German Eglantine Biscuit Jar

There are a few weeks left in the year, to share two or three more stories behind vintage items I own. I rescued the German Eglantine Biscuit Jar. Greg’s grandparents had stopped using it and tucked it away in their storage shed. I had no idea what it was, I just thought it was uniquely pretty. As a newlywed, I displayed the jar for a while and then I too quit using it and stored it away.

After many moves and the passage of years, I recently uncovered the biscuit jar again. Thanks to Google, I now have the ability to learn more about this vintage treasure.

German Eglantine Biscuit Jar

Eglantine Biscuit Jar

The mark on the bottom of the jar has a crown over a stylized O and H, with the words “Germany” and “Eglantine” printed beneath.

Eglantine is a type of rose. This piece has dainty roses painted around the jar, and the handles and top of the lid are made from porcelain roses. The glaze finish is clear and gold details adorn the edges.

When Americans hear the word biscuits we imagine small fluffy rounds of bread, dripping with butter or smothered in gravy. However, in Europe a biscuit is what we’d call a cookie. This small exquisite beauty is a cookie jar!

German Eglantine Biscuit Jar

German Porcelain

The Eglantine Biscuit Jar is German in origin. The mark with the fancy O and H indicates Hermann Ohme manufactured it between 1920 and 1930.

The factory was located in the town of Nieder-Salzbrunn (today Sczawienko). Ohme mainly produced full dinner sets and accessories which were available in two types of finishes. Clear Glaze and Old Ivory wares were both made from the same quality of porcelain but the Old Ivory type received an additional light ivory colored matte glaze. The Clear Glaze, decorated with a wide variety of floral and geometric patterns, was produced for the European and US market.

In 1913 Hermann Ohme, E.M. Bauer and Hermann Ohme Jr owned the company. Together they increased production for the export market, which proved to be a fatal decision. While pushing those exports, they missed the beginning signs that indicated a financial crises was coming. When the bottom dropped out of the export business, shortly after the collapse of the stock market in October 1929, a world wide economic collapse began. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1930.

German Eglantine Biscuit Jar

German Ancestry

The significance of the biscuit jar, with its origins, is that Bill and Ruby Kygar Moore both had German ancestry. The Siegfrieds and the Kygars, whether they shared connections in Germany or not, definitely tracked together in America. Greg continues to research his family roots through Ancestry.com. Bill Moore’s mother was a Siegfried. And Ruby’s father, a Kygar. Several items passed down to us came through those family lines.

I am honored to be the keeper of the German porcelain pieces that include a Hertwig china doll, the biscuit jar and a Bavarian china bread tray, seen in the picture. Traditional cookies aren’t part of my diet any longer. However, I have several healthy, plant based cookie recipes. Perhaps that biscuit jar will enjoy a new life, holding a different kind of treat.

Tonight, the jar cradles a tea light candle. I’m on Pinterest though, searching for healthy versions of traditional German cookies. How fun will baking those be?

German Eglantine Biscuit Jar

Liver Rescue Book Club

The book Liver Rescue, by Anthony William, released at the end of October. I preordered a copy, as did my mom and sister Linda. What better way to work through the amazing information within this hefty volume, than together.

Tonight we met for the first Liver Rescue Book Club meeting.

Liver Rescue Book Club

Why a Book About the Liver?

This evening we covered the first two chapters of the book. Chapter one is introductory…and eye opening. Why would Anthony devote an entire book to liver health? Because it’s that important.

We are very aware of other organs and systems in the body. Our hearts beat. We draw breath into our lungs. The stomach growls when it’s empty. We think with our brains. Our bladders fill and our intestines rumble. We moisturize our skin or get goosebumps when something extraordinary happens.

Our livers though? We don’t give them a thought…until we are far gone in a catastrophic illness such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. And yet the liver works incredible hard on our behalf, to keep the body functioning.

Anthony goes so far as to suggest that our livers are our best friends. It’s time, my mom, sister and I decided, to get to know this mysterious organ and do all we can to keep it healthy and happy, as many other ailments and illness are connected to liver health.

Liver Rescue Book Club

Liver Rescue Book Club

Our first meeting was a success. Mom prepared a delicious plant based meal that we shared with stepdad Walter. I’ll provide dinner next Tuesday. Linda will feed us the week after that.

The table cleared after dinner, the three of us opened our books and discussed the first two chapters.

Chapter Two explores the connection between liver health and the pancreas. A diet high in fat wreaks havoc on the liver, which then has a negative impact on the pancreas. Linda and I are very aware of pancreatic distress. We lost our father eight years ago to pancreatic cancer. This terminal cancer is on the rise. I know many, many people who have succumbed to this horrible disease. I want to do all I can to keep my liver and pancreas working well.

We talked about various sections in the first two chapters. And we expressed genuine gratitude for how miraculous the human body is. To encourage each other and keep us on track, we set a goal for next week. Each of us will keep a food journal over the next seven days, recording everything we eat. It’s possible, even on a plant based diet, to consume too much fat. Writing down what we eat raises awareness and allows us to see where problem areas might lurk.

I appreciate my mother and sister, for their willingness to improve their health and walk with me on this journey. Being the best we can be doesn’t have to be difficult. We intend to link arms and do this together…and have fun while we befriend our livers.

Liver Rescue Book Club

Order Liver Rescue, or other Anthony William books, through my Amazon Storefront.

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Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

I love decorating for Christmas. This is my favorite time of year, for many reasons. Near the top of the list is that I enjoy the coziness and warmth of my decorated home.

People ask me about creating vignettes, which are displays with items grouped together. They are easy to do and during the holidays, even items that aren’t specifically Christmas themed can be used as décor.

Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive. Using what’s already owned is fun and creates uniquely beautiful arrangements. Here are some of my favorite tips that are easy to duplicate.

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Use Available Surfaces

Use ALL available surfaces, clearing away regular décor. This includes mantles, tabletops, shelves, dressers, side tables, counters and even vintage chair seats. If it has a flat surface, it can be decorated! I have a vintage metal ironing board with a wooden top. It gets decorated for Christmas. Don’t forget the floor beneath tables and chairs.

Study the cleared surface and decide whether to leave it bear or cover with a cloth before decorating. I have a drawer full of linens that I’ve picked up over the years…placemats, pretty kitchen towels, vintage doilies, table runners, etc. I watch for sales and markdowns and pick up linens at a fraction of the cost. If I spy a red or green plaid cloth on sale I snatch it up. Don’t hesitate to use linens in other colors though. I have two gorgeous shawls that I use during the holidays that are rust, black and green.

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Group Items Together

Once surfaces are cleared, study the space. The size of the area determines how to fill it. For a small space, such as the seat of a vintage chair, two or three items are enough. A tabletop can hold an entire collection, such as a Christmas village or a snowman grouping. Shelves hold arrangements at either end.

I tend to use the rule of three often, grouping three items together that vary in size and height. However, there aren’t really any rules! This is where the fun begins. Gather items together and play. Try different arrangements, adding items or taking them away, until what remains is pleasing to YOU.

Of course use the Christmas décor that you have, but don’t be afraid to add in other everyday pieces. More about that in the next section.

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Include Everyday Décor in Christmas Decorating

This is one of my favorite things to do as I decorate, incorporate non-holiday pieces. I mix Christmas decorations with vintage pieces, stacks of books, framed art and all kinds of everyday décor. The result is eclectic and fun and it saves money, using what I already have on hand.

This time of year is great for showcasing vintage pieces. Use color to unify everything. On a shelf I have groupings that don’t contain anything Christmas themed. Red elements tie everything together and create a holiday feel. Another display features a stack of Harry Potter books, a wooden candle holder, a favorite framed quote, a black lion, a wooden box full of colored pencils and a metal candle holder featuring a row of Christmas trees. Most of the items are not Christmas related yet the vignette is colorful and festive.

This is creative play at a high level. Enjoy the process of making a display from favorite items.

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Use a Variety of Containers

Another favorite trick of mine is to create vignettes inside all sorts of containers. Wooden boxes, trays, metal buckets, my grandfather’s WWII army truck, an old wooden sieve and a vintage suitcase all become a place to group décor.

Christmas and non-holiday items can share the space. Work with a color theme or chose an item to be the foundational piece and build around that.

My great great aunt’s little red footrest is flipped upside down, becoming a rustic box. It holds two mason jars with tea lights tucked inside, dried baby’s breath and cinnamon sticks. A red metal birdcage candle holder and tiny red metal BELIEVE sign complete the vignette.

On the deck Aunt Annie’s red box is filled with greenery, pine cones and candle holders. Greg has made me several boxes from old repurposed wood. Each has a vignette within it. In the bedroom Grandma Moore’s battered old suitcase holds a mix of items, from flea market finds to metal Christmas trees to vintage photographs.

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Use Tea Lights Everywhere

The simplest way to create holiday warmth and cheer throughout a home is to fill it with candlelight. Those flickering lights dispel darkness and act as tiny beacons of hope.

I have all kinds of Christmas candle holders that I enjoy. However, any fireproof container can serve as a candle holder. I pop tea lights into decorative bird cages, sturdy tea cups and mugs, metal buckets, mason jars, glass containers, sugar bowls and pitchers. The possibilities are endless. If a container is fragile or not fireproof I use a battery operated tea light, to be safe.

If someone wants to decorate on a budget, this is my number one tip: buy a bag of tea lights, add them to a variety of containers, and then group them together. It’s a great way to feel the joy of Christmas.

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

Decorating for Christmas, Your Way

I hope these tips have given you some usable ideas! The best thing about decorating for Christmas is that each person can create décor that uniquely represents who she or he is.

Love plants? Collect cat figurines? Have Grandma’s silver candlesticks? Love the rustic look? Classical décor? Pink everything? It all works. It’s all allowed. Bring out the pieces that bring you joy…and start grouping them together until the results make you smile. Most importantly, have fun. Play Christmas music. Sip tea or hot chocolate. Wear your favorite Christmas sweater.

Decorate the whole house or one room or a single shelf. And please, send me a photo!

Decorating for Christmas with What You Have

The Brightest Star

What’s the perfect topic for a Sunday Short post? A Star Trek Short Trek! The Brightest Star, the third of four Short Treks, premiered Thursday evening. I grabbed an opportunity to watch it this evening.

The Brightest Star

The Brightest Star Cast

This sci-fi short stars Doug Jones, Hannah Spear, Robert Verlaque and Michelle Yeoh. The episode was directed by Douglas Aarniokoski and written by Bo Yeon Kim, Alex Kurtzman and Erika Lippoldt. It has a run time of 15 minutes.

Star Trek Short Trek: The Brightest Star is available on CBS All Access.

The Brightest Star

Saru’s Backstory

Saru (Jones) is the first Kelpien to enter Starfleet. The Brightest Star offers a glimpse into this character’s intriguing past.

A young Saru lives in a village with his father Aradar (Verlaque) and sister Siranna (Spear). Life is simple on the planet of Kaminar, governed by traditions and meaningful tasks.

The Kelpiens are a pre-warp drive race that has developed a heightened sense of danger. Ganglia on the backs of their necks alert them to impending danger. They live in fear…and resignation, knowing that in accordance with their beliefs, they may be called upon to offer themselves up as sacrifices, to preserve “The Balance” in their way of life.

When Kelpiens look to the sky, they feel fear. But not Saru. He feels curiosity about what lies beyond his world. And in contrast to his upbringing and his father’s teachings, he feels hope. There must be something more out there beyond the stars.

The Brightest Star

Saru Goes Beyond

The intensity of Saru’s desires provides an opportunity to reach out. Advanced technology literally falls from the sky, from an unseen race that the Kelpiens fear and seek to appease. Rather than destroy the beacon, as commanded by his father, Saru sends a simple message into space that’s part greeting and part invitation.

After several days, his greeting is returned. And the invitation is accepted. TODAY the return message says. After a sweet goodbye to his sister, Saru waits in the dark, watching the stars. A shuttlecraft appears, with familiar markings. Out steps a young Philippa Georgiou (Yeoh), a lieutenant at this stage in her Starfleet career.

Saru makes a choice that opens the universe for him and alters his life.

The Brightest Star

My Thoughts on The Brightest Star

This was a lovely episode, about one of my favorite characters in the new Star Trek: Discovery series. During the first season I got to watch Saru grow tremendously, as a being whose race lives in perpetual fear. The short provides more pieces of information about the Kelpiens and Saru in particular. His curiosity and hopefulness set him apart from the others in his family and community. It becomes understandable why Saru is the only Kelpien to take to the stars.

The Brightest Star creates questions as well, which in my opinion is one of the signs of a good story. It’s a “page turner”, creating in me the desire to know more about the early development and customs of the Kelpiens. And I’m always open to learning more about Saru.

Doug Jones shines in this role. He is a talented actor who appears to be a genuine, good-hearted, kind man who brings those same qualities to Saru. I’m excited to see how the character develops in Season Two.

The end of The Brightest Star brought a lump to my throat. I identifiy with Saru. His yearning to go beyond is mine as well and has been a driving force in my life these last five years. I want to know what’s out there…beyond the stars AND beyond my fears.

Saru’s voiceover as the shuttle flies away is perfection:

“I saw hope in the stars. It was stronger than fear and I went toward it.”

I get teary eyed just typing his words. Hope is always stronger than fear. I keep moving toward it too.

The Brightest Star

Movie Review: Robin Hood

I enjoy the story of Robin Hood, the nobility born man who becomes a thief. The outlaw robs from the rich and gives to the poor, transforming into a hero for the common people of Nottingham.

I’ve seen many versions of this story in my lifetime. So you can bet when trailers presented a new telling of this old tale, I intended to see it. This afternoon I slipped into the movie theater…and back to Medieval England.

Movie Review Robin Hood

Robin Hood Cast

This action adventure film stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan, Tim Minchin, J. Murray Abraham and Paul Anderson. Directed by Otto Bathurst, Robin Hood carries a PG-13 rating, for adult themes and violence, and has a run time of 1 hour and 56 minutes.

Movie Review Robin Hood

Robin Hood’s Early Story

Robin of Loxley (Egerton) leaves his home in Nottingham, pressed into service to fight in the Crusades. He leaves as well Marian (Hewson) the woman he loves, promising to return. She vows to wait for him.

Four years later Robin is disillusioned with the war. His differing perspectives on how to treat captured Moors clashes with his commander, Guy of Gisborne (Anderson). The growing conflict between the two men comes to a head when Robin attempts to save the son of a Moor (Foxx), who initially tried to kill him. The youth is executed, however Robin frees the father.

Robin is shot with an arrow during the escape, and subsequently shipped back to England. There he finds his estate in ruins and Marian gone. Friar Tuck (Minchin) informs Robin that the Sheriff of Nottingham (Mendelson) seized his property two years ago, when Robin was declared dead. Marian now lives in a mining town with a man named Will (Dornan).

His old life destroyed, Robin intends to leave Nottingham. Instead he encounters the Moor he saved during the Crusade. The man stowed away on Robin’s ship bound for England. He wants to help Robin take back what’s his…his property, his title, and eventually the woman he loves. Robin of Loxley can’t pronounce his new friend’s name. The Moor tells him the English equivalent is John.

Movie Review Robin Hood

A Nobleman Becomes a Thief

John comes up with a two fold plan: Robin is to assume the role of nobleman to get close to the Sheriff of Nottingham and discover all he can about the heavy taxation that burdens the people. And in secret the young man becomes a thief, stealing from the Sheriff and giving back to the poor, which includes Marian and her man Will Scarlet.

Training begins. Robin is good with a bow, however John teaches him new techniques that enables arrows to be shot much more quickly.

John shortens Robin’s long coat, creating a jacket with a hood that covers the head. A scarf that belonged to John’s murdered son conceals Robin’s face.

As Robin of Loxley works his way into the Sheriff’s favor, he robs him in secret, setting up ambushes and pilfering coins. The people begin to call the thief The Hood, and remain unaware of his real identity. The Cardinal (Abraham) arrives, furious about the thefts and the elusiveness of The Hood.

At last Robin discovers the real intentions of the Sheriff and the purpose for the money collected by way of taxation. And the Cardinal backs the nefarious plan.

Robin must decide if he is a nobleman who has become a thief and an outlaw…or if he is stepping into the heroic role he was always intended to fulfill.

Movie Review Robin Hood

My Thoughts on Robin Hood

I enjoyed this latest adaptation of a favorite story. All the characters were present in the film, with fresh voices and slightly different relationships in a few instances. I liked the angle this story took, of Robin getting close to the Sheriff to better discover the man’s true intentions.

The cinematography was gorgeous and the action scenes well done. Visually this Robin Hood is a very appealing movie with much for the eyes to feast on and appreciate.

I’ve read criticism for the costuming, as the characters’ clothes were a unique blend of historical, contemporary and futuristic. This was intentional! The film’s set and costume designers were instructed very specifically about the desired look and they succeeded in accomplishing their directives. Rather than be critical that the clothes weren’t 100% historically accurate, I loved the overall look. The artist in me appreciated the marvelous creativity unleashed in the movie.

The use of the bows and the rapid firing of the arrows actually is an ancient technique. Lars Andersen of Denmark is an archery master. He was hired to teach the rapid fire and double arrow techniques to the cast. Take a look at one of his impressive YouTube Videos.

Movie Review Robin Hood

Fresh Robin Hood

I found a lot to like about this newest take on a familiar story. The fresh elements added to the retelling rather than detracting from it, for me. If I wanted to see Robin Hood told in the same way every time, I’d simply rewatch an older version.

But look what I would have missed! Alan Rickman’s darkly humorous Sheriff. Cary Ewles’ sarcasm. Russell Crowe’s gritty portrayal of the hero. Kevin Costner’s appearing and disappearing English accent. All the variations of the story combined create a much bigger and richer picture. I gain a nugget of truth, an aha, or words of inspiration from each one.

And that’s why I attend movies in the first place…to learn more about the way the world works and to discover in deeper ways who I am.

Movie Review Robin Hood

Cherish Your Visions

I’m inspired by a Napoleon Hill Quote today:

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul and the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

Presented here are a few quick thoughts about Hill’s words.

Cherish Your Visions

Cherish Your Visions and Dreams

Cherish suggests that we hold dear and valuable our visions for the future and our dreams. Visions are pictures we see with more than our eyes. They are created by our hearts and souls, a big picture painted in broad strokes that captures the essence of who we are and what we are here to do.

Cherish also means to protect and care for. That’s how important visions and dreams are, for they are fragile things when they are first created. They must be nourished and tended to, played with and carried. Doted on in this way, they will grow.

Cherish Your Visions

They Are Children of the Soul

In fact, it is so crucial to nurture visions and dreams that Hill calls them the “children of the soul”. As a mother I understand and connect with that comparison.

Children are birthed into the world, precious and new. And yet, even while tiny, they are full of the potential they will grow into. Cherishing and protecting those children enables them to grow until they flourish on their own.

Visions and dreams are the same. We birth them from our deepest desires. They begin as a small spark of creativity or imagination and with attention and care they grow, expand and take on life of their own.

Is there anything more exciting than a dream that begins to take on shape and depth and looks you squarely in the eyes?

Cherish Your Visions

Blueprints of Achievements

A blueprint is a plan, a map, that helps to bring creativity into reality and imagination into matter. It’s a form of guidance and yet it is adaptable and evolves or shifts as details come together.

My “blueprints” consists of journal pages full of writing, vision boards, sticky notes on a white board, and mile markers that note when I’ve reached an important destination on the journey toward my dreams.

As 2018 makes way for 2019, I’ll spend time nurturing my dreams, broadening my visions and examining my blueprints in all their various forms. I’ll be sharing more about the process and about the dreams as well.

Cast a vision and cherish it. Birth a dream and feed it so that it grows. Join me in making next year a time for manifesting those visions and dreams!

Cherish Your Visions

What Area of Your Life Causes Discomfort?

I receive Notes from the Universe daily. Created by Mike Dooley, these brief emails remind me that I’m not journeying through life alone. I’m surrounded by companions, here and in Spirit. And I have Divine guidance that appears in many forms.

The Note this morning caused reflection.

Think of the one area of life that brings you the most discomfort, Cindy, and know that’s where you are ripe for growth.

What Area in Your Life Causes Discomfort

What Area of Life Causes Discomfort?

I had to think about this note throughout the day. My journey the last ten years has focused on moving Beyond…past fears, comfort zones and limiting beliefs. Parts that were not me have been pruned away so that my true self can flourish and shine.

The area of my life that can still cause me discomfort, albeit relatively minor discomfort now, is speaking up, speaking out, using my voice and being authoritative when I need to be. I’ve practiced avoidance most of my life, due to a strong dislike of confrontation. While it seemed easier to remain silent, the lack of voice created problems.

What Area of Your Life Causes Discomfort

Use My Voice

In August of this year I explored this area of my life. Unblocking my throat chakra has strengthened my voice tremendously and helped me to speak up rather than remain silent. Read that post Ahem, I Speak My Truth.

My reflections today allowed me to see that my next steps in totally eliminating discomfort are about owning my voice, my ideas, and my authority.

It seems the Divine is ahead of me here, calling me onward. What symbol have I been given for 2019? The Queen chess piece. The queen, whether she is a chess piece or a flesh and blood woman, is powerful. She has great freedom to go where she will and do good or defend or protect. And living breathing queens use their voices.

I’m excited about next year’s journey, as the Queen of Enchantment. I am ripe for growth indeed, in all areas of my life, especially where it concerns speaking up and using my voice. Even the word “enchant” has to do with speaking or singing. It’s all coming together!

I ask you. What area of your life causes you discomfort? Are you ready to grow?

What Area of Your Life Causes Discomfort

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

This morning a quote I saved five years ago popped up in my memories on Facebook.

Connect with those who remind you who you are. Ralph Smart

The words felt like an important reminder, on several interconnected levels. I saved the quote by taking a photo of it.

What I didn’t realize is that the quote was a nudge in a particular direction, a path that began to unfold. They might even be classified as a command.

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

Remember Who You Are

In most of my favorite stories, a key part of the main character’s journey is remembering who he or she is. Often there are struggles, challenges and disappointments that serve to awaken the hero or heroine of the story.

As he or she awakens, another vital character steps forward and asks, “Who are you?” Or a statement may be uttered instead. “Remember who you are.”

I love those transformational stories, where people become who they are created to be. I love even more that our journeys evolve in the same way. Something alarming or achingly beautiful awakens us. As we become fully awake, fully aware, we begin the ongoing journey of remembering who we are.

I’m awake. I’ve remembered who I am. My journey now is about living fully as me. I keep my little mascot Absolem on my writing table. He’s the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, who asks me daily, “Who are you?” Absolem and the framed art piece next to his mushroom are wonderful visuals that remind me, daily, of who I am.

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

Thomas Moore

I’ve been re-reading The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore. His charming book is providing a foundation for next year.

Greg is reading another Thomas Moore book, Ageless Soul. As we ate lunch Greg asked if he could read a portion of the book aloud to me. He added that the words reminded him of me.

I often travel to Ireland by myself now, and I know I’m looking for and experiencing something important and quite deep for me. When I’m there, I often just walk the streets of Dublin, taking in all the sights that by now are very familiar to me. I seem to be looking for lost parts of myself, and I wish I had even closer ties to Ireland. I wish my grandparents, instead of my great grandparents, had been born there so I could now be an Irish citizen. What is that wish, except some desire to be more closely connected to that important part of my identity? I’m looking for a past, perhaps a lost sense of myself, which seems essential. Thomas Moore

I so identify with Thomas’ words. The way he feels about Ireland and the city of Dublin is how I feel about Scotland, and Edinburgh. I too just want to walk the streets of my favorite city. I want to know Edinburgh at a deep and intimate level. Which is a way of saying I want to know myself in a deep and intimate way. Something essential about myself waits for me in Scotland. I’ll be back there next summer, to discover more about what it is.

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

Connecting With Thomas Moore

I realized that the words Greg read and the quote I saved this morning are both pieces of a larger picture. Thomas Moore, through his books, reminds me who I am. He’s one of my “people”, that I want to stay connected to.

My thoughts from there took a big leap.

Every person…author, actor, speaker…that I’ve felt strongly about meeting, I’ve met. I put the intention out there, and in beautiful and often mysterious ways, the universe rearranges itself and the opportunity is offered. We meet. There are a few dear souls who are already gone from this world that I would love to chat with. I have to content myself with a soul connection that is known on a different plane.

However, Thomas Moore is alive and well and he is a kindred spirit. The nudges and soul taps today have raised my awareness about possibly connecting with this inspiring author, this man who reminds me who I am. The intention to connect…and it does not have to be a face to face meeting…is released now into the world and the universe. I let go of the outcome. Dream Giver…I give this desire to you.

Thomas Moore…let’s connect and talk about enchantment, Ireland and Scotland.

Connect With People Who Remind You Who You Are

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Grandpa Bill’s Shaving Mug

Grandpa Bill’s shaving mug came to me 30 plus years ago, when my mom and stepdad downsized and moved to Arizona for a time. The vintage piece belonged to her father and I felt honored to become its keeper.

Although I displayed the shaving mug for a few years, fear of it getting broken caused me to pack it away, out of sight. And out of sight eventually does become out of mind. I forgot about my grandfather’s mug and lather brush until a few days ago.

In recent years I’ve brought keepsakes and treasures out of storage, incorporating them into my décor. It’s time again to display this vintage item.

Grandpa Bills Shaving Mug

Shaving Mug History

It was common for men to have shaving mugs and lather brushes, between 1880 and the 1920s. They either kept a mug and brush at home, or the barber they frequented kept a personalized set on hand for them.

Those purchased for home use were usually bought through local stores or the Sears catalog. The home mugs had more variety in shape and size but typically went un-personalized.

Many shaving soap manufacturers gave free, inexpensive mugs to customers as a sales promotion, hoping the customer would continue to purchase their shaving soap. Probably the most famous example of this is the Old Spice “sailing ship” mug.

The soap was dropped into the mug and a wet brush used to create a rich lather for shaving. Lather was applied to the face with the same brush. A razor blade whisked off lather and whiskers.

Barbers used personalized mugs for clients, believing the practice prevented shaving rash. In reality the rash wasn’t caused by sharing soap. It was caused by unsterilized razors.

Read more about the history of shaving.

Grandpa Bills Shaving MugStock photo of vintage razors

Grandpa Bill’s Shaving Mug

My mother remembers watching her father use his mug and brush. As a wee girl, she found the process of shaving fascinating. Grandpa Bill used a long bladed razor to carefully remove the shaving lather and his whiskers.

My grandfather was killed in an accident when my mother was only four years old. Memories of him are few, and all the more precious because of their rarity.

Since he passed away in 1944, the mug and brush now in my possession are at least 74 years old, and possibly older. Mom knows nothing about where her dad acquired his shaving set or how long he had it. Perhaps because of her fond memories, the mug and brush passed to her as a young adult.

Grandpa Bills Shaving MugA clean shaven Bill Gregory with his wife Mildred and baby daughter, Patty…who is my mother.

A Keepsake Uncovered

I’m grateful that Mom passed the shaving mug on to me. Although I never had the privilege of meeting my maternal grandfather, I have felt a close connection to him all of my life. He has been my guardian angel, a presence in Spirit who has watched over me and comforted me. I call him Papaw Bill.

I’m even more thankful that when I suddenly remembered the mug and brush, I knew exactly where I had stored them for safekeeping. Holding the simple mug and the brush with the chipped paint, I can imagine Papaw Bill holding them as well. The mug hums with the long ago energy of a kind and thoughtful man who loved his family and cared for them. Closing my eyes, I can almost catch a whiff of the clean, soapy scent of shaving lather.

The shaving mug and brush are on display in my bedroom tonight. They seem right at home on a bedside table, resting among vintage Christmas pieces. I’ll light a candle before going to bed, next to the mug, in honor of my grandfather. I’m thinking of William Gregory…Billy to his wife and friends, Daddy to three children, Papaw Bill to me.

Grandpa Bills Shaving Mug

One of the Sneaky Cards Shows Up

On February 1, 2017, my grandson Dayan and I opened a deck of Sneaky Cards. These interactive, play it forward cards contain fun missions that involve creativity, social interaction or stealth.

After the mission is completed, the cards are passed on to someone else, and he or she continues the game by completing the mission, and passing the card on. Each deck of Sneaky Cards has a unique number so that the cards can be tracked. I’m glad I registered by deck. I received notification recently that one of my cards had surfaced. Where it showed up surprised me!

One of the Sneaky Cards Shows Up

Challenge Yourself to an Adventure

Dayan and I each chose a card from the Sneaky Cards deck. Read about that experience HERE. I completed my mission, which was to create a handmade greeting card for an obscure holiday. After tucking the Groundhog’s Day card into an envelope, with the Sneaky Card inside, I stuck it into a realtor friend’s mailbox at the office, on February 2, 2017.

I chose Kyle as the recipient because I felt like he would “play it forward”, being the cool guy that he is. Once I let a card go, however, I truly do release it and move on.

One of the Sneaky Cards Shows Up

Update on a Sneaky Card

I’ve received a couple of notifications, on Sneaky Cards I’ve passed on. Most though I never hear about. I didn’t think about the greeting card mission again.

I didn’t, that is, until I got a notification via email that there was activity on the card. Since I’ve registered my deck, when someone finds a card he or she can type in the card’s ID number on the Sneaky Cards website and see where the card originated from and enter new info about where the card is now.

Excited to see where the “create a greeting card” mission card had ended up, clicked the link. What a surprise! After journeying to Australia, shortly after I stuck the card in Kyle’s mailbox, the card now appeared to be on a ship, near Antarctica!

One of the Sneaky Cards Shows Up

The Adventure Continues

The card may be en route to South Africa. Or perhaps the ship it is on will round the tip of Africa and head north up the coast. I may never know.

Or the next person to receive the card may post an update online as well. I hope so. Almost two years after I passed the card on, it is half a world away and on the move. How fun, to be part of this mission.

One of the Sneaky Cards Shows UpA photo of the card’s current location.

Another Sneaky Card

It’s been months since I last selected a card from the Sneaky Cards deck. Inspired by the recent surfacing of a past mission card, I decided it was time to play again.

Shuffling through the deck, I selected three cards randomly. All three choices appealed to me. One card drew my eyes again and again.

I chose this mission:

Leave this card in a different state or region. Write where you are leaving it below.

I live in an area where four states converge. I’ll tuck this mission card into my purse, and when the time feels right, leave it in another state. Before I walk away from the card, I will hold it near my heart and energetically surround it with love, joy and a sense of adventure.

May another of my Sneaky Cards travel far!

One of the Sneaky Cards Shows Up

Order your own Sneaky Cards by clicking the link below, and join the adventure!

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