Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dolce and Gabanna Woodland Animal Collection

I've been thinking about clothes, especially with what to pack for Hawaii, to fit into the tiny suitcase that airlines allow you and what would make a coordinated little collection. I'm so eclectic with clothes that the thought of a coordinated collection is hard to put together.

I was looking through Mollie Makes which was about appliques and the new Dolce and Gabanna Collection here.  Get out your 1970's craft books, because their woodland collection of owls, squirrels and red foxes, comes straight out of your 1970's craft applique books.  It's like haute couture got lost in grandma's wall hangings, but I'm not adverse to that.


Lots of keys too, don't I have some Italian scarves from the seventies with those on too?

I'm no keeper of fashion, but I do like Runway.

Christy

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Life Without The Boy, Empty Nesters

Hi Dear Folk,

Life without The Boy.  Someone said to me you’re an empty nester now, and this had never come into my mind, I guess one is so busy just living life and getting things done, that I never viewed us in this light, it came as quite a shock to think about it this way.

I’m not sure how I view it.  My life is very busy anyway and one does not live life through ones children. You hope the years of upbringing have stood them in good stead for life and that is as it should be. Yes it is quieter for Mr. B. and I, we were both close to The Boy in different ways, I will miss our conversations and those close times, just as his dad will.  Since we had Rob almost twenty years later than all our peers, we are hit with the double hit of change, that and getting nearer to retirement, well a couple of years yet.


Now comes the thinking about, who am I?  Where am I?  What do I want to do?  And, who do I identify with?  People are always being slotted into pigeon holes, all neat and tidy, but I do not think the slot now is neat or tidy.  I’m not old, I’m not young, I know people view me as old, I don’t view myself that way.  I never want my mind to become old, I want to go on learning, and I have a multitude of ideas that buzz around all the time.  It is a conundrum, you see we were not meant to grow old, we were meant to live forever.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Christy

P.S.  I had a hard time pressing the publish button on this one

Monday, August 25, 2014

King Ferry Winery, Caluga Lake Area, New York State


Hi Dear Folk,

Some more photos from my travels.

After visiting the Aurora Shoe Company we decided to visit one of the wineries that we had seen a sign to.  This area is known for their wine and vineyards, very similar climate to the Rhine land wineries in Germany.  In fact one of the wines I landed up buying was a Riesling,  the Wobbly Rock Riesling and a bottle of the Gilded Lily.

By now the clouds are rolling in, above is a typical farm scene, and I have a similar view for my Blog Banner.  I did notice a lot of wild flowers along the side of the roads, and love these punks as they are known over here in the USA in UK we call them bulrush see here for terminology on names.



A farm dog.


Here I am enjoying a wine tasting at the King Ferry Winery, and here is a photo of my chauffeur coming to pick me up by the sunflower field.  In Pennsylvania and New York State you cannot drink until age twenty-one, works out well for mum. He is just driving out of the winery.

 

This is an absolutely huge field of sunflowers, with all their faces turned south.


Sunflowers are so joyous.  Must try and plant more next year, I just don't think I have a sunny enough place for them, my success rate is not good.


When I looked down at my new shoes which I was wearing, they were covered in yellow pollen.


In the far distance in the dip is lake Cayuga.  Up here in winter they get a lot of snow, because the moisture is picked up off the lakes and then falls again as snow.  It is much colder here in winter than where we live, four and a half hours south.  We saw a wonderful photo op of the seagulls following the plough, but just could not catch it in time.


We also made the effort to visit, what we thought would be a dairy shop and cheese tasting, but it turned out to be a tiny fridge on the porch of an abandoned house, where on the honour system you took a cheese and left $9.00 cash in the plastic container.



You have the vista to see some spectacular skies here, I like this scene looking down to Lake Cayuga, which you can just see to the right of the red barn.  I like the composition of the farm, the drive, fence and sky.  I just took this as the boy was whizzing back to get to the gym, so a purely by chance shot.

Christy



Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Man In The Moon Bake Shoppe and Cafe, NY


Friday morning, we took our time, having breakfast, more sorting in his room and then we ran a few errands around Ithaca that The Boy had to see to, putting in a resume and stopping off to see about a job opportunity. While I took the time to run into a yarn shop that just happened to be around the corner.  And of course we had to stop at the car dealership to look at, I don't know what but some new $80,000 sports car, the boy chatted for a while with the young salesman.  A sidewalk estate sale was going on and we picked up an oil painting for his room, a Mediterranean scene that grows on you the more you look at it, so that was a nice find, as Rob had mentioned how he would like to get some artwork for his wall.

On our way to the Aurora Shoe Co we stopped off at this Cafe, The Man In The Moon, which turned out to be a lovely find out in the country.  All their food is sourced from local produce, Rob had the Rocket Dog a sausage locally produced, I had the spinach, egg and feta cheese burrito, all very good and a large mug of very good coffee.



Here am I with my mug of coffee.  The sun held out and we ate outside, a little windy, but so nice.


Here is Rob tucking into his Rocket Dog


We decided to get a little something to take with us, cannoli's.

So if you are up in the King's Ferry area stop by this little cafe it is worth the stop and not far from the Aurora Shoe Company.

Christy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Aurora Shoe Co, NY


Dear Folk,

I am jumping right to my visit to the Aurora Shoe Company and then will back track on our trip to Ithaca and relocating The Boy in his apartment.

I first heard of Aurora Shoe Company when I read about them on Tiny Happy, a NZ Blog you are probably familiar with, see here.  That was several years ago, but I always kept it in the back of my mind that they were in New York State which is just above Pennsylvania.  So when I found out that Rob would be attending Ithaca College and we would be taking him up there, I made it a point to find out exactly where in New York State, and they are located just half an hour North, up Lake Cayuga, was I happy.  So it was on my list of to do things on our trip.  So Friday morning after running errands we headed up here.  It is truly in the country, with a distant view of Lake Cayuga.


As you walk in the smell of good leather assails you, taking me right back to a leather shop of my childhood where my mum treated me to an English small black leather shoulder bag, adding some money, to the money my grandma had given me.  I loved that bag and had it many years.  So good leather smell, and above you see racks of shoes that you can buy if you just walk in the door here.  David is looking for my size, but eventually went to the back after trying on a couple of pairs.


Above you see their new line for the fall an ankle boot for men, and I guess ladies too.  Rob tried on a pair and may come back and get them later down the road.



Above some shoes in Olive Green and Brown.


Here I am trying on an Olive Green pair, the Olive Green tends to vary somewhat in shade.  You buy the shoes snug fitting, as with the warmth from your foot and wear, the leather will conform to the contours of your foot.


We chatted for a bit with David the owner who has had the business for five years and is himself a Kings Ferry boy, coming back to where he grew up.

Decisions, decisions, I did like the Olive Green with the T-strap, but with Rob's advice and how I felt, I went with my original choice.  The thing is that these shoes last a long while, some people have had them up to fifteen years and you can send them back to be resoled.  As David said they have to keep reaching out to new customers, because the shoes last so long.  But if you are like the local girl we met at the winery you will love them and buy another pair, she said she had three pairs.  She told us a local custom is to walk into Lake Cayga with them on and christen them, she had.  David said until he bought the business there was not even a computer.  So I explained how I had heard about him from a Blog Tiny Happy the other side of the world, how crazy is that?




Here I am with my new shoes, all will be revealed.


As we left there was a huge box of scrap leather and he said take what ever you want, that was so nice and we were happy, so we took this piece and a burgundy piece.  In the background you can just see Lake Cayuga.  Now Rob has designs on his mother making him a leather wallet.  His other one is made of duct tape and he has had it since the middle of High School, made by a friend.  He's very picky, must be a certain size etc.  So we discussed that, but will get back to that in a later post.


Ta-da, my new shoes. So here I am later that day on the trail, after dropping The Boy off at the College Gym.  In the background you can see the suspension bridge over one of the Gorges.  The tag line for Ithaca is "Ithaca is Gorges" and it is, all ravines, waterfalls and gorges, just lovely.  I kept telling myself, "what goes up must come down."


See Martha Steward American Made here where you can link to a really nice video of the step by step process of making the Aurora Shoes.

Here is a write up in the Syracuse News that goes back to 2009 when David first bought the business.

I will definitely visit again and will get another pair of shoes down the road, I love them.

Christy

Saturday, August 9, 2014

No Time


August as I said is a busy month for us with lots of changes, the biggest change being Rob going away to college in Ithaca.  Yesterday I came home and he said he had a terrible headache, trying to get the utilities, gas and electric, which they have to pay for, turned on and put in his name.  He will be in charge of collecting the money for that.  It seems that NYSEG could not figure it out with three meters in the house that they are renting, which was the meter to the apartment they are renting.  So I said welcome to the real world, all good training for life. 

I have told the boy to start gathering piles of things in his bedroom that he wants to take.  I know some parents go out and buy all new things for their college kids apartments, but we don’t have money for that, so whatever we have and the thrift.  So far he bought himself a cast iron frying pan, from a flea market, which he has to clean up, those pans last forever, and what is great about them is you can use it on top of the stove and in the oven.

Ithaca is on the Finger Lakes at the end of Lake Cayuga.  Cornell University sits on Lake Cayuga in Ithaca and Ithaca College sits at the top of the hill.  In fact when he caught the Greyhound Bus to Ithaca for orientation, he had to walk up that hill and it’s a very long walk.  We phoned him when he was half way up and he said “I’ve been walking up this hill for half an hour.”  The view is great.  See here for some information on the FingerLakes in NY State.

Tinkerbell who is about eighteen years old, give or take a year, because we did not have her from a kitten and was from the SPCA: is getting old.  I think in human years that is about 85, she has been having eye problems so Mr. B. took her to the Vet on Wednesday evening.  The meds do seem to be working so hopefully her eyes will clear up.  Eye problems seem to go with Himalayan cats.  She is a sweetie, but is a bit peeved off with me cleaning around her eyes, she’s almost at the point that she looks at me and doesn’t know whether to run or not, but if she sees some wipes in my hand she is off.

I’m still working on the Bible cover project, and another project for Hawaii which I will tell you about another time, they’re my fun things to do in the evening.

We had a very cool start to this summer which has been lovely temperature wise, but did not do the tomatoes and peppers any good, especially the peppers, so everything is a bit slow this year, and with working I don’t always have the time to get out there as I would wish.

I am counting on September to calm down a bit, and then I can focus on thinking about Hawaii and the anticipation leading up to my trip.  It’s no fun if you can’t enjoy that expectation period, and many times you can’t, you are so busy and all of a sudden you’re off.  I think that’s how I feel about taking the boy up to Ithaca, no time to really prepare and then we are off.  We will make it into a very mini vacation.

I want to visit IKEA to get a couple of things; it’s the best place to buy face cloths, a pack of twelve for around $4.00.  If you buy the matching ones here is how the prices go, I’m talking about on sale which is when I buy them.  Bath Sheet $12.99, Bath Towel $9.99, size down from that $8.99 little hand towel $6.99 and face cloth $5.99.  What one should do is buy a bath towel and cut it up into a zillion face cloths.  Also IKEA seems to be the only place I have seen to buy bed under sheets.  You can always buy a set, but it is the under sheet that wears out first.  Also in the Thrift you can often find nice top sheets, but no bottoms.

I just had to post the top painting which Persephone posts with the Miss Buncle book.  The Felixstowe, Ipswich bus, circa 1950's I would say.  It must be spring time with the daffodils.  Love the lady knitting and the headscarf.  When I was a child a lady never went out without a headscarf in her handbag.

I feel like the Mad Hatter, or was it the White Rabbit?  No time.

Christy

Friday, August 8, 2014

Lucy Sparrow's Felt Corner Shop



Lucy Sparrow's Felt Corner Shop see here as featured on Spitalfields Life, which is a must follow Blog if you do not already.

Lucy is an artist and has been working in felt since she was nine.

Isn't this amazing?

Mr. B. first heard about this when listening to NPR radio and said I should try and find it on the Internet, because I would be interested, well here we are.

Christy

Vendor Goodies

Hi Dear Folk,

I really do not go in for Brand Names just so I have a brand name item, just not me, I prefer a bargain, but when freebies come ones way from a vendor well who says no.


I have never had a Moleskine before, but have always looked at them in the stationery shops and thought one day, well here is my one day and I went for the red.  This one has the ruled lines and a little pocket at the back, just right.  It now sits in my handbag.

When I was a teenager I used to wear a moleskin coat, handed down to me from a great aunt, in fact I think it was my great aunt Rose's, see previous posts.  Maybe not politically correct these days, but it was pretty old when I got it.  The label inside said Scottish Mole Skins.  It was a deep, deep brown color and the size of every little skin was about 3" long x 2" wide, all seamed together. It was beautifully soft, had a wonderful sheen and was so warm for those cold, damp British winters. It had a swing from the shoulders so may have dated from the forties.  I wore that coat for several years.  If I remember rightly it was the fashion to wear old coats then, in the seventies.  So when I think of Moleskin I think of that coat and that era of my life.

The coloured gel pens are from Zebra, Pink, Apple green and Mahogany.  I love gel pens to write with and always use a blue gel pen at work.



A Bobble bottle, can't say I was familiar with this brand, but some are.  However I do like it, very ergonomic.  With a water filter inside.  I will take it with me to Hawaii I think.


My little goodies.


Christy

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Going Away Get Together


Last weekend we were invited to a going away party for old friends, with the congregation we were in from the time Rob was born for many years.  Great to get together, be with my Boy and share happy times and memories with friends.  Lots of good talk and good food.



Some Southern cooking which I think Rob missed, in any case he went back for seconds on the sweet potatoes.


Dear friends we have known a long while.


I am so amazed on these cakes and how they make them look so real.

Times and memories with friends that one treasures.

Christine

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Great Grandad A Dective

Hi Dear Folk,

 Do you remember that I said I would try and hunt up a few photos of my Great Grandfather who was a detective in the London Metropolitan Police Force see here.  Well here are some photos related to that, no particular order.



Above my great grandmother, with from left to right, Rose the youngest, Kitty my grandma, and Harry I think.  My grandma Kitty was always looking after everyone else and you can see that in this photo.  This would have been taken about 1912 in front of their house, which was a Police House.


My great grandfather as I remember him.


My great grandfather in his dress, special occasion police uniform.


A family wedding photo, probably about mid 1920s.  By this time great grandad Harry seated center with great grandma Ada by his side, had retired to the country, Sible Hedingham, Essex.  I have the little circular broach that Ada is wearing and treasure it.  Behind with a flower in his lapel is the groom Harry I guess Jr, but we don't use Jr in UK, and his wife Elsie, just to his side and in front of him.  Second from top right is my grandma Kitty.  Third from top left I think is great aunt Rose, and fourth from top left is great uncle Alf.  All the others I think are the bride's side of the family and I do not know who they are.

Can you believe that a family member was clearing out and was going to trash this until my aunt Joan, said no I'll take all the photos.

Christy

Monday, August 4, 2014

WWI Family


The War to End all Wars, The Great War.

Above is a photo of my great grandfather, my father's, mother's father.  Who was gassed in the trenches and died of lung problems a few years after the war ended.

Let me tell you a little about him.  He was one of generations of shoe makers.  His eldest son being the last generation to make hand made shoes.  They lived in the East End of London, Hackney.  It is thought that they came over from France as Huguenots, settling in London.  They used to make hand made shoes for theatre people.  There were six children, two boys and four girls and I remember every great aunt and uncle.


Above is my great, great aunt, that is my great grandmother's half sister, my mother's, mother's, mother's half sister, Elizabeth.  Her other brother and sister emigrated to New Zealand, just before the first World War.

On the back of the photo it says she was a sister in a Manchester Hospital 1914 - 1918 War.  She died October 2nd 1965.  I do not know too much about that side of the family, except for the fact that all down the decades the family in New Zealand always kept in contact with my grandmother, unfortunately, there is only one older relative a cousin Joan, left in New Zealand.

She came to England during the sixties, for several years and lived in the Earl's Court area.  I remember her coming down to visit us at Christmas time and putting through a trunk call to New Zealand, where the operator phoned you and said your call is now connected.

There were other family members in the war who I know little about.  My grandfather's eldest brother, who died in the war on my dad's side and another great cousin, on my mother's side, who's grave I visited in Sible Hedingham, Essex.  He died of wounds about a week after the war ended.  That always seems the sadest to me. 

The very day the war ended Wilfred Owen's parents found out that he had died.

Christy

Friday, August 1, 2014

WWI Facts and Figures


Treasuring The Time, Remembering The Young Men

Hi Dear Folk,

This morning was one of those up early days.  I do love this time it is always quiet, the morning doves are cooing special stolen time, when I am not tired before my day begins.  At 5:00AM it is still dark but with an iPad one doesn't have to worry about that.  So I make myself a cup of tea, gather up Tinkerbell who is becoming an old lady and sit down and catch up on the world.




This morning on BBC Radio they mentioned that Siegfried Sassoon's notebooks from WWI and afterwards, have all been cataloged and are now on digital display for all to access.  See the write up here in the Telegraph  and the actual collection University of Cambridge Digital Library here  I have long had an interest in First World War Poets and have even collected some books of lesser known poets of WWI which I will have to revisit.  I do like Wilfred Owen here being my favourite, but I do very much like Siegfried Sassoon.

It is hard for me to get my mind around the fact that it is the 100th Anniversary of the start of WWI, I think because some of my friends' grandfathers and even grandmothers were in that war and I remember them.  So it is not so far removed from me to be just dry dust in a history book.

I remember an older family friend, Violet who lost her husband in the War and never remarried.  A photo of him sat on her sideboard.  My mum remembers that so many young men of the landed gentry died as officer's in the war, that older men of this rank, were called back from India to marry these young ladies of title and means, a generation of young men was wiped out on all levels and strata of society.  My Grandfather's oldest brother, on my father's side, was killed in the war and a great aunt on my mother's side, served as a matron in a wartime hospital.  Also my Great Grandfather, on my father's side, died a few years after the war of lung problems due to being poisoned in the trenches.

So this morning I read some of these online journals of Siegfried Sassoon, along with viewing the little sketches that he did.  Of course he survived the war, was almost court marshaled, for refusing to go back to the insanity, and in the end was sent to Scotland as a shell shock victim, the government's way of covering over the difference between an officer's refusal and an enlisted man's refusal.  Probably because he did have a higher social standing.

At Craiglockhart near Edinburgh he met Wilfred Owen and encouraged him with his poetry.  Both men did return to active duty, but Wilfred Owen was killed in 1918. 

To think these young men were the age of my boy and younger, is too sad.  So I am enjoying the time left with my Boy before he goes off to Ithaca.



Have a great weekend.

Christy
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