Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Christmas before Easter and Other Personal Confessions

I went shopping for Christmas presents the other day. Yes, I know it is not even April yet, not even Easter. But I am at my sister's house with my mother for a week's vacation and decided again this year to purchase and wrap some Christmas gifts to leave for the family instead of having to ship them from home later. I did it last year, too. The clerk at the store where I purchased many of the gifts was in awe of my organizing abilities. The fun part of this challenge is going to some of the local thrift stores and picking out Christmas wrapping supplies. You do not find many Christmas items in your local retail stores this time of year. But the beauty of thrift stores is that you never know what you will find. Both times I have done this I have managed to get very creative with my wrapping. Some of the gifts purchased last year were birthday gifts. I was able to use simple everyday wrapping paper/gift bags for those (still second-hand, though). One or two gifts were wrapped in newspaper comics. The others were embellished with seasonal stickers, ribbon, etc. The frugal and environmentally-conscious side of me loves that part of this project, too. The items shown in the photo are all my second-hand purchases. The only thing I bought at Wal-Mart was the roll of white paper that I will dress up with the ribbon and stickers. All of this stuff is in like-new condition. (The tag on that box has not even been used). I was especially pleased to find a two rectangular containers for which two of my gifts will fit perfectly (the green bag under the ribbon and the red item peeking out under that is a flat box that will open up to another rectangle receptacle).

Another thrilling find for me in my most recent thrift-store jaunt was finding some dishes in the pattern I collect. I was originally under the impression that this was a Homer Laughlin pattern called Hope, but later found out it is the Hazel pattern from the Scio Pottery Company of Scio, Ohio, though I am still not an expert on collecting china and pottery. I originally found some pieces among my grandmother Watts' things after she died and took them home with me. I do not often find many pieces to add to my collection despite my regular visits to local second-hand shops. I am always delighted when I do run across some. I found several large bowls and saucers that I immediately snatched up. I love the romantic floral pattern which evokes memories of both of my grandmothers. About ten years ago or so, I found some new items in a home decor catalog (I think it might have been Terry's Village) that had this pattern. I purchased a water pitcher that I keep on display in my laundry room along with a large vintage canning jar full of my grandmother's buttons and a basket of old wooden spools. These remind me of my female ancestors as I go about doing the same women's work that has been done for centuries (albeit in a more modern way).

And that brings me to my reason for being thankful: All those women ancestors of mine! March is Women's History month. My plan is to do some blogging to share details about some of them before the month is over. (The other thing I am thankful for is vacation as I have more blogging time).

I have always been surrounded by strong, beautiful women, in particular on my maternal side who all share the same maternal DNA. These include my grandmother, mother, aunts, sister, niece and even my daughters.
Today my mother and I have plans for lunch with one of my mother's cousins and her daughter who also share the same maternal DNA. I just love family history!

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