Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Retro: Everything Old Is New Again.

Note: I am editing this post to use as my Show and Tell post for Friday, October 26. I shared the story of Hattie and her quilt a couple of weeks ago and now I want to share a picture of the crocheted bedspread that my grandmother made. When I started to write the post I remembered that I had already posted about the spread so I decided to just link to that post. My grandmother is the little baby Hattie is holding in the picture on my other post.

Over at Posy there is a hilarious post about Jane's adventure going into London to pick up a Cath Kidston blanket she had ordered. When I saw the blanket I immediately thought of a blanket that my own dear Grandmother had crocheted many years ago when I was just a little girl.

The biggest difference is my Grandmother made her's from the thin cotton crochet thread. I remember her working on it. She would lay it out on her guest room bed and arrange the squares until she got them just as she wanted. It brings back many fond memories of watching her work on her projects. My Great Grandmother died when my Grannie was only 6 so my grandmother had no mother to teach her how to do needlework. She taught herself to crochet after watching some neighbor ladies crochet. She took a piece of fence wire and fashioned herself a crochet hook. She used string that she had saved from the closure of feed sacks. I remember her looking at pieces at friends homes and going home to crochet a sample piece to remember the pattern by. She truly was an artist in my opinion, though I'm sure she would never have considered herself one. I never had the skill for needlework. My mom sews beautifully and my daughter sews and crochets very well. I guess the old saying is right that talent skips a generation.

Check out Kelli's Blog for more Show and Tell.

Pic: My Grandmother's blanket. Circa: around 1963

Monday, July 30, 2007

This Is Cool.

I was so surprised while surfing through blogs to find this post from Homemaker Under Construction. My daughter graduated from Berea in 2005. The Indian woman puppet being used in the photo was created by her. She did not carve the body but did design the puppet and she did all the construction of the costume, including the hand beading. They traveled to Japan and took part in an international puppet festival. I know. I didn't know there was such a thing either until she took part! LOL.

How cool to find this.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend: Part 3

I apologize that it has taken me over a week to finish up this post. We have been so busy. The summer months are when our business does the most revenue so we must " Make hay while the sun shines" as they say. I left off with our visit to the John Sevier home. When we left there we headed to Townsend, a little town at the entrance to the Smokies park. We stopped at Apple Valley Farms and looked around and then headed on into the mountains to an area called Tremont. In all the years here I don't think we had ever ventured into this area before. Tremont was an area where there was a logging community before the National Park was established. Many people don't know that before the park was set up that two-thirds of what is now National Park had been logged. Not much logging was done in the Smokies before the turn of the century. Trees that were cut by pioneers were used by local people for local needs: cabins, wagons, furniture, tools and fuel. However by 1900 most of the northern forest were used up and the logging companies began looking to the Southern Appalachians. The logging companies set up entire communities similar to mining towns but even less permanent. Once the trees in an area were cut the company moved on. Even so while they were in an area they set up a community for the people who worked for them. They had a company store, a post office and a Doctor. There was a school, through 8th grade, set up in what they called "car shacks", the church usually met there as well. A car shack was a pre-fab portable house that was about 12x12 and could be lifted on and off a railroad flat car by a loader. As the logging operation moved the car shacks could be picked up and moved to the new site and set off along side the track. They would join several together to form a house, bunkhouse or whatever they needed. The company owned the buildings and rented them to the families for $1 per shack per month. The workers were paid between 20-30 cents an hour. To look at the area now you can hardly tell all that was here. There is some evidence, mostly in decaying concrete structures which are being slowly covered with vines, but really there isn't much to prove they were here. We found a creek bank and spent some time relaxing and reading. I got busy taking pictures. All in all it was a beautiful and relaxing day. We got home to find that the kids had prepared a little party for me. I was truly surprised and pleased. I opened my presents, a beautiful candle and some Bath and Body Works Magnolia Blossom scented goodies, and ate Key Lime Pie, yum. I couldn't have asked for a better day.
Pics: #2 :Loggers in the Tremont area.
#3 and #4: Moss covers many of the rocks in shady locations.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Frugal Friday

Getting the most for our food dollar is important to everyone. Buying items in bulk is a common practice. To guarantee that we get the best use out of these items means that we have to store them properly. One way is to freeze the items but how long can you store an item and get quality taste and texture?

Here is a link to a chart that gives the proper storage length for various food items. I have printed out a similiar list and taped it to the inside of a cabinet door. Each item placed in the freezer can be marked with two dates, a purchase date and a use by date.

Lastly, I thought this info was intersting and wanted to share it. I usually prefered to buy fresh veggies at the grocery over frozen.

I was watching a nutritionist on our local news this week. She said that frozen vegetables and fruit are usually higher in nutrients than fresh fruit bought in the stores because fresh fruit has sat during transportation and in the store and has lost some of it nutrients.

Frozen fruit and veggies are usually frozen while much fresher and retain more of their nutrients. Therefore they are a better buy nutritionally than fresh in many cases. Intersting info.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Beautiful Blog-Holy Experience

I love this blog. There isn't a time that I go there that I don't find something to touch my soul. Ann's writing is absolutely beautiful and she has a way of baring her heart and making you deeply feel what it is she is writing about. Go there and read. You will be glad you did.

Pic: I think that flower is Lantana. I took this in Townsend, Tn.

Weekend Travels Part 2

Saturday was my birthday. I'm old. Don't ask. My hubby told me to pick where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do for the day. Any guesses? Yep, as usual, the mountains. Pictures of that in my next post.

While we were in Alabama for the family reunion my dh had learned quite a bit about family connections to some early American history.

Tennessee statesman John Sevier had died while in Alabama negotiating with the Creek Indians, and was buried in a family plot there. His body was later removed and buried here in Tennessee.

My husband and his brother did a little backwoods exploration and visited the original site of Fort Decatur. A fort that was used during the Indian wars by the likes of Sevier and Andrew Jackson.

The original Sevier home site is located in Knoxville. We decided to stop by and look around before we headed to the mountains. We had some wonderful conversation with on site historians about details of early settlement of the area. We are history buffs so found it very interesting.

I got to take lots of pictures which made me very happy. Top pic: Original John Sevier home. Restored and on original site.

Second pic: Inside the kitchen of the home.

Third pic: I believe this is Yarrow.

Fourth pic: The resident mouser. Loves to be petted.

Bottom pic: Very friendly historians and grounds keeper. They shared lots of interesting info with us.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Prayer Request

I have a prayer request for those reading my blog. My dear friend Angie's husband has been receiving chemotherapy and radiation for a tumor in his neck. She told me today that he isn't doing so well right now. He is getting weaker from the chemo. So I'm asking that anyone reading this please say a prayer for him and if you feel so inclined, please drop over to Angie's blog and send them you well wishes. Thanks and God bless.

Weekend Travels

Here it is Monday morning again and back to work. I can't complain because I spent my weekend outdoors and away from the usual.

We had a beautiful weekend with cooler temperatures and low humidity. It was a blessed reprieve from the past weeks of hot weather. There were wonderful cool breezes that made it a pleasure to be outside.

As I mentioned earlier DH and I went to Muddy Pond Mennonite community on business Friday. It was for some pleasure as well. We ate at the General Store there. They have a wonderful deli and some good old fashioned sandwiches that are to die for.

I got my delicious Coconut cake from our customers at the Country Porch as well. Oh my goodness! If I lived near there I would weigh 500 pounds because I could eat like this forever. I took lots of pictures as usual. I'll share those here and follow up with details of the rest of the weekend.

Shelves are stocked like this with everything you can imagine. This is the candy isle. Lots of sugar free choices as well as good old fashioned candy.

There are baked goods, lots of spices and baking ingredients, as well as jams, jellies and perserves.

They also carry lots of decorative and useful household items. The best sandwich makers in the world!

Delicious Sweet Lebanon Bologna and cheese with fresh sliced tomato and lettuce on white bread with mayo of course! Decadent!

The folks who run this store , Delton and Rhonda Koehn are the nicest couple. They have a restaurant and gift shop. The home of the world's finest coconut cake. I promise!

There are other places to shop besides the stores. The honor system is used. The bucket in the bottom picture and the box in the top have written notes to just place you money in the containers. We picked up some wonderful tomatoes from a farm for only $1.50 a container.

The farms are so neat and clean. Most of the Mennonite homes have a scripture sign and beautiful flower beds in their yards.

Some friendly residents were waiting to greet us.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

How to Rock It On A Friday Night

Hey, all the cool people were at the bookstores last night picking up the last installment of the Harry Potter series. Were you there? It was a fun place to be. This pic doesn't actually show the costumes that were there. Some people went all out and did a great job on their costumes. I'm actually going to miss these things.

My own personal little book nerd there in the middle. Ahhh...a chip off the old block.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Frugal Friday

Just a quick tip as I am out the door for a busy day. I was at Wal Mart the other day looking for a window washing tool. I can't reach the top part of my outside windows and thought there might be a squeege with an extension handle or something.

They have a window washing tool with a cloth cover on the end that they sell for $15. That seemed high to me. After some thought I went to my dollar tree and picked up a sponge mop for $1 and used it to wash the outside windows . After a rinse with the garden hose I let them air dry and they look great and I saved $14.

A tip is to never to wash windows that are directly in sunlight and they will usually dry spot free.

For more tips and ideas check out Crystal's site

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thrifty Thursday

I've been very busy again this week and haven't had the time or energy to post anything. Today after I finished the work I had to do, finished the housework on my list and completed the errands I had to run, I decided to stop by a couple of my favorite thrift stores.

I'm really glad I did! After years of looking for a good price on a dehydrator I finally found one for only $3! I'm so excited. I have been using my make do version that works but this will be nicer because it came with 4 trays and I picked up a couple of extra for only 50 cents each. I don't think they came with this dehydrator but they fit anyway. I already have mushrooms drying.

I also picked up some vintage Tupperware. I've not seen the cookware before. It says on the bottom it works in regular or microwave ovens. I'll have to check that out. If anyone has any info on it I'd appreciate it. I only paid $2 for the Tupperware and a few other small items.

Tomorrow my hubby and I are headed over to Muddy Pond, a Mennonite community near Crossville, Tn. We do business with a nice Mennonite couple at their store The Country Porch. I am so looking forward to a piece of delicious homemade Coconut cake there. It is the best I have ever had.

I also hope to go by the General Store there and the Bakery. I want to pick up some Sticky Buns and other goodies. I'll try to get some good pictures to post.

Then tomorrow night we are off to the Harry Potter party. We have been to every one since the first book. My son is looking forward to it. Until next time. God Bless.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Collectors Theme Song

Gotta Love Weird Al!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What I Saw

Sunset last night.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lavender Air Freshner

I like my house to smell nice. I've found that many artificial fragrances bother both my husband and me. I've found an easy and natural way to add fragrance to our home and it only cost pennies.

I take a jar and fill it about one half to three quarters full of Epsom salt. I want to leave room in the jar to shake it and mix the ingredients. To this I add the leaves and flowers and the chopped up stalks from lavender plants.

The Epsom salts leach the moisture out of the plant material and smells wonderful. When I want fragrance I just shake the jar and remove the lid.

I add plant material through out the growing season. In the winter if I need to refresh the scent I add a few drops of essential oil. For more tips check out Crystal's site.