Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pink Saturday Depression Glass

Happy PINK Saturday everyone!
Please stop by How Sweet the Sound for more PINK inspiration and while you are there, say HI to Miss Beverly, our host every PINK Saturday!

Continuing the theme of this past week, I'm going to share some more family treasures today but these treasures are all PINK, PINK Depression glass to be exact. I know that Depression Glass gets it name because it was manufactured during THE Depression but looking at it's PINK sparkly brilliance makes me anything but depressed!

This first piece is depression glass but is also known as Cambridge Glass because that is the name of the company that manufactured it. Cambridge Glass was/is considered some of the finest glassware ever manufactured. This pieces is a little "thicker" than most of the Depression Glass we normally see and the color a little more intense and has a little more "orange" to it.

This bowl and the divided relish tray have the same pattern.

And I love this sweet little delicate bowl. I also have a bowl the same shape in a pale green.

And THIS is the star of my depression glass collection,

There are eight glasses in this set. My mom used these at Holidays and other special occasions as water goblets but I have never used them. I know, I know, I can hear ya'll saying "what are you saving them for?" I'm always afraid if I pulled them out, someone might break one and then I'd have to kill that person, LOL, JUST kidding!
So that's my tour of my small but treasured, PINK Depression Glass collection. Have a wonderful weekend, filled with Bubbles of Joy! xxoo Nan

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Family Treasures

Most of the family treasures I now possess once belonged to my Mother's Paternal Grandparents. She was extremely close to them and lived with them for awhile. Here is a picture of my Great Grandpa George and Great Grandma Wilhelmina, the same women who appeared in the picture making apple butter!

According to my Aunt, Mom was their favorite and at times they acted as though she was their only Grandchild, which might explain why she was able to acquire so many treasures. Ah, family politics and a discussion for another day!
This is the small, tidy clapboard house where they lived. I remember this house so well. 

The room along the right side with all the windows was their sunroom and where I remember spending most of the time.
I don't remember my Great Grandpa at all but everyone always said he was a sweet, kind soul but strong as an ox. 

He was a detective for the railroad and was responsible for the capture of a fairly well publicized train robber. I remember my mom telling me the story as a child and even recall seeing a newspaper article but it has long since disappeared. Of course in those days flashlights did not exist, so they used lanterns to light the way. 

This was one of my Great Grandfathers railroad lanterns. Could he have been carrying this lantern the night he helped catch the train robber?

This pitcher belonged to my Great Grandmother. The color combination is quite odd, Brown and Teal with gold accents. If I saw this in an antique store I would probably pass right by but it has it's own story to tell!

In the days before commercially bottled milk, customers would provide their own vessel in which the milkman would leave the days delivery. My mother remembers my Great Grandmother putting this very pitcher on the back porch and the milkman would fill it with milk.
When I was taking these pictures, I flipped it over to discover the following mark:

I'm not sure but I "think" Laughlin pottery was the forerunner to the now famous Homer Laughlin pottery. If any of you have any further information on this, I would love to hear. 
UPDATE: After I posted this, this morning, I started doing a little research and found that this particular trademark WAS used by the Homer Laughlin Company but was only used from 1890 - 1900. So I now know approximately when this piece was made but have no idea what the pattern is, I'll keep searching!
This very, very old crock is actually a butter churn. I have no idea how far back it dates or how many hands it passed through but I do know that long before my Great Grandmother passed away, she gave this to my mom. 

Did the same women who made apple butter use this crock to churn their butter? The hooked cane on the far left was the cane my Great Grandmother always used. 

There is a rough marking on the crock that is still visible. I have no idea about it's origins but I would love to know, if anyone has any info!
This last treasure is one of my favorites. These tiny shoes were once worn by my Mom, probably her first pair of shoes.

I've laid a quarter at the toe to give you an idea of how small these shoes are.
In a very poor family, that passed everything down to the next child but yet saved nothing from my mom's childhood, HOW did these tiny shoes survive? I have a feeling these must have been left at my Great Grandmothers house who kept them tucked away for my mom. 
Thank you again to everyone who has followed along this week and left such wonderful, heartfelt comments! xxoo Nan
I'm linking this post to Vintage Thingie Thursday at Colorado Lady. Please visit Suzanne for some more great Vintage goodness! 
And to Alphabe Thursday at Jenny Matlock's for the Letter F!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rednesday and My Favorite Things

Happy Rednesday everyone!
Please stop by and say HI to Sue at It's a Very Cherry World for more REDnesday inspiration!
Today I'm continuing my tribute to my parents and sharing some very special gifts they blessed me with.

I think one of the reasons I love the movie "A Christmas Story" is because it reminds me so much of my own childhood. Our small Midwest neighborhood could have been the model for the neighborhood in the movie, old houses predating WWII, snow drifts so high a kid could get lost and a big old brick school building, close enough to walk to. My Mom would bundle us up so tight, you could barely move and you could only pray you didn't have to go to the bathroom before you got to school. (if you have never seen this movie, watch this clip and you'll get an idea what I'm talking about) And Christmas, it was always so magical! We could hardly wait for our Mom and Dad to take us to Montgomery Wards where we would find a magical Christmas Land, complete with all the decorations, the latest and greatest toys, all things Rudolph because Montgomery Wards WAS the birthplace of Rudolph and of course Santa. I remember one year in particular, I must have been about 9, it wasn't a doll or bike that grabbed my attention, it wasn't even found in the toy department. The thing that grabbed my attention that year was a music box. It was a small music box with a white plastic base and on top was a little doll dressed in an authentic Italian costume. I remember showing it to my mom and dad and telling them that I REALLY wanted it more than anything. Well, just as in A Christmas Story, my parents spent the next couple of weeks trying to convince me that I really didn't want it and of course it WAS under the tree, Christmas morning. If you look closely, you can see that little music box sitting on the far right end of the mantle.

A year or two later my parents gave me another music box for Christmas and the year after that another and so my collection began. About the time I was in 6th grade my oldest sister decided she wanted to collect LLadros (sp?) and my middle sister Hummels. I was quite content collecting music boxes but unbeknown to me, my parents were on the look out for a line of Music Boxes that would be collectible and comparable to what my sisters wanted to collect. That year they gave me my first Anri Music box. They were hand carved and hand painted in Italy. The first one included a carving of Snoopy and Linus and played "Please Release Me".

The next year the carvings became much more delicate and detailed. I've picked out some of my favorites and ones with the most RED to share with you today.
This one from 1970 plays "It's a Small, Small World".

This one from 1980 plays "Do You Know Where You're Going To"

This one from 1987 plays "The Entertainer".

And so my collection continued for 23 years and then they became impossible to find. My parents tried and tried to find one, every Christmas with no luck. Then in 1996, the last Christmas I had with my parents, I had one gift left to open. I could hardly believe my eyes, after all these years, they were finally able to find one last music box for me.

How ironic and bittersweet that it would be a little girl, kissing her favorite teddy before she lays him down to sleep and guess what it plays? "My Favorite Things"!

Apples and Aprons

    As I mentioned yesterday, writing about my parents and looking through old pictures and recipes has been such wonderful therapy but I did not expect to uncover some wonderful discoveries that have been right under my nose for years! I would like to share one of those discoveries today.
    I am participating in Elizabeth's most adorable, Apron Pocket Swap and while working on my pockets the other night, I was reminiscing about how my Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother always wore aprons when they were preparing a meal.

I don't have a single apron that belonged to one of these women so I thought I would try and find some pictures of them wearing aprons and in the process made a wonderful discovery! Here is a picture of my Mom and Dad.

I love this picture!  What was my Dad whispering in my Mom's ear to make her giggle so?

And this stern looking woman is my Great, Great Grandmother Mary.

Obviously I never knew her but I don't know who looks meaner, her or that cat, LOL! But what a fabulous apron she is wearing!
This next picture is my amazing discovery. Shortly before my Mom passed away, she gave me a large envelope with photo copies of old family pictures. The picture above and the next picture were two of those photos. I remember glancing at them and then casting them aside during the hectic, stressful months that would soon follow when my parents passed away. I absolutely love this photo because it gives a little glimpse into what everyday life must have been like for these women.

This photo had a handwritten note beside it and made note that the women were making Apple Butter and was an annual event in the fall. The woman standing to the left is my Great Grandmother Wilhelmina, the woman seated her sister and the woman standing behind the children is my Great, Great Grandmother Mary, the same woman pictured in the photo with the cat. It is not known who the children are but could be my Great Uncles Tony and Wib. Now here is my amazing discovery. Many years before they passed away, my parents gave me a few family antiques. Coincidentally, most of them belonged to my Great Grandmother Wilhelmina. Among the items was a very old large pot and a brown crock. I don't know for sure but the pot I now possess could be the very same pot pictured above! What do you think?

Now the crock I'm only speculating but I do know that these women stored the apple butter they so painstakingly made in crocks before canning jars were made commercially.

Since this crock has a lid, could this have been one of the crocks used to store their apple butter? We'll probably never know.
Now one more mystery, I remember eating homemade apple butter as a child but when I looked in Mom's recipe box, I found two recipes for apple butter but neither appeared to be the old family recipe. I will definitely have to ask my Aunt if she has the recipe! But, I did find a very old, handwritten recipe for Apple Dumplings and I'm pretty sure this was my Paternal Grandmother's recipe. I remember my Mom making these and they were wonderful! Why have I never made these myself? Well, at any rate, since it is apple season, and in honor of my Mom, here is a very, treasured family recipe. If anyone makes these, I would love to know what you think!

Apple Dumplings
2-1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 Cup Shortening
5 Tbsp. water
Sift the flour and salt together
Cut in the shortening
Add the water and mix
Roll out 1/8" thick and cut into 7 inch squares.
Apples & filling:
Nice baking apples (sorry, it didn't say what kind or how many, I know they were red and there were at least 5)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Peel and core apples then place each apple on a square of the dough. Fill each apple with the sugar/cinnamon mixture then top each apple with 1 Tbsp. of butter. Pull sides of dough up and over top of apple overlapping and pinching together the ends. Place in a lightly greased baking dish.
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp Butter
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
2 Cups Water
Boil for 3 mins stirring till sugar is dissolved.
Pour Syrup over the apples and bake. (sorry, it doesn't say at what temp or for how long! I would guess 350 degrees for 30 mins?)

Monday, October 25, 2010

A HUGE Thank You and something to let simmer!

    First I want to thank each and everyone of you that left such heartfelt remarks on my post yesterday, you can not imagine how it touched my heart. It's funny because when I was writing the post I didn't shed a tear but I think I cried when I read each and every comment but they were tears of JOY. JOY for the love I felt, JOY for reaffirming my belief that my Parents are always with me. Because it was such good therapy, I have decided to continue my celebration of my Parents life throughout this week and share some of the gifts (both tangible and non-tangible) they blessed me with. I'm not sure what I will share but I do know on Thursday I will share pictures of vintage family heirlooms, each with a story. Saturday I will share some special PINK family items and Sunday I will share a very true, SPOOKY story from my family's past.  
    Have I ever told ya'll I like to cook? Well, that's an understatement, I LOVE to cook. This is one of the greatest gifts my mom gave me, a love of cooking.  I believe my Mom and the women who preceded her  felt that cooking for their family was one of the greatest expressions of love they could bestow on their families.
 My mom with my Grandmother, I wonder whatever happened 
to that Teddy Bear she is holding?
She wasn't a fancy gourmet cook but she was a wonderful cook! I think with the exception of fried liver and lima beans, I ate everything she put in front of me. Her style of cooking was based 
on her German roots ...hearty, stick to your ribs, comfort food. 
I now possess her treasured recipe box, all the cards written in family and friends handwriting, some dating back 3 generations. I promised my sister I would scan all of the cards and divide up the originals,
then type all the recipes into a single book. 
I haven't done that yet.

My style of cooking is much the same as my mother's with a little Southern Accent thrown in. I love to experiment with my own creations and take other people's recipes and change them up and make them my own.  Such is the case with the following recipe. The original recipe came from one of my favorite sites, The Picky Palate but I've made it my own! The original version is oh so yummy too!

Here is MY version:
Chicken Florentine Pasta Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 handfuls of sliced carrots
2 lbs, boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
5 cloves fresh garlic, grated
2 boxes, 32 oz. each, Chicken broth
1 - 14 oz. can Italian Diced Tomatoes w/ garlic and basil
1/2 lb dry Orecchiette pasta*
4 Cups fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup shredded Italian Cheese blend

Place olive oil in a large Dutch oven over Med. heat, add the Chicken and cook thoroughly. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the the onions and carrots and cook until the onions are lightly browned then add the garlic and cook for 5 mins. Add the chicken back to the pan along with the tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat cover and simmer for 30 mins. Add the spinach leaves and continue simmering for 20 mins. Meanwhile in a large pot, cook the pasta until done, drain and add to the soup and heat through. Top each bowl with a generous sprinkling of shredded cheese and serve with a loaf of hearty, crusty bread and as they say in the South, That's some good eatin!

*Orecchiette Pasta
This pasta is probably about 3 times as much as other pastas but I love it because each piece of pasta makes a little ladle that grabs all the flavors and holds on to it. You could substitute sea shell pasta or mini shells.

And sharing one last picture of my Mom. Wasn't she a cutie! I think this was probably taken around 1932.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

When Your Heart Is Broken

   Dear Bloggy Friends, I hope you will bear with me, I always want my blog to be uplifting and a happy place to visit but this is always a very difficult week for me. You see, thirteen years ago this very week, my world was shattered and my heart broken when I lost not one but BOTH of my beloved parents, both suddenly and both unexpectedly. At times I thought I would never get past the shock and grief, the hurt so bad at times it was not just emotional but physical as well. But as they say, time heals all wounds and I have been able to move past the sorrow I felt in those days, months and even first years. Through my parents deaths, I returned to God and through his love and grace I have learned all things are possible if I fully rely on HIM! As much as I have moved past the grief, I have never had "THAT" moment.  THAT moment when the realization that you are NEVER going to see this person in this lifetime again, hits you like a sack of bricks up side your head. I've always been this way, someone I know passes away and a year later, or two or five, something will happen to remind me of this person and WHAM, I truly realize they are gone! Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, that some day I will be washing the dishes or driving to work and all of a sudden I will realize my parents are gone and I will fall apart. Do any of you experience this?
    But rather than dwell on the bad, I would like to share a little about my parents. Both of my parents came from very, very poor families and even though they grew up in the same small town, they didn't really know each other until they were young adults. My Daddy had just returned from serving in the Pacific during WWII and my Mom was a Senior in High School. They met at a little diner and I think it must have been love at first sight because they never looked back. They were married a year later during a very small church service, no money for a fancy wedding dress or big reception.

Daddy was attending college on the GI bill and worked when not in class and Mom also worked to help support them. They lived above the theater in a small apartment in the sweetest little college town. Ironically, my youngest daughter now lives in the same apartment! Daddy finished his undergrad program and went on to Law school. By the time he graduated from law school, Mom was expecting my oldest sister. Two more babies would follow in the next two years and the little family was finally getting settled.

    My Daddy was such a kind, generous man, nothing like the bad rap most attorneys get these days. He was more concerned with helping people than he was making money. They never owned a brand new car and they never lived in a big fancy house. Many of his clients were farmers or blue collar workers, if Daddy knew they couldn't pay, he just never sent them a bill. He had one client that sold rubber bands for a living and that's how he paid my dad, with rubber bands! When we cleaned out his office, we found boxes and boxes of those rubber bands and this client must have been dead for twenty years.
    Both of my parents felt deeply about giving back to the community, Mom volunteered with our Brownie troops and the Child Conservation League and later as a Gray Lady at the hospital. Daddy devoted countless hours to the VFW, American Legion and even taught Sunday School to a group of Elderly ladies. But most of all they had a deep devotion to their family and each other. My parents made every Holiday so special. My mom decorated the house for every holiday but Christmas was the best! Mom had to make sure everyone had the same number of gifts under the tree at Christmas and she and daddy would spend many, many nights the weeks prior to Christmas making peanut brittle, caramels, popcorn balls and more cookies than I can remember, which they always gave away. My mom made many of our clothes and I can remember the matching Christmas jammies she made for us.
 Christmas 1956

    Now in case you are thinking  I had this perfect, idyllic life growing up, think again! We had our problems like every other family but I think the values my parents instilled in us, are what kept us strong and were the basis for so many good memories. They adored my girls and I think this is what saddens me the most, that they weren't here to see my girls grow up.
  Mom and Dad with my girls, 1995

We love you Mom and Dad, you are forever in our hearts! XXOO
This is the last professional picture taken of my parents 
and was taken at my Sister's wedding 
about 5 years before they passed away.
You can click on the picture to bring up a larger, sharper image,
then right click and save!
Please stop by Spiritual Sundays 
for more inspiring posts!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pink Sturday!

Happy PINK Saturday everyone!
I have been waiting for this plant to bloom so I could share it on PINK Saturdays since I first joined Pink Saturdays back in July.
Meet Confederate Rose or Hibiscus Mutabilis. The name is deceptive because it is not a Rose nor is it native to the South. It is actually a member of the Hibiscus family and is a native of China.

The variety growing in my yard has very large, double pink flowers but there is a variety that has flowers that start off white, changing to pink and finally turning a dark pink, hence the name "Mutabilis" which means changeable. It is possible for a single Confederate Rose plant to have all three colors at one time and as you can imagine, is quite spectacular! Confederate Rose usually blooms mid-October till the first frost but in some areas may start blooming earlier.

Confederate Rose will grow in zones 7-9 and may die all the way back to the ground in the winter. It can reach heights of fifteen feet in one Summer. This is a picture of the Confederate Rose "tree" growing in my yard, sorry it is not a very good picture but I wanted to give you an idea of the size of this plant. 

If gorgeous blooms weren't enough, Confederate Rose is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Simply cut off a green branch before the first frost, stick it in a glass of water and it will quickly sprout roots. By the time Spring rolls around, it will be ready to plant. You can also propagate Confederate Rose from seeds. After the flowers have died, a seed pod will form on the tips of branches, wait for these pods to turn brown and pop open, then remove the seeds and plant in a potting soil mix.
Please stop by and say hi to Beverly at How Sweet The Sound, for more PINK Inspiration!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mickey's Halloween Birthday Bash!

Sunday I hosted my Great Nephew's FIRST Birthday Party. He loves Mickey Mouse and since my house was already decorated for fall and Halloween, my Niece and I decided the perfect theme would be "Mickey's Halloween Birthday Bash". As luck would have it, K-mart had an entire line of Mickey Mouse Halloween decorations that would be perfect for the party. The color scheme would be Orange, Black, White, Lime Green and Purple. I made a "Happy Birthday" banner to hang over the food table in all these colors and bought a table skirt, plates, napkins and all the other necessities to match.

I bought some inexpensive, black, crinkly curtains to hang as a backdrop behind the table which really set the mood. The pumpkins with the Mickey face were from K-mart and the black pedestals they are sitting on came from Marshalls.

The menu included Creamed Chicken Sandwich Sliders, 7-layer Salad, Vegetable tray, sliced apples with caramel dip, Cupcakes, White wine Sangria and sweet tea.

I set up a 4 foot long table in the living room for the gifts and decorated it with a Mickey Mouse dressed in a skeleton costume, again from K-mart and tulle streamers in Purple, Black and Lime Green. In front of the gift table I placed the table my girls used when they were little, this would be the seat for the Guest of Honor! Most of the pictures I took inside while he was opening his gift turned out all blurry, I don't know what was up with my camera, GRRR!
We were expecting 11 guests but ended up having 20! No problem, we had plenty of food and as they say, the more the merrier! I think the party was a success and I know my niece and her hubby appreciated all the work that went in to making it happen.

Whew, now I'm glad to get back to crafting for the Holidays and the upcoming apron swap I'm participating in. xxoo Nan
I'm linking this to Free Pretty Things For You whatever you want Wednesday party! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Scripture in Pictures

I'm taking a little break from blogging for a few days to spend time with family and so this is a repeat of my first Scripture in Pictures post! Please visit Ginger and Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays for more inspiring posts.
This is a picture of the Beach not too far from my home!

Friday, October 15, 2010

PINK Saturday!

Happy PINK Saturday Everyone!
This will be a VERY short post today as I'm getting ready for my Great Nephews First birthday party. 
I want to share a picture of what my sweet Hubby did in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The other day he met some co-workers for happy hour. There just happens to be a hair salon next to their favorite watering hole and it just so happens that this salon was doing a fund raiser for Breast Cancer Awareness month. For ten dollars, they would dye a PINK ribbon in the customers hair. Well, my hubby and several of his friends took the challenge and here is the result!

You gotta give it to a guy that will walk around with a PINK ribbon in his hair!
Please stop by How Sweet The Sound for more PINK inspiration and have a wonderful weekend! xxoo Nan

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Friday Freebies!

Are you getting tired of Fall & Halloween Freebies? I hope not because I have a few more this week!
Stop by Cupcake Confessional and find the link to these very cool Spooky Halloween Treat Labels.

Last week my bloggy Friend Tracy shared this really cute project on her Blog Cotton Pickin Cute.

I thought it would be fun to try, so I went looking for silhouettes and found a slew of them at Crafts Jr!

And from one of my FAV sites The Toymaker, an entire page devoted to free printable Halloween projects. You are going to love this!

Can't Stop Making Things has the free printable and TUT to make this cool vampire card!

Get the printable and tut to make these Halloween Goody Bags 
at Smile Monsters!

Awhile back I posted the link for this adorable fashion doll at Nuno Life. Now she has the pattern and tut to make a sweet little witchie poo! If you missed my first post, don't worry, she has the link for it too.

And finally, get the instructions and links to all the patterns to make these totally spooktacular glowing trick or treat bags at Holidash!
If you don't need a Trick or Treat bug, I think you could adapt this idea and make these into wall hangings! 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone filled with Bubbles of Joy! xxoo Nan