Yesterday I noticed that my plant with the promising blossom is acting strangely. It looks as if it plans to attack its neighbor! I didn't take a picture of it today but the stalk of the blossom is in a really twisted shape just like a very tall capital S! I don't think this is normal behavior!I was feeling a bit ambitious yesterday, knowing I need to move more instead sitting so much. I prepared meals for the future and now have stored main courses for six more dinners in the freezer. I know how to avoid the cleanup of the baking pan however, without purchasing the throw-away kind! It's been a long time since I've enjoyed stuffed shells!
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
This seems to be the best way for me to pass on words and thoughts written by my mother. She wasn't a professional writer but her stories, though long and sometimes 'wordy' do hit the mark. She had a dream of being a nurse. My sister became a registered nurse and that made her so proud.
All Wool and a Yard Wide
The fabric of one’s life consists of many different kinds of threads and comes in so many different colors. The gray of winter mountains soon becomes a kaleidoscope of hundreds of shades of green. The azure blue of the sky is mirrored in the deeper blue of a quiet lake. The ivory of the early dogwood blossoms, the shad bush’s foamy clouds dot the evergreen hills. The scarlet, gold and deep reds of fall make a last effort to prepare one for the more somber days of winter.
There is one color, however, that outshines all the others and it is that of the nurses’ white. True, they don’t all wear the traditional uniforms and cap of yesteryear, but none the less, the devotion and concern are remained unchanged.
Many years ago one of these dedicated women sat beside the bed of a tiny girl who was desperately ill with pneumonia. Wrapped in her winter coat, the nurse carefully watched her patient while the cold winter wind blew through the open window beside the bed. This action had seemed to be the only thing that helped the little girl's breathing. There were no antibiotics then in the 1900's! They both survived the ordeal and the nurse remained in the parent's grateful memories for many years.
In only seven more years, the same ugly disease hit again and this time a graduate of our own Morristown Memorial Hospital came to the little country town to do twenty–four hour duty. Still no antibiotics, but mustard plasters and flaxseed poultices turned the disease away. The recovered child was so fond of the nurse that she kept up a correspondence with her for several years to come.
The child grew up to graduate from high school. While in her senior year, the school nurse started a nurses’ club which inspired many of the members to consider the nursing profession for their life’s work. This was not to be accomplished for the young club member because the dread depression had hit her parents and the girl’s goal was not to be reached. Once again the school nurse helped her student to find a job which resulted working for another nurse in the county office of the New Jersey Tuberculosis League.
Life went on, the colors of the threads changed with the appearance of a tall, dark and handsome man. The new family grew, first with the coming of a daughter, then a son, and finally a set of twin girls. After their arrival, there was another problem, and once again the need for an expert who was specially qualified saved the day. This nurse not only cared for her patient, but helped to get the meals and look after the other necessary duties of the household.
The fabric of the family soon smoothed out and returned to the many colors of the threads of its various members. With the growing demands on the income, it was decided that the mother would like to try a job, and where did she look first—to a hospital, of course. The pull was still there to be near the white of the nursing profession.
Soon the contacts settled into an office position in the old Morristown Memorial Hospital (M.M.H.) location. A new and larger facility was in the planning and the move was anticipated in the near future. Once in the new building, the many duties of her office gave the office worker one of the best memories she was to ever experience. Her occasional contact with the Director of Nursing Services was, to her mind, the epitome of the ideal nurse. The Director’s tall, stately carriage in her high-necked starched white uniform with the cap of her alma mater secure on her dark brown hair would always remain an inspiration to many with whom this individual came in contact.
The time came when extra work was no longer needed for the family’s finances. The children were all out of school; the son in the armed services, the daughter in nursing school (no undue influence, honestly), and marriages in the offing for the rest of the children. Now retirement could be enjoyed with time available for volunteer work, travel, gardening and anticipating the arrival of grandchildren.
A cruel tear in the fabric of the woman’s life came with the discovery of a lump in one breast. The diagnosis of the dreaded word “CANCER” changed the pattern of the life’s threads to dark and forbidding designs. Prompt intervention by a wonderful surgeon and his staff kept the disease at bay for several more years until a recurrence showed up in the other breast. Once more the routine was repeated and faded from memory—or so it was thought.
Fate, however, had other ideas, and professional help was needed. This time there was a dramatic change in the persons involved. A totally new concept in cancer care had been initiated in the fast expanding hospital.
The Woman’s Cancer Center was staffed by a uniquely qualified special surgeon, a nurse practitioner, and assistant office persons. This new service dealt with the whole patient. This service was soon to benefit the woman whose fears had all but convinced her that it would be better to "let nature take its course." Following an especially perceptive interview with the doctor and later with the nurse practitioner, it was decided to go ahead with the necessary hysterectomy.
A quick and uneventful recovery restored the nearly eighty-year old woman to the fabric of her life with her husband of almost sixty years. They would continue to weave their lives, not always all wool nor a yard wide, but the many colors of the rainbow would continue to appear much as before.
The predominant color of their life’s fabric would continue and would always be the pure white of the nurses’ cap and uniform. Perhaps it would not always be as visible as it once was, but through the many colors and materials of today’s world, the white would always shine—the true symbol of the many women who in the past had formed the fabric of this woman’s life.
Pauline F. Nulton August 17, 1994
Published January 30, 1995 Women’s Cancer Center by Jane C, Moore, Editor of “A Detour in the Road of Life”
Monday, October 3, 2022
It's catchup time. Yes, I have baked lately. Gave several away and froze the rest.
Sunday, October 2, 2022
The early morning sun was blazing in the bedroom window as the young woman awoke with a start. This was the day! She had waited many years for just this occasion, and it was doubly important this time. Just a dozen years ago the ivory colored dress, which hung so carefully pressed in the guest room closet, she herself had worn for a very special day with indescribable joy and pride.
Herb-like fragrance floated in the bedroom window, and she soon realized it must be coming from the golden marigolds planted and growing just beneath the window. How fitting it all seemed! The many shades of yellow, orange and gold seemed made for the plan she had in mind to make a bright arrangement for the center of the table, where they would be sitting for dinner. She arose quickly and dressed carefully in her own blue summer frock. There was so much to be done before noon, but she was eager to begin what had been looked forward to for so many weeks.
She moved softly so as not to disturb her sleeping parents, and tip-toed down the hall toward the guest room, quietly took the dress from its hanger, and held it in her hands. The silk was still soft and smooth, yet with a slight feel of crispness. The little star pattern was just as clear and sharp as the day the dress had been first worn on that hot afternoon so very long ago. How wonderful to know that the woman who rested quietly beside her husband would still fit into its many folds and tucks!
The passing years had been kind to them, though not without some crushing disappointments, some patience-trying setbacks, but all was balanced now by the day that had been so long awaited. The young woman glanced toward the bed, with its double wedding ring quilt covering the resting couple, and saw that the slanting rays of the early morning sun were golden against the sparse fringe of the man’s white hair. The rays then reached over toward the left hand of the woman and touched the gold circle on the wrinkled finger. How fitting it all seemed for this day of days! She knew that the inscription on the inside of the gold band read “Schoolmate, Sweetheart, Wife” and it, in itself, told the story of the couple’s long life together.
Almost as if on a pre-arranged ethereal signal, both the man and woman opened alert, wide eyes, and their gaze fell upon the younger woman. Their glances met, and magically, a knowing smile spread across each face. This was the day! They had made it! Together! This was the milestone that had been so long awaited, talked about, and so carefully planned.
“Good morning, Mother and Father. Happy Golden Anniversary!”
The Dress ~Part Two~ The Dream
She got up stiffly from the breakfast table, eager to start the task before her. It would take some time to press the dress which hung in the hall closet, much longer than it had taken her on the previous occasions when this same task she had performed with such loving care and anticipation. Her fingers were thin and gnarled and her shoulder would undoubtedly bother her she knew, but it would be worth every bit of effort to do this one last thing before she gave the dress away, never more to see it worn as it had been so many times before.
Could it be possible that the ivory, silken folds were nearly one hundred years old? It had seen that first glorious day when it had been worn by the other woman, now long gone, but fondly remembered; worn again for the same purpose more than three decades later, then twice more to celebrate half centuries of the closeness the two women had experienced with their chosen life-companions.
She got the ironing board from the pantry and connected the new iron with its fancy gadgets. She was careful to set the heat at a temperature which would not harm the delicate fabric. She thought, as she worked, how sorry she had felt when none of the daughters had shown any interest in wearing the gown on their own special days. Well, never mind, they had each asked to have a dress made which she herself had cut and sewed. That gesture had somehow helped to overcome her disappointment. Now, however, the time had come when she must give up what she had so carefully kept and preserved these many years, and pass on to younger hands the guardianship of a tradition that might, in years to come, hold for the wearer the mystical influence of love and devotion which seemed to be such an important part of so many lives.
The iron passed softly over the yellowed skirt, across the tucked blouse and down the tight sleeves. There! It was finished! The petticoat with its embroidered ruffle was folded carefully and placed on the kitchen chair beside the pointed kid shoes with the funny shaped heels and ribbon ties. She returned the dress to the hanger and gave it a last tender pat. Its shape blurred a bit before her eyes and she turned reluctantly away just in time to see the very young woman with the exuberance of a little kitten come bounding through the kitchen door. Her long golden hair bounced against her slender shoulders as she threw her arm around the older woman and gave her an affectionate hug.
“Thank you so much for giving me the wedding dress, Grandmother. I’ll always take care of it. Wish me luck today and perhaps I’ll be wearing it again fifty years from today.”
The Dress ~Part Three~ The Reality
Dreams do sometimes come true, at least in part. The real-life version can be more inspiring, more beautiful, more memorable than the plans that had lain dormant in the woman’s heart and mind for so many years.
The dress had made another appearance! Perhaps it was not quite in the same way than she had envisioned it, but it was unforgettable just the same in a more real and visual form.
Fiftieth anniversary parties were not too common. In the present day and age the woman and her husband had vowed to make the most of the occasion and to share the celebration with as many relatives, friends and acquaintances as could be gathered together on a busy summer Sunday.
A few disappointments were inevitable; the couple who recently had lost their oldest son could not make the long trip from a distant state because they had, just a few short weeks ago, had to make their sad journey to the same area. Another friend from years before was now a widow and lonesome in a far-distant town, but she sent part of herself woven into the bright and colorful handiwork. Still another couple who lived too far away to join the party telephoned with their message of love and remembrance. The thoughts of the long-time friends were with the recent widower, who in his own poor health, could not be numbered with the others who gathered in the spacious hall.
In front of the head table there hung the contribution of life-long friends. The handsome hand-crafted picture in gold and green and cream said “50 years” and represented so many hours of tedious work. Verbal appreciation seemed too terribly inadequate, but was voiced just the same.
Flowers were everywhere, in every conceivable shade of yellow and gold. Two tall white vases held those blooms which had just recently graced sanctuary of the small town church only hours before. Dear friends with loving thoughtfulness had brought other floral arrangements to the hall. On each of the nine dinner tables which were tastefully covered with gold colored tablecloths, a small white vase held some very special flowers. Who would have believed the impossible coincidence that had led the celebrating couple to stop in their mid-morning shopping trip and introduce themselves to an older man and woman who stood by a huge clump of the old fashioned flower “Golden Glow.”
“You don’t know me, and we don’t know you,” the woman had said with her heart in her mouth (for who welcomes strangers in their driveway in this day and age?) “but we have admired your flowers for several years. The same kind was used to decorate our home fifty years ago when we were married. We are able to celebrate our anniversary on Sunday and would like so much to be able to cut a few of yours to put on our dining tables.”
With a beautiful smile and gracious gesture, the older woman said that she, too, had had “golden glow” at her own wedding many years ago, and would be very willing and eager for the visitors to pick some. The coincidence didn’t stop there, however. Their family name was the same as the name of the one who had provided the flowers for the inquirer’s wedding! The dream had taken a most unexpected turn and the coincidence was almost more than could be believed.
Seventy-seven mouths were fed, seventy-seven hands shaken, hugs and kisses exchanged, the toast given and yet there was more to come. The duties of the master of ceremonies were superbly handled by the only son in the family. He introduced each of his three sisters and thanked them for their part in the festivities. One had provided the artistically decorated cake; one the little gold and white bird favors, and the other was still taking many still pictures which would go into the gift album.
The buzz of conversation quieted as the announcement was made that one of the younger granddaughters would soon be walking among the guests and she would be wearing “The Dress!" It was explained that several times before, the dress had been worn since its original appearance eighty-eight years before. Would it hold together? Would the stains of age and use spoil the effect? Would the lovely young girl wearing it feel silly and self-conscious, trip over the long skirt, or refuse to make an appearance at all? All these thoughts and fears went through the mind of the grandmother as she waited expectantly for the next move. Then it happened!
Gliding into the center of the hall she came as majestically as a queen to her court. Tall and slender, her brown hair in soft waves across her neck and shoulders, the young girl was the very picture of her great-grandmother, though not one among the assembled group could say, “I remember when she wore that dress.”
The neck of the two-piece deep ivory colored gown was held at the throat by a round old-fashioned hand-painted pin trimmed in gold, the proud possession of the original bride. The tight sleeves ended in a ribbon cuff and bow at the wrists. In her slim tapered fingers she held a small bouquet of the same golden flowers that were on the tables. This added touch, spontaneous in its originality by an interested helper, brought tears to many eyes. Under the skirt, though not seen by anyone, was the original petticoat with its many tucks and hand embroidery. The skirt itself hung smoothly and nearly touched the floor. It swayed gently as the model walked with slow measured steps with the practiced air of a trained mannequin. She smiled confidently to each admirer and then quietly left the hall.
The afternoon was over. The guests had gone. Once more “The Dress” has been carefully put away, to appear yet another time, we wonder? Will it be an inspiration to someone yet to come, to be worn at another celebration, another wedding? Who will be there to remember?
Pauline F. Nulton
*Notes by GMR, daughter of author, Pauline Nulton.
Young woman refers to Pauline Nulton who had worn the dress on August 12, 1934 at her wedding. This was in preparation of her parent's celebration at her home in 1946.
Dinner refers to the 50th anniversary gathering for her parents at her home on August 12, 1946 in Morristown NJ.
The Dress ~Part Two~ The Dream
Pauline’s fantasy thoughts and wishes written…
The Dress ~Part Three~ The Reality
Refers to the 50th anniversary gathering for her and her husband in the Masonic Hall in Flanders NJ.
…one of the younger granddaughters… refers to Laura Leigh Reed who wore and modeled the dress.
The dress was donated to a historical society in the Budd Lake, NJ area according to what she told me around the year 2005.
The Rudbeckia, a/k/a “Golden Glow” mentioned in the story was once a perennial common ‘outhouse flower’ to screen the privy for late summer and fall bloom. It was also called the ‘shithouse daisy.’
Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Hortensia’
Lovingly known as the Outhouse Plant, this old heirloom selection of Coneflower is still seen in gardens today. Plants form a tall clump of bright-green leaves, bursting into color in summer, when loads of fluffy double chrome-yellow daisies appear.
Another source about the flower. Click on link below...
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Today is my mother's 108th birthday. I honor her with this post because the celebration of my parent's 50th anniversary was one she planned and organized and was very happy when it all went so well.
When the 50th anniversary party was planned, there was to be a surprise for all to see. It was something she called "The Dress" and she wrote a long story about it many years ago. I will post that next blog. Get ready for a long read there!
The year of this event was 1984.
Now to better explain the sequence. In 1896 my mother's parents were married on August 12. Their 50th anniversary was celebrated at our home with a casual dinner in the backyard with guests on August 12, 1946.
In 1934 my parents were married on August 12. Their 50th anniversary was celebrated at a Masonic Hall near their home on August 12, 1984 with many guests invited. I don't find a photo of her wearing the dress. She once told me she did, but no photos were taken.
The surprise at the 50th Anniversary party was my youngest daughter wearing the exact unaltered dress that, at the time was then 88 years old. She was thin enough at age 27 to model it well. The dress was eventually donated to a historical society in the Budd Lake NJ area in 2005, the year of her death.
The photos were all labeled by my mother and put in a hand-crafted album made by my sister Jeanette. I treasure that album.
My brother was the Master of Ceremonies, my sister Jeanette, made dozens of white ceramic doves as table gifts for the guests. The dove has different meanings for marriage but mostly peace, devotion and love in this story. Today I have two. One is mine, the other was my parent's. My sister Joyce, provided the cake. Years later I was given the pretty vase that was the 50th anniversary gift at my grandparents' anniversary celebration. It held yellow roses. I have my mother's wedding ring and I can see how thin it became and the best part is that I still can read the interior inscription— Tranquility GNN & PFD 8-12-'34.
Thursday, September 29, 2022
I have another friend whose two adult sisters live in Naples and they stayed, did not evacuate, generator quit so have no power and have severe damage to their home but also are OK.
My friend from Western PA is in SC at the campground where we often went in the past. She used to camp there but for the last few years has rented a villa instead and planned to stay until November 1, visiting me as she traveled home. Well, I haven't heard anything from her but do know the campground usually had an evacuation plan for hurricanes. We evacuated once and after that, for a long time, had a tub full of necessities ready in case of another event. I'm hoping to hear from her soon. Right now I think SC is in a state of emergency but no mandatory evacuations yet.
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Every year on the beachfront grass under the large pine tree I have found many mushrooms growing. Maybe they are appearing on a regular basis due to the underground tree roots that must be huge, though hidden.
This morning a neighbor walked by with her beautiful young Portuguese Water Dog (puppy) and I asked her to please take a picture of this year's mushrooms as I know the lawn guy will mow them down in the afternoon. I just really hesitate to ambulate down the incline to shoot them myself.
The results are very nice and she even captured some of the little asters that always flower here in September.
Saturday, September 24, 2022
I DO not like the weather turning so cold at this time. Not at ALL!
Onward.... The sun is shining and I'm seriously thinking of taking a buggy ride, but......
One of my blogging friends, a lady from AR who is a retired school teacher writes in her journal wonderful thoughts and she draws and colors accompanying art. Her entries are hand-written in unusual script which in itself, is lovely. Recently she was telling about the migration of birds and the time of the year — the Fall Equinox. Migration is in full swing in the hills of Arkansas where she lives farming, gardening, walking with Millie her dog, and she also photographs nature, sews, and sculpts! It is a wonderful blog to enter with anticipation of something special every time she posts.
Today a hand drawn and painted picture she created showed the full moon and an Indian with a horse. I admit the horse is what got me started here today. You see, her drawing is the exact replica of a carved wooden horse's head that I have saved since I was a young teen. A boyfriend made it for me as a gift, even mounting it on a part of a clock! Hopefully she will see this and chuckle at how her painting is my horsehead!
Thursday, September 22, 2022
I'm a bit late on the first day of Autumn as we lost power the first thing this morning and now I'm just getting to it at 2:30 PM.
So I kept busy as I opened the pods and saved the seeds. Now you know where they came from! I have taken photos of this little blue spruce for several years and the invasive plant is always there!
The little red berries came into my life when my boys were very small as they found them, bit into them, ended up going to the doctor and then having to eat bread dipped in milk to kill the burn on their tongues. Lesson learned the hard way.A couple of years ago I discovered two plants and photographed them. They were on the side of the road hidden by other plant life. I recognized them very well. Yesterday I looked and they were gone, BUT one cluster of seeds was there - all alone - I took it home. Now to find a special spot to plant. After research *here* I'll just toss them back to earth and let her do the job.
*LINK* Propagating Jack
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn. Today I took a buggy ride on the last day of summer. I wore a jacket and enjoyed a couple of hours out there. This blog is mostly a picture book but be sure to investigate the last few shots! I was lucky and reaped a few 'treasures.' More about them sometime tomorrow.....