family memories

Collections, Memories, My favorite things.

Now that the move is over and the boxes put away it is time to try to make a house a home. I have been feeling better and slowly trying to figure out where everything goes. Some things are finally taking shape and others are still in a stage of ” When we get time”. One of my favorite projects every time we move is how and where to display some of the wonderful things that we have collected over the 27 years that Tom and I have known each other.

Over the first 18 years of my marriage, Tom and I raised horses on his parents farm. We breed, trained, showed  American Quarter horses. We raised our older son on farm work and feeding animals. It was a good life, but by the second baby ( 17 years later) it was just more work them I could handle alone. I was the main care taker of the farm and our 9 horses 12 chickens 3 dogs  2 geese and one cat. I just did not enjoy the work any more and Tom just could not be home to help due to his long hours at work and weekend business. So as time passed we sold off all of the horses gave the chickens away and said good-bye to the farm. So as a tribute to my husbands love of horses and his farrier (blacksmith) business I took what most people hide away in tact boxes and Rubber Maid Totes and made him a hall of good memories. The hall grew out of things that we had collected over the 18 years we had the farm and horses. He loves it and so does Cody. Cody has many great memories on the farm and was happy to see that we had not gotten rid of everything when we moved.

Horse decor with trophies and photos

Horse decor with trophies and photos

I was lucky that I had saved my son Cody’s pony blanket, it worked out as a nice backdrop for our trophies.  I also added the spurs that my father made back in the Seventy’s. He was a welder and loved the old west and loved to make things. So the result is a pair of wire edged dragon spurs. I don’t think anyone ever used them on a horse but they sure look nice. The photos are of some of our wonderful babies. Tom and I always loved to work with the young ones and we won a few shows with them.

Horse decor photos of Tom

Horse decor photos of Tom

I also wanted to show off some of his horse shoes and a bandanna that I made him for when he worked in bad weather. I added an old feed sack and a wonderful photo of Tom working on an anvil and farrier school. The bits are ones we have used over the years and make us think of the mares we rode with them.  All these things remind me of some of the best times in our married life and I am glad I could make it for him.

Then I moved into the kitchen and tried to find a reasonable way to display my collection. I guess we all have funny things we collect and mine is dishes and /or plates. I started my collection in the 80’s while traveling and it just continues to grow every year. I have plates from all the places I have visited in Europe and the US. Some are fine china and others are pewter or stone ware but all of them have some kind of connection to a time or place that Tom and I have shared over the years. I am sure many of you have collections of souvenirs, my father had stones from many of the places he went and when he passed he had a large “rock collection”. A friend collects shot glasses from her travels and some collect spoons, or decks of cards. Some times the items in our collections help us remember a place better and sometimes a great story to go along with the item.

 

kitchen wall full of plates

kitchen wall full of plates

jubilee chine from England

Jubilee china from England

 

Delft transfer ware wooden shoe maker

Delft transfer ware wooden shoe maker Holland

Tier Germany Volks Marching plates

Trier, Germany Volks Marching china plate

West Virginia State Park stoneware plate, Holly River State Park image

West Virginia State Park stoneware plate, Holly River State Park image

What do you collect? What kind of memories do they hold for you or are they just for the fun of collecting. How did your collection start. As I said above mine started as a way to remember some of the places I have traveled and grew from that. Let me know that I am not alone in having way to much stuff and not enough room to share it all!

I also want to thank Holly over at Redterrain for the idea of talking about objects we love and why we love them. She has a wonderful Photography blog of her home in Australia and she wanted to know if her readers had some object that we have a deep connection to… and as you can see I just wanted to show her my Plate collection. I love them and they are one of the few things in the this world I would miss if I had to give them up.

Categories: About me, collections, Collector Plates, Dishes, family memories, heirlooms, Home Decor, Horses, Memories, nostalgic, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Family Tradition: Deer Season Opening Day Nov 27th 2014

I was born into a hunting family, I married into a hunting family and I am now raising my own little hunters. So if you find hunting or eating wild game offensive please skip this post. The hunting life style is a huge part of our everyday lives here in North Central West Virginia. Our family’s have hunted for wild game for generations. This is a wonderful photo of my husbands Grand Father with a 28 point buck that shot some time in the 1950’s in Randolph County West Virginia.

Thomas Bennton Powers  with his monster buck

Thomas Benton Powers with his monster buck

My father on the other hand hunted for Elk and Mule deer in the mountains of Colorado. Both families eat what they hunted and were subsistence hunters. This was a way to feed their  family’s through long cold winters and lower the cost of having sometimes 4 to 8 children.

So hunting in my family today is less important to sustain our smaller families, but is still a deeply rooted part of who we are as people. It is on these cold dark November mornings that sometimes three and ever four generations gather together after working long hours all summer to find time to finally visit. In most cases the whole family gets involved in some way, some cook food for the hunters who roam in and out, some butcher, some hunt, some grind and pack but every one takes part in the opening of Deer Season.

Toms dad with a nice buck in the 1980's

Toms dad with a nice buck in the 1980’s

Tradition is that Grandma starts Grandpa’s coffee pot around 5:00 a.m. on opening morning. The sisters get chili on the stove for lunch and I  wash knives clean grinders and get butcher paper out and get ready to butcher.The drive way slowly fills with trucks and SUV’s and at 5:45 a.m. just about everyone in the family besides the smallest children are up eating a hardy breakfast going over plans for the day. Before the death of my father-in-law mornings in the kitchen sometime warmed 10 people ready to head to the woods looking for a deer that was worth the effort of dragging home.

Cody A Powers age 8 first deer.. 1998... 78 years after the above photo of his great grandfathers deer

Cody A Powers age 9 first deer.. 2000… 50 years after the above photo of his great grandfathers deer

In our family it is not only the men who hunt and my daughter in law and myself have hunted and learned the rules of safe hunting. We are not able to hunt as often as the men but we enjoy what time we can spend in the cool quite mountain air just like they do. The hunting sport is very adaptable for anyone who choose to have the experience. My son who is 6 will hunt with his dad this year although he is not allowed to kill any thing until he is 8 years old. I will hunt later in the year after the Thanksgiving rush is over and go muzzle-loader hunting in Dec. if my foot allows. My daughter in laws brother who is a paraplegic will hunt from his truck in a mountain meadow with a friend again this year. The people who enjoy the hunting experience are as different as any group but share one common believe. That hunting is a gift, that nature should be shared and protected. That the more time we are able to get back to our roots the better we are as people.

Opening day of deer season young couple hunting together(Cody and Jamie Powers)

Opening day of deer season young couple hunting together(Cody and Jamie Powers)

Hunting teaches so many lessons that are rarely learned any place else. First is of course is gun safety and second is the lesson about life and death. It is in a hunters first kill that they discover the emotional and moral consequences of killing another being. There are many people who after that first kill discover that hunting is NOT EASY. It is not a prideful experience and many people chose to never do it again. Then there are others who give thanks for what they have received from the earth and know that with the loss of one life, ours will continue. It is one of the only ways that a person can feel that they are truly part of the cycle of life. That you are a living part of nature, part of a system that is older than the human race.

Cody at 22 years old with his 1st wild turkey.

Cody at 22 years old with his 1st wild turkey.

I know that there are bad people everywhere and the hunting community has their share. I can’t tell you that people do not poach wild animals, I can’t tell you that people don’t trophy hunt. I can’t tell you that people don’t get hurt while hunting, guns are dangerous and deadly. What I can tell you is this, that the time shared outside with a grandfather or grandmother is what teaches the next generation about the meaning of life. It is the connection from one generation to the next that forms a bond of education and respect. I want my sons and grandsons to have the same experiences and life lessons that my husband and I have had in the woods. It is from generations back that we teach others how to have respect for what the land gives to us.

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

So as opening morning of deer season approaches the excitement builds. The guns get cleaned, the warm gloves are found, friends called and plans confirmed. When dawn comes you experance a fall sunrise through the trees, watch steam rise from an icy pond, listening to chip monk chattering in the leaves and see hunting in a different way. It really isn’t about killing at all. It is about family and wild life and the glory of an early morning in the woods.

Tom and Christopher getting ready to hunt together age 5

Tom and Christopher getting ready to hunt together age 5

Categories: Appalachian Mountains, Cody, deer hunting, family memories, Hunting, natural resources, Seneca Rocks, Uncategorized, Venison, wild food, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lewis County Fair Brings Families Together Again 2014

Powers family on the bumper cars at the LC fair 2014

Powers family on the bumper cars at the LC fair 2014, Cody and Paige in the back car, Me in the middle and Tom and Christopher in the front

 

Hot, humid, summer evenings in West Virginia are often spent at fairs and festivals. It seems that country families really enjoy standing around  visiting with old friends and passing around a new round of gossip at the county fairs. Our small county actually has two large fair events every summer. The first is the Lewis County fair where you take the little ones for their first experience on carnival rides, like the bumper cars and the carousel  horses. The other, that I will be writing about more in a following post, is the animal and project centered fair called the 4-H Jamboree.  It is on these hot evenings that families get their kids together to share in traditional country fun and young lovers find time to hold hands and kiss while sharing a night of carnival games and prizes.

This was the first year that Christopher my son and my Granddaughter Paige were really old  enough to enjoy the rides and have fun trying to win a prized gold-fish. Then something happened when the old folks also got in those aged cars, we transformed into youngsters too. For just one moment we were young again and smiles flowed freely and laughter was heard. The world faded away and the noise and lights took the place of work and bills. All we could think about was getting our wife or husbands to buy rounds a funnel cakes and fresh squeezed Lemonade. So at 45 and 50 years of age, Tom and I spent the evening enjoying making memories with our kids and grand kids. Feeding them red and blue snow cones that turned their lips and tongues vivid colors and watching them laugh and scream for MORE !

Christopher and Paige on the boat ride.

Christopher and Paige on the boat ride.

This year our family chose to see the annual Demolishen Derby. It was a great time watching family friends stuff sweaty heads into  helmets to crash old cars unfit for the road. They have several classes for everyone who wants to compete. There is a youth class for kids 12 to 18, a 4 cylinder and a 6 to 8 cylinder class for the older and heavy framed cars.

Demolishen Derby car smoking from raditator

Demolishen Derby car smoking from radiator

The noise alone is a draw for me. From a distance you hear engines whining and throttles growling as the racers try to disable all the other cars in the race by smashing them until they will not run or get stuck.

cars racing at the demolishen derby

 

smoke pouring out of a Demolishen Derby car

smoke pouring out of a Demolishen Derby car

We all cheered as the last cars fought it out and the smoke rolled from the losing cars. The winners receive huge trophies and a gas card as prizes. Then the bulldozer  moves in a pulls the wreckage out of the ring and the next round begins.

As the derby ends we return to the rides and games. The kids know that with the darkening sky we are about to head home and they cry for one last ride on their favorite rides. Christopher heads to the giant slide and hollers on his way down.

gaint slide ride at the LC fair

giant slide ride at the LC fair

 

Paige on the other hand heads for the water ball ride.  This is the new ride for our family and it is something I wish I could take home with me. A large inflated tube floating on a pool of water. Much like a bouncy castle but better!

Paige Powers in Water ball ride at the fair 2014

Paige Powers in Water ball ride at the fair 2014

 

Water tube ride with Christopher

Water tube ride with Christopher and Paige.

The night slips in on us and the kids have arm loads of toys, bags full of gold-fish and blue stained lips. The parents are hot and sticky from the humid air at the fair. We hold sleepy hands as we all walk  back to the cars and trucks. Everyone is happy, we spent an evening together laughing and eating and being kids again. This is the magic of a fair, that no matter what the events are, no matter the amount of friends you see, no matter the amount of money spent, for a few hours you have fun. The same fun that your parents had at a fairs years ago. It is as if time stands still if only for a few hours and you have fun!

Fair lights at dusk heading home 2014

Fair lights at dusk heading home 2014

Categories: Demolishen Derby, family fun, family memories, Lewis County Fair, old age | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Cancer sucks! /Know One Gets Out of Here alive

Most everyone has experienced  Cancer in some way.We all know some one who has it, is recovering from it or has passed away from it. I have even owned a dog with it. It is a ruthless killer and if you are lucky to know, or  be some one who has survived it, you are a miracle. My life is up side down due to my dearly loved mother-in-laws diagnoses with throat cancer. If all you were not following to close this maybe the first time that you have seen me write about it. I was trying to let the terrible words sink in and not totally put a damper on my husbands 50th birthday party the last time I wrote about it. March 26 we were given the news that she had stage 3 throat cancer. It was a hard couple of days and my husband had a large birthday party planed 3 days later. How to celebrate the life of one loved one and stifle the tears for another one. It was a hard couple of days.4 generations of the powers family 2014 This is not even the first time I have dreaded hearing the words cancer as my X-husband passed from stomach cancer about 7 years ago at age 41, his mother soon after was also treated for cancer and survives to this day. I have seen my aunt fight to keep her breast for as long a possible fighting a little lump that would change her life. Cancer is part every species, race, age group, nation and living creature on the earth.We all fight the same battle and none of us is going to get out of here alive.

Cancer seems to either bring out the very best in people or the worst. I am proud to say that most of our family has come together in support of my mother in law. We all have heard stories about wives or husbands walking away from a sick spouse or a families falling  apart when a child becomes ill. It is a strange  thing to observe who hangs in their and who walks away. My husband and I are in the stay and fight camp. We along with his brother and sisters are all standing our ground in her fight against cancer.

Grandma is now receiving  her first round of radiation and is fighting infections of all kinds. It seems that when the cancer started to really grow in her body she was just worn down and infections of all kinds set in. It is as if one break down lead to another, some are even mental and spiritual. It has been a long hard fight but there is some light at the end of the tunnel now. The tumor is shrinking and she is slowly healing and gaining strength. At this point we are just hoping that  she will get to go home and spend some time with us. It is a simple wish from the heart with nothing flashy or brash.We know that with this type of cancer our time maybe limited so we make the best our of what time we have. grandma Wanda Dec 2013 Living surrounded by so much beauty here in the country you forget about what really happens in life sometimes. We all do, we all focus on work and dinner and paying bills, we just don’t always think about what happens at the end. It is our nature to not think about it, we are human. Then something makes you look at it again and you can only embrace the fact that it is part of the plan that we are born into, we are babies, we live, we die and the cycle begins again. This is what I see in the country every day. The farmers, the ranchers, herders live with it day in and day out, with death and birth, over and over again. I look out my kitchen window and see the hay that grows and watch as it gets mowed down in its prime, just so in the cold of winter something will live again. It is a perfect undisturbed system. I have been so lucky to share this country life with my mother in law for so many years. We lived only yards apart on the farm, we shared in the planting, growing and harvesting together. It was on the family farm that I learned about her and cycle of life that she loves still today. She taught me that every thing on the farm was a gift and that gift needed shared.

Grandma Wanda Powers with Christopher

Grandma Wanda Powers with Christopher

My family and  I know that what seems like an ending is really just the beginning.  A new beginning for her no matter where it takes her and for all of us who get to learn to step forward and teach others about what she has taught us over her 76 years. Cancer sucks,on that we can all agree, but it is really only a step towards the next phase in the journey. One that she is prepared to take and we will stand by her all the way.

Spike buck horns in the woods

Spike buck horns in the woods

 

Categories: Death, Family, family memories, Healing, health, old age | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Happy Anniversary to me twice

Funny how a life time slowly unfolds. I would  have never guessed the my WordPress blog anniversary  and my wedding anniversary would fall on the same day. I never planned it to happen like this but it is a great way to remember the  things in my life that I enjoy the most.

This year Tom and are officially married 22 years but  I do tend to think of it as 23 years mainly because I was pregnant with our first child  most of that year. We were unable to get married  because Tom was off fighting in the Gulf War and only returned a few days before my oldest sons birth in April of 1991.  We finally made it official and chose to get married on Valentines Day of 1992. I could have picked any day and Tom would not have complained as long as we were all together. I chose this day because like this year it was a holiday that fell on a Friday and we could get married and have a long weekend and the court-house was open and Tom was able to get the day off work. Real romantic? Well, we were young and broke and had a baby to take care of so it was  great fun for us even if it was not fancy, huge and expensive. It was a perfect start to a wonderful life together and some how it  foreshadows our lives and how we would live them the next twenty years.

Tom and JoLynn Powers first wedding kiss 2-14 -1992

Tom and JoLynn Powers first wedding kiss 2-14 -1992

Over the years we have spent most of our time and money on outdoor adventures. We have traveled many miles to hunt, fish, camp, trail ride, and farm over 23 years. It has never been about who has the biggest house or nicest car it was always about learning and trying some thing  new. I am so glad that I have found someone who, like me, loves to focus on what the next mountain has to offer and what we can learn from it. Life is a Journey not a Destination.

The other thing that I am so happy about is being  a part of is the WordPress world. I actually started blogging a full year before I moved to Word Press. I found that the other web sites hard to manage and they did not have the space for large photos . I moved and never looked back . I have  met so many wonderful writers and bloggers, that now just like my marriage, I can’t imagine my life with out all of you as part of it. I continue to work on writing better blog posts and learn more about writing. I have a dream that one day I will fill a canning cook book with stories and memories and recipes the you all help me to compose. I would have never known that their were people out their who love and live the same quite, deliberate way that we do with out my blog.

Word press anniversary-1

Word press anniversary-1

So thank you WordPress, it has been a great 1st year and I hope to keep working towards my dreams and sharing them here. Who knows, in  about 20 more years Valentines day will fall on a Friday again and I will be a published author, a great Grandmother, a wife and a woman who is still trying some thing new!

Categories: About me, blogging, family memories, Marriage, Valintines | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The advice I gave my Daughter in law about winter driving that applies to so much more

Photo of Boulder Colorado thanks to Alex Smits Photography.com

Photo of Boulder Colorado thanks to Alex Smits Photography.com

Growing up at the foot hills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder Colorado where is seems that winter lasts 6 months of the year, we all got lots of practice driving in snow and slush. I admit, I was a very timid and stressful winter driver in my youth, but I did learn something after a few winters under my belt. The most important and what I shared with my daughter in law this last week was learning to NOT be a white knuckle driver. I am not sure if this a common expression or is just what my mother called it. The white knuckle driver is one who  holds the steering wheel so tight that the knuckles on the back of you hands turn white from the grip that you have on the wheel. Where you are so afraid of what is happening on the road that the tension is visible all over your body. Most young drivers experience this while learning to drive and it passes only to return when winter weather reappears. So when I am feeling stressed behind the wheel in the winter, I still to this day, I take a deep breath  and play this song in my head to remind myself what to do.

38 Special… “Hold On Loosely”

If you choose not to see the video  I still want to share with you the chorus with you so that you understand what is that I am trying to get at.  ” Just hold on loosely, but don’t let go, if you cling to tightly to her, you’re gonna lose control”. This is a simple way for me to force myself to slow down, take a deep breath and stop white knuckling my way through life.

snow covered road by Jeff Cook.

snow-covered road by Jeff Cook.

38 Special  wrote and preformed the song with a love affair in mind, but I like to take the idea and expand it to life in general.  How often have we all smothered our loved ones, our children or choked off other opportunities in our lives because we were to afraid to just let life happen. We are terrified that we would not be able to handle the results of a life lived in the present. We do not believe in ourselves enough to handle what life was giving us. I was guilty of this much of my youth.

I wanted all the details of everyone’s lives. I had to check in with my friends a million times a day. I worried that if I wasn’t part of what was happening then something terrible would happen. Well guess what, terrible things happen everyday, all across the world, in my town and yours, to people we love and those we do not know at all and it happens with or without us. The reality is that we really have very little control over the weather, our friends, family or at times our own health. So it is by choice that I have tried to stop letting worry control my happiness.

Instead of worrying about everything that happens in my life I have learned, as the song says,” To Hold On Loosely, But Not Let Go”. To allow for the bumps in the road and the twists and turns that we all experience without totally losing my way in the world. Age gives you insight to realize that there is really nothing that you can not over come in your life if you are willing to just Hold On, Not Give Up and Try Again.

So to my Daughter In Law I said  “Try not to white knuckle all the fun out of life by trying to control the things that you can’t”. Don’t lose your balance and happiness because the fear of losing something or someone.We all lose it is part of life, but you can keep your sense of happiness if you just remember to ” Take a deep breath, go slow and hold on loosely but don’t let go”.

I am sure that our conversation about winter driving made sense to her it is easy to understand The  other part about not doing the same for her family, friends and future may have made her think that I was just crazy, I just hope when the time comes in her life that she will think back on this song and find some solace there.

toms truck on a snowy road near old house

toms truck on a snowy road near old house

Categories: Colorado, family memories, music, rock music, snow, winter driving | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Photo review of 2013 with Mountain Mama

I just can’t help the fact that I love where I live and the people around me. I take thousands of photos every year and some never make it to  my blog and others are only uploaded on to Facebook and or sent to friends and family. So, I thought  I would take a few hours and let you see what it is that make my world go around and share in some of the best and worst moments of my year. So hers goes… GOOD-BYE 2013 and hello to a fresh new year.

Birth place of General Stone Wall Jackson, Jacksons' Mill, West Virginia  January 2013

Birth place of General Stone Wall Jackson, Jackson’s’ Mill, West Virginia January 2013

I started taking photos for a photo challenge this past year and it was fun to really push myself for ideas and places to photograph.. I did pretty well until they put my foot in a soft cast where the cold and wet and lack of being stable on my feet made me drop the challenge. This was one of the first locations that Christopher and I traveled to and explored in the very cold 18 degree weather in Jan of 2013. Jackson’s Mill is a State Owned property where they hold 4-h camps, state conferences and have saved historic buildings like this one, home of General Stone Wall Jackson. This large property and air field are only about 2 miles from my home and include a grist mill that I hope to write about in the future.

Snow on the plow at General Stone Wall Jackson's home place Jackson Mill, West Virginia

Snow on the plow at General Stone Wall Jackson’s home place Jackson Mill, West Virginia

The for the month of February Christopher and I made a photo tour of one of our favorite places in Lewis County  our historic Library.This is the location of our local book club that I help to start in the month of Feb. I love the old building and wish If I ever had the money to change the world this would be the place that I would put my money to work for my small community.

a 4 story mansion donated to the city of weston  for use as a llibrary

a 4 story mansion donated to the city of Weston for use as a library

Christopher hamming  it up with me when we found a not so used bathroom on the third floor.

Christopher sitting the bath tube of the Lewis Bennett Library of Weston West Virginia

Christopher sitting the bath tube of the Lewis Bennett Library of Weston West Virginia 2013

Spring was slowly creeping into the mountain state in March and we were  so happy to start to see life again that I started looking outside for more ideas  and this is what I found.

Tom Powers working with horses at Cross Creek Farm

Tom Powers working with horses at Cross Creek Farm

One of the few days that was really beautiful in March with temps in the 40’s  and warm enough to get started on the spring trimmings again. While Tom worked hard on getting these lovely animals ready to head back up the mountains Christopher and I wondered the country road near by to find things of interest.

Christopher walking along a country road in Lewis County West Viriginia

Christopher walking along a country road in Lewis County West Virginia

April is always a mixed bag of events at our house Tom and Cody have birthdays at the end of March and the first of April so it is always a time of celebration.  We try to adventure some where to shake off the dust and dirt from the long winter spent inside and this year was no different. We headed to Kentucky and had a ball at Makers Mark Distillery, the Kentucky Horse Park and Historic Bardstown, Ky. I hope to return to Bardstown it is one of the most beautiful and friendly towns I have ever visited and this is the “off-season” the Derby would still be a month away and the city is really alive then.

Easter and Kentucky Derby hats in a window store front in Bards Town, Ky

Easter and Kentucky Derby hats in a window store front in Bardstown, Ky

 Historic John Rowan house. Old Kentucky State    Park, Bardstown Kentucky

Historic John Rowan house. Old Kentucky State Park, Bardstown Kentucky

With spring in full force May is always focused on our gardens, yards, flowers and ramps. I did some blogging about the wild onions if you want to learn more about wild onions and how to use them. Our family loves to spend the day in the mountains with a picknick lunch and a bag full of ramps.

Spring ramp digging Christopher holding a the first ramp

Spring ramp digging Christopher holding a the first ramp

I also start to see the wonderful spring flowers appear and could not help myself for taking a few photos of them.

white Peony at the Stoneley Farm

white Peony at the Stoneley Farm

June 20th is our celebration of state hood here in the Mountain State.  This year Tom and I spent the day working on customers horses.Were lucky enough that afternoon to find thousands and thousands of wild flowers in bloom along the long-deserted road between farms. My favorite is the wild roses that have  a million tiny thorns and are in this hot pink color. The smell fills the air for miles and you just want to stop and enjoy the warm sun, the sweet smell and a long country road.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Terry Washborn's shed with wild roses and trumpet vines

Terry Washborn’s shed covered in wild roses and trumpet vines

July found us Camping near Canaan Valley  in the mountains of West Virginia. We found a remote camp ground where the water of the Potomac was warm and clear and the weekend was lazy and we found time to act  silly and share family time.

Tom and Christopher wearing the big bear hats just being silly

Tom and Christopher wearing the big bear hats just being silly at Smoke hole caverns

Country Roads take me home Hwy 55 Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

Country Roads take me home Hwy 55 Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

August found us looking for wild mushrooms and boy to we hit the jack pot all summer and fall. I was over whelmed with the variety color and size of the mushroom we and our friends found. What a great way to spend a hot humid afternoon. Head for the cool shaded woods and come home to a feast of wild West Virginia mushrooms.

wild chanterelle Mushrooms found in Harrison County, West Virginia

wild chanterelle Mushrooms found in Harrison County, West Virginia

Wild mushroom, Hen of the Woods, found by the trunkful

Wild mushroom, Hen of the Woods, found by the trunkful

wild Bollete cap

September started a new stage to our lives as Christopher started school. We said good-bye to my little guy and said hello to a student. We also said good-by to Christopher’s  Step Grand father and shared in losing someone from Alzheimer’s and the destruction that it has put my family through.

Christopher'd first day at school Sep 2013

Christopher’s first day at school Sep 2013

Honor guard the funeral of Minter Mowrey

Honor guard the funeral of Minter Mowery

The fall was creeping in and Oct is one of my favorite months if you can miss the rain that begins to fall.  We found a beautiful weekend and took off to take photos in the northern part of the state and see an abandoned State Penitentiary in Moundsville. I found its structure breath-taking and it history ominous. It was one of the most interesting places I have had the opportunity to photograph in years.

veiw of Moundsville State Penitentuary, Moundsville, West Virginia

view of Moundsville State Penitentiary, Moundsville, West Virginia

Christopher and I on top  of the Indian mound in Moundsville West Virginia

Christopher and I on top of the Indian mound in Moundsville West Virginia

The next two months are a total blur. Hunting season begins and the holidays  add to  the already busy time so it seems I must have forgotten to take any beautiful photos.  But my family  had a successful fall with many happy evenings telling hunting stories and me and the kids processing the meat for the long cold winter. I also am happy to report that my little book club has reached its 9th month of  continuous reading and we are still going strong.

Cody Powers with his 8 point buck

Cody Powers with his 8 point buck

Janice, Sandy and Christopher at our Thanksgiving Book club meeting

Janice, Sandy and Christopher at our Thanksgiving Book club meeting

Then as I was just getting ready to decorate for the Holidays I finally gave into the pain that I was experiencing in my foot and came to find out that I had broken a bone in the bottom of my left foot . This is what Santa gave to me about the 13 th of Dec.

My New air cast and 6 weeks off work

My New air cast and 6 weeks off work

I am currently off work  and feeling better. I hope to get things back to ” normal” what ever that is in a couple of weeks. This was also the best time for me to have this happen as work is slow and I could spend more time with my family over the holidays. I also learned to slow down and sit still a little better from this adventure and that was a lesson I found very hard at first but it is growing on me now. I plan  more rest in the new year and learning about that  not pushing my ageing body quite so hard.

fire works over the West Virginia State Capital 2013

fire works over the West Virginia State Capital 2013

 HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERY ONE !

may I see and hear from all of you through out 2014.

Categories: About me, Appalachian Mountains, Death, family memories, Holidays, Kentucky, Louis Bennett Library, Maker's Mark, Mushrooms, photo review | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Memories of Grandpaw P. and Mock Mince Meat Pie

  As I finish up making my Thanksgiving Turkey I want to share with all of you some thing that I love…. it is the tradition of MEAT FREE, Mock Mince Meat at our Thanksgiving table. Toms Dad made the filling from his garden every few years. Home made pie and filling was one of his many specialties. The recipe came from his mother  who made it before “Grandpa Powers” birth in 1918. Making this pie over 100 years old. I miss him at this time of year more than any other. My own father passing away when I was five made my relationship with him very sentimental. He only lived a few years after Tom and I married but his importance to my family lingers around the holidays.

mock mincemeat, pumpkin pie and chocolet cake

mock mincemeat, pumpkin pie and chocolate cake

    He is the one who inspired all the canning and gardening that Tom and I do. His gardens were huge in comparison to anything that I have ever tried and he was able to keep a family of 9 or more at times, well feed and well stocked on fresh vegetables and fruit from his trees. He knew his way around the kitchen and shared my love of food and having family all around. I only wish that I had more time to pick his brain. He had so much knowledge in his head that I could still use today.

   So when I make and fill my pies today I think of him and all the years his hands worked so hard to take care of all of us.The bushels of apples and green tomatoes that he had to be picked to fill just one jar of spicy goodness. The hours of time it takes to make the filling stirring every few minutes to make sure it does not scorch and the money spent on the spices and pounds of sugar. The steam from the canner as the quart jars rise out to cool on the kitchen table. It is him that I see and hear when I open the jar of my frist batch of that Mock Mince Meat… he stands beside me as I roll out a crust and pour in the filling. He whispers to me that I should have cooked down the filling just a little bit more, but the flavor is right. He reminds me to check the oven and not burn the pie and reappears when we slice each piece.

He is here with us for Thanksgiving because we fallow a tradition that means nothing to anyone but us. The pie will be with us until I can no longer make the filling from our garden and trees. It will then pass to my sons who already  have the recipe and are learning about the huge amount of time and love all went into one very simple pie.

thanks giving table with food 2013

thanks giving table with food 2013

 The following is the actual recipe that we fallow to make our MEAT FREE MOCK MINCE MEAT pie filling.

  Mock Mincemeat

  • 15 lb green Tomatoes
  • 15 lb Apples
  • 3 lb Raisins
  • 1 cup Cider Vinegar
  • 12 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Table spoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Table spoon Allspice
  • 2 Table spoon Cloves
  • 4 Table spoon Salt
  • 1/2 pound beef fat from butcher

Wash, core and chop unpeeled green tomatoes… grind or finally chop in food processor. Drain through colander lined with cheese cloth into shallow pan. Measure juice after draining and discard. Place tomatoes in large stainless steel kettle with 2 tablespoons salt adding small amount of water to keep from scorching. Bring to boil, strain hot tomatoes again and remove excess juice.Again add 2 tablespoons salt and water boil again strain and remove excess juice.Wash, peel, core and chop apples, chop up beef tallow into tiny chucks, add apples raisins, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves. Cook together until thick. (1 to 2 hours) stirring frequently, mixture will be thick and sticky. Ladle into hot sterilized quart jars leaving 1″ head space. Process 20 minutes..in boilng water bath.

Categories: cakes and family deserts, cooking, family memories, gardening, Pie | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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