Finding What’s Good About Returning Home After the Holiday

My house is quiet this morning and it’s zero degrees with a windchill of plenty below.

I got back to Pittsburgh yesterday evening. I miss them all now, having spent two weeks with my families in Ohio.

This morning in my kitchen I see my 33 year old self looking at me making toast and wonder where the time flew – I took a cake decorating class in Germany with my friend J when Laura was small.

There’s the reliable top of the line toaster from my dear friend V.

Best 50th birthday present, still working wonderfully fifteen years later.

There’s the new ceramic pour over I received from James and Laura this Christmas. The family photo mug Marlene created for me last Christmas waiting for hot coffee to drip in it. The new spices and tiny lidded butter dish from J in Florida. Oh and the new spices on the rack from her,too. There are Christmas cards to read, bills to pay, Laundry, ordinary life stuff.

At my daughter’s home it’s “pour over” and mugs of places traveled. Every morning my DIL would make a fresh carafe of coffee. Both types delicious. How lovely it is to have someone serve you coffee. I made a pot in their fancy machine but I know they like it a certain way.

Five grandchildren in two homes guarantee fun, laughter and lots of activity. I like playing. Here at home, I’m thinking about finishing knitting projects, checking out a book at the library, hoping the pipes don’t freeze, going to a doctor’s appointment, meeting friends for lunch next week and continuing my efforts to reduce the accumulations in the house with multiple thrift shop trips with donations. I found I had difficulty doing this ongoing task so hired an expert to assist me, spur me on. Need to clear out my third floor.

It’s good to be home in my kitchen.

I’ll catch up on the blog and reply to comments, think about what’s next.

Schedule a battery replacement for my iPhone, (link to a Washington Post Article Below Run Don’t Walk To Replace Iphone Battery for $29). I won’t be running to the nearby Apple store as there is no availability support said to try tomorrow to schedule.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/01/04/run-dont-walk-to-replace-your-iphone-battery-for-29/

Wedding China Curves

Anyone who knows me, knows I like dishes.  Different patterns for different occasions. I used to want twelve different patterns, a place setting of each, for a mix and match dinner party.

These  two photos were taken the weekend of April 8, 2016, Anna and Aric’s Austin, Texas wedding.

(You might remember Champ the ring bearer)

This week’s photo challenge from Cheri Lucas Rowlands is CURVE

My friend Joanne,  mother of the bride, was showing me the fine China she brought to the wedding.  Wrapped up carefully and boxed in the back of her car. She had moved it from Omaha to Florida.

Here is the story of the plates-  The pink and gold Lenox fine China plates were from Carolin, a dear friend and neighbor where they used to live in Omaha.  She has since passed but years ago,  Carolin was moving, she gave Joanne the plates to save for her daughter, Anna. Anna had worked for her in high school.

“Antoinette Pink pattern #M356/262, introduced in 1937 and discontinued in 1974”

 

The smaller plate is made by Rosenthal  but we don’t have the name of the pattern.  Joanne bought those at an estate sale in Nebraska.

When I got married (42 years ago) people still selected a China pattern, service for twelve, I already had my grandmother’s silver flatware but I think people were selecting silver patterns, too. Nowadays it is mostly stainless steel flatware.

 

curved fine china platter 2

 

 

curved fine china plate

Just this week, my sister sent me an article Oh, for keepsakes! What to do with Grandma’s China by Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post about how children of today’s world don’t care to inherit Grandmother’s dishes.

My own daughter houses my grandmother’s delicate Haviland china.  I doubt she’s used them.  I love to set a table with pretty china and yes, we know that the gold can’t go into a microwave. In fact,  fine china can’t go into a microwave either but there’s something lovely about a pretty plate set on a tablecloth that makes the meal a celebration. I even like washing and handling china, thinking of the good time everyone had at a special dinner.  Clearly I am old fashioned. Clearly old.

Joanne served an ice cream dessert in a China tea cup to a young visitor. The little girl was delighted.  Joanne’s mother said I never would have thought to use it for anything except a cup of tea. Joanne said a first course of soup in a cup and saucer with a side of cheesestraws is lovely, too.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

2013 Word of the Year- Selfie.  WordPress’ Cheri Lucas Rowlands posted the challenge with the example of herself reflected in an art work/sculpture.

Selfies are the thing for high schoolers.  It’s really their favorite subject to shoot. Themselves!

And I have a few of myself on file.  Here is an article written by Dan Zak in the Washington Post about Selfies

Duck Tour ReflectionJust Ducky Tour Reflection in Side View Mirror

selfie at Sunseri in StripHaving lunch alone at Sunseri’s in the Strip District.  Tuna Balsamic with onion on baguette ad a ginger ale.

selfie in lawn ball

Me in my lawn ball in the snow

me at work me at work (school) in sweater Erika gave me

hand knit socksMy hand knit socks( by self)  on my big feet.

A Century of Crossword Puzzles and a Guest Blog Photo

You might have noticed a recent GOOGLE DOODLE with a crossword puzzle.  Crosswords have been in the news a lot lately. I hear they’re good for your brain, keep it sharp.

I’d read an article in the Washington Post  by Merl Reagle about the inventor of the first crossword puzzle -Arthur Wynne, who ” never received a penny” for his creation.  His first puzzle was printed on December 21, 1913.

I have several friends and family who enjoy solving crosswords. In some households there’s a race to get the newspaper first!

And if you haven’t seen the movie WORDPLAY, consider watching it. There’s a trailer for the 2006 film in this link from TIME.

When I was visiting the family in Ohio, their newspaper- Columbus Dispatch– had a giant puzzle created by Monica Zurowski (managing editor of the Calgary Herald)  and I mailed it to my friend Bill who is a crossword  aficionado.  Today he messaged me a photo of the puzzle after he solved it.

He does crosswords everyday and does them well.  He says according to the film, WORDPLAY,  this puzzle in the photograph is not the definition of a true crossword puzzle but Bill said it was interesting and took a long time to accomplish ( today was an unexpected snow day from school)

Thanks Bill for the photo and good info on crossword puzzles.              I’ve seen you do them in ink!

Giant Crossword

*Want to solve a giant crossword with 853 clues? by Monica Zurowski /from the Calgary Herald- you can download it here

JFK Gravesite Photos via My Son Mark

These photos of the children at the JFK gravesite were on a hard drive but my son Mark found them tonight.  They were to accompany the JFK post on November 22nd.     He said to me on the phone, when I was considering whether to post them or not, “Mom, it’s still fifty years”.

I have some of my first photos from February 1964 of the JFK grave as I traveled there from New Jersey to Washington DC with my parents when there was a little white picket fence and snow.  I’ll have to dig in a box in the bottom of an upstairs closet to find those

Mark said all four of the kids were especially quiet and pensive as they stood by the graves. Here are the photos he took.

JFK and Kids

Maura JFK

Boys at JFK Tomb

Kids JFK

JFK

Earlier in November I read an article by Michael E. Ruane in the Washington Post –

At JFK’s funeral 50 years ago, a bugler’s broken note spoke for a grieving nation

Arlington House from tombArlington House, The Robert E Lee Memorial  as taken from the JFK gravesite below