Posts Tagged With: collections


DSC07440 (Copy)The first thing to great me at my daughter-in-law’s house, was the table full of sweets and a savory cheese cake. It seemed full until others arrived and added even more good things to the table. Laurie collects elephants- you may have noticed her elephant table cloth.

DSC07441 (Copy)I once did an inventory of her elephant collection and I counted about 700 elephant items, from ashtrays, jewelry to swizzle sticks.  Collecting is fun and appealing and I zeroed in on elephant ornaments that never made it into her inventory.

DSC07442 (Copy)The elephant is barely visible in this photo,but no matter, I was having fun.

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DSC07444 (Copy)I would have given this elephant a bigger eye.

DSC07447 (Copy)Laurie is the youngest of two sisters. Michele on the right with her daugher-in-law is her middle sister. Her oldest sister lives in North CarolinaDSC07493 (Copy)Laurie’s brother, Mike and sister-in-law Ramona. At the last minute, we decided to have a wine exchange. Ramona kept everyone in stitches as she examined each person’s choice with two pairs of glasses and a magnifying glass, before she decided which bottle to steal.

DSC07495 (Copy)My oldest and youngest brothers, Bill at 78 and Clark at 60. Michele in the background with her husband Wayne who smoked the lamb roast. Clark was the other clown of the wine exchange, threatening to open and try them out. He got stolen from four times. I guess the threat worked.

DSC07449 (Copy)A good game of liar’s dice was entertaining most of the “kids” the youngest two age 13.

DSC07496 (Copy)My oldest, Ken and youngest Virginia.  I guess men like to grow beards when they have vacation. They vacation from shaving.

DSC07498 (Copy)But the Greek feast was on. Roast lamb, tzatziki, a famous Greek yoghurt dip, with condiments. Greek meatballs with rice, feta and mint, with zucchini feta pancakes and lemon sauce.

DSC07499 (Copy)Roasted potatoes with a Greek dressing…a spicy lasagna with special cheeses…seasoned chicken kababs. DSC07500 (Copy)Spinach filled spanakopitas, a Greek fruit salad and a Greek rice salad. The food, with a bunch of good cooks in the house?  Stellar. Everyone agreed that enough turkey and ham at Thanksgiving should be bypassed for ethnic foods at Christmas. The only thing missing was the famous Greek circle dance and music.

We decided on Mexican food next year, because Virginia just learned how to make home-made tamales, heavy on the filling and light on the masa. Cha, cha, cha.





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Thursday, we went to the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital for Jim’s post-op exam on his right eye and a pre-op exam and scheduling for his left eye surgery. It was our third 141 mile trip (one-way) to the hospital and we finally figured the best way of getting there. With the hospital’s cooperation we were able to leave at 9:30 and miss the horrendous morning traffic, spend the night, get up for early appointments, and leave mid-day and avoid the end of day work traffic. What a difference that made.

I managed to get in about 3 hours of reading and tootled around the hospital and took pictures of artwork and talked to people. We met Bobby Brown, the “muffler man”, again, and spent the dinner hour with him. He is a very interesting guy; chock full of life’s stories.

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Artwork and collections take away the antiseptic appearance of the hospital. This boot quilt pattern is always a fun one to do.

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Children’s bonnets from an Asian country, colorful and bright and cheerful. Much needed elements in a hospital.

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Small musical instruments.

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In one office, I talked to a worker who collects little mouse objects.

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They were really cute. Working people spend most of their day on the job. Personalizing workspace is an accepted practice everywhere you go these days. I hail that practice.

On the way home, we stopped at the Golden Corral Restaurant in Tracy where Jim and I met six years ago. The food got better since our first visit, I’m glad to report.

Back to Murphys and my endless tasks. I’ve been talking about going to Australia and today, I’m going to seriously look at some tours.









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My friend Pam set me up with a book buyer because I have a lot of books. He comes from San Francisco and looks over your collections to possibly buy some that you have. I began to look at my books from a different point of view. This one about King Henry The VIII, by Neville Williams made me rethink King Henry because the  book is written with a more personal and kinder view of him. It is easy to get stuck with the historic view of what a terrible person he was to have wives and friends beheaded, and that he died of syphilis, which he didn’t. Not that beheading wives and creating the Church of England to wage a divorce were very honorable actions, but he was a very special king in many other ways. People of the times were motivated, especially royalty, by other factors than those we or his people faced. I guess what I’m trying to say is he wasn’t ALL bad. He was generous and intelligent and wanted to learn, in his younger days. The last 20 years of his life were pain filled from an injury that ulcerated his leg and eventually killed him. He was sour and mistrusting as he aged by the intrigues and manipulations of those around him who were set on protecting their own powers and favor.

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And, because he was a king, there were many beautiful paintings in the book that I relish and enjoyed viewing. This one is just a small part of a full-page of pageantry. The wonderful celebrations and attention made of the King gave people better entertainment than television.  His peasants, who stood by the road to get a glimpse of him and his court, were enthralled. And, this king could ride through his kingdom without secret service people or a bulletproof glass to protect him, in beautiful fresh, unpolluted air.  It was interesting to think about those times and will the mind back to a royal society and what beauty it created, while also temporarily putting aside the cruelty of the times and understand how he could convince himself that several wives were not legally his wives.

It was a beautiful rainy day and we spent most of it home. But Jim’s Bronco needs a new transmission. Not good news.


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I had occasion to visit my Public TV Access Group’s bookkeeper and she is a collector of pigs. I’m not sure what the fascination for pigs is, but, here they are:

Maybe it’s a reminder of the political pigs feeding at the public trough. Oh, that was ugly. It’s just a pig teapot.

Eileen’s pigs are mostly decorative knickknacks. Just cute little critters.

The site is having a problem and providing me with this miniscule font. So, pictures seem better than words. Besides, I was awfully wordy yesterday about the contention, I mean the convention.

This pig is straight forward and sweet. When we arrange our collections, do we make sure they are all turned the same way?  Facing right? Or left? Hmm!

Most of Eileen’s pigs were facing right.

When placed against on a  table with other things, left facing was necessary to see the character.

The room, table  and walls configured  for the one above  to be arranged facing left.

And this bold Harley Rider is multi-dimensional and faces forward.  Not that any of this matters, but if you decorate your office with your collection, they have to look appealing.

They are cute and  most knickknack collections have cute appeal. And, I always appreciate other people’s collections being a collectiholic myself.

My daughter-in-law collects non-political elephants and the form and function elephants can take goes way beyond knickknacks and is fascinating. Always the object turned art.

But, this one was my favorite. It has a message with  just the right touch of truth and humor.  Oh, boy!

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This little desert ground squirrel was cavorting near the motor home just before I hauled my backpack out to the Bronco. It was leaving day for me, but Jim has friends in Deming I wanted to visit before I caught my train.

At the Hi Lo Ranch we spent a short fifteen minutes with Jim’s  long time friend Bob Gambol, who took his motor home to the Panama Canal and back with Jim and Bud Kuball in 2004.  Bob was just out of the hospital so we didn’t stay long.  Bob has  traveled  the world over with nothing but a back-pack, an interesting  story I’ll blog another day.

Jim agreed to supply lifetime pizza to a woman who edited his book on that 2004 trip to Central America and the Panama canal.  (She  prefers not to be named or pictured in our blog.)  Her little dog Pixie didn’t mind having her picture taken.

She took us to the Senior Center to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with two of her closest friends, Mary Berg and Pat McKay.  Pat is a person Jim and I  specifically wanted to meet-more on that tomorrow.

Since we both love museums, we went to the Luna County Museum.  We arrived  late in the afternoon and the museum is huge. The collections and variety are among the best we’ve seen.  From  many beautiful china cabinets, how do you pick one item? I  like unusual  the tea pots.

An excellent gallery of beautiful paintings.

An excellent collection of home-made lace.

A hand cranked bell wheel caught my interest, but even more their extensive bell collection.

Three cases of bells, I estimated to hold 1000 bells in each case, with bells from all over the world.

One of three beautifully designed church pews.  I couldn’t take it all in. I expect to return to this museum some day. And, I will post more pictures I took as well.


From the museum we headed for the local Moose Club which just happens to be near the Amtrak kiosk. I changed into my traveling clothes  and we had a beer in the bar. And, doncha know, we ran into two women full-time RVers Jeannie and  Leah both from  the LOW’s, a Singles  RV  Club, Loners On Wheels.  Jim had met them in the past at various functions shared with his singles club, the WINS.  They thoroughly enjoy the lifestyle on the road and handle their own rigs. Single women on the road amaze me.

Jodie, (missed her last name)  came whisking through the bar and gave everybody a kiss both males and females.  She is a happy distant cousin of Jodie Foster and looks a bit like her as well.  Jim delcared, “Wow, this is the friendliest club I’ve been to.”  Truth to tell, we find many, many friendly people on the road with wonderful stories to tell.



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A collectiholic, such as myself, finds it difficult to reduce the “stuff” we collect. I’m a paper nut and many of my collections involve paper. But, on-line, with this blog, I get to collect “stuff” that doesn’t pile up, such as cures for hiccups or favorite poems, and strange-sounding names. Yesterday Elaine May from Canada sent me another sure cure for hiccups.  “I take a few drops of balsamic vinegar. It works every time,” claims Elaine. And a neighbor reminded me that a cure for poison oak grows all around us. Simply make a tea of manzanita leaves and drink it once a week in the spring and you won’t be affected by poison oak. Another neighbor swears by delicately biting the leaves off a poison oak plant (only in the early spring) and swallowing it. A sure preventive if it doesn’t kill you.

And from my other blog comes this old remedy from Homer Maas. “I smashed my thumb in the car door. It swelled like a mini-balloon and I lay in misery all night with it throbbing, and throbbing. In the morning my dad carefully took a paperclip, half unbent it, and heated the pointed end red-hot with a torch. While I cringed with fear, he carefully “drilled” a hole into the top of my thumb nail with the heated end of the paperclip until blood spurted out of the hole. The pressure was immediately relieved and the pain was instantly gone.”  Homer was only 12 years old then and he lived through it.

I’ve been asked how long I’ll be staying in Murphys by so many people, I thought I’d explain. I rerouted away from the Motor Home to attend, graduations, my family reunion and business at home. Most of that business involves paperwork and ridding myself of collections.  I’m simplifying my life to handle everything from the road. Lining up accounts for bill paying on-line and doing neglected projects. Then things like a Jury summons and other responsibilities intervene.  I removed propane tanks at one rental because they don’t use propane anymore. Supervising yard work that needed to be done. Small repairs made. Reducing the load. It’s a small epiphany when I can find a home for old sheet music which a piano teacher friend,  June Foster gladly took. A table and lamp and kitchen stuff for my daughter’s new apartment. I off loaded my old vinyl record collection, and so on. I’m far from finished, but making steady progress. Simplifying and reducing the load FEELS SO GOOD. Jim is encouraging me to bring some of my paper projects aboard.  (He knows not what trouble he is getting into, and, I still don’t know when I’ll be leaving Murphys.)



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