Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Michigan's Upper Peninsula...

This is where I am at this week. Just taking it easy and hanging out with Mom and Dad and Eric. Yesterday was rainy and sunny, and sunny and rainy. Today is nice and sunny but very chilly! It got down into the 40's last night and is only up to 52 degrees...brrrrr-this is supposed to be SUMMER!  It's a little too windy on the lake to get out and fish or float around.

 This is the front (lake side) of my parent's house. They just recently added the sun room, and are in the process of changing out the deck rails to match the wood on the front of the sun room. I just love this path that leads from the house to the lake. They left the sides wild and at first I wasn't so sure I liked it-- but I have to admit it is pretty awesome!

Wild Iris

From the lake looking up the path.

These little duckies waddled all the way up from the lake looking for goodies.

It's about a mile across to the other side of the lake from my parent's house. The whole lake (Brevort Lake)  is about 5 miles long, in the opposite direction. I hope the sun comes out and warms us up so we can get out on the lake! There is a sand dunes (you can barely see it in the pic on the far left), that we like to go to and just beach the pontoon boat and climb the dunes and swim. In the opposite direction, there is a campground with a camp store on the shore that is fun to take the little boat to and get penny candy or an ice cream bar.

That's it for now. More pics of our U.P. adventure coming soon!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What a Bummer!!

When something starts off on a bad note, it usually ends on a bad note. Everything was just fine until I arrived at the hotel in Allegan...

 There were no "hot tubs"-they were jacuzzi suites

Since I had never been to the Allegan Antiques Market, but have heard of it for years and seen tons of advertising flyers in antique shops all over the state-I decided I wanted to check it out. An opportunity to visit just happened to present itself for today. My cousin was having her daughter's high school graduation open house (in Big Rapids-about an hour and a half north of Allegan), and since I was going to be in that general vicinity, I worked out all the details with my mom (who drove down from the U.P. (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) and met me in Allegan. We spent the night at a local hotel (the "last one before you got to Holland, MI").

Since I didn't know the area, I checked the Antiques Market's website for recommendations on where to stay. When you read the ad, it says this hotel has rooms starting at $45. When I called the cheapest rooms they had available was $75 a night in the "old section". The new section started at $95. Since it was a national chain, and I wasn't sure how easy it would be to commute from Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids to the Antique Market, I booked the room.

I beat my mom there by about 15-20 minutes. Just long enough to get checked in and see this...

 Shag carpet.

 A big burn hole in the bedspread.

An old creepy looking chair.

A clock that is probably as old as I am, and it doesn't work.

Only one light bulb worked.

 Shag carpet, only one light bulb over the bathroom sink that worked (out of 3), a giant burn hole in one of the bedspreads (on beds that looked like they were just a mattress and box springs on the floor without a frame!), a clock from the 60's or 70's, a dead moth on the floor, and a view out of the window of a yard filled with junk! There was even an old discarded pick up truck in the yard outside our window that had been there so long there were little trees growing up in the truck bed!

Since my mom has a bad knee, it was too hard for her to climb the rickety (outside) stairs and she insisted we go to the office for a room on the first floor. Of course, they only had one, and it was in the "new" section and it was another $47!!! I said NO WAY! She whipped out her credit card so fast-I knew I wasn't going to win-although I was secretly relieved to be out of the scary room.

This room in the "new section" was much nicer-it even smelled like new drywall and carpet and was MUCH cleaner! If you ever have a chance to visit the Allegan Antiques Market (which I wouldn't reccommend-I'll get in to that in a little bit), DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT stay at the Budget Host Sunset Motel! Drive the extra half an hour and stay in Kalamazoo or north in Grand Rapids-you won't regret it! This hotel charged top prices and provided only the bare minimum. Disgusted at the way we were ripped off does not even begin to describe how I feel...Since I booked the room in advance, they told me if I canceled after the 24th, I'd be charged for the room anyway-is that even legal?

There is absolutely NOTHING to do in Allegan-unless you count the goodwill store just a couple of doors down from the hotel-where I found this game-too funny!

I wish I would have bought it-I've never seen this game before. Have you?

We ended up driving to Kalamazoo just to have something to do, rather than sit in the room and watch tv. We had a nice dinner and did some shopping-that at least was enjoyable.

We got up and about early this morning to go the the antiques show and it was raining and thundering-so we waited an hour for it to let up, and it did-so off to the show it was. We got a couple of great parking spots-didn't have to walk very far to the gate at all (that was probably the best part of the adventure!). It was $4 admission and I paid for both of us with a $20 bill. The older gentleman at the gate, gave me back $2 and said "Thanks-enjoy the show". I said, "Wait! I gave you a twenty!" he said "I know that! Just give me a minute to get your change" (he wasn't even reaching to make change-but he snapped at me none the less).

 Don't know why this was at the entrance...

We went in and right away I saw some of vintage eye candy and was starting to get excited---until I saw the prices! Ugh! Everything seemed to be priced VERY high! Some booths had "sales" where the prices where just barely reasonable. There were supposed to be over 400 vendors, and I don't think they even came close to 200 (unless more than one vendor was running a single booth). There wasn't a good variety either-it seemed that if you saw one booth, you saw 5 or 6 more with virtually the same items, at pretty close to the same prices. I was soo underwhelmed with this show, and glad that I didn't make the long drive over just for that. It is one more place to mark off on my map of my antiquing adventures, and one more place I have no intention of visiting again!

If you are looking for a GREAT antique show/festival in Michigan-I HIGHLY recommend Midland and would STRONGLY discourage you from Allegan. We were through the entire show (some aisles twice, because we got turned around, in a little over an hour). There just wasn't enough variety, or good prices to make it worth the trip...but at least I can say I've been there done that-and will wonder no longer what it is all about!

Now that I'm in the U.P., I'll be looking for opportunities for some northern Michigan treasure seeking! Hope your weekend treasure seeking was better than mine!

The hotel and antiques show were a total frog...

 but spending time with my mom, uncle and cousins was the real treasure!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Guess Where I'm Going Tomorrow?

Allegan Antiques Market!

Located in southwestern lower Michigan, this antiques market is only open on last Sunday of the month from April to September. They have over 400 vendors (200 of which are under cover from the elements-so they are open rain or shine).

The weather is supposed to be 85 degrees with scattered thunder showers-let's just hope it is really scattered!

I am meeting my Mom later today (she is driving down from her home in the U.P.), and we are spending the night and will shop the antiques market in the morning, and visit my cousin's daughter's high school graduation open house in Big Rapids in the afternoon. Then it is off to the Upper Peninsula for the week and some time with Mom and Dad and my boys and my furry buddy (Maddie)-too bad Kevin has to work...but someone has to stay home to take care of the chickies!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Today was such a beautiful day!! Slightly warm, a soft breeze, beautiful blue skies, lots of sun, low humidity, big fluffy clouds...

 The view from my dining room skylight.

After dinner, I went out to sit on the deck and read a book...I had a little visitor.

Then Kevin decided to let the chickens free range/roam the yard...
This little chickie loved the hostas, and spent the whole hour of freedom in there scratching for bugs!

Picker for Hire...

I just LOVE to hunt for treasures and I was thinking the other day that it would be really fun to quit my day job (as a church lady-youth ministry office assistant for 3 youth pastors), and get a new one as a professional picker! I only have one do you get a job as a picker?

I'm not really interested in opening a booth in an antiques shop, or selling on Ebay or any other internet site-I just love the thrill of the hunt and finding great treasures at rock-bottom low prices. Surely there has to be someone out there who likes the whole selling part and not the hunting part...right?

How do you go about advertising your services as a picker? Where do you advertise? Have you ever heard of such a working relationship-a picker and a seller?

I think it would be the job of a lifetime to visit all of the antique festivals, garage sales, flea markets, estate sales and shops all over-and get paid to do it! So, I am officially throwing my hat into the ring and offering up my services as a picker! If anyone out there is in need of someone to do the leg work of hunting down treasures-let me know! I have been a bargain hunting treasure seeker for many years already and have a lot of great treasures of my own.

Michigan Challenge Balloonfest is this weekend!

(Photo from

Are you going? Located in downtown Howell, Michigan. The weather looks GREAT for it, and for the launch later on tonight! The boys and I used to love to park at our friend's house in downtown and walk to the middle school/high school campus to ride the rides (them), and peruse the craft vendors (me). I don't think I'll go-my friend that I went with every year lives in Alabama now, and Kevin doesn't really like to go, and the boys are in the U.P. still.

The Weather Today is the Prince...Not the Sales

It is soooooo gorgeous outside today!!! Really low humidity (after a whole week of muggy, sticky heat and a lot of rain showers), blue skies, sunshine, a light breeze-mmm hmmmm-now that's what I'm talking about! Love it!!!

I even canceled my physical therapy appointment this morning and slept in-since it IS technically the first day of my vacation from work! I did drive around to a few sales, but most of what I saw was either heavy on the clothes and baby stuff and light on the good stuff-or just rabbit trails of old signs not removed leading to no where!

I really enjoyed my day, out and about soaking up the beautiful weather!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is It Real?

I found this awesome set of metal bowls on line (, and was very excited to have won them for a pretty good price....but now that I have them, I'm not so sure they are what I thought they were!

I thought they looked like the Fiesta Go-Along popcorn set, but looking at the colors, I'm not so sure. Do you have any idea if it is the real thing or not?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Too Quiet Here!!!

With both of our boys away for a while, (Adam is in Canada on O'Sullivan Lake fishing with Grandpa and Uncle Dale for a week-no cell service, and Eric is is the U.P. with Grandma at their house and Maddie, our dog is there too!) our house is too QUIET!!! I miss being greeted at the door by my furry friend. I miss laughing and visiting with my boys-or even just watching a show together on tv.

The benefits of not having teenage boys in the house for a week are pretty interesting...we actually have leftovers! Something that is unheard of when both boys are home! We might even have to dump out some milk that may end up going bad because we can't drink it that fast. The house is the same when I get home from work as it was when I left, and it stays clean-all by itself! The laundry has gone from constant mountains to a tiny little ant hill. 

Is this what you'd call an empty nest ? I'm not looking forward to the day when they both are on their own if this is what it will be like! I just hope they end up close enough to stop in often!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Update on some finds...

I ended up going back to the estate sale on Sunday to see if there were any treasures I missed on Saturday, and if there were any great discounts and guess what?!?!? The bed frame was still there! It isn't old, that's for sure!

It was $5 for both 

 It's pretty heavy, and I think it's pretty neat-I'm picturing it in my flowerbed with a climbing flower growing all over it!

My dollar chair!
One of the windows, not sure if I like it, it needs something...

Plates and a bottle planted in the garden...

Chick Update...

Just a quick update on the chicks...they have really grown since last week! They are now very noticibly biger than the quail-when last week they were the same size! They all seem to be getting along great, and I haven't noticed a pecking order yet. I wonder when they start all of that, or if maybe they have, and I just don't notice it.

One chick is a lot bigger than the rest, and one is a lot smaller than the rest. Here are some pics for (mostly for Eric who is up north with grandma and grandpa in the Upper Penninsula until the end of July).