Monday, October 12, 2015
Sunday, October 11, 2015
One sunny day Sadie and I took a walk down Congress Street in Bradford. I took my camera with me so that I could share some of the amazing architecture on that street. Bradford was once a very wealthy oil town and these homes reflect the affluence.
The detail on these homes reflects many different styles. When I taught the gifted students I did a unit on architecture and we studied all the various types and the students learned to recognize and name the styles. As a culminating activity we took a field trip with our sketch books (today I suppose it would be cell phones) as they captured what they observed.
Each home has a history to go along with it. One home belonged to Harry Emery who was famous in our town and there was a huge wedding reception there for his daughter. I’m not sure which one it was now.
The details on the fronts of these homes is so unique. I would love to see the insides.
It is a beautiful street and reminds me of how building a house was an art at that time.
I hope you enjoyed our little tour.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
When I saw this cartoon I just had to repost it. It fits me to a T. I have regular glasses with bifocals. But my vision is pretty good without them so most of the time I lay them down and go without. But I do wear them for driving. But the bifocals are so low that it is not comfortable to read or be on the computer with them. So I have reading glasses. Many pairs of reading glasses. All day long my glasses are on and off, on and off. In fact when I went to a medium one of the first things she said to me is "I see glasses on, glasses off".
So I'm always misplacing my real glasses. And I keep many pairs of reading glasses so there is always a pair handy no matter what room I am in. But it's hard to keep track of my real glasses. Anyone else have that problem. Oh, and I do have the magnetic gadget that holds on your shirt. I should use that I suppose.. duh!
Friday, October 09, 2015
We all have the same twenty four hours in our day. How we choose to use them is up to us. As I have gotten older...and especially since I retired and have more time for myself..I have paid more attention to how I spend my time. While I was working it seemed I was always busy. When I wasn't working I had another job..wife, mother, homemaker. Then there was an empty nest. And now..all the time I want.
There are always ways to fill up my time and I get to choose. I love being on the computer and having all this knowledge at my fingertips is amazing to me. I can sit for hours cruising the web. And I love blogging and reading the blogs of others. And using the iPad or photoshop on the big computer allows me to explore and create. I also love photo art ..and reading...and decorating. So many pursuits. Let's add art to the list now too. Not enough time in tHe day. I have a lot of time...and a lot of ways to spend it.
But then I realize that time grows shorter in the winter of your life. You know friends who ran out of time too soon. Each day then becomes a quest to do what you find enjoyable and appreciate those around you. You want each day to be so that you will have no regrets. So carpe died, my friends. Don't let the sun go down on your dreams.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
The Chatham Lane video is from last year but perfectly shows how Don and I prepared the apples today. I love having the frozen apples all ready for pies.
The apple pie predates our country's settlement by hundreds of years, writes Lee Edwards Benning in Cook's Tales.
From all historical accounts, it seems that fruit pies as we now know them were invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Women in the southeastern counties of the state made delicious, crispy pies encasing every fruit in the region.
Colonists loved pie so much they ate it for every meal, but, notably, not every farmer could afford it. Thus, pies evolved into a symbol of status.
It is the fruition of this unique, thick, two-crusted apple pie, rather than the thin, one-crust English pie, in which we invest our pride. Ever wonder why July 4th parties are marked by apple pies? It’s a carryover from first Independence Day celebrations when the apple pie was at its peak importance to Americans.
"As American as apple pie" implies the improvement of what was once British; it is the mark of prosperity, freedom, and status as the apple pie represented to our ancestors. It is not a mistaken saying or an ignorant remark. It’s about the thick, two-crusted pie we made; the pie our ancestors longed for and cherished in their free homeland. It’s about patriotism and struggle to be an
American, to live the American dream.
The pie should be eaten "while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges, (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!) of a mild and modest warmth, the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied, the morsels of apple neither dissolved nor yet in original substance, but hanging as it were in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood...then, O blessed man, favored by all the divinities! eat, give thanks, and go forth, 'in apple-pie order!'"
Rev. Henry Ward Beecher (on eating apple pie).
AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE - "America in So Many Words: Words that have Shaped America" by Allen Metcalf & David K. Barnhart" (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1997) has a section on the subject --"1697 apple pie." "Samuel Sewall, distinguished alumnus of Harvard College and citizen of Boston, went on a picnic expedition to Hog Island on October 1, 1697. There he dined on apple pie. He wrote in his diary, 'Had first Butter, Honey, Curds and cream. For Dinner, very good Rost Lamb, Turkey, Fowls, Applepy.' This is the first, but hardly the last, American mention of a dish whose patriotic symbolism is expressed in a 1984 book by Susan Purdy, 'As Easy as Pie': 'This is IT - what our country and flag are as American as. Since the earliest colonial days, apple pies have been enjoyed in America for breakfast, for an entrée, and for dinner. Colonist wrote home about them and foreign visitors noted apple pie as one of our first culinary specialties.' We cannot claim to have invented the apple pie, just to have perfected it." But here's the surprising part. The expression "as American as apple pie," the authors say, is not that old. "Apple pie figures in our figurative language, too, as in the expressions 'simple as pie' (since everyone supposedly knows how to make apple pie) and, though not an Americanism, 'apple-pie order' . But it was only in the twentieth century, apparently in the 1960s, that we began to be 'as American as apple pie.'"
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Today I am continuing a tour of my home decorated for fall. In the kitchen I have a pumpkin arrangement in the corner. This was a centerpiece in my sister in law’s wedding. Beside it is a crow picture that I purchased at our local country item store called the Tin Ceiling.
I decorated my kitchen cart with mums in a metal rooster.
Also in my kitchen I used ribbon and a little fall pick on the back of my new chairs.
And I’m crazy about the Japanese Lanterns in the vase on the windowsill.
I found a little bit of fabric one time and had to bring it home. It makes a nice place for my centerpiece to sit on at the kitchen table.
I don’t usually do a lot of cloches but this one worked out well.
The last thing I will show you is a pumpkin wreath from Valerie Parr Hill on QVC.
Fall is my favorite time to decorate.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
I don’t know what I like best…art or photography…or is there a difference? Both allow me to express myself. I am more confident with a camera because the stage is set for me and I can enhance it any way I choose with good results. With art I am more timid. Because it comes from my soul it is harder. My inner critic demands perfection. I am learning to let go of my expectations and just do art for the sake of enjoyment. Now I need to make more time for it and not let it get pushed out by other demands.
There was a time that I would have never put a photo of myself on my blog. (I am my worst critic, remember?) But I have learned to let go of judgment now. I am who I am .
It happens every October. One day it's sunny and warm and the next rainy and threatening winter. That always signals that it is time to prepare. Like the squirrels have to gather nuts so we have to gather up our outdoor things. Our winters are harsh and we can't even leave cement items out ...with one exception being Tatiana..she is too heavy to take in...and besides I like looking out at her during the winter and dreaming of summer weather.
So today we gathered....from every corner of our courtyard and every flower bed. All the decoration black wire things were pulled up and put over by the lion fountain. Pots, containers, trellises, fountains...everything was gathered up and tarped.
It is really a hard chore. We both worked and rested until it was done. Oh, my aching back. We also had to clean out the shed behind the garage. Things got put away. I brought the little table and chairs and put them in a corner in the living room.
I also brought in one hanging basket...a New Guinea impatience. I wonder how long it will continue to grow since it is an annual.
It does feel good to have everything done outside. I cut down the peonnies and a lot of other foilage, took the dead boxwoods out of their planters, put some mums down by the lightpole and cut back the clematis there. I cleaned out the herb garden....would rosemary grow inside in the winter? It was a lot of work for one day and we are pooped. But it is worth it.
I am the type of person who likes to get things done. I have always hated having something hanging over my head. So I am relentless until it is completed. So now I can sit back and feel that I am ready for winter to come.