jam mama (part 2)

Ten years ago almost to this very day I wrote a post on my blog which was untitled but included the words…..JAM MAMA……

“You should have seen small Grace
diving into the warm cup of jam
that I set out on the table,
with a loaf of soft white bread from the bakery.
She tore of big chunks of bread
and dipped the majority of it down
into the bright red jam. . . .
there is just nothing like that warm, strawberry taste
. . . .it’s heavenly.

She called me ‘jam-mama’.”
July 12, 2008

Ten years have come and gone……

Grace is 18 now and was at work (as a cashier downtown at the grocery store) yesterday when I walked up the road to “see if there were any raspberries left”.  I determined to really look and really pick every single good enough berry I could find.  This involved lots of bending over and looking underneath the tangle of vines and briars and taking my merry ol’ sweet time.

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I eventually came home with 6 cups.

Incidentally, these berries grow on the side of the road, free for the foraging!  I already have a gallon of them frozen in our chest freezer in the pantry.  Once they ripen, we have to go back every couple of days to pick some more until they are finally all done.  They are productive!

We have a small patch of wild raspberries over by the chicken coop, too, which the chickens love to jump up and eat off the cane.  Then they lay us the most lovely eggs out of appreciation.

The black-cap raspberries grow on the bank by our drive way and under the dead pine tree at the bottom of the yard by the pond.

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I always pick clean but you never know what little creatures may have taken a ride home with the berries.  So I dumped them out to look through them.

I put them in a pan and simmered them until they released all their juice.  I strained out the seeds, measured the juice (2 cups) and added them back to the pan with the same amount of sugar (2 cups).  Brought to a rolling boil for 3 minutes and then beaten with the mixer for another 3 minutes.  Done!  So easy, so satisfying.

I was given the recipe by my very own jam mama, Cindy.

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Jacob said the jelly would taste good on “that cake you made the other day” and Ethan suggested some other baked good and I said “How about homemade biscuits?” And he said YES PLEASE.

I made a double batch of biscuits and we all ate them up right away with the homemade jelly on top.

Everywhere I looked there were children grabbing  another and another biscuit, slathering it with butter and jelly, and walking away with it………

This morning my feet are sticking to the carpet and the floor.

alaska

IMG_7352“To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.”
  ~John Muir, Travels in Alaska

I deliberately packed light so I could bring things home with me from Alaska.  It’s a good thing, too, because Hannah and I visited several used bookstores and I found approximately 10 or more titles to add to my Newbery book collection.  I was able to get everything packed and weighing less than 50 pounds for my trip back home, which was yesterday.

I was in Alaska, visiting my friend Hannah, for ten days.

After such adventures in travel and sightseeing, I am happy to report that I am perfectly well, just a little bit tired.  Indeed, it was good to sleep next to my husband last night, with the light of a gorgeous June full moon outside our windows.   Together again.

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Thank you to Rich and Hannah’s husband, Ryan, for all they did to make this experience possible.  I flew to Anchorage, and Hannah met me right at the baggage claim to drive me to her house, which was six hours away in Valdez.  The two of us always along famously, with nary an awkward feeling or impatient word or disagreement about our activities.  Well, except for the times when we were fighting over the check.  By the end of our visit, we didn’t even do that anymore.

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As I expected, the views and nature and fresh air were beyond imagination.  The vastness of Alaska is only to be experienced, mere words are inadequate.  I often felt in awe of what my eyes were taking in.  The mountains, the clouds, the trees and flowers, the mosquitos……..

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Hannah and I met through blogging years ago, and then we were pen pals, and then she visited my family three times here in Connecticut before I went to visit her.  Our common interests in Jesus and His love and grace, family, motherhood, reading the same books, and many other things kept our friendship going over the last 10 years and more.   We truly do get along comfortably “like two peas in a pod”.

It was a joy to visit Alaska because of her……..

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I’ll be sharing photos from the trip for a while.

 

big bow, books, and a heron

I had serious reservations about Sarah’s requested hair style this morning (I’m her hair stylist).  “I want the ponytail on the top of my head like this,” she turned upside down and gathered it up in her hands, “and then put the bow on.”  The bow was all of 8 inches across, large, white, with silver sequins all over it.  She won the bow yesterday by “moving up her clip” at school.  Rather ridiculous.  Still, I couldn’t see any reason to deny her.  Up up and up went the hair, with the big bow on the very very top.

Two hours later, I was sitting in the front row of the auditorium trying to find my girl, the one with the big white bow on her head.  And to my amusement, there were girls all over the place with big bows of all different colors on the tops of THEIR heads!  It’s a trend!  An 8 year old school girl fashion trend!

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After the concert, where I heard adorable songs sung by adorable children, I decided to check out a local used book store for more Newbury books.  I’m trying to collect all the gold and silver medal winners, and read them all, too.  Or rather, I determined I would read them, and then found myself collecting them.  I have already read some of them, of course.   And we owned a surprising amount.  But there are over 300 titles and now that I’ve set this goal as a 40-something year old woman, it will be an absolute treat to read most of them for the first time, and some of them over again.  I’ll be sharing most of my “Newbury book news” on my instagram account, with some now and then updates here, too.  Since I began my challenge, I’ve read 1)Roller Skates 2)The Dark Frigate 3)Sounder 4) Secret of the Andes 5)The Twenty One Balloons  and am currently reading 6) Hitty, Her First Hundred Years.  It feels like it’s taking me a hundred years to finish it but that’s not to say that it isn’t a good book because it is.  It’s just taking me almost a solid week to read it.  Next I’ll read Out of the Dust because when I posted a photo of it on Instagram two of my friends said it was a favorite.  If I’m going to read them all I want to own them all (a treasure of a library for myself and my family) and since I love a bargain and a treasure hunt I’ll be spending the summer searching.  It’s such fun.  I get confused.  Some of the titles I’ve never heard of and don’t know what the covers look like.  So I printed off a big long list of the titles to check and double check and rely on my phone to look things up, too.  All that said, I still have managed to end up with some “doubles”.

*****

I didn’t realize my laptop would stay connected to the internet away far over here by the chicken coop but it is and it does so I am!  The pond is just down the bank in front of me, and I am sitting in an Adirondack chair, with my purse on a little table next to me.  Inside the purse there are 8 eggs as I didn’t want them to roll out of my pockets and crack against the chair seat.  The chickens wandered around my feet for a while, one of them beaked my toes!, but have mostly wandered away, eating bugs and grass while making soft cooing sounds.  They look so pretty against the tall dark pink clover and daisies in bloom next to the coop.

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When I stopped outside with my book to read, I saw a heron at the pond so I put the dog in the basement (he would bark and chase it away) and put my zoom lens on the camera.

They aren’t the best photos in the world but they’re special because I took them standing on my own front porch!

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I’m mainly amused by the long legs.  And knowing eye.

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“The Knowing Eye”

After trying to hide from me in a pine tree, it flew far far away and I retrieved my laptop to try to post the photos outdoors in the very best office in the world!  Nature!  I heard someone say this morning that nature isn’t romantic it’s just out to kill you but you know what, that’s just part of the charm.  At the moment, I feel perfectly safe.  I doubt the Heron would say the same.  He probably thought my long camera was a gun.

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The parting shot.

*****

Back to Hitty!  I’m determined to finish it before 2!  That’s when I need to pick up Grace from school (she’s been helping her former HS English teacher this week!  One more step closer to her dream of becoming a teacher herself).

Happy Thursday!

nature photos (and knee-spots)

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purple finch at the feeder

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The glow of the pond.

I’m sitting in my room, I had to get away from Grace so I could focus.  I get easily distracted by her because we have lots to talk about (anything that comes to mind becomes a conversation).  I thought I would be all alone in here but Samantha-cat just appeared out of hiding and jumped on the bed.

Jacob, Ethan, and Grace are home for the summer and it’s wonderful (the only time it’s not wonderful is if I am over-tired or have PMS).  But seriously I do think it’s wonderful.  I’m not just saying that.  I no longer have that feeling of “I wonder what the older children are doing”–  I know what they are doing.  I can see them.  Jacob rides to work every morning with his Dad and Ethan goes to work in Jacob’s car.  I see them in the mornings getting ready.  This morning Jacob asked me where the nail clippers were, and half an hour later his brother Ethan was wondering where tweezers were, he had a sliver in the bottom of his foot from going traipsing barefoot through the woods (photos of that tomorrow, possibly).

During the day it’s still quiet.  The children have gone to work and to school.

Every evening is unpredictable family craziness.  Practices?  Games?  Someone missing (briefly)?  Big dinners, a whole pie getting eaten so fast so you better get a piece while you can, dirty bowls and cups being left all over the house, laundry piling up, homework reminders, tv turned up and up, loud talking, loud laughing, coins being thrown super hard and me getting mad about it, fortnight gaming, singing, playing the piano, telling the boys to take the garbage out, Seth can’t find a pencil, etc………going to bed and hearing the noice of the older kids getting ready to go to bed, too.  Lights being left on.  And then the house is quiet again.

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It (photographing this blog post) all started after dinner last evening, when I went out to the mailbox to mail a letter and was surprised by a wild rabbit who didn’t seem afraid of me in the least.  I stood still and he stood still.  Then, he “came back to life” and commenced his snacking on dandelions and grass.  The dandelions have turned into their moon-like state and I was amused that he picked them with his teeth at the base of the stem and ate it, end-to-top.  It was funny to watch the stem slowly disappear into his mouth with “the moon” last but not least.  I went inside to get the camera and when I returned, he was eating grass.  I am a bit concerned as the vegetable garden is nearby, newly planted with radishes, spinach, herbs, and peas.  Will he be eating that next?  I named him John.

And then I wandered around with my camera.

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I absolutely love the look of this photo of a cardinal in the tall dead tree on the edge of our property (dead tree=GIANT bird perch).

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mourning dove & male cardinal

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I stood and looked up up up into a very tall pine trees to sight this bird.  It was singing an evening song with its back to me.  Finally it looked over its shoulder and I got this amazing photo.  (I had my big zoom lens with me).

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It flew to a different branch.  I am almost positive that its a female scarlet Tanager.

Thoughts?  I never knew the females were yellow!  What a beautiful bird-couple they make.  Now I will be on the look-out for the male.  I hope I see it!!

I think I took about 25 photos of that bird and then it flew away and I moved on.

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Lady Slippers (a favorite wild flower) are in bloom now.

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Seth (9 years old) saw this photo and said, “Beautiful moon!”

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I sat and watched this duck pair for quite a while.  They were peacefully together on the stream at the dam, bathing and grooming their feathers.  The female must have enjoyed this stretch with her foot because she held it long enough for me to take several photos.  I love the curled up feathers on the male’s tail, and the purple color on the female’s wing.

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I walked up the hill and in the distance, where the water of the stream enters the dark woods, I saw a blue heron standing in a pool of water, probably finding some tasty dinner.  I was thrilled to see it and get a photo before it moved out of sight.  (It saw me as soon as I saw it and it was very suspicious of me right away.)

I went home and found the family sitting around in the living room getting ready to finish watching a movie they had started the night before.  It wasn’t a movie I was especially interested in so I got ready for bed and did some reading.  I finished a book titled, When I was a Slave, Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection, and it was very interesting in a sad, inspirational way.  Here is a quote I keep thinking about:

“One thing dat’s all wrong with dis world today is dat day ain’t no ‘prayer grounds.’ Down in Georgia where I was born–dat way back in 1852–us colored folks had prayer grounds.  My mammy’s was a old twisted thick-rooted muscadine bush.  She’d go in here and pray for deliverance of de slaves.  Some colored folks cleaned out knee-spots in de canebrakes.  Cane, you know, grows high and thick, and colored folks could hide demselves there and nobody could see and pester dem.”

Andrew Moss, 85 years old

It’s the concept of having a great need and therefore NEEDING TO PRAY.  It’s the idea of KNEE SPOTS.  All day long since reading it, that term comes to my mind.  When was the last time I got down on my knees to pray?  All the nature that surrounds me, and do I have even ONE “knee spot” to go to in order to pray to the God I love?  Where is my sense of great need?  Great gratitude?  Great praise?  Why go to the knees?  After all, I do pray during each day, but oh my,  in order to pray on my knees I would have to stop everything else I was doing………….and therein lies the beauty and soul-nourishment of “knee-spots”……..

“Be prepared.  You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.  Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.  Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words.  Learn how to apply them.  You’ll need them throughout your life.  God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.  In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.  Pray hard and long.  Pray for your brothers and sisters.  Keep your eyes open.  Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”  Ephesians 6:13-18

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These are some of the things on my mind this morning as I start the day.  I also took this photo through the window of Rich’s office, which is why it’s so hazy, but still a beautiful bird.

one little patch of beauty

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The ministry of kindness is unceasing. It fills all the days and all the nights. In the true home, it begins in pleasant greetings with the first waking moments, and all day goes on in sweet courtesies, in thoughtful attentions, in patience, in quiet self-denials, in obligingness and helpfulness.

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Out in the world kindness goes everywhere with . . .
its good cheer,
its gladness of heart,
its uplift for those who are discouraged,
its strengthening words for those who are weary,
its sympathy with sorrow,
its interest in lives that are burdened and lonely.

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Some of us, if we were to try to sum up the total of our usefulness, would name a few great things we have done:
a gift of money to some benevolent object,
the starting of some good work which has grown into strength,
the writing of a book which has done good to many lives,
the winning of honor in some service to our community or to our country.

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But in every worthy life, that which has left really the greatest measure of good, has been its ministry of kindness. No record of it has ever been kept. People have not talked about it. It never has been mentioned in the newspapers. We do not even remember it ourselves. But wherever we have gone, day after day, if we have simply been kind to everyone, we have left blessings in the world which in the aggregate mean far more than the few large things we set down as the measure of our usefulness among men!

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Our Lord’s wonderful picture of the Judgment reveals another phase of the splendor of kindness. He tells us that the little things we do — feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, showing hospitality to the stranger, visiting the sick, and the other nameless ministries of love of which we take no account — if done in the right spirit, are accepted as though they had been actually done to Christ himself! He tells us that the godly will be surprised to know that in their kindly acts they had been ministering to the King, when they supposed they were only doing little things for needy neighbors. This revealing exalts to highest honor, the lowliest things of the common days, wrought in love for the Master.

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The best thing we can do with our love, is not to watch for a chance to perform someone fine act that will shine before the world — but to fill all the days and hours with little kindnesses which will make countless hearts nobler, stronger and happier.

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

~J.R. MILLER~

I found a new podcast that I listen to as I walk and it never ceases to soften my heart.  The speaker simply reads excerpts from books or essays from various spiritual writers.  His voice is soothing but –be aware–the children will laugh.  I was listening to it when I picked up David from track practice and he dropped his head back on the seat pretending to be put sound asleep by the voice reading to us.

The name of the podcast is Inspirational Living.  Yesterday was a reading from J.R. Miller called Be of Good Cheer:  The Blessings of Cheerfulness.  Miller has been quoted many times on this blog, so I thought it was high time to quote him again.  There is a great website full of Miller’s writing you might want to go peruse it…GRACE GEMS.   Highly recommended.

PERUSE:  read, typically in a thorough or careful way.

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Lily of the valley is coming into bloom.  I found some in the ditch as I walked yesterday and picked one so I could enjoy it’s lovely scent.

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A little peak at the flower garden by the patio and garage.  Hens and Chicks, Phlox, and Iris.

The best part of the day, besides figuring out the Marco Polo app so I could video text with my friend Lea Ann……..

…….was these two fine young men returning home for the summer.

We were all so happy as we ran to the car to see them.  They had quite a morning of trying to load the vehicle with all their stuff.  SO MUCH STUFF.  They learned a valuable lesson or two for next school year.

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As soon as they opened the doors it started falling out.

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Ethan showed me his seat, he had no room for his legs or any movements on the 3 hour drive back home.

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For whatever reason even the hens ran over to investigate.

Seth, Sarah, and David helped them unload.  I had made hamburgers and pasta for dinner, and peanut butter cookies, but had to leave after just a few minutes to take Caleb to his game.

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This is how they brought their clothing home.  Stuffed in a hundred thousand plastic bags found in a trash can at school.

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JUST as I took the photo, Jacob threw his football to Ethan.  We couldn’t have timed it better if we tried…..

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Rich and I sat in our lawn chairs at the top of the hill and watched Caleb play in his game (they lost 9-7) and the rest of the kids (but Grace, who comes home this weekend).  Jacob talked to us nonstop about his recent college stories.  As I studied their faces I was filled with pride and joy.  “What do you think of these fine sons of yours, Rich?”  And we looked at each other and smiled.  If you have children, you know the feeling.  These moments make all the stressful moments worth it, tens times over.

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Caleb was hoping that his big brothers would come to his game.  And they did.

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They were playing catch with the football right in front of me.

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Sarah came to get me so she could take me to a tiny nest that she found.  Could the night get any better?

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David said “I finally feel like I’m not all alone anymore.”

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flashback:

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This photo recently caught my attention again…..it’s from almost 8 years ago…..I made Sarah’s dress.  And look at those arms and legs and that face.

Just a few more quotes before we go:

fullsizeoutput_54db 1“Our attitude is to be ever toward joy.”

DSC_0633 1“Shall we not seek for the bright side? There is really sunshine enough in the darkest day—to make any ordinary mortal happy—if he only has eyes to see it!”

DSC_0659 1There is no lot in life so dreary—
that it has not
at least its
one little patch of beauty;

or its one wee flower looking up
out of the dreariness,
like a smile of God.”

*J.R. Miller

 

you are loved.

wild violets & a trip to brimfield antiques show 2018

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We haven’t had our lawn mowed yet so there are wild violets growing everywhere.  They are abundant and I found myself wandering around picking a tiny bouquet of them.  The white ones are the most fragrant; beautiful, creamy white with deep purple lines from the middle pedal and just a hint of yellow there, too.

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We are blessed in violets.  Another kind that I noticed was white with a deep blue center, with blue veins coming out from the blue.

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Also noticed was a thin grapevine twisted around and up a tree, just the right spot for another photo opportunity for my violets.

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My very favorite one is light lilac in color, with thin delicate pedals and a flat face…in the photo it is the one closest to my hand, picked last.  I only know of one small patch of these.  The most common purple ones are growing everywhere.

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Tied with a ribbon, they dress up the kitchen windowsill very nicely.

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Yesterday was opening day of the Brimfield Antique Show so when the children left for school, I drove to the show.  I arrived early enough to get parking easily.  Later on when I left it was crowded and some of the parking lots were full.  It cost 10 dollars to park at the church, and I always park there each time I go.  When I got out of my vehicle I heard one of the attendants call over to another older parking attendant to ask “Which one of these trees did you plant?” He laughed and looked back and forth to a couple trees; “That one.”  It was stately tall and mature and I marveled that it had grown so much in the man’s lifetime.  Already I was collecting beauty and inspiration from people…….I wanted to go home and plant a tree.

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I thought of Jo and Dawn when I saw these darling little tap shoes.

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Within 10 minutes I had made a fiesta purchase; a tea cup and saucer in the hard-to-find-and-afford lilac color.  (to match the violets) at a great price!

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And I thought of friend Hannah, and my dear mother, whenever I saw sewing things and fabrics.

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Vintage fiesta ware

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I bought a vintage yellow dessert plate with stripes.  Someone mentioned on the fiestaware FB page that they thought it was part of a Sears cake set sold years ago.

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I found a shiny and perfect medium green plate (most rare of all the colors) and was able to purchase it for 30 dollars.

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I normally go to Brimfield with someone else (or two or three) and I wondered how I would enjoy going alone, but I simply loved it.  I would rather go with one or two of the children, or my sisters, or aunts, or friends of course but going by myself this time ended up being a much needed treat.  I loved thinking only of myself and quietly going around watching people and looking at all the things people were displaying and selling.  I took my lunch and ate it as I walked; a pb and honey sandwich, a cliff bar, an apple.  All in all, I spent almost 4 hours and walked about 4 miles before I left.

It felt wrong in a way to leave Brimfield and go straight to an antique store (because Brimfield is nothing but antiques as far as the eye can see) but I had remembered a few things that I had wanted to buy a few months ago, so I headed to one more shop before going home for the day.  The things I was looking for were gone, but I still enjoyed browsing.  Antiquing is like a little history lesson of ordinary life.

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Jus took at that big red fiesta platter (not purchased, but admired) The colors are so energizing and cheerful.

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~A chartreuse display (fiesta disc pitcher)~

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Well, then I drove back home and determined to stay in my kitchen until it was spotless so I turned on some music and mindfully washed up the dishes, cleared off the counters and scrubbed them, and swept the floor.  It’s more fun when you can concentrate on what you’re doing rather than rush through to get to the “next thing”.   Pictured above are the fiestaware pieces that I bought yesterday.  But I have already thought about NOT buying anymore of it for a while.  I am content with my collection.  I have a piece of every color and then some.  I have vases and teapots, pitchers, canisters, vintage, and new.  Salt and pepper shakers, spoon rests, trivets, pie plates.  Plates galore.  Common pieces and rare.  Some to display and others to use everyday.  It’s a satisfying collection.

Photos of other finds brought home:

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A Tasha Tudor craft-type book, paperback, which I had never seen before.  I can’t wait to look at it slowly and try some of the projects.

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A lady in Brimfield had a “just my style” booth that she told me she started doing when she retired.  She does all three Brimfield shows a year and also does her own show.  She had pieces of furniture, and housewares, vintage laces, baby things, new and old.  At the counter she had a display of scrapbooking packets that she put together and I couldn’t resist buying one.

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More old papers for scrapbooking and journals.

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L O V E

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L O V E     **Eloise Wilkin**

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This was such fun.  “My School-Day Autobiography” owned by Doris Jeanette Reid. Perhaps you know her.  I would love to send it back to her, or her descendants.  How do things end up being sold and bought by strangers?

In the meantime, here are some of the pages:

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“Stay as sweet as you are and you won’t have a hard time getting a husband.”

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“Best wishes to a bad girl.”

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“Your one of my best friends I mean it”

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BEAUTIFUL script and blessing

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Taped on the last page.

*****

spring has sprung

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“It’s surely no accident that
the most universal toast is,
‘To Life.'”

 ~quote from Victoria magazine

 

Spring has sprung!  Everyone’s happy!

This was Rich at a little league game on Monday, with a photo of the two of us the very next evening:

It’s much more fun watching baseball with the sun in your face than it is when wearing five layers and still cold.

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I made dinner, packed it all up and put it in the vehicle, drove Caleb to drum lessons (with S and S with us, too) then went to the HS for Dave’s meet, Rich picked up the boys there for baseball, when Dave was done Sarah and I went to baseball to watch Seth’s game, too, all with dinner in the car for people to eat when they were hungry.  Sarah walked around eating salt potatoes out of a plastic cup.

I took the photo of Dave with the javelin and his siblings all around him because it always touches my heart when they wander away from me and form their own gang.  Sibling-love is great to see.

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Dave in mid-air.

He had another meet yesterday but it was away (I don’t go to the away meets).  He confessed he was relieved that I wouldn’t be watching him “do badly”……(track is a new sport for him)…..to which I replied, “The only time I think any of you ‘do badly’ is when you get hurt.”  It’s obvious that David likes track, he’s often smiling.  After his events were over I took him some food before I left and he was verbally thankful.  “What’s this?  A brownie?  For me?  SWEET!” he said.  So I left with a smile on my fact, too.  Later on he told me he shared the brownie.

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Seth’s first game of the season was a dud because his team had two players missing and therefore didn’t have enough to field a team.  They had to forfeit but then played it anyway.  I saw Seth playing pretty much every position.  (He’s catcher in the photo).  He pitched, ran to cover second, ran to cover first……When he was catcher he did very well but it makes me SO nervous to see my son so close to a swinging bat.  Rich reminded me to look at all the protective gear he was wearing but of course as a mom of boys you just know for a fact that they can always find a way to get hurt.  It didn’t help that Caleb was watching through the fence and saying “He doesn’t have a CATCHERS mitt on, it’s going to KILL his HAND!”

Seth got the game ball.  🙂

But he would tell you his favorite moment was when he slid into home plate to score a run.

His baseball pants are gray but Caleb’s are as white as snow.  One of my favorite challenges is to try to get them white again after each game.  (I’m a dork)  What I do is sit on the floor, lay them out in front of me, spray each dirty spot with shout and then take a bar of laundry soap and scribble it into the stains before popping them in the washer.

The most horrifying thing I saw this week was a child (not my own but it very well could have been) DELIBERATELY fall on his knees in the dirt and grass multiple times during warm ups just to dirty his white pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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She makes me laugh…….at one point she was also carrying around my umbrella.  She was wearing:  sunglasses, a thick fabric headband that looked more like a hat, winter coat, shorts, and a backpack which had a small metal mailbox in it containing her tic tacs.  All set for another night of baseball.

Rich took this video of Caleb getting a base hit last night.  I have such fun watching him play.  We were down by home plate at one point to watch Caleb hit.  He got a triple and Rich tried to video it but it turned out to be a perfectly clear video of THE FENCE.  But when Caleb got on third he did a dance, moving his arms and shaking his hips a little.  His coaches kept reminding him of what to do and it was almost like he was half-listening.  He had a coach RIGHT there and started talking to him like it was time to have a conversation.  “PAY ATTENTION CALEB!”  The first base coach yelled all the way over “GET ON THE BASE CALEB!”  And the team mom also coached, “QUIT EATING those SEEDS and keep your hand out of your pocket!  …..who has those seeds?” she asked the dug out, “I’m getting rid of them……”  and so on.  And Caleb dances and smiles.  They lost the game though but at least they had fun.  I left early because it was raining.  I drove to the grocery store to get ice cream for a before bed snack.

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This McCoy planter is so beautiful!  I found it antiquing.  And of course I can’t resist taking photos of the lovely eggs…..

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Even Parker the dog gets one each day.  I give it to him whole and he drops it on the ground to crack it and eat it.

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They rarely walk on the front lawn so I had to laugh when I looked up from my book and saw the flock making it’s way to the bird feeders.  They like to eat the sunflower seed that drops down from the feeders on the porch.

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I had to take a photo when I saw the knives on the quiet piano.  “Dave was here”.

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I asked Seth to take the garbage out.  I was running around the kitchen trying to make his dinner.  “Why do I have to do everything?” was his groan as he sat in front of the TV.  (The truth is he does almost nothing)  “Now you’re standing in the corner for 10 minutes.”  “Okay, I’ll do that first before I take out the trash.”  “Now it’s 12 minutes.”  And then he stopped talking and I won.  By the end of 12 minutes he was on the floor lying down on his side, with only his face in the corner.

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I played two games of P-I-G with David and Sarah.  Here is a photo of Sarah trying to make the impossible basket that David just shot.  Their faces are so cute.  (I won both times)

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After basketball we dared him to jump in the pond.  He was happy to be dared.  He prides himself by being the first one in the pond every spring.

I asked him if it was cold and he said yes.

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Then they went fishing.  Sarah tried to bring herself to touch a worm.  She is sincerely quite squeamish of them but was trying her best to participate.  It didn’t help that Dave would say things like, “Oh, don’t touch that one it bites.”

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It was a small one but Rich got home just in time to give Dave his first lesson in cleaning up a fish to eat it.

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I put butter on it and put it under the broiler where it promptly caught on fire.  “I guess it’s done.”  “Are you sure mom, just because food is on fire doesn’t mean it’s cooked.”  Dave said dryly while bending over his fish and filleting the second side.

Seth was the most disturbed by it all…..because of the smell.  I guess his nose is the most sensitive.  He said “Can someone get this fish head out of here?”  And Rich took it out and threw it away in the woods across the road.

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She gave me this flower.  It’s an artificial flower that fell off the front door wreath.  She found it and got creative by finding a small stick, painting it green & pink, sticking the flower into it and giving it to me.  She also used one of David’s pocket knives to carve a little design on it.  You can see how pleased she is with herself.  I was most impressed by 1) she didn’t get paint on her shirt and, 2) she put the paints away when she was done without being told.

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To finally see COLOR is glorious.

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~distractingly beautiful clouds

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~I get this as a treat at the natural foods store.  Delicious!

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It’s so good to go barefoot again!

Seth and Caleb fishing derby

This photo is from a week ago…. (I didn’t take it, it was given to me by the sports photographer)…. at a fishing derby that the wrestling coach hosts at his house for the team every spring.  David, Caleb, and Seth are all three in this picture, can you find them?

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Dirty and happy at the end of a long playful day, getting their own bedtime ice cream.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.  Psalm 121:7