CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

August 31, 2014

September 2014 Welcome Message

Carolyn’s Compositions

SEPTEMBER 2014 WELCOME MESSAGE

September…the month when Mother Nature begins to change her monochromatic green covering to a green print accented by brilliant red, gold and bronzes.

Speaking of green, Monte is busily painting our house with a dark green accented light green. He hopes for a week of warm dry weather so he can also paint the patio. He didn’t accomplish these tasks this summer because he had to repair and paint at our apartment building 82 miles away from where we live. We survived some major insurance problems there that required us to “burn the rubber” between our home and Slippery Rock numerous times, but now things are on the upswing.

Intermixed with the above came late summer computer and car problems. Monte hit some mysterious computer key that turned our word documents into Office 10 format, which we couldn’t access. The situation is now solved (how, don’t ask me). The next morning I woke up and my laptop wouldn’t turn on. “WHAT did you do to your laptop?” my computer guru asked. “NOTHING, not a thing,” I stated. It seems the insides were burned up as if a major power surge hit the 15-month-old now-out-of-warranty electronics device. It didn’t happen. The only saving grace is that I retrieved the data, including the only copies of 6 months of photos.  I miss my photo workshop—can’t locate an easy to use one on the Internet.

In the parking lot of the computer store the cable raising and lowering the window in our car. No car available until mid-afternoon the next day, so I missed the August meeting of the Beanery Writers Group.

We did end August on a positive note. On the 29th we enjoyed an original play, The Stone House, presented by the Butler Little Theatre at the Old Stone House in Slippery Rock in Slippery Rock and on the 30th I attended a blacksmith event at the Compass Inn in Laughlintown.

Today, the 31st,  we bid farewell to the summer and welcome autumn’s arrival by eating good food with good company at my son-in-law Michael’s annual Labor Day picnic, co-hosted by my daughter Sandy. The nice thing about this event is that my husband Monte and I can invite our friends without having to do the work.

Three days hence Monte and I celebrate our 48th anniversary.

I hope your transition from summer to autumn is as delightful. Please continue to read CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS,  my multi-genre online magazine, which welcomes a number of new July and August subscribers (if you haven’t subscribed, please do s0—go to the upper right and type your email address in—it will not be made public)

Carolyn Cornell Holland

 

August 30, 2014

Works of Art at Two Historic Pennsylvania Inns

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

WORKS OF ART BETWEEN

TWO HISTORIC INNS:

THE OLD STONE HOUSE IN SLIPPERY ROCK, PA.

AND

THE COMPASS INN IN LAUGHLINTOWN, PA

 On a splendid August 29, 2014, evening my husband Monte and I attended an original one-act play, The Stone House, written by Kevin Lukacs. This work of art was performed at the Old Stone House Inn in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, an 1822 stage coach stop between Pittsburgh and Erie. It was performed by members of the Butler Little Theater in Butler, Pennsylvania.

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The next morning we traveled the 82 miles between The Old Stone House and our Laurel Mountain Borough, Pennsylvania, home, which is a mile away from the Compass Inn, a 1790s stagecoach stop for travelers on the

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August 28, 2014

A Glossary of 1800s Fabrics

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A GLOSSERY OF 1800s FABRICS

When Adam and Eve after they sinned in the Garden of Eden God had compassion on them, and offered them garments made of fig leaves. Ouch! The underside of the leaves were like rough sandpaper. Later they made garments from something more sturdy: animal skins.

Fast-forward to the early 1700s. One of my ancestors, Patrick Googins, tradition says, came from Ireland at an early age, about 1720 A woolen weaver by trade he entered the service of William Pepperrell, at Kittery, Maine.

Fast-forward again to the late 18th century and early 19th century. By this time the assortment of garment fabrics had proliferated.

The Diary of Martha Ballard, 1785-1812* mentions many of the fabrics used in Maine during this time period. A glossary at the end of a modern-day reproduction of Martha Ballard’s diary lists many—if not all—the different fabrics Mrs. Ballard mentioned in the 27 years of her written history. How many of these fabrics have names that are foreign to you? I was surprised to find 15 fabric names I never heard of, even through my many years of sewing.

The terms below, most frequently used by Mrs. Ballard, was compiled through a variety of printed sources.

FABRICS MENTIONED BY MARTHA BALLARD IN HER (more…)

August 26, 2014

Which Shade of Green???? Advise me…

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

WHICH SHADE OF GREEN???? ADVISE ME…

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My husband Monte and I have procrastinated about painting our house for too long. However, over time I’ve picked up paint chips of many colors.

Our house is mostly covered with cedar shakes stained a shade of redwood.

140809 IMG_9757E1The cedar shakes are very New England. My daughter Sandy’s house is also covered in cedar shakes. Not the thin shakes you find in the department stores, but thick shakes it is difficult to find in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Thus, when Monte and I traveled to New England in 2008 we visited a shake-maker in Corinth, Maine, northwest of Bangor. We loaded our car with four large bundles of these shakes. It was great fun to open our car door each morning to be assaulted by the odor, which in small amounts is pleasant, but in concentrated doses…well, think of skunk—almost. We transported four bundles over many miles and many days to our Southwestern Pennsylvania home.

But I digress. The starting point in picking a paint color is the cedar shakes. The continuing point is the use of two shades of the chosen color, or two different colors, one of primary use and the other an accent.

Take into consideration that we live in a cottage home in a park-like setting. To me, some colors just don’t fit this setting. A good example is (more…)

August 24, 2014

Preparing Meals From Scratch

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

PREPARING MEALS FROM SCRATCH!

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 18:7-8   7.  And Abraham ran to the herd, and brought a calf tender and good, and gave it to the young man (to butcher); then (Abraham) hastened to prepare it.  8.  And he took curds, and milk, and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before (the men); and he stood by them under the tree while they ate. (AMP)

REFLECTION:  I thoroughly plan Thanksgiving dinner. I know (approximately) when people will arrive, when they will leave. But the meal is always big enough to feed extra people. It is cornucopic table, a table of plenty.

At other times I plan for unexpected guests by having easy, pre-planned menus on hand. Meals not taking hours to prepare. Or we dine out.

Our unexpected guest chomps on my summer flowers.

Our unexpected guest chomps on my summer flowers.

This scripture amazes me when I read it. Abraham had unannounced guests. Realizing they were (more…)

August 23, 2014

On the Move: Photos Taken from a Moving Car

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

ON THE MOVE:

PHOTOS TAKEN WHILE OUR CAR MOVES 55-65 MPH

BETWEEN LIGONIER AND SLIPPERY ROCK,

PENNSYLVANIA

 

My husband Monte and I have been on the move* between our home near Ligonier and the rural area of Slippery Rock, two Pennsylvania spots 82 miles apart—one southeast of  Pittsburgh, one north of Pittsburgh. I entertain myself on the drive by exercising my trigger finger to take photographs out the car window while Monte drives along at 55-65 miles per hour. Below are six shots between the two locations.

Mountain ridges

Mountain ridges

Ribbon-candy hills

Ribbon-candy hills

Bridge and trains seen from Rt. 422 E

Bridge and trains seen from Rt. 422 E

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August 21, 2014

Labor Day—Children’s Stories, Poems, & More

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

LABOR DAY—CHILDREN’S STORIES, POEMS, & MORE

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For children (of all ages), and to make it easier for parents and caregivers on holidays, I surfed the Internet and found the following sites with stories, poems, and fingerplays that provide Labor Day entertainment.

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JOKES

Dad: Most people don’t have to work today because it’s Labor Day.

Son: If they’re not working, shouldn’t it be ‘No-Labor Day?”

More at http://kidsjokes.co.uk/jokes/holiday/labordayjokes.html

 

Q: Why did the policeman go to the baseball game?
A: He heard someone had stolen a base!

 

Q: Why did the lazy man want a job in a bakery?
A: So he could loaf around!

More at http://www.ducksters.com/jokesforkids/occupation.php

Q: What did the football coach say to the broken vending machine?

A: “Give me my quarterback!”

More at:undefined | Great Clean Jokes

Q: Why won’t a cannibal eat people that work at gas stations?

A:They give him gas.

Q: Why were the teacher’s eyes crossed?

A: She couldn’t control her pupils.

More at http://www.familyentertainer.com/kidjokes.html

labor-day-careers-worksheet-printable

QUOTES

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word -

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August 19, 2014

11 Facts About the “Dog Days” of August

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

11 FACTS ABOUT THE “DOG DAYS” OF AUGUST

 As I sit here in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, on August 12, 2014, preparing this post it doesn’t seem like the Dog Days have arrived yet—one night this week the high is to be 49 degrees. On Saturday morning, August 16,  the temperature was 48 degrees.  Here are some questions on the month’s reputation:

QUESTIONS:

  1.  Why did the ancient Egyptians refer to the star Sirius as the “Dog Star?”
  2. Name a notable characteristic of Sirius, the Dog Star.
  3. What did the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Romans blame Sirius’s conjunction with the Sun in the summer (ie. rising up in the sky at the same time as the Sun) for?
  4. Why is Sirius, the Dog Star, connected to the sultry days of August?
  5. What did the Romans call the Dog Days?
  6. Why did the Greeks refer to the star Sirius as the Dog Star?
  7. How did the Greeks and Romans describe the Dog Days, generally talking about the sultry month of August?****
  8. When did the term “Dog Days” come into use in the English language?
  9. The downtown Salem Dog Days of Summer event scheduled August 6, 2014, were objected to by some persons for what reason?
  10. What event coincides with the Dog Days of August?

BONUS QUESTION:

Historically, why were the Dog Days considered bad?

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August 17, 2014

The PA Senate Hearing on HB 162: Open Records for Adult Adoptees

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE PENNSYLVANIA SENATE HEARINGS ON HB 162:

OPEN ADOPTION RECORDS FOR ADULT ADOPTEES 

A DISCUSSION

Through the years I’ve seen how adoption has affected all members of the adoption triad—the adoptee, the birth mother, and the adoptive parent.

Adoptees struggle with belonging issues, with identification issues. They lack a biological tie to their cultural and medical histories. They struggle involves, for some, feeling worthless because “someone didn’t want them, someone threw them away.”

The birth mother struggles with her inability to raise her birth child, for whatever reason. I’ve seen birth mothers sob soul deep at releasing their newborns. Statistics are overwhelmingly high for these women, who wonder what happened to their child, if they made the right decision, and hold a desire to find them.

The adoptive parents struggle with helping their child understand, with not knowing their child’s cultural and medical histories, with others who consider the adoptive child as a second choice.

I was fortunate when my husband Monte and I adopted our daughter. I landed a job doing adoption home studies in a neighboring county. I didn’t know anyone else going through the adoption process, but I could make appointments and interview prospective adoptive parents.

The job ended after nine months, when Catholic Charities placed our daughter with us.

In later years my husband and I became foster parents for women planning on releasing their infants for adoption. We also provided support for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents.

ASSURANCES OF CONFIDENTIALITY

During our adoption process the Catholic Charities caseworker assured us of confidentiality—that is, we would not know the birth mother, nor would she know us. That’s the way it was done in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s—it was something one didn’t question.

While doing home studies, I too assured the potential adoptive parents of confidentiality, as well as the occasional birth mother I had contact with. Again, that’s the way it was done at the time.

MISREPRESENTATION

Neither agency informed me that, at that time, and what would become a period of 60 years, Pennsylvania born adult adoptees could access their original birth certificate (OBC). It wasn’t until 1984 that adult adoptees were blocked from accessing their OBCs.  Thus, confidentiality promises made to the members of the adoption triad during this time were…seemingly…a (more…)

August 16, 2014

Quonset Air Museum in Rhode Island

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

VISITING QUONSET AIR MUSEUM

NORTH KINGSTON, RHODE ISLAND

Blue Angel and Tomcat Navy Planes

 
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September 7, 2013, was An adventurous day as my husband Monte and I visited the Quonset Air Museum in North Kingston, Rhode Island.

My father, Chief Navy Photographer Robert W. Cornell, was stationed out of Quonset Naval Station in December 1943, when I was born in Providence. In August 1963 I visited up to the gate of the Navy Station while visiting a friend, the late Carol Cargill, who lived nearby in Warwick, Rhode Island.

The museum website states

  • The mission of the Rhode Island Quonset Air Museum (QAM) is to preserve, interpret and present Rhode Island’s aviation history through collections, research, education and exhibits…Founded in 1992 with the assistance of then Governor Bruce Sundlun, the air museum educates the public in the state’s rich aviation legacy and displays collections that document the contributions of Rhode Island to the growth and development of aviation and space exploration…QAM is housed on three acres in an original Naval Air Station Quonset Point (NASQP) hangar built in 1945, as the point building for the Overhaul and Repair (O&R) facility.

The museum has a large and valuable collection of aircraft, aircraft parts and other historical artifacts. The 28 aircraft currently on display or under restoration include civilian, military and prototype aircraft dating from 1944 (Hellcat under restoration) to 1983 (F-14 Tomcat), including the last aircraft to fly from Quonset NAS, a C-1A COD BU#136792, a one-of-a-kind TWIN TAIL Navy transport.

I'm sitting in a model demonstrating what it is like to be in an airplane cockpit

I’m sitting in a model demonstrating what it is like to be in an airplane cockpit

I was surprised to see a Navy Blue Angel, an A-4 Skyhawk, a small and simple tailed delta jet…the concept behind the Douglas A-4 was to keep the design simple and the weight as light as possible. It was the first operational A-4 Squadron was VA-72, stationed at the Naval Air Station Quonset Point. This aircraft is a veteran of the Vietnam conflict having served with U. S. Navy Attack Squadron VA-1645 ‘Ghostriders,” while assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Hancock.

In 1974 the A-4 Skyhawk became part of the Navy flight demonstration aircraft. It was a smaller and lighter aircraft with a tighter turning radius allowing for a more dynamic flight demonstration.

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