Friday, December 31, 2010

Rainy, Gloomy, Dark Day

With both boys gone to my parents in the U.P. it gets pretty quiet around the old house-and it stays clean! With nothing pressing to do around the house today, I decided to wander around a couple of my favorite antique places just to have something to do.
It was 47 degrees and pouring rain when I left. For a while, it was hard to even see the cars in front of me it was coming down so hard! The first place I stopped at used to be called "Startin' Antiques". Now it has new owners/operators and the name is now "Six Corners Antiques". The whole time I was there, it was just me and two other shoppers along with the two owners.

I found this amazing wall unit. I took pictures and measurements-I think something like this is just the thing for our sunroom, on both sides of the doorwall. Now the hard part is to convince Kevin to make them!

I found this Manhattan cream and sugar set, the white bowl and lid with a red stripe, and this small mixing bowl. The tag said it was Pyrex, but there aren't any markings on the bowl to either confirm or deny that-guess I'll have to do some research to find out for sure!

I went to Livingston Antiques and boy was it c-r-o-w-d-e-d! I kept hearing people say that they couldn't believe how big it was! There were also several people who either said they were lost, or that they had seen the same rows 3 or 4 times and couldn't figure out how to maneuver through the mall.

It's good to see new people coming and shopping there. It's a really nice mall! I don't quite understand how they were getting turned around though. It's pretty straight-forward with wide, long aisles. I went the opposite direction of what I usually go and I highly recommend for everyone to do this a couple of times a year. You get so used to seeing stuff in the same places if you go the same way every time you shop. When you go the opposite way, you find "new" treasures that have probably been there right along!

There were a few dealers cleaning out and packing up their booths. Some vendors who were there at the beginning of the month were gone, and some had rearranged everything, and brought in some new stuff. I didn't find anything that I couldn't live without, but I had a nice time wandering and looking!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quick Trip to Menard's...

We took a quick trip to Menard's yesterday so Kevin could check out the sale they were having on tongue and groove pre-finished pine boards. He was interested in them for the ceiling in our sunroom-to give it a rustic look. I say "quick trip" kind of as a joke, because the nearest Menard's is about 50 minutes away! So it wasn't much of a quick trip.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day  yesterday-a perfect day for a drive! There were blue skies, and the frost hung in the trees and made them look like they were flocked.

While we were there, he wanted me to talk to a kitchen designer and see what kind of prices they had on cabinets for our size kitchen. I spent about an hour with her and she was very nice and said usually the first time you meet with her is just a rough draft anyway, and that most people change their minds several times before they finally settle on the final design.

I took a couple of pictures of some cabinets that I liked. Their cabinets would be about $18,000 less than the kitchen store we stopped at a couple of days ago, but still by far, much more expensive than what Kevin can make them for.

I can't believe I am actually giving a second glance to the rustic knotty hickory cabinets! Kevin loves that look, and has been making furniture with knots for years, and I've never liked that I'm giving it a second glance-quick-someone feel my forehead-I must be sick! :)

We also checked out bathroom vanities, sinks, shower trays for making a tile shower, and countertops. We totally forgot to look at the in-the-wall gas heaters for the sunroom wall so that we can use it in the winter-(sigh!) all that shopping, pricing and comparing was exhausting!! I walked out with an armload of books and pamphlets, and stronger ideas of what I don't maybe we are getting closer to having a plan.

I had hoped to stop at a few antique shops on the way home, but we spent so much time at Menard's that we needed to hurry home. Adam and a couple of friends were taking my car and going to my parent's house in the U.P., and we didn't want to keep them waiting. Adam's car is a tiny little Saturn sedan (I call it Stuart Little's car because when he stands next to it, the roof comes up to about his waist!), and my big SUV is way more comfortable for them for the long drive north and then home. Plus, they are bringing Eric home and there is no way 4 giant guys and their gear would fit in Adam's car!

Oh Romeo, Romeo, Where For Art Thou Romeo?

Kevin and I took off this morning for an adventure to Romeo, Michigan and the 5 antique shops that I found on various sites online. It took quite a while to get there, and it was a long gloomy ride. It was misty, foggy and gray today, but at least we didn't get the freezing rain they were calling for.

 We found 2 antique shops and were informed that the others had closed.The first shop had quite a few vendors, it occupied 3 floors in the building and there was a lot of "guy" stuff that Kevin enjoyed looking at. I found a Fiesta #7 mixing bowl in mint was a mere $95...only about twice as much as I am willing to spend, but it was still neat to see it and touch it! LOL!

The prices seemed to be pretty high, and with the long drive, I can't imagine visiting again. The other shop (across the street) had probably a dozen antiques and the rest was all new stuff, the owner said she just isn't carrying much "old stuff" anymore. She's the one who told me that the other shops had all closed.

We managed to get a few shots of some really neat houses and buildings while we were in Romeo, and we stopped off at Kevin's sister's house in Rochester Hills on the way home. We had a nice visit and light dinner of her homemade soup and salad.

On the way home from Rochester Hills, we stopped at a thrift store and a Salvation Army Thrift store. I picked up a couple of clear hurricane globes for an event at church in the spring, and Kevin got a wool sweater.

As far as finding treasures, and the gloomy weather, today was a frog. Hoping to check out a couple shops tomorrow...maybe one of them will be a prince!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Busy Day Today...

We have been chugging along at full steam today! We started off shopping for ideas for remodeling our bathrooms (tile, countertops, cabinets, etc), and ideas for remodeling our kitchen. I've been searching for a few years for cabinets, and I always knew that as soon as I saw it, I would know.

Today I saw "IT". Unfortunately, "IT" will cost about $30,000 just for the cupboards!!! Yikes!!! I would NEVER, EVER, pay that for just kitchen cupboards! Good thing I have a very talented husband who can make anything out of wood that I can get him a picture of! Good thing for camera phones too!!! He can make the whole kitchen for less than 10% of the cost big kitchen store-wooo hooo!

It's hard to tell by the picture, but it is quarter-sawn oak. The knobs are a a very useless tiny strap of leather-not our taste-that's for sure! Can't you just see some bright Fiesta dishes behind those doors?!?!

We move kinda slow around here, as far as making big decisions, so it will probably be a while before we get going on the kitchen or bathrooms, but it is nice to finally have a plan! My head is spinning with ideas for the kitchen. I ran a couple of them past Adam, and he wasn't too excited about them-but keeping things in perspective...he is 19 years old...and he pretty much could care less about what the kitchen looks like, or functions like-just as long as it produces food! His concerns for the bathrooms center on how much he will have to help.

After all that shopping, and idea searching, we came home and cleaned the carpet in our room, the basement family room and a couple of area rugs-whew! I thought this was supposed to be vacation-LOL!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Extended Family Christmas Party Today...

Today is the day for the big family Christmas party at my Dad's brother's house. It is the one time a year that all the brothers and their families get together. There should be about 35-40 people there. We are doing appetizers this year instead of a full turkey dinner.

I am bringing pigs in a blanket and asparagus beef roll ups. The pigs in a blanket are just mini sausages rolled up in crescent roll dough and baked. The asparagus beef roll ups are as follows:

36 asparagus spears (trimmed)
1-8 oz carton spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
3-5 Tbs. prepared horseradish
36 slices deli roast beef

Blanch asparagus spears for 3 minutes and immediately immerse in ice water. Blot dry with paper towel. Mix together cream cheese and horseradish. Blot dry each slice of roast beef and spread with cream cheese mixture. Place an asparagus spear at the edge of the beef slice and roll up. Arrange on platter, cover with wrap and chill for 1 hour prior to serving.

This is what my dishes to pass look like:

My mom is making buffalo chicken dip a swiss cheese dip and a cheese ball.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This picture came through on my phone this is of the grandson of a dear friend of ours. 

How cute is he?!?! I smile every time I see this and just had to share a smile with you!

Merry Christmas! Hope you are having a wonderful day enjoying your family and friends!

Very Addicting Snack Mix...

We tried a new snack mix recipe yesterday. I found a recipe on line, and my mom and I modified it to our taste.

1-17.9 oz box Crispix cereal
2-12oz cans of peanuts
1-1 lb. bag mini pretzel twists (I think butter braids would be better)
6 qts popped popcorn
2 family size bags of plain M & M's

2C. butter
2/3 C. Karo Syrup
2C. Brown Sugar

Melt butter. Add in corn syrup and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
In a large bowl, mix together all other ingredients (except M&M's). After the glaze mixture has cooled a bit, pour it over ingredients in large bowl. Stir to coat well. Pour onto sprayed cookie sheets and bake at 250 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and either pour onto wax paper to cool or into large bowls to cool. When mostly cool, add in M & M's. Store in airtight containers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Twelve Days of our house!

On the first day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

 ♪...a chicken in a maple tree!

On the second day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...two Harlequin pitchers!

On the third day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...three Bobwhite quail!

On the fourth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...snowmen watching!

On the fifth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...five green eggs!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...Six Christmas cards!

On the seventh day of Christmas, my loving son found for me... Fiesta shakers!

On the eighth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...eight vintage tablecloths!

On the ninth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...nine dotty bowls!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...ten glass salt cellars!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...eleven swanky swigs!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...twelve cookies baking!

Hope you got a chuckle out of our 12 days of Christmas song-we sure had fun coming up with it!

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Caramel Corn-YUM!

I made a TON of this for gifts this year-hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

2C Brown Sugar
1/2C Karo Syrup
2 Sticks Butter
1/4tsp Cream of Tartar

Combine and bring to a boil. Cook 3-3 1/2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 tsp baking soda. Pour over 6 quarts popped popcorn. Mix well. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour on cookie sheet. Dump out on wax paper to cool.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...twelve cookies baking!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Possibilities are Endless!

I am so loving these Fiesta mixing bowls! I can't decide how to put them together.

 I could go on and on...mixing and matching...and mixing and matching. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE Fiesta?

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas...

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...eleven swanky swigs!

Monday, December 20, 2010

YAY! Adam got a job...I think...

Adam (my 19 yr old son) sent me a text message this afternoon while I was at work that said, "I got the job". I sent back the "YAY! Congratulations-proud of you" text. Then I asked, when do you start?  (he interviewed for a CNA position at a nursing home). How much will you be making? How many hours will you be working? Will you still keep your other job? He answered..."sometime in January", "I don't know", "I don't know"."yes" and "4pm-12am".

He has to go for a physical (and I'm assuming a drug test) at their choice of doctor, but he isn't even sure if they take our insurance. He had two papers to give to his current co-workers to fill out as references, and a direct deposit form. They hired him, gave him a new hire packet, but never checked his references, and haven't given him any details as to how much per hour he will be making, or how many hours he will be working...when I asked him why he didn't ask-he said he didn't want to seem greedy by asking right off the bat! LOL!

Kevin and I are just kind of chuckling about how discombobulated this whole situation is. He doesn't want our advice-after all, we are just dumb parents and he is 19 and he knows what he is doing. I can so totally remember being 19 and knowing it all-except I was getting engaged at 19-not getting a second part time job!

We'll just have to wait and see how it all works out! He will be working at a nursing home facility about 20 minutes away...not the one that is just the other side of town by the same name and owners...hope he figures in the extra gas money and time!

Sometimes Patience Pays Off!

Remember a few posts back when I was at the Williamston Antique Mall, and was trying to decide if I should get the five Fiesta mixing bowls that were on sale-but still really expensive? I ended up not getting them because I just couldn't spend $175 on bowls-not even vintage Fiesta bowls!

Since then, I've been really keeping my eyes peeled for them and have a million saved searches on Ebay for them. I've picked up a couple here and there very cheaply, and was thrilled. Last week, I won a set of 4 on Ebay for....ready? Are you sitting down?? $23.72-for all FOUR!!! I guess that is confirmation that I did the right thing by walking away!

In the set, two of them have damage. One has a large chip that has been glued back on, and a couple of cracks, and one has a hairline crack. The other two are in GREAT shape! I felt like jumping up and down-as I kept saying to myself-"I got a 6! I got a 6! I got a 6! I can't believe I actually got a 6!" Number 6 bowls have been very scarce, almost as scarce as number 7's-at least in my price range.

So now, with these additions, I have 3 - #4's, 2 - #1's, 2 - #2's 1 - #3, and a SIX! I'd like to sell the latest #4, but it's in rough shape-do you think anyone would buy it? I would be fine on display nesting in the set because they all fit so tightly together, and even on it's own with that side turned toward the wall or back of a cabinet, it would be o.k....

 See the chunk that was glued back in on the green bowl's rim?

 This is the #6. It has only one small ding on the rim with a little wear also.

 A #1 in yellow-in excellent shape.

 A #2 in red in pretty good shape-a little wear and a small ding on the rim.

See what I mean about the chip not looking so bad if it's turned to the back?

Considering their age, they really are in great shape! Now I need to finish off the set (or sets since I am collecting two sets), and sell the green one. I need to find 2 - #7's, a #6, 2 - #5's and a #3. I'd like to find another in the dark blue, and a couple in the ivory-but I've noticed the ivory seems to be really hard to find.

Slow and steady wins the race! I'll keep watching and waiting, and hoping!

On the Tenth Day of Christmas...

On the tenth day of Christmas, my loving son found for me...

...ten glass salt cellars!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sneaking out on a Sunday afternoon...

Today Auntie and I took off for a couple of hours to check out a local estate sale company's moving sale. They do estate sales, and have a store where they sell the excess, and they were moving to a new location. They didn't feel like hauling all the treasures to the other side of town, so they had a huge sale.

 I know everybody and their brother made these when they were younger-but I didn't, and I really like them especially for a quarter!

 This is actually a hat-it will be a Christmas gift.

 New looking lawn chairs $4 for all 4-perfect for by our sand volleyball court next summer!

 A Christmas platter for 50 cents-perfect for giving away Christmas cookies!

A Corning french white dish to replace the one broken by one of my guys-only $1.50!

We stopped at their new location-but didn't find anything we couldn't live without. Then we made a quick stop at Treasuremart!!! Auntie didn't get to go with me last week when I went and we were going right past anyway...

Usually they aren't open on Sundays, but because of the holidays, they have been open the past few. I learned today that you look at the date on the price tag, and for every month that the item is in the shop, it goes down 10%. 

I found this Candlewick salad set. I've been looking for a set for a few years-so I was thrilled to find it!

It looks a little scuffed in the picture, but it is just sticky residue from the price stickers-that I haven't washed off yet!

I stopped at Walmart on my way home to pick up a site-to-store order that I've been waiting for. 
 Looks kinda like Fiesta-don'tcha think? I like it!!

Only 3 days to work next week, then my parents are here for a few days. Looking forward to getting a pedicure with Mom on Thursday (she just surprised me by asking me to go with her), and going out to lunch!
It'll just be my parents and us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day-then on the 26th-we celebrate with all of my Dad's brothers, and their kids and their kids. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again. We are doing appetizers only this year and not a big meal with all the fixins. Any suggestions on some easy appetizers? I don't know what to take-everything and nothing sounds good right now...tell me what you like to make-I need ideas!!!