Friday, June 7, 2013

Sepia Saturday 180 Life must be lived with fun

In this week's prompt, Alan  mentioned life and what about it?  I saw this quote recently,  "There are two great days in your life, the day you are born and the day you figure out why." The why is always the mystery isn't it?    I love our Sepia posts with glimpses of life and times here and there and what it meant and as in this prompt, what happened behind the scenes.  Today I went to my late Uncle Carl's albums, where I can always find something to share.  I laughed out loud at these photos, you will see why and maybe you will too.  I have written  a lot here about Uncle Carl, Mom's brother,  who took many photos and enjoyed himself  and life especially when he was out with the guys hunting, fishing, or just hanging out playing cards. 

It's 1982, turkey hunting season, sometime in the fall and it is time for the guys to arrive at their camp in Avonmore, Pennsylvania "outpost 39" as painted on Uncle Carl's sign in front of the place.  Avonmore is a borough in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 820 at the 2000 census. Area: 1.6 sq miles (4.144 km) near the Kiskiminetas River.

 We have been watching TV reruns on the A&E cable channel of "Duck Dynasty" which is hysterically funny and is all the rage.  It is true to life  about a Louisiana family of sons, father, uncle, and their Duck Call business.  Uncle Sy is my favorite character in the series.   Well, Uncle Carl and his friends were far ahead of the Duck men.   They had their own comedy episodes.

What is this all about?  Turkey hunting?  Will the turkey fall down in hysterical laughter when this man appears?  I have shared here before, these men were out for fun...
On the back Carl wrote, "Cliff Andrea" I  do not know him. But this is funny!  Deer antlers with curls and an automobile insignia atop.. Fishing pole?

Sure enough, here they go on the turkey hunt. Notice the outhouse in the back...
and the serious hunter.  On the back Carl wrote Rich Debick & Cliff.  
 Is that a turkey call in Cliff's mouth?

At least one foul  was claimed evidenced above  by two more of the guys who look grizzly, camouflage and all. Some of the turkeys are huge and this one looks pretty big to me.  At least they are not wearing antlers on their head. 

I often buy  comical cards to send to folks on birthdays, etc.  I think I can use some of Uncle's photos to make my own...I need the right sentiments printed along with the photo.  

This  has been my Sepia Saturday post.  For more laughs and  so much more interesting information, check out the link to the host site where so many others have so much to share.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The foot of the stairs

The expression "foot of the stairs"  has been familiar to me, it seems all my life.  I grew up in a two story house in PA and later on in my adult life, the first house we built in Fair Oaks, CA was two story.  I have always thought it an odd saying and for years have had the idea that I should find a piece of sculpture or piece of artwork, resembling the foot of the stairs, a logo.   I have searched galleries and artifact places looking for something suitable and  have not found just what I wanted.  Now that we  again live in a home with stairs, upstairs and downstairs,  I  resumed my search, but to no avail. 

Until last week  at a local thrift store a bright gold metal ladies boot attracted me, best of all it was  marked to half off and only $5.  It became a place holder for the foot of our stairs where it has taken its place.  It was made in Taiwan (at least not China) and is rather heavy, I thought someone perhaps had repainted it but it does look like that's the way it was.  I may  fill it later with some silk plant or who knows what to emerge from the top.  I also seems the style for the era when the washer next to it was used.... So while I continue my  search for an actual "foot" type object, the golden shoe will do.  Jerry, who has learned over  46+years with me  to never try to anticipate what treasure  might attract me, thought this was not all that bad and having been along on  searches for a proper foot of the stairs,  asked if the search would now be over?  Well, "no"  it's not really a foot but will serve until the foot shows up.  So the golden shoe  joins the other decor at the foot of the stairs,  my grandmother's old  metal washer used when laundry was done by hand, perched atop is the  fabric angel made by my friend Sandy years ago and this spring a new whimsical turtle along with floral vine added their presence. 

I had decided at Christmas time to display the old washer relic there and  adjust its decor throughout  the year,  for St Patty's time it was a shileleigh of sorts. Its roles are certainly  steps up in luxuroious retirement when considering its uses in it's early life,  pre our modern washeing machines.  I used to think the old wringer washers one of  which my aunt Jinx kept and used for certain items all her life were antiquated but when I think of how hard it must have been to boil the water on a wood or coal stove, pour it into  wash basins or troughs and attack it with the likes of this metal wooden handled relic, to scrub clothing, well, we do have it much easier...  Lots of toil back then, hard physical work.  On the other hand my ancestors  did not spend time thinking of the foolish things that I do, "foot of the stairs..."

Wonder where that expression started and still today can find little information.  A Google search shows it dates to northern England, and is used to express surprise, " I'll go to the foot of our stairs" .. a form of exclamation. Similar ones would be "Stone the crows!" (a bit old-fashioned, no doubt) or "Christopher Columbus!" (ditto), or the more common "Jesus Christ!"    I never heard of  "stone the crows either"  but I have been guilty of  the JC and now I'm thinking it might mean, "well I'll be damned."   
Array at the foot of
our stairs

Another  Google  writer shared:  "This saying originated in the North of England but  did travel to others parts of the UK during the 20th century, notably the Birmingham area where it was commonplace, but not much further, and is little known in other parts of the English-speaking world. It is now less used than previously, although it is still staple fare for any writer wishing to write a part for a stage northerner. There are also less well-known alternatives with the same meaning - 'the back of our house' and 'the bottom of our garden'. All the variants were too low-status and colloquial to have been written down and I can find no printed examples of it until the late 20th century. The expression is certainly older than that and I have a clear recollection of my parents using it in the West Midlands in the 1950s and I would guess that it is older still. Beyond that there's little more to tell. Exactly when the phrase was coined, by whom, and what it refers to, I don't know"

Well the phrase certainly made its way across the Atlantic and  as far west as western PA where I grew up and simply heard it as a common expression of location like, erhaps some of my Brit blogger pals can expound..". . it is mostly Northern English, and more particularly related to Yorkshire. Apparently, it is still in use. It is frequently featured in sitcoms etc when there is a typical Yorkshire character, in order to add a bit of local 'colour'. No one seems to know where the expression comes from. Why: "Go to the foot of (the stairs)"? Why would it come into it at all, when expressing surprise? Or is this one of those deliberately absurd phrases used in a tongue-in-cheek way? "Our" seems to imply the person is talking about his or her family-home."   So you know now more about the foot of the stairs than you ever expected....oh and yes, I have also been searching for that perfect item to resemble the "head of the stairs...."  a Google search for the origin  of that expression finds nothing but instruction on stair building, beyond my interest level.  Somewhere ot there is a sculptor who has the perfect head and foot resemblance for me.  I will keep searching.....• “She had run up in her bedgown to his door to call him as usual; then had gone back to dress and call the others; and in ten minutes was walking to the head of the stairs with the candle in her hand.”....Tess of the d'Urbervilles