Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween to all!

With ghoulish greetings for the spookiest of evenings!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Old Fashioned Fun

On the day before Halloween, I find myself longing for the sweet innocence of childhood long ago, and good old fashioned fun like this Halloween party. It just looks like they're having a great time, doesn't it? No worries - just fun in the safety of a lovingly decorated home.
BOO!! (Scared 'ya, huh?)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Cats

Two of my very favorite vintage Halloween images. I found the postcard years ago; I liked the black cat, the spider web, the jack-o-lantern and the sentiment. I have it framed and sitting on my Halloween table. The other is an invitation that was sent to my mother-in-law in 1929. I found it in the original envelope, and I treasure it. I wish I had found more vintage Halloween cards!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Windy Nights

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

From A Child's Garden of Verses
Robert Louis Stevenson / Illustration by Alice and Martin Provensen

Just now as I type this , the wind is blowing consistently and the yellow, red, brown and green leaves are coming down - it literally appears to be raining leaves. I have always rather enjoyed the wind - the way it makes the leaves look like they're dancing, and even the howling through a chimney. But I'm also seeing it in a different light after experiencing Disneyland with the fierce Santa Ana winds last Sunday, the day the terrible fires began. It can be very frightening, as well.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Frank, Deb, and Me

I love this picture of my friend Debbie and me. It was taken in 1971 at the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park California. Just the two of us with the Frankenstein monster. I remember Debbie's Maxi dress - red calico with elasticized gathering at the midriff. I used to have a red and yellow calico Maxi dress, too - mine had a yellow background with red flowers. ( Hmmm.. I have a picture somewhere..) I got my black cotton peasant blouse on Olvera Street; it had a lacy collar all around made of black cotton crochet. My sister made the skirt for me, it was black polished cotton chintz with big bright cabbage roses and a wide waistband. You can't tell in the pic but my necklace choker had an Ankh symbol. And you can't see it in the photo, but I think she was wearing a Happy Face button. Were we cool, or what? On that same trip to So. Cal., we went to Disneyland, too. Great memories- and this picture comes out every year to be featured in my Halloween decorations. Yep, me and my wonderful and dear friend Debbie, just hangin' with Frank!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And A Smile Means Friendship

I was so happy to ride It's A Small World while at Disneyland - we had missed it last year, and were lucky enough to be there Sunday, the day before they closed to re-do it for the Small World Holiday overlay. It just looked so beautiful to me! So pretty, bright and colorful. I LOVE the little faces on the dolls, and the entire ride delights me. Unlike those who complain about having the song "stuck in their head all day", I enjoy every minute of it, and the song can stay right there, as long as it wants to. Such a happy, cute little song - thank you Richard and Robert Sherman!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

On My Way...

To see this beautiful castle, and the bridge and the swans and the Matterhorn!! We leave tomorrow - I can hardly wait! I found this pretty vintage Disneyland plate on Ebay, and I like that it doesn't say Disneyland on the front (although I also like the ones that do!). But this one is just so pretty in pastels with just a couple of the familiar landmark icons in the park. Wheeee! Disneyland, here I come!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pumpkin Moonshine

I have loved Tasha Tudor's artwork and stories ever since I can remember. When we were little, I remember Mother reading to us at bedtime from A Little Princess ( a chapter or less each night), and I loved the Tasha Tudor illustrations in the edition she got from the library. Years later, I started collecting Tasha's books - and also those by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and I'm glad I did - many are now way beyond my price range.
Pumpkin Moonshine is a particular favorite of mine - Sylvie Ann and her Grandpawp make one from the biggest pumpkin she can find. The text accompanying this page in the book reads:
"It was so very big Sylvie couldn't lift it. So instead she rolled it across the field, just the way you roll big snowballs in wintertime."
They finished him up in the evening and "put a lighted candle inside the pumpkin to make him look as fierce and horrid as all true Pumpkin Moonshines should."
Just one of Tasha's wonderful stories, and one of the sweetest little books ever!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Cat At Night

I just love the bright colors against the black background in this book by Dahlov Ipcar. ( The Cat at Night pub. 1969 by Scholastic.) I think he may be on his way to see The Great Pumpkin in the pumpkin patch! The colors made me think of the pictures we used to make where you colored all over with the crayons, and then covered it up and scratched off the top layer to reveal the colors underneath? You know what I'm talking about, right? It just reminded me of those, and it looked sort of Halloween-y to me!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Birthday Party

My birthday is next week, and I get to spend it at my Happiest Place - DISNEYLAND!! Yes, I'm excited.
The picture at the top is from one of my birthday parties circa 1960-something! Not sure which year, but I do remember my pink cotton dress with white eyelet trim! I'm the blonde, seated in the front row. One of my sisters is directly behind me, and second from right in the back is Marcia, one of my oldest and dearest friends. I think I even remember the names of all the other girls -if I'm right about them. But three of them are sisters, and dear old friends as well- so they're easy to remember! ( As usual, you can click on the image if you want to see it larger). The illustration is from A Little Golden Book "Happy Birthday".
I never really did completely grow up, and you know what? Some day, I wanna have me another real old fashioned birthday with sisters and girlfriends, and cake and ice cream. Unlike when I was little, I could care less whether presents are involved! But I don't think I've had a birthday cake for 11 years. I'm going to have one again someday even if I have to bake it myself. Please, some friends to help me eat it though, okay?

Monday, October 15, 2007


I found this little vintage brooch quite a few years ago. I loved it because it reminded me of the ones in Walt Disney's Fantasia. It was made by Elzac. I show it pictured with an adorable and appropriate Joan Walsh Anglund illustration from one of my favorite childhood books I mentioned in a previous post. I do collect vintage jewelry, but sometimes I'm afraid to wear it because I lost a very special vintage pin a few years ago- I haven't gotten over it yet. I couldn't bear to lose my pretty Pegasus!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Boo Hoo, indeed. It is sad when I think about the fact that it was on this date in 1977 that we lost the incredibly talented Bing Crosby. He was my absolute favorite, and I wish I could have seen him just once in person or in concert. I still love his voice, and I can watch his movies over and over again. In fact, White Christmas is probably my favorite movie of all time. It simply isn't Christmas without my Bing music, either. I am grateful that his tuneful legacy as a fabulous entertainer will live on forever, and I am glad that I can "see" and/or hear him anytime I want.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

"An the Goblins 'll Git You"

I found this old postcard in an antique shop, and with it's orange and black color, it made me think of Halloween, and reminded me of the James Whitcomb Riley poem Little Orphant Annie. Mind you, I'm writing this excerpt exactly as it is written and punctuated in the book I have (The Big Golden Book of Poetry pub. 1964):
"An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done, We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about, An' the Gobble-uns 'at git you ef you don't watch out!"
I put the card into a black frame, and added Susan Branch stickers to the outside, and now it serves as a Halloween decoration.
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
ef you

Friday, October 12, 2007

Soup Weather

It's overcast and kind of windy today. Day before yesterday it was raining. Yup, soup weather! My husband and I both really enjoy having soup for lunch or dinner. I love homemade soup, but I must admit that I don't make it nearly as often as I could/should. But - there are so many canned soups that are SO good! Our pantry is always stocked with lots of soup, and not only Campbell's, but Progresso, too and even Knorr mixes. I love the old Campbell's Soup ad from 1930 shown in the photo. Can't say I've seen any Mock Turtle, Mulligatawny, or Mutton soup on the shelf lately! Nor any Ox Tail, Pepper Pot or Printanier (huh?). I think you can click on the pic to see it larger if you want. Nowadays, I mostly use the condensed versions in casseroles and the like - the Chunky and Classic ready to eat ones are our favorites. In 1930, they say there were 21 soups from Campbell's. Today? I have no idea, but I know it's a lot! Boggles the mind just remembering all the choices! Happy Soup Weather! Warm up with some today!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer'
Fires in the fall!

Robert Louis Stevenson, (from A Child's Garden of Verses)
Illustration by Alice and Martin Provensen

Now, they make raking and burning autumn leaves look like a lot of fun, don't they?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some of My Favorite Books

These are just a few of my favorite childhood books. From left to right in the picture:
I found this one in a shop or someplace, and I recognized it, so I think we must have had it growing up. A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, and illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. I love their unique illustrations. I'm going to share a couple in upcoming posts.
Heidi - this one was given to me by my Grandma Mom ( that's what we called our dad's mother - and his father was Pop) when I was little. I've treasured it since I was a little girl, it's got my name on it, and is inscribed inside from my grandmother. VERY special to me.
The Big Golden Book of Poetry, illustrated by Gertrude Elliott. This was given to me on my eighth birthday by dear family friends the Headley girls. Another special one!
The Golden Treasury of Poetry, selected by Louis Untermeyer, and illustrated by Joan Walsh Anglund. We grew up with this book, and when I found this copy (at a library sale, maybe?), I was thrilled. A lot of childhood favorites in this one, too.
Between my husband and myself, we have so many books, they threaten to take over the entire house. I say, let them!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

We Love You Daddy

Our beloved Daddy died 30 years ago today. He was only 53 years old. He was truly a wonderful man, and a wonderful father. I honestly don't think there was anyone who knew him who didn't like him. He had a great sense of humor and he worked really hard. And- he knew how to do virtually everything. He was a draftsman, a carpenter, an auto mechanic, a gardener, an electrician, a plumber, a great cook, a woodworking craftsman, a 4-H leader - and I'm sure I'm forgetting many other things! He added on to our house, and he put together a Volkswagen or two from parts. He was funny and nice and he and Mother instilled a great work ethic into their three daughters. I never got to tell him enough how much I appreciated him and everything he did for us. I did get to tell him I loved him. We all did, and we will never forget him.
We will miss him forever. And ever.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Lee National Denim Day

Today, October 5th, is Lee National Denim Day. You can easily donate $5 or more by going to This is one of the largest single-day fund raisers for breast cancer. Lee has partnered with the Women's Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. I made a donation in memory of our mother. It was quick and easy! So, slip into your comfy Lee denim, and donate to this cause if you can!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

More Ransburg and Mary Engelbreit

Just another picture of some more Ransburg canisters. These big ones hold flour, sugar, and baking sugar- yeah - for if/when I bake something! A picture of my Dizzy Kitty when he was little bitty (9 years ago!) in a Mary Engelbreit frame, a teapot ornament, a yellow pitcher on the left behind a cute hand-painted black creamer ( I collect creamers and pitchers, too), and then on the right is one of my favorite Disney musical snow globes. This one has Ann Estelle or Mary in mouse ears serving tea to Mickey and Minnie. I mean, are you kidding me? Disney and Mary Engelbreit together?! It doesn't get much better than that!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Hand of Mary Constable

For years, I wanted to find this book by Paul Gallico. I finally found it on Ebay, if I remember correctly. In 1969, there was an ABC Movie of The Week based on this story. The title of the movie was Daughter Of The Mind. It starred Ray Milland, Don Murray, Gene Tierney and Pamelyn Ferdin. I LOVED that movie- I can't really explain why (luckily I don't have to!), but I just did. I always remembered the title of the book is was based on. And I don't think I even knew at the time that Paul Gallico also wrote Thomasina - another movie I loved. Well, this led to collecting his books years later - and they are many! The Silent Miaow, The Poseidon Adventure, The Snow Goose, the Mrs.'Arris series (one of which was made in to a movie starring Angela Lansbury, whom I ADORE!), and many others. So -just felt like sharing that. And you may add Gallico books to my list of collections!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Autumn And Apple Pie

Still thinking about baking. Can't help it! I want to go to Apple Hill in Camino or, closer to home, Covers Apple Ranch in Tuolumne, and get some apples and bring them home and make an apple pie or an apple cake or apple cheese dessert. One of our favorite pies growing up was Frosted Apple-Raisin Pie from the Farm Journal cookbook. In fact,I sometimes requested it instead of cake for my birthday! I proudly recall that at the 4-H Pie Socials,our mother's pies brought the highest auction price! And I remember making Apple Cheese Dessert, and that Daddy really liked it. (It has to have less calories than a pie, right? because it has no crust); there is cheddar cheese mixed in to the crumbly topping.
But, I've got my own little version of "If you build it , they will come" goin' on, see - it's "If you bake it, you will eat it".
Story of my life.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Have You Had Your Mammogram?

Okay - so it's October now! And Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here. Shirley Temple Black is a breast cancer survivor, you know. Our mother was not as lucky, she lost her battle with the disease 10 years ago.Do you see her in the pictures? Adorable when she was a little girl, a contemporary of Shirley's, and beautiful in the other photo as a young woman.
My annual mammogram is next week. Please don't forget to have your exam and/or mammogram this year. There does not have to be a history in your family. Everybody knows that, right? It's true.
Please remember.