Friday, February 15, 2019

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Had a wonderful, lazy Sunday

2. Because of the impending storm, the college closed early. Himself got home just as the first flakes were falling.

3. I had contacted the fella who clears our driveway of snow if he could have us cleared out by mid-afternoon so I'd be able to get to the museum to teach class. No problem

4. Surprise snow squalls left the roads slick and icy, but the new car got me home safe and sound. I thought I'd have problems getting up our hill, but the squalls missed my town.

5. Himself baked a special Valentine's dessert of gluten free brownies with a strawberry and blueberry ganache. He had to use the blueberries because as a surprise for him, I used some of the strawberries that I dipped in Lily's chocolate.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them. Today's chapter:

When MacArthur left the shelter of Corregidor, the press stated that he took all his gold, jewels and silver, etc. They did a job on him.Even to this day there are people who will tell you what he did, took treasure. No such thing. The press did not mention that the General loved to read and could go through 5 books in a day. He had a library of 5,000 books. A number of them out of print. The Japanese set it on fire and destroyed it. When he landed in Manila and things were going well he wrote to his wife that in a couple of weeks he would have her come to Manila. As it would be safe. He added a PS. "By the way your silver set has been recovered." The press did not mention that and other things he allegedly took.

While I was able to study him, I did not see any character of acting or showing off. He didn't have to. He appeared to me to be someone who knew what he wanted to do and how to do it.

The Press marginalized him. And that might have been that he did not trust it. When he was young and single he had an affair with an Asian woman whom he dumped. It appears that a reporter ran into the woman. The reporter asked if MacArthur had given her anything. He hadn't. The reporter told her that he would get her some. And he held MacArthur up for $10,000.

At the time if it made the headline that he had a mistress, it would not have hurt him if it came out in the media. He paid because he loved his mother and he knew that she would be shattered if she found out. In fact, when he was admitted to West Point, she rented a room across the street so she could keep an eye on him.

I read where she got him his Captain's promotion. General Pershing who was the Commander in Chief of the country's doughboys was not too happy with MacArthur.

In WWI the war was fought a lot different. Both sides dug in. And attacks would be planned would would get out of their trenches and attack. He would go over the top with his walking stick. On the theory that if the men saw their officer go over the top, they would follow their officer. Evidently, this put Pershing in a tough position. If MacArthur was killed, the public and the politicians would have blamed Pershing for getting him killed. It was MacArthur's father that raised a lot of the officers that fought in WWI. Maybe so and they returned the thanks with his son by promoting him. I don't think so. He would have moved to the top under any circumstances.

With the Japanese in surrender we began thinking of getting home as fast as we could. So the exit out of the Army was worked out on the number of points you had. The length of time, married, etc. and you received a number and that's how we got home.I had a high number and that allowed me to get home by Christmas [ed: 1945] And I boarded a ship again. Only this time it was headed for the good, old USA. Hence I made my second crossing of the Equator. The first time I had a Sunday that lasted 48 hours. The second a Monday that lasted 48 hours. Quite an experience.

Dad, Abe, and Spruce
We docked at San Diego, I think and we had another problem. The trains, the Western system was laid out with one track. And one had to wait until the train went to its destination, and would unload and go on a turn table and head back from whence it came. It caused a lot of problems, w were upset, our families were upset, etc. So the Government resolved the problem. We would be going home by air. And our wait was a few days. My friends were Abe and Gordon Armstrong. Gordon had an uncle in California and he was not too far. He told me that his uncle was coming to pick him up and he wanted us to go with him. It was evening when he came. I was introduced and got in the car. How long we drove I have no idea. But we got there and what a welcome we got.His wife insisted on giving us a bacon and egg breakfast. It was after midnight. They had a daughter who had married a G.I. who was shot down. He was in the air corps. Gordon was asked to go with her which was ok with us. His uncle kept good company and his wife was cooking as the smell came our way.

Gordon Armstrong in front of the MacArthur residence
It was a beautiful furnished home.The living room was one that you came to and stepped down one step. It was large and the step up was semi-circle. In due course, Gordon came back with his cousin and by this time breakfast was ready. We had a nice breakfast and a nice time.The uncle was a vice president of the Union and Pacific Railroad. And asked us what plans we had. We both said to get home. He said if you two don't land jobs or don't like what you're doing, just come back here and we will see that you get a good living.

We left in the wee hours of the morning and returned to camp.No one bothered us as everyone there was scheduled to get out of the Army. Back in Manila we were asked to stay in and if we did we would get a promotion. I would have moved from a 3-striper to a 2nd sergeant which would have brought 100 plus men in my unit. No thank you.

About a day after our episode with Gordon's uncle, I was on a plane and so was he but on a different plane.

While waiting to board different flights he was going to a Western state, he told me that his cousin was interest in me. He told her that I was married. Had I been single I would have considered advances. From what I saw I would have had it made.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

T Stands for Kintsugi

I have some luncheon plates that belonged to my grandmother. I think Dad's mother. I don't really know their provenance. I asked Ma one time who the dishes had belonged to. She said Grandma. Since Ma had them in her china cabinet for as long as I can remember, and her mother was still alive at the time of the asking, I took her answer to mean Dad's mother.

They are hand painted. The cups have "Italy" hand-painted on the bottom, and the plates are stamped "Italy." Most likely mass-produced at the turn of the 20th. century. Perhaps sent from the Old Country as a wedding gift for my grandmother. The sort of item every young bride had to entertain company.

 I have used them once. There are 4 tea cups, 6 plates, and 1 sugar bowl. One of the tea cups has 2 cracks in it. There are 8 other tea cups which I thought belonged to this set, but are slightly different. The shape of the cup is not the same, and the color of the trim is green and not blue as the luncheon set. Blue trimmed plate and green trimmed teacup are pictured above.

I don't believe they hold any value beyond sentimental. I really don't have a use for them, and I'm sure my girlies won't want them. I'd like to keep something that belonged to my grandmother as she passed a month after I was born. But what to do?

I remembered reading about a Japanese art of fixing stuff with gold. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. A special lacquer with gold, silver, or platinum powder is applied to the broken piece. "Since its conception, Kintsugi has been heavily influenced by prevalent philosophical ideas. Namely, the practice is related to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which calls for seeing beauty in the flawed or imperfect. The repair method was also born from the Japanese feeling of mottainai, which expresses regret when something is wasted, as well as mushin, the acceptance of change." from

I don't have the special lacquer, but I do have gilding size and gold leaf. I could gild the cracks in the cup. Donate the other cups and plates to charity without feeling guilty, and keep the gilded cup as a link to my grandmother.

Gilding tools at the ready

Since the cracks were shallow and narrow, Roberson's Water Gold Size was applied to the cracks with a Brause EF66 nib, a very fine, pointed nib.

The gold size took about 20 minutes to dry. After huffing on the size, 23 karat gold leaf was applied.  

The gold was burnished through a piece of glassine paper with an agate burnisher and a shoe burnisher. Huffing, laying the gold leaf, and burnishing was repeated two  more times on both cracks. (3 layers of gold leaf)

The little cup on display,

and now more of a treasure.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, February 11, 2019

A Matter of Perspective

When he's going to the store and asks if you need anything. You say you need some chia seeds. You tell him he can find Bob's Red Mill in the baking aisle, and you expect he'll bring home a small, 12 oz. bag.

 What he hears is chia seeds

and he brings home a 5 lb. tub.

I use a teaspoon or so of chia seeds when I make a smoothie. I sprinkle some on the Keto hamburger buns I make. I make strawberry jam (1 cup) Any other recipes for chia seeds? I may have to buy one of the chia pets to use up all these seeds.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Kitty can't believe it's so warm late in the afternoon, and it was just a tease

Ice coated trees loom out of the fog. 

Because of high winds and the threat of ice, the garden flag got moved into the front porch

Cold hands

Warm hearts

High winds didn't stop the chickadee from grabbing a perch on the sunflower stalk

before he decided to have a snack

A quarter to five in the afternoon and the sun isn't that low on the horizon.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Saturday Afternoon at the Movies

This idea came from a Facebook meme:
Over 10 days, post your 10 all time favorite films. What movie has really made an impact on you or what films can you watch over and over and never tire of? Post either the movie poster, DVD cover or even a screenshot on your timeline. No need to explain.

Only I had a hard time picking out just 10 movies so my favorites over the next few hundred Saturdays 😸 in semi-alphabetical order:me favorite films. What movie has really made an impact on you or what films can you watch over and over and never tire of? Post either the movie poster, DVD cover or even a screenshot on your timeline. No need to explain.

Only I had a hard time picking out just 10 movies so my favorites over the next few hundred Saturdays 😸 in semi-alphabetical order:

Fiddler on the Roof (1971) Topol, Paul Michael Glaser

If you haven't seen this movie, it's available on Amazon Prime or for rent on