..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Luke In Operation Iraqi Freedom

Our nephew, Luke Harris, is in the Air Force and is serving in Iraq. He's been there 3 months so far and hates it. It's averaging 115-117 degrees Fahrenheit, the dust is so irritating and he misses home and family. He finally sent some photos home and I wanted to scrapbook his Iraq experience. I added a few additional photos from the Internet. Military scrapbooks are probably their most popular right now since the War has been going on for awhile. More and more men and women have military experiences. Whether Navy, Army, Air Force or Marine, it helps the serviceman and his family to work out their service and document their experiences with scrapbooks. There are the usual portrait photos but there are so many other things you can scrap about. I used Luke's photos about those horrible camel spiders, the sandstorm and the pitiful little office where they can spend time on the telephone. Then there are photos of their buddies and co-workers. I would love to have photos of the silly things they do to stave off boredom. For instance, Luke inherited a bicycle with no brakes and he has told us about his cycling back and forth in the compound and their attempts at small stunts. I have gone almost completely to digital scrapbooking and I was looking forward to making some digital layouts based on his photos from Iraq. I usually like to base my colors on what's in photos. Soldiers fatigues and the colors of the desert were what I was looking at and I didn't want to change his original photos by changing the colors so I would stick with the original photo colors. So here are my digital scrapbook pages of our soldier, or Airman.

Luke wrote a very heartfelt, moving letter about his feelings on being in Iraq and his feelings about his fellow servicemen. I wanted to include that on this page.

I used this swirling black paper and the oranges to pick up the theme of a sandstorm.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Glenn And James Water Skiing At Lake Bowen

Lake Bowen, New Prospect, SC was built 1959-1960. It's been a very important thing in the life of our family. Here is one of the earliest photos of the lake with Uncle Glenn on the right instructing 13 year old Uncle James on the left. They both became expert water skiers. I wanted to scrapbook this earliest photo of them skiing. I hope to get more photos of them skiing and do some more scrapbook layouts.

61 Hours by Lee Child

61 Hours by Lee Child
A Jack Reacher Novel

Jack Reacher, an ex-military policeman and ex-commander of the mysterious 110th (military intelligence), bums a ride on a tour bus which has an accident during a snow storm in little Bolton, South Dakota. This town has 2 distinguishing features: a brand new prison and an old military installation. The land is flat with a house shaped stone building which is an entrance to a mysterious underground tunnel system. No one in town knows what it really is and it was never used after being built. At the time of Jack Reacher's entrance to town, a motorcycle gang has taken over this military installation and planted a shed village around the building. The town's Sheriff and Chief Deputy welcome Jack's help with this problem. It seems that they know this biker group is into drugs and they think they may be using the tunnel system as a Meth Lab. They have a witness to a drug deal made on their streets and the witness is willing to testify in order for them to get a search warrant. Of course, that means this little old lady needs round the clock guards because her life is now in danger. But if the prison has a riot or escape, every policeman has to leave town and establish a protective perimeter around the prison. This was the deal for them to get the much needed money to keep the prison going and this means work and livelihoods to the town. They are worried that whoever is in charge of the drug situation will arrange something to happen at the prison which would leave the little old lady vulnerable to attack. The weakness in this story is that this little old lady didn't have to stay in town. She could have been smuggled somewhere else and kept guarded outside of town. Other than this weakness, the story was good and I enjoyed the read. I did have it figured out before I was 1/4 of the way through the book. But I still liked it and I look forward to reading more Jack Reacher novels.

Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
An Aloysius Pendergast Novel

FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast was once married to Helen. They were only married a year when she was attacked, killed and eaten by a mysterious red mane lion while they were on a Safari. Now, twelve years later, he discovers that her gun had been loaded with blanks. No wonder she "missed". He realizes she was set up and murdered. He asks his friend, Lt. Vincent D'Agosta, to help him track the truth and murderers down. Traveling from Africa to New Orleans, New York to Florida, the two men find out she was fascinated with James Audubon and it had led to her death. Helen's mysterious obsession with Audubon's masterpiece known as the Black Frame drew enemies. The painting was never found, and Audubon's life ended in madness.

This was another great read by Preston and Child. It's also a To-Be-Continued book. Those loose ends are titillating. Can't wait for the next one.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spontaneous Worship

I love worshipping like this!

How Do You Store Your Light Bulbs?

For some reason it seems we have lots of different light bulbs. I always keep spares or backups for all the different kinds of bulbs. Here is a list of the different lightbulbs I keep:
Regular 40, 60, 75, 100 watt bulbs
Energy saving 60 and 75 watt bulbs
Flourescent tubes for overhead, under counter and desk lamps
Halogens for indoor spots, outdoor spots, and the pendant lights (it seems that everything needs a different type halogen and they are expensive)
Candelabra bulbs for the chandeliers
Flood lights
Oven and Refrigerator bulbs
Nightlight bulbs

It is confusing and needs a little organization. Organizing your light bulbs or storing your light bulbs takes a little thought. What I've done for years is to have a large plastic storage box with lid. I keep the bulbs in their original packaging in this box. This holds all but the long flourescent tubes. But I did a Google search and found a couple of more ideas.

If the drink carton is too deep for your bulbs, then scrunch up some tissue paper for the bottom of the carton.

I would also suggest thinking "outside the box". It makes sense to me to keep my bulb box in the laundry room. To you it may make sense to store them in the garage, basement, pantry, utility closet/room. But if that's not working for you, think outside the box. How about a blanket chest? The large ottoman with storage? A drawer in your chest of drawers? A vintage suitcase? Over the door shoe hanger with the pockets? Christmas ornament boxes?

I like to corral all my bulbs together in one place. But maybe you would rather keep bulbs close to where they are used. For instance, keeping the bulbs for your office desklamps and overheads in an office drawer, a backup bulb for your bedside lamp in the bedside table drawer, vanity light bulb in the bathroom drawer. I have to let you decide which way works for you.

I have some more tips. You want to protect your bulbs so don't just toss the bulbs all together in a box. They can break if they are banging against each other. You need something separating them. I use the original packaging. Some nestle their bulbs on cut up egg crate foam. Egg cartons for small bulbs. Cupcake papers. For special bulbs I will keep them together and label them. For instance, I put all the halogen bulbs for the undercounter lights in a plastic sandwich bag and label it. Sometimes I snip the bulb packaging and keep it in the plastic bag so I'll know the product # when it comes time to purchase again. When you use the last of that type bulb, put it on your shopping list so you always have a backup. It might be helpful to make a complete list of all your different light bulbs with their product #, where you purchase them and where you use them. Keep this list in your household information. For example:
* Halogen Bi-Pin Base Reflector, 20 watt, Part #JCR-9323P, Purchased at Lowe's, Use in recessed ceiling lights in living room

Now go sort, organize and store your light bulbs!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Glenn Jr.'s Family At The Beach

This is a sweet picture of his family taken at the beach. I had seen a picture of a tree with words for the foliage and I wanted to try and do something like that digitally. I think it came out real well! I used a Photoshop brush for the tree trunk and then kept adding letters and the word "Family" until I was satisfied with the result. I used Photoshop brushes for the little bird border across the bottom. Again, I used colors from the actual photo. I used a journaling block and added a digi paper cut out bird embellishment. I'm satisfied with this scrapbook page.

Elaine and Ronnie 1976

This digital scrapbook page uses a photo of Elaine and Ronnie taken (I think) the Fall of 1976. I wanted to incorporate paper that reminded you of the 1970s. The 1970's came out in the plaid and colors. It was Fall so I chose colors that would pick that up. Ronnie is holding up her pony tail like she's a prize fish. So I used some fish brushes and string to look like a string of fish. Because they were teenagers and he was being funny, I wanted to add some quirkiness with the frame and title elements. I used a torn notepad paper for journaling with cursive writing to bring in the high school element.

Ideas For Storing Baking Sheets

Someone asked me for ideas on storing cookie sheets, muffin tins, roasting pans. They can be ungainly but cookie sheet storage can be done. Here are some ideas that I found on a Google search.

What a great way to gain some unexpected space by having these toe board drawers!

So I challenge you to go organize your baking pans!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rev. Moses Freeman and Mary Fannie Ball

Rev. Moses Freeman and Mary Fannie Ball has a daughter named...
...Mary Jane Freeman who married Rev. William Rees and they had a son named...
......Green Hill Reese who married Tabitha Jane Freeman and they had a son named...
.........William Hanes Reese who married Nancy Rebecca Lunsford and they had a son named...
............Bailey Bright Reese who married Lillian Vianna Conner and they had a son named...
...............Wilford William Reese who married Geneva Margaret Lamb and they had a daughter named...
..................Eleanor Elaine Reese who married William Avery Huneycutt and they had ME!

Rev. Moses Freeman was born 9/14/1774 in Wilkes County, NC to Aaron Freeman, Sr. (1745-1825) and Mary Bentley (Abt 1745-Bet 1830 and 1833). About 1793 he married Mary Fannie Ball. Mary Fannie Ball was born about 1778 in Wilkes County, NC to Daniel Ball (Abt 1745 - Abt 1794) and Elizabeth Osborne (? - ?).

1800 U.S. Census of Bertie, North Carolina; Roll: 30; Page: 44; Image: 51; Family History Library Film: 337906, "Moses Freeman", living next door to his father and uncles
Name: Moses Freeman
Free White Males 10 to 15: 2
Free White Males 16 to 25: 1
Free White Males 45 and Over : 1
Free White Females 16 to 25 : 1
Free White Females 45 and Over : 1
Number of Slaves: 14
Number of Household Members Under 16 : 2
Number of Household Members Over 25 : 2
Number of Household Members: 6

In 1806, Moses Freeman moved his family to Buncombe County. The county was formed in 1791 from parts of Burke County and Rutherford County. It was named for Edward Buncombe, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, who was captured at the Battle of Germantown. In 1808 the western part of Buncombe County became Haywood County. In 1833 parts of Burke County and Buncombe County were combined to form Yancey County, and in 1838 the southern part of what was left of Buncombe County became Henderson County. In 1851 parts of Buncombe County and Yancey County were combined to form Madison County. Finally, in 1925 the Broad River township of McDowell County was transferred to Buncombe County. It's county seat is Asheville.

He preached his first sermon at B. Gregory's in what is now Madison County, NC on John 11:44. This same year he was involved in the organization of the French Broad Baptist Association.

1810 U.S. Census of Buncombe, North Carolina; Roll 39; Page: 283; Family History Number: 0337912; Image: 00175, "Moses Freeman"
Name: Moses Freeman
Free White Males Under 10: 2
Free White Males 10 to 15: 1
Free White Males 16 to 25: 1
Free White Males 26 to 44: 1
Free White Females Under 10: 2
Free White Females 10 to 15: 2
Free White Females 26 to 44: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 7
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 10

Moses Freeman was baptised by William Dodson at Little River Baptist Church, Burke County, NC. The coordinates are: Latitude: 35° 58' 53.14" N , Longitude: 81° 13' 14.13" W

In 1812 he and his family moved their membership to Little Ivy Baptist Church, in what is now Madison County, NC. In that same year he was a delegate from Little Ivy Baptist Church to French Broad Baptist Association. He was ordained on 8 Aug 1812 at Little Ivy Baptist Church. The coordinates are: Latitude: 35° 50' 3.48" N , Longitude: 82° 31' 32.81" W

In 1818 he became the pastor and a charter member of the newly formed Bull Creek Baptist Church. He served as this church's pastor until his death in 1859. The Bull Creek Baptist Church is still alive and they have the original (or similar) log church beside the current church and it is kept as a museum for the church history. The coordinates are: Latitude: 35° 49' 18.79" N, Longitude: 82° 34' 38.50" W , Bull Creek Baptist Church, 237 Bull Creek Rd., Mars Hill, Madison County, NC 28754.

On 9 Dec 1828 he purchased 50 acres at Case Bolt's Ford (now known as Casey Bow Branch), Buncombe County (now Madison County), NC. I looked up "Casey Bow Branch" and got these coordinates: Latitude: 35° 47' 29.40" N , Longitude: 82° 40' 28.56" W

1830 U.S. Census of Buncombe, North Carolina, Page: 263; NARA Roll: M19-118; Family History Film: 0018084, "Freeman, Moses, Sr."
Name: Moses Freeman Senior
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 60 thru 69: 1
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35: 1
Slaves - Females - Under 10: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total Slaves: 2

In 1834 he began pastoring at Newfound Baptist Church, Buncombe County, NC. There is a Newfound Baptist Church in Leicester but their website did not contain any of the church history so I don't know if this is the same church or not. I didn't find another Newfound Baptist Church.

On 9 Nov 1837, Freeman purchased 50 acres on the west side of Bailey's Branch, Buncombe County (what is now Madison County), NC. The coordinates are: Latitude: 35° 47' 30.01" N , Longitude: 82° 42' 3.96" W

1840 U.S. Census of Sourthern Division, Buncombe County, NC; Roll 178; Page: 354; Image: 364; Family History Library Film: 0018092, "Moses Freeman"
Rev. Moses Freeman - Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 69: 1
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23: 3
Slaves - Males - 36 thru 54: 1
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54: 1
Total - All Persons (Free White, Free Colored, Slaves): 9
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Persons Employed in Learned Professional Engineers: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 3
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total Slaves: 5
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 9

Rev. Moses and Mary Freeman had 11 children.
1) Elizabeth Freeman (DOB: ? at ? ; DOD: ? at ? ) married John Goforth.
2) Green Hill Freeman (DOB: Abt 1794 at ? ; DOD: Aug, 1867 at ? ) married Rachel Payne.
3) Moses Freeman, Jr. (DOB: Abt 1796 in Flat Creek, Buncombe County, NC; DOD: Aft 1860 at ? ) married Elizabeth Edwards.
4) Tabitha Freeman (DOB: Abt 1797 in Old Buncombe County, NC; DOD: Abt 1850 in Cherokee County, NC) married John Jackson Reese.
5) Lydia Freeman (DOB: 8/17/1799 in Buncombe County, NC; DOD: 1/31/1867 in Flat Creek, Buncombe County, NC) married Joshua Judson Roberts.
6) William Freeman (DOB: Abt 1800 in Buncombe County, NC; DOD: ? in ? ) married Ann Cathey and/or Nancy Dockery. There is some question whether it was Ann or Nancy or both. I appreciate both theories and if anyone finds definitive proof and documentation, please share!
7) Mary Jane Freeman (DOB: Abt 1801 in Buncombe County, NC; DOD: 2/1884 in Big Pine, Madison County, NC) married Rev. William Reese.
8) Alcey Freeman (DOB: Abt 1806 in Buncombe County, NC; DOD: ? in ? ) married William Blackwell.
9) Elisha Freeman (DOB: Abt 1809 in Buncombe County, NC; DOD: 2/8/1956 in Collinsville, DeKalb County, AL) married Rebecca Ann Coker "Annie".
10) Susan Freeman (DOB: Abt 1811 in Buncombe County, NC; DOD: Abt 1860 in DeKalb County, AL) married William Henderson Coker.

Mary Fannie Ball Freeman died around 1845. Moses remarried to Elizabeth Jarvis Ball "Betsy" in 1845. Betsy Jarvis had previously been married to Joel Ball who had died about 1843. Joel was the son of Jabez Ball. Betsy and Joel Ball had 7 children: Alsey, Mandy, Noah, Nancy, Merinda, Celia Ann, James Manley. We have a marriage settlement between Moses and Betsy dated 28 Dec 1845.

"Agreement between Moses Freeman and Elizabeth (Jarvis) Ball"
"A order of agreement entered into between Moses Freeman and Elizabeth Ball previous to the sollemnizing the rights of matrimony. The conditions is such that the said Moses Freeman takes the following property, vz.: One horse worth $40; 22 head of hogs $32; 5 head cattle $32; 9 head sheep $10; and household and kitchen furniture $60/$174. The above amount of one hundred and seventy four dollars, the property of sd. Elizabeth Ball, and I the sd. Moses Freeman do have and to take the above named property, and hold it subject to the use of sd. Elizabeth Ball or her heirs at her or my death. Given under our hands and seals this 28 of December 1845 in presence of: D.E. Freeman, Jurratt, William Fortner, James Rector. Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, April Term, 1846."

In 1848 he began pastoring at Walnut Baptist Church, Buncombe County, NC.

1850 U.S. Census of Buncombe County, North Carolina; Roll M432_622; Page: 268B; Image: 164, Lines 38-41 and next pg Line 1, "Freeman, Moses"
Freeman, Moses, 77 yrs old (DOB would be about 1773), M(ale), W(hite), Bapt. Clergyman, $450 Real Estate Value, Born in NC
Freeman, Elizabeth, 50 yrs old (DOB would be about 1800), F, W, Born in NC
Ball, Nancy, 22 yrs old (DOB would be about 1828), F, W, Born in NC
Ball, Marinda (sic), 18 yrs old (DOB would be about 1832), F, W, Born in NC
Ball, Coena (sic, should be Celia), 17 yrs old (DOB would be about 1833), F, W, Born in NC

In 1852, he began pastoring at Bear Creek Baptist Church, Madison County, NC. I found two Bear Creek churches. I don't know if these are the same or which one. They are both on Bear Creek Rd. One is a tiny white clapboard church and the other is a tiny brick church.

Rev. Moses Freeman died 18 Jan 1859 in Madison County, NC and he is buried in the Freeman Family Cemetery off Lower Brush Creek Rd. The coordinates are: Latitude: 35° 50' 23.58" N , Longitude: 82° 43' 51.60" W . It's an unmarked cemetery that is not kept up and the graves are now unmarked with the rocks that used to mark them piled under a tree. There is supposedly 5 graves there. It is on private property and there shouldn't be any trespassing. I think Mary Fannie Freeman and Elizabeth Freeman are also buried there and supposedly 2 of his children.

At the time of his death, Rev. Moses Freeman owned a large amount of property, including land and slaves. He died intestate, meaning without a will, and the estate reportedly went into dispute. Madison County, NC probate records for the estate of Rev. Moses Freeman in 1859 named surviving children as: (son) Green H. Freeman; (daughter) Lydia, wife of Joshua Rubalm (sic, should be Roberts); (daughter) Mary, wife of William Rees; (son) Moses Freeman; (daughter) Susan, wife of William Henderson; and (son) Elisha Freeman. Deceased children named in the probate record included: (son) William Freeman, married to Ann Cathey, and (daughter) Ailsay (sic, should be Alcey), married to William Blackwell. William Freeman’s heirs were named as children: Lazarus Freeman, Hugh Freeman, Loreno Freeman [HIS GIVEN NAME APPROXIMATED FROM DIFFICULT TO READ CURSIVE DOCUMENT, SO IT MAY ACTUALLY BE SOMETHING OTHER THAN “LORENO”.], and Maria Cornwell [THE WIFE OF RICHARD HENRY CORNWELL, ALSO KNOWN AS “MARY”]. Heirs of Alsey (Freeman) Blackwell were named as: (spouse) William Blackwell; D.A. Blackwell, E.C. Blackwell, N.R. Blackwell, L.L. Blackwell, M.M. Blackwell, and Lydia Blackwell [THE LATTER THREE IDENTIFIED AS UNDER THE AGE OF MAJORITY]. Rev. Moses Freeman’s grandson, Lazarus (married to Rhoda "Rhody" Freeman), filed a document giving a lawyer in Madison Co., North Carolina Power of Attorney on his behalf to represent him in obtaining his portion of his deceased father’s estate.

**Note from Alice Pierson-Forest/Freeman Family, dated 9/11/2013
There are those who believe that this same Lazarus was the son of Isaac and Spicey which I believe more on what you have here than I do finding Lazarus in the Isaac family.
I can envision the story of Isaac and Lazarus taking the slaves and moving on to Akansas where they are both found, but not as Father and Son. Rhoda can be found amoung people's findings in Isaac's household. If William died in 1858 before Moses death in 1859, then maybe he was too sickly to go on the journeyon through Missouri and Arkansas for the task they undertook taking Indians with them and moving them to the Oklahoma/Arkansas New Territories. Just a thought I have. Lazarus being a young lad, and Rhoda going anyway with Father and siblings, could have married Lazarus easily, even though they were cousins.
The Tale states:
Isaac was involved in the "Trail of Tears" leading (Creek ?) Indians out of North Carolina. In 1845 he first removed from Buncombe County, North Carolina settling 2 miles north of Lurton near Tarleton Cemetery. With slaves brought with him from North Carolina, he proved and received title to his land. Row 1, Plot 8 of Tarleton Cemetery contains a Freeman black woman believed to have been the first burial in the cemetery about 1865. Tradition around Lurton says the slave was helping Isaac put out a fire used to clear ground. Drinking cold spring water after being overheat ed she died of a heat stroke and was the first person to be buried in the Tarleton Cemetery. She is reported to have been one of Isaac Freeman 's slaves brought with him from North Carolina with her child. A marker is on the grave in the southeast corner of the Tarlton Cemetery with t he inscription "Freeman Colored Woman."
Name: Rhoda "Rhody" Freeman
· Sex: F
· Birth: ABT 1834 in North Carolina
· Death: BEF 8 AUG 1865
· Reference Number: 24208
· Note: 1. Rhoda died before Lazarus returned home from the Civil War according to Charles Harris of Ft. Douglas who stated he was present when "Rhody" Freeman died and he helped bury her.
Others are convinced that William was Lazarus' Father and not Isaac. But without following them from NC to Arkansas..and the record you have copy of, Mose's Will, one could not determine the facts.**

Moses Freeman and his wife and some of his children were buried in the "Moses Freeman Family Cemetery". There were only about 5 graves there and it's about lost. My husband, father and I found it but it's on private land. I took good photos so you don't have to run the risk of trespassing to see it. It's slogging through a creek and up a steep ridge.

This photo shows the little intersection. Across from the intersection is a creek, meadow and a wooded ridge. It's up that ridge beneath a big tree and a big rock.

This is the meadow. The creek runs between the road and the meadow.

Here is the bottom of the wooded ridge you have to climb.

My Dad is waiting for me to quit taking photos and slog through the creek. My feet were wet and cold the rest of the day.

This is the crest of the ridge. The ridge follows up to the backyard of a private home.

This picture is taken from farther up the ridge, looking back towards the graves and the road.  The graves are smack in the middle of the photo, in the background, about where the dead tree is. The graves are grouped. The rocks that did cover the graves have been removed and stacked. The graves are barely discernible.

Standing at the big tree and rock where the graves are and looking back up the ridge.

Remember, this is private property and we were able to meet the owner. I hope these photos will document the gravesites and you are welcome to click on the photos, and then right click on the photos and "Save As" to your own computer. You won't find any more there than we did. It's sad that they are almost lost.

For more information on Moses Freeman's parents see my post on Aaron Freeman

If you have any corrections, comments or further information, please contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kitchen Knives

Kitchen knives are one of those things that we think we can get by on the cheap. We buy cheap knives thinking it doesn't make any difference. I learned a long time ago that there is a difference. It's one of those tools that you need to to invest a little in. Same with pots and pans. Now I've been married over 32 years and haven't had to use $1,000 pots or $500 knives. I think there is probably a limit to how much you invest before it becomes absurd so use commonsense. But I do know the difference from cheap pots and cheap knives and decent pots and decent knives and it's been worth the difference.

But you need to learn a little about knives. What kind do you need? How do you care for them? How do you store them? How do you sharpen them? I did some research on the web and found some information for you.

How to care for your knives
The first tip is to use wood or polyethylene cutting boards. Marble, glass, stone, ceramic and other hard surfaces damage knives. They can dull, blunt or nick a blade. I didn't know that. We are always told to use those hard surfaces to keep down germs, especially from raw meat. So I wondered why they still sold wooden cutting boards. Now I know! So what do you do? Do you use wooden cutting boards and worry about germs or use hard surface cutting boards and worry about damage to your knives? I'll have to let you make that choice!

To clean knives, wipe the knife quickly with a soapy nonabrasive cloth or sponge, dry it and put it away. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before storing them because moisture can damage the blade. Don't put them in the dishwasher. The detergents are too strong for them and being knocked around by the water jets can dull the blades. Don't leave it lying in the sink where it stays wet. I learned something here because I've always put my knives in the dishwasher thinking I was sanitizing them. Don't let your knives be clinking against other cutlery or silverware as the edge can get damaged.

Use knives for their intended purpose. Don't use a butter knife to try and cut through a chicken joint. My husband is bad to use a knife as an impromptu screwdriver. At first I didn't want him to know how much I spent on a knife being afraid he'd have a fit. But then I decided to let him know so he wouldn't be tempted to take my good knives out to his shop and use them to cut insulation, halve a paint roller, etc. Sheesh!

How to you keep your knives sharp
Using a professional knife sharpener is the best advice. But you can do it yourself. I use a whetstone. They are generally made of carborundum or another abrasive and are available in different densities: coarse, medium, and fine. Coarse is the all-purpose stone, good for Chef's Knives, while fine is good for slicing or boning knives.

There are two basic types of whetstones - oil or water. An oil whetstone is prepared by lubricating it with a few drops of oil which is smoothed to a light film across the stone. A water stone needs to be soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes to absorb moisture. When either stone is prepared, place it on a non-stick surface (a tea towel is good to steady the stone) and begin.

Place the blade at a 20 degree angle and lay the heel of the blade on the stone. Steady the extended tip of the knife with one hand to guide it, and draw the blade toward you, sweeping across the stone in an arc. Turn the blade over and repeat the process on the other side. Always go in one direction - NEVER NEVER NEVER go back and forth. You will repeat this sharpening gesture 10 to 20 times on each side. Test for sharpness, then move on to the honing steel.

The whetstone may have left a few minuscule pieces of jagged metal. Now you use the second implement - the honing steel. This is the familiar steel stick with grooves in the steel. The purpose of the honing steel is to remove any nicks or jags and make the knife smooth. Hold the knife at the same 20 degree angle and draw it across the steel with the same sweeping motion that you used on the whetstone. Repeat on the other side. Do this five or six times. Once again, always work in one direction only.

Sharpen your knife on a honing steel before you use it. Do this EVERY TIME you use a knife. Honing removes small burrs and maintains the edge in between sharpening on a whetstone. A whetstone is generally needed every two to three months.

Here are a couple of quick video on the whetstone and honing method.

(By the way I inherited some of my Great Grandma's knives and her wooden knife holder. Her knives weren't as nice as his since she wasn't a professional butcher.)

What type of materials knives are made of
High-Carbon Steel
- Carbon Steel has been used in the making of blades for many years. Carbon steel blades are tough, can be very sharp, retain their sharp edge fairly well, and sharpen with little effort. They have a tendency to be brittle and can break under stress. Carbon steel blades discolor when they come in contact with foods that are high in acid, such as tomatoes and citrus fruit. The discoloration does not affect the quality of the knife. With proper care, discoloration and rusting of the blade can be avoided and it can be treated if it does occur. Wash and dry thoroughly after use. If the blade rusts, scour to remove rust and continue to use. A light polishing with fine grit steel wool or sandpaper can also be used to remove the stains and rust from the blade.

High-Carbon Stainless Steel - A combination of the best attributes of carbon steel and stainless steel blades. They contain enough carbon to give them the toughness and ability to hold an edge, although not quite as well as high-carbons steel, and they contain enough chromium to make them stain and rust resistant, although they can discolor or rust under extreme conditions. High-carbon stainless steel blades are slightly harder to sharpen than high-carbon steel but they have become the most popular blade material used for high quality kitchen knives.

Stainless Steel - Unlike high-carbon steel, stainless steel blades are highly resistant to discoloring or rusting, but if not cared for properly, they can stain. If over exposed to salt water, hard water, or acidic material such as, lemon juice or vinegar, it may discolor or rust. Dry thoroughly after washing to prevent discoloring and if the knife does discolor or rust, clean with a stainless steel cleaner or a light abrasive powder. Although the stainless steel blades have the ability to hold a sharp edge slightly longer, the stainless steel is so hard that it cannot be produced with as sharp an edge as high-carbon steel. When they dull, they are much harder to sharpen than the high-carbon steel.

Titanium - Titanium blades are made from a mold of titanium and carbides. The carbides allow the blade to be heat treated, which produces a very strong and durable blade. When compared to steel, titanium is lighter, more wear resistant, corrosion resistant, holds its edge longer, and is fairly easy to sharpen. The titanium blade is more flexible than steel, making them a good choice for tasks such as boning and filleting. Beware that titanium coated or edged knife blades will not have the same qualities as knives that have blades made totally of titanium. The titanium coating on the cutting edge of the blade will be lost after sharpening several times.

Ceramic - Ceramic blades are made of zirconium oxide and aluminum oxide. Zirconium oxide is the second hardest material available next to diamonds. It is very hard but is also brittle and can chip or break and I have broken one. The edge of a ceramic blade is much thinner than steel, which makes cutting through items much easier. Because the ceramic blades are brittle they must be used with caution. They should be used for slicing rather than chopping. Although they are much more brittle than steel knives, they tend to hold their edge up to 10 times longer. Once the blades have dulled, they must be sharpened by a professional with a diamond sharpener.

Plastic - Plastic blades are used with the primary goal of preventing vegetables and such from becoming discolored from the blade of a knife. Plastic blades generally serrated and are not very sharp, requiring some force when cutting.

Hardness is measured on the Rockwell Hardness Scale (HRC). Measurements are typically in the 55-60 range. Some of the sharpest Japanese knives are hardened to an HRC of more than 60, while Wusthof and Henckels knives are typically closer to 55. It might not sound like much, but a few points on the Rockwell scale can make a big difference.

Blade hardness is probably the biggest difference between Japanese and German knives. Japanese knives are hard, sharp surgical instruments. They are razor-sharp but require careful handling. German knives are duller but require less maintenance. In general forged knives are considered to be higher quality than stamped ones. Steel always contains iron and carbon. Carbon facilitates the transformation of iron into hardened steel. Some of this carbon is absorbed by the iron, but the rest adds hardness to the blade. The more Carbon, the harder the blade. You'll hear knives described as "High-Carbon". This is a good sign -- it means that the manufacturer is at least trying to make a hardened blade.

There are different uses for different knives.

A Bread Knife

A serrated knife with a long blade is used to slice through food that is hard on the outside and soft on the inside, such as slicing through the hard crusts of bread. A serrated knife with a short, thin blade is intended for slicing fruits and vegetables.

Bird's Beak Knife (Tourne Knife)

Considered to be a type of utility knife that is used for many of the same tasks as the traditional paring knife. The bird's beak knife, which is also known as a "tournée" knife, has a shorter blade than a paring knife with a blade that is typically 2 to 3 inch long. It is designed to curve upward on both the cutting edge and the top edge. The bird's beak knife is commonly used to make a type of cut referred to as the tournée cut in vegetables such as carrots, potatoes or squash. This cut is performed for purposes of food presentation. This cut is also known as a tourne or tourné cut. Bird's beak knives may also be used to slice soft fruits such as nectarines, plums or peaches and for peeling skins or blemishes from a variety of fruits and vegetables. It is a knife that is also used for cutting decorative garnishes such as rosettes in radishes or fluted mushrooms.

A Boning Knife

A knife with a thin short blade, typically 5 or 6 inches long, used to remove the main bone within a cut of meat, such as a ham or a beef roast. A boning knife will typically have a long narrow blade for ease of manipulation around bones. The blade is rigid and proportioned to the size of the bones being removed. Bigger cuts of meat require a larger more rigid blade that is not too flexible to prevent injury from the blade bending too easily. Smaller meat cuts can be trimmed and boned using a smaller less rigid blade.

A Chef's Knife

Also called a cook's knife, this knife is an all purpose kitchen knife that is used for most types of chopping, dicing, mincing, and slicing. Chef's knives come in various lengths of 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches. The smaller sized knives are typically referred to as mini chef's knives while the longer lengths are known as traditional chef's knives. The heft, weight and balance of this knife allow it to be used for heavy duty work with thicker cuts of vegetables, fruits and meats. The length of the knife you purchase is significant. The longer the knife, the heavier and more difficult it will be to handle. Small handed cooks should choose shorter blades while large handed cooks will prefer longer blades.

A Cleaver

A knife with a wide rigid blade that is approximately 6 inches in length and tapers to a sharp cutting edge. This tool is used to chop, shred, pound, or crush food ingredients and materials. The blade of the cleaver is thick, somewhat heavy and well balanced with a beveled cutting edge. The beveled blade allows for ease of chopping through vegetables or hard materials, such as bones. The flat blunt side of the blade can be used to pulverize meat. If the handle is flat on the end it may be used to crush seeds, garlic or other similar ingredients. A hole is typically provided on the top end of the blade to allow for ease of hanging this tool when storing.

A Filet Knife

A knife consisting of a thin flexible blade, typically 6 to 11 inches long, used for filleting fish. The narrow blade enables the knife to cleanly move along the backbones of the fish, in and around areas adjacent to bones, and to evenly slice along the skin, removing it easily from the flesh.

A Mincing Knife

A knife that can be used to mince or cut food into smaller bits for seasoning sauces, soups, salads, and other dishes. Mincing knives can be either single or double bladed to cut a variety of foods into very small pieces. A mincing knife is also referred to as a Mezzaluna, Mezzaluna chopper or Mezzaluna knife. Another version of a mincing tool is the rolling mincer or rotary mincer. This utensil consists of numerous circular blades, close together mounted on a handle, enabling the user to roll the tool back and forth over the herb as the blades do the mincing.

Paring Knife

Traditionally, this utensil is a small knife with a straight, sharp blade that is generally three to five inches long. Its thin, narrow blade is tapers to a point at the tip. It is easy to handle and works well for peeling and coring foods or mincing and cutting small items. Working with small bits of food or small ingredients, such as shallots, garlic or fresh herbs, can easily be accomplished with this knife.

Sandoku of Santoku Knife

This knife is very similar to a chef's knife with a wide blade that has a long straight edge curving up slightly at the end. The main difference is that the santoku knife has a wider blade that is thinner in thickness, shorter in length, and curves up very gradually at the end providing a straighter cutting edge. Constructed of high-carbon stainless steel, stainless steel, ceramic, or titanium, this knife will typically be expensive to purchase, since it is precision made to be well balanced and well formed for ease of handling and greater control. With a thinner blade than a chef's knife, the santoku can cut smoothly and more precisely through dense vegetables, which may have a tendency to provide more resistance when using thicker width blades. Santoku knives are used for chopping, dicing, and slicing foods into narrow or fine pieces so they can be added as ingredients to enhance the look or flavors of the various foods being prepared. This knife also works well for butterflying boneless chicken breasts, providing a manageability and ease of handling for the cutting required to butterfly poultry.

Meat and Fish Slicers

Knives designed for slicing meat, such as poultry, ham, and fish. They have a long narrow blade that is more flexible than a carving knife and generally at least 10 inches long so it will reach across a large ham or roast. They will range in flexibility depending on the type of meat being cut. A slicer used for ham and fish would have a more flexible blade than a knife used for slicing poultry. The slicer can have a pointed tip, used to cut in around a bone or it can have a rounded tip for slicing boneless meat or fish.

A Utility Knife

A small lightweight knife used for miscellaneous light cutting. It has a blade that is 4 to 7 inches long, which is slightly larger than a paring knife. This utensil can cut food items that are too large for a paring knife but too small for a chef's knife, such as cucumbers, larger apples, smaller squash, and other mid-sized items. Similar to the paring knife, this knife works well for herbs, shallots, fruits, vegetables, and larger pieces of garlic.

How to store your knives
Don't just throw them in a drawer with other things or into a utensil jar on your cabinet. You don't want them clanging around against other things. You want to keep the blades separate from other things.

I've bought several of the Cutco knives and I love them but they weren't rated very high by some reviews I read online. I have a set of Henckel knives and they have lasted a long time. I saw good reviews for the MAC knives, Wusthof knives, Victorinox knives. As I said earlier, knives can range in price from $30.00 to $3,000.00 @. If you make an investment in some good knives, then take care of them. Good luck on your knives!

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