Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for December, 2019

Memories of Christmas Past at Arms Family Museum

Arms Entrance

The Arms Family Museum presents “Memories of Christmas Past.”

By the Fireside” brings to life the traditions and decorations used during Christmastime many years ago. Picture yourself sitting by a warm fire with stockings hung from the mantle ready for Christmas surprises. There’s so much to see in seven rooms filled with Christmas of old that you’re sure to find memories that have been tucked away in your mind from years in the past.

Arms Fireplace with cards

This brought back memories of hanging Christmas cards around a cardboard brick fireplace.

   The Arms Family Museum in Youngstown presents its 12th annual “Memories of Christmas Past” from November 23 through Sunday, January 5, 2020. This display has been designed each year by the mastermind of Anthony Worrellia, who explores the world for new ideas and rare Christmas decorations. Each year the rooms take on a different theme which gives them a special glow.

Arms Sitting Room with feather tree and wooden toys

Their cozy sitting room had a feather tree and wooden toys.

   Anthony searches all year for the perfect items to display. He borrows from friends and acquaintances all over the country. His connections through a group of international Christmas collectors, The Golden Glow of Christmas Past, help him in his search for new ideas. A team of volunteers and staff begin setting up the displays in late September.

Arms Asian Dining Room

This Asian dining room was inspired by a Christmas card collection.

   His ideas might come from something as simple as a collection of Christmas cards and postcards. That happened this year when the cards led Anthony to create a dining room setting with an Asian and European touch.

Arms Honeycomb Santa

Honeycomb Santas, candles, snowmen and other decorations were available in the 1920s.

   A display of those old-fashioned honeycomb decorations from the 1920s caught my eye. Large red plastic bells hung throughout the exhibit that used to hang in the classroom. A favorite in the library was a seven and a half foot crystal tree containing over 2,000 crystals which was wrapped with blue lights creating a magical feeling.

Arms Crystal Tree

2,000 crystals shimmer in a field of blue lights.

   A fun Scavenger Hunt along the way had you looking carefully for a list of things to be found. Included were 4 snow dogs, an owl with a Santa hat, a bonsai tree, and as many elves as you could find. It also caused guests to interact with each other creating an all-round friendly atmosphere.

   The setting is perfect as it showcases the Greystone house built by Wilford and Olive Arms in 1905. Upon her death in 1960, Olive left the Mahoning Valley Historical Society her home and its contents with the stipulation that it be developed as the Arms Museum.

Arms Guide Cassie Christmas Card collection

Guide Cassie tells of the vintage Christmas card collection on display.

   While the first floor has Christmas in every corner, the second floor shows the mansion as it was when the Arms lived there. Children prefer the basement, which resembles an old log cabin, as this is the place where they experience hands-on activities.

Arms Sleigh 2

Don costumes for a great photo opportunity.

   In the lower level at “Santa’s Village,” children and adults enjoy getting dressed in Christmas costumes of Santa, elf, or drummer boy. All of these costumes are locally made. Santa’s sleigh, made by another local gentleman, gives the perfect background for a photo opportunity. There are craft tables also where you can make bead or paint chip tree ornaments, holiday cards, or even a miniature Greystone mansion.

Arms Mantle Scene

This mantle scene shows four dogs pulling a girl on a sled. All of them have coats of real fur.

   Catch the Christmas spirit as you stroll through the three floors of Arms Family Museum. Volunteers throughout are very helpful and answer questions easily. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon – 4:00 from now until January 5, 2020, with their display of “Memories of Christmas Past.” In January, they will be rearranging and cleaning to be ready to open the traditional mansion in February.

Arms Gift Shop

Their gift shop contained many vintage items.

   Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children with toddlers under 3 being admitted at no charge. Active military, as well as military veterans, are always free. It’s quite a popular spot as over 8,000 people enjoyed the Christmas exhibit in 2018. Something new this year is permission to take pictures without a flash. Everyone enjoys photos of memorable places they visit.

  Arms Sign   Families have made “Memories of Christmas Past” a family tradition since there’s something new every year. Everyone will enjoy awakening memories and making new ones during a visit to the Arms Family Museum. The magic of Christmas never ends.

The Arms Family Museum is located in Youngstown, Ohio at 648 Wick Avenue. It is near the Youngstown State University campus so watch for their exit signs.

A Simpler Thyme Shares Uses for Herbs

Julia WelcomeFood should be your medicine and medicine should be your food.

Turning your passion into a business creates the perfect way to live. That’s what Julia Brown has done with her passion for herbs, which began with her grandmother. That country grandmother would go out to the garden, gather herbs and whip them up into something that would help their ailments. Julia’s passion and business became “A Simpler Thyme.”

Julia Garden with Doves

This section of her herb garden contained doves.

   While she picked up her love of using natural herbs from her grandmother, Julia never knew what her grandmother was combining. That took time and study by Julia over the past thirty years as she learned how to use herbs both in food and medicine.

Julia Herb Walk

Take an herb walk with Julia after a yoga session.

   Julia is a certified master herbalist and iridology practitioner. For many years she has given classes, presentations on the benefits of herbs, and private consultations.

   In her later years, Julia’s mother lived with them. Mom had lost her sight but her mind still created visions of what she wanted for Julia. They talked about building a cabin behind her house up on the hill. Every night when Julia came home from work, they would discuss the cabin. She told her how to decorate it and even what dishes to use. Mom was a huge part of the cabin.

   Mom told Julia, “You have to promise me you will build your cabin.”

Julia Cabin

Her cabin serves as the perfect place for a quiet retreat or an interesting workshop.

   Julia remembers, “She made my dream come true. The cabin was her vision for me.” Amish built this perfect place for an herbal experience in nature’s own setting. She takes pride in her cabin and conducts workshops there to tell others about the benefits of using herbs for culinary as well as medicinal purposes. Take a beautiful drive through Amish country to rural Fresno to find her business called A Simpler Thyme.

Julia Herb Garden

Her house and cabin are surrounded by herb gardens.

   “God put herbs on this earth for our benefit,” so Julia wants to make people passionate about using herbs and doing things naturally. Everything our body needs is right in front of us, such as herbs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, trees, water, fresh air, and sunshine.

Julia Sprouting Lentils

Julia always has a jar of sprouting lentils around for a healthy snack.

   We just need to learn how to use them better for ourselves and our families. Using healthy herbs in the food we prepare is an easy way of sneaking medicine to our family.

   She became even more passionate after her back injury in 2012. She fell down the steps and fractured her L5. Doctors wanted to do surgery, but Julia changed her diet and exercised, using food and herbs as her medicine. No surgery was required and her back is fine today.

   Her recent interest is iridology, the study of the human eye. While she cannot diagnose ailments, she can see strengths and weaknesses by looking at the iris of a person’s eye. Your iris serves as a map to your body. The left eye shows the medical history of the mother while the right eye tells that of the father.

Julia Mom's Bedroom with eyes

Julia received the answer as to whether she should study iridology from the quilt in her mom’s bedroom.

   At first, Julia wasn’t certain if she wanted to pursue studying all the needed information. She was looking for a sign to tell her what she should do. She sat down in a rocking chair in her mother’s bedroom and looked at the pattern on the back of the quilt. It looked like there were eyes all over it. At that moment, she felt sure she needed to pursue iridology. The eye is a lamp unto the body and a window to the soul.

Julia Entrance

An old-fashioned outhouse fits the scene perfectly.

   The entire family has helped with the project. Husband Brian and children Autumn and Austin have been instrumental in giving her ideas for giveaways and herbal samples. Workshops will be held a couple of times a month and the schedule can be found on her website www.asimplerthyme.com

Julia Fire Cider

Julia demonstrates making a jar of Fire Cider at a recent workshop.

   Attended an interesting workshop in Newcomerstown with the Friends at the Table, a cookbook club, which meets once a month. The workshop revolved around making Fire Cider, a sure-fire natural remedy for colds. A shot of Fire Cider every twelve hours often gives quick relief.

   Julia’s main goal is educating the public on the many uses of herbs. She stresses, “If you don’t know what the herb or root is, don’t put it in your mouth.”

Julia inside cabin 2

Inside her cabin is a comfortable and quiet place for a workshop.

   Plan to attend one of Julia’s workshops or meet with her for a personal consultation at her comfy cabin. “God provides everything for us and it is up to us to know what to do with it.”

   Herbal Blessings are sent by Julia Brown from A Simpler Thyme.

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