Year-end musings and a baker’s dozen events that I DIDN’T write about . .

2015. It’s nearly over. *sigh* Doesn’t seem possible, does it?

So much happened this year at our house. Looking back, I realize what a blessed year it was for us. I’ve written about many of these goings-on, but there were plenty of stories that I didn’t write about.

Do you hate those end-of-the-year updates and analyses that everybody and their respective dogs write about?

I don’t. 🙂 I find them mildly interesting, usually, and so I shall proceed. My blog, my rules. 🙂 hehee

I’m going to have fun with this, though, my dear adorable Gentle Reader. I’m going to make a list of a dozen–no! a baker’s dozen–I just know that I can think of that many–stories that I didn’t write about. And here’s the deal, which I’m making just for you: If any of the events I mention especially pique your interest, leave a message below in the comments. “Tell me the story of the—-” is all you need say, if you are the shy type (like me) and find it a little intimidating to type out a comment.


I’ll write about anything you have a special interest in. I am your slave for the day. Or for the next few writing jags, just in case more than one of you have a request. Isn’t this fun? Have a say in your blogger’s content! Power to the people, say I! I’m doing this, you know, simply because I love ya and appreciate your coming back here to this little corner of the internet, time and again. Really. You are very good to me.


Can I say *smoochies* to you? Well, I’m gonna. 🙂 My blog, my rules. Ha! (Amalia would gently urge me at this point to put down the coffee—)

This is my after-Christmas gift to you, since there’s no way on earth that I can send you each a present. Though I wish I could. Well–maybe if I get started now, I could get one to each of you by next Christmas . . . nahhh . . .

So without any further teasing . . . (although honestly, I could go on like this for some time. Another caveat to you, Gentle Reader. . . I’ll get on with it!) let’s get started:

12 Things that Happened This Year that I Didn’t Write About

. . . but could . . . !

actually, 13 . . .

1. Superb Homemade Ramen

I wrote about Saia’s brother John Lotulelei* you know (cough) the NFL football player, who came to visit with us in January. But I didn’t write about the superb homemade ramen that Amalia and I made to welcome him to our house. It was a three-day affair, making this soup. It was amazing.

That broth? Best broth I’ve ever made. Elixir of the gods.

And it was totally worth it. Just ask John. My new brother. The NFL football player. *By the way, click the link above to see a photo of John–the NFL football player–hugging my mom. Not jealous, by the way. Not a bit of it. She did bring pies.

year end musings ramen

This is it. You CAN make this stuff. I wrote down the recipe. So. Great.

What do you think of it? Pretty amazing-looking stuff, eh?

john l

This is him. John. The NFL football player, remember. I asked him if he’d go out and throw the football around with us, and he just laughed.

Ladies. Gentle Readers. FYI. Because of this superlative dish, I now have a very dishy NFL football player who loves me. 🙂 And I know it’s for the ramen, but who cares? Learning how to cook really is a worthwhile endeavour, people. 🙂 (By the way, sorry, ladies, he is married.)

2. Wedding Dress Shopping

I didn’t write about the jillions (not literal) trips we took to shop for wedding dresses, for obvious reasons–well, maybe not so obvious–ergo, I didn’t want to spoil Bethie’s surprise. But I took a ton (not literal) of photos. I also learned a lot about the process. I’d be happy to share photos and insights on the entire dizzying, but completely joyful, affair. 🙂 I don’t think Bethie would mind now.

Wait. To be on the safe side, I’ll ask her. But I’m pretty sure she’ll say “go for it, Mom.”

She’s sweet that way.

Oooh, I liked this one.

Oooh, I liked this one. It’s vintage, perhaps what Mary Tyler Moore might have worn.

Spoiler alert: Bethie really did have a “This is the one!” moment. It was fun.

🙂 And: I have pictures of it.  . . . . oooh, I do love to tease you. 😉 You, Gentle Reader, are so teasable. Tease, tease, tease . . . 🙂

3. Losing Lolo

Yup. This one’ll make me cry to tell it–and maybe you, too, to read it–just so you know, but I’ll tell it if you’d like. I know that I mentioned the sudden disappearance of our kitty Lolo (aka “The Best Kitty in the World”) and all the measures we took to find her, and also our dear neighbors and the part they played in not finding her (well, they tried, too).

We loved this little sweetie so much.

Sweet Lolo.

Sweet Lolo.

But I’ve never written down the entire saga, and it is a pretty interesting, though rahther sad story. Of course the accompanying tail, er, tale–is a pretty good one, too.

To wit.

4. Finding Goldberry

God is good, Gentle Readers, all the time. That’s all I can say.


darling Goldberry

beautimous Goldberry

But I certainly could tell the rest of the story, if you’d like. It’s really a neat story.

5. Amalia’s Room Remodel

My darling girl is nothing if not sweetly persistent. She was determined to finish the work that we started on her room last fall, and so . . . patiently and sweetly and doggedly . . . without a hint of impatience, for this job was taking so long to finish that she certainly would have been justified in feeling impatient with it . . . and us . . . she asked us, night after night, to help her make her dreams a reality–in her room, that is. She, after all, had a lovely vision. All we had to do was buy the stuff to make it so, and then show up a few evenings in her basement room, and provide some elbow grease. I’m still amazed when I walk into her room, that it is actually in our humble house.

Her room now is just so creative and lovely now. It’s so . . . her.


Ladies-of-a-certain-age, sometimes it’s hard to justify, but stretching your neck out like this when somebody is taking your picture will erase most of the unpleasant wrinkle lines. FYI.


See? See? And this is even before it was finished. It’s even prettier now!

6. Matthew’s Amazing Yet Incredibly Simple Homemade Pizza Tips

When we were down in St. Louis this summer, Matthew made pizza for us. It was very good, and (reportedly) quite a simple recipe, using bucket dough. Matthew, Matthew-like, has gotten simple, delicious pizza down to a science, and I bet I could wrangle that recipe out of him for you, if you’d like.

Sometimes the simplest recipe, after all, is the best one.


7. A Rehearsal Dinner and Party that you wouldn’t believe

My sisters Anne and Mollie wanted to throw the bride and groom a fabulous rehearsal dinner, and so we (cough) let them. It was awesome. It was the best rehearsal dinner/party that I had ever been to.

Really, have you ever been to a rehearsal dinner before with a two-story slide to play on–indoors?


Best of all, we got acquainted with the fabulous Lotulelei family and realized how athletically inept blessed we are to be connected with them now. Truly, truly. So blessed.

They aren’t all NFL football players, by the way.


8. We didn’t skip the 4th

. . . though it was a bit of a temptation, since we had a wedding just a couple weeks afterward. No, we had a fabulous time on the 4th, and I took a jillion photos to prove it.


However, if it gives you the heebie-jeebies to see photos of barefoot boys shooting off fireworks *sigh* you might want to not request this post.

Word to the wise, Gentle Reader. Word to the Wise.

9. The Absolutely Infuriating Way the Rail Road Treated my Parents

(Okay. This is a bit of a rant. And not just a small rant, either, not just a rantlet, as is my wont(let). Just a warning. Now and then, a rant is called for, agreed?)

When those railroad fellows crashed in that one morning, quite out of nowhere–without a word of warning, without a letter or a quick phone call, or even a courteous by-your-leave–and tore out the lovely row of mature trees and brush and plantings between my folks’ property line and the railroad property . . . Oh! I was so angry about this. Imagine. Not just my parents, but all the bewildered folks who live along the railroad, woke up that morning to hear heavy and monstrously huge equipment, tearing into the earth and decimating mature oak trees, and everything else that was growing along the property line and then rumbled away, leaving it all looking like this, and even worse:


Gosh. What. A. Waste.

Ooooh. My ire rises as I think about it, even now. There’s much more to it, as you might expect. None of it good. 🙁 Doggone it.

And yes. I do have ire. Occasionally.

And . . . an accompanying story, which will make you smile and possibly, even, stand up and cheer?

10. My Mother’s Sweet Revenge

(Hint: She is a gardener, after all.) 😉

Hint: plants do tend to grow back.

Plants do tend to grow back.

11. This little man and his enormous dog

and their story. It’s pretty neat. (No more hints.) Unexpected. Ironic. Touching. Sweet.


12. Exploring Neligh Mills

. . . and why I risked getting Mack and me both in trouble, by climbing up on this train car (hint: nobody was about) . . .

Besides, I’d do nearly anything for him. Someday, maybe he’ll appreciate this. *rolling my eyes* Not yet. Now he completely takes it for granted that his old mama will do nearly anything for him, even climb up on something that she probably should not be climbing on. For my part . . . who’s gonna arrest me? Honestly. I’m a grandma with sandwiches in my bag for later, made out of homemade bread.

Pretty threatening stuff.

yearend musings

Mack always asks me  . . . all the kids know that I’m the one who might bend a rule here and there . . . (Gosh, look at that hair! So attractive, Amy!) *rolling eyes* 🙁 . . .

My goodness, I’m already to a dozen–one more, to make it an even baker’s dozen. Or odd, I guess. That brings up a good point. Why is the saying “an even baker’s dozen” when the number is 13, which is an odd number?

Musing . . . musing . . .

13. This Shocking Discovery.

And why it gave my Amalia and me such tingles of delight.


Oooh! *shivers*

Isn’t it fun, to have so many stories to tell?

If any of these stories pique your interest in particular, and if you’d like to hear the rest of one, make your request in the comments below. And hey, share this post with your friends to get additional stories told. You know how much your sharing ways mean to me! 🙂 I’m not above begging . . .

Thanks a bunch, you guys!

I love you, I do! (I’ll put it in red, to indicate sincerity.)


36 thoughts on “Year-end musings and a baker’s dozen events that I DIDN’T write about . .

  1. Chef William

    There are unlimited stories and there is limited time, so the one I would be most interested in is the ramen soup. Then perhaps the pizza. I’m not a pizza lover but I do have a bunch of younger nephews and nieces that are. It’s not something that they get a lot of here in Mexico…..But I am also looking forward to the new 2016 stores…There has got to be a lot of adventure in putting your kitchen back together. Of course that is based on getting the construction project finished, which at this point, none of us readers are sure will happen.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh, Chef! It WILL get done. It WILL . . . (dark, foreboding thoughts) . . . and as I mentioned to another reader, time is more limited for you than me, because it’s gray and cold and dark here in NE (prime writing weather) where I’m sure it’s sunny and lovely down there ON THE BEACH (not bitter).

  2. Michele

    Wow, so many interesting stories. I would have to say that #9 and #10 would top my list. Followed by, in no particular order of preference, #1 and #4. I guess reading #3 would be a fitting ‘prequel’ to the story of #4, but I know I would cry!! Thanks for all that you do. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Blessings to you and your family.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Sweetie. A good cry, don’t you know, clears out the sinuses and makes us feel beautifully pathetic. I fancy a good cry now and then, don’t you?

  3. Lynda Holliday

    I too would like to hear about the Ramen, because the store bought stuff is so bad for you. Then the pizza, would love to start making our own. Then I would love to hear the lost and found story and the railroad and revenge story….. I could say I would like to read them all, but as Chef William says time is limited 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thanks Lynda! Chef William says that, by the way, because he lives ON A BEACH so I probably have more writing time than he ever will have! 😉 It’s very cold here in Nebraska today, and dark. No real temptation to go outside (yet) . . .

  4. gene gage

    I totally have to hear the story of the gravestone, but if I’m the only one who selects that one, I can wait to hear it over coffee or lunch with you and the only Amalia I’ve ever met.

  5. Jody

    WHY do I have to pick just one? It’s unfair really. I vote for all. Yes, I just defied your wishes, but they all sound intriguing! What excited me the most though was the tombstone with Amalia’s name. But I also want to hear the tale of the railroad and your parents, because I too was feeling rather “grrrr” about all the trees. I’m also intrigued by all the football stories and equally interested in wedding dress capers. So, just tell them all please. That’s my vote.

  6. Jan K

    All of them? I would love to see how your daughter’s room turned out. What a creative soul she is! Because I’m a sucker for a happy ending, #9 and #10 ; as well as, #3 and #4. Who could resist climbing to the top of a rail car? How fun! What a tease you are!! ; )

  7. Patricia Imig

    I’d definitely like the recipe for Ramen, as I’ve never made it into Lincoln to have the restaurant version of it. And I’d love to see Amalia’s room remodel. The railroad stories sound way interesting, as does the mill story, the gentleman and his dog, and the gravestone story. Thanks, in advance, for giving us what we want!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Pat, I can tell you from experience that this soup that we made was every bit as good as . . . wait . . I’ve never been to that ramen place, either! I just realized that! I think it comes down to the broth, and you do have to take a couple days to make that. (I mean, you know, broth making is fun, I think). I’d be happy to share that with you.

  8. Kay

    Wow! They all peaked my interest, but topping the list is the wedding dress shopping (since there is a wedding in our family’s immediate future); ramen soup; the railroad & your parents’ trees, since I know them and the area and it makes me mad to read this & how your mom got her revenge since I know & really, really like your gardening momma. And finally the pizza post since I can always have another pizza crust recipe to try and see if it beats mine! 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh Kay, you know I’d do anything for you. I’ll see what I can catch up with—I’d love to share all these stories with you!

  9. Tana Agudelo

    This is too hard. But the train story plus sweet revenge, the gravestone, the ramen, the pizza, the cat, and the big dog. Please. Just do them all? I mean, baby it’s cold outside. Plenty of time for writing, right?

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Baby, it is cold outside, and I can’t seem to sleep much past 4:00 a.m. (oiy!!!) so maybe I can make that happen. Thanks, Tara.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Susan, my Grandma must have been friends with your Grandma–my Grandma used to say “for crying in the bucket!” and “for pete’s sake!” I’ve never heard “for crying in the coffeepot!” hehee Thank you for your kind words.

  10. Cynthia Rose

    1, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13. Actually, maybe after your kitchen remodel you could do a guest room and I could come and hear all of them in person. How about a contest? Which gentle reader gets to come and visit? You could even put us to work!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Wow, wow, wow, Cynthia, I like the way you think! I will have to ponder on that one!! And–believe me–I definitely could use some help with putting in my garden this spring . . . .I wonder if anybody else would be interested in such a contest . . ?

  11. Claudia

    Scenic views in certain parts of Idaho are few and far between, such that even a young tree can be a great asset. The railroad which owns the property directly behind us differed about the views and one morning they literally ground up a lovely, young Cottonwood. I can feel the pain of your parents and would love to hear of your mom’s remedy.
    Off topic maybe but there’s a movie about a young girl who winds up in Japan and her adventures of making Ramen. I can’t remember the title, The Ramen Girl? The Wonton Girl? The secret is in the broth.
    Thank you Amy for sharing your adventures, your family and your encouragement with us “out here”, this year.

  12. Pingback: You can make superb restaurant-worthy Shoyu RAMEN at home! -

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