Month: April 2015

Coon Huntin’

Coon Huntin’

  I came from a family of hunters.  For most it was a necessity to put meat on the table.  However, I never seemed to capture the skill or adventure.  You see it is quite difficult to shoot while holding your ears.  That was one 

Special Delivery

Special Delivery

There was always a lot of routine growing up on the farm.  Some things had to be done every year and some things every day.  One of those things came every spring.  Mother always put a special order in the mail. In about 3 weeks 

Better Than Mess Hall Meal

Better Than Mess Hall Meal

Today was the first trip to the produce auction this spring.  You never know what wonderful produce they might have.  Today the seasonal item was asparagus.  There was lots of it.  To my delight we were able to get a box.  It is all now canned and sealed.  It made 27 pints and one fresh meal.  I canned some asparagus spears and some cut asparagus.

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Asparagus always brings back a special memory for my husband.  While in the military serving in the Vietnam War, the mess hall meals were less than desirable.  In fact they were more of a mystery as to what you were eating.  Sometimes it was a little of everything you had to eat that week.

The secretary in his post decided to prepare a special dish for them.  She served this simple asparagus dish that brought smiles to their faces and delight to their stomachs.  Below is her simple, yet very tasty dish.  I don’t think it was ever given an official name.

1 sleeve of crackers
1 can mushroom soup
1 can peas
1can asparagus
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Layer 1/3 of crackers in bottom of a casserole dish.
Layer 1/2 can of asparagus then 1 /2 can of peas

Layer 1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup.

Top with one cup of the cheese

Repeat each layer starting with the crackers.  Top with remaining crackers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve warm.  I can only imagine what a wonderful treat it must have been for those service men that day.  Each soldier has a unique story to tell.  It is important that we give a voice to their stories.  We must not forget the sacrifices they made to perserve the freedoms we are priveledged to experience each day.  Check out The Shiny New Red Accordion (my husband’s story) and Ozark Lad to the South Pacific (my father’s story).  Both are available on Amazon.

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Light Spice Muffins

Light Spice Muffins

I enjoy cooking for family and friends.  I would like to think that someday I might be as good a cook as my mother.  She was an amazing cook.  She cooked at the south Warsaw School for many years.  But even before that she loved 

For My Dear Friend

For My Dear Friend

One of our greatest blessings is the opportunity to serve others.  This morning is just such a time.  I prepared for my friend a simple lunch.  What a joy to serve her today.  May it bless her not only physically but spiritually as well. Zucchini 

A Walk From Yesteryears

A Walk From Yesteryears

I grew up in Edwards, Missouri on a 350 acre farm.  That sounds like quite a bit of land, but daddy also rented the wooded land across the road for pasture.  I loved this piece of property.

I would cross the road and climb over the gate.  As I walked along the path I couldn’t help but wonder about the old blacksmith’s shop that once stood there.  I always wanted to excavate the area and see if I could find any old tools or other items.  For a kid it sounded like a wonderful idea, but I never accomplished it.

A small opening in the timber was the site of the horses dust bed.  I climbed up in my favorite tree and watched as they rolled in the dirt then jumped up and shook the dirt off.  I sat on the long low tree branch for a while listening to the birds chirp and call to one another.  Occasionally a deer would come out of the woods and a squirrel or rabbit would come bounding through.

I cleared the timber and came to the edge of a big open field.  Four buzzards were flying overhead.  I knew that meant something was probably dead.  They were just waiting for the right moment to go in and clean up.  The grasses were almost as tall as I was.  I was oblivious to the spiders and bugs that took up residence in the tall grass.  On the other side of the field was a beautiful creek.  Huge flat rocks lay across the stream of water causing little water falls.  I wadded out into the water and sat on one of the big rocks.  The water swirled around me and made its way over each layer of rocks before falling into the main stream.  The water glistened as the sun shone down.  A beautiful site to see.  A water moccasin swam past me and a school of minows was feeding nearby.

I spent many afternoons taking this same walk, but it never got tiring.  It was like walking through a picture of  God’s creation.

The painting is oil on stretched canvas. It is a picture of the creek where I sat on the big rocks.  Would love to take that walk again.

Feeding the Hogs

Feeding the Hogs

Living on a farm, most people raised a few hogs to provide some meat.  Pork could be cured and kept for a long time.  We always had a few hogs on our farm and I have many fun memories.  But my favorite story is one 

Grandpa’s Hound Dogs

Grandpa’s Hound Dogs

Hunting has always been a part of our family history.  Even as a child my father and brothers hunted to put food on the table.  Sometimes they hunted to get the furs to sell.  Daddy tells of hunting rabbit when he was a boy.  He 

Feeding the Geese

Feeding the Geese

My mother always said the most wonderful times in her life was when their house was filled with us children.  There were four of us so I am sure it was also busy and stressful at times.  But the blessing of children is one of God’s greatest gifts to us.

We have two wonderful sons.  I love that they have grown and now have beautiful families of their own.  But just like my mother I can say how precious were the years when our house was filled with children.

It is now filling with grandbabies so precious and so fun.  For a few minutes when they come to visit, those priceless years return and also the joy that fills our hearts when children become part of our lives.  How great is our God!  How awesome is his creation of life!  We are so blessed.  I love painting to capture those precious moments in my life and the lives of those I love.

This painting is a picture of my sons feeding the geese at the park in Bolivar, Missouri.  Even more special is the fact that in this park, I spent many hours of my painting class learning to paint.  And now I can recapture the moments through the stroke of my paintbrush.  How fun!

The Old Country Church

The Old Country Church

When people ask where I grew up, I say, “In church.”  I was so blessed to be born in a family that loved and served the Lord.  We were at church anytime the doors were open. This was my first church. It sat on the 

Me and My House

Me and My House

I enjoy painting pictures that have special meaning.  As I painted this picture I tried to capture a beautiful wooded lane that leads to a house.  At the end of the lane is more than just a beautiful house.  It is a home, where a 

The Homecoming

The Homecoming

It was such a joy to be able to compile my father’s story into a book.  One of my favorite stories was his homecoming from World War II.  When he reached Warsaw he was able to catch a ride.  His ride dropped him off at the gravel road and he had to walk the last 9 miles.

It was already dark.  He could sleep along the road or walk in the dark.   He decided to walk it in the dark.  The road had been changed some which made the journey more complicated.  It was just getting towards sunrise when he came in view of the house.  His expressions of joy in finally getting to see his family brought tears as I typed the words.  News didn’t travel as it does today.  Months had turned into years, secluded on an island guarding a chemical ammo dump that could have exploded at any gunfire into the dump.  Finally the view of home reassuring him it was really over.

The view down the road as you approach the house is the same today as it was then.  The old barn is gone and the log cabin has been replaced by a house built of lumber.  It seemed easy to picture the scene in my mind.

So many young men in Benton County had been called to go to war.  The experience changed not only those who went, but also those who waited at home for their loved ones to return.  The farm is still in the family, registered as a century farm in Missouri. And one of my favorite things to do is sit on the front porch chatting with family, and enjoying the lovely breeze.

Daddy’s Butterfly Collection

Daddy’s Butterfly Collection

My father served 4 years in World War II.  He was stationed at Camp Sibert, Alabama for chemical training.  The men were placed in the gas chamber and mustard and lucite gas was released.  They were sometimes given old worn out gas mask to wear, 

Ozark Lad to South Pacific

Ozark Lad to South Pacific

My father grew up in Benton County during the late 20s and early 30s during the drought and depression.  He served in World War II in the 96th Chemical Warfare Company from 1942 to 1946.  To my delight he wrote his story down for our 

Night Time in the Country

Night Time in the Country

I loved evenings at the little peaches and cream house.  Mother and daddy would sit in the yard while we played.  Often passing neighbors would stop to visit when they saw us in the yard.  That usually meant some more kids to play with.  Mother would bring out some iced tea or coffee and usually there was cookies or maybe some cake to be served.

The evening quickly escaped and the first call of the whip-or-will could be heard.  We had been so busy playing we had not noticed the sun had ducked its head beneath the view of the distant hillside.  Time to go!  We heard the call and headed to the front yard where good bys were being said.  The sound of our neighbors car could soon be heard topping the hill.  It seemed much darker and quieter now.  We helped mother pick up the glasses and left over treats.  A distant owl hooted and a lonesome call from a coyote filled the night air.  Playing in the cool evening air brought easy sleep and sweet dreams.

The painting is watercolor.  I painted it for my grandmother.

Nana’s Garden

Nana’s Garden

A garden was a necessity when I was growing up.  We always had a big garden.  Mother would can 250 quarts of green beans, lots of tomatoes, greens, beets, and anything else that we successfully raised that year.  With a family of six, it took