Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do Something, But What ?? The Choice

Everyone is searching for answers. What should happen now with the American economy? Overnight our mess has spread around the world as evidenced by unsettled stock markets in Asia and Europe.
I heard one economist last week who had a pessimistic outlook. He asked how we could expect our current crop of politicians to figure out the present and the future when they hadn't even understood the past that got us where we are.
Yesterday the House of Representatives rejected the bailout plan. Outrage from "Main Street" lead them. We are all repulsed by stories of CEOs with ridiculous compensation packages and short sighted goals of enriching themselves.
Greed from CEOs and greedy us who saved too little and spent and borrowed too much.
Jon and I survived a deep recession in the 70's when he lost his job and we had three young children. It taught us to live on one income. It taught us to save to buy something and only borrow for the big ticket items like houses and cars.
It is obvious something has to change. It is less obvious what that is. $700 bailout? Do nothing and get a free fall correction? One of our former Minnesota governors, Arne Carlson, was on the news last night giving his take of how to proceed. He is a fiscal conservative and accountant by education. He ran a tight ship as governor using the veto frequently to hold the reigns. His suggestion: Get the politicians out of this solution. They are worried about being re-elected. He liked the idea of a task force with NY Major Bloomberg, Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney sharing their expertise. At least they each have a track record of success. In my opinion, they are way ahead of that bunch in congress. The rest of us might call on the one with the real power and wisdom. As a nation, it might be advisable to stop trying to take "In God We Trust" off our currency. "In US we trust isn't working so well."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Keep Your Sunny Side Up

A group of friends from church last night met at our house. We have been meeting sporadically for about four years and shared each other burdens and joys. One has gone through cancer treatment, another a serious chronic disease. All of us have prayed for each other's kids through one problem or another. Some still face serious conflicts. They have supported us and showed their love especially this last week when we stormed heaven for our daughter and new grandbabies.
These church small groups were started so people could get to know each other better. The original focus was a book discussion group about the Rick Warren book, "The Purpose Driven Life". I still remember the first line of that book, "It's not about you." Striking words to write for consumption by a country focused on the individual. It's not about me. Life is not all about me. Good to remember that once in a while when I realize how self-centered I can be. In an atmosphere of national upset it is good to remember it is not all about me. Look to console or help another. Next week our church is hosting guests from Switzerland and Germany and several US cities for a conference on sharing God's love. The project has an outreach into an inner city neighborhood where a semitruck load of new clothes will be distributed. They will also feed 1000 dinners to people who live in poverty. Help someone and show love where someone may feel unloved and hopeless. It's hard to sink into despair when you are busy helping someone else.

How to Avoid Food Fights

Don't need it because I am retired, but I found this amusing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grandma's Brag "Book"

Little Roman, in the green cap, is off oxygen and can come out of the isolette for up to 45" to me held by mom and dad. The blue tube is for feeding. Both are progressing. Zoe, in pink, is beginning to catch on to nursing. Mom and babies are doing well and progressing each day. Mary is home but M &M are off to the hospital for some of the feedings. Good bonding time for the new family.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Other Old Blue Eyes

He was a movie star as long as I can remember movie stars. He looked like a movie star. He was probably a lot nicer guy than many are and was a generous philanthropist in his later years. I saw a funny quote from him saying he was embarrassed that his salad dressings made more money than his movies had.

Paul Newman died yesterday. Many fans will miss him.

Yes, But Does He Look Presidential?

I heard a woman on the radio news yesterday say she didn't want to hear anyone who watched the candidates debate ask, "Who looks presidential?"
"Are they supposed to wear a stove pipe hat?" she asked.

What does presidential look like? Funny how images of Abe Lincoln do come to mind.

Do we want someone in a well tailored suit with nice teeth? (Not the suit, the person.) Someone with the "proper" expression--serious? smiling? concerned? Tough? Friendly? Someone who can wear blue jeans and chop wood or drive an SUV around the ranch? Someone who sails? Someone with a little dog on his lap? Someone who golfs? Fishes?

Poor Richard Nixon was hurt by 5 O'Clock shadow in those 1960 debates. It is frightening to think I remember that debate. Since he eventually became president, perhaps that look is presidential too. Manly beard. That would leave Sarah Palin in trouble. She has turned the tables on what female politicians look like. Optical shops love her because she has inspired huge sales in rimless specks. We probably will see more women growing long hair and sweeping it up as well.

So the country will watch the debates and try to decide who to pick. Who is the woodchuck and who is Honest Abe. The countdown quickens. Maybe we could just take one of the sleeping pills that send shimmering moths into the room and sleep until this thing is over. Most of us have a good idea who we like. Some probably would like a third option. Who is the third guy in that picture above? Is he in the running? Does he look presidential?

Friday, September 26, 2008

We're Gonna Win, Twins

I can't seem to get off the subject of Twins. Today Minnesotans will wake up and happily see that the Minnesota Twins baseball team won a late-night 10th inning victory over Chicago. We have chased them for first place this fall. TV clips this morning show a sold-out stadium celebrating as if we had won the whole deal. We are #1 in our division, and will play a three game series this weekend.

I haven't followed baseball much this year. Many Septembers the team has gotten hot but lost out. It is a young team that plays as a team. Some have called the Twins a training camp for the Yankees in past years. When a great pitcher or hitter comes up, a bigger, richer team buys them. The Red Sox "stole" our ace pitcher last year.

It seems more recent than '87 & '91, but I vividly remember those two world series wins. We were elated. Our older kids were fans and each went to one of the championship games. Dan had a good friend who slept on the sidewalk overnight to get the tickets. Dan was a college freshman and out of town at the time so he slept in a warm bed while his buddy froze in queue.

When the Twins started to look like they would head to the playoffs, I thought it would be great if the grandbabies might be born during the World Series with the Twins playing. They decided to come a little earlier. Maybe I should shop for size 0 tee shirts or a penant to put on those isolettes. Go Twins.

Baby update: Mary should go home Friday evening and is doing super. Zoe is beginning to nurse and looks great. Mike said the Dr. thought they hope to get the little guy off oxygen after the weekend. Good news. Go Twins!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Roman & Zoe

Three generations: Mary holding little Zoe while I look on. Yesterday was the first day Mary saw the kids. "RW" (Roman Wesley) is on O2 and can't come out of the isolette, but they let her hold Zoe in the nursery. Sweet little girl who loved to have mom cuddle her.
The videoguy, grandpa Jon, was busy doing his thing Tuesday. He went in the nursery and documented the kids first day. He posted the video on You tube. When I tried to find it by putting in key words Roman & Zoe I got video of a baby Zoe and her dog Roman!
Here is the "real "video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nY9wdtnAe0

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Speak the Word and Change the Picture

Sunday our pastor taught/preached about speaking God's word into our lives. It works like this, know what is in God's word and proclaim those words of truth / blessing into your own lives. One of his examples, Phillipians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".

I have used that one this week. With the crisis Mary and the babies went through this week with the pregnancy and delivery I have searched for other words of life in the book. One verse proclaims that the children and the children's children of believers will be blessed. I am using that. Previously I had written our first two grandchildrens names in the margin by that verse. I added Zoe and Roman this week. We do not have to face problems alone. God is more powerful than us and he loves us. When we chose to follow Him and begin to align ourselves to His ways he is there with us. Often we hear people say that everyone is a child of God. I don't believe that. Everyone is a creation of God. You become a child of God by choice. Opt in or out. You have free will.

The other point our pastor made was to speak words of blessing over ourselves and family. Have you ever noticed when someone has a foul mouth cursing everything in their lives with (excuse me) God damn this, God damn this, their lives are usually a mess? Why would we reject blessing our own lives and chose to say they should be cursed? You need spiritual understanding to see this. Yours for the asking.

May God Bless You richly today and may he continue to bless me and our family, especially those precious little ones and daughter Mary and Mike, her husband and new daddy. Grace to to them. May God keep them all safely in the palm of his hand and there is no snatching out of God's hand.

Link to a cool website with beautiful murals. Note the before and after pictures. We need vision to see what might be. Beauty from ashes. The before picture on the left, to the right after. http://www.ericgrohemurals.com/projects.html

Monday, September 22, 2008

Double Header Today

Introducing Zoe Cate & Roman Wesley born this evening. After a scary afternoon, we finally got to meet Little A & Little B. Mary developed a serious complication of pregnancy, HELLP syndrome, necessitating an emergency C-section delivery. The little ones are six weeks early and have immature lungs. Mary is still being treated with potent IV drugs. We got a quick peak at the kids and Mary. We continue to pray for good outcomes for mom and the little ones and covet your prayers.
Roman was Mary's grandpa's name. Wesley is Mike's grandpa's name. Zoe is a name they just loved and Cate is after Mary's grandma Catherine. What a day. We are thankful to the Lord that they are safely delivered and remain vigilant in our prayers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Years ago I realized that when I felt critical of someone else's behavior I was usually guilty of the same sin at some level. The bible even says if you have lust in your heart you are guilty of adultery. If you are sinfully angry with your brother, you have murder in your heart--to paraphrase. Still, initially I fall into the trap of shaking my head when I see someone do something I think is stupid or wrong. Then it hits judgmental me. I am guilty too.

It isn't just the seawalls in Texas that have taken a beating this past week. Wall street's giant fortresses are coming apart. Companies too big to fail are failing. Again we stand back in horror and afix the blame. Too little regulation? Too much greed? Too many people making bad loans. Too many greedy bankers? Too much trust that there would always be good times? Too much credit card debt? Too little savings? Too much dependence that the government wouldn't let anything bad happen to us? Someone else's fault?

It will be discussed and dissected for a long time by people with and without expertise.

Perhaps many got sucked into a big pyramid scheme. While it is working there are smiles on everyone's faces. When it falls apart those who organized it are in jail or on the lamb. A pyramid scheme. It appears strong but it is built on sand.

I groan when I check my IRA account online. It is divided, diversified but this debacle has pulled the stock market down. I was greedy too, ignoring advice to not keep more than 50% of funds in stocks.

My security is not in the strength of my mutual funds. I picked a user name that reminds me when I sign on that it is not. My provider's house is not built on shifting sands. God is always able to meet my needs even if I shake my head when I see the bottom line on that account.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Video You Won't Be Able to Avoid Seeing

They zinged 'em both. Probably is a political bias here, but I think we better keep our sense of humor. Link to SNL video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PxJfaNgDoE&feature=bz302

Sunday, September 14, 2008

NOT M & Ms M & Ms

I'll get in less trouble if I blog about babies vs. politics. Our twin grandkids should have an October birthday. Mary's Dr. says they will be happy if she makes it to 36 wks and will induce labor if she has not delivered by 39 wks. Like all very pregnant moms, she is anxious to get to the finish.

The ultrasound identified a boy and a girl. Mary and Mike decided to keep the names a secret until they are born. That has not stopped me from guessing. Since the ultrasound was labeled "Twin A & Twin B" I have guessed all the A & B names I can think of without a hit. We have joked about Betelgeuse for the boy. "Wouldn't you be surprised if you were right, mom?" said Mary. Yes, I would be surprised.

I thought I had better move through the alphabet a bit quicker since October is right around the corner. I went to the end. Why not X names like Brad and Angelina used for their flock?

How about Xena? Mike suggested pairing that with Hercules, but I like Zeus. Could you spell that with an X? Xena and Xeus? Nobody would pick on those kids on the playground, would they?

I thought that was an original thought until I Googled. There is a volleyball pairi with nicknames Zeus and Xena, a pair of Dobermans on a blog and the cute puppies in the picture. They are in their Halloween costumes dresssed as M&M's. One plain and one with...... You fill in that blank.
Since Mike & Mary have a logo of M&M (used it on favors at their wedding on packages of M&MS) they might like this idea. The kids may even be born on Halloween but I think this is going to be a hard sell. I better just shut up and wait to see what they will be called.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Remember

It doesn't seem like it could have been seven years. Those images and memories are still vivid.
We salute those firefighters, police and rescue workers who gave their lives on 9 - 11. We grieve for all those lost and their families.
This is a day to put aside our political differences and come together as one nation. No political campaign ads will air today.
We are thankful to God and President Bush and all who serve their country for keeping us free from another attack these past seven yers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sign Spotting

We are experiencing cool, sunny days this past week. The first hints of fall color are appearing. We love this not-hot weather but I hope we will have a few warmer days before the "Big Chill" arrives.
Jon's knees are still a bit stiff and sore since the accident which limits his mobility. We decided to "take a drive" into the Wisconsin countryside yesterday afternoon and find a nice place for lunch.
Along a country highway I spotted this on a billboard advertising a metro hospital. "Get the Care You Expect". That would not be a hospital pessimists should patronize. Get the care you expect would work better for optimistic patients. Expect the best. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Expect the worst? Poor outcome I would think.

A positive outlook on life serves one well. Keep your chin up. Look at the sunny side of life. Cheerio. We don't always feel happy or optimistic, but I am a believer that speaking optimistic words brings you up. We probably have to go through the hard times, the trials anyway but it will be easier if we remain hopeful.

The Bible is filled with exhortations to speak words of life into our lives. Our hope is in the name of the lord. We don't have to live without help and hope. We don't have to do it all ourselves. We have a choice. Our strength alone or His strength.

Words to a song from "South Pacific" called "Cockeyed Optimistic" written when the world was suffering the turmoil of WW II and it may have been hard to see a more peaceful future.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Change Anyone?

One thing for sure, the results of the upcoming election will yield change. Everyone is offering change. We will see either a female VP or an African American president in the White House in January.

While the Republican Convention was going on in our fair city, a third party was meeting in Minneapolis. A gathering of Ron Paul supporters, Libertarians, gathered with fragments of a splintered Independence party. Remember Ross Perot's Independents party? Remember our feisty ex-governor? I don't know what Ross Perot is doing these days, but ex-governor Jesse the Body ventured north for the convention. He has a dog in the fight but is not a candidate himself. Guess what the headline today said about their candidates? All are for change. Seven are vying for the senate seat from Minnesota.

This isn't the first time "change" has been in a campaign slogan. Remember these?

1984 had Walter Mondale's "America Needs a Change".

1976 with Jimmy Carter's "A Leader, For a Change".

1992 and Bill Clinton's "It's Time to Change America"?

2008 Barack Obama has "Change We Can Believe In".

John McCain's slogan is "Country First", but convention speakers also talked about change.

It seems all are offering change.

No one has reached back to 1952 using Dwight Eisenhower's slogan, "I Like Ike". It looks like politics and the weather will be at odds again. Hurricane Ike is coming causing those in the possible path to consider higher ground. The are probably hoping for the hurricane to change course. I hope and pray it doesn't take too high a toll.

Sing of the Times

Have you ever noticed---
If the sign on the corner says “HUGE SALE”, it probably isn’t.
If the sign on the road says “BUMP”, there is usually nothing to slow down for.
I have yet to see a deer crossing by the DEER CROSSING signs.
SLOW CHILDREN signs seem demeaning to the neighborhood kids.
I never know what to think or do when I see a sign that reads LOW FLYING AIRCRAFT.
We decided to not give permission for political signs a couple years ago when my husband and I, unknown to each other, allowed signs for local school board candidates who opposed each other to be posted in our yard. We knew both people. Both were good candidates, but that sent a mixed message.
The only political sign I want to see now would read, “IT IS ALMOST OVER.”

Friday, September 5, 2008

Flat Daddy

The kids are in the spotlight too. The country has now seen presidential candidates families and it is hard not to embrace the kids. I loved the way the Palins took care of the baby. As a country we can learn from this family that embraced a child with Downs Syndrome.
Last week Michelle Obama spoke and at the end of her speech brought out her two little girls. The older has been well coached on public appearances. The little one was more talkative when she saw her daddy on the video screen. Michelle Obama said all did not go as planned. Right before bringing the kids out she told them there would be a big surprise for them. They hadn’t seen their dad lately as he has been busy on the campaign trail. Reaction of one of the girls? She excitedly asked if the Jonas Brothers were coming. I guess she was expecting a rock star. It was only daddy, although he has had rock star reactions from some swooning fans. It is a strange world isn’t it.
It occurred to me he has been absent a lot lately to campaign. He also lives alone in Washington when a working senator and commutes home on weekends. Maybe these kids need a “Flat Daddy”. Not a flat video daddy, a Flat Daddy is a life-sized cardboard cutout of a parent made famous by their use with military families separated for long periods from a parent. Flat Daddy or Flat Mommy go to soccer games, birthday parties and are there for holidays when their real life parents are deployed. It is good for children to keep their dad or mom visible in their lives. The Red Cross has a program using designated donations to supply these to families of deployed troops. Seems like a small thing but it is a small sacrifice for us and might help those who give so much.
I think if they start selling Flat Mommy cutouts of Sarah Palin they better gear up to sell quite a few. This strikingly beautiful VP candidate would probably grace a lot of guys' garages, however those stars and stripes bikini shots are photoshopped. Not the real Sarah.

Stealing the Show at the Republican Convention

She stole hearts. We didn't know her before this past week. Attractive and caring. Watch for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GliQjmuf8_s

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Not a Mars Bar

This isn't Roswell or Area 51. It is on Hwy 61 south of Hastings, MN.

Aliens? In southeastern Minnesota? Should we be concerned? Do they want to rule us?


We've all been watching coverage of the Republican National Convention. Waiting to hear what broadcasters, pundits, and the average Joe delegates think of us. It is important to us that people like us. We enjoy being known as "Minnesota Nice" people. We are more than a little embarrassed by the idiotic "anarchists" in the streets. Who invited them?

Whoever dubbed us Minnesota Nice has never been to a Lake Elmo, Mn city council meeting. Citizens there take their local government seriously. It is contentious and not unusual to hear some insulting words spoken loudly. This is a town of 7500. One of our best friends was mayor. The job consumed his life. Lots of interaction. Lots of battles. It was a difficult job that required all his skills. I still read local newspaper accounts of Lake Elmo politics occasionally and things haven't changed much since he way mayor in the 90's.

Experience as mayor has not always been properly appreciated. Rudy Guilliani reminded us about that last night at the convention. Sarah Palin reminded us being a small town mayor is "sort of like a community organizer, except you have responsibilities". Several speakers last night reminded detractors that she has executive experience as a small town mayor and governor. Executive experience neither Joe Biden or Barack Obama have. They have none. I scratched my head here, isn't John McCain in that group? 25 - 30 years in the senate for Biden and McCain, but no executive experience. Zero for Obama. Doesn't it logically flow that only Sarah Palin is qualified to be president? Well, that is too harsh. Maybe Sarah Palin and Dave. He is also a lifetime staunch Republican so he may have to wait four to eight years.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

If He Strays, Can You Blame It On His Jeans?

Another medical report I am not buying. News reports now say "research" shows if a man is not faithful, it may be due to his genes. His DNA dictates brain chemicals which influence response and bonding with a woman to keep him faithful. Come on. Not many wives are saying, "Oh, you poor dear. You couldn't help it, could you."

Think of the outcome if we believe this report:

Men better prepare for medical screening before girls will seriously date them or marry them. Pharmaceutical companies will want to research how to chemically treat this deficit. (Note to self. Buy stock in that company.) When I was growing up we believed they put "salt peter" in the food at Catholic boys' schools. I asked my son if those rumors are still around and he gave me a funny look. I don't think he had heard of it but I knew of some boys in the 60's who wouldn't eat the mashed potatoes.

There would be new business opportunities for screening kits women can buy to surreptitiously check out the guy. Maybe you could use a strand of hair like mothers' do to screen for drug use?
Picking at daisy petals and saying, "He loves me, he loves me not" would have less significance.

Meeting the parents would have new meaning. Take a look at their behaviour. If the prospective dad is charming, watch out.

We'd need support and counseling groups for young men who want to marry but have philandering fathers. Can Dr. Phil handle the onslaught?

How come we are only screening the men? Aren't there unfaithful women out there too?

I'll answer Matt Lauer's question, "If he strays, can he blame it on his genes?" Matt, he may try to blame it on some thing but it's still called sin. It is not what is in his genes, it is what isn't in his jeans. In the meantime, I bet not many moms are going to name newborn sons Levi.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Land of Pooh

Pictures from my daughter's blog yesterday--the twins nursery. Dad Mike is an artist and did a great job. That is my mom's rocker and will be put to good use.


Do you think it is easy coming up with a subject for a daily blog? I would like to tell you it isn't, but it is. To quote Nora Ephron's mom, "Everything is copy". My husband just shakes his head when he hears me say, "That's my blog today". I don't need weighty news or a significant subject. I got mileage out of the overuse of the word vetting didn't I? Are you more aware now how overused that word is on the newscasts?

My husband Jon probably feels like he lives in a fishbowl. His wife may tattle on him at any minute. No secrets anymore. Did I tell you he was up on the roof powerwashing the skylights and cleaning up the acorns yesterday? He doesn't need my permission to do these things but they make me nervous. This is a guy who suffered a fractured pelvis and three broken ribs a few years ago from a tree trimming accident. I didn't even mention he was knocked unconscious in that fall.

The networks were geared up to cover Hurricane Gustav. It must be mandatory to have the reporter stand out in the elements so the audience can see the effects of the wind. This works better if your reporter is Al Roker. They showed footage of a small female reporter sliding laterally across the screen while telling us about the gusts. Love that drama. Where do you suppose the broadcasting term "anchor" came from?

Hurricane Gustav did not pack the anticipated punch and we thank God for sparing life and property. Before anyone can relax, we are reminded that Hurricanes Hanna and Ike are lining up out in the ocean. This is hurricane season. Expect more. "J" is next. Do you suppose their might be a Hurricane Jane? Jon just looked at me and knew where I was going with that thinking. Time to blog. I don't need much. A lot of hot air will do. I know that is what he thinks.

I didn't find that there had been a "Hurricane Jane" but did discover that is the name of a band from the UK. A little later I heard the NBC weatherguy say Josephine would be after Ike if another storm develops. Guess I missed the notoriety.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Church Greeters 2008 Style

I Got the Horse Right Here, His Name is....

I keep hearing the word "vetted" used by the media. Vice-presidential candidates have been vetted by John McCain and Barack Obama and their advisers. The media has done some vetting. Even sports figures have been in the news while being vetted. Everyone is either vetting or being vetted. You would think there was a synonym for that word, but I only hear vetted and vetting. Hasn't anyone come up with an Ole and Lena joke yet about the vetting? (ie: The vetting was postponed due to rain. Truly some of the vetting has been postponed in St. Paul due to the hurricane.)

I checked the definition to be sure I knew what it meant. I thought it meant to take a good hard look and appraise and that is correct. The word vetting is next to "vet" and "veterinarian" in Websters. Is there a connection? By now you know how I do research. I Google it. I Googled vetting + images just for fun wondering if I would find John McCain and Sarah Palin or Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Instead I found this wonderful webpage full of advice from a veterinarian , Dr. Nancy Loving, on how to do a pre-purchase exam on a horse. I quote her, "Every horse has faults; the exam is a process by which they are uncovered for the prospective buyer to evaluate". Most of her advice could be applied to making a choice in politics.

I guess you don't have to be a past member of the military(a vet) , a horse Dr., or politician to do some vetting. Put the animals to the test yourself before you buy and see how they hold up.
We are making a pretty big wager when we select a president and it isn't enough to just look at their teeth. Follow the link to the article about our famous Minnesota horse Dan Patch. He was a member of a Methodist church. Read for your self.

Up eBay Without a Paddle

I saw a movie, a comedy, when I was young that left an indelible impression on me. There was a scene where someone attending an auction accidentally bid on expensive artwork by a random gesture like rubbing his nose. Later I learned they assign paddles with numbers at those auctions. I don't think many people accidentally purchase $10,000. items.

I went to an estate auction with my parents when I was in my 20's. Mom advised deciding what you are willing to pay and sticking with that number. A good auctioneer can get the price up when he sees two or more interested parties. Bidding fever. You may pay more than something is worth. Only once have I bid at a live auction, when my son and his wife were newlyweds I went to an estate auction with her. They had little furniture and she spotted a china cabinet she liked which I bought for her birthday at a good price. That was before eBay.

My mom loved violets. She had African violet houseplants, wore (artificial) violets pinned to her dress, and bought a Lefton china coffee/tea service with chintz pattern violets which she treasured. When mom died my sister and I split the set between us. Last year she gave her half to me. I love it. It had the serving pieces but no tea cups. I found a similar Lefton pattern on eBay. I bid and "won" a set of three tea cup-cake plates. You need at least four, right? I have continued to try for the forth set but stopped when the bidding got too high. Last week my husband ventured into selling on eBay. He has his professional video camera up right now and I have been following the bidding. I also found four more tea cups in the identical chintz violets like the tea pot and put in a bid that held. I "won" these too. They don't match the first set of three I "won" on eBay. You could use them together, but.... there is another set on eBay now of 8 cups/plates. Maybe I will watch that too. Then I would have twelve that are identical and an additional three that blend.
Maybe I should have listened to my mother. How much stuff can I take with me "to the home"? If I "win" that set of an additional eight, I will have to make some new friends. I hope they all like tea. I hope those cups I just bought have handles. They do look like they might have handles, don't they? This is not a Lefton Saki set?
Next adventure; learning how to sell on eBay.