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Heirlooms & Keepsakes ~ Vermont December 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, People.
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28 comments

In addition to the heirlooms from mom’s side of the family, we also enjoy a number of treasured heirlooms and keepsakes from my relatives in Vermont.

You’ve met my grandfather through his letters.  Here he is with my grandmother, my dad and Aunt Marjorie.

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My dad refinished this antique candle box from Vermont.

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A quilt started by Great Aunt Lucy (my grandmother’s sister) before her death in 1962 and finished by my mother in 1986.  We used it as a bright guest room comforter for a number of years.

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A quilt rack made by dad to display the quilt that covered the spare bed in his childhood bedroom.

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A tin coffee pot from my grandfather’s attic.

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This box belonged to my dad as a child.  I use it to store recipes.  Under lock & key!

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This was dad’s boyhood tool chest which now houses old letters, photos, and other keepsakes.

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Dad refinished this antique harvest table for his living room.  I adopted it a few years back.

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Here’s another view.

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This picnic hamper came from my grandfather’s house in Vermont and reminds me of all the picnics we enjoyed on his hill and at Quechee Gorge.

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A wooden bowl from my grandfather’s pantry, perfect for ripening bananas.

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I refinished this table from my grandfather’s house the year after he died.  I consider it his wedding gift to us.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  A Family Heirloom (Grannymar)

Heirlooms & Keepsakes ~ Rogie & Logie December 14, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, People.
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37 comments

I treasure a number of heirlooms and keepsakes from my maternal grandparents and my Great Aunt Edie.

Mystery Ride5b

The oldest heirloom is a walking stick carved by my great great grandmother’s suitor.

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You can read more about it here:  A suitor who just didna suit her.

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My grandfather enjoyed travel as well as working in his woodshop . . . where he transformed a tray purchased overseas into a table.

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He made matching bedside tables.  I have this one and my sister has its fraternal twin.

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This rocking chair belonged to Great Aunt Edie.  After she died it lived in my parents attic until I requested it ~ painted by dad and re-cushioned by mom.

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My grandfather made this jewelry box for my grandmother, inlaid with her initials.

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Another view.

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My grandfather’s shaving mirror sits on a shelf in our kitchen.

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When my grandparents visited the Middle East in 1965, they brought back this Bible from Jerusalem for Aunt Edie.

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Along with a piece of palm from Palm Sunday, carefully preserved inside the front cover.

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I wear this turquoise ring given to my great aunt by her sister, my grandmother, in 1918 as they arrived in the states from Scotland.

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This pewter tea set sat in my grandmother’s dining room for years until she passed.  In time, my mother passed it on to me.

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This copper teapot also came from my mother’s family.

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This tin coffee pot (from relatives in Vermont) rounds out the set.

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My mother had this Scottish pitcher on her hutch until I adopted it.

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“Here’s a health to them that’s awa!” ~ Burns

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Here’s where it lives.

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This two shelf unit may have been made by my grandfather.  I remember it hanging on Aunt Edie’s bedroom wall.

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Also from Aunt Edie, this wooden letter holder made by my grandfather.

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My grandfather’s pewter baby cup brought over from Scotland.

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Another view.

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My grandfather loved working with watches and building clock cases.  He gave us this coin clock when we got married.  My brothers and sister each received one.

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My grandfather also made this shelf clock which keeps great time, as long as we change the battery.

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As far back as I can remember, Edie had these plates hanging on her wall.

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And the other.

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And this special Christmas plate that served up Scottish Shortbread.

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The painted glass pitchers belonged to my grandmother who may have done the painting herself.

Or maybe she bought them at the Church Bazaar.

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My mom’s childhood desk lived with us when we were kids.  Later, BFF and I used it as the scoreboard for darts.

Now we use it as a message board in the dining room.

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Inside, you can see an antique wooden xylophone.  Both the desk and the xylophone may have been made by my grandfather.

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My grandfather did make this Tea Caddy hiding behind that Santa.

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Here’s a better view.

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Mom made this Santa.  Aunt Edie made Lulu for mom.  I played with her too.  Check out the rips and tears . . . Lulu was well loved.

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As most keepsakes are.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  A Family Heirloom (Grannymar)

Next Sunday, I’ll share some treasures and keepsakes from dad’s relatives in Vermont.

Giving Thanks To Promote Giving December 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Mindfulness, People.
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36 comments

devious-hobbesMy e-mail box has been FLOODED with four types of messages this past week:

* Black Friday Sales Flyers
* Cyber Monday Sales Flyers
* Thanks Giving Thanksgiving Missives from Non-Profits
* “Giving Tuesday” pleas . . . please!

Black Friday Sales have overflowed the banks of traditional brick and mortar storefronts to infiltrate automobile advertisements, performing arts centers, and even the Smithsonian Museum.  Most are dispatched without whetting my appetite to Buy More.

The same goes for most of the Cyber Monday Sales Flyers.

That’s the great thing about cyber trash . . . No Residue.

Most Thanks Giving Missives received on Thanksgiving seem designed with manipulation in mind.

The-Pink-PantherAlma maters, non-profits, restaurants, charities, and businesses give thanks for past giving (encouraging us to bask in the glow of their “sincere” appreciation for past support) before asking us (in almost the same cyber breath) to reach into our piggy banks, wallets, and IRA’s to provide them with continued support.

Maybe it’s just me being cynical, but I tend to question the sincerity of Thanks given with a plea for me to Give More.

Especially when it’s followed up with “Giving Tuesday” pleas to “please give!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  I Hate This Time of Year Rant (Crowing Crone Joss)

No Mailing Lists! December 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Home & Garden, Humor, People.
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36 comments

devious-hobbesThe moment we stepped into the Sarasota Home and Garden Show, a travel company minion accosted us.

The spokesperson shoved an entry form and a pen into my hand.

“Fill this out for a chance to win a Lowe’s Gift Card.”

Donald-Duck-BaseballI glanced at the form and saw blanks for name, address, phone number, e-mail, birth date, income bracket, children, pets, requested last meal, etc.

I started to hand the form back.  Blank.

He pointed to signs all over the table:

NO MAILING LISTS.

I looked back at the form wondering why they wanted so much information if they didn’t plan to use it.

Evil QueenNoting my reticence, he said all they needed was my name, address, phone number, birth date, and signed consent so they could call me when we won.

I glanced down at the signed consent portion of the form and started reading.

He interrupted my endeavor to “interpret” the language for me.

The-Pink-PantherQuestions swirled through my mind:  Why would a travel company give away a Lowe’s Gift Card?

Why did they need so much information just to contact the winner?

Why was I still standing here talking to Barker Bob?

I placed the blank entry form and pen on the table and turned away, ignoring their continued pleas for me to Enter & Win.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Someone asked about the falling snow.  To activate on your WordPress blog:

Dashboard ~> Settings ~> General . . . scroll down and click the box that says “Show falling snow on my blog until January 4th.”

Madira Bickel Archeological Site November 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Nature, People.
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33 comments

After admiring the Love Ladder at the Arts & Crafts Show, we continued exploring Terra Ceia Island with a stop at the Madira Bickel Archeological Site.

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Indigenous occupation of the site dates back 2,000 years.

The picnic table is of more recent vintage.

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The site is not named for the Native Americans who lived there.

It’s named for Madira Bickel who purchased the land and donated it to the state in 1948.

Money talks.

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Signs do provide some history about Native American Life for visitors.

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The park added shell stairways for easy access to the top of the mound.

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Crowning the mound, trees stand tall, decked in garlands of Spanish Moss.

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The moss, an epiphyte or “air plant,” absorbs water and nutrients (especially calcium) from ambient air and rainfall.

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Since we are not able to absorb nutrients from air, we decided our next stop should be LUNCH.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Thanksgiving Grace November 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Humor, People.
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36 comments

200px-March-hareLord, as you know
We’ve been trying of late
To stick to our diets
To lose some weight

On this day of Thanksgiving
Please turn a blind eye
As we inhale stuffing
And two slices of pie

We promise if you
Will look the other way
We’ll resume our diets
On Black Friday!

Aah . . . men!

For those of you in the States, may your Thanksgiving be full of grace.
Eat, drink, and be merry . . . for tomorrow we die-t!

Gobble.  Gobble.

Related post:  But I Don’t WANNA Be An Onion!

A Real Straight Shooter November 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, People.
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22 comments

Lumpus-MooseMy grandfather was a straight shooter (unless his sights needed adjusting).  And he always learned from past mistakes (unless he didn’t).

* 11/24/57 ~ “Deer Hunting is over ~ so this is a report on the season:

On Nov. 17, I discovered the rear sight was loose ~ I should have felt of it before but I just thought I was off on my shooting ~ it could have thrown the bullet off several feet.  This explained why the first two buck did not run.  It wasn’t even close enough to scare them.  I went to Spencer’s and got the sights adjusted. Since then I have seen several deer but no buck. Now the season is over.  I might say in passing, I hope someone kicks me if I ever start out hunting again without trying out the gun.  I have said this before.

It was nice being in the great open places and looking at what was over the next ridge. I enjoyed it. I didn’t cough at all, all the season. Couldn’t. It might scare the game.  I got 7 parcels mailed out to service men overseas. Well I must stop. Sorry to have been so slow in writing.  Deer business!

During hunting season, deer became priority #1:

* 10/24/57 ~ “In case you are tied up next week end, we might be able to try it the next after that altho deer hunting starts Nov. 9, on Saturday.  Probably I would hate to leave that.”

* 11/6/58 ~ “I just tried out my rifle and found it shoots all right this year.  The sights are tight.  I plan to go on my hill Saturday early.  I will defer coming down [to see you] till after I get a deer!” 

* 11/28/59 ~  “Leon and I went up on my hill.  There was snow and we were able to chase 5 deer around.  I saw them twice but was unable to see horns.  In all I have seen 21 deer this season but nothing to shoot at.”

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Of course, as soon as deer season ended:

* 12/15/59 ~ “Last week Friday as I came home, I hit a deer.  I have seen the insurance company in Montpelier and have their OK on getting it fixed.  It will cost $348.  I believe I have to pay $50 of it.

However, I won’t kick too bad. It gives me a new radiator, grill, hood, right fender, horn, etc. “

Years later, he continued to chase deer around, sense of humor intact:

* 11/24/66 ~ “About Deer! It’s still running. The nearest I have come was Tuesday. I went up to the site of the Densmore School and saw something that looked like a deer. It was quite a distance away. I convinced myself it was a sumac stub. Just then a white tail flopped up and disappeared. Oh Dear!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Why You May Never See Me Cry November 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
52 comments

I do not like crying in front of other people . . .

It’s not because I’m afraid of what THEY might think of me.

It’s because I don’t want to have to deal with THEM and THEIR reaction to my tears.

I just want to cry in peace.  To be alone with my sadness.

I do not like crying in front of other people . . .

It’s not because I’m afraid to reveal the real me.

NOT crying in front of them is the REAL ME being the REAL ME.

It’s part of who I am at the core.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“When someone is crying, of course, the noble thing to do is to comfort them. But if someone is trying to hide their tears, it may also be noble to pretend you do not notice them.” ~ Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” ~ Carl Sandburg

The Danger of Handshakes October 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Lessons, People.
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28 comments

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3A few years ago, at the Suncoast Lifestyle Expo, we met Dr. Z who invited us to his office for a FREE consultation, chiropractic exam, and massage.

We accepted the invitation, went to his office, listened to his dog and pony show, and agreed to return in two days with the completed new patient paperwork for our FREE adjustment.

After considerable debate and two days sitting on the fence, we completed the paperwork and returned for the rest of the FREE consultation.

We spoke with Dr. Z and the woman responsible for billing about the cost of future adjustments and treatments and decided not to schedule further visits.

At check out, we paid for a reusable ice pack.

Two months later, out of the blue, we received a $257 bill for BFF’s FREE consultation and exam.

I called the office and Maria agreed that there had been a mix up.  She promised to clear BFF’s account.  I had her check my account too . . . sure enough, a bill was on its way.

A few days later, I called Maria back to make sure that the accounts had been cleared.  She said, “we’re “working on it.”

The-Pink-PantherIn due course, the accounts were cleared.

It’s good to trust others, but handshake agreements can be problematic.  Memories fade.  Mistakes are made.

Next time . . . I’ll get in IN WRITING!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Flying Squirrels & Other Silly Bits October 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, People.
Tags: , , ,
31 comments

Beyond politics, gardening, and newsy tidbits, my grandfather’s letters are sprinkled with flying squirrels, dueling mosquitoes, and other silly bits:

1957

2/24 ~ Hartland: busy week, including a trip to Middlebury for the Mid Winter Legion meeting, banquet, and dance.  “After the orchestra left for home a group of 25 or so got around a piano and sang old songs.  I got away with it in the crowd.”

6/13 ~ Montpelier: “Last evening as I prepared for bed I discovered I had a noise in the closet. (It wasn’t a skeleton).  I suspected the half-witted woman from the third floor at first as she some times wanders in on people. I got a flash light.  Inspection showed a flying squirrel sitting on the pillow stored on end of the closet.  I got the dust mop and tapped him over the left ear.  I then laid him out on the porch roof till I could embalm him.  This morning I completed the rites.”

9/12 ~ Family politics.  “Margaret is getting so she TV’s till 11 o’clock.  And after all she said against it!  Wow!”  [First documented example of transforming a noun (“TV”) into a verb.]

1958

2/17 ~ Deland, FL.  For his birthday, he decided to visit with an old girl friend, Thelma Lovell.  “Last Saturday I dressed with unusual care and prevailed on Margaret that we should look Thelma up.  Margaret was a bit sour but she went.  Now it is the party at Merrills.  The mad social whirl!”

11/28 ~ Hartland: “With respect to the Church Drive, I am drifting along and letting the sand sift and settle as it may.  We have churches which through discord and disagreement are being allowed to rot while a frantic minority campaigns to build more, which as far as I know may also rot.”

1959

2/5 ~ Montpelier: “I have been giving some thought to a gift for Feb. 14. I feel that you might like another tool for the shop or cigars if you still use them. Since you can buy something you would like, please do. Oh, Richard, part of the gift you buy is from Margaret. Like if you get a hammer, the handle is from Margaret.”

Margaret & Walter at my parents' wedding, 1955

Margaret & Walter at my parents’ wedding, 1955

1960

8/26 ~ Hartland:  “I had an exhibit at the Hartland Fair.  Do you remember the “Swimming Hole” black and white over the desk?  Emerline Webster wanted Arts & Crafts exhibits and I entered that.  It got a 3rd prize.  I always thought I had a high degree of artistic taste!”

9/2 ~ “I have been watching Echo I [passive communications satellite] each night.  Last evening it was visible at 7.59 and 10.04.  I was able to find it both trips around.  Margaret went up back of the mill with me the last time.  It is just the time she wants to prowl anyway.  It is a nice morning.  The sun was up at seven, or before, when we first looked upon it.  The brook was peaceful and full to overflowing of the dam.  Only a wandering mosquito broke the slumber with its insistent buzzing.  I traced it to a window, open a mere bit, and battled with it.  I think I slew it.  Our Day had started. Margaret is cooking something by the sound from the kitchen.  I dare not enter.”

1961

2/25 ~ Hartland: “My day yesterday had it filled with snow flakes. That stuff most necessary for skis. It fell all day. This morning it is sunny. On the sordid side, I spent much of yesterday with a wooden shovel in my hand. There is plenty of snow for all. It is two feet above the window ledge at my desk. There is more to put . . . I don’t just know where. I had to start by clearing the porch roof. It had to be moved again to clear the path down to the shed door, gas bottles, and garage. Soon the entrenchment was too high to shoot out of breast high. The only entrance is the kitchen door.”

“We watched the space shot from the arm chair. It was on all day. We served coffee and something at noon, our eyes glazed but still glued to Cocoa Beach. Believe me, the arm chair is an exciting place these days. Alice in Wonderland had Margaret on the edge of her seat. I just spent an hour with the wooden hand tool. The pinnacle hangs higher in the sky. If the clouds hung low, I could see, dim, through the break in the mist, the snow tipped range, the stunted growth, the Mountain of the Moon, the Himalaya in the yard. I read the Geographic. And no fooling I like it. Marjorie read some of this over my shoulder. Said she, “They will think you are a goof.” In closing, I am alive. I have been seen returning to the coal bin after dark each night with a shovel.”

3/12 ~ Hartland:  “We had a mild February and early March but on the ninth 12 or 14 inches came down.  When I walked to the State House, the sidewalks were bare, the evening balmy.  I dashed down at seven in low shoes and no rubbers.  My head was bent in deep and concentrated thought.  I should have looked skyward but too busy ~ I went home in 3 inches of snow.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

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