Friday, July 29, 2011

Gas range

If you have been in the shop, you may remember this old gas range, and another one that was similar to it....

We bought these several years ago at an auction, and George & I manhandled them into the shop. HEAVY!!! Luckily, a man happened to be walking down the street, & he jumped in and helped us out. The kindness of strangers!

At first they were display pieces, but after a couple years, I decided to sell them. No takers. Lots of folks admired them, & said the price was very reasonable.....but no takers. I gave a downright cheap price to anyone who seemed remotely interested.....but no takers. A few people said they would be back to buy them.......but none ever came back.

This went on for a couple years. They needed to go, the shop keeps getting fuller, and these HEAVY stoves were in the way.

So what is a shop owner to do? Sometimes tough decisions have to be made.

In the past, we have had big pieces of furniture that didn't sell. Especially organs. We took them apart, and the individual "architecture" pieces sold.

So..........we took the stoves apart.

We salvaged anything we could, starting with the cool doors.

We debated awhile, then decided to go ahead and keep the side panels. 

This is my favorite piece.
Since George was doing the actual "taking apart", I'm not sure where each piece came from.
So I don't know what this piece was, but it's still attached at the top, and if you spread the bottom a little, it forms an easel.

These are the burner rings, or whatever you call them. Don't they look like flowers? When they were on the stove, I never noticed that. When you start taking something apart, the detail suddenly jumps out at you.

We even saved the oven racks. They are rusty, which makes them very fashionable so to speak.
They would make good herb drying racks.

What couldn't be salvaged went to the scrap yard, so there are no parts sitting in a landfill.

Yes, it seems a shame to take apart such a cool piece of history. But, I tried to sell them as the complete package, I really, really tried. As I takers.

And I can't keep everything that doesn't sell, no matter how cool it is.
If I did, I'd become a TV star.
But...I don't really want my claim to fame to be that I was the featured Hoarder on cable TV!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WV barnwood signs

I just painted a new batch of West Virginia barnwood signs.
This is the real deal, barnwood taken from a couple different  barns.
You can see red paint on a few of them...
that is the original red paint from the barn.

How cool is that?

The only problem is.......
I can't seem to find a good way to display them for pics.

So I just propped some against the counter.

And laid the shorter ones on top of it.

I promise...
they are displayed better out on the floor for sale 
than they are in these pics!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fallen Heros

Recently, another one of our local soldiers was killed in Iraq. Yesterday, he came home for the final time. Our hearts are heavy.

I don't know him, or his young wife. I do know his mother-in-law, we attend the same church. His wife grew up in the same church, though she had moved away by the time our family started attending there.

The funeral procession went by yesterday morning, during morning church services. Rather than hear a sermon, the entire congregation went outside and lined the sidewalk in front of the building, where we watched as the procession slowly drove by. Besides his family, the hearse was accompanied by over 200 Patriot Guard Riders on their motorcycles. 

The veterans and active military members of our congregation saluted, the rest of us silently showed our repects, many holding American flags. Many tears were shed for our fallen hero who will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on August 1.

A year or so ago, I and most other business owners on our street locked our doors, and walked down to a local funeral home to pay our respects as another local soldier was brought home for the final time.

During this processional, we missed hearing a sermon. During the last one, we missed an hour or so of business. What a small, insignificant sacrifice on our parts.

We pray the families of our fallen heros will find comfort.

May God bless the American soldier, and their families.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wider shots part 2

Last week I attempted to show you some wider shots of the store.
You can see that here.

I say attempted, because the store is very full.

Which makes it hard to back up enough to get wider shots...

...without backing into things...

...and knocking them over.

I did that one time.

I backed into a set of shutters full of wreaths.

I saw it start to fall, and could do nothing about it.
It was one of those slow motion moments.

Fortunately, it fell right between 2 displays.
Nothing broke.
It was my lucky day!

The next 2 photos are of the window displays...

which are even harder to take pictures of.

Well, hopefully you can get the general idea.

Hope you get the chance to come see the shop in person!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

And the chicken layed an egg

Our chickens are supposed to start laying eggs around September. That's what the book said.

A couple weeks ago, the hens started making some new, suspicious sounding clucks. "They are going to start laying soon". That's what George said.

So, one evening, he and Kevin got the nesting boxes ready. A little hay in each one, and a golf ball. The golf balls are meant to give them the idea. No idea if that really works. That's what the book said.

Yesterday morning while I was at work, I got a phone call. "I fed the chickens, gave them fresh water and gathered the eggs". That's what George said.

Yep, 2 little brown pullet eggs. (Pullets are teenage chickens so to speak)

We didn't know how long they had been there in the sweltering heat, so we won't be eating them. But we sure have admired them!!!

Last night, we went down to check again, and we found 2 more........

As you can see, they are about the same size as the golf ball. How cute is that!

As of last night, the chickens all seemed to be sharing the same box, none of the others had been disturbed. But this morning, it looked like the entire bottom row has been checked out.

We're going to put a little ledge along the top 2 rows to make it easier for them to get into them. We have watched them fly up to their roosts enough times to know they aren't the most graceful creatures.

 Let's just say their aim isn't that great.

"If I had a ledge to land on, I could fly up to it, then step gently inside a box instead of flying up and whacking my head on the side of it". That's what the chicken said.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New stitcheries

We have several new stitcheries in...

These are all made locally.

Fabric accents tend to "soften" a room....

and add a little extra coziness.

And buying high quality, American made.....
tis icing on the cake!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Happy birthday dad

Today is my dad's birthday, and how I wish he were still here to celebrate with us! He was diabetic, so we always had angel food cake for family celebrations, which he and mom both loved. And, with his birthday smack dab in the middle of summer, we always had watermelon too, which he and mom both loved.

This was a big one - his 65th in 1994. We could have had some big, special birthday bash for such a big day, but there was nothing dad liked better than simply spending time with his grandchildren. Kevin was 6, Jessica was 8, and they loved to help grandpa blow out the candles on his cake. A local park was the perfect setting for a small family picnic.

We're thinking about you today, but then, we do that every day. We miss you so much! And are thankful for you. Happy birthday dad!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wider shots

I hardly ever take pictures anymore of bigger areas in the store.
I tend to take pictures of individual things.

So while I had the camera out yesterday, I took a few pictures
of wider areas. But it's hard to do, because the store is so full.

When I first opened in 2002,
I could stand just about anywhere & get a wider shot.

But now, if I try to back up to get a wider shot,
I bump into whatever is behind me.

Not that I'm complaining.

I'm glad the store is nice and full.

Every day, people say...
"I have to go around more than once so I don't miss anything.

Good words to hear!

This is just a sampling of wider shots...
I'll try to add more next week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Country Life = Bean Season

At our house in the country, July means it's time to start canning green beans. If you've never had home-canned green beans, you're missing out. They taste soooo much better than the ones you buy in the store.

The Presto canner on the right is mine - I guess I've had it for 20 years or so. The Maid of Honor canner on the left is my mom's. I was born in 1962, and it's the only pressure canner I remember her ever using. I suspect she was using it well before that. Still works great!

I love using her old canner, because it takes me back to her kitchen, and the many summers when I helped her can. I see her snapping beans, hear her laughter and instructions (make sure your jar rims are clean! don't let the pressure get too high!)

When she could no longer can, I took her canner home with me, and now I use it every summer. I know without looking at the manual how to use it, but I get it out anyway, because in mom's handwriting are extra notes that I love to skim over. She may be gone now physically, but she is very much beside me in spirit as I use that canner!
Jars ready to process in canner

From another woman who had canned many, many years, I learned this tip: when you are canning green beans, if you don't have enough to completely fill a canner, finish the canner off with dried beans from the grocery store. You can use the white soup beans, or the brown ones, which I show in this photo. Just put a cup of dried beans in a quart jar, add 1/2 tsp. salt, and fill with hot water. Process with the green beans as usual.

Jars after processing

My two canning tips would be this:

Use 2 pressure canners if you have much produce. It speeds up the process so much! As you know if you are a canner, you can't open the canner till the pressure goes down, so if you have a second batch to do, you have to wait. Now that I have mine and mom's, I have the second one on the stove processing while the first one is still cooling down.

The other tip is to use jar lifter tongs like the ones in the photo. Mom never had any, and neither did I. We just used hot pads, and got burned a few times. Last summer, George got me the tongs. So much safer!!! And easier!!!

One of my favorite sounds is the Ping! as the jars seal. A very satisfying sound!

And finally, an aside to Jessica........can you smell them? I know how you looove the smell of green beans being canned! Ha!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My outdoor studio

Last Saturday, I set up an outdoor studio of sorts.
I'm sooo excited!

This spot under our deck stays shady all day.
It's absolutely glorious out there early in the morning.
I'd do a little work out there, but it wasn't set up for doing much.

The other day I had a light bulb moment.
George had made a potting bench out of old barnwood.
It was on the deck, but I never "potted" on it.

Hey! I could use that for a painting bench!


He helped me carry it down Saturday morning.
While I was at it, I did a little outdoor decorating.
We just bought that barrel at an auction...
it was supposed to be for sale at the store, but....
I talked myself into keeping it.

George & Kevin had made a cider press of sorts a couple years ago,
that's what the metal stand is behind it, with the wood tray on top.
It looks like it will empty into the barrel.
Not that it would hold much...there's no bottom in the barrel!

And, in case you're wondering...
yes, that's a ladder in the background hanging horizontally on the deck.
It was the hayloft ladder from the farm George grew up on.

Billy is showing you the "sit a spell" bench.
Behind it is our picnic table, which I can also use to paint on.

Beside it is another "table".
Any guesses as to it was used for?

George used it when he showed sheep at the fair.
He would lift the sheep up on it,
it's head would sit in the grooved out place,
and the collar was to hold it in place.

Then he could do whatever grooming etc. needed to be done.

From my new painting vantage point, I can look to the left and see...
uh-oh, part of the wood pile fell down...better re-stack that.

On out in the yard I can see the garden.
Uh-oh, it's getting very weedy, probably ought to work on that.

Behind me is the coop and the chickens.
Uh-oh, that blue water barrel needs put away.
Probably ought to do that.

But I'd rather paint!

So what was my first project out there?

Podiums seem appropriate since I was painting in God's country.

Monday, July 11, 2011

An anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my beautiful daughter and her husband.
Brian and Jessica were married 2 years ago today.

May God bless them with a long life together.

In which my forgetful nature begets a magazine suggestion

I took several pictures over the weekend to show you what I did..........but I forgot to bring the camera with me.

I brought several new things in over the weekend, and need to take pictures of them to show you.........but I forgot to bring the camera with me.

Soooo.........How about a link to the magazine I turn to for inspiration?

Click here for the website for Country Sampler magazine. The magazine is packed full of decorating ideas. I've been getting it for a few years, and it's one of those magazines I can't bear to part with. I've got all my old issues, and enjoy flipping through them just as much as the new ones.

When we were ready to build a new porch, I looked through old issues.
Paint the porch............look through old issues.
Paint the bathroom...........look through old issues.

I have no stock in the company. (I should have)
I know no one there. (though I have an internet friend whose home was featured)
They have absolutely no idea who I am. (except when I renew my subscription)

I just enjoy it, and thought you might too.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sad Irons

This pile of sad irons came from a recent auction. The picture doesn't begin to show how rusty they are. Usually, I just sell sad irons as is, but these ones were soooo rusty, I decided to paint them.

I left the fancier ones plain black, and painted some berry vines on the others.  I have a few more to paint, I may put stars on them.

I don't know if you can make it out in the photo or not, but the iron on the bottom right says in raised letters, "Asbestos Sad Iron". It had been so rusty, the letters were hard to see. The black paint brought them back to life.

Heavy, heavy, heavy! I have much respect for the women who had to use these. What a hard job ironing would have been in those days! The weight of the irons, the inevitable burns from accidently touching them, the heat from the fire that had to keep the next irons in line hot..........

I hate to iron the few clothes I have that need ironed. Most of my clothes are simply thrown in the dryer,  then hung up, no ironing needed. And even when I do have to iron, it's with a lightweight electric iron in an air conditioned house.

Yes, I think we have it very easy today compared to the hard working women who came before us!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cabbage and Noodles

We don't like cooked cabbage at our house.
But we have LOTS of cabbage in our garden this year.
We love coleslaw, and are eating it often.....
but I don't want to have it so much we get tired of it.
Since there's so much cabbage, I decided to try a cooked cabbage recipe.

I felt sure we wouldn't like it,
but it would only be wasting one head,
and the chickens could have the leftovers.

Well, whaddaya know?
We liked it. We really liked it!

The pictures are of the cold leftovers - which explains the noodle stuck to the far side of the bowl. And the chickens didn't get the leftovers - we heated them in the microwave, and they were just as good the second time around.

In case you're like us, and only THINK you don't like cooked cabbage, I'm giving you the recipe. Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised too.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

1 tsp. chicken bouillon or 1 cube chicken bouillon
1/2 bag noodles
1 med head cabbage, chopped

Boil till noodles and cabbage are tender.
Pour off water.

Add 3/4 stick margarine

Stir together till margarine melts

Lots of room for your own variations here. I added a few hot pepper flakes. We think it would be good with some shredded pork stirred into it. The recipe called for a whole stick of margarine. I used 3/4 stick, but will try 1/2 next time.

Bottom line? We liked it so much that I'm going to freeze some cooked cabbage so we can have it this winter. You don't really taste the cabbage, mainly just the noodles.

We also discovered we like cooked zucchini. Zucchini bread is great, but again, you can only eat so much of it. Nor is it the healthiest of foods. So I started looking for recipes.

We've eaten it stuffed and grilled, and fried with green onions. All good. Will be trying more.

If you've ever grown zuchinni, you know it grows fast.
There's always a few that get overlooked till they are too big.
What do we do with those?

Chickens are very handy to have around.

Switching Gears to an Occasional Shop

For a loooooooooong time, I have wanted to switch our shop to an occasional shop. Until yesterday, we were open 5 ...