Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roses and Red

Seven Sisters, at least I think that's what these roses are called, their glory lasts about one week, but what a week.

The left vase was a gift from my sister when she was visiting, must be nine years ago, and we all went to Niagara Falls. It came from a glass factory on the Canadian side of the falls. I've always loved it.

The vase on the right was Bo's mum's. I think it's what they call depression glass. When I use it I think about her, although I've never met her, and she died when Bo was four.

View of the roses from my dining room window.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Little Joys

OK the little things of life, that bring little joys.
Lovely long partial wool socks; which I bought now for next winter, becuase if I look for them then I will not be able to find them.

My Argoflex camera, which I still have to make a box for. To use for TTV photography, Through The Viewfinder.

A dear little case I found for my husbands hand me down Olympus C-770. I found it in the men's sections of TJ Maxx. Isn't it darling and the right price.

And last but not least, from a shop down the road which has lovely fabrics, and all sorts of other crazy stuff, the shop of last resort for them. Yes Chinese black lacquer screen, inlaid with mother of pearl and abalone, price $1.00, yes $1.00. A little dirty, but soon cleaned up with some Pledge orange furniture polish. I wasn't sure what to use, but that worked a treat with a soft cloth. I don't like to state prices too much, and become too mercenary but honestly $1.00.

So these are my little joys, of a material nature.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunset in My Simla Room

I was sitting in my Simla Room in the evening and the light was so magical, that lovely warm hue, that I just had to share it. An Indian sunset, warm and rich.

When you have a small house, you are the mother of invention in finding just that one more nook where something can be fitted in, when others think you can't possibly find a place for it.

Well needs must. My craft books were in the basement and it's just a tad to damp down there for books. And yes I know my craft books are old and many are cast offs from the library, but I love my books and don't want them ruined. So, Voila! an old low bookcase I already had in the basement, which I found in the rubbish, and the place, in the doorway of my French doors. You see I have two sets of French doors into the Simla room and truly only use the one.

Now all my books are in one place. It works.


Joseph's Coat Climbing Rose

This is a Joseph's Coat, climbing rose, they are growing under my kitchen window, where their sweet fragrance blows on the breeze, reminding me of childhood and my grandfather's beautiful garden of roses.

They vary in such colour on the bush and make it look as if it's on fire. From yellows and oranges to deep reds and flame colours.

I cut a few to enjoy them in the house, for the short time that they are with you in all their glory each year. I put them in a little vase I found at the thrift.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Resistance. A Woman's Journal of Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France, by Agnes Humbert

Before I start this book review of Resistance, remind me if I ever write a book about WWII, I must remember not to title it Resistance. Have you ever tried to find a book on Amazon just using the title Resistance, almost impossible to come up with the right book quickly.

Having said that, and this being my second book review of a book entitled Resistance, the other one was fictional, this is an autobiography of Agnes Humbert's second world war years in France. In the French it was entitled, Notre

She worked at the Musee de l'
Homme. As the occupation started, Agnes and some fellow co-workers and others, started the fledgling Resistance movement. She kept a diary, which forms the beginning of the book. After being arrested by the Germans, it is her remembered account of what happened to her. Where she kept that diary hidden we do not know, but it would have been devastating if it had ever fallen into German hands.

Agnes Humbert's account is interesting, she was arrested early on and at that time the German's were not sending imprisoned resistance workers to the concentration camps, but rather to work in the factories in Germany, not that they weren't treated terribly, but at least there wasn't a gas chamber at the end.

The details of her imprisonment in France before her trial and ones she got to know there, although in a solitary cell, were interesting. Many of the ones she was in prison with were executed. At this time the SS had not perfected their
interrogation skills. She writes while in the French prison>

"I think back to all the happy times in my life. Just the happy times. The rest you have to forget, especially in here you must forget, or else you get wrinkles. Wrinkles on your face are bad enough; in your heart they are even worse. ..."

Her detailed account of working in a Viscose factory in Germany, making synthetic silk fabric, which uses acid in the process. They had no protective clothing such as gloves, boots or aprons and
inhaled the fumes all the time, their clothes already in tatters, became even worse with every spot of acid which spat on them.

Her strength of character and
descriptions of fellow prisoners, which ran the gamut, from German woman, there for stealing, murder and prostitution, to the political prisoners. She formed several friendships, which were mutually sustaining in the terrible places she was at.

After being liberated she worked alongside the Americans and two close friends, in a small German town, documenting details of ones who were SS and involved in war crimes. One American she worked very closely with, but others she found to be too trusting of any German who could speak English.

There were many groups who were gradually coming back to the village after being liberated from the concentration camps, this is what she writes about one of them.

"I have been in contact with a sect that seems to be quite widespread in Germany, known as Bibelforscher, or Jehovah's Witnesses. Those whom I have met conduct themselves with outstanding dignity. Today our investigations led us to the home of Herr Mengel, recently freed from the concentration camp where he had been held since 1937. While the Bibelforscher are greatly to be respected, they have never been of the slightest practical help to us. Infinitely discreet, they refuse to denounce their persecutors, trusting in God to avenge them. I have tried in vain to suggest discreetly that perhaps we have been sent by God to help them, but they obstinately refuse to view us as archangels in disguise, and keep their lips firmly sealed."

Eventually she was repatriated to France and met up with her adult son.

She had finished the book by 1946. So unlike many first hand accounts of the war written quite a few years after it, her memories were fresh and recorded very soon after the war ended.

Her resolve comes through, she was in her forties when all this happened to her, so not in the throws of youth. The idealism with small achievements met with such dreadful sentences. She writes.

"How bizarre it all is! Here we are, most of us the wrong side of forty, careering along like students all fired up with passion and fervour, in the wake of a leader of whom we know absolutely nothing, of whom none of us has ever seen a photograph. In the whole course of human history, has there ever been anything like it? Thousand upon thousands of people, fired by blind faith, following an unknown figure. Perhaps this strange anonymity is even an asset: the mystery of the unknown."

You do get the feeling that she thought it was all a great adventure, almost in the way the boys of WWI went to war. Actually her mother was British, Mabel Annie Wells Rourke, (1869-1943), who was part of the large expatriate community in Dieppe. She was very close to her mum and it grieved her terribly that she was not with her mum at the end.

Agnes Humbert's account is an historically important one. It details the fledgling beginnings of the French Resistance, and their thoughts, feelings and idealism.

I enjoyed reading it.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Rocket Meets Criteria

  • Foil
  • Toothpicks
  • Pegs
  • Rubber bands
  • Something soft
  • String
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Button
I can't remember the rest of the criteria for this school project, but this is what the boy came up with. As usual, according to Rob, he works better under pressure and the project was due the next day. I think he did a good job, but the last minute business is not me, but I think it is a teenage boy thing, and I don't sweat the small stuff.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Friday Night Special

I have a teenager that does not sleep in. In fact he is self motivated enough to get up at five this morning to make this for his advocacy group at school. These are photos from last Friday, when he made this dish for their lunch table at school.

Our family calls it the Friday Night Special.
It's something easy to make when your at the end of a long week and want something simple. Actually when we make it to eat at home we do it in individual dishes and bake them in the oven.

Boiled pasta. Chopped peppers, onions and mushrooms, sauteed. Put over the pasta, with a marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese and baked in the oven. You can make up your own sauce, or buy pre-made.

Dish before it is baked.

Ready to take to school.

The boy on his way to catch the school bus.

Yes no school uniforms over here. I think it's a shame. Only in private or religious schools.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Weekend in the Woods

I know we're nearer this weekend than last weekend, but I'm just getting round to it.

Four of the six boys who camped out at my friends. I personally slept indoors. I got up in the early hours of the morning, got myself a cup of tea and went back to bed with 'Little Town on The Prairie.' And just luxuriated in doing nothing but revisit a wonderful book. Opened the window and listened to the birds.

Back view of my friend A's house.

Evening cookout.

Glow light, in a Dasani bottle.

The boys asleep in the tent.

Boys evening vigil in the woods.

All the waterways in the area were done by the army corp of engineers, to flow into the reservoir.

The woods behind my friend's house.

The boys in the woods.
Below you see moth cocoons. These moths are highly destructive, causing much damage to the trees in Pennsylvania.

It's nice for the boys to be able to sleep out and wander in the woods. There's a lot of wildlife back there, and they have such a good time together.
We all had such a great weekend. A lot of laughs with A, and of course we got to do our thing, by visiting Goggle, which I mentioned in a previous post.
Well now onto this Weekend.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bag Cat

Last night I painted this. A while ago I did some hand painted bags and enjoyed it, so thought that I would have a go again. So I came up with this cat. I painted it in acrylics, just to get some ideas.

I like the shape and the cat's face, I need to work on the paisley designs and I do not like the stripes coming down, at least not in a bold colour. The colours need work too.

But that's what it is about, a work in progress.

I'm thinking more of pastel colours. Hope to paint them on organic cotton bags.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Henryi Clematis and Over Zealousness

I am sorry to say that my beautiful Henryi clematis did not come back this year. I thought it needed some tidying up, plus I must have done too much digging around it's roots and now it has gone. Why oh why did I get carried away. I miss it and may just have to go out and buy another one.


Fenced Flowers

A Pennsylvania grave yard. I couldn't help but stop with all the flowers growing around the grave stones.

'And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes
and death will be no more,
neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.
The former things have passed away.'
Revelation 21:4

Monday, May 4, 2009


This used to be the Wilson Goggle factory. They made goggles for the workers at the steel mills, all long since gone. A British swimmer who swam the English Channel, wore a pair of Wilson goggles.

It is now an art center, with class rooms.

This was the boiler room for the factory.

It houses a glass furnace.

Ceramic center.

This is the studio of a woman doctor who paints. Isn't it cozy? Wouldn't you love a studio like this?

Another studio.

The shop.

Goggle Works Art and Learning Center

I love the goggle logo which is two gg facing each other, looking like a pair of goggles. Such a creative logo and of course incorporates the history of the building, having been a goggle factory.


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