Monday, January 31, 2011

More Game Camera Surprises--Owl and Pussycat

We continue to experiment with positioning the gamecamera for flash on snow. Saturday and Sunday nights saw some interesting activity. On Saturday, a raccoon and skunk visited early in the evening. Around 9:45, this Barred Owl dropped in and stayed for more than half an hour. It was too far away from the camera for a good picture, but I included these because I didn't know owls scavenged on carrion, and I wanted to show proof.

A gray fox passed through around 3 am.

Sunday, we tried half-covering the flash with electrical tape, and this gave better pictures. We had a possum, a gray fox, and two different racoons, but the bobcat really obliged us with some close passes by the camera. This is probably why Princess has been staying on the porch in the evenings.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update-grub, and Mysterious Error Messages

I ran the Squeeze upgrades on my desktop machine Saturday morning, and noticed that a grub update was on the list. I've had enough trouble with grub updates lately to know that it was time to back up my data files before I went any further. After the backups, I ran aptitude dist-upgrade, and restarted the machine. (Why wait for trouble to come to me? I'll just go meet trouble.)

Although grub was there and looked OK, it sent me straight into a kernel panic, even in recovery mode. I pulled out my net install disk and booted into "Rescue Mode," asked for a terminal, and ran update-grub. A reboot sent me back to a kernel panic, so I re-rebooted into recovery mode, which worked this time. I ran update-grub again, and rebooted. This time, the system booted, albeit very slowly, and with lots of error messages concerning ata3.00. I googled these error messages, and found some potentially useful links.

There's one message I always get at start up, and whenever I "wake up" my desktop computer: ata3.00: softreset failed (device not ready). This is apparently common among AMD64 Linux kernels, and I've been ignoring it successfully. I found out some interesting things about it.

Some of my error messages might have been indicating a problem with the physical hard drive, or its connectors. I suspected this wasn't my problem, but I wasn't having much luck looking for software solutions. Monitoring Hard Drive Health clued me into S.M.A.R.T., which can let you know if your hard drive is in trouble before it gives up altogether. I installed the Debian smartmontools package, and it told me the hard drive was apparently OK.

In some forum somewhere, I read that SATA cables were more likely to cause error messages than hard drives. I was running out of things to try, so I shut my computer down, let it stand for half an hour, and opened it up. All I did was blow the dust out, and check to see if the SATA cable was plugged in good and tight on the mother board and the hard drive. It seemed fine. The first computer I ever owned always went belly-up every time I moved it, or even bumped it. The fix was to open the case and jiggle all the cables a little bit. I did that this time, too. Call it superstition if you like.

After I put things back together and powered up, the little darlin' booted right up with nary an error message, and has been running like a top ever since. I really hate it when I don't know what was wrong, or why it's running now. Did something reset while it was powered down? Did jiggling the cables do the trick? Was it dust? And what's with all the update-grub/reboot iterations? Why do I always have to do that over and over again? And why does none of this ever happen with my Linux laptop?

While I don't have answers to these questions, here are some links where I learned something.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Dialectic Between Bunnies

These videos made me laugh really hard. I have no idea why this amuses me, but I'm having Linux trouble today, can't figure it out, and haven't come up with a real blog post yet. Perhaps it's just fun to hear cartoon animals say "Derrida."

In my grad school experience, the faculty told us that we needed to be deep scientific thinkers with a "feel for the organism" and cold, calculating political animals with no regard for the truth. In fact, the same professor might tell you "profound, broad-ranging knowledge" on Monday and "political animal" on Tuesday, repeating as necessary until you ultimately loathe your research, your department, and all of academe. Guess you have that in the philosophy department too.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rassling With Lounge Wear

Once I got the hang of sewing overlock seams with my new serger, I launched into trying to sew on tricky fabrics. I have a stack of odd-ball fleece fabrics (from a grab bag deal several years ago), and I've never had great success sewing flat seams with fleece, so I decided to serge-sew a "learning experience" bathrobe.

I've had KwikSew 2325 in my pattern box for years without trying it. The pattern envelope shows a robe made up in some sort of light-weight woven, trimmed with sheer or lace. To quote the envelope: We suggest silk, silk like fabrics, crepe de chine, charmeuse, batiste or eyelet. It's definitely not designed for stretch fleece, and yet, bathrobes don't differ that much in their basic shape--minimally-shaped armhole scythe, simple sleeve cap, dropped shoulders, straight side seams. I thought I'd give it a try--after all, the fleece I'm using was a bargain-basement buy.

Before I started cutting, I decided to alter the pattern. Even though there was plenty of wearing ease for me in the robe pattern, I made a full-bust adjustment anyway. On oversized ready-to-wear such as big tee-shirts and men's shirts, even thought there's ample wearing ease, the shirt neckline crawls up under my chin in front and the shoulder seams creep down my back. It's quite annoying, and I didn't want to have to wrestle my bathrobe all the time--lounge wear is for relaxing, isn't it?

A couple of years ago, I posted some links on the full bust alteration, but my favorite Web pages are no longer available. I have them squirreled away on my hard drive, but I'm not sure it would be legal or sporting of me to post them here. Instead, I've found these new "how-to's" for your sewing pleasure:

Rather than add a side bust dart to a bathrobe, I decided it would look better if the extra fullness went to the shoulder seam. Beth at The Rusty Bobbin has a dandy tutorial: How to Rotate a Bust Dart.

After all that fiddling with the pattern, laying it out was a quick process. At this point, I also added about 5 inches in length to the front and back, and also to the sleeves. I planned to omit the lacy sleeve trim, and I thought a warm fleecy robe shouldn't be too short. Cutting it out and sewing it up on the serger took much less time than getting the pattern ready.

Seams sewn in fleece on a regular sewing machine always get ripply for me, but it wasn't hard to adjust the serger so that I got nice flat seams. I used a four-stitch mock-safety stitch.

After all that fussing, I was very pleased with the fit. The robe does not creep up in front or down in back. I'd hoped to gather the extra fullness in the front shoulder, but the thick fabric just wouldn't gather. I settled for a big pleat instead.

I spent quite a while trying to decide how to edge and hem the robe. The pattern called for a sewn-on binding, but I thought it would be better without the added bulk. The raw edges of fleece don't ravel, but they didn't look quite right all on their own. I experimented for a while with different serger edge finishes, and settled on a two-thread rolled hem, using wooly nylon in the bottom looper. It looked nice and flat and inconspicuous on the scraps I tested, but when I started stitching on the actual robe, it began to curl and ripple a bit. I considered cutting off the offending hem finish, but I decided to call it a decorative edging instead, and just stitched all the way around all the raw edges.

I think I'll make a lightweight summer robe from this pattern sometime this year. It's a very versatile pattern--if I find some nice firm flannel, I'll probably use it to make my husband a robe. (I'll omit the full bust adjustment in his case.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

State of the Sumac--January 2011

The Tree Year

Here's my latest post for The Tree Year. (I think Das Baumjahr has a better ring to it...I may switch.)

The sun came out to make the trees sparkle this afternoon, so I thought it would be a good time to document the State of the Sumac for January, 2011. This particular stag horn sumac has its lowest fruits 12 or 15 feet off the ground, and it's at the bottom of a snowy, icy, steep hill, so the best I can do today is this full-length portrait, complete with plenty of snow-coated red fruit clusters.

Like Sherry's dad, folks around here call this small tree/large shrub "shoe-make." They regard "sumac" as an affectation. It really isn't a case of me "getting above my raisin'" though, because my raising on the prairie didn't include this peculiar tree. I only know its name from field guides and botany classes.

This smaller, distressed sumac has been growing by an abandoned gate for many years, but it hasn't gotten more than 15 feet high. It has some lovely lichens, and I can get a bit closer to those peculiar clusters of fuzzy red sumac fruits.

Here you can see that the birds have been working on the dried fruits. One of the clusters is picked nearly clean.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Utilitarian Crochet Practice

I keep plugging away at basic crochet skills. For me, the key to good knitting skills was just to knit lots and lots and lots of stitches. I'm assuming that the same will hold true for crochet, but I have a lot of stitches to go. I'm using cotton yarn and thread from my collection of leftovers and bargin bin shopping, and my projects are small, funtional items that I believe I'll use. This placemat is mostly practice in making even double crochet stitches--the pretty cotton yarns are all that give it spice.

The black yarn in this potholder is a cotton/wool blend. Until recently, it was a sweater I didn't enjoy wearing. It has good insulating properties, and I hope I'll enjoy it more as a potholder.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wave and Box Socks

OK, this is the fifth and final pair of socks in my series of "Disappointing Silk/Wool Yarns by Rowan." This color work pattern allowed me to use nearly all the remaining "Silkstones" silk/wool blend. The silk in that discontinued yarn consists of short, hard-to-spin fibers. They add some bulk and warmth to the yarn, but the main thing they do is take dyes beautifully. That's the lure that hooked me into buying the yarn in the first place. I'm a sucker for pretty colors.

These socks display a slip-stitch pattern that's fascinated me for a long time. It appears in Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns on page 44 (in my edition, anyway). She calls it "Wave and Box Stitch." Knitted in a springy yarn, the stripey parts of the design spread out in the middle, and are drawn up by the boxy bits. This silk yarn doesn't play up the "wavy" part of the pattern, but it was fun to knit.

"Wave and Box Stitch" is confusing to knit flat, and the instructions in A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns require that you use double-pointed or circular needles, and sometimes there will be two consecutive rows on the right side or two consecutive rows on the wrong side. But if you work it in the round, the instructions are super-simple, and easily explained.

Here, "Color A" is the color the "boxes" will be (in the case of my socks, the medium blue), and "Color B" is the color of the stripes (either white or navy on my socks).

Multiple of 10 stitches.
Odd-numbered rows are knitted with Color A.
Even-numbered rows are knitted with Color B.
Row 1 (and all odd-numbered rows): Color A, *Knit 10*
Row 2: Color B, *K10.*
Row 4, 6, 8: Color B, *slip 3 st, K7.*
Row 10: Color B,*K10.*
Rows 12, 14, 16, Color B, *K3, slip 3, K4*

Monday, January 24, 2011

Knitted Fuchsia Flowers in Ivory Silk

These socks are the fourth pair in my series of "Disappointing Silk/Wool Yarns by Rowan." By that, I don't mean the socks are disappointing, just that the silk/wool blends were not pleasant to knit. The heathery blue yarns were known as "Grainy Silk," and the solid colors (seen above and here) were "Silkstones." They looked luscious in the skeins, but the strands break easily and are inelastic in the knitting. In the wearing, they stretch out and don't spring back, making for slouchy socks. Fortunately, the silk/wool blend is warm and toasty to wear, and I don't mind slouchy socks.
The yarn is just too string-like for Fair Isle patterns, twist-stitch patterns, cable patterns, or any of my other sock-knitting preferences. This time, I thought I would try a bit of open-work, and find out whether I like wearing lacy socks.
The pattern I went with is from Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. It's found in her "Patterns Made with Yarn-Over Stitches" Chapter (page 149 in my edition), and it's called "Fuchsia Pattern." I'm assuming it's after the lovely pendant flowers, not the color.
If I were naming the pattern, I'd be inclined to call it Virginia Bluebells, but, according to Ms. Walker: This is a popular pattern in traditional knitting, known in some form or another throughout Europe. This particular version is German. Perhaps that is reason enough to name it after a flower that is itself named after a Bavarian botanist, Leonhart Fuchs.
In any case, the pattern is easy and makes a pretty ribbing. I will soon know whether I like wearing socks knit with sizable yarn-over "holes."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Bobcat Visits

A few nights ago, the SD card popped out of the game camera, and we thought we didn't get any pictures. However, the built-in drive in the game camera told a different story.

The racoon didn't linger long under the bobcat's spooky gaze. Sherry's racoon had a more pleasant evening, I think.

Last night, we tried moving the camera farther away from the carcass to avoid wash-out effect of too much flash. The color is a little better, and you can see in our kitchen window.

"Red-eye removal" isn't an option here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Bobcat Visit

We don't have the knack for game camera pictures in the snow yet, but we're working on it. This bobcat is last night's visitor to deer season's leftovers.

There's a little pale spot at the base of a tree in the second photo. It's of the same quality as a Bigfoot picture, but I think I see a pair of eyes:

Bobcat number two?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ice Storm, Iowa, 1954

Here are more surprises from my mom's box of Kodachrome slides. 1954 is a guess--my parents lived in this house from about 1952 to 1956. You can see why southwestern Iowa winters are so hard on trees.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Massage Your Possum

Proper Opossum Massage:

Because you wouldn't want to do it wrong.

via Southern Rockies Nature Blog, who usually is much more serious than this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cromwell Marching Band, White Cat, and Oldsmobile

I vividly remember what the Cromwell Band uniform smelled like, although I cannot describe it now any more than I could then. The cat does not appear well pleased by it either. I do not remember my flute being that large in relation to my arms. Below, the band is assembling for the 1963 Thanksgiving parade. These slides were a surprise--I don't remember Mom taking these pictures.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weather Report

We've had a little of everything today--sunshine, melting icicles, clouds, and now more snow. A complete winter weather sampler.


Sometimes I find work teaching people to use Microsoft Office components. Sadly, I am responsible for introducing a few people to the use of PowerPoint. I usually tell them, "A gentleman is someone who knows how to use PowerPoint, but doesn't." However, this satirical example will make the point more effectively: "I have an action item."

N.B. I downloaded the entire presentation, and found it can be opened with Open Office, and also viewed in outline form.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011: The Year In Trees

Marvin and Sherry clued me in to this interesting project, The Tree Year. Here's how it works:

The Tree Year

How to start:

  1. Pick a tree – either one you like a lot or one that you see every day on your way to work or that happens to live on your balcony.
  2. Observe it: every day or once a week or less. What grabs your attention? What kind of animals are and what kind of plants grow on it?
  3. Write about your observation, make sketches or take photographs and share it with us.

Now, I could get totally hung up at step 1, "Pick a tree." I am overwhelmed by my choices here on Droop Mountain. I was feeling a little panicky about picking a "good one." And what if my tree blew down in a high wind, or became firewood? However, the FAQ's inform me that we can "change the project idea [so] that it fits you." In fact, I see on the Tree Year site that Marvin has picked both a persimmon tree and a sweet gum tree.

Sherry has chosen a dogwood, another awesome tree. Before all the "good" trees are taken, I'm gonna call Staghorn Sumac! There's a stand here close to the house, and it does so many interesting things. Check these lichens on a sumac branch (from a post here in February, 2009). I'll probably never get a photograph of the pileated woodpeckers eating sumac fruits, but they do dine there regularly.

Thanks, Marvin and Sherry, for alerting me to this, and thanks to The Tree Year for the idea.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Violets Bear It Away

Here's a picture of my grandmother, Florence Williamson Hunt, the postcard collector in my family. The postcard album I've been using to decorate my holiday postings for the last few years is something Florence put together while living with her parents on their farm, prior to her marriage in her early 30's. In this photograph, she's moved to town (Creston), widowed, and in her 70's.

Grandma had an extensive flower garden at "the house in town," and she had a large collection of African violets on her window sills. As a little girl, I fixated on these flowers with fuzzy foliage, and I've tried to grow them myself with limited success.

Fortunately, the office and bedroom in our new house have plenty of winter sunlight, and my current crop of African violets has been blooming quite cheerfully. I have Grandma's crocheted table toppers scattered among the houseplants.

Friday, January 07, 2011

A Glimpse of the Past, and Command Line Adventures

Kodachrome slide from 1951 or 1952. My Aunt Verla, Uncle Bill, and cousins Cathy, Bobby, and Denny. Aren't they cute?

The last few days I've been scanning a box of old Kodachrome slides my mom shot with her spiffy Exacta 35mm camera in the early 1950's. It's the camera I fell in love with as a teenager, using black and white film. A few years ago, I sold the camera on Ebay to a collector in Germany, sort of a photographic repatriation.

I've never seen these images before--they were something Mom always told me she'd show me someday, but it never happened, and it was purely by chance that I found and kept the metal slide box when I emptied her house in 1996.

It's sort of spooky to see images from her life long before she was my mother. In fact I was so focused on this glimpse into her life that I didn't notice I was scanning the images in a format my photo editing software doesn't much like. I want to print some of these pictures to send my cousins (Do you suppose they know how cute they were?), so I need to convert them to a different file format in batch mode.

Fortunately, I have ImageMagick on my Linux box already, and it has awesome command line tools (about which I know very little, so far). I do know how to convert a file format:

rebecca@hecate:~/Moms_slides$ convert covered_bridge.tiff covered_bridge.jpg

Of course, I need to do batches of convert. I could read the ImageMagick documentation (but if that were easy, I would have done it years ago). Or, I could make an executable file of convert commands, and run it. There was a time when I wrote sed and awk scripts in my sleep (I really did--I dreamed about shell scripts.) I was afraid I couldn't remember, but a little help.txt file in an archived directory jogged my memory, and I was back in business directly.

In the spirit of my help.txt files, where I kept a record of how I did whatever needed doing, here's how I converted a big pile of tiff image files to png image files.

rebecca@hecate:~/Pictures/Moms_slides$ ls *.tiff|
awk '{print "convert "$1, $1".png"}'|
sed s/.tiff.png/.png/ >temp
rebecca@hecate:~/Pictures/Moms_slides$ chmod +x temp
rebecca@hecate:~/Pictures/Moms_slides$ ./temp

And here's what the executable file looks like:

rebecca@hecate:~/Pictures/Moms_slides$ head temp
convert 5kids_easter2.tiff 5kids_easter2.png
convert 5kids_easter.tiff 5kids_easter.png
convert 5kids_pinecones.tiff 5kids_pinecones.png
convert 5kids_xmas.tiff 5kids_xmas.png
convert bill1.tiff bill1.png
convert bill2.tiff bill2.png
convert bill_junglegym.tiff bill_junglegym.png
convert bobby_blocks.tiff bobby_blocks.png
convert bobby_easter.tiff bobby_easter.png
convert bobby_junglegym.tiff bobby_junglegym.png

It took a lot longer to write up this help file than it did to convert 75 images to a format I can send to my printer. (For what it's worth, my photo editing software can read tiff files, just not the ones created by Xsane, the scanner software I use.)

Here are some Web resources on sed and awk that I wish had existed when I was learning those wonderful programs:

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Why Don't I Like White Noise?

Sometimes I just feel perplexed by modern novels of the sort the New York Times reviews--the type that are chosen for literary prizes and taught in undergraduate literature classes. I'm not alone in this:

I'm going to wrestle once again with literary fiction, and ask once again what it is, and how it differs from other fiction, and why it is considered fine art, and why it is regarded as superior to other fiction, and why academics embrace it and teach it but won't teach popular fiction....I can't even get any agreed-upon definition of literary fiction. Its proponents usually tell me they know it when they see it, and are sure it is superior to popular fiction, but can't say why.

This is from a recent blog post by Richard S. Wheeler. I'm just a gal reading books in her woodland cabin (I do have a B.S. in English, but I spent most of my class time on "The Fairy Queen" and "Paradise Lost," with nothing more recent than George Eliot in my curriculum.) but Mr. Wheeler is a much-published novelist with some interesting insights, so I was surprised to find him in my same boat.

Sometimes I can see why a writer is admired, even if I can't bring myself to join in. John Updike's prose really impresses me--his descriptions of place and mood are vivid and I remember them years later, even though I could care less how Rabbit feels, or what happens to him. It's the same with Cormac McCarthy--that's mighty fine prose, but why are you telling me this?

I think it might be that I am not the intended audience for these sorts of books. Updike and McCarthy seem pretty concerned with what it means to be a man. That's probably not as important a topic to me as it is to them, although Ralph Ellison and Joseph Conrad and Feodor Dostoevsky engaged my interest in that same topic, and Franz Kafka drew me into what it means to stop being a man (and being a big bug instead).

Don Dilillo is a highly-regarded writer that I have avoided. A few months ago I decided to try again, and perhaps understand why I didn't connect with him. I got a copy of White Noise from my book trading site and read it through. If it hadn't been awarded the 1985 National Book Award, I wouldn't have gone past the first 50 pages. I understood it to be a satire on modern American society, including pop culture, consumerism, science, and medicine. These things are so often satirized that I didn't find much humor in this book--I'd heard these jokes before.

Maybe I would have been more amused if I'd read the book 25 years ago, I thought. I spent some time reading literary criticism on the Web, and found that the book is still assigned reading for many undergraduate classes, still the subject of literary criticism. (For example, Don Delillo's White noise: a reader's guide by Leonard Orr generously makes large chunks of text available on Google Books.) The folks who admire Delillo still like White Noise, so that's probably not my problem.

I think the reason I fail as Delillo's reader is my personal history as a science fiction reader, a disgruntled graduate student, an environmental scientist, a teacher of nursing students. Long before White Noise came out, I'd read several Philip K. Dick novels, especially The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. More distopian and more outrageous than White Noise, Philip K. Dick's genre fiction stole its thunder, at least for me. It seems to be fashionable to take Dick's fiction seriously these days, but back when I read it, in the late 70's, it was just some really weird stuff that most sci fi fans didn't much like.

The most helpful Don Delillo Web resource I found was Curt Gardner's Don DeLillo's America - A Don DeLillo Site. He has links to many interviews with, and essays by Don Delillo, as well as a bibliography and reviews both positive and negative. I found Mr. Delillo's essays (indexed in Don Dilillo on Writing) interesting and thoughtful, which made me particularly sorry I fail as his fan. This analysis of his novels was particularly helpful to me: What to Read: The brilliant. The pretty unbelievably good. The rough going. The completely avoidable. Our guide to the DeLillo oeuvre. Of White Noise, it says: "If you're going to like DeLillo, this is the book that will make it happen." I guess it's not going to happen, and maybe it just comes down to liking it, or not liking it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Crochet Foundation Row and More Practice

My adventures in crochet are still mostly "skills-building," rather than inspired by projects. I made this small, buttoned purse to hold a lavender sachet in my sock drawer. The goal here was to get more practice working with inelastic thread and smallish steel hooks. I just made up the pattern as I went along, as you can probably guess. The shell-and-picot embellishments I added at the end are heavy and out of scale with the bag, but it's going to spend most of its time in a dark dresser drawer. Oh well.

My goal is to crochet with fine thread, like that used in this table topper from my grandma's collection of crocheted dresser scarves, tablecloths, and doilies.

Besides simple practice, I did learn a new technique with this project--the crochet foundation row, a project starter that skips the foundation chain. There are dozens of tutorials on YouTube, but for those of us who prefer written directions, the best explanation I've found is this: Tutorial: Foundation Single Crochet: "You can use foundation crochet to determine the size of a row when it's not set because the stitches are true-to-size unlike a chain, which is impossible to use as a row-length gauge." provides excellent written directions, and a brief history of the technique. I found a helpful forum discussion, too: In praise of the single crochet foundation row.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Pincushion of My Ancestors, Slipcovered and Starched

This pincushion has been on my to-repair list for years. In fact, I believe it was on my mother's to-repair list throughout my childhood, and may have been on my grandma's to-repair list before that.

Although my mom kept it with her sewing gear, it's not that sort of pincushion. It was made to sit on a lady's dresser, and to be stuck full of hatpins and the sorts of pins they used to fasten their apron tops to their dress bodice-fronts.

This particular pincushion was handmade at home, most likely as a gift. I believe it dates from my grandma's post-card collecting days, from around 1900 to 1915. (After she was grown up, but before she was married with kids.) The body of the cushion was machine- and hand-sewn of pink cotton sateen, and stuffed full of sawdust. The decorative cover is crocheted of very fine cotton thread. I washed it and starched it with spray starch, but I'll probably look for some stiffer starch to make the ruffles stand up better.

I had originally planned to make a new cushion to display the crocheted cover, but I had this pretty blue silk left over from re-covering a lamp shade. (The silk was salvaged from a favorite shirt.) It's a match for my bedroom walls, and it was a quick project to simply "slip-cover" the original cushion and pull the crocheted cover over the top.

Do you suppose crossing something off my late mother's "to-do" list has some sort of karmic significance beyond just finishing a sewing project?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year, 1911

"With Best New Year's Wishes--1911." The sentiment hasn't changed much in 100 years, with a four-leafed clover for luck. This card is addressed to "Miss F. Williamson, Williamson [the post office was in the store her uncles owned], Adams County, Iowa" and postmarked "St. Paul, MINNESOTA, Jan. 31, 1911, 2 pm." The message reads "Dear Florence, I wish you a Happy New Year. I am going to spend New Year's Eve skating. From Your Friend, Edna C."