Thursday, July 31, 2014

Been There! Done That!

Okay, I am ready for something new. 

Facebook is old hat!

Pinterest is no fun!

Blogging (both writing and reading) is boring!

Hometalk is not necessary!

Candy Crush is passé!

It must be August. 

This summer vacation is no fun at all! 

Time to go 

Source (

New clothes!

New shoes!

New friends!

New books and supplies!

New teachers!

New school year!

(Oops, I got all caught up in these thoughts. I stopped doing this school stuff six years ago when I retired. Somehow it just stays in my blood, and it all began 60 years ago when I entered 1st grade.)


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Too Hot to Set

To set fruit, that is!

My cucumbers in our raised veggie beds are not producing fruit, so I suspected what I had learned in my Master Gardener's class about hot weather and some tomatoes. For some sorts of tomato plants, really hot weather causes the fruit not to set.

But our tomatoes were just fine during the month of June. In fact, I got sort of sick of them. The freezer is full of blanched whole ones, tomato juice, and tomato sauce. 

Now I want cukes! And squash! And eggplant!

What I read this morning is that cucumbers may have trouble "setting" in hot weather. It has something to do with the plant producing only male flowers, and that means no cross pollination by those big bumble bees. 

And not many cukes for my special salad dressing. But you can try this dressing on coleslaw.

Sweet and Sour Dressing 
(for thinly sliced cukes or coleslaw)
1 cup Blue Plate Mayo
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8-1/4 teaspoon table salt

Mix all four ingredients. 

Pour over 4 cups thinly sliced (I use a Dutch cheese cutter) peeled cucumber or thinly sliced white cabbage.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Serve cold.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Watch Your Grammar

Thanks, Em, for letting me know about this newest video from Weird Al Yankovic.

If I were still teaching 7th grade English/Language Arts, memorizing this would be in my curriculum.
Click Here for Word Crimes

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Anne Fogarty at the Local Charity Shop

When I saw the signature on the scarf, I knew I had found something special.

Not the Vera scarf that my blog friend Jill at A Little Bit of Everything always mentions that she has found, but an Anne Fogarty designer scarf.

For 50 cents, who could go wrong? It looks (and smells) like it has never been used, but Jill gave me advice about cleaning it. ("I always handwash the scarves when I bring them home, in baby shampoo - I read them somewhere so that's just what I do, then I hang to dry and iron.")

Never heard of Anne Fogarty? After a little detective work, I found a great  bio of Anne Fogarty on Fuzzy Lizzie.

(Photo Source: Curate )

And then I found this article The Resurrection of Anne Fogarty published in  Curate  one week ago! Writer Erin Hazelton has included lots of photos in her article, too.

(Photo Source: Curate)

So Anne Fogarty style clothes are going to try to make a comeback, but I have an original signature scarf probably from the 60's.

A start of a new collection? 

Or was this just luck to find something stylish out here in the boondocks?

Friday, July 25, 2014

DPP (Deceased People's Photographs)

My followers know that our home is filled with DPS (deceased people's stuff). Perhaps that is a crude name for antiques and vintage goods, but it is what it is. 

Our family DPS is precious to us, while the other DPS is just interesting. Why else would my nieces say our home is like a museum? ;) Visit Wetcreek Museum.

Most of the DPS that we inherited from my hub's parents is special mostly because my MIL rescued it from her in-laws' home in The Netherlands before the Nazis took over their home during WWII. That situation deserves another blogpost that I may or may not share on this blog. Better make sure I get all of my facts straight first on that one, since I do have family followers.

But today I am piggy-backing (linking) with my blog friend Paulette at Cheerful Thrifty Door  and discussing her question on family photographs. This is her question: 
"Should old family photos be given to the person who is in the picture or their decendents or is a scanned copy good enough?"

Interestingly enough, my hub and I were pleasantly surprised to receive a large package of very old family photographs in the mail a week or so ago. The sender was the former husband of my hub's deceased cousin who passed away almost three years ago. 

Knowing that Hub's cousin had at one time several years ago shuffled through Opa's old suitcase that my MIL had rescued from the Nazi occupied home during the War and kept hidden under the bed in the guest room, we assume that some of the photos we received last week had finally been returned home to the collection from the suitcase. (Only an assumption!) 

Amongst the mostly century old photos of my hub's grandparents were a couple of photos of my hub as a baby or as a young child. We are especially pleased to have those. Plus, there were photos of persons we can't identify (no names scribbled on the back). 

In any case, we are thrilled to have the photos. And Hub scanned them immediately so that we can share.

As for Paulette's question, I personally believe that the old photos should be made readily available to everyone in the family who wants a copy. We have spent hours and hours sorting through DPP's and preparing envelopes to give to my husband's family members. We made sure that before we gave them away that we digitalized the ones we wanted to keep in our digital collection.

So, Paulette, I am glad you scanned your husband's photos, but at least your children should have received the original photos. 

Is it too late to ask for them?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fourteen Boxes of Kleenex

Parents of school age kids better start shopping. School year 2014-2015 is just around the corner.

Nice way to ruin your summer! Just seeing the school supply lists in Walmart on Monday ruined mine!

From the very first moment I entered the classroom as a teacher back in 1970, parents were asking what was on my supply list. Duh! What do you usually need for an English/Language Arts class? The three P's: pen, pencil, and paper. (2014: Add one more P-- iPad)

Due to extreme pressure from our administration and fellow colleagues, I eventually added colored pencils, markers, notecards, erasers, pencil sharpeners, locker caddies, glue sticks, etc. But never tissues or paper towels!!

My last year of teaching in 2007-2008 at a rural Louisiana public school, I did not have to make a supply list. The school did it for all of the 7th grade teachers. The list was extensive, but I guess it eliminated the duplication of markers, glue sticks, etc.  

On the second day of school, several students from another homeroom came to my classroom with 14 boxes of unopened tissue of various brands. The first student stated, " This is your Kleenex supply for the year for your 7th graders." Now what does a teacher do with 14 boxes of tissue? I waited until my 11th graders came to my class the next hour, and the tall guys stacked the boxes neatly way up high on top of the coat closet. Nice view for the rest of the year, but no one cared. 

And when I retired at the end of that school year, there was not one single box of tissue left on top of the closet. 

Great addition to my list of P's --Paper products.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We Aren't That Thrifty!

OK, I meant "cheap." We aren't that cheap!

Living remotely has caused us to be more sustainable in our daily life. Neither of us is always happy with that, but we manage. At least for the time being.

My cleaning girl disappeared from the face of the Earth after she told me she was pregnant. She came once after we returned from vacation last spring, and then never showed up again. Nor did she phone to say she couldn't come back. My neighbor warned me that I shouldn't expect much. Maybe I should have listened so I would not have been so disappointed.

But the last four days I have cleaned our house. No applause. I saved some money and got a good workout in the deal. And for the time being a clean house. (Downstairs, anyway!)

Then there was the kitchen faucet story. Last week I phoned several plumbers after we received our Amazon order of a new faucet. Some never picked up their phone. One said he was "backed up" and didn't know when he could "come out" (minimum cost $75). The answering machine for still another plumber said, "Our mailbox is full. Please hang up." 

But one company said they were busy for a couple of days, but they would call first before coming out. That was one week ago. I did call back on Friday to remind them we were still waiting. (They charge $70 an hour beginning when they leave their business--35 minutes distance from here.) Their dispatcher said, "Maybe Tuesday? And you live where? Oh, that might be difficult."

So over the weekend my dear Hub got out the tools, put on his headlamp, and crawled under the farmhouse sink to dismantle the old and set in the new faucet. YouTube said it was EASY. 

Long story short, it wasn't easy. The water hoses from the new faucet were too short (trip into town yesterday for parts), he had to add a piece of wood underneath the cabinet to get a snugger installment, and then accidentally disconnected the worn plastic drainpipe to the sink. We just stopped that side of the sink up with the drain stopper.

The faucet works! The drainpipe leaks, but that can be fixed with a new rubber ring. 

So what did we save this week? 

Our own sanity and a lot of headaches dealing with people who do not want to work!

 (Update: When I called the plumber just now to check to see if she had received my cancellation call message from last night, she thanked me for calling to cancel. Am I missing something here?)