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…

The ‘Perfect’ Gift for Doctors, Nurses & Medical Professionals…

This is now in my dining room.


I have no idea.

What are we going to do with a vintage 1950s metal (tin?) Drug Store display rack for Johnson and Johnson Products?  

Really, I’m at a loss as to what to do with it. But neither could I pass it up. It was just too cool.


Its previous owner was a nurse who kept it in her office at work. Just for fun. (I liked her immediately–my kind of person…) The thing is over 4 feet tall, 3 feet wide and almost 2 feet deep. It takes up space.

Seemed a Perfect addition to my sons bedroom. What better to hold the Band Aids, Tape, Gauze, Neosporin and other such products he uses daily?

The boy is always working around something. Broken bones, stitches, poison ivy, scrapes, sprains and so much more…

Yep. That’s my boy up there in the tree fort he and his buddies built a few weeks ago. The one in the lawn chair. (top left)

So proud. Add ‘architect’ to the list of accomplishments. And with just pallets, boards, fallen (weak?) trees, sticks and twigs–placed just so…like a house of cards.

No nails, bolts or ‘safety’ features. And holding several 6 foot, 150-200 lb teenage boys. Such talent. And creativity…

It’s almost as if they are playing Jenga–but with their bodies.

Obviously, my son needs his own personal ‘First Aid Headquarters.’

Son must be nearly 20 feet off the ground up there, relaxing in his lawn chair. And I’m quite sure he was like ‘Mikey’ in the old cereal commercials. Like…they probably sent him up there to test things out, or passed him the materials to ‘build’ that part.

Fingers crossed somebody is ‘trained’ to assist.





Anyways, I’m now the ‘happy’ owner of a vintage, mid-century 1950’s  ‘First Aid Headquarters.’ Just need to figure out where to put it.

Or what to do with it. Other than load it up with first aid supplies for the boys. We could have the ‘trauma’ center over here at my house this summer…

Suggestions? Ideas?

I’d love to hear them…

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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…

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.


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

Me and My Shiny Objects

While majoring in finance at a liberal arts college, I was required to take a Fine Arts course. Which to me felt like disaster waiting to happen. Honestly, stick figures stretch my artistic abilities. Ceramics seemed the best option, though I couldn’t imagine producing anything that resembled ‘Fine Art.’ With little choice and no idea what lie ahead, I pressed forward determined NOT to allow a failure in Art to ding my GPA.

As it turned out, I LOVED Ceramics. Loved molding the clay with my hands and using the potter’s wheel to guide hunks of sludge into lovely shapes. And I got to slather glaze onto gray clay, turning my projects into Shiny Objects! Even better, glazing was an imperfect science back then. The final result of each masterpiece was a surprise. Pulling them out of the kiln was like opening a gift.

At the end of the term, I headed home eager to share my rather mediocre–but respectable enough for an A–creations with my family. I rushed through the back door with my box of projects cradled in my arms. And stumbled into the kitchen, sending all of my hard work into the air. In a split second, my almost Fine Art was a mess of colored clay chunks, scattered across the kitchen floor.

It is true that I am a disaster with delicate items such as pottery, china and glass—and yet they have always fascinated me.

The Family Silver: I remember asking my mother if I could ‘pretty please’ polish the dull silver. Seeing her chance to avoid a task NOBODY enjoys, she quickly gathered a heaping tower of silver, the jar of goopy cleaner and plenty of rags for me. My mom was just helping me out, sort of like giving me Play Dough or a toy.

A delicate & beautiful Johnson Brothers china plate. Recently found at an antiques store. Currently unbroken...

The China Cabinet: We never used our Lenox China. NEVER. As a young child, I was forever dragging out teacups, plates, and saucers to run my fingers along the patterns and to enjoy their cool smoothness against my fingertips. I occasionally insisted on using several place settings for a meal, knowing that I would be hand washing them. Looking back, I cannot fathom that I never damaged any of it.

My Mother’s Engagement Ring: My mother used to smile indulgently as I slid her Shiny Sparkler onto my finger. When it wasn’t on her finger, she kept it in a little box on her dresser. I must have been about 4 years old when I took the ring outside to play. And LOST it! Though we never found the ring, she never got angry or made me feel badly. Thankfully, I have managed to hang onto its replacement.

My Grandfather’s (rather extensive) Carnival Glass Collection: Nobody spared it a glance. Except for me. I studied it, appreciating the rich colors, textures and intricate designs. After he passed away, I inherited several pieces—but only because nobody else wanted “that ugly crap.”  I still display his glass treasures in my home.

Lastly–The Glitter Obsession: My daughter was exasperated by my affinity for glitter. I felt the need to add a dash of sparkle to each and EVERY elementary school project she completed. I won’t lie. I sometimes unloaded entire bottles and tubes of glitter. “Just a touch of shimmer. A little something extra…” I remember saying. This went on for years until she finally put a stop to it. She still cannot stand glitter.

With my lifelong passion for Shiny Objects, carving out a career in glass, china and antique collectibles makes Perfect sense. I am cautiously optimistic as I continue to move forward each day—and backwards on the rough days. Unsure of my destination, but knowing in my gut that it feels right. Just like the clay in my hands many years ago and the feeling that flares up with the discovery of each new ‘Shiny’ treasure.