Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Over the years many of you have heard me talk about Dorothy Smith Brown who was my Home Economics teacher for 6 years – Jr High through High School and a life-long friend. Her life of 107 years was celebrated last month. My cousin Delmar and my friend Chris were able to last visit with her in September 2019.

I have felt forever blessed that I met Dorothy at the age of 12 when our family moved to my dad’s hometown Stratton. She was a wonderful mentor to so many of us….she imparted much knowledge from her Home Ec. classes and I still draw on that knowledge today and share with those around me. We had a life long friendship which I treasure. It was Dorothy I called after I read “The Worst Hard Time” by Timothy Egan….I wanted to hear and learn more about the Dust Bowl in Eastern Colorado. It was great to visit with Dorothy over the years and hear more about her and her ever-growing family of which she was so proud.

I would like to share her obituary with you as it is a beautiful tribute to her life.

Erma Dorothy Cross Smith Brown was born on January 15, 1913 in her family home near Union, Nebraska to parents Carl Cedric Cross and Erma Blanche Mougey Cross. She was the eldest of three sisters (Dorothy 1913, Ruth 1915-2013 and baby Margaret 1918-1922). In 1922 the family was stricken with scarlet fever and baby Margaret died as a result. In 1920 Carl moved the family to Eastern Colorado to a piece of land 13 miles straight north of present-day Arriba near the Arikaree River. In the fall of 1920, Dorothy started 3rd grade in a one room sod house called Mount Lookout. After completing 9th grade at age 13, Dorothy went to Arriba to live with a family to attend High School. In 1929 at age 16, armed with a scholastic scholarship earned by being Valedictorian of her graduating class, she enrolled at Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University). Economic hard times during the “Great Depression” forced Dorothy to put her education on hold after three years. In 1932, Dorothy married John Oscar Smith whose family lived about 8 miles west of Dorothy’s home. Dorothy and Oscar’s first home was a very small house, about 5 miles from the school where Oscar had obtained a rural teaching position. Dorothy and Oscar were able to lease several acres of land to farm and raise a few head of cattle and hogs along with turkeys and chickens. Oscar taught school at day and farmed at night. Dorothy and Oscar were blessed with four children, Gordon Cross (1933), Margaret Jean (1936), John Robert (1938) and Richard Carl (1940). Dorothy raised her family, tended to livestock and helped Oscar farm when possible. In 1944, during the worst part of World War II, the Arriba Public School System Superintendent asked both Oscar and Dorothy to join the Staff. Dorothy was to teach English, establish a school library, and teach other subjects as needed. Neither Dorothy nor Oscar had completed their college degrees, so they immediately began taking correspondence courses and enrolled in summer school back at Colorado A&M. Dorothy earned her BS Degree in Education majoring in Home Economics in 1945. Dorothy and Oscar continued to go to summer school each year for many summers thereafter. They both went on to earn their Master of Education degrees in 1959. This was the start of Dorothy’s long career as teacher and mentor to so many in Eastern Colorado. She went on to teach for the next 31 years. In 1950, Dorothy and Oscar moved to Stratton to join the Stratton High School faculty. Dorothy was to rebuild the Home Economics program and teach English Literature. In 1955 Oscar became Superintendent of the Stratton Public Schools. It was in 1957 that Oscar and Dorothy began discussing the feasibility of building a new state of the art Junior and Senior High School facility. Dorothy had a special ability in developing the necessary elements of the plan to accomplish this undertaking. Of course, Dorothy was influential in developing “her” specification for the modern Home Economics classroom and the Library. In 1973, Dorothy was recognized for her teaching talents and overall contribution to education by being chosen as the Colorado Mother of the Year. After retiring from teaching she did not remain idle. She and Oscar enjoyed restoring their farm outside Arriba, planting and harvesting a huge garden both at their farm in Arriba and in Stratton and playing golf at the Stratton Golf club. Dorothy took great pride in preparing nutritious meals and was a wonderful homemaker. Sadly, Oscar passed much too early in April of 1983. In addition to time spent on projects with Oscar, Dorothy, along with two others, spent many hours writing and editing the History of Kit Carson County, capturing stories of its people, its communities, and its memorable events. She was a leading force in establishing Stratton’s Public Library and Stratton’s affordable housing project. Dorothy was instrumental in the effort that became the Kit Carson Carousel Restoration project and later she was one of the leaders in the formation of the Kit Carson Carousel Association. She also grew a beautiful yard and garden. As a Master Gardener, she was active in the local gardening club and until recently wrote a gardening column for the local paper. In 1988, Dorothy married UGene Brown. UGene and Dorothy were able to enjoy a motor trip to Virginia to visit several of UGene’s family and take an awesome 1989 Summer Alaskan Cruise before his death. In 2016, Dorothy moved to the Legacy, an assisted living facility in Burlington. She enjoyed living at The Legacy and interacting with the other residents and the staff. She had many visitors and made many new friends. Dorothy was a lifelong Methodist. Her life was deeply rooted in the Methodist Doctrine of “Grace and Accountability”. Dorothy and Oscar attended the First United Methodist Church of Stratton singing in the choir and being faithfully active. Dorothy enjoyed working with the Methodist Women and always participated in church wide conferences and meetings. Her unfailing faith was recognized when the Rocky Mountain Peaks and Plains Women chose her as a “Quiet Disciple”. Participating in church activities and taking time for Daily Worship has always been a way of life for Dorothy. Dorothy reveled in the fact that all her kids married their childhood friend and that all the marriages were so successful. She doted on her multitude of grand kids, great grand kids and several great-great grand kids. Dorothy had a lifelong love of needlework and made sure to craft at least one special needlework project for each of her sixteen grandchildren. Dorothy in her own words: Persevere- don’t give up; Inspire- you can do it; Collaborate- we can do it; Always here if you need me- A Life Well Lived. Dorothy, at 107 years old, is preceded in death by her husbands, John Oscar Smith and UGene Brown, her daughter Margaret Jean Mason McGriff, her son in laws Max Mason and Willie McGriff, her daughter in law Judy Conarty Smith, and her granddaughter Linda Leah Mason Poulin. She is survived by her son Gordon and his wife Eleanor, her son John Robert, her son Richard and his wife Margene, her step daughter LuAnn and her husband Jerry Lucas and a multitude of grand kids, great grand kids and several great-great grand kids.

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Blogging (on my mind), knitting (Canyon River Poncho with out the fringe) sewing (masks – appx 375, quilted table runner, pillow covers, quilt repair) and cooking as well as cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning have been all consuming during this last 15 months of the Pandemic. Today I saw this interesting post from Interweave Press: Three Must-Know Gansey Cast Ons and thought it would be my entry way back to blogging and sharing.

Our knitting groups have moved from ZOOM and back to in-person meetups which are outdoors for now. So good to see knitting folks and friends.


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It has been an upside down year for sure – this 2020….but I find myself driven today to share the photos from our last FMK (Friday Morning Knitting Group) celebration in December 2019.  Our dear friend Jean is ill and I want to share these photos.

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All but two (my personal work aprons for JoAnn’s) of these reversible aprons were gifts. I loved combining the fabrics and more in the works.

My great grandniece….


Aprons for Bill’s great granddaughters….


My work aprons…..




Gift for my niece Chloe…..


Gift for my niece Honara…





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You might recall my post in August about this special memory quilt….a gift from Hildagarde to her cousin. I love the colors and thoughtfulness of this quilt. The picture of the small child is that of Hildagarde…a special way to “signature” the quilt. Look carefully and you will see a juke box  selection, a map, a CocaCola bottle, a menu, and different choices of sundaes and ice cream cones. This indeed is one my favorite quilts that I have seen. So glad that I got to see and share the completed quilt with you.

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Yes…..it’s that time of year again where we celebrate our friendships within this holiday Christmas season. This is the second year that Karen K has hosted…..the setting is so lovely and so conducive to all mingling easily. Fourteen of us gathered and we are all so grateful to Karen for opening her home for this event. We laughed, we shared, we expressed our gratitude for years of friendship, we played the gift exchange game, we ate (catered from Picante), and we drank our favorite – margaritas…..Cameron and Sheri are the best bartenders.  We, of course, were treated by Merle to her infamous cheesecake. No gathering would be complete without Merle telling her traditional story of the Christmas tree in her childhood….we beg her to tell it again each year and each year it’s like we are hearing for the first time. We missed Bonnie, Mayra, Patricia and Sandy. I love FMKG (Friday Morning Knitting Group)!


By the way, my sewing machine has been “smoking”…..reversible aprons and Christmas tree napkins.






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First…..yep another few weeks have flown by, but before I get into that in a separate post I want to share this beauty in the making.

A couple days ago I walked across the street to touch base with my neighbor friend Hildagarde who had just pulled up in front of her home. She invited me in to see and comment on her “Ice Cream Parlor” theme quilt. Not only did I love the beauty of the design and her color choices, I became more excited about the creation when she told me the story behind the quilt.

Hildagarde’s dad (Henry) owned an ice cream parlor in Queens NY where he made his own ice cream. The store was between a bar and a shoemaker, two doors down from a pizzeria and right next to the El train. The family lived above the store. Not only did she grow up in the store, several of her relatives worked and hung out there. Her cousin has such fond memories of this ice cream parlor and her uncle Henry that she is having an ice cream parlor built into her “barn” house in NJ which is close to her grandchildren. Now Hildagarde is inspired to create this “Ice Cream Parlor” quilt for her cousin’s parlor. If you look closely at the far left of the quilt, you will see a chocolate bunny in honor of the many Easter chocolate bunnies that Henry made each Easter.

I can hardly wait to see this heartfelt quilt when it is finished!

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Even though the wonder of spring calls many of us outdoors, the knitting continues. This is a quick post to share some of the latest. Knit on!

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It’s time to spring back into blogging…..it has been a busy 3+ months since our knitting community celebrated the season in December. Part of the celebrations was a toast (with margaritas….my first drink in 6 months and just a sip at that) to friendship, knitting and my clear PETscan.

Now what better way to spring back but with Mayra’s latest creation. It is the Tool Box Cowl. As Mayra often does she stepped up the colors….of course, I want to copy cat her….but oh when? My list of to-dos is huge….I can say I have a knit a lot  but….more about that later. Now check out what Mayra’s creation!


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Yes…..it was time for another ’tis the season’ celebration. Yesterday it was the Saturday Morning Knit Group. Diane generously hosted this event at her home where 18 of this group of 20 gathered for this potluck celebration. We missed Alison and Susan. Maybe we need another “just because” event in the Spring. Well…we did talk about how fun the gathering was and how much everyone enjoyed the dishes. Here’s the menu.

cornish-hensCornish Game Hens prepared by Bridgette were accompanied with……
Roasted cauliflower salad, egg casserole, green salads, tossed fruit bowls, scones with lemon curd, baked oatmeal, a potato dish and a curry dish. The salt and pepper chips with clam dip are always a hit. There were nuts and treats. Desserts included Rum-Mocha Walnut Layer Cake, ginger cake, pumpkin pie and cookies. All of this was accompanied with coffee and tea. We are saving champagne for our next celebration. Alice tells us that Rum-Mocha Cake recipe is very close in flavor to a family Hungarian torte that she use to make. Thanks to the chefs who chose recipes or adjusted recipes for those in the group who are gluten-free (gf). I thought the gf scones prepared by PJ were a smash….I will be making this recipe soon. Susan (who had to work) wrote, “Wow. Sorry I missed it, but I did derive vicarious enjoyment just reading the menu.

Alice’s recent post message sums up the lovely friendships that have formed within this group of knitters. “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate! It’s my great joy to have shared this past year knitting with all of you, and to share in this morning’s feast!”

Many thanks to Rose for gifting us in a special way all in the spirit of thanks and friendship. And, of course, many thanks to Diane for hosting us all.

Looking forward to another year of knitting, creativity and friendship. Cheers!



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