Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

This title sounds selfish, but it is not meant to be. You see, I don't usually buy expensive things for myself, but when I got the opportunity to buy something I have wanted for many years, I justified it by thinking of it as a birthday gift for me.

It all started in sixth grade when our teacher assigned us to pick a foreign country to follow in current events during that school year. I chose The Netherlands. Consequently, my eyes—even to this day—stop to read whenever I see it in print. Then in 1968 I got to go to Holland, Michigan, with my Aunt Liz and some cousins, for their annual Tulip Festival. I fell in love with every aspect of this unique little town.

We went to the parade at which the mayor of the town declared the streets were dirty and ordered them to be cleaned. About 500 high school students, some dressed as milkmaids in traditional Dutch clothing, poured water from the buckets held on their shoulders by yokes. Others brushed the water to the edges of the street with big brooms. Then the klompen dancing began—wooden shoe dancing. It was so much fun.

Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan, really spoke to me. It has a working, authentic Dutch windmill—the last one permitted to leave The Netherlands. There are canals, lift bridges, and Dutch stores. It was at one of the stores I purchased my first piece of Delft, this large plate.

Around this time a franchise of Dutch restaurants called Pannekoeken opened in Minnesota, They served the famous Pannekoeken (Dutch apple pancake) and were decorated with Dutch Delft chandeliers, and I fell in love with them. They also sold Delft vases and other Delft knick knacks. Over the years, I have returned to Holland, Michigan, and have also been privileged to visit The Netherlands on several occasions. It still draws me.

This past December I hosted a few of my co-workers for supper. One of them, after seeing my Delft collection, mentioned her grandmother was selling her home and had a Delft chandelier. Wow! This piqued my interest. I asked her what it looked like and she described it. Could this be like the ones the Pannekoeken restaurants had? Would her grandmother be willing to sell it? She had her father take pictures of the chandelier, and I agreed to purchase it. Today it was hung in my dining room. I love it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

When is it time to part with things?

A couple of weeks ago when Heidi and her kids were visiting me, I told her I was ready to part with a bunch of the vases and glassware that collected dust above my kitchen cabinets. These were things I hadn't used in a very long time, and there was so much gathered there that it was no longer attractive.

As Heidi handed them down to me, I loaded them into the dishwasher. After three dishwasher loads, we packed them up and took them to my office where I set up a table to sell each for a small dollar amount. Of the pieces pictured, I think I probably sold half. The remaining items were taken to a local charity. These are things I probably will not miss.

Do I have more stuff to clear out of my home? Of course, I do. I have been collecting many things for a very long time. Some still bring me happiness; others I have not looked at in so long I do not remember having them. It will be a process, but I hope to keep on purging.

On the other hand, I have some items that still give me pleasure, and those things I will hang onto for awhile.

Four Delft stitchery done by yours truly. Each flower container is Delft, or has Delft handles. (Double click photo to enlarge.)

My cranberry glass collection: each piece has a memory. The round ornament on the top right was blown by me in Alaska in 2008. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Heidi and her family came for a visit

Early this month, Heidi and her family came to Minnesota and Wisconsin. On my birthday, August 3, they came to my office with lunch and spent a little time playing with the stuffed toys and balloons decorating my office. Corinne had fun with balloons and taking books from the shelves. Marshall loved the stuffed animals—especially Spunky, the puppy.

On Wednesday, August 5, Heidi and the kids came to my house and spent the next couple of days. We went to my pool on Thursday, and that was really fun. Marshall has had some swimming lessons, so he was alright to move around the perimeter of the pool. We had our eyes on him, however. For awhile Corinne was content to sit on my lap on the second step of the pool. But eventually she wanted her face in the water and Heidi took her and played with her in the pool.

Later that day we went for dinner at Broadway Pizza. Marshall and Corinne loved the electric train that traveled along on the railing just under the ceiling. This pizza shop has train memorabilia all over, and their pizza is delicious!

Friday we went to Peder and Sarah's and the kids played together for awhile. This was really fun for the cousins! They rarely get to see one another. For lunch, we went to the International Bazaar, not far from Peder's home. They have a food court with restaurants from around the world. And the following weekend I picked up Heidi and Corinne in Hudson and they came to spend the weekend with me. Saturday we drove to Rochester to attend the wedding of my great-nephew, Chad.

I loved having them at my house! Here are more photos of our time together.

Corinne at the International Bazaar food court.

Grandma D with L to R: Leo, Aurelia, Marshall, and Corinne. Felix didn't want to be in the picture.

Aurelia sporting a Viking's helmet.

Felix, standing between Sarah and Peder
Isn't this a great picture of Peder and Heidi?!

Marshall and Aurelia

Heidi holding Corinne and Marshall at the Eden Prairie Mall

Corinne sitting in her cousin's car and wearing his "shades." My nephew Keith is in the background.

Corinne had a lot of fun playing in my cottage.

Here she is playing peek-a-boo with Heidi who is on the other side of the screen door.

Corinne and my cat Nels had fun trying to catch the bubbles I was blowing.