Thursday, February 11, 2016

Around the Villas

     Last night, I was honored to serve dinner to three lovely ladies who live here in my condos, Villas on the Bluff. All of us are single Seniors and like to cook....and to eat! So a few months ago we decided to take turns hosting dinner for each other and last night was my turn. When I am hosting, I like to try out new recipes so this time, as it was Ash Wednesday, I made crab cakes! And they were pretty tasty if I do say so myself.

      Tuesday of this week our Villas Book Club met. "Boys in the Boat" was our choice for this month. 
I loved this book and highly recommend it! Very inspiring!  Each month a member will pick a book to read and discuss. We are doing a series on classics this year. We read "The Picture of Dorian Grey" last month. Then got together to watch the old black and white movie which actually stayed pretty close to the book!
And next  month, we are reading a couple of Jack London's "Call of the Wild" and "White Fang", both great stories. I am really enjoying rereading some of my favorites again!




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Memory Monday

      I missed posting last week because I had to get my AQATW posted and it was giving me a lot of trouble! So now I'm back with more of my college days! Heading into second semester my Sophomore year. We just returned from the Orange Bowl; now time to buckle down and study for first semester finals.  As I have mentioned before, I was not a stellar student! So study I must!

     I was living in my sorority house where making good grades was very important! We were to be in our rooms from 7:00-10:00 pm with one break, studying. There were Senior monitors sitting in the halls to make sure we didn't get out! My best friend, also a pledge, had the room around the corner from mine. In looking at the picture of the house, she was in the room to the right of the door, second floor, and my room was in the shadow, facing the door. We thought we were so smart, rigging up a pulley system with a basket between our windows to pass snacks, etc.....until we got caught! If only I had applied that much effort to my studies, I would have done much better...but I was all about the fun! (Keep in mind I am just nineteen!)
        Unfortunately concentrated study didn't do enough for me. I had been on University scholastic probation and once again, my grades were pretty bad. Somehow I lucked out and the University did not dismiss me! But  I decided to "dismiss" myself from sorority life after a series of events. As a pledge, I had the dubious position of waking up upper class girls so they would not be late for their classes. Those that wanted the "service" signed up with us, letting us know what time they needed to be awakened. This one girl I had to wake up was not a morning person...but I did my job and went in to wake her. Since she did not get up the first time, I went back two or three times. On the last try, she actually threw a shoe at me! I did not go back, and she overslept! 
     Another event...although I could not vote, I sat in on some of the discussions when decisions on who to ask to join our sorority were held. It only took one active to vote "no" to keep some one out. There was this darling Hispanic girl who had been rushed but when the vote came up, one girl black balled her because of her race!
    These two events came close to my grades coming in which meant I still could not become an active. So I decided life as a four semester pledge (because they did vote for me to stay one more semester) as well as being associated with a racist and a raving B-word person, was not for me. I was able to get a room in the dorms; when I called my parents to tell them I was moving out of the house, my mom came dashing over...a three hour drive...to try to talk me out of it. 
      My mom never had the opportunity to attend college so she wanted the whole scene for her daughters. And in her mind sororitires were part of the package.  Once I explained the situation to her, she agreed and was supportive. Now, don't get me wrong...sororities are wonderful institutions; both my daughter and granddaughter are members of the same sorority I was involved with and in their situations, it has been very positive experiences for them. And at least three of my "sisters" have remained lifelong friends.
      Thus I started second semester as an Independent, living in a dormitory.




     This is Jones Hall...the brand new dorm I lived in my Freshman year. And this is not me but is exactly like my room there. We had a sink in our room and common showers down the hall. The picture below was a lounge area on every other floor. Three buildings with the cafeteria in the middle and all were joined by underground tunnels! It was pretty nice for the times.

     This is a picture I found on the Internet! Jones Hall being demolished 2015...making way for the future! Of course, it would have been over fifty years old!!! Obsolete by some standards!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Art Quilters Around The World

      I have been a member of AQATW for three or four years now. Many members have come and gone but there are a few old timers! Evert two months we challenge ourselves to create a 12x16 inch art quilt with the selected theme we take turns choosing. This go around was my term and I have chosen the theme of "My Favorite Book"! From comments made on our FB group, several really struggled with theme.  It is interesting to see how others picked their books. If you click on the link for AQATW on my right sidebar you can see everyone's works of arts!
     Being an avid reader I, too, struggled somewhat trying to pick just one! I finally decided to go with a book that had quite an emotional affect on my. My choice is.....The Color Purple" by Alice Walker. I have read many of Walker's books, but somehow this one really grabbed me. In reading it, I found myself crying one minute, and laughing the next. The main character Celie is an abused little black girl, born probably early 1900s, and grows to become a strong intelligent woman. There are other equally interesting and fearful situations about many others in her life that are intricately woven through the book. (And the wonderful movie that came out several years ago was totally slighted by the Oscars, similarly to the last few years of the Oscars!)
                                           

      I decided to use an abstract design of many purple fabrics. After piecing and quilting it, I added two black circles to represent Celie and her sister. There is one scene in the movie where she and her sister are playing in a field of flowers. Her sister was able to escape the horrendous childhood that Celie had but they remained very close through years and miles.

         And here is my quilt.....


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Spectrum

      Spectrum is an online workshop which is a hands on study about increasing creativity. One of the teachers is also the sponsor of Journal 52, another online creativity incentive with weekly prompts. I'm not real good at doing daily or weekly journaling but I do enjoy following what others are doing, getting wonderful creative ideas.
      Back to Spectrum, as a teacher, Effy is offering a free pass to the work shop by holding a drawing for anyone who will write a blog about  Spectrum. So here is the link to her blog which will tell you ALL about the workshop! http://effybird.com/2016/01/spectrum-giveaway/  So check it out!


        You can also go directly to the Sectrum website   http://www.halikarla.com/spectrum/spectrum-2016/    for more info and a list of the teachers for the workshop. 



Friday, January 22, 2016

Memory Monday

      Parade-Check...tour Miami-check....boat ride-check....now all that is left is the Orange Bowl Game itself! On New Year's Day we poured into the stadium, a little hung over but excited to be there! A beautiful, sunny day! No wonder people retire to Florida!
                                          
 
      We played Georgia that year and went down in a terrible defeat...0-14! Although I'm sure the team and the diehard fans were devastated, most of us were there for the on-going party! But as all good things must come to an end, we had to head back to cold, frozen Missouri....and end of semester exams!
      We did have a a couple memorable experiences on the way home! We drove North on the Gulf side of the state and the pure white sand beaches of the Gulf drew us to stop one more time! We knew when we left that we were going to want to, so we started out in our swimming suits, everything packed in the trunk of the car. We stopped just North of Miami and frolicked for an hour or so before dragging ourselves away. When we went to get into the trunk for our change of clothes, we discovered the lock to the trunk was rusted tight! Nothing to do but pile in the car and head North...the coastline back then was not nearly as populated as now so we had to drive quite a ways before coming to a town.

         When we first stopped at a filling station, we were told they could get into the trunk but would ruin the lock in doing so; that a dealership (I don't remember what make of car it was...a late 1950's big four-door something!) would be able to get it open with no damage. As the car belong to the parent of one of the girls, we felt obligated to continue North until we found a dealership!
       We were now approaching one of the country's first toll roads, which we got on with advice on where the nearest city with a dealership was located. Again, I don't remember where, just that we were heading North...in our wet swimming suits...and it was getting colder! When we finally came to a place big enough to have dealership, we pulled up to the toll booth to turn in our ticket and pay...no automatic tolls then. And, funniest thing! We could not find our ticket! Rather than hold up the line, the attendant had us pull over on the side to look for it.


     We turned  the car inside out and never did find that dumb ticket! The attendant finally let us pay and go on through! I think he was feeling sorry for us, shivering in our now dry swimming suits...Northern Florida can be pretty chilly in January! We finally made it to a dealer, got the trunk open and got on our way back to school!
     Of course, we had lost precious time with all our delays so we really couldn't do any more stopping except for gas and potty breaks. Mizzou had a policy called "negative hours" to encourage students to return to classes on time after holidays. Say for example, if you were to receive three credit hours for a class, and you missed the first class after a holiday, the school could give you only two hours credit! None of us could afford to have that happen so, by golly, we made it to all our classes! We may have been total zombies in mind, but our warm bodies were present!!!
     Oh, and Missouri did redeem themselves the next year by returning to the Orange Bowl. They played Navy that year and won....21-14! I did not attend that game; I wa not at Mizzou that year...more on that later in future memory posts!



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

studioQ January Meeting

Our January challenge- "Moon Flowers" by David Bates


      Yesterday, we met at Cabbage Rose, a local quilt shop here in Fort Worth. They have a large classroom where they let us meet when we can't meet in one of our homes. One of our long lost members was there for the first time in months! She is our only working girl and her schedule just hasn't worked out to come. She did have some pretty fabulous stuff to show us though.
Bethany

                                Bethany

 
                 The back of Wendy's

              The front of Wendy's

                                                Wendy's string pinwheel

                    Wendy's first Masterpiece Challenge

                          Wendy's second Masterpiece Challenge

                      Susan wasn't able to get our challenge done so she brought us chocolate!

                  Susan had an antique quilt top to show....rescued from the trash!!!


                         Susan and Kay looking over a couple other rescued quilt tops.

                     Kay's Masterpiece Challenge


                                            Kay....experimenting with color

                    And another study in color by Kay

                                   Examples from a class on stamping by Kay

                                          Rhonda's Masterpiece Challenge

            Andrea's Masterpiece Challenge 
               Heather's Masterpiece Challenge

          My first Masterpiece Challenge...I made the background first, then started sewing on fabric flowers in a collage style. I got tired of sewing so painted some of the flowers and sewed them on!

      My second Masterpiece Challenge...I wasn't real happy with the first one...just not my style so I did a second one which is more me!

         All of our Masterpiece Challenges together!
     Then we ended the meeting by deciding where to gather next month and even more important, where to have lunch, and the lucky winner this month was Railhead BBQ, right across the street from Cabbage Rose. I love this bunch of gal pals! They are always so much fun and talented! They are so supportive and inspiring!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Memory Monday

       Here we are in Coral Gables! My friend Joanie's aunt and uncle had friends with a boat who took us all for a trip on the canals and around Biscayne Bay! We were very aware that it was below freezing and snowing in Columbia, Missouri while we were cruising around Florida!
Boat Ride on Florida Canal
      I had never seen such a bright sun....bluest water ever...and tropical plants and birds everywhere!!  Pelicans are the most fascinating birds....they were all over the place...roosting on piers,  soaring in the sky! Have you ever been in the wrong place when a little bird flew over and relieved himself? Well, let me tell you....until you have been "blessed" by a pelican, you have nothing to complain about! I was the lucky recipient as we were cruising around!
Brown Pelican 
    The Orange Bowl parade was always held on New Year's Eve with the game New Year's Day. It was televised and, although not as large as the Rose Bowl, it was a close second! I remember going with some U of Miami guys who were showing us around.
1960 Orange Bowl Parade
1960 Orange Bowl Parade
1960 Orange Bowl Parade
1960 Orange Bowl Parade
     Another sight on our list was to see the Fountainebleau Hotel. To us that was the epitome of luxury! It was often featured in movies and in society news. Although we didn't get inside, we were able to drive up to it and gawk!
The Fountainebleau Hotel-built in 1054
Lobby of the Fountainebleau