Sunday, September 30, 2012

Barn Doors Idioms


To close the barn door after the cow has escaped

  1. (idiomatic) To attempt to prevent a problem only to find it has already happened.

Up until last week this would never have been a problem. First of all, parts of our barns didn't have doors. AND more importantly, we don't have any cows. So whats the problem here???? Actually no problem. BUT this past week i decided that i had thought about, contemplated over and procrastinated long enough about the barn doors, just in case Beatrice decides to get a cow.







AND John Deere, thanked me. He said he was always embarrassed when ever he had to pull out his dipstick to check his oil. I never knew he was an auto oil checker!!!!!



Saturday, September 29, 2012

End of Month & Lower Gas Costs

Gas prices will NEVER be down to levels we would all want to see at the pumps; they have dropped slightly. Prices in early Sept ranged from $3.69 to $3.79+/gal as we travelled from our VA home to NJ. Today’s price was $3.65+/gal at most stations here, some of these were $3.75+ last week.0929GAS pricesMaybe, prices have lowered a little in other areas, excluding our non-USA blogger friends. We KNOW that while our gas costs are high, yours are much higher still.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Funnies

So, we’re wondering WHAT type of fertilizer we need to do this.

Maybe we should just plant this fortune found in my cookie?

grow rich (2)Earlier this week, Grenville posted about his fortune cookie and he’s still trying to figure out the question.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blood Money but No Crime

WAIT before you start wondering whether or not a crime has been committed, let me assure you it hasn’t.

That’s because this post isn’t about the usual definition of blood money — money or other compensation paid by an offender (usually a murderer) or his family group to a victim’s family or kin.

THIS would be $$$ paid to me for giving blood.  And to think all those years that I donated to the Red Cross for FREE, and there wasn’t even a sale, like this one . . .
YES, that’s right, donate blood and be eligible to win $3,000 that’sIMG_5242 what the poster advertising this drive at a local church stated.  So that’s where I went yesterday afternoon.

It seems this offer of inning  cash appealed to LOTS of other folks —  NO surprise ! There  was  IMG_5311a
waiting line to get asked a lot of questions, get a finger prick, and have a large needle inserted in your arm while you bled into a plastic sack. Then, there was that colorful gauze wrapping even though I was hoping for something in orange, as it’s a bit early for holiday colors.
OR, maybe it was the Rewards offer that packed folks in.  That’s right, the Red Cross has a Rewards Club too.IMG_5250
Truth is even without the cash drawing or rewards, I would have donated. I’m guessing most other folks would have as well.IMG_5313
Getting a chance to win something is always nice too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall is Here (on the Calendar)

Our wall calendar showed that the first day of fall arrived Sept 21. Folks in colder regions, have been welcoming lovely autumn colors. Not so here on the VA eastern shore, where we have cooler temps (thankfully) but not (yet) fall leaf colors — even flowers in the Frog & PenguINN gardens are still showing summer colors . . .0924 fall leaves0924 unfall flowers collageTypically, we have to wait until late Oct or early Nov for autumn color. According to Grenville our seasons are:  damp and miserable winter, pleasant spring, brutally hot summer, crisp and late fall .

We’re enjoying fall colors shared by fellow bloggers, thanks to Elaine at Artic View, Christer at The Cottage by the Crane Lake, another Elaine at Our Country Cove Life and Steve at Out on the Prairie. Check Mona’s Montanagirl blog to see the clash of the titans (elks).

The Frog & PenguINN wildflower gardens have lots of still-blooming yellow and orange coreopsis and multi-colored blanket flowers. . .0924 fall flowers collage

More color is added by the Monarch and Painted Lady butterflies that are still fluttering in the wildflower meadow, keeping company with honeybees . . .0924 monarch collage0924 painted lady collage0924 bees on coreopsisSoldier beetles are keeping company with one another, and in great numbers as well . . .0924 soldier beetles

Some flowers have already showed their finest colors.0924 past bloom collage

This plant  comes into the perfect fall color and shape. NO, these are not miniature pumpkins, but seed pods of the Chinese Lantern plant, also called Bladder cherry, Japanese lantern or Winter cherry. (These photos are for Margaret of Bellathena ‘s blog as her lanterns were green).0924 lantern collage

The lantern plant is identifiable by the larger, bright orange to red papery covering its fruit, which resemble Chinese lanterns. It’s belongs to the Nightshade family, a family of plants,  characterized by alternate leaves, usually five-petaled flowers. Other nightshade plants include eggplant, tomato, potato,  capsicum peppers, tobaccos, and petunias.

The lantern plant blooms in early spring and dries in late summer. 0924 lantern seed pod collageThe plant's small white flowers are pollinated by bees. The calyxes, or lanterns, which begin to form as the flowers fade, are a brownish green, then turn to scarlet as they mature. Inside is a red berry. The thin mesh-like outer cover once held the flower petals.

lantern plant (9)It’s a popular ornamental plant, but is invasive with a wide-spreading root system that sends up new shoots some distance from where it was originally planted. In various places around the world, it has escaped cultivation. We have quite a few in our front flower beds and once the seeds disperse, we will have even more next year.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What a fortune,,,,,Cookie

We went to the new Asian Grill / Buffet the other day. The Sushi was pretty good, and my sinuses are still clear after a little too much Wasabi. As soon as it looked like we were heading to the dessert table, a cute little Asian girl zoomed in with fortune cookies and the bill. I've often wondered if there is some sort of mental sonar they use? Or do they just count the plates you took, apply an algorithm found in an Apple, and divide by 3? But i digress.

Now i don't put a lot of stock in the fortunes found inside those cookies. But this time, as i broke it open and read it while using a piece to scoop some ice cream out of its cup, i realized that this one could be a real life changer. Something that might really come in handy in life. The answer to so many of life's nagging puzzles.

If your cookie is in 3 pieces, the answer is no.

I looked down and sure enough i saw three pieces. This had to be a sign. Some spiritual awakening that would serve as a guide for the future. Just think of all the questions in life that this simple fortune could solve.

Will giving that winning Mega Million ticket to that oddly dressed stranger that smells bad, make me happy?

Should i play Mario Andredi on the local side streets and leave the local cops in the dust?
Would putting the q-tip in my power drill clean my ears really good?

Should i quit my job, move to a mountain cave, and contemplate my navel (one I've seldom asked)??

As i pondered these deep quandaries, the melting ice cream began dripping down my hand. I looked down and realized that a fourth piece of cookie had fallen into the ice cream cup. So much for all the answers to life's nagging puzzles. I guess i'll keep wondering like my hero, who is still sitting on the 12th floor of the Acme Building trying to find the answer to life persistent questions, Guy Noir.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vintage Streetcar Ads

Awhile back, Grenville posted about our anniversary road trip visit to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. While he focused his attention (and camera) on the trolley cars, I was interested in the vintage ads displayed along both top sides in the streetcars. I'm not sure of the years, but believe that some of these ads date from the early 1900s through the World War II mid 1940s era. Along with taking photos of the ads, I looked up information online.
Here are some prominent ads from World War II for women's recruitment and products. The Granger tobacco ad says in small print that the man shown is a naval aviator.  Burma-Shave was an American brushless shaving cream, well known for its humorous rhyming poems on small, sequential, highway billboard signs.  The first ones appeared in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1925 and remained a major marketing tool until 1963. Its estimated there were over 600 such signs.
Trolley WWII ads
Founded by Vincent Bendix in South Bend, Indiana, the Bendix Corporation was an American manufacturing and engineering company, which at various times in its 60-year history from 1924-1983, made auto brake shoes and systems, aircraft brakes, aeronautical hydraulics and electric power systems, radios and TVs. But,while it was well known for the Bendix name on home clothes washing machines, the company NEVER actually made these common home appliances. In 1936, the company licensed its name to Bendix Home Appliances (also in South Bend) for a 25 percent stake in the company and Bendix Home Appliances, founded by Judson Sayre was started and later sold to Avco Manufacturing.
Lux started as Sunlight Flakes laundry soap in 1899. Lux was a successful brand by the early 1920s, when in 1924, Lever Brothers conducted a contest that led them to an interesting discovery: woman were using Lux as toilet soap. In 1925, Lux toilet soap was launched in the U.S. Since then, it has been marketed in various forms including hand wash, shower gel, and cream bath soap.The B.T. Babbitt's 1776 soap powder dates from the 1920s to advertise Benjamin T. Babbitt's detergent which had factories in Chicago, Illinois and NJ. Babbitt's soap was one of the first nationally advertised products and was sold from brightly colored street cars. He was one of the first manufacturers to offer tours of his factories and one of the first to also give away free samples. Writer Sinclair Lewis used the Babbitt name for the title character of his 1922 best selling novel of the same name.
Trolley ads laundry
Many ads were directed to the use of home remedies. BC headache remedy is still available after its 1907 start at the Five Points Drug Company in Durham, NC. The product name comes  from the initials of its creators, Germain Bernard and C.T. Council. The company was later sold to GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and then to Prestige Brands. Sloan's liniment was the product of Earl Sloan and in the 1870s, it started as a horse liniment, then someone discovered it also relieved back pain. Soon afterwards, early advertising stated "good for man and beast." The liniment was popularly marketed in the early 1900s. Iodent toothpaste was manufactured by the Iodent Chemical Company in Detroit, MI in the mid 1940s. Today, Iodent fluoride toothpaste is still marketed towards smokers.
Trolley ads remedies
Most of these products are still available for use today. The lone exception is Burnett's Vanilla, which was produced by the Joseph Burnett Company of Boston, MA. The company started in 1847 when chemist/druggist Burnett developed a vanilla extract for flavoring foods. The Burnett name continued in use until the 1960s, after that time it was no longer used.
Trolley ads food
Cloverland is a Baltimore dairy started by the Kemp family in 1919 and is still in operation today. Nucoa is made by Best Foods and appears to be available today in some areas according to online searches. The Supreme Margarine ad dates from the 1920s; the company is no longer in business. 
Trolley ads dairy
This circa 1910 trolley ad was for Fyr-Pruf Stove and Nickel Polish made by the American Ammone Co. In the 1900s, most stoves were made of cast iron, so women may have needed to polish them, but I can't imagine men polishing their furnaces. Can you?
fyr-pruf ad 
Arrow still makes shirts, however, the price of men's dress shirts has increased considerably from the $1.50 (and up) price listed here.The company has been around for over 150 years. Part of the Arrow collar popularity was the creation by artist J.C. Leyendecker of the Arrow Collar Man. The stylish man in these ads always dressed in the latest Arrow items and made it one of the most recognizable brand names.
arrow shirt
SORRY, but photos are NOT clickable to enlarge because this post was composed on a MacBook using the MarsEdit blog program which does not provide the same features as Microsoft Live Writer does for PC blogging. There is NO similar SW for Mac users (sadly) . . . yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Unexpected Bounty

Earlier this week, we found a surprise in finding that a volunteer butternut0920 butternuts (1) squash plant was thriving and expanding near our mulch pile.  It was definitely a VERY unexpected bounty as Grenville didn’t plant any squash this year due to the limited garden space.

As you can see, butternut squash REALLY likes to lots of growing space.

This week, we found another surprise. . . Strawberries — again.

strawberry collageWe really enjoyed the strawberry harvest in early May when we ate them freshly picked and Grenville made a great Strawberry pie.


0929strawberry surprise (13)But, this time. weeds have overrun the strawberry patches. While we’ve sampled this second crop, the berries are not as sweet or large as the spring crop so we won’t be picking them. 

Instead, this time around, the birds and squirrel have been enjoying them.

Meantime, the surprise butternut squash is doing SO well that we’re looking forward to a late fall harvest.

0920 butternut collage1Who knew that mulch pile gardening could be SO easy and productive ?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Announcing the New dPhone 1.5

That's right folks, the revolutionary dPhone 1.5 from Guacamole Communications is debuting soon but you can get ahead of the crowds by preordering one of these amazing pieces of technology. The dPhone 1.5 has been engineered for people who don't want to endure the hassles of importance. Who are looking for a simpler, gentiler, more laid back way of life. And now thanks to years of reverse engineering by Guacamole Communications you can finally take back your quiet, sedate lives.

So what does the amazingly simple, stylishly elegant dPhone 1.5 come with??

To start Guacamole Communications has added a must have notebook feature. Easy to use. Simple to open. Just use the included universal writing utensil to jot down important notes, grocery lists, or just doodle for relaxation. Artists will enjoy the freedom of expression the NoteBook feature gives them. Sharing your thoughts has never been easier. No need for Wi-Fi of expensive cellular data plans. Just tear off the sheet and hand it to someone. 
Adress book
Next an adress book comes right with the dPhone 1.5. Designed alphabetically so anyone's address or phone number is right at your fingertips. No more tiny buttons to push or winkie displays that are impossible to read. Just straight, simple entries that almost pop off every page. And you will never have to endure a mechanical voice mis-pronouncing an entry again. Keeping track of important dates will no longer be an exercise in dexterity.
Guacamole Communications has made great strides to make
Calendarsure you never again forget those important dates. Forget the little arrows, the tiny keys, the virtual keyboards that require years of practice touching a screen to get the letter you want and just one of them. Now Guacamole Communications lets you use the universal writing utensil to enter your dates right on the calendar. To change a date simply use the preinstalled eraser mechanism on the universal writing utensil to clear the entry and add your change. No necessity to use a delete key and lose your entire calendar. Clean, and neat. It is just amazing how this feature will aid in your scheduling.

Have you aPaperairplanelways wanted to try texting? Well now Guacamole Communications   has made sending a text as simple as it was when you were younger. Along with the other amazing features of the dPhone 1.5, you get a supply of specially designed, aerodynamically  engineered text message vehicles. And no Wi-Fi or expensive Cellular data plans are needed. Just use the universal writing utensil to jot down your message, follow the guide lines that are preinstalled on each aerodynamically  engineered text vehicle, and launch your text message. Stylish and sleek lines will set your text message vehicle far apart from all the rest, and definitely will get attention. With the revolutionary Guacamole Communications aerodynamically  engineered text vehicle, your text will always be remembered.

 And one more thing. Guacamole Communications has made the primary use of   dPhone 1.5 easy and elegant by returning to the traditional method of reaching another person. Yes, the way we've reached others since the days of A.G. Bell has returned.  Now packaged with all of these new features, the dPhone 1.5, the most amazing and revolutionary return to the technology you've trusted for years, is the only device you need to keep your life on track.
dPhone 1.5
And One More Thing!!!!!! The dPhone 1.5 is CONTRACT FREE!!!
A convenient cyber slot has been placed on the rear to insert cyber coins. A true pay as you go.

No contract. Cyber coin compatible. Great, easy to use features included. Simple dialing. The revolutionary dPhone 1.5.

And one last thing!!!!!! If you find one,,,, you're dreaming…..
Grenville (heading to My hammock for some therapy).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Grand NJ Road Trip

Our recent NJ road trip to celebrate my mom’s 90th birthday was a “grand” family affair — especially since our grandchildren, their parents, and Grenville’s aunt and uncle came for the party from New England. Not only did we have time to spend with grandkids, Bobby and Ellie, but some “photo ops” too — y’all know by now that we really like to share too !

Ellie walking collageLOOK who’s walking . . . granddaughter Ellie took her first steps two weeks before the party and she hasn’t stopped since (or so her parents claim).

Grandson Bobby just started kindergarten this year and likes it.

Bobby collageBobby is now very much the “big” brother; Ellie now follows him calling his name.IMG_2536Bobby and Grandpa Grenville mugged for the camera.

Bobby-grandpa collageEllie joined in the photo fun with grandpa, mom Shannon and Bobby.

ellie-grandpa collage2Parents Shannon and Robert shared photo time too with the kids.grands-parents collageThese photos were taken the morning after the birthday party when we gathered at an IHOP to celebrate Shannon’s birthday the nextbirthdays collage day and to pre-celebrate the birthdays of Aunt Anita and Uncle Russ later  in Sept.

We really had a grand NJ road trip to celebrate not only a very special event but family time together.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Surprise !

This is WHAT we found growing near the mulch pile a couple of weeks ago, and it was MUCH smaller then . . . this was TODAY.

butternut surprise915 (1)NO, it’s not an invasive weed, but something we’re looking forward to eating this fall. Just look closely at the arrows in the photo below to see WHY.

butternut surprises2That small golden bloom on the left and the oblong green shape are joined by many more of these hidden among all these leaves . . .

butternut collage2YES, we hope these little orbs thrive for fall harvesting. Since we didn’t plant any squashes in our small veggie garden this season,  this “volunteer” is most welcome.

Here’s our butternut squash harvested last season, some of which are still frozen . . .

Any surprises for you lately?