Monday, October 15, 2012

a few good things...

Taylor Smith Taylor.
Made in the USA.

That's all it says on the back of these lovely dishes.
It's the dinner set I recall from my childhood...
my mom's first china after her marriage in 1948.
 She had other sets later...
and these became mostly a memory.
When she passed on, we split her set six ways...
so that we all had a wee piece of it.
It must not have been a very common china pattern...
as I have never been able to find any additional pieces.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into Creekside...
a country decor and antiques shop in my hometown...
and saw six soup bowls on a display table.
No questions asked...
I bought them.
I'm rather sentimental.
Can you tell?

On another front...
our ensuite bathroom has two sinks.
His and hers.
His always flows freely.
Hers becomes sluggish quite regularly!
It seems a lot of her hair finds its way down the drain...
and soon there is no way for the water to get by.
How to get that drain flowing properly is always an issue.
I finally found a quick and simple (no chemicals involved) solution...
and I thought I'd share my it with you.

Short of pulling the entire drain apart...
there was no way to get inside to remove the 'hair balls'.
Until I found the Moen drain cleaning tool at the local hardware store.
It a long flexible piece of plastic...
with notches along the side.
A few trips up and down the drain...
and I had a small mountain of hair piled up...
and a drain that worked properly.
It's a 'do it myself' tip that I just had to pass along.
Cost? Around $5.

And while we are on the subject of household chores...
let me share my oven cleaning tip with you.

I have double ovens...
which also means double the cleaning.
But I must admit I rarely use the self-cleaning cycle.

Following a tip from a blogging friend some four years ago...
I have a non-stick oven liner in the bottom of the oven which collects all the spills and mess.
Everything just wipes right off the liner without scrubbing.
The liners are available at kitchen shops and Targ*t...
and can be trimmed to fit most sized ovens.
It works for me!

Those are a few of the good things in my life that I thought I'd share today.

The rain came...
and hasn't left yet.
That's a good thing.
We needed it!

Have a wonderful day!


  1. How special to have some of your mom's wedding china and how exciting to find some additional pieces all these years later.
    Great tips you are passing along. I know from personal experience. We had a similar situation with our sinks. I saw the same product being demonstrated on QVC and figured it was worth a try. My husband was amazed by the hairball I snagged. He was all ready to call in a plumber. LOL. That thing works GREAT.
    I also have the oven liner as I only used the self cleaning feature on my oven once and it started to melt the surrounding cupboard door finish off. I refuse to use it again and have found this mat to work wonderfully too.

  2. It's wonderful that you found the soup bowls to go with your mother's china. Thanks for the tips on the drain tool and the oven mat. I could use both. Cleaning the oven is a chore I do not like and mine is not 'self-cleaning' - it is 'myself' cleaning!! I hope you have a great week. Pamela

  3. When our Lillypad moved out of her bedroom she left souvenir hair in the drain of her ensuite and I have wondered what to do - thanks for the tip! Way better than chemicals, which we can't use because we are on a septic system.
    Your mum's china was so dainty - I'm glad you've found some extra pieces.

  4. I also use my self-cleaning oven feature very rarely but had turned it on about five minutes before reading this! ...I'm busy watering the front lawn. The back will have to try to survive on its own. Enjoy your rain!

  5. Thanks for the tips - I'm definitely going to check both of them out.

  6. How lovely to find the bowls to match your china. I guess you will be going back now and then to see if there are any more!

  7. I like that plate pattern! Are you looking for more pieces? seems to have every pattern of china, crystal and flat wear ever made, even off brands. They have made me feel more at ease using my china knowing if something did break I could probably get a replacement easily. I also added serving pieces until I could put on a full menu without scrambling to find suitable non matching pieces.

  8. Just for fun...I looked up your plate. The pattern is TST 177 and Replacements does have the pattern in stock plus some fun items created using the pattern.

  9. What a sweet find right there in town. I see that Jill has already informed you about Replacements. You could have more dishes in your future.

    My oven says not to use anything on the bottom of the oven. Drat! I also have trouble with a certain sink drain. The thought of bringing up what's down there...*shudder.* I'm going to keep on using chemicals. Shhhh...don't tell anybody.

  10. I'm happy for your find on the dishes! I can just imagine the feeling, when you saw those soup bowls.

  11. Hi Judy....I have my eye on that drain cleaning device...thanks for the tip! And the oven bottom cover too...must look for that.

  12. How serendipitous to find some more of your mother's dish set. It's very pretty. I'm partial to anything with roses.

    Great tips for keeping a house in good working order, too. I confess, I use my self-clean oven feature a fair bit.

  13. That oven liner intrigues me - I'm going to keep my eyes open for it. A great way to save power too.

  14. My list of tips and advice that I receive from you continues to grow. Thank you so much for sharing.

    I can't imagine your joy when you found some more of your mother's china. It is a pretty pattern.

  15. I keep waiting for my drain to plug...I think my hair is too fine to plug anything. :)
    Oh I do understand about your sentimentality too. I find myself not only looking for my own patterns to finish but keep my eye open for other girls patterns too. I once found a very rare teacup for someone and I truly think I was more excited than she was.

  16. I'm so happy you found more dishes that match your Mom's set, Judy! What a nice surprise!

    You shared two wonderful tips with us! I will be looking for that Moen drain cleaner as I hav ethe same problem from time to time, and I will be able to keep my oven cleaner with your seciond tip--thanks!

  17. Some interesting finds....I have never heard of a gadget to unplug the drain...we just call the plumber...It's not so bad now that the girls have moved out.
    I sure hope that none of your siblings sold their dishes.
    I love my oven mats...they are the best.

  18. Thanks for the hints! And I am so glad you found the bowls that match your mom's dishes. I have my mother's china as well. ...well, what is left of it. She used it her entire married life and it was always hand washed...never had a dishwasher. So, many pieces were broken. I have plates, bowls, platters, etc. but not one single cup and saucer. I would love to have just one, but have never found one in all my searches in shops or on line. Still hoping that one day, the Lord will have one for me somewhere!

  19. Yippee for the bowls! Thanks so much for the tips, too. I need one of those drain de-cloggers now!

  20. Hi, Judy, I loved the photos of your china. I don't know if you are interested in getting additional pieces to go with what you have, but I can suggest a reputable place to try: Replacements Ltd.

    Click on their web site, click on China (from the top of their menu bar), click on T and check the listings for Taylor Smith & Taylor.

    I believe your china pattern is TST454 -- There may be one difference between the china carried by Replacements Ltd. and yours -- a fine line of gold around the very outside edge of the plate.

    I didn't have to check everything listed for Taylor & Smith, because there are hundred and hundreds of patterns. But Replacements Ltd. does have quite a few pieces that are almost identical to your china.

    (The difference might be because of who sold the china -- sometimes, stores would ask the china companies to add -- or leave off -- a line so that their china was slightly different from their competitors.)

    I have ordered several things from Replacements over the years to fill in things which had gotten broken and they do a fantastic job of packing, etc. The company is located in North Carolina, and I don't know what their policy is on shipping to Canada, but it might be worth your while to check out the site, just for fun.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson