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

Box It Up

Collection of Vintage Boxes

OK, I have a few, more than a few boxes, but these are out and about the house holding office supplies, letters, photos and keepsakes.

Soda Box 1 Butterfly box Chalk 2

Chalk 1

Such a lovely little dovetailed box

Ribbons Buttons, . . .

Ribbons, buttons and now . . .

Paste 1

Perfect fit for spiral notebooks and graph paper

Candy Box 1a

Box 1, plain

Candy Box 1b RECIPE!

A simple recipe.

Candy Box 2a

#2, the marketing box

Candy Box 2b

This little group packs in some of my favorite things, great graphics and useful.

PS. The Idaho Candy Company, started in 1901 continues to make candies in Boise. Purveyors of the Idaho Spud bar.  The Trammel Company is also in the same location in Houston, creating  school spirit products.

A Penny for Your Easter Thoughts

Easter Postcards Early 1900′s

Easter Postcard 1

Postage was just 1¢

Postage was just 1¢

Easter postcard Birds


Easter 3

Love these tiny bunnies.

Easter5EAsterPost 1Easter 2

Easter postcards 6

A sparkle of gildingEaster 4Easter 8Happy Easter to All.

Bunny De-Tail



Row Row Row Your Boat

How can I link a rainy Saturday in Seattle, (yes, hard to distinguish given so many similar days. . .)  to the achievement of an American gold medal in the Olympics?

Well, I can start by mentioning a book.  The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. The book, describes the stories of the varsity crew members for the University of Washington.  This is the gold medal part of the post.

Last year I attended a regatta held at the University of Washington. The morning started with a brief springlike moment of sun, and within minutes the skies became kitten gray and began to pour torrents of rain. Buckets. Puddles. The teams waited for their turn to row through the Montlake Cut.  The kids were terrific. Cold, soggy, fun.

The clouds poured

This is the rainy Saturday part of the post.

Parents were invited into the UW shellhouse to warm up as the boats came in.  My jacket was dripping and my jeans were saturated up to the knee.  And I was faring well compared to the rowers.  Conibear 2Nestled on Lake Washington, this building has been home to UW crews since 1949 with the last renovation completed in 2005. I had a few moments to myself in the dining room out of the rain. UW CREW the BOAT 3

As I waited for my munchkin’s boat to make its way back to the dock,  I looked up to see an old racing shell hanging from the ceiling. Things made of wood are my kind of things. (In just our entry, I have a vintage pair of skis, an 8′ toboggan, and a carved antique door panel.

Wood seats, metal riggers, leather shoes, a polished honey glow.  The shell was beautiful.

UW CREW the BOAT 1I scampered back outside when the team arrived back to the dock.

Raining again

Getting rained on a second time. Brrrr

This year, my rower and I went to hear author Daniel James Brown speak and read from The Boys in the Boat. He was joined by Judy Willman, the daughter of one the boys.  As they shared details about this amazing story about the boys, and the journey researching and writing the book, they also mentioned the boat.

1936 team from

1936 postcard with the Olympic course on Lake Grunau.

Listen to coxswain Bob Moch describe the gold medal race.

Mr. Brown stated that the Husky Clipper racing shell used by the 1936 UW Olympic Champions now hangs from the ceiling of the dining hall in the Conibear Shellhouse.  OMG. I had pictures of it already! I gasped as I realized I’d been so close to a piece of history. (Yes, I welled up too)

This IS the boat. The Boys were in This Boat. UW CREW the BOAT 2

And I sat under it on a rainy Saturday last spring.

Completely changed the meaning of ‘cool’ when I now remember that regatta.

row 3 UW IZ

The girls in the boat.

More scoop:

Boys in the Boat  book excerpt, interview with author Daniel James Brown, and video of the Olympic race.

Pocock Racing Shells

Oh, how are the Husky mens varsity crew doing? 2013 was their third national championship in a row.

Just Flipping Through The Pages

As much as I enjoy resources at my fingertips and a screen in my pocket, I also enjoy a moment spent flipping the real pages of magazines.  Plus I love travel, so let’s combine the two for a quick visit to the land of the vikings.

Here is a collection of images from a set of Norwegian magazines.

What’s cover worthy in the land of the midnight sun?

Allers 1

Må Ha! = Must Have!

A poncho, really?

The poncho is lightly frightening.


Frisk & glad uansett alder = Fresh & happy regardless of age

What’s inside?

Might be time to break out a metric converter and Google translate, this looks yummy. Tasty 2Just need to add some bringebær (raspberries) to my market list.

Cute doesn’t need a translation,

Kids Clothes

My kids thought this was too pajama-y, unless of course it is PJs.
Nope, not jammies, Janus has over a century of experience, specializing in wool garments.

My favorite peek into Norwegian culture might be this article about Åshild.

Norwegian Pets

So happy on her farm.

Who doesn’t want to just hug a goat sometimes?

April in Paris (ish)

Each piece is so beautifulMarch 31st was the 125th anniversary of the opening the Eiffel Tour.

But it’s April Fools day, so perhaps I’ll start with something silly, like say calculus.  I spied this recently in my daughters homework (not that I could help her with it . . .)

Eiffel calculus 1I don’t recall the answers being posted with the problem when I was in high school . . . but solve away.  The next step is graphing. Do you see what I see?

Eiffel calculus 2Mais Oui!  My favorite math problem ever.

Now, since I do so hate missing a friends birthday, let’s celebrate with an Eiffel Tower collection.

Eiffel looking up

Going up?

Tip top of the Eiffel tour

Tip top of the Eiffel Tour

Six million people visit a year.Bag 2, Detail

Fun with La Belle Tour

Cute, but not French at all,

Eiffel Mug

Favorite mug from Sur La Table


From Paris

Eggciting 2

And Made in France

One of my most favorite logos

One of my favorite logos

A little more Eiffel around the house

View from the top

 Now, if you liked the Eiffel + math idea, this could be the book for you.


Pardon (pun intended) the glare, but a classic view at night from the Seine.Boat tour

Happy Birthday!bleu blanc et rouge eiffel

And last April we were lucky enough to be in Paris. Until next time, I’ll save Parisian thoughts here.Journal 2B

Earth Hour, March 29

We try to reduce/reuse/recycle, and make choices to help protect the Earth’s resources a priority. OK, reusable TP isn’t ever going to catch on here, but we are trying.

Around the world, people will be turning off their lights at 8.30 pm this Saturday. Iconic buildings and landmarks around the world participate in this hour of darkness too.  It’s the annual Earth Hour Celebration. Started by the WWF in Sydney in 2007.

It’s become one of our favorite hours together as a family (and just one place, at one time can be an achievement.)  We (shudder) turn off the lights, phones, TV, and computers. Enjoy Earth Hour!  Create a family game night, light candles, play cards, chess or checkers.  This special hour can connect us to the Earth and to our roots. Get out old photo albums of your babies, you as a baby, or even another generation back and share the laughs, history and stories. Also, while not quite ‘green’, we enjoy the muted rainbow of glow necklaces and bracelets. (Can also be used for hide and seek in the dark. Try it outside, fun.) If you have hand-cranked flashlights it’s an opportune time to test them too. If there are chips, my tribe will remain in any group; never underestimate the power of a snack.  60 minutes of such simple actions show your support of the Earth, and are an opportunity for time with your family while they are at long last disconnected. Two magnificent gifts.

Do you have plans Earth Hour 2014?    Enjoy.

Sydney 2011 Earth Day AP Photo

Sydney 2011 Earth Day AP Photo

Take a look outside or around wherever you are at about 9:00 pm, and see if there is a difference. It’s amazing to be in a moment that starts inside you home and spreads across the world. The feeling of worldwide camaraderie, and acknowledgement of the Earth, is quite moving.

KualaLumpur2011 AP photo

Kuala Lumpur 2011 AP photo

Some people enjoy Earth Hour with a candle-lit dinner,  a candle-lit bath, or darkness dessert so no-one can see how big your serving may be. Some families, friends, and neighborhoods may host large events or parties, either in darkness or with candles, to celebrate Earth Hour.

If Las Vegas can do it for an hour, you can too.

Las Vegas 2013 AP Photo

2013 AP Photo

Moscow, the Kremlin and Red Square did it in 2013. Monopoly in the dark is sounding kind of fun now, isn’t it?

New Delhi Earth Hour 2012

New Delhi Earth Hour 2012

I wish you a wonderful Earth Hour. As I am about to push publish, and in New Zealand, it’s starting in about 5 minutes!

Be a part of it.


Pain Over Pancakes

Since hitting the big 4-0, I’ve detected an interesting phenomenon. Does anything ever fly as quickly as the year between mammograms? Truly, I’ll receive a mammogram appointment notice in the mail and immediately think this can’t be right, I was just there.

For my first mammogram appointment, I was fairly prepared.  I knew discomfort would be necessary. The radiology technologist offered what I’m sure she hoped was helpful advice, “It’ll hurt less in the future because as you age your breasts become much less dense”.  What? I was still adjusting to life in the “F” years, and the good news is my chest will become reminiscent of deflated balloons? No, not yet; I’ll take pain over pancakes.

While I respectfully decline to address if there has indeed been any less pinching in subsequent mammograms, I do admit that changes have been made that make the process more pleasant.  Not only are there robes, but they’re warmed robes. These are perfect for covering the snapping, crop-top poncho with Velcro touches that patients slip into before appointments. The toasty robe gives a bit of a virtual hug to each woman. Lovely. Each changing room now has a mirror so you can see what has happened to your hair after changing out of your clothes into a ‘mammo mini-poncho’ and back again. Mirrors also reveal how flushed you may have become after dropping your keys, or if you’re recovering from tearing up slightly when told to please wait while your images will be seen immediately by a radiologist. (I was, ever-so thankfully, fine.)

A mammogram is unlike any other activity. The unique diagnostic technique and subsequent maneuvers create a distinct memory. At this years appointment, I carried a clipboard with my chart across two waiting rooms. Unbeknownst to me, it was facing outwards instead of in.  The chart includes a breast diagram that takes up a good third of the page. Yes, important to record any concerns about breast health, but embarrassing for my mental health. This definitely created another mammogram memory, and without a scan or a poncho. My cheeks are still flushed pink.

The most recent addition is the ubiquitous coffee and tea bar—a genteel touch. I, however, am holding out for a pedicure bar. Or maybe just a bar.

I feel blessed that breast cancer screening is available.  I support preventative care, and encourage (or nag) family and friends to take basic wellness steps. (Take your vitamin, wear your seatbelt, floss and get an annual exam. Do it now.) Time does fly when you’re healthy. And that’s a very lucky place to be.  So, what’s next?  Wait, did you just say “colonoscopy”?

Keeping Up With The Times

Spring is around the corner and while the ‘tip to tail spring cleaning gene’ definitely skipped a generation, I do chug away on a reduce/reuse/recycle plan, with a perpetual list of things to do. Key for me is appreciating an item, and then letting it go. Many of the things I have blogged about are now gone (old items, not kids).

I was going through a small box for a ‘one last time’ decision. In it was this watch. Aha, I thought, I can let this go.  A good long life usually leaves a number of watches, and this Omega was one of my dad’s.   It has no band, no crystal, a mangled minute hand, and a splattered face.     Navy Omega 1

While holding it, I noticed it was pretty close to the actual time.  I gave the bent minute hand a nudge to the current time, and wound the watch.

Why was it tucked away?  Hard to find any reasons from the front, so I nonchalantly turned it over.

USN Omega  Detail

It was inscribed. It was a gift from a Navy Squadron in 1958.  A small piece of a much much larger history.

I’m currently reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, about Lieutenant Louis Zamperini by Laura Hillenbrand.

Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

My dad’s birthday also would be this week, so spunky guys are on my mind.  But I was still in a let it go mode. Until I turned it back over.

Navy Omega 2Notice anything?

Look at the position of the second and minute hands. This little 56 year old watch was ticking away–it works! I was looking for a purging moment and found something that puts a new meaning on face value.

Wonder if Omega watches are cousins of Timex, because this watch has ‘taken a licking and kept on ticking’.

What a delightful surprise.  Happy Birthday to you too Dad. 

And yes, I’m keeping it.

Pi Day 3.14.14

Pi Day and Albert Einsteins birthday

The Pie from National Velvet

Pi is 3.1415926535 . . .  a mathematical constant.

Mathematicians, teachers, sassy bloggers, math students of all ages and other enthusiasts celebrate the number with pi recitations, pie-baking, pie-eating contests and math-related activities. What’s your favorite Pi?

American Pie


Olive Pie

Perky Ears, Personality & Perpetually Smiling

I have a child with Obessive Corgi Disorder.  She too has perky ears, personality & is (almost) perpetually smiling. And she has a collection to share.

Corgi Socks

Corgi Valentine

Corgi Birthday

Corgi Stickers

I’ll find a screensaver with a romping Corgi frolicking across the screen at least once a month, or a link to one of the many sites, blogs and Pinterest pages devoted to Corgis in my inbox.

I must admit this is a favorite, The Corgi Flop. What spunk, trust, and earnest belief in one’s own vertically-challenged furry self. Definitely made me smile.

The fun starts +/-20 seconds into video

 Is it cute when your belly appears to almost touch the ground?  It is if you’re a Corgi. And most likely ONLY if you’re a Corgi

The same child with “OCD” is a collector of Wade animals.  This cute guy has taken a few tumbles from the shelf. (Front and forward can be a precarious spot.) But still radiates adorable.Wade Corgi 1Wade Corgi 1If you think you may have a similar case of this breed of OCD,

 You’d be in good company . . .

Her dad brought home a Corgi in 1933

Queen and her corgis

Actually, you’d be in regal company. Getty Images 2013