Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So Much to Say

Let's get this out of the way before I really get going...It seems like another lifetime ago, although truthfully I think it must have been around when Bill and Dave were 17 or 18. For those of you who've lost track, they will be 31 on April Fool's Day. Anyway, it was during their modeling days that they signed with the Boss modeling agency. Excuse me a moment, I think I'll check online to see if they are still around....yes, well I see they are:Boss.

Their agent wanted them to stay in New York to go on casting calls for part of the summer. After much pleading on their part, Bruce and I agreed to let them go. I went with them for the first week to make sure it was legit. Don't get me started on the modeling business..I digress. In one of the hardest things I ever did as a mother, I left them there to face New York alone. Or sort of. When I look back, I'm sure I never want to hear exactly what they did during their stay; it was pretty heady stuff for two young men from Orlando. The agency made the reservations, and upon arriving in Greenwich Village, we came upon the hotel. It just so happened it was an extraordinarily HOT day in Manhattan. Basically we were sweltering; imagine our distress when we were shown to our non-air conditioned rooms. Yikes! Leaving the windows open was the only option, and as you've already deduced, it was so noisy I thought I'd never get to sleep. So, Mrs. Camera Crazy, what's the point, you ask? I came across this yesterday The Gershwin, and the memories came flooding back. Imagine my surprise when all my impression was of a somewhat seedy/cheap place. There are a few of you in the audience who don't know that after several trips to Europe for shows, Bill and Dave earned Economic degrees and never looked back.

With that out of the way. let's get on with the rest of the show.

I met her by the radishes:
She could hardly contain her enthusiasm for not only their size, but their beauty. Speaking with a thick accent, she described how excited she was because she'd recently seen Ina Garten, otherwise known as the Barefoot Contessa, make a radish sandwich. After mentioning that I liked them small, she immediately corrected me, saying that in France they grow them even bigger! She also said that at her age, it's the little things in life that excite her. By the way, you slice the radishes thinly, serving them on crusty bread, spread with a little mayonnaise.

As some of you may know, I'm kinda drawn to older folks, maybe because I spent so much time with them during my hospital days. It probably doesn't hurt that I love a good story, and let me tell you, Rene/Rebekah had a good story. Engaging her in conversation (surprise, surprise!), I discovered that she was not only 86, but an Auschwitz survivor. After showing me her numbers, she told me how as a girl of 17 living in Paris, she was taken away by the Germans during a raid. They left her brother alone. Following her liberation by the Allies, she and a cousin were taken to Sweden to "fatten up" and rest before emigrating to the care of an aunt in the United States. For me, when I hear a story like that, it really puts things into perspective. I've read countless novels on the subject, however, I've only met a handful of survivors. Later in life, after 35 years of marriage her husband said he wanted out, and left for Israel. Finding work at Orlando International Airport as an interpreter, she kept on. When I asked her if I might take her picture she agreed, saying, "sure", and if you tell anyone about me say, "She made it." And so I have.
I got up this morning, hesitating to take the plunge, I finally just got to it. Here's when I first began:
And here's where I had to stop:I did what I could until some strongmen could move the entertainment center!

Next step was emptying it out except for the television. Boy howdy I did some purging! Any book that I didn't absolutely love is headed for the thrift store. I'm not sure what we'll end up with, but probably something smaller, thus the need to pare things down. It's infinitely easier to do this after all the time I spent in Zellwood. You realize that a lot of what you accumulate means something at the time, but then later, not so much.Bruce arrived home just a bit ago, and I've got David coming over so I can get to the wall behind this. I'll be ready for whatever comes next!

Did I mention I'm worn out? Not in my sick way, but in the good way you feel when you've accomplished something. For now, I'm off in search of food and fellowship with my honey.

I'm Back

For the most part I don't mind getting older, which I suppose is a pretty good thing since I can do nothing about time. The older I get, the faster time goes and this really bugs me. Apparently there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, which I don't fully understand, what I do understand is that it seems like only yesterday that I blogged--oh wait I did! Seriously, the days seem to fly by, and before I know it, I'm fast asleep and another blank web page for Camera Crazy exists. Let's rectify at least the web page part...

Today I'm posting some pictures that have nothing to do with anything except that both include things from my mother in law. This one is some of her embroidery thread: Only in the last few years was her sewing machine idle. She tried everything including embroidery which is what all these colorful threads were for. When the boys were little she made this super clever tent that you placed over a card table. What fun they had climbing into their little house under the table, zipping the front, and playing for hours at a time. I suspect she remembered how when Bruce was a little boy he loved to do the same thing, although his tent was probably only a sheet! This goes all the way back, say twenty five years or more, but I can almost picture her handiwork.

Secondly, these hydrangeas were from the bouquet we received at home from Trish and Roger. At first I declined the table, telling Michele she could have it, but on second thought, I decided I might use it for still lifes and brought it home. I've really no place to put it so for now it is in the guest room. Lots of natural light streams into the room in the early morning, or at least it does when we don't have a gray winter like this one! Anyway, this is an attempt:
Backtracking a few days, the market was good. On the other side of the park an art show was being held, one I was in a few years ago, but decided I'd stick with my $20 spot, rather than $195. As we expected, there was a lot of overflow, making me happy. The weather was mild for once and the crowds were great; the perfect combination for good sales!

For many years I've thought that our living room space was being underutilized, make that all fourteen years we've lived here. Something made me pop into Ethan Allen last week to have a look-see. Knowing they offer a free design service was certainly part of it, not to mention we've a shared history. You may recall that only a year or so ago we gave away our EA dining furniture which served us beautifully for close to thirty years. Fortunately for me a lovely woman about my age came over to assist me. Immediately I drew her a sketch of our room with FIVE openings. Intrigued, she said she could visit the house on Monday, and so she did. Proving what a small town our big city is, her daughter knew Bill and David during their high school days, which given their notoriety for a number of reasons, didn't surprise me one bit. Promptly arriving at 9:30 in the morning, we chatted, and I think hit if off right away. Her ideas are both creative and surprising--proposing we move the furniture around in ways I'd never thought of. Which is a good thing. Lots of upcoming changes if all goes well.

The least expensive change is one I'm going to begin this very day. Now I hope Matt is not peeved with me, but I'm going to re-paint the faux brick wall to match the other walls. Many years ago he painstakingly faux painted the faux brick, however, change is good, and I'm hoping my lovely "Windy Blue" will both lighten the space up, and provide contrast with our furniture. I was going to first paint the little bit that extends into the foyer but for the life of me I can't open the paint. That sounds a little silly I know but the small amount I have left is in one of Sherwin Williams plastic twist top containers, which I learned the other day they no longer make, probably because they are impossible to open. Thus, a trip to the paint store is on tap...

Concluding our little time together today, I urge you to listen to this funny little piece from Public Radio International's program, The World: Winter Sport. I guarantee it will make you smile. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quick Update

It was a super busy weekend, what with two markets, dinner with Dana at Season's 52 on Friday night, and the superlative party Lisa threw for Pat's birthday on Saturday night. Oh yeah--Dave was over after Sunday's extended market to give us some badly needed financial advice. And then there was Monday, which I'll have to describe tomorrow, because I'm off to celebrate Angela's birthday at 6. She's just a baby girl of 43 today.

I'm including a few pictures from the festivities on Saturday night:

Let's get together tomorrow, shall we?
Listening to: Bird, Andrew - The Happy Birthday Song
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

Yes, indeed, today was a wonderful day, albeit much colder than I like. Now, of course, I've got my cozy boots, so as long as I wear enough layers I am get to go!
May I safely assume that you are nearly as happy as I am that I'm up and moving?

At least the sun is shining and the sky is a blue, so beautiful, it's enough to make your heart ache. About this time next year I'll be going back to my February posts, wondering what was going on, and hopefully I'll be amazed at how cold it was in 2010. I wonder if it will do any good to hope history does not repeat itself next year? Typically, the low humidity in the winter makes for an awesome time to take photographs; none of the haze of summer to mar a perfectly beautiful scene. What with all the rain, dead foliage, and below normal temperatures, I'm mostly practicing inside.

However, today was a little different story. Sunday, I'm delighted to announce, some folks who have a second home here ordered a large canvas. I've not mentioned it until now because I wanted to deliver it first and have the money in the bank, or PayPal in this case. So, now you know! Underestimating the time it would take to drive downtown for the pick up, they were a bit late, but not to worry. I spent the time reading a magazine on a bench situated in full sun, adjacent to a wall to block the wind. Nirvana, folks. They seemed pleased.

Driving home I thought about Miss Lois's bulb garden. Making the right hand turn on her street off Summerlin, here's what I discovered:Notoriously hard to grow in Florida, Lois is the only one I know who's successful at getting poppies to bloom. She's mighty good with tulips too.The wind was blowing like mad, the time of day bad, but that's ok, seeing these beautiful flowers greatly enhanced my day.

Nothing like celebrating your birthday multiple weeks late. Angela invited me to join her at a wine tasting at OLV, the poorly named, yet very chic, little wine bar at SODO. I'd no idea she was treating me, not to mention, buying me a bottle of the best wine we sampled. Very fun. While there, I ran into a woman named Debbie, a friend of a friend. As it turns out, she and her husband have spent the last three years living in Sante Fe, NM, returning to the area only a short while ago. Let me tell you, she is one enthusiastic woman; you've just gotta love Debbie. Did I tell you already that Bruce has agreed to a vacation to wherever I choose, as long as I set some sort of itinerary. For weeks now, something has been nagging me to go to Sante Fe. Well, once I mentioned that, she was off to the races with ideas, friends, art, you name it! Because she was with friends, we chatted only briefly, well that's not exactly how it happened...she talked, I listened. For those of you who know my reputation as a chatterbox, you'll undoubtedly find that surprising, but that's how it happened. I'm looking forward to more of that when she calls with details!

Ah yes, on one of my report cards, well make that two or gosh, probably too many times to count, the teachers comments were: Gail is too chatty. Haven't changed much have I?

The other night we watched a very fascinating documentary, this time it was Note by Note. Who knew that it takes a year to craft a Steinway Grand piano? If you click on that link you'll see that Netflix already thinks they know me.

Continuing that theme of knowing someone, who can believe the husband of that deranged professor in Alabama didn't know that his wife was capable of killing her colleagues in cold blood during a meeting? I'm not suggesting he was complicit, just that if you don't know the person you've been married to for years and years, who can you really know? Imagine that scene for a moment...she sits there all quiet for most of the time, then whips out a gun and starts shooting. Not to sound all sexist or anything, but I would think that most men would be riled up, maybe shouting things before firing. I always told friends who felt sad for me having four sons that I was just fine with that. Boys can be a handful, but more often than not, it's out in the open. Girls, on the other hand, can be pretty deceitful. Before you get mad at me for generalizing, keep in mind this is my blog and I can say what I want. Sounding off every now and again is good for a blog.

Naturally I feel horrible for both the victims and their families, but how about that woman's children? Will they have to stay home forever now for fear of being brutally teased? What, in God's name, was that woman thinking? Or not.

Heading off to the kitchen now to make a corn chowder with poblano peppers among other things. Bruce arrives home from the cold country in a few hours and doesn't a nice bowl of homemade chowder sound like just the thing to welcome him home?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


As I reached for the phone in the semi-darkness, probably around 8 last night, I knew the caller wouldn't know that I was already in bed. It was Cris calling to inquire about some details regarding the estate. Immediately apologizing for waking me, he suggested I must have a cold like everyone else he knew. No, I explained, it isn't a cold. Same old, same old. I described it thus: I'm like an inner tube that deflates over time, becoming useless until air is restored to the tube. Yeah, that's me. Busy, busy, busy, and then out of the blue, I'm worn out. Or to put it another way, I look and sound as if I've run out of gas.

As fate would have it, the phone rang a bunch yesterday, unlike most days when it is merely calls from solicitors of one kind or another. Bruce, Regina, Maureen, Bill, and Cris, all called and had to hear that voice. When Angela came over around six, she asked if I'd just gotten up from a nap because I looked so puny.

Here's what I didn't do yesterday: make the bed, wash the dishes from Sunday night, although I did manage to put them in soapy water, blog, or for that matter very much at all. I did lay in the sun for a bit after having some lunch. It felt so good!
Not to worry though because after all that sleep I'm a new woman! This picture is much more than you'd first imagine. For one thing, you can see that I bought a new "baby" camera. I'm not so used to it just yet, but I'm practicing. Speaking of which I read this quote the other day which I wanted to share by some man named Percy W. Harris. Now, I've no clue who he is but I liked the quote: "Skill in photography is acquired by practice, not purchase." And here's another one: "Photography is the power of observation, not the application of technology." Sounds like my kind of guy!

Anyway, you can also see my favorite mug, a plain white one. Do not, I implore you, assume that because I have a baby picture of Matt on my dresser, that I love him the most. I do love him like crazy, just like all of my sons, but I've kept this because my mom had it on her dresser for nearly thirty years. Actually, looking at the picture, Matt is overly represented, by both the antique clock and the bamboo in a bottle, (merely coincidental). Hopefully you can see the little round orange treasure holder from Bruce, as well as the tray, my most recent treasure. I don't even remember where I found it among Mom Peck's things, hidden away somewhere, but it's a very cool retro tiled dish in shades of pink, perfect for holding the gold bracelet when I'm not wearing it. And, maybe, just maybe, you can see that I'm looking perkier this morning. I've already emptied the dishwasher, finished those dishes in the sink, put the pool cleaner to work, and changed the sheets. I will say that putting my hand in the cold, cold water of the pool was no picnic.

That's what really set this off. The unending cold. As I began telling you with my last post, Bruce saved me on Saturday. The short and bittersweet version is that around noon, I see him coming across the parking lot with a large bag in tow. Coming over to my spot, he removes my shoes and places not only the Uggs on my feet, but a pair of wool socks to boot! Is that a pun I just wrote??? The other vendors watched in amazement. What a difference they made! I may just have to change the name of this blog to: In Praise of Bruce, which would embarrass him greatly. BTW-I know it's not as cold here as where some of my dear readers are from, and for that I apologize for my whining, but really, it's way too cold for us.

Returning to yesterday's post: How about that mess? Not only did I reorganize my kitchen cabinets, but the overflow one as well. Looking very tidy, if I do say so myself.

It's Tuesday morning so my faithful clan knows that means I'd better quit blogging and get ready for the museum.
Listening to: Sugababes - Push the Button
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Life Saver

Every thirty minutes or so I retreated to the warmth of my car this morning, blasting the heat at both my face and my feet. It's my feet that are killing me in this cold. Although I'd worn both tights and socks with my Converse, my feet stung like I had porcupine needles sticking me. Long time followers will remember that my feet...

This post to be continued soon--for now,the writer has taken to her bed

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Well it seems as if I've done all I can do at Mom's house in Zellwood. There are still some things there that I'm thinking other family members will want but not much. I'm here to tell you that her house was a treasure trove of pastimes. Yesterday I discovered a box filled with paints and a large bag full of brushes. To go along with those tools, what appears to be a mixing chart she'd made while taking a class in California. There are gardening books, travel books, genealogy books, birdwatching books, and of course cookbooks galore. Speaking of which, there are several microwave cookbooks which were once so popular. Mostly we're leaving the books, letting Alice and Richard (the neighbors who are buying the house) decide what they'd like to keep and what they want to donate. I'm wondering if they'll keep the newish copy of Peyton Place?

Speaking of genealogy, I thought the one we have at our home was the Peck ancestory, however I was wrong, it is the Loveland family. Cris corrected me and I'm delighted he did so because I got that baby out and sure enough, there was Oscar of the diary fame. He was Bruce's great great grandfather. Now, I'm not exactly sure if that requires hyphens or what but you get my drift. Many of the Loveland clan lived in Connecticut before moving to New York which is why I told Bruce he loves New England so much--it's in his blood!

Before I left for Zellwood yesterday morning I finally got my spring applications out in the mail. If all goes well I'll be doing the Baldwin Park show March 13, and Mayfaire, which is in Lakeland, on May 8-9. I've already been accepted to Lake Wales for March 27-28. Because there are so many shows in town I think people are suffering art overload, and as such, I've decided to go further afield. We shall see how it goes, now won't we?

There's something about a solitary day that can be satisfying, especially if it includes a stop at a normally very busy place. I completed my tasks around 2, deciding that while I was out that way, I probably should take a look at Rock Springs. My children will hopefully fondly remember the good times we had while swimming and tubing along the run. The headwaters of the spring are in Kelly Park, which for the most part, was deserted, save for myself, a woman reading in the sun, and one man on a bicycle. Did I mention it was terribly cold? Indeed, but the sky was as blue as a robin's egg, and the water was crystal clear, making it a wonderful time to sight see.

Naturally, I want you to see what I saw:

If you've ever been there in the summertime you know how crazy busy and noisy it is. Moreover, I bet you wouldn't want to lose your car keys there now would you? Well, many, many years ago I did just that. I can still picture myself and four wet boys racing to the car with all of our possessions just as the normal summer rainstorm was beginning to fall. I searched for my keys, and I believe this was well before punching a button opened your car. As I'm rummaging through everything the boys are jumping up and down, hoping to get out of the rain but that was not to be. This may have been before cell phones, but really calling Bruce while out of town would not have helped. Giving up on finding them amongst our things, we trooped back down to the springs in the rain, with the boys bravely jumping back in, searching the bottom while swimming the whole run. Still no luck. Eventually, as I recall we asked one of the rangers for help and lo and behold, someone had found them, turning them in. Just one of the many wild and crazy days while raising four sons...

The first picture is of a woodstork; this may well be the first clear picture I've taken of a bird in flight. As I was leaving the park I saw all those wild turkeys..

Here's something interesting from the Times:Awe Inspiring. What kind of stories do you pass along?

Last night I watched Wordplay which was super fun. I wish I were better at crosswords.

Time to get on with the day; I'm thinking of re-arranging my kitchen cupboards to use my space more efficiently. After all, I've just been in the presence of a master.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Eleven Hours Plus

You guessed it--that's how long I slept, going to bed right around 7:30 last night. I woke up thinking that if I don't look rested today, I never will! Probably if Bruce were home, instead of in freezing Illinois, I'd have made it to nine, but alas he wasn't, so there I was snuggled under the covers just an hour after the sun set. Speaking of sunsets, isn't it wonderful that light is returning to our days? I was actually cleaning the pool around 6 last evening, with Baxter barking wildly by my side I might add, thinking how glorious it was not to be dark already. As you can well imagine I was not as thrilled about the constant influx of leaves in the pool...

I'm finally going back to the Polasek today after missing three out of the last five weeks. I'm writing this before I have one of my favorite breakfasts--buttered toast dipped in V8 juice. Now before you go all, what kind of breakfast is that on me, let me tell you it is delicious--sort like pizza without the cheese. Way back when I was in third grade I was best friends with a girl named Debbie Taylor. Most of the time I never spent the night with friends because of my protracted stint as a bed wetter, however, every now and again I did. The Taylor family ate toast dipped in tomato juice and after trying it once I was hooked. These days with the little cans of juice it's much nicer. My older readers will surely remember the large tomato juice cans and how they got all icky on the top if not consumed quickly. I'm now set for a while having returned from one of my Zellwood trips with almost a full case. One of the things that is so hard to get accustomed to when someone dies is that you can never ask them any important questions like "did you every try dipping your toast into V8?"

Another thing I'll never know is what time period this came from:Now, I'm not new to sewing, having learned when I was in the eight grade, so I know this zipper is pre-1965, just not how much earlier they were packaged as such. Actually it seems very efficient to me; I'm wondering why they ever went to the flat packages in the first place. I'm thinking of writing to the company for the answer since I can't ask Judy. I came home with both her sewing box, as well as what I'm thinking his her mothers. Both were filled with notions and what is most striking is that every single thing is made in America. I plugged in a pair of electric scissors and they worked like a charm. Who knows how old they are, although maybe only forty years or so, as I seem to remember when they were all the rage. Buttons, buttons, and more buttons!

Did I neglect to mention that my eighth grade Home Ec teacher told me I'd never learn to sew? She underestimated my desire for new clothing! Just ask any of our sons about all their homemade clothing, from pjs to jams. Jams, you ask? It makes me chuckle to think about how I'd try and imitate the styles of the day. Jams, were surfer shorts back then. Another time I cut the Levi's tag off the back of jeans, using it to make the jeans jackets look more authentic. Being the practical woman that you've come to know so well from this blog, I never spent much time on costumes. Way too much trouble for a one night stand. I was all about the basics baby!

The weather continues to stymie my photography efforts, both in the making of new interesting images, and in the retail end of things. I did manage to eek out some sales on Sunday, once the sun returned from it's perpetual hiding place, for which I'm grateful. I talked to Mr. Roger last night to find out if one of his other customers was picking up my slack. These are the last of the roses from the beautiful bouquet he and Trish sent to our home.

V8 and toast time folks--get yourself a little juice glass, toast the bread very dark and cut into strips, dunk and munch!

Friday, February 5, 2010

About This Time...

About this time two weeks ago I was packing the car with my prints, ready to give the Saturday market another chance. My how things have changed since then. Seriously, I'm in shock that it is February 5 already. January has flown right by me. Because I know you'll want to know--I had a long conversation with Karen, of the bleeding brain fame, and she sounds terrific! Each day she grows stronger and stronger, with her latest CT scan perfect! How about them apples?

There is probably nothing quite like dismantling another home to make one realize how much they have neglected their own home. On Wednesday I spent eight hours working in Zellwood cleaning out drawers, the pantry and cupboards. When I'd called the food bank last week the nice woman mentioned that oftentimes older people have a pantry full of expired food. Aside from a few boxes of Jello, there really wasn't all that much to throw out due to an expired date. It seems as if Mom had made a recent trip to Costco, so she did have thirty cans of V-8, twelve rolls of paper towels, 3 lb. bag of Crasins, you get my drift. What most puzzled me in the pantry was a 48oz. unopened container of Nestle's Quick. I totally wondered if she drank that much chocolate milk.

For Christmas I'd given her new dish towels from William-Sonoma, exhorting her to throw out all the old stuff and start fresh. I found the towels in their original packaging. The kitchen drawer was still jam packed with old towels and potholders. Check out the great shape these are in:I suspect most everyone reading this narrative will recall the great feeling of satisfaction after making one of these beauties!

So now I know where Bruce's amazing storage skills came from--his Mom. It is astonishing how creative she was at storing things. Every little nook and cranny was put to good use. Another thing that made this job easy was that everything was clean; I can honestly say there was not one thing that made me say ICK--I don't want to touch that. Instead it made me admire her all the more.

Thus, I was inspired to clean out my own cupboards. From the moment I awoke (aside from occasional computer use, tea making, and eating), I worked feverishly dismantling my own kitchen--trashing, cleaning, and re-organizing. This took hours and hours. I'm pleased.

The guest room, formerly Bill and David's bedroom, is decorated in a peaceful, and I hope, sophisticated style. That may be a bit of a stretch, but that was the intention. Most of the curtains in our home are wild prints except for the ones in that room. They are white tab curtains. Floor length, like white sentries on either side of the windows. Looking at things with my new eyes, I realized that I'd never washed those curtains in the, I'm ashamed to admit, six years they've been hanging. Let's all just think ICK right now, shall we? Adding to the shame, I moved them a bit, discovering, with horror I might add, that a bug had left a trail on said curtain panel. Pathetic!!!!

You're probably one step ahead of my typing aren't you? Yes, I washed, bleached, and ironed those babies today. This makes me feel better. Poor, neglected house...

I was thinking today that dust is not my friend, and who, pray tell, invited it into my home without an invitation??? Still working on that...

We've had more rain this winter than I can remember, but I guess that's not saying much. Today we received a statement detailing a transaction that Bruce cashed in some stock options in April. I gave him a call at the office, asking him if he remembered what we did with the money....he can't remember either. We're quite the pair in that department!
Tears from heaven is what I'm thinking about this...

Finally, our former book editor at the Sentinel has begun blogging about, you guessed it, books,Nancy Pate. If you need a fix of good grammar and punctuation, go there!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Most Ardent Fan

After watching Julie & Julia last night I knew exactly what today's post would be about--my most ardent fan, Bruce! This is taken in our garage, which used to look like the other rooms of our home, neat and tidy. It's still tidy on most days, but all of Bruce's work space has mostly been taken up with my prints. Here he is preparing to wrap all the photo desk calendars he gave as Christmas gifts to his friends. These days he won't let me photograph him as often as I'd like, so this is the best I could come up with. Actually, I took photos of Bruce and Jonathan on Friday before we left for the visitation. but both of them look so somber (as expected), they won't want them shared.

Both of the husbands in the movie supported their wives obsessions, sometimes at the expense of their own interests. The "Camera Crazy" side of me could relate to the blogging aspect of the movie, particularly after beginning her blog at her husband's suggestion, Julie wondered if anyone was reading what she'd written. That's the last time I related, as she became famous, attracting readers like nobodies business. After three years of blogging, I have SEVEN followers, most of whom are related to me! That's OK though because this blog is for me as much as it is for anyone else. With my failing memory, I now have documentation of what life was like during my 50's.

For years I'd begin a journal in January, however, my faithfulness waned pretty quickly. My success rate with calendars was marginally better, but even there, details were brief at best. I've amazed myself with three years of blogging, although unlike Julie in the movie, I can't make it happen daily. Seriously, she became so obsessed with comments, and readers, her husband wanted to kill her! I can safely say, to the best of my knowledge, Bruce has never had the urge.

After encouraging me to go to Valencia, he patiently listened to all my gripes with professors and coursework I didn't like. He's always complimenting my writing, and of course, there is the Christmas gift of the digital camera, followed by the starting of a business. Now, if it had been up to me, I'd have taken photos for the sheer fun of it, however, as most of you know, Bruce encouraged my efforts, suggesting I might be able to sell them. Receiving a no the first time we inquired at the market about a space, I was OK with that. Bruce, not so much. He tried again, this time getting the go-ahead. You might be wondering why it was that Bruce was doing the asking, and the truth is, I was embarrassed to do so.

He then set about devising a plan to display our prints, making a nifty folding screen which attached to the back poles of the booth. He's really the genius in our family, however, he downplays his part in everything, preferring to make others the center of attention. I recently saw this on flickr: A Customer on Flickr - Photo Sharing!, my very first customer, taken March 2007. I can still remember the excitement of that moment, all thanks to my dear, dear, husband.

Julia Child's husband Paul encouraged her every step of the way it seems. Imagine how many conversations they engaged in during the EIGHT years it took to create and publish her masterpiece. Although it is not part of my cookbook library, I've read that his photography greatly enhanced her work, giving life to the recipes.

Bruce doesn't do the photography part of our business, but you well know that if it weren't for his muscles, I'd never be able to sell a thing. The set up is incredibly heavy and complicated, however, he's got it down to a science. Never once has he complained about how much time it takes to set up, nor for that matter has he complained he'd rather be doing something else. All, because he's my most ardent fan. Furthermore, there is the matter of the spreadsheet he created last year to help me be better informed regarding my progress. He's got columns for everything! So far, this year, it's mostly empty but ready for action soon we hope!

They used to say that behind every successful man, there was a woman. In our case, I think it goes both ways...

So, although there is still much to be written about the depressing turn of events we've just been through, something just a little more upbeat for today, my dear readers, and I do know there are at least seven of you.
Listening to: The National - Mr. November
via FoxyTunes

Monday, February 1, 2010


We all know the saying,"one man's trash is another man's treasure," and in our case the opposite is partly true. Around noon yesterday, we met with the rest of the family at Mom's place to divvy up her treasures. This sounds horribly quick, but in our case, Michele returns to Minnesota on Wednesday, with no planned return trip in the foreseeable future. And so we went...

Mom made a detailed list of about 60 items of special family significance. Some were passed down to her, and some she's passing down to us. There are several pieces of Carnival glass from Great Grandma Peck (Eileen), whom I'm not sure Bruce ever met. During the clean up process I discovered the obituary notice for Bruce's dad's father, Ferdinand Peck, a name that never came up in all the years I've known Bruce. Turns out, he divorced Anna, way back when, when divorce was considered scandalous, thus his name was MUD. According to the notice, he moved to the Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania, remarried, had a child, and opened a convalescence home. Interesting...

Anyway, for those of you unfamiliar with Carnival glass, here's what it looks like with some of the beautiful roses I referenced the other day:I'm really liking the iridescence of this vase, not to mention the ruffly top edge and ribbed body. The day has been dreary, dreary, dreary, so I hope to get a spiffier picture once I get some LIGHT!

Now, for something silly--I decided that this little guy would look very fun in our yard:Whether or not I keep the Coke wagon has yet to be decided.

What I'm most excited about is this:Amazingly, this is a diary from Oscar Loveland (Judy's maiden name) from 1882. Again, poor light is hampering my efforts at showing you how cool it is. As well, it has been closed for so long that it won't lay open very well. Nevertheless, it is in excellent shape, and although the handwriting is somewhat difficult to discern, I plan to read every page. For now, I've read some of the entries, mostly they are about an agricultural life. There is a baby mentioned, mostly the weight is documented. I'm not sure if it is a boy, or girl, as the child is referenced as "the baby." I kept reading about corn. Naturally, this intrigued me, so thanks to that most wonderful invention, the world wide web, I searched for Rodman, the town he was from, which is adjacent to Adams, where Bruce grew up. Discovering that there were numerous grist mills and distilleries, the corn references made more sense. Feel free to skip over this part if history doesn't do anything for you, although reading the names is way interesting! I've made Ada Loveland's bold.

"Through the same means, and having access to important papers and records, the names of still other settlers may be recalled, though not perhaps among the pioneers. However, all are believed to have been in Rodman previous to the closing years of the war of 1812—15.

In this connection may be mentioned Asa Cooley, a prominent figure in early town history; the Gates family in the west part of the town; also Stephen Cook, John Burton, John Butterfield, Nathaniel Harrington, Jacob Heath, the Priest family (Joseph, Job and Solomon), Willard M. Winslow, Aipheus Nichols, Judge Abel Cole (in the assembly in 1818), Nathan Strong (in the assembly in 1832), William Sill, James Loomis, Roswell Blanchard, Bazabel Gleason, Cyrus H. Stone, Luther Eastman, Beloved Rhodes, Nathaniel Crook, Peter Yandes, Isaiah Post, Richard I)ye, George Thomas, Calvin Clifford, Enoch Murray, Eliah Russell, Caleb Woodward, Zachariah Walsworth, Abel Loveland, Timothy Underwood, D. Eastman, Abijah Kellogg, Stoddard Eastman, Nathaniel Tremain, Amariah Babbitt and Gren Kellogg, In the same manner may be reca.lled and mentioned Nathaniel Nichols, Nathan Whitman, Lyman Lawrence, Thomas Harrington, James Wright, David Corey, John Hackett, Reuben Tremain, Ebenezer Blackstone, Aaron Loomis, Bernard Warren, Titus King, Luther Woodworth and Heman Swift, all of whom were settlers of the period and’ identified in some way with the early history of the town. Among their cotemporaries, and just as earnest and devoted in the work of settlement and development, were Winslow G. Tracy, Daniel Field, William A. Flint, John Burr. Harry Wagoner, Joseph Pratt, James Ralph, Alanson Cummings, Charles Palmeter (or Parmeter), Alvin Buck, Ansel Brainerd, Samuel Kelsey, Benoni Edwards, Return Russell, Philo Booth, Asa Hill, John Glass, and still others whose names are worthy of mention but have been lost with, long passed years, the period of which we write being all of four score years ago."

Here's a link to Rodman today. Just in case, linking is not your thing, a highlight is that Frank Woolworth was from Rodman. It's about the same size as it was back then...

Reading through some of the history of where Judy grew up, made me more appreciative of who she was and what formed her. It's that connection to the past that she wanted to hold onto. Family heirlooms were not to be taken lightly and beautifully handmade things had real value, unlike today. Which reminds me; while going through her house with Jonathan, he remarked on a cross stitch sampler on the wall. When we took it down we discovered it was made by "yours truly" back in 1978, which would have made me 23; Matthew was two years old, and I was pregnant with the twins. Here's what it says: Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing older. At the time her grandchildren were Matthew and Katie, five more would follow. Additionally, in the bathroom dressing area, another wall hanging, this time with crewel work, had my name on the back with the date 1975, just two years after Bruce and I married. Through the years the Pecks moved multiple times, yet she still carted those "treasures."

All this got me to thinking, is there anything made today that will last over 100 years?

I'm all for modern, but maybe our homes have gotten a little too stylized. Recently, Angela has been nagging me about our entertainment center, saying I've got way too much stuff on it. I protested that it's our life on there. Her response was typical of today's thinking, "you don't need all those books--it is too cluttered!" Well, yes I do, they are my treasures, thank you very much.

So, although I've no idea where I'm going to store some of my new treasures, I'm glad to have them. I'm also a wee bit jealous that Bruce's family has been traced back all the way to England (Peck side), whereas I know very little about our family history. It may be littered with broken families and relationships but I'm learning anew how important that family matters are. After all, they are the most valuable thing we have.

Addendum: As I woke up this morning I was thinking about this post and realizing I'd gotten all sentimental and forgot my thesis. The trash I mentioned above--what to do with Little Black Sambo figurines including one that has a hand to mouth feature?

You Just Never Know