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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shelling Corn

Well, Scott on Day 13 Scott has reached a town called Ladysmith, VA. He has traveled 364 miles and is getting really close to Washington D C. He said his legs were giviing him some trouble until he saw the sign that said Washington D C 90 miles. His legs immediately felt better. Good luck on your continued journey and as always my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Well, I got up late again (6:30 AM). I almost missed the sunrise. The days are gradually getting longer and we are edging closer to spring. We still have to get through March. Looking back in to my archives I found last March in Spokane was the snowiest on record. I certainly hope that is not the case for this year.

When we were growing up it was a treat for us to get a loaf of store bought bread. I can only remember we would buy it only on special occasions about three times a year. The rest of the time we ate bread from grain which we had grown..

If we got off the school bus and there was a bushel sack of ears of corn sitting in the middle of the front room we knew we were in for work that night. After the chores were done we would all gather around the basket of corn. We would shell all the corn until the basket was empty and then we would pour it into a clean white flour sack and the next morning my grandpa would bum a ride with one of the neighbors and take it to mill. Now there were a couple of mills in town which was about 3 or 4 miles away. He would have that corn ground into corn meal and bring it back home and we would have cornmeal for our staple cornbread for the next little while. I don’t remember how long it lasted but six weeks comes to mind. When we were almost out of cornmeal the process would be repeated. If we needed flour he would take a sack of wheat to the same mill to get it ground. The miller would measure out the grain and keep a portion of it for his pay for the use of his milling machine.

One of the mills was Shupe's mill. Here is a story about an Old fellow who rode his horse to Shupe's mill with his corn to be ground into corn meal. After it had been ground and he was preparing to leave he mounted his horse and the miller went to throw the sack of corn meal on to the horse behind the saddle. "Put it up here on my shoulder", the man said, "I will carry it. I don't want my horse to work any harder than he has too".

My grandmother made hot biscuits every morning. Now she didn't use a mix she made them from scratch. .She made them from wheat we had grown and taken to mill to be ground into flour. She would fire up the old wood stove and dig out the mixing bowl and pretty soon we would have hot fresh biscuits from the oven smothered in real cow butter and covered with her own homemade syrup - makes my mouth water just thinking about them.

On another note I do want to say a special hello to my friend Scott who has recently discovered he has a stomach ailment. He reads this blog every day and I want him to know I am thinking of him and Bonnie.

For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link

You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.
That's it for Today!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Watauga Lake Butler, TN

Well, the update on Scott is he walked 21 miles today and is in Richmond, VA. Thus far he has walked 347 miles. Less than 100 to go. Good luck on your journey into Washington Scott.

After two days of talking about chickens lets talk about something else today. Here is another Point of Interest in Johnson County.

Watauga Lake covers approximately ten square miles in Johnson and Carter County. It was built by the Tennesse Valley Authority after devastating floods of the Watauga River. Part of the lake covers the town of Old Butler and the area where my father was born and raised. It has 109 miles of shoreline and is 16.3 miles long. It sits 1959 feet above sea level. It is a great source fo recreation in this portion of East Tennessee.

My friend, Carter, who lived in Old Butler told me about the flood of 1940. He said he was at school that day and the teacher sent him out to see how high the river was rising. He said you could see portions of houses and debris floating down the river, chickens were setting on top of chicken coops. Livestock were in the water, he says it was an awful sight. He talked about the water coming up to the knees of his britches legs. The teacher dismissed school and they all got to safety shortly before the schoolhouse was washed away.

The Tennessee Valley Authority began construction on the dam on February 16, 1942. Due to World War II construction was stopped on December 21, 1942 and resumed again on July 22, 1946. The gates to Watauga Dam were closed in December of 1948. My father worked for a time on this dam.

761 families and 50 businesses along with some cemeteries were relocated to New Butler and the surrounding area. The town of Butler has created a museum depicting life in Old Butler and every year they celebrate Old Butler Days.

And there you have it The Town That Wouldn't Drown.

For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link

You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.

That's it For Today.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't Stir The Dumplins'

Well, let me give you the latest update on Scott today. I recieved an email from him last night. He is doing great. He walked 37 miles yesterday and is now at the 327 mile marker. That means there is only 123 miles left to travel. He is about 5 1/2 hours away from Mountain City if you are traveling by car. He is still doing speaking engagements and radio interviews. As you finish your journey Scott continued thoughts and prayers are with you.

and now part 2 of My Chicken Story. Since we don't keep chickens in the barnyard anymore and we depend on the supermarket here is a recipe on how to make chicken and dumplings with a store bought chicken.

I got this recipe from my cousin, Ida Mae, who got it from her mother and grandmother. She says there is really no recipe but this is how she does it. The main thing is DON'T STIR THE DUMPLIN"S.

When you go to the store you pick out the biggest fattest chicken in the case. Make sure it is good and fat. Cut it up and put it in your pot with quite a bit of water so you will have lots of broth. Cook the chicken until it is tender and falling off the bone. Remove the chicken and pick all the chicken off the carcass. Set your chicken aside.

Salt and pepper your broth to your own taste and add about three chicken bouillon cubes. She says the chicken bouillon gives it a better flavor. Add about 2 1/ cups of milk to the broth. Let your broth come to a rolling boil.

Meantime you take about three cups of flour and one cup of crisco and mix it with a fork until you have a stiff batter. At this point you can either roll it out on a floured board and pat it out kinda thick and cut it into squares for your dumplings (that is the way my mother and grandmother did it). Ida Mae says she just uses a big spoon (tablespoon) to drop spoons full of dough into the boiling broth. This way your dumplings don't stick together. After you have all your flour mixture in the pot turn the heat down to about medium until the dumplings look dry on the top about 10 minutes.

Take the chicken you have set aside and sprinkle it over the top. Remember not to stir them but you can shake the pot a little and the chicken will mix in with the dumplings. Turn off the heat and let the pot set for about ten minutes before you serve them.

This is a great dish for gatherings, church socials, picnics and dinner on the grounds. Ida Mae says, "You never have to worry about bringing any home because the pot is always empty".It is also recommended by Sid. He has been her taste tester for many years.

I can't wait to try dumplings made this way. Mine always end up in a big glob in the middle of the bottom of the pot.

I am off to the store to buy me a big fat hen and I will hide that wooden spoon I use to stir them with because the secret is DON'T STIR THE DUMPLIN'S.

And now I want to say a big hello to one of my newest readers. Clyde, these photos are for you.

(for larger image just click on the photo).

Scenery on Highway 67

Watauga Lake

For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link

You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Catchin' Dinner

Well, today the update for Scott is that he has completed 277 miles of a 400 mile walk to Washington D.C. Today's walk is from Cumberland to Midlothian VA. My friends Bustr and Peggy Brown will be walking with him today. Good Luck today Scott you are gaining ground every day!

The other day I was talking to one of my cousins and we were reminiscing about Sunday dinners and how much we enjoyed having the preacher come to visit because that meant chicken and dumplings. Here is part one of a two part story.

The preacher from the church we attended usually took turns eating Sunday dinner with members of the congregation. When he came to eat at our house chicken was always on the menu.

Our preparation for Sunday Dinner was usually started on Saturday afternoon with my grandmother going out to the barnyard with a little grain to feed the chickens. Of course she had her eye on an old big fat hen that would be our next meal. She would spread the grain on the ground and then sneak up behind that old chicken and scoop it up in her apron.

Sometimes she would wring its neck right there on the spot and sometimes she would carry it to the chopping block grab it by its feet, cut its head off and fling iton the ground to flop around . That poor ol’ chicken flopping around always scared us kids to death and we would hop up on top of the woodpile so it didn’t get us. Maybe the phrase “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” was from this practice.

Once she figured it was good and dead she would put it in a dishpan and pour boiling water over it to scald it and soften the feathers before she plucked it.

At first you could pluck handsful of feathers but when you got down to those little pin feathers it got a little harder. She would light a poke (brown paper bag) on fire and singe those feathers off. After that she would wash it and cut it up and put it in the pot for cooking. If it was a frying chicken she would normally fry it but if it was a stewing chicken we would have chicken and dumplings.

On Sunday after church when the preacher came for Sunday dinner those dumplings tasted mighty good. Along with the chicken and dumplings my grandmother would serve mashed potatoes , green beans, cole slaw, picallili, jam, jelly and other side dishes along with hot biscuits slathered with lots of cow butter. For dessert there was always two or three different pies and a cake or two. It was a feast to be sure.

In the afternoon we would sit around visiting. Sometimes the preacher would stay for both dinner and supper. Sometimes he would just eat dinner and go somewhere else for supper.

Nowadays, things have changed there’s no barnyard, no chickens, and the preacher never comes . It takes all the fun out of catchin’ your own dinner.
For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link
You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Things to Do

Well, the update on Scott, he has made it thru day 9 and 257 miles. Today's route will take him from Buckingham VA to Cumberland VA. Continued good luck on your journey Scott. Thoughts and prayers are with you every step of the way.

If you are planning to make a visit to Johnson county here aare a couple of things you might want to put on your "To See" list.

Backbone Rock is a great place for hiking, a picnic, camping and swimming. It got its name because it is a stone ridge that extends from the Iron Mountain. In the early 1900's a railroad track was laid from the Sutherland area to Damascus VA to transport timber to market.
When the workers came to the stone interface about 75 foot high and 10 feet thick they figured the easiest way to get around it was to go through it. So they blasted the tunnel through it creating the world's shortest tunnel. After it was blasted it had to be hand chisled in order for the trains smokestack to go through. Today the main highway goes through the rock from Shady Valley to Damascus.
In the 1930's the CCC (Civilian Conservtion Corps) built steps and a trail so visitors could climb the rock. If you are visiting the area it is definitely worth seeing.

To get to Backbone Rock go to Damascus (middle of town) and follow Shady Avenue (TN State Route 133) south for approximately 3 miles.

Another great place to go in Mountain City is the Johnson County Welcome Center. You can find a variety of items and artifacts from early day Johnson County in the museum there. They also have tourist information and are open daily.

For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link

You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Interesting Things

Scott and Mike Brooks walk into Bedford VA.

Well, As of today Scott has completed 230 miles of his walk. Today he will complete the portion from Appomattox VA to Buckingham, VA. A lot of our ancestors came from Buckingham so he should be in fine company there. He is still gaining lots of support from across the entire country. Way to go Scott!! You are on the downhill slide now.

It is kinda quiet here this morning so I thought I would give you some interesting facts you might want to know.

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have 'the rule of thumb'

Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden'.. .and thus, the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair..

The first novel ever written on a typewriter, Tom Sawyer.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987, 654,321

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David

Hearts - Charlemagne

Clubs -Alexander, the Great

Diamonds - Julius Caesar

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died because of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes .

You were interested in knowing all that -- weren't you? I will be back tomorrow with something else.

One other thing I wanted to mention... I would like to send lots of Get Well Wishes to my sister in law Emogene who is having major surgery today. Thoughts and prayers are coming your way.

For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link

You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.

That's it for Today.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two Different Walks

Well, as of last night Scott has walked 209 miles of a 440 mile walk from Mountain City to Washington DC. A lot of people have joined him on his walk and he has great support. Johnson County has always been one that holds true to their beliefs and conviction. It certainly is showing now.

I have a Johnson County Civil War story about beliefs and conviction I will share at a later date but today I want to tell you a story about another man who took a risk and walked across America so others could share America with him. That man was Peter Jenkins, Author of the book, Walk Across America.

It was in the early seventies that he set out on his journey across America. According to his book he walked from Damascus, Va to Mountain City TN on December 19, 1973.

It was sometime after the book was written I had purchased a copy and came to the point where he stayed in Mountain City. I was reading the passage to my sister and when I described the waitress at the restaurant "with the diamond studded glasses and blue-black beehive hairdo" who pointed him to the hotel my sister says, "Oh that's so and so (her name escapes me now) she lives right down the road. We'll go down and see her". From that point on I was hooked on his books which, by the way, are still in print today.

When I owned and operated my bookstore in Twin Falls, Idaho I had occasion to attend a book signing by Peter Jenkins to promote another one of his books. I gathered up all of his books in my collection and carted them to the place where he was. It was such a pleasure to finally meet him and I can't tell you how gracious he was as he signed my books. I explained my story to him, he immediately flipped to the correct page about Mountain City and inscribed a personal message to me on that page. At that particular moment we were connected thru our memories and one I will never forget.

Scott, hold on tight to your beliefs and convictions. My opinion is belief is knowing your walk is right and conviction is action. Visions becomes reality through change and actions cause change.

As, always my thoughts and prayers are with you every step of the way.

For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link

You can leave comments on this page or if you prefer to contact me you can do so at If you have memories you would care to share about living in Johnson County I would appreciate it if you would share those also.

That's it for Today.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Our Town

Well, for those of you that are following along with me on Scott's journey to Washington D C here is the update. Yesterday Scott traveled from Roanoke to Bedford VA in temperatures ranging from 17 to 30 degrees. He has now covered 184 miles of his journey and says walking 32 miles a day is normal.

Scott, you're gaining ground as well as support from across the country. I have heard from people in Texas, Alabama Illinois, California, Oregon, Montana and Canada who are all pulling for you. A retired minister, Dr. Cavin in Forth Worth, Texas is also keeping track of your progress.

When I was growing up Saturday was always a busy day in our little hometown of Mountain City. The farmers would have their work done for the week and the wives would need to buy a few things so everyone piled into the car and went to town on Saturday afternoon. The stores stayed open until 9 PM. You had to get there early to find a parking space sometimes.
Men would be standing around visiting with their friends and neighbors while the ladies did the shopping. The kids were visiting with their friends or sometimes we would go to the movies. Most Saturdays we would go to the roller skating rink.

One of my favorite places was the Rexall Drugstore. The Rexall Drug Store was where the Army Surplus is today. It had the drugstore where you could get your prescriptions filled in the back. It had a gift shop where you could buy all kinds of gifts and small appliances and in the front clear across the window was a magazine Rack about 3 foot high. It held tons of comic books, newspapers, magazines etc. Now, all the boys who came to town used to stand on the corner by the water fountain (it used to be across the street not in front of the bank). Us girls would stand in front of the window pretending to read a movie magazine while watching the boys. When the one we were hoping to talk to walked by we would follow him up the street just in case he noticed us and asked us to the movies. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not.

On the other side of the drugstore closest to Church Street was a grill where they had hamburgers hot dogs etc. It had a soda fountain with stools and there were booths in the back. A chili dog was a dime, a hot dog "all the way" was 15 cents, a coke was a nickel, coffee was a nickel and a hamburger with everything was 20 cents. You could also get a splash of vanila or cherry in your coke and it was still a nickel. In the front of that side was a glass case and a turntable that went round and round where you could get hot peanuts. Oh those peanuts were good.

Mountain City was a great place to grow up. It was just your average friendly town and it still is. I don't think you will find friendlier people anywhere.

Looking Up Town

This is the middle of town (main intersection )
The water fountain

For those of you who want to follow Scott's journey his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol here is the link

Good luck Scott on your way to Lynchburg, Va today Thoughts and prayers are with you every step of the way.

One last thing I am getting lots of new readers if you want to leave me a a comment please do. I love comments and getting mail!! You can leave it under annonymous just be sure to sign your name so I know who you are. If you want a reply you can send it to my email at

That's it for Today.

Friday, February 20, 2009

On To Bedford

Well, as all of you know I have been following the walk of a friend of mine, Scott Teague, who is on a mission to walk from my home town of Mountain City TN to Washington D C .

On day 5 of his walk Scott has completed one third of the way. He spent the night in Roanoke VA and will continue his walk today to Bedford VA. His spirits are still great and he is receiving an outpouring of support from people he meets along the way to people from our hometown who support him. Some are driving from Mountain City to walk along with him. This has got to be one great experience!!

Just in case you are reading this Scott I support your efforts and the way you are standing up for your beliefs. I am also proud to say I come from Johnson County and Mountain City, Tennessee.

And now for my dear readers a little history about our beloved Johnson County, TN.

Johnson County was originally Cherokee Territory. Daniel Boone forged trails through Johnson County on his way to "Kaintuck". The father of Thomas Jefferson stood on one of the mountaintops and said " This is as far in the wilderness as any white man will ever go".

Later it became known as North Carolina. In 1784 some settlers declared freedom from North Carolina and formed their own state, The State of Franklin. This state only lasted for four years and it went back to a part of North Carolina. In 1794 Tennessee became the 16th state admitted to the Union and it became a part of Washington County in the new state of Tennessee. In 1796 it became a part of Carter County and remained that way until a county seat was named at Elizabethton. My ancestors were among the first settlers in Johnson County.

Because it was some thirty to forty miles away and the Doe River had to be forded at least eight times and because they thought a citizen should be able to go to the county seat and be home by dark it was decided that a new county of Johnson should be formed. This was 1836 when Johnson County was formed from part of Carter County. The county seat was to be called Taylorsville in honor of Colonel Taylor. It was later renamed Mountain City.

Johnson County lies in the extreme northeastern part of the state and Mountain City is located approximately 10 miles from the Virginia state line and approximately 10 miles from the North Carolina State line. The Appalachian Trail runs through a portion of Johnson County bringing thousand of hikers across the Iron Mountain each year. I was born at the foot of Iron Mountain. Watauga Lake formed by the TVA in the late forties is a popular recreation place.
The population at last census was around 18,000 in Johnson County and about 2500 in the town of Mountain City. And that is your history lesson for today.

Good luck Scott on your way to Bedford, Va today Thoughts and prayers are with you every step of the way.

For more information or if you are interested in following his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol you can find it at

That's it For Today!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Makin' Our Own Fun

Well, the gloomy day got me to thinking about all the fun and games we used to have when we were kids.

We did not have a lot of toys when we were growing up. We made our own fun. We had an old wagon we pulled each other around on and we also carried wood on that old wagon. It had sideboards on it and had belonged to my older brother. The side boards came off of it . It was a cool wagon. Sometimes we just pulled each other around in an old cardboard box and a piece of twine string.

We did not have a baseball or bat but in springtime and summer our days were filled with playing baseball We had an old ball of leftover yarn and twine we used for a ball and our bat was a flat piece of wood which we had made into a bat. It made a good bat because every once in a while we would hit the ball onto the house. It would come bouncing off the house and invariably would either go into the rain barrel or into a mud puddle and be soggy . We would have to wait for days for it to dry out.

In the summer we couldn’t wait for the June bugs to start flying. We would get a string and tie it to one of their legs and fly those June bugs around. would . We would take a tin can and go to the creek and catch minnows and crawdads and put them in the tin can. We always had to be careful of the crawdads because we were told if they got their pinchers on you they would not turn you loose until it rained. We also had to be on the look out for snakes too. We heard so many snake stories just the sight of one would send us scurrying in the other direction.

As evening came we would find a glass jar of some kind poke a couple holes in the top and off to the corn patch we would go looking for lightning bugs. We would catch them when they lit up and put them in the jar. You had to be careful not to sqush them because you would end up with "glow" on your hand. After we had tired of catching the bugs we would set the jar up until it was time to go to bed. We would then sneak them into our bed and under the covers so we wouldn't get caught with them.

I remember one time we had hid the jar in behind the bed and when everyone had gotten in bed one of us reached behind the bed to get the jar. Well, the hand that was reaching missed the target and tipped the jar over and it rolled out into the middle of the floor - lightning bugs just a blinking. We got in trouble that night and none of us ever owned up to how that jar got under the bed.

Well Scott has finished his fourth day and is at 115 miles. It rained most of the day today. There were people who walked with him and a radio station interviewed him. He also spoke at a church in Christiansburg, VA. He will leave there for day 5 and on to Roanoke, VA.

Good luck Scott on the next leg of your journey.

For more information or if you are interested in following his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol you can find it at

That's it for Today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank You Mr. Bell !!

Well, I have had an exciting day today thanks be to Alexander Graham Bell.
I have been on the phone most of the day.

It all started with my talking to my sister this morning and then I called my best friend Jean. You remember the one that was canning pork the last time I called...well she wasn't canning anything today so we reminisced about a lot of things in our growing up years. Her dad used to sit and tell me stories by the hour. I wish I could remember all of them. I asked him once how he met his wife. He went into great detail to tell me exactly how they met and where they went and what they did. If he missed a small detail his wife would interject "Now Herg, that's not was the way it went, it was like this". Then they would have a little discussion about it and in the end it happened just the way he told me. They were happily married for more than 61 and a 1/2 years before he passed away in 2006. I think of him often with happy memories.

Now while I was talking to my friend she told me about a lady that made chicken and dumplings for all of the church socials so I thought I would get the recipe. Actually I didn't get to talk to her but did have a nice conversation with her husband and promised I would call back and get the recipe.

Next I had a couple of family history questions I needed to straighten out so I called the person that I thought could best answer my question. Well, I had a great conversation with both him and his wife and found the information I needed to know. We talked awhile about things in the past and she shared with me a couple of ways to preserve foods. I will write those in a later post. She also told me about a lady who had written a couple books about the area. She gave me the name and when I discovered her maiden name was Henson. I just had to pick up the phone and call her.

What a delightful lady she was. I spent a good half hour speaking with her about a variety of subjects, where she lived, where I lived, how we were related and her books. She gave me some pointers about writing and told me about a writers group she belongs to in Boone NC. We exchanged email addresses and promised to keep in touch. This is definitely one lady I would like to get to know better.

And Now About Scott's walk:
On Day 3 he walked 33 miles for a total of almost 85 miles in the three days. He had trouble with a rock in his shoe and had an epson salt foot bath. His spirits were good. He had internet connection and sent me this email.

Thanks so much Jenny for your encouraging words... One thing we all need
to do is "get involved". Contact your Congressman office and express
your support so they will get the message.
Thanks again and please stay in touch..
Have a Nice Day,
Scott Teague

Thank you Scott for making a stand and holding on tight to your conviction. I will keep following your progress as you make your way to Washington D C.
For more information or if you are interested in following his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol you can find it at

That's it for Today.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Weather and Walk

Well, we woke up to two inches of snow this much longer will this go on? Of course it did not last too long because the sun came out and it melted. However, it wasnt warm enough to melt the snow berms we still have. Maybe they will be gone by July--at least that's what I am hoping.

We are on the down side of Winter Solstice and headed for the Vernal Equinox on March 20. That means we are gaining a few mintes of daylight a couple times a day. That extra few minutes of daylight is sure nice.

Yesterday I told you about a friend of mine who is walking 440 miles to the U S Capitol in Washington D C to speak with Congress and ask them to write and enact a law which protects display of The Ten Commandments in Courthouses, public buildings and schools.

I am pleased to report the first two days of his trip went very well. Day 1 he walked 35 miles from Mountain City to Glade Spring VA and Day 2 he walked 32 miles to Wytheville VA. He is gaining lots of support from family and friends and others along the way. I don't have any photos but I "borrowed" this one of Scott with a couple other friends of mine Dr. Don and Carole Tarr.

Good Luck Scott--I will be following your walk.

That's it For Today.

Monday, February 16, 2009

440 Miles

Well, normally I don't write about politics or religion or subjects of that nature but I did want to let everyone know about a personal friend of mine, Scott Teague, who is making a 440 mile walk from my hometown of Mountain City, Tenn to Washington DC in hopes to speak with Congress and ask them to write and enact a law which protects display of The Ten Commandments in Courthouses, public buildings and schools.

(Photo courtesy of The Tomahawk, Mountain City, TN)

I believe it was in September when the Mayor expressed concern because one man was offended by the display of The Ten Commandments in the courthouse in Mountain City. It was then that Scott Teague, a businessman in Mountain City, organized a group to keep the Ten Commandments in courthouse. In just a short time he had collected approximately 9,240 signatures in favor of keeping the plaque where it was. That is over half the people in a county of 18,000. The Ten Commandments are still displayed in the courthouse.

Scott says his mission is to make America aware that because of our separation of the Ten Commandments our country has experienced moral decay and economic crisis. My vision is to inspire God-fearing Americans to reclaim their beliefs of almighty God and to call upon his namesake to protect and heal our land.”

Good Luck Scott, May God continue to bless you on your journey. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

For more information or if you are interested in following his daily walk to the steps of the U. S. Capitol you can find it at

That's it For Today.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Vintage Valentine

Roses are Red
Violets Are Blue
A Vintage Valentine
Just For You

Happy Valentine's Day

That's It For Today!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Letter From Home

Well, it has been kind of a slow week around here - not much going on except the weather. That makes for some boring posts. Since I started my blog I don't hear from any of my family as they don't call me anymore . They usually just read it to keep up with my comin's and goin's.

However, I did receive a letter from them last week and I did want to share it with you.

Hillbilly Letter From Home

Our Dearest Sister,
We are writing this slow because we know you can't read fast.

We don't live where we did when you were home. We read in the newspaper that most accidents happen within 20 miles of your home, so we moved. We won't be able to send you the address because the last family that lived here took the house numbers when they moved so they wouldn't have to change their address.

This place is really nice. It even has a washing machine. We are not sure about it. We put a load of clothes in and pulled the chain. We haven't seen them since.

The weather isn't bad here. It only rained twice last week; the first time for three days and the second time for four days.

About that coat you wanted us to send; your Uncle Billy Bob said it would be too heavy to send in the mail with the buttons on, so we cut them off and put them in the pockets.

Bubba locked his keys in the car yesterday. We were really worried because it took him two hours to get us and your brother out.

Your sister had a baby this morning, but I haven't found out what it is yet so I don't know if you are an aunt or uncle.

Uncle Bobby Ray fell into a whiskey vat last week. Some men tried to pull him out but he fought them off and drowned. We had him cremated, he burned for three days.

Three of your friends went off a bridge in a pickup truck. Butch was driving. He rolled down the window and swam to safety. Your other two friends were in the back. They drowned because they couldn't get the tailgate down!

There isn't much more news at this time. Nothing much out of the normal has happened.

Your Favorite Sisters,
Anniebell, Flossifay, Fannymae and Juniejoe

I guess some news is better than no news. Keep those cards and letters comin' I love to get mail and a phone call would be nice once in awhile.

That's it for today

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dewey School

Well, I had to go far back in the recesses of my itty bitty pea brain for today's post. A couple of years ago an old school friend sent me this photo. This is the first school I went to.

The photo was taken in 1951 the year before I started school. There are some people I recognize in the photo. My first teacher, Ms Rena, who taught the small grades is standing on the end in the back row. Next to her is our cook Ms. Winnie. On the other end is the other teacher who taught the high grades and was also the principal. I can't remember his name.

The school was located about a mile from where we lived. It stood at the end of the holler next to the big highway. It was built sometime in the late 1920's. It was named for the Dewey community in which we lived and thus became known as the Dewey School.

This was the second school in the community. The first was up the road about a quarter of a mile. It was also named Dewey school. The story goes that late one night two of the students who obviously didn't like to go to school set fire to it and burned it down.

I started to school in 1952. It was the first year that the county had school buses to pick up the children. Prior to that they walked or were driven by one of the parents who had a car. Some students walked three or four miles one way just to go to school. Our bus was one of those little short buses. The year after we got a big bus and the little bus was used to transport the black students in town forty miles to school.

The school had two rooms. There were four grades in each room. The rooms were the same size but were called the Big Room for the bigger kids and the Small Room for the smaller kids. There were doors that folded back to make it one big room. Each room had its own cloak room to hang our coats and boots. There was also a kitchen where Ms. Winnie and Ms. Hazel prepared our lunch. We had a bucket with one dipper for all the kids to drink out of.

There was a belfrey with a big old bell which was rang by the principal before school at recess, lunch and when school ended. I remember asking one time if I could ring the bell. He told me if I did that I would be sucked up into the belfrey and never come down.

There were no bathrooms. We had an out house on each side of the school. One for the boys and one for the girls. That worked out just fine until one day we had a small tornado touch down and destroyed the boys out house. Then we had a common out house.

I don't remember the girls having jobs at school but the boys had to go out to the coal shed to bring in the coal and wood kindling for the big pot bellied stove and they had to shake the erasers at the end of the day.

The year after I started school, all the schools in Johnson county were consolidated and they did away with all the two room schools. We were bussed about five miles to the big new modern Doe School which had a separate room for each class, water coolers, two large bathrooms and a gym. This school is still in use today.

That's it for today.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Well, It's a great day today!! Molly is celebrating her 39th Birthday today . I love it since we came up with the new Math!! Loads of birthday wishes are coming your way, Molly!!

There's not much going on here except the weather and the taxes. The weather is cold and dreary and a severe case of cabin fever has set in. When it is too cold to go outside and the weatherman doesn't change his speech for days, there is no sun, and you're bored it doesn't make for a very exciting blog so I will cut this short and take up residence on the couch with my blanket and pillow. Please wake me in 39 days!!

That's It For Today!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Childhood Sayings

Well, not much happening around here to speak of. It is cold and I opted to stay inside and read some blogs. On one of my blogs I read they talked about going to Sam's Club and looking at a five pound container of sour cream and needing seventeen cups. How many cups were in the five pound container? While they were pondering that a little lady behind them said "a pint's a pound the world around" and they were able to figure how many containers was needed.

Well, that phrase set my little pea brain to thinking and remembering. It's pretty good at that so I taxed it trying to come up with all the phrases I remember from my childhood. My Grandma and My Grandpa used to teach me all this stuff and maybe I picked up some of it along the way. Some was even before I started school at age 5 in the second grade. I can't remember all of them I knew but here is a few. I still remember repeating this one for company when I was very small.

Spell Mississippi: M-I- crooked letter, crooked letter -I, crooked letter crooked letter -I, hump backed, hump backed, -I

Arithmetic: A Rat In Tom's House Might Eat Tom's Ice Cream.

Colors of the rainbow: ROY G BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)

Geography: George Eliot's Oldest Girl Rode A Pig Home Yesterday.

Directions (clockwise): Never Eat Slimy Worms (NESW).

I learned to spell because this way: Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants.

And the order of planets this way: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) This doesn't apply any more since Pluto is not a planet.

To set the table remember items on left have even numbers. Left -4- fork -4- napkinn -6-
On the right they have odd numbers right -5- spoon -5- knife -5- glasss -5-

Desert and Dessert: Desert has one "s" for sand and dessert has two "s" for seconds.

Cemetery (all the e's are buried: CeMeTeRY.

Great Lakes in order: She Made Him Eat Oranges (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario)

and of course the one that started all this thinking. "A pint's a pound the world around".

My favorite rhyme of all was the one my Grandmother taught me when we walked out into the back yard, my hand in hers:

Star light Star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

And my Dad's favorite saying "That's It For Today!".

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Well, I am a little bit late to wish a couple of special people Happy Birthday. There is an up side to that though. If I forgot to wish you a Happy Day on the Day that means you can still celebrate!!

Deb celebrated her ?? birthday on Thursday by going to McDonalds for a "Happy Meal" I can hardly wait until I am as "old as you".

I see you are still celebrating and I hope you had a Happy Day!!

And Yet another Birthday in the house. My friend Arlene is also having a birthday. She says she is 59 but I say she is about twenty years ahead of her time that makes you 39 Leno. Hope you also had a happy day!!

Here is my favorite photo of Leno taken at the RV Rally last year. We were having a "chat" lesson and Chris Guld of "Geeks on Tour" snapped this photo and published it with an article for the RV Net Magazine. Leno (in the blue), Ellie in the pink, Yours truly across from Ellie in tan, and for the life of me I cannot remember the other ladies name...someone please jog my memory and help me get over this senior moment!!

And on a sadder note: Tribute To A Friend

It is with deep regret I mourn the passing of my friend, Juanita Wilson. This is a lady I have known since I was born. I have lots of memories of Juanita. The one thing that stand out most in my mind is how much she liked people and how much she did for them. If she didn't have anything good to say about someone she didn't say anything. She was really special.

She lived about a half mile down the holler from us so every time we went somewhere we passed her house. She always had a great big vegetable garden and lots of pretty flowers. She loved to quilt and would come to our house for quilting parties with my Grandmother and my aunt Bonnie. I don't think she ever missed a Ladies Aid Society meeting either.

She loved to entertain and was a good cook. She and her husband Worth had built a new milking barn and we had a big party in the holler in the barn to celebrate. It was some fifty years ago and everytime I pass by the barn I think of it.. It is one of the few times I can remember walking up the holler in the dark.

She was very involved in our church activities and made me an angel costume to wear in the Christmas play and made sure my angel wings were straight. She was also there at my baptism. I remember it so well. At school she would always send those big sugar cookies --I can still taste them. They were - oh so good.

My sincere sympathy to her sons Ron and Alfred and the rest of her family. I want to share a poem with you . It is one of my favorites and I am sure it was one of hers too.

Crossing The Bar

Sunset and evening star,And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Rest in Peace, Juanita.

And That's It For Today.

Part 2 Duffy's Country Store

Well, yesterday we started our tour of Duffy's Country Store ran by the Owner Mr. Duffy. This is one of the most authentic Amish stores in the area. They offer organic meats and cheese, dried fruit, candies fro Hershey PA, local jams, jellies and fresh produce. They can also do mail order. Come along as we finish our tour. (As always click on photo for larger size)

The deli cases hold meats and cheese and can be sliced to your liking.

Mrs. Duffy displays her skills at slicing. I am not going to tell you what happened to the slice but it made a great snack.

The shelves are stocked with lots of healthy food.

The referigerators hold lots of different varieties of meats, sausages, and cheese.

Mr. Duffy chats with a customer

He carries both sorghum and mollasses----there is a difference you know.

More products than you can imagine.

And local stone ground cornmeal from Linney's Water Mill, Union Grove, NC.

Pappy's Sassafrass tea and old fashioned stick candy. I am particularly fond of the Horehound.

You can even find a couple of whimsical items. I loved this old picture but was told it wasn't for sale. Check out the gourds in the front window.

Ms. Duffy shows off the flour. I am sure that's "Virginia Rose" isn't it. Note: That's how I got my name from a sack of flour like that. Mr. Duffy waits on a customer. There's even a deacon's bench outside for settin' and visitin'
Now, that you have had the tour you owe it to yourself to stop by Duffy's Country Store when you're in the area. Mr and Ms Duffy are the finest people you would ever want to meet. Tell 'em Jenny sent ya.

That's it for today.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Duffy's Country Store

(click on photos for larger size)

Well, When I was in Tennessee one of my favorite places to go was Duffy's Country Store. It is a very unique place. It sells authentic Amish products. Today I thought I would take you on a tour of Duffy's Country Store.

Duffy's has a long history in Mountain City. Duffy started the business in 1989 as a produce stand and a northern style sandwich and sub shop. He used a lot of Amish meats and cheeses for his subs. At that time he was hauling produce from Statesville NC to Mountain City.

In 1992 he got acquainted with a fellow by the name of Sam Yoder who asked him if he would have any interest in an Amish store in Mountain City. He made an appointment for Duffy with an Amish Company in Myerstown, PA. and Duffy started offering Amish products.

In 2000 he was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to close his store. He leased the original building to another business.

After he recovered from his cancer he built the present store in 2004 where he operates it today. Duffy carries a full line of Amish products as well as fresh produce. I was there in the fall. He had more varieties of apples than I have ever seen in one place. He uses his truck for hauling produce and has a big refrigerated apple house where he stores apples.

Everyone loves to see Duffy Comin'

And they know where he has been.

And here is Duffy!!

Now, there is lots more inside - so come along with me - we will check it out.

Mr Duffy waits for customers.

Organic Foods

Ms. Duffy helps out in the store too.

Country Fried Ham

Boxes and Boxes of Apples

Stay tuned for part 2 of our tour.

That's it for today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Canning Pork

Well, First things first. I want to wish my friends Speedy and Sherri a very Happy Anniversary.

I will follow that wish with a wish for better weather. I wish this weather would straighten itself out. It has warmed up a little bit. In the low thirties but that's not enough for me. We did see the sun for a few brief minutes but then it disappeared again. I guess that is proof that the sun does not like the cold weather.

My home town of Mountain City in Tennessee is experiencing bad weather also. They are predicting 7-9 inches of snow there overnight. Because it is way back in the mountains they usually get snow every winter. Sometimes they get more than we do.

I called my friend Jean in Tennessee and asked what she was doing. She was canning pork. I remember when we were kids and it was Hog Killin' Day it would be a very long day because all the pork would be processed before we went to bed and sometimes it was after 10 PM before we were through.She said she had 14 quarts ready for the pressure cooker. Now that's a lot of pork.

When I asked her how she processed it she told me to take a pork shoulder and cut it up in about 2 inch squares, pack it loosley in a quart jar and add one teaspoon of salt and put a sterilized lid on it. Put your jars in the pressure cooker and process at 10 pounds pressure for one hour. Let it cool and then remove from pressure cooker. After your jars are completely cool you take them to the can house.

When you are hungry for pork or when company's comin' you just grab a jar of pork, heat it up and make some gravy, with mashed potatoes, green beans and cornbread, slathered (REK) with butter and you have a meal fit for a king or a queen. Man, I wish I was close enough for supper tonight.

With that, I am off to find a big ole' pork shoulder somewhere. I am starving to death!!

That's it for today.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog and Friends

Well, it is that day of the year when Mr Groundhog tells us about the good or bad weather for the next six weeks. I am surprised he darted out of his hole long enough to tell us about the six more weeks of bad weather. We got an inch of snow overnight so I am sure his little toes were freezing. Join the crowd, Mr. Groundhog mine have been freezing all winter. Here's a couple funnies for you.

Q: What would you get if you crossed February 2 with a puppy?
A: Ground-dog Day!
Q: What happened when the groundhog met the dogcatcher?
A: He became a pound hog!
Q: What happens if the ground log sees its shadow?
A: We'll have six more weeks of splinters!
Q: Why was the groundhog depressed about his den?
A: He was having a bad lair day!
Q: What's green, has four legs, and jumps out of its hole on February 2?
A: The ground frog!

Snowy days are good for computering and reading blogs. Recently I have picked up a few new ones and let go of a couple. It is hard to keep up with all the good blogs out there because there are so many good ones. Some have every day posts and some post most days and some every once in awhile. I have been trying to post every day (E-D). I made it through January and February is looking good so far. Sometimes I don't have a lot to post about because I am not traveling right now and sometimes what I write about doesn't make sense to anyone but me. Maybe with a lot of practice I will be a decent writer one of these days.

I had a question yesterday from one of my readers wanting to know the story behind ElevenfootRV. There really is no story. When I started my blog I had a pickup and camper. Thus the name elevenfoot rv. I sold it and bought my 27 foot motorhome. Rather than change the name of my blog to eleventyfoot or twentysevenfoot or something else. I just kept the elevenfootrv name. That is it in a nutshell.

I have gotten quite a few comments from some new readers...I love those comments and emails. I love to get email. It is a great way to keep up with what's going on with your friends and family. My baby sister, June and I email back and forth alot....I am so happy to see her on the computer...been trying to tell her for a long time if she got on the computer she wouldn't have time to put together all those puzzles that she does. She agreed I was right. The rest of my family keeps up with me through my blog...a personal email would be nice once in awhile. So keep those cards and letters comin' I love hearing from y'all.

I missed a birthday the other day. My friend Fred (of The Wishnies) had a birthday. From the photos it looked like he had a great birthday. Happy 39th Fred!!!

Oh, and one more thing before I go Thanks Doug for the Fillmore Fix!!

That's it for today.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Little Bit of Family History

Well, Super Bowl 43 is just a memory. I gotta admit I did turn the channel right before half time in order to watch the halftime activities. I did see the big play with Pitttsburgh. And I was chatting on line when someone says it's almost over and Arizona is ahead. So I turned the channel to see Pittsburgh make another touchdown (or whatever they're called) to win the game. I can safely say I did watch the game or at least the most exciting parts.

Other than reading blogs on the internet and playing Twirl on Facebook I didn't do a whole lot today. The weather was yucky and snow is predicted for tonight.

I have been working on my genealogy and family history again. This is a fun and fascinating hobby. I've found out a lot about my family that I did not know and of course some things I didn't want to know. I also found some skeletons that should have been left in the closet. Beause my ancestors lived in the same county since it was inhabited lots of them were easy to trace.

They lived so far back in the hills and there was no transportation outside of walking or horse and wagon so they didn't move around much and they intermarried in betwen families. In one case three brothers and a sister married three sisters and a brother in another family therefore making four sets of double first cousins in that family.

I found one relative who built his house on the state line so half of it was in one state and half was in another. He had a moonshine still and sold moonshine. Whenever the sherriff would come to arrest him for making moonshine he just went to the opposite end of the house so the sherriff had no jurisdiction and couldn't arrest him. The next week it would be the same and he would have to move back to the other end of the house. He never got arrested in either state.

Libraries are a great source for genealogy. They usually have family history departments that answer questions pertaining to family history. Here is a list I thought were entertaining.

I would like to find out if I have any living relatives or dead relatives or ancestors in my family.

Our 2nd great grandfather was found dead crossing the plains in the library. He was married 3 times in the endowment house and has 21 children. He and his daughter are listed as not being born.

I would like to find out if I have any living relatives or dead relatives or ancestors in my family.

Will you send me a list of all the Dripps in your library?

My Grandfather died at the age of 3.

We are sending you 5 children in a separate envelope.

Documentation: Family Bible in possession of Aunt Merle until the tornado hit Topeka, Kansas. Now only the Good Lord knows where it is.

The wife of #22 could not be found. Somebody suggested that she might have been stillborn - what do you think?

I am mailing you my aunt and uncle and 3 of their children.

Enclosed please find my Grandmother. I have worked on her for 30 years without success. Now see what you can do!

I have a hard time finding myself in London. If I were there I was very small and cannot be found.

This family had 7 nephews that I am unable to find. If you know who they are, please add them to the list.

We lost our Grandmother, will you please send us a copy?

Will you please send me the name of my first wife? I have forgotten her name.

A 14-year-old boy wrote: "I do not want you to do my research for me. Will you please send me all of the material on the Welch line, in the US, England and Scotland countries? I will do the research."

And with that I will go back to my "diggin' up bones".

That's it for Today.