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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Saturday Pie

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Well, No matter what she did during the week , on any Saturday afternoon you would find my grandma in the kitchen baking pies. We always had pie for Sunday dinner and supper. She would go into the mealbox, drag out her dough board and rolling pin, reach under the table for the can of lard, grab the bowl she used to mix the biscuits in and in no time flat she would have 8 or 10 pie shells ready for filling. She had two fluted pie pans. She would bake the shells for the pudding pies and then the fruit pies or double crusted pies last. As soon as the pie crust was done she would put it on a plate so she could use the pan again.

Sometimes it was chocolate, sometimes butterscotch, sometimes custard or coconut and always 3 or 4 apple pies. She didn't need a recipe book she had all these recipes in her head. Fillings were always made from scratch. It was a pinch of this and a pinch of that. Heck she didn't even own a measuring spoon and only had one measuring cup we got out of the box of oatmeal.

She never used whipped cream for her pies. The cream was skimmed from the milk to make butter, butter milk, and cottage cheese so we never had any left for pies. Instead if she needed a topping on her pies such as chocolate or coconut she would make a merringue and then put it in the oven to brown before she took it out of the pan.

Apple pies were always two crusted. She would take her knife and make an S on the pie and holes next to the S. I always thought it was for decoration but actually it was to vent the pie to prevent it from bubbling over. She made her own filling for the apple pies. The smell of cinnamon and cloves would fill the kitchen with the most wonderful scent.

Sometimes she would make blackerry pies from blackberries we had picked in the summer and she had canned. Getting the blackerry filling thick enough was always a trick and if by chance it was a little runny, she always aplogized, blamed it on either the stove or the weather and we ate them anyway. They were always delicious.

In the fall and early winter, when the pumpkins were plentiful we could expect lots of pumpkin pies. For a special occasion we might have a lemon pie.

If she didn't plan on making but two or three pies on Saturday. She would make a big old stack cake with about seven or eight layers and filling in between. Making Stack Cakes was an art. I will write about those in a separate story.
On another note, Here is a memory I recieved from one of my friends about her Grandmom.


I do remember her apron but my favorite memory of her Grandmom was of the big ktchen table loaded with food and the sideboard full of freshly baked pies. I also remember the time Jean and I got into trouble for picking the neighbors tomatoes and hiding them under our bed so we could eat them later. Our punishment from Grandmom was we had to go raid the neighbor's garden again so we would have enough tomatoes for all of us to eat.

That's It for Today.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ol' Swimmin' Hole

Well, here'a another little story for you today.

When we were kids we loved to play in the creek in the summertime. There was a big oak tree on the side, the bank had washed out under some of the roots so it made an excellent place to jump off.

The creek was kinda wide and narrow at one end but then it got a little deeper and wider so we decided to dam it up a little as to make a nice swimming hole. The neighbor brought over his tractor and scooped it out so it would be a little deeper. It was probably about 2 or 3 feet deep in the middle.

Playing in the creek kept us occupied on lazy afternoons and it also helped to keep us clean especially after we had been playing in the dirt, picking beans all day or out pulling weeds for the hogs. It was a favorite place for all the neighborhood kids. Since we were all girls we swam together but if the neighborhood boys beat us there we weren't allowed to go swimming.

We didn't know how to swim but a couple of us could dog paddle a little but we loved to play in the water. We had one of those swim rings and a blow up beach ball and we all had to share

In the spring my dad and the neighbors would often fish for horney heads or trout underneath that tree. They had a couple of homemade poles. My dad had a willow pole too that he used for fishing. It had a notch on the end he tied the line around. and then a bobber and a hook tied to the end. He also had a homemade trap that he also kept under the bridge. The way the trap was set up the fish would swim in and couldn't get out. We ate a lot of fish in the early spring. I never did like them too much because they were pretty bony.

One bright spring afternoon the neighbor Dock and his wife Josie went up the creek fishing and were sitting underneath the tree, a fish hit her line and she got so excited she was jumping around. She lost her balance and fell into the creek. The news spread like wildfire through the neighborhood and everyone had a good laugh. From then on we didn't call it the ol' swimming hole anymore. We called it the Josie Hole.

That's it for Today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Potato Hole or "Tater" Hole

Well, here is a postscript from yesterdays blog about planting potatoes. I realized I mentioned a "potato hole" and that some of my readers may not have known what it is so here is an explanation.

Now if you are from the north you would probably call it a "potato hole" but in the South it is known as a "tater hole". As I have mentioned before we grew all of our own vegetables and with no electricity we had to be rather ingenious with devising ways to preserve all our food. Most of the food was stored either in the smoke house or in the root cellar but potatoes were a different story.

My Grandfather was a sharecropper so that meant the owner of the land (his sister) got 1/3 of everything that was grown in lieu of rent. That included potatoes and all the crops except the garden. That was pretty high rent back then but that was the agreement they had so mostly he stuck to it except when it came to the potatoes.

When the potatoes were dug in the fall we would sometimes have close to 100 bushel of potatoes. My grandfather always made sure he dug the potatoes when his sister wasn't around because she liked to come to visit to make sure she got her fair share.

There was no way we could put all those potatoes in the root cellar to store them all winter. So we would dig two holes in the end of the garden -- a big hole and a little hole. We would store enough in the root cellar to last us through the winter and then he would put the excess potatoes into the two holes until spring. Two bushel went into the big hole and one bushel went into the smaller hole. Sometimes he made a mistake and three bushel went into the big hole. It really irked him to have to give her part of the potatoes he had worked so hard to have to feed the family. After all the potatoes were in the hole he would cover the hole with burlap sacks or an old piece of tarpolian or oilcloth cover it with dirt and mound it up into a hill. On top of the two hills he would put straw to further insulate it. It is amazing but the potatoes would never freeze even in the coldest winters. We were never allowed to play around the "tater hills". We were told it would rot the potatoes.

In the late winter or early spring when we ran out of potatoes in the cellar we would dig a hole in the side of the hill and get out enough potatoes to last for a few days. If we had extra cabbage or turnips in the fall we would also put those in the hole (the big hole - never the small one) and in the spring we would have a wonderful dinner of boiled cabbage and turnips.

Before we plowed the garden in the spring we would dig up both holes and the rest of the potatoes would go into the root cellar until fall. We always made sure we saved back enough to plant. My grandfather always made sure he informed his sister when he was digging up the potatoes and she was always there to get her share.

This was only one way of preserving our vegetables, other ways were canning, drying, smoking, and pickling. We always had plenty of food to eat. It may not have been fancy but it was always good.

That's it for Today.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Tater Middles"

Well, we are back to snow and cold. Yesterday, we had some more snow flurries and today the sky is a beautiful blue but at this writing the temperature is below freezing. In order to get spring and summer I guess I am going to have to move south.

The weather last week was so beautiful I went with my friend to buy some potatoes so she can plant them. She has a method for planting potatoes that I have never seen before. She takes a 30 gallon garbage can and cuts it in half. Then she cuts out the bottom. She fills each of the pieces with dirt and compost and plants her potatoes in the cans and covers them with straw. At harvest time she takes the cans away and the dirt falls out and she has her plant and potatoes in a pile. The dirt goes back into the ground. Very easy she says. It reminded me of all the hard work we did planting potatoes when we were growing up.

We had to plant enough potatoes to do us for a year. We never went to the store and bought potatoes in plastic bags…they just didn’t sell them that way. We would usually plant about a half acre of potatoes. My dad always believed in planting potatoes on Good Friday so we had to be ready to plant.

We did our plowing and planting with our old horse “Dan” faithfully dragging the plow to till the ground, harrowing it to break up the clods of dirt, dragging it to break up the smaller clumps and make the dirt really smooth, then laying it off into rows or furrows to plant the potatoes.

A couple of days before we were ready to plant we would go out to the "potato hole" and gather together a couple bushels of last year’s potatoes, the ones that had nice eyes or shriveled up ones that had begun to root. We would cut the eyes out of the potatoes leaving the middles. Because we never wasted anything, especially food, the middles all went into a pot to be made into mashed potatoes for supper that night. The potato pieces with eyes were left to set for a couple days before they were planted.

On Good Friday we were all at the “tater patch”. “Ol Dan” would make a nice furrow to put the potatoes in. We would drop potatoes in the furrow making sure the eyes were right side up. Our job as kids were to step on each potato piece to push them into the dirt. Then they were covered . This took two people - one on each side of the row to make a hill of dirt over the potatoes.

In a couple weeks you would see the little specks of green poking through the dirt on the tops of the hills. You would also see lots of green in between the rows…those were the weeds. Those were our responsibility. As the potatoes grew so did the weeds and we would have to pull the weeds and throw them across the fence for the pigs to eat. It was their way of getting their greens and the potato patch got weeded at the same time.

Along about mid summer there would be small potatoes and we would dig some to go with a pot of peas. To this day, I still love potatoes and peas cooked together with a white sauce. My father in law used to make a dish similar which he called Fresh Pea Soup. He added other vegetables such as carrots and dill heads to it.. It was soooo good.

I’m getting hungry now so I’m going to the kitchen, taking the box off the shelf, adding some water, some milk and a little butter and I will end up with a bowl of mashed potatoes. However, I can guarantee they won’t be as good as “tater middles”.

That's it for Today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great Grand Aunt

Well, I am so proud. I have a brand spanking new Great Grand Nephew born on April 17, 2009

Please meet Carter Phipps Atwood

Isn't he just precious

Oh to be young again!!

And the proud Parents Shana and Austin

And My niece Debbie, otherwise known as Mawmaw Deb and her grandchildren
Bella and Carter

And here is a photo of the Great Grands!!!!!!

And that's it for Today.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy 50th Birthday Pam!!!

Well, I feel really old favorite niece is having a milestone birthday--Happy Birthday Pam!! She is a very young 50 years old. Isn't she pretty?

She was born in 1959 in the second story clinic of Doc Bundy in Mountain City. In the “olden” days babies were delivered at home mostly by midwives. If a midwife was not available then the doctor was called and he delivered the baby at home. As far as I can remember, she was the first baby I had ever known that was not born at home and attended by a midwife

Doc Bundy had come from Lebanon,VA and set up a medical practice in Mountain City in 1946. The closest hospital was 30-40 miles away so he set up a 4 bed clinic. He had 4 round the clock nurses, Kate, Annis, Dorothy and Bea. He continued practicing until 1973 when he passed away.

Pam's mother says it was a rainy cool day when she was born at 12:30 PM and weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces. My brother (Pam’s dad) was going to an electrician’s trade school near Abingdon. On the day Pam was born he snuck off from school and came home early. He was so proud.

Her mom says she was a good baby and she never had one ounce of trouble with her. Of course, my sisters and I thought it was a great thing to be an aunt. I remember my sister and I going to Blackburn’s and buying her a little white lamb. We each chipped in a quarter. The price of the lamb was fifty cents.

Here are some other things that happened in 1959. Enjoy these Pam, and remember you will always be as old as the Barbie Doll and Mr. Potato Head.

1. Mattel's Barbie Doll is Launched
2. Mr. Potato Head was also born
3. Popular movies were Ben-Hur , Some Like It Hot, Anatomy of a Murder , North by Northwest and Sleeping Beauty
4. Popular singers were Doris Day , Frank Sinatra , Connie Francis ,Jim Reeves , Cliff Richard and Ella Fitzgerald
5. Bonanza premieres on NBC, the first weekly television series broadcast completely in color
6. Another popular TV show was Huckleberry Hound
7. USSR Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon as the first man-made object and Luna 3 sends back first photos of the far side of Earth's Moon
8. Xerox launches the first commercial copier
9. US Launches first Weather Station in Space
10. Etch A Sketch was inventened in France by Arthur Grandjean
11. Computer Modem also first used in USA
12. US Unemployment reaches 1.4 million
13. NASA introduces America's first astronauts to the world including John H. Glenn Jr, and Alan Shepard Jr.
14. Hudson and Nash join on to become AMC (American Motors Association )
15. Alaska becomes the 49th State of the United States
16. Hawaii becomes the 50th State of the United States
17. Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.01%
18. Average Cost of new house $12,400.00
19. Average Yearly Wages $5,010.00
20. Cost of a gallon of Gas 25 cents
21. Average Cost of a new car $2,200.00
22. Movie Ticket $1.00
23. Loaf of Bread 20 cents
24. Kodak Movie camera $67.50
25. Ladies Stockings $1.00

And some perks of being 50

26. No one expects you to run into a burning building.
27. People call at 9 PM and ask, “Did I wake you?”
28. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
29. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
30. You can eat dinner at 4 PM.
31. You have a party and the neighbors don’t even realize it.
32. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
33. You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.
34. You sing along with elevator music.
35. Your eyes won’t get much worse.
36. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.
37. Your joints are more accurate meteorologist than the national weather service.
38. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either

And some Sage Advice

39. Regrets are the natural property of gray hairs
40. There is no cure for the common birthday
41. The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.~ English Proverb
42. Old age is like flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.~ Golda Meir
43. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self- confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. ~Douglas MacArthur
44. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ~Mark Twain
45. Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone
46. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? ~Satchel Paige
47. The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it. ~Jean Paul
48. Age is not a destination. It's a journey!
49. Few women admit their age. Few men act theirs.
50. Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many ~Anonymous

and here is a photo of Pam and her children, Jesse and Abby

And a photo of her birthday cake made by the kids. How Special!!!!

Here's wishing you a great birthday Pam and as your Grandpa Roy would say "That's it for Today".

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

P.S. To Thinking Back

Well, I received another email with some things that were remembered that weren't on my blog---so I had a thought...if you remember things that are not on there drop me an email and I will do another blog about More Things Remembered. Thanks for your help.

Thinking Back

Well, I got this email from a friend of mine. I thought it was excellent so I wanted to share it with everyone I could. What better place than here!!

Close your eyes...And go back.

Go back....Before the Internet or PC or the MAC......
....Before semi-automatics and crack....
....Before Playstation, SEGA, Super Nintendo, even before Atari...
....Before cell phones, CD's, DVD's, voicemail and e-mail....
.Go way back......way.....way.....way back.....

I'm talkin' bout hide and seek at dusk
Red light, Green light
Red Rover....Red Rover.....

Playing kickball & dodgeball until the first no....second....third street light came on

Ring around the Rosie
London Bridge
Hot potato
Hop Scotch
Jump rope

Parents stood on the front porch and yelled (or whistled) for you to come home - no pagers or cell phones

Take One Giant Step..... May I?

Seeing shapes in the clouds.

Endless summer days and hot summer nights (no A/C) with the windows open.

The sound of crickets.

Running through the sprinkler.

Cereal boxes with that GREAT prize in the bottom.

Cracker jacks with the same thing.

Ice pops with 2 sticks you could break and share with a friend.

but wait.……
..there's more...

Watchin' Saturday Morning cartoons
Tom and Jerry,
serial adventures,
Captain Midnight,
Cisco Kid,
The Lone Ranger,
Boston Blackie.

Catching lightning bugs in a jar.

Christmas morning.

Your first day of school.

Bedtime Prayers and Goodnight Kisses.

Climbing trees.

Swinging as high as you could in those long swings to try and reach the sky.

A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers.

Jumpin' down the steps

Jumpin' on the bed.

Pillow fights.

Runnin' home from the western movie you just saw 'til you were out of breath.

Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt.

Being tired from PLAYING.

WORK: meant taking out the garbage, cutting the grass, washing the car, or doing the dishes.

Your first crush.

Your first kiss (I mean the one that you kept your mouth CLOSED and your eyes OPEN)

Rainy days at school and the smell of damp concrete and chalk erasers

Oh, I'm not finished yet....

Kool-Aid was the drink of the summer.

So was a swig from the hose.

Giving your friends a ride on your handlebars of your bike.

Attaching pieces of cardboard to your bike frame to rub against your spokes.

Wearing your new shoes on the first day of school.

Class Field Trips with soggy sandwiches.

When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there from school.
When a quarter seemed like a fair allowance, and another quarter a MIRACLE

When ANY parent could discipline ANY kid, or feed him, or use him to carry Groceries... And nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.

When your parents took you to the cafeteria and it was a real treat.

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited you at home.

Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. We simply did not want our parents to get mad at us.

Didn't that feel good?
Just to go back and say, "Yeah, I remember that!" Well, let's keep going!!
Let's go back to the time when..

Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo"

Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!"

"Race issues" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.

It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

Nobody was prettier than Mom.

Scrapes and bruises were kissed by mom and made better.

Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.

Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare"

Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have lived during a more pleasant simpler time !

Water balloons were the ultimate, ultimate weapon.

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have lived during a more pleasant simpler time !

I wonder how many of you that I have sent this to remember all of these things. I know some of you are my vintage

Those of you who remember will have lived in an era that no one else will ever experience. The era has passed and slowly those of us who lived it are passing also.

If you do not remember, then ask your parents, grand parents or great grand parents. We went from am radio to the stars.

Your era is here, be part of it. Make it worthwhile for future generations to build on.

Keep God in your lives.


That's It For Today!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Neglected! And Digging Up Bones!!!

Well, it seems like the past few days I have neglected everything from reading blogs of my friends, to my facebook friends, to not making the bed or doing the dishes. All this in favor of working on my family tree. As I have mentioned before I have 25,000 people in my database all related to me but for the past couple years I have had it on the back burner and not done too much with it.

About two weeks ago a friend asked me if I knew anything about her son's dad's family (they are divorced) . She felt it was very important for her son to know his roots and where he came from and to know all about his relatives. She gave me the grandparents names and I decided to see what I could find to help her out. It was just the incentive I needed to get back into genealogy and I am so glad I did.

I started with just those two names and now I have traced portions of his family back for ten generations. As I began talking to people and looking up names and dates and birthplaces I found I could also add to my own family tree.

Then I found some old obituaries from our county all the way from 1800's through the 1960's and 70's. I found some obituaries I could use for my own genealogy. I was in
7th heaven as I read through some of those. It brought back memories of people I had known, former neighbors, people I needed to touch base with and just another basic connection with my own roots. Along with all that, I discovered new information about some of my ancestors. More squares to be added to the big picture.

Genealogy is a very rewarding hobby. I love going though old records and trying to find piece of the puzzle that fit. It gives you an understanding of what our ancestors went through and it also leaves a legacy for your children and grandchildren.

And now if you will excuse me, I will go back to Digging Up Bones. At least if I come up missing you will know where to find me.

That's it For Today!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mostly Photos

Well, not much happening here. We had sun for awhile and rain for awhile but it is supposed to warm up, so sayeth the weatherman. Here is living proof I know George the weather man. Now if I could just get him to straighten out the weather.

This is proof we had snow in Spokane last week.

And a herd of Elk wandering around in snow in Northern Idaho.

Frozen water on a river in Northern Idaho

And proof we may get Spring sometime this year.

My Grandchildren spending time with the Easter Bunny!!!!!

And that's it for Today!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sunday to Friday

Well, It has been a few days since I posted and I didn't want anyone to thiink I had abandoned this blog. I have not. The weather here has been crazy this week, rain, and then 7-10 inches of snow and then sunshine and we are expected to have temperatures in the 70's on Monday.

I did go out to check out the new additions to the Northern Quest Casino here in Spokane. It is huge (Speedy and Sherri) They do not charge admission, however, they don't mind if you leave a donation -- which I did.

I am looking at replacing the flooring in the Out House (my motor home) with laminate flooring. I got some samples but none of them were exactly what I want - so its back to Home Depot for more samples until I decide what I want. If I get enough samples I could probably use those.

Speaking of outhouses the out house we had when I was growing up was a little ways down the path on the way to the barn. We had an old out house and then they dug a pit and built a new one. The old one was made from rough lumber and logs and had cracks in it. It had a shingled roof . Whenever a windstorm would come we were continuallly looking for the shingles to nail them back on.When it snowed the snow came through the cracks and you had to wipe off your sitting place. In the summer there were lots of bees in the outhouse so you had to be careful where you sat as not to get stung. Once in awhile you might find an occasional chicken in there. It was in sad shape. There were three seats in it, a large one, a medium one, and small one. An old keg of corncobs sat in the corner because my grandfather preferred using a corncob to a page out of the catalog. It was also where we stored the hoes, rakes and shovels.

When the new outhouse was built it was built out of nice lumber with no cracks and it had a tin roof. It was smaller so there were only two seats and they were the same size. We still used the catalogs but the nail keg stayed in the old one and my grandfather had his own private toilet. The only time I can remember of having store bought toilet paper was when we had out of town company come to visit and then they only bought one roll. We kids were told we still had to use the catalog. Of course we snuck the toilet paper when we could. When the roll was gone both us and the company had to go back to the catalog.

I found this poem and i thought it was pretty good.

Caught In The Act
I recall one time when I was a lad
A bit of advice I got from my Dad.
I'd retired "out-back" and reached for the "Mak'ins."
It was right after breakfast of eggs and bacon.
I rolled a smoke like any cowboy'd do -
Admired it a bit and lit it, too.
I got it going good but then turned pale
Cause I heard someone coming down the trail.
I chucked my cigarette down a crack in the floor
Just before my Dad walked through the door.
He stepped in and sniffed around
And I knew then, I was on thin ground.
The smoke swirled up from the crack in the floor
And I wished that I was out that door.
Dad sat down and rolled a smoke
And lit it up before he spoke.
He said, "son, is that your cigarette smoking?"
I knew at a glance he wasn't joking.
I hung my head and said "Yes, it is."
Then he flicked his ashes and looked at his.
"Son," he said, "just look at me.
I've smoked for years as you can see.
My teeth aren't clean and my fingers are yellow.
It's a mighty bad habit to get, young fellow.
I used to chew and that's worse, yet.
The tobacco habit is easy to get.
Son, if you quit now it'll be easy to do
But if you don't, it'll get the best of you."
Now, he didn't exactly say this in rhyme
But, I've remembered his words for a mighty long time.
I'll always be grateful for that smoke in the crack
And the lecture Dad gave me in the "house-out-back."
"author unknown"
And that's It For Today!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Memories

Well, I don't know what happened to our wonderful sunshine but we woke up to gray skies, clouds and some rain. Typical weekend weather. I want to take this time to wish all my readers, my friends, and my family a Happy Easter. It is a Joyous Day - A day to celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.

When we were growing up we celebrated by going to church and then to our Sunday School Teacher's afterwards for an easter egg hunt.

We didn't have a lot of fancy eggs or baskets etc. We had to go out to the hen house and gather our own eggs. We would boil our eggs on Saturday afternoon. We had one package of dye for all of us and you only got two or three eggs each. We didn't have any store bought baskets so we would make our own our of oatmeal boxes, crepe paper and flour paste. Somewhere we had gotten hold of some fake grass and we used that for the inside and we saved it from year to year. We used pipe cleaners for the handle or sometimes we would just have a piece of old bailing wire. They weren't fancy but we loved them. We would place our eggs in our little baskets and on Easter morning our dad would take the eggs out and hide them for us. We would hide and hunt those eggs over and over. It was great fun.

We always got a new dress and shoes for Easter. The only other time we got new shoes was when we started school. Sometimes our dresses were homemade from chop sacks or if we could afford a new piece of material they were made from that. If we got a store bought dress it was ordered from the National Bellas Hess catalog. Boy it was fun to go thru that catalog and pick out a new dress and then wait for the mailman to deliver it. It never looked quite like the dress in the catalog though.

I remember my aunt telling a story about her and my mother working on dresses for her daughter and my sister and I. They were pretty little organdy dresses with lots of ruffles and sashes. You know the kind to be worn when the sun is shining. Well, it had been a pretty spring and then Easter came and it turned cold and snowy. We had to wear our winter clothes and coats to church and didn't get to show off their handiwork.

And that's Easter memories for today.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Do You Remember??

Well, it was another beautiful sunshiny day here in Spokane. I got an email that I thought was intereting and I thought I would share it with you.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?

Because we were always outside, playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times,we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes.. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?

That's it for today.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Green Bean Capital of The World

Well, when I was growing up Johnson County, Tennessee was proclaimed the Green Bean Capital of The World. A lot of the farmers would plant one to two acres and sometmes five to ten acres of beans.

When the time came for harvesting they would line up pickers to hand pick the beans. I was always "fortunate" to be among those pickers. It was the way we earned our money for clothes and school supplies.

Usually there was one person in the neighborhood who had an old truck. He would drive along the back roads of the area and anyone who wanted to work that day would come out and get on his truck. Men, women, boys and girls would fill up the back of that truck. When he had picked up as many pickers as he needed he would drive to the bean field.

Upon arrival at the bean field we would unload and grab a hamper( a bushel basket) to put our beans in. You could either pick one row or two rows to pick. The beans were usually picked three to four times usually about once a week. You wanted to be careful so you didn't tromp on the vines or pick beans that were too small. The owner of the field kept an eye out for those people who mishandled the vines and wouldn't let you pick in his field anymore.

After your hamper was full you yelled "HAMPER" and there were men ("carriers") who would bring you an empty basket give you a ticket and carry your full hamper to the scales at the end of the field. Your hamper had to weigh 30 pounds. If it didnt weigh 30 pounds they would come and get some extra beans to make up. If your hamper was over 30 pounds they would bring the extra beans back to you.

At the scales your beans were dumped onto a sorter, and the leaves and small beans were picked out and they were sacked to take to market. Usually there would be 100 to 150 bushels sometimes more depending how big the field was and how good the beans were.

There were fast pickers and slow pickers. You got fifty cents for each basket you picked. A fast picker would pick 8 to 10 bushels a day. A slow picker 2 or 3. I came in somewhere in the middle at about 6-8. That meant I made about three or four dollars for the day.

Since we started early morning we wore a long sleeved jacket or shirt and long pants because the dew would still be on the beans and your legs would get wet. As the day wore on and it got hotter you ended up taking off your shirt and pants for shorts and sleeveless tops. We usually started picking about 7:30 or 8 AM and would pick straight through til dinnertime or noon. At dinner we would all load up in the back of the truck and go to the nearest country store for lunch. Sometimes there would be more than one bean truck there for dinner. You could get a bottle of pop for a nickel, a piece of bologna and cracker for a dime, potato chips for a nickel and a brown mule (ice cream) for a nickel. So basically you spent about a quarter (or a half bushel of beans) for your dinner. Some people would bring their lunch and eat it in the bean field. After eating lunch everyone would get back in the old truck and back to the field we would go.

There was a milk can full of water and a dipper by the scales. If you got thirsty and wanted a drink you drank out of the dipper along with everyone else.

We had a lot of fun in the bean field. You knew most everybody there because we were all friends and neighbors. Everyone talked and joked as they picked. In a big patch of beans there might be four or five bean trucks so there would be people that lived in a different community that came to pick. As we got to be teenagers, sometimes we would develop a crush on one of the boys and try to get him to carry out our beans for us or hang around the store at dinnertime.

At the end of the day, you took your tickets (one for each bushel you picked) up to the owner and he would pay you cash for your tickets. You got back on the truck and the driver dropped you off in front of your house. It didn't cost anything to ride the truck but the owner of the field paid the driver for each person he brought to pick.

If there were beans to pick the next day the driver would let you know and off to another field you would go to repeat the experience.

Some of the farmers we picked beans for were Gene Stout, Ed Lloyd, A.J. Stalcup, Ben Snyder, Ambrose Garland, and Boyd Ray.

Here is a little excerpt I found about the history of green beans in Johnson County.

In 1935 many farmers began planting green beans. Soon Johnson County became the largest bean producing county in Tennessee. In 1948 the bean crop was estimated at over three hundred thousand bushels. Johnson County was tagged as “The Green Bean Capital”. Mechanical pickers ended the success of the crop in Johnson County. Mechanical pickers were cheaper than hand picking so farmers stopped raising bean crops. By 1964 only one thousand four hundred and fifty acres of beans were planted.

That's it for Today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Weather

Well, There has been a change in the weather. Yesterday was an absolutely drop dead gorgeous day!! The High was 64 and the low was 40. Today the temp is up to 68 and the low was 38 -- I think Spring has finally Sprung!! And not a minute too soon!!

It is getting close to Easter and time for planting the garden. Both my mother and dad believed you should plant your potatoes on Good Friday. It is one of the few things they did agree on.

Here are a few other "words of wisdom" from the old timers on planting both your vegetable garden and your flower garden.

Always plant flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground is during the light of the Moon; that is, from the day the Moon is new to the day it is full.

Flowering bulbs and vegetables that bear crops below ground should be planted during the dark of the Moon; that is, from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again.

Planting potato's on the full moon will cause them to grow closer to the top of the ground and be sunburned. Planting them on the dark of the moon will cause them to grow deep roots and make it almost impossible to dig.

Transplant flowering plants in the light of the moon.

Plant your pansies on the north side of the house.

Flowers that are planted in the sign of the twins will bloom and be beautiful.

I have been playing around with some of my photos in Picasa. I am hoping I made a movie out of these. We will see.

I guess my movie didn't work-- I will keep playing around with it.

That's it for today.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tri State

Well, The weather around here is not changing much, we had more snow today. It snows in the morning and by afternoon it is melted. It makes for some tricky driving. Yesterday the Highway patrol responded to more than 30 accidents on the freeway. Snoqualmie Pass was closed again in both directions. They were requiring either studded tires or chains to get across the pass. Only problem was if you were caught driving with studded tires there was $124.00 fine. Studded tires are only legal in the State of Washington from November 1 to March 31. Sometimes they do extend the deadline but this particular year they didn't. I guess they thought since we have had 98 inches of snow already that it would just stop. Unfortunately we are still getting lots of snow in the mountains.

I hear I have some new readers on my I wanted to give out a shout to the Tri State Growers in Mountain City!!! Hey Tri State!!

Now let me give you a little history about Tri State. First off it is older than I am - but not by much. It was started in 1945. They sell anything to do with farming and gardening. You name it - they have it.

On the farm, we bought almost everything we needed from the Tri State. The first of the year would be when we bought our tobacco seeds and canvas to sow the tobacco bed.
We also bought feed for the animals, fertilizer, and machinery. In the spring we would buy vegetable seeds.

A few years ago my grandchildren and I were planting a garden. I wanted them to experience the same kind of beans their great grandma and great great grandma had in their garden so I called Tri State to order a pound of beans. The lady that worked there went out of her way to make sure they were packaged and even called to see if I got them. We planted the beans and had great fun picking them and preparing them for dinner.

Here's a photo of those beans. They are called half runners and are the best tasting beans on earth. I could eat a whole pot full by my self.

If you're in Mountain City, drive by the Tri State. I am sure they will be glad to see you.

That's it for today.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

No Foolin'

Well, The weatherman done it again. He predicted sunny temps and highs in the fifties. I woke up to 2 inches of snow yesterday and 4 inches today. Will this winter ever come to an end?? I thought spring started weeks ago.

I only remember raising broom corn one time but I do remember the broom that was made from that broom corn. The broom corn was planted on the edge of the cornfield. Broom corn didn't grow as tall as the regular corn and it had this reddish brown pod looking thing on the top. We treated it like the regular corn. It was hung on a wall in the smokehouse until it dried and was ready to make the broom. I do remember when they went to make the broom they took the broom apart and used the same handle for the broom. It was woven together with twine string. I don't remember the making of the broom but we used that broom for a long time. We finally bought a store bought broom but we continued to use the old one for sweeping and scrubbing the porch so we wouldnt get the new broom dirty.

That's it for today.