EMZ-Piney Post

Quilting, Farming, Variety

Friday, September 7, 2018


Today I'm feeling weary; blog weary.  It has reached the point where I don't seem to be able to come up with any subjects of interest to anyone.  Oh, there are the faithful few who comment each time I post something and I'm thankful for them, but it really isn't worth my effort or the time it takes to prepare a post now.   I know a lot of people have gone to Facebook, which I don't do, nor do I text, so perhaps that has taken its toll on blogging.

When I first started writing for the blog, it was to be about my quilting, but I never found many women who wanted to share words with me about this.  I made a few dolls, doll clothing, and stories from my childhood to write about.  I'm a FarmHer, and only one other person connected with me on work I do in the chicken houses and on the farm. 

I don't travel, I don't have a pretty place to walk, my flowers are not pretty enough for pictures;  I guess I must be a boring person. :)

So, for now I'm going to be absent from my blog.  I'll leave it open since my daughter is a co-writer and might want to use it.  I'll continue visiting your blogs.

Thank you, and may God bless each of you.

Monday, September 3, 2018

A Day in Town

Dear, dear Sally asked for another repost, so...

If you remember, I have posted about our family not having a car when I was little. This was somewhat troublesome for us, because Daddy had to ride with his brother to work at the cream station on Saturdays. Since Mama didn't drive, whenever she needed to go into town, she and the girls had to ride in with the men and spend the day, waiting until they got off from work. So our day could have gone something like this:

The streets were always busy on Saturday mornings. Folks had come from far and near and visited with people they hadn't seen for a while. On the courthouse square, a preacher had parked his car, with loud speakers attached to the top, and now he could be heard for several blocks. Few people stopped to actually listen but now and then there might be some old men, leaning up against a store front, cigarettes in hand, listening but not understanding.

Today Mama took the girls shopping for new school shoes for Wanda. "Would you like an oxford or a slip-on?" the clerk asked, and Mama told her we'd take an oxford. Wanda wanted a pair of slip-on shoes. She had always had "good, durable" shoes, but when she stood in front of the little mirror on the floor, and pointed her toe and turned her foot to one side, she had to agree, the shoe did look nice. Mama paid for the shoes and asked, "Now, how can we spend the rest of the day?"

Charlotte was hungry, so Mama bought some crackers and a few slices of cheese for their lunch, and when Mama suggested they sit on the steps of a church building, Wanda was embarrassed. "No Mama! Let's go eat in the car or inside the cream station. Some of my friends might pass by and see us here!"

"I don't want to eat in there," said Charlotte. "It stinks like steamy milk!"

Mama said there was nothing wrong with friends seeing us there, and anyway, the day was so pretty it would be like having a picnic. So Wanda ate quickly and waited for Mama and Charlotte to finish. Mama combed their hair and took them up the steep flight of stairs to Anderson's Photography Studio to have their picture made. Afterward she counted the change in her coin purse and said there was enough to buy tickets to see a movie. The lobby smelled like fresh popped corn and they bought one bag to share. Charlotte soon fell asleep and before she knew what had happened, Mama was waking her up. "The movie is over. Let's go meet Daddy and go home. The old milk cow will be waiting at the barn for me."

A lot has changed around the courthouse square since those days. A few fires took out some of the old buildings which were replaced with big, modern ones. With the arrival of Wal Mart, businesses like the Sterlings store and the Ben Franklin store closed completely as new business owners felt the need to be in the shadow of the giant and moved off of main street. But I miss meeting up with people I know and having a little chat while I'm shopping; too much hustle and bustle for me now and I hardly ever see anyone I know when I go to town.

Has your town migrated from the town square to be near a Wal Mart store? Do you remember the crowded streets on Saturday mornings? I'd love to have you tell me about your town.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

County Fair ~ a Repost

It's time for the county fair! School has started, and even though it's still hot, fall just seems to be close.  We've never gone to the fair too many times over the years; more so when the girls were in 4-H and entered the things they had made.

The following is an account of how a trip to the county fair could have been for me when I was a little girl; the wolf, the ride on the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round are based on actual facts.

Daddy said he would borrow Uncle Dewey's car the next day, and asked if we'd like to go to the fair. Of course we would! and Mama said we would look at the exhibits first then we could go to the carnival.

Wanda and Charlotte patiently followed Mama as she went inside to look at the quilts and dresses, the canned green beans, peaches, tomatoes and jellies. Ribbons of blue, red, and white had been placed on the entries. Then Daddy told Mama to bring the girls outside to see something. Charlotte saw an animal which looked like a big gray dog. It was curled up inside a cage and had a terrified look in its eyes. A man hit the cage with a stick and the animal snarled and snapped. It was timid and frightened; Daddy said it was a wild wolf. Charlotte felt sorry for him; he'd been caught and now people came and stared at him and poked him with sticks just to hear him snarl.

Wanda was ready to ride the Ferris wheel; Mama and Charlotte would ride with her. The big wheel turned slowly, and their seat began to rise off the ground. Charlotte gripped the bar in front of her as people below them grew smaller and smaller. Then they went over the top and back down. She felt better; now they could get off, but before she could stand up, they were going up again! She clung to the bar with white knuckles and sweaty palms, and grabbed Mama's arm. She closed her eyes, then realized the wheel wasn't turning anymore. Good! Now she could get off and she wasn't going to ride again! But when she opened her eyes, the ground wasn't under her feet. The Ferris wheel had stopped and they were sitting at the top of the world! She was frightened, and trapped, just like the wolf!

Wanda thought it was fun. "See those mountains? We live on the other side of them!"

Charlotte was thinking, how were they going to get down? What if they fell out of the seat? Oh how she wished she was back over those mountains at home! Wanda told her the wheel had stopped so other people could get on to ride. Then the wheel began to turn and their ride ended.

When Mama took her to the merry-go-round, she was still afraid, but Mama promised to stand beside her, and as the music played and the ponies swayed up and down, round and round, the fear left, and when Mama asked if she liked the ride, Charlotte said, "Yes! Can I do it again?" So Charlotte rode again -- and again; Mama finally had to make her get down because it was time to go home.

Blessings, Charlotte

Friday, July 13, 2018

One of God's Greatest Gifts

I have always thought one of God's greatest gifts to us is music; those seven notes, infinite ways of expressing happiness or sorrow, solo or in harmonic chords and cadence. Even the birds can sing the notes from God.

If ever I've been envious of something, it's the musical ability some people have to play instruments by ear. Mama's family was a family of music makers, by voice and instrument: fiddles, guitars, pump organ, and brothers and sisters gathering round one another and singing those notes from God.

I always wanted to play the piano. Miss Pauline came to the school auditorium each Wednesday to give piano lessons to those whose parents could afford 50 cents each week for a lesson. I could hear those notes -- learned them by heart -- yearned to play them.

In the spring of 1955, Daddy had sold his horses and bought a little John Deere tractor. He hitched the horse-drawn plows, planters, etc. to the tractor, taught me to drive, and I helped him put in the crop of sorghum cane and cut the hay. As the school term approached, he agreed to pay for piano lessons, so I took the money I had earned working in the peaches and he bought a piano for me; a $100, big, heavy, not-so-pretty piano, but it had the seven notes from God. I ordered a "note finder" to slip over the center keys and before lessons started I was picking out tunes.
I whizzed through the beginners' book; after all, I knew those little lessons by heart, and by December I was ready for my first recital. I felt a bit out of place, being fourteen years old and playing pieces along side elementary students. All went well until the ending and I had to cross my right hand over my left; of course I played the wrong note -- one time.
Mama made a "formal" for me to wear; lots of nylon net in a light green color.

I only took lessons that one year; I had learned enough to play hymns at church and it just seemed I had come to the end of my being able to learn the more difficult pieces. These last few years, when my cat stayed inside, I didn't play much; it seemed to annoy him. I'm rusty at playing now, the piano is out of tune, but I'm feeling an urge to try again, because I love those notes from God, written in praise to him.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A New Chapter in My Life

Yesterday I started a new chapter in my life.  I became great grandmother to a 7lb 4oz  baby girl, Emalyn Claire.  I haven't seen her yet, only a picture right after her birth.  Of course she's beautiful!  I'm Mama Charlotte to the grand kids, so now I suppose this makes me Great Mama Charlotte. ;) 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


The farmer has cut hay again, and as hot as the day was it was ready to bale the next day.  The drought is taking a toll on things so there were only 27 bales, but hey, every bale counts. It takes a lot of hay for the cattle.  Some days, this past winter, he put out as many as seven to eight bales each day.

We enjoy raising cattle even with all the work that goes with it.  In the spring we freeze branded our heifers for identification in case one wanders away or gets stolen.  This method didn't seem to bother them as much as branding them with a hot iron, and I liked it much better with no stench of burning hair.  When the hair grows back it is supposed to be white and should show up well.

After our encounter with the neighbor's dogs killing two of our calves a couple of years ago, he has kept them at home and we haven't had a problem with them since.  But, some of our calves kept stepping through the barbed wire fence onto his property.  To put a stop to that, we've just had 1500 feet of steel pipe fencing put up between us and another neighbor, and some cross-fencing that made a large pen connected to the barn lot.  This pen will be useful when we are weaning calves.

And while the welders were here, we had fencing built along the feed troughs.  Now we can pour feed into the troughs without lifting the heavy buckets over the fence.   Gotta make it easier for these old farmers.

Something else on the farm:  spring kitties

and 50,000-plus week old chicks.

It's a wonderful life!

Almost everyone who commented on the last post mentioned how busy I am.  Now I don't mean for it to sound that way because I'm not out all the time working.  I make time to do sewing or quilting projects.  For instance, I'm quilting a baby quilt now and I'm certainly not enjoying it!  There are too many seams to cross and my stitches can't be as small as I like to make them.  All in all, I feel better when I'm busy.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hot, Dry Farm Work

Everyone complained about how cool April was and then how fast the hot weather came in May.  Well, here we are in June, expected to be hot and humid, and everything is dry.  Perfect weather for cutting and baling hay. 

We started the hay season yesterday and continued today.  I wondered, at age 70, if I could make it through that season, and here I am at 77, still in control of my senses and physically able to drive the tractor and rake the hay for the farmer.  

You never know exactly what to expect when doing farm work.  Take today for instance: I was raking the last of the hay when I noticed something on the right front tire.  Assuming it to be a stick I decided it needed to be removed, so I put the tractor in neutral, set the park brake and got out to see what it was.  Surprise of all surprises!  This is what it was!

A deer shed!  Deer antlers grow in the spring, mature in the summer, then are shed in the winter.  They are rarely found in nature because they are eaten by rodents since they are rich in calcium and other nutrients.  Anyway, a rodent didn't find this one, I did!  I had sense enough not to pull it out of the tire and when the farmer caught up with me, he took a small saw from his tool box and cut it off, leaving a "plug" in the tire.

I watched the tire carefully all the way home to make sure it wasn't going flat.  The farmer took it off and has taken it to town to have the tire repaired.

Another incident to record in our journal of farm happenings.

Stay cool,