Saturday, January 29, 2011

A letter home.............

Kevin had this hanging in his room when he lived at home. I laugh every time I read it, and I thought you might enjoy it too:

Dear Ma and Pa:

Am well. Hope you are. Tell brother Walt and brother Elmer the Army beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before maybe all the places are filled. I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 5 a.m., but am getting so I like to sleep late.

Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine some things - no hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave, but it ain't bad, they git warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kinda weak on chops, potatoes, beef, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie, and regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit between two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you till noon, when you get fed again.

It ain't no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route marches", which, the Sgt. says, are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it is not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys all get sore feet and we ride back in trucks. The country is nice, but awful flat.

The Sgt. is like a schoolteacher. He nags some. The Capt. is like the school board. Colonels and Generals just ride around and frown. They don't bother none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing,. I  keep gettin medals for shootin. I don't know why. The bull's-eye is near as big as a chipmunk and don't move. And it ain't shootin back, like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lay there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even have to load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join up before other fellows get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Yore lovin daughter,
Gail

P.S. Speakin of shootin, enclosed is $200 for barn roof and ma's teeth.
The city boys shoot craps, but not very good.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Country life = tough from the start

Coming home a couple nights ago, we saw this little calf in the field beside our house:


This little guy couldn't have been more than a day or two old.
Look at him marching bravely through the fresh fallen snow!
He's smart - he's staying on the hay that the big cows left behind after they ate.
That's probably a little warmer on the hooves!

Oh, and don't worry, mama is just out of camera range.

Sewing

George and I took some time today to go shopping for supplies. That was hard for me to do when the shop was open 6 days a week, by quitting time, I only wanted to go home. So, often times I had projects in mind, but nothing to make them with. That should improve now with the shortened hours.

Driving home, it occurred to us that the craft store we had been in didn't have any fabric for sale. I realize that you might not find it odd that I would be thinking about that, but you may be surprised that the subject of fabric would interest George.



But then you may not have known our mothers. Both were quite talented in the sewing department. My mom did it more as a hobby, and as a way to save money on clothes. She made most of her clothing, and much of mine and my sister Jo's, including prom dresses and wedding gowns. (Although after she made mine, she said if she had to do it over, she would have bought one!)

George's mom made all those things, and even men's suits. As far as I know, my mom never quite got up the nerve to attempt suit jackets. His mom also made clothing for other people, earning extra money. We have a list she wrote that listed out clothing she made, and for who it was for, including cheerleader uniforms!



George and I started wondering if anyone sews clothes anymore. It's probably cheaper to buy ready  made clothes these days, it was reaching that point towards the end of mom's sewing days. I can't remember the last time I heard someone say they had made an outfit.

I would guess that most fabric these days is sold for craft projects. And I know lots of people who quilt, or make curtains etc. But clothes? I wonder.


One of my strongest childhood memories is sitting at the pattern book desk in the fabric store. I loved to look at the pattern books! I thought they were more fun than looking at a catalog! And then mom would let me look for them in the big wide pattern drawers in the store. I felt so grown-up!



I wish I was the seamstress that my mom was, but I didn't pick it up too well. I would help mom lay out the pattern on the new fabric, and help her cut it out, but I lost interest after that. I did make a few things when I was a teen, but then I went several years without sewing. I do some now as craft projects, and the more I do, the more I enjoy it. Will I ever tackle a quilt? Hmmm, probably not, but then, stranger things have happened!



One more thing.........I wish George and I had pictures of our mom's at their sewing machines. The memories are firmly etched in our minds, but I'm sure our kids would have loved to have had photos showing their two grandma's in their labor of love. If your mom or grandma is a seamstress - take a picture!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Penmanship follow-up

Wow.

I just had a very interesting discussion with Jessica. She hadn't seen my post on penmanship yet, so it was just a coincidence when this came up....

She was telling me that some states and/or schools are no longer teaching their students how to write in cursive! Some aren't even bothering to teach how to print. Their thinking? Why teach how to write with a pencil when you can use a keyboard?

I'm appalled by this news. Obviously I have nothing against modern technology, after all, I'm typing this on a computer, and you are reading it on one. But.....computers are certainly not the end all.

Kids NEED to know how to write - and, they NEED to know how to read what other's wrote! For a very interesting discussion on this topic, see the following:


I didn't take the time to read through all the comments, but I did skim over them. Lots of good points being brought up. What happens when kids can no longer read things their grandparents wrote in cursive? Is the time very far off when kids will need translators to read old papers....our history? What happens if kids are in class, and their laptop dies - will they have to stop taking notes because they never learned how to write?

She also said she has read that some schools don't bother teaching kids how to read a clock. So, unless it's digital, they can't tell what time it is.

What has happened to common sense!?!

Sorry, rant over.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Penmanship

I remember doing this in grade school......over and over.
My writing was very neat in those days.

Now? Not so much. I just finished paying bills.
As I wrote each check, I started thinking about how lousy my penmanship has become!
It's rather ironic that I can "write" very neatly with a paint brush, but can't with a pencil or pen!
I suspect the difference is that when I'm painting letters with a brush, I take my time.
But with a pen, my hand seems to think it's in some kind of race.

I think it's high time I started practicing penmanship again.
Not that I'm actually going to do that, I just think it's high time that I should!

And now, it's time to (gulp) admit that I'm jealous of my sister's penmanship.
Always neat. Always pretty. Always legible.
Enjoy this moment Jo - there may not be anymore public admissions any time soon!
All my love ~ your sloppy writing sister ~ Barb

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Old door headboard

This old door was part of Jessica and Brian's wedding ceremony.
I needed to store it somewhere until they have a house someday.
I also needed a headboard for a spare bed.
So...............


I added a couple old shutters and had an instant headboard!
Since this is temporary, they are just leaning against the wall, but they could be attached if it was to be permanent.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thinking pink.....and other colors

Primitive colors are great, but let's admit it...they can be a bit drab!

Right now, in the depth of winter, but looking forward to spring, it's nice to think about brighter colors.


I painted all these junking trip finds over the weekend. A little paint changes the whole look.
I'm particularly liking the pink and black combo, which is funny, because I'm not generally a pink person.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

They're everywhere!

Computers that is!

We just upgraded to a new computer in our house. We were waaaaaaay overdue. We haven't had internet access at home for a few years. All we could get was dial-up: not only was it slow, it usually froze the computer up.

We recently decided to bite the computer bullet and pay the extra for a satellite connection (no cable available where we live). We're splitting the cost with Kevin, and sharing the wireless connection. (Shhh!) Actually, the technician who installed it knew of our plan, and offered tips!

That meant upgrading to the new computer. We just today got it set up, and have the wireless working. Yay!

Now for the everywhere part:
We have 2 old computers in the house. How old? Well, one is from..................

are you ready for this?...............

it's from 1995!

I know! In the computer world, that's right after Noah's Ark!

Then, I started looking around. I found another monitor. Where did that come from?!?
Then another keyboard. And another mouse. And 2 sets of speakers. And cables.

And floppys! Not much call for those these days!

Why did we keep all this stuff? Because..........because..........well, I have no idea!
Maybe because when you spend $1000 bucks on something, it's kind of hard to throw it away.

But, as we just learned, there's not much point in keeping that old stuff - they can't even physically be joined to the new ones! We have an old printer, it's not great, but it works - or at least it worked with our last computer. It can't even be connected to our new one. Not that the inner workings aren't compatible, we'll never know the answer to that, because there is nowhere on the new machine to stick the cable!

Maybe we're the only ones who are surprised by that bombshell. It's entirely possible that the rest of the world kept up with that knowledge, while we were busy in the garden.

So, there's really no reason to keep the old stuff. On both of the old computers, the on/off switch is just about gone. I plugged in the 1995 model this morning, just to make sure there isn't anything on it we want to keep. I literally had to hold my finger on the push button to keep it on - if I let go, it went off.

So, all the old equipment is going out the door, and all that money it took to buy it to begin with.

We stepped out of the garden into times that are a changin'!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Enamel table tops

On a recent "junking" trip, I found 4 enamel tops from a table.
The dealer must have thought he'd never get rid of them, because he more or less begged me to take them, even offering to throw one in free if I bought the rest.

I readily agreed, because I've learned not just to look at something for what it was, but also for what it can be now.

And now, I see magnet boards...........


These are the smaller side pieces from an old table.
On one of them, there is a stamp on the bottom that says 1947.
I assume that was the year it was made, though it could have been a model number.

This next one is bigger, the full table top............


That would hold lots of magnets!
I also wonder if these could be used as dry erase boards. It seems like those dry erase markers would wipe off the enamel surface. I'm not going to test it because I don't have any of those markers, and I'm not going to buy one because they give me an instant headache.

Does anyone know if that would work?

I can see these hung on a wall, like a chalkboard, especially the big one.
What a great message center! Either as a dry erase board, or messages tacked up with magnets.
What a great place to show off your kid's artwork!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Carrom boards


Growing up, we had one of these, my cousins & I played on it often. Then we grew up, and I was no longer interested in it. I sold it at a yard sale. Dang, why did I do that? In recent years, I've wished I had it back, not to play, but to hang on the wall.
Everytime George & I scouted antique malls, I'd see one, & I'd tell my sad story.

"I had one of those, & sold it cheap at a yard sale."
"I wish I had it back so I could hang it on the wall."
"Poor me."

And, everytime, he would say, "why don't you buy this one?"
And I'd say, "I don't want THAT one, I want the one I sold"

Then one day, we saw this one.................


That one I couldn't pass up!

This happened at the same time Kevin moved out, & I had a bedroom to decorate. That old carrom board filled up a small wall pretty quickly.
Within a month or so, these 2 pretty much fell into my lap.............


They helped fill a corner. And now, I went from boo-hooing about having none, to having a small collection of 3!

My theory is that God got tired of hearing me complain.
He said, "You want a carrom board? Here, take 3 and quit complaining!"

Within the next few months, I picked up 3 more, all like the one in the top picture. They are all for sale in the shop.

Game boards are such great decorative pieces, but they can be quite pricey. These old carrom boards fill a big space, are not that expensive, and look really cool!

We have friends who use their carrom board to..................
well, they actually USE theirs to play games on.
Imagine that!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gas range - new vs. old



This gas range may be all sleek and shiny...........


but it doesn't have the charm this one does!

Of course the new one probably works.....that would be an advantage.
Maybe the old one works too. I wouldn't try it without an inspection first!

We have 2 of these old ones. And have had them for a few years now. At first, I didn't have them for sale, they were just display pieces. But, I'd like to move them out now.

I've had prices on them (cheap!) for a couple years, but still no bites. I have customers who'd love to have them, but have no where to put them.

I understand that, I really do. They're HEAVY, so you don't want to have to move them around much. And, most people don't have that much extra room in their kitchen.

We've been thinking about taking one home for our front porch. Wouldn't it look cool with plants sitting on it?

Lots of ladies have told me stories about using these, some in restaurants, some in their mom's, or grandma's home.Yesterday a lady told me they had one that was pink.


Can't you just see Grandma pulling a steaming, hot loaf of bread out of that oven? It's golden brown, and the smell is heavenly!

If you are interested in one of them, let me know.
I'll make you a good deal!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Consignment?

I get some variation on the consignment question frequently:
  • Do you take consignment?
  • Is all this *stuff on consignment?
  • I make (fill in the blank), can I sell it here on consignment?
  • I have my grandma's (fill in the blank again), will you sell it for me, like on consignment?
When I first opened the shop, I did have several crafters on consignment. It helped fill the shop, but after a few years, I realized I was hurting myself by having it. Why?
  • Because consignment items were taking up floor space.
  • Because that floor space could have been holding my own *stuff.
  • Because I make more profit on my own *stuff than on consignment items.
  • Because to stay open, I have to make more profit.
And, as you might imagine, consignment entails lots of paperwork and time.
LOTS of paperwork and time.
Time that again, I could be investing into my own *stuff.

So, I let my crafter's go. That wasn't easy, because through the years, I got to know them, and they became friends. But, I had to look at it from a business perspective.

Is there anything wrong with consignment, or consignment shops?

No, not at all. I've been on both ends of the issue. Taking consignment crafters in my shop, and also selling my own crafts on consignment in other shops.

It just didn't work in the long run for me to continue it here.

Do I have any recommendations on consignment?
Well yes I do, thank you for asking.

If you are the shopowner:
  • Charge a monthly rent. If Crafter Sue doesn't sell anything in May, you'll still make something.
  • Charge a percentage of each of Crafter Sue's sales if the montly rent is low. If it's higher, skip that.
  • If you have booth space, let Crafter Sue do her own thing with it. Within reason of course.
  • If you mix everything together, make sure Crafter Sue's things get rotated to the "hot spots".
  • If you see Crafter Sue's inventory getting low, let her know. She'll thank you.
  • Don't charge Crafter Sue for advertising, unless that is specifically outlined in the contract.
  • Have contracts. And even if Crafter Sue is a friend, or family, have her sign it.
  • Limit how long Crafter Sue can have each item in your shop, so the inventory stays fresh. In other words, if a wreath hasn't sold in such and such a time, it has to be removed.
How much to charge for rent? And how much of a percentage of her sales?
Check around your area for comparibles.

If you are Crafter Sue:
  • Pay attention to the general theme of the shop. Only bring in things that fit in.
  • Pay your rent on time.
  • Pay attention to the contract.
  • Bring in fresh *stuff as often as you can, within the contract.
  • Don't call the shop every day to see if you had any sales. The shopowner is quite busy.
  • Don't be offended by the monthly rent fee. Remember, the shopowner has LOTS of expenses that you the crafter don't have. And if you have a slow month, the shopowner still has to keep the shop open.
  • Get insurance on your *stuff. If there is a fire, or robbery, the shopowner may not have you covered.
  • Listen to the shopowners suggestions. She knows her customers better, because she sees them more often.
  • Watch your pricing. Keep it reasonable. Don't try to undercut everyone else.
  • Make sure your price tags are neat, and easily read. And make sure they make sense.
Oh, there's lots of other advice, but that's all I can think of right now, off the top of my head.

So, no, I don't take consignment anymore. Will I ever again? I don't think so, but I learned a long time ago to "never say never".

*Stuff (noun) - the technical term for crafts and antiques.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Buffalo Snow

I had bought a few bags of Buffalo Snow to use in my window displays at Christmas. It was the first time I'd ever used it, and it didn't work that well for my purposes. After the holidays, I bagged it all up and took it home.

I have discovered it works great as stuffing when I'm sewing bowl fillers like these hearts.........



I was stuffing some more of these last night, and used "real" stuffing. I actually like the Buffalo Snow better!
I don't have the original bags anymore, so I can't tell you anything more than it was called Buffalo Snow. It came in bags about the size of a bed pillow. I had bought it at Goodwill before Christmas. It had originally come from Walmart.

I would assume it's only in the stores at holiday time. But maybe there's still some out there in the clearance sections. I wish now I had bought more of it! It's long gone now, but I'll be keeping an eye out for more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Removing the musty odor in trunks


There's something about old suitcases and trunks.
There's something about imagining where they've been.
There's something about imagining who might have owned them.
There's something about...........there's something about.............
there's something awful about that smell!

Some are worse than others of course, but most are at the very least, musty.
How to get rid of that?

I stumbled across a way out of sheer desperation a few years ago.

I opened a trunk here in the store that just about knocked your socks off.
I didn't have anything on hand to take out the smell.
Nor did I want to drag that heavy thing in & out of the sun for days.

I grabbed a bottle of vanilla scented oil, & put a couple drops on a cotton ball.
I placed the cotton on a small piece of aluminum foil.
I didn't want to lay the cotton directly in the trunk in case it would stain it.

I then shut the trunk, & left it undisturbed a few days.
When I opened it again, the smell was gone.
Hallelujah!

Now, understand, there is no guarantee this will work.
And........it won't work in large, unsealed places.

Case in point............
About that same time, Jessica's car got flood water on the floor of her car.
(LONG story about a car getting flooded on top of a hill.)
(Hard to believe I know, but it happened.)

Anyway, her car smelled like flood water - a very unpleasant smell.
Would the vanilla scented oil work it's charm again?
Let's try.

Nope.
Now her car smelled like vanilla flood water.
If you have never smelled that combination, let me assure you, it's NOT good!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Take it apart!

If something has been sitting for a while in the shop, we start looking at it in a different light.
For instance..............


These hearts are made from a pink chenille bedspread that I couldn't sell.
Even for $9.99!
The picture is really washed out, these are a very pretty shade of pink.
Granted, the bedspread was not in mint condition,  it has stains here & there, even a couple paint splotches.
(Don't ask, I have no idea how that happened)

I decided to cut it up, and my oh my, I could make bunches & bunches of these little pink hearts!

Similar story with quilts ( no paint though).


I don't have any of these pillows anymore, but what a great re-use of an old quilt!



The 2 pics above show 2 re-uses.
Hearts cut from old quilts, & cut-up sheet music.

I know some crafters make copies of sheet music etc. for an endless supply.
I can see the wisdom in that if you are creating large amounts of crafts using old ephemera.
But for my limited use, & since I have a pretty good supply, I'm just cutting up what I have.
If I run out, so be it...besides, there is always more showing up at auctions.


I picked up this old frame somewhere, & decided to experiment.
Again, this is real, vintage sheet music.
As is this next one framed in an old window........


Can I be honest?
I can't decide if I like these or not!
Have you ever felt that way after crafting something?

Well, someone may love them, and give them a good home.
Hoping so anyway!


I painted these simple word signs on slats from a wood bucket that fell apart.

And speaking of wood.......
I wish I had pictures of the pump organs that we took apart.

We have discovered that old pump organs have really cool wood pieces.
Really cool architectural pieces.

Don't take apart an old organ if it's in good shape!
But, if it no longer works, or is coming apart, look closely at the detail in the wood.

We've had great luck selling the wood pieces from them, and we're always on the look-out for more of that type of thing to take apart!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dad


January 11 is a bittersweet day for us.
The sweet is that it's Kevin's birthday.
The bitter is that it's the day we lost my dad, shown above.

Dad passed away in his sleep, without any warning, in 2009.
We had seen him the evening before, he was fine.

But the next day, on Kevin's 21st birthday, he found his beloved grandpa in his bed.
He had passed in the night, without even reaching for the phone.
We think he had a major heart attack in his sleep, without feeling a thing.

Such a shock, but through the tears we knew it was a blessing. Dad's kidney's were failing - a side effect of diabetes. Within a year or so, he would have been on dialysis. God spared him of going through that, & we're thankful.

The picture above shows him doing one of the things he loved...
He had many stories of the snowstorms of his youth, and this snow in 2003 gave him a chance play in snow again.

How I wish I could hear his stories again!

I was very blessed to have been raised in a good Christian home, with parents who loved each other, their daughters, their grandchildren, & their God with all their hearts.


You can see the love written all over his face at Jessica's college graduation.
(Kevin is lurking in the background)
Jessica & Kevin were very close to their Grandpa, sometimes I would find out what was going on in their lives by overhearing things they were telling him while waiting for church to start.

And once it started, it was truly a pleasure to hear him singing his beloved hymns.
I often close my eyes, and hear him in my mind singing once again.

But I can also hear him saying not to overlook Jessica and Kevin's birthdays!
So to both of my children, who have January birthdays -
Happy, happy birthday.
And again, sorry for those January birthdays!
Too close to Christmas. Too snowy.
Too few birthday parties through the years - it always snowed.
If anyone out there is starting a family, plan better than we did - summer birthday's sure are nice!
Dad's birthday was in the middle of July - which was great for picnics!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A bit overwhelmed

Such a busy time........but not with customers. Sadly, customers aren't too abundant this time of year, so it's slow in the shop.

Yet, very busy.

Paperwork. All the end of the year tax and inventory stuff. Ugh. Hate that.

Rearranging. I moved the remaining Christmas to a back wall. What's left is marked way down, and I'll probably leave it there till the end of January.

Making a Valentine's Day spot. Making Valentine's Day crafts.
Not so much designed just for Valentine's Day, but more a general love/heart theme that can be used year round.

Getting a spring section started. I recently picked up a large number of vintage clay flower pots. Love the patina on them. Nothing fancy, just a great patina.

Cleaning & pricing vintage pieces picked up on recent junking trips. And finding room on the floor for them.

Unpacking and pricing a recent shipment. Some of it is snowmen - do I put them out now, or wait till next year? Maybe a little of both, some have hearts on them.

Filling in lots of "after Christmas" holes. The mailman remarked this morning that it's empty in here.Uh-oh, I'm thinking it's really bad if he noticed!

Crafting, crafting, crafting. I'm so glad I have time for more of that now with the new hours.

Sleeping.......oh wait, I can't do that here.

Can I?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Country life = TV problems

Am I showing my age if I remember when we actually stood up, walked across the room, and changed the TV channel?

Not that it took very long, when I was a kid, we got channels 7 & 9.
And sometimes 2, 4 and 11, but they were snowy, and not much fun to watch.

Back to the present day, we can't get cable at our house.
It comes out so many miles from 1 town, & so many from another.
We're in the middle, & cable doesn't reach us from either direction.

So, we've had Dish Network for several years.
It's worked pretty well, a few minor issues, but pretty well over all.

Except for the remote. It's been giving us fits for months. George called once about it, but of course it started working just as Dish answered.

Since then, we have learned how to "baby" it along.
Don't push that button, or this one won't work.
Don't use it to turn the TV on or off.
Don't look at it cross-eyed.

But today, it got stuck, & refused to move. The Dish technician on the phone was trying to help. But nothing he suggested would work. Finally, he told me to take the smart card out of the reciever. I did.
He said, "now you see such & such screen?
No.
I still see the screen it's stuck on.

I loved his technical response.
"That's weird."

Yep. I agree.
I really loved his next words.
"We'll be sending you a new remote in the next few days."

Thank you.
Now, I'm off to craft more hearts for Valentine's Day.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lack of tools leads to salsa

I've come to a very important realization recently. You need the right tools for the job.

Seems obvious, doesn't it? When I told George this, he looked at me like I had 2 heads.

Then he said, "I wish you would have realized that a long time ago".
It's not that I didn't realize it. It's that diapers, school clothes, & college tuition came first.

That's all out of the way now, and I'm really feeling the need for the right tools.

Today, a lack of a good computer at home is very frustrating. We may have to do something about that soon. I got so frustrated, I decided I needed salsa, so I took a break.

VELVEETA SALSA DIP

Place 4 oz. salsa & 1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese (cut in cubes) in a small pan.
Stir over low heat till cheese is melted.

I have to go now, the tortilla chips and salsa are calling.
Oh, a little tip for you......... 
We used to heat u[ any leftovers up in the microwave, but have discovered lately that we like it better straight out of the fridge.

We will have lots of leftovers this time, I quadrupled the recipe.

I was REALLY frustrated!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Working from home

The new store hours officially started Monday, but I didn't really "feel" it till today. My first day to work from home without having to close the store. It 's already closed - it says so on the NEW HOURS sign on the door, so it must be true.

I spent a couple hours getting organized, now I'm ready to do some serious crafting...well, at that particular desk anyway.

I need to get a couple other spots organized better as well. Why is it that it's so much easier to make a mess than clean it up?

I did get several heart themed crafts made, and will be working on some more, just in time for Valentine's Day.

A customer said the other day that it won't be long till Valentine's Day, then winter will be practically over.

I never thought of it that way. That's how I feel about summer......it seems like all of a sudden it's the 4th of July, and the rest of the summer flies by.

Somehow, I never think of winter as flying by.

I do enjoy that I get more indoor time, and I like snow.....when it stays in the grass, and OFF the road!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Country life = resourceful cats

One more thing about our New Year...........

Jessica & Brian's cat Domi was staying with us for the holiday. They brought his new "water fountain".

Every time Kevin saw it, he would smirk and say, "The CAT has a water fountain? Can you say spoiled?".
Anyway.

We got home about 1:30 AM from a New Year Eve's party, and this is what we found..


Domi gets VERY concerned if he can see the bottom of his food bowl. Apparently, he thought since no one was home, he was going to have to fend for himself.

He really loves that toy mouse, but if worse came to worse, he could always eat it!


Doesn't exactly look like he's starving, does he?


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Country life = Goats!

They say March comes in like a lion, or a lamb.
 In our world, the New Year came in like a goat!
Our neighbor called to see if we wanted to come out and see the new babies.
That would be a resounding YES!



"Hey, can someone let me out of here?"


It's a hard life being a baby goat - must take a nap!


Most of the baby goats are around a week old in these photos.


"Um, can you excuse me while I feed the twins?"




Look at the little one peeking out around mama.

Jessica was thrilled to spend some time in the goat barn. She's a country girl at heart, but is living in the big city. And what is she doing in the big city? Yearning for the day when she can again be a country girl.

Or at the very least a girl with a yard.
And a garden.
And maybe a baby goat.


The goats are in what used to be a dairy cow barn, as you can see by the cow stanchions that are still in place.



Um, Kevin, don't stick your head in a cow stanchion. You never know who might show up with a camera!

I found it extremely funny that a "bull" was in the stanchion. He didn't find nearly as much humor in that as I did. Hee, hee - it still makes me laugh.

Sorry Kevin.

This may have been my favorite shot of the day...
George, Kevin and our neighbor talking outside the barn.


Who says we don't have high fashion in the country?
These boys are ready to work. Or talk.

Let me tell you, when these 3 get together, they can do some serious talking!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's that time again

One vintage baby bed.
One, two, three vintage carrom boards.
One, two, three, four, five, six dolls.
One, two, three........................and so it begins.

Inventory time.
Dreaded inventory time.

35 pip berry rings.
26 teddy bears.
74 barn star ornaments.

And so on.
I'm guessing at the above numbers, but the real count is starting.

This year, as I count inventory, I'm also taking lots of things off the floor. The general rule of thumb is: if it's been on the floor for over a year, it's history. All these things are being taken upstairs, where we'll have a huge clearance sale this spring. This includes both crafts AND antiques.

So.......if there is something here you've been thinking about buying for a long time, you might want to get it in the next few days.

True, you might save money if you wait - that certain chair or whatever might end up in the clearance sale, where you could get it at a very low price. But........it might sell before you can get to it that day, and I'd hate to see you kicking yourself because you missed out.

Taking the old stuff off the floor will leave lots of holes. Holes that will get filled with new crafts and antiques. Gotta love that. But first........one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.............

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year - New Hours

I'm very excited about the new hours that I've been telling you about the last couple of months!
Starting today, I will be open:
Monday - Thursday 9:30 to 5:00
I will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

To recap, this is so I can have more time to "go junking" for vintage & antique items.
And, so I can have more time for craft projects that I can't work on during store hours.

But wait, there's more! (Do I sound like a commercial?)

We'll have a First Friday & Saturday Event each month.
When will that be held?
Why, the First Friday and Saturday of course!
From 9:30 to 5:00 both days.

It will basically be a monthly Open House.
All regular priced items will be 20% off during the Event.
And, you can earn Event Bucks!
For every $10 you spend, you will recieve a $1 Event Buck.
You can use these the rest of the month for up to half off regular priced items!

At the bottom of the blog, you can read a FAQ list for more details.

I'm looking forward to having more time to craft and hunt for treasures.
And, I'll be honest, the long hours were getting to me.
Working 6 days a week in the store, plus the many hours a week at home that were spent doing work for the store...................something had to give, I can't keep up with that pace.
And, as much as I love the store, I love my family more, and I want to spend more time with them.

So...............New Year, New Hours! I'm excited!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Country life = recording your past

Jessica had a great idea.

She's taking pictures of the family heirlooms in our house. Our house is mainly decorated with relics from our past, or from our parents or even our grandparents past. None of these are worth much in terms of money,but they are worth more than we can say in sentimental value.

She's taking pictures, and I'm telling her the story behind each family treasure. And she's writing it all down.
She's going to put the pictures on a CD, along with the stories. Now there will be a permanent record of each thing.

What a great idea! Time consuming, yes. But it will be worth the trouble.

It's funny how much we forget. I used to know the story behind each piece we have in a cupboard. I still know most of it, but there are some "hmmm" pieces.

Did that come from my side of the family?
From George's?
From an auction?

Yes, it's a great idea to take pictures, and record the history.
Might be a great idea for your family too!

A new year!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!
2011? Wow.
It doesn't seem that long ago that the year 2000 seemed very far away.

I have to admit that I'm dragging. Remember that early to bed, early to rise post awhile back?
I haven't had an early to bed night since Christmas Eve when Jessica came home. I've seen midnight every night since. I'm tired, tired, tired.

Very happy that I had a great week with family and friends.
But I'm tired, tired, tired!

This morning we went to the neighbor's farm to see the new baby goats.

I took several pictures, but won't be able to put any on here till next week.
Check back in a few days - those goats are beyond cute.
I think Jessica may be hatching a plan to sneak one into her city condo...just kidding of course, but she's tempted!

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...