Tuesday, October 7, 2014


It hardly seems possible that October is here already. This month's arrival signifies a favorite fall tradition as we visit our last big flea market of the year. It's located near my family's home, so we usually take my mom to the annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) book sale at the nearby mall the same day. It was there that I happened upon my most exciting find of the day—a beautifully bound book of 19th-century ladies magazines. A year's worth of them!

It so happens that I collect these vestiges of the past, so I was thrilled to find it and especially at the bargain price of a $1. These beauties are filled with treasures, including hand-colored portraits of 19th-century ladies in their fanciest frocks.

Charming illustrations of storybook dwellings...

The latest fashions of the day and much more...

I have several volumes of these wonderful magazines, and as you can imagine, they provide endless hours of inspiration. I saw many fun things at the flea market as well but most—like this 19th century wool portrait—were too pricey for my pocketbook. We have two of these wonderfully woolly portraits in our Victorian home. They're a fitting accent for a wool lover like me.

I pondered this handmade chest of drawers made from old cigar boxes (another collectible of mine) but it was out of my price range. I love the charming graphics that you can find on many of these vintage repositories. This might be an idea I'll have to keep in mind for future reference. I think my hubby could make something similar with some of my old cigar boxes.

This box of vintage Christmas baubles caught my eye. I like to decorate my wire tree with ornaments of this vintage.

So what did I go home with? Not much but I did find these fun vintage wooden spools. They were a larger size (at 3 inches tall) that will work well for some of my pincushion designs, and their price was right at $5 for 30 spools.

Before we knew it, the day was drawing short and it was time to head home. On the way home, we stopped by to visit Grandma, who as usual, had some homegrown goodies to send home with us. Just look at this lovely acorn squash, sweet potatoes, and onions that she gave us! I took this photo of them in my kitchen. The vintage scale matches the blue of my kitchen walls. 

Grandma also gave us some regular potatoes, which I threw into the slow cooker with the pork roast that I'm fixing for tonight's dinner. 

I also found some cute small Parisian potatoes at the local food mart, so I threw those in, too. I usually cook my roast in chicken broth but it's been a challenge to find a broth that's low enough in sodium for me. Because of my kidney condition, I had to severely reduce my sodium intake. That was very difficult as I LOVED salt. Most of the reduced-sodium chicken broths are still very high in salt. For example, the Swanson's reduced-sodium broth has 570 mgs of it or 24% of your daily allowance. I finally found an organic low-sodium chicken broth with only 70 mgs of salt or 3% of your daily allowance. If any of you have found one lower than that, please let me know. I sure love the ease of pot roasts, and they're so yummy on these crisp fall days! Nice to know that dinner is taken care of! So it's back to work for now. There are magazine articles to write and quilt projects to edit! 


  1. I have to say, I do enjoy those old Ladies books/magazines, love the fashion, and also the way they decorated their houses, curtains, table layouts, their bedrooms, just love that stuff to bits.....I haven't seen woolly portraits before, fascinating work there......

  2. I hear you about the sodium as I try to watch mine too. Here's what I do - I use 1/2 of a can and mix with filtered water. Not as tasty but it works and cuts your intake in half. I also do this with low-sodium soups that are still high in sodium - spill some of the broth out and replace 1/2 with filtered water. I will sometimes make my own broth with lots of carrots and onions and celery and freeze it if I have time. That does not happen too often : )

  3. You really need Donald A. Gazzaniga's The No-Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook. The chicken broth recipe in that makes a broth with only 19.4 mg of sodium per cup of broth. I think you can edge that down even more if you use Pilgrim's Pride no salt added chicken breast (or an organic brand with not salt added) and omit the celery. 19.7 mg seems pretty good to me though. It's a very painless recipe. Yeilds 10 cups. Gazaniga also has a website. I got a great low sodium recipe for hamburger buns that my family prefers over store bought. Trying to go low sodium is a huge pain in the neck. Read labels carefully. Some generic and organic products are lower in sodium than products marked "low sodium." Going to a health food store has proven fruitless because they still put loads of salt in everything. Right now I'm waging a one-woman war against Kroger, trying to get them to create a heart healthy section with real low sodium products. I keep trying to get them to stock tomato products on a regular basis. No salt added sauce, paste, peeled, stewed, diced, and crushed versions of tomato products do exist. So far, the best selection is at WalMart, but it's hit and miss. We need more people speaking out and asking for these products. Lots of people's live depend on living with a low sodium diet. Okay, that's my rant for today.

  4. What beautiful treasures you found. I find even if they don't come home with me, it's still fun to enjoy their being.
    I have never used broth in a roast - that's what the slow cooking creates using a little water. I do like to add garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme...etc, depending upon what's cookin'.
    Have a wonderful evening.

  5. What a fun day at the flea market! Even if you didn't take a lot home, it's always fun to window shop! I need to use my crock pot more often!


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