Thursday, March 23, 2017

Philadelphia Flower Show - Holland Theme - 2017

Hi Dear Folk,

Some Spring Cheer.

I worked a half a day last Wednesday week and walked from my office down to the Philadelphia Flower Show.  It's held at the Convention Center and is just a ten minute walk for me.

This bridge that you could walk under was at the main entrance and I think quite spectacular, Holland was the theme and I was in Holland a year ago this week.  Unfortunately I know that because we were in Amsterdam when there was a terrorist attack in Brussels and friends were worried about me and now a year later and another attack in London, how tragically sad.

Lots of tulips, windmills, bikes, bridges and water.

With a few dairy cows in the pasture.

Hope you enjoyed a view of the show and have more pics to post.


P.S.  You know what I did this morning, I was so busy reading that I went right past my train stop and had to get out at 30th Street Station, and come back on another train.  I thought why is the train so empty and realized it was my stop and by the time I did so the doors were closed, even though we sat at the station for a while, and you cannot open them.  On top of that this morning the President of the company was coming to our office, fortunately he arrived later, of all the mornings.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Train Ride Into Work

Hi Dear Folk,

Would you like to come along with me on my ride to work?  These are my views from the train.  For most of the way we parallel the Schuylkill River.  I took these photos the day after the snowstorm last week.

I was trying to catch all the houses along the river bank, but noticed that I caught a raft of ducks, they are hardy little things out there in all weathers.

There are more expensive houses along the river as well as boat houses and an array of dwellings in between.  On a nicer evening last week on my journey home I saw several groups out on the river sculling.

A canal used to parallel the river and this can be seen in certain parts, but not navigable anymore.

The old blue collar areas nearer to the city that are making a resurgence with restaurants and art venues.

I love this cone cupola, who takes that kind of time on a roof-line anymore?

Highways into Philadelphia, including the "Sure Kill" expressway, a take off on Schuylkill Expressway, which parallels the river on the other side from the train.

Make shift station waiting rooms which have been up for decades.

Closer to Philadelphia you see the blighted landscape of the demise of American industry.

Football field for Temple University.  This area is seeing a steady revitalization as many buildings, houses and dorms are associated with Temple University.  I actually saw them playing a couple of mornings ago as we went by, the pitch had been cleaned.

The Temple banner logo.

Philadelphia City skyline.

And to the left you can see William Penn sitting atop of City Hall.  At one time no building was to be built higher than William Penn, but that ordinance was scrapped as obviously in a city taller buildings will be needed, but certainly it has kept the horizon profile lower, up until recent years, especially around City Hall.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pot Latches

Hi Dear Folk,

I did get to go to the Philadelphia Flower Show with the theme of Holland.  Took lots of pics, will sort them out and post.  Had a lot of fun wandering around.

This was the item I bought when I was there a Pot Latch.  I have since looked on the internet and you can buy them on Ebay or Amazon.

I bought five at a cost of just under $4.00 each including tax.  I went in with another lady and we bought ten between us which made them cheaper, she gave me the cash and I charged my credit card.  We were definitely sisters in the gardening experience, at the end of it all we hugged. You know that at shows you always pay more, but then if I hadn't of seen them there I wouldn't have known about them.

They will hold any lipped pot up to a certain weight, but quite heavy.  I am looking forward to putting these up in the spring.

After three hours I was wilting so my other expenditure was on a piece of chocolate chip pound cake, with a cream cheese icing, moist and very good and a cup of coffee, I did enjoy that and sat down at a speakers corner on Organic Seeds grown in the Finger Lakes District.  This was followed by Mike McGrath who I listen to on NPR "You Bet Your Garden."

A very nice afternoon and evening, will tell you more later.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sleeting Ice and Reading - Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Hi Dear Folk,

Our Nor-Easter did not turn out to be twelve to sixteen inches of snow, but rather a tiny amount of snow which has now turned into sleeting ice, with no let up in sight, soo glad I do not have to go into work today.  Leisurely morning, tea, coffee and reading.  I've just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote Sea Biscuit, which was made into a movie.  I've been reading this as a download from my local library, on my fire.

Unbroken is the biography of Louis Zamperini, who grew up in a close loving Italian family in Torrance, California.  A delinquent youth who was encouraged by his brother Pete to become a runner in High School and goes on to be an Olympic Medal winner in the very famous Olympic Games held in Hitler's Germany.  WWII comes and he is sent to the Pacific arena, to fly in B24 Bombers.  (I almost wrote B26, but that was what my FIL flew in Europe, he was a flight engineer.)  Sent out in a bucket of a plane that everyone knew was temperamental, a lemon, which any number of mechanics could not put right.  On their search and rescue flight they go down, and only three survivors make it out onto two tiny life rafts.

Eventually after one of the longest survival records with no food and water, encircled by sharks who try and launch themselves up onto the rafts to get at them, beating them off, drifting with the currents into Japanese occupied islands, they eventually land and are immediately picked up by Japanese, and unexpectedly treated very well, that is the last time and are told that they will probably be executed.  For over two years he endures the horrors of Japanese POW camps, which no man can understand, mans inhumanity to man.

My great uncle George was a POW in Burma, and if you remember after the war we were flooded with Japanese things, my aunt Eddie dared not bring a thing in the house that said Made in Japan.

Lou is famous even in Japan and one particular sergeant, who came from a well to do family, and thought he should have been an officer, takes out all his bitterness on the POWs and especially Lou, they nick name him The Bird, his last name was Watanabe.  He fled after the war, and hid out until America gave out an amnesty's to all Japanese war criminals in the fifties.  He went on to be an insurance agent and a millionaire, even buying a summer vacation residence on the Gold Coast of Australia, and considering how the Australians suffered terribly under the Japanese, it's totally ironic that he bought a summer holiday home there.  When interviewed many years later Watanabe showed no signs of thinking he had done anything wrong, just feeling he had been caught up in the war hysteria and had suffered terribly, while in hiding, separated from his family.  And as the Nuremberg trials brought out to say you are just following orders is no defense at all.

Lou does live to return to the USA and family but is never able to reach his dream of being the first man to break the four minute mile, because of the injuries received and he was capable of that. He suffered from what we now call PTSD.

His life story is very interesting and so well written, the research is meticulous.  A good read.

Now I look out of the window and it is snowing.  Rob made it safely to Toronto and said that was neat to see Niagara Falls encased in ice.

I went out last night to buy yarn, I have an idea of a red crochet skirt in block stitch, let's see if that works out.  I also found one odd ball of yarn to match my shawl, I have plans for a matching hat in the same stitch a band along with felted crown.

My other reads are:

Einstein's Greatest Mistake - David Bodanis - Read - VG
Lila - Marilynne Robinson - Read - G

Out of print women writers:

Earth and High Heaven - Gwethalyn Graham - Read - G
Earth Horizon - Mary Austin - Read - VG
Starry Adventure - Mary Austin - Not read
The Ford - Mary Austin - Not read

Picked by Mr. B. for me before the storm hit, I get to see spring.

I hope to get to the Flower Show tomorrow, all being up and running.

My greenhouse on the dining room table, four pots of calla lilies and one orchid.

Three blooms.

I found a LUSH store in Philadelphia, I was introduced to this cosmetics store by my nephew's wife, one of her favorite stores in Cambridge, UK.  I didn't even know they were in N. American until I saw a girl standing on the train station platform with a Lush bag, and I asked her, I hadn't even thought of looking.  The store is just a couple of blocks from where I work.  I must say I am addicted to Sikkim Girls perfume, a pungent, heady perfume.  Some of the ingredients are jasmine, frangipani and tuberose.  It is a bit expensive so bought the small tin, a rub in perfume, great for travel.  Lush cosmetics are vegan and not tested on animals.

Take care have a wonderful day.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Sébastien Lépine & 4Ailes String Quartet

Hi Dear Folk,

If someone asks us out at the last minute or offers us tickets to an event, I very rarely have to say, let me consult my social agenda, because on the whole socially, we live a pretty quiet life.  So when offered two tickets on Sunday at 12:00 Noon to a show starting at 4:00PM we're good with that, and as it was close at MCCC the local Community College that Rob went to we said yes let's go.

Sébastien Lépine & 4Ailes String Quartet are all from Canada.

We enjoyed the program, a varied repertoire including English, Jewish and Chinese Folk Songs and two Tangos and I do love a good Tango. I thought the lead violinist was very good, but she is not shown in the above photo, all the other girls make up the 4Ailes, except the second girl from left who must no longer be with them and now have a new lead violinist.  The last part of the concert Imaginations was composed by Sebastien Lepine and is played along with artwork that is viewed on screen in the background.

So made for a nice late Sunday afternoon.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Time and When to Take the Leap

Hi Dear Folk,

Where to start!  Time is such a valuable commodity and does one want to spend it all at work? So I asked my boss for a four day work week, taking a Wednesday off, he said my NYC bosses thought I'd want a Friday, but I think a Wednesday will work nice for me two days on, one day off, two days on, two days off.  Even though I will work 20% less my expenses will still be the same, train pass and health insurance.  In USA a company will carry you on their health plan for a worker who works 30 hours or more.  I wanted to cut right down to the 30 hours, leaving half an hour earlier each day as well, which would get me home at 6:00PM instead of 7:00PM, because of the way the trains run, but they didn't go for that.  Do get to keep my paid holidays and accrued vacation time, but at 80% less.  Not too bad all in all.  I start this schedule in April.  Yippee, such plans for that poor little one day.

All my married life until the last seven years I only worked a three day week, but circumstances changed with my husband's work and I have had to work full time, that actually has happened to a number of my friends.  Here we are at the latter end of our working life and working even more than we ever did.  I'm just happy I can climb the eight flights of steps every morning out of the train station and up into the skyscraper building that I work in.  Actually I could take the escalator for five of those flights but chose to climb them.  If I don't have time for all that fitness, I can climb the five flights of steps every day.

Mr. B. and I are still working on the big leap which is when to retire and how one can afford it, the SS words Social Security and dare I say it Medicare.

Talking about Time and Leap last night we set the clocks forward in the USA and we are now on summertime, I never find this change very easy, body wise.

A friend sent me these lovely mags and I've been enjoying looking at them.  I've always wanted a Tea Time  magazine.

English country gardens are dear to my heart.

Mr. B. surprised me with this beautiful orchid.

The copper pot below was rescued by my mum out of my grandma's back garden, it had sat outside for years and was totally green.  My dad worked on it for days, or I should say every night, cleaning it up, while watching tele.  I remember the rescue and cleaning, I must have been about eight.

I think the pot is Victorian or Edwardian.

I got to go to the Craft Club and met Cliff who heads it up and the different ladies and their skills.  Spinning, weaving, knitting and crochet. The class is called Knitting and Fiber, and there were tons of old knitting books to take if one wanted, but no crochet, I might mention that to Cliff if the library could come up with some crochet mags.  We did some swaps of yarn, which was fun.  I did pick up two Vogue knitting mags, because I loved some of the ideas inside, and also some bamboo yarn. Probably should have taken more pics.

This lady was crocheting a baby blanket, it is such a simple block crochet stitch, but so effective and I thought this stitch would be nice for a skirt.


I totally finished the other scarf I was working on, Picot edged and all, and at the end of it, I did not like it, just too many colours, I'm now undoing it all and scavenging the yarn for two other Ammonite scarfs.  I started again on this scarf, with a smaller colour pallet.  I will wear it folded in half.  I also have one I'm working in browns, reds and oranges.

I got a ticket to the Philadelphia Flower Show, the theme is Holland, you see I'm still able to relive my lovely trip to Holland last year.  I'm going to take a half day off work and go in the afternoon, it's just a couple of blocks from where I work, in the Convention Center.

We are meant to have a Nor-Easter storm come in with snow, and The Boy is up in Ithaca, planning to go onto Niagara Falls and Toronto, driving, so I'm a bit concerned about that.

Now must pull all the paperwork to do the taxes, fun, fun.

Hope you weekend is good.


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