Archive | August 2012

My Grandmother and Mom baked peach cobbler for dessert. Thought I would share a recipe similar to theirs. Have a peachy weekend!

The Southern Lady Cooks

Easy Fruit Cobbler - CopyI have made this recipe for years using different canned fruit pie fillings. You can also make it with fresh fruit but if you use fresh fruit, I would put the fruit on and boil it with a little sugar and water to make like a filling before putting it into the recipe.

Easy Fruit Cobbler
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 stick melted butter
1 can fruit pie filling of your choice
Mix first 4 ingredients and pour into a baking dish. Drop pie filling by spoonfuls into the filling. Bake at 400 degrees until brown on top. Serve with cool whip or ice cream of your choice. Note:  If using a 9 x 13 inch baking dish double this recipe and use a 29 ounce can of peaches. The recipe above is made with one regular sized can of sliced peaches and  a 9 x 9…

View original post 49 more words

Another great blog about American History by Virginiaplantation of the Belle Grove Plantation. (The birthplace of James Madison)

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

During the Civil War, one of the biggest threats for plantations along the Rappahannock River was the Union Gunboats that patrolled the waterway.

According to Wikipedia:

“A gunboat was usually a small undecked vessel caring single smoothbore cannon in the bow, or just two or three such cannons. A gunboat could carry one or two masts or be oar-powered only, but the single-masted version of about 15m (49ft) length was most typical. Some types of gunboats carried tow cannons, or else mounted a number of swivel guns on the railings.

The advantage of this type of gunboat were that since it only carried a single cannon, that cannon could be quite heavy- for instance, a 32-pounder- and that the boat could be maneuvered in shallow or restricted waters, where sailing was difficult for larger ships. A single hit from a frigate would demolish a gunboat, but a frigate facing six…

View original post 1,132 more words

Isabel’s Tenth Birthday

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart by Katherine H. Purdy

Isabel felt like a queen dressed in the cornflower
blue, drop-waist dress with a wide, white sash bow she had
helped Mama make just for today. She turned around in circles
just to watch the skirt flare out, just as she had done when she
was a small child, and smiled with pleasure.

She looked up to see Mama returning her smile.
After church, the family met for a picnic with a lovely view of
the Blue Ridge Mountains. Isabel looked at the smoky blue and
green mountains as she listened to the happy voices surrounding
her and suddenly felt wrapped in a quilt of love.

Cleo, handed Isabel a small
gift and hugged her tightly. She said, “Well, how does it feel to
be ten years old, Isabel? Do you feel any older?”
“Oh, yes,” Isabel said. “I’m in double digits now, you know.”

I Am His and He Is Mine

I Am His And He Is Mine

by Wade Robinson 1838-1877  and James Mountain 1844-1933

Loved with everlasting love, Led by grace that love to know –

Spirit breathing from above, Thou hast taught me it is so!

O this full and perfect peace, O this transport all divine –

In a love which cannot ceace, I am His and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue, earth around is sweeter green;

Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen!

Birds with gladder songs o’re-flow, Flowers with deeper beauties shine,

Since I know as now I know, I am His and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms Cannot now disturb my rest;

Closed in everlasting arms, Pillowed on the loving breast!

O to lie forever here; doubt and care and self resign,

While He whispers in my ear – I am His and He is mine.

His forever, only His – Who the Lord and me shall part?

Ah, with what a rest of bliss Christ can fill the loving heart!

Heaven and earth may fade and flee, First-born light in gloom decline,

But while God and I shall be I am His and He is mine.


Romans 8:31-39


The 1920’s Look

I love this photograph of my grandmother, Junie. Such a beautiful smile! When I was writing part one, I noticed Junie’s hair and remembered experimenting with my hair many years ago. I wanted to get that “1920’s Look” for an upcoming banquet or for a skit I was writing.

I didn’t have “crimping pins” so I pin curled my hair with bobby pins. I looked like Shirley Temple in her twenties on a bad hair day! Thankfully, my fifth-graders didn’t snicker and I noticed a couple of older girls sporting the same hair style a few days later. Loved those kids!

I ran across this ad a couple of years ago when I was doing research for Isabel’s Story, The Vision of a Mother’s Heart.Junie’s photo reminded me of this ad and I thought perhaps some of my readers may also be interested in how young ladies achieved the wave look without having a permanent wave.

Check out the link below for hairstyles of the 1920-30’s.

If you want to try these fancy hairdo’s, I do not recommend wearing it in public unless you want to start a new retro wave trend!

I would love to hear your stories of hairstyles that didn’t work out or of watching your mother or grandmother style their hair.

In the sequel, Hope Beyond The Sunset, Isabel tries a new hairstyle but Papa isn’t pleased. I hope it will be available soon!


Junie in the Good Old Days

This is my other grandmother, Junie. She looked quite fashionable with her pretty bobbed, wavy hair and winning smile! It appears that she may be wearing white “Mary Jane” shoes – the style little Sylvia asked Papa for in The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. She also played several musical instruments just like Isabel’s “Mama”!

I love the little kitten on the porch too! Junie lived in West Virginia when this picture was taken. If she had grown up in Roanoke, she could have been one of Isabel’s friends!

We can learn so much from old photographs. Apparently, Junie was a happy girl. She had such a beautiful smile – even when she was a baby! White was apparently a popular choice for clothing.

Junie the one wearing a smile in the center front. There are so many things in this photograph that helps in research.
Notice how the little girl’s dresses are cut.
A simple neckline without a collar and apparently without a facing. (For my friends who sew).
The sleeves are set in simply – no gathering or “puffs”.
They are wearing sensible shoes.
The popular “bob” or pageboy haircuts.

Junie’s mother is wearing the type of apron I envisioned “Mama” wearing in
The Vision of a Mother’s Heart.
Her father (“Daddy Ben”) is wearing a suit and tie.
The shoeless/bootie-less baby sleeping peacefully in her mother’s lap. Such tiny toes!

It is probably after lunch and dinner so they are on the porch to cool off. When the wood or coal stove is used to cook, it takes a while for the house to cool down.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Junie’s Mama had warned her not to slam the screen door and I also imagine it squeaked when opened.

Obviously, this family loves cats too!

Oh, the stories and questions that come to mind when I look at old pictures.

How long did they have to hold their breath and sit still so that the photo would turn out?
Why do some of the family members look tired and perhaps a little grumpy? Heat perhaps?

Who took this picture?

What do you see in your family pictures? What can you learn from them? I would love to hear your stories too! Remember, your grandchildren will someday look at pictures of you. What would you want them to know?


Kitty Korner

How does a cat utilize his or her time? It depends on the cat.
Skip and Ruby are two-year-old Maine Coons and they spare their energy. Enjoying the view from the window as they did this afternoon.

Alice loves to explore other parts of the house too. Anything new is her delight!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Yesterday, all three kitties were my comforters after I had a little fall. They were sweet as can be. Cats may sleep a lot but they are also loving and are often our little clowns!

Hope you enjoy our slide and have a wonderful weekend!

God Bless,


Hat Hat Hooray

My friend, Lori Horton who lives in China needs your vote!

Just click on the link below and click on the arrow on the right to cast your vote. This is the pictured entered. Thank you, and happy weekend!

Hat Hat Hooray.

Early electric irons, self-heating flat irons, sad irons


I have found some wonderful websites describing household items from the past. I was curious about the first electric irons. I remember my grandmother ironing with a black handled Sunbeam iron with a black and white fiber cord. In order to get out the wrinkles, she took the dry clean clothes off the line and brought them inside. She laid them one by one on the clean kitchen table and sprinkled them with water, rolling them up as she went along and then placed the items in a clean bread bag (yes, once the bread was used, the bag was washed, hung up to dry and reused) and placed the bag in the refrigerator. She took out one item at a time and ironed it until every item was neatly pressed and creased!

One more thing to count as a blessing – the steam iron! Take a look at the first electric irons by clicking on the following link.

Early electric irons, self-heating flat irons, sad irons.

In The Vision of a Mother’s Heart, Isabel and her “Mama” had to use heavy flat irons.  She would have welcomed the new electric iron!