I store all kinds of things about cooking, quilting and some surprises in my cupboard. Check it out.

Mother’s Family Stories–Installment 4

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount Applegate, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

INSTALLMENT 4

martinreddickandmatildacreagerMy great-great grandparents, Martin and Matilda Reddick

In this installment, Mother tells about John B’s mother, Emily, his father, Joseph Martin, and some stories from the 1800s.

When Granny (Emily Jane Reddick) and Grandpa Applegate (Joseph Martin) were married, her father (Martin Reddick) had give her a piece of land up above Marathon, up there in Brown County – the old home place is still standing there, no one lives in it now, but the old log cabin’s there – they put stucco over it and fixed it over and there’s always been an Applegate living there. But he took her up there when they were married and built a log cabin and he was a very good man, never no harm was ever said of him.  Aunt Anne (sister of John B) used to say he would be out in the fields plowing and the girls would go to him and say, “There’s a dance tonight, we want to go to the dance” and he’d stop right in the middle of the field and he’d go on in and take them to a dance.  He’d just do anything for them and every morning when they’d get up all their shoes would be sitting in the front of the fireplace, they’d all be shined and slick – he was just real good-hearted.

Jos Martin Applegate - CopyMy great-grandfather, Joseph Martin Applegate

But Granny – she was something else.  She’d want to go down and see Uncle Jim (her son) – he lived down in Marathon – and they’d hook up the spring wagon and every place she went she had to take her feather bed.  Well, they’d put the feather bed in there and take Granny down to Uncle Jim’s and she’d no more than get down there – she wouldn’t stay – she’d want them to bring her back and they’d have to load the feather bed up and bring her back.

Emily Jane-60My great-grandmother, Emily Jane Reddick Applegate

In those days they made their own stockings and hats and gloves and everything and every night they’d sit and knit and they had a “spinning lady” they’d call her who would go around from farm to farm – they had their own wool but this spinning lady would go around and do the spinning into yarn for them and they had a spinning wheel.  That spinning wheel is underneath those steps and boarded up in the house and as far as I know it’s there to this day.

grannyGranny (Emily Jane Reddick Applegate) at 80 years of age

It was wild up there in that country in those days.  They said they shot an Indian out of a tree up in front of the house – there was still Indians up there yet when they first moved there and they said that Sherman went through with his troops (maybe Morgan?) and they had to hide their horses and hide things out in the field so he couldn’t get them.  They had lived there that long.

Uncle Court (Courtis Applegate, brother of John B) I guess was about the oldest one in the family but he always lived in the house and he raised his children there and they raised their children there and I think there’s some of them living there yet.  Uncle Court and Aunt Bird – they never spoke for years – I don’t know how they had so many children ‘cause they hadn’t spoken to each other for years.  Uncle Court would eat dinner and go out and sit on the porch, lean his chair back and he had a pet chicken that would sit on his shoulder and that’s how they found him dead – he died and never even disturbed that chicken.

Uncle Court was very hard of hearing and they always called him “Dickie” and we always thought his name was Richard and we were going to name Shirley (my younger sister) after him but evidently that wasn’t his name, they just nicknamed him that.

In the Applegate family there’s an awful lot of hard of hearing.  Bill (Applegate – Jim Applegate’s son) had a hard of hearing boy and almost every family had a hard of hearing child so it runs in the family.  Of course, John (B) was very hard of hearing but he could hear very well if he was on the telephone or if he was in a car.  Riding with John in a car – he could hear alright but him with his chewing tobacco, he would spit out the window.  He always wanted to sit in the front seat and I’d sit in the back and he’d always want to sit on that side because I was lighter to try to divide up the weight because of the bad tires and he’d spit out the window and it’d fly back and hit me and, aw, I’d get so mad at him.  One day I had a brand-new dress on with a big white collar – we were going to the fair – he spit out that window and speckled my white collar – him and his chewing tobacco!  But he chewed tobacco when he was only four years old – he nursed up until he was four years old.  He’d be out playing and he’d call Granny from behind the door to come in so he could nurse, then he’d put chewing tobacco in his mouth and go on out and play.

JohnB_cigarMy grandfather, John B. Applegate (1945)

In the next installment, we’ll hear stories about the colorful Applegate brothers back in the mid-1800s.

My Knitting Projects for March

socks

I’m a little late reporting on the knitting I completed in March (since it’s almost time for April’s projects), but here are my completions.

I spent a lot of time struggling with a personal project – knitting two pair of socks from the toe up and knitting both socks at once on circular needles.  I bought a wonderful video tutorial from Knit Freedom (www.knitfreedom.com) but had a difficult time, mostly because I didn’t switch yarn at the right time and had to unravel many, many times.  I thought it would be better if I tried a pair of slipper sox in heavier yarn with bigger needles and as I made mistakes and corrected them, would continue on to a pair in light fingering sox yarn and would do a much better job on them.  That didn’t necessarily happen, but I did get both pairs of socks completed.  They’re far from perfect but wearable and comfortable.

March (2)

As a future family member gift, I made a scarf of soft sport weight yarn in a pretty shade of pink.  This started out as a washcloth and since it was going well and was the right width, I just kept going, adding a section of plain knitting in the center.  I like this scarf very much.

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For Easter, I made each of my daughters a tiny basket that would hold one Cadbury egg.

baskets

For charity knitting, I tried an easy mitten pattern link (Basic cuff-up mittens on Ravelry.com) and made one pair for Scarf It Up, a group that supplies scarves, hats and mittens to the homeless in northern Kentucky, and the silver/tangerine pair for the Arkansas Special Olympics.

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I finished another pair of booties (http://bevscountrycottage.com/bevs-baby-set1.html) for a hospital near Columbus, Ohio (http://www.touchinglittlelives.org/ )

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And, of course, more nests for the Wildlife Rescue group (https://www.facebook.com/wildliferescuenests/).  I always have one of these going on a spare set of needles.

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IL nests

I’m still enjoying my newfound hobby, although I get discouraged at times with my lack of progress.  An old dog can learn new tricks but it’s a much slower process than it would be for a young dog.

Mother’s Family Stories–Installment 3

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

My grandfather, John Black Applegate, married Lillian Frances Illie, and their first child, my father, John Alonzo, was born on May 19, 1912.  Mother had accumulated a few stories about Johnny’s childhood for her tape.

When John (B) and Grandma-up-Dayton (Lillian Illie) were first married and Johnny was just a little boy, they lived in Mt. Orab (Ohio).  Johnny (John A) was born in Lerado but they moved to Mt. Orab and John had a blacksmith shop and they were doing very well, had a garden, had a cow and chickens and everything, and they were doing very well.

shopJohn B and John A, ca. 1913

There was a family who lived next door to them who had a million kids – and Grandma-up-Dayton (our term for Grandma who later lived in Dayton, Ohio) would just let them come over and help themselves to milk and cream and eggs – whatever they wanted.  Well, it just happened that Johnny had a pet chicken that followed him around all the time.  One day one of the kids come out and said, “Guess what we had for dinner?”  and Johnny said, “What?” and he said, “Chicken” and Johnny said, “Chicken, where’d you get chicken?” and he said, “It was yours”.  Well, he went inside to Grandma-up-Dayton and she was so mad she went over and like to beat the tar out of the Old Lady and that was the end of the free milk and cream but her brother, Philip (Illie), ended up marrying one of the kids, and Grandma never did forgive him – she never liked her from that day on – she held it against the whole family.

One day Johnny was playing in the sand and he didn’t have too many toys back in those days and he was playing in the sand and he had a big chain and he was pulling it around through the sand in the road like a big train – playing like it was a train – and two boys from the city, Cincinnati, came up and they said, “Oh, look at the little boy playing choo-choo in the sand” and he just kept on playing, never paid any attention, and they just kept that up – “Aw, look at the little boy” and finally he got up and he took that chain and he beat them over the head and like to killed them.  (Every time I read this section, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, knowing what a temper my father had and how he would react.)

John A and dog-1915 - CopyJohn A and dog (with a big chain) ca. 1916

Johnny said he never could figure out why people were so upset over black and white people and getting along and everything.  He said he slept in the same stall with George Williams (a fellow harness horse driver) since he was a little boy – he said they always slept in the same stall together out at the fairs and he said he couldn’t see no difference in them – black or white (they were best friends until John A died in 1978).  But how George Williams got started – up in the country Doc Parsons was training horses up in there somewhere and every time he’d get his horse over on the back stretch, the horse would make a break in the same spot and he couldn’t figure out why.  So one day he stopped the horse and got out and looked and here’s this little black boy throwing stones at his horse’s feet right in the same spot and he ran after him and he grabbed him and he said, “Well, if you’re so interested in horses, you just come on over here and I’ll put you to work.”  He took him over and he put him to work, sent him to school, trained him and that’s how George Williams got his start.

Johnny started driving horses when he was real young.  Him and Frank both took care of horses from the time they could remember.  They’d each have to stand on a chair to harness them – they were that little – but one day up at Owensville they were making a big deal out of a boy that was 16 years old that was driving and they were just carrying on how big he was and how great he was and Doc Parsons was sitting on the fence alongside of Johnny and he turned to him and said, “How old was you when you started driving horses?”  And Johnny said, “Twelve” and he said, “Yeah, I thought so.”

helen55-copyJohn A – ca. 1950s

Next time, Mother will give her version of stories about the old Applegates – the parents and siblings of John Black.

My Mother’s Family Stories–Installment 2

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories of both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

INSTALLMENT #2

In 1921, John B and my grandmother, Lillian Frances Illie, were divorced when my father was 9 years old and his brother, Frank, was 7.  John B got custody of the two boys and took them with him on the road to blacksmith at county fairs.  Here is my mother’s version of some of their adventures.

John A and Frank A 1917Frank and John A. Applegate

Ca. 1920

Then when John (B) and Grandma-up-Dayton (our name for our paternal grandmother who lived in Dayton, Ohio) had separated, John had the boys (John A. and Frank E. Applegate), he was taking care of them – he’d get drunk.  Well, Frank was so little they couldn’t leave him out so when he’d get drunk and they’d put John in jail, they’d put Frank in with him and he’d get in there and he’d climb up and down the bars like a monkey and rattle the tin cup up and down and they’d finally  have to let John go to get rid of Frank.

One time John (B) and Frank and Johnny (John A) were shipping horses on a boxcar train out to Missouri, I guess it was, and John was drunk as usual and they were all shut up in this boxcar with the horses and for some reason they got side-tracked and put onto another track and was left sitting there for days.  They didn’t have a thing to eat, nothing to drink, and the horses and Grandpa drunk – that was a bad time for the boys.

When Frank (Applegate) was a little boy, Grandma-up-Dayton (Lillian Illie) and Grandpa (John B) were still married at the time, gypsies came through and they wanted to tell their fortune and they said, “No, no, get out of here, we don’t want our fortunes told”.  Grandpa said, “Get out of here”, John (B) said, because gypsies, they’d steal anything that wasn’t fastened down and they said, “Either tell your fortune or we’ll put a spell on that baby”.  John said, “Get out of here, get out of here” and he chased them off.  Well, right after that, Frank just went into convulsions and had fits and they thought they were going to lose him.  John got on a horse and he took out and he hunted those gypsies until he found them.  He found this woman and he said, “You take that spell off that baby or it’s going to be the end of you” and so she did, she took the spell off the baby, she took the spell off of Frank and he didn’t have any more convulsions.

When Frank was little and hadn’t gone to school yet, Grandma-up-Dayton made them both little baseball suits to match and Johnny took him to school to visit and all through school they kept smelling something and smelling something and thought what on earth is that?  When he got up to go out of the room, they found out what it was – Frank had pedooped all over the back of his baseball suit, it was all yellow – Johnny was so mad at him.

school-j&fSchool Picture – John A (4th from left, row 2) and Frank

(3rd from right, row 1)

Next time, we’ll hear some stories about Johnny before his parents divorced and about life in rural Ohio in the early 1900s.

My Mother’s Family Stories

Mother and Lillian, 1933 Lillian and Mother, 1933

My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories of both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

When Mother was 12 years old, she went through the trauma of leaving the very small town of Morrow, Ohio, and moving to Lebanon (a big city in her mind).  Her mother ran a small restaurant there and one day when Mother was 15, the Applegate father and sons came in for chili.  And that begins her story of her lifelong, loving relationship with a family of rascals.  She loved the Applegates.  Here’s Mother’s story:

 

I tried to make a record (a tape) before and it didn’t turn out very good so I’m going to try again.  I am 72 years old so this is how I remember the stories.

I was born in Morrow (Ohio) and when I was 12 years old we moved to Lebanon and that’s where we met the Applegate family.  I married the son and Mom married the father three months later.  Their mothers were cousins so that made them second-cousins and my husband and I third-cousins, my children are fourth-cousins, their children are fifth-cousins and my great-children are sixth-cousins – now how about that?  (The lineage isn’t exactly correct but it makes a good story.)

It was depression time and we all lived together – one big happy family – and when you went to the table to eat you had better fill your plate up because it was never going to be passed around again – that was the only chance you were going to get.  But John (John Black Applegate) would not take any kind of welfare or anything, he insisted on working.  And then we moved to Cincinnati where he got a job shoeing mules and the house went with us and the two boys (his sons), Frank (Applegate) and my husband, Johnny (John Alonzo Applegate), drove him (John B) around with blacksmith tools in the back of the car and he would go around and tell the farmers that their horses needed shoeing whether they did or not – even just a re-setting, that was $1.00 a shoe – and he would always come home with some groceries.

John (B) wasn’t exactly what you’d call honest – he would move in an apartment – we called them flats in those days – he’d pay the first month’s rent and then go out in the hall and hook up the electricity to the hall light and then we’d have electricity until they’d catch him, then they’d make him turn it off.  And we’d live there one month until they’d put us out for not paying rent.  And he’d buy a car and make the first down payment and that was all and then they’d repossess the car and he’d have to buy another one.  I remember one day he had to go down to Eggleston (downtown Cincinnati) to get horseshoe nails and steel and things like that for horse shoes, and there was a dime store real close there and we all went in shopping in there, all but Mom – she stayed in the car and while John was in there he needed some half-soles for his shoes so he just stole those while we were shopping – that’s the day that Frank told me I had my hat on backwards which embarrassed me very much – and when he got out to the car he said to Mom, he said, “Oh, shoot, I forgot to get nails!” and he went back in and stole the nails.  I thought Mom was going to kill him that day.

Helen and John B. Applegate

Whenever we’d go to a fair, he’d never pay his way in.  He’d always argue with them at the gate and say, “I’m John Applegate – I shoe horses – I have horses in here – I’m a blacksmith, I don’t pay my way in.”  He was a character – he would never pay his way into a fair.

He had one bad habit and that was drinking but he couldn’t help that.  They say Granny Applegate (Emily Jane Reddick Applegate) had a bottle under her bed the whole time she was carrying him and he was a change-of-life baby and he was just marked by drinking, that’s all.  But we all loved him very much – he was very comical, very good natured, never got mad and could tell stories – he could sit around at night and tell you ghost stories.  He used to tell the one about Billy.  He used to visit his brother, Doc Applegate (this may be Theodore), down in Aurora, Indiana, and slept up in the back bedroom.  He used to tell it word-for-word every time just exactly right – and one night he had a lamp – they didn’t have electricity in those days – and he went up the back stairs with his lamp in his hand, sit down on the bed, took off one shoe, looked up and there stood a great big tall man in a black suit with a high silk hat.  He said the man never said “howdy-do, go to hell” or anything else but just all of a sudden he disappeared.  And the next day he was down in the barber shop, somebody’s barber shop, and they was all sitting around talking like men did in those days, and someone said to John, “You sleep in that back bedroom in your brother’s house, don’t you”, and he said, “Yes”.  He said, “Did you ever see Billy there?”.  He said, “No, who’s Billy?”.  He said, “Well, you’ll see him – he’s a tall man in a black suit with a high silk hat and he was murdered in that room years ago and everybody who sleeps in that room will see Billy sooner or later.”  And Grandpa said, “Well, I have seen Billy!”

And then he told us about a young friend of his who had lost his wife and they couldn’t bury her because the weather was bad – it had rained – and they put her in that little house in the graveyard where they put people when they can’t bury them and they all went home and they were all sitting around moaning and crying and going on – and she really wasn’t dead, she come to, got up out of there and went home – pounded on the door, knocked on the window and they were so scared they wouldn’t let the poor thing in.

This is the first installment of my mother’s taped family stories.  Next time, stories about the young sons, Johnny and Frank, and their adventures with John B.

My Knitting Projects for February

After receiving a gift pack of knitting supplies for Christmas, I tried knitting again after unsuccessful attempts three or four times in my life (the last time about 30 years ago).  Thanks to my younger daughter’s help, You-Tube tutorials and circular needles, I have learned to knit and actually complete some simple items.

I made preemie/newborn hats for http://www.touchinglittlelives.org/.  I’ll be sending mine to a hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

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The Baby Bear Hat, shown above, is shown on Ravelry.com, an excellent source for free patterns.
I also made a pair of booties for the newborn/preemies.  The pattern for these can be found at http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/bevs-baby-set1.html.  I did these two-at-a-time on circular needles.

febknitting16 (6)

I started making headbands/ear warmers for the Special Olympics in Arkansas.  These are not collected until the fall, so I’ll have time to make a lot more.  The colors for Arkansas are red and white.  http://www.specialolympicsarkansas.org/.

I used a basic pattern found at http://devinlikestoknit.wordpress.com  and made the center part different on each one, in one case using an easy Fair Isle design.

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I also began making nests for rescued wildlife baby and injured animals/birds.  https://www.facebook.com/wildliferescuenests/

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For personal use, I made a neck scarf .  This is from a free pattern on Ravelry.com, called La Neckerchief.

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…..and a shawlette for a friend who won’t complain about any mistakes she sees.  It turned out shorter than I expected and my older daughter added a crocheted edging which I thought improved it a lot.

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I also made two Valentine mug warmers for my two daughters.  Instead of putting them on mugs, I wrapped them around half-pint Mason jars, filled with candy.

Valentine mugs

I may not always have this much to show – there were a lot of small items and I was extra-enthusiastic about my new hobby, but I hope to have a few things made for charity, at least, each month.

Irish Brown Soda Bread and Colcannon

 

 

It’s been five years since I posted these good St. Patrick’s Day treats.  I thought it was time for a replay.

 

Lillian's Cupboard

I have a very slim Irish line in my ancestry, but I married a man who was was fiercely proud of his Irish lineage.  Frank used to take off work on St. Patrick’s Day so he could grab his green derby and head for the nearest pub to spend the day.  One St. Patrick’s Day, he showed up on the evening news coverage at Hap’s Irish Pub with his derby slightly askew,  surrounded by his cronies, waving a big mug of beer and bellowing out, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”.  His mother said, “Jesus, Joseph and Mary, I’m mortified to death” that her friends saw him in such a state, but this is the woman who was doing the Irish jig for her grandchildren well into her 80s and who said her grandmother washed her clothes on the banks of the river Shannon.

So, I raised four mostly-Irish children and…

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