Oregon Trail #2 Independence MO.

Explorers, fur trappers, and traders found and began to use the wildlife trails that Indians followed across the continent’s interior. Those same trails provided a link to the West, opening the route for Oregon-bound emigrants. Eager to expand the growing nation, the English the United States’ government encouraged emigrants to move toward the Oregon Country. Settlements in the West would help America’s claim to the land—and American farmers were eager to help their country reach all its potential. Back in the 1840s, Britain and America both claimed the Oregon Country.

Things really got rolling in 1843 when one group (nearly a thousand persons) set off in covered wagons. They were on their way to the Oregon Country. Today we call it the Great Migration of 1843.

Independence Missouri

Founded in 1827 near where the Missouri River flows into the Mississippi, the town of Independence grew rapidly as a trading post. By the 1840’s, it was the most popular “jumping off” point for pioneers to stock their wagons with supplies before heading out to Oregon or California.

A short trail from the school brought students to the starting point of out game

A short trail from the school brought students to the starting point of out game

Teacher giving final instructions

Teacher giving final instructions

After a teacher gave final instructions, each wagon train prepared to hit the trail. A parent volunteer was stationed there to act as a store keeper who could sell last minute supplies to the pioneers before they departed.

Buying supplies at Independence MO

Buying supplies at Independence MO

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The Oregon Trail #1

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Today starts a series that will explain why I made a Coonskin Cap.

Alright this doesn’t have much to do with frugality. Unless I could classify it as frugal fun. It WAS very fun and didn’t have to cost me anything but I did make some frugal purchases to add to the experiance.

Let me back up s bit. I’ve mentioned before that I volunteer to help with an after schoool nature club “The Eco Cubs” at my neighborhood elemantry school.

The teacher who supervises the club is a fourth grade teacher. She asked for my help on the BIG DAY.

Fourth graders last history unit of the year is about the Oregon Trail. Throughout the unit the students prepare for a reenactment of the westward migration. This “Oregon Trail Big Day” takes place in a park adjacent to the school.  I was glad to participate.

If it’s been a few years since you were in the fourth grade  you may need a refresher course: The 2,200-mile east-west trail served as a critical transportation route for emigrants traveling from Missouri to Oregon and other points west during the mid-1800s. Rather than a single trail, “The Oregon Trail” was a series of trails following the same general route west. Travelers were inspired by dreams of gold and rich farmlands, but they were also motivated by difficult economic times in the east and diseases like yellow fever and malaria that were decimating the Midwest around 1837.

Throughout their unit of study the children prepare for this Big Day by each purchasing supplies for their paper doll family and wagon.

They learn that the recommended supply list included such things as; flour, bacon (what we now call salt pork), coffee, tea, sugar, lard, rice, beans, & dried fruit.

In addition to food they needed weapons for hunting and protection, carpentry tools so they could construct their new home, garden implements and seeds for their future garden and livestock.

Briefly the rules of the game are:

Each wagon trail (about 10 students) is lead through the park by a “Trail Guide” (Teacher) and trail guide assistants (parent or other volunteer) following a map.

The park is ideally suited to serve as the venue of our

The park is ideally suited to serve as the venue of our “Oregon Trail Big Day”

The map indicates landmarks and Forts the pioneers visit on their travels west.

At each they are quizzed about that site. Right answers earn them rewards in the form of additional supplies. Wrong answers mean they give up supplies.

Additionally there are parent “Rovers” along the trail who act as fur traders, mountain men, native Americans, lost travelers etc.  The rovers provide additional scenarios the pioneers might encounter. For instance the travelers may be attached and someone injured. One of the paper dolls goes into an “injured pouch” carried by one of the trail guide assistance.

going into the injured pouch Later the pioneers could meet a mountain man who has medicine, they trade for the elixir and the injured is removed from the pouch. highway men 9213Highway men may steal food from the train or they may successfully kill a buffalo and have food to feast on.

The object of the game is to reach Oregon City before winter with enough supplies to establish a new home.

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Show & Tell Sunday

Today’s cakes all have something in common.IMG_0007 3-d spiderIMG_9635IMG_0164 spiderman imageIMG_8341IMG_0163 f;lowers & B flies

Did you figure out what they have in common?

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Food Waste Friday

Kristen “The Frugal Girl” got me focused on Food waste. I began joining her in posting when I let food go bad.

FoodWasteFriday As a single I know that it is best to buy produce individually even though the price is WAY better to buy in bulk.

Occasionally I succumb to the lure of  a 10# bag of potatoes or oranges. I always have god intentions to use them in a timely fashion but often forget all about them.

As a result I end up with food waste, which is no kind of good deal.oranges

potatoes with eyes

It wasn’t a total loss though, finding the food waste spurred me to action. I juiced the remaining oranges and froze the juice.

The salvageable potatoes became  two HUGE pans of potato wedges. Some eaten, some frozen.potato wedges

How did you do this week?

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Today we say goodbye to Glory

In February of 2003 my mother got a new pure bred collie puppy.

Glory's first day in our family

Glory’s first day in our family

A few months later my mother suffered a series of strokes that she never recovered from.

Neither myself or my sister could take full responsibility for the dog but we worked out a way to share the dog owner duties. That’s how Glory (because she is GLORIOUS) became a time-share dog. (We have two brothers also, but they had no interest in the puppy.)

I walk Glory most every day. Most of the people I see at the park assume she is mine. Once my sister had her at the self serve dog wash, one of my fellow park users recognized Glory and wondered why a stranger was giving her a bath.

playing frisbee

playing frisbee

As a young dog Glory loved playing Frisbee. She took naturally to leaping high in the air to retrieve the flying disk.. She was good at it.

In 2014 Glory began having problems, it was a struggle to get up on her feet. Occasionally she tripped and fell. She was diagnosed with nerve damage in her back, most likely a result of the hard landings when she played Frisbee. By September she was using a dog wheel chair to get around.

Glory & Lola at the park

Glory & Lola at the park

Early this year she was unable to pull herself around in the cart. We had to use a sling to help her get outside to do her business. Our trips to the park were now in a dog stroller/bike trailer.

a princess in her coach

a princess in her coach

This spring we knew Glory would not last through the summer.

Two weeks ago I decided I wanted to remember Glory by photographing her with all her park friends.

I made a list of about 25 people I wanted to include. I spent as much time as possible with her in the park hoping to meet up with people most of whom I only knew by first name (or the name of their dog). The first week I made good progress. Everyone was eager to have the opportunity to say good bye to Miss B (Glory Be) and have their photo taken.

Jill (Her dog Tour will soon be in Doggy Heaven too)

Jill (Her dog Tour will soon be in Doggy Heaven too)

Robert and Pete

Robert and Pete

Paul

Paul

Nick was afraid of dogs before he met Glory. Now he has his own German Shepherd.

Nick was afraid of dogs before he met Glory. Now he has his own German Shepherd.

The second week I caught up with most of the others. We made an appointment for the vet to come to my house on July 20th.  I took the weekend off from work in an attempt to get pictures of the people I was missing. I had phone numbers for two of them and learned that they were both out of town but would be back just in time. Saturday the vet called and said she had to reschedule for Wednesday. Sunday I got pictures of the people who had been on vacation.

Sophia the Labradoodle & Kira

Sophia the Labradoodle & Kira

Andy & Marla with their Wheaton Terrier Gus

Andy & Marla with their Wheaton Terrier Gus

As I walked in the park people would ask how my collection of pictures was coming along. I mentioned wanting Bill & David but hadn’t seen them in two weeks. Someone said Oh, I know where they live. She gave them my number and we planned to meet at the park Tuesday.

Monday I was driving, a car coming the opposite direction had a poodle hanging out the window. As it passed me I said out loud” THAT’S DIANE” I did a quick U-turn and gave chase. A car pulled in between us. Then a second car put me further behind her. I prayed “Oh, please let me catch up to her”.I’d been following her about five miles when she turned right and the two cars between us turned left. I pulled up close behind her and tooted my horn. I tooted again. I tooted a third time and she pulled over. When she got out of the car I apologized for most assuredly giving her a scare. She was glad to see me and glad to know that the honks hadn’t been because of some problem with her car. We moved to a nearby business who had a nice little green space in front and borrowed it for our photo shoot.

Diane with Henry & Macy

Diane with Henry & Macy

Tuesday came and Bill & David met me at the park.

Bill & David with Sam son the boxer

Bill & David with Sam son the boxer

I still lacked Keith but I think but I was at rest with that although with what happened with Diane I would not have been surprised if he showed up at the park Tuesday. I mentioned Keith to David who said “I have his number”. We called and found that they were in the neighborhood with their granddaughter. While I was still on the phone with Keith’s wife Nancy they pulled into the parking lot.

Ellie, Nancy and Keith

Ellie, Nancy and Keith

My collection is complete, I am at rest letting Glory go to doggie heaven.

I won’t bore you with all the pictures but here are a few more of my favorites.

Brian (his dogs Daisy & Peko wandered out of the picture

Brian (his dogs Daisy & Peko wandered out of the picture

Barbara and Cedar Cedar doesn't belong to Barbara but she wants a walking companion so she barrows him every afternoon

Barbara and Cedar
Cedar doesn’t belong to Barbara but she wants a walking companion so she barrows him every afternoon

Linda & Snowy

Linda & Snowy

Ichabod- the Glory has departed (1 Samuel 4)

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Coon Skin Cap

I mentioned before that I’ve been on the lookout for some frugal (“cheap”) fake fur to use with this 50 cent toy to make a coonskin cap.

50 cents at SVdP

50 cents at SVdP

(I do wish I could figure out how to make links back to previous posts, but I digress)

A reader suggested finding a stuffed animal I could use, which I thought was an excellent idea but I haven’t seen any that would work. I came across this piece of fabric at Goodwill but $2.99 isn’t frugal enough for me.

IMG_9897

One evening as I walked the dog around the block we came upon this:

Free Pile

Free Pile

I gleaned a few items:

Clothing will be donated to Union Gospel Mission.

Clothing will be donated to Union Gospel Mission.

including this Muff, IMG_9948I admit I was tempted to keep it and use it as a muff. Who doesn’t enjoy the toasty feeling of cold hands snuggled in a muff?

Practicality won out. How often would I actually use the muff? and this piece of fake fur certainly met my criteria for “Cheap”!

although it wasn’t originally cheap.

$42

$42

I unstitched the muff to give me a flat piece of fur. From this pattern I already ownedIMG_9914

I found I would need a band 4 ¾” X 23”, and an 8″ circle for the crown to make a child sized medium hat.

IMG_9916I had to piece my fur to get 23″.

IMG_9986I cut a lining from Navy & Black Buffalo Check flannel.IMG_9988

I  sewed the band & lining along the long edge. IMG_9989Then across the short edge, creating the lined band.

IMG_9990I pinned and then hand basted the crown to the band in order to make sure I had all three layers in place before I stitched with the machine.

Last step was to tack the tail in place.IMG_9992

My finished product is a cap worthy of Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett or any other pioneer.daniel booneIf you have a guess why a frugal spinster wants a coon skin cap, you can submit it in the comment section. I’ll be back later this week to let you know.

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French Show & Tell Sunday

A snippet of history to go along with today’s Show & Tell.

July 14th is Bastille Day. That is it’s known as Bastille Day by the English speaking world, the French refer to this national holiday as La Fete Nationale. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille which was the culmination of the French Revolution.

A few French facts:

7989 French flag France’s Flag known as the “Tricolor” has been the official flag since 1830.

7984 Arch d triumphThe Arc d’ Triomphe honors those who fought and died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars.

IMG_9871 eifelThe Eiffel tower is the tallest structure in France and the most visited monument in the world.

7986Eifel TowerHave you been to the Eiffel Tower?

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