When I opened the Sunday lifestyles page and saw my column without photos, I thought it must be copy from the State of the Union address. It was just a bunch of words gathered together and put into appropriate paragraphs.
So I went back through photos that might tell a story or were never used thinking the participants would enjoy seeing them.
The one that I had a big laugh over was from the Carroll County Fair livestock auction. A hand- painted milk can of county scenes was up for bid and one of the auctioneers was holding it up, chin high for bidders to examine. It looks as if the milk collection can has a head and shoulders and legs.
TEA TIME — One of the highlights in the Smithfield area was the Mother-Daughter Tea held last spring by Brightway Center at its new activity center. Cathy Takach, Brightway project manager, poured tea for her niece, Regan Wilson, 4. Both are wearing stylish hats for the occasion.
-- Esther McCoy
The Popeye drawing was spectacular in the Junior Leaders booth at the Jefferson County Junior Fair board building during the 2013 event.
Their motto was "Strong to the Finish," something the club members have always followed. I'm not sure they enjoyed spinach like Popeye did though.
In a month, Ohio 4-H Week will be observed, and county club members will be decorating store- front windows in Steubenville, Wintersville, Smithfield, Harrisville, Tiltonsville, Adena, East Springfield, Richmond and Dillonvale.
I have the enjoyable job of going with Janine Yeske to look them over and evaluate who has the best theme, who put the most time in preparing their idea, who used their art work to the best advantage and who best showed off their club members and projects.
In regards to 4-H clubs, I found a July 28, 1977, copy of the Wintersville Citizen weekly and realized that some of the clubs from that time are now gone.
There was the Knoxville Future Citizens, Contesters 4-H Saddle Club of New Alexandria and Super Stars of Rush Run. I think the Sunrise Rascals and the Trail Blazers are still in existence.
Brightway Center had a Mother-Daughter Tea back in late spring. Each table was decorated with a tea pot, frilly table covers, flowers and candles. There were tiny sandwiches, cookies, little cakes, gelatin salads, all kinds of tea flavors, cold drinks and coffee to enjoy.
Cathy Takach, Brightway project manager, had a big part in the planning of the event and was captured pouring tea for her 4-year-old niece, Regan Wilson, who seemed to be enjoying the "big ladies" tea. Both were wearing hats that add so much to a costume, a custom that has gone by the wayside.
I liked being invited to the Red Hat Ladies meetings to see all the members with their beautiful hats. Some were red, some were purple and some a combination of red with a purple bow or vice versa. Jackie Haynes always wore a beautiful and different hat at each meeting I attended.
Valentine's Day is only 12 days away, but I have seen decorative boxes of candy and candy conversation hearts on the store shelves since Dec. 26. At one store, I even spied them displayed on Dec. 23.
Wen I visited Pesta's Country Store in Mingo Junction, Becky Pesta had a lovely display of red, net bows flecked with silver and made into a heart; purple chiffon decorations; red cellophane hearts to put up on the door or window; and silk flowers to use for decoration in vases and other containers. There was a black scarf scattered with little white hearts and some candy selections in the display, too.
There have been quite a few days when I was trapped in our home due to the freezing weather and snow that crunched like broken glass when tread upon.
On one of those days, I told Lamont if he didn't drive me to work, as I am afraid of the places on state Route 151 that have been blown over with snow and become slippery, that we needed to wash the living room walls; clean the venetian blinds, or whatever they are called now; and wash windows.
The reason for my need of a driver on a few days in January and February is that the roads can be completely dry and suddenly you hit a slippery slope. It is a big temptation for me to hit the brakes at this time. It's fun if you like to do wheelies or end up going back the same way you came, but I'm not game for that.
I always tear out pages of magazines or papers when I see something I think can be used in a later column.
This one took me 13 years to use, but I had saved a Herald-Star Valley Life section from Feb. 6, 2011, on "Ways to Spend a Snow Day." Actually there were 50 ways listed, but I'm not going to cover that many.
Here goes with some ways to make a blizzard day actually fun:
Make an abominable snowman. It is like a regular snowman but less friendly to passers-by.
Make snow ice cream or slushies, making sure the snow is white and not yellow.
Fill squirt bottles with water and food coloring and make art on the snow. Here is where you can let your dog help out.
Find the missing lids to all your Tupperware. One or the other seems to disappear over time, don't they?
Scan old photographs and make a photo book. Then force the kids to look at pictures of their parents when they were little.
Do your taxes. April 15 only feels far off.
Order seeds and plants for your spring garden. Yes, spring will come eventually.
Take pictures of all your belongings to inventory for insurance. Now do a written inventory.
Go through clothes in drawers and closet. Try on and toss or give to charity those that no longer fit.
Experiment all day on devising the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. Tasting is mandatory.
Here is a hint I saved from what I think was a Farm and Dairy magazine.
Did you know that stale bread is very useful if you throw it on the floor in the form of crumbs? Sprinkle the bread crumbs on the dirty carpet, let stand one-half hour and then vacuum. The crumbs help to settle the dust, according to Cathy Rounds in her Superliving Column.
She also mentioned that putting a butter knife on a bee sting or mosquito bite will stop the poison from going into the flesh.
Before opening a bottle of cooking oil, fold a paper towel, wrap it around the bottle and secure it with a rubber band. This will catch any drips. To strain cooking oil after deep-fat frying, place a coffee filter in the funnel used to pour oil back into the bottle. Then just throw away filter and crumbs.
That is enough knowledge for now. Go and watch the Super Bowl.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)