Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Future American Red Cross volunteer...


My nephew Spencer spent the day with me today and he loves the American Red Cross. He is leaving shortly for Mexico as they live there part of the year and there is a Red Cross office located close to his home there. So while he was here I made him an official "Future Red Cross Volunteer" by giving him a hat and making him a badge that says "Future Red Cross Volunteer." He was very proud of that status. This will be the generation carrying on the work in our footsteps.

You're looking good Spencer!

Monday, September 28, 2009

and the work continues...

And no, I really did not get to use this thing. I just get to hold it and hand it to Tool Belt Jim as needed.

Tool Belt Jim prepainted the siding before he put it up. I really like this color. Reminds me of old barn color.
Mark took this picture. Wonder what I was looking at?

And here's poppy posing so Mark could take his picture.

Can you tell Mark is whistling while he waits to give Poppy some more nails?

Never too young to learn how to work.

Studying why this window is not level. Hmmm...
Mark loved picking up the acorns. I remember doing that as a kid. Some things are timeless.
Getting closer to having the gazebo enclosed before the cold winter winds start to blow.

More chickens have arrived!

My sister is needing a place to keep her chickens for a few months and my thinking is "the more the merrier" so today the "little flock" has expanded. And these chickens are laying too! I'm calling the rooster "Rooster Cogburn". I'll have to think about a name for the chickens.

And she has these beautiful speckled banties. I think they are so pretty.
They seemed to settle right in without much fuss. Notice my other banties are no where in sight. They're such a bunch of chickens! Ha. Ha.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Celebrating the day...

I woke up with just a bubbling over in my soul today and a song on my heart. I'm excited to get to meet with other brothers and sisters to worship the Lord together and catch up on each other's week. A group of Christians have recently been meeting at the little shelter house in our local park and "house church" is beginning. I took two of my grandkids last week and afterwards there was a BBQ. Reminds me of my favorite saying, "Faith, Family, Friends". Add food and fellowship and that is really what makes life so enjoyable. Hope you have a wonderful day today and God is in all your thoughts!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life takes strange turns sometimes....

I've attended the same small close knit church for 30 years. I was a young single mom when I first started attending this small fellowship that started out meeting in a home. Here I learned the practical walking out of the gospel and was mentored by several different families and sometimes by those even younger but more mature than I was. As a young Christian the Lord drew me to this group who loved me and my young son unconditionally. I knew I was at the place God wanted me to be and I was content because I had found a family who not only loved me but who loved God and served Him with their whole hearts.

This past week I attended the funeral for the wife of one couple that was so instrumental in the early days of my Christian walk. It fills me with sadness on one hand to see these men and women who gave so much of their time and energy and wisdom to a group of us that so needed their help pass on. But then I remember how much rejoicing must be going on in heaven today as loved ones are reunited and for the first time in a long time are feeling no pain. You may be gone Bud and Ruth and Bud and June but your memory lives on in our hearts. And we are eternally grateful for your giving of yourself to a younger generation that included myself.

Today, I am no longer attending that small fellowship as over time what we started out as has changed into something unrecognizable. Sometimes in the process of growth, we forget the Lord is the head of the House and I believe when that happens the Lord just steps back and waits. Why? Maybe to see how long we can continue on without Him? Maybe to bring us back to a place of simplicity. Back to where we first started at. Because when I first started this walk, I knew how desperately I needed Him in my life. How desperately I needed His love and mercy and forgiveness and mostly how desperately I needed His Presence with me. And I knew how important it was to surround myself with brothers and sisters who would love me even when I messed up and who would always be there for me but who would also love me enough to hold me accountable to changing those things in me that were displeasing to the Lord. What was different about me in the early days of my walk with the Lord? I was desperate.

This morning as I sat in a new church I was thinking how I have now come full circle. Am I happy about it? No, but I have matured over the years enough to realize God will begin to cause us to become discontent with our life when we begin to put other things ahead of making Him the Head of all things. That includes our personal lives and our church life both. Sometimes God brings us back full circle and it is for our own good. I feel like for the past several weeks and months I have drifted. Drifted from one church to another trying to find something elusive. Feeling like I never really fit in. Like I was missing something. I believe God was allowing me to come once again to the place I was at 30 years ago. To a place where I allowed myself to wait upon Him and allow Him to lead me where He wanted me to go. To once again become desperate.

This morning I realized what coming full circle really means. God is bringing me back to what I once had. Bringing me back to the simplicity of the gospel. It's not about the place you worship in. It's not how big or how many people attend there. It's not the kind of music you play. It's not about the denomination you attend. It's not about how wonderful a youth program you can build. It's not about things. And too many times we forget that.

It is all about having a relationship with the Creator of the universe on a personal level. It is all about walking out that relationship with others who want more than anything else to serve a living God. It is about love. About loving one another and loving the lost and the hurting just as our Heavenly Father loves. It is about realizing time is short, the harvest is ready and the workers are few. It is about praying Thy Kingdom Come , Thy will be done.....

Remember the first Bible verse you ever memorized? Mine was "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosover believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Oh, to get back to the simplicity of the gospel. I'm on a journey and that's where I'm headed!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Wooly Worms are everywhere....

If the old saying is true that you can tell what kind of winter we'll be having by how thick the wooly worms coat is , then what is this wooly worm telling us? My grandson couldn't resist touching it.

Hauling off the brush...

Since Tool Belt Jim is busy working on the gazebo I decided to load the brush that I had previously cut down and haul it off. Remember I trimmed around all the trees in my side yard and piled the limbs and stuff in little piles all over the place. My daughter says I am obsessive/compulsive and that nobody else expects their yard to look like a park. Anyway. Humor me a little.
Here's the truck once I got it loaded. I am hoping Tool Belt Jim will get home soon and unload it for me. I'm too tired! I mowed all day, weed-eated around the house. Cleaned out the flower beds. And loaded the brush on the truck.
Tool Belt Jim had lots of help unloading the truck. Then he had three tractor loads more to pick up.
Here's a front view of the house after I weed-eated around the porch.

And I also pulled the weeds out from under the old iron rake.

Now here's my next and last project before I can say my yard is finished. This is my future birthday present. That's what I tell Tool Belt Jim anyway.
I'm heading to a tub of hot water to soak for about an hour. Then maybe if I can crawl out of it I'll head to bed. Have to work in my local Red Cross office tomorrow. Good-Night! It's been a productive day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Siding Is Going On!


Doesn't it look great? I had a bunch more pictures but accidentally deleted them. And they were so good too. So far we have made it with no accidents, even though Tool Belt Jim walked off the end of the saw horses and rode it down.
Tool Belt Jim is contemplating something here. We only had enough of the log siding left to do the front but it should look O.K. when finished. Looks like a little cabin in the woods to me.

Small Town Festivals

Several of my grandkids go to a small rural school close to where we live. This past weekend was the annual festival for the small town their school is located in. Don't you just love the feel of small town get togethers? Where everyone knows everyone else and can drag their lawn chairs to the middle of the street and enjoy the music and local talent? Life is good in small town USA!















Sunday, September 6, 2009

Enclosing in the gazebo...

Tool Belt Jim and I decided the most practical thing we could do for our gazebo was to enclose it in. Every year the screen gets torn off and birds fly in there and then in the Fall the leaves all blow in and of course in the winter the snow does the same.

So Tool Belt Jim dug out the old tool belt and all the necessary tools and set up the saw horses and early this morning he went to our nearest Lowes and bought a couple windows. So let the work begin!!

As soon as the saw started up, Koda does the hands over the ear thing that he always does.
Mark's job was to pick up all the little pieces that got sawn off the big boards. He did that in between picking up Hickory nuts and acorns. Remember making little faces on the acorns and how their little tops look like little hats?
In went the windows. Mark had the camera and was just snapping away. Actually, he took some pretty good pictures.
He took this one of Koda and I watching Tool Belt Jim and his Poppy working away.

By the end of the day we had the back wall up and two of the windows in.

We are going to put an antique wood cooking stove in here and some shelves for my pressure canners and other large pots that I use when I can too. Then it will also be a place for all our BBQ grills, and outdoor cookers and smokers we have. It will be kinda like an outdoor kitchen like they had back in the old days. That saved the main house getting over heated from all the canning. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Happy Labor Day Week-End!

What better way to celebrate Labor Day Week-end than by poking a hot dog on a stick and cooking it over the fire? And that is just what we decided to do this evening. I had been adding small sticks and limbs to the fire pit all summer so we already had a stack of dry wood just waiting for a match.

Doesn't that look good? The blacker the better for me!




Poppy demonstrated the proper way to hold your stick just the right distance from the fire.
And the proper way to eat your hot dog. Forget those paper plates!


What Koda really wanted was just a bun with cheese and catsup on it. So he took his hot dog off.

Poppy and the boys enjoying the fire and the evening.

And what's a wiener roast without Orange Pop?

Somebody is getting some lovin! And enjoying the attention I might add!

And here's Nana holding Kaden who just kept looking up at all the tree branches in wonder.

Momma and the boys.
Was a wonderful evening. Can you believe summer will soon be over? Cooler weather is already here. The walnuts are falling off the trees, the flowers are turning Fall colors and Spider Webs are everywhere!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Tandy and Narcissia Pike story...

These short stories were taken from my Grandmother Ruth Elizabeth (Lizzie) Pike's journal and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have. JLW


My Grandmother and Grandfather. Grandma is the one writing this "History" as she calls it.



Here's the final chapter in her Pike family history.


So Tandy and Narcissa's life was one of a real pioneer life of hard work but they weathered the storms of life, they fought a good fight and their life's race was won and both passed on to a better world. They are both buried at White Hall Cemetery or perhaps we should say Mt. Hebron Cemetery for that is the real name of the old church and cemetery. When the school was still standing and was across the road from the old Mount Hebron Methodist Church and cemetery everyone called it White Hall Cemetery. All the Pike family attended this little church. The old church building has been gone for a long time and the school house was sold and moved away after the country schools were consolidated. So to pass by the old cemetery gives you a lonely feeling of sadness.

The old Pike log house burned in 1912 and a new frame house was built in its place which is still there although vacant for a long while. The old farm is all in pasture now. There were two very large maple trees in the north yard and a large cottonwood tree in the south yard next to the kitchen. These were killed by the fire and had to be cut when the new house was built.

So this ends the story of a fine old pioneer family. I have only written of some of the most interesting things of this family. Tandy passed away on April 8, 1899 and Narcissa died in July of 1905 and both are buried in the old White Hall/Mt. Hebron Cemetery.

This is the story of my Grandparents. Written by a Grand-daughter (Lizzie)

Oldest son marries and leaves home...

Let us go back to Sept. 6, 1869 where the youngest son was Joseph Albert Pike was born. Then on April 21, 1872 the youngest child was born Alice Pike. This made a family of nine children, five girls and four boys.

On Sept. 20, 1874 the oldest son George William Pike was married to Margaret Ellen Crow in Cedar County Mo and they moved on the south 40 where a well had previously been dug.

A Panther Scare.....

A Panther Scare of Many Years Ago

Our Grandfather Tully Tandy Pike built a one room log cabin a short ways west of the barn on the little branch that ran through the place and west of the home place. He called it a “camping place” for his children. After they were married they could live there until they located a place where they wanted to live. Most all of his children lived there for a time sometime during their first married years. I can remember when we lived there when there was just my brother and me.

I have heard my Aunt Ruthie Pike tell of a real panther scare they had when they were living there. Here’s that story:

One spring nite, just soon after dark, they could hear a panther coming across country northwest of their cabin. It was coming across the old Liston Place, its screams came every few steps. It seemed to be about ¼ mile away and there were no doors to the cabin, so they nailed a heavy comfort to both doors and they all kept real still, them and their two children and listened to the panther’s screams. He went on southwest about halfway between the cabin and the home. He could not have been far from either building. He kept screaming every few steps until he vanished in the distance. The next day a panther was seen sleeping in a tree only about ¼ mile from Joe and Martha Pike Pierson’s. Uncle Joe Pierson killed the panther. They all believed it was all the one and the same.

Martha Pike Pierson and Joe lived on Horse Creek about 4 miles from where Joe and Ruthie (Pike) first heard the panther so it was good news to hear the panther was killed.

We sometimes think we have rough times but I often wonder if anyone of us could cope with the hardships the old pioneers went through.

Written by Granddaughter that wrote history
Ruth Elizabeth (Lizzie) Pike

Patsy the pet deer...

The family had a pet deer which they had found as a young fawn soon after moving to Cedar County on the Jamerson Farm. The young deers mother had been killed and the young became tame with the gentle care and feeding by the Pike children . They kept the deer named Patsy until they moved from the old Francis farm to the new home they had traded for where Tandy and Narcissa lived the rest of their life.

On moving day the pet deer was left to be moved with the cattle. In late evening after everything else had been moved Tully Tandy returned for the pet deer and cattle. Just before Tandy reached the barn a rifle shot rang out and Tandy ran a few steps where he saw Patsy standing with her head to the ground and blood gushing from her nose. While standing at her side a man stepped from behind a tree and said, "I'm sorry Mr. Pike but I'm afraid I have shot your pet deer." Then Tandy relieved his anger by telling Joe how much he loved him. The man was Joe _____ (name omitted to protect any living relatives) who had been their closest neighbor whle living on the old Jamerson farm. Joe knew all about them having the deer and he knew they still had the pet deer. Patsy wore a bright red flannel band around her neck with her bell. After Tandy had gotten through telling Joe what a brute he was then he had to shoot the deer . Then he carried her home. There was a sad little funeral for their dear little pet who was a constant companion and playmate to the children.


Just a short while before this the children had raked up a large pile of leaves and they put baby Johnce in the middle of the pile and covered him up. Just then the pet deer saw them and came running and jumped into the middle of the leaves. Baby Johnce then let out a loud cry. When the deer jumped off to one side and began to paw the leaves away the children pulled little Johnce out of the leaves and Patsy ran to him and began licking his face and bleating as if to be trying to say how sorry she was .

So to lose a pet like that was like losing one of the family.

Everyday life around the homestead...

Grandfather Tandy was a shoemaker and he tanned all his shoe leather from horse and cow hides. To make all the shoes needed for his family he had all sizes of wooden shoe lasts he carved. He used these lasts -a foot shaped form-for pattern and size. One of his neighbors lost a team of large mules and gave Tandy the hides to make into boots and he got a nice pair of new boots. Tandy made hundreds of little wooden pegs which he used to put the shoe soles on for all his shoes soles were put on with little wooden pegs as there wasn't a metal tack in any of the shoes he made.

They raised the flax that Narcissia spun the thread from to sew the shoes with. Flax is a blue flowered plant grown for its fiber. The flax was a source of linen as well as for the thread. Narcissia had two spinning wheels-one large and one small. She spun the thread and it was twisted and doubled and waxed to sew the shoes. A small awl or pointed tool was used to make holes in the leather. The thread was then pulled through those holes with a needle.


They raised sheep for the wool and cotton which Narcissa spun the thread which she wove into cloth to make the clothing for the family. She had a large loom she wove the cloth on and did her sewing by hand. She corded small bats from the wool and cotton to make the bed covers with. These bats were only about 8 x 12 and so it took a lot of them for a full size quilt. The quilts were much different to what we buy in the stores today.


Plenty of hogs were raised for butchering which was done at home. The heart and liver were well cooked and then put with the head meat which had been cooked well done and picked from the bone. This was all beat into a pulp with a wooden mallet. This was made into head cheese and mincemeat. Narcissa was said to be a champion mincemeat maker. The meat was washed and hung to dry after it's allotted time for salt curing then it was sell smoked with green hickory wood for so many hours each day. The sausage was packed into long muslin bags and smoked along with the meat. There was always plenty of meat butchered to last the family until butchering time next year.

There was no such thing as a refrigerator in those days so the milk and butter were hung in a bucket by a small rope in the well to keep it fresh. So all the water had to be drawn by adults so not to get it spilled into the well for if this did happen the well had to be cleaned out, which was no small job.

All the wood ashes were saved and put into a ash hopper and ran water through them for lye for making soap. Narcissia made all her soap both hard and soft soap. Tully Tandy used lots of soft soap in tanning of his hides for making the shoes for the family.


Tandy raised White Hickory King Corn , wheat, rye, barley and buck wheat which he took to the grist mill for the family bread. He also raised Sorghum Cane for a barrel of Sorghum. They also raised peanuts and popcorn for home use and in early Fall apples were taken to the Cider Mill and made into fresh Cider. After the family had drank their fill of the fresh, sweet sparkling cider the rest was kept for vinegar for home use. In late Fall there were always a large rick of potatoes, apples, cabbage and turnips and these were well covered with dirt.


Just inside the garden fence along three sides were tame Rhubarb sometimes called Pie Plant. There were also tame gooseberry bushes- the very large variety. So the family very often enjoyed good old Gooseberry, and Rhubarb and Mincemeat Pies and let's not forget the Pumpkin Pies which Narcissia always dried pumpkins for winter time pies.

Wells are dug....

The family carried all their drinking and cooking water from a Spring called "The Mercy Springs." located on an adjoining farm a half mile away from their house. Several other families carried water from this spring also. This was done for about two years when the two boys George and Robert now 15 and 20 dug their first well. They also dug a well on the South 40. These wells were 30 feet deep with plenty of soft water and were known as the best wells of soft water in Cedar County. To this day there was never a pump in them and they are as good as the day they were dug around 1871 over 100 years ago. (written in 1971)


Tully Tandy's lost his last two team of oxen after years of service and he bought horses to do his farm work. My last recollection of the oxen yokes were of being used at the wood pile for chopping blocks. They were hand made by Tandy of Hickory wood and with use and age they became tough as iron.


My Grandmother Narcissia's prize piece of furniture was a four poster corded bedstead made of maple wood handmade by Tully Tandy soon after moving to Cedar County. It was beautiful. A corded bed is a small rope woven back and forth fastened to little wooden pegs along each side . This forms a lut to hold the mattress instead of bed slats. This bed was still in use when Narcissa died in 1905.

The homestead...

In March 1862, Tandy and Narcissa and their growing family of five children moved to a farm Southeast of the White Hall School. The farm was on the Jerico Road which is now called Hwy 97 and was known as the "old Francis Farm." Here the men farmed and worked in the timber. By this time several of the Pike and Amos' family had left North Mo moving to Cedar County where some spent the remainder of their life while some in later years returned back to North Mo.

Another daughter Christine Narcissia was born in 1864 and my father Franklin Johnson (Johnce) Pike was born on April 11, 1867. At this time in history we find my Grandparents raising their 7 children living on a small farm in rural Cedar County.

In 1869 when my father Johnce was two years old Tandy traded a team of oxen (named Old Buck and Ball) for 40 acres of land. This land was one and one/fourth miles West from where the family was living. On this land was a large one room log house. It had a large attic where the boys slept. It also had a large fireplace and a lean-to kitchen.

This land had been homesteaded and was what was called raw with no fencing. So the first thing Tandy did he and his two sons George and Robert split rails and fenced the farm and Tully Tandy set out an orchard of apples and peaches.

Grandfather Tandy traded another team of oxen (Old Jim and Sam) for another 40 acres about two miles south of their new home. This was also unfenced mostly in timber and it had a large one room house on it.

Pike family moved to Cedar County...

Tully Tandy Pike was born in Kentucky, Oct. 18, 1827. Narcissa Lou Ann Random Amos was born in Kentucky, July 27, 1831. This is the start of the Pike story.

They came from Kentucky to Missouri, along with their parents and several other families by covered wagon trains pulled by oxen team. The families settled in North Missouri for a few years-first living in Putman County and later in Gentry County and Platt County and Clinton County. Tully Tandy and Narcissa were married in Clinton County on Aug. 5, 1849. Three of their children, George William Pike, Robert Preston Pike and their first daughter Mary Francis Pike were born in that county also.

In 1859 they left North Missouri and traveled by south by covered wagon again pulled by four team of oxen. The family settled on a farm East of Virgil City. It was in Cedar County and then was known as the Jamerson Farm. They lived one-half mile west of White Hall School. (Known in 1971 as the Old Jake Kaufman farm.

Tully Tandy Pike in his younger days.


Virgil City had one grocery store and a drug store. Both were owned by old Doctor Kawhorn. The town also had a Post Office, a blacksmith shop and a school house. The grocery store was called the Williams Store. The Williams family lived across the road from the store. The large house where they lived was called the Williams(Wielms) Hotel. Travelers who wished to stay and rest, stayed overnight.

The Williams store was in Cedar County. The Post Office, the Williams home, the drug store, the blacksmith shop and the school were all in Vernon County. This was because the road was the county line and even today it's called County Line Road. There were no mail routes at that time so everyone had to go to the Post Office for their mail. The mail was brought by mail Hact to Virgil Post Office from Nevada Mo. In the winter time when the weather was very bad the mail was delivered but only once a month.

It was here that two more children were born to Tandy and Narcissa. A daughter Eliza Ann and Martha Ellen.



Virgil City


Taken from local History Book




This village is located on the western line of Cedar County, in the southwestern corner of Box Township, and extends over into Vernon County. It was laid out in 1869 by James Henderson and Bartlet R. Conyers. It was incorporated in 1870, though it had its beginnings only a few years before. The first postmaster was James R. Oatman who opened the post office on Aug. 6th 1867. Bartlet Conyers had purchased the land from The Government Land Office in 1857. His home was about a quarter of a mile southeast of where the town was located. He was residing here at the beginning of the Civil War but fled to Kansas after someone shot at him. Not knowing who his friends or enemies were and not wanting to take sides, he fled. When he returned after the War, he found his home and all his possessions burned to the ground. All that existed was the old smoke house which he made his home until another one could be constructed.


The town was laid out in 1869 by Henderson and Conyers. It had a hotel, a wagon shop and a general store and at times a population of 300. It was incorporated in 1870 and A. Carroll, A.N. Wallace, J.H. Challender, J.R. Oatman and Andrew Arnett as trustees. Ferdnand Huff came from Ohio in 1867 by wagon train headed for Kansas but was delayed by sickness. This delay led to his deciding to stay in Cedar County and he bought 160 acres two miles east of the county line paying less than two dollars per acre. It was unfenced and unplowed prairie with belts of timber and wonderful springs of water which made it a very attractive investment. There had been earlier settlers but renegades during the Civil War had come and burned their buildings, stolen their livestock and sometimes murdered the inhabitants. Those that could, fled with what few possessions they could travel with. For a good number of years after, stone chimneys stood as monuments marking the location of homes that had been looted and burned.


There was an older log school near there but a new school was built two miles east of Virgil named White Hall. Ferdnand Huff and Christopher Gish built the schoolhouse , hauling the lumber from Sedalia, 90 miles away, which was the closest railroad. The schoolhouse had two seats in the back that were slab benches with stobs bored in for legs, that had been brought from the old log school. Near this time a church was moved from Virgil City and located across from the school. It was Methodist and named Mt. Hebron. Many old timers are buried in the cemetery there.


By 1874 there was a drugstore where Fred Huff worked. There were two hotels, the Wielms and the Tanner. Both hotels had bars and Dr. Barter owned the drug store. Christopher Gish had a harness shop, there was an apple dryer, cider mill, stores and blacksmith shop. The city thrived because they thought the train would be coming through from Nevada. When El Dorado Springs got the railroad Virgil City which had been as large as Stockton at that time, soon floundered and within a few years only a few businesses and people remained. Now it remains only as another Cedar County ghost town.