Perfect Representation

I have one primary reason for trying to promote a more positive world. This one reason actually represents many people, possibly even multiple generations and I take this silliness that I write about everyday very seriously. This photo is of my grandson. He literally owns my heart and always will. I never understood why my friends who became grandparents were so weird about their little human beings. I now know. He and his generation are what drive me. Like most grandparents, I want him to grow up in “a better world”.


This child is a curious little bug. I remember seeing the world as something new all over again when my kids were his age. It didn’t matter if it was something gigantic, or as simple as a rock in the backyard, everything was fascinating. Our children (and grands) mimic what they see. When this young, they don’t quite fully understand vocabulary, but they watch every move and sound you make, and of course, repeat your vocabulary at the most in-opportune times! I think that the photo my daughter took of him on the USS MIDWAY in San Diego is the perfect encapsulation of the curious learning sponge that a toddler can be.

Jake in San Diego

He is about two stories up, on a glass floor, looking into the belly of the ship. I wish I was there, so he could tell me what “he sees”. But at this point in his life, all that excited talking sounds like gibberish. Oh, and does he talk. He also listens, and watches, and observes, and copies. I’ve not written much in the past couple of weeks, first I was away and had no internet, imagine that! Then, it was just plain to hot & humid to think. Not really, but it sounds like a valid excuse. However, I think the glass floor photo is what has had me in a writing quandary because I want the words to be “just right”. This child gives me such hope, and joy, and yes, even fear. This child makes me want a better world. I want a lot of things for him, you know the typical ones, health and abilities, the awareness of his place among others in the world. I hope he makes good choices. I hope that he is safe from harm.

There is one particular thing I hope for this child. I hope he can see beauty around him, and not loose his curiosity. I think all the other stuff, for the most part, may fall into place if he can see, hear, smell, touch and experience beauty. I believe that if we are able to fill our senses with an attitude of looking for beauty, no matter where we are, it will change our mindset. That attitude will give us hope of something better, it will bring us to a place of creative energy that enhances all of our senses.

In my hope for his future, I will recycle as much as I can. I will be cognizant of ways that I can preserve rather than consume. I will have high expectation of leadership that will affect his life. I will do whatever I can to teach him what I know about life and getting the best out of it. For example, I will encourage him to care about the natural environment, but also teach him about the environment of the tongue.

In consideration of the future, and let’s face it, our current reality, let’s do what we can to promote beauty!

The beauty of Nature

The beauty of Relationships

The beauty of Creativity

The beauty of Words, both spoken and written

The beauty of Learning

The beauty of Living life to it’s fullest

As we look for the beauty of life it really does have an effect, first on our selves in present time. It is difficult to get involved in all the negativity when you are looking in a different direction. Your quest for beauty will also affect others deeply, even into the future. You never know how a seemingly little positive thing we do can have great effect as we gaze into an unknown future.

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter


Ain’t that Perty?

I doesn’t it matter if you live in the country, suburbs or city. You probably have dealt with this issue. The spiders get busy after dark. However, we do live in the country. When we go out to check the garden  or stop at the flip-house, or just try and get in the freaking car in the morning, we have to look half-crazy. Arms swinging before us so we don’t get a spider web in the face. Been there, done that? Annoying little artists aren’t they?


The problem is those fine strings that can run 20-30ft from one tree to another, you just can’t see it until it’s too late. But if you look for it ever so closely, you see the most delicate, lacy, gorgeously beautiful patterned most amazing structure of mechanical engineering available today.

I’m annoyed, but impressed. Have a great day!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

Please visit my other blog! The Brown Bag Letter


The Upside-down Burning Chair

Yes, this is a photo of a burning chair, and kind of sad, but I’m thankful for it. Being an antique dealer and lover of all things old, I have a deep respect and honor for old, inanimate objects like pieces of furniture, trinkets, jewelry, photos and crystal. What do I mean by honor? Well, a long long time ago, in a land called, “antique” furniture and other items were made by hand. Carvings were just that, literally carved by hand, not manufactured. China tea cups were painted with the greatest care. It is a fascinating world of beauty and craftsmanship.

I have foundmyself sitting at marked up old kitchen tables with obvious wear marks and wondered, as my fingers ran across the surface, who sat here? Did they drink coffee in the morning? Beer or wine with dinner? Did they tell family stories and argue about who was washing the dishes and play poker?


Antique mirrors intrigue me too. As I gaze at my own reflection I wonder who else has looked into this beautiful mirror and checked themselves out? Does this fit? Is this a good color? Am I pretty? Will he like it? Did she have self doubt of great confidence?


Check out my blog, The Brow Bag Letter to see my appreciation for antique photos, they slay me. Most photos are anonymous that are still here with us today. Names unknown, people forgotten. So yes, I honor inanimate objects without apology.

Imagine me, the one that loves and honors antiques burning a 100 year old chair in my fire pit. I do try and re-purpose or refinish what I can, but this one was without hope. The caning was ripped and it had some breaks in the wood. Truly not savable, so yes, I burned it. As I placed it in the fire and felt the warmth of the embers, I wondered, who sat in this chair? I sat and relaxed with a glass of wine and contemplated the possibilities, which of course reminded me of special memories.

Sometimes memories seemed burned up or long forgotten, like the people in antique photos, then something triggers a memory, and you are THERE. again, in your mind as if it is just happening.

This chair remind me of:

Coffee with Mom on a Saturday morning and sitting at the table while she ironed Dad’s shirts. There were many great conversations about family, love, boyfriends and girly silliness and giggles.

The day a man from Church that stopped by the house and I invited him in for a cup of coffee. As we sat there in the kitchen talking, my incredibly friendly German Shepherd was growling every time he lifted his cup. Evidently Corey didn’t think he was trustworthy and was very protective. Grrrrrrrrr

My hubby and I met at a local park, and we sat on a bench getting to know each other, I think it was around five hours later that we finally got up!

When your memories are triggered, I hope they are wonderful! Learn from the bad & hurtful ones, and don’t let it happen again! Be empowered to make change happen. Appreciate the ones you are reminded of all the time. Enjoy those that sneak up on you. Relive the moment and think, how can I create memories that are this special for someone else? Who could I share my life with that would be blessed if 40 years later they are “there again” via memory?

I appreciate the burning upside down chair. I’m thankful for those who sat in it for many years. (Considering the shape it was in, it must have been well-loved). I could ask what triggers your special memories, but I think I’ll be more specific . . . in honor of the burning chair. What special memories do you have that involve a chair?

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter

Oh Yes, I am!!!!

Tell me you wouldn’t feel totally empowered by this!

Hubby was checking the brakes on my car and comes in the house saying, “I need your help moving the car.” So, I grab my keys and he says, “You don’t need them.” I left them behind figuring he had the spare already. I THOUGHT that I was going to pull up the car on the ramp, but no, he had something different in mind.

The jack was too tall to fit under the car, and he needed to have the wheel free, so he got a pressure-treated 4×4 board and proceeded to say, “Here, just lift the car up!” I’m strong, especially for a girly-girl, but REALLY HONEY, YOU WANT ME TO LIFT UP A FREAKING CAR???? How high???????

I did it.


THEN . . . 

I sang Helen Reddy, I am Woman!

I told every man I saw in Home Depot what I did.

I danced in the grocery store.

I’m a badass.

And really, it wasn’t even that hard to do! What makes you feel like a bad-ass singing Helen Reddy songs?

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

–a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!


Pingback: #FOWC



Patterns are everywhere. They are amazing. I’ll get to that, but first, let me tell you about my disease. That’s what I tell folks when they say to me, “Karen, you’re so creative!” I guess I am, I do have an ability to “see things” that aren’t there yet. Some might think I’m a bit nuts, but that’s OK. For instance, I see shelves in a nasty old piece of wood. I see a beautiful necklace in a rock and when I see a pile of doilies — Oh my, enhanced clothing, bedspreads and sometimes sitting on a table under a lamp at the perfect angle.

The worst of all the things I see is the potential of an old piano or pump organ. The cabinets of these gorgeous instruments are incredible with fancy woodwork and carvings. Yet, let’s face it, most pump organs are over a century old, so they are tired and most have lost their voice. Pianos too, unfortunately, “free stuff” on Craigslist always has pianos. Pump organs are heavy, but pianos, they weigh in at around 400-500 lbs., we need help getting one off the truck, but, imagine me and my husband, at a combined weight of 287 lbs. moving these buggers around because Karen wants to take it apart! All that to say, I am fascinated by the mechanical engineering masterpieces inside these instruments that all work together so that one light touch of a key makes (or used to make) incredible sound.


Did you know that there are 7 to 8 steps of hinges and movements before the piano hammer touches the harp strings? Each step has various carved wood pieces involved. There are too many to count, and so many screws and dowels for each key. There are 88 keys on a piano requiring least a thousand or more screws when all is said and done. The precise cut of each piece is ridiculous, not to mention made without electricity, without lasers, just old fashioned craftsmanship. Precise, beautiful craftsmanship. One error and guess what? Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, or chopsticks ain’t gonna sound so spiffy!

And here I am, ripping them apart! Well, it’s better than seeing them in the dump! Here are some of my favorite crafts from old pianos and organs. Anywhere from Key-holders to shelving, I’m working on a desk now.



My favorite pride and joy is the shelf that is made completely from piano parts, all 88 keys were in perfect shape and they cried out for something special. The wine rack above is made from the key cover of that same piano. It is now displayed in a beautiful Victorian Bed and Breakfast, The Queen.




Same Piano enhancing kitchen cabinets in house we flipped:

OK, so yes, I sell stuff, and even do commissioned work, so if you have a piano or old piece of furniture of Grandma’s & you want something pretty that isn’t so freaking big in your house . . . drop it off! Here is a memorial piece I did . . .


But I’m not writing today to gain more pianos, organs or any of the other things this eccentric weirdo finds fun. I’m writing about a fascination of mine. Patterns. It just happens that the craft of making a piano or an organ are both incredible examples of ability, artistry and craftsmanship. However patterns are everywhere. They are in nature, in plants, animals and rocks. They are in man-made creations, buildings, bridges, art and jewelry. Patterns are in words, music and wildlife calls. What does this have to do with positivity? Everything.

Patterns are wonderful to observe — it can be even meditative if you allow. It may be the pattern of artistry in something as intricate as a piano, or a motherboard, or the delicacy of a flower. It may be your own pattern of living that gives you peace. (Possibly the negativity of our current time is due to an imbalance of patterns?) ((OUCH)) ((and again, OUCH)).

Let me ask a question or two . . . what patterns bring joy, peace and dignity to your life? What patterns are out of whack and bring turmoil? What can you do to make that change? When I take apart a piano or organ, it is a complete and utter disaster of messiness, that is, until screws are bagged, broken wood burned, and pieces put back together again in a different order.  I know that I can be impulsive, eccentric, eclectic, undisciplined and off-the-wall. However patterns bring clarity, ability to see “something new” and stability in a crazy world.

I encourage you to look for and appreciate the patterns of life, of art, of nature, and of man-made things. Appreciate what makes things the same and different. I believe it fascinating, and doing this will either drive you crazy, or give you a sense of appreciation and positive awareness. I hope the discipline of “seeing” the intricacies of patterns brings you joy!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

–a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.


Life in a Berry Patch

An analogy for life.

It is black-raspberry season and we have been picking daily. I’ve frozen about 10 bags so far and I’m sure we’ve eaten about the same. Yesterday, as I went to pick this lovely one, I see a familiar pattern. There are actually 7 days or more of picking on this cluster. Those berries, one by one will present themselves ready. They change color and when ripe will easily roll off into your fingers. If they aren’t ready . . . they will fight you. Black-raspberries that aren’t ready can be quite stubborn. If you stick to picking the ones that are “ready”, you more than likely won’t get pricked by the thorns either.

We only have a couple more weeks of picking, then blueberries will be in season, followed by wild red-raspberries.  Summer is fun, eh? Everything in it’s time, during it’s season.

If you ever get the chance, try going to a pick-your-own farm. I find picking berries meditative. Once you get into the mesmerizing flow of it all, it is very relaxing. You hear the birds, feel gentle breezes, or the hot sun on your back. Sometimes the berries can give you insight.

We live in a world of quick news, quick results, microwaveable-pre-cooked-filled-with-bad-for-you-shit-meals. We live in a world of quick judgement, and quick words (especially if they are not nice). We live in a world of, “If you don’t meet up with MY standard, then . . . “. Therefore, maybe it’s time to learn a lesson or two from the berry patch!


Berries grow in clusters, but they mature differently.

Berries are sour until they are ready.

Berries come in all sizes, shapes and colors, yet they are called “berries”.


Berries thrive growing along with all kinds of weeds.


Berries have vision, they reach out into the unknown for their future.

Berries protect their future, those plants that produce fruit sweet enough to eat off the vine and eat for desert will rip you open in a heart-beat!

Image result for poison ivyimg_20180706_104001107~2-11347926299..jpg




Berries require some wisdom, not everything that looks the same is the same! These two leaves look rather similar but one is entirely evil, the other as sweet as berry-pie. #1-Poison Ivy, #2 Black-raspberry.


Berries dry up, wither and die.

The seeds drop and a new generation

has opportunity to grow.

Oh, and then there are the bugs. They bite you when you pick, they hide in the leaves, they chew on the berries, and sometimes —- you eat them! Yuck.

OK, life is life until you die. We all are in different stages of life, each stage beautiful. If we enter into life each day knowing that we are surrounded by those just like us, by those who are different, by weeds, by bugs and all kinds of negative influences, we can survive, not only that we can thrive in our season.

That’s it, life lesson from a little fruit, written by an eccentric fruit who is going to go pick some now . . .

Enjoying the Adventure, (Especially when it tastes so good!)

Dr. Dink



Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

–a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!




A Hungry Man is a Hungry Man

For those who follow my blog in many parts of the USA, this photo would not need words, however for those of you who live in the city, or around the world who wouldn’t understand the comedy of this photo . . .

I live in Central Pennsylvania in the shadow of one of the most progressive schools, Penn State University “WE ARE!” Although Central Pennsylvania is quite rural, and State College isn’t a very large town when the students are on break, because of the University, we have about every convenience and fun things to do that most cities have to offer. However, about 10 miles out of this growing mini-city live the most unique and awesome people. They are called the Amish, or Pennsylvania Dutch.

These folk are hard-working farmers for the most part, but you often see Amish men doing carpentry work and you certainly know “it’s being done right” if the Amish are doing the job! Occasionally, the women sell homemade food, such as cookies, breads, “woopie pie”, fresh brown eggs direct from the farm, or homemade soaps and candles at flea markets. Due to their strong Mennonite-Christian beliefs they do not use many of the modern conveniences we American’s take for granted such as, electricity, cars & trucks, computers, mechanized tractors,  and so on. Image result for amish farm

You can always recognize an Amish person by their mode of transportation —horse drawn buggy! Their farms are BEAUTIFUL! The Amish also wear clothing that certainly identifies them in a crowd. The men wear black pants and vest, usually a white or blue shirt, and straw hat. Wow! —-they have the biggest hands, probably due to the hard labor on the farm. The women wear very modest dresses, ankle length, fastened with straight pins, generally black or blue, and a small bonnet to express humility. Although they keep to themselves for the most part, they are incredibly friendly, and helpful people. If a barn is destroyed in a fire, the entire community will get together, and it will be re-built within days.

Image result for amish farm

You have to be careful driving in the area of the Amish farms because you never know if a horse and buggy will be around the bend! It is truly like stepping back in time and quite the opposite of the contemporary conveniences, amazing research, and forward-thinking-studies performed at Penn State University so close by.

Image result for amish plow

Imagine my surprise when I stopped at Sheetz Convenience store the other day which happens to sit across from a weekly flea market. Here stands a group of Amish men, ordering sandwiches on a touch-screen computer! img_20180704_0532100612

Dear God, what is the world coming to????????

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink!


Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter  –a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!


Photo Credits:

Horse & Buggy

Buggy on Road

Amish Plowing Field