Julie Loves Vintage

Julie Loves Vintage

Welcome to Julie Vintage

This is all about my love of the past and how I bring it into the present and hopefully inspire my daughter to take it into her future.


Be sure to check out my:

Julie Vintage Pages

Julie Vintage Background_small

“So happy to have you here.”

(Every now and then my southern belle roots tend to creep out).

Now where are my manors?  Do come in and sit a spell.  Enjoy yourself but please do not touch anything.  These are priceless vintage and antiques passed down to me from my ancestors (and the local thrift and antique malls) but we’ll just keep that to ourselves.

What was that dear?   Oh, you like my dress?

Why this little o’ thing?

This is just a priceless vintage couture gown that I inherited from my grandmother, Nellie Mae, that she wore to her coming out cotillion.  (O.k.  I bought it for $5.00 at my favorite thrift store.  It reminded me of something that Tippi Hedren would have worn in the 60’s.  Happy Now?)

Eclair anyone?

I love, love all the old stuff!

Hand crocheted collars above, also my grandmother’s typewriter.  I love history and history is written all over the place here.


The reason I love vintage items is because they represent quality and craftsmanship, when companies took pride in their work, when people took pride in their work.  Long before all this outsourcing of jobs for cheap labor overseas.  You pay for cheap labor then you get cheap items.  Antiques and vintage items also seem to survive the test of time.  Vintage represents an era of quality for me.  It also is very nostalgic as well.  Browsing through an antiques mall for me is like revisiting my childhood.  I come across toys that I used to play with, an old metal lunch box with Bobby Sherman’s face on it (an old crush), jelly jars with pictures of The Archie’s on them that we used as drinking glasses (It’s no coincidence that I named my daughter Veronica.  I was a huge fan of The Archie’s).  I will also come across items that I saw in the homes of my Grandparents and Great Grandparents.  Dinnerware that they used to own that I would eat on of as a child.  Beautiful depression glass that they would get for free if they filled their tank up with gas at a local gas station.  Worth nothing back then, but now is seen as having value.  I just don’t see value and quality now in items that are being made, so I turn to the past.


Well, now that we have gotten to know each other betta I do hope you will stay awhile and enjoy yourself and by all means do come back and see us sometimes.  It was so nice to meet yew.

Yours truly,

Julie Lancaster-Whann

(But you all can call me Jewlee)


Pearls and White Roses_small

Carnations in vintage cocktail glasses._small

Carnations in vintage Cocktail Glasses

Pearls can dress up anything._small

Pearls CAN Dress Up Anything


Julie and Sugar_small
Julie wearing a vintage bridesmaids dress.
 Vintage for me is very nostalgic.  Browsing through an antiques mall for me is like revisiting my childhood.  I come across toys that I used to play with, an old metal lunch box with Bobby Sherman’s face on it (an old crush), jelly jars with pictures of The Archie’s on them that we used as drinking glasses (It’s no coincidence that I named my daughter Veronica.  I was a huge fan of The Archie’s).  I will also come across items that I saw in the homes of my Grandparents and Great Grandparents.  Dinnerware that they used to own that I would eat on as a child.  Beautiful depression glass that they would get for free if they filled their tank up with gas at a local gas station.  Worth nothing back then, but now is seen as having value.  I just don’t see value and quality now in items that are being made, so I turn to the past.

Blog Posts Start Right Here




My Love of My Childhood Books

When I die bury me with lots and lots of books.


“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man that can’t read them.”

Mark Twain


Books!  Books!  And more books!

Nothing I love more than a ton of old books.



Market House Mystery

         By Ann Hark

Copyright 1955.  One of my most favorite vintage books.  It belonged to my mother.  I just love the print of the cheese on the front cover.  In the south my Grandmother’s generation calls those big blocks of cheese, “rat cheese” because the rats would always get into it. 


Although hard to see in the illustration above there are jewels hidden in the cheese.  I LOVE this old book!


I like what it says here.  “Copyright in Great Britain and the British Dominions and Possessions.”

“Copyright in the Republic of the Philippines.”

The book also says, “Made in the United States of America.”  When you shop at antique malls you are more likely to be buying the old “Made in America” brands.



Remembering Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock

Me, having dug out my old Nancy Drew and Dana Girls books from my youth.

I wanted to focus on my favorite all time books growing up, the Nancy Drew series of books, written under the name of Carolyn Keene.  I do have to say that Nancy Drew saved my life. If you have read any of my blogs then you will know that I grew up moving around a lot.  I was the new kid in school 9 times in 12 years from grades 1 – 12.  I didn’t make many friends and the ones I did, I would leave behind to move onto the next place.  I didn’t grow up with stability, something that I desperately needed as a child.  Nancy Drew gave me that stability that I needed to function.  Reading those books I was able to escape from my life of loneliness to a life of adventure and excitement and friendship.  Nancy Drew became my best friend and her adventures became mine.  I was able to escape into her world and that helped me to survive mine.


Me about age 12 or 13 during my big Nancy Drew days.  We were living in Roanoke, Virginia at the time.


Nancy Drew collection.  There is just something about those vintage yellow books that are so special.

I have 1 – 59 of the yellow hardback and 60 – 79 of the paperback books.

Don’t want to diss my upbringing totally as it has helped me to survive as an adult as well.  In my husband’s 20 year military career we moved around quite a bit and because I was so used to moving I adapted much quicker and easier than your average person.  I am never lonely because I learned how to entertain myself.   I am fiercely independent and can speak truth to power.  I also adapt to change more easily.  Gordon and I can move to a new state/town/country etc. and adjust as easily as if we never left our own neighborhood.  So my upbringing has helped me in many areas.  I’m a survivor.   But, Nancy Drew does hold a special place in my heart because she was special.  Her friends Bess and George were special and even her boyfriend Ned was special as well.  Nancy was someone to be admired for her bravery, her smarts, and her values.  I know that she was a fictional character, but she was a fictional character to be admired and emulated.  Although Nancy had a boyfriend she was too busy living life to obsess over him.  Ned was always trailing after her.  Nancy never let some boy get in the way of her doing what she wanted to.  She did what was best for her and her life and not what was best for some boyfriend and his life.  For that I admired her tremendously.  That is a good lesson for all of us.  Live YOUR life for YOU!!

Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew also taught me valuable skills.  Back in 1978 when my family and I were on a cross-country trip out west our Winnebago broke down on the side of the highway.  My step-father was too proud to use the CB radio that was right in front of him so I grabbed the flashlight and headed to the back of the camper.  It was at night so I started sending my SOS signals out the back window.  Soon a car stopped to help us.  My step-father asked the man how he knew we were in trouble and he said that he saw the SOS signals and stopped.  The man was able to help us get the camper started and get to the next town where we found a mechanic to fix it.  Julie saves the day thanks to something that I learned in my Nancy Drew books.  Did I ever get a ‘thank you’ for that?  I don’t think so!

My Nancy Drew paperback books.

There were many Nancy Drew’s to come and go over the decades.  The first was in 1938, her name was Bonita Granville.  She starred in ‘Nancy Drew Reporter’ and ‘Nancy Drew Detective’.   I came across an old Nancy Drew movie on t.v. a few years ago staring Bonita Granville and I just had to watch it.  I couldn’t get over the ‘over acting’.  Acting has apparently advanced since the 19 30’s.  I also noticed that her boyfriend was not named Ned, but was named Ted Nickerson played by Frankie Thomas.

Bonita Granville was the first Nancy Drew.

My favorite Nancy Drew, Pamela Sue Martin.


In 1977  Pamela Sue Martin teamed up with Parker Stevenson and Sean Cassidy to star in The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Mysteries.  I adored her in The Poseidon Adventure from 1972 so I was excited about the series.  Unfortunately the show only lasted until 1978.


Another actress to grace the Nancy Drew role was Maggie Lawson of Psyche fame.  She starred in the 2002 t.v. movie, Nancy Drew.

Emma Roberts also played Nancy Drew in the 2007 movie entitled ‘Nancy Drew’.  I did see it.  I thought it was a cute movie for the average “tween” but I was a bit disappointed in it. I had hoped that they would be able to “revive” the Nancy Drew franchise for this current generation but it just didn’t seem to take.

Emma Roberts was really cute in it but the whole premise just seemed to fall flat. Maybe Nancy Drew is just better off in our own heads.  Written down in books.  Our own ideals and our own fantasies.  She is what we want her to be and not what some director makes her out to be.

These are just a few of the actress’s that have played Nancy Drew over the decades.  Nancy, Bess and George will always be special to me and a big part of my growing up.  That is how I shall always remember her.  So every now and then I like to dig out the books and have another look at them, read one or two before I pack them back up and send them to the attic.  Hopefully someday my daughter will show some interest in them and decide to read them as well.  But until then it’s just me, remembering Nancy Drew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      More Nancy Drew


Nancy Drew Files

Nancy Drew Ghost Stories

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys

Nancy Drew Puzzles

Here are some of my other Nancy Drew books that were available at that time.

My mother’s Nancy Drew books are pictured below.  Inside each book is written, Copyright 1930, Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.  But it also lists the books that had been written at the time, numbering 29 in total. Although my mother only owned these 5 books listed.

The Secret of the Old Clock

The Hidden Staircase

The Bungalow Mystery

Nancy’s Mysterious Letter

The Mystery of the Ivory Charm

Written inside each book it says, ‘Made in The United States of America’.

My mother’s Nancy Drew books.  I LOVE the old graphics!


Gordon’s Hardy Boys Books were written by Franklin W. Dixon.  Gordon only had three of them.  Franklin W. Dixon was also a pen name for several Hardy Boys authors.


The Mystery of the Chinese Junk

The Mystery of the Spiral Bridge

The Clue of the Hissing Serpent

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think they were all gifts to him that he never read. Two of them have written inscriptions.

“1974 Easter  To:  Gordon Whann from Auntie Hester from Sharpton MD.  Had nice visit with you and your family – See you again soon.  Love, Hester”

The next one said, “To Gordon Whann from John Bunch, Charlotte, 1977”

Whenever you give the gift of a book to someone always be sure to sign it.  It means so much more many years later to find something so nice and personal as that.


Dana Girls

Photo below my Dana Girls books

I do have a few Dana Girls books, actually 15 of them, but I never really got into them.  I think it was because they were two sisters solving mysteries.  I just couldn’t relate to having a sister.  I grew up with 3 brothers.  Nancy Drew was more my speed.  Nancy was an only child.  So was I up until age 8 when my brother Johnny was born.  So I know what’s it’s like to be an only child and the oldest child of the family as well.  But having a sister is very alien to me.  Maybe that’s why I never learned to share.

The Dana Girls were also written under the name of Carolyn Keene.

When I was looking inside one of my mother’s Nancy Drew books there is a listing of the old Dana Girls books and none of the titles match the ones that I own.  So either they rewrote those old books and updated them or else they changed the titles.  I own 15 of the first 16 Dana Girls books with titles such as:

1.Mystery of the Stone Tiger

2.The Riddle of the Frozen Fountain

3.The Secret of the Silver


4.Mystery of the Wax Queen

5.The Secret of the

Minstrel’s Guitar

6.The Phantom Surfer

7.The Secret of the

Swiss Chalet

8.The Haunted Lagoon

9.Mystery of the Bamboo


10. The Sierra Gold Mystery

11.The Secret of Lost Lake

12.The Winking Ruby


13.The Ghost in the Gallery

14.The Curious Coronation

15.(Don’t have this one)

16.Mountain Peak Mystery


The Dana Girls Mystery Stories titles from 1930 are listed as:

1.  By the Light of the

Study lamp

2. The Secret at Lone Tree


    3. In the Shadow of the Tower

    4.  A Three-Cornered Mystery

5. The Secret at the Hermitage

6.The Circle of Footprints

7.The Mystery of the

Locked Room

8.The Clue in the Cobweb

   9.The Secret at the Gatehouse

10.The Mysterious Fireplace

   11. The Clue of the Rusty Key

12.The Portrait in the Sand

   13.The Secret in the Old Well

14.The Clue in the Ivy

Carolyn Keene

Carolyn Keene was a pen name used by several authors.  I can remember as a child people telling me that Carolyn Keene was really a man and not a woman.  Actually Carolyn Keene was several women and a few men.  The name Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym.  Various authors such as Harriet Stratemeyer, Mildred Wirt Benson, Walter Karig, Leslie McFarlane, James Duncan Lawrence, Nancy Axelrod, Margret Scherf, Charles Strong, Wilhelmina Rancan, Priscilla Doll, Alma Sasse, and George Waller Jr.  They were ALL Carolyn Keene.


Mildred Wirt Benson, just one of the authors that wrote under Carolyn Keene.


June 17, 2015

Tarpon Springs Castle Winery

Wines Made the Old World Way

Although hard to see there are cute little cut outs of fleur-de-lis on the shutters, or as my ‘young’ son would have called them, “a banana done been peeled.”

320 Tarpon Avenue

Tarpon Springs, Florida

Gordon and I had the pleasure of visiting this winery in the heart of Tarpon Springs historic district earlier this month.  We didn’t make an appointment, we just showed up, along with two other large groups of people, we were ushered in, found a table and thoroughly enjoyed the demonstration by our hosts Joseph and Diana Marks, the owner’s and wine makers.

The winery is constructed to resemble an 1820 federal building.  Both Joseph and Diana Marks consulted the historical society of Tarpon Springs and the historical boards of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia (my favorite place on Earth.)

They built the building themselves.  The winery is on the lower level and they live on the upper level.  I LOVED this place!  Oh, it was a bit cluttered and not decorated as well as it could be, but I didn’t care, to us it was perfect!

Our Host and Hostess, Joseph and Diana Marks

Joseph Marks is the wine maker, he makes the wines in the old world European tradition.  Each bottle is handcrafted.  They market an ancient beverage, and it truly is!  Gordon and I would have loved to have them all to ourselves.

This is an Italian Winery

I seem to remember the cost of our wine class as being about $18.50 a person.  With that price you receive a free wine glass and a free bottle of wine of your choice, but that is one free bottle per two people.  They also have a Groupon but we didn’t have one.  I do know that they honor coupons and groupons forever though.

Me with Bailey, the winery mascot.

We tasted 5 wines and then were given a free glass of wine of our choosing.  I chose the Cabernet Sauvignon.  So lovely!

They have a Chardonnay that is wonderful!  I tend to not drink any Chardonnay as our American wineries make them very hard going down the throat.  But this Chardonnay was so smooth.  They use a Hungarian Oak as opposed to our American Oak.  A much better tasting wines.

Very nice experience we had!

The Marks taught us to all be wine snobs next time we order a bottle of wine at a restaurant.  One thing that we did learn from them is that many restaurants will replace the wine in an expensive bottle of wine with cheap wine.  The big clue?  If after 3 sips you start to develop a headache?  Then you have been fooled!

Always have the waiter open the bottle of wine in front of you.


NEVER smell the cork!  The waiter then knows you are easily fooled!

You do need to examine the cork, but don’t smell it.  You want to look for any sort of lines down the cork, or any sort of mold on the cork, but never smell it.

I thought this looked like a Picasso.

I loved their art around the winery.

I also loved all the wine bottle openers that they have on display.  They told me that people just give them to them as gifts.  How nice is that?

What a Nice Collection!

Gordon Buying Our Wine

Always put the wine in bottle neck first in the box, not bottom first as they all do at the liquor stores.  We bought several varieties and are looking forward to enjoying them.

Our Wines From Castle Winery

We will be back to give Joseph and Diana a visit from Gordon and Julie and buy some more of their delicious wines.



June 3, 2015

Bogie and Bacall

To Have and Have Not

I don’t care what anyone says.  NO ONE can compete with the classics!

And no one was more smokin’ hot than Lauren!



May 2015

What a Great Saturday!

Saturday Morning Thrift Store Treasure Hunting

Some times I don’t leave until the car is full.  The beginning of a business.




April 22, 2015

Sprucing Up My Vintage Birdcage

I originally found this on Ebay a few years ago.  I do love it.  It’s very vintage and I think a little bit Asian looking.  One Christmas I added lights to the inside of it and I just never removed them.  I like having them on throughout the year and not just on special festive occasions.

I’ve placed some pretty birds all around the cage, and always the cage doors open, never closed.

I like to place candles inside to add that special little glow.  Sometimes I change them from something casual to something more formal.  Sometimes I place dishes inside, all stacked up.

But I did want to add something a little bit more to reflect my current theme in our dining room so I found some nice fabric and lined the bottoms of the cage with it.

Beautiful Asian Fabric

This time I replaced the candles with some of my vintage Asian tea cups with a candle on the inside.

Pretty Touches to the Birdcage

I like it.  Now it fits in a bit better in my dining room than it did before.

Also never overlook a good thrift store.  A lot of my things I found very cheap.  Including my dress.  Talbots, size 10, lined, dry clean only, $5.00!!

Can’t beat that!


p.s.  You know my message to everyone has never been, ‘Do what I do.  I know best.  I have great taste.  Blah, blah, blah’.  I’ve always said to do what YOU want to do and not what someone tells you to.  Decorate, dress, look, how YOU want to and not how some self anointed group of “experts” tell you what looks good and what doesn’t.  After all, someone just made all this stuff up at one point, declared themselves important and then got a bunch of people to follow them.

This is YOUR life so do what YOU want to do!


April 15, 2015


Asian Ware and Asian Pugs

My Very First China Cabinet

I bought it in Hawaii from J.C. Penny’s catalog.  It came unfinished and I always left it that way.  It’s probably 22 years old.  My grandmother bought it for me as a birthday gift one year.  Well, she paid for it, I ordered it.  It houses my Blue Willow china that I inherited from my grandmother and my Rice Ware that I started collecting in Hawaii and have since found some wonderful pieces in thrift stores around military bases.

Rice Ware

You can see the light shining through the grains of rice in my tea cup here.

It’s so beautiful!


From Top to Bottom

Peace, Peace, Peace

My Grandparents

The Blue Willow clock above was my grandmother’s.  I found it just shoved into a closet under a bunch of blankets and I asked her if I could have it.  The cobalt blue vase above was her’s as well.

The people that I love and miss in photographs, along with some of their personal items from when they were alive.


Blue and White

The Blue Willow once belonged to my Great-Grandmother Keith and passed down to my grandmother who then gave it all to me.


I love collecting.  I have many interests and many collections.  My niece Lola learned about collections from me.  She came to visit us for the first time from Ireland when she was 5 and after she saw my collections she wanted to start one herself.  Her’s is the Lalaloopsie dolls, she has almost every single one.  It makes me feel good to think that I can be an influence on someone.  Granted it is by being a materialistic hoarder but she is half American so……..

Oh well, TIME to go.



April 12, 2015

Happy Birthday, Grandma

(She is the reason that I even have most of these vintage and antique treasures.)

She would have been 102 today.  Wish she were still here.  She died 15 years ago but I remember her as if she were just here yesterday.

“It’s the ones that love us the most that we remember the best.”



April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!


That is me, Easter afternoon 1965 in my grandparents backyard where I just got something very special in my Easter basket.

A Duck!

Cookie and the Duck

They were friends long before it was cool for animal opposites to befriend each other.  What about that?

We even had progressive pets.

Have a great day!



Our Asian Easter

(We used several of our vintage platters and bowls, not to mention my lovely vintage geisha’s all around.)

April 5, 2015


Gordon Carving our Easter Duck

Our Asian Easter

How our Asian Easter came to be.


We have had such a busy year, Gordon and I.  We are very behind on so many spring projects that normally we would already have done by now.  We have been working so hard and we are so tired, that about a week and a half before Easter I asked Gordon, ‘what we were going to do for Easter’?  We were both too tired to deal with Easter.  I also took a good long look at our dining room and realized that I will not have the time to pack up all my Asian things to make room for all the cute traditional Easter items.  That is when it occurred to me, why not do an Asian Themed Easter!?

We could buy a Peking Duck from the Asian Supermarket, add some Asian side dishes, it will be great!

So that is what we did!


“No, Chop, Chop Duck!”

While we were at the Asian Supermarket  we wanted a Peking duck and we gave the woman behind the counter our order.  She was trying to be helpful and she asked us, “You want chop, chop duck”?  She had a large cleaver in her hand and was moving it in a chopping motion.  She once again asked, “You want I chop, chop, duck”?

That’s when we realized that she was asking us if we wanted her to cut it up?  She was holding the cleaver over the duck.  Seeing as how we wanted a nice whole duck on our Easter table and not something chopped up we immediately shouted simultaneously,



Plum Wines

The Japanese plum wines were great before dinner drinks.

Bamboo and my Money Tree

Looks like a lovely Asian spring.

My Karate Kid II Matcha tea whisk.  I found it at one of the Asian stores we visited last Saturday.  It is like the one Kumiko uses in the tea ceremony with Daneilsan.  I was so excited to find one!  When we were paying for it the girl behind the counter looked at it and asked me what it was?  I jokingly told her that it was SHE who should be telling that to ME!

The Tea Ceremony From Karate Kid Part II

(I know I already posted this a few weeks ago but it is my favorite.)

Kumiko Tea Ceremony

Great video on Youtube.  By the way, I love the music from this movie.

You can see the whisk in the photos above.   Now I have one.


Happy Asian Easter

Can you spot the only egg on the table?

How about the bunny?

I bought the egg in Hawaii, I think at the Byodo-In Temple from the Valley of the Temples.  It’s hand painted.  I’m surprised it has lasted through all of our moves.

It was a lot of fun getting out all the lovely Asian ware that Gordon had brought me back from places like Singapore and Hong Kong from his 20 year career in the Navy.

Brian, Veronica and Gordon digging in!

They Have Eyes!!

I think the one thing that we aren’t really used to in our American-Caucasian communities are the fact that our food usually doesn’t have it’s head with eyes staring at us while we eat.

With 6 You Get Eggroll

(Wasn’t that a Doris Day movie from way back?  Anyway, it just reminded me of that when we bought the eggrolls.  Execpt that we bought 9. Oh, Nevermind!!)

On the left are our napkins with fans for the ladies, even some candies bouquets of flowers and on the right is my tea set from Singapore.

My Easter Dinner Plate

Our Menu

Peking Duck

Roasted Vegetables with Tofu

Char Siu Pork

Steamed Dumplings


General Tso’s Chicken

(Pronounced Two)

Lo Mein Noodles

Fried Rice

Egg Roll with Dipping Sauce


Hot Green Tea with Dinner



Honey Melon Cake Roll and Green Tea Ice Cream

I think that we all agree on what this ice cream tastes like but sorry Japan, to us it tastes like we were sucking on a wet green tea bag.

  But we LOVED the cake!


Monkee with his Monkey

Happy Easter to all,



March 6, 2015

Happy Girl’s Day

Hawaii, Japanese Girl’s Day, Mr. Miyagi,

and ME!

Me, with my Asian Collection

March 3rd. was a little known holiday called, Girl’s Day.  The holiday originated in Japan and migrated over to Hawaii with the increase in Japanese populations.  We first learned of Girl’s Day while we were living in Hawaii.  There is also a Boys’ Day, but I will get to that later on.

Girl’s Day is about honoring the girl in your family.  Appreciating your daughter.  In Japan, the girl would dress up in her finest kimono for school, place cherry blossoms in her hair, surround herself with her pretty dolls and have a tea party.

Beautiful Hair Adornments

Japan did do away with Girl’s Day and Boy’s Day in favor of something now called Children’s Day but Hawaii still keeps them separate.  I agree, I think they should be separate.  Each one should have their own special day.

I’m fiddling with my favorite geisha’s to the left, and my green tea cookies to the right.  I always pick them up whenever I am at the Asian Supermarket.

I Love Origami

I’m holding in my hand one of the many origami crane’s that Veronica made during our 13 years in Hawaii.  She loved origami and was actually quite good at it.

It is a Japanese tradition that when you get married you must have 1000 origami cranes at your wedding to symbolize good luck.  My Japanese friend Cathy would make them every night at work in preparation for her wedding to Dave.

I Adore My Beautiful Geisha’s

Oh, funny story.  My niece Kate in Ireland loves the Asian cultures as much as I do.  One year I ordered online a book about how to be a geisha.  When it arrived I looked at it and was horrified to realize that it was a book about how to be a geisha prostitute!!  Well, I shoved it in my closet with absolute horror and that is where it has been since.  I guess that I should tell my children about it so that they don’t discover it when I die and wonder ‘what in the hell was mom up to’???

The dress that I am wearing is one that I picked up at my favorite thrift store.  It’s a Talbot’s size 10!!  I am just amazed that I squeezed into it.  Most of the time I am a 12.  I bought it for $5.00!  It’s lined and I thought it had an Asian look to it.


Now, about Mr. Miyagi……

We moved to Hawaii in 1986, the year they made Karate Kid II.  It was filmed in Hawaii.  It was a big deal.  Hawaii is the home of several of the Asian cultures and Karate and Tae Kwon Do are all but a few of the many, many forms of martial arts around the world.  My mother took tai chi.  Or as she said, “I can beat you up in slow motion if I want to.”

It was so beautiful to see the seniors on the beach performing tai che every day in Hawaii when we lived there.  It keeps you young!  I also love how the Asian cultures value their aged.  They see them as beautiful, and knowledgeable, not just old has been’s.

The Ultimate Dynamic Duo

Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-san to me are the ultimate dynamic duo.  I have never cared for the Batman’s or Superman’s of this world.  I prefer real people.  The  peacekeepers, the environmentalists, the ones that you think are so weak, but actually they are so much stronger than you can even imagine.

The ones that have the strength to walk away from conflict and only engage as a last resort.  The ones that use their strength and their knowledge to help people, not hurt them.

People that have honor.  You don’t find many of those anymore.

Karate Kid II Takes Place in Okinawa

Here Pat Morita and Nobu McCarthy reenact their love from their youth as Yukie and Noriyuki.

Nobu McCarthy in her youth.  A former Miss Tokyo.

I love the lantern ceremony.  When someone dies you honor them by placing a lantern on the water.  How beautiful is that?

The House

The Inner Garden

I could live here very easily and enjoy every moment.

Miyagi and Yukie Tea Ceremony

Kumiko and Daniel Watching


The Miyagi Family rules of Karate:

Aha… here are the two rules of Miyagi-Ryu Karate. Rule number one: “Karate for defense only.” Rule number two: “First learn rule number one.”

Daniel-san on seeing Miyagi’s old friend breaking a log:

Daniel LaRusso: You think you could break a log like that?
Mr. Miyagi: Don’t know. Never been attacked by a tree.


They were the best.  The were good, they were honest.  They are no longer made.  This was the best duo!  I don’t care how many remakes there are, there will never be a duo like this.  Remaking The Karate Kid is like someone saying, ‘Hey, let’s remake Star Wars’!

  It just will never be the same.


The Tea Ceremony

Kumiko Tea Ceremony

Kumiko Waiting for Daniel

She Knew Daniel Would Come

Kumiko Tea Ceremony

I especially love the music by Bill Conti in this film.  I took a tea class on the Big Island of Hawaii in the Volcano area, (Volcano is a town) and I remember some of this as well.  Of course there is more to this than is shown it was just edited out for the short attention spans of today’s people.

I love ancient cultures and their traditions and ceremonies.

Daniel-san is drinking the tea.  Oh, no, here it comes.

Wait for it……

Almost there……

And there it is!

Love’s first kiss.

My most favorite couple of all time.

Now for one of my most favorite songs of all time, made for this movie and sung by Peter Cetera,

The Glory of Love

I love what she’s doing with the rice here.  An old tradition of when the men go out to sea the women pour rice into the ocean so that they will come back safely.


I may not have had rice on Girl’s Day but I did have some delicious spring rolls, frozen, that I bought at the Asian Supermarket.

Spring Rolls, Green Tea and my Kokeshi Doll

Although my Kokeshi doll seems to be having rice.

I made that rice bowl out of that Sculpy clay years ago when we were living in Hawaii.  The chopsticks are toothpicks.

Sesame Candy for Dessert


So Happy Girl’s Day!

Appreciate our daughters AND our sons!  Did you know that Asian women that stay in Asian have the lowest breast cancer rates in the world?  It’s their diet.

So let’s try eating more like they do.




P.S.  I decided to re-post Brodie’s Boy’s Day from a few years ago.  He loved Boy’s Day growing up in Hawaii.  One of the traditions is to draw your son a bath and place Iris leaves in it.  They are long leaves and resemble swords.  They are to give them strength.


May 4, 2012

Happy Boy’s Day

Tangu No Sekku

Brodie, enjoying his Boy’s Day sushi dinner.

The wooden Japanese boy was a Boys Day gift from me to Brodie a few years ago.

Japanese Boys’ Day Hawaiian Style

We lived in Hawaii from 1986 until 1999. Both of our children were born in Hawaii and grew up with the customs and traditions. One of the holiday’s that both Veronica and Brodie loved the best was the Japanese holiday of Boy’s Day and Girl’s Day. Because Hawaii has such a large Japanese population it has become a very popular holiday. Girl’s Day being March 3, and Boy’s Day is May 5. This May 5, for my son Brodie I bought he and his girlfriend Lauren, a great Sushi dinner. It consisted of chicken rolls, tuna rolls, ahi rolls, vegetable rolls, calamari, and little baby squids marinated in a lovely soy sauce. All of this topped with some excellent Wasabi paste. At our commissary we have some excellent sushi chefs that prepare the food for you. I also gave Brodie an Asian money tree, a.k.a. bamboo plant. Also a handmade origami card. They both seemed to enjoy their dinner.



The preparation of this food is such an art form.



Don’t knock the little squids until you’ve tried them.


Brodie and Lauren enjoying their authentic Japanese sushi dinner.

My Bento Box luncheon. I’m more into the California rolls than the squid.

We fly a red carp inside the house in honor of Brodie.

We also fly carp outside the house to honor Brodie.

It is a tradition to fly a carp fish windsock outside your home to represent all the boys in your family. The largest carp being the oldest boy and the smallest carp being the youngest boy. I tend to fly a variety of carp windsocks to commemorate my son. I don’t necessarily stick to the tradition.

It is also a tradition to draw a bath for your sons and have them bathe in water filled with leaves in the shape of swords. It is symbolic to make them stronger. Brodie used to love this. He really enjoyed his bath that we would make for him when he was young. Although we have eliminated the bath, we have substituted the big sushi dinner. Because Hawaii has played such a major role in our lives for the past 25 years we still embrace these holidays. The state of Hawaii is such a unique state because they have literally combined the Hawaiian, Polynesian, Japanese, Chinese, Mainland America, and Portuguese cultures into one great state. Hawaii will be in our blood until the day we die. You can take the girl/boy out of Hawaii but you can’t take the Hawaii out of the girl/boy. Nor do I even want to.

So Happy Boy’s Day to all our son’s out there. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I hope your day is special. Why not consider having your own Boy’s Day celebrations?

Byodo In Temple, Hawaii

The Valley of the Temples

This was a popular place that I would take my children when they were little. It was so beautiful and peaceful here. The monks would whistle and the birds would land on their hands. I cannot even begin to relay to you how much we miss Hawaii and it’s cultures and traditions.


Some of my favorite scenes from Karate Kid II

The Obon Dance Scene

Karate Kid II Ending

Fighting for her honor.


January 25, 2015

In my Own Little Corner, in my Own Little Chair

(If you remember the Rodgers and Hammerstein song from their Cinderella in 1957 originally staring Julie Andrews, and then a 16 year old Lesley Ann Warren who played the role in 1965, both movies were for television. ‘ In my own little corner, in my own little chair’ were words to one of my favorite songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella movies.  I was 4 when I saw the 1965 version.

With that in mind I decided to show you my own little corner in my own little chair.  (Except I am on the lookout for a different chair and my “little corner” is a pretty big space.  Also my little corner features Snow White more so than Cinderella.)

Apparently my Cinderella Christmas is going to turn into a Cinderella birthday and I can’t help but have Cindy on my mind especially with the new Cinderella movie coming out this March.

My Own Little Corner

I have the nicest view of the backyard.  Those are my sliding glass doors that I can open all the way up and make the outside lanai part of our living space inside.

My View of the Backyard

I love that I get to sit here and look out beyond the lanai out to the backyard.  I know it’s not some big grand view but this isn’t about some ocean view, or some mountain view, it’s about ‘my own little corner in my own little chair’.

I Surround Myself with Memories

Xylophone Desk

Come on, you know you want one.

The xylophone above used to belong to my Great-Aunt Margie.  I have banged on that thing my entire life and when she died I asked her son and daughter-in-law if I could have it.  I can play it, it’s like playing the piano and I did have 5 long years of piano lessons growing up.

The old antique typewriter used to belong to my Great-Grandparents.  I brought that home with me from my trip to Georgia last summer.  I cleaned it up and it sits right here beside me.

I love that my Aunt Margie used an old rusty ‘s’ hook and a safety pin to repair it many years ago.  I love the details that each key has the note carved into it and the original flat head screws.  (Phillips head screws were not around at the time.)


Grandma’s Green Phone

I love this phone.  It still has her old phone number on it.


My Great-Grandmother keith’s Desk

I love this desk.  Not just because it is quite lovely but because it was her’s.  It is rather small though, hence me making the xylophone an extension of my desk.

The original hardware, the flat head screws.

I love all the details!

Julie’s Antique Desk

I love all the little slots for envelopes and staplers.  It pops up and it pulls out for writing.

I cleaned it up really well with some lemon oil that you can buy at the grocery store.  Wood tends to get very dry and it just needs some moisture to wake it and make it beautiful once more.


Coming up next, what the area USED to look like!

Warning!  Warning!  Warning!

O.K.  Brace Yourself

These are all the before pictures of ‘my corner’.

We used to have these yucky vinyl blinds that covered the sliding glass doors.  That was before we put up our backyard fence, once we did that I wanted them removed because we finally got a bit of privacy in our ‘Stepford’ neighborhood.  We used to have a neighbor that would come to our backdoor all the time, uninvited.  We desperately needed our privacy from her.  She has since moved and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog so I’m safe.

I know, I know, I know…..

I did WARN you.

What an Embarrassing Mess

Well actually, if I was that embarrassed about it then you would not be viewing the photos now.

We used to keep our printer underneath the xylophone but now I have my Great-Grandparents antique typewriter in that spot and we moved the printer to the armoire, just a few feet away.

Hey, in my defense, I was really busy at this time and never home.

And you all know perfectly well that you eat at your computer just like the rest of us.  This is my breakfast every single morning of my life.  My half of a whole wheat bagel spread with ‘I
Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ and an egg white omelet that I always end up sharing with the dogs.  They LOVE eggs!  Or rather ‘second breakfast’ as Pippin from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ would say.  It’s always Monk and Sugar’s ‘second breakfast’.

The salt shaker above is probably not that common on a desk.

Bolts of Fabric

I literally bought about $275.00 worth of fabric for this project.  That is about all that I did pay for.  I wanted something light and airy and pretty and feminine.  That is the look that I got and it may not be the most beautiful of spaces but to me it is and that is all that counts.

Once I removed all the vinyl blinds and we added the fence it really opened up the backyard for an excellent view.

This is why I love ‘my little corner’.  I get the nicest visitors to our backyard.  Uh oh, he sees me!

I always keep the old bird bath full of water so that any traveler’s we may encounter will be taken care of.

White Bird of Paradise

Yet another reason I love looking out into my backyard.

New Sea Hawk (Osprey) Friend

So gone is the old boring desk and all the mess.  Now it’s ‘my own little corner in my own little chair’. 

Although I am still on the lookout for a new chair.

Happy Weekend!


p.s.  There is always a messy table somewhere in our home.  We LIVE in our home, it is not some showplace.

Living Room Table

I still have some Christmas books out and about.

Actually, I pretty much still have my Christmas everywhere.


I never said I was perfect.  But I DID clean up ‘my corner.’ 



November 18, 2014

The Irish In America

I  love thrift store shopping and one thing that I am always on the lookout for are books!.  I found these two, on the origins of Ireland and the Irish in America.  My heritage is Scotch/Irish.  My ancestors left Scotland and stopped off in Ireland to get a bride and then settled in the Georgia/Alabama area of America.

I am descended from Clan Keith of Scotland on my Grandmother’s side.  If any of you have ever seen the movie Braveheart with Mel Gibson, my ancestry was at the battle at Bannockburn where the Scots won their freedom.  Clan Keith took out the King’s archers that enabled the others to rush in and win the battle.  I am very proud of that!  Also Robert The Bruce was married to a Keith.  He is the one that betrayed William Wallace but ended up leading the charge at Bannockburn for the Scots.  He redeemed himself in the end.

The Blackwatch Plaid

(The plaid of my Scottish Ancestry)

I find it interesting that my brother Johnny went to college in Lancaster, England, graduating from The University of Lancaster, (our last name is Lancaster), then moving to Germany and meeting his then wife Cathy in a pub in Germany where she was an Au Pair to a wealthy family, while he was bartending.  They both speak fluent German.

Then they get married and settle in Ireland and started a family by having my two nieces, Kate and Lola.  He literally came full circle.  He went back home to where our ancestors left.

He does still live in Ireland but he is no longer married to Cathy.  He has started a new life with Sabina from the Czech Republic and they have a daughter Vivien who is 3.

I do love family history and researching our own roots.  I think it helps us to understand who we are by knowing where we come from.

What I found Inside One of the Books

The obituary of John F. Kennedy Jr.  Someone had taken the time to cut it out of the paper and place it in the book.  Obviously an Irish family that cared enough to do that.  The book was also given to someone as there is an inscription inside.  I LOVE these things.  It’s like finding an historic  treasure!  Because it is someone’s history.

I suppose I am reminiscing of history because my brother is here in America with his partner and daughter showing her where her roots are and who her family here is.  Pretty cool, huh?

This weekend Gordon and I are hitting our favorite thrift stores.  So excited!!!  I always look forward to a treasure hunt.  Who knows what I may find?

Happy Hunting!



November 7, 2014

Flashback, WAY BACK Friday

Honnie, Day Dreams……

This is a photograph of my Great-Grandmother Honnie.  Honnie was a nickname that I gave her when I was a small child.  Her real name is Lillian Alice Miller Haskin Lone.  In the photograph above, entitled, Day Dreams, (she must have written that in herself) she was married to her first husband, and the love of her life, Gordon Haskin.  When he died of a heart attack she married her second husband, Coy Lone.  They then migrated down to Georgia from Vincennes, Indiana to find work during the Great Depression and they settled in Rome, Georgia.  My yankee Great-Grandmother settling in the deep south.  That must have been very hard for her.  When my mother was born she called my Great-Grandmother, Hone, because everyone was calling her Ms. Lone.  I then came along and started calling her Honnie and then everyone started calling her that.

I miss this woman so much!!  I adored my Honnie.  She was perfect!

The photos above are my Great-Grandmother Honnie out west when she was married to Gordon Haskin and they were surveying for the railroad.  I love the photo of her on the rock.  Gordon must have carried her out there and placed her on it.

They traveled by horse and buggy.

My adventurous Great-Grandparents.  I would do anything to have known them at this time.  I’ll bet Honnie was a spitfire then!  She died when I was 8.

I have that railroad spike, by the way!

Surveying the railroad out west.  The photo album is of my Great-Grandparents account of their trip.  The big tent that says, ‘The Bar’.

My Great-Grandmother is the second from the left.

The flattened coins above, are the ones that my little brothers placed on the rails of the railroad tracks so that a train going by would flatten them.

Honnie is in the photo top right standing beside her friend with the coolest old camera!  Gordon is in the photo bottom left acting silly.  When I look at all their photos from when they were married they obviously had money.  Their lives were comfortable.  They are happy and silly in their photos.  Their lives seemed to be very happy.

The north had money.  When you look at census records at the time they had jobs that were like secretary’s, surveyors, shop keepers, seamstresses, bankers, etc.

The south was poor, most of their jobs were farmers and housewives.

Ahh, family history.  There is nothing like it!

Day Dreams……



Come back and see us sometime, ya hear?