Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hatfields & McCoys Mini-Series on History Channel

I'd been anticipating the Hatfields and McCoys mini-series on the History Channel for a month or two now.  Phil has been on vacation, at home or "stay-cation" as I've heard it called, since May 21.  I was on pins and needles worrying that we wouldn't get home in time to watch the show or that the DVR would not record or even that the electricity would go out again as it did on Sunday!  Talk about freaking out!  Happily we were home and the planets aligned correctly so we could watch it.

All of my family is from WV so I've heard the stories about the feuding Hatfield and McCoy clans.  My family has been in that area since before the Revolutionary War.  Quite a few of my ancestors were patriots and soldiers during the Revolutionary War fighting for independence from Britain.

WV became a state in 1863 after splitting away from VA during the Civil War aka War Between The States.   My Lilly ancestors fought on the side of the Confederacy during the WBTS.  In fact, General (and later U.S. President) Rutherford B. Hayes in his diary mentions my ancestor, Pleasant Lilly, as being a bushwacker, and the Union Army burnt his cabin. 

I can certainly understand how people after the war held grudges against neighbors or even family members who fought for the other side.  It's so sad to read letters or wills where parents leave something to a son who went away to war and never returned.  The will of David Cook, husband of Nancy Farley, reads: "In the event of my son Squire Cook’s return home, I desire that all of my children shall contribute until he have an equal portion of my estate."  Squire Cook died at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.  He was 29 years old.  He was in Captain Robert Richardson's Company G of the 24th Regiment of Virginia Infantry.  His cousin Madison Farley was the last to see him.  Squire was fatally wounded and lying on a pile of burning rails.  I tried to find where he was buried when I visited Gettysburg Battlefield in April 2011 but I had no luck.

A Cook cousin, Lisa Odom, was kind enough to transcribe a few of Squire's letters home to family.  I am thankful to Lisa for saving valuable documents which otherwise would have been destroyed.
(front page)
                                                                       Fairfax County Virginia - Aug 26th 1861

Mr David Cook and family
Pipe Stem Virginia

Dear father, Mother, brothers & Sisters

I received a letter from you a few days ago, which found me in good health, and doing as well as I could expect considering the hardships of a soldiers life, and I hope this communication will find you all in good health. Our camps moved last Friday (together with the whole regiment and two other regiments belonging to the same brigade) to this place, a distance of about 12 miles from where we were stationed for over one month since the battle of Manassas. We are now about 14 miles from Manassas and 18 from Alexandria but how long we will stay here is unknown to us. We may stay here a month of leave in a day. As it is generally believed there will be another big battle in the County before long. Our post office will be the same let us go where we will on this vicinity as Manassas Junction is our head quarters. Give my best respects to all. (Can't read) to believe me to be yours

Very respectfully
Squire Cook
(front page)
                                                                                  October the 26th 1861
                                                                                  Fairfax County Virginia

Dear father and sisters i take my pen in hand to rite you all to let you now that i am well at this time hoping few lines may find you all i have not receive a letter from you since the fiftant of sept i have rote two letters to you sence i got the last one now something a bout the times we are exspect a fight heare every day and i think it will be a bout the 28th of this month they was a fight a few day ago at leesburg and they was 500 hundred and 30 prisons taking of the yankees and we sent them to richmond i don't now how many was kill i reckon they was a few kill and if they come again they git the same that they got at Bull run it will be another Bull run fight we ar fortified this place we as a bout done the work so nothing more at this time send your letters at same place

Squire Cook to D Cook

(back page)

i have not time to rite much this time i would like to see you all once more

if god let me
i will
see you
(front page)
                                                                              November the 17th 1861

Dear father i take my pen in hand to inform you all that i am well at this time hoping those few lines may find you all well i received your letter the 15th of No and i was glad to hear from you all i am in hope that i will come home again if i could see you all i would tell you a heep a bout the times and soldiers life hope to live to git back home next spring and then i can tell more than i can know for i will see and hear more by that time i wood love to be at home a bout chrismas to take chrismas with you all and with my girl i wood love to see to see my girl again it was hard for me to part with her but we will meet again i have no news to rite at this time so i must come to a close give my best respect to the girl

Squire Cook to David Cook and Rutha

(back page)

Dear Cousin i take my pen in hand to inform you that i am well at this time hoping those few line come to hand they may you and your mother the same mary i received the 15 of No i was glad to hear that you was well mary you rote that you had to give up your and Sweet heart two mary don't grieve after your Sweet heart far he will return back again So i must bring my letter to a close rite to me as soon as you git this

Squire Cook
to Mary Farley

Dear Sisters i take my pen in hand to inform you that i have not fargotten you yet you rote that the boys talk like coming a bout Christmas and you wanted me to git a ferlow and come two you said that you had about three pecks of chestnuts a saving for us boys when we come home

Squire Cook to Mary Cook

(There was no date on this letter)
(front page)

Dear father and all the rest

I received your kind letter and was more then glad to hear from you all and to hear that you was all well. I was not well when I received your letter I had the measles but I am getting about well now. I would Be glad to see you all if I could and hope it will not be long before I can for I think we will soon whip out the yankees and come back we havent Been in any Battle yet But we have heard of several little Brushes not very far from hear we belong to Colonel Earlys Ridgament the 24th Ridgement we are at the same place we was was when I wrote before But the main Body of the Ridgement is about two miles from hear. Drewry I would like for you to be with me as you wrote that you like to fight by my side.

Dear Sisters I will write afew lines to you in answer to you little (peace?) I would a liked to be at the muster when them 32 ladies marched tell Riley and manda Emily and the rest of the famly that I would like to see them a few lines to William Hughes in answer to his few lines Chapman is not with me now Captain frenches company left our Ridgement thay are in about 6 mils from here. I hope we will git to see each other again you must writ to me for it is a satisfaction to me get from get a letter from there I am yours true friend until death.

Squire Cook

(back page)

Dear cousins I will write you a few lines. I you must tell all the girls to not forget me for I have not forgot others nor never will. you must write to me again and tell all the other girls to write I cant get time to write as often as I would like to paper and envelopes is hard to get for those is may to write so nothing more at this time but Remains your true and affectionate cousin until death.

Squire Cook to Mary Farley

A few words to Hannen I have not forgot you nor forgot the last night stayed with you and hope I will stay with you again you must write to me soon direct your letters to Squire Cook case Captain Richardson Manassas Junction Prince William County VA 24th Rigement. So I will wind up By saying I will remember you all and fight for our Country.

Squire Cook

The thing which most surprised me during the movie last night was how lawless the area was portrayed!  I had always thought the "wild west" meant Nevada, Montana, Arizona, California and such.  I never expected that to mean West Virginia.  I know the motto is Wild and Wonderful but didn't understand how wild it truly was.

I am looking forward to watching the second episode on tv tonight!

11:21 p.m. and we just finished watching the second episode.  SOOOOO disappointed because we had a fast storm move through and it knocked the satellite receiver out for a few minutes and we missed a bit of the show.  Phil set up the DVR to record it again at 1 a.m.  I plan to watch the second episode again to see what I missed!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Little Blue Dress

I picked out this lovely blue fabric, I think, at Joann's Fabric a couple months ago.  It may have been at Walmart.  When I saw the fabric I thought of youngest granddaughter, Dixie-Lee, but daughter in law Jess liked it so much it was earmarked for her daughter Lilly (middle granddaughter).

Thursday I finally decided on a pattern for the fabric.  McCall's Express Yourself pattern 4042 in size 2.  It was a thrift store find I made at the Goodwill store in Bedford, PA about a year or two ago.  It was a really easy pattern.  I had the fabric cut out and the dress together in about three hours.  I think it turned out beautifully and hope that Jess will wear it on Lilly.

Phil and I spent the day at Warriorsmark yesterday.  He training dogs and me cutting out fabric on the tables in the office.  I cut out fabric for two outfits for Lilly and Dixie-Lee.  Jassmine has gotten the bulk of the homemade outfits over the years.  It's time for the other two girls to reap the benefits of having a Grandma who loves to sew for them!

Jess sent me this photo tonight of Lilly wearing the dress.  She looks really cute in it.  Of course, she's cute anyway.  :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jassie's 5th Birthday Party

Jassie's birthday party was today at 3 p.m.  I didn't get there until 3:30.  I hate being late.  We had hot dogs, burgers and beans then birthday cake and she opened her presents.  Later the kids played in the pool and I left at 5:40 and got home at 6:10.  I'm exhausted but still up at 11:51 p.m.  I wanted to post a photo of Jassie in the cherry dress I made for her yesterday.  She loved it and it fit!  Yay!

Sat-er-day ...

Remember that song, "Saturday in the park ....?" 

I was on the internet late last night (way early this morning) trying to upload a photo of Jassie's cherry dress on Pinterest.  Dang, I don't know what was going on but it was h o u r s  until it worked.  Got up with Phil at 5 a.m.  Went to the kennel to check on Bella and the puppies.  Little girl (I'm going to call her Giada) doesn't seem to be able to nurse well.  After an hour of trying to get her to latch on to the teat I decided to go back to the house and heat up a baby bottle of goat's milk.  No, not our goats.  I drove to Tractor Supply yesterday and bought goat's milk Esbilac in liquid form and also milk replacer in powder.  I distracted Bella with cooked liver and gave Giada the formula.  She finally got the hang of it.  Boy puppy is fat.  No need to bottle feed him.  I saw him not long after he was born and he was nursing then!

I'm so happy I finished Jassie's dress last night.  Her birthday party is this afternoon.  I hope the weather is good for it.  I bought her a Dora coloring book and Dora dominoes.  I did see on FB last night where Jess posted that she and Ralph were invited to Jassie's party.  Glad for that.  Wish everyone got along better.  I pray for my sons and their families every day.

Did I mention Phil is on vacation this week and part of the following week?  How cool is that?

I'm getting tired.  Going to lay back down for a little bit.

Tough Week

Bella is our first GSP.  She's eight years old.  We bred her once.  That was five years ago.  We wanted to breed her again but it's been tough because she comes in season just bout once a year.  Most of the times she came in season it interfered with testing events.  Both she and Opal came in season within three weeks of each other.  We bred Opal in February but she had a miss.  We bred Bella in March.  She carried six pups but only two survived; a male and a female.  We had intended to sell pups to finance the remainder of the kennel completion.  At this point we're not sure we'll sell either of them.

Today, in between checking on Bella and the pups, I cut out a pattern and fabric to make a dress for Jassmine.  Her birthday was on Tuesday.  In fact, she called me in the morning to let me know it was her birthday.  :)

For the dress I used a McCall's pattern (MP464) that I bought a while back.  I only picked out the fabric on Monday before I went in to work.  I loved the cherry fabric and thought the contrasting pink would go nicely.  The pattern was difficult to work with.  I like the end product but felt the dress could be put together more easily than the steps the pattern took to get me there.  I also don't like using zippers in childrens wear.