Tag Archives: wv

Each Day Is New-Early Life In WV Coal Camp



This is one of my most viewed post and I want to repost for my viewers.  There has been many searches for information on “West Virginia Coal Camps” and you may have missed my information. 

Please leave me a comment after you visit.

Brenda Woodrum Hudson

Fourty-five Things and You May Care Less



1.  My maiden name was Woodrum.

2.  I don’t like to drive behind a man driving a truck and wearing a ball cap.

3.  I have never been drunk.

4.  I don’t smoke.

5.  I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 16 years old.

6.  I don’t like Science Fiction movies or books.

7.  I won a trip to the Bahamas by having the highest yellow page sales.

8.  I love having lunch with a group of my girlfriends and just laughing until we cry.

9.  I have been married 47 years to the same man.

10.  We were wise enough to have marriage counseling when needed.

11.  I have two children and four grandchildren.

12.  I won’t leave the house without my make-up and hair groomed.

13.  I start a lot of crafts and don’t finish the crafts I don’t like.

14.  My feet are very dry and require TLC.

15.  I have worked in the yellow page industry over 22 years.

16.  I love for friends and family to “just drop in”.

17.  People that can’t make a decision and take responsibility for the decision get on my nerves.

18.  I don’t like to hear people brag about all their stocks, money and wealth.

19.  It annoys me when someone ask me how much I paid for something.

20.  I have a gift of discernment and it has saved my neck many times.

21.  I am looking forward to passing the torch, cutting back on office work and opening a new chapter in my life.  (I think I am)

22.  I am a very independent person, but I can be totally crushed when someone speaks harshly to me or deceives me.

23.  I try to be a very forgiving person.

24.  I love my church family and I think the feeling is mutual.

25.  I wish I had nice smooth feet like Lisa (my business partner).

26.  I am a business partner in a yellow page agency. 

27.  At one time in my life, I lost over 100 pounds and need to do it again.

28.  I hate family conflict.

29.  I am very trusting until someone lies to me.  The new trust will come after they prove themselves again.

30.  I am a better idea person than a follower.

31.  I usually finish a project and think to myself that someone else could have done a better job.

32. I would like to think most people like me, but I know a few dislike me.  That makes me a little sad.

33.  I am not a person to visit the cemetary.  I have never been back since my parents died.  I feel they are not there, but in heaven.

34.  I love the feel and smell of fresh flowers.

35.  I love sitting by the stream at Roaring River in the Smoky Mts.

36.  I don’t like for anyone to scream at their kids. (especially my grandkids)

37.  My sister and her daughter are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

38.  I am not afraid of dying, but I think about how long I have remaining and what I can do constructive before that time.

39. I always made sure my kids brushed their teeth two or three times a day.  One is now 44 and the other 41 and they do not have cavities.

40.  I am not a real early morning person.

41.  I am not good at losing weight.

42.  Purple is my favorite color.

43.  I have been a ministers’ wife for 35 years.  Early in the game an older ministers’ wife told me I could use the word “NO” when ask to head every committe and be the officer in every group.  

44.  I can’t play the piano, but I like to teach.

45.  I like to take adventuresome drives down roads less trodden. 

I just felt like writing some thought that won’t be any impact on history and won’t make much difference 100 years from now.  It is just me…right now.

Gift from the WV Coal Camp


Paula Hudnall Gift

Paula Hudnall Gift

Let’s roll back the clock almost 59 years and let’s go to Mammoth, WV.  You will have to read some of my earlier blog post to learn about living in a WV Coal Camp.

I remember not wanting to leave all my friends like Lynn Hudnall, Karen Agee, Punch and Loretta Edens, The Hurley’s, The Ash Family, The Pringles and Carol Ann Bagley.  I was crying and saying how much I would miss my friends.

Paula Hudnall lived next door to us and I always thought she was very nice.  I remember her putting her arms around me and she handed me something.  It was a very little novelty that looked like an old oil lamp.  Paula told me to keep this close to me and every-time I look at it to remember her. 

This little lamp brought so much comfort to a little girl that was moving and losing all her friends.  Well, 59 years later, I still have that little lamp (picture at the top) and I will keep it forever.  As a teen I kept it in my “treasure box” and it has travel with me through many moves and travels.

It is not how big a gift you give, but how you give that makes a difference.

Christmas Cheese Ball


2 large Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1 small bell or mango pepper, chopped fine

3 T. onions, chopped fine

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained well

1 1/4 tsp. seasoning salt


Mix and shape into 2 medium balls or 3 small.  Roll in crushed nuts.  Refrigerate.

This is a recipe Lula Dial gave me when my husband was pastor of 26th St. Baptist Church in Huntington.

Granny’s Snow Cream


I am reposting an earlier blog entry today.  We have a huge snowfall here in West Virginia today and I am thinking of my Granny Woodrum.

Earlier Post from 2007

I can remember being at Granny Woodrum’s house and the first big snow of the season was on the ground.  Everyone was so excited and we would pull back the curtains to view the white that covered the ground and trees. 

This was a time of celebration!  It is time for Snow Ice Cream.  Granny had a blue porcelin bowl that would be brought out to mix the ingredients.  She would mix Carnation milk, sugar and vanilla in the bowl and give it several good stirs with a whisk.

For the rest of the ingredients, we have to put on our coats, hats and boots.  We are actually going outside a find a good clean place to gather snow and add it to the bowl of ingredients.  ***Granny always reminded us to not get snow that looked yellow.  The yellow snow meant there was dog pee in that spot***.  lol

We would go back in the house and we would all enjoy a wonderful treat that came with the first snow fall.  Granny always did know how to make memories that would be with me for years to come. 

I wish Granny would still be around and we would share some Snow Cream when the first snow arrives this winter.

Christmas Potato Candy


I told you I would share some of our family recipes during the Christmas holiday.  Now, don’t let the name Potato Candy scare you.  This candy is wonderful.  My Granny Woodrum (you can read about her on my earlier posts) “always” made this candy for Christmas.

1 medium potato

Peanut Butter

Confectioners Sugar


Boil 1 medium potato.  Peel and mash with a fork until smooth and no lumps.  Add confectioners sugar until stiff.  You will need to determine how much since it varies according to the size of the potato.  Dust a cutting board with some confectioners sugar.  Roll out as if you were rolling out pie crust, make it sort of oblong.

Spread peanut butter on top of  what you just rolled out.  Starting at the wider side…roll up like a jelly roll.  Cover in a wrap and chill.  Cut in pieces before serving.

This is a very simple recipe and people will think you took hours to make it.

Merry Christmas!

Jesus is the reason for the season.

Cornstarch & Memories


I can still remember the day I made homemade Christmas ornaments with my children.  We didn’t know it at the time, but we were making memories for us to remember 45 years later.  I still have the instructions here in my old cookbook.  The Scotch tape is dried and brown from being stuck in this book long, long ago, but I remember the day.


Creative clay made with ARGO Corn Starch can be easily shaped, then left to harden and dry.  Perfect for many uses….from making creative jewelry and ornaments to play clay for children.  It’s easy and inexpensive to make.  (this is probably why I chose this project)

In a saucepan, stir thoroughly 1 cup ARGO Corn Starch and 2 cups ( 1 lb. package) baking soda.  Mix in 1 1/4 cups cold water.  Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches a slightly moist, mashed potato consistency.  Turn out on plate and cover with damp cloth.  When cool enough to handle, knead like dough.  Shape as desired, or store tightly covered for later use.

To shape creative clay, form with hands or roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with knife or cookie cutter.  If desired, trim with bits of clay, moistened and pressed in place.  Pierce a hole near edge for stringing a pendant or ornaments.  Let dry on protected surface.  Creative clay can be painted when dry with water colors, poster paints or felt-tip pens.  Brush on clear nail polish or shellac for a protective coating and shine if desired.

We made these ornaments when the kids were very small and they graced our Christmas tree throughout their teen years.  We moved to Huntington, WV in the 1982 and the ornaments were stored in our basement (which was moist) and needless to say I cried when I opened the box.  All the beautiful ornaments had fallen apart, but I still have the memories.

Make memories with your kids…now.

“I Was Not Pampered”


Babies eat, sleep and have dirty diapers, but not necessarily in that order.  Teresa’s bottom was covered with nice white cloth diapers that had to be laundered on a daily basis.  I  had a plastic diaper pail in the bathroom and it was filled with water and 2 tablespoons of Clorox.  The poo poo was emptied into the comode and all the diapers went into the diaper pail awaiting washing.  Pampers?  What was that?

I was lucky enough to have a dryer that Basil’s sister gave us and I didn’t have to hang my clothes outside. It seemed like the washer and dryer were in constant motion.  Baby clothes all washed seperately.

Cloth diapers were dried and folded in so one pin could be penned in the front or longways with pins on the side.  I always took great pride in making sure my baby had snow white diapers.  Babies wore plastic pants over the diapers too keep them from leaking.  I never left the rubber pant on in the summer or a diaper rash would appear.

Diapers, even in the 60’s were rather expensive and you couldn’t afford to buy dozens and dozens.  Most usually three dozen would be a good amount to have on hand.  After all, you would be washing everyday.

In 2009, babies still eat, drink and sleep, but they are more Pampered now.  What more can I say!!

Beginning My Adventures


I have experienced blog block and a summer off.  Now it is time to begin the journey again.

We had been married about 2 1/2 years and decided it would be good to buy a house.  We had no money saved, but we were sure we could buy a house.  There was a nice house with almost an acre of land that was for sale in Yawkey, WV.  Guess what?  We bought a house in 1963 for $6500.00. The owner did not want any money down and we just paid him each month.  See….our life began as an adventure.

Oh, this cottage was so beautiful to us.  The house consisted of three bedrooms, living room, family room, kitchen, laundry room and bath.  There were no sub floors, but the floors were sanded and painted with a gym seal that made them glisten.  We had to do some painting, but the house was in move in condition.

I still worked in Charleston, WV and the 25 mile drive would be a group of women that carpooled.  There were no interstates and we would slide around the curves in the winter weather.  There were six of us in the car and we would laugh all the way to work.  The Governor at the time was Underwood and I thought he was the most handsome man alive.

Our first little brown house will remain our home for 17 years.  My children were conceived in this house, they grew up in this house and some of their best memories today relate to this house.  Picture in your mind an acre of green grass that is mowed and flowers all around.  In the middle of the acre is a brown shingled house with a tin roof, tin under penning, and a large front porch with a swing.

I will begin the journey in the brown house in my next post.

Reflections in My Mirror–Honeymoon in Dunbar


Well, all of my blog fans want the rest of this story.  They have been knocking on the door and sending email requesting to hear more.  I left you hanging on the cliff,  didn’t I.

We jumped in that old Ford and headed out for our lifetime journey.  If you had friends, they pulled silly tricks on the newly weds and we had lots of friends.  The first trick was pulled when we tried to cross the Coal River bridge.  One friend got there before we arrived and blocked the end with his car and of course another got behind us and blocked us back off.  This little game was played until Mr. McClure, who didn’t know us, started honking his horn and yelling move those cars.

We finally arrive at our beautiful little apartment in Dunbar, WV.  We were so excited and totally ready to do what newly wed do (got the drift).  We go in the front door and here is “our home” and our place to taste freedom, adventure and who knows what. 

I bought a beautiful white gown at the Diamond Dept. Store for my wedding night.  I went to the drawer and got out my gown and someone had sewn up the neck and arms of the gown.  Oh, well, I didn’t need it anyway.

Eventually, we pull down the bedspread and start to get in the bed, but something seems wrong.  Someone had “double-sheeted” the bed.  They had pulled the bottom portion of the top sheet up half way and tucked it in.  There was no way you feet would go to the bottom of the bed.  Who had been in my house??  And………they had sprinkled rice in the bed too.

Things are progressing and we hear something rattling and the bed feels unstable.  After the other bed problem…we better check this out.  The eager groom will take charge of this task.  We look under the bed and some of the slats were gone and there was a string of metal items strung up.  There were measuring spoons, metal cups and silverware.  So, that is what we heard rattling!  Someone was trying to be funny, but we could not figure out how anyone got in the apartment.

The groom has to go to the bathroom and the tp is missing.  This is bad, but we make do.

We find the slats and put them back in the bed and it is around 3pm and we are now sleeping sound.  It has been a long day and we were tired.  All at once, we hear an alarm go off in the apartment.  We jump up startled and think the Monsanto plant must be evacuating the town.  We keep listening and it is in our kitchen.  It is not the stove, but it keeping going off.  We listen and it is under the cabinet.  Guess what…..someone had put a big alarm clock in a kettle and set it to go off at 3am.  Someone, somewhere must be up at 3am laughing right now.

I had to report to work at the State House on Monday and I sort of dreaded it.  I go in and all my friends are grinning.  Mary was really grinning and almost laughing.  I told them what happened at the apartment and Mary burst out laughing and admitted to getting the key from the landlord (they were friends) and rigging the apartment.  She gave me something to laugh about 47 years later.  It is nice to have friends that love you enough to care.