Monday, October 30, 2006

A Treat for Halloween

One of my very favorite treats when I was a kid was to find that my parents had included PEZ as a part of a holiday surprise. It wasn't a sure thing and that made it even more special. There it would be; in a Christmas stocking, an Easter basket, or even for Halloween.

As the years passed I began to include them in holiday surprises for my own children. What do you do with the PEZ dispenser when the candy is all gone? Well, in our house you tucked it away just in case someone might gift you with a pack of those fruit flavored gems. After all, you just never know when the need for a dispenser may arise!

I hadn't really given it much thought until I found myself face to face with a Halloween PEZ display at the fabric shop on Saturday. My kids are grown and I am yet to have a grandchild to share these prizes with *hint*. So, I did what any self respecting woman of my age would do. I brought one home anyway.

Jay asks what everyone is giving out to the kiddos this Halloween. Our basket is full of Smartees and Starbursts.

But I am saving the PEZ for myself! Trick or Treat!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

WWC and a little blither.

Courtesy of Odd Mix, the words are Lame and Late.

This picture was taken on the banks of the Ohio River. Granted the river is much higher than our last visit, so the fossil beds we explored in past trips are under water - but the garbage floating in the river, i.e. plastic bottles and even a tire, was pretty Lame. Remember Woodsy Owl?

This Late blooming Iris was in all its glory on Bardstown Road in Louisville. It must have been going for a second round...ours are done by the time summer rolls around.

This afternoon I heard a rapid tapping outside the window. Hanging upside down from the vent was a little Downy Woodpecker. Here is my Lame attempt at catching him through the window with my camera.

Blog Blither - that pile of clippings left over from the weekend papers.

In this morning's Times there was a blurb in the Lifestyles section about the book Applebee's America. Maybe you have read it. Its supposed to be "a roadmap for success whether you are selling a product, a concept or a candidate." The authors offer a 12 question quiz to determine whether you belong to the "red tribe" (Republican), "blue tribe" (Democrat), or are a "tipper" - meaning you could go either way. Their contention is "that your lifestyle - what's in your refrigerator or your garage - says as much about your politics as your position on gay marriage or whether you live in a red or blue state."

It looks like an interesting read just based on this comment by Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post “…Applebee's America offers a readable and useful way of thinking about what our politicians, corporations and religions are trying to do to us -- and how they are doing it.” — September 12, 2006. I guess I'd like to know what they're thinking I'm thinking.

Willi and I both took the quiz. It was pretty short and simple. It was also wrong on both counts. Click here if you would like to take the quiz, too. I'd be interested in knowing if you think it gave an accurate read.
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According to the Associated Press, rescuers ended their search for a manatee that had apparently swam 700 miles up the Mississippi River to the Memphis riverfront. They were hoping to haul it by truck to Florida. Manatees are endangered and cannot survive in the cool northern waters. I was really hoping this story would have a happy ending.
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Michael J. Fox was lambasted for his appearance in recent political campaign ads suppporting candidates who are in favor of stem cell research. Anything we can do to bring the worth of this research to the forefront should be done. I applaud him for his efforts.
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Finally...if you made it this far, here is some eye candy.
To see the full 70 second ad, click here. You'll love it. I sure did!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Potter's Place

Hadley Pottery is a little "out of the way" place we found several years ago when we first visited Louisville. It is almost hidden in what seems to be an industrial area. From the street all you see is the sign out front advertising show room hours. If you venture inside, there is quite a find if you like the old time look of this pottery.

The building was purchased for Mrs. Hadley in 1944 as a birthday present. She must have been quite the artist, creating the original freehand designs on each piece of pottery.

Very little has changed at the pottery since her death in 1965. Her designs continue to be painted freehand on each individual piece. The prices are reasonable and most of all, it is great fun rummaging through the many shelves of artwork. If you are a bargain shopper like me, there is an area in the rear of the store where you can find some even greater deals.

This pretty lady is one of the artists that carry on the M. A. Hadley tradition. She was just a lovely as she looks!

Sometimes we just look, but this time we found a nice bargain! If you have the occasion to visit Louisville, here is a place worthy of your time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Friday's Feast One Hundred and Seventeen

Feed your mind
with thought-provoking,
mind-stimulating questions…

visit Friday's Feast:

a buffet for your brain.


Create a new candle scent.
My new candle scent would be called "Grandma's Apron". If I close my eyes I can remember the smell of her hugs; like clean laundry fresh off the clothesline on a crisp spring day. It's a comfort thing.

Name one way you show affection to others.
I'm a hugger at heart. I can't help it.

What is your favorite writing instrument?
A regular old #2 pencil works well for me...the kind with a nice orange eraser on the end. Pencils are very forgiving of my mistakes. That's a good thing!

Main Course
If you were given $25 to spend anywhere online, from which site would you buy?
I'd head on over to Village Records for some new tunes.
That was easy!

Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, what are you going to be?
Nope - that's not me. I leave the Halloween duty for Willi since he enjoys it so much. It's a lot more fun to watch him with the kids. Me and the dog hang back and keep the treats a comin'.

What would your wish be?

Meet Banner. This picture was taken last spring at one of our local county parks. You are being introduced to Banner because his owner gifted me all kinds of good luck. I am now the proud owner of one of Banner's horseshoes.

From what I am told, a horseshoe must be given after it is removed from the horse's foot in order for the luck to remain intact. You cannot find one on the side of the road, for when it is lost, the luck is lost with it. Looks like lots of rules here.

A horseshoe hung in your home is supposed to protect your family and attract good fortune. Works for me.

Some of my friends said to hang the horseshoe ends up makind it a holding tank for all of the luck floating around the house.

Others said to hang the horseshoe ends down so that the luck will flow out over the threshold, keeping evil out. I don't know if I buy that one.

Then I read that you should use a combination of both. The thought was that once it got full, it would need to be emptied so that everyone could share in the good luck. Sounds good, but awfully high maintenance.

I'm opting to hang it ends up. If it overflows, that's ok with me. But first, I am told you are supposed to make a wish. I'll have to think about this one.

What would your wish be?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

WWC and a bit of a jig.

Home again, home again, jiggety jig jig. Getting away is great, but it's so nice to get back home. The trip was well spent and the fall colors were better than expected. We found some fun, out of the ordinary places I would like to share later in the week. And, I'll let Willi tell you about our visit with Tim Krekel, save to say every time we hear Tim we think it can't get any better, and then he raises it up a notch! Congratulations are in order as Alan Jackson just recorded "Anywhere on Earth You Are" which was a Tim Krekel co-write.

We started this morning at the Falls of the Ohio saying goodbye to Louisville from the Indiana side of the Ohio River. The weather changed to cloudy 40's compared to the sunny 60's yesterday. Time to go home!

It seems as though the colors became more intense between the drive south on Thursday, and the trip home today. Willi braved off-ramp traffic to get this beautiful photo of Sumac in Columbus, Indiana.

We decided to take the back roads from Indianapolis to Lafayette. You know... if the trees are beautiful here, they have got to be better over there. So we did, and they were.

As we rounded a bend in Lafayette, Willi saw the stand of trees in this picture. We backed up and took a turn, then decided to keep going. It could only get better, right?

Pretty soon there were no more trees; just corn fields, a dark foreboding sky, and ...

a bunch of roads with number names like 500 East and 300 North. What's up with that?!! This looked a bit like the Wizard of Oz to me, or Children of the Corn. Not only that - the Colts were supposed to play at 3:00. Geez. Willi kept us due North thinking eventually we would hit a major road. And we did. Now I know why there is a compass embedded in my rearview mirror.

It was an enjoyable adventure, but it's good to be home again, home again, jiggety jig jig!

Courtesy of Odd Mix, the words are Delicate and Intense.

The intensity of the Louisville skyline is masked by the delicate autumn lace.

Peace is possible, delicately said

Another thought, said with greater intensity

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Drive South

"We're always looking for true north,
with our heads in the clouds, just a little off course.

I left the motor running, now if you're feeling down and out

Come on baby drive south, with the one you love."

-John Hiatt

Thank heavens it's fall break. Neither of us have been out of this corner of the state since early last spring. Although Willi had a summer break, it didn't amount to much since we were bound to my new job. So, albeit short and hopefully sweet, we are heading south for a couple of days. The drive through southern Indiana should be magnificent this time of year. And best of all, we will be able to catch a singer songwriter we have grown quite fond of. Sounds pretty good all around to me.

For those of you who played my guessing game in the last post, I am the little girl in banana curls and crooked bangs, right above the word "Gary". Willi and Ginnie guessed right. Willi had a definite advantage.

I was almost seven in this picture. Some things remain the same...the chubby cheeks, for example. I remember my mom setting my hair in pink sponge rollers to make those curls. We had to be very careful taking them out, or man, did it hurt.

If you are interested, I found a few nuggets this week while sifting through the infamous boxes. If you click on the picture, they should open in a new window, just a little larger.

This was my mom's yearbook from the year she graduated, 1937. Although she was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois, she ended up in Gary for her last year of high school. I'm not quite sure why, since her family stayed in Decatur. Another mystery!

The entire yearbook is filled with autographs and signatures next to pictures. This seems pretty amazing since she was only there one year. I graduated in 1973 and don't remember there being very much of that, although I was with the same group of kids for almost nine years. Things change.

William A. Wirt was the Superintendent at that time. I have heard quite a bit about his Work- Study-Play model of education. According to Wikipedia,
"He initiated teacher hiring standards, designed school buildings, lengthened the school day, and organized the schools according to his ideals. Outside of Gary, over 200 cities in forty-one states experimented with the platoon system, and in 1925, the National Association for the Study of the Platoon or Work-Study-Play School Organization formed to publicize the advantages of the platoon system. William Wirt not only received national recognition, but also gained worldwide fame from England to Japan."
Pretty interesting stuff when you consider how Gary schools are doing today.

Here is an interesting note. If any of you remember Tom Harmon of sports fame both as a player and announcer, he is the first boy pictured above. I remember my mom telling me she went to high school with him. Lo and behold, there he is.

There is my mom in the second row, first picture. She was a pretty girl I think. I miss her a bit tonight. Sharing is nice.

Well, say goodbye to the dog and the kids. Pack up the bags and jump in the car. Come on baby, let's drive south!

See you in a few...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

WWC and some old stuff, too.

Courtesy of Odd Mix, the words are Hello and Goodbye.

Hello fall...

Goodbye dollars.



Just for fun...

Gettin' a little big for your britches

Quite a balancing act
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Willi and I hit the new Border's today for the annual Educator Discount event. One of the nice things about music shopping at Border's is the listening stations. Everything always looks good to me. This gives me an opportunity to listen to it and then decide. Today I carried around new music from Chip Taylor and someone I had not heard before, Amos Lee; both sounded pretty good.

Then I came across a pretty neat book and the author was to arrive shortly for a signing. So I decided to nix the new cd's and go for the book instead. The book is entitled "Gary, Indiana: A Centennial Celebration". This is really cool for me as I begin to work through the boxes of things that my mom had saved. Both of my parents graduated from high school in Gary. That is where they were married and I was born. It should be fun tying the things from the boxes to the timeline in the book.

Here is one of the pictures I found of my mom. I am told she did some modeling back in the day. She is in the driver's seat. Naturally.

This was an interesting article in Weekly Reader from January, 1963. Remember those? I think if you click on these photos you will see a larger image.

Here is a picture of my first grade class at Gary Lutheran School. My teacher was Mrs. Clark. I can't believe I remember that.

Which one do you think is me? Aw come on and guess!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Autumn Snow

Most mornings I manage to get out of the house just in time to sit for an hour or so at the stoplight, waiting to cross the highway. This morning was no exception. At least the heater had kicked in. The thermometer on the rearview mirror confirmed that it was coat weather. At 31 degrees, it was little colder than normal this time of year for us Hoosiers.

Being the first in line, I had a clear view of the beautiful sky to the south. It was amazing; deep dark blue with clearly defined white full clouds all along the skyline. As I followed the horizon along to the west it got better and better. The colors changed from blue to shades of salmon, then orange and finally gold where the sun was about to rise. There I was, eyes and mouth wide open staring at the sky outside my driver's side window. It was then that I realized why the guy behind me was laying on his horn.

On through the light I was able to pull over and take this picture just as the sun was coming up. Admittedly, I am not a photographer. And it would have been much nicer without the utility lines, but I was pretty pleased with it when I got home. It was an awesome autumn sunrise.

My office has no windows. It's a bit of a joke with my co-workers. I never had windows in all of my 14 years. Last year I finally moved to an office with a beautiful view, just in time for winter snow. With a change of position in June came a new office. With no windows.

Everyone knows I love the snow. A little after nine they came bounding in to my office to remind me that I really needed a I could see the snow! No kidding!

Granted, it wasn't a heavy lasting snow; but it was coming down just the same. The trees are in the midst of their fall glory, and already old man winter is knocking at the door!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Blast from the Past

In the process of sorting through boxes of my mom's scrapbooks and memorabilia, I came across an old scrapbook of mine. It picked up in 1965 and ended in 1969, my ages 10 to 14. There were pictures of classmates, vacations and neighborhood friends, and cards from various birthdays.

And then came the fun entire collection of WLS Radio Top 40 Countdowns. No laughing. Radio was important back in the day. Boy those are great to look through all these years later.

As I typed the list below, the variety of styles and groups was striking. Abraham, Martin and John, by Dion just up the list from Tammy Wynette and Stand by Your Man; Cloud Nine by the Temptations followed by Glen Campbell and The Witchita Lineman. Now that's what I call diversity. Throw in a little Canned Heat, The Doors, and Aretha - what a bunch of good memories.

WLS Radio Top 40, December 30, 1968

1. I Heard it Through the Grapevine-Marvin Gaye
2. Things I'd Like to Say-New Colony Six
3. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me-Supremes/Temptations

4. Crimson and Clover-Tommy James/Shondells
5. Son of a Preacher Man-Dusty Springfield
6. I Love How You Love Me-Bobby Vinton
7. Stormy-Classics IV

8. Soulful Strut-Young Holt Unlimited
9. Abraham, Martin and John-Dion
10.For Once in My Life-Stevie Wonder

11. Cinnamon-Derek
12. Hang 'em High-Boooker T and the MG's

13. Going up the Country-Canned Heat
14. Bella Linda-Grassroots
15. Cloud Nine-Temptations
16. Witchita Lineman-Glen Campbell
17. Love Child-Diana Ross/Supremes
18. Worst That Could Happen-Brooklyn Bridge
19. Hooked on a Feeling-B.J. Thomas

20. Both Sides Now-Judy Collins
21. Condition Red-Goodees
22. Can't Turn You Loose-Chambers Brothers
23. If I Can Dream-Elvis Presley
24. Till-The Vogues

25. Lo Mucho Que te Quiero-Rene/Rene
26. Papa's Got a Brand New Bag-Otis Redding
27. Scarborough Fair-Sergio Mendes/Brazil '66
28. Too Weak to Fight-Clarence Carter
29. Ray of Hope-The Rascals

30. Hey Jude-Wilson Pickett
31. Goodnight My Love-Paul Anka

32. I Started a Joke-BeeGees
33. Touch Me-The Doors
34. Stand by Your Man-Tammy Wynette
35. Someone to Love Me-Bobby Vee
36. My Favorite Things-Herb Alpert
37. See Saw-Aretha Franklin
38. Goody Goody Gumdrops-1910 Fruitgum Company
39. Everyday People-Sly and the Family Stone
40. California Soul-Fifth Dimension

Does anyone remember a Chicago band, the Cryan Shames? This was my first live music experience with a real band I had heard on the radio. They played at the high school gym. The Wilshires opened for them, along with an all girl band called the Powder Puffs. Larry Lujak, from WLS was the DJ.

One of the members, Jim Pilster (J.C. Hooke) has a hook in place of his left hand.
All of the girls had autograph books and were clammering at the stage following the show. I was right in there with the rest of them. One of the guys from the Wilshires signed my book. They hadn't made it big and were a little more interested in having fans.
When I finally got up to where the Cryan Shames were, Jim Pilster took a whack at the back of my book with his hook and told me that was my autograph.
Was that cool or what? I mean really, sometimes it's the simple pleasures in life.