Ward House

A peice of history

We had a great visit with my paternal Grands yesterday evening.  It is sad to see how Granddaddy is slipping away.  =(  Grandmother is holding up well.

We talked about when she was growing up and how she would hide behind a tree so her mom couldn’t see her to call her in to make biscuits;  she hated to make those biscuits and swore that when she married and moved away, she would not make them.  And she did not until Granddaddy went away to fight in WWII and she took my dad and went back to live with her parents until Granddaddy’s return.  That biscuit recipe, by the way, included

  • flour
  • clappard (soured milk)
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • lard

There are no actual measurements for these items, she held her hand a certain way and said “this much”.  LOL  it cracks me up!

I asked her about how they stayed warm and what they wore.  She explained that they did not wear pants but skirts, and under those skirts they wore slips and cotton stockings that were held up by garters.  In her earlier years, they had cotton bloomers – still cold though.  No heat in the sleeping quarters, just a wood stove (and later coal) in the living/dining room and then wood cook stove in the kitchen.  You slept under a big pile of blankets.

When asked about making lye for soap she responded that she hated that soap and did not help her mother do anything related to it.  They did not have cattle but pigs and the lard was rendered from the pig fat.  They butchered in the fall, when it was going to be cool/cold and that way the lard would last longer; it needed to be in a cool dark place.  They had no refrigeration.

Ah, I love hearing about the ‘old days’.  Granddaddy, sadly, could not remember much and would mention several times that he was in the air force 5 years and lived on his parents farm (the Russell Farm) for 9 years.  These memories were fleeting at best, sometimes he would not remember what he just said.  =(

And I have pictures for you!  Remember the cake plates that I wrote about here?  Well, I made one.

April 28, 2010 Posted by | recipes, Recycling | , , , , | Leave a comment

Reuse metal bottle caps and other what-nots

I LOVE ginger beer.  It is a plus that the bottles can be used as the base to a tea cup bird feeder < I found that idea on another blog and now cannot find the blog to reference here! grrs   This picture is close – the one I saw used a bud vase beneath the saucer and then one end of a dowel went into the vase and the other into the ground.  It gave the base a nice decorative touch.  With the ginger beer bottles, these will just push into the ground without the additional dowel.  I’ll post a picture as soon as one is complete.

Now what to do with those metal bottle caps – I found these ideas:

  • checkers for your own, homemade board > I have four so far.  Hmmm.  Got a ways to go before there are enough to play checkers!
  • accessories like earrings, necklace, belts, etc.  > I’ll leave this to the kids.
  • magnets with either the top showing or the underside sporting a cool picture/design/saying

Ronnie will proally be very unhappy with me if I start saving anything else.  These caps are small enough to hide – Muhahaha

Another easy to item to create, giving new life to a used item are tin can planters.  I’ve actually seen these used in other decorating blogs – just the plain silver cans.  Sounds like a plan to me and perhaps I’ll have to water less.  The cool terra-cotta pots allow so much water to evaporate.

There are so many more project that roll around in my head and so little time or resources to bring these into reality.  I’ll keep saving those ideas here and create as time allows.

Speaking of limited resources and time, this past weekend we were going to try to get the chicken coop under roof and, well, that did not happen.  We discovered three more apple trees in the tree line between the wooded and grassy parts of our property.  The day was spent clearing other trees and brush from these beauties so the sun would reach them.  Too late for this year; perhaps next they will fruit!  All this brush work has gifted me with a does of poison ivy – or so it appears.  Within the next few days I’ll snag some broom sage, boil, and rub the mix on the itchy spots; it’ll dry this stuff right up!

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Recycling | , , , | 2 Comments


Today I am posting over at Homemakers Who Work (HMWW) about using your resources to help keep life organized.  Unrelated to the HMWW, I posted about how the wood furnace was now turned off – that is now not the case.  With all the cold nights, Ronnie fired it back up so the evenings will not be to nippy.

Along the resource line, I found some sweet tutorials and wanted to share:

  1. How to make a vintage cake stand.  We do not have one of these and I love to make one – a little something on which to display cookies, cakes, etc.  I just need to find how to make a coordinating top!
  2. Second hand dresser turned Kitchen Island.
  3. Stark porch makeover.  So doable for my porch!
  4. How to make then hang Modge Podge lanterns.  And don’t go buy Modge Podge – make your own by combining equal parts of white crafting glue and water.
  5. How to make your own deodorant (cream style).

Last, but not least, a little sumpin-sumpin to sip – Mexican Sangria!:


1 bottle of red wine

1 cup of tequila

1/2 a cup of orange juice

1/2 a cup of brown organic sugar

1/4 cup of fresh squeezed organic lime juice

1 sliced organic red apple  (and other fruit if you desire – raspberries, watermelon, oranges, mangos, etc)


In a pitcher mix ingredients in this specific order.  Add ice to chill.  The longer it sits in the pitcher the more flavorful it will be.  Using a little lime juice, give the glasses a nice brown-sugar rim and then serve and enjoy!

Here’s to looking forward to more warmer weather and fun family times.

April 16, 2010 Posted by | Cooking, economy, self sufficiency | , , , , | Leave a comment