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What mold? Where do I fit?

So, tell me, how many nearly 70-year-old women trudge out to the woods with a weapon to help provide winter food?

Yesterday, we had venison tenderloin, biscuits, gravy and green beans for dinner.  Compliments of yours truly, and not only the cooking!
I was cooking this meal when I got a visit from the game warden to check on my kill.

Hubby took over the stove duties while I walked the officer out to my spot, showed him where the deer went down and told him the reason I had not got my tag until yesterday morning – because of ‘MEN’ who harass you while standing in line to get them and those who make fun of you because ‘this year you were not planning to hunt with the crossbow’ finally aggravate you enough to go print out your tag.

Last week, I went to get Hubby’s and the man behind me made several snarky and down right men remarks about women hunting, finally asking if I did, I answered ‘yes’, his next remark “Yeah, sure you do!” made me so angry I did not even attempt to purchase mine at the time.

I know he arrived because I got a deer the day I got the tags. We have been watching the wildlife on our game cameras, so have a good idea of the patterns of travel and times they move through. A small buck chose to travel into the path of my crossbow bolt shortly after I got set up.

I even had to show him I could use the crossbow and scope. He seemed to be a bit impressed. I explained Hubby had purchased it last year, and I got pretty good with it, though I did not do it during hunting season.

He wanted to know how long I had been hunting.  The answer – many years!

I told him the big set of antlers in the living room was mine from a few years back. Really? REALLY!

Granted, I had to have help from Hubby and a grandson to get the deer from point A to point B, but nothing is perfect and I do know my limitations.

Anyway, all is well… next time I will try not to ‘get’ a deer the day I get my tags.

Good help is not so hard to find… Jelly 101

Out in my yard is a ‘blueberry tree’, every year we get plenty of berries to keep the family and some select friends happy.

We have been picking for a week or so and have over a gallon in the fridge.

I called out for help this morning and my grand-daughter-in-law and 3 of the greats arrived about 7:30, ready for work.

Giving the berries one last rinse, the 4 & 5 year olds measured the needed 4.5 cups into a bowl. Seven year old carefully measured sugar into another bowl.

The berries were poured into a stainless steel pan and the three took turns mashing them with a spoon or their hands. (This step requires LOTS of handwashing.)

With careful supervision, 1.3 cup of lemon juice and a box of Sure-jel goes in the pan. Then it is Grand-daughter’s turn, stirring and heating to a boil. While this is going on, the younger three help prepare the half  and quarter pint jars for the finished product.


When the rolling boil is reached, the sugar is dumped in, stirred some more and allowed to boil hard for 1 minute.

Over on the table, jars sit ready and Mom fills them, each child takes a turn handing over a flat and ring for sealing. We had 7 jars, so each got two turns and I had to hand one.


As the jars were placed in the boiling water bath, kids armed with spoons, scraper, and the ‘jelly dipper’, scraped the remains from the pan.

It was a good morning!IMG_0197IMG_0198IMG_0199IMG_0205

a long, long trail

Seems like forever since I attempted to write a blog post.

Auto-immune diseases will do that to you. No matter how ‘good’ you feel at the start of a day, by mid-day often your body is ready to make you stop. It is worn out from both inside and out.  Some days walking, even with my cane is more effort than I can handle by afternoon.

At this moment,  I have started a new to me medication which seems to be holding exhaustion and a lot of pain at bay.

Yesterday, Hubby and a grandson were going on a trip to get some parts for the truck. Hubby lured me along with the promise of “I’ll buy you dinner.”

It was a red letter, or perhaps a red mill day. As we passed a sign for Dillard Mill State Historic Site, I mentioned I would like to see it, and we turned in for the short drive to the area.

A nice worker, led us in to see the mill by vehicle instead of the walking path most folks use.


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.


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!


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.