exploring, preserving: past, present


Saturday Upside – More Closet Cleaning Treasures

I’ve written before about how Saturday cleaning time has helped me rediscover hidden treasures.

Today, I will share three more pictures of the gorgeous embroidery that my grandmother (Dad’s mother) did. All of this is still on old flour bags cut into tea towels. And again, all patterns were pictures in Grandma’s head, spilled out onto cloth in beautiful stitchery. In a set of seven fruit-themed tea towels, I ended up with three:



All tea towels in the set had central multiple-fruit embroidery, surrounded by single fruits and a scalloped black edge on the bottom for framing.



My favourite of the three I have are the strawberries. The French knots are so incredibly tiny, and perfectly placed, to represent the seeds.



These tea towels, and the tea towels in my other post, were all done by my grandmother in the late 1970s. I am taking them all to a framing shop this week to preserve them!

Love finding forgotten treasures – the upside to Saturday cleaning!

Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others every Saturday as we find the upsides in everyday life.


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Saturday Upside – When Cleaning Day and Chinese Culture Blend

It’s Saturday, and that means laundry and house-cleaning day! This Saturday is special, though, because it is New Year’s Eve for our two Chinese girls staying with us. We are ending the Year of the Dragon, and entering the Year of the Snake. As Chinese tradition has it, New Year’s Eve is a time to ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned your home of all dust, dirt, … anything from the previous year can’t be left behind to enter the new year.


Tradition also has it that the New Year is celebrated with gifts, food, fresh flowers and plants in the home, and wearing a new outfit to ring in the New Year.

We’re not Chinese. We have, however, hosted many Chinese students who have come to Canada to study English, and then to continue their education after learning English. We very much enjoy participating in their celebrations. Today, the upside of New Year’s Eve is that my girls put in extra time and help to mop floors, clean dishes, and dust furniture – more so than they usually do. And I went out of my way to purchase some lucky bamboo.


So, whether you are Chinese or not, may this New Year of the Snake bring you health, fortune, and luck!

Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others every Saturday as we explore the upsides of every-day life!

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Saturday Upside – Old Fashioned versus Modern Day

It’s laundry day today. And I’m sitting here, thinking about my first job I had. When I was fifteen, I started working for a local museum doing dishes. Not a bad job because it was minimum wage, predictable hours, and there was a dependable dishwashing machine that I could use. But, because that job was in a museum which wanted to emphasize demonstrating how things were done “in the old days”, I regularly had my sleeves rolled up and my arms in up to my elbows in hot, soapy water and dirty dishes for all to see as they visited the on-site restaurant.

Once, I got a break from dishes and was asked to work across the way from the restaurant at the preserved log cabin home washing laundry.


My mother grew up having to do laundry like this. A washboard, large tub, hot soapy water, and long hours of scrubbing were the start of her experience. A mangle with two rollers helped press the water out of the clothes, allowing the clothing to dry more quickly.

So as I sit surrounded by my piles of sorted laundry, waiting for my Whirlpool washing machine to finish its cycle, and the dryer to stop its cycle in readiness for the next load, I think “what a wonderful world” that I don’t have to use a washboard and basin. Funny though, I use one at the lake and enjoy it a lot – time to pause, make some tea, and contemplate what is both lost and gained with modernization.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!
Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others on Saturdays, finding the “upside” in everyday things.