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Posts Tagged ‘#estatesales’

Today I turn 55. Birthdays are usually a let down but not this year. Maybe it’s because of what I’ve been through this past year, that I had no expectations. Instead of dwelling on only getting a few cards, I am happy to be alive. To be able to move my body around freely of my own volition and let my mind wander wherever it desires. To spend the day alone while hubby is at work would’ve at one time made me sad. Except that is my new reality. I’m home alone while he’s at work 5 days a week. But it’s not a bad thing. I have 3 wonderful dogs as my constant companions. I get to take them on a walk every day and get fresh air and be among nature.

I have no idea where the metamorphosis came from. I have been weaning off of the antidepressant Lexapro (generic) and only have 3 nights left of taking half a pill (5 mg.) and then I’m done. I feel so good about it. It served its purpose but I want to experience life fully without being numbed out. After all these years of disliking myself, I am finally starting to accept myself. I always wanted to be perfect which is impossible to achieve. Now I’ve accepted that I’m not perfect and am ok as I am. Even if I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, I’m fine with it. I’m starting to like myself which I never thought would happen.

Today is 9 months since Mom passed away. When I mentioned this to Greg, he said, “Then she died on the (anniversary of the) day you were conceived.” I told him no, since I was 2 weeks late. Even before I was born, I didn’t want to leave my mother. If I could have one wish today, it would be to have her with me. I’m not sad though because I still remember her being here and all we shared. Even though Greg saw us together for almost 31 1/2 years, I don’t think even he knows the extent of the bond I had with my mother. We had so many “inside jokes” and sayings only we said to each other. I think I’ve mentioned it before. We used to both say, “You’ve got so many nice things” and the other person would answer, “I’ve got you!” It always put a smile on our faces and made us feel loved. I’ve told Greg about this and he’s heard us say it. Yet sometimes I say that to him and he just says, “Yes, I do.” For the life of him, he won’t answer as she used to. Mom also used to call me Kitty which I miss terribly. She hadn’t called me that for a few years when she died but she’d called me that most of my life. Greg used to call me that occasionally when he’d hear Mom call me that. Now he won’t call me that at all. I’m not complaining, just missing the connection Mom and I had that no one on earth can replicate.

I had mentioned wanting to go to a Hawaiian themed restaurant since I’ve never been. It does look pretty corny though. Hubby would rather go to the casino buffet so that is where we’re going tonight to celebrate. Mondays are 25% off too. I’m sure I’ll find something good to eat. I’ve been working hard on losing weight, even starting using the exercise bike on the days he’s at work. I started at 10 minutes and I’m up to 21 minutes a day. Hubby brought home a strawberry coffee cake from the bakery at work plus some brownies for me. The thought was nice but I have to watch it and only have 1 piece a day and not go hog wild. I don’t want to undo all my good work. I had wanted to do some baking which I sorely miss. But now that he’s bought the baked goods, I have no need. I don’t think he realizes how much joy I get out of baking.

Gardening was one of my mom’s passions. That and sewing. She could grow any type of plant and spent a ton of time weeding for me. Up until she was 88 years old, she worked in the yard every day. I think it’s what kept her young. She babied me and spoiled me and I never had to weed while she was around because she kept everything neat as a pin. Now I’m taking to weeding with a new relish. I think of her every time I do it and it brings me joy. Instead of thinking of it as work, I think of it as something that makes me feel close to her.

I’ve mentioned before we don’t do cards or presents. Especially since we get presents anytime we want when out treasure hunting at estate sales. Friday Aug. 4th we had our whole day mapped out. Sometimes we start near us and go farther out as the day goes on. This time, we started far out in Hoffman Estates, IL. We went tot he first sale and got there a little early. While waiting, a closer parking spot came up and Greg went to start the Jeep and nothing. The same electrical problem that’s been plaguing it on and off for a few years was back. This time it wouldn’t start at all and the gages were flying around. The back window went down on its own and the doors wouldn’t lock. We went into the sale, bought a few things, came out and tried starting it again. No luck. So we called AAA and had it towed to a dealership a mile away in Schaumburg, IL. We’d never been to Ziegler Chryster Dodge Jeep before. They said they didn’t think they could fix it for a few days. They wouldn’t give us a ride home since it was more than 5 miles away. I offered to give them $20 to take us home. They wouldn’t give us a loaner, it would be $35 a day. Then the guy writing up our order said, “Why don’t you call an Uber?” I told him that to me that’s like hitchhiking. I just never wanted to do it. It’s like meeting someone on Craiglist. I don’t want to be murdered, robbed or raped. We told him we wanted to see a salesman while there to see about a new car. He set us up with a guy that was a terrible salesman. Greg test drove a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. I call it The Overlord because it just suits it better. It has literally everything you could want and don’t need in a vehicle. It’s so fancy and pretty and expensive. He told us list price was $48,000 and after incentives it would be $46,000. Online they list incentives bringing it down to $40,000 and lower with trade in. I know we’d never buy from that dealership in any case.

Since we had to get home somehow, I downloaded the app and signed up for Uber. I expected a young kid to pick us up but it was an older retired guy. It was $25+ and went fine. The worst part was we had to take everything we’d boughten out of our Jeep since they couldn’t lock the vehicle. It was also raining and we got them to put a piece of plastic over the half open window in the backseat. We got home and were both anxious and upset and we ended up arguing over stupid stuff. The day was basically ruined. We heard back from the dealership that is was fixed at 5 pm but they wanted to let it sit for an hour and a half to check it again and make sure it worked. It cost $381 which is worth it if it truly is fixed. We went at 7 pm to pick it up, I drove Greg over in my car and then followed him home again. We had to wait while they gave it a free car wash which they could’ve done before we got there.

Sat. we surpassed our record and hit 10 estate sales in a single day. It sounds better than it is. It wasn’t that much fun because the sales weren’t good ones. The first 6, we spent a total of $1.50! 50 cents for a washcloth at one and $1 for a masonic bible at another. It was discouraging. Then we hit one that had silverware for Greg to use making jewelry and wind chimes. Plus I found a few books and ephemera. It’s actually more fun going to only 2 or 3 awesome sales that are “digs” than it is to go to a bunch of mediocre ones that don’t have much. For my birthday, I want to go to the flea market in Elkhorn, WI next Sunday. It’s only held 4 times a year, I think. We’ve never gone because it is a distance and Greg works on Sundays. I just want to go once to see what it’s like.

2 weeks ago, my car got a nail in the passenger side rear tire. Greg drives it to work on Sundays and he must’ve picked it up then. We took it to our local mechanic and he kept it overnight and then we picked it up the next day. It was $20 cash and I was happy to pay it and have it over with.

I will try to catch you up on everything in my next post. Thank you for being there and following me through the years. God bless!

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Today it was 64 degrees. 4 days ago, it was snowing! A week ago yesterday, it was 60 degrees and I should’ve taken advantage of the incredible weather. That’s unheard of for February in the Midwest. I didn’t get outside once. I should feel bad about it but I don’t. I feel so good about why I didn’t get outside that I have to share it. We finally took down our one big picture that hung over the couch in the LR and completely redid the wall. For some reason, I never remember to take “before” pictures. 

 LRwallfull
We got out most of our religious wall art that we’ve been collecting (er, hoarding) for the past 3 years. All were estate sale finds. We measured the space and chose what we thought would look best up there. I’ve been wanting to do this for over a year!! It’s not something I can do by myself but every time I’ve mentioned it to hubby, he would just groan. This time he was receptive and it went great. It took us less than 2 1/2 hours for the whole thing and it gave us a bunch of ideas for the other walls. Now I am SO HAPPY. I love looking at it and it gives me a feeling of joy and peace. I call it The Wall Of Peace.
 closeupwall1
I have some more finishing touches to put on it but couldn’t wait to share it. Now I want to do some major dusting and clear away an area to put up my religious statues. I can only imagine how happy I’ll be when that happens. I’ll be as giddy as a kid at an amusement park. 🙂
 closeupwall2
I’ve got a “stairway to heaven” on the way up from the main floor to the upstairs where the bedrooms are. I’ve also got another decorated stairway to the basement with religious art. Things are slowly taking shape. When I say slowly, it’s baby steps. It always seems to be worth the wait. 🙂 I hope if there’s something you’ve wanted to do for ages, you’ll finally take the plunge and start. We can all use a little more peace in our lives.

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I’ve been searching high and low for a spare moment to do some blogging. I need it for my soul. There were a few days this past week that I thought I’d be able to take a few hours to put my thoughts in order. Boy, was I wrong. I’m not even kidding. Something always comes up. So now I’ve decided to just do a quick (but lengthy) post of what’s been happening around these parts.
Garden plant shopping

Garden plant shopping

We have still been having the funniest year for weather ever. The 2 days before June it was only in the upper 40’s for a high temperature. I started wondering if someday (possibly decades from now) the seasons will be switched with the 2 hemispheres like Australia will have our seasons and we’ll have theirs? Global warming and all, you know. In any case, it would make an interesting plot for a book or movie. 😉 We have been alternating the very cold temps with a few days of mid-80’s which is hard to get used to. One day you’re wearing shorts and sandals, the next pants and a coat.
Peonies & bridal wreath in our backyard by koi pond.

Peonies & bridal wreath in our backyard by koi pond.

Due to the above weather constraints, we got our garden in late this year. We also decided to rotate the crops, planting our tomato plants where we’ve always had our peppers and vice versa. We kept the cucumbers in the same place. We also decided to do about half as many plants and spread them out more. We still do a lot–18 plants each but it’s a lot less than we used to. We always crowded our plants and that makes it hard to weed. Not like that’s one of my favorite things but they should produce more if given more room too. We got our plants on Thurs. May 21st and it took 3 days to get them all planted. I remember when we used to be able to plant everything in a day. We planted the herbs (basil, chives, dill, cilantro, thyme, curry, rosemary) the day we got them. Then planted the tomatoes the next day and the peppers on Sat. They are doing nicely. We usually get some other veggies like squash or beets but this year, we’re keeping it to a minimum. My rhubarb is doing fantastic. Possibly the best year ever. I have 3 plants and they are 3 different varieties. I picked most of the largest (oldest) plant and got 21 heaping cups which I put in freezer baggies and froze. I got 4 new recipes off the internet and the first one I made twice already. I really need to look no further since this is the best use of rhubarb I’ve ever seen. They are Rhubarb Dream Bars and have a buttery crust with a custard type filling. They are good warm or chilled. If you’ve never tried Pie Plant (rhubarb), you’re missing out!
New Weber gas grill

New Weber gas grill

Hubby got a new gas grill on May 21st also. We’ve been without one since around Nov. We normally grill all year round, no matter the weather. This time hubby wanted a Weber brand which is supposed to be superior to others. It’s a smaller grill than what we had but so much nicer! In almost 30 years that Greg & I have been together,  he’s done all the grilling. I always thought of it as a man’s thing. Now with this grill, I’ve started grilling and found out it’s not hard at all! I’ve been grilling a ton of veggies that I would normally roast in the oven: eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. I’m having a lot of fun with it. I won’t be taking all the grill duties away from hubby but it’s a good thing to know how to use it. Now we can get back to having salmon and sweet potatoes a couple times a week.
Mom at 94

Mom at 94

My mom turned 94 on April 23rd. It seems like things are getting harder daily. I don’t know if they’re necessarily harder for her, but they’re harder for me. It is no longer a full time job to be her caretaker, it is a 24/7 job. A lot more “babysitting” and checking on her is needed than ever before. We’ve scaled back our treasure hunting a lot so I’m not gone from her as much. We went out one day the past few weekends. Mom’s latest thing is drinking water. She hadn’t drank much water her whole life. She would avoid drinking it due to her bladder. I know she needs some to keep hydrated but don’t want to force it on her. I’ve always kept a filled water bottle next to her on the couch. She knew it was there but never reached for it. Now she drinks the whole thing and then keeps handing me the bottle. I like to fill it and put it back next to her but she doesn’t remember drinking it. I’m sure you can see where this is going long before I could. She would drink 3 or more bottles of water in row. I had to put a stop to that since the diaper only holds so much. She’s only been in diapers in the daytime for the past 2 days. After she literally “shit the bed”. It had come out of the diaper and was just smeared over the entire bed and her. So doing laundry has been keeping me busy. I finished up everything in the house that could possibly be laundered a few days ago, only to have to do several loads in a row. Her sheets and mattress pad, her thin quilt, a huge load of towels and her nightgown. A month ago or so she must’ve done the same with more solid material because when I went to wake her, she had both hands covered in it and I had to cut it out of her pubic hair. Never a dull moment! :-{
Wood for project.

Wood for project.

Hubby’s been busy too since he started a new project. It’s been awhile since he’s done any carpentry. He loves it and misses it. I know he gets a lot of pride and satisfaction by building something from scratch. Lord knows he’s got enough tools for every conceivable task. He’s now making a wooden floor on the muddy outside area along the north side of the house. It’s been fenced in there for years but we can’t use it. We’ve even tried planting in there (onions and beets) but it’s so muddy you can’t walk and it gets no sun. We’d like to use that wasted space for storage. If nothing else for our packing supplies like cardboard boxes and bubblewrap. It would free up a large portion of the garage which we can’t even walk in now since we are saving boxes we may use “someday” in there. I could joke and say that the tv show “Hoarders” wanted to come here to film our mess (I mean house) but they said it was a safety hazard…
Hubby before starting.

Hubby before starting.

We haven’t taken any vacation yet this year and are starting to get antsy. The RV is in the repair shop now for the horn (which turns out it was “unplugged”) and the cruise control which needs to be replaced. Neither one has worked in at least 2 years. Our “all inclusive” warranty lasts until Nov. so I wanted this fixed while we have it. We still have a $50 deductible but we can handle that. The RV dealership couldn’t fix those 2 items since they are part of the engine/motor and not the “coach”. So that was part of the holdup too. Taking it to a Ford dealership that works on RVs. Since we’re trying to get the most out of Greg’s limited vacation time, we are thinking of taking the 4th of July holiday week. Then he only has to use 3 days (30 hours). We’d like to take our anniversary week or my birthday but it doesn’t work out. We’ll probably go up to WI, if we’d gone any sooner, we might’ve frozen to death.
Sky, clouds and sun. This tree now is full of green growth. 2 months makes a huge difference.

Sky, clouds and sun. This tree now is full of green growth. 2 months makes a huge difference.

May 21st Greg & I went to the doctor. Yes, that was a ridiculously busy day! A trip to the doctor, one estate sale, buying plants, planting herbs, getting a new grill…No wonder I don’t have time to blog. Ha!  It’s been 2 years since I had a pap smear so I just bit the bullet and called. We go in together and it went fairly well. Greg’s blood pressure is forever high even though he’s on 3 blood pressure meds. It runs in his family. The doc added a small extra dose in the evenings of one he takes. The doctor actually said to me, “I pronounce you healthy”. Which was kind of a relief until I brought up my spinal stenosis. The past 2-3 months it has gotten A LOT worse. I used to only have pain when standing or walking. Now I have pain when laying in bed, when first sitting down, when bending over, etc. I used to only have the pain in my legs like shin splints. Now it is more like charley horses and it’s in my back too. He told me to go back to Dr. Hennessy who he sent me to 2 years ago. Then he said it wasn’t that bad but told me to lose weight. I hate to go back when I haven’t lost weight. I may be 5 lbs. down if any. Food is a comfort to me with all I have to deal with. I guess that makes me a failure. I need to find out if I can get an injection that might help. I really don’t want surgery. He scared me a lot saying that if I wait too long, I may have permanent nerve damage and the pain will never go away. Yikes. I got an order for a mammogram and finally called to make the appt. for that. It’s set for Tues. June 23rd at 10:50 am. One thing at a time, I guess.
I'm in love with these 2 dress forms. I call them my dummies.

I’m in love with these 2 dress forms. I call them my dummies.

The doctor told us to stop back sometime this summer to get our blood drawn. He wants to do it after fasting for at least 8 hrs. I mentioned that I heard on the news that you can tell from a blood test if you have cancer. He said that wasn’t true and then got into a long tangent about cancer really coming down to “bad luck”. I guess I should feel lucky then! I also asked about a mole on my left boob that looked suspicious to me. It was embarrassing to have to show him but I was sick of worrying about it. A friend I knew from slams died last year from skin cancer so that certainly puts things in perspective. He said it was fine but keep an eye on it. I told him I wanted to get a bunch of moles/ skin tags cut off. He’s always so brutally honest that he said that it didn’t make sense since they would most likely grow back again in 6 months! I had that happen with one already so I do believe him. After going to Dr. James for 19 years, he finally gave us his personal phone number. I doubt we’ll ever use it but it’s nice to know we can if we need to.
A terrific read.

A terrific read.

Treasure hunting has been interesting. We’ve gotten really interested in old books. Preferably over 100 years old. I used to be so fussy about the condition and I still would rather have the binding intact but now if something looks like a captivating read, I don’t pass it up (if the price is right). Which brings me to opening another Etsy shop just for vintage ephemera (books, postcards, greeting cards, stickers, letters, etc.). I call that one Ephemera Addict to compliment my DejaVu Junkie vintage shop. I am also starting a similar shop on Instagram called Ephemera Junkie. It’s not even that I’ve had so much success on there but want to have an outlet to share my love of all things paper. I just finished a swell book from 1926 called My Friend The Dog. It’s a bunch of short stories about collies. They all have fairly happy endings which I like. The world doesn’t have enough happy endings to suit me! In one of the stories, a dog gets in a fight and is injured and it’s 2 weeks before he can “resume the burden of living.” I get such a kick out of the way things were worded back then. It is a sheer delight to partake of the mindset and morals of the past.
My friend the dog. Aka Elvis.

My friend the dog. Aka Elvis.

On that note, I’m going to step away from the computer and resume the burden of living. 🙂

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We’ve been especially lucky when treasure hunting lately. We’ve been finding unique things that appeal to us without having to look through too much yuck. There’s been a few houses here or there that we’ve gone to estate sales at that looked like they were trying to sell things meant for the trash. These were houses scheduled for demolition so they would’ve been better off setting fire to them than trying to get a few pennies for the contents. Some of the stuff is so dirty or worn that I don’t even want to be in the same room with them, let alone touch them. It’s usually a sure sign when we cross the threshold of one of these homes and a powerful smell accosts us. A mixture of intense mold and death. I try to hold my breath as we make our way into the house but there’s rooms I’ve left in a hurry simply because I couldn’t breathe the stench. We’ve never purchased anything at one of these smelly, disgusting homes for 2 reasons. We can never find anything we’d want in there and we don’t want to buy anything that we’ll always remember came from one of those stinky places.

Last weekend we went to an estate sale run by a family instead of a company. The second we walked in, all I could smell was fish. I had all I could do not to say, “So, you had fish for supper last night!” Instead, we made our way through quickly and left. I thought of clueing them in and saying, “At least put a scented candle out or you’ll never sell anything.” Sheesh. The sad thing is no one will probably tell them and they’ll never know. I’m assuming it’s one of those things where if you’re inside with it all the time, you can’t smell it. Either that or they have no sense of smell. I have a friend like that who can’t smell ANYTHING. It doesn’t even seem to bother her. I guess it’s a bonus not to smell the bad things but how awful would it be not to smell the good things in life? Like the food you’re about to eat, fresh herbs and flowers from the garden, your favorite perfume, towels straight out of the dryer, your puppy or baby, etc.
The weekend before last we hit a “honeyhole.” This is hubby’s term from watching too much “American Pickers.” He loves that tv show and “Pawn Stars” and the 57 versions of “Storage Wars.” That’s a place that has a ton of quality stuff worth a lot of money. Sometimes it’s a hoarder that had tons of new stuff still in boxes. Other times, it’s a collector that took pristine care of everything they owned. In any case, it’s exciting. We got some ship’s wheels, ship’s lanterns, Royal Haeger pottery and a kitchen light. That was kind of a fluke. We have a circular attached island in the middle of our kitchen. I hate the layout but that’s a whole other issue. Hanging low above it was a plain white metal light fixture. Ugly as sin. We would keep our wishbones from our chickens and turkeys on there to dry. When we wanted to make a wish, they’d be ready. Yes, we really are THAT type of eccentrics. In the past we’d looked for lights for other areas of the house and had seen what was available for the kitchen. We’d never liked any of them, at any price. Nothing like waiting 18 years to find something that suits your tastes, is there?! Geez. So we went into this honeyhole and there was a gorgeous light handing there. It had a $75 tag on it. I wouldn’t pay that even though I liked it. It was half off the next day and I still thought it was too much. I thought about it overnight and decided I wanted it. So we popped back over to get it and it was even less. Guess how much I got the light for?! $18.75. I was in shock! The owner of the house had to take it down and then we put it up at our house on Thurs. afternoon. We needed to take it apart and clean it because I doubt it had EVER been cleaned before. Hubby took down the old fixture and then I helped him put up the “new” one. Nothing like holding something heavy above your head for awhile to make you feel like a weakling. I just love it and am so glad I jumped on it (eventually). 🙂 I am so grateful to my hubby for being willing to put it up. If he wasn’t game, I’d still be stuck with the old one.
Old kitchen light

Old kitchen light

Slowly we are getting the house in order. It’s taking much longer than I’d like but we’re doing it piece by piece so that’s to be expected. This past weekend we went to a few sales just in our town. About 8 blocks away we found some goodies including an antique wall telephone. Hubby saw it and knew immediately he wanted it. I know nothing about them even though my mom worked for the phone company for more than 35 years. This one’s an old Monarch wood coffin type. It’s hard to believe it’s in such good shape. The brass and wood are in excellent condition. We found the perfect place to hang it and put it up on Friday. Me: “Our house is starting to look like a museum.” Hubby: “What do you mean STARTING TO?” We aren’t anything like the Addams Family because we have furkids instead of real ones. 😉
Vintage kitchen light

Vintage kitchen light

Another odd discovery that we found was 2 yearbooks from Rock Falls High School in IL. They are from 1920 and 1921. They are called The Swastika and have the mirror image of the logo the Nazis used as their emblem. Obviously, this is BEFORE WW2. I never really thought about where the symbol came from and realized that it’d been around for years before it was bastardized for evil purposes. We don’t collect Nazi memorabilia or condone anything they did. (That should go without saying but just want to make it perfectly clear.) Looking through these yearbooks has been fascinating. To think that all those people in it are long dead boggles the mind. Reading the poems, class wills, jokes, etc. included inside is to get a feel for what it’s like to have lived a century ago. The black and white photographs on the pages stare back like ghosts. Everything was different back then. The advertising gives a real glimpse into yesteryear with ads for typewriters, Victrolas, Hudson automobiles, dressed meats, a hatter, “good clothes,” etc. There’s an ad for a bank that mentions the interest they pay is 4% on saving accounts and certificates of deposit. Hard to believe it’s more than what they pay now. This was almost a decade before the crash of the stock market and everyone lost their money. Another ad is for a barbershop that touts “hair cutting, shampooing and massaging a specialty.” It also mentions “Take a bath while you wait.” Say what?! Another ad of interest is from a Coal Co. that advertises 4 types of coal. “Scranton Hard Coal, Milwaukee Solvay Coke–the fuel without a fault, Allheat–the miracle coal–no ash and Purity–the standard coal of Franklin County.” It’s almost like we need proof that people lived like that or we wouldn’t believe it now.
Freakish Swastika Yearbook 1920

Freakish Swastika Yearbook 1920

Also ran across a Ouija board game. When I was a kid, my half siblings had owned the game but all that was left when I came along in the ’60’s was the board itself. No wooden table to make it work. I now find out that table is actually called a “planchette” but how was I to know? I’d literally never seen one in person before. I’ve always thought it was cool and being into horror movies, it’s just scary enough to be interesting. I never toyed with it since there was no way to make it work when I was a kid. Instead I always used it as a lapdesk or clipboard to write on. I don’t know what became of it. When I saw the Ouija board game, I had to have it. It is cheap and probably form the ’60’s since the table is plastic, not wood. Being raised Catholic, hubby is spooked by things along the line of spirits. I was surprised he didn’t object to me getting it. I will probably sell it since I got it cheap and they go for a lot of money. I definitely want to try it out first and see if anything happens. 😉
Ouija board

Ouija board

We pretty much make sure we like everything we buy at estate sales. We don’t want to get stuck with something we hate. There’s some things we love and are keeping, others we’re keeping for awhile until we get sick of them and others we bought specifically to sell. Hopefully, by next week I’ll have a major announcement on my blog! In the meantime, we’re turning our own house into a honeyhole! 🙂
Elvis with our largest ship's wheel

Elvis with our largest ship’s wheel

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Today I was able to move about freely without feeling like I was going to “hit the floor”. Not the fun kind of “hit the floor” like Flo Rida and the Apple Bottom Jeans song, either. I made it to physical therapy and was evaluated on my range of motion movements compared to my first visit. I gained 10% on most things and only 3% more on standing up and bending backwards. My spine only bends at the top, not the bottom. I’m hoping I will continue not only to maintain but improve my flexibility. My physical therapist is putting together an exercise plan for me that she’ll give me Wed. that I can continue with. She’s also allowing me to have rest days instead of doing the exercises every single day. I’m kind of gung ho and when I commit to something, I don’t waver unless I have a setback like being sick. Then all bets are off. Anyway, I’m going to continue but be less rigid and listen to my body more. She asked me about my pain level and I realized it is much less. It actually helped taking it easy this week and not going full bore. I can do everything with less pain and also am not as stiff.
 
As I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I have gotten into what I call Treasure Hunting. It’s going to estate sales and looking through other people’s crap for something of worth for cheap. It’s such an odd, eclectic (kind words) group of people who do this. I guess that makes me one of them! 🙂 A lot of them are older people and foreigners. Not to lump everyone in together but a lot of foreigners are cheap and know a good bargain. I can’t fault them for this. I’m inherently cheap but not enough to make it on Extreme Cheapskates yet. The day I start saving my urine in bottles to save on flushing the toilet, I invite you to shoot me in the head.
 
If we go early to the estate sales, we have to wait in line and then they give out numbers a half hour or hour before opening. We’ve done both where we’ve gone early (never early enough to be first) but often just stroll over about an hour after it starts. If you go early, there’s a chance you’ll get something really good. There’s also a chance that the first person will take whatever you’re interested in and you did it all for nothing. When we’ve gone later, we’ve still found really good stuff, just not often. It’s a crapshoot. Anyway, we’ve been doing this since Spring and not every weekend. Then there’s some weekends that we go to only one sale and get nothing or go all weekend and come back empty handed. We are really selective about what we get. We only get cool things we like and haven’t seen before. We also won’t pay a ton for anything. So if we love it but the price is retail, we pass. We are finally running out of wall space and so have to be really picky if we get anything else.
 
The first several months it was like a clique with the people showing up outside these places to wait. They all knew each other and would only talk amongst themselves. Now the past month or so, we have struck up several conversations with some of the people. There’s this one older gentleman who must be about 86 and has a strong accent. I’d guess he’s from Czechoslovakia or Hungary. The guy is a hoot! He comes up to us telling the lamest jokes you’ve ever heard. “What is the first thing you take off of a naked woman?” “A naked man.” Ok, so the guy is creepy too but as long as he doesn’t touch me, I’m fine. The last few times we’ve seen him, he tells my husband, “Next time, I buy your wife!” He thinks this is funny. It was mildly amusing the first time. Not after as many times as I’ve heard it. I would give anything to be quick with a reply. It took me an hour after this happened on Sat. to think of the perfect response. It had me laughing out loud and when I told hubby, he laughed too. He doesn’t humor me if he doesn’t think I’m funny. So next time he offers to buy me, I will say in a thick foreign accent, “You think I prostitute?” Saying this as a noun, not a verb. Because I’m sorry, that’s the way foreigners talk. SOME foreigners. My favorite foreigners are the ones you can’t tell are foreigners because they speak better English than I do. I want to hug them all because you can just tell they appreciate being here. I think it’s wonderful that they embrace their culture and heritage but the best thing would be for them to learn English so they can really share their homeland and ethnicity with us. I’ve always thought speaking a foreign language others don’t understand is selfish. It’s exactly like whispering. People can’t hear what your saying and it’s exclusionary. Keeping others in the dark is unacceptable. I’m all for dual language households. In fact, I marvel at anyone who learns more than one language and the earlier you start, the better. I just think that you can speak English in public and whatever you choose in the privacy of your own home. I’ll probably be stoned for this opinion but I stand behind it.
 
I sure got off on a tangent there. I’m definitely going to say that to the old man if he tries to buy me again. I may also ask, “How much?” The other funny thing I heard this weekend was when my husband asked a guy, “Do you work here?” and the guy replied, “I’ve been accused of that.” As a rule, we try to only go to the estate sales that are in our town or neighboring suburbs. They are all over the Chicagoland area, up to an hour away but that’s not worth our while or gas money. Sometimes we venture into Chicago itself but not more than 6 miles. There was an ad for a Vintage Collectible Shop going out of business. So we took the drive into the city and it looked like a fly by night place. They didn’t have much merchandise and only some of it was old. Not much had a price marked on it. We bought nothing but I had the best laugh I’ve had in ages. I saw a painting on the wall that could’ve been of me! It’s a nude brunette woman, shown from the back, standing in a bathroom. It was like looking in a mirror. I’m not one to go for nudes hanging in my house or I would’ve inquired on the price. My husband didn’t get the same kick out of it as I did. I took a picture with my iPhone and was going to Instagram it but then IG was acting up. I looked it up online and it’s a reproduction painting by artist Fernando Botero from Columbia. He has a ton of other famous paintings with this fat woman (aka my doppelganger) and other fat women doing different things. I couldn’t get it out of my head and remarked about it to my hubby. Online they sell for about $200+ which is more than I’d pay. If I could’ve gotten it for $50 or less, I might’ve gotten it. I said to hubby, “Where would we hang it if we got it? It’s not right for the living room.” He answered, “On the refrigerator.” He told me that I’m not even close to that big, that the woman in the picture is the size of the 2 of us put together. It’s crazy that that’s how I see myself. If I look in the mirror at the back of me, that’s what I see. TMI, I know. If I look at myself naked from the front, I throw up. If I got that painting, I’d be inclined to tell everyone that I’d been the model for it. 😉 I never thought I could be a model before but now I’m wondering. Maybe if I contact the artist, he will consider using me for his future work. Heh. Actually, that’s the closest you’ll ever get to seeing a naked picture of me. You’re welcome. 😉
 

My Doppelganger

My Doppelganger

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I have a new reason to look forward to the weekends: going to estate sales. It has turned into something exciting that my husband and I both enjoy. We have very similar taste in furnishings and are drawn to the unusual and insanely beautiful. In a time when we should be decluttering and leaning towards a more minimalist lifestyle, we’re getting into treasure hunting. We aren’t buying with abandon and are being selective. We know enough from our days going to auctions what is worth coveting and what is pure junk. We also know what’s a decent price. I still second guess, wondering if I could’ve gotten the item for less. That’s just human nature. The less you pay for something, the more you love it. We’ve avoided buying furniture even though we have to replace most of ours sooner rather than later. Years ago we got a lovely octagonal wooden table with detailed cutouts on the legs for $15. We use that to this day. So there are deals to be had but you have to be picky. We’ve agreed that we’d never buy a sofa or upholstered chair from an estate sale due to even the slightest possibility of bringing home bedbugs.

 
Last weekend we didn’t make it to any estate sales until Sat. afternoon. Most run Thurs., Friday and Sat. or even just Friday and Sat. So we went when there was only an hour and a half left at some of them before they were closed. Surprisingly, there was still some wonderful finds left! I thought for sure the Royal Haeger vintage pottery piece would be gone. The pink and blue pattern is my favorite of everything they’ve produced. We saw it on display museum-style at their factory in East Dundee, IL. This color was popular in the 1950’s and they no longer make it. The ceramic display piece was marked $28 which I thought was steep considering the circumstances. I would’ve paid $20 for it and been kicking myself. I had hubby ask if they’d take $20 for it but felt like it was still not a great deal at that price. The woman said everything there was HALF OFF because it was the end of the last day. So I got it for $14 and was tickled pink! 🙂
 

Royal Haeger Pottery

Royal Haeger Pottery

When we started going to these a few weeks ago, we decided we’d ONLY go to the ones near home. Within 3-5 miles of here. So that means local sales and ones in the towns directly next to us and of course, Chicago which borders our town. We’ve seen some awesome sales advertised that were an hour away in the southern suburbs but is it worth it to drive that far and not be sure anything will be left? Or get up way early to wait in line? Not to us. This is stuff we don’t NEED, we just WANT. The next 2 sales we went to on Sat. were in Des Plaines, IL. One was pretty picked over except for a couple boxes of old photographs. The guy kept saying “Make an offer!” so I did. The boxes were marked $22 EACH and I offered him $5 for both. He wouldn’t take it but took $10 instead. I left feeling like I’d overpaid. Who wants somebody else’s photos? Me. I love looking at old pics. Seeing the clothing, hairstyles and cars that were in fashion decades ago. I also couldn’t bear to think that someone’s pictures would be thrown out. I’ll get hours of entertainment out of them and then maybe make some sort of project with them.
 

2 boxes of old photographs

2 boxes of old photographs

One of the most fun things about going to estate sales is just going through somebody else’s home! I love seeing how others live. Surprisingly, it usually makes me feel better about our house. Usually the homes are decorated horridly like something out of the tv show “Madmen”. I’m sure all of the decorations were the cat’s pajamas back in the day but now they just look they belong in a time capsule. It’s fun to see stuff that adorned the house of my childhood that I haven’t seen or thought of since the early 1970’s. Unfortunately, almost all of these houses have bathrooms bigger than ours. The last house we went to on Sat. was downright gaudy. In the living room there was RED carpeting. They had installed a double thick (or maybe triple?!) pad under the carpet so that every step you took, your feet would SINK into the rug. It was so “squishy” that it just gave the creepiest feeling I’ve ever felt. Hubby said he was afraid his knee would go out walking on it since it made your whole leg wobble to move across the floor. I felt my ankles rocking as I took one squishy step after another. I didn’t let this put us off and we perused the belongings which were lovely. As we were leaving, one of the women running it called our attention to a cardboard box filled to the top with dishes. They were all in cloth zippered fabric covers to protect them. You couldn’t even see what the pattern was. The box was marked $150 but she said she’d “give” them to us for $50. She kept saying there was a full set there. I’m sure the only reason they were left was because they were hidden in this box and you had to lift and unzip one of the pouches to see what was inside. The woman also said that the owner of the house had MANY sets of dishes and this was the last one left. I bet they were seldom or never used. We started looking at them and hubby knew it was a good deal so he jumped at it. We had fun carrying them out to the truck one pouch at a time. I didn’t want to risk carrying more and having them break.
 

Noritake Love Bird Stoneware Dishes

Noritake Love Bird Stoneware Dishes

On to the business of the dishes. They are Noritake Primastone Stoneware in the Love Bird pattern. Made in the 1970’s and so pretty! When we got home, I looked through them all and counted them. They are in mint condition, a full serving set for 16 people! Including: dinner plates, small plates, cereal bowls, soup bowls, cups and saucers, 2 creamers & sugars and 2 serving platters. SCORE! I feel like I got a killer deal. 🙂 Now we’re trying to decide if it’s more beneficial to go on the first or last day of the sale. I guess we’ll just play it by ear.
 
This coming weekend there aren’t many estate sales going on because of the Easter holiday. We may try to get to one on Friday. I kind of love that treasure hunting is giving me something new to blog about! Have you ever been to an estate sale? Down south they call them “tag sales”. What is your most prized treasure you found? Do tell! 🙂

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