Friday, August 29, 2008

Former Mullet Hunter, Yes. Stalker, No.

Spenser is starting preschool next week. Yesterday we attended an ice cream social so she could meet the teachers. She has been so excited to start preschool, as she always loved it when we took the older boys. Yesterday, she was not so interested. She clung to me like static electricity. This was one of the only photos I took yesterday. One of the only times she wasn't attached to me.

(Nikki, the little girl next to Spenser in the pink shirt holding the blue ball reminds me of a little Anna.)

And I couldn't resist this shot of my little man with his hands in his pocket. Boy do I love that kid!

Okay, so on with my Former Mullet Hunter, not a Stalker bit:

A few years back my sisters and I took some photos of people with mullets. Just for laughs. And to show each other the fine mullet specimens we had found. Well, when Carter was in preschool (2002-2004) there was a very mullety mom. I remember just wanting to take her photo to show my sisters. I had the very chance on a hayride field trip (and I think I narrowed it down to October 2003, I just wish I had time to find the backup disks from my computer to show you).

Anyway, this woman and her mullet were quite memorable. Just for that very reason. I don't know her name. Nor do I care what it is.

So yesterday, I see her (less the mullet). She stood next to me at one point and I mentioned to her that our sons had preschool together a few years ago. (At that point, I didn't even remember which of my boys it was ... Taylor? Carter? Jackson? I knew it was longer ago than Mason.) And she had mentioned how she used to walk him to preschool because she lived nearby. I commented that I remembered her walking to school. (I only recalled that information from my memory bank because she said it first. I certainly would not have remembered it on my own.) I have passed her house before while visiting people from church (I have seen her outside) and knew where she lived, but never even thought about it or cared. At all.

When we were leaving preschool yesterday, I noticed she was parked behind me (I didn't even realize it was her at first). I was doing a few things inside the car, so I didn't leave right away. Plus, since I was parallel parked, it would be a lot easier to wait until the car behind me left so I could back up first. She didn't go, but she had backed up a little. I was still locating my lists of errands, so I sat. Finally, as I was ready to go, so was she. She pulled out. I pulled out.

If your children have attended that preschool for any length of time, you know the back roads around the preschool to get back out of the neighborhood, so that's the way I went. (That's when I realized it was her, because I was "following" her.) When we neared her house, I slowed down, thinking she was going to pull into her driveway, but she didn't. As we passed the house, I had a feeling wash over me that she thinks I am following her. It was an instant feeling, but definite.

As we approached the end of the street, I immediately put on my blinker to turn left. She did, too. And then suddenly she turned on her right blinker and went back toward the preschool. I just went along my merry way, just as I had planned. I wasn't stalking her, but I honestly think she thinks I was. (And now I wonder if she knew I took her photo on that October hayride day. I tried my best to be discreet.)

For Pete's sake! She's not even my type! For one. She's a woman! Two, she still has mullet-intentions. I can tell it's in her blood.

So now I feel I have to keep a low profile from this woman. I think I'm not going to look at her at all next week. Just so she knows I don't have a thing for her ...

(And, yes, just for fun I thought about following her when she turned right. But really, I was too embarrassed and misunderstood by that point.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two Shirts

I bought these two shirts in early spring thinking I would freezer-paper stencil them for Spenser and Sawyer. Yeah, that never happened. (Believe it or not, I have yet to try that technique.)

Yesterday I found these in my to-do pile and realized if I didn't let them wear them soon, they would outgrow them. I decided the quickest way to save these shirts was a simple applique. I wasn't thinking both Spenser and Sawyer begin with the letter S, but oh well.

I used the heavy-duty Heat 'n Bond that isn't supposed to require sewing. I've used it in the past and after a washing or two, it needed to be stitched down. I didn't stitch it down this time. I'm going to try my luck at it.

You may have surmised that I made Mason's 6 shirt for his birthday. I made it Monday night, as soon as he went to bed. I had terrible sewing machine/thread/tension problems that night and a project that should have taken five minutes to satin stitch took over an hour. I had to thread and rethread the machine and bobbin numerous times. Clean the shuttle. Replace the needle three times. Say a few not-so-nice comments to my machine, one that I was about to throw it out the window. And I was nearly close. (Until Joe told me he wouldn't buy me a new one if I did ...) All in all, I think it was bad thread. Up close the shirt looks pretty yucky and puckery. There are a lot of loose threads and bunchy tension spots on the inside and Mason said it tickles his body. I was so happy I finished it, I honestly didn't care if he wore it or not.

(Joe said the two S-shirts are "freaky bro and creaky fro." He doesn't care for them much.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pardon My Randomness

As soon as we unloaded the car and ate lunch on Sunday afternoon, Spenser and I headed to the garden. There were lots of tomatoes waiting for us after being away for a week.

We filled her basket and she headed into the house to get something else. She came out with some of my Pyrex. I think I was calm on the outside, but on the inside I was screaming "Don't drop it!!!!" We filled a few Pyrex bowls full of cherry and Roma tomatoes. I gotta love a girl who values the beauty of Pyrex.

I received the nicest surprise package yesterday from Rachael. It was a huge box filled with something for everyone. And I do mean everyone. Chocolate popping elves and eggs. Bubbles. Activities for the boredom bucket. 2010 Winter Olympic stickers and tattoos. Canadian flag muffin papers and flags. Strawberry Shortcake barrettes and lip gloss. And, the cutest, cutest, cutest color pencils ever ...

Oh. My. Goodness. I don't know who is more enthralled with them. Me or Spenser. It's a close tie.

And then she sent a bunch of goodies for me. A wristlet. Fabric. A charm bracelet kit. Bakers twine. Vintage doll pin kit. And handmade Christmas decorations.

Thank you, Rachael. I am completely overwhelmed with your generosity. I am so very touched when people think of and include my children. Six children is a lot to buy for. (I do it everyday and it still shocks me sometimes.) And when others think of them, it just warms my heart. It was so unexpected and extremely thoughtful. Thank you.

* * * *

In other randomness:

  1. When Mason came home from school yesterday, I decided to spray him with Silly String. I scared the living daylights out of him. He was terrified. I felt terrible. I thought he would enjoy it. He did not. Sorry, little man!

  2. You may notice that since the first day of school (yesterday), I have already had to update my "Trips to the School Nurse" on my sidebar. Yes. If it's possible to go to the nurse on the first day of school, it would have to be one of my children.

  3. On vacation, Spenser was eating a blue Ring Pop. She kept asking me what color her lips were. I kept telling her they were blue. She turned around, pumped her arm and said, "Yes!"

  4. Spenser often goes around the house saying, "The French are coming. The French are coming." in the fashion of Paul Revere. I have no clue where she picked that up. I have attempted to correct her, to no avail.

  5. Spenser often goes around saying, "Rock on, freaky bro," while doing the "hang ten" sign with her hands and fingers. It sounds more like, "Walk on, creaky fro." I think the boys said it was from Spongebob.

  6. Last year when the boys' school bus pulled away on the first day of school, I "woo-hooed" and did a happy dance down the street. Unbeknownst to me at the time, an elderly widow neighbor of mine witnessed it. This year, Spenser and I did it again. As soon as we did, my neighbor's front door opened and she called out, "I heard that!" All in good fun, my friends.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Special Day

Four backpacks all lined up ...

The oldest starts middle school today ... Sixth grade!

Three big boys return to elementary school ...

And do you see this boy? This boy is turning six today. On his first day of first grade.

Happy birthday, Mason! I can't believe it has only been six years since you joined our family. It feels like an eternity. In a good way. A very good way. I love you, boy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What a Week!

Yesterday we came home after a week's vacation in the mountains of Western Maryland. And what a busy time we had.

We spent four afternoons on the beach of Deep Creek Lake.

One evening on the Mountain Coaster. Jackson was my passenger. On the first curve, I didn't brake enough and it scared me just a little. I made sure to slow down on all future curves.

Two afternoons at the falls where the boys played in the rapids and we geocached and hiked.

A little hot-tubbing for all. We only allowed the children to stay in for a few minutes at a time. (Note to self: sunburn + hot tub = pain!)

Joe took the boys kayaking. One at a time.

And a little jealous girl got to go for a spin, too, loving every minute of it.

And plenty of sunshine. Smiles. Attitudes. Eating. Homemade ice cream (every night but one). Laughing. Loving. And lounging in the best cabin ever.

The most memorable part of the trip was an early morning visitor we had. We did not realize we had such a visitor until a residential neighbor appeared at our door at a respectable hour (9-ish). He informed us that we had a 500-pound bear (bear!) on our front porch. Apparently the previous renters did not properly close the trash receptacle and the bear not only broke into our trashcan, but followed the scent of garbage-bag drippings onto our porch. Frank, the bear, (yes, he has a name!) was sniffing around our front porch at 3:30 a.m. The neighbor also kindly informed us that the front door of our cabin was no match for a bear of that size. He said he will only go outside after dark with his shotgun. Nice.

Needless to say, we didn't go out after dark much.

Friday, August 15, 2008

From Our Garden

I don't think there are words to describe how I am feeling. I have to say that I have the best readers and the best of the best commenters in all of blogworld. No doubt about it.

You are the greatest. The absolute best. You have lifted my spirits with your comments over the past few days. Yesterday I felt your support in such strong waves. More than once I was brought to tears. In a good way, of course. I don't think a mere "thank you" is enough, but thank you. From the very bottom of my heart to the very tippy top, thank you, my friends.

The above photo is part two of "You know you're a redneck when you are growing pumpkins in your front yard." This is so in front of our house, it is creeping onto our sidewalk.

They were not planted on purpose. It must be another case of Halloween pumpkins and miniatures rotting before being tossed away.

These three volunteer whatever-they-are gourds were found growing in the same place the pumpkins grew two years ago. I don't recognize them as anything we've owned. Ever. I'm pretty sure my little elderly neighbor thinks we're nuts. He mows around them, as they were growing into his yard as well.

Now these are some things we actually planted. The "twins" were the first on the plant to grow and I was very happy to see them ripening and even surprised when I realized they were yellow tomatoes. Thankfully they will be ready before we leave for vacation this weekend.

A few jalapenos. We picked a few last week and Spenser picked a few baby ones. She loves that garden.

One lonely bell pepper. I know we planted several varieties, so I'll be happy to see what color this one turns. One of our pepper plants was run down by a boy on a bicycle. But since he was one of my boys, I decided to keep him and not toss him to the curb. (Besides, who knows what would grow there next year, if I did. Lots of boys?)

And yummy cherry tomatoes. I love tomatoes. And did I mention that I'm like the only one in the family that eats them? Carter will sometimes eat a tomato. But not often. I've been eating these babies hot from the summer's sun. There is nothing better.

Well, my sweet girl is better than any tomato on earth. This is Spenser this morning going out to pick tomatoes and peppers. She has gotten confused and picked some small, under-grown, green tomatoes. I kept looking for some new ones on a plant and couldn't find them. She told me she picked them, but I didn't believe her. When I looked in her basket, I believed her. (Sawyer has been known to pick a few green cherry tomatoes, too.)

We are leaving for vacation on Sunday and will be gone for a week. I am going to try to relax and let my knee heal. (New meds from the doctor yesterday are in my system and I'm waiting for some miracle cure.)

Be safe, have fun, and don't do anything fun without me while I'm gone...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Want a Do-Over

Wednesday was pretty much crap.

Joe had to go out of town yesterday afternoon, so we spent the early part of the day buying new school shoes for the boys. They were picking on each other the entire time we were out. I was about to lose my mind.

I think summer break has lasted long enough and I'm ready for school to start again. I know it sounds horrible to say it, but it's the truth. The boys have been fighting with one another. They have been disobedient. They have been wild. I think they need to be separated for awhile. They've been together too long. This happens every summer.

I'm also experiencing summer's remorse. I had a long list of things for us to do this summer, and we didn't do them. I wanted to take them to the free movies (at least once). It didn't happen. I wanted to take them to a nearby lake to swim. It didn't happen. I wanted to take them bowling. It didn't happen. And here, as usual, I beat myself up over these trivial things.

For the most part, I think the boys enjoyed their summer. I mean, it's not like we didn't do anything. We went to Sesame Place. Taylor spent a week at boy scout camp. Carter spent a week at cub scout day camp and Taylor volunteered the entire week. We went geocaching. We went to the local 4-H fair. Oh, and let's not forget the carnival. And we are taking our vacation next week (the week before school starts). But for some reason, it seems we missed out on something. (Maybe positive attitudes from my boys.) Almost everything I suggest is met with a groan. They are too old for fun, I guess.

And, when you throw in four boys within a 4 1/2 year period, there is lots of competition and jealousy. And that makes for a grumpy mom. I fussed at my boys a lot yesterday.

It doesn't help that I have incurred a knee injury. It hurts to walk up and down steps. To carry Sawyer while walking. To put Sawyer in his car seat. To squat or bend. Pretty much everything I do. I've been taking ibuprofen since Monday and there has been no relief in pain. And that makes me grumpy.

And to top it all off, I learned last night that the cemetery where my sister is buried was vandalized. And, some juvenile delinquent shot her headstone with paintballs. Her headstone says "Families are Forever," and that was their target. My brother was able to clean most of it off, but still. There were 87 headstones vandalized. Some with paintballs. Others toppled over. Some broken. Some of the broken ones were of Civil War veterans. And the broken bits were hurled through the windows of a local business, along with this wooden post. I have just learned that two teenagers have now been charged.

See what I mean? I want a do-over. I want my Wednesday back.

(Photo is from the local newspaper.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Treasures From the Swap Shop

We've visited the the Swap Shop several times over the past month or so and picked up a few treasures each time. (We also took a giant truckload of toys and miscellaneous household goods that we were eager to get rid of before Purple Heart's next pickup.)

These are in no particular order:

A small children's piano, a wooden Little People and a vintage plastic Fisher Price high chair (I had the entire set as a child) and a wooden bench for Spenser's dollhouse.

A bunch of vintage patterns. I think most are in the size 16 range, but because my size seems to fluctuate, I figure these are good. There is one ugly late 80's-early 90's pattern on the top left that I accidentally picked up under duress. (Some fool was arguing with a lady over a lamp that she picked up that he wanted and it turned ugly. He was screaming, cussing, and threatening her. Joe asked him politely to stop cursing around our children and his ugliness was diverted toward Joe.)

Two plates. I've been using the one on the right for my salads. I can easily spread out my salad and then evenly drown my salad in dressing.

A Japanese plate and a vintage glass. The glass had some companions, but several were already broken in the box and Spenser dropped two and broke them. This glass is the lone survivor.

A little mini flannel-board story set.

Some vintage books, including Ed Emberley and Childcraft.

Everything at the Swap Shop is free. Including free shows from mouthy idiots.

* * Unrelated * *

Thank you for all of your bra sympathies and expertise. I have lots of information to pour over. I have checked out a few of the bras, and some of them don't make them smaller than B-cups. But I'm not giving up hope!

And a special thanks for your well-wishes for Sawyer. He is still the same. I took him to the specialist yesterday and apparently he was the one who consulted the P.A. at the E.R. I thought we'd get a second opinion, but it was still the same opinion. He thinks a sling would not help him at his age and Sawyer may not like his arm to be strapped to his body using Ace bandages. I do agree that if he were strapped as such, it might throw off his balance and there would likely be more injury. He is expected to have a full, 100% recovery in about three weeks. (And then, according to the specialist, "he can jump on the trampoline." His exact words. Honestly, after the Spenser incident, she is limited on the trampoline and Sawyer is not allowed. Ever.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mother of the Year, I Am Not

On Wednesday evening (yes, Wednesday evening) Sawyer fell off of a kitchen stool while I stood next to him chopping chives. It was a thud that every mother hates to hear. The smack of the side of his head onto the hard floor below. It made me sick.

I scooped him up and tried to comfort him. He was crying. He was dripping from his eyes, nose and mouth (just saliva, but lots of it). I checked his pupils and they responded to light. He finally settled down after about 20 minutes. I was so worried about his poor head. I knew it hurt. I heard it and it hurt my head just hearing it repeat in my head over and over and over again.

When he finally calmed down enough, he touched his collar bone and said, "boo-boo." I hadn't even realized that he had landed on his shoulder area. I had been so concerned about his head. Sawyer was able to move his arm and was even able to put his arm into his bib with minimal discomfort.

He seemed better. Just bruised.

Thursday he seemed the same. He complained a little about his boo-boo, but not a lot. Mostly when I would try to pick him up (under the arm, I kept forgetting about that poor shoulder).

Friday afternoon my mother and I realized he had a bump on his collar bone. Our doctor's office told me to take him to the Emergency Room. (I waited two days before I called.)

After a short visit and an x-ray later, it was confirmed that he has fractured his left clavicle (collar bone). Poor guy. I feel terrible for him.

The P.A. who saw him said that he thought Sawyer looked great and didn't see any reason to put him in a sling or in a figure-eight, but that we should follow up with an orthopedic specialist. (I guess it's a good thing we already have one ...) However, since Friday, he is not using his arm as much. He holds it to his side while he runs. Oh, and he said not to let him run or jump or climb for four weeks. Uh, yeah, right ...

Friday, August 08, 2008

It Has Changed My Life

For over twelve years, I have been wearing nursing bras, as I was pregnant and/or nursing for that long. Even though Sawyer recently decided to (suddenly) wean himself this past spring, I have been still wearing those darn bras. Ones I bought toward the end of my pregnancy with Spenser.

It might not be so bad if they fit. They didn't fit. They were, um, how shall I say this? ... Baggy ... Yes. My bras were baggy. There I said it. Nine years of nursing have done me in.

I was still waiting for my body to regulate itself and I promised myself (every day and night) that I would buy new bras soon. (Taking six kids bra shopping is not my idea of a good time.) Wearing an improperly fitting bra is terrible. If you haven't tried it yet, I wouldn't recommend it. It can really ruin your day.

I can say that now because I see what it's like on the other side. The side of fitted bras.

In the past, I have consulted websites to measure myself for a ballpark figure of what my size should be. (I used this one the other day.) Sadly, after measuring myself, I learned that my size had decreased substantially since my pre-baby days. According to the chart, I was measuring 36 AAAA. Okay, the chart doesn't actually go to AAAA, but if I keep subtracting the difference, in the manner provided, I'm sure that would be my correct size.

I had to run into Walmart (of all the places I did not want to buy a bra) to pick up some medicine. I decided I would just see if they had anything decent, just to see.

My poor boys. I had Taylor and Carter with me. But I promise, I did not torture them by running into the dressing room. I surveyed the poor selection of bras (mostly a terrible polyester) and spied one 100% cotton bra in a 36A for like $6. I shoved it in my cart to spare my boys any further humiliation, picked up my other needed items and left the store.

Holy mackerel! Let me tell you that I cannot believe the difference. I am wearing a bra that fits me. For the first time in so long I can't even remember back that far. This has changed my life. It has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I'm just biding my time until Kohls has their next 50% bra sale. Then I'm headed there. (Oh, crud, it looks like they are having a sale now!)

But, in the meantime, do you have a favorite bra? Please! I'm desperate! Can you help out a gal?

(And, by the way, the 36A is only a teensy bit baggy. Maybe if I shove a cotton ball or two in them, they will fit better. I hope I haven't offended anyone with this post. Please tell me you are laughing with me...) Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Making Me Smile

Here are a few of the wonderful goodies I've received lately:

A giant bag of goodies (not all pictured) from my Canadian friends, Karyn and Dianne, on their recent visit. They brought a ton of stuff for each of my six children and for Joe as well. It was like Christmas in July.

Part of the loot included a Canadian flag magnet, two tablecloths (look at that sweet red one with doilies!), a thread-catcher for my sewing area, a set of Karyn's beautiful cards, homemade soap (strawberry and peppermint-pumice), a soapmaking book and an amigurumi book. Note to self: must perfect crochet skills soon to make

butterflies! Too cute!

Then I received a bag of ribbons and trims from Brenda. Brenda recently started a blog of her own and mainly sews for her adorable grandchildren (her blog is even named after them). She has been sewing for many years and I think we can all learn a lot from her. Thank you, Brenda! This will keep me busy for awhile.

And the last of my goodies making me smile is this watch from Joe. Just because he loves me. And, well, so we can exercise more. We ordered it Monday night and it was on my wrist on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Little Paint Goes A Long Way

On Friday we slipped into the Swap Shop at our local landfill. I found these two, inexpensive silver-plated dishes (for free). Pretty unimpressive as is, but, when cheap, silver dishes + Lera + spray paint are mixed together ...

things that were previously old, plain, ordinary, and boring are given a new life. I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor spray paint in Cherry Red and Celery in gloss.

And it looks even more impressive with pound cake on top.

Edited to add: I am not sure if spray paint is "food safe" as far as painting for everyday use, including knife use. The pieces that I have painted are going to be used as serving pieces, not eating-off-of pieces. I would think the food would be as safe on these pieces as they would sitting a cookie, M&Ms, etc., on top of a painted piece of furniture or chair and then eating it. As long as you aren't scraping up paint with a fork, knife, fingernail, etc., it should be safe. That's just my opinion, though.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Finding Lost Treasures

Back in January, I made a batch of chocolate-coconut soap. I put the hot soap mixture into a 3" PVC pipe so I could have round bars. It wasn't my original idea, I read about it in a book and I followed all the directions on how to properly lubricate the pipe and cap it so the soap doesn't leak, etc. All was said and done.

When it came time to un-mold the soap, it would. not. budge. I'm talking not even a millimeter. I pounded the mold. Joe pounded the mold. Nothing.

It sat in my laundry room on top of my dryer for six months. I had all but forgotten about it. Sometimes my children would ask about the "creepy brown stuff in that pipe," and I would answer, "it's my soap and it's stuck." I never thought much more about it.

About two weeks ago, Joe decided it was time to try again. And, what do you know, it came out of the mold. It was still soft to the touch, and I think it was lye-heavy because we had some tingling sensations when we handled the chocolate log. This photo was taken right after it was un-molded and cut. It's been hanging out in my pink dresser curing. (I honestly thought it would have cured the six months it sat in the mold. I guess it was too insulated.) I don't know if it will be good or not after all this time. Only time will tell. I might wait another week or two before using it on my skin. It smells awesome though.

A year ago I bought a sandwich plate set/tea cup set for Spenser. When I bought it, it only had three cups, but four sandwich plates. I hoped that one day I would find a cup to make the set complete. Well, after more than a year, my wish came true. As I was thrifting one afternoon with Joe and the children, I stumbled upon not just one, but two matching cups. I only bought one (because they charged $2 for it and the whole set wasn't much more than that to begin with). I was a little hesitant at first, not sure if it would match. It's a perfect match. I'm so thrilled to have completed this little set. I knew it would eventually pay off.

Now, if I can just find some cute Pink Daisy Pyrex or dotted Pyrex. Then my life will be complete...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Last-Minute Gifting

I sewed (and should have pressed) this little dish-detergent apron less than an hour before we had to be at Joe's mother's house for a "surprise" birthday gathering a few weeks ago. I folded a piece of paper in half, put the fold in the center of the bottle and drew a shape. After I cut it out, I tweaked it a little more by rounding the edges on the bottom. Then I added the trim. When it came time to measure the hoop for the neck, I just held them up together and pinned it. Pretty easy, although I was stressed that I had left so little time to make it. (It was supposed to be part of her Mother's Day gift that never happened.) I guess that's what happens when you are invited last minute, though. I also grabbed a jar of blueberry jam on the way out the door.

And Saturday my grandmother (right) turned 95! She is the sweetest, sweetest lady in the world. She is so very kind and generous. I have never heard her speak an ill-word about anyone. The worst thing I have ever heard her say was "hussy," which she would call the lawn mower if it wouldn't start. As a teenager it was both startling and hysterical simultaneously.

Mom-mom worked in a sewing factory for most of her younger years. When she was newly married, she would give most of her weekly wages to her parents and my grandfather's parents. She made me my first pair of gauchos and an amazing little denim tote with a lion patch.

She taught me how to can. I spent many summers canning tomatoes with her. My sister and I used to help her pick fruits and veggies from her garden.

She was the oldest daughter of a large family (I think like 9, 10, or 11 children). Her only surviving sibling is her sister (above left), who was the baby in the family.

She was married to Pop-pop for 60+ years before he died. She lives alone in her house. She is spry, smart, and alert. She does not look like she is 95, but she has the wisdom of someone who has lived 95 years. She's the best. The absolute, cream-of-the-crop best. And she's mine.

We always give her money for her birthday. This year (last minute, of course) I made her some place mats and cloth napkins, in addition to giving her money. I had made some cloth napkins for her a while back, and she asked for some matching place mats. I didn't have enough fabric leftover to match the napkins, so I made a whole new set.

She was pleased with her gift. In fact, as soon as she opened the bag, she knew it was from me, she didn't even open the card yet.

(The place mats are a little wonky, but I also had them rolled up before I decided I should take a picture of them.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Post about Pyrex

There has been a steady influx of vintage Pyrex over the past few weeks. Really, they are easy to spot and pretty affordable ($2-3 each). On one visit to the thrift store (I think to buy the chair), I found both of these. There was only one out at the time, but the girl was unloading a cart of stuff and found the other one for me.

And, I have a tip for you. Make nice with the thrift workers. This particular girl remembers me and my taste and actually called me over as she found the second casserole dish. And don't just be nice so you find good scores. It always pays to be nice. There are enough rude and obnoxious people out there. Don't be one of them. :-)

And then I really scored when I found this set. It wasn't even being sold as a set. The pieces were priced individually. I think I squealed in delight when I saw this baby. It includes a 9x13, 8x8 (or 9x9) and a loaf pan. In near perfect condition.

I always use my small Pyrex bowls for salads. The one on the right is tiny, but it would also be good for dips.

And this set is different. I found the larger bowl and two small bowls for $2 total at a flea market. I have never seen this shape before, but I have trained my eyes to notice the colors and glass thickness of Pyrex. Sometimes I am fooled and have to look at the bottom for the Pyrex imprint. In fact, I always check the bottom, just to be sure. I don't even know if this set only has two small bowls (as opposed to four) or if only two small bowls survived the owners.

I have my tomatoes in the big bowl now, but I think the small bowls would be good for dips and salsa. (Does it seem like I eat a lot of dip?)

And this was my latest acquisition. I don't love the pattern, but that doesn't matter. And I don't think the lid is the original, although it has the Pyrex imprint.

I honestly use my Pyrex on a daily basis. In fact, I have gotten rid of some of my newer stuff to accommodate my growing vintage Pyrex collection. I use them for storing leftovers (in a small effort to steer away from plastics), serving, reheating food, baking, and eating.

Other important Pyrex information: If you can find a lid for your Pyrex, great! If not, I have seen a few stray lids for sale in the thrift store. I picked up two about a week ago for very cheap. Just look for the Pyrex imprint on the handle.

Also, don't put your vintage Pyrex in the dishwasher. Wash them by hand. The dishwasher can ruin the finish on your bowls. Certainly not worth it in my book. Just be careful not to drop the soapy dish! They can be slippery when wet. Lots of information can be found here with pattern references, age, and care.