Thursday, March 31, 2011

Party Animals

Every year in March, women of the church celebrate the anniversary of the organization of Relief Society around the world. Relief Society is the oldest and largest women's organization on the earth. This year we had a lovely buffet dinner and the committee asked several women to decorate tables for each month of the year. Then when all the ladies arrived they were to sit at the table that was their birthday month.

Since I was in charge of setting the February table I was there early enough to capture the essence of the tables that the other ladies were doing before it got really crowded. I loved all the tables but I think my favorite, pictured above, was January. Michelle did a beautiful job of making it looks so festive. The centerpiece had a bunch of brightly colored balloons and the black was very dramatic. The Young Women were also invited to the RS Birthday Party so Michelle had her daughter Morgan helping her.

This will I am sure look a little familiar as it it a near replica of the one I did for our dinner party on Valentine's Day for our Family Home Evening Group. These are just clear plates with paper doilies underneath from the cake decorating department of the craft store.

This one for March was really cute too. Heather and Joy worked on this one and it kept getting better and better. It wasn't even done at this point. They did a great job.

This is Lanette's April Table. Love those cute Easter Egg plates and the table top jelly beans were a big hit with the ladies at this table.

This is Donna's May table. It looked so pretty and just perfect for a lovely Mother's Day brunch or something special like that. People with June and August got to sit wherever they wanted as those months were the food tables. We didn't need 12 tables so it worked out just great.

Kathy and her mother-in-law, Darlene, decorated the July table. That was where I got to sit and they did a great job. Darlene and Kathy both do professional floral arrangements so they had a great centerpiece and little terra cotta pots of flowers for each lady to take home at their table.

Cathy got us all back in the mood for a new school year with her September Table. Didn't she have some cute ideas for that?

Marcy had some great October things going on here. Her table was not done when I got by for a photo or two. She added some orange glasses and black plates and it was really darling!

Maureen did a beautiful job on her November Table. Everything looked so classic and inviting I love how she did her place settings. Those brown and white floral dishes are to die for aren't they? And I am sure she made these adorable napkin rings.

Loved this melting snowman!

Tammy and Trisha did the December table. It was all about snowmen and they had some darling ones. It wasn't finished when I got over there so missed the final look. At first I thought oh, I wish I had December...until they reminded me of what it was like to get this stuff out of storage in March. Ahhh, Never mind!

Here are the food tables, June and August
before some of the food was brought out.

The large beautiful Birthday Cake that Heather made.

The intricate detailing on the icing.
Truly beautiful!

The sisters just relaxing and enjoying the evening.

The Young Women sang a pretty song for us!

Diane read us all a beautiful book called
The Parable of the Princesses.

Not a dry eye afterward...highly recommend it
for teaching Choice and Accountability.

We concluded our evening with a closing song and prayer. The song "Sisters in Zion" has become somewhat of an unofficial theme song for Relief Society it seems. It portrays our mission so perfectly! I loved this evening because everyone did a little something and it turned out to be a wonderful concerted effort event enjoyed by all. Jim and two other men ran the nursery for the little ones while the young mommies truly had a Girls' Night out!

While we are in the Birthday mode and looking at pretty tables, look at the one Jen and Piper did for Piper's birthday party. She and her friends had a fancy dinner and then watched a movie. The rest of the family was banished to the downstairs family room while they enjoyed their meal. And the reverse was true when it was time for the movie!

Piper Chose Raclette
a Swiss meal that is wonderful!

This is a family favorite that
Lowell learned of while serving in the
Swiss/Germany Mission for the Church.

Waiting for one more Friend...
Whew, that is for March birthdays!

March Madness...

The ground cover is all so perky from all the water.

Here it is March 31st already. March was a busy, rainy month around these parts. I found a few random photos I thought I'd share. One of the upshots of the rain is the ground cover around the house is so pretty and the moss grows like crazy on the bricks and along the road side by our mailbox.

The moss is that electric, apple green that is always so beautiful in the spring. The rising water table keeps everything very healthy looking all summer with the help of the automatic sprinklers.

A few weeks ago we had some rather large storms roll through and one of them knocked over a tree in our front yard. The tree was kind of a wispy one, and was probably about 20 feet tall. It seemed little by comparison to some in this yard, but it was a lot of work for Jim.

Jim loves getting out the power tools!

I am so thankful it wasn't a really large branch off one of the big trees though. There are times when those giant trees really scare me when that old wind starts to blow. We have always been blessed during the storms, but it can be a worrisome bother. The trees all have such intricate roots systems that are intertwined, but the branches can crack and fall. We have been very blessed in that department, thank heavens. We know of several people that had much larger trees fall in these storms.

I wish I had thought to take some pictures early in the clean up process. Poor Jim was out in the pouring rain trying to get it all cleaned up. Here he is just cutting up the last of it. He is such a hard worker, I love that. And I do get a kick out of his Little Boo Peep hat!

I took these picture through my office window so he was unaware. He cut up some of the trunk of the tree for his mom's little family room fireplace. He is a very thoughtful son and takes good care of her every need! On top of all the work he does for her he spends a couple hours with her, mother and son one on one time, every single Monday. I would love to have that kind of time with Chris. What a blessing for her.

Hiking up the driveway to put the tools
away and clean up. He still doesn't
know I am taking his photos through the window.

He finally saw me and cracked a little smile.
He loves it when I take pictures of him working.
Love the Grampa scruff,
it is very early in the morning at this point in the day!
It is quite a good thing that I did not
turn the camera on myself!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Word From Hazie

Gramma asked me to tell you she is very busy today with some cooking so may not get over here to write anything profound. But she is thinking of you and wishing you a very happy day!

Love and hugs, Hazie Jo

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook~March 28, 2011

Over the course of three years I have changed the original Daybook so much I don't feel I need to keep posting their link anymore. So here it is, link free!

So, For Today...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Outside my window...The sun is way past high noon and I am getting a late start today. It is a beautiful day, not a trace of the gray sky that has been looming heavily overhead for nearly three weeks. I am happy. I need the sun. Not the hot sun, just the bright beautiful sunlight. I seriously have not had the energy that I have today in weeks. Maybe it is the designer in me but I am greatly affected by my environment. Today is beautiful! The week promised more, right now I just feel like I cannot get enough of it.

I am thankful for...Life itself! The beauty, the love, the challenges, the concerns, the friendships, the poignant moments, the wonderful exciting days, the restless or boring times, the fun, the joy, the unpredictability of it....all of it. I went to a funeral today of a woman with 6 children 44 grandchildren, and 81 great-grandchildren. She lived a good Christian life of 93 years and died a heroine in her family's eyes. What more could life really give her that would mean more?

I am praying for...friends and family that struggle and have huge needs...God bless them all and bless us to be a help and a light somehow.

From the learning room..Seize the Day!

I am reading...A Promise at Sorbibor. In a word...EXCELLENT! A memoir of an 85 year-old survivor of Sorbibor, one of the secret death camps in Poland during WWII. There is so much to be learned from people who have overcome the unimaginable and learned to love and forgive in spite of it.

From the kitchen...Grilled salmon for dinner and a day of cooking coming up on Wednesday. I need to make some dinners for people in need. Must stop by the store this afternoon for a few fresh fruits and veggies.

I am wondering...If I can possibly get through my to do list today. Giving it a good shot and thankful tomorrow is another day.

I am hearing...Big Girl You are Beautiful! By M
ika. Ha! So my happy theme song, but not for long!

Today if I could change one thing...that the deer who inhabit our property would be carnivores!

I am quoting..."When you think about it, life is 90% maintenance." J.P. Mattson

I am thinking friend whom I had not talked to in awhile that informed me last night via email, that her beloved husband has had a stroke....age 64. She was my maid of honor and I was hers. We are meeting for our teacher's memorial service on April 10th. I must write her a letter takes me awhile to process this kind of information before I can respond. We dearly love this couple and I am praying the damage is not too bad, as he has not fully recovered in the 11 months they have been dealing with it. He is a brilliant lawyer and a wonderful, wonderful man.

I am wearing...The clothes I wore to the funeral, still in my brown skirt, nylons the whole bit. Not for long though, that is for sure. I need my j
eans to full out relax.

I am help my friend start a blog soon so she can keep in touch with her extended family when she moves in the summer.

I am missing...My Jen today, she is suffering with a very bad case of strep throat and praying the family doesn't get sick with it. Honestly that town they live is like a hot bed of infection. Missy has been sick for quite awhile too with a respiratory problem and Hazie has another ear infection. I think it is too many people with viruses shut up in the houses and schools and churches, and Walmart with central heat and air circulating the bugs into the buildings, etc. Please God let it get warmer and nicer soon in the Rockies so everyone can go outside and breathe some healthy, fresh air!

One of my guilty pleasures...our movie collection.

Pet Peeves...the way that good habits are so much harder to establish and maintain then bad ones. The way that bad habit stick like glue and good ones are slippery and need to be watched and protected like little kids, pets or your garden. And #2 is this...

One of my favorite things...Tomatoes, cannot wait for them to come back into season.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...revisiting Cranford. Also watching Season 2 of Lark Rise to Candleford. Love, love, love British TV.

I am curious life will unfold for us all.

Around the house...lots of little things need doing and lots of the finishing touches from a remodel still remain. I think we are being a bit lazy and putting things off. I hope this isn't regular retirement mode! But it could be. Yikes!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Oh I don't even want to go there after the busy week I had last week. But here goes...WW meeting in two hours, stopping by the grocery store and making dinner before Jim gets home at 6:30, organizing all my many notes and instructions and computer hints for the Family History before we go in tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday cooking for two families, and visiting teaching at night. Thursday..a fun sunny day trip some place warm and beautiful, Friday thinking about getting ready for a visit from Jen and the girls over Spring break if things work out, and also catching up with the dust bunnies that will invade us this week. Saturday and Sunday, General Conference via Satellite from Church Headquarters. Relaxation and inspiration=a perfect weekend!

Here are some photos and some thoughts I am sharing with you...

We decided we could not longer wait for nicer weather to get out on our day trips and we needed to track down some family history stuff. Never mind that we randomly picked the worst weather day that we could ever remember for rain and wind...we trudged on. We knew that Jim's Great Grandparents immigrated to the US from Italy in 1908.

We also knew that they had a baby boy that died in 1809 and was buried here. Oral legend had it that he died because he was such a large baby and the fat around his heart and lungs prevented him from breathing normally. They said he was 24 pounds at birth. Are they sure it wasn't the mom that died? (Just kidding??)

Our quest was to find the grave. We have also acquired info this past week at the library in a city directory from the time period, that his family moved to 1500 Mason Street when they arrived. So we went to find the house first. We assume he was probably born in this house and died there a few days later.

This is the place. Jim was pretty thrilled to find this.

We went to the Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma
and also checked with

the Italian Cemetery but had
no luck in finding the grave.

How mysterious!

We stopped into the National Cemetery, we had no idea of its existence. It was very impressive, white markers for as far as the eye could see in every direction. It was sobering. We were grateful. Note the jet roaring overhead in the sky! It is very near SFO.

The Catholic Cemetery...
No baby Francesco Franchini though...:-(

We did get the name and number of a woman who works in the mortuary that would have serviced this San Francisco neighborhood in those days. A lady named Paulie is looking through the paper archives for us. We are closing in on his whereabouts. I have every bit of faith that we will find the little grave, it is just a matter of time now.

If little Francesco had lived Jim would have known him as his great -Uncle Frank probably. Jim's Grandma would not have grown up an only child either. How sad! Interesting times. We also went to our favorite Pizza restaurant and had a late lunch. It was a great, albeit wet, day in the City.

The Blog Post e-mail I enjoyed the most this Week... I received this forward from our grandson Connor who had received it from our granddaughter Piper.

"This is a poem written by a child in a Nazi Concentration Camp, called Terezin. Recently my class did a play about these children who wrote poems and did drawings about their experiences.

The Butterfly

The last, The very last,
So richly, brightly dazzling yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
Against a white stone.....

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly way up high.
It went away, I'm sure because it wished to
kiss the world goodbye.

For seven weeks I've lived in here
Penned up inside this ghetto
But I have found my people here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut candles in the court.
Only, I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live here,
In the ghetto.

Here are a few more...

"He doesn't know the world at all.
He stays in his nest
And doesn't go out.
He doesn't know
What birds know best,
Nor what I want to sing about.
That the world is full of lovelyness."

"In Terezin
In the so called park
A queer old granddad sits
Somewhere in the so called park.

He wares a beard down to his lap
And on his head a little cap
Hard crust he crumbles in his gums
He's only got one single tooth.
Instead of soft rolls, lentil soup.
Poor old grey beard."

Please forward this to anyone you know and share what really happened. Of the worst, but also the best, of which the human heart is capable.

From, Piper

I absolutely love that our grandchildren are learning about man's inhumanity to man and developing their compassion, a sympathetic heart and caring for their fellowman. They are learning the insidious effects of racism and genocide and the notion of a superior race. I appreciate a thoughtful teacher that has taught them about the Holocaust through a poignant play called, "I Never Saw Another Butterfly." I appreciate even more the Gospel of Jesus Christ that teaches them we are all brothers and sisters and children of one eternal Father.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How Can He Be?

This handsome young man is having a birthday today! He is our son, Christopher! How can this be that he is 36 years old? Honestly time is quite the deceiver isn't it? It seems like such a short life that we actually live here on this earth. I am glad that families are forever. He left home at 18 to go away to college and now he has spent half his life outside our home. This is simply mind blowing, that 's all.

Last year I posted about him and how much we love and appreciate him. It is about him, who he is and what he has done in his life so far. If you didn't read it or want to reacquaint yourself with him you can find that post here. There is also slide show included with some highlights of his life so far and some moldy oldie family shots.

So for now I'll just say Happy Birthday, Son! They don't come any better than you. Dad and I are so happy for you and all the good things that are happening in our life. Keep up the good work. Know that you are loved by the whole family very much! Eat Cake!

XOXO~ Have a SUPER wonderful 36th Birthday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Everyone Has One...

Everyone has one...a favorite teacher from their school days. For me it was Mr. Lynch! Charlie Lynch as he was called by his peers, was the most outstanding teacher I ever had. I absolutely loved this man when he was my teacher in ninth grade English. He taught us English Literature and writing. He was so inspiring.

He was kind of an odd looking fellow, we use to say he looked a bit like Ichabod Crane. Meaning absolutely no disrespect here, I just wanted you to know that I loved him because he was a fantastic teacher, the best teacher. It was not a girlhood crush on a handsome young teacher. Nothing of the sort. He was kind of an ageless man to me. He could have been 30, 40, 50?? What does a freshman in high school know of such things?

He worn the same three-piece black suit with a pocket watch on a chain every single day I was in high school...all four years, no exceptions. (Well maybe he had a brown sports coat or two. I think he did after talking to my friend Judi.) In my dimming memory I might be confusing Charlie Lynch with Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. If you squinted and stood at a distance, he could look a little like Gregory Peck. He had very ordinary features, thin dark and very straight hair, round spectacles and always looked just slightly disheveled. In spite of that, he was distinguished.

Looking back now I think he was the first intellectual man I had ever really known. He fascinated me with his depth of understanding and how he could make those dull old books just come alive. They would just jump off of those pictureless pages and right into my heart.

When we opened the likes of Great Expectations or my absolute favorite, Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native, we 14 year-olds didn't have a clue what to make of it. Chapter by chapter, sometimes line upon line, he led us through these heady, ancient, English novels probing our understanding, guiding our discussion until we could really see, understand and get inside them.

Remember I grew up in the Leave It To Beaver era (Happy Days Fluff.) This stuff he was teaching us just fascinated me beyond what I could explain. I was like a porous sponge soaking it up and relishing it. I wouldn't miss school for anything because I loved this class. In a way it was like my introduction to having a real passion in life for something I truly enjoyed.

Once we a had a pretty good understanding of the piece we were studying, he would ask us to write essays on various, very difficult questions. He would comment extensively through out the essays making points of interest, correcting spelling grammar or content when necessary. He was always chatting with you about your ideas and really giving praise for your thoughts, your style, your efforts. He was so encouraging to me about my writing.

I am having an epiphany right now that he may have been the first person in my life to praise me for something he felt I was doing well. My parents were very supportive and loving, but not encouraging me in this specific way, so much. It helped me to see I could actually do something worthwhile and had the potential to get better at it. I never thought I ever had had a mentor in my life, but now I am realizing that I have, it was Mr. Lynch. And because I respected him so much and he thought I was a good writer, it made me want to become one, if nothing else.

The most important thing that happened to me in high school academically was having him in the ninth grade and the real crowning experience was having him again as a senior. The curriculum was very similar and we read many of the same books but what a difference at the end of our high school careers because he had taught us how to think and find our own voice three years earlier.

He had taught me almost single-handedly how to read, comprehend and write, how to study and how to really learn and remember. He gave me my love of learning for learning sake, not for a grade. The only papers I still have from high school are the essays I wrote in his classes....marked in red from beginning to end with affirmations.

When our daughter, Jennifer, was a senior in the same high school 25 years later, I made a point of going back to see him. He remembered me right away and I took the opportunity to tell him how much he had influenced and shaped my education. He was very gracious and humble about it, and it was so good to see him again.

This month Mr. Lynch passed away. I just found out he was only 12 years older than me. I cannot even fathom it, even now he seemed so much older and wiser. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University! I would not have put any stock in that back in the day, again, what did I know? But in my heart of hearts I knew he was brilliant! Brown University and My Teacher. Wow! I feel so blessed to have had him touch my life.

Funny thing, this man of great intellect who had a love of literature and the arts, went to work for the Social Security Administration out of Brown. (Really?) He must have found it as dull as it sounds, because it wasn't long before he went back for his teaching credential. Whew! To think he might have missed his calling! So I feel doubly blessed!

We are going to go to his memorial service in April and I want to see if I can round up some friends from high school to go also. It would be only fitting to pay our last respects to such a fantastic scholar and really good man. Thank you, Mr. Lynch, for changing my world. The influence of a great teacher has a never-ending affect on his students. He didn't just pitch us a fish, he taught us how to fish. He is gone, but never forgotten....what a legacy to leave behind!

Reflections on Piper Snuggles~2005

Flash Back...Piper is 12 Now!

Recently while cuddling in bed with my six-year-old granddaughter, Piper, she asked me what life was like when I was a little girl. It made me reflect on how my life is suddenly seeming long to me. Looking back made me keenly aware of the changes that have taken place within me and the world I call my own. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s was a cake walk compared to today and yet it was laced with trials and tribulations, excitement and great joy, hard work and fun times too. It was filled with love and learning, family, the perplexities of life and a boat load of boring days too.
Each era seems to have a unique way of molding and shaping us into who we are destined and desirous to become. One thing that has become apparent over the almost 58 years I have lived is that each of us continues to learn, grow and change all of our lives. I am beginning to realize more and more that the essence of who we are also remains somewhat the same while our environment and our experiences create and hone the facets of each diamond in the rough.
As I thought about how my life was different than Piper’s as a little girl I saw clearly that the changes are just as dramatic as those experienced by my grandparents and me. She was flabbergasted to know that when I was six we had just gotten our first black and white television. There were no microwaves, cell phones, Barbie Dolls, computers, video games, VCRs, DVDs, CDs, I-Pods, Palm Pilots, Videos, Air-conditioning in homes or cars, no electric hair dryers for home use, no fast food, and no huge and abundant birthdays or Christmases. She could not comprehend only having three or four dresses to wear to school and church and a few play clothes. I can still remember that in the fifth grade I had a blue dress with a drop waist and a rhinestone pin and a red plaid dress and that one week I would wear one of them three times and the next week two times.
She didn’t comprehend why as a girl I could never wear pants to school, or that we washed our hair only once a week and went to bed with wet pin curls to have curly fluffy hair for church on Sundays. We didn’t have Wal-Mart and we didn’t just go shopping for stuff as entertainment. If we ever went out to dinner it was a very special occasion, not the twice weekly trip out the kids are use to these days. Dessert was also a very special treat, not a twice daily occurrence or more as it is today.
When I was her age the dentists did not believe in using Novocaine on children and I can still remember the pain and terror of having my teeth that were untreated by fluoride drilled and filled. Life was more painful and less painful at times than today. It was harder in some ways because we didn’t have so many of the modern conveniences we now enjoy, but less complex because life was less complicated and less stressful.
We didn’t have so many choices to make for every little thing. Sometimes I find myself yearning for those days when I go to buy diapers, or ice cream or a cold remedy and have to filter through 80 choices. We didn’t have to read the labels on food to make sure we could recognize anything that was actually contained in the package as edible. In those days we could walk to the store alone or with a small friend and not fear pedophiles or kidnappers. We didn’t need our own swimming pool, playing in the sprinkler was just great.
Ironically, with all the differences in our worlds of growing up, the essence of that little girl I held in my arms was not that different from me at her age. We both were sweet and innocent, had a longing to be pretty and feminine and to feel loved. We both wanted the attention of our parents, our grandparents and our teachers and friends. We both had a deep and inborn longing to one day meet Prince Charming and have a little family of our own. We both had an abundance of goodness within our hearts and a desire to please. We were both the firstborn in our family and ladened with the responsibility to be a good example to our siblings. Sometimes we relished that and other times it was a burden we didn’t care to bear. Somehow, we accepted and carried out the role as best we could. Somehow that role of the firstborn carries on for a life time. Piper is doing an excellent job. She is great with Julia and almost like a little mother to her baby sister, Chloe.
She is sensitive and wants everyone to play by the rules. I am the same and it has hurt my heart a lot to know that people sometimes don’t care how I feel nor do they live by the rules. People often just make up their own rules as they go along and fair or right has little to do with it. I hope that as Piper grows those painful learning experiences will be gentle on her kind and tender heart.
Piper loves being a girl. The pinker and frillier and sparklier something is the better she likes it. She loves to dress up and have fairy dust on her little arms and to feel like the true Princess she is. I hope that as she grows she will continue to enjoy her femininity and that she will learn to love her body and enjoy it. I pray she never falls into the body image trappings of society like thinking she is too tall, too big, too white, too anything that causes her distress and makes her feel awkward or different or less beautiful than she is. I hope that a good and healthy self-concept just grows within her naturally and that she doesn’t struggle with it like so many of us do. I have not grown up with the luxury of that blessing. In my era I don’t think many girls have. I hope Piper’s generation is smarter.
Somehow, I saw in her hope for a bright future. She has a wonderful faith in the temple and a great desire to marry there one day. When she was tiny and didn’t quite understand marriage, she cried because she could not go right in and marry me in the temple one day as we were strolling by. I hope that she can marry a man as wonderful as her grandpa and that she can know the joy in her own family that I have had. I hope that her husband will cherish her and help her and love her as much as she deserves, not because she will be perfect but because she has a pure heart. That is just something you can see in a little girl’s eyes when you hold them close and snuggle up with them in the morning.
The joy that I felt when looking at her made me realize that one of the blessing of grand parenthood is that there is a bit of ourselves that has the chance to vicariously do things over again. The mistakes I have made do not have to be hers if I can teach her and share my cache of experiences and wisdom somehow. As my heart is turned to her I hope that hers will also be turned to me as she grows up. The more chances I have to cuddle up with her in the mornings now the better the outcome will be later. Those precious moments bond us together one little snuggle at a time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Easter Eggs

Wouldn't it be fun if you could save eggs your kids decorate when they are little that aren't hand blown and so fragile? Wouldn't it be neater if your little kids could even hold and decorate a blown out egg without cracking it?

Once while decorating eggs with my friend, Lee, I discovered that you can. Did you know that you can hard boil and decorate eggs that will last forever a long long time? If they don't have any cracks they will be just fine for years to come. I always thought they would start smelling rotten, but nope. All that happens is that the egg inside dehydrates and shrinks and they are like a little rattle over time. Think plastic egg with a small chocolate egg in it. The first few years I would leave them out but hidden for a few months to make sure they were not rotten before storing them away. I have never had a problem and neither has Lee and she still has some that her mother painted for her when she was a little girl. Try it, it is eggciting.

The eggs that you see with the patterns on them are done with hard boiled eggs and spring tissue papers. You just tear some pieces dip them in liquid starch and press them on the egg and dry. Our daughter, Jen, taught me this little trick ten years ago when we were in Scotland she made them for Piper's first Easter. I fell in love with them but they were the blown eggs so would not transport easily. Finally I just made some of my own. Again, my kinda thing. They really are pretty cute for the effort that goes into them.

Well, I hate to put all my eggs in one basket but this is probably the only crafting post you will ever see from this chick!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

POPCORN @ The Movies

I thought this was some fun information about popcorn so wanted to share it with you. We love popcorn with movies, do you? I l enjoy knowing where various cultural traditions originated so read this if you do too. B

By Maddie Donnelly, Gourmet Live guest blogger

"Ever wonder why popcorn and the movies go together like Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio? Here’s a brief history of the duo.

Popcorn wasn’t introduced to the general public as a snack food until around 1840, when it first made appearances at fairs, carnivals, and rallies. In 1885, with the invention of the first portable popcorn machine, its popularity increased dramatically. Popcorn vendors followed the crowds, set up shop, and introduced popcorn neophytes to the joys of butter, salt, and crunch. It was a cheap and tasty hit.

As fate would have it, the popcorn boom coincided with the dawn of nickelodeon (or dime) theatres. Vendors, quick to spot an opportunity, sold their treats outside of the movies. Though patrons loved it, the mess left behind, the smell of the machines, and popcorn’s association with burlesque irritated movie theatre owners, especially as the fancier theaters of the 1910s and 20s were built.

But as the Great Depression set in, and profits dropped, desperate owners sought new ways to make money. They noticed how lucrative the popcorn business was and installed machines of their own inside. Soon concession stands were integrated into the designs of theatres. A movie and a bucket of popcorn became one of the main forms of entertainment for cash-strapped Americans well into the 1930s.

When the TV came along, and threatened the movie business once again, concession stands became as central to a movie theatre’s success as the movies themselves. And when sugar rations took hold during World War II, making candy no longer available at the movies, popcorn sales skyrocketed. By the time sugar was reintroduced to the public, the notion of popcorn at the movies had become ingrained in the minds of theater patrons everywhere.

Today, concession stand sales account for a whopping 40 percent of movie theatres’ net revenue. And while new snacks are constantly being introduced, popcorn endures. So when you pop your bag of popcorn before your favorite movie starts, know that you’re not only satisfying a craving, but partaking in a little American tradition."