Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scavenger Hunt for May

I must be losing my marbles; for the life of me, I could not find the scavenger list for May but I finally found one from Rosie at Corners of my Mind.  I thoroughly enjoy her blog. I am joining in with the scavenger hunt on Postcards from the P. P. - Kathy is one of the best!

1. Good Things

The cup was made of chocolate holding mixed berries and a drizzle of Godiva chocolate across the middle. Devine - that's all I can say. My picture blurred but nonetheless, it was just the right desert for Memorial Day.

2. Small Packages
Small packages of tea.

3. Fragrance
My North Carolina rose in full bloom but I'll be darned if I can remember the name - after all it was 17 years ago that I planted it.

4. Station
A station in life of becoming a grandmother; grandmother C holding her first grandchild (definitely not me).

5. Nose
Proud nose.

6. Front Page
Angel Moroni blowing his horn on the front page of the Ensign magazine.

7. Nine

8. Beverage

I thought of taking a photo of my cobalt blue glasses holding a beverage but then I thought, Silk.  This is my favorite drink besides water.

9. Currency
Money used in Kirtland, Ohio in 1837. The lower bill has Joseph Smith, Jr. (the Prophet) and Sidney Rigdon's signatures. This bank failed and many people left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (nicknamed the Mormons). 

10. Historic
Historic Salt Lake City Temple and the Congregational Church meeting building on Temple Square with an ice skater in the background draped over a skyscraper during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

11.  Yellow
Every time I look at him, I just smile. He helps me in photographing my jewelry.

12. Do you see what I see
A store front in the new City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Full Strawberry Moon

May's super moon did a number on me - gave me a migraine for three days.

I check out the full moon schedule so I know when to double my migraine maintenance medicine and learned something new.  Did you know that every month,  the full moon has a new name? For instance, upcoming in June is the strawberry moon; in Europe, they call it the Rose Moon.

This is because strawberries come out in June.

Yes, the full moon does cause hellish migraines for me or at least 11 months out of the year, they do. The pull of the moon in May was excruciating.

And of course, who hasn't heard of the blue moon? Blue moon of Kentucky keep on risin - a little Elvis. Now that type of moon is soothing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Valdez 2

Mom and I boarded the Alaskan ferry at Whittier, Alaska. 
It was a two-day trip from Whittier with a stop at Valdez 
then off to Cordova (round trip style). 

The ferry was small but large enough to carry
vehicles. We stayed in a tiny hallway room
with double bunks and a bathroom. 
The room didn't really matter because
we spent our time on deck looking
at mountains, glaciers and wild life.
I was in total awe at the wondrous scenes
that abound in Prince William Sound. 
It was mesmerizing to see
 Dolphins, a school of Black and White Whales, sea
otters and other schools of fish. 

As we neared Valdez, I found myself talking to
 a talk dark stranger (I couldn't resist that one) next to me. 
He was taller than me and not bad looking either.
I told him that mom and I had no way to see Valdez
because we were afoot. He promptly made
a deal with me that I could not refuse. He
had more than one vehicle to drive off the
ferry and if I drove his pickup truck off
for him, we could drive it around
Valdez. What a deal! That is
what we did, I drove his truck and
later we left it where he could retrieve it.

We did not get off at Cordova because the
ferry was returning pronto so we only saw
Cordova from the deck.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Too Many Cemeteries to Visit

It was a tradition to go to the cemetery to decorate graves in our family. Cousins and friends gathered at the same time so it was almost a reunion to think of our dear departed and have a gossip session.

Grandma took us to the Almo Cemetery every year and while she was gabbing, my brother and I being just kids were chasing lizards. The Almo Cemetery has no grass, just rocks, dirt, stones and weeds. The weeds were cleared and real flowers decorated the graves.

I live so far away from either of the cemeteries where my grandmothers are buried so I don't decorate their resting places. I do however cut fresh flowers from my garden and take them to one of my sons and my mother. I think that one of problems of today's generations is that they don't live near where their dearly departed are buried and so Memorial Day is celebrated as just another holiday to take a trip and have fun.

William Wells Meguire
Plain City Cemetery is where a majority of my pioneers are buried.
William W. Meguire is buried there. One year the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers had special plaques that we purchased to place on our pioneer tombstones.  I placed at least seven and one was William Meguire. My cousin has a little bucket which was carried from Pennsylvania to Utah on the Meguire wagon.

Meguire Bucket

This little cabin is still standing in Plain City and has been turned into a DUP Museum.  It originally belonged to John Carver whom was related to me through two of his wives.

Samuel Eames
The tiny DUP metal plaque on my 3rd great grandfather's tombstone was a special tribute to him.  No one else had visited his tombstone and left flowers for years but I did for at least 3 years.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Valdez 1

A weekend adventure guided me to Valdez, Alaska.
The only hair-raising part of the jaunt was driving through a cloud which hung over the mountain not knowing if there was
a drop off on either side of the road or not. I was almost
in a cold sweat when the road started dropping
down and the cloud disappeared.

From the 1964 earthquake, there was still a boat
lying halfway on the mountainside that had been 
stashed there from the tsunami which struck little Valdez.
The entire town was wiped out and rebuilt
farther to the west of the inlet. 

I found a friendly neighborhood 
wooden floor covered with peanut
shells bar and danced the night
away.  I wore every partner completely
out because I could polka all night
long and this is exactly what I did. They
had a live band playing and each time
that it came to the end of the song,
the band looked at me and continued to play
until I was just puffing.

Long before the pipeline ever reached Valdez
 or the second gold rush got started
(Alaskan oil), long before the destructive
 oil tanker spill in Prince William Sound, 
 my little escapades happened. By the way
Valdez, Alaska  is pronounced
Valdeez. Long e's.

I drove westward up a dirt canyon road
which kept going and going like the
battery operated bunny. Finally, I
stopped and started a little camp fire
to roast a hot dog for a picnic.
The only ones who enjoyed the
picnic was thousands of mosquitoes
so I ended up eating inside my car
with all the windows rolled up tight.

My mother had flown to Anchorage for a
visit. I drove southward on the Kenai Peninsula.
Westward toward the inlet were little
wooden cabins half sunk into the
ground (another reminder of that
8.6 earthquake in 64).

Our first stop was Portage Glacier which
can be seen from the road.

On our way to Whittier to catch the Alaskan ferry,
we came across the Russian Orthodox Church.

A settlement of Russians live on the Kenai Peninsula
keeping mostly to themselves.  They had left Russia
seeking a place of religious freedom. When they
came into Anchorage to shop, they stood out just
like the Amish. The women wore long 1890's
dresses with their long hair bundled high on
their heads in twists or braids or hair styles
unseen in this day and age.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Alaskan Art

During my single days in
Alaska, I did not have much money to
spend on art but I did get two
tiny gold pans which had were
painted by a local artist with the northern lights
and a lonely cabin by the

During the State Fair at Palmer,
Alaska, there was a very talented artist who
painted the four seasons of Alaska - one in
each corner on the canvas; 
it was the most spectacular
work of art that I ever saw while living
in Alaska.

My little souvenir from Circle, Alaska
is a handmade piece that tugs at my
heart every time I gaze upon it.

My owl obsession probably began
with this inexpensive piece of

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Prizes in One Month

I won, I am ecstatic! I have not won anything for eons and just
this month I won two adorable prizes from
two extraordinary bloggers.

I want to thank Sandy, such a sweet lovely lady from Quill Cottage for sending me the divine unique wall hanging.  I especially like the miniature vase full of roses attached on the side. Artistic and talented I am not. She has an incredible way with words that just move you so I am under her spell. Her blog is one of the top contenders on my Wow blogs.

I am trying to improve my childlike writing to become a more descriptive writer. Over the years because I worked for a manufacturing plant which wanted to me write at 8th grade level and certainly not add any descriptives for the factory workers, it just stayed with me. It was push the red button, pull the lever down and .....    Now it takes a lot of practice and thinking for any creativity and feeling.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Tribute to My Mother

A toddler

A teen

A beautiful young woman

I never knew that my mom was popular.
I knew that she had a gorgeous smile,
an outgoing personality and had
umpteen friends.

She's been gone now for 20 years; 
 we lost her to colon cancer that vicious silent
killer that sneaks in without you knowing.

Oh how the years fly by. One lonely day
I looked through her college yearbooks and
was I surprised to find tidbits
about mom that I never knew before.

From her autobiography she wrote,
"I graduated from Albion State Normal School
 with a two-year teaching certificate as a primary
 specialist and music minor. 
I was part of the Little Theatre group
 and was in “The Burglar”. 
I belonged to Rho Sigma Phi 2, Art Club 2,
 WAA (Women’s Athletic Association) 
and Mu Omega Omicron 1-2. 
There were only two people from Elba in 1939;
 I was one and Bessie Darrington was the other." 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just North of the Grand Canyon

California is well known
because of Hollywood; everyone
had heard of Las Vegas, Nevada
and of course, New York is
famous but very few know
about Utah.

Royce Bair took these 
extraordinary photos 
 in southern Utah.

The photo below is of the milky way in
Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming,
which by the way is not far from Utah.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Night or Day?

Far to the north of Fairbanks (160 miles)
is Circle, Alaska. Even
though they were
building the pipeline
at the time, no one was
allowed on that road so Circle was
the end of the line!
Circle is next to the Yukon
River and when I was
there, it was not much of a
settlement. I drove there
in one day and waited
for the sun to go down
before I went to asleep.
The farther north you go,
in mid summer, the less
night time. I finally gave up
at 2 AM because it was
not going to get dark.

 Circle, Alaska

Morning person I am not
so when I started waking up
at 4 AM every morning, I was
not happy.


What is the deal anyway?
Programmed from somewhere in
our complicated brains is a signal that when
light comes flooding through a window, 
it is time to wake up. 
I finally had to black out
my windows so that I
could sleep because
in summer, the sun
came up at 3 AM
and went down at 1 AM
the next day.

At one point in the winter
I arose in the dark and
it was still dark at 9 AM
but the odd darkness
came at 5 PM - pitch
black - that was the middle
of winter.
Alaskan Moose

It is true that they play
baseball at midnight in

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Celebration is Happening

Polish Constitution Day

I promised Paulette from Cheerful Thrifty Door that I would blog about a day that I know nothing about so here I am scouring the internet to see what I can find.

Polish Constitution Day is a National Holiday in Poland. It was on May 3, 1791 that the first constitution of its type in Europe was written and signed by the King. Scholars have called it the world's second oldest constitution.  

Parade in Poland

Now, let me think, in 1791 my 7th great grandfather, Simon Zdanowicz was 25 years old, single and lived northeast of Warsaw in a tiny village called Jeziewo (close to Sztabin and Lithuania). My 6th great grandfather Sebastyan Suchanski was 22, was married to Katarzyna, had a baby daughter Agnes, and lived in Klobuck a tiny village close to Czestochowa. Being farmers and living a considerable distance from Warsaw, they probably did not know anything about the Polish Constitution because it was drawn up in Warsaw.

Not a single bill was allowed to be passed by the Constitution and in January of 1793, Poland fell to foreign powers and was occupied for over 100 years.

So when my grandfather and my great grandparents were born, Poland was under Russian rule. 

Unfinished Temple Divine Providence,  Warsaw Botanical Gardens.
The cornerstone was laid on May 3, 1792 to commemorate 
Constitution Day - May 3, 1791 by King Stanislaw August Poniatowski.

The Polish Constitution of May 3rd, 1791 has been commemorated every year in Chicago since 1891. The Polish National Alliance took the initiative and ever since that time there is a parade which lasts several hours. At first the parade was downtown but in 1910 when the General Thaddeus Kosciuszko monument was erected in Humboldt Park the parade proceeded along Division Street to the park on the first Sunday of May. 

My grandmother was born in Chicago in 1892 so my great grandparents who had fled Poland to live in a free country were present for the first Chicago celebration. 

The Polish Eagle waves free in Chicago and Poland every year during the celebrations. 

So cheers to all my Polish cousins in Poland and to those fellow Polish Americans in Chicago. Have a drink for me because they don't celebrate here in the west.

01 09 10