Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Round Up

How many of us will pick up a book simply because the book cover caught our attention? I think a lot of us can respond with resounding, I do, to that question. Covers is a site where people can comment on what works and what doesn't work with book cover design.

Though cute as can be, the whole Hello Kitty empire has escaped me. I felt the same way about Beanie Babies. That being said I absolutely love this totem pole.

The American Woman's Dime Novel Project grew out of Felicia Carr's research for her dissertation"All For Love: Gender and Class and the Woman's Dime Novel in Nineteenth-Century America" which examines the genre of women's dime novel writing and its role in changing gender and class formations. I can't believe I have never heard of the majority of these authors. Very interesting site.

While perusing the web looking for librariana, specifically library postcards to add to my collection, I came across Postcards from Provence. The creator of this lovely site posts an image of a small oil painting mostly daily of his adopted home in Provence.

The Sun Maid Raisin box will be getting a digital facelift. The real Sun Maid was Lorraine Collete, who worked for the company and posed for the box image in 1916. Through the years the box has gone through some small updates, but nothing major. The new digimodel will still have the same red bonnet and long hair. I don't know, but she seems a bit creepy to me. Check her out.

Have a nice weekend.

"There is a vast world of work out there in this country, where at least 111 million people are employed in this country alone--many of whom are bored out of their minds. All day long. Not for nothing is their motto TGIF -- 'Thank God It's Friday.' They live for the weekends, when they can go do what they really want to do."
-Richard Nelson Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute?, 1970

Thursday, April 27, 2006

China, Cutlery and Pretty Dice

Just to torture myself I venture over to the Fishs Eddy website at least once a week. There are very few items that I don't covet. From their wonderful retro glasses to their airline flatware-I love it all. I thought I would venture around the web and see if I could find similar sites.

Well, I may have to give equal coveting time to Posh. From their Eiffel dinner plates and mugs, cherries from France dessert plates, Camp Fire Girl mug,and their flea market finds. Check out these cool Vintage Swiss Wool Blankets. I could go on and on and on.

Except for the occasional board game I don't have a lot of use for dice in my life. Okay, so those occasional times when I shoot craps out on the Mall. (just joking). This is the first time that I have ever seen decorative dice. (via Just What I Wanted)

"Hey diddle diddle,
the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday Round Up


Even flowers that don't exactly wow me, fascinate me. A. and I have been buying flowers and bushes for our yard and the multitude of plants available is astounding. You can literally drive yourself crazy trying to decide. My favorite flower has always been peonies, and roses come a very close second. I have never been a huge fan of any variation of lilies, except for possibly tiger lilies. Until I saw these Casablanca Lilies. Absolutely took my breath away.

I was just in the drug store and the man in front of me had 1 item-a box of the antihistamine Claritin-D. Now the line was very long, only one cashier for the early morning rush. The cashier whips out this notebook and tells the man that he will need to sign his name and write down his address. The 3 guys that were behind me starting talking about this. One of them said he was a school teacher and he indicated that kids buy Claritin and sell it, etc. Good grief. When I was a kid the last thing I would have been doing with my allowance was spending it on drugs. Make-up, earrings, the latest copy of Tiger Beat, paperback Jane Austen novels, that's what I was spending my money on. I actually take Claritin, but very rarely. Antihistamines help with my allergies, but they also increase my appetite. So buckets of water have to pour from my eyes and a whole sneezing session needs to occur before I will take anything anymore.

The little high school that I attended did not offer very many electives. I hope that has changed. Home Ec and Wood Shop were about it. I took a year of Home Ec, the sewing portion, and thought they must be kidding. 2 of my friends and myself lobbied to take Wood Shop and we were the first females in the history of the school to ever take shop. I enjoyed using the jigsaw, much more than the sewing machine. The first year of the sewing class I made an apron. I have always liked aprons so that didn't bother me so much. We were supposed to give these to our mothers for Mother's Day. Mine did not turn out too badly and I haven't asked my Mom if she still has it, but she probably does. If you like aprons take a look at Apron Chronicles. It's wonderful and I got choked up reading some of the oral histories and looking at the wonderful aprons. If you are in the market for some new, very glam aprons check out KitschnGlam.

I can remember my grandparents claw foot tub like it was yesterday. I always felt like I was on my own little private island when I was taking a bath in it. Alas, I don't have a clawfoot tub now, but often pretend that I do. For you lucky folks that do have these lovelies clawfoot supply probably has all of the accesseries and other accoutrements you could ever desire.

Have a nice weekend.

"Long time ago, people weren't dressed until they put on an apron. When my mother passed, she was wearing an apron". Ada Florence Ashford from Apron Chronicles.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday Round Up

On the way to work this morning I heard George Benson's Breezin'. Oh, does this take me back. It so reminds me of riding around with Mon on beautiful days with the radio blaring and some nice beverages to drink. Mon, if you are reading this, there aren't too many days that go by when I don't think of you and all of the fun we had so long ago. There's always a song on the radio, your beloved tiger lilies, or something or someone that reminds me of you. You and Gran, my two kindred spirits.

As wonderful as I feel online library catalogs are, I still miss the look and feel of the old card catalogs. You know those wonderful wooded boxes with all of the cool drawers and all of those wonderful informational cards. If are artistic and have a love for nostalgia you might want to participate in Cartalog.

Cartalog is a wonderful idea that comes from the staff at the University of Iowa Libraries. They retired their card catalog in 2004 and have come up with a wonderful idea to give the actual cards a rebirth. I spent a long time in the gallery and it is amazing how creative people are.

I don't have a recollection of studying much Greek or Roman history when I was in school. I know a few of the main players from those times, but I am totally stymied by others. Not any more. I can just go to the handy-dandy Who Was Who in Roman Times site and look up folks like Crassus, who died in a particuarly terrible way and Numa Pompilius. My one complaint about this site would be that they might have used a little bigger font for their text.

I have always been fascinated with accents. I am annoyed by some American accents and so as not to insult anyone I wont' say what accents they are, but I think it's so interesting that you can be from two different parts of the same state and say the same word differently. The Speech Accent Archive uniformly presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. The archive is used by people who wish to compare and analyze the accents of different English speakers. You will need the Quicktime plug-in to listen. Hours and hours of fun.

For those of you who observe Easter or Passover have a nice holiday.

Instead of a quote or poem I thought I would leave you with a little visual poetry.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Never Knew This

I'm not much of a bread eater, but I came across this tidbit and just had to share. I've purchased bread numerous times for A. and when I used to do the grocery shopping when I was a teenager, but I never noticed this-I can't wait to get to the store to check this out.

When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you "squeeze" for freshness or softness Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day has a different color twist tie. They are: Monday = Blue, Tuesday = Green, Thursday = Red Friday = White and Saturday = Yellow. So if today was Thursday, you would want red twist tie; not white which is Fridays (almost a week old)! The colors go alphabetically by color Blue- Green - Red - White - Yellow, Monday through Saturday. Very easy to remember I thought this was interesting. I looked in the grocery store and the bread wrappers DO have different twist ties, and even the ones with the plastic clips have different colors. You learn something new everyday! Enjoy fresh bread when you buy bread with the right color on the day you are shopping

I found the above totally by accident on Mary Jane's Farm website.


“Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for". -Lawrence Block

Monday, April 10, 2006


Sorry folks for the lack of last week's Friday Round Up. I was called away on Friday and was without technology.

I was going through some old magazines over the weekend trying to figure out what ones to keep and what ones to donate to the thrift store. I found the following, which is taken from the book Talk to the Hand: Talk to the Hand:The Utter Blood Rudeness of Everyday Life (or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door) by Lynne Truss. The same Lynne Truss that wrote Eats Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

"Manners are about showing consideration and using empathy. But they are also about being connected to a common good; they are about being better. Respect and consideration are traditionally due to people for all sorts of reasons, some big, some small. Here are 20 reasons to show special politeness to other people:

1. They are older
2. They know more than you do.
3. They know less than you do.
4. They got here first.
5. They have educational qualifications in the subject under discussion.
6. You are in their house.
7. They once helped you financially.
8. They have been good to you all your life.
9. They are less fortunate than you.
10. They have achieved special status in the world.
11. You are serving them in a shop.
12. They are in the right.
13. They are your boss.
14. They work for you.
15. They are a policeman/teacher/doctor/judge.
16. They are in need.
17. They are doing you a favor.
18. They paid for the tickets.
19. You phoned them, not the other way around.
20. They have a menial job. "

Now I have a few problems with some of these, but I think the jest of the list is people should be polite to each other just because we are all human beings. I see so much rudeness, and not just from the youngsters out here. I think it's sad that I am so surprised and pleased when people are polite, and do display even the most rudimentary manners.

"Don't reserve your best behavior for special occasions. You can't have two sets of manners, two social codes - one for those you admire and want to impress, another for those whom you consider unimportant. You must be the same to all people".
-Lillian Eichler Watson

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sister Cities

Whenever I would hear the term "sister cities" I would often wonder how two incredibly distinct places, separated by thousands of miles, became "sisters".

I did some investigating and found that there is an organization that is in charge of these "hook-ups".

Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities. Located in Washington, DC Sister Cities International is the official international membership organization that links communities around the world. This program was started in 1956 by President Eisenhower. He proposed a "people-to-people, citizen diplomacy initiative". Sister Cities International was originally part of the National League of Cities, but became a separate entity in 1967.

The Sister Cities site has an online directory. I clicked on my home state of Pennsylvania and found that Pittsburgh alone has 14 sister cities. You need to be a member to access information on each individual city, but it's a lot of fun to see the listings for each state. The site also contains a very informative FAQ stating how the different cities are picked, etc.

In the morning the city
Spreads its wings
Making a song
In stone that sings.

In the evening the city
Goes to bed
Hanging lights
About its head.

- - - Langston Hughes