Sunday, June 28, 2015

No garage sale'n when sick

The other weekend just about every neighborhood held a garage sale. I love looking around at garage and estate sales! This time around DH and I were under the weather. The hacking cough, sneezing, just wanting to sleep ick. So out of all the weekends to have a collective garage sale, both of us were out of commission.
DH is not into sales at all. I need a sale buddy! I'm really only interested in teapots (I collect) and silver (for use during holidays and when we have company over). If there happens to be a picture/painting that grabs my eye or maybe some cheap historic glass or crystal, I might be tempted.
A friend of my Mom's years ago used to plan estate sales. That might be how I got into it. I had some friends from the spouses' club at a previous duty station who love going to garage sales. Crazy early, too-don't even think of sleeping in.
Then again, you get so much more done when you are up that early...
I really just like seeing what people have. The anthropologist in me comes out and I wonder, who, why, and where? Does it have a story to tell? Where did it come from? Original or knock off?  And then, do I actually want this and how can I use it?
I managed a box of Desert Rose, California Franciscan ware, and some British-made from a facebook garage sale group. I added those into the straggly remnants of some hand-me-downs from my mom and from her mom, of Cali Franciscan. And yeah, I totally turned the pieces over to make sure it was a good mix of the original quality. 
The cup was made in "England" and the bowl is Californian. Can you see the difference in painting technique. And you can see examples of different maker's marks. 
It wouldn't matter to me other than I grew up with one pattern/date range and the history, so that is what I gravitate to and automatically look for. I think they were the first dishes DH and I ever used together. They were mine and he was living in the dorms on base, so he really had none. 
I did actually just buy a copper dragon teapot, made in India, from the base spouses' club's Thrift Shop. Which adds to my collection.
Oh, I lied. Some silver has also made it into my teapot collection.
fat tall
At this point the collection is only for whimsical. It has to be eye-catching. To be honest, now that I look, almost all the teapots on the wall were gifts after I had said I wanted to collect teapots. All are individual and different within the collective. (I totally did just drop that reference!) I'm pretty picky, which is a good trait to have when you end up looking at a million sales all by noon.
I really have to thank my "Aunt" Mary for many of them.  Thank you so much for your amazing taste and looking out for me and DH... all the time. :-) Mom goes shopping with me, but I always cheap out- sometimes they are so expensive!
But, I have to say.... being sick does end up saving us money by not garage sale'n.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

New Spring Dress for Easter

Yesterday while walking the dog I saw a young girl and her mother walking towards our park for the Easter Egg Hunt. She had on a pretty pink dress. As I watched them walk down the sidewalk I was taken back in time to when I was her age and received a new dress for Easter.

Where I grew up, Easter (Roman Catholic date) was invariable a warm day after most of the snow had melted, some years raining, usually muddy. But it heralded Spring and warmer weather, the ability to put away the snowjackets and snowpants for fancy shoes and pastel colors in lighter weight fabrics.

I don’t remember many of the dresses, which had to double as school dresses. One I do remember was hand made by my mother. I thought it was hideous, no one at school wore dresses like that. But when we changed schools, it was more acceptable. I am sure my mother was happy. Although, by the time of the move, I think I was more into pants and less into dresses and pinafores.

Eventually in high school I tended for dresses again with dress pants underneath. I know, most of you are cringing right now, but I loved it. I loved the look (weird, I know, it was well after the ‘90s had come and gone) and it was perfect for, “sit like a lady,” “put your leg down,” “pull your skirt down,” “don’t play with the kids on the floor, you are in a dress.” Put some pants on underneath, and you are ready for anything! It should be said that back then most of my dresses had high necklines, so no need to worry about bending over...I still like those necklines for that same reason. And the dresses were a thick sort of spandexy awesomeness so it hugged my amazing body but covered the pant waist line perfectly.

Still, the sight of the girl’s dress brought back happy memories of dressing up fancy to go to church after a morning of hunting around the house for eggs we decorated ourselves. Actually, I was telling my husband today that we never found the right amount of eggs. No one could ever remember how many we made, some always broke during the boiling. Now as an adult, I am sure my dad ate one or two before they were hid. He was always a very early riser. But in my head, it was always my mom who hid the eggs. I guess I should ask them. Either way, we know if an egg was not found we would smell it eventually. And we had a dog whom I am sure would find it before that point.

The time the dog and I made our way to the park I noted that the sea of colored eggs were gone. Such a nice sight from the morning before. One family was still finding some eggs in the nice lush green grass of spring on this Easter day. A happy surprise for the girl.

It is a beautiful out, sunny, not too warm or too cold, but as the day progresses the wind has been picking up. I think it is a bit too cold for any of my dresses, even with pants. I hope the weather is nice where you are and that you have a happy Sunday whatever your traditions may be.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Kombucha, a little bit different

I was shopping hungry and walked past the specialty lifestyle portion of my local grocer. There on a top shelf was some kombucha.

I have a health-nut friend who once said she made her own. I have seen documentaries on it and food travel shows where the hosts tried it. So I figured, why not?

I grabbed an organic raw original because it happened to be on sale compared to the blueberry flavored one. Instead of snacks, I replied to my nice bagger that yes, I would like my drink out.

I shook it up to mix the stuff stuck on the bottom and opened that baby up. Weird. It was kind of carbonated, because, of course, it is fermented. The more I tried it the easier it was to drink and the fizziness was not so shocking. It was probably made worse by my shaking it up. So, try not to shake it too much. Oh wait! I just saw the part that says DO NOT SHAKE. Hahahahaha, oops!

So, as I shook it up, I guess this is not the best write up about trying it. Or, rather it is.

I just opened it up after not shaking it for a while. There was still the gas build up, just as you would expect from a soda bottle under pressure. The flavor has not improved but it not necessarily bad. I would rather drink quite a few other items before I would chose this one. Having said that, I do not like carbonated drinks, so I am rather not surprised this didn't make my favorite list. says ...
  1. Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it's sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it's a colony of bacteria and yeast.Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. discusses potential health benefits, or consequences of consumption ...

What is kombucha tea? Does it have any health benefits?

Answers from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it's sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it's a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds.
Proponents claim kombucha tea can stimulate the immune system, prevent cancer, and improve digestion and liver function. However, there's no scientific evidence to support these health claims.
There have, however, been reports of adverse effects, such as stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions in kombucha tea drinkers. Kombucha tea is often brewed in homes under nonsterile conditions, making contamination likely. If ceramic pots are used for brewing, lead poisoning might be a concern — the acids in the tea may leach lead from the ceramic glaze.
In short, there isn't good evidence that kombucha tea delivers on its health claims. At the same time, several cases of harm have been reported. Therefore, the prudent approach is to avoid kombucha tea until more definitive information is available.
If you take anything from this post, I want you to know that
1) I try anything twice, especially food stuffs
2) I will update this to let you know if I get sick from raw goo
3) I support you in any health or homemade choices you want to make

Let me know if you have tried komucha or something else "healthy" that isn't mainstream and whether or not you liked it or felt any health benefits from it. I am curious to know.