Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summer on Daylight Savings Time

Goodnight




Goodnight

Art Print


Elsley, Arthur...


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Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.


I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.


And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

-Robert Louis Stevenson



I have long disliked Daylight Savings Time. I could never make sense of it. I don't know what Benjamin Franklin was thinking... you can't make a day any longer than it was going to be anyway (hasn't been done since Joshua's day). And if it does save daylight for whatever reason, why in the world don't we do it in the Wintertime instead? The days are long enough in the Summer-- I don't think we need any help there.

If people want to get off of work, have dinner, and enjoy the rest of the day (one of the reasons to have DST, we are told), why not shift the hours of work to end at 4 or 4:30? Even then, a lot of businesses don't follow a set model anymore-- hours of operation have been extended in stores and other businesses so that the shifts are not always 9-5.

There are those two dreadful times of the year: getting on to DST and getting off of DST. It takes a long time to shift routines and schedules. And, which I find very interesting, the time shift happens on a Saturday night, which always makes it difficult for people that go to church on Sunday Morning. In the Autumn (when the hour "falls back") you are safe, but that Sunday in Spring (when the hour "springs forward") church attendance is lower.

My children have discovered another reason not to like Daylight Savings Time: bedtime. It isn't that we put them in bed extra early in the Summer, it's just that by the time the hour is late, they realize that it could be an hour earlier. If the sun sets at 9 PM, they see the benefit in the clock being put back to normal time of 8 PM. Then, they conclude, they can stay out into the dark playing until the "real" 9 o'clock. They have taken to reminding me what the hour is in "real time."

Some people don't care what time it is, "just make it one way or another." They would be happy if we just shifted to DST through the whole year, or stayed on regular time the whole year. I advocate just letting it be... stay on the "old" time all year. I would enjoy experiencing it for once in my life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Tea Cups for the Tea Table

Remember the tea cup and saucer I bought for my birthday at an antiques store? I won't tell you how much I paid for it (enough to be a birthday present!) but just look at what mom found at Goodwill to go with it!

The matching plate.

Now I have a "Trio."


This little golden-edged unmarked cup is quite elegant...


...and looks good with another one of my mother's saucer finds.


Here is something different: a Royal Albert cup entitled "Men of Harlech" from an English Song series. We're still experimenting with saucers for this one.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Beatrix Potter's Birthday

Beatrix Potter's Bench
Beatrix Potter's Bench
Art Print

Landry, Paul
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I see that it is Beatrix Potter's Birthday today. Here is a fun website!
http://www.peterrabbit.com/
If you click on "games" and you have a fast connection, the pages turn like a pop-up book!
More here for the little ones.
My favorite picture in the Beatrix Potter books is in the "Tale of Tom Kitten." Tom Kitten tearing up the hill, the buttons bursting on his little jacket because he had grown too fat, looks eager and exhausted and concerned and a bit mischievous all at once.

Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter
Poster

21 in. x 62 in.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yet Another Tea Cup!

Unwrapping my birthday gift from my mother, I found this sweet tea-cup and saucer:

This is called a "crinoline lady." Below is the back:The saucer is not the same china company or pattern, but a close enough match to make a set. However, my mother and I decided to rummage through her stack of lonely saucers that she has collected over the years from Goodwill and see what else we could match the tea cup with.
I like this pink one a lot! I think a light blue one in the same pattern may be a pretty match.


Voila! We found one from the same company!

My mother told me that she got up to the cash register at Goodwill and the cup and saucer came to $2.98. "Shouldn't this be 99 cents?" she complained. A lady behind her whispered to her, "Oh, but it's a collector's item, and that is why it is higher. May I see the bottom?" And I thought my $5.00 teacup was a bargain.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Is Hannah Montana Harmless?

I was sitting in a waiting room at the doctor's today, and saw Miley Cyrus on TV. Miley Cyrus was the big deal of the morning show, and had people lined up for days to see her, with their little girls all over the place screaming and mouthing the words to her song. I'm not talking about pre-teens or young teens but little girls, who looked like they were 7 or 8 years old, pressing against the stage, going wild over the singer.

While I acknowledge that she is a pretty girl, has a nice smile, and reported to be a wonderfully warm personality, I really was quite shocked at the songs and the gyrating dance and gestures used in the show by Miss Cyrus. After seeing that, it surprises me that so many parents are letting their little girls be exposed to her, supporting her by buying anything with her picture on it, and letting their precious daughters listen to her songs. Perhaps because "Hannah Montana" is on the kids programming, parents think she is a good example for their girls.

Having been "out of the loop" on what is popular amongst young girls nowdays, I had only seen "Hannah Montana" on posters, and not the actual show. Perhaps I am more shocked than other mothers when I see Miss Cyrus, and hear her songs. She hasn't "grown" on me-- I have not become used to her. Unfortunately, these little girls are going to follow "Hannah Montana" into her new career-- into her new songs and lyrics and styles, which will shorten their innocent childhoods. I sincerely hope that fathers and mothers will realize that Miss Cyrus is going to influence thousands of young girls to do what she does, dress like she does (if you think she isn't really badly immodest now, just wait) and let rock music and doubtful lyrics into their daughter's hearts and souls at a tender young age.
The Pied Piper Leads the Children Away from the Town
The Pied Piper Leads the Children Away from the Town
Greenaway, Kate


If you think her songs won't do any harm, just look up the lyrics on the web. One of her latest songs talks about how boring school is, and how she can't wait until the bell rings. This I can understand, actually... but look at her alternative: partying, waking people up at night, and "losing control" ("We're gonna have some fun/Gonna lose control/It feels so good/To let go). I realize that she may be "speaking" to her own generation... not meaning for these to be songs that little 7-year-olds are supposed to listen to, but let me tell you they are listening to it and internalizing it, and it will have an influence. Now that she is "breaking out" to the MTV crowd, probably trying to distance herself from all those little girls, I think she will only get worse.


In another song, a duet with her dad on late-night TV, she was crooning into the microphone, "Oh, I gotta do what I gotta do." Her dad was meekly replying in song "she's gotta do what she's gotta do." Boy, does she have him wrapped around her little finger. I could not help but think, that the majority of fathers the world over would have stopped her long ago in her tracks and pointed her to a different path. And I also could not help but wonder if many little girls out there will chafe at their father's rules for them, even mild rules, after being influenced by the Cyrus' song. Perhaps they will think that all fathers should be pushovers and support their wishes.
I read that mothers in Britain are boycotting Miss Cyrus. Good for them. I hope that a lot of little girls can be steered away from her before we have a bunch of 7-9-year-old "teenagers" on our hands. And my wish for Miley Cyrus is, that she will choose a better path in life, use her talents to promote goodness and morality, and be all the happier for it.

Girl Plays Her Guitar in the Garden
Girl Plays Her Guitar in the Garden
Giclee Print

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Little girls used to have sweet and innocent childhoods!
Two Little Girls Play at Mothers Wheeling Their Dolls in Their Prams Through the Park
Two Little Girls Play at Mothers Wheeling Their Dolls in Their Prams Through the Park
Giclee Print

Kay
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Three Little Kittens, 1883




Three Little Kittens, 1883

Giclee Print


Clark, Joseph


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Playing on the Beach




Playing on the Beach

Giclee Print


Armitage, William...


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Pushed Along by Her Companion a Girl Plays on a Swing




Pushed Along by Her Companion a Girl Plays on a Swing

Giclee Print


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And by the way... if your little girl wants posters, why not direct her to some of these? Or these? Or these?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My New Teacup


I snatched up this tea cup for $5 at an antiques shop!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Scrapbooks & such

http://www.g45papers.com/product-b2b.php



I just loved these papers I purchased at a local scrapbook shop. I am always on the lookout for things that remind me of "Victorian" style, and though these were not really "Victorian," they had some sweet colors and design elements. Baskets of roses, a pretty rose and stripe border, and all in pretty pastel colors, all reminded me of my favorite "Victorian" things.


The coordinating papers made it a lot of fun to customize cards for my friends, and I also enjoyed the punch-out tags and embellishments.


While visiting a museum on a recent trip, I spotted these Victorian-era scrapbook pages:




It looks as if someone was a post card collector! My favorite kind of "scrapbooking" is using pretty scraps of cards, notes, papers, etc. that people have given me. I like to save pretty embossed cards, pictures of dresses I like in magazines, houses that appeal to me, and party and wedding favors. Anything that can be flattened and glued in will be so! So my personal scrapbook looks something like the ones above. I modeled mine after my great-aunt's scrapbook, which I found in her attic one Summer day. She had newspaper clippings of interest, and a pretty flowers, and a picture of a house with a house plan that she liked.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Play that little piece of Kalkbrenner's....


For those of you familiar with the movie "Wives and Daughters," you may remember the time that Molly was urged to "play that little piece of Kalkbrenner's..." by her stepmother. I thought the piano piece was very beautiful, and spent I don't know how many fruitless hours trying to find some kind of sheet music by Kalkbrenner, hoping to stumble across THE song.

Friedrich Kalkbrenner was a contemporary with Chopin and apparently wrote an abundance of music, which I could not find. However, I need not have fussed over it, for I had the music in my shelf long before I had ever heard of Molly or Kalkbrenner.

It is called "Nocturne" # 5 in b flat major by John Field, and probably a better music student than I would have known that. I have passed this piece of music up for at least fifteen years, thumbing around in a favorite music book for other pieces to play. For some reason or another, I never wanted to try it. Out of boredom with my other songs, I decided to sound this one out. I was so tickled and it is a beautiful and not too difficult piece to play. The link above is to a free PDF download. Enjoy!



screen shot from http://caps.desert-sky.net/w&d.htm

Monday, July 7, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home II
Home Sweet Home II
Art Print

Gibson, Judy
14 in. x 11 in.
Buy at AllPosters.com
Framed Mounted



My cats sure had me human-trained well. Not only did I do everything to please them, but now that they are gone, I find that their training still serves other cat-kind. It took a few days, but now I am like a robotic servant to open doors for my in-law's cat whenever she decides to sit with her face to the door (hoping it will somehow dissolve so she can go out), or drum on it to come in. I could be doing something else entirely, heading in the opposite direction for a particular purpose, my mind occupied in other matters, but somehow the cat and the door will take priority.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fireworks and looking forward to the Fourth

4th of July, Girl with Cannon




4th of July, Girl with Cannon

Art Print


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Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. I enjoy the gathering of friends and family, the fun things we find to do (or the relaxation of doing nothing but watching other people do things!), and seeing the big fireworks put on by the local fire department.

I enjoy those big fireworks just like everyone else, and I think I enjoy them more than little fireworks.

I know it is fun to have fireworks- I mean the BIG ones, not sparklers and little fun things- near the comfort of your own home, or perhaps to impress the neighbors, wow the guests, etc. I know that young men like to go to nearby States and Counties and buy bigger fireworks that are not legal in their own area, to get the fireworks show close-up.

Yup, right up close. Close to their own houses, and trees, and dry grass, and dead leaves, and vehicles, and sheds with lawnmowers and gasoline. R-r-i-i-g-h-t up close.

Please, folks, this year- as it is so hot and dry, make plans to go and enjoy the community fireworks in your area. Those are the real big ones, the ones that cost thousands of dollars. Give the fire department a donation, and keep your house and your neighbor's property safe from risk of fire. It isn't impressive to start a fire. Even if you think you won't start one, and nothing happens but fun, you never know how much of a risk you could be taking.

Thanks.
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