The Day of Being Jane

Feb
9


Recently, one of my readers here, Jennifer Sue Elkins, sent me a book called The Legend of Mammy Jane. (Subtitle: An uneducated girl becomes the lady of the manor in Appalachia.) The book was written by Sibyl Jarvis Pischke about her grandmother, Jane Jarvis, and is set in the pre-Civil War and Civil War period in what would eventually become West Virginia. Jane was a poor but resourceful girl who was working as a “hired girl” by the time she was ten. She was cute and a hard worker, and by the time she was 17, a widower with five children made her his wife.


I took the book with me to a basketball game, because you know I wasn’t watching that, and I needed something to do. The writing style of the book bugged me for several pages and I wasn’t sure if I would continue, even if watching basketball was my alternative. Especially in the beginning as the book leaps and bounds through Jane’s childhood, transitions are a bit abrupt. However. By the time I’d made it to about page nine, there was no way I was putting it down. I was completely captivated by Jane. I loved her, I hated her, I wanted her to come over and wash my floors. At her first job, taking care of a family during and following a “laying-in” (childbirth), she’s barely arrived before she’s fixing a complete dinner, cleaning everything in sight, and burying the afterbirth out back. And saying things like, “….a man wanted his supper as soon as he washed up.” And Jane doesn’t even say, “Well, you better get started on it, mister!”

After she marries and arrives at her new husband’s neglected home, by morning she’s got everything in the house in wash tubs, she’s scrubbing the kids in the creek, digging potatoes in the garden, milking the cow, and making new straw mattresses. And that’s just what she does before lunch. Not including the biscuits. She got all the kids that were old enough to help, too. Lots of kids/helpers is a plus, but Jane was an undeniable driving force.

The book is interesting for its detailed descriptions of customs and remedies and sayings of the time as well as for the amount of work a pioneer had to do every day to survive, but it’s the central figure of Jane, who can work like nobody’s business and is the epitome of perseverance, that carries the story. There’s no problem, not even war, that Jane can’t overcome by working harder.

I’m not sure if I fell in love with Jane, or if I just loved to hate her, but she was definitely fascinating. And there were pieces and parts of her life that resembled mine, too. I live on a farm! I don’t have enough money! I have a cow and a wood stove!!! Jane even lived in Calhoun County, which is just the next county over from here. I decided to act like Jane for a day. (Except for the part where she treats men as if they are masters of the universe.)

Jane bounds from bed in the wee hours and starts the day with breakfast. She gets the wood stove started. Gets the biscuits in the oven.

Yesterday, I woke at 6:10. We have to leave to meet the bus at 6:15. NO TIME FOR BISCUITS. I didn’t even check the wood stove. Got my boots on and got going. There was some hardship involved, though, so that kinda took the place of the biscuits. The driveway is muddy. And it had snowed. Again. We had to walk down the driveway in the dark to the car then drive across the river and out the frosty road to meet the bus. When I came home, I had to walk back up the muddy driveway. In the dark.

I think pre-dawn hiking in snow and ice beats biscuits any day. I decided to give myself a check. Or half a check. Jane probably could have hiked the icy driveway AND made biscuits.

My kids will have to eat breakfast at school.

Having started the day with an excuse, I figured I’d better work on improving. I got the wood stove going and started feeling my inner Jane.

I started bread. Jane always makes biscuits before she goes out to milk. I’d already missed biscuit time so I made dilly bread, the recipe Jennifer sent me with the book. I got the bread started and in the bowl to rise.

I’m Jane! Check!!!

Out to feed the animals. Dogs, cats. Hay to the goats and donkeys and Glory Bee in the yard.

Hay and water to the mommies. It’s an extra chore these days to take care of the mommies separately in the goat house.

Feed to the chickens and ducks. Collect eggs. I find six.

Jane wouldn’t put up with that. I tell the chickens Jane would put them in a frying pan. They don’t care. They know Jane’s not here.

BP is mooing angrily and impatiently.

Jane’s cow is sweet and docile and stands still for milking without food.

I don’t have Jane’s cow. I carry hay and feed to BP then milk her.

Amidst new snow, there is ankle-deep mud from the thaw the day before.

Carry the milk back to the house, check the fire, punch down the dilly bread dough and put it in the loaf pan, and take care of the home dairy. Filter today’s milk. Skim the previous milking. I’m Jane! Check!!!

I had heavy cream in a jar sitting out overnight, ready to make butter. I used my KitchenAid stand mixer. IS THAT CHEATING?

Jane used a churn. Churning butter was one of the few things Jane admits to not enjoying. She couldn’t wait to turn it over to the younguns as soon as one of the girls was old enough. I’m so Jane! I made Morgan make butter once! Check!!!

By this time, I’d baked the dilly bread and stopped to have a couple slices for lunch with my fresh butter, barely resisting the urge to devour the entire loaf. (You can find the dilly bread recipe here.)

Jane doesn’t have a website, but I do, and she had a whole passel of kids to help, and I don’t, so I didn’t go outside to dig taters or scrub the curtains in boiling wash tubs. I did some writing instead and tended to some other office-y type business. (I don’t think Jane had an office.) I also made ahead some balls of pie crust dough, brewed and chilled some vanilla coffee for homemade Frappucinos for Morgan, washed 1 1/2 dozen eggs (collected over the last few days), and took in and out three loads of dishes from the dishwasher. Jane would have washed all the floors, cut up pumpkins to dry, found a cure for cancer, then milked the cow. It was time for me to milk the cow again, too, and feed all the animals all over again. Jane would get supper on the table then sew some diapers out of feed sacks or make new outfits for the children from the curtains. They didn’t have meat available all the time, but Jane could whip together a dandy meal with fried squash, potatoes, and cornbread with cream.

I whipped together some fried eggplant, rice with pork and corn, and dilly bread.

I didn’t hand-sew any baby diapers out of feed sacks, but I did work on my crocheted baby blanket. I know why they sewed so much. They got to SIT DOWN. And luckily, I didn’t have to go to bed on a straw mattress. At the end of the day, I prepped a pot of soft cheese to set overnight and hang in the morning. I have fresh buttermilk. I’ll make biscuits!

Later in the book, Jane’s husband goes off to war and she struggles through life with the children by herself, ultimately prospering and becoming known as the lady of the manor and a figure of resourcefulness and courage. She helped others, and helped herself. The thread that goes through it all is hard, hard work. I’m not a stranger to hard work, which is probably part of what attracted me to Jane’s story, but my day of consciously being more like Jane made me aware of what I was doing and when, how I was spending my time. I’m not sure I got all that much more done than I do every day anyway, but I made a deliberate exercise out of doing as much as possible, not excusing myself from anything that needed done, and not whining about it. Jane didn’t whine. She just got after what needed doing and did it. The few extra things I managed to get done that I would put down to Jane were more of the little things, getting the pie crust dough made, washing the eggs, setting the pot of cheese, etc. I tend to get overwhelmed by the big things I do in a day and sometimes don’t get to the little things. Yesterday, I didn’t let myself take those things off my list–and I was glad I got them done. Those little things are important to keep things moving, and it made me feel more productive. (I promised Georgia a pie for her birthday. I’ll be glad when I make it that the pie dough is ready.) Every time I wanted to just sit down and not do something, I thought, WWJD? (What would Jane do?)

If you’re interested, I found the book at Amazon here. (Pischke wrote another book called Ashes of Roses and War also.) You can read a little bit about the author here and see a photo of the real Mammy Jane house (obviously not the original cabin she lived in when first married), which still stands in Calhoun County.

Okay, who wants to be Jane for a day? Come over. I’ll get you the milk bucket. I need a day off!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on February 9, 2011  

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  1. 2-9
    1:38
    am

    This was so frenetic even to read that my teeth hurt. Thanks for the invitation to be Jane, but I think I’ll pass this time.

  2. 2-9
    2:55
    am

    The key here is the help. From stories told to me by relatives that grew up on a farm, the men and the male children were out the door early and doing first morning chores while the women stoked the fires and started breakfast. When the males came back (with fresh eggs and milk)breakfast was served and eaten. Then the men and boys were sent off to do the major chores or work. The women stayed and and continued house and kitchen type chores along with close to the house gardening tasks. From what I understand, after breakfast was served lunch and dinner preparstions began immediately. In other words, there was at least one woman in the kitchen at any given time while others would be doing different chores. This was definitely not a one-woman show!

  3. 2-9
    4:36
    am

    Reading this has made me totally exhausted! Yes, Jane was the wonder woman of her day – but Suzanne I really don’t think you realise that it’s YOU we aspire to. I wish I had a quarter of your enthusiasm and energy. You love your life as challenging as it is, this oozes from every word that you write about it.
    I think you need at least a week off not just a day! ;)
    :hug:

  4. 2-9
    5:29
    am

    Have you read Pearl S. Buck’s “This Proud Heart” ? ya should. It’s not a Jane Story but you will see

  5. 2-9
    5:44
    am

    And Pearl S. Buck was born in West Virginia….

  6. 2-9
    7:20
    am

    That was very tiring. I feel like Jane somedays, but I think a lot of people do. Why are you eggs so dirty? I have never washed one egg from our chickens ever.

  7. 2-9
    7:33
    am

    My grandmother was “farmed out” when she was 9 years old. She went to live with an older lady as her helper and companion. The stories she told to me (when I was about 9 ) were hard to imagine. As a 59 yr. old woman they are still hard to imagine. I like the good old days we are living in now! However, I think I would like the “Jane” book.

  8. 2-9
    7:36
    am

    I have both books. I read Jane years ago and enjoyed it. I love books about Appalachia and try to get as many as I can. I intermittently read the second book. I am enjoying it too…but save it for when my granddaughter is staying and I have to go to bed at 9:00 with her.

  9. 2-9
    7:53
    am

    Wow, I can see why she would be an inspiration for you. But at the same time what you see that you are getting done in a day and share with us is an inspiration to me. Granted I am running after a toddler but I cant imagine what you get done in one day myself doing the same…maybe I am lazy, maybe you are an over-achiever ;) but I do know that there have been a few nights that when I lay down to go to bed, I think about how I can be more like Suzanne!

  10. 2-9
    8:13
    am

    WHEW! Suzanne, you & Jane both make me tired!
    But I think I will find that book – it sounds very interesting. Loved your post today – it made me laugh several times.

    Dianna
    http://www.thesedaysofmine.com

  11. 2-9
    8:14
    am

    Where is Morgan’s homemade frappacino recipe? YUM!!!

    You are Jane, trust me, just a 2011 version. I bet she would have loved a Kitchen Aid!!

  12. 2-9
    8:25
    am

    I think Jane sounds like the most annoying person in the world. And I’ll bet she never wrote any goat porn, either.

  13. 2-9
    8:36
    am

    I love this, it sure did make me feel very lazy this morning when all I did was pour coffee into my mug and barely got my son ready for school. Things have changed….reading these posts makes me want to be more like you, Suzanne, and maybe just a little like Jane :bugeyed: I really dream of being on a farm, milking cows, taking care of chickens, eggs, goats, snow storms, wood stoves. Since I am a city dweller, I do live this dream by reading Chickens in the Road. :) I am going to look for this book, it sounds so inspiring. Thanks for letting us all live precariously through you and all that you experiences!!! :heart:

  14. 2-9
    8:55
    am

    Kirsten, I wish my chickens were that tidy! Depends on where they lay whether the eggs are clean or not. A couple of those eggs are duck eggs, and ducks lay anywhere and on the ground. Sometimes the chickens lay them right on the ground, too, sometimes in the nesting boxes. No sooner do I put fresh straw in their boxes than they are pooping it. Sometimes I get clean eggs, sometimes not!

  15. 2-9
    8:56
    am

    Loved this! It reminds me of the stories my grandmother used to tell about living on the farm in rural Maine in the early 1900’s. She was the oldest of 7 children and had to do lots of housewifey things at a very young age, to help out. It was expected of them (as she told me many times when I balked at helping her!)
    Thanks for the reminder…and I think you ARE Jane.

  16. 2-9
    9:00
    am

    I agree with the folks above that said you ARE our Jane of this century. We love you and admire you for your boundless energy, your creativity, your zest for life and your love of critters.

  17. 2-9
    9:00
    am

    Suzanne, Ill have to pass thank you though. I have to be Jane in Oregon. I have 3 dairy cows, 60 hens, 2 pigs, 23 beef cattle a donkey, dog and 3 cats. Not to mention a MAN. Whom I take care of every day. Shall I add more? You be Suzanne it looks better on you, you work hard enough as it is. :sun2: I wish you sunshine!

  18. 2-9
    9:05
    am

    I’m a Jane (most days) too!

  19. 2-9
    9:10
    am

    I am 45 and just read Little House in the Big Woods for the first time. I was equally impressed at the amount of work the women did in running the household. One of the tasks that sticks in my mind, in addition to all of the cooking, cleaning and sewing that Ma does, was her using a part of the hay that wasnt used for feed to weave straw hats…I cant even imagine having to do everything from scratch in the way they did!

  20. 2-9
    9:17
    am

    Holy cow, that’s an expensive book! Our library doesn’t have it, and neither does half.com. Would love to read it, but it’s not frugal to pay $34 for a paperback. :cry:

  21. 2-9
    9:18
    am

    Thanks Suzanne, I really enjoy that. I do admire the women in the pioneers days, heck even in the days my great grand mother and my grand mother. Sometimes I don’t have energy to do anything and I am like how in the heck did they do it all. It is so fascinating. They had so little and got along just find with what they had. We really take things for granted. Well I better find some straw to make some mattresses. :happyfeet:

  22. 2-9
    9:26
    am

    Mary, I think Amazon had some available used, so you might try that? I was lucky enough to be given the book.

  23. 2-9
    9:32
    am

    Those are cool colored duck eggs.

    Whew, you make me tired. And I do more than my average co-worker here.

  24. 2-9
    9:34
    am

    Thank you so much for this post. When I think my days are hard, I remember what my ancestors had to go through. Love all of the pictures!

  25. 2-9
    9:51
    am

    Well, I immediately went to Amazon and found that the book is not available for my Kindle, which I have become completely reliant upon as my eyes are getting worse and worse despite several trip to the Eye Doc and new glasses. I just love the different font sizes on my new favorite appliance. I want to get to know Jane!! I have hope there may be a large-type volume out there just waiting for me!

  26. 2-9
    9:53
    am

    Love today’s post and also loved reading the Legend of Mammy Jane. I read it years ago, but read it again recently because I had kinda forgotten the story and I’m glad I did.

  27. 2-9
    9:59
    am

    P.S. Sybil also has a book out called “Matches at Midnight” that is a good read as well!

  28. 2-9
    10:11
    am

    I think your Jane challenge to yourself was admirable. You ARE Jane, as far as I’m concerned. My Grandmother was “farmed out” at a young age, as was my mother. I’ve heard many stories and wish I had the backbone and gumption that they had to make a “proper home”. Now I’m old and sick and can’t – I feel like I let a lot of life slip through my hands . . . . That’s why, Suzanne, we LOVE your stories! I live my “wish I had” life, through your writing. I read the Little House books – WoW! The television series was nothing compared to how they really lived. Now, I have to read the Jane book and go see what the Pearl S. Buck book is about!

  29. 2-9
    10:32
    am

    Oh bummer! Amazon has the book, used, paperback for $34!!!!! I guess I’ll have to live her life vicariously through you!

  30. 2-9
    10:45
    am

    Suzanne, enjoyed your post. Enjoyed the book too which was also a gift from a friend. And, dilly bread is one of my favorites. Have been “thinking” about making some for quite some time and now your post has inspired me to actually do it. Hmmmmm!

    For those interested, Barnes & Noble has/had the book online for less than $15 with free shipping. And, it was also available for less than $17 at the following website: http://www.wvabooks.com/books.cfm?deptid=80

    judyh
    Roane County, WV

  31. 2-9
    10:49
    am

    ha. WWJD. hilarious.

  32. 2-9
    10:51
    am

    I was all set to feel inferior and lazy when I read that the book is fiction. It’s impossible to measure up to a Super Woman! :lol:

  33. 2-9
    11:40
    am

    makes you realize.. you have a tough life… NOT
    deba

  34. 2-9
    11:42
    am

    Our friend from Putnam County, Janice, who comes to our party every year is a relative of Jane’s. Janice grew up on stories of Jane and she has told us a few of these.

    Can you believe that I haven’t read that book? Georgia has a copy. I need to read it.

  35. 2-9
    11:54
    am

    Sounds like my granny. She had 19 children & served as a midwife to the community & to some of her own daughters. Every day had its all-day doings. Washed Monday all day, Tuesday ironed all day, Thursday patched clothing, rest of the wk. was sewing new garments, cleaning–all floors shining, all curtains starched, etc. Plus cooking–sometimes in a washpot to feed all. She had a huge garden & orchard & canned everything. And of course the menfolks were treated like kings.

    If some of her neighbors weren’t sufficiently clean & busy, she was known to go over & set them to washing the walls, etc. She was abrasive & bossy but as strong and courageous as a lion.

    Mama said when she married into the family she thought Granny would kill her with work. Mama was from a family of girls & though they also had a lot to do they never did it with Granny’s intensity & perseverance. When Granny was old we had to help her–took down all the old bed springs & mattresses, Carried outside & washed, aired, returned. Washed walls, windows, everything in sight. If she couldn’t clean it to satisfaction, she gave it a coat of whatever paint she had on hand. It was awful!!

    I had the ghastly job of jar washing because my hand was small enough to go in the jars. Why they couldn’t store the jars upside down I have never understood. In my memory every one is filled with spiders & dirt dobber houses.

    I admire her but I don’t want to be Jane even for a day!!!!!

  36. 2-9
    12:20
    pm

    I have Jane days, where I get an amazing number of things done, and then other days where I mostly look at blogs online and read books. I guess I’m glad I have a choice!

  37. 2-9
    12:49
    pm

    ha! great post Suzanne! you made me tired just reading it. you must drink a lot of coffee… :yes:

  38. 2-9
    12:59
    pm

    Reading your post, I couldn’t help but judge myself to the Jane standard, and of course,found myself lacking. No thanks, I don’t want to walk in her shoes, but thanks for the encouragement to work hard at what I do. :turtle:

  39. 2-9
    1:28
    pm

    I need baby steps. Monday I’m going to try to be Suzanne for the day. No, maybe I’d better take it slower than that. I’ll be Suzanne for half a day, then rest for a week! :yes: I’m definitely going to put all the above books on my motivational reading list!!!!

  40. 2-9
    2:04
    pm

    I can’t believe I forgot milking the cows & making butter & buttermilk! She killed chickens (Iremember one flopping down the hill) & took a big part in butchering hogs. They canned a lot of the meat.
    Wanda

  41. 2-9
    4:36
    pm

    ROTFLOL….”WWJD” lololol :lol:

  42. 2-9
    5:12
    pm

    those eggs with all the speckeled black on them – what breed laid those???

  43. 2-9
    5:32
    pm

    I “chuckled” through this whole post. Thanks for the enjoyment.

  44. 2-9
    5:40
    pm

    christina, those eggs are just dirty and need washed!

  45. 2-9
    6:20
    pm

    As always Suzanne,love your post. I made burger buns and a loaf of bread today.”does that count”?

  46. 2-9
    6:32
    pm

    Remember when I said I want to come work on the farm NOT GOING TO HAPPEN :shocked: I might just come for coffee a slice of dilly bread with thick creamy butter and a look at the babies….
    I as EXHAUSTED reading your Daily events.
    Have a really big restful day.
    Ann/alba

  47. 2-9
    8:19
    pm

    Thank-you for posting this. Loved it. I found it on Amazon for $13.00 plus S&H. Thanks to my swagbucks, I got it for $7.77. Can’t wait till it comes in the mail.

  48. 2-9
    8:28
    pm

    YOU ARE AWESOME SUZANNE!!! Not only did you do all of that, but you wrote this wonderful post too. We all appreciate you and YOU REALLY ARE OUR JANE!!!

  49. 2-9
    10:12
    pm

    This is my new favorite post. Loved it. Here’s to all the Janes!! :sun:

  50. 2-10
    3:56
    am

    Isn’t it interesting to read the lives of days gone by? My husband and I were talking recently about his and my grandmother. How could’ve someone worked outside the home back then? There aren’t that many hours in the day. I can remember my grandmother up before dawn, making biscuits and frying eggs, we weren’t through cleaning the dishes from breakfast before bread was started for lunch and supper. She had an old wringer style washer and a clothes line, if it rained, they hung on the back porch. She was constantly cooking or cleaning. Yet she found time to quilt almost everyday, and until I was in junior high, I didn’t know that your summer clothes didn’t have to come from flour sacks. She always made the girls short sets. And I come from a family with 52 first cousins. Both our grandmothers grew up unbelievably poor, and yet both were incredible generous. All are gone now, I wish I knew more about their life than I do. And yes Suzanne, you are our Jane. Thanks for a great post once again.

  51. 2-10
    7:37
    am

    Jane has given us all a little nudge. Sometimes we need that.

    Suzanne, I suspect you don’t need much of a nudge. Anyone with a wood stove, a milk cow and chickens, to say nothing of the other various animals you have, is busy daily. Then lets not forget all the make-it-from scratch food you do, and cheese making, and crafts, and writing and raising live at home kids….

    Whew, now I am tired.

    A much older than you admirer,

  52. 2-10
    10:20
    am

    I am Jane too. I get overwhelmed. When I have busy days where things dont “all” get done and Im almost alseep at the dinner table, I look back at the day and am thankful. I have a wonderful life! Stalls of “poo” goat milk galore…dozens of eggs…fresh milled grain bread hot from the oven…We are blessed!

  53. 2-10
    11:08
    am

    Paperback swap is an idea to try to get the book. I’m going to see if my daughter still is member and have her sign up for it. Blessings on your very busy day. You do a lot and bless us all a lot too!!!!

  54. 2-10
    2:06
    pm

    I really loved this! Somehow I feel like Jane, milking 1 cow, feeding 300 cows, 25 horses, 3 dogs and numerous cats, being pregnant with a 2 year old daughter and a husband that goes to work everyday so we can have our little piece of paradise! Not to mention the baking and house chores! We are poineers of our own time and should be proud of it, that’s what my 87 year old Grandmother says! I can’t wait to find time to read Jane. I really enjoy you site too, just found it today.

  55. 2-10
    3:27
    pm

    In today’s world most of us don’t have a good handle on what it was like to have to work to stay alive. My brother and I were the fifth generation of dairy farmers on a small Vermont farm. We have had to learn to recreate and relax. We feel guilty if we are not working & getting something done. Thanks for your post. I enjoy stopping by to read about the goats.

  56. 2-11
    5:47
    am

    Oh my goodness she sounds like she was a tough cookie! I wonder if I’ll ever be that ‘nonstop’ type? Probably not lol.

  57. 2-11
    12:14
    pm

    If you live near Barboursville, W. Va., you can also purchase both books at the Drug Emporium in the shopping center across the road from the Barboursville Mall. Both are WONDERFUL BOOKS!!!!!!

    Susan

  58. 2-12
    2:53
    pm

    Hi Suzanne I want to tell you about Mammy Jane I don’t remember where I got the book,but I have read that 5 times and will probably read it again I enjoyed it so much that I wrote the author a letter she lived in Flordia at the time when I was growing up in Braxton I wasa little like mammy jane during the summers I stayed with people on farms and was like a hired girl, I was so surprised when one evening my phone rang and it was Sibyle Pischke calling me imagine how exciting that was, and the one time My husband I had been in Charleston and I got to visit her home, her sister lived there at the time, by the time I knocked on the door I was filled with so much emotion I was crying, I consider it one of the best books I’ve read, another book you should read is Follow The River by James Alexander Thorn, and it takes place in 1775 it is about the ingal family that were catured by the indians annd taken from their home in W.V to Ohio, I’m an avid reader especially books about W.V just wanted to share with you Pat.in

    WILD AND WONDERFUL WEST VIRGINA

  59. 2-13
    6:03
    am

    Wow! I think you work hard all the time! Writing is work too. I don’t think you need to worry about wasting you time. You certainly work harder than I do!

    Jane does sound like an inspiration. I could use some inspiration at this time of year!

  60. 2-13
    6:36
    pm

    Wow! Jane must have gotten up at the crack of dawn and gone to bed late in the evening! Lovely post, it inspired me to get on that never ending chores and to do list. I DID get more done, but nowhere near the amount Jane did! Makes me tired just thinking of it, :lol:

  61. 2-14
    12:39
    pm

    Just put this book on hold at the library. Can’t wait to read it. I

  62. 2-17
    4:55
    pm

    I have not read the book, but I love Jane just from your description! I hope to find a cheap used copy – or at least, perhaps, the local library? – and make it a part of my bubble bath collection. Stories like these remind me to appreciate my modern conveniences, and they are a good reminder of the blessings of children and large families. And a gentle reminder that I can get more done if I get off this computer!

    p.s. I make biscuits often, and, better still, my husband makes them more often :happyflower:

  63. 2-18
    7:49
    pm

    Question…you never mention feeding the sheep and goats in the meadow. Is that 52’s job? just wondering… :wave:

  64. 2-18
    7:52
    pm

    Oh, and how is Mr. Pibb doing?

  65. 2-18
    8:34
    pm

    Yvonne, yes, most of the time 52 does that! And Mr. Pibb is doing well with the boys! They are having fun now.

  66. 2-20
    1:46
    pm

    I have Just Read about Jane and i too was awe inspired. I am living in Boone Co WV. And I sometimes long for a bigger home and such but after reading her story i think i need to take more control over things and make sure we are only spending whats needed and watch more carefully…loved ur post

  67. 2-20
    4:58
    pm

    I ordered “The Legend of Mammy Jane” from Barnes and Noble and have been reading it off and on for a couple of days now…I love it!! I wonder if my husband would mind if we just had apple or peach cobbler for supper one night ??? It would be fine with me !!I am in awe of her,especially after the “barn kitten” incident…way to kick butt Jane !!! Thanks so much for telling us about the book !

  68. 2-21
    8:40
    pm

    Better hang on to your copy of this. The lowest price for this I have seen is 44.00….up to 70.00 at Amazon.
    Most of us would not survive her time. How many city women do you know that even know how to make biscuits from scratch? Most of them have to look more than once to make sure they read the temp right before they pop the tube! (me included)
    You are a treasure of lost knowledge.
    BTW… Using your kitchenaid for butter is great. My sister taught some elementary kids to shake it in a jar (so they could see it form) and made biscuits with them. They thought it was cool to eat their own butter on biscuits they made.

  69. 3-13
    10:58
    am

    Loved reading this :) Too funny! I really want to read the book, but I can see paying $66 for a used book. Yikes!!

  70. 3-13
    10:59
    am

    Ooops I meant can’t :moo:

  71. 3-30
    6:33
    am

    http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com You can get the book for 12 dollars plus shipping at Barns and Noble…

    I loved this book and learned so much. Going to try storing some potatoes in the ground, just as the book instructs! :shimmy:

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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