Open Session: January 2009

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Gifts of the garden: Our granddaughters – Hannah, 2, and Grace Pendleton, 5, of Spencer, Ind. – are holding a 7-pound sweet potato, which was grown in our garden. No fertilizer was used; it must have just liked where we grew it. The sweet potato made six pies and a batch of cookies. There was no waste to the potato. – John and Susie Forman, Lanesville, Ind.

Quilting traditions – Reading about the quilt memories (“Sister sews memory of sibling into Christmas quilts for relatives,” December 2008) made me think that people might be interested in my family’s Christmas quilting tradition.

I cut 6-inch blocks, using mostly plain white material and Christmas prints. When the whole family gathers for Christmas everyone sews a block, then one of my daughters embroiders our signatures.

I make a quilt with the blocks, and then the next Christmas, we draw names to see who gets the family quilt.

Sometimes, I put in a block made from one of Dad’s shirts, Mom’s dresses, the baby’s dresses, or something else that is important to all of us.

I also go to thrift shops and look for material to make quilts for the homeless. It makes them happy to get a warm comforter.

Marcella Doles
Ray, Ohio

Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your quilting traditions with us, Marcella. You and other quilters may enjoy the fiction story that begins this month, Mom’s Crazy Quilt. You can find it on Page 36.

Katahdin triplets – We were thrilled one morning to dis­cover one of our Katahdin ewes had triplets: two ewes and a ram. (Katahdin are sheep with hair instead of wool.)

The ewe has done a good job and raised all three without any help from us. We have a small farm in Cranesville, W.Va., that we’ve been enjoying since our retirement.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Jones
Terra Alta, W.Va.

Happy feet – As a registered nurse, I was on my feet for 33 years at the Reno (Nev.) VA hospital. A nurse knows the importance of good foot care. When your feet hurt, you hurt all over.

I read an article about foot care many years ago, and I tried it and liked it.

You soak your feet for at least 20 minutes. In my old age – 82 – 30 minutes is better.

The article advised putting ½ cup of Epsom salt in your foot bath. I did when I was working, but not in my old age.

Then rub your feet with Mentholatum, and if it’s daytime, wear socks.

I usually soak my feet at bedtime, though, so I wear plastic “socks” – plastic bread sacks – to keep the Mentholatum off the sheets. I buy bread in white or clear bags, because colored dye will rub off on your sheets.

When you wake in the morning, wear socks in your slippers or shoes to keep the Mentholatum in place. It will pretty much be soaked in.

I have very happy 82-year-old feet. The skin feels like a baby’s when you do this.

Donna Specht
Reno, Nev.

Open Session

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