Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday, Samwise!

Another year has rolled by, and it's September 29th again! Today is Samwise and Frodo's sixth birthday. It's hard to think that, just six short years ago, they were little mouse-looking babes. The sweeties! Here's a nice (new) picture of my baby, Sammy! Of course, he wouldn't oblige by looking at the camera, but maybe he just wanted everyone to see his gorgeous profile. He's such a lover-pooh. Look at those ridiculously long whiskers. Isn't he cute?!

Well, we've been out grocery shopping all day, so we're all POOPED! Here comes dinner (thanks to hard-working Elizabeth), so I better get going. More later.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cranking Up the Wood Heat

When it gets cold around here it really happens in a hurry. Everything is pointing to an early (and cold) Winter. We've had some pretty days, but the weather has been nippy enough to need the wood stove on in the house. It was only fifty two degrees in the house yesterday morning, so you guessed it! We put a fire on --- and how!

I took a picture of the fire while I was starting it, because it really kept that perfect little "Boy Scout" shape. There is nothing like heat from a wood stove. Makes me want to curl up and read somewhere or something.

Mom and Elizabeth are finally starting to beat their colds. Some awful things! We went to the library a couple of days ago and got DVDs of the fourth season of Wagon Train and the first season of Green Acres. We're really enjoying all of them. Green Acres is hilarious!! Samwise's birthday is coming up, so I need to get a new picture of him to post here. Look for that in a few days! More later.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Canning, Colds and the Wood Stove

This has been a pretty busy week (hence no blog posts) around here. It started out with the making and canning of salsa. Elizabeth and I spent Monday afternoon making two large stock-pots of salsa. Then it happened. Poor Elizabeth got sick on Monday night. It's a pretty awful cold, too. Mom and I spent the next two days making more salsa and canning it. We ended up with 65 pints of salsa! We also got 24 pints of chopped tomatoes canned up for use in soups and various cooking. Yay!

The sad news is that Mom got sick, too. :( That means that she and Elizabeth have been down all week. Dad took Friday afternoon off and the two of us went out and did grocery shopping and the like. It was a nice (though tiring!) time. We even brought some pizza home for dinner! We had plans to go down to Cinci for the weekend, but those had to be canceled. Hopefully, that will work out soon.

The hot weather departed as suddenly as it arrived in March. It is now in the 30'Fs at night, and last night was the first time that we had to light a fire in the wood stove! Winter is approaching, but Fall has barely arrived. :) I'm really feeling in the hibernating mood. Bring on the felting! More later.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Fun and My 'New' Red Jacket

We went to a couple of book sales over the weekend, and I found a couple fun things! First off is a copy of the picture book Puff the Magic Dragon. This was put out about five years ago, and I've been wishing for one for ages. We've had it in our Amazon cart for years, but it never seemed to fit into an order (or we forgot about it). Well, we found one on Saturday --- and was I thrilled?!

The other book that I'm really happy about is one that we had never heard of before. It is called The Sinatra Treasures. It is a large coffee-table size book that has quotes by Frankie-Boy and his kids. They are put in chronological order and accompanied by tons of photographs. Interspersed throughout the book are large glassine envelopes that have been "tipped" into the binding. They hold reproductions of all kinds of paper articles from the Sinatra archives. We were pretty thrilled to find this. It even has a reproduction of a telegram from Grace Kelly. Somehow, I think that will end up in Elizabeth's scrapbook! :)

There was one thing that really made the weekend fabulous --- but it is not a book. On the way home, we stopped at this really cool thrift store. Actually, it was an ordinary thrift store, but the building was shaped (and even might have been) an old barn. Complete with silo! And you'll never believe was we found.

About six years ago (or more) I got this red fleece jacket. Just kind of an ordinary-looking hooded, zip-up-the-front jacket. To me, that was the best jacket in the world! I wore it everywhere for years. There were only about three months out of the year that I didn't wear it, but the sad day came when Mom and Elizabeth refused to go out with (what they termed) that ratty old jacket. I was sad for months. We've spent hours looking for a "replacement," and I've had several. None could even hold a candle to that red jacket made by some company called "Catalina."

Happinesses! (Plural because I had little "hearts" coming out of me like in a cartoon, I'm sure!) Mom found the exact jacket at the thrift store. It doesn't even look like it's been worn. Wow! I mean --- wow! The picture doesn't do it justice, but if you see me anytime over the coming months you'll get to see the jacket. :) More later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Just Some Ordinary Happenings

Fall is just around the corner. It's been a long, hot Summer, and I'm looking forward to a period of hibernation. We're really trying to sort through stuff and clean out before Winter sets in. There are books all over the place, but we're finally getting rid of things!

Mom and I went to the produce auction yesterday. This was the first time that we've been this year. We're ready to can some salsa (if it's possible with only two little burners!), so we bought a lot of tomatoes, some garlic and peppers. We're also hoping to end up with enough to can some plain tomatoes and some spaghetti sauce!

Dad came home from Florida with a cold, so he was down with that all weekend. It was dark and rainy, though, so that worked out. Elizabeth has been making a video montage tribute to Dan Duryea. This was pretty much at my request and has taken her quite some time. The result is going to be fabulous --- and it's almost done. It's going to end up being about seventeen minutes long. We've had a lot of fun going through films and shows to pick out clips.

We found three very fun things on eBay last week, and they all arrived. The first was a piece of sheet music for the song "Beloved" from The Student Prince. Elizabeth has wanted that for years now, so she's thrilled! We also got a little "Old Maid" card game. We have a very dilapidated set of these cards that we practically wore out when we were little, and it's one of those things that I've always wanted to replace and never have. Just take a look at the illustrations.

The other thing that I got is quite cool. It's an issue of the magazine from the Dan Duryea Fan Club in 1955. Twenty-three pages of typed articles, letters, notes and the like. It even discusses Ride Clear of Diablo --- my favorite. Pretty cool!

I'm looking forward to typing the pages up and posting them on my Dan Duryea Blog. Let's see . . . nothing else is new that I can think of. More later.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Martin Maher and 'The Long Gray Line'

Tyrone Power is one of those classic actors that I've only begun to appreciate in the last year or so. I must have had rocks in my head, but there was actually a time that I didn't like him and didn't think that he was much to look at. Yikes! What high standards I had. Crazy, that is --- until last year.

We saw Son of Fury and The Prince of Foxes for the first time, and I liked those. We'd always enjoyed Thin Ice (with Sonja Henie), but I don't particularly love The Mark of Zorro. Then, for our birthday this year, Gramma Gail gave us a set of ten Tyrone Power movies on DVD. This included Luck of the Irish (now one of our top-favorite films ever), I'll Never Forget You, This Above All, Love is News and so on.

I've been convinced that I liked him since all of these. Well, Jerry just sent us the 1955 film The Long Gray Line. This is a widescreen color film directed by John Ford. It stars Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara, with supporting actors that included Ward Bond, Harry Carey, Jr. Patrick Wayne and Donald Crisp. I really LOVED it! I mean REALLY loved it. Wow!

This is a military type of Goodbye, Mr. Chips --- sort of. It's the story of a real man, Martin "Marty" Maher (pronounced "mar"), an Irish immigrant who ended up working at West Point for fifty years. He came as a waiter, ended up joining the Army and serving as swimming instructor and then serving more years as a civil service worker. He worked at the Academy from 1896 to 1946, and knew men like John J. Pershing, Omar Bradley and Dwight Eisenhower (played expertly by Harry Carey, Jr.)!

This is a fabulous film, and I can't recommend it enough. I would rate it 15 out of 10 stars. Just a nice movie. Tyrone Power couldn't be better, and there isn't a member of the cast that you'd replace. I liked "Red, Sr." and "Red, Jr." Not sure who the actors were, but they were really great. You'll have nice feelings about West Point forever --- after watching this film. It was actually filmed at West Point, and the real Martin Maher was there to see it.

This is the nicest use of widescreen and color film that we've ever watched. It's a true work of art, and the ending is really sweet. All of these assorted photos show the company filming at West Point. The two above actually show the real Marty Maher during filming! More later.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dad's Back from Florida!

Dad came home from Miami yesterday afternoon. We were down at Columbus airport to pick him up and then took him to Chipotle for lunch.

He was down to visit his parents for ten days. They all sound like they had a pretty good time --- got in a lot of visiting to relatives and friends. Dad brought a box full of cheese pastelitos (Cuban pastries) for us, and there is nothing better than that! Isn't that beautiful?!

It's been really hot here all week. Hurricane Isaac has been coming through, so it's been quite rainy and gray. Our corner has been turned into a 4-way stop (supposedly temporary for sixty days) on the request of two neighbors. This means that for the last two weeks we've had cars screeching to a halt in front of the house, cars hitting their accelerators to go from 0 to 60 in two seconds flat, a crazy neighbor who spent all Sunday afternoon shouting at every car that didn't stop, stopped poorly, or that he just didn't like . . . I am feeling VERY grumpy today. They've installed a flashing light on top of the stop sign in our front yard, and on top of that there seems to be some kind of whistle that lets out a blast every time a car drives through the intersection. What goes, people?!

Well, we're off to a big book sale again this week. Elizabeth and I are gearing up for that. We've got the third season of the TV show Wagon Train from the library and have been trying to work through some of those in the evening. They definitely aren't the quality of the first two seasons, but a couple shows have been really great. Particularly the one that guest starred Andy Devine and Glenda Farrell --- that was a FUNNY show! More later.