Saturday, May 30, 2009

Joan and Harry~Mom and Dad 29456 Guy Street

Here is my mom and dad, Joan and Harry in front of our home at 29456 Guy street Southfield Michigan, 1965. I was 14 when this was taken and may have even taken the photo but it was most likely a friend of theirs. They are clearly dressed for church, mom in her veiled hat and dad in his brown jacket. It might be Sept or October before the first snows.
This home was my third home after Berkeley and the Farm. My father was not happy with the level of education in the country and wanted us to have more kids to play with so we moved to Southfield Estates and bought the "model" home that everyone had already looked through. This home served them well, as all the kids could walk to St. Bede's Catholic school which was a mere 2 blocks away and a safe walk at that. The neighborhood was a very large, almost mile of a circle, with all new homes that except for the color of the shutters, looked the same. There were a few one level ranch styles and you knew that those people had either one or no children.
This front yard was only a tiny portion of our play area, as the whole neighborhood blended to play from one lawn to the next. There were kids, kids, and more kids. And then there were forts. We had made the forts from the wood that was"left over" from the new homes in the subdivision.
There were fights with fists, wood and most of all, dirtballs. There was even a term that was used,"dirt ball fights". The girls would play in the house with the barbies and dress up their dolls and talk. The boys and a few of the girls would be out of doors until the parents screamed our names to come in for dinner. This was life in a subdivision. Gone were the days of wandering through nature. Now we were living in a jungle of a different type, a blacktop jungle filled with people with lots of kids who wanted a "better life" for their families. We were only 3 blocks from 12 mi and Southfield, 2 major intersecting streets, and as this subdivision was only 20-30 miles from downtown Detroit there were still plenty of cars that would drag on those streets at night. I didn't know about this until my one older friend Patty Spears had me sneak out at night by climbing out on the roof and walking to the corner and watching them drag up and down the road in their suped up 65 chevys and vettes. These guys were much too old for me but at 14 and 15 I can still remember the thrill of sneaking out at night to watch drag racing. I never really got in trouble as my parents didn't find out for awhile. I think she was the first person I knew that smoked, Salem menthol, and she introduced me to smoking which for me only lasted until I was 18 and then I quit forever, lucky to have only smoked for 3 years, it could have been the death of me.
We had loads of interesting neighbors who had all kinds of unusual jobs but the most interesting family were the Wolbers. The oldest boy was my age Paul, and his father was a nuclear physicist and recently I contacted him and he was quite gracious and wrote back several times.
We had nuns and they were strict, but that is for another post.
Have a wonderful Saturday. And remember your roots!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BAthing Costume-2009-1834

Ok now that Memorial Day is officially over does that mean summer is here? If so might I reccomend that you dig out last years suit and see if it still fits? If not you might try a fashion worn to the beach in 1834. It looks more like chinese pants and a coat. These women really kept warm in summer and just imagine trying to swim in that outfit.

The next image above that is of two women at the beach in 1900. At least they dropped the pants for tights.

Next a fashion ad from Jantzen, who really put swimsuits on the map. I love that style.

But then comes modern day Victoria secret which has women who are pencil thin and look angry instead of happy to be at the beach.

I guess you might say women really have come a long way. In what direction I am not sure. Has fashion evolved in a positive way?
What a difference a century or two can make!

Monday, May 25, 2009

PICNIC~or how we spent holidays w a BIG family!

Happy Memorial Day! I realize that it is the day to support all veterans and honor those fallen soldiers. And I do! But for me all I remember on that day as a child and teen growing up in a large family of 11 children were the never ending picnics. Our Clancy family being so large that to get even this many into a photo was a miracle. I am in neither and was off somewhere. However you can see the large can of Van de Camps beans, lemonade cooler, large pan of frosted chocolate cake(this is where everyone looks like they are behaving because my dad would tease us as to who would get the cake first.
My parents never spared us the fun of being a normal and real family. We went on picnics and played outdoors with relatives and friends and always found something to do.
I drove to Flagstaff yesterday with Rita for an outing, but why I picked a holiday to go there I will never know. There is a place in the middle of the trip called Slide Rock which has a rushing river that people love to swim at and the traffic was an hour wait on the way back inching our way back to Sedona. Nothing to do but wait. We even dialed in the AM radio to see if we could find a weird show to listen to . Nothing on the waves yesterday.
Back to picnic. I want to add here a little history. You can read it if you like or not but its always nice at a party or gathering to be able to spout off a little "fact fun" to keep people aware and amaze onlookers. So here it is and have a wonderful holiday. Stay out of traffic if possible.

"The first usage of the word is traced to the 1692 edition of Origines de la Langue Française de Ménage—which mentions 'pique-nique' as being of recent origin; it marks the first appearance of the word in print. The term was used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant who brought their own wine. For long a picnic retained the connotation of a meal to which everyone contributed something. Whether picnic is actually based on the verb piquer which means 'pick' or 'peck' with the rhyming nique meaning "thing of little importance" is doubted; the Oxford English Dictionary says it is of unknown provenance.

The word picnic first appeared in English texts in 1748 (OED), and may have entered the English language from this French word or from the German Picknick, which may simply be a parallel borrowing from French pique-nique. The practice of an elegant meal eaten out-of-doors, rather than a harvester worker's dinner in the harvest field, was connected with respite from hunting from the Middle Ages; the excuse for the pleasurable outing of 1723 in Lemoyne's painting (illustration, left) is still offered in the context of a hunt."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hummingbird TRapped

Yesterday a hummingbird flew into the rafters of my back porch. He was trapped there for hours. The sun was beating down on him through the plastic roof and I could see he was going to expire. My heart was breaking for this creature. He kept flying up and if he only knew he was inches away from freedom if he would only fly down. I tried to coax him with the broom but soon realized it might injure him and then got some duct tape and taped a plastic dish on it and put some sugar water in hoping it would help rejuvenate him. It fell off. Finally he was about to die, his beak open and panting he kept flying up and hitting the roof. I sprayed him gently with the mist on the hose and I think he actually drank some of the water. He was still there an hour later and I started to cry and was pretty upset. I just didn't want any creature dying in my yard if I could help it. Finally I shut the curtains and went back to work. I went outside a short time later and he was on the other side of the beam just sitting there. He flew away. I was so relieved. I am sure he lived. Any creature with such determination to live and the will to go on despite his adversities, must live! If humans could only learn from the smallest creatures on earth. Life no matter how small or short, is worth the effort!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

hanging orchid~hawaiian tropical beauty

This is another beautiufl hanging orchid from Hilo. This time I am attempting to give it a wonderful vintage feel to the color and feel it really works. If you saw the original image you wouldn't believe the transformation. I made it looks simple but really it is multiple layers and different hues and tones.
I hope this will inspire you to walk today and look around you for something beautiful.
I need to go do that right now after being on the computer since 6am!
Please click the title or image to go to my etsy store to see this larger.
enjoy the day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lincoln Todd~ A photo album of historic significance!

This is a photo of 2 adult or teen children from probably 1880s, Australia.
I came across a photo album on ebay this morning that really got my interest in that it is a very early album from 1860s-1880s and filled to overflowing with images from a wealthy family who was from Australia and traveled Europe and settled in America. The person putting the album together was obsessed with the Lincoln tragedy as anyone now days might be obsessed with any interesting or historic event in modern times in politics.
The album is filled with photos of Lincoln , Booth and appears to have a huge amt of images for a man named Colton who apparently made the reservation at the theater for Lincoln the day he was killed. I am leaving a link here if you are interested. If you love historic photos or politics go check this out, scroll to the end as there are really some great images. This should probably be in a museum and hopefully it will be some day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Roses on the Vine Pastel Painted Photo on Watercolor paper

This is my latest edition to my store. It is from a black and white photograph that I took in my friend Tamara's yard in California many years ago. She was the finest gardener I have ever met. She raised chickens with her two daughters so they could be in 4H club and her roses and other flowers covered 3 of her 9 acres in the hills outside of Santa Cruz. Every year Tamara had a party on her birthday and had lots of wonderful food and drink and everyone brought children and lots of instruments and bluegrass could be heard until sundown and then the electric guitars came out and played until 2 am. They lived up against a hillside and more than once she lost a chicken to a hawk but kept them inside a wire cage as much as she could. The roses were so special and every year she gave me cuttings and plants. Her hands were worn thin from gardening but she was one of the finest rose growers ever. My roses were lucky to get a few blooms.
I printed this on a large piece of paper18X24 and colored over it with pastels. The result is really so painterly and nice, I have always loved it. Also the peachy colored roses are some of my favorite and as roses are now in full bloom her in Arizona I must enjoy them as they are all gone by June or July due to the heat.
If you click on this it will go to my store and you can blow it up to see the details..
There is even a movie my parents made of me at my grandfather's home in Detroit smelling the roses. I loved his garden, he too had a green thumb. His roses were so beautiful! So lets hear it for Roses... I proclaim May as rose month!
Here is also a link to my treasury.
Hello Sunshine Treasury click to go see it and leave me a comment if you like!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Take My Hand Vintage Children at Beach

click the title to see it full size in my Etsy Store
I know its too early for some of you to start thinking about the beach but in California and some of the west its really never too early. This image is again from my favorite long ago family the Freeman's from S. California. I decided through some prompting from one of my sisters to list this as a card. I think it needs very little explanation. These are two older girls holding the hand of thier baby brother at the beach. The year is 1924. I decided this would be a wonderful card for a sibling to send either a brother to sister or sister to brother. It could also be a card for anyone who has been guided by a person. It really is nice for anyone. I did some magic on it and published it on Etsy as a card today. Things have picked up on Etsy for me and also on Ebay. I believe that things are going to get better for everyone as the warmer months approach. As for us here in Sedona this is warm. Today is supposed to be in the 100s in Phoenix and that means 90s here.
Rita is going to Phoenix for the championship track meet finals soon and people are graduating at ASU this weekend with Obama giving the send off speech. I hope everyone brings their little portable fans and spray bottles.
I walked Blue at 6:30 am and usually I see no one but today I came across my neighbor who is Japanese and my age and married to a very tall non Japanese guy(she is 5ft) and she was walking her Bison Frise and someone's schnauzer. The Bison walks alone and so adorable but the schnauzer was w back legs sprawled and refusing to move looking like a donkey with attitude. She said,"SOmeone once said they could see skid marks behind him" I laughed as this dog knew he would be back in the house and was so determined to walk forever outside.
After that I walked around the corner and there she was again, we had gone seperate ways but managed to bump into each other again and she was stopped and staring at the tile roof of one of the condo units. There was a giant crow on the roof squaking loudly like he was talking, really it looked like he was trying to say something. I smiled at her again and said, "Aparently this bird has something to crow about". She laughed and we both wished each other a nice day and went our ways.
Another interesting thing was this weekend I went on Mother's Day with Rita for a quick look see at our only clothing store Beals and there was another one of Rita's friends with her mother shopping and we stopped to chat and she had an accent like Australia but I asked if she was and she said,"South Africa". I asked how she ended up in Sedona and she said"Love". I always wonder what brings people here. I could make a book of the answers.
Then to mexican restaurant a few feet from Beals for lunch and there was another friend of Rita's w her mother. Why I mention any of this is that some times I complain about "small town" boohoo this and that, but really one of the wonderful things about it is you see people you know all the time. A big city you might see someone you know once in a lifetime there or less. Here in Sedona there is something almost comforting about going places and seeing those you know. I can't explain it but its a fact.
So here we are on Tuesday and wishing all of you a wonderful week!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day Mom and all Mothers- give to a mother's Charity today..please

This is a photo that sister Sharon took at her home. It is 4 generations. My mom and myself with Rita as a baby and my older daughter Sara with her daughter Ellen. To put things in perspective my wonderful mom turns 80 this July and Ellen graduates in a few weeks from high school. Sara now has 4 lovely children. And I am the proud mother of 2 girls SAra and Rita both whom I love dearly!
My mom who would need a novel to talk about is one of 6 children 4 girls and 2 boys and my aunties are wonderful mothers, all of them. My mom is and was everything a wonderful mother could be, she took care of us in every way, gave good examples and wonderful phrases to live by that her mom taught her like "you can catch more flies with sugar than vinegar", I still use that stuff today and my mom was the queen and still is of words she does crosswords and reads every day! She can cook like there was no tomorrow, pie, rhubarb jam, lasagne, anything and still looks beautiful as she moves like a machine walking all day. She has also been the worlds best knitter, sewer having sewn all 7 girls clothing of and on and still knits for grandkids and I have 3 of her beautiful crocheted rugs in the kitchen. Mom you are a walking wonderwoman... the latest and greatest of the superheros!!!

What a wonderful day! The mourning doves are outside cooing to the already broiling desert sun rising about the mountains. There is nothing but quiet at this time of nearly 7 am.
Yesterday was the track regionals and Rita outdid herself w a Personal Best in the long jump coming in second and in triple jump a tie for 3rd, 300 meter hurdles she took 2nd place in 95 degree heat running what most consider the hardest race of the day due to the heat and as I arrived I got to see her run the 100 meter hurdles and win first place. The girls won the meet and the boys took second. The parents sat in the shade for awhile under a tarp but it was still very hot. Then we went for a piece of pizza and at 10pm Rita met the girls from the team to go see Star TRek.
But today is Sunday and that day belongs to my mom and all the mothers around the world. Proud we are to be and claim our day! But really as my mom would say,"every day is mother's day" for even though we are living in modern times, mothers still are unpaid for their job and not only unpaid but often penalized for working outside the home. I know that in Norway a mother gets 6 mnths leave and the father gets 6 weeks to help the new mom. I hope I am alive to see the day when the govt in AMerica does at least that much for the new mom. As it is most working moms are forced back to work only a week after the birth and if they don't are canned. I also want to give a big hug to all the mothers of soldiers who have their children somewhere other than home today. Another sad tribute is to all the mothers who have lost children this day is probably bittersweet. I have a friend who lives in my neighborhood named Marie. She is a very smart Irish woman who worked as a surgical nurse at all the best hospitals back east. But when she went to deliver her son, the doctor said he had some fluid in his lungs and gave him a drug that his system could not take and he died. She never was asked if she wanted the baby to have the drug because as a nurse she knew the risks, he made the choice without asking and she never stopped talking about it. It has haunted her whole life and that is a mother that truly has the hardest road to hoe as they would say. I will always have a spot for Marie, she never had another child.. I also know that my mom and her sister lost children at different times and my grandmother so my love and thoughts are with them. Now to every mother who has raised a child with disabilities, there is no stronger mother on earth, this is a task that I believe most men could not stand up to the challenges. I could go on and on for I have known many mom's with children who are autistic, hyperactive, mentally handicapped, physically handicapped. All these and more take a person who is strong of character with patience and love. Last but not least are the women who have been through and are victims of war, this would include Africa and the Middle East at present. Mothers who cannot feed their children such as in Africa and have to watch them fade away, mothers in Afghanistan and Iraq who's children are refugees, mothers in the GAza strip who's children need medical care but cannot get it. These are the mothers who need our help. I would like to ask each of you who read this to donate what you can to a charity that specifically helps a mother today. Think how much good that will do one other mother. If we could all encourage one person to give what they could to a charity that directly helps a mother that is what mother's day could mean to another person in another town or village.
This site is pretty good and has lots of options for giving both in US and abroad and is solely doing a mother's day event.. do what you can and please please pass this along!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Uncle JAck Grandpa clancy Harry CLancy my dad

This is a photo of my uncle JAck Clancy on left, grandpa Paddy Clancy in middle and father Harry Clancy on the right, in front of my dad's first car. This is probably 1938 because my dad looks 17. The street was Whithorn, in Detroit, and I remember it well from the many visits made there as a child and even summers, sitting on the nice covered porch. A year later my father enlisted in Navy and then at 21 married my mom. This to me is a classic!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Alien Orchid-Hawaii Spawned

Its WEdnesday night and I finally can find some time to write a little note and attach it to this wonderful flowering plant that I believe is a type of orchid. I have no documentation and was taking hundreds of photos while walking the path of this lush and very moist tropical reserve outside of Hilo, HAwaii. This was one of the more interesting species and really looks almost alien in color and nature but so complex in its structure and design. I am sent back into the past when I walked this path and couldn't move more than a foot at a time before I had to take another photo. This is definitely one of my favorites.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Words Where they come from & Where they GO into the Brain~illustration by Rita CLancy

This close up and illustration are both from the front and back cover of my daughter's watercolor and ink drawing for her high school's front and back cover of the yearly literary magazine. Rita was chosen from the school to do it as she is wonderful with detail and precsision and knows how to draw well. I am bragging but really she puts me to shame with her artwork lately as I was never that careful and usually messed any illustration up. This did cause her lots of neck tension working alot of the time on Sunday(at least 8 hours on the detailing ot the right half) and during school the previous week so she has a stiff neck, but it was worth the effort and I think it turned out well.
YOu can see more of her work on her website on etys HERE.
She has already begun working on her senior project which will be publishing a book of her illustrations on "Unusual Animals A-Z" which she has a few on the store site already.
I am a proud mom today as she has stuck with the task and finished it wonderfully!
Right on Rita!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I have looked for years for my little hard drive which stored over 200 photos from my trip to the big Island of Hawaii. I found it while cleaning my hall closet. It had been there for years untouched. I spent all day on Friday downloading the huge tiff files to my hard drive and renaming all of them.
I want to say that before I was interested in ARt and Science I was sure I wanted to be an anthropologist. I loved and was fascinated by anything that had to do with Island cultures. I read Kontiki when I was 13 and EAster Island and couldn't get enough of the shows on tv about foreign lands especially Island cultures, not because I wanted to live there but because I knew they knew something that we western folks didn't and that was a spirit world. I liked that idea as the church and kneeling and praying and large statues and long sermons were to me at an early age very boring and had no connection whatsoever to my life but rather the unknown.
The cultures that paid homage to spirit world or animal spirits made more sense as they were albeit not proven something more tangible and many of the totems they made were like American Indian cultures, paying tribute to lost loved ones or leaders that had passed on.
When I went to Hawaii I was stunned and thrilled by the incredible and extensive collection of Island artifacts. One of those that continued to thrill me was the Gope or spirit boards from Papua New Guinea. They were made from old canoes that broke or wore out and the men using everything and not wasting any part of nature(think about that every time we throw a plastic bottle in the garbage instead of recycling!) used these old canoes and made them into spirit boards to be used in the initiation ceremonies for young boys moving into manhood.
Here is an excellent site but there may be other that are better.
Spirit Board Site
here is a little synopsis of the board
In the Gulf Province, Gope boards are believed to possess the spirits of powerful warriors, or to act as guardians of the village. Before hunting or war expeditions, the spirits were called upon to advise and protect the men.

Gope Boards are wooden ritual objects made in the Papuan Gulf of New Guinea. They represent spirits which can protect clans from sickness, evil spirits, and death.

Small un-named gope boards are often given to uninitiated boys, and a full size board is made by the uncle of a boy for his initiation ceremony. Also, warriors are awarded gope boards for each act of bravery they perform in battle (often made out of the enemies canoe). These gope boards vary in size, but can be up to six feet long and have a consistent elliptical shape. They are carved in relief and then painted with lime(white) and red ochre and other native paints. Most gope boards have a similar style and depict the face of an ancestral spirit.

Gope boards are also used in raids on other clans and headhunting missions. They are consulted as to which enemy to attack, and the spirits contained in the boards are thought to go ahead of the warriors to sap the enemies of their strength

Before Western contact, carvers used stone axes to cut the trees, sharp edges of mussel shells to smooth the boards and a shark's tooth to incise the lines. Some groups are reported to have used nails washed up from shipwrecks. Paint brushes were made from coconut fiber."
I will be posting other incredible finds from that trip over the next few weeks.
Enjoy Sunday!

About Me

My photo
I am a mother of 2 wonderful girls, grandmother of 4, don't worry you will see photos of them one day! I live in Sedona Arizona, a beautiful place, lots of sun and blue blue skies! I listen to politics and my favorite radio channel is Cinemix. I am the oldest of 11 , I love my kids, my parents and my siblings and my friends!!