Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fun Little Road Trip!

I finally felt almost back to normal when I woke up this morning, so I decided to search for some estate sales to visit. I didn't find any, but that didn't keep me at home! I decided to take a trip to Lansing to visit a few of my favorite places.

I went to April's Antiques, Mega Mall, Lamb's Gate and The Little Red School House. I also stopped at Hobby Lobby-my new favorite place on the planet!! It was snowing, but nothing was sticking-so driving wasn't bad at all.

At April's I found a set of 3 (that was supposed to be 4) Vintage Fiesta plates in the original red/orange color. There was a really nice guy there, named Jeff who looked also, but couldn't find the 4th plate, so he brought up a stack of vintage Fiesta plates in other colors, and let me pick one from the stack to make the 4th. So, I ended up with 3 red and 1 gray. My first gray Fiesta anything. I'm not sure I like it enough to keep it. It might end up in the booth someday.

The next stop was Mega Mall, where I got a couple of insulators (dirt cheap), and an old metal soap flake pitcher (also really cheap!). It was a really hoppin' place today! The parking lot was packed and shoppers were all over! I was not impressed with the guy that rang up my order. He was so busy talking to a woman on the side, that another worker (who was already ringing someone else up), had to get him to wait on me. The whole time he was ringing my stuff up, he was having a personal conversation with the woman!

How RUDE! I've never had such poor service there before. Usually, the workers are over the top helpful, and professional. I hope this was a one time incident, because I like the Mega Mall, a lot, but if that is going to become the normal-I'll go to 90 other places before I'll go back there again. That's how important "customer service" is to me-even just the tiny little courtesy of their full attention when ringing my stuff up means the difference between shopping at one place over another to me.

I only bought 3 little things, so the few short minutes it took to ring my stuff up, take my money and say good-bye, would not have killed either one of them to have stopped their private conversation. Ok-off my soap box...for now. I get cranked up over stuff like this. I've worked in retail, and I guess I am of a dying breed that still thinks the customer comes first. I know things like this don't matter to most people, but if I was that guy's boss, I'd make sure he never did it to another customer again, or he wouldn't be working for me anymore.

After Mega Mall, I went to the Lamb's Gate (in Grand Ledge-just outside Lansing).  I LOVE shopping there! I always find something, and the staff is wonderful! I picked up a vintage red Fiesta teacup and saucer-today seems to have been the day for vintage red Fiesta!

After Lamb's Gate, I was headed to the Little Red School House, but got side-tracked when I saw a Hobby Lobby. I'm kind of glad we don't have one close to us-because I'd be in some serious trouble! I think Hobby Lobby is to me, as Home Depot is to Kevin! LOL!

I did finally make it to the Little Red School House, and I was thrilled that they were open until 8pm (since it was almost 5:00 when I got there!). All of the booths were full, and a lot of dealers were having sales so it was a fun treasure hunt! I picked up a very kitschy set of flamingo salt & pepper shakers, a shiny silver garland (for my mantle shelf next year) and a yellow Pyrex fridgie.

I texted my friend Auntie about the garland because I thought she might want me to pick one up for her, and I waited for a few minutes in the parking lot because I was sure she'd want one, but after a few minutes, and no reply,  I decided to head for home.

Driving was going just fine until I got about 13 miles from my exit. Everything came to a quick stop, and emergency vehicles flew past. Traffic kept inching along, and eventually I came up to a pretty bad accident with vehicles in the median flipped over! I was only about a half mile to a mile behind them! Had I not waited those extra couple of minutes...I could have been in that!! Thank you Lord!

When I got home, the snow here had stuck and after about a dozen tries to get up the hill in my driveway to the car is spending the night outside. I couldn't get the snow blower started, and the shovel from the garage is misplaced (where ever one of the guys left it last), and the ice melt stuff isn't working! Not such a great ending to what was a pretty awesome day (except the irritating few minutes at Mega Mall-but I'm over that now!)

Here is a snap of what I got today...

 I've got some old decals...I think I'll put one on the soap flake pitcher. There was another one there I almost bought, but someone painted it with a granite-type texture paint--totally ruined it! On the bottom, you could see the original color was pink---sigh!

 I can't wait to throw in some old ornaments and see what it looks like!

I bought this stuff at Hobby Lobby...going to try a craft project I found on Pinterest. I just hope it turns out better than the Christmas tree shaped thing made out of fruit that I tried for our family Christmas get-together! The fruit ended up tossed into a bowl, and Eric took his chocolate fountain-nobody even knew that  2 hours before the party, I was pulling my hair out trying to make it turn into a cute little Christmas tree! If this one turns out, I'll show you, if'll never hear of it again! ;)

Here's a quick drive-by shot of a house in Grand Ledge with a bazillion blow molds out front! I tried to get a good shot of it for you Shara-but I missed a good dozen or more! Thought you could use a smile! ;)

Unexpected Treasures!

On Christmas Day, my parents packed up and headed for home around 1:00 (my mom caught some stomach bug and looked awful), and soon after that, we headed to Kevin's sister's house for Christmas dinner. Her house is always in perfect shape-nothing is ever out of place, and she is a very thoughtful hostess. We had a really nice time visiting with them

They were serving a homemade version of Sangria that I really liked. I'm not a big drinker-I can't even remember the last drink I had, but for some reason this tasted really good to me, so the next day I took a road trip to Trader Joe's for some "Two Buck Chuck"-the main ingredient in this Sangria.

The forecasters were calling for snow to start around noon and to dump as much at 6-10 inches, if it hit just right, so I was in a little bit of a hurry to get there and get back before it got bad. I ended up spending way more time in Trader Joe's than I had planned-I love that store! I wish they weren't so far away!!

I decided that since they were so far away, that I'd just buy a case of the "Two Buck Chuck" (even though it's $2.99 now). While I was there, I remembered the fresh pizza dough I had bought there a few years back and went to see if I could still get some. As I'm bending over to look at it, I felt something/someone brush up against my leg/butt!!! I jumped!! No worries-it was a little guy, probably about 3 who mistook me for his mom-whew!!! That was weird!!

When I left, it was starting to lightly snow-who knew the Michigan forecasters could be so on top of the forecast!?!? The snow wasn't going to keep me from making one last stop before heading for home...I'm sure you know by now that every time I go to Ann Arbor, I just HAVE to stop at Treasuremart!!! I was really bummed to see my secret-side road-parking-spot was filled! Not so secret anymore I guess!

I almost heard the hallelujah chorus in my head when I pulled into their teeny, tiny parking lot and found 3 open spots!!! Woo hoo!! I wandered around for a while before making my way to the basement and to the quilts. I ALWAYS have to check out the quilts when I am there. Usually, the prices are too high and I just sigh, and run my hand over the stitches and walk away.

That day, I couldn't believe my eyes! A machine and hand-sewn quilt with 2 shams in my super-cheap price range?!? Plus it was going to be another 10% off because it was there over 30 days!! YAYYYY! I kept skimming through the rack, hoping to find another one...and I did, but it isn't handmade. It's mass produced, but I liked the weight and feel of it and the colors will go nicely with my other quilts-plus it was only $20! It too had been there for a while-3 months, so it was 30% off.

When I left, the snow was really coming down and the traffic was starting to snarl up. I had a bright idea of getting off the expressway (where I was driving 45-50 mph), and taking a side road that I thought would be less crowded. I ended up driving an average of 5 mph! It took over 30 minutes to get home from picking up a prescription at Walgreen's...a trip that usually takes 5 minutes!

Once I got home, of course, I couldn't get up the hill of our driveway! I had tried it 5 or 6 times when Eric pulled in from work and told me to go inside and he'd get my car in the garage for me-what a sweet kid! He's gonna make a great husband some day!!! It took him another 20 minutes, a shovel and some ice-melt stuff, but he got it in the garage!

That night, we all got packed and ready to take off early the next morning for my parent's house in the U.P., but as things go, I ended up with a rotten stomach bug that hit me about 6 in the morning. Kevin and Eric, didn't even hesitate-they just loaded up and took off. They were each on a mission of their own-Kevin to try out his new super-lightweight backpack in the woods, and Eric to get to some ice fishing!

I was flat out in bed all day yesterday, I haven't been that sick in a long time! Today, is a little better, I've showered and gotten dressed, and have sprawled on the couch for the day. I'm not having any more "issues" but man! My stomach feels like there are a million little nails in it! I've kept down a banana and some toast, but sure don't feel like eating anything.

My mom is back to normal, but now my dad has it. I hope Kevin doesn't get it-my dad dropped him off in the woods early this morning to hike and camp out-to try out his new gear. Wouldn't that be awful to get a stomach bug out in the middle of no where!?! Especially when all you feel like doing is lying down and sleeping! Even more so, when it is supposed to only get up into the 20's there today!! I sure don't get his passion for hiking-especially in this weather!!

My girls have been bored without anyone to play with them. Yesterday, they were awesome! They curled up in my room, one on the bed, one on the floor and kept me company. Today...they decided to murder their new Christmas toy and leave a crime scene all over the sun room floor. By the size of the mess, I'd say they had a fun time! Too bad my head and stomach still hurt too much to bend over and pick it up!

I had one package come in the mail-that I totally forgot about bidding on, until I got the "you won" notification. I'm still looking for this in the pink and white (403 is all I need), but have decided to try to collect a set in the yellow/white and blue/white now as well.

I'm feeling the itch to get out and look for some junk-the other day just wasn't long enough, but I'm feeling just yucky enough to keep me home. Sitting up and driving would be fine, the walking around-not so much. I guess it's good that I'm home since it is snowing again and they are predicting another couple of inches. I think we've already beat the whole snowfall total for the entire winter last year-at least at our house it seems that way!

The "Sangria" recipe is just Sangria mixed with some diet Sprite with slices of lemon, orange, lime, fresh pineapple & juice and whatever other fruit you want to toss in. I made a HUGE pitcher of it and only had a glass but it looks like Adam found it, because the pitcher is now half gone! I suppose if I were a seasoned drinker, it would seem like fruit punch...but for me it is great!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you don't get this yucky stomach bug!

Here are some gifts from a couple of dear friends...

Two vintage tablecloths from my friend Bonnie from volleyball! 

a handmade candle from my friend Vickie -it is about half gone now!

My guys surprised me with some new lenses and filters and a white box and backrgounds for my camera...I was told, "Now you don't have any excuses---get busy selling your junk online too!" So, I am sure I'll be torturing you with all of my experiments in the coming months!

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year...New Thoughts...

I've been doing a Bible study with my cousins for a few weeks now, called Believing God by Beth Moore. I've been enjoying the study, and enjoying the time with my girls. We grew up living next door to each other, so they are more like my sisters than cousins, and I love them dearly.

One thing this study has us do is to focus on promises from God. I've reminded myself of them many times, when I am tempted to doubt or give up. They are: 1) God is who He says He is. 2) God can do what He says He can do. 3) I am who God says I am. 4) I can do all things through Christ. 5) God's Word is alive and active in me.

If you have a chance to do this study, I'd really recommend it! It has really gotten me thinking...every year we tend to make New Year's resolutions. Sometimes we stick to them, sometimes we don't. What if this year we make a list of the things we are BELIEVING God for, instead of the things we won't end up doing anyway? A list we can pray over, and believe God's best for.

I've been praying for so many people, and circumstances, but do I really believe God can do what I'm asking  Him to do? This past year has been an incredibly hard year for me and many people I know and love. It is only by God's grace, and strength that I've gotten through. I haven't mentioned any of it here, and it seems to have evened out some-for now-but it has been a major struggle and at times all I could focus on was just getting through the day or the hour.

So I thought I'd kind of combine my resolutions and prayers somehow and list the things that I'm believing God for in 2013. I won't post my real list here, I'll keep it private, but that doesn't mean I won't be praying and believing!

If you are wondering what in the world I am talking about, here are some examples of things that you or I might be praying about and believing God to do BIG things in and through in the coming year:

1. A Friend's marriage or your own
2. Your health or a loved one's health
3. Relationships
4. Children who've wandered from God
5. Job issues
6. Healing-physical or emotional

I could list 100 different things. At first I thought I'd just list 5 for this year, but the more people I pray for, the more I can believe/trust God for! I know this may see "out there" for anyone else who might read this, but this is where I am at right now. So this post is really just for me, I guess. To remind myself each and every time I struggle that God IS who He says He is and He CAN do what He says He can do!

Matthew 17:20 says, "...if you have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'move from here to there' and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you."

Wishing you a very happy 2013, filled with laughter, love and great memories!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I think this is the longest stretch that I've ever gone without blabbing! Everything's fine, just busy. I've got volleyball 3 nights a week, physical therapy for my knee 2 mornings a week, working my normal schedule, preparing for the holidays with shopping decorating and baking, as well as extra family get-togethers, and it doesn't leave much time for anything else!

I've been skipping through facebook here and there, and playing  words with friends, but other than that, no time left! How have you been? I've even missed visiting you all via your blogs! I have 2 weeks of down time-starting now-so I plan to catch up on all that I've been missing this month.

My parents are here and will leave tomorrow after an early dinner, then we will drive to Kevin's sister's house for a later dinner with them. All of these family gatherings have pretty much revolved around food-it sure is hard to stick with the Weight Watcher's thing with all of these yummy things to eat in my face every where I go!

We will be going to my parent's house for a couple of days over this weekend, so hopefully we'll get some time in the snow, and maybe even a trip to some of my favorite antique and junk shops in the U.P.. Other than that, we'll just be taking it easy and staying pretty low. I'm ready to slow down for a little while!

I just wanted to stop in and wish you all a Merry Christmas and send out best wishes for a wonderful new year, filled with lots of laughter, love and great memories!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bright Sunshiny Day.....

I survived my MRI last night! I did take one of the Valiums that my doctor prescribed, just because I was worried I'd have problems with claustrophobia. My upper torso and head were totally out of the machine so it wasn't bad at all! REALLY loud, but not uncomfortable at all-I actually almost fell asleep!

It was crazy for me to schedule my first PT appointment at 8 am today after the MRI at 11 pm last night! We didn't get home until after midnight-so it felt like I just fell asleep and the alarm was blaring for me to get up again!

After PT, Eric and I went out to one advertised estate sale that was just a few miles from home. It ended up being a VERY tiny garage sale. Two card tables of stuff, and a few odds and ends on the garage floor. I got this sewing machine---not sure if I should have gotten it or walked away...I don't know anything about them, and I don't sew. I'm hoping I can at least get what I paid for it, or a little more, but I'm not sure. It came with the spools.

I also got this little doll carriage. I don't know if it is old or not, but I liked it, and I really liked the price. I'll give it a try-someone is bound to like it-hopefully!

When we left, we kept going west, rather than head back east because we decided we were going to grab some lunch. We drove about 1 mile and we saw signs for an estate sale!!! It wasn't even listed on any of the sites I usually check!! It was a pretty stinky house-the company running the sale had candles lit in most of the rooms to mask the smell. It seemed to be a clean, sparse house, just a bad body odor smell. I only bought a cotton feedsack bag.

We made a quick stop at the SA and I got two old Shiny Brite ornaments for half off-woo hoo!! Then we stopped at a little BBQ trailer that has been parked at a local gas station for a few weeks. Every time I drive by, I can see they are smoking the meat-and the smell is amazing!!!

Definitely had the wrong setting on the camera!

I wasn't impressed-neither was Eric. We each got a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw on it, and we each got an order of mac and cheese. The mac and cheese was obviously homemade, but it was kind of bland and you could taste the flour from the rue. The sandwich was so loaded with sauce, you couldn't taste the smoked meat or the cole slaw! You could feel the crunch of the cole slaw and feel the coldness of it, but all you could taste was the sauce.

Oh, least we tried it, and now we know! My favorite BBQ place is still Chris's Boogie Woogie BBQ in Hamburg-although I've heard there is a new place in town that is good...We'll try that one another day!

Tomorrow is the BIG Christmas party for Kevin's work. I always get nervous when I have to hang out with his co-workers! I'm afraid I'll say of do something stupid-or embarrass him. We are meeting at the Quarter Bistro in Ann Arbor for dinner, then we are all going to the black-tie party hosted by the anesthesia department.

A friend gave me an outfit to wear-which was VERY kind, generous and is big on me and drapey and looks like something for someone with different coloring. I was picturing something a little more fitted to show off my weight loss...Yes, Marie...I still haven't figured out how to tell her I'm not wearing her outfit-I'm such a chicken! :)

The sleeves bell out at the bottom to a full foot wide, and the skirt is a long black velvet skirt. 

The dress I bought was only $30 at Dress Barn, so it was a super deal-that price included the hosiery too! I'm looking forward to dressing up...just worried about looking/talking/acting stupid among his co-workers.

Today was a beautiful, bright, sunshiny day...until I got home and saw the heart is breaking for the families!! Why do people who are angry or disturbed go out after random innocent people like that? It is so sad, I can't even imagine the grief - my thoughts and prayers are going out for them all!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent by Candlelight...

Last Sunday was the Advent by Candlelight event that our women's ministry department holds every year. I hosted a table about 10+ years ago when it was much smaller than it is today. Back then, we hosted it in the Chapel of our church and had about 150 ladies attend. Now, we are up to about 600 ladies and it is held off-site at a local banquet hall.

I felt a nudge to host a table again this year, and had certain people in mind that I felt I should invite. It kind of got all discombobulated several times over, but it turned out to be a nice night. Each table host was to bring in an advent wreath with candles. My friend Janet told me not to worry, she had everything I would ever need and she would make my wreath for me.

Whew! What a relief! Especially since it was dealer day at the antique mall the same day!! She even offered to set it all up for me so I could concentrate on loading stuff into my booth-how nice was that?!? A couple days before the event, she let me know that she had to work and couldn't set up, but she found someone else to do it for me-how nice is that?!?!

I had no idea what it was going to look like! I was a little nervous that she might have forgotten and that I'd get there and my table would be the only one without a wreath or candles. I was able to get there around 2, and was very happy to see my table all ready to go!

I even had some time to get home and put my feet up before I had to be back at 3:00. The banquet hall is only 2 miles from my house-how nice is that?!? Everyone that had agreed to come showed up except for one. I didn't find out she wasn't coming until 3:30-too late to invite anyone else since it started at 4. I was bummed that I still had to pay for the spot even though no one was there.

One friend left right after the meal, just before the program friend left 1/4 of the way in, and the rest stayed until the end. Of the 9 that came, 4 were family, so of course, they would stay til the end-right? It was a nice night...despite some glitches!

We lit our candles too soon...and we only had 3 candles and not 4-oops! It was really, really hot in there!

Here are some shots of a bunch of tables that night...
 These first two shots are of my table...didn't she do a great job?!?

It was interesting to see all of the different "takes" on an Advent wreath. Did you see the one with the wasp catcher?