Friday, February 25, 2011

Front And Back Bounty!

Dress Rehearsal for February 18, 2011
"Full Snow Moon"

Photo taken by Suzanne * February 16,  2011

In my quest to capture a full moon at SOME POINT in my life, and-after years of  disappointing moon shots, I finally managed to get this shot of the pre-"full Snow Moon" that would make it's appearance on February 18th, two days later.  Somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 pm, Karo and I were relaxing on the front porch with a cup of coffee, when I spotted this scene directly across the street, to the east of us.  The reason I'm not sure of the exact time of the photo is because my camera batteries had gone DEAD a week ago, and I FORGOT TO CHANGE THE TIME AND DATE, SO IT SAYS SOMETHING LIKE 3 O'CLOCK AM IN THE YEAR OF 2050!!!  Ok, you can imagine my excitement, and then tripping over Karo's feet to get to the door and into the house after the CAMERA!!!  And, in the end, I did not expect to get any acceptable results, but VOILĂ€!   My first acceptable moon shot! 

 Karo got this one!  Cool, huh?

Of course, the "Full Snow Moon" was so named by the Indians of the North and the East, because the snows are more frequent and heavier during  the month of February.  The brutal cold weather made hunting more difficult, and some also called this moon the "Full Hunger Moon".  Nevertheless, we were very pleased to have captured this moon when we did.  You can even see some of the detail in the moon-it was still light outside and this moon was so bright and clear. 

Saturday afternoon on the day of February 19, 2011

The weather was beautiful, and Karo has actually been sick for a few days with sinusitis and horrible ear infection in both ears!  So we're laying low, but sitting out front, once again, to some to get fresh air and relax.  Our Cherry Laurel puts on berries, (sorry-no cherries) in the fall that turn real dark throughout the winter.  And the birds love to spend the winter months in and out of that tree feeding.  The most common bird to visit that tree is the scissortail, but they are so fast, it's hard to get pictures of them.  However, on this day, we noted two bluejay hanging around the tree.  So, up and thru the door I went after the camera.  The two Jays would jump in and out of the tree, and one spent some time on the ground beneath the tree. 

What a Prize!
Photo taken by Karo * February 19, 2011

What can I say?  These two birds weren't as large as most that come thru our yard.  Maybe they're young...I don't know what the babies look like, or how they grow.  Neverthless, they were beautiful!

Going forward, or rather backward, to the back yard, on Sunday afternoon I decided to mull around out back to see if I could find any photo-worthy subjects.  Not a whole lot going on this time of year, but the daffodils are coming up-just the foliage for now.  And I noticed loads of dandelions in various patches throughout the yard, some had busy bees scouting them out.  Here is one such hard worker.

Photo taken by Suzanne * February 20, 2011

Farther back, I was just looking around, down and up-up and down.  All was so quiet, but finally, I spotted these!!!

Photos taken by Suzanne * February 20, 2011

Ahh, peace on earth-well, or on tree!  These docile dove were all roosting and basking in the sun from this tree.  Oh yeah, they knew I was down there looking up, and they didn't care!  A few would fly out and then back in to a different roost.  Sometimes I would count 6 and 7 of them-so mesmerized by them, I'm surprised I even got these shots.  And I was pleased.  The dove frequent our backyard and visit our larger birdbath.  They take turns at it, and generally congregate by twos.  They are very considerate of each other, not bickering or hogging the birdbath.   I try to coo softly when I see them, and they always look at me, but don't fly off like so many birds do.  They're probably laughing too hard at me to be able to fly-"what is that foolish woman doing, coo-cooing?"  No, I think they really appreciate me and the water and mulberries in the spring that I generously provide.  And I appreciate their visits.  They are gracious guests.

Look who's stopping by!

 My Great Niece Chloe * 19 months old 

Here is Chloe on February 23rd, saying Happy Birthday to my sister, who is also her Grandmother.  Chloe's mom, Erica, who is my niece, caught this happy picture in the morning to send to my sister.  And my mom, the "Grand Nana", forwarded it on to me.  What a great way to start a birthday!

And, now, I would like to send you to my sidebar, just underneath the Margarita picture at the top, to my latest survey.  There is only one answer-just click one the one that you think is right.  I think the poll is open until March 12, 2011.  Just one try!  That's all it takes, and no one has to know unless you want me to tell!

Last week one of my blogmates offered up a quote that has been on my mind ever since I read it.  There are a lot of quotes out there with real meaning.   And, of course, I think I have to try to find the meaning and read between the lines.  It gets easier, you know.  Just follow the path and you'll see.  I don't think Laura at forestwalkart (link on my sidebar) will mind if I use one of her quotes just this once.  Afterall, I think she meant for the quote to be shared.  Thank you, Laura.

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see."
~David Thoreau


My humble thanks to all who contribute
And a Huge Thank You to my readers!

My cool husband, Karo
The Birds and the Bees! (ha ha)
My great-niece Chloe (how to type french accents)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February Birthdays Sign Out and March On!

George Washington before the Battle of Trenton
painting by John Trumbull

George Washington was our first United States President from the year 1789 until 1797.  He was born in Virginia, unto a wealthy tobacco farming family on February 22, in the year of 1732.  He was an outstanding military commander, holding the army together, even under defeat, and his diligence as a soldier and leader paved the way to his eventual Presidency.

I guess George Washington's most notorious success was during the brutal cold winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge, Pensylvania when he led his army to victory over the British.  President Washington was commander in chief of the Continental Army and became known as "The Father of His Country".  In 1787, he presided over the writing of the U.S. Constitution.

And, by the way, his teeth (dentures) weren't made of wood as I had read years ago.  The story I remember from years past was that Paul Revere also practiced at dentistry and built President Washington's wooden dentures!  But now I learn that his first dentures were constructed of animal and human teeth by an American dentist Dr. John Greenwood.  It is said that donkey, horse and cow teeth were used along with elephant ivory.  George (may I call him George?) lost his teeth at an early age and it is reported that he actually had 3 sets of false teeth, and that they were very uncomfortable.

Behind his grim appearance as in most of his photos, George is said to have been an exciting man, full of adventure, and at 6' 3" tall, he was very athletic.  Well, we know he was an avid horseman.  He also enjoyed farming, and owned a distillery which did produce it's first batch of  special beverage in 1797.  And, oh yeah, the Cherry Tree incident of his childhood is still up for debate.  It seems, we're still not sure he really chopped down his father's tree.  One cold, snowy and freezing rainy day in December of 1799, George Washington   made his usual rounds about his farms on horseback.  Later that day he developed a sore throat and became ill.  Two days later, he passed away at the age of 67.  The last words he spoke were "Tis Well". 

Thank you President George Washington for being our first President and working for what you truly believed would make our country it's finest!    

Benjamin W. Trammell, February 22. 1921 ~ August 16, 1995
Karo's father, Benjamin "Bennie" Trammell, was a self-made businessman.  He was born in Boonesville, Texas, and grew up there and around Balzora, TX.  Bennie and Karo's mother Dorothy Ryan married in the early 1940's, during which time he served in the US Navy in World War II and took up residence in Bridgeport, Texas, not too far from where Bennie grew up.  Somewhere around 1954, Bennie and Dorothy opened up a small frozen custard and hamburger stand called "Trammell's Custard Stand", which was later named "What a Burger" (ironic, huh?).  But the name fit because Bennie was very well known for his burgers, and, the townspeople who are still there, still talk of them today.  They lived in a single trailer on the same property as the Custard stand with their two young sons, Danny and Karo.  The little Custard stand burned down and they built a larger eat-in cafe on the property behind the old Custard stand and called it "Frontier Cafe".   Here is a picture of the "Frontier Cafe" taken in 1961.
You can see the old Highway Patrol car and a few other older vehicles parked around the cafe.  Karo's parents employed up to 28 people in their cafe.  Saturdays were always very busy because there was a cattle auction barn next to the cafe.  Bennie would put on large pots of chili for the customers who would stop by after leaving the auction-the chili was the champ in the winters and they sold a lot of it.  Karo and his brother Danny would work most weekends in the cafe peeling potatoes and working the register.  There was always plenty of food to go around during the week too. Karo and his friends would rush in during the school year for lunch,  and Bennie would get the plate lunches (.65 cents) ready with chicken fried steak potatoes and rolls for the school kids.  Of course, his burgers and fries were always in high demand, along with the frozen custard that you could get in cones or sundaes. 
Karo's dad, Bennie liked to work on old cars and restore them.  I guess that's where Karo got his abilities from to be a mechanic for most of his life.  Bennie would take the family on vacation to Kansas and other parts of the Midwest, even Colorado & Florida, find an old car at the back of someone's property, buy it, and bring it back to Texas to restore.  He also enjoyed collecting antiques and old frontier items to display in the cafe.  He had a large collection of spoons and guns on display inside the cafe.  Aside from working seven days a week, Bennie also enjoyed boating and rattlesnake hunting. 

Bennie's 1924 Buick Roadster
Karo sitting to your right & brother Danny sitting to your left with cousin looking on

Bennie was born somewhere in the middle of 8 brothers and 5 sisters, one brother is still living.  He stayed very busy with his family, cafe, and-oh yes, a Goodyear tire store.  He also did some farming when he could. 

Above are two pictures of Karo's dad while in the Navy.
A very handsome sailor!

I never got to meet my father-in-law, Bennie Trammell.  He passed away in 1995 before Karo and I started dating.  He just sounds like such a great guy-I know I would have been fascinated with him (and his burgers!).  He was very well liked by his customers and the community of Bridgeport.  And his family misses him terribly.  But his Birthday is still remembered and acknowledged!   


Other Famous February 22nd Birthdays include:
composer Frederick Chopin born in 1810
actor Robert Young born in 1907
Senator Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy born in 1932

Paige Hicks ~ February 23, 1962

Photo taken by Suzanne November 11, 2010
Downtown Fort Worth, Texas

This cute lady is my boss Paige.  She was born and raised in Texas.  I first met her in 2007 when she came to work at our office as the Operations Manager.  She had originally been with our firm since 1988 (she was just a pup then) in our San Angelo branch.  I think she left after about 15 years, went to another firm for a few years, and then made her way to Fort Worth with her beautiful family.  I'm glad she stopped by our office in 2007-we were in need of a fresh face with an energetic presence.   Paige oversees all of the staff, about 25 of us brats (whining and complaining all the time).  And she manages to keep a smile on her face.  She is very knowledgeable and always jumps in to help when needed-even totes boxes and furniture around!  And this woman is the "Real Deal Cowgirl"!  She and her family, (husband Johnny, 2 beautiful daughters and one handsome son) are rodeo folks-they have horses, ride in rodeos, and attend week-long trail rides annually in San Antonio, Texas.  Paige and her family have participated in roping, barrel racing, and her son has been a part of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Assn., competing in barebacking riding.  Paige even helps raise barns and bales hay.  Her western clothes are stylishly rugged and she wears the coolest boots (that is, when we're allowed to wear jeans or western wear to work)!  You come to Texas to see cowboys, and they're not just out on the streets strolling around.  Sometimes they're right under your nose and you have to read between the lines to spot the REAL ones!  Paige enjoys riding horses, photography, and scrapbooking.  As you can see, I caught her eating her favorite taco salad that is served on Thursdays at Alonti Cafe in the tower connected to our building. 


And who do we have here?

Leta E. Berry Brewer ~ February 23, 1947
photo taken by our brother, Stan Berry, somewhere around 1975

This is my sister, Leta.  Now that's a head of hair, don't you think?  At some point she was able to sit on her hair and it reached the hem of her skirts.  Just don't know how she lugged so much hair around for so many years.  But, she had a lot of it, no doubt, and it was a great conversation piece.  Now she wears her hair short and I often try to picture her with shoulder length hair, or a little longer.

Well, I've been blabbing on about various Birthdays in February-now, I'm down to my sister, and I'm at a loss for words.  What can I say?  That she was the coolest in my eyes?  That I would try to fashion myself after her?  YES!!! It's true!!!  Leta was very well liked in school by everyone, even as quiet as she was.  She dressed very cool and her hair was always styled WITH STYLE!  She is the oldest of us three kids, and "Who's the Boss?"  You guessed it.  My brother and I would jump at her commands-sure, we would sneak around and try to antagonize her at times, but, we both wanted to be her best friends.  She knew all of the latest songs and artists, and kept up with all of the latest dances.  But, she was very private too.  On a lighter note regarding her privacy, I remember when Leta was about 13 or 14, she somehow acquired the paperback book "The Carpetbaggers".  She didn't want mom to know she was reading that book, so she hid it in her sock drawer.  Sometimes I would walk into our room and she would be standing at her chest of drawers with the top drawer open-I'm sorry...this is still hilarious to me!  But she would read the book from inside of the drawer, and if anyone walked in, she could close the drawer real fast.  I'm sure mom knew about it-I hope I'm not tattling after all these years. OOPS!!!  But Leta, I swear, I never did tell mom back then, okay?  And, Leta still loves to read today.  When school would let out for the summer, mom would get us kids involved in the summer reading programs at the public library in our town.  And you got rewards for reading a certain amount of books per week.  Leta would read and read and read.  I would read some, but spent more time outdoors-just couldn't stay interested then.  I do love to read now, tho.   And in her high school years, Leta went to work for that very same library in Argentine, Kansas.  That library is still there today, and I understand it is currently undergoing renovations.   

Leta is also a very good artist.  She participated in the art program in High School and even attended the Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri.  She would draw dress designs in her spare time, but most of her work was abstract drawings of buildings and city scenes.  On October 15, 2010, I posted a story titled 
"Haunt...Haunted? Haunted!".  At the beginning of my post, I featured a chalk drawing of the Sauer Castle in Kansas City, Kansas that is presumably haunted.  My sister did this drawing.  It was entered in an Art Fair at our High School and she did win a ribbon.  I've always admired that drawing, maybe in part because I got to watch her work on it.  I think that's why today, I still appreciate drawings such as this one. The pencil sketch comes first-and I think she made more than one sketch.  I was always fascinated with the way she could blend her colors and manipulate the shading just right.  I've had the honor for quite a few years of hanging this piece in the entryway of my home.  Leta also did a very large chalk portrait of the nativity scene, which was later displayed in the Argentine Public Library where she worked.  My mother still has that drawing-it was admired by all who saw it.  She also dabbled a little in copper jewelry making and did a few modern art sculptures.  She is also a fabulous seamstress (and so is mom).  I sang with our High School Choir at Leta's graduation and wore a really nice dress she had made-I especially liked it because she put small zippers at the end of the sleeves! 

                        Two sisters at Easter in the 50's   And here we are I think, in 1977
                         And mom made these dresses!             Mom took this picture

Me and Leta in July 1999~both with short hair!
And I mean short!!!

Well, I could probably write a book-but I have to get this post on soon!  Leta has one beautiful daughter, Erica and a gorgeous little granddaughter, Chloe, who is about 18 months old.  She currently lives in Shawnee, Kansas and works for a bank (I don't know which one).  Lately, she has had to shovel her way out of her carport thru mounds of snow just to get to work.  Leta enjoys going to art shows, garden shows and listening to music.  She has a cute little dog named Jenks, and I think, she still has a cat.  We are cat lovers, you know.  I don't get to see her very often, but when I do we have lots of fun and laugh a lot as we reminisce about our younger days.  Oh, and she did take accordian lessons when she was younger-she could play "Little Brown Jug"!  She was one of the first girls allowed to take drafting class in high school-it was generally a class the boys took.  She studied Latin for 4 years in high school and French in Junior College.  So, yes, I have always admired and loved my sister!

Happy Birthday Leta!

Here are some famous February 23rd Birthdays
Peter Fonda was born on February 23, 1939
Johnny Winter was born on February 23, 1944
Dakota Fanning was born on February 23, 1994


"Just checkin' out the beauties...makin' sure you do 'em justice!"
"I'm just an ole houn'dog ma'am".

Ok! OK!!!  I'll give you one plug, "E", and that's it-then you'll have to get off my post!  On Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1977, Elvis Presley "riveted" the ladies with his performance at the Hollywood Sportatorium in Hollywood, Florida.  It was reported that fights broke out amongst fans who were trying to get Elvis' autographs.  Elvis was 42 years old at the time.

Many Thanks to:

Since I'm not politically inclined, I declined to say much about our two great Presidents Abe Lincoln and George Washington political beliefs.  I have read about the accomplishments of both men and truly appreciate their efforts and contributions to our country.  In the interim, they were able to set some standards and goals for us to follow in our quest to be a thriving and proud country.  I am proud to be an American!

Hope everyone had a fun Valentine's Day-lots of flowers were sold last week!  Mine are still looking good, except a few petals are dropping off the white mums-drat!

"To the world you may be but one person,
 But to one person you may be the world."
by Kristen

Au revoir mes enfants!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February Birthdays are Back to Back!

Abraham Lincoln ~ February 12, 1809-April 15, 1865

Abraham Lincoln, born in Kentucky, was the 16th President of the United States of America.  He was one of our key founding fathers, and is highly recognized and celebrated, still, to this day.  President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and promoted the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery.  While attending a performance at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
He was the first President to be assassinated.


Arsenio Hall was born February 12, 1955
Joanna Kerns was born February 12, 1953

Robert E. Jones ~ February 13, 1929
Photo taken in Weatherford, TX on Thanksgiving Day 1992 

Bob Jones is the Bob I mention from time to time in connection with my mother.  He is my mother's husband of 36 years, which makes me about 25 years old when they married in October of 1974.  Stepfather is not a good enough name for Bob, since, he didn't have to put up with me as a kid.  So, I usually refer to him as a "parent", as he has always been there for my sister, brother and me.  I did make it for their wedding, and I must say, it was a very gala event!  The reception was at a large ballroom-lots of good music and dancing, of course!   Bob and mom met at a dance at the Flamingo Ballroom in Kansas City, Missouri, and are still dancing today (although a little slower, now, perhaps)!  Previously he had been a dance instructor, and mom had been a student of Arthur Murray's Dance Studio.  They danced their way to the altar!

Bob was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas-even graduated from the same high school I did-Argentine High School.  His father worked as an engineer for Santa Fe Railroad and Bob went to work there at a young age.  In 1948, Bob joined the Marines, serving in Korea and traveling to various other places.  After the Marines, he went back to Santa Fe Railroad in Kansas City as an engineer and was employed for 41 years.  That's a long time!  My son, Rusty, and I were visiting when he retired in the late 1980's, so we got to be a part of the celebration with my family.  Bob enjoys going for walks, photography, reading and cooking.  And he helps mom with her clubs and "Meals on Wheels'.  This guy can deliver the best southern style brunch you've ever rolled out of the sack for (eggs, tender red potatoes, ham, gravy, grits)!  I'm beginning to sound like Mark Twain heh,heh!  And he won't let us help him wash dishes.  So, I want to thank Bob for being a part of our family and wish this great man the best.


 When Bob retired, we took him to a cool restaurant with great music and a great Bellydancer!
Here's Bob and the dancer-he was a little bit shy, I think!
Bob, I hope you don't mind me posting this picture-it was a fun evening!

Mom and Bob dancing at the Alameda Hotel in Kansas City
May 1978

Other famous Birthdays for February 13th include:
Tennessee Ernie Ford * February 13, 1919
Kim Novak * February 13, 1933
George Segal * February 13, 1934

Time is running out, must go for now-will add a few more February Birthdays one day next week!  Thank you, my dear readers for strolling by.  It is reportedly 65 degrees in Forth Worth, TX today.

"There was a star danced, and under that, was I born."
~William Shakespeare

Don't forget to kiss your Valentine!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentines and Other Fuzzy Warm Greetings!

With Valentine's Day upon us, there will be ka-zillions of cards made and sold all over the world just for this occasion.  Is it possible that Valentines outsell Christmas Cards? Well, I couldn't find out much on this question, but according to, on February 14, 2010, Valentines ranked second.
  Here are just a few stats on the subject of Valentine Cards:
85% of Valentine Cards are purchased by women.
73% of flowers are purchased by men.
Children ages 6-10 will exchange 650 million Valentines
with teachers, families and classmates.
And teachers will receive the most Valentine Cards, followed by
children, moms, wives and sweethearts.
I only wish I had some of my old Valentines to show you-not that I got that many!  I kept some of my childhood Valentines from the 1950's and then felt stupid that I still had them in the 1980's, so I pitched them!  What a fool!!!  Who knew?  So, I am Valentine embarrassed (me-the lover of cards and old prints of anything).  But I did manage to come up with some pictures of vintage cards along with a little info, as a possible peace offering, so to speak.

Little Kids, Retro-Vintage Valentine Cards
This card is Precious!
Now, we all know that Valentine's Day got started in Ancient Rome by St. Valentine, a priest who would secretly marry couples before the soldiers went off to war.  You see, the emperor Claudius II denounced all engagements and marriages because he feared that the soldiers would not want to leave their women.  The emperor eventually caught St. Valentine, had him beaten and beheaded.  All of this took place on none other than Februrary 14th, in the year 270.  Having once been a paganistic event, St. Valentine's day of February the 14th was eventually replaced with a new, more romantic feast.  In the middle ages, it became more popular, as lovers spoke sentiments to one another, and sang songs professing their love.  And then somewhere around the 15th century, paper Valentines written with romantic love poetry were becoming more and more common.
The oldest Valentine in existence is currently on display in the British Museum.

Below are two Vintage Valentine Cards

                                                          British 1862 ~artist unknown

The early factory-made valentine cards in the 1800's were handpainted using black and white pictures, or silhouettes.  And later, paper lace and ribbon were incorporated into the designs. 

A Victorian Heart

 Victorian Valentine Clown Girl ~Ernest Nister 1890's

Esther Howland-Mother of the American Valentine

Esther Howland was inspired by a valentine she received from one of her father's business acquaintances.   And since her family owned the largest book and stationery store in Worcester, Massachusetts, she, being an artist, was able to convince her father that she could design and produce her own Valentines.  So her father ordered lace paper and other supplies and her brother incorporated some of her samples into his catalog to show on his sales trips.  Upon the return from one particular sales trip, her brother presented her with an excess of $5,000.00 in prepaid sales-she had to rent a building and engage a few of her best friends to get this business going.  Even after a knee injury that put her in a wheelchair somewhere around 1866, she continued for another 15 years to design and create her magnificent cards.  Miss Howland never married, but this lady led an exciting, romantic and prosperous life.  In her honor, The Greeting Card Association created the annual Esther Howland Award.

Two of Esther Howland's designs

 As kids in school, we would often make our own Valentines.  Every year, we would make Valentines for our mothers.  We used construction paper, almost always red with lace doilie-type paper to accentuate.  You could fold the construction paper in half and cut around, unfold, and VOILA!  you had a heart.  We wrote the greeting with black ink or crayon, or used cut out letters from construction paper glued on to the card.  You could layer the heart with the lace doilie, cut into a heart, and glue ribbon in the center.  The more layers you could create, the more interesting your valentine became.  We would also cut pictures out of magazines to glue onto our cards.   Below is an example of a handmade Valentine I found.

Then, we decorated our own mailboxes or mailbags for the Valentines we "might" receive.  We would wrap shoe boxes with decorative paper (sometimes we did our own artwork on plain paper and covered the box).  We also cut a slit in the lid of the shoe box for the Valentines to be inserted, and then decorated the lid.  And somewhere on the box we would put our names.  On Valentine's Day, our boxes would be on our desks, and the teacher would instruct a group of kids at a time to walk around and deliver their Valentines.  And, of course, someone would always get tripped along the way!  Got to have a clown in the class you know.  The shoe boxes looked a lot like this:

The other alternative was to decorate paper grocery bags for our Valentines to be dropped in, along with candy that some kids would bring.  The roommothers would also provide Valentine cookies and treats that would also go into our bags.  The teacher would hang the bags on the wooden rail that held the erasers and chalk at our chalkboard.  And, once again, a group at at time would line up and pass by the bags, dropping their Valentines into them.  All others still seated would watch to be sure everyone dropped a Valentine into his or her bag.  Although the grocery bags didn't have handles, they looked much like this:

And the Valentine's of my day looked a lot like this!

Here is a Hallmark Valentine Card from 1950
Having worked at the corporate headquarters of Hallmark Cards for over 5 years in the late 1960's, I saw thousands of cards daily.  I worked ON the cards-inspecting,cleaning, counting and folding.  For a couple of years I worked on the "cardboard folder" machines.  A guy would feed the flat cards into the large machine (there were two feeders), and they would come out folded.  Myself and another girl would stand across from each other and gather the cards coming out in 2 rows on a conveyor belt (one for each of us), stacking them as we picked them up.  And then we would transport the stack by hand into boxes that would hold several hundred cards, more or less, depending on their size.  Some cards are slippery from their glossy finish and we couldn't pick up too many at one time, but generally, we could pick up over 50 cards in one stack.  Yes, sometimes they buckled and flew out of our hands!  Oh, the operator would then have to stop the machine, much to his dismay, so we could pick them up.  The guys didn't like to stop the machines because if we got out a certain number of cards daily (over quota), there would be a bonus on their paychecks.  I also inspected cards for defects such as color distortion, dirt and ink ruboff.  We also had to be sure that the illustrations were on register, or centered on the card where they should be.  The Christmas Card rush would start in June of the year.  Sometimes we would get overtime, and, believe me, I welcomed that overtime pay!  They would send me up the street to an old building they called "Warehouse 13".  It must have been an early building for Hallmark production.  This building had the old wooden elevators with the gates you could see through.  It was here that the cards were actually personalized with the old type print method.  We could even make a plate with the client's actual signature for the card.  And I got to help print Clint Eastwood's Christmas cards one year.  I was allowed to keep one of Clint's cards and one that we did for Parnelli Jones'    This time of year was a lot of fun.  

Here is a vintage Valentine made in the USA

looks pretty retro, huh?  really cool card!
Valentine's Day always makes me think of the movie, "Thief of Hearts".  This movie came out in 1984, but I didn't see it until around 1988.  I rented the VHS tape-don't know why, because I had never heard of the movie-it just looked good, and, oh-it has nothing at all to do with Valentine's Day.  The only actor in this movie I recognize today is none other than Horatio Cain from "CSI Miami".  I didn't know who he was then, but he played a young redheaded punk thug in this movie. And I remembered him later as he appeared in more films and TV programs.  The film starred Steven Bauer, who appeared in "Scarface" as Al Pacino's buddy and has done a music video with the Eurythmics (and now, the light comes on).  Also, starring was Barbara Williams, who has appeared in various films, one with the late Corey Haim called "Watchers".  And John Getz starred in the film-he has appeared in many films and TV shows, "Killer Bees", "Men at Work", and has appeared on "How I Met Your Mother", and "Three's Company".
This was one of the most explosive and romantically (well, actually sexually) dangerous movies I've ever seen!  I've only seen it once, and never forgot it.  I don't know if I could see it again-I'm afraid of breaking the spell from the first time.  You feel the fear-and then, you feel the romance.  And I still don't know anyone personally who has seen this movie.  Please come forward if you've seen it and pinch me!  This movie is available at Amazon on DVD and still on VHS at various prices ranging from $29.95 -$100.00.

Here are just a few of the Valentine Cards I did save for my son, Rusty from the early 1980's when he was just a tyke!  I even have the little envelopes they came in!

This one is from Skipper Baker!  Too Cute!
This card was still sealed up in an envelope-yes, I was careful!

And here's one from Joe M.
I know, I know-these were little bitty kids!  He did get some from girls too!

And here he comes to save the day!
Superman himself!

This card was not signed on the back-but what a keepsake!

I must stop here and thank all of my contributors for saving my @#S, since I didn't even save one old Valentine from the 1960's to show:  *  *  *  *

And since I'm running late, I don't have any of my homemade cards printed yet to post.  I've made a nice one for my husband, who is my true Valentine!  He is the most romantic man I know.  And I've told him this.  We do exchange Valentine cards, and we buy flowers together.  This is a tradition of mine, though.  I started buying my own flowers-oh, I didn't order expensive bouquets to be delivered to me!!!  I would just go to the grocery store and buy the $5.00 bouquets, and I enjoyed them!  Now, we go together and get them.  And we either go out for dinner somewhere, or just fix something special-that's all I've ever wanted in a husband-the togetherness and the laughter the enjoyment brings. 

"love is a game that two can play and both win."
~Eva Gabor

Happy Valentine's Day to all of my readers!  Thank you for stopping by-I hope there was something  on this post that made you smile, laugh, or just plain learn something!  Happy Valentine's Day to my husband Karo, my mom and Bob, my sister Leta, my son Rusty and my little sweetie grandson valentine Shawn.