Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.
Heirloom China is a classy and well loved addition to your home from generations prior! About a decade ago I inherited my paternal grandmother’s China from her engagement almost 80 years ago, and it is still stunning. The problem is replacing the broken and missing pieces for a complete set. At obtaining the set it only had 8 plates and random amounts of bowls and smaller plates.
Since our family is growing exponentially a China set of 12 seems to be needed: yet where to find additions to this old set? As you know I frequent yard sales, estate sales and antique stores every weekend and this was the first item to find in my treasure hunt. After 2 months of scouring second hand resources I decided to also look into new retail choices. The new China sets are $100.00 average per place setting which would be $400.00 plus tax to make a set of mismatched but same quality set of 12, with existing 8.
“We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.” E.B. White
As promised, here is my recipe for Homemade Dry Laundry Soap. I’ve been using this for about 20 years now ever since my baby, at the time, had bad skin allergies to all commercial detergents. The ingredients are simple and can be bought in any food store. The Mule Team Borax was 3.84 box (11 cups) and the Baking Soda was 2.64 box for 8 cups and the Fels-Naptha bar of soap was .97. The total cost for a batch of powder laundry is $1.65 for 48 loads. This comes to 3.4 cents per load compared with commercial laundry soaps at 10-14 cents per load.
This Homemade Laundry powder is low suds so I do use it in my HE washer and it cleans great! Remember to use only one rounded Tablespoon as it’s concentrated.
My newest winter season fascination has been with Fresh Maple Water. My son Brian came up with the collection system design to eliminate contamination while collecting.
He drilled a 2 inch long hole in the Maple tree which is widened at the end to allow the hose and a cork to set in there tightly. Then sealing the edges with a hot glue gun to avoid leakage of the water from the tree. Next he assembled a shelf to hold the mason jar which has a hole in the cap for the tube: also hot glue gunned on the cap to seal off any contaminants from entering the jar. My Maple trees are all over 33 inches in diameter so I can put two taps in them, it’s recommended to tap the tree from 3 – 5 feet above the ground.
This system works great and has been giving us half to a full jar each day this week. Maple water is collected each year during the mid winter months for about 3-4 weeks time: depending on the demographic area you live in. The Maple tree takes up water from the ground when its very cold to protect the branches, then releases the water back to the ground when it starts to warm up. The temperatures in which it will flow out is from 26.5 degrees F to 44.6 degrees F. The sap starts to flow after each cold freeze when the air starts warming up again.
Personally, I keep a jar or two in my refrigerator to prepare my coffee or tea each day adding a slight sugary maple flavor to it. I’ve also used it in cooking soup and muffins for just a touch of added maple sweetness. For Maple Syrup you would need 40 gallons of maple water to produce 1 quart of Maple Syrup: I know people here in the mountain do use theirs for that but I enjoy simply the maple water. Read more
During this week of below freezing temperatures here’s a fun project of Yard Art!
Take water and food coloring and add to either a balloon or latex medical glove: tie off at end. Leave outside to freeze then remove the latex covering for a great ice sculpture of either a hand or colorful ice ball.
I added these great Blue Hands Yard Art in my flower boxes and a blue ice ball in the front entry way for cool Yard Art for these winter months. Since it’s only 3 degrees today this project is done in no time at all.
“Gardens and chocolate both have mystical qualities.”
Written by Meg Price
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in others than you can in two years trying to get others interested in you.
Dale Carnegie’s theories have taught me exquisitely on the importance of showing attention to others and interpersonal skills to enhance communication and outcome.
In the Cities and small communities there is much hustle during the holidays, but things aren’t always as they seem. In small communities families tend to stick together and have many opportunities for social interaction, but not so much in the larger areas. I have found that many professionals have moved to more urban areas for their careers but left behind their support systems and points of social interactions. At first impression many others seem to have it all with great jobs, great cars, and respect of their peers but what is not noted is that they are often lonely. Their demanding work comes first with little or no time to socialize or make strong bonds with others around. This situation does not only affect those who are busy with their work life but others who are left feeling lonely for various other life circumstances such as divorce, poverty, illness, health or age.
About 5 years ago I started working from home to be with my homebound daughter: as she was suffering from heart issues unable to physically go to school. It was an emotional challenge for me to make this transition as I tended to rely on the social connection of my peers, but have learned a lot from this experience. She is doing better now, with her conditions, but I’ve grown my consulting business to where I actually love working from home: just need to always keep tabs on social interactions so I don’t get too removed from others myself. With every trip to the store I would talk to people behind me and in front of me including the cashier, and in restaurants I would engage the staff in friendly conversations. Sounds simple or possibly annoying to some but the effects were amazing on not only my life but theirs: as with each person I engaged their vibrational demeanor was instantly raised as they shared a bit of themselves. The topics, these random meetings revealed, have been thought provoking at minimum. The imperative situations they spontaneously talked about seemed to be on their shoulders needing someone to just ask.
It’s almost the weekend ; what a superb time to take a walk! Get away from the electronics of today’s lifestyles and breathe in the delightful air while grounding yourself with “Mother Nature”. While reading Letters of an American Farmer by Crevecouer, I found a perfect quote; “Men are like plants; the goodness and flavor of the fruit proceeds from the particular soil and exposition in which they grow. We are nothing but the air we breathe and the climate we inhabit..”.
Many of the old books, by the famous authors, revel in the exploration of nature as a centering tool for daily life. Walden is a great example, of the author, living remotely by Walden Lake while authenticating his experiences to utmost detail. Henry David Thoreau’s book of Walden is developed into passages of the four seasons symbolizing human development intertwined with concepts of nature. In the Age of Romanticism there was a great desire to escape from busy society life, still existing today, & return to nature with all its distinctive grandeur. This became a constant expression of American writers in the 19th century.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Lao Tzu
As with many my age, I would spend a few weeks each summer in the remote countryside with grandparents. The vibrations with interpretations of feel, smell, sound and sight are ingrained in my inner being. The soft warm breezes upon my face along with the smells of the grasses and wildflowers woke up my senses. The tranquilizing music of different species of birds playing out their morning symphony of sound, and the sights of calmness in the softening views of nature; with the daisies swaying back and forth alongside the tall grasses; Encompassed all my senses. The experiences of this serene environment was peacefulness to my centered core.
In today’s world many travel to busy vacation spots to take in the excitement and thrills in many popular crowded destinations. That is all fine but can leave you with needing a vacation from your vacation, due to lack of relaxation and necessary quiet time to regroup your mind and body. Traveling to the countryside is not a desired destination for the younger generation as it may not hold the memories of remedying and rejuvenation; plus there are not readily available hotels or rentals in that type of environment. While searching, you can find houses for rent in many rental sites online but the question would be, ” What will we do there to avoid boredom”? The answer might be to wake up to roosters crowing, drinking coffee on the dirt path along the wildflowers and swaying tree branches. Watch the butterflies flit back and forth, notice the birds of many colors hosting their unique sounds, converse with the roaming dogs, cows and horses, inhale the freshest air while having wonderful conversations with each other, swim in the river, or simply meditate in the experience of nature. Read more
My personal hobby/ interest list runs wild like pumpkin vines in fertile soil; at times needing to be pruned down.
Someone said something to me last week that I found interesting, she said “I’m afraid I will have nothing to do once I’m retired”. There are many of us who are experiencing a change in life style patterns; not only retirement but staying at home with children too. These are times when our job related self identity is removed, leaving a gap of valuable time to fill. Hobbies are a wonderful way to achieve pleasurable quality time, alone or with others; and will furnish a new enthusiasm & purposeful accomplishment during these times. Many Americans are now working from a home office & lack the daily social interactions of peers; but a group activity hobby fills that gap of non-physical connection with an activity of choice!
The process of participating in a hobby is gratifying in itself , with means of creation, relaxation, motivation, contentedness & fulfillment. Even though I work full time, most of my kids are in their own homes now, creating the free time I once didn’t have. My personal hobby/ interest list runs wild like pumpkin vines in fertile soil; at times needing to be pruned down. My love for reading has me involved with three books at a time, yet writing is my passion. Read more
There have been many manufacturers of the antique steel glider and chairs. In the 1920’s Mr. Bunting started to make a steel framed glider with cushions as the company he now owned est in 1827, had originally made only steel heaters. After WWII an Arkansas company named The Warmack Co. , started to also create steel framed gliders for the post-war families. This was a high demand item so they started to create outdoor chairs and tables to match. The Warmack Co. became the largest steel lawn furniture manufacturer in the U.S.. The Alabama Stove company manufactured hundreds of the vintage steel gliders but were not in business very long.
Many other smaller companies came and left with the economy; but many of these steel framed 60-90 yr. old outdoor items reside in antique stores and homes around the country, both new and old. After the boom of Steel Framed Gliders, a less durable version, using softer metals, were created. Read more