Category Archives: Oklahoma

“Thank You for the food we eat”: a Dick and Jane Altered Book

Mother, Jane, Father, Sally, and Dick

Dick and Jane readers were a wonderful part of my childhood – I still get such a cozy feeling just looking at them. So, when my sister, Abby and I decided to exchange little handmade Thanksgiving books last year, I chose the Dick and Jane theme for the “We Give Thanks” book I made for Fran.

Dick, Jane and Sally

Thank you for the food we eat,

Spot, Tim and Puff

Thank you for the world so sweet,

Jane, Sally and Dick

Thank you for the birds that sing,

Mother, Dick, Sally and Tim

Thank you, God, for everything.

Jane

Amen.

First I photocopied illustrations from a Dick and Jane reprint that I’d bought a few years ago at Wal-Mart (these reprints were from the 1950s’ editions). I also have 2 copies of original editions, and I wish I had used them to copy because the pictures are much better. A copy of a copy is very often not a good thing. But anyway, I selected pictures that I thought would illustrate the prayer we learned in Kindergarten at Mingo School (before our schools became so God-less).

The title “We Give Thanks” is in keeping with the Dick and Jane series, for instance, “We Work and Play”,  “We Look and See”, “We Come and Go”, etc.

To give it the feel of a board book, I made my own chipboard pages from a Coca-Cola carton. I probably should’ve rounded the edges slightly.

The background layout for the illustrations were enlarged and photocopied prose pages from the Dick and Jane books.  The edges were distressed with blue ink; brown might’ve been better.

For the prayer itself, I photocopied a page of old penmanship-style scrapbook paper. Now I realize that I could’ve bought a whole tablet of that paper at Dollar General for about $1.00.  Anyway,to get the look of children’s printing, I used a pencil in my left hand (I am right-handed). As you can see from the “Thank you God for everything” page, I accidentally wrote “Lord”. I need to fix that.

To finish, I punched 3 holes on each page and used blue gingham ribbon to bind it. On the back I used a “Handmade by” stamp and signed my name.

Now I think I’ll make one to keep for myself.

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Filed under 1950s, Altered Books, Books, Children's, Cozy, Crafts, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Faith, Free, Mingo, Thanksgiving, Thrift

Mobile Home

Isn’t this the cutest thing?

My sister and I were on our way to Sparks Fly Studio in Skiatook when I spotted this little house on the road last May. Fran very kindly pulled over so I could get the photos.

Main Street, Skiatook, Oklahoma

It would’ve been great to have talked to the guy and gotten the story: what was it built for, where did he get it, what was he going to do with it?

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Filed under America, Humor, Oklahoma, Skiatook, Transportation

Blogging – Shouldn’t there be a better name for something so enjoyable?

*Note of Apology to all those Bloggers that I visited and re-visited today – I’m sure that your dashboard looks weird with all my visits. I was trying to backtrack and follow my rabbit trail for this post and it was really difficult because my browser History had holes in it. That involved lots of going back and forth.

Since I am not a technology person (I can cheerfully listen to AM non-stereo radio, for instance; we not only do not have cable, we do not even have a tv antenna), my husband has been really surprised at how I’ve taken to some of the benefits of the computer. And blogs and blogging are at the top of my list.

This weekend we were invited for dinner at the lovely home of some of our lovely friends. While the men sat on the deck (that Buzz made) talking men talk (whatever that is), Geneva and I sat in the air conditioning and talked women talk: faith, family, houses, decorating, and blogging. They have each begun blogs,which I will link to when they make them public. I can hardly wait to see them. They are some of the most creative people! We’ve known them for about 20 years and I’ve seen their homes in various styles of decorating, inside and out. Nothing less than stunning. Ever. She told me about her brother and sister-in-law’s new house, and I wish I could see it, because if Geneva thinks it’s beautiful, then I believe that it is.

Anyway, back to the blogging: I told her that I could cheerfully sit at the computer every morning and read blogs for a couple of hours. Usually I don’t do this, mostly because my surgery area starts really hurting after about 30 minutes, then it’s the heating pad and a lie down.

I told her that blogs are like personal magazines, and for goodness sake, do I love magazines!

The approach which I’ve taken with carla-at-home is “what would I want to read?” Or, what do I want to record for my family? Of course, when reading others, their lives and their interests sometimes connect with me and sometimes they don’t.

Before our last hard drive crashed, I had a ton of blogs bookmarked under all kinds of categories: Blogs-Cottage, Blogs, Christian, Blogs-Recipes, Blogs-Political, Blogs-Crafts, Blogs-Vintage Movies, Blogs-England. And then there was the A List: A Blogs, which was a smattering of my favorites from all the categories. The list got to be a bit long, so I used 7 dividers and would go through a section each day of the week. That didn’t take as long to catch up on as one might think, because several of them don’t post daily, and also many are just photos with very littlle script.

By far, most of them were discovered by reading the first person’s blog, then skimming through their BlogRoll of favorites, then theirs, and so on.

A funny thing I’ve discovered is that sometimes after surfing around and visiting a totally new one, I will see a favorite of mine listed on someone else’s BlogRoll. And maybe the previous 2 links are ones that I’d never been to before.

This morning I started out at 50s Housewife, saw a comment I’d made yesterday about homemade tortillas, then clicked on the name of the commenter above (Traci @ The Bakery) because she had a neat photo. That took me to her Profile page and wonder of wonders I didn’t even notice that she’s in Oklahoma! – saw that she’s a Christian, clicked on her blog Living the Good Life, and Wow! I loved her 1950s decorated bedroom. On her list, I saw Cherry Hill Cottage and One Pretty Thing (which are 2 of my regular places to visit), but I clicked on the Profile of another commenter: Fresh from the Farm, saw an interesting photo on her Blogroll, so I clicked on it (Rambling Gal – which has a really funny story), then saw the title New Nostalgia on her Blogroll and that intrigued me because I am a very nostalgic person.

So the surfing went like this:

50s HousewifeLiving the Good Life Fresh from the Farm Rambling GalNew Nostalgia A Holy Experience.

There’s so much dicey stuff out there in the name of religion or “Spirituality” that I’m a little cautious and when I saw that Category at the top of her page, I clicked on it (in modern life “spirituality” can mean just about anything). What I found was another link to a wonderfully refreshing story about life and walking with Jesus. Here’s the last link to this stunning story on Ann Voskamp’s blog: A Holy Experience.

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Filed under Aging, Faith, Humor, Internet links, Oklahoma, Vicissitudes of Life, YouTube

Made in the U.S.A. – Green Rugs

When I needed new rugs for the bathroom, I looked around at Wal-Mart for something a little more versatile, something that wouldn’t scream “this crazy lady is using a bathroom rug by the front door”. And I needed them to be machine washable. Our home has carpet only in the bedrooms so, we have several rugs around the house (under my computer chair, in front of the doors, by the wood stove, etc. ) and I like them to be of the same type so they can be used interchangeably.

After finding these at Wal-Mart about a year ago, I bought four and have been very happy with them. Recently I decided to buy a few more but our local Wal-Mart no longer carried them. So whenever I was in a different W-M, I would go to the housewares department and see if they had them.

(Now you’re probably thinking that this crazy lady was going from W-M to W-M just looking for rugs, but I wasn’t. However, when we need things when we’re traveling, that’s where we go. )

We went to Tulsa to see my mother for Mother’s Day. When we needed to get some snacks and stretch our legs, we stopped at a Wal-Mart in one of the little towns off I-35 and eureka! I found them. These newer ones are a little larger and a slightly deeper green but in the same tone, so they’re still okay to intersperse. And instead of $6.00 each, they are $9.00.

If green scatter rugs are something you’re in the market for, check these out. They’re stocked with the runners and larger rugs and not in the bathroom towels/rugs area.

These fit the bill:

1. Although no one will mistake them for Neiman-Marcus closeouts, they look just fine to me.
2. The price is right.
3. When the dog is naughty or we track in mud, I just throw them in the washing machine, then hang them up to dry. Occasionally if I need one quickly, I’ll toss them into the dryer with a dryer sheet for static; but I imagine they’ll last longer if I don’t do that too often.
4. They’re made in the U.S.A. – which really puts them at the top of my list.

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Filed under Made in the U.S.A., Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Shopping, Thrift

Altered Box

This is a box that I made for my sister. I’m just a tad late. February 14, 2009 to be exact. That was when my sister (Fran), our friend (Abby) and I did a Valentine box exchange.

Altered box lid.

Glitter just seems to make everything better. I highlighted parts of the box lid with with silver Stickles (another great Made in the U.S.A. product) but it doesn’t show in the photos.


The box I started for her didn’t turn out well, so I just put it aside. I actually did give her the contents at that time – just not the box.

It has a hinged lid and is fastened with velcro.  It’s a little confusing figuring out how to open it, so I stamped the instructions to Lift Here by the handle (just above the lettering and not visible in the photograph above).

Inside the lid.

Of course, I didn’t make the box itself; I just altered one.

The paper is Graphic45 and made in the U.S.A. I purchased it from a really great shop in Skiatook, Oklahoma called Sparks Fly Studio. It’s a wonderful place that’s hard to pigeonhole. They have lots of supplies for whatever kind of paper projects you prefer: scrapbooking, card making, altered books, altered boxes, etc. But it’s more than just that, which I guess is why it’s called a studio. Among the classes they offer is one in calligraphy, which I’d like to take.

When (hopefully not if) I can retrieve photos from the balky laptop, I’ll post the ones I took the day Fran and I shopped there.

It’s a real jewel.

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Filed under 1920s, Clothing, Crafts, Crafts - Paper, Ephemera, Fashion, Internet links, Local Shopping, Made in the U.S.A., Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Shopping

Peaches

From the closeup photo in the new banner above, one might think we have huge peaches. You may have even heard that everything grows bigger in Texas.

Well, the peaches on our tree don’t grow bigger – they’re pretty small.

But, oh how I have hope!

After several years of late freezes and goat damage, we have real live fruit on our tree!

Fresh peaches are so wonderful; they don’t have any resemblance to store-bought ones – unless they’re local, of course.

When we lived in Oklahoma, we would drive down to Porter and buy them from the orchards.

In Texas, there’s nothing like a Parker County peach. And boy, you have to get over there fast. One year the crop was so slim that we didn’t get any. Another year, the orchard was only letting people have a set amount.

I like to get 1/2 bushel, or a whole one if I have help putting them up for the freezer. We eat a ton of them fresh, make ice cream (absolutely incredible), eat them with heavy cream or make cobblers.

Then through the year, I ration them out to myself (Joe doesn’t like eating them plain so I’m really just putting them up for myself or the cobblers or ice cream. There are actually about 3 jars left in the freezer and I think they’ll last me until next month when the crop is in.

Speaking of ice cream, Joe made some Banana Ice Cream on Sunday when our family was here. Only Liam, Joe and I ended up eating it, so there was plenty left over for the freezer. There are only 2 servings remaining.

Good thing we’ll be in Grapevine today so we can pick up more cream. Sam’s has it in quarts for a whole lot less than the grocery store. And since this is ice cream weather (they’re predicting record high temperatures this week), I want to have plenty on hand.

I could hardly believe how good that Banana Ice Cream was. When I complimented Joe on how good it was, he told me the reason…he used the whole quart in it! I’ve always used about a cup or two, but never the whole carton. He said that was why it scooped so easily after being in our really cold freezer.

All I know is that we’ll be making Chocolate Walnut this afternoon and I can hardly wait.

After all the surgery, my taste buds are back to normal.

Hallelujah!

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Gardening, Local Shopping, Made in the U.S.A., Oklahoma, Shopping, Texas

Memorial Day

Family was very important to my father and mother. In fact, Daddy quit school just after the 6th grade to help take care of his mother who was dying of TB. She died when he was 13, and then his father died about 3 years later.

When I was a girl, my family observed Memorial Day by driving to the Mount Hope Cemetery in Afton, Oklahoma. Daddy would buy flowers to put on his parents’ graves. Oh, how I wish I had written down the stories he told. Oklahoma was a new state – only 2 years old – when he was born. In fact, he was the first Edens to be born in the state of Oklahoma. It was still Indian Territory when they came by covered wagon from Missouri. What a bumpy ride that must have been.

Travelling is still a bit exhausting for me since the surgery but I wish we had been able to be in Tulsa this weekend. We would’ve placed a gorgeous bouquet of wildflowers from our pasture on his grave, as we have done in the past.

It’s an honorable act to acknowledge our loved ones who have passed away. That’s the term Daddy and Mama always used. I guess the word “death” seems a bit harsh to us Southerners. We believe that they have passed over the Jordan to be with Jesus.

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Filed under 1960's, Family, Memorial Day, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Vicissitudes of Life

Tradition

What a crazy mixed up world this is. Our society has become so complicated; but then there are magazines and television programs and books, ad nausem focusing on simplification. Most of them are trying to get us to buy even more products. Somehow I don’t think they’re getting the point that they say they’re trying to make.

Sandra’s comment on the Nurses’ Uniform post started me thinking about this. Thanks, Sandra, because it’s good for us to review our life and why we do things.

However, it’s best to use some wisdom when reviewing and making decisions. When I was in high school and thought I was so smart, I rejected a lot of tradition. Through 17 year old eyes, tradition looked tired and out-dated. I remember saying that it was not a good enough reason to keep doing something just because that’s the way we’ve always done it. And while there may be some truth in that, it’s not enough to say that just because this teenager doesn’t understand the origins of something, that it’s passe. Thank the good Lord above that I did not reject all tradition: Joe and I were married at our church, we both worked, we still valued family ties.

Our wedding ceremony was a mixture of traditional and not. I wanted a “practical” wedding dress – something that I could wear again and not have people thinking that I was like Grandmother Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (she was ancient and wearing her wedding dress in the dream sequence). So I chose an evening dress pattern from the Vogue catalog and some aqua crepe fabric. No bridesmaids, groomsmen, my father didn’t give me away. Joe and I entered together, singing “To Be Like Jesus” a Capella; we wrote our own vows.

The church we attended was a small group of believers (New Life Fellowship in Jesus). Our pastor, Ray Vogt, was a former Mennonite. I think there were former Baptists, Mennonites and Catholics in our congregation. Going by appearances it was untraditional because we met in a YMCA building. Actually, those buildings had family history connected. The YMCA was only leasing them from the Tulsa Public School system. My brother, sister and I had all attended school there; it was the original campus for East Central High School. When I was there, it was Lewis & Clark Junior High; East Central had moved to the new building on 11th St. by then.

It was wonderfully New Testament fellowship, but it didn’t look like a “church” building. This was before the advent of the steel building mega-churches. Most church buildings up until that time, were wooden, brick or concrete block and they were all identifiable by simply looking at them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the new style, but I confess that when I visited the Congregational Church in Middleboro, Massachusetts and saw that soaring spire and the huge columns, it made me wistful. Here was a place that was set aside from the world – identifiably so.

Hopefully all this gray hair is not in vain. I would like to think I’ve earned it.

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Filed under Aging, America, Faith, Family, Music, Oklahoma, Tulsa

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

H.T. Webster was an editorial cartoonist and his most famous drawing was reprinted in the Tulsa Tribune newspaper every February 12. He drew it in 1918 when he was worked for Associated Newspapers. It’s titled “Hardin County- 1809”.

(After an exhaustive search on the internet, I can’t find even one depiction, but I did find the caption.)

Picture this: 2 Kentucky farmers are talking.

“Any news down t’ th’ village, Ezry?”

“Well, Squire McLean’s gone t’ Washington t’ see Madison swore in and ol’ Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o’ Spain. What’s new out here, neighbor?”

“Nuthin’ a tall, nuthin’ a tall ‘cept for a new baby down’t Tom Lincoln’s. Nuthin’ ever happens out here.”

Abraham Lincoln was a beloved president when I was a child. He and George Washington were acknowledged as the two greatest presidents in our American history.

They were given a place of honor in our history books and schools. At Mingo School, our 7th grade class was assigned by Mrs. Sappington to memorize the Gettysburg Address. Unfortunately, I only got about 3/4 to memory.

Are public school children still given that assignment? Do they even know about the Gettysburg Address? Somehow, I imagine home schooled children all across the country today are at least reading it.

On November 19, 1863
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The occasion was the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg where just less than 5 months previously 165, 620 men of the Union and Confederate armies fought. On that Pennsylvania field, 7,863 American men lost their lives during the 3 day battle. The wounded count was 27, 224, captured and missing: 11,199.

The day following the dedication, the Chicago Times, a newspaper run by Democrats, published the following comment:
“”The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.”

Political cartoonists, in the north, viciously portrayed him as an ape.

In his lifetime, he was loved and he was despised.

Abraham Lincoln, April 10,1865


With the weight of the war on his shoulders, he posed for this portrait on April 10, 1865.

Four days later he was killed by an assassin’s bullet.

Abraham Lincoln honorably led our country in a time of incredible divisiveness and hatred among our people. He did the difficult but right thing in putting an end to slavery.

I honor his memory.

Apparently, Google does not. They chose to commemorate the winter olympics on their homepage today instead of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

They’re young. Perhaps they don’t know who he was or that what we owe him. Maybe they’re only familiar with what’s happening now. But then again, maybe it’s just their values system.

Information for this post was gathered from:

Gettysburg Address
, Wikipedia
Battle of Gettysburg, Wikpedia
Stripper’s Guide (a blog discussing the history of the American newspaper comic strip)
Library of Congress

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Filed under America, History, Kentucky, Lincoln's Birthday, Mingo, Vicissitudes of Life

Easy-No-Need-To-Buy-A-Mix Cornbread


CORNBREAD

(This recipe is for an 8″ x 8″ pan; for the large cake pan or skillet size, just double everything.)

1 egg, beaten
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
3 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 – 2 T. oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (toaster oven 350-375 degrees).
2. Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl with a spoon.
3. Butter or Pam baking pan.
4. Use a spatula to transfer batter from bowl to baking pan – it wants to stick to the sides of the bowl.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes until brown on top and knife inserted into middle comes out clean.
6. Serve hot with butter.
7. If you have any left, store it in an airtight container in the freezer until you make cornbread dressing. Or feed it to the birds.

This is a fairly basic recipe and easy to mix up. It came from a regional cookbook we got as a wedding present over 30 years ago. I’ve altered it a bit: lessened the baking powder and oil and added the sugar. I don’t like sweet cornbread, but if you do, add a little more sugar until it suits your taste.

Since I’m from the south, cornbread is like one of the 4 food groups. Beans (pintos) and cornbread is actually my favorite meal. If there’s fried potatoes, greens and chopped onion,
to go with it, well…I’m real happy.

My mother grew up out in the country during the 1920s and didn’t have access to store bought white bread, but she said that her mother made biscuits every morning and cornbread every day at noon (“dinner” to Mama). This must have seemed strange to my Philadelphia-born grandmother, but she adapted to kentucky ways.

The best cornbread I’ve ever eaten was made by Mrs. Hickson, head of the cafeteria at Mingo School. Tuesday was Beans & Cornbread day. Even kids like me (who took their lunch every other day of the week) bought their lunches on Tuesday. I think my friend, Carol, has the recipe. I hope so because I’d love to have it.

This post is linked to Food on Fridays @ annkroeker

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Kentucky, Mingo, Oklahoma