Memorial Day weekend is coming up — what are your plans? Do you have a traditional event, or do you do something different each year? Have a family/friends BBQ? Watch a Memorial Day parade? Attend a ceremony for fallen military? We usually get together with our Metcalf family & friends for a cookout at the Mound in Miamisburg. It doesn’t always go as planned, but it’s a fun time had by all. Who doesn’t love a picnic? We used to attend the parade but since we’ve gotten older, we usually just help set up for the Family Reunion instead. I love to sit & watch the family play baseball. That’s an event unto itself.

Do you &/or family participate in public Memorial Day events? Are you or a family member marching in a parade? Placing flags on gravestones? Visiting a veterans’ home? There are many opportunities this weekend to show your appreciation to veterans & their families. Have a family/friends BBQ?

Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of summer “YEAH,” which means that the season for road trips is upon us. This year, however, traveling by car is going to cost you quite a bit more than it did last year. I hope you won’t let that stop you from attending all those backyard barbecues and graduations this week. It’s our chance to ask all of those silly questions about our families that we tend to annoy them the rest of the year. They’re relaxed and will usually talk for hours. Don’t forget to bring a notebook to jot it all down. I know that I still have a lot of unanswered questions. Lots of blanks to fill on branch members lives. Their military records are an easy way to get vital statics on a person. It’s how we finally found Samuel “Dalton” Metcalf’s middle name, when his own children didn’t know what the ‘D” stood for. So, don’t be afraid to ask about their military records and experiences. You can learn a lot about family you didn’t even know existed or had a chance to meet.

Happy Memorial Day, with much gratitude to all those whom have served, and continue to serve, this country. We’re thankful for this day of remembrance and chance to show our appreciation.

The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country ~ George S. Patton Jr.


1 1/2 cup fresh puréed pumpkin
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all of the above ingredients in a crockpot on low setting. Stir every hour or so. Let it cook overnight, until thick. Put in Mason canning jelly-glasses/jars and process in a Bain-marie (hot water bath).

Use as you would apple butter.

Recipe can be frozen.

Yield: abt 2 cups


Happy Thanksgiving Eve

I received some wonderful comments on the blog today.  I would like to personally thank each one of you for your continued support.  It’s so nice to get well wishes from friends and family at the Holidays, well any day really.

What I took away from it was… Journal. “Remember to ask lots of questions, listen to those around you and take lots of notes. Pictures are worth more than a thousand words, but only if you know who’s in them. Make each moment special. Write it down. Keep it safe.” ~ me!

Enjoy your Family and friends, be sure to record every minute of it, because our memories may fade over time, but shared documents are there to remind us.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf and Family

I don’t want to lose sight of the big picture here. I have been spending a little too much time doing other things, and not keeping up on my family and historical research. I was trying to go over some things I may have missed. I haven’t found any new family members, that are unreported on any census records or family bibles. Part of me is secretly glad. Its hard enough to keep up with the ones I know about.

I find it fascinating, the people that didn’t really do much or accomplish much in their lifetime, can be more remembered, than those that made major endeavors in the eyes of the world, ie: Marilyn Monroe or Michael Jackson, etc.

But honestly, who remembers the names of the people on the Mayflower?  or who they were as a people? or why reasons they set out? Very few, I’d say. The Leiden Congregation and their Families, and hired men alike aka Pilgrims sailed for 66 days to reach Massachusetts Bay. They left England on September 6, 1620, and out of this one single event, grew our vast nation.

I was looking at the Passenger List for the Mayflower (Holiday related, of course) and I noticed that there were 102 people that set out on the ship; 43 men, 21 women, 22 boys, 8 girls and 8 servants.

I didn’t see any direct relative family Surnames, right off hand, except for Fletcher and Martin aboard the ship, but will be eternally grateful for their drive and determination, the hardship’s they endured, the courage and benevolence they’ve shown.  What a gift to give our founding fathers, (that in reality turned out to be mostly children, since the elders almost all perished from disease) and their two dogs, but the gift of remembrance?

The Surnames of those brave souls that set out for Religious Freedom were: Alden, Allerton, Billington, Bradford, Brewster, Britteridge, Browne, Butten, Carter, Carver, Chilton, Clarke, Cooke, Cooper, Crackstone, Doty, Eaton, Ely, English, Fletcher, Fuller, Gardiner, Goodman, Holbeck, Hooke, Hopkins, Howland, Kerr, Lancemore, Latham, Leister, Margesson, Martin, Moore, Mullins, Priest, Prower, Rigsdale, Rogers, Sampson, Standish, Soule, Story, Tilley, Tinker, Thompson, Trevore, Turner, Warren, White, Wilder, Williams, and Winslow.

Thanks to you all for your bravery and dedication. God rest your souls.

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. ~ Colossians 4:2

Back then, cups made of lead were
used to drink ale or whiskey, because
nobody knew that lead is a
pretty strong poison. The combination
of lead and liquor could even
knock the imbibers out for a couple
of days.
Quite often, a passer-by
would take them for dead and prepare
them for burial. The ‘corpse’
would then be laid out on the
kitchen table for a couple of days
and the family would gather
around, and eat and drink, and wait
and see if the person would wake
up… as some would do. And so the
custom began of holding a “wake”.

England is ancient, small, and has
always been well populated. In the
1500’s they started running out of
places to bury people. So, they
would dig up coffins and would
take the deceased’s bones back
home and re-use the grave.
On reopening these coffins,
one out of 25 coffins were found to
have scratch marks on the inside
and they realized that some didn’t
awaken at the wake and they had
been burying people alive (modern
medicine wasn’t that modern).
To prevent this reoccurring,
the undertaker would tie a string on
the body’s wrist and lead it through
the coffin and up through the
ground and tie it to a bell. Someone
would be employed to sit out in the
graveyard all night to listen for the
bell. Hence, being on the
“graveyard shift” where occasionally
someone would be “saved by
the bell” and who would become
known as a “dead ringer”.

Back then, most people got married
in June, for two reasons. Firstly, it
is the most clement and warmest
month in England and, secondly,
because it was customary for people
to take their yearly bath in May
(whether they needed it or not!).
While most people still
smelled comparatively okay, brides
began the tradition of carrying a
bouquet of flowers, to hide any
body odor.


Yes, baths in the 1500s were rare
but when they were taken it was in
a big tub filled with hot water.
There was, naturally, a pecking order.
The man of the house had the
privilege of the nice clean water
(and he was probably the dirtiest),
and then came all the other sons
and men, then the women and finally
the children. Last of all were
the babies.
By then the water was so
dirty you could actually lose someone
in it. Hence the saying “Don’t
throw the baby out with the bath

Those lucky enough to have
houses, had houses with thatched
roofs made from thick straw, piled
high, with no wood underneath.
This was the only place for animals
to get warm, so all the pets… dogs,
cats and other small animals like
mice and rats, lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery
and sometimes the animals would
slip and fall from the roof. Hence
“It’s raining cats and dogs.”

Despite the skills of the best
thatcher there was really nothing to
stop things from falling into the
house. This posed a real problem in
the bedroom where bugs and other
droppings could really mess up
your nice clean bed (relatively
speaking). So, they found if they
made beds with big posts and hung
a sheet over the top, it addressed
the problem. Hence those beautiful
big 4 poster beds with canopies.
“Good night and don’t let the bed
bugs bite”…

In the kitchen they cooked in a big
kettle that always hung over the
fire. Every day they lit the fire and
added things to the pot. They
mostly ate vegetables and didn’t get
much meat. They would eat the
stew for dinner leaving leftovers in
the pot to get cold overnight and
then start over the next day. Sometimes
the stew had food in it that
had been in there for a month.
Hence the rhyme: “peas porridge
hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge
in the pot nine days old.”

Bread was divided according to
status. Workers got the burnt bottom
of the loaf, the family got the
middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Everything slows down with age, except the time it takes cake and ice cream to reach your hips. ~ Maxine

from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.

Every Wednesday on this blog, I share a family recipe with you.  Now I’m asking you to share one or two of your favorites with me. Either via Facebook or directly to my email address:

The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven. ~ Knute Rockne

gone… gone is yet another Turkey; deboned and the last few fragments are resting in a large Ziploc baggie in the bottom of the fridge. Hopefully, I will enjoy a nice creamed turkey on a biscuit or a turkey turnover for dinner tonight to finish off the rest.

My theme for the decorations this year was, “Give Thanks.” It was on the plates and just about everywhere in the room really. I thought it a fitting theme for another harvest of memories, a day of thanks; to be mindful of those loved ones I have lost, to all those whom knew how much I loved them, and the love they gave me in return, was enough to last a lifetime. Inwardly, I thank them every day, because they will always be a part of me. I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing them, but even when I miss them the most, I can remind myself of the lives they have lead, the things they have touched and taught me, and the things that I have to remember them by.

While my husband & I argued again this year, about the amount of sage I should use in my mother’s stuffing recipe [A little Lovin’ from the Oven… I’m for lots and he’s for a little –  it always ends the same way; with a hug and a kiss, and my adding what I want… it’s a fun thing to do every year]. I do love the smell of sage; it always reminds of my childhood. I may only make the dressing a few times a year, but I could make it in my sleep.

I decided not to use my Grandma’s turkey platter this year, opting for a more decorative one instead [one that if it broke on the garage floor – I was only out five bucks and not a dear family heirloom]. I spent my time remembering each one of the people that meant, and still mean, so much to me in my life. They may be gone now, but never far from my thoughts.

I can remember the smell of Thanksgiving as a young girl; my Mom’s dressing always let me know it was a holiday. The whole house was filled with the scent of turkey with her old bread dressing. My mom always stuffed the bird. I never do for fear of whatever the newest baking turkey plight is. I have to say after all these years; I’m still not a big dressing lover. I’ll eat a little if I have a little extra room on my plate, but I actually prefer to cover my turkey with Cranberry relish and eat it that way. You… It’s just a personal thing, but I will always be thankful for my mom and her secret recipes that made the holidays special for me. I hope in some small way, that I do that for my children and my grandchildren.

I remember my mom making dinner and her telling me how she wasn’t as elegant in her serving of the food, as her mother before her.  I guess, we all should make some of our own traditions, use what we have. She said, her mother always piped the yolks back into the deviled eggs with a pastry bag and decorated them with paprika and/or olives. I do that too, but no one, but me, ever eats the ones with olives. What’s that about? Oh well, more for me. LOL I say, “Celebrate our Differences and Give Thanks!”

We each spent days writing what we were most thankful for on Facebook, everyday I would remind myself what I was holding onto as my most sacred of memories, and it was almost always had something to do with my family and friends. After all it is what we hold near and dear to our hearts. The memories of our past, our present and when we look into the faces of our growing grandchildren, we can see our ongoing future.

May the bounty of the season fill your hearts and your home with all the wonderful things you can be thankful for each and everyday. Love your life and enjoy the little things. It is after all, the only things they will remember you by when you’re gone, so in the uncanny, zany drivel and yet bountiful ramblings of Mel Brooks, I found words that I actually want to learn to live by and I quote…

My message to the world is “Let’s swing, sing, shout, make noise! Let’s not mimic death before our time comes.” ~ Mel Brooks

We’re Thankful, enjoying and living life. Counting our blessings.  I know I did and one of my most favorite things I had written I was thankful for and still am are my Friends, Family, Food, and Football!

So until next the Turkey Time; when I count my blessings, I count you.  Say, Bye now!”