Archive for April, 2010

Meet Herbert

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Meet Herbert

Oklahoma is known for its abundant wildlife – its deer, buffalo, turkey, sandcranes, snow geese…..and even for those of us who do not live out in the woolly west of our state, the simple Oklahoma garden can provide a plethora of photo opportunities in the animal department.

With this being the reality of Oklahoma gardening, I know that I should never be surprised by any critter that might introduce itself, whether on purpose or by accident. My nerves should be steel. My attitude should be blasé as I move a wayward skink or disgusted toad out of my way. It is not “country macho” to freak over the sudden centipede. A startled, “Oh!” might be acceptable, but screaming and running around in circles is definitely not good country etiquette toward those of lessor status on the food chain.

It is therefore, with slight dismay that I admit my initial reaction to finding Herbert. I did scream. I did run away, but my redeeming moment came when I stopped, turned around and went back to gaze at Herbert and to introduce myself. It is possible that my first unseemly display of bigotry miffed Herbert as he did not appear to be at all interested in what I had to say. However, he stayed still long enough for me to go get Hubby so that both of us could offer our friendly curiosity.

I nearly stumbled on Herbert while I was admiring my strawberry beds. They are full this year and I am anxiously awaiting a crop of the ruby red gems with anticipation. Strawberry freezer jam, frozen strawberries for smoothies and shakes, fresh strawberries on shortcake and in pies – mmm – makes my mouth water. But you want to know about Herbert. I was stepping around the strawberry bed and backed up to one of the peach trees to go to the other end of the garden beds, when I looked down and nearly stepped on Herbert. All 4 1/2 or 5 feet of him. He was fat and had lumps all down his body. He must have had a grand meal of field mice with perhaps a quail egg thrown in for dessert.

I snapped a picture but Herbert decided he’d had enough of the two- legged critters that had disturbed his reverie and so he undulated to the nearest peach tree, lifted the front 1/3 of his body up to the bottom branch, hoisted himself up onto said branch and then wrapped his way around ascending branches until he was high enough in the tree to stare me in the eye. I figure that he felt he had a better advantage at that level vs. being on the ground next to my foot. I feel sure that he was well acquainted with the verse out of Genesis where the snake is told, “he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Most people don’t wait to have any heel striking going on and are all about head crushing when it comes to snakes! Herbert probably knew that.

So, Herbert wrapped himself cozily among the peach branches and stared at me. That was when I named him Herbert. Don’t ask me why. I don’t even know a Herbert to say he looked like a Herbert. It just seemed right. I took portraits of him and then left him to determine how to unknot himself out of his predicament. He was gone when I checked a few hours later. Herbert is out there now, chasing all the field mice and boppin’ ‘em on the head – and then swallowing them. But they won’t be eating my strawberries!!

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Doesn’t he look like a Herbert to you too?

Quick Kitchen Tip

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Did You Know?

Did you know that if you are out of buttermilk, you can make a quick substitute by adding 1 cup of milk, whole, 2/% or skim, to 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in the bottom of a glass bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes to clabber? If you are in a hurry, you can even put the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds and get the same result. Adjust the amounts according to how much buttermilk you need and add to any recipe requiring buttermilk or soured milk. Works like a charm!

Lois’ Corner

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

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Lois’ Corner

I get kind of tired of reading my own words – it’s kind of like having to hear yourself talk all of the time. Of course my hubby would argue that this isn’t a problem for me! I am never short on words. However, I do enjoy sharing other’s ideas and thoughts and my dear Aunt Lois – my dad’s sister – provided me with the opportunity. I am going to give her a platform all her own at The Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Blog to teach the young’un’s and to remind us oldun’s about life in general. I’ll add a few pictures for fun.

My aunt lives in Georgia and is a happy, talented and fun-loving woman of great faith and great humor. At 86, she writes for several sources and it will be a joy to share some of her memories, thoughts on life and brilliant observations on a regular basis here. Sit at her feet and learn!

Answer To A Question You

Didn’t Think To Ask

Written By Lois Wyrick

The question surfaced as I was preparing a program to give to a group of women. The topic was all that women do or not do to attain happiness and yes, it was a “tongue in cheek” response to what we do. One of the topics had to do with how woman struggles with her hair and how important hair is to her happiness.
I used my life as an example and told of my first hair permanent and all that I have gone through to have curly hair. Straight hair is in fashion now but that was not the case in my life. So, I went to Google to find out about the permanent machine that we used to get a long lasting wave and I was surprised with the answer.
The article begins with the fact that Caucasian women have never been content with straight hair and have gone to many lengths to get the curl. I remember mother telling how she and her sisters slept in “rags.” My understanding was they wrapped sections of their hair around strips of cloth and wearing this overnight gave a curl to their hair.

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Rags were used as rollers

Did you know that the first permanent machine surfaced in 1872? I couldn’t believe how dangerous it sounded and wondered about the bravery or desperateness of the woman who tried it. Several machines were developed after that but it was in 1906 that a machine was developed that used rollers, solution and heat. The inventor tried it on his wife and it burned off her hair and gave painful scalp burns. The article didn’t say if the marriage survived the ordeal.

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A Vintage Permanent Machine

Long hair was a woman’s crowning glory and it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that woman began cutting her hair. This began with woman doing man’s work during WW1 and long hair got in the way of her work. Short hair became a fashion statement in the 1920s and the wave that women got with the cut came with a “curling iron.” The wave style was called a “marcel” named after the man who invented the method.
I remember mother telling the story of when she had her first cut and wave. Mother’s hair was long enough for her to sit on and it was my dad’s pride and joy. All of the women in his family had long hair but none was as pretty as my mother’s hair.
Mother’s younger sister, Susie, was the first to get her hair cut short and Dad’s mother told my mother that Aunt Susie would go to hell. Mother envied her sister’s sense of freedom with her short hair and decided to do likewise. She waited until Dad had to go out of town, took ,my piggy bank money and her grocery money and got her hair cut and “marcelled.” I never heard what anyone said about it, including Dad and his mother. Mother just smiled and shook her head, “no” when I would ask about it. As far as I know this was the most defiant act my mother ever did. Which says a lot about the relationship of woman and her hair.

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Mother with her hair “marcelled”

The rest of the story: It wasn’t too many years later that Dad’s sisters followed mother with short hair and waves. It was about ten years later that my paternal grandmother had her hair cut and waved. However, she HAD to do it – Her explanation to everyone that the weight of her long hair gave her headaches and the doctor ordered her to cut her hair. I loved my grandmother but even I wondered about that.
I do remember my first permanent. I was fourteen and I’m sure my dad wasn’t too pleased about it. I had short brown hair with bangs and I was so ready for wavy hair like movie stars had. The machine used for permanents in the 1930s looked like something from outer space. It was round and had electrical cords hanging down with clamps at the end. A horrible smelling solution was applied to each section of your hair and the hair was then placed around rollers. The hanging clamps were then attached to each roller and electricity was then turned on and, for what seemed forever, your hair received heat to cook your hair. And yes, it came out curly and every woman and young girl looked like an overgrown Shirley Temple. It took forever for the smell to leave your hair.
The “cold wave” method that we use today came into our life in 1938 and I’m not sure when it replaced the heat method.
A lot of men worked on developing a way for women to have curly hair. They would be surprised at today’s hair fashion. Straight hair is “in” and it causes women to use a machine to press their curly hair straight. And so it goes with life.

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Thanks, Aunt Lois, for reminding us just how far we women have come! Or have we?!

Taste Of Home Cooking Show

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

It appears that I am running a bit late on my contributions this month to the blog. I really do have a good excuse. Really. Creating Concepts, Ent. participated, for the first time, with the Taste of Home Cooking School show and we had so much fun. However, it meant that all of my time was spent in preparation and the thought of sitting down to the computer was last on my mind. We had an absolute blast, met tons of nice people and enjoyed it immensely. Thanks to all who came by the booth! We had a drawing at the booth and the winner was from Seminole, Oklahoma. She won a Breadbasket Gift Set. Here is a picture of the booth and my trusty helpers. Oh! And we introduced the new line of aprons made from vintage patterns. The aprons will be up on the shopping page by the weekend!

And now I’ll move on to a real post!

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