Coins Of The Realms

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My coin collection started innocently and modestly enough, with a few older Canadian coins. Then, as described in my ‘Penny, lira, etc.’ post, I was tricked into collecting foreign coins. Slowly but steadily, over the (many) years, I’ve added coins to both groups, till now I don’t count my coins, so much as weigh them occasionally.

I have almost 600 foreign coins, from over 100 countries around the world, some of which no longer exist, as well as numerous Canadian and American coins. The five binders shown above include Canadian and American coins, as well as bills, and total just over 47 pounds.  I store them on a closet shelf, next to the wall, directly over the support bracket, so as not to collapse it.

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Clamshell 2 x 2s come in various sizes, for various coins. They are folded over a coin and stapled shut on three sides, then the unit is inserted in a plastic sheet with 20 pockets.  Soon after I got started, I received some helpful tips from a couple of old collectors/dealers.

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I buy mounting sheets with reinforced holes, because the weight of 20 coins can tear unprotected sheets. If you’re collecting sequentially dated coins, and one always follows the next, they are inserted into the sheets and forever remain there.

If I get another Spanish coin, I might need to now give Portuguese coins their own page for enough room. My coins can move around.  One dealer advised me to trim the bottom corners of the 2 X 2s at 45°, so that they would slide into the tight pockets easier.  Clipped bottoms and unclipped tops seem ‘unfinished’ to me, so I trim all 4 corners, creating little square ‘malls’ among the coins on the sheet.

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Staples holding the 2 X 2s closed, protrude in small bulges at the back, causing an already bulky assembly to take up even more room. I have a special pair of pliers, with which I crimp them flat, ensuring smoother insertion and retraction, and less volume.

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The arrangement of my foreign coins in my catalogs resembles a giant M on a world map.  They start at the bottom of South America, work their way up past Panama and the Caribbean, and throw a quick wave at the USA and Canada with a couple of odd/special coins.

They cross the Atlantic, through England, Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Islands, and work their way across Europe. They then dodge the rocket attacks in the Middle East and flow down the body of Africa.  Returning, they trudge eastward through Russia and China, and down through South-East Asia, to Australia and New Zealand.

My foreign coins have taught me much about geography and history. Separate regions are arbitrarily jammed together to form the likes of Czechoslovakia.  Countries are split apart, like Germany, or India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  World economy, and that of individual countries, changes coins from gold and silver, to brass, steel, nickel and copper, all the way down to aluminum.

My little digital camera will not take good photos of individual coins, but I have some bright, flamboyant foreign bills/notes I hope to show you later. To some of you, these are not ‘foreign’, but merely coins of your realm.

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Lawsuit

Five Golden Rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 14, 2014

Dearest John,

I went to the door today and the postman delivered a Partridge in a Pear Tree.  What a thoroughly delightful gift!  I couldn’t have been more surprised.

With deepest love and affection
Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 15, 2014

Dearest John,

Today the postman brought your very sweet gift.  Just imagine – Two Turtle Doves.  I’m delighted at your very thoughtful gift.  They are just adorable.  You big silly, what next?

All my love
Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 16, 2014

Dear John,

Oh!  Aren’t you the extravagant one! Now I really must protest.  I don’t deserve such generosity – Three French Hens.  They are just darling, but I must protest, you’ve been too kind.

Love Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 17, 2014

Dear John,

Today the postman delivered Four Calling Birds.  Now, really, they’re beautiful, but don’t you think enough is enough?  You’re being far too romantic.

Affectionately
Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 18, 2014

Dearest John,

What a surprise!  Today the postman delivered Five Golden Rings; one for every finger.  You’re just impossible, but I love it.  Frankly, all those birds squawking were beginning to get on my nerves.

All my love
Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 19, 2014

Dear John,

When I opened the door there were actually Six Geese A-Laying on my front steps.  So you’re back to the birds again, huh?  Those geese are huge.  Where will I ever keep them?  The neighbors are complaining, and I can’t sleep through the racket. Please stop.

Cordially
Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s body, OH

Dec. 20, 2014

John:

What’s with you and these fucking birds?  Seven Swans A-Swimming??  What kind of God-damned joke is this?  There’s bird shit all over the house, and they never stop with the racket.  I can’t sleep at night, and I’m a nervous wreck.  It’s not funny, so stop with the fucking birds.

Sincerely
Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 21, 2014

Okay Buster:

I think I prefer the birds.  What in Hell am I going to do with Eight Maids A-Milking?  It’s not enough with all those birds and the Maids, but they had to bring along their God-damned cows!  There’s shit all over the lawn, and I can’t move in my own house.  What are you doing to me?  Just lay off me, smart-ass!

 

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 22, 2014

Hey Shithead:

What are you?  Some kind of fucking sadist?  Now there’s Nine Pipers Piping.  And Christ, do they ever play!  They’ve never stopped chasing those maids since they got here yesterday morning.  The cows are upset and they’re stepping all over those screeching birds.  What am I going to do?  The neighbors have started a petition to evict me.

You’ll Get Yours!
Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 23, 2014

You Rotten Prick:

Now there’s Ten Ladies Dancing.  I don’t know why they call these sluts Ladies.  They’ve been balling those Pipers all night long.  Now the cows can’t sleep, and they’ve got diarrhea.  My living room is a river of shit!  The Commissioner of Buildings has subpoenaed me to give reason why the house shouldn’t be condemned. I’m going to sic the police on you. One who means it!

Venomously
Honey

***

Miss Honey Waste
Dog’s Body, OH

Dec. 24, 2014

Listen Fuckhead:

What’s with the Eleven Lords A-Leaping on those Maids and Ladies?  Some of those broads will never walk again.  Those Pipers ran through the Maids, and have been committing sodomy with the cows.  All twenty-three of the birds are dead.  They’ve been trampled to death in the orgy.  I hope you’re satisfied, you rotten, vicious swine.

Your sworn enemy
Honey

***

From The Legal Offices Of DEWEY, CHEATHAM and HOWE
Dog’s Anus, OH

Dec. 26, 2014

Dear Sir:

This is to acknowledge your latest gift of Twelve Fiddlers Fiddling, which you have seen fit to inflict on our client, one Miss Honey Waste.  The destruction, of course, was total.

All correspondence should come to our attention.  If you should attempt to reach Miss Waste at the Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants have instructions to shoot you on sight.  With this letter, please find attached a warrant for your arrest.

Cordially

I. M. A. Badger

Ready, Aim, Fire!

Canning season is upon us.  Our supply of dill pickles has been slowly but surely dwindling, and replacements must be made.  Cucumbers have been available for a month or more, but the dill plants are only now coming into their own.

We had massage/osteopathy appointments on Thursday, so we were unable to go to the Farmers’ Market.  We had to go Saturday.  Neither the wife nor daughter is an early riser, and usually we get there 10:00/10:30 AM.  This was Labor Day Saturday!!!  D-Day would have been easier.  With both of them handicapped, I insisted that we get there 8:00/8:30 AM, to be able to park in the same Postal Code, and we still nearly needed to bring our own parking space.

More and more, we are joining the ranks of the Lazy And Incompetent cooks I wrote about 15 months ago.  A couple of weeks ago, the wife found that the Wholesale Warehouse has gallon cans of diced tomatoes, which we could use for making salsa or chili sauce whenever they are needed.  The cost is less than the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes, bought at the market, and they have already been skinned and chopped.

Dill pickles though, still require the personal touch.  We bought a half a bushel of small cucumbers from a favorite vendor, and some fragrant dill stalks from a Mennonite, and hauled them home.  The car still smells of dill – Mmmh!  Saturday evening, we scrubbed the cucumbers and put them to soak overnight.  Sunday afternoon, we started cutting and slicing.

Then we made up the first batch of canning syrup.  We had obtained a couple of pounds of de-skinned garlic, which needed to be blanched.  We used the water from that, to add garlic flavor to the pickling mixture.  We, (as in, the wife) cut the heads off the dill plants, to add to each jar, and cut up the stems to be boiled with the syrup, to add more dill flavor.

The first batch complete by about 9:30, we sent the son out to pick up a couple of pizzas for supper, and then mixed up another pot of witches’ brew, for a second batch.  By 2 AM we had canned (bottled) 15 quarts, 15 pints, and three half-pints, of slices, chunks, and quarters.  Actually, both the son and the grandson like to eat the garlic chunks which add flavor at the bottom of the jars, so, two of the half-pints were the last of the garlic which didn’t go in with the pickles.

Just as we were bottling the last of the pickles we’d obtained at the market the day before, the main building at the Farmers’ Market was busy burning down.  A passerby reported flames at about 1:30 AM, and by the time firemen arrived, all they could do was prevent damage to other, nearby buildings.  Designed to resemble a Mennonite barn, only the fittings and contents were metal and glass.  All the rest was solid, dry wood.

It will take a few days to establish the cause.  In the meantime, 60 vendors and countless customers are impacted.  Many of the locations on the main floor sold meat, as well as eggs, or Guernsey milk.  There were also a candy vendor, produce, fish, cheese, baked goods, a specialty tea/coffee place tucked under the stairs, and an eating area at one end with picnic-table seating, and several stalls selling donairs, pizza, perogies, cinnamon buns, hot apple fritters, Oktoberfest sausages and fries and burgers.  Outlets on mezzanines on both sides provided Mennonite quilts, footwear, leather clothing, dream-catchers, jewelry, semi-precious gemstones, and other various kitsch.  There may be a small puddle of melted gold in the ashes.

The market is a huge tourist trap attraction, with busloads of blue-haired walker-pushers being bussed in from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.  We met a nice couple from London, Ontario, over coffee, Saturday morning.  Management is not sure whether cleanup will proceed quickly enough to allow the rest of the market to open as soon as this coming Thursday.

The Market is Waterloo Region’s answer to Santa’s Village, Niagara Falls, or the Shakespeare Festival.  I am sure that the structure will be rebuilt, perhaps even larger, grander, more Mennonite-ish, but winter is almost upon us.  It could be up to a year to get it replaced.  Built just before legislation made it mandatory, it had no sprinkler system.  Any replacement must provide an elevator, if a second storey is included.

In the meantime, we can attend to get our vegetables, and apple fritters and hot chocolate.  We may have to follow that with longer, scenic drives to other Southern-Ontario tiny hamlets, with names like Heidelberg, Dorking and Elora, to get the quality meats we have grown used to. (Do you like Dorking??  I don’t know, I’ve never Dorked.  Yeah, right!)

Like fine wine, it takes a while for pickles to age.  By early next summer these could be ready to open, and let breathe.  Anybody up for a barbecue?  I could show up with the hamburger slices.  All you’d have to provide would be the burgers and beer – and potato salad – and corn….could we do corn??