Saturday, December 26, 2009

Heaven Can Give No More!

"Oh God, take us in Spirit to the watchful shepherds and enlarge our minds, let us hear good tidings of great joy, and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, and adore. Place us with the oxen and sheep in that stable, to look with them upon our Redeemer's face and know ourselves delivered from sin in Him. In Him, You have given us so much that heaven can give no more"

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Just as I thought everything was under control....I have to make another 50 pounds of fudge to cover more phone in orders from yesterday ...can't turn down my loyal, last minute, "Fudgies". My shoulders are cringing.. but my soul will be pleased! 50lbs in 48 hours...the math.... the math!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What Have I done!

I declare at this moment that I am content with what I have made for the Christmas.
Soleil is complete. I also made over one hundred "smalls" as I felt thats what "my peeps" wanted this year. Even my little Vampire Bunnies are selling as tree jewelry.
I need to make many multiplies when possible. My true satisfaction comes in crafting a large complex piece. I have been blessed that my first is the best.
The new year will be here in 16 days! My list is coming together to proudly proclaim what I will commence to do in the new decade. Thank God! It's been a tough 10 years all over the be continued!


Soleil is the third art doll I have made. He was a challenge...much different than the prim dolls I am used to making. I hesitated on selling he is just "tending shop" for now. He may show up on the mercantile site when I get it up and going.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I heard these two words coming from Tim, who was in the office. We decided to get an external hard drive for my computer. "Better safe that sorry"...words that everyone of us has heard from a saged family member.....Sorry came before safe for me that night..10 days ago. The scenario leading up to the fateful minute was on going for the entire day. "Utt...Oh....Pussycat, I think everything is lost on your computer". Tim went on line to find a possible recovery system...found some...didn't work...Called a few places....robbery!!!
It was late when we went to bed. We were both very quiet, starring at the ceiling. I was not angry...maybe just in shock and denial. Tomorrow is another day, right! Then I started to think about my Legacy file with at least 852 years and 3.5 months of my family lineage on it... GONE! All my prim patterns....GONE! Pictures...Gone!!! EVERYTHING... GONE!! Then it felt like we had lost a family pet. Not much sleep.
During the last election... a classmate of mine was running for our Township Trustee. He stopped in to see if we would be interested in supporting him. He has a computer warehouse were he salvages and repairs them.
Mike is a good of the smartest and clever of the lot in 1976. "Tim, call Mike D. and see what he says". Four days later I have my computer back,and a full back up system in place, and everyone one of my files are accounted for... Mike's son is a true computer whiz. When did fate step in to play?... at election time who knows.. But, my prayers last night included a former classmate and his son...Oh Ya!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

That Turkey Don't Lie!

Well... I did it! I thought this year would be different but.....NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I have succeeded in the Holiday Procrastination Tradition... some say it's a family thing. If I did every little thing on my "THINGS I GOTTA DO LIST" there would be nothing left to live for ...Ha!!!
My friend, the Turkey (to the right) that I invited to live on my blog just rubs it in every time I look at him. I thought he was cute .... now he laughs at me. Two freaking days.
Anyway.... We are going to Punderson Manor for Thanksgiving Dinner. I still feel that I have to cook a dinner... that will happen on the weekend.
Back in the 80's and 90's of the previous century...we had a few old order Amish ladies that would bake a multitude of yumminess to sell in our store. Mary Miller would host Amish Wedding Dinners for the "Yankees" as a part of tour group our store was connected with. I had the pleasure and privilege to be invited by Emma to a full Amish Wedding Ceremony and Dinner for her son Mikey Slaubaugh and his bride. This is one of my cherished and greatest memories...Oh the pictures I mentally took that day!
Here is one of Mary Miller's recipes that I will be making this weekend:

1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dates
1/4 cup nuts

1 cup brown sugar
2 cups hot water
2 teaspoons butter
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Whipping Cream

Boil syrup for 5 minutes and pour into cake pan. Mix the batter ingredients together and pour the batter on top of the syrup. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 to 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean just off the center. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving! Outen The Lights

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jay C., James A., Jelly and Jam

Jay C. Smith was my great-grand uncle. Born in Ira, Caynga County, New York, April 28, 1838 to Aretus Gregory and Keturah (Davis) Smith. Jay was the fifth of ten children.
I became interested in Jay as I am in possession of his diary. I have posted the last entries made to his diary which you can find below. He did not die on the battle field in a grueling battle...but he died in an Army Hospital of disease. His words are few but in reading his last words I can feel the cold and see the bleakness that surrounded him. Feel the warmth of the fire that he took refuge in when his own hospital bed was frozen.
Company B of the 41st OVI Regiment was formed in Geauga County, Ohio. Henry W. Johnson and L. T. Patchin went from village to village, neighborhood to neighborhood, with the flag flying, to the step of a fife and drum....this was grass roots recruitment. Jay C. Smith at the age of 23 entered the service for the Battle of the Rebellion, August 20, 1861.
Can you see these men walking with the flag?...Can you hear the fife and drum?
Can you see the anxious faces of young farm boys ready and able to fight for their country?
I am sure Jay started recording his Army days on August 20,1861. I don't have any proof that an earlier diary existed but I think it did. Even when Jay was very sick he made entries everyday without fail.
What else can I learn from Jay's diary? Tucked in the back slot is a teaching certificate dated 1858.... so he was a teacher...maybe. A few newspaper clippings one for "Cottage Pudding and Sauce" and "Buttermilk Pudding with Maple Syrup" and "Apple Jelly"... Many hand written recipes are in the last 8 pages of the little book. The writing appears to be that of my great grandmother Lodiska, sister to Jay.
Interesting recipes.... maybe I will post some of these. Tomato Pickles, Ginger Snaps, Sponge Cake, Mince Pie, Fruit Cake, Lemon Pie, Spiced Peaches, ( Note: My Mom made these are they were the best). I can get lost in "olde time" recipes.
The Smith family is buried in South Newbury Cemetery. This was a bustling farm community at one time. James Abram Garfield (later our 20th president) spoke at the Union Chapel at South Newbury. This is a great bit of history....Garfield was barred from speaking at the Congregational Church...the parishioners did not think it was proper to speak of politics in the house of the Lord.
In 1856, the people of South Newbury built the Union Chapel,dedicated to free speech...... across the road from the Church. The walls of this small yet mighty building heard the voices of James A. Garfield, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Louisa M. Alcott, Theodore Parker, the advocate of the 8 hour working day, and John B. Gough, three time candidate for president on the Prohibition ticket. Wow! Wow! and Wow!
Field Trip....7 miles from our front door! Here is what we found:

A Tribute to Jay Cleveland Smith, My Great-Grand Uncle

Louisville, Kentucky 41st Ohio Regiment
Jay Cleveland Smith (28 April 1838- 26 January 1862)
His diary as follows:

January 1, 1862 Wednesday
The weather looks like rain this morning. Henry Hotchkiss came this morning and I went with him to his friends, where I partook of a splendid dinner. I walked back and was about bushed.

January 2, 1862 Thursday
It is cloudy and unpleasant this morning. I did not feel very well stayed in the house all day. Did not go to bed tonight. Very slippery.

January 3, 1862 Friday
It is rather misty and cold this morning. It rained quite hard before night. John Whitlam came in here today. He came from Camp with James Sisk. Two of the 91st boys started from here for Camp this morning.

January 4, 1862 Saturday
There was some signs of snow this morning. I feel rather miserable today. _____
______ came to see me today. There was a lot of sick men brought in tonight. I received a letter from R. P. Bennett Jr.

January 5, 1862 Sunday
It is not very pleasant. This morning some of the Ohio boys were sent to Cincinnati. I started to go a visiting today but the _____ did not______.
It rained and froze.

January 6, 1862 Monday
I was taken with the measles today and sent to No.4 Hospital. I was some sick, but did not like this place very well. Slept on a miserable bed tonight.

January 7, 1862 Tuesday
Ached so bad from lying on a bad bed. I got up and went to the fire . Thought it could no more than kill me and it would surely do that, to lay in a bed that is froze up solid. I slept very sound.

January 8, 1862 Wednesday
I began to feel quite well today. I am very weak and my back and sides pain me so. I am in misery. We have awful hard life here.

January 9, 1862 Thursday
It rained hard most all day. I lay on the bed about all day. A hundred sick men came in last night. They sent some of the Ohio boys to Cincinnati today.

January 10,1862 Friday
Nothing new on the program today. The room as noisy as ever. I had some mush and milk for supper tonight.

January 11, 1862 Saturday
Got up this morning and made my bed for the first time in this hospital. Got some potatoes for dinner with sprouts two inches long. I took a dose of oil today , the first I can remember of.

January 12 1862 Sunday
It rained very hard some of the time today. I would like a clean shirt mine are both dirty. The nurses all came out with white shirts today.

January 13, 1862 Monday
It is pretty cold today. some of the boys started for their Regt. this morning. L.T. Patchin came here to see us today. The bed hurt my bones horribly tonight. Very cold.

January 14,1962 Tuesday
It was very cold this morning. I did hate to get up. did not feel as well today as yesterday. preat came in last night sick and came here today. Some more sick men came in tonight.

January 15, 1862 Wednesday
I took some pills for the dierer did not do any good last night. Was so weak I could hardly walk. i lay on a bed just about all day. Some more sick men came in to night.

January 16, 1862 Thursday
It was very unpleasant this morning. I took six more pills tonight for my dierear.
Brigadier Quartermaster Johnson came here last night. Advised me to go home. I felt rather offended about it.

January 17, 1862 Friday
I felt worse today had a hard fever the Doc's gave me they're powder. I was glad when they were gone. Pleat came again today. I could not sleep tonight.

January 18, 1862 Saturday
lay afed gr as a
"The last words he ever wrote was to sick to finish what he commenced"

January 19,1862 to January 25,1862 no entries.

January 26, 1862 Sunday
Pa reached Louisville this morning, Jay was very anxious to come home, and laid his plan for coming. Thought he could ride in a boat as easy as to lie in the hospital. But his journey was different from what he anticipated..He died at 10 o'clock P.M. Very cold and dreary.~~~ written by Lodiska Smith, Jay's sister

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Making Concord Grape Pie has become a yearly ritual... a rite of passage into fall.
Squeezing one of these fruits of the vine and the robust taste explosion that comes afterwards,just says... YES! FALL IS HERE!!!! It's happy dance time...I am baking pies! Concords may not be available everywhere...and they may be pricey in the grocery stores. Grapes grown nearer to the Lake Erie shores are the best.

Lake Erie Concord Grape Pie
1-9 inch pie crust unbaked
4 1/2 cups Concord grapes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Oat Streusel (recipe below)

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

Wash grapes and remove skins by pinching. Keep the skins.
Place the pulp in a saucepan and bring to boil and cook a few minutes until pulp is soft. Put through a food mill, while pulp is still hot to remove seeds. Mix strained pulp with all the skins. Stir in sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt.

Place grape mixture in unbaked pie crust shell. Sprinkle Oat Streusel over filling. Cover pie crust edges with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes more until golden. Cool on wire rack.

1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar,firmly packed
1/4 cup butter


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Betz Takes A Rest!


I can't find words to describe Betz. She is a bashful witch. She is beautiful in her own way!
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Meet Hedra!

I just finished this wee field witch. She comes to life at night and runs around the store looking for mushrooms!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Time Flies....Run and Catch the Wind!

There was so much more Summertime when I was younger. I pretended I had a diner at my slide in the backyard. My imaginary special was the Hay Seed Soup....but you had to sit on slide step #3 to be served. All my "regulars" loved my cooking. There was always a new secret spot to explore...especially near the banks of Butternut Creek.

Reading the posts of the blogs I follow ...There is a time and a purpose for all those little things that make up a much bigger picture... Most of us are busy trying to keep up with our businesses...sewing, painting, and designing...others are cooking, canning and eating great things from the garden. But, some are mourning losses in their families as well as celebrating new beginnings.

I forgive myself for not blogging in almost 2 months. Tim, Lily and I are now house broken. We trained Lily to ring a strand of sleigh bells attached to the door knob when she needs to got out! Lily has tripled in size to about 30 pounds. As for detante..hum...Max is having the hardest time getting used to Lily...he was the baby and he just doesn't get the purpose of Lily. Max turned 2 years old on September 23. We each celebrated by eating 2 shrimp.

The seasons they are a has been so nice. Tomorrow it is going to rain and maybe highs is the fifties on Monday...where did the Summer go? I stood on the bank of Butternut Creek today and the wind blew the leaves of the elm tree...I saw these leaves when they were only buds... really not that long ago. My thoughts went directly to what I had wanted to get done this year and what I actually accomplished... instead of running to catch the wind .... I will turn and face it head on in the sunlight and just let life be.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lucy and Lily and Liberty!

Tim and I vacationed in Minnesota, near the Boundary Waters. Tim's family is from that neck of the woods. We had an excellent time, celebrating with family every night at a different cabin. Food, food , family, food , family, family! You know what I'm talking about.

This vacation started with a visit with LUCY!!! Lucy of How that much energy and creativity can be in one little body, I just don't know.....I am inspired.

I was so honored that she and her husband took time out of their busy day to met Tim and me. Thank you Lucy and Tom.
If you are near Tomah WI stop in and see" Counrty Spirit Shoppe" it is beautiful. Lucy rocks!!! (I bet she hears that alot)

We made the 820 mile trip from Chardon to the Twin Cities in 14 hours. The next day was final leg to our destination. With sister-in law Terese and her husband Lawarence, in from San Fran ,we traveled three more hours straight north to Lake Vermilion.

Happy July 4th to all!!
"Will you be at the parade in town?" "Meet us at the usual corner by the bank". "We have a lot to do before the after-parade-reunion party". " Can we pick anything up at Zup's Food Store?"
"MOM!!! Carol and Tim adopted a puppy at the parade!!! "

Yes, there is the pitter patter of new little paws in our lives......Lily!
Let me tell you about the greatest puppy dog in the world.....I know your dog is better than mine, but just give Lily a moment.
Lily is a Cocker Spaniel/Bassett Hound mix. Big eyes, big ears, big feet, little legs.
Lily loves everyone and everyone loves Lily! She was a favorite at all family gatherings.
Detente pact with Lily, Ming, Max, Su and Mia being worked out as I write....Updates to follow!
Peace and liberty to and beast!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Don't Make Me Laugh

I asked Tim, "How can I lose 30 pounds really fast?"
Tim loving replied, "Pussycat, pick up two bowling balls and let go!"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lessons From The Creek: Photos

"How do you run this contraption"? "Bulbs are never where I want them!" "Darn it the flash didn't go off?" "When will I be able to see again?" "Keep your hands to yourself and look at the camera". "Put your fingers down....that one too." "Cameras are not toys....don't open the.....ah no...Carol Jean!!!"

What great quotes from the past. Pictures taking is quite a simple, yet complex task for the photographer as well as his victims. I have a picture of my second great-grandfather hours before he died . Poor Grandpa having to put up with all that fuss..He had heaven on his mind.. ..meeting his maker. His family knew how important his picture was to them... 158 years later Joshua Farley (1769-1850), his picture was in the hands of one of his great-great-great grand daughters. Thanks for taking that picture.

I am getting an early anniversary gift. " Move to the back of the cupboard Mom's old Brownie", "You too Dad's Kodak whatever model you are", "You were a good camera ,Cannon Sure Shot... There's a new camera in this house..a Nikon D40. No need for the Nikon D 1trillion; that is rumored to wipe the sweat from your brow as you mutter," How do I run this contraption"?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lessons From The Creek: Changes

"Butternut Creek must be a gentle, quiet, flowing stream". How wrong you are! Don't get me wrong... it used to be that way. Butternut Creek is in my backyard. The creek could generate enough power to run a sawmill. This sawmill produced the wood to build our store in the 1880's. Ah, Geauga County Pine...beautiful, but harder then hockey sticks to nail. In 1924, the Creek gave a proud 12 year old Boy Scout, new to the neighborhood, a business venture opportunity. Minnows!! Dad was on his way in the business world.

"EGADS...Girl", mother shreiked as I deposited a water snake on the kitchen table. I will not touch a snake today! Changes.

Today, there is no water in Butternut Creek, at least not in the immediate backyard. I did plant some Iris on the bank in the midst of the black walnut , elms, and a few pines. I noticed deer track in the creek bed. Should we put out a salt lick??? My neighbor buys apple seconds and has a steady following of deer. She always could draw a crowd for lunch...they had a little neighborhood diner in a building in front of their house. Great burgers by the way! Mr. I. has passed away ...the diner is closed..Changes.

Across the road from our place,is a Sunoco Gas station. Once upon a time, a school stood there. Anna Spencer Richardson was the teacher. My dad was always the last one to school. Our store was popular after school! Grandpa and Grandma made sure there was plenty of candy and ice cream at the soda fountain.

The school building has been moved up the road. Mrs.Richardson has passed away. By the way, she lived at the house diagonally across from our store. The house was torn down 3 years ago.

On the other corner, was the Spencer/Tracy farm. I think it was sheep that pastured next to Butternut Creek. Today, owned by the same family, it is a very large car dealership. Butternut Creek has a culvert over it...Changes.

My home and store are in the same building. My Mom and Dad worked side by side in the store; raising their 4 daughters, "on the store counter". Dad died in 1970. Mom in 1996...Changes.

Today, the store is my canvas for all thing Primitive. I make my dolls and sell them sometimes. I never played with dolls while growing up...Now they are my WORKS-PLAY. Changes!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In The Beginning

Just where do I begin with a blog? What's it going to be about? Is it all about me.... for you?
Are blogs selfish? Are blogs giving? I think both.
Welcome to my world...the world of Butternut Creek!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Something new!

My blog is under construction. Come Back soon!