Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Attack of the killer tomatoes

     Something has kept me occupied for the last few days.  One day I had lots of green tomatoes on the vines, but suddenly, I am getting lots of ripe tomatoes and they are coming on rapidly.

    Every day I go to the garden and pick tomatoes.  They take over my kitchen counters.  I eat them for every meal, except breakfast.  David takes sacks of them to work to give away.  I take them to church to give away.  I eat some more and still many of them rot before they are used.

    I've made fried green tomatoes with Chipotle sauce. Yum.  But I am getting tired of it.

                 I've made tomato juice and will probably make more.

                     I've even resorted to making tomato men, but I don't think they'll catch on.

             And still they keep coming.  See that monster one in the bowl?  I have several like that I have had to throw away because they rotted before we could eat them.  I really hate to throw food away.

    Trying to ignore the tomatoes, I baked some garlic cheddar bisquits.  Yum. 


             Eating them with a bacon, lettuce and tomato salad. 

   I made David a pineapple upside down bisquit only because he refused to eat a tomato unside down bisquit.

               Baked this cake for a funeral dinner. Hope they liked lots of icing.  I got carried away.

     Going to spend some time with this fabric I got at a shop hop last week.  Got to get away from tomatoes for a while.  Bye.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Down Memory Lane Part 2


  I started school in this building.  When I was in school, all twelve grades were here.  My first grade room was on the right where the boarded up windows are and my second and third grades were in the room on the left where I had my very favorite teacher, Mrs. Farmer, who instilled in me my love of writing. 

  Now as you can see, the building has been converted into the fire department.  I am glad it is being kept up and except for the windows being covered, it looks just the same as it did back in the fifties and sixties.

  My brother, Jack, graduated in the class of 1952.  These are all the people who were in his class.  I hadn't started school yet.  This is an engraved brick at the memorial garden at the museum I talked about in the previous post.

   Because almost every teen-ager in Greens Fork detassled corn for Davis Seed Corn, the museum put this exhibit in the garden with feed sacks that were used to hold the corn.  I never got to detassle corn and always felt like I missed out on something because all my brothers and my sister had worked in the corn fields and always came home with funny stories about things that had happened during the day.  It was easy to be entertained back then.

  This was my Grandpa Pentecost's house.  I use to walk there after school sometimes and Grandpa and Aunt Ruth, who lived with him, were always glad to see me.  There were these velvet pictures on the wall that I found fascinating and would stare at them for long periods of time.  Easy entertainment.

   My best friend, Mary Jean, lived catty-corner across the street from Grandpa.  One Halloween I got to go into town and she and I went trick or treating together and we did some tricks. We thought it was really funny to throw shelled corn on porches.  We'd throw a handful and then run away giggling like we were being so bad.  Easily entertained.  I visited Mary Jean a few years ago in Oregon where she lives and it was like we had never been apart.  I would love to see her again.  She is a new Grandma and sent me her precious granddaughter's picture. 

  We drove over to Hagerstown where Mother would take us to the library every two weeks.  I loved going here, the smell of the books, the old ladies who stamped our books, the quietness.  I would get an armload of books and take them home and read them all in two weeks sitting on the front porch swing going back and forth lazily.  I loved reading and still do.  Can't have a day without a book to read.   I was so glad to see the library was still there and they had built on a beautiful new addition onto it.  It's nice to know people still read real books.

  Here are the bleachers where David's and my history began. It was at the first football game of the year and I was sitting with my girlfriends when David sat behind us and started picking on us.  I tried to ignore him, but he wouldn't be ignored.  That Sunday his cousin asked me to go to the movies with her and David and we haven't been apart since, except when he was doing military training.  He asked me to go steady in the parking lot of this football field.  Does anyone go steady anymore?  They really should.  It is fun.

   Because David's parents and family had moved to the Virgin Islands and he didn't want to go, he ended up living here his senior year with his grandpa and grandma.  I loved his grandparents.  His grandma made the best dried beef gravy, had the prettiest garden and told us stories about Greens Fork.  She liked to cut jokes out of the newspaper and would read them to us.  David gave me a  birthday party here.

    Years later, we got married and lived in the apartment I showed you before and then moved to a little three room house in the country which we bought for the grand price of $3000.  Can't even get a car for that anymore.  The little house is gone now and a new house is built right behind where it had been.  We had about an acre of land, a little stream ran through the property and a woods was across the road.  The shower was in the basement and the bathroom was no bigger than a closet.  I loved that place.  We were so happy there, but after one baby and another on the way we had to find a bigger house.

  The bigger place was up this hill.  We couldn't see the house because all the trees have grown up.  David wanted to just drive up and see it, but when we lived there I didn't like it when people would drive up there because they didn't know a house was there and I didn't want to do that to the people who live there now.  It is a two story house which has a beautiful view of a lake below the hill.

   This is the lake.  It use to be a public swimming beach, but that closed long ago.  Now it's a swimming hole for wild ducks and Canadian geese.  While we were there, several geese landed skidding along on the water like they were on water skies.  I use to take the kids to this park and we would walk all over and they would play at the playground.  It was so nice having this right below our house.

    There use to be a train track below our house.  Now it is a walking path.  Down that path there were the best black raspberry patches.  I would walk back there with the neighbor girls(It wasn't nice like this then) and we would pick buckets of raspberries. 

  In closing I will show you the little church where David and I were married.  The Greens Fork United Methodist church.  We got married by two preachers.  Had to be extra sure it would take.  I guess it did as we will celebrate our 45th anniversary next year.  I went to this church almost all my life until we moved away. 

    I have been blessed with so many happy memories.  Hope you have been too.  Bye.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Down Memory Lane

  This past weekend was full of memories.  We met with my three remaining brothers and my sister and their spouses at a restaurant in Richmond and had a nice visit.  I hardly ever see my brothers as we live a good distance apart.  

   Here we all are.  My sister, Joanne, who has been  the best sister ever, stands beside me.  My baby brother, David, stands right behind me.  He's still a brat.  My brother, Andy is in the middle and looks the most like my dad and grandfather and my brother, Fred is on the right.  None of us look alike.  That is why when I was little I use to think I was adopted because I didn't look like anyone in my family.  I really did.  I use to look for adoption papers to see if my parents were hiding something from me.  My aunt, who was also at the reunion says I look exactly like my mother.  That makes me feel good. 

  This is my sister-in-law, Carroll, who was married to my brother, Jack, who passed away a few years ago.  Beside her is my Aunt Suzanne.  I always thought she was an angel.  Look at her halo!  She kept saying how much I look like my mother, her oldest sister.

  This is my sister-in-law Debbie.  She and my brother, David go geo-cacheing all the time and have found over 2900 of them all over the United State and Canada.  Have you ever gone geo-cacheing?  Our son, Jason, took us looking for some and it is alot of fun.  Debbie and David are pros at it.

  We all had a nice visit and my brother Fred gave us all homemade soap he had made.  David and I invited everyone to our house next summer for a reunion and to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary.  Have to tell my family about things far in advance as they are all so busy and schedules fill up fast.

  After we parted, David and I took off for my hometown where I grew up.  We went to this museum that use to be someone's home years ago.  I always liked this house when I was growing up and wanted to live in it.  I always thought it was one of the prettiest houses in our town.  So many things in the museum brought back so many memories of when we were in school and how our little town of 400 was years ago.  I didn't know the song, "Beyond the Sunset," was written by someone from Greens Fork.  There were so many interesting things to look at.

  This is David's mother's cheerleading outfit from the forties when she was in junior high.  Long sleeves and a long corduroy skirt.  Mustn't show too much skin, you know.  I think she sewed this outfit herself.

  This is her school binder with names of friends written all over it.  David's dad's name is on there several times.  Girls haven't changed much have they?  I remember writing David's name all over my binder when I was in school.

  This is my sister.  She was so pretty and was popular and I wanted to be just like her. 

    Beside the museum was a pretty memorial garden.  There were bricks with some of the townspeople's names engraved on them.  There was a gazebo with rattan chairs and it was so nice to sit there and just soak in all that we had seen so far.  There has been alot of work to make this garden and it shows.  So very pretty.

  This sweet girl, Jayne, and her mother(who would not let me put her picture here) run the museum and do a great job, I must say.  I've known Jayne since she was a wee girl. I may have even babysat her at some time as I seemed to have babysat just about all the children in Greens Fork when I was a teen-ager.

  See those windows behind that tree on the second story of that building?  That is where David and I first started housekeeping.  Our very first apartment after we were married.  My sister starched and ironed some beautiful priscilla organdy curtains for us and they hung in the front window.  We had bought some new furniture and we thought we were really something.  I loved cleaning my new apartment.  I felt so grown up even though I had just turned nineteen a few months before.  The apartment was right across from a gas station and above a restaurant that had pinball machines where we spent alot of evenings playing.

 A couple of buildings down from our apartment was the barbershop.   Kind of reminds you of Floyd's doesnt' it?  When I was a little girl, my Uncle Russell was the barber and he was the one who cut my hair.  I always had a dutchboy bob until I got too old and wouldn't let him cut it anymore. If you think women gossip, you ought to sit in a barbershop once in a while.  I use to take our boys to this same shop and everyone who passed by was talked about.  Kind of wondered what they said about me when I went by.

  Our town had a grocery store, a hardware store, an insurance agency, a soda shop called Shorty's, a restaurant and a post office.  Everything you needed was right there.  As we lived in the country, coming into town was big stuff for us. 

  We drove out to my old homestead and I took this picture of the barn where I spent many hours playing with kittens in the haymow.  It has fallen in disrepair which make me sad, but I will always have the memories of all the animals that lived under its roof and the basketball goal where I practiced shooting until I could make 100 free throws.

   I have so much more to tell, but that will be for another day.  Happy memories.  Bye.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Big Fat White Molar

 As I told you a while back, I had some work done on my teeth.  Before I found the wonderful dentist  I go to now I went to one(who shall not be named) who just about destroyed my teeth.  He was constantly grinding down teeth to put in bridges.  At the time I thought he knew what he was doing.  Sadly for me, he didn't.

 I had one bridge put in that kept falling out.  It fell out in my meal at Olive Garden.  It fell out in the popcorn at a movie.  The third time it fell out, the dentist made the bridge smaller, I don't know why and put it back into my mouth.

  That very night I was eating an orange, the bridge came loose and...I SWALLOWED IT!!!  Funny, I was always eating when it would fall out.

   I began to panic and my husband tried calling the dentist's emergency number all evening.  He never answered.  Then David called an online nurse and she told me I should go directly to the hospital.  Now I rate hospitals right up there with dentist's.  I stay away from them as often as I can.  I refused to go.

   That night I had visions of the bridge traveling through my system and getting lodged somewhere inside me, gangrene setting in.  Pain, agony, surgery.  I have a very vivid imagination.

    Even so, that night I slept like a baby. David, however, didn't  When I got up in the morning, David was dressing and I asked him where he was going.  "I'm going to have a word with your dentist."  Oh,oh.  David doesn't get angry very often, but I knew he was angry now.  Suffice it to say, we didn't pay the dentist's bill and I was an ex-patient.

     I went three years before I got the nerve to start looking for a new dentist. Then by great fortune a new dentist rode into town on a white horse and brandishing a shiny new drill.   I immediately felt at ease with him, something I hadn't felt with previous dentists.  My first experience with a dentist was when I was twelve and had a bad tooth. My very first dental checkup.  My dad took me in to see him and he ended up pulling the tooth.  No anethesia.  I felt every pull and heard every last grinding as it was ripped out of my mouth.  I cried the whole time.  My father got so angry at how mean the dentist had been he told him we would never be back. Okay with me. 

   Anyway, my new dentist began to systematically recontruct a new smile for me.  Even then there were episodes along the way.  Like the time after I had just been in and had a tooth repaired I got home and another broke off.  Then there was the time I was eating a turkey sub and thought I had found a chicken!?! bone in the sandwich.  I found out later it was a piece of a wisdom tooth.  I cried and told David he was going to be  married to a toothless old hag.  Then this spring I got three wisdom teeth pulled.  

   It took two years, but I finally have healthy teeth and gums and have had two implants put in.  but there is something strange about the one implant.  It is twice the size of my other teeth.

    When the dentist put the implant in, it felt huge in my mouth.  The dentist said he made it larger to replace two teeth, but there was only room for one implant so he made it a little bigger to fill in the space.  "You'll get use to it," my dentist told me.  

    I got home and looked at that tooth and it seemed to have grown larger.  Surprisingly, I did soon get use to it and don't notice it at all, but it is big.

        Here is an artist's? rendition of it.....

     I showed it to people.  It became a local oddity.  My grandson said, "Wow!".  It does everything my other teeth do and more. I feel like supergirl with the amazing giant tooth.  My husband tells me, " You can't see it unless you're looking for it."

   Anyway, it chews and grinds really well, and hopefully will last the rest of my life.  Can't say that about everything you buy.  The lasting the rest of your life bit. 

   Rest of my life.  Rest of my life. Hmmmm.  Things don't have to last all that long for me any longer.  By the way, the bridge I lost?  It either, ahem, passed or I still have it inside me.  If I ever have another surgery perhaps the doctors will find a tooth and wonder how in the world that got in there. 

   Wishing you good dental health.  Bye.


Friday, July 13, 2012

4-H Dropout

              I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, my health to better living for my club, my community and my country.  The 4-H pledge. I have said that pledge many times in my life. 4-H is a club of young people who meet together and do projects throughout the year to exhibit at the county fair. 

      As a child, I took several 4-H projects, foods, sheep, photography(which I obviously failed at) huck weaving, basketry and others. My 4-H career was short because I hated spending my summer days baking, weaving baskets and having to get projects done in time when I would have much rather been playing on the farm.   I did like my sheep project.  We bought a little lamb from a neighbor and I raised him and showed him at the fair and he won a blue ribbon.  He was really a pet more than a farm animal.  I would bathe him until his fleece was as white as snow and I learned how to groom him and cut his wool.  His name was Danny and he grew into quite a handsome ram.  I can tell you stories about him later.

       The project I hated the most was foods.  I had to bake something almost every day it seemed.  My family ate yellow cake after yellow cake one summer.  I remember standing in the kitchen crying, my mother in an other room away from the drama going on in the kitchen because I didn't know how to do something.  She would yell at me to read the recipe and do what it said.  She knew if she came into the kitchen she would end up mixing the cake for me.  I finally learned to bake a pretty good cake, but I didn't like to at that time.  Now I love to bake.  I was only in 4-H three or four years and that was enough for me.

       I have come full circle and now enjoy working on projects.  I always have something going on whether it's quilting......


     Grandkids.   Okay, they aren't projects, just a fun distraction once in a while from all my projects.  Isn't this a cute face?   But I am wandering from the subject at hand.

    My garden projects.........

     My pet people projects......This is really enthralling you, isn't it, Belle?

      My foods projects..........

        Our home improvement projects.........

          which really become hands on projects sometimes.  This is how I always look after painting.  David says all I have to do is stand by a paint can and I will get paint on myself. 

       David gets caught up in all the projects.  We are really a two people 4-H club.  We just don't have meetings and do the bear hunt.  Haven't ever done the bear hunt?  I will have to teach you sometime.  It was a popular song-game we played at almost every meeting.  Anyway, I tell people David and I got married so young because it was a 4-H project that got out of hand!

         I had a wonderful old 4-H leader named Miss Glunt.  She was also my home ec teacher in school through junior high.  She wore dresses down to her ankles, those old clunky black shoes women use to wear a long time ago and wore her white hair in a prim bun.  She taught me all about sewing machines, how to do fine hand sewing and huck weaving.   She was a patient teacher although one time she said to one of her students rather harshly, "Your stitches are too far apart.  You could stick your big toe through them."  I always think of that when I am hand sewing something. Don't want my big toe to be caught.

        Miss Glunt unknowingly cost me a grand champion ribbon on one of my projects one summer.  I took home improvement and for my project I sewed a dresser scarf and a matching pillow cover that had snap closures.  I had finished the project and showed it to Miss Glunt for approval and she said I needed to add more snaps.  When the pillow was judged at the fair, the judges wrote that I would have won if there hadn't been so many snaps on it!  My mother and I never told Miss Glunt because we thought it would hurt her feelings.  She is gone now so won't be reading this.  I did get a blue ribbon on my project.  I still have that pillow cover to remind me DON'T USE TOO MANY SNAPS!
        Now I am starting a new quilting project.  An embroidered and patchwork quilt.  I went to JoAnn's to pick out the embroidery floss.

       Aren't these colors lucious?  I could eat them and floss my teeth at the same time.

       I know I am going to love making this quilt and am always happy to have something to do with my hands when watching television instead of eating. 

       Here's to 4-H, Miss Glunt and having a project to do. Bye.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ahh Summer

  Finally we are having summer days that are enjoyable.  Gentle breezes, puffy clouds, and heat that doesn't suck every last drop of energy from you.

  I love looking at the clouds in a bright blue sky.  They shape change and lazily float and can mesmerize me for hours if I let them.

  The breeze was out of the north yesterday and this little windmill was spinning merrily.

  Belle came out of her self-imposed exile under the deck and laid under the tall grass in the yard.

  The pool water was clear and cool, but not too cool and for the first time this summer I could get in it in the middle of the day.  Floated and looked at the clouds, listened to the birds and the windchimes tinkling on the cabin porch.  Come and join me.  The water's fine.

  I love to hear windchimes .  I got these from my daughter who put them in a garage sale we were having and I latched onto them.  In the corner there is a fountain we have that looks like a big rock with water coming from the top.  The birds like to drink out of it.

    Remember when people didn't have clothes dryers and you had to hang your clothes outside to dry them?  You younguns don't remember that at all.  I use to hang my animal hide clothes on clotheslines when I was growing up.  Okay, I didn't wear animal hides, but we hung out all our clothes.  Even in the winter!  I remember my mother bringing in bluejeans and stacking them against the wall for them to thaw out.  When I was first married and we lived on a big hill, I had a clothesline and a washer but no dryer because we were poor as church mice.  I hung out all our clothes and with young children I was hanging out clothes all the time.  One time someone we knew told me he never went by our house that he didn't see clothes hanging on the line.  I have had clotheslines where we live now, but right now I don't and I was washing some of the fabric I got on the quilt shop hop I went on a couple of weeks ago and because it was so hot I thought I would like to hang it outside.  I jerrybuilt a little clothesline on my shop porch and began hanging out the fabric.  Because it was so hot, it only took a few minutes for each batch to dry.

  I got a certain satisfaction in hanging out each piece of fabric. Maybe I need a real clothesline.  Hmmmm.  Another project for David.

  Isn't this cute fabric?  I get so much enjoyment out of washing fabric, ironing fabric, cutting fabric and sewing fabric.  I remember, when I was a young girl, shopping for fabric with my mother at the old Penneys store in Richmond and running my fingers over each bolt.  My mother sewed alot of my clothes so I'm sure I got my love of sewing from her.  She always had stashes of fabric around the house.  One time when she was gone for the day, I got in her fabric and made a bathing suit.  I got in big trouble over that as she had had plans for that fabric.  I really liked that bathing suit, though.

    Hope you have found your joy in life and I hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather.  Bye.