Monday, June 20, 2011

Going Down the Yellow Brick Road

About a mile from my house is a street I pass occasionally which has an interesting name.

Last Saturday the Old Salt and I were out doing one of our favorite pastimes, taking a drive and following any road that might lead to an interesting photo opt. So we decided to see what the Yellow Brick Road had to offer.

A short distance down the road we came to the entrance into a subdivision. No reason to be surprised that the yellow brick road led to the Emerald City. The Emerald City turned out to be a neighborhood of split foyer homes, of the seventies variety, sitting on large lots with all the streets either ending in a cul-de-sac or circling back to the yellow brick road.

It was certainly an ideal location for young families. No through traffic, dead end courts that allowed for bike riding and skateboarding with little fear of traffic.

The Tin Man and the Scarecrow were certainly represented
and munchkins in the form of children were everywhere,
both in person and by the toys they left in the yards.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow is a great song but what happened to Dorothy, the cowardly lion, the good and wicked witches and the great Wizard? Not a street sign or anything else to represent them. I was also disappointed because I did not see a single house that contained any yard art to go with the theme of living in the Emerald City.

I could not believe that with all the craft fairs in the area selling these tin men last fall that not a single family on Tin Man Alley wanted to hang one in their yard.

These scarecrows are so easy to make that I was shocked that no one on
Scarecrow Lane had one resting against their porch.

I am linking this post to That's My World Tuesday
To visit the other My World entries are to join the fun visit here

My World Square

Mad About Madeline

"In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines,

lived twelve little girls in two straight lines

They left the house, at half past nine ...

The smallest one was Madeline."

So starts the Ludwig Bemelmans's story about Madeline and her friends. Children since 1939 have been reading about and falling in love with Madeline. During a recent visit with the Old Salt's niece and her family, I discovered that the fascination with Madeline is still alive and moving into new generations of young girls.

When I snapped a photograph of this yellow hat hanging on the stairway newel post,
the old Salt's niece, informed me the hat was part of the girl's Madeline costume.

Cora was quick to model the yellow hat. She also wasted no time letting
me know it was one of their favorite dress-up outfits.

This is Deanna modeling the entire outfit for us.

If you would like to know more about Ludwig Bemelmans and the history of Madeline visit the official Madeline website by clicking here.

I am linking this post to Mellow Yellow Monday


Mellow Yellow Monday is hosted by Drowsey Monkey. To join in the fun or visit other Mellow Yellow participants just click here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Signs from Texas

You have gotta love Lesley's meme devoted to signs each Thursday. It is one of the few that I never seem to run out of material to post. My entries this week were both taken during our recent visit to the Gaylord Texan Hotel.

This is a first for me. I have never seen a sign marking the way to the celebrities
entrance of a hotel before.

I noticed this tag on the car parked in front of us in the parking garage.
Great advice for all of us.

I am linking this post to Signs, Signs hosted by Lesley of Southern Ontario, discovered . To check out what interesting signs others have posted this week click here.

Birthdays and Babies

A few days ago I saw a new doctor. He asked questions like “when did you have this done” and “how long since that happened?” I realized all my answers centered on what age my child was at the time. For example, my gall bladder surgery happened when my daughter was eight and that required having to do the math to get the year 1978. Later that same day I had another flash of insight when I realized that the events of my childhood and youth were remembered by how many siblings I had at the time, which allowed me to do the math to get the year.

This is one story that does not require me to do all those mental calculations. The date is fixed in my mind and always will be. It was Friday July 7, 1961. The day started like any other summer morning. I was the eldest of the nine children gathered round the breakfast table. I was passing out plates of pancakes. Not hard to remember because pancakes were not our standard breakfast fare and family tradition allowed that the “birthday boy” or in this case “girl” got to choose their favorite breakfast. This particular Friday it was my turn to choose since I was the “Birthday girl” and this was my fifteenth birthday.

After the shouting for more butter, the jam jar or syrup pitcher, everyone fell silent. That meant everyone was busy eating as my mother began to make her usual morning announcements. Expecting, the litany of chores that needed doing accompanied by the normal complaints over whose turn it was to do them, I was not paying close attention. After all, it was my birthday I was suppose to be exempt from all but the most urgent of tasks. Suddenly, I was pulled from thoughts of how I would spend my special day by the jab of an elbow poking me on each side in time to hear my mother announce from the head of the table that she had decided that today would be the perfect day to give birth to our new little brother or sister. Why today of all days? It was my birthday and the baby was not due for several more days.
As if she had just gotten an injection of some supercharged energy juice my mother started directing all types of chores that did not belong on the Friday schedule. Bathrooms had to be scrubbed, beds stripped, laundry sorted, the first of three old wringer washing machines filled with boiling water and the washtubs of the others filled with cold rinse water. It did not take long to realize that I was not going to get a lazy birthday. Laundry day meant that I was suppose to set out the peanut butter and jelly for a do it yourself lunch and fix dinner between ironing the damp clothes as they came off the line.
By the time the dinner dishes were done and the kitchen set right I had decided that my mother was mistaken about giving birth that day. Not so. Just as the last rays of sunshine was setting and the final load of laundry was coming in from the clothesline, I heard mom sending one of the boys to fetch my father. It was time to head for town and the hospital. 

All of us older children were waiting up for the news when Dad came home about midnight. We now had a new baby sister that made the count four girls and six boys. I would also forever be sharing my birthday with my new little sister. The biggest surprise of the night though, came when Dad announced that because the baby came on my birthday, my parents had agreed that I should name her. They had decided that one of her names had to be Louise, but I could choose the other name and pick whether it would be the first or middle name.

Having just turned fifteen I decided that rhyming names would be cute and spent most of Saturday with a tablet going through the alphabet adding each letter to my name and checking them in the listing of saints. After much work and lots of thought I finally decided that the only letter that rhymed with Rita and was a saint’s name was the letter “V” and chose the name Vita that I pronounced V-ta. I couldn’t wait to give this information to Father Pezold at mass on Sunday Morning. Father quickly pointed out that Vita was pronounced Vi-ta and told us the story of St. Vita and the disease known as St. Vitas Dance. He suggested that perhaps the saint I had been searching for was actually St. Veda whose name still rhymed with mine.

So that is how my beautiful baby sister came to be named Veda Louise and received me as her Godmother as well. In three weeks on July 7, 2011 Veda will turn fifty and I will be sixty-five. And yes, we will be celebrating together just as we have done each of the last fifty years.

Veda and Rita. Our Birthday photo taken in 2008

Happy Birthday Veda.

I am linking this post to ABC Wendesday
The featured letter this week is the letter "V"

You can visit the other participants by clicking here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

mellow yellow Monday

One of the first meme I participated in on a regular bases was Mellow Yellow Monday. Yellow is one of my favorite colors for everything except clothing, so usually it is an easy subject to photograph. For several months now the color seemed to be alluding me, then suddenly I managed to capture several shots in a couple of days.

I snapped this at a local antique shot last winter.
I thought the prices ridiculous but loved the matching pairs of yellow.

This sunflower is another of the trash to treasure sculptures my cousins husband makes.
I have done several posts on his yard art and find something new each time I visit.

This photo and the one below are of the martial arts studio near my house. The studio got a recent facelift. The windows got some new signage, the trim was painted and this very yellow furniture was placed out front for the parents who choose to wait.

I am linking this post to Mellow Yellow Monday


Mellow Yellow Monday is hosted by Drowsey Monkey. To join in the fun or visit other Mellow Yellow participants just click here.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Cows and Chikin

During our recent trip to Alabama I photographed this billboard located in the busy downtown area of Nashville. I had to snap the shot from the moving car during rush hour so it is not the best photography. But, it was the first time I had seen this sign and it tickled me to see the cows painting a sign for a chicken restaurant.

I kept hoping to see another one on our trip so I could get a better shot, but, never did.

I am linking this post to Signs, Signs hosted by Lesley of Southern Ontario, discovered . To check out what interesting signs others have posted this week click here.

Words not Required

It is that time of the week when we share out photos of signs. Today I selected a few that do not require any words to be understood.

Living in a rural area we see a lot of these signs.

Even the youngest members of the family understand what is available at this sign.

While this sign is self explanatory I find quite a few folks ignore it, leaving their carts all over the parking lot to roll around and leave pings and dings in our cars.

I am linking this post to Signs, Signs hosted by Lesley of Southern Ontario, discovered . To check out what interesting signs others have posted this week click here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Surprise Family Reunion

It has been a while since I posted here. I left a note explaining that I would be MIA without much notice this summer. This spell was one of those occasions.

The Old Salt has a son who works out of the country. He has one of those mysterious jobs that requires a lot of travel and keeps him on the move so it is hard to keep up with him. Last Thursday he called and informed us he would be making a trip home to see his children, two of which would be celebrating a birthday over the weekend. He invited us to join him for a brief visit. We had not seen him or his children for two years so naturally we agreed to make the trip.

We had barely enough notice to toss a few items into a suitcase and arrange to keep our plants watered and animals fed, before we were driving to Texas. The Old Salt's granddaughters moved from California to the Dallas area about a month ago. This move has considerably shortened our travel time and we were excited to make our first trip to their new home. When Frank's son arrived in Texas we were delighted to learn he brought his son, from another relationship, with him from California. So we got to spend the weekend with all the grandchildren and their father in one place for the first time since we've been married.

I have posted a few of my photos from the trip on my photo blog and will post more as time permits. For now I just want to share a photo of the Old Salt and his four grandchildren.

On our return trip we made a detour into Tulsa to visit with the Old Salt's niece and her family. So it was an exciting spur of the moment weekend for everyone involved.

I am linking this post to Thematic Photographic hosted by Carmi.
The theme this week is "Family".

To visit the post of others or to join the fun click here.