Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Growth Of A Great And Special Pumpkin

Hi there!
Sis Lori here, long time no see! I had to move again, not far, but lots of work and all that goes along with that!
Anyway, I wanted to share something that I was so proud of about my son Steve recently before Halloween is gone!
He and his beautiful wife Nicole recently bought the home he was raised in from his Dad in Placerville which is in the Mosquito Area, a lovely place!
There has been a Pumpkin contest for a few years his friends started. This year he had a nice place to have a garden spot. That's Layla checking it all out!

The seeds were actually started when he lived in Folsom and before they moved to their new home.

               Here it is after some time during the growth process:

Dad also lives on the property in a "granny flat",  and it is a competition pumpkin contest so the other smaller planting you see in this photo is his:
Here are a number of photos, at various stages of the growth, in progress.......

We really had a pretty darned hot summertime here for quite a while this year!!!!

Layla was a great protector of the Great Pumpkin!!!!!!

Here we are in the final stages!!!!!!

Below, you see the loading of the pumpkin.
Thankfully the party was not far away from their home!!
In the photo are Ryan, Nicole, and Steve.
Ryan and his wife Chelsea are the organizers of the Pumpkin Party and the Contest.

Loading on to the truck, with Dad Steve helping out.
 Our son Steve's pumpkin is near the cab window of the truck and Dad has the strap around his own nice pumpkin towards the gate of the truck:

The next photo shows the unloading of the two pumpkins with a forklift at the party site:
The Goat Mountain Giant Pumpkin Contest in Mosquito, California.
Careful, now, we could have a winner here!!!
Here is a video of the weighing of my son Steve's Great Pumpkin.
The weight is a little unclear and hard to hear.
You can see the results in the following entry chart photo below.
#1 Jr -  My Son
#6 Sr - His Dad

And the final results, as listed on the board:
 Yes, that's it:
His pumpkin weighed in at a whopping 510 pounds!
There was a lot of hard work and prep put into this and I was super proud of him. It was pretty exciting!
He will continue again and attempt an even larger pumpkin next time!!!!
Happy Halloween, everybody!
And may The Great Pumpkin  find YOUR pumpkin patch to be the most sincere of them all!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Paintings By Mr. Collins, Part Two

I'm back today with Part Two; I wanted to show you some more paintings done by Mr. Tom Collins, father of my dear friend Colleen, and principal of our elementary school Gold Oak Union in Placerville, California, where both Lori and I attended school from Kindergarten through eighth grade and Tina from 2nd through 8th.
Mr. Collins was there from 1963-1968.
(Oh - and the names of the principals before and after Mr. Collins served, were Claire Carter (prior), and then later, after they'd moved to Washington, Neil Armstrong. Please if I have misspelled either of their names, someone let me know and I will gladly correct my error. I remember both of them well, also - and Mrs. Carter was a friend of our Mother's.)

We'll start with this lovely painting, below - I can't even tell you how much I love the colors in this one!
 That sunset sky, and the reflection!

More favorite colors in this lovely scene, ahh .. serene and majestic in blues and greens:

A snow-covered countryside and a fabulous old farmhouse and outbuildings - love!

More greens and blues again, here, and a mirrored surface on the water - this one's a beauty, too:

He must have loved the mountains, yes?
And what prettier settings to paint could there be, I ask you?

I think every single one is gorgeous.

It was so nice to catch up with my childhood friend, and she may be able to come to California for a visit, some time before too very long.
I certainly hope that it happens!
Here is a portion of our fourth grade (Mrs. Ashley's) class photo from the same yearbook as the faculty page I shared yesterday (1966):

That's Colleen in the back, at left, and me in the front on the left.
Our other classmates seen in this partial (cropped) class photo are, from the back to front, and from left to right: Jean Ernsdorf and Judy Martin next to Colleen, Gary Harp and Rick Linson in front of them, Keith Windell and Gael Newman in front of them, Tom Sarette and David Quigley, and next to me in the front is Mona Vanderlinden. (If you're reading this - hi everybody!!)
And here is a picture of Colleen and me, taken by Lori this past May:
(She had taken us out to breakfast at The Buttered Biscuit in  Sumner, Washington - which was another fantastic dining experience we had on that trip, by the way! 
I mean, just take a gander at this plate of food:

Thanks again for everything, Colleen and Bruce; we enjoyed our stay SO very much!)
And I'll leave you with this lovely recent photo of Colleen and her adorable grandson, Snowden (what a great name!):
And this picture, below, which I took of the beautiful double rainbow that greeted us as we were walking toward the movie theater the evening we were there.
  What a delightful sight that was, and how fitting, you know?
It was if the skies above were also celebrating the wonderful time we had getting together again after so many (far TOO many) years!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

My Childhhood Friend Colleen And Paintings by Her Dad, Principal Tom Collins

When Lori and I were planning our trip this past May, I had contacted a dear childhood friend, in the hopes that we might be able to meet up while Lori and I were in the area. Colleen and I hadn't seen each other since her family moved away the summer before our 7th grade year.
Not only did we get to go see her, but she and her "significant other" Bruce even invited us to stay overnight in their lovely home!
How often do you get to see somebody whom you have not laid eyes on in close to 50 years?
I have tears in my eyes as I write this - you cannot even begin to imagine how happy I was to see her again!
I put together this assortment of Colleen's school photos, which I had save over the years. ( I mean, of COURSE I did!)
Her father was the principal at our elementary school, Gold Oak Union in Placerville for a number of years, and, until I saw these paintings hanging in her home, I had been unaware that he was also a artist.
The first one I'm sharing in today's post might be my favorite, because it brought to mind Heidi's Grandfather's cabin from the Johanna Spyri classic, complete with goats:
Here is a photo of the Gold Oak Faculty, pictured in our old elementary school yearbook  from 1966:
And I took this photo of a portrait from when Tom Collins was in the Navy, and you can also see the small picture of he and Colleen together (taken around 2007) tucked into the bottom of the frame.
And here are a few more of his lovely paintings:
I walked around their house snapping pictures, as you may have guessed!
So pretty!
I love this red barn in the snow:
And this is a beautiful scene:
I'm sorry to say that Colleen's mother Nidabelle passed away in 2004, and her father Tom died in 2009.
I'd have loved to have had the chance to see both of them again, had that been possible.
 I found out something surprising during our visit that I had never known.
The Collins family had actually lived in THIS area prior to moving to Placerville, and Mr. Collins had been the principal at Jamestown Elementary for two years! That school is less than five miles from where I live now.
I realized, after finding that out, that Colleen's sister Ruth and my friend Mallory who owns The Emporium, a wonderful antiques store in Jamestown would have been in the same class, so I asked Mallory later if she remembered Ruth, and she did - and Mr. Collins, as well!
Now, it really IS a small world, isn't it?
I have a few more photos to share - so please come back tomorrow for part two!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Vera Finds

So, I HAVE found some more vintage Vera Neumann things, I simply haven't had the time to post about them!
First up, we have a gorgeous set of yellow tulip sheets:
And the "Vera Collection by Burlington" label I'm always so tickled to see:
And another set of sheets:
And the label on those:
I had gone in to one of my favorite thrift shop and had found one of those sheets, above. One of my favorite gals who works at the store told me she was sure she'd seen another. Sure enough, she called me later to tell me she had found it, and would set it aside for me!
Thank you, Robin!
I found this one vintage vinyl place mat - it may be all alone, but it's fabulous:
A terry velour daisy bath towel:
And then one huge king-sized pillow case in the "Waterways" pattern:

And, again - the label:
I also found one scarf - this pretty striped number:

That's it for today - but I'll be back with more, and that's a promise!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Old Mississippi House, Shaws Flat (Sonora) California

I found this original painting recently of the Mississippi House:
It's very nicely framed, but I was unable to find any information on the artist.
The signature appears to say "J. Canale".
I found some other images of it online; the postcard below gives a little bit of history about the place
I found this great photo with some information at malakoff.com:
Charles F. Surendorf , who had a gallery nearby in Columbia, painted it as well:
Another great old photo, here:
A good shot showing the old gas pumps:
When I found the Mississippi House painting, I also found this one:
I'm thinking that one may very well also be from a local site, but I have no way of knowing.
I love finding original paintings.
I actually sold the two you see below recently; they were in our booth at Mountain Treasures.
This pretty scene with deer at water's edge:
And this sweet little shed or barn:
And I'm always on the lookout for more of the same!