Thursday, December 12, 2013

Healthy Fudge Roll Recipe (Peanut Butter & Carob Fudge)

One of my aunts introduced me to this recipe years ago, but years have zoomed by without me making it. And I forgot the recipe and which aunt introduced me to it, so I've experimented and learned to make it all by myself (aren't I a big girl :)).
When I say "Healthy Fudge" I don't mean that it's like eating carrots and you need to inhale the entire batch. It's healthier because it's free of sugar, corn syrups, and marshmallow goo--plus any other gunk you get with it.
There are four simple ingredients to this fudge and it's easy peezy to make.

Healthy Fudge Roll
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup carob chips
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Over medium heat add peanut butter and honey into pot. Stir until mixture becomes smooth then add carob chips and cook for three minutes or until mixture is well blended and smooth. Add sunflower seeds and mix. Take off heat and pour onto a long piece of plastic wrap and let cool on counter for 30 minutes. Once cooled, form into roll by wrapping the plastic around it and place it into fridge. Every 30 minutes or so I like to turn the roll so it makes it more round and not flat.

When you're ready to eat, just slice it into bite size pieces and enjoy. You'll want to keep this cool, so don't put it in your pocket for later or you just might regret it.

Pin It

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Charles Walton's Story

I have a wonderful grandma who loves to research. She's spent years searching for stories and information on our relatives. And I thank her for that.
I've shared this story in the previous post, but at the time I didn't have all the info, nor did I have the story written in my relatives words. Now I do. The story below is an account from my Grandpa Charles Walton.
 Top left to bottom right: Estelle, Danie, Sarah, Tillie,
Arthur, Hattie, and Charles. (Andrew, the oldest, isn't in the picture)

The Scofield Carbon County Mine explosion

The year of 1900 a terrible event happened which changed the direction and lives of the whole family.  The Sunday School was in the process of gathering to braid the Maypole and enjoy the day, when a man on horseback rode up to the crowd crying at the top of his voice, "Number four mine has been blown to hell,"  The picture of two hundred black faced, some mangled bodies laid all over the school floor was a sight unforgettable.  Two Walton brothers, Andrew and Danie were working at the mine.  This is Danie' Walton's history of that disaster.

At the time of the disaster I was nineteen years of age.   It was May Day,  May 1st 1900.  The miners  went to work at 7:00 AM as usual but being May Day,  they anticipated the celebration which was to take place in the afternoon.   A celebration to most miners was to get out into the sunshine and fresh air or gather at their favorite saloon. 
     I was especially happy that day for being a miner myself, instead of taking my usual place on the fifth level of the No. 4 mine,  I had to go into the thick underbrush of peavine and quaking aspen trees to look for our milk cow and her new calf.   To our family this meant a fresh supply of milk and I was to find the cow and calf and bring them back home.  Mother had packed a lunch as I was not expected to be home until late in the evening. 
     I was happy to be on my way, climbing the trails, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air and the welcome signs of spring and at the same time listening for the tinkle of the bell which we had tied on the cow's neck.  Just as I passed over the area which I later learned was almost directly above the fifth level of the mine, I felt the earth tremble.  I recall wondering to myself what it could be and remember looking at my old Ingersoll watch which read ten o'clock.  Not being able to figure out what had caused the tremble, I continued on my way without giving it any futher thought.  I searched most of the afternoon before I finally heard the tinkle of the bell.  The new calf had to be carried most of the way home so I did not arrive until after dark.
   As I neared the town, I was struck by the unusual amount of activity.  The entire town was lit up and nine special railway cars had been left on the main line near our home.  As I came nearer I could see that coffee, milk and sandwiches along with flowers were being distributed to the dozens of heart stricken people I met everywhere.  I found out the earth tremor which I had heard and felt earlier that morning was one of the worst mining disasters ever recorded.  Two hundred and eight men and boys lost their lives in the 'dust' explosion at the No. 4 mine in Scofield, Carbon County, Utah.
   Our home was a hive of activity, serving food and giving aid where possible.   Instead of the reception I had anticipated,   I was very unceremoniously shoved into the kitchen, given a dish towel and told to get busy.  My sister Libbie, managed to give me the details.  Our older brother Andrew was in bed unconscious and not expected to live.  To my sadness I was told that Louis Lychem , a great friend of mine who had taken my place at the mine that day was still missing.  Miraculously Andrew regained consciousness and gave his account of the explosion.

Andrew was a driver on the first level - a driver being one who handles the horses which pulls the empty cars to the miners, who in turn blast the coal loose and loads about 2200 to 2500 Pounds of coal into each car.  These loaded cars were then taken to the main entrance where they were  literally dropped down the half mile track to the exit by an electric hoist.  He had just taken empty cars to all of his men  and was waiting at the switch about a quarter of a mile from the main entrance.
Superintendant Parmely and General Foreman Andrew Hood happened to come along just at that time making an inspection tour.   Seconds later they felt the blast and were almost knocked off their feet.  They all knew it was a serious explosion and the Superintendent instructed my brother Andrew to get word to as many men as possible on his level to hurry out a safe exit and not the usual exit which would be in the direct path of the explosion.  Andrew ran two mile through the mine telling all the men on this level what had happened and where to make a safe exit.  They were successful in saving the lives of all the men on the first and few of the men on the second level, but we finally overcome themselves by the after-damp and all of the men on the third, fourth and fifth levels perished.
The term 'after-damp' is the term used when the oxygen has been burned out of the air.  Dozens of men lost their lives not knowing where the explosion had taken place, or where to get out as there was absolutely no way of communicating with them inside the mine. 
The persistent and heroic efforts of the Superintendent, the Forman, and Andrew to save the lives of the miners almost cost them their own. Andrew was finally carried home and that was where I found him on my arrival.
I went to see Louis Lychen's mother the next day and I shall never forget the anguish and sorrow in her eyes as she said " Oh, if you had only gone to work, my boy would be alive"   I could only weep with her as that was a fact.  Her boy had taken my place.  I promised her I would assist in getting his body out as soon as the air pumps had been replaced.
The mines were very dry and dusty and very little watering was done to keep down the coal dust which clung to everything about an inch thick.  This was especially true on the fifth level where the explosion was believed to have taken place.  We do not know what caused the explosion exactly but I believe it was started by an open twenty- five pound keg of black powder which was intensified by the accumulation of fine coal dust.  After the disaster many precautions were taken to prevent such a tragedy from re-occurring, but this was little solace to the widows and fatherless children of the 208 who perished.  It was three months or more before all of the bodies had been recovered, for many of them were buried under great rock cave-ins caused by the timbers being completely blown out.
I recall Superintendent Parmley shaking my hand warmly knowing as I did I was indeed fortunate being alive.  I obtained permission from him to go to the fifth level and with the help of others we finally located the badly burned body of Louis, lying by my horse.  I could not help weeping again for the finest friend a boy ever had - 'the one who had taken my place.'
Andrew Jackson Walton survived the mine explosion, but he was totally deaf the rest of his life.

Pin It

Friday, December 6, 2013

My Miners

Never has a book resonated so fully and pulled at my heartstrings as My Loving Vigil Keeping by Carla Kelly. I had the privilege to listen to Carla this last fall speak about the research that went into writing this novel. Her story is fiction, but follows a true event in our history. She spent thousands of hours, days, months and possibly years to gather enough information on the people and lifestyle of those who lived in Scofield during 1899 and 1900.
I wept when Carla Kelly spoke about the men who lived and worked in those coal mines up Scofield canyon. At the time I couldn't say why I felt so drawn to her story, but it stayed with me for days. When I returned home I told my husband of what I'd learned, then I joined my parents and grandma for dinner. I relayed the story Kelly had spoke of and was stunned when my grandma perked up and said that my great great grandpa Walton and his brothers were there at the time of that horrific day on May 1st 1900.
My Loving Vigil Keeping follows a woman who sets out to begin life anew. She takes a job as a teacher in Scofield mining settlement. The detail that Carla Kelly added to her story brings the everyday to life. I felt as though I lived and breathed family life in that settlement. Reading about the blast that killed more than 200 men caused a ache in my heart.
My great great grandpa was there.
His mother, Harriot Walton, ran a boarding house and raised her children in that settlement. She had three boys that worked in those mines.
Charles Walton (my great great Grandpa) was scheduled to work that day in number four (the tunnels are numbered). He must have woke and prepared to head into work, but by some miracle his cow got out and he went to retrieve it, which delayed him. Before he could join his brothers, Andrew and William, back at the mine, a blast shook the earth. Smoke billowed from the mine entrance. The smell of burning flesh filled the canyon.
I cried, wondering what it was like for him and thousands of others to witness such devastation and helplessness.
I shook my head several times and thought, my grandpa was there.
He and his brothers were teenagers at the time, none married. Andrew had been near enough to the blast to become deafened, never to hear again. By the grace of our Father in Heaven Charles and both of his brothers lived. They all lived long lives, marrying and raising children.
I don't know the history of Charles' brothers, but I do know Charles moved from Scofield not long after. He married Ida Ann Paxman and had a few children, one of which is my great grandma Iona Mendenhall. Ida died young and Charles married again, had a few more children, then buried his second wife. He married once more before growing old with her.
It's difficult to describe how I feel. I grew up knowing my grandpa on my mother's side was a coal miner. To me in meant a hard life and I knew he was tough. But beyond that, I hadn't thought much on the subject. But after learning what mining life was really like and how they put their lives on the line everyday to put food on the table for their family, I have grown to respect them and love them even more for it.
So, now I can say, with head held high, that I am a coal miners granddaughter from both my parents side. I even have uncles who once mined.
My Grandpa Willardson. I love you grandpa ;)

Pin It

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Newsletter

This is for all the fans of Downton Abbey . . .
I debated whether to share my family's newsletter on my blog, but I talked myself into it by removing some of the personal information in it. Once you read it you'll understand why I couldn't not share it. It's fabulous!
Keep in mind though that I wrote this in Microsoft Word, so coping and pasting it here might mess the formatting up, but I'm not about to spend time rewriting, so we all have to live with it.
It's written to look like the Downton Abbey recap. Just so ya know.

Walter Abbey Recap: Seasons of Changes
Walter Abbey has weathered the past year rather successfully. Lord and Lady Walter’s children are still living, but only just. The beginning of the year proved difficult with colds and illnesses abound, fortunately they’ve pulled through the never ending sickness and increased their health with improved diets. Much of the episodes are spent at dinner parties with their friends, Lord and Lady Belnap and their children. Hardly a weekend goes by where they aren’t conversing and strolling about, enjoying each other’s company.
Earl of ______ (otherwise known as Lord Walter) has been seen abroad the western states more often than not—to the dissatisfaction of his wife and children. He finds traveling life dreary and unfulfilling, but he passes the time with visits to the nearest LDS Temple, giving him a chance to push the weary life of Sales Engineer at Dell Computers aside and let in the peace it provides. When home, he puts the house to rights, giving his wife a breather of managing the estate and children. He gives his calling as Elders Quorum in the local church his all, visiting those he’s inspired to see and helping those in need of relocating. Saturdays he’s seen in the garden, pondering on why the year didn’t produce the results he’d hoped and worked for.
Lady Walter has experienced all the drama of the year, the better part if it turning out glorious. Who dared missed the episode of her nearly dying of a stroke when she unknowingly spoke with a publisher then being asked to send said publisher one of her manuscripts. The episode turned out well enough with the publisher showing interest and waiting for Lady Walter to polish it up and send it back. We have high hopes that it will prove rewarding in the end.
In congruent with the last episode she agreed to have one of her portraits published in Lady Julianne Donaldson’s “Blackmoore” Novel that can be purchased online or at any bookstore near you. Since then she’s worked on book covers and other artwork for friends and authors.
Lord Walter wasn’t the only one at Walter Abby to have traveled this past season. Last June Lady Walter traipsed across the UK, giving the countryside a better look, in hopes to improve upon her writing and experience the grandeur England and Scotland had to offer. Her heart grew heavy at the end when she didn’t get the visit from Nessy like she anticipated. One day she hopes to return to Loch Ness with her husband at her side and get that visit she’d dreamed of.
When Lord Walter’s traveling on business Lady Walter is seen at writer’s groups and conferences, rubbing shoulders with fellow writers, but more often than not she inhabits the study, writing like a mad woman.
Lady _____ Walter has proved herself stubborn enough to lend her hand in the kitchen, against her mother’s wishes. She thinks being a daughter of an Earl gives her leeway in doing what she wants. Her mother outwardly disagrees with Ladies working in the kitchen and doing servants work, but don’t let Lady Walter fool you, inwardly she’s thrilled for her daughter to learn a few things and show interests that will bring her happiness. Last season Lady _____ passed the marked age for all girls going into the Young Woman’s program. Lady ______ has embraced personal progress, dance classes, karate, and extra activities at school, giving the science class her all. In resent episodes she’s been known to pester her siblings, but in the end entertains them to keep them occupied.
Lady _____ Walter gives joy to her parents with her humorous wit and positive attitude. Earlier this season she began to improve upon her studies to be a lady by taking dance classes, hoping to catch up to ______ grace and talents. She has shown the masses how capable she can be in first grade, and loves befriending everyone.
Lord _____ Walter, heir of _____ proves he’s fit to take over the estate. He follows his father about, helping with improvements or projects on the house or in the garden. He spends most the season playing with the family pet, Sir. Chewbacca, and keeping the dirt pile out back covered in monster truck tracks.

For those looking to keep up on all the seasons and episodes of Walter Abbey, visit for the upcoming 16th season where questions of future events will be answered. There you can enjoy the gallery of artwork Lady Walter has to offer.
Those who reside at ______ Estate would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the upcoming year.

Pin It
Pin It button on image hover