Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Friday, February 29, 2008

Old Passion/New Hobby

I posted last October about my love of Blue Willow and why. At that time, I had no pieces of blue willow, just memories of a childhood miniature tea set that I absolutely demolished ...

I planned on using that memory to write my Nanowrimo novel. My husband and I went to the antique store to get a plate to use as a muse. I got a cup and a plate.

Then, some dear friends surprised me with a birthday present of a miniature tea set!!! I was overwhelmed ...and surprised ...and delighted! My therapist, who collects blue willow, gave me a bread and butter plate to also use as a muse.

So ..suddenly, my love of blue willow went from a love, fond (if embarrasing) memories to a minor collection of this china I loved so much!

Then it kind of ...well ... blew up ... I realized that just because I hadn't been collecting since my childhood (like my elephants) did not mean it was too late to start. I also realized that just because I had an elephant collection did not mean that I could not have my blue willow too!


So now ... I have
2 plates, 10 inches from Churchill England
2 saucers from the Royal China Company (with a mark they used from 1920 to 1949.
1 Soup Bowl from the Royal China Company (same mark)
2 tea cups from Churchill England
1 Saucer frm Churchill England
Churchill England Plate & cup
1 Miniature tea set
4 cups, 4 saucers, tea pot, sugar bowl, creamer jar and cookie plate.
Bread and butter plate from The Royal China Company
1 Miniature tea set cookie plate with stamp from Japan (blue)
1 Vase 8 inches tall, with Ironstone stamp on it.
1 Bread and butter plate with stamp from Japan (black)
Miniature Blue Willow modified
Plus and elephant in blue and white china, but different pattern.
I really really want to find a blue willow elephant!! Although, I have the feeling that if I did so, it'd be quite costly, the cats and cows are worth a small fortune!

I have enjoyed, as much as acquiring the plates, learning about the different types of blue willow:

Two Temples 1
Two Temples 2
The different borders:
Butterfly or Insect
Bow Knot
Scroll and Flowers
Simple Line

And different manufactures used different patterns ... so just because you have a Churchill England, doesn'[t mean the very next Churchill England plate will have the same pattern!!

The vase I have, has a Two Temple's 2 design
while most of the others have a traditional,
Some plates have thin birds, others have fat birds ...some have no birds.
Looking at the different designs for how many people ... the Two Temples 2 has only 2 people on the bridge, and the traditional has 3.
bridge edited for birds
Doing research to find the different blue willow legends

This one comes off the back of the Mary Gaston Blue Willow book (value guide)
China Doll 2

The Legend

Once upon a time there lived a very wealthy manderin who had a beautiful
daughter, Hong Shee. There was aslo a boy named Change who loved Hong Shee. To
keep them apart, the manderin imprisoned his daughter in the palace.

One day, she escaped adn the two lovers raced over the bridge to a waiting
boat, her father in hot persuit. They managed to elude the manderin, reach the
boat and sail away.

A storm developed, the boat foundered and the couple were lost at sea. It
is said two love birds immediately appeared thereafter - the spirits of Hong
Shee and Chang.

cabinetbed modified

Another legend goes

"The Willow Legend"
Long ago in China, in a magnificent palace surrounded by
trees, lived a Mandarin, his daughter, Koong-shee, and his secretary, Chang.
Chang and Koong-shee fell in love, but Chang was a commoner and she the daughter
of a noble. Still their love grew as they met beneath a willow tree in the
garden. When the Mandarin discovered their secret, he banished Chang &
imprisoned Koong-shee by encircling the palace with a zig-zag fence.
Then he
promised her hand to another. He had a feast to celebrate and after, when all
fell asleep, Chang crept into the palace and fled with Koong-shee, The Mandarin
awoke and pursued them across the little bridge that spans the river.

The lovers escaped, but soon the Mandarin discovered where they were
hiding and sent his men to kill the couple. They came upon Chang as he was
working his fields and killed him. Koong-shee, who had seen the entire scene
from afar, rushed into the pavilion and set it afire. She was determined to be
with Chang in death as she had been in life.
The gods, looking down on the
tragedy, took pity on the lovers and transformed their souls into a pair of
immortal lovebirds to forever live in the pagoda.

My creation

Yet another legend:

The Romantic Fable: Once there was a wealthy Mandarin, who
had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se). She had fallen in love with her father's
humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father (it was inappropriate
for them to marry due to their difference in social class). He dismissed the
young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The
Mandarin was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke. The Duke
arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The
wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow
On the eve of the daughter's wedding to the Duke, the young accountant,
disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed. As the lovers escaped
with the jewels, the alarm was raised. They ran over a bridge, chased by the
Mandarin, whip in hand. They eventually escaped on the Duke's ship to the safety
of a secluded island, where they lived happily for years. But one day, the Duke
learned of their refuge. Hungry for revenge, he sent soldiers, who captured the
lovers and put them to death. The Gods, moved by their plight, transformed the
lovers into a pair of doves (possibly a later addition to the tale, since the
birds do not appear on the earliest willow pattern plates).


Another legend

The old poem:

Two birds flying high,

A Chinese vessel, sailing by.

A bridge with three men, sometimes four,

A willow tree, hanging o'er.

A Chinese temple, there it stands,

Built upon the river sands.

An apple tree, with apples on,

A crooked fence to end my song.

There are many many many more....

The saddest thing that I learned was that ... the legends did not come first. The legends (and the pattern) originated in England! The plate came first, the legend second as a marketing ploy (obviously, a good one!!)

No one knows what the original legend was ... but we do know that Spode was the first person to design blue willow.

They are mostly in colbolt blue because back then, blue was the only color that could survive the firing process. They used to all be hand painted, then in the late 1700's a way of decorating china and potter called "Transferware" became available ...transfering the design onto the china.

Some designs are hand painted, some are stenciled and some are transfer ware ...

It's all very interesting to look and figure out what is what.

There are very few fakes in Blue Willow ...and those are fakes of manufactures trying to make newer pottery look older. The reality is a blue willow is a blue willow regardless of who makes it. As long as you know your marks, and which ones are actually newer ones, trying to copy older ones ... then you know what you have.

So, no matter what Blue Willow you have, it's still a blue willow. Period.

It is also one that relatively few tried to fake because the pattern is so complicated. Most pottery companies who did it, wanted their own credit for the piece of china or pottery. Since anyone could make one, there was not enough reason to make a forgery. Some did and do ... but it is an attempt to make the collector think they have an older piece. Some of those, are quite valuable because they are few and far inbetween.

Some collectors just get a particular design ...
some from just one company
some get any blue willow (me)
and some collect blue and white china of all designs (flow blue, etc)

Miniature Blue Willow

10 Things

Ten things I hate:

1. People saying "I just don't know how you do it all"
2. People saying "But you don't look sick!" (right after they've 'sincerely asked me "how are you doing ...no! really, how are things REALLY going?" )
3. My cat deciding that I need to get up 3 hours before I'm ready to get up. Seriously, Twitch, I'm 43 years old, I *can* decide when to get up and go to bed!!!
4. People pretending to care.
5. The weather going from spring to winter to spring in 48 hours.
6. People who make 10 times our income saying they understand my struggles with finances. (see #4)
7. People with perfect health saying they know how I feel.
8. Having to have on my happy face when I feel like my world is falling apart or my body feels like it's been run over by a train ... but if I don't ...I get comments like #1, #2 or #7
9. Insomnia
10. The word Autoimmune and all it intails.

Please no comments about how bad you feel for me ... those drive me nuts. If you want to add a list of your own ...go for it! If you have a story about how one of these comments effects you in your life ...go for it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Eating Disordered Awareness, Post # 2

I went to help with SCC Summer Camp (Southpark Community Church) .... the kids program we're having.

I did not look at my manual ... and was a bit shocked to see the plan for tonight ... Picnic ....

The lesson ... just like we need food ...we need spiritual food.

The object lesson at the beginning ... we must eat to stay healthy ... and we must have daily spiritual needs met ...eating just once a week or twice a week ... you'd not feel good or stay healthy ... so why would that be ok for spiritual needs?

But the emphasis was on the balance of the two.

It of coarse, hit me far different than it would have hit most of the adults in there. I'm sure, our children's pastor had no idea that I was ready to bolt from the room ...

It took every ounce of self control to stay in my seat and make myself listen to the lesson.

My heart was broke, when 2 girls, pre teen aged (the oldest is 6th graders in the children's ministry, so they had to be 6th grade or below) made a comment to each other. The girls were asked how many had had a snack that day. The two girls raised their hands but looked at each other and said "I was bad"

My heart lept into my throat. Then, during the game, where they had food to eat, the two girls DID participate, but I watched the one girl take BITES off of a cheese cracker! She counted the bites as she chewed, I watched her fingers as they tapped off the bites.

It was amazing watching such a young child already participating in compulsive behaviors involving food ... and the realization that no one in her life is probably even aware ... SHE may not even be aware ... she may just be 'counting' and sorting her way through ...but if someone doesn't step in, an eating disorder is in her future.

I came to a realization a while back ...that God does not intend for food, eating or the things around it to be just a side issue ... he intended for us to
A) eat
B) eat together
C) enjoy food

He ordered the Isrealites to celebrate with food, to mourn with food ...and these celebrations and mourning ..were NATION wide ....

even the life and death of Christ, was to be remembered ...with food. (this do, in rememberance of me)

I did a search once on scriptures relating to food ... I'd honestly expected to get maybe ...100

my shock when (from Crosswalk.com) I found these numbers .... was to say the least ..astonished:

for EAT ... I found

Verse Search Results (New International Version)
RESULTS: 476 total results

for FOOD I found

Verse Search Results (New International Version)
RESULTS: 305 total results

for ATE I found

Verse Search Results (New International Version)
RESULTS: 102 total results

for EATING I found

Verse Search Results (New International Version)
RESULTS: 55 total results

for FEAST I found

Verse Search Results (New International Version)
RESULTS: 90 total results

for EATEN I found

Verse Search Results (New International Version)
RESULTS: 62 total results

and to end this diatribe ... I will end with a verse that includes "Celebrate" and "Eat"
Ne 8: 10 -12 - 10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." 11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve." 12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week

I had to wear a dress for a concert.

Everyone had the same dress.

Mine didn't fit me quite right.

The concert was a month away. Maybe ...just maybe ...if I cut down on what I was eating ... I could make it fit right?

I didn't know that my mom had already gotten discouraged with how quickly I was growing that summer, and bought it a size too big.

Mom left for work before I did. My sister, D, was up and out of the house before me. She always had some sporting practice that started before school. So ... it was easy ... I'd get up in the morning and I'd make my lunch and not eat breakfast.

I thought at first, it was going to be hard ... it wasn't.

I didn't even miss it.
After the first week, I found that I wasn't even slightly hungry mid way through the day.
So I wondered ...how much of my lunch could I cut out?

The next week, I purposefully only ate half my lunch.

I still remember loosing focus that week at lunch.

All I could think of was what I was putting in my mouth ..and what I wasn't putting in my mouth.

By that Friday, I was counting the bites I took.
My friends conversations were swirling around me, but I couldn't really hear them, I could only hear my food being chewed ...and wish that I wasn't eating it.

The next week, I started to pack only half a lunch to take.

I thought maybe that would make it less stressful and maybe I could enjoy my lunch ... I wouldn't be counting the bites.

I'd just sit there and eat knowing I only had half a lunch to eat.

I got to school and at lunch that Monday, I sat down, laughing with my friends.
I pulled out my half of a sandwhich. I stared at it.
I suddenly felt my head spin ... my ears couldn't hear ...and I took the first bite ...and then the second.

I counted the bites as I finished my lunch.

Half a sandwich, half an apple and 1 cookie.

By Friday, I decided the stress of eating lunch was too great ...I'd rather sit there with my friends and visit than eat lunch in a panic zone.
So, the next week ...no breakfast and no lunch.

The only meal I had to worry about was dinner. My mom and sister were around for that. Knowing I had not eaten all day, and just my mom and sister were around made eating dinner a little less stressful than what I'd experienced.

The day of the concert came ..and I went to put on the dress ... something terrible happened.

The dress still didn't fit.

It was way too big, but I didn't see it that way.
All I could tell is that it didn't fit ... and in my mind, that meant I'd gained weight ..how could I have done that?
I must have made an absolute pig of myself!!!
I determined to buckle down, I would find ways to cut down on what I was eating during dinner time.
Mom was always on a diet.
She wouldn't mind me making healthy changes to my dinner.
But she'd have to not guess that I'd been skipping my breakfast and lunch.

So, every morning, I'd make breakfast and pour it down the garbage disposal, making sure that egg shells or a pc of cereal stayed in the sink for tale tell signs. I'd make my lunch and feed it to the dogs.
That way the food supply appropriately dissapated.

My weight went down, and people noticed.
I got complemented ..and every complement was an insult ...Peggikaye! you're loosing weight!
You look good!
Was translated in my brain as "Peggikaye, it's about time you stopped looking like a beached whale!"

I didn't know that I'd stared on a road I couldn't stop.
I didn't know I didn't just start a plan to get into a dress, that was already too big ... a short term fix ... it would become a lifelong battle.

A battle with a mirror that would lie to me,

and a body that would be destroyed by the betrayal of it's owner.

The eating disorder started within months of the death of Daddy ...

and is still something that I struggle with today.

I didnt' seek help till I was 36.

By then, I had scars in my esophogus, polyps in my throat, teeth that are shot ... and who knows what else.

I wrote that a couple of years ago. May 1, 2006.

At that point in time, I was in an OK place, thoughts were coming hard and fast with "if you just skip a little ... it'll be better, less stressful ..."

*I* thought ... that I was doing ok ...and in June of 2006, I went to church camp as a counselor for the youth group. I went with who was, at the time, a new friend.

She and I have become quite close ...and I've shared things with her I never thought I'd share ... but back then, we were just starting to get to know each other.

I can remember sitting in the cafeteria and staring at the food, and then 'tackling' eating it.

I thought, I'd done a good job ..but that I'd eaten a ton .... only, as my friend Allyson and I got to know each other, she shared with me her concerns for that week. She wondered how I could be eating so little ... how could that be healthy?

Then ...we started to build our house in September ... and my struggle to keep from relapsing, which, was obviously not going as well as I thought ... came crashing down.

As I struggled with the attention suddenly thrust on me ... for house, family and published book .. I became frightened and withdrew into the only coping mechanism I knew.

A year later, my lab work was a mess ... malnutrition and definitely NOT loosing weight ...

when you have polycystic ovarian disease with insulin resistance the only way you're going to loose weight is to do it properly ...otherwise the body hangs on to each and every calorie it can.

So .. in November I had to face, I was literally killing myself ... slowly, but surely.

It had not dawned on me that *I* Peggikaye, could die from this disease. Not after so many years ... and yet, I was faced with lab work that was just short of dangerous ....

My kidneys were not going to make it much longer if I didn't do something.

It still took me a bit to start to eat again ... and then, got stuck on prednisone ...that'll do it.

Prednisone ...that dreaded drug ...that caused me to gain my weight to begin with ... and here I was ..on it for the forseeable future ... and I ate ..knowing that this, is my chance in therapy to get eating right and dealing with things so that when I went off, I didn't go back to restricting.

I went to the doctor today ...braced myself for the 15 to 20 pound weight gain that was all but certain ....

and the scale stopped .. just 2 pounds higher than where I'd been in November.

Um ... holiday ... prednisone ... and ... 2 pounds.

It struck me ... maybe, just maybe the eating right ... is keeping a balance .... and ... when I get off the drug, if I can keep it up ... it will come off ... as effortlessly as not gaining has happened on prednisone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I just posted about my absence from the blog world ... dead computer ....and how we got computerized again ... stole sons computer .... and the post disappeared.

I was about to post about Eating Disorder Awareness week ... but lost it.

So, for now, I will just let everyone know I'm back ...

when I get some alone time, I'll do an ED awareness post.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Casting Crowns

Tomorrow night ... I go see Casting Crowns ... got free tickets through Habitat for Humanity & Casting Crowns ...

They have no idea what a gift they've given me.

Casting Crowns - Praise You In This Storm

I get to see Casting Crown's Tomorrow night!

Got the call this morning, tickets available for me, through Habitat .... Casting Crown's gives tickets to groups like Habitat in cities to ensure that some people who might not otherwise afford to go get to go. They gave some to Habitat. Most of the tickets had been given away ...but this morning they still needed 3 more to give away or give back. Someone in the office asked if we'd been asked.
We hadn't.
Do we want to go
YES!!!!!!!!! I've been praying for a way to figure out how to go.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

Salvation Army Treasure hunt



vase bad picture ...but ...

This one goes into both collections ..blue and white china AND my elephants. (although it is not an official blue and white pattern and obviously not a blue willow close enough for government work!)


move along

Test ..test ...this is just a test ... move along to more interesting posts. Nothing to see here ....