Friday, April 29, 2016

Dolls, dolls, dolls

I recently purchased the November 16, 1954 copy of  Look magazine just for this picture.  You can click on it to enlarge.
The bottom 4 rows are Vogue Ginny dolls for the year 1954.  Ginny is the doll I mainly collect.  The first row at the top is the Nancy Ann Muffie doll for 1954.  I have a few Muffies in my collection too.  For me it was fun to see some of the dolls that were available for Christmas 1954.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Good Job!! For Warm Heart Wednesday #24

Welcome to Warm Heart Wednesday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This is where we share something that warmed our hearts.

There are so many people and services that we tend to take for granted.  For years I shopped at the same Kroger Supermarket.  To myself I would admire the produce department.  It was usually very neat and well stocked.  The produce looked fresh.  It never even occurred to me to share my thoughts with anyone else.
One day as I was shopping the man that usually worked in that department was putting out some fresh produce right next to where I was looking.  I commented on how nice everything always looked.  His reaction caught me by surprise.  He turned to me with a big smile and said, "Thank you so much.  We try very hard to keep it looking good."  Then he introduced himself and shook my hand.

In an instant I knew I had made his day.  I had seen him hundreds of times.  Why hadn't I said something before?  I guess because I took his good work for granted.  Probably most of the time when a customer spoke to him it was to complain about something.  I had caught him completely off guard by paying him a compliment.  For me it was a heart warming moment and a lesson learned.

Perhaps you heard about the little 3 year old girl in Illinois who enjoyed waving to the garbage man every Thursday?  She would wait for him with her mom just so she could wave.  He would honk the horn and give her a big wave back.

Brooklyn decided she wanted to share one of her birthday cup cakes with him and that's exactly what she did.
It was a special heart warming moment for both of them.

The garbage man is someone we take for granted, but if he didn't show up for a while we'd sure notice!  Thank you Brooklyn for the reminder.

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rain, Rain Go Away For Warm Heart Wednesday #23

It's already week #23 of Warm Heart Wednesday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."

Rain, rain go away!  That's what we've been saying in Houston this week.  I live in the Clear Lake area and we probably got a fraction of the amount of rain they got in other parts of town.  I stayed home and kept busy working on some of my dolls.  That always warms my heart.

I recently won a set of Birthday aprons on Ebay.  Back in the 1950's the Vogue Doll Company made a set of aprons for a little girl and her doll.  Here's one of my little girls with her doll.
I was thinking of starting a new tradition.  Whenever a family member has a birthday I'll bring out these dolls to help celebrate.  Don't you know my grown sons will just love this new tradition? Oh well, at my age they can just tell everyone their mother is senile.

I've been working on some recent purchases too.  Most of my dolls are fixer uppers.  I like the idea that some little girl back in the 1950's had fun playing with them.  I also like the idea that they're much less expensive that way.  I see beautiful mint Vogue Ginny Dolls on eBay for $200 and up...sometimes over a thousand.  No thanks.  I love dolls, but not that much.

I recently bought the two dolls in the middle of this photo at a doll show.  The one of the left was $27.50 and the clown was $25.
Both of them had glue all over their faces.  I managed to get it all off without damaging their facial paint and then they had a good cleaning to remove 60+ years of dirt.  Then I removed the thin cut wig on the blond doll.  It was shot.  I rewigged her with another blond wig that I had and reglued the clown's wig where it was coming off.
I still have to comb and rebraid the clown's hair.  

Then my son helped me put in some new elastic so their arms could hold a pose.  He asked that I keep him out of the photograph.  He does not want to be known as a doll doctor.  I respect his wishes so he'll help me again the next time.
Here's my semi-finished Ginny.  I say semi-finished because I'm disappointed with all the flyaway hairs in her wig.  I'm hoping I can tame them.  I ironed her dress and gave her some reproduction black center snap shoes.  She has beautiful facial coloring.  Often these old dolls are faded and/or the brows and lashes have turned green due to copper that was in some of the paint.  She's wearing the Cathy dress #63 from 1953.  She's missing the hat that came with this dress.
You can see a mint Cathy doll on eBay and she can be yours for $365.  I'll put up with my less than perfect Cathy for $27.50.

Before I go I thought I'd share some pictures my friend texted to me this past week.  Sherelyn lives on the northwest side of Houston where I lived in the 1980's.  That area was hit particularly hard with flooding.  She was stuck home for days, but was fortunate not to get any water in her home.  It came close though.
Her next door neighbor is 7 inches lower than her.  That made a big difference.  Their house took in water.  She said they were away when it happened, but are back now.
This was her neighbor's backyard.
These are some views of the street.
It's very important to have flood insurance in the Houston area.  This area is very flat and when a storm stalls and keeps dropping rain the water can't run off fast enough.  Then you also have creeks and bayous overflowing their banks.

It rained again today, but hopefully that will be it for a while.

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Furry Felines for Warm Heart Wednesday #22

It's time again for Warm Heart Wednesday where we share those special moments that warm our hearts.

I have always loved cats.  When I was a small child I'd go outside and wait for a cat to walk by.  Of course, they didn't walk by very often and finally my mother broke down and decided it would be OK to get a cat.  Our first cat was Lucky.   This photo was taken in 1952.
I've had many cats since Lucky.  Of all the cats I've had there is only one who's name I can no longer remember.  He did not stay around very long.  In fact, he disappeared before we even had him fixed.  After a month he game back, stayed a few minutes, and then disappeared again for good.  I think someone else must have been feeding him because he wasn't hungry.  I guess he found another home.  This is my mystery cat in 1959.
My favorite childhood cat was Timmy.  He was so sweet and still holds a special place in my heart.  I was heartbroken when he was hit by a car and killed in front of the house.  I don't let any of the cats I have today outside.  I just don't take any chances.  This was Timmy probably around 1960 or so.
When my husband and I first got married we lived in Sicily.  That's where we adopted our first two cats and brought them back to the states with us.  My husband always claimed that the cats were mine, but he never fooled anyone.  He loved cats just as much as me.

All the cats I have now are rescues.  My former home backed up to an apartment complex and I think sometimes people moved and left their cats behind.  A feral colony formed nearby.  So, I had cats showing up in my yard hungry, and the rest is history.  I trapped as many as I could with a humane trap and had them fixed.

For a long time we had a feral cat living in our shed.  Of course,  I trapped her and had her fixed.  She lived in our shed for nine years.  I was heartbroken when she ran off when we had some workmen in the yard.  If I had known that was going to happen I would have trapped her and brought her inside like we did for Hurricane Ike.  We put up signs around the neighborhood and my husband and I walked for blocks calling her name, but even if she heard us she probably wouldn't have come.  She was not tame at all.  We searched for five months and always hoped she'd show up one day, but she didn't.  I still feel like I somehow failed her.  This was MaMa in her shed.
 I won't even tell you how many cats I have now, but I'm maxed out. 

I'm proud that my husband and I were able to pass on a love for animals to our kids.

You should have seen Reid yesterday morning trying to catch a lizard that got in the house so the cats wouldn't kill him.  He was successful and the little lizards is out there living happily ever after.  We hate to see any living thing hurt.

Keith lives in Austin and has one rescued cat.  Troy and Debbie live out in the country and they have a cat sanctuary (whether they realize it or not).  Cats and kittens just seem to show up.  They're very good about getting them all fixed right away.  They have a cat fence that folds inward if a cat tries to climb it, so the cats have a large safe area to roam and a garage to sleep in.  A pregnant cat showed up recently and proceeded to have six kittens.  I've lost track of how many cats they have but it's twenty something for sure.

I know I shouldn't pick favorites, but Grace was a very special cat to me.  She showed up at our front door as a kitten.  She lived to be almost 21 and she's been gone for two years now.  I still miss her.
Reid has his favorite cat.  It's Ashley.  His mother left him in our garage when he was five weeks old.  We trapped him and brought him inside where he immediately hid under the bed and wouldn't come out.  He was feral and terrified.  Reid spent a lot of time coaxing him out from under the bed and he bonded with Reid.  He's the only one that can pick him up today.   Reid was certain that Ashley would forget him when he was hospitalized and gone for two months.  However, when he returned home it was as if he had never been gone.  Ashley immediately started following him around the house again.
Today,  Blackie is my favorite cat.  She was another one that showed up to eat one day.  I fed her and she came back the next day with a kitten.  Blackie and Baby have been with us ever since.  She is the sweetest cat and a heart warmer for sure.  She thinks everyone must love cats and if a stranger comes in and sits on the couch Blackie climbs right up on their lap and purrs.  This picture was taken a couple of months after they showed up and before they moved inside.  The funny thing is that they have absolutely no desire to go outside now.  They're perfectly content being inside cats.
I think all of my cats have been heart warmers.

Please remember to spay and neuter your cats.  I just don't have room for any more!

Now head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's Warm Heart Wednesday participants.

Thanks Jenny!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Honest Abe For Warm Heart Wednesday #21

Welcome to Warm Heart Wednesday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This is where we weekly share something that warmed our hearts.

I was stumped this week, so I googled "warm hearted" to see what would come up.

First was the definition:

Simple Definition of warmhearted:

having or showing kindness, sympathy, and affection
In searching I found that our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was known as a warmhearted person.
He had many honorable traits.  They didn't call him "Honest Abe" for nothing.  He was known for being completely honest.  That's kind of unusual for someone that reaches the level he did in the political world.  People trusted and admired him.

He was sympathetic.  He was able to put himself in other people shoes and understand their needs.  After all this was the man that helped free the slaves.
He was a good listener.  He encouraged people.  He wrote his own speeches and had a way with words.  Remember the Gettysburg Address?

He could see good in people...even his enemies.

He was confident in himself and not afraid to listen to other opinions.  He won over many of his rivals this way.

He had a temper, but knew how to deal with it.  When angry he would often write a letter to the person he was mad at and then not mail it.  (Needless to say, there was no Twitter back then.)

He had a strong sense of integrity.  He was able to compromise, but never waver from his core principals.  In other words he didn't flip flop to try and gain more votes.

When things went wrong he didn't get caught up in the blame game.  He took responsibility even if it was someone in his inner circle that made the mistake.  He practiced humility.

He was genuine and kind to others.  One example is the letter he wrote to a mother that lost five sons in the Civil War:

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,--
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln
Yes, President Lincoln gets my vote for being a warmhearted person. 
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln.  
Now head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.