Friday, January 31, 2014


On the 29th of January 2014 my Uncle Richard passed away (age 77) after a very short illness.  It was sudden and unexpected - he was tired and thought he had the flu - a week later he was gone.  He passed on his 59th wedding anniversary.  My heart breaks for my aunt and my cousins, this is so hard - I lost my father 5 years ago and still sometimes it catches me unaware and I'm in tears! 

That big grin is how I remember him!
Uncle Richards legacy though is hard to explain because he was just larger than life and still down to earth.  He was a big kid - on his farm at any given time he could have a zip line, an oil pump turned into a teeter totter, barrels hung from the tree with a saddle on them or a tarp down the side of a hill with a hose running for a cheap water park!  He loved creating a fun place, he would tell stories and you were never sure if it was a tall tale or the truth - and he would tell both just to keep you guessing. 

Zip Line!
When I was growing up and they would come and visit we would go camping in the mountains of Wyoming and he and my dad would go fishing and not be seen for hours, I think they always caught fish!  He and Aunt Evelyn went to Canada, hunting, to a cabin they had to have a plane fly them into and land on the lake.  He was a bow hunter, bear hunter, deer hunter, turkey hunter, trap line get the picture.  Aunt Evelyn had traced his family tree to Daniel Boone and he certainly lived up to his ancestry. 
Bronc Riding!

He loved the history of the place he lived and Missouri in general, a patriotic American who believed that we should all take care of our land, and be self sufficient as possible, help our neighbors and that the government should stay out of our way and keep others out of our way, and if you needed help from them you would ask!  :)   He was involved civilly in the Rural Telephone Company and  was on the international committee for the national rural telephone companies.  He traveled all over the country and to Washington DC to meet with national leaders.
Teeter Totters!

He married Aunt Evelyn January 29th 1955, they were together through thick and thin, a real example of working hard and making it work, they supported each other and made a life together and for their 3 daughters and all the subsequent grandkids and great grandkids.  Not many people die on their anniversary and I'm sure he would have told Evelyn it was to get out of buying a gift!  :)

Everyone we meet and know can teach us something, my Uncle Richard will always be remembered by myself and my kids as a man who taught a lot about how to enjoy life - even when it was hard.  He - like my parents - never had much money, and us kids never knew we were poor till we were older and out on our own!  Rest in Peace Uncle Richard, you will be missed and I hope we can all keep your memory alive by remembering that life should be fun!
Love you!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I can't believe how long I've gone without posting here, I have once again gotten involved with a project and worked on it to the exclusion of all other things - sigh...I really am sure this is some sort of mental disease - OCD maybe?!  Ah well...

I have long been interested in genealogy, I grew up with grandparents and a couple of great grandparents and loved hearing the stories of when they were little.  I loved history (this is my parents fault I think, my dad taught history and political science) and when we traveled we would learn about the places, go to museums and it was so much fun!  When I discovered genealogy I was hooked - it combined interesting places, history and then throw in the fact that these are my 'peeps' and this was my destiny!  (OK that is just a little dramatic but I really am a little obsessed!)

Now for those of you who have gotten into this sort of thing you know the only thing better than finding new information is being able to share it with people.  I have an aunt (my moms sister) who is equally fascinated and into this stuff and she and I can go on and on forever. (while the rest of the family rolls their eyes and sneaks off one at a time thinking we won't notice)  She will find things and sends them to me and I do the same - but postal costs are just going up and up and we were talking about finding better ways, in the internet age, to share information.  So I decided to try my hand at a web page (free Google sites) for family history, this way she can send me stuff and I will post it and I can post stuff I find and she can download for her records and there can be separate pages for stories and for census reports and all the things that make us genealogy buffs drool (not on our keyboards though we are very careful with records and access equipment!).

So I have been working on my new web page and am going to share the site here, I welcome any hints or helps as I am sort of in the organizing and downloading stages yet.  This has been a real kick in the pants for me to get busy and organize all my info as well as the stuff I have inherited and just left in boxes. I have spent the last 2 weeks scanning dusty records and organizing them into files and then deciding how to set up the web page.  Hubby probably thinks he is going to starve!  However tomorrow is his birthday and I did make his favorite German chocolate cake with extra frosting!

So since I obviously can't keep up with the blog I already have I decided to start up a new blog and keep my political - religious - social rants separate from this blog which I see as frugal living, personal growth, crafts, sustainability, home arts etc.  (I do try to remember that not everyone agrees with me, not everyone shares my politics or religion, and at the risk of being a little crude - opinions are like butt-holes - everyone has one and they are better kept covered!) This is not a secret effort on my part to give myself more time to sit on my butt!  I really am enjoying the blogging world and the people I have met!  When the new blog is ready I will post it and then see how it goes.  I will confess that when it is below freezing for weeks at a time (2 so far) it is much more fun to sit here with a warm cup of coffee and read and write!


 Walter Quint and Amanda Jane Meals - My 2x great grandparents.  I love these kind of photos as well! They make them so much more than just a name and date!

My grandmother is 101 and she remembers having relatives as a child who still remembered the civil war!  Is it any wonder I love this stuff?!

Thank you to all of you who stick with me, and are so supportive even when I slack off and/or get distracted!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Table Runner Tutorial

As promised (quite awhile ago) here is my tutorial for the table runners I did as Christmas gifts.  Sylvia from my quilting circle brought the instructions one Saturday and I think we all went to town on them!  

She had hers to show and had done a set of 12 - one for each month and season/holiday - they were just beautiful and I have since looked at something similar in the stores and they are quite expensive! 

I had purchased  the fabrics specifically for the people who were to receive them. (matching their decor)  

Each runner requires 1/3 yard of 'focus' fabric (main one to show) and 1/2 yard of background or 'frame' fabric. 

1. Cut off the selvages of both pieces.  I would normally say 'square up' the fabrics but they are rectangles!  Just make sure they have square corners and straight lines - this is hard to correct once sewn together (ask me how I know!...sigh).

2. Sew the two pieces together along the long edges, right sides together using 1/4" seam allowance, making a tube.

 (Brown is the 'frame' and pine cones is the 'focus' fabric!)

3. Press the seams open.

4. Turn inside out and press the two long sides making a 'frame' on both sides of the 'focus' fabric.

5. The two ends that are not sewn will be sewn together now by folding the runner lengthwise (frame fabric outside, focus fabric inside) and sewing the ends together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  

6. Press the seams open and turn right side out, this will form a "V" at each end.  (some ladies sewed across the "V" to hold in place I did only on one)

7. Press the "V"

You are done - these really are easy and have many variations and uses and can be made wider for table tops and dressers if needed.

One of the ladies stuck a tassel in the tip of her"V" and it looked very elegant for a runner that hung over the edge of a dresser!

Hope this all makes sense and hope you enjoyed it - if you have any questions please let me know!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 - WOW!!!

Who knew I'd live this long?  I distinctly remember being in high school and reading George Orwell's 1984 and thinking - well it will never happen and that is 10 years away and I could not conceive of anything after about 1985 or so and that was a stretch!
May 1974
In my first year of college I had decided to become a doctor, never marry, never have children and be a missionary to Africa.  By the time I realized that I did not have enough money to get through medical school I had met Hubby and then there was kid #1 and then....well it's been 33 years of marriage, 3 kids, and expecting the first grandchild.  Did I really fall so short of my goals?

Looking back I can see that far from falling short of my goals - the only thing I didn't get to was the Africa part!  Any mother can tell you that you are part doctor (I had 3 boys - more doctor than most!), I was able to share the gospel with my boys and to many kids in church through various programs I volunteered at.  It just didn't turn out the way I had planned -and I wouldn't change it for the world.  God knew what would work for me and where I needed to be.  (He knew I can't stand the heat!)

So my goals for 2014 are to keep working on being healthier, meeting those healthy eating and fitness goals, have many homemade gifts ready for the arrival of the new granddaughter (they have picked the name Lilly - I am in love already!) and expand and increase the garden this coming summer.  I hope to continue at the ladies Bible study and to be a good president of our new quilting group, I would like to think that the Proverbs 31 woman and I will become more alike as time passes and the Lord works on me, (she never sits down and cries and whines - I double checked!.....sigh).

It will be interesting to see how these goals are fulfilled by the end of the year and to see if I look back on them with as much of a smile as I do the ones from 1975!  I suspect not - I have learned a thing or two you know!  (about setting goals - not life!)

May you all reach most of your goals this year and enjoy the process!  Happy New Year!