Sunday, July 31, 2005


My husband and I just spent a few days in Gettysburg. On the way home today we were passed on the freeway near Pittsburgh by a SUV going about 80 mph with a mattress strapped to the top with two little straps around its middle. The straps were loose and the mattress was catching big wind. I was scared it was going to fly off at any moment. The pressure of the wind at 80 mph, like holding up a sheet of plywood against a hurricane!! You'd think they'd see the horrified look of people in other cars that they would check to see what was happening. Luckily we stopped at a rest stop and didn't have to follow behind it. A normal brain message would tell you to tie at least one rope front to back.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Erie Not Housework Friendly

My Reasons My House Isn't Finished:

There is such a small window of opportunity to work on one's house in Erie. You can't paint anything outside in winter. When it isn't raining it is so humid paint doesn't dry in the summer. When you get a day without rain or humidity you certainly don't want to be home painting when you can enjoy a day of wonderful flyfishing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Erie's Airport Security

On my recent trip to Orlando I was surprised that an Erie security agent looked through every suitcase. He changed latex gloves between each one and took everything out. Good, I thought, it makes me feel safer. My husband walked right through security without a hitch. Then comes me. I'm not sure if it was the numbers game or if they single people out with pop bellies (I may be hiding something there) but I got targeted. I was treated like a criminal. I was informed I would be patted in just about all places. They gave me an option to go to a more private place but I declined not knowing my belly would get exposed. The woman agent wanded me, then patted me in all places. She asked me to lift my shirt high enough to expose my pants waist. Then she instructed me to roll down my pants waist which, of course, exposes your abdomen, which is not something I do in public even though it seems to be the new style with today's youth. My thought was that I should of taken the privacy option, a bit worried how far this was going to go. She told me to spread my legs apart and raised the wand between my legs. She said, "wider". I felt like I was doing the splits. She waved that wand up my crotch. I feel lucky I wasn't wearing a skirt. Then she told me to sit down and then wanded my shoes. I guess she wasn't satisfied and asked for a "kit" from another agent. She swabbed my shoes for explosives residue and we waited for the results. Then I was excused but they wanted to put my backpack through a second time. Well, that was embarrassing. But worth it for security's sake. What is troubling is on the return flight home from Orlando, I didn't see anyone getting the once over at the Orlando airport. I didn't see shoes being taken off, or anyone pulled aside. So what gives? We all just put our bags through the X ray machine and walked through the metal detectors like the good old days.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Erie Antiques, Eriez Stove (pic)

I like to post antiques I find in Erie or are related to Erie. This was passed down in the family. It is an Eriez gas stove that has been altered to simulate a fire inside. It has a plug that lights a bulb that flickers. I removed that bulb and burned wide,squatty candles inside. It worked out well so I'll be removing the cord, also. I think it is perfect since we only have an ornamental fireplace. I tried to find information about Eriez but it seems there is only an Eriez Magnetics and I don't think it is the same company. I think I read somewhere a while back that the Eriez that made these stoves were somehow related to Griswold. I'd appreciate any comments to whether that is true.

Ch 24 Got It Right

Late last night the lightning was unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it. While I was watching it out my patio door a gust of wind bent my pear tree almost to the ground. I quickly turned the TV on and saw the tornado warnings. Channel 24 was the only channel to have live people on showing you where the rotating clouds were (they were excellent). Ch12, CH35, CH66 had a banner on the bottom of their screen but it came and went. I can't believe a tornado warning didn't warrant a little more than that. In Ch 12's defense, about the time the tornado warning was lifted, Rob Wilson came on live but it wasn't until about 12:45AM. The new weather girl, Rachel Frank, was on at the 11:00 PM news. I suspect this was over her head and they called Rob in. Anyway, it is a good thing something major didn't happen because they dropped the ball. Ch. 35 didn't even have anyone come in and go "live". I guess they don't want to pay the overtime.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Neshannock Creek, Volant and Grove City

Neshannock Creek
It was a gorgeous Saturday and would have been a fishing day except our favorite fishing spots were no longer supporting trout. Out of the blue we decided to take a drive to visit Volant and Neshannock Creek and later look for deals at Grove City. The Neshannock was extremely low, no water going over the dam.

There were a few Amish people about in Volant but we didn't see any horse and buggies there like we usually see. We stopped in and had some ice cream at the Old Mill gift shop and sat out on the gliders on the porch. It was very pleasant. A quick glance through the Neshannock Creek Fly Shop and we were on our way to Grove City.

Grove City
We rarely find a deal there. I guess we are spoiled because we have Value City and Gabes here. It is hard to pay even half price of the normal retail price at Grove City when you get name-brand shirts etc for under $5 here in Erie. Of course, you can get gypped a lot here, too. Often times the logo is misspelled or off center so your bargain ends up being money lost unless you dont' care about those things and hope no one notices. Many a shirt has become my "painting shirt" because of an unnoticed hole or off center logo. Gee, it looked so good at the store! Now I'm bargain shy. There is a reason it is so cheap and now I usually find it. We rib each other about who will find the most ridiculous item being sold at Gabes or Value City. Once my husband called me over to see a shirt there that had only one sleeve. Once I called him over to show him one I found where the shirt was sewn together so you couldn't put
it on. We had a good laugh and wonder if they ever got sold.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Summer Ritual

Last evening was so very nice my husband and I drove down to the peninsula to watch the sunset. The sky was spectacular as we drove down Peninsula Drive. And what goes better with the sunset than a Sarah's hot-fudge sundae? The waitress made my sundae right away but for some reason took forever to make my husband's blast. By the time we got out of there, my sundae was half melted and the sun had slipped behind the clouds. Too late to view the sunset but we enjoyed looking at the lake eating our treats. My husband started skipping rocks on the waves and did pretty good. I was always pretty good at skipping rocks in my younger years so I found the perfect rock and gave it my trusty toss. Plunk, barely made it into the water. Funny what a few years will do.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Shellac, old houses (pic)

I love old houses but they have their quirks. I have an original kitchen pantry/cupboard/hoosier built-in that has its original finish, shellac. The first summer we were in this house I went to grab one of the coffee cups I had stored on the counter and it wasn't going anywhere. I gave it a good yank and it finally gave way...what the ****?!! I thought someone had glued the cups down. When talking to our neighbor, we laughed at his experience with their counter top...glued-down cups. With some investigation I found out the finish was shellac which was the common finish at the time our houses were built. It's about the prettiest finish there is but it has its drawbacks and stickiness during really hot, humid weather is one of them. Waxing with paste wax helps stop this tug-of-war. I didn't wax it this year yet and this week I've been wresting with the cups again. I don't want to mess with the nice finish on the rest of the cupboard but I think I'll be putting something else on the counter top or perhaps put down doilies first. I wonder if the use of doilies were more out of necessity rather than decoration in the "olden" days.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Garden update: (pics)

WEATHER: The weather was finally nice last night. What a relief. I spent about an hour playing with fireflies (no fireflies were harmed during this play) and enjoying the light breeze in the dusk hours.

GARDEN UPDATE: Since my last garden post I've added more landscape lighting and a fountain. The plants are filling in nicely. I still need to add the bluestone around the garden. The heat really took the wind out of my sails. I have to do something about that white on the garage side of the garden. It's blinding. My thoughts were to put wood lattice across the whole side. That would be expensive, though. Painting it darker is not an option as that happens to be vinyl siding and painting it darker absorbs heat and can make it warp (so I've heard). I wonder if 2 more sections of fencing along the garage would look silly. PS See server problems below picture.

SERVER PROBLEMS: I'm quite frustrated with VistaPages, the server for my home webpage Half the time there is a "connection refused". Half the time I can't upload my pictures. Most of my pictures on this blog link to my home website. I'm sorry for any inconvenience from them not loading half the time. I put in an issue ticket a few days ago and they still haven't repsonded. I did it again today, still nothing. Not good business.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"Behind the Mantle" 1924 Erie Building Permit

Not only is finding things in your wall fun, it's informative. We wondered if our mud porch was original to the house. According to this permit, the permit was issued for: enclosing porch. So now we know it was added 7 years after it was built.

Monday, July 18, 2005

What Would Happen?

I saw a car commercial where this supercharged car is at a toll booth and it reminded me of the first time I went through one of those things. It was on the Chicago turnpike with my husband. Somehow I never encountered one before ( I'm not a city girl) and it was confusing to me. Three lanes suddenly turned into about 8 lanes, some for EZ Pass drivers, some for trucks, some had green lights, some had red lights. Decisions, quick! Which one! Watch out for the other cars! and I wasn't even driving! To my horror, my husband didn't slow down until the very last minute, when we came to a screeching halt, he tossed the coins out the window, they hit the tray, slid down the slots and without hesitation he floored the car at the precise moment so that the arms blocking the way rose just in the nick of time. My head was whiplashed back during acceleration, being caught totally off guard. I looked over at him in bewilderment as he shot back up to speed with the skills of a Nascar driver. I wondered what was wrong with him, but then noticed that everyone was doing the same thing, jockeying for a return from 8 lanes back to 3 lanes. I think Chicago people live for the toll booth so they can beat their record time, like some challenge. I'm so glad I wasn't driving because first of all I may have gone into the EZ Pass or something and I wonder what would happen to you? If I picked the other lane I wouldn't have known about having the correct change to toss in the tray, then what? I don't think Chicago people would forgive a naive driver for holding up the show. I try to avoid any areas that you have to toss coins, I don't think I have the skills.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Someone Actually Got Paid For That

The surface road and parking areas up in the Summit's shopping area are just dumpy. I can't get over how much money is being fed into that area and they can't keep up on the roads and fix those badly planned parking lots? Wegmans seems to be able to do it. Their roads are perfect and their parking area freshly painted and landscaped. Summit is a turn-off to tourism. Someone actually got paid for planning those lots up there. Awful.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

"Behind the Mantle" New Process Co. 1928

I think the New Process Company is Blair. The Blair ad from yesterday said New Process Company, also. There is scribble on this but that's part of the charm. The ladies that lived in our house all of their lives until a couple of years ago are in their 80s now. (We are just the second owners of the house.) That means these were scribbled on when they were just youngsters. This has a date of 1928 on it.

Grass Is Always Greener...not

I sat out on the deck, in my puddle of sweat
I was eating an orange by the way
I was dreaming of Californ-i-a, no humidity that a-way
Then out of the computer and streaming radios waves, My HomeTown Radio played.
106 degrees in my old California town, in Erie I think I'll stay.

Ok, I already know I'm no poet.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"Behind the Mantle" Blair Ad 1920's

We found this postcard/advertising from Blair behind our mantle. Most everything from behind our mantle dates in the 1920's. I believe Blair is still in business in Warren, PA, right? So few of the ads I have found are still in business.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

From Yard Sale to Ebay$$, $2 turns into $325

Here is another of my eBay successes (I've had my share of failures, too).
I bought several ceramic cats at a yard sale a few years ago. They were covered with years of what looked like, kitchen grease and dirt. I took the whole box of them at $1 apiece. I ran them through the dishwasher and noticed these two seemed to match. I went to the book store and looked up vintage collectables and found these two listed as Hagen-Reneker of Monrovia, CA and that they were part of the Designers Workshop of Hagen Reneker. I got over $125 for the big one, "Fluff" and over $200 for her baby, "Puff". I corresponded with an expert on HR collectibles and he stated it was rare to see a Puff without a broken tail. I hated to part with these two.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"Behind the Mantle" Sacred Heart Ushers 1925

A bit of history discovered "Behind the Mantle". This brochure was from the "First Annual Banquet", Sacred Heart Ushers Bowling league, April 21st, 1925. Recognize any names?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Nothing Butt the Truth (pic)

Nothing Butt the Truth

My sister took this picture recently at a correctional officer's graduation. She gave it the headline that I found quite funny.

Monday, July 11, 2005

"Behind the Mantle" Keep This Ticket

Keep This stated on the ticket. That's what they did for almost 73 years. We found this ticket from 1932 (among many other things) behind the mantle when we were refinishing it. I have never heard of Presque Isle Grocers or of Presque Isle News. Both are long gone, I'm sure. I wonder if the Park Theatre was the Drive-In Theater across from Waldameer. Hidden history from behind the mantle.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

"Behind the Mantle" 1927 Erie Elections, Lavery

Here is a campaign postcard sent the day before the election in 1927. This is another item we found behind our mantle. (We have a whole box of stuff we found.) It was sent from James F. Lavery. He was running against someone that had been in office 20 years. I don't know if he won or not (probably not, as unseating someone that has been in office 20 years wouldn't be easy). Below the picture, I transcribed the postcard to make the cursive writing easier to read. It is a bit "cheezy" if you ask me.
Lavery. Pa - Monday
Tomorrow is Elections Day. Will you give me a vote?
I want your support, but the time is too short to see you. Will you give
me a vote? You can vote a straight party ticket and also vote a mark after
my name. Will you give me a vote? Isn't 20 years in one office too
much? Doesn't patriotic service merit a reward? Shouldn't Erie
County have the use of her own best talent? If you believe these
things, don't fail tomorrow. Don't fail to go to the polls. No
matter how busy you are, please take time to go and vote for me. I am
depending on your help. Thank you - James F Lavery.

UPDATE..not that anyone cares but I found this listed in the website "the political graveyard" it looks like he tried again in the 40s, if it is the same guy. Lavery, James F. — of Pennsylvania. Democrat. Candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, 1940 (29th District), 1944 (28th District). Still living as of 1944.(defeated both times)

Friday, July 08, 2005

"Behind the Mantle" Arthur F Schultz Co

"Behind the Mantle" Arthur F. Schultz Co.

We found this brochure behind our mantle. It was one of many "discoveries". From the early 1930's. The whole brochure can be read by following the link below the picture.

Silver Heron antique (pic)

Antiques in Virginia continued..

We came across a giant antique mall as we were leaving Virginia on our vacation to Colonial Williamsburg. We spent an hour, maybe two going through so many antiques. They actually had a civil war uniform (rebel) for sale on a display mannequin, It was riddled with moth-damaged holes. I touched it and moths flew out. Hmm... you'd think they would do somthing about that, it is an historic item. I almost bought this and I almost bought that, but wasn't sure..... When we got home I had lots of regrets for the things I didn't buy. I found the same copper apple kettle for 3 times as much here in Erie and it wasn't in as good a shape. We did buy an Art Deco silver heron. I believe it is from the 20's but no later than the early 40's from the research I've done on it. It is from the Jennings Silver Co. I love the bird. I love herons so this was perfect. It is big, it is about 16 inches from beak to tail. (See past days' posting for more of the Virginia antiques.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Antique Folk-Art Weathervanes (pics)

Below are some pictures of antique weathervanes we saw at Colonial Willimasburg, VA in the DeWitt/Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. I'd love one of these beauties gracing my garden.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Circa 1810 Tall Clock (pic)

Virginia Antique Series

We recently went to Virginia on a vacation. We just loved Colonial Williamsburg. Anyone that is an American antique lover will love this picture of an 1810 clock located in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Colonial Williamsburg. I'll post a few more pictures this week of some more great antiques from that area.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Fireworks from Presque Isle (pic)

This was my first year seeing the fireworks displays from Presque Isle. I was stunned by how many private (illegal) fireworks were going off in the city (did they change the law?). I didn't know which way to look there were so many. The display from Mercyhurst was exceptionally pretty with the bursts occuring over the lit-up city. The drawback was that we really couldn't hear the fireworks and that is a major component for enjoying them. We started our evening off with some fishing at about 7 PM. The fish are pretty much asleep or gone with all this hot weather. I did catch a crappie and a bluegill. Then we staked out our little place on Presque Isle. Almost no one was there. The breeze was stiff and it felt good. I brought ice-cold cokes and chips and salsa minus the chips that I forgot at home. One the way home we drove by Strong Vincent High School. Someone was setting off quite a large display. I wonder if they got caught. We did see a helicopter with a spotlight searching around the bayfront and city, I wonder what it was they were looking for. Here is a photo I took from Presque Isle of last night's Mercyhurst's fireworks display.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Fun at the Seawolves Game

I have been wanting to see a Seawolves game for quite a while but was just waiting for perfect weather. Last evening had perfect weather. I really had a nice time. It was very relaxing, the food was good and the crowd was unbelievably behaved. I didn't hear even one swear word by anyone at the game (my husband said he did hear one of the players swear, ha). Everyone was having fun. I was really surprised at how many kids were there and they had a ball running the bases after the game. The low-level fireworks were very impressive. Good job Seawolves, they won!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Erie-Related "Behind the Mantle" Conklins Tire

Below is another "Behind the Mantle" find from our house. It looks to be circa 1920's.