Saturday, March 31, 2012

Playing with Bo and his 'Thomas the Tank'

This has been a pretty nice week, and since it's the last day of the month, I figured I would squeeze one more entry in here.

Wednesday was a really fun day. We went over to the Clark's house for dinner. It was a make-it-yourself taco/burrito dinner. They also had another family over --- they also go to our church. It was nice to be able to meet people from church that way, since we've only just started going there and don't know anybody very well. We were there for four hours and talking the whole time. It was so loud that Dad and Elizabeth were actually a little bit hoarse the next day.

I got to play with Sarah's little boy, Bo (short for Boaz), for a long time. He's about twenty months old, so we played with a Thomas the Tank engine. We tried to read a book, but it was all in Spanish --- and since my spanish was only good enough for a rough translation, Bo thought that it was a little boring. The moth that flew in the window and flitted around the room was tons more fun. In his little boy mind, anyway.

We've been able to go to a couple more cemeteries this week, but I don't have any pictures to post here. Imagine, all I took were the grave stones! Not sure what we're doing today, but probably something fun. It's all grey and cold here. We had awful storms last night and the tornado sirens in town were blaring. Can't wait for church tomorrow. The pastor and his wife are in Thailand, so Mr. Clark is preaching. He's always good. We're going to the Keultjes's house for Easter. Hooray! Can't wait for that. More later.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Testimony of a Really Great Salesman

We had regular Summer weather all last week, so we took a couple of days and went out to a few more cemeteries. On Thursday, we decided to go to one in Belle Center --- which is just North of Bellfontaine. We looked it up on MapQuest, and it was only an hour and forty-five minutes from the house. Not bad. Well, actually . . . it was over two hours, really. I guess that's what happens when you actually trust those online directions! :) Still, it was a nice day for a drive, and Elizabeth had wanted to go out there for ages. There is a WWII gunner buried out there, and she really wanted to see his grave.

We took over 350 pictures and were there over two and a half hours. In fact, it was so warm and sunny that I got a pretty bad case of sunburn! I was still pink yesterday. Ugh. Anyway, this cemetery was a real testimony to a fabulous salesman. I don't know his name, but he obviously represented a monument company that made grave stones in the shape of trees and tree stumps. There must have been over thirty varieties actually in the cemetery. These pictures are a sampling of the different types that were there. We've seen a few like these before, but usually one (maybe two) in any given cemetery.

We had a great weekend. Spent Saturday around here. On Sunday, there was a potluck after church and communion. It was really nice, and we got a chance to really visit with Sarah. She also made really great macaroni and cheese --- which was swell! We spent the afternoon resting and doing "whatever". Stan Hywet opens for the season in six days! We're really looking forward to going up there again. More later.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Family Day Out on the Weekend

We decided to have a fun family day out this weekend. We thought about going to the Cleveland Art Museum, but it was awfully nice weather, so we went up to the South side of Cleveland to two cemeteries where some of Mom's family is buried. Elizabeth has been wanting to go up to the cemetery at North Olmstead for ages to take a picture. Mom's great-uncle, J.D., is buried up there, and he's kind of a pet family member to Elizabeth. He was in the army right after WWII (part of the occupation forces) and brought a German bride home with him.

Driving up there, we actually got stopped at the railroad tracks for a train to pass by! Hooray! I just love trains, and we don't have them around our place anymore. We were even the first car in the lane, so I was able to lean out the window and get some pictures. The cemetery itself is made to serve as a burial grounds and a park at the same time, since it's in the city. All of the stones are the flat-in-the-ground kind, and there are trees and flowers around. Lots of grassy areas, too. These are actually the first flower pictures I've gotten --- and it's fitting to post them on the first day of Spring!

Dad had his new "fishing" camera to test out, so he and I were goofing off taking pictures of each other. This one actually turned out to look just like him. (Notice the "Live to Fish" slogan on the t-shirt.) And, while we're at it, might as well take some of us riding in the car. Dad and Elizabeth were in the back seat --- complete with St. Patrick's Day shamrock badge! I never have pictures of myself, since I'm always the one with the camera, so here's a shot of my reflection in the rear-view mirror --- which needs a good scrubbing. Mom was driving and her picture turned out blurry. Boo hoo. :(

We took a brief lunch break before heading to the second cemetery. This is called Woodvale, and it is where our gg-grandparents and ggg-grandparents are buried. There are also quite a few aunts and uncles there as well. One of the stones in particular is really wearing away (has been for years), so we spent some time reading it with tin foil. Amazingly, we were able to decipher the whole thing! This is Mom, Pop and Elizabeth working at it. The last picture here is of the area of the cemetery where all of the family is buried. I thought it was really cool how close they all are, so the arrows identify the different family plots.

That's about it for now. It's supposed to reach about 80'F today, so we're thinking of going somewhere, just to get the sunshine. We'll see, though. More later.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Erin Go Bragh! Today's St. Patrick's Day. Ireland. Shamrocks. Leprechauns. Pots of gold. So, Elizabeth and I have put up a few decorations, and we're eating "green" food in celebration! Salad for lunch and broccoli soup for dinner.

We just finished putting up the decorations in the TV room upstairs. To the strains of opera (sung by Joan Sutherland and various others), Elizabeth made a really cute leprechaun poster. The picture doesn't really do it justice, but I like it so well, that it has a picture all to itself:

Oliver got in on the fun, too, but he wasn't much help. It's like a May day out today, so Dad spent the morning working on outside stuff. Like cleaning the lawn mower deck and getting the push mower ready. Can't believe that time of year is almost here already. I actually hung my first load of sheets out for the season! More later.

Friday, March 16, 2012

So Happy That I'm Dreaming About It

Dreams are a funny thing. I used to have them when I was little, but most of them I could do without, except that when I was really little I would have one about a "Ballerina Cake". It was a beautiful tiered cake with dancing ballerinas all over it. Silly, but after more than fifteen years, I can still remember it.

Well, I don't dream much anymore --- usually only if I'm really tired, and then it's just a continuation of the day and nothing bothersome. Sometimes, if I'm really happy, it's about felting! Last night was a different story, though. A few months ago, I used Mom's RootsWeb account to post a request on their Cornwall, England forum. Would some kind somebody please go out to the Church at St. Germans and look around to see if anything was left of the old Eliot family grave? Specifically, was there any chance that there could be a marker left to Edward James Eliot (my pet member of the Clapham Sect)?

Last week, someone was kind enough to answer. They were going to St. Germans this week and would be glad to take a look, could I supply anymore information that might help them with the whereabouts of the family vault. I didn't know much, but I gave them what I could and we exchanged e-mail addresses. Great. They told me that they had been there before, and not to get my hopes up as the cemetery has been razed a couple times to be incorporated into the gardens at Port Eliot. That's fine. I really didn't have any hopes, because I was pretty sure that there wouldn't be anything left.

Then, I get an e-mail yesterday afternoon with four pictures. They found it!!! Not only was something left, but the whole family plot is still there! They said that there is a line of the stone markers in the ground, but that they are in really poor condition. These are in front of or behind the actual family grave which is the picture above. This must be over the actual vault, as that is where E.J. Eliot was buried --- in the family vault.

So, they are going to be sending me some more pictures later, but I thought that I should post some now as I am just so excited! The first picture above is a memorial plaque inside the church at St. Germans to Edward Craggs-Eliot and his wife, Catherine Elliston. The picture at left is of one of the stone markers in the family plot and belongs to the same couple. They died in 1804 --- just six days apart from each other.

This isn't exactly a typical blog post, but I'm so excited that I had to write about it! I mean, I was actually dreaming about it last night. :) We've had a pretty nice week so far and looking forward to nice weather on the weekend, hopefully. It's been reaching the sixties and up to seventy and supposed to stay for the next week or so. Stan Hywet Hall opens in sixteen days! Can't wait.
More later.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Taste of Summer

It doesn't seem quite right, but we actually had strawberry shortcake the other night! In March! Florida-grown strawberries hit the stores this week at $1.00 a pound, so we bought some and had them for dessert. I came home and made some sweetened biscuits, and Mom made homemade whipped cream. Delicious. Scrumptious.

And --- I actually remembered to take photos along the way, too! First are the strawberries sliced and ready. Second is the whipped cream, third is the strawberry-topped biscuit and finally, the finished product!

We're set for a record-breaking week of temperatures. Apparently, anyway, so we'll see. It's supposed to be 25-30'F above the average with highs in the upper sixties and lows in the fifties. Elizabeth is hoping for a week of staying home, as she's trying to finish getting all of the books and bookshelves dusted. We saw a fun movie last night: My Wild Irish Rose. It stars Dennis Morgan as Chauncey Olcott who was the first man known as an "Irish Tenor". I'll have to post more about that in another entry. More later.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stan Hywet Home Movies and More

It's Tuesday already, and I haven't posted anything about the weekend. So, here's a little catching up ---

The weather, according to, was supposed to be sunny and forty all day on Saturday. Actually, it was having trouble staying around thirty-two and there were snow flurries and cloudy skies all day. So much for the weather men. We got up early and got out of the house as soon as we could and headed up to North Canton. This was the weekend for the McKinley Stamp Show, which is one of our favorites, so we headed up there. I still haven't gotten to put any of the stamps that I got at the National Stamp Show (last August) into my collection, as I'm still saving up for those new binders. That meant that I really didn't need any stamps this time, so Elizabeth and I have fun browsing through post cards. She's on the lookout for a card of the "Wonder Bread Building" at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933/34. Didn't find one, but she did find a couple really cute St. Patrick's Day cards!

After about an hour and a half of that, we left Pop there and the three of us girls headed up to Stan Hywet Hall in Akron. That is only about twenty-five minutes from the stamp show and not a bad drive at all. There was a "Members Only" event where they were showing one hour of home movies from the Seiberling family. Not only that, but three of the Seiberling granddaughters were there reminiscing as the movie played. It started with film of Irene Seiberling's wedding on Christmas Day 1923. Wow! That was just beautiful film, and definitely our favorite part. They used Christmas decorations instead of wedding things and everything! One of the granddaughters was actually Irene's daughter, too. They all had some really cool stories and it was neat to hear them talk about Stan Hywet as an actual house and not a museum. The house doesn't open up for tours until April --- Elizabeth and I can't wait.

(Stan Hywet as it looked when we went last Summer.)

So, we headed back to the Stamp Show to pick Pop up before they closed. Then we headed home. On Sunday we went to church with some friends and we all really enjoyed that. It's a great little church, and after two years of trying all different ones in the area it looks like we might land here for a while. Yay!

Well, that's all for now. Not much going on here and the weather is cold, so we're sticking around. All of the tulips and daffodils are starting to come up, though! More later.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Needle Felted Indian Brave

Finally, I've finished another wool needle-felted doll! I didn't do much felting last Fall, so it's been over five months since I finished one of these little dollies. I had decided to make a sitting doll, which would be a kind of fun experience and totally different. So, it would be really cute to make an American Indian sitting cross-legged, right?! Even more fun, lets make him doing Indian Sign Language. Here are the results.

This little Indian Brave is a "generic" Indian --- that is, he is not from any particular tribe. The problem trying to find an actual tribe was the fact that if they wore clothes on top, then there wasn't much on bottom and vice versa. So, this is the "Hollywood" style Indian as seen in the classic-era Westerns. Fully clothed, and with the typical feather!

The Brave is made of 100% Merino Wool roving that has been felted with .40 and .42 gauge needles. He stands 4-7/8" tall (seated), weighs 1.75 ounces and took approx. 45 hours to complete. His necklace is actually made from some dyed-cotton string that I braided with wood and metal beads from decoration. Mom actually had one odd hoop earring that came just like that, so all that I had to do was to substitute the wire hoop for the braided cotton. This is the first doll that I've made with jewelry! The feather is from Alex's pet Conure (whose name is 'Pita'), and has one blue-green side on it. It is held in place with a headband of leather thong.

A real Indian Brave can't just sit on the floor of his wigwam, so this little fellow has his very own Buffalo hide to sit on. It is made of 100% Buffalo fiber, which I felted into the shape of a hide, then that is sewn onto a piece of genuine leather hide (most likely a deer hide). This makes a seat that any Brave would be proud of! ;) By the way, he is signing the Indian Sign Language sign for "chief". More later.