Tag Archives: ooooh-shiny!

The Odd Collector

Some years ago, maybe 20 or so, I decided to collect lighthouses. But only Harbour Lights® lighthouses. I loved them. There is a certain lonesome romance about a lighthouse. The solitude associated with them is attractive. Anyway, I collected them until they went insane and made several different limited editions and decided that the name was more important than detail. Seriously, there is no way the Canaveral lighthouse is three times taller than the Space Shuttle.

There are some things I still collect. I have a fondness for geology and tend to be an amateur rockhound, so I have a nice collection of museum quality specimens. And of course, I collect Lolita™ glasses. Finally, a collection of useful things!! And they are like Pokemon™: gotta catch ’em all. According to Hubby, I am rising to that challenge.

Those are ordinary collections, though. But the thing is, I am an odd collector, too. I think of an odd collector as someone who only collects one of a certain thing, usually some item destined to be an heirloom or something that has some tie to a cultural reference. For example, while we were stationed in Hawaii, I fell in love with Koa wood. It is very rare and expensive, so there was no way I was going to own a dining table and chair made from it. But I managed to find a vanity hairbrush and comb set with a beautiful burl on the backs. One thing, see? I remember my grandmother had little glass figurine in its satin-covered box. We were never allowed to touch it, even breathe on it. It was Baccarat™. I don’t know what happened to it, but I do remember how the light refracted and made such beautiful rainbows when she showed it to me. A while back blogger friend Mitchell posted a gift for his mother, and years later I feel the need to have this one thing.

baccarat lucky butterfly

A bold, beautiful butterfly. I have a jones for cute insects. And Hubby never has any idea what to get me. He has decided the Lolita thing is off the table, since he has no idea what I own, so this would be a nice one thing to gift me. It may be too late for Christmas, but there is always Valentine’s Day, and I would much prefer this to flowers that die or candy that makes me fat.

So, do y’all have those “one things” too? Or am I an outlier? Again?? 😀


Embracing the Breaks

Growing up, my mom always told me to be mindful of people’s feelings. It wasn’t just a mean thing to do, but also a shocking breach of etiquette. But it always bothered me how being considerate of people’s feelings jarred against being honest, even when kind. I’m of the opinion that no one has a right to be offended, but also one should never be spiteful. There’s a meme that always rubs me the wrong way about this.

break plate saying

I get what that is trying to say: once you hurt someone, the damage can’t be repaired. But what it misses is that people have to get “damaged” in order to grow and mature. Facing adversity makes people stronger. The world isn’t going to save your feelings all the time. But in damage there can also be beauty.


This ancient Japanese tradition is based on the philosophy that things that have been broken can be made to be more beautiful than before. They have overcome adversity, and have a history and scars of what they have overcome. Just because something broke, it shouldn’t be discarded. So it is with people. Some of us are more damaged than others. But just because we are damaged doesn’t mean we are no longer needed or wanted. It is our responsibility to fill our breaks with gold, and become stronger for having been broken. No one else can do that for you.

A flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. — The Emperor, Mulan

When you break, pick up the pieces and make them more beautiful. Show the world that you are no longer the same, but better. And you’ll be stronger for it 🙂

Picking Battles

I’m a wife and mother. Picking battles is something I do often. I have a 50% success rate, which is not bad considering.

You try dealing with a band director.

Anyway, I am slowly making some updates in the house. The floor was the latest. It was a five year wait, but completely worth it. Unfortunately, the contractor vetoed my plan to burn the Berber carpeting. He did let me stab it a few times, though. I thought he might think I was crazy but he told me his wife did the same thing. Yes, I am well aware that doesn’t rule out insanity. But it’s something. Anyway, one of the things I really, and I mean really want to do is the fireplace. It’s brick in a tan…beige…dun… blah color with blah mortar. I mean it’s there, but doesn’t stand out in any way. And that is supposed to be a feature in the living area. At first I wanted to take it all out, and replace it with slate, which is fantabulous. But the floors were paramount (not the movie company) and that was an expense we couldn’t afford. So then I decided why not paint it, right? And this is where Hubby just looked at me like I had grown another head and said I was nuts no, too much involved in doing it. So then I was casually asking my contractor how I could repaint or stain the brick on the fireplace, to which he replied that it wasn’t a great idea because of the time and amount of ventilation required.

Suffice it to say, everyone is against me.

It was grating on my nerves, dealing with the boring drabness of the fireplace. I watch Property Brothers on HGTV and see the Flynn Ryder twin repainting fireplaces all the time!! But I was vetoed. GAH!!! As I sat there, wondering which house some Canadian couple was going to buy from the dapper twin, I saw it: a bold, beautiful BIG glob of glass sitting on a shelving unit in the background. And as I looked at my fireplace, I noticed something: everything, and I mean everything I had decorating it was in the same color range as the damn brick. Browns, beiges, tans, ambers…. no wonder that fireplace was so awful. That glob of glass stood out like a gorgeous preening peacock screeching LOOK AT MOI!!! And I knew, sure as the sun will rise, that I had seen it somewhere before.


Behold Ikea’s Stockholm vase. Actually, it is one of three Stockholm vases they carry in different styles and colors. Which begs the question: why call it the same name when they are different? Well, it’s Ikea. That’s what they do to mess with the customer. I recalled seeing the vase back on Mother’s Day when I last went to Swedesville. I liked them but had no idea where I would place them in the house. So I passed on them. Fast forward a few months and I am upstate for my nephew’s wedding, and my brother’s lovely girlfriend offers to entertain me by obliging my jones and taking me to Ikea, which is only 20 minutes from her home, unlike mine which is about 2 ½ hours if I’m lucky. So now Phase One of Fireplace Redo is complete, because I bought its taller, greener brother as well. Hey, one for either side of the fireplace, ok? I know it’s female logic, but it works. Trust me 😀

Spinning Round

I’ve been a little morose and serious lately, and forgot that my job is to entertain my captive audience with Aggie’s exploits. Nothing so exciting as regaling y’all with stories of how I managed to be in three places at once while baking cookies.

Anyway, one of the things that has seriously gotten under my skin lately is home updates. I blame my sister Reno Queen for that. You see, she has been updating the finishes in her home, like lighting and wall decor. That means that she needs to dispose of the stuff she no longer needs, which in turn means I get to enjoy new stuff!!! So I will be updating the light fixtures in the house soon. Of course, since I am getting new lighting for the main areas of the house, I decided I had to get an updated fixture for the bedroom. But as y’all know, Hubby is adamant in having a ceiling fan. I wanted some glamorous bling and set up a fan on his side of the bed, but no. It needs to be a ceiling fan. He really meant NEED. So I looked into a new ceiling fan, and found one with an acceptable amount of bling.

a+r ceiling fanSee?? I love the drum shade that does NOT expose lightbulbs, and look, just LOOK at the glass sphere that gives it just the right amount of bling. I showed a picture of it to my sister, and her response was….. lukewarm. Not her style, she admits, but she agrees that it’s a good compromise for Hubby and me. And if I can’t have a chandelier in my bedroom, at least I have something pretty to look at when I dust it.

Next on the list? The carpeting. Whoever said Berber carpeting was awesome was either drunk, or selling it. So now the new battle begins: tile, or wood? In truth I’m fine with either, as long as I get to set the carpeting on fire 😀

Nothing Is Ever Lost

As usual, I have big plans. BIG plans. The kind of plans that require hiring some movers for a day.

I’m a dynamo but even I have limits, especially when it comes to moving a sleeper sofa down a flight of stairs.

Over the course of the next month, I will be moving Son upstairs into his own domain. He will now have his own bathroom, gaming area, study area and a nice full sized bed. Oh, and his own closet. Because he has a loft bed, the only room that had the high ceiling to accommodate it is the study, which has no closet. So, he was using the hallway closet to throw all his clothes and shoes hang up his stuff. This is how he felt when I informed him of my plan:

freddie mercury meme

Anyway, in the course of preparing the upstairs for his eventual move, I decided to start organizing all of my craft stuff, as I have been intending to do for the past year. Look, it is a certain fact that messy people are very creative, and I tend to live up to that standard. As I began to organize my clutter, I began to “find” things which I had “lost”.

  • Two pairs of earrings
  • My mom’s old brooch
  • Our tickets to the 2006 World Cup Semifinal match between Italy and Ukraine*
  • Four jars of gesso
  • One pair of socks
  • Several graduation announcements of family members
  • A coffee mug
  • Three hair clips and two scrunchies
  • My stash of 80’s cassettes

(* Yes, we had tickets to the semifinal match. Unfortunately, we also had non-refundable tickets to Paris, and since we were leaving for the US the following Tuesday, Paris won out. Before anyone freaks out, I offered to give up the trip to Paris for Hubby, and he decided that it would be more fun to tour Paris than to sit in a crowded stadium. So there.)

I had no idea I had so many jars of gesso. I suppose I kept thinking I had used it up and went out to get more. But I was elated to find my mom’s old brooch. I remember her wearing it to special occasions when I was little. I thought I had lost it in the move back to the US and had mourned its loss. And imagine my surprise to find my stash of cassettes. CASSETTES, PEOPLE!! There is something so satisfying about listening to a cassette that you have played so often, it is warped. Yes, I still have cassette players, and even a turntable. And now I have an urge to go listen to Warrant and Def Leppard. I’ll even wear a scrunchie while I blast “Animals” on the cassette player while I finish cleaning my craft area.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll find my UHF videocassette 😀

Women, Handbags, and Shoes

I took Little One shopping for clothes this past weekend. Seems she is growing and I can no longer ignore the fact that she is not a little girl. That meant taking her shopping to places were I like to shop.

For myself.

Don’t freak out. I restrained myself. I didn’t get anything.

Ok, I got ONE shirt.

And PJs. Stop judging me!!

Moving on, she got quite the haul: jeans, shirts, sweaters, camis, and PJs (she’s my mini-me, after all). She was very amiable to my advice for once, until it came to getting accessories of any kind. It was like she became a burro. Seriously, THAT stubborn.

Me: You should get a nice purse to use in high school, honey.

Mini-Me: Why? I don’t like them. Besides, I think policy is changing to all-clear bags.

Me: What did you say??

Mini-Me: All-clear ba–

Me: No, before that!!

Mini-Me: I don’t like purses.


She just rolled her eyes and laughed at me. But that got me to thinking (I do that on occasion, you know). Why are most women so hung up on purses, and shoes as well? Think about it: they are utilitarian items that we take to fashion extremes. Shoes are mainly used to protect our feet, and purses are used to carry stuff we need that we can’t fit in pockets easily. That’s it. Most men have under four pairs of shoes. But not most women. It’s like a drug. You get one pretty pair, and you just HAVE to get another, and another, and another until your closet looks like Payless™ puked. And the same for handbags! Witness what happened to me, remember? It’s like a moral imperative. And as I thought for the reason as to why we are so enamored of such accessories, I finally came to a not-very-flattering conclusion:

We buy the purses and the shoes in order to justify purchasing the outfit.

Tell me I’m wrong. Someone, PLEASE tell me I’m wrong!!

Because the shirt I bought this weekend really goes well with my new sandals, and I’m hoping I’m not that shallow 😀

Dishing Out

Last week I was once again at the thrift store, where they know me by sight. And name. First name. Anyway, I was on the lookout for some dishes for my niece. She moved out and is in need of “matching dishes”, because she has a Jones about that sort of thing. She can’t afford much, so I offered to be on the lookout for them at my usual haunt. As always, the store did not disappoint.

I found a nice set of dishes, dinner and salad plates only, and figured that would be enough. They looked a bit opaly, but sturdy, and for $3 the set I couldn’t go wrong. Until I took them home and washed them.

arcopal trianon plates


So now I am in a huge quandary. I love, LOVE, LOVE vintage stuff. I have vintage Pyrex™ and Anchor Hocking™ and Hazel Atlas™ and Fire King™ and just can’t bring myself to give these up. But neither can I justify yet another set of dishes into the kitchen. Seriously, I am at full capacity. Everywhere you look I have a set of dishes: Polish pottery, Brasserie™, Longaberger™, Gorham™, Lenox™, Wedgwood™, Franciscan™….. Oh, and my mom is bringing me my grandmother’s bakelite from Puerto Rico.


Something’s gotta give, and I get the feeling it will be the Franciscan, since none of the kids like the flower pattern. As for my niece, I bet she would prefer a new set of dishes anyway. That is what I will tell myself to lessen the guilt 😉

Short Musings

Well, today started off a bit on the off side. The repairman was unable to come and finish the walls, so I am in the uncomfortable position of having to wait a bit longer to do my laundry, since the washer is positioned at an angle and difficult to use. Anyway, I got on to write a post today, but found that (W) decided to change the emoticons we use in our blogs. And of course, some of the emoticons are “secret”, so I had to play all afternoon trying to figure them out.

It was a sacrifice I was willing to make. But never again.

Look, I am a n00b when it comes to computers. I am no :developer: nor am I a genius. You know the whole “give a monkey a typewriter” thing? Well, that’s me, only not as cute. Don’t get me wrong. I ❤ writing, even writing just stuff that’s fluffy as a 🐻 is fun for me. But if pressure is involved, like in NaNoWriMo, forget it. You might as well pour me a |_| and leave me alone, because I would never come close to making a dent. Writing under pressure just doesn’t appeal to me. Writing nonsensical musings on a whim is totally different, and should always be celebrated. Of course, there are times when you come up with a clever 💡 and you have to run with it. Those times are few and far between for me, though.

Anyway, the ⭐ s are aligning for me, so I have to get going. It’s Friday, and still Lent, so I’m making rainbow trout for dinner. Easter seems like a long way off to me.

I wish I could have a 🌯 and wash it down with a 🍸 .


Adults Say the Darnedest Things, Too

Most of y’all know I have a Jones for cast iron. Hubby knows to stop in at the Le Creuset™ factory outlet store first whenever he is dragged along accompanies me. We seldom get anything, but I do love to go in and look at all the pretty colors and make a mental list of all the pieces missing from my collection enjoy chatting with the sales people. Sometimes we manage to get a cooking demonstration in and that’s always fun. Especially if we get to sample it. Anyway, last time I was there, the sales gal told me that the company was re-issuing one of my Holy Grails.

pepper cocotte

The darling pepper-shaped cocotte!!!

I admit, I SQUEEE’d out loud in front of people when she told me. Yes, they looked at me funny. They always do anyway. We got back home in time for me to make dinner, and as we sat around the table, I gingerly brought up the subject of the cocotte. Keep in mind, one has to be very subtle when speaking about such things, especially when there is no occasion pending for the giving of presents.

Me: So (me being subtle)…….. you heard the sales gal say the pepper cocotte is back, right?

Hubby: *deep sigh*

Me: You know I have wanted that pot since the first time they issued it decades ago, right?

Hubby: *heaves sigh again, keeps eating*

Me: It’s like a Holy Grail, right?

Hubby: Honey, this isn’t Pokemon!! YOU CAN’T CATCH THEM ALL!!

Me: ……………….

Son: That’s epic, Dad.

Me: *glares at Son*

Hubby: *grins evilly*

Me: I may not play the games but I did watch the show, and I am going to catch this one.

Hubby: *deep sigh*

It may take a bit of time to save up for it, but hopefully I will have a baker’s rack all set up to display my preciouses by the time I do get it.

And I will get it. Oh yes, I will 😀

It’s Tuesday??

I didn’t forget to write a post. Honest! I just had to take a break for a bit due to pretty much not having a topic on which to ramble. Sometimes I want to discuss serious issues here, but then I remember that this blog is fluff for fun.

Some of the stuff I did for fun:

Cleaned under the refrigerator and searched for loose change. Found $1.13.

Counted my vast Lolita glass collection. Still aghast that it is not complete.

Watched K-grade movies. Yes, they were that bad.

Acquired an old table that my neighbor was throwing out. Recycling is *in*.

So that was my fun for the past few days. It’s not much, but sure is a change from this meet or that concert or that play all the time. Still, this post took me several hours to write, which should tell you that either I have a slight case of attention deficit, or that my life is really that boring.

llama in pool

I think it’s more the latter than the former.

Hope y’all enjoy the rest of your Tuesday 🙂