Spring Cleaning

Gosh, with all this quarantine business because of the Covid-19 virus, we’re all in the house double time and *plenty* of time for spring cleaning this year! So I’ll help you.

I was talking with a friend about vacuum cleaners–the way you’ll do, you know–and she gave me a terrific idea for cleaning that her mother  used to use—no vacuum involved at all.  Ready?  First you dampen some newspapers (make sure all the puzzles are done first) and then you tear the newspapers up into little strips and spread them on your floors.  Wait a while until they dry and then sweep them up!  There ! done!

I’ll add here that this is the same friend who is always “getting organized” –this is the part I  like–she found an old notebook from a year before labeled “Housekeeping”  and she looked inside to see what had been accomplished.  But___! as Millie would exclaim*—the pages  were empty!
Ha, ha, ha

*Millie, as you may recall from blogs gone-by was an old neighbor in Rhode Island who liked to spike her stories with explosions of “But—-!”

Well, that’s my little story and hint for today—my floors are gleaming and I’ll get on to the next project.    Let me know your results and I hope no one comes to your door to see the state of your house with strips of newspapers all over!  Think of the money you’ll save  on electricity . . .

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Glasgow, sunny Glasgow

It’s Sunday morning in Glasgow.

Yesterday we spent a delightful day at

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

We met the Glasgow Boys!  More soon…

miss you…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m moving

Hello readers and friends–

My site is moving, but will be the same, with a new address.
booksandbuttons moving 009

Look for me at  www.booksandbuttons.com.

You’ll see my usual page with a row of books at the top. And there is a
new “follow” tag to check down at the lower right on the screen. (which
apparently does nothing yet . . .)

sorry!  am still going through some glitches to get this whole thing
connected again.  Please hang in there–send me a message at
booksandbooks at comcast.net  to let me know you’re still out there.
I miss you!  thank you!  thank you!

Posted in art, book club, book club meeting, book illustration, book list, book review, books, Bookshelves, buttons, clutter, crafts, Dickens, fashion, flea market, garage sale, knitting, literary birthdays, literature, London, Nancy Drew, New York City, Paris, piano music, poetry, puzzle, sewing, Summer Reading List, thrift shop, travel | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Menu for the Three Soup Supper

Delicious!  the three soup selections were:

Stracciatella————–an Italian egg drop soup known
as “rags” with fresh spinach added, parmesan to sprinkle on top

Cabbage-Potato Soup———creamy and tasty

Hearty Vegetable Soup with Italian turkey sausage and cannelloni beans,
thick with vegetables.

On a table nearby were cheese selections and olives and crackers.  Big
hunks of brown and white breads sat on wooden boards ready to slice.
And a large roast turkey breast added to the feast.

Wine was flowing, and later in the evening Death by Chocolate cake was
served, along with two fresh pies—-pecan? and apple nut?

On our way home, the fog had lifted, the rain had stopped and the shining
road glittered under the streetlamps.  Nice evening.

Posted in recipe | Tagged | 2 Comments

Challenge: The Three Soup Supper

Well, it’s January and that spells s-o-u-p.

Tonight we’ve been invited to a “soup supper”.  It will be very
exciting because it will be pouring rain, very foggy AND the house
is located smack between the Delaware River (rising?) and the
Canal south of Lambertville, New Jersey.  Luckily, we can both

Route 29 at top; Delaware & Raritan Canal, houses, and Delaware River at bottom ©booksandbuttons

Route 29 at top; Delaware & Raritan Canal,red houses, and Delaware River at bottom ©booksandbuttons

Ah, as I write this, suddenly a complete downpour is careening
around me, smacking against the windows . . .hm.  Driving along
the river road will be exciting in the dark.

How do I know it will be foggy?  Because the weather forecast
says so, and the river will be cold against the warm air—it’s
50 degrees this afternoon! and someone told me that anywhere
there is snow on the ground, there will be morning or evening fog.

But enough.  Challenge: what kind of homemade soups will there be?
What would YOU serve to a group tonight?  Let’s limit it to three kinds.

This will make about two posts now (out of over 300) that has to do
with a recipe!  Hope it’s not a trend!

Posted in recipe | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Challenge: Ten Great American Novels

This post was spurred into print by the challenge from a blog called
Fiction Fan’s Book Reviews—sign in, you’ll enjoy it!
http://www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com.          Her latest post
is “Great American Novel Quest” and she asks her readers to think
about ten American novels they’d choose as the best.

She cites a few varying opinions of the criteria used–and the whole
thing got me inspired to come up with my own list.  It’s a list that
hopefully encompasses the American theme, spirit, condition, and
overall picture of who, what we are.  I think the books should be
ones that everyone should “have under his or her belt”.

Some lists might include newer American novels, but my list
has been seasoned by time and I stand by it.  In abc order by
author, they are:

Dreiser, Theodore             An American Tragedy
Faulkner, William              Light in August
Fitzgerald, F. Scott            The Great Gatsby
Hammett, Dashiell             The Maltese Falcon
Heller, Joseph                     Catch-22
Lee, Harper                         To Kill A Mockingbird
Salinger, J.D.                        Catcher in the Rye
Steinbeck, John                   The Grapes of Wrath
Twain, Mark                        Huckleberry Finn
Updike, John                        Rabbit, Run

My question to you is: can you know America if you haven’t read them?

Posted in book list, books | Tagged | 8 Comments

Selling Seeds in 1953—ALL the prizes!



I’m back!  Back again with the American Seed catalog.  O’Half thinks
I should list ALL the prizes available—that you need more choices.

Well, this is opening a can of worms because there are a lot of prizes,
but to save time I won’t take a photo of each!  Here goes—bear in mind
that some of these are awarded for selling 45 packs of seeds for total of
$4.50.  But some need extra cash as well.  They are SO-O-O tempting!

Girls Wrist Watch      $1.50 extra
Full Size Ukelele like Arthur Godfrey’s      .75 extra
Wrist Watches for Men and Boys     $1.00 extra, $1.50 extra
Complete Chemistry Set
Dick Tracy Camera
Roy Rogers 3 Power Binoculars
Pocket Watch with good luck fob
Knitting Bag              .50 extra
Pretty Table Lamp     $1.00
Luncheon Set 20 piece (plastic)

Holy Bible with zipper cover
Pretty Plaid Blanket
Lace Dinner Cloth
Western Union Signal Set       .50
Bride Doll with Movable Eyes
Electric Wood Burning Set  (O’Half has his eye on this one and
claims no one buys these anymore . . .)
Gene Autry Guitar     $6.50! or free for selling FIVE $4.50 orders
Laurita Girls Carry-all Purse
Leather Hobby  Kits
Flash Camera Outfit     $1.00 or two $4.50 orders

Bag ‘n’ Hankie Embroidery Set
Dale Evans Wrist Watch for Girls  $2.75 or three $4.50 orders
Frontier Repeating Cap Rifle    $1.00
Basketball Set     $1.25
Electric Football Game     .75
Table Tennis Set
Archery Outfit     .75
2 Gun Holster Set     $1.00
Rudolph Electric Magnetic Dart Game
Cork Gun

Pretty Overnight Case (for girls)    .75
Ladies’ Wallet
Shoulder Strap Bag  Red, Green, Navy Blue or Brown
5 Piece Dresser Set
Cowboy Harmony Set: Ukelele and Harmonica
Pretty Plaid Umbrella     .50
Bobbing Cuckoo Clock      .50
Magic Auto Race
Cowboy Jr. Guitar     .75
Lone Ranger Holster Set–cap pistol, mask, autographed photo!
Daisy’s Red Ryder Cowboy Carbine     (have to get permission)  $2.00

Sturdy Axe
Cookit pocketsize folding stove and utensils
A Great Knife Outfit–two knives
Delta Buddy Lantern
Knapsack for Hiking
Fishing Set 19 piece    .75
Red-Head Double Duty Flashlight
Sun Dial Wrist Watch—nine features!!  (ask)
3 Piece Pen Set–fountain pen, ballpoint pen, mechanical pencil
Webster’s Approved Dictionary

Leatherette Briefcase
Zipper Gym Bag
Glamour Girl Doll Kit
Sewing Machine      .25
Crystal Radio Kit
Punch Point Belt
Girl’s Moccasin Kit    .75
Boy’s Moccasin Kit      1.00
Charm Art Kit
Necklace and Earring Ensemble Simulated Pearls
Cluster Birthstone Ring and Matching Earrings

Croquet Set   $1.50  or two $4.50 orders
Buck Rogers Sonic Ray Gun
Space Pilot Game
Skyro-plane (flies as high as the clouds)
Captain VIDEO 2-way Telephone
Travel Globe
Toy Violin that Really Plays    .75
Toni Home Permanent—the refill only, or the
refill plus 42 spin curlers    .75
Pinking Shears

Woven Bedspread     $1.00
Chenille Bedspread    $2.50 or two $4.50 orders
HI-LO Outdoor Stove    $1.25  OR no cost for selling 70 packs
the editor was getting tired here, and wanted to spice things up!

24 Pieced Set Chrome Plated Tableware    .75 or no cost for selling 60 packs
2 Pairs of Lace Curtains (if you want more, add $1.00 each extra pair)
Famous Cannon Towel Ensemble (6 pieces)
Beautiful Cake Cover with Serving Tray
Food and Meat Chopper
5-in-1 Combination Cooker
A Modern Alarm Clock   .50 or no cost for selling 55 packs
Complete set of 3 sturdy Aluminum Sauce Pans
5 Piece Cleaver Set
20 Piece Beautiful Chinaware    $2.00  or no cost for two $4.50 orders
Ovenex Baking Set   (10 piece)

Truefilm Plastic Draperies  “pretty eye-catching plastic draperies”–I
bet they were!    if you want more, add $1.00 a pair
Jet Plane
Electronic–Two Way–Walkie Talkie  (up to 1/2 mile!)
Roy Rogers Wrist Watch     $1.75  or two $4.50 orders

There you have it with the eight choices I gave you yesterday–what
will you be working toward?  January is a great time to sell seeds–people
are already getting tired of winter and looking forward to spring.  Sell to
your family, relatives, neighbors—-ask the neighbors what THEIR
neighbors names are and sell to them!

If you need a photo of a specific prize, or more information about it,
I can send it to you!



Posted in gardens | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Selling Seeds in 1953



I found this old seed packet advertising recently–from 1953, and had
fun looking through it.  You would sell packets of seeds for 10 cents a
packet and then earn PRIZES for your sales!  How easy was that?  It
says right in the booklet that everyone wants to buy these American
Seeds and that some people sold all their seeds in one hour!

Most of these prizes were available if you sold $4.50 worth of seed packets.
By the way, that’s FORTY-FIVE seed packets . . .do you even know forty-five
people who want seeds?  Do you know FIVE people who want nine packets?

Anyway, let’s choose our prizes and worry about sales later!  There were
many, many prizes available, but half of them were “boy” prizes, and some
were even boring old household.  So as a young girl, I would have chosen
from these:   (how about you?)

A Cinderella Wrist Watch from Walt Disney! in a  real "glass" slipper!! ©booksandbuttons (click on photos to enlarge)

A Cinderella Wrist Watch from Walt Disney! in a
real “glass” slipper!! ©booksandbuttons
(click on photos to enlarge)

a real lamp for your bedroom! ©booksandbuttons

a real lamp for your bedroom! ©booksandbuttons

Roller Skates with bright nickel finish--with key! ©booksandbuttons

Roller Skates with bright nickel finish–with key! ©booksandbuttons

Watch real movies at home!  This one you had to add $7.50 to the order. (not going to happen) ©booksandbuttons

Watch real movies at home! This one you had to add $7.50 to the order. (not going to happen) ©booksandbuttons

In fact, I’m beginning to notice, just as a kid would, that hardly any of
the prizes come free by selling the $4.50 order . . .still, the lure of the
“prize” is thrilling.

OMG! a phonograph! ©booksandbuttons

OMG! a phonograph! ©booksandbuttons

ah--the typewriter doesn't require extra money---very, very tempting.   ©booksandbuttons

ah–the typewriter doesn’t require extra money—very, very tempting. ©booksandbuttons

Another true prize--no extra money.  It sure looks familiar! ©booksandbuttons

Another true prize–no extra money. It sure looks familiar!

ooh, the locket set.  I think I had it!  Each locket holds two photos.  Doesn't get any better than this! ©booksandbuttons

ooh, the locket set. I think I had it! Each locket holds two photos. Doesn’t get any better than this! ©booksandbuttons

The pamphlet explains how to sell and gives handy tips for selling:


©booksandbuttons (click to enlarge)

So, there you are—ready for business.  Which prize are you going to
work toward?
And then, what will I do with the booklet?  Oh, I’ll think of something.



Posted in gardens | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Plastic Buttons

plastic buttons card ©booksandbuttons

plastic buttons card ©booksandbuttons

What better way to start off the new year than with buttons?  And plastic buttons are
such a fun category.

Oh, I suppose I should call them “Synthetic Polymers” to include all of the ways plastic
has been fiddled with over the years, but let’s just neaten that up and call this collection
“assorted plastics”.  Have a couple celluloid buttons or bakelite buttons slipped in
without notice?  Maybe.  But  who cares?  Don’t call the plastic police.

The best button on the card—-the “top banana” if you will—is that large oblong
beauty at the top of the card.  (Click these photos to enlarge.)  It’s 2 1/4 inches long!
Spread your thumb and forefinger out to 2 1/4 inches to get the full idea.  Huge button!
Absolutely terrific.

this button is 1 1/4 inches long ©booksandbuttons

this button is 1 1/4 inches long ©booksandbuttons

These three buttons at the bottom are very nice, too.  The rectangle on
the left—creamy “polymer” with red and black decoration is over an inch
long, and the interesting green, clear and black square button at the right
is an inch and a half diagonally (fix thumb and forefinger . . .)

three plastic buttons ©booksandbuttons

three plastic buttons ©booksandbuttons

The next two buttons are interesting, too.  The “rattan” one looks like it
has mother of pearl, but the back assures me that’s it’s plastic.  The little
one with stripes measures 5/8 inches.  (don’t bother with thumb and ff).



This little red and black geometric shape is fun.  It’s open in the middle–
have to love it.

geometric theme button©booksandbuttons

geometric theme button©booksandbuttons

And I took a photo looking from a different angle to give you an idea of
the depth of some of these buttons.

side view plastic buttons ©booksandbuttons

side view plastic buttons ©booksandbuttons

Oh, you MUST enlarge that one!  Aren’t they great?
One more photo to show you two of my favorites—the button with
all the raised dots . . . and the one I call “fried egg”.  The egg is 1 inch.



That’s it!  Choose your favorites—show me your best plastics.
Bye for now!

Posted in buttons, crafts, sewing | Tagged | 4 Comments

Happy New Year 2014

Three French Hens! ©booksandbuttons

Three French Hens!

Well, what would YOU have done with them?  Imagine the surprise, to put it
mildly, when fond family opened this Christmas packet and found three strange
knitted something-or-others.  This is the group that sent to me the instruction
book of Twelve Knits of Christmas last year:
Twelve Knits of Christmas 001So I knit up the three French hens and sent them out to them this year.
It’s great that they sent me the photo of what they did with them.  And I know
you’ve been wondering what you would do with such a gift.  (Be kind here . . .)

In the meantime, Christmas has been roundly celebrated by all and sundry here
at our house and s-i-law started a little puzzle–cheery little wooden one, but
tricky–because although the pieces do fit together, they do so kind of loosely.
They sort of hang together, not snap in place.  I finished it up last night and
it’s called The Arcade.  We bought it from Lands End years ago.

The Arcade puzzle ©booksandbuttons

The Arcade puzzle ©booksandbuttons



Isn’t it a sweet puzzle?

No need to make resolutions this year.  I have plenty left over from last
year.  That will save time today.

Wishing all a bookish-and-buttonish New Year!

Posted in Christmas, holiday, knitting, puzzle | Tagged , , | 2 Comments