Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Naked Ladies! (No, not THAT kind!)

Good morning. Gold Country Girl Tina here. I am going to show off some of my Naked Ladies this morning. Also known as Amaryllis Belladonna, these very strongly perfumed beautiful mostly pink lovely lilies show up starting mid-August in our garden, and are still continuing to pop up now, when it is nearly October. This is one just coming out of the ground.
Some are deep pink, some very light, some are actually white, although I don't have any photos of my whiter ones.
In the very early winter, leaves come up (following the flowers). Beautiful large strappy green leaves cover the ground all winter and into late spring. They are nice because they are attractive and block out the weeds. Then the leaves die back (you can see traces of them in the photo above) and there is nothing whatsoever there.
Then in August, surprise! (Another common name is Surprise Lily) here comes a bud just thrusting up out of the dry naked ground, and in a day or two, a glorious flower. Hummingbirds love them. Honey bees adore them.
I first discovered them as a young girl on our family's trips to the California coast where they grow along Highway One seemingly wild in large drifts. There is an old cemetery near Elk, California where they cover the graves and have spread far and wide. I love to visit that old cemetery to look at the old head stones and smell the wonderful lilies. They should be blooming there now.

Does anyone else out there grow Naked Ladies or have memories of them? I would like to hear about it, and also if you have other nicknames for them. There are many.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Mad Tea Party

The Mad Tea Party at Disneyland is fun! At least, it is if you like spinning yourself around while seated inside a giant teacup, and I do. It happens to be one of the attractions that has been there since opening day, although it has been moved and perhaps tweaked just a bit over the years.
It looks like Daddy and Tina are enjoying, it (don't you think?) in this picture that was taken in 1955:And I am certain Walt Disney, himself, enjoyed it, as well. This picture was found in a 1957 issue of Holiday magazine. ( the cup at left looks like the one Tina and Daddy were in!):
Concept art that I discovered in an article in McCall's from 1955 shows an idea of how the attraction was planned:
It didn't turn out to look quite the same, as you can see in the next two pictures. These are both from vintage Disneyland souvenir postcard booklets::

The one at Walt Disney World is different, too. It is topped with a tent-like cover. We took the picture at the top (below) in 1994. The Mad Tea Party attraction at WDW opened on October 1st, 1971. The picture on the bottom is from my Whitman Disneyland book, circa 1964:
I'm planning a trip to Disneyland within the next couple of months, and you can bet that I will be spending some time in one of those teacups while I'm there!

Monday, September 28, 2009

What's Penny Wearing? #14

Today, Penny Lane is wearing a beautiful vintage skirt that belongs to my sister Tina. It is so perfect for fall - a pale sort of golden yellow with black leaves that are velvety embossed embellishments.
Oh, is it ever a beauty! Made out of, (I think) rayon- you know the type that "rustles"?

I am head over heels in love with it, but, alas, it does not fit me. What a shame.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tickled Pink!!

I hope you will forgive me, but I just couldn't stand it! I wanted to show you something special we got last week! See!?:
A little mini laptop in PINK!

I really am tickled, and now, if my husband and I both want to surf the internet at the same time, we can! Yippee!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Brady Bunch Turns 40

Forty years ago on this date, The Brady Bunch debuted on television. Whether or not you enjoy (or enjoyed) the show, you cannot deny it's enduring popularity! I DID enjoy the show - and I happen to be the same age as Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia. She was the oldest, and I am the youngest, but still - three sisters.
You knew this was coming, right? I also bought the book:
I haven't purchased Maureen's book "Here's The Story", but I do believe I would enjoy reading it.
Look at this sweet photo of Florence Henderson, below. It's from an article in Life magazine that was published almost exactly 15 years prior to the Brady Bunch premiere. The article was about a trip she took back to visit family in Owensboro, Kentucky , before appearing on Broadway in "Fanny". She turned 75 this year, still looks fabulous, and all I can say is "Way to go, Florence!" Still going strong, still as fabulous as ever.
I loved the whole cast, and it was a fun show to watch when I was growing up.
Unfortunately, I haven't seen a rerun in years - we don't get TV Land.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Then And Now #48 Quaker Oats

Good old Quaker Oats and Oatmeal. Remember when the nice Quaker gentleman on the label used to say "Nothing is better for thee than me."? I do. This ad is from 1948:
And this one, from 1959:
Instant oatmeal with FIBER! from 1978:

And a somewhat current box of what is possibly consumed by more of us these days (just because it's so quick and easy) - Instant Oatmeal:

I found this great green Cameo pattern depression glass jar at a thrift shop in Diamond Springs. I passed it up the first time because it was $8, didn't have a lid, and had the little "Oatmeal" decal, which is on there for life. But, unlike what usually happens, when I went back, it was still there - so I scooped it up. I did have a lid already, which belongs to another jar - and I decided that it was perfect for holding my oatmeal packets!

Why didn't I think of that at first? If I wind up using it to hold something else, I'll just turn it around- there's no decal on the other side! Duh.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Paper Dresses

I have never been able to watch Project Runway until this season. We don't get Bravo, but we do get Lifetime! So, I'm watching, and I find it fascinating to see what those creative designers can do. On last Thursday's episode, they were challenged to make something with newspapers from the Los Angeles Times. That program inspired today's post. I just wanted to show you some paper dresses from 1968. Campbell's Soup -for two soup labels and $1.00:
The Yellow Pages dress could be had for $1.00, as well:
This one wasn't paper- but it was considered "disposable". That's close enough for me! It would have set you back $3.00:

I just thought they were something fun to share with you.
And I'm looking forward to tonight's new Project Runway episode!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Salsa At Last

Good morning and happy Wednesday. Gold Country sister Tina here, with my second post, which is again about salsa, and at the end is my basic salsa recipe.

What a relief. The salsa is done! 14 jewel toned, full little pints, made last Sunday. It was a nice day, and not too hot for being in the kitchen for several hours with giant pots boiling on the stove. The scent of hot peppers was so strong at times that if I breathed deeply it made me cough. I always have to make sure to wear rubber gloves when I work with the peppers or my hands carry the hot oil for days, and I end up with it in my eyes at some point. And the onions, well let's say, I might as well think about all the saddest things in the world while I am chopping since I spend a lot of time crying anyway!

The pot on the left is my large green enameled stock pot, in which the salsa simmers while I get the jars sterilized in the pot to the right, which is where the pints get their hot water bath. That pot has a nice rack inside which holds 7 pints and lifts them up out of the boiling water when they are done, after 15 minutes of processing.

These jars were all sterilized and waiting to be filled with salsa. The black handled lifter on the left I could not do without. It has wooden handles, and the part that goes into the hot water is rubberized against the heat. I have used this little gadget for at least 15 years, and it is still in great condition. I couldn't can without it!

Here the pints were all lined up just filled and ready for their hot water bath. This is a great point in salsa making because all the mess is over, and it is time to look forward to filling my pantry with the fruits of my labors. After they are all done in their bath, I set them back on the counter and listen for each little "crack/pop" as the lids seal. I love that sound!

Here is the first batch all done, except for the labels. I hadn't made the labels yet, since I was still contemplating the name. Although I had come up with all kinds of names based on my procrastination, I finally decided this batch will be "Here's My Heart" Salsa. No matter how much time I seem to spend thinking about the right name, at the end the salsa usually ends up almost naming itself.

Below is the basic recipe for salsa, which I change for each batch depending on how many tomatoes I have, what kind of hot peppers are available, and whether I feel like adding garlic or other spices. But this recipe is the very plain and simple one which won the top award for me at the El Dorado County Fair in 1997.

Hot chili salsa for canning. Yields 6 to 8 pints


1 pound onions
2 pounds hot peppers
5 pounds fresh tomatoes
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 to 1 cup vinegar

Finely chop or coarsely grind onions and peppers. Peel, if desired, and chop tomatoes into small pieces. Add onions, peppers and other ingredients to tomatoes. Heat to simmering; simmer 10 minutes. Pack into clean, hot pint or half-pint jars; seal. Process 15 minutes in simmering hot water bath. Per 1/2 cup serving: 43 calories, 2 gr. protein, 10 gr. carb., 0 grams fat, 0 mg chol. 278 mg sodium.

I hope you enjoy making your salsa as much as I enjoy making mine, once I set my mind to it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

To Welcome Autumn...

Today, I welcome autumn with this lovely illustration by our beloved Tasha Tudor. This sweet page is from the book "A Child's Garden Of Verses", to illustrate Robert Louis Stevenson's poem "Autumn Fires":
The illustration below was from a series put out by the National Dairy Council in 1947. The accompanying text reads "Playing out-of-doors keeps children strong and healthy and makes them feel good all over."

Now, if Mother Nature will just bring us some cooler weather for fall, I will be happy, and I will feel good all over.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What's Penny Wearing? #13

Today, Penny Lane is modeling more of my aprons. First up - my favorite vintage one:
And this one looks perfect for wearing while you bake an apple pie! (Mmmm - sounds good):
This cutie is the one my sister Tina gave me for my birthday. I love the busy ladies in the kitchen on this fabric:

Thanks Penny - you look super in all of them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Few More Recent Finds

"A Few More Recent Finds" - Hmm, I think I use that post title a lot. Sorry about that. First up - this great old jar, found at one of my favorite downtown shops in Sonora, "In Town Antiques". I brought it home and promptly filled it up with Scrabble tiles!
I bought this book solely because I loved the look of the cover! And doesn't it look nice with my calico ribbon and remnant as a background?
Three trays, from a yard sale:

Found this original painting at a thrift shop. I love it when I find paintings I like, and they are VERY cheap. I think it's rather spooky-looking, and I am going to use it at Halloween. I'm hoping to find a frame for it. I'm calling it "Outskirts of A Cemetery":
And speaking of Halloween- do you know anybody who needs the perfect pair of platforms to wear with their funky 70's costume??
They're too big for me - but I could not pass them up!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lovin' My Antique Postcards

I have shown you numerous examples over the last two years of what I like to do with my antique postcards. Framing them is still a favorite. Here is one of my most recent examples. This lovely birthday card in a frame with aqua rhinestones, and a matching brooch make a lovely pair, don't you think?
And I have also been making greeting cards with some of them to sell in our booth:
A few more:
And I always display them with my holiday decor. But I also love to just plain admire them any old time.
I think they're all beautiful.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Apple Hill Again

The cooler mornings and evenings, along with our recent rain, have me wanting once again to take a trip to Apple Hill in Camino, California. An "Apple Spree" sounds good to me!
I know I will make it to Apple Hill before the season ends. But, I also have Cover's Apple Ranch, much closer to home - another of my favorite places, which I have written about before.
Maybe I will even say "to heck with the Weight Watcher's Points", and bake a fabulous apple pie like this one from the cover of a 1961 Better Homes and Gardens magazine:
And apple cider sounds good, too - doesn't it? Sure, I'll have some with a slice of that spice cake, or a gingerbread man, or a cinnamon doughnut, or some gingerbread....or something...
......or then again, maybe I won't. I know I have a Points-friendly recipe around here somewhere.....
And I'd also like to wish a very Happy Birthday to a very dear friend who grew up in Apple Hill!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

California Songs

Even if you are not from California, you have probably heard this song - "California, Here I Come":
But how many of you are familiar with this one? "California" A Song of The Golden State:
Or this one? "Let The Rest Have Dixieland, I'll Take California For Mine"
I came across a box of antique sheet music I had forgotten I had a couple of weeks ago, and I was delighted to find these among the many great pieces inside. A friend had given me some things when she was cleaning out the home of an elderly neighbor/friend who had passed away. At the time, I didn't have any place to put them, and the box ended up way up high in a closet, stored away and forgotten.
Don't you love it when that happens?
(Dates on these pieces are 1) 1924, 2)1905, and 3)1918. Have I told you before how much I LOVE old sheet music? Maybe so.)
But, since I'm on the subject of California songs - I can't leave out this one (and I'm sure you all know it, too!): California Dreamin', by one of my all-time favorite groups, The Mamas And The Papas:
And I love this one, too Hotel California, by The Eagles:

There are others, of course - California Girls by The Beach Boys ...I could go on and on, but I won't.
Do you have a particular favorite? One that I didn't mention? Leave a comment and let me know!