Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lowcountry Refuge

Just returned from my Hilton Head Island vacation.  I think it was about 16 or 17 years ago when I first came to this gorgeous island.  The end of September is a beautiful time of the year - still warm in the high 80s without the crowds of the summer vacationers. 

The most beautiful place in the world extends from Charleston, SC to Savannah, Ga - this is heaven in my book and known as the Lowcountry.  The beauty of the live oaks dripping with spanish moss swaying slowing in the gentle wind, palmetto trees and the pink and red oleander take your breath away.  Watching herons and egrets walk through the marsh grasses; pelicans sitting on fishing piers waiting for the fishermen to throw bits and pieces from their catch of the day;  looking out at the ocean that extends forever into the horizon;  eternity.

The sounds of the gulls darting over the beaches looking for food left by the high tides.  The smells of the warm and cool breezes from the land and ocean all mixed together.
The feel of the heat hydrates my soul!  My Lowcountry refuge has renewed my spirit!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Stay Cool In Red and White Checks

The ESN Scavenger Hunt theme, Hot Weather, could not have been more appropriate.  It has been upper 90s and lower 100s all week.  Mind you, I am not complaining.  I love summertime.  I'm sure I would be singing a different tune if we didn't have A/C, though.
Nancy's Doll Closet is another ESN member and scavenger hunter on ESN.  Her eCrater store features doll clothing and accessories for the American Girl doll.  Nancy handcrafts a lot of the clothing herself - such beautiful dresses in tropical prints.  I found this pretty Red and White Checked Dress trimmed in lace and ribbon with a full gathered skirt.
This dress reminded me of dresses we wore back in the 1950s.  Using scrap material from dresses my grandmother would make me, I would make doll clothes for my dolls.  I loved playing with my dolls.  It didn't matter if my brother and I were playing 'cowboys and Indians' or 'house', my dolls were always a part of our stories.

Seeing this Red and White Checked Dress brought back some wonderful childhood memories.  So, if it is too hot outside to play, let's stay inside and play with dolls.

Visit Nancy's Doll Closet for some very pretty dresses and other accessories for your American Girl doll.

Stay Cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wild Plum Tea On A Hot Summer Day!

The theme this week for Scavenger Hunters at ESN is:  Hot Weather.  After a rather cool June, we are finally getting some hot, hot weather.  100 degrees + that I think is going to last most of the week.  Love it!
My favorite drink in the summer is Wild Plum Tea.  I guess it was about 20 years ago, my mother, son and I went to visit my daughter in Tennessee down around the Smoky Mountains.  One day, we took a side trip to Gatlinburg and visited the Arts and Crafts Community.  Pottery shops, candle stores, leather shop, woodcarving shops - just all sorts of great places to browse and even watch some demonstrate their craft.  We came upon a small tea shop called The Wild Plum Tea Room.  We ate lunch and had the most wonderful miniture banana muffins and wild plum tea.  I bought Cindy Freeman Black's cookbook called "All My Best Recipes", but it did not have the recipe for The Wild Plum Tea.  Cindy so graciously gave me her recipe (see recipe at end of blog).  Lots of sugar - I keep trying to cut back on that, though.  It is just to die for and so refreshing on a hot summer day.  I have these vintage Anchor Hocking Glass Fruit Ice Tea Tumblers at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles that would be perfect to serve wild plum tea.

The glasses are decorated with cherries and oranges and at this writing, there are 8 glasses available.
By the way, The Wild Plum Tea Room is still located in the Arts and Crafts Community of Gatlinburg.    
Visit CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles for other great vintage glassware.

Wild Plum Tea
1 quart boiling water
4 family size tea bags
2 cups sugar (I don't use the full 2 cups anymore)
2 cups water 
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups cold water
orange slices if desired
Steep tea bags in boiling water 5 minutes.  Combine sugar and water and boil for 5 minutes.  Add to tea mixture.  Stir in orange juice and lemon juice along with cold water.
Makes 3 quarts    

Nothing better on a hot summer day, than to sit in a rocker on the front porch with a tall cold glass of wild plum tea and remember all the wonderful memories of the past.  Enjoy!!!!!!!!                

Friday, June 22, 2012

Time For Angels

This is such a sweet clock surrounded by angels.  This would look wonderful in a little girl's room.  I found this at Hazel's HodgePodge and with our ESN Scavanger hunt having a church theme, I couldn't resist featuring this.  This decorater clock with three angels surrounding a clock can be hung by the pink ribbon.  The clock measures 3 inch diameter.  What a sweet clock to teach your little angel girl how to tell time with the easy to read numbers.    
You can find Hazel's HodgePodge and other fantastic eCrater sellers at eCrater Stores Network.  Check out the Directory on ESN for member stores.        

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunday Dinner

Our ESN Scavenger Hunt theme this week is Church.  Growing up, my brother and I would go to Sunday school and occasionally, church services.  We lived across the street from a large Presbyterian church, Tabernacle Presbyterian Church.  Located at 34th Street and Central Ave in Indianapolis, In., they had a large recreational ministry.  Four baseball diamonds were active just about everyday and evening during the summer.  Boys and girls of all ages from the north side of Indianapolis came to play softball and baseball at Tab.  I think I really only played softball 2 or 3 years before I realized it was more fun to just watch the older boys play.  There certainly were some cute boys that played baseball.
View of baseball field from our front porch in winter
OK, back to the theme - church.  So, while my brother and I might go to Sunday school on Sunday, my grandmother always listened to church services on the radio in her sewing room and my mother had to catch up on laundry and ironing.  That was back in the day when we used wringer washers and hung laundry on a clothesline to dry.  It wasn't a throw a load in the washer and push the button.  No, doing laundry back then took continuous active participation.  But the best part of Sunday was Sunday dinner.  Our big meal on Sunday was midday.  We didn't have counter space for preparing food, so we used the kitchen table for preparing dough or mixing up a cake.  My grandmother would roll out the "pot pie" dough (flat dumplings) and let them dry on the table.  She would either boil beef or chicken and then let me help drop the pot pie into the boiling broth - not too fast or it will stick together.  Sometimes she would boil a beef tongue.  Now don't make that ugly face, beef tongue is really good and one of my brother's favorite meals.  Or we would have fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy.  There is nothing better than chicken fried in a cast iron skillet.  It was always the best meal of the week and, in my eyes, my grandmother was the best cook in the world. 

My sister helping my grandmother with a Sunday dinner 
By the way, I now have my grandmother's kitchen table and chairs in my kitchen. It may show some age, but it reminds me of some of my most treasured memories with my grandmother and Sunday dinners.  I also have that hand beater my grandmother is using.  Make sure you spend time with your grandchildren - cook together and share your memories and stories.  What better way to give them wonderful memories to share in the future.
OK, so do you see where I am going with this?  I really don't have any "church" items in my store.  But, you can find some great vintage mixing bowls at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles.  Here is an Anchor Hocking Gay Fad Fruits Large Colonial Mixing Bowl.  I also have one in the medium size and one in the small size.  I just love this pattern - it is so bright and cheerful.  Just makes you want to smile!

I bet these vintage Anchor Hocking mixing bowls could help create some wonderful memories for your kids or grandchildren!  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wishing For A Day At The Pool

I am still anticipating spending the weekend sitting by the pool, reading the new Dorothea Benton Frank book and floating on the raft to cool off.  Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating.  After such a pleasant winter and hot spring, it has been cool this past month.  The pool water is still too cold for me, although the grandkids did jump in last weekend.  They said it wasn't cold.  Somehow I just didn't believe them since their teeth were chattering.  No, I didn't fall for it.
This week, our ESN Scavenger Hunt theme is swimming.  My totes that I use for the beach are getting kind of raggedy.  I found this really cute tote at Embroidery Fashions Boutique
Isn't this just the cutest?  A Jersey Shore Girl toteI love it!  I know my granddaughter would too.  This beach tote features a detailed shore scene including a beach umbrella, sand chairs and flip flops.  Also includes a place for the keys.  Embroidery Fashions Boutique does their own embroidery work and can also do custom work.  Having a special tote with each grandchild's name might be a good way of getting the kids to carry their own stuff to the beach.  Just another fabulous eCrater store that you should check out for vacationing beach wear you won't find at the beach.   

Now if you are looking for some "beachy" jewelry, check out my eCrater store CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles where you will find some great Avon vintage jewelry.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Now What Did I Forget?

Our Scavenger Hunt theme for ESN this week is "shorts".  Except for a few clothing accessories, I do not currently have any clothing items listed in my stores.  So, I'm going to have to get creative - yeah, right! 
I seem to always forget something when I go to the grocery store.  I really should always have a list.  Not a list that I make up just before I go to the store.  No, I need to have an ongoing list.  I have even been known to forget the list and trying to remember what was on it is pretty iffy.  Usually, I remember as I am walking out of the grocery store.  I just keep walking to the car, thinking of where else I could stop and get the item that I forgot.  Do I want everyone in the world to know that I forgot something?  Oh, no, no, no!  Anyhow, I'd probably forget what it was two feet back into the store.  I've even just stood at the end of a grocery aisle trying to remember what it was that I knew I was forgetting.

So, if you have a "short" memory when it comes to grocery shopping, here is an Avon 1981 Country Kitchen Fragranced Memo Pad and Magnets to help you keep those ongong lists of needed grocery items.  Not like your normal magnetic pads, it even smells good.  You can find this and other fun items at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles.

Just don't forget the list when you head for the grocery store!  

Friday, April 13, 2012


For the ESN Scavenger Hunt, we are looking for flowers.  When I first saw this, I knew it was going to be my pick.  In a field full of roses I am a wildflower - what a wonderful thought!  I think this applies to all the women in my family going back to my grandmother.  I'll just leave it at that.
You can find this and some other great vinyl wall lettering and decor at Walls that Talk.  Life is short, so have fun and be a wildflower.

Visit ESN and meet Walls that Talk and other fantastic eCrater sellers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Warmth of Spring Flowers

I just cleaned my patio table and chairs.  The umbrella is back up to ward off the the glare of the sun.  The roses are blooming.  The scent of the tea olive bush The deep burgandy and purple irises line the deck.  Time to sit outside and listen to the birds, enjoy the warmth of the spring sun and the fragrance of the beautiful spring flowers.  There is nothing more relaxing than having a glass of ice tea and reading the first "beach" novel of the year.

Our ESN Scavenger Hunt theme this week is "spring flowers."  Avon introduced the Summer Fantasy collection in 1983 that represents "spring flowers" perfectly.  The Summer Fantasy collection includes a Summer Fantasy Serving Tray, tall Summer Fantasy Glass Tumblers and an Outdoor Summer Fantasy Scented Candle in a tin with a floral motif.  Pretty red flowers.  You can find the Avon Summer Fantasy collection at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles

Relax in the joy of Spring    

Monday, April 9, 2012

When Frogs Fly

Or is that when pigs fly?  Last week's ESN Scavenger Hunt had frogs as its theme.  I know, I'm a little behind but just couldn't come up with anything clever about frogs.  I must say that the ESN scavenger hunters are pretty talented coming up with different takes on the themes. 

The great thing about the computer is that you can type in search words and all sorts of things pop up in the search.  All I did was type in "frog" and I found out that Rayne, Louisana is the frog capital of the world.  Located in Cajun country, not too far from New Orleans, Donat Pucheau, a gourmet chef in the 1880s (did they really have gourmet chefs back then?), started selling bullfrogs to New Orleans restaurants.  Then the Weill Brothers from France got wind of the craze over frog legs and began exporting frogs to restaurants all over putting Rayne, Louisana on the map.

On Labor Day weekend, the good people of Rayne celebrate the frog with a town festival.  One of the happenings during the festival is a Frog Derby and they dress the frog racers in jockey uniforms.  Folks, I am not making this up.  I imagine it is pretty exciting as you would never know when a frog might take a giant leap, fly over all the other froggies and win the race.

After reading all the cute stories of frogs, I still don't have any desire to touch a frog.  I'll just leave that to the good people of Rayne, Louisiana.
I did find this cute T-shirt at Embroidery Fashions Boutique - you just might want to check it out.  This long sleeve womans's t-shirt features 3 pigs with wings flying over the clouds.  Called "When Pigs Fly."  I thought, my sentiments exactly - I'll handle a slimy frog "when pigs fly."  

A message from last year's winner of the Frog Derby
"Eat More Chickin"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Frogs, Tadpoles and Little Girls

Frogs is our ESN Scavenger Hunter theme this week.  When you think of frogs, the thought of little boys is not too far behind.  Boys and frogs conjure up images of a sweet innocent little boy with a shy smile on his face offering a frog to his mother or a little mischievous boy with a frog chasing a screaming girl on the playground.  Boys just love hearing little girls scream. 
Here is a vintage Avon collector plate showing a sweet little boy bringing flowers to his mother.  The Mother's Day plate titled "Little Things Mean A Lot" is available at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles.  Just look at that sweet smile and those innocent eyes - so cute.  You see the puppy dog at his feet.  Hmmm, you don't see a frog?  I bet you anything that the frog is in his back pocket - you just can't see it. 

And if you think you are safe because you have little girls.  Think again, ladies!  Years ago when my two daughters were about six and four, we lived in a townhouse that had a creek running behind the patio.  It was very shallow and only a few feet wide.  One afternoon I went into the half bath and there, in a sink full of water, were thousands of tadpoles swimming around.  Well, maybe not thousands, but it might as well have been.  Who knew they were gathering tadpoles from the creek and bringing them in the house.  They thought the tadpoles were pretty cool.  Needless to say, I was not very appreciative - they had to take the tadpoles back to the creek.  I'm just not a big fan of slimy critters.  Looking back on it now, I think I should have joined in on their fun..........

Friday, March 30, 2012

Golden Moon

In keeping with our ESN Scavenger Hunt "Moon" theme this week, another ESN member has several beautiful pieces of Moon & Stars glass.  Here is an amber banana console bowl from Bargain Express.  What a beautiful golden amber color.

This Moon & Stars Amber Banana Console Bowl would look great on your Easter buffet filled with fruits.  You could also lay white lilies in the dish - wouldn't that just be gorgeous!  Easter is almost here so check our eCrater Stores Network to find other great glassware for your Easter decor.  Easy to use Directory on the right-hand side.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Moon and Stars, A Vintage Glass Pattern

Our ESN Scavenger Hunt this week is about the Moon.  The vintage Moon and Stars glass pattern is one of the most familiar glass patterns around.  Just about anything imaginable has been made in the Moon and Stars pattern - candy dishes, relish trays, lighters, lamps, compotes and the familiar canister set - think I have one of those somewhere in boxes.  The Moon and Stars pattern actually had its beginning back in the late 1800s and was first made by the Adams & Co out of Pittsburg, PA.  They called the pattern Palace.  Adams & Co became a part of the US Glass Co. 
The Palace pattern became known as Moon & Stars because of the star-like design with round moon-like depressions.  This pattern has been made by several different companies.  Sometimes it is uncertain of who made what.  Moon & Stars came in many beautiful bright colors.
Here is a beautiful Moon & Stars Banana Bowl in amberina from L.E. Smith.  L.E. Smith called the color flame.  Moon & Stars was one of L.E. Smith's most popular patterns and was considered part of the Heritage line.  Based on the label on this piece, this was probably produced during the 1960s.  You can find this lovely centerpiece bowl at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles along with some other great Moon & Stars pieces.

And, did you know that there is a Moon & Star Glass club?  You might want to check it out after visiting CAROLINABLUELADY.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gotta Have Milk At Breakfast

Breakfast is our ESN Scavenger Hunt this week.  Love eating breakfast on the weekends - eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles, biscuits and sausage gravy.  I could eat breakfast anytime of the day.
I'm sort of trying a low-carb diet, so eggs, eggs, eggs and more eggs seem to be the main breakfast staple.  I found a wonderful Artichoke Mushroom Frittata recipe and make it quite often.  Just saute the artichoke hearts, fresh mushrooms and onion.  Then pour the scrambled eggs over top.  Just when it is about done, top with grated Greyere cheese and let it melt.  It is absolutely fantastic.
Nothing goes better with breakfast than a nice cold glass of milk.  Here is a beautiful vintage milk pitcher in pink flashed color over Platonite with a raised spout from Hazel-Atlas. Standing 5 1/2 inches tall, the pattern looks like the Hazel-Atlas ribbon pattern. 

You can find this Hazel Atlas Pink Milk Pitcher and other great vintage kitchen items at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles  

Artichoke Mushroom Frittata and cold milk served in this Platonite milk pitcher makes for a special breakfast.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Sister's First Haircut

My brother just e-mailed me a copy of a note I had written to my mother back in 1960.  He called it Donna's Confession.  It's one of those stories that we laugh about today, but it sure wasn't funny Thursday night, July 14, 1960.
The summer of 1960 - sort of a lazy summer.  I was twelve.  My sister was five.  She had long, thick dark brown hair.  It was very pretty and had never been cut except for the bangs.  My mother loved brushing her hair and making it curl.  I kept offering to cut it, but mother wouldn't hear of it.  She was not going to cut my sister's hair.   

We lived with my grandmother and my mother worked second shift at a factory.  After dinner, my grandmother would go back into her sewing room and sew.  There wasn't much to do except watch the boys play baseball across the street, not that I didn't like doing that.  I'm not sure why but on this particular Thursday night in July,  I decided I was going to just trim my sister's hair.  Just a little.  We were upstairs in our room.  I got the scissors.  I sat my sister in a chair in front of the mirror on the dresser and brushed her hair out.  It was so long and just needed to be evened out a little.  Told her to hold still and began to cut.

I never had any problem cutting my own hair.  Her hair was so thick and I just couldn't seem to cut it straight.  Kept trying to even it out, but this was not going according to plan.  My sister just sat there - have no idea what was going through her mind.  Pretty soon I had cut her hair up to her shoulders.  Not good.  I stopped.  It was too late, the damage was done.  I couldn't put it back.  Mother was going to kill me.  And, oh, if Grandma sees this I'm in worse trouble than my mother killing me.

I wrapped my sister's head with a hairnet so it just looked like her hair was up.  Put her in bed.  Once she was in bed, she didn't move.  I wrote a note to my mother and here is what I wrote:

Dear Mommy
I did a terrible thing to Ann you can possible guess.
I got my wish, but I wish I didn't do it.  Ann likes it, but she is afraid she will get in trouble or I will.  I know I will but she didn't do nothing except move.  I cut her hair!  I was only going to even it up, but she moved and then I had to cut more off.  I'm sorry, very sorry but don't tell Grandma what I did.  I thought I better tell you what I did instead of you finding out about it yourself.  You'd be madder if I tried to hide it.  I save her hair.  
Thursday July 14 - 1960 

After writing the note (did you notice how I tried to weasel out of it being my fault and that my sister liked her haircut?), I also got in bed and as far down in the covers as I could get.  She was going to be so mad.  When my mother got home that night, I was still awake.  She came upstairs and into our room.  She saw the note and picked it up.  She read it.  And oh, was she mad.  She yelled and cried.  I didn't say a word.  I think she was afraid to spank me, she was so mad.  She would say that this was the worst thing I ever did. 

At the time, I knew that I had done something that hurt my mother and I really was very sorry. 

Our National Motto - God and America

The following article was taken from the 1980 Farmers' Almanac, compliments of Avon.  It is an article written by Mary Accles in the Liguorian Magazine, a  Catholic magazine.  I am not sure when this article was written, but was probably just after the Supreme Court's ruling banning the word "God" from prayer in public schools.


In God We Trust, originating during the Civil War as an inscription for United States coins, was first contemplated by the Reverend M. R. Watkinson of Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, a deeply concerned churchman who in 1861 wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase.
The letter read:  "From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters."  The clergyman then suggested "recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins."
Secretary Chase, in complete accord, ordered designs prepared with the inscription "In God We Trust."  It first appeared on some U.S. coins in 1864, then appeared and disappeared until 1955, when Congress ordered it placed on all paper money and coins.
In 1956 "In God We Trust" was designated as the United States national motto and was signed into law during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
There are those who would exclude God entirely from the American way of life even though dependence on God was first permanently established by our Founding Fathers in the preparation of the Constitution.  Such permanence has been affirmed and reaffirmed in the context of assertions by many of our greatest statesmen, churchmen, authors and poets. 
We have the undeniable and indisputable claim that America is the only country in the world founded with an implicit faith in God.  The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence states:  "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." 
In view of the Supreme Court's ruling banning the word "God" from prayer recitations in public schools, it's comforting to know "In God We Trust" continues as our national motto.
We shall continue to affirm our unqualified reliance on God and joyously acclaim, "In God We Trust."
-----Mary Accles
Liguorian Magazine

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Blender of My Childhood

I just unpacked the boxes that contained the blender and mixer we used when I was a child in the 1950s.  The Waring blender was in the dining room closet along with 2 Sunbeam Mixers exactly where my Grandmother had stored them.  I guess my mother and grandmother both had a mixer.  I'm sure the one with a little more wear was my Grandmother's.  I'm keeping the blender - it is just so cool.  Note that the jar does not have a handle.  The jar was made by Pyrex for Waring and is so marked on the bottom.

Look how clean the bottom of the base is.  I don't remember ever using this for anything other than making malts or milkshakes.  The thing was that they never tasted like the ones you got from the soda fountain at the corner drug store.  But, it was still a big treat when we got to make them - usually on Saturday evening as a family.  My brother and I usually had the honors of making them.

You really had to hold the lid down tight when turned on as it did not fit tight like they do today.  It was so much fun to make the malts, but I sure didn't like cleaning the jar with those blades at the bottom.  I am just so happy to have this wonderful childhood memory sitting on my kitchen counter.
Maybe this summer when the kids and grandkids visit, we can make malts.  We will definitely be making malts when my brother and sister visit.   

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Farmers' Almanac 1980

One thing that can slow me down is reading the stuff that I am trying to list like this Avon Farmer' Almanac Thermometer from 1979.  It is actually a thermometer and includes two Gentlemen's Blend fragranced soaps.  Pretty cool!  But the coolest thing that comes with it is the 1980 Farmers' Almanac compliments of Avon.  It's a good thing it is not very thick because I just couldn't stop reading it.  The pamplet is sort of stained, but there are no marks and is very readable.
On the back, there were instructions on how to apply fragrances. Did you know there are three phases of fragrance?  Your skin type also has some bearing on the types of fragrances that would best suit you.  Just really some cool information. 
There is also the 1980 planting and garden calendar which you would expect in the Farmers' Almanac.  One of the funniest things I came across was the Favorite Tombstone inscription.  It said,
"1787 - JONES - 1855 
Here lies the bones of Sophie Jones.  For her, death held no terrors.  She was born a maid and died a maid.  No hits, No runs, No errors."
Well, I thought it was funny.  Interesting statistics and political opinions.  I really don't want to talk politics in my blog, but I just found this interesting considering today's political climate.  It is called:
 Who Profits Most From Profits
"About seventy five years ago a good many men were going into the business of making automobiles - not to benefit humanity but to make money for themselves.  'Terrible', the reformers said.  Most of these men lost every cent they had, a few made some money.  A very few made millions, became extremely rich, built up huge corporations out of profits.  'Terrible', the reformers said.  Those huge corporations and the companies they help support, provide more than 14 million jobs in America today, jobs for workers who are among the highest paid in the world.  Those 14,000,000 jobs would never exist if it had not been possible to make and keep profits in the past.  Profits like that cannot be made today and, even if made, could not be kept.  The reformers have had their way.  But the millions of jobs we'll need tomorrow are not being born.  That's a terrible price for 'reform' that your children will have to pay."
This was written 32 or 33 years ago, but it could have been written yesterday.  I did finally get this listed.  You can find the Avon Farmers' Almanac Thermometer at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles.  The Almanac is included. 
There is also an article about Our National Motto.  Do you know what our national motto is?  Check back tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Progression of Life

Life!  It doesn't slow down for anyone.  The progression is the same - we are a child, a young adult, middle-age, retired, old-age and then we .............  We can't control the progression.  The progression may be short or it may be long.  Oh, we can sometimes do things to control the speed of the progression; but the progression is still inevitable.
As a young child, do you remember when an old relative passed away?  You know, the great-great uncle that you couldn't remember ever seeing before.  He's just an old man - sort of spooky, too.  He just doesn't look real lying in that pretty shiny wooden box with the satin pillow and cover;  hands folded gently across his waist.  The smell of roses consumes you.  You really don't feel good and just don't want to be there, but your mother holds your hand close to her side as she talks to other unknown relatives.  Her voice is quiet and soft.  You feel safe with her by your side.

As an older child, a young child of one of your mother's friend's dies.  You go with your mother to the funeral.  You don't know too many of the people there, but you understand their sadness.  You also feel the sadness seeing a child lying in that pretty shiny wooden box with the satin pillow and cover;  with hands gently folded across his waist.  The fragrance of roses is familiar.  It's sort of scary seeing a child like yourself and you stand close to your mother - and you feel safe.

You grow up and start a life of your own.  Through all the ups and downs, your mother is always there to lend encouragement, advice and yes, sometimes a little financial help.  She never tries to run your life; she is just your support when you need her.  You feel safer just knowing that she is close by - you are still her child.  She is still your mother.

The progression of life continues and then it hits you.  Your mother is at the old-age phase.  She's acting different.  Oh, she has always been a little eccentric, but this is different.  She talks about things that aren't real.  She forgets to pay bills.  She is not taking care of herself.  She thinks people are going to take her stuff.  She thinks other people are you.........  We children start talking about what we need to do.  There are no good choices for our mother.  In order for her to be safe, we are going to have to take her happiness from her.  The happiness that she had worked so hard for.  The happiness that she so deserved.  But, she can't live by herself surrounded by all her pretties and possessions.  The hallucinations have taken over. 

She walks downtown and sits on a bench outside the Subway waiting for her son to pick her up.  There were no plans for her son to pick her up.  Her son gets a phone call from the nice sheriff.  Her son goes into town to pick her up and take her back home.  She knew he was suppose to pick her up.

Decisions were made.  She was not happy.  While she stayed with me, there were good days and there were bad days.  Sometimes we could talk and remember the good times.  A lot of the times we argued over stupid stuff - she didn't want to take her medicine, she didn't want me throwing her trash away.  She wanted to save everything.  She would lock me out of the bedroom.  I tried not to get angry, but there were times that I was so angry inside.  I tried not to be because I knew she couldn't help it.  I just wanted her to be like she use to be.  I wanted her to be my mother.  I wanted my mother back!

Before I would go to work, I would turn on the TV to CNN.  I never understood why she wanted to watch that all day.  She could get so upset over politics.  I would bring her breakfast and lunch to her.  Then, made sure she took her medicine.  She stayed in the bedroom with the door closed during the day.  She didn't like my dog and my son was also there.  She just felt safer in the bedroom.  I would lean down and give her a hug and kiss before leaving for work.  She would always tell me I looked pretty.  One morning she said, "If I can do anything for you, just let me know.  I don't have much, but I will help you." 

I think it took me awhile to realize why I would get so angry with her.  I was angry because I was losing my mother and it was happening right before my eyes.  I couldn't control it.  I was losing the person that made me feel safe and loved me no matter what.  She wasn't fighting the dementia so she could keep being my mother.  I wanted her to fight the dementia - wasn't I giving her a pill to help slow that progression down? 
Mothers always consider their children still their children no matter how old they are.  I had not thought of myself as a child for years.  Actually, I'm not sure I ever thought of myself as a child.  But, like we never stop being a mother, we also never stop being a child.  The anger was really coming from the child in me.  The child was losing her mother, the loving, protective (and, sometimes eccentric) mother that made her feel safe and loved no matter what.

She really couldn't help that the dementia had taken over.  There was no fight left to fight.  It was just the progression of life - inevitable.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wild and Crazy Wins

Since it is Mardi Gras time, our weekly blog theme for our ESN Bloggers group is "Think Wild and Crazy, Colorful and Playful."  Of course 'wild and crazy' sounds a bit more fun than just 'colorful and playful.'  Yeah, 'wild and crazy' sounds pretty groovy, but with the kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews and the possibility that they might read this,  I probably should just stick with trying to sell a 'colorful and playful' item that I have at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles.  This is my favorite decanter from Avon - the Avon Island Parakeet Decanter with Charisma Cologne. 
It is just so pretty and tropical looking.  Jimmy Buffett is one of my favorite singers (not to be confused with my for real most favorite singer) and I love the Caribbean sound of his music.  Anyhow, that is what I think of when I look at this pretty parakeet decanter.  Ah, Parrotheads!  Beach!  Margaritaville!  Flip Flops! 
This Island Parakeet Decanter holds Avon's Charisma cologne.  Avon's description of Charisma is "an inner fire; dashing dramatic; modern; exciting."  And, that certainly fits in the 'wild and crazy' category, doesn't it!
So, there just may be some 'wild and crazy' happenings down the road.  Just no way around it! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Mother's Secret Garden

When I was a child, my mother told me that one of her favorite books was "The Secret Garden" by Francis Hodgsons Burnett.  Even though she told me this on several different occassions, I never read the book.  She never told me what the story was about.  I don't even remember seeing the book in our home and we had lots of books. 
Going through her books, we came across several different editions of "The Secret Garden." 
Illustrated by Tasha Tudor, this 1985 edition can be found at CAROLINABLUELADY Book Treasures
This story was originally written in 1910, first as a series written for a magazine and then the book with the entire story published in 1911.
The Secret Garden by
Francis Hodgsons Burnett

After researching the book and reading reviews, I think I now know why this was such a special book to her.
My mother felt very alone growing up and told us kids many times that she didn't feel that her mother really loved her as a child.  She didn't feel that she fit in and always had a hard time trusting anyone.  It was really very hard for me to understand.  My relationship with my grandmother was very different from the relationship my mother described between her and my grandmother.  When my mother was around 16, she went to live with her maternal grandparents on the family farm.  It was the place where my grandmother was born and also, where my mother was born.  My mother loved following her grandpa around the farm while he did his chores and loved talking with him.  He always made her feel that what she had to say was important.  She lived there through high school.  The farm was always a special and beautiful place for her - it was where she felt she belonged and she could be free to dream her dreams.  Great-grandpa's farm was my mother's secret garden.  This is a picture of my mother on her graduation day from high school taken at the farm.  The year was 1939 (I think).  It might have been 1940.
I have added one of the copies of my mother's "The Secret Garden" to my library.  It is a very special story and a children's classic.  Everyone needs a "secret garden."  And, just maybe, it is easier being a grandmother than a mother.
Please check out my bookstore, CAROLINABLUELADY Book Treasures where you will find The Secret Garden and other favorite books.   

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wild Rose Romance For Valentine's Day

Need something special for a special lady?  Here is a beautiful china trinket or jewelry box.  Perfect for displaying on a vanity or dresser

1950s or 60s vintage Gerold Porzellan German Porcelain Jewelry Box in the Wild Rose pattern made by Gerold Porzellan in West Germany. Gorgeous grouping of pink roses with yellow centers and green leaves. The pure white porcelain box is trimmed in gold around the edge of the lid.

This gorgeous trinket box is 6 inches by 3 1/2 inches and stands about 2 5/8 inches tall, perfect for fine jewelry.  For a romantic and special touch - enclose a handwritten note or poem expressing your love in the jewelry box.  If you are a doctor, it would be perfectly acceptable for you to type the note.

Check out CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles for other special gift ideas - time is running out!  

Happy Valentine's Day 

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I'm not exactly sure why I am writing this.  I really don't have a story or specific memory to share.  I was just looking through some of the old family photos and came upon my favorite picture of my Aunt Goldie, my grandmother's sister.  My grandmother was the oldest of five children.  Aunt Goldie was the second child born in 1903.  This picture was taken when she was 20 years old.  The 1920s, one of my favorite decades for fashion and hair styles.  I remember looking at this picture of Aunt Goldie when I was a child and thought she was just about the prettiest lady in the world.
When she would visit, she always made you feel so special.  I loved hearing her talk and her laugh, well, it was like listening to a symphony.
She never lost her beauty or her spirit.  She passed away a few months before my mother.  She was 104 years old. 
I don't think I will ever get tired of looking at this picture.  She was just so beautiful. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Avon Valentine's Day Gifts For The Heart

The 4 most common gifts for Valentine's are chocolates, flowers, jewelry and fragrances or colognes.  Chocolates and flowers are great, but they are gone within a week (well, chocolates for me are gone within a day).  If you want a lasting gift, jewelry and colognes are the gifts to get - something nostagic is even better. 
You know how hard it is to think of that perfect gift for your mother or grandmother who seem to have everything.  And, what about that daughter or granddaughter that is just becoming a teen.  Think Avon!  Most women have had a special Avon fragrance.  Avon was probably their first experience with fragrances.  Here's My Heart, Timeless, Sweet Honesty, Charisma just to name a few.  My favorite was Moonwind.  Here are a few suggestions from my

CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles stores.
Avon 1986 Heartstrings Candid Perfume

1988 Avon Genuine Cloisonne Heart Pendant

1989 Avon Victorian Heart Necklace

1980 Avon Precious Hearts with Here's My Heart Cologne


1988 Avon Sweet Nothings Timeless Cologne Splash
1991 Avon Baroque Accent Pendant

1990 Avon Here's My Heart Bracelet

So, visit CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles and find the perfect gift for Valentine's Day.   
      The Gift of Special Memories! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sadie Cat

Today is a sad day........

Sadie Cat
8-28-1999 to 1-11-2012

My beautiful, sweet Sadie 

She always liked to check things out - which could be a very tiring!

She fell in love with the cherry pitter that I brought home from my Mother's house last year!

She loved to help me on the computer and actually sent a couple of messages out before I was done typing!

She is helping Jenny sort through her beads.  

Jenny and I will miss Sadie Cat very much! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Free-Spirited Costume Jewelry

I have always like costume jewelry.  It's fun, colorful and speaks independent.  It brings out the gypsy in you!  My mother had purchased lots of Avon jewelry - lots.  She didn't wear jewelry, but just liked to look at it.  The Avon jewelry was about the first thing that my sister and I went through to pick out what we each wanted to keep.  There were a few things for men, but my brother had other things he was salivating over. 
It seems that unique and colorful beads are really popular right now and are even offered in the fine jewelry stores.  Well, I think Avon may have been ahead of the "bead" popularity with this beautiful Moroccan Cool Blue Necklace. 
Isn't this just gorgeous?  This Avon necklace was offered in 1990 just in time for spring break vacations and cruises.  The various shapes of the plastic beads with different colors of blues and accented with a touch of coral.  And, just look at the silvertone beads!  This would look fabulous with a white beachy outfit whether you choose a more dressy linen slacks and jacket outfit or a free-spirited gauze blouse and long skirt.  You can find this beautiful necklace at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles and bring out your free spirit!