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Happy Mother’s Day!

13 May

Here’s to the Moms out there today!

Here’s my Grandmother, my Dad, and my Uncle:

And here’s my Grandmother, my Mother, and unidentified friends:

My GreatGrandmother, Grandmother, Mother and Sister:

My Sister with her two sons:

And, my Mother-In-Law, with her first son – Froggy!

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

xoxo,

SAllan

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My Little Dill-Weed’s Birthday Today!

14 Apr

Yes, once again the day has come – April 14th. This day in history: the Titanic struck the iceberg, and the day my sister’s youngest child was born.

Dyl is 21 years old today!

How did he ever go from this:

to this:

“Those awkward years have hurried by, why did they fly away?

Why is it Sir, children grow up to be people one day?

What takes the place of climbing trees, and dirty knees in the world outside?

What is there for you I can buy?

If you wanted the world I’d surround it with a wall.

I’d scrawl these words with letters ten feet tall: To Sir, With Love.”

Happy, HAPPY 21st Birthday, Dylan!!! Hugs, hugs, hugs and more hugs!

(Lyrics from “To Sir With Love” by Don Black and Mark London – one of my favorite movies of all time!)

xoxo,

SAllan

 

Visiting The Brooklyn Navy Yard – And A Bit Of Hubby’s Family Lore.

20 Feb

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I visited The Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was decommissioned in 1966, and has been closed to the public since then. It has recently been turned into private business spaces and just a few months ago opened a museum on the grounds.

Wikipedia says:

The Yard has become an area of private manufacturing and commercial activity. Today, more than 200 businesses operate at the Yard and employee approximately 5,000 people. Steiner Studios is one of the yard’s more prominent tenants with one of the largest production studios outside of Los Angeles. Many artists also lease space and have established an association called Brooklyn Navy Yard Arts. In November 2011, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, a museum dedicated to the yard’s history and future, opened its doors.”

Some history, as told on the museum’s website:

Established in 1801 as one of the nation’s first five naval shipyards, over 165 years the Yard developed into the nation’s premiere naval industrial facility.”

Wikipedia tells us:

At its peak, during World War II, the yard employed 70,000 people, 24 hours a day.”

Hubby has been eager to visit. His Father worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for 20 years – from after World War II to when it closed.

We took the subway to Brooklyn, and walked to The Yard. We passed what was known as Admiral’s Row (where the Admirals lived) – now a row of falling down, ramshackle, overgrown shells of buildings

and then entered the museum area – Building 92.

The museum is FREE (open Wednesday – Sunday: 12 pm – 6 pm) and they have a nice little cafe (we had the BEST tomato soup and grilled cheese paninis) and we also had made reservations to take the bus tour of the grounds – highly recommended!

Here’s a view of some of the grounds from the cafe balcony:

and here is a view of a drydock and the East River:

Here’s a drydock:

We learned on the tour how the ships came into the drydocks for repairs, and how – as ships became larger – the Navy Yard started to become unusable as the ships could no longer pass under the Brooklyn Bridge (!).

We had a GREAT time, and learned a lot! The 1-hour tour cost $18/per person – next time we want to take the 2-hour tour!!

If you want to go to The Brooklyn Navy Yard via subway, here are the directions from their website:

Take A or C train to High Street/Brooklyn Bridge:

Exit on Adams Street. Either transfer to the B69 to Cumberland Street and Flushing Avenue or  walk down Sands Street to Navy Street and make a right on Navy Street. Take Navy Street to Flushing Avenue and make a left. Continue on Flushing and you will arrive at Building 92 on your left hand side. Total walk is about 20 minutes.

A week or so after our visit to the Navy Yard, we visited Hubby’s Mom. She showed us about 60 photographs and other paperwork from the Navy Yard that Hubby’s Father had accumulated during his 20 years there.

Here’s a shot from 1952, of a ship being built:

And here is Hubby’s Father in 1955 (in the center) getting a check reward for outstanding attendance:

Hubby’s Father worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for 20 years. He almost never took any vacation time (hence the reward) – his plan was to accrue his vacation time and then retire – getting a year’s worth of vacation time in additional pay.

But there was a problem.

The Yard was decommissioned before he retired.  😦

Hubby is thinking of donating the batch of photos to the museum.

Maybe they’ll name a wing of the museum after Hubby’s Father!

Hubby’s Father deserves no less!! No vacation time in 20 years warrants a wing, in my mind!

We’ll let you know what happens…

xoxo,

SAllan

My Parents – I Think I’ll Keep Them!

28 Jan

Do you remember the Geritol commercials from the 70’s where the husband concludes:

“My wife – I think I’ll keep her!”

If you can find it on YouTube, please share the link. I have searched for it, to no avail.

I DID find this one, which is pretty great (get through the first 30 seconds for the Geritol commercial):

Anyway, I have recently been scanning in some old family photos, an I MUST share these two.

My Mom and Dad – back in 1967:

 

My parents – I think I’ll keep them!

xoxo,

SAllan

How To Stay Warm On A Cold Winter’s Day

16 Jan

When we woke up this morning, it was 17 degrees outside, and very little heat was coming up in our apartment.

Two blankies and one cat on the bed were not enough to keep us warm.

Now, I’m typing by a drafty window – what’s a girl to do?

Here are 3 things I’ve done to keep warm on a cold winter’s day.

They harken back to Christmas…

My dear and wonderful and talented Eva

knitted this scarf and surprised me with it at Christmas

It’s now wrapped soft and warm and cozy around my neck.

Thank you, Eva!

And, a few years ago for Christmas, someone gave me this delicious can of MarieBelle Aztec Hot Chocolate mix.

I just whipped up a cup – oh my! so very good.

1/4 cup chocolate mix with 3/4 cup hot milk and a tiny dash of cayenne pepper – Yum! Aztec hot chocolate.

From their website:

MarieBelle Aztec Hot Chocolate is made with rich, 65% South American single-origin cacao. This smoky, perfectly smooth hot chocolate is remarkably easy to prepare. Mix with boiling water to create a full-flavored cup of European-style hot chocolate or with milk for more traditional American-style hot chocolate. Refrigerate the European version to transform into a dark Creme de Chocolat, perfect alone or in pies.”

Yesterday on “CBS Sunday Morning” they did a story on hot chocolate, and I’ve been craving a cup ever since. How happy was I to discover this beautiful tin in our cupboard – and the chocolate mix was still just as fresh and tasty as the day it was gifted to me.

Thank you, my friend!

Thirdly, I thought of these special Christmas gifts – Christmas Mem’ries – which made me think of Rosemary Clooney’s incredible rendition of this moving song. So, I listened to her sing this touching song, with her unmatchable, emotional was of delivering the lyrics.

A warm glow has enveloped me – inside from the hot chocolate, outside from this soft scarf handmade by a loved one just for me, and all around from the joy that music gives.

Stay warm, my friends. Enjoy the little things that mean SO much, and be thankful for them.

xoxo,

SAllan

The 1940 Census Release – 80 Days And Counting!

12 Jan

Are you into family history? Old family photos? Are you a real “Nancy Drew” sleuth when it comes to solving the mysteries that are hidden in your family closets?

Then you and I are both counting the days to the release of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census.

It is being made public on April 2, 2012.

The United States conducts a nation wide census every 10 years. Most of us just filled out the recent 2010 census – er, two years ago (how time flies!)

The very first U.S. Census was taken after the Revolutionary War in 1790, and it has been taken every 10 years since then. The results of the Census are used to determine such things as Congressional seats and electoral votes.

Genealogists LOVE accessing the census records to track down information on ancestors. Because of privacy laws, the census records are made public after 72 years.

So, for instance – that 2010 Census that you remember filling out? Its results will be made public on April 1, 2082.

This April, the 1940 Census is being made public. Of course, it will take some time for the records to be digitized and made available for public scrutiny at your local library, The National Archives, and such websites such as Ancestry.com.

What was going on in 1940?

My Dad was 9 years old, living in Miami and in Band – here he is, front row, 2nd from the right:

And my Mom started kindergarden in Chicago – she was 5 years old. Here she is, front row, 3rd from right:

Isn’t it strange, how the  mysteries of life would bring them together – and 19 years from then – welcome me into the world?

I can not WAIT to access the 1940 Census! Who knows what mysteries may be solved, what clues will be revealed?

Will you be sleuthing through the records, too?

xoxo,

SAllan

P.S. – readers, please see the additional and CORRECT information about the availability of the 1940 Census from the National Archives – posted in the comments section. I’m happy to be told that if you know your ancestors’ locations, you can find them in the census results as soon as they are released – only the name index will take a while to be digitized by Ancerstry.com, etc…

Eagerly Awaiting Season 2 Of “Downton Abbey” – Or, Hubby Is So Annoying!

5 Jan

Here in America, the eagerly-awaited season 2 of the PBS show “Downton Abbey” premiers this Sunday, January 8, 2012.

Hubby had thoroughly enjoyed season 1, watching it as it aired and raving to me constantly about it.

“Why don’t you blog about it?” he asked me on numerous occasions.

“Why would I blog about a TV show that I’ve never watched, and know nothing about?” I would respond.

Hubby know that I love the time period that the show recreates.

I have been obtaining and scanning family photos from the 19-teens and 1920s and LOVING them. Ah, the costumes…

Here’s my Grandmother TG, a warmly snug young girl in about 1915:

And, here’s my other Grandmother with her sister – two lovely flappers – sometime in the 1920s:

Hubby knows that I love this era. He knew that I would love the TV show.

Still, somehow I resisted him.

My friend Doug was also raving about “Downton Abbey”. “Those costumes!” he sighed.

My ears perked up somewhat.

Hubby asked Santa for season 1 on DVD. Santa delivered.

One day, during the holiday break, I saw that DVD box just sitting on the table.

I decided to watch the first episode.

I watched the entire season in one day.

I was hooked.

“Compulsively watchable from the get-go” – I’ll say!

And now, Hubby and I both – along with most of America it seems, are eagerly awaiting season 2, Sunday night.

Was I the last to succumb to this marvelous show?

Wikipedia tells us that “in September 2011, the show entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘most critically acclaimed television show’ for the year, becoming the first British show to win the award. It beat American shows “Mad Men” and “Modern Family” to the title.”

Hubby is SO annoying!

But I must concede, he is also often quite right.

I love the scenery, the actors, the costumes.

(In my mind’s eye however, I still see Maggie Smith in her robes fighting the Dark Forces!)

In “Downton Abbey” – Dame Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess Of Grantham – is of course amazing. And, often dressed in incredible purple hats and dresses.

“Ah, the costumes!” I sigh.

Wasn’t I pleased to see a gift shop on the “Downton Abbey” website!

Not only do they have for sale DVDs and books, but also jewelry and accessories.

If you love this kind of look – you can purchase 1920-era necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

I love this luxuriously long pearl necklace and matching diamante earring set:

Or, how about this lovely antique jet glass bracelet and earring set:

Hubby would certainly be quite dashing in this herringbone cap:

I adore this plum hat:

My Grandmother TG would have loved “Downton Abbey”.

She would have fit right in!

Thank you, Hubby. How did I ever resist you?

xoxo,

SAllan

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