Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Five: Summer Reading

Songbird over at RevGalBlogPals says:

Back in the day, before I went to seminary, I worked in the Children's Room at the Public Library, and every year we geared up for Summer Reading. Children would come in and record the books read over the summer, and the season included numerous special and celebratory events. As a lifelong book lover and enthusiastic summer reader, I find I still accumulate a pile of books for the summer.

This week, then, a Summer Reading Friday Five.

1) Do you think of summer as a particularly good season for reading? Why or why not?
The main reason it's good for me now is that the daylight lasts longer and I like best to read by natural light. Otherwise I read pretty much equally all year round.

2) Have you ever fallen asleep reading on the beach?
Not that I recall. I'm not much of a lier on the beach anyway and lots of sun is not my skin's friend. In fact I don't usually read lying down anywhere.

3) Can you recall a favorite childhood book read in the summertime?
Pride and Prejudice, which I read for the first time during a summer reading program when I was 10. I get a lot more out of it each time I reread it but I enjoyed it even then.

4) Do you have a favorite genre for light or relaxing reading?
I read mysteries all the time, but sometimes to be really relaxed I like to read romance novels by Katie fforde and Erica James, or even better -- Miss Read. It's like a vacation in the Cotswolds!

5) What is the next book on your reading list?
Not sure. I brought with me (on vacation to Minneapolis) Alan Furst's new book The Spies of Warsaw; Charles Todd's A Pale Horse; and Michael Connelly's Black Ice. So it will be one of those. When I get home, I'll be reading the next RevGalBlogPals book discussion book (the one about the Christian, the Moslem and the Jew who meet to discuss their faiths.) Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Common phrases and what they really mean

"Your call is important to us" -- but not important enough to hire enough people at the call center to answer it in a timely manner.

"With all due respect" -- with no respect at all.

"For your convenience" -- for our convenience, we will not do whatever it takes to make things convenient for you, the customer.

"We are no longer able to" -- we do not choose to (for instance, validate parking ramp fees).

That's all I can think of right now, as I sit on hold at Major ISP waiting to reset my webmail password so I can check email a few times on our trip to the Midwest. I wouldn't be quite so whiny except that I was on hold for 20 minutes, the phone rang, someone said "Thank you for calling Major ISP" and then the line went dead. So now I'm on hold for the second time.


Monday, June 23, 2008

My Alphabet: B is for Berlin

After a very long hiatus, I'm finally returning to My Alphabet. I fear I may never get past the letter B! (And how many of us can say those words without hearing this:

But I digress. Today, meine Damen und Herren, we shall discuss Berlin -- or West Berlin, as it was known when I was stationed there 36 years ago.

Onkel Hankie Pants and I got married while I was already under orders to join the Transportation Division, Berlin Brigade, as a Russian interpreter on the "duty train," and after a short honeymoon, he returned to Fort Ord, California, and I went to McGuire AFB in New Jersey, thence to Rhein-Main AFB in Frankfurt, Germany, and from there to Berlin, landing at the now-disused Tempelhof Airport. As soon as I began attending orientation sessions, I started hearing "Berlin is unique." (Sometimes, alas, "very unique.")

From the end of World War II to the end of the Cold War, Berlin was an alert, colorful, claustrophobic, frenetic island of Western-ness in the grey sea of Communist East Germany (henceforth the DDR - Deutsche Demokratische Republik.) The Berlin Airlift of 1948-49, the building of the Wall in 1961, JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, the heartbreaking escape attempts which usually ended badly, and finally the tearing down of the Wall -- Berlin was in the news a lot for those 40+ years. Now it's again the capital of a united Germany, taking its place with all the other European capitals. I wonder if it misses all the extra attention?

To explain my job and the reasons for its existence, here's a nice concise description -- much better than I could come up with. At the time I was there, there were four civilian interpreters (German nationals) and three military ones. The civilians were guaranteed a certain number of trips each month, and the other two Sp/4s and I filled in the gaps. Hence, there were many nights I didn't have to work at all. I had a lot of time to write and read letters! I lived in a barracks near the hospital off Unter den Eichen; most of the other women on my floor were medics (as were the other residents of the building) on split shifts, so there was a certain amount of disagreement about how loud one could play music when coming off shift if others were sleeping....But in general it wasn't bad, I could walk to work and there was a nice little library on the kaserne.

While we were stopped at Marienborn and the train commander and I were displaying the manifests, orders, passports and IDs to the Soviet officer, our MPs were carrying out some unofficial (and probably illegal) duties. They would exchange Ostmarks for uniform items with the Soviet soldiers on duty. The Russian guys were poorly paid in comparison and were only too willing to exchange their winter hats, uniform belts, etc. for money to spend at the Gasthaus. We could change money fairly easily in Berlin. So, the MPs would wrap the money around a cake of the truly horrible soap that was provided on the train, secure it with a rubber band, and toss it to the waiting Soviet on the platform. Back would come a Shapka (Russian fur hat) or a thick leather belt with a hammer-and-sickle buckle. I often wonder what the Soviets' quartermaster thought about all the "lost" or "worn-out" hats and belts. I used to have (actually OHP had) one of the belts, but no longer. Either SonShineIn or one of my nephews got it, I think.

Of course my best memories of Berlin are of the times when Onkel Hankie Pants joined me there, at Christmas and after he was discharged from the Army in June '73. Both times we stayed in Apartments-Hotel on Clayallee in the Dahlem district near the Grunewald. It was across the street from the PX, commissary and other U.S. facilities, but was German owned. We had a large living room, an alcove bed with German featherbed, a bathroom and a small kitchen. Here's the bill for our Christmas stay:
At this time the dollar was worth DM3.2018. We were about to receive a pay increase, retroactive to October, to $369.90 per month (each). It was well worth the cost to spend some time together and be able to have our first Christmas tree and Christmas dinner.

Some of the things I remember from our Christmas and summer in Berlin:

  • visiting Schloss Charlottenburg and the Emperor's famous collection of snuffboxes;
  • seeing Nefertiti;
  • having Kaffee oder Tee at local cafes;
  • going to movies at the Post Theater, one was Kidnapped with Michael Caine and Donald Pleasence;
  • attending the Lutheran American Church in Berlin;
  • seeing the Ku'damm and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtniskirche, eating at "Karoline's Danische Kase Kiste" (Caroline's Danish Cheesebox -- Onkel Hankie Pants thought this was pretty funny), and trying to cure my bronchitis with hot toddies
  • visiting the Tiergarten (Zoo)
  • meeting up with my cousin and his Berlin-born wife and her cousin (a Berlin cop) at the local Kneipe, where there were newspapers on sticks and old men playing cards
  • drinking Berliner-Weisse -- a very pale beer with a shot of raspberry syrup -- don't knock it till you've tried it!
A couple of photos we took there:

Left: The Siegessaule
Right: The Soviet War Memorial

I also recall the painfully short days of winter -- when I would come home in the dark, go to sleep, and when I awoke it would be dark again -- and the very long days of summer, when dawn came about 3:30 am. The mysterious S-Bahn (streetcars) which we weren't allowed to ride on, and the posters reminding us to "Denk an die Bruder in der Zone" (think of those in the Communist Zone).

Ja, naturlich -- Ich hab' noch einen Koffer in Berlin.

Viewing and reading suggestions (more welcomed, just post in comments): Cabaret, of course, or its dramatic and short story predecessors, I Am a Camera and Berlin Stories (Christopher Isherwood). Ariana Franklin's mystery, City of Shadows. Leon Uris's historical epic, Armageddon. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John LeCarre, and The Quiller Memorandum by Adam Hall, are two spy stories set there.

I'm blogging a lot today because day after tomorrow we are heading for the Upper Midwest and my opportunities will be fewer there both for computer access and time, since we have lots of friends and family to see and not very long to do it. I'll try to be less verbose in future (but no promises!)

A few farewells in the arts

I heard from Onkel Hankie Pants the other day that U. Utah Phillips had died a couple of months ago. This was a great loss to the folk music and activist communities. Long ago, back in 1979, we saw him at a Twin Cities Folk Festival and have never forgotten it. Later I bought one of his albums, which includes this piece:(Warning: a little rough language)

If you can get hold of the Priscilla Herdman album Darkness into Light, listen to her sing "I Remember Loving You" with Utah Phillips. Never fails to make me cry.

Then the other day I saw in the paper that Tasha Tudor has gone to her reward. One of the first books in my now-extensive collection of Christmas books was her Take Joy! which gave us many hours of reading-aloud-and-looking-at-the-pictures when the children were young.

Today there were two deaths announced -- one of a person and one of a theater. George Carlin died. He's one of the few comedians I've ever seen in person, once when I was visiting my old college roommate and her then-spouse in Oakland. We went to some big auditorium and heard the famous "Seven Words" bit, and others. Years later you could have knocked me over with a feather when George Carlin showed up as the host on "Shining Time Station."

And I was much saddened to see the demise of Theatre de la Jeune Lune.
Whether it was a victim of the economy, mismanagement, changing artistic visions, or whatever -- it will be missed. I've seen several productions there over the years, but the one that sticks in my mind (I may have written about it before) was THE NIGHTINGALE, which we saw as a family in December '90 or January '91. Based on tales of Hans Christian Andersen, featuring gospel singer Eddie Robinson as the nightingale, magical costumes and sets -- it's definitely at the top of my Top Ten Theater Performances of All Time.

Truly, art is long, but life is short.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose*

*(Sorry about the missing diacritical marks, Blogger won't take them.)
Over the past 5 years and a bit, there's a song from 40 years back that pops into my head fairly regularly. While searching YouTube for something else, I discovered that there's an updated version. I don't usually get into politics and world affairs too much on this blog, but this time I couldn't resist. Warning: these are quite well-done videos, but some of the images are harrowing and not for small children.
Here's the original version:

The last lines refer to Lyndon Johnson's statement in October 1964 (Paxton used a little poetic license there) that "We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves."
And here's the update:

Now, although I was cheering just as loudly as anyone on campus that night (March 31, 1968) when he announced that he would not run again for President, I have a soft spot for old LBJ. I think of him as a tragic figure in American history -- deeply flawed as a human being, but someone who could have been one of our greatest presidents but for the Vietnam War. I don't think that's the case with Bush 43 and that's all I'm going to say about that.

The three Presidents about whom I've read the most books are Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. I'd recommend Doris Kearns Goodwin's Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, Robert Caro's three-volume biography (so far), or Robert Dallek's volumes (though I've only read the first one, Lone Star Rising) for insights into what made LBJ who he was.

And I leave you with one last song -- which says about the same thing as this post's title (tr: The more things change, the more they remain the same).

Crummy Church Signs: So that's what happened to the Jerky Boys...

Crummy Church Signs: So <i>that's</i> what happened to the Jerky Boys...
This one made me laugh so hard that I couldn't vocalize (Sisterfilms and Cordeliaknits will know what I mean).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Down Memory Lane

OK, couldn't resist. Here are some of the songs I associate with the summer of '66. Some may have come out earlier, but they were still showing up on car radios and clock radios that summer.
I'm not sure we heard too much more from The Cyrkle, although "Turn-Down Day" is also one I remember. Maybe their hair was just too short. A lot of people have covered this song, but this is the one that was playing back then:

In those days, one actually heard songs from Broadway musicals on Top 40 radio. Here's the one we were hearing that summer, although I couldn't find the late Robert Goulet's version; we'll have to "make do" with Bryn Terfel.

That summer was my first experience as a regular city bus rider, certainly not my last. Alas, when it rained I didn't meet a nice young man, I had to make do with my host's Harvard golf umbrella (nice and big though!) Anyway, that's probably why this song stuck with me. The video is newer but the audio is the classic version.

And here's one that I remember more clearly from the last couple of months of high school, but which was probably still getting airtime come summer. Yes, this kind of music got played then too.

Anybody else from my misspent youth want to chime in with some other suggestions?

A Word Association Friday Five

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Singing Owl says:

I am feeling like playing hooky, and I'm putting off sermon prep till tomorrow. It is a beautiful, sunny day at my place. So come on outside and let's play a summer Friday Five!

This post is loosely based on previous "wordy" Friday Fives from Reverend Mother and Songbird. I liked the results, and so we are doing another word association . Theirs were based on words from a lectionary text. Mine comes from the Lovin' Spoonful song, "Summer in the City."

Think summer......are you there? Below you will find five words or phrases. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem, a memory, a recipe, or a story. You get the idea:

1. rooftop
2. gritty
3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words)
4. night
5. dance
And for your listening pleasure, here is the song.

Thanks, Singing Owl, for taking me back to the halcyon summer days of 1966. I was staying at my friend The Decorator's parents' house, working at a Federal agency in Bridgeport (hence, the gritty city), and evenings and weekends, reconnecting with my friends after my two-year absence in Germany and Maine. (Same friends I was just with in SC). Enjoying my first "real job" ($50 a week! wealth beyond the dreams of avarice!), the beach, going to plays and concerts at the late lamented Stratford Shakespeare Festival....Maybe in a bit I'll find some of the other songs from that summer.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why I am So Strange

Because this is what I listened to as a young person:

Actually, I'm mostly doing this as a test blog post, because I've been having trouble with Blogger making me type verification letters to post. It also seems to have the idea that my native language is Hindi or Urdu -- not the case at all. And I sent in the request to have a real person look at the blog (to make sure it's not spam) on June 7, and it's now the 18th. So I'm going to send the request again, but to do that I needed to post. More tomorrow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Five: Beach Trip

Mother Laura over at RevGalBlogPals reports:

The Grimes-Honkanen bunch is settling in after a challenging move, and bubbling with gratitude for our new "cozy cottage by the beach": a tiny rented condo on Pacific Coast Highway. We're five minutes on foot from Sunset Beach for my daily choppy-but-gorgeous swim or prayer walk, often with dolphin sightings. Ten minutes south by car is downtown Huntington with its pier and window shopping, and the same distance north is Seal Beach, much calmer for family swimming.
Nicholas is equipped with shorty wetsuit and boogie board, and game to learn mastering the local waves from Mom--though I need to get a big softy and learn to surf before he does to maintain my cool cred. But Katie is still learning to swim confidently in the pool, and Midwestern-raised Matt prefers something more like his beloved Great Lakes. "No waves, no salt?" "Yes, darling, and no worrisome wildlife." "Except for the water moccasins, dude." You get the's all a matter of taste.
So in honor of summer, please share your own beachy memories, plans, and dreams with a "Beach Trip" Friday Five.

1. Ocean rocks, lake limps? Vice versa? Or "it's all beautiful in its own way"?
It took me a while to figure that first sentence out. Finally I realized it's like "Ocean rules, lake drools." I guess that's because in Vacationland, "ocean rocks" = two nouns which usually go together. Anyway, I would definitely say "It's all beautiful in its own way." In my many years of living in Land of 10,000 Lakes, I did miss the ocean, but I enjoyed City of Lakes' lakes, Lake Ida where our church camp was, Big and Little Butternut in America's Dairyland which I'll be seeing in a couple of weeks, and of course Lake Superior. Then again I like rivers too. For someone who can't swim despite several tries at lessons, doesn't boat except as a passenger, hasn't fished in over 50 years ... I sure do love the water.
2. Year round beach living: Heaven...or the Other Place?
Heaven, if I had a chauffeur, because beachfront usually doesn't come with public transportation. But if there were a beach/shore front house within walking distance of groceries and the public library...I'd be there.
3. Any beach plans for this summer?
Probably just looking at the ocean, maybe a boat ride, and I will be taking my swimsuit along to the Midwest in case a lake opportunity arises.
4. Best beach memory ever?
So many beach memories shared with friends that it's hard to pick just one. So instead, the memory of my solitary explorations along Long Island Sound in Milford, Connecticut, ages 9-13. The shoreline there was a nice combination with some beach and some rocky shoreline, interesting seaweed to play with, a lot of scope for the imagination. One winter it got cold enough that the Sound actually froze a few feet out from shore. Yes, winter beaches can be fun too.
5. Fantasy beach trip?
You name it, I'm up for it. But I will confess that I've always wanted to experience one of those beaches that has different-colored sand -- I think there are pink sand ones, maybe in Bermuda? and black sand beaches somewhere else. Yup, I'd like to see that.
Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what the beach means to you.
I'm going to go overboard and have more than one. First this very nice video of John Masefield's poem,Sea Fever:

Book? it's a whole series: Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels, starting with Master and Commander. I actually haven't read the last two -- I'm saving them for a rainy day.
Film? The Secret of Roan Inish.

This isn't my favorite version, but the best I could find on YouTube. On iTunes, you can download a very nice version of "Rolling Home to Old New England" by Seamus Kennedy; my favorite is by the New Golden Ring Singers on their album "Five Days Singing, Vol. 2" available from Folk-Legacy.
I hope there's a beach in your future -- sandy or rocky, fresh water or salt.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another SonShineIn Project

Here's another project that SonShineIn completed, with a little help from Onkel Hankie Pants and Mr. World Domination (my nephew). One of the many places we pay property taxes is Harpswell, on this little shack and a tiny bit of land around it that we inherited. We call it Chudleigh Hall. Here it is in the 1970s:
It's a long story, believe me, you don't want to read it right now. Anyway, on this property Brother #2 had left a pile of granite and marble remnants he had come by in his work as a house painter. And they needed to come off the property. The Herbalist had a plan for some of them in the woods (I don't know the plan) but I called one scrap for a pastry slab. SSI, OHP and MWD went down to Harpswell, manhandled the slabs into the car, and got them to Bowdoinham, and SonShineIn chose the smallest and best conditioned for me, brought it home (it must weigh at least 50 lbs.), cleaned it up, bought some pads for the bottom, and voila! I was able to make a rhubarb pie to thank him. Here it is:
Now we're going to go upstairs
and watch Gone Baby Gone.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A happy cat and happier books

Just a quick post to show two of SonShineIn's projects. The first was to protect our excess books, which were stored on plastic shelving units in the basement, from the depredations caused by the cat's climbing and the dog's jumping. The idea was from Onkel Hankie Pants but most of the execution was from our own briefly-resident carpenter. Here it is:
Rusty is in the picture, trying to track the cat, who (he thinks) has disappeared. If you click to enlarge the photo, you can see the nice handles for opening; what you can't see is a caster that helps the fencing swing smoothly.
Why has the cat disappeared? SonShineIn also built her a wonderful cat tower so she can escape the dog and look out the window. I have not yet completed my task of stapling carpet on it, but she has found her special perch. Here she is:
The perch in which she's sitting (look for a round fluffy calico object, that's Heidi) was once part of a rather odd little seat that pulled out from our kitchen peninsula, probably for a small child to sit on. We now use that portion for our kitchen wastebasket. Another of the perches was a drawer front from a deceased file cabinet. I love when we can reuse things this way. Thanks again, SonShineIn!

A couple of changes

You may have noticed that my blog looks a little different. I've been having a bit of trouble with it (Blogger thinks I am SPAM, and some people are seeing words covering pictures) so I tried "resetting" it, which necessitated trying a different template.
A more important change, which I'll make in the Dramatis Personae as soon as I remember how, is that Sisterknits will henceforth be known in these pages as Sisterfilms. Although she's made some nice washcloths and trivets for us, she really doesn't knit all that much -- or even have time to -- and she is studying film, and has even started a second blog (how ambitious!) just for film thoughts. So, that's who she is.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, SonShineIn!

Thirty-three years ago this morning, I awoke in labor at 5:00 am. By 7:00 am Onkel Hankie Pants and I had driven the short distance to the hospital in our new-to-us red Saab. In retrospect, it's hard to believe I was worried about not having made sandwiches for the father-to-be to munch in the labor room. SonShineIn, our first child and only son, made his appearance at 9:58 am. Onkel Hankie Pants was back home just as church let out. (Our church was about two doors away from home. The minister had noticed our car was gone when he walked the dog, had called the hospital, and announced in church that the birth was imminent. So the congregation was waiting with congratulations.) He called my parents in Maine right away with the news, but couldn't reach his own parents till later in the day, because it was Danish Day (in Minneapolis, the Sunday closest to Grundlovsdag) and they were at the picnic. Here's a photo of the young man at a Danish Day a few years later. If you ever go, you will see a lot of blondes in red and white clothes.
He was the first grandchild on both sides, and so has shared with his parents the privileges and burdens of being the firstborn. We named him for OHP's maternal grandfather (a good Danish name) and for my father, who was named for his uncle, who was named for a turn-of-the-century Maine poet and writer.
Below are photos of those he was named for:

These thirty-three years have not been entirely without worries - that comes with the territory of parenting. But overall I think things have turned out quite well. We've just come to the end of a month-long visit from SonShineIn as he decompressed from a stressful year at work. It's the most time we've had just to hang out with him in ten years or more, and it's been a lot of fun. Just as when he was three years old, he amazes even his parents with his articulate discussion and wide range of information on many topics. Rusty the dog quickly adopted him as his new best friend, and has been somewhat disconsolate since his buddy went home. And several projects around the house and grounds have been completed to a high standard -- I'll try to photograph them and post them this week.
Happy birthday! We are richly blessed to have a son like you. And here are a few more favorite photos from years gone by:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Singing Owl has tagged me for a meme. I'm probably not going to come up with 5 people to tag, since so many of the bloggers I read already have done this one. But I'll see what I can do.

Rules: The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions/statements about himself or herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago:
I was preparing for two big events: Cordeliaknits' high school graduation (and the ensuing Open House) and a mastectomy. Both had good outcomes. As I recall, the party was a lot of fun, combining many people from my daughter's various communities, and the operation went smoothly, with recovery swift and painless. (It was Stage 0 so I didn't need radiation or chemotherapy.)

Five things on today's "to do" list:

  1. Make rhubarb cake.
  2. Blog.
  3. Post reviews on DorothyL and Goodreads.
  4. Do some laundry.
  5. Finish indexing a pedigree for the local Genealogical Society.
Things I'd do if I was a billionaire:
  • Pay off all my kids' student loans. And the nieces' and nephews' student loans. And fund the rest of their educations. Grandnieces and grandnephews too.
  • Give more to more charities.
  • Travel.
  • Add a screened porch and a second floor bath to our house.
  • Go to a mystery convention. If I enjoyed it, go to some more.
  • I'm afraid I'd probably buy some more books, too.
Three bad habits:
  1. Nailbiting.
  2. Procrastination.
  3. Computer solitaire.
Five places I've lived:
  1. Maine
  2. Connecticut
  3. Germany
  4. Minnesota
  5. California
Five jobs I've had:

  1. Catalog card typist.
  2. CB radio assembler.
  3. Library paraprofessional.
  4. Church secretary.
  5. Russian interpreter.
It is hard for me to come up with taggees, since Onkel Hankie Pants says he won't do any more, and many of the blogs I read are semi-professional or multi-person blogs (mystery writers, mainly). And, this has been making the rounds of the RevGalBlogPals and others for a while. However, I don't think Cordeliaknits or Sisterknits has done it yet; and I'm also going to tag Paleika and Lemondancy, just to encourage them to blog a bit more often (though it may not work).

Garage Sales, the Sequel

Last week the Friday Five was about garage sales, and today we actually went to some! We started off the day with breakfast at Faith UMC on Orr's Island. Today the specialty was crepes -- they have a breakfast each month on the first Saturday and the main entree is different each time. I had the chicken, mushroom and asparagus crepe, which was delicious. Fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, fruit cup and juice, and mini-cinnamon rolls rounded out the breakfast. And coffee of course; the volunteers recognize us now and start the water boiling for Onkel Hankie Pants' tea as soon as we come in.

We had already learned that the Sebascodegan Garden Club was having a plant sale on the Cundy's Harbor Road so next we headed over there. Here's a picture of what we bought for $11.00: a hosta, a wee peony (it's wee now, but we hope it will grow), and three herbs that I'll plant in a big container -- rosemary, basil and oregano.
There was also a bake sale going on at the same time, so for $2.50 I got a loaf of cracked wheat bread (have you priced the artisanal breads in the supermarket lately? This was a good deal!) and for a dollar each, two cheese scones. OHP turns up his nose at scones, having had too many of the dry, nasty ones that were all the rage at bakeries and coffeeshops a while back. But I could see that these were freshly made and I just had one, it was delicious! (You can see them in the photo below).
We had also seen a sign for a neighborhood of garage sales, so we checked that out. Most of what's in the photo above is from several sales we stopped at. Onkel Hankie Pants got a tripod and a kids' telescope for $5 each, and a book called The Friar and the Cipher for a buck. I got a dough scraper with measuring markings for $2.50 (retails for $4 but I'd have to go to Bath to buy one); a cream pitcher and sugar bowl for a dollar each, Williamsburg Pottery (I think the sugar bowl may be missing a cover but as we don't usually keep sugar out, not a problem); a book of John Connolly short stories for a quarter; a Christmas ornament for another quarter and 4 Santa tealights for 50 cents; and my most expensive single purchase, too good to pass up even though it will have to wait a while:
This lovely handmade bunny was only $4! It goes to my first granddaughter. I don't know how long it will have to wait. In this photo you can also see the telescope (the odd-looking red thing).
Our last stop was the Give and Go Sale at Bowdoin College. They used to call it the Dump and Run but as the proceeds go to the various non-profits who staff it, the name has been spiffed up. Anyone who has been present when a college senior leaves the dorm or apartment for the last time knows what this is all about. The sale started at 8 and we didn't arrive until nearly 11, so who knows what treasures we may have missed. But the good side was that at 11 everything went to half-price. We didn't find a lot there, but I did get three mostly-unused notebooks, an expanding file pocket folder, and an Ann Arbor Junior League cookbook, all for $2. I'm especially pleased with the Junior League cookbook, as they tend to be exorbitantly priced at used book stores, but often have quite useful recipes for entertaining without working too hard. This one isn't as regional as some, but does seem to have a lot of mushroom recipes, as well as things like Cherry Soup.
So, that's my shopping for the day done. Now I have to prepare for the Genealogical Society meeting/picnic tomorrow -- I'm to bring dessert so I'm going to make a rhubarb cake recipe I found in the Minnesota Heritage Cookbook. And, I have to finish indexing a member's huge three-volume pedigree charts -- most people turn in 2 or 3 pages. She is eager to know if she is related to anyone in the society -- so far, she is a distant cousin of mine in a couple of lines way back. That's Saturday in Brunswick and environs.