shim Hoidal Home Page Wonderland
Welcome Header

This is our family web site, but I am the designer, writer, editor, producer, and grandma of the whole operation. It has taken me quite awhile because I'm writing the html myself, not using a program. Good for my old brain to try to remember what I once knew about html and to learn what I don't. Which, as it turns out, is a LOT more than I bargained for. As Forrest Gump's mother used to say, "Stupid is as stupid does" and it appears that I'm stupid enough to not know when to quit!

"The Hoot Owls?" you might ask. A simple five-letter last name, but one that seems to be difficult to pronounce. We pronounce it HOY-dahl, not HIGH-doll, HIGH-ball nor HOY-dle. Because of all the pronunciations, Lyle had lots of nicknames in school. Some printable, some it would be just as well to forget. Mostly he was called "Hoot Owl" and "Hoidle the Toidle." In his later years he's been known as "Mr. Turtle." That's why we're using owls on our web pages and using the nickname "The Hoot Owls." — Jeanie Hoidal

Thoughts and Jots

This has been a crazy 60 days. It's a good thing I didn't keep track of my time or I wouldn't have been able to afford myself. Our site is finally done and uploaded and I can make any corrections as they pop up.

I'm kind of obsessive-compulsive when it comes to projects. I'll knit for three months straight and then out of the blue I'll decide to do crossword puzzles or sew. Also, I am on the gold-medal level when it comes to procrastination, but not when it comes to projects. Housework is another thing.

I have always worked best under pressure and ingenuity when it comes to housecleaning. Our house on the farm was a large house and it took a lot of upkeep. One of my favorite cousins visited one time and when she saw the door in the dining room that closed off the stairs to the second level, she gave me a great hint. She suggested that I get a tension rod and if I saw someone coming up the driveway I should grab the tension rod and put it across at the bottom of the stairs. Then I could quickly hang a couple of coats on the rod and if anyone opened the door, they'd think it was a closet. The upstairs was safe because we had a downstairs bathroom, too. Great idea.

Since I've retired I have found out that I am definitely not a morning person. On Pinterest I saw an ad that read: 10 Breakfast Treats That Get You Excited to Get Out of Bed! All I can say is that those must have been some dandy recipes. Don't get me wrong. I love to eat, but not at the crack of noon. A mid-afternoon snack fits into my schedule very well, thank you.

Getting up early is one thing, but getting up before 7 AM to EXERCISE is crazy. Getting up is about all the exercise I can handle. Love this quote by gospel musician and comedian, Mark Lowry.
I do one sit-up a day.
I get up in the morning.
That's the first half.
I lay down at night.
That's the second half.


Simpler Time Header

School in 1947
School in 2016

All the kids are back in school, the leaves have fallen, and the autumn season has been here and gone. I watched the kids as they prepared for the new school year. About all they had to purchase was new clothes. "When I was young…" I now understand why old people always said that and now here I am doing the same thing. Where did the time go? (Another thing they used to say.) Anyway, back to when I was young.

Tablets When I was young we got one new outfit for school and probably a new pair of shoes. That was it. On the first day of school we all looked pretty spiffy, but since we couldn't wear our new duds all week, we had to wear some of our old clothes. Well, I take that back. Some of the boys wore their clothes until spring. At least that is the way it smelled around them.

That wasn't the biggest decision though. The biggest decision was choosing a new tablet. They were all the same cheap, lined paper, but the covers made the difference. Since we only got one tablet it was a hard decision. Did we want our favorite cowboy? Scenery? Looney Tunes? Animals? Movie stars? Or even Little Orphan Annie. The store usually had a big stack that you could go through.

Then there were the pencils. Did you get a colored one or the old standard Dixon's Ticonderoga with No. 2 lead? Decisions, decisions. A few of the fancy kids had mechanical pencils. Lyle said he was a straight-A student until third grade when he discovered mechanical pencils. That was the beginning of his love for all things mechanical.

Now you get an electronic "tablet" when you go to school. You don't need a pencil or paper. You don't need an encyclopedia or dictionary. It's all in that one little device. Plus you don't have to learn cursive writing. Remember all the curls we made as we practiced the Palmer Penmanship Method? I think I did miles of them. Used to wish I had long curls in my hair like those curlicues, but I had fine, straight hair. Braids were about as fancy as I ever got. If your mother had a good grip and pulled your hair tight, you couldn't close your eyes until the braids came out.

It was September of 1945 when I started kindergarten in Spokane, Washington. We had a small separate building and it was very nice. After our school lunch we laid down on mats on the floor and took a nap or, if you couldn't sleep, you just laid quietly. The teacher sat at her desk and did whatever she had to do while we were resting. It was a great idea and I wish they had carried that tradition right on through to the work place. I need a nap much worse today than I did when I was five.

In 1948 we left the bright lights of Spokane and moved to a farm in northern Minnesota.

I'm a woman of many words so THERE IS MORE—

Cross and Devotional

I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. —Isaiah 43:25


Except for grade schools, pencils are quickly disappearing from modern life. They shouldn't be. Pencils are wonderful instruments.

  • They fit nicely in our grip as we prepare to write.
  • You can sharpen the point to exactly your style: not too blunt and not too sharp.
  • They are soft enough to receive your teeth marks as you chew on them while trying to come up with an answer to a test question.
  • They fit over your ear snugly so you have easy access to them.
  • They have different colors and shapes.
  • And best of all, they have an eraser right there on the other end where it is so handy. You can correct your mistakes by flipping the pencil over and erasing. Voila! Your mistake is gone.

Life would be a lot easier if we had an eraser.

  • Oops! Made a mistake. I can take care of it with my eraser.
  • Oh, no! I just told a lie. Where's my eraser?
  • That's not a word I should say! Rub, rub, rub.

Pencil Have you ever stopped to think that we do have an eraser? God sent us the most powerful Eraser of all. By dying on the cross for us, Christ erased all of our sins. There are no songs that I know of that say, "O Great Eraser," but maybe there should be.

Your Eraser is as close as your heart. He fits nicely in your hand and you fit nicely in His hand. And instead of rubbing and dusting the paper, you just have to ask forgiveness and the mistake will other effort on your part. He blots out, or erases, our transgressions and they are no more.

Thank you, O Great One, for sending us your Son: the One who erases our sins and then remembers them no more. Amen.

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Old Cars
Scott's Kids
The Triplets
Dogs Are Family, Too
Hoidal Heritage
Abbott Heritage
My Irish Bedroom


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

—Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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