Friday, February 17, 2017

Standing On The Corner, Winslow Arizona

Hey...did you miss me? We took a road trip to the West Coast, and part of it was on the old Route 66 through the American Southwest. 
We've been down that road between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Flagstaff, Arizona too many times to count. When we get near Winslow, Arizona my whine factor goes up considerably until Wild Bill finally agrees to stop. 
Why stop in the tiny town of Winslow, out in the middle of nowhere, smack dab in the hottest part of the desert? 
Well here's 5 reasons why...And it all has to do with the Eagles' song, Take It Easy, or sometimes referred to as the "Standing On The Corner" song. Joining Amy today at Love Made My Home for Five-On-Friday and Fridays-Fav-Five at Living To Tell The Story.
One: The Song.  Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey (Eagles band member) wrote this song, which was a hit for the Eagles in May 1972. If you were "of age" during the 70's I think you're probably already singing the lyrics in your head, right? 
Especially the part that goes...
...Well, I'm a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford 
slowin' down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don't say maybe 
I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me...

Two: The Town  The people of Winslow took down all but one wall of a building, on a corner lot, and put up a memorial to the song. Over the years, commenerative bricks have been added, which help pay for the upkeep of the corner. Donations are also appreciated.

Three: Route 66  For anyone who traveled Route 66 as a child or teen, packed into the family's old station wagon (the SUV of its day) and elbowing your sister or brother for more room in the backseat (while suffering heat-stroke from the hot air coming in the four windows rolled down for ventilation in that pre-air conditioning era), Route 66 can bring back a flood of memories. 
Arriving in a town on Route 66 meant being sprung from the car and given an hour to roam! 
Back then, no one worried about kids wandering around alone in a strange town, and dads dispensed a dollar to each kid, which could buy them a hamburger and a drink with change left over for a cheap tourist trinket. Man...that was a vacation!!!

Four: The Memories  In Winslow, on that tiny street corner, you can almost imagine the people who traveled there (some many times over) by the memorial words left in the bricks and blocks. Here's a few of them...

I have to admit, I shed quite a few tears as I read some of the words of sadness and celebration. Can't you just see Stephanie standing on this spot in the park and carefully reading the bricks at Juan's insistence? I wonder if he went down on his knee as Stephanie read the words Juan surprised her with that day? 
"Stephanie Will U Marry Me (heart) Juan"
March 18, 2000
Almost exactly 2 years (to the day) later, we made our very first visit to the Standing On The Corner Park in March of 2002. A few days later our first granddaughter was born several months early, with complications, and never got to take a breath or know her sweet parents. Perhaps someday her name will be added to the memories on the bricks of the others shared here.

Some of the memories are of rowdy friends like "THE BUST-OUTS" here. And then below them...some time later...another group who called themselves "NEAR BUST-OUTS". Was this a group of younger siblings who were always trying to follow in their older brothers' footsteps?

Five: The Art  After his death last year, a second statue of Glenn Fry was placed in the park as a tribute to him. People like to stand next to the statue on the corner and take pictures with him. Here's some of the people who were there posing that day. I didn't get their names, but I did tell them I would be posting them here on the blog.

On the wall (left from the building that stood here at one time) a mural has been painted as if the window reflected "a girl in a flatbed Ford" driving down the street. 
 Here's a picture of the reinforcement they put on the other side of the wall to stabilize it. Looks like it will hold for a good long time!

If you're ever doing a road trip in the desert Southwest between Flagstaff and Albuquerque, stop by and stretch your legs in the little town of Winslow. I guarantee you will not be able to get the lyrics to Take It Easy out of your mind for days. A small price to pay! 

For more information:'_on_the_Corner_Park

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Five On Friday: White And Rusty Kitchen Things

Joining Amy today at Love Made My Home for Five-On-Friday Won't you stop by, if you have the time, and add your five to the mix?

I've been far too serious on Fridays lately, so I'm picking a lighter subject. I'm taking you on a quick tour of our kitchen and some of the rusty and white things in it.

1. The Portable Cabinet And White Pig:

The kitchen pig always holds court in the middle of the kitchen on a movable cabinet. The builder distressed and aged the wall cabinets a little too much. I plan to dry brush them, with a little white to lighten them, as soon as I learn how to do a better job of dry-brushing. 

For now, I try to add as much white as possible to lighten up the kitchen since it's in the center of the house and doesn't have a window.

2. Messy Dark Corner: 

You hear it all the time...don't keep a bunch of stuff out on your counters! I try, but it all just creeps back out. Most of it is white as you can see. The white helps lighten up this dark corner.

3. Rusty White Stuff With Holes:

Seems all my old enamelware has holes. This flour bin is worn almost through on the bottom right.
 It doesn't matter to me, I find it charming. I don't store flour in it anyway as these big flour bins were used back in the day when people made their bread at home and had to store their supplies for a long time between trips to town.  If you opened the flour bin up, you would find cloth placemats rolled up inside instead of flour.
This rusty white enamelware washpan holds my kitchen towels. If you picked it up and looked below, you would see holes in the bottom of it too. I buy my dish towels at Sam's Club. I love these plain white, sackcloth-type dish towels. 

4. Rusty Bottle Rack/White Lazy Susan:

Long ago in 1992, my older friend Sally from Oklahoma always served me "Okie Tea" from canning jars.  I was hooked and gave away all my glasses and started using canning jars. The small ones live on this bottle rack right across from the ice/water dispenser on the refrigerator. I use canning jars to store food in the fridge too. So many uses! 

5. White Preserved Roses:

I'm obsessed with these preserved roses with barely there color. I stick them inside things all over the kitchen. Here's a close up of a few of the roses. In the nest on the bottle rack...
In the old canning jar...
 In the pottery with little white pumpkins...

Well, that's my quick tour of the kitchen stuff. If you noticed I still have some of the little twinkle lights up from Christmas, don't be shocked. Sometimes the lights stay out and stay lite (along with the pumpkins) all year long.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Keeping Lemons Fresher

Recently I needed lemons and Costco's lemons looked real good so I bought a big bag of them. Something I usually don't do because there's just two of us and the bags are huge.

After a week, I had to throw a few lemons out. I squeezed quite a few of the lemons that were left and froze the juice...still there were three lemons left. 

I had heard you can keep lemons fresh by covering them with water in a container, so I thought I'd give it a try. Here's the container after one week...
 The lemons in the water actually looked fresher after a week in the water than when I put them in the water.
I hope you'll let me know how yours turned out if you try this.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Late Five-On-Friday: Needless Worry

I'm late for writing Five-On-Friday since it's Saturday, but I'm doing it anyway. Amy's blog party is open to join until Monday after all, so I don't think she'll mind. You can pop over and see what others are posting at Love Made My Home

One. Still Sorting Out: I'm taking 5 minutes to talk about sorting through our children's stuff and sometimes seeing what was there all along. During their growing up years, I had to limit the things I kept for my three daughters by putting the 'best' in a box for each of them, which they received when they were older. At that time, I found I couldn't part with the oldest daughter's handmade Kindergarten Christmas decorations and a paper from each of the younger girls, so I kept them for myself. I came across the two papers while cleaning out my desk. Looking back at their early writing styles, I'm amazed at what their writing tells about the adults the two youngest girls would become.

Two. Middle Daughter's first grade paper: When she was six, there didn't seem to be much hope for Middle Daughter when it came to spelling. I'm not showing this to embarrass her, but to give hope to all you other mothers of children who aren't natural spellers! 

Middle Daughter graduated college with a degree in English with University Honors, studying more the technical writing side of English. She writes highly technical documents, first with a major telecommunications company and then for the last three years with a large computer systems company. I am totally confused when she tries to explain the work to me. 

You can see below that even at six, she wrote in a no nonsense - just the facts - technical style.  See if you can read her first grade paper...Please note she did try to use punctuation though it's hard to tell if those are periods or commas. 

Three. Younger Daughter's Note To The Tooth Fairy: Younger Daughter graduated high school at 16 and went to Argentina (at that young age) as a foreign exchange student. I cried the whole time she was gone. She graduated college with a degree in English with writing honors for her poetry. Obviously, she tended toward the creative writing side of English while pursuing her degree.

As I understand it, her work now involves tracking projects, but she's able to use her creative writing skills to write publicity releases, reports and speeches for the president of the large company where she works. 

Around age six, when she didn't have her tooth to put under her pillow, she wrote the Tooth Fairy on card stock using both sides, with a pretty blue marker for flair and using no punctuation, but lots of creativity.

Four. Needless Worry:  I've always gotten quite a kick out of these two pieces of writing, and I truly cherish them. Somehow, until just recently, I never related their early writing style to the adult writers they've become. I do remember how much I despaired over Middle Daughter's lack of spelling skills when she was in first grade, and I see now it was all for naught! 

Truthfully, when I look back at my life I realize most of the worrying I did was useless. What will be, will be!

This is the saying I now try to live by:

"Worry Is Interest Paid On A Debt Not Yet Due"

Five. A Link, Dr Spock, And We 'C' Students:  While looking for inspiration on the web this week, I happened upon this post about how not all students should be A students. That post got me into all this thinking about life...and grades...and worry. 

It also made me think of the great baby specialist, Dr Benjamin Spock, who wrote the best-selling baby book of all time.
Benjamin Spock
Benjamin McLane Spock (1976).jpg
When a smart aleck news reporter tried to embarrass him about his less-than-stellar college grades, Dr Spock stated he got The Gentleman's C.  He said a grade of C showed a student cared enough to study, but still had time to learn about life. Dr Spock felt he wouldn't have been as successful in life if he had always been striving for the grade of A. 

Who knows which way we should go? Too much studying or too little? What I know for sure is that I could've used that Dr Spock reference to defend my own sad high school grades.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Five On Friday: Red-Foiled Candy

Joining Amy this week for Five-On-Friday at Love Made My Home.

In the supermarkets this week the Valentine's Day candy is out and on full display. For the first time in 23 years, I didn't cry when I got my first glimpse of the red-foiled chocolate candy. That's what my five is about this week.

One: The Hospital  On January 18, 1994, my father called to tell me he was in the hospital.  I was at work in the same town as the hospital, so I left quickly to go see him and stopped at a market to buy a deck of cards on the way there. They were putting up a big Valentine's Day display in the store, so I bought a large bag of red-foil-wrapped chocolate pieces for him to share with the people who stopped by to see him. 

Two: How To Win  At the hospital, his two older sisters had just left and my father and I were alone. We both loved playing Black Jack, so we started a game. Since we didn't have many coins on us, we decided to use the Valentine's Day candy as betting "chips". We finally ended the game that night when he had all the candy pieces. It was late, so I headed home...and that became our ritual. 

Every afternoon after work I (an over-worked, 40-something divorced mother) went to the hospital after other family members left and played Black Jack with my dad until he (usually) won all the chocolate pieces, then I drove the 30 miles home to the town where I lived and got up the next day and did it all over again. I hope, when I was with him, that I didn't show all the pressure I was feeling. 

One night, when he had won my share of the red-foiled "chips" yet again, I said:
"Dad, sometimes people let their kids win a game or two!" 
And he replied:
" know...they're showing their kids how to lose.  I always tried to show you how to win."

Three: Diagnosis  After almost a week of nightly Black Jack, my father had exploratory surgery. I was by myself in the waiting room when the doctor came to say there was nothing they could do. Later, I sat in his room staring at the red-foil-wrapped chocolates while he slept.

Four: 6 Months  Dad went home with hospice soon after the diagnosis. A friend drove him to his doctor's office visit on Friday, February 4th. Dad walked into the doctor's office perfectly fine by himself. Dad called me that evening and we had a long, clear conversation. He told me the doctor said he had 6 months to live. We agreed I'd be over the next morning with my daughters and we would make plans.

The next morning at 9, my girls and I arrived at his house (about 45 miles from where we lived) while the hospice nurse was there. We found that my father had no idea who we were, could not walk without us supporting him, and would eat only if his granddaughters fed him...and then only pudding and mashed potatoes. Dad died in the hospital the next day, Sunday Feb 6th, probably the shortest 6 months on record. I believe he willed himself to die. He won.

Five: A Sweet Memory  Since I wasn't much of a match for his card playing skills, I wondered at the time if he was bored while playing cards with me in those last days of his life. After his death, at his memorial service, I mentioned this to his two sisters. My aunts looked at each other and smiled, then told me when he was in the hospital he asked them not to eat the red-foiled chocolates because he wanted as many "chips" as possible to make our games last longer.

I'm sharing this with you as Valentine's Day approaches because I hope when you see those red-foiled candy pieces this year, it will remind you to slow down and love someone a little bit harder, a little bit longer, a little bit better. That lifetime you see ahead could easily turn into just 6 months or maybe even just 2 little days.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Laundry Room Signs

Here's a cute sign I spotted on our last road trip. I think it was in a Cracker Barrel restaurant, that Mecca of all things cute and crappy just waiting to catch a ride home with me. Sorry if the photo is a little fuzzy. I took it with my phone camera right after a carb-overload meal!

I would've bought it too if I didn't have that disease called I Think I Can Make Anything Even If I Can't Disease. That disease has saved me from quite a few purchases though but, honestly, my projects are piling up on me anyway!

This picture will join my Pinterest board so I can find it when I'm trying to remember how it was made. I'll bet you do that too, right? So much easier than actually making it...

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Five On Friday

I'm joining Amy at Love Made My Home for Five-On-Friday.  My five this week are from a road trip we took mid-December. 

One:  I'll start with the pretty. A bank of Poinsettias in a store put a smile on my face. I love them all bunched together.

Two:  The Illinois roads were very slippery the afternoon we left. Out in the middle of nowhere this poor guy was calmly standing by his overturned car calling for a tow truck. We stopped to see if he needed help, but he just waived us on. I still wonder how he got out of the car.

Three:  This is one of our wheel wells on the pick-up truck. When we got a little farther south, the ice that had collected started to melt. We could hear "clunks" as the pieces fell off in chunks. We were in a drive-thru waiting for our order, and it was a little embarrassing when big chunks dropped off all at one time.

Here's the wheel well after all the ice melted. In the southern states like Texas, the roads are sanded to reduce skidding. In Illinois, they salt the streets. That's salt residue on the side of the truck. We stopped at a car wash as soon as the temperature was high enough.
Car washes don't usually operate when the temperature is below a certain point. In Texas they close when the temperature is below 42 degrees. 

Four:  Speaking of the drive thru. This sign should be perplexing, but unfortunately it's not uncommon.

Five:  Lots of eye candy from a stop at the little downtown in Franklin Tennessee, just south of Nashville. 

But the only souvenir I brought home from the road trip was this T-shirt. 

Hope you'll stop by Amy's for Five-On-Friday and add your five to the party.

Thanks for dropping by!