Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Picture This...

   For whatever odd reason, I love doors. Imaginative, creative, colourful.... non-generic doors.

   These doors are to be found on another local church, and I've loved them since I was a child:

   Aren't they lovely? They appear to be sheathed in brass, and I can't imagine how much work goes into keeping them so beautiful. When I was wee I would have sworn up and down that they were solid gold!

   Enjoy this oddly beautiful Gregorian chant...Forever Young:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's A Sign of the Times IV: It's Your Thing

   The weather has been improving steadily...enough so that next weekend we'll be planting peas, radishes, spinach, etc... and the Great Scot and I have been taking advantage of warmer temps. Today's sign is located in downtown Terre Haute, high atop a building of the same name:

                             (Click any photo to enlarge.)

   Whilst we were looking around downtown I thought I'd grab a photo of the golden dome of the courthouse, as well as a picture of the old (1908) Vigo County jail...

   I can see an old jail like this inspiring a Stephen King novella, can't you?

   Thank you, everyone, for your kind wishes and positive comments on the 'You Don't Know Jack...' post, the pain is back to being manageable.

   TSB asked if there were a particular reason for the timing of the post, and my response is both yes and no. It came about because of a slightly odd concatenation of events... I knew Jack's daughters when younger, and had recently connected with them on Facebook, which led to discovering that it was soon to be his birthday. Then I found out that there are tapes, etc... of his reminiscing and that someone is working on his biography. Whilst telling my dear 3M about these things, and a bit of Jack's adventuresome ways, I kept remembering his innate kindness and interest in others, so I asked if it would be acceptable for me to write a bit about how I remember him. Fortunately, permission was granted and away I wrote...

   I was touched and delighted when Jack's grandson-in-law contacted me by email and suggested I visit him; I've also reconnected with some childhood friends as a result of the post!

   In other news: Mom only has three more radiation treatments to go! It's all caught up with her and she's dealing with fatigue and skin damage, but it will be done with by the end of the week, and that is a very good thing.

And now for a bit of music...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

You Don't Know Jack...

... and neither do I. At least, not as well as I would like. 

   I grew up in a rural area where the towns are mostly small and the folks are mostly just folks, more good than not; plain, hardworking, decent people. Jack (and his beautiful wife, Thelma) stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb, but in the best of ways. Here, let me introduce you: (click on the photo credit link to see a larger, clearer version)

                                           photo credit

    Skydiver, motorcyclist, military, business man and so much more, he was the closest thing we had to a movie star in our area. Speaking of which... on top of everything else he was friendly with folk like Larry Hagman and Hunter Von Leer. Y'know, Hollywood celebrities. Heady stuff for our little Indiana town; the kind of thing which a Hollywood movie... make for the local snob and petty tyrant character. But wait a minute folks, remember, you don't know Jack.

   My oldest brother worked for him briefly as a teen, until Jack fired him. When my brother told me that I was aghast, and even more so when he defended Jack's decision. While he never told me why Jack fired him, he did tell me he deserved it, he also told me what Jack said to him: "you're better than this, and you'll go on to do better than this; when you get yourself straightened up then come back, I'd be happy to have you work for me again."

   I first met the Jack I remember here:

   Swope's Clover Queen Drive-In Restaurant. It's where I had my first pizza, first shake, and so on...many of the teens in the area had their first jobs working for Jack. Couldn't have been a bad experience, given the number of them who get together to swap memories and funny tales of the good old days, and guess who gets together with them? That's right; Jack. Sadly, Thelma, a beautiful and gracious lady, is no longer with us but their two daughters are... and were... right there in the thick of things.

   The thing I remember, and treasure, most about Jack was his simple and open kindness to an awkward and unsure of her place in the world girl/young woman. Always saying hello, asking about 'things'. He was, and I'm sure still is, truly interested in the people around him, and that is such a rare quality. People like that always seem to work their way into my heart, even if I don't know them well.

   During one particularly tough time when I was a young woman, wondering if I would ever be or accomplish anything worthwhile, I'd gone to he and Thelma's house to speak with Thelma. (Two Bear and I were renting a house from them at the time.) Jack saw me leaving the house, and walked me to my car, just generally chitchatting about nothing much in particular. Before I got in the car he stopped and looked at me for a moment and said "You know, there's nothing bad about feeling different, it's just different, not wrong...and one of these days you're going to wake up rich." He was right; in later years I did wake up and realise I am rich in all the ways which matter most to me.

   So if you thought I was going to extol his adventures in travel, skydiving, celebrity friends, well... you don't know Jack. I don't either, really, but my memory of a kind gentleman who gave me the gift of believing in myself just a little makes my life a wee bit richer. His intelligence, thoughtfulness, and care for people makes everyone who knows him a little bit richer. Jack, you're a gentleman in the truest and best sense of the word, and I thank you for that.

In other news: I'm still dealing with a good deal of pain, as well as some important family matters so will be taking a few days off of the computer. Stay well, and I'll be thinking of each of you.

Music for the day: 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's A Sign of the Times III: Downtown

...spotted around town on a sunny-ish Saturday:

   An advert for Ambrosini's Restaurant and Bar, established in 1948. It was the first place to serve pizza in the city, and is still an extremely popular Italian restaurant and bar.

   A sign for the Lighthouse Mission: food pantry, free kitchen, and it has a shelter for the homeless; as well as homes for teens, families, and battered/abused women and their children. They do a lot of good for the area.

   Not a sign but, rather, a mural outside the Terre Haute Veteran's Museum. I wish I'd been able to capture more of it's incredible detail.

   We didn't just take photos on Saturday, we also went to visit one of the Great Scot's co-workers and his girlfriend. They live in a rustic barn which was once a restaurant (it still has the drive thru window!) and have gorgeous lakes, etc... They (I'll call the two of them B-P.) are wonderful, warm, and very funny people and we had a great visit; we'll be going there again when the weather is warmer! 

   Whilst there we spotted this funny cat ....and what is a barn without a barn cat?!?...who appeared to be trying to walk through walls. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

      Views of the lake with (yup Mom, it's still there) a waterslide; the property, along with having the restaurant, was once a recreational area that my folks were familiar with.

   Tomorrow I'll be posting about a gentleman it was a great pleasure to know. 

And now, for your listening pleasure: 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Get Me To The Church On Time!

   Whilst we were out and about last weekend taking photographs, we stopped by St. Benedict's on 9th St., a lovely old church, and there was nary a sign of orb, flare, or 'eerie' reflections! Nope, that all stayed on 7th St. Here is an old, old postcard of St. Benedict's; too old for it to have been taken by me...just sayin'.

                                           photo credit

   On past the church you can barely see the rectory and St. Benedict's German Catholic Church School. This photo was taken from the Northwest corner, across the street at 9th and Ohio. Here's my view:

   Obviously, it's from a bit lower down but you can still glimpse the rectory and school. For a better view of the school, etc....

   And next, a view of one of St. B's gorgeous 'rose' windows, and both the school and church doors....the pillars you see on the church are a beautiful green marble, very reminiscent of malachite. The school was established in 1887 and is still in use btw.

   Hope you enjoyed seeing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them, and I'm looking forward to taking - and sharing- more. Next week: More Scots photos and tales...and a brief introduction to the language. Oh, and the sad tale of Steve Martin's dislike of my small city. I hope everyone has a grand weekend!

And now, since it seems rather appropriate:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Big Reveal OR Cheapskate Decorating last week I teased all of you just a wee bit with this:

And no, it isn't a toilet lid. (Thanks for that Mitchell, lol.) Actually, it began it's life as this...

That's right, it was a mirror (used as part of the centrepiece for the kidling's welcome home celebration) that I'd picked up 10 years ago for $1.19, at a local thrift store. I've used it in a variety of ways over the years, and thoroughly enjoyed it's funky baroque vibe but after all those years was getting bored with it, so what to do?

Despite the Great Scot's initial scepticsm, and with an application of a bit of this:

And a bit of that:

I ended up with.......this: 

That's right; a fun, funky, and really quite handy chalkboard! Once we've decided on the place of honour where it will be hung, I'll get a better picture complete with homemade eraser and a place to keep the chalk. The Great Scot's opinion? He loves it, and even went and bought me multi-coloured chalks. It will be a great place to leave notes or write down the daily menu; oh, and the final cost? A measly $2.47! (By the way, those funny 'marks' down the right side are from the way the light hit it when I was taking the picture.)

So how to do it yourself: Take apart your mirror and clean it thoroughly, sand the back of the mirror lightly, and clean with a damp cloth. Once it has dried, apply 2 coats of chalkboard paint. You can even make your own chalkboard paint (in any colour!) by mixing 4 parts paint to 1 part unsanded grout. Easy peasy! Allow to dry overnight and fit mirror, backer board, and frame back together.

And now for a bit of music, courtesy of the Great Scot. My darlin' dear found this and shared it with me, and suggested I might like to share it with all of you as well. Who am I to say no? I think you'll be amazed.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Artsy Fartsy and a Handsome Cousin

   So I don't think we reached a consensus on an eerie 'other' in yesterday's photo...since I have a larger, original, version I'll tell you what I think I saw. In the purple fabric to the right of the dress it looks like a man's head and chest, with the rest of him outlined around. To me it looks as though he is wearing a jacket with either epaulets or light-coloured lapels, his pants have flared legs, and he has short, dark hair with a grey and black beard. Who knows? I've been told all my life I've a very active imagination and that could be exactly what this is, lol.  But on to other things now...

   This is my handsome cousin, Bret, making maple syrup the old-fashioned way; really brings back memories of helping our Pa and Granny make maple syrup! Thank you to Bret; and to his lovely wife Tina for taking, and sharing, this photo. You guys rock!

   Whilst Terre Haute is the butt of many jokes, (and is hated by Steve Martin, yes, that Steve Martin) it has it's beauty, along with it's quirks...and no more so than in it's public artworks. Here is a lovely sculpture located in front of the Swope Art Gallery on 7th St., just a block or so from the Indiana Theatre.

   And a couple of photos (taken by the kidling for me) of one of the funky cars created by local artists and auctioned off for charity....this one was purchased by the business it's parked in front of:

   One year the artists all made, and decorated, was great fun seeing them all around town!

   We had 67 F. weather and open windows yesterday, thunder last night, and cold temperatures today....ahhh, spring in Indiana! Still, I won't complain about getting an occasional break from the cold...hope the weather is good wherever you are.

And just because I love it: