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Archive for the ‘Antiques’ Category

And Spring I got!

I've already begun thinning the seedlings, but, I must admit that this is the hardest step for me. It just breaks my heart to do it even though I know that if I don't, there won't be room for the root (radish) bulb to swell.

I've already begun thinning the seedlings, but, I must admit that this is the hardest step for me. It just breaks my heart to do it even though I know that if I don't, there won't be room for the root (radish) bulb to swell.

Not too shabby for seed that’s nearly four years old, eh?

And, while Mother Nature and Old Man Winter have still not worked out their differences, fortunately, there are still plenty of other signs of Spring. Snowdrops are peaking through piles of dirty snow, the maple sugar sap has been flowing for a few weeks now and the daytime temperatures are hovering around the 45° to 50°F (sometimes even 55° and 60°F) range a bit more often than not. It won’t be long now before I can start working on my deck garden again. … Hmm! I think I’ll have to visit a local garden center pretty soon. … Then again, my houseplants, especially my maternal grandfather’s Christmas Cactus, could use some TLC too!

My grandfather passed away in September of 1984 and I became custodian of his Christmas Cactus. But, believe it or not, I've already repotted this plant several times, just not lately! As you can see, it is desperate need of repotting again.

My grandfather passed away in September of 1984 and I became custodian of his Christmas Cactus. But, believe it or not, I've already repotted this plant several times, just not lately! As you can see, it is in desperate need of repotting again.

The need to repot is especially noticeable here. See how small the "leaves" are? Notice another difference? In the shape of the "leaves" ... the one on the left is a November or Thanksgiving Cactus and the one on the right is a December or Christmas Cactus.

The need to repot is especially noticeable here. See how small the "leaves" are? Notice another difference? In the shape of the "leaves" ... the one on the left is a November or Thanksgiving Cactus and the one on the right is a December or Christmas Cactus.

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Just yesterday, I was reminded (via an e-newsletter) about an art festival that I had attended far too many years ago yet the memory of that event stays with me as though I had attended just yesterday!

It is held each November (the 14th through the 16th of this year) in Easton, MD and this year’s event marks the 38th. It’s “official” title is, simply, the Waterfowl Festival, however, most folks refer to it as the Easton Waterfowl Festival. The whole community gets involved, closing off the colonial center to automobile traffic and using its many fine shops and galleries as venues to display wildlife art, prints, decoys, crafts, etc.

When I attended the event, the Tidewater Inn was the “centerpiece” so to speak. One room called the “Gold Room” was used to display the original works and many of the artists were there, too, to talk to visitors, sign autographs, and so on.

Folks lining up to enter the Gold Room in the Tidewater Inn, Easton, MD.

Folks lining up to enter the Gold Room in the Tidewater Inn, Easton, MD.

Hot refreshments are provided to visitors by street vendors.

Hot refreshments are provided to visitors by street vendors.

At least in past years, and probably so even today, a World Class waterfowl carver is invited to create a special piece that is then displayed in the lobby of the Tidewater Inn. During the year that I was there, the carving was that of our nation’s symbol, the Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagle displayed in the lobby of the Tidewater Inn, Easton, MD.

Bald Eagle carving by Jett Brunet displayed in the lobby of the Tidewater Inn, Easton, MD.

I know, I know! This is just a tiny sampling of what you would see there and, I really can’t show you any art. There are those artists who are opposed to having their works photographed by the general public. But, really, if you love art, especially wildlife art, then you MUST attend this event at least once in your lifetime. It is, after all, an art festival extraordinaire!

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I love things that are “old,” they just have so much character, wouldn’t you agree? Take, for example, this front door and wisteria from a home in Essex, MA.

The wood is splitting and the paint is peeling, that front door has seen a lot of use! But then, what would you expect? After all, the home was built in 1832! 😯

By the way, Essex, MA was, in its heyday, a shipbuilding community. Can you tell?

But, while the home and door may be 176 years old, I doubt that the wisteria is anywhere near that age. Still, wisterias take at least seven years before they begin to bloom and, judging from the number of blooms and the main trunk of this plant, I’d say it has seen quite a number of seven year cycles!

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My grandfather (maternal) and I shared a number of interests, some of which included gardening, camping and “walking” (not to mention that we had the same color of hair, though, I know that’s not exactly an interest). And, yes, I did say walking as opposed to hiking simply because, to us, it really didn’t matter much where we walked. It could be alongside a road, following marked trails or even in open forests where no trails existed. Like I said, it really didn’t matter. So, after finding a trail map of Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield buried among some of my papers, naturally, I began to think about my grandfather, especially about his compass, the one that became mine after his passing.

The compass is a Silva® Type 15T The Ranger, a handsome instrument, simple yet complex all at the same time. It’s made in Sweden, my grandparents were from Malmö, Sweden but I remember when my grandfather bought the compass. It was here in the United States so I suspect that he was having a little nostalgic moment of his own. Admittedly, though, it has been a while since I’ve looked at that compass, Bradley Palmer is a small park where even carrying a trail map can seem a bit “overkill.”

I must admit, too, as I examined the compass closely, what I really thought about and began to wonder is this, with all of the electronic and global positioning satellite devices available today, does anyone really know how to use a compass or read a topographical map? I mean, just think about it, cars, my cell phone, god only knows what else, all are equipped with GPS.

Seriously, I wonder if we’ve become so dependent on such devices that no one really knows how to read a map and compass! Do you?

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Okay all of you fisherfolks, I need a little bit of help here. I’m told that this gadget (see photos) is a fishermen’s scale but, really, is it? And, if so, how on earth does it work?! I’m not even certain which direction to hold it (my mother agreed to “model” it here, holding it in a couple of ways) and, my assumption at least, is that it must be “attached to” or “hung from,” … well, … a scale?

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As can be seen in the images, it is made of iron (or so I think it’s iron). It is roughly 21 inches long and, looking from left to right (in the second photo, for example) there are numbers on the bar, 10 to 1 on one side and 50 to 10 on the other side. I’m also told that the weight (which I thought was some kind of sinker) goes with this scale so, for modeling sake, we hung it on the bar.

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So, what do ya think? Any help in identifying this doflidget would be much appreciated!

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