Genealogy…One Of My Many Hats

Hello again!  I’ve come out of hibernation only to discover that I’ve slept through the warm part of winter… Oh well, time to get crackalackin’!

So, one of my many dorkalicious hobbies is…genealogy research!  Yes!!  I can’t get enough of it!  …actually I can get too much of it and have to take a break before I end up driving myself completely insane.

If you’ve ever done any sort of genealogy research, you know half of the fun of it is traipsing around in old cemeteries, trying to find the headstones of your loved ones.  Here’s some friendly advice.

  Things You Need Before Going Cemetery Stomping

  1.  Bug Spray…and lots of it.  Most cemeteries are kept up by volunteers.  Let’s just say that some cemeteries have great volunteers and others…not so great.  Like “pulling up weeds just to read tombstones” not so great.
  2. Shaving Cream and Spray Bottle – By using shaving cream, you can see all of the fine details that time has stripped away on a headstone.  All you have to do is wipe shaving cream on the stone and scrape it away.  You will be amazed by what is left in the crevices.  Amazed!  Some stones look like nothing is written.  Then miracle of miracles, words and symbols appear from nothing.  Magical!
  3. Camera –  Do I really need to explain this?  You don’t have to have a high dollar camera, but having a camera is important.  Headstones won’t last forever:(

And there you have it.  Bug Spray, Shaving Cream and Camera.  Viola!

One of my favorite tools to put in my travel bag is the book Stories In Stone by Douglas Keister.  Why you ask?  Headstones are full of symbols.  Symbols that I know nothing about.  Sometimes the symbols may be a group of letters, other times a few shapes or pictures, hands pointing up, fingers pointing down.  It was all kind of confusing.  Could I look them up on my smart phone in the middle of  Nowhereville USA…maybe, but most times there is absolutely no signal to do so.  For that reason, I have a copy of the book.  Anyway…Symbols… I was left saying, “What in tarnation?!”.

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One time in particular, I was looking at a headstone of a female relative and she had an anchor on the top of her stone.  I had no records of her being in the Navy and she lived nowhere near the ocean.  Clueless!  Then, I decided to look up what the symbol meant.  Apparently, having an anchor on a headstone can mean several different things.  After finding multiple possibilities, I’ve decided  the most logical definition was that she was the anchor of her family since she was a mother and ran her household.  We will never know for sure.

What to do now?  Get to diggin’!  You really never know what you will find until history is staring you in the face:)

Happy Hunting!,

That Book Mama

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Bargains Galore On 64

Bargains Galore!  Wahoo!  The greatest yard sale event that I know about. Every year we head out without a real plan and only vague ideas of what we are looking for and every year we make it home with treasures to treasure and stories to tell. 

Bargains Galore On 64 has been going on for 16 years. It starts in Fort Smith, AR and ends in Beebe, AR. 160 miles of pure junk heaven.  

People watching is my favorite thing. I’ve come up with my observation list this year. Oh y’all, this isn’t even the half of it:)

  

Bargains Galore on 64 Observations

1. Nowhere else can you swerve all over the road and people not think you’re intoxicated. Driving 20 miles under the speed limit is expected. Once farmland hits, it’s back to green flag racin’:)

2. Any other time, truck bed combinations would be questioned. Some of my favorites today include:

A gigantic tool box and a kayak

Old beds and a screen door

A baker’s rack and a weed whacker

3.  With all of the horse trailers, you’d think the rodeo was in town. Except that no one is hauling horses around. 

4. Free puppies should be placed up front so bypassing that particular yard sale is an easy decision. 

5. You got a flat tire? Have no fear, there are true gentlemen still in this world. (I didn’t but I witnessed chivalry at its finest.) 

6. People really do come from all over. Tennessee was well represented but we also saw Wisconsin and New Jersey plates. Witnesses to the greatest redneck outing this side of the Mississippi. 

7. Most people drive sensible vehicles for yard saling (saling isn’t a word…pfffttt yes it is!) Anywho, some folks take this opportunity to break out the ole’ muscle car or flashy pickup to cruise and be seen. Oh we see you:). I’m thinking where in the world are you going to put your treasures?  Oh well. 

8. Parking on the side of the road with your tire over the white line is totally cool with everyone…no it’s not so don’t do that.  

9. Selling snow shovels in the middle of Arkansas is not a very bright idea. I understand that they could double as muck shovels but they were advertised as snow shovels. Maybe that’s what those Wisconsin folks went back with?

  

We had a great day. Came back with a pile of clothes for our little Moonpie,  minus a clown costume that our Farm Girl was convinced the baby needed. No, thank you.  Bangle bracelets and fish rocks and alarm clocks, Oh My!   Did I buy any books that I don’t need? Yes. A rather old copy of Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. It has an orange cover and I’ve never seen one like it, okay?!


 Until next year:)

That Book Mama


It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

It’s about that time again!  Yes gardening time:)  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love, Love, LOVE to put my toes in freshly tilled soil.  Oh My Gosh!  LOVE.  IT.  Bring on the tomatoes!  Bring on the squash!  Bring on the okra!  More on that later…since we’ve not started actually planting anything yet.  Until then, I’ve decided to share some of my all time favorite books about gardens and gardening

Enjoy,

That Book Mama

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0-4 Years

I Like Vegetables – By Lorena Siminovich  A beautiful board book with bright colors and a bonus…touch and feel!  This is the perfect gardening book to start your little one off right.  Each page has a few words and a different picture to touch.  For sure one they will want to read again and again.

A Garden Of Opposites – By Nancy Davis  Again, with bright colors and few words, this book is perfectly simple.  Opposites never looked prettier.

Up, Down and Around – By Katherine Ayres  It’s the story of a garden from beginning to end.  Tells all about how some veges grow up and some grow down while others grow around and around.  By the end, I’m ready to eat some and so are the characters in the book:)

Counting In The Garden – By Emily Hruby  I’m just gonna say it…not the best cover art.  This is a perfect example of not judging a book by the cover.  Once you get past the cover though, amazing!  Flowers and vegetables and worms, oh my!  Love it!

Eating The Alphabet – By Lois Ehlert  This book does nothing but make me want a snack.  It flows through the alphabet with colorful illustrations of fruits and vegetables good enough to eat.  I’m not gonna lie, some things I’ve never tried.  I think if it makes me want to try something I’ve never had before then surely other folks would feel the same:)

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5-7 Years

Over In The Garden – By Jennifer Ward  Rhyming Song, Yay!  This book could actually be read to younger children but I’ve put it in an older category because it has a fact section in the back.  Count your way through the garden and see a whole slew of insects along the way.

The Gardener – By Sarah Stewart Through a series of letters, Lydia Grace tells the story of her going to live with her uncle in the city until her parents can get on their feet.  Lydia Grace was growing up during the time of The Great Depression and during that time everyone was well…depressed.  She was determined to make her Uncle Jim smile and by her actions, she made his world a little brighter.   Truth time…I teared up.  Excellent book!

And The Good Brown Earth – By Kathy Henderson  This book actually starts in the fall and tells the story of a grandma and a grandson who tend to the garden patch all year long.  Having a garden is a lot of work but in the middle of all of that work, there’s always time to play.

The Ugly Vegetables – By Grace Lin  When a little girl and her Mom start their garden, they look around and see that their neighbors are doing the same, with one exception.  Everyone else was planting flowers and they were planting Chinese veges.  The little girl was rather disheartened when she saw that their garden wasn’t as pretty as the others.  Once it was time to gather some veges and make some soup, everyone wanted a part of the ugly vegetables.  Recipe in the back, Hooray!

Strega Nona’s Harvest – By Tomie dePaola  Strega Nona is well known for her magical way with the garden.  She always has plenty of food for her family come harvest time and this year was no different.  …except for some reason she keeps getting vegetables at her front door and has nowhere to put them.  What is she to do?  Why help people out, of course.  Great story about sharing and caring.

Snow Books For A Snow Day

Winter has decided to show up and it seems to be making up for lost time.  Snow always makes me want to put some comfort food on the stove and curl up with a good book.  I’ve decided to share some of my favorite children’s books about snow/winter.  Some of these jewels will warm your heart while others will give you a chuckle.  In no particular order, (except for the first one) here are my selections for you:

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1.  A Little Bit Of Winter – by Paul Stewart.  Hedgehog and Rabbit have been friends for quite a while.  Winter is coming and Hedgehog is about to hibernate.  Rabbit is pretty torn up about not seeing his friend for months on end.  Hedgehog doesn’t understand what the big deal is about winter so he asks Rabbit to save him some.  Hedgehog wants to know how winter “feels”.  After Hedgehog goes into hibernation, the sorry continues and shows how dull Rabbit’s life is without Hedgehog.  Rabbit figures out a way to save some winter for Hedgehog and the results are rather comical.  If you like this book, make sure to pick up, The Birthday Presents.  It is super cute too:)

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2.  Snowmen At Night – by Caralyn Buehner.  Have you ever thought about what your snowman does while you are snug in your beds at night?  Why, they have ice cold cocoa, play baseball and go sledding, of course.  The rhyming text in the story just flows and before you know it, the night is over and so is the story.

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3.  Waiting For Winter – by Sebastian Meschenmoser.  Deer tells Squirrel about winter which makes Squirrel determined to see what winter is really like.  He has to think of creative ways to keep himself awake and doing so, he wakes up Hedgehog and Bear.  Well, then they all have to start looking for snow and Hedgehog is the first to find a “snowflake”…it’s actually a toothbrush…  Totally funny!  Cracked me up!

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4.  Winter Is the Warmest Season – By Lauren Stringer.  This book tells all about how Winter is warm.  From drinking hot cocoa and wearing fuzzy boots to being read to in front of a warm cozy fire.  AAaaaahhhh makes me need a nap:)

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5.  The Lamb Who Came For Dinner – By Steve Smallman – Wolf was mad because he had to eat vegetable soup AGAIN!  Then, what does he hear?  A knock at the door and opening it, he finds a little lamb.  Of course, he lets the poor lamb inside but he can’t eat a frozen lamb so he has to warm her up.  After warming her up, feeding her and rocking her to sleep…we are only on like page 6.  Get the book.  Read it.  You’ll love it.  The end:)

Now go and get some fuzzy socks on and some co-razy tights, snuggle down and let the snow fly:)

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Cornflake Chicken

This recipe comes to you straight out of my childhood home. It was one of my favorite things that my mom used to make for us and one of the very first things I cooked on my own. My mom taught me to cut up a whole chicken when I was about 11. My parents had a houseful so I’m sure any help we could give was much appreciated. Little did I know that years later I’d be using the very same recipe and skills to cook for my own family. If you haven’t tried this before, I hope you enjoy it and if you’ve had it and it brings back some memories…then you’re welcome:)

Cornflake Chicken

Ingredients
1 whole chicken (cut up)
5 cups cornflakes
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk

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1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut up your chicken. I didn’t attempt to show you how to do this because I tried to teach someone once and it didn’t really turn out so great… If you don’t know how, you could always buy one already cut up.

2. Crush the cornflakes. This is where my kiddos come in handy. You could always take out some aggression this way too:)

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3. Crack your eggs (I use a pie plate) scramble them and add the milk. Whip the two ingredients together.

4. Put the crushed cornflakes into another pie plate.

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5. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and roll in the cornflakes. Place chicken into a 9 x 13 pan.

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6. Cook for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes.

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Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Yummy:)