Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ALPHABE-THURSDAY - "F" is for Fear

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday hosted by Jenny over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent." For a list of participants head over to her blog. This week we are doing the letter "F."

I wasn't sure what word I'd use for the letter "F" until I picked up the dog from the dog groomer and brought her home this afternoon. For some strange reason our cat Zoom has a terrible FEAR of the dog when she first comes home from the groomer. It's as if she no longer recognizes her. Her tail will go up and she'll arch her back. Then she stalks the dog from a distance.

She even hid behind the vacuum of all things!

She slowly works her way closer to the dog.

All the cats are a little curious, but Zoom is full of FEAR.

(The last two pictures are kind of dark because the sun was shining in the window. Click on pictures to enlarge.)

One time the dog didn't even see Zoom when she came happily running into the room. Zoom was startled and attacked the dog in FEAR. It was like one of those cartoon fights between the dog and the cat. The two of them went rolling across the floor. Now I try and watch for a while so that doesn't happen again. They're actually very good friends and normally have a good time playing together. Within a few hours things will be back to normal.

According to the definition for FEAR is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Here are some FEAR quotes that I like:

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
John F. Kennedy

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Nelson Mandela

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
Bill Cosby

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
Eleanor Roosevelt

When even one American - who has done nothing wrong - is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth - then all Americans are in peril.
Harry S. Truman

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
Rosa Parks

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
Isaac Asimov

And here are some well known words on FEAR by Franklin D. Roosevelt:

NOTE: On Friday it will be five weeks since our feral cat MaMa ran off in FEAR when we had workmen in the backyard. She had been with us for nine years, but was not tame and had a FEAR of most people. I still miss her very much. It sounds strange, but I was just as close to her as I am to my indoor cats. We've put fliers on 100 doors in the surrounding area, posted signs, and continue to check with animal control every few days. I've had a couple of calls and learned of a few feral cat colonies nearby. I continue to search for her and I'm not about to give up. It makes me very sad.

Monday, February 22, 2010

SECOND TIME AROUND TUESDAY-Old Confirmation Certificate

It's time again for Second Time Around Tuesday hosted by Diane at A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Worlds.

This week I'm showing my great aunt's confirmation certificate from 1907. I have it framed under glass and tried to photograph it without too much glare. This certificate is from Zion Lutheran Church in Westwood, New Jersey which was founded by German immigrants. My great grandfather Wilhelm Volz was one of the founding members. That is why this certificate is in German.

When my great aunt died her family came from out of town and I guess after they kept what they wanted they had a sale and sold the rest. Some years later my mother was out for a walk and stopped to talk to a lady a few blocks away. During the conversation my mother mentioned that she was related to the Volz family. The lady said, "Wait, I have something you can have." She went inside and brought out my mother's, aunt's confirmation certificate. It was in an old frame (not the one I currently have it in) and the price was still on it...$1.00. The lady said she had no idea why she bought it and it had just been sitting around.

At that time I was dabbling in genealogy, so my mother sent it to me. I reframed it and it now hangs on a wall in my den. My great aunt's name was Lina Katherina Volz, but we all called her Taunty. I think Taunty might be aunt in German.

When I walk through garage sales, resale shops, antique malls, etc., I'm always surprised and saddened by the things I see. Things like old photographs, certificates, etc., that no one apparently wanted. I'm grateful to that lady that Taunty's confirmation certificate is getting a "second chance around" on the wall of my den.

Click on picture to enlarge.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


It's time again for PINK SATURDAY hosted by Beverly at How Sweet The Sound. For a list of this week's participants and information on how you can participate be sure and head over to Beverly's blog.

My great aunt was Margaret Morris who performed in Florenz Ziegfeld's Ziegfeld Follies and Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic. The Frolic was a show that began at midnight and was performed upstairs in the theater and to a smaller audience.

I've shared one of her pictures once before on PINK SATURDAY and this week I have a picture from the 1920 Midnight Frolic. This picture was colorized and you can see the PINK flowering plants that were part of the set. Margaret is the second from the left wearing the lavender costume. Jane (Ziegfeldgrrl) at Historical Ziegfeld restored this photo for me. She is a wealth of information on The Ziegfeld Follies.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

And this is what is written on the back of the photo. I'm assuming this is Aunt Margaret's handwriting.

Aunt Margaret was an active member of the Ziegfeld Club that was started in 1936 by Billie Burke (Mrs. Florenz Ziegfeld). The club is still in existence today, but it is believed that only one Ziegfeld girl is still alive.

Last week I visited Homemaking In High Heels. Stop by and visit her entertaining blog.

Hope you're feeling better Beverly!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday...the letter E is for EMERGENCY

Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Jenny over at "Jenny on my tangent."

Today we're working on the letter E and I thought this week's assignment was too hard! I even had to get out the dictionary and study hard for this one. I finally came up with EMERGENCY in the ELEMENTARY School classroom.

It seems that last week at the class Valentine's Day party little Ginny Ellen had too much candy and cookies to eat and the school nurse had to be called for the EMERGENCY situation that arose. Poor Ginny Ellen was embarrassed about getting sick in front of all the other children. Next year she'll be a lot more careful.

(Click on picture to enlarge.)

For a list of this week's participants and for information on Alphabe-Thursday head over to Jenny's blog.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gone To Vancouver...

Oh dear, not much time for blogging this week. Instead I'm spending time in Vancouver via television. I've always enjoyed the Winter Olympics.

I remember my ice skating days. I never let go of the wall that encircled the rink. I'd slowly go around once and then I'd be ready to leave. So, I really admire the ice skaters with their triple toe loops, quads, and all the other amazing stuff they do.

Gotta go. The commercial is over and I'm headed back to Vancouver.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I posted it on Friday. Thanks!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Updates on the latest happenings...


Reid had his doctor's appointment at MD Anderson last Friday and on Saturday he had another chemo treatment. He's now slightly more than half way through. YEA!

I am so grateful that he's in remission, but the treatments continue to be difficult for him. It's difficult to see him so sick every other week. And he's very tired. I think everyone that goes through chemo complains about the constant fatigue.

He'll be scanned again after the next chemo so they can be sure the mass continues to shrink. Yes, he's in remission even though he still has a mass. That's what makes Hodgkin's Lymphoma a unique cancer. Only approximately 1% of the mass was cancer and that is believed to be gone now.

He'll finish up with the chemo in May and then radiation will follow. I have no idea how long that will take.

His walking has greatly improved and all he needs is a cane now. There's been a lot of progress since the tumor in his spinal canal was removed. YEA!


Our feral cat MaMa has been missing for three weeks today. Earlier this week I passed out fliers to everyone on our street, and today I visited animal control again in hopes she had been picked up. She is afraid of people, so she's likely hiding somewhere and I still have hope that she'll return. She's lived with us for nine years.


In a little while I'm going over to see Dad at the nursing home. I saw him on Monday and he seemed alert and ate well. He just doesn't have much to say any more. Dad was always so talkative, but Alzheimer's has robbed him of that too.

Last night they called and said he had fallen out of bed. He sleeps in a low bed that is only around 18 inches off the floor. They were confident that he was OK, but had ordered X-rays anyway. Because he's a fall risk and a restless sleeper he has a low bed in hopes that he won't get hurt if something like this happens.

PINK SATURDAY Class Valentine's Day Party

It's time again for another PINK Saturday hosted by Beverly at How Sweet The Sound. Head over to Beverly's blog for information on how you can participate in PINK Saturday and for a list of this week's participants.

This week we were supposed to combine Valentine's Day with PINK Saturday, so I decided to dress my Vogue Ginny Dolls in PINK for the class Valentine's Day Party. Since all my dolls are Ginny Dolls their first name is automatically Ginny and then I give them various middle names. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)


Sister has been having a lot of trouble with Ginny Ellen lately and asked MaMa to come to school for a parent teacher conference. Whenever Sister turns her head GinnyEllen fools around. She's definitely the class clown. One of her favorite things to do is dance on Sister's desk. Poor MaMa was shocked.

"Ginny Ellen, please behave yourself."

"Today is the class Valentine's Day Party and PINK Saturday."

"You even wore PINK flowers in your lapel."

"Don't behave like this in front of the other children."

"Look at how nicely the other children sit."

"They're all wearing PINK."

"They're enjoying the Valentine's Day Party treats."

"They've already exchanged Valentine's Day cards."
Happy Pink Saturday!

Be sure and visit Kerrie's Blog at Two Happy. You'll enjoy your visit and her daughter was a good sport last Saturday!
Get Well Beverly!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday "D" is for DURGIN

Today I'm participating in Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Jenny on my tangent.

This week we're doing the letter "D" as in DURGIN. This one was easy for me because I'm a DURGIN and I thought I'd share some pictures of the DURGIN Homestead which was located in Westwood, New Jersey.

This is the DURGIN Homestead circa 1950. If you look closely you'll see my sister Carol Sue DURGIN and me Betty DURGIN standing in front of the picture window.

Now for a tour of the inside. This is the kitchen and I'm on the left and Carol Sue DURGIN is on the right. (See that thing on the back burner of the stove? I see them all the time in antique stores. Can someone tell me what it's for? For some reason I think it's to keep dinner rolls warm, but I don't know where I got that idea from.)

And this is the fireplace in the living room of the DURGIN HOMESTEAD. The ballerina is me all dressed for the DANCE recital. The outfit was bright pink with a turquoise flower. We were a talented group and sang "Let's All Sing Like The Birdies Sing" while we DANCED. I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I can remember the color of the outfit and the words to the song.

This picture shows the living room of the DURGIN HOMESTEAD with our brand new TV in the background and the DINING room. That's Carol Sue DURGIN, my mother Carolyn E. "Betty" DURGIN, and me.

This is our bedroom. My sister and I shared this room in the DURGIN HOMESTEAD. That's me in bed sick as usual. I know I must have been sick because I can see the vaporizer on the table. There are also DOLLS on the shelf above my bed. I believe some are Nancy Ann Storybook DOLLS. They were for show and we were never allowed to play with them.

This is the DURGIN family in the living room of the DURGIN HOMESTEAD circa 1957. I know it was March because my mother had decorated for St. Patrick's Day. I can see a little bit of the Erin Go Bragh banner behind me. I'm holding our cat Lucky DURGIN. I look at this picture and think YIKES! Did we really look like that???

And after Lucky came TIMMY DURGIN. This was the nicest cat. He never objected to posing for my pictures. Sadly, I didn't have him very long. He was hit by a car in front of the house. I was devastated. To this day I remember Timmy.

We weren't the only DURGINS around. Some of you might have heard of DURGIN PARK in Boston, MA. I have on tape one of my grandfather's sisters saying we were related to this DURGIN, but it's never been documented. This restaurant is known for its Yankee cooking and sassy waitresses. I've never been, but it's on my list of places to go someday.

They're know for their DURGIN PARK Indian Pudding. For the Recipe click on the DURGIN PARK link and then click on Recipes.

And then while doing DURGIN research I was pleased to find a place where I could live out my final days. Would you believe there's a DURGIN PINES nursing home? It's in Maine so I'd have to move from Texas, but I love watching snow fall and I could sit in a rocking chair near a window and be perfectly content for hours.

Are any of you DURGINS? Do you know any DURGINS? I'd love to know.

Thanks Jenny for hosting Alphabe-Thursday.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bronze Shoe Collection For Second Time Around Tuesday

For this week's Second Time Around Tuesday hosted by Diane at A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words I'm sharing my bronzed baby shoe collection. I don't know how family members can just donate or sell their relative's bronzed baby shoes. When I see them I feel this need to rescue them if they're cheap enough.

This first shoe wasn't rescued at an Estate sale, garage sale, flea market, or antique mall. No, this first shoe was my mother's. My sister has the mate.

All the rest of the shoes were purchased, but I never spend more than $15. This little girl's dress shoe is so cute. It's a bookend and I have the mate.

This shoe has bells. I have it's mate too.

These shoes are mounted on a base and originally must have had a picture frame for the baby's picture.

This was just a lone shoe.

And this is from another pair of bookends. This is the first set of bronzed shoes that I bought and I got the set for $3 in Canton, Texas.

My one regret is that I passed up an adorable set of tiny bronzed cowboy boots. They were $30, but I've never seen another set in my travels.

Meanwhile, I continue to rescue all reasonably priced bronzed baby shoes. It makes me sad to think that someone didn't want them.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


I'm so disgusted with Blogger. The update I just posted to my Pink Saturday post does not have the double spacing between the paragraphs! It should be there. Why it doesn't work I have no idea, but I'm tired of spending so much time trying to fix posts. The picture will enlarge when clicked on now.

PINK Saturday Picture again...

The picture won't enlarge in my original PINK Saturday post. Hopefully the picture will enlarge when clicked on here. I've been told that if the picture is moved around in the compose screen it might not enlarge. So, I uploaded the picture and didn't move it.
I still have no idea why when published my double spacing between paragraphs doesn't always appear. A post that should take ten minutes sometimes takes an hour while I try and pull the post and get my double spacing to appear. So often it's fine in the preview, but not when published. Other times there's no problem. Sigh.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Dolls Going to the Jersey Diner for Pink Saturday

It's time for Pink Saturday again sponsored by Beverly over at How Sweet The Sound. For a list of this week's participants head over to her blog by clicking on the link or the Pink Saturday button on my sidebar.

I enjoy collecting the vintage Vogue Ginny Dolls. Ginny was my favorite doll as a child growing up in the 1950's. I currently collect the vintage Vogue Jill, Jeff, and Ginnette dolls too. In recent years I've added the modern Vogue Ginny and Vogue Ginny repros to my collection.

There are two books that most Vogue collectors have in their library. They are referred to simply as the PINK book and the Purple book in Vogue Doll circles. The PINK book was the first edition of the Collector's Encyclopedia of Vogue Dolls. The purple book is the second edition. If you grew up playing with Ginny you would enjoy thumbing through both these books today. Below is the PINK book.

For PINK Saturday some of my Ginny dolls decided to dress in PINK and visit Jeff's Jersey Diner. I grew up in New Jersey and miss all the diners, so I recreated one for my dolls.

(EDITED TO ADD THIS UPDATE: I've been told that if the picture is moved around in the compose mode it won't always enlarge when clicked on. I've uploaded the picture again and it appears in the next post and does enlarge.)

On the left is a modern day Ginny getting ready to make a phone call. A vintage Jill doll is the waitress and a Bob doll (not made by Vogue) is the Soda Jerk. A modern reproduction Ginny is wearing the pink Ginny name shirt, pink skirt and hat. A vintage Ginny is wearing a vintage Vogue outfit and sitting at the counter. Another vintage Ginny is getting a Coke and wearing an outfit that a doll friend from a Yahoo Ginny Group made. She's also wearing her pink sneakers!

I haven't finished this diner yet. I still have plans to make a diner booth and add a few more finishing touches. The menu above the counter contains native New Jersey dishes using Taylor Ham also known as Pork Roll (and not easy to find in Texas).

Last week I enjoyed visiting Marta's blog For The Love Of Junk. I love the name of her blog and enjoyed seeing all her neat "junk."

* I'm editing this post to ask for help. I double space between paragraphs and check my posts in the Preview before publishing. There were three paragraphs in this post before the first picture with double spacing between them. As you can see the double spacing disappeared when it was published. Does anyone know why this happens? Also, you should be able to click on my pictures and see them larger, but that's not happening on this post either. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm getting pretty frustrated with Blogger lately.

* Geesh...when I published it again the double spacing suddenly appeared. OK...I'm going to put this back up again and I have no idea what will happen this time.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

MaMa Is Still Missing...

It will be two weeks soon since I last saw MaMa our feral cat. When I went out to feed her early that morning she was waiting in the shed. She wouldn't go over to the bowl of food until I stepped back out. She often did that, but occasionally she'd let me pet her while she ate a few bites.

A couple of hours later the men arrived to work on our house. I had told them about MaMa so they wouldn't be startled if she ran out from under the deck. They had to rip out the deck and that was one of MaMa's favorite places to hide. I don't know if they saw her...they never said. They were here for around five hours, but I haven't seen MaMa since.

Last Saturday evening after dark we walked up and down our street calling for her. She's feral and not like a regular pet, so she wouldn't meow or come running if she heard us, but I was hoping she'd hear familiar voices and later come home. We deliberately did it in the dark because that's when she'd probably be more likely to move around.

I still put her food out twice a day like normal. The food is being eaten, but I'm not sure by whom. One morning I saw a possum and I know he ate the food that morning. I saw a cat in the yard this morning, but that was a few hours after the food had been partially eaten. (I put the dish out and check 30-45 minutes later to see if it's been eaten.) I'm hoping it's MaMa eating the food some of the time, but it's hard to tell. The shed is behind the garage which blocks my view.

Whenever I go out in the yard I talk to her. I'm hoping she's somewhere in the vicinity hiding and can hear my voice.

We've fed her for nine years, but she's not much tamer than when we first saw her. That is the sad reality of a feral cat's life. A feral cat is usually a kitten born to a pet that's been abandoned. We have apartments behind our house and I assume that's where MaMa came from originally. Someone probably moved away and left their pet. That pet hid somewhere and had kittens. If a kitten is not exposed to humans early in life they are feral.

Every other day I call animal control to see if she's been caught, but she hasn't and I really don't expect that she will. It's the not knowing that bothers me the most. I never expected her to run away like this, but I can only assume she was terrified when the men came in the yard. There really wasn't a choice. Our house needed slab work and we couldn't wait.

In the past she had disappeared for a couple of days at a time. When we trapped her with a humane trap and had her fixed she was gone for a couple of days after we released her. Then when my husband brought her in for Hurricane Ike she disappeared again but came back. But she has a long memory. My husband never was able to get near her again. We worried about what would happen if there was a hurricane again because we knew we wouldn't be able to catch her.

I thought after nine years she wouldn't disappear for any length of time because she's used to getting her meals here. I don't think she could survive on her own any more. When we first found her in the shed she had chicken bones. I'm assuming she was eating from the dumpster at the apartments, but she hasn't had to do that for many years.

So, I'm hoping she's nearby and still coming for meals. I will continue to put out the food and continue to call animal control indefinitely. I miss her and feel so sad about what's happened.

Please spay and neuter your pets.

Alphabe-Thursday - The Letter C

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday and this week we're doing the letter C. For information on Alphabe-Thursday and a list of participants visit Jenny's blog.

Of course, the first thing I thought of that started with a C was Class. This was my Kindergarten Class in Westwood, NJ. Miss Cornell (another C word) was my teacher and she also lived across the street from us. I'm in the front row on the left.

This was my first Class paper in Kindergarten.

This was the Class graduation program cover.

This was my Class diploma.

And this was my first grade Class at Ketler Elementary in Westwood, NJ. I was small and always sat in the front of the class. That's me in the front on the left. Miss Moore was the teacher and many years before my mother had also been in her class. I can remember being very concerned because she was old and I thought she might die. She didn't. She continued to teach and then eventually retired.

And this is another picture of my first grade Class. I guess that year the photographer came twice...once for an indoor picture and once for an outdoor picture. That's me in the front row on the right.

I could show you all the rest of my elementary school Classes, but I figured this was probably enough for one day.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I'm participating again in Second Time Around Tuesday hosted by Diane at A Picture Is Worth a 1000 Words. For a list of participants be sure and visit her blog.

This week I have something I spotted at either an antique mall or resale shop...I can't remember which. I recall seeing these message boxes when I was a child in the 1950's. They were hung on the front door or front porch and were for visitors to leave a message if they came while the home owner was gone. The home owner would use the clock to indicate when they expected to return.

Inside was a pad and pencil for the visitor to leave a message.

I keep mine as a sentimental decoration hanging in the entryway. It wouldn't last very long outside with our heat and humidity.