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Friday, July 30, 2010

Toys of Yesteryear



Walking down Central Avenue in Great Falls, Montana has a lot to view with tons of people in town this week for the Montana State Fair.

One store I love to go into and browse at antiques is located at the corner of 3rd Street and Central. In the window display this week are some really neat toys from yesteryear and relating to dolls in celebration of the Doll and Pet Parade. I had to stop a for a few minutes and snap some pictures. I know these will bring back memories to some people.



I just love the colors that were used and how vibrant they are on the box lids even today. The illustrations are so sweet and have that "innocent" look that you don't see on toys and packaging today. The look today I just most of the time think of as "commercial" and not special, but then again down the road in the future if someone takes care of their childhood toys today; then they will become the "toys of yesteryear".



I also fell in love with this antique wooden toy display. I didn't even notice all the dust on the bottom level of the toy until I uploaded the pictures onto my computer to blog here. Still, it is lovely and a jewel to a collector who will probably snatch it up soon.



The Red Elvises



After the Doll and Pet Parade, my kids, brother, and niece, Samantha Ann (visiting from Georgia) walked down a few blocks and attended the Alive @ 5 music gathering. This is a Thursday evening free event in various blocks in Great Falls, MT.



The band performing this night was called Igor & The Red Elvises. The music was very lively and reminded me more of the B52's. They kept the audience (quite populated in one block) busy doing disco moves with their index fingers -- Up Up Up.



The kids did not really get into this band and so we only stayed for a few songs and then did a little window shopping down Central Avenue.



I thought the band was pretty good and decided to look up their web site and found them on Facebook as well. It looks like they are making the rounds in Montana for a week or so and then headed to Pennsylvania and onto Russia!



Pet and Doll Parade



The traditional way to start the State Fair in Great Falls, MT is to have a Pet and Doll Parade down Central Avenue. Last night was the 76th Annual Parade with watchers aplenty and cute marchers with smiles. Here are some photos I took and then some from the Great Falls Tribune photographer.



The Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, and Queen of Hearts are pictured here. Wish I had been able to get the whole crew as Alice was up ahead.



Where The Wild Things Are came to march along in this parade. Cool costume!


These two marchers are brothers and their mother is making a statement of how they behave -- like a Civil War.



These two marchers are cousins and they are in costume as aliens -- I like the way they recycled a swimming pool to become their spaceship.



This little girl and boy are proudly displaying the ribbons they won in the judging competition before the march down Central Avenue.











TRIBUNE PHOTO/DANIEL WEST A small marcher makes her way down the parade route during the Pet and Doll Parade on Central Avenue Thursday night.

TRIBUNE PHOTO/DANIEL WEST A participant in the Pet and Doll Parade looks back at spectators who were speculating on whether she was walking or riding the parade route on Central Avenue Thursday night.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mental Note to Self



Ever have to leave yourself mental and sometimes visual notes of things you want or need to accomplish. Well, here goes three patterns in quilts I have seen recently on the internet that I want to try to make. At least one I would be changing the colors but love the layout of the blocks.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blue Skies and Rainbows



“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true" LYMAN FRANK BAUM



“The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work.”



“Don't miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold.”



“If I never met you, I wouldn't like you. If I didn't like you, I wouldn't love you. If I didn't love you, I wouldn't miss you. But I did, I do, and I will.”



The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Summer Salads and Memories


This past weekend our family travelled to Bozeman, MT to attend a memorial event honoring two lovely people -- Uncle Fred and Aunt Mae -- that passed away last October. Uncle Fred went peacefully in his sleep and Aunt Mae suffered a few months battle with her body tiring out.

A table was spread for the family and guests by gracious hosts and hostesses. My family was happy to see everyone and visit with relatives not seen too often due to time constraints and distance.

On the table was a salad I had not remembered loving for over 10 years. We had been gone from Montana that long and it slipped out of my mind until trying some this weekend. Here is the recipe:


JAPANESE CABBAGE NOODLE SALAD

1 med. cabbage, shredded (or buy mix)
1 green onion, sliced
2 pkgs. chicken flavor Ramen noodles, break up but DO NOT COOK
4 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted - keep separate
4 tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted - keep separate

Make dressing in a jar:
Combine:

1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 c. salad oil
4 tsp. sugar
6 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Add seasonings from packets of noodles.

Assemble all ingredients when you are about to serve it. The noodles absorb the dressing and make a crunchy salad.

I like to add 2 cups cooked chicken pieces. Serves 8-10.

Then on the ride home, I was talking with my husband about the salad and forgetting it for so long when another memory popped into my head about a wonderful salad my Aunt Marie used to make for guests and even when we travelled to stop and have a picnic. Here is a version of her recipe I found online:

PIMENTO NOODLE SALAD

Ingredients:

1 package shell macaroni (cooked)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 small can pimento, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sweet pickles, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Add 1/2 cup frozen peas -- thawed, or 1 can of whole kernel drained corn
Optional: Add 1 can of drained tuna -- flaked , or 1/2 cup of cubed chicken pieces

Directions:

Mix all ingredients. Ready to eat, but I like to let it set for a few hours or overnight for better flavor.

Beautiful Clydesdale Horses



"The Clydesdale is a breed of draft horse derived from the farm horses of Clydesdale, Scotland, and named after that region.

Thought to be over 300 years old, the breed was extensively used for pulling heavy loads in rural, industrial and urban settings, their common use extending into the 1960s when they were still a familiar sight pulling the carts of milk and vegetable vendors.

They have been exported in the Commonwealth and United States where they are famous for their use as the mascot of various beer brands, including Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser brand, Carlton & United Beverages and several others.



Clydesdales are now most numerous in the United States where recently over 600 foals are reportedly born each year.

Today, the Clydesdale's most significant presence is in exhibition and parades."



That last sentence taken from Wikipedia is certainly how my family came to get a chance to see these beautiful creatures. It was well worth the effort to find parking and walk a little bit to see our local Fourth of July parade in Great Falls this year due to the appearance of the Budweiser wagon being drawn by a full team of Clydesdales. I told my husband we could head home after they passed because that is all I really wanted to see.

Earlier in the week I missed a chance to see them at a local park, but I later heard the masses of our community had descended at the location for a peek.



They are spectacular and I hope you too will have a chance to see them pass by your way if you have not already.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Tree With Character


I had to take a picture of this tree. I love it!!! I think it is absolutely beautiful and has character.

It also reminds me of the Robert Brown poem: The Road Not Taken (with forks in the road).

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

Out With Nature





This past Monday, the kids and I took Aunt Trish, visiting from Chicago to Giant Springs State Park to have picnic and do a little walking around in nature. We also showed her the fish hatchery.

"Discovered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 and one of the largest freshwater springs in the world. This is also the site of the Roe River, once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's shortest river. Giant Springs flows at a 156 million gallons of water per day. The water stays at a temperature of 54 degrees. More than a quarter of a million people, visit Giant Springs State Park each year. Many come to marvel at this remarkable feature, or to view the variety of bird life. Some come to visit the nearby Rainbow Falls Overlook, the visitor center, and the fish hatchery. The Fish Hatchery Program raises about 750,000 fish annually. They are then distributed to areas throughout Montana."

We had fun exploring a dirt trail that led up over a small bridge and ended at an overlook of the Missouri River.