Dec 23, 2011

Fall into Winter

I don't know when the fall leaves have been so vivid and beautiful in these parts. I guess the extreme dry year has had one good outcome. Everywhere you look up and down the streets, the trees are gorgeous shades of yellow, orange, and red.  Even though, it is officially winter now and almost Christmas, and some leaves have fallen, it is still amazingly beautiful, as you drive up and down the streets.

Our own backyard

Out our back door!

More of Our Tree.

Mimi's white dogwood tree in fall color.

Looking North out Mimi's Kitchen door.

On the way to Mimi's

A photo shot from the car. 

On Woodrow Road

Durdin Drive

More on Durdin Dr. on the way to Mimi's
I always enjoy the flowers in Silsbee, almost all year round, but have enjoyed the fall foliage so much this year. Silsbee is really a pretty town. 
Just wanted to share a bit of the beauty with you. 

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Dec 22, 2011

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree !
How Lovely are thy Branches!.....
Possibly not true, as my Christmas tree is artificial and comes down from the attic and out of the box to be assembled each year. But, each year it ends up being a beautiful tree in my eyes, if no one else's.  Even this year when I finally gave up on getting things done "right" and decided to just put a few ornaments on the tree and "gitter done", ir ended up looking "pretty good."
Paul took a shot of the tree with the lights and garland  before ornaments were added.

All of my ornaments are special. I have things that the kids made when they were little, things the grands have given me, ornaments my students gave me when I was teaching, musical instruments my daughter got for me to decorate a music store tree, and a couple of instruments that a friend in Texas sent me when we moved to Minnesota briefly, 40 or so years ago. There are some things my dear aunt made for us as package toppers; there's a fake pomegranate, and a decorated okra pod. There are Hallmark collectible ornaments, and some cutesy ornaments dating from when Paul and I were first married. And, of course, there are a few glass balls. Some of them are very old.
The  angel on top of the tree dates from 1965 when I was a newly wed.  She didn't work on real trees as she was too heavy and fell over. She works nicely on my artificial tree though. Last year her ring of lights came all apart so now she just sits on top of the tree unlit.
Fortunately for the music store, I guess, I found the musical instruments in the first box of ornaments I opened.  Then I added a few other things to it, including some sprigs of holly berries and a pine cone or two.  I had some drape lights to put on the tree real quick, but the multi-colored ones were partly not lighting so we resorted to the red ones. I then added a string of multicolored lights and all the tinsel garland I could find in my boxes.  I regret not getting All of the ornaments out, but at least we have a pretty Christmas tree up.  Next year, we will start much earlier, and maybe life in general will be less hectic.

 Paul pulled the blow-up Santa out of the attic, and it lasted all of one day in the yard.  Poor thing had so many tiny holes and small leaks that it wouldn't stay blown up.  We'll have to replace him for next year.
I'm so glad Paul to it on himself to get a new bow and a wreath of bells for the front door.
It adds a Holiday flair we were missing.

A collage of our tree, some of the ornaments on it this year, and the wreath on the front door.
I also set up Mimi's fiber optic tree. A dear friend got it for her quite a few years ago.  She always told me about it, but in the 18 years Paul and I have been married, I never saw the tree displayed. This year, I decided we would see the famous, reclusive tree.

Some stain glass ornaments (plastic) on the music store wall among the guitars:

Santa rides our neighbors motorcycle!

A new ornament this year , a gift from a friend , is a good quote to remember.
 Want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dec 18, 2011

Last Minute Shopping???

It seems the hurrier I go the behinder I get lately.  I bet a lot of people are feeling the same way with all the hustle ,and bustle this time of year. The parties, school programs, baking, shopping, and so on. It can be a real hassle to get everything done.  I've heard several people comment about doing all their shopping on line this year. One person I know even said she got all her shopping done while she was home sick one day.  You just had to hear her try to talk the next week or so to know she really was home sick that day.  How neat to sit at the computer in your jammies and do all your Christmas shopping?

We still have a week before Christmas and we are hoping to sell a lot of guitars and some drum sets here at Mr. Bandman Music in Silsbee. We also have a couple of lamps made from a real flute and a real clarinet.  These are also listed on my ecrater store Hazel's HodgePodge.  These would make excellent gifts for a musician, or add to someone's music room decor.
See details here

See details here
I also have other lamps and decorating items available.  Thanks for taking a look and Merry Christmas to all.

Nov 19, 2011

In The Kitchen Again

Seems I'm pretty slow at everything this week.  The ESN scavenger hunt this week is Home Cooking.
I love to cook and I look forward to the cooler weather so I can  fix a big pot of beans, soup, or stew. A home made chicken pot pie or dumplings is also good for winter Sunday dinners.  And, we like a big bowl of spaghetti with tomato and meat sauce any time. In fact, I will probably be making spaghetti today.  I sort of cheat on the spaghetti sauce by using canned sauce that I get at Market Basket for $1.00 each when they are on sale, but I don't just brown the meat, which is usually ground turkey which I also get for $1.00/lb. on sale at Market Basket, I add chopped onions and bell peppers, celery if any is on hand, canned or frozen tomatoes, herbs and spices.  You might say the canned sauce is only the base for my spaghetti sauce. When it comes time to serve these yummy cold weather treats, we have some soup plates that are about all that is left from the huge set of dishes that I had for my "hope chest" way back in high school.  We use them almost daily and especially for soups, spaghetti, beans, and such.  Having a somewhat flat bowl seems to allow the food to cool better and still give you the function of a bowl for holding soupy foods.

This week I pulled out some Mikasa dishes to list, and there were 8 soup plates included.  This is a really elegant pattern of china. It is Ivory China and is pattern 2802, Belair.  It would be a nice addition to any table.      Plus, just having the soup plates would be nice.  I only realized in the past few years just how much we used the soup plates and how handy they actually are.  Since there are only 3 left of my original set of eight, we must have used them more than I realized through the years.
Your can see and buy these beautiful and functional bowls Here.

You can see our other Mikasa dishes and more Here.

Here's Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of good food and an enjoyable time with family and friends.  We all have so much to be thankful for.
Remember to Shop for all your holiday needs on ESN.

Nov 2, 2011

Tie One On--An Apron,that is

The ESN scavenger hunt theme this week is "Tie One On".  Well, anyone who know me knows that the only thing I will be tying on is a apron, so that I can cook up some delish, economical, everyday meals or a special occasion feast for family and friends.

You can find lots of neat aprons at Embroidery Fashions Boutique, including one of my favorites: The Happy Thanksgiving apron with pumpkin pie.  I love to make and eat pumpkin or sweet potato pie.  And I also love fixing thanksgiving dinner. You really need a good apron for a big dinner like that.
See and Buy this seasonal apron HERE.
After you tie one on---apron, that is, and prepare your big meal, you will want special dishes to set the table for family and friends.  And you will want special serving pieces to showcase your culinary delights.

In my store Hazel's HodgePodge, I have some great collectible serving dishes for that special occasion dinner.  One example is this large platter.

Large Thomas Ivory Platter was made in Bavaria
It will soon be Thanksgiving and soon after that it will be Christmas. Be sure and shop at the ESN stores for the things you need and want for this holiday season

Oct 26, 2011

Playing Dress Up Never Goes Out of Style!

It's that time of year again when everyone asks "What are you going to be for Halloween?"  It is so much fun to be creative and make your own costumes. Several costumes come to mind that we made over the years. One was a robot made by covering a cardboard box with aluminum foil, cutting holes for arms, legs, and head, adding a wind up key in back-- also covered with foil. Appropriate leggings and arm coverings completed the outfit.  My "Aggie" daughter went to a party her freshman year at A & M as a Longhorn fan decked out in orange apparel and waving a pennant.  She was told that was dangerous. Only the naive....

A local car company ad has their man, Charley, asking "Do you think anyone will want a Charley costume this year?"  Mimi, my 91 year-old MIL told me the other day that she thinks she will be Charley for Halloween.
When we tried,  last night, to guess what one little girl was going to be, she asked "what flies in the air?"  The taunting adult response was "a mosquito" since we are over run with mosquitoes right now. Actually, she plans to be a spring fairy.

Of course, as kids we had a big box of dress-up clothes that included cast off dresses of Mama's, jewelry, purses, shoes, etc.  We even had some old curtains and drapes that were fashioned into "who knows what" designer togs. One year during VBS, my cousin, some friends, and I used the curtains to make what we thought was appropriate garb for Biblical times. We wore said garments for a skit on Friday night. I don't recall anything about the skit, but remember Mama telling me that it was all our Pastor could do to keep from laughing aloud when he saw  our costumes. And, we thought we had some really good costumes, too.

The grands have had some really neat costumes beginning with their first Halloween's when their Mamas made things like a bumble bee costume or a baby elephant suit. And I know they have their "dress up" closets or boxes. One granddaughter had a birthday tea party. I do believe even the ladies who came enjoyed dressing up and wearing a hat. It seems that playing dress up never goes out of style.

My girls and I made costumes for high school plays and special days at school.  The girls also designed costumes for the drama costume contests. Mama, meaning me, usually was the one who sewed the actual garment to be modeled by a Barbie Doll. Lots of late nights were spent working on those projects. The Barbie Dolls at our house had so many designer clothes!

The scavenger hunt this week on ESN is titled: "Dress Up!"  My first thought of Dress Up was not of Halloween and costumes, but of dressing up as in your "Sunday Best" or even for a formal occasion.  People used to dress up a lot more than they do now, or maybe I just don't get out that much anymore.  I searched my store, Hazel's HodgePodge  for Dress up items. I came up with my sun hats. Someone creative could use one of them as part of a costume for Halloween, or they would be good for little girls playing dress up.
You can see more hats Here.
They are reversible and come in ladies and little girl sizes.
Let your imagination go wild.

And then, I found the perfect thing to go with your perfect costume for Trick or Treating. This too cool vintage noise maker from ComycGyrl Collectibles.  All trick or treat-ers used to carry a noise maker.
See and buy this must-have noise maker Here.

Whatever your age, enjoy the season and enjoy dressing up whether in costume or for a special occasion.  Even dress up your home with items from the ESN ecrater sellers.

Oct 21, 2011

Pumpkins and Decorating for Halloween

Halloween will soon be here! There don't seem to be as many decorations out around Silsbee this year as there have been the last few years.  I certainly haven't gotten out any of my scarecrows,etc. this year. Maybe I should spend a little time this afternoon putting  out some Halloween decor.??  I just put Mimi's crocheted orange pumpkin on her dining table. That may be the extent of our Halloween decorations for this year.

Our ESN scavenger hunt this week is for pumpkins.  I have to confess, my beautiful ceramic jack-o-lantern has been sitting among the clutter of my packing table for several weeks.  As is typical here, I have neither decided to use it and find a place for it on the front counter, nor to list it on my ecrater store, Hazel's HodgePodge and take pictures and actually list it. Alas, the poor thing will be here next Halloween, still unused by me.

I did find a couple of things in the ecrater stores that, while they are not pumpkins, are things that would help you decorate for the halloween season.
First, this book from Bargain Express, Haunt Your House for Halloween.  This should supply you with lots of ideas for decorating and costume making.

See it HERE
I also found this Harvest Scarecrow at Eccentric Thrifter.  He would look so good on your porch or in your yard. 
See it HERE.
I hope you enjoy the traditions of the season in the next week or so. Also hope you will stop by the ESN stores and shop.  It is not too early to be Christmas shopping either. 

You are invited to share this blog with your friends.  Comments are appreciated.

Oct 11, 2011


It has been longer than I like since I've been here to write and share with you.  Unbelievably, it is October and fall again.  It has been one long, hot, dry summer all over Texas.  The  wild fires have been a very real threat through out the state.

I have been enjoying the cooler fall days.  I finally saw some October Daisies this  past weekend.  I was beginning to think they weren't coming out this year because of the drought.

October Daisies are not as prolific as last year  but still offer a bright spot of color for the fall.

Fall is my favorite time of year and yellow is one of my favorite colors. The current scavenger hunt on ESN is for Yellow.
This is a real treat for me.  The fall colors are always so beautiful. The orange pumpkins, multi-colored changing leaves, yellow and purple chrysanthemums, yellow daisies....
One of the lovely yellow things I found was from CarolinaBlueLady.

What could be prettier than this plate with yellow roses?
And a classical fall piece from Eccentric Thrifter.
Autumn Candle Lamp

And Something Yellow from my own Hazel's HodgePodge

Set of Yellow Measuring Cups

Shop all of the stores on ESN to find a wide variety of items in yellow or any other color for that matter.

Aug 31, 2011

Featured Item of the Week: Lefton Mint or Nut Dishes

It never ceases to amaze me what Treasures I find in my own store. Actually, I have so so many more treasures here packed away in boxes.  They are just waiting for me to drag them out, polish them up and take pictures so you can see and buy them at Hazel's HodgePodge.  
This week I am featuring these beautiful little candy dishes--mint or nut dishes.  These are hand painted and made in Japan.  They are in perfect condition.  Even the gold trim is good and the metallic stickers on the back of each one is in tact and in good shape. They are marked 7161. 
Lefton China was imported to the US from Japan by George Z. Lefton, a Hungarian immigrant who came to the USA in1939.  He founded the Lefton Company in 1941.  Some of the first items imported by Lefton were "made in occupied Japan" pieces.  Lefton china has been sold in many stores and includes pieces of all types.  Lefton is still in business today making collectible pieces. OMT purchased the company in 2005 and moved it to Califonia. I found this site to be very informative about all things Lefton:  It is unbelievable how many different items Lefton made and how many kinds of items they made.

These four little fruit shaped dishes might have been used on a bridge table to hold mints or nuts. They are beautifully decorated with hand painted flowers and gold trim.

Lefton Hand Painted Dishes

Label including glued on sticker.
Be sure to check out our store. We have many collectibles and unusual pieces: "Treasures to Brighten Your Day!"

Aug 28, 2011

Wind and Water aka Hurricanes

Remembering the song Peace, Be Still. 

The winds and the waves shall obey My will, Peace be still! Peace be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or [devils], or men or whatever it be,
No water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey My will;
Peace, be still! Peace, be still! They all shall sweetly obey My will: Peace, peace be still!

My heart goes out to all those who endured Hurricane Irene this weekend. Until you have lived through a hurricane and its aftermath, you really don't know what it is like.  The TV coverage and all the pictures of the wind damage and high water show a lot, but until you've been there and experienced it first hand, you really can't imagine the trauma.  Our area was hit by Hurricane Ike three years ago and by Hurricane Rita 6 years ago.  Rita hit about a month after the famed Katrina.  We personally did not suffer a great deal of damage from Rita.  But I can tell you that coming back to a town that had sustained extensive damage, had no water and no electricity, and a temperature of 100 degree that day, was overwhelming.  It really seemed like it would be months before we even had power again.  Since this is a wooded area there were trees down everywhere. I have to applaud the electric companies and all the workers who came from all over the nation to help.  They had our power restored in just a few days. It was still depressing and I can't even think how people felt that lost their homes or had extensive damage from a tree falling through the roof.  On the way home, we saw one place that was flying a flag with a smiley face on it.  Sort of a bright spot of optimism there. 
       I hate to say it, but our area is still in some ways recovering from Rita and especially from Ike.  Our town did not suffer as much from Ike, and everyone, individuals and government planners, seemed better prepared.  That's what experience does for you!  Ike was much worse in the coastal areas south and east of us due to the tidal surge and the winds from Ike were worse to the west of us where the eye hit. But it was still a bad experience here. Like Irene, Ike blew long and hard.  It took forever to move over us, it seemed. So, I have real empathy for those who experienced the worse of Irene this weekend.  I pray they will make a quick recovery. I know it will affect their lives for a long, long time. 

Our ESN scavenger hunt this week is about hurricane Irene and wind and water.  I tried to find some good things pertaining to wind and water. 
I found  this novel with Wind in the title at Mystery Lane Books. It might be a good read if you can find a sunlit place to read while the electricity is off.  Without electricity, internet, or telephone we discovered a lot of things to do. It is possible.  The board games come out, the handcrafts that have been untouched for years......

                                                                                                  Black Wind: A Dirk Pitt Novel

At Barb's Bargains I found this elegant wind chime and the Buddha fountain. 
Two things that use wind and water to help you relax.  Barb's Bargains has a good selection of fountains.

Beautiful Wind Chimes

Soothing Buddha Fountain

And lastly, to remind us of the beautiful days to come after the storm. I found this jigsaw puzzle from Eccentric Thrifter.  Something else to pass the time during and after the storm. And a good reminder of the rainbow promise God gave to Noah.

After the Rain Jigsaw Puzzle
As usual, shop ESN for whatever you are needing. Membership is open to shoppers as well as ecrater store owners.   Also, be sure and stop by my store: Hazel's HodgePodge.

Aug 24, 2011

Cookie Jars

If I had room to display things, I would collect so many different objects. One of them would be cookie jars. It is amazing to me how many different cookie jars there are. You can find a cookie jar for almost any theme or decor. Right now at Hazel's HodgePodge we have three cookie jars listed.
One I like so much is the Susan Winget Apple Basket Cookie Jar.  The apples are so real looking and it is in perfect condition. It is one I would keep for my collection--if I had room to collect and display it properly.
I have found some other Susan Winget creations over the years and been very impressed with her style and artistry. Here is a link to Susan Winget's Art Studio. This is such a friendly, home-y site. It is nice to "get to know" the artist like this.
Next we turn to an older cookie jar. It is a vintage lunch box.
Also in perfect condition.  It MAY be a McCoy. A McCoy collector would know for sure..
Lastly I have another vintage cookie jar in the shape of a Wheat Sheaf
This cute smaller cookie jar is also in very good condition. Something really different for the cookie jar collector or imagine it in your kitchen as an accent  in shades of yellow.
Keep shopping at Hazel's HodgePodge.  I will keep collecting pretty, rare, and unusual items to pass on to you the customer. We are careful to describe our items in detail and pack them carefully to insure they get to you safely.

Aug 23, 2011

School Days, School Days..Dear Old Golden Rule Days...

Well, school started in our area Monday for the most part.  We used to start school after Labor Day and it always seemed like fall was in the air.  We chose fall plaids and prints for our school dresses. Everyone had to put their new school shoes on after a whole summer of going barefoot and the boys had new stiff blue jeans and fall shirts.  Getting new clothes, shoes, school supplies, and a new lunch kit complete with Thermos bottle and a new book "satchel" was so exciting.  We could hardly wait for the first day of school to wear the new clothes and carry our new items to school. We often sang snippets of the old song "School Days" as we walked to school. 
School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days
Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick 

You can see the rest of the song Here.  I don't remember singing any but the first part and knew it was old, just not how old. 1907, Wow!
The ESN scavenger hunt this week is "Back to School"  I have always had a fascination with life in the 1800's.  I   tell my kids that in my previous life, I was a pioneer settling the American West. I don't really believe that, but my not too distant ancestors on my dad's side were pioneer settlers in Texas and my mother's family tree springs from Germany.  Those people settled in South Texas. Anyway, I am intrigued with the concept of the one room school house,  the McGuffey's Readers, the BlueBack speller and when I found this Stoddard's Practical Arithmetic at Comyc Gyrl Collectibles, I just had to include it. 
Antique Stoddard's Arithmetic
Now, I am a private tutor.  I love working with the students one-on-one.  I am always looking for something that is fun but basic. This Everyday Mathmatics workbook from Eccentric Thrifter just might have some pages that I could use.
And this book "100 words every high school freshman should know" from Bargain Express, looks like some thing to recommend for every high school freshman as a must have reference book

100 Words

Even though school rooms have changed over the years--From slates to blackboards to green chalkboards to dry erase (white)boards, from one room schools to huge school facilities, from simple books that may have been shared or passed down from student to student to overhead projectors to computers and kindles, from carrying lunch in a syrup bucket to lunch kits with Thermoses to hot lunch served at school each day, and many other changes--the basics are still the same:  Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic (or Math) and how to get along with your classmates and follow the rules. 
It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. 
Be sure to shop the stores at ESN for whatever you are looking for--for back to school, up coming holidays, home decor, good books, jewelry, clothes, toys, what-have-you.  You'll be glad you did!

Aug 20, 2011

Pink and Green Jewelry

The ESN scavenger hunt this week has been for pink and green.  Pink and green are both pretty colors and are found together in nature a great deal as in pink flowers of all types and shades with green leaves. I decided to look for jewelry in shades of pink and green. I found jewelry of all sorts: necklaces, bracelets, earrings and so on.  I also found a variety of styles.  As usual, there is something for everyone on the eCrater stores of ESN.
I found some lovely, summery jewelry in both pink and green.

Beach Cat's Bargains had this beautiful Necklace & Earrings: Crystal Rhinestone Beads with Peidot Green Acrylic Flowers
See this Necklace and Earrings HERE

Next I found this lovely pair of lime green earrings at What Not Gems. They are also available in other colors including pink.
Available HERE
On the pink side, I found this cute little brooch pin at Bargain Express.
Schoolhouse brooch pin 
Lastly I found this pretty Ancient Dreams cameo necklace by Vicky Viscount at Twilight's Slumber.
Purchase it HERE
It's always fun to look through the items at ESN.  You never know what you might find.