Well, for us, it started with the fall market in Bulverde in October, and now it is ramping up to full steam ahead. The Christmas Market in New Braunfels is this weekend, then Thanksgiving (and blissfully, no market scheduled), then Goliad on the first Saturday, for Christmas on the Square, and a final arrival—puffing breathlessly—at the Boerne Market on the second Saturday. Then we can all sit down, count up the take and see if we have come out ahead. These are the events to launch Lone Star Sons, of course. I try and organize my writing and books so that there is a new one to take around to the Christmas market events.

So far so good; a nice round of sales at the Bulverde Craft Fair last weekend, not so much at the library sale at Harker Heights, and a fair amount in Bulverde at the fall market. The next three, being closer to Christmas, I have somewhat higher hopes for. And I have already bought my Christmas present to myself – a set of china for every-day use. After the Bulverde craft fair, we looked in on another sale – mostly of odd bits of ranch equipment, rusting machinery, moldering furniture, and unidentifiable oddments, all sitting out in a field. But there was some stuff arranged on tables underneath a canvas pavilion roof, which didn’t protect it much as the breeze was blowing intermittent rain-showers, and among them was a soggy cardboard carton half-full of china, with a stack of luncheon plates, bread-and-butter plates, saucers and eight tea-cups on the tabletop nearby. They were white, with a random and pretty blue-flower pattern; kind of European-peasant folk-art in appearance. It looked like someone had started to inventory the box and lost interest.

The New Everyday

The New Everyday

This was the one thing I was interested in, as it looked like there was a full set of eight place settings, if the teacups were anything to go by. Once upon a time, I had bought six or eight of everything in the basic white-with-a-blue stripe restaurant china from Reading China and Glass, when they had a store in the outlet mall in San Marcos. Thinking that it was a well-established place, and would go on forever and ever-amen, I assumed that whenever anything broke, I could replace it readily, piece by piece. Alas, this was not how it turned out; the Reading China and Glass store closed, vanishing like the mists of dawn under the morning sun between one trip to San Marcos and the next. For a while, I was able to get the same thing through Williams & Sonoma, at approximately twice the price per piece, and then Williams & Sonoma stopped carrying the white and blue-striped bistro-style china. Meanwhile, my stock of everyday china dwindled gradually – a drop to the concrete floor here, a crack in the dishwasher there – and soon we reduced to a random assortment of survivors, augmented by a set of jewel-colored glass plates and bits and pieces that my daughter picked up at a yard sale.

Enough of random – I wanted a full set of pretty blue and white china for every day, and enough plates of various sizes so that I wouldn’t have to wash them incessantly. The stuff in the soggy box would do just fine. I asked for a price on the whole lot – it was from a good manufacturer of fine Japanese china – and got it, having sufficient in my Paypal account from recent sales to get it.

Of course, once we got home, and looked up the manufacturer and the pattern … we wondered if we shouldn’t have been wearing masks and brandishing menacing weapons, for I got the whole lot for only ten dollars more than a single dinner plate in that make and pattern sells for on the discontinued china pattern websites. But – random assortment out to the garage in a cardboard carton (what – I should be wasteful of perfectly good albeit random plates?!) and we’ve been eating off the new stuff ever since. Blondie says, “Good eye, Mom.”


  1. Q: How can a soggy cardboard box filled with dishes make a complete stranger smile?
    A: Let the process be described by Sgt. Mom.
    Thanks much,

  2. It was totally awesome find – and I was so happy to have it. The only thing lacking were bowls – for soup and such. Today we found some Paula Deen china on sale at a Tuesday Morning – also blue-random-flower on white – not matching, of course – but similar. The Gods of the Marketplace have smiled upon us … and given a very deep discount.