Monday, May 30, 2011

For Remberance

Have a great Memorial Day.
Summer, bring it on!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

KIrby Classic

Yard sale find of the week by PFS. $5.  Bought originally in 1972.
Full working order, used 4 months a year by a couple who are now in their 90's.  I'm pretty sure there are no plastic parts in this baby.  Built to last.
 Truly vintage.  Classic attachments in the original boxes.
 Full instructions.
 I always dress to vacuum,.  How 'bout you?
Many, many features:   spray paint (you know you love to paint the yard sale furniture and give it new life);
sharpen the knives, sand before you paint, grind and buff; shampoo the rugs and furniture; control the spread of moths;
use as a tank or hand unit; polish the floors; fluff the rugs; and, oh yes, even vacuum.
Parts are clearly listed, you can even carry it on your back...totally portable. (This weights a ton BTW.  So it is staying downstairs where we will actually use it.)
Included instructions for conversion for the more esoteric tasks.
AND after you completed these household tasks and put more leisure time into your modern life you can give your husband a Swedish massage.  Guess he got tired watching you work.
To be honest there is one (1) picture of a man in action with the unit on his back, still, the assumption in 1972, the year this was purchased, was all about the little woman.
Link up with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality  for some other great thrifty treasure finds.

Heavenly Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers.  The plants I put in last year have survived and are blooming.

The first I've cut.
I prefer the blue
I know a house that has the most incredible navy blue blooms.  I really want to knock on the door and ask if they'll share.  Speaking of sharing be sure to visit Today's Flowers #145 where excellent photographers from around the world invite you to visit their flower finds.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alice and Anna - Part 3: A Gathering

This is Part 3 of Alice and Anna 
Since no ceremony or marking of the lives of the two amazing women occurred several of us thought there should be a gathering of friends to say good bye.  Here's the Sunday afternoon event.
Guests were greeted with a sister's theme.
A nod to their love of hats. (Classic Garfinkel's hat box $4 from Friday's estate sales.)
A salute to their passion for material and tag sales. (Estate sale blankets $6 each ... I left the tags on.)
 Touches of the Orient. (Estate sale silk pillows $9 for both)
 Notice of the creative tailoring talent. (Findings from my sewing room.)
And a center piece of dandelions. (From my lawn)
Drinks in the kitchen ... wine, lemonade and ice tea (in retro aluminum tumblers).
 On the deck veggies (Yard sale plates, pennies a piece) 
 Chips and Bourbon Franks (classic 50's table cloth)
In the dining room stuffed grape leaves, feta, berries and cantaloup (and linen napkins).
 Alice's poppy seed cake.  My sister did three tasty dry runs to tweak the recipe Alice gave us:
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
1 C sugar
1/2C salad oil
2 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C poppy seeds
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 C cream sherry or additional salad oil
6oz evaporated milk or 1/2 C sour cream
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 c chopped pecans (optional)
zest of 1 lemon
  • In a large bowl mix together with a whisk or wooden spoon the sugar, oil, sherry, eggs and vanilla.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, salt  thoroughly and add to the above, mix alternately with milk
  • Stir in poppy seeds and pecans, or place pecans on top of the cake
  • Pour into a greased 9" tube or Bundt pan.
  • Bake 40-45 min at 350 F.
We halved the original recipe since Alice cooked in quantity.
Grape leaves with feta and blue cheese.
 Cured salmon on cream cheese and chive or mayo and dill with cucumbers
 Baklava and chocolate covered berries
Guests enjoyed sharing stories.
The O's nephew David called from Boston to thank the gathering for their friendship.  The best, most heartfelt tribute comes from Martha's daughter Genevieve.

For Alice and Anna:

When I was young, I was always afraid of them.  Mainly because I thought they were crazy- I didn't know of anyone else who thought "taking the dog for a walk" meant carrying said dog around the parkway.  And they did this not just for one dog, but two.  And when Mia (Genny's dog) arrived on the scene, they did it for her too.  My dog knew more people on the parkway than I did.  If I ever return to this world as a dog, I want to be their dog.

As I grew older, I began to understand them more.  And saw the influence they were having on me.  I learned that no occasion was too casual for a fabulous hat.  That always being put together was an art, even if your sister didn't think so.  When my sister and I were having 'clothing' discussions, Anna would say "Honey, I have been fighting that battle forever!"

They were the best example I knew of that women could be anything.  They wanted me to know I could be anything too.  Both of them made sure I understood that being a girl might mean I would have to try a bit harder, but it wasn't a deterrent.  Alice always wanted to take the world by storm, and Anna understood that being smart, sometimes meant using a little charm and wit.

When it comes to the value of a dollar...... I had no idea what a yard sale was, but it surely seemed something not to be missed.  They gave new meaning to 'one person's junk is another person's treasure'.  I had no idea you could plan an entire Saturday around these 'shopping' excursions.  And don't be late - all the good stuff was long gone before 8 am.  And don't forget to haggle.  You never, ever pay full price!  I am fairly certain there was no greater sin than paying full price.

I honor their humor, wit and absolute self confidence,  I will miss their stories, their kindness to all four legged creatures, and lemon poppyseed cake.  I will miss the way they always made me feel like I could do anything,  Even when children, job, chores, etc made me feel like I would never get through the week.  Both of them always had complete confidence in me,  You don't often get that from anyone other than your parents and in my case, my spouse.  And even when they frustrated the daylights out of me, they were a gift to have known.

I'm so sorry I couldn't be there today,  And even if I could, I don't know that I would have had the right hat. :)

All my love,

I think that says it all.
Alice (May 1913-February 2011)
Anna (June 1917-January 2011)
Picture from Genny's wedding