Monday, November 30, 2009

End of an era.

I grew up in the military and we lived in base housing, which was nice, but never really ours. I was fifteen when my parents bought the house across the street from where I live now, and we moved for the first time into a home that was all ours. At the time my current house was occupied by an old man named Sylvan A. Wright. He was 75. Sometime after we moved in he had a household sale. He was getting remarried and was going to be moving to his new wife's house over on Wright Street. He was selling a beautiful 1917 Magnavox radio. You can see it here in this picture.

I have always loved old things and was begging my mother over and over to lend me one hundred dollars so I could buy this lovely piece. Mr. Wright heard me and surprised me by giving me the radio. Along with the radio he also gave me a dresser scarf (you can barely see it on the radio), his former wife's stethoscope (she was a nurse), and a lovely dresser set that also belonged to her. The dresser set consisted of a mirror, brush and small jewelry box. The jewelry box came with an assortment of odd little jewelry pieces. There was also a matching set of his that consisted of a cigarette case, a rectangular locket, tie clip and cuff links. These were engraved with his initials. I still have the locket, but someone stole the cigarette case and I'm not sure what happened to the clip and cuff links. I'm a very sentimental person and these things were very special to me and became even more special to me when I moved into this house, the house that used to be his.

Over the years I found a really nice antique dresser and I always displayed my three piece dresser set on vintage doilies on that dresser. Then came a time when it had to go in storage. When I got my stuff out of storage the brush and mirror were showing some damage. I thought they had been under something heavy or something. They went back on my dresser. Then when I moved to another smaller house, they had to go back in storage again. When I got them out the next time, they had even more damage than the first time. I was curious what was happening to them, but couldn't find any information. I had a computer, but things weren't like they are now where you can find almost anything on the internet. I was saddened to see them chipping away and made sure they were out of reach of any small children. One day I noticed the "chipping" had increased. I decided to wrap them and put them away. I would later find out that turned out to be a really good decision on my part.

Fast forward to the present.
I wanted to change some things around the other day and so I needed this little bookshelf that was in my closet. The brush and mirror had deteriorated again in the meantime and I had wrapped them in layers of tissue paper and they were in the closet at the back of the shelf, so when I pulled it out I had to remove them first. My friend wanted to know what the package was so I opened the wrapping and showed her the set. I almost cried at that point because the damage had greatly increased and the mirror was now showing mold and the back of the brush was bubbling. When I picked up the brush to show her the bristles it was sticky and left the stickiness on my hands. I became very determined to find out what was happening. The trouble was that I couldn't remember just what the material was called. I knew it was an art deco plastic, but didn't know the terms.
I put art deco plastic and whatever other terms came to mind into the search engine until I finally hit upon "celluloid" and "bakelite". Then I knew I was on to something and searched sites until I found pictures of sets like mine. I found a site highlighting a lady named Julie Robinson who wrote two books on the subject and studied it in school. She said on her site, "Contact me" and gave her email address. I immediately sent an email to her, outlining my experience and describing the damage I was seeing. When I got the email back from Julie, I actually sat down and cried.
I finally found the answers I was seeking but they were devastating. My lovely set had a terminal illness. There was nothing that could be done to save it. The jewelry box was still in very good condition, looking very much like it did the day I got it, but the brush and mirror were not going to survive. I realize now that it was a very good thing to put those two pieces away when I noticed the damage. I think that might be what saved the box from a similar fate.
I put the box on a cloth with the brush and mirror to take some last pictures of the set and then I did as Julie told me and washed it out with warm soapy water, dried it and then let it air dry completely before putting the velvet pad and jewelry back into it. I then had to say goodbye to my lovely set, the brush with natural hog bristles and the mirror. I was looking at them sitting there and I decided I had to save the glass. I put the pictures from that endeavor in another blog.
It is a lovely piece with beveled edges. I can either have it re-silvered or wash the silvering off and use it as a clear glass piece. Maybe I will throw it into a stained glass piece as the center. In fact I am leaning more and more toward that answer. I have some other pieces of very old glass and I think it would be neat to do a piece with all of them. I will have to work on a design.
In the meantime I will cherish the little box and all it's belongings and continue to love the fact that the stuff belonging to the first Mrs. Wright still lives in her home. I never knew her. I think she died quite some time before we ever moved here, but having her stuff "return home" always gave me some little sense of satisfaction. I know. I'm weird.

The whole set. Doesn't really look that bad in this picture.

Here you can really see the damage on the mirror.

Here if you look closely you can see the bubbling on the back
of the brush.

The little box.

The hog bristles.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Gilded Fish.

Here you have the Gilded Fish. When I wrote that up there in the title bar it sounded like a good title for a novel. Maybe I can build a novel around these and do NaNoWriMo next year. LOL.
I think this proves the fact that I am too sentimental for my own good. I was all set to just toss these to Goodwill or some other thrift store. They came in a bin of stuff from someone's house. I don't know the person. It was a free ad on Craigslist. I'm sure that it was a little old lady. Probably she died or was put in a rest home. I don't know. All this stuff was placed on the porch and there were several people there like me taking it away.
I was washing the stuff because I always wash stuff, even if I'm going to give it away or even throw it away. If it comes in my house it gets washed. I can't seem to help myself over that little OCD trait. While washing it I found that it had initials and a date. Someone obviously made it in ceramics class. I used to do ceramics myself and did the same thing with the initials and date.
This somehow personalized it for me and I found myself reluctant to "just give it away". I feel like I'm giving away that lady's life and memories. It's weird. I'll admit it. But I will hang these in my bathroom. Someday I will be an old lady that either dies or goes to a rest home. And someone will probably throw them out.

The pair.

Signed and dated.

The gilding is not really my style at all.

I think she has a nice smile.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I'm not having any luck today uploading photos for my blog.
I will try tomorrow.
This counts as a post, though.
So here it is.
A post.
For NaBloPoMo.
Here's to you!

I tried again. It said bad request.
Oh well.
You will have to wait another day to see the gilded fish.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Emergency Room

I decided to replace my planned blog with this blog due to the fact that I spent the night at the hospital with my sister because she broke her wrist in a fall at her job. I didn't get to bed until 8am and didn't want to do a blog where I really had to think and compose. So here is a nice little visit to the emergency room. I found some neat things to photograph while waiting around. So without further ado...

A Visit to the Emergency Room

First wrap.

Final wrap.

All done and all slung up. Waiting for discharge.

Handy new arm rest.

I love that he keeps his clamp handy hanging on the
outside of his shirt.

We were in 3B. They brought the x-ray machine right
to the room.

And, in no particular order, here are some of the things I found
to photograph.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I promised pictures of fish today. Gilded fish. The day got away from me. I had to take care of farms and a cafe. I had to do some word twists. I had to do a lot of nothing. I'm tired. I have to work later.
So you get this.
You'll survive.
It counts as a post.
I did one after midnight.
But I wasn't counting it.
So this is it.
I will take pictures tomorrow. I have the day off tomorrow and no turkey dinner to attend.
Done now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This is not really a post as concerns NaBloPoMo.
This post is informational.
Recently I have gotten some unsettling comments on an old post. (Surprise Guest, Sept.)
I have deleted them, only to find they came back. They are not even really comments, just links to a bunch of adult sites. I don't understand people. And why on that blog? Who knows? The weird part is that they are not even in English, but in Russian? or ?
At any rate, I do not want to delete the blog, so I have enabled comment moderation on posts older than 5 days on "World of Words". Since most of you who comment usually do so within a day or two it shouldn't affect most of you. If you want to comment on any blogs older than five days it will simply tell you that the comment has to be approved before it is posted.
This is not because of any comments I have gotten from friends and family and even strangers who have sincerely commented on my blogs.
It is just a step I am taking to try and circumvent the idiots who find fun in stupidity. Since all the spam has only gone to that one blog I am hoping it will lay it to rest. If not I will step up my security another notch.
Thanks for understanding.

What I did today. (because of yesterday).

My name is Sheila O.
I am a Craigslist addict.
Please help.

Yes. I admit it. There's just something about the free ads that I can't resist. I have gotten a lot of nice stuff by perusing those ads. I have also had to, at times, take stuff to get stuff. This could be dangerous, because I am already enough of a pack-rat without any help WHAT.SO.EVER.
One day I wanted a few cookbooks. I had to take six huge boxes of books and National Geographics in order to get the three books I wanted. I actually found a few more books in those boxes that I could use. There were three sets of encyclopedias. I did keep the oldest of those. (World Book. I then donated most of the books and some of the National Geographics to the thrift store and took the rest of the National Geographics to the recycling bin.

Yesterday I was talking on the phone to my daughter and she mentioned an ad. I had just seen it, too, and we decided to go get some of the stuff they had. We got there too late for her to get the cupboard full of canned goods and a couple of the other things we wanted, but I was able to get a few nice things, like an extremely rusty milk can. I'm ok with the rust. I will wire brush it down and then paint it cute. I was happy to get it because it reminds me of my grandmother. I also got three really nice fake plants.
Here they are after taking their shower.

There were two plastic bins I wanted for storage, but people were coming like flies to outdated yogurt, so I quit going through them and just took them how they were. I also took the hose reel, complete with hose, a garden stone, a planter, a nice fireplace screen for David and Nicole, an old wool rug that I want to use at the back door and a mirror.
My daughter got a really nice sewing cabinet complete with a machine and lots of accessories. She was very happy about that. She also got a nice ironing board and a couple of birdhouses.

So today I spent the day going through those two plastic bins, washing everything and then sorting it. I actually got some pretty nice stuff in those two bins. I didn't take pictures, but there are a couple of fish that I was going to throw away. They are the type that people used to put in their bathrooms in the seventies. I really was going to throw them away. Really. But then while washing them I noticed they were hand painted, probably in some ceramic class like I used to take and had initials and a date. 1964. They are white with gold (as in gold, not yellow) accents. Oh heck. I will take a picture and show you tomorrow. Why am I now keeping them? I don't know. Refer to one of the above paragraphs. I think it's because of that.
My name is Sheila O.
I am a pack-rat.
Please help.

The other thing I did today was rescue this piece of mirror

from this frame.

The explanation to that is another blog. I'm working on it.
It's kind of emotional to me, although forcing that mirror out in one piece was somewhat therapeutic even if my fingers are a little beat up from the acid. I will explain later. I can't do it tomorrow. I have to work. I will aim for Friday.
But trust me. I was determined to save this small piece of mirror.
I'm not crazy. Really.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peruna's Modern Webster Dictionary, Atlas and Hymn Book.

Here are a few of the reference books in my collection. Most of these are early 20th century, although "The Big Toast Book" is mid-century and the college handbook is from my college days which started in the 70's and ended in the 90's.

I found these two books together in a thrift store. They are very small, less than five inches high and jam packed with information. Pitfalls in English is very much what the title says. It's about the common little errors to avoid while writing or speaking the English language.
Everyday Sayings is a little history book about the common sayings of the time, for instance, "mind your p's and q's" which refers to pints and quarts being consumed at the tavern. I can cover them more in detail in another blog.

These are some of my dictionaries and encyclopedias from the early 20th century.
Also on this shelf is "The Big Toast Book". It is what it says and contains toasts for all occasions.

The Hodges/Harbrace College Handbook replaced the old Harcourt Brace or Harbrace handbooks that were considered to be the right arm of most writers. They were a must have item on any writers bookshelf, along with a good standard Webster's Dictionary and Roget's Thesaurus. None of my classes required this book, but I required it and still use it.

How can you not love this title? The book truly contains all three. I'm not at all sure WHY it contains all three, but it does. Inside the first pages are the Atlas, then some Hymn pages and then the dictionary. After the dictionary it continues with more Hymns and then some more Atlas pages. Odd combination, but overall a nice little book. When I can get someone to help me I will take a picture of the inside pages. They are brittle so I cannot do it alone. I love, love, love this book for its title alone.

I would have liked to go into more detail, but man....the blogs are just getting lame the last few days. My cafe is taking all my time. Starting a business isn't easy, you know.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm working on it.

I am working on a blog. Actually, I'm beginning to see it will have to be several related blogs. I'm going to check in my archives because maybe I already did one on one item that I'm planning on featuring. I planned on having the one ready today, but didn't think it out enough and should have taken the pictures for it in the daylight hours to avoid the glare that occurs when taking it under incandescent lighting.
This is what you get tonight. Pretty much nothing exciting. I'm hoping the next few will make up for this very lame blog.
Maybe I can redeem it with a few of the pictures I've taken over the last few days.
Here you go:

Hail on the trampoline.

Berries at night with flash.

Blue Spruce at night with flash.

Berries with leaves turning color.

Barbed wire on a fence post.

November is almost over. I have enjoyed posting again so much. Maybe I will do next month's themed NabloPoMo assignment.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh's 11:03

And I haven't written my blog, yet. How about another picture blog.
How about this cookbook?
Well, it probably doesn't really classify as a cookbook because it doesn't really have any recipes in it. Hmmm...Well, it does have recipes in it, but they were all added to it. They didn't come printed in it.
I thought it was a pretty clever idea. I can't even remember where in the heck I got it. It may have been given to me or I may have gotten it at a thrift store. I have no idea.
But here it is in all it's 1950's (or maybe 60's) glory. I love the color and illustrations because it definitely defines the era. Sorry about the shadowing on the pages. I couldn't find a way to take the pictures without a shadow and the flash washed the pages out. I should have taken them in daylight. Oh well. If you click on the pictures you will be able to see them bigger.

These pages are at the back. I love the fact that it has a place for you to put the date you tried the recipe.

This is one of the recipes that I keep in the pockets. I should transfer it to one of the pages but I enjoy looking at the handwriting.  It's one of my favorite things even though I personally don't care for pumpkin pie.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Singing in the Rain

It's not raining right now. I wish it was raining because at least when it's raining it's not so cold. Cold wouldn't normally be that much of a problem, but I don't have central heat anymore. I have those little oil filled radiators and one convection version. This is ok, but because it was warm I had them all on low. We came home to a house less than toasty. We cranked them all up and now it's getting toasty, but it's also warming up outside, so maybe it will rain some more. I like the rain. I want it to rain all winter. We had enough snow last year to last us until at least 2012. My snow meter is quite full and doesn't need a refill at this time. A lot of people are saying that it would be nice to have a white Christmas. I say bah humbug. I want a traditional, rainy, Northwest Christmas.  Lots of gray skies, mild temperatures and Christmas lights are just fine by me.
So anyway...
Here are two of my favorite "You-tube" videos. Back in the early days of myspace I used to love to play with my page. I would take a photograph from my own collection and use it as the background and then make everything on my page go with the "theme" I had chosen. One time I chose rain and went looking for rainy things to add to my page. In the process I found these and several other really good "Singing in the Rain" videos and put them all on my page. It was great. These are my favorite two of them all.

This other one cannot be embedded by request of the artist, so you will have to click to go look at it, but it is a very clever dance done to the "Singing in the Rain" theme that includes a live person and lots of trash that comes to life as his dancing partner. I super enjoyed it and I hope you will, too.

The Dance by Mint Royale

Friday, November 20, 2009

Coffee. An Addiction.

Another blog brought to you by bullets.

  • I seriously need coffee.
  • I also seriously hate this keyboard that somehow forces me to post my blog with only a title. A.N.N.O.Y.I.N.G.
  • I don't want to make coffee because I want my coffee in the morning to be fresh and not warmed up.
  • I don't want to go to McDonald's for coffee because it is too cold outside. (don't laugh at me all you Canadians who live in the land of the truly cold). Besides, I am too tired and I want to go to bed, not get in my car and drive.
  • I really don't like instant coffee, but will probably make a cup anyway. Whatever!
  • Did I mention I hate this keyboard?
So to make this a little bit better blog, here are some pictures I took while playing with my camera in my kitchen. While you're looking at those, I will go make myself a cup of the dreaded instant coffee.
Enjoy! (especially Chris).