Friday, February 16, 2018

Love Park Philadelphia

Hi Dear Folk,

This is the view from the other side of the building where I work in Philadelphia, taken on the day of the Eagle's Parade, not by me but by a co-worker.  The law firm opened up the office for viewing on our floor.


This is Love Park and they have been working on it for what seems years, but it will be ready for this spring.  See below for the artists impression of how it will look.  As you can see they left the very iconic sixties Welcome Center building, now all done up.  I hope the park area does look like this in spring a shame it wasn't done last summer I could have had lunch out here.

The Welcome Center known as the "flying saucer" was designed by architect Roy Larson as a futuristic celebration of postwar Philadelphia optimism.  The building survives today as one of the best and most intact examples of midcentry modern architecture in Center City Philadelphia and has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.


It was partly opened over the December Holidays see here.

I feel good that on my day off I got a couple of cleaning jobs ticked of my list, well my mental list, I thought of writing an actual list but it might be too overwhelming.  I cleaned the oven that must be done in winter and also the top.  I had asked Mr. B. to buy me two new drip plates, they are in black enamel, which he did and I put those in and cleaned underneath.

My stove is original to the house so must be at least eighteen years old and still going, which is amazing because every other appliance in the kitchen has been replaced.  Fridge, dishwasher, and microwave.  They are all in almond colour and that is not such a popular colour these days for kitchen appliances.  The GE stove is almond and black.  I'm happy, I'm not one to change things out if it's still working.

Also washed the basement steps and came to realize that the three bottom steps now have a pink blush glow, from when the boy spray painted his bar for the Miata that holds his bike, that was red.  Such is life.

Christine

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Fleeting, Fog and Flowers

Hi Dear Folk,

The weekend is winding down, lots of fog and rain, everything is very soggy.  I feel a bit at sea on the creative front.  I made a broach, I already had the little needlepoint given to me with other odds and ends. It was fun to do a little hand stitching.

I found the little Sylko drawer box in Clare, Suffolk on one of my forays out with sis.


For the picture I made a felt frame and put a pin on the back.



Enjoying my flowers.  Look at these deep purple calla lilies, you can hardly believe a flower can be that deep a purple colour, almost black.


As it was raining Mr. B. didn't have to work so we went out to a couple of thrifts, he found a very swanky pair of Italian dress shoes in leather and canvas, I came out with an old Italian cameo broach, some Polish plates, that match the Polish pottery I bought in Cape Ann, same pattern and a lovely modern cut lace and silk table cloth, you might call it Battenburg lace, it would look great with the Old Country Rose china.



The cameo can be worn on a chain or as a broach.  It has beautiful detail.


Christine

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pink Flowers and Pets

Hi Dear Folk,

I think I made the wise decision and stayed home on Thursday.  Friday I was feeling under the weather told my boss and took a PTO day.  I was able to get some paperwork done.  Wretched bills that need sorting out, double charged for the anesthesiologist $700 instead of $350 which is what I have to pay.  Plus more medical bills, sometimes I wonder why I pay health insurance when on top there is so much to pay.  Still I have health insurance, but won't when I give up my job.

I'm watching Dr. Finley's Case Book, and the episode touches on the beginning of the NHS National Health Service in the UK, 1948. How many opposed it, how if you were poor and couldn't pay you didn't get any help.  I personally benefited from it as a child in the fifties, having two operations on my left eye, one when I was three and one when I was six to correct a lazy muscle, regular visits every month to St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London until the age of eight and free spectacles. You don't even have to be poor not to be able to afford health care in the USA, and we're 70 years on from when the UK got NHS and the USA is still bogged in the quagmire.

The older I get the less I like doing paperwork, in fact I'm getting a total aversion to it.  I used to be the Excel spread sheet queen, double entry book keeping the whole bit.  The philosophy I live with now is the only thing you can do is not spend it, be frugal.

Here is something that bought a smile to my face, Rob's friend brought me a bouquet of flowers to thank me for Thursday night, movie night the boys have here can be rather loud.  Mostly I'm out on Thursdays, so it doesn't really bother me.  Andrew works in a florest shop.  Such a thoughtful gesture.
   




Miss Tuppy, found herself three comfortable places to sleep.  The bag I keep a lot of paperwork in.


By the fire.


In one of my fabric baskets.  Cats do make you laugh.

Christine

PS:  Think I need to do a little brass polishing


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Re-Arranging Furniture In The Blood

Hi Dear Folk,

Got a lot done today.  So nice just to puts around my own house.  I think it will take at least a year to make things ship shape in the house.  When you work full time you keep it under wraps, but never get into the nitty gritty of cleaning, sorting and painting.  All on my agenda.

Today I did a little rearranging in the sitting room.  Swapped the chair and the little Eastlake sofa.  I hardly change things around that much compared with my mum and sister.  So it's in the blood.

One cold winter's night as a teenager, BB and I had friends staying over, we had the dining table out on the front lawn swapping it from one room to the other, under mother's instigation, it was easier to take it out the one big window and bring it in the front door than try and get it through the house.  There was Martin standing out on the lawn with the dining room table.  Did we have a laugh.


I think I'm going to like this arrangement.



Made soup and my Jewish Apple cake, but did not have any white sugar so made it with brown, it might be a bit heavier than usual.

Setting winter sun.

Christine

PS: I guess I'll hear what all the festivities were like for the Eagle's Parade.  I have been quite happy at home, not battling those crowds.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mr. B's Mariners Pie

Hi Dear Folk,

Today started out with me parking the car at the train station and walking in freezing sleet to the train.  It still is raining damp and that bone chilling cold.

The other day I watched Breakfast At Tiffany's with Audrey Hepburn and the very day I watched it I looked at my journal on Cats and there was some information about 'Cat" if you remember the movie she never named the cat they were both transients.

Under "Cat Stars"  Orangey was a sensational motion picture and television personality.  A veritable orange 'tiger' which made its cinematic debut in the title rolls of 'Rhubarb' (1952) and won the Patsy Award in 1952 and 1962.  Orangey also appeared in 'Gigot', 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' and in the television series 'Our Miss Brookes.'

Such a coincidence.

Mr. B. made this pie and did better on making it look nice and neat on top than I did.  This is the French pot that I found in someones trash.  I know I've mentioned it before, but it was such a find and with a dinner of chicken cacciatore fresh inside.  It's like the tenants of the house just up and left in a hurry and put everything in the trash.  My gain.  Le Creuset are not cheap.



Christine

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Eagles Shut Down Philadelphia

Hi Dear Folk,

I have decided to swap my days, I am going to take off Thursday instead of Wednesday, even though they are calling for snow and rain on Wednesday, the reason being "Eagles Parade".  As I'm sure you all know even in other parts of the world that the Philadelphia Eagles won the Superbowl. This is the first time they have won it. Patriots have won five times.  Fever is high. The celebration parade is on Thursday, and as much as I would like to be here and watch it from my office, we have a birds eye view here right out front of City Hall, I have decided not to try and come into Philly.

Most of the schools within a radius of Philly will be closed for the day.  An expected one million to three million people will enter the city.  Now I am told that SEPTA can only handle one in four people on their transit system.  I looked up my schedule and the last train runs out of my station at 8:00AM and they are not running anymore trains into Philly after that.  The parade starts at 11:00AM.

I will watch it on TV.

You might like this pre-game skit from SNL. Can't wait to see their after game skit this Saturday.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Darning - Japanese Boro Stitching

Hi Dear Folk,

Rob asked me if I could darn his work pants and this is what I did.  I thought I did a pretty good job to extend their working life.



My darning work reminds me of Japanese Boro stitching.

Boro is a Japanese term and derives from the word borboro, which means something tattered or repaired.  Fabrics that had been repaired and patched over and over.  Although beautiful, boro cloths came about through pure necessity.  During the 18th and 19th centuries cotton was a luxury afforded only to the nobility, the lower classes had homespun fibres that were more difficult to make into fabric and didn't last as long.  By patching and stitching, the fabric could be strengthened and its life could be extended.  During the Edo era there were also laws that restricted lower classes from wearing bright colours which is why the clothes are indigo blue and brown.  Boro textiles are now highly sought after collectibles.

During these times pieces of cloth were re-purposed in various forms.  Often starting off as a kimono then becoming every day clothing, a piece of sleepwear, a futon cover, a bag then finally a dusting clothe.  Every scrap was used until it wore out.

This relates to the Japanese philosophy of 'mottani', which centers around wasting nothing of the intrinsic value on an object.

Christine

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Conflict of Wings 1954 RAF Norfolk

Hi Dear Folks,

An film from 1954 based and filmed in Norfolk, some lovely scenery.  You might enjoy watching it over the weekend.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Top This Train Story!

Hi Dear Folk,

Are you ready to hear another train journey story?  Friday my boss let me out an hour early from work, I was able to catch the 4:29 PM train.  Second stop on the way home is Temple for Temple University, this is quite a modern station for the University.  So an upscale area encapsulated in a very run down poor area.  The next two stops are Broad Street and Allegheny, both in run down bad areas of Philly.  In fact only every other train stops at these two stations as only one or two people get on or off or even at all.

We stop at Broad Street and wait and wait and the next thing we know we are told that there is a medical emergency and an ambulance has been called.  The carriage where this happened has now been evacuated to our carriage and people are piling in.  When we find out that a guy got on the train with his hand stuffed into s Subway bag and stuffed into his jacket, from which blood is gushing out and onto the floor.

I think SEPTA were just going to carry on and clean up the carriage later, but the police said no this is a crime scene and everyone has to be evacuated off the train.  So we wait for the next train to come, we have to get off the train on the wrong side, literally climb down the steps and jump.  Even when I was on the bottom step I was above the head of the conductor standing on the ground, he helped me to jump down between the trains.  I had to walk between the two trains past several carriages in a gully, on these big gravel stones, not the easiest to walk on.  The wheels of the trains are almost as tall as me, another conductor helped me along, I wasn't going to say no after having fractured my ankle last year.  Next was to climb up into the other train, now this step is as high as the top of my leg, so I said to the conductor "Theres no way I can step up there" I knelt and then pulled myself up.  I walked along to the back of the train to make room for others still getting on. A nice young girl gave her seat up for me, I was pretty puffed by then.

Never a dull moment.

Christine

I Did the Deed

Hi Dear Folk,

Well I did the deed and resigned or you could say will retire from my job.  I did ask if I could continue on two days a week, but I don't think that will fly.  May 31st that gives my company time to find someone else to replace me, and then me train them.  I like my job, I like my company and I like our small office and co-workers.

It's very scary because I haven't a clue what to do for health insurance, but who in this country does? It came to the point Money or Time?  As my husband said you had to do it sometime.  When to pull the plug and call it quits.  I'm 64 this year, in the USA you can retire at 62 partial SS, 66 1/2 full SS and 70 even more.  One gets Medicaid at 65 even with that you have to buy supplemental health insurance.  I have friends who pay over $400 each person per month for that.  Less if you don't want as good a coverage and more out of pocket expenses.

I have always had a job from the age of sixteen until now.  There is only one year I did not work and that was the year I gave birth to Rob.  I took a year off work.  It was part time work, only the past eight years have I worked full time.  Needs must when Mr. B. lost his job.  We cobbled it together back then and we can do it again.

So I will have time.  Time to do what?  Well a long visit to my sister and family and friends in the UK. I have other plans but will talk about them as I go along.

Must tell you about a dream Mr. B. had last night.  He dreamt we were on vacation and we ordered a meal and he turned to me and said "Do you have any money to pay?"  and I turned back to him and said "Ask God."

I do have faith, all things will work out.

Christine

Eagles or Patriots - What Do I Know?

Hi Dear Folk,

Eagles or Patriots?


We just took photos of us all in the office.  John my boss said wear an Eagles shirt.  I said all I have is a chopping board with the Eagles emblem on, then this morning my husband pulled the rabbit out of the hat coming up with an Eagles shirt with our name on too Hunt #29 which is now Blount’s number so Hunt to Blount.

To be quite honest I follow hardly anything of this so I surprised them all in the office.  I did think of wearing the chopping board like a breast plate.

Bit divided Tierney lives in the Boston area.  I hear there have been some exciting games this year so will watch the Superbowl.

Take care have a great day and weekend.

Christine


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Hairy Bikers' Low Fat Fruit Tea Loaf

Hi Dear Folk,

I ran across this recipe and thought that I would try it out.  I had most of the ingredients in the house except prunes and I substituted dates which were in the pantry.  I often do that don't you?  Just try and make a recipe work with what I have in the cupboard, plus I did not want to venture out.  I will have Mr. B. put prunes on his shopping list, I think I know how I could make it a bit better next time.


It is a very dense mixture, no sugar and no oil.  My banana maybe could have been a little riper.




I was pleased with the results, mine came out almost like a very fruity bread pudding.  Will try making it with the prunes next time and see how it turns out.  The recipe is below.


Hairy Bikers' low fat fruit tea loaf

  • Preparation time:15 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time:30 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes, plus cooling
Makes: 20 squares

Ingredients

1 teabag
400ml just-boiled water
1 unwaxed lemon
250g ready-to-eat prunes, quartered
500g luxury dried mixed fruit
3 tsp ground mixed spice
1 ripe medium banana (about 115g peeled weight)
4 large eggs
4 tbsp skimmed milk
300g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder

Method

Put the teabag in a jug and add 400ml just-boiled water. Stir and leave to steep for 5 minutes. Finely grate the lemon zest and squeeze the juice, then pour the juice into a large saucepan. Squeeze the teabag and chuck it away, then pour the tea into the pan with the juice. Add the lemon zest, prunes, mixed dried fruit and spice.
Stir well and place the pan over a low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes or until the liquid is almost all absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, tip the mixture carefully into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3½. Line the base and sides of a 20 x 30cm rectangular cake tin with baking parchment or use a small roasting tin or a 25cm square cake tin. Peel the banana and cut it into thick slices. Put these in a food processor, add the eggs and milk, then blend to make a purée. Add the flour and baking powder and blend again until smooth.
Pour the egg and banana mixture on to the soaked fruit and stir until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes or until the cake is pale golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the tin for 30 minutes.
Carefully turn the cake out, peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool on a wire rack. When the cake is cool, cut it into 20 squares. Wrap well, store in the fridge and eat within a week.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Saturday So

Hi Dear Folk,


The better part of the winter has gone and I've just managed to change to a banner more suited to the season.

Saturday comes and you want to cram in all those things that have rattled around your mind all week, the sun shines and it hasn't been out for a while a walk in the park fits the bill, blow the cobwebs out.





I have been coveting these discarded stone masons cuttings, from the cemetery next door.  I keep thinking could I just pick one up and carry it to the car, or could I bring a little red wagon and tote it out, or just bring Mr. B. to do the job? Is it appropriate to do so, they've been sitting here for years.  Maybe I should go to the police station right at the entrance to the park and ask permission, do I really need permission?

I think a few would look great in my garden.


A Pennsylvania winter in the sun.






Black walnuts galore, it seems that you can boil them up and make ink, probably even a great dye.



There are a number of abandoned houses around the park.  Most were on site residences for the doctors who used to work at the mental hospital.  I expect doctors now live in much larger residences than this.


Ye'll tak' the high road and I'll take the low road
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye


About every seven weeks I get together with a special group of friends, we've all known each other before the Mr's were around.  We used to talk about finding the right Mr. then we talked about our families and now we talk about our aches and pains.

Marianne drives down from the Amish country to get her hair done, my friend Janice is a hair dresser and Joni and I may or may not get our hair done.  I did this week, I got about two inches cut off.

We share some goodies, sometimes some wine and set the world to rights.  Here we are forty years on and I think that is very special.


Christine

Friday, January 26, 2018

Camera Shopping and Lunch

Hi Dear Folk,

Where has the week gone? I don't know and here we are at Friday which is a sunny cold day here.  Reaching back a week to last Saturday The Boy and I went out to look at cameras for me.  Rob said "mum you really need a new camera"  mine is about ten years old, a nice one at the time, but technology moves on.  He had looked at two online that he thought I might like, but we wanted to actually see and hold the models.  Very glad we did, because one I thought was too small and the other too big, so I have settled on a mirror-less camera with lens.  There are so few actual camera stores left, we went to Cardinal's in the mall, everything is online now, but that does have it's tactile limitations.

Sony A6000 with a Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens 


Here's Rob looking up some camera specs on his phone.


I said I'd treat Rob to lunch, here we are together.  I had a lamb burger, in a brioche roll, Rob had a chicken salad sandwich.  He treated us to drinks, his was a cider and I had a pomegranate shandy from Chippewa Falls, Leinenkugel's very good.  I'm going to get some from a beer distributor.


Taking the moment with my boy is what it's about.

Have a great weekend,
Christine

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Love Among The Ruins

Hi Dear Folk,

I ran across this film from 1975 Love Among The Ruins, with Sir Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn, it's almost like a stage play.  I think you will like it, a love story staring two wonderful actors.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  The setting is London 1911.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Carrie's War

Hi Dear Folk,

I do like the film Carrie's War and it is available to view on YouTube which is great.  I watched it on one of those snowy days that we had.

It's about Carrie and her brother who get evacuated from London during WWII to a small town in Wales.  I used to have this on VHS with this box cover.  I guess they all went when the VHS went.


I do remember many a tent camping holiday in Northern Wales where I think it rained most of the time and the best fare in the bakeries seemed to be Bara Brith which means mottled bread and is a sweet yeast bread with mixed fruit in.

My mum usually baked a nice fruit cake to take with us, with marzipan and icing, the whole works, but the previous year we had been to Yorkshire and there was a plentiful array of baked goods in the bakeries that we hardly touched the fruit cake.  Next year mum said I won't bake one and in Wales there didn't seem to be as much in the bakeries, of course I'm talking about back in the sixties and we kept saying wish mum had baked the fruit cake.

Yes I can still see us clambering down the steps at Swallow Falls in the pouring rain.

Back to Carrie's War or rather the hat she wore in the film, isn't that a lovely hat?

Christine

Friday, January 12, 2018

In The End

Hi Dear Folk,

Friday and it's 62F, everything is melting, but there's still some ice on the river as I go by on the train and it makes for a whole other world, it looks quite other worldly.  I wish I could stop and take photos.


After all that Mr. B. did have to call the plumber in for the kitchen sink.  I thought let me take a look under the sink and see if all is well and all was not well, because all the paper I had put down was a wet mess.  It seems that two of the three shut off valves were dripping just a tiny bit.  All that turning on and off while the boys were working on the kitchen faucets was too much for them.  He called a plumber and since there are three valves under the sink, the hot, the cold and the garbage disposal I said we might as well get them done at the same time.


So guess what I have to do again for the third time, line under the sink and put everything back in it's place.  Isn't that just the way life is?


Do you really want to hear this probably not, in fact I'm boring myself on this.  This morning the train had passed Temple University Station when there was a train in front on the same line that had broken down.  We had to reverse all the way back to the station, where they said we would change tracks.  However they brought another train in and we had to all get out and get on the other train.  I was half and hour late for work.  Oh the joys.


Just nice to be home and Tuppy thinks so too, she's likes to help with a little paperwork on the computer.


Our sprightly old lady will be eighteen this year.

Christine

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