Category Archives: hobbies

Threads

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For those of us who are approaching winter, there are some moments

when we may wish to start a large puzzle, work on a craft or read a

book with deeper meaning. After all, the media ‘invented’ the idea of

Summer Books, which always seem like “Beach Books.” They consist

of fun reads, some adventures or romance but generally not expected

to make it into the Classic books area of the library.

While gathering things, somewhat ‘ahead of time,’ preparing for my

Thanksgiving trip to see my Mom and family up North, I put a box of

old wooden spools of thread into a bag. Or rather ones that used to

have thread on them. I added one of my books from the discards

pile at the May Library Book Sale, in coordination with the Delaware

Arts Festival, thinking that I may get a chance over the four days “on

holiday” to bury my nose in a book. The spools will go to my brother’s

future artistic projects. He utilized another set of these antique

wooden spools in a colorful multi-media project, finishing it with

a shiny paint spattered glaze over it. I love the circular shapes within

the circle of  his shimmering presentation of what I would describe

as the “cosmos.”

 

While talking about thread, I don’t wish to go on too many tangents.

 

Do you remember when we would say, “Nice threads?” Sometimes,

I remember saying this to someone with a tie-dyed shirt or a pretty

patch-worked maxi-skirt. Was it applicable only to certain kinds

of clothes or anyone who we may have thought looked “nice?”

Interesting, since we also use the word “threadbare” clothes, for

those which may be considered ‘raggedy’ or worn out. These are

‘bones of contention’ sometimes, when a spouse may wish to keep

a favorite, softened by time item of clothing. The other spouse

may wish to throw it in the ‘rags’ heap.

 

 

Now that I am getting older, I sometimes have to close one of

my eyes to “thread” a needle. I also recently purchased a package

of needles that remind me of the Large Print Books’ section where

I tend to get some of my ‘reading for pleasure’ books. Rarely do I

find ‘classics’ in this area. I pondered this once, “Do they think

that while I am losing my eyesight, I am becoming ‘dimmer’ in

my brain cells, too?” In this same vein, my “threads” of thoughts

can become quite twisted or knotted up, needing someone to

help unravel them.

 

When a spider creates his web, the intricate woven pattern looks

like snowflakes at times. Sometimes, I think of it as gossamer

“thread” and am amazed at how strong its hold is. Especially,

when in someone’s attic, as it catches in your hair. It is definitely

sticky, which makes sense to catch the bugs or flies for the spider’s

meal.

 

While the use of ‘threading in and out’ is less often used than the

expression of ‘weaving in and out,’ I have heard this used.

 

Can you think of other ways the word, “thread” is used?

 

I especially admire the Native Americans who used almost every

part of an animal, one way or another. Using creatures’ sinew

to sew with a needle created from its bone is surely a testament

of their creative and utilitarian minds. I cannot imagine trying

to poke through the fur or animal hide to create clothes and

jackets. It would have been easier to just throw the fur over their

shoulders like a blanket or poncho. That is how I picture my

way of ‘roughing it.’ The daunting task of creating homes out

of materials from the natural world is incredible to me also.

 

I have 15 different wooden spool brand names with the prices

varying from 15 cents to a quarter. I studied and grouped them,

even noticing the colors or as they are labeled, “shades” can be

over 1000 in their number. The variety intrigued me, as I hope

or felt it may a few of my readers. All of the 15 brands are made

in America. I would be interested if anyone in another country

would tell me where their thread in their sewing basket or junk

drawer was made.

 

When you ‘whet’ someone’s interest in a subject, you don’t

wish to leave them “hanging by a thread,” so here is my list:

1. Clark’s brand.

This is interesting because it was originally on its own, but you will

see a spool with two brands who must have become connected. On

this post, I decided would be presenting what I have, not what I

looked up on the internet. I did not research any of these companies.

Details on the Clark’s wooden spool include, “Cotton” and “O.N.T.”

and the “shade” number of 278 on one of several of these. The “Size

50” is on this brand.

2. “Belding Corticelli” brand.

The words are not together, but circle the spool, some on the

‘top’ and some on the ‘bottom.’

“Bel-waxed”

“Mercerized”

“Cotton”

and the expression, “Fast to Boiling.”

Several of this brand, with the price range given of 15 cents, 19 cents

and 25 cents.

The shades are stamped into the wood, ink pressed to show “1707”

on one, for example. The “Size 50” is also on this brand. All of these

gave the length of “125 yds.” of thread.

3. “Sea Island Thread Mfg. Corp.”

The words, “None Better” are stamped into the wood on one end.

The length on this bigger sized spool is “700 yds.” It is labeled,

“Mercerized Cotton.” (Unlike the other spool where the words

were separated and not contiguous.) This is mentioned to be,

“Made in New York.”

4. “Standard- Coosa-Thatcher Company” is also labeled on

the other end of the spool as “S-C-T”

There is no marking of its shade, color, or length but I am

happy to tell you this was made in “Chattanooga, Tenn.”

5. “Richardson’s .”

“Mercerized Sewing Cotton,”

(Size 50)

100 yards

“Fast to Boiling.”

This singular spool has the word, “Shade 1788,” on it.

6. “Fruit of the Loom.”

40 yds.

(Size 50)

“Mercerized” (no mention of cotton on label.)

“Fast Color”

*Would we today call this ‘color fast?’*

7. “Dandy” brand.

This label is the only one which presents a blend of,

“Cotton and Polyester”

Made in U.S.A. is stamped into the wooden spool’s end.

“Mercerized” is again not connected with the source of

the thread’s ‘material.’

“Boil Fast”

*Doesn’t this fascinate you? How can one expression, “Fast

to Boiling,” be attributed to one kind and then, this shorter

one be given?*

There are two facts about the “Dandy” brand which are not

included on any other of my spools, “Left Twist” and “Two

Cord- 1200 yards.” This is a longer/taller wooden spool.

8. “Ball’s Best” brand.

This was made in South Willington, Connecticut.

“500 yards”

“Cotton”

(24) May be “shade” number?

Gardiner Hall Jr. Company.

“Sole Man’ers”

*(Was this meant to be used on soles of socks or shoes?)*

9. “Coats” brand.

“Super Sheen With Silicone” on a shiny paper circle on top.

125 yds.

“Mercerized”

“Boilfast”

(50)

19 cents.

Shades are “169” “70” and “57-A”

On the bottom of the spool, where there isn’t any shiny label,

stamped into the wood is: “J + P Coats.”

10. “Lily” brand.

“Mercerized.”

50 yds.

Cotton boll symbol on the paper label.

“Boil – Fast”

11. “Radium” brand.

“1 oz.”

“Three Cord”

“Mercerized Cotton”

“Color 1169”

12. “Aunt Lydia’s” brand,

“American Thread Co.”

“Button & Carpet”

“Extra Strong + Smooth”

“Shade 830”

13. “Empeco” brand.

“Mercerized Thread”

“Manufactured by Max Pollack Co. Inc.”

Made in “Mills Groton, CONN”

“700 yards”

Color “518.”

14. “Coats + Clarks”

(At last, we have both companies joined together.)

Time has gone past, since this big spool is labeled

to cost, “39 cents” and has details, such as:

“Dressmaker’s Spool”

“Made in U.S.A”

(50)

Color or shade is “86-B”

15. “Talon” brand.

“Mercerized.”

325 yds.

“29 cents”

“Made in U.S.A.”

“Colorfast” (at last!)*

15. “Star” brand.

“100% Polyester”

40 yds.

“American Thread Co.”

“CONN”

(An area code is given, but is faded. Possibly 06905 or 08905?)

“Will-Boil”

Three different spools have these color numbers:

“484” “553” and “020”

The three have varying length of thread:

“40 yds.” “125 yds.” and “150 yds.”

“Mercerized Cotton”

I enjoy learning about the crafts and hobbies of fellow bloggers.

Do you tend to carry out the same kinds of activities or do you

change them, as the season changes?

This post began with my getting out some things to go visiting;

along with sorting out the spools from my crowded sewing basket.

I accomplished the chore of cleaning up and writing this post about

‘threads’ due to those wooden spools. My little grandchildren used

to play stacking games with them, as if they were uniquely shaped

building blocks. Remembering their tall towers of spools make me

smile. Then, the giggles of when they all came tumbling down.

I imagine children in the past doing this playful use of spools, too.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Stay Young

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I received Mom’s card, that she bought in the downstairs area of her senior living

apartments, at the end of last week. This is called the ‘library’ where you can choose

to borrow, return or give books and pick out greeting cards. There is an ‘honor code,’

where you go to the nearby Front desk to pay for the cards or check out the books.

This card, and its message, really made my day this week!

It was one of those simple ones that talk about friendship. She vacillates between

saying that I am her ‘best friend’ and missing her faithful little dog, Nicki, (her ‘other

best friend.’)

These notes, I realize I have mentioned, hold important feelings that she shares

with me, her only daughter. I am touched with her added embellishments, sincerely

expressed ideas and loving memories of our special ‘girlfriend’ visits and shopping

trips.

She writes to many people, her words are less descriptive and their clarity may not

always be there. Time has taken some of her training in spelling, grammar and English

usage away. But the essence of love shines through to all of her recipients of letters.

Her good friend, Joyce, who will always be known as “Pooky” to those who love her,

wrote her a long typed (on the computer and printed out) letter. In this, she was

supporting my Mom’s asking to be able to have her dog back. Nicki is residing with

my brother and sister in law, with multiple dogs, on a ‘better, healthier’ diet and

regime. Their main concern was that Mom had fallen, so they felt with her new

walker, therapy visits and trying to manage Nicki with the walker may do more

‘harm than good.’  “Pooky” lives in California and I have written her notes to

keep her abreast of my Mom’s current health status, along with over the years,

many holiday cards. She is a good and true, lifelong friend of my Mom’s.

“Pooky” sent a clever list which has some fun, but often expressed, ideas about

growing older, includes positive life lessons and ways to stay young.

On the top of the first page, my Mom had handwritten these sweet words:

“You know all of these, my Robin, but it never hurts to be reminded of them. . .

To my best friend in the world!”

“How to Stay Young

Friend to Friend Advice”

1.  Try everything twice.

On one woman’s grave, the epitaph reads:

“Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!”

2.  Keep only cheerful friends.

The Grouches pull you down.

Keep this in mind, if you are one of those Grouches!

3.  Keep learning.

Don’t stop!

Whatever it is that stimulates your brain cells and keeps

your mind active.

4.  Enjoy the simple things in life.

The little ‘details’ can make you happy.

5.  Laugh often.

Belly laughs, long and loud.

Laugh until you gasp for breath or tears run down your face.

If someone produces this level of joy, spend lots and lots of

time with them.

Be silly!

6.  Sad things and tears happen.

Unfortunately.

Endure, grieve and move on.

The only person who is with us, our entire life, is ourselves.

Live while you are alive.

7.  Surround yourself with whatever you love:

Family, pets, keepsakes, music, art, crafts, plants. . .

Make your home a retreat or refuge.

8.  Cherish your health.

If it is good- preserve it.

If it is unstable- improve it.

If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

You are still here.

9.  Don’t take guilt trips.

Take instead trips down memory lane, to the mall or to a new place.

If you can afford to, travel far and wide. If your health does not permit

this, wander through countries in books or on the Internet.

10.  Tell the people you love that you love them every time you see them.

Every opportunity, try to show your gratitude towards them.

(Author Unknown, some embellishments are my own added to the list.)

So here goes, I am following the ‘rules’ laid out in the life list! I wish to tell you

again, that I appreciate your being part of my life. I think that our community

of fellow bloggers satisfies many things on the examples mentioned. So, in

honor for #s 3, 4, 7 and 10, I am thankful for your enhancing and enriching

my life!

You fill in the gaps in my life, helping me to utilize my brain daily.

We talk, through our posts and replies, about things and share our worlds.

Your thoughts and feelings bring us closer together. Sometimes more than

my friends I spend time with. Maybe it is the safety of being separated by

time and space. Maybe it is due to being sojourners in a world of our own

making.

Fellow bloggers you brings my inner thoughts and respond positively, for that:

I thank you!

Maybe it is the way we bounce off each other, spurring each other to reach out

and connect on a different level than most daily interactions.

To those poets out there, thanks for treating me to your beautiful (sometimes

angry, distressed but always meaningful) words. You have inspired me to try

my hand at writing poetry. It is a different way of writing than I am used to!

To the artists out there, whether using paint, pen and ink, photography or

other creative and artistic ways you lead your life, I appreciate your sharing

this with me. The ‘details’ of life that you give to me, through your art and

music, are limitless!

To the ones who incorporate animals, healing solutions, share your faith and

other ways to connect and feel whole; your posts make me feel good and lead me

to peace in my heart and soul.

Those nature lovers and healthy lifestyle believers, you make me want to be

more interactive in environmental issues and eat more healthier. The cooking

blogs and vegan choices are certainly ones that I copy down suggestions and

feel that I have become more aware of what I am ingesting!

Then those who have traveled or are out there, living in different countries,

letting us know what is happening, Thank you!

It makes the world come together and become a ‘smaller’ place, uniting us in our

common interests:

Wow! The inspiration in the gifts you all share, continue to amaze and challenge

me to be a better ‘me!’

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Hobbies

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When my parents married, my father didn’t really like ‘jocks.’

He was, and always will be, a ‘nerd,’ in some people’s books. I

laugh at the line in Shania Twain’s song, “That Don’t Impress

Me Much,” when it talks about a ‘rocket scientist.’ My father

could have easily been a mechanic or a carpenter. He was good

with his hands. As a hard-working pre-teen, he hitchhiked to

Covington, KY to work, sweeping White Castle out, for his and

his mother’s rent money. Once a kindly truck driver took him,

(I have mentioned this before) to the top of the hill overlooking

the ‘ghetto’ or poor section of town. My Dad was told the magical

(paraphrased) words, “You can be somebody, if you go to this

college,” (University of Cincy) and ‘rise above your roots.’

My Dad took those words to heart.

I won’t repeat my parents’ love story but I will tell you another

facet about my Dad’s life.

He was not interested, once married to my Mom, in extra-curricular

activities. My Dad enjoyed hobbies, such as painting, building and

fixing things around the house.

Working first at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on the nuclear reactor, then

settling into Sandusky, Ohio working as a team leader at Plum Brook,

he was happy to ‘putter’ around the house, ride bikes with us, go

on hikes or build treehouses, sandboxes, bookcases or other things

that made our lives enriched. He was a Boy Scout leader for my brothers’

troop and gladly square-danced with my friends and me, at our annual Girl

Scout’s “Father-Daughter Dance.”

He was not asked to golf or go out for drinks after working at NASA all day,

since he was known to be a ‘straight shooter.’ Sometimes, my Mom will lately

wonder what would have happened with his career, had he done these simple

activities with coworkers. Would he have not chosen to retire at age 55, when

he reached his thirty years’ mark?

Later, when he wrote a semi-autobiographical book called, “Hot Lab,”

he did it under a pseudonym. He didn’t want to get in trouble, but

he predicted nuclear reactor’s breakdowns, like “China Syndrome” (film)

and Chernobyl (real life). But probably most of the purchases of his

book were by coworkers and neighbors. I was proud, at age 15, to have

been the one he turned to, to be his ‘editor,’ since he wanted it to

‘flow’ and be readable. He included a part of the semi-autobiographical

book, where the main character indulges in ‘feeling up’ a secretary.

My mother never gave it a second thought, she knew it wasn’t possible

for her husband to engage in adultery. She did get upset, during one

period of my Dad’s career, the way a secretary flirted outrageously,

with my father. There is a post, where I wrote about this, but my Mom

‘put a stop to that nonsense!’

My parents, like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, were very loud

and raucous, at times, before I took over the editing and typing the

manuscript on one of those old black, gold letter typewriters. Maybe

it was a Royal, but it could have been a Remington?

In other words, had my Dad given any advice at all about marriage, he

would have said to be passionate, involved and ‘don’t fool around.’

I passed this on recently to my handsome son, who could easily choose

to go down the ‘wrong path’ his own father chose. My first husband,

first love and meeting on the first day of college, my only chance at

a lifelong marriage, chose after we had children, to wander off on

weekends, after work to bars and basically, not be ‘engaged’ in his

children or wife. My son is quite the opposite, works all day as a

cook (now a ‘chef’) and comes home to clean the kitchen, make dinner

and plays with his children. He loves to hike, climb on the toys and

I have two pictures of him, up in a tree, one with his five year old

and the other with his three year old girls, (My M & M granddaughters.)

So, don’t take this personally, guys. You may go off and make your wives

‘golf widows,’ and that may be their means of escaping to the grocery

store or malls, watching romantic comedies with girlfriends, or other

ways to show their freedom, too.

My youngest daughter and I watched, “The Other Woman,” movie last night

at the Polaris Rave Theatre. The audience included mostly women, along

with a few elderly couples. A lot of raucous laughter ensued! I would

recommend seeing this with a daughter, niece or if you are young, friends

who are heading to the altar. The trio of comedic actresses are Cameron Diaz,

Leslie Mann and Kate Upton. Don Johnson plays Cameron Diaz’s father. The

best actress in a comedy role, since Melissa McCarthy, is Leslie Mann! She

is hilarious! If there is a part of the movie, that will burst you into

roaring laughter is the ‘bit’ where Leslie’s character is getting ready to

be a burglar, private investigator and follow her husband around; That

sneaking ‘bastard!’ (Excuse the swear word!)

At the end of the movie, we hugged and smiled. But then, as we walked out

to the ladies’ restroom, my only ‘single’ daughter, age 28, said these

serious words, “Mom, how did you do it? How did you trust again, after

you were in a couple of marriages with men who put their own personal

life ahead of their family?”

Great question! I should not have married the fraternity man, the one

who loved the Bengals and who was the quarterback on his high school

football team! What was I thinking at age 22?

I believed that it was possible for my ex, to be like my Dad, with

absolutely no ‘frame of reference,’ and choose to be a better person.

It still to me, constantly amazes me! (I mean, who “falls in love” on

the first day of college, age 18?!)

My second husband, came from a family of a father with a stepmom, who

met all the qualities of the “Evil Stepmother.” She had cream carpet

upstairs, so she put the three boys in a cold, cement basement with

beds and an area rug. They were aged 3, 5 and 7. I think about my

wishes for ‘saving him’ from his past. You cannot sometimes ‘fix’

someone, no matter how hard I tried to pour love, sex (lots of it!)

and my family who accepted this ‘broken man.’ It didn’t work.

You may wonder where I am going with this, I am heading to the humorous

part. My daughter will find a much better man, having my life to be an

example of ‘don’t do as I did, do as I say…’ policy.

She sees her brother doing a great job, braiding My Little Pony’s tails

and manes. She knows a Doctor, who she worked for as a babysitter first.

Later, she worked on breaks from college, in his office. This man will

be one she can focus on. He cherishes and adores his wife and kids.

And, yes, on Saturday mornings, he walks the two boys down the street to

eat breakfast at Hamburger Inn. He allows his wife and baby daughter to

sleep in, to indulge in a few extra minutes of rest. While he is ‘building’

two fine, young men by setting an example of a good husband and father.

While building a relationship with his family, he is also setting a role

model for my daughter. My children had a grandfather, but no great fathers,

to set these examples for them.

Here are two golf jokes that are stories, but not true! Mom found them:

1. “Ed and Nancy met while on a singles’ cruise. Ed fell head over

heels for her.

When they discovered they lived in the same city only a few miles apart,

Ed was ecstatic. He immediately started asking her out when they got

home.

Within a couple of weeks, Ed had taken Nancy to dance clubs, restaurants,

concerts, movies and museums. Ed became convinced that Nancy was indeed

his soul mate and true love. Every date seemed better than the last.

On the one-month anniversary of their first dinner on the cruise ship,

Ed took Nancy to a fine restaurant. While having cocktails and waiting

for their salad, Ed said,

‘I guess you can tell I’m very much in love with you. I’d like a little

serious talk before our relationship continues to the next stage. So,

before I get out of my jacket a little box for you, I think it is only

fair to warn you, I am a total golf ‘nut.’ I play golf, I read about golf,

I watch golf, in short, I eat, sleep and breathe golf!

If that’s going to be a problem for us, you’d better say so now.”

Nancy took a deep breath and responded, “Ed, that certainly won’t be a

problem. I love you as you are and I love golf, too. But, since we’re

being honest with each other, you need to know that for the last five

years, I’ve been a hooker.”

Ed said, “I bet it’s because you’re not keeping your wrists straight

when you hit the ball.”

2. Subject: Golf Joke

“Wife: ‘Where the heck have you been? You said you’d be home by noon!’

Husband: ‘I’m so sorry, honey… but you probably don’t want to hear

the reason.’

Wife: ‘I want the truth, and I want it NOW!’

Husband: ‘Fine. We finished in under 4 hours, quick beer in the club-

house, I hopped in the car, and would have been here at noon, on the

button. On the way home, I spotted a girl half our age, struggling

with a flat tire. I changed it in a jiffy, and next she’s offering me

money. Of course, I refuse it. Then she tells me she was headed to the

bar at the Sheraton Hotel, and begs me to stop so she can buy me a beer.

She’s such a sweetie, I said ‘yes,’ before you know it– one beer turned

into 3 or 4. I guess we were looking pretty good to each other. Then she

tells me she has a room there, less than 50 steps from our table.

She suggested we get some privacy while pulling me by the hand.

Now, I’m in her room… clothes are flying… the talking stopped…

and we proceed to have sex in every way imaginable. It must have gone

on for hours, because before I know it the clock says 5:30.

I jumped up, threw my clothes on, ran to the car, and here I am!

There. You wanted the truth. You got it!

Wife: Bull —-! You played 36 holes, didn’t you?!”

Hope you got a few laughs out of these! Imagine, my Mom (age 86),

saving these for me to share with you!