Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blue Ruffles

It was difficult to capture the beauty of this vintage blue ruffled bowl. This is not a family heirloom -- I purchased it from one of my older neighbor gals, Vi, who was letting some of her family pieces go. When we first moved into our townhouse in '86, Vi, her two sisters, plus one friend, lived together down the street from us. I called them the "Golden Girls", because they reminded me so much of the sitcom by that name. The two sisters had died, the friend had entered an assisted care home, and Vi was left alone. With no other family to leave things to, she just wanted someone to have some of her pieces that would appreciate them. She knew I loved antique things !! It was very difficult to make a choice -- she had so many gorgeous pieces and I would have liked to have had them all, as if I NEEDED any !!! This bowl does look beautiful sitting in my china cabinet, though !!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Your Dad - A Middle Child, Too

This Johnson family portrait is circa 1949. Your Dad, like me, was a middle child. He most certainly added "spice and flavor" to his family, being "the filling" for the sandwich !! The men in this family were quick-witted, always ready with a "smart" come-back in any conversation or situation. Joan has always told me that I was the sister she never had. When your Dad and I returned from our short honeymoon trip, your G'pa Paul met me at the door with a risque joke I have never forgotten. Your G'ma Ruth once paid me the highest of compliments when she told me that she could not have hand-picked a better wife for her son. I could not have purposely chosen a better family to be a part of !! Joan, Douglas and Timothy -- don't they all have the look of the cat that just ate the canary ?? Impish and ready to get into some kind of mischief ??

Thursday, January 29, 2009

May 20, 1958

Being tagged by my blog friend at http://junesartyretreat/, shortened my decision making time on what to post today. The rule was to go to your photo albums on your pc, open the 6th album, choose the 6th picture and explain, then tag five others. I had already posted that particular photo, so chose the next one. I have always regretted not having formal portraits of our wedding day. My sister's husband fancied himself a photographer and took many shots at the ceremony and at the reception. At the end of the evening, he found that he had forgotten to take the cover off the lens of his camera. Fortunately, there were other people taking shots with their Kodaks and all of the best moments were captured. We were so young and so happy-- ( tagging five is a difficult task for me -- check the blogs I follow for some wonderfully creative artists)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Goosey Gander

Goose or duck ? This ceramic guy was a gift from my friend, Willa, and he sits under an artificial "tree plant" in my bedroom. She loved duck figurines and had one sitting on her pass through where we had our morning coffee and chats. I was always petting that duck. For my birthday a few years ago, this one appeared !! When she was a young girl, they had a few ducks in their back yard. She told the story of cleaning out a liquor cabinet, thinking all the wine had been there too long and was probably not good to drink. Not wanting to waste it, she poured it over the ducks' mash in their feeding pans. Soon, the ducks were reeling and falling down. She called her neighbor over to see if he knew what was wrong with them, When he found out what she had done, he just stood and laughed. She had drunken ducks !!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Dad's Big Family

This formal family portrait of the Schultz clan was also taken in the early '30's. Dad is the guy on the right in the center row, the oldest of seven sons and one daughter. L. to R., top row, Urban ( aka Slim) and Bill, center, Lehman, Lloyd, Delbert, Elton (Dad), bottom row, Elda, G'pa Emil, G'ma Emma, and Calvin, the youngest. Dad outlived all his siblings except for Calvin. Calvin Schultz was an artist, teacher, and musician. He contracted polio as a young boy which left one of his legs weak and needing a brace to be able to walk. There is a celebration in Mitchell, South Dakota every August - The Corn Palace Festival. A community building resembling a palace has murals inside and out with scenes designed and then covered with ornamental ears and kernels of corn, and grains and grasses to give them color. Uncle Calvin was commissioned to design these scenes, which can be viewed year round, from 1977 through 2002. Visits to South Dakota as a child were always fun filled -- with all of these uncles, there was never a dull moment.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hanle Family

I love these old formal family portraits !! This is my Mom, top left, with her siblings and parents, probably about 1933, the year she was married and left home. She was the first to get married, even though sister Bertha, top right, was older. Ervin was the older of the two brothers and died at the young age of 28, leaving behind a wife and two young children. Heart ailments run rampant in the family, and unfortunately, medical technology was not then what it is today. Robert (Bobbie) and Delores (Sis) were the youngest siblings and always seemed to me the most mischievous of my aunts and uncles. Albert, immigrated to South Dakota from Germany at 16, and Katherine's parents had immigrated years earlier. They moved to Ohio in the mid 30's during the depression for Grandpa to work in coal mines and later in the steel mills. They eventually became owners of a mobile home park, which grew and flourished. My first memory of a visit to Ohio was for Uncle Ervin's funeral - I was 5 years old. Gandpa and Grandma had the first TV I ever saw - a tiny little box with a black and white moving picture. Three years later, 1948, we had our first TV in our home on the farm.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pillows from Mom

This lovely pair of pillows are more of my Mom's beautiful crewel embroidery work. When she finished the needlework on these, she had made them into the pillows they were meant to be. Of course, I loved them at first sight and "Can I have these, Mom ?" was again a "Yes" !! Did my Mom ever say "no" to me ? I'm sure she did, but, I have a hard time recalling when !!! The pillows are home on the couch in my living area. The colors are perfect with the earthtone colors in my home.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


These two little cotton towels are from two wonderful ladies in my life that never had the chance to meet each other face to face -- My Mom and my friend, Willa. They both grew up in the same era, both having been born in the early 1900's. They admired each other without personally knowing one another. They felt they knew each other because of me. I have forever been sorry that my Mom was never able to make the trip to Las Vegas after we moved into our townhouse across the street from Willa. They would have really, really loved each other !! The little girl embroidered towel is one Willa needlecrafted when she was a teenager. Mom made the appliqued flowered towel when she was very young, also. I love having these two pieces hang together on a towel bar in my upstairs bathroom as reminders of these two beautiful (on the inside as well as the outside !) women
in my life !!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Middle Child

Yesterday, letters appeared in Ann Lander's column from people who were "middle children". Apparently, some middle children have felt slighted in their spot within the family. I loved this writer's look at being the middle child in her family. Laura in San Luis Obispo writes to Ann as follows ---"Here's my theory about middle children. Visualize a sandwich. The outer layers are two slices of bread, and the inner layer is what gives flavor to the sandwich. Without the filling, the sandwich would be boring and tasteless. YOU are the "spice" that makes life fun and yummy. I wouldn't give up my middle spot in the family for anything !" ---- I suppose I did add some "spice" to our family. There were times that I was "too young" or "too old", although, I think I enjoyed the best part of "both worlds" most of the time, plus, I had my own interests. I don't remember ever feeling left out because I was "in the middle". In fact, I don't remember thinking of myself as "the middle child" until my adult years. This is one of my favorite photos of us as children taken on a cool, spring day in 1946. Brother, Donald, is not yet a year old. Sister Shirley and I are in our matching "feed sack" dresses. Mom always made our dresses alike when we were young. As we got older, sometimes the style would be the same, but she let us choose our own fabrics. We were sisters, but we were encouraged to be individuals.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Red Velvet

A special little red velvet manicure set was another of those "grown-up" Christmas gifts received from my grandparents when I was around 9 or 10 years old. The implements are gold tone and the "cut-glass" bottles have their special spot inside the case. As a young girl, this sat on my dressing table and is now home in a drawer with other mementos. I never put any kind of liquids into the bottles, so they are like brand new. I never felt like I was a "girly-girl" having always been the one out with my Dad driving the tractor and working at other outdoor farm chores. Consequently, this kind of thing didn't get a whole lot of use by me. Of course, that doesn't mean that I didn't spend my fair share of time in front of a mirror as a teenager, primping for the day at school or a big date !!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thirty Some Years Later

Here we are the day of Mom and Dad's open house celebration for their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married October 3, 1933. We wanted to find 1933 gold coins to have Mom a necklace and Dad a ring made. U.S. coins were impossible to find, so we settled for Canadian Maple Leaf pieces that were dated 1933. This is the only professional photo ever taken of the five of us together. Mom and Dad knew each other all of their lives having grown up on neighboring farms in South Dakota. Dad once told me that he loved my Mom, even when they were little children. As a teenager, he walked across a cornfield in the middle of the night to go see her. On his way back home, he became disoriented in the cornfield and somewhat lost. Fortunately, there was a full moon and he found his way. How I wish that I had recorded more of his stories !!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Schultz Family

This photo is dated 1951. Mom was good about having professional photos of us kids when we were very small, then the yearly school photos kind of took over. There was never a professional family photo taken until Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary in 1983 when we had a photographer come to the house the day of the celebration. A snapshot of just the five of us together is rare -- this is the only one I have and my memory fails me as to who might have taken it. We appear to be "dressed up" for an occasion and the setting is not our home. I do know the vest and slacks I am wearing were red gabardine made by my Mom and I absolutely loved that outfit. I wore it every time we went anywhere. My brother can still get that funny little smirk on his face !!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Patchwork Pillow

If I recall correctly, Mom's friend, Jessie, made this pillow for her. Some of the fabric pieces are familiar to me, so Mom must have shared some of her scraps. I love all the intricate and different embroidery stitches that were used. When we came back from Okinawa, your Dad was doing a lot of traveling with his job, so we really didn't have a home for about a year. I based myself at Mom and Dad's and would spend time with your Dad when he would be working somewhere for more than a two week period. This pillow fascinated me, so I went through all of Mom's old scrap fabrics that year and picked out pieces that I knew she had made clothes for each one of us kids. I put together a pillow for my brother out of pieces left from shirts and pajama she had made for him -- then one for my sister from pieces left from clothing that had been made for her. I always intended to make one for myself also, but, that project is still on a back burner. I wish I had taken photos of the ones I made and gifted -- they were fun to put together and contain a lot of memories !

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Bicycle

This photo is dated 1948 and I have a new bicycle !! How could I be so lucky to get the doll I wanted for Christmas and a bicycle for my birthday all in the same year ?? My brother would say "Mom and Dad always did like you best !! " I'm sure my little brother and big sister received things they wanted, too, because Mom and Dad never believed in treating one child differently or better than the the other. Looking at the barn in this photo reminds me of the day my sis and I found some "baby kittens" in the haymow with no mother anywhere. We brought them up to the house to show Mom and she was aghast. We were reeking with "skunk" odor and we hadn't even noticed !!! We were stripped of our clothes and scrubbed down outdoors, then again, indoors in the basement laundry room. We did learn the difference between baby skunks and baby kittens that day !!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Louise Ann

It was 1948 and the Montgomery Wards Christmas catalog arrived in the mailbox. We kids spent hours looking at all the pages, deciding what we were going to ask Santa for. When I saw the picture of this doll and read the description, I knew this was one thing I would like to have. She was 19", the size of a newborn, and she came with the wonderful layette. AND, her lambskin hair was just so adorable. When I showed it to Mom, her first remark was about cost -- a whole $21. That was a LOT of money for a doll !! "But, look at all the stuff that comes with her !" -- "Well, you know we have to pay Santa for what he brings." -- "But, this is all I really, really want, Mom !" -- "Well, if Santa gets that for you, there won't be another thing under the tree for you." -- "Mom, I don't care if I get anything else, and I won't ever ask for another doll if I can have this one -- I just want this doll." I don't remember ever wanting any toy of any kind as much as I wanted that doll. Christmas morning came and there she was, under the tree !! AND, there was not ONE more thing for me. Santa had honored Mom's word !! I didn't care. A "deal" had been made and I was probably the happiest kid in the world that day -- and, many days thereafter. Louise brought me many hours of enjoyment as a child -- I treated her as if she were a real baby most of the time. Through the years, Mom made some beautiful clothes for her. "Louise" is 60 years old now, stored away in her suitcase with her wardrobe and my memories.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

True Love

I was inspired to get the fun foam out after seeing your ATC's on your blog. With Valentine's Day coming up soon, this is what I came up with. I cut the heart shape out of the foam, glued it to the card, gessoed and painted, then added all the embellishments. It didn't look complete, so, made and added the beaded dangle. It still didn't look quite finished, so along came the hanger. True love of shoes !! I wonder who I will mail this to !!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Dad's Best Girl

This photo of my Mom was probably taken in the late 20's or early 30's. Mom kept her old mementos in a box in a closet or some storage spot in the house. Old photos weren't in albums or out where anyone could see them. I never knew some things even existed until after Mom and Dad were gone ! I suppose that may be true of all generations. On one of my visits to Iowa, Dad was sitting in his recliner and we were just visiting about one thing and another. Out of the blue, he pulled his wallet out of his pocket and said "Did I ever show you a picture of my best girl?" After showing it to me, he told me he had carried it always. I think when he looked at Mom as they aged, he always thought of her like this. I know when I think about your Dad, I always picture him as he was when we were young.

Ducks for Easter

When the "Easter Bunny" filled our baskets with candy and eggs, there was always something non-edible placed in it, also. These two little guys appeared in my baskets a couple of different years back in the 40's. We three each had a basket that was reused every year --it was brought out of the storage closet on the day we dyed eggs. The "bunny" filled our baskets and hid it somewhere in the house Easter eve. One particular Easter when I was 7 or 8 years old, I made the comment that the baskets were always too easy to find. Easter morning came - my baby brother"s basket was easily found -- my big sister found hers -- I hunted high and low, upstairs and down and couldn't find mine. I was beginning to think I had been forgotten. Mom and Dad finally took pity on me and gave me the hint that it was in the kitchen somewhere. I opened every cupboard door and looked in the refrigerator. When I opened the oven door, Mom said "you're getting warmer". I finally found my basket in the water reservoir of Mom's old Home Comfort wood cook stove. I never again complained whenever anything was "easy" !!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Avon Calling

Buying Avon products is how I came to know my wonderful neighbor and friend, Willa. One of the first weeks after we moved into our townhouse, an Avon brochure appeared on my doorstep. I called to order a couple of items and found out the representative lived right across the street from me. Willa said "Come right over here so I can meet you". We became instant friends then and there in 1985. In 1989, her husband became ill and it was difficult for her to keep up with her Avon sales. She asked me to sign up and take over her customers -- I became the local Avon Lady !! These are only a few of the sixteen Mrs. Albee figurines that I have earned by selling a particular quota of products. They are all very beautiful and probably worth nothing to anyone but me !! The gal in the yellow was my first one in 1990. I have given one away to a friend who has brought me many orders through the years from her co-workers. I did not pursue selling on purpose and I have yet to go door to door to try to build sales, but have met many wonderful ladies and made some great friends because of it !

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Barns

I think the old barns on farms in the Midwest have so much character and so many of them have disappeared from the landscape around where I grew up. The hayloft was a favorite play to play when we were kids. Jumping into the pile of straw from a rope swing, finding a mama cat and her kittens in amongst the bales of hay, making forts out of the bales, or just hiding out--the barn was a refuge. I learned how to milk a cow, but no one could ever keep up with my Mom. She could fill a bucket faster than anyone in the family. At milking time, the farm cats were always around to wait for their saucer full. AND, then there were baby calves - they always had their own little pen. Once in awhile, a mother would reject her calf which was sad, but, we always liked it because then we would get to bottle feed the baby. These crewel embroidery pieces hang in my hallway. I embroidered the four small ones while we were in Okinawa and had started on the large piece. I was not happy with the way the roof was looking and was going to give up on finishing it, then Mom offered to do the remaining sections. Who was I to say "NO" to that offer ?? Looking at them always reminds me of "home" !!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ginger Jars

These porcelain ginger jars are mementos from our days spent in Okinawa during the early 80's. The larger one measures about 6" tall -- I purchased it at a store there on the island in the city of Naha. The time we spent there was the first time in many years that I did not have a job to go to everyday. This was a huge change of lifestyle for me in more ways than one. Not only did I leave my two lovable dogs behind with my parents, I left friends I had known for 18 years. I also left a thirteen year career of hair styling and make-up artistry. My clients were not happy, but they survived as did I. I adjusted to the culture shock and made new friends. Life was good ! Wandering all the wonderful shops in town and the stores on the military bases became one of my enjoyable pastimes. The smaller black jar is a cloisonne design and was a going away gift from the ladies who had become my friends while we were there.

Friday, January 9, 2009

What ? Me Worry?

This is a "worry stone" that G'ma Lottie carried in her apron pocket. It is a polished flat stone with an indentation to rub your thumb across when you "have to worry about something". At least, that is what I was told about it !! It came to your Dad on his birthday in 1987 and he carried it in his jeans pocket for a long time. "What? Me Worry?" was one of his famous "isms" along with "What Can I Say?" that we were so familiar with !!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mirror, Mirror

My hand mirror is all that is left of a vanity set that originally included a brush and comb. It was all in a beautiful box given to me at Christmas in the early 50's. G'ma and G'pa Hanle always came up with neat "grown up" gifts for my sister and me. We had a dresser and a vanity table in a room we shared as girls and we each laid our vanity sets out on them. The vanity was created with a nice finished board with a pretty pink skirt attached to it. This was set on top of Mom's old treadle sewing machine. Mom had seen the project in a magazine. She also made a cover to match for one of the old wood kitchen chairs so we would have a seat in front of our "vanity". The comb belonging to this set lost several teeth and the brush lost a lot of bristles through the years. I discarded them and the box a long time ago. I am happy to still have this remnant of my childhood. It's home is now in a bathroom drawer and is used often.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Navajo Rug

This little 2' x 4' Navajo rug does not begin to go with another thing I have in my house, but, I love it anyway !! Mom had it laying over the back of one of her chairs in the formal living room for years. It was one of those souvenirs brought back to her by her parents, my G'ma and G'pa Hanle, when they made a driving tour through the Southwest sometime in the 1950's. They gave my sis and I each a turquoise bracelet. This is another of those "Mom, can I have this?" and of course, the answer was never "No". It was always fun to have G'ma and G'pa come to our house. G'ma would always con my sis and I into brushing her hair - she loved it and so did we. It was always funny to us, too -- she would go to sleep sitting up and start snoring. We had a terrible time to keep from laughing and waking her up !!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mothers and Babies

When you presented me with a grand-daughter, I became enamored with watching mothers with their babies, not only the human ones, but the animals, too -- AND, there another collection began. A gift shop was located in the same strip mall as the salon where I was working as a hair stylist at that time. There were all these wonderful Goebel figurines of animals with their babies and of course, the panda bear caught my eye !! As time passed, the collection grew to include the Lladro ducks and the Nao hen and chicks along with most all of the Goebel animals that were available. I picked up the cat with her kittens in the shoe at an antique mall. Your Dad cut plexiglas to cover the shelves on the baker's rack that I chose to display them on when we bought our townhouse. This is only one of the three shelves full. Even though your child has grown to be a beautiful woman, mothers interacting with their babies will still draw my full attention.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Old Mill Stream

This is one of the last oil paintings of mine, painted back in the 70's during my "artistic period" !! The scene came from a postcard photo. My friend and fellow hair stylist, Merilan, had started taking painting lessons from a local artist in Tulsa and I thought, "If she can do it, I can do it", so I enrolled in Betty's classes. Her technique was called "the old master's method". I had always thought I had absolutely NO artistic ability, but surprised myself with the paintings I ended up doing. I even had a couple of commissioned works, plus, sold a few otherwise. I had thought about going back to painting in my retirement days, but, my grand-daughter invited me to a class where we made a journal. I was off and running into the altered art world !!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bud Light Bi-Plane

Your Dad came home from Pepper's one day with this little bi-plane constructed completely with Bud Light beer cans. Someone's imagination really took over with this one !! Or, was it the beer ?? I often wonder if the person who put this together sent one to the company. As you know, Pepper's was your Dad's favorite place for an afternoon Bud Light. Stories and jokes were told by the fellows that hung out there and most all were repeated to me. Your Dad was a good story teller, too !! He looked forward to hearing my stories from my day at work, also. I can not sit out on the back patio without thinking of our times together there and how we would tell each other about our day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Friend, Willa

This is one of my favorite photos of my friend, Willa, taken in 2001, at age 90. Can you believe it ?? What an amazing woman she was !! She was so photogenic -- point a camera at her and the picture was always perfect. She was a model for advertising when she was a teen and in her 20's. She once told me that she doubled for Betty Grable's legs. Her first husband would not allow her to do any housework for fear of losing contracts that featured her hands in advertisements. She knew Neil Diamond when he was a shoe salesman before his career took off. She had barely a wrinkle in her face when she left this life last year at age 97. She would have made a great statement for any skin care company, but always owed her beautiful skin to Avon. She was my friend and neighbor for over 20 years and I miss those morning coffee get-to-gethers. She always had a good story to tell !!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year, 2009 !!

What better day than today to look at this ornate wine glass and carafe set !! Your Dad purchased this at the PX in Okinawa in 1982. We used it once !! The last time I took everything out of the china cabinet to clean and shine, I broke one of the glasses and of course, I was devastated. I thought about not using the wood tray for display because now there was an empty spot, but, it is part of what makes the set unique. I always think of Willa when I accidentally break something that I treasure. I was helping her with some cleaning one day. She was washing the knick-knacks that I had taken off a high shelf for her and she broke one of her collector plates. Her remark was "Well, just one less thing to clean". So, I TRY to look at it in that light way, even though I berate myself for being so clumsy !!