We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sepia Saturday #132 My David & Goliath Story

The theme for Sepia Saturday this week is tennis. Wow, I couldn't be happier because I happen to have some related photos and stories (which I don't have for every theme).

My father was an avid tennis player. Well, actually, he loved all sports (except baseball!). He played tennis at the University of Chicago and then played for fun all during his lifetime.

We became a tennis family. Every weekend we would load up the car with our rackets, bucket of balls, and a picnic lunch and head for the local college courts. My dad taught the three of us kids how to play. He would have us hitting against the backboard for hours. I actually got pretty good. Barbara was good too. My brother gave it up.

In 1954, Barbara and I entered a city tournament. I played really well and got to the finals (Barbara got to the semi-finals). Then, gulp, I was faced with my opponent, 6 foot tall, Linda Forrest, the Goliath of my age group. I was tiny in comparison. I barely reached her head. But, as they say, "size isn't everything" and I beat that amazon 6-3, 6-1 to win the trophy.


I think I was 13 at the time. I kept playing for awhile, but then since our high school didn't offer tennis for girls (only boys - this was way before Title 9) I gave up tennis for awhile. My father wanted me to continue and pushed me a little too hard. You don't push a Taurus (do you Bob Scotney?). After all these years, I'm still feeling guilty that I had disappointed him by giving up the sport that he loved.

Now, I just watch tennis on TV. Like you, LittleNell, I've been engrossed in Wimbledon all week.

But what happened to my brother who gave up tennis as a teen? He just recently was a runner up in a tennis tournament at the ripe old age of 71. So the seed was planted early and only my brother has kept up the game. My father would have been so proud of him.

Hop over the net to read more stories about tennis and games by clicking Sepia Saturday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Post #131 It's Fair Time!!

One of the most exciting times of the year growing up was the opening of the L.A. Country Fair.  You're probably thinking the fair was in Los Angeles. But no, it actually was in my hometown of Pomona which is about 40 miles south of L.A. I'm not sure why the fair ended up there, maybe because there was lots of land and it was at one time a very agricultural area and maybe because that's where very leggy girls come from. (The fair photos are all from Google images).

We never had to pay to get into the fair. Being Pomona kids, we all knew where the holes in the fences were, and we would sneak in.

The best fun of all was after the sun went down and going to the Fun Zone. That's where the real action was - the rides, the games, and BOYS!!!

I found this diary post from when I was about 13 (translation below).

Here's the translation:
"Today is the worst day of the year so far. Dick came over and said that he wasn't going to take us to the fair. My Mother won't let me go out tonight and I could be taking a walk with Dick and Richard might come over. The reason my mother won't let me go out is because it is Barb's 16th B.D. So I just went to my room and cried."

But then later I must have been able to go to the fair because I found evidence in my diary that I had been there for a big Rock and Roll dance. Here's the ticket:

I wonder if I wore the proper dress. And how on earth did I afford $1.50 to get in? I vaguely remember seeing Joe Houston. But who were the Six Teens & a Turk? They must have been one of those 1 hit wonders. And the Cups????

The L.A. County Fair is still in Pomona and will be opening some time in September. But I don't think I'll go. I'm sure they've patched those holes by now!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sepia Saturday #130 Farewell George Filek

The prompt this week for Sepia Saturday has to do with soldiers, farewells and cats. I couldn't find any photographs of cats or soldiers saying farewell to a loved one. But I did find a photo postcard of a soldier with (can you believe it?) a name written on the back. Here is George E. Filek.

Having the name led me first to Google where I found George listed on this page:

He was listed as a corporal and wounded. But after searching Ancestry to find out more about him, it seemed he wasn't in the Army at all. He was a Marine. I went to Google Images to see if I could match his uniform and found this. Yes the pockets are the same and the collar. But not the hat.

 but then I found this photo. Yes, that's George's hat.

When I blew up George's photo I zeroed in on the insignia: 

That's definitely a Marine insignia. So he was a Marine and not in the Army.

Further search on Ancestry tells a bit of his story. He was born May 18, 1894. His father was Thomas who was a fireman. Mother, Mary and father were of Bohemian/Austrian ancestry.  At 16 he was an office boy for the steam railroad. Later he became the head cattle driver at the Chicago stock yards. They lived at 4808 Jackson Blvd. in Chicago, Il.  I actually found a picture of their house:

He was drafted sometime in 1917 and did his training at Port Royal, S.C.  Then he was sent overseas  and this is where we must say farewell to George. He was killed in the battle of Soisson in France along with 95,000 French, 13,000 British and 12,000 of his own countrymen. The Germans suffered 168,000 casualties.

Farewell to all those soldiers who died in battle and those continuing to die.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.  ~Bertrand Russell

Click Sepia Saturday for other stories about soldiers, cats or farewells.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sepia Saturday #129 Tea with Ida

Here's Ida Bailey Allen showing us how to put on the perfect tea party. I've written about Ida previously, but want to add more of her history, because she truly is the original domestic goddess.

And what better time to introduce her again, than tea time (the prompt for this week's Sepia Saturday). Ida wrote and published more than 50 cookbooks including this gorgeous one all about luncheons and tasty teas:

During the 1920s and 30s she wrote for magazines and newspapers as well as her cookbooks. It's said that one in three households owned a copy of one her books.

She even had a radio show called The National Radio Homemakers Club in which she advised women about nutrition, diet and other housekeeping tips.

During both WWI and II she taught women about wartime cooking. This is one of her wartime recipes (before packaged Jello was available and using only 1/2 cup of precious sugar).
Coffee Gelatin
3 cups strong coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp plain granulated gelatin
1/4 cup additional cold coffee
Heat the coffee and sugar to the boiling point. Add the vanilla. Let the gelatin stand in the cold coffee for 5 minutes. Stir the cold coffee into the the boiling coffee. When dissolved, transfer to a mold which has been rinsed with cold water. Chill until firm, about 6 hours. Serve with custard, cream or whipped cream.

Ida was a widow who, along with all of her activities, successfully raised two children. She preceeded Betty Crocker (who wasn't a real person) and Martha Stewart (who is).  She died at 88.

Sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy other stories on Sepia Saturday.