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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zipping to Ze End and I'm IFJMing

Zipper is ushering out the last day's post to the 2015 A to Z Challenge.  A German Wirehaired Pointer, she is a highly trained bird dog.  

Winter cut

Summer cut

Links to previous posts about Zipper.  
Where-streets-have-no-name and Pheasants-and-such

I settled in at number 111 on the, can't complain about that.

I visited many, many blogs this past month. I start at the bottom of the AtoZ list since the heavy hitters are usually gathered at the top (heavy hitters = the hosts and those who woke up early to place high on the sign up list).  

Each year I see challenge blogs that start out with A, then B, maybe even C, then they stop. I think they have a great premise then I wonder what happens?  Does the full import of the challenge sink in? The real troopers know what to do with the letters X and Z.  

Newly discovered and I-am-now-following blogs include an eclectic mix I am delighted to have found.

Cluckcluckbuzz - A little bit of farm life and gardening tips.

Dena's Ramblings - a Southern California attorney with a sense of humor.

J.H. Moncrieff - Official website of this horror author. 

Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax and Cabbages and Kings - a long title for a wonderful site that focuses on Art of the American West.  Even though she stopped at the "U" prompt, her posts were a delight.

The Mane Point - A haven for horse lovers.

Weekend thrift shop finds included fill-a-bag for $5 with books.  I went WILD with some retro and recent children's books, two of note being the 1962 A Big Book of Satellites for You and the 1952 The Biggest Bear.

My big kid books included some cookbooks, a Larry McMurtry western and an embroidery book.

Sharing a precious pattern with you, a 1958 McCall's 2257. The cashier said she had just put that pattern out. Late 1950s graphics, the bomb *sings the last two words*!

I found a treasure trove of late 1960s, early 1970s patterns that will find their way onto my upcoming posts, one of which appears below. 

Weighing in for a last day of the month post in celebration of International Fake Journal Month.

April 30, 2015

The Plaza del Signoria in Florence Italy, one of the many places we will be visiting on our summer Italian tour.  

Rescued slide dated Feb. 1966

We will be heading to Milan for shopping at Missoni.

A pop in to Prada.

With money no object, I intend on filling my shopping bag to the brim.



Pattern of the Day from 1968. 

This fall I will be taking an online class Fashion Analysis/Clothing Selection.  I finally get to take what I consider to be a fun class, still a requirement toward my degree. I will be sure to post relevant fun facts related to the course. 

A big thank you to the Challenge hosts and to all that visited me for this romp.  Stay tuned for more.  Please post a link in comments to any upcoming challenges or hops. 

European Swamp Orchid

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You Get One Free Pass to the Weird and Wacky

Try as you might, sometimes there is no inspiration for certain letter prompts.  On this round for me, it was the letter "Y." Therefore, I am claiming the little known challenge rule of "You Get One Free Pass,"  and it gives me a chance to do a miscellaneous post.  

Pre-planned posts are key to surviving this challenge. I spent the better part of Easter day visiting many of the blogs.  I will highlight my favorites for this year on my wrap up "Z" post.  

Recent thrift shop finds were not one but two cashmere (sings the word) sweaters, two hardcover books of American Junk by Mary Randolph Carter and Japanese Flower Arrangement (pub. 1968). Not shown are 10 sewing patterns from the late 1960s.  Thrift shop total $28.

And this Ty Punkies giraffe, I just couldn't resist him.

On to the weird and wacky.  I usually don't run into special items like the following.  This dragon lizard weirdness was discovered at a downtown Sacramento thrift shop. As for the price, I didn't ask.  

Then HE showed on my fav shopping site.

The Many Moods of Farrah doll head art piece sold on for $30.56. 

These kids look a little unsettled, I'm guessing the record is to help them fall asleep.

No bidders on the Voodoo doll with tags.

Even alligators made a showing this month.

Labeled as Made in Cuba

If decorated skulls, antlers and horns intrigue you, they can be purchased at Dragons Lair in Ukiah, California.

Babydoll mugshots just for good measure.

Sympodial orchid

We are nearly through with one more day to go in the challenge. How well did you fare?  Did you claim your Free Pass? Anything weird or wacky happen to you lately?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Xena, Warrior Princess

Xena, the first Maine Coon I have ever had, is one of the sweetest cats.  

Unusual characteristics of the breed include:  

A Maine Coon Cat has large, well tufted paws to allow ability to walk on top of snow despite size and weight. Ears are large and well tufted for protection and warmth. 

Maine Coon Cats are intelligent, trainable, described as “dog like.”

The Maine Coon Cat has a silky and somewhat oily coat, it is not dense and its upkeep is much easier than that of other longhaired breeds. The coat is almost self-maintained but will require occasional grooming. 
via The Cat Fanciers' Association

Luckily for these difficult letters on the A to Z posts, I have animals named for both X and Z (call it calculated).  

Ophrys (no "X" orchid to showcase)

Monday, April 27, 2015

They Call Me the Orchid Whisperer

I am called the Orchid Whisperer at work.  Could it be because of the white orchid?  I swear it is the well water I tote there in an old Coleman polylite. Maybe that or when I do replant them, I use prepackaged mix of orchid planting soil. 

My home workspace - at the end of a formal dining table. My laptop rests on a thrifted vintage baby fabric pattern. There is an Easter card from the mom and Muffy Vanderbear dressed as a bunny and sporting a couple of flower pins. Can't let the month slip by without showcasing my all of my orchids in bloom.

You would never guess that this fashion image is from the 1969 Simplicity Sewing Book.  What comes around ...

And a recipe for White Salad, will you try it?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Gotta go Vegas!

What better way to represent the letter "V" than with Las Vegas. This image is from the rescued slide series I recently purchased through  

Dated August 3, 1957

I am glad that the photographer caught the sign of George Goebel and Shecky Greene appearing at the Riviera.  What is most striking is the Nevada landscape in the background, ala late 1950s.

A link to more vintage gotta-love-old-las-vegas images that I posted previously. 

The following images are from our family photo archive of Las Vegas, July 1965.

Pat Boone was the headliner at the Thunderbird in 1965.  Wasn't Frank Gorshin the Riddler?

Vanda coerulea

Friday, April 24, 2015

Unhappily Ever After

I stumbled onto this tumbler feed of an artist that combines Disney characters in real life situations

The artist describes himself as:

Jeff Hong, animation storyboard artist currently living in NYC. Born and raised in Los Angeles. He considers himself a big Disney fan and extremely fortunate to work as an animation artist on the films Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan and the Emperor's New Groove. 

On the subject of "unhappily ever after" is an interesting article on HuffPo about aging-while-female.  The author points out what I have already written about - the experience of passing by a window, seeing a white-haired person and realizing its YOU. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Trolls and Tutti-frutti-ice Sparkle

The trouble with trolls is that they are just too darn cute.  These are all inmates at 

I bid on this little gal, so at least one will be joining my collection.

Recipe from 1963 BHG Junior Cook Book

Tiger Orchid