Thursday, March 29, 2018

Suck it up and thank Stone

Does anyone recognize the name Marvin Stone? He is responsible for inventing something you probably use frequently.
In the 1880's Stone owned a paper cigarette holder company, which surely helped lead to his innovation. 
He liked sipping his adult beverages through a single natural tube of rye grass, but he didn't like the residual taste, so he came up with a better version of a straw. He wrapped a piece of paper to create a tube, then glued it together.
Once the paper straw tested well with local drinking establishments, Stone upgraded his technique. He began wrapping manila paper into a tube and then coating it with paraffin wax, creating a much stronger straw than the original paper and glue. 

This model was patented on January 3rd, 1888. Two years later Stone was selling more straws than cigarette holders. In 1906 a machine was invented to roll the straws instead of rolling them all by hand, and the rest is history.

Now plastic straws are being banned in some places because of the harm caused to animals and the environment. 

Thinking of my experiences with straws takes me back many years to Schmemier's Drug Store which had a soda fountain area. I sat on swivel stools and sipped cherry Cokes from a paper straw lifted from a straw container like the one below. Raise up on the silver nob then straws would splay outward so patron's could take one. Trouble with narrow paper straws was they didn't last long in soda bottles, because they became flimsy and unusable.

Then came the waxed straws, and they worked well at Bailey Farm Ice Cream where I drank chocolate ice cream sodas, my all time favorite fountain drink.

My kids had plastic straws, and also a handy dandy plastic cup with a built in plastic straw, and who can forget the curly straws? 

Did you know Nestle made a paper straw with the interior  coated with chocolate or strawberry powdered flavoring? Kids drank their milk through those straws in the 1950's.

Bill and I went to Florida one year and discovered an old fashioned malt shop. Oh the fun we had remembering when the manufacturer decided to wrap individual straws. Who me? Who my honey? Blow straws wrappers at one another? Make pea shooters out of our straws? Okay we did. And we are both proud to tell you we showed our grand kids how to fire a spit ball wad of straw wrapper at someone. We always cleaned up our mess though.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Digging up the dirt...

11 Questions for the Sunshine Blogger Award

 Thank you for stopping by Write from the Heart. Today I’m answering questions posed by fellow blogger Lisa Ricard Claro. 
Lisa Ricard Claro is an award-winning author with published novels, articles, essays, and short stories spanning multiple media. She is the author of The Fireflies Series, award-winning women's contemporary romance. You can always find a rescue pet in her books... and a hunk!
Lisa also writes a fun blog titled Writing in the Buff. Be sure to click on and check it out.

Thank you, Lisa, for the nomination.
I nominate Susan Wicker, Kim Shaeffer Lenhoff, and Kathy Shulze Elias. 
To accept the Sunshine Blogger Award, you must do the following:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you. 
  2. Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you. 
  3. Nominate other bloggers for the award. 
  4. Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated. 
  5. Notify the bloggers you have nominated. 
  1. Linda, What do you love most about blogging/writing?
    Blogging is a way to meet new people and learn new information. The purpose of my blog is to share writing information, and to inspire others. Lately my blog seems to be more of a personal journal where I chronicle the interactions and photos of people I love and the places I've been. I guess you could say my blog is eclectic. I used to blog twice a week. I need to get back to serious posting.
I love writing because it is an outlet for my thoughts. Sometimes I must write, and other times I must force myself to write, but I am always glad when I put words to paper.
  1. Name a place you’ve never been but would love to visit and why.
    I have cruised to the Caribbean and Bahamas, but have not been to St. Lucia. My mother wanted to name me Lucia. If Lucia is as beautiful as the tropical isles we have visited, I would be ecstatic.

  2. Describe your favorite snack.
    Dark chocolate dipped pretzel thins or Dove dark chocolate squares. Although sometimes I prefer a snack size bag of salty Fritos.
  3. What’s the best movie you have seen lately?
    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It was intense.

  4. What is your favorite season and why?
    My favorite season is fall, ah the autumn colors. One day I am going to the Northeast to be a leaf peeper. I enjoy hiking in the crisp air when weather changes. Summer isn't all bad. I prefer long hot days to cold short days, therefore winter is my least favorite. Spring makes me hopeful, but the weather is too fickle and rainy. I love to walk or sit outdoors and read.
  5. Do you believe in ghosts?
    Absolutely. Maybe I should say I believe in the supernatural and spirits. I have a keen sixth sense and have experienced the unexplainable many times. There has to be more than what our five senses absorb.
7. What advice do you give but don’t take yourself?
Don't view rejection as a stop sign; instead view it as a temporary obstacle. In all areas of life, I believe each of us has gifts and talents, and we are all capable of achieving something great.
My best advice: don't worry because if something is meant to be it will happen.
In my head I believe this, but my heart gets in the way of practicing what I preach.      
8.  If you had to choose one favorite color what would it be?
Any shade of ocean or clear sky. A lot of my tops/blouses are turquoise, blue, or red.

9. When is the last time you laughed?
JUST NOW! My honey turned on his lap top to watch a tutorial and a man's voice shouted, "Hello!" I jumped. I thought someone was peeking in our window.
We laugh every single day. Bill and I are best friends; if I'm not laughing with him, I'm laughing at him. Laughter is a balm to our soul.

I also laugh heartily when I gather with girlfriends. We've been given the evil eye in many restaurants because we cannot contain our laughter. We leave good tips.

10.  Do you prefer a tablet or actual book while reading?
Give me a book any day. I love the weight, the cover, and especially my many bookmarks from family and friends. I often have three books "going" at one time.

11. You’ve just discovered you’re a superhero—what’s your name and superpower?
My name is Wander Woman, and if I think of a desirable geographical area, I can be there with a wave of my hand.
I really AM a superhero to these two cuties.  

Questions for Susan Wicker, Kathy Shultz Elias, and Kim Shaeffer Lehnoff to copy, paste and answer.

 1. Have you ever won a writing award?
 2. Snacks: do you prefer sweet, or savory and salty?
 3. Have you ever driven in your night clothes and or slippers? Care to explain?
 4. What is one thing you can do better than your husband?
 5. If you had only one movie choice, would it be science fiction, comedy, romance or horror?
 6. Your preferred place to dine out.
 7. What is a pet peeve that drives you crazy?
 8. Your preference: wear swim suit in a pool, or shorts/T shirt in a lake, river?
 9. What advice would you give your twenty-one-year-old self?
10. What is your secret pleasure that doesn't cost money?
11. Hawaii or Alaska for a trip and why ?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Wearing of the green

Happy St. Patrick's Day! These photos are from when Nicole was in my class six years ago. 
This was one of the most fun days in my classroom. I dipped a tiny foot shaped sponge in green paint and made footprints all over the room. Then I dumped treasure such as pennies and gold trinkets and shamrocks on the floor. The students tracked the leprechaun right to the bathroom, where they noticed green footprints on the toilet paper and on the toilet seat. You should have heard the squeals when they noticed a drop of green food coloring in the toilet. That was the number one thing they wanted to show their parents. The leprechaun used their toilet! 

I placed a paper leprechaun (mouth cut out) over a green soda bottle and gave the children different lengths of beads to "feed" the green guy. This requires concentration, and hand-eye coordination.

We made a trap for our leprechaun and I recorded the childrens' responses on paper to these questions: Where will YOU keep the leprechaun if you catch him? What green things will you feed him? Funny answer: "You know that secret place where Daddy hides his money from Mom?" 

Then the kids cut strips and pasted them to make a rainbow on their papers which they had scribbled green. I glued a photo of their face onto a paper leprechaun and they were delighted to discover theirs in the hall.

 I really enjoyed teaching preschoolers. Kids were so eager to learn and I used play as a learning tool.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

So rob me of an hour's sleep, see if I care

Today we set the clocks ahead so there will be more evening daylight. I LOVE this day. It is a breath of fresh air, a promise of things to come. And because the sun is shining and the temperature will be in the mid fifties, I wrote a poem. Our daffodils are in full bloom, while our poor friends in the Northeast are buried under 17 inches of snow and expecting another storm.

Spring Artwork

Spill golden forsythia o'er the hills;splash barren earth with daffodils.

Smudge hedgerows purple, dark and light;
tint azalea blossoms raspberry bright.

Rouge ruby red on pansy cheeks,
daub dainty smiles that glow for weeks.

Paint winter’s lawn with sage and jade.
knit spring on every branch, and blade.

I lost all my phone contacts, so if you want me to have your phone # please email me or message me on face book. Now to go out and take some pictures with my new gadget.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Miles of smiles

 Alex is six months old, sitting up pretty much by himself, loves to grab Liam's face and bring it close to him. He loves squash, bananas, peaches, well we haven't found one thing he does not like. I think he looks like Spanky from Our Gang The Little Rascals in this photo. He has big blue eyes.
 Liam continues to prove he is the best big brother ever. He is having such fun finger painting with shaving cream on the back door. "I like Paw-paw's blue cream better than yours," he said referring to the gel cream. He is reading three letter words and very interested in learning, but he still prefers physical activity, and has a description for every park I have taken him to.
"Can we go to the red playground? Or the one with the curvy slide? The one by the bridge with too many street lights? Rocket park? He is a bright boy.
 The other guys that make me smile are inseparable. Sassy cat still has a mouth, but his meows are quieter unless we are preparing his food. Then he yowls. Must have been traumatized being out on his own for that month before we rescued him.

This cat loves Bill, and I must say, the affection is mutual.

We were at the Goodwill and I saw what I thought was a hamper with mesh sides for five dollars. It's 36 inches long by  18 inches high and wide. I noticed a zipper, and read the tag: Warning Do Not Leave Pet Unattended for Long Periods.

Sassy took right to it. We zip him inside and he gets to sit outdoors on the patio with us and watch the birds, squirrels and rabbits, rather than just observing from the window. He loves it.
My rash is nearly gone. Shingles doesn't fade in a week, so I imagine it was an allergic reaction or auto immune response to something i touched or ingested. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Scratching like a monkey

Elvis sang these lyrics: "Itching like a man on a fuzzy tree."

We ate at Qdoba Mexican food on Monday, and I had a terrible allergic reaction to WHAT? I don't know. My underarms and neck broke out in a burning, almost unbearable itchy, red, raised rash. A hot shower was my only relief. The itching is subsiding and the rash is finally going away today. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

 Benadryl has become my best friend, but it makes me drowsy, so I have been snoozing a bit too much. Promise to check blogs and post tomorrow. I am hoping to stay awake for the awards.