29 October 2009

I wish I was a kid again...

Our kids getting ready for Halloween...years ago!!

Decisions were made by eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

Money issues were handled by who was the banker in Monopoly.

Being old was referred to anyone over 20.

Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down meant for great laughs.

War was a card game.

Water balloons were the best weapon.

Baseball cards in spokes transformed your bike into a motorcycle and drove the neighborhood nuts.

Taking drugs meant orange flavored chewable aspirin.

The worst thing caught from the opposite sex was cooties!

Abilities were discovered from a double-dog-dare.

I'd love to be a kid again, wouldn't you? What would you do?

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27 October 2009

The English Accent

There's something about an English accent that just makes me stop, listen and be totally enthralled. Perhaps it's the romanticism...who knows. The DH and I often watch English made movies and it takes me at least 5 minutes to start to understand the lingo or the speech patterns. Australia, Great Britain and America all speak the same language but the accent and vocabularies of each country sets them apart. Referring to the "hood" of a car as a "bonnet" is just so much more descriptive to me. Of course, accents in America from region to region can be another story in itself.

Both the DH and I are Northern born so we pretty much have nonexistent accents. This gets passed down to our kids just by listening to us speak. Shortly after we moved to the mountains of North Carolina, our daughter who was in second grade at the time came home from school all excited that they were going to be doing a project.

"Mom, the teacher is asking all the kids to bring something to school to help with the project."
"Great...what are you supposed to bring?"
With my limited carpentry skills all I could think of was a whole group of second graders wielding this sharp object around and thinking this was NOT a good idea. So I politely asked our daughter to ask the teacher again if she was sure that's what she wanted her to bring.

The next day, I pick up our daughter and she emphatically told me the teacher said "awl". I'm not a budinsky parent but this just wasn't my idea of safe. It just didn't make sense that the teacher would have her bring this tool to school, especially in light of the fact that kids get frisked for having any sharp object now. So I told her to have the teacher write me a note figuring I had better cover my daughter's and my you-know-what so we wouldn't get in trouble.

The note arrived the next day saying, "Please contribute "OIL" to our science project. A 16 ounce bottle will do. Thank you!"

Don't you just love the English language!

Happy Tuesday and many thanks for all the well wishes....we're working on it!
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26 October 2009

Monday Art...

Last weekend, we had a family get together with kids, grandparents, moms and dads all enjoying family time. Seems that one of the lot was carrying this dreaded flu that is going around and now everybody is fighting it off. I apologize if I haven't been commenting on blogs of late...I will be back in full swing asap! I think it is a good thing to have a forced's the chicken soup I'm not fond of!

I thought I'd share a bit of farm humor for a Monday. Art? Let's just say the kids don't get bored out here in the boonies! Happy Monday all!
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23 October 2009

Shopping for shoes...

I was recently cruising the internet shopping for shoes. Don't all women have a shoe fetish? Really...who could wear these?

Have a great weekend!

21 October 2009

Miss Manners, where are you?

"Dude, watcha want?"
This was the greeting given to my husband while ordering at a restaurant. Dude? My husband is a dude???

Gone are the days when manners were second nature. We can blame things such as gang culture, hoodies and many other things, but it really is society as a whole that has stooped to this lousy manner endemic that in one single generation, has turned into something that my parents wouldn't recognize.

While watching an old "To Tell the Truth" the other day on you tube, the DH and I stopped at the end of the show and just looked at each other. "Did you hear and see that?", he asked me. "Plain as day..impeccable manners." Now this was only a mere 50-60 years ago. Even the first question started with "What is your name, please". Please?

No longer do people say automatically please, thank you much less ma'am or sir. There are signs in buses that tell you to give your seat to the elderly. We need a sign? Or one of my favorites is sitting in a restaurant or movie theater only to hear a ringing cell phone. I know, they tell you to turn them off...this should just be common courtesy. We shouldn't have to be told to do so. If you complain, you're greeted with a barrage of rudeness. Then there's a little something called road rage..honking and abusive gestures. Or the doctor that keeps you waiting for an hour for your appointment. A one second response of "I'm sorry" would be nice. The list can go on and on.

Perhaps some..just a little... of this may be due in part that the new generation womens lib found it demeaning to have a door opened, bag carried, help putting on a coat or even walking on the outside of the sidewalk (if you understand that one, you are clearly over 45!). However, manners towards each other became outdated no matter what your sex, age or class was.

Many of you know that I live in a small town and I can say that manners abound in both the adults and the children. Please, thank you, sir and ma'am are all part of the speech. I think that as grownups, we need to set a high standards for our children and lead by example. Not "do as I say" but "do as I do". My parents practiced this and we, in turn did this with our kids. Manners should not be an option. They are a form of respect and common courtesy and this goes both ways for the kids as well as the adults.

"Good evening, sir. What would you like for dinner?" that sounds better!
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19 October 2009

Sentimental Fool that I am....

I'm pretty sentimental and I can tell from the comments on some of my posts that most people tend to be sentimental, too. Don't we all yearn for the feeling and emotions of love, nostalgia and idealism? We all hold on to something in the past be it in our thoughts or through a memento. So many things hold a special meaning or tell a story that brings a smile.
The Victorians were notorious for having sentiment and using symbolism. Take for instance this Gutta Percha (a latex produced from the sap of trees) mourning cross necklace. The roses are signifying the person being mourned was a loved one and older as the flower is in full bloom. The person was someone who had been with the wearer of the cross for some time as the daisies have a meaning of youth and innocence. It's kind of like reading a book.

Now I used to think that hair jewelry was gross! The thought of braiding someone's hair and turning it into a bracelet, necklace or watch chain to wear was...well...just plain weird. But then I realized that even in today's time, we save locks of hair. When our dear Collie died a year or two ago, my DH cut a lock of his fur and placed it in his wallet. He's carried it ever since and occasionally pulls it out and smiles at the memory. We save our child's lock of hair after their first hair cut or put a snip of hair in a locket with a picture of a loved one. The list goes on and on.

I like to think that we all want a slower paced time where we can appreciate sentimentality and revel in nostalgia. I know...I'm just a idealistic, sentimental old fool but I think there's one in just about everybody.
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16 October 2009

The Dating Game

The other day I happened upon an old video that had The Dating Game on it. You know the old series where three young men vied for a date with a young woman who was hidden from their view She would ask questions that would reveal their nature and later choose the one with home she wanted a date. It was also played with a bachelor choosing from three young ladies. Our modern day version would most likely be the Bachelor altho this guy gets to see the girls.

Out of curiosity, I posed the question to the DH and our two daughters as to what would be their criteria for choosing someone. Talk about varied answers! One daughter said definitely grammar...must have raised that one right! The other said it was important to have manners...chalk up another one! Answers like being clean, having a certain style, confidence, good hair cut, wear cool shoes, compassion and the list goes on and on. Some were fluff reasons and others were deep rooted. All three of them could find reasons that they agreed or didn't agree with the attribute. The one thing they all agreed on was humor....which brings me to a quote Joanne Woodward, wife of Paul Newman, said:

“Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat.”

A huge thanks to Lenorenevermore for beating me to the punch on the quote..great blog by the way..check her out!

So what would be your criteria?
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15 October 2009

It's a dogs life...

Yesterday, we woke up to several inches of snow and it didn't stop until this morning making for a slushy mess. With the drastic weather change, I'm a bit under the weather with the old sinus pressure. I just can't but wish that I were lazing on this glorious beach. I'm just not ready for snow...not yet anyway!

It can be a dog's life at times!

13 October 2009

Guarded Secrets

I'm on a secret mission this week...can't you tell? Yesterday I posted about only two people knowing the secret formula to Coca Cola so today, I thought I'd share several other products that only two people know the secret.

Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud

Seems that a brand new baseball out of the box is quite slippery so this special mud is rubbed on the baseballs...used by all Major League Baseball teams. Back in the 30's, a coach named Lena Blackburne came across this mud while taking a walk. By 1938, the American League was using it and by 1950, the National League started to use the stuff. Who knows the secret? Only the business owner and his wife. It has been a closely guarded secret as to where the mud comes from other than to know it is from a tributary of the Delaware River.

You're So Vain..who is Carly Simon singing about?

And here I thought I knew this one all along. Turns out that everyone has speculated who the song is about from Mick Jagger (my guess), James Taylor, to Warren Beatty...even her father (my Dh's guess)! Carly knows the secret and in 2003, she auctioned off the knowledge for a mere $50,000 to the highest bidder, Dick Ebersol, president of NBC. He hasn't spilled the beans and she's not ready to either.

The 11 spices that make KFC chicken

Only two executives know the mix. One batch of spices are mixed at one location, the second batch at another location. All come together at a third location just to make sure no one steals all of the ingredients at one time.

Oliver Cromwell's head...seriously!

In case you don't know your history, Cromwell was a guy who, in the 1600's, overthrew the English Monarchy. He died of natural causes and was buried. Once the Monarchy came back, he was exhumed and hung for 12 hours (the English like to do it right!) at which time they put his head on a spike...gruesome. It eventually fell off the spike and has been passed around to museums and collectors. The last guy to have it in 1957 (we're talking 300 years!!) decided enough was enough for Cromwell and two professors at Cambridge University's Sidney Sussex college know the final burying place.

The super special formula to predict the Farmer's Almanac weather

The mathematical and astronomical formula, developed in 1792, uses sunspots, tides and a plethora of other factors to determine the weather for a year. Only the editor Sandi Duncan and an anonymous meteorologist know the formula. Don't let Al Gore in on the secret...I don't think in 1792 they had global warming. Maybe that's why we have snow in October here!

So here's to some little tidbits of keeping a secret!
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12 October 2009

I've Got a Secret

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
Benjamin Franklin

Don't we all love a secret? You know, the kind where someone you know leans over and whispers in your ear "I know something you don't."

There are only a few secrets in this world that only two people is the formula for Coca Cola. Seriously...only two executives of the company know the formula. Of course, this isn't the kind of secret that one finds out sitting next to your friend having coffee. I am fascinated by a different kind of secret....One nary a soul knows...

Most of the visitors here know that I sell antique jewelry. I don't really wear jewelry per se, just a wedding band. But when I get a piece in, I often think about the secrets that they hold. Take for instance this Victorian couple in their wedding photo and the wedding bangles below.

It was customary during that era to give your bride something that was significant..not a ring as it is in our time. Wedding bangles were exchanged by couples to show their love. All these pieces have a hidden secret that we will never know. I often imagine them sitting on a bench in a beautiful garden while he proposes his love for her. She accepts and he offers her the bangle as a love token. The whispering, blushing and proper manner synonymous with the time. She tucks it away in a safe place to be admired for years to come. Who knows how often she pulls them out, what she is thinking as she caresses each one and what was happening in their life. Romantic secrets, I know...more so than the formula for Coke!

Like Ben Franklin's quote, I'm not good a keeping a secret, but this kind of secret is one just for my imagination. Would you spill the beans of a good secret?
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09 October 2009

Your Bed of Choice

I had a huge surprise last night! Our daughter has several days off and drove 12 hours to come and see us. Now tell me if that doesn't make a mom's day! Catching up on everything that has been going on in her life with lots of talking and laughing, we didn't get to bed till late. Needless to say, I'm a bit sleepy eyed today. I'm thinking one of these beds might provide a little comfy sleep time.
The Private Cloud, designed by Manuel Kloker. You could rock yourself to sleep. Not bad unless your partner doesn't like the motion!
The Molecular Bed made of 120 sofa balls with elastic fiber & created by Animi Causa an Isreali designer. Now this one really intriqued me...doesn't it look like you could just slip away?

Cinderella never had it so good! The Fantacy Coach made in England of wood and fiber glass. Sweet dreams here...

The magnetic floating bed with enough magnets to keep 1984 pounds floating in the air. Note is has to be wired to a wall so you don't float away if you roll over in a weird way!

I think I'll stick to my sleep by number bed but I can dream! What's your favorite?
Here's to a fabulous weekend!
All images from thewonderous
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08 October 2009

"Can Do" Apple Pie

Have you ever said something and immediately realized "ooops, I'm going to get caught in that little white lie!".

My husband seems to think I make the best apple pie and with the season of crisp fresh apples here, apple pie is in order. Trust me...I didn't always make a decent apple pie but I'm not about to fess up to him that I never could.

Way back when (yes, I'm old) I was totally enamored with this boy from Queens, NY. Coming from ND, the future DH thought that anyone from this area must be a good cook. I wasn't going to let him know that I couldn't find my way around a kitchen much less make anything to sneeze at. He said his favorite thing in the whole world was apple pie. Of course, wanting to impress, I piped up that I made the absolute best apple pie! The DH eyes lit up.

"Hey, I've got a great idea! Next weekend, let's rent a little log cabin out on Montauk Point, walk the the beach and come back to a blazing fire. You make an apple pie! Sounds great to me!"

Oooopps...caught! Let me tell you, for that week, I was scrambling trying to figure out how to make an apple pie..all pre-internet days where you couldn't look up recipes of the best Chefs from the Food Channel. I had to rely on Betty Crocker along with a wing and a prayer. There was no way that I could fool him with a store bought number.

I'm here to tell you, after a long walk on the beach...freezing cold, we stoked the fire and sat down to eat my apple pie. I was looking on with trepidation at the first bite waiting for a reaction. He closed his eyes relishing the taste. The he looked over to me and said, "you DO make the best apple pie and here I thought you were telling a white lie all the time!"

So I do make the "Can Do apple pie" as we call it today but really, I know it was just setting of the cabin, wood fire along with it being freezing outside! I'll never fess up that it was my first ever!
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07 October 2009

Through Your Heart

“Even the longest way starts with a tiny step.”

We take so many thing for granted. Although these pictures may seem a bit crude on first look, take a look again. They are painted by a Russian artist named Dimitri....who is blind. So many times we complain of things not being fair in our world but this artist clearly overcame his disability. Painting through your heart and not through your step at a time.
Here's to a grateful Wednesday!
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06 October 2009

A Walk Back in Time

I'll admit it...I go crazy over old books. Not that I am a pack rat with a house full of them, but I do have a few that I love to read or page through over and over. There is something about the smell of the pages and the hand drawn illustrations that draws me in.

One of my favorites is a compilation of the Illustrated London Times from 1847. It is an oldie for sure but the best part is taking a walk back in time to another era. After reading some of the pages, one realizes that life really hasn't changed that much as far as news goes.

A wedding for a Marquis

The castle and grounds where the wedding party stayed...I think I could live with that!

New improved railway that term carriage. The difference between first-class and second-class accommodations. The class structure is clearly evident throughout.

What newspaper wouldn't be complete without the political strife? Poems were written...some quite scathing about the political beliefs and the heads of state. Now that's not too far from what we read or hear on the television today.

I have to think while thumbing through these pages that most things have not really changed throughout the years. We have many luxuries that weren't available back then, but clearly we seek the same things to read much that the people 160+ years ago read. Put into basic terms, how much has anything really changed?
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