Thursday, May 31, 2012

Martha Mason: May 31,1937--May 4, 2009

Sandbox Buddies.Left to right: Libby, Peggy Jean, Martha, Pat, Ginger (her caretaker) and Shirley.
Today would have been Martha Mason's 75th birthday.  Martha was one of my sandbox buddies, a group of us born in 1937 that started school together and that have remained friends for life.  Martha contracted polio in the summer of 1948 and spent the rest of her life in an iron lung.  But she lived a more fruitful life than most of us, graduating at the top of her class at Lattimore High School and Gardner-Webb College.  A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wake Forest College, she was again at the top of her class.

In April 2003, her memoir Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung was published, and her friend, Jack Hunt of Lattimore, threw a big barbecue to celebrate.
Jack Hunt with Pat (left) and Beth Spitzhoff Jones (right).
Martha's friends from far and wide attended this party, and the town of Lattimore honored her with a sign on the town caboose.
The town Caboose .
Martha's caretakers, left to right, Melissa, Ginger, Judy.
Dan at the party with Cindy Hunt Martin.
Ginger with the Westmoore Pottery plate commerating Martha's book.
Friends, George Hamrick (center) and Jim Fite (right) chatting with Marty Whaley Cornwell.

Polly Fite (center) long-time friend of Martha.

Table of desserts prepared by friends in the little town of Lattimore.

 It's just not the same when I go back to Lattimore without having Martha to visit.  We sandbox buddies miss her very much, and we're thinking of her today on her birthday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Class of 2018, A Really Smart Class

Honors Night at Daniels Middle School
Sixth grade students who made the honor roll for the first three quarters were honored last night  at Daniels Middle School.  This is an unusually gifted class, so I'm expecting great things from these students. Six more years and these young people will be graduating.

The program was short and sweet.  Dr. Battle, the principal, encouraged the students to "work hard and be kind".  I liked that message.

I'm pleased to say that Grandson Tyler Palmer was among those honored last night.

Grandpat and Tyler.  

Dad (Michael), Tyler and Mom (Meredith).
Way to go Tyler.  We're really proud of you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hydrangeas in the Neighborhood

Lovely hydrangeas blooming in the neighborhood.

Hydrangeas are at their peak in our neighborhood now, but for some reason our blue hydrangeas haven't bloomed this year.  Perhaps I pruned them last year too late after they had already set flower buds.  But our lacecap hydrangea is lovely. There are two flower arrangements in hydrangeas.  Lacecap flowers bear round, flat flowerheads with a center core of  small, fertile flowers surrounded by an outer ring of showy, sterile flowers.
Lacecap flower arrangement.

Our lacecap hydrangea is full of flowers.
 By contrast, mophead flowers are large round flowerheads resembling pom-poms.
Mophead or pom-pom arrangement of flowers.

For blue hydrangeas, aluminum must be present in the soil.  You can add aluminum sulfate to the soil to increase the intensity of the blue color.  Pink hydrangeas must be prevented from absorbing the aluminum in the soil.  If you add lime to the soil the pH will be increased and it is more difficult for the plant to absorb aluminum and thus it remains pink.
Blue hydrangeas provide a beautiful accent in our neighbor's landscaping.

Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memory of All Who Served

Memorial Day 2012. 

My mother had three brothers all of whom served in World War II.  This blog is dedicated to  their memory.  Uncle Jay was the oldest of the three.  He served in North Africa.

Uncle Jay Dickens on right.

R.L. Dickens (Photo from my sister's FB post).

Uncle R.L. served in Germany and was in the Battle of the Bulge and in the Normandy invasion.  He had a number of medals including the Bronze Star. 
Uncle Charles Dickens.

Uncle Charles was the youngest and was only seventeen when he joined the army.  His older brothers were already serving.  He was captured in Germany and at first was listed as MIA.  I can barely remember my mother getting the news of this.  Later she learned he was a P.O.W..  He was a P.O.W. until the end of the war when the camp was liberated  by the Allied Forces.

It must have been very difficult for my grandmother having all three of her sons serving in the army during the war.  Fortunately, all three returned home safely.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham

“Do you like green
eggs and ham?”“I do not like them,
I do not like green
eggs and ham!” .............

“I do so like
green eggs
and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,

This was one of our children's favorite Dr. Seuss poems.  I liked it too.  At one point I think we could all quote it line by line from memory.  Last night I decided to try a new twist to egg salad and ham sandwiches for supper.  I made egg salad using pesto, and it turned out to be a lovely shade of green.  That with a slice of ham made for an interesting sandwich. Throw in a few sweet potato chips, and you have supper that even Theodor Geisel would have enjoyed.
Egg salad made with pesto.

Ham on one side, "green" egg salad on the other. 

A supper of green eggs and ham and a few sweet potato chips.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chocolate Pumpkin Snack Cake

I was thinking grandson Tyler might be here after school the other day, so I made this cake to have a healthy snack ready for him.  The recipe is from Linda Watson's Wildly Affordable Organic cookbook.  The Cookbook Book Club's choice for June is this book, and I am trying out some of the recipes to decide what dish I will take to the meeting.  Tyler didn't stop by on Thursday, so Dan and I enjoyed the snack ourselves, and I had a piece the next morning for breakfast.  Tyler will be here next Tuesday, so perhaps I'll have a reason to make this cake again.  I'm certain there won't be any left by then, although I think it would freeze well.
Here's the recipe from Linda's book.
I had all the ingredients on hand, and this was quick to make.  It is very light, moist, delicious and healthy---whole wheat flour and pumpkin.
Chocolate Pumpkin Snack Cake.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dick Tracy Comics: 1947

Dick Tracy
When I was a child growing up in Cleveland County, our family subscribed to the Charlotte Observer newspaper which was delivered by the rural mail carrier each morning with the delivery of the regular mail.  For some reason, I followed Dick Tracy in the comic strips.  During the summer or 1947, two of the characters in this comic strip BO Plenty and Gravel Gertie were expecting a baby.  There was great interest throughout the country (and especially in my family) as to what this baby was going to look like.  I remember rushing out to get the paper on the morning (May 30, 1947) the baby's appearance was expected to appear in the comics. 

Gravel Gertie

Readers couldn't wait to find out what the child of these two homely parents would be .   How revolting ugly could it be??? She turned out to be a beautiful baby with long blonde hair and was named Sparkle Plenty.  The Ideal toy company immediately produced a Sparkle Plenty doll that was one of the most popular dolls ever sold.
Sparkle Plenty
Being in Shelby the past week and looking back through old newspapers jogged my memory about this comic strip.  And no I never had a Sparkle Plenty doll.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My First Car: Unsafe at Any Speed

White Chevy Corvair, 1960 model.*
When I was in Shelby recently looking back through old issues of the Shelby Daily Star I ran across an ad for the Chevrolet Corvair.  This reminded me that I purchased my first car in Shelby at Crawley's Chevrolet in 1960, and it was a white with red interior Chevy Corvair.  The Corvair was a compact automobile produced by GM from 1960 to1969. It was the only American-made, passenger car to feature a rear-mounted,  air-cooled engine.
Ad from the Shelby Daily Star.
 I drove that little car all over the place for several years even after Ralph Nader declared it unsafe at any speed.  The trunk of the car was in the front and I suppose it was unsafe.  This would be a collectible if I still had this car. 
Spiffy red interior of the 1960 Corvair.*

Motor in the rear of the car.* 
* Photos from Mecum Auctions.  I don't seem to have any photographs of my Corvair. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grandpa Jim Hawkins

My Greatgrandfather (front right with white beard), my grandmother (front left) and my grandfather (back right)
Since I've been here in Cleveland County for the last few days, I've discovered the Broad River Genealogical Society and their resources.  In one of the Cleveland County Heritage books, Volume II, I found a photograph of my Greatgrandfather James Bryant Hawkins (my paternal Grandmother's father) and his family.  The photo in the book was not very good, and my scan turned out even worse, but still you can kind of see what they were like.

Grandpa Jim was born in 1835 and served in the Civil War including the battle of Gettysburg and was wounded in the arm.  He returned home from the War and married Mary Lytton.  They had six children, including my grandmother, Dora Eliza (born 1871).  When Dora was three years old her mother died, but James married two more times.  By the time the above photo was taken his third wife had died.  Dora married my grandfather, James Lane Greene and they had eight children including my father Henry Erman Greene.

My grandfather was ten years older than Grandma, and he was her teacher in school.  She said that he once brought her an apple to school. Usually the students took apples to the teacher, not vice versa.

Dan has been interested in genealogy since I've known him, and he has traced his ancestry all the way back to Scotland.  Perhaps I'll spend a little more time tracing mine now that I've found the local Genealogical Society.  That's all I need---another project.
Broad River Genealogical Society in Shelby, NC

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Broad River Greenway or "Take me to the Water"

View across the Broad River from the Greenway to sandbars on other side.

Friend PJ and I went for a walk along the Broad River Greenway down below Boiling Springs on Sunday afternoon.  This park or greenway wasn't here when I lived in Cleveland County.  I just remember crossing the Broad River Bridge when traveling from Boiling Springs to Gaffney, SC.  The Greenway is  a very nice place to walk along the River, and it was quite crowded with folks picnicking, hiking, swimming, and just enjoying the beautiful afternoon..
The pathways are nice and wide.

Playground for children along the way.

Nice place to rest and enjoy the view.

We even observed an old-fashioned baptism in the River by a group from a Baptist church in Shelby.  I guess this was the common way of baptizing back in the 19th century and early 20th century before churches had baptismal pools.  I suppose my grandparents were baptized in this manner. 
 Baptism in the Broad River.

Benediction after the baptisms. Notice the young girl in her white baptismal gown.
 This reminds me of the old gospel "Take Me To The Water" sung here by Nina Simone.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies
Before I went to Lattimore for the Street Festival, I made a batch of peanut butter cookies for the Bake Sale.  I used the recipe from a favorite cookbook of mine by Dorie Greenspan.
Mixing the batter.

Roll  teaspoon size ball of dough in sugar.

Criss cross with tines of a fork to flatten before baking.

Cooling the baked cookies.

These are really yummy.  You might like to try Dorie's recipe.