Thursday, September 26, 2019

She's here!

Monday's gift, alongside the Equinox, was cooler temps and that little zing in the air that says... well, you know! Fall is here! I made four loaves of autumn breads the past week and froze two. I tried a recipe from online for Cinnamon bread. I would give it a four star rating because it was moist and had a great texture. It wasn't very cinnamony... Then I made a cheater Pumpkin/Dried Cranberry bread. Oh my! This didn't hold together as well, but the golden bread was yummmy.

1 yellow cake mix; 3 eggs, 1 can pumpkin puree, 1 T. pumpkin pie spice; 1/3 c. oil; and 3 T. water. I added about half a cup of dried cranberries that I shook with a bit of flour. Mix it all up and pop in a large greased and floured bread pan. (I almost always top with raw sugar for a crackly glaze.)  Bake at 350 for at least an hour

Been working on some journals and Fall cards. And I finally put all the pieces back in the puzzle I had created by buying one innocent recliner off Swapshop. I had to move 9 pieces of furniture (plus more that I actually left in the same spot again!) I remember Mom telling me that Gerred came over one morning to stay with her at about four years old... He started crying, she said. He sobbed to his favorite confidante, "Mama moved all the furniture, and she lost the dining room!!!" I had swapped functions of rooms... Neither he nor Mom were fans of my passion... too bad.

My son has been working from home some days. It is great to have him home, but he sure is busy...

Whimsy and Hugs! Happy Fall, Y'all!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

120! Happy birthday, Cutie!

This seems to be an anniversary year. Yesterday was the 120th birthday for my dad's mother Iona Marguerite. Both of my grammas were the same age, born in the autumn of 1899. One was a Leo, and one, a Virgo... if that is something you follow. Both were homemakers and cooks, bakers and quilters.

Ma had 7 siblings. I can remember her wonderful giggle to this day. She was a beautiful woman with  kind eyes and thick brown hair that didn't gray as she aged. So many details hover around her in my memory... how she lived and planted extravagant gardens, canned hundreds of quarts of vegetables, fruits, pickles. She and my grandfather loved to entertain. They always had huge picnics and their small house, although full of treasures, could handle a crowd. When Ma had company for breakfast, she cooked huge menus filled with several kinds of meats, cinnamon rolls, fried potatoes, gravy, biscuits, stewed tomatoes, wilted lettuce, some kind of cobbler...and green beans... Yes, for breakfast!

She could tat in her sleep, and it was rare to see her without some kind of crochet or handwork tucked in her basket... and she always carried a big basket. She had a loom in her smoke house and quilting frames in her living room. A person could never count how many salt and pepper shakers were in her collection, and at night huge water lilies opened on her cement goldfish pool to join her rows of nasturtiums, dinner plate dahlias, zinnias, glads, and canna lilies.

At her funeral it was my heart's pleasure to hand over at least a dozen big, red roses from her spray to as many sweet little ladies who came up to whisper in my ear... "She was my best friend." Ma made everyone happy... She was an amazing woman with a legacy of love. Happy birthday to this little girl right here.

I decided to make memory books for myself and my cousins in honor of our grandmother's 120th. 

She loved pansies and poppies and Autumn... I learned to love coffee with the heavenly concoction of milk, sugar, and the tiniest amount of coffee all served in elegant bone china cups and saucers.

The tag here is a recipe in her handwriting...

Have a good week.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Fall cleaning

What is happening in your corner of the world? Do you remember cleaning every Fall and Spring? I know a lot of you still do that. It was always really a fun time because Gramma either came here every day or we went over to her house. Either way the three of us didn't stop until every room in both houses had been cleaned from floor to ceiling. At Gramma's we even took up the carpet tacks and hauled her old rug out to beat it over a fence. We put down new newspapers and sprinkled a package of my grandfather's Beechnut chewing tobacco around before putting the carpet on top... Supposedly the tobacco was a deterrent to moth millers... My grandfather always went through the house yelling, "Boooo hoooo hoooo hoooo.!!!!" He was joking about the waste of a good pack of tobacco.

I was Mrs. Jones and Mom was Mrs. Smith. Gramma was Mrs. Brown.  I am not sure why it was important to change our names, but I think we might have been the maids coming to clean. Winters brought deep ash and soot. Summers brought enormous amounts of dust fogging in those delicious open windows and propelled through the house by Emerson fans. Dirt didn't stand a chance. 

Today little Mrs. Jones played the little red hen and cleaned half a bedroom all.... by..... herself.....

 Not as much fun but still one of my favorite things to do... I left the windows for another day (maybe when my Amish friends return). 

So... tomorrow is another day. Maybe I will be Mrs. Jones... and maybe I will be my own bad self and watch YouTube videos... lol

Either way, I am sure we will enjoy another day of warm weather... One good thing. Mrs. Jones has AC... Yay!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tuesday Talk

I think I probably showed the best photo of my Studio first, and that's just not good strategy. I am just thrilled to have a space to even "dump" my craft things. Never have I ever had a space for art and glue and glitter... so much a part of my stash!

So... it is definitely a work in progress. I spend part of my time making something, part of it sorting, and part of it--- just looking at the bits and remnants accumulated through the past 12 years... and beyond. Mom had quite a bit of dreaming and "stuff" too.

I started the morning with some Mocha flavored coffee. My son asked me if I even knew what plain coffee tasted like. I think that was a little rude, don't you? I do like plain coffee... but there are so many wacky kinds to try. I have my coffee maker in the kitchen...

In one little corner you can see I am greeted by a dear little bunch of Shirley Temple dolls. Those were some of Mom's favorites so they keep me company right where she put them. 

I use this shelving space for my papercraft supplies. My favorite things to do right now include junk journals, regular scrapbook/more modern journals, and crochet. I have a lot of sewing and counted cross stitch, but those pesky criminals stole two sewing machines, ----and my fingers are a little stiff for the needle... gotta work on both problems. It is a bit of a hodge podge in this ( and every) corner...

Callie finally decided to make herself at home. It was quite a little struggle because she has been sequestered in this room during times her presence wasn't wanted (gasp!)...  Impossible! Her kittykat mind cannot fathom such a time as that. But when she saw the li'l lapghan just for her, she gave in.

I have lots of very sweet company in this room. Mama's girls are always interested in the day's labors...

More multiple choice items. Yes, that is a pumpkin stem from last year. I dearly want to make velvet or sweater pumpkins and I have messed around with that stupid stem for 10 months...  We shall see. I better make a pumpkin. That's all I am saying.

This is my special line to Santa's workshop. This particular wall had been totally covered with little girl pictures of me...  They had to go,,, too bossy and nosey and ... in my face, ya know?

My dream/plan is to have this tree filled with seasonal bits that I can use as favors, gifts, little tuck-ins for friends, shut-ins and whomever would like something.... Uh, nope. Not one thing on dat tree other than pine cones... yet. Just dreamin'

The pink-legged table was in Gramma's kitchen and then in my bedroom up north. Luckily it was something I had asked for early, so it was spared. These old floors were salvaged from other sites in 1956 when Daddy rebuilt this house... (and they look it!). They have to wait.... I had to get a floor guy to re-do the bathroom and landing that my carpenter did last summer. The tiles all broke and popped up... 

I know! Don't even get me started. Have a wonderful day! My son is working from home today, so... our cat is soooo happy.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Happy Sunday!

Rain, Wind, Thunder and Lightning... and a little cat perched on my shoulder at 4 a.m. or so...  She had her face hanging over mine with a "Do we live through this?" query on her fox-shaped face... I told her, "Yes... we live through this one."

Today was a farmhouse lunch...  Mom's meat loaf recipe, Gramma's corn casserole, green beans, baked sweet potatoes... and the last of the leftover birthday cake and ice cream...

Sneak peek:

Oh... I can sleep all day so I can howl n protect all night... lol.  To be a cat...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Pop o' Color?

Working my way around my kitchen with the final touches of Fall decorating today. Of course, I had to experiment with the new trend of white harvest. I did like its gentle peace. Then I tucked in some riotous fall leaves. To be honest, I like both... go figure. After I added the leaves, I was tired... so that's the story for now.

What say you, Pals?

You guys all know I don't drink, but... this made me laugh. I need to laugh...

Short week with a fun Taco Salad party for some of my son's friends and co-workers on his birthday.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

A Century Ago today. . .

Today as I was sitting at my kitchen table with a new month's planner I wrote... "Happy Anniversary, Gramma and Paw-paw." Then as I added the year, 1919... I realized that today is 100 years... and for some strange reason I got really excited and felt like calling someone to celebrate. But, you know. To those of us who honor ancestry and our loved ones from the past, these discoveries are quite exciting. However, since my immediate family is so small and includes only a son in his 30's, I am fairly certain he will just say with kind (and really kind) enthusiasm: "Oh, wow! Neat!" And that, my dear Scarlett, will be that. What really would I expect?

a Google Search just now gave me this news:

The Macon Republican (Macon Missouri) 08 Mar 1918

And somehow he ended up in Louisville Kentucky?

A few years ago I visited Louisville, KY, with my son. It was the site of a chance meeting between a young soldier and a young woman... I have written this here in the past, so today's post doesn't take us to my studio quite yet but to a little re-telling (and borrowing) of my favorite love story. Although both Gramma and Paw-paw are now in Heaven, I still think of them almost every day. Their chance meeting was definitely one of the most romantic stories I've ever heard. Gramma, a five foot, one inch little lady from Indiana, accompanied her new sister-in-law to an army camp in Kentucky to see her brother. The two young girls rode a camp trolley pulled by two bay horses through the rows upon rows of tents, trying to find the "street" where Uncle Vernis was bunked. Well, naturally, the girls disembarked a few rows too soon and were soon hopelessly lost. (CUE my grandfather, a tall, lanky boy from Missouri who was there leaning against a sign posted by the military.) Can't you imagine how thrilled he was to be the one they asked for directions. My gramma always blushed and giggled when she told how he led them victoriously to the tent, and then waited.... and waited.... and listened to their plans to go to a restaurant for dinner..... and then waited some more. Finally my uncle casually asked him if he would like to join them for supper.. Well, I guess he would!----and the rest was the history of a marriage that lasted from 1919 until 1971, his death.

Somewhere in this house (I so hope) is a photo of my grandfather in his uniform...  But oh, my heart sparkles when I see this one of my little son wearing it for a roaring 20's party over 30 years ago..

Most families have legends, tales they have nurtured and treasured through the years.  One of mine is this legendary love story between my mother's parents. My gramma always spoke the name of the town with a kind of preferential reverence.  This was "her" town, I thought...  Although our family has always been very close, very much a communicative one, the story of her marriage and engagement is still a bit obscure.  I ran across a treasure in the form of a diary or journal.  There on the pages of a little pink corduroy journal, in my gramma's perfect up and down spikey script, are the words of her love story. (Sadly, yes... that little pink corduroy journal is gone in that vandalism that haunts my current joy.)

A farm couple with hearts of gold... but I might be biased

Evidently they walked to the river, and there they fell in love... It's little wonder I became such a sap for romantic movies and happy endings, is it?

I am the little munchkin in this photo with them and Daddy

I have no story to fill the gap between that meeting and September 1, 1919, when my grandfather arrived in Centerpoint, Indiana, and he and Gramma caught a ride on the back of the mail hack in to town. There they were married by a Justice of the Peace with two coal haulers grabbed in off the street as witnesses. Hmmmmm. Does it seem to you all there must be a few hundred pages of their story missing? It's funny the actual meeting was told and retold, but the real story? Mum was the word for all of their lives. Oh, well. it matters not. Today marks 100 years from that secretive trip to town. I remember hearing they came back to her parents' home, and her brother rummaged through their papers, produced their marriage license and spilled the beans... Oh, Candace Valera (my great-grandmother's exquisite name!!!!), how your heart must have broken a little ---one hundred years ago today when your little daughter did this "brave yet audacious" thing!

I distinctly remember tom-foolery between Paw-paw and me for this photo of Daddy's birthday.

Have a lovely Labor Day... I am trying my luck with Chicken Teriyaki, stir-fry, rice and a baked sweet potato... (I know. Not a classic combo...)

Whimsy and Hugs!