Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Non-Thinking Week

I'm still at the lake, we'll be leaving tomorrow evening to go home.

This has been a disappointing week to me for several reasons. One of which is my knitting. I brought a knitting project and some spinning stuff with me. I've done some spinning and dyeing, but I just haven't been able to pick up the knitting.

I think it might be because it requires thinking and I just haven't been up to that this week. I seriously needed some non-thinking down time and I've gotten it, thank God. I should have brought a plain stockinette project instead of a lace one. Bad project for this week.

Would you like to see the view from the back porch of my folks?
Beautiful, Isn't It?

That's the party barge in the lower left corner. A little further to the left is the bass boat. My kids have changed the name and call it PawPaw's "fast" boat.

There are a bazillion spiders here that love to perform their art everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. You can't move without finding a web. I love the webs, But I seriously despise spiders with a passion.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Gem of a Museum

I found a little jewel of a museum in the sleepy little town of Anniston, Al. If you're wondering, Anniston is about 2 hours outside of Atlanta, GA.

It's called the Berman Museum and guess what? It was founded by two honest to God spies. How cool is that? But wait, it gets better. The man, Farley Berman, worked as a spook for the CIA before it became the CIA. He was assigned to watch a French spy named Germaine. She, in turn, was assigned to watch him. That's how they met, then fell in love and then married. I absolutely love the story. They retired to Anniston (where he was originally from) and that is how this lovely museum ended up there.

Over the years they amassed one of the most amazing collections I've ever seen. All of it was kept in their home until right before they died. Your eyes will pop out when I tell you what they have there. There is no way that every thing was gained in a legit manner. I suspect a little black market stuff went on, but that's just my opinion. Over half of the collection is still kept in a vault and most of that will never be seen by the public.

So what did they have? (As always, click to enlarge the pics for better detail!)

The most amazing things to me were:

a. Adolf Hitler's Tea Service - When the looting during WWII occurred, this little gem made it's way to the States. Notice the engraved A.H. on everything and the Eagle and swastika. I am a tea fanatic and have quite a large collection of tea cups and pots, but nothing as pretty as this service.

This pic doesn't do it justice.

The Silver

b. Napoleon's Dressing Set - This set was with Napoleon in his exile on the island of St. Helena. The detail around the mirror is something to behold. It was very surreal gazing at myself in the mirror that he looked at every morning as he dressed. It is made of hand carved ivory. I always pictured him as sitting in a stone chamber with nothing but a cot and a bucket. Obviously his imprisonment was quite a bit nicer than I thought.


Notice the tweezers. Think he plucked his nose hair with those?

c. The spy guns were amazing. There was a belt buckle gun, throat lozenge gun, flute gun, pipe gun, tire gauge gun, etc. Most of those shot a .22 caliber bullet. There was also a fountain pen that shot tear gas.

Check out the screwdriver gun

d. The Coronation Crown and sceptor of the Czech republic.

e. Mussolini's Sword, bell pull that was by his bedside, his parents photos that were on his night stand, many of his medals and the original photo that was taken by American soldiers about an hour after he was hanged. This became an incredibly famous photo.

The Sword

Ma & Pa Mussolini

f. Stuff I don't have a pic of - a pair of executioner's swords from China, The Sword of one of the Persian Kings that was encrusted with tons of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. There was also numerous oil paintings, Remington bronzed sculptures of the old west, about a bazillion types of guns from every war and the old west.

I could go on and on. We had our own personal tour guide. We were pretty much the only visitors so one of the employees walked around with us and told us the stories of a lot of the stuff on display. If you ever get a chance to go see this, do. I was absolutely amazed. Fabulous!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oops. Missed a day. I'm blaming it on the lake atmosphere. I headed out of dodge for the week and I'm still here. I figured that if I stayed at home I would just fret and worry about the camp that I'm not at. So, here I am at the lake.

But! Here's something cool that I dug up at my folks place. A pair of hand cards that belonged to my g-grandmother and possibly to hers. They were made in the mid 1800s or so.

There is still a stamp on them that is just barely visible. It took some time doing internet research to fill in the missing blanks, but it reads:

"The only genuine Old Whittemore Patent, Improved, No. 10 Cotton, L.S. Watson & Co., Leicester, Mass."

The tines are in horrible condition, but the wood (maple) is fine. I would like to replace them with tines for wool if I can find some. Not sure where to look. I'll ask on Ravelry to see if anyone knows.

Mama Poole's Cotton Handcards

Horrible condition
Here's some cuteness for you. She was "helping" me take pics of everything:
Miss Minnie

Something else that I did this weekend was dye more roving. The roving is from Sheep Shed Studio and is a merino/mohair combo. It looks like Mint Chocolate Chip to me, especially spun up. I'll show you some of that later.

Yum, Mint Chocolate Chip!

I'm not extremely pleased with the dye job. I may go back later and overdye the yarn, we'll see. I used dylon dyes in lime and bahama blue.