“Live simply, that others might simply live.” Elizabeth Seaton
The Plain and Practical
Halloween Long Ago (Well, Forty Years) Year Two, Issue Twelve, Tenth Month
Not so long ago, during my own childhood, Halloween was a holiday of ex- Just Something Interesting I Found
citement and anticipation for rural children, filled with harmless but delicious I was surprised to learn that plastic bags have
wickedness. When I pass along stories of trick or treating by pony or horseback now taken over 80% of the market, and an article
to my students, and the kinds of games we played at parties, folks think I’ve by John Roach in the National Geographic News
slipped gears and I’m telling them about Kizzie Crabtree, my great-grandmother. from September 3, 2003, says up to a trillion plastic
For example, the farms were so spread apart, children were permitted to gather bags are consumed worldwide each year. It is esti-
at two or three o’clock at a central place, riding their ponies, and perhaps a wagon mated that only 3% of the bags escape the landfill
or two extra so adults and the very small tykes could join in. We’d have a little through recycling efforts (2001 data).
party, punch and maybe sandwiches with one or two contests. In this issue, you’ll see several ways to make
One of my favorite Halloween games was a variation called sometimes recycled bags for your groceries, as well as links to
“Monster Parts” or “Who’s got my eye?” Various materials would be put in the people who will make the bags for you. Consider
bottom of big coffee cans, the plastic lids having been star-cut so your hand could them for holiday gifts, make a half dozen for your
pass with a minimum of the contents returning out. One would have warm sau- own household, and make a difference every time
sage covered in oil (guts), another peeled grapes (eyes), and usually a cooked, you go to the grocery store, hardware store, farm
greased cauliflower (brain). Everything from dry peeled carrots (finger bones), to market, or just gathering on your own.
jello with hard-boiled eggs in it (just plain gross), might be hiding in that can. How I made mine is below, and on page two is
One I really let out a yelp over, was a too-realistic concoction wherein someone another method. Page four, in the resources, you’ll
put in a discarded set of false teeth with a handful of oiled gummy worms. see listings for people who make bags to sell.
Another game we could never get enough of, was the pin-the-tail-on-the- Denim lasts for years, you can easily launder them
donkey sort. We’d have three square bales of hay stacked up, and someone would with your other clothing or household items, is
do a picture of a witch and we’d have a small balloon with a loop of tape attached. sturdy for canned goods and heavy bags of flour,
After being turned around three times while wearing a handkerchief over our eyes, and can be re-recycled later when completely
we’d be shoved somewhat towards the direction of the picture. It was great fun to ragged.
watch the contestants trying to get their bearing and win the prize, usually a dol-
lar. If they missed the paper altogether the balloon would usually pop when it got
close to the hay, scaring the participant who was holding it, half to death. Start with a denim jumper, skirt, or dress, and
There was sometimes a hide-and-go-seek in the cornfield, too. depending on how tall you want your bags to be,
After drinking and snacking and playing and the men getting the wagons and cut accordingly. Sew up the placket; cut off the
horses ready, we’d all hit the facilities, and ride out. If it was your first year, and existing hem and sew a new one, then turn it inside
you were on your own pony, you were expected to stick by whatever older brother out.
or sister or friend was assigned to watch over you. Sometimes we would make Fold the top
costumes for the horses, too. I went as a clown one year, and my pony was over twice,
decked out in bright pompoms on her reins, bridle, saddle, and blanket. Another Sew closed
time I went as an Indian, with brown denim short-shorts under a faux buckskin
tunic, and fake hair (actually from a witch costume) braided into my own to make
two long, full braids hanging in front of each ear. Saddle-less, with a loop of sisal
lead rope in the pony’s jaw, I soon learned that she would only turn to the left, for
some reason. It felt like I was doing figure-eights all day! Approximately
(continued on page three) 20” across and
24” tall, two
Another way to make a carry-sack—by recycling old pillowcases
If you have a pair of old pillowcases, they can make a sack suitable for toting lightweight
items, such as bread, paper products, a batch of herbs, or your handwork for a trip.
Cut the top folded hem from one of the two pillowcases. Turn that pillowcase inside out, Now, cut long 3-
and insert it into the first one, so it becomes the lining. Then turn the hem of the first pillow- 4” wide strips from the remaining fabric, at least 18
case over so it covers the inside one. Pin into place. inches long, fold them, and sew to keep them flat.
Take the hem, cut the seam, and cut down the middle so you have two long strips. Fold Pin the ends of your strips about 3” down from the
and sew those to make two handles. Attach them onto your new bag with pins, double “rim” of the bag opening, and stitch vigorously
checking that you like the placement, then sew the handles with a back-and-forth motion, back and forth several times. Remember to stitch
then sew all the way around the “rim” of your new sack. around the top of the bag to hold your rim in place.
This works especially well if you dispose of old feather pillows that were made with If you have a couple of scraps left over, consider
Ticking, a closely woven cotton fabric, almost as heavy as cotton duck (no pun meant). adding a pocket to your sack.
October, 2009 Do you have Trick Or Treat’ers at your home?
S M T W TH F S
1 2 3 Consider some other items you can hand out instead of candy. You know others will
be giving out those goodies, so here’s a chance to be different—how about new decorative
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 pencils, key chains, stickers, small puzzle books or mini coloring books? We bought a
gross of small bouncy balls for $14, so 144 children coming to our home will get a toy that
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 is calorie and allergy-free, and lasts longer than gum or candy.
One friend of mine takes three sheets from a bulk sized coloring book, and puts in three
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 crayons in the middle, folds it and ties it with a recycled ribbon. Then she got the idea to
draw pumpkins and other holiday themes, photocopy them, and put those in instead of the
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 commercially made drawings, and each gets an orange, black, and green crayon.
When I was a kid, some folks made homemade popcorn balls and cookies and handed
Full Moon ○: October 4th those out, but these days it’s fallen out of fashion. Sometimes they would just give you a
New Moon: October 18th quarter or a dime, that was fun, to add up your loot when you got home!
On Halloween this year, I am attending a church craft show that runs into the evening
Columbus Day, October 12th hours, advertised as an alternative to Halloween. There will be games and activities for
Dictionary Day 16th children and parents, as well as their kitchen’s offerings, a cake walk, the craft show por-
Make A Difference Day, 24th tion, and other wholesome activities.
1929 Stock Market Crash, October 29th Another concern is that the houses on either side of us are empty now, as well as the
Halloween, 31st one across the street, so Husband will be doing candy from the front porch and keeping an
eye on the homes. When I get back from the show, I’ll make coffee and take the night
shift. Good neighbors help each other out—and keep the kids safe too.
Been Thinking About—Hoarding
I learned something new about myself this week. It doesn’t seem that would still be possible at my age, but does happen fairly regularly, and this
one bears my concern to “fix” this flaw about myself. I have been prayerfully considering the Bible’s advice on Saving, Hoarding, Good Steward-
ship of Resources, and not building up a treasure that will take my thoughts from God.
The child raised by Depression grandparents and great-grandparents still resides in me. I remember the summer that my grandmother Mexie was
canning and freezing, day after day. I hustled around the farm, picking bushels of green beans and helping snap them, loading wheelbarrows of to-
matoes, hosing off crate after crate of peppers. I scrubbed out the previous year’s jars and sterilized them in huge boiling canning pots and tong’d
them out onto clean bleached towels and stood them upside down to drain.
Over and over again, Grandpa Max would tote the finished crates and boxes of jars and frozen food bags and cartons down the stairs and load
them into our old creepy basement, lining the jars up on old wooden shelves built onto the stone walls. Two eight-foot freezers were down there,
deep and humming most of the year, up on pallet risers in case a little dampness crept through the floors during the springtime.
One particularly busy day, when my grandmother was barking and ordering around my grandfather as well as myself, he suddenly stopped with
the case of finished jars of tomatoes in his big, rough farmer hands, and said, “I want you to come into the basement with me.” She made some
snappish remark about being busy and her hands were wet, and he said “No, stop that, and come down to the basement with me.” Grandmother
Mexie had a little inner-ear trouble and had fallen a couple of times so she was not one to tackle the rickety steps down into the Michigan basement
underneath the 120-year-old house, but Grandpa went first, then Mexie right behind him using both handrails, and I, being nosy, was close behind.
The walls were literally lined, from ten inches above the floor to two inches from the ceiling, all the way around, with shelves of jars. He had
even had to construct an arrangement in the middle of the room with cinderblocks and more wood boards, and this was also full and there was
maybe enough room to set in the 15 or 16 jars he’d brought in the crate he was holding. He set it down, and walked over to the first freezer and
said, “Come here.” He lifted the lid, and you couldn’t put in another thing, it was even and neat and full level to the top. He walked over to the
other freezer, and said “This one’s full too,” and showed us. “The freezer back at Dad’s is over half full, and we haven’t done the squash, or put in
any of the hogs from the smokehouse. There’s not room back there for the shellout beans or the last of the apples.”
I can count on one hand the number of times my grandmother Mexie was speechless, and this was one of them. She said nothing. She went back
up the stairs carefully, and Grandpa and I talked in the basement awhile about all the pretty jars and why we didn’t use the blue ones we used to
have any more, and I don’t remember what else. When I went back upstairs, Grandma had put away all the canning stuff, put all the unfinished
vegetables we were working on into two buckets, and told me to take those buckets out to the pigs. She was wiping off the counter and humming,
didn’t seem at all upset, so I did as she said.
I think once she actually saw all the work she’d done in one place, she was satisfied we had enough. When I can only see one or two shelves of
fabric, I think to myself “That’s not enough” and I go get, wash, cut up and prepare more. It’s not big money, I can get a whole bag of fabrics at the
thrift store by going through the 75% off color tags and come out having spent only five or six dollars for a pounds of goodies, what most people
would spend on a fast food lunch or a designer cup of latte. And I’m quick, I go to the thrift store by the post office when I have something to mail,
or the one by the dollar store when I have to pick up something over there, so no extra gas and only a few minutes of time. But I have enough.
So this weekend, I am again boxing up the fabric that keeps me from using my sewing room, the fabric that cascades off the tables and piles up
on the ironing board and the chair and the two laundry baskets on the floor. I will box it up, put it into the basement, and then I will look at all that
wealth all in one place at one time, and like my grandmother, shut my mouth. And my wallet. When I am leaving the house, I think I’ll go down
there first, look at the fabric, and remind myself I have more than a year’s worth, and glory in this stash I have, and remind myself God is Good, my
cup runneth over, and to share it with anyone who says they need anything in particular—because God knows, I have it down there. Grandma’s
green peppers are like my box of green calicoes, her freezers of frozen corn are the same as my Rubbermaid bins of lace and trims. Whether we’re
talking about too many red canning jars of tomatoes, or too many cut up pairs of old jeans, my “accumulating gene” is come by honestly.
Owners: Craig and Valerie Hibbard. Expenses covered by The underlying churchyard was already settling
Editors until successful enough to stand on its own. Ads into deep dim shade,
selected by Editors and given freely, and we reserve the and the shade was creeping up
right to refuse any ads. Email comments to to the housetops among which they sat.
email@example.com, or mail to: 3406 Kingston “As if,” said Eugene,
Avenue, Grove City, OH 43123. We’d like to hear your “as if the churchyard ghosts were rising.”
comments. You may read PNP free on the web at plainand- “Our Mutual Friend”—-Charles Dickens
practical.com, or order print copies by writing or emailing Charles Dickens
Senate Bean Soup District of Columbia
Walla Walla Onions Washington
Apple Pie Vermont
Boiled peanuts South Carolina
Fried Okra Oklahoma
Tomato Juice Ohio Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the
Hot Chile Peppers New Mexico streets after them. Bill Vaughn
Pumpkin New Hampshire
Boston Cream Pie Massachusetts
Blue Crabs Maryland “Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold,
Gumbo Louisiana Whether the weather be hot, We’ll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, Whether we
Hoosier Pie Indiana like it or not.”
Potato Idaho Oscar Wilde
Key Lime Pie Florida “Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower
Baked Salmon Alaska and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.”
Blackberry Alabama Marcelene Cox
Answers to puzzle on page 3 Nothing is more beautiful than the love that has weathered the storms of life. The love of the
young for the young, that is the beginning of life. But the love of the old for the old, that is
the beginning of things longer.
Page 2 Jerome K. Jerome, British novelist
People get a bad impression of the weather by continually trying to treat it as if it was a bank
clerk, who ought to be on time on Tuesday next, instead of philosophically seeing it as a
painter, who may do anything so long as you don’t try to predict what.
Katherine Whitehorn, British Journalist
Can you match the official State foods with the
Fall Clip Art! state it belongs to?
(from page one)
Once, my friend Penny and I wanted to be a circus act. We wanted to make District of Columbia
Dolly the pony into an elephant, Penny into a fancy bareback rider, and I’d be
the Lion Tamer. When grandpa Max found us trying to wire a piece of dryer
vent hose over Dolly’s nose to make an elephant trunk, he insisted on a differ- And here are the delicious foods!
ent scheme. So we wanted to be Tarzan and Jane. The temperature dropped the
afternoon of Halloween to the coldest on record—48 degrees—and we nearly BBQ
froze. Dressed in faux leopard print shorts and skimpy tops, we were authenti- Apple Pie
cally bare. We had real perch from Swartz’s butcher shop for our costume Boiled peanuts
props, and the fish kept sliding off Penny’s spear, but Tarzan was wearing a
string of fish like a bandoleer, proof of his hunting prowess, and I smelled like Walla Walla Onions
fish for days. Key Lime Pie
When we approached a farm, the horses and ponies would get up the long Tomato Juice
driveway in front of the carts and wagons, and the owners of the completely lit- Senate Bean Soup
up house would come to the door. Walking amongst pumpkins and cornstalk Grits
displays, they would hold platters of cookies or a crate of paper lunch sacks
filled with goodies.
“Don’t shoot, you vicious ghouls! If you’ll just go away, we’ll give you Baked Salmon
some treats.” Every one would smile, the kids would make the sounds that Potato
went with their costume, and the gifts would be put into pillowcases we’d tied Fried Okra
around our saddle horns. Adults would walk over with the very young children Pumpkin
from the wagons, so they could be cooed over and given their tidbits. Gumbo
After eight or ten farms, it would be close to six o’clock, so we’d return to
our starting point. Ponies and horses were tied up or let out into the pasture,
Boston Cream Pie
and the tractor-pulled hay wagon would then convey all of us to the town’s Hal- Hot Chile Peppers
loween party. Hoosier Pie
There in the old town hall, we’d parade around in circles on the old wooden Blue Crabs
floor, tromping and stomping in our vast collection of attire. Siblings held the
hand of younger children, and the circle was punctuated here and there by
judges in official looking judge hats, making marks on their clipboards. After
fifteen or twenty minutes, they would cull out the three winners from the herd Artist Impressions from Life
and put them up on the stage, where they received blue, red, and pink ribbons I sell landscape & portrait paintings which I paint on loca-
depending on win, place or show. Gift certificates to local stores, such as the tion, standing at my easel. I love to do quick pencil sketches at
hardware or the candy shop, were given out in increments of ten, seven, and festivals. God is Spirit. He is Life. He is the creator of life. I
five dollars. find it exhilarating to study the actual subjects of God's handi-
Then we’d walk through town on the way home, following our wagon, run- work. The experience of translating what I see into a painting
ning up to the porches of houses that still had their lights on or their doors open. gives a felt sense of connection to life in that moment of time.
We’d get treats of homemade popcorn balls, Barbie clothes, small booklets to My landscape paintings are usually sized from 8"X 10" to 20"
read, plastic whistles, apples, candy bars, and sometimes a quarter taped to a X 24". I currently have a painting in the Hoyt, New Castle,
card or dropped into our bags. Evening chores were quickly completed. PA, will display and do on the spot portraits at a festival in
And I don’t know how many other children received a little extra in their Downingtown, PA 5/16/09. I will show my work at a local cof-
bags after they went to bed that night, but usually the candy Mexie had put in fee shop in Columbiana in July and August. I have work in the
our own giveaway-bowl would be deposited into my pillowcase goodie-sack Butler Artist Sales Gallery at the Butler Institute of American
during the night, tripling my loot. But not all of it. The next morning at break- Art in Youngstown, Ohio. I paint with other artists in many lo-
fast I’d usually see some of the wrappers in the kitchen trash can, left from cations throughout Ohio, PA and elsewhere. For information
when my parents sat up late and talked together. They seemed to like Reese’s write or call Nancy Hawkins at Impressions from Life, 5190,
Peanut Butter Cups the best. Kirk Road, Columbiana, OH 44408, Phone 330-429-5686
A Few Plain and Practical Resources for Self-Sufficiency
(Editor’s Note: Most are known personally to us, some are by reader referral—
you’ll need to make your own decisions regarding giving your custom).
Bulk Food Stores and Mail order Foods
Barry’s Farm Foods, 20086 Mudsock Road, Wapakoneta, Ohio 45895, you can use paypal, and also can purchase their wares off of Ebay.
Yutzy’s Bulk Foods, 614-873-3815, 6010 Converse Huff Road, Plain City, Ohio 43064
Countryside Bulk Foods, 4230 West Pike, Zanesville, OH 43701, telephone 740-450-1595
Bulk Food Depot, 5457 Radford Road, Athens, OH 45701, 740-594-5053.
Apple Hill Ltd., 8690 Vermilion Road, Amherst, OH 44001-9475. Telephone 440-965-7077
Coon’s Candies, 16451 County Highway 113, Harpster, OH 43323, telephone 740-496-4141
American Harvest 51323 County Road 16, Coshocton, OH 43812, 740-622-2855
Swiss Village 309 S. Broadway St., Sugarcreek, OH 44681, telephone 330-852-2896
Sewing and Crafting Supplies
Scrap Leather, lacing, and hides, all American leather, Real Leather People, P. O. Box 251, Sonora, KY 42776 or 270-369-8880 or
Make your own brooms—Broomcorn and supplies at R.E. Caddy, Box 14634, Greensboro, N.C. 27415, 336-273-3609.
Sewing Supplies, Home-Sew Inc., P. O. Box 4099, Bethlehem, PA. 18018-0099, 1-800-344-4739, homesew.com.
Linen and wool fabrics, 1-888-546-3654, Fabrics Store.Com, 6325 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite #102, Hollywood CA 90038
Countryroad Fabrics and Gifts, 2195 N 700W Shipshewana, Indiana, 46565, good resource for fabrics, snaps, prayer caps, and more.
Clothing Patterns and Ready Made
Modest clothing patterns for women and girls, Candle on the Hill, R 139 E. Townline Rd., Athens, WI, 54411, or email:
Gohn Brothers, Box 1110, Middlebury, Indiana 46540-1110, toll free number 1-800-595-0031. All sewing done by local seamstresses to your
measurements, at very reasonable prices for good quality.’
Prayer caps (crisp mesh style), Plain and Simple Head coverings, Bayley Thompson, P. O. Box 185, Bagdad, KY 40003.
Aprons, Dresses and Coverings, Mennonite Maidens, http://www.mennonitemaiden.com , or orders by phone, 703-622-3018 or 304-492-
5590. Wide variety of all offerings, reasonable prices.
GVS, clothing for the entire family, baby supplies, toys, stationary, sewing supplies—many hard to find items. Highway 5, Versailles, MO
Housewares, Books, and Home Needs
Non-electrical tools and household goods, Lehman’s, 877-438-5346, or write for a catalog, 289 N. Kurzen Rd., Dalton, OH 44618.
Homeschooling, Pastoral, and Bible Study Reference Supplies, Christianbook offers free catalogs, call 1-800-CHRISTIAN, or write your
request to Christianbook, 140 Summit Street, Peabody, MA 01960.
Healthy natural soaps and salves, Cindy High, 905 Egeler Lane, Dexter, MI 48130
Quaker Hill Farm, children’s books, P. O. Box 10, Harrisville, MI 48742 (recently featured on Animal Planet!) Quaker Anne has all kinds
of good things made from her farm, web site is www.quakeranne.com
Sisterthreads is a group of three Christian women who sew together in the daughter’s house amongst her four children, one of which is spe-
cial-needs. Although they focus on quilts, they also do a variety of purses and organizers for knitting needles, crochet hooks and other sew-
ing items. By mail: Sister Threads, P. O. Box 91, Herrietta, MI, 49638, or telephone, 231-389-0253.
Lora Yapp, 76 Twp Rd 1336, South Point, Oh 45680-7888, for lemongrass soap, as well as many other kinds! Several sampler sizes for fair
prices. Available in multiples for favors, too.
Home Remedies, Wellness Service, 420 Weaver Road, Millersburg, PA, 17061, books, suppliments, oils, massage tools.
Pendle Hill Bookstore (a Quaker publishing house and retailer of Quaker literature), 338 Plush Hill Road, Wallingford, PA, 19086-6099, or
telephone 1-800-742-3150 ext. 2. Bookstore email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rod and Staff Publishing, cookbooks, homeschooling, religious reading, 606-522-4348, P. O. Box 3, Hwy. 172, Crockett, KY 41413-0003.
Treadle Sewing Machine support group, TreadleOn, http://www.treadleon.net/ Parts, repairs, maintenance, advice.
Support for Becoming or Learning About Being Plain
You can write or email to me: see editor’s box. I can provide rough sketches for clothes and will gladly answer any questions to the best of
Quaker Jane—email@example.com, she has the best and most thorough site for those who have questions about becoming Plain
Quaker Anne—See Quaker Hill Farm under “housewares,” above
Headcovering statement based on scripture—Plainly Dressed’s web page, http://plainlydressed.com/headcoveringinformationfile.html
Keepers At Home magazine (Plain homemakers) $13 year/4 issues. 2673 Township Road 421, Sugarcreek, OH 44681
Plain Interests newspaper (Plain lifestyle), 420 Weaver Road, Millersburg, PA, 17061. Monthly, $16 yearly.
Classic string bags, 5/$22, from Eco Bags, 1-800-720-2247 or www.ecobags.com
The Cloth Bag Company, 770-393-0058, cloth preprinted or blank bags, 7985 Saddle Ridge Drive, Atlanta, GA 30350
Tan’s Club, 2466 Mariondale Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90032, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org (this one offered the lowest bulk prices, too)
Good Husband and I have some hopeful news to share. We’ve received the LLC and EIN numbers and we are seeking suitable rental property to
open our Plain and Practical Foods store in the Columbus area. There are many things to decide, from how the inventory will be tracked, to under-
standing local food handling rules and regulations. Resources need to be studied and compared so that we can give folks a good price and keep
safety a primary concern. Please help us with your prayers for God’s sweet guidance, so that we may move forward in a way which stewards this
entity to become a community resource for all. If you or a family member has a licensed business to produce jams, jellies, pickled items, honey,
candies, or other food items, please contact us about carrying your product in our store. We’d like to help out other small Christian businesses at the
same time we’re working to provide healthy foods to our community.
Yet more self-advertisement—apologies—the online Etsy store is open with my aprons, vintage sewing supplies, and linen prayer caps, accessible at
apronsrecycled.etsy.com, and then there’s the Artfire store to see, apronsrecycled.artfire.com. You can continue to read the Plain and Practical
newspaper at www.plainandpractical.com, and of course there are links there to the shops, for your convenience. I’ve booked eight local craft shows
in the Columbus, Ohio, area—if you are interested in those locations and dates, please email me and I’ll send you the list.
“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. The shortest prayer
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle goeth not out by night. in the Bible:
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” “Lord, save me.”
Proverbs 31: 17-19 Matthew 14:30