook feed.  Oh my, did it ever give me a good laugh.

For some of you, you are laughing right along with me.  For others of you, you likely don’t know what is funny.

Are you up for a little story?  Grab some coffee…here goes.

Growing up, my family watched soap operas over the lunch hour.  Mom and Dad both did farming work and when they were in for lunch, they always turned on the television and watched the soap opera that was on.

Dad was more of the watcher than mom was…mom more or less listened while she bustled around the kitchen getting lunch ready.  Dad was die-hard All my Children fan.

All My Children - Early 80s Opening Theme - YouTube
We laughed and cried over the life of Erica Cane and her many, many marriages.

Erica Kane's Husbands on All My Children | POPSUGAR Love & Sex
That was the noon hour soap on ABC.  Well, sometimes Dad came in from chores a little later so…the next ABC soap that came on was…One Life to Live.

One Life To Live 1986 Intro - YouTube
….and sometimes it was hot out so Dad stayed in for General Hospital.

General Hospital Opening Long Version - YouTube
General Hospital was my personal favorite.  I was so in love with Luke and Laura.  I was a religious watcher!
General Hospital: The Soap Opera of the 80s | Like Totally 80s
Later on…I watched Frisco and Felicia fall in love.

Frisco and Felicia - General Hospital 80s Photo (26323744) - Fanpop
I fell in love with Rick Springfield…

Rick Springfield Returning to General Hospital | Rick springfield, General hospital, Heartthrob
who later went on had a music career singing the hit, “Jessie’s Girl”.

Dad loved the ABC soaps….but sometimes, he would come in before noon and turn the channel over to The Young and the Restless on CBS.

Young and the restless LogosI watched Victor and Nicky be married and not married several times.

12+ Facts Only The Biggest Fans Know About 'The Young And The Restless' | DoYouRemember?
Back then my favorite character was Tracey.  You know every character had their flaw and Tracey’s flaw was that she was supposedly overweight.  I related to her and loved her….She was FAR from overweight!!  Oh my.

The Young and the Restless Photos: Traci and Brad on CBS.com | Young and the restless, Tv weddings, Wedding movies
I don’t want you to think my dad sat in the house all day watching soap operas.  He didn’t.  He was just an unusual farmer.  He chose to be in the house over the hot part of the day and have longer lunch vs being done early in the evening.  He wasn’t in for the night until 10:30pm.  It was his way…and I think he liked soaps.  It was okay with me.  It was something we had in common.  I liked them too.

Well, I went to college and took my dad’s soap opera habits with me.  I watched the same shows he did, but the show that I always tried to catch was General Hospital.  The other ones I might catch once a week or so if my college schedule allowed…but General Hospital was the one I worked my schedule around.

Then I met Kramer and a year later we were married.  College was done for me.  We moved to the Grand Meadow/Stewartville area in Minnesota.  That’s where Kramer was from.  We were dirt poor.  It was the 80s.  Kramer was a young farmer and he was going broke.  We had no money…seriously…no money.

Here’s the proof.  We had two televisions.  One had sound and no picture.  The other had picture and no sound.  I am dead serious.  So what were we poor newlyweds to do?  We stacked the televisions on top of each other, tuned them to the same station, and watched one television while listening to the other.  Somedays the actor’s mouth and the words didn’t completely match but I was a dedicated soap opera fan so what’s a girl to do?  Those were the “good old days”.  Thinking about it nowadays makes me laugh!!

Imagine my consternation when I tuned them on the first time only to realize the only channel we got was channel 10, KTTC out of Rochester, Minnesota.  Oh, my word.  I was heartbroken.  KTTC was an NBC station.  I didn’t watch any NBC soap operas.  What was a girl to do?  In comes….Days of our Lives.

BRPROUD | Days of our lives to air after impeachment hearings

Kramer’s family were Days of our Lives watchers.  Both his Mom and his Dad watched Days of our Lives.  If it was noon, the television was on and they were watching.  It was an institution.  BUT…they only watched Days of our Lives…no other soaps.

So, in our poverty, I became a Days of our Lives watcher.  I game up my ABC soaps and converted.  I did however catch the ABC soaps when I’d go visit my dad.  But, before long, I became hooked on Days of our Lives.

I loved Steve and Kayla….I loved Bo and Hope.

Your Number One 80s! Which Classic Days Of Our Lives (DOOL) Couple Is Your Fave?

About then we moved and were able to get other channels, but I stuck with NBC and Days of our Lives.  I’d put the kids down for a nap and watch while I bustled around the kitchen cleaning up the lunch dishes and prepping supper.

I wasn’t in love with the show when Marlena became possessed.

Marlena on Days of Our Lives — Everything You Need to Know

I hated the Dimera family.  Stephano was the patriarch of that family and he was terrible.

The bradydimera feud stefano dimera 160x230.jpg
He did every bad thing any writer could think of.  He held people captive.  He died and came back to life.  He had all the money in the world so could afford to hire any hitman or bad person the writers could think of.  He was behind every bad thing on the show.  He was known as The Pheonix as he always came back to life…and in the show, he did.  Viewers, like me, would think he was dead.  Then a year later mysterious things would start to happen and there he was acting the puppeteer and pulling all the strings behind the scenes to make terrible things happen.

So when I saw this on Facebook…


I had the BIGGEST laugh.  My late 20s and early 30-year-old self believed it all…It really could be Stephano once again playing the puppeteer and pulling the strings to make this year one all of us will remember.

On a side note…I quit watching soaps in the early 2000s.  For a bit, I would nap my childcare kids and listen while I cleaned up the kitchen but that soon faded, and instead, I prepped activities for the kids over naptime.  I did a quick Google search to see what soaps were being produced today…

Today, only four of them remain — The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS), Days of Our Lives (NBC), General Hospital (ABC), and The Young and the Restless (CBS)“.

Funny…I have ties to three of the four of them.  I wonder if I could pick up and start watching again….Hmmm.  Do you suppose anything has changed?  Likely not as I’m sure any characters I remember look just like they did back then thanks to plastic surgery.

So my curious mind wants to know…was I the only one who watched soaps?  What was your favorite?

Never Ending Saga: My Dishwasher

I’ve had almost a year long problem with dishwashers.  It was about this time last year when my dishwasher discontent started.  I hated mine.  The dishes weren’t getting clean.  I wanted something new.

Finally at Christmas the kids said they’d get me one.  Bucks was great and installed it.  I was so happy for about 2 months.  The top rack in the dishwasher broke.  WHAT??  This is only a couple months old.  How could it break??

Well I didn’t think about any warranty.  I went to Amazon and ordered a top rack bracket.  This is the old one and apparently, the new one was supposed to be better as it have screws rather than plastic snap together system.

Karl fixed it. 
I was so happy.  I thought it all a fluke.


Karl was so happy to.  He’s not been known to be the fixer of the family but with this fix, he proved to us all he can be.


Well believe it or not but about three weeks later, it broke again.  This time I was telling one of the kids and they said, did you call in about a warranty.  Hmm.  Ya.  The dishwasher had a warranty for a year.  Surely this break would be covered by a warranty.

I called in.  Yep, it was covered by the warranty.  They offered to send me the part.  I waited and waited for it to come.  At the time of the call I think it was late April or early May.  Well the part didn’t come and didn’t come.  I ended up calling in and asking about it.  Supposedly they had sent the part.  They blamed covid on it not coming.

I waited….two weeks later, still no part.  In the meantime we had used the dishwasher with the bottom rack only occasionally putting a couple plastic glasses in the top rack.  Then the dishwasher started leaking water.

At this point I was very upset.  I called into the company again.  I told them I wanted a tech to come and look at it…and by the way, where was the part to fix the dishwasher top rack??  Well apparently the part for the top rack got damaged in the mail and was no longer coming my way.  WHAT???!!!

So I asked that the part be expedited.  The person on the line said no…she couldn’t get it expedited.  I explained to her that it had more than a month without dishwasher and I was frustrated.  She passed me on to her supervisor.  Well she did “expedite it”.

Two weeks later the repair guys showed up to look at the leak.  They said that the leak was due to the rack being a problem.  The rack was putting pressure on the door and the door was opening thus the leak.  Hmmm.  I didn’t buy it but okay.  The part had come for the upper rack and I showed the part to them already knowing what they were going to say….wrong part.  UGH.

I asked them if they could order the part and they did…and two weeks later they came back and fixed it.

Whew…I finally had a working dishwasher…or … Continue reading