Page 60. " Either way, it is as impressive as my grocery sums in the Piggly Wiggly "

Piggly Wiggly
Creative Commons AttributionPiggly Wiggly - Credit: Janice Waltzer
The Piggly Wiggly is a grocery store common in the Southern United States. It was founded in Tennessee in 1916, and the chain is still in operation today.

Official Piggly Wiggly Website

Page 61. " a large, oval white platter painted with delicate forget-me-nots, bone china, so fine you could see sunlight pass through it. "
bone china
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alikebone china - Credit: David Jackson

Bone china is a type of porcelain made with the bone ash of animals. It is known to be translucent and chip resistant.

It was developed by Josiah Spode. (from wikipedia)

Page 72. " Oh, we were a regular Tower of Babel "
Tower of Babel
Public DomainTower of Babel - Credit: Pieter Breugel the Elder

The Tower of Babel appears in the Book of Genesis.  It was a hubristic attempt by early mankind, united in a single language, to reach the heavens.  God saw this extraordinary ambition and decided to thwart it, scattering the people across the earth and giving them all different languages.