Monday, August 29, 2016

End of summer

Another raised-bed garden is going to seed/weed.

My tomatoes slowly ripen, and the beans have all become fodder for the Mexican Bean Beetles.  Oh well.  At least I've got the aphids on the tomatoes somewhat under control with my garlic spray...though we shall see about tomatoes.  They are so slow to ripen!

And picking them and placing them on a windowsill doesn't seem to hurry the process.  They just stop growing, I think.

I'm still learning about gardening.

School starts here today...which is very late compared to other years.  Not sure why...

For me it just means driving with avoidance of school buses dropping off or picking up kids on our two lane highways, which means lots of stops.  If I didn't drive a stick-shift that wouldn't be quite as aggravating.  Pushing the clutch in and out for about a hundred times keeps my left leg in some kind of shape I guess!

There are still 2 more days of August.  And even though my open windows at night give me soft breezes of 62 degrees at night, I know there're plenty more summer-like hot days ahead.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Foggy mornings

It usually happens the day after a rain, when there are clouds still around.  We've been having cool weather and low humidity even in the days, so the Thursday morning fog came more from just having caught a cloud or two in the mountain valley.

 My house plants are nestled on the tiny balcony, since weather hasn't been above 85 lately.  The sun does hit this site sometimes, so the African Violets will be coming back inside if it threatens to burn them.

Friday, August 26, 2016

At the Tailgate Market

Those Mud Buddies are welcoming everyone to choose the pottery that they want to enjoy in their homes (or the homes of their loved ones).

We also have a lot of fun!

There are some new mugs, one of which belongs to Shelly, my good friend.  That leaves the other 2 available!  It's called variations on a theme...small, smaller and smallest...for people who don't drink a whole big mug of their favorite beverage. 

See you between 9am -12pm at the corner of First and Montreat Rd. in Black Mountain, NC on Saturday!

Three Weddings and 2 rings

I have some photos that I might have shared before, of ancestors in wedding dresses.

First, my father's mother (Ada P. Swasey Rogers) wearing her wedding dress while holding her first-born son (not my father.)

She and my grandfather (George Elmore Rogers) were married on June 6, 1905, in her family home, and there's a wonderful newspaper article about the ceremony, the guests, and what everyone wore.
I've copied the wedding announcement here, which you can skip if you're not interested in tedious details from that era.

In the presence of relatives and friends
of the contracting parties, Miss Ada Phillips
Swasey and Mr. George E. Rogers,
both of this city, were united in marriage
yesterday afternoon at 5:30 o'clock at the
home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs.
A. J. Swasey, No. 2223 Avenue K. Dr. J. K.
Black, rector, of Grace Episcopal Church,
performed the ceremony. The home was
very prettily decorated with smilax, palms,
ferns and white roses and carnations, the
white and green color scheme being very
closely adhered to. The ceremony was performed
in the front parlor, where before a
bank of Southern similax the bridnl party
stood. Just before the ceremony Miss Anna
Wilklns sang Mendelssohn's "Spring Song"
set to words. The weddingj march, the
bridal - chorus from "Lohengrin," was
played by Prof. Smith, assisted by the
Harpers. Rev. Black met the bridal party
at the altar. The party was led by the
groom and his best man, Mr. Charles
Ogilvy. They were followed by Miss Anna
Lou Rogers, bridesmaid, and Mr. Louis
White, groomsman. Miss Rogers was
gowned in a creation of white mouslin d'soi
with white chantlliy lace, and carried a
shower bouquet of bridesmaid's roses tied
with meline. Miss Stella Swasey, sister of
the bride and maid of honor, came next.
Her gown was mouslln d'soi, trimmed with
chantlliy lace, and she carried a bouquet
of bridesmaid's roses. Lastly came the
bride upon the arm of her father, who gave
her away. Her gown was of point d'sprit,
made over accordion pleated chiffon and
taffeta and was trimmed in real lace. Her
veil of tulle was caught with a spray of
orange blossoms. She carried a shower
bouquet of bride's roses. In her hair she
wore a silver comb which had been worn
by her grandmother, about her neck was a
necklace of pearls. The ceremony of the
Episcopal Church was never more Impressive
than on this occasion, and at its conclusion
the guests gathered about the
young couple and showered them with congratulations.

After the ceremony a reception-was ren-
dered tho guests. Mrs. Swasey's receiving
gown was of white chiffon, trimmed in
bands of white lace. Refreshments of Ice
cream, cakes and punch were served. In
the cake cutting, Mr. Pearson recovered the
ring, which he presented to the maid of
honor, and Miss Laurel Dunn found the
thimble. The cake was cut with a silver
knife, an heirloom, whose usefulness 'dates
back to the time of the" great-grandmother
of the bride. Miss Dunn also caught the
bride's bouquet.

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers left last evening at
7:30 for Denver, where the honeymoon
will be spent. The bride's going away
suit was cloth of gold, champagne color,
with embroidered shirt waist.

The young people received a large number
of presents. They included a large
amount of silverware, china sets, cut glass
pieces and articles, both useful and ornamental.
A number of congratulatory telegrams
were received.

Among those from out of town in attendance
at the wedding wore: Mrs. McCall and
Mrs. King of Houston, aunts of the bride:
Mrs. N. C. Munger and Mrs. W. A. Grant
of San Antonio and Mrs. Sherwood of Houston.

The next photo (shared again) is of my mother in her wedding outfit.

1936 is written above the caption of the picture. The date of the wedding was Nov. 21.  It's really hard to read isn't it? So here are the tedious details of the next generation getting married.
Mrs. George E. Rogers Jr., prior to her marriage at 4 o'clock this afternoon in Laurel Heights Methodist Church, was Miss Mataley Mozelle Munhall, daughter of Mrs. Fred Munhall.  The church was decorated with potted palms and tall flower baskets filled with white chrysanthemums and white gladioli.  Rev. Robert E. Goodrich performed the ceremony in the presence of a large gathering of relatives and friends.
Mr. Fred Jones sang "I Love You Truly", being accompanied at the organ by Mrs. E. H. Lovelace. 
The bride was given in marriage by her mother. She wore a becoming tailleur of wine colored wool trimed with a wide collar of fitch fur.  Her off-the-face hat was of wine felt ornamented with a brilliant pin.   She wore a corsage of tea roses.
Mrs. Munhall was in black trimmed with white, and black and white accessories.  Her corsage was of gardenias.
Miss Kitty Beth Christian of Dallas was the maid of honor and only attendant. She wore a green suit with green accessories and a corsage of tea roses.
Chauncey Rogers of Houston was his brother's best man. 
Mr. and Mrs. Rogers left immediately for a motor trip to the coast, the bride traveling in her wedding suit. Upon their return they will be at home at 1201 W. Woodlawn avenue.

A bit of trivia is that my paternal grandparents (who lived in the same city) refused to attend my parent's wedding because there was going to be liquor served at the reception.  They were rather adamant teetotalers, weren't they? But the bride's family put on the party, and they were rather adamant drinkers!  Already the in-laws were at odds!

Next I want to share some rings. I've given these to my eldest son, thinking maybe he or one of his chilrden will have some interest in them. My middle son already had seen them, and my sister sent them to me.  I think the small high school ring may have been my mother's - Jefferson High School was where my parents met in San Antonio. She actually graduated before my father did.

The larger ring was the wedding ring which my mother's step father wore, Frederick Munhall.

The Inscription in the wedding band means "Whom
virtue unites, death will not separate" and was a "motto" with
additional smybolic graphics for 14th & 32nd degree Scottish rite
Freemasonry. However, perhaps due to the popularity of the sect in that
era, many other non-Masons used it in weddding bands, but Fred's being
a 32nd degree Mason, I believe it reflects his following of Freemasonry.  This information is from my sister.

Finally, for the next generation (mine.) I didn't get to attend my elder or younger cousin's weddings, being too far away at the times.  So here's one of them including my grandparents, which I dearly love. But whoever took the photo of the photo, didn't get it in focus enough, so it really doesn't matter which of my cousins it is. Sometime in the 1950s.

In case you're waiting for my wedding pictures, they are being saved for another occasion!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy Birthday to our National Park Service

I spent many a day, and night, in our national parks...enjoying the wildlife, the beauty of nature, the well cleaned restrooms and emptied trash bins (just think about it, if there wasn't a Park Service).

Thanks to Garrison Keilor's Writer's Almanac for today, I now know more of the history of the Park Service...and am sharing it with you below.

It was on this day 100 years ago, in 1916, that President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the act that established the National Park Service. Yellowstone was designated as the first national park in 1872, and by the 1890s, there were three others: Yosemite, Sequoia, and General Grant (now known as Kings Canyon). When Congress created the first national parks, it didn't assign a part of the government to run them, and the task ended up falling to the Army. The Army patrolled for poachers or vandals - traveling on skis in the cold Yellowstone winters -but they didn't have any legal recourse to deal with criminals, so they just gave them warnings. In 1894, the last remaining wild buffalo herd in the country was in Yellowstone, and it was small. That year, a poacher named Edgar Howell bragged to reporters that there wasn't much anyone could do about his buffalo hunting, since the most serious penalty he faced would be to get kicked out of Yellowstone and lose $26 worth of equipment. The editor of Field and Stream ran that story in his magazine, and there was a huge uproar. President Grover Cleveland signed the "Act to Protect the Birds and Animals in Yellowstone National Park," but that was just one park. Without a national system regulating the parks, the government remained limited in its control.

The Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of War all claimed to protect the National Parks, but no one was really doing the job. In 1914, the conservationist John Muir died, after losing a long fight to preserve Yosemite's beautiful Hetch Hetchy Valley against developers who wanted to turn it into a dam and reservoir for the city of San Francisco. Although Hetch Hetchy was dammed, Muir had stirred up public opposition, and many citizens worried that the national parks weren't adequately protected. The issue was brought up in Congress that year, but they wouldn't sign a bill to change it.

Secretary of the Interior Franklin Lane knew that they needed a good lobbyist to convince Congress to protect the parks better. Then he got a letter from an old college classmate named Stephen Mather. Mather was a self-made millionaire who struck it rich as the sales manager for Pacific Coast Borax Company, thanks to his genius for advertising and promotion. In his letter, Mather complained that he had just been on a visit to Yosemite and Sequoia and was upset by what he saw: cattle grazing, development, and trails in terrible condition. Lane told Mather that if he was unhappy he should come to Washington and fix the problem himself. Mather agreed.

Mather was talented and he was rich: a perfect lobbyist. He went to Washington and threw himself into a publicity campaign to designate a government agency specifically for the national parks. He hired Horace Albright, a legal assistant, and Robert Sterling Yard, the editor of the New York Herald. He paid much of their salaries himself. He sponsored the "Mather Mountain Party," a two-week trip for 15 extremely influential business leaders and politicians in the Sierra Nevadas - he paid for it himself - and the men enjoyed a luxurious vacation, hiking and fishing, and enjoying fine dining (complete with linens) in the midst of the parks. By the end of the two weeks, they all supported Mather's request for a national agency to oversee the national parks. He partnered with the railroads in their huge "See America First" publicity campaign. He got national newspapers to run headlines about the cause, started a campaign for school kids to enter essay contests, and after convincing National Geographic to devote an entire issue to the national parks, Mather gave every member of Congress a copy. His assistant Albright drafted a bill to create a parks bureau, which would be part of the Department of the Interior. On this day in 1916, Wilson signed it into law, and the National Park Service was created.

What bug is this?

It's not one I'm familiar with.  I admit to not having grown green beans for a couple of decades.

And I wonder what will give me a better chance of getting the beans before these bugs (caterpillers?) eats the leaves.  They also have a few holes in some beans.  And how do I get rid of them?


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Endings bring beginings!

Celebrating a birthday with Margaritas and butterscotch sundaes...and tacos!

String Theory
"String Theory" by Ronald Wallace from For Dear Life. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015. 

I have to believe a Beethoven
string quartet is not unlike
the elliptical music of gossip:
one violin excited
to pass its small story along
to the next violin and the next
until, finally, come full circle,
the whole conversation is changed.

And I have to believe such music
is at work at the deep heart of things,
that under the protons and electrons,
behind the bosons and quarks,
with their bonds and strange attractors,
these strings, these tiny vibrations,
abuzz with their big ideas,
are filling the universe with gossip,
the unsung art of small talk

that, not unlike busybody Beethoven,
keeps us forever together, even
when everything’s flying apart.

Yesterday I celebrated completion of 74 years of revolutions around the sun on this sweet planet earth.  So today I start another one, and my beginning of the day was a bit different than most days.  

I drove over to the doctor's office (just 2 blocks) without having a thing to eat or drink...or taking my medicines.  Yep, it was vampire blood draw time for labs to tell the doctor what's going on inside me. I could have walked, except for that fasting part, I wasn't sure walking back up the hill to come home was a good idea.

I learned that the phlebotomists who have you make a fist are changing your potassium reading probably, because flexing a muscle there will increase the potassium in your blood, so sayeth my doctor.

And I got a free cup of coffee when I left.  That was a nice reward.  At this age my veins are pretty hard to find, and though she used a tinier needle than in the past, once she got it inside my skin she had to root around a bunch to finally get it into the vein.  Interestingly enough, I could watch that needle with about a half inch of metal under my skin, moving around and not causing any sensation at all.  The prick through the alcohol-ridden skin was the only pain I'd felt.  So as I sat there pumping the red stuff into 4 little vials, I didn't have any more pain.

Another beginning is that I'm about to start a sculpture in clay.  Usually I make functional things that might sell at the tailgate market during the season up till Christmas.  That's a good supplement to my income, or at least it pays for my studio hours and clay purchases.  But I don't usually make sculptural things until after Christmas and the winter months.  However, I want to have a new Gaia sculpture.  My last one broke her arm, and she didn't survive the move.  So this one is already in my mind's eye, and just waiting to be formed.

I will go in for my annual physical on Friday and find out the lab results.  Oh boy.  Not looking forward to some of them.  But that's what getting older brings.  I'm just glad I'm still getting older, rather than the alternative!