In the very early 2000s, my mom suggested I use milk glass bud vases in my first wedding’s decor. I laughed at her old fashion suggestion and I forgot about her ridiculous antiques decor idea until a few weeks back.
A long-time friend of mine posted her Great Depression era milk glass cake stand collection on Instagram, and I remembered what my mom said. I started reading. I spent a week reading every blog post, antiques mall article, and Pinterest post about milk glass collections.
Then I started searching for my own pieces. I had previously visited a (somewhat overpriced) antiques store searching just for pretty stuff. I stumbled across a well-priced Fenton Hobnail milk glass fluted edge vase. It’s about four-inches tall and I’m in love with the fluting, the precise little bumps (hobs? hobnails?). Once I clean her up, she’s going to live as a makeup brush organizer in my bathroom.
I haven’t stopped looking for fun pieces since this, and I’ve amassed a quick double-digit number collection already. I read an interesting post recommending “if you like it, it fits in your collection,” and am following that mindset as I scour local Goodwills. (Yesterday I found 10 pieces of collectible glass for less than $40.)
Piece number two? was a pair of pieces. A set of Westmoreland milk glass creamer and sugar jar WITH its lid. I overpaid for it, because all three pieces were perfect, and I think it’s a beautifully created little set.
Ever seen this stuff? Have any of your grandmas given you dusty old pieces you want to mail me? Hah!
As I go forward, I might try to keep sharing pieces. Obsessions often become intense collecting events for me. Let’s see where this goes!
Daddy’s tires on the white truck growled in the dirt as we neared the top of the steep driveway. Looking over him, I could see there were horses at the neighbors’ house. Maybe I could get a horse! I excitedly thought.
It was silenced by a voice I was learning wasn’t quite my own; they’ll never buy you a horse.
I didn’t voice either opinion aloud in the white truck; I knew the condescending voice was right; they’d never buy me a horse. We were poor; I could see it in the soles of Daddy’s shoes when we played checkers on the floor. Even if we weren’t poor, I don’t think my parents would ever buy me a horse, anyway. It wasn’t that my parents didn’t like me, they just didn’t know what to do with me.
and we’ll see what happens
For the past four Saturdays, my parents had dragged me to the next city over to look at new houses. I didn’t much care for the realtors we were instructed to follow each weekend; they always felt swarthy and as though they saw people as dollar signs and property, not families and homes. I avoided the cutesy “What’s your name?” and “How old are you little miss?” questions by sticking my nose in a book and keeping it there. Unless I was specifically told “leave it in the car,” my book du jour traveled with me.
Lately I had been reading more chapter books, adventure novels where the girls were heroes and the boys needed saving. I read novels of large families, all the siblings constantly fighting over what little there was, but always learning a lesson in love, too. I read books that were too grown-up for a nine-year-old, meeting Stephen King’s Annie Wilkes and her sledgehammer before I was even in “double-digits.” My parents didn’t really care what I read, I was reading. It also meant I wasn’t talking to them; I seemed to bother them with my emphatic questions and observant musings.
Any observant musings from you?
Ma didn’t want to live in a green house. She said it reminded her of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and that was weird. Daddy promised her we’d paint it “straight away” multiple times as we pulled away from what he hoped was our new home. I wasn’t impressed by the green house either, but I was impressed by the acres of land, the fields of blackberry brambles, and the creek that ran diagonally through the parcel. I wanted to explore the dog run on the north side of the property, and climb into the tree fort in the south side’s lone cottonwood tree. I’d have my own room with built-in bookshelves if my parents picked this house.
At nine years old, moving was starting to become a regular thing for me. My triangle-family had moved from apartment to apartment renting as we went. Ma got used to dealing with the landlords complaining about clogged toilets and moldy kitchen faucets and Daddy normally did extra yard work to lower our rent. I used the dusty phone book that was invariably left in a back closet to find the nearest public library. I’d cross reference the address in the white pages with the maps on the blue pages, hoping with all my being that the distance between the new place and the library was walkable. It had yet to be.
I absolutely love to travel. I don’t just enjoy the vacationing part of travel, but I enjoy the adventure of getting to my destination.
Driving the 1 and the 101 north from California into Oregon provided me with a lot of thinking-time, and a lot of beautiful sights. I stopped almost every hour (either for a potty or photography break) and I enjoyed the simplicity of traveling solo. I got to choose the route, the music, the volume of the music, and where I stopped. It was perfect travel for me.
Stephen King’s End of Watch set the tone for my drive north, and I finished the book before I made it to my final destination. I previously tore through Mr. Mercedes (another King, book) and loved the story. End of Watch is not quite a sequel, but it’s more of the story of Mr. Mercedes. If you like Stephen King’s newer materials, this book is definitely a pleasure to read or listen to.
What are you currently reading?
California Redwoods and Giant Sequoias
I’m still traveling. I have the time to write, but I also don’t want to sit on my laptop all day while there are beautiful sights to see around me.
Today is a stay-near-home day (my parents’ home) and do a few little “buy souvenir” stops. Tomorrow I leave for Redding, California. I’ll make a ton of stops as I drive and take a ton more photographs!
Once I leave Redding I’m headed to the Placer County Gold Rush Museum. It’s not fully operational just yet (they moved it), but there is a first floor I can explore. The nerd in me wants to see whatever I can!
What are you up to this weekend?
Is there any case which you would drop $100 to use a library outside of your city/county?
Living in Silicon Valley, I have driving access to both the Stanford University and UC Berkeley’s libraries … if I pay the $100 a year library card fee.
Next week, I’ll be making this purchase and beginning some research days in the East Bay at the University of my dreams. (I wanted to study German at Berkeley.) The access to the HISTORICAL library is enough for this writer to pony up some monies.
Would you pay for a specific library’s resources?
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- Favorite childhood books? The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, The Cay by Theodore Taylor, The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill.
- What books do you have on request at the library? Currently three of them. Life As A Pioneer on the Oregon Trail by Jeri Freedman, Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women by Marianne Monson, and Surviving the Journey: The Story of the Oregon Trail by Danny Kravitz.
- What do you currently have checked out at the library? Strangely enough, I have two books out right now, but my online account says only one. Good thing I’ve read Oregon Trail Revisited by Gregory Franzwa before and will return it. I also have Pioneer Children on the Journey West by Emmy E. Werner.
- Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? Ultimately I prefer to read one at a time in order to keep the story lines straight; but oftentimes I have multiple books going because I read for different aspects of my life.
- How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I think I’d say “regularly,” at this point. Growing up I avoided anything out of my comfort zone, but now-a-days I am willing to pick up and give any book a shot.
- What is your reading comfort zone? Anything but science fiction, but as I said in number five, I’ll read that now, too.
- Can you read on the bus? Yes. Also in a car, on a train, in an airplane, while walking, and quite possibly I could read a book while I ride my bike. I’m pretty talented.
- Do you ever dog-ear books? Yes; I see no problem in making a book mine if it’s going to be mine.
- Do you ever write in the margins of your books? All. The. Time. I love to “close read” and annotate while I have a new books. Many of my nonfiction books are both dog-eared AND written all over. Love on your books, they’re just paper!
- What will inspire you to recommend a book? If I can’t stop thinking about a book after I’ve finished it, I want to share it. If I stay up too late at night reading a book, I’ll recommend it. If a book made me think, cry, or question my own life, I’ll tell other people about it!
I subscribe to the idea of those with chronic illness are provided a set number of “spoons*” for themselves. Each of those spoons represents the effort it takes to accomplish a task. (You can read the story behind Spoons at But You Don’t Look Sick?)
Getting ready in the morning requires a spoon; sometimes even getting out of bed takes a quarter of a spoon … so everything I do takes away from my spoons. Making coffee, packing a lunch, even driving into work costs me spoons. Driving home, cleaning up after my family, cooking and then cleaning up dinner, getting Moo into and out of the bath and then into bed … everything.
- Spoons are more expensive when you’re sick.
- Spoons are more expensive when you’re tired.
- Spoons are more expensive when there’s an approaching deadline.
Oh, and you don’t get more spoons when you need them.
I estimate on a GOOD day, I have 12 spoons total. Let’s do some maths.
- getting up + getting ready for work, no shower = 1 spoon
- driving safely to work without irritation of other terrible drivers = 1 spoon
- teaching all day long (just teaching) = 5 spoons
- grading + planning + counseling students = 2 spoons
- parent/staff/disciplinary meeting (not daily) = 2 spoons
- driving home + cleaning up after family at home = 1 spoon
- planning, shopping for, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up after dinner = 1 spoon
- Moo’s bath time, bedtime, sleep time prep = 1 spoon
I’m out of spoons and I have a few hours of my day left. I can either sit on the couch and stare at the boob tube (or play a game on my phone), or I can start a load of laundry, tidy the living room, organize bills for the month, refill my meds container, or shower to prepare for tomorrow.
Ultimately, there are not enough spoons in my life.
Teaching requires too many of my spoons each week. I can’t keep a house, a family, and a life outside of my classroom with chronic illness.
Teaching may be my calling, but I have to put her on hold for a little while to figure out the best kind of environment for my skills — a dedicated middle school homeroom teacher is too much!
*There are many people with chronic illness who hate the idea of spoon theory; so I understand it’s not for everyone.