Monday, October 24, 2011

A little here and there and questions answered

Miss Victoria would love to "help" in the garden
That's how I'm getting the house and garden ready for the winter.  I spent awhile this morning pulling the 2011 garden out of the raised beds, thinking already of the 2012 garden and hoping to better conquer the weeds.  I have heard via people who should know... weather type experts... that we may be in this weather pattern for awhile which would make for other hot and wet summers.  Rather than shutting my eyes and hoping it all works out... I can see some garden books stacked in the winter reading!

The weeds were already out of control when we left for ten days.  I now know why farmers do not take vacations until after the harvest is in.  Anyway, the first two-thirds of the garden season went well... kind of... what did not yielded its' own crop in lessons learned and wisdom gained, which will be written in my Scrapbook Journal soon.

I need to answer a few questions now for if I don't, they tend to get buried and then I forget all about them... only to have one or two pop up in my mind many months later when I have only the haziest of recollection what they were.

The name of the dish pattern that I'm giving to the future Mrs. Christopher is Royal Albert's Lavender Rose... one of the best thrifting deals I ever found by far.  Her favorite colors are lavenders-purples and these are very feminine. She has one of the cup-saucer sets sitting in her room at home already.  :)

The pattern on Great Grandmother's china is Raddison by W. S. George, an American company.   Probably around the 1920s.

The silverware was purchased at a garage sale along with a felt lined box that keeps it pretty much tarnish free.  I have heard that silver does not tarnish if used regularly but I've never put that to the test.

I wash my good china and silverware by themselves (I have also read one should not wash silver or silver plated (as mine is) silverware with stainless steel or it causes a bad chemical reaction on the silver). I only polished the silverware shown with the place settings when I first brought them home and so far they have not tarnished.

I do have a few silver serving pieces that are not kept in flannel (like a silver plated ladle) which I do need to polish now and then but not often.  My candlesticks and tea-coffee servers have to be polished often but I figure that is the cost in time to enjoy them.  I think of them more as pieces of beautiful sculpture than any burden.  Air and light contributes to tarnish so my few silver plated serving trays I have left are protected enough that they rarely need polishing. 

I put a towel in the bottom of the sink (after filling it with sudsy water that is just a little hot) to cushion the china and it is the one time that I do not ask for help in the kitchen!  I wash and dry everything and stack it on the dining table to be put away as soon as reasonably possible.  It is worth all the extra "trouble", at least for me.

Yes, it is true!  Once you start "seeing" a certain pattern then it just seems to jump out at you while thrifting.  I can "see" an English teacup on the shelves from an aisle away and now I can "see" brown transferware.  Although both are somewhat rare in my area.

However, even with the rising prices at Goodwill and the local thrift stores, I still have seen excellent prices on dishes... probably because they get so many of them... so it is quite possible to find what you need to set a pretty table for less than the price of one DISH at a department store.

Photo from
When I mentioned the hummingbirds we have in our area, a blog friend from another country asked what kind of bird that is...  They are teeny tiny little birds which (to me) sound so much like a wasp that I have given the the little guys quite a scare swatting at them before I know it is not a wasp.

The most common color in my yard is a greenish-yellow combination but I have seen a hummingbird with reddish highlights in my garden.  They are truly one of God's tiny but magnificent creations.

I've also had comments and e-mails about my friend Manuela's blog... she is taking a blog break for awhile!  I have already told her that I hope she is back for the Holidays so I can steal her ideas... enjoy her lovely decorating and creative ideas.

However, most of us write our blogs as a labor of love so I never want to put a burden on another to blog when the time is not right.  As a writer of a blog, you really put yourself out there emotionally and one does tend to judge themselves on comments (and lack of them but I have found the entire Blogdom is... for the most part... getting a lot fewer comments).

Just recently I had a number of people drop off my rss feed and for awhile I was second guessing myself about what I possibly could have said or done... but then the realization came all over again (as I have been told so often), I just have to be myself ... for better or worse... as people come and go and many remain.  This especially happens because I write about so many different subjects.

Sometimes one has to step away for awhile and this is such a time for Manuela.  I do hope temporarily.


Vee said...

Oh I didn't realize that Manuela is taking a blogging break. Thanks for the head's up. Perhaps I should go amend what I have already written for tomorrow's post. ;>

I have so much to do in the yard, but John is digging and it's dusty and ugh...the mere thought. Oh, and I just listened to a "relaxed" gardener who said not to pull or cut back everything because it provides no interest in the early winter garden. Oh well. We'll see about that.

My favorite new place for thrift finds are the animal shelter shops. They seem to really keep prices low and want to move their inventory.

A cozy day to you!

Anonymous said...

My granddaughter once did a report on Bumblebee Hummingbirds. Some are less than 3 inches and many times are taken to be an insect. They are a native of Mexico and have been spotted in Southern Arizona!
Love your blog!

The Working Home Keeper said...

Thank you for passing along that bit of info about Manuela! I love her blog and yours too!

Mary Ellen
The Working Home Keeper

matty said...

Good point about blogging, Brenda. Personally, I feel that I have "friends" in this realm whom I will most likely never meet, but are kindred souls just the same. We drop in on each other, just as neighbors, and share a few thoughts. Why people think they have to be rude or demanding isn't at all clear to me. Suzanne calls them "trolls" and I like that, somehow...

Love the pattern for the New Mrs. She is blessed to have an adoring MILove.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the good information! We do love pour dishes don't we! :) Since you can no longer even view Manuela's blog I was worried. I was afraid she or a family member was sick or someone had commented and upset her. We all need breaks and she said she was fixing up her home for a later sale and that is strenuous work. As long as she is fine that is what matters. Sarah

Echoes From the Hill said...

I was in Goodwill, today, and saw a silver coffee pot, sugar bowl and creamer, on a silver tray, just like yours. Could have been mine for $22.50, but I don't need it. There was also a huge silver serving tray. Seems people are not into silver any more. That is a shame, because it is so pretty.
I might have to get mine out, to display after the holidays, because a little sparkle will be welcome in January!

Anonymous said...

I am one who does lurk without leaving comments, but I do so enjoy your blog :) I've wondered where Manuela went as well, thank you for explaining. I really need to start using my good china-- locked away in the cabinet is no fun, I may lose a piece or two but it's too pretty not to. Thank you for the inspiration. We too are going through a period of monetary lack, but as my mom used to say even the poor have access to soap and water. So I'm going to take as good a care of my home as able and enjoy a cup of tea and look forward with a grateful heart.


Thoughts for the day said...

I enjoy your blog. We have old country rose 'royal doulton' for thanksgiving dinner then we purchased christmas china for that table setting. The grandchildren enjoy the festive table and it creates a warm memory I hope for them to think about as years move on for them.
We have a silver tea set given to my husband from his place of work as an anniversary gift. It is pretty but can't seem to figure out how to not let it blacken.
enjoy your blog keep writing.

Bess said...

Brenda, your china dishes are all so very lovely!

Anonymous said...

I hope that in spite of people dropping off reading your blog or leaving comments that you keep your blogging up! Love it. It's the first one I check. I don't often leave comments either, but I read.
Be blessed,

Anonymous said...

I read your blog, but not always comment. Depends on if I have anything to add. I suspect that might be the case with others too. Does not mean we are not happy visiting here!!

Elizabeth in NC

Woman of the House said...

Sometimes people stop reading just because they've gotten busy or they've realized that they are spending too much time on the computer, etc. I'm sure most of the time it's nothing personal! :-)

Anonymous said...

Your china and silver are very pretty. You have very good taste.
For years I didn't care to bother with 'bric-a-break' because we couldn't afford it and it might get broken. Since reading your thrifting posts, I've gotten some nice things inexpensively. Thank you.

Raewyn said...

Hallo, dear "Grandmother!" It's been a while since I've last dropped you a word, but I've still been reading (I know, very rude of me to be so silent). How exciting for Christopher! I'm sure your future DIL will love the china and you as a MIL. :) Have you had a Pumpkin Spice latte yet? ;)

Anonymous said...

I am slowly getting back into the "lurking" business. Your blog is bringing back the beauty of the world that I had lost through sickness. I had forgotten how wonderful everyday things can be. Please don't ever think you have done something to make people leave. People have lives that sometimes demand tough decisions. I love the peace, beauty and elegance of your blog

Cheri said...

Hi Brenda!
As always, I love your blog post.

Setting a pretty table makes my heart sing, but now that we are empty nesters living in a strange land, I don't go to a lot of trouble for the two of us.

Regarding blog comments....I wonder if this is a blogger issue. I have no problem commenting on some blogspot posts and on others? It tells me I do not have a google account and need to register. Even though just two minutes before I did comment without issue?

Anyone else have this trouble?

Have a beautiful day all!

Scrappy quilter said...

I think it's good to take breaks from the computer (blogging mostly). I've been doing that and now I'm seeing the world outside, enjoying the fall more than I ever have. Manuela will be missed and yet she is so smart to take time away.

Love all your pretty dishes. And so enjoy your blog. Hugs

Maggie said...

I love your dishes =)
I recently went to a thrift store and found a cute little Christmas teapot for a dollar
yeah! =)
I enjoy seeing what you are reading (I'm guessing you like Sue Branch, too) and how you stay frugal.

Cheryl said...

I am visiting this evening to let you know that I linked your recent Sunday Afternoon Tea post at my own blog today. As part of my 31-day series (31 Days to Make Your House a Home), I wrote about using your heirlooms, and I thought that your ponderings this past Sunday went side-by-side with what I was trying to say. You know what they say about great minds thinking alike and all that (although I have no such delusions about my mind being "great"!)... :-D

So while I'm here, I'll join in on the conversation about blogging and comments. I appreciate your perspective..."I just have to be myself ... for better or worse... as people come and go and many remain." That is how I try to approach blogging too. It is tempting to gauge what we have said (and thus what we will write again) by the comments (or lack). But I attempt to write from the heart...and to please the Lord. That's really all that matters.

Thank you for sharing encouraging words day after day.

Mrs.Rabe said...

You know that I am completely drooling over your silver, right?
You are right to think of it as sculpture - look how beautiful it is! With a few white lights at Christmas it would be so pretty - a bit of greenery tucked in here and there....

We need to pull the weeds in the raised beds too, and put to sleep the beds that don't have cool crops in them.

I liked this post of answering questions. Miss M is one blessed young woman!