Sunday, March 28, 2010

Victorian Autograph Album

Victorian Autograph Album
Victorian Autograph Album, Title Page
One of my cousins is the custodian of this family heirloom, a late-Victorian autograph album that belonged to a great-great-aunt of ours. Many of her friends and relatives signed the book and entered little poems typical of the day. I believe that my paternal grandmother is one of the contributors.

When I was in grade school, I had a much smaller autograph book and my grandmother and grandfather both signed it. I hope it will resurface during spring cleaning.

(Photos copyright and courtesy of my cousin, dsg.)
Victorian Autograph Album, Entry by Mollie
Victorian Autograph Album, Second Entry by Mollie

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sisters, Mommy and Aunt Margaret, 1935

Sisters, Mommy & Aunt Margaret, 1935

Here is another photo of my Mother (left) and my Aunt Margaret, about 1935, on their farm in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania--this time with their family pet, an Airedale named Jack.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Owlets on Camera

I have been watching Mama Owl Molly, her mate McGee, and two of their newly hatched owlets, Max and Pattison, on this site off and on over the last day. Another owlet is expected to hatch later on this evening.

For more information, check out this blog.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dick Foran Singing "My Little Buckaroo" (1937)

During my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2007, I gathered many stories from my mother by phone that I incorporated into a first draft of a novel. During those daily telephone sessions, songs and music would often come up and spark her memory. On one occasion when she was talking about her early days as a new mother after World War II, she mentioned that my Dad would often sing this song to my eldest brother when he was a baby.

My Mom thought that Dick Foran was handsome and reminded her of my Dad, both in looks and in his singing voice. My Dad could croon a tune. So, a lullaby for all of the little buckaroos out there, a memory from my Mom....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sisters, circa 1936

Sisters, circa 1936, originally uploaded by confections.

My Aunt Margaret (left) and my mother (right) on their farm in rural Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, circa 1936.

Before she died, my mother described the farm and its buildings to me and I made a few small drawings. We looked up the site on Google Earth; a lot had changed, but we were able to pinpoint the property.

I lost my mother on Valentine's Day, but my Aunt Margaret is alive and well. I want to gather more stories from her while I have the privilege to do so.

More than likely, the dresses my aunt and mother are wearing were made by my grandmother, who was an excellent seamstress and needleworker. My sister has an ecru tablecloth crocheted by her, and I have a needlework bag she made that is designed to hang over the wrist to hold yarn or crochet thread.

A decade ago, Aunt Margaret gave my sister and me some handmade lace that our great-aunts had created during their lifetimes. My sister used it to edge some gauzy curtains in her home. Those curtains have worn out, but the lace has survived and remains a treasured heirloom in our family and a testament to women's textile art.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Restoring an Old Photo

Last night I restored this old photo of my First Communion (in 1958) with Picasa. I also created copies in sepia and black and white. There are a lot more vintage family photos that need to be scanned and restored; that's one of the projects I have taken on this year.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fair Niece, 1989

Fair Niece, 1989, originally uploaded by confections.


a poem in a variation of the Malayan Pantoum Form

She crowned as a redhead, we thought,
this wise newborn girl,
fair niece Laken Julia, a moonchild.
Surprise! Her hair is a halo of flax.

This wise newborn girl,
papa and mama's firstborn.
Surprise! Her hair is a halo of flax.
With delicate fingers, she signs in slow-motion.

Papa and mama's firstborn,
her eyes wide open in her first night of life.
With delicate fingers, she signs in slow-motion,
ancient waves of remembering wash through her.

Her eyes wide open in her first night of life.
She crowned as a redhead, we thought,
ancient waves of remembering wash through her,
fair niece Laken Julia, a moonchild.

Friday, March 12, 2010



I love vintage images and a great source is The Graphics Fairy. In my grieving process, this image has uplifted me....
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fair Helena


"Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light..."

This illustration is by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) from A Midsummer Night's Dream (1908) by William Shakespeare. This is a reproduction on a notecard from the Green Tiger Press (circa 1980).
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 1, 2010

1950's Nostalgia

1950's Nostalgia, originally uploaded by confections.

Another photo of my Mom, my brother and me, circa spring 1955. In a similar photo I had posted yesterday, my brother's stuffed toy chimpanzee, "Zippy", was not very clearly visible. So, herewith, Zippy in all his glory.