Saturday, November 24, 2018

Enjoying a rainy morning

By Elizabeth Prata

It's a cold November rainy late fall Georgia day, dark and sleepy. I've got wild Einstein hair, a sleeping kitty beside me, and coffee perking. Good morning from the deep South!

No more food, please Ever. I mean it. Food is the enemy. Rich food, unfamiliar food, lots of food, has been the hallmark of this week and I am done. No more. Line in the sand.

What's for breakfast?

Here are some pics from the yard during this bright sunny week, before the rain moved in last night. Pretty! The temps were in the 60s and it was pleasant in the sun and comfortingly cool in the shade.

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday, whether it was with family, friends, on military duty, or at work. It's hard to believe that 2018 is passing by quickly, there's only a few more days to this year. I remember the millennium 2000 new year hysteria. I remember 1990, 1980, time is slip slidin' away and it goes so fast. Hug your loved ones and enjoy each day.

Monday, November 19, 2018

New book acquisition

By Elizabeth Prata

My trip to my favorite vintage store Friday yielded a purchase on something I needed, towels, something I like, vintage china salt & pepper shakers, and something I never pass up- a good book. It was hard cover, clean dust jacket, great condition, $1. I love this store.

My goal over Christmas break is read a classic, so I guess this will be it! I'm branching out. I've read many classics, but hardly any in the lady variety. Mainly the genre of Jules Verne, Herman Hesse, Orwell, Isaac Asimov, Moby Dick etc. This'll be new for me. Yay! #Reading

I talk about reading a lot, but I don't do it as much as I like. I have to push myself. I'm getting older, so my energy level is lower when I come home from work, and I save that for Bible reading. By the time I get to personal reading, I'm just as likely to turn on a TV show because it's easier on the brain and the tired old eyes.

But I don't want to let reading go. It has been my friend since Dick and Jane, and my profession since 1984.

So I keep pushing. Reading was a kind of savior when things got too tense at home. It was an escape, and it was a relief. It allowed me great anticipation as I looked forward to the next book in the series, (Nancy Drew, Little House, John Jakes' Kent Family series...). Reading afforded an adventure trip to the town library, (where it was cool and quiet and the marble floors were beautiful).

The East Greenwich Free Library is a bit over 100 years old now, (opened in 1915) and has been expanded since you see the first photo postcard below. The marble (I think they were marble) floors have been covered with a rug, and modern technology has replaced the solidly beautiful and always mysterious card catalogs. But it was and is a place for curling up in the quiet, for soaring, for imagination, escape, learning, for meeting book character friends as vivid as any real friend, for lovingly putting a stack of books in my bike basket and pedaling home, that's reading. It's more than a book, it's memories and it's a lifestyle.

Below, EG Free Library then and now. Photos from Google and other web.

So I look forward to curling up on the couch and meeting Jane Austen's Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, just as I had done in 1965 in meeting Dick and Jane, 1970 with Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls, and Harriet the Spy, and then teen and college years with  Tolkein, Asimov, Verne, and Clarke...

Isn't it great we never run out of books?

Here's a list of 100 top classic books. Do you agree?

The Greatest Books
The editors of the Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, polled a panel of 100 authors from 54 countries on what they considered the :best and most central works in world literature."

Saturday, November 17, 2018

In which I welcome a new brother and sister to the china set

You guys know I love visiting The Special Store, a store that resells for low prices items they have bought at Estate Sales. It's part museum, part store, part treasure hunt. The inventory rotates frequently so it's fun to go and hunt, and there's always surprises. I went up there yesterday to inaugurate my Thanksgiving week off by browsing and admiring. I did have a hard time giving up on the nice Renoir beautifully framed. I don't need more art. Not yet anyway ;)

I had a nice time speaking with the clerk lady and browsing.

They were having a 50% off towel sale so that was the reason for going and the primary item on my list. Functional, always looking to be functional in my purchases. Also the store owner has come into possession of a lot of Christmas items and I need a nativity. I saw one in the photos they posted but when I arrived I saw that the nativity turned out to be about 3 feet wide, lol, so that was a big NO. I nned one like, 3 inches wide.

I did see the new china set they'd acquired. I was intrigued. Pottery mark said Nasco; out of Japan, the sticker said. Mid-century, 1950s specifically, I surmised. As you know, I have a small apartment and a tiny kitchen. Not a lot of room to display things. I decided to buy this sweet salt & pepper set and replace the plain glass salt shaker I have on the stove with this prettier one. Cute, isn't it!

The problem with vintage salt and pepper shakers is that the cork at the bottom is usually missing. This set had cork in both the salt and the pepper. Win-win, I can buy a functional piece that functions!

After I cleaned and filled my shakers, I turned to admire the pieces I already have. Aren't they pretty? I like looking at pretty things. Then of course I brewed a pot of tea.

Tuscan fine English bone china, Duchess pattern

Mid-century Homer Laughlin, Cavalier Eggshell, Spring Song pattern

Noritake teapot, Japanese, Chatham pattern

Mid-century modern, Vernon Ware, American, Raffia pattern (as seen on Mad Men)

1980s Kutani teapot (Japanese); 1920s Hall's teapot, (American) Philadelphia shape

Syracuse China, Federal Shape, (American) unknown pattern

Noritake, (Japanese) Glen Rose pattern

I'm grateful today for last night's refreshing sleep, for waking up early, for my stroll in the crisp pre-dawn, hearing the birds (at least 3 different kinds), for Fall leaves and busy squirrels...and for Jesus, Lord of all.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, November 16, 2018

A week off!

By Elizabeth Prata

Thanksgiving is almost here. We have so much to be grateful for. I know I do.

I live in a charming apartment conveniently located to my work. I have work, and it's good work, too. My colleagues and bosses are terrific. I've got friends, and one of them just yesterday asked me to come to her family Thanksgiving feast. I have books, pets, enough money to live on. No extra, but enough. Thus, monthly I'm reminded of the Lord's provision as I make ends meet. A great church and a loving church family with wise, diligent, and approachable elders. What more could a person want? What more?

Salvation. I am in Jesus, and I have all. I am rich, satisfied, joyful, content.

Today after school began an entire week off! I'm massively excited. I bought a Sinclair Ferguson Advent devotional book called Love Came Down at Christmas that I'm very much looking forward to reading. I also want to finish some of my other books, Gerstner on Edwards' Heaven & Hell, Grisham's Ford County (short stories) and a new book I bought called Rebels and Renegades: A Chronology of Social and Political Dissent in the United States by Neil Hamilton.

Of course all this will be accompanied by pots of tea, fresh muffins, and some soup. The lentil and rice soup I've made recently has come out good. It restored my like of brown lentils that had been tending toward dislike.

It will be nice to take out the Christmas decorations and hang them, though there aren't many. I found some precious vintage hand painted ornaments at the Special Store last year and I hung those from the bookcase. The cat, you see, not Bert but Murray, is intensely interested in anything new, hanging, or precious. He would wipe them out with one cat-swipe, so I have to hang them in ways he can't get to them. The same with the bough that lights up- it's what I use for my tree.

A friend had sent me a Jacquie Lawson eCard for Thanksgiving. Jacquie Lawson stuff is really good. The short video with her personal message at the end infused me with a tremendous sense of peace and well being. What is there to complain about, really? What is there to steal our joy? If we are in Christ, the answer is nothing. We have all.

I came home today after school ready to enjoy the week off. I inaugurated my school vacation with a pot of tea. The teacup is made by Nasco ( a Japanese company) and the pattern is Springtime. It's mid-century. The pot is Homer Laughlin Cavalier Eggshell- Spring Song pattern. It's 1950s also.

Just after I received the card and watched the little video and read the message, I searched for the hymn Rock of Ages on Youtube. I'd been hearing it all night in my head. That's usually for a reason. I found this rendition and I love it. I hope you do too.

I pray your travels are smooth, your family is loving, and your day off is relaxing. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your holiday.