After I published last week's post I remembered a few things that I had left out.So Here I present
"Annie Dean: The Appendices"
Can you imagine how the desert of Arizona seemed to this lady from north of London? If you visit the village of Flaunden on Google Earth, and go to "street view", you will see those roads and lanes as she saw them. They are lined by tall, green hedges. There is ivy growing everywhere, and shade trees all around the properties. There are cool breezes, cloudy skies, and much more rain than Arizona could ever dream of. My mother has memories of Annie running outside to play in the rain when it would fall, like a little giggly girl. She would be barefooted and splash in the puddles, tromping around in the mud! She was almost always barefooted anyway! My sister Sharon had a way of cooling off in the humid monsoon days of a Mesa summer. If a breeze came up at all she would hurry outside, face the wind, and throw her arms out wide. She learned this from our Grandmother Ellsworth, Annie.
Grandma had learned to work hard as a young girl and couldn't abide spoiled or lazy children. If a child of hers, or a grandchild ever dared say they were bored, by golly she would find a job for them to do! There was always something that needed to be done! One of my Dad's memories included Annie sending children outside to turn over rocks. If there was "nothing to do", as many a bored child would whine, they would be sent out to turn over every rock in the garden or driveway. She would check their work and could tell the ones they had missed because the undersides of the rocks would have been wet and therefore darker when turned up! That child never complained about being bored again, at least not around Grandma!
Annie was never idle. She always had her hands busy knitting, crocheting, quilting, or embroidering something for someone. She taught my mother how to crochet. Mom said that for her first project she got a bit ambitious and chose to make a crocheted bed spread! Grandma was very patient with her and was an excellent teacher, but Mom soon got busy and never did finish her bedspread. She still has all of those squares. I think they should be make into keepsake heirlooms. I'm going to work on that!
Here are a few heirlooms of my own that were made by Grandma's loving hands just for me!
This is a sweet block quilt that Grandma Ellsworth made for me when I was a baby. I always loved spreading it out and laying on it to play with my dolls of lay in front of the fan and read my story books.
The little sleepy puppy is a stuffed animal that was a gift from her to me as well. His tail used to squeak but not anymore! His name is Peanut and I remember hugging him close and missing my grandparents as I got a bit older.
This is a quilt that Grandma made for my dolls. It is 2 feet square and has four hand-embroidered squares.
As you can see, it was well-played-with! I wish I had taken better care of it now, but it was very special to me even back then and I used it as she had intended anyway. I may try to use some gentle stain removing methods that were not available years ago and see if I can get some of those spots out!
I included these enlarged pictures so you can see the detail. I can embroider, myself, but I am so impressed by the french knots which are the polka dots on the little dress below, and the freckles in the next photo. She was about 75 years old when she made this and not in the very best of health, but her work is excellent. I love her all the more for the time and effort she put into this gift for me!
This is the little bonnet she crocheted for me when I was born. It is so soft and sweet! I treasure it!
When we would play the card game "Crazy Eights", Richard, Dean, Gena, and I would sit and play on the living room floor. When my Dad saw that we would tell each other to "draw a card" he corrected us and told us what his mother (Annie) had taught them as children. When you had to draw a card you would be told to "go to the Bone Yard" or "go to the Boney". I imagine she and her brothers and sisters learned to call a grave yard a 'bone yard' when they were small.
My Mom has said repeatedly to me that she could never have dreamed up or asked for better in-laws. From the moment she and Dad became engaged she was taken into the family and became one of them. She considers Dad's brothers and sisters as her own and mourned with Martha at the passing of Robert, saying,"now she is the only one left! My sweet Ellsworth family and they are nearly all gone." Annie was a particularly loving mother-in-law, so kind and thoughtful of my Mom. She has missed her terribly all of these years!
A few years ago when my Uncle Robert passed away he lived in Clearfield, Utah about an hour or so north of me. Aunt Martha and my cousin Julie Harris Wheeler flew up from Mesa for the funeral. I rode up to the funeral with them as did Julie's sister Deana Harris Church. Deana lives here locally, and do you notice the spelling of her name? Not the typical way someone spells Deena, or Dina. It's a nod to Grandma! I wish with all of my heat that we 'd had a recorder in that car as we drove that day. Martha told us such stories! At one point I had asked her something about growing up with Grandma and Deana turned around and said, "sing us the song Aunt Martha!" Martha laughed and declined and I said, "what song?" Julie said, "you know, the one that Granny used to sing to us and to her own children? It's like a lullaby". They could see by my blank stare that I had no idea what they were talking about. They laughed and said, "well, that's the difference between being raised by her son (my Dad) or being raised by one of her daughters!" Their mother was my Aunt Naomi. I never did get that song out of them, and I would dearly love to!
Grandma named all of their animals. The ones I remember are "Bob Dog" and "Old Bill" the horse. The cows and even her hens were usually given really funny names. I think Aunt Martha called one of the chickens "Peckedy Hen"!
Annie loved little nick-knacks and had many of them around her home. I loved to go over to visit and see all of her little green ceramic elves, beautiful birds, sculpted flowers, and vases. My Dad gathered a few of these after Grandpa's passing and I am fortunate enough to have a few. The photo below shows me as a little two year old on Easter Sunday. I am in Grandpa & Grandma's home on South Nina Drive. You can see some of her pretty things behind me! See the little poodle under the side table? I love that TV too!
This photo shows my Aunt Lora's younger three children with my siblings and me.
Back L-R Dianne, Doug, & Marian Hunsaker, Marianne (me!), & Sharon Ellsworth.
Front- Dean & Richard Ellsworth.
Annie was a very good cook. She had been a cook for many people throughout her growing-up years. She could make delicious fried chicken. My Aunt Martha told me, "Mama would decide to fry up a chicken for dinner so she'd call Joe in and tell him to go out and pick out an old hen." Uncle Joe would go out and grab one by the neck and with a whip of his wrist, that neck would break. He would then hang it by it's feet from the clotheslines and clean it out. Sometimes Annie would pluck it clean of feathers and sometimes she would have the children do it. Martha remembers being horrified every time this wold happen, but she was known in the family for being the one who would gather up all of the bones after dinner and pick them clean! Grandma taught my mother how to make several things really well.
Grandma's Divinity was a staple in our home every December. Mom would color it in lovely pastel hues of pink, mint green, and blue. She would press a pecan half into each piece just like the photo below. I have never tried making it, in part because although Mom was an expert at it, she always seemed so stressed about it turning out just right. Humidity can ruin it, and it can also be too dry. I may just have to try it one of these days, just to be considered part of the female part of our clan!
2 egg whites
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanillaBeat Egg whites until almost stiff. Mix sugar, syrup, and water and bring to a boil. Cook to a soft ball stage or 235-245 degrees. While beating, pour some of the syrup over egg whites. return syrup to stove while beating. Beat for about 1/2 a minute then add the rest of the syrup while beating. Continue until mixture is stiffened. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper quickly so that mixture doesn't harden in the bowl. You can add things while beating like chopped nuts of gum drop bits. You can also press half a pecan into the tops.
We also have a recipe in our family that I like to call " Grandma Annie's Chocolate Cake". It is heavenly! The eggs are separated and the whites are whipped up before being folded in. The cake is the perfect mix of moist and light. Frost it with your favorite chocolate frosting. The thicker, the better! Grandma's touch was to chop up walnuts or pecans and sprinkle to top just after frosting it.
Annie Dean Ellsworth's Chocolate Cake
(as it is called in our family cookbook)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 Cup shortening
2 Cups white sugar
Separate 4 eggs.
Add the yolks to the creamed mixture.
Set aside whites for later.
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 Cup of cocoa
Add just enough water to make the consistency of rubber cement,
thick and runny.
Cocoa mixture & creamed mixture,
2 Cups flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1 Tb. baking powder
Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1 Cup milk.
Beat well after each addition.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in to creamed mixture.
Pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
Time varies greatly depending on humidity and altitude.
A long time ago I wrote "Memory Mondays". Don't ask me why I changed. I don't remember!
You can read the story of my Dad and the flying tea kettle by clicking here. It's the first time I wrote about my Grandma, so some of the details you may have just read in the previous weeks. You can skim if you want to, I won't be offended!
Finally, I want to pay tribute to my grandmother for her faithful temple work and the family history work she did in her lifetime. She did research and saw that as much temple work could be done for her family as possible. Her parent's family group record shows that she had much of their work done as soon as she could. Some in St. George, and the rest in the Mesa Temple not long after it was dedicated. Remember the story of Annie kicking the teacher who was beating her brother Reuben? Reuben was killed during World War I while defending Festubert and Givenchy, France on Nov. 7, 1914. How heartbreaking! Annie took care of her big brother again in 1927 and 28 by having him baptized and endowed. Near the end of her life Annie felt the need to share her testimony of the gospel in letters to her family. Her sister Mary Ann wrote back to her said that that she felt that what Annie was telling her was right, but that she wanted to talk to her about it in person. Annie passed away a few weeks later on Sept. 6, 1960. Mary Ann passed away on Sept, 26, 1960. The family believed that Annie got to have that talk with her sister much sooner than either of them had thought possible, and saw to it that Mary Ann's work was done in the Mesa Temple in 1962-3. A life of hard work, faith, and service to others, finding joy in small things...that was my grandmother
Annie Dean Ellsworth.