.....and other random stuff......

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Look what I found in the scrapbook……..

It cracks me up!
Shades of what he would become….
… "bring me these things as follows…." That is soooo my father speaking!
…. "would be every (ever) grateful….."  
ditto marks??????? 

And not too greedy….. "PS I forgot to tell you that I want….."
The date at the top is cut off; I can only see that it says 192-something.  So he was not yet ten when he wrote it.
Makes me wonder what he actually got from that long list.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


My father told stories. Wonderful, magical stories. But the more formal kind, the once upon a time kind, with beginnings, middles and ends.
My father’s morality tales were more the ‘hit you on the head with a mallet’ kind.

My mother told stories too. But hers were more memories. Snippets of her life. Those were the ones I liked best. (Not to take anything away from my father.)
My mother’s stories always had such warmth about them. And somehow were more pertinent to my life.
She told them in a way that was subtle yet you got the point and how it related to you. 
Not all of my mother’s stories were outright morality tales. But they somehow snuck in a life lesson anyway.

One story was about the time her mother told her never to ride on a running board.
(For those of you too young to know about running boards: they were the ledge on the side of the car that you used to step up into the seat. Think gangster movie….It was apparently a cool thing for the teens of her day to ride on them instead of in the car.)

One day her mother sent her on an errand.
On the way home some friends offered her a ride home. Since it was less than a block away she just jumped up on the running board, looped her arm through the window and they took off.
As they turned the corner she saw her mother outside talking to a neighbor.
She was so afraid her mother would see her riding on the running board  she jumped off before the car pulled up to the house.
But she lost her footing and went face down on the pavement and skidded right up to where her mother was standing. Shredding her brand new dress and most of the skin on her arms and legs in the process.
My Grandmother just reached down picked her up and very calmly said, "That’s why you don’t ride on running boards.”

(I always contended that it was Grandma’s fault. If she hadn’t scared my mother so much about being caught she wouldn’t have jumped off!) 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Momma Never Told Me There’d Be Days like This!

When I went to school there was no such thing as health class. What we got, and this was for the girls ONLY, was an hour long lecture from the school nurse about the ‘changes’ that were taking place in our bodies and what to expect when we started our (said in whispered tones) ‘periods’.
It was rather rudimentary, but I guess it covered the basics. (I do remember a very simple drawing of ovaries and related accoutrement.)
But it gave a heads up, so to speak, to those girls who hadn’t already had ‘the talk’ with their mothers.  

I was thinking about this the other day and I think I’ve come up with another one of my scathingly brilliant ideas!
I propose a similar class for baby boomers on what to expect as we age.
I suggest this because, to tell you the truth, some of the things that are presenting themselves to me lately are blindsiding me!
Momma never told me there’d be days like this!

Okay, so maybe not a class ‘per se’…….
How about public service announcements?

Instead of running all those drug commercials and scaring us to death about diseases we never knew existed, how about commercials that say something like “Forgot where you put your ______? [Fill in the blank with whatever item you most recently misplaced] Not to worry! As you age this is just a natural progression!” 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wallpapering Savant

My father was a wallpapering savant.
He was an executive who hired out the menial jobs that needed doing around the house.
But when it came to wallpapering, this was a job he did himself.
Whether he liked doing it or just wouldn’t pay the ridiculous fees for someone else to do it I’ll never know.

He used to tell BigBrother and I, “Only small minds use small words!” but when he was papering I noticed he was the king of expletives! (I think that's where I learned my truck driver vocabulary!)

When he got done papering a room you couldn’t find a seam with a magnifying glass! And considering the repeat patterns my mother always chose that’s saying something.

When the room was done my mother took over.
With the leftover paper she would paper the switch plates, the wall sockets, the wastepaper basket and if there happened to be a desk in the room; the ink blotter, pen holder and any other accoutrement got covered too!

I would bring my friends over and challenge them to find the light switch!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

As Bad As Making You Watch Old Home Movies!

When I cleaned out my parent’s house I didn’t have the heart or the time (or the emotional fortitude) to go through all the papers and photographs.
So I tucked them away for later.
I’ve been going through them little by little over the years.
I usually get half way through a book or a box before I become overwhelmed and just shove them all back into the bowels of the closet.

But I came across my father’s scrapbook the other day.

It has cutouts from magazines pasted in the beginning pages, he must have been very young when he started it.
But it progresses as he ages into more interesting things.
Pictures and newspaper clippings of his exploits.
Who knew he was such a sensation in his little home town!

Anyway…. from time to time I think I might share some of the things I’ve found.

Sort of like saying to you, “Come on in! Sit down! Have a drink while I just loop up these old home movies I’m sure you’ll enjoy!” LOL

Thursday, July 24, 2014


She was a ‘private’ reservations clerk, which meant she handled the big wigs. 
Actors, actresses, captains of industry, politicians…….
She not only made their plane reservations but she coordinated all aspects of their trips…. garnering sought after theatre tickets, reservations at the best restaurants (she was friends with all the maitre d's) hotel accommodations, etc. 
She had connections! 

Her grateful clients would often thank her with gifts like stockings, perfume, and lingerie. 
A fact that didn’t sit well with my father at all! LOL

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


During WWII, while my father was in the service, my mother worked for TWA.
One of the perks of working for the airline was free airfare, which they used to full advantage before he was shipped overseas.
They would often hop a flight just to go to her favorite restaurant for dinner, 
Top of the Mark’ in San Francisco.
Did I mention they were living in New York City?

Who does that…….?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Friend's Art

My BF (blog friend) Pia Drent is a unique artist with a keen sense of humor in her art. 
I am lucky to own an original piece of hers and now I am the lucky recipient of a set of her whimsical cards! 
I was lusting for them as soon as she put them in her Etsy shop. 

It’s good to have such talented friends!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Life’s Lessons are Rarely Learned in a Classroom

The charred cross at Pots Rock wasn’t the only burning cross I was to see….

Our neighborhood had a gazillion kids. 
Okay, I exaggerate for emphasis, but there were a lot of kids.

One year we all decided a good way to celebrate the end of the school year would be by burning our notebooks.
The perfect place to do this was at the end of the block where the brook was.  
There weren’t any houses there yet and just in case the bonfire got out of hand water would be readily available.

The plan was set and we all agreed, on the last day of school, to meet at the end of the block.

We came out of our houses and one by one trudged down the block. 
One became three, became seven, became thirteen until we were a mob of kids.

As we crested the hill we all looked towards the brook and there, to our horror, was a BURNING CROSS!

All I saw next were loose leaf papers flying through the air like giant snowflakes as we threw up our notebooks and went running to our homes.

It would have been really comical if it hadn’t been so disturbing.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pots Rock

Where we lived in Maryland was a suburb plunked down in the middle of farm country on the 
out-out-skirts of Baltimore.
A nice middle class suburban neighborhood surrounded by farms and the less fortunate.
It was also south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
A fact I never fully understood until the day I ventured to Pots Rock by myself.

Pots Rock was a large, recliner shaped rock we liked to play on in the middle of 
Little Gunpowder Falls.
Little Gunpowder Falls was a smallish river, filled with stepping stones. You could have probably walked the length of the entire river jumping from stone to stone.
We played there quite often, but always as a group.

One day I decided to venture there alone.

To get to Pots Rock you had to walk out of the neighborhood, past the run down (scary) shack, across a field of tall grass and through the woods to the river.
Once you reached the river you still had to walk along its edge for a mile or so till you reached the rock.

At one point the river widened and there was a small island in the middle.

We never went to the island because the river got deeper there and the rocks were submerged.

But it had been visited.

As I passed the island I got the feeling someone was watching me and as I glanced over I saw a very LARGE charred cross!
It must have been thirty feet tall, wrapped in rags that were obviously blackened from being burned.

I was about thirteen. Not exactly a child anymore but not what you’d call worldly or sophisticated.
I wasn’t quite sure what it meant but I definitely knew how it made me FEEL.
It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I was scared as hell!

I turned around and slowly started to walk back the way I had come and when I got about six feet down the path I ran for my life!
I ran the whole way home.

I told my parents what I had seen and they had to explain to me what it was and what it meant. From then on we were forbidden to go to Pots Rock, even as a group.

That day had a profound effect on me.

It also drove home the sage advice my mother taught us; ‘When the hair on the back of your neck stands up, listen to it! That’s millions of years of evolution telling you to get the hell out of there!’

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Let's step into the wayback machine..........way, way back...........
My father circa 1939

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Speaking of Clouds.......

Last night's sunset over the neighborhood. 
Nature never ceases to knock my socks off!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You Get What You Pay For…………

I had the idea to make a few videos to show you the watercolor ‘brushes’ I bought from 
Kyle T Webster. Kyle’s Real WatercolorBrushes for Phtoshop
So I Googled and downloaded what looked like an easy screen capture program for the desktop. (These brushes only work in Photshop CS5 or higher.)

It is very easy. Point and click. Easy peasy.
The downside is it’s so easy it has very limited editing features.

So here is the unedited raw footage of drawing ‘clouds’ with Kyle's watercolor brushes.
I couldn’t add voice over (not that I could find my mic..…)
I couldn’t enhance the ‘pointer’ so you can see what I’m doing.
I couldn’t add text over the frame to explain what I’m doing……

So now I’m off to find a better program…..

In the meantime enjoy……………….. J (double click video to enlarge)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Grandpa Was Quite a Tease

My mother grew up during the great depression. 
My Grandfather was out of work for over four years. 
She said at the time she never knew that. 

They had a victory garden. They raised and sold chickens. Grandma made their clothes. Grandpa and my Uncles did odd jobs for cash, but they mostly existed on what they could do for themselves. They had the basics but luxuries, like Christmas presents, were few and far between.

One year my mother asked for a doll carriage. A white wicker doll carriage. Something that was far beyond what they could afford but somehow my Grandfather managed and under the tree on Christmas morning was a beautiful white wicker doll carriage.

But it had no tag.

Now, my mother was the only girl in the family, besides Grandma and she was pretty sure her mother didn’t ask Santa for a doll carriage. 
She ran up to it squealing with delight and proceeded to play with it. 
Grandpa looked at her with concern and said, “How do you know that’s for you?”
My mother said she was stunned. 
Grandpa said look at the tag.
‘But it has no tag’, she said.
‘Well then I guess it’s not for you ’, said Grandpa.

(At this point in the story I always decried the cruelty of such a statement.)

My mother said she put it back under the tree and slunk away in utter disappointment.
I guess Great Grandma (Grandpa’s mother) thought it was unfair too.

She called my mother over and said she had a solution. 
She took my mother by the hand, led her into her room, found a packing tag and wrote on the tag: TO: MY MOTHER FROM: SANTA.

She went over to the doll carriage and tied the tag to the handle.
‘Now it's yours', she said. 
When Grandpa came back into the room he scolded my mother for playing with it.

Great Grandma said, ‘Show him the tag.’
And then to Grandpa, ‘You must not have seen it’ with a look in her eyes that told my mother Grandpa was in BIG TROUBLE!

Friday, July 11, 2014


Is everywhere! 
From this......
came this.........
Photo courtesy annie! Wade 
Check out her Facebook page. She takes phenomenal pictures! (as well as makes amazing fiber art!)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Spidey Has Left the Building

I think Spidey has gone to the great spider web in the sky.
He’s been MIA for several weeks now.
I even went so far as to get down on hands and knees and peek under the cabinet.
I don’t see him.
I find myself kind of sad about his passing.

I had come to enjoy our brief encounters.
I really need to get out more…………………….. :-/

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I don’t participate in this GROUP but I thought you might like to see what’s on my desk. (Or in this case spreading out onto the coffee table!)
My thumb is killing me but I promised several months ago to deliver some journals to the Alliance gift shop….............my bad.

Slow and steady wins the race, right? 



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Oh,That’s Why!

We don’t have medicine cabinets in our master bathroom.
I keep my meds in the top drawer of the vanity.
I tell you this personal tidbit so the rest of the story makes sense.
I take my myriad of prescriptions before bed, in semi-darkness so as to not wake up Husband.
I keep the drawer open as I dole out the pills and place them on the counter.
Once in a while I add a nighttime sleep aid into the mix.
Last night I decided I needed one.
But it didn’t seem like it was working very well. I was flopping around in bed like a fish out of water.
I didn’t really think much more about it until I went into the drawer the next morning and saw an errant pill sitting at the bottom of the drawer.
It didn’t look like any of my Rx’s……and I was confused (often my state of mind) for a moment until I put all the pieces of the puzzle together……

OH! So THAT’S why it didn’t work so well last night! 
And I was seriously thinking of writing a letter to the manufacturer! LOL

Monday, July 7, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th

Have a safe and happy holiday! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


For some reason I haven’t been able to master the structure of ‘backgrounds’. 
I’m also terrible at collage. 
I want to be able to do it. 
I try. 
But I either don’t go far enough and it looks bland or I go too far and it becomes a hot mess!
Anyway…………….my friend Laurie was kind enough to share with me some of her beautiful GelliPlate backgrounds.  
I was fooling around with them and came up with this.

Not bad if I do say so myself. 
Of course it’s only because of her gorgeous backgrounds!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Roland Cheese

Being a working mom I wasn't the best at making nutritious, interesting, cutesy lunches when the boys were in school.
We used to get the lunch schedule for the month and they would choose which days to ‘bring’ and which days to ‘buy’.
I was much better at handing out singles on ‘buy’ days. I know, shame on me. The school lunches are terrible. But you do what ya’ gotta’ do is what I’m sayin’.
When we moved down here they opted to always buy lunch at school.
I was quite happy about their decision, one less thing……
We didn't bother with the lunch schedule since there was never a need to know.
Occasionally Husband or I would ask them, “What did you have for lunch today?” 
And they would answer, “Roland Cheese.”
I suppose brighter people would have figured it out but we have a habit of attaching funny names to things and people so we didn't think too much about it.
Either that or we didn't want to show our ignorance.
So we never asked for an explanation.
It must have been well into our second year here when Husband was talking with them and asked, “What did you have for lunch today?” They answered in unison, “Roland Cheese!”
Husband said, “I can’t stand it anymore! Who the hell is Roland Cheese?”
The boys looked at him with confused expressions and then burst out laughing.
“It’s a what, not a who! ROLL AND CHEESE!”

I don’t know which disturbed me more; the fact that the school dietitian thought this was a balanced lunch or my children who couldn't enunciate  properly!