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January 31, 2012

How Time Flies

Jane Flory in my college days
48 years ago this month since I walked into 
Jane Flory's Evening Division office as her 
new student helper. 
Part of my student aid package.
Best boss I ever had.
Friend, teacher, mentor followed.
Can't say in what order, evolving and growing
with time.
Some time before Jane revealed her other profession.
Author and Illustrator of over 50 children's books.

An alumna of the College.
As well as raising three lovely, talented 
and mischievous daughters.

Just a few of Jane Flory's wonderful books
Jane was the first to believe I could write as well as illustrate.
Trusted me to illustrate her Ranshackle Roost (HMCo).
Taught me everything she knew about "the ropes"
of writing, book illustrating and publishing and introduced 
me to Houghton Mifflin Co., her publisher.
We did 4 books together.

Ramshackle Roost, We'll Have A Friend For Lunch, The
Unexpected Grandchildren and The Bear On The Doorstep
(all HMCo).
Hard work, much laughter, interesting expeditions.
She listened, sympathized, advised, cheered 
and laughed with every "war story" from books 
that came after.
We shared a love of history, doll houses, handcrafts
and travel. Unabashed Anglophiles.
Remembered anecdotes from shared adventures 
always make me laugh. 
And I miss her.

Jane Flory at the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, PA. 
 on a research trip for my book, The Three Brothers, Whitebird/Putnam
One of our memorable"expeditions" over the years.

January 26, 2012

Brotherly Love

Blogging to you from high above the city of
brotherly love.
Celebrating dear Freddie's 9th birthday!!
Don't know for sure the exact date, but
somewhere within the last week of January
and first week of February.
Tizzy was 3 when Fred arrived and not at all
happy to share his comfortable life.
Fred did little to win him over.
Slept in his beds.
Played with his toys.
Chasing the big guy around and wanting
to play when Tizzy wanted to sleep.
Nothing irritated Tizzy more than the
baby cat licking his face.

It still does. 

Its about who's the boss. Freddie never learns. Nano seconds after

this shot, a feline re-enactment of an Ali/Fraser fight. =^..^=

January 15, 2012

Spork Maestro

Recently, searched the Net for a combination fork 
and spoon eating utensil. 
Thought it might help my blind Mom eat more
Discovered the spork.
Familiar to kids and campers.
I wanted one that fit in with regular silverware.
Discovered the ETSY shop bosen / handcrafted

Mom's first Bosen made spork, photo ⓒ Bosen 2012, with permission

 Bosen, the shop proprietor and craftspersonrecycles
old worthy teaspoons of "good quality and with character",
painstakingly searched for in thrift stores and garage sales.
Then careful grinding, sanding and filing transforms them into
these useful and unique utensils. Often completing the
transformation by engraving a word like "NOURISH" or 
"Eat" on the stem. 
Bosen credits trying to eat penne pasta at lunch with 
a rounded spoon. Studying bronze casting at a foundry at
the time encouraged the thought of creating tines on the front
edge of the spoon. 
And it works magnificently! 
My Mom started raving immediately!
Amusingly, she was eating a penne pasta dish 
at the time.
I immediately sent for 2 more of Bosen's sporks for Mom.
Now I want some of my own.

These 2 Bosen sporks arrived yesterday, photos ⓒ Bosen 2012, with permission

When not "sporkifying" spoons, Bosen restores older steel 
bicycles and finds them new owners in the small town in
on the North shore of Monterey Bay in Central California
where Bosen lives. 
Bosen writes, "I am passionate about sustainable human 
powered transportation which means keeping every last 
bicycle out of landfills and scrap piles. I make a life of 
turning beat up, neglected old bicycles into smooth running, 
useful machines that will serve their owners for decades to come. 

I suggest you bring along your trusty unique Bosen spork 
for when you stop for lunch and/or dinner. Enjoy your meal.
Thanking its enigmatic, conscientious creator/ recycler.

January 12, 2012

Cat Baby

   My boy Tizzy, 11 years ago
ⓒ carolyn croll 2012

January 6, 2012

2012 So Far

 ⓒCarolyn Croll 2012/ Silkworm with 
Mulberry (after Maria Sibylla Merian)
Six days in.
So far: 

Discovered my lovely 
blood-red Bokara, scored 
on sale when Wanamakers 
went out of business years ago,
totaled by wool moths.

Imbibing massive amounts 
of chicken soup, tea w/lemon 
and honey. Gargling through
my annual head cold.

Received an email requesting
permission to use "part" of a 
piece of my sample art from 
the internetafter the requester 
had lifted, altered and used 
it twice
Permission denied. 
Property of a client.

Another year begins........ ACHOO!