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Author: Sally Jadlow

Sally is an award-winning author and likes to write historical fiction, poetry and short stories. She teaches creative writing and serves as a chaplain to corporations in the greater Kansas City area. Sally is the wife of one, mother of four and grandmother of fourteen.
Dad’s Games

Dad’s Games

Dad constantly made something out of nothing. He loved anything to do with flying—even kites. Each March he caught the bug to build new ones. Since our front yard was about 18 acres, it was a perfect place to fly them.

He’d carefully choose thin sticks, lashed them together into a cross and notched all the ends. He’d use thin string to fit into the notches and tie it together at the bottom end.

We glued pieces of newspaper together for the body. When the glue dried we laid the kite on the paper and carefully cut the paper a little larger than the string. The next step was to glue the paper edge over the string. Waiting was the hardest part.

When the glue finally dried, we attached long strips of old sheets to the bottom for a tail. Dad tied a ball of heavy string to the top three corners of our kite. At the first hint of wind we were in business.

Now, we buy flimsy kites at the Dollar Store that last just about long enough to get them home. I always thought half of the fun was time spent with Dad in the construction phase.

When things got a little dull, Dad took a circle of string long enough to wind once around each hand and pull the string tight. With his middle fingers he caught the string looped in his palm with the opposite hand, then shoved his index finger and thumb down through the string to make what he called a cat’s cradle. This is a similar idea.

He had a way to take several sheets of newspaper, lay the sheets atop one another and roll the outside edges to the middle in a tight roll. He notched the rolls every few inches up the length of the paper. Then he licked his thumb and forefinger and pulled the top of each roll to make a Jacob’s ladder. The YOUTube video gives you an idea. This ladder is similar but not exactly the same.

What games do you remember playing as a child?

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Apple Betty

Apple Betty

Soon it will be time to gather the fall apple crop. Here is one of our family favorites.

Apple Betty

Preheat oven 350*
Grease baking dish

Part 1

2 c. sliced apples ( I like Jonathan’s best for cooking)
1 T. flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon

Put apples into greased baking dish. Mix other ingredients and sprinkle over apples

Part 2

1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1/8 t. soda
1/8 t. baking powder
1/4 c. butter

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter as for pastry. Spread over apples mixture from part 1.

Bake 350* for 40 min.

(Picture from


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God’s Provision

God’s Provision

On my July 25 blog (God’s Little Surprises) I told you about beginning to record my God’s Little Miracle Book series. Here it is six weeks later and I’ve got two of the books recorded. Now all I have to figure out is how to fix the corrections, format them, and send them to Amazon ACX.

Every step is a learning curve for this old dog, but God is quick to furnish encouragement every step of the way. The other day my grandson, Sam and I, sat in the kitchen. I was about finished with the recording part.

I asked Sam (13) “Hey, do you know anything about the Audacity recording program?”

“Sure. You need some help?”

With a look of surprise his mother said, “How do you know about Audacity?” (Sam is home schooled.)

Sam shrugged. “Oh, I worked with it a while back.”

“Yes, Sam. I sure could use some of your expertise.”

God is so faithful. Everything He asks us to do, He has already gone before us to prepare the way. We only have to wait on Him to show us His provision.

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Phones Then and Now

Phones Then and Now

Today phones do everything but the dishes. Seventy years ago in the 1950s life wasn’t ruled by the thing you held in your hand everywhere you went.

Each house had only one phone. It was usually installed on the wall with a very short cord. It was black with no dial mechanism. When you wanted to make a call, you picked up the phone and waited for an operator at the Southwestern Bell office in town to ask you, “Number, please.”

You told her the number and she plugged in your call on her switchboard and punched the ring button. Many families shared the same line. On country lines, as many as five families shared one line. You knew the call was for your family by the ring pattern. It might be something like three longs and one short. Of course, everyone on the line heard your ring and could pick up the receiver and listen to your call. You knew someone picked up their receiver to listen when you heard a little click.

Our number was 1988-J. We shared the line with my aunt and uncle downstairs. Their number was 1988-W. People could have a private line, but it cost more. Even if you had a private line, the phone operator could still listen to your conversation.

Hmmm. With all the recent news about the loss of privacy, maybe things haven’t changed that much after all!

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Yummy Peach Pie

Yummy Peach Pie

Finally it’s peach season. I couldn’t resist making a pie this morning. The dough I use makes five crusts. You can put the extra balls in a plastic bag and refrigerate till you make your next pie. Hope you enjoy this family favorite from my book Family Favorites from the Heartland.

Pie Crust-Never-fail Variety


Grandma Sally lived in south-west Missouri on a farm. Down the road and a half mile south, lived Bernice (pronounced Burn-nis, with the emphasis on burn). She always made lovely pies. Her crust was flakey and light. I’ve never had a piecrust fail with Bernice’s recipe. The crust rolls out like soft play dough, but tastes like a little bit of heaven.

When I made a pie for my mother, she’d take a bite, close her eyes, and say “Mmmm. Short.” I guess that was my mom’s way of saying the crust was deliciously flakey.



Set oven at 450.


Mix together:
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon brown sugar
1 lb (2 generous cups) lard (I use solid Crisco—not butter flavored.)
Mix these ingredients together with a pastry mixer or two forks until blended.

Then mix together:
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg, slightly beaten
Water to make up to ¾ cup
Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture. Mix it until it sticks together. Don’t handle the dough too much. It will make the crust tough. Form the dough into 5 balls. Keep out how many balls you need. Put the others in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator to use later. You can store the unused portion up to a month.

Wet the counter with a sponge and lay a waxed paper down. Lightly dust the waxed paper with flour and roll out each crust you need. Place the pie pan upside down on the rolled out dough, grab a corner of the waxed paper and flip the pie pan with the dough. Now peel the waxed paper off the dough. For a single crust pie, crimp the edges and bake at 450 degrees 10-12 minutes.

If you’re making a double-crust pie, roll out the first dough, then fill the pie with fruit, and place a second crust on top. Crimp the top and bottom edges together. Bake according to pie recipe directions. (For a double crust pie set the oven at 400 degrees.)

The less you handle the dough, the better it is.


You can use this recipe for peaches or apples.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees


6 or 7 tart apples (I like Granny Smith apples. They hold their shape better.) Or peaches if you prefer.
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons butter
Pastry for 2-crust 9 inch pie


Pare apples or peaches and slice thin.

Combine sugar, flour, spices, and salt; mix with fruit.

Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry, fill with apple or peach mixture; dot with butter. Cut little vent holes in the top crust with a knife. Adjust top crust and crimp edges.

Bake in hot oven (400 degrees) for 50 minutes or until done.


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Pet Problems

Pet Problems

This month my article Pet Problems appeared in the Kaw Valley Senior Monthly Newspaper on page 33. If you don’t want to go to , click on the picture, and scroll all the way to that page, read below.


After WW II, life began to settle a bit. Dad came home from fighting in Germany. Mom quit her job as a clothing store manager in Ottawa, Kansas, and we moved back to Fort Scott, Kansas.

Dad decided I needed a dog. Mom wasn’t so sure, but on my fifth birthday, I got a cute little black and white puppy. When I took him out of the box he wriggled in my arms and licked my face. I giggled with joy.

That spring we moved to a different house at 905 Horton. This one sat beside the only greenhouse and florist shop in town. Their trash barrels sat near ours in the back yard. Mom often went through the florist’s less-than-pristine castoffs to make bouquets for the dining room table. She seemed to know the names of all the flowers, as if they were old friends from long ago.

But the dog was not her friend. In fact, she hated him.

Dad championed him until the day he chewed Mom’s new alligator shoes. That was the last straw. I heard no discussions about the dog between Mom and Dad, but by nightfall, my pet had a new home a couple of miles south near the edge of town. I was heartbroken.

Dad said, “But Sally, I gave him to a little girl with only one arm. Doesn’t she need a companion worse than you do?”

I wasn’t so sure, but finally resigned myself to Dad’s decision.

We later learned he barked all the time and someone put poison in his food to kill him. What a sad end to my dog.

Perhaps a pet that didn’t eat shoes might go better with Mom. One Saturday I went to the Ben Franklin’s five and dime and bought a chameleon. He didn’t have a cage so I put him in a pint glass milk bottle. I heard they turned the color of the place they were. Maybe he would turn clear. Then Mom wouldn’t see him and be upset another pet occupied the house.

I had no idea what to feed him so I pulled some grass and put it in the bottle.

He was dead within a few days.

Dad understood my desire for a pet so he built a large pen for the new white rabbit he brought home one night.

I named her Judy. Soon she got fat. I drew her pictures and thumb-tacked them to the inside of her pen. She didn’t appreciate my preschool artwork and chewed them to pieces.

One day at feeding time, I discovered six pink babies in her pen. This did little to make Mom happier about the big stinky pen in the back yard.

After several weeks, the phone rang. The voice on the other end said, “Is this the party that has dressed rabbits?”

“No. Ours don’t wear any clothes.” I hung up the receiver.

Dad heard the conversation. “What was that call, honey?”

“Somebody wanted to know if we dressed our rabbits.”

The phone rang again. Dad beat me to it. “Yes. Yes. I’ll have them ready for you this afternoon.”

“Why did that guy want to know if we dressed our rabbits?”

Dad sat me on his lap. “Honey, those rabbits were running out of room in the pen. I’ve sold them to the person that called. But I’ve saved the fur. I’ll make you a rabbit coat after I’ve tanned the hides.”

My eyes widened as the gravity of his words sunk in. I whispered, “You killed my rabbits?”

“Yes. But I’ll make you that rabbit coat, I promise.”

Crushed, I decided maybe I shouldn’t have a pet at all. They all seemed to die.

Dad’s tanning job didn’t turn out and I never got the fur coat—not that I would have worn my sweet rabbits anyway.

Later, I acquired two parakeets. They were kept in my room and I faithfully fed and cared for them—until they died also. From then on, pets were not allowed at our house—ever.

When our own children wanted pets, we allowed a few ducks and gerbils but they too met bad ends. Perhaps our house has an unseen sign over the door, “Warning—all pets who enter here are about to complete their life cycle.” At least it seems so.

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A Very Blessed Day

A Very Blessed Day

Some days are full of surprises–Like Christmas, only no one told you it was coming. I had one of those last Friday and Saturday.

I was packing to go to a writer’s conference with my friend Rebecca when the phone rang.

“Mrs. Jadlow, this is Larry Gunderson. Could I stop by for a minute?”


Larry grew up next door to us. He came in from St. Louis for a funeral. We chatted for a little while before he had to leave. It was so good to see him again.

Old neighbor, Larry

Rebecca came and we were on the way to Fort Scott. We arrived just after noon and headed for the NuGrille, the local diner. The place was packed. As we hunted for a table someone called my name. It was my high school friend, Judy, who now lives in Nassau, Bahamas. She was headed for Kansas City to a wedding. We took a quick picture and then parted.

Sally & Judy

Later, Rebecca and I took a tour of the town, checked out the local stores, and settled beside a lake at the  park for a time of quiet writing. It was one of those perfect days–mild weather, gentle breeze, and singing cicadas.

Gunn Park Lake






The next day the skies dripped with a steady rain. We discovered the night cook, Julia, standing on the porch of the motel. She hadn’t brought an umbrella and hoped the rain would ease a bit so she could walk the two miles home.

“Where do you live?”

“Down on 3rd Street.”

Rebecca pulled up to the porch.

I said, “Hop in. We’re going that way.”

We arrived at the retreat just in time to put our books on display. I made a couple of new friends and enjoyed the company of old ones while we learned new tricks to help us research and put software to better use. One of my new friends is going to use God’s Little Miracle Book as a morning devotional with her home-school kids.

I’m so glad Rebecca talked me into going. I would have missed so much fun.


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Spinning with a Spiralizer

Spinning with a Spiralizer

Ever wonder what to do with those vegetables from the garden that seem to multiply when you’re not looking?

This summer I broke down and bought a spiralizer at Bed, Bath & Beyond. The first time I saw one I thought, what a stupid idea. Now that I have one I’m using it almost every day. I crank zucchini through it and it comes out looking like spaghetti (but without the carbs.) Potatoes become Suzie-Qs like we used to get at the local burger joint. Cucumbers become a yummy salad either hot or cold. Throw in some chicken and you’ve got the whole meal. More delicious recipes come in the box.

If you still have a lot of zucchini, run it through the spiralizer and put it in plastic bags in the freezer to use later.

Here’s a recipe I added chopped chicken to:

Lemon Butter Sauce


1 lb. zucchini cut with the large spiral attachment
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1 whole lemon
1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
salt and Pepper, to taste


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your favorite spiralized vegetable (I used zucchini), and red pepper and cook for a few minutes to your desired consistency. If you want to add cooked chicken, do so now.
Add the juice and zest of half a lemon. Salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.

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God’s Little Surprises

God’s Little Surprises

Until a couple of weeks ago, I had as my summer goal, to find a reader to read my God’s Little Miracle Book ( I, II, & III). I hadn’t done anything toward attaining that goal. It was like I was in a holding pattern.

On a Friday night I was up half the night unable to go to sleep. When this happens, I often get up to write my prayers. This night I felt the Lord telling me to lay down my plans. I didn’t know what those plans were, but I obeyed.

The next morning I hauled out of bed to get to the 9:00 a.m. prayer meeting at church. After the prayer meeting, a girl I had only met a couple of times at that meeting said to me, “I just love to listen to you read.”

No one had ever said that to be before. I don’t feel I read well. Was I to read my own books?

She said with a laugh, “You look like you’ve just seen a mountain.”

“I have,” I replied. The thought of recording those books myself was overwhelming.

Quickly I said, “A recording studio is very expensive. Sixty-five dollars an hour, at least.”

“Oh, that’s no problem. I have some friends who have a recording studio.”

Was this some kind of conspiracy? Did God really intend me to read? I gave her my card so she could give it to her friends.

I didn’t hear from anyone by the next Thursday when I was at the library. I checked out their new MakerSpace that has a sound-proof recording booth for–free! All I had to do was make a reservation online as if I was reserving a study room and I was in.

On Friday, a blog I read regularly had an article about recording your own book.  Just in case I missed it, a good friend sent the same article to me. Everywhere I turned His will kept popping up.

It’s a new learning curve for an old dog, but given enough time and the help of the Lord, I’ll get these tracks down. Then I can upload them to Amazon ACX and those books will be available for those too sick or blind to read. Hopefully, this work will strengthen and encourage them.

I never cease to be amazed at God’s plans that are far above and beyond anything I could dream up or imagine!

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Ice Cream in a Bag

Ice Cream in a Bag

Our family always likes ice cream, but few want to crank the gallon and a half until it’s frozen. Some want strawberry, others desire blueberry. The purists want plain vanilla.

With this recipe, each person can make their own flavor. and it only takes about five minutes.

I must warn you–it’s habit forming! This and other recipes are found in my book Family Favorites from the Heartland, available on Amazon at the link below.

½ cup milk (for richer version use half &  half)
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons table or rock salt*
4 cups crushed ice
1 quart sized bag
1 gallon sized freezer bag

Add milk, vanilla, and sugar to the small bag. Seal it and put it in the other gallon size bag. Add the ice and rock salt to the large freezer bag.
Mix and shake for 5 minutes or until the milk mixture becomes ice cream.
Wipe off the bag and enjoy.

Replace the regular milk, vanilla, and sugar with chocolate, strawberry or root beer milk.

*Kosher or rock salt works best. If using table salt, bigger granules work better.

This recipe makes a single serving so take that into account when measuring.


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