Monday, March 19, 2018

Golden Oldies Playing in the Golden Arches of Small Town America

 We have arrived home again after a long weekend touring small towns in Washington State. I hope to take a day-trip soon and do the same in Oregon.
 I will try to post a road map here, showing all the historic districts we visited, including the old railroad stations, or "ray-road" as Mr. S. always says. He was supposedly an English Major, graduating from a well-known state university, and then a school teacher before  I ever knew him, before he went into preaching, and it always amuses me that he can make up his own words. Is that allowed if you were supposed to be some sort of expert in grammar, spelling, and all that? I guess if you are an English Major you have poetic license or something. "I will drive by slowly so you can get a picture of the ray-road." he says.
 We were in the area to conduct a Marriage Enrichment fellowship at a lake retreat that a small church of  Christ invited us to. They paid our gas to get there and back, and our overnight stay. It was a bring-your-own-bedding-and-towels situation, and this year we were much better prepared and did not have to use our coats as blankets.
 These are some early 20th century photographs in the windows of some of the shops in one old town, but it was hard to get the pictures without the reflections in the glass. You can see how the people were on the same street I was on, and how they were dressed.
 One thing that always made an impression on me from looking at the early 20th century photos of the towns, was the way people milled around on the sidewalks, which were covered by canopies, and window-shopped. The windows of shops in those days had very nice displays. I'd be hard pressed to find a decent window display these days, and a lot of shops do not even have windows. A window dresser was a very skillful person and there were sometimes contests. There were window-dressing schools as late as the 1960's in some countries.  I was always curious as to what one would learn in a window-dressing class.
 It is a delight to see these old towns coming alive again, full of lovely shops, with people of all ages happily walking the sidewalks again.  We were amused in one town when some of the proprietors came out of the shops and waved to us to come in and browse!  One man opened the door and said he had seen us pass by and wondered if we had not seen the door.
 No one minded if we didn't buy anything; they just wanted us to come in and browse.
 Down by the train station the streets were paved with old bricks.

 Okay, now I will tell you all about that crazy title about the golden arches!  In some of these small historic towns, we stopped in at MacDonalds to get hot water for my thermos so I could have tea in the car or wherever we could stop.  While I do not recall what town this one was in, I just HAD to get pictures of the interior decor!
 How about this fireplace for chilly days? It was quite cold during this trip, and the little corner where this real fire was burning, was flanked by cute bistro tables and chairs.

The art prints, woodwork , hanging lamps, wrought iron gate and tapestry:

But, what was even more astonishing (I don't get out much, so if you already knew this, it might not be a surprise) was what we HEARD inside two of the Golden Arches where we stopped: The music of the Glenn Miller band, and later on down the road, Mozart, was playing inside these fast-food places. Maybe someone was reading what so many of us have been complaining about on our blogs regarding the awful jarring music shoved down our throats in restaurants and shopping areas. You may recall me relating how my father called it "noise-ick" back in the 198o's.

 I posted reviews to every place we visited that had gentle music and pretty interiors.

Some of the female employees at MacDonalds were wearing knee length blue skirts that looked kind of like the airline stewardess uniforms of the 1950's, and I complimented them.  They smiled.  I have no idea what is going on with MacDonalds, but it was such a nice experience even though I was just filling my thermos.

I even took a picture of a polished floor at a Walmart, and gave it a good review. It all makes travelling so MUCH BETTER. Maybe if you are younger and are reading this, you do not quite see why, but if you are over 40, you may remember there was a time when the only stops were filthy gas stations with dirty sinks and trash cans so full you would not touch them.  Its nice to be alive these days with so much improvement.  I remember also when trash lined the side of the roads.  Now, each small town we toured had clean streets and sidewalks.  There were city supplied trash cans available everywhere.

So here are a few more pictures from yesterday that I took when we stopped. Mr. S. was ultra-patient-to-the-max to stop at all these old towns for me. Sometimes he sat in the car and read his maps while I walked around town, but I could still see the car and felt quite comfortable. There were no street lights but cars politely stopped when any one stood at the crossing areas.
 It was hard to get a picture without people in it covering the areas I wanted to show, because these towns were teaming with life in the shops and the cafes along the old streets.  It was nice to see. I think the malls have "had their day" and people don't mind getting out in the weather in an old town.
Inside the antique and gift shops we could hear more golden oldie music and easy listening from the past decades, and some were being played on old record players and stereos. This was such a different sound from vinyl records on stereos with good speakers. I understand the younger people are quite interested in going back to this kind of thing because the sound is so much better. I guess I will have to dig out my old records, now that the record players and stereos are coming back. I saw some brand new ones in a local store recently.

 This shop was almost a block long and very high-end, elegant. I think I've seen this on the web.

I have a map (somewhere) that I folded up and put in my purse,  but I'm still in a bit of mess (yes, after just a few days away), and have not located it. I'll post it here when I do.
 One more picture of the lake view where we stayed a day and a night.  For the evening meal before everyone departed, they had put long tables together and tablecloths, candles and real dinnerware, and made it feel like fine dining. It was ever so nice but I got so caught up in it all I totally forgot to take any pictures except for this one, as the daylight faded:

I will try to post again soon and share some human interest stories. You know the saying: "I write stories, so anything you say could end up in my book!" 

While it seems I have been quite chatty the last few posts, the best is yet to come, which I will post soon,  the Lord willing (and the creek don't rise!)


Saturday, March 17, 2018

In Lieu of a Tea Room

 As disappointed as I was not to get into a tea room, I prevented a big expense by shopping instead for a tea cup.

The tea cups in this shop in the Victorian tea room we're almost all $30.

We are exploring small-town America this weekend while my husband is a guest speaker for a marriage retreat and worship on Sunday.

Mr. S. Patiently escorted me around the different towns, waiting for me to selected the right teacup.

(He had a very good Mother who taught him how to take care of people).

The cost of these have settled on the price of $15 to $20 a cup and saucer set.

We finally found this one, unused and still
in it's original packaging,  at the cost of $4.00, in a Goodwill , as we explored another small town.

I had packed tea with me, and a spare cup with no saucer, and I was able to create tea room for one or two. Mr. S. likes Walkers Shortbread packaged cookies, so he stopped at a nearby Walmart to get his supply, to take with tea.

It was interesting also to see some of the service the employees at Walmart made available to us. They were alert to customers that appeared to be needing help and immediately asked if there was anything they needed. 

If the item was two or more aisles away, the employee texted another employee in that area and by the time we walked the distance, that person was pointing to the item we had been unable to find.

Below: scene from the place we stayed. Last year we were not informed to bring our own bedding and towels, so we slept under our coats. This year, we over-compensated but we were quite comfortable.

Each lady received a gift bag containing a tea cup, tea spoon and bags of tea, along with a newsletter and a cute napkin. I found the tea cups at my local Goodwill store before I left my home.

Visiting Small Town America

Hello Dear Ones,

We have strayed from our  familiar surroundings, and have visited some old towns that are thriving with business and life.

Mr. S. Was invited, for the second March in a row, to be the speaker at at church marriage retreat. A retreat is different from a seminar in that it is a getaway for rest and enjoyment, accompanied by edifying and reinforcing sermons, discussions and fellowship.  We left home a day early to have time to enjoy the sidewalk cafes and shops in small town America.

In my next post I will include the beautiful photos of the location they rented for a night and a day.

Here is an old town in Washington where shops abound, and shoppers browse at leisure on weekdays.

The proprietors in several shops came out the doors to catch us before we passed by and invited us to come in and look around. I bought some hand milled soap in one shop and discovered extra gifts in the bag: a packet of flower seeds, samples of other things.

I liked this pretty silk bouquet and intended to go back and get it but now I can't remember which town it was in. Those big cabbage roses were often seen in the old paintings I often post here.

Later, I got the big idea of going to a popular tea room, but I've concluded that  tea-room quest is sometimes futile, because every place we tried was booked months in advance. Tea Rooms are not always amenable to drop-in visitors. 

We were able to go inside to the gift shop of one lovely Victorian tea room.

In the first session of the retreat speach, Mr. S.  corrected misguided perceptions of the submission issue, which I will publish here later.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Video: Appearance for Older Women

19th century painting by Alberto Pisa: "Reading"

Today I'm giving a talk about appearance for older women. Some of the things not included in the video are:

~You may find some very useful information from  the book called "Color Me Beautiful" by Carole Jackson, which was published in the 1980's,  This book has a color chart which helps you determine what colors make look and feel your best.

~As we grow older we encounter loss and sadness, disappointment, etc.  In a way, Christ addressed this issue when he taught about fasting. He said not to go around looking gloomy, showing others that you are fasting. Instead, he said, wash your face and and let only God know you are fasting.  (Matthew 6:16-18)

Sometimes it is difficult for the young to warm to older women whose appearance is not cheerful. Yes, we are living in a material world while here on earth, and so we will will have to take care of our appearance if we are to have the influence we desire.

`Older women should not be overly concerned about being "relevant" to the young by being trendy in style,  but being able to show the "old paths, where is the good walk." Youth needs to learn about beauty and refinement, and things that are good and lovely, good decorum and demeanor, etc. 

~In a sense, this principle applies to our hardships. It is tempting to let our appearance go when there has been a tragedy or a set back in our lives. As we grow older, our losses increase and and our sorrow can be all consuming.  In such times I think we do more good for others and ourselves by paying careful attention to appearance.  Sometimes just the act of dressing up can change the way we think, and  inspires a feeling of kindness. 

In this video I did not recommend any particular style of clothing, or any way to wear your hair, or skin care. There are plenty of places to find what suits you best, and every woman is different. 

I will say here, however, that I think it is important not to be too drastic when trying to improve your appearance.  (Tattoos, piercings, and edgy hair styles are not a good idea). If you need a new look, buy a new hat. Then, if you don't like it, you can sell it on Craigslist.  ;-) Other changes may not be so easy to get rid of if you find you don't like them.

~ Clothes and hair are the easiest things to control, and it is possible to feel happier and more hopeful when you feel good about your appearance. I always put old paintings on these posts, to inspire the principle of dressing in a feminine and classic way. I had a post once called "Painting Inspired Sewing" in which I attempted to make dresses with modern lines similar to those in 19th century paintings. The idea was to get creative inspiration from these paintings for color, grace, and mood.

It is good to consider why you should take care of your appearance: because it glorifies your Maker, it does not spoil the view for others, and it gives you self dignity, without which  it is hard to function in the best way. I would never make anyone's "best dressed" list but I'm not trying to impress, just wear what inspires me. Everyone has their likes and dislikes.

As usual, please leave me a comment. I am motivated by what you say.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Video: Appearance at Home


In this video I am talking about dressing well at home and the impact it has on the mood and on the things we do.  One day I would like to say there is a perfect way of dressing at home, but since the era of the "house dress" there has been no particular uniform. In general, today, we are free to dress as we like at home, and Christian ladies would want to keep  in mind that even though they are at home, there will be times they will be seen in public, or by someone who comes to the door, and to make sure their method of dressing is dignified and glorifying to God.  If you have anything you would like to add to this, which might be edifying to readers, please leave your comment!  Thank you and God Bless you.

Php 4:5  Let your reasonableness  be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand;

Php 4:6   do not be anxious about anything,  but in everything by prayer and supplication  with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Php 4:7  And  the peace of God,   which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Monday, February 26, 2018


Today I am showing Catherine Klein  postcard art from Pinterest.

Greeting, Ladies,

There is always the big plan around here to rearrange things and get the house where we can function in it a lot more smoothly, which always becomes more complicated, and takes longer that planned, as well you know!

I am stopping for a cup of fragrant passionfruit tea.  I remember as teenagers in Tasmania how we ate this sour fruit right of its bush, and people made delicious desserts with it.  

It makes a pretty tea, the color of strawberry tea and it looks lovely in this cup.
I found a new tea pot, amd I mean new, at the Goodwill, where using a 20% donation coupon, I was able to buy it for about $4.00. This one has no tea stains in it and I'm thinking of keeping it that way.

There is a tea room in the city in a mall that is operated by retiree gentlemen who had a marvelous idea. Due to restaurant restrictions, teaware has to be washed in the dishwashers, and teapots don't do well with that method. These men came upon a solution: fill the pots with hot water, hot enough to make tea, and put a variety of those elegant Tea Forte teabags on the table.

I'm thinking of doing this with my new teapot. Cleaning the spouts is a rather intricate operation.

One of my ladies that comes on Thursday says she will miss the hot tea made in the short my porcelain teapot, so I will continue that custom as well. 

There is a list of blog post subjects in my notebook and after my house is back in order, I hope to post or do videos on these things. I will be thinking of them while I progress around here.

I have collect d things by the front door to take to the storage shed which, although is within eyesight of my home, is still a dreaded walk in the rain. The dining room is full of things that need to go to their proper name laces and the kitchen is already a day of work to finish. If I can also clean the refrigerator and go to the grocery store today, I will think I'm stil 20 years old!

Hopefully I will be back here soon with more important things to say.  Looking at the bird in the first painting, reminded me how their homes blow down and smash apart in the wind and they have to begin again to rebut ld it, but they chirp all that time! I can learn a lesson from that.

One thing I have read on your homemaking blogs that many of you like to when facing grueling cleanup jobs in the house, is play a favorite movie in the background or music or some other preferred the g, maybe a favorite reading of the Bible from an online source, etc. when we were children we used to sing to make the time pass more pleasantly.

So let me think...shall it be Wives and Daughters, North and South (BBC), or The Quiet Man?

See you soon! 

Someone sent me this, and it made me remember how we used to muster up strength , ambition, and determination. Confronted with an overwhelming problem, we may have cried for a few minit s but then we got busy and tackled the thing and did it.

That reminds me I ought to post some more Edgar A. Guest poems.  I am thinking of making a special post to men to share how they can encourage their wives.

As in every duty or endeavor that seems insurmountable, drawing on the strength of these words will give clarity and purpose and motivation:

Heb 4:16  Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.


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