Saturday, May 30, 2009

A BIG Flower

We woke up Thursday morning to this gorgeous flower on our back patio. It is a hardy hibiscus (as opposed to a tropical hibiscus). Other names for the plant are swamp mallow, rose mallow and dinner-plate hibiscus. The blossoms only last a day but it is a prolific bloomer and there are lots of buds on the plant. It's a bit hard to tell in this picture but the blossom is about 8" in diameter. The petals have the texture of crepe paper. In past years we have had blossoms that approach 12 inches. In looking up the plant to make sure I had the correct name I learned that it really is a wet-lands/marsh plant. Therefore it wants LOTS more water than I have been giving it. We did transplant it to a bigger pot this year so maybe I can better keep up with it's water requirements.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Doesn't This Look Good?

Our garden is coming along. While the regular tomatoes are still getting bigger our cherry tomato plant alread has some ripe tomatoes. I took a picture and then picked. We've already enjoyed some beans. The sugar snap peas were good. We enjoyed some and froze the rest for stir fry later this year.

We've had a small picking of green beans. Blossoms promise more.
Last Monday for FHE we planted another row of green beans where the peas were. In this picture you can see the first row behind the bell pepper.

And the bell pepper plants now have baby peppers on them. This one looks a lot bigger than it really is.

Along with beans we planted cucumbers around empty tomato cages and they are already coming up. If you look closly you can see the dirt lifted in the background where we should see bean seedlings in a day or so. We also planted zuchinni squash and cantalope. The zuchinni is also making an appearance.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Handful of Blossoms

In spite of the warm temperatures my sweet peas produce sporadic blossoms. This is encouraging. I'll try planting earlier next season.

My geraniums are recovering. Perhaps it is about time for the deer to come around again?

This determined little snapdragon is a gift from nature - no human put it there. It is growing within inches of the curb in the front yard and causes many walkers to pause and appreciate.
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Best Hiding Place

When I came downstairs Mother's Day morning there was this beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card for me on the table. They were from Richard. Knowing he hadn't gone to the store that morning I asked where he had hidden them. With a little grin on his face he replied, "The laundry room." I'm enjoying the flowers - and the perfect Saturday afternoon hiding place.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oh Dear, Not So Dear Deer

The pot of geraniums I planted in March have, over the last two months really filled in and bloomed beautifully and profusely. The pot is a most welcome spot of color. Saturday morning the color was gone. Marauders had removed the geranium flowers and the petunia and Gerber Daisy flowers near the front door. If you look carefully at the picture taken a couple of days later you will see 13 flower stems with no flowers. As you can see a new flush of bloom is on the way.I suspected deer and found the hoof prints to back up my suspicions. It's hard to tell in the photo but within the square formed by the sticks is a hoof print.
I am grateful they only enjoyed the blossoms and not the plants - dear, dear, deer.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Our Pioneer Ancestry: Elizabeth Holbrook Shaw

My intent was to post a short sketch of Elizabeth H. Shaw's life along with her picture. She led such a note-worthy and intriguing life it was had to leave anything out. It is a story well-worth reading.

Elizabeth Holbrook Shaw is a fascinating and remarkable woman. She was born at Arnold, Nottingham, England July 8, 1845 to John and Mary Ann Jeffery Holbrook. Her father died when she was three months old. She was the youngest of 5 children. (There is some discrepancy as to the number but her autobiography says there were five children twelve and under.) The family joined the church when she was nine.

She was six or seven when she began working to help the family finances. She worked at two bleach factories (they bleached woman’s stockings) walking a mile each way to the first and then four miles each way to the second because it paid better. Her next job was at a silk and lace factory. Because of her dependability she was soon given a position at the machines. One day her arm got caught in the machine’s cogs. Before the equipment could be stopped her arm was almost cut off. It took 21 weeks for it to heal enough for her to go back to work. She worked here until she was 16.

Two brothers immigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1858. They were able to send enough money to bring the rest of the family to Brooklyn. They sailed on the “Benjamin Franklin” arriving in July 1861. Elizabeth now 16 found work at a tobacco factory. The next spring they joined William B. Preston’s wagon company arriving October 1, 1865. Ever industrious, she found a job stripping sugar cane in exchange for molasses. In November she went with a family to Providence in Cache Valley where she worked for her board. “Being a green English girl … they traded me out of all my good clothes as I always had plenty. My mother was a very proud woman and always kept us well dressed, our stomach could go short if need be but never our backs.”

On March 26, 1865 she married Henry Albert Shaw at Paradise where Henry taught school. They were among the first settlers in Paradise. There they built a log house and planted wheat. Their plan was to go to the Endowment House in SLC after the harvest to be sealed. They traveled by ox team. They stayed in the tithing yard where Henry found Emma Rogers, now a widow, whom he had known in England. Henry asked Elizabeth’s consent to marry Emma as a second wife the next day, October 20, 1865 after they were sealed. Prior to this Elizabeth and Emma hadn’t met. The enlarged family returned to Paradise but were caught in an early snow storm and had to walk from Mantua to Paradise about 15 miles. Elizabeth was 2 months away from having her first baby.

The two wives lived in harmony in a shared home, eating “at the same table”. When Elizabeth and Emma had 13 children between them, they “insisted in dividing the house between us each having five rooms.” Henry built a home with each wife having her own kitchen, bedroom, sitting room and pantry with a large stairway dividing downstairs and four large bedrooms upstairs.
Elizabeth took care of the children with help from a hired girl while Henry and Emma taught school. In 1872 when the Paradise Co-op was organized in a room in their home, Emma became the clerk and manager.

Henry died January 26, 1884 three months before their youngest child was born. Elizabeth homesteaded 160 acres in the Avon area raising cows and selling the butter. She would travel to Paradise each Sunday morning to attend church and return to the homestead in time for the evening milking. When the land was legally hers, she sold it and moved back to Paradise. She went to SLC for a course in nursing and obstetrics in 1886 or 7. She also had learned to make powders for nerves, teething and cancer. She was a sought after “doctor” for 30 years. Her picture hangs in the Doctors Room in the DUP headquarters museum.

When she was 51 one of Emma’s daughters had been in poor health and was concerned about surviving the delivery. She asked Elizabeth to take care of her baby if she died. The baby was a week old when the mother died. Elizabeth took care of the baby boy until he died at 7 months.

When Emma became an invalid Elizabeth cared for her for many years until her death in 1904.

In 1910, when she was 65, her youngest son’s wife left him and asked Elizabeth to take care of their two children, a 4-year-old girl and an 18-month boy. She raised the children to maturity.

She was a talented seamstress, the first milliner and dressmaker in Paradise. She made flour sacks for the mill and sold overalls. She did lovely embroidery and crochet. She made many hand-pieced quilts, doing “her stint” – one hand-pieced quilt block – every day irregardless of what else was going on in her life.

Elizabeth was a member of the Paradise Relief Society Presidency for 25 years. As there was no undertaker in town she prepared many bodies for burial. As president of the Sewing in Relief Society for 30 years she tended to the temple clothes and made “them for the living and the dead.” She also served in the primary organization and was active in community affairs.

From her autobiography: “I always despised poverty and would do anything to earn a dollar. My husband was the first school teacher at Paradise and continued to teach for about 15 years then his health began to fail and he discontinued teaching. He was also pioneer postmaster being P. M. from 1871 to his death in 1884. We are and always have been a happy family. My husband’s wife Emma died fifteen years ago but we still hold our family reunions and every member of my husband’s children are as dear to me as my own and they honor me and never forget my birthday no more than my own.”

She was always well-groomed and dressed. According to her granddaughter she “had sparkling black eyes, a ready smile and a quick answer.”

She was very ill the last four months of her life, living with her daughter, Elizabeth Bahen. She passed away December 30, 1928. She is buried in the Paradise Cemetery.

Life History written by Ruby Williams Nielsen, a granddaughter
Life History written by herself, probably in 1916 when she was 71. All quotes, except the last, are from her autobiography.
Life Sketch by Carma Danielson
Obituary for Mrs. Elizabeth H. Shaw
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A Gem of a Find

My interest in exploring the internet for information on my ancestors lead to this find. It is the St. Issell church in Haroldston St. Issells, Pemborkeshire, Wales.

This is where David Thomas probably married Elizabeth Nash on 30 September 1828.
David and Elizabeth Thomas are my 3 great-grandparents.

photographed by Rosemary Bevan