Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dashing in the Thrift Store

I went for one thing only.  Spoons & such for a project.  But I found these:

About ten pounds of polished stones.  How could I resist when they were only $3.99?


For fifty cents.  :-)

It would be so boring if there were not any thrift shops!

Yes, I found the type of spoons I needed too!

Linking to:  The Charm of Home

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday II

"Oh, hello."

shared with

A Review: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

This is my Goodreads review.  
Goodreads rating:  1 star 

I found the book to be well written and one that is hard to put down, but I would never recommend.  It's a dangerous precedent to be writing about real people as fiction and recreating them to spur ones own convictions.  This is why it's a one star rating.  If this had been a future president unassociated with anyone living, it would have received four stars. 

The liberal author has simply created a way to give her political views credibility.  She pretends that her views are the real views of Laura Bush.  To call this a work of fiction is a cover.  You cannot read it without imagining and believing it is George and Laura Bush she is writing about. The clever use of truth amongst the overwhelming fabrication she indulges in will almost certainly color the readers impression of these two very real persons forever.  People who are not unlike them, but who most assuredly are not them.

The authors hatred of George Bush is evident on every page.  The rosy, boyish "charm" is a thin disguise she uses to discredit him thoroughly.  I continued to read to the end, horrified at the liberties she has taken in the personal life of someone she only knows through what others have written.  Few people will take the time to research what is truth and what is fiction. 

Many people will go to their graves believing Laura Bush is Alice Blackwell.  The fact that Laura  was raised a Democrat (as was I) gave the author license to impose her own views on this character with what she believes to be good credibility. She imagined Laura cocooned herself in "Wife" mode rather than disagree with her conservative husband. The final audacity being she confessed she never voted for George for president...oops I mean Charlie...oops earlier I meant Alice. 

I found this the most disconcerting.  The author has written this book in Laura Bush's real voice.  The inflection, the tone, phrasing.  She certainly did her homework.

Oh, Curtis Sittenfeld is clever.  Sprinkling the book throughout with, what are probably her own sexual exploits and attributing them to two real/fictional people is reprehensible. This part of the book was the most uncomfortable.  Skimming over these sections didn't erase them.

The young author
The book was needlessly lengthy. Often she digressed too long before coming back to a point, especially in the last section of the book.  Well written? Yes.  Explosive? No.  Character assassination? Pretty much.     

President George Bush and Laura Bush

As much as I immersed myself into this good story,  I can't in good conscience recommend.  It's misleading the public honorably. 

Linked to

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby

Our first major storm since we moved to Florida.  

My rain cup has been awash and overflowing for hours now.

The view from our front door

Steady rain hasn't flooded us yet.

Just don't walk up to my front door

The view from the back
 A tiny bend in the gutter has been overflowing right onto the patio screen.
I could not get outside with the camera to show you even with the overflow here, the water is still gushing out of the drain spout on the corner.

  Our cat, Mohawk abandoned the patio he loves for the dry comfort of the living room.
Looking unperturbed, but the fact that he is inside speaks volumes.

High tide is in a half hour and is apparently wreaking havoc along US 19 since the water can no longer drain off into the Gulf.  

However.. far, so good at Tortoise Cottage.  We are only spectators watching the drama outdoors at this time.  No limbs down, no damp spots on the ceiling and the electricity is working fine.  Maybe I'll bake.

It's officially high tide and my street is flooded at this time. 

Losing our island in the middle of the road.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Thrifting Treasures

I just love to thrift shop and once again I came home with a treasure to keep and some dishes I have other plans for.  

It was half price for Seniors Day and I pretty much stocked up.  The girl at the register gave me an additional discount at the register for wrapping all the dishes.   Here is a sampling:

A Homer Laughlin egg cup in my favorite color!

Some pretty dishes

A tiny souvenir plate

A plate marked Japan (in the old way...a black stamp)

This had a crumbling sticker for $1.99 from many years ago.  It's in beautiful shape and I have a plan for it!

A tiny hand painted cup

A solid glass eagle

A salt glazed folk art pottery jug. 
Yes, it does have some paint that needs to be removed.

And there is a story behind these tarnished pieces of silver
I have been cursed today because of this silver crossing my palm.

This is the story.  

A woman at the Salvation Army store was rifling though the box of stainless and I listened to the clink, rattle and crash while I was browsing the plates and cups.  (You would be proud of me, I did not buy a mug today for myself.)  Anyway I was waiting for her to finish because I wanted to find a pie server or two or some interesting spoons for a project.

She left but I didn't go over right away,  I finished sorting through the plates first.  

She had pulled out some silver plate stuff  and left it lying on the shelf above, but obviously had decided against it as she had been away from the box for quite some time. 

I looked at it, liked it and put it in my cart.  I then spent a good deal of time looking through the big box myself.  Later as I was wandering the store, she spied the spoons in my cart.  She came up to me and asked me if I had taken the spoon from the shelf.  I replied in the affirmative.  She then said, in a very hostile voice, holding her hand out. "I would like my spoon back."  as though I had stolen it.   I was taken aback with her rudeness so I said I planned to purchase it myself.  She demanded it back and I calmly said "No, I'm buying it, you put it back."   She said she left it on the shelf so she could gather other things together and when she came back it was gone.  (Who has to set a spoon down to gather stuff? )

Don't judge me.  I didn't give it back.  If she had nicely asked for it in the first place and told the truth, that she decided she really wanted it after all, of course I would have given it to her.  It's only a spoon for heaven's sake!  But she tried to bully me into giving it to her and I wasn't going to let her do that.

She cursed me by saying Karma would get me and stalked off. 

Well...So far, I got an extra discount and discovered the egg cup is worth anywhere from $10 to $65  haha..according to ebay.  Maybe standing up to bullies gives good Karma.

Can you guess my project?  

Visit Knick of Time for other vintage thrift treasures!
and 413 Sparrow Lane  for great projects from vintage items
also Ivy and Elephants 
Restyle Sundays

Thursday, June 14, 2012


It never fails to astonish me to step out my front door and see these visitors. 

Walking ever so gracefully, not at all afraid of me.

See the one on the far right?  He is trying to shoo me away with a loud squawk. 

Usually it's just Jack and Jill that come around, they always come in pairs.  Today they brought their friends from Mom's block around the corner, Fric and Frac.

Linked to:
Top of the Pecking Order  (isn't that soooo appropriate??)
Curb Alert (this is what is on my curb!) 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

A Day at the Beach


Partying at:

Miniature Gardens

I tried my hand at a couple of miniature gardens.  One is in a large pot outside my patio door.  It started out as a moss garden and I happily found rocks and branches and arranged them.  Then I had to break off a branch of a Schefflera in the front garden.  The branch was so large I didn't want to just toss it away so I stuck it in the soil  in my moss garden to enjoy until it died.  Much to my surprise, it rooted and is now thriving. A feathery plant took root and some clover, so it is much more attractive than when it was only mossy items.

The cute bowl I purchased while in South Carolina did indeed become a tiny birdbath.  Instead of being a birdbath though, it is a place for the tiny frogs who found their way into this garden.  How appropriate! 

The other tiny garden is much smaller, measuring only 8 inches in diameter and it resides indoors 

It boasts a double walkway, one leading to a "salt celler" pond, the other leading to a rock sculpture where a treasure of clustered opals have been gifted to the gods by unknown fairies. 

 Where the path joins I've placed tiny seashells I picked up at Honeymoon Beach against a large multi colored shell.  The plants are cactus that thrive on neglect and yes, they are actually growing.  I see little buds on the tips.  

These two experiments were fun but we'll see how long they last!

Linking to:
Tell it to Me on Tuesday 
Show Me What Ya Got 
Be Inspired 
Trash to Treasure 
Raising Oranges

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Thrifting in Sultry June

Ohhhh it was a lovely tropical day and especially nice to be out after several days of rain.

My local Goodwill had, of course, raised their prices.  I think it's because of the massive amount of shopping I have done there over the last year.  They must feel like if I will pay $0.78 for something, surely I wouldn't object to paying $1.06.

The $1.06 price tag was on throw away bud vases, grocery store plastic storage, individual teaspoons, knives, forks etc. I'm simply stunned as I walk through and see the prices.  I don't think there was anything lower than $1.06

But there were bargains to be had.  

My favorite item to buy is a pottery mug and this one was especially nice...the aqua and brown is gorgeous, the handle is large, the rim TIPS OUT...and the line drawing takes me to someplace interesting. 
I loved having my coffee in it this morning,  

Tie Dye Coasters!
Not just any coasters, but the coasters that actually absorb all liquid but doesn't get the table wet.  $1.06 for all four.  They look brand new. 

Inspirational Garden Stones
They were $1.06 each but are deeply etched and a nice size.  They won't be hard to read, scattered about  in the front garden bed. 

A rusty tin angel
I plan to brush it with a bit of turquoise paint to highlight the pattern. 
$.50 no..not Goodwill.  Yard Sale!

That isn't all I brought home but just a sample. 

Linking up to 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Nancy Keeps House by Helene Laird

I wonder how many of you grew up with Nancy in the book Nancy Keeps House.  Did you learn your housekeeping methods from this book as well as your mom?  It was published in 1947 just a few years before I was born so it was still quite relevant when I was growing up in the 50's.  I read it often and have always remembered the instructions as I went about cleaning the next fifty years!  I found a copy when my children were still small and encouraged them to read it.  By then it was far too dated for them to enjoy and alas, they ignored it completely.  It sat on the bookshelf for years. 

Then the other day I saw an illustration in a blog and it reminded me of this book.  I looked online for illustrations to verify it and could not find a single illustration, not even of the cover.  It is listed on Goodreads and Amazon with a blank in place of the book photo.   I did, however find the authors real daughter making a comment through Amazon which I have copied for you.

Rebuttal from the real Nancy September 10, 2010
Format:Unknown Binding
My mother wrote 3 Nancy books, and what you have to remember is the time in which she wrote them--the 1940s. Things were different then! A lot of these book are based on her teaching me to keep house, eventually on my college adventures and life in the work world.

I am so happy to hear that this book still has some use to someone. Of course, when they were written I was absolutely mortified!
Poor Nancy November 16, 2007
Format:Unknown Binding
Poor gets pregnant and dad is apparently too macho to handle things in her absence. So she's pressed into service - has to learn to cook and clean.

In spite of the uber-inequality present in this book, I find it a strangely good read. I actually pull it out now and then when I need inspiration for my spring cleaning. It's not only a fictional book; it includes actual cleaning instructions. Much of it is out of date - does anyone still sprinkle their clothes? - but nevertheless, if you want to learn how to make hospital corners, this is your book.
This is the page of the book referred to in the earliest comment

I tried to find information on the real Nancy a few years ago and discovered that she is actually a stepdaughter to Helene Laird, explaining the vast age difference between the babyish 12 year old Nancy and the impending birth of her sibling.  Not that it can't happen in a family!  My own last child was born when the youngest was 12.  I found myself often joking I didn't get a new husband with the new family, lest people would automatically think it was a second marriage, "Not that there is anything wrong with that" quoting Jerry Seinfeld.  But I'm digressing here, it is just unusual to have an age gap of 12 - 13 years in between children. 

I had been searching online because I was afraid I left this book when I moved.  I left hundreds of books I collected over the years as I literally had no room for more than a few hundred in my new tiny house.  But when not finding any illustrations online at all, I searched the house and was overjoyed to find it among the books on the bottom of the last shelf of books I had. 
I discovered anew that there were two sets of illustrations.  One telling the story and illustrations that Nancy herself  supposedly drew for her housekeeping book.  

So for all you fans that grew up with this book, I am sharing a few of the many illustrations with you from my tattered and stained copy of Nancy Keeps House. 

We had double sinks washed dishes the opposite way.  My sister remarked a few years ago that it was odd that most people washed dishes from the right to the left.  She attributed it to my mother being left handed.  Do you agree? 

We didn't have a wringer washer, but it didn't seem odd at all to me because my best friend Patsy, had one.  I was always fascinated to watch her mom put clothes through the wringer and fearful due to her dire warnings that we must not ever touch it lest our hands and arms get crushed. 

We didn't do the grocery shopping at the age of 12 but we were allowed to go with Mom shopping, taking turns weekly.  It was a treat to get to go and one of my favorite things to do. ancient is this advice? 
We have a whole new food chart these days.

Nice to see Dad as the chef in this early book.  My dad also cooked a mean breakfast for us often on Sunday mornings.  

The premise of the book was that during the two week hospital stay Nancy would need to keep house for her dad and she was being taught the fine art of housekeeping while waiting for the impending birth.  Baby care would be a big help later so that was included.    

It was a fine book and Nancy Keeps House is a book that was very helpful to me.  I was able to quote passages to myself of the book, but never did I prop a poem and memorize it while doing dishes.  I had  sisters and we did dishes two at at time. We sang together, alternating lines:

Yackety Yak
On the telephone all the time
What a heck of a life
When you got a wife
on the T-E-L-L

This is quite the indulgent post!  Thanks to all who read it through!  Please leave a comment if you read Nancy Keeps House by Helene Laird.
It would make my day!

Linking up to:
Time Travel Thursday 
Vintage Thingie Thursday