day with the husband

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Rich and I celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary on Sunday the 16th of September and since Sunday is a busy day for us, Rich took today off so we could spend time together while the kids were in school.  He’s at an eye doctor appointment now (4:30pm) so I have time to post a few photos.

We ate breakfast at a diner, the next town over, even though at the moment we don’t “like” this town because their youth football teams beat our teams very badly last week.  That was Rich’s remark anyway, which made me laugh.  This diner was hopping with folks “of a certain age.”

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This is a small town to have so many people at a diner for breakfast and Rich thinks it’s because it’s such a nice place but I think it’s because there is a senior living community just down the road.  It was fun to see people coming in a various times and getting enthusastic welcomes from their friends.  There was an older lady that looked similar to my Aunt Betty and I kept looking at her.  There was an older man with an oxygen tank.  There were hugs and loud conversations.  “Yeah, I feel good today!” said one gentleman to another.  Rich and I settled in to our eggs and potatoes and just enjoyed the atmosphere before heading to my hair appointment.

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This was taken in the car after my appointment.  My hair stylist, I think, let the dye sit a little too long because my head along the hairline is also dyed and it will not come off yet.  I had the roots done and a little trimmed off the ends and Rich worked on his laptop outside in a lawn chair while he waited for me.  We had enough time that I could have dropped him off at home while I had my appointment but he said he wanted to stay with me.   Then we drove the backroads to the mall and stopped at an apple stand/coffee/bakery on the way.

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Rich picked out a nice apple but when he ate it in the car he said it was mealy, so that was a little disappointing.  Out it flew through the car window into the trees.

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He saw this toy tractor and pointed it out because he liked it.  He’s a farm boy still.  He has a small John Deere tractor in our garage.

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He took me to Barnes and Noble and I bought the newest Flow mazazine but once I got home I realized that someone had taken the free wrapping paper out of it so I’m a little annoyed about that.  I also got a Breathe magazine and the Newbery Honor book Echo, which is a big beautiful hardcover book with 585 pages!!!!  I hope it’s as good as I am anticipating.  I can’t read it until I’m done with The Windy Hill (1922).  Rich got a couple of men’s fitness magazines and one of them has a young Arnold S. on the cover only wearing a small bathing suit which was horrifying to see.  Rich is slowly easing into running again after his disc surgery but has been able to keep working on his upper body and to me, looks amazing.  I’m so proud of him and the way he continues to get up early three days a week to work out and keep himself healthy.

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I took a photo of the cover of this book because……..

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Inside there was a photo of fiestaware (mixed with Bauer).  SO pretty!

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We sat at a table by the window for a while.  He had a pumpkin spice latte and I had a matcha green tea latte and then we drove back home.

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We ended up having a good hour to ourselves before the bus came.

another day at Brimfield antiques show

*This is a tale of two sisters going to Brimfield AGAIN.

This is a yearly event for us, sometimes even more than one time per year!  We always park at the church and then walk walk walk until we get tired and decided “that’s enough for this visit.”

There is always so much for two sisters to see and lots to laugh about.

Brimfield day fills us up.

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We’ve taken our children before in years past, and this time Amanda brought along her niece, who was so cute and a good sport.

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Look at this collection of Tasha Tudor books we found!!!  The prices were, by my estimation, full market value.  But I didn’t care, because when the prices are high I simply take a photo and learn something.  For instance, maybe I’ll find one or two of these books at Goodwill someday!

We thought of Mom whenever we saw glass jars, and of brother Dave whenever we saw a piece of nautical art.

Amanda looked so cute in her red sneakers.

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Another beautiful glass jar (thirty-nine dollars)

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We thought this huge flat basket filled with dried flowers and grasses was so “primative-pretty”…….it’s fun how different booths have different “feels”.  Some are soft and pretty, some are manly with lots of dusty tools and rust, some are full of dishes (my favorite), some are like walking through a garage sale with no rhyme or reason to the display, some are artfully put together, some have cheerful happy sellers, some have grumpy “don’t insult me by asking for a lower price” sellers.

There were LOTS of shoppers on Friday because it was the nicest day to go, weather-wise.  The heat had finally broken after days of sweltering humidity.

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Oh my, a feast for my fiesta-loving eyes!

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I had to get a closer look at the grasshopper who also obviously loves fiestaware.

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Amanda gravitates toward plaid and wool… (she tried on this shirt).

Our biggest “what the” moment was when we were admiring a stack of vintage wrapping paper and when the lady named her (too high) price she explained that it was “inspiration for Ralph Lauren who was expected to appear in the fashion tent that day”.  When I told her I just wanted it to wrap presents with it she gave me a better deal!!  So that was nice.  🙂  But we were laughing about this situation for a while afterwards.

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Adorable doll house display.

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I was so happy to find a display of “stone fruit”, another collectors item that I LOVE but will be looking for…. at Goodwill.  These pieces are all heavier than you would expect and we picked up some of our favorites to hold in our hands.  You can zoom in on the price list.

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I loved this table of fiesta because he had it priced reasonably (for me–it’s all objective–) and I found a mug for five dollars.

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HOWEVER, I did buy a shelf of vintage fiesta from a guy for 250.00.  The only pieces I didn’t take were the teacups because I hate teacups unless they are a valuable color like lilac, medium green, or sapphire.  He asked for 275. but wanted cash so I said “if I have to walk down the road to the ATM I’ll give you 250,” and he said “fine.”  He was pleasant to do business with and come to find out he was selling the dishes for an older couple who lived in Maine.  The lady was 72 years old and starting to feel like it was time to thin out her collection.  He even showed me a picture of her.

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I paid that much because of the lids….it’s harder to find them…the yellow casserole is perfect, the blue casserole is called Kitchen Kraft fiesta and the lid has a teeny tiny crack on the edge, the red lid is perfect but doesn’t go with the red nappy bowl that they put it on, I also got five deep plates (shallow bowls with a larger rim) in perfect condition, a rose sugar bowl with no lid that he threw in at the end, saying “what am I going to do with it, here just take it”, some small plates, and four dinner plates.  All perfect.  Everything was good except for that blue lid which kind of bothers me but oh well, I didn’t see it until I got home, and I looked up all the prices on everything and still feel that I made out  well with my purchase.  The yellow casserole alone, for instance, was marked 195 in another booth, and a stack of red plates in another booth were 10 dollars each.  So the casserole and dinner plates alone could have cost me 250.

But in all my researching at home on Friday night, I discovered that an annoying vintage plate that I bought years and years ago, which was oddly FLAT, had no marking, and was what I thought a “beginners shameful purchase”, most likely a factory flawed piece, and perhaps not even really fiestaware was REALLY A RARE CAKE PLATE worth 1,000.  But it’s gone.  I’m pretty sure I got rid of it, I’m 95% sure I stuck it in a bag for goodwill one day when I was purging the house.  I already searched every place it could have been in my house to no avail.  This is why people should shop at Goodwill.

Collecting has it’s fair share of thrills and agonies.

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The 24 pieces on the bottom right of my hutch are the new ones.

To my kids and future Grandkids:  someday this will all be yours.

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*Wait was this a tale about Brimfield with my beloved sister, or fiestaware?  😉

what are the odds?!

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Rich and I and the boys were binge watching one of our favorite shows on Netflix and when I finally turned it off and back to the TV there was a cooking show on and the chef was plating chicken from the grill RIGHT ON TO A beautiful COBALT FIESTA HANDLED CAKE PLATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I screamed, “Rich!RICH!  Take a picture, take a picture, quick!”  (I didn’t have my phone on me).  And he did!!

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Collectors are always trying to spy fiestaware on movies and television and this was a particularly surprising and fun sighting!

wild violets & a trip to brimfield antiques show 2018

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We haven’t had our lawn mowed yet so there are wild violets growing everywhere.  They are abundant and I found myself wandering around picking a tiny bouquet of them.  The white ones are the most fragrant; beautiful, creamy white with deep purple lines from the middle pedal and just a hint of yellow there, too.

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We are blessed in violets.  Another kind that I noticed was white with a deep blue center, with blue veins coming out from the blue.

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Also noticed was a thin grapevine twisted around and up a tree, just the right spot for another photo opportunity for my violets.

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My very favorite one is light lilac in color, with thin delicate pedals and a flat face…in the photo it is the one closest to my hand, picked last.  I only know of one small patch of these.  The most common purple ones are growing everywhere.

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Tied with a ribbon, they dress up the kitchen windowsill very nicely.

****

Yesterday was opening day of the Brimfield Antique Show so when the children left for school, I drove to the show.  I arrived early enough to get parking easily.  Later on when I left it was crowded and some of the parking lots were full.  It cost 10 dollars to park at the church, and I always park there each time I go.  When I got out of my vehicle I heard one of the attendants call over to another older parking attendant to ask “Which one of these trees did you plant?” He laughed and looked back and forth to a couple trees; “That one.”  It was stately tall and mature and I marveled that it had grown so much in the man’s lifetime.  Already I was collecting beauty and inspiration from people…….I wanted to go home and plant a tree.

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I thought of Jo and Dawn when I saw these darling little tap shoes.

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Within 10 minutes I had made a fiesta purchase; a tea cup and saucer in the hard-to-find-and-afford lilac color.  (to match the violets) at a great price!

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And I thought of friend Hannah, and my dear mother, whenever I saw sewing things and fabrics.

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Vintage fiesta ware

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I bought a vintage yellow dessert plate with stripes.  Someone mentioned on the fiestaware FB page that they thought it was part of a Sears cake set sold years ago.

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I found a shiny and perfect medium green plate (most rare of all the colors) and was able to purchase it for 30 dollars.

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I normally go to Brimfield with someone else (or two or three) and I wondered how I would enjoy going alone, but I simply loved it.  I would rather go with one or two of the children, or my sisters, or aunts, or friends of course but going by myself this time ended up being a much needed treat.  I loved thinking only of myself and quietly going around watching people and looking at all the things people were displaying and selling.  I took my lunch and ate it as I walked; a pb and honey sandwich, a cliff bar, an apple.  All in all, I spent almost 4 hours and walked about 4 miles before I left.

It felt wrong in a way to leave Brimfield and go straight to an antique store (because Brimfield is nothing but antiques as far as the eye can see) but I had remembered a few things that I had wanted to buy a few months ago, so I headed to one more shop before going home for the day.  The things I was looking for were gone, but I still enjoyed browsing.  Antiquing is like a little history lesson of ordinary life.

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Jus took at that big red fiesta platter (not purchased, but admired) The colors are so energizing and cheerful.

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~A chartreuse display (fiesta disc pitcher)~

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Well, then I drove back home and determined to stay in my kitchen until it was spotless so I turned on some music and mindfully washed up the dishes, cleared off the counters and scrubbed them, and swept the floor.  It’s more fun when you can concentrate on what you’re doing rather than rush through to get to the “next thing”.   Pictured above are the fiestaware pieces that I bought yesterday.  But I have already thought about NOT buying anymore of it for a while.  I am content with my collection.  I have a piece of every color and then some.  I have vases and teapots, pitchers, canisters, vintage, and new.  Salt and pepper shakers, spoon rests, trivets, pie plates.  Plates galore.  Common pieces and rare.  Some to display and others to use everyday.  It’s a satisfying collection.

Photos of other finds brought home:

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A Tasha Tudor craft-type book, paperback, which I had never seen before.  I can’t wait to look at it slowly and try some of the projects.

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A lady in Brimfield had a “just my style” booth that she told me she started doing when she retired.  She does all three Brimfield shows a year and also does her own show.  She had pieces of furniture, and housewares, vintage laces, baby things, new and old.  At the counter she had a display of scrapbooking packets that she put together and I couldn’t resist buying one.

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More old papers for scrapbooking and journals.

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L O V E

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L O V E     **Eloise Wilkin**

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This was such fun.  “My School-Day Autobiography” owned by Doris Jeanette Reid. Perhaps you know her.  I would love to send it back to her, or her descendants.  How do things end up being sold and bought by strangers?

In the meantime, here are some of the pages:

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“Stay as sweet as you are and you won’t have a hard time getting a husband.”

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“Best wishes to a bad girl.”

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“Your one of my best friends I mean it”

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BEAUTIFUL script and blessing

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Taped on the last page.

*****

church, salvage, my sweater, more fiestaware, art journals

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Parker the dog woofed and woofed to let us know that our annual visit from the mallard ducks happened this morning.  I opened the door to admire the ducks floating gracefully on the pond.  He was still barking at the waters edge and I understood what he was trying to say so I called down, “I SEE THEM, Parker, THANK YOU!!”   Caleb, coughing at the end of the couch, also understood, “It’s a sign of spring.” The ground is covered in snow and the pond has a thin sheet of ice over half of it but this faithful visit from our old friends cheered our hearts.  It’s currently 31 degrees.  I will be leaving in about an hour to go pick up Caleb’s school work so he can do it this weekend and not get too far behind.  Thankfully, he is feeling much better.

As promised, this is a photo- blog- journal report on SUNDAY the 18th of March.  Grace and I had slept together in a hotel the night before and Joanna picked us up for church at 9:45. At church, we enjoyed singing hymns, listening to Scripture, and hearing a sermon before heading out for lunch at a popular diner.  Joanna treated us to a very filling meal and we sat by a big window, talking and laughing as we ate.

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Grace had a steak.  Joanna and I both had huge de-constructed gyro salads. (SO good)  (could not finish)

With very full tummies we headed out for a few hours of shopping.

olde good things

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Olde Good Things was a huge warehouse full of architectural salvage.  We walked through the door and immediately became inspired by the smells of dust, old wood, paint, rust, and metal, and invigorated by the cold temperatures of the warehouse.  The building was stacked floor to ceiling with everything imaginable coming out of old hotels, buildings, churches, and museums of the past.

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There was even a horse hanging from the ceiling.

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We explored to our hearts content.

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And as typical of her, Grace climbed into every upper level, no matter if the floors were uneven and stairs steep and deadly.  I kept expecting her to fall or have things fall on her.    18 years old and she still awakens the “I must keep my child alive” nervousness in me.  She has always loved climbing, so much so that one of her childhood nicknames (which she hated) was “Grace Goat”.

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Some of Olde Good Things’ salvage jobs have been The Plaza Hotel in NYC, the JFK International airport, and Rialto Theatre, Times Square NYC.  Check their website for all the interesting details.  Joanna has been following them and visiting their warehouse for years.  I was once again impressed by her design sense, she has great instincts and ideas.

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a feast for the eyes

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We were upstairs in a “door section” (the stuff was all very informally organized) I arranged Grace (in my favorite sweater) in front of a white wooden door, I imagine it must have been a back kitchen door as someone resourcefully covered it in blue linoleum.

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This upstairs floor was loose sections of open iron grating, giving us a strange feeling of fear, we were up so high but knew we were safe enough because after all there were thousands of doors, wooden pillars and posts, and so on.  But then to see, instead of “safe” steps, an unsecured little ladder leading up to yet another level and the words BE CAREFUL WATCH OUT. . . . .it was amazing.

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Everything about this place was inspiring to all three of us.

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a treasure trove of old metal

***

NEXT STOP WAS

on and on vintage, antiques, repurposed, handmade marketplace

in Scranton, PA.

This place was wonderful, not just because of the stuff they sold, but because the owners were so warm and cheerful and obviously liked each other, their shop, and their customers.  They were due to close in five minutes but happily stayed open for us. (!)

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Right away Joanna asked if they had fiestaware and the lady led us straight to a few displays.  I wanted the vintage green covered casserole quite badly but sadly there was a big chip on the lid.  It was 25 dollars.  I did find two place-setting bowls in retired colors, Seamist and Chartreuse, still shiny and perfect.

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We wondered why These Happy Golden Years wasn’t in the box.  Laura Ingalls Wilder fans for life!

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The combination of the chair and the quilt stopped Joanna in her tracks.

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Lastly, Joanna took us to two local Indian grocery stores where we had a great time buying some snacks, drinks, and treats to take home with us.

We went back to Joanna’s house feeling full in every way; physically, mentally, and spiritually. . . . .

We had just an hour or so to do the one remaining thing on Joanna’s list of things she wanted to do with me during our visit.  

art journals

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She set to work painting pages in my book while I looked through her art book, and Chloe’s, too.  Grace did her homework across the table.  Steve and the older boys were in the living room and the littles came in and out to see what we were doing.  It was cozy with beautiful music that Joanna turned on for us, filling the air with hymns and praise songs. . . .

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She was on her mom’s shoulder like this for a long time. . . .so dear.

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Joanna’s art supplies purchase recommendations for the next time I go to AC Moore.

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Behind me was the wall she started recently for the little ones. . .tiny art in tiny frames, carefully arranged way down low, eye level for toddlers.  Just right for the small ones in the family.   Mini-art gallery perfection.

Grace and I had to leave at 7:ish so that we could get her things from the hotel and take her back to college before 8.  I took her to the grocery store quickly for some healthy snacks and drinks and some cash so that her Grandma and I could have peace of mind that she had everything she needed.  I took her to school and helped her get her things back into her dorm room, taking away her Christmas tree.  We hugged outside the building in the dark and even after all day of me saying “don’t forget you have to change out of my sweater before I drop you off” she somehow still got away with it.  In leaving my beloved, I forgot my sweater.  We had a good laugh about that the next day.

Thank you again for a great weekend, Joanna!  I was touched by the time and thoughtfulness you put into making plans for us.  It was truly appreciated way down deep.

And God bless you, Grace, as you finish up your first year of college.

 

 

 

 

 

quilts and fiestaware and salt cellars and . . . . . . .

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Good morning!  I can’t wait to tell you all about when I took Grace back to college this weekend.  But first a little update on the day so far.  It’s snowing, for one thing.  I have a boy home with the flu, for another.  On a scale of 1-10 my mommy-burnout meter is at about a 6. . . .so thank goodness there was no snowday today or it would have shot up to a 9 I’m sure.  I plan on a quiet day with Caleb, four cats, and the dog.  Caleb is snuggled up with Parker at the end of the couch, wearing a flu mask.  He looks much better this morning, although his eyes have a sad look to them, which is what prompted the doctor to do the flu test on Tuesday.  He is looking out the window.  He feels sorry for the birds,  digging in the snow for birdseed, which we have run out of.  He assures me that I can leave him at home while I go get more.  “They depend on you,” he reminds me.  And there goes the snow plow, rumbling by.  Sherlock the orange cat is sitting on the windowsill also watching the birds (he doesn’t care what they eat as he would rather eat THEM) and our two black cats (adopted in December) are chasing a marble around the room like little spitfires.  How two cats can make so much noice is beyond me. . . . . .

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Grace and I left the house Saturday morning at 6:15, she was rather annoyed as I had said to her that we would leave at 8.  But I could not sleep anymore so I woke her up and we drove away from home.  It was very cold, quiet and as dark as night.

We arrived at Joanna’s house around 11:45 and we headed out to a few shopping destinations.  The first one we went to was a shop/antique store in a building on someone’s farm property.  The owners sell new items, with unique older pieces mixed in everywhere, so exploring was very exciting.  I bought some new kitchen towels that I really love because after washing and drying them the hems around the edges did NOT curl (which I hate), I bought a vintage salt-cellar, white with a hinged wooden lid, and a few other odd and ends.

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We LOVED the big heavy teapots on top of the wooden stove in the shop.  This place was full of women shopping and we were very impressed that although it was out-of-the-way, it was apparently quite popular and visited by groups of enthusiastic customers.

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It was such fun to include Grace and Chloe, our two beautiful young daughters, with us for the day!

If you would like to visit this quaint and lively shop it is called Feick’s Vintage Finds (click link for more information)

It was almost an hour drive from Joanna’s house but totally worth it!  I would go again in a heartbeat.

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On down the road to another antique shop.  This one was called “Apple Wagon Antique Mall.”

I found an amazing beveled mirror framed in a grass green wooden frame (old) and a fiesta tripod bowl in persimmon (first time seeing one of them!).

Other things seen and noted:

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Mortar and Pestle used to mix paints (old) that Joanna snatched up (she bought two on this day).  Joanna has a great artist’s eye for things and knows just what she loves and what she would do with the items she sees, color, art, etc.

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Grace saw this shelf of goodies first. She called me over and then said, “I won, Aunt Joanna!” because she was proud of herself for finding the first fiestaware of the day.  The tripod bowl is not in the photo because it was already in my hands.  I think what I’ll do is an instagram post of some of the things I bought.  I was very tempted by the dark green small plates (6 dollars each) but I was trying to be a good girl and to be honest I already have a stack of like 15 small plates (but none of them are dark green.  sigh.)  Some of the shapes here are not fiestaware.  They are made by the same company (HLC) but from a different line called Harlequin.  The colors are similar but even the feel of the plates is different.  Harlequin is much lighter in the hand.  Some fiesta collectors end up collecting harlequin as well.

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Vintage Button collections— made me think of my mom— but these were a little out of my price range.  Aren’t they lovely?  We would display them right up on the wall and admire them daily.

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This is just one of the reasons why we love antiquing.  It is a huge source of inspiration.  Don’t you just want to find an old family black and white photo and put it into a bottle now?  I know I do. . . . . .

This whole place was a treat to visit.  The prices were encouraging and negotiable, and there were many unique things to see.  Not to mention the homemade cookies and coffee-free to anyone who needed a pick me up, which was definitely us by that point!

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The beautiful hands of the woman who totaled up our purchases.  They even used a very old cash register that dinged when the drawer opened.   This is one of my favorite photos of the day.

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The girls each bought a red-covered book.  Grace bought Robinson Crusoe and Chloe found a copy of Black Beauty.  2 dollars.

As we drove Joanna kept saying, “LOOK at the beautiful mountains!”

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We drove to the middle of the town of Tunkhannock, PA for the final shop of the day and coffee.  There was also an amazing mural Joanna wanted a photo of, and as it was St Patricks day, the green was very fitting.

“The Old Store” was small and cold yet I found a pristine round fiesta platter for only 4 dollars (in “Rose”)!!!

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She was right about the mountains……..

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What a fun day we had all together with our girlies.  I’m just so deep down thankful.  Chloe is 13 and Grace is 18 but they got along like two peas in a pod.  Like sisters.

A quick walk down the road, Joanna treated us to lovely drinks (I had a hot chai tea latte) in a warm ‘n’ cozy coffee shop and then we took one last photo before heading back to her house for pizza.

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When I sent this photo to my brother he thought of stained glass windows.  (he’s taking a class and making his first one). . . . .

Thank you for a wonderful day, Josephina!

Tomorrow I will share photos from Sunday and what we did on that day together before dropping Grace off at college.

 

 

chocolate and sapphire

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Rich and I met for breakfast this morning and then he went to work.  Since I was out and about I decided to drive myself to a nearby consignment shop and …….

…..scored a (retired) Chocolate Fiesta disc pitcher for only 6 dollars!

Then I went next door to another consignment shop and ………

……scored four (retired and somewhat rare) Sapphire tumblers!

The tumblers were sold as a set along with a blue teapot that was not made by HLC.  The price ticket said “Teapot and four mugs, 22.00”

Fiesta “in the wild” (term for when you find it second-hand) is always exciting (In my experience it happens only once in a blue moon) and I cannot believe I found Chocolate and Sapphire in two different stores within 15 minutes of each other at rock bottom prices.

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“Be faithful to your own taste
because nothing you really like
is ever out of style.”  ~Billy Baldwin, interior designer 1903-1983