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I have written about her in the passed but want to tell you some more about her.   I said she was strong, she would have to be to have 6 kids, be a widow, move to a place without family, friends, a house, so she lived in a dugout, and had no place close to buy a quick burger basket. Then she lost her cattle to a ‘claim jumper’, and still survived with some productive kids and a home she was proud of.   This all started in 1893 when she made the run into the Cherokee Strip. 

My kids and grandsons have visited the museum in Enid, Oklahoma dedicated to the run and to this area.  It is a very good museum and has a lot of very interesting things that show how difficult that time was.  The have even had an exhibit about Emma Jones, Mark’s great grandmother.  Yes, she was tough.   Go visit this museum when your’e in the area.

I have heard stories about her toughness and control over her kids.  She did not want them to marry and only Claude and Mable (Mark’s grandmother) did marry.  Perce was married for a short time and his wife died. He did not remarry.  When Mable wanted to marry a local man, Hume Estill (his sister had tied of TB), Grandma Jones told her she did not want to marry him because he would die of TB shortly and leave her.  She failed to recall that her husband had died of TB before the run into the Cherokee Strip.  Mable was determined and worked and worked to make it happen and her mother be happy about it.  They did marry and had a wonderful life together.  They had 3 daughters, Virginia (Mark’s mom), Lena Mae, and Iva.  They raised these girls on the farm and taught Virginia how to do a man’s work.  LM and Iva worked in the house. 

Great Grandma Jones always had a large garden, she had to have because you didn’t go to the supermarket and buy dinner every day.  She had a rather large celler and canned and dried food all season.  They had a lot of rabbit and deer and turkey and quail to eat.  But the one thing that came out of all of her food preperation was her Corned Beef.  It is remarkable and wonderful with saurkraut on a Reuben sandwich.  It is simple to make and it only takes some patience, as most really good preservation does. 


The recipe is dated 1929, however, I think she gave this recipe to our neighbor, Margurite Gigoux, for a wedding present in 1929. I don’t know if that was all or not.

2 pints of pickling salt (a pint = 2 cups)

1 pint brown sugar

4 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon salt peter (I had to go to the pharmacy to get this)

To 2 gallons boiling water add the above ingredients and stir until it is dissolved.  Let it cool and pour over the meat in a stone jar (any container that will hold temperature, hot or cold, for some time).  Keep a weight on the meat so it is completely covered. (I use a bag of water for kraut, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here but it must be completely air tight) Keep in the cave (most people have a cave don’t they) or in a cool place for 3 (three) weeks, turning the meat occassionally. 

To Cook the corned beef, wash under running water, cover with boiling water and simmer for 4 (four) hours.  I know this sounds like it would be easier to just go and buy some good corned beef, but just how impressive is it to tell your guests that , “Yes, I made the kraut AND the corned beef.”?  WOW!!!!

Kristen has tried to corn beef, pork, and turkey breast.  There is a reason that it is called corned BEEF.  Stick to the original.  She has used brisket and a leaner cut of beef, it was all good but the brisket was the best!  Don’t be surprised how much it will shrink, about 30 % or more. 

The heat has thrown our poor egg laying birds into a slump.  We got 5 eggs last night.  However, this morning – early – I caught a 3 pound catfish.  Yesterday evening, I caught a 1 pound blue gill.  That is so much fun!  I put them back and tell them to go grow some. 


First I dont mean anything bad about the parade by drawing attention to the ‘side show’.  The side show was my brother, Jerry, and me.  Jerry is a master at cooking on the open fire.  He can cook anything and we were invited to demonstrate how it done well on the Court House Lawn during the Cherokee Strip Parade.  This is a big deal in our part of the country.  Our ancestors came in covered wagons and setteled on land during the last part of the 1800’s.  There is a lot of history and we enjoy living it during parades, theatre presentations, and Chataqua events. 

At this particular parade we were introduced to Jerry VanMeter, who rode his horse from Enid, Oklahoma to Hollywood, California in 40 days.  He told his story to Patty Dickinson and she wrote the book,HOLLYWOOD THE HARD WAY.  They were the Grand Marshall of the parade and then they and Jerry’s family came to our house for dinner that evening.  If you enjoy history and real life adventures, read this book.  It is a very incredible story of how it came about, why he agreed to do it,  and what he went through during the 40 days.  If you want to attend the Cherokee Strip Parade in Enid, Oklahoma go the web site for the Enid Chamber of Commerce or to the Cherokee Strip Museum of Enid and you will find all of the information there.  There will be a large crowd but parking is not too bad and you will have a very interesting and enjoyable day.

Jerry and I worked our tails off  in the heat and with almost no breeze.  Jerry did  his recipe for cobbler, corn bread, and shephers pie, and I did my version for cobbler.  Mine is best! ( He would argue.)  I also served as his assistant. ( He liked that.)  We used charcoal because we were cooking on a lawn and the weather was hot and dry.  There had been enough rain or sprinkler water to prevent the grass from being too dry so we were pretty safe.  You have to have a lot of coals for that much cooking.  We were surprised how many people came to the demonstration and the questions we were asked.  I hope they went home and tried it.  However, you just have to have a dutch oven and/or iron skillet to do anything on the open fire.  Our fore-fathers were tough!!

My friend Shelby gave me this recipe MANY years ago.  She says she can’t remember it.  I have made it  for many years, with many kinds of fruit and my kids love it.  I hope you enjoy it as mych as we do.  The simplicity is also a plus.


1 can or 2 cups of fruit

3/4 cup sugar

put the fruit in a one quart baking dish

Mix separately

1 c flour

1/2 tsp of salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 c sugar

mix well and then mix in 1 beaten egg

this will be very dry  but sticky.  Crumble over the fruit

Sprinkle 1/3 c melted butter over the mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 30 min or until it is brown and crisp to the touch.

We got only 7 eggs last night.  The snake, shooting, and heat have played havoc with my chickies. 

Mark’s 50th BD party

In 1988 we celebrated Mark’s 5oth birthday with a party to end all parties.  He didn’t want to celebrate it.  Didn’t want to get into the planning. Didn’t want to recognize that he was getting old.  (Seems young now!) Wanted nothing to do with it…until he saw how much fun it was going to be and how many people were coming and what the menu would be.  The list goes on but you get the idea.  He wanted nothing to do with it until the planning and organizing was done then he thought he would be allowed to be in charge. 

It really did start small.  Just friends and neighbors – 100-150 people tops.  Then Shawn wanted to be charge of entertainment.  He knew Garth Brooks from OSU, knew Garth was going places, knew Garth was in Nashville trying to get some recognition.  Shawn called him and he had just signed his first contract and yes he could and would come to sing at Shawn’s dad’s 50th birthday.  That is when the numbers got crazy.  There was an invitation – with directions to our farm – posted in the fraternity house and the sororiety house.  We felt the need to rent a port-a-potty and a beer truck.   Both were good thinking!  especially the port-a-potty.

Whole hog bar-b-que is really good and we ran out.  Instead of one hog as planned,  we fixed two.  We should have fixed 3 or 4.  People brought covered dishes and desserts.  Mark’s mom took it upon herself to serve the Garth Brooks’ band. She filled their plates and took it to them before we ran out of meat.  They played from 6:00 to midnight without taking a break.  They were fantastic and we appreciated that they were here and did such a super job.  We sold t shirts that said this was Mark’s 50th birthday, he got a lot of black cards and decorations which he did not find funny at all.  Garth got no mention.  Who knew that he would be such a superstar?  Thanks again Garth!  We have pictures of him and his band hanging on our wall.  The pictures are not very good but we know who it is. 

I mentioned before that we planned on 100-150 people – we ended up with over 360 on the guest book.  One couple we saw during the evening we did not know.  No one knew.  When we introduced ourselves to them, they said they saw the traffic and cars parked around the buildings and decided they wanted to see what was going on.  They just came in off of the highway.  They were very polite and I hope they had a good time.  Never did get their names.

I got 13 eggs last night.  Mark came in this morning after he did the chores and said something had gotten in the chicken house during the night and there were feathers all over the floor.  I guess they won’t lay good today.  Went fishing this morning, early, and caught 2 really nice catfish.  Fish for dinner tonight.

My brother Jerry and I really try to get together every year with all of our kids and have a short weekend reunion.  Sometimes it works for everyone and sometimes it does not.  It had been 2 years since we had tried to come together at the same place at the same time.  This year was important because it was our mom’s 100 birthday.  To add to the excitement our only living aunt, Mom’s youngest sister, Aunt Polly, called and said she and her 3 boys were coming this direction that particular weekend and could they stop by.   WOW!!!!  YES!!!!  Now the plans were really kicked into gear. The theme was set – THE BEST THING YOU EVER ATE/COOKED OUTSIDE.  Everyone had to bring something to eat, they could cook on an open fire, the grill, or in the kitchen. 

Jerry cooked on an open fire, he is sort of popular for his cherry cobbler and corn bread. His cobbler was a real hit.  He didn’t get to the corn bread because it was really hot outside and we had so much food.   He also made the most incredible chicken livers with a tomato/pepper sauce.  Perhaps the most surprising dish of the day considering how many kids who tried chicken liver for the first time.  

Kristen made a shrimp cocktail with avocado that really hit the spot.  It was served cold and since the day was hot everyone ate it and ate it.  She made 2 gallons of it and most of it was gone by the end of the day.

Kent cooked the pork loin on the grill.  He is a grill master but had so much advise that I don’t know how he didn’t smack someone with the end of one of the loins. They were really good and was the main meat of the day.  Jill whipped up a very tasty BarBQ sauce to go with it.  We had onion rolls and onion/dill rolls made by yours truly. 

Tom made something on the grill, Stuffed pepper with cream cheese and herbs and seasonings.  I wished I had paid more attention when he was making them.  I didn’t get one hot, but later after everyone was gone, and it was super good at room temperature.  It is so easy to miss something when there is so much to take part in.  RATS!

Jill made her famous orange jello salad with oranges, mini marshmellows, sour cream and pecans.  However, when she was making it I handed her the sour cream from my frig and she stirred it in. We tasted it and realized that the sour cream had horseradish in it.  We vowed not to say a word.  People ate it and never commented about the unusual taste.  I thought we would get away with it but at the end of the day people were wispering in my eat, “What an unusual jello salad.  What was that I tasted in it?”  Jill will probably never allow me to pull stuff out of my frig again for anything she is fixing.  We also had crock pickles, pickled beets, chips and salsa, salads, fresh lime aid, cake, and beer.

When Polly said she was coming we called in more of the cousins from Mom’s side.  Polly’s twin sister, Irene’s kids, the two girls – Kathy and Kim – and their kids, and their kids. We missed Kurt.   Not only did Polly’s sons come, Tom lives in Maine, Todd, and Ted live in Kansas, two of their wives came, Linda (and Tom), Barb (and Todd), and one of Todd and Barb’s son came. We missed Ted’s wife, Vickie.   We ended up with over 40 people.  Ages 87 to 4.  The younger kids had never met some of the cousins of Jerry and my generation and it was a very busy time meeting and visiting with cousins we had not seen in a long time or never before.  We had a super good time and enjoyed every minute of the day.   It was such a perfect day and I was sad to see it end.  Polly and I made plans to go to St Louis to see Aunt Lil.  She was married to Mom and Polly’s brother Bill.  That is easy to remember – Bill and Lil.

The kids went to the barn to swing on the rope, they rode the Dizzy Dragon, the trikes, swam in the pond, caught frogs and tadpoles, and fished. Kathy’s grandaughter was the chauffer and drove anyone and everyone to the pond and back in the golf cart.  She said she would come back if she could drive it agina.  DONE DEAL!  There were so many stories of reunions in the passed and who was missing this year and what someone said or did.  Memories with families are so important to pass around and share with each other.  Those memories will be a part of our family lore as long as they are told.  The same with our family members who have died.  They will always be a part of our family with the stories we tell about them and the memories we share of them.


2 small bay leaves

1 large white onion, chopped

1 lb of medium shrimp

3/4 c ketchup

1.4 c hot sauce

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 ripe avocado

Put bay leaves, 1/3 of the onions and and 6 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Add shrimp, cover and cook for 1 minute.  Remove pot from heat and set lid askew, pour broth into a medium bowl. Cover pot again and set aside to allow shrimp “steam” for 5 minutes, then fill pot with cold water to stop the cooking.  when shrimp are cool, drain, peel.

Combine ketchup and hot sauce in a small bowl and set aside.  Combine shrimp, cilantro, lime juice, the remaining onions, and 3/4 of the ketchup mix.  Add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cooking broth.  Mix well.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Just before serving, pit, and slice the avocado.  Spoon cocktail into small bowls and top with avacado slice and spoonful of remaining ketchup mixture.  Serve with saltine crackers on the side if you like.  This  is really good!!! You can make it as hot as you like.

Those pesky hens are suffering from the heat I think.  Got 9 eggs last night.  Perhaps the snake scared them the day before. He was over 5 feet long.  He was a black rat snake. Or it could have been the noise from the gun when I shot him.  My ears rang for about 30 minutes.  There is only one hole in the side of the chicken house.  I should have used the 22 instead of the 38. 

things from my mom


OKLAHOMA WHEAT HARVEST IS OVER and the field work is done.  This is a good time…a good time for us to take a road trip, go to the pond and fish, have a picnic and just enjoy the bounty of our part of the country.  Our grandsons – remember there are 5 of them – have been here.  They usually ALL come for harvest and spend time together and with us. However, they are getting to the age of jobs and summer school responsibilities.  So this year there were 2 for a while, and then 3 for a really short time, and then one, until he got sick and had to go home in Houston.  And then they were all gone and we were once again alone. 

When the boys are here we always take some food to the grain elevator.  Those highschool age kids doing that short summer job in the heat and itchyness of grain dust deserve to have some goodies.  This year we took a pizza and some cinnamon rolls.    Mark made the mistake of telling them that ‘today is the day for the cinnamon rolls’.  It was not to happen until the next day so when we took them – to make them even better – they were HOT out of the oven.  And quite a hit!  The pizza was a full sheet pan with pepperoni, hamburger and sausage.  We also added a lot of veggies and it was hot as well.  Those kids do a really good job of dealing with the public in the heat and the wind and the wheat and rye dust.It would not be a favorite job of mine.  But they are really remarkable and always have a smile or a joke. 


2 1/2 c warm water

2 pkg yeast

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1/3 c melted shortening

6 cups of flour

mix all of this together and allow to rise. Punch down and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.  Roll out to fit the pan.  Bake in the hottest setting of your oven until it just beginning to brown. In my oven it is about 5 to 7 minutes.  It will probably puff up in the middle.  Push it down and cover with sauce and whatever.  This recipe can be halved or doubled.  It comes from the Junion Welfare League of Enid, the book is called Stirrups and I have not ever found a recipe that was not good. 




to taste add, basil, salt and pepper, garlic, oregano, whatever you like in your pizza, perhaps a pinch of sugar

Cover the partially cooked crust with the sauce, top with any meat or veggies you like (veggies should be cooked to remove any or all of their moisture.) Top with cheese. Put back into the hot oven until it is brown and slightly crisp on top.  ENJOY

I got 11 eggs last night.  The heat is starting to slow them down.  Hi, Cara.  Thanks for encouraging me!

The Fiddler

I WENT TO SEE THE FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.  What a wonderful evening.  I love live theater and when Kristen called mid-afternoon and said she had tickets – 2 hours away – I turned on the turbo.  We did make it and it was wonderful.  John Preece was Tevye and Gerri Weagraff was Golde.  Every gesture and raised eyebrow was meaningful.  Every intonation gave the effect that was intended.  The rest of the cast, the music, and the stage were just as impressive and I loved it!  We had super seats to add to the experience.    It was just fantastic.  We don’t live close enough for this experience to be very common so when I have the chance to go…I go!  The lady next to me fell asleep during the first act.  What’s up with that?  Kristen and I cried at the end.  Because it was sooo good and because it was over. 

The Oklahoma City Civic Center puts on such wonderful shows and they are always full.  At least it appears to be full to this small town girl.  It seems to be very crowded.  June 6 – 24 they are presenting JERSEY BOYS.   I hope to be there. 


3 c warm water

2 packages yeast

1/4 tsp sugar

Stir together and allow to set on the counter until the yeast has activated and it is very foamy.  About 5 or 10 minutes. Then add

3 c all-purpose or bread flour

1/3 c sugar

1/2 c dried milk

1/2 c shortening or butter

1 Tbs salt

1/2 c finely chopped onions – I also add some chopped garlic if I have some on hand

enough flour to make a very stiff dough. 

Stir briskly until it is smooth and comes together into a ball.  Cover and allow it to rise, knead it down and rise again.  Shape into buns about 1/2 as large as you want the finished roll to be.  Rise, give an egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbs water) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375.  Enjoy!!

We got 18 eggs last night.  Tomorrow the chicks go to the guillotine.


Our kids were in Jr High.  Now they call it Middle School.  We had wonderful friends in Lousiana, John and Marilyn.  They had a super house and invited us and our mutual friends, Judy and Cindy, for a visit for Easter.  WOW!  That sounded good to us.  Now I must tell you some background.  John and Judy and Mark had been friends for a long time, had gone on harvest together (Earl J was Judy’s dad), both John and Mark were related to Judy, on different sides.  Our kids and Cindy were the same age.  The list goes on but I will need to keep this part short for what is coming.  Anyway, we all decided to go to Lake Charles, La. for Easter and see them.  At that time we had a very large station wagon with luggage rack on the top and simulated wood paneling on the sides.   We could pack the luggage on top and the 5 kids could have all of the back to do what kids do. It was a 10 hour drive.  Because John lived in the country we thought it would be good to take them some baby chicks.  Judy is terrified of chickens and she wanted nothing to do with them.  She sat in the front passenger seat as far from the chicks as she could get and instructed Shawn that he could NOT take any of them out of the box which set in the opposite corner from her as far away as she could get.  He did not!

10 hours is not too bad when you are a kid with some room to lay down or stretch or read or play a game or teasing each other.  It isn’t too bad if you are an adult and didn’t have to listen to kids whining about it beeing too long, needing to go to the bathroom, being hungry, or Shawn was teasing – again.  Or Judy asking if the chicks were still in the box and out of sight.  “I can hear them!” 

Actually the trip was not that bad until we were about 10 miles from their house.  The first omen of things to come.   The luggage fell of the roof and banged against the side of the car.  Got out and put it  back and tightened the rope.  Drove into the drive.  The kids were so excited to get there they piled out of the car and Shawn stepped on a hugh snake on the driveway.  The trip was officially off to a good start of  living up to its name.  John wanted to take us crabbing or crabbin’.  You put a chicken neck on the end of a fishing line and lure the crab up the bank and if he bites the chicken neck and hangs on you have him.  We were crabbin’ on a steep bank and  were really enjoying this new form of getting our dinner and rapidly filling a hugh trash can, a new one, with those delicious Lousiana crabs when I slipped on the slope, fell into the trash can spilling all of the crabs and in the process I broke 3 ribs.  I was laying on the grass, the breath knocked out of me, gasping for breath, in real pain, and did I say I couldn’t breath?  John was yelling, “Get the crabs before they get away.  Get the crabs! Get the crabs!”  HEY, I cannot breath!  I did survive, they got most of the crabs back in the can.

The next day Mark and John decided to go to the lake with the boat.  It was about 8 or 10 miles from the house.  They left the key to the boat at the house.  They went back to the lake.  Left the gas for the boat at the house. Went back to the lake. The girls (Judy, Marilyn and I) are packing a picnic.  The kids are playing with the chicks.  Finally all of us assembled at the lake and the boys took off in the boat…except the boat would not start.  The battery was run down.  They paddled up to an embankment, walked back, about a mile, to get the pickup to use jumper cables to charge the battery.  When they drove up to the embankment they dropped over the edge with one tire.  It would not pull itself up and they had to find a good Samaritan to pull them out.  The girls were unpacking the picnic and watching the kids swim in the edge of the lake and swing on  a rope over the water.  FINALLY, we had our picnic and it was relaxing and fun and very good.  Things were looking up.  Nothing else could possible go wrong.  How innocent we are when we are well fed and the air is clean.

Marilyn wanted to go back to the house for the baby’s nap.  She, Judy and I left our kids in the care of those men and went to the house.  When we got there the chicks were out.  Remember Judy is terrified of them.  She was going to hold the baby while I helped Marilyn round up the chicks.  I could not move fast enough with the broken ribs.  We switched, I held the baby and she shooed the chicks…with a broom and lots of squeeling.  They finally got them in the pen and got the baby down for her nap.  We had solved yet another problem of our trip.  The men and kids came home and had decided to have a crawfish boil for dinner.  They brought back 2 big sacks full of Lousiana crawfish.  They were interesting and the kids and Judy and I were fascinated with them.  Lousiana is just full of wonderful and different foods for these inlanders.  We were excited.  The thing to heat the water was out of gas.  The gas place had closed for the evening.  We finally ate about 11:30 that night.  Judy and I spent HOURS cleaning the crawfish we did not eat so we could freeze them and take them home with us.  Our thumbs were bleeding and my ribs were hurting and we were tired.   There must have been 2 pounds of crawfish tails packed and in the freezer when some friends dropped by.  Who stops by at that time of night?  When they found out the tails were in the freezer, they took them out…AND ATE THEM ALL.

The day has been long, the list of missteps is growing and I am ready to go to bed but I am cold.  It is chilly in the evening and I can’t seem to get warm so John lit the fireplace and it felt very good.  Everyone is in bed by now and I am laying in front of the fireplace.  My muscles are warming up and my ribs feel better.  It occurs to me that this is not too smart.  What if my PJ’s catch on fire and I  burn down the house, I cannot help, there are a lot of kids and I’m not sure I can even yell loud enough to save us.  However, I cannot get up. I really can’t yell loud enough to rouse anyone,  I can’t roll over.  I am helpless.  Sometime during the night Mark comes to check on me and helps me get up and into bed.  This weekend seems like a month.  But it is almost time to start home.  Surely we will survive.

The trip home seemed longer than 10 hours.  We did not have chicks so Judy was more comfortable.  We packed everything but the kids on the top and used extra rope to keep it there.  I layed down in the back Kristen said, ‘curled up like a dog.’  I just remember that I couldn’t get out without help.  Mark would open the back, pull me out by my feet until I could drop my feet to the ground then he would pull me up to standing and I could go.

Even though this trip was indeed THE TRIP FROM HELL it is part of the family lore.  Part of our history and is told and retold.  I know the trip back took us more than 10 hours…perhaps 41.


1/2 pound pork liver

2 onions, chopped

1 large bell pepper, chopped

8 pounds pork butt, cut into chunks

salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

1 c chopped parsley

2 bunches green onion, chopped

3 pounds of rice, cooked

1 hank of sausage casing

Place liver, onions, bell pepper, pork into a large pot; cover with water and boil one to two hours or until meat is tender.  Remove everything from the broth and continue to cook broth until reduced by half.  Remove all bones and excess fat from the pork and grind entire mixture in food procesor or ginder.  Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.  This is a highly seasoned dish.  Mix withe cooked rice, stirring the mixture as littl as possible to prevent the rice from breaking.  If too dry, add some of the broth.  Fiss the casing using a funnel or sausage stuffer.  Tye the ends.  (Can be frozed at this time)  Simmer boudin in broth for 15 minutes.

Got 13 eggs last night.





boil and chop 2 1/2 pounds spuds

boil and slice 4 eggs

slice 4 medium tomaotes,       in the winter when I cannot get good tomatoes I use canned Italian tomaotes

Layer in a LARGE baking dish, sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper

1/2 spuds


onion and parsley mixture


remaining spuds

TOP with a dressing of:

3 Tbs flour

2 C sour cream

1 C cheddar

Mix this together and spread over the spud stuff then sprinkle over everything 1/8 tsp of paprika, 1/2 c cheddar, and 1 c bread crumbs

Bake for 30 minutes at 350.


I got 18 eggs yesterday.  The extra frig is almost full of eggs.  It is time to see our kids.  They love eggs.  Yesterday I caught a 22 inch, 4 pound catfish and a 1 pound bluegill.  I did NOT keep them to eat.  Later…..

I did not finish the recipe before the computer decided that I had written enough so here is the rest of the story. 



1/4 c parsley and 2 c chopped onion

Boil and chop:

2 1/2 pounds spuds

4 eggs

Slice 4 medium tomatoes

Wheat harvest will be early this year.  The winter was warm, unusually warm and Spring was very early.  Last spring we had a late freeze and it froze all of the fruit trees and plum thickets.  We had no fruit.  This year everything is producing.  God is good!  Some things we understand and some things we don’t understand.

Anyway, harvest will be early.  We usually cut wheat in June.  This year it is predicted to be May 21.  It is ready to cut 6 weeks after it is all headed out.  This year that equals May 21. 

When Mark was a kid, and a young man, for several years he went on the harvest with Earl J. Earl J. was his mother’s cousin and took young men to work on harvest all the way to Canada, Wyoming, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and I believe a few times in Texas.  This was an event for some.  People did not travel very far on vacations or just to see a different place; so some of these young men got to see a lot of Mid- America while they were working for real money.  Mark was 11 or 12 when he went the first time.  This is how he paid for his college.  Every year he quit or was fired, that seemed to be a standing joke with Earl J and some of these young men, but Mark was always there to finished the year because Earl J. and the others depended on each other to make everything work in the field and out.  When the last field was finishing and the last wheat was cut and the last round was being made, Mark and John would throw their boots in the header of the combine.  They were not the fancy ones they have now that would be damaged.  No, these were tough and would not mind one or two pairs of boots or a skunk or rabbit going through the header.   

One year when Kristen was in college and was helping us cut wheat, it was HOT and the air was not moving even a bit.  The chaff was hanging in the air and we were sticky and itchy and just a little grumpy.  Our job was to drive the truck to the elevator, the truck’s air conditioning was to roll down the window and drive 40 mph.  We were waiting to finish the last round of the last field to take Mark with us.  To help our attitude some we were out of  drinking water and did I say that it was HOT and we were TIRED?  To lift our spirits we were retelling the boots-in-the-header story and decided to put our own unique spin on the story by throwing our bras through the header.   After checking to make sure we did not have on one of our favorites, off they went and through the header.   I know it doesn’t sound too funny but it was because  the look on Mark’s face was worth losing our bras.   He was shocked that we had done it.   He kept saying,  “Ladies just don’t do that sort of thing!”     

P.S. Our bras came out and were usable.  Go figure…



1/4 c chopped parsley

2 c chopped onion

Boil and chop:

2 1/2 lbs spuds

4 eggs

slice 4 medium tomatoes, in the winter when it is difficult to get good tomatoes I use canned Italian tomatoes