Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Celebrity Autographs and New Gnomes

We've been sending off for some more autographs lately . . . and getting a few back in the mail! This has been lots of fun for us. Digging up addresses for some of the actors we like has proven quite a challenge. This week we got autographs from Joan Fontaine (Rebecca, Damsel in Distress) and Jane Powell (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). We even sent some sheet music, and they both signed that as well! So cool.

Another exciting thing is that I finished two more felted gnomes!! That makes seven of them that are completed . . . only nine more to go. These two are going to appear in the Spring section of the diorama. They are a father and son (mother and baby sibling coming soon), so I tried to give them a family resemblance.

The Father's name is "Mr. Hood". He is 6-3/4 inches tall and weighs almost two ounces on the nose. It took 23-1/2 hours to complete him. He's also the first of the felted gnomes to have individually sculpted fingers.

Pip is five inches tall and weighs one ounce. He took about 24 hours to complete. He's the first gnome to have all ten fingers individually sculpted! He also stands up really well. CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PICTURES OF THEM.

I started another gnome. She will be "Mrs. Hood" and dressed all in shades of pink. More later.

Happy Birthday, Nelson Eddy!

Wow! Nelson Eddy would be 109 years old today! It's pretty cool to have our birthday only one day before his. Too bad that Mom didn't wait one day longer. Well, she doesn't think that . . .

We had a nice birthday and spent the day out. We went to Kohl's and had a "birthday spree" which was lots of fun. We got some really nice, new pajamas and capris. Shopping with Mom is always tons of fun.

Dad met us up there for Dinner and then we came home. Mom and Dad gave us some DVDs (mine were a Bing Crosby movie and a Nelson Eddy movie!). They also gave me a gorgeous occupied Japan statuette of a "colonial" figurine. I've got a collection of those, and he will fit right in!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I can't believe CHEO is over!?

Wow! That means that it is almost July!! Time sure flies when you're havin' fun. Mom spoke at the State Homeschool Convention this past Friday. It was held in Akron this year, so we made sure to print out directions to the hall. The new facility up there was really nice, and much easier to get around than the old hall in Columbus. Mom had a fair amount of people in her talk, and we were blessed by meeting some nice people after the talk was over.

Elizabeth and I enjoyed a walk through the vendors' hall. We got a cool book on archeaology from a Creationist's perspective. I'm looking forward to reading that one.

Yesterday we enjoyed an afternoon (and evening) visiting Buddy and Kay. We hadn't been to their house in ages, so it was really nice to spend time down there. We played with their cats and saw tons of hummingbirds! Their hummingbirds aren't shy like the ones at our feeder. Dad fished in their pond and caought a bunch of fish, including a bass! We girls stayed in the house (naturally) and listened to some of Buddy's music. :)

I finished another little gnome, so I'm hoping to post pictures soon. Got to go check on the oven right now!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Relax and Learn to Take It Easy . . . Not.

That may be good advice to relax and learn to take it easy, as the songwriter wrote, but it never happens around here! :) We've been so busy that I've barely had a chance to do any blogging. Two weeks ago we saw It Happened One Night at the Ohio Theater, and here we are standing in front of the marquee.

All week we've been picking and preserving cherries from our very own tree. This is the best year it has ever had since we put it in about twelve years ago. This year it gave us 33lbs of sour cherries, not to mention all of the other cherries that the birds have eaten! The bowl full of them on the scale is from the last picking which gave us about eighteen pounds of fruit (once you've subtracted the weight of the bowl). We've preserved some in a traditional German fruit salad, canned some of them and even made a fresh pie!

Another fun thing that we made was a fondue! That was good! This is only the second time that we've attempted this and was much more successful with a little practice. The first time we tried this was at New Year's and the house was a bit too cold. Translated that means that the fondue cooled off and turned into a rubber-like substance that had to be cut instead of dipped. Boy, was that a funny meal! This one was perfect, however, and we're hoping to make another one for our birthday next week.

Yesterday we had quite an interesting "problem". A sparrow must have climbed around our chimney cap and fallen thirty feet down into our wood stove. Thankfully there was no fire in it, but there was a full bed of ashes which must have cushioned the fall. The sparrow was fine, probably just a bit confused. The cats are the ones who alerted us to this little visitor. They kept looking in the stove window, and when the first two were staring in there we thought they were just noticing their own reflections in the glass. When the third one came along it became a bit obvious that something fishy was going on. Dad, being the brave hero that he is, came home from work and got the bird out and let it fly out the kitchen window. Hooray!

Little Beatrice (she's the little black cat in the picture) has been pretty obsessed with the stove all day yesterday and today. She keeps staring in the window looking, probably hoping, for another bird to "drop in" for a visit. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

CAPA Summer Movies at The Ohio Theater

Summer is finally here, because the CAPA Summer Movies are in full swing down in Columbus. Last year was the first time that we ever went to one of these movies, but it's fair to say that we were hooked after the first one. They've been playing classic films on the big screen every Summer for forty years now. The theater originally opened as a movie cinema, but it's used for all kinds of theater productions now.

Last week we saw two films: Frank Capra's It Happened One Night and that great musical, Singin' in the Rain. Wow! There is nothing like seeing those old films on a big screen. And that's not to mention seeing a musical.

For a half hour before each film starts, during intermissions and ate the end of each film famous organist Clark Wilson, plays gorgeous music on the theater's fantastic pipe organ. It is one of the last organs of its kind with almost three thousand pipes! Mr. Wilson's renditions of the Singin' in the Rain songs were really great. And don't say that you think organ music is boring, because even though it usually is his is not.

We've got three more films coming up down at The Ohio, and I can barely wait. We've also found some old films playing up at a theater in downtown Cleveland! So, in August some time we get to see Casablanca and The Adventures of Robin Hood! Imagine Errol Flynn swinging out of a tree to greet Maid Marion . . . all on a big screen. Sigh.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"You'll never see the likes of this again . . ."

That was said by Frank Sinatra, in reference to Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell's dancing skills as well as the classic movie musicals of the 1930s through the 1950s. Well, he was sure right. Classic films from those decades are something that we'll never see the likes of again. Nowadays everybody is too "beauty" conscious --- with a total disregard of talent outside of beauty.

Mom has always raised us with old movies and music, not mention a love of history and old things. In fact, our house is filled with old things and could resemble a museum if you looked closely. I was just born fifty years too late, because my favorite everything is from 1935 through 1947. How sad. Someone told us once that Elizabeth and I have "old brains" (he meant it as a compliment). You know, he's right. We certainly have a strange sense of reality, since we feel more comfortable in black and white, a forty-eight star flag and a day when there were no overhead lights around the house. Most of the time I have a "detatched" feeling to this modern era. I mean, people sit at the movie theater and text one line, meaningless messages to their friends . . . instead of watching the movie that they just paid to see. You can't go out to lunch with people because they have to check their cell phone eighty times, just in case someone gives them a call. Someone they would obviously rather be with than you.

Ahem. Now that I've got that off my mind we can get to the real reason for this post. Over the last few weeks Elizabeth and I decided to start sending for autographs from film stars that we like. Most of my favorites have been buried for a long time now (Nelson Eddy would be 109 years old this month!), but we have found a surprising number of the "classic" film stars to write letters to who still sign. Several years ago we sent for autographs from Deanna Durbin and Esther Williams, and were thrilled when they were both successes.

This week we have received two more really cool autographs!! A couple of days ago Lauren Bacall returned our pictures with personalized autographs. Really cool since she never personalizes. :) We sent pictures of her and Humphrey Bogart at Malabar Farm when they got married. Since we've been to Malabar Farm quite a lot over the years it has always been special that two of our favorite actors were actually married there. Wow! I love Lauren Bacall. She's a great example of beauty and talent!

Then today we received personalized photos from Doris Day! How cool is that?! We've been fans of hers for years. Her two LP set "Hooray for Hollywood" is some of the best music you'll ever here. We've actually had to stop listening to it until Elizabeth has a chance to turn it over to CD. The records are in danger of actually loosing their grooves.

We've found several other film stars from the classic film era to send fan mail to, so hopefully we'll have more things to post. We've actually found quite a surprising number of modern people to send to as well, mostly from British TV shows. It's been really fun collecting addresses and sending letters (we'll probably be working on more this evening!). Now all we have to do is start putting the autographs into a scrapbook.

Another really fun thing that started this week was the Summer Movie Series down in Columbus. They play classic films at a theater in downtown for a couple months every Summer. It's a bit of a drive to get there, but sure is worth it! Yesterday afternoon we saw the first of the season: Hitchcock's Rear Window. I've never been a fan of that movie really . . . thought it was boring, if you want the truth. But it sure is amazing what a difference it makes to see things on the big screen. Wow! I really enjoyed it and was on the edge of my seat for the finale. On Thursday we get to see Capra's It Happened One Night (one of my favorites). I'll post more on that later this week!