Saturday, May 24, 2014

Vintage China

 For several years I've enjoyed collecting random pieces of pretty vintage china when I find it at a garage sale or thrift store. Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know about my eclectic violet tea set. Other than that the only full set of china I have is a set that Mother gave me that originally belonged to my great-grandmother.
I have treasured Granny's china and enjoyed displaying it and using it, but the pattern is not one I would have chosen. I like a delicate floral pattern. In fact, my favorite piece (other than the violet dishes) is a sweet little bread-and-butter plate I picked up for 50 cents about 3 years ago.

Imagine how thrilled I was this morning to discover a full service for 8 of that very pattern at a Salvation Army store we just "happened" to go in!
The set included dinner plates, soup bowls, salad plates, dessert bowls, and cups and saucers, plus a serving bowl, a cream pitcher, and sugar bowl. There were only 6 cups, but 8 of everything else (except the serving pieces, of course.) The price marked was $52.10. The dishes were all stacked on a counter so I thought maybe they had been spoken for. I asked the lady behind the counter who told me she had just put them out.

Lyle had given me some money a few weeks ago that he said I was to spend on something just for me. I had been hoarding it for just such a time. As I stood deliberating over it, the manager announced over the loud-speaker, "Our special today is 25% off brick-a-brack items..." That's when I noticed that the price tag was labeled "brick-a-brack!"

"This would be 25% off?" I asked the lady.

"Yes," she assured me. "It's labeled brick-a-brack, so that counts."

"I'll take it!" I declared.

She offered to wrap it and box it up for me while I continued to look around.

I went to find Lyle. "I just bought a set of china dishes," I told him. He knows my fondness for pretty china.

We were casually wandering through the furniture department when I spotted a hutch.

Lyle said, "I guess you need that to put your dishes in, don't you?"

It was marked $80. Mmm. I didn't really want to spend that much.

"Furniture is 50% off today," Lyle told me.

"It is?!" I guess I had been so tuned in to the "brick-a-brack" special that I tuned out everything else.

 So I got my dishes for $38... and the hutch to put them in for $40.
My "new" dishes coordinate nicely with Granny's china (which includes service for 6) so now I have enough dishes that I can have up to 14 guests and still set a pretty table! Before, any time we had more than 2 people for dinner I had to either use every-day dishes or paper-ware.
Naturally I had to come home and rearrange the living room to fit the hutch in just so, and then arrange all my pretty dishes in it. What fun!
How about a cup of tea?

A Cuddle of Bunnies

"Mom, can you step outside for a moment?" she asked.

"Why? What do you need?" I wondered.

"I just want to show you something real quick. It's so cute!"

So I followed her out the door and to the end of the porch.

"Be real quiet," she cautioned. "See? Two babies and a mama!"

They were cuddled up against the house next door.
"How darling!" I whispered. "Let me go get my camera. I bet I can get pictures with the zoom lens."

Even from 6 or 8 feet away, the whir of the camera frightened the first little bunny back into the hole under the porch.
I'm not sure that the larger bunny is the mama. 

I think maybe he's the brother bunny with two little sister bunnies.

But who am I to judge? 

Bunnies don't put pink and blue booties on their babies so we can tell the girls from the boys!
And then there was one!

Mama or big brother... whichever it was... anyway, it was the bravest one.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Where Did I Leave Off?

Once upon a time I used to blog... It's been awhile, I know. I guess you'd like to know about some of the things that have been keeping my life so busy and my schedule filled, wouldn't you? Because I know you are just avidly interested in all my Ramblin's! Well, some of you are, anyway. I'm pretty sure. And for those of you who aren't... feel free to just ignore me. It's okay. Really.

So... where was I last time we met here? Let's see... I'd been to Alaska... and then home to Colorado again. Oh, but my spring travels weren't over. So I guess that's where I should pick up.
In May, my team (consisting of my friend Sherry, daughter Laura, and myself) hosted the Sonlight booth at the Homeschool Iowa Conference in Des Moines, Iowa... where the farmers apparently drive their John Deere tractors right downtown! This was scene as we drove into downtown from the airport.

Our adventures that weekend included having to transport the booth display in a small SUV (with multiple trips) instead of the mini-van I had reserved, because the rental car agency didn't actually have a mini-van... and walking 7 or 8 blocks through the Sky Walk system in Des Moines trying to find somewhere to eat between set-up and the first night of the convention. One of us had a fractured foot and another was operating on low blood-sugar and dehydration (or something!) so we were quite the sight hobbling along through the maze of passageways above the city streets. We also got to hear comedian Brad Stine on Friday night while we were there.

And that was Convention #7 for me for the 2014 homeschool convention season.

Just to keep things organized... and because I'm afraid I'll never get finished if I try to do all the updates in one big ol' long post, I'm going to post about each event or activity in separate posts. It may take me several days... but I guess since I'm already this far behind, that won't matter much, will it?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spring Update

And again, weeks have gone by without an update... but by now I'm sure you know what that means, right? Busy-ness on the home front!

Last time I posted from Fairbanks, Alaska hoping to report in with pictures of the Northern Lights. Sadly, I didn't get to see them. I had found out, just a day or two before I left, that often hotels take a shuttle out in the middle of the night if the Lights are out. You can put in a request at the front desk for a wake-up call if they end up taking the van out. I inquired at my hotel, and sure enough, they offered that service. So I put my name on the list... but still no luck. 

I did get to see the Alaska Pipeline. Not that it's much consolation since it's always there... not an elusive thing like the Northern Lights.
 Didn't see any Alaskan wildlife either... but hey, there were moose droppings along the Pipeline! Does that count? No? I didn't think so.
Speaking of moose droppings... some enterprising outfit has come up with a way to market the stuff! In the souvenir aisle at WalMart, no less. All kinds of "punny" things made with shellacked and preserved moose poop! There was even a "lipstick" that had a label that said, "It won't heal your chapped lips, but it'll keep you from licking them!" Um. Yeah. I reckon it would do that!

Home again. It's been a busy few weeks with a special weekend conference at church, and getting ready again for my next trip: Des Moines, Iowa this weekend.
One evening we enjoyed a double-date with some friends at a pizza place up in the mountains. We ate on the deck overlooking a mountain stream. It's been a lot of fun to find new "favorite" places as we settle in.

The spring weather here in Colorado has been very fickle. We've had some lovely, warm spring days. The tulips and the cherry tree bloomed and faded. Trees have leafed out and the lilacs were in full bloom last week. And then... on Mother's Day it started snowing. And it snowed for hours. Days even. Well, two days anyway. We ended up with several inches... as in 6 or 8 inches. In mid-May.  I was not amused. We did not move south for this!

Honestly, it wouldn't have been too bad because, obviously, it is already melting quickly away. However, the heavy, wet snow accumulated on the leaves of the trees, and the weight actually broke several limbs on trees in our yard. We're waiting to see what the final damage looks like once the snow has completely melted and the trees and lilac bushes have had a chance to recover. We are planning to have Rebecca's graduation in our backyard in June, so I hope it won't be too ugly.