Thursday, March 22, 2018

Beauty on a Cold, Cloudy Day

Pictures sometimes look pretty good when taken during overcast skies!  

Mr. S. Asked me today to make a dress to go with the pretty pink blossoms on this tree, and I do have one. Hopefully I won't miss the photo-op as I did the Violet's a few months ago. That dress is still laying unfinished on my sewing table, the effort being interrupted by other types of living!

There is nothing like a photo to remind me how much needs to be done to improve the look of the house.

It is going to be tea time soon and the ladies will be coming to the Ladies Bible Class, discussion and tea time in a few hours.

This is a candle lamp someone gave me. I was in Hobby Lobby with a friend, and since I provided transportation and also provided her with a cup of tea and scone at my place, she wanted me to pick out something that was half price! I later painted it, as it was a trendy rust item, and in my house, the shabby chic look does not look well.  I find in these old worn houses that fancy things look a lot better. What is your opinion?  In a brand new house, you can get away with some of the burlap and rust, but in older places like this, the primitives make the lace look more sad and run down.  I love the contrast of a sparkly chandelier or shiny new dishes!  It just gives me such a lift, and especially when I am having someone over for lunch or tea.

Later on I hope to continue my posts about travel in historic towns, and include pictures from a Walmart restroom. It reminded me of the high-end department stores in the 60's  where the decor was a priority and when they provided a little couch and left a little hand lotion for the ladies.  I will show you some pictures soon.  It's nice the average car travelled can have some dignity when stopping for amenities, and if any of you remember how BAD the restrooms used to be on the road sides, you know what I mean!

Thank you to the reader who donated $15 recently! I appreciate it and also appreciate your visit to my blog.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Golden Oldies Playing in the Golden Arches of Small Town America

 We have arrived home again after a long weekend touring small towns in Washington State. I hope to take a day-trip soon and do the same in Oregon.
 I will try to post a road map here, showing all the historic districts we visited, including the old railroad stations, or "ray-road" as Mr. S. always says. He was supposedly an English Major, graduating from a well-known state university, and then a school teacher before  I ever knew him, before he went into preaching, and it always amuses me that he can make up his own words. Is that allowed if you were supposed to be some sort of expert in grammar, spelling, and all that? I guess if you are an English Major you have poetic license or something. "I will drive by slowly so you can get a picture of the ray-road." he says.
 We were in the area to conduct a Marriage Enrichment fellowship at a lake retreat that a small church of  Christ invited us to. They paid our gas to get there and back, and our overnight stay. It was a bring-your-own-bedding-and-towels situation, and this year we were much better prepared and did not have to use our coats as blankets.
 These are some early 20th century photographs in the windows of some of the shops in one old town, but it was hard to get the pictures without the reflections in the glass. You can see how the people were on the same street I was on, and how they were dressed.
 One thing that always made an impression on me from looking at the early 20th century photos of the towns, was the way people milled around on the sidewalks, which were covered by canopies, and window-shopped. The windows of shops in those days had very nice displays. I'd be hard pressed to find a decent window display these days, and a lot of shops do not even have windows. A window dresser was a very skillful person and there were sometimes contests. There were window-dressing schools as late as the 1960's in some countries.  I was always curious as to what one would learn in a window-dressing class.
 It is a delight to see these old towns coming alive again, full of lovely shops, with people of all ages happily walking the sidewalks again.  We were amused in one town when some of the proprietors came out of the shops and waved to us to come in and browse!  One man opened the door and said he had seen us pass by and wondered if we had not seen the door.
 No one minded if we didn't buy anything; they just wanted us to come in and browse.
 Down by the train station the streets were paved with old bricks.

 Okay, now I will tell you all about that crazy title about the golden arches!  In some of these small historic towns, we stopped in at MacDonalds to get hot water for my thermos so I could have tea in the car or wherever we could stop.  While I do not recall what town this one was in, I just HAD to get pictures of the interior decor!
 How about this fireplace for chilly days? It was quite cold during this trip, and the little corner where this real fire was burning, was flanked by cute bistro tables and chairs.

The art prints, woodwork , hanging lamps, wrought iron gate and tapestry:

But, what was even more astonishing (I don't get out much, so if you already knew this, it might not be a surprise) was what we HEARD inside two of the Golden Arches where we stopped: The music of the Glenn Miller band, and later on down the road, Mozart, was playing inside these fast-food places. Maybe someone was reading what so many of us have been complaining about on our blogs regarding the awful jarring music shoved down our throats in restaurants and shopping areas. You may recall me relating how my father called it "noise-ick" back in the 198o's.

 I posted reviews to every place we visited that had gentle music and pretty interiors.

Some of the female employees at MacDonalds were wearing knee length blue skirts that looked kind of like the airline stewardess uniforms of the 1950's, and I complimented them.  They smiled.  I have no idea what is going on with MacDonalds, but it was such a nice experience even though I was just filling my thermos.

I even took a picture of a polished floor at a Walmart, and gave it a good review. It all makes travelling so MUCH BETTER. Maybe if you are younger and are reading this, you do not quite see why, but if you are over 40, you may remember there was a time when the only stops were filthy gas stations with dirty sinks and trash cans so full you would not touch them.  Its nice to be alive these days with so much improvement.  I remember also when trash lined the side of the roads.  Now, each small town we toured had clean streets and sidewalks.  There were city supplied trash cans available everywhere.

So here are a few more pictures from yesterday that I took when we stopped. Mr. S. was ultra-patient-to-the-max to stop at all these old towns for me. Sometimes he sat in the car and read his maps while I walked around town, but I could still see the car and felt quite comfortable. There were no street lights but cars politely stopped when any one stood at the crossing areas.
 It was hard to get a picture without people in it covering the areas I wanted to show, because these towns were teaming with life in the shops and the cafes along the old streets.  It was nice to see. I think the malls have "had their day" and people don't mind getting out in the weather in an old town.
Inside the antique and gift shops we could hear more golden oldie music and easy listening from the past decades, and some were being played on old record players and stereos. This was such a different sound from vinyl records on stereos with good speakers. I understand the younger people are quite interested in going back to this kind of thing because the sound is so much better. I guess I will have to dig out my old records, now that the record players and stereos are coming back. I saw some brand new ones in a local store recently.

 This shop was almost a block long and very high-end, elegant. I think I've seen this on the web.

I have a map (somewhere) that I folded up and put in my purse,  but I'm still in a bit of mess (yes, after just a few days away), and have not located it. I'll post it here when I do.
 One more picture of the lake view where we stayed a day and a night.  For the evening meal before everyone departed, they had put long tables together and tablecloths, candles and real dinnerware, and made it feel like fine dining. It was ever so nice but I got so caught up in it all I totally forgot to take any pictures except for this one, as the daylight faded:

I will try to post again soon and share some human interest stories. You know the saying: "I write stories, so anything you say could end up in my book!" 

While it seems I have been quite chatty the last few posts, the best is yet to come, which I will post soon,  the Lord willing (and the creek don't rise!)


Saturday, March 17, 2018

In Lieu of a Tea Room

 As disappointed as I was not to get into a tea room, I prevented a big expense by shopping instead for a tea cup.

The tea cups in this shop in the Victorian tea room we're almost all $30.

We are exploring small-town America this weekend while my husband is a guest speaker for a marriage retreat and worship on Sunday.

Mr. S. Patiently escorted me around the different towns, waiting for me to selected the right teacup.

(He had a very good Mother who taught him how to take care of people).

The cost of these have settled on the price of $15 to $20 a cup and saucer set.

We finally found this one, unused and still
in it's original packaging,  at the cost of $4.00, in a Goodwill , as we explored another small town.

I had packed tea with me, and a spare cup with no saucer, and I was able to create tea room for one or two. Mr. S. likes Walkers Shortbread packaged cookies, so he stopped at a nearby Walmart to get his supply, to take with tea.

It was interesting also to see some of the service the employees at Walmart made available to us. They were alert to customers that appeared to be needing help and immediately asked if there was anything they needed. 

If the item was two or more aisles away, the employee texted another employee in that area and by the time we walked the distance, that person was pointing to the item we had been unable to find.

Below: scene from the place we stayed. Last year we were not informed to bring our own bedding and towels, so we slept under our coats. This year, we over-compensated but we were quite comfortable.

Each lady received a gift bag containing a tea cup, tea spoon and bags of tea, along with a newsletter and a cute napkin. I found the tea cups at my local Goodwill store before I left my home.

Visiting Small Town America

Hello Dear Ones,

We have strayed from our  familiar surroundings, and have visited some old towns that are thriving with business and life.

Mr. S. Was invited, for the second March in a row, to be the speaker at at church marriage retreat. A retreat is different from a seminar in that it is a getaway for rest and enjoyment, accompanied by edifying and reinforcing sermons, discussions and fellowship.  We left home a day early to have time to enjoy the sidewalk cafes and shops in small town America.

In my next post I will include the beautiful photos of the location they rented for a night and a day.

Here is an old town in Washington where shops abound, and shoppers browse at leisure on weekdays.

The proprietors in several shops came out the doors to catch us before we passed by and invited us to come in and look around. I bought some hand milled soap in one shop and discovered extra gifts in the bag: a packet of flower seeds, samples of other things.

I liked this pretty silk bouquet and intended to go back and get it but now I can't remember which town it was in. Those big cabbage roses were often seen in the old paintings I often post here.

Later, I got the big idea of going to a popular tea room, but I've concluded that  tea-room quest is sometimes futile, because every place we tried was booked months in advance. Tea Rooms are not always amenable to drop-in visitors. 

We were able to go inside to the gift shop of one lovely Victorian tea room.

In the first session of the retreat speach, Mr. S.  corrected misguided perceptions of the submission issue, which I will publish here later.


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