Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The History of Me

I talk to my sisters often, but I don't see them as often as I'd like. I did see my sister Lenore last week and she brought me the most wonderful present. Pictures of my grandmother Frida, my dad's mother and some pictures of my grandfather William Sr. (Wilhelm) taken before they were married. To those of you who don't know the history, we're talking pre 1912!
My grandfather was born in 1877 and came to the U.S. when he was 16. OK, that was 1893 the year of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. To put into perspective... the year that the Museum of Science and Industry opened...the year that the Field Museum was completed. And for you lovers of spooky non-fiction the year of The Devil in the White City.

Although my grandmother died when my dad was four, she has had a great impact on our family. We have fantasized about her our whole lives. Looking at these pictures, you can see why! Frida is second from the right in the suit picture. She belonged to either an acting or singing society. My guess is singing because why would everybody dress the same for a play?
She must have been quite a gal. I was so excited to get these photos because I look very much like good old Frida. Actually good young Frida, because she died when she was about 30 in 1918.
She looks like a doll in the picture below. She is the second from the left in the middle row.
My grandparent were both from Germany. Frida was from Stuttgart and Wilhelm was from Bremen and 400 miles was a greater distance back then. But they met in Chicago when they were both working at Kranz's candies. She was a waitress and he was the ice cream and candy maker.
I guess she recognized his voice when she saw him at the bus stop and asked if he was Wilhelm. The rest is history.

I had never seen the inside of Kranz's, but I have heard stories about how elegant it was. I was told that ice cream was $1.00 a pint during the depression and that certainly was a point to be made!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Arts of Life

"The Arts of Life Band makes danceable party music with a rock edge. It is an ongoing collaborative project between disabled and non-disabled artists in the Chicago area, based out of the Arts of Life community of artists and Reversible Eye gallery. The Arts of Life is an artistic community that provides adults with developmental disabilities an environment to experience personal growth. The Arts of Life Band performs at local events and fundraisers, and does rock concerts at venues such as the Empty Bottle and the Double Door."

The Arts of Life Band was recently featured on ABC7-news, performing songs from their debut, self-titled CD.

My son Andrew is in a band called Reddelicious and he also volunteers and plays with The Arts of Life Band. I attended one of their performances and what a good time it was. There was an art show at a gallery next to the Old Town School of Folk Music and they did a set at the School. They put everyone present in such an up mood! My favorite song was "Shark Attack" but I can't get "Puppies and Babies" out of my head! The music they perform for the most part is written by them. They choose the type of song, the beat they like and write the lyrics. The band then puts it together! You can link to their My Space by clicking their logo! Then listen to some of the songs from their CD.

Can't Get Enough

While I was looking for the complete "Little Orphant Annie" I found something amazing! She was a real person, who inspired Mr. Riley to write the poem. If you can stand to read 19th century writing without getting bored (good for you!), read what he has to say about Mary Alice Smith. Just click on her photo. "Allie" as the children called her, lived with the Riley family, having been dropped off by her uncle. She was none too keen on that uncle or his wife!
read the poem
Right before "Jim" (Alice's name for Riley) died, he initiated an extensive search for Orphant Annie, advertising in the newspaper. Her daughter saw the advertisement and they were reunited.

Evidently, because of reading James Whitcomb Riley's poems, Little Orphant Annie and
The Raggedy Man, author JohnnyGruelle named his daughter's homemade doll---Raggedy Ann!

I read in Wikipedia that Mary Alice Smith was also the inspiration for Little Orphan Annie but that seems like a stretch to me. Maybe just the name...

click here to read her obituary
The name Hoosier makes me want to spit!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I was in the attic and

I found some drawings that I had done for an illustration class a few years ago. The object of the assignment was to illustrate a children's poem or story. We could choose from some really goofy stories the professor had or choose our own. I have always been fascinated by those morality tales of the Victorian era. My favorite is "Little Orphant Annie" by James Whitcomb Riley. My mom used to recite it to me when I was little. It was also in a book I had when I was really young. Those Victorians must have scared their kids to death! Here is the drawing. And here is the poem!


by: James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)


      To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;
      The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
      The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

      ITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
      An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
      An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
      An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
      An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
      We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
      A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
      An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
      Ef you

      Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
      An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
      His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
      An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
      An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
      An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
      But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
      An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you

      An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
      An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
      An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
      She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
      An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
      They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
      An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
      An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you

      An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
      An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
      An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
      An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
      You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
      An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
      An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
      Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you

God is Everywhere

I don't know if anyone is ever going to read this blog and I want to archive the story of the Sacred Heart chip. For my daughter Sarah's birthday we went to the family favorite birthday restaurant, R.J. Grunts. They serve homemade chips there. Because I am on a low carb diet, I always look at my food before I eat it (makes me aware.). LOOK what I found!
For those of you who do not recognize a religious icon when you
see it, this is a SACRED HEART chip. I was so impressed that I
didn't eat it. I wrapped it in a napkin to take home and sell on Ebay. Well, the next morning, my puppy Winston smelled it in
my purse, and pulled out the napkin...then puppy Monroe snagged it and ran. Needless to say, I was unable to make my first million on Ebay. Here it the original Sacred Heart picture so everyone can see the resemblance.
April first was April Fools Day, and I forgot all about it. Not that I am a great fooler, but I missed it anyway. Oh well.........

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You Can Do It!

Well, here are the directions on how to make edible fruit arrangements! They are not my own instructions, but these things are really hard to find on the web. They are copyrighted so you can link on them at:
We're getting closer to Easter and I am ready. That only means that we're going out to dinner that day, and I've already bought all the Easter candy. Including Edible Easter Basket Grass. I got it at Walmart of all places. They have a section of candy and toys that are color coordinated. All blue stuff, all pink stuff, etc. I haven't opened it yet, so I don't know what it tastes like, but it looks kind of wafery. Like those round candies with the candy beads in them. Flying saucers!

I'll find out soon if that grass is wafery or like sour candy. My kids are young adults now so they have no problem

There is a candy site that sells these, although they are out of stock at the moment.


There are plenty of nostalgic candies here from the 50's to the 80's.