Sunday, August 21, 2016

ANOTHER REUNION

This has been the summer of reunions.  We just returned a couple of weeks ago from a cousin's reunion in California.  Back over Memorial weekend, Bob and I went to our 60th high school class reunion in Rocky Ford, CO.  And now, this past weekend, I attended another 60th class reunion.  By way of explanation -- As a Freshman and Sophomore in high school, I attended St. Scholastica Academy, a girl's boarding school here in Canon City, CO.  Then, as a Junior and Senior, I returned to my hometown of Rocky Ford to finish high school.  My SSA friends have always graciously included me in their reunions.  They are a particularly close bunch of women after not only going to school together, but also living together during their formative years.  After 60 years, their special bond still shines through.
10 classmates attended with one brave husband in the bunch!
The reunion was held at the boy's boarding school, The Holy Cross Abbey School,  which is now an event center and winery here in Canon City.  The Abbey puts on an alumni weekend every year including both the former boy's school and the girl's school. They wined and dined us several times over the weekend.

When we have reunions here in town, it has become a tradition to come to my house for brunch on one of days.  I cook for couple of days; then we eat again plus reminisce and look at old pictures.  Always, a fun time!
This is what our school looked like when we boarded and went to school there in the 1950s.  It was a beautiful campus, and we all have fond memories of living and going to school there.
Unfortunately, after the school that began in 1890 closed in 2001, the facility has slowly deteriorated.  This is what it looks like currently, and we are all saddened by its condition.
However, there is a group actively searching for funds to restore it back to usefulness.  In addition to this historic building, there are several newer buildings from the 1970s and 1980s including an indoor pool, theater, chapel, dormitory, and classrooms.  Do you know of anyone with several million dollars to invest in our special past and a possible future use???

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ROAD TRIP WITH A WONDERFUL DESTINATION

I'm a lousy traveler.  Always have been --- I remember my
Dad always telling me in the car to put down my book/puzzle/crayons/doll/etc. and look outside at the scenery.  I couldn't have cared less --- still don't!  I'm certainly not a road trip warrior, but we just returned from an almost 3000 mile car trip to California and back again (I read three books along the way).
Sometimes, the destination is worth the journey.  This time it was!  

The view outside the living room of our personal log cabin!

We went for a cousin reunion of the paternal side of my family.  I don't understand all of that first cousin, second cousin, once-removed stuff.  In our case our grandmothers were sisters and they married brothers, so we are double cousins, etc.  At any rate, there are only seven of my generation left; and four of us got together for four days at the youngest of the bunch's lake-house compound in northern California.  The three of us older ones were born within four months of each other, and we all grew up on adjoining farms.  We were close, but the years have scattered us; and I hadn't seen them for many years.
Here we are now in our 70s -- look at all of that white unruly hair with cow-licks galore just like our ancestors!

We spent the four days talking, reminiscing, remembering our grade school days, and trying to figure out and identify our ancestors from photos.  Our spouses must have been bored to death.  And, of course we talked about our kids, grandkids, and we ate great food, then we ate again and again!

Below is one of the pictures taken in the summer of 1940 that was unearthed in our discussions.  I love this picture as it tells so many stories.  It must have been Sunday as the men are all in their white shirts, ties, but most noticeably they are not wearing hats.  These were all hard working farmers/ranchers descending from pioneers who homesteaded in Colorado in 1876.  Without their hats they had tanned faces and white foreheads.  I see a story in each and every smile, frown, or side-way glance.

All are deceased now except the older boy in the middle and the three of us babies on the left side.  It was wonderful for the three of us along with our hostess, a younger sibling (not born at the time of the picture), to reunite.

The scenery at the lake house, even though beautiful, was not the most wonderful thing of the destination.  It was the coming together of the family that was the most joyous.

If the possibility exists, don't hesitate to reunite with family. 

IT'S WORTH THE JOURNEY!

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Monday, July 25, 2016

WORKSHOP UPDATE

All of the yard work and other summer activities have slowed down the progress in Bob's workshop.  But, he finally finished this step-back cupboard the other day.
It is all made out of pallets and reclaimed barnwood.  It took what seemed like forever to plane down all of the boards.
It is huge at 7 feet tall, and completely finished on the back; so it could be used as a room divider.
The top shelf unit is removable and it has hidden castors in the base for ease in moving.
Lots of storage -- the upper shelves each have plate rails. 
It is currently at the consignment shop for sale.

See that wonderful green tool box in the photo below?  Bob cleaned and polished it up, and sealed that beautiful original green paint finish.  And, he rebuilt the cubby storage units inside --- I loved this box!!!!  It was my favorite of the myriad of tool boxes we own.
Well, I turned my back one day; and Bob thinking we had too many tool boxes on the back porch, hauled it off to the consignment store.  And, of course, it sold right away.
Oh my, so sad am I.  Oh, well.
That's life in the Salmagundi workshop.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

DA GAMA TEXTILES AND BROWN TRANSFERWARE

Hidden in my large stash of fabrics, I recently rediscovered 12 small pieces of Da Gama Textile fabric from South Africa that I purchased about 15 years ago.  Upon seeing them again, I decided I had to make a table runner to go with my collection of brown transferware.  Since the fabrics were designed in England for Da Gama, they just seemed to go together.  My 19th-century dishes are all from English potteries.



Can a person have too many platters?  I don't think so!!

Not anything momentous going on at the Salmagundi household this month ---- just playing around with dishes and fabric!

For more about the quilting process of this runner, check out my quilting blog (click here).

  P.S.: We now have a wildfire going to the west of us in the mountains -- hope and pray that it is contained soon.  Lots of smoke and ash in the air here in town, so those of us who lean towards asthma and allergies are staying indoors.  
Elsewhere, hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

HAPPY FOURTH WITH A NEW PIECE OF BROWN TRANSFERWARE

 It always thrills me to find an old (new to me) piece of brown transferware, especially platters
 Love the tracery and shadowing of these old transferware pieces.

This platter is from J. and G. Meakin of Hanley, England, and the pattern is Ivy.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone.  Be safe!

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

THE METRONOME ISSUE


Our son is a good pianist.  In addition to currently teaching math and science, he spends a lot of spare time on the piano accompanying students for competitions and recitals.
He was interested at 20 months of age
He started piano lessons in kindergarten continuing on for 13 years.  Not once did either he or his teachers ever mention the need for a metronome at home. 
It has now been some 30 years later; and he mentions that
we provided some wonderful opportunities for him, but regrets that we never bought him a metronome.  What????

So now, we have this running joke about THE metronome.  For instance, a text with a picture of a metronome in an antique store priced at $89 saying, "You should have bought me one when they were cheap!"
 
And today he is in London, and I get a text with a picture of Sherlock Holmes' metronome implying that even Mr. Holmes had one!

The mother-guilt trip continues.

P.S.:  I asked him a while back if he wanted me to buy him one now, and he replied that no -- he has this wonderful metronome app on his phone.  Who knew???


Thursday, June 2, 2016

FRIENDSHIPS AND REUNION

Over Memorial Day weekend we attended our 60th high school class reunion.  Yes, you read that right --- 60 years out of high school!
Bob, my husband, and I were in the same class -- we went to different grade schools but graduated together from the one high school of our small, rural town, Rocky Ford, Colorado.  We have always been a close class -- several of us have known each other since birth, and have kept in contact all of these years.
I took a bunch of pictures, but no one wants to see their 77/78- year-old selves all over the internet.  So, I'll spare you, also, and just show you a couple of special pictures of my class mates.

First --  Bill and I were born on the same day in the same hospital in Rocky Ford.  With our mothers, we shared a room there for several days.  We went to school and graduated together.  And now, here we are 77 years later still friends.
This is a picture of three of my friends with me in the first grade. 
 Here we are at the reunion this last weekend.  We may be grandmothers with gray hair now, but we still chatter like those pig-tailed little girls.
Bob was able to reconnect with a grade-school friend that he hadn't seen for 63 years, but I regret that I didn't get a photo of them together.

It was a jam-packed, fun-filled weekend.  And what do old folks who have known each other for many, many years do when they get together? --------
Grand Theater, Rocky Ford Colorado:
Photo from Pinterest of Rocky Ford's Grand Theater
We started off on Saturday with what we did as kids --- we went to the theater for a Saturday afternoon matinee.  The local volunteers have done a wonderful job maintaining and restoring the art deco movie theater.  We saw a 1950s era movie and two short clips about vintage Rocky Ford -- all with great 1950s music.
Elk's Club - Rocky Ford, Colorado
The movies were followed by a meet and greet then dinner at the local Elk's Club.  When we were in high school, a lot of our major dances were held at the Elk's Club.  We all hung around until 10:30 talking, reminiscing, catching up.  That's pretty late for us old folks.

One of our class members is a local pastor, so we attended his church as a group on Sunday morning.  He was always a talented musician and didn't disappoint us at church.  So wonderful to hear him play the piano and sing great old gospel music with his wife and son.

Sunday afternoon was spent touring the "new" high school.  Our class was talented athletically and had several conference and state championships.  The track trophies and signed footballs from our era were on display.
We then went across the road to the Methodist Church memorial garden; and had a memorial service for our departed class mates.  I was in charge of reading the names before each bell chime; and stumbled emotionally a couple of times.

Then, it was time to banquet together again.  We met at the restored sugar factory offices, which is now an event center for a catered dinner, more visiting, class photos, and an auction of meaningful items.

Monday morning was spent with visits to our local cemetery.  Over the many years, families have planted peony bushes on graves; so it is really beautiful this time of the year with the flags of veterans flying.  Similar to a lot of classmates, my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are buried there.
And, of course, we had to eat together again back at the Elk's Club.  Local class mates provided a great brunch.
After more visiting, we dispersed at 2:30.

It was a surreal, wonderful weekend with so many stories and laughs as though we had never been apart.  It is just amazing to me that these friendships have endured all of these years.  It wasn't necessary to say good bye, as we know we will get together again. 

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Friday, May 27, 2016

MAY RANDOMNESS

Any of you that know me well know that I only go outside when necessary.  I did, however, make my annual Spring trip to the backyard today to check out the flower and vegetable gardens.
We have baby birds in the birdhouse. But, Mama bird was squawking telling the babies not to show their little heads as there was a crazy old lady out there with a camera.
We have large windows across the back of our house, so I do enjoy all of Bob's efforts in the yard every day.  I'll venture out there again in a month or so!

I did venture outside a couple of times in May to go to middle-school track meets.  I can't deny my cute grandson.
Wyatt has been at our house a lot recently building a tubulum for the middle school music room.  He always has these ideas of things to do in his Papa's workshop.  They made it from leftover PVC pipe and salvaged pallet wood.  Bob and he delivered it to school today --- the last day of his attendance in middle school.  Now, it is onto high school and more big dreams.  My part has been to keep this growing dreamer fueled with food.
When I wasn't cooking, I've spent a lot of this month on the computer.  We have an upcoming class reunion, and I made a photo book with 85 pictures of our school years to be raffled off at one of the dinners.  For the raffle, I also made 20 note cards with scenes from our hometown.
And, just because quilting is always my passion, I found time to finish this quilt top.  Now, this summer I want to just sit in front of the air conditioner and hand quilt it.

In retrospect, I guess it has been a busy May.
  
Hope you enjoy this upcoming holiday weekend.  Be safe.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A REDO FOR THE BATHROOMS

Our house, a 4-bedroom, 2-bath rancher, was built in 1986.  When we moved here in 1997; we started updating the house and finishes.  It's an ongoing process.  
The two bathrooms are typical of the 1980s --- rather small, but adequate.  We have never replaced the original fixtures, with the exception of the bathtub in the master bath.  When we moved in we replaced that bathtub with a walk-in shower.
Time for some new bathroom updates ---

It all started with the need for new water-saving and higher-profile toilets.  If we were going to pull the toilets out, we should replace the old linoleum flooring.  Right??? And, it would sure be nice to have integrated sinks and new counter tops plus a new paint job.  You know how it goes!
Master bath in progress ---
 Painting done, toilet out, removing old flooring

Beginning work on the guest bath with old linoleum, 
counter top, sink, and toilet
still in place.  New wall paint.

The house is fairly small, so I like all of the rooms with neutral backgrounds to help with the visual flow.  But, I don't want boring with all white or all beige.  I like to mix it up a little to give it some texture.

The new wall and trim paint is Sherwin-Williams Pure White.
Finished Master Bath 
The 6" porcelain floor tile is 'Capri Classic' from Lowes.
Finished Guest Bath 
On the recommendation of friends and our plumber, we installed Icera toilets.
New sink and counter top

When we redid our kitchen two years ago, we installed new counter tops and an integrated sink from a solid-surface line called H-Macs.  We have been so satisfied with the product that we did the same thing in both bathrooms.  The pattern, Tambori, combines all of the beiges and whites in the rooms.

Not a big difference in the look of the bathrooms --- this redo was all about function and ease of future cleaning.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

SUNDAY PAINTERS

A 'Sunday Painter' is defined as someone who paints as a hobby, is non-professional, and usually unschooled.
My step-great-grandmother was considered a Sunday Painter in her time during the early 20th century.  My family always considered her a crazy artist with the temperament to match.  Evidently in my family of hard-working pioneers, artistic endeavors were not considered a proper use of time.  I only met her a few times when we would travel from Colorado to California where she lived in retirement.  I never understood their assessment of her personality as I just found her fascinating!
When she died, I guess I was the only one that wanted her paintings.  I was about 12 years old at the time.

This is the only still-life oil painting that I inherited.  All the others are landscapes.
 She painted on whatever surface she could find.  Below appears to be a school slate.  Sunday Painters often learned painting skills by copying other artist's works because there were not other opportunities available at the time.  I think this was one she must have copied.  It looks a lot like Lake Louise in Canada, and I know she never traveled there.  Copying other artist's works to learn is a debatable practice still today.  However, while touring the Louvre in Paris seven years ago, we observed an artist set up to study and paint a famous painting.
This is an oil painting she did that is reminiscent of her native state of Maine.
I also have several charcoal landscape drawings of hers that incorporate sheep.  Those are very familiar scenes to me and must represent her time living in Colorado with my family's sheep business.  I've been unsuccessful in photographing them because of the glare of the old, wavy glass.
I'm so glad I had the foresight to claim her work.  We've enjoyed them in our home for years.

What do you think about copying other artist's works to learn techniques?

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

HAPPY TARTAN DAY - APRIL 6TH

 Some of my wool tartan stash just waiting for a future project.
Today may just be the day to start making a new pillow or two or three!!
Happy Tartan Day

Friday, April 1, 2016

GENERATIONAL PICTURES

I'm still busy sorting and organizing bunches of photos.  It's no wonder it takes me forever, as I get hung up on comparing generational pictures.  In my immediate family, there are four generations of us with the middle name of Jeanne -- my mother was Lois Jeanne; me, Sally Jeanne; our daughter, Jennifer Jeanne; and our granddaughter, Caitlin Jeanne.  Here are three collages with the four of us.

First, in white baby dresses:
Then, with wheels:
And, in our fancy dresses:
I love the picture of my mother in the collage above.  She was about to graduate from Hutchinson, Kansas Junior College at the age of 17.  She was on scholarship -- they were quite poor, so I'm sure that dress was very special to her.  The dress was purchased to wear in the May Queen Court.  With the photo, I found this newspaper clipping from 1937.  Mother was the Jeanne listed.  In my opinion, she should have been the Queen!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SPRING RANDOMNESS

Spring has Sprung!!
Time to do the yearly reorganization of the garden sprinkler system.
 That Master's degree in Hydraulic Engineering (for you non-engineers - that's the flow of water) is worth something!
 Time to plant peas, onions, lettuce, and spinach.  Wyatt is good help in the garden.
Caitlin read that a definition of a boy is "dirt plus noise".

Speaking of Caitlin -- rafting season has started, and she has started her summer work schedule of 50-hour work weeks.
That leaves very little time with this Grammy.  She and I have always done kitchen crafts together for holidays.  This year she has left me to my own devises.  This idea is all over Pinterest, and I thought I could handle it by myself.  

Let the Bunny races begin ----
I'll include these with their Easter goody bags.

Easter will be quiet for us this year -- just church, which is the most important thing anyway.
Our son, Mike, will be home next week for a day or two when he is on Spring break.  So, we'll have a belated family pulled-pork dinner one night then.

In the meantime, I'll continue sewing on a future quilt making these little 4-inch medallions.  I have 28 of them done -- more to come.

Being a winter-type person; I usually have spring-depression, and not spring-fever.  But, with Easter and the Resurrection, it really is a joyous time of the year.

Joy to you-----

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