Month: May 2015

The Spring Garden

The Spring Garden

I love the spring garden.  Loads of wonderful fresh produce.  We were blessed yesterday.  Our strawberry patch is no longer, but when it was at its peak we had given strawberry plants to a friend.  Yesterday we get a call from our friend asking if…

Friends

Friends

Good friends are hard to find.  Sometimes they are discovered at childhood.  Other times it is in our adulthood.  I recently ran across my mother’s autograph book.  It was filled with many pages of memories.  It was easy to tell those who were her friends. …

Classroom Quilts

Classroom Quilts

I have designed and created lots of teaching material throughout my 31 year teaching career, but one of my favorite was the classroom quilts.  Every three weeks we would begin a new unit.  The unit might be archaeology, architecture,  detective, etc.  The setting for each unit was a country.  One year I incoorperated quilts into our study.

This quilt was made during our study in India.  The students colored a block depicting an animal or plant of India using a batik method.  In the center of the quilt we created the Taj Mahal with mosiac-jeweled blocks.  We tried to use art techniqes from India.

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This is our quilt of Nigeria.  The students each drew a person from one of the Nigerian tribes.  They had to use traditional dress of the tribe they were assigned. We added embellishments.  Then we tye-dyed the quilt to create the campfire and rainforest.  Last we used leaf prints to make the appearance of trees.  Again we tried to stay with art techniques of Nigeria.

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This is our quilt of Egypt.   Each student drew a person in Egyptian dress.  Then they  were colored.  We invited grandmothers and mothers in to help make the four square blocks.  The four square was a popular pattern found in Egyptian tombs.  They wrote their names in hieroglyphics.

Making the quilts was a lot of fun.  Mothers and grandmothers got involved.  The students reinforced some of the knowledge they had learned about the country.  The quilts have won a few blue ribbons and have been featured in The Quilter’s Quarterly.

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Ten Thousand Turkeys

Ten Thousand Turkeys

Yes, this is what it looks like when you are 5 years old and in the pen with ten thousand turkeys.  The spring of the year always reminds me of the years we raised turkeys.  It was a pretty big business in the 60s.  The…

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

I don’t see this painting often.   It seasonally hangs in my sisters house.   It is fairly large, so it works better in a big house.  It is certainly an example of my early paintings.  I took painting classes at S.B.U.  My instructor had us look…

Grandpa’s First Car

Grandpa’s First Car

Getting your first car was and still is a big deal, even if it is not new. Everyone always goes out to check it out and often get their picture made with it.   This is my grandfather standing by his 1938 Chevy.  He got a ride to Bolivar, Missouri.  He went to Bill Roberts Chevorlet and bought it for 500 dollars.  I’m not sure what year but I know my mother was still in school.  She said she always wanted to drive but her brothers would tease her and tell her she didn’t know how so they would get to drive.  I don’t think grandpa ever drove it much.  Maybe not at all. And I am sure grandma did not drive.

Grandpa was always a big tease.  We often got to go and spend the night. The next morning grandpa would go to the well to draw fresh water.  He would come back by our open bedroom window.  He would fill the dipper with fresh cold well water and dash it in the window.  Needless to say we were awake.  We could hear him chuckle as he headed for the back door.

Grandpa and grandma had guineas.  You couldn’t sneak up on the house.  The guineas would let everyone know someone was coming.  They also had lots of chickens.  Grandpa would take us to collect the eggs.  Then he would take them back to the hen house and tell us it was time to collect the eggs again.  Sure enough the nest would be full of eggs.  It wasn’t till we were older that we learned of grandpa’s prank.

The Old Fruit Cellar

The Old Fruit Cellar

Going to grandma and grandpa’s house was always fun.  Grandma had a big orchard with peach and apple trees.  There were different kinds of apples.  When the apples became ripe you could pick one any time you wanted.  The yellow delicious were my favorite. Grandma…

“Oh, Happy Day”

“Oh, Happy Day”

  Painting is such a passion of mine.  I feel like my style and techniques are always changing.  One thing doesn’t change and that is the subject matter.   I love bringing new life to old memories.  My intent is to create not just  a picture…

He Loves Me

He Loves Me

I love the spring of the year when the colorful wildflowers begin to grace the roadsides.  I am most excited to see the sunny faces of the daisies. Precious memories for me.

I had completed college and was teaching school at Macks Creek , Missouri.  I met and fell in love with the man I would marry.  I began planning my wedding.  Like all young women I dreamed of a beautiful wedding.  I had little money.  I made my dress for sixteen dollars.  I didn’t have money for flowers.  I thought how beautiful it would be to use the daisies growing along the roadside as my wedding flowers.  I picked flowers all the way to church.  I made them into beautiful bouquets.

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They began to wilt before the evening was over.  But they were beautiful throughout the wedding.  God does provide for our needs.  What an awesome God!  He provided in abundance, natural beauty, and convenience.   How many amazing blessing do we miss because we want what we want and we don’ t see what bountiful blessings God has provided for us.

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He Loves Me!

Every year I receive that blessing all over again as spring brings renewed life to the simple but beautiful daisy.

Feeding the chickens

Feeding the chickens

My mother and father grew up during the drought and depression years.  It is difficult for us to imagine some of the experiences they went through during those years.  Sugar was rationed.  Many items were just not available.  Cattle often had to be driven every…

Graduation Day

Graduation Day

Today is graduation day at Cornerstone Academy of the Ozarks in Warsaw, Missouri.  I just finished the banner for the celebration.  It is an exciting day, not only for the students, but for the school.  How delightful to watch God’s face shine on this place!  Starting…

Life on the Farm

Life on the Farm

Most of my childhood years were spent on our farm in Benton County.   We did not have the modern conveniences of today.  The farm was filled with all kinds of farm animals, and with them came life lessons of hard work, love, pain, endurance,  hope and dreams.

There were sad events, happy events and funny events.  There was horses and burros to ride, hogs to care for, cows to keep in their pastures, chickens to raise, and for a few years there was 10,000 turkeys to care for.   There was good seasons of weather and bad.  Good crop years came and went as bad ones swept in to set back the progress made in the good ones.

Mother often stayed on the farm to care for us and all the animals as daddy had to find work away from home.  One bitter cold winter daddy was working away from home.  It was time for one of the mother pigs to have her babies.  I think it must have been the coldest night of the year when the piglets arrived.  The mother pig was not responding well to her new piglets.   Mother took my sister who was not very old to help her get the baby pigs and bring them to the house to save them.

After a difficult struggle to carefully get them from the mother pig they brought them in.  We all begin to help mother feed them.  She warmed some milk.  Some of us spoon fed them.  My sister and I tried using our doll bottle to feed them.  Mother found an eye dropper and had great success getting the milk down the little pigs.  After the babies had been fed, we all settled down for the night.  Morning looked promising as the big bright sun began its battle against the bitter cold north wind.  By noon mother thought it warm enough to return the babies to their mama.  It was a happy reunion for the mother pig and her babies.  We were all excited that mother had been able to save all the little pigs.

I’m sure there were times mother did not feel qualified or up to doing the task at hand.  But it was different then.  Life was not about a choice.  Life was a gift, a responsibility and a blessing.  You did what needed to be done.  You didn’t complain.  And the blessings you reaped from the hard work was shared with neighbors and friends.  What a blessed generation!!!  God is good.
His love endures through all generations.

The painting is an oil on canvas.  It is from a picture taken in our barnyard.  Many animals played, ate and made their home in that space.

The Fabric of Our Lives

The Fabric of Our Lives

I love that so many people make up the fabric of our lives.  I thought how fun that would be to weave together a reminder of those people.  I acquired a pattern for making rag rugs.  Then I cut into strips a pair of my…

Grandbaby Quilts

Grandbaby Quilts

I guess by now you all can tell that I am always busy with a project.  And grandbabies are always at the top of the list.  So excited today.  I just went by and picked up the quilts I made for my grandchildren. I collected…

Mother’s Homemade Noodles

Mother’s Homemade Noodles

I got up this morning thinking about my mother. My father, sister, brothers and I all miss her so much. Even though she has passed on before us, she remains a living memory through our lives. The last few years before she passed, I loved to sit on the front porch of the old home place and record some of her stories and recipes. One of those recipes was her homemade chicken and noodles. Everytime there was a reunion or other gatherings, which you were to bring a potluck, the most sought after dish was mother’s homemade chicken and noodles. Unfortunately, I only got the homemade noodle recipe. I will have to make up my own chicken noodle recipe.

Today I am going to spend time with mother as I reminisce and attempt to make her homemade chicken and noodles.

It only takes four ingredients to make the noodles.

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3 egg
3 1/2 egg shells of milk. (Use a half egg shell to measure your milk)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Add enough flour to make a firm ball. Let dough rest 2 hours.

Put down wax paper and roll out thin. Cover with wax paper and let set all day or all night.

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Roll dough into a log. You will need to flour the dough as you roll. Slice 1/4″ pieces. Unroll noodles.

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I had made broth from the smoked turkey we had just served. I brought the broth and chopped turkey to a boil. I added a teaspoon of chicken broth flavoring and some water to make enough broth. I cooked the noodles in boiling water for 9 minutes. If you want thicker noodles, drop the noodles directly in the broth to cook.

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Delicious! But it wasn’t quite like mother’s. I invited my father to come over and share a bowl of chicken noodle soup. We enjoyed my version of mother’s amazing dish. What an wonderful time sharing about the wonderful things we remembered about mother and enjoying my version of her chicken and noodles.

The Old Hotel

The Old Hotel

I love history, especially family history.  Occasionally my father will take us for a drive around the towns and old home places of family members.  Many of the buildings are still standing, but they are in very bad shape.  I snap a picture and then…

Mother’s Uniform Throw

Mother’s Uniform Throw

Mother cooked at the Warsaw South School for many years.  She was a wonderful cook.  I still have people tell me about some of the wonderful things they served, especially the hot rolls.  She loved to talk about those years telling of some funny stories…

Gooseberry Puddin’ Pie

Gooseberry Puddin’ Pie

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The homestead farm is beautiful in the summer.  My grandfather came to Benton County when he was six years old.  His father cleared the farm with his chopping ax.  My grandfather stayed on the farm when he grew up and continued clearing the farm with his ax.  My father now lives on the farm and with the help of modern equipment keeps the farm cleared.  Hopefully someday our brother will be keeping it cleared and beautiful.  Besides the open fields, there is beautiful wild flowers and delicious wild berries.

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I ventured to the homestead farm to find some berries last year.  The most plentiful berries are blackberries and gooseberries.  My father drove me out across the field to look for gooseberries.  We soon found a long ridge covered in wild gooseberry vines.  Our picking bucket was quickly filling with bright red and green berries.  What a fun and blessed day!

I am not a fan of gooseberries, but some of our family and friends are.  That was enough motivation for me to pick berries.  I really don’t like the tartness so I decided to experiment.  I cooked and then pureed the berries hoping that would let more sugar and flavor combine with the tartness.   Then I had to come up with my own pie recipe.

Gooseberry Puddin’ Pie

I used my gooseberry pie recipe.   I added a tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.  I also increased the flour to thicken it.  I poured it into an unbaked pie shell, put  four pats of butter on the filling, covered with the top crust and then folded the crust under around the edges and crimped it.  Then I pricked the top with a fork, brushed the top with milk and sprinkled it with a handful of sugar.  I baked it for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Although my pudding pie has only been made once and is not tried and proven,  my pie crust is.  It is always flaky and delicious.

Pie Crust

3 cups pie and cookie flour
Pinch of salt

Add 1 cup of shortening.  Cut shortening into flour mixture until it looks like meal.

Add 1/4 cup milk
Add 1/4 cup cooking oil
Put 1 teaspoon vinegar and the rest water to make 1\4 cup and add.

Blend (Do not use your hands) Pat dough into a ball

I put down plastic wrap to roll dough out on.   I can peel the top layer off.  Put the crust in the pie plate and then peel the other piece of plastic wrap off.  Then I don’t have
to touch the dough with my hands, use extra flour, or have any mess to clean up.

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When the pie came out of the oven it looked so good I had to try a piece.  It was so tasty I ate the whole piece.  I’m pretty sure I am a gooseberry fan now.

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A scoop of ice cream was the perfect finishing touch.  It’s almost time to pick berries again.  You can be sure I ‘ll be out there.