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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ABC's of HOMEMAKING.......

A ~Aprons--y/n If y, what does your favorite look like?
Oh my, we don’t want to mention aprons. I love aprons! I collect them. Not sure which one is my favorite. I'm also a messy cook, so it's a good thing I like aprons.

B ~ Baking--Favorite thing to bake?
I love to bake. I guess cookies would be my favorite. But my favorite cookie is No Bake Cookies.

C ~ Clothes line?
Yes, I have one. Don’t use it as much as I should, tho.

D ~ Donuts--Have you ever made them?
I don’t make them very often. I remember the ones my mom made when we were young. She made them from the Pillsbury biscuits in the tube. Put a hole in them and drop them in hot oil. They were delicious!

E ~ Everyday--One homemaking thing you do everyday?
The dishes, and I hate doing the dishes.

F ~ Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freeze?
You’re not going to believe this, but we have 3 separate freezers. An old deep freeze, my husband’s step dad gave us, it is in the garage. A large upright and a small upright we bought the 2nd summer of our marriage (that was 29 years ago and it still works good-knock on wood)

G ~ Garbage Disposer?
No garbage disposer-unless that would be the person who takes out the trash.

H ~ Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Experience, neighbors and family. Don’t know what I’d do without them sometimes.

I ~ Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results?
I hate to iron. Usually only iron when I’m sewing.

J ~ Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it?
We have a couple in the kitchen. They get cleaned out sometimes.

K ~ Kitchen--color and decorating scheme.
Red and yellow. I guess the scheme would be kind of country and retro.

L ~ Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking?
I love to cook, just don’t like cleaning up afterwards.

M ~ Mop--y/n?
I have a mop and a swifter (they are great).

N ~ Nylons, machine or hand wash?
Don’t wear them very often, but they are hand washed.

O ~ Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check?
I’m always peeking.

P ~ Pizza--What do you put on yours?
Love pepperoni and mushrooms. I cook mine on a baking stone (they are great, nothing burns on them).

Q ~ Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
I like to write or just rest and do nothing.

R ~ Recipe Card Box--y/n? What does it look like?
I have one that I put together in the 70s. It was one of those where you get a packet in the mail every few weeks or so. Those are on one side of it and on the other side are my recipes I’ve put on index cards. I have tons of recipe books. I’ve put together 2 family cookbooks, they are my favorite.

S ~ Style of house--What style is your house?
We have a ranch house on an acre lot out in the country.

T ~Tablecloths or Place mats?
I love table cloths; that is something else I collect. But I rarely use them and I rarely use place mats. I take my old vintage table cloths to our family reunion and put them on the picnic tables.

U ~ Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland?
I guess you could say it is kind of organized.

V ~ Vacuum--How many times per week?
Well, I vacuum when it looks like it needs it. Gets vacuumed more since I got a small one at a yard sale. Not bulky and much easier to use. (I guess you can tell I hate housework)

W ~ Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week?
I lose count. I wash a lot!

X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
I have before and it works. I get a lot more done when I do that.

Y ~ Yard--y/n? Who does what?
My youngest son cuts the grass with the riding mower. He sometimes trims with the push, but when he doesn’t, either my husband or I do that part. It’s good exercise.

ZZZ's ~ what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
Clean off the kitchen table and make sure the door is locked.


I saw this at, Crafty Passions, who saw it at That British Woman ,who saw it at Niki's Rural Writings, who saw it at Pieces from Me, who saw it at Coffee Time At Home.

Please feel free to copy and play along on your blog. Just take out my answers and put in your own.

Let me know if you do, so I can visit.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

LIFE IN THE COUNTRY

Life in the country is.....



having an un-expected guest show up for supper!


I just had to snap this picture last year of this beautiful, but hungry, Angus cow munching in my neighbor's yard.

What would your caption be?


Friday, October 24, 2008

MAIL POUCH TOBACCO BARNS

I think of our country as a museum for all to enjoy.

Everywhere you look there is something waiting to be observed and to learn from. Whether it is a carved rock on a hillside, beautiful herons, arrowheads left behind by Native Americans, or painted barns that are a colorful part of our landscape.


In 1890 the Bloch Brothers, owners of Mail Pouch Tobacco, decided to take their advertising to the outdoors.

They looked about and decided barns were the obvious location for advertising.

The farmers got a free paint job, sometimes a small cash settlement and free samples.


The barns were painted free hand. Harley Warrick was the most recognizable painter of the barns. By the time of his death in 2000 he had painted or repainted some 20,000 barns, give or take a few. He started painting for Mail Pouch fresh out of the army in 1946. He and a helper painted 2 barns a day, 6 days a week for a weekly salary of $32.

He helped to preserve and create a piece of vanishing Americana.


The slogan “Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco Treat Yourself to the Best” dominated barn sides until the 1960s, when the ban on tobacco ads and the 1965 Federal Highway Beautification Act, which prohibited advertising within 660 feet of federal highways, helped put a stop to the painting. The campaign officially ended in 1969.

In 1974 congress excluded “landmark signs adorning farm structures or natural surfaces, or of historic or artistic significance” from the 1965 law.

But, today the Mail Pouch Barns are becoming rare. Every year a few more succumb to the elements. They are made of fading paint and aged lumber and are slowly fading into America’s history.

Here is a barn located down the road from my house, I get to see this piece of Americana almost daily.



Here is a barn located on Rt. 2 going toward Pt. Pleasant, WV



There are many sites on the internet about the Mail Pouch Barns; here is one with lots of articles and pictures.

For more pictures of Mail Pouch Barns go to my other post here.

Are there any of these barns in your area?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Making Mummies

Here is a small and easy craft in time for Halloween decorating.

These are very easy to make and would look nice sitting throughout the house. If you have a party, set them on the table and give them away as favors.

Buy small clear glass containers. I got mine at a yard sale. I think the round ones are cute. You could even make these with large clear vases and put a large candle inside. It would make a centerpiece any mummy would love.

Materials needed: clear glass containers, decoupage finish, cheesecloth, google eyes.

Here I am putting the decoupage on the containers. I use the small sponge paintbrushes.


Tear the cheesecloth into strips and wrap around and around the glass container of your choice and glue on the google eyes. After going around with the cheese cloth a couple of times, put the google eyes on. Then continue layering the cheesecloth.



Here are the finished mummies on display.

Sorry, I didn't give very detailed pictures or instructions, but I think you get the idea. They are very easy to make. Put a tea light candle inside. Be sure and watch any burning candles, don't leave them unattended.

Small or little ones, I hope you make and enjoy them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

BRIDGE DAY 2008!

Bridge Day is a BIG event in West Virginia. In fact, it is West Virginia’s largest one day festival. People from 15 countries participated. They were expecting 200,000 people to watch, and I was one of them.


Here I am ........


Standing in the middle of this.


The New River Gorge Bridge officially opened October 22, 1977.


Picture of bridge under construction.


The first Bridge Day was celebrated in 1980 when only 5 BASE jumpers jumped off the bridge. Today they expected 450 jumpers.


Jumpers getting their parachutes ready.



Jumpers in line.


It is 876 feet high and 8 seconds from the bridge to the water below.


One taking off.....


Two taking off....



Our parents used to say to us as kids, "If so and so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" Well apparently for these jumpers, the answer was yes.

One by one........


they glided gracefully to the bottom of the gorge.


Two of my sons watching from above.



Others watched from the lookout on the side of the mountain.


The beautiful view we all saw from the middle of the bridge.


The small winding road below us...


and the long straight road ahead of us, on the long walk back to the car.


An annual, spectacular event held the 3rd Saturday of October for a majestic bridge.


Summer vacation picture taken from the lookout.

Were you at the bridge today walking across? If not, I hope my pictures helped transport you there.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Tasty Fall Snack

Here is a very simple and tasty fall snack I make during October and November.

First, get a pretty container to put it in.
I made this one a few years ago. It is very easy to make.
Get an ivy bowl, cut out fall leaves and decoupage them to the outside of it.
You could decoupage anything you wish on it, I happened to have
fall napkins with leaves, so that's what I used.



Add peanuts......



add candy corn....



Mix it up, and voila!




It tastes like you're eating a payday candy bar without the gooey caramel that sticks to your teeth.

It is very good! Give it a try.

What's your favorite Halloween snack?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sunflower Memories to Brighten Your Day

I wasn't blogging this summer when we enjoyed our gorgeous sunflowers.

It is supposed to be cool and rainy here, so take a peek and brighten your day. It did mine!

Majestic and tall all in a row. Our tallest one was 13 feet tall.


We shared our pretties with the bees......



and the baby mockingbirds.

Here's our goliath on the left...


and this beautiful one with the sun peeking through.


Another pretty picture.


And sadly this is what is left of our sunflowers....sad for us, but I think the birds will enjoy the leftovers this winter when the snow is on the ground.


Have a nice day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

BIG POTATOES AND THE WEST VIRGINIA BANANA

I'll get to the most interesting post first-----the West Virginia Banana, or as they are more commonly called, the pawpaw.

Pawpaws have been around for a long time. DeSoto in 1541 found the Native Americans cultivating it east of the Mississippi River and Lewis and Clark depended on it during their travels. Thomas Jefferson planted it at Monticello and George Washington enjoyed it as a dessert.

The best way to eat it is to bite the top off, squeeze the fruit out, and spit the seeds as you go. And there are a lot of seeds! These big seeds, as seen in the picture below, were taken from one small pawpaw.


The ripe fruit has a very short shelf life of 2 or 3 days. A tropical fruit far from the tropics! They have three times as much vitamin C as an apple, twice as much riboflavin and niacin as an orange, and about the same potassium as a banana. They have been called the "poor man's banana."

I remember going to my Aunt Gracie's as a child and picking them in the woods behind her house.

They are pungent and I can only eat a few before I tire of them for the season. You might say it's an acquired taste, you love them or you hate them.

My two younger sons went pawpaw searching and only came back with a few. I believe it was a little too early to pick them yet, but they were anxious to find some. Maybe they will try again later. Below are three I'm holding in my hand.


As you can see they aren't a very pretty fruit. Some old timers wont eat them until they turn entirely black.

Here is a fun site I found to read about pawpaws.


NOW, on to our big potatoes.

We've grown red potatoes in our garden the last couple of years. We hate dealing with the potato bugs, but love home grown potatoes, especially the red ones.

We're still digging them out of the ground. I sent my son to the garden Sunday to dig some for me to cook, he came back with these:


Here's the biggest one by itself. You don't have to peel many of these for a bowl of mashed potatoes!


Hope you enjoyed my post.

Let's have an informal poll.

Do you like pawpaws, or would you rather eat the red potatoes?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fall Crafts

Ok, I made a couple of things today that I wanted to show you.

One of them is a remake of something I got at a yard sale this morning.

Here is the before picture.

Talk about recycling, it's made out of a tree branch! She had bought it at the Arts and Crafts Fair at Cedar Lakes. You can't tell in the picture very good, but there are two bird nests with birds and of course the ivy going down the limb. I thought it was a very good buy for just $3. (The Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair is held every year during the 4th of July week at Cedar Lakes at Fairplain, WV. It was started in 1963 in celebration of West Virginia's centennial.)


Here it is stripped of the ivy and ready for me to redecorate for fall. I left the bird nests on them. I will just cover them up later.

Here is the new fall version of my tree limb.


Isn't it cute. After Thanksgiving I will redecorate it for winter. I think it was a pretty good investment, don't you?

NOW FOR MY SECOND CRAFT.

I had been wanting to make a clay pot scarecrow for a long time. I saw one at a yard sale a few weeks ago and they wanted $25 for it. I made it for a lot less.

Step one. Here is what is needed for this project. As you can see the large clay pots are old ones I had already. They are not in the best of shape, but I figured my scarecrow could be shabby chic. You can buy all new pots if you want.

Step two. Putting it together. I cut out a collar for his neck out of yellow and orange felt. And you probably already know this, but you cannot use hot glue on this project. It will not stick to clay pots. I used Alene's tacky glue, and it worked just fine.



Step three. I had a container of fall leaves I had bought at a yard sale a while back and I glued them where the clay pots came together. My pots weren't in very good shape and this helped to hide the imperfections. You could buy a bouquet of artificial fall leaves at Wal Mart and take the leaves off and glue them to the pots.

Step four. To me the arms were the hardest to do. I used 2 3/4" pots and strung twine through the holes in the bottom of the clay pots. Cut off a long piece of twine and tie large knots in it so the clay pots will not come off. Getting them tied in just the right place is a little tedious to do, but with a little trial and error you can do it.

Step Five. Here is the finished scarecrow. Put the twine that holds the arms over the large clay pot that the head rests on. Glue the small pot on top for the head, glue some raffia on the sides for his straw hair and glue the straw hat on top of that. Draw on a face with a black sharpie and finish decorating any way you want. On the very bottom I glued twine around and around about 6 or 7 times. I glued leaves here and there. You can use any size clay pots you want to use, just make sure the bottom three are the same size. Use a smaller one for the head and even smaller ones for the arms.

I hoped you enjoyed these projects. Just about everybody has clay pots sitting around and if you live near the woods you can go out and find dead branches on the ground.

Happy fall decorating!

Old House in the Countryside

My husband and I went to a few yard sales today.

One sale we visited was at a Civil War era house out in the country. We had been there before and I remember how I loved their old house. We had our camera today and when I asked her if I could take a picture, she said, "Why, yes you can take some pictures."

The house has only been deeded twice and the first family who owned it sided with the Confederates. In West Virginia it wasn't unusual for neighbors to be on different sides in the Civil War. She said the story goes that they hid their horses in the house whenever the Union forces were in the area. She also stated that one of the sons who lived there during the war had his legs broke because he would not fight.

The lady who lives there now with her husband is a very good painter. Many of her paintings hang on the walls inside their house. Here is a picture she painted of the homestead as it looked long ago. If you notice there was no road in the area then. She said the original owners had over 1000 acres.

Here is the front of the house as it looks now.

Here is another view of the house.

Here is the old bell that is original to the house. It now hangs on the upper back porch.


And I just couldn't resist taking a picture of this concrete pig in the back yard.

It is a lovely old house. She said when they used to have a garden she found many arrowheads in the tilled up ground which were left by even earlier inhabitants of the area. As you know by one of my earlier posts, I also have collected arrowheads from our garden area.

I love going to yard sales and meeting interesting people. Even though we were pressed for time today we found time to stand and talk and learn about a little piece of our area's past history...and make friends.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Birdhouse Ornaments

In my post about yard sale treasures I mentioned getting some wooden birdhouse napkin holders.

I had no intention of using them for what they were intended for. Here is a before picture.

You are probably wondering why I would mess with these pretty napkin holders. Well I don't use napkin holders. So I decided to paint them and make ornaments out of them.

Step 1: Paint. It took several coats


Step 2: Going from top left -screw small eyelet in roof for hanging, top right - adding moss for nest, bottom left - adding snow, and bottom right - adding ribbon and greenery.


Step 3: Finished product

I love to craft and I am going to try to do crafting posts at least once a week. Bookmark me and come back and check often if you like to craft.