Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wandering & Pondering

Mountain View Cemetery
Riverton, WY
I sometimes like to wander through the local cemetery and stop and ponder the gravestones.

This stone made me smile at its simplicity and playfulness, but I also wonder. . .

How old was Baby Snook?
Did Baby Snook like to play with marbles or did an older sibling?
Did tiny hands push the marbles into the cement under the guidance of Mom and Dad?
What is the significance of the three marble holes at the top of the stone? Do they represent other family members?
Were family finances tight?
Do family members still visit Baby Snook's grave?

I wonder. . . Do you?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wild and Free - finally beginning

Selection of fabrics for Wild and Free
October 2014
Several years ago I purchased two wildlife panels at a quilt shop. Then, I began purchasing colorful fabrics that I thought would complement the panels. Then the panels and fabric marinated for many, many months (okay, years) until I finally decided to do something with them.

This summer, I pulled the fabrics and panels out and began dreaming, scheming and planning. Last week, I made the first cuts and turned the smaller segments into giant stars.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Foreign Friday

Pendulum to antique clock
purchased in Misawa, Japan in 1979
One of my most treasured mementos from Japan is an antique Schoolhouse Regulator Clock purchased at an antique shop, located next to the Misawa cemetery featured in these posts.

Antique clock purchased in Misawa, Japan in 1979
The clock has a lot of character and has kept accurate time in my house since I purchased it in 1979. It is a 7-day clock, and I wind it usually on Sunday and yearly give it a squirt of WD40. 

The clock case measures 19 inches from top to bottom. 

The steady ticking of the clock is soothing. I'm so accustomed to the hourly chime that I seldom hear it, even at night. 

Another regulator, a 30-day clock (purchased new in 1982) that chimes the hour and half hour hangs in my family room.

I'd love to know something about the previous owners of my antique clock, but sadly, I do not. I can only imagine the stories it can tell.

Do you own any clocks that require winding?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Back in Time - Yellow Recliner

Rich S.
approximately 1964
I don't remember when the yellow (some may say it was gold, but to my eyes it was yellow) recliner was purchased, but it was a favorite place for nearly everyone in the family to take a nap. My brother often would nap on Sunday afternoons while watching TV.

The photo of Rich shows the living room wall before it was covered with paneling. I remember helping my mother hang the beige and brown wallpaper shown in this photo.

The lamp shade was often turned like it is in the photo to hide the hole a parakeet nibbled near the top.

The desk, shown in the photo, was eventually moved into my bedroom. The top drawer on the right had a broken bottom piece, so it was tricky to open it without that section falling out.

Note the pole lamp with the three lights. My mother used that pole lamp for years. Each light had a three-way switch and could be controlled as a group or individually.

Rosa S.
December 1965
My mother could also be caught napping from time to time in the yellow recliner. Obviously the living room had to be rearranged for Christmas which is why this chair was moved to the corner and the desk under the east window. (When photos were taken with a film camera, it was common for the film to be developed months after the event which is why this photo is stamped "May" instead of "December" or "January")

Note the toothpick tree on the corner of the desk. This was made by pushing hundreds of round toothpicks into several styrofoam balls and then stacking the toothpick balls into a tree shape. The "tree" was sprayed with "snow" and decorated with mini glass decorations.

The fiberglass TV tray in the lower left corner were used for years as was the leather footstool that my mother made at an Extension Club workshop.

My mother's stylish glasses seem to glow in this photo. Ironically, the frame design is popular again.

Did your family have a favorite chair for napping?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Addiction

Loose tea from Murchies in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Practically everyone in my family was/is a coffee drinker, so I have no idea why I prefer to drink tea. Perhaps, my paternal grandmother who grew up in England somehow willed at least one of her grandchildren share the love of a good cup of tea. That is the only explanation that makes any sense.

My mother sometimes drank tea, but I drink it almost exclusively. I'll take a hot, cup of unsweetened, black tea any day of the year and any time of day. I do not like herbal or green tea.

Several years ago, when my sisters and I visited Victoria Island and Vancouver, British Columbia, I discovered the Murchies Tea and Coffee shop.  The variety of teas (and even coffees) they offer is impressive. On that trip, I purchased several types of tea and have continued to order online from Murchies.

My latest order of tea included:

Government Street Blend
Ms. Grey
Editor's Blend
Earl Grey Cream
English Breakfast

In the future I want to try:

Canadian Breakfast - a traditional breakfast tea, with a Canadian maple flavouring. The maple helps to draw out the natural malty caramel flavours of the teas.

Golden Monkey - the dried leaf is mixed black and gold, with a musky, fruity, slightly grassy aroma and produces a rich deep red-gold liquor, very round, full-bodied flavour with a slight briskness. The flavour and aroma notes for this complex tea include dried apricot or plum, honey or burnt sugar, and possibly a slight smokiness or light maltiness and it has a lingering, soft, ‘fuzzy’ finish.

As far as addictions go, tea-drinking is fairly harmless.

Do you prefer coffee or tea? Green tea or black tea?

(I have not been paid to write this post, I am just a satisfied Murchies' customer)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Back in Time - Autumn's Colors

Golden color
Sybille Canyon near Wheatland, WY
Autumn 1976
When I was teaching in Wheatland, I often drove the backroads to find bursts of Autumn color. The winding road through Sybille Canyon never failed to provide opportunities to pull over and capture the colors of Autumn.

Crimson color
Sybille Canyon near Wheatland, WY
Autumn 1976
Autumn is a fickle season in Wyoming: sometimes snow flies before the plants have a chance to show their splendor; other times, color provides a glorious display that lingers.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Lucy Cowl in Noro

Noro cowl

Pattern: Lucy Cowl by Pepperberry Knits - free pattern (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock (color #S293)

Needles: 16 inch circular, size 4

Stitches: 70 sts

The pattern calls for 50 sts. on size 7 needles, using DK weight yarn. Since I was using sock yarn, I decreased the needle size and increased the stitch count. At 34 inches in circumference, the  cowl is not long enough to wrap twice around my neck; however, it can be tucked flat to provide coverage under a coat.

This is the first time I've used the kitchener stitch to graft so many stitches. I am pleased with the results.

Do you like to "kitchener"?

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