Summer Reads 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 0 No tags Permalink

summer reads 2019

Although we had snow on Monday, we are now heading towards the end of April and it’s never too early to start the list for our Summer Reads 2019. If you’ve read something outstanding in the past few months, drop me a line and let me know!

Like reading? Check out previous summer reads:

Halloween Past

Thursday, March 21, 2019 0 No tags Permalink

March is an excellent time to start planning for Halloween. As you may know, I force the staff members at work to dress up and compete to win Ulta gift cards each year. I have an idea for this year’s costume, and have been already pulling things together. It will require a significant sewing project to make it all happen though, and so starting ahead of time will be nice not only for me, but for those around me as well.

Below are my costumes since I’ve forced the contest at work (inspiration for each as a link to a youtube, for your entertainment). I wish I had a photo of the full version of Mr. Dark instead of just his hat and my hand. I was in crutches from surgery for the year of What Does the Fox Say. The Janeway costume was a full jumpsuit from the original pattern, and was difficult to sew.

What kind of sewing projects are you looking forward to?

2018 – The drummer Catman from Kiss

2017 – Endora from Bewitched

2016 – Mr. Dark from Something Wicked This Way Comes

2015 – Lord Raiden from Mortal Kombat

 

2014 – Backup Dancer – from What Does the Fox Say

2013 – Robert Smith from the Cure

2012 – Captain Janeway, Star Trek Voyager

Cedar Motel – Lake Worth Florida

Thursday, February 14, 2019 0 No tags Permalink

CEDAR MOTEL
524 So. Federal Hwy.
Lake Worth, Florida
Apts., Efficiences, Hotel Rooms. Electric heat and cross ventilation. Nice Patio. Quiet homey atmosphere. Centrally located near shopping, churches, lake, ocean, New Pier and golf courses. Open all year, special summer rates.
Owner-Manager, Fred and Anne Seybold
Tel. JU 5-9828

Photo by Lamm Photo Service

This lovely vintage card was mailed from Lake Worth December 1961 using a four-cent purple Lincoln stamp to Mrs. Wallace White, 2830 Viki Terrace, Cincinnati, 11, Ohio. It reads:

Hi- Really having a ball. Very poor bridge but they have fun. Have a date to play Wed with mother’s former landlady. Very nice but wouldn’t take the dog. Just lives 1/2 block. $300.00 per mo. Judi

Unfortunately, I’ve struck out on looking up much on Mrs. White, Judi, the motel or the Seybolds.

2019 Bullet Journal

Thursday, February 14, 2019 0 No tags Permalink

It’s a new year, and I just started on my third bullet journal. You can read the original post here. I really enjoy the creative process of putting the journal together, and I enjoy tracking things like the weather and the amount of sunshine we receive here in Michigan in the winter (not much). I understand my Grandpa used to keep track of the weather as well, so it must run in families or something. My monthly goal pages look just about the same as in the original post I made, as is the monthly tracking log. The weekly spreads are also pretty much the same. I have added some new overall tracking pages though, and I think doing it for so long, it looks a little cleaner.

Weekly Spread:

2019 Monthly Plans:

Sun Tracker:

Crochet Project Update

Thursday, February 14, 2019 0 No tags Permalink

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a crochet update (hello, any kind of update!). There is a very nice lady who used to crochet little blankets for the shelter pets. They were meant to go home with each adopter, so the pet would have something of their stay in the shelter to take home with them. She has arthritis, and it’s been hard for her to crochet much. I thought she deserved a crochet blanket of her own to warm her on cold nights.

I like lots of colors, so I got a number of skeins of yarn and switched colors as I felt it needed. The crochet stitch is a simple HDC with a size L hook. The ruffle border is a triple crochet, three stitches per, to form the waviness. Most of the yarn is Caron Simply Soft, but there are a few others in there as well.

Blankets are my favorite thing to crochet, as the repeating pattern is relaxing, almost like a meditation, and I can watch tv while I do it. This blanket saw me through The Assassination of Gianni Versace, the Ted Bundy Tapes and GLOW (thanks, Amy for the recommendation!) and now for a repeat watch of Twin Peaks as Twin Peaks Day is this month.

Maxy also enjoys when I crochet blankets in the winter, as when they start to lengthen, the wind up over his back and help facilitate his napping. It’s a win-win!

Summer Reads 2018 Update

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 0 No tags Permalink

summer reads 2018

Not only have I been slothful in posting, I haven’t been reading much this summer either. In fact, I sort of wonder what I have been doing. I had a nice little summer bucket list, and have checked off very few things (yoga on the beach at Lake Michigan, baseball game and attending an outdoor concert). Here it is, nearing the end of August and the trees are already starting to turn, and I’ve only been out paddle boarding eight times. Yikes.

I did read the Megan Miranda book, The Perfect Stranger. It was not bad.

Then I read The Ninth Hour and I think it was pretty good, but then I had to go look up the synopsis to write this as I couldn’t remember what it was about.

Then it was The Night Circus, which was interesting but I was more than ready for it to be over by the time I finished it.

I also read Slade House, but didn’t manage to get the cat and couch photo. The last two chapters, I realized it was sort of a sequel or at least had some characters in it from a previous David Mitchell book that I had loved. This one was just ok.

And that’s where I am. Rather, I’m about halfway through Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible and it’s just delightful. Best thing I’ve read since last year’s American Fire. As it’s nearly Labor Day, it doesn’t look like I’m going to be finishing my summer reads as planned this year, but I suppose it’s not terrible as I did get more than half way through. I did pick up another couple books, including a real beach read and a more challenging novel. Maybe autumn will be a more fitting time to read this year.

How is your reading going?

The Perfect Stranger: A Novel by Megan Miranda

The Memory Painter: A Novel of Love and Reincarnation by Gwendolyn Womack 

Slade House: A Novel by David Mitchell 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Between Them: Remembering My Parents by Richard Ford 

The Ninth Hour: A Novel by Alice McDermott

Warlight: A novel by Michael Ondaatje

Like reading? Check out previous summer reads:

Summer Reads 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 0 No tags Permalink

summer reads 2018

Dear friends, it is already past Memorial Day, and therefore time for Summer Reads 2018. I’ve been quite busy sewing and crocheting in the evenings, so I haven’t been reading much lately. I have a slightly smaller list this year as a result. I am starting with the Megan Miranda book, The Perfect Stranger.

The Perfect Stranger: A Novel by Megan Miranda

The Memory Painter: A Novel of Love and Reincarnation by Gwendolyn Womack 

Slade House: A Novel by David Mitchell 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Between Them: Remembering My Parents by Richard Ford 

The Ninth Hour: A Novel by Alice McDermott

Warlight: A novel by Michael Ondaatje

What are you reading this summer?

Like reading? Check out previous summer reads:

Bahamas Princess Resort and Casino

Friday, March 9, 2018 1 No tags Permalink

Note: this post is a compilation of previous posts on the Bahamas Princess Resort and Casino. 2018 Update Below.

Bahama Princess

The Bahamas Princess Tower
Freeport, Bahamas

Photo by B.J. (Chris) Lothian
Ernie’s Studio & Camera Center, Ltd., Freeport, Grand Bahama, W.I.

So, here’s the backstory on this one. Mom and Dad went to the Bahama Princess (and stayed in the Country Club) when my sister and I were quite young (pre-1980?). Years later, they took us there on vacation (we stayed at the Tower). The Bahamas Princess Resort and Casino was a phenomenal place, sitting on 1,000 acres with pools and a casino. It was right next to the International Bazaar.

The Princess resort was built sometime in the 1970s and was a pretty big deal. Sometime after our visit in the early 90s, the Princess Towers became Bahamia Royal Oasis Resort, owned by Driftwood Properties (it seems the country club became the Sunspree Holiday Inn around that same time). As late as the year 2000, the Resorts at Bahamia was still in business. But things changed, and several tropical storms/hurricanes hit the Bahamas. The business closed down.

In 2007, the Royal Oasis Resort was purchased by Harcourt Development Group for $33 million. They had plans to transform the site into the Crowne Plaza Golf Resort and Casino at the Royal Oasis. Then the financial meltdown of 2008 happened. The Crowne didn’t open.

Closed and abandoned for so many years,  on September 23, 2010 a fire broke out at the Towers on the 7th floor:

I sent an email to Harcourt Development Group, inquiring as to the status of this lovely resort, but didn’t get a response.

I dug up some family photos from maybe 1991, for your viewing pleasure. I skipped the one where I was having my hair beaded and braided.

Casino view:

bahama princess casino

Princess Tower:

bahama princess tower

View from our room in the Princess Tower:

bahama princess tower view

The International Bazaar:

internationalbazaar

This article in the Freeport News (autumn 2013) discusses the International Bazaar, which is currently up for sale. The location has 85 retail stalls.

As of November 2013, Harcourt Developments was still listing the Royal Oasis like it’s a fully functioning, open business. I again emailed them to see if they can provide an update on the development, and again I did not hear back.

Looking around in January 2014, I found another link for the Royal Oasis Resort Hotel, Casino and Convention Center, this one from AECOM Capital. From their website:

The Royal Oasis is a well-established resort hotel located about 10 minutes from the airport, adjacent to the International Bazaar. While not located on the beach, the hotel complex is renowned for the tropical settings of its pool areas, which offer respite for guests after nights in the casino or out on Grand Bahama Island.

AECOM provided masterplanning and full design services for the existing 300,000 square foot, 400-room hotel, as well as for the 45,000 square foot casino and 55,000 square foot convention facility. In addition, a new 350,000 square foot hotel tower was added that includes 250 rooms as well as a new lobby, spa and fitness center. New residential 1, 2, and 3 bedroom 650 timeshare units were also part of the project scope.

I contacted both the company and one of the principal architects and once again haven’t heard anything at all. The Freeport News notes in this article that the International Bazaar is still for sale.

2018 Update

Apparently The Freeport News likes to steal photos. This article about the West Sunrise Highway reopening uses my photo above, the view from our room in the Princess Tower and they credit themselves with the image. You can see they cropped the photo, but my watermark still partially shows on the top of the ‘b’ on catobear.com. I have the original print, which was scanned in.

Here’s their website:

Here’s my original scanned photo with watermark:

I appreciate the reporting on the Bahama Princess, but I’d like to be credited for my own photos in other articles, and linked back to my website.

Anyhow, on to the update article, which I have linked and included the text as sometimes things disappear on the internet.

This article (link here, text below in case the link eventually fails, by Denise Maycock, Tribune Freeport Report, dmaycock@tribunemedia.net) tells a more recent update of the Bahama Princess after another hurricane and a more uncertain fate:

WHILE the island of Grand Bahama is now in restoration mode post Hurricane Matthew, the old Royal Oasis resort property and the International Bazaar in Freeport have fallen into further disrepair.

The main entrance dual thoroughfare is littered with debris, and some of the tall Royal Palms and decorative lamp posts lining the entry-way were blown down in the storm.“

It is an eyesore within an eyesore, if that’s possible. This area was once the gem of Freeport and it is sad to see it in such poor state,” said one Freeport resident.

The 500-room tower resort, and the 900-room country club and timeshare, was the island’s premier anchor resort property for many years. The casino was the main attraction and visitors flew in from the US to gamble and enjoy Freeport’s nightlife, while staying at the hotel.

Guests would shop at the nearby International Bazaar which housed souvenir shops, retail stores, restaurants and bars.

In 2000, the Princess Resort properties were sold to Driftwood, which changed the hotel’s name to Royal Oasis Resort and Crowne Plaza. The developers closed off West Sunrise Highway, a major road artery that passed through the property.

The Bazaar thrived off the resort, which had high occupancies and employed about 1,500 persons. Hundreds of Bahamians were also employed in the various shops there.

In August 2004, Hurricane Frances struck and the resort was severely damaged. The developers closed the property, leaving thousands of workers jobless. Businesses at the Bazaar were also affected and many merchants were forced to close or relocate to the Port Lucaya Marketplace.

The only remaining merchants are the Asian restaurants and a few straw vendors.

Harcourt Development later purchased the Royal Oasis resort property, but was unable to redevelop and open the hotel and casino property due to lack of sufficient funding. The hotel and Bazaar deteriorated after years of neglect.

When The Tribune visited the property recently, it looked like a jungle of dried up trees and overgrown vegetation and there appears to be no urgency to clean up and remove debris.

Meanwhile in Port Lucaya, restoration work has commenced at the Marketplace and stores are expected to open when power is restored there.

Royal Oasis was bought by Harcourt Development Group in 2007.

If you like international hotels, you might like these:

Hotel Ponce Intercontinental

Bluebeards Castle

La Concha Puerto Rico

Vintage Sewing Needle Books

Monday, March 5, 2018 0 No tags Permalink

It’s time for another L&FO. Today we have two vintage sewing needle books. The Springfield Leader and Press newspaper for December 27, 1959 ran a full page ad for Evans Cut-Rite. In it, there was a book of 70 Gold-Eye needles with threader, normally 10 cents, on sale for 7 cents. Other hot sale items were Cannon hand towels, normally 39 cents each, on sale 3 for 88 cents, 24 tablets of Coricidin cold medicine for 69 cents, and a pair of plastic lamp shades on sale for $1.27. Although it doesn’t have an image, these things seem to be similar in the number of needles, putting this rocket Gold-Eye brand of a similar age:

vintage sewing needle book

vintage sewing needle book

The price of these sewing needle books varied around the country. In the March 18, 1964 Green Bay Press-Gazette, there is this book of 100 with a value of 15 cents, while in Santa Fe a similar book was 20 cents in July 1963.

vintage sewing needle book

This Atomic Gold-Eye book is a later date, with more needles than the Rocket and a much higher cost. The basic image hasn’t changed much, swapping out the couple riding on a needle compared a rocket ship.

vintage sewing needle book

vintage sewing needle book

The cool thing about collecting these is that I can actually use the needles. The books are more convenient than those little disc holders with the channels. I’ve been doing more sewing these days, recently finishing up a Decades of Style Three’s a Charm jacket and currently working on a McCall’s 7313 (C) dress.

If you’re interested in collecting some vintage sewing needle books, there are a ton of them on ebay. I found the Atomic one in a local antique shop. You should be able to get one in good shape with all of the needles for $3 – $8 each. I recently read an article suggesting millennials will still be interested in antiques, but will likely gravitate to items that still have purpose. They may be less likely to collect vases and china, and more likely to collect items they can use in daily life. I’m all for seeing a return to sewing instead of the continued purchase of $15 dresses made in a sweatshop and sold on Amazon.

Parker Super 21

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 0 No tags Permalink

In the second installment of the January Lost & Found Object, we have a Parker Super 21 pen to go along with our Parker Super Quink permanent red ink. Richard’s Pens does a good job of breaking down the changes in the Parker Super 21 through the years of production, 1948 – 1965. Mine is the latest version, which would put it on the market roughly at the same time as the Parker Super Quink special giveaway bottle as highlighted in the previous post.

Parker Super 21

It is a nice navy blue pen with a brushed silver cap and the arrow clip. The cap isn’t threaded but stays on quite nicely.

Parker Super 21

At the base of the cap is etched PARKER 21 PARKER and MADE IN THE USA with the Parker logo just above it.

Parker Super 21

As you can see, the fountain pen nib is hooded.

Parker Super 21

I like my fountain pens with a bit of flex generally, but I honestly love how smoothly this one writes. It is delightful! The ink just flows beautifully, it doesn’t leak and get all over my hands, it’s easy to fill with its squeeze sack. These pens can be found pretty easily on ebay, including some that are vintage but never used. It is a great pen, and well worth your time if you happen to come across one. You will wind up paying more than the original $5 though. Here’s the pen in action: