Marilyn Monroe doll & more

I worked at Vintage Secrets on Wednesday. I have a space there and pay a bit of rent plus I have to work there for 2 days per month as part of the deal.

New there was this beautiful Marilyn Monroe doll  in one of the vendor’s rooms  :


While I am not sure if these are new or not they caught my eye on this round…

figurines V secrets

Then there is this beautiful antique furniture set that another vendor was working on…while most of the furniture you buy in stores is half cardboard inside, even the bottoms of the drawers in this set are mahogany:

furniture collage

There is much variety there :

coffee grinder pipes etc

dishes room

You might also enjoy : Slice of Life; March  or Autumn Light Through Maple Tree Foliage

Family Photos from the early 1900’s

My grandmother, Ida Mae Hamel, had many siblings, and one of them was her older brother Walter. My grandfather Wilbert Adam Zeiler also had many siblings, and one was his older sister Minnie.

Walter and Minnie got married.

And that is why sorting out cousins was confusing sometimes since some of us were related to both of my grandparents :)

If you have been following the family tree posts, or have read one or two of them, you might recall this picture. Taken around 1910,  my grandmother was the youngest child of John and Emma. She is the little white-blond hair girl seated in front of John.   Her older brother Walter was married and holding his son Kenneth ( on the far left in the back ) and Minnie was to the left of John, middle row, holding their daughter Ellen.

JohnEmmaSonsDaughterGrandkidsCropped Closer

Both my grandmother and my grandfather were the youngest of large families. Since the marriage of Walter & Minnie, the children must have hung out with each other from time to time.  Here is Kenneth, the little boy in the above picture, and my grandfather when they were young men:

Wilbert and Kenneth as young men

Wilbert and Ida and Kenneth and Ida Amalie ( whether these couples were married at the time or still dating I do not know, but clearly Ida was a popular name at the time. )

Ida and Wilbert and mystery couple

Another bathing suit photo:

bathing suits

Ida and Wilbert, and again not sure if they were dating or married here but I love his hair : )

Ida and Wilbert young

The moms and aunts hung out as well. Emma Hamel on the left, what I think is one of her sisters next to her, (possibly Bertha or Clara )  and then  2nd to the left is  Margaret Zeiler and to the left of her is her sister Lena.


Before I get any further in regards to more pictures of my grandparents when they were together in the early days, if you like old pictures to study the clothing and styles, and since I have them…here’s a bit of variety.

MINNIE when she was young, on the left, and a member of a baseball team:

Minnie Zeiler Baseball

My grandfather Wilbert was into sports as well but by now I don’t recall if this was cropped from a soccer or baseball team photo: ( nor do I know why some of these old photos present such dark areas around the eyes, making young people appear to be much older. I can edit these photos-of-photos-of-photos a wee bit, but not much. )

wilbert either with soccer or baseball team

Minnie on a bike:

Minnie Zeiler on Bike

Minnie and her children, 1919 :

Minnie Zeiler and children 1919

I will wrap up this series in the next post, with photos of my grandparents when young , young marrieds, and when their two children, my mom and uncle were young. There will be more family photos from the early 1900’s and beyond.

Other posts in this series :

Sharing at : Common Ground / French Country Cottage

The Dawn Chorus

Moon Collage April 10

One mild morning earlier in the week, prior to another round of heavy rainfall,  I  wrapped my heavy bathrobe around me and settled out on the front porch.  The birds start to sing long before dawn. At around 5:30 going on to 6:00, I could hear the constant chant of the robins with other birds intermittantly adding their songs to the mix.

I generally try to meditate in the early morning but I was amused to find that sitting out there with the bird song made it difficult. It’s too energetic. So I thought to just listen to the choir and enjoy. I imagined that they were praising their Creator and hailing the coming sunrise.

Scientifically, this is often called “The Dawn Chorus ” and  they are supposedly singing mating songs and chirping about their territories but in the pre-dawn with their vibrant singing all around you, it is easier to hear “Al-le-lu-ia…Al-le-lu-ia ” in the chant  :)

The soloists and individual songs vary and as time progresses the robin song slowly gets quieter and new birds join in the mix and begin their solos and chants.

This goes on until it is completely light out and then it’s back-to-normal bird song as they begin to go about their day.

bird collage

You might also enjoy : Chicadee Approved Window Cleaning

Sharing at Lavender Cottage Gardening / Frugal By Choice / Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Common Ground / French Country Cottage

Sewing: Mid April

I  haven’t been sewing very much lately, but I did finish up the baby quilt that I’d been working on to the point of hand-sewing the binding to the back.

I decided to save that for mid-week when I work at Vintage Secrets (  an antique mall ) where I have a space. I like to take something to read and some easy sewing project for the slow periods and I have two days there this month, so if I don’t finish sewing the binding on one day, I can do so on the other.

Meanwhile I just started another red and green block. I had finished the third one mid-summer.

red and green blocks on the line 3rd one done now

Back at it :)

sewing collage

You might also enjoy Weaving in Mythology

I will be joining other slow stitchers over at Kathy’s Quilts for Sunday Slow Stitching. Also Sharing at Savvy Southern Style

Three on Thursday

1 )   As I sit down to type this, thunder is rolling in the distance. My basement already has damp and wet spots here and there from fairly consistent rain over the last few days, but Easter Sunday and Monday were dry, which enabled me to get outside on Monday afternoon and start turning over some dirt in the garden beds. I filled two garbage cans with leaves and such…while I do this in the fall, the neighbor’s leaves from their huge maple tree are never-ending so more cleanup is needed in the spring. I’ll do another round prior to the next garbage pickup day if we get a break from the rain.

Here,  in southwestern PA. there are a few daffodils here and there, my neighbor’s forsythia bushes are just coming in to bud…not much going on yet.

Droopy Daffodil

2)  A mama squirrel brought her baby onto the porch the other morning for an introduction. They both ate a few peanuts that I cracked and then she left him…

to amuse the cat.

kanga and Squirrel tail

Not the best pictures, taken through the window but I was laughing as well…

Kanga and Baby Squirrel Collage

I did manage to get this one through the open door :

baby squirrel

Such a tiny little thing; about 1/3 or less of the size of his mother. He’s been back. He’s rather clumsy and oh-so-new-to-the-world. I took some pictures of him this morning and will show them in a later post if any of them are any good.

3 )  As you can see in this photo, the robins are plentiful here now and my grass is greening up. It’s even getting thick in spots and with more rain on the way, it’s going to need mowed soon.

Robin in the green spring grass

I was going to work on a nice long “Five on Friday” post but the thunder & lightning in the distance has gotten very close and so I’ve started something new.  Three on Thursday instead :)

It’s about that time to shut the computer off. I know that many of you have a forecast that is far worse than mine…hopefully the storms won’t be as bad as they say.

 If you have time, visit my other ( new ) blog  The Sacred Eclectic

Sharing at : Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Our World Tuesday / Savvy Southern Style / Common Ground / French Country Cottage

Tuesday Muse / just about the photo : He’s so handsome

My son’s pup…as big as my dogs now, at six months, and still growing:

Koopa 2

Koopa 3


You might also enjoy other Tuesday Muse Posts Such As  : Front Porch View ( Pictorial )   or  Goldfinches

If you have time and have not visited yet, I started another blog called  The Sacred Eclectic

Sharing At : Cozy Little House

A beautiful Easter

For those of you who celebrate it, I hope that you had a wonderful Easter.


Prior to Easter itself, while I’d dyed eggs with two of the grandchildren earlier in the week, my DIL and I did it with the other three over the weekend.

T and A Eggs

I picked up some spring flowers and plopped them right next to the dried hydrangeas from last summer.

easter flowers 2

I chose a lily with just one bloom opened, and a hyacinth that had not opened yet. Within a day they were opening and isn’t the scent of hyacinths just intoxicating?

For the Sunday service, the church was packed…many had to stand. The service was beautiful and ended with the talented church choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. I think that I floated out…:)

This year, the DIL’s family rented a small hall out for their Easter celebration as the date also coincided with a grandmother’s birthday. For a change, the weather was nice. No rain, no snow, sunshine and close to 60 degrees. Since a playground is adjacent to the hall, it was a wonderful day for the children…there were at least 20 or more of them.

Fried chicken, ham, turkey, hot and sweet sausage, buns, a vegetable tray, pasta salad, deviled eggs, cucumber sandwiches in the shape of bunnies, green beans with potatoes, green beans with mushroom soup casserole, a huge Italian casserole of vegetables in a tomato based sauce, a huge pot of soup with home made noodles…that was just the kitchen area.  In the dining area, there was also a variety of drinks, a vegetable tray, a fruit salad and then numerous desserts to choose from. I had baked a cake but I wanted to try some of the other stuff…a BIG hit with the kids was DIRT. If you are not familiar with that,  it is a dessert made with crushed up Oreo cookies and other ingredients, with gummy worms in the ‘dirt’.

Fellowship, worship, music, family and food, and a slight touch of spring weather as well. A wonderful day.

Easter Collage

You might also enjoy : The Sacred Eclectic

Sharing at   Cozy Little House  / A Stroll Thru Life / Savvy Southern Style

Vintage & Antique Lovers: Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary

The last time that I was at Vintage Secrets I took a few photos to use for a post down the line, as well as for their FB page here and there.

When I went back to look at and edit them it occured to me that many of us who love vintage, antique, and handmade items cherish the sacred in the ordinary.

Perhaps we had dishes like this as young marrieds or remember them in our mother’s kitchen. Perhaps they hold special memories to cherish of times gone by.

dishes and pottery etc

While I remember playing with a little cast iron stove like this as a child, an older gentleman in the shop that day was reminicing about his grandmother who cooked on this sort of stove when he was a boy.

cast iron stove use this one

What family sat around the table using this set of china? Do you think that the set might have passed through several generations? Would it have been just for holidays or for Sundays after church? Perhaps the family was Jewish and this set was used for Shabbat. How many prayers around a table does this set of china hold in it’s essence ?

china dishes

We look at these things and wonder, and hold them with some reverence, perhaps seeing candles lit and hearing a prayer and imagining a family gathered round.

Perhaps the mother was young and beautiful like this :

Goebel Mother and Child

What treasures were stored in these pieces and were they polished and cared for lovingly by someone? Did a woman sit on that stool while brushing her hair 100 strokes at night?

what was stored collage

” Picasso was right when he said that we do not know what a tree or a window really is. All things are very mysterious and strange ( like Picasso’s paintings ) and we overlook their strangeness and their mystery only because we are so used to them. Only dimly do we understand the nature of things. What are things? They are God’s love become things.” _Ernesto Cardenal in Abide in Love

“Any table of virgin fir, any maple chair, any oak floor is a bundle of stories…” _Kim R. Stafford in Having Everything Right

When we appreciate old furniture, china, figurines, vintage linens, antique quilts, and so much more, we are not only appreciating the things themselves but who and what has ensouled them. They were created in a person’s mind and later formed by hand or in a factory in a different generation. Other people purchased them, loved them, cared for them or did not and tossed them aside….who knows? We can only imagine and appreciate and look at them with a bit of reverence, being mindful of the sacred in the ordinary.


Visit my other blog, recently started : The Sacred Eclectic 

Sharing at Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Bella Rosa Antiques / Savvy Southern Style / Common Ground

Started a new blog…

For all of my life, I’ve been an avid reader and a good half of my reading had something to do with spirituality.

Now, that reading might have ( and still does ) pertained to religion, to “New Age” to “Self-Help” to comparative religion, to mythology, to memoirs about cooking in an Orthodox Jewish home with the writer’s MIL, to the Bible, to Edgar Cayce, to Buddhism, to historical fiction, to Jungian archetypes and how they affect us, to the Mother Goddess in history,  and so much more.

You would THINK that I’d be a damn saint by now, but I am not, What’s with THAT? :) 

But due to this interest of mine I started another blog. And since I am not a saint by now, I won’t be ‘preaching’ to you on the blog. Aren’t you lucky! :)

I wanted to name it something simple like SacredStuff. com but any simple names are all taken up. So the blog is called The Sacred Eclectic. It is to be a mix…devoted to soul and spiritual journeys but just a little of my own here and there. Not too much of me, I hope, since I am not a damn saint yet : )

I am Word Press and familiar with it so I looked at a lot of the free themes, but in the end chose Mantra which I also use for FLB. Mantra can be very fancy…with images, sliders, all sorts of things on the front page. But I like it because I can make it simple, where you just get to the reading of the post.

Having said that it’s been awhile since I set up a blog so it took longer than I’d anticipated. I still have to do an About Page, but I wanted to get a few posts up first.

There are many beautiful WP themes that don’t have enough pages, widget areas etc. There are more complicated themes where you need to know code or get help from a designer. I did not want to go that route!

The money that I have invested in this so far, is in using Feed Blitz versus Feedburner. Feedburner is free but I keep hearing that it’s on its last legs. Should that happen it would be complicated to migrate FLB over to another feed. So I didn’t want to have to do that with this new blog.

I decided for this new blog to use Feed Blitz for  the RSS feed as well as email subscriptions.

Those options are on the site now for you, should you want to subscribe.

I threw up a few Google ads ( we make nada off of ads like those unless they are clicked on ) and may search out a few more options to finance the Feed Blitz solution but for now, I spent enough time on setting this up :)

I am spinning off to this 2nd blog since FLB is basically a lifestyle blog. So while here and there, I might have a post on something geared to spirituality, or care of the soul, I don’t want that to be FLB’s focus. FLB’s focus is caring for the soul by photographing blue jays and squirrels and grandkids and cooking and sewing :)

The Sacred Eclectic will be a different variety, though I don’t have a specific plan in mind. I am winging it hopefully with some angel’s wings for guidance.  I do think that I would like to reference other blogger’s posts and stories on a specific day each week down the line, and for you readers that do not blog that could be a text sent in email with a photo or something…Just brainstorming here :)  I  feel that we all have stories…and I’d like this new blog to be a mix of stories from our generation and gifted writers and saints and seekers from the past as well.

The Sacred Eclectic,  still being worked on a bit is HERE.

Update…I just added an ABOUT page, with text from this post,  with this selfie from a year ago that took me a good 20 tries to do.  I am all ABOUT being behind the camera not in front of it! :) Selfies are hard, lol.

selfie for shop about page

You might also enjoy : Every Valley Shall Be Exalted

Sharing at : Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Savvy Southern Style

Sewing end of March

Two rounds of snow in the last few days and some Easter egg dyeing going on.

Snow and Easter Eggs Collage for Blog

I have not been sewing much lately but I did finish up the hand quilting portion of this baby quilt and started to machine quilt around the borders on Saturday.


I have two borders to finish up and then I’ll apply binding. I’ll be hand-stitching it to the back later on today, joining the other slow stitchers over at Kathy’s Quilts.

Also sharing at : Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style