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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WHAT'S IN A SMILE?

While I was sitting in a waiting room, a young, nicely dressed, and very pregnant Hispanic woman came in. I smiled at her and she half-heartedly smiled back, her attention focused on the tiny toddler whose hand she tightly gripped.
The baby girl, who couldn't have been more than a year old had short black hair with two little pony tails poking up on top of her head and the rest of her hair sticking out in every direction, Her sparkling black eyes showed a great curiosity in everything around her. She was absolutely adorable!
Then she looked at me. I smiled and she smiled back. We connected in spirit. She continued to look at me, all the while with the sweetest little smile on her face. I couldn't help wonder, "what does a smile mean to her? What does it mean to anyone, really?
New parents delight in their infant's first smile. We write about it in their baby book and call everyone we know to share the news and spend the next several weeks trying to coax that smile from her again. Each time she complies, we smile back and feel that warm tickle in our heart. "we have communicated with our baby."
A smile is believed to be an expression of pleasure or amusement.
I think it's a lot more. It's also sending a very strong message.
When a stranger smiles at us we think they are being friendly. Without speaking they are saying, "no condemnation, I'll give you a chance." A smile bridges every gap, language, religion, race, anger etc.
When I smile at my family or friends, it's with love and appreciation for who they are in my life.
When I share comments with my blog friends, it feels like a smile.
A smile opens a new door. One where people feel accepted, wanted, cared for, loved and believed in.
I think a smile is the beginning of peace.


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Monday, February 26, 2007

THE WALDRON BUILDING
A visitor left a comment on my FAIRHAVEN HOTEL post, asking about the Waldron Building here in Fairhaven. This is what I found on the internet.
It was built in 1891 by Mr.Charles W. Waldron, who had his bank there. There were also a few other businesses in the building but they didn't do well and eventually moved across town and most prospered.
After spending $33,000. on the building only the first two floors were finished. Then Fairhaven's economy went bust in 1892 and the bank was out of business a year later.
A Charles Cissna turned the building into a department store but fire gutted the building in January of 1894. He lost a great deal and left Fairhaven.
This is how she looked in her later years. At one time there was a tavern in the corner entrance. When I was a girl I was told not to go near the place when I was out walking with my cousins. There didn't used to be limits on how much liquor could be served.
I don't know when the top floor was changed, but suppose it was after a fire.
In 1971 the building was purchased by a developer who planned to restore and re-open it for business, but eventually realized the old building needed more help than he could give, so he sold it in 2006 to another developer who is now in the process of turning it into Waldron & Young Condominimums.

Here she is today. Her insides, the back wall and windows all gone, Barely a remnant of the old building remains. I feel sorry for her standing there naked and exposed.

Her condo's will overlook several businesses and Bellingham Bay, which would be nice, except our 'wise' city father's decided that a sewage treatment plant should be at the waterfront directly behind what used to be a very popular Marine Park. I used to go there but not any more. Instead of the smell of the salt water, there is the smell of raw sewage with chlorine, etc., added so they can legally dump it into the bay. What a turn off. And people eat the seafood from the bay!

I imagine the new condos will fill up pretty fast but I don't know how long they will stay, because if the wind happens to be blowing from the sewage treatment plant direction, well, lets just say that something's going to hit the fan!

Fairhaven used to be a quaint 'little' place back in the 40's and 50's but when the 60's came so did the hippie's. With their long hair, drugs, and many with the idea that 'what's mine is mine and what's your's is mine' they were not considered the most desired additions. Eventually the 'new-age group took over. Now we see a lot of the shops with their crystals, and other trappings displayed in the shop windows. I wonder if the new age people are just older Hippies?

Unfortunately there are many who come here to live because they think it is so much nicer than their previous home. Then they spend the next several years busting their hineys to turn Fairhaven into what they ran away from.

I far prefer the old Fairhaven. Everyone knew one another, it was a happy place . Fairhaven Pharmacy is all that's really left of the Fairhaven I love. But that's another story!

I was born here 68 years ago. I've seen Fairhaven through a lot of changes. Most she could have done without.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

POSTAGE STAMP QUILT The sun was shining this morning so I hung this quilt on the deck rail to air out. The fragrance was wonderful when I brought it in. Just like laundry fresh from the clothesline.
I was inspired to make this quilt, many years ago when I still had lots of little ones to care for and no time for such frivolous nonsence. My mom in law showed me one she had inherited. Her's was very old, but still in good condition. I have always loved a challenge and her quilt certainly caught my interest.
I made my Postage Stamp Quilt several years ago, using 1ΒΌ inch squares of fabric gleaned from my family's clothing. It's all sewn by hand, each square, the quilting stitches on the design on the white border, and around the edges of the quilt.
Yep, I'm an old Sew and sew!

I used a template to trace on the pattern of hearts and swirls. The hand stitching took a long-long time. BORING!!!

Here are a few close-ups of the squares.

Putting the pieces together is the fun part for me. I love working with colors.
I've made several quilts and plan to post a few more, but this one was probably one of the most boring ones I have ever done. However it keeps me warm on these cold winter nights.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

I LOVE PHOTOSHOP!!!!

Darkened and discolored with age, soiled, crackled and torn, tape marks and parts of the picture missing. That's what can happen to a cherished photo during 43 years.
And then I got PHOTOSHOP!!
I still remember how I felt as my two oldest children walked up our country road to catch the school bus on the first day of school in 1964.
Yes, I cried. They looked so little and were trying to be so brave.
The September morning was cool and a heavy fog hovered over the fields.
I waited at the end of the road until I could hear the bus drive away.
Then ran to the house with my two preschoolers to make cookies, and begin the days work.
Thank you Photoshop for helping me remember more 'clearly.'
It took a little learning but if I can do it, anyone can!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

THE FAIRHAVEN HOTEL
1890-1956

Here she is in the days of her youth just before completion. She was a majestic landmark in the little village of Fairhaven where I live, in Bellingham, Washington.
She was built in 1890 by a very wealthy Mr. C.X. Larrabee, at the cost of $300,000.
The exterior was conctructed of Fairhaven Sandstone and the interior of California Redwood with mouldings and finishings carved and polished to a satiny gloss. she was furnished with the finest that money could buy.
Here are some food prices of the 1890's. Don't faint!
Fish...$.05 to $.06 cents a pound
Beef...$.10 to $.18 cents a pound
Turkey...$.25 cents a pound
Fresh roll butter... $.30 cents a pound
Vegetables...$.02 to $.03 cents a pound.
Rent at the Fairhaven Hotel in 1891 was $10. to $20. a week.
The basement held the billiard tables, a barber shop, baggage room, bakery, boiler and coal rooms.
The other floors held offices, a reading room, huge dining room, kitchen, two store rooms and a bank.
75 suites, and also parlors.
The room I remember best was on the first floor. It was huge and had no furniture except an old juke box that played records. It was free. That was important in those days when we hunted and saved three tax tokens to trade for a penny to use in the gumball machine. We couldn't have afforded to feed a juke box.
When my cousin Carol and I were little girls, we loved to play the old waltzes on that juke box and dance with one another in huge leaping steps, all over that polished hardwood floor. We were princesses in flowing satin gowns, we were the lovely brides in gauzy white veils. As we danced we believed we were beautiful and we knew our dance was as graceful as a feather floating in the wind.
In truth, we were two klutzy, scrawny, little kids with runny noses, and skinned knees. Our dresses were most likely torn and dirty from making mud pies and our hair a mass of snarls, and we desperately needed a bath.
In it's time, the Hotel was also used as a Sanitarium, Community Center, Boy's Club and later a Boys and girls club.
This magnificent hotel was badly damaged by a fire twice. The first time the top floor of the hotel was removed but the lower floors were made useable again. Then in 1956, after a second fire, she was torn down. I have always wished it could have been restored but apparently the damage was to great.
Time has changed those little girls, and even though we are closing in on seventy, wrinkled,gray and arthritic, sometimes when I hear the Blue Danube or another of those wonderful old waltzes, I am transported back, and once again cousin Carol and I are the lovely princesses dancing in beautiful gowns.
I'm so glad the spirit doesn't acknowledge age
This is the corner today, where the Fairhaven Hotel once stood.
I think someone called this 'progress.'
Silly poop!

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

BUTCHART GARDENS
Several years ago, my daughter and her husband took me to see these incredible gardens. If you ever have the chance, do it! Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
There are several sites on the internet telling of the fascinating history of this place. Check it out.
When I am eager for Spring, I enjoy looking at pictures like these.









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Saturday, February 17, 2007

I LOVE ANIMALS, REALLY, I DO!





Certain members of my family have been accused of having a wicked sense of humor. I believe it was inherited from my maternal grandma, Lillie. I know it is wrong to laugh when someone falls or does some other klutzy thing, but there is something inside me that I have absolutely no control over, and it just bubbles up like a live volcano until it erupts into some horrible Hyena sounding noises.
That's what happened as I was thumbing through an old Reader's Digest today and came across this cartoon. I think it's hilarious. Yes I do feel sorry for the dog. And yes I believe this could actually happen, not only to a dog or cat, but to a small child, and the thought of it started that volcano bubbling again.
Does anyone else have a problem with this strange sense of humor? Maybe we are related!

It was around 60 degrees today, so I planted over one hundred Tulip bulbs. They were mixed colors so it will be fun when they bloom. I also planted three bags of Paper Whites. They haven't done well for me in the past so I hope they will surprise me this time.

Today was Toodles' first time outside to run free in the fenced back yard since his surgery. He and Miss Tildy had a wonderful time. Both are sound asleep now on pillows I have for them here in my office.

Have a great weekend dear friends and don't forget to keep our troops and our country leaders in your prayers.
Blessings

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

COUSIN UPDATE
My cousin Carol called me tonight to let me know that her husband Don has made a remarkable improvement since yesterday.
A few days ago the doctor had told her that he was so bad that they didn't think he would survive, so the family were making plans in that direction.
Today the doctor told her he is doing well enough to go home. The toxins and gasses in his blood are gone and he is able to think and have sensible conversations.
If that isn't God at work, then I don't know what is!
Thank you all for your prayers.
I just love the Christian network we have on the Internet!!!
Our hands reach across states, seas and nations, to join in prayer for one another.
Our Lord is smiling!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

PRAYER REQUEST
I got a call from my cousin tonight asking for prayer for her husband. He has not been well for the past 40 years, just one thing after another. Now has liver failure from the many medications he has been on.
He is not doing well at all, and because of the toxins recycling in his blood, the gasses (amonia) have affected his mind.
It doesn't look good and his wife is having a very difficult time.
If you are led, please pray for Carol and Don.
Thanks very much.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Here's a little poem I wrote this morning after looking at my dear old valentines.
CHERISHED MEMORIES
You can shop for hours on end, and spend a lot of money,
For the perfect card you want to send, your special sugar, honey,
But this old mama's heart is full, for packed among her treasure,
Are the dear, old tattered greeting cards, that are valued beyond measure.
I recall the dimpled hand that held the pencil tight,
When childish print filled the page, as my child learned to write.
I remember the frown, on his sweet brow as he thought of what to say,
To express his little heart to me on this special Valentine's Day.
Of all the lovely cards I've saved, the ones I cherish most,
Are prettied up with Crayon flowers, and fingerprints of jelly toast.
MY SPECIAL VALENTINE'S

Front
From Cyndi, 1966, age almost 7

Inside, left
Verse she made up says:
(Her spelling)
"As ture the vine grows round the stump
you our my suger lump to bumb.

Inside, right


From Michael 1968 age 7

From Shawn 1976, 7 years old



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Monday, February 12, 2007

BACK TO NORMAL...ALMOST!
YYYYYYY
Good News! Toodles is doing very well. He began to improve yesterday and today is bouncing around, eating, drinking and of course demanding a LOT of cuddling.
He's getting it too.
Thank you for your prayers and concern.
YYY

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

There are so many theories concerning how Valentine's Day began that I don't believe anyone really knows. However the following seems to be the most popular explanation.

"In Rome, Emperor Claudius II was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Called 'Claudius The Cruel'he was having difficulty getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed the reason was that the men didn't want to leave their loves or families, so he cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome.

Saint Valentine, who as a Priest in Rome in the year 269 A.D., together with his friend Saint Marcus, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers, in secret.

When Valentine's actions were discovered, he was sentenced to be beaten to death with clubs and have his head cut off. But while in prison, it is believed that he fell in love with a young girl thought to be the jailer's daughter, who visited him during his confinement.

Before his death on February 14th, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed, "From Your Valentine."

In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14th to honor Saint Valentine."

Some believe that Valentine's Day is a pagan holiday. I believe every day belongs to my Creator and as Christian's we should celebrate every day for and with Him.

Jesus, My Valentine

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Friday, February 09, 2007

POOR LITTLE TOODLES!

Sleepy and nauseated from pain medication, little toodles is trying to recuperate from being neutered yesterday. I feel so sorry for the dear little fellow! He hasn't been able to eat or drink since 8 p.m. day before yesterday and if he isn't eating and drinking at least a little by this evening, I will have to take him back to the vet tomorrow morning.
So please keep him in your prayers. God loves His little critters too.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

MORE TRIVIAL TREASURES

This is another liquor decanter. I found this one at a yard sale for five dollars. I'm not sure why I bought it because I don't like taste of alcohol. I don't believe it is wrong to drink it in moderation but I'd rather have coffee.
This is the inside of it.
My mother gave me this little necklace. It was put on me when I was born. This is how they used to keep track of which baby belonged to which mama. It's supposed to be spelled Banks (my maiden name) but they ran out of 'a's so used an 'e.' I can't believe my neck was ever that small!
The vase was a bridal shower gift from one of my girl friends. I always liked it. I bought the basket in Hope, British Columbia, while on a road trip in the 60's

Here are the most famous boots in our family. They were purchased in 1957 for my firstborn when she was a year old. Then came her sister's Kathy, and Cyndi and brother's Michael and Shawn. Then there were twelve grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. All have had these boots on. Hailee loved them and even though she couldn't get her fat little feet all the way inside, she clomped around like a real little cowgirl.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

TRIVIAL TREASURES

I gave this McCoy cookie train to my folks around 1965. Dad worked for the Great Northern railroad for many years. My sister gave me the Great Northern Railway coffee mug.
I found this old badge or button in my yard when I was digging a new flower garden. On the back is small a circle to one side and inside the circle it says, WC 1812. It has a threaded post.
This is an old liquor decanter. The gold colored cap pulls off and the bottle top is exposed. When you lift the decanter up it plays, "How Dry I Am." I inherited this from my aunt Pauline Banks, who was born in 1906.
This clock belonged to my parents. I don't know where they got it but the whale oil used in the gears had frozen it up and it didn't work anymore. I took it to a repairman who showed me how to slowly drip sewing machine oil onto the old tar like whale oil until it would free up. It now runs just great.

This little guy never had a name. He was a wedding gift in 1955 from my Paternal grandmother, Hannah Ecalbarger who was born in 1884. A lot of hands of all sizes have lifted the top to find a cookie treat inside. The tablecloth he sits on was made from heavy duty feed sacks and embroidered by the grandma who gave me the cookie jar.

What can I say. I'm a yard sale junkie! I found this dish in the bottom of a box of old clothes. Paid a fortune for it too. All of twenty-five cents!


The back looks like there was an attachment for a brooch, but is missing now. Discolored with age and elements, this rather homely piece was always in my mothers button jar. I don't know where it came from and have not seen any others like it.
My Maternal grandma Lillie Fitzpatrick, who was born in 1891, wore this brooch on a navy blue duster coat. She always wore a hat when she went anyplace. She looked as elegant as a queen, and she was the sweetest, most loving lady God ever created.
I thought I would post some odds and ends to see if anyone knows anything about them.

There's lots more to come.



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Sunday, February 04, 2007

TORI'S SHOWER


Aimee won a prize for knowing the most names of baby animals. Apparently her prize struck her funny.
DId you know the name of a baby Platypus is a Puggle? I didn't.
A bag of chocolate bars would make me laugh too. (With delight!) Aimee's mom told me later that a few days before the shower Aimee had been craving chocolate. This is probably why she thought it was so funny.
There were a lot of darling baby gifts packed into these bags. I can't wait to see Tori wearing them. The doctor said she will be born this month and I get to be at the delivery. ((((((((SMILE))))))))
Of course I'll take my camera!

Here's the expectant mama, just imagining her little Tori in this sweet little country girl outfit. Here are Tori's first Cowgirl boots. They are so tiny and soft as a lambs ear.
Here is some of the food we served
This counter has ham, turkey, red and green grapes, hard Italian salami, a giant cream cheese ball prepared by my granddaughter Aimee Breanne.
Almost hidden is a dish of little Smokey sausages that I cooked from a very simple but delicious recipe. Also there are two kinds of crackers


This counter has roasted little smokie sausages, six kinds of cheese, dill pickles and five kinds of crackers. My cute little doll in the very back doesn't show up very well. I decorated with several of my baby dolls.


This is the drink and dessert table. I asked two of my great granddaughters, ages 6 and 8, to arrange the forks and napkins how ever they thought would look best. I sure wish I had a picture of the surprised and delighted look on there sweet faces when I gave them each a gift for helping me. I did this after all the games were played and the prizes given. They didn't win a prize so were feeling a little low. Oh how I love being a grandma lady!!!

Games
Here are some of the guests sweating over a game.
My two youngest daughters holding two of their grandchildren. On the left is Kathy with little Joey who is wearing a cowboy outfit. His daddy called him Cowboy Joe. He's teething and his fingers are his best friend right now. Cyndi is holding Hailee, and hailee is holding her ever present baby doll who does not have a name yet.
If you can judge the success of a baby shower by the love shared by all present and our eagerness to lavish this unconditional love on the precious little child soon to come, the hysterical laughter, many lovely gifts, and the delighted smiles of two little girls trying very hard to be 'like a lady'
I'd say our shower was a smashing success. I was so dang tired I slept for ten hours last night.

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