Mystery Jar leaf graphic

Several years ago we were at a Flea Market the Fourth of July weekend in Ripley, West Virginia. There was an interesting range of displays of mostly antique items. Lots of Depression glass, printed and non-printed papers (we found some wonderful 1870’s love letters there), and so forth. In one booth, George had found an old iron cupboard lock in a basket of odds and ends. He heard Molly call out, “Look at this!” He stood up, and there on a shelf was what we call the Mystery Jar. An old medicine jar with amazing objects that reminded both of us of one of the early scenes of Svankmajer’s Alice (a great film by a great filmmaker — it is available in video and is highly recommended). Of course, the stall’s dealers rushed up to point out the interesting label, and said that it was too bad that the jar was cracked, but it was still a great label. We purchased the jar and have found that some notice the label alone and some notice what is in the jar. We’ve always called it our Mystery Jar and it sits on an impromptu altar (along with Bobo’s first hairball) by the lamps on the chest in the center of the living area.

We hope you enjoy the Mystery Jar.


Living Off the Grid
A description of what we do in order to live without electricity and running water.

Making a Living

is a quick look at some of our cat buddies over the years.

Photographs of the Shack, Shop and House as they were built.

The Christmas Truck
Molly wrote this story in 2000.

The Mystery Jar
We take a look at the Mystery Jar, is the label or the contents more important?