Friday, June 26, 2015

"F" as in FINALLY FINISHED!!!

If only this was called Alphabe-Friday.  I'd be right on time!

This week we are studying the letter "F" as in FINALLY FINISHED!!!

In 2013 I began work on my mother's sewing table.  She said it had originally been her grandmother's.  It had always been pretty beat up, but got even worse in the move here.
My mother had it in the hallway and the mirror shown in this picture always hung above it for as long as I can remember.  As a child the little swing out drawer fascinated me.   My mother used to keep her thread on the little spindles.  The thread sold today does not fit on them.

I began work at the old house and then we got busy packing and moving.  (We've now lived here almost two years.)  Before the move I had it all sanded.  There was really no choice since the top had a deep scratch. 
I toyed with the idea of using chalk paint, but then decided with cats I needed to protect the finish.  Although I like the worn look I preferred a nice smooth finish for this piece.  Besides, I had a jar of sample paint in a shade of blue that I really liked.

I quickly took a few pictures of the finished table in my upstairs hallway.  They really don't accurately show the shade of blue.  It's a little washed out in these pictures.  I momentarily thought about lugging the table down the stairs and out into the yard for a photo in natural light, but it's so hot and humid out there today!  I also need to tell you that the rug is not dirty.  I think it's shadows.  After I uploaded these pictures I went back and checked just to be sure.

I had a piece of glass cut for the top.  Just an added piece of protection from the cats.  The finish on top looked so pretty and I knew I'd be heartbroken if a cat scratched it.  Only the first picture has the glass.  I took some without it.  I'd prefer not to have the glass, but I'd also prefer not to have the top ruined.
I used three coats of the blue paint and some stain on the top.  I no longer remember the color of the stain.  Then I added a rub on varnish for the top and two coats of Polycrylic finish to protect the paint.

I still have to finish the mirror.

I started the table in June of 2013 and finished it a couple of months ago.  It's FINALLY FINISHED!!!

Now head over and visit Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent" for a list of this week's Alphabe-Thursday's participants.  Thanks for visiting.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

"E" as in EXTREME hate...


I had no idea what I'd write about this week for Alphabe-Thursday and then the news about the Charleston, South Carolina church killings broke.  Nine people murdered because of a person's extreme hate.

I've never understood the ability to hate that deeply. What motivates someone to be consumed by hate?

My son had a doctor's appointment a couple of weeks ago.  While waiting he sent me a text about a man in the waiting room.  "Wait until I get home and tell you about what this guy is saying."  What he was saying was bizarre and hate filled, but I told my son he had to be getting his rant from somewhere.  Sure enough, I did a quick google search and pulled up the same hate filled statements.

I have a love hate relationship with the Internet.  There are many things I enjoy online, but its presence has also opened up a whole can of worms.  People can now easily spread misinformation and hate.  A hate filled person can find others to validate and fuel his hatred in the anonymous Internet world. 

I don't know if that's what actually happened in the South Carolina tragedy, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this murderer/terrorist spent a considerable amount of time online with like minded people.


Hate has always been around and I'm afraid always will be, but I think the Internet is just one of the contributing factors that has made hatred worse in recent times.

Today my prayers are with everyone affected by hate.


Please visit Ms. Jenny's blog at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent" for a list of this week's participants.







Thursday, June 11, 2015

"D" as in my DOLLS again!


Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."

Today we are studying the letter "D" as in DOLLS, so this will be a post about the latest happenings with my Vogue Ginny DOLL family.
Recently I enlisted my son to help restring some vintage Vogue Ginny DOLLS.  It's a two person job.  One person to hold the DOLL while the other pulls the elastic cording real tight.  My vintage DOLLS are from the early 1950's through the late 1950's. 
We also restrung some of the Vogue vintage reproduction DOLLS and a modern Vogue Ginny DOLL.  It amazed me that most of the DOLLS from the 1950's still had the original rubber bands holding them together.  They had just stretched out.  They don't make rubber like that anymore because the newer DOLLS are already starting to fall apart.

Then I worked on my Ginny school.  I recently purchased some wood furniture that reminded me of a 1950's classroom.  The teacher's desk and chair, the students' chairs, and the bookcase were all hand made.  The man that made them did a great job.

Once again Ginny Ellen takes care of the class guinea pig.  Ginny Ellen is my interpretation of Ellen DeGeneris as a child.  I'm pretty sure she was the class clown back in her day.  Ginny Ellen gets in a lot of trouble with Sister Anna.
It was "show and tell" day when these pictures were taken.
The DOLL in the brown check and green dress was my latest DOLL purchase.  I found her in an antique store in Galveston.  She only cost $25.  I removed her wig and moved it forward on her head.  It was too far back and looked strange to me.  I think it looks much better now.  She was wearing a plain pair of pajamas and I redressed her in a Vogue dress from 1955.  The dress came with a hat, but I forgot to put it on her.
In this picture you can see that they're all waiting patiently for their turn.  The girls have dolls to share with the class and the boy has a View Master.  A lady on Etsy made the boxes and they're miniature duplicates of real DOLL boxes and a View Master box.  She did a really nice job.
I also recently purchased an old tin kitchen.  I had wanted this kitchen for a long time.  They are usually pretty beat up when they appear on eBay, but this one was in pretty good shape for its age.  It even came in the original box and still had the original directions.
I know it's pretty old because my sister and I got one for Christmas in 1952!
Now head over to Ms. Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thank you for visiting.







Wednesday, June 03, 2015

"C" as in CHICAGO White Sox

Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This week we are studying the letter "C" as in CHICAGO White Sox
My Dad was born in 1918 in Jersey City, New Jersey.  He lived most of his life in Westwood, New Jersey...a suburb of New York City.  Dad loved the CHICAGO White Sox and hated the New York Yankees.

When Dad was in Boy Scouts the kids in the troop decided to each pick a baseball team.  Dad chose the CHICAGO White Sox.  He told me that when they got to him there weren't many teams left, so he went with the White Sox.  The White Sox have probably never had a more loyal fan.  For the rest of his life he followed his team all the way into his 90's.  Win or lose he was a loyal fan.

I can remember Dad sitting in the garage in our 1956 DeSoto listening to the baseball game.  He had discovered that the car radio could pick up the Baltimore radio station.  So, when the White Sox played Baltimore he could listen to the games.
This was long before cable and satellite TV.  Dad mostly followed his team in the newspapers.  That was the only way back then.  Yes, when they played the Yankees he could watch the games on the New York television station or listen on the radio.  Sometimes he even went to Yankee Stadium and watched them play there.  Although he visited Chicago a couple of times it was never during baseball season, so he never saw them play in person at home.

His loyalty never wavered.  Yes, he'd get upset when they lost, but he'd be ecstatic when they won.

Over the years we always knew what to get Dad for Christmas, birthdays, Father's Day, etc.  It made shopping easy.
Dad was a good sport and Mom would send pictures.

In 2005 Dad's prayers were answered.  The CHICAGO White Sox were World Series Champions for the first time in his life.  They beat our Houston Astros.  Dad was still living in New Jersey and he would watch the games and call me in Texas afterwards.  Of course, I was watching from here.  I remember one game went into extra innings.  Fourteen to be exact.  It was very late at night when he called, but he was so excited.  He was almost 87 years old and I was so grateful when he finally got to see his team as World Champions even though it meant the Astros lost.
That Christmas we gave Dad a legacy brick.  The CHICAGO White Sox charities sold bricks to commemorate the team's World Series win.  Dad was excited when he found out that his name would be enshrined at Cellular Field.  None of us have ever seen his actual brick in CHICAGO, but I have a duplicate sitting on the bookshelf in my den.  It says, "BILL DURGIN OF NJ - LOYAL FAN SINCE 1932."  (If anyone reading this lives in Chicago and goes to Cellular Field please take a picture for me.  As I recall we were told that his brick is somewhere on the legacy brick diamond near first base.)

Eventually, Dad moved to Assisted Living in Texas.  I signed up for the CHICAGO White Sox games online.  I'd bring Dad over to my house so he could watch the games.  For the first time in his life he was able to watch most of them.  He'd sit in front of the computer and come to life.  It was like he was a little kid again.
Eventually, Alzheimer's took it's toll on Dad.  However, he remembered his CHICAGO White Sox.  Every day he wore his White Sox cap.  He even had the White Sox logo painted on his face at an Assisted Living event.
Eventually he had to be moved to a nursing home.  When we went to visit him the day before he died he was sitting in a wheelchair wearing his CHICAGO White Sox cap.  He was loyal to his team until the very end.

I still get online notifications from the CHICAGO White Sox when they play a game.  I had signed up when Dad moved here and I decided to keep following them after Dad died.  In a way I feel a piece of Dad is still with me when I get their box scores.

Now head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thank you for visiting.










Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"B" as in BLUE BELL Icecream

 It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This week we are studying the letter "B."

"B" as in Blue Bell Ice Cream.  Blue Bell Ice Cream is a Texas company and has been linked to an outbreak of listeria.  Three people have died and others have become seriously ill.

In Texas there is undying loyalty to Blue Bell Ice Cream.  The company is based in Brenham, Texas.  People still seem to think it's produced by a "little creamery in Brenham."  However, Blue Bell is the third largest producer of ice cream in the United States.  At one time there was a "little creamery," but those days are long gone.  This is a big company and big companies sometimes make decisions based on profits.  I believe that is what happened in this case.  In Texas that is a controversial stand.

From the very beginning I've been dismayed by the loyalty people have shown for this product.  Yes, the ice cream tastes good to me too, but three people have died and others probably have life long health problems now due to eating Blue Bell.

A large Houston furniture company wasted no time in running a full page ad in the Houston Chronicle days after the listeria discovery proclaiming "God Bless Blue Bell."  No mention was made of the people that were killed or permanently affected from eating this listeria based product.  No "God Bless" for them?

Signs proclaiming "God Bless Blue Bell" appeared in yards. 

People immediately held prayer vigils for Blue Bell.  Did they remember to pray for the victims of this tragedy?  I sure hope so.  They wanted their Blue Bell back for the summer.  That seemed to be the most important thing to a lot of them.

Is it possible that subconsciously the powers that be at Blue Bell thought they were invincible because of this kind of customer loyalty?   What exactly were they thinking?

The last thing anyone should pray for is a quick turn around.  From what I've read listeria is very difficult to get rid of in plants.  IF Blue Bell survives they need to be sure that this doesn't happen again.  Another listeria scare would in all probability do them in.

I guess this all hit close to home for me.  I read that one of the people that died was recovering from cancer.  I watched my son go through hell and back to be cancer free today.  He went through numerous rounds of chemo and two stem cell transplants to get to where he is today.  Twice his immune system was  practically wiped out so he could receive hopefully healthy stem cells.  Over the last five years he has spent the equivalent of three months in the hospital. At times he's been very sick and lost a lot of weight.  What do you offer someone with little appetite and in need of calories?  Ice cream!  Who hasn't offered a sick person ice cream?

I found this on the Internet:

Who is most likely to get seriously ill from Listeria bacteria?

Healthy adults and children hardly ever become seriously ill from Listeria. However, people at increased risk of illness from Listeria bacteria include:
  • Pregnant women – Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get listeriosis than the average healthy adult
  • Newborns
  • People with weak immune systems
  • People with cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease
  • People with AIDS – People with AIDS are 300 times more likely to get sick from Listeria than people with normal immune systems
  • People who take gluticocorticosteroids such as cortisone
  • Elderly people

What bothers me the most is that Blue Bell continued to sell their products to hospitals, nursing homes, and schools knowing listeria had been found in their plants.  I find this pretty disturbing.  At the time you and I probably didn't know much about listeria, but anyone in the food industry certainly would have known.  The listeria wasn't just present in the Brenham plant.  It was present in other plants too.  That would seem to indicate a company wide problem.  Later it came out that they had known about it for a few years. 

I can understand the people in Brenham, Texas being loyal to Blue Bell.  I'm sure many of Blue Bell's employees lived pay check to pay check.  There just aren't that many other jobs in Brenham for these dedicated employees.  After initially saying they hadn't laid off anyone in over 100 years and they wouldn't now, it happened.

I say God Bless the families of the people that were killed by listeria.  God Bless the people that became ill with listeria and who have lives that will never be the same.  God Bless the loyal employees (and former employees) that had nothing to do with the decisions that were made and now must pay the price.

This tragedy could have been a lot worse.  Thank God it wasn't.

Please  head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thank you for visiting.