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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Promise Dolls


Keeping Doll Promises

 

We collectors are like elephants [another collection of something I don’t collect], we never forget a promise someone makes to add to our collections.  Alas, if that promise is not kept, we suffer.




 

I remember promises of dolls made to me when I was a toddler.  A relative who promised to give me a Greek costumed doll bought on a long ago trip, another aunt vowing to take out her storybook dolls to show to me, these doll dreams never materialized.



 

At age 10, someone told me Mom he’d brought me a doll from Africa.  Needless to say, I’m still waiting for it.  Along with the ruby glass vases that were supposed to be my birthday gift 12 years ago.  No rose colored glass for me J

 

I’ve heard tantalizing tales of vintage Barbies, maybe even No. 1, all bisque beauties with glass eyes, mysterious antique dolls living in suitcases, all just rumors of phantom poppets.  The most glorious myth of all involved the doll collection of my grade school principal, bequeathed to me, but before I could take possession, I was told the dolls had disappeared from our school basement.  Woe was me!



 

Polite mother and child that we were, my mom and I never called anyone on these broken Bebe promises.  Our philosophy was, there will always be another doll.  Besides, it isn’t like I don’t have any J

 

I dedicate this post to those who kept their dolly promises, as I have tried so hard to keep mine.  Many of the dolls in our museum collection were the gifts of dear friends, like our own Kimmee, Steph, our talented paper doll artist friend, Mikki, my doll soul mate, and many others.  A lot of doll articles and even small collections have come to me through my wonderful readers, particularly those who were loyal to me at About.com Doll Collecting.  

 


Generosity and collecting go hand in hand.  I love to find things to add to my friends’ eclectic collecting needs, and over the years, I’ve learned a lot about dirigibles, CPKs, icons, salt and pepper shakers, Dept. 56 houses, paper dolls, paper airplanes, and costume jewelry.   Promises are meant to be kept, and when they are, that kindness is paid forward, and, do I hear a bell ring—another doll has just found its way into a great collection!

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

An American Girl Story

The moral of the story is that I am definitely not smarter than a fifth grader.  The backstory is that I received a Girl of the Year, featured at Kohl's, for a Christmas gift from the lovely women who take care of my dad.  I had one of these, but not the doll I received.  I have a lot of American girls dolls, mini dolls, books, paper dolls and accessories.  I love American Girl Place, and I love the other 18 inch dolls that can share wardrobes. 


The ten or eleven year old daughter of one of my friends saw the doll, and fell in love with it at Christmas.  A week or two ago, she told me how much she had loved and wanted my doll.  Here is where I proved how not-smart I am.  "Oh, don't worry", said I, I have another one similar in a box; I will find it and give it to you


Well, this very bright young lady held me to my promise.  I tired to find the doll I bought, but in the stress of everything else, I don't remember where exactly I stored her. What to do!!!  Her mom told me they were going on a short vacation, and I had about five days to find the doll.


To make a long story short, I couldn't find mine in time, bought another one at Kohl's.  The little girl was thrilled beyond thrilled, but I swore everyone to secrecy.  "Just let her think it's my doll", I said.  Little did I know that kids know what copyrights are.  My little eleven year old Miss Marple was reading the book that came with the doll, as well as all the literature in the box.  I think I have a curator for my future museum.  "Mom", said she, "The copyright date is 2017!!  This couldn't be the doll from Fall 2016!!"


Busted!!!


So I had to confessed, but all's well that ended well.  The new doll will be an heirloom, and there may be a new doll collector in our midst :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Planting, and Cooking: To Everything, there is a season, or a Seasoning!!



We love peaceful Sundays; no matter how bad the rest of the day is, Sunday morning should be calm, and peaceful.  Yet, whenever I sit under my modest carport, with my shabby-not-chic plastic lawn furniture to eat something and to write, the peace is shattered by someone's lawn mower or trimmer  The same thing happens at dusk.  I'm sure I've come home late and banged a door, and I can't control with my Dad's cleaning lady comes, or when the lawn folks show up to help.  I'm terribly grateful to both because I can't that kind of heavy work any more.  Yet, we do what we can, and I'm happy for even a tiny moment of tranquility.  Here are some photos from this week's work.

 

This was not the year again for planting or experimenting.  I was lucky to get a gift of Blackout pansies from my neighbor and friend, LJK, and I bought variations of flox.  They work in fairy gardens and are colorful in my pots.  The cold weather and torrential rains we had more or less wiped out the flox, so I’ve gone to begonias.  The rains pelted down everything, even my prairie grass.  The aftermath reminded me of an essay in The Norton Anthology of Nature Writing about carnage in a garden after a hard rain.

 

This year, we hope our black Holly Hock will finally bloom.  I’ve set up tiny fairy gardens, and the simple gnome village in back. I have my tables out, and one large silk plant that I use as a seasonal tree.  It is decorated for the seasons, and sits under my carport.  I love my lawn ornaments, and they are out, though I’ve bought nothing new this year.

 

Summer is nearly upon us, but it still gets cool.  The trees are beautiful, all green shade.

 



 


 

 


My Thorny Rose


Our violets came and went in all their wild and hybrid varieties, and I have one rose that is holding its own after being rerooted, and one glorious poinsettia indoors that is rising like the Phoenix, thanks to the care of my friend, KLN.  My avocado seed experiment is not going so well, even under the fluorescent lights of my office.

 

There are Angels Among us, Everywhere

Memorial Day on The Yellow Brick Road

Sharing the Harvest, Vintage Painted Wood Lawn Art

When Bacchus Rests

Rock a bye Baby Ducks with Vintage Doll Buggy

Morning has Broken

This Week's Begonia




I was also given to Cana Lilies, and these are growing very well.  I hope my Belladonna vine grows; it is wild, and can’t hurt the birds.  Animals know better.   My holly is still blasted, but it is coming back.  It’s only one bush, but I refuse to give up.  We have black Irises, and purple one’s,, and we will soon have lots of daisies, and maybe bee balm and some of the  wild flowers I’ve planted.  My Hibiscus is coming up, and all the wild, thorny little roses and strawberry plants of past years are flowering.  We’ll see.  I am trying to replant a “volunteer” pumpkin I’ve managed to save as well.  There were successful pumpkin years where I could make pumpkin soup from scratch, and give my own gourds as gifts.  I was even able to experiment with growing gourds in soda bottles to get the shape.


Purple Iris

Black Iris





Domestic Matters

 

This part of the post is more about not wasting food and convenience than green living.  I must say that the books and magazines out, some free, on eating local are mind boggling.  It’s very hard to keep up, though very interesting.

 

For me, I have found little ways to get around things.  Of course, if  I buy take out chicken, I take the skin off the leftovers and make chicken salad.  My recipe is simple, real mayonnaise, or paleo mayonnaise, a little salt, pepper, chopped green olives, and if I have them, green grapes, or dried cranberries.  Walnuts or almonds are great, so is a little celery.

 

A fun variation is to add chopped Kalamata olives and Feta cheese crumbles.

 

This recipe can be used for tuna salad, or shrimp salad, or salmon salad.  I like to poach salmon filets,   I just use a Corning ware glass baking dish, fill it about half way with water.  Season the salmon, salt pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning.  I like garlic, but my husband does not. I slit it, and put in a dollop of I can’t believe it’s not butter, or a small square of real butter.  I time it between 20 and 3 minutes at around 375 degrees.  Sometimes, I’ll top it with salad shrimp.

 

A variation of these salads can make a great sandwich loaf as well.  There are great recipes in all kinds of 50s and 60s cookbooks, or look online.  Basically, slice a loaf of bred in three, and in between, spread three different salads.  “Frost” with whipped cream cheese.  Decorate with green or black olives and maybe springs of mint.  Refrigerate, and slice.

 

I use cooking sauces premade times; I found a nice wine and mushroom gravy, great with sautéed skirt steak or thin breakfast steak sliced, and served over rice or linguini.  There is a great curry sauce, awesome with shrimp over egg noodles.  Use the store brand; sometimes they are half the price of other name brands.

 

To use up the zucchini and eggplant in your garden make a quick moussaka or eggplant parmesan.  These can be vegetarian, or even vegan if you shop for the right ingredients. I take a large glass pan, oil it with olive oil or with cooking spray.  Alternate sliced potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, or other vegetables.  For moussaka, add one can of tomato sauce, tomato soup, V-8, juice, or home made tomato sauce.  Pour it over the vegetables, add herbs like basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Sliced onions are good, too.  You can add browned ground beef, or tofu crumbles, or ground turkey, etc.   Sprinkle with about a cup of mdzithra, parmesan, or Romano cheese.  Bake at around 375 degree and watch the oven, about 25 minutes.   Check the vegetables.  If tender, you can take out and enjoy.  Or, melt more shredded cheese on top.

 

If not cooked, put in another 20 minutes and keep checking.  If you like,  make a Béchamel sauce to pour on top the last 10 mins or so that the dish is baking. 

 

For the parmesan dish, you can limit to eggplant, tomatoes, and onions, or include the other vegetables.  Cover with the tomato sauce and seasonings.  Bake as above, but top with a cup of grated parmesan.  About five minutes before it is done, slice fresh mozzarella and lay on top.  Let it melt.  Serve with pasta, if desired, or polenta.