Collections: Thoughts and Things Celebrate, Create, Contemplate. Repeat.

Shiver Me Timbers

It’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Here’s a great way to celebrate, Mango Languages gives you the opportunity to learn Pirate.

Instruction includes five lessons, including how to give sailing commands, greet a superior & express surprise.  And also provides history and grammar notes. Grammar notes! Use the second person pronoun Ye. And learn the definition of a bilge or a gentlemen o’ fortune.  (For the other 364 days a year, Mango Languages offers over 60 different courses.  It’s a terrific resource we found via our library.)

Since 1995, September 19th offers a boatload of fun.  This year Krispy Kreme is offering a free doughnut for those ordering in pirate, and a free dozen for those wearing pirate costume.

Even NPR is celebrating, posting this image. NPR Pirate Day Image

Some  additional pirate items if you’re celebrating,

Alas, no rum.

I have a pirate in the family, her first name starts with ‘Aye’.   For her,


Will Turner: You cheated.

 Jack Sparrow: Pirate.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Avast me hearties, set sails for Krispy Kreme.

Yo ho ho, jolly fun for anyone without a job interview today.

 Ahoy mateys!

H2 Oh My

A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Whew. Busy, busy, busy weekend. For myself, my family and my friends.

#summerday 1

The weekend events have been life changing, milestone making, and goal challenging (personal, professional & soccer). Some first world problems (first full week of school, first crushing soccer loss, first sorority rush), and some heart crushing.

Delivering a child to college–full of hopes, dreams, and more than a touch of adrenaline/anxiety is monumental (roots and wings) . But it is in a completely different realm than one friend supporting a co-worker whose six-year old child has a brain tumor, a dear friend shopping for daughters wedding dress, and an inspirational conductor on the ‘most patient mommy train’, shared that her father has a terminal diagnosis.

#summerday 2, Thanks SherryFor a moment respite, I see I have an unplanned mini collection on Instragram.

Water. Life giving, life taking, soothing, powerful, and cleansing. (And yes, I am poaching the analogy from baptism prep classes when our kids were infants.)

Avalanche Creek, Glacier Park

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Montlake Cut

As I am perpetually distracted, please know that I am sending warm thoughts amongst the chaos. (Do we have bread? Did the date pass for the car to be serviced? Where is the rebate form? Report for work completed? Has anyone scooped the kitty litter?  . . .  Squirrel!)  I hope to support you as much as you have me.old pier, Puget Sound

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

Sunset, Thanks B

Thoughts and prayers for my family and peeps.

Puget Sound 2

Virtual Hugs.

September 11th

To honor the angels

NYC, DC & PA. 1

9-11-14. Flag

Where Were You in 1504?

On September 8, 2014, I was in the car listening to NPR, and the program transitioned to Garrison Keillor.  His voice is lulling to me, so I do not often listen. especially not when driving (safety first).  But I did hear the list of notable events and birthdays that happened on this day.

On this date in 1504, if you were lucky you were in Florence, Italy. Today is the anniversary of the unveiling of Michelangelo’s David.

Michelangelo was twenty-six when he began the commission. 26! He was the third sculptor to work with this piece of Carrara marble.  I’ve visited the historic and beautiful jewel that is Florence.  And today Prairie Home Companion reminded me about ‘meeting’ David. At the museum, I politely meandered into listening range during a tour that had stopped at the masterpiece.  (Which may be a Rick Steves tip . . . ) Different than the books I had read, and the audio-guide I was juggling, the guide shared details about the statue.

Florence Museum Logo

Almost seventeen feet tall, and weighing in at six tons, most can picture the iconic image of David. Truly incredible detail. But not quite everything can be seen when gazing at the statue.

Firenze postcard detail

While I do enjoy the many, many options (aprons, boxers, puzzles, etc.) in the museum store to commemorate a trip to the Galleria dell’ Accademia, I choose a postcard with the unique detail mentioned in the tour. (No, not what you’re thinking.)

Michelangelo's David, Eye DetailHearts.

This enormous, perfectly, intricately carved statue, and the pupils are hearts.

Happy 510th Birthday David.  And thanks Mr. Keillor.

If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn’t call it genius. ”

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

I Can See You

Of course I can’t actually  see you, but I can share a collection of vintage eye wear.

First, a classic pair of spectacles.Vintage Gold Framed BifocalsA basic item, bifocals like these were worn by many. Love the details and patina. The frame is delicate, yet the glass lenses are fairly heavy. The prescription is so strong it makes me dizzy.

Who knows how many times the thin, thin gold wires with a tiny bit of etching were tucked behind ears at the start of the day.

And this pair?

vintage climbing goggles 3

Vintage climbing goggles. (Admittedly these are sitting upside down, but flipping the photo gave a slight sensation of vertigo . . . I probably shouldn’t have tried on the first pair of glasses.)

This view should help.

vintage climbing goggles 2

These nimbly fold to fit in your backpack until needed. Peripheral vision is key, and the four lenses protect your eyes. (Thanks to the model.)

This pair of spectacles belonged to my grandfather, they are frightfully horrid when worn by anyone else, but he looked wise and welcoming. Probably because he was.

Vintage glasses Lester 1Like many folks who experienced the Great Depression, he kept things forever.

Vintage glasses Lester 2, practical

And my favorite pair. When I found these I pictured a dapper motorist out for a drive in a horseless carriage.

Antique Kings Safety Goggles 1

Or maybe I was just thinking of Professor Caractacus Potts, out for a spin in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Anyhoo, these safety goggles are over one hundred years old, and they still have an aura of cool.

Mesh sides, moving parts, and funky nose pads; this collection makes my heart sing. Plus if cars do start to fly, I’ll be ready for a convertible.

The End of Summer Treasures

A fine month and a fine weekend. Between events, I was able to tag a couple of estate sales, make a quick St. Vinnie’s run, and stop at one very exuberantly marked ‘estate sale’ that was basically a very small garage sale. The kind where it’s awkward looking at a table with a few (over-priced) items in the driveway.  ($5 for a craft kit I can get at Michaels for 1$?) Suppress eye roll, quick thank you, small smile, and exit stage right. However, they did have a bike pump which we needed, and it’s bright blue which appeals to the shorter family members.

So time for “show me what ya got” moment–summer edition,

Passle  of Party PicksMartini time! I always like to offer to pay the original price if I find one on a box, and it’s usually good for a chuckle from the vendor.  But this time I paid .10¢ for both sets of picks. (Always look in junk drawers.)

Two Tiny Pyrex Beakers

Two Tiny Pyrex Beakers. Tiny bouquets await.

A watercolor paint set, with a detailed colorful scene telling a story on the lid. Who let these penguins out? I like the bottom left where the penguin is watching her paint with this set.

Made in England

Made in England.

This is literally a huge addition to my paint box collection. Water Color Set Detail 1

Managed to leave this chef’s toque for the next treasure hunter. . .

Bacon Toque

I have wanted roly poly wine glasses for quite some time.  The addition of this pair of cute Breakfast Club glasses are perfect any time of day.

Roly Poly Glass Breakfast Club

Now Let’s Fall into some more fun!

**Bonanza note: Of course Hoss was a nickname, but the characters real name was Eric Cartwright. News to me.

Deep In The Heart of Texas

The tune “Deep in the Heart of Texas” always makes me want to tap my toes, or even let out a whoop, and a clap. (And, please keep in mind I’m a water-logged Northwesterner. )

 The stars at night are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas
The prairie sky is wide and high
Deep in the heart of Texas

It’s a popular and well-known song from 1941, but it is not the Lone Star state song. Neither is the familiar 1858 tune “The Yellow Rose of Texas“. I was a bit surprised to discovery this. “Texas, Our Texas“, a spunky march-y tune from 1929 is the Texas State song.

Anyway, I was humming “Deep in the Heart of Texas” when I bought this back-to-school gift. It’s for the daughter of one of my friends, who will be attending the University of Texas Law School.  (Go Miss B!)  Did you know you can mail many (safe) items, and if labeled correctly with appropriate postage affixed?  Yes, you can send off a quirky non-traditional package.  I have sent coconuts as birthday greetings. Such a fun nutty option to change things up a bit.

Texas Gift 1

Smart, capable, but with a sense of humor, student Miss B can take an out-of-the-box joke, so we sent an ‘out of the box’ gift. My sweet baby wrapped it and sealed it to be mailed.  Almost 22″ and 1″ thick, glimmering in taped aluminum foil, it’s a familiar shape, so what is it? It will add to Miss B’s new kitchen, and be an easily portable Texas memory after graduation.  OK, one lucky Longhorn will have a Texas shaped cutting board. Sturdy and dishwasher safe. Just a bit sassy. Perfect. Practical too, as you can’t really slice limes or chop garlic on a diploma. So we are sending a little bit of our hearts to Texas, where the stars at night–and in the law school–are big and bright.

The employee at the post office treated our shiny, silver, shaped package without a question, or even a glimpse of a smile. And I had my charming, sparkly eyed assistant with me. Carpe Diem dude, we’re mailing Texas to Texas. He was as ho-hum about it as a brown paper envelope going ground to Detroit. (Maybe he should hum a few Texas tunes.) Doesn’t matter, because it was FUN, & it made us happy to make her happy.   Happy Fall Semester! Now what else can we wrap? . . .


Giddy up and give it a try too!

{nifty button}and snaps for me, can finally add buttons!

The Envelope Please . . .


Blink and it’s August. Fine, blink, drive, pack, un pack, repack, mention the heat and the lack of rain (this is Seattle) drive, camps, play, and August is almost over. We’ve been to quite a few beaches, and had four wisdom teeth removed (rotating bags of frozen peas post surgery is the way to go. However your family may not want to eat peas again for a while.) We are reusing backpacks, pencil boxes, rulers and calculators both solar and graphing. And still a foray into the back to school supplies was necessary and completed. We’re up and running (pun intended) on three team sports, with classes commencing next week.

In September   (!)

So let’s add a collection of something.  And yes, I did consider photographs of the extracted teeth . . .

This is a take on ‘good things come in small packages’.

Envelope Number One:  It’s a Sen-Sen package. The first commercial breath freshener in the USA. Or as the envelope states “Breath Perfume.”

Sen Sen 1A few tiny black candy tablets remain, hard as a rock with a faint anise aroma. Originally powerful licorice bits, Sen Sen was in production for over 100 hundred years, and just discontinued in 2013. This package is from the 20s-30s.

Sen Sen 2Envelope Number Two:  Early 1940’s Air Mail Postage Stickers. French, English, & Spanish.Air Mail 1 1940's

Correspondence was so key to friends and family back home.

 Air Mail 2 1940s

Envelope Number Three: Contains the Smallest Pair of Dice in the World.


Yup. Those are very small.

These envelopes hold quite a variety of early 20th century treasures.


Since my brain is already saturated with repeated verses of  “All About That Bass” sung by backseat carpool buddies, and the laundry room has regained the essence of shin guards.  Let’s bring on school!

I just may wear this new find for the first week of school.

1937 Oregon Chauffeur Badge

Perfect for mom’s taxi

But will remember that this August went quickly . . . and so will otherssaturdays

The Thrill of the Hunt (For Paper)

The sign next to the basket of paper products said “Pick 10 for $1.00.”  What a lovely invitation to rummage around. So I did.  Brochures, cards, pamphlets. A vintage paper craft project is perpetually on my list. For a moment or two I was thinking that five for $1.00 would be just dandy too.  Then foraging a bit more, of course I found ten pieces.


Published by the Presbyterian Board of Education. I think it actually is from 1893. Sabbath Day Detail 1983

Heading into the middle of the 20th century with a Pan Am Circle Tour.

Pre 1960 as Havana is s destination. The groovy swimwear also a clue . . .

Dig the groovy swimwear.

Island hopping.

Pam Am Caribbean Brochure Detail

Four more travel options:

 One greeting card.

Oakland company Laher Spring & Electric Car Corp Greeting Card.

Oakland company Laher Spring & Electric Car Corp Greeting Card.

Back to travel with a Finnair postcard and menu card combo

Finnair Postcard and Menu

Finnair Los Angeles – Seattle- Helsinki  route menu.

Finnair Los Angeles - Seattle- Helsinki Menu

Collation Nocturne.  Midnight Snack. Yummy. At the time Finnair flew this route, it also introduced Executive Class for business travelers.  I’m guessing that crab and petit fours were not served in economy.  Herring? Maybe.

And what to drink?

In English and French?

I’m in for a Polar Liqueur.

What to take to Finland? Perhaps a pair of these,

1955 Patent

1955 patent date

Half of the downhill skis in the US in the 60’s were Head Skis.  The pamphlet shows ski construction around a laminated fir core, and price for standard pair starting at $85.00.

And item #10, The Caribbean Guide.

Esso The Caribbean

I was happily enjoying the graphic on the front of the gentleman with a book on the beach, and then I unfolded it to find a wonderful illustrated map. Plus, the back includes information on different island locations.

 The second guide to include Havana as a vacation destination, so pre-1960.

Puerto Rico Detail

Puerto Rico Detail

Landmark, history and industry illustrations, just like my favorite Golden Encyclopedias.  This vivid map is now in the ‘to be framed’ pile.

A dollar well spent.  If you have the change to peek around in a basket of miscellaneous items this weekend, do it!

Happy Birthday Smokey Bear, & A Wish

Smokey Bear’s 70th birthday was August 9th.  Sorry to be a bit tardy,  however I do believe in birthday week.  Let’s celebrate Smokey Bear’s milestone birthday and years of service. (In 1952 a song was written called “Smokey the Bear”, adding “the” helped the rhythm.)

 Smokey handed this out in 1971, teaching boys and girls about forest resources and safety

1971 Guide for Boys and Girls

Smokey Bear Story of Forest 2Smokey Bear Story of Forest 4

Smokey Bear Story of Forest 3

Smokey Bear Pencil

Smokey Bear Pencil

On his birthday, I bet Smokey Bear wished for rain. And for continued strength, safety and support for those battling blazes in the West.

Have to take off my birthday hat now. As lovely as the vintage graphics are, the message remains very real. As of today, 8.13.14, there are 43 wildfires burning.  Over 700,000 acres have burned this summer. Devastating.

Photo: Michael Stanford, July 2014, Washington

from the National Interagency Fire Center

Daily statistics 8/13/14
Number of new large fires 4 States currently reporting large fires:
California (11)
Idaho (5)
Montana (3)
Oregon (10)
Washington (10)
Number of active large fires 39
Acres from active fires 717,660
Fires contained since 8/12/14 4

Washington has finally had some precipitation this week.

Thanks Smokey Bear.

Posted by L. Fitzmaurice, July 2014, Washington

In summers past, I have seen the haze and smoke from forest fires in Washington, Idaho and Montana, and am fortunate to have never experienced an actual blaze.  My wish is the same as Smokey’s.

1944 Debut