Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Random post

I am too weary to make much sense so I am posting pictures to fill up space. These two flowers were taken last summer while walking the dog over by the railroad.

And these barns were taken near the orchard I drove to the other day. I love the cloudy skies in each shot. I think they add greatly to the photos, especially the first barn.






Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On the road again....

Yesterday I went for a little drive....the above road is high above the Wabash River. It is what I see before I approach the Coffing Brothers Orchard. As always, I remind you to click on the pictures to enlarge them and get the full effect. I am always amazed at how much more I will like a picture after it is opened up.
I do not know the details of the orchard...we ran across it a few years ago on one of our rambling drives. I was totally in awe of it....someone told me there were about 400 acres in apple trees. At one time when I was taking pictures, one of the family stopped and my husband talked with him. I don't recall if he is who told us that or if it was someone else. I try to make up there every spring in hopes of catching it all in bloom at one time but so far that hasn't happened. It is a rare occurrence for all the varieties of apples to be in bloom at the same time.
There is no place to get a good picture of the whole view...it is just amazing. Acres and acres of apple trees on gently rolling hills. It is one sight I never get tired of seeing. It is at least a 40 minute drive from me, and I seem to be drawn up there just to see it at least 3 or 4 times a year.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Barns for your viewing pleasure

It has been a few days since I posted pictures of barns...so thought I would show a few more. The top one was taken in southern Indiana last summer. I love the looks of it--love the rounded roof and the little addition with the same style of roof.
This one was one I seen today on a drive...it seems to have been built so sturdy, but it appears the weather is starting to warp the boards. (You should be able to click on any of these to enlarge them for better viewing.)


The one above is living proof of the winds we have around here. I wonder if the farmer will eventually get around to repairing it...right now I would bet money they are working night and day almost to get the fields ready and planted.

And the one below is not far from my house and is just always so well groomed. You would think it stepped directly from some kind of barn make-over. And it is that bright red in real life...this is not adjusted with my photo software.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fireplaces & Woodstoves


These pictures were taken at the pioneer village at Spring Mill State Park. I don't know what it is about a fire, but I don't think I know a single person that doesn't like to sit by a fire of any kind. We don't have a fireplace in our home, but I sure wouldn't mind if we did. Everyone else always thinks about the dirt and dust, but I could easily put up with that. I know I am one of the few people my age that can remember their mother cooking on a wood cookstove....but I do.

We had linoleum on all the floors...and they were cold of the morning. Mom was the first one up, of course. And I would wake up next--I don't know if it was all the time or just some of it. But I distinctly remember hollering, "Mommy, come and get me." She would come and carry me from the bed to a chair sitting at the end of the cookstove. There I would sit and stick small splinters of wood in through the draft at the end...while she made biscuits and cooked breakfast.

The wood cookstove had a thermometer on the door but it was broken, however my mom could bake biscuits, bread and cakes and pies with no trouble. I recall seeing her open the oven door and sticking her hand in to get a feel for the temperature. And she never used a timer of any sort. (I cannot remember anything without a timer these days.)

Our new house was heated with a coal stove for the first few years...not sure how many. Probably at least 3 or 4. I can remember sticking potatoes in the coals to bake as a snack. I think I was in 3rd or 4th grade when a coal furnace was installed. I am not sure what happened to that stove, but the old wood cookstove sits in the basement of the homeplace. At least it did the last time I checked....that has been a while ago.

I do not know what it is that draws me to the old times...I cannot imagine doing all my mom had to do with as little as she had to do with. But at the same time, I think these days stuff almost owns us...I think there is medium that I have not achieved. I have more than I need but hold on to stuff because I feel like as soon as I get rid of it, I will need it.

But looking at the bottom picture of the fire place--the utensils around it are probably all a lot of women had to cook with. And they made do with it fine. I for one, admire the women that came before.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Roosters....

Some of my friends know that I collect, or rather did collect chicken/rooster things. I have dishes with roosters on them, I have salt and pepper shakers with roosters and chickens on them, I have shot glasses with roosters on them, and I have chicken and rooster figurines. At one time I had over one hundred chicken/rooster items. I have basically quit collecting, but I hang on to what I have. That being said, I guess it is normal for me to take pictures of them when I go to the fair.

You would think it would be an easy job with them being held in cages, but it isn't as easy for me as it looks. They are constantly on the lookout and the least little thing makes them bob their heads, etc.
I do not know what kind of chicken the one below is...I don't remember the first time I seen one. But I know I was an adult. So if anyone reads this and knows, please leave a comment. I have looked some on google, but not did an in depth search.

Now, the ones above and below are just handsome guys, don't you think. Look at that black--it is so black it is almost like oil in that it reflects other colors. And I bet there are women that would dearly love to have hair the color of the rooster below...I know I sure wouldn't mind.

Friday, April 25, 2008

My dogwood....March 3
April 19....
April 22...
April 24
you've come a long way baby!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

First of all if you want to join Sky Watch Friday, see Tom at Wigger's World. It is a lot of fun to see all the pictures...sometimes I get to feeling like a recording because there are just so many beautiful pictures. I notice I start to avoid leaving comments because I feel like I am repeating myself. When I start to do that, it is time for me to walk away for a while and come back to it later. I think I would still feel the need to try to view them all, even if I didn't post a single picture.

Anyway, does anyone ever look through their lens and it totally out of focus and you like it anyway. Well, here is a couple versions of one out of focus shot, taken off my front porch this morn. I cannot get it to look like the view through my out of focus lens still, but I sort of like it. The darker one is what came off my camera without anything being done to it in photo software. The other is just adding fill flash.
And below are in-focus shots. I have been trying to get in the habit of walking, but on my way to the park, I ran by the river to see what the sunrise was doing there. I cannot pick a favorite so am posting more than one...I hope you don't mind. It is sort of strange seeing the Wabash river calm enough to have reflections in it, as well as being within the banks. It has been flooded for a lot of the spring. It is kind of nice to be seeing things get back to normal.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Meet Toadie

Meet Toadie
I actually don't know if it was male or female...I switched between calling him Mr. Toadie and Big Mama...just depened on my mood I guess.

Anyway, this picture was taken in 2000. The picture is somewhat the worse for wear as you can see by the scrathes, etc. But I wanted to use it because I thought this might be a fun post. This is one of our daughters holding him...if you rubbed his side or belly he would lean into it. And if you rubbed right above and between his eyes he would close his eyes and hold ever so still.

I am wondering if we will see him this year or if something happened to him last year. Last year we only seen him two or three times early in the year. The last time I held him, he completely filled my palm width wise--he was one fat healthy boy. My palm is at least 3 or 3 1/2 inches wide. We would knock bugs/millers down for him. If we actually killed the bug, we would place it in front of him and blow on it to make it move, otherwise he would not attempt to eat it.

What's more, as a kid, we had a toad that came up on our porch almost every night in search of food...we all know how lights attract bugs at night. Only down there, he had to climb up a flight of 6 or 7 steps. After I moved to Indiana and told my husband about him, he kind of thought I was being funny or something till we went home and he seen it for himself.

Anyway, we all really have a soft spot for toads...if I am mowing and see one move, I stop and catch it and move it out of danger. With the exception of one summer, seeing a toads here is sort of rare. That one summer, I think my daughter and I sat outside with a flashlight and could 10 or 12 small toads. That had never happened before and never since
.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Things of Beauty Found...
I think these pictures are beautiful in themself, but if you could see where I found them you would understand the title of this post. I took Shelby for a quick walk today...over by the railroad. It is turning into more of dumping ground than usual. So you have to look past the junk to see the beauty that is there.

The remainder of my day was spent messing around at home, after running out for a couple of items this morn. I got our front porch and the chairs and swing out there all scrubbed down, as well as I planted my wisteria. I fixed chicken stir-fry for supper--supper is the souther word for the evening meal. As soon is it was done, I sat and enjoyed my clean porch for a short while.



This is the butter churn that I grew up with. It really wouldn't be worth a plug nickel if I tried to sell it--it doesn't have that ping when tapped. The bottom on the inside is very damaged. But I would not take any amount of money for it. I am somewhat sentimental. The dash is one my dad made...I like to think about that my mom's hands and my sister's hands used this dash long before I did. And I know my brother Neal sometimes had to churn. I don't think my other two brothers did, but not sure. He can probably remember that better than me.

I think we churned about once every week to two weeks. Let me tell you, it was not my favorite job. Just sitting there, up and down, up and down with the dash was a boring job. Thank God for radios. Sometimes it would take forever...others seemed to go faster.

I was never a buttermilk drinker, but others were. And my mom made two pones of corn bread almost every day of my life till I was out of elementary and then I think it dropped down to one sometime around then. Anyway,they were as big as a dinner plate. Buttermilk was used to make corn bread. So besides drinking it, it was used for that.

And sometimes there were a couple women that liked to buy any extra we had. If I remember correctly they gave a $1 per gallon....I cannot remember for sure how they transported it. I don't know if they brought their own container or if they took my mom's jugs and just returned them each time.

We used the butter that was made each time...sometimes mom used a mold and others she just shaped it by hand. I remember working it trying to get all the liquid out....that was a part that I did enjoy. And of course, I enjoyed the butter itself...loved buttered popcorn. I don't know if anyone else does this or not, but when I pop popcorn, I always pop it in at least half butter and oil...maybe more. It is a little bit different taste...and sometimes we will add butter afterwards and sometimes not.
ETA: I stand corrected--my sister-in-law, who also my childhood friend, just informed me that my oldest brother also had to churn sometimes. Now, I would like to know if my other brother ever had to...I just don't ever remember him having to and I think I would have cause he was next to me in age.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The above quilt top is what I did with my crumb blocks...I still need to add some kind of border but for right now I am glad to have it this far along. I like it most of the time but sometimes I look at it and am not so sure. I will eventually machine quilt it I think. Since I got my Juki, I love machine quilting.
This is out youngest daughter, Sarah and Otto. And below is her husband, Jeremy talking to Otto. My daughter turned 26 Thursday, but didn't want to have her birthday dinner till today. Her request was for a fried chicken meal, followed by what we call a pudding cake. The bottom layer is a crust made from 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 1/2 stick of soft butter. That is mixed and flattened out in a 9 x 13 pan and baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
The second layer is 12 oz. of cream cheese softened to room temperature, mixed with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 6 oz. coolwhip. Mix these ingredients well and spread on the first layer once it is totally cool.
The third layer is for us a layer of either lemon or chocolate pudding...2 boxes of instant pudding of whatever your flavor choice, mixed with 4 cups of milk. Pour over the cream cheese layer. I always let it set in the fridge a little while and then go back and spread a layer of coolwhip on like frosting. This has been both my daughter's and my choice of birthday dessert for at least 20 years! I make it every Christmas and Thanksgiving, and their birthdays. And maybe a time or two in between. I know it has other names but this is just what we call it. And there are other measurements given but this seems to fill the pan the best.
Project Looking Through by Mark...this is one more contribution for the project. I have not looked through all the contributors so hope I am not repeating someone's idea.




I thought I might as well go for a second day with a church--again a little church out in the middle of no where. I really hate to admit this but I cannot remember the name of this church. I took the picture at least a couple weeks ago, and thought if I was ever near it again, I would go take a picture of the name. I knew it had Kidd in the first word of it...I think Kidder but could not say for sure. The other day when I took the drive after the earthquake, I came across a sign pointing the way to this church. I thought now I will remember that this time; guess what, I could not remember it by the time I got home. I really wonder about myself sometimes....I have absolutely no short term memory. But notice the window above the door--it is fancier verson of the window pictured yesterday. Now I realize I should have taken at least one more photo of this church--the window was on what I think is an addition to the church that must have taken place quite a bit later than the original church was built. You will just have to take my word for it since I failed to take one.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Clay's Prairie United Methodist Church






I came across this little church on my ramble today...out in the middle of no where. There was one house close by, but not any others in sight. It always amazes me to find these little churches out like this. They seemed to be scattered all over this land of ours. I always wonder how long they have been there...just think of all that their walls have seen come through their doors. Weddings, baptisms, potluck dinners,and funerals...
Oh, notice the outhouse in the background of the third photo.

As some of you may or may not have heard, we awoke to a small earthquake here in the midwest. I had done been up about 3 times with the kitties, so was not asleep. It was a strange feeling to say the least. It took me a second to realize what was going on. There is a railroad about a block away and a train had just passed, and while we feel the vibrations, this was just a bit more. Then it dawned on me what I was feeling.

Anyway, I just got up and stayed up, went for a drive and the first three are what is for Sky Watch Friday--if you want to join go see Tom
And these shots is my entry for Project Looking Through....see Mark if you want to join.