Deb's Monthly Review
August 1998

Special Quotes
If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.
--Gaston Bachelard

If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
--William Morris

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My mother used to practice this old art.

Aunt Edna's Kitchen
Nicely done, easy to navigate, plenty of practical information and goodies.

Sun Microsystems' Guide to Web Style
Excellent tips, and they admit it's only their point of view. Your mileage may vary.

Dollar Stretcher Vacation Page.
If you're feeling too broke to take a vacation trip this year, don't give up yet.

Olli's Webory Game
Best if you have a graphics-capable browser.


I am featuring this site a second time. Christina is still missing.

Medieval Sourcebook
Excellent site with links to even more information.

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August Events
word festivals For August Travelers

August 1-2, 1998
Garden Trail
Conway area locations, Conway, New Hampshire.
Commercial, private, and public gardens open to the public for viewing both days. There are
over 60 gardens in all. This event has been held since 1960.
Further details: Call 603-447-5988.

August 2, 1998
Filipino Heritage Festival
Market Street and San Carlos, San Jose, California
In its fifth year, and busy with interactive rides, entertainment, fashion show, flag ceremony,
awards presented for community service and scholarships, craft vendors, food.
Additional information: Call 408-231-6635.

August 8-9, 1998
TibetFest '98.
Seattle Center, Seattle, Washington.
lectures, arts and crafts, garments, literature, food, Tibetan folk music and dance. This is
the event's third year.
More information: Call 206-684-7200.

August 8-9, 1998
German Alps Festival
Various Tent Locations, Hunter, New York.
Musical entertainment, traditional German foods, crafts, rides, contest to find an
M.I.Hummel look-alike.
For additional information: Phone 518-263-4223.

August 15-16, 1998
Wooden Canoe Festival
Kermit Crandall Park, Millinocket Stream, Millinocket, Maine.
Displays of canoes, building competitions, canoe and boat parade, demonstrations of pack
basket weaving, more.
Information: Call 207-723-4443.

August 15-16, 1998
Caribbean Festival
LaSalle Park, Foot of Porter Avenue, Buffalo, New York.
This is the their 11th year. Reggae, Calypso, Salsa, Soca music, Caribbean and African
ethnic foods.
More details: Call 716-881-3266.

August 16-24, 1998
Wyoming State Fair
Douglas, Wyoming.
More information: Call 800-464-5167.

August 28-29, 1998
Barnesville Potato Days Festival
Barnesville, Minnesota.
Potato golf, pototao car races, potato billiards, golden potato scavenger hunt. Over
10,000 attend.
Details: Call Karen at 800-525-4901.

August 29-30, 1998
Cotati Accordion Festival
La Plaza Park, Cotati, California.
Workshops, dancing, entertainment.
Information: Call 707-664-0444.

August 20-23, 1998
Vermont State Zucchini Festival
Various locations, Ludlow, Vermont.
Crafts, entertainment, hill climb, foods featuring zucchini.
Details: Call NEED AREA CODE228-5830
NOTE: A side trip not far from Ludlow is the birthplace and boyhood home, and finally,
resting place of Calvin Coolidge.

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House Talk

The first house I lived in had originally been built by a local builder for his daughter and her husband on the occasion of their marriage. Unfortunately (for them) the wedded bliss was very short-lived and the house ended up being sold to my parents. My father paid cash for the house (of course, houses were not as expensive then). The house was small, but full of storage places, and had a full basement beneath it. I lived in that house until I left home to be on my own. I always enjoyed seeing houses where other people lived, and found it fascinating to note that houses can begin to take on the character of those who live in them.

People often confuse the words house and home. A home can be almost anywhere, if you are comfortable and happy. A house is usually something we use to refer to the building itself. Realtors don't try to sell you a dream house. They try to sell you a dream home. But when you find a house that is a home, you have it all.

Toy designers came up with a dream house for the Barbie doll Mattel made. But times have changed. Now we have a friend for Barbie, and she can't get into Barbie's house because she is in a wheelchair, and Mattel did not make the dream house accessible to those who use wheelchairs to navigate. Is there a Barbie bus, and if so, does it have a lift for wheelchairs? You see, a toy house is not just a toy in the 1990's. It's a social statement, reflecting society's focus on issues we swept under the rug in the 1950's. So much for the Dream House.

And speaking of dreams, we could easily move on to nightmares. How about that film depicting home ownership at its lowest? The Money Pit made us all laugh, nervously. It could happen to us. It does happen to some of us. Take a few minutes to read Our Money Pit.

Human beings are so enamored with the idea of houses that we project our wish to design and build them onto inanimate creatures called gingerbread men (and lest I be called sexist here, gingerbread women). If constructing a real house frightens you, maybe you'd like to try a Gingerbread House.
After all, if you make any mistakes, you can always just eat them.

Some gingerbread houses go way beyond the basics, and become true works of art. Perhaps this is how we came to call the embellishments on houses gingerbread. Fretworks International is a commercial site, but shows great examples of gingerbread on their Victorian Gingerbread Page.

The Victorians were that grand bunch of people who managed to look austere in apparent behavior, yet somehow playful and even flirtatious in matters of food, crafts, and decor. You can learn more about Victorian houses at Victorian House School.

If a full-size Victorian structure sounds too ambitious for you, how about doing a tiny one? This commercial site sells dollhouse trim for your miniature Victorian house.

When I was a child, we found an ad for a child's playhouse. The description was quite nice, and it was only about $5. You can imagine my disappointment (and my father's anger) when it showed up as a big piece of plastic designed to be placed over a card table! It was probably my earliest lesson in false (or at least very misleading) advertising.
If you figure the cost of inflation, you are doing quite nicely to spend the $20.00 these people say they spent to make their toddler a playhouse.

Though not strictly a house in the usual sense, many of us who grew up in snow country built a snow fort at one time or another. When we made them, we used a technique more like making snow bricks.
This method would require a lot more adult supervision and caution. I liked our way better.

Another childhood memory is the Funhouse from the local yearly fair's carnival. It was pretty tame as fun houses go, but it did have this steam pad thing that made wild noises when you stepped on it, and my friend and I had quite a time getting up enough nerve to go past it. There was a doorway there, with big bars on it, and my friend and I were visible to everyone until we made it past the steam pad. I remember the carnival barker using our plight to attract more fairgoers to the Funhouse by pointing out that they had two little girls trapped in the jail. I felt really important for a moment, until I realized I was being used as advertising.

One of the questions I still ask myself in life's big moments is whether I'm gaining fame or notoriety.

Almost everyone remembers some old place from their childhood that everyone said was haunted. There is a side of the human nature that seems to be drawn to scarey things, and everyone loves a good story, so these tales of hauntings tend to persist even if no one knows how they got started. People speak of ghosts or spirits inhabiting such places. Many times it is believed the ghost is that of a former resident, now deceased. My personal theology prevents me from believing that to be the case, but I also know that my beliefs do not explain away the strange noises and scenes experienced by some people.

Nowadays, elaborate haunted houses are constructed in the fall, and used to raise money during the days leading up to Halloween. This is a different kind of haunted house, in which everyone knows their emotions are being tweaked by a cast of actors.
You can even search online to find one near you.

You've heard the saying People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
But have you seen the Glass House Mountains National Park in Queensland?
Another kind of glass house.

A coach house or carriage house was the historical equivalent of our present-day garage. Not all held vehicles as fancy as these.
Nowadays anything named coach house is likely to be a place for people to get food
or food and lodging.

Parents often speak of being driven to the Poor House, especially after their offspring ask for something shiny, new, and expensive. But we don't have Poor Houses anymore. The Texas constitution made provisions for them.
You can read about the history of one Poor House on the Isle of Man.
I guess the closest thing we have to a Poor House at this time is a Homeless Shelter. The main difference might be that the people in the Poor House lived there for a time, and worked to help maintain the place whenever they were able to do so. Homeless Shelters now are more like what my mother used to refer to as a Flop House, a place to sleep and get a free meal, and then be on your way.

The term Bath House means different things to different people. In Japan, baths are more than just a way to scrub away dirt. Visit Yashiroyo's Bath House, also known as Sento. This brings to mind a relaxing spa with quality family time.
Bath Houses have also been used as places of vacation and renewal.
Here's the history of just such a spot.
Bath Houses have other uses, including the sharing and/or sale of sexual activities. If you know what that means, fine. If you don't know, ask the adult who had better be reading this with you.

The term Guest House generally brings to mind a lovely estate with a larger main house, and room for a separate smaller quarters for friends who visit. In recent times we in the United States were bombarded with the daily trial footage of O.J. Simpson, and we heard a lot about the guest house in which Kato Kaelin stayed. Somehow the term came to be associated with a freeloader. It says something ominous to me that many people who spoke of Kaelin were putting him on trial, even though they don't know the man. And what was his crime?
And anyway, I guess that particular house and its guest house, are history now. They've been bulldozed to make way for a new owner's idea of what a house should be. A house can be a fleeting thing, even if it was expensive and famous.
I digress.

Some people reading this went to school with hundreds of other children in large buildings. My own experience was in a very small Catholic elementary school called Holy Cross. We had more than one room, but in the past, many children in the United States went to school in Schoolhouses with only one room. Visit The One-Room School Homepage

Ah, the refrigerator. But before that, there was the Ice House, with thick walls and sawdust to insulate the huge blocks of ice brought from frozen lakes.
You can learn about the Cedar Falls Ice House here online.

It's the most famous house in the world. There are other centers of government, but this one is a house too. White House.

When I think of a really large house, I think of someone having to clean all those bathrooms!

Imagine the biggest house you've ever seen. There is one bigger. And it isn't just a building with lots of rooms to clean. A house can encompass something even bigger. Imagine a house that holds all other houses, in terms of friends and family and all the people you've ever really enjoyed having around you. There is such a place, planned to include each of us who wish to be there. And the Head of the House wants to live with us forever.

In My Father's house are many dwelling places;
if it were not so, I would have told you;
for I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:2

holy city

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®,
Copyright ©1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by
The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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