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

Can’t Buy Me Love

George, Paul, Ringo & John were fairly adamant when singing”Can’t Buy Me Love”.

But maybe one could “Save Me Love”?

When I was putting away my stash collection of new-to-me old stamps, I noticed a few roaming Love stamps.  After a bit of sorting (OK, more than a bit), and then seeing them as a group, I must admit, I do kinda love them. Usually I have a soft spot for larger (harder to hide) items, such as old globes, school chairs, and too many books.  Yet finding an envelope or cigar box filled with tiny treasures has just been enchanting me lately.  #MakesMeSmile, I hope you will too.

The United States Postal Service Love Stamp series began with an 8¢ stamp in 1973.

First Love Stamp 1973

By Robert Indiana

The second stamp was issued nine years later, in 1982.

2nd Love Stamp 1982

(Stamp #3 might be my favorite.)

3rd Love Stamp 1984

3rd Love Stamp 1984

I also love finding out a secret, here’s one about the Rose & Love Letter series.

The background on this 2001 stamp is an actual love letter from 1763 between John & Abigail Adams.

The background on this 2001 stamp is an actual love letter from 1763 between John & Abigail Adams. Sweet!

And then a wee gap in the collection. Now I’m on the lookout for love stamps between 2002-2008.  There’s a Hershey’s Kiss for 2007! However, I plan to skip 2009, a King & Queen of Hearts that are just a tad scary. (But sometimes so is love, right?)

That brings us to 2010, and the last Love stamp with a postage rate, 44¢, and the beginning of the Forever Love stamps. (Hmmm, more nuances USPS, very interesting.)

Garden of Love depicts the abundance of life, its generosity, whose spirit is to be shared by all its creatures. Love’s definition is broader than romantic love. Love is that colorful, full feeling you get when you enjoy being a part of and sharing in the generosity of life.” José Ortega, artist, quoted by the US Postal Service

And I have a sheet of these Forever Hearts along with Harry Potter stamps that are currently in snail mail use. Except for one, which I will now save.

2015 Forever Hearts, by Jessica Hische

2015 Forever Hearts, by Jessica Hische**

Gosh, then ponder what was contained in the cards, letters & invitations that were originally sent with these stamps.Yup, you can buy me love. 


(** link to artist describing portraying love within just one inch)

(George is 1st, my favorite Beatle.)

(And apologies to my family, who I had long thought were crazy for saving postage. Silly me.)

What’s For Dinner Charlie Brown?

Let’s check out these mod Peanuts collectibles for menu ideas.

1965 Peanuts Recipe Tin and 1970 Peanuts Cookbook

I’d eat at Snoopy’s Pizza Place. He has a flair, plus he’s well traveled. Linus shared his favorite recipe,

Great Pumpkin Cookies Recipe 1970

For while you’re waiting in the pumpkin patch. (I’d use craisins vs raisins.)

***My new go-to recipe for Pumpkin Bread

Mix together one 15 oz. can pumpkin with one spice cake mix.

Spread in a pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 mins.

This easy-peasy recipe an also be made as loaf or as drop cookies. I recommend using a pie or tart pan. It cooks evenly, smells heavenly and is Tasty with a capital T. Kids want to lick the bowl? Go for it! No eggs = no problem.  Done in less than 30 minutes.  (Thank you Pinterest.) TRY IT!

Great Pumpkin Comic 1970

This 1970 Scholastic publication with comics and recipes (what a great kids cookbook!) the original price was 60¢.  The well-worn, splattered, yet still vivid hot pink & and lime green pages are a library discard found for a quarter.

1965 Peanuts Recipe Tin Detail 2

Can’t hit every one out of the park.

Something for everyone in the household. Woof!

An abundance of Peanuts personality is packed on to this Hallmark recipe tin from 1965. I have a hankering to call someone “My Sweet Babboo”, however Sally didn’t use the term of endearment for Linus that until 1977.

1965 Peanuts Recipe Tin Detail 3

(Not sure when this 2’x 1′ poster is from, but it is a key recipe for life.)

The best recipe

Peanuts wisdom. 



Bon Appétit!

PS. Just read that A Charlie Brown Christmas will be 50 (!) this year. 

Boo! Vintage Halloween Party

Countdown to Halloween.  

A collection of vintage Halloween party ideas & items, starting with a late 1920’s Armour’s Star  brochure,

Vintage Armours Feast and Fun for Halloween 1

Tips for party invitations & decorations

Vintage Armours Feast and Fun for Halloween Party Tips

“Crepe paper, nimble fingers and a little ingenuity . . . ”  Still holds true for any party today.

« Menu »

Vintage Armours Feast and Fun for Halloween Menu

 Using pimiento in the menu might be more of a trick this Halloween. However, cocoa with whipped cream is always a treat.

This is the detail from vintage nut cups from the same period.  The nimble fingers mentioned above have hand-stitched the crepe paper around the cups.

Vintage Halloween Treat Cups detail

Peek at the past party.

intage Armours Feast and Fun for Halloween

A pirate, clown, gypsy and friends being served an Armour Star ham.

intage Armours Star Ham Ad

A party favor from 1945.

1945 Vintage Halloween Party Favor Mini Felt Hat

And, *cough* a much less, a markedly less, actually a barely even vintage party item, is this tune I somehow remember from 1st grade.

One little, two little, three little witches,
Fly over haystacks, fly over ditches,
Four little, five little, six little witches,
Hi ho Halloween’s here!

Thank you Miss Merrill. Still enjoyed within the kindergarten crowd.  Might be more useful if I’d retained macroeconomic theories instead of spooky tunes but hey, it’s a happy memory. 

Mummy Snoopy

As the brochure states, I hope your plans include Feast and Fun for a Happy Halloween!

Mazel Tov

This weekend we attended our first, and second, Bat Mitzvah celebrations (twins!).

My daughter has known the girls since 1st grade and we were excited to attend.  While confirming the driving directions, I read this,

. . . we are a Reform synagogue committed to helping Jews and their loved ones build a joyful, spiritual, caring, and egalitarian community.

And that’s exactly the experience we had.  What a joyful morning. Proud parents, prepared daughters. Cantors with resonate voices. I held hands with the tiniest elderly woman in a rainbow hued outfit. We sang, snapped and clapped. We listened, prayed, and danced (!). It was an honor to share this with the family and congregation  (I would like to note that the stand-up sit-down ratio does rival a Catholic service.)  

I snapped two photos from the siddur – prayer book (post service, of course) that I wanted to revisit.  So here goes.

Jewish prayer 1


And, reading the following prayer reminded me of many friends who have lost parents–this same Saturday, last week, this summer, this year, last year, three years ago .  .  .

Jewish prayer 2

May their memories be for blessing.


Shabbat shalom, שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם

Memories new & old. Thanks so much for sharing.

Hope 1

Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.

A Corner of History

Optional Title:  What Have You Done for Me Philately?

Sometimes a message from the past rings just as clearly today.  This stamp is from 1960. It’s one of the 100 stamps I picked up in a glassine envelope last week. Just a dollar, yet it contains so much more.  What a wonderful, meandering, vintage surprise.

55 years old, and absolutely current for 2015.

World Refugee Year Stamp 1960

It made me pause to think, I believe NPR mentioned that Germany alone is expecting 800,000 migrants this year.

These stamps for the most part averaged 50-65 years old. What other insights, progress and declines can we see?

Water Conservation Stamp

1960. An ongoing key element in the crippling drought throughout parts of  the US

A handful of stamps can present a handy life guideline. Be supportive and kind, careful & conscientious, and conserve resources.

Some stamps show goals that have been achieved. Yippee!

Project Mercury Stamp

US Man in Space

and some that are still in process***

United Against Malaria Stamp

Some stamps represent a moment that is now just history

Newspaper Boys Stamp

Newspaper Boys Recognition Stamp   “Busy Boys are Better Boys”

1948 Saluting Young America Stamp

And some continue to make historyRed Cross Stamp

Doesn’t everyone enjoy using the term ‘sesquicentennial’ when the opportunity arises?

National Capital Supre-me Court, & White House

 Actually. it’s my first time [ever] using the term, but happy 150th (& now 215th) birthdays to the National Capital, Supreme Court, & White House.  Sesquicentennials are all honored by the trio above.

Stamps live on a small corner on our correspondence. As the use of snail mail continues to dwindle, it’s fun to take a peek back.

International Cooperation Year 1965

If we continue to work together, we CAN do it!

A stamp can be a snapshot into what the world was thinking about. For 2015, stamps have been released commemorating Elvis Presley and Maya Angleou, Special Olympics and Penguins, and the Gift of Friendship.

Plus I added a new item to add to my Space Needle collection.

Seattle Space Needle Stamp

Quite the dollar well spent.

*** Always curious. these tiny stamps gave me a few things to research

From the CDC: A malaria eradication campaign was started in the 1950s, but it failed globally because of problems including the resistance of mosquitoes to insecticides used to kill them, the resistance of malaria parasites to drugs used to treat them, and administrative issues. Malaria has been eliminated from many developed countries with temperate climates.

  • 3.4 billion people live in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 106 countries and territories.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that in 2013 malaria caused 198 million clinical episodes, and 500,000 deaths.

Can it be eradicated? Article by Bill Gates 2014

and who are these chaplains?

Immortal Chaplains Stamp

I will start reading  No Greater Glory: The Four Immortal Chaplains and the Sinking of the Dorchester in World War II, soon. A new piece of history for me, will acquired by peeking at a set of stamps.   I now know that it was 1943, and they are honored with a stained glass panel in the Pentagon.

So, Stamp up your game a little bit too when you’re out, see what you can see. :)

The Emerald City

One short day
In the Emerald City
One short day
Full of so much to do
Ev’ry way
That you look in the city
There’s something exquisite
You’ll want to visit
Before the day’s through

From Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz, by Stephen Schwartz

A different Emerald City, but you’ll still want to visit. A collection of  Seattle souvenirs.

(Point of Order: These collectibles are not mine. OK, they are mine now, but I was not the visitor. Ahem, this clarification is to circumvent any sassy questions. I have shared with my children that in the sweet innocence and newfound knowledge of kindergarten, I earnestly asked my grandmother if she came on the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria. It was not well accepted by Grandma, but uproariously funny to my kids.)

Beginning with the classic memento, postcards.

Looking East on University StreetVintage Seattle Postcard, Ye Olde Curiosity  Shop

Established in 1899 and run by the fifth generation of the Standley family. (Visit the shop facebook page, if you dare.)

Vintage Seattle Postcard, Totem Pole

Pioneer Square

The postage for these cards is just 1¢. Perhaps collected during a trip to Seattle’s first World’s Fair, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909?

A Seattle view on a quite snazzy compact.

What to see, what to do in the Emerald City?  The back of the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop postcard is jammed full of ideas.  Here is the top half,

Vintage Seattle Postcard Detail from Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

A brochure from the Smith Tower, completed in 1914, it was the tallest building on the West Coast for almost 50 years.

Smith Tower Observatory, vintage brochureInside it states that Seattle has 29 banks, 707 miles of paved roads and an annual summer temperature of 62°.  (One of the former owners was restauranteur Ivar Haglund. Keep clam.)

The beautiful University of Washington Quad, when it was just a Tri and before the famous cherry trees were planted.

University of Washington, Quad, Kind of

From the book, Three-Quarters of a Century at Washington

UW vs Idaho Football Ticket 1938

The Washington Huskies and the Idaho Vandals.

 University Way, “The Ave” in 1941.

The Ave, Seattle 1941

From the book, Three-Quarters of a Century at Washington”

University Bookstore (opened in 1900) and Bartell Drugs (1890) still going strong today. Unfortunately, cannot say the same for Wiseman’s Day & Nite.

Detail from a Camp Fire Mints box. Not necessarily a souvenir, but interesting. 1956 Seattle Camp Fire Girls Mint BoxOr maybe I’m just hungry

Vintage Seattle PI Christmas Recipes

Seattle Recipe Contest. I’m thinking 70s?


Thanks for coming!  You can also check out vintage Seattle Maps.

PS, Always curious, I did look up a bit Emerald City info.

Seattle was established in 1851 and the Emerald City nickname began in 1981

1¢ postcard postage was effective between 1872-1917,  1919-25, 1928-52.

Final score on for the UW – Idaho football game played October 1st 1938 in Seattle was 12-12. (And again, no I was not there.)  UW also won the Apple Cup that year, 26-0.

The Smith Tower pamphlet states UW enrollment in 1928 was 11,100. How many Huskies are there now? Fall 2014 enrollment was 44,786 undergraduates, with 13,829 more enrolled in graduate studies.

It’s a Sign

One of the ways my family amuses each other is by sharing photos of signs encountered when out & about.  So here’s a peek at a digital collection.

Frog Lover signFeeling tense on the road? Head through this neighborhood.

Traffic calming signNo stops for yoga poses or a decaf latte stand. Bumped out berms and ginormous speed bumps were added that actually narrow the lanes making two-way traffic less than calm.  I like to swing thru for a laugh every now and then.

Glacier Park trail sign

Giddy up in Glacier Park.


Big fans of the book, Diary of a Wombat. This, however, is in Seattle

 A signs reflect a few of our favorite things: animals, books, football & phones.

Might bleed more than a little purple around here

When one likes to bug their mother, they can send a photo or two.

can't mean me, just for a second . . .

Just a peek . . .

Restricted Area Sign 1

I think they mean it

Restricted Area Sign 2Sign for a 1950’s newsreel type of film about the fruit.

A 1950's newsreel type of film

Shields Date Farm

Slug Crossing  Capilano Suspension Bridge

In British Columbia rain forest. Cute, and true.

Also spotted in Vancouver,

Vancouver BC#mademesmile

Giddy Up

A (mini) collection of vintage saddle soap tins. I love all things equine and have a soft spot for metal containers, so these tins are win win. Most recent addition is from this weekend.

Propert's Saddle SoapEsquire Saddle SoapFiebing's Saddle SoapSo, how many saddles do we have? Well, at this time zero.  Saddle Soap TinsBut I do get to visit saddles (& horses) every so often.  I’ll wrap up by sharing this Alf-look-alike photo of my buddy Rio. (18+ hands tall, part Percheron, curious and extremely handsome.) I was trying to get a photo of how enormous he is, but he had other ideas.

Any chance your phone is carrot flavored?

Any chance your phone is carrot flavored?

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.
Winston Churchill

Dear June Cleaver

Have you ever chuckled at an example of sassy retro housewife on a greeting card, magnet or coffee cup? I know I have.

When thinking of 1950’s housewives, June Cleaver is the TV ideal.  And the wackiness of Lucy & Ethel. What if you could ask June what life was like?  Using this crystal ball–a 1950 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine–let’s take a look.

I like the almonds sticking out of the peach on the right

I like the almonds sticking out of the peach on the right

The average family income was $3,300, the average car cost $1,510, and the median home price was $7,354.

As the phrase goes, a picture paints a thousand words.

1950 Tide ad 1950 Hotpoint washer adIs doing the dishes ever this thrilling? 1950 water heater ad1950 garbage disposal ad I’m seeing the inspiration for the current parodies.

Maybe something was in that Kellogg’s PEP cereal1950 Kelloggs adNow we want to add 1000 steps a day.

1950 American Sink ad

For about an average monthly salary, you could get a new range,

What? No pumps?

What? No pumps?

Or buy this,1950 GE TV adand be ready to meet Lucy Ricardo in 1951 and June Cleaver  in  “Leave It To Beaver”  in 1957.

And what about the guys?1950 Certo Ad 1950 Aluminum Window adDoes the 1950 homemaker ever get out of the suburbs?1950 7-Up ad1950 Florida Juice ad1950 Dundee Towels adYes!

And that wraps up our trip to 1950. The magazine was a thrifting find, with the original .25¢ receipt tucked inside.1950 Receipt for BHG

($3,300 in 1950 would be approximately $32,500 in 2015.)


See Jane Run

Hello!  I’ve been marching through March without many posts.  Sorry! The computer was acting up for a while, but luckily the kids did not.  Spring sports, writers block, life, yada yada yada.  Anyhoo, great to be back.

An additional reason was a trip to visit a college buddy in the desert. While driving at sunset, I spied a runner in the sky.

Cloud Runner 1

What?!? OK, we’ve all had that moment when you look to the sky and see a shape in the clouds. But you must see this too? Time to grab that camera. (OK fine, phone.) (And, yes, I was the passenger.)  My friend drives like a native Californian (zippy fast) and I’m snapping away with no idea what is getting in the shots.  Looking at the photo gallery, it appears that “Jane” is running for the hills.

Crazy, right?

Could not find anything published that night or next day as to who/what/why this was in the sky. (It has to be sky writing.  Yet not a plane in sight.) An upcoming tennis tournament in the area but no 5Ks. We took it as a sign and went to see “McFarland, USA”.  We’d give the cross-country team movie two thumbs up, three if you count Jane.

Hard to not pack the Northwest staples polar fleece and down, but I managed to adjust fairly quickly to the desert life. Sunlight. Golf carts on the road. Cloudless (for the most part) skies. The aroma of Hawaiian Tropic lingering in the air. Not that I used it; spf 30+ with a hat on.  We squeezed as many Californian delights as possible into a few days.

You never know what you might see,

And sometimes it’s best to just kick back.

#ThanksSherryAh, . . .

 PS for PS, Stop in at Tommy Bahama for a happy hour Coconut Martini. Yummy!