Family Feud

I work for attorneys.  The job is interesting.  I meet a lot of people and I learn many things about people, most of which cannot be repeated, of course.  My husband is my boss's nephew.  No. I had the job first, THEN I met Glen.  I didn't get hired because I married into the family.  I was hired because I can type : )

One day a few years back while browsing through the old, old, really old Iowa Supreme Court case rulings, I happened across a lawsuit that involved one of Glen's ancestors.  His name was William W. Ordway, M.D., a brother to Glen's Great-Great Grandfather.  The case was titled "King v. Ordway"

My boss, Glen's uncle, told us a few stories about old Doc Ordway, the most interesting being the one about how he was almost murdered! 

Interesting, indeed - but not as interesting as learning that the "King" in "King v. Ordway" was my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother, Louisa C. King!

My goodness, I went directly to the old Supreme Court ruling and read it with eyes more sympathetic toward my poor family than Glen's poor, almost murdered relative.  Loosely quoting parts of the ruling, here's the story:

In 1880 my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Samuel C. King, died leaving all of his property to his wife and three daughters.  In 1881 Doc Ordway got my Grandma and her daughters to Deed the greatest portion of my Grandfather's land over to him by falsely stating he had a claim against my Grandfather that had to be paid; that other creditors were going to sue my Grandmother and her daughters; and that expensive litigation would entirely consume the estate.  He showed them a letter from an attorney which he explained meant the claims, amounting to $8,000 had to be paid in order to avoid suit.  Doc Ordway offered to pay Grandma $500 plus pay all the other debts against the estate if they would Deed all the land over to him.

 Samuel C. King

Well, the King family brought a lawsuit against Glen's Uncle claiming fraud after they figured out the amount my Grandfather owed him was $90 at best, and the other claims were greatly exaggerated.  The trial court agreed, ruled Doc Ordway had committed fraud and ordered him to Deed the land back to my Grandmother and her daughters.  Doc Ordway didn't like the trial court's finding, arguing that he owned the crop that was grown on the land he had held the Deed to and wanted the proceeds of that crop totaling $1,000, so he filed his appeal which brought the case to the Supreme Court of Iowa in 1888.

In the meantime there was a great deal of squabbling between the parties and my Grandmother had a Restraining Order placed against Glen's Uncle because he kept pestering them about owing him a great deal of money because he had paid all the other claims against the estate.  Ha!

In the end, the ruling states:  In view of the facts in this case, we do not think the relief suggested ought to be granted.  Defendant (Ordway) secured claims against the estate at a large discount, and could have enforced their payment in the usual manner, and with much profit to himself.  Not satisfied with reasonable returns for his investment, he has sought larger gains by methods to which no fair-minded man would resort.  To now reinstate him in the position which he abandoned with fraudulent intent, after he has exhausted every means to maintain the advantage he wrongfully obtained, would be to place a premium upon speculative attempts of that character.  We are disposed to leave defendant where he is placed by his own voluntary acts.  (I think that means, "You made your own bed, now sleep in it!")

The Supreme Court further ruled the temporary Restraining Order against him become permanent!

The Court noted that my Grandmother was illiterate and would have no way of knowing the total of sums owed by looking at Doc Ordway's claims.  As for Doc Ordway, the Court was not prepared to believe that a man of his manifest shrewdness and business experience would agree to pay claims against the estate without knowing the amounts due.

Now isn't it interesting to note that the "Reward" poster states Doc Ordway was shot in 1885, right in the middle of the dates my Grandfather died and the Supreme Court Ruling?  And what was stolen from him?  A trunk filled with Notes, Deeds and Mortgages!

Wow.   I met Glen in 1987, just about 100 years after all of the above transpired.  I have to wonder if our feuding ancestors are glad the hatchet was finally buried, or if they're rolling over in their graves!

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Paper Flowers So Easy A Caveman & Coleen Can Do It

Finally.  Easy paper flowers.

Materials:  Old Book + Paint or Permanent Marker + Ruler + Floral Wire
(or Farm Wire like I used) + Floral Tape & Florist's Foam.

Start by either painting (or coloring with permanent marker) the edges of a few pages of an old book.

Rip out a page.  Rip it in half lengthwise for tulip type flowers.  
For smaller flowers, rip the page into four pieces lengthwise.
Fold the strips accordian style and tape or glue the ends together.

Pinch the folds together (make sure it's not the gilded edge) and press down to flatten it out.

Glue the bottom side, flip over and glue a button in the center and you have a flower!

For the tulip type flowers, cut a thin strip of colored paper, roll each end with a toothpick and
pinch it somewhere near the middle to make a pistil.

After that it's a simple matter of taping your flower to a piece of wire and 
wrapping it with green floral tape.

Then you can put your new flowers in an old vase you forgot you had.

A couple of helpful hints.  Glue the florist's foam to your vase if possible.
The thicker the paper the better.  The ones I used were so thin that they didn't form well.
Thicker paper makes prettier flowers.  I added one made from a piece of cardstock to my bouquet.

Of course you'll want to spend oodles and oodles of time posing and positioning your new project too.  Mine's on the mantle, hence the old fireplace bellow behind my Willow Tree angel.

And I just love the edges of that old Bible Dictionary!  Aren't they pretty?
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Chain Saw Massacre

I am so ready for Spring I could just scream!  This is a current view of part of our front yard:

Look closely at the expression of the face on the tree.  He seems to be saying, "Oh my!" 

Now here's a view of the same area taken last summer:

Is it just my imagination, or does Mr. tree appear to be much happier?

Here's the back yard:

Everywhere we look around here it is the same thing, even worse in some spots.  We will be having a chain saw massacre of this mess for sure.  I posted an invitation on Facebook for my friends to come to the chain saw party, but they all said, "after you come to mine first"!  Seems it looks like this all over our area.  (sigh)

It never ceases to amaze me how dramatically the scenery out here changes season to season.  By this time in past years we have been able to be out in the yard to start the clean-up process.  Unfortunately, the way things look now, it will be at least another month before the snow is gone and the ground will be dry enough to start.

And I'm not the only one who wants out ...

Mr. Donkey and Casper (the sometimes friendly horse) would much rather be munching on mulberries in the shade than staying in the barn.

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Does this say "I Love Rust"?

When I was home with Cole Tuesday, I got a good start on a little something for the rusty old junk lover in me.

I've had the specifications for this project in my head for awhile...  Something for the wall, vines, relatively flat/close to the wall, lath type backboard and colors to blend with browns and greens.

The second shelf from the Grandkid's picture project was begging to be used for something.  I found about a half-dozen rusty old tractor seats out here that have been calling my name too.  Surely this combo could turn into something cool.

I wasn't difficult to wire the seat to the balsa wood, but finding something appropriate to cover the center of the tractor seat had me hunting for hours!

A rusty old cog fit the bill just fine.

What rusty creation would be complete without a little barbed wire?

As usual, the dead florist in me spent hours and hours and hours trying to arrange the vine and position the splashes of color to complete the project, but it was will worth the effort because I ended up with something that fit the specifications and says "I love rust"! 

I'm hoping someone special will like this little creation, because it was made to HER specifications and would look rather nice in her house next to that picture of the boys and their refurbished Allis.

(Can you believe I'm early?)

p.s.  I'm so happy with how this turned out, I'm heading right over to Donna's Funky Junk Saturday Night Special to add it to all the other awesome projects.    I think you should get over there and check everything out too.  Just click on her star over on the right and get on over there already!

AFTER you post a comment to make me smile, that is : )

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Be Careful What You Wish For!

See that little statement over there about how my life would be perfect if only I were a "Stay-at-Home-Grandma"?  Well, let me add a little caveat about such wishful thinking... wishes come true, but not always the way one had in mind!  I think I am going to have to amend my statement by adding the words, "with an income".

Today I find myself at home, once again, with the wounded.

Not to worry though.  This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago when Ethan was down with the flu getting all the attention...

...and Chandler had to do all the housework.

Of course that's not the truth, but when the words fit the pictures, it's way more interesting than flu facts.  Truth is, Cole was running around, tripped and managed to scrape his head on the door jamb.  A minor scrape for sure, but he obviously thought it was much more serious, hence the dramatic bandage.  Anyway, today he is (we is) home with the flu.  Between the weather and sick kids, I have missed so many days of work I have lost count.  It's like the wish fairies are wickedly granting me what I wish for, but with an evil twist.  For the first time in my life, I am the kind of employee employers frown upon.  I haven't worked a full pay period since the first part of December. 

I'm going to attempt to make my wishes perfectly clear to the fairies...  If I am going to be forced to spend so much time at home, let me stay here permanently making money from the things I love and have plenty of.

I     LOVE     JUNK

Honestly, the possibilities are limitless. 

Wish fairies, are you listening? 

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Love Letters

While browsing through all the wonderfully creative blogs I see many, many things I simply adore.  A couple of things that have recently attracted my attention are letters - especially the old typewriter style - and the way people are incorporating words into their artwork.

I was putzing around on my computer to see if I could create some antique typewriter looking keys of my own.  I found several possibilities:

Then I actually remembered to note the font name beside the samples I liked.
Because I have decided to utilize things I already have instead of rushing out to buy more things, I never know where my creations will take me.  Rarely do the things I make resemble the ideas in my head.

I found four mini frames that had aged perfectly for that nice antique look.  I measured, printed and cut out my letters and wound up with a little Love.

Setting them on a shelf individually wasn't an option, so I decided to frame them, kinda.  I like the looks of wire.  So I twisted some and secured the frames to it with a little more.

I found some lettered wood beads and fashioned another wired creation to compliment the statement.  Now "Love Grows" on my dining room wall.

So, my finished project hardly resembles old typewriter keys at all, but I like the way it turned out and I would love to know what you think!

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Glass Insulator Challenge

You may remember that I have a gazillion glass insulators sitting around here waiting for a new purpose in their mundane little lives.  I decided to challenge myself to see what I could come up with...without running to the store to buy anything new to embellish them with.  So, I gathered my "stuff", scratched my head and started playing.


Sitting front and center above is a little glass votive holder that I snagged at Wal-Mart a while back, but found they were too boring, so they sat in the closet forever.  Imagine my joy when I found they are absolutely perfect fits!  If you didn't know any better, you'd never guess they weren't a part of the insulator.

My first creation was inspired by my Great-Grandma Daisy.  She was crazy about plants.  Her windows were layered with shelves of plant slips that she would start in baby food jars.

I think Grandma Daisy would be proud of me for being practical with my creativity : )

The next one took me FOREVER.  I am learning that I am NOT a florist.  I wanted to learn how to make a rose.  I tried following the directions for tissue roses, paper roses and coffee filter roses.  The tutorials said they were "easy".  Well, I guess I am "follow-the-directions-challenged".  I finally found a really, really easy one.... tie a knot in a piece of wired ribbon, pull the wire on one side to gather the ribbon, roll it in a ball and wrap the extra wire around it to make a rose.  Ta Da!

Moving right along, I wondered what it would look like if I layered an insulator...

Glass jar, potpourri, insulator, candle.  It works!

What farm home would be complete without Gallus Gallus Domesticus fruit holders????

I just want to have company for breakfast so I can serve them fresh hard boiled eggs!

While I had birds on the brain, I came up with this little number for our fine feathered friends:

I think Grandma Daisy would think the bird feeder was practical too.  When the snow melts, I'll fashion some wire and hang it from a tree limb.  

Next I messed around with potpourri again in colors that coordinate what's going on in my living room.  It's prettier in person (as usual - I swear I'm going to buy a decent camera as soon as I can!) and boy, does it smell good!

Last, but not least, I was back to looking for something to fit in the laundry room.  As luck would have it, I found this old candle holder that was tarnishing in just the right color!

A little hot glue, a few burned fingers and whoa-lah...'s just gaudy enough to make me giddy.

Now, I know I have a lot of silent "peekers" checking out my blog, so, please don't be shy! which one is your favorite?  You don't have to leave your name, you don't have to say anything fancy, just leave a comment about which is your favorite, okay?

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