Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Workbasket (Installment #12)

It recently occurred to me that I never did finish sharing my collection of vintage Workbasket magazines. It's time-consuming to choose and scan the "precious" little tid-bits from each issue, but oh-so-much-fun to share.

So let's see... looks like we're ready for September 1952.
Crocheted hats are kinda in right now. Just trying to visualize how that one would look made up with today's yarns. Yeah, I'm not seeing it. Maybe with a different flower? Eh. Maybe not.
"Need Money?" Of course you do. You know you do! "Everyone wants greeting cards, stationery and gifts." Whew! I'm so glad they finally came out with "the line that fills that need." So peer closely at the items in the stocking. Which of those do you need? In case you can't make out what each thing is, they are helpfully labeled and coded with a number. If it's got a number 5, though, you're on your own there. "Gift Items, Novelties" could be who-knows-what. But don't worry, this "line" includes "over 150 fast sellers" so it's not like you're going to be stuck with a bunch of junk. Right?
I like the cute little cartoon dudes on this ad, extolling the delightful benefits of these lovely nylon SOX. Or is it SOCKS? They can't seem to decide.
This is a crack-up!  First of all, they are giving away 10 sets of silverware as first-place prizes... and "over 25 second-place discount awards." Uh-huh. I bet the "over 25" number equals exactly however many people respond.

Secondly, the way you enter is to identify the flowers by filling in the missing letters. And if that's too hard they helpfully provide the answer for you! But be sure to write very neatly, in pencil. This is the funny part: "Easy Rule #2: Entries will be judged by an ordained minister the day the contest closes on following rules, correctness and spelling." So... apparently ordained ministers are experts on flower types and spelling. Who knew?
Here's a sweet Children's Coin Purse that "would be treasured by any little girl." The article assures us that "one can get pleasing results by using gold for the front; purple for the wing splotches; cerise for the back, handle and body; and green sequins on the wings." Now, they can't promise what your results will be if you use black and green, as pictured... nor do they tell us what color cerise is. I had to Google it to find out it is a "deep to vivid reddish pink." I know they didn't have Google back in 1952, but maybe housewives 60 years ago weren't as ignorant as me. (Be honest. Did you know what color cerise is? Okay, if you did know, don't tell me.)
 We "stout women" can take comfort knowing that "style counts more than size"...
 ...that is, until we see the tiny little waists in the styles for the "non-stout" ladies! *sigh*
 I have to remind myself: These are drawings! Most real women weren't built like that, not even back in the day. But aren't they such pretty drawings? I do love looking at them!
It is somewhat discouraging, though, to read this 60-year-old article on the "most common form of malnutrition in the United States" which states that "at least one-fifth of the population... is overweight." That's 20%. Just Googled the current trends. Today's statistic is "more than one-third" (35.7%). With easy access to just about any food we can think about year 'round, it sure seems to me that ought not to be. Something's gone haywire, for sure. Kinda interesting that they call obesity a form of "malnutrition," isn't it?

Well, that's it for this time. I hope to scan more Workbaskets soon.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska - review

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss is a great curl-up-by-the-fire winter read! It is actually two stories in one, with one being set in the present and the other in the 1920s, told through a box of old letters. I loved this format of storytelling and got caught up in both story-lines as they unfolded in a somewhat-but-not-quite parallel way.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Here's the publisher's synopsis:
Singer Ginny Marshall is one signature away from the recording contract of her dreams-a deal that would guarantee success for the former foster child, who still struggles to bury the memories of her painful childhood. But Ginny needs advice from the one person who will look out for her best interests-her former fiancé, Brett Miller. She travels to the remote town of Glacier Bay, Alaska, where the town's colorful characters and stunning scenery provide respite from LA's pressures. In Glacier Bay, Ginny discovers a box of old letters and is swept up in the love story between Clay, an early missionary to Alaska Territory, and Ellie, the woman who traveled there to be his children's governess. When Ginny is reunited with Brett in Glacier Bay, will she discover-as Ellie did-that healing and love are sometimes found in the most unexpected places?
Celebrate with Tricia and Ocieanna by entering their "Glacier Bay" Giveaway and RSVPing for their Facebook Party on Feb. 12th!


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A gorgeous handmade “Glacier Bay” bracelet
  • A handmade cowl in "Glacier Bay" blues and greens
  • A bottle of custom-made "Glacier Bay" sparkle polish in blue
  • Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss and their two other “Love Finds You” titles {Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana, and Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 11th. Winner will be announced at the "Glacier Bay" Author Chat Party on February 12th. Connect with authors Tricia and Ocieanna, get a sneak peek of their new book projects, try your hand at the Alaska trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be great giveaways—gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska, and join Tricia and Ocieanna on the evening of February 12th for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 12th!

The Flu

...will steal a week of your life.

Nasty stuff, that.

Glad to be back among the living.

No, Cookie didn't have the flu. I did. Just didn't care to share an actual "flu" picture! Not that there are any, you understand. She's a cute dog, though, isn't she?

Friday, January 18, 2013


After several days of freezing fog and "stagnant air" the sun has come out! It's still well below freezing so the hoarfrost on the trees glitters like jewels. Sunshine is rare in January, and very welcome!

I am, however, still fighting "the crud" so I didn't venture beyond sticking my head out the door to take pictures. Maybe we'll have a pretty sunset in an hour or so. I'll try to remember to keep an eye on the west windows.

From the rising of the sun
unto the going down of the same 
the Lord's name is to be praised. 
Psalm 113:3

Thursday, January 17, 2013


We were watching a movie last night when Becky came down to the family room quite alarmed. "There's a cop car with its lights out sitting in front of our house. It's got the street blocked off, and it's freakin' me out!"

Now, admittedly, she gets "freaked out" easily, but Lyle went to see what was going on. Our house sits on the corner so he looked out the back door to see the other street.

"Karla, come look!" he said. "The neighbor's garage is on fire!" Flames were shooting out the roof!

When the neighborhood is filled with fire trucks and emergency vehicles galore, all the 14-year-old boys (even those in their 40s) gather to watch. Doesn't matter that it's 19 degrees and dark outside!

And of course, Mama has to get her camera just in case she might want to blog about it.

Lyle came back in to put on proper shoes and a coat, then went back out to stroll around and see if he could find out what happened. Me? Once I got my pictures (taken from the back porch), I retreated back inside where it was warm.

Turns out the neighbor guy had been smoking some meat in his smoker inside the garage, and the fire got out of control. He tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, but to no avail. He hosts football parties in his garage nearly every weekend. I wonder what this bodes for his Super Bowl plans?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Frozen Fog

Laura took these amazing pictures in our yard this morning...
Frost crystals on her car antenna...
...and mirror...
...and on every little bare twig of every bush in our yard!

By the breath of God frost is given...
Job 37:10

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sufficient for the Day...

"...do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink..."

...or whether or not winter will ever be over...
...or when Becky will get over this virus that has been hanging on for a week now...
...or what if the rest of us catch it from her...
...or what to do about the washer on the blink, after just replacing the dryer last week...
...or where to turn for encouragement when the days are dark and cold...

"For your heavenly Father know that you need all these things. 
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about its own things. 
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Matthew 6:25, 32-34

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Special Find

Back in the 'nineties, when Victorian-style decor was popular, I subscribed to a crochet magazine that featured patterns for doilies and other similar lacy things. (And just so we're clear, I do mean the 1990s... because I guess Victorian decor was popular the first time around in the 1890s, wasn't it?) I still enjoy crocheting doilies and include a few in my home decor even now, though I don't have one draped over the back of every chair and every other available surface.

One issue of the magazine, in the fall of 1995, featured these beautiful lace parasols. I wanted to try my hand at making one so bad, but alas, I had no parasol frame.
The magazine gave this not-so-helpful advice:
"One of our readers was rummaging in her attic and came across a couple of old umbrellas. The fabric had practically disintegrated but the frames were still in excellent condition. At this point, she had an ingenious idea. She removed the failed fabric and replaced it with a crocheted pattern. Result: several stunning new parasols. How about that?"
Isn't that lovely for her? I directly went and rummaged in my attic, too, but unearthed no old umbrellas, disintegrated or otherwise. Reading further:
"Actually, the problem here is twofold. First, you have to find a suitable umbrella frame. This you can do by digging deep in your own closets (or attic, if you have one). By looking in dark corners of antique stores or visiting flea markets. You could also spot your special find in store carrying Oriental objects. Chinese-style umbrellas often have wooden frames covered with easily removable painted oilcloth."
So... I've been stuck on Step 1 of The Problem for these 17 years. I've had several different attics and closets during that time. Dark corners of antique stores and flea markets have yielded nothing. (Though, admittedly, I haven't been looking all that hard.)

This past Saturday afternoon Laura and I decided to make the rounds of the thrift stores here in town, just to see what we could find. As we were parking in front of one of the stores, I noticed this "beauty" in the window. I immediately remembered my crochet pattern, so I was eager to examine it more closely.
It's covered in paper, not oilcloth, but yes, it would be easily removable, being already torn in a few places. And how 'bout that little square of yellow fabric in the middle? Very odd.

"That wouldn't keep you very dry," Laura mused.

"No," I explained, "it's for shade from the sun." And then I told her what I had in mind for it. Now that this kind of decor is out of vogue, I'm not sure what I would do with a lacy parasol, once I finished it. Come to think of it, I'm not sure what I thought I would do with it, back in the day. Hang it from the ceiling? I have no idea!

"Use it for a photography prop, of course," Laura suggested. She and her friends love to do portrait shoots of each other.

Great idea! But is it affordable? I didn't want to spend a whole lot on a project that I may or may not get around to ever finishing.

The price tag was a modest 99 cents! And then when I got up to check out, the special for the day was 75% off, so I got "my special find" for a quarter. How about that?
So I'm ready to take on the Step 2 of The Problem:
"And now we come to the second half of the problem. Unless you get very lucky, chances are your frame will not match the frame in our patterns (the number and length of rods will probably not be the same). That may mean serious adjustment of the pattern. So a word of advice is in order: leave the parasols to the experts! If you are a beginner or improver, have a go at the fan for a nostalgic touch."
Having been crocheting avidly since I was about 12, I do consider myself an expert. Whether or not I'm up for this challenge remains to be seen. I'll keep you posted.

Which of the two parasols do you think I should attempt?

Friday, January 11, 2013


I have been receiving some gentle nudges that it's time to blog again. The thing is, in my mind, blogging should be story-telling. If I wanted to just talk about the weather or what we had for dinner, I could just tweet about that... or post it to Facebook... and be done. Blogging is more fun for me because I love stories!  And sometimes I just haven't got a story. So that's where Frag-Blogging comes in. You can blame Mrs. 4444 and Keetha! Somehow they've managed to convince me that it's okay to gather up a bunch of fragmented pieces of almost-stories, weave them together, and voila! Blog-worthy story!
And so, we've had snow. Well, duh. It's January. In Idaho. So, yeah. There ya go.

I have to admit, there's something magical about watching falling snow pile up. I am kinda enjoying the way it's been coming this year. We've had several snowstorms with thaws in between, which keeps the white stuff fresh and pretty.
Cookie likes to lie in the window and watch the snow... and keep an eye out for any interesting passersby. She loves in play in the snow when it's deep and fresh. She pounces around in it like a puppy, rather than the more sedate 7-year-old lady dog she usually is. It is very fun to watch her.
What's not so fun is driving in it, though the snow plows are pretty good about keeping the main roads cleared off. The snow was coming down pretty heavy on Monday morning as Becky and I headed back to co-op.

Speaking of co-op, since this is a fragmented post, this term I am helping with a class of little girls (1st to 3rd grade) who are learning to crochet. Let me rephrase that. They are "learning" to crochet. See the difference? They think they are learning. Mostly they sit and hold their balls of yarn and crochet hooks, and giggle. One-by-one, the other teacher and I put our arms around them to guide their little hands to hold the hook and manipulate the yarn in just the right way, while they watch intently. I don't think they've caught on much yet, but this was just the first class. It will be interesting to see what progress they make by the end of 8 weeks.

On to the next fragment... Tuesday evening we had a birthday dinner at Olive Garden.
Our family had received a gift card to Olive Garden for Christmas, so we decided to go there for Laura's birthday. We also invited her BFF to join us.
And while they are "grown up" young ladies, legally adults and all that... they mostly just sat and giggled. Wonder when they outgrow the giggle stage?

Anyway, it was a lovely dinner.

Other than that, we've mostly just kept the home-fires burning (figuratively, since we don't have a real fireplace)... fought a virus that's going around...
...and tried to stay warm!

Hope you're having a good January!
Mommy's Idea

Saturday, January 5, 2013

People Watching

Last Saturday afternoon Lyle and I had a little date at a coffee shop I had recently discovered and wanted to take him to. Coffee dates are perfect for the early dark evenings this time of year. We enjoyed relaxing on a cushy couch while we sipped our lattes, chatted, and played Words with Friends on our phones with each other. We also like to eavesdrop on other people's conversations. Can I admit that without seeming stalkerish?

On one side of us was a group of college-age kids discussing a worship service they were planning. In the seating area on the other side of us was a couple apparently on a date. Their conversation seemed to be of casual get-to-know-you topics and nervous chuckles. I couldn't see them from where I was sitting, but I was curious to know what they looked like. Without being too obvious (hopefully), I glanced over their way when I got up to go the restroom. Turns out they were a nice-looking, casually dressed 30-something couple. 

People watching and eavesdropping on strangers is just so interesting to me.
So this morning, we went out for breakfast. We tried a new-to-us place, a little cafe that a friend had recommended. It was several blocks from the coffee shop we went to last week.

Just as we were finishing our meal, I recognized a familiar face across the room. Where had I seen that guy before? Then I remembered: it was the guy at the coffee shop. I peered around Lyle to see if his lady friend was with him. Sure enough, she was! So they are still together a week later... and going out for breakfast.

I don't suppose I'll ever see them again to know how their romance turns out. 

I wonder how many people we cross paths with multiple times like that without ever noticing?

Then Sings My Soul: Book 3 - review

When it comes to worship style, I am very much a traditionalist. I love the old hymns (and newer ones as well) sung in parts with a piano. I like holding a hymnal so I can see the notes as well as the words.

I also enjoy knowing the stories behind the hymns, so I have enjoy Robert J. Morgan's Then Sings My Soul series. Featuring over 80 hymns, Book 3 includes the sheet music for each song, plus a short article telling something about the composer and how each hymn came to be written.

It also includes a section on The History of Hymnody. Here are a couple of quotes from the book that I especially appreciated:
"If we lose the hymns, we'll lose a priceless legacy; and we'll be the first generation of Christians to ever do so. Every other generation of believers has added its songs to the hymnal without discarding the contributions of earlier eras." 
"A good hymn combines prayer with praise, keen theology with vivid imagery, and the majesty of God with our daily needs."
I love having this book (and the others in the series) on the shelf with my Bible and devotional books. It's a great resource for family worship.

The New Recruit - review

The New Recruit is Book 1 in Jill Williamson's Mission League series about a spy organization made up of Christian teens who fight the supernatural. It's a little bit espionage, a little bit sci-fi, and a whole lot of excitement!

The main character is Spencer Garmond who is decidedly not a Christian. However, his Grandma is. And when Spencer gets into trouble at school Grandma makes him choose: go to military school or join the Mission League on a trip to Moscow, Russia. Part of what kept me turning the page was Spencer's reluctance to be part of the group. I appreciate the perspective of the non-Christian teen... and how Christians who are all wrapped up in our church culture can sometimes come across to those who aren't familiar with it.

The setting of post-Communism Russia was also very interesting to me, and provided lots of excitement... especially for Spencer, who just couldn't seem to stay out of trouble. Written for teens, The New Recruit is a suspenseful thriller with great life lessons skillfully woven throughout.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Marcher Lord Press in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Antique Buggy

Imagine, if you will, a young mommy in the late 1960s out for a walk with her baby. In your mind, what does that baby stroller look like? Maybe bright and plasticky, with shiny chrome metal bars and such? Yeah, me, too. (Go ahead. Google "baby stroller 1960s" and you'll see what I mean.)

Whatever you had pictured, it was probably not this, huh?
 Believe it or not, that picture was taken in 1966... and the dimpled little charmer? Yep, that's me!

You see, by nature and of necessity, my mother has always been quite frugal. When she needed a stroller for her firstborn baby, she and Dad went to the auction house to look for a bargain.

Alas, there were no strollers to be found. The only thing available was an antique wicker baby buggy circa 1925. Since it was forty years old and so shabby, they were able to get it for $10. Mother declared she liked it better than a stroller anyway, so they brought it home... and plopped me in it for many a happy walk.

I think I remember Mother telling how she used it to cart her wash from their apartment to the laundry room on the premises. She would set me in the back, and put the basket of clothes in the front.
 It was a very generous buggy. Plenty of room for two happy tots. In the picture above, aunt Rachel and I are considering how I should scoot over and make room for her.
See there? This arrangement works out nicely!
 Here I'm sharing with my twin cousins. The girl twin gets to ride in the buggy with me, while the boy twin demonstrates his strong muscles by "pushing" us. I wonder how far he managed to get us on the grassy surface. Looks like some wise adult had probably lifted the buggy over off the sidewalk to slow his progress. Runaway babies would not be good.
 And then, a year or so later, we had twins of our own! Girl twins. So Mommy pushed the baby sisters in the buggy while I pulled a wagon for the puppy to ride in. I wonder how far we got with that set-up? Looks to me like that puppy required a good deal of cuddling and not so much riding in the wagon.
 Not quite two years after that we got a baby brother, and he had his turn in the buggy. Some teens from our church came by to help with the little ones, and took us all for a walk. I remember we girls had strict instructions to hold on to the buggy and not let go.

Regrettably, I couldn't find a picture of my youngest brother in the buggy... because yes, the following year, there was still another baby. Probably we didn't have a camera, or maybe couldn't afford film for the camera, during his buggy-riding days.

After that, the buggy went into storage for many years.

And then, in the 1990s, my mother got it out again. By then it was too wobbly and delicate to be used in any practical way, but it made a perfect photo prop for those grandbabies!
My firstborn baby...
...and then my second one...

...followed by nine cousins over the next few years.

Mother finally relinquished the buggy to my care not too long ago. I am very happy to have it in my living room. We've had a "family" of porcelain dolls cuddled together in it for awhile. I think I'd like to put something different in it now. I'm not sure what, but I'll think of something.

So, for this week's Vintage Thingy Thursday, that's the story of the second half of the life of my antique wicker baby buggy. I'd be very curious to know the stories it could tell of the first half of its life, wouldn't you?