Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea Cup Tuesday in Brown

     It is Tea Cup Tuesday again. Check out all the links to pretty cups today at

I am being swallowed by cups and saucers because I have no will power against their charms!

Just before Thanksgiving, DH and I went into a flea market next to the Grizzly store. It is huge with extra wide aisles and no crowding. Many pieces of beautiful antique furniture were set around in room groupings. DH found two Blue Willow cups and saucers at $4 a set. One was rough but the other was flawless except for a crazing inside. He thought we should not pass up the price. I did don’t know what was making the dark spots and foggy finish inside the cup, but when I worked on it for a few hours at home with some bleach, I got it all out! It is bargain set.

I found other cups in this flea market. At another $4 was this Nasco cup which interested me for all the browns it had. I was in autumn mood and the brown and yellows seemed seasonal to me; I added it to the other few brown cups I have. It paired up nicely.

Then I found this Lennox, USA floral cup. I didn’tneed this one at all, but it is a beautiful cup in its own right. The bisque shade of china is so creamy and the florals are sweet, especially the one in the bottom of the cup. The bowl of the cup is wide and short with a nice handle. This cup has a nice heft when in use. I just couldn’t leave it there on a shelf all alone!

Goodbye Thanksgiving, Hello Christmas

I work hard to keep Thanksgiving and Christmas separate, and I am finding that Thanksgiving is becoming more meaningful to me as years pass. I always loved the feasting and family times. I remember a lot of great meals followed by walks with cousins or listening to family oldsters tell stories. As a child, Christmas seemed a long way distant from the day for remembering Pilgrims and the Mayflower.

Now Christmas is like the playground bully trying to kick Thanksgiving out of the game. Music, decorations, and merchandizing scream loudly over the simple act of being grateful for what we have. This year we left our turkey meal and the next day at the movie theater, we walked into a Christmas tree. On Sunday when I put my pumpkins, squash, Pilgrims, and turkeys away, I felt a little sad to see that quiet, reflective season end. Bringing out the reds, snowmen, and twinkling lights are cheery, of course, but they usher in such a fast season of frenzied activity. I don’t think it used to be like that, but I doubt if we will ever return now to those days of handmade gifts like a Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas near the fire or hear shouts of joy over an orange in a stocking toe…and we all certainly live more than “over the hill and through the woods” from grandma’s house these days.

In the last forty years, I have only missed putting up a tree twice and those were years marked by loss. I had no heart. This year my younger friend said I must put up my tree, that she did NOT want to drive by and miss that tree framed by our picture window. So yesterday I had DH help me set up our pre-lighted tree. I reset the table with red and whites. I scattered snowmen, Santas, and greenery throughout the house for four hours, and tired out before I had any decorations on the tree. When night fell, the tree was gorgeous in its simplicity, the many lights shining across the room. I thought that it was just as pretty as any tree busy with baubles and glitz. This tree reminded me that the true meaning of the season is from a Light that shines through the Ages, and I am pondering leaving it as it is, for this year anyway. So To Decorate or Not Decorate, that is the question!

Have you ever left a tree plain?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

After some hours of dicey Midwestern weather, Thanksgiving morning arrived dark, cold but calm. Nothing like those early hours of waiting for the day to begin; well, for women it does begin with ovens, vegetables, yeast, and all the things that make the day full of comfort foods later. Our holiday this year will be small and quiet, but none the less full of thanksgiving. We wait as our son drives four hours home with his dog and we will thankful when they drive in safe and sound.

After days of feeling poorly, I am thankful to be up and moving. Although I am late, I need to announce that Linda O’Connell won the memoir give away by luck of the draw. The book is on the way to her house right now, and we can all expect the first chapter of her memoir delivered to our email boxes by New Year’s Day. Just kidding, Linda!!!

May all you readers be having a wonderful holiday today. May both your plates and hearts be full today wherever you are. Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Centus/Turkey Farm BreakOut

      This is Saturday Centus . The prompt must be used word for word somewhere in the story on not more than 100 words.The prompt is highlighted. For complete rules see:

                                               Turkey Farm Breakout
The sun hung low on the horizon so she knew it was time. She preened her feathers, the color of cream, and mingled nonchalantly among the others while easing her way to the fence. She had been studying the escape route every evening as she admired the flock of wild turkeys grazing in neighboring fields. Indigo heads bobbed over iridescent black chests and mottled brown tail feathers. Handsome they were, but would any notice a pale face like hers?

Finally she made the break across corn stubble easing towards the hedge row. Close enough for guttural sounds, she heard a gobbler. “Pardon me," said Tom T. Urkee..."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are Books an Addiction?

Passing a bookstore when we travel is hard to do. I love to check out used bookstores, independent book sellers, even book booths at flea markets. I love old titles, new editions, the feel of slick covers, and the smell of antiquated old hard backs. Oh, I know the Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad will soon substitute for old fashioned books, but nothing will replace the feel of an old page that feels like fine tissue between finger and thumb as a reader turns it.

A few years ago, DH invited a new fellow employee and his wife home for supper. Jesus and his wife were from Juarez, Mexico, and we ate outside on our deck where we talked of books, movies, hobbies, and families. When DH brought them past the hall book shelves and into my office to see the oak desk he had built for me, Jesus could hardly look at the desk for being spellbound by the packed bookcase. “You really DO read a lot and collect books,” he mumbled with mouth slightly ajar. I never thought the shelves looked THAT full until I saw them through Jesus’s eyes. I did not have the heart to show him the other book shelves that looked just the same that stood in every other room.

Yep, I love books. I weed every so often and then wish I had some of the volumes back to loan to a friend or to check for a favorite line on the pages. I have small groupings of favorite authors like May Sarton, Madeleine L’Engle, Stephen Ambrose, Elizabeth Berg, Willa Cather, and Gladys Taber. A small collection of unusual cookbooks sit on the shelves away from the used cookbook shelf in the kitchen. I have a shelf of poetry, of Christmas books, of writing books, a collection of books on tea, and some prayer books including my parental grandmother’s Sunday Missal, and a handful of novels about a 1940’s character named Claudia by Rose Franken. I have a copy of Annie Proux’s short stories of a few years ago that included the original Brokeback Mountain which was later made into a movie. I bought this book just because it was the first book in twenty five years that had been printed with colored plates reminiscent of books of an earlier era.

No doubt about it, I have a book problem, but there are worse and even more expensive habits and addictions about in the world. Mine is harmless. Already I think about January after the holidays, a time I hibernate for reading and writing both. Why, I have even considered my first New Year’s resolution: go through one complete bookcase rereading all the favorites it holds and then passing them (the ones I can part with!) on to a new reader somewhere. Those dark winter days are perfect for a flickering candle, soft music, a pot of hot tea tucked under a quilted cozy, and a good book--or two…or three…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blogger of Note, Wednesday, November 17th

First of all, let me thank Pam and Sandy at ( for making me a Blogger of Note today and Becky ( for nominating me. Also I want to send greetings and gratitude to those of you who are visiting me today. I resisted blogging for so long, but once I jumped into this online world, have met many warm and supportive people. Like many other baby boomers, I faced an unwelcome recession that coupled with age brought life changes, aging parents, job losses, children gone from home, and all the other moans of these times. I wanted a place to write that forced me to see the glass half full each day. Blogging was the very unique answer with a new world for me.

My blog is a random collection of thoughts and experiences that was meant first of all for just me. However, I met many new people and connected to new ideas and interests. I now know that there are other women out there with a tea cup addiction and they don’t hide it. Seeing the wonderful tea cup and tea tables of others has been plain and inexpensive for fun me—if you don’t count my renewed habit if seeking out great cups in flea markets. A good cuppa tea is one of the easiest yet most pleasurable forms of bliss available. Sharing it with someone, even online, only enriches your own tea moments.

Through my blog, I have also found support for my writing. I have made connections with so many interesting writers and writing styles. It seems writers are one of the most generous groups ever as they share their shortcuts, tips, leads, and potential markets. Among many,  I have connected with a trio of writers right here in my home state. Although they are four hours away and we have never met face to face, they are what I call my writing sistas. Linda who exchanges poetry critiques with me, Donna who among other things lead me to write a story that has recently been accepted by the literary journal Rosebud, and Becky who keeps me on the light side through her own blog and occasionally lets me whine behind the lines.

I hope you can find some amusement here at my blog once in a while even if you can not visit every day. Maybe you can check a tea cup, appreciate my flea market finds, enjoy any writing tidbits I post, or simply note the change of seasons and daily breathes I take as I move ahead through my days.

Three Previous Posts you might enjoy are a movie review of Winter's Bone, memories of May Baskets, and a book review/memories of houses in my life.

There is still time to participate in the memoir give away at :

Tea Cup Tuesday, TEA, a magazine

Oh, getting mail and packages is always a mood enhancer, but finding a magazine in your box with your own work on the pages is even better. Today the new autumn issue of TEA, a Magazine arrived (My autumn poem “Wrapping Up” appears on page 12.) along with an order of tea from Harney’s. It was time to take a tea break for sure.

While I would never hurry away the warm oranges and browns of autumn and Thanksgiving, I think dazzling red can be an autumn color too. Obviously, the editor of TEA thinks so since she showcases her favorite brilliant red Chatsford teapot on the cover of the Autumn, 2010 cover of her magazine. So I stopped my day and set a red tea for one while enjoying the new copy.

The tea is Harney’s Holiday blend which is spicy without a lot of clove, and it made a delightful pot of dark amber tea. The banana bread is the best ever with half a pound of butter and two cups of sugar, a sugar fix that must not be experienced very often. The crackers were also delivered this morning and left hanging on my door handle by a thoughtful friend. They are a spicy, salty recipe that causes one to eat them all if she isn’t careful.

The white cup is not old or distinctive, but I found a set of them at a flea market a few years ago. They are a footed cup that reminds me of a cross between cup and mug. Sometimes I set them on a saucer, but often I use them like a mug. They have a nice heft for drinking a cuppa and using one this morning was a Goldilocks’ “just right” for tea time!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Shopping at Give Aways?

Have you noticed a scurrying begin to occur? People beginning to think the calendar is turning too fast? Folks are moving into the frantic holiday spirit. Not me, I want to hang on to autumn as long as I can.

This weekend a friend started her decorating for Christmas. But her son will be home for Thanksgiving for first time in two years and won't be there for Christmas. Yet, when the rest of us see her tree, lights, and snowmen appear, we feel panic feelings that time is fly by.

This morning I had time to look at the newest issue of New Mexico magazine. I saw a picture of the cathedral in Santa Fe being kissed by snow. It looked peaceful although I know shoppers scurry around the Plaza during the holidays too. But I could almost hear the hymns and old carols being sung in that beautiful church. New Mexico is a spiritual place, and I think I would like to go there for Christmas some day. No presents, just an adobe church somewhere in the Santo Cristo Mountains on a snowy, starry night with songs of the Nativity.

Meanwhile, my real world waits today. My give away is a week from today. See
Tonight is Becky's great giveaway at You still have over there and toss your name in the ring! And yet one more give away that ends today is Lisa's at Ya' all better consider shopping at give aways!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Centus

First of all, a rousing weclome to the new followers Kathy B, bchenderson39, and Sara. I hope you like writing prompts because Jenny's is SUCH a fun place to write!!

This is Saturday Centus . The prompt must be used word for word somewhere in the story on not more than 100 words.The prompt is highlighted. For complete rules see:

                                                                   Tribute to Manhood

The early November sunshine cast golden rays on the dark and rippled lake water. Oak and cottonwood leaves drifted down like rainbow colored snowflakes pooling near the bank. It was Katie’s favorite fishing season when summer’s whining water toys and party boats were absent. Only dedicated fishermen remained under the weakening rays.

Katie watched Ron’s practiced arm cast out the baited line with the smoothness of a pitcher on the mound, her book open in her lap. The boat rocked to the water’s silent lullaby that made her drowsy. Everything was perfect except for mounting pressure she noticed in her bladder. If only she were a man!

*******One week left on memoir give away

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soaking Up Autumn Temps While I Can

I have trouble NOT hauling things into the house when I am trying to get rid of things, to make things simpler around here! I have rule of one in, two out, but still I am loosing ground. I am like squirrels gathering nuts for winter; I am out soaking up the warm sun, dashing into used book stores and flea markets and trying to store up thoughts and pleasure for when the snow flies. The last two days have been unbelievably gorgeous, and I know it is the last of weather perfection since rain and chill are in the forecast.

Yesterday I ran to the hardware store and could not resist a visit at the flea market next door. It was fascinating in there since they had so much new stuff, and the gal has it arranged in such cute way. I find a flea market is often like a museum to me as I see many things from my past, often spurring me on to write a poem or story when I see a memory sitting on the shelves. Yesterday I found several things including some unnecessary items for sure—like these egg coddlers.

I have a few egg coddlers and these were not gorgeous. However, something about them captured my attention besides the fact they were a matched pair of Royal Worchester from England and in the original box. The lines from J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan say “The Indians disappear, as they have come, --like shadows.” The coddlers are from the 1970’s and are considered politically incorrect in refering to and showing depictions of Indians.

I also picked up a pair of Blue Willow egg cups. Tiny and made by Meakin in England, they are different for me as I have no egg cups. I doubt I will ever serve eggs in cups (although I have used a couple of my coddlers), but they are fun to add to my other Blue Willow.

Today I had a very early appointment for my check up at the skin cancer doctor. Before I met a friend for lunch, I had time to go by the Goodwill where Tuesday is Senior Discount Day. They were teeming with folks looking for extra bargains. I found these two saucers. The little roses plate will go to a friend who collects and the other one is up for grabs. I don’t know the pattern but the gold rimmed saucer is bone chine from Kent in England. They were so cheap! Anyone need this saucer to match a cup?

After lunch my friend and I shopped in a kicking little boutique where nothing looked or fit me. She found a shirt but most of it was too wild…but fun to gaze at for a spell. I found a great ruffled neck scarf and a purse in browns. The rest of it was all spike heels, rhinestones, and tights in leopard prints. We laughed a lot and then headed to a new used book store where we spent $7 between us for five books!

Tomorrow…well, let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tea Cup Tuesday Once More

When I first became interested in tea pots, Sadler was a good name to look for when shopping. I found this one in a flea market. I used it at first, but it has been set aside just because I have so many others. I liked the shape and the handle when I first saw it, and it made good tea!

I brought this Canada cup and saucer home from a flea market to use on a stick. However, a closer look makes me think I will keep it for a while. Its back stamp says Regency Bone China, Made in England. I liked the maple leaf  inside the cup too because our town theme is also maple leaves. I think the cup and saucer cost $3 and it has no chips. Believe it had better live inside my house a while longer!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This, That and a Give Away Drawing

Today the sun was out strong and the temps were mild.  I spent some time dumping frozen flowers and plants. The geraniums are still going strong in vibrant hues, a last hurrah to summer. They might make another week, but their days are numbered. Gradually things on the deck will come down to the pumpkins and gourds from the fall harvest, waiting to become winter pumpkin pies.

I have garnered two new Followers lately. So, a big hello to Lady Estelle and Kathy B.; I am glad you are here!

AARP is introducing a new series of books called “Arts of Living”, and the first book is on memoir written by Abigail Thomas. It is titled Thinking About Memoir. Thomas teaches writing in New York and is the author of the bestselling book Three Dog Life. The book on memoir gives me a good idea for a blog give away during this season of memories. I will use a copy of this book as a prize, name drawn at random, for those who care to participate. Rules follow:

1. You do not have to be a Follower, but you do have to leave a comment.

2. Your comment should be a 75 word or less passage on any memorable Thanksgiving or Christmas.

3. Give away posts should be done between Sunday, November 7, and Monday, November 22.

4. Winner will be announced before Thanksgiving.

Please join in for a tad of writing memoir yourself.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Centus, Tight Jeans

This is Saturday Centus . The prompt must be used word for word somewhere in the story on not more than 100 words.The prompt is highlighted. For complete rules see:
Tight Jeans
Lana tugged the zipper up in her jeans. Was the denim tighter? She looked down and saw the slight pooch that had been the cradle for her babies, and then she turned to face the mirror. Lana ran her palms down her thighs. No, they’d always been snug she sighed with relief.

Today was celebration. It was the 11th anniversary of loosing her weight. She was going out to dinner for a real treat-dressing on her salad, butter on her potato and real dessert, maybe even a brownie! She knew tomorrow would bring her routine again, but tonight, she would party!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Playing with Tea

I have awakened at 5:30 a.m. the last two mornings. Is it a result of last week’s fall and new body chemistry? Or is my body just looking forward to the time change this weekend? Either way I did not want to waste any time this morning since today is both book club and writer’s guild. So I used SAD lamp with a book and then headed to the kitchen.

I popped a new chicken cacciatore recipe into the crock for our lunch. I made double batches of both cinnamon pecans and curried pecans. Then I set about sniffing the jars in a bag of herbs from my sister-in-law who grows them in Montana and totes me some each autumn. A new jar of chamomile called to me. I had tried it once and did not care for it although I know it is main ingredient in a many tisanes. While it was brewing, I prepared some lemon grass I had bought at the farmer’s market yesterday. I had never tried to make my tea from this either, but I decided to give it a shot too.

The chamomile was slightly bitter to me, even with a dash of sweetener. Maybe I used too much per cup. The lemongrass tea was weak tasting but yet very lemony of course. So then I took half of each cup and mixed it, added a wee tad more sweetener and wow, I had a great tisane for the coming brumal weather! What fun to make my own tea, although I will admit any tisane can not out shine my favorite black teas.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Are You A Blog Addict?

Do you find yourself mesmerized by the computer screen, saying to yourself “Just one more blog…” like a midnight reader holding a superb book in hand wanting to turn one more page before sleep? Do you check your email and then wander off into blog land getting lost there? Sometimes the blogs I enjoy often lead me to other blogs which lead me to another and so forth like I am opening a set of those Russian dolls than open up to yet another, smaller doll. I loose track of time, am jolted when I see that a chunk of day, writing time, or a spell of housework time has vanished.

When blogging appeared on the scene, I said I would NEVER do that. I had started many journals in my life, thinking journaling was very worthwhile, but I never stuck with it. I certainly wasn’t going to journal publicly. The few blogs I did take a peek at were boring, self-centered rants. Nope. I had better things to do with my time.

Then last summer I felt a few new and unfamiliar cracks in my life and old patterns of adhering to life’s path were not working so well. I needed any little shot of something new to act as glue for me right then. I decided to venture into blogs and to see what the excitement was all about. Then I opened my own, knowing that thoughts would be public and vowing to not whine about things and to only find a positive outlook on whatever I wrote on the page.

I found both reading and writing blogs addictive. I gradually got a few followers and almost all were people I had never heard of before. They came from all parts of the country, and it was exciting to “meet” new people. Details from our lives began to mingle like eggs added to a cake batter…we blended. I have many people who read but don’t Follow, that read and don’t comment. I have noticed other blogs that invite readers to comment. I have never done that and maybe I should do it now, maybe I have not been welcoming enough to readers. I will do that now: Please feel free to leave comments. It is easy, does not entangle you in internet anything, and is much more satisfying, I think, than public places like Facebook.

On the other hand, even I don’t leave as many comments on other blogs as I used to do. I found that it does take time, and if you know me, you know I can get long-winded even at a keyboard! But I do try to leave comments when a sentence or idea startles, intrigues, entertains, or pleases me. I sometimes scurry through blogs to check them out, not staying long due to time. But some blogs I really look forward to like letters from old friends. I keep up on these new friends’ families, jobs, and creative adventures. Some give me ideas for my own life: where to shop, how to make a new recipe, offer a bit a writing advice.

Some blogs stick to a topic like photography, spirituality, cooking, etc. My own blog bounds over ideas and thoughts like a new puppy in a pasture, hopping from tea, to writing, to reading and on to family life and personal thoughts. I share photos and trips and notices of publication of my writing. Sometimes I don’t know why I write what I do, but then it is my blog. I can do anything I want here which is such a feeling of freedom!

Am I blog addicted? No, I don’t think so—not yet anyway. I keep an eye on the clock, limit my time here, but I do look forward to writing and reading blogs. If you are reading this, let me know why you return. Or let me know why you won’t take a look again if that is the way you feel. Maybe I can improve this blog’s shortcomings.

Welcome Reader…hope to see you again. Right now it is a new day and I have to click my Favorites list to check out today’s poems, get some writing tips, and say hello to a few friends.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Teacup Tuesday, November Browns

When November moves in, I think of turkeys and browns along with the autumn oranges and scarletts. I think finding brown dishes at a reasonable price is difficutl right now because I was told that brown is an "in" decorator color after being shunned for long while. These two cups I picked up at a flea market last year.
These browns blend with two brown peacock mugs and plate that I picked up a couple of years ago in Wisconsin. They also go well with a Brown Betty tea pot and the brown and white plates my mother-in-law recently gave me from her own hutch.

Two other new cups were picked up at a flea market. These blue and whites are not my favorite Blue Willow pattern nor are they antiques. But I liked them, thought they will blend well, and I intend to use them this winter for broths and light soups to go with sandwiches.

Lucky Me!


Welcome to November!

I have never considered myself very lucky at winning things, but the last few months have been great for me. I have had some blog wins that have been super fun. Thanks Susan and Becky!

Note the blue socks from Becky’s blog ( just in time for chilly nights.

Then I won an autumn drawing from Susan’s blog ( that included this honeycomb turkey! I didn’t know they still made these as this was the kind of decorations from my childhood. Loved it when the seasonal decorations came out around my classroom, when we began to color pages and write little ditties to celebrate flags, pilgrims, and reindeer. I loved the change of seasons in the Midwest and looked forward to each one.

Over the years, I have changed some and now am not crazy about Halloween. It became a day of smashed pumpkins, older kids trolling neighborhoods, and devilment instead of clean fun. So I am glad it is laid to rest now for another year, and we can move on to turkey days! I love Thanksgiving because it is so non-commercial other than for cranberries and baked turkeys. Often it is a day families can be outside if not gathered around a dining table or football games. Oh, weather can be bad, but it is not usually heavily winter like Christmas holiday often is.

One of the first wins of anything for me was a turkey at a fall turkey shoot. I bought a ticket from a shooter and I won a 21 pound bird! The only problem was I was a newlywed living in a tiny Hazelwood apartment. I had no pan big enough and I had only a tiny freezing compartment in an apartment-sized refrigerator. My Granny was flying out for Thanksgiving so I found ways to make do. I was so excited to see my Granny, to be fixing my first Thanksgiving dinner away from home. Everything was ready but Gran missed her plane in Kansas and the trip was over. I had 21 pounds of turkey cooked. DH and I ate turkey through the four day weekend alone and then I wrapped the rest of the meat in small bundles of aluminum foil. We were eating turkey until February of the next year and for a long while, we passed on anything turkey related!

After a nasty fall on a wet floor at a McDonald’s this weekend, I am greeting this November slowly today. A trip to the chiropractor first thing this morning and setting up my honeycomb turkey are my major achievements today. Skies are a November gray, leaves flutter down, but temps are comfortably seasonal. I think I will brew a pot of tea and linger over the warm steam as I do a Madeleine L’ Engle thing today: Just BE.
If you want to try your own hand a luck, go over to Lisa Richard Claro's bog. Looks like she is offering some great prizes and you might enjoy her pages of writing tips. Go to: