Friday, May 29, 2009
The weather is predicted in the 90's - a little hot for moving but better than 6 feet of snow 5 months ago.
I may not post for a few days as I get things straightened out but I will be back - that is a promise.
That's it for today.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
A weeks ago my best friend from Coeur d'Alene came over and we went flamingo shopping. She wanted to add some more flamingos to her gardens. Yesterday I went to visit her and couldn't resist getting some photos. Enjoy them!! As always click on the photo to enlarge them.
That's it for today.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Almost everything was ironed but before the ironing started the clothes were sprinkled with water, rolled up very tight and stuffed into a pillowcase to keep them damp until it was time to iron. Even the sheets and pillowcases were ironed.
We had an old homemade wooden ironing board that folded up and was kept on the back porch. We used two flat irons to iron with. The irons were cleaned with beeswax to prevent streaking. In the summer we ironed in the kitchen next to the wood cookstove. In the winter we ironed in the front room next to the big old heating stove. There had to be quite a hot fire in the stove to keep the irons hot.
Now you didn't want to get the irons too hot because they would scorch the fabric and you would end up with a big brown spot right in the middle of your garment. If the iron was too cold your garment was wrinkled. The longer the iron was off the heat the cooler it got. Once you started the ironing you didn't quit until it was done. You kept exchanging the irons as they got cooler so you were ironing continuously. To tell if the iron was hot enough to iron my grandma would wet the end of her finger and touch it to the iron.
If you hadn't sprinkled your clothes well enough or if you missed spots where they were too dry you kept a pop bottle full of water with a stopper in it on the end of the ironing board. The stopper had three little holes in it and you shook it over the clothes to add a little extra dampness to what ever you were ironing. If you had your material too wet sometimes you would end up with black streaks from the iron on your clothes.
Ironing was done pretty much in the same manner as washing doilies, sheets and pillowcases first, handkerchiefs and white clothes, colored clothes and jeans.
Ironing was a hard job and took most all day. After we got electricity and an old electric iron it made the job a little easier but it was still tedious. It was a huge chore but one that had to be done each week.
Well, the washin's done and the ironing's done it is time to set back and rest a spell.
That's it for today.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern fairy tale, you ask??
A Northern fairy tale starts out "Once upon a time.."
A Southern fairy tale starts out "Ya'll ain't gonna believe this
All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.
Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor’s trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'.
Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right fur piece."
They also know that "just down the road" can be one mile or 20.
No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.
Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines ... And when we’re in line, we talk to everybody!
In the South, y’all is singular .... All y’all is plural.
Northern girls say you can. Southern girls say y'all can.
Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.
Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it - we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don’t want buttermilk.
And a true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, "Bless her heart"...And go your own way.
And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff ... Bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin’ to have classes on Southernness as a second language!
And for those who are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y’all need a sign to hang on y’all's front porch that reads "I ain’t from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."
That's it For Today.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
1. Pull your droopy pants up. You look like an idiot.
2. Turn your cap right, your head isn't crooked.
3. Let's get this straight; it's called a 'dirt road.' I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.
4. They are cattle. They're live steaks. That's why they smell funny to you. But they smell like money to us. Get over it.
5.. So you have a $60,000 car. We're impressed. We have $150,000 cornpickers and hay balers that are driven only 3 weeks a year.
6. So every person in Eastern Tennessee waves. It's called being friendly.Try to understand the concept.
7. If that cell phone rings while an 8-point buck and 3 does are coming in,we WILL shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.
8. Yeah, we eat taters & gravy, beans & cornbread. You really want sushi & caviar? It's available, at the corner bait shop.
9. The 'Opener' refers to the first day of deer season. It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.
10... We open doors for women. That is applied to all women, regardless ofage.
11. No, there's no 'vegetarian special' on the menu. Order steak. Or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham & turkey.
12. When we fill out a table, there are three main dishes: meats,vegetables, and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.Oh, yeah....We don't care what you folks in Cincinnati call that stuff you eat...IT AIN'T REAL CHILI!!
13. You bring 'coke' into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over ice.
14. You bring 'Mary Jane' into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair..
15. College and High School Football is as important here as the Lakers and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.
16. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don't hit the water hazards- - it spooks the fish.
17. Colleges? We have them all over. We have State Universities , Community Colleges, and Vo-techs. They come outta there with an education plus a love for God and country, and they still wave at everybody when they come for the holidays.
18. We have a whole ton of folks in the Army, Navy, Air Force, andMarines. So don't mess with us. If you do, you will get whipped by the best.
19. Turn down that blasted car stereo! That thumpity-thump crap ain'tmusic, anyway. We don't want to hear it anymore than we want to see your boxers. Refer back to #1.
20. 4 inches isn't a blizzard - it's a flurry. Drive like you got some sense in it, and DON'T take all our bread, milk, and bleach from the grocery stores. This ain't Alaska , worst case you may have to live a whole day without croissants. The pickups with snow blades will have you out the next day.
And, That's it for today.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I did get a lot of work done outside. Most of my outside plants are now potted and look really nice. I am raising a fine crop of dandelions. There seems to be an overabundance of them and they are just like rabbits they multiply overnight.
A few days ago I was talking to a friend of mine and her husband asked me if I had a recipe for squirrel gravy. I said I would look in my big recipe book for one.
She told me a story about when they were first married some forty plus years ago her husband went squirrel hunting and took her along. She wasn’t real excited about it and hoped they wouldn’t bag any and she certainly didn’t plan on cooking one.
They were walking through the woods when he spied a squirrel in the top of a big oak tree. As he drew up his gun and took aim at the squirrel she yelled, “Run Squirrel Run”! That scared both her husband and the squirrel. That was the one and only time she ever got to go squirrel hunting.
Guess what, Jay I did find a a recipe for squirrel gravy but I wouldn’t plan on having any unless you want to cook it yourself.
Smokey Mountain Fried Squirrel and Gravy
2 Squirrels, young, cut up
1/2 c Flour
1/2 ts Seasoned salt
1/4 ts Black pepper
4 tb Cooking oil
1/2 c Water
1 Onion, medium, chopped
3 Carrots, quartered
Mix flour, seasoned salt, and pepper, dredge meat. Heat cooking oil over medium heat in dutch oven. Fry meat until golden brown. Reduce heat, add water, onions and carrots. Cover and simmer 40 minutes.
That’s it for today.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The United States decides to send troops to fight in the Korean War.
The comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz is first published in seven US newspapers.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
One said, “You didn’t tell about her working in tobacco”. Another said, I didn’t mention the grandchildren. Someone thought I didn’t talk about how hard she worked.
My memories of my mother could fill a whole book, maybe two -- even a whole library but if I wrote all of those stories most of you would be really bored and never finish it.
So to keep harmony in the family here is a postscript and more insight about my mother.
Like I said in my earlier blog my mother was a very hard worker and could hold her own against any man working in the field. She loved working in the tobacco from the time the tobacco bed was burnt and sowed in February or March until the time the tobacco was sold at market in November or December. She knew how to plant it, hoe it, dust it for cutworms, top it, sucker it, and cut it. She could stick it and spear it faster than my dad. She even had her own spear. It was hard work and getting gummy and dirty never bothered her. She didn’t mind riding the trailer to pack it in the barn and when it came to grading and tying it off she was very particular about her grades and how to pack it into the baskets. She wanted it look nice as to get the best price at the market.
When my oldest niece was born she was so proud to be a grandmother. When she was old enough to talk my mother did not want to be called Granny and she told Pam to “just call her Toad”. That had been her own nickname when she was small. Of course us kids tried to rile my mother by teaching Pam to call her Granny Toad. We, of course got a “talking to “ and it was explained to us in no uncertain terms she wanted to be called Toad.
As she had other grandchildren, the name stuck and all the grandkids called her Toad. She loved everyone of her grandchildren and never showed any favoritism. There was Pam, Dockie, Vikki, Tawnee, Debbie, Jason, Lisa, Don, Little Roy, Doug, Jenny and Brad. She loved for them to come visit and was always happy to see them. She was so proud of all of them.
Again, she was so proud of her sons in laws and daughter in law. I think they were all proud of her and would do anything for her. Her son in law, Dick, always teased her about cooking squirrel and gravy for him. So one day she thought she would fix him. Somewhere she got hold of a couple of squirrels some one had killed and she put them on to cook.
When supper time came and everyone was sitting at the table she placed this bowl of meat and gravy in front of him. She passed him a biscuit and says “OK, Dick there is your squirrel and gravy”. Poor man, he had a stunned look on his face staring at those little drumsticks swimming around in all that gravy. Knowing there was nothing he could do but eat it, he began to ladle gravy onto his biscuit. “Here, have a little meat with your gravy”, she says and proceeded to place a drumstick on top. Now he was really in a pickle, he had to eat it. He did make it through supper but from that day on he never asked her to cook him anything special again.
Another of the things that made her a great mother was that she never interferred in our married lives, she never took sides, she never gave advice unless you asked for it. She never gossiped. If anyone needed help she was always there. She was very quiet and easy going.
As she grew older she was commonly referred to as Toad among her family and friends - it was a name she loved to be called. When she passed away, the minister that officiated at her funeral spoke these words, “When I met her and referred to her as Mrs. Holloway - she explained to me that her name was Toad . With no offense to anyone and no disrespect to the family in my sermon today I will refer to her as Ms. Toad".
One family member said she was “One Of A Kind” and I have to agree. I am often reminded of this saying:
“In all the world there is no other who can take the place of my dear Mother"
A mother's love will never be lost as long as they are remembered. Memories live on in our hearts and minds forever.
That’s it for today.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Well, I do believe after he 79 degree temperature we had on Mother's Day I believe Spring has finally gotten around to getting here.
Mother's Day was really nice, not only the weather but seeing the grandkids.
They gave me a special gift that will last me for a lifetime and will make many happy memories.
Thanks, Ladies for making my Mother's Day special.
That's it for today.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Well, Today is Mother’s Day and a time for wishing all Mothers everywhere a Happy Mother’s Day and a day in which I reflect on my own mother and what an impact she had in my life.
My mother, Vida Lola Swift was born to David Elec Hamilton Swift and Laura Alice Arnold Swift on October 9, 1910 and passed away on Septemberr 2, 1992. She had four brothers Wiley, John, Stacy and Rod and only one sister Bonnie.
She lived through World War 1 (1914-1918) and through the Great Depression (1930-1939). I am sure that these historical events had a profound influence on my mother’s life.
She was a hard worker and loved working outside in the fields. She could hoe a row of corn or hoist a bale of hay as well as any man. On the other hand she was a great cook, famous for her chicken and dumplings as well as a good seamstress.
She met my dad through her younger brother Rod. They both worked on the Watauga Dam together with the Civilian Conservation Corps. They were married on January 14, 1943. My dad was stationed overseas in World War 2 until the war ended. He was discharged in December 1945 and I was born in September 1946. That makes me an “original baby boomer“.
She was very proud of all her children. She was always totally devoted to all seven of us. My older brother Doran, myself, Ann, the twins Mae and Faye, my younger brother John and my baby sister June. She never played favorites and if one of us got something we all got the same thing. Maybe she couldn’t afford it at the same time but she made sure we were never overlooked.
She shared the same philosophy with her sons-in-law and her daughter-in-law. At Christmas if one got socks -- they all got socks. One year she bought them each leather belts with their names hand tooled on them. She loved them all equally as well as her children.
She was a great role model. She loved to stay busy and she certainly had to with seven little mouths to feed . Many times along with my dad she would work outside in the fields all day for two or three dollars, come home, prepare supper and do the household chores before sitting down and either mending or working on a sewing project until bedtime. In the summer it was not unusual to find her preparing or canning food late at night. She taught us good work ethics and to stick to a job until it was finished.
She wanted us to all have a good education and she made sure we were up and out the door for school each day. I remember her checking our necks , making sure we brushed our hair and that our clothes were clean and pressed. She made sure that we never went without anything we needed for school and that we were in church every Sunday, participated in all church activities and that our morals were never compromised.
She taught us to respect our elders, to love one another and to take care of each other. She taught us forgiveness even to the point of taking all of her grown kids to visit an elderly relative whom we had a grudge with. She explained to all of us , “we wouldn’t be able to get into heaven by holding grudges and we needed to forgive and let go of the past” --and at our mothers request we all made our peace--it was quite an experience.
Although our family has drifted apart, and we are each caught up in our own little world, we all need to remember the lessons our mother taught when we were growing up .
We need to take care of each other, to watch out for each other, to be independent and strong, generous, self sacrificing , always forgiving no matter how many times we get it wrong, love for all, especially those worse off than ourselves and to offer up our prayers for everyone else rather than for our own needs. Our mother is the one, who taught us to live, love, and laugh, have morals, to know right from wrong, and that we are accountable for our own actions. We should all make time for each other. Sometimes a phone call, a note or a kind word is all that is needed.
My grandchildren gave me a very special card which reads,
You're a Blessing
When special people
Touch our lives
Then suddenly we see
How beautiful and wonderful
Our world can really be.
They bless us
With their love and joy
Through everything they give--
When special people touch our lives
They teach us how to live.
Mothers in my life that have touched me would be first and foremost, my own mother, Ola Holloway, as well as Irene Johnson, Bonnie Swift, Bette Snyder, Sissie Stout, Sue Roberts, Thelma Wylie, Emogene Swift, Dodie McNeel, Alice Swift, Mary Henson Swift, Neita Jamison, Jean Humphrey and my sister, June Thomas. These are but a few mothers that have taught me how to live.
And, in the words of my Father, "That's It for Today".
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Well, I found this picture of an old washing machine it reminded me of the first electric washing machine we had. When we got electricity it was determined one of these newfangled (RK) machines would make life a lot easier.
Before we got electricity we did our wash out next to the creek bank using our iron pot for heating wash water and two galvanized wash tubs and a wash stand with an old wringer in the middle. A washboard was used to scrub the clothes clean.
Our first and only washer similar to the picture was a used one that my grandfather paid 10 dollars for at J.C. Muse Hardware Store. It sat in a corner of the back porch next to the kitchen door.
During the week it was used as a holding plce for the dirty clothes. On Monday morning or Wash Day we would carry water from the creek and put it on the cook stove to heat. Then we would carry in the wash tubs from outside and set them on a bench next to the washing machine. We would then carry water from the creek to fill the washtubs.
The hot water would be dumped into the washing machine. The white clothes were always washed first. Bluinig was added to the water to keeep the clothes white. Then the bed sheets and then colored clothes, towels, and then overalls and rags last. By this time the water was really dirty.
Things that were to be starched were added to the dishpan full of starch water and starched before they were hung to dry.
We had just one clothesline and by the time it was full. The first clothes were usually dry. We could take them down and hang others in their place. After the washing was done the dirty water was carried out to the back and dumped under the house. I never knew why they did that except it was close. The cleanest dirty water was then used to scrub the back porch. The boards of the floor weren’t real close together so the water would seep down through the cracks and disappear.
After the clothes were dry and brought into the house they were either folded and put away or wet down so they could be ironed. Ironing was a different story . It was hard work. I will write about that later.
That’s it for today.
A post script to this story .
We also had another use for the washing machine lid. In the wintertime we used it for a sled. It made a great sled as we went flying down the hill on our homemade saucer.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
"I thank you all that take the time to write in your journals from day to day telling me what you are up to. It is like I am following you around and enjoying the same adventures you are enjoying. For those of us that are not yet on the road...these journals are our outlet to travel. When pictures are added to these entries I get excited even more...I can actually see what you are seeing and that puts me more in the adventure than just words....Pictures say 1000 words".
Speedy, Enjoy these 10,000 words on what you will see on your trip to the Pacific Northwest .
The most beautiful lake in the world - Coeur d'Alene Lake, Idaho
You might even see a Moose!!
Another gem of Northern Idaho - Mirror Lake
These deer might even pay your campsite a visit
Another Idaho Gem - Lake Chatcolet - A River Runs Through It.
You can't miss the 620 foot Multonomah Falls along the Columbia Gorge in Oregon
and the Beautiful Oregon Coast
Or playing on a Washington Beach
The Impressive Grand Coulee Dam and its laser light show
And the beautiful Spokane Valley, Washinigton.
That's It For Today!!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Many of us over 50, WAY over 50, or on the way to 50 are quite confused
about how we should present ourselves. We're unsure about the kind of
image we are projecting and whether or not we are correct as we try to
conform to current fashions.
Despite what you may have seen on the streets, the following
combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided:
1. A nose ring and bifocals
2. Spiked hair and bald spots
3. A pierced tongue and dentures
4. Miniskirts and support hose
5. Ankle bracelets and corn pads
6. Speedo's and cellulite
7. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar
8. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor
9. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge
10. Pierced nipples that hang below the waist
11. Bikinis and liver spots
12. Short shorts and varicose veins
13. Inline skates and a walker
And the ultimate 'Bad Taste' in Fashion for the 'Older
14. Thongs and Depends
Please keep these basic guidelines foremost in your mind when you
That's it for today.
Monday, May 4, 2009
I have never eaten beet relish but it sounds like it might be good as a side dish with soup beans and cornbread.
1 pint chopped beets
1 pint chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped celery
½ tsp salt
(Optional ¼ tsp white pepper)
(Optional Pinch of red pepper)
¾ cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
½ cup water
Peel beets, mix all ingredients and let heat through. When boiling, pour into sterilized jars to within ½ inch of top. Put on cap, screw band firmly tight. Process in boiling water bath 5 minutes. Yield 2-3 pints. Can be made in larger batches. This recipe is delicious.
My mother and grandmother used to make Bread and butter pickles. They also made a pickle called Lime pickles or 7 day pickles
Feb 20, 1962
Bread and Butter Pickles
6 pound cucumbers
2/3 cup salt (cold water)
1 pound onions sliced
1 small red hot pepper
4 cups cider vinegar
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
1 inch ginger root
½ teaspoon turmeric
Put cucumbers in a glass jar and cover with salt and cold water and let stand 24 hours. Drain the soaked cucumbers 15 minutes in a colander. Add the onions. And cut pepper discard the seed and stem, cut in strips and add to the cucumber and onions.
Put the vegetables in a large sauce pan and add all the spices and sugar. Heat slowly, then boil gently 5 minutes.
Pack while hot into sterile jars and seal.
If you have sweet tooth and like peanut butter this sounds delicious.
February 22, 1980
4 cups white suga
1 stick margarine
1 cup pet evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon white syrup
1 Tablespoon vinegar
Cook together 6 minutes after starting to boil. Pour over 12 oz. Jiff peanut butter and 1 jar marshmallow cream. Makes a large amount.
We grew a patch of rhubarb in the garden and it was always a spring treat. We were always warned that the leaves of the rhubarb plant were poisonous. However, we would take a stalk of rhubarb and spread sugar on it and eat it raw. I never did like it much because no matter how much sugar I put on it - it was still sour.
By Mary Cress
Put about 1 stick margarine into baking dish, along with 1 cup brown sugar and about 2 cups cut up rhubarb and pinch of salt.
Make batter with about 4 Tablespoons (heaping) self rising flour - 1 cup brown sugar, about ½ cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 egg beaten, ½ cup cooking oil.
Pour batter over rhubarb mixture and bake at 350.
We planted our pumpkins alongside the corn in the cornfield. In the fall we would have a wagonload full of pumpkins. Since pumpkin pie is my favorite this recipe sounds wonderful. With using canned pumpking you could make it anytime.
Pumpkin Pie Squares
Mrs. Barton Mount
1 cup sifted flour
½ cup quick cooking rolled oats
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
Mix and spread in 13x9x2 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
1 (1 lb) can of pumpkin (2 cups)
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
1 (13 ½ oz) can evaporated milk
Mix and beat well. Pour over first mixture and bake 20 minutes
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup brown sugar
2 TBSP butter
Mix and sprinkle on top of filling and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until set. Cool. Cut into squares - serve with whipped cream.
More recipes to come in another post.
That’s it for today.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I have been thinking about my grandmother and what a good cook she was. Whenever I ask anyone what they remember most about my grandmother they always remark what a “Great Cook” she was. She never used a recipe, she had all these recipes committed to memory. I know we had an old cookbook but she never used it.
In the summertime we had plenty of fresh vegetables from the garden and lots of fresh fruit in season so we had lots of variety. In the wintertime we had few fresh vegetables but she always made a variety of meals. She cooked three full meals a day and everything she put on the table was homemade.
Beans and potatoes were staples of almost any meal. Potatoes were mashed, fried, souped, or creamed and beans were either green, pickled, leather britches, or soup beans. Sometimes we had meat and sometimes we didn’t.
She always baked fresh bread for every meal. For breakfast it was always homemade biscuits right out of the oven. She always buttered my biscuits for me . Oh those biscuits were good. For Dinner and Supper she always baked a fresh pone of cornbread for each meal. She always used the same iron skillet and she never washed it. She just wiped the crumbs out of it and set it back on the stove.
A friend of mine recently acquired some heirlooms from a relative. One of these items was a cookbook chocked full of handwritten recipes. These recipes had been traded friend to friend and passed down through generations. She sent me a few and what a great time I had going through them. It was evident these receipts had been used quite often and had yellowed with age. They were all handwritten. One was even written on a notepad from a previous sheriff.
One of the receipts was from a lady I knew called Texie. Texie was an excellent cook and every time there was a school function or party she would make the most delicious peanut butter fudge. My mouth waters now just thinking about it.
I will add these recipes to my collection of “tried and true” recipes and memories that will last forever.
Stay tuned for part two. That's it for Today!