Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Wrong

I was at King Soopers (local grocery store) on Tuesday. I walked by the Halloween candy. Of course, it is all displayed all over the store and has been for a month. As I walk by the "seasonal" aisle, what do I see? Cheap, Plastic Christmas Decorations!!! That is right, at the end of September I am apparently suppose to by some ornaments for the tree, at the grocery store no less. I am horrified, but think to myself, well it is only a few at the end, they were just filling up the aisle, right? Wrong!

As K was riding the penny pony, I see MORE decorations. Yard decorations, flashing Santas, blinking lights, more tree ornaments, and more consumer junk. What in the world is wrong with us? Seriously, Christmas decorations on September 28th? Hurry honey, only 3 months left, pull out the tree, string the lights, and let Santa start blinking in the yard. I like Christmas as much as the next person, I like all my decorations and stuff, but there is no way "they" will convince me I need to start buying decorations for it now. Note: I do try to buy the kids gifts for Christmas throughout the year and save them. Note 2: I DO NOT need one more Christmas decoration, no matter how cute it is, so "they" are barking up the wrong tree anyway.

But if you are looking for a little Christmas cheer in October, I have your solution.

HoHoHo! Happy End of September!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Family Friday - CW Adams

Here are the words of CW Adams in one of several articles he wrote about his life and life in Missouri. This was published in the Shelbina Democrat, on March 31, 1937. The article is headlined, "A Reader 58 Years"

Dear Sirs:

I see in the paper you would like to hear from each one who has been a subscriber to the Democrat for fifty years or more. I was born in Kentucky, came to Missouri with my parents when two years of age and lived on a farm two miles north of Old Clinton in Monroe County. My father was in the Civil War and died at Kirksville, MO.

I was married February 20, 1879 to Bettie Collins, daughter of the late Hiram Collins. We went to housekeeping on a farm 8 miles south of Clarence in a little house with a stick chimney. The hearth was made of flat stones and we subscribed to the Shelbina Democrat and have been looking forward each week for it ever since, which I can still read without glasses, a record of 58 years.

In 1879 we bought a farm of 100 acres, paying $700, which we sold for $900.

Eventually we lived on a farm that is now 400 acres on which we lived and reared eight children, all now married and have homes of their own. In 1907 we moved into the property known as the Sam Shale property.

I served the county court as judge of the Western district for 8 years. My wife passed away October 11, 1935, and was buried on the family lot in Shelbina cemetery. Since I have lived alone, having my cow and chickens, also feed and market a number of hog each year. I am in my 84th year and still get a lot of pleasure out of life.

Back to me now. I have had a super busy week. So I haven't been able to work as much as I would have liked, but will be updating everything soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Family Friday - Elizabeth Hall Adams

Meet Elizabeth Hall Adams, an American hero and my great-great-great-great grandmother.

Elizabeth Hall Adams is probably one of the strongest, most amazing person I will never get to meet on earth. The above is a photocopy of a painted picture, below the pic is what is written on the back of the painting. I believe the Chariton County Historical Society now has the original. For those without superduper eyesight, I will summarize the above and what I have found out about Elizabeth.

Elizabeth was born in Kentucky about 1830. I don't know who her parents were. She married Henry Adams in Henry, Kentucky and moved to Missouri when my 3rd great-grandfather, Charles Adams, was 2 years old. They set up farming and continued having children. Six children were born and thrived and Elizabeth was the backbone, the brains, and the heart of it. The narrative above explains that Henry died during the Civil War in what amounted to a skirmish at Kirksville. Apparently a seven month pregnant Elizabeth begged Henry not to go, but he did. I can see that scene in my head, the anger and fear, the love. He did die shortly afterward, leaving Elizabeth pregnant, with a farm, 5 other children and family, friends, and church. I wonder if he knew? Was it quick or did he have time to think, to worry, to regret? Elizabeth and a neighbor went to try and get the body, but couldn't due to the war making travel unsafe. Later another neighbor brought her some things from his pockets and his horse. I assume he was buried where he died, there is only a small monument to the battle at Kirksville.

Can you imagine? Being pregnant, a farm wife, young children and no man? I can only imagine the pain of losing a husband so young, the fear of the future, the anger and love toward him. There was no social security. No medicaid. No section 8 housing. No jobs for women with children. No counseling for widows of the civil war. Poorhouses and orphanages, yes, but no one wanted to be in those places. Elizabeth stayed on the farm and raised those 6 children, she never remarried. Her children went on to be farmers, judges, shop keepers, wives. Elizabeth did it because if she didn't, she and her children would not survive as a family.

How did she do it? With family, church and friends and harder work than most of us have ever had to know. Her oldest son was 12 years old when his father died. I look at my children and I can't imagine one of them really being a man of the house at 12, but I bet Charles was. He plowed, he planted, he harvested, and so did his siblings and his mother. They sewed clothes, fed chickens and milked cows, they dried tobacco, they knit socks, cut firewood, they scraped by and I bet they ate bread for dinner on more than one occassion. But the point is, Elizabeth and family did do it. They grieved, they loved, they cried, they laughed, they lived, they built this great country..... and because of this we continue to do so.

We forget what makes a hero anymore. Money and power do not make a hero. Touchdowns, home runs, and baskets certainly don't make people heroes. Sacrifice, love, hardwork and doing whatever you have to for your family, that is heroic. And that makes Elizabeth an American hero.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Wierd Little Thing

I met a woman this summer who swore she could not live without paper towels. That is right. Paper towels. I mean, who needs running water, it is the paper towels that are really keeping civilization from collapsing. I never had the nerve to tell her, I don't use paper towels and haven't for several years. Not because I was embarassed or anything. Honestly, I didn't want to embarass her.

When I first gave up the paper towel addiction, my mother actually sent down some paper towels with my oldest son. Cause, you know, you wouldn't want your baby going without paper towels. I love my mother dearly, she is wonderful. But she also once told me you can't have a baby without a microwave. The stork drops off the baby in the microwave or ..... I am still not sure how that all works??? We got rid of our microwave a couple of years ago, so I think I am safe. But I digress....

My own husband would get pretty peeved when he went to reach for the paper towels, and there weren't any. How could he wipe up spilled stuff? What would happen to the counters? Hmmmm, were we doomed to live in sticky spilled stuff? Would I find the children stuck to the kitchen floor an hour after a juice spill? No, instead I knit discloths. Lots of them. All 100% cotton, all different designs. Some plain, some with fun things on them. So far, they have lasted and lasted, no tears, rips or holes, unlike the ones I bought at WalMart. And guess what, the knitted dishcloth work really well. They wipe up spilled stuff. They wipe tables, they wipe floors, they wipe counters. Then they get thrown in the basement and get washed, just like a towel. Just like it, amazing, huh?

Not amazing. I can assure you most of your ancestors did not have nor use paper towels. They would just not understand spending money on a paper towel, quite honestly I probably spent more on paper towels in one Costco visit than my great-grandparents made in a month.

Now I am not saying we should go back to using the Sears catalog in the old outhouse. And if you told me five years ago that I would knit my own dishcloths, I would have laughed so very hard, tears would have been flowing down my face. But once again, I am forced to learn never say never. I am just saying, you can definitely live without paper towels. Good for the enviroment, good for the wallet. And I knit a pretty cute Halloween dishcloth today. It will be listed tomorrow, probably as a pair. And a Christmas pair. And will do a custom order to match your kitchen, if you would like. And for cheaper than that box of paper towels from Costco!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dyeing Lessons

I dyed some more fiber this week. I wanted to keep with the Halloween theme and do black and orange. I did some black and orange sampling and it was cute.

I failed with the reusing the black dye. I should have known it would be too faded. Here it is, lovely dark gray. No it actually isn't even a lovely dark gray, it isn't lovely at all. So overdye is tomorrow. Black, fresh black.
Now the orange on the other hand:

Turned out quite orange, just like it should. And it is drying and awaiting its fate in the spinning wheel....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Grand Opening Week

I did it! I listed some of my yarns and well, there they are all listed at Etsy. I'll be adding more yarn and more little knits every day for a while, so please check back often! Tomorrow I will be listing a couple of skeins of my prize winning yarn. I love it and will save one skein, but I have several and they are just beautiful.

Today I listed the beautiful baby alpaca that I love. It was so fun to spin and has such a beautiful halo.

I also technically had my first sale today. But it was to my sweet motherinlaw, she bought the cute Perfectly Pumpkin. I appreciate her being so supportive, she is like that.

So, I am officially up and running. Check it out:

Friday, September 10, 2010


I think I finally got the banner problem worked out! Yea Me! It isn't perfect, but it is pretty darn good. I probably will play with it a little, but not too much. Frankly, I am tired of the thing. Now, for real, for sure, my little etsy shop will open over the weekend. I'll announce it, and I will be offering free shipping to open.

So onward to more enjoyable things. Over Labor Day we went to the state fair down in Pueblo. It was very hot and very fun. I loved seeing all the animals, people, rides, arts, food - all of it! The kids loved playing in the fountain since it was so hot. I think next year I will enter some knitting and spinning in the state fair, as well as the county fair again.

Also, the kids and I went to the balloon festival on Sunday. Good thing we didn't wait until Monday, as the balloons were grounded due to the wind. It is so amazing to watch them inflate and take off. And the colors are gorgeous.

We had such a nice time seeing the balloons. One of my favorite traditions, I started taking L several years ago and we would watch from near the park. But the last few years we have actually gone to the park, which isn't nearly as crowded as one would think. After the balloon takes off, many try to "dip" their basket into the lake before going all the way up. And when they do, everyone cheers, it is so cool. Colorful balloons - the child in all of us should still be amazed by the balloons.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I admit I like the computer. I think it is a great invention, tool, appliance, whatever you want to call it. But right now, I would like to throw my computer across the room and stomp on it like a child having a tantrum.

As many of you know, I am trying to set up and start an etsy shop. I want to sell some of my yarn and other products. Sounds simple, right? Sure, no problem. Making a stupid, stupid banner has turned into a huge annoyance. HUGE! To the point I just asked, no begged, my sister in law for help. See I can make the banner.

Cute, isn't it? A little small in this picture, but apparently still too big for my etsy banner.

I have some beautiful yarn, I am sure somebody right now is saying, I wish I could buy some Pretty Pumpkin yarn. Meanwhile, my poor little Pumpkin yarn is sitting in the dark cedar chest, saying I wish someone could use me. And the two should meet, but there is a banner standing in the way.

Ahhhh! Computers.