Friday, March 27, 2009

Millbrook Marsh in the Morning Fog

Can you guess what this is? Keep reading and you'll find out by the end of all the photos.!

We had morning fog today, so we went out armed with our cameras and wandered through Millbrook Marsh Park, in State College, PA. There were tiny droplets of water everywhere - all of them frozen and thawing as the sun burned it's way through the dense fog. Hope you enjoy the results of our little foray in the park.
The barn is part of the building complex for Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.

Creek and grasses:

Frozen water droplet - they thawed as we walked through the park:

First buds (encased in a tiny bubble of ice) of the season:

Wooden walkway through the marshland:


Red branches of ___?

A prickly week of some sort:

Gorgeous grasses:

Captivating cobweb:

Dead tree trunk providing nourishment for other living beings:

A very, very wet cobweb:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Antiques or Simply Old Toys/Memorabilia

I recently unpacked an old printer's box that we made into a shelf for miniatures long ago. My dad was in the printing business - he was a gifted machinist and was often called on to repair machines in 5 or 6 states in the mid-west. I have two or three printer trays that we've made into small display cases. When we downsized in 2002 or so, I packed them all away and haven't seen them since. But I happened upon the largest one last week and decided to repaint it and find all the little bitty items that used to be displayed there. After a bit of painting, searching, cleaning and remembering, I've rehung the shelf in our bright kitchen area.

Maybe some of these items will remind some of you, anyway, of your childhood in the 1950's. Notice the windup metal train on top of the shelf? It was one of my favorite toys, along with a red & white plastic helicopter, which disappeared long ago.

The toy below the train on the far L belonged to my dad. It was a smoking white monkey (?!*) The animal toys to the right of said monkey were my mother's - she was born in 1910 so that gives you an idea of their age. On the far right were my magnetic Scottie dogs - which entertained me for hours during endless adult conversations...
The key to the train is below on the top right. It almost looks like a roller skate key...
Does anyone out there remember the plastic whistling song birds of the 1950's? This is the last one we have, the green bird on the top right below. One would put a small bit of water in the bird body and blow through it's tail. A sort of Cheep Cheep emitted from it's beak due to blowing across the water in the right acoustics!

Here are a few of my dolls - these are from the tiny doll collection. My mom bought most of these for me.

Notice Lady & the Tramps pups on the bottom shelf below? I loved that movie! On the left is a small wooden hand-carved gavel - one of the few carved items Daddy made that we have left. There's also a wooden chalice somewhere - I think at my older sister's home.

More small dolls, some from my doll house. There are also some hand carved wooden statues that I found on EBay that suited my taste. The old blocks were mine as a child in the late 1940's.

The poor train went through a lot and has lost several wheels. It struggles to go due to missing wheels, although the wind-up key and toy still work.

Below on the far left is a very old Easter Bunny - from before my time. More blocks and hand-carved figures and more glass animals. I had an extensive collection at one time (in childhood!) but most were broken and/or lost long ago. My gray squirrel is there, though, along with a few small doggies. All were members of the doll house family, of course. (PS. The doll house is in the cellar...)

As the family scribe; memory-keeper; storyteller + photographer, I have amassed a large amount of records, photos & memorabilia. Below is a curious collection of old and new. Our fireplace has this built-in shelf that seems somewhat like a trophy spot - seems a bit ridiculous to me, but there you have it. I've used it for a memory box of sorts, for want of a better idea.

My dad's toy pool balls are in the tall glass jar on the right, along with all sorts of other game parts such as dice, checkers, jacks, and marbles. The pinochle board (shaped in the number 29) is from the early 1970's when Frank and I played lots of cards together while the kids slept. The Parcheesi board in the background was one my grandparents had in their home when we were small children living there. All the matching sold-colored marbles are long gone, but I remember the vivid yellow ones the best. Oh, on top of the pinochle board is a small Scotsman, purchased over a year ago in Kincardineshire, Scotland where some of my ancestors lived in the 16-18th centuries and before.

I've got another small printer shelf somewhere - it was full of antique sewing paraphernalia. Then there's a old wooden box-made-into-a-shelf in the kitchen that holds jars of old threads, buttons, and other sewing stuff. And Dad made me a yard-stick shelf and there are miniatures for that somewhere in this house, too. Eventually, they may appear. Who knows when... the painters are coming next week to cover the gray-white ceilings in a nice, warm white. No need to go looking for anymore stuff before they come and go, right?! :-)

Spring Planting

I found these wildflowers/ferns at our local Lowes and snapped up a bunch for myself and some for our daughter, who also delights in wildflowers, particularly the spring ones. They had 4 different kinds of ferns, two of which grow from 2-4 feet in height! I also found Trout Lilies, Trilium (white and red) and Jack in the Pulpit. We have quite a bit of shaded area in our yard, and our neighbor has a watering system that overlaps that shady section of our yard. Therefore, I have ideal conditions for most of these acquisitions!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Spring is springing & I'm learning more and more how to handle my photos in new, novel and exciting ways!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sunny Thursday - It's Spring!!!

Sometimes, especially in the spring, we wander around various antiquey junque shops and reminisce about the "springtime" of our lives - or even the springimes of our parent's lives. Here are some photos of a recent sojourn to The Olde Barn Centre, in Muncy, near Williamsport, PA.Don't you just love that strawberry cookie jar?!!!They were asking $8.00 for this bag of yoyo scraps. I did not buy them. Or anything else, for that matter. It was a window shopping only extravaganza. Notice the tiny pair of shoes on the high chair. Here's a close-up for you. Amazing...
Tis spring - our Snowdrops are in full bloom! Since we moved here last May, we didn't even know if we had any Snowdrops, tulips, daffodils, etc. They all bloomed prior to our arrival. So Spring is extra fun as we discover the hidden secrets in our garden.