Tucker McBride

Return to a time when a boy could be a boy; when life was more clear from the top branch of a tree; when a kid could trade anger and disappointment for action and adventure; when the whole neighborhood was his playground; and the sloppy kiss from a dog could make everything right.


Monday, September 30, 2019

The Lasts That Won't Bind

What is this?

If Tucker's grandparents where like mine, they would have shoved all the old family stuff under the eaves of the attic. When Grandpa Bryson sold the family's sesquicentennial farm, Grandpa told my husband, Bill, "Throw all that junk away, but keep the cobbler's bench. It was my great-uncles." Well, Bill didn't through any of it away; but, yes, the cobbler's bench was very special. Bill re-enacts the roll of the cobble for special events at the Forks of the Wabash, an historic site here in Huntington. 
   In the blurry picture, you may be able to see the boot last on the far left to which Bill had demonstrated applying leather. In the middle are additional spacers so the boot could be made wide enough to not bind but to fit any size leg. Other shoe lasts are on the bench. Our "What's this?" are three more boot lasts.

If you found something like these in your attic, what would you do with them? Perhaps the entire bench, including the wooden pegs, were there, resting for years where the roof meets the attic walls. Draw a picture of the shoes you might design. They could be like Tucker McBride's old clodhoppers or they may be a modern design. You decide.

Monday, September 23, 2019

A Cabinet Out of Stuff

Tucker's Grandpop may have built Gramma a new cabinet from things he found in the attic. Now, we call it "re-purposing." What might he have used to make this one?

Our daughter, Donna and her husband Mark, were flooded out of their home in Katy, Texas by Hurricane Harvey. My husband, Bill, built this cabinet for them after everything on the first floor was destroyed by flood water.

After I designed it on paper, we searched an antique store to find the parts. The double bank of drawers on each side are parts of two different treadle sewing machines. Positioned on a platform with space for a "cubby" in the center, a wooden wall hanging was sized to fit as a door in the middle. Four legs from a home supple store were attached to the bottom platform board. Voila, a new piece of furniture. After we took it to Texas, Mark added more. He removed the legs and mounted the cabinet on their iron sewing machine base whose upper wooden part had been destroyed by all that water. Beautiful. Mark, if you're reading this, please post a picture of the cabinet with the authentic treadle base on my Facebook page.
(He did) Image may contain: people sitting and indoor

If you need a new cabinet, desk, chest or other furniture, what might you use to create it? If you already have made one, please post it on my Facebook page. Or, make a mock-up and use it as a discussion at home or in class.

Monday, September 16, 2019

How Do You Have Fun?

 As the author of Tucker McBride, I have been having fun with the whole process, including marketing. A recent fun item is "snap jewelry." The necklace and earring set is snap jewelry. The metal part I had purchased a year ago and change out the snaps as seasons change. For my book signings of Tucker McBride, I made snaps from the cover art of Tucker McBride.

  
These are the pieces "unsnapped" - Making snaps is one way I enjoy life.    How do you have fun? 
                                             

You don't have to travel 2000 miles to see things you've never seen before. There are sites you will enjoy on day-trips. You don't have to visit another country with different foods, customs, and language. There are restaurants near by or within driving distance. Local schools and universities have athletics, musical and theatrical programs, and art displays. Choose to enjoy what you can find near by rather than throwing a pity party over an event that would require a hotel stay. Choose to love life and find enjoyable activities in the area in which you live. Life is fun!



Monday, September 9, 2019

Before Its Time

Gramma or Grandpop Moyer may have used one of these while in school. I know my grandfather did. This one was his. I introduced you to it with nothing around it as a frame of reference. Sorry. It's not as large as some thought.

Throughout the lives of families, what we didn't have we found a way to create something. That's the story of this item.   Backpacks came onto the market in 1938. But, that wasn't the first invention for carrying school books.

In the late 1890's, Grandpa fitted the straps to this "backpack" around his books, then wound the handle around, tightening and shortening the straps. Walking back and forth to school, he carried his books by the handle. It would have carried many McGuffey text books, from readers to Arithmetic.

Life is full of fun ways to see how inventive people were as they found ways to simplify their lives. If you lived long ago and didn't have a backpack but had a stack of books, how would you make your task lighter? Draw a picture of your solution and a paragraph about it. Have fun with it. There is no wrong answer, only your great, creative answer.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Sugar Cream Pie

Several people asked for the sugar cream pie recipe Gramma made in book 2 - Tucker McBride - His Many Lives (out in early 2020). I made it Tuesday morning as a deep dish pie. For deep dish you must make your own crust as a pre-made crust is not large enough for the larger, deeper pie plate. You can make two 8 inch pies with this recipe. Enjoy



Sugar Cream Pie 

An Indiana favorite from Gerschuh's Restaurant in Greenville, Ohio (now closed)

Ingredients     Prep time = 10 min.    Cook Time = 1 hr. 15 min. Watch to make sure the pie is bubbling through all over the last ten minutes of baking. Makes 2 thin pies or one deep dish pie.

1 cup Granulated Sugar
5 Tbs All purpose flour                                                                                    
Dash of salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half (may use half cream/half whole milk)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs butter – cut into pea sized pieces
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 9 inch deep dish pie crust - or 2 8 inch regular pie plate

Instructions
1.     Preheat oven to 350 and place rack in center of oven
2.     Line a deep dish pie plate with your favorite crust – set aside
3.     In large bowl, mix the sugar, flour and salt until evenly blended. Use a whisk to make sure lumps are broken down. Add the 2 cups of whipping cream and mix well but do not whip or beat.
4.     In a separate bowl, mix the half and half, egg yolks and vanilla together well. (Use a whip – do not whip or beat.)
5.     Then, pour the mixture into the sugar mixture and blend together well – don’t beat.
6.     Pour the mixture into the pie shell and dot with the butter pieces around evenly on top of the pie.
7.     Sprinkle the top of the pie with the cinnamon
8.     Bake at 350° for 1 hour 15 minutes, until it bubbles through for the last 10 minutes (In a regular oven – about an hour and 15 minutes, but check the pie by wiggling the edge of the pie plate – if the pie is still loose in the center, it isn’t quite done – as soon as it no longer loosely jiggles, it is done – it will still be jiggly like Santa’s tummy in the center. If you are making two smaller pies, adjust bake time.)

Monday, September 2, 2019

The Golden Chicken

Gramma would have bought one like this at Winkler’s Grocery across the street.  My grandparents had this one on the shelf with other whatnots. Grandpa said peanut butter came in it. A rather fancy container for peanut butter. I couldn't find a Google reference to a "peanut butter filled glass chicken." Perhaps a local company bought Indiana glass chicken candy dishes and filled them with their peanut butter to promote their new product.   What a fun idea! What was your guess? What things are in your home you no longer know their origin or were used in a unique way?

Talk about one of your items with a long-forgotten use and come up with your own reason for its purchase. Or, use my golden chicken. Invent a different use for the chicken or for your family object. Then, write a TV commercial about your wonderful new product. Try to sell the public on its amazing qualities and imaginative use.


Investigate the World Around You

Hello, my friends. I'm sorry we have not met recently. As you know, I have just finished the third in my Tucker McBride trilogy, Tucker&...