Thursday, December 19, 2019

CHRISTMAS COMES BUT ONCE A YEAR ---

AND WHEN IT COMES, IT BRINGS GOOD CHEER!

Oh! what a memory --- I was about 4 or 5 years old, and it was Christmas Eve at the Presbyterian Church.  We always had a children's program; and then Santa Claus would appear in the upstairs balcony coming off the roof through a window.  He would have a bag of candy for each child.  I was always excited.  This particular year in the program, I was to say the above little poem -- "Christmas comes but once a year, and when it comes, it brings good cheer".  Unfortunately, stuck in my mind was the wrong poem that my babysitter had taught me which I said instead.  "I'm a cute little girl with a cute little figure, stand back boys until I get a little bigger!"  Naturally, my parents and especially my staid  
grandparents were embarrassed beyond words.  My Sunday School teacher was flustered; the audience laughing continued; but I thought I was pretty cute oblivious to what I had just said.
Needless to say, a few words were delivered to me when we got home.  

Now celebrating my 82nd Christmas, it is a good thing that the Christmas season only comes once a year.  The excitement and work to prepare for December 25 is almost too much for this old body.  But, the good news is that we can celebrate the birth of Jesus every single day all year long!

Here are few photos from this years preparation and celebration. 

Our grandson, Wyatt is always a big help.

Wyatt had a party at our house for his friends, their parents and siblings, and his mentors.  He wanted to thank this lively group for their year-long friendship and support.  It was a good thing we made lots of food --- I always forget how much teenagers can eat.
After the party was over, I've had to really knuckle down to get my shopping and gift sewing done.

Now, it is my favorite time of the season --- the last week before Christmas day --- the third and fourth weeks of advent. 
Thankfully, the work is almost done except for the Christmas day dinner.  We can relax, and enjoy the season with our family at the church services this week.  A nap, or two, may also be in order.

Some more scenes around our house ---






JOY TO THE WORLD!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE.












Thursday, October 24, 2019

AUTUMNAL BLISS

I couldn't help myself pulling this 2011 picture of our youngest grandchild from the archives.
This cutie with his pumpkin patch is now a senior in high school.

That means it is time for senior pictures.  Thank you to Amanda Kolman for a fun photo shoot and so many glorious pictures that we will never be able to pick a favorite.

 Hold on dearly -- time flies!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK IN ROCKY FORD, COLORADO

The Rocky Ford, Colorado Municipal Museum, in an effort to build on their files of stories about the town and the people, are sponsoring a series of exhibits at the Idea Place, 408 North Main in Rocky Ford.
The next part in the series is to be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm during the monthly 1st Friday Art Walk.  Writers, story tellers, and artists have been invited to share their stories about growing up in Rocky Ford, their families' businesses, and the influences of living in a small rural community.

For the October display, Bob was asked to share the stories of growing up and working in the neighborhood grocery store owned by his parents.  I was asked to display some quilts and explain how I was influenced from childhood to become a full-time quiltmaker.

Being of almost sound minds and aged bodies, it has taken us practically a month to prepare for the displays -- much longer than probably necessary!

Bob has gathered pictures taken at the store with other paper ephemera, plus the vegetable scale, gumball machine, and glass cookie jar we managed to secure from the store years ago.  
He has some great stories about delivering groceries, dealing with customers, and working from age 6 sorting potatoes and candling eggs.
Bob working in the meat department the summer before we got married in 1958.

Bob's parents on the right.


I always forget how much work it takes to hang a quilt display even a small one like this with only fifteen quilts.  There is always a need to make informational signs about the individual quilts.  And, for this specific display, explanations about how I was influenced by the art and math programs of the Rocky Ford schools back in the 1950s.
I also occasionally make 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" paper quilts using quilt designing and decoupaging techniques.  I've never displayed them before, so had to figure out how to do that.
The 15 quilts are all out of storage and spread out to relax any fold wrinkles.

I think we are about ready ---- just hope we don't forget anything and that everything fits into our car.

If you are in the Rocky Ford area, the First Friday Art Walk shows at the Idea Place each month are worth attending.

Friday, August 2, 2019

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE

The 90th anniversary of the building of the Royal Gorge Bridge is being celebrated this year with several celebratory events planned.  We feel blessed to live in Canon City, Colorado and have this spectacular engineering marvel in our city's backyard.  Thanks to our city fathers, the bridge was built in 1929; and is owned by the city.  The profits produced from the bridge are returned to the city, which enables us to enjoy low property taxes.  More history about the Royal Gorge Bridge may be found at https://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/2013/05/09/the-history-of-the-royal-gorge-bridge/
The bridge also supplies employment opportunities for our citizens.  Over the years, I'm sure thouands of our high school and college aged youths have "worked the gorge" during the summer seasons.

One of the 90th anniversary activities was to submit names to be engraved on the planks of the deck of the bridge.  Our son, Mike, was home for a couple of days this week before he starts another year teaching school.  So, we decided a trip to the bridge was in order to see if we could find our names.





We found my name and our grandson Wyatt's name, but were unable to find Mike's and Bob's names on this trip.  We will have to go back this fall when it is not as crowded in search of more names.

The bridge and park suffered a devastating wild fire in 2013, which destroyed much of the park including 48 buildings and attractions.  Amazingly, the bridge itself was spared. 
 The day of the 2013 fire during evacuation.


The  buildings and attractions have been almost completely rebuilt.  All, but our favorite which was the incline that took you to the bottom of the gorge at the river level, 950+  feet below the deck of the bridge.  We wonder if it will ever be rebuilt because of cost and logistics.
The incline railway before the fire.  Google Images
 Mike worked five summer seasons during his college years.  He started in maintenance and then worked his last years on the incline with never a dull day and loving it all.  His favorite story is about the day that the 1933 era main drive wheel cracked on the incline. The cars were stopped in the middle of the incline, and necessitated a rescue of each person on board to be accompanied by an employee of the gorge either up to the top or down to the river below on foot. He was one tired guy when he got home late that night; but was relieved that the rescue went well. It was an exciting experience for a teenager on a summer job.  Employment at the gorge helped pay a lot of college bills. His last season there was after receiving his PhD. and before starting his teaching job.
Our association with the bridge goes back to opening day in 1929 as my mother as a l0-year old accompanied by her grandparents visited that day.  Walking on the bridge terrified her so that we were never able to convince her to go back.  I signed a plank for the bridge deck with her name, so she is finally back on the bridge even in name only!!

While Bob was the City Engineer we were fortunate to have a free pass to the gorge for our family and our guests.  Over the years we took many car loads of out-of-town visitors and teenage friends up to introduce them to the bridge.  It usually included a picnic in the adjoining park.

Here are pictures from our visit this week including the traditional picnic in the park.


Mike, Bob, and Wyatt with their mathematical minds checking out the workings of the new gondola.
Bob and Wyatt riding the gondola across the gorge.
 The view from the gondola of the bridge, the gorge, and the river below.
Lunch, at last!

There is still evidence of the 2013 fire in the park. The landscape in the park is so fascinating; so I took the opportunity to photograph a quilt to use in an upcoming program.

And because it is throwback Thursday, here is a picture of Wyatt's first trip to the Royal Gorge Bridge petting zoo at age two.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Monday, June 17, 2019

CATALPAS AND OTHER JUNE DELIGHTS

The catalpa trees throughout our town are especially glorious this June.

We planted this one in our backyard 20 years ago as a tiny tree -- they grow fast!
The blossoms look like popcorn exploded.

And, June in Colorado means the roses are prolific before the dry, summer heat takes over.
Flag Day was celebrated June 14th, but every day is flag day around our household.

Hope June is a month of many blessings around your house!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Architect I. M. Pei

I noticed on my news feed that "Grumpy the Cat" had died on May 14th, but there wasn't a single thing about the death of noted architect, I. M. Pei on May 16th.  I was saddened by the fact that the death of a 7- year old cat internet sensation took precedent over the death of Mr. Pei, a 102-year old world renowned architect with a notable life-long body of work.

As a high school student, I wanted to study architecture in college.  I was told by the counselor that girls couldn't do that.  This was the 1950s.  Since I've never been overly ambitious and didn't want to buck the system, I went on and chose a different life path with no regrets.  But, architecture has been a love of mine forever.  
As a young adult living in Denver, Colorado in the 1960s, I was fascinated with I. M. Pei's Zeckendorf Plaza.  I visited it often marveling at the interesting contrast of this modern building with the older buildings located on 16th Street in downtown Denver.

However, not everyone evidently agreed with my fascination.  The building was dismantled in the 1990s without consideration of its mid-century significance.

When I travel, my favorite destinations include wonderful architecture.  To me, there is nothing more fabulous than the Louvre in Paris with its I. M. Pei addition.  The juxtaposition is unbelievable.
Looking through the glass triangles toward the original Louvre Palace -----

Just two examples of Mr. Pei's work that have touched and shaped my aesthetic.

REST IN PEACE, MR. PEI!



Monday, April 22, 2019

RANDOMNESS -- CATCHING UP!

For several reasons my lifestyle blog has been neglected recently.  So, fair warning, as I try to catch up on life in the Salmagundi household; this post will be random and probably long.

RANDOMNESS #1 - CONVALESCENCE

On March 18, I had some surgery --- nothing too serious, but important enough to require some hospitalization and some convalescence.  I'm doing great, but still not quite up to par and laziness has set in.  I haven't sewn a stitch in 7 weeks, but I'm back to the cooking, cleaning, laundry routine.  I did manage to put out a few Easter decorations ----


VICTORIAN EGGS THAT BELONGED TO MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER
But my laziness is indicated by the clutter on the table by my recliner ----
I have managed to read nine books.  My favorite of the bunch, by far, was "Becoming Mrs. Lewis" by Patti Callahan.

RANDOMNESS #2 - WYATT
 (or as his sister says, "The golden child of the moment.")

Our two grandchildren live close.  Caitlin is 22 now, and is working hard at "adulting" and has a serious boyfriend, so we don't see her as often; but are in contact by text constantly.  Wyatt (now a junior in high school) is in and out of our house all of the time. I guess he is fond of his Papa Bob's workshop and my cooking!   
First of the month,  he was on the gold honor roll again-- that always makes a grandparent happy.  Then within days he received his letter for his letter jacket for being the Tiger mascot this past year.  This has involved appearing at a lot of athletic events and charitable high school events. 

This is the perfect activity for this outgoing, personable kid; plus he got to hang out with the cheerleaders a lot! It has been fun for us to watch him do his thing. 
Then, he took first place at the County Schools' Art Show at the Fine Arts Center for his welded sculpture.  
A week after that, he became the high school state champion in welding sculpture.  I didn't feel up to going to the award ceremony out of town, but Bob went and took my favorite picture of Wyatt on the phone to me reporting the exciting news. 
In June, he will be going to the national competition in Kentucky.

Then there was prom.  I guess I'm the official master presser of kilts for him and his friends. That took a couple of hours. In this requisite pre-prom picture, they do look pretty sharp!
 Enough for the moment about "The Golden Boy" --

RANDOMNESS #3 - EASTER

Our son, Mike, was home bearing gifts from his recent trip to Japan.  A lot of neat stuff including fancy chop sticks, boxes, fabric, and origami paper. 
The grandkids have always had an Easter egg hunt at our house, often on the day before Easter.  They are now way too old for an egg hunt, but still want one --- what is a Grammy to do?  We keep having to make it harder and harder!!  Last year, we filled the plastic eggs with coins, buried them in the ground, and they had to use the metal detector to find them.  This year, we decided it was time for a treasure hunt with clues in the eggs that told where the next egg was to be found.
The most frustrating clue for them was "Chap Stick, wherefore art thou?"  They found three chap sticks around the house before they found the egg with another chap stick hiding in the glove compartment of the car.  My favorite clue was "Man's best friend, Quack, Quack!"  It took them forever to reason this one out --- the egg was in the garage where we keep the Duck Tape.  The last of the 15 clues led them to my silver chest where they found young adult's favorite treasure -- gift cards. They had great fun -- secretly, I think Mike always enjoys it as much as the grandkids!
Then, I set up a taco bar for supper.

The best part of our Easter celebration was yet to come.  Wyatt has been seriously involved in his Christian journey the last couple of years, and decided to be baptized on Easter morning in the church we have belonged to since our own kids were young.

What more could grandparents ask for?  We have truly been blessed.

I hope you also had a joyous Easter weekend.