Monday, August 20, 2007

Galloping Red

Grandma Oe always liked a little red in her quilts. I've mentioned this before, I am sure. The red in this one farely gallops off the surface. Nines sent it back home recently; I'd forgotten all about it; and now it is a quilt all done. Well....all done but a label, I suppose. But a quilt you've forgotten about all bound up is still a very good deal.
Nines quilted this end-of-red-scraps wonder with sweet swirls and hearts. I love the backing she chose. Had no notion what to do with it; but now have a notion it may make a nice Valentine present for a little friend.

As for the table runners - they go to the tune of "Happy Birthday to We!" While making them it seemed a good idea for sisters to have tables that ran I added a third one to go along with DTS and DS's -- for me. After all, my birthday is in July too. Mine gave me something to practice on, which was a good thing. Nines suggested doing these bindings on the machine since they will be washed more often than a quilt. So I did. Still need some MORE practice, but I'm sure from now on any hand binding will be reserved for hand-quilted pieces only. Woo-hoo! This is so much quicker and looks fine...if you follow Nines' instructions and go slowly, three inches at a time. The little bamboo stylus DS gave me for guiding curved seams worked well as a tool of choice for holding the binding steady on the top side, too.
Now these month-late runners need to find their little way into envelopes and on to OH and MD tables.
"Happy Birthday to We!"
"Happy Birthday to We!"
"Happy Birthday all Three!"
"Happy Birthday to We!"

Saturday, August 18, 2007


When "My Brother" 's son posted that TOO SWEET TO STASH poem [see July 20, 2007] on the family site, he asked is sister to expound. She did so beautifully and her detail adds such life to the lines, I couldn't stash it without sharing it as well.

Description: I'll let Judy fill in the description.

Okay, here goes. I will also note that Dad was 18 years old when Uncle Jake was born. Each stanza is about a specific incident or incidents. The first stanza tells of events on December 18, 1930, the night Uncle Jake was born. Dad walked to Rosedale to get Dr. Roberts. Once we got telephones, every Dec. 18 Dad would call Uncle Jake and and say something like "Brrrrrrrr, my feet sure are getting cold, just thinking about what I did ___ years ago tonight.

"The second and third stanzas refer to December 1936 when Dad was stricken with spinal meningitis. (By the way, the ambulance was a big truck owned by Eck Norman. A mattress was placed on the bed of the truck and some way, a canvas tarpaulin was tied over the side rails and top of the truck in order to give some protection from the December weather.) Dad always felt that the prayers of Uncle Jake and Grandpa (who spent most of the night praying), were the reason he recovered. The doctors had told Grandpa that he would not survive. Dad remembered (in his delirium) hearing the doctors, who were standing at the foot of his bed, talking. One said to the other, "He won't be here tomorrow." Dad took it to mean that he was going to be released from the hospital to go home.

Stanza 4 refers to the time that Grandpa and Stella moved to Sand Fork so Dad and Uncle Harp could go to High School. There was a high hill close to where they lived and Dad would take Uncle Jake (about 3 yrs. old) to the top of the hill and they would watch cars in Sand Fork. They would also fly kites. Dad graduated from high school in 1934, he was 21. He had gone to Rosedale as they kept adding grades, but they only went to the eleventh grade. In order for him to finally finish high school, Grandpa moved to Sand Fork for a few months. In February or March, the family moved back to Tanner and Dad and Uncle Harp rented a house in Lockney and rode the bus to Sand Fork to finish that year of school.

Stanza 5 refers to home experiences and to times when Dad was in college. One day Minnie Nicholas had come to the house to get a bucket of milk and she had set it down on the porch above the steps to talk with Stella a little while. Uncle Jake (about 6 or 7 years old) said he was aiming to kick over the bucket, but anyway, he yelled to the other boys there, "Catch it, boys!" Well, he kicked the bucket and all the milk was spilled. His mother started to him to paddle him and he said two big arms ran under his arms and picked him up and ran down to the Brady place (Homer Sampson's) and he and dad played around down there until Stella had cooled off and wouldn't punish him as hard.

Uncle Jake slept with Dad and each night Dad would race him to bed. Dad usually won. Many times he would go outside, crawl in the bedroom window, get in bed, and then say, "Jake, when are you coming to bed?" This usually started a fight and they would have to race again and "do it fair."Dad didn't have much money while he attended college, but he would always manage to bring Uncle Jake a small toy or peanuts or candy when he would (walk) come home from Glenville on the weekends. The book incident is self explanatory.

Stanza 6 refers to the time when Dad first started to Glenville State College. He walked to Glenville and didn't have the 50 cents necessary to stay in the Whiting Hotel so he went to the sheriff who permitted him to sleep in an empty cell that night. Before the next night, he had contacted a local farm family who agreed that he could do work for them in the evenings and every other weekend as partial payment for room and board.

Stanza 7: Stella died in April 1944. Vernon was 14 years old. In 1946, he came to live with my parents and go to school. In the winter, Uncle Jake had only a thin poplin jacket and he was walking to Shock (1 1/2 Miles) to catch the school bus to Normantown High School. Dad took him a special trip to Glenville to get him a heavy winter coat. Uncle Jake kept that coat until the the 1970's when a neighbor in Montana lost his clothing in a housefire and he gave him the coat.

Stanza 8 refers to Chester Nicholas who at the age of 16 had reported his age as 18 and had joined the army in World War II. He survived some rough battles and when he came home on leave, he refused to return. MPs were sent in to get him and he was facing the possibility of a court martial. Dad wrote to his commanding officer and explained the circumstances and that Chester had entered the service at a young age. He asked that all the circumstances be considered in the decision to be made. Chester did not receive a court martial.

The last verse is self explanatory. (I bet you won't ask me to add another description. I never know when to stop …J.M.K.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


A friend handed off some swatches of upholstery textiles. Most was too heavy and small for piecing, so -- of course -- it migrated to the postcard stash. And what fun it has been.

As you can see, the swatches came in all sorts of colors and styles. These designs are very simplistic, but with all those textures not a lot of embellishment is needed. The buttons came from a bag purchase and ironically - or not - the white ones are stamped "idle time." Guess this is how I have been spending some idle time of late.

The fall assortment grew out of a September morning mood.

DH dubbed my postcard collection: "PENI POSTCARD" s. Now isn't he clever! Why didn't I think of that? Maybe I'm not so clever, but I am smart enough to know a good thing when I see it penned on the back of a postcard. "Peni Postcard" it will stay.

Monday, August 06, 2007


It's odd - the different breakfast traditions in different areas. This one is likely as colloquial and my hill billy accent and ever a favorite. We called these 'creamed tomatoes' growing up. Some folks call it tomato gravy. Best made with home-canned tomatoes or juice (I used a quart that didn't seal on Saturday - likely excuse). No sugar, please, for me. DSis's "boys" don't like those "pi-son" chunks, so she uses juice.

As a child, I ate them on a plate, with butter melting in the tomatoes and bits of buttermilk biscuits dipped in the buttery spots. I still prefer them served that way. DH eats his from a bowl, poured over a buttered biscuit. Mine cool down faster, which was good in the days I could have a second serving.

Creamed tomatoes and sausage are a good combination, too. And yes, any time of day is good. When the kids were home they made a quick and easy supper. Those biscuits look a bit puny - but it is nearly impossible to make mile-high biscuits with less than a cup of flour, you know.
And yes, that stick of butter was indented by the roll of a corn cob. Ah, summer!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Back trailing the paths through Shock WV is very good therapy. I recommend it highly.

The garden is coming in - I will not say with a vengeance for fear of discrediting the Lord who blesses us all so liberally. My DH does most of the IN garden labor, but the coming of the garden always takes me back to what I knew first. It takes a good while to scrub down beets, so this morning I laced my Miller bones with a good dose of tylenol, tied up my best sneakers, put my Vernon Miller CD on high volume and went to work. At the sink, scrubbing is a nearly mindless task that allows you to gaze out the window at WV woodlands, soak up the sounds of Vernon's guitar (don't you just like those doubly strummed chords that go, jingle-jingle?) and be drawn to roots. That's easily done with garden fare afoot. I drift back up that dusty Tanner road, fringed with half-runners and tomatoes in the gardens, waist high rhubarb, corn beginning to tassle, hay stacks dotting the meadows and canning jars sunning on the fence posts. If the locals lacked full pockets, they did not lack full lives and hearts and a mind to enjoy working the land. Would that all children could know the wonder of summers in Shock! Such a bright and peaceful place; such dear hearts and gentle people. And no wonder I enjoy canning so - some of that industry just had to rub off.

Like several of my cousins native to Shock, I have A-negative blood...seldom a postive matter. Still, I am thankful every day for the Shock factor that runs through my veins. I'll loan you some if you need it.

For those of you who are wondering, I do cook the beets just so. Leaving the root and a bit of stems means they bleed less, retain more of that wonderful red color. After stewing and cooling the roots and stems are trimmed and the peel slips off easily. They are then ready to eat - any which way you like them.