Dec 17, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is My two front teeth. . .OR. . .

The ESN Savanger Hunt this week is "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth".  The challenge is to find two items we would like to give or receive among the items shown on ESN.  This was quite a challenge--to pick just two items from the thousands pictured.
I decided to look for things to put on my wish list. 
Hubby likes to get me jewelry, so I searched jewelry and found that BeachCat's Bargains has lots of jewelry to choose from. She has fashion jewelry, estate sale jewelry, hippie jewelry, little girl's jewelry, and more.
This three strand turquoise moonstone necklace caught my eye. It is one of "my colors." I'd say if you are shopping for jewelry for someone on your list, take a look at Beach Cat's Bargains.


See this 3 strand moonstone necklace at


Also found these viva beads with matching bracelet at Beach Cat's
Bargains.
These are "my color" also.



For second item on my wish list I chose this neat gadget for a little pampering.
Think how good this might feel on those tired aching tootsies!



From Barb's Bargains

There is just no limit to what you might find on ESN.

I hope everyone gets lots of nice things that are on their wish list. And most of all I hope everyone gets to spend the holidays with lots of special family and friends.
Merry Christmas to All and Happy New Year too!

Dec 12, 2010

What is a HodgePodge?

What is a HodgePodge?

Recently a customer in the music store saw my sign "Hazel's HodgePodge" in my little nook and asked "What is a HodgePodge?"  I really thought everyone would know the answer to that, but apparently not.  When I picked the name "Hazel's HodgePodge" I had two things in mind. One was the alliteration of Hazel and HodgePodge. The second was that since I've never been known for making decisions, I felt that HodgePodge left the business open for whatever. I could just pick up items of any genre for resale and not be limited to things of one type.  You see, the word hodgepodge generally means a mixture of various things. Other synonyms are mishmash, patchwork, odds and ends, assortment, variety, and mixed bag.  Some words that are associated with food are olio,smogasbord, ragout, gumbo, hash, and salad.  All of these could be considered a hodgepodge as they are a mixture of various and/or dissimilar ingredients.  Some of the not so nice connotations of hodgepodge are jumble--my office--, mess, clutter,-my dining table full of "hodgepodge items", muddle, shambles, and tangle. These all describe the state of my collection scattered all around my house and shop. You might say "unorganized collection" is the best definition of Hazel's HodgePodge when you look around here at all of my "stuff" waiting to be processed, listed, stored, and sold.
.
However, when you are shopping at Hazel's HodgePodge, I hope you will consider all the good things about a hodgepodge, such as variety, good assortment, a mixture of various things.  I hope you will consider it to be a store where you can find any kind of treasure, where you can find a special item for your collection or the missing dish for your set, where you might find something nostalgic or something unusual. Here are some of the latest items I have listed. As you can see even these few items make up a hodgepodge. They are so unalike, but each one is a treasure in itself.
This Little Pig is Gold Plated
Made in Japan Piggy Bank is one of many collectible items at Hazel's HodgePodge

16 piece set of Platzgraff Snow Village Dishes
Perfect for your holiday entertaining!
You can buy these and other Christmas Items at Hazel's HodgePodge



This Bella Casa Platter by Ganz is one of several decorator items
available at Hazel's HodgePodge

This is my MeMeMe entry into the ESN scavenger hunt for last week. If you can't find what you are looking for in MY STORE, take a look at the items on ESN.  It opens up a world of shopping choices.
Better Hurry and get that last minute shopping done while you still have time for delivery for Christmas.


Dec 10, 2010

Visiting Miss Martha

 Most every Sunday after morning worship, Hubby and I go to see Miss Martha. It is part of Hubby's "deaconly" duties to take the Communion to the shut-ins. I realize that some would argue that this not necessary, and I would tend to agree. But, it is probably one of the high-lights of Miss Martha's week.  We only spend a few minutes, but she always has something to share with us...flowers someone has sent, cards, pictures, news of her family. She is 96 years old, and confined to a wheel chair but when you ask how she is, the usual reply is "I'm still kickin', not too high, but still kickin'". 
She loves cats and for a good while there was a big cat in her yard called "Alex". Alex, who had a very tiny voice for such a big cat, had just come there and he stayed for a good long while. Recently, Alex just left. I suppose he finally decided to go back to his old home.
Now a new kitty has appeared. Miss Martha says she hesitated to get attached to any more cats since something always seems to happen to them. First week this kitty was there, both her daughter and the sitter advised us to look out for this kitty as it likes to get under your feet. It really does. It is a leg circling cat for sure.

The latest kitty at Miss Martha's
Kitty looking to get underfoot











Sometimes Miss Martha's daughter has to work away from her home, which is in another city, for a week or so, and she brings her two kitties for Miss Martha to "baby sit". These are beautiful big kitties who both stay inside.  I can't think of their names just now.

There are all kinds of flowers and plants in Miss Martha's yard. I just happened to notice this bush out her front window loaded with red berries. Turns out to be a Holly Bush.  When I lived up in the country in Polk County, we had lots of holly trees in the wild around our house. None of them ever had berries that I recall.  I have heard that Holly Trees are either male or female. I was inclined to think that we just had male ones, but maybe they were all female and needed male ones to produce berries. I would guess you need one of each kind to produce the fruit. Anyway, this one is just covered with red berries. It is so pretty.
Holly Tree outside Miss Martha's front window.

The next two things I took pictures of are the Christmas Cactus that someone had given her for Thanksgiving and the "animal" that her daughter had received. She asked the daughter to leave the "animal" with her for a while.


Lighted Angel Pig complete with wings and halo.
"When Pigs Fly?"

Beautiful Christmas Cactus with Salmon blossoms



And this is the lady herself. Not the best picture but one taken the day we were there after Thanksgiving.
She is always dressed to a tee and waiting for us to arrive.
Miss Martha

I know that in our hustle, bustle hurry up lives it is often hard to "make time" or "take time" to visit the elderly and shut-in's, but when you do you can light up their life and break up their day or week. I know our "Mimi" really enjoys having visitors and even phone calls. It is so important that people realize they are not forgotten and the only way they know this is if we reach out and make contact. Whether it is a phone call, a little card in the mail, or an in person visit, why don't you take time this week to reach out to someone who is shut-in at home or in a nursing home? A few minutes of your time can mean so much to them.  And you might be surprised how much it can mean to you.

Dec 3, 2010

Red and Green and ...Santa will soon be here!

Just where does the time go?  This day, this week, the month of November, the year 2010, all have slipped by so quickly.  I always heard that time goes by faster as we get older.  I really believe that is true. At least it certainly has been in my experience.  It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is past, we've eaten all the sweet potato pies and made soup of the turkey bones and left overs and now the count down for Christmas is underway.  At the rate I am going, I might--just might--get the Christmas tree up before December 25.  Hubby actually got the life sized Santa out of storage and standing on the front porch one day this week. And people are putting guitars, violins and other things on lay-a-way in our music store, Mr. Bandman. 
Aside of getting my tree up, I am way behind on the ESN scavenger hunt for the week. I think I get the booby prize again this week for being so slow. The theme of this week's hunt was Red and Green.  If you search the photos at ESN, you will see there is no shortage of Red and Green items. Deciding which items to choose is much harder than finding Red and Green items. However, here goes:

 If you are like me and still in the planning stages of decorating, you might find a use for this and it is both Red and Green.

Red, Green, White Mix Mesh Netting
from Pence Christmas Tree Farm
They have so many, many neat ornaments and trims at Pence Christmas Tree Farm.


And look at this beautiful green sherbet dish. I can think of several festive ways  to use this for holiday decorating.
What would you do with it?

Hazel Atlas Sherbet Dish
from Carolina Blue Lady


And when you get "dressed up" for that special holiday occasion, how about these Dramatic beads in lapis blue with malachite green accents trimmed in goldtone and rhinestones?


Beads with a touch of Green
also from Carolina Blue Lady


This Froggie Tote from BeachCat's Bargains is just too cool to pass up. Cute, Cute!
For the eco-friendly on your list!

And for something to keep your head warm during the cold winter season
check out Eccentric Thrifter's toboggans

Knit Toboggan in Red!

Maroon Red Crochet Toboggan Hat
And there are so many, many more red and green items available through the ESN.  Be Sure to check it out.


I will decorate my Christmas tree this weekend. I will decorate my Christmas tree this weekend. I will decorate my Christmas tree this weekend. I will decorate my Christmas tree this weekend. I will decorate.....
And I will post pictures when it's done.....I promise!



Nov 23, 2010

T.H.A.N.K.S.


Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  In fact, my sweet potatoes are cooking now, so I can make my pies tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be a very busy day with all the preparations for the "feast" on Thursday.  We all know we should be thankful each and every day, but this time of year we all make a point of "counting our blessings" and they are many.  I recently came across this Thanksgiving Prayer and want to share it with you.

Also I am taking this time to catch up on the ESN scavenger hunt for this week which is T.H.A.N.K.S. The idea is to find an item in the ecrater stores that begins with each letter of the word THANKS.  This should be an interesting search. Here goes.

For "T" since I love to cook and am in my element this week cooking a big meal. I chose:
The Taste of Home Cookbook from Mystery Lane Books

For "H" I chose a beautiful, fun Hat.
This custom embroidered hat is from Embroidery Fashions Boutique

For "A" since I am anticipating putting up my Christmas tree and decorating this weekend, I chose:

This angel with Red Poinsetta robe from Pence's Christmas Tree Farm


Back to the Butterfly theme, I chose a Necklace for  "N".
A Beautiful Gold tone Butterfly Necklace from Elisia

 For "K", it naturally back to the Kitchen.  For those of you who are "crafty" and like to make things. 


Kitchen Decor to Crochet by Lil Bit of This n That

And for  "S" I found this Silver-plated Holiday  cheese Spreader.  How cool is that for the up-coming holiday parties and get-togethers?
 
Silver Plated Cheese Spreader from My Book Barn
And this completes my THANKS scavenger hunt. Wishing all a happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to be thankful for. Look for the small blessings each day.

All That Glitters...

I have been so busy the past 2 weeks that I have missed the ESN scavenger hunts.  So I am playing catch up tonight by going back to the search for "Sparkles".   This makes me think of "a few of my favorite things."  Two things that I NEVER get tired of are Christmas Lights and Firework Displays.  Every year it is a thrill for me to ride around town to see the houses and yards all decorated and lit up for the Christmas season.  I remember my Daddy taking the whole family driving around San Antonio to see the Christmas lights.  This was way back when it was a lot more expensive to put up the outdoor decorations and it was usually the more affluent areas where you would find the most lights.  One year my aunt and cousins were visiting from out of state. Daddy loaded all of us into the car--a two door Chevy club coupe.  Back then; we hadn't heard of seatbelts and it was not uncommon to pile a bunch of people in a car and go.  Iit was cold weather so being close was not uncomfortable.  I'm sure we were crammed in and wrapped up, but we had a lot of fun.  As we drove around areas were we considered the homes to be mansions, we saw some outstanding displays in yards and Daddy would comment,"Mr. Moneybags lives there" or "That's Mr. Deep-pockets house!"  We laughed when my cousins thought that those were real names of the residents.  Daddy's wit was of a very dry sort.
One time in the 50's we took my grandma who was pretty much house bound out to see the lights.  It was a bit late in the season and most of the actual Christmas lights had already been taken down.  The surprising thing is that Grandma didn't even realize it, because she was so awe struck by all the normal city lights.  Maybe we should all step back and appreciate the every day things with fresh eyes.  So many things we take for granted because we are so used to them being there.
The other things that I always enjoy are Fireworks displays.  I have seen many fireworks. The furthest back, I can remember is at Fort Sam Houston on the 4th of July when Alaskan Statehood was official and the next year when Hawaii was recognized as a state.  Since then, we have seen the fireworks over Lake Livingston (TX) when my kids were young and over the Mississippi River as a finale of the New Orleans World Fair with my youngest daughter, at the Ft. Worth botanical gardens with kids and grandkids, and one year at New Year's in the Church Parking lot courtesy of  the man who ran a fireworks stand across the road. One of the best I've seen  was this year's 4th of July when hubby on the spur of the moment said let's go out to see the fireworks at the high school.  We got there just as they started and it was an outstanding display.   When we lived near Lake Livingston, I remember my youngest and I were writing letters to grandma. I told her to draw a picture of the fireworks to send to Grandma. She jumped up and down excitedly, threw up her arms and said, " Look Grandma!" "See the fireworks!" "Boom!" "Boom!" That is sort of the excitement I feel over seeing fireworks.

If you are still looking for Christmas "sparkle" for your house be sure to checkout Pence Christmas Tree Farm
They have so many beautiful ornaments including these Pink and Silver Starbursts.

Or checkout My Book Barn for set of 4 vintage glass ornaments.
These bring back some memories.

Or you can add some sparkle or glitter to your surroundings with these lavender soya tea lights from White Oak Art Designs

And how about these USB lights from Frandy's to add "sparkle" to your computer work area?
I am so excited about getting out our Christmas tree this weekend and putting all the treasured ornaments on it, turning on the lights and seeing the "glitter" and sparkle.  It is so fun to me to put up the tree and enjoy each ornament and little what-not.  So many of them have special memories of times gone by and special people that are associated with them. It will also be fun to put the big Santa out on the porch and the lights over the camellia bushes in front of the house. Will post pictures later.
Check out the ESN photos today to find something to add glitter and bling to your life.

Nov 9, 2010

In the Kitchen

I must say that, even though I mostly enjoy everything I do, being in the kitchen is a special thing for me. Of all my activities, planning meals and cooking are special pleasure. 
I am looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.  I mean a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and home-made sweet potato pie.  Hubby will probably smoke the turkey on the outdoor charcoal grill, but I will make the southern style cornbread dressing and giblet gravy and all the trimmings.  I'll cheat and buy cranberry sauce in a can this time and probably make the green bean casserole with mushroom soup and the canned french fried onions.  That is easy to do and a usual hit.  The problem is not to cook too much when you don't have very many people around to do the eating.  We will have to get busy the rest of the week and invite some added guests to help us out on the eating part.

For the ESN scavenger hunt this week we are looking for things In The Kitchen.
I know that many are cutting back on spending this holiday season and I was just noticing how many really neat small gift items that are shown on ESN photos when I search kitchen decor.  Cleos Collectables has all sorts of neat decorator items for the kitchen.  There are items for any theme, such as these lovely theme based items.

Set of 2 Ritz Fat Italian Chef Kitchen Towels









These kitchen linens which richly compliment a grape themed kitchen


The Perfect plaque for someone's coffee themed kitchen.
























Or you may know someone who collects salt and pepper shakers.  If so, take a look at these shops.  You might find themed salt and peppers to match someone's kitchen or the ones they need to make their china set complete.
made in Occupied Japan


Comycgyrl has this unusual and collectible
Occupied Japan Anthropomorphic Whimsical Eggplant Grape Turnip Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

And these Westinghouse Gemco Milk Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers with Butterflies and Flowers

Gemco Salt and Pepper Shakers

Vintage Japan Gingerbread Couple.




And this too, too precious Gingerbread Man and Woman among many others.








From England, Apple Design








Or this elegant English Set from Eccentric Thrifter
         might appeal to you. 

You can find even more Salt and Pepper Sets Here

Another thing I love, myself, that would be a great gift idea is cookbooks.  You can find holiday cookbooks like Santa's Favorite Cookies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or a good basic "how to cook" book
                                                                                         like many of us learned to cook by, 
                                                                                     such as the Sunset "Good Cook's Handbook"
from My Book Barn
from Book Worm Bargains



Search Recipes on ESN to find more.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy the good food and the time with family and friends. Be sure to count your blessings every day.





Nov 4, 2010

Warm Fuzzies To Make You Cozy on Cold Winter Days

Wow, this week we have had a sample of what we can expect this winter here in Southeast Texas. It doesn't usually get very cold here temperature-wise, but just like the humidity in the summer which causes the heat index to rise, the damp, dreary days have a coolness that is bone chilling. That's how the weather was yesterday: Cool and cloudy with a mist or drizzle all day long. By contrast, today the sun is shining and the north wind is blowing and the air is dry again. Hubby remarked this morning that the temperature was the same as yesterday, but it sure feels a lot warmer and nicer.

On cool days, I enjoy cooking hearty soups or stews, spaghetti with a robust sauce, or a big pot of pinto beans. Or course, you have to have rice and/or cornbread with the beans. In these parts, "Red Beans and Rice" is a favorite. Growing up in South Central Texas, we were not so big on rice and ate corn bread with our beans. I have found that you can speed up the cooking of the beans if you cover them with water--after washing and sorting them, of course--and bring them to a full rolling boil.  After this, you turn off the heat and let them sit--or is that set?--for one hour.  After the hour, you add your seasonings, spices, meat, sausage, whatever and more water.  You bring them to a boil again and then put on a lid, turn down the fire and let them simmer until the beans are done.  This usually isn't too long. Maybe 2 or 3 hours.  I like to put a bit of onion, some garlic powder, a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, some chili powder, maybe some herbs like thyme and if it is plain beans a couple of slices of bacon.  I have been known to add a finely diced carrot to "sneak" in a bit of veggies and sometimes we have link sausage sliced or diced up in the beans.  Another good thing to add might be some browned and crumbled hamburger meat. Guess this is a "dash of this and a pinch of that" recipe.  Haven't cooked beans yet that weren't enjoyed by all, though.

I have enjoyed cooking this week and also doing the scavenger hunt for ESN to find warm, fuzzy, and cozy items. I have found some neat items among the photos at ESN and encourage you to take time to visit the Ecrater Networking Site to shop or to promote your own ecrater store.

First, I found a soft, warm, fuzzy faux fox fur stole.  I would so love to just feel this luxurious faux fur.  How warm and cozy can you get?  I don't think we really "need" this in our climate, but it would be so appealing on a cold winter day and I know some of you could really use it.

Regina Glenara Faux Fox Fur Capelet Stole

from Gigi's Consignment Closet


Here's something to keep  you snug all day long and how appropriate with Thanksgiving coming up. 
Attitude of  Gratitude Sweat Shirt
at



Hunting is a big thing in our area through the fall and winter. And Camo anything is all the rage.  We even have had camo guitars in our music store.  Of course, there are always the jokes about not being able to see them.  Don't know how warm, or fuzzy, or cozy this might be, but here is a sample of camo for "your little hunter" or would be hunter.  It should keep the cold north wind at bay.

Camo for the Hunter in your family at Eccentric Thrifter


And this beautiful scarf is one of the many in various colors you can find at Eccentric Thrifter.  Just perfect to keep you warm and cozy when wintry winds blow.


Handmade Double-sided Scarf Off White Cream Loom Knit at Eccentric Thrifter



And lastly,  a neat, collectible  soup mug for those delicious  soups, stews, and even  red beans that warm you from the inside out.














































































































































































































































































































































































































































 
Campbell's Soup Mug available at

 Bargain Express

Happy Shopping to Everyone and may your winter be filled with warm, fuzzy, cozy things. 




Oct 26, 2010

It's Fall! October Daisies and other Fall Teasures!

Fall has come to Southeast Texas with cooler weather and drier air.  This summer has been an extreme sauna with near 100% humidity.  Needless to say, we have been enjoying the past month.  It seems fall is everyone's favorite time of year...especially this year.  One of my favorite things about fall is the "October Daisies" that grow in this part of the country.  They always bloom for my "middlest" child's birthday on September 30.  This year I did not even notice them until Sept. 30, and there they were in full bloom by the field's full.  And they continue blooming.  Of course, we haven't had any cloudy days to speak of this fall, but when we have in years past, the October Daisies are like a little bit of sunshine on a cloudy day.

 

 
One thing I've done recently is to join ESN, Ecrater Stores Network. It is a super site for Ecrater store owners and shoppers.  You can check out ESN here. A fun thing we are doing  now is a scavenger hunt for fall items.

Here are some treasures that I have found on ESN that can add cheer to your fall days:




a wonderful  "Happy Thanksgiving" Apron
I have recently realized the importance of a good apron myself and this looks like one I would make good use of.
 My daughter who is "into" aprons right now forwarded this to me, and I have seen it on several other blogs. You might enjoy it, too.
The History of the Apron
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be along time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
********
Here's another "pretty" from Bass Bead Gallery to cheer your fall season.  It makes me think of the orange and yellow corn candy we used to get a Halloween. Looks good enough to eat, but really think  this "Howling Good Time" Bracelet would better enhance your fall ensemble. 



Howling Good Time Bracelet from Bass Bead Gallery



And here is another bit of nostalgia.
1940's Fall Coat Pattern
Whether you would want to actually sew this fall coat or whether you collect old patterns, or study fashion history, here is a real treasure from Another Time Antiques
 
Fall is truly a wonderful time of the year.  Enjoy whatever it brings in your part of the world.