Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hoosier Cabinet

I had three elderly great-aunts who lived together in their later years. When the last of them passed away several years ago (well into her 90's), my husband and I helped my parents clear the house out to get it ready to sell. My parents kept a few things, we saved out some things for my sisters, and the rest went to me and hubby and to others who helped us.

My mother wanted to make sure that this Hoosier cabinet stayed in the family. She has fond memories of her aunts cutting up lemons on its work surface and making lemonade during the hot New Mexico summers of her childhood.

It has a flour bin from which you could sift flour directly into a measuring device, or a bowl. If you look carefully, you will see a pitcher with a greenish tint in the storage area level with the work surface. That's the same pitcher my great-aunts served their lemonade in.

One of the things that I really like about this cabinet's design is that the enamel work surface can be pulled out for more work space when needed. The top picture shows the work surface pushed all the way in, the bottom picture shows it pulled out to its furthest extent.

I only use the cabinet to store dishes now, to set cakes, pies, and cookies on when they come out of the oven to cool, or as an extra surface on which to set food dishes when entertaining.

I don't know how much it's worth. I've tried to find out, but there were many manufacturers of Hoosier cabinets and many different styles, so it's been hard to pin my particular cabinet down, even though I know the manufacturer. It was manufactured by Helmers of Kansas City, MO.

I don't want to sell it, but it'd be nice to know its value. Its sentimental value is priceless. When I look at its stained and faded wooden surfaces, I often imagine my great-aunts working away making a dinner, or a pie, or slicing those lemons for lemonade. And my mom as a little girl waiting for her glassful.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Time to make some cookies!

Gingerbred men cookie cutters:

Lays to rest once and for all the gingerbred man's cocky (or cookie?) refrain, "You can't catch me! I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

(via Editorial Anonymous)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fairy Rings

A lot of Fairy Rings, or Fairy Circles, have been showing up in the park next to my house.

Folklore tells us that these rings are caused by fairies, pixies, or elves dancing in a circle.

To step into a fairy ring is to risk never being able to step back out into our world again. You might find yourself in the Land of Faerie - stuck there, bidden to dance until you die from exhaustion. Or you may become enchanted and marry a fairy. Most legends say that fairy rings are dangerous places and are best avoided. My dog, however, made it back out of this Fairy ring just fine.

In reality, the rings are caused by an underground fungus called mycelium. You can learn more about fairy rings, their causes, and the folklore behind them, here.

It's either fairies or fungus that really like the soccer fields in the park next door. Maybe on the next moonlit night I'll go and make sure that it isn't the former.

If you would like to read a short story with fairies in it, follow this link to a story called The Fairy's Tale.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July Bloom Day!

It's Bloom Day! This is my very first Bloom Day post. On the 15th of each month, people around the world post pictures of what's blooming in their gardens. To see all of these posts, or to leave a link to a post of what's blooming in your garden, go here. Below is my Bloom Day contribution for July. Here's what's blooming in my garden in northeast Ohio, USA:

The zucchini are blooming in my vegetable garden:

I was given this plant in its pot, It's a balloon flower (which I learned from one of the other bloom day post-ers), not a moonflower which my husband thought the previous owners called it when they handed it to him. It comes back every year with its beautiful purple blooms:

The day lilies are in bloom around the mailbox:

And other lilies of which the name escapes me:

This is wonderful groundcover for shady spots, but beware! It tends to want to take over! I'm very sorry that I've forgotten its name - I'm very bad at names:

The next two pictures are of a variety of viola that are supposed to be perennial. I just put them in this spring, so I'll see how they overwinter:

Okay, that's all for what's in bloom in my yard right now, except for things like impatiens and hanging pots, etc., which are always in bloom. The next set of pictures is what I find in bloom in the park next door when I go for walkies with my doggy. Most of these pictures are on the wild fringes of the park, where things are left to themselves.

Here are some cattails. I've never seen them as tall as they are this year:

Here is some pretty, yellow bird's foot trefoil:

I'm not sure what variety of thistle this is, but it's in bloom and seeding at the same time! It's a smaller variety, the larger thistle blooms later:

Queen Anne's lace, with its pretty, dark-purple center:

These aren't blooming, but these ripening blackberries are as pretty as flowers:

I don't know the name of these flowers. They are smaller than daisies and begin to bloom when the daisies are finishing up:

There is a bumble bee on this milkweed blossom. There is a lot of milkweed this year, more than I've seen before. For some reason, I really like milkweed, and I'm very happy to see it:

And there are still a few daisies left to enjoy:

Here is some chicory:

I don't know the name of these thing-a-ma-bobs, but we've all seen them in dried flower arrangements. This is the first one to open its little, lavender colored blooms:

And finally, this is not a bloom, but an oddity. A bat caught out in the daytime! I've never seen that before, but then again, I've never looked! I saw it flying over the little pond in the park while I was out taking all of these pictures around noon-time today:

Have a nice bloom day! And don't forget to follow the links found in the comments section here to see what's in bloom today all over the world!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Harry Potter 7 Extravaganza Pictures!

Last year around this time my nice little town celebrated the final Harry Potter book release by throwing an Extravaganza. It was a lot of fun. About 12,000 people showed up, which is about half the population of my nice little town. Most of them were dressed up as witches and wizards.

The Learned Owl Bookshop in my nice little town sponsored the last Extravaganza. For that night they turned into Flourish and Blotts.

The merchants in our quaint little downtown all turned into various wizarding shops for the night.It was like strolling around Diagon Alley, or Hogsmeade.

I've just learned that they were planning a Harry Potter Birthday Bash for the end of August to celebrate Harry Potter's birthday. They've moved the celebration, however, to coincide with the release of the 6th Harry Potter Movie in the fall and a date has not yet been set.

To see pictures of last year's celebration and to learn about this year's planning, click here. The pictures from last year are divided into Character Photos, Start of Term Feast Photos, Everything Else Photos, and More Photos.

The Start of Term Feast was held at a very old private high school in my nice little town, so there was a great hall to use, and you had to purchase tickets ahead for that. It sold out very quickly.

(All pictures from The Learned Owl Harry Potter Webpage.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Garden Happenings

Here are a few images from my garden.

One of my rows of corn:
The following is a snippet of some peas. I have three varieties, two of which will only get about 18 inches high. This variety, however, will grow as high as 5 feet:
Bush beans flowering in the sun:
And a sunflower plant. I can't wait until my sunflowers bloom:
I'm also waiting for the time when my calendula matures enough to put out flowers.

I have trouble with one of my tomatoes. Although it rained twice yesterday as if we'd been dunked under a waterfall, and all this morning, one of my tomato plants looks like it's wilting. I didn't get a picture of it because my camera ran out of memory just at that moment. Why is that one tomato plant wilting?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Did Robert Graves steal ideas from his Mistress?

I'm familiar with Robert Graves through his books on mythology. His perspective on the female in deity really got me thinking when I was younger. Now it seems that he may have stolen some of those ideas from a former mistress. If you're interested, you can read the article about it here.

From the article in The Independent:

Dr Mark Jacobs, a research fellow at Nottingham Trent University who has spent two decades studying 700 letters he received from Laura Riding Jackson as well as her literary works, said when she discovered the uncanny similarity in his texts she condemned her former lover as a "robber baron". ...

Dr Jacobs said Jackson accuses Graves of "robbing" her of key ideas which he appropriated as his own for his seminal study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess, published in 1948.

He claimed that the inspiration for the work, which equates God with women, related to an early essay Jackson wrote in the 1930s called The Idea of God and her book, The Word Woman, which preceded Graves's magnum opus.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Story About Love

I have a new story up at my other blog. It's about a broken heart as much as it is about love.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Heart-touching video clip - Christian the Lion

When I was young I was absolutely enthralled by George and Joy Adamson and their Born Free story about Elsa the lion. I even had my room painted lion gold. I had never heard about Christian the lion, but these links (via bookshelvesofdoom) will take you to some more information about Christian the lion and George Adamson. Here is a Wikipedia article about Christian. Here is a Daily Mail article about the lion in my living room. Here is more information on George Adamson.