Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Night After Christmas 2015 - Extreme Weather

Willard's Gas Station or what's left of it.
We were watching a DVD when the tone sounded on our phone. Extreme alert was the message. We immediately turned on the TV to discover severe storms were in the area. Some communities were being advised to take cover.

It was already dark and the newscasters advised people not to go outside because with the rain a funnel cloud would not be visible. The warning was set to expire at 7:30 pm. We lost power at 7:20.

The view from the south toward Willard's
At that moment what goes through the mind is a jumble of thoughts. What should I take into the shelter?

I grabbed my engagement ring, my purse, cell phones, the weather radio, batteries, a blanket, flashlights and the dogs. Do we have candles? Yes. I ran to get them along with a lighter. 

We strained listening for the telltale sounds that everyone describes after a tornado: the freight train, the howling wind, the slamming of objects against the house, the roof creaking with the changes in air pressure.

The Emergency Broadcast System kicked in with the announcement often deemed "a test". This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This was not a test. This was the real thing. 

"A funnel cloud has been spotted in the Rowlett area, heading north east along a path expected to cross Lake Lavon." We live near Lake Lavon!

"A wall cloud has been spotted in Wylie heading along Highway 78. It is difficult to determine the extent of damage in the darkness with power poles snapped and lines downed."

Power Lines Down
Moments later, a rerun of the EBS announcement. Old news by now. Then, live broadcasters announce that several locations took a hit with high level winds involving multiple tornadoes. 

First responders assisted with a possibility of five fatalities in the Garland area, about twenty miles from us. Later more deaths were confirmed.

Next, news came of the twister in Farmersville. Correction, "a small town south of Farmersville where a gas station has been demolished and one person has been found, deceased. Another, critically injured, has been transported from the scene." They listed the FM crossroads. We Googled the location - about a mile and a half from our house. Our familiar gas station leveled; search and rescue teams going house to house looking for survivors.

By the dim light of our LED flashlights, we huddled in the only room with no windows, the bathroom, texting what might be our last messages to friends and family expressing our fears and our love before the all clear signal was announced.

Debris near our house

As dawn broke the next morning, Sunday, torrential rain pelted the area. TV breaking news showed photos of devastation in the surrounding communities and we counted our blessings, having dodged another close call.

Insulation, roof shingles, siding lodged in the trees.

A computer board  is wedged in the branches.

Our hearts go out to the residents of this house and to others in the area.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pumpkin Bread Makes A Great Gift for a Neighbor

This tasty pumpkin bread comes out more like a subtle spice cake than bread.

You can use pumpkin puree from the jack-o-lantern that sat on your front porch during October. But if you don't have any fresh, it's okay. Canned pumpkin turns out great. Be sure to use plain canned pumpkin, not the pumpkin pie mix.

There are no special tricks or experience needed to make this bread. I baked it for the first time this weekend and it was wonderful. Here's the recipe. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs
1 can pumpkin (15 oz.) or 1 1/2 cups puree
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (or water)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Mix thoroughly and pour into two generously greased 8 inch bread pans.
Bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Mine was done in 57 minutes since my oven runs hot.
Cool in the pan for ten minutes before transferring to a cake rack.

I wrapped each loaf in Glad Press 'n Seal wrap, then a layer of wax paper. For the second loaf, once it was completely cool, I wrapped it again in aluminum foil and put it in the freezer.

Sunday afternoon we enjoyed a nice hot cup of tea with a thick slice of Pumpkin Bread. It was yummy!
The recipe makes two loaves, making this ideal for the holidays to share the extra one.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Reading My Way Through the Candidates, This Week's Review

Working my way through the books that our Presidential hopefuls have written, this is my second venture in a series of book reviews.

How To Make America Great Again-Crippled America, by Donald J. Trump

When we think about politicians and candidates for office, it is important to understand their philosophy and check their records when it comes to accomplishments and to know what they have undertaken in the past. Their successes and failures tell an important story.

The first in the series was by Ben Carson, MD. In his book, One Nation - What We Can All Do To Save America's Future, he recommends that we challenge ourselves to learn a new fact about American history each day for one month. I like that idea along with his recommendation that we study the political candidates and check the facts.

One of my favorite mentors of all time used to question people who say, "I just don't know where all my money goes." His tongue-in-cheek response was "perhaps we should put them in charge of a corporation. Or in charge of our country." If we can't manage small funds, how can we run a country?

With the candidates that are running for President in 2016, we need to take a look at their track record; what they view as important contributions to the world, to the economy, to our health and welfare, and to our systems of government, as well as their personal accomplishments.

The people who represent us at the moment have earned little respect from the masses. The constant political divisiveness has left many of us discouraged and with a bad taste for politics. The idea of a United States seems frequently overrun by a tone of us against them - Democrats versus Republicans.

Not all of us will agree on the best plan of action to return our country to a nation respected around the world, restore a system of commerce that is successful and on how to control our spending. We do long for a return to the Made in America manufacturing and jobs that once supported families who have since lost their homes to foreclosure and bankruptcy. We want to help the homeless and those who want to come to our country. What is the best way to do it?

It seems a good time to look into who has a solid plan to address the needs of We The People and then vote accordingly.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dog Treats in a Jiffy

Making dog treats at home is so much fun. The expressions on my Labrador's face was worth any effort it took to put together these homemade dog treats.

Made with peanut butter and bacon, they contain few ingredients other than whole wheat flour, old-fashioned oats, non-fat dry milk, one egg, bacon, baking powder and water.

The dough whipped up easily using my Kitchen-aid mixer and the aroma when they were baking had me tempted to try one out.

Tony, the official taste tester.
Tony proved to be my best friend and baking buddy during the whole process. Once I mentioned the word Treat he was all ears.

Some recipes call for adding parsley to help with doggy breath. But according to Dr. Oz, this is a wive's tale.

Other recipes contain a bit of Parmesan cheese or beef broth rather than water. 

For dogs with wheat allergies, substitutions can be made to eliminate the wheat by adding oat bran.

Peanut butter, egg, non-fat dry milk
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1 large egg

Blend the first three ingredients together to form a paste, then add the following:

2 cups whole wheat flour (or substitute 1 cup regular flour and 1 cup of bran cereal)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup Rolled Oats, old fashioned or quick cooking oats.

Blend together. 

The mixture looks like a boxed cake mix.

At this point, I added three pieces of well-cooked bacon that were left over from breakfast and crumbled it into small pieces.

3 Pieces of well-cooked bacon.

Add about 3/4 cup of cold water, just enough until the mixture forms a thick dough.

Dividing the dough in half makes it easier to work with when rolling it out.

Line two baking sheets with parchment or dust lightly with some flour.

I worked the dough with my hands as you would modeling clay to form a round, flattened ball.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about one-quarter inch (1/4") thick.

Using a bone shaped cookie cutter, begin cutting out individual biscuits and transfer them to the cookie sheet. They don't spread so they can be pretty close to one another on the cookie sheet.

I found the 2.5 inch bone cutter on Amazon for under ten dollars and it came with two other cutters in doggy shapes.

Gather the leftover pieces of dough and form a new ball and roll it out again until the remaining dough is used.

These are ready to go into the oven. Bake at 320 degrees for around twenty (20) minutes. It doesn't hurt to bake a little longer and make them really crisp.

This is how they look after they're baked. Tony couldn't wait to taste test them.

This recipe made about three dozen (36) dog biscuits using the cookie cutter. They can also be made into one inch squares and baked.

Storing them in Ziplock containers, I froze about half of them and kept the other half for easy treats on the regular schedule that Tony has imposed.

He insists on having a biscuit before breakfast, one at eleven (he calls it second breakfasts), at four pm and at bedtime. Maybe he is a little bit spoiled, but we don't mind.

Many thanks to my Facebook friend Eileen whose cool photo of her dog inspired me to bake these.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Beach Scenes - Florida Gulf Coast

Vacationing on the Gulf Coast of Florida has become a tradition for me over the past two decades.

Every year, during the same week in September, my long time friend and I set out for the beach where we spend seven wonderful days together at her timeshare right on the coast.

We start the week off with a trip to the store to pick up our groceries and ingredients for our bottomless pitcher of sangria.

Back at the efficiency apartment, I begin by measuring out sugar and cinnamon into a large pitcher.

Then I cut up the oranges and apples and add them to the sugar mixture along with a cup of brandy.

The fruit infusion pitcher is my newest online purchase and I'm delighted with the shape and quality of it. It arrived promptly and in perfect shape to put it to use.

We like to garnish our glasses with the brandied fruit and after the first batch, we found it easier to not use the plastic insert.

Afterward, we made our way down to the water's edge to put a toe into the Gulf. The water was warm, but rough. The temperature was pleasant with a light breeze to combat the humidity.

Flocks of birds were there to greet us and share their view of the water.

Day one ended with our customary viewing of the spectacular sunset on the beach.

More beach photos from the week will follow soon.

Taking a stroll down the beach, I found a couple of birds fishing underneath the pier.

This one was determined to catch a fish and while he was busy, he let me approach to within about five feet.

The water was really rough as the tide came in right after the rain and thunderstorm. The pelican in the background was taking a break from fishing.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Skinny on Weight Loss and Diets

Aunt Inez and friend, 1925

Dropping a few pounds is tough, even for skinny girls.

Recently I discovered, to my dismay, that fifteen pounds found their way onto my normally thin frame. In terms of weight gain, I couldn't believe I put on over ten percent of my body weight.

Anyone who has lost a substantial amount of weight, like my BFF who has taken off nearly one hundred pounds, can tell you it is no easy task. However, I had no idea just how hard it was to shed even a few pounds of unwanted weight.

Since April of this year I've been trying a variety of ways to get rid of the baggage: cutting out sweets, ice cream and desserts; eating two rather than three meals; eliminating the sugar from my one cup of coffee in the morning. This didn't solve the issue.

So, I tried eating mostly salads. What could be better for me than a hearty, healthy diet of vegetables?

Well, I may be healthier, but I still have those extra pounds of muffin top blubber. Gasp! I haven't carried this much weight since I was in Flight Attendant Training and there was a free buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My classmates and me right before graduation.

Three days before we were to graduate when we were called in for a weight check, the impossible numbers on the scale told me the bad news: If I didn't lose three pounds in the next two days, I would fail to complete the course.

Naturally, that was unacceptable after six weeks of intense training and studying. Besides, it had been my life's ambition to fly the friendly skies.

I literally starved myself while walking practically non-stop during every free minute during those two days. Someone suggested I take a laxative, which I did, and try spitting rather than swallowing. These methods, although crude, seemed to do the trick and I barely squeezed past the guidelines of weight restrictions.

These four decades later, I discovered the real key to taking off a couple of pounds. If you've struggled with this at all, you know that those last few pounds are the toughest to lose.

I began scrutinizing every little thing that passed between my lips, from a glass of juice, to a fast-food meal. Everything has more calories than you can imagine. I reduced my caloric intake in the most obvious ways:
  • Eating only from a plate
  • Carefully measuring the portions
  • Limiting condiments
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Writing down everything I ate
I was shocked to find out that the Ranch dressing that I loved to glop on my healthy salad had one hundred and thirty calories per two tablespoons! (130 calories per two TBSP). That may not seem like a lot unless you drown your salad in it like I do.
The beauty of a salad is the low caloric count on the greens. Looking at the bag of prepared Iceberg salad mix, I discovered that one and a half cups of greens were only about fifteen calories! (1.5 cups of lettuce mix equals 15 calories). A huge salad of three cups was only thirty calories until I added half a cup of Ranch dressing which added about six hundred calories.

With 6 TBSP of low fat ranch dressing 240 calories plus salad (without ham) 30 calories.

My solution was switching to Fat Free Italian dressing which is only fifteen calories per two tablespoons. (15 calories per 2 TBSP) and cutting out all the added olives, ham, turkey, boiled eggs and extras I was putting on it. "I only had a SALAD!" I used to say...Slowly, over the past two weeks I've taken off two, then three, now five pounds. HOORAY!

With 6 TBSP of fat free Italian dressing 45 calories plus salad 30 calories.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Confessions of a Hair Stylist 2

Halloween at the Salon - I went as Nurse Ratched
During the US Bicentennial Celebration in 1976, my career took a brand new direction. I moved across the state of Florida leaving behind a failed relationship, a foreclosed house and a lot of baggage. A friend told me about a job in the mall where she worked as one of four receptionists in a hair salon.

My friendship with Kathy went back ten years to a previous job where we worked together as bookkeepers at a bank. At the time, we were both in our late teens. We had a lot in common and a friendship developed quickly. Sometime later, we became roommates and celebrated our twenty-first birthdays the same month. As it turns out, we shared a bit more than that. But that's a different story for a different time.

The salon's dress code required their employees to wear red, white or blue in solid colors; no plaids, prints or stripes. The color scheme went along with the red, white and blue theme in the store and the decorations in the mall where the salon was located.A constant stream of seventies music blared from the overhead speakers as stylists worked on patrons scheduled to arrive every half hour. More time was allotted for permanent waves, popular during the  era of big hair.

Our Elton John look-alike, Grant, was a talented stylist who conducted training sessions at the local high schools to share his skills. He liked to use my hair to demonstrate the latest hair cuts and blow drying techniques. After hours, we frequented the disco scene. He was a fabulous dancer and despite my two left feet, we enjoyed dancing to the disco beat. His life-partner didn't seem to mind the time Grant and I spent together having fun.

Twenty stylists downstairs worked on women and children customers. Twelve stylists upstairs worked on male clients sent to barber shop. Men wanted styles like Rod Stewart, while women wanted to look like Farrah Fawcett. Men willingly endured the long process required to get a permanent wave, sitting around in rollers with smelly perm solution on their hair with only a limited degree of privacy.

Hairstyles had catchy names like The Mushroom, the Pyramid or the Wedge, even named after a famous ice skater of the time, The Dorothy Hamill. Perm rods were stacked and pink hair was not considered unusual.

For lunch, Anne, a stylist in the downstairs salon, and I headed out to Mr. Dunderbak's for a salad and glass of wine taking a break from the noise and chaos of the salon.

After the salon closed at nine, we put our well-practiced dance moves to work with the latest disco tunes driving her MGB to a hot dance spot, the nearby Doctor Robiconti's or Fanny's where we stayed out until the wee hours of the morning. We loved the night life; we liked to disco.

There were consequences of our late-night adventures. Every weekday morning, the alarm rang early and I headed to cosmetology school where I worked styling hair and giving perms and coloring on beauty school customers. Customers paid for salon services and students paid for training, making it a win-win for the school. It wasn't always a win for the patron whose fate was left in the hands of beginners. Another story, another time.

After lunch until closing on weekdays and all weekend, I worked at the hair salon as a receptionist. Inside the salon, a Merle Norman Studio provided the option for a total make-over for the customer along with their hair style.

One day as I worked the reception desk, a lady with red hair and a brand new perm came to the counter to pay for her salon services. She was smiling and happy until her husband said, "Can you tell me why I have to pay fifty dollars for my wife to look like Bozo the Clown?" When she started to cry, I reached for the public address system and paged the stylist.

"Shirley, please, report to the front desk, code blue. Shirley, front and center, please." I put down the mic and focused on the messy appointment book averting my eyes and wishing I was invisible.

Looking back, it was an experience in so many areas: design; style; hair shows and workshops; modeling; experience closing the books of a retail operation; using the phone; selling retail products; working with artists and one which I'll remember for as long as I possibly can.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Confessions of a Hair Stylist, A True Story

I sometimes wonder what became of my best friend who went into business with me. We opened a hair salon despite not having much money. What we didn't have, we borrowed. We were barely making ends meet, buying food with our daily tips. But oh, what fun times we shared. It was great until it was over.

The salon stayed open until nine pm twice a week. One of those evenings a guy living in a trailer behind the shopping center watched us from his car in our parking lot. We could see him through the one-way glass window in the reception area. A few minutes before closing time he came into the salon. We were nervous until he asked to schedule appointments for his two young children. That went well with each of us cutting one of the kid's hair. Then, he wanted me to cut his hair. During the haircut he kept looking over his shoulder at me and staring at me in the mirror.

The week after that, I found a long, handwritten letter tucked in the front door. In it gave spoke of his love for me and explicit details of his warped fantasies. My partner and I both freaked out. We became wary as we left the salon at closing time, waiting to leave until both our cars started.

After the stalker incident, I started bringing my big dog to the shop. Once, when a salon inspector showed up Bucky was in the supply room. It was a miracle that we weren't cited with a health violation for having a dog there. She understood and only gave us a warning about it.

In my back yard painting the signs for our Business
The day after Christmas we came in to find three inches of water covering the floor from a broken water pipe. water soaked the entire place. We mopped for hours and worried that our stalker had done something to cause the flood. We approached our landlord about his creepy son and that took care of things.

The next weird thing was a call from a coworker of my ex-fiance. She said she had some disturbing facts about my soon-to-be husband. She made an appointment for a haircut and a heart-to-heart talk. We waited all day for her to show up but she never showed. That was a blessing in disguise, although, now I wish she had. Things might have turned out differently for me.

As time passed and we grew discouraged with our lack of customers, despite our efforts at promoting our business. We were barely making enough money to pay rent.

My partner soon started having marital difficulty and became depressed, speaking about suicide. She asked if I would buy out her half of the business. Of course, I agreed - as if I had any money. She needed to earn a real income. We had a lawyer draw up papers where I agreed to pay her her part of the down payment we put in the business.

Disaster loomed in my future as I carried all three loans, the salon mortgage, her loan and my loan. Then came more trouble as the other stylist broke her leg and couldn't stand up to work for weeks.

The next surprise was getting a letter in the mail from an attorney saying my ex-partner was suing me for her part of the business. And that ended our friendship.

My Dad always told me, "Never go into business with family or friends." He was a smart man. I should have listened.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Morning Has Broken and Reflections

Morning Has Broken is a hit song made popular during the 1970s. It was originally a Christian hymn based on a Scottish Gaelic melody known as a "Bunessan", which is a small village in the south-west of the island of Mull off the west coast of Scotland.

The song was originally a Christmas carol known as Child in the Manger, written by Mary MacDonald who lived 1789 to 1872. Words were added by children's author and poet, Eleanor Farjeon, born in 1881, who earned a living as a poet, journalist and broadcaster. The song was first recorded in 1931 and was sung mostly in children's services as a religious hymn.

This beautiful version is a hymn sung by Art Garfunkel and Diana Krall

And this is done by music artist of the seventies, Cat Stevens.

Songs and melodies can reach out within a few notes and take us back, bringing a flood of memories of our youth. These thoughts, lost in the sieve of time, remain buried until a tune like this one plays on the radio. Without warning, memories often come flooding back, the good times right along with the bad.

Young love, first love, unrequited love: we're never again the same once we've experienced it.

"Oh, to be young, and feel love's keen sting," says Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame.The kind of youthful love that's never forgotten, love that brings with it stinging, burning passion, often times is remembered as far better than it was in reality.

Some memories are better left to rest in the corners of our minds, "Fading like a flowered print on a sunny wall," quips Paul Winfield, of City Confidential.

I'm remembering a fellow writer today, Dusty, gone from this earth and yet not forgotten. He wrote this comment on my article when it was published elsewhere. Thanks, Dusty. You are missed.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Patient Advocate Issues

When you’re ninety to ninety-five years old who will watch over your best interests? The duty falls heavy on my heart ensuring that my mother and her sister are well cared for at the skilled nursing home where they live. 

For the previous ten years, they shared a home in the country with a fenced yard, private bedrooms, bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen, where they shared meals, watched television and spent quality time together.

In 2014, a nasty fall while taking care of her cat sent Louise to the hospital. She needed physical therapy, rehabilitation and rest. A month later, there was an opening for a bed and Mom joined her at the skilled nursing facility. At eighty-nine, unable to hear well and finding it hard to remember her address or dial the phone made it unsafe for her to remain alone. The potential for disaster became clear after a grease fire in the kitchen nearly took its toll. When it came to taking prescription medication, meal preparation, kitchen cleanup, shopping for groceries, or performing household chores, things were no longer simple for these two home-bound ladies. They tried to manage for a time with a home health aide and maid service. Ultimately, it was clear the best solution was to take a room at a skilled nursing facility where they would have a full time staff of nurses, dieticians and aides.
It's been fourteen months since they moved in. This week at the quarterly family conference to discuss how things are going with residency, satisfaction on food service, meals, their treatment by the nursing staff and their medication issues, I had a list of concerns to bring to the table.

Last Wednesday, I arrived at 8:00am for breakfast with the ladies. Mom had already finished eating, yet, Louise was still not at the table an hour after her usual time. Heading down the hall to find her, an aide yelled that Louise was "on the way". I found the door to their room open and the bathroom door open. My thoughts went to the privacy, dignity and respect this lacked. Louise was on the toilet crying saying she needed help to get up and back into her wheelchair. She had been sitting there for an indeterminate time, long enough to become agitated and distressed. She told me she had a bad headache and her eyes were runny. Standard procedure is to get the residents up and on the toilet where they hand them a warm washcloth to clean up before getting dressed. She was already dressed but had not washed.

The problem touched me on several levels. No, she had not pushed the nurse call button. She is afraid of technology and doesn't want to bother anyone. Whoever put her on the toilet already knows she's there and knows she needs help. Wouldn’t they check on a patient after a while? Some training on compassion might help matters.

Directed at the food service manager was the issue that her apple juice had been poured an hour earlier and set out at the table next to my mother. There were two flies sitting on the glass. Had I not been there, she would have consumed that tainted juice and never known. I suggested they serve the resident after they arrive or at least put a protective cover like cellophane wrap on the glass. Also requested was that Mom’s daily food menu have a notation about black pepper allergy and no onions and remove the note that says, “No bananas.” She likes bananas. This is the second request to change her food preferences.
Mashed potatoes with black pepper

A week before this meeting, Mom asked if there was a chance they could move back to the other wing where they spent the first months before moving to long-term resident’s wing. Her belief was they received better service and treatment in the other location. When questioned at the meeting, she meekly said, “No, they're treating us better now that they are getting used to us.” In one week, I was doubtful that things had improved much; rather, she didn't want to make a fuss and have people angry with her.

The last topic was on concerns over the added medications in the past year of residency. When admitted to the facility in April 2014, Mom was taking only three prescription drugs and two over the counter pills (for acid reflux and a laxative). 
Med List March 2014
A three page report received from the insurance company listed more than a dozen prescriptions in the past month. The staff printed out a list of her current medications and we reviewed these medications line by line. 

For a fact, she currently has nineteen medications on the list, some taken daily, others, on an as needed basis.

My primary concern is about drug interactions and side effects of the added drugs which include:

  •  Increased risk for heart attack or stroke 
  • Increased blood pressure 
  • Increased heart rate and heart palpitations 
  • Breathing problems, upper respiratory tract infection (which she had when taking this Rx in the past) 
  • Cough (the issue for which the product was prescribed) 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Shakiness, nervousness, dizziness

Results: Six medications that were duplicates have now been eliminated (or DC, discontinued) including one for Hydrocodone (Tier 2 Narcotic Drug for pain) which I have asked twice to be removed due to ongoing issues with dizziness. Once I spoke to the Doctor directly and he said he would mark this as an allergy so it would not be ordered again. At a later time by phone I requested the same thing with the physician’s assistant. The medication appeared on the list of current prescriptions today. I was assured the order would be discontinued.

Overall, I was pleased that they took time to address each of my concerns and (hopefully) will take action to remedy these issues.

The main point is to bring awareness that although the competent care of a loved one is something to be expected, for the patient advocate it's an ongoing process requiring constant vigilance. We’ll see if any of the changes actually take place.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Treasure Hunt in Farmersville

Singer Sewing Machine
The tiny downtown of Farmersville, Texas always yields a treasure or two and today was no exception. The stores have changed somewhat over the years, somehow adding more sophistication and newer things. Or perhaps it's me who has changed.

Red Door Antiques moved across the main street into a newly remodeled space. It's beautifully decorated and full of lovely things. Even so, I miss their old space that was drafty and dusty, just like I like it.
Downtown Farmersville TX

Found amid the current items that seem to outnumber the aged and vintage things of previous days, an enamel dishpan from the 1940s, white with red trim awaited. Another customer remarked that they used to bathe their small child in a pan like that. Yes!
Enamel Dishpan with Red Trim

At my favorite store, Main Street Antiques, there was a vintage Singer Sewing machine, the hand crank kind like one that sold in my own store long ago. Of course it was a must purchase after spotting the twenty percent off sign. A little Goo Be Gone and a wipe down with a cotton rag and it sparkles like new.

The best find of all today was a Christian Hymnal that contains most of the songs we sang in church as children. This book was published in 1961 and has a soft cover along with a classic image of the Savior rescuing a lamb. Sweet!
One of my Dad's favorite tunes...