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Showing posts from 2010

Family Memories

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Oh what a glorious Thanksgiving we had! The food was all too delicious, the warmth of the kitchen with all the good smells had all the family waiting anxiously for the dinner. Yet, to be truthful, the best part was to be surrounded by my family and dear friend Harriet.


John was the jovial host. I swear he is becoming a bit less serious. He was sharing some funny stories from his childhood and had us all belly laughing. Although, I best have a word with him , some of the dangerous stunts him and his siblings pulled could have gotten him injured. No wonder his Mum went gray early!   And all the children just sitting listenin' to him , wide eyed. I could see on the boys faces they were already thinkin' of trying a few of his shananigans. I don't want none of my children taking the shovels and sleddin' down the north slope onto the pond! Why one never knows if it would be frozen or not--yes,  a word about that story is in order.

Well, I am so excited for Christmas too beca…

A Thanksgiving to remember! Part 1

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Well now, finally I am finding time to get to puttin' my thoughts and memories of Thanksgiving in this here journal. I don't want to forget a minute of it, it was all too wonderful! My sister Emma and her husband Frank arrived Wednesday around 4pm with their boys Thomas and George. My how those boys have grown! Babes the last time I saw them. I must have hugged my sister for 5 straight minutes before I let her go, we both had tears streaming down our faces we were so happy to see each other.  The menfolk brought in the bags and I started a pot of coffe and got us a supper of potato soup and ham steaks going. Emma just couldn't believe how grown my children got to either. We both realized that time was speedin' by.  Us two got supper together while chatting wildly about this and that. My we had years of catchin' up to do. A lovely sup was had and we enjoyed some apple buckle with our coffee. Frank and John went out to do the evening milkin' with the boys while u…

Aprons and Kittens

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Tonight I stayed up much too late. I was finishing up a new apron for myself. My others were showing terrible signs of all the work I have undertaken over the last two months.  I 'spose I could wear those aprons as a sort of badge of honor! Well, I didn't want to be a sight on Thanksgiving with my company so I picked up a very pretty light blue cotton check at Percy's store.  I was able to barter eggs for a nice cut of it   A bit of a ruffle on the sweeping edge and a ruffle around the bib too. Not only is it functional, but so pretty and right ladylike.  I also finished up my new dress which this apron compliments beautifully.  Fancy Jenny on Thanksgiving is what I shall be!  I also made a plain apron from the check fabric too, that way if a guest wants to put one on to help out, there is a nice, new apron to offer them.  My treadle has seen more treadlin' in the last few days than in the whole time I have had her since my Mum passed on.  When Mum passed I took her be…

A furry surprise!

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We had us a weekend full of surprises! One of our gals that was expectin' birthed a nice little calf on Saturday. John had estimated that she wasn't due for another two weeks ,but when he went to do the evenin's milking she was in labor. About 8 o'clock a little brown fella came slidin' out and proceeded to try and get up not too long after. That calf was pretty funny trying to get up on his wobbly little legs. The children were cheering him on! 
John had let the children watch the birth. I wasn't too sure about the little ones seein' but it all worked out and they were quite amazed. Little Jim decided the little fellow would be named Stanley.  John and I had a good chuckle and asked him why Stanley and he told us in school he had read a story about a little boy who was clumsy and kinda wobbly named Stanley and this calf reminded him of the boy. Well alrighty then John said--we'll call him Stanley.
Today we attended church and Pastor Miller was preachin…

Chenille and old quilts

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I am so incredibly tired! Right now I am in bed with my pillows puffed up behind me writing in my diary by lamplight. My feet are aching and even my back is a bit sore. John brought me up a nice hot water bottle to put on the small of my back and it feels so good. John told me to get myself to bed, that I looked plum tuckered out. I admit I am .  The last couple of days have been busy with getting the house ready for Thanksgiving and our guests.  I tackled the spare bedroom and boy I wasn't prepared for just how much work was needin' to be done in there. This room hadn't been touched since my Momma passed away 7 years ago.  Steppin' into this room and having to really look at it brought back a flood of memories of my Momma.  She died too young she did--from the polio.


 I did snap out of it and opened the windows to let the fresh air in. It became so cold I had to put a heavy sweater on! The curtains were so dirty and old that I took them down and got the windows cleaned…

Company coming for Thanksgiving!

I just couldn't go off to bed without jotting this down! My sister Emma and her family are coming to stay for the Thanksgiving holiday. Not just dinner but an overnight stay! They're driving up Wednesday night and will leave Friday after breakfast. I am going to have overnight guests in this old farmhouse. I reckon I have never had an overnight guest except for my Ma when she took ill and needed to stay a spell. First thing in the morning I am going to tackle getting the guest room ready. I haven't even thought of doing anything to that room since getting the house in order. I am going to be one busy bee for sure.

And I have another guest at the Thanksgiving table. At church today the Pastor asked if we could give Harriet Pritchard a ride home since she lived up the road from us. She is a sweet old lady with a right peppery streak in her.  Well, John invited her over to have dinner with us to my surprise. Of course, I was secretly delighted that he asked her as it tells me…

November~Getting Winter Ready

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Well now, I have right neglected my journal for weeks now! I have so many things to put down here, but so little time. This is good though. I am not spinning my wheels anymore wonderin' where my day got to-no I am seeing work accomplished and it feels pretty good.  All my cannin' was finished and the supply on the shelves is bountiful. We won't starve that's for sure!  I put my garden to bed and have plans to enlarge it next year by just a bit. I am planning on planting vegetables that we eat and maybe some we can sell. 


We did have alot of our apples rot. It is a shame I know. John and I were surprised at how many of the folks from the church came to buy some though. Once word got out about our orchard the ladies came and bought bushels for their own puttin up. I am grateful to God for this provision. Because of the business from the church ladies I have a bit saved up for some shoes for the children.


The milkin' is going good and the barn is full of hay. The wood …

Church Harvest Party

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Everyone is all tucked into bed after a pretty busy day. Even John went up earlier than usual this evenin'.  I am finally going to write down my remembrance of last Sunday at church and the harvest party before I forget the details!

After Lila left I waited until John and I had a few minutes of quiet. The children had their lunch and were being entertained with a radio show so I made a nice pot of coffee and John and I had a tasty slice of pie with it on the porch.  I told him of Lila's invitation and he sat quiet for what seemed like an eternity!  Finally , he said he 'sposed there would be no reason to refuse the invite, might prove right fun for the children and we maybe ought to be thinkin' of getting the children to church. I was hoping he would feel this way!

We told the children of the following day's plans and they just about jumped out of thier britches with excitement. Soon as I cleared the snack away I went into the house to make preparations. John came in…

An invitation

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I am not quite sure where to begin recounting the weekend. It certainly was unlike any me and John have ever had.  Saturday morning I was finishin' up my baking when I heard the sound of a motor. Couldn't imagine who would be stoppin' by and was I ever surprised to see the pastor's wife Lila and some of her children gettin' out of the motorcar.  My she sure looked pretty. She had on a cream colored dress with little rosebuds in the pattern. Her gloves were cream colored too and her hat was a straw one with little roses on it. I can't say she was fancy dressed , just real fresh and dainty like.

I hurredly took off my soiled apron and put on a clean one. I did have an older dress on , but I had mended it and with the apron I don't suppose I was too much of a sight. I ran and took a quick look in the mirror and was so glad I had decided to braid my hair and pull it into a twist.

The kitchen was just showing the work of the morning, nothing like when the highwa…

Not a complete loss

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My lands today was another full day! I put up 20 jars of my homemade tomato sauce, 20 jars of tomato soup and 15 jars of my momma's piccalilli. I am dead tired but looking at the rows of canned jars down the root cellar has me glowing with pride. 

That tomato patch I worked so hard at was a dead loss in the marketing sense of the way things are, but I was determined they wouldn't go to waste. I learned my lesson real good.

Tomorrow I am going to finish canning the rest of the tomato's after the washing is done. John knew I was upset over the loss of the tomato patch , but being the gentleman he is he didn't say a word. Just came in the kitchen for lunch and said something smelled so good he could smell it all the way to the barn. I told him to go along with himself ,but that flattery will get you a second piece of pie for sure!

Little Jim came home with a B on his latest spelling test, but he is still strugglin' with his math facts. John tooks some heavy paper from t…

Fall Cleaning

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As glorious Autumn unfolds, my mind is still wrapped around all the 'fall cleaning'. Well, if I am honest I haven't done a Spring or Fall cleaning in so many years that I shouldn't call it anything but deep cleaning I guess. My Mum always said cleanliness was next to Godliness. I am thinkin' maybe she was right.

I managed to get the entire parlour cleaned spit spot and put in right order. Oh the mess! The shades had been drawn for over a year as we never went in there. We were either too doggone tired at night that we just fell in bed or there weren't no place to sit comfortable like anyway we just didn't bother.  All the curtains came down and got a washin' as well as the windows and woodwork. I took the sofa and chair cushions outside to air in the sun and gave 'em a good bangin' too. Quite a bit of dust flew out I hate to admit!  I stitched a new cover for the rockin chair cushions and draped one of my mother's afghans over it and it looke…

A Little Visit

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This weekend was just a whirlwind of activity! I didn't have time to jot down one thought 'til now. Saturday, while John brought the milk to town, the children and I got to work. Little Jim and Bobby had instructions to start clearing the back walk of all rubbish and bringing buckets and bins to the barn door where John could decide what to do with them. I was going to get that side of the house gussied up. After the highway lady walked through there and I was so embarrassed by the mess I had that on my list of things to do.  A nice clean path and some bulbs planted for Spring blooming would look right pretty I figured. 

RuthAnn and I started the days baking. Boy did we get alot done and what a treat to have my little girl beside me in her apron just happy to help her Mama.  We made batches of apple muffins, apple cakes, apple and oatmeal cookies and four apple pies! I figure we could just about use up our whole orchard with baking if need be!

John came home just before I had s…

A bit of pocket money

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Another early mornin' saw me fixin' a hearty breakfast of flapjacks, bacon and eggs today! I also got the day's bread dough mixed and ready to rise. It's refreshing to get up before everyone else and start the day. Little Jim was dressed in a clean , ironed shirt and pants and sent off to school with his books and lunch tin. Where has the time gone? That little boy of mine looked like a man walkin' down the lane to school all smiles. Makes my momma's heart proud. John was just returnin' from the milkin' and gave little Jim a pat on the head and some more encouragin' words about his school studies. Jim seems to be a bit happier going out the door to school since John has been helping him with his math and spelling in the eves. My husband is really such a lovin' man and I feel blessed to have him! John was looking confident this morn as he told me he was on his way to see Percy at the store. I had a clean and ironed shirt and pants for John's …

Jennie begins anew

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This morn I rose at 4:30 am, a full hour before our normal rising time. I crept silently past John and down the back hall steps and entered my clean kitchen with a smile. It had been many years since I started the day in a clean, orderly kitchen. I felt a new zest for life just bursting within me!

I started the stove and got the large pots on to boil for a bath. I took a nice soak and scrubbed my hair. A nice dash of rose water graced my bath and it clung to my skin when I got out and dried off. My hair took longer to brush than I thought, but I wanted it to lay like silk so I brushed every tangle out thoroughly. After dressing in my best dress again, I put a large pot of oatmeal on and the coffee to perk. I went out to get some fresh eggs from the hens and came in to work on making John and the children a delicious breakfast. No more hastily prepared meals was my hope. I set the table up real pretty with a little vase of my own sunflowers I had grown. The field of sunflowers I had pla…

When Queens Ride By~The Beginning

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Jennie Musgrave woke at the shrill rasp of the alarm clock as she always woke—with the shuddering start and a heavy realization that the brief respite of the night's oblivion was over. She had only time to glance through the dull light at the cluttered, dusty room, before John's voice was saying sleepily as he said every morning, "All right, let's go. It doesn't seem as if we'd been in bed at all!"


Jennie dressed quickly in the clothes, none too clean, that, exhausted, she had flung from her the night before. She hurried down the back stairs, her coarse shoes clattering thickly upon the bare boards. She kindled the fire in the range and then made a hasty pretense at washing in the basin in the sink.

John strode through the kitchen and on out to the barn. There were six cows to be milked and the great cans of milk to be taken to the station for the morning train.
Jennie put coffee and bacon on the stove, and then, catching up a pail from the porch, went after…