• Let's Eat,  The Art of Beautiful Living,  Uncategorized

    Christmas Food at the Homestead

    I have been dreaming about my grandma house for a long time.  I was disappointed that we weren’t in the Homestead last year, but the joy that we experienced this year certainly made it worth waiting for. First, we had the a great Thanksgiving which ends with us putting up the Christmas tree.  That was an adventure in and of itself.  We had a new tree this year and so, it was our first time to put it up in a new house where we had never had a Christmas tree before.  Lots of firsts means lots of learning. The Cookie Exchange We hosted the first (hopefully) annual Cookie Exchange.…

  • Let's Eat,  The Art of Beautiful Living,  Uncategorized

    Pied Piping and a Cookie Exchange

    A Bit of Bragging… I have been called a “Pied Piper” by my husband and others.  Ric Hertless may have been the first to proclaim this in a work setting.  I didn’t know how I felt about the moniker.  It sounded to me like all I did was try and get people to do what I wanted and that smacked of manipulation.  However, upon reflection, I think that I just get board and when I do, I try and get people I love and enjoy to come play.  So far, we have come up with some interesting reindeer games… Burch Beach Like the time we built a beach in our…

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    Christmas Tamale Tradition

    Tamales I have no idea where the tradition came from or when it really started.  We have tamales for dinner on Christmas Eve and we have for as long as I can remember.  I don’t remember Nana or Mother ever making their tamales, however.  They were purchased and steamed just before serving.  Along with the tamales, there was queso, chili, chips, and so on. Jerry and I first made tamales back in 1993 while we were living in Athens, Georgia.  We were a long way from home and we had a hankering for them.  The Navy provided us with many opportunities to miss something from home and to have to…

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    John Wood to Mother Isabella Wood 12 April 1863

    Background I am pretty certain that the major general mentioned in the letter is Lucius M. Walker.  I am basing this mostly on the fact that John Wood mentions both Marmaduke and Walker in the letter and he wrote the letter either  on his way to the Arkansas/Missouri area or from the area where these two men (Marmaduke and Walker) were also known to be. John S. Marmaduke  and Walker get into an altercation…really a difference of opinion over a battle strategy and they end up dueling.  Walker is wounded and dies.   The Letter April the 12, 1863 White Rock Hill Co Texas   Dear Mother, I have taken…

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    A. Y. Kirkpatrick Book “The Early Settlers Life in Texas”

    This book is an absolute gem!  A.Y. Kirkpatrick came to what is now Hill County with his father and siblings in the late 1840s.  In the book, he mentions E.S.Wyman (builder of the homestead), James and Isabella Wood, James Ransom Davis, Charles Davis, several Fraziers and many events that happened in the early years. The digital book is searchable.  You are welcome! A.Y.Kirkpatrick THE EARLY SETTLERS LIFE IN TEXAS 

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    Connecting the Old House to the New Addition

    Connecting the Old House to the New Addition When we purchased the old house, we knew that we were going to need to put an addition on it.  It was a tiny house (1100 sq ft) even with the porches enclosed.  And enclosing the porches didn’t really help us much as they basically added hallways and not rooms to the house.  Once we started the renovation project, we realized that the house was in need of a rest.  We planned to use the old house as gently as possible and made plans to add rooms that would be used daily (kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, etc.) in the addition. How many times…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson,  Uncategorized

    James “Squire Jim” Ferguson’s Account of Their Trip to California

    Background We’ve all heard about Robert Andrew Ferguson’s exploits as a cowboy.  He helped tame the wild West, had more horses under brand than any man in the world, and was one of the wealthiest men in Hill County.  Before all of that, he was a young man in Gaston County, North Carolina when opportunity in the way of a gold rush in California came knocking.  Gold was discovered on January 24, 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of the discovery of gold was first announced in San Francisco by a newspaper publisher in March of 1848.  Evidently, he walked through the streets with a vial of gold…

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    Using The Church Handrails

    The Handrails My grandfather, Warren Ferguson, was an all around great guy.  He was funny and loving.  He was a hard worker.  As a welder and tinkerer in just about everything, he was an invaluable member of his small farming community of Mertens, Texas.  Many of the farmers in the area will testify that Warren (Dadaw) could fix anything.  Dadaw would hitch his welder behind his pickup and go where he was needed.  I loved him bunches. My grandparents were also life-long members of the only church in Mertens, the First Baptist Church.  My grandmother wrote the historical marker that resides in front of the church.  My grandfather built the…

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    James Wood’s Citizenship Papers (U.S. and Scotland)

    Background James Wood arrived in Texas in 1851, but did not become a U.S. citizen until November of 1856 according to A.Y. Kirkpatrick in his book “The Early Settlers Life in Texas”.  Above is the link to the Kirkpatrick book (to the actual page) where this is documented.  I don’t have official paperwork, but will go to the courthouse in Hillsboro eventually to see what I can find. Meanwhile, I do have a copy of the document where Scotland acknowledges that James Wood is no long a citizen of Great Britain. That document is presented below. The Document  

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    Installing Sub-flooring, Insulation and Hardwood Flooring in South Pen

    The South Pen The south pen was always my “safe spot” to start.  It wasn’t as dark as the north side of the house and it seemed to be in better shape than the north pen as well.  It isn’t surprising, then that this room is the one that is most finished.  I don’t know that our 1846 Texas Homestead will ever be completely finish, but at this point, we are living here and that is all that matters…for now anyway.  Renovations are exhausting. But at one point, we were focused on things like sub-flooring, insulation, and selecting a hardwood flooring. But before we got there, we had a lot…