Welcome to Becca's Heart for HEarts

From many years ago as member in 4-H and FHA clubs, my love grew for Home Economics-arts and teaching.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Both middle schoolers and high schoolers enjoy Foods classes

Sitting and eating--what a new concept!

Students are loving the simple pleasure of sitting and eating together as a group (like family) as well as colorful placemats to add to the appeal.

It still amazes me how today's families eating on the go and everyone takes care of him or her self can be so easily changed to provide powerful uplifting moments of reassurance to children and teens. My groups are delighting in the kitchen units' color-coded tools and supplies, too. They are really really enjoying their moments eating at their tables.

 (not everyone liked having their photo snapped, however!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sharing another previously published story of mine

Larry Kanfer Presentation and Workshop for Fugate Woods     by Rebecca Sadler               August 17, 2010

Do you love the breath-taking beauty of local prairie landscapes? If yes, then don’t miss out on this upcoming opportunity.

‘A Sense of Place’ nature photography presentation and workshop will be offered by Larry Kanfer this Sunday, August 22 at 2:30 pm at the Fairbury Legion Hall at Pine and 4th streets, adjacent to the fairgrounds. It is free and open to the public.

Alaina, Kanfer’s wife, commented on her husband’s upcoming event, “He finds intriguing what people love about a place and to capture it in 2-D.” Kanfer started developing his own photographs at age 10 and his photography helped pay for his college architecture degree coursework.

She reflected on his 30 or so years of capturing landscapes, particularly Central Illinois’ prairie. “He’s grown in his respect for the people who work the land and the weather; its changing earth cycles and climates and their effect on each other,” she stated. The Weather Channel has become his new obsession according to Mrs. Kanfer.

‘Prairiescapes’, ‘On Firm Ground’, and ‘On This Island’ (about New York City) are three of his already published books. “His new book, ‘Barns of Illinois’, continues his love of the land and capturing the essence of a place and the people who love and care for it,” mentioned Mrs. Kanfer.

Larry Kanfer’s studio and gallery are located in Champaign. To view his work, visit www.kanfer.com.

“Our programming is open to the public with the hopes it will provide opportunities for people to utilize and enjoy the natural beauty and wonders provided any day on the flat lands of the prairie, stated Sara Hostetter. She is the new steward of Fugate Woods.

Hostetter was very excited about Mr. Kanfer agreeing to come with only the provision of an honorarium. “The Kanfer Presentation is exceptionally fortunate opportunity to have one of Central Illinois’ nationally acclaimed photographer artists bring his work and guidance to Livingston County,” replied Steward Sara Hostetter.

As a former librarian with 23 years experience in Pontiac, Hostetter’s expertise in coordinating aids her well in her new work. “Part of my job is to create collaborations whether it is Boy Scout troops, science teachers, or Boys and Girls Clubs. This is in keeping with the desired intentions of the Fugates.

Hostetter continued, “I also oversee and coordinate the efforts of many volunteers with their projects in keeping with the Fugates’ wishes.” Sara mentioned knowing the Fugates and exploring in their woods as a child.

“We would like people to come and walk in the woods Saturday to get an appreciation for it and then to come to the nature photography workshop being held at the Legion Hall on Sunday,” emphasized Hostetter. Howard Fugate Timber or Fugate Woods is a project of Prairie Lands Foundation.

There is walking access from the Stafford Pool to the main entrance. Trail markers and a fording bridge have been placed this year. Trees have been planted. A restroom facility is being added soon. Some of the spring and early summer events at Fugate Woods were flower walks, bird walks, and children’s fishing camp. Upcoming late summer-early fall events besides the Kanfer ‘Prairiescapes’-inspired talk include storytelling and night star gazing.

Prairie Lands Foundation is a tax-qualified public charity. It has been organized for Livingston, McLean, and Ford counties to provide a tax-exempt structure for charitable giving for community projects. Some of their current projects are Fairview M.E. Church restoration, Westview Prairie plot, and North Park/Community Trail along with Howard Fugate Timber and James Family Woods. There are also endowments and funds. Some of those include the John and Tula Wade Endowment fund, Marjorie Fulton Girl Scout Fund, Prairie Central Educational Endowment (scholarships), and Forrest Historical Society Fund.

David Hammer, President of Prairie Lands Foundation, expressed, “We look forward to sharing the woods and what it has to offer and hope that Mr. Kanfer and his work will help generate more people to come and visit.” For additional information including map directions and upcoming events calendar, visit the website www.fugatewoods.org.

*no photo taken for this article

Sharing another of my human interest stories

7/26/2010                               Rebecca Sadler                     Profile of  Mr. Ray Carstens

Long before the expression ‘being green’ became popular, Ray Carstens had been doing exactly that. Ray said, “ Sometimes I’ve had to make parts.” Wife, Marilyn, added: “He’s made tools even to help pull stuff out of wells.”

Working as a plumber, water-well pump installer, and as owner of the Graymont Hardware store Carstens has had plenty of opportunities to reduce, re-use, and recycle. “I started here as a worker back in 1957 and became owner in 1969,” said Ray. Marilyn indicated  that “his father was a blacksmith with a shop across the street.” 

Ray’s father was a great example. “My father made machetes out of leaf springs. He hammered them out in his shop. Local men used them overseas in World War II.”

For Ray his interest in tractors got started because what he did was farm-oriented. Ray and Marilyn live near Graymont in a farmhouse with lots of buildings perfect for storing his collectibles.

Carstens’ newest tractor creation was finished this past winter. Ray started describing: “it was patterned after a F20 IH-Farmall or McCormick-Deering.”

“It has an old 2-cycle Wisconsin engine that had 6 volts converted to 12 volts in order to have lights. There is a Cub Cadet rear-end with extensions to make it wider [50”]. It has a 3-speed transmission.”

“The steering wheel for this is a turning lathe. The front steering gears are from a JD 4400 combine. The front hubs are off a golf cart, but I’m not sure about where I got the front rims. Seat’s off a 4430 JD tractor. The back wheels are from a 755 JD utility tractor and the rims were originally yellow but I painted them silver.”

Because it’s an air-cooled motor, “the radiator is a dummy”, added Ray. He shared that the panel seen on the front end is “a section off a 1954 Buick and a lampshade provided the eagle ornament“. Ray fixed it so the tractor runs on LP gas.

More of Ray’s inventiveness is found in the mounted tool boxes. Ray commented, “I took Treflon Fre-Flo applicators with funnels [cut off the bottom]. I had four of them to begin with. Two were used for the boxes and the other two I used the lids for the bottoms [to cover the funnel openings].”

An umbrella is sometimes used. Ray stated that “it’s from a Weber Weeder--a bean walker.” “Those Weber Weeders were originally made in Colfax”, stated Marilyn.

An earlier creation of Ray’s “had a Wheel-Horse lawn tractor frame with a 1928 JD gas engine.”

Marilyn said her husband’s expanded into creating other things this past year. “He’s made what I call ‘buzzards’ from shovels and sickle sections. He’s also made crosses with old railroad spikes--even donated a few to our church fundraiser.”

Fellow First Baptist Church of Graymont member Deanna Albertson said about the Carstens: “You couldn’t ask for nicer friends. They are awesome. My son, Aaron, worked for Carstens  (hardware store) while he was in high school.”

Several years ago, Deanna experienced first-hand one of those ‘it’s a small world after all’ connections for Graymont Hardware store. “I was taking a class at ISU and one of my classmates told me that once he had come all the way out from Normal in order to get something he needed at Graymont Hardware.”

In this modern high-tech age, there are still situations that come when it is handy to know that Livingston County’s Graymont has a well-stocked hardware store owned by creatively resourceful Ray Carstens.

Sharing a 3rd human interest article written for past issue of The Bugle

Some key committee members
Article #8: Threshermen’s Bluegrass Festival                by Rebecca Sadler               9/14/10

The Threshermen’s Bluegrass Festival committee is extremely excited about the mixture of musical acts that will be performing September 24-26.

President Doyle Hurd, Sr., actually has the acts for 2011 already booked. “As President, I do the promoting and keep busy all year long with telephone calls to musicians and attending other festivals to scout new musical talent,” stated Hurd, Sr.

This festival got started by Pontiac’s Chamber of Commerce in 1992 and they sponsored for the first five years.

Mark Osman, emcee and Hurd, Sr., both relayed that “the first 3 to 4 years the attendance numbers stayed in the 200-300 range but that the attendance has gradually built to the current 2,000-2,500 range.”

Osman indicated, “The committee likes to emphasize we have a family-friendly atmosphere—suitable for all ages and all members—and no alcohol is allowed.”

“It is great low-cost entertainment and we also welcome with low fees campers to stay on the Central States Threshermen’s Reunion grounds,” mentioned Osman.

Besides local attendees, the bluegrass festival draws visitors from all over.

Hurd, Sr., commented, “We’ve been drawing folks from Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin and even Kansas.”

Osman recalled, “Recently one of the drawing winners had traveled down from Canada.”

Even the past and current musical groups have come from near and far.

Osman reflected on a past performing group: “The Lewis Family comes from Georgia and they are well-known for their long history in gospel bluegrass.”

This year’s festival has 4 of the groups from here in Illinois. “There’s also James King group coming from Danville, VA; Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road hailing from North Carolina; and Kody Norris and The Watauga Mountain Boys traveling from TN,” added Osman about some of the other acts.

The committee is thrilled to have Dailey and Vincent. “Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent won at least 7 awards presented by the International Bluegrass Music Association last year,” reflected Hurd, Sr.

“What’s amazing is the last 2 years were their first years together as a duo,” added Hurd, Sr. [According to the group’s website they are leading the nominations again for this year’s IBMA award show.]

Hurd, Sr.’s son Doyle (Jay) Hurd, Jr. expressed, “Dailey and Vincent are awesome! Those awards won included best album, best song, new artist, and even entertainer of the year.”

In past years the festival has had other music industry giants.

“7 or 8 years ago, one of the group’s had a string bass player that was Dolly Parton’s bass player,” contributed Osman.

“From the Grand Ole Opry we’ve had nationally recognized Bobby Osborne [and Rocky Top X-Press], Jim and Jesse McReynolds [and the Virginia Boys], and Doyle Lawson [and Quicksilver],” added Hurd, Sr.

Quick to point out, Jay Hurd bragged about his dad: “Doyle Lawson and my dad grew up in the same town in TN and were in high school together.”

President Hurd’s involvement with the festival and being asked by the Chamber of Commerce to attend the very first meeting was due to his many years in the bluegrass circuit.

Hurd, Jr. recalled: “As a little one growing up, I traveled, sang, and learned to play with my parents in the bluegrass circuit and it was wonderful. I love the bluegrass family for their down-home attitudes.”

Down-home attitudes from nationally recognized talent seem hard to believe.

“Impromptu jam sessions are common on and off stage,” quipped both Hurd men.

As emcee, Osman is responsible to get each session started on time. “Start times are prompt but ending times aren’t. The groups love to play and getting them off the stage is sometimes difficult,” laughingly supplied Osman.

The schedule for the weekend festival along with admission costs, camping info, local lodging suggestions, etc can be found at their website: http://threshermenbluegrass.com.

Jane Diaz of Diaz Sign Art in Pontiac agreed about the music on and off the stage. “We’ve attended many times over the years. Talk about musicianship! It’s unbelievable! We enjoy going inside and listening but we really like walking around outside to hear the improv playing. They are all remarkable!”, claimed Diaz.

Linda Moore of rural Pontiac stated, “I love to attend the Bluegrass Festival—I love the music. I also enjoy meeting new people that come to the festival. I’ve attended several bluegrass festivals around the area but always enjoy the Pontiac festival the most.”

Other festival committee members are: Rosie Hurd, Karon Burton, Mel Abels, Eileen Fahsbender (finance), John Allison (Vice President), Ron and Marlene Gregory, and Melvin Gilmore along with Mark Osman and Doyle Hurd, Sr.

Festival President Hurd, Sr. has had the position for all 18 years. “I love doing it and love the crowd. It’s like a big family reunion and it’s a lot of fun,” summarized Hurd.

This event has earned a prestigious reputation in the bluegrass genre. Both Hurd men and Osman shared, “All the bands enjoy it as one of the best bluegrass shows and love coming to Pontiac.”


Sharing another human interest story written for past issue of The Bugle

Chuck Porter, trainer, with Malabar's Dream Girl

Chuck Porter profile             by Rebecca Sadler               August 23, 2010

Chuck Porter could write several books on the topic of longevity. At 85 years of age he’s enjoyed a long life. For 75 of those years he’s trained and showed horses.

Porter is part of the third generation to live, love, and work the land his great-grandfather bought in the late 1880s east of Pontiac. Porter recounted, “My first wife and I were married 32 years until she died of cancer. We have 2 sons and 1 daughter.”

The oldest son is an equine veterinarian and his daughter is a small animal veterinarian who is also known for showing saddle horses. “My youngest son is a mechanic. He’s involved in a different kind of horsepower,” joked Porter.

“My second wife and I have been married now for 27 years. She [Alzina] has 5 children from her first marriage that also had ended from cancer,” reflected Chuck.

Chuck continued, “Our children and grandchildren have all pitched in and helped around here.” Alzina, however, understated her contributions. “I just accompany. I pack our bags…do a little go-fering,” she admitted.

Alzina’s granddaughter Emily (well-known for pole vaulting) is also working and showing horses for her grandpa. “She’s a good driver. She has a good pair of hands,” evaluated her grandfather.

Chuck’s father was still using draft horses for farming when he was little. “That’s the what, how, and why I got started in 4-H and state fairs,” added Porter.

In his younger years he also worked with Shetland and Welsh ponies. “For the past 40 or so years,” stated Porter, “I’ve stayed with hackney ponies because they are highly animated, high-steppers.”

“I like their athleticism,” he elaborated.

Through the years, Porter and his equines have won many ribbons and awards. “This year and last, we’ve received the blue ribbons for hackney pony in Land of Lincoln class,” Porter humbly noted.

Others have taken notice of Chuck’s horsemanship skills. “I’ve been judging for about 40 years across the U.S. and Canada,” said Porter.

Porter has been asked to judge the top premier horse shows of both countries. “I liked judging the pintos at the Astro Hall in Houston,” mentioned Chuck.

Porter’s evaluated horses at the L.A. Forum and Louisville, even in New York and Virginia just to name a few. “In fact, I’ve showed and sold several world champions at Louisville,” added Porter. “Last November, I judged the International Horse Show in Chicago,” said Porter.

Between the 2009 Illinois State Fair and that Chicago show, Chuck had to slow down for a bit. “I started having chest pains during the fair. After it was over, I went to the doctor to get checked out. He told me I wasn’t leaving. I had to have a 5-bypass. Now I’m feeling pretty good,” noted Porter.

He must be. He just had the very recently-ended state fair winner—again. “Right now, I’m enjoying breaking a young filly (Marabel’s Dream Girl) for next summer,” quipped Porter.

“I usually like to spend two years getting a pony ready (working, training, and the fundamentals) before bringing into the show ring,” master horseman Chuck Porter stated.

“My father always told me to get the basics down well,” reflected Porter. Good advice that he has heeded for 75 years.

Sharing human feature article written for past issue of The Bugle, Pontiac, IL

Mrs. Godden, a former Home Economics teacher

Article #9                     by Rebecca Sadler                   9/21/2010
CHS Commemorative Markers and Faculty Tribute to Mrs. Godden

The planning committee desired this upcoming event to be an annual public appreciation to honor faculty, staff, and alumni of Cornell High School.

This year’s dedication on Saturday, October 2 will include a tree planting and granite stone marker placement at the old high school site starting at 1 pm, a special tribute to Mrs. Jean Godden at the grade school gym at about 2 pm, and a refreshment social hour afterwards.

Cornell residents, alumni, and visitors are encouraged to stop and see a mini-museum of Cornell, Amity Township, and CHS memorabilia displayed in the Amity Township Building. Gale Donze wants to share this passion of hers with the public from 10:30am-12:30 pm and also from 2:30-4:30 pm.

“There are many interesting pieces but one I find fascinating is a 1926 Chicago Tribune article stating that Al Capone’s hit man’s girlfriend/future wife was from Cornell,” contributed Mrs. Donze.

The October 2 event is due to efforts by a group deciding to follow through on talk that occurred at an all-school reunion in June. Jo Morrison, 1967 CHS alum, living in Bloomington, says “We are just getting started.”

Morrison said the phrase ‘gone but not forgotten’ kept coming up in different conversations.

Besides Morrison, the committee members include: Brenda Smith Bollhurst, Pat Pleasant Ewing, Sandra Husted Knight, Janice Dodge Alsdorf, Nancy Reynolds Ruhlander, Jo Ellen Barger Murphy, and Don Taylor.

Taylor is in charge of receiving donations for the CHS Tribute Fund, rsvps for attendance, and any non-attendees greetings or memories to share with Mrs. Godden. Correspondence needs to be sent to: dtaylor@hotmail.com or Don Taylor, 610 Michael Court, Washington, IL 61571.

Donze transferred to CHS as a junior, so she didn’t have Mrs. Godden for home economics class, but she remembers her then from the hallways and now as a fellow Red Hat Lady. “Her hairstyle and appearance seem so unchanged from my high schools years to now. She’s a remarkable, pleasant, and likeable person who doesn’t talk about anything negative or even mentions illness. I credit our prize-winning Red Hat Society float in last year’s Threshermen’s Parade to her. She made a little red hat for each of the stuffed dog animals we had to go along with the Wall dogs theme,” reflected Gale.

Now that she’s been retired for more years than she taught, one would think at 94 years of age that Jean Godden would be sitting at home almost 24/7. Nope.
“I have quilting every Tuesday morning.” Godden shared. Tribute committee member Jo Morrison thought calling Jean at 7:30 am recently would be a good time to chat with her.

“Mrs. Godden quickly informed me that she couldn’t talk because she was about to leave to go quilting,” Morrison remembered.

Throughout each month, Jean also has monthly meetings and activities with Red Hat Society, local DAR chapter (this year’s General Defense Chairman), Rooks Creek Home and Community Education (e.g. Extension Homemakers; currently Vice-President), and Pontiac Woman’s Club as well as volunteer work at the library.

Jean’s still optimistic in making future plans. She’s blessed. “I come from a line of ‘long-livers’,” Godden explained.

“My mom lived to 99. Father was 90. One of father’s aunts lived to 103 and two of mother’s aunts were 102 and 104,” shared this well-deserved honoree.

Mrs. Jean (Antrim) Godden’s early years of her marriage were spent in Virginia. Having been farm-reared north of Rooks Creek and graduated from Pontiac Township High School, Godden was excited when the opportunity for her husband came in her home area.

“We moved to Cornell in January 1946 and paid $3600 for our home and 2 lots,” proudly noted Mrs. Godden.

Sadly this home filled with antiques and memories was lost to a fire in 1996.

Mrs. Godden went on to explain, “Our new Wausau-constructed home was an interesting process and endeavor for us that we shared from 1996 to his death in 2001. We had a wonderful 63 years of marriage.”

Her immediate family contains her daughter Judy, 2 grandsons, 1 great-grandson, and 1 great-granddaughter. When Judy’s family lived in San Diego some years back, the Goddens decided to ‘retire’ and spend their winters there and also to play golf 3 times per week and be on the ocean.

Jean’s recollections of CHS included how she was hired and her starting salary. “Since I had a clothing and textiles degree and minor in education from Iowa State University, the CHS board agreed I was qualified to fill the home economics vacancy,” said Godden.

“My starting pay was $2,000 in 1946,” recalled Jean.

Teaching home economics was her primary duty from 1946 to 1974. “I taught home ec the whole time. There was also a 2-3 year segment when I would serve as the assistant principal whenever the principal was out of the building. I also served as: (1) the yearbook sponsor for 26 years, (2) a class sponsor for 5 or 6 groups of students as they progressed through high school, and (3) Future Homemakers of America sponsor for all 29 years,” recited Jean.

Jean’s highlights from teaching included senior class trips. Godden fondly recalled “walking along Bourbon Street in New Orleans with one group.” There were also several trips to Chicago with other classes and at least one trip to Colorado with another graduating group.

Jean’s highlights from FHA included the annual activities. “We had overnight parties for the girls at the school as well as decorating responsibilities for the Sweetheart Ball Dances and hosting a Mother’s Day Tea complete with a style show,” Godden reminisced.

From the classroom her motto or theory was one of her remembered highlights. “I always told them, work when you work and play when you play,” quoted this veteran teacher.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Accents: home or school decor

Using a set of 3 prints in 3 different ways

Prints ideal for a farm theme or early childhood classroom or children's nursery:

I had a creative brainstorm when I saw this set of 3 prints on a clearance sale table. I thought they would be perfect to merge my thrills (and therapy) of papercrafting and interior decorating into showcasing items to have on display in my high school home ec rooms. The purpose will be to let students see that home decor art doesn't need to be expensive--just expressive and creative.

The set of notecards (I still have a several for each image) have been used 3 ways: (1) framed in black photo frames, (2) framed in clear plastic frames with magnets, and (3) showcased in a scrapbook-way on matching sheets of foam.

Becca's Heart for Creativity: Crafting for school decor

Becca's Heart for Creativity: Crafting for school decor: Classroom decorations and signage Last school year vs this coming school year: My one room, middle school home ec classroom, last year s...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Morsels & First-Aid Kits:

Excerpt from Reader's Digest book on new diet: (or new approach/thinking)

Foods that are fat-releasers according to their research include certain meats and nuts (Brazil nuts in particular), red grapes, honey, citrus fruits (canteloupe, strawberries, oranges, kiwifruit, etc), vinegar like in vinagrette dressings, tomatoes, skim milk, and more of other calcium-rich foods, etc.

I'm insulin resistant and my husband is Type-2 diabetic, so we are always looking for tasty, healthy ways to go lean and low- or no-carb. To help put these choices into action today, here's what we had for lunch:

1. 1/3 lb. Angus beef patty, grilled; topped w/ American cheese slice; served on 100-calories Sandwich Thins;
2. Mixed lettuce greens topped with sliced cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinagrette dressing;
3. breaded mozzarella cheese sticks (for more calcium); and
4. red grapes.

Results for my husband's blood sugar about 3 1/2 hours after eating (many hours since morning meds were taken): 122. This is a really good number for him lately. I'm anxious to see what his count will be in the morning after tonight's supper of:

1. "semi-home-made" pizza: olive oil cooking spray, cornmeal, Jiffy pizza dough mix, Cantina pizza sauce (only part of a small bottle), 2 slices of bacon cut up, 2 heat-n-serve Jimmy Dean sausage patties cut up, beef  'crumbles', grated mozzarella cheese, and Italian seasoning blend; and
2. fruit salad: (from pantry) 1 can of sliced peaches diced up and 1 can of pear halves diced up; (fresh, from refrigerator or counter) 1 medium banana sliced, 1 small apple sliced, and 2 handfuls of red grapes sliced; with some of peach and pear juice and some honey to help banana and apple slices not to turn brown.


Read the excerpt in a recent issue of Reader's Digest (or buy the book; go online; etc) and see if this helps you lose a few pounds each week in a healthy approach of  "dieting".

Becca's Heart for Creativity: Another graduation card style


Becca's Heart for Creativity: Another graduation card style: Card for male high school graduates: Only 2 guys took my spring semester parenting class so this is what I styled for them in order to exp...

Becca's Heart for Creativity: Graduation cards for high school seniors

Becca's Heart for Creativity: Graduation cards for high school seniors: Cards for high school graduates: Layouts and stamped focals are repeated; it's only the colors and embellishments that change from one car...