Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Missouri Recipe...

Jeff Davis Pie
2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
-Mix together-
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all ingredients together well.
Pour into unbaked pie shell & bake in a slow oven-325 degrees
for about45 minutes, until set.
Top with meringue & bake until brown
This is an old Missouri recipe that my grandmother's used to make, and later my Mom.
Somehow it slipped right over my head as a little girl growing up in central Missouri that our family had Southern roots. I had no idea who Jeff Davis was...it was just a pie!
Do you know who he was?
Google him...
I've found the story of the pie on the Internet.
Supposedly the pie was made for a dinner party by a slave girl. When asked the name of the pie, she said "Jeff Davis", out of respect to her master who was a supporter of Mr. Davis.
All references say this was a "Missouri" recipe...which makes me wonder where in Missouri it came from and how did my grandmothers end up with the recipe.
I think I'll go buy some cream and bake Bob a pie!
Guess I'm a little more Southern than I thought.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Grandma Pem

She was a petite little lady, probably taller in her youth. But the years, and no doubt undiagnosed osteoporosis took it's toll on her and she probably stood less than 5 feet tall.

Malinda "Linnie" Belle McMinn Pemberton

I called her "Grandma Pem". She was my great-grandmother and her last name was Pemberton..."Pem" more pronouncable for a small girl. We lived in a small central Missouri town and grew up knowing & watching out for each other. My great-grandmother and grandmother happened to live next door to each other, moving in town after selling their farms. I loved to go visit both grandmothers and would ride my bike to see them, sometimes making a nuisance of myself, I'm sure.

It was the time when you might tap on the door and then just walk in. I remember walking into Grandma Pem's house & seeing this stooped little lady sitting in her rocking chair in front of her small black & white TV, watching soap operas! Oh, how she loved the soaps! Even then, it amazed me that this little old woman would even be slightly interested in "The Edge of Night" or "The Secret Storm". But somehow it intrigued her and she was a faithful viewer.

Grandma Pem's house was always in pristine condition. I don't think she ever got a thing out of place. Nor do I ever remember her doing much cooking. About the only treat I remember would maybe have been a "circus peanut" or "orange slice candy" that would have been in her white milk-glass candy dish--the one shaped like a chicken on a nest. Remember those?

Some of the things I can remember in her home were of course her black & white TV (it was the 1950's & something quite new), her lovely old mantle clock, a settee she called a "love-seat"--shaped like an "S"...so the girl sat on one side & the boy on the other..or at least that is what she told me, beautiful old dishes, and a skirted chair kept by her bed that upon closer inspection revealed a chamberpot! That chair was sometimes moved in the living room as a spare seat. We children would avoid sitting on it (it did have an upholstered lid) and would get tickled at whomever had to sit there.

Samuel & Linnie...(notice the mantle clock)

I'm amazed at how long ago Grandma Pem was born. During my growing up years I only knew her as Linnie Belle Pemberton. But later on a cousin discovered that her real name was Malinda. She was born in 1871--137 years ago! Her family were the McMinns. She married Samuel Pemberton on Christmas Eve of 1891 when she was twenty years old. And she died in November of 1965, outliving her husband by14 years. They had nine children, her oldest daughter, Exie, being my maternal grandmother. She and Samuel buried two of their children, one dying from influenze and one from dyptheria, at the young ages of 5 years & the other only being 16 months.

Linnie & Samuel...soon after they were married.

No doubt at one time they were wealthy Boone County farmers. But the depression took its toll and in the end she had only a small house. But I loved that house & the things in it, including my wee little Grandma. I only wish she would have shared some of her life stories with me, but maybe I wouldn't have been interested back then. I'm sure she had a lifetime of good memories and probably some not so good that would have been part of what made her "my Grandma Pem".

As a life lesson, I'm trying to share some of the things from my past with my children and grandchildren. So often we don't tell those little special occasions that make up who we are. I've got a lot of story telling to do....

One of the Homer Laughlin plates I have that belonged to my Great Grandmother. I've always wondered--who broke up the set? I have six saucers...

The Pembertons at their home near Hallsville, Missouri
Four Generations
My mother, Darlene, holding my brother, Steve, me (Sheila), Exie (Pemberton) Fulkerson, my grandmother, and Linnie (McMinn) Pemberton, my great-grandmother..Circa 1953

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kitty Brown

I just saw Angie's post with the "cat" cartoon...& it got my mind to wandering.

I always loved cats. My Grandma Fulkerson had a beautiful snow white stray cat that became her pet. That cat would just happen to have a litter of kittens every so often & I would beg to take a kitten to our house.

Finally, my parents gave in. I'm not sure if the cat was "owned" by me & my brother Steve jointly or not. We usually had to share our pets...& we would have quit the fuss over who's turn it was to hold the cat or dog.

Anyway...we had hardwood floors in our home & Mom would ritually run the dustmop every day or two. And what a good housekeeper she was! She always ran the dustmop under the beds--no dust bunnies in her home! This time she thought she saw a stray sock under Steve's bed so reached with her dustmop to drag the sock within reach. But, no....it wasn't a sock...but a deposit made by Kitty Brown! Mom was NOT happy that her Fuller Brush dustmop was now soiled with kitty doo!

Very soon after that our kitty had to take a ride out in the country....and that was the end of Kitty Brown for us! (That seems cruel now, but we didn't think a thing about dropping an animal off back in those days.)

Since then, we have remainded mostly cat-less! For a short time after we moved to Indiana, Bob & I did own a couple of cats that were given to us by his Aunt Wanda. Unfortunately we lived right along Hwy 31. Socks & Frosty didn't last very long as they liked to wander the highway. Bob just happened to be away when Frosty had to be scraped from the highway by Vickie...because I was "great with child" (expecting Karen) and couldn't stand the thought of doing that dreadful job.

And I found out the hard way that my granddaughter, Kerrigan, is highly allergic to cats...& greeenhouses! My sister just happened to be visiting one spring time and we decided to make a run to the local garden nurseries. Kerrigan was spending the day with me so had to tag along. At "Crackaway Farms" there was a resident cat curled up in their shop and Kerrigan wanted to stay & pet him while Carol & I shopped for garden perennials. After that we headed on to "Franks Nursery" & a few other little shops. By the time I got her home, Kerrigan's eyes were red & swollen, her nose was running & she was quite the little mess! All at once I realized that I had just exposed her to some of the things she was most allergic too....cats & plants! I felt like a terrible grandma at that point.

Now I can't imagine having a cat in the house. My neighbor has adopted a stray that hangs around here and I like him...merely for the fact that he brings her offerings of chipmunks, moles & snakes! At least he keeps them out of my yard!

So here is to the memory of Kitty Brown...one cat my Mom was very happy to see leave our house!

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Funny Little Valentines!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of my Funnny Little Valentines!

Well....this post almost didn't happen. But thanks to Karen, she retrieved the work that I thought I deleted. It is just a day late in wishing my grandchildren a Happy Valentine's Day! Thank you, Karen, for helping me out. This ole granny hasn't figured out all of the ins & outs of blogging.... Here are our precious grandchildren....

To our sweet little Kerrigan Deanna...

She is eight years old, in the second grade & bringing home very good grades; she takes gymnastics, is in an advanced class...& can bend her body like a pretzel!; she enjoys doing some scrapbooking; she loves her "Litttle Pet Shop" things; she recently started taking violin lessons. Kerrigan is growing up so quickly & brings lots of sunshine to all of our lives! We love you bunches!!!

Parker David is 5...& a half. He attends Preschool, loves it & does great. He has a bubbling personality, never meets a stranger....& talks almost as much as his Mommy did when she was a little girl! :) He absolutely LOVES sports (thanks, Jonathan...) and can hardly wait until he gets to play on a Little League next summer. Parker loves to come to Grandma's for Sunday dinner...& is a delight to cook for. He almost always pays the cook a complement. (Already, he is smoozing the women!) And we love you barrels & heaps!!!

Carter Jeffry....the absolute spitting image of his Daddy! Carter is 3. He also goes to Preschool this year. He loves music and amazes me when he sings along with his videos. Carter has always been a "jumper"...very active little boy & keeps Granny on her toes! He also has a sweet personality & is our Little Mr. Sunshine! We love you a bushel & a peck!!!

Peyton Duane! (I love that he has my Dad's middle name..) the daredevil of the bunch! Peyton has no fear! He climbs, jumbs, bounces, runs & falls all over the house. He usually sports numerous bruises on his legs. One of his favorite phrases is "OUCH!...dat hurts!" He has talked early, surprised us several times with his counting, & keeps us laughing...& watching out where he is. Peyton is now 2...but not too terrible! We love you "as tall as the sky"!!!

Paige Danielle...the little lady of the bunch! She loves her baby dolls, loves to pretend to cook and play "tea time", and loves to be held! She would sit on my lap all day & watch the boys play if I would just stay there & hold her. She loves "Barney" & her "chocky-milk". All she has to do to Grandma to get her way, is just look with those big blue eyes & say "pweeeese"!...and Grandma melts! We love you...with lots of sugar & spice! Of course she is also 2, like her twin. And even though she & Peyton like to play differently, they still watch for each other & want to be close by...even though they may end up duking it out!

And our youngest is Brycen Robert! Not a baby for much longer, as he will be having his second birthday on Easter Sunday. Somehow we still treat Brycen as he is a baby...maybe we just aren't quite ready to give that up. But he is turning into a big boy too. He loves Thomas the Train, anything "Cars", & fire trucks. He is our "touchy" one. By touching, picking up, or examining my things, he is exploring his new world. Brycen has always been the baby you could just lay in his crib & he would take his nap. I've missed not rocking him at naptime, but slowly we are finding ways to snuggle! Brycen is a sweetie. We love you, Little One!!!

Here is hoping that all of you ladies got a lot of chocolate, were taken out to dinner & treated very special on this Valentine's Day. My "sweetheart" gave me a card with $42. in it....Mr. Sentinmental gave me a dollar for each Valentine's Day we have been together. :) We did have a delicious dinner at Johnny Carino's. Speaking of that.....there are lefovers in my frig that are calling my name. Love to all!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Isn't it good to have a friend?

Denise & I met through our husband's mutual love of old Chevy's. We were attending the same Car Conventions and slowly began an acquaintance. Then one year we were both in Kissimmee, Florida area--of course for another car related event- & our husbands threw us the car keys-& off we went on our own adventure.

Denise is a several years younger than me. She has no children of her own. I have two children and am the granmother of six! She grew up in Chicago-I grew up in a small Missouri town. She is Catholic. I am conservative Holiness. She is a professional woman, working in The Sears Tower, downtown Chicago, & I am a care giver for my grandbabies.

But somehow our friendship clicked. We have had a lot of fun together, plus have shared some serious times. It had been over 3 years since we had seen each other. Finally, Denise had a business appoinment in Indy & was able to schedule a trip down here. This afternoon she came down & we were able to talk, laugh & visit for about 5 hours. It was a good thing.

Sometimes we need to take out time for ourselves & the special friends in our lives. Thanks, Denise, for making the extra effort to spend a Sunday afternoon with a friend who is still sick with the hangovers of the 'flu. Let's not let it turn into about 3 years before we do it again!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Not feelin' up to bloggin'....

Well, I'm with some of you fellow bloggers---I'm about over this winter weather, flu bugs, cold weather & depressing gray skies. I couldn't believe how long the month of January was! Maybe something to do with not feeling well & staying at home for most of the month.

For all of you ladies who know what I mean about "sick hubbies"....Bob is much, much better! Thanks goodness! For some reason, when he is sick, the worst of both of our personalities comes out. I think he has been spoiled as a child & I'm riding the "liberated" fence. For years, the men in my mother-in-laws life were catered to & cared for with her loving care. I would love to honor her by following in her footsteps...but believe me--there is a limit! :)

So..for now, I'm taking my Advil, cough medicine, nose drops, & a box of kleenex & heading for bed! There has to be an end to this close by.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Roots, & family photos

Since Mr. Flu Bug hit me I haven't left the house all week. (Quite a record for me!) Anyway, we are both feeling better and hope to keep our germs to ourselves.

I've spent some time putting my family tree information on Ancestry.com this week. I happened to have a weeks free service to try it out....& I'm afraid I'm hooked! If any of you are serious about doing your family research, it is a great website. I have used "Family Tree Genealogy" program for several years & was able to upload it without a problem. And then I found more information that I didn't have...much to my giddy glee!!!

Most of my family information has been gleened through research of others. I've found that the genealogy people on the Internet are very willing to share their findings, hoping you might have something that they don't have. I've met a very distant cousin in California that traded family facts with me. Later, he & his wife traveled through this way & spent a couple of nights in our home. (Bet you didn't know I had an Internet friend! :) I met another sweet lady cousin in Texas who's father was from a branch of the family I didn't even know about. She wrote emails, sent letters, & later gave me family photos that I treasure. We still exchange cards every once in a while.

I've found out that the fur traders who were the first settlers on Manhattan Island were ancestors of mine. I've found out that one of my great-great-great-grandmothers had SIXTEEN children! Her husband later got the wild idea to travel from Missouri to California to join the gold rush. Somewhere on that journey it is told that he met up with an ornery bear that scarred his eye. I would never have known that one of my cousins died on the front lines of WWI in France & now has an American Legion Post that bears his name in southern Missouri. I would not have known that my grandmother's two younger brothers died in the early 1900's from dyptheria.

Looking at old family photos, I notice how fancy some of their clothing was. Were they considered wealthy people at one time?

Some of my research notebooks

The McMinns of Missouri...my great-great grandparents

Then there were the family records of more recent years, where I found that my grandfather lost his farm during the depression not one time but twice. And another grandfather had to take his family from Missouri to Oklahoma to work in the sawmills. While living there in a makeshift tent, thankfully with a wooden floor, my father was born.

I've begged Bob to take me to a cemetery in Missouri where probably most everywho buried there was connected to our family in some way. Bob sat in the car in 103 degree heat, paitently waiting for me, while I trapsed through the tombstones, snapping pictures of markers that I thought might mean something later on. I was scared by a roaming rooster, barked at by several mean looking dogs, & chased by a very mad hornet! And now that it has been a few years & I've found more connections, I want to go back. Unfortunately, Bob doesn't share my desire to tiptoe through the tombstones...
My cabinet used to display old family photos, books & keepsakes

So I'll go on enjoying my faded old photos for myself, for the time being, hoping that someday, one of my little ones may care that we can trace our roots way back into the 1600's! And that doesn't even count on Bob's side of the family!