Friday, November 28, 2008


Do you remember S&H Green Stamps? Back in the 1950s and 1960s grocery stores and gas stations gave out S&H Green Stamps; so many stamps for so many dollars spent. As a new bride, I was very faithful to glue the stamps we received into their little books. There were redemption stores in most towns of any size where you could take your books of stamps to redeem them for merchandise. What a bonus for newlyweds to be able to outfit their home with free merchandise!! The black, tole lamp in this vignette was one of those items I got free by redeeming my stamps.

The little child's antique sewing machine and the iron on a trivet were given to me by a friend of my mother. They were played with by this friend when she was a little girl. I suppose I was about 6 years old when she gave them to me. The seal embossers on the right belonged to my grandfather; the smaller one was used to certify papers for the "Grand Valley Drainage District" and the larger one for the family sheep business. I love their sculptural shape.

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, November 27, 2008




Tuesday, November 25, 2008


By this time on Thursday, Thanksgiving 2008 will just about be over. The dishes will be done, the leftovers put away, the turkey carcass boiling for broth, and everyone gone home full and contented. Another Thanksgiving in the books!! Bob and I have spent 53 Thanksgivings together.

The very first Thanksgiving together was one I will never forget. We were in high school, had been dating for awhile, and were "going steady". Bob asked if I would like to go to his Aunt Nelllie's farm about 50 miles away for Thanksgiving dinner. I remember thinking this might be serious business as he wants to introduce me to his extended family!

What an experience it was! I came from a small family, very serious; not at all into loud, fun occasions. Thanksgiving (or any holiday) dinner in my family was almost always at my paternal grandparents, where my Grandfather reigned. He carved the bird at the table, serving each plate with great pomp and circumstance at a formally set table.

Well, we arrived at Aunt Nellie's; and there were so many people of all ages - probably about 50 people. The kitchen was a beehive of activity, women laughing and cooking. The kitchen table was covered with dishes of food. When we ate, you filled a plate and sat wherever you could find a place to light. Men were outside sitting on wash benches, logs, and the cistern cover; and didn't seem to notice that it was a cold, Colorado November day. Kids and women were eating all over the house. I was shocked - they were even sitting on Aunt Nellie's bed. I wasn't even allowed to sit on my own bed; let alone, someone else's!

Everyone had a grand time! Over the years, I gradually became used to all of this. We have spent the majority of those 53 Thanksgivings with his family. The generations have changed over the years. Now, Bob, his sisters, and his mother have gotten older. Our kids and their cousins are spread from coast to coast. It isn't easy to get together any more. I know that Bob misses it.

We have now gravitated more to my family's type of Thanksgiving, small and quiet, only without the pomp and circumstance. This year it will just be our immediate family - seven of us. The one constant over the years has always been the fact that we are grateful to God for everything He has blessed us with.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


Sally at Smiling Sal is once again hosting Blue Monday. There is a whole lot of blue going on! Check out her blog to see a list of the participants.

For Blue Monday this week, I thought I would share with you a blue quilt. In the late 1960s, we lived in Montana for five years. During that time, after being married for 10 years, we had our first child. I had never been around children very much and now found myself far away from family with a newborn. The winters where we lived were horrendous, so I was stuck at home most of the time. Boy, did I need a support group!! I joined a home extension club (remember those?) where the emphasis was on child rearing and the domestic arts. I found a wonderful group of young mothers that became supportive friends.

When we moved back to Colorado in 1971, these friends gave to me a stack of quilt squares with their signatures embroidered on them. I treasured these signatures, but I couldn't quite figure out what kind of quilt to make as the blocks were all different sizes and colors. Thirty years went by and I moved my little pile of signatures from house to house.

Finally in 2002, I put them into this quilt using a variation of the Court House Steps pattern.

I called the quilt, "Another Time, Another Place", and included it in a book I wrote about signature quilts.

Here is a close-up of one of the blocks.

Unfortunately, I have lost track of all of these women that took me into their group and supported me during a lonely period. I haven't forgotten them or their friendship, though!

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, November 21, 2008


Another Vintage Vignette!!
The picnic basket on the bottom is from Bob's family. Many years ago, I admired it and Bob's mother surprised me with it as a Christmas present! The top basket was made by a local basket maker. I love the green bowl as it was used daily in my grandmother's kitchen, and the little milk pitcher was a gift from a friend. A friend also gave me the hand-painted red tole tray to add to my collection.

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


You may remember that about a month ago, we were taking the computer room apart to install crown molding and to give everything a paint job. Well, it is finally done! Why do these projects always take longer than we planned?

This room is small measuring only 10 feet by 11 feet and has wall to wall furniture. It is purely functional requiring a place for the computer, printer, etc., storage for books, a desk for the household paper work. It also houses a lot a memorabilia from my husband's career as a civil engineer. In addition, it seems to be a gathering spot requiring some seating. Bob will sit in here occasionally with coffee while I blog. When the grand kids are here and on the computer, I like to sit in here to read and keep an eye on their surfing.

That's a lot of work for such a little room!!

The bookcases previously had a pickled stain on them, but we were in the mood for something different. So they have been painted black with a light blue for the backs.

The walls have been painted what looks like coffee with cream in it, Sherwin Williams Familiar Beige, SW 6093, and the ceiling is a shade lighter.

The new crown molding and other trim is Sherwin Williams Pure White, SW 7005.

This drop-front desk belonged to my great grandmother, and we use it for our household paperwork.

It is so nice to have the room completed, all fresh and clean!

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, November 17, 2008


Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting Tablescape Tuesday once again. Please check out her blog for a list of the most delicious tablescapes!

This past Sunday, we had our annual Thanksgiving dinner at our church with 40 tables hosted and decorated by the women of the church. I thought Tablescape Tuesday was a great opportunity to share some of them with you!

For my contribution this year I used my Johnson Bros. red transfer ware with my new turkey salad plates, also from Johnson Bros. The centerpiece was simple and inexpensive with the pilgrims from Hobby Lobby, the pumpkins from Dollar Tree, and the paisley scarf from Ross's.

I included my mother's Fostoria stemware and my great-grandmother's sterling silver.

My daughter decorated her table with Fall leaves, a quilted table runner, candles, her grandmother's Fostoria American, and my red Fostoria Argus ice tea glasses. Her silverware was a gift to her from her grandmother.

At the last minute, I was roped into doing a second table. Because of the time crunch, I used my everyday Blue Willow dishes and the red Fostoria Argus glasses. The centerpiece is a cornucopia using a red wooden bucket on its side. Going with the red, white, and blue theme, I included an antique Thanksgiving postcard showing a turkey with an American flag!

There was such a wide variety of creative tables; I've included some pictures of a few. I loved this turkey tureen centerpiece with four different Fall colors of Fiesta ware.

Look at this cute pilgrim couple.

Festive dishes in beautiful Fall colors!

Beautiful antique dishes with inspirational place cards!

This woman involved her granddaughter in making turkeys full of candy corn.

More pilgrims with a colorful tablecloth and centerpiece.

A black turkey centerpiece with a striking tablecloth!

Hope you enjoyed our church's Thanksgiving dinner as much as we did.

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Chari of Happy to Design has bestowed upon me this fun award! Thank you Chari for thinking of me as a blogging friend. I'm honored.
Along with the award comes the tag of: "What five things have I always wanted to do -----". This is a hard one because at my age I have been fortunate to do just about everything I dreamt of doing in my life time!! But, here goes:

1. Return to Paris, France - I've been once, but a repeat performance would be wonderful!
2. Have every corner, cupboard, closet, and hiding spot of my house immaculate and organized - all at the same time!
3. Have a personal chef - I wouldn't care if I never cooked another meal - I guess that's an advantage of moving to a nursing home someday!
4. Make a difference in some one's life that I don't know and will never know me!
5. Be a good wife, mother, and grandmother - I will need to keep working on that until the end!!!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 14, 2008


The simple vintage vignette I'm sharing this week includes an oil painting that was an estate auction buy. I waited all day to bid on it as I just loved the Fall trees and colors. BUT, the biggest estate auction buy of all time was the punch bowl in the foreground. My great-grandmother bought it at an estate auction in the 1920s for a dollar! It was hand painted in the famous Pickard studio of Chicago. She once told me that there were also matching punch cups, but she didn't win the bid on those. The painting of the currants and leaves with the gold tracery on the punch bowl is so exquisite, it takes my breath away each time I walk by it. Let's have a closer look!

I'm now the fourth generation in my family to be the caretaker of this beauty! It is my absolute favorite of all of the dishes I own.

Enjoy it with me,


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Our baby girl turns 36 years old in a few days! She spent her first Thanksgiving in a foster-care home because the juvenile court judge was on vacation and couldn't sign the papers for her release to be adopted by us. This picture was taken the day we got to bring her to our home - she was three weeks old. She was so tired when we remembered to take a picture of this momentous day. She would tell you that she had had a rough day! You see I was against pacifiers in those days; so as we left the courthouse after picking her up, I popped that Binky right out of her mouth and threw it in the trash - an act I lived to regret. I thought I knew everything about being a mother as we already had a 4-year old son. We had a very cranky baby for a few days until she found her thumb. And, did she ever find her thumb - she sucked that thumb for years!!
Can you tell she had orthodontia in her future? Look at those teeth and that cross-bite. Poor thing, she had to endure 10 years of braces because her mother thought she knew everything.

She was such a good kid - so easygoing and happy. She loved going to school, even though school work was a struggle for her. After several years in school, a learning disability was finally diagnosed. That didn't make learning any easier; however, it just gave us a definition.

She thought of school as a social occasion and excelled in all of the extra-curricular things. She played drums in the band, was captain of the flag corps, captain of a state championship gymnastic team, and worked really hard at the school work to keep her grades acceptable to participate in the fun stuff.

She was very, very social!! Oh, yes, she also spent a lot of time at the orthodontist.

She finally got those braces off in her Senior year in time to also be a beauty queen!

We couldn't convince her to try college, so she went right to work in retail. With her charm and sociability, she could sell anyone anything.

She fell in love and got married.

She had a baby - our first grandchild - adorable Caitlin!

I told you she was social - she was calling the world to tell them about this bundle of joy.

In a few months, she was pregnant again; but lost the baby in the fifth month. That was a very difficult time for her.

In 2001, she was having an ultrasound to diagnose a painful kidney stone; and in addition to the kidney stone, they found a baby lurking in there! She was finally blessed with another child. Because of the risk to the baby, they couldn't blast the stone. So, she endured that kidney stone for the entire pregnancy, working full time standing on her feet. She said she was glad to have her epidural to relieve that kidney stone pain for a little while during labor!!!

Look what she had - little, cutie Wyatt.

On the phone again to tell the world. And, they were finally able to blast that stone.

Little did she know that her biggest challenge was ahead. She had always suffered from migraine headaches; but in April 2006 she started having a different type of headache. The doctor diagnosed it as a sinus headache, but within a week she was in an ambulance on her way to the big city hospital with a brain tumor the size of a lemon. She started having seizures and went into all-night surgery. It was the worst type of news - a glioblastoma, stage four cancer.

They gave her 14 months to live, but after she could talk she told them that was not acceptable. She had a 4 year old and a 9 year old to raise!

Talk about a bad hair day!

She was in the hospital for 1 month; 2 weeks of that in ICU.
She learned to talk again and walk again; she began 7 weeks of radiation and 7 months of chemo.

Even though the treatments were horrendous for her, she was glad to be home.

So, now she is 29 months out of brain surgery and still going. A year ago, she wanted to drive again as she had been seizure-free for one year, but the doctor said he didn't know - he never had a patient live that long to want to drive again. We had her go out with a policeman friend to check her out, and she also passed that hurtle with flying colors. She will probably never be able to work again because of some short-term memory loss and lack of stamina; but her marriage survived, she is able to take care of her kids, and she is her usual, bubbly, social self.

She just had another MRI and it was clear once again. Let me tell you - this is one courageous, fighting-for-her-life woman!! She is an inspiration to anyone struggling with a life-threatening illness. I'm proud to call her our daughter. Happy Birthday, Jenni - and may you have many more and more and more and ------------.

I will be celebrating my birthday in a few days, too. It is my big 70! How blessed am I! After everything Jenni has been through, we certainly don't question God's plan for us, nor do we forget to pray and offer our thanks for our blessings.

To God be the glory as we begin this Thanksgiving season.


Sunday, November 9, 2008


Check out Smiling Sally for this week's participants in Blue Monday.

For my contribution this week, I'm showing you our Hoosier-style cabinet. These were very popular in the first two decades of the 20th century due to lack of storage and workspace in the kitchens of that era. Most of the cabinets were manufactured in Indiana, thus the name. Ours was built by the Wilson Cabinet Company and has the special feature of a built-in flour storage bin and sifter and a glass canister to hold sugar.

See the wonderful sponge-painting detail on the pull-out enameled top!

And the blue stained-glass window detail.

And inside, I have some of my blue bowl and pitcher collection from the same era.

Behind the tambour door is the sugar cannister in the corner. Behind the long door on the left is the flour container and sifter (I neglected to get a picture of that!)

The cupboard was originally owned by a friend of Bob's family. When we bought it, the tambour door was in pieces and the cupboard was in need of restoration after many years of use. Therefore, we got it for a bargain price. We have enjoyed having this cabinet for many years - it has made the rounds in our various houses. Most of its life with us it was in the family room holding the TV, books and games; but the last 11 years it has been in this little alcove in the kitchen.

Thanks for stopping by,