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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


In our first week of summer school, Mrs. Matlock assigned the color red for our class to write about. Since I chose red for my letter "R" in Alphabe-Thursday, my red selection is now rather limited.

My first red photo is of a red rose taken on December 21, 2008 in Chandler, AZ, which is just outside of Phoenix. While a lot of the U.S. was covered in snow, we were basking in pleasant sunlight with flowers blooming all over the place!
My mom's Little Red Riding Hood shakers from the 40's or 50's. I have these safely stored in a kitchen cabinet out of harm's way.
This lamp shade sits in my great room. It really goes along with my decor and I found it at either Ross or TJ Maxx.
This darling hankie is part of a collection that my mom saved over the years.
The Elmo chair was a gift to my grandson but the cat decided to take ownership when Brandt wasn't sitting on it.

This darling lass is a card from 1991 The Gifted Line, John Grossman, Inc. She is so cute and her red cape is so pretty.
This booklet was printed in 1950 for The John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA. The children are so cute and depict life in the 50's.
For Christmas I usually have my sideboard set up with all kinds of dolls. You can see two Apple Cheeks dolls dressed in festive red for the holidays.
A lovely Jim Shore angel
So many things are red and can be seen by visiting Mrs. Matlock here. This is linked back to Alphabe-Thursday for the color red.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

For the Birds!

I saw a listing for "home decor" on Craig's List and I decided to check it out. It
was an indoor sale (thank goodness because it's hot in AZ right now)
and everything that was available was showcased in the owner's huge living room. She had silk plants, pictures, vases, pillows, candles, lamps, and a ton of other things that she wanted to sell before her move to Arkansas. I bought a cute photo album for a $1.00, and a patriotic basket for .25! I walked by this bird cage twice before I finally looked down at the floor and saw it sitting on the carpet. I picked it up and saw a price of $3.00 so I immediately added it to my stash. The photo doesn't do it justice as it is really cute with a design on the bottom, and it has a curvy shape. The little bird was given to me at an Arizona Bloggers luncheon, and it adds just the right touch to accent the bird cage. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my purchases and I might go back to find more!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Baby Bling!!!!!

Mrs. Matlock has asked that we have an "alphabet soup" week which means that we can use any letter from "C" to "Z" in a post. I decided to use "L" because I think that my granddaughter looks so cute in the following pictures.

I just love these photos of my granddaughter, Lillian, in her new "blinged" out dress! The dress was a gift from my daughter's friend, Elizabeth, and I just love it. My daughter and Liz were friends in high school, roommates in college, and Liz was in Karen's wedding. They both live in the same city but they don't see each other too often because Liz is a lawyer and she works a bazillion hours a day. I guess being a new attorney can be quite stressful since Liz barely sees her husband during the week and their weekends are packed with running errands and keeping a house in order. At any rate, Liz always manages to find the cutest outfits for Lillian!
The stitched necklaces on this dress just crack me up! Lillian is really stylin' it.
My daughter also put these photos on her blog and titled it "Like, Totally Awesome" from the 80's. This top also has leggings that match it so Lillian can continue to wear this adorable dress/outfit well into our winter months here in Arizona. I can't wait to see Lillian with the leggings on and a pair of shoes because she certainly will be walking by then. Maybe we can also put two socks on each foot like they did in the 80's! Maybe one pink and one gray or white! Somehow I don't think that my daughter would go along with that idea!!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Z" is for Zones

Well we have reached the end of the alphabet this week with the letter Z. Mrs. Matlock has required a lot of intense work from her students, and I'm sure that many of us are looking forward to our summer school class assignments using the colors of the rainbow.

Mrs. Matlock, I'm going to step out of my usual role as a student and become the teacher that I really am for this "Z" assignment. When I taught 5th grade for 23 years, I would teach my students about the climate zones along with several geography terms. The final geography test was very detailed, and my students had to know quite a bit about latitude and longitude, the continents, the oceans, the hemispheres and so much more! I even gave them spelling tests to make sure that they knew how to spell each term and use it correctly in a sentence. I was tough! Soooo...I've decided to do a very short lesson on the 3 basic climate zones for this "z" post.

I quickly drew this rendition of a sphere to show some lines of latitude or parallels.

Let's begin with the equator or zero degrees latitude. The equator is
the great circle of the earth that is equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole. It is also an imaginary line so you won't see it if you are flying over it in a plane or crossing it on a ship. I told you this was meant for 5th graders!

Everything from the equator to the North Pole is measured in degrees North latitude. The Northern Hemisphere is in this area.
Everything from the equator to the South Pole is measured in degrees South latitude. The Southern Hemisphere is in this area.
There are 90 degrees from the equator to the North Pole and 90 degrees from the equator to the South Pole.
At 23.5 degrees north of the equator you will find a dashed line for the Tropic of Cancer and at 23.5 degrees south of the equator you will find a dashed line for the Tropic of Capricorn. Between these two dashed latitudinal lines you have the tropics. Obviously the closer you are to the equator the hotter it is hence the Torrid Zone.

From the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees North) to the Arctic Circle (66.5 degrees North) you will find the Temperate Zone in the northern hemisphere.
Conversely, from the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees South) to the Antarctic Circle (66.5 degrees South) you will find the Temperate Zone in the southern hemisphere.
Don't forget that hemi means "half" and don't forget the second "e" in Temperate or the first "c" in Arctic and Antarctic. That is very important for the spelling test.
Gosh I sound like I should be back in a classroom!

At any rate, most of the people on earth live in parts of the temperate zones.

From the Arctic Circle (66.5 degrees North) to the North Pole (90 degrees North latitude) you will find the Frigid Zone (Polar) for the northern hemisphere.
From the Antarctic Circle (66.5 degrees South) to the South Pole (90 degrees South latitude) you will find the Frigid Zone (Polar) for the southern hemisphere.
Needless to say, it is extremely cold at the poles. The Arctic Ocean is at the North Pole, but the continent of Antarctica is at the South Pole. The Polar climates have no summer.

This is rudimentary at best. I'm sure there are sub-climates and a lot that I'm leaving out. However, if I was teaching a class to future meteorologists or cartographers (map makers) I'm sure that my information would be more in-depth. Yes, my students had to know about maps and cartographers!

For more detailed information about the 3 basic climate zones, go to this link.
Please Google "Meadowlark Lemon Presents the World" for additional information about a video that is absolutely perfect for helping children understand basic map skills. I would always show this video to my students right before their final geography test and they loved it.


I'm sure many of you are totally asleep right now hence the z's above. Thankfully I only concentrated on the the lines of latitude for the zones. If I included the lines of longitude (meridians) you would be pulling your hair out right now!

This is linked back to Alphabe-Thursday for the letter "z".

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Y is for Yearning

Mrs. Matlock has assigned our letter for the week and it is "Y" which is an interesting letter that can be many things like: yodel, yard, yes, yoke, you, yucca, yo-yo and countless other words that begin with "Y".

Lately I've been very nostalgic thinking about my childhood and how wonderful it was. Maybe I'm doing this because my 95 year old mother, who lives with us, is getting quite frail and facing new challenges each day. I know what is going to happen so I think I'm re-living my past when times with my mother were less complicated and more carefree. I yearn for those times and my mind keeps taking me back to my childhood home on S. Central Ave. in Rockford, IL. If this was a perfect world, I could easily say that I had a perfect childhood. Instead I'll have to settle for an almost perfect childhood with indelible memories filled with love, security, warmth, belonging, wondering, and creating.

Not too long ago, I found some papers that my mother had from the first house that she and my dad worked and saved for. My father helped build this house and drew the plans for it with my mother. It is a typical 50's house...not very big, only 2 bedrooms, a nice-size kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, a basement and an attic. This first photo shows the plans that my dad drew with notations on the side. The year was 1949 and my mother still had this floorplan!
A work in progress~~~The little white house with the green trim. My house...the womb of my childhood contentment.
This is a photo of the little white house with the green trim in 1961 shortly after my parents put it on the market so we could move to Arizona. We lived here for 11 wonderful years.
I yearn for my memories of all the parties that we had in the basement like this Halloween party when I was almost 3. I'm the little gypsy in front!

We had many yuletide celebrations in our little house and I can't help but wish that I still had some of these precious toys from yesteryear.
Oh the fun I had with my cousins playing cowboys (when toy guns were acceptable because we watched the Lone Ranger).
My dollhouse! I played with this forever and I'm sad because my mother gave it away before we moved to AZ in 1962. What would a 14 year old need with a dollhouse?
I had many happy birthdays in our little house with family, friends, and neighbors. Notice the socks, shoes, and dresses. In fact, all but one of the pictures in this post is with me wearing a dress! Times have changed!
Another dress, coat, hat, gloves and purse for Easter 1955. I still have the doll, the rocking chair, and the ballet slippers in this photo. Curtains with ruffles were the thing back in 1955 as evidenced by the ones in my bedroom. Oh, yes, let's not forget the big Venetian blinds!
Finally a photo with me not wearing a dress! I had so much fun on my swing set which was in the backyard of our little house. I'm on the right without a shirt along with my cousin, Rosalie, and Joe on the glider.
Another dress with a nurse pinafore no less! I'm standing by my train which I played with a lot. My father put it on a piece of plywood in our basement and I would build hills for the train to go over. That train didn't make the trip to Arizona either because my mom gave it to one of my cousins!
My bike and another dress or skirt and blouse! I know for a fact that I was an active child that played with the neighborhood kids so I'm sure I wasn't always in a dress! I rode my bike constantly and, until I learned how to put the brakes on, I would stop by falling into the neighbor's bushes or the sidewalk. I had a lot of skinned knees and scratches on my legs and arms.
This is the house as it stands today. Every time I go back to IL to visit my family, I stop by my childhood home to reminisce and take pictures. One time I rang the doorbell and the owner let me in so I could walk through my memories and relive part of my past. The house seemed smaller than I remembered or maybe I was bigger!!!!

and only the good times matter when you're young

I can't help but think of the song, The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert. She wants to visit her childhood home again but, unlike me, she is troubled and she wants to feel the security of the house she grew up in. Apparently Miranda and I yearn for walls that cradled us in our formative years.

This is linked back to Alphabe-Thursday for the letter "y".