Tuesday, February 19, 2019

60th Wedding Anniversary

Hi Dear Folk,

A friend and I are planning a 60th Wedding Anniversary for this dear couple.  Married in Rhodesia as was, in 1959.  Do you know where they had their honeymoon?  I can't think of a more romantic place, Victoria Falls.

Rose's mum made her dress which was a pale lilac and her accessories were lemon yellow, hat shoes and bouquet.  What a lovely couple.

Wilf used to work on the railroad, he's done many jobs in his life time, one working down the gold mines of South Africa.



I love this photo of them both.  They are such an interesting and fun couple to be with.  I am looking forward to the dinner.

Christine

Friday, February 8, 2019

I Am A Bono Fide American Citizen

Hi Dear Folk,



Today started off cloudy and raining, but now late afternoon we have blue skies and sun.  I spent a good part of my day at Social Security.  The government can work quite quickly when it wants to.  So yesterday I filed on line Medicare just the initial process, there are many more steps to go through.

Remember I mentioned about having to find the date that I became a naturalized citizen.  Well first thing this morning I received a phone call from my local Social Security office, would I please come in and prove proof of citizenship, either my naturalization papers or passport.  Since I haven't found the papers yet, I took in my passport.  Of course the place is packed, I sat for half an hour and figured out I had at least another hour to go, so decided to leave go and pick my shoes up from the shoe mender, go home get a coffee and come back, which I did, and I still had two in front of me.  While there I asked some other questions because why not, since it's taken me all this time to get to see someone.

Now I have been married to an American for thirty-seven years and living in the States for more than forty, first on a Green Card and then became a citizen. For over forty years I've paid my taxes and SS, when I was sending money to the government, not once did they ask for proof of citizenship, now I'm trying to collect on that, and only medicare, not SS, they want to know if I'm a citizen.

I do understand because where money is concerned people do take advantage, but still, all par the course.  One has to laugh.

Have a lovely weekend.

Christine

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Appeared First On. Read it First Here and Other Daily Thoughts

Hi Dear Folk,

Can someone explain to me the phrase that I am seeing more and more on Blogs, "Appeared first on." "Read it first here."  Is this some kind of laying hold of a right?  Is it connected with marketing a product?  I would really like to know.  Have you seen that?

I've spent three days in the garden.  I have tiny little sections that look cleaned up, but the overall effect is still a mess.  It rained so much last year and then the snow, if you step on a paver it squelches mud out of the side.  All my patios feel like they're floating on a sub strata.  The trees will have an extra wide band growth for this past year.

I did get a lot of paperwork done, but applications led to more action being needed.  Still a lot was accomplished.


I mentioned that I bought an old Coventry ceramic alarm clock from Shop Goodwill, I posted this on Instagram.  It works well and keeps perfect time, but had a slight continuous buzzing noise.  After the first night of setting it up and having it on my bedside table, I woke up the next morning with the most horrendous headache.  I don't know if it was the clock or just coincidence, but to me it's like Chinese water torture, so unfortunately it had to go.  I really liked it.  I replaced it with a neon pink cube from Walmart, which is small, silent, has big digital numbers and a snooze button.  The modern alternative but I quite like it, lights up in neon pink and that's great on a grey day.



Mr. B. told me that he read 40% of the members of Congress are millionaires.  The USA falls at a poverty level of 17.8% of the population, in an OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) county.  Denmark has the least at 5.5% of population and 98% of households with children 15 and under received financial assistance, so that people do not drop into poverty in the first place and to help the middle class out too, at 98% pretty much everyone must be getting a helping hand.

I have read that Denmark is the happiest nation of people, lots of Hygge there and no wonder when they receive such things as free college tuition and health care, job training, subsidized child care and more I could go on.

Believe it or not Mexico falls at 16.7% of their population lives in poverty less than the USA, now go figure that one.  Now where are the hordes coming from?  Maybe Brazil at 20%.



All this is in the January 2019 Fortune magazine "The Shrinking Middle Class"  Most interesting reading.

So I got online to set up for Medicare and a big stumper of a question was "What date did you become a naturalized citizen?" Looked in my paperwork file, could not find it there, although do remember receiving a letter from President Clinton.   Fortunately I had recently organized all my old diaries, it does come in handy sometimes, all that draw tidying.  I remembered that Rob was four, because I took him with me.  I thought he should attend that ceremony. So looked through my diary for 1998, and found my initial meeting with immigration but had to go through a second time to find my actual swearing in.  Thank goodness it was there and I found it.  It is now hi lighted in pink.  I should probably write it down somewhere else.  In all these years it has not come up before, maybe when I first applied for a USA passport, but that was probably right after, so fresh in my mind.

Now I'm going to see if my local library has any of the Persephone books that are on my must read list.  Need my mind transported.

Have a great day.

Christine

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Direct Flight Path

Hi Dear Folk,

We are sitting under a direct flight path, fortunately it's the flight path of the geese.  They are a noisy bunch but I do love to hear them fly over.  As you know they fly in the V formation and variations of that.  There always seems to be a lead goose who regularly honks out and then there's a rear end goose, like being on the caboose and he answers back in a softer call.  I think they fly from the town dam area which was built for overflow water, because before my time the town flooded out.  Usually it's just grass there but can take excess water.

In 1999 the worst flooding I remember was hurricane Floyd.  Rob was five then and the water dropped by that hurricane filled that entire area up and since his school backed onto it, water lapped well up the playground but did not rise high enough to inundate the school.

Back to the geese.  They feed in that area and then fly over to the Farm Park, so we are under their flight path.  Yesterday was so beautiful that I spent a lot of the day out in the yard.  Another three boxes of kindling ready for the fire, the clean up from our oak tree is never ending, and two trash cans of leaves, which has made no dent at all in the ongoing clean up.  I have to do one little area at a time,  and can see that that looks good, or the overall clean up seems overwhelming.

Mr. B. had to make a run for the Boy, he bought a $900 brand new Klipsh subwoofer for $100 the corner had been damaged in shipping but worked as it should.  Mr. B. went to pick it up for him, in my car.  We used to have a SUV and a hatchback, now both our cars are sedans and I think we made a mistake there.  Not good for picking up larger objects and spontaneous side of the road trash pickups.

On the way back he bought pastries, so we sat out in the sun, drinking coffee and eating pastries in February, the garden's a fright but it felt good.  Tuppy even sunbathed on the wrought iron table.

This is my must not procrastinate day, four or it could be five projects weighing on my mind.  Must make new file folders for 2019.  Must sort all paperwork for tax filing.  Must get some documents together needed for Health Care and phone about submitting for Medicare.  Must make a plot plan and submit to borough.

If I write them here maybe it will give me that push to get them done.  Or at least some of it done.  It's meant to be even hotter today and yesterday was 60 Fahrenheit; which means I will really just want to be out in the garden.

Christine


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Craft, Comfort, Colour and Crises

Hi Dear Folk,

I've been taking a little break from being online.  It's nice to step back and hibernate and go with the rhythm of the season.  Just posting a few things on Instagram.  If so you'll know the story of my roses just found outside my house last Saturday on the grass verge.  Someone wasn't happy with the apology.


Cooking hearty soups with dumplings.  Enjoying Trader Joes spiced coffee, which reminds me of the film Chocolat.  Gradually working on those cleaning jobs that need to be done, ticking jobs off the list.


Gifts from friends in the UK.  A tea infuser I named Oscar, I think he already looks a little inebriated  he probably needs a little tea to bring him round.  A lovely wall hanging from Gujarat.


Colours to cheer the soul in the middle of winter, bright oranges and reds along with deep burgundies.


Today was sunny, cold and still.  No wind just a beautiful quiet day.  It was good to get out, walk and breath in the cold fresh air.


To see sunlight and shadows on the dappled snow.



Hedgerows with hidden critters, waiting for spring.


Working on a little patchwork project, curtains for my front door side panel windows.  I am going to edge them in crochet, at least that's the plan in my mind.  I had some pieces a friend gave to me that were already cut out, so thought might as well use those.  The comfort of crafting is therapeutic and calming in a world of crises.


I've been listening to classical music more and more, I just don't want to listen to the news, and like the calming effect, not that all classical music is calming. So I've been keeping the Internet and Media at bay.

Although I have been viewing a few documentaries.  Such as DuPont Teflon poisoning in Parkersburg WV.  Did you know that 90% of the people in this world tested for Teflon come up positive.  They had to go all the way back to the Korean War and compare blood samples taken and kept from the soldiers back then, to get clean samples.  We are all unknowing guinea pigs.

Another fact is that Teflon is even used on some dental floss, the one I like the best.  Ease of use is not always the best for you.

Maybe I should just listen to the classical music.

Hope your weekend is good.

Christine

Friday, January 18, 2019

Snow, Rain, Plummeting Temps

Hi Dear Folk,

It's freezing snow and cold today, they say some rain then a freeze up, not my favorite, I prefer straight snow.

That cold I got last week didn't seem so bad but left me from day to day saying I think I'm better, then, no I'm not better and a total depletion of energy.



I have done some fun lunches with friends over the past week.  A friend had me over to lunch and gave me some beautiful sage green toile fabric, two different patterns. I love it. Also a beautiful scarf she bought for me while on vacation.



I took another friend J. to the doctor's that's about an hours drive each way, after that we went out to Red Robin for lunch, got to chat and catch up with each other.

I've also been planning with a friend a 60th Anniversary for older friends who are originally from what was Rhodesia and South Africa. They spent their honeymoon near Victoria Falls, how romantic is that? The dinner is  being held at a restaurant, so about 48 people.  We've been sending out invitations and working on that.  Tuesday we visited the Country Club and went over the details with the events coordinator.  Pretty laid back and easy which is what I like and while we were there we had lunch.

I've been working on a simple shawl, just crocheted with odds from my yarn collection, something to throw over your shoulders in the evening and keep warm.  Not too complicated.  Just love the rhythm of sitting crocheting by the fire.  I'll use my Celtic shawl clasp.  It is very much Joseph's coat of many colours.  When one gets older you become what you always said or thought you wouldn't.




The Philadelphia Flower Show is in March and I've been thinking about attending that.  This year's theme is Flower Power.  Also a show that comes to Philadelphia each year is Shen Yun and I would like to see that.  It looks most colorful and that is needed right now in the depths of winter.

The Boy asked me, "How's retirement mum?  What are you doing with your time?"  I found it a hard question to answer.  I think the hardest thing for me in retirement is not feeling guilty for not having to account to someone for every minute of the day.  On the other hand I do like to look back on myself and feel I have accomplished things with my time.  Finding the balance and especially in the winter months when you quite feel like hibernating.

I did clean out one cabinet in the kitchen that held the meds and vitamins etc.  So much was old, really old and out of date, that I've got two totally empty shelves and one sparse shelf, if you knew my house you'd know that never happens.  My sister said somehow she landed up taking some old meds and got really sick from it, that was a motivating factor.  I put it in the trash, but Mr. B. said your not allowed to do that and pulled them out. I guess they have to be returned to a pharmacy.

Now I'm determined to use everything up as I go along before I add more. Plus medications are so stinking expensive over here I'm not wasting a thing.  For instance the doctor prescribed me a nasal spray to help with my sinuses, that was $129, fortunately I only paid $15 with my prescription plan.  But this year I have a terrible health plan, #45 made all sorts of cut backs on the Federal assistance to health medical insurance.  (Friends of mine call him that #45 and I thought that works for me.) So when the pharmacy phoned and said we have your prescription ready for pickup, a refill on the nasal spray I had to say sorry you'll have to re shelf it, I can't afford $129.  Plus I do have some left.

That medication really helps me, with my allergies and sinuses, but I'll just have to wait until May, when I go on Medicare.  I feel like everyone in the States just cobbles their health care together in what ever works for that year, because next year it's all changed yet again.

I received one pot of the French ink that I ordered but for some reason the second pot I ordered has not arrived.  It has a pen stand indented in the glass bottle, I've never seen that before.  I'm looking forward to writing with this fun colour.  I think it's meant to be the oldest company still making ink.



I also received my icing nozzles.  I succumbed to pure Instagram advertising, of an item promoted by the Shark's, lets's hope it lives up to expectations.  Now to make cupcakes and icing and have a go.

Have a great weekend.
Christine

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Kosti Ruohomaa, Night Train At Wiscasset Station and Dull Days and Dirth

Hi Dear Folk,

Welcome to all new folk who are following my blog, I do appreciate you stopping by and spending time here.  This will be my eleventh year of blogging and I obviously enjoy keeping on online journal of my life and do it for that reason.  If you enjoy my blog A Little Bit of British, do become a follower, and add me as one of the blogs in your blog list that you enjoy reading.  That would be great.

So here I am in today with a head cold.  Even had to break a luncheon appointment because I am not feeling up to it and I was looking forward to that.  I took one of those tablets that you drop in hot water with high doses of vitamin C to try and ward off what I knew was coming, hope it works somewhat.

With a lot of dull very soggy days we have a dirth of sunlight, the only brightness of light is when I light the fire in the afternoon which is as much for the ambience as the warmth, along with a few candles it does lift ones spirit.


Mr. B. watching the game, with Miss Tuppy.

I have been keeping up with my diary and my journal, also the fountain pens and the letter writing. Reading poetry and re-visiting some books that have sat on my shelf for a long while.  One is Night Train at Wiscasset Station.  It's mostly to showcase the photographs of a Maine photographer Kosti Ruohomaa.  Who was born in Maine to Finnish parents.  The writer is Lew Dietz who travelled along with him at times.  He said "As I see it I wrote the words and Kosti the music."  The forward is by Andrew Wyeth.


He caught a way of life from the forties and fifties in his black and white photographs.  This book was a library discard, but as soon as I saw the wonderful photography I knew it would join my collection.  He died young in his forties because he was an alcoholic.  His photographs were in several leading magazines of the time such as Life.  He travelled all over, but always returned to the family farm in Maine, his roots.


I love his photography he just catches a mood, wrinkles, warts and everything; which is how my son, the photographer tends to take photos of his mother.  No beautifully posed pictures, but the true gritty reality of old age, and when I object he says, "But that's a great photograph look at the light." and I say "Can't you just take a photo of me when I'm looking my best not all these down to earth shots." The ones that get filtered out and stay in the archives of your hard drive.


One time Rob posted a photo of me on his Facebook, my sister saw it and said "You should have him take that photo down, that's an awful picture of you."  My sister was right, it was, but it was reality.  Everything today is edited and airbrushed, so to view these wonderful photos of a Maine way of life that even at that time Kosti thought was slipping away, is delightful.


Here is a write up on his life in the Bangor Daily News Kosti Ruohomaa

I like Dietz's writing in this book of the Mainer's way of thinking, who these folk are "... they are inclined to pity those who never see snow."

Christine

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Thoughts To Live By, Things To Do

I've been jotting down thoughts I want to keep in mind and things I want to do in 2019

  • Live the moment, Live the day, Live your life
  • Joy is not dependent on your circumstances
  • Perfectionism is the death of creativity
  • Seize the moment, find your inspiration
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Write letters
  • Use fountain pens every day
  • Read more





Monday, December 31, 2018

20th November 2018 Tea Lunch

Hi Dear Folk,

Seems appropriate to close out 2018 with a tea scene.  My friend Candyce came over for lunch.  I used part of a beautiful set I bought at the thrift while out together.  I could say that I am not buying anymore china. I think I maxed myself out. This set is Royal Ivory, Made in Czechoslovakia. It is delightful.  Probably from the 1930s.


I always love a pattern in the center of a bowl or cup, besides on the outside.  Loved these paper napkins/serviettes from IKEA they are most whimsical.


Paired up with an old teapot.



Well it's been a marathon.  I will try to live in real time next year.

Good night all fellow bloggers.

Goodbye 2018.

Christine

13th October 2018 37th Anniversary Day at Longwood Gardens

Hi Folk,

Dear Boy treated us to our anniversary day at Longwood Gardens and Lunch.



We arrived by 10:00 am






Walked down to the wild meadow area for a conducted wild flower walk.  An old Pennsylvania Farm House.








Italian style fountains with French style gravel seating area.






Just one room of the largest privately owned organ.


Isn't this beautiful.  I kept walking around saying, just right for an afternoon tea or how about a wedding.



Bonsais




Musical light show at night.  It was rather chilly, but delightful.


Christine
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