Monday, May 23, 2011

Early American

I finally (well I should give credit where credit is due - the intrepid husband found them AND he also found my great grandmother's baby doll! More about that down the road - she's like a giant Frozen Charlotte or whatever the name of those china doll heads you see everywhere now.) found a box of my mother's recipe clippings up at the house. They used to be in a kitchen drawer but living in their former home, was now a huge quantity of kitchen towels (too funny! my mother must have had the worlds largest collection of those relentlessly teehee cheerful, kitchen towels with bunnies and teddy bears, etc.).

I have been searching high and low for her recipe clippings and EUREKA, found at last. I have been longing to find them, hoping that perhaps some of my fraternal grandmother's recipes might be amongst them. Please please please. Let my grandmother have granted her daughter-in-law, her favorite and most oft requested recipes!

(Don't you hate when people won't share a good recipe?! Especially when it's family! What's up with that?!)

I've only begun looking through the box and it's so much fun. I found an envelope marked "house ideas" in my mother's handwriting.

My mother had champagne taste on a beer budget as they used to say. Probably the most frequently uttered words in my childhood home were "We can't afford it" and "When my ship comes in".

Many spare moments were passed dreaming over home decor magazines, oohing and awing, and visits to fine stores to window shop and dream some more.

My second childhood home, (the first having only been for a couple of years and having left no mark on my memory), was where my mother lived out her Early American dream. Early American furniture was all the rage when I was a kid. I found these pages that my mother had saved and sniffled and weeped with joy.

We had a Dry Sink, like the one featured in two of the images below ... which is still at my father's house (my third childhood home), which I am hoping to find room for in my house. (Along with a piece my mother called a Dough Box - so wonderful!). There is also a table/desk and a coffee table but I don't see how I can fit four pieces into my house that is the size of a closet?!

For some reason my memory tells me that the pieces are "real" antiques, not reproductions - I seem to remember, my mother and I visiting a man who sold antiques here in the Valley in Southern California. Could that be true??? Surely my memory must be faulty?!

Any ideas on how I find out?

(The dry sink pictured in this photo to the left of the stove, is very much like my mom's,
except for the latch. The credit states that this one above was made by Lane.)

(Here's a better photo of the dry sink from another publication, isn't it CUTE?!)

(We had lots of chairs like the one in the forefront on the right,
my mother called them Captains Chairs.)

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me! You're the best!
Wishing you all a very Happy Monday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Look what I found

sigh ...

I miss my Dad.

I miss my life. It seems so very long ago now that I had my own life.

My days are consumed with my father's Estate and my utter and complete lack of knowledge in that arena. Hit a major bump this week with a whackadoo of an attorney that had to be dismissed. Long story.

My parents never got rid of anything, so there is much digging and sifting going on up at the house. Tons of old business brochures, invoices, etc., but I dare not just heave the lot, for treasure has been found lurking in the most unlikely of places. WAH! So very tedious and time consuming.

On Monday, I was shifting some books around - I thought I had already gone through all the books, but no, wait, what is this???! Another bit of gold, tucked away.

I found this wooden book and I thought it must be a souvenir from our trip to Yosemite when I was eleven years old, which would have been grand but it turned out to be even better!

I found the visitors diary from my maternal grandparents cabin in Washington. Sadly there are only a few pages of entries and most of the handwriting is so very pale, blending into the paper now. But oh! It makes my heart glad! Seeing family members names and family friends names, that I remember hearing stories about in my childhood.

(love this entry ... "A wonderful chicken dinner, a swell time. Thanks so much.")

For all the finding of stuff, there are things that sill elude me. I cannot find my mother's grandmother's baby doll, I cannot find the quilt my mother was making me or the quilted pillows she had made. I fear my father must have given things away without asking me.

But I did find the ceramic donkey that held buttons all my growing up years and up to my mother's passing. I found him "buttonless" and underneath the bathroom sink, half a house length from his real home in my parents house.

I think he owes his sad fate to the first two housekeepers my father had after my mom died. Two charming ladies, sisters-in-law, who not only were great maids, but would move things about and decorate and cheer up the house for my father. Little did they know that they were messing with my memories and would create a search for me of some nearly fifteen years to find this beloved object of my childhood.

Alas, he is now packed away in one of the GAZILLION boxes in my poor little eleven hundred square foot cracker box of a house. (My house resembles a warehouse these days. WAH!) When I find him again, I will take a photo and post it.

Hope this finds everyone well and happy! I miss you all! Thank you so much for hanging in there with me.