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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Leap Month of Little Joys and Satisfactions: Beautiful Blue Glass Jars Hidden in the Pantry

I was cleaning out the pantry yesterday morning and came across a 4-pack of these beautiful blue jars, hidden in the corner. I had bought them on clearance a couple of years ago for $6 (still had the price tag on the overwrap), stashed them behind stuff in the pantry, and plumb forgot all about them.

As I was making another batch of yogurt yesterday, (with all of my wide-mouth, quart-sized canning jars in use with sprouting), these came in very handy. Now, we'll have our homemade yogurt in these beautiful jars.

I was remembering something that my grandmother said to me -- beautiful belongings should be used or given to someone who will use them. So often, I hoard away those pretty little things, saving them for a "special occasion." Well, someday, all of my potential "special occasions" will come to an end here on earth. I might as well use these pretty things, now, to make ordinary occasions feel "special."


  1. We're working in parallel again. I cleaned our our pantry on Monday. Didn't find anything as pretty as those jars, but I'm not frustrated every time I try to find something in there now.

  2. That is so true about using our pretty things. I have a large, beautiful silver plate set--forks, knives, spoons etc and Mom's solid sterling silver set as well. I am about to put it (at least the silver plate!) in the kitchen drawer so that we use it. It just stays boxed up year after year!

    Midwest Gal

  3. I am the same way too. I save the nicer things and use up the junk ones first. I do that with everything, including my craft materials. I am trying to figure out why I do that. My mother did that too, big time. So maybe some of that rubbed in. Is it out of necessity, like getting ahead of the game? Live as cheap as possible daily, and aquire a nice stash as well? I somehow feel safer doing it this way, rather than use only the best and throw the rest away. Thrift shops thrive on those folks and me, bottom feeder, who buys their discarded items.

    I'm being as honest as I can, and sometimes it is not a pretty picture!!


  4. I must be weird or something but I never really liked the blue jars. Maybe the blue gives a color to what's inside it that I don't like. But what I do like is clear mason jars in different shapes! I have square-ish looking pint jars, a Kerr glass sand spring(?), and lots of cute little canning jars. I might even be obsessed with these pretty old jars.


  5. I love the blue jars! I have a couple of the newer replica ones, as well as two early 1900's ones. I brought those two older ones home from Grandma's after she passed, and all of the grandchildren went through everything and kept things they wanted. I have so many treasures from her house.

    I agree with what your grandmother said, and try to remember that. After my mother-in-law passed away, I helped my sisters-in-law clean out the house. My MIL always used her older, worn items. She had so many new, beautiful items, most still in packages, stashed away. One of my SILs said she was always saving those things for 'later'. It made me sad, and I've tried to remember to use things I love!

    Have a wonderful afternoon!

  6. Yes, so true! When we remodeled our kitchen, I had 2 sets of cupboards made with glass fronts--yes, it was the trendy thing to do, but I had wanted to do that long before it was a "thing" because even if I don't use my pretty stuff all the time, I at least want to look at it. For me, it's more the inconvenience of using nicer things rather than saving it for later. I can put my china in the dishwasher (as long as I'm careful and use the delicate cycle) but some of my glassware isn't dishwasher friendly and on an everyday basis, I don't want to be hand-washing any more dishes than absolutely necessary.

  7. Kris,

    The cupboards with glass fronts would be so nice! :) We bought new cabinets, counters and kitchen floors about three years ago. Our kitchen is small with a very basic layout, though. No room for the beautiful, glass front cabinets.

    I would love to find a corner cabinet, or hutch for my dining room. The price would have to be right, and I'm always keeping an eye open at antique stores. Then I could display some of the dishes I have from one of my grandma's.

    I have a long, wooden shelf on my dining room wall. I think it's actually made for plates because it has the groove or notch all across it. That shelf holds all of my blue or green glass. I have bottles and jars from grandmothers, my mom, and a few things I have picked up at antique stores. I love seeing those items all the time. I don't love the dusting so much. Lol.

    I know what you mean about the dishwasher and china. Any time I use my grandma's, I hand wash them. I'm afraid to try the dishwasher.


  8. Angie--

    I enjoyed your comments. I think it would be fun to visit all of our "blog buddies" homes as it seems we all value items from our family's pasts. I know I would enjoy your dining room shelf.

    My kitchen is not big! We live in what I think of as a typical midwest ranch style home which was built for practicality and affordability, not aesthetics. :) I have a galley style kitchen and I laugh when I watch home improvement shows--they all add an island to the kitchens and there is absolutely no way we could ever do that without building an addition on the the house. I don't have tons of glass front cabinets and most of mine are solid front. When we did our reno, on 2 sets of upper cabinets I had them remove the wooden inner panel and I replaced it with a glass insert (which was surprisingly affordable at a local glass shop). The ugly stuff goes behind the solid cabinets and only the dishware/glasses are stored where they are visible. Maybe that would be an option for you sometime down the road?

    That being said .... my husband jokingly says that we bought our house for its built-ins. I have built in cubbies in our dining area and a built in glass front cabinet in the corner of my living room (they carved the space out of a closet to put it there). I DO love having these display areas--especially when the kids were young, it provided a relatively safe space to put nice things. Glass cabinets rock--the dusting doesn't completely go away, but it's much less than on open shelves!

    1. Kris,

      The built-ins sound wonderful! I can definitely see how that was helpful when your kids were young.

      We have a ranch style house also. Typical, early 80's three bedroom, two bath. My husband laughs because I always say we have a dining room. It's really just a place for table and chairs, separated from the rest of the kitchen by a bar.

      My husband actually suggested doing one glass front cabinet when we did new cabinets. We have one cabinet alone over the bar. Then the other cabinets are on the other side of the kitchen sink. My husband thought we might do a glass front over the bar. We use that cabinet as a medicine cabinet and I didn't want to change things up. When we moved in, it just seemed to be the perfect medicine cabinet. Lol.

      I agree it would be fun to 'see' each other's homes! It's so much fun for me to read this blog.

      I was thinking of you the first of this month. My husband and I went to Berlin for his quarterly employee meeting and a banquet. At the February meeting, they always give gift cards to Charm Harness and Boot, for work shoes or boots. Driving there, we went by the Charm School, and I thought of our prior conversation. :) It was cold, but a company paid trip except for two meals. Not bad. Did you ever eat at Boyd and Wurthman in Berlin? I can't remember if I asked you that.


  9. Hi Live and Learn,
    Being able to find things easily is a treasure in itself.

  10. Hi Midwest Gal,
    Your flatware sounds beautiful. Using it regularly would be such a pleasure, wouldn't it? My grandmother used a silver plate set as her everyday flatware. Of course, she washed her dishes by hand, so I don't know how well silver plate or sterling hold up against commercial detergents and high temps.
    I wonder if any one here knows the answer to silver in the dishwasher.

  11. Hi YHF,
    So many of our attitudes are formed in childhood. For myself, I recall many, many times that my mother said, "don't touch that. It's for the guests." While I get why my mom said this, as a child, that also gave the message of good things are for company only. At the very least, I think we need to treat ourselves as we do our guests on occasion. Part of it might also be an attempt to "get ahead," as you said. Interesting topic.

  12. Hi Alice,
    I understand what you're talking about. I love the interesting shapes of bottles, myself. I try to reuse those interesting bottles for water bottles on the table or to bring a bottle of lemonade for a family picnic at the beach. They look so charming. Your glass jars must make such an interesting set.

  13. Hi Angie,
    What you said about your mother-in-law reminds me of my grandmother on the other side of my family. When this grandmother passed away, my father and mother helped sort her belongings and found things like sheets still in the package that my parents had sent as a gift. Yet she was using patched sheets on her own bed. A large part of this, I'm sure was a result of living through the Great Depression and not knowing if a set of sheets would be provided in the future. My grandmother may have been saving the sheets to use for house guests, some day. Who knows. It just makes me sad that she didn't enjoy something that was definitely meant as a gift for her to enjoy.
    I love those old blue jars, too. The neck on some of them is different from the replica ones.

    1. Lili,

      That is so true about living through the Great Depression affecting people through their lives. My grandparents were like that. I remember my grandma re-using bread bags for storing cookies and biscuits. She was 'green' before it was a cool thing.


  14. Hi Kris,
    this is a very good point -- some of our nicer things need special handling, which just adds extra work to our days. I fully understand that. My good china has a metal band around the edge that can't take the high heat of a dishwasher. Plus, I worry that if we chip or break a plate that I won't be able to replace it due to cost. Now that my kids are older, I can trust them to handle items with the same care that we, as parents, do. So that's working in my favor.
    I have 2 glass front cabinets, too. I think I need to tidy them up a bit. (doing the walk of shame as I think of how messy they look)

  15. Actually I was reading a blog about a year ago where she mentioned that she used her silver everyday and put it in the dishwasher. So I started doing it and it hasn't harmed it. I started with just a few pieces so I wouldn't destroy all, but I was very pleased. No sense waiting for company. I love the thin nature of the silver spoons. Plus using them daily is helping them not oxidize.

    Love the blue jars. I also have a couple of the vintage green ones.

  16. Thank you for adding your experience about washing silver in the dishwasher, Ruthie. This is great to know!

  17. Hi Angie,
    It's funny how being mindful of our resources overlaps so much with being "green." Your grandma was way ahead of her time, in that respect.
    I was thinking about my grandmother who tried to use her nice things, but also was affected by the Depression. She had a jar of buttons, those that she cut off of clothing when items went into the rag bag. I find this slightly amusing, because she never, ever sewed. This was simply a habit that she acquired in the Depression, to salvage every good bit.


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