Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Scottish Hogmany is Not the Haggis Holiday

This is the last day of 2013 and in northern Illinois we are awaiting a "large snow event".  It is New Years' Eve Day--or Hogmanay in the land of my Scottish heritage.

How is it that I lived most of my life without paying much attention to the weather?  I would get up, look out the window and dress accordingly.  Now it seems that we are constantly having "weather events."  I am afraid I now look on weather  forecasters as the Boys Who Cried Wolf.

Nothing stops the Scots and their celebration of Hogmanay.  This morning I listend to the BBC Scotland and the revelry had already begun in earnest.  This is not the haggis eating holiday- where they bring out little children on a platter dressed like haggis and fat men stuff themselves into kilts that fit 30 years ago and they are "just a wee dramming" whiskey throughout the night. -that is Robert Burns Night later in January--Hogmanay is the morning till eveining through night till the next morning revelry that happens in Scotland to celebrate the last day of the year.  One of the special dishes is rumbledethumps--a stick to your ribs thing with turnips and potatoes and cheese and cabbage--a side dish thing that translated back to my Scots Kentucky relatives.

Vintage scottish antiques.  Not easy to come by.  I have a few bits and bobs--a clan tartan book, a selection of vintage brooches and a funny old book about Queen Victoria's Main Squeeze After Albert Died--Mr. Brown who was a funny old Scot who didn't bathe much if the book tells the truth.

In September  2014,  Scotland will have a referendum on whether it should be an independent country and no longer part of Great Britain.  That is one of those discussions that has been happening and fought over for centuries.   I like the sense of nationalism that they are contemplating--they are independent and not part of the jumbled whatever that Great Britain has become over the last century.  Special traditions and celebrations and ideas are not a bad thing.  But it seems that only America really has made a success of the melting pot thing.

But tonight--the only melting pot thing happening in Scotland is a traditional Hogmanay stew that has a pastry  top.  Yum.  Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Vintage Merry Christmas from Lady Antique Dealer

Lady Antique Dealer and Dear Husbola wish our loyal readers a wonderful Merry
Christmas and all good things for the New Year.   Here's hoping you get something vintage or antique or at least quirky in your Christmas stocking.

We are taking a bit of a  blogging hiatus till the beginning of January to spend time with our friends and family, reflect on the beautiful sacred Christmas season (that runs till January 6 remember the Wise Men!)  To enjoy warm food, and Christmas crackers and clementines, open a present or two and reflect on the importance of the people in our lives--both those we are related to and dear special friends.

Dear Husbola will spend some time tweeking his train layout that he laments is small this year---Even though we cleaned out a large portion of our garden room for it.  It is a magical operation with vintage 1950s and earlier trains and houses and metal figures and it moves and whistles and smokes if you put the special liquid in the old locomotives.

I will leave you for awhile with a favorite quotation of mine from Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe--

"For the New Year, I would wish to have
       strength enough to battle with difficulties and overcome them:
Love enough to move me to be useful and helpful
        to others;
Faith enough to make real the things of God;
        and hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lombardi Would Be Proud

Green Bay Packer nation has a lilt in its step today.  Vince Lombardi (may he rest in peace) is smiling his rather toothie smile today.
Yesterday was a Packer game for the ages--and it feels like the Super Bowl to the fans.
Come February, Packers fans will not be cheering their team on in the real Super Bowl.  The nation will be riveted to --YAWN--probably the Seahawks and the Broncos.  But the Dallas/Packer game of Sunday was a return from the dead for the Packers, made all that much more sweet because it was the biggest come from behind win in Packer history and the biggest second half fade in Cowboy history.

(The above pictures do tie this into "vintage."--an autographed Lombardi picture and a framed copy of the Packer team song.)

Yuppers--lilt in the steps of Packer Backers today.  And this coming weekend--I will be cracking out our Packer cocktail napkins for a Christmas dinner we are hosting for friends-- Everyone of them a Bears fan.  I won't be using them at a super bowl party--but this week--they will garnish my green and gold hors d'oeuvres.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Honey Flow and Vintage Honey Pots

I have recently acquired a HUGE collection of vintage honey pots that we have been selling in the shop and at shows.
Huge means tens and tens and tens.  They fascinate me.
Maybe it is because I still carry a vivid visual of reading Winnie the Pooh stories as a child and Pooh sticking his paws in tree stumps and pulling them out dripping with honey.
Maybe it is because my Dad raised bees at Parsonage #1 when I was growing up.  He specialized in cut comb honey and sold it in local grocery stores and won ribbons for it at the Wisconsin State Fair.

These honey pots are fascinating.  Made from glass, pottery, china --they are little works of art that hold that beautiful golden liquid.

Well, Dear Husbola raised bees as a child and has returned to the hobby in his semi-retirement.

It is quite a procedure to remove the frames from the skeps laden with honey.  Then slicing the tops off the cells with a hot knife and putting in the extractor and finally filling the jars.  At our house, each honey flow gets its own name.
I introduce you to Dandy Bee 2013.  This means we have lots of jars of sunshine in the pantry.

And a sticky kitchen floor.....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Few Eggs and No Oranges

I am almost finished with a   huge beast of a book that has been a delightful read--about difficult days.

Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45 published by Persephone Books 1999.  It is a riveting book of 590 pages of the World War II wartime diary written by Hodgson while she lived and worked in London helping to run a local charity in Notting Hill Gate.  The book covers the war from the perspective of a 30-ish year old woman and what life was like during the blitz.  Her sense of humor is amazing as she goes about helping people in difficult circumstances while trying to live day to day during a very dark time for Britain.

But she never loses her appreciation for flowers, flowering trees, a good cup of tea, well made marmalade and a soft bed when the falling bombs and sirens and blackouts make that impossible.  This is not a bogged down kind of read.  She gives opinions on Churchill, FDR, Stalin, and reports on the war doings throughout those five years.

So imagine my surprise--while digging inthe garage getting things ready for our next antique show--that I found an old newspaper in the bottom of a tea caddy--a page dated Monday August 7, 1944 of Le Petit Parisien.  A french newspaper from the very time period that I am reading about in Vere''s book.

But as I slog along with my most often forgotten college french,  I realize that this paper was an organ of the Vichy government in France and filled with anti American and British articles.    Propaganda never had such a Capital P as this fragment of paper,  including a photo of Devil H himself visiting soldiers in a hospital.  This is an incredible tie in to Vere's diaries.

The Blitz that London endured -- almost non stop warnings bombs doodlebugs fires for 57 straight days in 1940 -is usually a mere mention in our history lessons.  Vere's book really makes me understand the character of the British people.

Not sure why that newspaper was in an English tea caddy.

No More Concrete or Cast Iron Please

Dear One  and I spend many good hours wandering around looking for quirky things to sell.  There is nothing that makes a dealer smile more t...