Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Is It Here... Yet?"

West New York Park

Are the falling leaves drifting by your window yet?  Not mine!  The Autumn leaves of red and gold?  Nope!  If it's an evergreen-they're forever green, otherwise, they turn brown, fall, and crumble to the ground.  So I found this cool Autumn picture to post and dream of Autumn as I see it.  Well, I can't expect my Mulberry and Pecan leaves to turn red and gold.  And I do feel blessed that the birds and the squirrels can enjoy the mulberries in the spring and the pecans in the winter.  I also enjoy the year round beauty of the Photinias, which do produce glossy red tips in early spring.  We have a lovely Cherry Laurel that puts on deep purple berries and and cream colored blossoms.  The birds stay busy flying in and out of this tree throughout the year-that's a joy to watch.  So, I'll not complain too much.  Because of what we do have, some of God's beautiful creatures can survive and are protected from harsh elements.

The much-recorded song Autumn Leaves was originally a French song "Les Feuilles Mortes" with lyrics by poet Jacques Prevert.  In my highschool girls' glee club, we performed this song at several programs under the direction of  Mr. Charles Olson-who taught us how to appreciate every note put into a song.

Thank you so much for stopping by...thank you for your heartwarming comments.  I hope you continue to be entertained and also find the contents interesting-AND SOMETIMES FUNNY!   If you noticed the YouTube strip with three clips on it that says "3 Home Videos",  or something like that, just click on the one in the middle of the strip.  It should say Don't Be Cruel-Eastridge cover.  That is my husband Karo and my home recording of the song by -"who else"?  Karo sings lead and joins me in singing backup too.  He is playing guitar and I am on keys/accompaniment.  This is one of the fun things we like to do-"MAKE FOOLS OF OURSELVES!"  No, really, it's hard work recording a song.  The good artists like "who else?" really do earn their money!

And now, I'll leave you with a couple of Autumn thoughts...I'm afraid my old pal Mark Twain is on holiday right now.  However, I am reading a great book written about him called "Twain's Feast" .  I don't think he'll mind til next time.

"It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life."  ~P.D. James~

"Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter."  ~Carol Bishop Hipps~ 

Oh, by the way-I wanted to mention-invite anyone who has drawn or painted an autumn picture, please feel free to email it to me and I will proudly replace my West New York Park picture with your artwork!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Old News is Sometimes Good News!" ** May 5, 1961 **

My mother recently sent me this newspaper article that she had saved since 1961.  When I was in 7th grade at Argentine Jr., Sr. High School, our Homemaking class hosted a Tea for our mothers in May, and the theme was "Famous Mothers".  May J. McGuire, the "Lookin' Around" columnist for the The Kansas City Kansan newspaper was a special guest at our tea.  Her article compliments our serving table, good manners, and appearance.  She writes that I had introduced her to my mother at the tea, but they had actually met years before through an organization known as The Naturalization Council of Kansas City, Kansas.  This group was founded in 1946 as a tool to help foreign born citizens adapt to the American way of life.  Many of these war brides were from China, Japan, Korea, India, Ecuador and Germany.  The Council's specific focus was to help them to achieve a speaking knowledge of English, and obtain a reasonable understanding of our democratic form of government,  national, state and local.  They also offered classes in English and other social skills.  The Council would give a Christmas party and a Tea every year for these families and their children.  Ms. McGuire interviewed my mother, who was born and raised in India in a later column in February of 1963, and mentioned that since my mother had been educated in an English school in India, she did not have quite the language barrier as those who did not speak English well.  My mother told Ms. McGuire that if it hadn't been for the goodness of the founder of the Council, Mrs. Mary Parker, she might have gone back to India.  They encouraged my mother to take secretarial courses, thus enabling her to obtain employment.  The Council did make my mother feel at home here, through their fellowship and encouragement.

And now, back to our tea for our Famous Mothers!  Ms. McGuire spoke very highly of us girls in her column.  We served punch, cakes and nuts.  We used a lace tablecloth with an "exquisite" arrangement of lilacs, jonquils and tulips on the table.  Each guest was registered and received a name tag.

A bulletin board was on display with pictures of babies showing different emotions, laughing, crying, etc.  Our main course of study in this class was caring for, feeding and nurturing babies.  Our classmate Janelle Perkins co-ordinated this bulletin board and Ms. McGuire said it was "very clever".  Connie Riley, who was the refreshment chairperson, is also credited with having the original idea for the tea.  Mary Howser was chairman for invitations, Linda Smith for the name tags, and Suzanne Berry was hostess chairman.

And by the way, our teacher for this class was Miss Anne Long!

I apologize for the small, kinda hard-to-read article.  I tried to make it bigger and easy for 60+ year old eyes to read!!!  But I am proud my mother had saved it so we can enjoy it now!
  Thanks Mom for the GREAT OLD NEWS!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Bumper Crop": A particularly productive, unusually large harvest!

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Just had to show these off! After nursing, watering and tying up 15 tomato plants all summer, we yielded about six of these tomatoes.  They were harvested from healthy plants that towered 6 to 7 feet high-guaranteed to produce one pound tomatoes!  My husband Karo says, "That's it!  No more tomatoes!  I'm not planting anymore!"  But, he said that 2 years ago when we got the same results.  I think he can do it next year, don't you?

Tomorrow is the last day to vote on my survey for the two famous Indian Rivers...of course, no one has voted yet!  I guess I'll beg some more and then try again.  I can't give away prizes, but I can give the winner honorary mention on my blog! (That is, if you reveal your name as a voter!)

And I have a couple of new and exciting posts coming up soon.  Can't wait for a lot of work to do, heh?

Our Grandson Shawn will be spending the weekend with us, so we'll be pretty busy.  I gave him an apple the other nite and he really enjoyed it.  Wish I could have gotten a picture of it.  But, ALAS!  I have more apples-and practice makes perfect.

I'll leave you tonite with a phrase from Anderson Maxwell's "September Song"

"But it's a long, long while from May to December, and the days grow short when you reach September"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

** K C 's Western Auto Neon Sign ** My Childhood Nite Lite!

Did you ever have trouble sleeping at night as a kid?  I did!  Was the bedroom too dark for comfort?  You bet!  Well, as a kid growing up in Kansas City on what I still believe to be the highest hill in the city, there were many sights to see and wonder about at night.  And one of the grandest sights ever, and certainly the best night light a kid could ever have, was the neon light on top of the Western Auto building in Kansas City, Missouri.  It was located approximately 5-6 miles Northeast of our area in Argentine, Kansas and my sister, brother, and I could see it from our bedroom window and backyard.  We would just sit and watch the white arrow go around the sign, disappear and come back around again.  I had the pleasure of having my bed right by that particular window, so I was able to enjoy it on my own when everyone else was asleep.  And in the summer, we would lay across my little bed on our stomachs with the window open and just gaze through the window screen at that marvelous sign. What a conversation piece!  We thought we could count the bulbs going around the sign-all 2,500 of them, or how many times in an hour could the arrow go around the sign!  We really didn't know how many bulbs there were, but trying to figure it out killed time on many a warm summer night.   My sister Leta says she always wondered how we were able to see it, when we were in Kansas and the building was downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  Who knew! 

This building, 95 years later, having been built in 1915, still stands glorious and proud with the neon sign still active every night.  It is no longer the retail store that was a mail order house for auto parts, bicycles and tires.  It has been renovated and now houses tenants in it's high-end lofts.  The Western Auto brand name was discontinued after nearly a century of business.  My sister and niece have been inside the building recently, and Leta says you never have to leave-everything you need is right there.  Well, I'm proud to know that an icon from my childhood still exists and functions today.  And I'll bet that another child or children who may be living on my old street in Kansas are gazing and marveling at this old night light.  "ZZZZZZ!"

If you'll look off to the right at the top of my sidebar, you will find a YouTube strip showing some video of this famous sign!
Don't miss my Kansas City July 2009 slideshow.  We took Mom to the Union Station for a tour and had a fun time.  The architecture was spectacular!  And the trains brought back many memories.  The "Milwaukee Road" stood proud (dusty, but proud).  We used to ride that train from Chicago to Milwaukee to visit my aunt and uncle.  We also got some pictures of Franklin Elementary school I attended, and my high school, along with some pictures of our church too.  It was a great trip!

 I guess by now you've spotted a new survey on my sidebar...well, I call it a sidebar.  I really don't know what they call the righthand column on a blog.  Maybe I ought to ask someone!  Anyway, there are two choices ONLY on this survey, and the polls are open until 8:00 PM on Citizenship Day which is observed Friday, September 17, 2010.  I'm counting on a big may have to do a little research though.  I mean, step up to the challenge!

If you're wondering about the two cats in the Indian Summer quote, "Spicey" is on top deck and "Krash" is in the cockpit.  Sadly, both of these delightful pets have passed on, but we do have some memorable photos of them.