Welcome #5 (Hint…#5 is a table)

I wonder what my neighbors think? We’re always dragging large furniture in and out of the house.

The antique, metal Johnson & Johnson cabinet left today…

Went to a great home. An entrepreneur who is in the beginning stages of developing  medical product. He’ll use it to display the product. I planned to use this ‘find.’ But found it another home, when it didn’t fit into my small house.

Most exciting? I welcomed #5 today.

A preliminary photo. Or teaser…

Early days. I need to pick up the chairs tomorrow. The red chair isn’t staying. Not sure how I will arrange the room, what accessories I’ll add. Whether I’ll use an area rug under the table.

I know there will be fresh flowers. There always are, because they make me happy.

This is my 5th dining table in the past 6 months. It’s becoming a game. Thinking of doing 12 tables in 12 months–just for fun. And to see if I can do it.

I’ll post more photos this week when I finish the room.

Though I use the term ‘finish’ loosely…

Pretty Pearls–and Dead Chickens???

Because I’m ‘me’ I bought a lovely, antique iron hook at a community sale yesterday. I could NOT resist.

Antique. Rustic. Black. Iron.

Perfect.

I had visions of my pretty vintage jewelry draped over the black hooks.

Sort of like an old rake I saw online. (Pinterest, of course.)

And I’ve been slightly nauseated ever since.

Me: This is beautiful.

As I held it in my hands..

Nice Vendor Guy didn’t really say anything…

Me: How much?

Nice Vendor Guy: $3

Me: Will you take $2 for it?

Nice Vendor Guy: That’s at least 100 years old. And I know it, because of the estate where I got it. If that was at an antiques store, it would be selling for $70. It is not a reproduction.

(Because of its construction, I knew that it was an antique before he said it was…)

Me: Okay.

I handed over the $3 and started to walk away, still holding it in my hands.

Nice Vendor Guy: Do you know what that is?

Me: No. I was going to use it to hang jewelry.

Nice Vendor Guy: Back in the day, they used to hang chickens on it after they cut off their heads–to let them bleed out….

Me: Oh.

Now he was talkative? I wanted to ask if I could have my $3 back? Didn’t want it anymore. (Fairly sure this is not the type  of operation to accept returns)

Nice Vendor Guy: You should really file down the tops of the hooks, because they’re sharp. You could rip up your hand taking things on and off that.

That thing hasn’t been in my house 24 hours, but it makes me sick. I look at it and see violence, blood and death. Really, I need to put it in the garage.

I’ll list it on eBay ASAP. Because I can’t stomach it. All I see now is chicken carcasses being slammed into the rusty, black metal.

How can I hang pearls and pretty baubles from what was an instrument of torture?

So much for what seemed like a good idea for a few minutes…

BMW’s, Bathing Suits, Barn Sales and Broken Vans…

In Loudoun County, Virginia there are NO Dodge Grand Caravans.

At least I didn’ t see any.  (And I looked!) BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Volvo—these are the brands that clog the roads and highways in this neck of the woods.

Further, there is NO rust on cars. And really, there isn’t a recession down here.

My green van was an anomaly…(was being the operative word.)

Per the US Census of 2010, Loudoun County was ranked #1 in the USA for Highest Median Income.

My aunt lives in Leesburg, Virginia. And Leesburg is part of Loudoun County.

When I drove past a “Barn Sale” sign, I HAD to check it out. I know what I’ll find at a Barn Sale in Perry, Ohio. But a Loudoun County Barn Sale? I had to check it out.

THIS WAS THE BARN ….

It was a beautiful barn. On a gorgeous piece of property.

And I should have expected such a barn, after rolling down this long driveway. Then a quaint little, wood bridge.

If the Stunning property didn’t do it, surely one of the houses on the property (there were several…) should have been a clue.

Or the shiny, black BMW I passed on my way down the lane. Also, I parked by a scattering of very nice vehicles in a grassy field.

The Barn Sale?

Not much under $50. The furniture and antique items upwards of $500. I could understand if things were truly unique, but there wasn’t anything THAT special.

And there certainly weren’t any $1 items!!

Of course, I had just spent the previous day at the Luckett’s Spring Market that was nearby. Maybe that threw me off. Because the Spring Market was packed with stunning finds. It would be tough to compete with what I saw there.

Still…it seems that ‘Barn Sales’ are just different down here.

I didn’t buy anything. But I had the BEST time checking out the sale. People watching. Checking out the cars. Taking in the scene. Listening to conversations…

MORE AMUSING ANECDOTES from the Never-Ending trip.

The trip that isn’t over yet. After nearly two weeks, I’m still in Virginia.

FLIP-FLOPS:

Aunt Kate accidentally slipped on my sparkly, black flip-flops. And I heard her mumbling about how awful and uncomfortable they were. Next thing I knew, she bellowed up the steps…

Aunt Kate: I’m throwing your black flip-flops out.

And she did.

THE DOGS:

There were three dogs in the townhouse the past couple of weeks. We tried hard to keep it clean. Kept vacuuming couches.

But the Bailey the Beige Dog constantly slept on the Red couch. Leaving cream color hair all over the dark red couch.

Wouldn’t be so bad to vacuum the red couch.

But the The Little Black  neurotic Dog was constantly on the creamy beige suede couch. Leaving black hair ALL over it.

Really?

They could have at least snoozed on the couches that matched their fur.

TALK OF BATHING SUITS:

Aunt Kate was thinking out loud while tapping away on her iPad. I was tapping away on my laptop. We were both distracted. (No surprise there…)

Aunt Kate: I’m going to need a new bathing suit.

Me: Hmmm… (I made as noise as I continued to type…)

Aunt Kate: That goes down to my knees…

Now she had my attention.

Aunt Kate: And down to my elbows.

We both chuckled. (She pointed to knees that aren’t quite what they used to be…)

Aunt Kate: You know like they used to wear in the old days…

Me: Actually, they might have had something there. With their modest bathing suits, long full length, sleeved cover-ups. Jaunty straw hats with the wide brims. Huge, dark sunglasses.

Like Audrey Hepburn…

Or this photo and the mood it sets…

 

 

Do we really need to see some of what we see at the beach??? It isn’t always as attractive as people think it is…
THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE:

I accompanied Aunt Kate to her doctor’s appointment today. They ushered us into a room, I sat down and this sign was on the wall. Couldn’t miss it.

I concede that there was a bad snow ‘incident’ down in Virginia a couple of years ago.

But how much’ inclement weather’  IS there? Yes. They close cities down when there is an inch of snow. But how often do they get an inch?

Further it is May 25th.

Probably, they NEVER needed this sign. And they certainly don’t the snowflake and snowman sign now. Swimming pools are already open down here.

THE GREEN DODGE GRAND CARAVAN:

I can report that there are still NO Dodge Grand Caravan’s driving around in Loudoun County, Virginia. My van was MIA soon after my arrival. It was only on the road once during my visit. Mixed in with all the ‘fancy’ cars, trucks, SUV’s and vans.

I did recoup a little bit of cash when it died, before it got towed away.

When I return home in a car that isn’t mine, I’ll be borrowing my Dad (and his wife’s) car. But only for a couple of weeks…

I’ll soon be on the hunt for another vehicle.

When I get home, that is.

A NOTE ABOUT MY LAST BLOG… Had technical difficulties when I posted it. Then had to take it down. Then put it back up. My apologies to those directed to a page NOT there. Feel free to scroll back and take a look if you like. It is there now.

I just realized why I HATE shopping…

If I can go to the store and buy it new, I generally don’t WANT it.

With a few exceptions.

I do frequent grocery stores, bookstores and the pharmacy. And I am a hot, sweaty mess without my Premarin. I’m rarely cranky–so if I am, the kids ask if I took my pill. Referring to the HRT.

My family is tight-knit, funny, and sentimental.

When we are together, we share experiences. We have fun.

My memories?

The whole family going to see the movie Elf when it came out, because it was a big deal to my kids. Family dinners, game nights, baseball games at Three Rivers Stadium when my aunt lived in Cincinnati. Bowling outings. Meeting up at a golf course for a round of golf. Family vacations in Hilton Head, trips to Cedar Point and of course Washington, D.C.

What we have never done for fun? Gone shopping.

Not to say we don’t gift each other on occasion. My aunt bought me a lovely Tiffany Drop Heart Pendant for my birthday the year I was preparing to move from my home, with divorce imminent. She felt I needed something special.

Not too long ago, my father and his wife had a lovely old family clock restored for me.

Shopping absolutely bores me. If I need something, I get it. But I’m in and out. I have never shopped as a form of entertainment.

Just today, I needed a new pair of shorts. I went into Eddie Bauer and bought a pair. Took me about 15 minutes. Sure, there was an outlet full of stores. And I could have spent the day trying on shorts. But I got what I needed.

Then my aunt and I took the dogs to a lake nearby, where they spent an hour jumping off a dock and swimming for tennis balls. Far more entertaining to me than the outlet mall.

I also enjoy walking in the woods, or on the beach. Reading. Throwing a Frisbee to the incredibly athletic Little Black neurotic Dog. Going for a long bike ride. Rollerblading.Yard work, planting flowers. Auctions. Painting and refinishing the retro furniture that I find.

Spending time with family and friends.

Or what we call ‘Field Trips’ in my family. And Road Trips.

Road Trips are long trips. Vacations to Hilton Head, New York City, skiing at Peek ‘n Peek or going to my aunts in Leesburg, Virginia. As I did this week.

Field Trips are short adventures. Like the year the kids and I hopped in the car on a whim on Christmas morning, then showed up at a family brunch in Pennsylvania. Or heading to the West Side to see friends there. Or to Geneva-on-the-Lake.

What made me think of this? And my aversion to shopping?

Being in Virginia this week. Walking around my aunts home.

Let me explain with photos…

The pretty, antique mirror on the wall belonged to a relative. For my whole life, it hung above our living room fireplace. My mother inherited it. When she passed and my father sold that home, it went to her sister–my aunt. The black table is new from an upscale Virginia furniture store. The grandfather clock was purchased at Pierces in Mentor, Ohio. Maybe 25 years ago? It has been on a few moving trucks over the years.

The sectional and club chair are modern. But the library table in front of the bay window is late 1800s. It was inherited from relatives in my uncles family. It is in near Perfect condition.

Here’s a closer look at the table…

The series of pictures on the wall are Warren Kimble and depict the seasons; spring, summer, winter, fall. I have the same set in my house. A 30th birthday gift from my family–including Dad, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles. My set will probably be in one of my children’s homes some day. (Notice the dog? We all have dogs…)

The little pottery jug with lid to the left must have been bought by my aunt ages ago. I can remember her having it when I was a young child. And I am 41 now. It sits on her Corian countertop and holds dog treats. It has actually held dog treats for many years.

Which brings me to function. We USE everything. If there are books lying around, they’ve likely been read. Jars hold things. We use our dining tables and put our feet on the coffee table.

A prime example of this…

The Nordictrack. It is there because my aunt uses it when the weather is bad and she can’t get outside for a walk. And it is placed so that she can see the TV when she does so. She has had the machine for years. It isn’t the newest, latest or greatest. But it works great. (Function, again.) And it actually looks fine.

I’ve always known how my family decorated. We don’t so much ‘design’ rooms, we fill them with our favorite things. Or things we use. We make ourselves comfortable.

We don’t go store to store with paint and material swatches to match furniture, wall art and accessories. Nor do we stress over color and everything being perfectly matched. Or what is ‘in style’ at the moment. When we do buy furniture or big items, we buy what strikes us–what we love. Then work with it. Often for 25+ years. (Or more…)

Rooms come together as an extension of surrounding ourselves with what we love. Things that have meaning to us.

And in looking at my aunts examples of this in the photos, it works for her. Her home is a reflection of the people who live there. Always has been.

I guess I’m a product of my environment.

So it is the elder generation’s fault that I hate shopping. Because it feels like a waste of time. I already have everything I need. No need to go out looking for more things, when I could be doing something fun!

Tomorrow, I’ll be going to an event here in Leesburg. The 2012 Annual Luckett’s Spring Antique Market. People fly in from all over the country to attend. I cannot wait…

But not because I plan to spend the day buying things. Or wishing I could buy things. I’ll spend it meeting vendors, talking to people, snacking on festival foods, looking at artwork and being inspired by others creativity.

In other words, I’ll soak up the experience of being there.

And if I find a little trinket to remember the event by, I might just buy it.

But only because I happened upon it. Not because I was shopping for it.

Here’s a link for those wanting information on Luckett’s: http://luckettstore.com/events/50-spring-market

Anybody Want a SQUARE Egg?

I attended a local auction last night to buy items to sell  on my eBay site.  My neighbor, Chapman (that’s what I call her) and I rode together, as usual.

We looked around before the auction started.  As ever, I started out serious. I needed to stay focused, to bid on (and win) items that I wanted.

And I got what I wanted in the first 35 minutes – and for better prices than I expected.

Hurrah!!

That’s when the fun began for me.  I shuffled up toward the front and found a desk along the wall to sit on.  I didn’t want to miss anything.

As is typical, the Auctioneer and Helpers loosened up, as the auction progressed. They tried  to get bidding started on some junk in the back…

Auctioneer: $10….$5….Nobody? Anybody want it for $2?

At least ten hands went  up–Immediately.

Auctioneer: Look at that! It’s like a hillbilly prayer meeting.

He sold whatever it was for $2, then moved to a cluster of candles.

Helper: Look at that. Brand new! Never even out of their wrappings.

Auctioneer started doing his thing and the bid was soon up to $17. For candles? And they weren’t even pretty.  Not sure what they sold for. I was too stunned to take it in…

Helper (mumbled): Yep. Smell just like horse shit.

Only a few of us up front heard and we couldn’t hold back the snickers.

Then there was a box of sewing items. I was on it, because I have done well with that type of thing on eBay.

Auctioneer:  $10, $5, Nobody? How about $2

I nodded.

Auctioneer: $3 , now $4, will you go $5, $6,

I was in a bidding war with an elderly guy on the other side of the room, with a beard like Santa Claus? Really?

Auctioneer: $7…you’re out? $8 …

And on it went until “Beardie”  won the lot.

Me: What’s he going to do with sewing crap?

Helper: Who knows? What does anybody do with any of this sh#%? Hoard it?

Me: Not me, I resell it on eBay. Like, it gets listed tonight.

He nodded his approval and went back to business.

As things wound down, I wandered to a table in the back, took a seat and looked over the costume jewelry I’d won. I accomplished my mission—no need to pay attention while the leftovers were unloaded on whoever wanted to drag them out of there. The Auctioneer and Helpers were basically looking for somebody to clean up for them.

Nobody bid on choice of about 25 HUGE boxes on a pallet in back. Not even for $2.

Choice means pick a box for $2. They tend to offer choice until ALL boxes are gone. In this case, there were about 25 of them.

Auctioneer: Everybody wants it.  Just don’t want to put their hands up.

I continued with my task at a back table. Until…

Auctioneer:  SOLD!

My head snapped up.

Auctioneer:  EVERYTHING TO #55!!!

I admit it…I cursed. Heads turned toward me.

Me: Sorry…she’s my neighbor. That means I have to load that mess into Chapman’s truck and then unload it all when we get back home!!!

Snickers and chuckles from those around me. I was riding home in the “Sanford and Son” Mobile.  They knew it. I knew it.

Then the apprentice Auctioneer took over for the last several items. Unfortunately, his name was Marco.

So…they announced Marco.

Crowd: POLO!!!

And they were off…quite a few in the crowd played the Marco – Polo game, while Marco took bids on a box of China and breakables.

At least until the Helper dropped it…and bidding stopped.

Silence.

Then a roar of laughter around the place. (Which probably drowned out the Helper’s cursing)

When the auction was over, I walked over to have a look at the (please let there be) Hidden Treasures in my neighbors pile. I was NOT super excited to drag home a pickup truck full of boxes, destined for the garbage.

I picked up a painted wood bird and waved it at Chapman.

Me: Hey Chapman, I’m giving you the bird!!

The first thing I saw. One word.

WHY…

Would anybody want a SQUARE egg?

In the end, we (over) loaded the entire bed of the pickup. And then we unloaded it at Chapman’s house.

I tramped home, my tiny jewelry box in hand. As I settled in and got to work, my cell phone buzzed.  I relayed the ‘goings on’ to The New Friend.

The New Friend: TIP –  Don’t go to the auction with your neighbor.

Me: She has the pickup truck. AND she doesn’t complain when I drag home dining room sets…(or dressers, or credenza’s…)

The wonderful news?

When the next morning, I had already sold one item I purchased last night. And for enough that I am already ahead…