Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Our Beautiful World-Fruit

     And this week the "Our Beautiful World" blog has chosen fruit for the theme...well, I love fruit and love taking pictures of food so here goes!!

My bumper tomato crop of a few years ago. (Are tomatoes fruit or vegetable?)
Rhubarb for sale at a Farmer's Market in Holland, Michigan
My apple pie!!
And my fruit jellies!!!
Now I know I posted a pretty broad take on the topic of fruit....but when I got to looking at my pictures, I ran across these and thought they might fit the bill!!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Memory Monday #56

     Last week I left you hanging with my criminal escapades!  Well, as my friends and I cruised around the square...wrong way...with the carload of boys from out of town following came the local Police!! Lights and sirens blaring!
1950's  Police car
So of course, we both pulled over! And reluctantly received our citations!!  Then the not so friendly officer explained to us that if we wanted to take care of the situation right now, he would escort us to the local justice of the peace and we would not have to appear in court.
      Now I am not sure if any states still have a justice of the court system...but in Illinois at that time, JP's were legal representatives of the court...not necessarily having absolutely any legal education or former experience...not sure how they came about the position but I think they were elected...and could perform minor legal functions...collect for citations, marry people, etc.
     Thinking this might be a good way to take care of the situation and bypass the need to mention the occasion to my parents, we followed the policeman to our local JP's home. Those "wonderful" persons were available night or day!!  The boys also followed...and I was "fortunate" enough to have just gotten paid that afternoon for my little job at the swimming pool!
    When we get there, the boys pleaded that they didn't have any money on them at the time, but if the officer would let them go, they would come back the next day and pay up. Did I mention the boys were not only from out of town, they were also from across the state line/Mississippi River into Missouri.  My home town was only 20 miles from the Mississippi River so it was not uncommon for us to have friends in the nearby towns, albeit from another state.
    When the JP asked me how much money I had (my friends had none!! Nobody else was working that summer) I honestly told him exactly what I had! And would you believe, that is EXACTLY what my ticket would cost!  Looking back, I cannot believe how naive I was...just a babe in the woods! So I paid up; we left to continue with our night out, probably had to go drown our sorrows in Cokes!!  And the boys hightailed it back across the river, never to least not in that car!  Being out of state the police weren't about to waste energy on chasing them down!!
     Thinking the whole episode was past, I leisurely took everyone home and headed back to my house.  Who should meet me at the door, but my father!  Seems he knew all about my wild least the getting stopped by the cops thing!  Apparently some well meaning (nosy) citizen had seen our car being stopped on the square and felt obligated to call my dad out of concern!!  My dad was a neat guy...he was angry at me, not for getting the ticket...the result of an innocent prank which he would have probably done in his youth, but because I didn't come straight home afterwards to tell him about it!  Then when I confessed up the JP part, he was no longer mad at me, but was furious with the police and JP.  He went to confront them, ticketing and fining a minor, but of course there was no record of the affair!  I am sure they split the cost and pocketed it the proceeds...not an uncommon practice in small town USA back then...but I had no receipt...nothing but my word!
     And I am not being paranoid when I tell you I was now in a marked car!  I got stopped for the most piddling of infractions for the rest of my Senior Year!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lucky me!

     Last night I received two separate emails telling me I had won a set of stencils!!! A few weeks ago Lynn Krawczyk posted on her blog Smudged Textiles, that there was to be a blog hop celebrating her new book  "Intentional Printing". Please check out her blog because it is loaded with all kinds of cool stuff...Lynn writes for Quilting Arts and has done several teaching videos with them. But I diverse....

..... I hopped right over to visit some very cool fiber artists and while there I left comments. So yesterday was the big reveal day...and I was contacted by Lisa Cousineau and by Carmen Whitehead that I had won! I had signed up on all the blogs that I visited but who knew I would get selected twice!!!
     I immediately contacted Carmen (as I had already let Lisa know my address) to suggest someone else get a chance to win. To which she graciously commented I should get a lottery ticket and she would pick some one else. Now I am very excited to get my stencils so I can hopefully do some of the amazing things I saw on other blogs!!!
     I have also signed up for Virginia Spiegel's Java Art Exchange using techniques from Lynn's I had already planned to get a copy I decided to join! Unfortunately my awesome stencils won't get here in time because I need to finish however many entries I am going to do by May 2nd to Virginia.  But using Lynn's book for ideas and techniques, here is my beginning...gotta' start somewhere!  Come back to see what else I am going to do with these "masterpieces"...and check out all the links I have added to see the stencils I will be getting and some pretty amazing art from others!

Making my own stencil to silk screen from Lynn's coffee cup

Step #1
Step # 2

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Beautiful World-Transport

      This week's blog for Our Beautiful World has chosen "Transport" for its subject. Love that topic!  There are so many ways to get around in this ol' world of ours!  Here are a few of our experiences!

Steam engine train 
Alaska State Ferry from Juneau to Whittier
Popular transportation in US-RV with car towed behind
Street car in San Francisco
Riding horseback!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Memory Monday #55

     My hometown is the county seat; even though small in population, it is the largest town in the county.  We have a beautiful courthouse with large trees and a lawn all around it.  It is the center of the Square with streets on all four sides and businesses located on the opposite side of the streets facing the courthouse.
Courthouse in Pittsfield, Illinois
Courthouse Dome at night-the crowning glory of the structure
Businesses along one side of the square
    A State Highway ran through town, creating one side of the square.  And during my high school days, a stop light was actually installed at one corner so through traffic had to come to a stop!  A by pass was built many years ago, so the 18 wheeler truck traffic no longer comes through town as it did in the past.
     It was the summer before my Senior year that the town decided to try out different traffic patterns on the  non-highway streets. One of the attempts at creating a smooth flow of traffic was to make these three one-way streets.  They tried going around the square in one direction for a few weeks, studying the flow.  Then going around the square in the other one way direction was given a trial.
     During this time, the local police were trying to keep everyone going in the correct direction...especially important during business hours Monday through Saturday..9:00 AM-5:00 PM.  After 5:00PM the square was businesses were open so no one was parking along the streets.  One night, after everything was closed up, some of my friends and I were "cruising" around town.  Everyone had a special route from one end of town to the other; down to the high school, around the Dairy Queen, up to the square, by certain peoples' houses....then repeat the whole process...several times.
      This particular night, a group of boys from a neighboring town started to follow us.  We all thought this was quite a lark, of course.  But we had to pretend to be indignant by the situation. So we got this great idea that if we went around the square the wrong way, they wouldn't dare follow us knowing that the police were keeping a close eye on such mishaps! But they dared...much to our pleasure!!!
     And, of course, the town policeman on duty (there were only four total and they took turns being on patrol) noticed our indiscretions! So siren blaring, lights flashing, he pulled us over....both cars! Now this particular officer of the law was not very fond of teenagers so we all knew we were in BIG trouble!
    Tune in next week to hear about our being "under arrest"!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Circle Suppers, family get together

     Yesterday my daughter who lives not far from me, my SIL and grandson drove to my other daughter's house which is about 60 miles from here. Her birthday was last Wednesday so we went to celebrate it as well as Easter. She had made pulled pour in her crock pot and we all brought stuff. While there the guys helped her hang a bunch of decorative stuff on the walls. She had accumulated several pieces from us after Dick passed away. It was good to see them hanging on her walls. Always good to get together!
Such a cutie!!!
     My church, Westside Unitarian Universalists, has a monthly activity  called Circle Suppers. Anyone wanting to participate signs up, saying whether one can host and how many people they can take Then one of our members takes the list, sorts it all out and lets the host know who is attending. It is up to the host to contact them, decide the menu, and then everyone brings something to the table....sides, dessert, wine, bread, etc.
     My dinner partners consisted of five others, three I knew and two I did not. At least I did not think I knew them. I just didn't connect the names with the faces! The evening was lovely so we sat outside on my patio. I'm very pleased with my patio... It is coming together nicely! I think it will be a great source of pleasure for many years to come....but back to my dinner. I served a chicken enchilada casserole; one guest brought a great salad; there was a rice dish; good wine selection, and cheesecake for dessert!
     Much good conversation and laughter! I know I will definitely do this again!!! Oh, and Happy Easter to all!
UU logo

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cotton Robin

    I had participated in an Internet exchange called the "Cotton Robin" for three years. Each participant would make a center block and mail it to the moderator, Julie Waldman.  Julie would then mail out the blocks with a list of others who would add three more borders and then the last person would bind and quilt the mini quilt and mail it back to the original creator. I have given you the link to the blog which will be explained a lot better than I am doing.
    The last exchange I took part in was 2013...and my quilt got lost somewhere between Canada, New Zealand and to me here in Texas!  It was so long that Julie was getting the gang together to make another quilt for me!  Someone made a center block and mailed it to Julie...but before they could get it going, my quilt showed up!
Cotton Robin 2013
I am so glad it did make it to me because I really love the final results!
     Anyway, Julie mailed the block back to the original maker and eleven of us decided to take that block and make a quilt for Julie for all she does for this exchange!  I know that I would not have the patience to do all that planning she does! So I wanted to show the quilt that we made for her. The exchange Cotton Robins were under 20 inches.  By the time we all worked on this one for Julie, it turned out to be about 78"!  Amazing what a world-wide collaboration can do!!
Julie's Cotton Robin-(check out the link to the Cotton Robin for a better picture)

This is the label that I made for the quilt.
I didn't participate in the current Cotton Robin for personal reasons, but I hope to be involved next year if Julie continues moderating it!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Memory Monday # 54

    And now we are Seniors!!! I remember my Senior Year of high school with many great memories!!!  My sister is away at college, so I have the bedroom we share to myself!!!  (Most of the time)! This is her second year to be gone, so I don't miss her as much as I did last year!
    So many things going on...some of the same things as the other three years of high school...but being a Senior is Special!!  We are the top dogs!  We rule!!  Underclassmen look up to us!  We all drive..although most of my immediate group of friends do not have their own cars, we can usually count on a parent to let us use their cars.  I remember the my parents had two cars by now (they didn't for several years).  My dad always drove Fords, but they had a used Pontiac that my mom drove and that was also my car.
1948-49 Pontiac Chieftain
   It was a two door sedan...1948-49. I got this picture off the Internet, but this is almost exactly what it look like but not that shiny!!  It was a huge boat of a car...heavy doors, heavy everything.  And it was classy!!  Not as classy as my friend Barbee's mom's Oldsmobile convertible...but it worked for me. Actually I was able to get the car just about whenever I wanted because my parents trusted my driving more than they did most of my friends!!
     As Seniors, we could drive to school and go out for lunch...big deal!  We didn't do it every day, but usually once a week, one of us would get the  car and we would head to Wimpy's Drive In which was on the edge of town and had the local skating rink attached on the back side.  Wimpy was the nickname of a local guy, taken from a character in the Popeye cartoon series.  I always thought our Wimpy's was a one of a kind local spot...and it was, because we didn't have chain stores  back then. But as I was searching the Internet for drive in pictures, I discovered there were several Wimpy's through out the states!

This is very like our Wimpy's, but had a gravel driveway all around it and no trees.
Another Wimpy's I found on the Internet!

The original Wimpy from the Popeye series!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Our Beautiful World-eggs

     In keeping with the season, Our Beautiful World blog has chosen the word "eggs" for the subject this week for photographs.  When I was at my book club meeting yesterday, one of the ladies had a carton of papier mache eggs to share with every one so I took a picture of the carton to share with this blog.

Papier Mache eggs
And I remembered I had a Pysanky egg that I had purchased many years ago from a Greek Orthodox Church whose women made these eggs every year and sold them as a money-maker. I have created a link for anyone who is interested in finding out more about Pysanky eggs!

Pysanky Egg

Monday, April 7, 2014

Memory Monday #53

     Another big deal for Juniors was Prom.  I think I wrote when my sister was a Junior, and how the Juniors were in charge of prom from choosing the theme to decorating and sponsoring the Queen's court. And that the sole purpose of prom was to give a going away party for the graduating Seniors.  Up to the point of becoming Juniors, any money making ventures that we did as Freshmen or Sophomores was dedicated to paying for the costs accrued to throwing the prom!

     Each class had a teacher who was the class sponsor...that particular teacher usually remained the same each our Junior class was Miss McGuire who also taught us English.  She had been teaching for a long in the High school....even had taught my Mom and Dad! She was quite a character...a very outspoken woman...really knew her stuff!  She was a very self assured lady who did not tolerate fools or rowdy high school boys...or girls!  When it came time for Prom, being our sponsor, everything we did had to go through her for her approval.  There were many meetings with her present, and seeing her outside of the classroom we on the prom committee began to see her in a different and kinder light!

    Miss McGuire not only taught my parents, but she also attended the same church I did.  Living in a small town and going to the Catholic church in the 50's  (the Catholic church being very much a minority)  created a closeness with all church members.
So the other Catholic girl in our class and I became kind of under the wing of Miss Mc.  She took particular notice of our doings, and would discuss any possible irregularities with our mothers whom she saw on a regular basis at church activities and Sunday Mass.
We didn't get away with much!!  Not that we really tried but...our village really was raising its children!

      At the time, I had a bit of a crush on an OLDER man...I was 16 at the time, he was 19!  But the fact that he was a good Catholic boy gave me "permission" from my parents with the encouragement of Miss McG. to ask him to the prom. To my delight, he accepted....that was the one and only time we went out, but it was a magical evening!

Me before prom...the same lovely gown my mom made for Fall Festival! It was pale yellow with artificial daisies sewn down the skirt...m mom's design!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

studioQ Feb/March meetings

     I had missed a few of our studioQ little art quilters' group.  We are at 10 or 11 now...and have decided to keep it at that number at least for now.  And we are continuing with our Color Chip Challenge!  Now this is a "no pressure" group, so even though it was discussed and decided upon to do this challenge, there are some who for their own reasons are not always participating.
     I do want to show the projects of those who are usually doing the challenge of the month...
Beth's picture inspiration for her color chips
On left are the color chips-on right, my fabric choices
Kay's Challenge
Rhonda's challenge
My challenge
The above were shown at our February meeting.  The next set were from our March meeting and the challenge was given by Lynn.

Lynn's color chips and my fabric choices to go with the colors.

My color challenge for Lynn's color chips.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our Beautiful World-Bloom

      With the hopes of Spring in the air after a most brutalwinter everywhere, the Our Beautiful World photography group has chosen the subject "Bloom" this week. I love taking pictures of flowering plants, trees, the whole nature thing so I am having a bit of a problem deciding which photos to post!
      Bradford Pear trees are one of the first to bloom in this area...sometimes a little early! The Bradfords are beautiful, fruitless small trees...blooms early, lovely green leaves all summer then the most gorgeous bronze and reds in the fall...a wonderful treat for any landscape.
Bradford Pears 
Close up of Bradford Pears
      With my recent move from two acres to a condo in the city, I have acquired a patio area which is MIINE to do with as I wish (within the confines of the HOA guidelines)!  So I took out (or rather had my grandson do the digging) several in ground shrubs, hauled in a lot of river rock for the beds, and put in large pots.  I had about six pots from my other home and added to that number.  At least here in the city, I can attempt to grow flowers!  In the country, everything I tried in that line was just deer food!  And although I loved having the deer around, it was a little expensive to feed them those tender shoots!!  Begonias seemed to be a favorite!!
    With that said, here are a couple of pictures of my blooms!
Part of my little city garden!
   Other attractions later in the spring will be the irises and the crepe myrtles! And Texas would not be the same without the state flower..the bluebonnet which grows wild almost everywhere!
Texas bluebonnets

Crepe myrtle