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Month: December 2019

Year End Wrap-up

Year End Wrap-up

In the last six weeks I haven’t written here for a number of reasons, but mostly because I didn’t feel I had anything much to say, and like everyone else, just trying to keep up with my To Do List has been a challenge.

In October, I stopped at the library to pick up an item I had requested, and while there I looked at the “New” book shelf and found an interesting looking fiction book titled “Flight Portfolio” by Julie Orringer. This is a story about an American man who went to France during World War II to help the artists in Europe emigrate to the U.S. Having been born during the war, I was taught nothing about it in school growing up.

Cover of the book

This story takes place in about 1939–40, is very well written, and at many points is hilarious. I was reading a chapter each evening before going to sleep, and every night I was eager to learn what would happen next.

At the end of the book there is a five-page author’s note where I learned that it is based on the life of Varian Fry who is the main character, and some fictional characters based on implications of her research, which couldn’t be acknowledged at the time it happened.


My living room has a large picture window and about the only time I spend in this room is checking on whatever activity is going on across the street. The man is a general contractor which means he does all kinds of jobs and there is constant coming and going. One day, I glanced out the dining room window at what looked like a wall. In the living room I saw this:

View from my livingroom

It didn’t stay there very long.

Huge Rainbow

On December 22, during a gentle rain I saw this beautiful, full rainbow, at times even a double rainbow, from that same picture window.


I continue to frequent estate sales near my home, usually on the second day of the sale. It is a great way to pick up odd tools, other items of fascination, and supplies for collage like fabric, old books, canvass board, and odd papers with handwriting on them.

A few weeks ago, there were two estate sales on the same street! At the first one I found a flannel nightgown, a “Pajamagram” with the tag still on it, brand new for just $5.

At the second sale, I couldn’t pass up what I’m calling a collage cookbook. This book has 815 pages. Has finger indexes like a dictionary, was published in 1939 for the San Francisco Examiner, and is titled the Prudence Penny Cookbook.

Well used 1939 cookbook
Cookbook from other side







The owner made some handwritten notes on some recipes, but mostly added in recipes from newspapers, boxes, magazines, and typed recipe cards, which she pasted over pictures or taped to the top of pages with similar recipes.

Sample page from inside cookbook

I’ve never seen anything like it. I joked with the cashier, who is my former mailman, that I was taking it off his hands. He charged me a dollar for the book and two other small items. Such a deal!

On that nutty note, I wish you all a Happy New Year, full of whatever brings you joy.          2020 – Bring it on.