Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Where do these weathermen get their predictions?

We've all heard that proverbial phrase, "Spring is just around the corner." It's a particularly long corner this year for rural Ohio-ans. Only one day left in the month of March and we're in the middle of a pretty hard white-out. That means that the ground is covered in snow and more is coming down every minute!

Yesterday, the weather station said that we would be in the upper-thirties with rain for the next three days. They changed their minds by last night and said that it would in the low thirties with a half inch of slushy-snow accumulation. It was changed to a half inch of real snow by this morning, but nothing was supposed to last longer than 4:30 this afternoon. Well, it's been snowing for a solid two hours at least. There is at least an inch of accumulation already, and you can't even see the field across the street for all the snow coming down. Where do these weathermen get their information? I know that the weather reporting room in the town where we grew up did not have a single window. Go figure.

Here are some pictures of the house and yard as it appeared about twenty minutes ago. It's even whiter now. Well, I better get going for now. Pop will be home soon, and I'm going to try to dig up a snack! More later.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adding Another Photo to the Autograph Album

Elizabeth and I really like The Big Valley TV shows. Okay, some of them are a bit too much, but we just skip over those (mostly the ones with girls --- why do they ever put romance into a cowboy show, anyway?). There are some fabulous gun tricks and rescues. There are even court room battles if Jarrod is the main character! It's like a Wild West "Perry Mason". Elizabeth is really keen on Barbara Stanwyck, so she waits for the shows when Victoria is the main character. I like Jarrod and anytime that one/some of the boys have to rescue another (or a couple) of the brothers.

Over a year ago we sent for Peter Breck's autograph (he played Nick Barkley), so we've got gorgeous pictures of him. Just a couple days ago we received signed photos from Lee Majors (who played Heath Barkley)! That is really cool!

My question is: why is Heath the one that's always in trouble. Jarrod and Nick have the occasional show where they get in real trouble, but Heath is always in some tough spot. Come on, he gets shot in bunches of shows, hanged once or twice (rescued apparently, but those shows aren't on DVD, so we haven't seen them), beat up in almost every show and called terrible names by most citizens in the valley. I mean, they didn't even put his last name on the credits. He spends so much time proving himself worthy of his name, and the producers of the show don't even give him credit!? Poor Heath.

It's supposed to snow a bit tomorrow. Ugh. It was only fourteen degrees this morning, but it did manage to make it up to forty in the afternoon. I'm trying to get Pierrot finished, but I ran out of flesh-tone wool. That means that I've spent some time this afternoon carding some more! It's hard to make hands with nothing! Pierrot is looking lots more presentable, but he's handless and headless. He also needs the "frills" and "fru-fras" on his shirt. About ten more hours of work should see him finished. More later.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thinking of Everyone as "Young"

It's not always easy to think of everyone as having been young once. Sometimes it's just hard to visualize certain people in their childhood or in their twenties. I used to sit and stare at Grampa (Dad's Father) and just wonder what he was like young. What was it like to be him? What did he think about? As years passed it got easier to imagine him younger, and I had no trouble imagining him acting young.

Actually seeing something is more amazing than ever being able to imagine it. These pictures really hit me a few months ago. Grampa is our age or a little younger in all of them. Even though he looks pretty much the same, it's funny to see him on a Jeep, shooting a gun and just being "cool". It's funny to see the quiet man that I know, doing something like target practice.

Pictures are cool --- they can capture a moment in time that can still be enjoyed sixty years later. Sometimes, in today's world, people just pass off "old folks" as old. Not really understanding problems of the "young" people, not having felt the same things or stuff like that. How unfair. I always love to look at old people and try to imagine them young.

These photos were taken on Grampa's Father's pineapple plantation, Margajitas. If you look on the gun picture, you can see a huge "cage" thing built over one of the trees in the background. Grampa built that over a guava tree and used it as an aviary for pet parakeets. He had another aviary at their town house with pet canaries. He had to let all of his birds go free when they left Cuba.

These are my three favorite pictures of the "snap shots" from Old Cuba.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring, Snow and Summer: The Agonies of Waiting

It seems like it's been a really long Winter this year. Even though I'm not quite ready for all the activities that come with Summer, I am certainly ready for some warm weather. Last Monday it was so warm that we actually went out in short sleeves --- without jackets! It snowed again two nights ago, and we're back to coats. Ah well, in two months it will seem hard to remember all this snow.

I'm really excited about Summer. August can't come soon enough for me this year. We're so excite that we're already starting to plan on what we can take down with us. Dad's been talking to his family about everyday, and that's nice.

We went shopping for some new shirts. Boy, the state of clothes in the stores is rather depressing. You either look like you're undressed, or you look like some hick. Not to mention that the quality of material has gone so far down. We did get a couple of new shirts, though. Maybe if we wash them on the delicate setting they will last out the season! ;)

There is nothing to photograph out here. Everything is just gray and gray. So, here's another picture from Old Cuba. That is Gramma and Grampa in the front (aren't they lovely?!) with various great-grandparents, aunts and uncles behind. More later.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Big Summer Plans in the Works

This is probably the first year that I've ever been dying for August to get here. This is a big year for "La Familia Garcia". There are three major anniversaries which include Leilani's 1st Birthday, 50th anniversary of the Garcia's arrival in the United States, and Gramma and Grampa's 60th wedding anniversary! Celebrations are in order. We've got tickets to go down for a special dinner, a party and a family photo. It's been eight years since we had anything like this, and there is a great-granddaughter in the group now. :)

The party will be for all the family and extended family, so we're going to order some fancy cakes from Publix. We're hoping to have the invitations done in the next week! More news will be coming soon. In the meantime, here is a picture of Gramma and Grampa back in Cuba. This is sometime in the early/mid-1950s. Aren't the beautiful? I am so proud to be their granddaughter!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Before the month is over . . .

Wow. The month is going by and I have barely posted anything. Nothing "huge" is happening around here. I don't even have a picture to post. The weather is finally turning into a bit of Spring. There is no snow on the ground today (lots of mud, though!) and it has been in the 40s with sun. Hooray. I can already feel the hum of the lawn tractor . . . soon anyway.

I'm working on felting another doll at the moment. It is Pierrot this time. He's really coming along, so I'm hoping he'll be done by the end of the month.

We went up to Panera today to pick up bread and have lunch out. The most embarrassing thing --- I walked out without all of the credit cards/cash!! Ahh. We had to have Dad call with his card number from work to pay. How terrible. Boy, did I feel bad.

Dad is giving a presentation to his Fly Fishing club tonight. The subject is "Fishing Flies on Postage Stamps". He's done a beautiful job of framing stamps with matching flies, putting a bunch of stamps and First Day Covers in a scrapbook and making a whole presentation. I'll have to try to get some pictures of his stuff. He's so talented. Well, since he's going to be out that means that we get to have an "all girls" evening! More later.

Monday, March 7, 2011

We came home to find autographs in the mail!

Some more responses from the fan mail that Elizabeth and I have been sending out. It's really cool how many successes we've had, actually. This time it is from Ann Blyth. She was a musical actress in the 1950s who starred with Mario Lanza in The Great Caruso. Of all her films (that we've seen so far) though, The World in His Arms, with Gregory Peck, has to be our favorite. It's all about San Francisco in the 1850s and the seal trade with Russian Alaska. And it has a super-romantic ending!

Elizabeth also got a response from Richard Bonynge, the famous Symphony Conductor (also married to Joan Sutherland). She's thrilled, as he is one of her favorite opera conductors. It's always fun to come home to a mail box full of this fun stuff. We were out this afternoon, and it was actually still 44'F at 4:00pm! Trees are actually budding --- some of the early ones. I can't believe that Winter is soon to end. Time flies when you're having fun.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

White Pizza and a New Cookbook

This has been quite a good week for trying out new recipes. Elizabeth and I have been dying to try making a white pizza ever since last Summer. We've thought about it a lot, but never actually got around to doing it. We bought some spinach --- and put it in the freezer. We bought some Pesto --- and put it on the shelf. Finally, we bought some Ricotta cheese, and it had to be used. Time to make the pizza. We didn't really have a recipe or anything. We just had ideas of what we'd like (or not) from the couple of kinds that we've had at restaurants. In the end, our pizza came out really well. We were a bit nervous, but it was so fun! We put Pesto and garlic on first, then we spread Ricotta cheese across the whole thing. Spinach went on next (nice liberal portions!), followed by some mozzarella cheese to hold it all together. It was quite enjoyable.

Yesterday, we went to the library and browsed through the cookbooks. That was lots of fun, and we hit the jackpot! We found The King Arthur Flour's Baking Companion book. It's some heavy reading, let me tell you. That is the kind of flour that I've used for baking for years now, so it's cool to find a book that is made for that flour. It was a bit hard to sort through all the wonderful choices and pick which of them to make. "Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal" cookies won out. They were also listed as "easy" and "fool-proof", so it sounded like a perfect first try, right? Well, they were right. They're gorgeous, and they weren't even hard to make. Here are some before-and-after pictures:

All in all it has been a nice day! It's very rainy here, and we're having some flooding. It is supposed to turn to snow tonight though, and freeze tomorrow. Joy. Not. :) I got to call Naomi this morning, and that was fun! It's amazing that it doesn't take any longer to place a call to Wales than it does to call Florida. I don't exactly understand how that works, but it sure is cool. If only we could travel to Wales in the same time as we can travel to Florida!