Sunday, May 3, 2020

Bagel Baking

    Well, being home a lot more, with everything closed down, I am cooking and baking a little bit more!
    I've been  baking these easy 2-ingredient-bagels, trying different varieties.   They are so easy and it's nice to make fresh bagels when I can't get out to the store.

My daughter Julie taught me to make these.
Super easy and so good!, Everything Bagels

These are "Everything Bagels"
They sell the Everything Seasoning 
in the spice section at all the grocery stores.


At  home I tried them with Mrs.Dash. 

They were great, but very soft, so I'll knead them more next time to try to 
get a little chewier texture. 

Then a week later, I only had Blueberry Yogurt. So I made them , with some
 frozen blueberries mixed in at the last minute.

     They were messy, as the berries softened and got squishy, juicy, so they weren't 
shaped as neatly.  I think the extra liquid, from the fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt made
 them tougher, but I liked them chewy! 
 Now, if I only knew how to make cream cheese, since I am out of that!  

      Perfect!   Ugly, but delicious, chewy and fruity!  It's fun to experiment,
    and use what you have!  
        Next I want to make cinnamon raisin bread in my bread machine! 
     Do you have a good recipe?
                                           Love, Linda

Sunday, April 26, 2020

I Live In Faith Not Fear

I am feeling like sharing a message of hope today.
The news is always so scary, we don't know whether to believe the Coronavirus threat is going away, case numbers declining or not.  Are they counting correctly, or jacking up numbers of fatalities that were not really caused by COVID-19?   It will be a while before we will know the exact truth. There is so much going on in the world, within our country there is dissent, much concern, and we can't ignore that, but we must remain calm and hopeful.   It will take a while before everyone feels "normal" again, before we recover from the trauma of isolation,  devastating financial problems, and  stressful fear.  I am troubled by the seriousness of this deadly virus.  I am concerned about health-care workers- my daughter is a nurse.  I know we must protect the elderly. My own mother is among the vulnerable.   But I feel we will get through it. We are showing a steady decline of positive cases, and we can sensibly begin to return to our jobs and activities if we follow the common sense guidelines that the Task Force and our local officials recommend.

 I have not panicked or hoarded, and it's because I have a peace that comes from simply trusting in the Lord. He is still in control.  I know that God will take care of me.  I am not afraid of dying, and know that He will care for me, protect me and give me strength that people without  faith cannot understand.  They may think I'm silly, or ignorant, or in denial.   But I choose to live in faith, not fear.
I've been saddened by rejection of a couple people I tried to pray with.  How can you live without faith?
 I've felt bad when I couldn't help them with their anxiety, because they didn't want anything to do with hearing a Bible verse,  or just letting me pray with them.  My boyfriend expressed concern that I may be becoming a "religious fanatic".
 Still, why would I not want to share with you, the answer to calming your fear, making you feel safe, when I know in my heart that God is real, he cares for you and me.   My mother and I still sing, over the phone, every night, Does Jesus Care? , because the song has special meaning to her and me.

 Please don't suffer, when you can just trust in Him, believing there is hope.
 Please don't feel alone, because He is always with you.

 I am at times worried about my business recovering. So is everyone else.  But I do believe that Americans are strong and resilient, and will get out there again soon,  and be the consumers they are, and we will thrive once again.  I have to believe, and keep building my business, working to grow my business. I have been using this lock-down time wisely to do things I usually don't have time for.  Polishing, painting, organizing, refinishing, repairing  all my vintage treasures. I started a new online store , so maybe I can stay viable while the physical store has to be closed, and my Etsy is failing .

I was surprised to find my small tree
blossoming, when I made a recent
 " curbside pick-up"  delivery.  A sign of hope?

This is the storefront, St.Patrick's Day,
right before we had to close down.

 More importantly- I am helping home-school my grandkids, and planting seeds of God's word in their hearts.  I'm planting containers with vegetable seeds too, doing practical things, during the quarantine.
 Grow through
   you go through

Every little bit helps, so being frugal, growing things, taking
 extra special care of ourselves and our family,
staying in touch with our friends, and being extra kind
is what we can all do.

I'm hopeful and pray you are feeling hopeful too!
 Please leave me a comment , so I know someone
is reading my blog, and so I can pray for you!
Be safe, stay well and have faith- there is hope!

Love, Linda

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Ups and Downs of Vintage Store Ownership

                                          We're several months into this.  
                           Most everyone who comes in the store says it's fun, they like it.


            Some say they always wanted to do this, have a store like this.  They usually come back.  But, half of the visitors, come in to try and sell me something or want me to take things on consignment.  Many customers come back because they see lots of things they want and can't buy them all at once. But here are just not enough customers.  Although the prices are fair, many want me to give them a discount or just complain that they can do better at a thrift shop.  It's a tough job, having a store, and takes most of my time, because you have to be open most days and long hours.  Sometimes a whole day will go by, with not one single customer.   Sometimes a few days go by.........  uh oh...
            I get concerned when I don't make enough to pay the rent, let alone the insurance, utilities, supplies, etc.  Then someone will tell me that it takes time, that it's a great little shop, and people just haven't found me yet.  I just recently got my sign up, that's going to help, right?
            I love the shop, I put my soul into it, doing displays, fixing things changing up with the seasons and holidays.  I'm constantly posting, planning sales, dreaming up events, slogans, themes.
I want to go shopping so badly, but I can't spend anything, until I start making some money, and feel like I am missing good deals, and not getting fresh stuff. But that's okay- I have lots of merchandise, plenty to look at, and much more in storage, ready to come into the shop, when there is more room.
Each day, I pray I'll do better, sell some things, make some money.
           We buy take-outs from the diner and usually share one sandwich special because it's all we can afford.  We make a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or just eat leftover cookies from my tea parties. We get along, have plenty to eat, get invited to share meals with family often. God provides for us, in surprising ways.
           But, it's really tough, having this type of business.  I must be out of my mind.  All the other similar stores have closed, we're all alone in this type of business around here. The neighbors are a jewelry store,  beauty salons, a florist, and a game store, and they occasionally send a customer in to us. Older people usually tell me they are down-sizing, so they won't be buying anything.   Young people don't seem to have money.   This is not a "monied area".   I can't afford rent in a more prosperous area, though. Will vintage lovers come to me, from other places?  Will I be able to establish a regular client base?
          I thought the Christmas season would get people interested in alternative shopping.  "Buy Vintage this Christmas", I extolled.  It's less expensive than the mall and big retail stores, We have inexpensive, unique gifts- one-of-a-kind items, many from the past, but it looks grim now.  Will we be able to stay or will we have to close?    What will we do with all the stuff that's in the store, my storage is already full.   
          How can people look at thousands of things and not buy one little trinket for a couple dollars?  How do I get people to come to this store?   Why do they swarm to the big box stores instead of buying nice things cheaper, from a small business owner who's nice to them?  What do other vendors do?    How do you pay for advertising, when you have no money.   How do you get noticed?  
 I googled my store and it shows up.  
We'll just keep trying.       
I'm celebrating  9 years of blogging this month.   
                     Love, Linda


Sunday, October 20, 2019

5 Year Survivor of Breast Cancer

      Five years is a big deal to a breast cancer survivor. 
 It's when the oncologist might say, "You're cancer-free", or
 "You can stop taking the Arimidex, that causes you so much joint and muscle pain".
At least ,that's what I dream of hearing at my biannual appointment tomorrow!

           Breast cancer steals lives and body parts, does damage to your body and mind, 
       but I am very blessed to have come through it very well.  Many are not so "lucky". 
            I was challenged, and my life was threatened, but I'm healed and stronger now.
           I've learned to trust the Lord more fully,   He was always with me. 

           I urge you to do self-exams and get mammograms because early detection 
           can save your life. It can make treatment much simpler and more effective, 
            if you are diagnosed with breast cancer. 

    With the support of friends and family, and God's grace and healing, 
I have survived!   I learned a lot too.

     But for now, let me say, I am so grateful to be here, alive and happy, feeling pretty well,
    for an old lady.  I know I'm a real senior citizen now, because I got my Medicare card!

     They still needed me, and still loved me, when I was 64!   At 65, I'm blessed to still be able
      to keep up with the grandkids. I can still go to soccer practices and games, cub scouts,
     and parades where they are on a float, even if I limp a little. 
     They still want to snuggle with me, help bake cookies, and have me pray with them at the
     school bus-stop. I don't know who enjoys it more- me or them!
     So, I think I'm doing pretty well, and I feel very blessed!

     Family, friends, sister survivors, support groups members, ministers, prayer partners-
     Thank you all, for your love and prayers, encouragement and wise counsel.
     I could not have faced this alone, your support means everything.
     Thank you for all your help and listening, thoughtful gestures and gifts
     that helped me so much.
     Thank you to all those wonderful professionals who have cared for me at the hospital,
      doctor's offices, diagnostic centers, and labs.
       Doctors, nurses, physical therapist, technicians, receptionists, all of you!
      Your incredible expertise and overwhelming kindness have not gone unnoticed
       or unappreciated, and will always be remembered!

Love, Linda

Thursday, June 13, 2019

New Shop!

     I just opened a new shop, in the small town of  Berlin, New Jersey, about 15 minutes from my home. 
 It's called Linda's Vintage Treasures!
     It all happened very quickly, the little bake shop became available, and we took a chance and decided to have a store with all our old things.  It's something I've always wanted to do, and I already had plenty of stock to sell! 
     The neighbors have been welcoming me, customers are finding me.  I've made some wonderful new friends!
     The town's business association has invited me to join and is promoting my business!


We're ready to go, with gifts for Dad, weddings and grads!
 Something for everyone! I'm grateful for this opportunity!  
I can't say thank you enough, to my daughters, my friends and family for all your support and encouragement!  

  Love,   Linda

Sunday, January 27, 2019

My Hot Tea Month Celebration, Part 2

Welcome to my virtual tea party!  Each day, all month,  a different tea and a different tea cup!
 Most are from my collection, and some are my friend's tea ware!

Day 16  
             This is an old tea cup my daughter inherited from her great-grandmother.
                    I'm having Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea.   I'm fighting the flu!

Day 17 
  Tea Time Magazine featured this fresh idea! Salad cleverly served in pretty tea cups!
 Super cute!  I'm having soup in my tea cup today, though. 

Day 18          Delicate Rose China cup, Made in Occupied Japan, 
                                and Thomas Kinkade teapot with Bentley Blackberry Tea

  Day 19            My Believe mug and Thomas Kinkade teapot 
                      If you believe you'll get anything you ask for in prayer.  Matthew 21:24

Day 20            Queen Ann  China  filled with Lipton Soothing Moments Blackberry tea

Day  21   Cheery cherry tea cup -a happy memory from a tea  party I attended last summer. 
                   A friendly group of ladies, set up a tea room, filled with local art, pretty china 
                  and sparkling conversation. We had good tea, scones with clotted cream and 
               fresh peach conserve and lots of other yummy teatime sandwiches and treats.

Lemonade Scones
An easy, yummy scone, from Best
Click here for tea some yummy sandwich recipes, from TeaTime Magazine

Day 22    My brown transferware, Harvest Time Johnson Bros. Ironstone
                                          I'm sipping Bentley Raspberry Green Tea                                                                

Day 23        My daughter Julie's gorgeous china, inherited from her Grandmother. 
                              it is  Johann Haviland, Bavaria, Germany.
                                         We'll have tea here with Grandma soon!                                                

Day  24,     My mother's  88th birthday, 
                    my blog's 8th  anniversary,                                                        and also my Etsy shop's  7th anniversary                       This pretty set is for her today, I have a matching birthday angel figure! 

My other , Betty , with Thomas, me and Emilie

    Day 25    Bigelow lemon tea at Sandee's, with her beautiful brown transferware
                               Alfred Meakin Staffordshire china.
                              Always a delightful time, having tea with such a dear friend.

Day 26          Chinese Tea with Maureen,and  a delicious lunch at the 
Eastern Phoenix Restaurant. in downtown Hammonton, N.J. 
Some great antique shopping too, at my friend's antiques and vintage store,
               Vintage Betty's, the  Antiques  Marketplace , and  Ideal Blend      .                                                  

    Day  27       
   I like to mix  new things with my vintage stuff.  
                     Here  is a cute Mary Engelbreit teapot plate, with my not-old red teapot, 
       and an old ironstone cup. We're having herbal peppermint tea today!

Day 28           Drinking  delicious  St. Dalfour's Golden Peach Tea
                                                      from a vintage Del Mar teacup, Made in Japan                                                                                                   

I love teacups with designs inside!         


Day 29         What a nasty night, gonna get really cold  now and freeze up, after raining                                           almost all day and all evening,a nice cup of Benner chamomile herb
 tea is perfect to warm me up!


 Maybe a couple
         Magic bars too!                                                                                                               

Day 30        A fine bone china tea cup, for sale in my Etsy shop!
                                                       Sipping Stash Flowery Darjeeling                                                                  

Day 31,    the last day of  National Hot Tea Month,
 What will I do for fun now?

This delicate tea cup is from a dear friend and  I broke the saucer!  
But I love it and I'll find another suacer, it's okay to mix and match!

Thank you for coming to my virtual month-long tea party!
  It was so much fun! 

Visit my facebook page for lots of tea quotes, tea history and pretty tea things!
All  January, and all sorts of  other vintage goodness too!


Happy Teatime!  Show me your favorite tea cup in your comments!
                 Love, Linda