Turkish Plate with Turbans

turban plate1Souvenir plate from Turkey

This is not actually mine; it was a gift to my sister-in-law.

Mother and I traveled to Turkey on a tour. Loved the country, such a variety of ancient and modern. In addition to Turkish wonders (Pamukkale, the beaches of Bodrum, the Blue Mosque), we were taken to many Greek sites, Epheusus, Troy, Didyma but my favorite site was not famous.

We went by bus to a tiny town on an estuary and from there hiked up a hill with our guide. When we reached the top, the view was spectacular – everywhere aqua sea sprinkled with sails. The guide took out a whisk broom and dusted away a layer of dirt to reveal a mosaic floor. He then showed us the outline of the house, well hidden by bushes. The reason for the concealment? Pirates (his word) came by sea, climbed the mountain searching for antique treasures. When found, they were dug up and taken away to be sold. They had lost quite a bit of their heritage this way.

220px-Grand-Bazaar_ShopThis was bought in the famous Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. A veritable warren of shops that goes on for miles. Research tells me that the shops within employ 26,000 people and visitors number from 200-400K daily. There are no restrooms, but there are ATMs!

I got lost there returning to an ATM. I couldn’t see the shop where I’d left Mother. I must have looked distressed; a man stopped to ask if he could help. When I told him the problem, he shrugged and said, “Good luck.” Fortunately I realized the way back as THRU a shop, not on the main path.

turban suspicious men1turban two men
I loved the colors and detail. I think the pair of men on the left look suspicious. Perhaps one has taken a bite of food from the other. But what a feast.

Guest Post: Travel Charm Bracelet

charm bracelet denise Silver Travel Charm Bracelet. Inspired by posts of my own charm bracelet, Denise has shared hers with us. It’s much fuller than mine – she’s a great traveler. Plus she has personal charms on it commemorating big occasions in her life. The first two charms were for her 10th birthday and then for her first concert. (She played cello for many years.) If you look carefully you can see the Space Needle from a family trip to the Seattle World’s fair. She says in addition to the Fair, they visited tuna cannery, a cheese factory and a lumber mill; in fact most of her memories are of the trip, not the Fair itself!
DavidCharm steinArticulated cuckoo charm






The charms above are also from a family trip to Europe – a whirlwind, if-it’s-Tuesday-it-must-be-Belgium type tour. There’s Michelangelo’s David in Florence, a miniature stein from Germany and an articulated cuckoo clock. If you look at the entire bracelet carefully, you can see charms from Holland and Austria.

Denise’s family also traveled in the U.S. The tiny pinecone is from Carmel, CA and the Conestoga Wagon is from St. Louis where she went up in the Arch. She remembers feeling the arch swaying in the wind; makes my stomach clench to imagine! The one from Watkins Glen is from the car races; her father-in-law raced. Denise, not a connoisseur, describes them as long cigarettes with bars across the back; her husband says they were Grand Prix cars.

Denise, like me, doesn’t wear her bracelet often. It’s too jingly. Impossible to wear and type at the same time! But it’s treasured for the memories.

Antique Piecrust Table – Guest Post

The piecrust table is so named because of the little rim around the edge. They have 3 legs which make them an ideal table for serving tea or playing games because they never wobble. (Remember your geometry – 3 points make a plane…) Many of these tables, which became popular in the 18th century, are single, not double like this one, and the top can be tilted so as to move the table out of the way against a wall.

This table belonged to Denise’s grandmother on her mother’s side. She says it was always in the house where her grandmother lived, whether apartment or mobile home. Here’s a memory about her grandmother:

Grandma came over every week, sat at the kitchen table and gave herself a manicure with pepper red polish. I was little and laid on the counter while mother washed my hair. And my sister had to sit in her chair and practice reading “Why Johnny can’t read.” She’d sound out “mmmmoooo.” Grandma was very stylish, always in a snug bodice, tight waist, strappy high heel sandals and glasses with rhinestones. At one point she was dating “Howard.” She dropped by on her way to Los Vegas. Independent, she went to Hawaii and Acapulco by herself. I remember she kept a bowl of matches on top of the fridge. When the grandchildren visited, they got to choose what they wanted for dinner. I chose fishsticks or chef boyardee.

One time when I was there, my great granddaddy came over. He sat in the bean bag chair with an ash tray and said, “We’re going watch the fights. I’ll give you a nickel to bet – don’t tell your mother.”

To those of you who have been following this blog, we will return to the European journey sometime in the future – still to come Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and Norway. I just needed a break and thought perhaps you did too.

Hobnail Dishes – Guest Post

Cup and saucer from an entire set of hobnail dishes. The name comes from the pattern of raised knobs on the surface of the glass, similar to the studs used on boot soles in the time period. It became popular after the depression and is most often seen in milk glass. However, it was available in colors as well as clear.

This story is from my father-in-law, Don. When he was in high school, he took 2 years of Latin — considered important if you were going to college — and he belonged to a Latin club. The club used to meet in the evenings at each other’s houses. They didn’t speak Latin at these meetings, rather they were social events encouraged by the teacher.

An aside: My mother-in-law took Latin also, same school as Don. She didn’t like Latin and the teacher, whom she remembers as old, called her “a nice girl” which for some reason hurt her feelings. She went home and cried about it. She attended the same high school as Don but at the time of the Latin classes, she was dating Don’s best friend.

In any case, at these parties Don noticed that all the mothers had complete sets of dishes. Eventually it was going to be his turn to host, and his mother’s dishes were a melange from several sets. (She, by the way, had taken Latin and remembered one phrase — Ubi est agricola, where is the farmer — and used to say it to him all the time.)

Before the club met at his house, Don bought his mother a complete set of these dishes. What a win/win situation! His mother felt loved by her son. And his friends saw that he had matching dishes in his house, just like in their houses.

His daughter, my wonderful sister-in-law, now has the set in her china cabinet. It was given to her by her grandmother, who told her she had set them aside specifically for her. The set is no longer complete; the glass tends to chip. She uses one of the saucers as a soap dish (shades of the bone dish, also hers).

Horse and Cart – Guest Post

Wooden horse and cart, made in Japan. Belonged to Mary’s grandmother.

This isn’t exactly a guest post, because Mary is my sister. On the other hand, the object isn’t in my house, so I decided to label her as a guest. (She’s welcome as my guest any time, with or without the horse and cart!)

This little tchotchke was in our Grandmother’s house. Mary loved it and was allowed to play with it, very special to her because from the time she was seven she wanted a pony. Every Christmas she knew this was the year – she’d check the carport and the backyard – but no. Finally my mother told her if she wanted a horse, she’d have to pay for it herself. By the time she was sixteen she’d saved 625 bucks and bought her first horse – Silky!

I want to make a detour here – how she ever came to name the horse such a boring name is beyond me. Maybe it came with it. But when Mary named her cars (oh, we all name our cars – mine was the Wonder Bug, but that’s another story), she did so with elan. Roaring Judy, Babe Blue Ox, Hot Lips (red, of course), Moose the Mustang, Benson, and finally Harvey. I imagine you can guess the make and color of that one.

Anyway, horses were her big deal and my parents were happy. She was busy at the barn and riding in shows, no chance to get into trouble. But it backfired when it came time for her to go to college. Horses were all that mattered and she didn’t want anything more to do with school. She tells the following story:

Daddy was watering the flowers in the backyard. I told him I didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to train horses.
Daddy said, “Will that afford you the lifestyle to which you are accustomed?”
“Will it make you happy?”
I was always grateful he didn’t just turn the hose on me!

Mary went on to work in Hawaii and to be a trainer at Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara. Every once in a while she’d be thrown. A worker would run over and say, “Shall I call an ambulance?” Her answer was always no, until the last time she bit the dust. Her neck was fractured and she went to the hospital.

Now Mary is an extrovert and she was left alone a lot in the ICU unit. She says when she got so bored she couldn’t stand it, she’d pound on her own chest and make her heart go crazy so a nurse would run in. They finally put her into a private room with a TV. Wonder why? In any case, although there was no lasting damage from her fall, she decided it was time to move on.