Friday, May 27, 2016

Goodbyes Aren't Easy


When I started this blog seven years ago, I meant it to be a personal journal, a diary of sorts for myself. I vowed to find only possible things even for myself. Then I began to meet people, nice people. The first was Donna V and I can’t remember how I found her. Then Becky...Linda…Rebecca…Susan…Lisa…Lynn…Sioux and many more. I actually met a couple face to face! Some left comments, some sent emails, and some read in silence. I enjoyed you all.

John in Wales if you are reading today thanks for being an “over the water” friend. One of my favorite weekends was when DH and I took you three Europeans to Roaring River, Eureka Springs, and Branson. I saw the places with new eyes. I remember you were a little sick and felt for you.
But this week, my world crashed. I got very sick and had to go to the hospital. I am home again but not for long. I have cancer, one of the worst with no hope. Now my time must be spent tending to wrapping up a life. If you are a writer, you know that means among other things hundreds of folders for research, new ideas, and manuscripts! I never knew this office was SO full of paper!

I have loved you all and would still listen if you wanted to speak on my email: bookwoman1015 AT sbcglobal.net. I might be able to check in here now and then, but I doubt I can write much or would have anything interesting to say.


So, for now, I will say goodbye and see what comes along for me, maybe some beauty in the line of chaos. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Some Fast and Rambling Thoughts



                              Yellow lilies and blue bottles in morning sun...



The week has been an odd one and the weather falls into odd category as well. Storms, hot, and cold. This morning it was so cold I had to turn furnance on! But then amazingly the sun came out, the air warmed, the breeze stilled! Perfect deck weather!

The week had some bad news, some possible good news, some rejections of course. A couple of meetings and a dentist appointment were on the calendar.



Finished A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold about Columbine, reread Plant Dreaming Deep by May Sarton, and read Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks. All wonderful, mind pricking reads! Today began John Grisham's Gray Mountain.

Wrote a new poem this week...

So after many things including two days where DH helped me clean four rooms of this house, we were ready and entitled to some creative deck sittin'! While the house cleaning was not the spring cleaning of my ancestors, I felt better about things in general with a little dusting, the laundry done up, food in the cupboards; DH washed windows, vaccumed floors, and mowed yard. Today we read books, drank tea, and enjoyed our little peice of the earth!

Tomorrow is possibly severe storms, but I hope they don't materialize. I hope you all had the lovely sunshine we did today.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Another County Museum


The weekend was a mixed bag. While the sun was still shining and before the rainy season returned, we headed out to do some fun things and some chores. We have lived here 40 years and been to Nevada up the road for children’s sporting events and meeting Kansas City friends but never stopped in at the Bushwhacker Museum. (Bushwacker is a term used for roaming bands of guerillas during the Civil War. The border of Kansas and Missouri was the site of constant fighting and bloodshed, although not many were with the Untion and Confederate armies.) Since I was reading some Civil War things, I thought it time we made the effort to visit this county museum.  

Celebrating all the chapters of Vernon County Missouri history, the museum is in a library basement. Displays were quite well done and maintained. A founding family’s home was displayed by showing some restored rooms, displays of early businesses, Civil War guns, and history Osage history and all were interesting.


As usual I took away a couple of new gems to mull over in my mind. The Hornback family home used the third floor to rent to single men or occasionally a “nice couple”.  The mother tried renting to women but gave up and said no women. It happens that men of the times could smoke outside or on the streets; women could not. So they would sneak smokes in their rooms and Mrs. Hornback tired of finding burns in her sheets and bedding. I thought this a fascinating bit of trivia! 

My grandmother had a similar sewing chair. Note the drawer that slides from the seat and holds needles and thread.



Note this lily pad seed pod...was food source for Osage who ate the seeds raw or roasted.








Visitors also get to visit the Vernon County Jail that was used for 100 years and closed in the 1960s. The stone building is sturdy and the front rooms were used for the living quarters for the Deputy Sherriff and his family. They were lovely rooms, but immediately nearby, behind the living room wall were the jail cells.

Note the lovely paper...replica of wallpaper of the times made in England.

The cells were even more scary and chilling than those we saw at the state penitentiary last year! Very, very small housing four men at a time. They took baths once a week in a bucket. Three had to be on their beds while the fourth one washed!






















In the living quarters I learned something new too. This frame is
Tramp Art, called such because tramps made art or items from any trash they found to sell for a few coins. In this case, the Tramp Art was done by a prisioner. 


The frame is actually made from carved blocks like the one below. All the blocks were carved from cigar boxes which at the time were always made of wood. No glue or nails or pins were used in making the blocks which then became a frame.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Friday Book Blurb #13


It's time for Sioux's Friday Book Blurb #13.  Sometimes Sioux's pictures are so hard for me that no inispriation comes! But this week with a little change in the sign, I got an image of a sweet child and her world.


Go to Sioux's page at http://siouxspage.blogspot.com for complete rules on how to participate and links to other writers' stories based on the photo. 










Trials of Trina

Trina knew she had a plan when she saw the poster in the school library. The circus was coming to town next month, and she intended to leave with it! She loved the elephants, tumblers, trapeze girls, and the dancing monkeys. She wanted to live with them.

In a local shop where her mother bought pretty beads was a sign that said naughty children would be sold to the circus. Sweet little Trina knew what she had to do and made a list of naughty things she could do at school. Surely if she ate paper, spilled her milk, pinched that nasty Johnny who wore a kerchief every day, and refused to sing the school song, the teacher would call home and report her naughtiness. Then her mother surely would sell her to the circus!

Would it work? Would she leave town with the clowns? Read the book for answers.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Local Museum Time





This week I spent a couple of hours out at the local Powers Museum. I have served two different times on the board and know the terrible time they have making ends meet. A local woman died and left money to build the museum in honor of her parents, but the money doesn’t stretch far to keep the place running. It is a depository of many of Marian Wright Powers family things but also of many area historical items. Volunteers of any kind are appreciated.




Right now the museum gallery is displaying Fashions of Carthage Women in the past. It is quite interesting to see the fabrics and styles of yesteryear, not to mention the tiny sizes of women’s waists and feet!


A few hands and wraps were available to try on. Of course, my favorites were hats! Love hats!



Here is a most unusual hat. It is made of porcupine! I don't think I would care much for wearing this one.


A lovely 1903 wedding dress was worn by both Marian Wright Powers and her mother.


This airy dress was also turn of the century wearing apparel. It is made of lawn, a new fabric name for me. It was light like lingere material or the fabric used in ladies handkerchiefs. Writers often need to look at clothing if they are writing a period piece. And of course, the clothes themselves might create a story. So wonder what story this dress would tell the looker? Was it a happy time or did the wearer face a grave sadness? I wish the dress could talk!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My Toto Teapot


I don’t do Teacup Tuesday like I used to do because I rarely have anything new to share. I am trying to discipline myself on what I bring into the house, and in fact, trying to haul out things whenever I can convince myself to let them go.


But this little teapot I have not shared before. I have it sitting out right now to enjoy. It is a little small for us, and I rarely use cute little teapots for just myself. ( Even when I brew for me I use a good sized pot!) One of my rules has been to buy only teapots that can be used daily and to avoid the whimsy ones that were just for looks. This one appealed to me because it was a sweet little cottage, could be used despite the small size, and it had a dog on the side that looked like Dorothy’s Toto!
I saw it at a shop years ago in Niagara on the Lake, New York, what a lovely place. I wanted it but even then I talked myself out of buying a cute pot that was not something for daily use to us. DH urged me to get it, but I passed as it was quite pricy at the time. 

The town is quite touristy and busloads of people milled about the town. In a little park at the edge of town was a busy bathroom, people coming and going. We went there just before leaving town. Walking up the sidewalk, I saw a twenty dollar bill and picked it up. No one was nearby me; I waited to see if anyone was looking for something lost. DH said we would never find a likely candidate in the milling people; everyone was in a hurry to shop or catch a bus. No one noticed us at all.


So I called it a gift that meant I should buy the Toto Teapot! It was only half the price but that meant the price was now more reasonable to me.  I returned to the store, bought it,  and  hand carried the pot home on an airplane. I have since found two cups that are not an identical match but do have a thatched cottage in the scene. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Thought or Two


When downsizing or weeding, there are so many things that just don’t fall into a clear cut category. I look around and wonder what I can do without…and often think nothing, think it is all so important. In the small hut sits a plate that was an advertising promotion and a calendar for the year 1908. This was the year my Granny was born. How could I ever let it go although it is meaningless to probably almost any other human right now?



I don’t know how I ended up with the plate, but of course, got it when her house was broken up after she died. It doesn’t look like anything else I own, and when I was younger I tended to not keep anything that didn’t function for me in some way. However, I guess even I recognized the uniqueness of a plate marked with Chelsea, I.T. This would have been the Indian Territory my Gran was born in. Family story says she was Cherokee, but I can’t find paper proof. At this late date in life, I wonder if she could have been Choctaw. She had an aunt named Tishamingo which was a Choctaw chief’s name, and I don’t think White people named their children after Native Americans in that time period.

Right now, I am reading an older book called Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan. It is a novel about the Indians of Oklahoma and how they were swindled and killed for their oil rights and oil money. It is a sad, sad tale, but then it is very contemporary—the power of one group of people over another and of racial bias. I just finished reading a classic for the May book club, and that was Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. This book was also contemporary in that it dealt with cheating real estate deals, crafty bankers, of people of a certain class leading empty lives as they tried to beat each other to the top of the society stack.

I have been so disheartened by the political scene the last few months, by the greed I see in big companies, by the lack of civility in human beings, by the struggle for money and by the treating money like it were a Greek god. Once again literature is showing me that we are not much worse than we ever were. Our sinking into the darkness of evil really isn’t new; this is the same old story.


So I run my hand across the plate before sitting it back on the shelf, think of the storekeeper who built his business, of the great grandparents who took the plate home in 1908, of the Indian Territory that would become Oklahoma years later, of the grandmother who kept the plate into her final years as I am now doing. I guess if the plate could talk it would tell us of all the injustice, trouble, crookedness it saw along with joy and celebration. In the end, I think the plate would say, “Life goes on.” I just wish we could get a handle on the evil which would make the going on so much nicer to do!