A Blog By Any Other Name

it's about crochet ..... it's about writing ....

My Photo
Location: California

Part of me is a wife and mom, part of me is a writer and poet and part of me is still a kid in jeans tooling around in my VW Beetle listening to Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, James Taylor ... and The Beatles ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 18, 2015   The Last Post for Pamela.

On Thursday November 12th, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Pamela my wife of 38 years
and the mother of our two grown children passed away quiet at home with me,
Larry her husband. The illness was sudden and the end came quickly which was
a blessing.

Pamela like to write. She poured her insides out in written form but said
very little out loud. Quiet and somewhat introverted, her life revolved
around our family and home.  Her blog was an encouragement to let her
inner self out. Having read her Blog, it was a good idea. In between her crocheting
and other assorted project, her writing talked about her life and the
things she thought important and not so important.

She will write no more......

Monday, March 30, 2015

...remembering the Bunsen burner

"Ah, how sweetly I remember ...."  Well, not really.

I grew up in Ohio.  I went to Catholic school from second grade through high school.  The grade school was part of the local parish church my family attended.  For high school, I traveled by bus about 35 miles away to an all girls high school.  The good thing was I never had to worry about fashion trends or dressing as well as other girls because we wore uniforms.  In grade school, except for actually sitting in the classroom, the boys and girls never actually did anything together.  In high school, there were no boys to worry about, think about or moon over.

What does any of this have to do with a Bunsen burner?  Well, the high school I attended was  "College Prep."  This meant the curriculum was designed to provide only the classes needed to be accepted into college.  There were not a lot of extras.  All classes were academic.  Well, except for Gym and that was probably required by the state.  Even then physical exercise was considered important.  Oh, there was one Home Economics class and one Sewing class.  But then, we were all girls and those classes were only one semester so they filled in for the other two one semester classes, Civics and Health (probably also state mandated.)

Okay, back to the Bunsen burner.  One of the college requirements was a lab science.  The school only had two from which to choose, Biology or Chemistry.  So freshman year I took Biology.  I didn't love it but I didn't hate it.  I did not mind dissecting the earthworm but I was not thrilled about the frog.  While there were enough earthworms soaking in the jar of formaldehyde for each student to have their own, frogs were more expensive.  As a result, two students had to share one frog.  Luckily, my lab partner really got into the experience and I only had to watch.

One lab science credit out of the way, I breezed through my Sophomore year.  Come beginning of my Junior year, I find that Chemistry has been added to my list of classes without my knowledge.  An error had been made.  My Biology class did not count as a lab science because it was only one period.  Lab science meant one period class, one period lab.

So, there I was sitting around a square cabinet like table that had a sink and a Bunsen burner.  Four students sat on stools around the table.  We were lab partners.  I'm pretty sure only one of us got to actually light the Bunsen burner.  I don't remember ever using the sink because only the teacher handled the chemicals.  We did a lot of leaning over the table while our knees bumped into the sides of the box-like table trying to do long math calculations in our lab books.  Calculations that we had to take out twenty-two decimal places.  We were not allowed to use a calculator of any kind and there were no computers.  (Did I mention it was a long time ago?)  However, we were allowed to use a pencil so we could erase over and over and over .....

(On a side note:  I've been wondering why Microsoft Word had been informing me that I was spelling bunsen incorrectly.  Lo and behold, it has to be capitalized.  Sorry, Mr. Bunsen.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

... today is Poinsettia Day

While serving as the first American minister to Mexico from 1825 to 1830, Joel Roberts Poinsett came across a plant called "Flor de Noche Buena."  Poinsett was an avid amateur botanist
and he sent samples of the plant home to the States.
Somehow, by 1836, the plant had become known as the "poinsettia."
in honor of Mr. Poinsett.

The plant is native to Mexico
and was used by the Aztecs to produce red dye.

A Mexican folk tale also associates the flower with the Christmas holiday.

Albert Ecke came to Los Angeles from Germany in 1900.  He became interested in the poinsettia and began selling the plants from street stands.  His son, Paul, developed the grafting technique that created the full plant we know today.  Paul Ecke, Jr., further develped the plant's association with Christmas by sending free plants to television stations for display on programs airing from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

The Poinsettia

It does seem a shame that the flower got renamed because an American
"discovered" it.
I think Flor de Noche Buena is much prettier.
I guess people were just too busy to say four words.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Today is Button Day

Do you save buttons?
Do you buy the strip of five buttons when you only need four?
Or the little bag of a dozen cute buttons when you only wanted
the one with the fancy edge?
Do you cut the buttons off of a blouse or shirt that is too worn
to be sent to Goodwill?
Do you have a button tin to keep all those wayward buttons?

I do.
 Yes, it formerly held a fruit cake.
Almost all good tins formerly held a fruit cake.
You throw away the cake and keep the tin.
I love tins.

I have a tin full of cookie cutters.
I have a tin holding miscellaneous pens and pencils.
(It's cute.  It's a little Charles Chips can.)

My Grandmother had a button tin.
My mother had a button tin.
Sad to say,
I don't know what happened to either my Grandmother's or my Mother's tin
but I now have a tin of my own.
The buttons in my Grandmother's tin were old and interesting,
mine, not so much.

Oh, here's a cute article about keeping buttons.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

...who said what?

"It's good to have money and the things that money can buy,
but it's good, too,
to check up once in a while
and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."

George H. Lorimer  (1868 - 1937)
journalist, author, and editor of The Saturday Evening Post.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Follow the yellow brick road ...

Seventy-five years ago,  August 16, 1939, The Wizard of Oz premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  It appears to have been a major film event.  I was not around for that event.

In 1955 the movie was again released to the theaters.   This time I was around to enjoy it.  My grandmother took me to see the movie.  We walked to a bus stop near her home and got on a bus to go to the theater.  I was about seven.  I had never been on a bus.  I had never been to a movie theater.  We had a small TV so I knew about movies.  But everything on television was only in black and white and the screen was about the size of a dinner plate.  I can remember sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to begin.  The room was dimly lit and there were a lot of people.  There was nothing on the stage and the curtain was closed.  Yes, theaters used to have a stage and curtains.  After a while, the lights were turned down and the curtain opened and the movie began.  I don’t remember if there was anything shown before the movie started.  I do remember when it did start it was a huge picture and it was in black and white like television.  I didn’t really know what a tornado was so that was a little frightening.  Then … when Dorothy opened the front door of her house and the world of Oz was in bright, vivid, bigger than life color, I was amazed.  It really was the wonderful world of Oz.

The next year my aunt gave me the Illustrated Junior Library edition of The Wizard of Oz.  I probably read it a hundred times.

I own the VHS tape 50th Anniversary version, 2 DVD’s (same DVD I think, but one came with a special Deluxe Edition that included a reproduction of the Original Theatrical Script) and The Official 75th Anniversary Companion (a really nice book.)

I also have a pattern book to crochet 12 characters from the Land of Oz. It also comes with a couple bits of yarn and a new crochet hook. But, like Leonard’s Spock action figure with transporter, the box has not yet been opened.   (sigh)

I didn’t learn about the series of Oz books written by L. Frank Baum until I was an adult.  I have not read the other books.  I have seen a couple of the newer film versions but I love the original movie and I love my copy of The Wizard of Oz.  

For me …

…Judy Garland will always be Dorothy Gale,

… … Frank Morgan = Professor Marvel and the Wizard

… … …Billie Burke = Glinda

… … … …Ray Bolger = the Scarecrow, 
                     Jack Haley = the Tin Man,
                         Bert Lahr = the Cowardly Lion

                              And ……..

… … … … ….Margaret Hamilton will always be 
                             the wonderful Wicked Witch of the West.

(oh, and I still think the Flying Monkeys are scary)

Saturday, June 07, 2014

...a pattern by any other name....

The granny square and ripple are two of the most repeated patterns.
A change of color or a different stitch can change an old standard
into something new.

I was looking at my collection of Crochet World magazines and came across an afghan pattern called "Autumn Leaves."  And then, in a very short period of time, a came across "Contemporary Pinwheel Throw" and "Fence Rail Afghan."  The last two patterns are a variation.  It is bold, geometric pattern that may have the potential for variety much like the granny and ripple.

Autumn Leaves
Contemporary Pinwheel Throw
Winter's Eve Throw

I even found a similar sewing pattern for a purse.
Denim Beauty

The Autumn Leaves pattern is in an old Crochet World magazine but the other three are available at e-patternscentral.com

Free Hit Counters
Free Counter