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Here, on Sunrise Ridge, in order to coax small children to eat, I have resorted to  drawing ‘Happy faces’ on the paper plates -after they finish their meal.

After dinner last night, I mentioned that we would have French toast for breakfast, that was met with a lot of enthusiasm.

This morning, I make the French toast and fix the plates, great-grand Sarah takes about two bites of her breakfast and says, “I am done.”

That’s fine, drink your juice, put your fork in the sink…

And she remembered the cookies we had baked during yesterday’s ‘Snow Day’!

“Can I have a cookie now?”

Well, no, because if you are not hungry enough to eat your French toast, you are not hungry enough to have cookies.

Her plate was clean and ready for a big smile in no time flat!

Finding Friends


Another tale from the trip to West Virginia.

G_____, West Virginia is a small town, pretty much like the nearest  ‘town’ to my Missouri home.  It boasts a school, Post Office and there is a little store.

We had been warned that GPS would not get us to our destination, and told to call our hostess. We arrived in town pretty early in the morning, stopping at the store for an early dose of coffee, and I asked the clerk for directions.

“Oh. I’m not sure where she lives, but she goes to church with my friend. I think she lives on Mill Road. You go down and turn just before the Post Office and head up that hill, but I don’t know how far exactly.”

Now, as country folk, ourselves, we had an idea, and that meant stopping at the local Post Office, where we were informed that the name of the road had changed, but if we followed it up the hill about 2 miles, it became the right road and we needed to watch for a ‘cluster of mailboxes’.

We did not go quite far enough, but when I got phone signal, I called my friend and in minutes we were at our destination, being served a wonderful breakfast of bacon, sausage, gravy, biscuits, fried apples and fish. Not to mention, a wonderful day with my friend from W. VA, her family and another from Australia.

Country folk seem to be the same in small towns, willing to help and friendly. At least those we met on our trip were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Many years ago, Hubby, two daughters and I lived on Tom’s Creek Road, in rural Reynolds County Missouri.

The road wound and twisted through a small valley, passing a few homes and small farms. Tom’s Creek itself, roamed across fields, along the roadside, looping and singing as it wended along.

Driving the road at night, one would often find a deer or several grazing along the roadside edge or a passing fox or coyote racing across the open space.

The year we lived there, the kids often played in the 6 – 8 inches of water that slipped over rocks near our house. Once or twice rainstorms raised the flow to the top of the 2 foot bank separating our little cabin from the then rushing flow.

Winter brought a couple of ice storms that made leaving impossible without 4 wheel drive; there was no other way to get over the hills at either end of the road.

Fast forward now, Forty-five years or so…

This past weekend, I traveled another Tom’s Creek Road. This one in West Virginia and due to a malfunction with GPS.

In the dark hours of early morning, the unit directed a left turn onto Tom’s Creek Road. Grandson, Randy, my driver and I mentioned how odd/funny/interesting that was. You know, ‘here we drive 800 miles only to find ourselves right back home.’

This one came off a small mountain, filled with several sharp curves and many many deer congregated quite often in the middle of those curves. I did not actually see the creek in the darkness, assuming it was somewhere below the steep edge of the road hugging the mountain side.

There is another local road that fits the West Virginia Tom’s Creek Road, more than its namesake here.

Finally we reached the bottom and a small town near our destination. When we left, we went out the same way, finding that during daylight it was not quite so exciting, merely very picturesque and pleasant.

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The search


You may be aware that I have a certain fascination with things old.

Attending an auction this past week, I ran across a lovely Singer treadle machine, with interesting markings and a metal plate on the cabinet. US WPA was the marking on the cabinet. I had never seen this before, so armed with photos, I did a bit of searching.

The machine was made in 1926, further questing of the fine sources on the internet told me that this machine was one of many used by women in the Great Depression in sewing projects nationwide.  Clothing was the main project, but toys and stuffed animals were also made.

I knew the WPA was responsible for many local road improvements and the building of numerous schools in our area. Jobs created for men who would otherwise not be able to provide for their families. This was the first time I had found out there were jobs created for women.

This machine was sold to another buyer, I talked to her and hope she knows the treasure she has.

 

 

 

 

 


October 1, 2016, also known as National Cookie Day.

My fine helpers made Oatmeal Raisin and Snickerdoodle cookies.

“C” was the letter of the week at Pre-K and we talked about cooking, cookies, chef hats and co-operation while we worked out way through the project.

Grampa and Daddy were working on our truck. We fixed a plate with cookies to take to them, complete with a pack of wipes so they could clean their hands.!

A good time was had by all


Recently, our family has expanded a bit. Single parent grandson and his children have been staying with us, while he does some serious re-hab on their house.

Having a Head Start student and a Pre-K student around is a challenge. We have had an assortment of the older ones in and out over the years, but no ‘little ones’ on a regular basis.

Of course we are handling it, pretty well. As Hubby says, “We can do this one more time.”

Last week our Pre-K boy needed something that started with the letter N for his ‘Show and Tell’. Uncle Brett and I helped and we soon had lovely noodle necklaces for him to take. 100_0533

I’m re you can see that the finished project made him happy, and he said  everyone in his class liked it too.

While we worked on them, I realized that I did these with my siblings, my own kids, grandkids, various nieces and nephews, and a host of the other children that filtered through out home over the years.

That’s a lot of pasta!


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Saturday dawned cool and bright. Hubby’s brother arrived during the night to join us.

With stars still in the sky they headed down to the eddy to fish.

I was enjoying a cup of coffee when suddenly the camper began to shake and my cup danced wildly across the table. Before it was done, I grabbed the cup and realized it was an earthquake.

Our camping spot is pretty near the infamous New Madrid Fault, so I was more than a bit concerned.  I texted the daughters and soon found that this quake was centered in Oklahoma.

That was a relief!

Saturday afternoon, the ferry had mechanical issues and was stopped on the Kentucky side.  I was sitting under our canopy, enjoying life. People would walk over to ask questions, no problem as long as they stayed outside the canopy, but some would not. Walking into my space and giving our camp and equipment a once or twice over. A few seemed to think I should be providing food and drinks. Um, NO!

Lots of traffic had to be diverted. Many travelers spent a few minutes lamenting the fact that GPS routed them to this place at the ‘end of the world’ as the shortest route. It is only the shortest route if the ferry is running. I was rather amazed at the many complaints that came from folks who resented having to wait for the ferry, even when it was running on schedule.

So many did not notice the beauty, glimpse the bald eagles, deer, the beginning hints of autumn color in the trees and so many interesting things going on.

 

 


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Wednesday, August 31: Hubby has checked and rechecked the weather and water stage for out favorite spot on the Mississippi River. It’s all clear and clear that we need to make a trip!  We have a place on private property neat the Dorena -Hickman Ferry we really enjoy.

Most of the day was spent loading the camper, we managed to leave about 5 PM, well aware we would arrive after dark.

One stop for gas and a few groceries and one farther down the road at Love’s truck stop in Sikeston for fried chicken (dinner) and Dunkin Donuts got us to our destination about 8:30 PM. Not a problem this trip, since we have the camper and do not have to put up a tent in the dark.

When we pulled up near the ferry landing, a large van was sitting at the ferry loading ramp.  A uniformed man got out and came over to the truck. He showed us his badge and credentials and asked “When will the ferry run?” Taking a few moments to explain he was driving a Federal Prison Transport and GPS had brought him there as the shortest route to his destination.

Sadly, we had to explain that the ferry would not be there until around 7 AM and gave him directions to the nearest bridge.

We pulled into ‘our’ spot, did some quick unloading and went to bed.

Rising early, we set up the outdoor cooking area, canopy and got things organized for our weekend. A few minutes after 7, as we are enjoying a cup of coffee and Hubby prepares to go fishing, the ferry pulls in to let off the first passengers of the day.  As usual, they blast off the horn to let those waiting know they have arrived.

We hear the loudspeaker, Capt. Jeremy and the deck hand greet us with a hearty hello and the question “What’s for breakfast?” Prompted, no doubt, by the fact that usually we send food down to the boat. They often send us some oft he Asian Carp the land on the boat to use for bait.

Egg sandwiches were delivered to the crew on their next run.


When our daughter passed away, in 2014, all her craft and quilting supplies were put away. This summer, in an effort to scale down some of the fabric stash and clutter in my craft area, I came upon the boxes and bags filled with her work.

Yes, I grieved again, while trying to decide what should be done with all this. Embroidery, crewel work and quilt blocks. Part of them went into a box to be passed on. I do not do embroidery or crewel work and never will. A disabled friend of a friend does and I know it will be appreciated there.

The quilt blocks and fabric remained, staring at me every time I went in the room. Finally, inspiration struck. I got out some of the blocks and started quilts for each of her three grand children.

I truly worked long and thought hard, since the children are three, four and six years old. Will they understand and cherish them? I do hope so.

But there were other blocks left, a small wall-hanging or lap quilt for each sister? Yes. Those are  in the works. And one for each of her two sons ‘on the drawing board’.

It hurts some to think of trips to buy fabric and all the fun we had in the planning, knowing she never got to see the fruit of this lavor. There are more than a few teardrops on some of the blocks.

Ir’s hard work, but it is bringing me comfort, as I hope it will to the recipients.


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Dear Morgan,

This frame holds some of your history.

I will tell you what I can, the quilt blocks were pieced by your great-great-great-grandmother.

She used those cardboard cutouts to make the smaller pieces to sew together by hand as you can see from the one I left upside down. those pieces and the cutout are from a pattern called double wedding ring.

The full block and its pieces are called Dresden Plate.

You might notice your great-great- great grandfather’s name and address on the pattern pieces I included.

The fabric in the back was from her ‘fabric stash’ as quilters call the fabrics saved or purchased for making their treasures.

The red flowers is from an old feed sack, the way many ladies got their fabric. Often they would make a child a dress or shirt and then use the remainder for quilts.

I came by this from someone who had purchased it at an auction and passed it to me. I saved some of the old fabric and blocks, because they are treasures.

Your Great-great grandmother, Bettie, told me they were made by her mother-in-law and asked if I would fix some for you. So here it is, I do hope that you will find it a ‘treasure’ and as you grow up something you will always love.

Mary Shipman