Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the Yuletide gay.
~Ralph Blane~

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Busy Weekend and a Memorial Day Moment

FRIDAY: 
My friend "J" and I went to Placerville. We hit one of the biggest Thrift stores in Placerville.
 Snowline Hospice is the biggest Thrift store I've think I have ever been in. It's clean and well organized with very reasonable prices. We were in THRIFT STORE HEAVEN for hours.
Then we got hungry. I don't know Placerville very well and "J" does, so I asked her to pick a nice place for lunch. It would be my treat for her birthday and we were celebrating. So we went to
THE SEQUOIA.
This is a beautiful restaurant. It's a very old house that has been restored. If you like ghost stories you can read about this mansion and its strange happenings here
The food was delicious. After lunch we hit another thrift store. 
This is what you will need....
These were all my wonderful "finds".
The LEATHER purse, the wool sweater and the shirt were $3.50, $3.00 & $3.00. All the other things were $1.00 each. Oh, sorry.... the little frame with a hand painted picture in it was only $.50 
I looked up that cup on an antique site and found it for sale. They were asking $25.00 for it. I just love it when that happens. My thrifty heart just starts pumping more blood and I get a warm fuzzy feeling all over. Do bargains do that to you too?
We had a great day. The weather was beautiful and cool. The drive on highway 49 was wonderful. Everything was green and the rivers were full.
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SATURDAY:
This was my "yucky" day. The day of eating cookie dough and seeing angry Gerbera Daisys. Maybe I "thrifted" too much the day before.
The grand babies were suppose to come up here. They were bringing Mommy and Daddy with them and staying overnight but they called and said that they had a change of plans.  Too much work and not enough time. We understood... Boo hoo! We made plans to go to Micky's Grove in a couple of weeks. Life gets busy when you have kids, jobs and a house to take care of. I remember this well. It's OK. I will see them next weekend. I'm going down to my sister's tomorrow and I will be there until  next Sunday.
So Saturday was a bust. The only good thing was that I finished knitting my "Andalusian" wool scarf and went to bed early. 
**************** 
SUNDAY:
I slept until 9:00 a.m. This is just strange. Got up and had some coffee. Took a shower and The Prospector says, " Did you remember that we are going to Ione?' 
I kind of thought that he might change his mind. I should know better. When it comes to TRAINS, TRACTORS,AUTOMOBILES or the acquisition of GOLD I should never ASS/U/ME that he will forget or change his plans. We were going to take the kids to see the train show in Ione. This show is called the Ione Railfair and Vintage Motorfest. It's sponsored by the Historic Amador Central Railroad Assoc.
The Prospector still wanted to go,so we got in the car and drove down to Ione, about a 20 minute drive west of Jackson. to see the show.
This was a bigger show than I expected. You can see the website here. There were all kinds of antique farm machinery, a few classic autos like a great old fire truck.
...and a model train exhibit.
A beautiful Wells Fargo Wagon that I got to sit in and someone took my picture in it. 
I'm waving from the window. It was very elegant. Wish it had been hitched to some horses. What fun it would have been to really ride in it. There were no windows... just canvas rolls that could be lowered to protect you from the elements. I imagine that this was not enough to keep the hot, cold , dusty and windy weather from making the trip unpleasant but it was better than nothing and, back in the day, folks probably thought this was innovative . Still, what an experience it would have been and it sure would have beat walking.
We found out that the tickets for the Speeders, the individual rail cars that give rides, were sold out. This is a 20 mile trip in one of these motorcars that travels on the old railway back up toward Jackson. This was the first time that they had ever been SOLD OUT. Now I was glad that the grand boys weren't with us. They would have been so disappointed.
 We decided to go on the Skagit Motorcar. This is a 30 minute ride for $3.00  This was like a taste of the longer trip so we boarded the SKAGIT. 
This was fun. We had a very informative engineer who told us a lot about these rail cars. This motorcar transported the railroad workers to jobs on the rail lines. It was very noisy and clickity clackity, but the scenery was beautiful and I saw parts of Ione that I hadn't seen before. When we came to one of the highways, two of the men got out and stopped traffic so we could cross the highway safely.
The driver reversed the car and we returned to the "station", which was really the Ione Junior High School.
We had lunch and bought some Kettle Corn to take home. 
Then we looked at all the old farm and railroad machinery. 
The Prospector found just what he was looking for but it wasn't for sale. Darn! He's been talking tractors every since.
Here are some prices for travel in that fancy Wells Fargo buggy in 1867.



Which one is the model and which is real.? Top left is a little tiny model of a lumber hauler. I thought that was a cool way to show how detailed the models are. The "logs" are small branches.
Finally the "Speeders" came back from the morning trip. We watched them all come into the "Station". 
Each one was unique. Each one is privately owned. They all belong to a club that does these trips on many different tracks that aren't being used by Railroad companies anymore. They maintain the tracks and clean up the litter along the line. Everyone looked like they were having a great time.
We watched them arrive and then we drove home.
Did you know this?
Next year we will bring the Beans (our grand kids) and get here early. I just know they would love going for a ride on these "Speeders".... and the "big kids" too. That would be their Daddy and Papa. This is like" riding the rails" without all the danger... just fun.
We got home and the dogs joined us in the living room for a nap.
Later in the evening we went over, with some cookies, to met our new neighbors. Actually not "new" but this is another story for another time.


Monday:
Today I stayed home. 
The Prospector drove up to met his brother in Pine Crest, to check out their campsite for their big week this summer. It's tradition. They always go up there to see where the site is that they have reserved..... to see how many vehicles, boats, trailers and tents they can squeeze into the space. 
They said that it was cold today. There was snow on the ground up in Pine Crest.... and  I think there will be snow there all summer. It's never going to stop this year. The fish will be frozen to the bottom of the lake all year. 
But, Oh the excitement. It's something to look forward to. It's tradition. 
I stayed home and cleaned the house, or should I say, the dog hair. Are your animals shedding. OMG! The hair is everywhere. 
Then I felted my "Andalusian" scarf. I bought this old wash board and it has come in so handy for felting.
Rub, rub, rub!! This took about 20 mins. of hot soapy water and rubbing with my hands, another 15 mins. of scrubbing on the washboard and then a few more minutes of hand rubbing. I rinsed it in cool water until all the soap was gone. 
I could feel it tightening up.  I love the feeling of the yarn going from limp and loose to heavy and strong. It's so satisfying. There's something so organic and magical about this process.
It turned out great. I stretched it, shaped it and left it to dry out on the porch.  Now I have to put some buttons on it or crochet some flowers.... or embellish it somehow.

 
All day I was thinking about a boy named Barney Boyer. He was a year behind me in High School.  He was killed in the Viet Nam War in 1965. I don't know why I thought of him. I didn't know him well, but he was someone I knew who died in a war.... fighting for our country.... no wait.... not for his country. He was fighting to help the South Vietnamese against the NVC.  We were there to support South Vietnam. To fight the spread of Communism.
  Barney was probably about 20 years old. Do you think he really understood all the political implications?. I wonder...
What is a life worth? I want to say that he died in a "just" war, but I still don't think that we did the right thing over there in Viet Nam. We left the country too soon..... or maybe we should never have gone over their in the first place. But , I know one thing for sure. Barney Boyer died and he was just a boy.


I wore my POW bracelet today. It reads Maj. Henry Serex- 4/2/72.  I was 29 years old. I was pregnant with my second child.  This bracelet was my effort to support a war that I really didn't understand. When I look at this bracelet it reminds me that war is Hell on Earth and that there has got to be a better way. Don't you think so too?



Click on any of these photos to enlarge them. 
Talk to you in a week or so..... 

 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Flowers As Children..as Flowers.

I bought a Gerbera Daisy the other day. A real beauty with one flower opened and a few smaller ones ready to open up. I bought a yellow one for a friend and this pale coral one for myself.
I was going to plant the Daisy in the garden but I got too busy with my lemon bar meltdown during the week.. Today I repeated my bad behavior. This time I made "everything but the kitchen sink " cookies and ate most of the dough before it was cooked. I may need some serious intervention soon. I have been running amok in the kitchen. I've lost my ability to "just say no" to myself.
So the flower sat on the table waiting for good soil and a refreshing relocation. I just ignored it.
I was going into the kitchen to retrieve cookies from the oven when I noticed the Daisy on the table.
Oh my gosh, I thought, I have forgotten to water that poor plant and it's looking a bit pale.
I picked it up and set it on the sink... then I got the cookies out of the oven, put some more in, set the timer for another ten minutes, ate some cookie dough and walked back to the sink.
That's when I noticed the OTHER FLOWER IN THE POT.
IT was starring at me .....
And it seemed angry.... I thought I heard it say something and growl at me.
I lifted up the container and took a closer look.  Thinking that this odd flower was really two flowers pushed together, I check the stem.
It didn't look as angry from the backside. It was then that I realized  I was looking at was a very upset flower that had just wanted to be on its own, but it was born different, somehow attached, and not very happy about it. I watered the plant immediately and set the pot down in the sink to drain. 
 Poor thing. No wonder you're are so upset. You expected to stand on your own with a gorgeous array of petals, only to find another flower attached to your stem....vying for attention too.
It's true. You are different.. but you are interesting and unusual. Each flower has it's own personality. Be who you are: A magnificent anomaly.



One flower turns out "perfect".... What is perfect anyway? I'm partial to imperfection.
Another is born "different".... troublesome, not as easy to get along with. But it's just as worthy. 
It's still a perennial. It is of the same family as its siblings. Its petals might be brighter, noisier... you can feel the intensity of its personality. It's just a different "hybrid" soul.
Each flower is unique.... one of a kind.
We need to love them all, even if they are a little more difficult to grow.
Think how we started. We were all new and unformed. Life was filled with possibilities. 
Imagine you're a beginner... always a beginner, and have strength... and bloom.


Gerbera jamesonii.... the Transvaal Daisy:
Just give them partial shade and regular watering and they will thrive.