Friday, April 30, 2010

Letters from Ollie J - April 30, 1995

By 1995 I was done with college and settled into an apartment and working through my first season at Caramoor. I must have sent some of the literature down to her when Mom went to visit.

I haven't really edited too many of these letters. I've tried to preserve her voice, syntax, and idiomatic writing style. There will be a few instances, however, when I do censor a bit. While I've gotten approval from most family members to be mentioned, some parts of Auntie Nettie's story do not have a place on this blog. That stuff goes somewhere else.

30 Apr 1995

[The Farm
Pikeville, NC]

Dear Granddaughter,

Past dew[sic]. Surely seems hard to settle down to write any one.
Its now 7 May 1995.

Had a beautiful sunny day and some warmer than past few days.

Church and Sunday School and Relief Society were all up lifting.

After ate my dinner. Went over to Visit a neighbour[sic] for a while.

Thanks so much for the letters I haven’t answered. The Book, Pamplets[sic] and letter your mom brough[sic] when she came- All appreciated lots.

I have been quilting for ladies – six or more already – Have one in now about ¼ finished. Not big pay but does help out – and I love the work. Yard has been mowed 3 times already. Tobacco is set in field and growing. Not sure what else will be planted.

Have a new set of shingles on house. Job looks nice. Hope last at least twenty years.

Haven’t done much on garden. Hoe and shovel don’t work easy So I’ll think about it. My freezer is full still.

[next part edited out]

Let me know how you feal[sic].


Your work sound exciting and fast moving. Find joy in it and it will go soothly[sic].

Maybe a little high class for me but get some joy from high clasial[sic] music. Don’t understand all of it.

Give it your best.

Did have a good time with your mother while she was here. I taged[sic] along every where she went – to Judy’s, Linda [Mary's college friends], Henrys etc.

Missed here[sic] all next week. Me here all alone.

Had mowing to do which kept me busy all day to get it all but Even moved the Road too next day.

Hope you are adjusting to Ballancing[sic] your pay check with expences[sic]. Me too. Find best not to want to[sic] many things.

Bluebirds have made a home in box near light pole and may even have babies by now. Some times have two batches of babies in one year. They add color to earth. Blue stands out.

8 May
Another slightly cool Sunny morning. I have been up quilted some.

Talked to Lucille A--. Carol brought over 3 hens so I have been out and fed them. Had 2 eggs to gather yesterday.

I should cut out some quilt squares so can make another quilt top. That way will get rid of some of the scrap material which lays around here.

Be good to your self and God bless you.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sick Days -- Have 'em? So USE THEM!


These are the 7 Dwarfs of "off" that I've been since the weekend. When I constantly need to put my head down and take a 4 hour nap, and do so willingly, or have to prop my head up to type, it's time to not ignore what the old body is telling you.

I even took a cat nap at the desk yesterday. That's not a good sign on the day of the Big J's Big Gala.

I'll be taking a few days off the blog (and work, thank goodness for sick days) and catching some zzzs before this turns into a flu-fest or walking pneumonia.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Saturday in the Park with Mom

A lovely visit in honor of her birthday, brought Grandmary to New York a couple of weekends ago. She wanted to walk, and so we did, for miles and miles around a much quieter, and less sunny, New York Botanical Gardens. This trip, we found the lilacs, took back trails past patrolling New York City cop cars (HI!), saw much in the way of birders and birds -- turkeys, cardinals, hawks, and red-headed woodpeckers, ducks, and geese-- and saw koi venturing out from underneath the lily pads. Access to the remaining orchids was easier, and the quiet and less crowded grounds were more fun to explore. I'm glad I got pictures, because trying to see through the allergy-reddened and swollen eyes was difficult.

Plus, with all the walking, we almost, but not quite, worked off a huge brunch of a southwestern frittata. Next walking tour -- Brooklyn and Governor's Island, but we have to wait for summer schedules and fewer commitments for that trip.

Hope you had fun Mom. It was great to have you down.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Recipes from Ollie J -- Baked Beans

I don't normally associate my southern grandma with baked beans, but those North Carolina winters can be just as bitingly cold as the New England ones. Wish she had indicated which kinds of beans and syrup...

Old Fashioned Baked Beans

4 cups cooked, dried beans
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup dark syrup
2 tblspn butter
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup catsup
3 slices bacon

Put all ingredients, except bacon into a large casserole dish, mix well.
Place bacon slices on top.
Bake in a 425 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.
Yields 4-6 servings.

I thought about attempting this one, then decided that I would simply include it here for archival purposes instead. That's a lot of baked beans to make and then eat. Sharing it with neighbors and colleaques would be okay, but then I'd have to have a side order of Beano around for them too.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Letters from Ollie J - April 24, 1983

I was about 11 at this time, and my brother was about 8 or 9. I don't know why she didn't want a picture from J as well. Toddlers scribble wouldn't display as well or something?

Apparently I was being a grouch at this age too. By this point I had been taking piano for about four-five years or so.

24 April 1983

[Temple Mission
Kensington, MD]

Dear [Granddaughter],

How’s my grand daughter? Smilling[sic] I hope. Be loving and kind.

Grandma has to work at this too. We get tired and grouchy but that wasn’t the way that Jesus acted. He Loved and showed kindness.

Thanks for your letters to me. Now I want you to take a sheet of Note book paper size and draw me a picture. So I can display it at Relief Society with the other Grandma’s in June. I’d proudly show one you draw – a Animal, Church house, parents & children going to Church, you choose what you’d like. Could be a idea from your Book of Mormon reading course.

Jed can draw one too if he’d like.

I love all my grand children and want them to be servants of our Father in heaven.

Obey Mama & Daddy too. They may seem tough but they love you and are trying to guide to be kind and loving as Jesus would have us all be.

Work hard on your music you want[sic] regret it years from now.

Love you


Its has been a rainy day but we had a good Stake Conference.

Note: Grandmary came down to visit recently and brought along some samples of our early artwork, as well as some of my correspondence with Grandma Ollie. Grandmary is FINALLY going through files and boxes that were brought back from NC and being stored at the CT house. I can't wait to see what other bits and bobs she unearths.

These early watercolors were done when I was younger than 11, but it's fun to include them here with this particular letter. Jed did the car and I did the ice cream. What does that say about our personalities?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Auntie Nettie's Merchadise 2010: Part 2

It's only April and already the completed craft projects are hitting numbers that frighten me just a bit ... not only that, but they are getting to be more complicated and multi-stepped projects. Here's documentation of the next 20 or so. (Luckily, some were gifts and are out of the house. I'm getting quite a menagerie of animals.) To see the first 40 projects of 2010, click here...

#41: Funny Faced Bottle holder (front view)
(as of 11/2013 no longer available)
(back view) #42: Chair accessories for Chair Contest/craft project, test version pillow and blankie
(not available, they belong to The Shushing Librarian)
#43: Final Version of Chair Contest Project No. 1: hand-painted beach chair, hooked sisal rug, with matching pillows, blanket aka "Cozy Crocheted Beach Blanket Bingo"
(not available - LOST and I'm annoyed that it's lost)

#44: Toy Block (view one)(view two) #45: Fuzzy Roly Poly Panda (as of 12/10 not available) #46: Chair Contest Project No. 2: hand-painted chair, hollowed out book, wrapped in yarn and tape, with a mini book aka "What's Black and White and 'read' all over? A Good Yarn!"
(not available - discarded)
#47: Mini Camel aka Paul's Revenge (not available, gifted) #48: Gimpy Piggy for Missy Chrissy (not available, gifted)
#49: Spiral Peachy Scarf(as of 4/10, no longer available)

#50: Yoga Mat Bag (not really available, made for me)
(view one) (view two) #51: Purple stole
(as of 10/2011, no longer available)
#52: White Blanket with Hoodie (as of 06/10, not available)
#53: White/Blue Roly Poly Panda (as of 4/10, no longer available)
#54: Blue/White Roly Poly Panda (as of 10/10, no longer available) #55: Pink/White Roly Poly Panda (as of 07/11, no longer available) #56: White/Pink Roly Poly Panda (no longer available) #57: White/Pink/Blue Roly Poly Panda (as of 12/10 no longer available) #58 & #59: Little Duck (no longer available)
#60: Little Camel
(as of 12/2011, no longer available, gifted)
If you see something that interests you, please drop me a line for prices and availability.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Montauk Roadtrip - Seashore

Okay, so the egret is random -- but so was he. Just hanging out in the parking lot by the Lighthouse.