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Posts Tagged ‘yesterday’

Oh Xmas Tree

This Christmas has come and gone but it doesn’t feel quite gone.

  • Our pretty little tree still glows in its place of honor.
  • And no matter how I resist, the peanutbutter fudge calls my name.
  • And so do the truffles along with those scrumptious European style Christmas cookies.
  • And don’t forget the peanut brittle and banana bread with chocolate chips!
  • All the treats combined are a symphony calling, calling, and designed to lure me into a sugar high.
  • A “Santa’s Fave” night shirt is still under the tree waiting.
  • There is a brand new portable MANUAL typewriter waiting for me to experiment with “the old way” to type.  I wonder if these old fingers are strong enough.  I have been groaning about computer keyboards for years but will have to find some other modern thing to complain about now.  (No intention of giving up the computer however.  A manual typer is like going  back to the horse and buggy – a delightful visit to the past but one needs to return to the future).

Other Merry Moment reminders of the picturesque past have come unbidden this Christmas:

  • I almost forgot to put the bacon bits on top of the green beans and that reminded me of my Mom who served peas for dessert one year long ago.  We are still laughing over that.
  •  And I was as surprised as anyone that this Christmas dinner was actually palatable.   It  made me recall Dad saying, “That was delicious if I do say so myself.”

This year our Christmas was quiet and missing the noise and chaos of yesteryear.  Family and close friends are scattered to points west.

Still this was a good kind of quiet with a new little dog to make us laugh and play, and good friends sharing dinner.

Now it is time to wish you, my cyberspace friends, a Happy New Year and wishing yoy your own Merry Moments that live on and on.

Elsa and Xmas Mat

Elsa and her Dog Mat

 

 

 

 

 

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I have just returned from a trip down “memory lane” with my friend, Kate of CoffeeKatBlog who wrote Things About My Youth.

We sort of grew up during the same era and many of Kate’s memories are mine.

Her funny, delightful post reminded me of a poem I wrote a long time ago about a girl in a photograph.

Who is that girl in the photograph,

the one with the spark of youth

dressed for a prom in a silken gown

with a faraway look of hope?

Who is that girl in the photograph,

the one with the faraway dream,

dressed in her best to celebrate?

I think she may have been me.

I remember that dress in the photograph

and the boy who was just as scared,

that soft starry night of the senior prom,

I remember the night clear and fair.

But who is that girl in the photograph?

She seems someone else I once knew,

the child I was, growing up and out

in a world that was changing too.

And onward time marched in quick-step

When a different boy called her wife

while the glowing girl in the photograph

stayed young and full of life.

The seasons passed and the years ticked on

while the picture stayed the same,

through challenges of work and home

and a son making Mom her name.

Running and running the years went by.

Now a grandma looks to the past

at an image of hope for an unknown life –

the young girl in the photograph.

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20160221_174840We had dinner at The Pink Cadillac again, since it changed owners.  The “diner” has always been a great trip to the past, and now it is freshly painted, and refurbished.

A fellow came in and asked our hostess what she would recommend on the menu.  Her reply was quick.

“An Elvis Burger, French Fries and a Milk Shake!”

I had not ordered that but maybe next time.  Sounds irresistible if not deadly!

20160221_171949

I love the Texaco gas pump and tried to photograph the gas price on the front.  It isn’t clear but it was 32 cents a gallon!  Sometimes I think we are headed back, back, back to the old pricing doesn’t it?

20160221_173725 Oh look!  A real jukebox on the back wall.  It still works and plays a lot of Elvis tunes as well as some more modern selections.

There’s a great feeling at this little diner on the edge of Lexington, Virginia where you just can’t help smiling.

If you come here for a visit, I’ll meet you at the Pink Cadillac for an Elvis Burger, French Fries, and a Milk Shake!

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Bert and Friend

Bert and Friend

Good Old Days -Dor, Litle Brother and Cousins

Good Old Days -Dor, Little Brother Steve and Cousins Charlotte and Bert

This is a Random ONE Friday since there was only one momentous event this week.

Bert and his beautiful wife, Rita, came for a visit!

Bert is my “long lost cousin.”

How did so much time go by?

I haven’t seen Bert in about 40 years.

But time stopped this week, and there they were!

And it was as if we were still children, talking, talking, laughing, laughing, and eagerly reliving visits to each others’ homes, silly summers, beaches, feeding the pigeons, and rehashing old family stories.

We didn’t forget Bill of course, but Bill is a wonderful listener.

And we didn’t forget Rita either.  Rita is a wonderful talker.

Buffalo Creek View 1

Buffalo Creek

We went on tour of our rural Virginia neighborhood with a stop to visit a lonesome horse.

And onward we meandered down a country road along the Buffalo Creek.

It was a one lane road with the creek on one side and steep cliff walls on the other.

Rita and a Lonesome Horse

Rita and a Lonesome Horse

And then it was off to downtown Lexington, Virginia to the old Robert E. Lee Hotel.

The old girl is now upscale and POSH (not me – the hotel).   It was a rundown place before but has recently been restored to modern day glamour.

There are New York style revolving doors at the entrance and the only thing missing is a doorman! And in the lobby are original recessed telephone booths to retain the historical flavor of the place.

Robert E Lee Hotel

Photo of Robert E. Lee Hotel by http://www.expedia.com

There is also a jewelry store in town (Hess & Co.) in a rennovated building that was once a bank.  I often take folks there to see the old thick vaults from the good old days.  Above the vaults at ceiling level, are little inside windows.  Bank guards used to sit behind those windows with rifles pointed and ready to shoot at potential robbers!

Can you see the ceiling-high windows in the back?  I love it that Hess is not only a wonderful jewelry store in the middle of Lexington, Virginia, it is also a historical fixture.

Hess n Co

Anyway, there just wasn’t enough time to see all there is to see and do in my part of the world, but the visit was fast (maybe too fast) and so much fun.

And that’s my Random One.  And it was all about my long lost cousin!

Notes: 

The Robert E. Lee Hotel is a six-story luxury hotelbuilt in 1926 in Lexington, Va. The recently restored classic hotel has thirty-nine guest rooms,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Abandoned

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www.schoolfonts.com ZWriting Guided for Zaner-Bloser Cursive Writing work sheets and curiculum

http://www.schoolfonts.com
ZWriting Guided for Zaner-Bloser Cursive Writing work sheets and curiculum

They say the art of elegant penmanship is disappearing.

If you are still writing in “cursive” you are a member of the leftover generation who are from the Age of Wisdom.

Many others are regressing to caveman status and posting cartoons on walls to tell their stories.

But we, of the Age of Wisdom, do love to complain about lost luxuries like talking and writing.

Talking is disappearing along with longhand writing since most people are texting now.  Texting is a true form of shorthand without having to learn how to really do it.  There are books on how to learn shorthand, but I suppose those are extinct too.

 I remember there were two teenagers in the back seat of my car who sat in stony silence.

“Why are you so quiet back there?” I asked.

“We’re texting each other.”

TALKING USED TO BE IMPORTANT FOR SOCIAL REASONS but nowadays, people go to analysts to understand why nobody talks to them.

Communication has been “dumbing” down this way, and there is now widespread use of block printing punctuated by hearts and smiley faces to demonstrate approval.  Like the now missing physical hug, our vocal chords may also be in danger of going extinct.

ADVANTAGES OF SCRIPT WRITING TO THE LEFTOVER GENERATION

If most people cannot read it, then most people will not know what it says, and most people will not know how to forge it!  How can anyone forge something that looks like it is written in a secret code they have never seen before?

I write all my checks in cursive now.  Ha!  Try forging that!

And if I want my check to be “lost in the mail”, I address it in cursive writing.  How many postal clerks can figure that out, particularly if the zip code is slightly obliterated?

  • Cursive held a firm place in the predawn era of interstellar connections, but is now verging on extinct.  This may sound sad, but consider it a HAPPY ADVANTAGE because it is indecipherable to the uninformed.
  • Script writing is beautiful when done properly, but requires training and practice.  This is a primary advantage to us old timers since the copiers and forgers cannot decipher anything so written..
  • Those in the know can communicate to others in the know in a code that cannot be easily translated by those who are not in the know.
  • Pen pals can share deep dark secrets with no fear of being discovered.
  • GURUS FROM THE AGE OF WISDOM CAN OPENLY COMPLAIN about the young and the restless now in the Age of the Uninformed who can only block print and post symbols on walls.
  • As the Keepers of the Code, OURS IS THE KINGDOM OF EXPANDING SOCIAL COMPANIONSHIP and we can still talk.

Have you ever tried writing in a style where all the letters in a word are connected?

Just think how excited you will be to find you can write entire words without lifting your pencil from the paper.

Oh, I forgot.  Writing paper is almost extinct too.

Cursive comes from the past participle of the Latin word currere, which means “to run.” In cursive handwriting, the letters all run into one another and the hand runs across the page, never lifting between letters. Every time a document asks for your signature at the bottom, you are meant to use this flowing cursive writing style.
Definition from: http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/cursive

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Weekly Photo Challenge:  Half and Half

Wedding Rings 1

Yesterday I was doing something with my left hand that caused two fingers to cramp.

Not knowing what else to do, I began to shake that hand.

And my wedding ring flew off and wound up clear across the room!

I noticed my ring finger was miraculously slim.  It was evidently too skinny to hang onto the wedding ring.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO A TALE OF TWO RINGS!

Once upon a time there was a couple who thought they were in love.

They planned to marry and purchased two wedding rings – a little one for her and a bigger one for him.

Time went on but they did not marry.   I guess they were never meant for each other.

But there was another couple who planned to marry.

They bought the two almost-used wedding rings from the first couple.

They got two rings for $25.00.  What a DEAL huh?

DOR AND BILL WERE THAT SECOND COUPLE.

Wedding Day Note: Dor's Dad Not Happy

Wedding Day
Note: Dor’s Dad Not Happy

Dor’s Dad objected to the union and predicted “the bum” (Bill) would divorce Dor as soon as he graduated from college.

Nevertheless, they were married by a Justice of the Peace, and Bill said that thing about, “With this ring I thee wed.”

And they agreed to share all their worldly goods,

which of course, were nil.

And even though Bill never wore his Big Ring, Dor wore her Little Ring forever;

well, for years and years and years anyway.

Half of $25 is $12.50 (the cost of Dor’s wedding ring).  What a DEAL huh?

I am very good at math.

But, one day when Dor was a grandparent and still married to the same “bum”, her finger began to ache.

Arthritis maybe?  Naw.

Why would arthritis hit only one finger?

And why just the ring finger?

Bill had graduated from college and was long retired from work so it wasn’t Dor’s father’s  curse coming back to haunt them.

Dor finally noticed her aching finger was miraculously FAT!

Before you condemn Dor as a weight gaining sloth, please remember the time lapse.

It is likely that a child bride’s finger might grow bigger over time.

FINGER WEIGHT PROBABLY FLUCTUATES.

But Dor’s ring  was cutting off circulation, was leaving a deeply imbedded ringlike scar, and the only way to get the ring off was with soap and water!

So Dor took Bill’s original Big $12.50 ring to a jeweler where it was then reduced in size to fit an aging, slightly overweight bride.

At least it was a half of the original pair right?

And that is the happy ending (or beginning) of the Tale of Two Rings.

The groom’s ring is the one that flew off Dor’s finger and wound up clear across the room!

DOES THAT MEAN DOR LOST WEIGHT?

Y  E  S  S  S  S  S  S!!!

Well, maybe a little.

And Dor now has two rings that make a whole marriage.

There is the BIG ring that fits a fat finger

And the LITTLE ring that fits a slim finger.

And this marriage was meant to last forever.

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Mist in the Treetops

My friend, Debbie at The Mountain Kitchen  just wrote a great story about a water pump problem at their house.  There are  emotions that come with sudden water loss and she tells a mesmerizing tale.  At the end her post brought back memories of an incident at our house that still makes me laugh.  Country living does have its challenges.

It was a summer weekend when we lost our water.  Isn’t it always?  And to make things worse, our son and family (with three young grandgirls) were visiting and we couldn’t even call a plumber until Monday!

We had lived here long enough to know that several things happen when there is no water :

  • There is nothing to drink.
  • Cooking becomes problematical.
  • Washing up from cooking becomes problematical.
  • There is nothing to wash bodies with.
  • Sanitation becomes problematical.
  • The toilets will not flush.

bucketThere are also steps that can be taken to survive the above crisis:

  • Buy bottled water.
  • Bring in water from the pool to flush toilets.
  • Eat out.
  • Use sanitary wipes to wash bodies.
  • Go to a motel.

But we were facing surviving the weekend (or longer) with a total of seven bodies in the house.

The visiting family had two choices:

  • You will not hurt our feelings if you pack up and go home now, or
  • You can stick it out.
prepforshtf.com Water Storage and Procurement

prepforshtf.com
Water Storage and Procurement

Oddly enough, they decided to stick it out.

  • We trucked buckets of water in from the pool for three bathrooms.
  • We rented a motel room about 2 miles down the road (for showers only).
  • We bought tons of bottled water.
  • We bought tons of paper plates, plastic glasses, and utensils.
  • Don’t ask me what we did for meals!
  • And we stuck it out until Monday.

On Monday morning I drove to town to get more drinking water and Bill called our Farmer’s Co-Op for help.

And when I got home, 30 minutes later,  the water was on!

“What was it?” I asked Bill.

“It was a switch,” he answered with a wry grin.

“A switch!?  But we did check the breaker box!”

“Yep, it was only a switch.”

Evidently the man from our farmer’s cooperative came out right away.  The first (and only) thing he did was to inspect the breaker boxes.  He noticed there was another little box across the room.  We forgot about that one!  It was an emergency box that was installed for a new generator.

And the Co-op Man found it and flipped  the switch that was plainly marked, WATER!

Such is life in the country .

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Little White Cloud

Have you ever heard the song, The Little White Cloud that Cried?

This is the cloud I am sure.

And it brings back embarrassing memories.

I was almost a teenager when that song was a teenage rage, and I saved up and rushed out to buy my first record.  Trying to impress some cool teens at school, I told them how much I loved the voice of the girl who sang that song!  They laughed and said, “Johnnie Ray is a GUY!”

To this day I still recall the acute embarrassment of not being “with it” or “cool” enough to know such a vitally important fact of life.

Unchained Melody

From en.wikipedia.org

And have you ever heard the song,  Unchained Melody?

I was a young girl once with a new boyfriend named Bob.  We only dated for about two weeks when he moved away.  He wrote tear stained letters that made me cry and I wrote emotionally charged letters back.  That was before texting, emails, and Skype of course.  Bob’s letters were heart-wrenchingly poignant (written in cursive and in ink) and I had no idea the words were not his own.  And then I discovered he copied them from a song!  AND  he wrote the same letters to another girl who was just as smitten.  Each stanza was a new letter.

Oh, my love, my darling
I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
Time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me…

I wonder whatever happened to Bob. 

From en.wikipedia.org:  “The Little White Cloud that Cried” is a popular song written by Johnnie Ray and published in 1951.  The biggest hit version was recorded by Ray and The Four Lads in 1951.  It was a #2 hit on the Billboard magazine chart that year and one side of the one of the biggest two-sided hits, as the flip side, “Cry,” reached #1 on the Billboard chart.

 

From en.wikipedia.org :  “Unchained Melody” is a 1955 song with music by Alex north and lyrics by Hy Zaret.  North used the music as a theme for the little known prison film Unchained, hence the name… since become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some estimates having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages.  

 

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Misty Morning Mountain View

Bill and I have been city transfers to Virginia country life for 26 years now.

The house feels brand new and happily, our visitors keep saying, “You have a nice place here.”

Oh, it needs a few tweaks like interior paint, but it is intimidating to think about moving big furniture around , so we invested in Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers.

The ugly old wood stove still works to save our lives in winter when the power goes out.  You  can’t disguise an ugly stove so she has a place of honor in the living room.   After 26 years she looks a bit tired with rust stains and slightly dull brass edging, but  I consider them wrinkles and frown lines and signs of character (like mine) and we will grow old together.

Our Wood Stove

In the garden, where we dug and weeded, and planted, and weeded ad infinitum (reaching for the ultimate landscape and nature’s edible harvests), we are now content to watch bears, squirrels, and birds massacre the fruitful peach trees.  And the once raised-bed vegetable garden became a giant salad bowl for deer.   Ah well, there are two farmer’s markets in our little town.

hypertufa-pool-1

I used to make Hypertufa pots with my friends (they look like natural rock).  I still use them to enhance the garden, but if you ask me to make more I’ll undoubtedly be yawning and yearning for a nap! There are wonderful  memories of “Hypertufa parties” and how we worked so hard mixing cement with feathers. What fun we had –  like children playing in the mud.

Living out here in “no man’s land” is still exciting though. I can always look out the window to see a sweet doe and her spotted fawn happily munching flowers I thought they wouldn’t like.  And I always hold my breath in awe no matter how often I see them.

Or I can see so many wild turkeys strutting along that I call them a “herd” instead of a flock. Technically a group of wild turkeys is  a flock, whereas a group of domesticated turkeys is known as a rafter or gang.

Or how about that Mama Bear and her twin cubs who recently marched right past our living room window and dared anyone to get in the way?

Life does move on (albeit a bit slower) even in Rural Virginia.  And like anywhere else, the people are always who matter most.  Happily we are still surrounded by living characters who color our lives. But, we lost close friends over time and are frequently reminded of how important they were then and now as they inhabit memories and dreams.

  • Meche taught me all about laughter and fun, and even though I never caught on, the value of bargain shopping.
  • From Viola I learned about land and water cress  and never to allow a dog to kill  chickens or sheep “else he will be shot by the farmer or you will have to shoot him yourself.”   She was a gruff, impatient, kindly friend and I will never forget her shouting, “ARE WE GOING TO PLAY OR NOT?” when we talked too much before or during a ladies’ poker game.
  • Les was a man’s man and a lady’s idea of John Wayne – a big man, always ready to help in a big way.
  • Courageous, fun loving Mary Beth insisted on always trying new things.  We met as docents at the Stonewall Jackson House.  “MB” would never stop at a chain restaurant when we traveled together and everywhere we went was an exciting adventure.
  • Frank and Alice contributed Forsythia bushes when we were new, and told us about Puff Ball mushrooms that were safe to eat.
  • Brownie kept us supplied with homemade pickles that we didn’t like, but we did love Brownie.

 But as we go about the business of life, making new friends and forging new memories,  enjoying the old house in slightly different ways, Bill and I are still genuinely thrilled when visitors say,“You have a nice place here.”

And they don’t seem to mind the sign in the guest room that reads:

“Check out time: Noon! Gratuities Accepted!”

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