Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Smile

Little Penpen (don't forget to sign up for her give-away!) posted a 'smile' post this week and showed a sweet little flower cart in her neighborhood. When she asked about something that makes 'us' smile, I mentioned an old truck in our neighborhood that is being used for a yard ornament. She asked to see the picture~so here it is! This picture was taken early last fall with ivy growing up it. This year they had some flowers growing around it and it looked great!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Great Giveaway

Little PenPen is having a giveaway and you will want to sign up for it! It's a very cute little stitchery that you will defintely want to win. Hurry over and sign up!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Wives Tales

When it comes to marriage and courtship, there seems to be a variety of beliefs/superstitions. Some make you wonder how desperate a woman had to be before she tried some of the beauty beliefs.

Such as, spreading cow dung on their face to soften the skin and rid it of freckles. Or, eating raw chicken hearts, which is guaranteed to make you beautiful~or at least prettier! Apparently you are only supposed to pierce your ears when the peach trees are in bloom and the 'sign' is right. If you do it at any other time, your ears will be come infected. I tried to find exactly what the 'sign' was supposed to be at that time, but could never find anything definite.

This is one that I've heard all my life~Peel an apple, keeping the skin all in one piece. Fling the peel over your back. It should land and make the shape of the letter of the first name of the man that you are going to marry. I remember doing this a lot as a teenager, but the peels never looked like any letters me!

The girl that takes the last biscuit from the platter will be an old maid. But it seems that if a man takes the last biscuit, he is soon to kiss the cook! I was thinking that a man made that one up~but apparently it was taken quite seriously in parts of Arkansas and Missouri as late as the 1940s--at least the part about the old maid.

Last week, Carmen mentioned the Amish putting potatoes in their bed. Does anyone know why they do this?

Pat mentioned that if you take more bread onto your plate while you already have some, you will have company. I did find a passage about that that said the company will be wanting to eat some bread~or whatever food you added to your plate that you already had on it.

Little PenPen mentioned birds at the window meaning someone was going to die--and told about an incident involving crows hanging around the doors at the nursing home where she worked and one of the residents was dying.

I hope you have enjoyed these and will share anymore that you have thought of recently.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Roman Shades

I've never made any Roman shades, but I love the way they look. Everyone says that they are very easy to make, but I've never tried, as I'm not very handy with a sewing machine if it involves anything other than a straight stitch.

I came across this blog~Little Green Notebook, that shows how to make them out of old, damaged mini blinds! Unfortunately, I threw all of mine away before I found this. Oh well, at least I have a plan for the next one that the cat ruins!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pieces Of The Past

For those of you interested in your family history, you might want to check out the new Genealogy Wise site. It's a fairly new site, but more people are joining it everyday. It will give you a chance to 'meet up' with some kin folks that you may not even know exist and share family information. Those of you that do research know that it's always an exciting feeling when you fill in an empty space on a family page!

I've been doing genealogy off and on (mostly off) for the past ten years or so, and am just starting to get back into it. You may also want to check out my Aunt Deb's genealogy blog for some great tips on organizing your research data.

Happy hunting!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Smile

A mountain view from one of the backroads we traveled this week. These mountains always make me smile. Hope you had a wonderful week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Wives Tales

For years I've been collecting magazine articles, books, and listening to word of mouth stories about what is commonly known as 'old wives tales', or just wives tales. I'm descended from a lot of mountain people, so their ways of life and beliefs have always interested me. So many of them are just superstitions~but many have a lot of truth hidden within them. Yarb women and housewives were using a lot of the herbs that are being touted today as improved treatments for many ailments.

I've always heard that if your nose is itching, or you drop a dishtowel while you're drying dishes, you're going to have company soon. According to Vance Randolph's Ozark Superstitions, if the towel falls in a wad, the visitor will be a woman. If it falls 'open' it will be a man coming to visit. And if you drop the towel twice, the guest will be hungry.

Have you ever seen anyone throw salt over their shoulder to take back what they've just said? My grandmother and her sisters used to do that a lot. Or maybe they knock on wood after they've said something like--"that's never happened to me". I still see people do that quite often.

I think this one is interesting. It is bad luck to pick up a spoon you find lying in the road. In fact, some women who thought they were having a spell of bad luck, actually sometimes threw away a spoon to 'bring luck'. (I suppose they thought the ones in the road were thrown out by other women with 'bad' luck!)
These are just a few of the household superstitions that I've come across. Next week, I'd like to talk about more of them, especially some involving courtship and marriage. I'd be interested in hearing any oldtime wives tales that you'd like to share.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Smile

A group of late blooming Black-Eyed Susans I noticed when I went out this morning. . .what are you smiling about today?

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Basket of Trouble!

About six weeks ago, on our way to a day with extended family, we found George. Well, Georgia, to be exact~but we call her George.

She was scrunched down in the middle of a usually busy highway intersection. It was 7:30 in the morning, so at least it wasn't in the heat of the day. She looked to be in good condition and was very happy to see us, so we picked up a free box for her at Wal Mart and continued on our way. All the nieces and nephews had a fun time playing with her and she slept most of the 2 1/2 hour trip back home.

It didn't take long for her to wiggle her way into our hearts, and now she is a cherished member of our fur baby family. She is a high-energy girl. So far, she has broken one pair of glasses, knocked over numerous glasses of tea, shredded paper towels, and I'm sure she's just getting started!
The rest of the cats are appalled, of course. They don't see any need for her to live here, LOL! Our house cat is especially upset and is only now venturing out of the bedroom closet for any length of time. The outdoor cats enjoy spitting at her when she goes out to play, but they will all adjust and get a long with her once she has moved outdoors with the rest of them.
Jackie, our shepherd mix, would love to play with her, but Jackie has learned about those little sharp things at the ends of cat's paws, so she is being cautious.
We also have a couple of new Bantam chicks and hopefully, more on the way.
That's about it for the animal news around the cabin. What about you~do you have any new pets at your house?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Country Living

For five years, I let my Country Living Magazine subscription lapse. The magazine was so full of advertisements that there wasn't much room left for actual content. Despite that, I missed my subscription. So when I saw a great deal for a subscription on Amazon, I snapped it up. I'm loving this magazine! It has a new look from the old one, which bothered me at first~but now I like it better!

One of my favorite articles was in the February 2009 issue. It is titled For The Love of Color. The interview was with shop owner, Jutta Verde Rosa. She described her shop and her own decorating style. I loved her advice of 'buy only what you love'.

If you buy only what you love, you'll always find a place for it, whether it is new, vintage, or salvaged. I also like to re-use, or re-purpose items I have that seem to have lost their original usefulness. Don't get me wrong, my house is small and I do consider what I might do with an object before I purchase it. But I've found that even if it's something a little bit 'different', it usually blends right in with our own 'family style' here at the cabin.

Do you save most of your magazines? I keep almost all of mine~and I really need to 'weed' through some of them as I don't really have the room. I generally keep all of my Country Living, Country Sampler, Victoria, and Martha Stewart~which adds up to a lot of magazines. I'd be interested to hear any storage solutions from those of you that can't bear to part with your collection.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cooling Down The Summer

There's no doubt about it~I love to bake. But in the summertime, having the oven on for long periods tends to heat the house up. So, I do my best to find some 'cooler' desserts for summer. The Key Lime Pie recipe below is one of our favorites.

Easy Key Lime Pie

1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
7 tablespoons of melted butter
1 cup sour cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of Key Lime Juice
1 cup of whipped cream (optional)

Measure 1 1/2 cups of crumbs for your crust. You may buy a bag of Graham Cracker crumbs, or you may crush your own from a packet of Graham Crackers. Mix the crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom and up the sides of a nine inch glass or metal pie pan. Bake the crust for approximately ten minutes at 350 degrees. Watch closely the last minute or two, so crust does not burn. Allow crust to cool completely before using.

When crust is completely cooled, mix one cup of sour cream, one can of sweetened condensed milk, and one half cup of Key Lime juice together, using a hand mixer. Beat until thoroughly mixed, approximately one minute. You may also beat by hand, making sure that all ingredients are well combined.

Pour mixture into Graham Cracker crust. Cover with cling wrap and Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.If you wish, before serving the pie, beat one cup of heavy whipping cream until thickened. Spread on top of pie. Do not add any sugar to the whipped cream.

Enjoy on a hot summer evening!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Good Morning!!

Hooray~it's Saturday! I hope all of you are looking forward to a wonderful weekend. I've been wishing I could have all of you over for breakfast and coffee, but since that isn't possible, I thought I'd share my Blueberry Buttermilk Muffin recipe with you~a Saturday favorite around the cabin.

Two cups of Gold Medal All-Purpose flour
Two and one half teaspoons of Clabber Girl baking powder
One half teaspoon of Arm and Hammer baking soda
One teaspoon of salt
One stick of butter--softened
One large egg
One cup plus one tablespoon of buttermilk
Three quarters of a cup of fresh blueberries, washed and stemmed
Muffin pan--greased

In a large mixing bowl, mix two cups of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix thoroughly before the next step.

Add the egg, softened butter, and buttermilk to the dry mixture, stirring just until mixed.

Add blueberries with just a stir or two to distribute them into the batter.
Fill twelve regular sized muffin cups with batter distributed evenly among them. Approximately one heaping tablespoon per muffin cup. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned. Serve hot with butter or cold. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or beverage of your choice!!