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Friday, February 24, 2012

Ancient Artifacts

Ancient artifacts, West Virginia style.

We moved where we live now in November 1980. We were a young married couple with a newly built house, a 7 1/2 month old son and ancient artifacts beneath our soil. Our land was flat, which is unusual for West Virginia. They had to bulldoze our land a little so there would be a gradual slope away from the house. We kinda smoothed out our little acre and planted grass seed. This was in early November, so we never really had much grass until the following spring.

When walking around in our yard we started finding Indian points here and there. But by the following year our yard was covered with grass and we no longer were able to make  any finds.

We planted a garden and that is where most of these were found. Every spring, after plowing and tilling, the artifacts would show up in the soil. You had to have a keen eye and be on the lookout, though, because most people wouldn't even notice them.


close up

close up

Here are a few more 

I find chips of flint all the time

I found these just this week, while walking through our garden spot. Our neighbors probably think I am  crazy as they watch me slowly walk through the garden with my head down. But, that's okay. I'm prospecting.

I once had a comment on one of my blog posts about these. The commenter said I have an Ashtabula point dating at least 4000 yrs old and an Adena point around 1800 years old. He said that the notched points, with a flared out base separated by two notches are from the Archaic period which dates from 10,000 to 3000 B.P.. The points with the straight stem or base that narrows are from the Woodland period,which dates from 3000-1300 B.P.

He said that when you see a lot of flakes, it is not only possible that they knapped the arrowheads there, but they could have also processed game there. The flakes being a result of resharpening to give a sharper cutting edge to cut fat, bone and the like.

One of the best times to look for them is right after a rain.
Flint chips are interesting to me and I pick them up every time I see them, no matter how small they are.

Last summer I found quite a few points and lots and lots of flint chips!

Have you ever found any ancient artifacts?
Check out your plowed garden spot this spring and summer, and  I bet you just might find some.

Go here to see my other posts about my finds.

Posted by Janet Smart at Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Traveling West Virginia - The Mound

I didn't have to travel very far yesterday when I traveled West Virginia, because this landmark is fairly close to where I live.

I walked up these steps . . .

up and up. . . 


to the top of the South Charleston Adena Mound. It is called the Criel Mound because that was the name of the family who owned the farm that it was located on. This is the second largest burial mound in West Virginia. The top was leveled in 1840 for the erection of a judge's stand that was used for horse races that were conducted around the base of the mound.


Here is what it looked like inside when the Smithsonian Institute excavated it in the late 1800s. They recovered artifacts and 13 complete skeletons.

This is what it looks like when looking down D Street in So. Charleston. 

And what it looked like in 1909.


Be sure and visit the Interpretive Center just down the street from it at 313 D Street. It is filled with artifacts from the area. Joe greets you at the door and is just about the friendliest guy you would ever want to meet. That is my husband, Charley, gabbing in the doorway with him.

 Displays are throughout the Center . . .



You know I love looking at Indian artifacts. I have a collection of my own and talked with him about them.  

 If you are ever in the area, park and have a look around. Free 2 hour parking spots are right beside of the mound.

Here are a few links to info about the mound:

The Adena Indians "Mound Builders"
Criel Mound
Criel Mound - Wikipedia

posted by Janet Smart at Writing in the Blackberry Patch 
©Janet F. Smart

Saturday, February 11, 2012


We had our first substantial snowfall yesterday here at the Blackberry Patch. 

We are low on seeds, but I put out some before the snow set in. 
This morning I also put out some peanuts for them to eat.

The wind is very brisk and our woodpecker holds on.

 So does this female cardinal!

The snow on the ledge looks like clouds on the horizon.

Cute couple!

Junco sitting on his snowy mop perch.

Of course, the bluejays found the peanuts!

Did you get snow?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How do you Pinch Pennies?

Penny pinch! I would say that all of us do it at some time or other. How do you pinch pennies?

My husband is retired now. I have never worked outside the home since we were married 33 years ago. So we are used to pinching pennies. Though we did not have as much coming in as some families, we watched what we spent - we had to. We also tried saving money when we could. We wanted our kids to be able to go to college and we wanted to save money for when my husband retired.

By me not working, we never had to pay for daycare or a baby sitter, we didn't eat out much and when we did we usually  bought off of the $1 menu (and still do), I shopped sales and used coupons, bought at yard sales and thrift stores.

Even though he is drawing Social Security and a pension, I was very surprised to see when looking at our W2 forms for 2011, that we lived on 52%  of what we lived on in 2010. That is a big difference! A big dent in our income is that over $800 is taken out of his pension check each month for health insurance. When I noticed this, I told my son that we must be pretty good  penny pinchers!

Do you use coupons?
Do you buy generic brands in food and medicine?
Do you have money direct deposited in your savings from your check?
Do you shop at thrift stores and yard sales?
Do you grow vegetable gardens and freeze or can your surplus food?
Do you have yard sales to get extra cash?
Are you driving less to save gas?
Do you cut your children's and husband's hair?
Did you drop your home phone when you got a cell phone?

Please leave comments and tell us how you pinch your pennies.

Let us help each other with our ideas.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Displaying Mom's Old Camera

As far back as I can remember, Mom just about always had a camera in her hand.
She loved taking pictures, though we sometimes kidded her about the pictures she took.
They often came back blurry or with the top of someone's head cut off.
But that was okay, she loved taking pictures.

I have her old SPARTUS camera with the flash attachment.
You held this camera in both hands and looked down into the opening. You did not hold it up to your eye to look into it.

It has been sitting on my shelf in the living room for the longest time. I thought it looked like a face with two eyes and a nose looking back at me.

I have a collection of craft books, called From Trash to Treasure, that I picked up at a yard sale a while back. They have some of the neatest ideas in them. I got this idea from one of those books.

Gather together wire (I used 22 ga. but you could use 18 ga.), wire cutters, pictures and an old camera.

(Don't you think it looks like a little square face staring back at you?)

Cut the wire into 15" lengths (more or less) and shape the ends in order to hold pictures. 

Now in the book they tell you to hot glue the ends of the wires onto the camera, which you can do. But, I didn't do this because I wasn't sure whether or not it would hurt Mom's camera. I gathered the ends of the wires together and took one of them and coiled it tightly around all the others. I did this to the bottom inch or so of the wire. Then I tied a thin black ribbon around the coiled wire, tied the ribbon  around and around the back of the flash attachment, and voila. . .  it holds it nicely in place.

from l. to r. -  me in the middle surrounded by two of  my cousins, my 5th grade school picture, 
Mom and Dad as sweethearts in August 1945, 
Mom sitting on a stump holding me, and my two sisters standing beside of her.

I like how it turned out.
You can change your display of pictures any time you want.
I was thinking, if you don't have an old camera, you could also put 'stems' of photos in bud vases.
Make the wires different heights and display a bouquet of photos.