Posted by: penpatience | November 1, 2022

THANKSGIVING – GOBBLE ALONG WITH ME!

WRITERS WORDS: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

2022 NOVEMBER MONTHLY MUSING

 

THANKSGIVING –   GOBBLE ALONG WITH ME!

            It’s that time again-November, the month we celebrate Thanksgiving. A time when many get together with family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy turkey dinners, relaxation, and tune in to a favorite football game. And yes, some family members visit shopping centers for Black Friday sales, although in recent years, the sales have been advertised well before Thanksgiving. However, did you know that November is also National Gratitude Month?

National Gratitude Month is the holiday where we can all gather and share our gratitude to the world.  Basically, gratitude month’s emphasis is putting attention toward the positive versus the negative.

Ralph Waldo Emerson advises: “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously, and because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

I muse…2022 has been a difficult year for many countries, people, and families. Many have experienced heartbreaking losses through climate change turmoil, human brutality due to overseas conflicts threatening world freedoms. Hurricanes and fires have devastated people in our country and abroad leaving many folks deceased, homeless, and feeling helpless. And, for many Americans (Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving) it’s difficult to envision a happy Thanksgiving celebration with limited resources and loss.

But then, gratitude, focusing on positive versus negative and, recalling memories of past traditions, small enjoyments and aiding others are optimistic perspectives.  I often recall my deceased Mom’s encouraging stance. Her credo was something good will come from a bad experience and, eventually, the sun will shine again.

A few positive thoughts for this year 2022: take time out to trot at the local Turkey Trot. Watch the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and our current U.S. President’s annual turkey pardon. Attend religious observances of choice and set aside time to give thanks for personal blessings. Volunteer your time and share your special skills to assist others in having a positive Thanksgiving experience.

I am grateful for what I am and have. My Thanksgiving is perpetual.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

MAY YOU AND YOURS HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Don’t be a turkey. Don’t drink and drive

 

Posted by: penpatience | September 29, 2022

HALLOWEEN – MORE THAN TRICKS – MORE THAT TREATS!

WRITERS WORDS: “There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a lit front porch.”-Robert Brault, American Author

 

OCTOBER 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

 

HALLOWEEN – MORE THAN TRICKS – MORE THAN TREATS?

 

October’s color is orange. It is a time for harvesting and carving scary faces on pumpkins, breathing fresh fall air (in Northeast, USA) and watching trees show off red, orange and other colorful leaves. However, adults and children prepare for the best and last day of the month – October 31stHALLOWEEN. October would not be October without celebrating Halloween, also historically known as All Hallows Eve.

A little historical background on the origins of Halloween… Some historians believed All Hallows Eve originated in the 5th century BC or the Middle Ages and the holiday had both pagan and religious roots. The Gaelic harvest celebration known as Samhain marked the end of the growing season in Celtic England, Ireland, and Scotland. Many Celts believed the barriers between the natural and supernational worlds vanished on Samhain and that the dead could walk among the living. Folks would light fires, dress in animal costumes, and tell each other’s fortunes as part of the festivities.  Over time, the holiday evolved. The Catholic Church turned November first, the original date of Samhain into a religious holiday called, “All Saints Day” or “All Hallows,” making October 31st the date of All Hallows Eve now referred to as Halloween.

In America, Halloween was not recorded until the 1840s. As early as 1875, many people along with the Irish and Scottish immigrants celebrated Halloween. One of the first traditions was the Jack O’ Lantern.  Over time and influenced by a variety of cultures Halloween in American colonies began to change. In the New World it became a time for parties thrown to celebrate the harvest. Many attendees dressed in costumes and told scary stories helping to shape Halloween history into celebrations we enjoy today.

Halloween in the USA is enjoyed by children and adults. School kids parade around school grounds showing off hand-made and purchased outfits honoring animals, portraying super-heroes and other ghostly or scary get-ups.  Many communities participate in door-to-door trick or treating, local fire station and other establishments host “treat” parties for young folks and their families.  Adult Halloween costume parties have become very popular. Families and friends get together, eat, drink, laugh at costumes, tell jokes while sharing bountiful treats.

I muse…a young Halloween memory.  No welcoming light on by the front door-no “treat” sometimes earned a “trick.”  Years ago, during adolescence…a school chum decided this situation required a “trick” and dumped a bag of cow dung (from a friend’s farm) on the house’s front porch. (Hey! It was bagged!)   

Teenagers often decided to join the free candy tour and stuffed pillows in the front of their jeans, donned flannel shirts and a full-face mask and carried home a bag of candy bars. (Yes, regular size Hershey and other brand name bars.)

Unfortunately, we now live in more troubling times including the past two years of coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, but Halloween, remains a favorite October celebration. A reminder:

SAFETY FIRST was a program I initiated for a former employer many years ago and is applicable to young children roaming around in darkening skies. Remember: young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult carrying flashlights to prevent accidents on darkened porches and streets. All treats should be checked before eating and always be aware of your environment.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!   BE SAFE!

Posted by: penpatience | August 31, 2022

INSPIRATION! OH, Where OH Where have you been?

WRITERS WORDS: “I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live.” – Francoise Sagan

SEPTEMBER 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

INSPIRATION! OH, Where OH Where have you been!

 

Writing is a job. Writing is hard work. Writing, like any profession, has its good days, bad days and stuck in the muck days.  Your computer in-box becomes the expedient communication to the fate of your latest project. “Thank you for your interest in our publication. However, this piece is not a “fit” for us currently, etc. etc. etc.  Rejections are usually nicely verbalized.

I note writers do not become writers. They are writers and most writers continue to write despite the trials and tribulations within everyday life. As F. Sagan mentioned in the above quotation, writers must experience life if we are to write and write well.

Our lives are filled with experiences that have potential to fuel imagination and stoke creativity.  Running into an old friend in the super unseen for years, catching up with a shared past. A hair-raising scare from childhood that keeps surfacing when least expected.  Memories- the happy, the weird, the painful, the comical, and a perhaps a shameful secret may contribute to composites or unique character traits in story protagonists.

Inspiration can be a fickle friend. Sometimes a memory, a character surfaces and words tumble out on the page. Other times, a days’ work hits the trash bin.  I muse…for me, as perhaps other writers, the enforced and lengthy claustrophobia caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on my writing. I was not out and about seeing and having new life experiences that often trigger projects. I was not sitting at a favorite shop drinking coffee and people watching, a favorite writing pastime. A short story mystery attempt sat on the kitchen table for months with only a page or two added and later edited out. I missed the personal rapport with people and friends that the Covid pandemic curtailed for a too lengthy time.

I muse… There are ways and means of recovering lost inspiration. I believe most writers have personal methods that often work for them.

Here are a few inspirational thoughts:

·       Take a walk, listen to music, allow your mind to relax and wander. Sometimes, a new thought or solution surfaces.

·       Leave a writing project(s) close by-on the kitchen table, by the computer, at your desk.  You may be annoyed when you pass by these reminders, but other times you may pick up pen or pencil and begin to edit, erase, rewrite, etc. 😊

·       Never leave home without a paper pad and pen!  Carry them in a purse/pocket, in the car, by your bed, at your desk/computer, etc. Do I dare say on vacation! You never know when or where Inspiration will grab you by the throat!

·       Read favorite and new authors.  Reading and enjoying other writers’ prose, may inspire a “can do” inspirational effort.

I recently found in a library book sale an inspirational book for writers. “A Cup of Comfort for Writers,” a national bestselling series edited by Colleen Sell, is filled with inspirational stories that celebrate the literary life. Perhaps reading other writer stories may motivate and inspire you.

It did me!

“The one talent that’s indispensable to a writer is persistence.” – Tom Clancy

WRITE ON!

 

 

Posted by: penpatience | July 31, 2022

TIS SUMMERTIME! How does YOUR garden grow?

WRITERS WORDS: “If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

AUGUST 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

TIS SUMMERTIME!   How does YOUR garden grow?

 

An old but well-known nursery rhyme: “Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockleshells, and pretty maids in a row.”

I recall from childhood mom and dad did not grow “silver bells and cockleshells.”

They planted fruits and vegetables-lettuce, corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, rhubarb, snap peas, green beans behind our garage on two huge lots owned by my grandfather. A grape arbor thrived in the back yard with apple, peach trees and blackberry, raspberry bushes spreading helter-skelter on untilled soil.

A quick trip down memory lane: Corn on the cob was picked and shucked just before dinnertime.  Salads with various vegetables were served almost daily at our table. When berries ripened, we picked and strew them over breakfast cereal, eating our fill during the picking process. During the summer months when the vegetables matured, it was common practice for my sisters and friends to pick a tomato or cucumber, rinse it under the outdoor faucet and eat it for lunch sans bread. Our vegetables were grown with natural fertilizer. I guess, today, you would call this “organic” and pay more for these veggies than those grown through different processes.  Our parents had proverbial “green thumbs” with mom growing beautiful roses, tulips, and perennial blooms in her many flower gardens. One of the greatest gifts inherited within our family was respect and love of the land. Over time, our own thumbs turned various shades of green within our own gardens.

I muse. “Earth laughs in flowers” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Food for thought. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Trees, bushes, plants provide edible fruits, nuts, coffee beans, tea, herbs, etc. Money is necessary, of course, BUT is not edible.

Well, how DOES your garden grow? Not yet a gardener? No time or room to plant?

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

I know there are many folks, like me, that learned about growing food at a young age. “Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.” – Robert Breali

I recall the first time I watched dad plant green beans in rows. It’s an astounding miracle to watch a seed push up from the earth, sprout and, with care and watering, become beans for the supper table.

So, how to do you begin to sow your seeds😊

Local libraries often have book and magazine sales where a variety of gardening material is available. Your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Organization (www.cce.org/gardening) is filled with gardening information. Always, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, is a great tool for new and seasoned gardeners. There’s the National Gardening Association and local garden centers that can provide information on choosing, growing and planting vegetables and flowers that suit your tastes, locale and home environments.  Check your state’s planting zone for growing timetables.  If you reside in the Northeast, USA, it’s not too late to grow some vegetables.

A TIP: “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” – Author Unknown

BON APPETIT! (Good Appetite)

 

Posted by: penpatience | July 1, 2022

WRITER HODGEPODGE: Memories, Memoir, Miscellaneous

WRITERS WORDS: “If you don’t have time read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King

JULY 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

 

WRITER HODGEPODGE: Memories, Memoir, Miscellaneous

 

HODGEPODGE – “An unorganized collection or mixture of various things.” (Merriam-Webster) It’s mind-boggling. Perhaps too much “hodgepodge” instructional information, sources and resources are available for writer perusal. There are many Writer Websites (Hope Clark-Funds for Writers,) Writer Magazines (Writer’s Digest, The Writer), and educational books (Bird by Bird-Anne Lamott; On Writing Well-William Zinsser; On Writing-Stephen King) and college courses offering diversified writing opportunities.

A brief description of Memories, Memoirs and Miscellaneous:  Memories can be something triggered by daydreaming at the beach or any experience that brings a recall to mind.  A Memoir is your account of a specific event or time in your life not to be confused by a Biography where you cover a “cradle to grave” story before you say Goodbye to life. Miscellaneous is anything that inspires you to begin writing words on pad, computer or the back of your hand. Also, a negative situation such as “REJECTION” of a written piece you thought would become the next “best seller of the year.” Anything regarding the writing craft can be categorized as Miscellany.

I muse…Looking back through accumulated and overflowing files filled with writer information, early writing Memories came to mind.  After enrolling in a yearlong study program focused on short story writing, my first writing professor died before Lesson Three. What I remember is the feedback received for the first two lessons. Too many conjunctions “ands, buts, etc.” underlined. Too many “that’s. and unnecessary pronouns.”   Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. I was crushed. I continued on with the second instructor through the end of the program. Yes, there were multitudes of red pen corrections, suggestions, etc., but I successfully completed the program and shortly after published my first fiction short story. (Yay!)  Perhaps one of the best tidbits of advice received from a now deceased professor/author was: “throw your English teacher under the bus – go with your creativity gut. Just write what your senses tell you, what you feel, see, hear, smell and even fantasize about.”

Love Apples,” a short Memoir I wrote for a former Women’s Memoir publication contest (2012) requiring a recipe was one of twenty-five winners. An excerpt: “Mom was up with our rooster’s crow every morning getting Dad off to work and four kids off to school. Many mornings the scent of fresh baking wafted through the kitchen-a baked muffin or other goodie was in the oven. I could smell the apples and cinnamon from the hallway upstairs on the morning an apple crisp was baking. Still warm, Mom cut pieces from the pan; flipped the pieces over so the baked apples were on top and crumbled crust on the bottom. Pouring fresh cream over the apples, we ate a tasty and healthful breakfast before we walked to school. As I recall, Mom baked from scratch with all fresh ingredients. We were lucky kids.” 

My mother, now deceased, believed food was more than just sustenance, and her Apple Crisp was a gift that kept on giving through three generations.

Aah!  Miscellaneous stuff affects writers. Writers experience daily emotional elations, traumas and disappointments.  A writer’s day may be fraught with both positive and negative turmoil. Rejection of a submission, creativity droughts that attack without notice and the days page(s) end up in the waste basket. A half-written story lays on the desk and needs to be rewritten or tossed. Days when the words just won’t flow. And…then, when you least expect it, you pour a favorite beverage or take a leisurely walk, your mind relaxes and creative juices flow again.  I agree with one of my favorite authors, Stephen King (I’ve read all his books). Since childhood, I’ve been a reader and the more you read, the more you appreciate other authors’ successes and learn from them. I believe, every read book contributes to writer creativity. A writer’s learning curve is long and, perhaps, never over.

A Literary Miss    by Oliver Marble

There once was a lit’rary miss;

And all that she needed for bliss

Was some ink and a pen,

Reams of paper, and then

Thirty days to describe half a kiss.

Read On!       Write on!

 

 

Posted by: penpatience | May 31, 2022

MOON AND MOONSHINE – FACTS & FUN

WRITERS WORDS: “Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.”- J.R.R. Tolkien

JUNE 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

MOON AND MOONSHINE – FACTS & FUN

            On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon placing the United States Flag there. The quote: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The moon, in its various stages, travels along with us no matter where we navigate on this earth. An ancient phenomenon that, hopefully, lasts forever.

The moon’s astronomical place is within the constellations in the celestial sphere. It’s earth’s only proper natural satellite, the largest natural satellite in the Solar System and the second brightest object in the sky after the sun. The moon’s position within the Zodiac is its astrological place. A note on Astrology…it’s a tool to plan events according to the placements of sun, moon and planets in the twelve (12) signs of the Zodiac. (i.e.-Gemini (May21-June20; Cancer (June 21-July22) I digress. Some psychics utilize the Zodiac to advise on future events in clients’ lives.

However, the moon is much, much more than horoscope predictive usages. Neil Armstrong was just the beginning of moon exploration. February, 1971, Alan Shepard became the first man to hit a golf ball on the moon. (FORE😊 and then, on April 21, 1972, Apollo XVI astronauts John Young and Charles Duke drove an electric car on the surface of the moon. It’s still there along with expensive tools and some film they forgot. (Tsk! Tsk!)  And, a few days ago, Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press, wrote an article that appeared in the local Daily Gazette. An excerpt: “For the first-time, scientists have grown plants in soil from the moon (lunar dirt) collected by NASA’S Apollo astronauts.” This scientific research is ongoing and, to me, growing food on the moon is a mind-boggling thought!!!  Perhaps, a future world farm???

Some Fun Facts, Folklore: (Source-The Old Farmer’s Almanac)

Astrology has named full moons.  A few: Blue Moon, Harvest Moon, Black Moon, Supermoon, Beaver Moon, Wolf Moon, Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon, Buck Moon. In Native American and early colonial times, the January full Moon was called the Wolf Moon because wolves tended to howl more often at this time.

·       Clothes washed for the first time in the full Moon will not last long.

·       The full moon is an ideal time to accept a proposal of marriage.

·       To have a project prosper, start it during the new Moon.

·       A halo around the Moon predicts wet or stormy weather.

The Moon is a focus for many love songs sung by famous artists: “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, “Galveston” by the late Glen Campbell, “Moon River” by Barry Manilow, and a real oldie, “How High the Moon” by Les Paul and Helen Forrest. A full moon along with a starlit night, music softly playing and two lovers sharing favorite beverages. Ah, What a beautiful evening!

I muse. There is another old-time interpretation of Moonshine…. back in the day, Bootleg Liquor was nicknamed “Moonshine.” Why? Because this (ahem) alcohol was produced and distributed illegally during the nighttime to avoid detection. During Prohibition (1930s) many folks died drinking this high-proof, unaged whiskey.

May the earth’s Moon glow on all dads this June. H APPY FATHER’S DAY!

Posted by: penpatience | April 30, 2022

SAYINGS GALORE – BUT SO MUCH MORE!

WRITERS WORDS: “If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits? – Erma Bombeck

MAY 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

 

SAYINGS GALORE – BUT SO MUCH MORE!

SAYINGS – words put together in such a way to challenge, inspire, annoy, invigorate readers to promote thought, meaningful contemplation and laughter. Words where various individuals experience a gamut of emotions. “A saying is any concisely written or spoken expression that is especially memorable because of its meaningful style.” (Wikipedia)

Sayings are penned and recorded by people in all walks of life, from U.S. Presidents, the famous and infamous and all folks attempting to reach others through special scripts. They are expressions containing advice, wisdom or just plain humor.

I muse…I recently discovered a (1792-1974) Edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, saved by my mother, during an overdue cabinet cleanout. Price 60 cents. Perusing the pages, I discovered “Familiar Old Sayings in Verse” by Godfrey McLain. I list a few for reader contemplation:

“Straight as an arrow. Busy as a bee. Now let me stop. Lest you’re weary of me.”

“Mean as a snake. Limp as a rag. Flat as a flitter. Left holding the bag.”

“Proud as a peacock. Sly as a fox, Mad as a wet hen. Strong as an ox.”

Listed below are a few favorite sayings with the hope they will inspire, encourage and produce a few laughs along with my comments:

  • John F. Kennedy (from 1961 Inaugural Address) “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” (Many people have especially served their country these past two years)
  • “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” -Albert Einstein (brilliance that made valued contributions)
  • “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle, Comedian (can you recall early TV’s “Uncle Miltie’s” show sponsored by the Texaco Company?)
  • “When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom—and only if it cannot be put off.” -Stephen King, (one of my favorite Authors-writers tough it out continuing to write)
  • “You can shed tears because she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived.” – David Hawkins (*****) Five stars for this one!
  • “When it looked like the sun wasn’t going to shine anymore, there’s a rainbow in the clouds.” -Maya Angelou (a talented poetess)
  • “I’m not offended by the dumb blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb…and I also know that I’m not blonde.” – Dolly Parton (who doesn’t love Dolly?)
  • “People who drink to drown their sorrows should be told that sorrow knows how to swim.” -Ann Landers (I received her book, “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!” as a recent gift.)
  • “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” -Sophia Loren (a beautiful actress of her generation-pasta, always a culinary winner)
  • “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” – Harvey McKay from Best of Mackay’s Morals provide lessons to live by. (I’ve read a lot of Harvey McKay’s past columns)
  • “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa
  • “Do as I say, not as I do.” – My Dad said when crushing a spent cigarette into an ashtray. (His generation did not have today’s medical knowledge of smoking’s long-term hazards.)

So many Sayings, so little time😊

Sayings, food for thought, always giving readers an opportunity to rethink ideals and life situations. Some make us laugh when we’re feeling down and others resonate and remain with us as we go about daily living.

What say you?  Do you have a favorite saying you’d like to share?

Feel free to send it to me via the Comments.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the world’s moms.

 

 

 

Posted by: penpatience | April 1, 2022

GRAPES – FRUIT ON THE VINE, FRUIT IN THE WINE

WRITERS WORDS: “The sun with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do.” – Galileo

 

APRIL 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

 

GRAPES – FRUIT ON THE VINE, FRUIT IN THE WINE

 

     I grew up in an Italo-American family with a mom and Dad who raised children, vegetables, flowers, fruit trees and a grapevine. The vine survived their demise and continues to produce in the same location now tended by their grandson. The grapevine was planted before seedless grapes were developed—So-pooh. They have seeds.  No matter. Grapes are good fruit.

“Grapes are a fruit botanically a berry of deciduous vines of the flowering plant.” (Wikipedia) Grapes are a rich source of Vitamin C and K of the B group. Also, they are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Grapes are sweet, low-fat, low-calorie. Most of the health benefits of grapes come from the vitamins they contain.  Also, grapes are high in antioxidants, beneficial compounds that may protect against chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. There are approximately 110 calories in one cup of grapes. An interesting note is one seedless grape is 3 calories and one seeded grape is 4 calories.  I muse…whether grapes are unseeded or contain seeds, they are a healthier nourishment than grabbing any processed snack.  And your health, waistline and scale will thank you. Fruit of the vine wins every time😊

You might say, I’m really not fond of grapes… But do you enjoy a nice glass of white or red wine? There are many grape varieties in your favorite glass of wine. Vintners today provide a plethora of white, red wines and blends (i.e. white: Chardonnay and Riesling blend). Yes, there are calories in wine. The majority of calories comes from alcohol-not carbohydrates or sugar (exception sweet wines). A bottle of wine (750mi/25 oz) contains approximately 600 calories. A typical 5 oz. glass contains 120 calories. Calories do not differ very much depending on the type of wine. The amount of alcohol in a glass of wine varies. A light, dry white wine contains approximately 100 calories (85 from alcohol and 15 from carbohydrates.) An example: a glass of Chardonnay would be around 120 calories with 110 from alcohol and 10 from carbohydrates. (Note: a shot of Vodka (1.5oz) contains 100 calories—all from alcohol.)  This grape- eater and wine- drinker usually enjoys plopping a fresh strawberry in a glass of white wine or a purple grape in red wine at dinnertime.

For vine and wine connoisseurs, there are many great vineyards and wine trails to enjoy in upstate New York’ s many regions (i.e., the Finger Lakes) and, of course, California on the west coast (i.e., Napa Valley) and too many vineyard locations to list here. However, many years ago I discovered a new vineyard residing almost in my backyard.  Located on a beautiful 26-acre property overlooking the Helderberg Escarpment is Altamont Vineyard and Winery. The origin history of this successful Vineyard is both interesting and remarkable. There were naysayers who advised “it’s too cold to grow grapes in upstate New York or “the soil isn’t right to grow grapes in Altamont.” Over many years and still today this vineyard and winery continues to be a local success. Check out their website www.altamontwinery.com/about.

Cheers to grapes! On the vine or in the wine

P.S. Safety first:  Never drink and drive!

Dears Readers:  April is National Autism Month.  Don’t forget to “Light it up Blue for Autistic children and their supporting families.

 

 

Posted by: penpatience | March 1, 2022

BOOKS – THE MORE YOU READ, THE MORE YOU KNOW!

WRITERS WORDS: “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.” – Barbara W. Tuchman

MARCH 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

BOOKS – THE MORE YOU READ, THE MORE YOU KNOW!

 

How could humanity survive in a world without words? Without language and scribed words, communications would not exist.  Written and verbal communications in various languages are the greatest tools in the universe from the earliest documented histories to today.  “The earliest history of books actually predates what would conventionally be called “books” today and began with tablets, scrolls and sheets of papyrus. Then hand-bound expensive and elaborate manuscripts known as codices appeared. These gave way to press-printed volumes and eventually lead to the mass printed tomes prevalent today.” – (Wikipedia)

Historically, scrolls were a rolled manuscript made from the papyrus plant. It was the Romans who developed the codex made from wood and animal skins, opened like a book and featured real pages. The first actual book written on paper is said to have been made in China. Fast forward to around 1440, Johannes Gutenberg’s development of the printing press marked the entry of the book into the industrial age.  Abundant and recorded historical writing and book development data abounds in world libraries, very old books and, at present, through computerized information.

Readers: Do you remember Encyclopedias?  Many households in the 20th century had bookcases with a large set of books filled with informational and historical data for adults and students. And…most households had an A-to-Z dictionary to assure the correct spelling of words for written assignments.  I opine. Books are knowledge. Knowledge is the power for success.

Textbooks from mandatory grade school studies and further education develop learning foundations. Nursery rhymes, children’s stories and former, popular comics play important roles in fostering the love and learning of words – reading books. Throughout life, written words educate, entertain and “show and tell” the know-how to pursue hobbies, career paths and to repair that leaky kitchen faucet.

I muse…I grew up with books. Mom’s credo with her children was this, “if you can read, you can do anything.” Although I note “curse words” have, sadly, become more prevalent in society today, “swearing” was not allowed in our family, with perhaps a few exceptions from Dad when the bathroom toilet overflowed😊

Literacy promotes ability. The ability to learn other languages along with the prevalent English language, is beneficial for expanding understanding and friendships. Many schools in the United States and other countries teach English and many other languages. “Parlez vous francais? Non? C’est dommage.” (Do you speak French? No? What a pity.)  Three years of high school French -No knowledge is ever lost.

Think about curling up in your favorite chair on a cold winter evening with a glass of favorite beverage in one hand and a book by a favorite author in the other. We relax, we learn new verbiage subliminally, we laugh, we cry, and sometimes enjoyment and learning produce universal skills to move and shape the world for future generations.

Although early literacies began centuries ago with what we now perceive as rudimentary methods, we have progressed to mind-boggling accomplishments. Land-line telephones (Still in existence-thank you😊) to cellphones faster than a speeding bullet. Hard copy books expanded into electronic and audio books. Braille assists vision deficit individuals with reading despite diseases. We type and read computerized information on a daily basis.

. HAIL to the old, the present and what books and reading will become in the future!

P.S.: Perhaps we may find an old literary remnant on Mars someday…

 READ ON!   

 

WRITERS WORDS: “An Uncle of mine emigrated to Canada and couldn’t take his guitar with him, when I found it in the attic, I’d found a friend for life.” – Sting

FEBRUARY 2022 MONTHLY MUSING

 

ANTIQUES, COLLECTIBLES, MEMORABILIA, JUNK – WHAT’S IN YOUR ATTIC?

 

It’s Winter. The cold winds doth blow. It’s the perfect season to take stock of previous and present accumulations of “stuff.”

Unfortunately, “stuff” is a broad definition of purchased, inherited or gifted items stored helter-skelter in attics, garages, basements or high cupboards not reopened since the last community sale two years ago.  Well…now is the perfect time. A brief categorization of “stuff” follows:

ANTIQUE:  A collectible object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age.

COLLECTIBLES:  Items valued and sought by collectors and worth far more than it originally sold for because of its rarity, popularity as well as condition.

MEMORABILIA: Objects kept or collected because of historical interest, especially those associated with memorable people and events.

JUNK: Old or discarded articles, objects considered useless or of little value.

I muse.  Where to begin? I suggest taking one item at a time.  Many years ago, a now deceased co-worker/friend gifted me with an Avon tray with floral design knowing I loved any and all items floral. (Pictured above) Written on the tray’s reverse side is “Avon. Made in England.”

Although relieved it didn’t say, “Made in China,” some collectors might consider an aged Avon product a collectible. I perceive this tray as a memento and filed it under memorabilia. Why? Because I have fond memories of many shared lunches with this former friend. Today, the tray has a home in a spare bedroom on a dresser top. This keepsake might be considered junk by someone else and transferred to the next garage sale bin. However, perception is key. Any item could be perceived as junk or a must-have treasure.

There are many purchased items that fit most of the “stuff” categories. The Bone China dish set purchased in the early twentieth century inherited from a maternal grandmother and gathering dust for years in the attic could be categorized as a collectible, memorabilia and, after a formal evaluation, an antique. Items fill our suitcases when we return from our many travels: T-shirts, figurines, mugs, artifacts, jewelry, unique housewares and bric-a-brac, etc. etc. etc.

I muse… What about great-grandfather’s huge, old cuckoo clock in the rec room? And Uncle Ben’s vase from Germany when he returned from World War II?   A brass spittoon now filled with matchbooks collected since the early 1960’s.

However, Junk =Garbage or Recycle Bin for pickup. If it’s broken and cannot be repaired, it should get tossed. Any well used item that has seen better days, no longer used and taking up space needs to be thrown out.

Here are a few tips: Tune in to a PBS (public broadcasting system) local station and watch “Antique Roadshow.” They showcase a lot of presented “stuff” to show and evaluate for viewers.  The internet has many sites for viewing (i.e., Etsy, Amazon, E-Bay, Ruby Lane) and always check out your town/county Antique stores.  Also, community Garage Sales might also provide an unexpected and valuable item.  A homeowner’s disposable item just might become your new treasure.

February 14 is Valentine Day.  Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

 

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