Silent Sunday

My friend Joan gave me this perennial.
I will ask her the name of it and add.
Update :Bear’s Britches(breeches) is the common name . It is a wildflower that grows in Pa woods. Needs sun to flower as it is doing now. I will look up the Latin name and get back in to you later.

Second update Ruth it is acanthus mollis. It needs partial shade and very wet soil. It needs some sun to bloom well. It can be invasive so you have to watch it and pull out stems and roots if it starts to expand. I have not found it to be a problem in that regard but I don’t let it expand much

And then my sister just sent me a photo from her Hudson River Walk today in New York City

Lettuce from a Friend’s Garden

I got a text that my friend saying she was in the driveway. She’d brought a bag of homegrown lettuce from her garden. I sat on the side porch stoop, she stayed in her car. We talked a bit. Thanks for the delicious lettuce, Joan. You wrapped it so carefully in the wet towels. It was crispy and refreshing. Summer.

Freshly Ground Pepper

This French pepper mill was a 1974 wedding gift from my sister’s friend, Janet. It works perfectly. I added a variety of peppercorns my friend Joanne sent to me.

Freshly ground pepper, yes or no?

If yes, on what?

I mixed up several types of pepper this time.

Beloved Duo Since 1969

My sister Mary embroidered this Bert and Ernie pillow when Mark was little. So at least forty some years ago. I found it while going through a big basket of pillows on the third floor. Their faces make me think of Rubber Ducky and Doing the Pigeon.

I’m partial to Ernie. Do you have a favorite? I’ve a knitting pattern for an Ernie sweater but who would wear it?

“Their names are believed to have been drawn from those of two minor characters in the Frank Capra film It’s A Wonderful Life.

According to A&E’s Biography, Bert and Ernie were… the only Muppets to appear in the Sesame Street pilot episode,screen tested to a number of families in July 1969.” -Wikipedia

Ernie and Bert
Jim Henson Exhibit last year at COSI in Columbus Ohio Blog post last year
First episode Sesame Street date: November 10, 1969

Paper Engineering

I received another wonderful pop-up card in the mail from a good friend. The paper engineer creator is from Berlin. Her name is Maike Bierderstaedt .

The construction of the intricate and beautiful designs amazes me and I open and close it and open it again to watch the paper Bouquet blossom.

Designer Maike Bierderstaedt

My sister sent me a pop-up card recently you may have seen the Bunnykins and Daisies post

Pandemic Tumbleweed-Guest Blog

I’ve had a lot of good help with friends and family contributing to the blog during this Pandemic. I appreciate their sharing their images.

Some prefer to be anonymous and I respect their wishes. This early morning I received the photo AND the accompanying title. Thank you guest blogger. 😀

Pandemic Tumbleweed

Storms a Coming by Jane Miller – Guest Blogger

 

Storms a coming.

by Jane Miller 

My husband and I live with his mother in an old farmhouse with parts dating back to 1842. Except for the window lined porch that faces west, the house is structurally the way it was 100 years ago when the third generation of the Hunter family lived here. Their ancestors were a Scottish Presbyterian family who cleared this portion of Depreciation Lands.

Often my thoughts go to life as it may have been stretched out over a nearly 200 year history when the family sustained themselves with their labors in the fields and there were horses in the barn. Now the horses are gone. The farm is in transition. Our work of the day includes for me, the care giving for my mother-in-law, Lois—almost 90—and the patients my husband “sees” on a computer in his office that was at one time our dining room and in generations past, a kitchen. The beauty of the evolving nature is one constant. We especially enjoy our summer evenings.

On one of the first warm nights this year we sat together on the back deck after mom was in bed, I grieved the loss of the horses and a pasture plowed under by Farmer Beahm, who will soon plant field corn. The sun was heading for its sweet spot between the tree-lined hills as clouds gathered bits of gray.

I remembered an evening nearly 35 years ago on May 31, 1985, the evening a 25-mile long twister took out the trees of that hill and my mother and father-in-law, along with our three-year-old son, hit the basement. I think they wanted a room with windows to better see a storm a coming in addition to daily witnessing the beauty of nature.

On this May evening—one of the first ones a coat and blanket not needed—another storm was brewing. It was May 12, just before the world began opening up to our “new normal” and all of the unknowns this will bring. Then in the skies, a real storm collected clouds and we were fascinated as we watched where the sun would soon disappear in the West. Rick had a Scotch in his hand. I had my camera.

The beauty of the moment mesmerized us and we didn’t heed the warnings of the winds. Our eyes were on the skies, when rain pelted us. For the moment we laughed through the winds, making sure my camera was safe and Rick anchored down the furniture we had to evacuate.

I thought of the storms of the past and the ones that are brewing and a word came to my mind about life on the farm. Resilience. Crops fail. You replant. Animals that sustain you will die. It’s not a moment to moment feeling. It’s a joy that doesn’t depend upon what is happening to you. It’s about being grateful for every moment in every time.

Life goes on and it’s always day by day. Farmers look for their rewards at the end of the day.

Storm a Coming

Month of May Stitched in Memory- Guest Blog

These photos are from May 1987, taken in Kentucky.  Sent by my good friend Joanne. We were so much younger then, we’re older than that now……

And a tribute to Phyllis George who passed May 14th.

Joanne, Phyllis, Ruth

Ruth – you and I reconnected as Army wives in Fort Knox, KY in 1986 after we both moved there from Germany, where we first met.  You taught me the art of smocking and we spent a lot of time together stitching beautiful outfits for our little girls.  Then we decided to make it a “cottage industry” and created our business Handsmocked in Kentucky.  We took special orders and sold our work in the  Kentucky Arts Council In Louisville … where we attracted the attention of Phyllis George (then wife of the Governor of Kentucky!) .

We had such fun and dreams with our little business, and then all of a sudden we were invited to Phyllis George’s home as a vendor for her Kentucky Derby celebration which featured Kentucky based artists!  What an adventure ….
33 years later I still have a lot of memories and a wardrobe of smocked dresses to hand down to some special little girl.  
My memory of Phyllis George was a gracious, giving woman who cared deeply about Kentucky artisans.   (And she wrote us a check for a handsmocked dress for her daughter.)

Joanne was able to go into her boxes of photos which are all labeled and put her hands on these photos.

Joanne even put her hands on our little brochure.  Her sister did the artwork.

Our daughters Laura and Anna at a tea party, sporting our smocking. This photo is in Germany where both girls were born.

Goodbye to the O – Original Hot Dog Shop- Oakland Pittsburgh

My friend Roberta sent me a Post-Gazette article this evening, An elegy to the ‘O’: A beloved hot dog shop closes after 60 years written by Mick Stinelli and Dan Gigler. It told about the sad and sudden closing of The Original Hot Dog Shop. A long time late night favorite in the heart of Oakland adjacent to University of Pittsburgh. Upon closing they donated “7 tons of potatoes to charity”. (They were famous for their fries)

We’d get a couple of hot dogs and share the huge order of fries, sometimes before a Poetry Reading at Hemingway’s. Or after. No matter what time you ate there, it was a familiar and reliable taste and experience.

Here’s a photo I took of the landmark from a 2010 blog post.