Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Make Way For Turtles

Today was such a special day for JP, a turtle whom we met one week ago at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno, Florida as the water was being drained from his tank.  We watched him circling around not knowing why his tank was loosing its water.  Soon, the water was gone, and JP was being lifted onto a stretcher. He flapped his fins trying to balance himself, then was strapped into place and was moved to the turtle hospital where work was done to disconnect whatever was glued onto his back. 

 As it turned out, JP had been recovering for 5 months from major surgery for the removal of many fish hooks, the loss of two thirds of a fin and assorted other ailments.  He was given a clean bill of health, had a GPS monitoring device that would track his whereabouts for up to a year and was about to make his way back into the ocean.  However, there was one major problem,  heavy rain and a prediction of lightening.  In a turtle's world, this is fine, but to the hundreds of turtle lover's this is not.  So, poor JP was having his monitoring device turned off and had to wait another week to make his trek back home.

Today was the big day.  A cart, with the turtle doctor driving, brought JP and two other turtles to the beach where a staff of marine specialists lifted them to the water's edge and placed them on the sand.  They stared out at the sapphire blue sea. Before long, one by one they crawled into the water and with cheers from their fans on the shore, they swam away.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Denim Skirts

When shopping at Anthropologie, I spotted a handpainted jean skirt.  The memories it brought back!

It was a Friday night in the spring of 1966. I had returned to my college dorm with friends.  As we entered the building at the all girls college, a group of boys were also entering.  One asked if a mixer was being held that night.  A mixer was a dance where different single sex colleges would get together for an evening of dancing and fun.  The mixer at my college was actually scheduled for the next night, but we invited them to come in to our social room where we spent the evening listening to music, sipping cokes, and playing card games.  I have to admit, one of those boys, I thought, was adorable.  I was thrilled when they said they would make the hour and a half trip back for the mixer the next night.

The following night arrived as did the group, including the one I thought was so adorable.  I can still see him standing there wearing his Kahkis, a Madras jacket, and the biggest smile when our eyes connected. We danced, we talked, we told our life histories, and before the evening was over, we were business partners.

Rules were still followed back then.  Pants were not allowed to be worn to class at this all female college unless the temperature dipped into the 30s, 
                                blue jean skirts were not permitted.

So, colorful jean skirts became the rage on campus that spring.  I had heard there was a factory in the town where 'Jimmy' attended college and suggested that we go into business together.  I would take orders in the sizes and colors of the girl's choice, and pass that information onto him.  He would pick up boxes upon boxes of sherbet colored denim skirts

and bring them to me for delivery.  It sounds easy, but it was a business.  Hours on a pay phone, meetings, discussions about orders, getting to know each other and falling in love.  I wonder if the denim skirts were the real reason we went into business or just a way to be together...  Either way, we had a blast and this entrepreneurship led to the best business - 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Art Class

I drove from one coast of Florida to the other for a visit with my friend, Linda, and my Philadelphia relatives.  My niece, Cindy, had taken a painting class and wanted to teach Linda and me how to paint with acrylics. Cindy's work was so creative and good, we decided to try.

Before I knew it, Cindy had me out buying easels and canvases for our art lesson.  She had the brushes and paints,

 the background music and a vase filled with lilies and delphiniums, our focal point. Cindy's instructions seemed easy enough to follow, but Linda and I had no idea what we were doing.

Relatives stopped by and laughed at our progress, we were not intimidated...  All of a sudden, Cindy's work was so advanced, were we failures?  What were we doing? I will tell you.  We were having the time of our lives - laughing, creating, relaxing and catching up, doing the things we always loved to do.

Before long, our canvases, covered with a vase of lilies and delphiniums, were completed.  Even though, from the same perspective, each so different, but all beautiful! 

The next morning as I read my emails, a blog update was there from belle mason.  She began with a quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce.  "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong". The quote must have been for Linda, Cindy and me.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

And laughter along the way...

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one says it all.  It is a lifetime of memories shown in one photograph. 

photo from Papyrus cards

Linda and I were part of a whirlwind courtship, tossed together as toddlers when my big brother married her big sister. From that day on, no two friends could ever have been closer than Linda and me. My earliest memory of time spent with Linda (other than the wedding, and that mostly through pictures) was when we were just out of diapers and sleeping in a big girl bed.  Not sleeping, but coloring.  We had a debate about the word "keller", as Linda pronounced it.  Me, the voice of authority said no, it's "color".  
That, I believe, was the only time we did not agree. 

We grew up sharing nieces and nephews, bike rides, and hikes, summers on the Jersey Shore or California, and family vacations in Florida, with schemes and adventures at every turn.  We were inseparable, even going to the same high school.

But there was one thing we could never share, and that was clothing.  I grew early and was the taller of the two.  

Then, something happened, I stopped growing and Linda continued. She blossomed into the tall, regal person she is today.   

But still, we share nieces and nephews, bike rides and hikes, summers on the shore, and vacations in Florida with schemes and adventures and lots of laughter along the way.
                         Happy Birthday, Princess Linda! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Honey Bell Oranges

   Right now, Honey Bell Oranges are just passing their peak.

Their season is short, and January, is the prime month for ripeness.  It is February but they are still available at my market.  As far as citrus fruit go, this has to be one of the best. The juice is sweet and smooth, the fruit is easy to peal, and they are delicious!  Each morning, I have been squeezing honey bells

And enjoying their delicious juice.

Years ago, I read a book by Alexandra Stoddard, an interior designer and inspirational author, titled,  Living a Beautiful Life,    Her suggestions and ideas or as she called them 'rituals' were what I wanted to adapt to my every day life.  One suggestion was to treat yourself as a special guest in your own home.  Use your best china, crystal or linens everyday. Why save them for the few times a year when we entertain?  An aha moment.  Why not??

A  toast to Alexandra Stoddard, palm trees, warm weather, and sunshine!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Madame Alexander Dolls

World Wings International, Inc., the philanthropic organization for former Pan Am employees, just posted this...                 

                                                                     Photo from Madame

          Madame Alexander has made dolls in Pan Am uniforms!

                                                               Photos from Madame

I still have my 10" Madame Alexander Christening doll and an Alice in Wonderland  Madame Alexander doll tucked up in my attic. I have given Alexanders to my girls, Tammy has a Christmas Angel, Amanda a Ballerina,  and I have given them as gifts to others.  I made sure that I gave a Baby Huggums, another Madame Alexander doll, to each of my granddaughters on their first Christmas. To me there is always something special about unwrapping the gift paper and finding that signature blue box, taking off the lid, folding back the pink tissue  to find the perfect little doll waiting to be hugged - to a little girl, better than a Tiffany diamond could ever be...        

      Gemma                                    and                                       Addie

   with their babies

Now I am perplexed, should I buy one? Oh, what do I do? They are sold out of the limited edition, Pan Am 10" doll  (there were 200 made).  I might be blonde, but I don't have long hair like the 16" doll, (there were 150 made).  There were 75 dolls made 21" tall, these have my haircut, but the price...  Do I need a doll? I did fly with Pan Am, it is my uniform, it is a collectible, it could be an heirloom, but really???