Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tis The Season For A Few Scarecrows.....

The old town area puts up scarecrows every year at this time. Merchants are encouraged to participate in a scarecrow contest.  I walked around Sunday morning and snapped away. To my surprise I met my heartthrob just hangin' around downtown........

 Actually,there were a lot of men just hangin' around.

These next two pics are the display the eclectic decor shop put out.

 The Doll Shoppe added this lady.

You can see the Doll Hospital Ambulance in the background.

Doesn't she look like someone you know from the back?

Ok, I'm  going to say it.......We ARE in Kansas, Dorothy!

I am joining Chari for

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Books I'm reading in October

I am really excited about a book I just got directly from one of the authors. Beyond the Fence Line, The Eyewitness Account of Ed Hoffman and the Murder of President Kennedy is by Casey Quinlan and Brian K. Edwards.

I had the opportunity of being in  two classes with Casey Quinlan this month. We are both teachers. Like him, I am an avid follower of all the theories of what actually happened the day Kennedy was shot. I was in grade school, but old enough to know it was very serious. The twin towers tragedy  and the Kennedy assassination are two things my generation remembers and can tell you where they were and what they were doing when both horrible events occurred.

I am also reading Hell's Gate by Linda Fairstein. I read her Lethal Legacy (see August post) and loved it. The same character Alex Cooper investigates human trafficking in New York City. Fairstein's legal thrillers interest me also because she includes so much history about NYC. She also doesn't overdo the description of the violence that is necessary in the story line.


Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog 

No, no! I didn't write it. I just listened to this book on CD in the car. Written by author Lisa Scottoline, who usually writes great legal thrillers, this book is from her Philadelphia newspaper column. I wanted to hear this book, as opposed to reading it,  because she actually reads her own articles on the CD. These articles are light and humorous and entertaining. I am such a fan of her books (read them all) that I was excited to hear her personal  stories. In addition to writing great humor, Scottoline is good at telling or reading her work as well. Worth taking the time to LISTEN to this one.

In my continued following of artist John Singer Sargent (see September post), I am reading Sargent's Daughters by Erica E. Hirshler.

Sargent had no children, however the title refers to the daughters of Edward Darley Boit, whom he painted. It is an odd, mystical portrait and there is much discussion in the book about the four daughters, what became of them, and  why such a portrait has continued in popularity into today. Hirshler  tells a complex story of the lives of the family, the time period and Paris of that generation. There are many side stories woven into connections with painter and subjects. Sargent's Daughters feels almost like a  mystery novel, but it is  a true piece of writing.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some do it yourself Halloween

Daughter #2 sent me a link to a website that had free Halloween labels she had used to make some little treats and decorations. So after looking at the labels, off I went to the Dollar Tree for some treasures.

From the Dollar Tree I got (for a dollar each) the magnifying glass, spools of ribbon, black picture frame, bag of skulls and glass bowl and scent burner.

This glass jar was from Dollar Tree as was the dollar candy corn. I printed out the free label and burned the edges before gluing on the jar.

I made this one with a Mason jar I had, spray painted the lid and added bow and bigger label. I made this one for a gift, so I added peanuts to the candy corn. Never had that? Oh, my gosh! Tastes just like a Pay Day candy bar!

More free printable labels.

This one is from an old chemistry bottle. I have lots of old chemistry equipment, I think I will start eariler next year and do a whole witch laboratory!

Little skeletons from the Dollar Tree fill this jar labeled witch hazel. It says it relieves the most painful itches in a bewitching way. Yep, even took their skin off.......

Have fun and don't forget to unplug the smoke alarm when you burn the edges of your labels!!

Please visit these two websites for the free Halloween labels:


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Books I'm Reading in September......

I received some books in the mail just in time for Labor Day weekend. There's nothing more intriging than a new stack of books!


"The summer I was five, John Singer Sargent came to visit us. He wasn't a famous artist then. But he painted a picture in our garden that became quite famous. Here is how I remember what happened.........'

My favorite artist right now is John Singer Sargent. This little book is about a time he spent with a family, and painted the children's individual portraits. It is written by Hugh Brewster as told by one of the little girls. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose is a book for young readers, but that does not detract from its story.

House Beautiful Decorating With Books

A great book of photographs of home libraries and use of books for decoration.

Below: I would never leave this room if it were mine!

Here is my library area.

This book will take awhile to get through. The photos are so deep and colorful, full of detail. A coffee table type book The Most Beautiful LIBRARIES in the World is a architectural delight.

The Avvey Library of Saint Gall, Switzerland

The Prunksaal in Austria, this is the map room.

Above: The John Rylands Library reading room, England

The Boston Athenaeum reading room


I am still reading this next book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Set in rural Mississippi, in the early 1960's, it is a sweet, informative  book about the lives of the help, and the white families they take care of. It does not finger-point, it is not an angry novel. It gently draws you into the very personal lives of all kinds of different people that interact out of habit, rather than thought. 

 I finished the book and I can say it was ok, but not riveting or earth shaking. I did learn about what things were like in the South in the 1960's in white and black households, but it was drawn out and had a very anti-climatic ending. The author summed things up in about 5 sentences, and then it was done.

Some Antiquing and Flea Market Time

Country Living Magazine said, "Tiny Sparks, Kansas — population 9! — hosts crowds of up to 75,000 twice each summer, with 450 dealers displaying a range of antiques and collectibles at great prices. "

Coming to Sparks on  Labor Day weekend has become a fun tradition in the last few years. Saturday was a beautiful day, high in the 80's and sunny. Several of us went to the Sparks Antique and Flea Market and then up the highway to the White Cloud Flea Market. These little towns are northwest of St. Joseph, Missouri, in Kansas.

As it got crowded, many began standing on tip toes to see.

This little bottle fed goat was a pet of one of the vendors. He got lots of attention!

Then I started getting hungry......

As we got back on the highway, the trail of parked cars had grown.

That's a soybean field behind the cars, and running along those hills in the background is the Missouri River.

 White Cloud sits on the banks of the Missouri River. Long before the white men came to the area, the land belonged to the Ioway tribe, whose chief was White Cloud. Entry to the river is right at the base of Main Street. White Cloud's flea market was all on the main drag.