Friday, August 31, 2018

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Late night talk with Himself about hopes and dreams.

2. Art supplies for the Celtic workshop arrived. Love me new toys.

3. Had been told about Lily's chocolate. Not really a fan of dark chocolate, but found Lily's milk chocolate at the store. Tastes pretty good for no guilt

4. Laptop kept overheating. It's 8 years old and I don't think much long for this world. Managed to back up all the photos on it to Google Drive.

5. Repeat client called with a small job. A blessing for hands having work to do.

How was your week?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

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:

She [ed: Mary] got pissed once. She wanted to see The Wizard of Oz but I told her that I had seen it with my friend, Dorothy Wright. She was an artist and an art teacher. And also older than I was. I called her the princess as a result that at the play school on its first year she took part in a drama and had the princess part.

She was a wonderful person. Attractive and older. While I tried to woo her she treated me as a friend or little brother. She also used to come visit Doris. They became good friends and she stayed over weekends and I would give up my room to her. Doris thought that was wonderful of me.

I later took Mary to see The Wizard of Oz when it came back to be shown at the theater as a re-run it was a popular picture. She held it against me as she was of the opinion that I should have taken her first. [ed: Ma never forgave him and held a grudge against him for their entire marriage. I never remember Ma being around when The Wizard of Oz was shown every year on television. She must have gone to the basement to do laundry or played with her beloved sewing machine.]

There were other girls. In fact the winter before the first year of the play school there was another girl. We were 14. I got her to volunteer at the play school and she became the doctor's helper. She was of German decent.

Also we went swimming together at the beach before the Government took it during WWII. She looked good in a bathing suit. Slight frame.

She dumped me. I tried to make up although I didn't and couldn't find out why. Her married sister had her bring me to her house to see if things could be patched up. It was a no go.

Later, I found out the reasons. She had gotten another boyfriend. He owned a car. I didn't. He was older than the two of us. The last I heard she was carrying his child. I didn't bother to find out any more.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

T Stands for Brunch

Our last day with the Eldest and she wanted to take us out to brunch. She heard of the Iron Bridge Inn in Mercer, PA.

A carousel rocking horse. Not quite a rocking horse, Elizabeth, but it made me think of you.

Ceej, you gonna get the waffles?

I want prime rib

The brunch spread was amazing. Lots of people so I couldn't take pictures of the serving stations. The usual breakfast fare and prime rib, salads, and other lunch/dinner type stuff. 

Too early in the morning (10:30 AM) for my first meal to be prime rib so I opted for the breakfast end of brunch. Scrambled eggs, bacon, Belgian waffles and strawberries, a a cinnamon cream cheese spread with a nice cuppa.

Soft drinks were served in Mason jar glasses.

Desserts galore, the fun part of brunch.

Fruit and quick breads.

To make room for a second trip around the brunch stations

Robin Hood pointed the way for the gents.

And an Alphonse Mucha ad for the ladies.

The Eldest had wanted another trip to Pittsburgh to visit the natural history museum. I didn't want to spend another 4 hours there and back again. Himself and I had a long road trip on Friday from South Carolina to Ohio. And we still had the long trip home.

We decided to try something closer to her home after brunch. Next week, a trip to Volan Mills.

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, August 27, 2018

Old School

In January, when the Eldest first moved into her apartment, the real estate agent she dealt with was able to get some living room furniture. Inside the drawer of a side table we found this old, mail scale.

You attach the clip to your envelope, hold the ring, and the metal arrow indicates how many ounces your envelope weighs. Then you know whether your envelope can go first class (currently fifty cents for a regular sized envelope weighing one ounce. Postage for square or unusually shaped envelopes start at seventy-one cents.) or if the envelope needs extra postage.

I asked the Eldest if I could have the scale. Since I was flying home, I wasn't sure what TSA would make of it, and didn't want to run the risk of having it confiscated. It's unusual and just too cool.

I took the scale home with me when we visited the Eldest last month.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Disco Bunny

Morning glorious

Heavenly Blue Morning Glory vine

Another ruffled feather

Someone forgot to empty the rain gauge. 2 weeks of rain

The tropical weather we've had all Summer mad the meadow grow into a jungle.

Yellow flowers were humming with bees.

Heath aster


The milkweed has grown so big and heavy it can't stand up

The goldfinches nibbled the sunflower to the nubbins

If the feeder isn't full, the cardinal sits on the feeder yelling, "Cheep, cheep, cheep!" I know, Dad, abbondaza. Everybody eats.

I'm ready for my close-up

I only see the bunnies in ones or twos. I wonder how many of them live in the warren. With so much rain this Summer, the grass has stayed green. Usually by this time of the year, the grass is dry, brown and tired.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

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:

The Bishop's Wife, (1947) Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven

If you haven't seen this (Christmas) classic, you can see it on YouTube pay per view:

If this movie doesn't appeal to you, you can see what Kathy in the Ozarks recommends 

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Friday Five Good Things

Papyrus Anniversary card
I gave to Himself
Five good things that happened this week.

1. Got a very nice email from a student.

2. Celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary.

3. God bless Skype and The Eldest calling to ask me to watch Worst Cooks with her.

4. Fun day out with Teague.

5. The Masscribes (Massachusetts/Rhode Island calligraphy guild) Celtic Knot workshop still had seats available. I was in Pennsylvania when it was advertised so didn't think I'd be able to take it. Sent in my registration.

How was your week?

Some of you who read this week's Wordless Wednesday, didn't understand the joke. I posted this answer for the Food Service Girl at Trout Talking Tabbies:

In the cartoon, Bart is writing the word minimum on the board. It's a calligraphy spacing exercise. All of the straight strokes legs of m and n, the i and uprights of the u all look alike. The thickness of the straight strokes will be the same width as the spaces in between the letters. The word becomes obscure (especially if the i isn't dotted) and will sort of look like the slats in a picket fence.

As Castiel from Supernatural would say: It's funnier in Enochian.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

from 864 Humorous Cuts
from the Twenties and Thirties
Selected and Arranged by
Carol Belanger Grafton
Dover Publications
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:

One Sunday in February 1940 or before my birthday (17. March), I brought Mary to visit the Arnolds. Although she had met them at their Orient Heights home in East Boston at a Valentine's Day party (a Center sponsored party), they couldn't place her. Just as on this Memorial May     , 07 I can remember to a certain level the name of the street is gone. I can't remember the addresses in Waltham or my address in Cambridge. I can put myself in areas mentally but numbers and streets are not there!

Anyway I brought Mary in. Bobby [ed: the middle son] was present and he started to tell us about a cake his mother baked. She shut him up and sent him to his room to cool off. He was angry and told Mary , "I hate you."  Anyway, it turned out to be a birthday party for me. And some of the staff  had been invited.

[ed: It is and isn't surprising to see  Dad brushing off this memory as not a big deal.Surprising that he didn't remember his 21st. birthday party and not surprising as in these pages I can see the glimpses of Alzheimer's.

I heard Ma's memories of the party many, many years ago.This was the first time she really "met" the Arnolds and was almost like being introduced to a second set of parents.

Since this was Dad's 21st birthday, when he reached the age of majority (could legally vote, drink, get a bank loan) and became a full-fledged adult, this was a very big deal. Doris and Charlie had gone to some trouble to decorate the cake. Which is why Bobby got sent to his room before he could spill the beans about the cake and surprise party.  Ma said on the top was a tipsy hobo (like Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp) leaning against a lamp post. These things made out of construction paper.

Charlie loved parties, games, and was a practical joker. Ma said that in one of the games she had to kneel on the floor and bend over. Charlie had a piece of paper in front of her and she was supposed to read this little poem. She said the poem ended with something like "..and here I am with my ass in the air." She said all in good fun and everyone had a good laugh. Classic Charlie.]

We had a good dinner before others came and I could tell from Doris and Skip talking to Mary and kidding which Skip could do, that they approved of her. Because she was Italian and they both felt that it would be better to marry within your nationality. Because both parties would dunderstand each other, customs, like, and dislikes.

They did not think Betty was from me. They felt that Betty would approve whatever I wanted to do that she would not stand up to me. I'm not sure that Betty would do that.

I brought Mary home and it was the time that her parents expected her to return from a date. [ed: I'm assuming 11 pm. as that was the curfew Ma imposed on me.] They did not know where she went. However, they did find out. Mary talked in her sleep and that's how they found out. They were somewhat upset that she had gone that from home and to a stranger's house.

That episode passed by and things began to go smoothly. And we became more serious. It did not seem unusual as I was seeing her on and off as a friend from the first time she came to the Central Sq. Center.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

T Stands for Small Town Eats

A glimpse at some of the small town eateries on our trip through South Carolina, Ohio, and our daughter's apartment in Pennsylvania

First up, lunch with Moopa and Mooma at 

I had BBQ chicken, sweet potato fries (chips), cole slaw, and hush puppies which are little balls of deep fried cornmeal, onion, and spices. They are a traditional Southern soul food side-dish. Supposedly getting their name as a small tidbit to keep the dogs quiet while cooking outside. Whatever their etymology, they are good eats. I didn't bother with the different BBQ sauce for my chicken. The chicken reminded me of the seasoning Ma used on her chicken that Dad would cook on the grill during Summer cookouts. The chicken was perfect without the added sauce.

Bubba's had some fun pig kitsch in the restaurant like this flying pig lamp

and these knick knacks.

Before going home, Moopa took us for a Southern breakfast

Eggs, bacon, fluffy biscuits, and grits. I love grits. While we were eating, one of the regulars was making the rounds chatting with all the patrons. He say "Hi" to Moopa and told a joke. He reminded me of Dad.

Fun bric-a-brack at the Dutch Plate 2. Look even the Grim Reaper comes here for breakfast!

The original restaurant owner sold the restaurant. The new owner didn't want to upset the clientele so pretty much kept the menu though the name of the business had to be changed. Dutch Plate II

The restaurant is in a tiny town, called Campobello and is next door to the town hall. Next to the town hall is the police station and courthouse. The sign on the door reminds people to dress appropriately for court and to mind their conduct. I think Moopa said the population of Campobello is 500 people. And I thought my town was small with a population of 9,000.

Next door to the hotel in Heath, Ohio was a Big Boy with the iconic statute.

The food wasn't that great.

The Eldest's garden a week after we helped her plant her flowers.


She had wanted a Foreman grill for her birthday. She used it to make a delicious Saturday night supper. Grilled swordfish, small potatoes, grilled squash, onions, mushrooms, and a salad. 

When she moved, we weren't able to fit everything in her little car. For those of you who have followed my Throwback Thursday Notebooks series, you will recall my dad's mentors, Charlie and his wife, Doris. Doris' favorite color was pink. She even had a pink kitchen. When Doris was downsizing after Charlie passed away, she gave my mother some pink Depression glassware, some champagne, water goblets, cake plates, a cake dish, and a Christmas dish.

The Eldest's favorite color is pink. When Ma passed away, I told The Eldest the pink Depression glassware would be hers, if she wanted it. When she was 4 years old, we took a trip to visit Doris. The Eldest has a vague recollection of the visit. She remembered playing with some antique toys that Doris had. 

All this to get to the point that the Eldest set her table with the pink glasses. She had bought a nice bottle of Chardonnay which she and I had in the champagne glasses. Himself had milk in a water goblet, and the Young One had water.

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, August 20, 2018

Faux Calligraphy Sign

My local library had contacted me to teach a calligraphy workshop. That's something that can't really be done in a 2 hour time format. However, I can teach hand-lettering, so I planned a workshop called Faux Calligraphy. Participants would learn the faux calligraphy technique and go home with a small, wooden sign they lettered in the workshop

Faux calligraphy isn't done with a calligraphy pen and ink, but using simple, everyday tools can mimic calligraphy and it begins like this.

An 8 1/2 in. x 11 in. sheet of plain paper was cut in thirds. This was roughly the size of the wooden sign that was used. The width of a wooden ruler was used to mark the base-line and waist line (top line). The writing would fit in this space.

Using a pencil, participants were asked to write on the paper, in cursive, the word or phrase they wanted to use on their wooden sign. Suggested words: welcome, hello, Someone's Name Room, laundry, peace, believe. Since I already have a welcome sign, I chose the phrase, "disturb me" as my sample.

The word or phrase is written out with a little extra width than normally would be used. All down-strokes of the letter were to be thickened so an extra pencil line was added.

I decided I would make a double-sided sign so also did the phrase, "disturb me not" A black-eyed Susan with a petal dropped was used as the tittle (the dot over the letter "i"). 

When I was pleased with the spacing and design, the design was copied onto a wooden sign using a white colored pencil (The sign was found in the unfinished wood section of Michael's. Before the workshop, I sealed the wooden signs with an acrylic sealer.) The pencil line was then traced over with a Sharpie pen. (The Sharpie marker ink feathered and bled on the wood. The Sharpie pen ink didn't feather as much)

Because pencil, chalk and other methods for making lines wouldn't clean up easily from the wood, I used two piece of draftsman's tape (it has less tack and removes without marring the surface) as the guide lines to write between.  Loops or flourishes that went over the tape just had to be connected when the tape was removed.

The down-strokes were then colored in with the Sharpie pen or colored pencils could be used.This would create the illusion of a thick and thin line which is the cachet of calligraphy. 

Because the wood sign was a bit rustic, I used a piece of knotted twine glued with white glue to the sign. Other suggestions for hanging the sign were to use ribbon, yarn, or a saw-toothed hanger on the back depending on the decor. It was also suggested that the sign be used indoors and not exposed to weather. I wasn't sure if a sealer would cause the Sharpie pen ink or colored pencil to bleed.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Lots of garden photos in the month we've been home from our trip.

Atticus came to check out what was going on in the sun room.

Then he decided to hang out on the screen and watch Supernatural with me.

Beggar doesn't look too happy that Timex uses him as a grooming perch.

A little bee either lost or tired.

Sunflowers almost ready to bloom.

Giant milkweeds.

Om, a new addition to the garden.

Severe thunderstorms and downpours left nearly 3 inches of rain. We were lucky and our area didn't flood. Others weren't so lucky.

A bit of sunshine on the ground

Cooling off in the bird bath

Binary sunflowers

Hmm, someone wasn't happy with Om's Zen.

Someone's feathers got ruffled.

 Mourning doves are usually ground feeders. This guy or gal decided to eat off the perch instead of the ground.

Little bee taking a rest. She was so still for quite some time, I thought she might have been dead.

Another downpour left an inch of rain.

Petals dropped from the sunflowers

Atticus the Sunflower Snacker

Bunny in a field of clover

A foggy morning, the squirrel keeps a weathered eye out from the crow's nest.

A bunny finds a shady spot to beat the hot and humid weather.

Wonder if this new visitor is the one making holes in the morning glory leaves.

How does your garden grow?