Friday, March 29, 2013


"March 6, 2002:  Mary came at noon.  While she ate, I showered.  Went to Book Club in the evening.  Delorus U. came here after the meeting and we played Scrabble.  I had a good evening.
March 7, 2002:  Back in 1950 on this day we had a real blizzard!!!  Helen called this morning.  I called Myrtle in p.m.  I made cereal snacks.  Tom came after work and brought Runza food.  We played Rummikub.  He took my laundry home with him to wash it.
March 8, 2002:  Cold, cloudy and dreary today.  Had a sleet storm this evening.  Really rattled on the windows."

That must have been a really memorable blizzard.  I don't recall hearing any talk of it growing up, yet 52 years later Grandma is mentioning it.  And such a nice segue into my second installment of Winside history.

The Blizzard of 1888

Frank Perrin and I owned a corn sheller in the late eighties that was the old fashioned horse powered type, using eight or ten horses depending on the corn.  We had been shelling during December and January in Brenna precinct and had all of the work that we could handle.

January 12, 1888, we were to shell for a Mr. Delehoyde not very far from the Perrin farm.  After setting up the machine Mr. Delehoyde said that we had better go in the house and wait a little while and see what the weather man had in store for us that day as it was blowing from the south and east.  Frank and I went into the house and proceeded to play checkers, our favorite pastime in those days, with the Delehoyde boys.

After we had played a few games, Perry, my brother, came over after me as our grandmother, Mrs. Rachael Benshoof, had passed away and the family wanted me to come home.  Frank and I hitched up our teams and proceeded to his place first, and then I started from there to our house which was south and east from the Perrin farm.  We had not gone very far when the wind changed from the southeast to the north and west and blowing a regular gale.  We managed to follow the fence and got home just in time before it had drifted very much. 

My father, William Benshoof saw the storm coming and immediately ran to the school near home to tell the teacher Mate Pittenger to dismiss as he thought the children would have time to get home if they hurried.  Some of the parents also saw the storm approaching so came for their children and managed to get home safely except the Splittgerbers, so Mr. Benshoof took them home with him.

The following morning the snow was very deep, but the wind had subsided enough that a person could get around and try and take care of the stock.  Mr. Splittgerber came early to try and find his children at the neighbors or at the school house.  Stopping at the Benshoof place he was so overcome with joy at finding his children that he dropped down on his knees, took his children in his arms, Hugo, Willie and Lizzie, and cried like a child.

After grandmother passed away on the morning of the 12th, Uncle Bob Perrin and Joseph Gray went to Wayne after a casket and got as far as the Jim White farm, seven miles east and one north Winside, when the storm compelled them to stop for the night.  The following day they tried to make it to our place and succeeded in getting home about dark.  They shoveled snow many times that day in order to get through as the roads had drifted.

My father saw that there was no sign of the storm leaving this area, so he said that we would have to put grandmother in a cold room and let her freeze as it was impossible to bury her right away.  About a week passed before the storm had subsided enough to remove the drifts in the road with the help of the neighbors.  A short service was held at the house and she was hauled to Wayne in a bob sled preceded by the neighbors with scoops to clear the road, and buried in the Green Wood Cemetery.

-- C. E. Benshoof

There is another re-telling of the blizzard that mentions a man named Frederick Haas that tried to get home from the William Hoffman place after looking for his hogs.  He was found 10 days later when his elbow was seen sticking up from the snow.  He had wandered about three miles east of his farm and had frozen, as had his hogs.  The hogs were found south of the Hoffman farm.  Without knowing where these farms were located, I can't tell how far Mr. Haas was from the hogs he was trying to save.  The same re-telling also mentioned that many rabbits were found frozen in the fields since they were unable to find shelter in time and the extremely high wind and driven them onward.  Crazy stuff indeed.

Here is a photo of "my" wild turkeys that have adopted us.  There is nothing close to blizzard-type snow on the ground, but they look a bit put out, I think.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A bit of history

"March 3, 2002:  Talked to Greta in a.m.  Nancy brought a beef stew dinner about 2:00.  In the afternoon, I took a shower and she vacuumed.  Then we played Rummikub.
March 4, 2002:  I called Arlene R. in a.m. just to visit -- did that rather than write.  Played Seven-Up in the evening.
March 5, 2002:  Mary took me for my weekly shampoo and set.

Sorry for my absence yesterday.  I was in Omaha at an all-day training -- would much rather have been doing almost anything else since the training was about lead-based paint.  Snoresville.  But, I am done learning about it for another three years, so that is great.  I was late getting there due to some not-quite-so-perfect directions and also the fact that I could barely see the street signs as I headed east because the sun was in just the wrong spot.  But, if that is the worst thing that happens this week or month or year, I will be in fine shape.

I don't have anything to comment regarding Grandma's comings and goings, so I'll include something I thought was a bit funny from the History of Winside book (the 1942 edition).

The First Court Case

The first case tried in Justice of the Peace Court in Winside was on January 25, 1887.  M. H. Dodge, a young lawyer who had studied law by correspondence, was the judge.

August Krueger was the plaintiff and the defendants were Julius Krueger, Otto Krueger and Herman Krueger.  There were no lawyers on either side.

Both sides called for witnesses and a jury.  Those on the witness stand were:  August Deck, Herman Krueger, Chris Krueger and Ed. Krause.  Jury:  Warner Starr, Wm. Averill, John Cherry, John Batte, F. Shinn, James Elliott.  John Cherry was excused from jury duty on account of sickness and F. Muehlmeier took his place.  Warner Starr refused to appear so a bench warrant was issued for his arrest and he was fined $5.00 and costs.

The bill of particulars alleged the defendants owed the plaintiff the sum of $24.00 for hay and house rent.  The jury's verdict was in favor of the plaintiff August Krueger.  An execution was issued to Ernest Nehring, constable and a chattel mortgage note was given the plaintiff for the judgment and the plaintiff agreed to pay the costs.

I find a couple of things interesting and/or humorous here.  The amount of money involved causes a bit of a chuckle now, but it was obviously enough to go to court over back in 1887.  The fact that the "judge" studied law by correspondence is a nice touch.  I wonder what Warner Starr knew or didn't know or what else he had to go that day that he refused to appear.  His fine and costs was a goodly sum of money compared to what the lawsuit was about, so he must have felt strongly about things.  It is a nice touch that the plaintiff agreed to pay costs after his big win.  Since the defendants were likely related to him, maybe this was a peace offering on his part.

For no particular reason, I have dusted off the butts photo to use today.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Banana bread!

"February 28, 2002:  I baked banana bread today.  Tom came after work.  We had chili soup and then played Rummikub.
March 1, 2002:  Wrote seven thank you letters.
March 2, 2002:  Dale brought Dane, Mitch, Kyleah and Anna here about 6:00.  We had supper.  The kids watched TV and goofed around.  Dale came for Dane and Kyleah about 9:00 and Mary came about 11:00.

Gosh!  I haven't made banana bread in a while now.  And I must confess, I don't use Grandma's recipe, unless she uses Norma B.'s recipe.  I have nothing against other recipes, but I get rave reviews and am something locally known for my banana bread.  Well, known around work anyway; that's probably the extent of it.

Duane T. was the recipient of some of Grandma's banana bread.  I found out from someone in the family that he liked to take it for lunch with peanut butter on it.  I thought that sounded odd until I thought on it a bit.  As a kid, one of my favorite treats, usually at Christmas, was the little jellyroll-style candies Grandma would make.  Two of the ingredients were bananas and peanut butter.  So, I gave Duane's idea a try and of course, it was excellent.

Here's a photo of those same kids a few years earlier.

Monday, March 25, 2013

More normal stuff here

"February 25, 2002:  Had prescriptions delivered from National Pharmacy.  Organized my birthday cards.  Played Seven-Up in party room in evening.
February 26, 2002:  Very cold and windy today.  Mary took me for my weekly shampoo, etc.
February 27, 2002:  Called Marjorie C. this morning for her birthday.  Mary here at noon and I took my shower.  Book Club tonight."

I was surprised when I learned (prior to today) that there were still pharmacies in Lincoln that made deliveries.  I figured that was something that had gone by the wayside over time.  I imagine there is a fee, but I do not know that for sure.  Regardless, it is a very nice service that I am sure many people appreciate.

I had forgotten that for awhile there I took Grandma to her hair appointment one day and then came to lunch the next.  I know eventually we got down to me picking her up from the beauty college and having lunch the same day.  Grandma didn't shower those days since we visited over lunch.  I think I still was there for a shower now and then, but I just don't recall how that worked.  I suppose I will find out in time as I go through the journal.

I am trying to figure out which photos I may not have used at all, or used only once.  I believe this is one of those.  Grandma Anna's husband is in the middle.  He is with, as I understand it, other members of a threshing crew.  It may be Uncle Chris, his brother, there on the left.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Back after my brief absence

"February 22, 2002:  Wrote some more thank you notes.
February 23, 2002:  Nancy came in p.m.  She took me shopping.  We ate at the Village Inn.  I bought a necklace with my birthday money -- also a new house coat.
February 24, 2002:  Tom brought my laundry in a.m.  I talked to Greta in a.m.  Nancy came in late afternoon.  We played Rummikub.  I watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics -- really spectacular."

I have been having to work at work lately and it is a real drag.  I am just kidding -- glad to have a job and work that is interesting when it shows up, preferably not all at once.  I actually sat through a meeting yesterday and didn't scream or claw my face.  As some know, I would rather take a beating than sit through meetings.  In my experience frequently a lot of nothing gets accomplished at most meetings.  Thankfully the one yesterday was productive with good attention and good questions and not a lot of talking just to talk.

But back to 2002 -- pretty normal stuff here for Grandma.  Does Nancy remember if they at at "the" Village Inn -- the one close to Mom and Nancy now? 

I wonder how many people use the term "house coat" anymore. . .

Since I am longing for Spring and hoping for a good garden this year, here's a photo for inspiration.

Monday, March 18, 2013


"February 19, 2002:  Mary took me for my weekly shampoo and set.
February 20, 2002:  Helen's birthday is tomorrow but I called her today.  Mary came at noon for lunch.  I took my shower.  Went to Book Club this evening.  Brought back book "Rivers of the Heart" by George deBord.
February 21, 2002:  Worked on sorting cards, clippings, etc.  Made noodles for chicken soup.  Tom came in late afternoon.  We played Rummikub.  He took my laundry home with him.  He didn't come last night because he and Merilyn went to a special ball game.  Myrtle called after supper.  I forgot it was my turn to call -- I was so concerned about getting the noodles made!!!  I'll call her two Thursdays in a row now."

I love how I find out things Grandma did (or didn't do in this case) that remind me of me.  I can certainly see myself forgetting to do something because I was wrapped up in doing something else.  In fact, I most likely do that several times a week.

Speaking of Aunt Myrtle, here's a replay of our wonderful photo together from back in my less inhibited days.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tired kids and some new checks

"February 15, 2002:  Mailed five thank-you notes.  Talked to Bill.
February 16, 2002:  Received new check blanks.  Mitch and Anna here in evening.  Soon after we ate they "conked out" and were practically asleep by 8:30!!
February 17, 2002:  I called Greta in a.m.  Nancy came in late afternoon.  We had supper and while I showered she vacuumed, etc.  We played some Rummikub before she went home.
February 18, 2002:  Bill came in afternoon -- he had been to the dentist.  We played Rummikub.  Bernice, my neighbor, called to offer me a bowl of bean soup.  It was very good -- different from what I make.  I went to the Party Room in evening to play Seven-Up."

Well, if anyone was hoping to re-live some excitement from 2002, this isn't the blog post for it.  Other than the check blanks, of course.  I even added an extra day to my normal three per post and all we got out of it was bean soup.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think Grandma was hiding anything from us, but a suspense novel this is not.

The photo is of a very cheerful Grandma Anna, Grandma, Uncle Ray and Bumps.  It's kinda cute of everyone, I think.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quilting lesson, part 8 (the end)


"February 12, 2002:  Mary came at noon to take me for my "hair-do".
February 13, 2002:  Mary came and had lunch.  I showered and then visited with her.  Went to Book Club in evening.  Herb Schuessler died suddenly today.
February 14, 2002:  Mary and Mitch and Anna came in the evening with Chinese food.  That was my Valentine present.  We played Rummikub.  Myrtle called in a.m."

I don't recall taking Chinese food on Valentine's Day but I am certainly glad I/we did. 

Quilting, already since I am drawing a blank.

Nebraska windmill -- designed by E. S. "Bud" Dunklau of Lincoln in bicentennial year -- won $100 prize in a statewide contest -- named by the Legislature as the official state quilt block.  Cathedral Window -- 50 yards of muslin.  Star of Bethlehem -- almost 4,000 pieces.

I'll conclude with my favorite "quilts in history" story.  In pre-Civil War days a sea captain, Capt. Wm. Driver lived in Salem, Mass. -- one of the kindest and most dependable -- to show their love and respect the ladies of Salem made a large flag for him.  As the flag was hoisted and unfurled, the captain -- impressed by the gift and the occasion -- shouted, "I'll call her Old Glory, boys, Old Glory!"  Back from a journey -- wife had been seriously ill -- advised to move to a milder climate -- chose Nashville, Tenn.  Very happy there -- displayed "Old Glory" often.  Then Civil War Confederate officer came to confiscate flag, etc.  Flag counted as a quilt.  Flew over the state capital at end of war.  Flag now is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Thank you for the opportunity to ramble on about my favorite past time.  I've enjoyed this very much.

I am guessing from her shortened notes that the Confederate officer was not allowed to take the flag since it was considered a quilt.  I was sort of correct -- I looked up Capt. Driver and found this; close enough:

Captain Driver quit the sea in 1837. He settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where he had relatives living. On patriotic days he displayed Old Glory proudly from a rope extending from his house to a tree across the street. As the Civil War began, after Tennessee seceded from the Union in 1861, Driver feared that Old Glory might be confiscated or destroyed by the Confederate authorities. He hid the flag, having it sewn inside a comforter. When Union soldiers entered Nashville on February 25, 1862, Driver removed Old Glory from its hiding place. He carried the flag to the Tennessee State Capitol and raised it on the capitol flagpole. He is said to have remained on watch all that night to ensure that the flag came to no harm.

Shortly before his death, the old sea captain placed a small bundle into the arms of his daughter. He said to her, "Mary Jane, this is my ship flag, Old Glory. It has been my constant companion. I love it as a mother loves her child. Cherish it as I have cherished it." Captain Driver is buried in Nashville's historic City Cemetery, under an unusual marker of his own design—a ship's anchor leaning against a vine-covered tree. By a special act of Congress, Driver's gravesite is one of several places in the United States, including the grave of Francis Scott Key, where a flag is flown twenty four hours a day. His house, where Old Glory so often flew, no longer exists, but a historical plaque near its location on Fifth Avenue South commemorates him.

Mary Jane took the flag with her as she married and moved, first to Nevada and then to California, occasionally displaying it at or near her home. In the early 1900s, she sewed the deteriorating flag to a bedsheet in order to stabilize it.

The flag remained as a precious heirloom in the Driver family until 1922. Then it was sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where it is carefully preserved under glass today. It and the flag which flew over Fort McHenry during the British bombardment of 1814, inspiring Francis Scott Key to write the The Star-Spangled Banner, are considered the two most historically significant flags in the country and two of the greatest treasures of the Smithsonian.

[I hope the photo I copied over from wikipedia make the transfer and is visible.]

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Quilting lesson, part 7

"February 9, 2002:  Two cards came today.  Nancy came in p.m. and ironed while I showered.  Mary, Mitch and Anna brought our meal from Boston market.  We played a game of Rummikub after our meal.  Then Nancy went home -- it was blowing and snowing.  Mary came after the kids about midnight.
February 10, 2002:  Sunny today -- not much snow.  Greta called in a.m.
February 11, 2002:  Mailed five thank you notes.  In evening went to Party Room and played Seven-Up with some of the residents."

I don't recall playing Seven-Up while growing up (snicker, snicker).  I wonder if that is a game Grandma learned at the Pioneer House or if we just didn't play much of that particular game during my childhood.  In any event, I like it.  It's easy to learn and the strategy is straightforward and you can talk and visit and do not have to concentrate too awfully much.  My kind of game exactly.

On to the quilting:

Interested in quilt making since before I was married -- pieced a Broken Star and Grandmother's Flower Garden.  Started again after retirement 12 years ago.  [a clue as to when this was written - MJS]  Really ten years ago [now she is just confusing us for her own entertainment - MJS].

Have made 20 some quilts, doesn't seem like very many after reading in magazines, lady in Pilger, over 200 quilts -- 12 pieced tops waiting to be quilted and I'm reluctant to say how many I've started cutting pieces for.  Boxes in closet of sewing room labeled - Starry Path, Spider Web, Nosegay, Log Cabin, etc.  Prefer patchwork quilts.  Use old treadle machine.  Everyday quilts -- long stitch.  Admire applique -- have made just two -- the Colonial Lady and Yellow Rose of Texas.  Enjoy studying quilt magazines -- so many encourage creating your own -- I'm not creative -- too afraid of wasting time and material.

Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel -- gorgeous quilts -- made mine seem very inferior.  Blizzardy days are my favorite -- no interruptions, scatter quilt pieces all over.  Must live to be over 100 to finish all I've started and more I want to make.  Would like to make sampler quilts based on 9-patch and 4-patch, use new quilting patterns.

Besides working on my own quilts, I'm chairman of our LCW Quilting Circle.  We've quilted about 80 quilts since the fall of 1983.  I don't have a record of the previous years.  I suppose I've marked practically all of them and bound half of them.  I'm keeping a scrapbook of the pictures of these quilts.

Oh, pish posh.  I know Georgia Bonesteel makes great quilts, but Grandma should not have said they made hers seem inferior.  She would have loved to have seen the reactions of the great-grandkids upon opening their quilts (made by her) at this last Christmas.  Only one swap was made -- due to girl v. boy color preferences, I think.  The others seemed to have been directed to the best kid to have them.  Not inferior by any stretch of the imagination.

I am guessing this is the Colonial Lady quilt Grandma referenced, but I'll take the hit if that is not the case.  I like how some of the flowers are different, depending on the fabric of the lady's dress.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oopsies, tune in tomorrow

I had the journal home with me this weekend, but didn't get anything posted.  I didn't go to work Monday due to snow drifts, but was busy cleaning for company and didn't get anything posted.  All ready to get back to business today, but . . . the journal is at home and not at work where I am.

On a positive note, the grumpy grandma pictures got hung on the wall yesterday -- in the stairwell going upstairs.  They look pretty good and should keep the grandkids in line.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Quilting lesson, part 6

"February 6, 2002:  Six cards today.  Mary here for lunch while I showered.  Tom here in evening -- he took care of laundry and we played Rummikub.
February 7, 2002:  Three cards today.  I called Myrtle.  Joan N. broke her leg and is in a Lincoln hospital.  Called Arlene B. for Vicki's address.  Entered names of all I received birthday cards from in the guest book from my farewell party in Winside.
February 8, 2002:  Finished organizing the cards.  Two cards came today -- that makes 160 cards.  Nice, newsy letter from Bonnie F."

I should have known Grandma would provide a card count -- I wouldn't have needed to tally them up in my earlier post.  I wonder how she organized them.  I also wonder if I get my need to sort and resort and re-categorize things from her.  I definitely wouldn't call myself organized, but there is a seed of something there hiding.  Quit laughing, Mom.  On to quilting.

NO TIME ON MY HANDS as told by Grace Snyder to her daughter Nellie Snyder Yost.

1885 - 3 years old - moved form Missouri to Custer County, Nebraska.

As early as 6 years of age she wanted to make quilts.  Watched mother -- mother said too small, must sew small stitches and not waste thread.  Before she was 10 she pieced a 4-square doll quilt while sitting by a hay stack and herding cattle.  From the time she was 10 her Aunt Bell gave her lovely scraps from her dressmaking to use for quilts.
  First teaching job -- in the home -- two young boys -- bought $1.00 of material to make quilt top.  She had been helping her mother make quilt tops.

She had three wishes:  above clouds, marry a cowboy and make a really beautiful quilt.  Married and moved to a ranch -- always had three quilts going -- cutting one, piecing another and quilting the third -- as hands became tired or sore she worked on another.

Took her work box along in the car when she went with Bert fishing, checking wells, etc.

Most of her big "show" collection were pieced during the long snowbound winters on the ranch.  During the WWII years she pieced most of her finest quilts -- Mosaic Hexagon with over 50,000 dime-sized pieces and the Basket Petit Point with 87,789 pieces and 5,400 yards of thread.  Eight triangle-shaped pieces sewed together made a block no larger than a two-cent stamp.  The effect is more like needlepoint than patchwork quilting.  Sixteen months to make.  Copied the design from a plate.  Wrote to company that made plates, etc.  One year at Nebraska State Fair, 18 of her quilts hung in a long row -- the 19th, an original grapevine design was in a showcase under the purple sweepstakes ribbon.  Called Nebraska First Lady of Quilting.

Daughter selected 12 outstanding quilts and exhibited all over the country -- didn't put them in the baggage -- paid for extra fare and kept them beside her on the plane.

Grandma doesn't say so in her notes, but the lady met at least two of her life goals.  Her daughter flew above the clouds, but we don't know about the quilter herself.  I would like to think she got to do that.

The notes also do not indicate what she wrote the plate company about and what their response was, if any.  Bummer.

I can imagine not letting quilts loose in the baggage compartment.  The daughter was a smart lady to keep them in sight, me thinks.

And here's a photo of a quilt comprised of hexagons.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Quilting lesson, part 5 plus a birthday

"February 3, 2002:  Eleven cards (I think).  A wonderful time here in the party room at Pioneer House.  All the family here, especially Jayme and his girlfriend.  Had wonderful meal, birthday cake and ice cream.
February 4, 2002:  Nine cards today.  Played cards - "Seven Up" -- in party room this evening.  Six to eight people came.  Afterward played Cribbage at Delorous's apartment.
February 5, 2002:  Seventeen cards today.  Listened to tapes from Lester.
I remember the party and Grandma was right, it was wonderful.  The littler kids had a grand time running around (kinda anyway) in the lobby and back to the party room and back to the lobby again.

Speaking of running, I'm running late with this and will just hit the quilting lesson now.

A unique modern day quilt was made by Mary A. Lundy of Joplin, Missouri.  She wanted to enter an original quilt in the Kansas State Fair.  She used an 8" x 11" cross stitch embroidery sampler for her pattern.  Searched through stores in many cities for just the right color coordination.  Cut more than 18,000 one-inch squares for the quilt and 14 months later the quilt was completed in time to enter the fair.  It is a magnificent king-sized, mosaic-type picture, made entirely by hand. 

"Christ in Gethsemane".

World's largest quilt is in Columbia, South Carolina.  Director of Adult and Community education half-jokingly asked Hazel Ross to make the world's largest quilt to depict what goes on in community education. 
Measured 25 feet square.
397 blocks -- 396 were 12-inch square -- center block 24" square.
184 of these were log cabin, rest were represented house styles, churches, other buildings of interest in Columbia, park scenes, community education courses and recreational activities.
92 houses -- many representing the homes of quilters -- blocks worked in applique, piecing, cross stitch and shadow embroidery -- each block was lap quilted, then joined to others.
8,000 hours of labor
9 months of which 3 months taken to decide on design, fabrics, etc.
Husband very understanding at first -- his clean underwear -- buy new ones -- murmured "I'll be glad when that quilt is finished."

During the last weeks the workers were there every day and many in the evening, too.  After the quilt was unveiled, the man who started the idea gave a reception to pay tribute to the 150 workers and their long-suffering husbands.

Grandma's notes aren't quite clear as to whether the Mary Lundy quilt was a representation of "Christ in Gethsemane" but one might conclude that.  I tried looking online but after a quick search did not find information on this quilt.  I wonder why a Missouri resident was entering a quilt in the Kansas State Fair.  Maybe that's why I can't find any information -- it has been hushed up.

I've used the photo a couple of times already, but had to use it for this post since it was taken during the birthday party in question.  What a happy bunch.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quilting lesson, part 4

"January 31, 2002:  Received 18 birthday cards.  Snowed lightly all day.  I baked six loaves of banana bread.  Have received 66 cards.
February 1, 2002:  Clear this morning.  19 cards today.
February 2, 2002:  18 cards today.  Took banana bread to Evena S., Zoya, and my neighbors Bernice and Dale A.  Helen called for my birthday -- so did Raymond and Arlene P., also Jean and Marjorie.  Nancy came the middle of the afternoon.  Brought groceries and then washed floors, vacuumed, etc.  I took my shower."

The total cards would be over 100 at this point and spoiler alert -- she got more after February 2.

How nice to make gifts and deliver them around the time of your own birthday. 

On to more quilt information.

Quilts have had a place in history.  I found these stories in quilt magazines. 

One quilt in history concerns an Irish family by the name of O'Hara.  The father, Thomas, came to America first.  After two years and three months he was able to send for his wife and two daughters, Jenny and Patty.  The grandmother had given each of the little girls a fine handmade quilt to wrap up in on their sea voyage.  When they arrived at Ellis Island, Jenny had a bad cold and was kept there until she as over it.  After two weeks she rejoined her family but with new clothes and no quilt.  The law was to destroy the clothing of anyone held because of sickness.  The family was very upset over the loss of the quilt as the grandmother was very frail and died before she could make another quilt for her granddaughter.  Girls became involved in school and new friends and soon forgot the disappointment.  Several months later a woman came to the door -- had written description of pattern and materials -- searched stores for similar material, etc.  Quilt not too different from the original -- made Jenny realize the kindness in the new country.

Another quilt story involves an 8 year old girl who had difficulty with multiplication tables (no calculator then!) [teacher to home, etc.]

This quilt story is told by Mary Louise Kitsen whose ancestors were from Arnsdorf in Austria.  People used quilts more as robes than covers.  As a child Mary's grandmother had a favorite "church" robe which had bright red material that was "soft" to the touch.  (churches not heated).  She used this robe on the Christmas Eve in 1881 when the Pastor, Josef Mohr first sang "Silent Night" to the accompaniment of a guitar-like instrument.  The church organ had been damaged by mice gnawing at the organ bellows.  The lady likes to imagine the little congregation, sitting in the cold church, with snow falling outside, many wearing "quilted robes" listening to the new song and then singing with the pastor.

Oh, phooey.  Apparently Grandma didn't need more notes for the multiplication story and so all we have are these bare notes.  I am curious as to what that story is.  Maybe I can find it.

Here is a photo of the Baby Blocks quilt that was given to Tom and Merilyn.  I like Nancy's quilt-modeling pose.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Quilting lesson, part 3

"January 28, 2002:  Received six birthday cards.  Went to a general meeting for all residents in the lobby this evening.  Had dessert and coffee.  Then Delorous U. came here and we played Scrabble.  I'm really rusty -- she beat me three games.
January 29, 2002:  Seven birthday cards came today.  Mary took me for my weekly hair-do.  Tom came about 5:00.  I made creamed dried beef on toast and we played Rummikub.
January 30, 2002:  Had pills delivered from the pharmacy.  Received 17 birthday cards.  An azalea plant from the Winside WELCA was delivered by Mary Ann S.'s brother Bill and his wife who works for the floral shop.  Went to Book Club -- afterward Delorous U. called -- wanted to play Scrabble. She came and this time I won all the games.  We're going to play Cribbage sometime.  Started to snow this p.m."

Until I kept reading/typing, I was going to suggest that if Grandma was rusty at Scrabble she and Tom should have skipped Rummikub and played Scrabble instead.  But, she apparently did just fine the second time with her new and worthy opponent.  It is fun to read her first mentions of some of these ladies that became good friends.

Creamed dried beef on toast!!  Best made with Ray Jacobsen's dried beef to be sure.  But passable even with store-bought.  I should find out if the store where Anna works has locker-made dried beef.

On to the quilting lesson, which is really a speech not a lesson on how to quilt, but you know what I mean.

Quite often quilting bees were held.  The ladies quilted during the day and then after the chores were done the men joined them for supper and then dancing.  Some quilts were named for the square dancing -- Hands Around, Swing in the Center, and Virginia Reel. 

Colonial kitchen quilting frame an article of furniture -- four rings set in the ceiling to raise quilt out of the way -- then lowered to quilt again.  Rooms small. [Looks like Grandma was using a bit of shorthand here, but that is word-for-word what she typed.]

The time the whaling vessels sailed form New England ports was just a short time in our history.  The whaling vessels would be out to sea for weeks at a time. The sailors spent time carving knife handles, kitchen utensils and decorative items  from whalebone.  For the women at home, quilt making was popular and also necessary.  Quilts were needed during the long, cold winters for covers and also as hangings over drafty windows and along a wall where a bed might be.  The wives also made quilts for their sailor husbands.  The men took great pride in their quilts, took good care of them and often took a new quilt on the next trip to show off to the others.  When they stopped at other ports, the men bought cloth for their wives.  This handsome cloth was popular with the women to make clothing for the family and then there were the leftovers to use in their quilts.  Some of these quilts can be seen in museums in Connecticut and other New England states.

Here is a photo of what I think is the Dresden Plate pattern, but I will welcome a correction on that if I am incorrect.  Photo is dated 1991 but there is no indication of who may have gotten this quilt or even if Grandma pieced it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Quilting lesson, part 2

"January 25, 2002:  Received 14 birthday cards and a package from Helen -- contained homemade candy "turtles".
January 26, 2002:  Called Helen to thank her for the candy.  Received a birthday card.  Greta had placed a request in The Wayne Herald and others for a card shower for my 90th birthday.  Joan N. called this evening explaining why she wasn't at my farewell party.
January 27, 2002:  Called Greta in a.m.  Received three birthday cards.  Nancy brought supper -- I showered and then we played Rummikub."

I certainly hope I sent or delivered a birthday card to Grandma.  I think I am ranked nationally in the bad-about-sending-cards category.

Here's more of the quilt speech:

A missionary from Boston to the Hawaiian Islands gave the native women scraps of material to make quilts because she thought "idle hands do the devil's work".  The native women gradually substituted their own material to display their much-loved motifs -- grape vines, shadows of the bread fruit tree, or taro leaves.  The swirling, curved stitching instead of the diagonal or parallel is indicative of the Hawaiian gentle nature.  Families made their own patterns and shared them with no one else.  These patterns were treasured by the family.

Amish quilts have strong design and striking colors.  [believe only God is perfect, the quilts have plenty of imperfections]  The quilts are composed of three primary shapes -- the square, triangle and rectangle.  Often the square is placed on its corners to make a diamond.  Small triangles may be placed along these edges to form a saw tooth diamond.  The Amish felt it was sinful to have excess pride in wordly possessions, so the early quilts were constructed of large, simple pieces.  In the early 1900's they began to use more intricate designs being influenced by English neighbors.

Many books have been written about quilting in America.  Among the early colonists, cloth was too scarce and expensive to waste, so homespun and worn calico dresses were cut and sewed into crazy patch quilts.  In time the European motifs were replaced by traditional American designs still used today.  Colonial ladies in Boston and Philadelphia, others on southern plantations, and the pioneer women of Kentucky or Kansas made many quilts.  New designs were created and they were named after the new land -- the Ohio Rose, Arizona Cactus, and the Rocky Road to Kansas.

The famous Lemoyne Star was the forerunner of the Lone Star, Twin Star, California Star, Star of Bethlehem, Morning Star and Broken Star and many more.  The Log Cabin with its many variations was one of the most popular of all.  (Quilt at Pioneer Village).

And to illustrate Grandma's point about the log cabin pattern, here is one variation.  The writing on the back of the photo would indicate this was given to Uncle Raymond and Aunt Marina.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Quilting lesson

"January 22, 2002:  Foot still hurts some.  Warm today -- high of 59 degrees.
January 23, 2002:  Mary came at noon and ate lunch -- I showered.  In evening to Book Club.
January 24, 2002:  Myrtle's birthday -- Also Mary's.  Called Myrtle in a.m.  Helen Jones called in p.m.

I found a speech Grandma typed out and most likely gave somewhere, sometime.  There is nothing I've found so far to indicate an audience or a date.  But, I haven't read through it all so maybe there will be hints along the way.  Since Grandma was a prolific quilter, it is only appropriate to put here what she knew and researched and liked about quilts.  It will take a few posts to get it all, but that's fine with me.  Here we go.  Oh, I am going to include her notes to herself that aren't complete sentences just because.

[Glad to be here]
[Miss Ramsey]
["fruited plane"]
[Not a professional orator]

Little is known of the early history of quilting.  The noun quilt is derived from the Latin word "culcita" meaning a sack, mattress or cushion filled with feathers, wool, or hair used to lie upon or as a cover.

From ancient statuary it has been learned that quilted clothing was used 3,000 years ago.  At the time of William the Conqueror and the Crusades at the end of the 11th century, quilted jackets were worn under the knight's armor.

Explorers in India, Egypt and other eastern countries discovered patchwork and it was brought back to the Mediterranean countries and then across Europe and into northern England.

In the 1200's quilting was a cottage industry in Wales and northern England.  In the 1700's fashionable women in the British Isles enjoyed the warmth and beauty of quilted [bulky!] silk petticoats and coverlets.

French needlewomen are credited with introducing the art of applique [Dresden Plate, Mary's butterfly] and the Italians gave us trapunto [have read about trapunto, haven't seen any, looks like a lot of work] , which is outlining a design and then stuffing it to give a 3-dimensional effect.

Well, a granddaughter who stayed the night is requesting muffins for breakfast, so I better go make some.  More quilt information tomorrow.  But before I go, a photo that cracks me up.  I don't think he was truly angry, but it certainly looks like Grandpa is not enjoying Aunt Marina's turn at cards.  He wasn't playing so she isn't beating him, but he does look dissatisfied. 

Bum foot, continued

"January 19, 2002:  Foot still sore.  Mitch and Anna didn't come tonight.
January 20, 2002:  Talked to Greta in a.m.  Nancy here for dinner.  I showered and then we played Rummikub.
January 21, 2002:  Have been taking Tylenol.  My foot doesn't hurt as much."

I don't have much to work with here, so I will mention some events from January 2002, just for giggles.

Unemployment report for December was 5.8%.
The movie Black Hawk Down was released. 
Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's restaurant chain died at age 69.
Kenneth Lay, CEO of Enron resigned and hearing on Enron began the next day.

Well, ladies and gents, that is truly all I have for right now.  Since it is Sunday and I missed posting on Saturday, I will poke around a bit to see if I can find something of interest and post again today.

Here's a photo of the old Winside High School.  Which is a bit of a misnomer since all grades were taught in there.  I can still remember a few things about the school, especially the fire escape.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bum foot and a history lesson

"January 15, 2002:  Tom came from work and we visited and played several games of Rummikub.
January 16, 2002:  Tom came and washed my clothes.  No Book Club tonite.
January 17, 2002:  My right foot was very sore.  Got into the doctor's office at 1:15.  Nancy took me.  I'm to take the water pills again.
January 18, 2002:  At 8:15 a.m. went to Bryan Hospital for an ultrasound on my right leg.  Everything looked ok."

I never heard Grandma complain about it, but I bet she wasn't thrilled about taking water pills.  I've not talked to anyone that liked jumping up and going to bathroom constantly.

Although there is a hospital named for him in Lincoln, I would imagine some man-on-the-street interviews would reveal a lack of knowledge about William Jennings Bryan.  Nebraska is quite proud of him, but I found out he was not born and did not die in this state.  He did not move here until he was 27 and lived here less than half of his life.  He was the Democratic nominee for president three times, was appointed Secretary of State, and invented the stump tour.  He gave 500 speeches in one year at a time when politicians largely stayed home during campaigns.  Wikipedia reports a typical speaking day would include four one-hour speeches plus other talks to reach six hours of speaking a day.  This would equate to a daily output of 52 columns of a newspaper.

He, of course, is well known for his part in the Scopes trial.  I was not aware that he died (aged 65 years) only five days after that trial ended.

And that's it for our history lesson today.

Since Tom was at Grandma's two days running, he gets star billing in the photo for today.  Here he is with Satch in 1962.  Such a fun and funny cat he was -- Satch, that is.