Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Grandpa Burnette

John Edward Burnett
Photo taken at
The Burnett/e Family Reunion @1979
The Rocky Knob Picnic Area
 Blue Ridge Parkway

I have been writing this blog for a little over a year now and I have always wanted to write something about my Grandpa Burnett, but I have never been able to do so.  I was very close to him and have so many wonderful memories. I know that I will get very melancholy and miss him terribly when I start writing.  I could easily fill a book with stories about Grandpa, but I think that I will just introduce you to him today.

John Edward Burnett was born on August 16, 1900.  He was born into the family of Marion Columbus Burnett and Martha Jane Cock (Cox).  When he came along, there were already six children in the family.  He would end up having eleven brothers and sisters.** They lived on a farm in the Burks Fork area of Floyd County, Virginia. Now that I am thinking about it, I don't ever remember Grandpa telling me too many details of his childhood. He typically just spoke in general terms about what life was like back then. However, I do remember him telling me that he loved horses.

Grandpa held many jobs through his life time, but his primary loves were always farming and carpentry. Even when he moved to West Virginia to work in the coal mines, he still kept several acres of wheat at his father's farm. The various jobs that he held is a blog post in itself!

Grandpa was always telling tales. I could never figure out whether to believe them or not because they would have just enough in them to make you think that they could be true.  But, boy, were some of them outlandish! I hope to share some of them with you at a future time.

Several years ago when I was getting ready to sell Grandpa & Grandma's house, I found bunches of love letters which were sent between him and Grandma while they were courting. I also found letters to Grandpa from another girl!  Some of them make for great reading because Grandpa & Grandma had a very interesting courtship due to his wanting to get married right away and she kept putting him off.

As a child, I was my Grandpa's little "tag-a-long" (Grandpa's name for me!) and I had to do everything and go everywhere that he did. I hope to share more stories about Grandpa with you in the near future.

Grandpa passed away on July 31, 1981.

**Grandpa's brothers & sisters
Jefferson Lafayette Burnett "Fate" (1886-1924)
Charles Thomas Burnett "Tommy" (1887-1958)
Washington Irva Burnette "Irvy" (1890-1967
Annie Darthuyl Burnett "Annie" (1893-1934)
Sarah Ellen Burnett "Ellen" (1894-1969)
Samuel McKinley Burnett "Kinley" (1895-1960)
John Edward Burnett "John Etterd or Dettered" (1900-1981)
George Dewey Burnett "Dewey" (1903-1979)
Ewell Roosevelt Burnett "Ewell" (1905-1969)
Early Lee Burnett "Early" (1908-1958)
Valirea Cordelia Burnett "Cordilla" (1910-1975)
Nancy Jane Burnett "Nancy" (1913-1988)

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Test Your Smarts! #1

See if you can guess the answers to these problems.
(Leave your guesses in the comment section below.)

1. How long is a piece of string?

2. A farmer had seventeen sheep. All but nine died. How many did he have left?

3. Take the numbers from 1 to 7, and mix them up and add them in any way, but use each number only once, and come up with a total of 100.

4. A man lives in a one-story building. He is out in his yard one day, and sees a bear rollerskating.
He runs inside his house to get his own roller skates. He finds the roller skates,
but has to go upstairs to get the key.  What is wrong with this story?

5. How many feet are there on a lamb if you call a tail a foot?

Correct answers will appear on Monday, July 30
All of your guesses will be posted on Monday also.

1.Twice the distance from the middle to the end.
2. Nine
3. 1 + 2 + 34 + 56 + 7 = 100 (Becky's answer below is also correct!)
4. He couldn't go upstairs because he lived in a one-story building.
5. Four.  Calling a tail a foot doesn't make it one.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tour de Fleece 21, 22, FINAL

From top left column:
Unplanned Peacock Mohair--258 yds 
Sheepish Creations “Pearl” Wensleydale--182 yds 
Miss Babs “Blue Lagoon” Merino/Bambboo--224 yds 
Baby Camel--162 yds 
Cotton--66 yds 
Miss Babs “Watermelon” Merino/Bamboo--378 yds 
From top right column:
River’s Edge “Buckskin” Merino/Silk/Milk/Banana--500 yds 
Wild Hare “Grateful Dyed” Merino/Black Alpaca--768 yds 
Woolybuns Merino/Angora/Nylon--146 yds 
Miss Babs “Cool Rain” Merino/Bamboo--378 yds 
Gray wool spun on drop spindle (not shown)--30 yds

TOTAL: 3 pounds (48 oz) of fiber spun 
3,110 yards!!!!

(That is Fred the Spider guarding the yarn!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tour de Fleece Days 17, 18, 19, & 20

Only THREE DAYS left in the Tour de Fleece!  
I have had SO much fun!

Spun from Miss Babs Merino/Bamboo roving
Colorway:  "Watermelon"

Finished spinning the Miss Bab's "Watermelon" into singles.
Getting ready to try to spin cotton again.
For some reason, I have never been able to even get cotton to make a yarn. 

Well, I managed to spin the cotton.  It doesn't look great, but it
is better than I have ever done in the past!

Skeined the cotton yarn.
Plied the Miss Bab's "Watermelon" into 2-ply yarn.
Started spinning Miss Bab's Merino/Bamboo blend in colorway "Cool Rain"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yummy Fast Pickles

When I used to work at a living history museum one of my favorite things to prepare during hot weather was a fast pickle.  I would slice up cucumbers fresh from the garden and put them in a bowl of vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. I kept a bowl of these going all during cucumber season. All of my co-workers would come by and munch on those cucumbers because they were very refreshing when working outdoors in 90 degree, humid weather. I know that I made them really too sour for some of them, but they ate them anyway. Many a time we would get strangled on that strong vinegar! 

While I was playing on Pinterest yesterday, I ran across a recipe for Cathy's Fresh Cucumber Salad that sounded SO tasty that I had to run out this morning and buy the ingredients!  The original recipe sounds fabulous, but anyone that knows me KNOWS how I love sour or hot food.  Naturally, I had to start changing things up!

The first problem that I encountered was that the pickling cucumbers looked terrible.  They were shriveled up and just nasty looking. So, I got regular cucumbers and decided that I should peel the tough skins.

I prefer red onions and I thought that they would look pretty in the jar, so I used them instead of white onions.  I really wanted to get red bell peppers, but when I saw that the price of them was DOUBLE the price of green peppers, I decided that money in my pocket feels better than red peppers look!

The one thing that I did not count on was the fact that pickling season is in full swing.  I bought the last gallon of white vinegar and there was NO celery seed to be found in store. I decided that the mustard seed would be enough seasoning.

The recipe only called for 1 cup of vinegar which I boiled up with the sugar. It was not enough to cover the cucumbers, so I boiled more. Oh yeah, I also cut the amount of sugar in half because I like it SOUR!  I thought about adding a jalapeno to the jar just for that extra added zip, but decided I would save that for the next jar.

About an hour after I made them, I gave one a taste.  YUM! I put the jar in the fridge and came into work.  I can't wait to get home and try them after they have set awhile.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tour de Fleece Days 14, 15, & 16

I apologize to my readers who are not fiber folks for all of the fiber posts recently!  The Tour de Fleece ends on July 22.

Spun two bobbins of single-ply baby camel.
Trying to decide what to spin next!

Plied the baby camel and ended up with 162 yds of 2-ply yarn.
Decided to spin the mohair next. Mohair from Unplanned Peacock.
Visited at Wooly Belle in Vinton, VA and the shop kitty, Princess Nikki decided to help!

Plied the mohair and finished with 258 yds of 2-ply yarn.
Started spinning a menio/bamboo blend from "Miss Babs"
Also spun up a sample of "Hat Trick" from River's Edge Fiber Arts"
It is a blend:  40% fine Merino/40% superwash Merino/20% silk.
I am in LOVE with this fiber!  Look how wonderful it looks spun!
The yarn in the lower left photo is what I have spun so far.
2,258 yds of 2-ply yarn!  That is 6,774 yds of yarn in 16 days.
3.84 MILES of yarn!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tour de Fleece Days 11, 12, & 13

Just great.  The doc put me in this boot for the next 30 days
to see if it makes my ankle any better.  :P

Okay, so I CAN spin just using my left treadle, but it isn't fun!

The small pic is what I spun yesterday.
The large pic is what I added tonight.
I only managed to spin 1/2 oz
before my ankle started hurting.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 10

So, how much fiber have I spun in 10 days?
Approx. 1 lb 10 oz.
If I count spinning singles and then plying the yarn, a little over 4,500 yds or 2.55 miles!

It is no wonder that my left hand has been hurting for a couple of days and then tonight my shoulder started aching as I was plying this yarn.  I do believe it is time to ease up just a bit for a couple of days!


Ask me if I like pickles. Go ahead. These are just SOME of the jars of pickles that I have at home. Here is an interesting fact. My husband HATES pickles. So these are ALL mine!  BAA-HA-HA-HA!

My love affair with pickles dates back to when I was just a little girl.  My family raised almost all of the food that we ate, which means that our basement was always full of jars just brimming with tasty homegrown foods. My mom would usually make sweet pickles and pickled beets. I loved them both. Grandma, who lived across the road, made sweet pickles, bread & butter pickles and salt pickles.  I never really cared for the salt pickles because somehow in my mind, I thought that they were "adult food." Go figure!

We always went to town (Hillsville) once a week on Saturdays. Occasionally, Grandpa Burnette rode to town with us. My mom would get her hair done, I would take my piano lesson, and when Grandpa went with us, he would hang out at the courthouse and socialize with the other men who came to town on Saturdays. While in town, we would pick up staples like flour, sugar, meal, and a few other things that we did not produce ourselves.

On this one particular Saturday, Grandpa bought a jar of Mt. Olive Sour Pickles.  I had never heard of Sour Pickles before.  Later that day, after we were home, I went to Grandpa's house to play.  I remember that Grandma was in the kitchen cooking and I was in there "helping" her.  That jar of Sour Pickles was just setting there on the table. Grandpa came into the kitchen, opened the jar and chomped down on one of those sour pickles and just smacked his mouth exclaiming that they were mighty good pickles. Then he just threw back his head and started laughing . . . and offered me one.  Grandma immediately started scolding Grandpa saying that one of those pickles would make me have a stomachache. Well, you just have to understand. Anything Grandpa did, I had to do. He called me his "little tag-a-long."  I followed him everywhere and mimicked him all of the time. I HAD to eat one of those pickles.  I was a little scared. I took a tentative bite and made a horrible face. MAN, were those things SOUR!!  But, after a second nibble, I discovered that I LOVED sour pickles!  After that introduction, many was the time that Grandpa and I would sit on the front porch munching from a bowl filled with pickles!

After that, my Grandma would make me sour pickles when she picked cucumbers from the garden. It got to the point where she was almost using straight vinegar and very little sugar in those pickles in an attempt to make them sour enough for me and Grandpa. She said that they were so sour that they would make a pig squeal! I could eat a whole quart jar of those pickles and still be looking for more.

In the early 2000's I fell in love with Vlasic Sour Pickles. I ate them all the time. Unfortunately, Vlasic stopped making those pickles around 2005 and I was heartbroken.  They were THE BEST store-bought sour pickles ever.

I love all kinds of pickles with the exception of those that have a garlic taste to them. Yuck! I am always on a quest to find another really good sour pickle, so if you know of a brand, please, let me know so that I can give them a try!

With meals or as a snack, anytime is a good time for pickles!

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 9

WOO!  684 yards spun today!

ON BOBBIN: Fiber from River’s Edge Fiber Arts. 65% Superwash Merino/15% Tencel/10% Banana/10% Milk. Colorway: “Buckskin”. This is single ply. I plan on plying it tomorrow. Approx. 260 yds

CREAM-COLORED YARN Fiber from Sheepish Creations. 100% Wensleydale. Colorway: “Pearls”. This is 182 yds of 2-ply.

TEAL YARN Fiber from Miss Babs. 50% Merino/30% Bamboo/20% Tussah Silk. Colorway: Blue Lagoon. This is 242 yds of 2-ply yarn.

Update 7/9/12--I just realized that I have spun 4,534 yds of yarn (2.576 miles!!!) of yarn in the last 9 days!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 7 & 8

I have spun about 1200 yds in the last two days.

Total spun for the Tour so far is approximately 1900 yds!!!

For Day 7, I finished spinning the gorgeous purple Merino/Angora/nylon blend into singles. Now they are resting and I will ply them tomorrow.
Also started spinning this beautiful roving from River’s Edge Fiber Arts “Shake Your Tail Feather!” Colorway: Buckskin. It is a blend of 65% Superwash Merino/15% Tencel/10% Banana/10% Milk
As you can see, my dog Ozzy, is calmly letting my husband shave him. Oh yeah, I do save all of his hair for spinning!

Key for Day 8

1. Fiber from Woolybuns. Superwash Merino/Angora/Nylon 1oz.  Spun into 146 yds of 2-ply.

2.  Closeup of above yarn #1

3. Fiber from River's Edge Fiber Arts. 65% Superwash Merino/15% Tencel/10% Banana/10% Milk. Colorway:  "Buckskin".

4.  Fiber from Sheepish Creations. 100% Wensleydale.  Colorway: "Pearls".

5. Fiber from Miss Babs. 50% Merino/30% Bamboo/20% Tussah Silk.  Colorway:  Blue Lagoon.

6.  #3 spun into single ply. So far, I have spun 4 ounces of single ply.  I still have 4 oz more to go!

7.  #4 spun into single ply.  I am letting it rest and will ply it tomorrow.

8.  #5 spun into single ply. I have spun 1 oz today and have 3 more to go.

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 6

I promise to make a post in the next couple of day that does NOT involve fiber! Participating in the Tour de Fleece and making posts on Ravelry about my accomplishments for the day is taking more time than I had imagined!

The gorgeous fiber is from Woolybuns. Check out her store.

While spinning, I looked out and this cute little bunny was just outside my window.  I wonder if he somehow knew that I was spinning Angora bunny fiber?

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tour de Fleece -- Days 3 & 4 & 5

Day 3

I finished spinning up 4 ounces of black alpaca for Day 3 of the Tour de Fleece.
I hope to ply it all on Day 4 with the rainbow yarn that I spun on Day 1.
Spinning this fine yarn is taking FOREVER!
Day 4

Well, drat it all.  I didn't spin up enough of the black alpaca,
so now I need to spin more of it so that I can finish plying the rainbow yarn!
Day 5
YAY!  Finished my first Tour de Fleece project!!!!
Notice that I have Mr. Ike babysitting my yarn in the photo on the left.
On the right, Mr. Ozzy is looking all concerned because he is afraid I have something
tasty to eat that he might be missing!

A closer look

Now, I need to figure out WHAT I am going to make with this yarn!!!  Any suggestions??

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to The Wheel & Distaff!

One year ago today, I made my first blog post.  I agonized for several weeks on what I should name my blog. I narrowed the list of names down to three and finally settled on "The Wheel and Distaff" because of my love of working with fiber. Then, I agonized over what my first post should be, finally just deciding that I needed to "just do it" so I made some Cherry Bounce and blogged about it.

Some times my posts are about growing up in Meadows of Dan, Virginia.  I feel like I had a wonderful childhood, surrounded by a loving family, growing most of our food and living in a great community where everyone knew everyone else.  When I got older and into my teens, it was hard to get away with anything because you KNEW that someone would see you and tell your parents!  I always wanted to move away where no one knew my business. Well, now, I live in city and no one really knows me. I have lived in the same house for 12 years and I only know one of my neighbors. Ironically enough, now I would love to live back in Meadows of Dan where I know people and they know me.

Other times, my posts are about Appalachian sayings and speech.  That can be hard because to me, it is just normal speech and I don't realize that others do not talk the same way.  At my job, almost everyone that I work with is not "from around here."  My full time co-workers hail from Florida, New York, and California.  This has been invaluable in learning that everyone does NOT talk the way I do.  Especially when I blurt out some saying and they look at me very strangely!

Another favorite thing that I post on this blog is "Mystery Items" and "Where am I?".  Both of these types of posts usually attract quite a bit of attention.

Some of my favorite posts have been stories about my family, ancestors and tasty family or period recipes from the 19th century.

There are several reasons that I enjoy blogging. For almost 20 years, I worked at living history sites and I shared historical knowledge on a daily basis with visitors. I also did quite a bit of primary historical research. I really do miss that, so through my blog, I can continue sharing information. Since I do not have children, I want to share stories with others so that the knowledge does not die with me.  I also love to take photos and share them.

I want to thank you for reading my blog. Thanks to you, I have had almost 12,000 visitors in my first year! (That is almost 1,000 hits per month!)

If there is anything that you would like for me to blog about in the future, just let me know and I will give it a shot!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 2

When I get this bobbin full, I plan on plying it with the rainbow yarn that I spun yesterday.

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean. 

July Facts

The ruby symbolizes contentment

Birth Flower
 Larkspur or Water Lily

Zodiac signs for July
Cancer & Leo

Dog Days begin in early July when the hot sultry weather of summer usually starts.

July 4--Independence Day

National Ice Cream Month and National Grilling Month

Nude Recreation Week
 July 9-15

Pina Colada Day
July 10

National French Fry Day
July 13

Full Moon
July 3

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean.