December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grandma's Pink Elephant

This morning when I went to the 16th floor kitchen to get my first glass of water for the day, I saw on the "take me" pile (it's where we all put stuff we don't want or need anymore and it's available to the whoever wants it) an Expressions catalog.  I idly flipped through it for a few seconds and then took it back to my office.  I looked through it page by page during lunch hour.  Lo and behold, I come across this absolutely gorgeous glass pink elephant:

Isn't she beautiful!  She's about 6 inches from tip of trunk to her base.  Part of her description reads "our pink pachyderm turns on the carm with silver flects swirling within handblown glass.  4 1/2" x 6"."  I find it a little hard to believe she would be 4.5 inches wide, but you never know until you actually hold a piece in your hands. 

I placed an order for her immediately tonight but - she's already on back-order!  EEK!  I had no idea so many people would fall in love with this little pink elephant, or perhaps they didn't have much of a stock to begin with???  I just don't know.  Anyway, the shipment won't even be in until May 15th!
How can I possibly survive until then???

I must plan where exactly I will put her...

One of the disadvantages of taking photographs during this time of year (dark out by the time I get home) is my difficulty in taking a good photograph. Not only am I usually tired and therefore my hands shake more than usual when I finally get home from the office, I don't have bright lighting in my house - on purpose! At home, I prefer to live in the least light possible in order to get the task at hand done. I am under the glare of fluorescent lights all day, and at night I want an intimate, quiet and dim atmosphere -- like soft, flickering candle light. So - it's not exactly conducive at home to taking photographs at night :)

That would be neither here nor there, except I don't spend all weekend during daylight hours trying to take photographs for blogging I'm going to do during the week. I don't plan that far in advance, for one thing! Nope. An idea may come to me while taking the bus to the office in the morning, or walking home from the supermarket in the evening, or, as last Friday walking home during a particularly nasty snow storm... Well, you get the idea.

This idea, however, has been around for a couple of days -- and I even tried taking photographs of - you guessed it - my collection of pink elephants -- but those photographs did not turn out at all! Tonight, I tried again because --

So, I popped out the camera and turned on every light in the room and snapped three photos.  Two were yechy and one turned out okay.  It's not the best photo, but it does capture one shelf of my pink elephants.  Not that I have several shelves - but I am starting a second shelf and I'm going to have to figure out how to rearrange things in my curio cabinet sooner or later:


Some are more pink than others :)  The little elephant who started this all is the third from the right, in the first row.  She belongs to my grandmother, Ida Belanger Newton.  When Grandma died in 1961, the little elephant was passed down to my dad, and somewhere along the line (many years before he passed away in 2002), she ended up in my hands, and moved with me from apartment to apartment during my roaming years, college years, and early career years.  When I bought my first home in 1986, she had pride of place inside a lovely built-in with stained glass.  It wasn't until years after I built and moved into my present home that I looked at her one day and thought "She's lonely."

That's what started the collection in about 1996.

She has no markings, other than JAPAN embossed near her little tail on her backside toward the bottom/base.  She used to have more gold painted highlights but through the years much of it has either been washed off or worn off from handling.  Of all my elephants, I love her the most.  She could be from post-war Japan, but I've always thought that she dates to the 1930's.  Just don't know.  And it's not really so important.  She will always have pride of place in the front row as near center as I can get her, as the start of the collection.

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