I inherited this set of dishes from my mother-in-law, who had them passed onto her from another family member. It is service for 12 with many of the extra finishing pieces. It is made in England by Johnson Brothers and it is called the Friendly Village. I know very little about good china so I looked it up on-line and found out that the dishes are worth upwards of $300. Considering I have never spent more than $60.00 on my dishes (and that was service for 12 also), I was shocked to find out how much they cost. I do actually have a nice set of China that was given to me at my bridal shower many, many years ago by my grandmother that is expensive also but I didn't buy them, she did. They are Mikasa, plain white with a brown rim...my taste at the time. I've only used them several times in my life, what a waste. I have decided to get rid of my cheap dishes and start using all my beautiful expensive ones and enjoy them.
I am a collector. Of what? Several different things. My husband says too many different things. Like collector plates, Precious Moments figurines, Jan Hagara figurines, Christmas Village houses and dolls. I love dolls, but strangely enough, I didn't like dolls all that much as a child. I played more with plastic cowboys and indians figures, or plastic army men. I guess that is because most of my playmates were boys. I had boy cousins close to my age, and neighborhood boys close to my age, so I guess I adapted. I was surrounded by boys. I appreciated that fact more when I entered the pre-teen and teenage years. Anyway, after I was married and started having children I became obsessed with Barbie dolls. Supposedly, I was buying them to save for my daughters. Instead over the years they became mine. Every year my husband would buy me at least one for Christmas (along with a Precious Moment). I did start Barbie collections for both of my daughters, who never really cared one way or the other about them. (My younger daughter actually pawned hers). The dolls in the cabinet are only about half of my collection. The rest are still in their original boxes(only because I didn't have anywhere to display them). I actually sold about a dozen still in boxes at a yard sale not that long ago. We are downsizing into a smaller house soon so some had to go. In the center towards the back is Romeo and Juliet, and also Frank Sinatra and Barbie the bobbysoxer. Center and in the back is Elvis and his fan. Unfortunately you can't see his head but you can see his guitar. The Barbie fan is wearing the traditional poodle skirt and pink sweater. I have already bought my 3 year old granddaughter a collectible Barbie. Do you think I have a problem?
My raised bed, bell peppers in the center, surrounded by basil and parsley, a just a few cucumber in the back. The eggplant has gotten huge but still no crop. Three little tomatoes are finally growing. Hopefully, we will get a good crop. I am most proud of my bell peppers, they are growing beautifully. So far, I would say this attempt has been successful.
Our cat, Stormy, had kittens last week. She had four but, unfortunately, one didn't make it. We found them in our yard behind our shed, which is where she was born also. Stormy, less than a year ago. Her kittens are mostly gray like her. She was the only gray kitten in her litter, the rest where black with a little white. I guess there is a gray male around the neighborhood.
I am a talker, I just like to talk. I am shy until you get to know me, then you can't shut me up. I don't know if I should be confessing this online, I don't want people to think that I am crazy but I talk to myself. Basically I am thinking out loud and sometimes it can be embarassing, like when I am out in a store and make a comment about something. When I realize that I said it out loud I always look around to see if there is anyone around me who might have heard me. I don't get loud or anything, the comments are usually half under my breath but if you are standing next to me you'd might be thinking "is this stranger talking to me?" Now that I think about it, I am sure I am not the only one who does this. Probably many conversations that I've had in stores with strangers have started this way, with others being the initiators some of the time. Don't misunderstand me....I don't carry on conversations with myself, just a little comment here and there. The other day I picked up my 80 year old mom for a Target shopping trip. She told me she didn't need anything at the store but she would gladly go with me because she was going stir crazy in her house. She complained that she hadn't been out or talked on the phone to anyone for the past two days and then added, "I haven't spoken a word in two days." I responded with "why, don't you talk to yourself?" She looked at me like I had two heads and said "no". I couldn't believe it, after all, she raised me, so where did I get it from? "So you mean when you are cleaning and you come across something that you have been looking for but couldn't find, you don't say out loud, 'that's where I put that'?" I asked. She shook her head no and laughed, "I think it but I don't say it." So this got me to thinking, am I a little weird? Am I alone in this, or are there others who do the same thing? So lets take a poll. How many others talk out loud to themselves?
My favorite plant is the hydrangea and I have never had any success with them in the Florida heat and strong sun. Three years ago I planted one in the shade of our sycamore tree in our backyard. When we brought it home from Lowe's it had beautiful blue blooms all over. I loving cared for it but within weeks it started to look very sad. Our cat had had a litter of kittens in our yard and they seemed to really like that particular plant. The played under its large leaves, jumped on top of them, and even tasted them on occassion. Soon nothing was left but the stems sticking up from the ground. The following year the plant came back and I was happy. There wasn't a litter of kittens this time so everything would be fine. The luscious green leaves grew but never a flower. I waited all summer long but no blooms. I couldn't understand why. One day I noticed that our dog was peeing on it. It didn't kill the plant but it never flowered. A few months later our dog passed away. This year I was so excited when the plants' leaves filled out again and I started to notice flowers beginning to bloom. The beautiful blue flowers are starting to pop out all over and I am finally able to enjoy my favorite plant. We planted a second one under the shade of the sycamore and I am enjoying both plants.
Dora, Boots, Blue and Bob the Builder adorn the wall of my craft room. The room used to be my grandson's room eight years ago, before my daughter moved to Alabama. He was almost three when they moved. I had painted the mural on his wall a year before that while they were away on a trip and he was so excited when he came home and found Dora, Blue and Bob looking down on him in his bed. He could barely speak and he jumped up and down screeching, he was so happy. Well, since they left his room has been converted to a craft room for me and all the walls have been repainted to a much lighter, soothing green...except that one wall. I did sponge around the figures with the green and pink to lighten it up a bit but I couldn't bring myself to paint over it. Jesse didn't want me to either. Every time he would visit we would sit in his 'old' room and he would ask me not to paint over the characters...so they have stayed. His little sister, Sophia, has come to like it also, though she is not as attached to them as he was. Blue and Bob are no longer on t.v. but she knows of them from Jesse's old videos. Dora and Boots she knows and loves. She liked to come into the room and give them high 5's. Sophia is now 3 and Jesse is 10 and he has been more than willing to let me paint over them for a few years now but my husband won't let me. My husband refuses to throw out any of Jesse's old broken toys that were left behind when they moved out. I tried once to throw out the broken pieces and found them a few days later in a box in our garage. My husband is very sentimental and Jesse is our first grandchild. Well after a few years of trying to talk my daughter and her family into moving back to Florida we realized that it wasn't going to happen. Besides, after visiting Alabama we grew to love it there, so we bought a house a few blocks away from them and are hoping to be able to move there soon. Now we are trying to sell our house in Florida....so it is finally time to say goodbye to Dora, Blue and Bob, we have to make the house buyer friendly. We will be replacing them with a clean, crisp white. I have to admit, I feel kind of sad to see them go.
After visiting Alabama for Christmas and spending a little over two weeks, it was hard to leave and come back to Florida. My grandson gets upset when we leave so my husband promised him we would be back in March sometime. We kept our promise and returned for a short visit at the very end of March and stayed thru Easter. We enjoyed spending the holiday there, but again it was hard to leave, especially because my grandson was scheduled to have surgery only a week later. The surgery was minor surgery but still I wished that I could have been there. Jesse's surgery was successful and he is doing well. His little sister was playing nursemaid to him for the first few days after the surgery. Now when we talk to her on the phone the first thing she tells us is that Jesse is all better. In this wonderful age of technology we often make video calls so we can see and talk to Jesse and Sophia, but that only makes me miss them more. During our visit we also enjoyed spending some time with our close friends who moved to Alabama two years ago from Florida. Our daughters are close friends also and we all gathered at our friends house for a wonderful Easter holiday meal and fellowship. There is nothing better than spending the holidays with with family and close friends. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we were able to enjoy our meal outside on their huge front porch. The only thing that would have made it better is if their oldest daughter and her family, and my youngest daughter could have been there also.
My latest endeavor is growing my own vegetables. I have tried this before with little success, possibly due to our dog who liked to pee on the plants and also lay all over them. Since our dog passed almost a year ago I have decided to try again. I have started most of my plants from seed with the exception of my tomato plant and my jalapeno plant and one eggplant. I have about 4 eggplant from seed, 10 bell pepper from seed and 8 cucumber from seed. I have also planted basil, parsley and oregano. I have been told that the Florida heat may be the reason for the past failure, though for certain plants like the eggplant, they will thrive due to the extreme heat. Only time will tell.