Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Slowly, but surely...

Little by little, slowly but surely, I am finishing up all of the Fiesta collections that I started. The pieces I am looking for are somewhat hard to find--especially in my price range. It give me something to look for, and it feels like winning the lottery when I do find a piece.

Look what I found this week!
 The last side insert for my last relish tray and a teeny, tiny Harlequin individual creamer! I'm looking for the cobalt and green creamers to finish that set, and still need the center insert for the relish tray.

Here is the tray in a clear Plexiglas holder that helps it to stand up.

 Once this is complete, it will be my third relish tray. This one started by accident. I found the tray at a consignment shop for $13, and since I got that for such a steal, I new I had to be just as frugal when buying the inserts. That's why it has taken so long to get to this point. I have a feeling it will be a good long time until I finish it, because I am not wiling to spend what the center inserts are selling for. 

Do you have any collections that you've been slowly, but surely filling over the years? I'd love to see them and hear about your hunt!!

Grandma's Attic Sale

Last Friday, I had a whole day to do what I wanted to do! I slept in, got a haircut, and went to Livonia to Greenmead for Grandma's Attic. It was billed as a cross between an estate sale and a flea market-all inside.

It was set up in this house:

Friday was the second day of the sale, so I wasn't expecting much. All of the vendors seemed to have an amply supply of things to sell. I am guessing, but I think there were about a dozen vendors, and maybe 5 or 6 shoppers when I was there.

I don't think it would be worth the trip all the way out there for just this event, but if you make a few stops on the way home like I did, it was a day well spent! I also stopped at Knightsbridge Antique Mall in Northville and The Barn Antiques-also in Northville.

I love Knightsbridge! Ever since Auntie introduced me to it, I've loved it! This visit though I wasn't overly impressed...They were having a great sale, and I found a few things I'd like to buy, but they were in locked cabinets. That's not the problem. The problem---no workers walking around to help the shopper!s In order to get a cabinet opened, I would have had to get the girl from the front desk to do it, and she seemed to be the only worker in the whole place at the time.

There were a lot of fun, antique and vintage things to look at, and I would have bought 2-3 things had I thought I wouldn't have had to wait forever to get help. That was very discouraging, and something that has never happened in all the years I've been going there. Usually, there are workers all over the place-ready to help or answer questions when you need them.

I fell in love with this tree!

My heart jumped out of my chest when I saw this stack of tablecloths...until I saw the price-ouch! Do people really spend that much on a vintage tablecloth? I can barely sell them for $24.

The Barn used to be a favorite of mine too, but it had some rough years where it didn't seem to be kept up much, and the inventory never seemed to move. They used to have lawn sales that I loved to go to as well, but the last couple of those I went to weren't worth the drive.

Ginormous houses right on top of the parking lot!

Recently, I received an email from a guy who is working to improve The Barn, and he asked me to stop by and even call if I wanted and he'd meet me there, so I could see the changes they've made, and maybe give them a critique.

Since it was a last minute trip, I didn't call, but I did stop. One thing I noticed right off the bat when pulling into the driveway, is there was really no clear indication from the road if they were even open or not. A flag or some signage would have been nice to draw people in from the road.

The outside doesn't look like it has been changed at all. I was disappointed. I guess I was hoping for it to look new and fresh. When you visit, you have to drive past the barn to park on backside and that is where the entrance is too.

It looked like there was a lot of things possibly for sale outside the entrance, but I didn't notice anything being clearly marked, so I wasn't sure if it was a display or if it was for sale. When you first walk in the door, it is way more inviting that it felt the last time I was there-kudos to them for the welcoming feeling!

There were a few little vignettes/booth areas on the main floor, but most of it seemed to be taken up by a photography studio and craft/paint center. I wasn't expecting it, but it fit in nicely. Upstairs, the "Pickety Patch" seemed to be gone and there were more antiques and collectibles for sale.

I guess if I had to rate it, I'd give it a C-nothing special. Nothing that gives it the WOW-you HAVE to go here when you are in Northville. It's more like, if your're in the area and have the time, stop and check it out. I'm not even sure what they could do to improve it, other than have more variety in the things they are selling/displaying.

It was a nice day to get out, I enjoyed the hunt and was happy to unwind by looking to see what I could see.

 This was from a vendor at Grandma's Attic, she was selling scarves and hand-painted greeting cards.

 Bronze baby shoes! I've been looking for a pair of these and $2 was a great price!

A couple of quarter books.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Down on the Farm...

My Dad finally got the pictures to me! I will take my good camera next time and some boots! I didn't want to get too close to the cows and the farm operations because I had brand new shoes on and didn't want to get them all poopy-talk about being unprepared!!!

Next time, I will be prepared!

 Some babies...

The milking house.

I stayed on this farm for a good little while when I was in 7th grade. It was a super, magical time for me, and I'll never forget it. Just being back brought back so many memories and deep-felt smiles! I'm already counting the days til deer camp next year!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Family...Deer Camp...Life...

Last week, I took Thursday off from work so I could pick my mom up. She rode down with my Dad to his cousin's house in Ionia for deer camp. I got there around 10 in the morning and we spent the day hanging out. My Dad's cousin lives on a dairy farm and they have hundreds of acres of corn fields.

My Dad and my boys (one of the other or both) have been going to deer camp for at least the last 6 years. I don't even think it's about the deer so much any more as it is about the family fellowship and good times. I had a great time and I was only there for about 7 hours!

Their yard became camper central and their kitchen was transformed into a well oiled feeding/eating machine. The day we were there, there was around 18 or so people. The next day, opening day, they had over 30!

I got to see everyone enjoying each other and catching up on what had happened since last year. I also got to play a very cut-throat card game called Shanghai with 5 other ladies and we all got beat by a soon to be 92 year old!!! She is my cousin who used to get my brother and I ready for school in the morning while I was growing up, the same one I run into from time to time at garage sales! You'd never in a million years guess her age when you meet her, she gets around like she's 60!

After cards and lunch, we took a little road trip to an estate sale and a couple of thrift stores. Then my mom and I headed back to my house. I think we may have started a new tradition...when Dad goes to deer camp, she'll ride along and I'll go pick her up to spend a few days with me!

I tried to get some pictures of the cows but they weren't interested in coming too close, and I forgot my good camera at home-so all I had was my phone...

We stopped in Lansing on the way home and had dinner at a place called Finley's of Lansing. We were both thrilled with our dinner and the service. When I got back to work and mentioned the place to two friends, they said they were surprised because they remember the place as having gone down hill, but after my rave reviews, they plan to try it again.

We had a super busy weekend. We went shopping, had lunch out, got a pedicure, went shopping again, worked on some of her church stuff, and just hung out together-something we don't get to do much. It was fun! They were supposed to leave Sunday afternoon, but with the storms that went through and the high winds, they knew they'd never get across the Mackinac Bridge with their camper so they stayed Sunday night and left Monday morning. The winds were still howling, and the trip that normally takes 4.5 hours took closer to 7! They had to be escorted across the bridge!

Since then, I've been busy with work, and volleyball and just regular life stuff. I just found out one of my volleyball leagues starts on Monday! I thought we still had a couple of weeks until it started! I'll be on a new team this year- playing with a couple of friends from work and a friend I play with on Wednesday nights. I think we're going to have a really fun time. My team from last year isn't happy with me for leaving, but they had 8 players scheduled to play this year-so that meant a LOT of sitting out. Whereas my friend's team only had 4 when they contacted me and they'd already paid the fee and were told they couldn't get a refund. I honestly thought I was helping both teams, instead, one is thrilled and one is ticked!

I don't really have any plans for this weekend, hoping to just relax a bit-no games to go to, no good looking estate sales calling my name--just a free and clear weekend!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? I am cooking for just the four of us. It will be quiet, but nice to have all of us at the table at the same time! I am making a turkey on the grill, stuffing with mushrooms, water chestnuts and turkey sausage, mashed potatoes and gravy, butternut squash, pumpkin pie, pumpkin mousse, cranberries rolls and salad. What's on your menu?

The following Saturday is cookie day! My cousins and I are doing an all day baking/cookie exchange day. It's our first ever, and I hope it becomes a long standing tradition!

Is it just me, or does it seem like it shouldn't be this late in the year? I can't get used to the idea that it is almost Thanksgiving!!!

My in-laws seem to be settling in nicely in Florida-thanks for asking!

Here are some pictures of my week last week...


 This was from a picture on the wall in their house-it's an aerial shot of their farm.

 They were still busy bringing in the corn from the fields!

 None of the girls wanted to get too close to me.

This was a little antique shop we stopped at. They had a whole stack of Edwin Knowles plates in Fiesta colors. I almost bought them, but talked myself out of it when I tried to think where I was going to put them! 

 They even had a Knowles plate outside as part of their decorations.

A bag full of Santas, a Christmas card holder and 7 embroidered tablecloths for less than a dollar each and a vintage dishtowel.

 This is the dinner salad---the special salad. A little extra charge, but well worth it!!

 Fresh bread with the meal-yum!

This is an online win...Harlequin individual creamers...I didn't even notice the crack on the blue one when I took this shot. The seller didn't notice the crack, and it wasn't in the listing, but when I contacted her, she refunded me the full amount. 

Sweet Leona-LOVE her soo much!!!

My Dad took some farm pictures for me, but he is on Yooper time and hasn't gotten around to sending them to me yet...

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Hope you have a great time with family and friends!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What is Normal Anymore?

It feels like the last year has been anything but normal around here, and yesterday was another one of those days that I wish had never happened. I wish we could go back to normal...whatever that is. Yesterday we lost our big girl (dog) Maddie. She has been a part of our family for over 12 years. It's almost like one of my kids are gone.

When our boys were really little and when we moved into our house, we decided we wanted a dog. We got an English Setter from a free ad in the newspaper. He was super hyper and a runner. He got picked up and put into doggie jail several times. We couldn't keep him from running. Eventually we had to give him up and hope that he could find a family that had a fenced in yard.

After that, I did a lot of research on what type of dog would be a good dog for our family. We decided to get a pure-bred golden retriever. She was a tiny puppy and was a wonderful dog. The problem...two very small boys and parents that worked, and the fact that she made more work! This mom was on over-load and couldn't do it anymore. We found someone to take her and she went quite happily to her new home.

A few years went by, and our hearts were yearning for a furry friend to join our family. I spent several months praying for God to lead us to just the right dog for our family, and the boys and I spent several months visiting shelters and adoption days at local pet supply stores.

One day we found a dog that looked like a hot chocolate colored mini golden retriever at an adoption day at a pet supply store. The boys and I were thrilled with her-we thought "she's the one"! So we raced home and convinced Kevin that we'd found our girl. He reluctantly came back with us to check her out.

He took one look at her and said, "No, we don't want that dog.If we're going to get a dog, we need to get one like this one, who will chase a ball and run around with the boys." and he was pointing to a giant cage with a big black lab in it. There was a sign on the cage that said "Loves to chase balls".

I didn't want another dog that shed. I wanted a smaller non-shedding dog, but I knew if I passed up the lab that we'd end up going home and not getting a dog that day, and maybe not for a long time because Kevin wasn't as enthusiastic about us having a dog as we were. So I reluctantly agreed. We brought her home and changed her name from Choco-lat (because she had dark brown on her lower legs-and that was as creative as her foster family could be) to Maddie.

All we knew about her was that she was abandoned right after giving birth to puppies and she was good with kids and liked to chase a ball and have a toy with her all the time.

Within a week, I was wondering what in the world was I thinking!! There was dog hair flying off of her like the fuzzies that fly from dandelions in  the summer. And the toys that we bought her, she had ripped to shreds in a matter of hours, leaving stuffing and another mess to clean up.

I was telling a co-worker how I thought I was going to have to find a new home for her because she was making so much more extra work, and I couldn't take the hair anymore, and she kept trying to encourage me to hang in there. Then 911 hit, and it really scared my youngest son to his core. He was afraid Osaba-bil aba (that's how he pronounced it) was going to come get him and kill him.

Maddie was the only place he found security. She became his protector. She gave him courage to sleep in his room at night and somehow she gave him courage to go to school and eventually not be afraid anymore. She was really the perfect dog for our family. She was patient with little boys, she loved us all like no tomorrow, she never was mean or snippy, she tolerated a LOT and never complained. She was always there when you were upset to cuddle up with you and give you kisses.

By the time the first year was up, I knew that God had really led us to the perfect dog, it wasn't the one I had picked out, but she really was perfect-except for the hair! She did everything with us up until this past year, when we started leaving her at home more and more because it was just getting too hard on her to be in the car for long periods of time to drive to my parents-even though she absolutely LOVED it at their house and in their lake.

She went through a lot of "babies" over the years (stuffed animals), she always had to have one in her mouth! She always had to prance around and show them off, she always had to sneak peeks into the grocery bags we brought in from the car to see if by chance there might be a new baby for her. She learned to sneak into the pantry and help herself to cookies (her dog treats), if she had a hankering for a snack, but she never got into the trash if it was left out (something our new little girl can't stay away from).

Every time she would shred a stuffed animal and fling the stuffing all over, we'd call it a her crime scene, and laugh it off. She would chase a ball like nobody's business! She would run, and run and run! She even loved to have the ball thrown down the stairs to the basement so she could race after it and bring it back to you! She got really good at opening Christmas presents and I think she looked forward to Christmas morning as much as the boys did!

She was so gentle and sweet spirited that even when she was in what I would expect would be excruciating pain, never lashed out or snapped at anyone. She was always steady and calm and tender and loving. She had two very serious injuries where we thought we might lose her. Once when Eric was really young, he was playing with her and she kept nibbling at this fingers-probably to tell him, enough kid, he put a rubber band around her snout. Somehow, the rubber band got up over her head and around her neck.

We didn't know about it because we didn't see it, and he didn't tell us. Eventually, she started to have a terrible smell about her, and since we lived next door to cows, and she loved to roll in the poo, I just assumed she had gone out and gotten her perfume on-like so many other times.

I gave her a bath, but kept her collar on for some reason, and didn't see the rubber band because it had settled under her collar. After the bath, the smell came back and would't go away. Eventually I took off her collar for a really good bath, and that's when I saw her neck, it was raw meat with a rubber ban embedded over an inch deep in her skin, below the fur.

During the entire time she was suffering and in pain, she was acting normal-playing, chasing balls, letting the boys cuddle up with her, she was eating and acting normal. When Kevin took her to the vet that day, we didn't think we'd see her again, but she came home and made a quick recovery-she had an awful scar as a reminder, but she made a full recovery.

A few years later, she went for a walk on the train tracks with Kevin and the boys, and they didn't realize that the rocks were so sharp. By the time she got home she couldn't walk up on the deck and into the house. She just laid down in the yard, and wouldn't come when I called. When I saw her feet I couldn't believe she wasn't writhing in pain! She made a quick recover from that as well.

A few years ago, she stated slowing down, no more ball chasing, she stated losing weight and stated having back-end weakness, but she was still doing everything else. We got Lucy a little over a year and a half ago, and she seemed to have breathed new life into Maddie. At first we were worried that Maddie would view Lucy as a stuffed animal and rip her to shreds, but she actually fell in love with Lucy and Lucy helped her turn back the clock a little and gave her a new outlook and renewed energy.

They were like two peas in a pod-even though one was 50 pounds and the other 8. They curled up together and just seemed to fit. They were great friends and companions.

Day by day, we could see Maddie struggling more and more to get up from her bed and in the past few weeks, she couldn't go up the few stairs to come inside anymore. We talked about it, but I kept insisting she wasn't ready, she was still following me from room to room, she still enjoyed Lucy and her babies, she still seemed happy.

Kevin wanted to take her, but I kept stalling. Yesterday, while I was at work, he took her. He told me it was coming, but didn't tell me that yesterday was the day. I never got to say good-bye. I found out when my boss was on facebook and saw the post my youngest son made about her. It was such an awful, painful moment-one I am sure I will never forget. I wish I would have had known so I could have hugged her and said good-bye!!!

She is buried in our back  yard, behind our barn. I can't bring myself to go out there yet. I can barely see the screen to type this through the tears. I know she is not suffering, and not in pain anymore, but it feels like one of my kids has been ripped away from me. I miss her terribly!!! Even Lucy is reeling from missing her best friend, she just wants to be curled up in my lap or be held in my arms. I know the boys and Kevin will miss her too, it's going to be a sad time for a while in our house-hopefully we can find a place to reflect on what a wonderful dog she was and how much joy and love she brought to us!

Rest in Peace Maddie-we love you!!!

 Her favorite place in the world!

 Always trying to catch those ducks!

 The girl with the freckled tongue!

Always the lady, crossing her legs when she sat down!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Such a DEAL!!!

I am always looking for the few final pieces I need to complete my vintage Fiesta collection. I have all kinds of saved searches on Ebay, and I've always got my eyes peeled for the pieces when I visit estate and garage sales or antique shops.

Quite often, I'll put bids on things online, and quite often I get out-bid, because I'm just not willing to pay so much. Last week, I got super lucky! I got a green relish tray insert for a third of the price that they have been going for! I was the only bidder, and in the last half hour, I was watching and waiting, and expecting someone to snipe it out from under me, but it never happened!

I still can't believe it! Now I just need one more insert and the center to finish this relish tray. For now, my Harlequin nut cups will enjoy the protection of the plexi-glass holder and I'll be able to see them and smile when I see the ten cent stickers and remember the day I scored them!!

I'm always watching for gooseberry Pyrex refrigerator dishes and Federal retro daisy bowls and casseroles too, maybe with enough persistence and patience, I'll find them!

What are some things you are looking for the finish off a set or collection?

Monday, November 11, 2013

All Set for November...

November Dealer Day was a week ago. I'm just now getting some time to sit down and put pictures together so when it rolls around to December Dealer Day, I'll be able to look at my online invoice for the month and compare what has sold to my pictures, so I know what to do for my display and what I can take to fill in empty spots.

The last part of November and first part of December there will be a sale, so part of me wants to hold back on going all out with the Christmas stuff...but then I run the risk of not being able to sell it if I wait to late to put it out. What would you do?

As you can see, not much changed from the October pictures, other than a few big items moving out. The table pretty much looks the same-none of that stuff went to new homes last month. It will all be discounted next month to move it out!