Saturday, September 13, 2014

This and that

I have spent today so far on the computer.  Started at 8 am and it is now almost 2 pm.  Tim wanted a Facebook icon for his email signature.  I had already done this a few months ago but his computer went haywire and I had to take it back to factory settings.  I remember it had taken me some time to figure out how to get the icon with the link to his Facebook page.  I was going back and forth from his computer to mine since I was looking at YouTube videos for instructions on mine.  I may spend a lot of time on the computer but I’m also the person who couldn’t figure out how to get 12:00 to stop blinking on the dvd player.  Today I had to do it all over again.  And, I couldn’t remember how I did it.  So, once again I was searching YouTube videos for instructions.  Actually it didn’t take me as long as the first time but then I decided to add icons for our SkyMed pages for my email signature.  Tim saw mine and he wanted the same for his email.  I would send a test email from his computer to me to see if the icons with the links would work.  I’d then roll the office chair back to my computer to read the email on my computer.  Drat!  Didn’t work.  Where did it go?  Back and forth, back and forth.  He has three different email accounts and they were driving me crazy.  Back to YouTube.  Duh.  Forgot that step.  He’s on his own the next time.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Rain Barrels and Trinity Library

My rain barrels are not scheduled for delivery until tomorrow.  After the rain. My timing in ordering them turned out to be lousy.  One might think that a rain barrel in Phoenix is an oxymoron.  Not this year.  Oh well, I’ll be ready for next year.

Back to books or rather libraries. I loved my hometown library but the library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland is one not to miss if you find yourself in Dublin. We’ve been there twice and still don’t feel like I’ve seen it all.  There is so much history on display to read not to mention The Book of Kells. I’ve included links at the bottom on both the library and The Book of Kells. The “Long Room” as it is known looks like something straight out of Harry Potter.  The library was built between 1712-1732.  Below is a picture taken in 2013 and the other one is a painting of how it looked in the 18th century.  Where did all the books come from?  What’s the oldest book?  What secrets does the library hold? 

Trinity College LibraryJames_Malton_Trinity_College_Library_Dublin

Saturday, September 06, 2014

My Grandmother’s Autobiography

My paternal grandmother wrote her autobiography in 1972.  The title is “From Death Into Life”.  I came across her manuscript a couple of years ago.  Her autobiography is a mixture of her life story and her testimony of her belief in God.  I had forgotten she had a glass eye.  Didn’t know what had happened until I read how at two years old she was climbing on some old lumber piles and as a result of a fall a rusty nail pierced her eyeball.  She lived on a farm and the family didn’t have any money for an eye specialist so they treated it with “home remedies and put poultices of various kinds on my eye.” 

I found out all sort of things in reading her manuscript. My grandmother was the youngest of 17 children.  Her mother’s sister had 18 children.  Her education, according to her, was a hit and miss.  Kids would make fun of her eye and she would refuse to go to school the next day.  Her father only cared that she learn to write her name.  “He asked the teachers not to make me study for he was afraid it would affect my good eye.”

Her father enlisted at the beginning of the Civil War and remained in the army until it was over.  He use to ask her and her brother “which would you rather have money or food?" They would say money because they had all the food they wanted…they didn’t have any money.  He told them how they (soldiers) had the money but didn’t have any food and nearly starved to death.  Sometimes they had no shoes and had to walk in the snow and ice until their feet were cracked and bleeding.  They left trails of blood in the snow. 

Grandmother also wrote how she loved to hear her mother tell her life story.  Her mother (my great-great grandmother) had died when she was six years old.  Her father was a Circuit Rider and a Baptist minister who travelled the countryside preaching and helping where there was need.  She went to live with uncle where she lived until she married.  Her only brother died from wounds received in the Civil War – the Battle of Shiloh.

Maybe this is why I’ve starting posting again.  Some day my grandchildren will read what I’ve written over the years and know a little more about who I was.  Of course, they’re going to have to find the blog first!  I wonder how long Blogger will be around? 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Books continued…

I’ve always turned to books for solace, comfort, advice and how to cook sauerbraten.  Yes, sauerbraten.  Smelled the house up so bad when it was done I threw it out.  I just couldn’t eat it.  I’ve collected so many cookbooks over the years I could start my own library.  Each time we travelled whether in this country or overseas I always bought a cookbook that represented the area we were in. Some were in another language I couldn’t read but the pictures were great!  I don’t remember actually cooking anything from them (except maybe the Irish one).

The oldest cookbook I have is dated 1881.  “Just How – A Key To the Cook-Books” by Mrs. A.D.T. Whitney.  Author of “Real Folks”, “We Girls”, “The Other Girls,” and “The Gayworthys”.  Somehow I missed those books in the library.  Part of her Preface reads:  “There are in cookery, as in all things, three definite stages of doing; and, they are the stages of the children’s play-rhyme:  “One to make ready ;  Two to prepare ;  Three to go slambang,  And there you are!”  I like the slambang part…I can relate to it.

She finishes her Preface with…”By the same progress, you have become, in like degree, a capable journeywoman at your trade”  I wish you a very friendly good-by.”

I’m not sure about being a capable journeywoman…but I can slambang with the best of them.  I wish you a friendly good-by.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Sears Catalog

I think the Sears Catalog was my first picture book.  Do you remember the catalog?  It was huge.  Had to be 4+ inches thick and must have been 1000 pages.  I didn’t grow up with a lot so when the catalog came I would lose myself in those pages of shoes, dresses, toys and furniture.  I would ear mark the pages hoping my mother would get the hint.  (She didn’t.)

Speaking of my mother she, too, loved books.  I still have her 14 volume collection of the classics:  Jane Eyre, Emerson Essays, Les Miserables, Best Know Works of Hawthorne, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde.  Not sure how old they are but she signed her name in them in 1944.  Plus she also had Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, For Whom the Bell Tolls and a Farewell to Arms by Hemingway.  And, of course, her favorite – Doctor Zhivago.  Toward the end of her life she read romance novels.  You know the kind…bare chested men with flowing hair named Fabio. I’d rather have a Sears Catalog.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Books, Books and more Books

 I was sitting on the patio a couple of days ago (before it reached 110 degrees) listening to the early morning as it came awake and thinking.  Just thinking.  I watched morning doves fly over and land on the fence. Humming birds fighting for their turn at the feeder.  Not sure why but the thought of books popped into my head.  The constant in my life has always been books.  I don’t remember my parents ever reading bedtime stories to me.  I do remember them buying a Encyclopedia Britannica set when I started Jr. High.  I would sit for hours and go through those books.  I also remember I loved to licolnlibrarywithlamppost1908-2
go to the library.  This is a picture of the Lincoln Library.  Big wooden tables, chairs, card catalogs and a librarian who made sure nobody ever talked above a whisper.  You even whispered to her when asking for help at the main counter.  Libraries are sure different today.
I would spend hours at the library looking at books.  Pulling one out and sitting on the floor while flipping the pages to see if I wanted to check it out.  I guess in looking back the library was where I escaped to.  It was quiet and I could lose myself in other’s adventures.  I did a lot of my homework there.  It was almost reverent.
I haven’t been too interested in blogging because there wasn’t much I wanted to write about.  Books, however, has ignited a spark and my brain is on fire.  I think there’s a point I’ll be getting to but at the moment it’s still kind of hazy.  I just know I have to write about books.
Stay tuned.