Monday, January 18, 2016

Thinking of Spring

The problem doesn't look like spring tulips nor does it look like a winter wonderland, instead, it is ugly, dreary with a little bit of dirty snow on the ground and the temperature in the single digits when I woke up. I love a pretty snowfall but this weather stinks. I'm reading a good book right now so I am taking it to bed with me and that's the end of that!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Garden That Was

When I bought my house 20 years ago. I wanted a back yard where I could garden. My garden has had many transformations over that time and I'm afraid most of this does not exist any more. Gardening was my passion and every morning, I would jump out of bed and with a cup of coffee and a cigarette I would start on a project in my back yard. I loved Spring and Summer. As the years have gone by, I have gradually downsized because I am no longer up for the job. My garden is a shadow of it's former self. But, I have plenty of photos of all my beautiful flowers (started from seeds or cuttings) and I am going to dig (ha...a garden referance) around for more pictures when I have a chance.
This structure was built by my son and I really enjoyed sitting out there........eventually it all rotted and was pulled down.
This was a little shed greenhouse that my brother and myself built. I used it as a greenhouse for about 10 years and had lots of fun with it but it took so much tending that I finally gave it up and made it into a little sitting room. That is gone also and now I use it mostly for storage and to overwinter my hostas.
Still have the Kettle fountain and the salvia, hostas and clematis. Caught this lovely American Goldfinch stopping by for a drink.
My birdbath is very popular in my neighborhood. There is a neighborhood black cat that has knocked off the top of my birdbath and it has been replaced several times. I love to sit on my back porch and watch who comes by for a drink or a bath. The Robins particularly love it.
American Robin

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Travels With Carol, Paris

Wonderful Paris, the most beautiful city in the world! Mid-nineties saw my friends Susan, William and myself in Paris. We were there for a week and saw all the sights, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Versailles, and much more but the things that I remember most are the sights and sounds of this fabulous city. The musician, as seen above, is just an example. Buying my small painting in Montmartre, visiting the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, looking for a bottle of Baileys on the left bank, being lured into a Greek restaurant , also in the left bank and the aperitif served everywhere are all what comes to mind right now. Bill and I took to hanging out at a Irish Pub (of all things) that was across from out hotel in La Halle. Anyway it is the small things that I remember about the trip and my aching feet....we walked miles everyday.
Susan, me, being very happy, and Bill
Here I am at Chopin's was so beautiful with all fresh flowers. this is the cemetery, the name escapes me now, that Jim Morrison's grave is located. The grave site had two guards.... the bust had already been stolen. The best cemetery with so many famous people buried there.
Wow, I will never forget all the wonderful desserts...this was taken at the lovely restaurant at the D'orsay which has many of the impressionists paintings and Rodin sculptures. We spend half a day there. The restaurant itself was a work of art.
This is a boat similar to the one we took at night...dinner boat. As we traveled down the Seine each landmark was spotlighted...wonderful. 
One of the highlights of the trip was this beautiful woman singing a French song to add to a wonderful night. Note the Japanese group in the background. They were having a great time and took a liking to Susan and at the end of the night they all came to hug her like she was a celebrity. Even my Japanese son-in-law couldn't figure out what that was all about.
I have such great memories from my life and I am so lucky to have had all these great experiences.
All photos were taken with a 35 mm film camera and after scanning, I'm afraid the quality is poor.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Buckles and Buttons

 These are some of my Grandmother's buttons and buckles that I recently came across when cleaning out a closet. My Grandmother sewed most of here own clothes (as well as the predictable Christmas PJs for us). She only bought a dress (and that's all she wore were dresses) for special occasions ie: weddings or funerals. She wore print cotton dresses with an apron for every day wear. She always made her own belts that matched the dress material and these are some buckles.

 It seems to me that buttons sometimes made the outfit. Some of them are so pretty.....nothing like the boring buttons of today.

This one is pretty with a wheat design around the edge. There is still thread attached. Makes me wonder what the story behind this button was and what kind of garment it came from.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mom's Sewing Book

 I got this sewing book from my Mom's library after she passed. I love looking through it and love the fashion from the 40's. The copyright on the book is 1943...I was one at that time. In the above photo are things that I have of my Mom's....her sewing box, old needles and buttons and an old picture that was in a locket.
 Someone would have to be a pretty good sewer to make these undies and nightclothes.
 My Mom did a bit of sewing and taught me how to sew as well. I remember all the trouble her Singer gave her...the closest that my Mom ever came to swearing.
Once, when I was about 14 or 15, she made me a dress out of dotted Swiss....white with small red dots.It was my Sunday dress.

 I love this...making two new dressed out of two old dresses....I wonder if clothes were rationed during the war.

I have a picture so similar to this of my Mom's bridge group. I think it was taken by a family friend, John Farcas, who was a professional photographer. I am going to have to try and find it. All the ladies are gone second cousin who was in the bridge club, Nora Moga, just passed away last week....she was 96.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Eagle Walk Two

 We saw 4 Bald Eagles this morning on our walk. The weather was the 40s and the sun actually came out (snow tomorrow). The eagles, unfortunately were far off because there was no ice on the lake.  We had one that did fly fairly close. Had  lunch with Bernie, Inge and Linda from our Crack O' Dawn club and Barb and Mary Jo from my photography group....enjoyed being with everyone!
 Five Mute Swans and a fleet of American Coots
 There are two Eagles in this tree....get out your magnifying glass to see them ;-)

 A winter's day on Lake Erie

Friday, January 8, 2016

Eagle Watch

This is a not so good picture that I took of an American Bald Eagle being dive bombed by a group of blackbirds. Took this on a Crack O' Dawn walk in October. Anyway, to my point, I am going on an Eagle walk tomorrow at Lake Erie Metropark. Hope we see some Eagles and have an opportunity to get some shots.
Also called today to get some information regarding shooting some photos at St. Joseph's and Sweetest Heart of Mary. I guess St. Joseph's is only open when there is a Mass so that is limiting and it will have to be a sunny day to shoot at Sweetest Heart as there are no lights on. Something to think about and it requires some planing.

Holidays at the Conservatory

In the conservatory at Belle Isle there are several different "rooms". There is the tropical room, the cactus room. the fernery, and the main room that is under the big dome. In this room the plants are changed out seasonally and for the Christmas it was planted with Poinsettias. There were several beautiful varieties. Coming up soon they will plant Cyclamen and Kalanchoe. It is my favorite room to just sit and enjoy.
All the Poinsettia pictures that I took, I think that I can use for the holidays next year.