Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday, December 17 2018 - My Grown-Up Christmas List

Close your eyes. No, wait, don't or you won't be able to read this but read this, then close your eyes...

Think back to when you were a child. What was the most important thing in the world aside from Christmas vacation? The coveted Christmas list. Without it, how did Santa know what to bring? You couldn't trust anyone to know this, not even Santa. I mean, what if you weren't exactly good during the year? What if you had those few slipups that really wasn't all that bad (to you anyway) but warranted a stand in the corner?

Fast forward. You're all grown up now and may even have kids of their own with their own Christmas lists. Grown ups get the shaft. We might feel silly but we need our own Christmas lists to remind our dear loved family just what would jingle our bells.

So I thought it might be helpful if I made my own Christmas list, not that anyone will see it, but just for fun and not real crazy just in case the family does pop in to get ideas on what to give me this year.

Here goes....

1. Farmhouse Lamps. Okay these come in various sizes and shapes and all that so I'll be specific. Lantern base with a tin-looking lampshade. Two of each to be exact. If said family doesn't know what I'm talking about, they are welcome to ask me.

2. Pajama Pants. Extra large not that I'm big or anything like that *snort* I like to not feel something squishing my insides while I sleep. Any style. Any color.

3. Victoria Secrets lotion. Man, this stuff is the bomb. I wash my face with it every morning and every night. Keeps me looking like a young chick you understand, not that that matters but hey I'm not ready for the old prune stage just yet.

And that's it. See? I don't ask for a lot.

Now, if I had my druthers, I'd also ask for this:

1. A trip to the mountains. Now..this is extravagant and I don't have anyone extravagant in my family to actually send me to the Smokies cost-free, but hey if there's a Santa....

2. Good will toward men. Okay corny as shit but it would be really a nice thing to give to me that I could pass on to others and hopefully we'll all be singing What a Wonderful World before 2019.

3. A self-cleaning house. Hm...think that's also called a maid. Woohoo what I could get done without having to clean on top of that.

4. A cure for smoking. Just can't quit...hey I've tried patches, cold turkey, nothing works.

5. Best of all - someone to cook my Christmas dinner, wrap my presents and watch the animals while I'm trail-blazing in the Smokies.

My list could go on but as you know I have work to do online, a house to clean, animals to tend to, supper to cook, unbought gifts to buy.....

What is on your grown-up Christmas list?


Friday, November 23, 2018

Thursday, November 22 2018 - Why Aren't I Writing?


As a writer which I aptly call myself to a great degree, I often wonder why I don't stop what I am doing no matter if it's mandatory deadlines or shooting the breeze with my Maltese and watching some often-boring show on TV and write.

I'm not talking about over the course of your life writing which I have done, but now writing. Writing now. At this minute now. Blog-writing now. Twitter and Facebook has changed all that.

People who used to blog years ago remember it. It's when you could write about anything you like, go on as long as you like and have the thrill of watching people comment on your writing. It's changed. Unless you have a specific focus on your blog such as a book blog, that sort of thing, where you don't have to come up with ingenious antidotes about your own life, blog-writing is maybe going the way of extinction. While there are a few die-hard bloggers still clinging to the lifeline and keeping people entranced with their daily musings about their lives, most of us have gravitated to Twitter and Facebook to talk about our mundane existence because, simply, it's easier. You don't even have to watch your spelling - spell-checker either does it for you or you say what the hell they know what I meant.

So much easier.

Now, I love blogging. It's the time factor rearing its ugly head and I just can't seem to find those extra few minutes to come over here and light the fires under my fingers and blog.  Sometimes I feel like I'm being stretched too far and if I put one more thing on my plate, I'm going to burst into a million pieces and then what good am I?

But...if you're a true writer (and I'm talking not just blogs, but articles, books, etc.), I have a secret to how you can get your mojo back. Read what other people write.

This morning I was over at one of the sites I do some writing for and as I'm reading some of the articles others have written, it put so many ideas into my head. I'm jotting down these ideas lest I forget them later and I'm feeling the tiny spears of mojodom coming back.

Hopefully it's enough for me to go on and finish my books and get them out there - who knows. But it sure does feel good.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday, June 18 2018 - Memories of a Farmhouse



My first memories existed in a two-story clapboard farmhouse with a tin roof.

We didn't have cows. I think we had chickens. No pigs except for the hog farm run by my uncle who had something to do with the Piggly Wiggly. I knew about the hog farm because I went there years later. This is after we had left the two-story clapboard farmhouse with a the tin roof.

My uncle (not the one who owned the hog farm, but another one who must have agreed to feed them for him) would pull up in this smelly old truck with rotting tomatoes in the back. We were told we could pick the good tomatoes out and the rest were headed to the hog farm. We ran inside and grabbed our garbage bags. Free tomatoes! Then, we climbed into the back of the open pick-up being very careful not to get the squishy tomatoes on our clothes.

You think the truck was smelly? The hog farm was much worse but it was interesting to see one for the first time. We had to be very careful not to fall into the styes but how cute it was to see them run over to the troughs and slurp up those smelly tomatoes. Now I know why I hate flies so much.

Our two-story clapboard house was actually owned by my great-grandmother and great-grandfather who was no longer with us. My grandmother stayed there and that's where after I was born lived there until I was seven.

It's miraculous but even at that young age, memories are clear and vivid.

I remember sitting at what must have been a bar...don't remember it being a table and the train would blow in rattling everything on the walls. The kids next door who would visit their grandmother would come by and we'd put pennies on the tracks hoping the train would flatten them. They became our lucky pennies.

Were they the good ol' days? If not, then why are designers designing homes with the farmhouse theme? Because it was a simple life - hard yet simple. No computers. No cell phones. No color TV. Some had black and white if you were rich enough.

Would I want to go back? Hell yeah.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday, May 25 2018 - Lovin' This Yard Sale Stuff

Happy Memorial Weekend! I started the weekend off right by checking out the yard sales here on the island that have already started. I love it when I can walk away feeling like I did good...and I think I did!

The biggest sale was at the Kiwanis Barn Sale across from the carnival grounds. I started off there and ended up going back as soon as I roamed the island looking for more yard sales. This one was the best. They were almost giving this stuff away. This first piece below...love it when the ladies are hot and tired and just want to get rid of things...this was 5 buckaroos.


Don't mind all the mismatched furniture...going to redo all of it soon except the table and chairs - they're staying black.

Next up...an assortment of things that were either a dollar or 50 cents with the exception of the tray which I bought from another yard sale for $2.

Next up, two perfectly fine lamps. She wanted $14 for both; I talked her down to $12...this was at another yard sale. The Kiwanis would have probably given it to me for a dollar each, lol. These have silver bodies but am going to redo them with the farmhouse look for my bedroom just haven't had time to think about what I want to do. One option was to pain them white, then distress...another option is to wrap sisal rope around them...just haven't gotten that far yet.


This below was $5 and I'm going to use it on the deck. I do want to get some sealer so it can withstand the elements but I thought it was rather cute. Will match my wicker furniture real well.


More finds. Working chicken clock for $1. White basket with flowers $1. Little jar to the back I think that was a quarter. You Make Me Happy sign - 50 cents. Primitive box to the right 50 cents. Big jar on left - $1. Wagon 50 cents. Big Chicken 50 cents and Little Chicken a quarter. The other two signs they were 2 for 50 cents. Get'em Kiwanis..you have made my day.


Lastly, the guy asked me to make him an offer. I suggested $5.00 and he took it. It's in rough shape but I'll just paint it and put it somewhere.


I had to go home. I couldn't get another thing in the Jeep and I had used the bathroom twice and still had to go and I was starving. Not a bad day!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday, May 13 - Farmhouse Finds, Antique & Goodwill Deals

Had a great day yesterday! It was at least in the upper 80s probably higher and it felt so good. Did most of my scoring at Goodwill (hit two of them).

This first one I couldn't pass up. I need to get a candle for it, but this was only $3 and goes so well with my farmhouse theme:


Also at Goodwill, two 10 in. Pfaltzgraff brown folk art bowls for $2 each. Not sure whether to use it for everyday use or keep it back. It has some age by the condition of the back. Looking it up in google right now. The thing is most of the ones I'm finding don't have the circles inside the sides of them. Omg found one on Etsy just now. Vintage item from the 80s. Might be a pasta bowl. Etsy is selling them for $30 each.


Okay, found a cute little shelf I'm going to redo. I'm always on the lookout for shelves. This one cost $4 and came from an antique store somewhere in Delaware - sorry didn't make note of the name of the store.


This is a spinning wheel maybe? Goodwill find for $4. The thing is...I hated the greenery - looked cheap and very fake. Took all that off (see second picture) and whoa really looks pretty bare. Don't know if I should find real-looking greenery to put back on it or just refinish it and use it as is. Looks like it's missing something though. It's 23 1/2 (height) x 17 inches (length). I'm not sure if it's vintage...don't some research on it now but will have to get back with you on that.


Love my new pip berry weeping willow! I've seen these in stores and can't remember the prices but Amazon is selling them for about $15. I need to rearrange the branches a bit...think it went through a bit of handling in the bin at Goodwill but so glad I found it. It's about 14 inches and I got it for $3. The one on Amazon has a wooden base where this has a miniature washtub base with handles so that might up the price a bit.


New chicken...errr...rooster? I'm starting to get a little more picky when buying my chickens and roosters and only choose those that are different. This is very different from what I have. No markings on bottom. 5 inches and I think I paid about $10 for it at an antique store...I usually don't spend that much but again it was different.


I break my rule on buying chickens that are different when it comes to the miniature ones because I don't have many of these and I need them to put on shelves. Antique store find. No markings on bottom. 3 inches and cost a whole buck.


Last but not least, Charlotte! Terra cotta I think.7 inch by 4 inch. Goodwill find for $3. Succulent hasn't been placed in it permanently yet - trying to cut some of the stem off but a Hobby Lobby buy for $7.99 (ugh).


I want to also include a picture of something I found at Dollar General the other day for $3. Flowers I already had on hand.


I hope everyone is having a Happy Mother's Day! Until next time...

Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018 - Almost

I sit here as usual with keys under my fingers and the TV blasting the news. I really don't hear the TV. My mind is still on what might have happened, but didn't.

See...my daughter is going through invitro fertilization. She's about to turn 40 and has yet to become pregnant. If there was anyone in the world who wanted a child more, it has to be her. She takes the mommy-to-be award of the year for her determination to not let anything stop her from getting her dream to the point where she was willing to go for invitro fertilization. It ain't cheap.

But let me back up. Like a lot of young women these days, a career sometimes is put at the top of that long list of accomplishments. Through a lot of hard work, she paid her way through nursing school, went on to become a Registered Nurse and this summer will get her BA. She claims I'm the reason why she has gotten this far and I shook my head and said, "No, you did it yourself." I did provide a loving home so she didn't have to fork out expenses toward that, but other than that, she did it on her own paying for everything.

I'm proud of her. Very proud. And we're close. Very close.

So today was the day she was to have her eggs extracted and Saturday was the day she was going to have them inserted only it didn't work out that way.

About an hour after she got home, she got the devastating news from the doctor. The eggs were immature. It didn't work.

If you could have been there with me consoling your crying daughter because after all she went through to have a baby, it just wasn't going to work.

I did pray to God this morning. I don't know if I prayed for the wrong thing but my prayers weren't answered.

She has one more chance to do it again. We don't know what she's going to do, but she said she couldn't think about this right now. She is in pain - from the surgery today and the pain that her dream just might not be answered.

I don't know what to think. I'm in shock and I'm numb. We both knew it might not work. They could only retrieve 2 eggs. I guess that might have to do with her age, God knows, but those two eggs didn't pass the test.

We grieve for these eggs. These eggs were the beginning of life and part of the dream. And they're gone.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday/ 4-14-2018 - Yard-Sale-ing! #farmhouse #farmhousefinds #yardsale

I made off like a bandit today. There's so much to post that I'm going to do it in this one post so bear with me, it's long. Two of my girlfriends and I went to Chincoteague's Annual Yard Sale at the Community Center. No sooner had I walked in, there were bargains galore!

This first item is a washboard and is my first! The letters were a little faded, but once I ran water over it, I could make out Columbus Washboard Factory and it measures 18x8 1/2.  One eBay it looks like it is selling for $50. The vendor was selling it for $10 but let me have it for $5.


I thought this was a major score, too. I collect white pitchers. The vendor wanted $10 but gave it to me for $5 (she was ready to unload, lol so I made out great! This one stands at 6 1/2 in. tall. According to eBay, it's a vintage white Arabia Pitcher. Bummer - the one they have there is only $12.99.  The ones that had pictures on them were more, way more. But I still love it. I don't know if theirs was stamped, but there was a stamp on this one which is just under the pitcher below.


Bargain of the day! These were going 2 for $1.00 and he said oh hell you can have all of them for $5. So I got all of them thinking I could make things with them. Nine have handles.


Major score on these I think. Both tins were $1.00 each.


After we left the community center, we had heard of a huge yard sale on the street by the grocery store so we headed over there and was I glad I did. This below is my first I don't even know what these are called (wooden toolbox?). It measures 9x9 and I don't know what in the heck I'm going to do with it at this point but it's in the living room now on a shelf. Maybe I'll add greenery to it not sure. The cost? $3. I might decoupage it.


Major score. Wire pitcher you hang on a wall. 25 cents. Gonna clean her up and hang it until I figure whether I want to paint it or not. Major dust bunnies so if you can see past that, it's a steal.


This little gem of a pitcher that has a cute rose under the handle which makes it different was only $1. No markings.


Chickens! While I didn't find any ceramic chickens or cows, I did find this beautiful 13x7 inch Farmhouse tray. You will never believe how much this was - ONE BUCK!!! Don't know where it's going but right now I have it on my computer desk because it's so cute!


Now this is a weird little item but looking at it I was thinking hm...spice jars? Measures 19 inches and it cost $1.


Couldn't pass this one up - 21 1/2 inches and $2.


Now, I like wooden trays better than plastic or whatever it's made of but for $1 I couldn't walk away. Possibly some craft project in the future.  Okay it's lacquerware and hasn't been out of the box.


Love love love this. It's only 6 1/2 x 7 1/2 but I could use a smaller item to go on one of my display walls with other Farmhouse stuff. It was $3 which I don't know if it was a great deal but I'm sure it was a good deal. Made in Mexico and some other scribbling on the back.


Wood base candle holder. One buck.


Chicken! Love love love this. 16x12 inches, cost $3. I can put mail in it until I get my coffee bar setup set up, then I can put sugar packets or something like that in it. Update: Just noticed a tag on the back that said Hobby Lobby $24.99.


This I'm a little confused about but for $2, I knew it was going home with me. It opens up and you can put things in there, just what not sure. Curious as to why it says SALT on the front. I think it's vintage but I don't know a whole lot about it. It's solid wood and heavy so dunno.


Last but not least, I love this little wishing well! It's 11 inches and cost $3. I can tell it's old because of the well part but not sure if it's vintage.


Well there you have it. Did I die and go to heaven or what?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday, March 18 - Rumford Antique Bottles #rumford #antique #bottlecollectors

Two posts in one day - my my my it must be going to snow tomorrow. That was my grandmother's saying and she usually said it during the summer months so it basically meant something that's not going to happen.

So this bottle popped up on my sink today and if I put it up there, I'm really losing it because I don't remember. Although...I was cleaning out the downstairs bathroom cabinet and found another jar down there that I posted about Friday; maybe this was in there too Lord only knows.

Anyway...here's the jar:


It says Rumford across the top and is 4 3/4 inches tall and has a 12 on the bottom. According to what I'm finding out about it, it is a baking powder jar or something similar which is surprising as I would have thought it was an old medicine bottle? It is aqua in color and has a few bubbles on the inside. It was probably made in the late 1800s or early 1900s. What a find.

I found this on the Internet:

Looks just like my jar without the label. So we're talking Rumford Chemical Works from Providence, R.I.

The history behind the company was that an American by the name of Benjamin Thompson of Woburn, Massachusetts escaped from 'political complications' by moving to England in 1754. He joined the English army until 1784 and then entered the service of the Elector of Bavaria. For the next fourteen years, Benjamin was investigating ways of supplying nutritious foods for the state at the lowest costs possible. Because of his contributions, he was knighted 'Count Rumford.' Sometime after 1800, he founded the Rumford Professorship of Chemistry at Harvard University and this is where an Eben N. Horsford served as Rumford Professor from 1847 to 1863. Eben then met George Wilson in 1853 and the two started Rumford Chemical Works in 1856 and incorporated the company in 1859.

Wilson served at business manager and Horsford was in charge of producing the chemicals. Their most popular product was Horsfords Acid Phosphate of which the tonic was patented on March 10 1868, over a hundred years ago. This same product continued being produced well into the 1940s. You would add one teaspoon of product and mix it with a glass of water and some sugar and it would resemble lemon lime drink. This was used for mental and nervous exhaustion.

So in a way it could be a medicine bottle, huh?

The bottles started out a clear glass but when they found out that the content would become calcified when stored for long periods of time, they ended up changing the color of the glass to teal blue in a unique eight sided shape bottle (never seen one of them yet). The rarer of colors came in deep olive, green and aqua (I would say mine was aqua).

By the 1900s the teal blue bottles were eliminated and the machine made bottles were produced in a light green and a brilliant green color. Eventually the embossing disappeared and the company went to paper labels. If you find one that is embossed with the letter W, that would stand for George F. Wilson.

Other products they produced were Rumford's Baking Powder (seems to me I remember this from my grandmother's cabinet but this was in a tin), Rumford's Yeast Powder and Rumford's Phosa. These bottles were unembossed and was just registered on the heel of the bottle (like mine with the 12 on the bottom).

On eBay, they're selling for about $20 on down.

Sunday, March 18 2018 - Farmhouse Decorating! #farmhouse #farmhousefinds #hobby lobby #kirkland's

Good Sunday morning!

It's still cold on the island. Barometer reading 40 on the deck at 10:52 in the morning. Where is spring? Actually, I've been loving winter because I've been inside doing a little redoing. I'd like to show you my work in progress. It's one of the accent walls in the living room:


I got the Farmhouse sign at Hobby Lobby for about $15 I think and the two baskets at the same place for about the same each. The two shelf thingees and the chickens, etc., on the shelves all came from Dollar Genera. The shelves were $6 each and the chickens and pig were about a dollar. I believe the two what they call 'planters' in the middle was about $1.50. Now...the picture in the middle...here's a better pic:


There, that's a little better. This came from Kirkland's for about $39. The roof of the barn is basically 3D...really neat to look at in person.

Like I said, it's a work in progress. I'm going to eventually turn all the walls into accent walls with the farmhouse theme. Looking forward to getting more farmhouse items.

Yesterday, I slipped in Hobby Lobby. I knew I was on a limited budget and wanted to buy the whole store so it was frustrating! I did come away with these two items:

Cow picture! I think I paid about $15 for this at Hobby Lobby and I also got this:

This was about $10 I think. My whole purchase was about $25 so I did good!

I've got this last one on another accent wall all by its lonesome but plan on adding more things to the wall as I go along. The hunt is part of the fun!

Hope you have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saturday, March 18 2018 - Antique Jar Find: Lustre Canning Jars by R.E. Tongue Bros.

I love finding out the history of anything old! I've just recently got into antiques. All my life I have loved them but never had the respect of these things until a few months ago. I am a busy beaver on the lookout for just the right kind of antiques and only looking for things in particular. I don't want to become the old lady with those dusty knick knacks that no one other than the owner loves.

While cleaning out my downstairs bathroom under the sink cabinet, I found an old jar I've had for years. I didn't see the top but I know I have it somewhere. I thought it was a Mason jar, but observing it closer, it's not. It says Lustre on the side of it and was made by R.E. Tongue & Bros. out of Philadelphia.

The company was located at Allegheny Ave. & Amber St. They were in business around circa 1910-1920s. They were known for "Lustre" products especially canning jars. The family was from England but eventually migrated to Pennsylvania. Eventually, the company was put up for sale and was bought by a Chicago firm. They only lasted one or two years and then went bankrupt.



Here is the jar I've had for years and don't really know where I got it but my suspicion is that I dug it up somewhere in the woods. This jar probably dates to the early 1900s.

What's interesting about these jars is that all ball or blue jars are not Mason jars.  Mason jars are not a brand but a type of glass container.1937 was the last year a blue Ball Mason jar was made. This means that any authentic blue Ball Mason jar is at least 77 years old. The blue color was partially caused by the minerals of the sand on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Also, according to the Internet, here are the details on these particular jars. My jar fits number 3.

1. Lustre (machine made, aqua, 3 sizes, glass lid/wire bail) (diagram/emboss on front looks rectangular) 15 - 20

2. Lustre (handmade, aqua, 3 sizes, zinc lid) (diagram/emboss looks like a keystone) 15 - 20

3. Lustre (machine made, aqua, clear, 3 sizes, sinc lid) (diagram/emboss is in a circle pattern 12 -15

Interesting, huh?

On a side note, you can find out more about antique bottles, glass, jars, etc at Antique-Bottles.net.