Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry, Merry Christmas!

What a busy time of year! And a wonderful time as well.

It may be Christmas evening according to the calendar, but at our house, Christmas isn't until tomorrow.

We often have our celebration the day before or the day after. Whatever works out best with George's shift work schedule, and the Christmas schedules of extended families.

Today Jessica and Brian are with his family.
Kevin and Katie are with her family.
My sister Jo and her husband Terry are with his family.
Our friend Bonnie is with other friends who are like family to her.

So it was very quiet around here. Lots of time to reminisce on Christmas's past.

And an extra day to get ready!

It was wonderful to see so many families re-united with loved ones at church this morning. Lots of babies - and lots of grandma's with big smiles as they held them. Miles may come between family members - but the grandparents love knows no boundaries, that was obvious. Ahhh, home for the holidays.

George and I hope all of you had a Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Hours

We've decided to close for the winter season.
Reason? Freezin!

Seriously.

George has wanted me to close for the winter months every year, and I never have. This year I'm going to listen to him. Like I should have listened to him the day this happened:


That was the day in 2008 when he said I better not go to town, the roads were too bad. And I said I had to go, it was 5 days before Christmas.

I'm not too proud to admit he was right. I slid on the ice, hit a tree, took out a fence, sheared off a gas meter, and totaled the car. By the grace of God I wasn't hurt, and also by the grace of God, the gas lines underneath the sheared off gas meter didn't blow up, which would have also blown up the house I almost hit.

It wasn't a good day.

And I never did make it to town to open the store, even though it was 5 days before Christmas.

Anyway............when he again suggested I close for the winter, I decided to listen this time.

Partly due to snow conditions, partly due to high heat costs. This old store building is hard to heat. If I had it warm enough to be comfortable, I wouldn't be able to afford it.

So...starting next week, the store will be closed. We will re-open sometime in March - the date will be announced later.

However - there may be days here and there that I do open. I'm going to be spending January and February in my workshop at home. We'll also be out antiquing when the weather cooperates. So, there will be days when I'm bringing new merchandise into town, and I may open those days. If that happens, it will be announced here and also on facebook.

The plan is that in the spring, I'll have LOTS of new stuff. New craft stuff. New old stuff. (you know what I mean).

And another clearance sale upstairs - date announced later.


Thought you might like another view of the car after the accident. Yep - I managed to destroy the rear left and the front right.


And the underneath. That hole you see is from the sheared off gas meter.

It wasn't a good day.

We're still open this week - 10 - 4:30 thru Friday, and till 2 on Christmas Eve.

Some things that are on the floor now will be transformed/rehabbed/refurbished by spring. Others will go into our spring clearance sale upstairs. If there's something you've seen in here you're dying to have just as it is now, come in this week and grab it.

And also, during the winter months, if you think of something you really want, just shoot me an email, or contact me on facebook. George goes thru town most days going to work, and we can work out something.

Thanks for understanding.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oglebay Festival of Lights

I've been too busy to blog......but that's probably ok, because you've probably been to busy to read it anyway! Tis the season.

We're pretty much done shopping, and just about done wrapping. The house is decorated. (Too bad it isn't clean yet.)

We and a few thousand of our closest friends went to Oglebay Park in Wheeling, WV Saturday evening to see the lights. Beautiful! It's one of the biggest light dispays in the country.


This is Cinderella going to the ball, one of my favorite displays they've had for several years. A new favorite is the ferris wheel and carousel. We didn't take pictures, tooooooo many cars to stop and snap pics. We may try to go again on a weeknight when it's not so crowded.


Kevin and Katie went with friends a couple weeks ago...this is a pic they took that night in front of the Mansion Museum. The "flower" gardens of lights around the Mansion and Carriage House are incredibly beautiful.

Shhhhhhhhh....don't tell Katie I lifted her photo from facebook!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas funnies

How's your Christmas preparations coming?
Are you ready yet?
Is the season one of joy for you?
Or are you a bit frazzled?

Need a laugh?


I'm thinking this is the way to go!
Simple....understated.

But if you really want to go all out.........


Ha!

This next one is one of my favorites....


Sorry for the small picture...it blurs if it's any bigger.

And finally...


What more can I say?

Merry (there's only 10 more days!) Christmas!
 Thanks to the internet at large for the above photos

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Country life = A neighbor's kindness

I want to share something that has really touched us recently........

Friends of ours lost their only child in 2008 when she was only 22 years old. She died as a result of an auto accident. I wish I had known her - I did meet her a couple times. As our friendship with her mom has grown since then, I do feel like I knew her through stories her mom proudly shares. The world lost a very special young lady much, much too soon.

Our county is full of ridges and lanes, which have had RD (rural delivery) addresses. In an effort to facilitate emergency vehicles, the county government is giving every ridge and lane a name, which results in all of us in the country getting new addresses. If a lane didn't already have a name, they sent forms out to the residents on that lane on which they could submit name suggestions.

Our friends live on one of those previously un-named lanes. When they got the form, they thought it would be nice if the lane could be named after their daughter, but wasn't sure how the neighbors would feel about it. As it turns out, one of those neighbors had the same thought, and asked them if it would be ok with them to submit their daughter's name. They happily agreed, and now it's official.

They live on Hannah Drive.

Our lives are so intertwined. I doubt we ever realize how many people we touch just in our every day lives. Or how many people care about us.

Hannah may not live among us anymore, but she will continue to live in the hearts of the many people who loved her.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A collection of memories idea

No photo today, but an idea........

Everywhere you go that is a place you want to remember - buy a Christmas ornament. That's easy this time of year, but even in the summer, if you are in any kind of tourist/vacation spot, you can often find ornaments.

As the years go by, and you decorate your Christmas tree, you will have a tree that is full of memories.

I wish I had thought of that when George & I got married. We do have a tree that's full of memories. But not memories of places we've been. That would be a fun trip down memory lane.

Or, I wish I had thought of it when Jessica & Brian first got together. They started dating on senior trip to England, Ireland & Scotland. Wouldn't it have been fun to have ornaments from overseas!

Better late than never. I did think of it in time to suggest it to Kevin's girlfriend Katie. And they did buy their first ornament together at the Oglebay Festival of Lights in Wheeling, WV.

I normally don't sell Christmas items other than Christmas time. But I think next year I will keep a few ornaments out year round, in case someone visiting Moundsville is doing something similar, and they want to add to their collection.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snowballs


These snowballs don't need shoveled.
My kind of snow!

Actually, I love snow.
And don't mind shoveling it.

If it would just stay off the roads..........

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fur Boards decked out for Christmas


The 3 triangular shaped pieces are old fur boards.
They were used for stretching pelts.
I love the shape and patina of them,
and I think they make a great shape for
primitive snowmen.

The piece on the far right is an old barrel stave.


The old fur boards are also a great shape for Santa.

I'd much rather paint on old wood than new.
The character of the old wood brought on by the passing of time
is something we can try to recreate, but it's just not the same.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ornaments


I took these photos at the end of the day on Saturday.



I sold lots of ornaments last week,
so you can imagine how much fuller they had been before the photos.


What kind of ormanents do you use on your tree?


How many trees do you put up?


Oops, this photo didn't turn out very well.
The little plate ornaments are great on a mini tree.
Or just hanging on a hook year round.



We call these Jo Balls.
My sister Jo Ellen (Jo) makes them.
Jo makes Balls.
Jo Balls.



We're very glad she has a good sense of humor.

 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sale, sale, sale! And you can win Santa!


Santa can be yours for free. How? Come in the store this Friday or Saturday, sign up to win him. That's all there is to it! The winner will be notified Monday morning.

I painted him on an old fur board. A fur board is what they used for stretching pelts.

While you're in the store, you might as well shop! All regular priced items will be 20% off! Well, there are 2 exclusions - the farm fresh brown eggs and one particular handmade ornament.

This will be our last First Friday & Saturday Event. Next year we will be switching to a couple open houses. Probably late spring/early summer and fall. We'll let you know more on that later.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ho Ho Ho! December Event!

Santa never ages. How does he do that? I just got this particular Santa in.......isn't he cool? I looked him up on Ebay, and it appears this one has been around since the 1950's.


And dont' forget..........

Our last FIRST FRIDAY & SATURDAY EVENT is this week.
20% off all regular prices! Including Christmas!

This will be the last one of the year.
Actually, this will be the last First Friday & Saturday Event period.
It was a good experiment, but it didn't work as well as I had hoped.

Sooooo,

Next year, we will still be doing an Open House or two, but not on a monthly basis.
More to come on that later. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Snowmen

This time of year, snowmen tend to take over.
 They show up everywhere!



On suitcases.



And wreaths.



On sleds (seems appropriate)



And baking pans (appropriate? well.........whatever)



I painted some on glass bulbs.



And some on old barnwood.



How about some on railroad spikes?
These make great stocking holders.



Some show their pride in WV.


Others just kind of hang out.
Just chillin'...so to speak.


And some just looooove to play.

More are coming...
after all, it's not even December yet!

Monday, November 28, 2011

HOLIDAY HOURS

Holiday Hours are now in effect.

MONDAY - FRIDAY
10 - 4:30

SATURDAY
10 - 3

I'm going to close at 4:30 instead of 5:00. Why? I'm having trouble driving in the dark. It seems to be getting worse every year.

A few years ago, I started having trouble at night if it was raining, and I was in the town lights. Out on the ridge, I was fine.

Then, I started having a bit of trouble in the rain even on the ridge.

This year, I'm having LOTS of trouble in the rain even on the ridge.

And even when it's not raining.

I'm not taking chances. I did that once in the ice and totaled the car. (I should have listened to George and stayed home that day!!!) Sooooooooo........I'm closing earlier. Being your own boss does have certain advantages!

Actually, I have no problems driving at night when no one is coming towards me. It's those darned oncoming headlights that are the problem. Is there some way I can convince everyone else to stay off the roads after dark till I get safely to my destination?

I didn't think so.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friday and Saturday results

Black Friday came and went without too much fanfare in my shop. Several folks came in (thank you!), but of course I didn't get the crowds the malls do.

 But then came Small Business Saturday.....


Imagine my surprise at the lines outside my door!



Customers were patiently waiting at the front door...



I opened the front doors, & the mad rush began!

And then I woke up.

Ok, ok, none of this actually happened. Not at my store anyway. (Isn't it fun to google something as simple as Black Friday crowds?)

But I did have a busy day on Saturday. Without the stress of fighting crowds.

I send out a sincere thank you to all of you who did come in - not just on Friday and Saturday, but every day of the year. Your support means more than I can ever say, and I truly appreciate all of you!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday & Small Business Saturday


The news media is all over Black Friday. The deals, the crowds, the frenzy. Did you participate? If you did, more power to ya. It's not for me - as Jessica said, "there's nothing out there I need that much". Amen.

I didn't open my shop at midnight, or at 4 in the morning. I opened at.....GASP!.....the late hour of 10:00. You see, my Black Friday customers tend to be the folks who wanted no part of the frenzy. They are more interested in a slower pace, a more relaxing atmosphere.

I did get some afternoon shoppers who are winding down from their early morning excursion, and I appreciate that they included my shop in their busy day.

Next is Small Business Saturday. That idea seems to be taking off across the country, and I'm sure I speak for most mom & pop stores when I say we appreciate that. Somehow I doubt the media will talk quite as much about it, but at least it's getting an honorable mention.

I'll have the shop open for that as well. So, on Small Business Saturday, the shop will be open from 10 to 3. Maybe longer if folks are still coming in. Saturday's tend to die down around that time, so we'll see.

Wherever you live, please remember the small businesses in your neighborhood. We can't do all the glitzy promotions, or offer the deep discounts. But we can offer knowledge about our products, friendly help, and a slower pace that gives you a chance to actually pick something up and look at it without being in someone's way.

We truly, truly appreciate our local customer base who share bits of their busy lives with us!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I started thinking last night about what I'm thankful for. What I'm most thankful for is probably very similar to what you're thankful for.

Family, friends, decent health, jobs etc.

But I also started thinking about "the smaller things".........(in no particular order)...........

Weather forecasts
Sure, they aren't always right, but they give us a decent idea of what to expect. I'd hate to not have them at all.

Fleece blankets
I slept under one last night. As in - I was on top of the covers, with a fleece blanket on top of me. Ahhh! Soooooo cozy. Who came up with the whole sheets idea anyway? When it's cold, fleece is the way to go!

Variety in food
We're always thankful for our food, but do we really appreciate the variety before us? I often think of the Israelites in the Old Testament who murmered and complained when God graciously provided them with manna from above. Did it always taste the same?

Soft kitty cat fur
Billy's coat hasn't been it's healthy self for awhile now - his age is showing. But lately, it's soft as can be again. We think he snuck off and indulged in a spa treatment. The bill will probably come any day now.

School concerts
And the fact that here locally, they are still allowed to include religous music. And more often that not, it brings the most feeling from the singer, and the most appreciation from the audience.

Smiles and Laughter
Need I say more?

Woodstoves
I don't feel warm till I feel the dry heat that comes from burning our own wood. And Kevin is making some extra money which he needs by selling firewood to other folks who use woodstoves.

Running water...and Indoor plumbing
Need I say more?

Memories
Of my parents. Of George's parents. Of other loved ones who are gone now. Of our younger days - as kids, dating, our wedding, our babies...who grew up much too quickly.

Telephones
I'm really not a phone person. But I'm so thankful I can just pick up the phone and call Jessica who lives 5 hours away. I can't imagine the days before phones. It would be so hard to be separated from your family by miles and miles and miles if you knew you couldn't talk to them.

The country life
Not that there's a thing wrong with living in the burbs. Or a town. Or a city. But country is the best choice for us.

I could go on. And on. And on and on and on.

But, I'll stop here. Beyond the "biggies", what are you thankful for?

Hey - I wrote 2 posts in one day! How about that! Which reminds me - I'm thankful for the blog world too. And all of you who read this. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Country Life = getting ready for Thanksgiving

It's the day before Thanksgiving.
Are you spending your day baking?


Not me. Not today. I'm cleaning.
We're having Thanksgiving at our house this year.

I'll bake pumpkin pies first thing tomorrow morning,
but today, I'm trying to find the furniture under the dust.

Where does all that dust come from?
It's amazing how dirty your house can get while you're not looking!

We have an interesting phenomonon in our house...
The dust in our kitchen is red.
We have no idea why.

When the kids were little, we mixed up lots of kool-aid,
so we thought that was the red dust culprit.

But...

we hardly ever mix up kool-aid anymore.....
and the red dust is still there.

Nowhere else in the house, just the kitchen.

Should we be concerned?

Well, anyway...if you're baking today...happy baking!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Believe stars

I love this fabric tree topper that says Believe.
It's handmade locally by a friend of mine.


It has a ring on the back that will slip right over the top branch.
Or, you can simply hang it on your wall.


If you look closely at the inside of the black podium,
you can see the same stars, but ornament size.

(As you can guess, showing these together was an after-thought)
(I should have had a better photo of the smaller stars)
(Oh well)

The podiums are table top style.
They actually came from a local university.
I repainted them and distressed them.

Now they have Bibles laying on them...
they have been converted.

I crack myself up sometimes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Country Life = I've got a BooBoo


This is what happens when you throw a chunk of wood on a wood splitter, the wood slides just a bit and smashes your finger between the wood and the hard metal of the splitter. And this was with leather gloves on.

Let me tell you, this took my breath for a couple of minutes. Throb, throb, throb.

We usually enjoy splitting firewood, but yesterday just wasn't one of those days. Several things went wrong, including my BooBoo. And to add insult to injury (literally!), we had to finish in the rain.

I tried to type on the computer last evening, and it hurt too bad to do much. It feels much better today, though the nastiness factor in how it looks will probably stick around for awhile.

I really think this should get me out of doing dishes, don't you?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Salvation Army bears


In Moundsville, it's Christmas when the Salvation Army bears come out to play.
The bears are decorated by many volunteers,
then they are placed in several store windows for display for a couple weeks.


I have 15 in my window,
and I display them on a sled filled with presents.
The pictures are taken through the glass,
which explains the reflections etc. you can see.


Later, they will be collected again,
then given to needy children at a Christmas party.


The volunteers do an amazingly creative job dressing the bears.
It's so much fun to see them, and I am honored to
be included in displaying them.

If you get a chance, stroll down Jefferson Ave. and take a peek!
During the Christmas Parade on Saturday would be a great opportunity.

The Parade starts at 2:00.
We will be open from 10 - 4, longer if needed.

The weather is supposed to be chilly, but beautiful!
Hope to see you at the parade!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recent auction finds

These are a few of our recent auction finds...


This old dresser is pretty, but unfortunately, the top on the right side is broke.
Not sure how hard it will be to fix, because one section is warped.
We're selling it cheap due to that.


Old radio case, the "guts" have been removed.
On the floor beside it is a press - a sausage press I think.


Old farmhouse table - red top with white legs.


Or, if you prefer, how about one with a white top, and red legs?


Who can tell me what this is?
It's a sheep shearer - one person would turn the crank,
while the other would shear the sheep with the knives
that would have been attached to the wand part.
When my dad was a boy, he was the cranker.


Who can tell me what this is?
Seriously, can anyone tell me?
We don't know.

I thought the auctioneer said "baking table", but now I don't think so.
The metal top lifts off, and inside is 2 compartments.
Look closely, at the bottom of each compartment is a drain, or spigot.
As if it held liquid.

The farm had been a dairy, so maybe it's for holding milk?
On the front of each compartment, it says IDEAL.

I did a quick google search, but didn't find anything.

UPDATE
Thanks to a facebook fan, I now have the answer....
It is a washtub, and was used in a dairy.
Not for milk (whatever possessed me to think that?)
For water...for cleaning.

Thanks Jane!!!!

How to Peel Farm Fresh Hard Boiled Eggs

I just posted a tip for peeling our farm fresh eggs when you hardboil them on our  Facebook page , and thought I'd share it here as well...