Thursday, April 30, 2009

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Johnson

This decoupaged piece hangs in the collage of mementos in my entry hall. It is the announcement of your great-grandparents, Burt and Lottie Johnson, marriage in 1912 and was a gift from G'ma Ruth and G'pa Paul. The leftover announcements were found and preserved after G'ma Lottie died. I wish I had asked more questions about events in older relatives lives when they were still around to answer. I must now make up my own story !! Apparently, there was not a "big" wedding celebration for these two and in remembering their "wedding picture", there was no white gown, veil, and bouquet. They may have had immediate family present and the minister of their church perform the ceremony just as your Dad and I did or maybe, they eloped. Late August was getting close to harvest season on the farm, so they had a very short "honeymoon". It's possible Aunt Joan may have the facts -- I will put that on my list of questions to ask her !!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My "Green Thumb" ??

When I first saw this brass plant stand, I didn't really like it that much. Of course, at that particular time in my life, I wasn't liking too much of anything. Your Dad had taken this new job which took us away from everything and everyone we had known for 18 years of living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All of a sudden, I was taken to Okinawa and a different way of life. I was leaving family, friends, dogs, a beautiful home and a career in hairstyling plus putting furniture in storage. When I arrived on Okinawa, your Dad had settled us into this little "square" of a house with a few essential pieces of furniture. He had purchased this brass piece as a bit of decoration -- I did grow to appreciate its beauty and with the silk artificial plant ( I would never be able to keep a real one alive ! ), it is a nice addition to my living area. The fern loves the filtered light it receives sitting near the patio window !! LOL

Monday, April 27, 2009

Catching Dreams

Hilery made these Dream Catchers for her Grandpa and me "many moons" ago. They have hung on each side of our bed from the day we received them. Along with them, hang our little "totem bags".
The black Dream Catcher, of course, is Grandpa's, the off white one is mine. Indian lore tells that Dream Catchers will scare away all bad dreams. It seems when I sleep on your Dad's "side" of the bed, he will visit me quite often in my dreams.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our Name in Crochet

This lovely and unusual little piece of crochet work was made by Edward's great-grandmother. It was a Christmas gift to us from Donald, Debbie and Edward around '95 or '96. It was not something I wanted to put away in a drawer and forget about or never use, so I had it matted and framed. It made a beautiful addition to the collage of mementos in my entry hall.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Welcome to my Home

This curio sits in the front entryway to my home. When Mom presented me with "Jessie", she also purchased the curio for me so I would have a perfect place to display her. There is also a beautiful set of wine glasses and decanter that she thought I should have to put on one of the shelves. Through the years, lots of little collectibles have been added to the shelves,, but, Jessie is still the main attraction.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blown Glass Nesting Egg

In "days of yore", these blown glass eggs were used to encourage hens to lay eggs. Placed in the hens nests, supposedly, the girls would produce more eggs !! They were also used inside a sock when darning worn spots on heels and toes. Who darns socks anymore ?? We just throw them away and buy a new pair !! Mom always had a "darning basket" filled with different colors of darning threads and several pairs of socks in need of repair. One never threw out any type of clothing that could be mended and another few months of use available. This particular egg sitting in its little pedestal, measures about 3" tall and sits in my front entry curio cabinet. It was a gift in the mid 70's from one of my weekly clients when I was working as a hairstylist. She told me the egg had belonged to her mother. Vi had no children, knew I had grown up on a farm where we had chickens, so wanted to pass it on to someone she thought would appreciate it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lovely Ladies

These "plates" portraying Mrs. Albee, the first "Avon Lady" were awards for sales one of the first years I sold Avon products. The series is called "Four Seasons" and her apparel is gorgeous. They hang in a little blank spot on a wall next to the china cabinet. In Avon history, the company was first known as California Perfume Company and this lady went door to door selling the perfumes. Of course, we know the company grew to be world wide and has more than "just" perfume !! These days, I just dabble with selling to a few faithful customers and buy for myself. My friends love getting the products as gifts. After almost 20 years, I keep trying to give up selling, but, the few people that buy from me, whine and cry as if there are no other representatives to buy from !! AND SO, today, I will submit another "small" order !!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cherry Blossom Time

A few days ago, Hilery emailed photos of cherry blossom time in Japan. They were taken in the early '80's and I especially like this one of her with the blossoming trees in the background. Of course, Gramma loves all photos of her "favorite" grand-daughter !! When we were at the Bellagio Conservatory recently, I took the photo of the Asian garden area. The cherry blossoms were full and scrumptious looking. The entire gardens were just a "little bit of heaven" !!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Trio

These three ducks greet you at my front entry when you come into my home. The brass one and the dark wood one were purchases at the PX on base in Okinawa in the early '80's. The dark one is extremely heavy wood. Neither of them could be used for hunting decoys as the colorful painted one would be. He is of a very light weight wood and was created for that purpose. He came from a collection of vintage items your G'pa P.M. had on shelves in their basement family room --another piece your Dad brought home when he was helping G'ma Ruth get ready to move to the Eastern Star home. Where he came from before that, I haven't a clue.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Young, Old Friend

I was browsing through some albums on my computer this morning and came across this beautiful image of my friend, Willa.
This portrait was taken when she was about 17 years old back in 1928. She was a beautiful young lady - she was a beautiful older lady !! Beautiful on the inside as well as the outside !! These black and white vintage photos have a certain quality that always make me nostalgic. They cause me to want to go back in time and live in those days. Then, I think about all the modern conveniences I have that were not available to my older friends and relatives. I am happy to be where I am, in this day and age. But, I miss these people that were a part of my life for so long !!

Friday, April 17, 2009


This is one of my favorite candid shots of you and your Dad. It would have been the early 80's, I think maybe at Christmas time. I believe you were playing "Pong", but, you could have been watching Wiley Coyote cartoons !! The two of you were Saturday morning cartoon buddies from time beginning !!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Celebrating a New Job

In June of 1990, Circus Circus opened their new hotel-casino, The Excalibur. I had been dealing cards for the company since '86 and was transferring to the new property. The two nights before the opening, we had "rehearsals" with half of the new employees and a guest treated to meals and playing the games. The other half of the employees were performing their jobs as they would at the opening. The first night of "rehearsals", I was dealing blackjack to fellow employees and their guests. The second night, your Dad and I were the guests and here we are, sitting at one of the bars, enjoying a drink before dinner. CNN filmed a news clip on opening day and within that clip, there is a short bit of me dealing cards at my game. I have the VHS tape that features that clip of my "15 seconds of fame" -- if you blink while watching, you will miss me !! A fellow employee had set his VCR to tape the news that opening night and gifted me with the tape. It seemed I was the only dealer featured on the finished cut of the news item. WOW !!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chicken Dinner

This is another of those replica vintage toys that your G'pa P.M. made in his workshop. He was forever coming up with something unique and different. The chicken's heads are attached to fishing line and a lead sinker underneath the paddle. As you shake the paddle, the heads move up and down as if they are pecking at the kernels of corn. I wonder how long a child in today's age of electronics would be amused by playing with this toy of yesteryear !! I love having all these reminders of the people that have been so much a part of my life, so things like this are incorporated into collages on walls in my home. This one is on a kitchen wall.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dad's Darts

This dartboard has hung on a garage wall anywhere and everywhere through the years. I can't remember exactly when I got it for your Dad -- in the late 60's, I think. There were years when gas stations and grocers gave out S & H Green Stamps when you made purchases at their stores. You would fill your books with those stamps, then go to the S & H store and purchase your choices of their items with those books. There was a catalog of their premium gifts so you always knew how many books you had to fill for the item you were saving for. Of all the items we purchased using these stamps, the dartboard is the only thing left that hasn't been passed on in donation boxes or sold in garage sales. Your Dad was always pretty good at hitting the bull's eye and I think he rarely walked out into the garage without throwing a dart or two.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

We Three

Our journal, named "We Three", started in 2005, is nearing completion. It has been a thought provoking, creative journey for the three of us and I for one, am happy with the avenues we have traveled !! That was the year I retired and Hilery asked me to join her in an altered art class. I was hooked !! My first pictorial journal was the one I created in memory of your Dad, "The Book of Douglas". Mary, our teacher at many of the classes we attended that summer, was telling us about a written journal that she and her grandson exchanged with each other. I began to think about a creative journal for the three of us to participate in and share. We have each taken turns choosing a theme and created a page around that idea, then wrote a paragraph about it. Of course, I think you two girls are more creative than I am, but, I am more than thrilled with how this project has taken form. Will we do another when this one comes to a close, or will we come up with a new idea ??

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Watching and Waiting

This photo of your Dad was taken the summer of '97, sitting in his favorite spot on the patio. He would wait for the hummingbirds to come to the feeder or close to inspect him, visit with the neighbors walking their dogs, and watch the people at the swimming pool, (especially, the girls in their skimpy suits !! ). He was definitely a "girl watcher", for which I always gave him a bad time !! Often times, when I came home from work, we would sit together here and tell each other the stories of our day. To this day, I cannot sit on the patio without thinking of him.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Catch the Light

In the mornings, when the sun hits my east patio window just right, I have rainbows of color inside my home. Most of these light catchers were Christmas gifts through the years from my dear in-laws. The painted butterfly was a gift from Hilery and Adem. I love the butterflies, but, the hummingbirds are my favorites. They always make me think of your Dad. We always had a hummingbird feeder and if your Dad would sit out on the patio wearing one of his bright colored shirts, those birds would come right up to him when he sat very, very still. Those were some of his favorite moments and one of my favorite memories of him.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Cook's Helper

Needless to say, I think you were probably better equipped to put a meal on the table when you got married than I was. I don't remember when you did NOT want to help in the kitchen. And, I must have had a lot more patience when I was younger !! It does not seem to be one of my virtues as I have grown older as I am often accused of not having any !! Anyway, I am always proud to say that you could put a meal on the table as well as I could before you were even a teenager !! This photo was taken around '62 in the kitchen of the duplex we rented in Ogden after your Dad got out of the Navy. You needed a step stool to reach the counter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's Cookin' ??

Despite the fact that Mom taught us girls a lot about cooking and we had Home Economics classes in high school, I still had a lot to learn about putting a meal on the table when your Dad and I got married !! Little did I know that my new husband didn't really care for all the same kinds of foods that I was used to having when I was growing up. I soon learned that he was a "meat and potatoes" man and not willing to give in to any "fancy" meals. What comes to mind is the day I tried a pork chop recipe where the chops were browned and lain atop sliced apples, then baked in the oven. I thought it was wonderful and it was very tasty, but, I was informed that I didn't need to use that recipe again !! Of course, your Dad was not a big fan of pork chops to start with, so that didn't help the situation. The things I didn't know about how long a roast should be cooked or any other basics, I could find in this wonderful cook book that was a wedding shower gift from one of my high school girlfriends. That makes this book almost 51 years old now !! The cover is faded, the pages are worn and aged. I have not turned to it for "help" in many, many years, but, it remains on a shelf in the credenza along with other old favorites.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tippy and Spot

This photo was cut and stuck into a glass furniture caster to be used as a paper weight. Every Christmas in country school, the teacher would pick a project for us to make gifts for our parents. The photo was taken around 1950, so it was probably a gift that Christmas. The teacher furnished the materials so the parents wouldn't know what the project was, but, we had to come up with the photo we wanted to use. The paper weight was on Mom and Dad's desk forever after and it is now on mine. Mom always had these caster cups under the legs of furniture, whether is was on carpet, wood floor or linoleum. I think they are now considered antique !! Tippy was the runt of a litter of rat terriers when we adopted him from family friends. Spot, who was totally white with one black spot on a shoulder area, appeared at our farm one day. No one ever came looking for him, so he became ours. We always thought someone had dumped him off nearby, knowing we would take care of him because they couldn't.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Box of Rocks

Anyone that comes to my house will ask "What's up with the box of rocks ??" and I have more than one answer to that question !! The rocks have been collected from various places around the world. Most of them, of course, have come from fields in Iowa. The collection just sort of happened and there are only a few that I can tell someone exactly where they came from. The box was a planter in which I tried to grow real flowers once upon a time, but, my "green thumb" is not very green. The rocks ended up taking up residence a few years ago !! You know one of your Dad's favorite "isms" when someone did or said something entirely wrong was "they were just dumber than a box of rocks". So, this is always a reminder of him and when I catch myself doing something "stupid", I can go look at the box and hear him talking to me !!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Johnson Kids, circa 1947

There is something about those old professional photos taken back in the '40's that are so charming and "real". No props, plain backgrounds, and just get those kids to smile, all at the same time !! And, those "cardboard" decorative frames !! Your Dad is standing while "big" sister is holding onto baby brother. G'ma Ruth once told me that all of her children were "planned" -- there is approximately 5 years of age between them, so, I never doubted her statement. Joan has said that she was never given the chance to pick out her own apparel until after she was married and on her own. Her clothes were laid out for her to wear to school each day. I wonder if G'ma Ruth was raised in that same manner by her mother. Were the boys given any choices in what they were to wear ?? Your Dad never said that he wasn't !! I like to think he would have chosen a black shirt versus this white one , though !! He rarely shopped for his own clothing as an adult. He relied on me to pick, choose and purchase. Maybe, I just took up where his mother left off !!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Decorative Scents

I counted the miniature perfume bottles that I have collected over the years and they number over 80. Most of them are miniatures of the real perfumes, but, a few are pretty little decorative vials and they are my favorites. This one measures about 4" tall and has a home in the china cabinet. I purchased it at an antique store in Pahrump on one of my visits there to see Hilery and Adem a couple years ago. I don't avidly search for these vials, but, once in awhile, one will speak to me when I am browsing the antique stores.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baby's Bonnet

A wonderful vintage, baby's bonnet hangs in the collection of photos in my stairwell !! This was a gift to your Great G'ma Rose at a baby shower when she was expecting your G'ma Ruth in 1916. A friend to Minnie, Toxey Jones, tatted the little bonnet. The silk handkerchief was another gift at that shower from a relative, Susan Trealor. I wrote down this information that day in 1994 when G''ma Ruth was "showing and telling" as I knew I would never remember those details. She was going to put them back into the box when I suggested she let me take them and have them framed. They were just too precious to not be where they could be seen. After framing, I returned them to her. When she moved to the Eastern Star Home, they came back to our house to stay !