Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Too Much of Nothin' and Happy Thanksgiving

With apologies to Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul & Mary for use of their music's title, lately Mandy has seen "too much of nothin" regarding being out and about.

Granddaughter and D-I-L visited us at our place for several days before we all drove to Pittsburgh for a family wedding...that was fun.  The baby is adorable. And a regular chatterbox.   She's learning to talk, and certainly doing better at it than last time we saw her.  We can understand her most of the time nowadays - often without a "translator."

Yes, the wedding was beautiful, and the pretty bride (guess what her first name was - yep - Amanda) wore a pretty dress (guess who was jealous?)  Granddaughter was cute as a button,  and did ok, but was a bit antsy that afternoon, and her mom had to take her out of the sanctuary for the last recessional.  But all in all, we had a great time.

One thing the baby said that we didn't understand (not my wife and I and certainly not the baby's mom) is: what she was asking for that sounded like "I want a beer."   We all did a double-and-triple-take with that...since they don't drink beer, don't have it around the house, and don't drink either beer or hard liquor when out with her.  We don''t have any idea what she wanted or where the phrase came from - unless it was on a TV show!

That may become one of the embarrassing baby stories to tell her when she gets older...

For this little excursion, I wore my sport coat (the one left over from my working days), with a pair of women's slacks, black trouser socks, and flats, with my purse.  On wedding day, I pulled my hair in a pony tail (a gesture for my wife.)  Unlike the last wedding, this time nobody (including the servers) interpreted me as female.   Even though our son (with his long hair) couldn't be there (a work thing interfered), there were other men with long hair, including the bride's stepfather.  So there were no issues...

The rest of the trip, I wore dark stirrup pants with black trouser socks and a turtleneck, with my hair loose.  That's one of my typical winter androgynous outfits.   And the only time anyone  "miss-interpreted" me was on the way home, at the garage where we picked up my car from being serviced.  A new greeter (who didn't know me) assumed I was female.  And was more than happy to answer any questions I might have....yeah right!

Now, back to "too much of nothin'" for a while...


PS:  To all of my readers - best wishes for a Happy Turkey Day....don't eat too much!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My fave secluded spot Part 2:

Fall colors typically arrive late here on the Delmarva...but the leaves are usually all down by Thanksgiving day.   This year is no exception - except that the colors are more muted than normal.   Browns seem to predominate, and the reds and golds are not as brilliant. 

The above and the following pic are among the best colors I've seen on the Delmarva this fall.

Be glad you're not the fish this apparently-hungry (and very majestic) blue heron is eyeing.  He flew from the other side of the inlet as I watched, and "set up shop" on this old, dead tree.  (You can see the tree in my previous picture.)  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to wait around and see if he captured his prey...but he looks quite determined.

This is possibly one of the last clear fall days when colors will be visible.   As I mentioned above, typically it's all over by Thanksgiving.   We've had some sunshine since the day I took this picture, but nothing like the clear blue shown here.

Wonder when we'll see the first snow?


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Not such a great antique show this year... least as far as Mandy is concerned.  There weren't the same opportunities as at some of the previous events.   I guess that's to be expected - especially for something I've been doing for so many years.  

Following is the outfit I wore to dinner on the second night of my trip...

Bear in mind that when I checked into the hotel, wearing the same top, shoes and jewelry but with stirrup pants instead of the capris, I was addressed as "Sir" by the two 20something female desk clerks.  When I entered the hotel restaurant that second night, dressed as above, I may have confused the staff.  A rather generic "You may sit wherever you wish" was my first instruction.  And the server was similarly neutral.  It be took a while for her to figure things out, but by then she apparently went off duty and I didn't see her again for the rest of my meal - at my, or at any - table.

A different server (40something male) took over the table and addressed me properly - as female.   The meal portion was large enough that I couldn't eat it all, so I got a box from the kitchen and took it back to the room - which had a refrigerator and microwave.  (And I brought utensils with me...just in case I might need them.)

For my third day, when I again dressed in stirrup pants, with nylons and a turtleneck, flats and the silver necklace and bracelet shown above, the wife of one of the vendors sought me out to tell me that she owns a couple of pairs of shoes just like mine.  Then she asked how I like them, and initiated a brief but girly discussion, including how comfortable they are (very),  who made them (Clarks), where we both got ours (on line), and so on.  Maybe two minutes of chatter.  The vendor knows my birth gender, and now he's probably been made aware that I wear women's clothes.    But the outfit I had on is the same as I wear everyday, so it really doesn't matter.

And I was addressed as Ma'am a number of times by female attendees who don't  know me...

On that third evening, once again I was not wearing a skirt.  I just wasn't feeling up to par, and with the rain and heavy city traffic, it made no sense to fight the elements.   So, I just stayed in my room.  (And ate the leftovers from the night before.  Yummy!)

In short, I can look forward to next year....when presumably things will be better.

But once back home, the above didn't dim my a store and dressed as above, I used my wife's discount card.  And once again, was addressed by her name.  Happens a lot.  Nice!


Sunday, November 5, 2017

My favorite secluded spot...and my new skirt

There are a ton of places like this on the Delmarva...secluded, without much human activity, and very picturesque.   I found this inlet a couple miles off Rt 50 in Maryland.  There are no occupied houses nearby, and the only sign of human activity is a seldom-used dock with boat launch ramp.  During my visits,  there was never anybody around.  The sounds of tiny waves lapping the shore, wind, birds singing and fish jumping are the only things you hear!  Can't even hear the trucks out on US-50.

A great little place for a few minutes of relaxation...pity I can't get here more than a few times a year!

The water doesn't look to be very deep, which may be the reason I never see any boating activity here (despite the dock.)   But this bird (a crane?) went fishing after the shutter clicked, so there must be plenty for birds to eat in those waters....
Picked my skirt up for a song ($9)  at one of the p[us-size shops on line.  It seems to fit well, and as far as I can tell, it's in line with the current style. 

I can't wait for a chance to wear it out and about...and I was hoping to wear it on my normal annual antique show and sale trip.   But due to circumstances beyond my control, it simply didn't happen the first night...I only had time for these pictures.   And things don't look so good for the other nights...oh, well.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Trip Miscellany and a quick stop at Ft. McHenry

During my recent excursion, I visited the town of Saltillo, PA, a town with 343 residents as of
the 2000 census, and former important stop on the now-abandoned East Broad Top Railroad.

Per Wikipedia, the town got its name from the Mexican War Battle of Saltillo on October 23,
1840.  It was a major tanning center during the late 18th and early 19th century, with
two tanneries in town.  The railroad arrived in 1874.  In addition, there were two short-lived
industries in town:  an iron mine and a limestone quarry, both on the SE side.  In the
early 20th century a large ganister (fine-grained stone used in manufacturing firebrick)
quarry was established on Jacks Mountain above Saltillo, to supply a plant in Mt. Union at the
other end of the railroad.  The EBT had a 3 track yard, water tank and wye in Saltillo, and in
1942 a spur was built to serve the ganister quarry.  It remained in service until the railroad died
in 1956.   The quarry then closed, in 1970.

EBT tracks remain in place, but the water tank burned in the 1980's and the station deteriorated
over the years.  It was reportedly demolished in the mid-2000's due to its decrepit condition.

Below is a picture of the (former?) hotel in town, which is located just across the street from the
site of the train station.  (It looked more like a home, or apartments, to me.)  The narrow gauge
tracks can still be seen peeking out of the grass on the right-of-way and the asphalt on the road
just out of the picture to the right.

Below is the site of the former train depot.   Tracks are just beyond the walkway to the rear.

When I arrived in Robertsdale, I was interested in locating the other town relic - the
Reality Theatre.  As I mentioned in a prior post, it was supposed to contain a museum
about coal mining.   Here is a picture of it...nicely maintained, for a small town of 759
as of the 2000  census.   Though it is now a church...   (If you didn't read the account of
my interaction with the two men inside, check my post of 10/18, part 2 of the saga.)

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the church where the coal mining museum is now
located...     :-(     

At the campground and store by the grist mill, I noticed a rather unusual speed limit sign.
It definitely catches your attention...though I don't think a ticket for going 4-6/10 mph
would stand up in court...LOL!

While I was off chasing "ghost trains," my wife was on an extended visit with her sister in
Chicago, thus when she arrived back in town, I needed to pick her up.  I went into Baltimore a
bit early, planning to visit a few charity shops to look for some things.  But the weather turned
out to be so spectacular that I postponed shopping for another day, and took some time to visit
Fort McHenry, which is important in USA history for many reasons, one of which is that it
was the site where our National Anthem was written.

Trust me, that weather was spectacular!

Needless to say, I was dressed in my normal androgynous manner on my run to Baltimore.
And it worked the way it normally does...I was addressed as a woman while I was visiting
at the Fort, the only place where I interacted with the public.

An interesting sidelight:  I was wearing dangly silver earrings and silver necklace, with
a black stone bracelet of my mother's on my left arm.  (Most of my jewelry comes from her
jewelry box.)  My earrings came off before I picked up my wife, and she's used to my
wearing the necklace.  But I forgot to remove the bracelet.

And nothing was said about it....go figure!  (But I'll be more careful in the future.)

Bye for now...