Friday, September 30, 2011

Little Golden Books: A Treasure Trove

Last night I went up to my little vintage toy bedroom at the top of the steps and went through my big collection of Little Golden Books.  I want to take some to Jamie for her two babies next time I go.  I remember letting the kids choose a book each if they were good in the grocery store.  They loved it!

One of my favorite "pairs".

It was a little nostalgic, a trip down memory lane, because Little Golden Books go back to my childhood.  I spent many "naptimes" reading these to a little brother or sister or a nephew or niece.  It seems their revolving racks of stories are no longer seen in drugstores and department stores as they once were.  They are still available on  But somehow, it's not the same when you can't spin that rack.

Some of the "mini" sized Little Golden Books from the 1980's.
Little hands could easily hold these and they were really "portable" for kids.

Today's kids will most likely read most of their "books" on Kindle or an iPad....and really, that's a shame.  Those electronic books cannot be snuggled up with at nap time, passed along, carried anywhere and everywhere, and last for generations, cannot be sold at garage sales for a quarter.

You never met anyone happier than I am, when I see a stack of Little Golden Books at a garage sale--it's so much fun to go through them.  They are absolute little gems and I mean to have as many as I can.  There are lots of us Golden Book collectors out here.

As a kid, I and my siblings would spend a lot of time studying the pictures in great detail--even the back cover was a treat to study, I loved them all.  

As kids, the nine of us spent our little quarters (our allowance) at the dime store, and would take great care choosing our titles--building up our own little libraries at home.  I still remember what aisle the book rack was in, and how much I loved that book selection.

We had no television growing up, so we spent much time with our books.  Reading them--to ourselves and each other, sharing them, playing library with them.  (Us girls had an elaborate setup for when we played library in the upstairs hallway, and our play would last for several days before we took the whole thing down, what fun that was!)

I could still spend hours with my Little Golden Books.  

Eloise Wilkin and Garth Williams are my favorite illustrators chosen by Little Golden Books, hands down.  

Garth also illustrated Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and of course, the Little House on the Prairie series, and I loved his style, I loved his realism, and the attention he paid to all the little details.  I thought he was especially good at drawing animals.

Eloise Wilkin captured the simple beauty of the era she lived in, and the sweet innocence of the little children at all ages, her baby pictures are my favorite...she is a very special illustrator.  

Seeing Jamie's carefully printed name in her own Little Golden Books 
gave me just a little lump in my throat.

I can't wait to see her reading these books to her little toddlers.

I have several collections within my collection:  Disney (my least favorite) and farm, and Christmas, and The Classics (like Tootles and Saggy Baggy Elephant, Poky Little Puppy), and Sesame Street, and many more.  

Eventually, I will share more of this collection with you.  But today, it's "BABY FARM ANIMALS" with pictures by Garth Williams. (I have several versions of the same book, just released different dates each with minor changes.)  Here you see the adorable way he had of drawing all sorts of animals...soft and sweet.

Click any photo to enlarge

Cute, huh?

So, do you have Little Golden Books?

Do you have a favorite?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Joys of Autumn: Michigan's Golden Beauty

The state of Michigan is bathed in golden light.

Air is colder at night, and the process of cold turning into warmth is changing the landscape to a soft, golden and russet glow...gentling up the landscape with the kiss of a frosty morning.

The crops are drying and sugar beets are being harvested...

The land is beautiful, looking forward to its season of rest, soon a blanket of snow will cover her for a nice, long nap.

The morning fog cloaks the world in mystery, the rising sun beams with rays to illuminate lone trees on the landscape and make them each a work of art.

Beauty surrounds us all, especially on the chilly, foggy September mornings, calm and glowing.

I hope you have a chance to savor Autumn, all that she is in her fragrant beauty.

Open that window, and let her in, she'll sweeten up your day.

What is it that you like about Autumn?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On the Sluggards and the Wise

Proverbs 6:6-8  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise.  Which, having no guide, no overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

I know common sense has taken flight from most of the United States and its citizens, but I like to think that someday, it might return.  

I know it used to be taught by those at home, if it failed there, then it was taught in the schools, wisdom is found in antique textbooks.  If it was missed everywhere else, most used to go to church and the Bible is wisdom -- and if folks weren't able to go to church they at least read their Bibles once in a while.

The sad thing is, it might return from necessity--I believe we're headed for another recession/depression.  Since our government is doing next to nothing about our debt, we're going to see some bad, bad, bad times.  

Our government is doing its level best to ruin our economy, they already devalue families, thereby creating more and more poor.  By spending more and more and more are ruining a lot of our budgets with inflation and a devalued dollar--and this is only the beginning.  

There are other circumstances that are contributing to shortages of food, like our weather, and China buying up all the high-quality hay needed here by our farmers to feed livestock and dairy herds--they ship it back to China in the huge cargo ships in which they ship all their junk to the U.S....  

This is not only happening here in U.S. with the bloated, overspending, and drunk on giveaways buy-the-votes types in government, it's happening around the world.  Many, many countries are on the brink of bankruptcy.  The giveaways will have to stop.

I want to say something and I hope you won't take it wrong.

My husband had a little granny, we called her Momo.  She was short, stout, and she had two really bad legs; varicose veins gave her terrible pain and she had to wrap them daily.  

She waddled when she walked because of the pain.  But she knew what a hoe was, and what sweat and hard work were.  

When I knew her after marrying my husband, she was a widow by then for many years, and well into the age where she was collecting a small social security check.  But Momo always had plenty of food.  She had full freezers, and in the late fall her little kitchen and pantry area was fairly bursting with canned goods.  

Momo always had plenty to eat.  She was a good cook, and it was always a treat to set our feet underneath her table and enjoy some great green beans with potatoes--that she grew herself, corn bread, some pintos from her garden as well.  She didn't always have meat, but that was fine.  She knew how to get protein without meat.

My point is this:  Momo was poor by all standards.  Her husband did not leave her with a pension.  But Momo knew how to feed herself and she always had a good garden she could feed herself and to share with others from.

When we hand a "bridge card" or some other form of EBT to the chronically poor, are we really helping them?  What do they have to teach themselves?  Why is it someone else's job to feed them?  I know, I know, they need help, but Momo never asked for help feeding herself!

She bought basics like flour, sugar, corn meal, that sort of thing, but most of the food she ate, she grew.  

I don't know why, but we seem to have removed the pride from the poor.  

Here in Michigan, those that have been on the BRIDGE card (our form of food stamps) for longer than a specific period of time are being cut off.  They had ample warning and October 1st is the deadline.

The howling has begun by all the do-gooders.   
"What will they do?!"  
"It's not fair!!"

Now, people are even saying that we must EXPECT an increase in crime and theft because people are going to "need to make up for it somehow".  

Now, those of us who do prepare for the hard times have to worry because of another "threat".  

I don't like what our country has become.  We had more pride when we didn't think it was government's job to take care of everything. 

My husband's Momo was a great example of that.  She worked a garden into her old age and was happy to share what she had instead of threatening someone who might take away a guarantee to an easy life.

Now, watch this; it has been circulating on the internet, has some bad language-- but watch what you can.  It's popular thinking, it's a popular music video, and it makes me absolutely sick.

Now that you've seen the worst, I don't want to leave you too depressed, this video should help you feel better.

What say you?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Pumpkin Report

Saturday was a beautiful, golden, perfect early fall day.  I hung out laundry.  I took everything off the porch and changed it to fall.

I picked pumpkins.  It was easy to be outdoors, it was the kind of day that begged you to come out and play.

There weren't many pumpkins this year, compared to last.  I think the drought in July came at just the wrong time.  I found maybe ten, and normally we can count on thirty or more.  It was a strange garden year, all the way around.  You just never know what the outcome will be, but that's half the fun, too.

One of the prettier, more perfectly-formed pumpkins came from a vine which grew up the fence and one perfect pumpkin formed and grew outside the fence. 

It was the most unique color of all the pumpkins and was heavy, I'm surprised it stayed so long on the vine hanging from the fence like it did.

It's going to a bright, blue-eyed boy I know named Levi.

Today is a blustery, rainy, chilly fall day, just perfect for a Monday.  Especially when it was preceded by a picture-perfect weekend.  

It's a kind of day where soup seems perfect for dinner.  The kind of day where leaves will be scattered across the lawn by evening.

I have lots to do today, and more since last night, Luke got a six-point during the Michigan Youth Hunt which took place this weekend.  He has had success each of the three times he's done it, and we're so happy for him.

 It was skinned, quartered, and put into the fridge last night, today is the day when the meat will be patiently cleaned, cut and packaged to put into the freezer by my husband.  

How was pumpkin harvest in your area this year?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SCENIC SUNDAYS: For All the Blessings of the Year

Taken last year not far from our house.  
Fall is so beautiful!

For All The Blessings of the Year

For all the blessings of the year,
For all the friends we hold so dear,

For peace on earth, both far and near,

We thank Thee, Lord.

For life and health, those common things,
Which every day and hour brings,

For home, where our affection clings,

We thank Thee, Lord.

For love of Thine, which never tires,
Which all our better thought inspires,

And warms our lives with heavenly fires,

We thank Thee, Lord.

Go here for more info about the hymn, and to hear its melody.  

Thank the Lord for farmers.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

From My Kitchen: An Easy Dessert

I love the graphics on this milk bottle!

I thought you might like to hear about a delicious dessert, one I've not shared with you before.

My kids sometimes request this dessert for their birthdays instead of a cake.

It's pretty, and it tastes REALLY good, and it's easy, too!

 What's not to love?  Chocolate?  Strawberries?  Whipped cream?!

It's fruit pizza!  Have you tried it? 

Easy and fun to do, even the kids can do it.

Lay down a cookie crust: we prefer chocolate chip but it's also good with a plain sugar cookie crust:  and bake the crust completely first, in the shape of a pizza.  You want the crust well-baked, not chewy.  It should be able to easily hold the toppings.  I use my pizza stone.  CUT the crust BEFORE you lay down any of the toppings, while still warm.

Then, when it's all done and completely cooled, lay down whipped cream, and on top of that, your fruit, any combination is fine.  Any berry--strawberries are my favorite, sliced bananas, even chopped nuts would add a nice crunch--coconut sprinkled on top would be a perfect finishing touch.  

Just make sure that whatever fruit you choose for the top can be bitten into without needing to be cut first.

I keep it simple.

(And yes, birthday candles will stand up in this dessert!)

FOR SPRING or SUMMER:  My family likes chopped berries and chocolate, period.  Use your imagination and make one that might be more pina-colada-ish with pineapple, coconut, and maraschino cherries.

FOR FALL:  a great combination would be a sugar cookie crust, granny smith apples chopped into small pieces, chopped salted peanuts with caramel sauce on top!  I would also whip some peanut butter into the whipped cream before laying that down.

For WINTER:  A chocolate chip cookie crust with mint chocolate chips and pistachios chopped and sprinkled over the whipped cream and garnished with drained and chopped maraschino cherries!

Use your imagination, this is that kind of dessert! Mandarin oranges and pineapple, and kiwi would be wonderful with a whipped cream that has a little dry orange jello whipped into it for flavor. 

It's great fun to imagine the combinations!

Enjoy this beautiful song and the beautiful footage on the video that accompanies it...I love Joey + Rory!

Didn't you love it?

It's Fall!


A road like brown ribbon,
A sky that is blue,
A forest of green
With that sky peeping through.

Asters, deep purple,
A grasshopper's call,
Today it is summer,
Tomorrow is fall.


Autumn...tomorrow.  So hard to believe.  
This year is rushing by like a speeding train.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vintage Finds: Hi Ho Cherry-O!

I picked up a vintage juicer the other day for $1 at a garage sale.

(And no, I don't juice my own oranges, it would cost me about $30 for a quart of orange juice!  Ha!)

Instead, I noticed what a perfect spot it was to keep my brooches...
I only have a few, and this is the perfect spot to keep them.  This beauty, I found here. 

Pretty darn cute, too, if I do say so myself!

Have a great day, you sweet cherry-o's!  I have to can some tomatoes; either vegetable soup or I may try to can tomato soup for the first time.

PS:  I always have one brooch that likes to fall off my jean jacket, and I've almost lost it several times,  and if you have any tricks for making those pin backs function better, I'd love to hear them.