Thursday, July 31, 2014

Almost 89...

My auntie wrote me of her art show last weekend that it was almost unbelievable...
"to know I could do the impossible when I am almost 89!"

That's my auntie at her show,  far right >
with bink, who drove down for the event.
I think my auntie looks like a happy young girl here.
She was born the 5th of 10 children of Sicilian immigrants (my father was #7); grew up during the Great Depression; stayed at home and turned her paycheck over to her parents until she got married at 32. She married a kind man and made a good home. When he died, she was only 70, but she said she thought her life was over.

Instead, she moved to a village on the city's edge, where she had one friend. She made new friends, got a part-time job, and flourished. 
She started painting when I did, a year and a half ago. She had taken a drawing class years ago, but otherwise she is self-taught and likes it that way.

At first painting was mostly to pass time during the long, cold winter. She would put away her art supplies between projects. But gradually she painted more and more, until finally she dedicated part of the living room to studio space.

The owner of the boutique where my auntie works once or twice a week had the idea to host her art show.
Here are some of her paintings on display, mostly acrylics on paper.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Sound of One Fondue Fork

I imagine a shriek, as a lone fondue fork pierces the palm of a thrift store customer reaching into a bin of Kitchen Implements, 50 Cents.
Whoever donated the fondue fork (one, all alone) didn't worry that thrift store volunteers might skewer themselves unpacking the thing though.

No blood was lost, but I do marvel at the stuff people donate. A lot of it can go right into the Free Box, but not the dangerous stuff.

Most isn't dangerous,  it's just dirty, broken, or useless.  I can imagine the donor thinking, "Well, someone can use it."

I'm not sure who they are imagining needs...

scratched Tuppeware... with no lid
cookware with baked-on grease
picture frames with broken glass (to be fair, perhaps the glass was intact when it was put, unwrapped, into a paper bag to give away)
moldy pillows 
mildewed rugs
cat hair-covered anything
half-burned birthday cake candles
and––really?–– stained underwear

C HUCKINS, I have your pen.

I am becoming a stationery hound, sorting donations at the Thrift Store. This Sheaffer pen and pencil set was among the junk (you wouldn't, maybe, believe what people donate), and I took it home to look up. It's not special like the Lady Capri, just an inexpensive set probably from the 1970s.

What catches me, though, is that they're inscribed (sloppily), yet unused. Were they a gift? A cheap(ish) one?

I googled C HUCKINS + this city and state... 

So, if that's you, let me know and I'll return your property, though I expect, in fact, that you are either very old or dead and your relatives donated the flotsam and jetsam of your life.
Otherwise, back to the Thrift Store they go where we shall see if we can get two or three dollars for the pair. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sorry, Wrong Number

Last night I watched the film noir classic Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) starring Barbara Stanwyck and my boy Burt Lancaster.
 Through a series of telephone calls, a neurotic, bedridden wife
(Stanwyck) comes to suspect her beefy-looking but weasely-souled husband (Burt) has hired someone to kill her. 

It's ridiculously overblown, so the powerfully nasty ending surprised me ...and made it all worthwhile.

Here're the two actors on the set of the film:

Sorting paper goods at the Thrift Store today, I unpacked a vintage address book, below, with a cover of some sort of plastic (?) lacquer over gold brocade fabric.

I imagine it's the sort Stanwyck's character might have used. There's not even anyplace to put e-mail addresses... So I bought it. I'm going to use it too, because my old address book is full.

Does anyone today use paper address books ? Would children even recognize the mail and telephone icons?
     That's Alfie, the wire fox terrier ^ 
I'm house sitting this weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Success! x 3

Good news all 'round yesterday!

The nonfiction books I wrote for the school library publisher disappear into school libraries, not fertile ground for authorly ego, so I was thrilled to receive my first ever fan letter for one of my books (the toilet history one) after 11 years.  

I'm going to frame it:
"Your Book is awesome!" + toilet image.

Then, the Public Health people responded like champs to my criticism of their assumption that everybody drives cars:
They added bus & bike info to their direx!  >

Wow! I could weep with appreciation of their reasonableness. 

I've written before about how I am prone to resentment, an emotion that feeds on feelings of powerlessness. So when I take action, I feel less resentful....

Instead, I feel terrified! 
Terrified of repercussions: most terrifying of all, of some kind of humiliation, of shaming. 

So I not only appreciate this civilized response, I'm deeply relieved. My fear (and so, my relief) are irrational of course, because one of the reasons I risked writing PH in the first place is because I knew they are well-meaning and reasonable people.

But still, my frightened self feared they'd write back and tell me I was a social malingerer.
 Finally, I came home from working at the thrift store and my pal who owns the house (she & her family live here, and Mz and I live in half of the upstairs), my pal was tearing up the stair-runner carpet.

The daughter of the house has a dog that dribbles, and they just moved out, so my pal is on a roll with refreshing the place. And with Mz out of town, I'm on a similar roll.

So, we pulled up the truly disgusting carpet together.

< The wood underneath is beat-up, but you can see it looks nice anyway.

I feel refreshed.